Category Archives: Miscellaneous

October Favourites

October literally flashed by in the blink of an eye.

Since my parents are visiting me, the days go by super busy with a lot of travel that we do on weekends. There’s no particular routine at home and it all seems like an extended vacation to me.

Yarra Valley was one of our travel destinations in October. And unlike most visitors, we checked out the Yarra Valley Orchid Show instead of visiting the usual spots. My parents are such avid gardeners, especially fond of growing ornamental orchids at home. So this was something they were totally looking forward to, especially to pick up some gardening tips from the experts.

If you love orchids, then do check out the Orchid Societies of Victoria. The society has lots of registered clubs across Victoria and holds a lot of shows around the year. So it’s a small but great show to visit if you love orchids or want to learn more about growing these beauties.

Yarra Valley Orchid Show - thespiceadventuress.com

We also went fishing at the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. The farm specializes in Rainbow trout, Golden trout and Atlantic Salmon. It’s a great spot for a one day family picnic which includes the fishing experience, bbq pits, children’s playground, mini golf course etc…

I have been here before and you can read all about that experience here. We also caught all the different varieties of fish and I used the golden trout to recreate last year’s recipe again at the farm. Delicious and perfectly grilled, do try it out if you haven’t before.

Australian Rainbow Trout Farm - thespiceadventuress.com

I was quite surprised to see how popular Halloween has become in Australia. Personally, I do not celebrate it and quite frankly find it a bit weird. But given the nature of my work, I did create DIY Halloween themed pizzas for Stuff Mums Like. It was fun doing the project because I have finally nailed making pizza bases from scratch.

So do check out the post if you would like to attempt making pizzas at home, So much fun and way better for your health.

Halloween DIY pizzas - thespiceadventuress.com

Last week, I attended the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch at Encore St Kilda. A fantastic event with lots of brands to interact and meet up with. I have decided to collaborate with a few that I personally use and enjoy, so do watch out this space for more information.

One of the highlights of the event this year was the partnership with Ryobi. Barry Du Bois, star of The Living Room and Kerryn Carter, founder of Tool School were among the VIP guests for the day sharing their inspiring story which has highly motivating and moved many of us to tears.

Another highlight was the DIY workshop set up by Ryobi for all the attendees, where each one of us could make our own food/cheese/presentation board. We were taught how to use Ryobi power tools for sanding, drilling, driving etc…. to create our own board. I must agree that it did give me lots of confidence and I am seriously thinking of executing some DIY projects over the summer hols.

Ryobi power tools DIY workshop - thespiceadventuress.com

Have you started planning for your holiday parties?

I have. And even before the menu planning, I have the tablescape sorted this year with this stunning stoneware and pottery range from Salt & Pepper. I picked up pieces from the ‘Artefact’ and ‘Relic’ collection; both have a rustic yet contemporary feel which I totally love. And the duck egg blue and slate colour tones would go perfectly with the white Christmas theme I have in mind.

Salt and Pepper stoneware range - thespiceadventuress.com

And now other news from around the globe…

My love for travelling kicked in well and truly only after I had a baby; and I thoroughly enjoyed travelling the world with him. If you think travelling is difficult with a baby, then here is the expert talking.

Well, this has what Instagram has truly become!

Margatini, now that’s interesting.

A spicy old fashioned!

This shakshuka sounds more interesting than the original version.

Chicken chickpea curry; that’s a new combination for me.

I am not a huge avo lover but this coconut avocado lime soft serve seems perfect for summer.

This chai masala bundt cake looks simply awesome.

Dark chocolate tahini cups! Now that’s an equally delicious use for tahini as hummus.

 

Advertisements

Tesselaar Tulip Festival + September Favourites

Another month has gone by and can’t believe that we are almost nearing the end of another year.

Life was super busy this month as my parents are here for a short stay. And as I mentioned in my last post, I am taking it real slow on the work front. It’s been a long five year gap so I have decided to take it easy and spend maximum time with them.

Apart from the long hours of chatting, we are also introducing them to the Melbourne way of life. Slow, relaxed, lots of travel and great food. Must admit they are really enjoying this break which makes me feel so grateful and blessed.

