Apr 29, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

I think by now, you guys know I'm a vegetarian. Eggs, dairy - yes. Meat - no. So, I don't know what possessed me to buy vegetarian beef mince. It was probably this really awesome picture of stuffed peppers on top of the package. So I bought the packet to make these. Boy, were they good! And again - it was minced tofu! No animals harmed in the process.

I followed this recipe and replaced the real beef with the tofu version.  I used yellow and orange peppers for a milder flavour. I used brown rice instead of white, cumin powder instead of basil and oregano. I also skipped the Worcestershire sauce, giving it a more Mexican flavour.

This is how it looked after baking. I also went through an article on how to eat stuffed peppers. You can eat the filling first and the peppers after, did you know that? I always take a bite of the rice with a piece of pepper.  I prefer it that way. Tell me how this recipe turns out, in case your try it. And you should try it. Its just a one pot dish with the peppers taking a bit of processing on their own. Its easy, I promise.

Apr 25, 2012

Shopping haul - April - Part 2

I'm done with April's spending budget and I still have ten more days to go. Sigh.. no matter. I received my shirt from Nordstrom Rack. It doesn't photograph well ,so here is the link. I think it was $12 but it has sold out since and gone back to full price. I got a light chambray color which I have been coveting for a long time.

If you are looking for a chambray shirt for less than $25, then check this out.

I also bought these two shoes from NineWest. They were $25 each after a lot of discounts.

I was going to  buy only one of them but I couldn't decide which one to put down. The top one is a blush pink with black toe. I adore those tiny bows. Reminds me of the Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes I missed. The bottom ones are a beautiful light tan. So both are perfect for spring. The top ones are killing my feet though. Have to break them in a lot more. 
Last, I bought this beauty in the Easter parade on Union Street. Guess what it is?

Its soap. Rose flavoured handmade soap. It smells so so awesome. Its wrapped in cling film but I'm not even removing it beacuse the smell is pretty strong already and it keeps the room smelling so good. It was $4.99 if you were wondering. That's it for this month's shopping! I think I'm a little over $100 but that ok. These are pretty versatile pieces. How much is your monthly shopping budget? Do you go over it or under it?

Apr 23, 2012

Best Ever Banana Bread!

You look around the internet and you see recipes that say, BEST EVER BANANA CAKE.. yeah, like that in all caps. And then you think, " OMG, I HAVE to try this" in all caps like that. And you do and then you wonder what was the difference between this one and the previous one you made.
This is one of those recipes. No matter what recipe I follow, banana bread, tastes the same to me. Which is very good and very moist and full of flavour. And thats good enough for me. I'm not getting fooled by the best ever anymore : D

Ingredients :
4 ripe mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups of multigrain baking flour.
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

Method :
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour with yogurt, sugar, vanilla extract , baking soda and salt. Add the really mashed bananas and mix well. No egg so totally lick-able. Ahem, moving on. Pour it into a loaf-pan and bake for 45 mts.

And then cool well. And when I say cool, I mean cool else, when that fantastic looking loaf  is sliced when its warm, it collapses like this and breaks your heart.

Still tasted good though. Serve with fruit. Sound off in the comments and tell me if you try it. This is egg free and without butter. Just cutting down the calories, you know! I'm always looking out for your waistline.

Apr 20, 2012

HM vs Zara

I spend a lot of time browsing through a lot of online stores, so here is something a little weird and funny and a peek into my roller coaster emotions with fashion! I saw this dress on H&M website long back. I was totally in love with it and thought it was a dress with a coral lace overlay. When I visited in the store, surprise - it was just a printed polyester dress and I have hated it since then.

Yesterday , I was browsing through Zara and saw this incredibly similar dress on Zara. Again I think its coral lace overlay but I will go to the store soon and check it out and let you know. With the same colour combinations and similar print and 100% polyester, I dont know why I'm digging Zara's look so much. Maybe its the peplum but I so love it. 

You can buy the Zara dress here for $89.90. H&M does not offer online shopping , so look for it in your local store. Do you think its a rip-off on Zara's part? Which dress do you prefer? And are you also laughing at the toe overhang in Zara's model? LOL.. I'm a detail oriented person, sorry!

Apr 18, 2012

A little spring haul!

I probably have not told you that, I reached US with just two suitcases. Iam slowly trying to build a wardrobe that will be fun and casual as my main trips outside are to the library to study and to hang out with the Hubs. And most of you would know, building a wardrobe from scratch can be quite expensive. So I limited myself to $100 +/- 10 a month. If it seems high, I'm sorry but it will reduce even more if I have some basic pieces. If it seems low, then could you be kind enough to sponsor me? : )
Anyway, I wanted to share a bunch of things I got this month. So here they are. I know I should be doing fabulous outfit posts with them but who wants to see a girl in a different coloured jeans everyday? You do?? Really??

