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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

May Favourites

May’s been a hectic one but an awesome month.

It’s been that kind of month when you have loads of work, super busy yet somehow manage to carve time to spend with friends and family. There were city outings, new experiences, dinner catch ups and as always, plenty of delicious food.

May was also extra special because of Mother’s Day.

While I do not keep high expectations for the day, I know that there will be a special gift from Adi. Ever since he started school, every year he would get me something special from the Mother’s Day stall. There would be also be a handwritten note or card along with a custom-made Lego model.

But this year, he took part in a poetry competition dedicated to Mother’s Day held by our local community and won a prize too. Can’t really find the words to express my joy, not necessarily at him winning but to watch my little boy recite the poem for me at the event. Its little moments like these that stay with us forever and make us feel so grateful to be blessed with a child.

Another highlight of the month was attending the Dog Lovers Show, especially because I have two crazy dog lovers at home. And it’s only a matter of time before we a pet dog so this show seemed to be a good idea to get Adi introduced to different breeds, collect more information about being a foster home, adopting dogs, volunteering at shelters etc….

Apart from that, it was sheer joy to watch the pets have fun with the owners, taking part in competitions etc….

The show was held at the Royal Exhibition Building; while I have heard and walked past the building many times, this was the first time inside. And I was blown away by the architecture and paintings inside especially the dome and ceilings. It is one of the world’s oldest remaining exhibition pavilions and the first World heritage listed building in Australia.

Renovation works are currently in progress with lots of exciting re-developments including a viewing platform for the Dome. I am eagerly waiting for the works to be complete to take a proper guided tour of the building and learn more about its architecture and heritage. Have you been there before, and do you like architecture and visiting heritage properties?

Royal Exhibition Building - thespiceadventuress.com

Did you see my blog post on Malgudi Days Specialty premium South Indian filter coffee? It was another highlight of the month for me discovering a brand that ties in my South Indian roots with my Australian way of living perfectly.

Malgudi Days Specialty South Indian Filter Coffee - thespiceadventuress.com

Iftar is a special time for all Muslims observing Ramadan. Apart from the religious aspect, food is also a highlight during this time and I got an opportunity to collaborate with Shan Foods to create an Indian fusion dish using one of their spice blends. And I came up with this – Tomato Shorba shots with Grilled Prawns (spiced with Lahori fish masala). You can find the recipe on my IG page.

Tomato Shorba shots with Grilled Prawns - thespiceadventuress.com

One of the seafood recipes developed this month for Supreme Seafood was a delicious, fingerlickin good Bengali style prawn curry.

A simple, home style curry that’s a delight for your taste buds. It’s the simplicity of this dish that makes it delicious too. Go for medium sized prawns which work best in a dish like this. And pair it with just steamed rice or treat yourself to a whole thali experience.

Bengali style Prawn Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

And now for favourites from around the world….

Beauty:

Love wearing lipsticks, and this shade from Anastasia Beverly Hills looks amazing

Fashion:

Love these Rose gold Pandora bracelets

These black sandals are on my list for summer

Time to stock up on knitwear…isn’t this the most gorgeous colour.

If you are a designer fashion junkie, then you can’t miss the Balenciaga exhibition coming to Victoria.

Home:

This beautiful Onyx tray would be perfect for my perfume collection.

This linen quilt cover set is so snug and cozy.

This lamp would match my living room décor perfectly.

Travel:

Puffing Billy needs no introduction to anyone living in Melbourne. But have you tried the Steam and Luncheon experience?

One of my favourite travel writers

Drinks:

Love a good Manhattan during the winter months

Food:

Can’t wait to make a batch of this creamy chipotle sauce

An interesting summer salad

How delicious and comforting does this dal recipe look!

This potato soup is all I need for the chilly nights

Chipotle braised chicken nachos. Do I need to say anything more?

Love beef? Then you need to check out my Pinterest board.

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April Favourites

Autumn is here.