My parents are avid gardeners; in fact we have a really beautiful garden back home with an area for growing ornamental orchids and many other flowering plants. So I knew they would be thrilled to visit the Tesselaar tulip festival.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival - thespiceadventuress.com

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is an annual event held at the Tulip Farm, 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan –VIC. Since we had a late start to the spring season, the festival has been extended until 15th October this year.

Trying to describe the beauty of thousands of tulips in bloom in a few words is a futile effort. So here are a few photographs that I shot during the festival.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival - thespiceadventuress.com

15

I was also quite impressed by the lineup of food at the festival. Lots of traditional Dutch delicacies but also several other cuisines like Turkish, Indian, Greek, Japanese etc… were also available. And with Yarra Valley being a major sponsor, there were also some great wines from the region.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival - thespiceadventuress.com

Have you taken a ride on the Melbourne Star?

We have, quite a few times. It’s often an activity that we pick when we have friends or family visiting from overseas.

There are a range of experiences to choose from and one of our favourites is the Sights and Lights, which allows you to experience the Melboune cityscape during day and night. The Star is one of its kind experience to see this beautiful city, memories of which you will cherish forever.

Melbourne Star - thespiceadventuress.com

I made this Cambodian chicken curry for my parents and they absolutely loved it. Aromatic and fragrant, this curry is just lipsmacking good with just steamed rice to accompany.

Cambodian chicken curry - thespiceadventuress.com

And now my favourites for last month from around the globe:

Future of the written word! Do we get excited for scared?

Bacon gremolata; my new favourite soup topping.

Such a delicious way of using celery in a dish.

This chicken wing platter is the perfect summer party dish.

Love Sichuan peppercorns and these ribs just celebrate the spice.

These turkey meatballs are stunning.

Have you heard of Spain’s famous blue wine?

These mini taco bowls are so delish.

Celebrating the hardcore Aries in me with this Pandora charm.

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience

“My idea of good company…is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’
‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”
 Jane Austen, Persuasion

High teas are always an escape from reality for me. It’s an escape into a beautiful world, where I truly unwind and take time to enjoy life’s little luxuries like a perfectly brewed cup of tea, delicious savoury and sweet nibbles and above all, the company of those whom I truly value.

But at the Austen Tea Room, it went a step further….I got to enjoy one of my favourite authors of all times.

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

The Austen Tea Room, as the name suggests, is an ode to the creative brilliance of Jane Austen. Anyone who loves to read would have picked up and loved an Austen book at some point in their life. And this tea room transports you to that era, allowing you to escape the everyday mundane and bask in the happiness that comes from not racing against time.

And that’s why we decided to book a high tea experience for our book swap meet.

I have been to other high tea experiences but what immediately struck me about the Austen Tea Room, apart from the obvious reference to Jane Austen, is the classic British setting. It was not just about luxury and pretty, it was about slowing down like the women did in those times.

There is ample evidence to Austen, her life and books right from the moment you walk in. There is a central café area and is the place you are most likely to be seated if you are just dropping in and not booked in for a high tea or luncheon. And you might want to see if those high back chairs against the window are free for the best spot in the café.

The individual and shared tea rooms are at the back which is arranged according to the size of the group. While some tables are intimate just for 2-3 people, the rest are large making it ideal for hens parties, birthdays etc…

I was visiting with another friend (also my muse for the day!) and so we were directed to a beautifully arranged table for two.

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

We had booked for Jane’s Sparkling High Tea. So the first thing to arrive was the bubbles; I can’t think of a better way for two fine ladies to unwind. Our table was decked with the most beautiful tea set, classic Victorian design tableware and we had that perfect spot near a window. I think the picture would do more justice than my words…

We chose to start off with savoury and then follow it up with the tea and sweet treats.

A selection of delicious savoury treats was presented beautifully at our table. There was freshly made ribbon sandwiches with assorted fillings, dainty quiches, sausage rolls and mini meat pies. All of it was delicious but I especially loved the sandwiches.

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

Good conversations are important for a high tea experience, because it is all about slowing down as I mentioned earlier. So we pondered over Jane Austen for a while and then just rambled on, conversations flow naturally when you are in good company.

