May 31, 2014

Portland!

We are back from an amazing trip to Portland. We chose to drive from Seattle to Portland since it's such a short drive and we took Maddie with us on her first road trip!! She was a little tired after the trip but she had fun, I think!

We left Seattle on Saturday. We got a harness for Maddie, that attaches to the backseat belt to keep her from rocking and falling. The harness was still convenient enough for her to stand up, turn around and lie down.


We made a couple of stops to grab lunch and give a little time to stretch and soon we were in Portland!
We decided to go first to the International Rose Test Garden. It was a beautiful place with soooooo many types of roses. And the garden was dog-friendly. Maddie had a great time playing with other dogs while we enjoyed the garden :)



After enjoying the garden, I got some goodies from the gift shop and headed to find some food carts. Many were closed because it was pretty late in the day but we did find a few and I got some garlic naan and vegetable gravy from Portland Masala. SOOO tasty!  I also had my first taste of bubble tea!! It was fun! With all the food to go, we headed back to the hotel.

The candle smells divine!




We stayed at the Oxford Suites Jantzen Beach which is a dog-friendly hotel a few miles from the city center. The rooms were comfortable but the food was mediocre. It's not a luxury stay but since we just wanted a place to crash, we were ok with it. If you are looking for a clean, dog-friendly place to stay in Portland, definitely check this out.

The next day, we left early to check out the Saturday Market which luckily was open on a Sunday. So many beautiful and handcrafted food, crafts and art. Great place even if all you want to do is browse. I got a set of artisan fruit preserves. I've been eating the Plum-Jalapeno spread since I got it. Sweet and spicy at the same time!  We also got an "elephant ear" which is a giant big piece of fried pancake-y pastry with a topping of your choice. I got the strawberry cream cheese and it was super yum!




Around noon, we headed to see the Columbia Gorge and the scenic highway. I had never seen a place as beautiful as WA state till I went to this place. The whole highway is just so green and fresh and beautiful. Words do not do justice and neither do pictures. This is a must visit if you love natural scenic spots. We stopped at a number of waterfalls along the highway. After the jump are some pictures of this beautiful place!

May 19, 2014

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

I'm so ridiculously suggestible when it comes to food. I just need to look at a picture of a dish long enough to get the itch to make it. Sometimes it works even if I just see something on a menu or when people tell what they had. It's a good thing because I can always find new and interesting stuff to make! That's the story of this quiche. First my friend told me she had it for dinner. Then  I saw Gordon Ramsay making it on his youtube channel. I finally had to make my own and it turned out beautifully!






Ingredients -

Pie crust - 1 sheet
Eggs - 4
Milk - 1 cup
Cheddar - 1 cup grated.
Mushroom - 1 package - 8 ounces sliced.
Baby spinach - 1/2 cup - stems trimmed.
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Salt and Pepper
Herbs of your choice
Garlic powder



Method -

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2.  Line a 9 inch cast iron pan or a tart pan or pie dish with the pie crust. Pat down to remove air pockets and poke a bunch of holes on the bottom and sides with a fork.

3. Blind bake with weights for 15 minutes.

4. While the pie crust bakes, saute the mushrooms over medium heat till cooked and brown and water evaporated.

5.  Add the spinach and allow to wilt.

6. Once wilted, add some herbs of your choice, garlic powder, salt and pepper and take off the heat.

7. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together with a little salt and pepper.

8. With the pie crust ready, spoon the mushroom-spinach mixture over the pie crust.

9. Add the grated cheese and then pour the egg-milk mixture.

10. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes and cool for 20 minutes.


Pretty easy especially if you use a store bought pie crust. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

May 15, 2014

Bottled Dreams!

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful frangrance set. I'm a sucker for fragrances and this set has some really great fragrances in miniature packaging!! The set includes 8 miniature fragrances and a scent certificate to redeem full size of one of them.

The fragrances included are -

Lancome La Vie est Belle - A floral, fruity, deep scent. It makes me feel luxurious and grown up.

Elizabeth and James Black - A deep, musky sandalwoody scent. Not for me but would smell great on a man!

Elizabeth and James White - A lovely flowery scent. It's very unique, never smelt anything quite like it so far.

Gucci Guilty - It is also a floral scent but there is a sharpness and freshness to it, probably from the pink pepper and mandarin. Love it!

Burberry Body - One of my favorites from this set. The fresh green scent reminds me a lot of Baiser Vole from Cartier. Probably from the green absinthe!

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline - My favorite scent from 2012. A nice mix of lotus and bamboo.

Viva La Juicy - A very popular perfume. Don't get me wrong, it smells quite good once it's settled down but there is just too much going on for my style. Sandalwood, vanilla, citrus, floral!! It works great but it's just a little too strong for me.

Balenciaga Florabotanica - My current favorite perfume. It smells like a garden in a bottle! A very leafy floral perfume.

Bonus sample - ChloƩ by Chloe - A very floral fragrance with mild honey undertones.






I redeemed my scent certificate for a full size Florabotanica and I absolutely love it. The packaging and the scent!


You can buy the fragrance set sampler here. Definitely a great purchase and super value!

May 3, 2014

Sriracha Cauliflower Bites

After a couple of super hot days, we were plunged back into rain today. But when life throws bad weather at you, I've learnt to enjoy weather-appropriate food. Today, I chose to put together sriracha sauce and cauliflower and the spicy goodness that came out of the oven was the perfect way to enjoy the rain!!


Sriracha Cauliflower Bites (Adapted from veganricha - a lovely Indian vegan blog that I enjoy)


Ingredients - 

Cauliflower - 1 small cut into florets.

For the batter - 

Flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Sriracha sauce - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - a pinch

For the glaze - 

Mango smoothie juice  - 1 cup (just get a cupful of any fruity liquid)
Maple syrup - 2 tablespoon
Sriracha sauce - 1/4 cup
Rice flour or thickening agent - 2 teaspoons
Ginger garlic paste - a pinch
Salt



Method -

1. Preheat the oven to 450F.

2. Mix the ingredients for the batter to form a smooth lump-free mix.

3. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter and place in a parchment lined baking tray

4. Bake for 20 minutes at 450F.

5. In a pan, mix the glaze ingredients, adding rice flour at the end till the glaze is nice and thick.

6. Now toss the baked cauliflower with the glaze and allow to set for a couple of minutes.

7. Serve with your favorite dip. I enjoyed the cauliflower with a mint-yogurt dip.

A very easy recipe that takes the place of deep-fried snacks. So healthy and soo spicy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!