It’s beginning to turn chilly, which means sinking deeper into the bed in the mornings with the blanket pulled up tight not wanting to wake up to another day’s work. Even though I am not a fan of the colder seasons, I must admit that autumn is breathtakingly beautiful in Australia, with the myriad shades of orange and red all around us.

You don’t have to travel anywhere far to experience this. Just driving through our tree lined suburbs is sometimes enough to experience this magical season.

Easter was a low key affair this year. I wanted a break from all the cooking, so spent the day at our friends’ homes. Adi has already started telling me that next year, he wants an Easter egg hunt at our home. Never organized one, so that should be interesting though it’s too early to even think about it. How did you spend the Easter holidays?

I had posted this Easter themed icecream cake on my Insta page and it always generates a lot of interest as it’s a super easy dessert to put together. The best part is that you can take the same idea and make a customized icecream cake for your next party, not matter what the theme.

Easter themed icecream cake with chocolate nest - thespiceadventuress.com

This month too, there were two seafood recipes that were developed for Supreme Seafood. And these are;

Pan Seared Cod with Mixed Dried Beans Salad

Easy, delicious and super healthy, this is an excellent choice for weekday meals. The mixed beans salad is a great accompaniment to perfectly pan seared cod fillets but can be paired with any other white fish fillet too. And what’s best about this recipe is that the salad can be a dish in itself, as an accompaniment to any meal or perhaps with grilled tofu or paneer if you are looking at a vegetarian option. Full recipe here….

Pan Seared Cod with Mixed Dried Beans Salad - thespiceadventuress.com

Pan Seared Cod with Mixed Dried Beans Salad - thespiceadventuress.com

Indo Chinese style Fish Fried Rice

Indo Chinese cuisine is a really interesting one, a unique fusion of Chinese and Indian flavours that’s a riot on your tastebuds. This fried rice is a  delicious, easy to prepare one with onions, peppers and mildly spiced barramundi. Perfect for a quick yet decadent weeknight dinner that will be enjoyed by the young and old alike. Full recipe here

Indo Chinese style Fish Fried Rice - thespiceadventuress.com

Last week, I had posted this photograph on my IG page. It was a fun post, sharing five things that most of you might not know about me. But I also want to talk about the dress I am wearing. It’s from an Indian brand called Lila, a design lab that specializes in using “ pure and natural materials that are both locally sourced and fabricated – giving not only a laid back vibe but a sense of quiet sophistication.”

Lila cotton dress - thespiceadventuress.com

And now it’s time to share favourites from around the globe….

Now that school’s open, I must try baking some of these delicious chocolate chip cookies

Can’t wait to try out this caramelized onion dip.

Love Soba noodles; this soup should be worth a try for the colder months.

I remember having this Prawn Caldine while on holiday in Goa. Paired with steaming hot rice, it makes the most delicious experience. Here’s a great recipe if you wish to try.

Passionate about food photography? Then here’s a great account for you to follow…

Love ceramic diningware? Then you might want to check out this sale.

The Salt n’Pepper 2019 Autumn Winter Collection is out now.

Looking forward to the release of this cookbook.

Are you a fan of Calvin and Hobbes? I have a fun Pinterest board dedicated to this…

 

March Favourites

March is our family’s birthday month.

Adi turned ten while I inched closer to the big 4, and with half a dozen family members celebrating birthdays too, March is always a happy and busy one.

Not just on the personal front, March has also been a great one on the work front. Lots of new recipes, articles, working with some excellent brands creating content that motivates me and makes my readers happy; I was truly in a fulfilling space.

One of my favourite recipes from March is the Lucknowi style Kofta Pulao; it was fragrant, aromatic and sheer indulgence. Many of you wrote to me how much you loved this dish…thanks for trying out and letting me know.

Lucknowi (or Awadhi) style Kofta Pulao - thespiceadventuress.com

There were also some great opportunities to visit new restaurants in town, and a particularly interesting one was the Earthbound Bolton. It’s a café that drives home a strong sentiment of taking care of our land, being environment friendly and adopting sustainable choices.

