Mar 26, 2014

Potato Bajjis

It's been raining and raining AND raining. What's a girl to do then? Except make some deep fried snacks? Brightened the day right up!

Ingredients -

Potatoes - 2 medium sized (slice them to about quarter inch thickness) (I used russet)

For the batter  -

Besan/ Chickpea flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Cayenne powder  - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 2 pinches
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 1 tablespoon and more for deep frying
Water to make a smooth batter.

Method -

1. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the oil and then add water till the mix forms a thick batter.

2. Heat the oil in a deep heavy saucepan. To find if hot enough, add a drop or two of the batter into the oil. If it floats the surface and starts getting golden, the oil is ready.

3. Dip a sliced potato in the batter such that the mix coats the slice evenly and drop it in the oil super carefully.

4. Turn it over with a slotted spoon and cook both sides till the bajjis are a nice golden brown about 3-4 minutes.

5. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney. I served it with marinara sauce and it was great!

You can replace the potatoes with sliced onions, plantain, even bread. The recipe is vegan and can be easily made gluten free. Hope you enjoy the it!

Mar 25, 2014

Slow Cooker Mushroom Risotto

Did I tell you that we went vegan for a week last week? It was an eye-opening and amazing experience. I learned so much. Though I'm switching back to vegetarianism, I do want to be thoughtful about what I consume and I'm going to work on getting more plant based food into my body. I'm going to continue with almond milk for my cereal restricting dairy to yogurt and the occasional cheese. I also don't react well to several legumes, so I need to figure out a healthy balance. Hopefully I can work something out :)

Coming to today's post, mondays are slow cooker nights in our house. Yesterday I made this really simple but flavorful mushroom risotto and wanted to share the recipe!

Ingredients -

Arborio rice - 2 cups
Vegetable broth - 4 cups
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
White wine - 1/4 cup
Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
A herb of your choice - I used oregano but sage or basil would be great too
Parmesan (grated) - 1/2 cup. (Use soy cheese if vegan)

Mushrooms - 1 cup, sliced
Onion - 1 small, sliced

Method :

1. Fry the onions in a sauté pan till brown.

2.Add mushrooms and saute till they are cooked. Set aside.

3. In the slow cooker - spray the insides of the slow cooker with olive oil.

4. Now add the rice, broth, oil, wine, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Add the mushroom onion mixture and give it a good stir.

5. Set the cooker to cook on high for 2  1/2 hours.

6. At the end of the cook time, add grated parmesan and stir.

7. Serve hot.

I'm not the great fan of the uniformity of a risotto, so I added some pine nuts to mine. I would have also LOVED to have some roasted vegetable on the side like broccoli or carrots. My husband on the other hand absolutely loves the simplicity of a risotto by itself. So this recipe works either way. Super convenient and perfect for a busy day.
I'm really enjoying the slow cooker and look forward to sharing more recipes like this!

Mar 18, 2014

My Puppy is 1 Year Old!

Ok. Our puppy, lol. Maddie is a year old today. OMG. For her birthday, we got her a cute little birthday cake toy and some birthday treats. I was going to make a peanut butter cupcake (her favorite). But I only had a tablespoon or so, so I just handed it to her straight and she licked it clean. Here she is in her birthday finery.

Can I have the peanut butter PLEEEESE?

With her cake toy

Ooooh, I like that it sings!

Looking back, the past year has been one of the best years of my life. We adopted Maddie and she adopted us right back. This puppy is such a love-bug. She absolutely loves playing with her dad and snuggling with her mom. I wake up smiling every morning because she is laying on my stomach patiently waiting for me to open my eyes and the moment I do, she is bursting with energy. Licking my face and almost saying.. It's morning, let's go go go.

Aren't you happy that it's morning?

Here she is, the teeny tiny puppy that we met for the first time.

Hahahaha, daddy thinks I'm too tiny to cause any trouble. We'll see about that!

Oooh new house.

AND new toys!!

In the last year, she has taught us a lot. Like enjoying sunshine.