Once we had polished off most of the savoury nibbles, the tea was bought out along with the sweet treats. The tea was perfectly brewed, at the right temperature and we enjoyed with first with some hot scones, clotted cream and homemade jam. Heaven!

There was also an assortment of macaroons, mini cupcakes, and petite cakes along with a few other nibbles to accompany the tea.

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

The Austen Tea Room (Essendon, Melbourne) – a Beautiful High Tea Experience - thespiceadventuress.com

The high tea at Austen is not the most elaborate or indulgent that I have experienced. But the old world Victorian charm here is just magical that it transcends everything else. And anything to do with books will win my heart easily.

Austen Tea Room

40 Nicholson St
Essendon, VIC 3040

P: 03 9326 2966
http://www.theaustentearoom.com.au/

High Tea Timings:

(Bookings are essential)

Weekdays: 12pm – 2pm
Weekends 2.00pm – 4.00 pm 

The Austen Tea Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – The High Tea experience was paid for by me and my friend.

August Favourites

It’s almost mid year and with Christmas décor and sales almost beginning to appear in stores, I have a feeling that the year is gonna end in the blink of an eye. No wonder time feels like the most precious commodity these days….

I know the next couple of months are gonna be super busy for me, lots of exciting stuff happening, a holiday or two on the cards and lots of changes on the blog too, hopefully. But for now, let’s keep calm and check out what I have been upto last month.

Prawns featured rather heavily in my menu last month as part of the recipe development for Supreme Seafood. But I am not complaining because it is an utterly delicious one which comes together in under 30 minutes.

Spaghetti, homemade pesto, chilli flakes, tiger prawns and parmesan comes together to create this lipsmacking pasta dish. Extremely easy to make and I promise if you have children at home, they are gonna love it.

So head over to Supreme Seafood website to check out the full recipe.

Spaghetti with prawns and pesto - thespiceadventuress.com

Another highlight of last month was the Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market, which I got to experience with some of my friends. It was a fabulous experience, getting to learn more about the history of the market, visiting the different sections and traders and also sampling a lot of goodies along the way. You can read my full post here.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

This is the perfect Pandora charm for me.

Spring Fashion

Nurturing creativity in children. I wish more parents understood this….

Fake and inauthentic people make me cringe. Here’s why….

Let’s start with this summer drink

And then this chilled beet soup.

Followed by this salad.

I dig rich and bold flavours like this on my dinner plate.

I am totally making this for dinner.

A quick and easy chicken dinner

Eating Tuna responsibly; I am glad someone wrote about it.

Loving these giant meatballs, but I can’t stop with just one.

My favourite cast iron cooking ware; soon adding a wok to my collection.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia)

My ‘Markets of Melbourne’ series continue with a visit to the iconic Queen Victoria Market.

Affectionately referred to as Queen Vic, the Queen Victoria Market is one of the oldest inner-city markets of Melbourne with a rich, vibrant and a fair share of controversial history.

I love visiting markets because there is so much life and energy in the atmosphere. Most markets are a true representation of the history, culture and food practices of that region. And I love market tours as it is much more interactive than reading the same information on a website.

thespiceadventuress.com

The Ultimate Foodie Tour is the best way to enjoy a personalized tour of the Queen Victoria Market, learn more about its colourful past, the best places to shop and sample some goodies along the way.

Our tour guide for the day was Miss. Irene, whose infectious enthusiasm and love for the market made the walk really interesting. After acknowledging and paying respects to the elders and true custodians of the land, she spoke to us about the history of the market, interesting tidbits about the architectural details etc… And then we started on our tour visiting the several iconic, traditional and heritage-listed market food halls.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Since we visited a lot of stalls, I decided to do a pictorial guide of the tour, with all the relevant details provided under each photograph. While some of the stalls were part of the tour, some are traders or shops where I personally love to shop at while visiting Queen Vic.