Earthbound Bolton (Eltham, Melbourne) - thespiceadventuress.com

Developed two amazing recipes for Supreme Seafood this month.

The first one was a lipsmacking Marathi style Prawns Curry.

The Konkan region in India has some of the choicest seafood preparations and this Marathi style prawns curry is no exception. Simmered in freshly grounded spices and coconut, the prawns absorb every drop of flavor. Pour liberally over steaming hot rice for a delicious experience!

Marathi style Prawns Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

The second seafood recipe was a Sindhi style Grilled Fish.

A deliciously intense spice blend generously slathered over the whole fish which is then marinated and grilled to perfection. This popular fish recipe from the Sindhi cuisine is traditionally made using a river fish called ‘palla’. But today a large whole trout has been used to recreate this delicacy.

Sindhi style Grilled Fish - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Other favourites for the month of March;

These twice baked baby potatoes look incredible.

Aren’t these the most gorgeous looking spring rolls?

Soup weather is back and this noodle soup is slurrrrpworthy!

If you have a slow cooker at home, then this Moroccan chicken is a must try.

Husbands that Cook! I know, most of us wish for the same. But this is not just a wish; this is the name of an amazing cookbook by some really cool guys. Maybe I should get Sam a copy.

My favourite website for authentic Mexican recipes

And this is my favourite website for restaurant reviews

Being a food photographer and stylist, I constantly like to inspire myself by observing and learning from the creative works of other food photographers and bloggers. Check out my Pinterest board on Food Styling to get your creative juices flowing.

Stunning is the word for these vintage etched champagne flutes

Getting this beautiful Corfu planter to add to my indoor garden.

Love tropical fresh fragrances for my home.

Absolutely love this Tibi drape dress, and isn’t it in the most gorgeous colour?

And finally, the school holidays are almost here. And if you want to find ways to entertain your kiddos this season, check out all the events that are happening.

 

February Favourites

It’s about 10am and I just sat down at my work desk with a cup of coffee. When I say work desk, it’s actually my dining table with the laptop and half a dozen planners, diaries, recipe books etc……

Blogging is a lonely profession or should I say a deeply internal one. I know there are a few who would disagree but many would agree with me. And lonely does not have to be a bad thing necessarily; I enjoy the calmness of working from home with no one around to disturb me except the occasional doorbell. It gives me the freedom to have a relaxed morning and not stress about getting ready, rushing out the door, daily commute etc… I have the luxury of working in my PJs, having the flexibility of working yet being available for my son when he is back from school.

There are so many advantages to this profession yet I call it lonely. To start with, there is very less human interaction. In traditional jobs you have colleagues and the joy of shared spaces, lunch outings, conversations; but here I am the boss, the secretary and everything in between. And some days, you just don’t want to do it all, you want help and to be able to share your work and responsibilities.

And because there is no clear distinction of roles and responsibilities, most people simply do not get the amount of work that goes into the job. There is often a nonchalant attitude from most people in my life when it comes to my job, simply because they cannot believe it takes so much effort. After all how difficult can it be to make a dish and photograph it! And the fact that people don’t always understand also makes it a bit lonely.

Well I don’t intend to sound like a broken record because in spite of everything, I love this job and wouldn’t have it any other way.

That means we are back to the topic of food!

Tacos are a favourite at our home. We love all variations of it and I find it’s one of the easiest meals to put together. I agree there is a bit of prep work involved especially if you are making everything from scratch but still it’s a meal that can be bulked up easily. And it’s a meal that requires everyone to come together at the table, which is a winner in my opinion.

Some of our favourites are;

  1. Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo)
  2. Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt
  3. Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa
  4. Chicken Tinga Tacos with Roasted Poblano Salsa

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

Moving on to other favourites for the month;

Baking a batch of these delicious almond butterscotch cookies.

Bookmarking this chicken and rice soup for late autumn/winter which is not far behind

Beet salads are always gorgeous, but this version looks even better

Shrimp lettuce wraps. Bring it on!!

This tuna sandwich is a game changer.