Mmmmmm the grass smells good!

And the outdoors..

Checking out the Kirkland waterfront.

She especially loved the snow and while I hate it, seeing her enjoy it so much made winter a little more bearable.

O.M.G. So much snow!

We worked REALLY hard to discipline her. Because who can say no to this face? 

I don't want to eat dog food :(

I don't want to go home.

I never want to take a bath again.

But she never went overboard and was happy to sit and say please if she wanted treats. 

OMG sweet potato!!!!! PLEEEEEESE!!!!

She was always up for new adventures. Like checking out Snoqualmie Falls here.

WTH is going on back there?

We celebrated our first Diwali together by gobbling up Gulab Jamuns and wearing bindis.

Can I get another gulab jamun?

Mostly though we spent a lot of time running and playing. 

And cuddling and learning to enjoy everything around us!

Well, thank God, we found each other! Happy Birthday Maddie!!

Mar 14, 2014

Sephora and Forever 21 Haul

I've finally found THE foundation! I had a super fun day today shopping at the mall. I spent over 2 hours in Sephora, carefully testing shades and formulations. After much research, I settled on these three products and I'm very happy with them.

My goal was to get a powder foundation that doesn't make me look flat. I have very uneven skin tone. Dark around my mouth and lighter around my forehead and cheeks. Trying to find a liquid foundation to bridge the two colors is a major challenge. (Also, I'm too lazy to blend to my neck). So I decided to find a powder foundation that will blend with my skin and offer a medium coverage. Initially I went to test out the Tarte powder foundation but just like Bare Minerals, it made my face look rather flat. Then I went in to play with the shade finder machine when I spotted the Make Up Forever area. They have a great selection of colors, so I tried out the Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation. O.M.G. The powder just melts into your skin. It almost looked like I was airbrushing my face. The powder is buildable, so it didn't look cakey at all and offers great coverage. Best powder ever. Love it. Oh, I'm the shade 168 Golden Camel (that cracked me up).

Next up was the NARS creamy concealer. This is a holy grail concealer for a lot of Indian ladies, so I looked forward to trying it. The concealer isn't awesome for my blemishes but for the under eye, it's great. Blends perfectly and doesn't budge. I'm noticing a teeny bit of settling into my lines, but it could be because I put on too much. The shade match is great. I'm in the shade Caramel.

Lastly, I went in wanting to buy the Clinique Cheek Pop or the Hourglass Ambient lighting blushes. But neither looked as amazing as the Second Skin HD blush from MUFE. I'm seriously in love with this brand. I got the color 335 Fawn. It's a blush/bronzer combination kind of color on my skin. So it highlights my cheek without looking pink//orange or red. Really love it.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - Caramel
MUFE Pro Finish powder foundation - 168
MUFE HD Blush - 335 Fawn

Sorry, a bit photo heavy. Click read more to see how the products look on me.

Mar 6, 2014

TMI tag from Youtube!

I saw this new tag floating around in Youtube and I thought it would be fun to answer these questions!

Ok, on to the questions  -

1: What are you wearing? 

Flannel PJs. It's raining and cold and these pjs are a delight in the winter.

2: Ever been in love? 

Yes, of course.

3: Ever had a terrible breakup? 

Not really. I'm mostly a grow out of a relationship kind of person, whether it be a friendship or a romantic relationship. I'm still friendly with everyone. There is never any bitterness. There are some people who I've cut off for being general jerks or deceitful and manipulative. That's not a terrible breakup. It's a relief actually.

4: How tall are you? 

5' 5".

5: How much do you weigh? 

Still staying steady at 59kgs!!

6: Any tattoos? 

None but eventually I want to get an M and an S.

7: Any piercings? 

Both ears. I also had my nose pierced for my wedding to be a proper Brahmin bride but have let it close since.

8: OTP? 

Sherlock and John Watson. They are the perfect couple. Made for each other!

9: Favourite show? 