It’s hard to miss George the Fishmonger while visiting the Seafood section. With the friendliest staff and the freshest seafood on offer, these guys are a must visit if you are crazy about seafood.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Picture Courtesy – Supriya Mengi

And of course, you cannot leave without sampling freshly shucked oysters from the Seafood and Oyster Spot. A generous squeeze of lemon and you are in oyster heaven! The best thing I liked is that there is no minimum number of oysters you must order (the minimum at most places is half a dozen); so if you are alone or in a small group, you can order just the number you need.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

The Deli Hall is another must visit market precinct for homemade pastas, sauces, cheese, cured meats, olives etc….. You will be spoilt for choice and there are so many traditional shops that have been selling their food products here for years.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

One of the stops we made during the tour was at the Traditional Pasta Shop. As the name suggests, this shop is heaven for pasta lovers. Arrays of homemade pastas greet you, both fresh and dried. You can also purchase their in house pasta sauces here. We sampled the pumpkin stuffed raviolis in a creamy cheese sauce….just divine!

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

A selection of cured meats including salami, ham etc…

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Rows and rows of olives, different varieties from all around the world can be found in the Deli Hall.

It would be impossible for me to visit a market and not find a spice trader. And while there are quite a few to choose from, one of my favourites is Gewürzhaus, located inside the Deli hall. It is a one stop shop for all your spice needs, be it whole spices, blends, flavoured salts, dried herbs or teas. Let’s just say, I shopped quite a bit there…..

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ras el Hanout

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Merlot flavoured salt

There are a few shops selling Australian wines and the one that caught my eye was the Flowerdale Winery. Located near the Kinglake Ranges, about an hour’s drive to the north east of Melbourne, this winery is all about producing wines using traditional and natural methods, without any added preservatives. And while there are plenty of reds and whites, it’s the liqueurs and infused spirits that really excited me.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

A bottle of Chilli Wine, from Flowerdale Winery. I have had chilli infused wines before but none really had that hit of chilli. But this one was simply amazing in terms of flavour. I tried out a red wine jus and also used it to add that dash of flavour to my pasta sauces. Highly recommended.

There are plenty of food trucks and eateries inside the market and also situated in the Market place food court. Some of these are unique and serve some of the best food that you will find in Melbourne.

If you love mussels, do stop over at the Mussel Pot where fresh mussels are cooked right in front of you. There are several different styles to choose from but one of the crowd favourites is the tomato, chilli, coconut flavoured one. Totally worth the wait!

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

Love doughnuts? Then a stop at the American Doughnut Kitchen is a must. Well these guys will convert you even if you are not a doughnut lover. You simply cannot miss this iconic 1950s van where you get to watch the always busy dough makers whipping out hundreds of fresh, soft and hot doughnuts with the sweet jam filling.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

McIver’s Coffee & Tea Merchants is another must visit place while at Queen Vic. It’s not just about the 24 coffee and 72 tea varieties that they stock, it’s also about the cutest teapots and kettles. I literally stood there like a kid in a candy store. And even though I wanted to buy a tea set, I didn’t because I intend to go back for some serious shopping.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

I am not going to waste time by describing the fruit and vegetables area, because honestly we all know that Queen Vic stocks some of the best produce of this country. But what surprised me is that there is an entire area dedicated to organic produce.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

It is not possible to showcase all the traders or the variety of products that you can find at Queen Vic. It is a shopping mecca so make sure you walk around the length and breadth of the market and not just pop in for fresh produce.

The tour ended at ReWine with a glass of warm mulled wine (felt incredible since it was a very cold day) and a platter of fresh fruits. ReWine is a sustainable venture where different types of high quality, Australian wines are sold through the barrels present on site. So instead of just purchasing a bottle or two, you can take the old bottles back to be re-filled with your favourite wine.

The Ultimate Foodie Tour at Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne, Australia) - thespiceadventuress.com

I would recommend the Ultimate Foodie Tour for everyone. Whether you are a local, an occasional visitor or tourist, the tour offers a great insight into the rich history of the market, the traders and their stories and how the market has progressed through the centuries becoming the iconic place that it is today.

(You can also read about my experience at the Dandenong Market and Yarra Valley Farmer’s Market)

Disclaimer – I was invited as a guest to participate in the tour. The experience was unique and personal; the photographs entirely mine, unless stated otherwise. 

July Favourites

A roller coaster of a month peppered with both good and bad!

July left me drained, tired, overwhelmed for most of the month but ended with a bang, which overshadowed all the unpleasant things that happened over the initial days.