A wine I am looking forward to trying out.

This cocktail, when the blood orange season arrives.

Vegan does not necessarily mean boring, and Richa’s blog is ample proof of that.

My favourite Pinterest account for vegetarian grub.

This Scanpan copper set looks amazing; guess it’s time to throw out the old pots and pans.

I love attending interesting events and so every month, I go through a list of events that are taking place in Melbourne and surroundings. Here are the top free events happening this month….

I dream of visiting Lucknow someday, and eat my way through history. If you are visiting, here are some suggestions.

 

January Favourites

What a memorable month it has been!

Those who follow me on Instagram would be aware that I was away on a family holiday to India last month to attend my little brother’s wedding. Well, not so little in the eyes of the world, but for me, he’s always going to be the little bro as there’s a good ten year age gap between us. So for me, it was not a sisterly affection but rather a maternal instinct that has always been the predominant emotion at the base of my relationship with him.

I remember being totally besotted with him when he was born, spending hours staring at his innocent face. He was such a happy baby and according to me, the most beautiful one I have laid eyes on. So to have that boy all grown up and getting ready to embark on the next chapter of his life has been quite a bit of an emotional one.

Emotions ofcourse ride high but a wedding also means lotsa shopping which is very enjoyable though hard on the pocket. So I did splurge a bit……after all, have to play the eldest sis role to perfection.

For the engagement, I chose to go Western in a full length couture gown from Jadore Australia, purchased from Demile boutique based in Brunswick. I had to research and spend a lot of time getting this outfit simply because I didn’t know where exactly to look.

For the initial part, I kept looking in shopping centres; while there were plenty of choices for wedding guest outfits, there weren’t many options for full length couture gowns. But after much searching, I realised that I was looking in all the wrong places. One of the best places to go wedding shopping in Melbourne is Sydney Road, Brunswick which has so many boutiques with all kinds of price points. Whether you are a bride, bridesmaid or a guest, there are so many options here. I particularly liked my experience at Demile, because of the customer service and the staff went out of their way to get me the size and colour I needed even when I had very little time.

Jadore gown - thespiceadventuress.com

The best thing about Jadore was the designs were beautiful, plenty to choose from and reasonable priced. If you are looking out for formal wear, then check out their website for designs and then find a stockist that’s nearest to your location as the brand does not sell directly to public.

For the wedding, I decided to go traditional and wore a saree after such a long long time. And also a shot with my boys in too….

It was the first time after so many years that my whole family came together for a holiday. Usually it’s difficult for my siblings and their families to take a holiday at the same time as us since we live in different countries and the vacations never match. But this time owing to the wedding, all of us were there with our kids in tow which made it one of the most memorable holidays ever.

Getting back to life here, I was down with a really bad bout of flu after reaching back which meant that my best laid work plans all went haywire. Finally after a hiatus of about 1.5 months, got back into the kitchen for the first proper homecooked meal of 2019. And I wanted to indulge in a comforting Indian meal

Indian meal - thespiceadventuress.com

Also on the menu for the week ahead is Baid Mutajjan – a Middle Eastern style of fried hard boiled eggs coated with sumac and sesame seeds. It’s a simple dish but works brilliantly as a side to most meals and also as an after school snack for Adi.

Baid Mutajjan - thespiceadventuress.com

2019 is for experimenting and learning more about ancient grains. Starting with this Bajra Khichdi.

Kaima idli….breakfast, snack, lunch box or even a party starter!

A vegan one pot taco spaghetti….sounds unique and delicious.

Korean egg rolls; this is the humble omelette gone gourmet.

A veggie loaded butter chicken curry. Interesting!

I love couscous and forever looking for interesting ways to make it; this recipe definitely on my list.

Have you ever tried the Bohri style Dal Gosht (mutton with lentils)…it’s simply heavenly!

If you have a sweet tooth, then you must definitely check out my Pinterest board for loads of delicious inspiration and recipes.

Continuing on the sweet note, this raspberry pistachio chocolate is to die for….