BBC's Sherlock. I'm obsessed with this show and I have my own tumblr where I write analysis and metas on each of the 9 episodes. It's a very complex, multilayered show with the best performances and writing. It's super fun to just watch it just as detective series but I love all the hidden subtext and clues and Tumblr is filled with people like me trying to decode them. As you can see - OBSESSED.

10: Favourite bands? 

None really.

11: Something you miss? .

Home. India. ALL.THE.TIME.

12: Favourite song?

Right now I love Pharrell's Happy and Oh What a Night by Four Seasons.

13: How old are you? 


14: Zodiac sign? 


15: Quality you look for in a partner? 

I wanted an honest, straight shooter. I'm a simple, straight forward person without a lot of calculation and manipulation, so that was what I wanted.
You know in HIMYM how Barney brings around Robin in an elaborate scheme? That would never work on me. lol.

16: Favourite Quote? 

When life throws lemons at you, learn juggling!

Ok, I just made that up.

17: Favourite actor? 

I love the whole cast of Sherlock. I also love Julia Roberts.

18: Favourite color? 

I love every single color there is. They are all so beautiful.

19: Loud music or soft? 

LOL, moderate?

20: Where do you go when you're sad? 

I go to my collection of great music or books. Or I take Maddie out on a trail. Washington is SO beautiful. It's hard to be too blue when you are surrounded by so much beauty. In Coimbatore, I used to go to Marudhamalai which was my favourite temple.

21: How long does it take you to shower? 

I'm guilty of really long showers. I just cannot get out of the hot water.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 

Depends on the place. 10 minutes for a casual outing. About 30 minutes for formal/work stuff.

23: Ever been in a physical fight? 

Yes. Maddie and I have wrestling matches everyday. I'm glad to report that she is winning.

24: Turn on?

Intelligence. Honesty.

25: Turn off? 


26: The reason I joined blogging? 

It's fun to have a creative outlet and share things and recipes I like!

27: Fears? 

I don't fear anything. I just worry a lot about my family's health and safety as I get older.

28: Last thing that made you cry? 

The news that a dog (Edward Carter) that I've been following on FB has become unresponsive to chemo and is terminal. It's breaking my heart. He is such a lively, happy dog and he has given me and many others so much happiness over the last few months.

29: Last time you said you loved someone? 

This morning.

30: Meaning behind your Blog Name? 

It was a fun, fashion twist on "The Daily Prophet"

31: Last book you read? 

 I re-read The Hunger Games series.

32: The book you're currently reading?

Kaplan's verbal review??? LOL.

33: Last show you watched? 

I'm watching Doctor Who now.

34: Last person you talked to? 

My husband

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted? 

A new friend.

36: Favourite food? 

Indian/Mexican/Thai/Chinese. SORRY, I CANNOT CHOOSE!!!

37: Place you want to visit?

The whole wide world.

38: Last place you were? 

We went to Snoqualmie on Valentine's day for a tubing session. I'm so not a fan of snow!!

39: Do you have a crush?

If by crush you mean what started as a crush and developed into a five year marriage, then yes I do. LOL.

40: Last time you kissed someone? 

This morning.

41: Last time you were insulted? 

My hubby told me I over-react. He is in big trouble, lol.

42: Favourite flavour of sweet? 

I like pistachio and coffee flavors.

43: What instruments do you play?? 

None :(

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?

I LOVE my jhumkis.

45: Last sport you played? 

I used to play cricket with my brother. I loved cricket.

46: Last song you sang? 

I'm currently singing along to Happy.

47: Favourite chat up line?

What does this even mean? Like a conversation starter? Hmm, probably, do you want to get food? It is the start of a great chat session, always. LOL.

48: Have you ever used it?

Yes, with all my friends.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone? 

I hung out with a friend and spent a long time sniffing stuff in Sephora.

50: Who should answer these questions next?

I'm tagging Ash @The Zing of my Life, Ash @The Zars and Meena at @Thelastphoenixsong!!

I'm still laughing at some of these answers. Hope you chuckled a little reading them! Until next time, Ciao!