Striped blue tee - $9.99 (similar)
(I'm pretty sure, prices are lower in the store.)
Dot pillow - $17 (similar)
I got the polka dot pillow from Ross. I think it was $7. Not a part of my wardrobe, I know but so so cute. The tees are all from Old Navy and each one is less than $10. Except the top left hand one which I think is $15.  It was a total of $40 and I got back $20 in SuperCash. The bag you see in the centre is the gift bag, I got from Clinique for my purchase of foundation from them. It contains an eye shadow, mascara and a lip stick lip gloss combo. Such a steal because the foundation was $27 and I had a $10 off Macy's card. So that's around $50 this month till now. Will post what I buy for the remaining $50 soon! 

Apr 16, 2012

Double Orange Cupcake/Muffin

Hi there.. How was your weekend? Mine was spent over trying to restore my laptop to life and it was not successful. Please forgive me for the not posting a lot because I swear losing your laptop is losing your hand. And all this researching and curating is not possible even in the flashy new iPad, the hubs got me!
This is a quickie post on this orange muffin-cupcake hybrid that I made. I could simply say I ran out of cupcake liners but that wouldn't make me an innovator now, would it?

I followed this recipe. The orange flavour was a little bit overwhelming for me but if you like it, then thats good news for you. I didn't go for the coconut topping and instead added an orange glaze from this recipe. What I adjusted was that, I reduced the orange flavour in the cupcake and punched it up in the glaze. And I added a couple of strawberries whose taste I loved with the oranges. Have a you ever tried a flavour on flavour combo ? What are your favourite ones apart from chocolate??

Apr 13, 2012

Crave/Save - Fringed clutch

Did you see Matthew Williamson's clutch yet?

It took me at a hello. While everyone is buzzing about Coachella, I didn't want to drown you with more shopping links, so lets keep it short and sweet with just one statement piece. If you are absolutely and irrevocably in love with this clutch, like me, and you can't buy it, (Let's face it, who spends $1000 on a clutch?), look at the option below. If you can afford it, go ahead and buy it for $975 by clicking on the picture.

See how awesomely inspired this clutch is? Panada clutch by Jadetribe retails for a much lesser $103. You can buy it by clicking on the picture. Blue, fringed with orange and grey thrown in the middle. So beautiful. Of course you can't replace the beautiful seashells on the Matthew Williamson but this one is beaded beautifully to give it an added tribal feel. What do you think of these beauties?

Apr 9, 2012

Putting Together Pastel!

When I started this blog, I used to put together high end looks .. sometimes to satisfy my creativity and sometimes as a gentle nudge to people who can buy these gorgeous pieces to try out these combinations. Somewhere along the road , I started doing more affordable fashion. I miss the dreaming so I'm going to include high end looks that I love once in a while, so feel free to dream with me. And you could always use these fabulous designs to inspire some "Look for Less" shopping, right?

APC striped cotton top - $75
Current/Elliott denim - $180
Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier bag - $430
Miu Miu shoes - $580

Apr 6, 2012

Baked Crispy Rice Fritters

If there is one thing I hate, its leftover rice. Only, after googling a bit , I managed to find the words "Rice Fritters". More than enough to trigger my imagination. So here goes.

Fresh or leftover cooked rice
Bread crumbs
Cheese/ salsa/ filling of your choice.

Preheat your oven. Take a tablespoon of rice. Mix in some salsa or place a small cheese cube in the middle. Season it well with salt, pepper, hot sauce, anything you like! Roll them into balls. The stickier the rice the better. Now dip these in beaten egg and roll them in bread crumbs.I used fresh bread and pulsed them for about 10 secs in my Ninja Master Prep blender. Now spray or grease a baking pan and arrange them on the pan. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes till they are golden brown. Roll them over once in the middle for even baking. They might taste better fried but I feel better when they are baked. Serve with a dipping sauce. I made a cilantro dip. But any dip ( even store-bought) would work. Voila! Ready to serve.

Eggs and Bread Crumbs

Before baking.

Yum! That's the cheesy one!

Simple enough, no? You have to try this recipe. Its divine. DON'T forget to add the cheese and DON'T forget to season the rice because my first batch with just the rice and cheese was b.l.a.n.d. Let me know how they turn out in the comments. If you think of a way to make them yummier, I would love to hear about that too!

Apr 3, 2012

Outfit Post - Winter Leftovers!

The weather here has been very funny - rain one day, shine the next, with some bitingly cold days thrown in the middle. I used the opportunity to wear some of the recent pieces I scored on sale.