Eco-friendly steel art for your home! I can’t wait to splurge on some of Lisa’s designs; do check out her IG account.

Time to go knitwear shopping!

 

 

Adieu 2018, Welcome 2019…..

“Rest when you are weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work” – Ralph Marston

This is my goal for 2019….

As I mentioned on my social media pages yesterday, I do not believe in resolutions but smaller goals that are motivating and achievable. And my biggest goal for 2019 is to listen more to my body, rest and refresh when necessary and then get back to work because I realised that I am not productive nor is my work any good when my physical or mental self is tired.

2018 was a great year for work with so many interesting and meaningful collaborations with brands. And I also got to develop some amazing recipes that so many of you have loved and tested out. Do you have a favourite recipe from my blog or did you try out any for the first time last year? I really would love to know….

And even though it’s really hard, I would still like to pick out my Top Ten favourites from the year gone by;

  1. Banana bread with Vegemite and Almond flakes
  2. French green lentil salad
  3. Chicken Wonton soup
  4. Risotto with Dried Mushrooms and Bacon crumbs
  5. Khichdi (Lentil Rice) with Carrot Greens
  6. Asian style Chicken fried rice
  7. Pan fried Salmon with Peperonata
  8. Fiji style Crab Curry
  9. Kerala style Prawn Curry
  10. Slow cooked Lamb Shanks with Srilankan curry powder

Banana Bread (with Vegemite and Almond Flakes) - thespiceadventuress.com

This Khichdi photograph also made it to Indian Link’s Top Photographs of 2018. Especially pleased about this one because not only is it a dish so close to my heart, it is also a style of photography that I started practicing last year.

Khichdi (Lentil Rice) with Carrot Greens - thespiceadventuress.com

Your opinions, feedback and suggestions mean a lot to me; it has always helped me create content and also focus on improving this space. So do let me know your feedback  and also what’s the kind of recipes/content that you would love to see here this year.

Finally it’s time for all my favourites for the month of Dec.

The most beautiful Pure linen French blue tea towels….

This Antique silver 5-piece cutlery set is on sale; I am getting one to add to my prop collection.

Totally investing in a Staub French Oven this year.

My big project for 2019 is to set up a home office.

Love greens and this is just another delicious way to eat it.

Chickpea and lentil taco salads; this would be perfect as a work day lunch.

Bookmarking this vegan soup for autumn and winter.

I have never used tahini in a noodles dish before. How interesting!

Roasted vegetable lasagna; I am definitely trying this out. How about you?

Are you a zoodle lover? Then this article is for you.

I am a huge fan of sheet pan dinner for weeknights, and this chicken recipe  looks absolutely fabulous to try out this year.

 

November Favourites

As I typed in the title, I realised that a year has sped by so fast. We have reached the end of 2018 and the next time I publish a favourites post, it’s most likely going to be 2019. Wow!

November is always a crazy month filled with lots of work as food is the most popular subject during this time of the year. Lots of preparations to welcome the festive month ahead leading up to our summer holidays.

And buying gifts….I think most of my energy is spent just deciding on that perfect gift for friends and family. I am not a huge gift buyer but in spite of that I put in so much effort in the whole gifting process since I don’t want to get carried away and buy stuff that has no value for money. Most of the stuff are just packaged beautifully (costs a fortune just for that reason) but absolutely not worth it. Instead I prefer to buy things that have a lasting value and mean a lot to the person who receives it.

Edible gifts are definitely high on my list especially for those who appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of the product. Spices, spice blends, fruits, wine, cheese, coffee beans, rare tea blends etc… are all high on my list of edible gifts.

Do you shop a lot during this season? What kind of gifts do you like to receive?

One of my top recommendations for edible gifts would be a box of premium Yarra Valley Cherries.

I was lucky to spend a beautiful afternoon at their boutique orchard in Seville. We picked and feasted on the most delicious, sweet, ripe red cherries followed by an epic lunch laid out in the orchard. Dedicated to top notch quality, Yarra Valley Cherries are able to guarantee the freshest, delicious cherries due to their unique advantage of growing, picking, grading and packing their cherries on their orchard in Seville making it available to us on the very same day.

A delicious gift to give yourself or anyone for Christmas. You could either place an online order or purchase directly from their Farmgate at Seville.

Yarra Valley Cherries - thespiceadventuress.com

Yarra Valley Cherries - thespiceadventuress.com

As part of my final collaborative project with ALDI for 2018, I threw an early Christmas party for friends and family last week. Took the whole roasted ham/turkey route this year with plenty of help from ALDI’s premium Christmas range.

On my Christmas table were;

  • Premium triple smoked leg ham portion (glazed with orange juice, maple syrup, honey, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, all spice and dried ginger.
  • Stuffed turkey breast roast (with cranberries and apple)
  • Pan fried scallops with herb butter (sprinkled with dukkah)
  • Potato and cauliflower mash
  • Roasted baby potatoes (with garlic and rosemary)
  • Grilled Asparagus (with garlic and chilli flakes)
  • Kale Slaw
  • Rocket, Spinach and Pear Salad (with feta and walnuts)
  • Cranberries in red wine sauce

There are lots of goodies in store this season so stock up early if you are going to be throwing a Christmas party at home.

• Premium triple smoked leg ham portion (glazed with orange juice, maple syrup, honey, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, all spice and dried ginger - thespiceadventuress.com

Sparkling wine - thespiceadventuress.com

The rocket, spinach and pear salad that I made for our Christmas feast was an excellent side especially for our warmer days and nights. It’s so quick to put together, really refreshing from the crunchy pear slices, creamy from the crumbled feta and to finish off, that nutty texture from the walnuts. A beautiful salad that you must definitely try out.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups baby spinach
  2. 2 cups rocket
  3. 1 large green pear; sliced into wedges
  4. 50gms feta
  5. A handful of walnuts
  6. Salt, to season
  7. Freshly crushed black pepper, to season
  8. Extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tsp honey
  10. 1 tsp verjuice (or replace with vinegar of choice)

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, add the spinach, rocket and pear slices.
  2. To prepare the dressing, add olive oil, honey, verjuice, salt and pepper to a small container with a lid. Shake vigorously to make an emulsion.
  3. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss the ingredients well.
  4. Top with feta and crushed walnuts.

Rocket, spinach and pear salad (with feta and walnuts) - thespiceadventuress.com

Other favourites for November:

These salad servers from Country Road with the brass finish are so chic.

Love serving ware with a matt finish and these graphite platter set from Aura Home are so understated yet beautiful.

Vintage Santa dinner plates! So nostalgic….

Lusting after this copper wine bucket!

I have a bit of an obsession with wooden crates and storage baskets.

Have you been to the Cellar Door in Ringwood?

These starry brown sugar cookies are so delicious.

This Japanese potato salad will be a fabulous replacement to mashed potatoes.

Chocolate and Cranberry Goat’s Cheese Truffles. Enough said.

How delicious are these meatballs!

Mozzarella and Jalapeno Croquettes – always a hit at my parties.

The best homemade chocolate fudge

This passion fruit and mint cooler is just perfect for our warm days.

 

 

October Favourites + a Review of Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery

Just two more months to bid goodbye to this year!!!

Where has time flown? But then that’s how I start every monthly favourite post of mine, isn’t it?

But sometimes it’s scary right when time rushes by so fast that you wish you had the power to hold it in your hands and keep it still…..shhh, just stay still till I have caught my breath.

Alas that never happens, and the only option seems to be to flow along with its tide….

At the same time, there is also the excitement and joy of the approaching festive season. While there is so much work to do during this time, both personal and professional, I love the energy, the joyous and festive spirit that’s in the air.

On the professional front, I am planning recipes more suited for the season so if any of you have special requests, do comment below and I will try my best to take that into consideration.

Reading is a very passionate hobby of mine, especially hard copies. I do not like digital books or tools for reading as I think it destroys the very joy of holding a book in your hands. While I do read a lot of books, I do not talk much about it on the blog except when it’s a book related to food.

This month, I got the opportunity to read Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery – a Guide to the truly good restaurants and food experiences of Australia, Edited by Jill Dupleix.

Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery - a Book Review - thespiceadventuress.com

The book is part of a series of the world’s first guides to restaurants and establishments serving truly exceptional, sustainable, organic and ethical food.

Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery has a simple yet elegant design and layout; the photographs are outstanding yet simple and real focusing on the food and nothing else. Published by Blackwell &Ruth, 5% of the publisher’s revenue from the sales of the book goes towards the National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI) which is absolutely fantastic.

Food guides like these have always been a part of my library and I actively seek out restaurants suggested – local, regional and international. The restaurants suggested in this book are not just about delicious food; that’s definitely a criteria but it’s more about the care and passion that goes into the sourcing of the ingredients, giving back to the farming community, the attention to detail while each ingredient is prepped and prepared to create the final harmony on a plate.

One of the first things I did on getting the book was going through the ‘Victoria’ section; a curiosity to know the recommendations and how many places I had dined at. To my surprise, there were just 2 restaurants that I had been to from the list – Higher Ground and IDES. Both of these serve exemplary food; while the former is a casual café style setting, the latter is a high end fine dining affair. But yes, the food was exceptional.

Barramundi with garlic and red wine - at IDES, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

One of the spectacular dishes I had at IDES, Melbourne – Barramundi, red wine and garlic

I know for a fact that I will use Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery as a guide, ticking off restaurants and food experiences as I travel along through this country. And I would love to get my hands on the rest of the series that showcases establishments in other countries too. But if you are only interested in knowing about the place you live in, do grab a copy for your country from the series.

Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery is not a book that I will read back to back in a few sittings; it’s a guide that I will keep returning to whenever I want suggestions of an exemplary restaurant, a place where I want to dine at not just for delicious food but where I will be served a dish created out of passion, joy and purity.

There is an exciting giveaway happening on my FB and Insta page. You can win 1 x double pass (valued at $160) to Wine & Symphony 2018, Saturday 3rd November, held at Mount Langi Ghiran.

Spend a beautiful spring afternoon in the spectacular grounds of Mt Langi Ghiran winery in the Grampians. Also treat yourself to wine tastings, a cheese feast, vineyard promenade and sun basking followed by 40 minutes of classical music performance by 4 ace musicians, with a glass of the renowned Langi Shiraz in your hand.

So why are you waiting….head over now to my FB or Insta page to enter. Good Luck!

Wine & Symphony 2018, Saturday 3rd November, held at Mount Langi Ghiran. - thespiceadventuress.com

Now it’s time for all the other favourites for the month;

I had the worst attack of flu and sinusitis this month; this tea was an absolute miracle.

One of my favourite vegetarian snacks using spinach.

I wouldn’t be able to stop at just one bowl of this soup

Absolutely love pumpkin soup; and this one is fantastic.

Another exciting vegetarian recipe; absolutely fingerlickin good!

Lentil and Egg Stew; I have never had anything like this before.

Absolutely stunning food photography!

She inspired me to start a monthly favourites column

How beautiful are these candle holders? Would be perfect for my Christmas table set up.

Need to upgrade my summer wedges

 

August Favourites

What a month!

Most of you would have heard about the Kerala floods situation. While floods or natural disasters are not uncommon in the world we live in, you realize the scale of devastation and trail of destruction it leaves behind only when it strikes so close to home.

While my immediate family was spared the misery, there were plenty of friends and family who were affected badly. Communication with loved ones became the most difficult thing as many houses and regions were cut off due to the flooding.

There cannot be anything positive when disaster strikes, but the fact that the community came out to help each other was an encouraging one. A sheer testimony to the power of humanity in the face of adversity.

The worst is behind us now but the path of rehabilitation and progress is going to be a slow one for God’s own country.

Banana tree, Kerala - thespiceadventuress.com

Getting onto other topics, a lot of you had messaged me about this Khichdi recipe and how you have been enjoying it immensely. It’s one of my favourites too as it’s a hearty, delicious and super healthy one pot meal.

Khichdi (Lentil Rice) with Carrot Greens - thespiceadventuress.com

As September is almost here, the kiddo is getting excited about his term hols and we have already started planning activities, workshops, play dates and events to attend. One of the events that we are most looking forward to is the Jurassic Creatures.

It’s an interactive walk through event exploring the world of animatronic dinosaurs. With plenty of related activities, sand art, fossil displays, interactive set ups, this is going to be fun for the young and old alike. Jurassic Creatures will run at St Kilda Triangle (adjacent to Palais Theatre) from 15 September – 14 October 2018. So don’t forget to book your tickets soon.

Jurassic Creatures - Melbourne

Well, it’s time to bid adieu but not without sharing all my other favorites for the month. Enjoy reading!

Time for a Whiskey Sour. Cheers!

And if you are into cocktails, then check out these gorgeous glasses.

This Thai style rice soup sounds so hearty and comforting.

Not a big fan of the classic shrimp cocktail but I think infusing Mexican flavours is the secret.

Summer is gonna be here soon and I am saving up all the chicken wings recipes that come my way, starting with this one.

Clam toasts for breakfast! I could eat this everyday….

This is what a summer salad should look like

Speaking of summer, I need to invest in a couple of these dispensers.

This South Indian chicken curry has given me the drools.

Have you tried a beer can chicken before?

Planning any trips to Vietnam? Then you need to read this street food guide.

I love the idea of kitchen islands; adds so much character to the kitchen and can be customized to suit every space.

I can spend hours looking at rugs online; yet a bit crazy but I totally love this one. What do you think?

 

July Favourites

It’s been such a fabulous and rewarding month filled with such amazing opportunities on the work front. I am thoroughly drained but it has all been so worth it.

After a few months of discussions, brainstorming and testing, I was finally able to announce my collaboration with Feastively. It is a joy that I cannot put into words to finally see my recipes as a meal box. And of course the thought that it would be of immense help to busy families to put healthy, fresh and delicious meals in 15 minutes on the table.

I have already done a blog post announcing the collaboration so you can read it all here. And to purchase my fresh box, visit the Feastively website. If any of you have already cooked with it, I would love to hear your feedback.

Visit the Feastively website to purchase my special Beef Mince Curry with potatoes, peas and served with steamed rice.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

The second highlight of the month was the opportunity to be one of the judges for an upcoming series called Zee TV Chef Diaries. Shot in Melbourne, it’s a cooking series for passionate home cooks to showcase their culinary talents. It was an incredible honour because judging someone else’s cooking is no easy task. But I was happy that I was able to do my best; an experience I will cherish forever.

And the third was being chosen as one of the Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018. Again a huge honour especially being in the company of some of the photographers that I have admired and learned from since the beginning of my blogging journey.

Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018 - thespiceadventuress.com

There’s been a lot of recipe development that happened in July; it was a busy month again with lots of brand collaborations and the like. But one of my favourites was this simple Kerala platter with rice, parippu curry (Kerala style lentils); beetroot stir fry and mussels thoran (mussels stir fried with grated coconut and spices). It’s the taste of home!

Mussels thoran - thespiceadventuress.com

And time now for all other favourites for the month of July:

Most parents are often made to feel guilty about having just one child. I hope this article will make you feel better about the decision.

I have a little boy or I would have shopped this entire site. But I do buy for my nieces.

An easy peasy chicken noodle dish.

This kofta biryani is perfect for our Sunday lunch. And a long siesta thereafter….

I love taro (arbi), one of my favourite root vegetables.

A Vegan Wellington! How interesting….

Enchilada and a casserole….what a great idea!

Love gazpacho especially in summer but never tried a tomatillo version.

The best chicken sandwich I have seen in a long time

Totally making this pork burger

 

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