My little boy gave his first public guitar performance at the recently concluded Springvale Snow Fest. He has been taking guitar lessons for the past 2 years and though he has performed in his school, this was the first time he is playing for such a large audience.

So proud and chuffed that he took on the challenge and grabbed the opportunity that he was presented with. It’s not every day that we get opportunities, so when we do, we must be able to embrace it whole heartedly.

His musical journey has just started and we truly hope that he continues on this path that brings much joy to him as well as everyone who listens to his music.

Adi's musical journey - thespiceadventuress.com

Coming back to food, these chicken omelette sandwiches were made and consumed quite a bit during the busy working days. Super simple and makes a delicious lunch box option!

Chicken omelette sandwich - thespiceadventuress.com

Blame it on my Mallu genes, nothing gets me more excited than fish curry and rice. And the Chettinad style fish curry is pure magic on your tastebuds. Spicy, tangy and mouthwatering, I made these with Spanish mackerel cutlets. Enjoyed it with some steamed white rice….food coma!

Chettinad fish curry - thespiceadventuress.com

And here’s a list of everything else that has inspired me over the last month….

Are you truly happy? A recent Harvard study has revealed the single most important factor for happiness.

7 ways to be a Parisian chic! This is what I want to achieve for myself….

The luxurious Alex Perry collection from Linen House. Can I have one of each?

Kitchen tips! Cleaning your oven with baking soda and vinegar; time to ditch those nasty chemicals.

Maldives is a hot shot tourist destination but there are a few things to be aware of before planning a vacation. Here’s what you need to know!

Kisume is the hottest restaurant in town right now. I just can’t wait to try out the food…

I love salads, especially when delicious and pretty like this one and this one.

Nashville hot chicken! Drooling…..

How delicious does this burrito bowl look? The perfect weekday dinner…..

A recipe for all the gochujang lovers!

Bbq pulled pork rolls. Enough said.

I have found my perfect summer party dessert.

June Favourites + Winter school holidays

A fabulous new month is here and we are freezing Down Under!

Bone chillin cold days, huddled inside layers of clothing….I have never been a winter person at all. But opposed to my earlier years here, I am now better equipped to handle it now which has actually made this winter season rather interesting.

Earlier in the month, we visited the Van Gogh and the Seasons Exhibition at NGV. Curated by Sjraar van Heugten, independent art historian and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, this event is exclusive to Melbourne and is the largest collection of Van Gogh artworks to ever travel to Australia.

The exhibition was a profoundly emotional and overwhelming one. Never has an artist moved me so much…each painting spoke to me deeply as if Van Gogh was trying to tell me something personally. It’s a beautiful experience, one the whole family can cherish. So make sure you don’t miss this opportunity since the exhibition ends by 12th July, 2017.

Van Gogh and the Seasons Exhibition - thespiceadventuress.com

Another iconic place I visited last month was the State Library of Victoria. It was my first time and I wonder what took me so long to visit this place, given the fact I am a book nerd. But better late than never! It’s a massive space with so much history, architecture, rare artefacts, books that one visit simply wouldn’t do. This time, I visited with my bunch of friends who are book lovers too and we did our first book swap meet. Next time, I am planning on taking a guided tour to understand more about this iconic library.

My photographs don’t do any justice, but still a few clicks from that visit….

State Library of Victoria - thespiceadventuress.com

State Library of Victoria - thespiceadventuress.com

Our winter school hols began with the Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man, South Wharf. Melbourne has been transformed into a winter wonderland this year with plenty of activities to get the kids outdoors during the holidays.

It was so much fun to chill out at Common Man, where the boys had a session on the ice rink followed by loads of toboggan sliding. And all that skating left us hungry and famished, so the little fella warmed himself with some hot chocolate, while we sipped on Absolut cocktails and a plate of steaming hot dimsims.

Get more details about the event here.

Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man - thespiceadventuress.com

Absolut Cosmo Spritz, Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man - thespiceadventuress.com

And finally, these salmon kebabs were a huge hit on the blog last month. Have you tried it out?

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

Also leaving you guys with my favourites from other creatives in the digital space…..

This lady knows fashion and she has some great tips for those who are seeking to break into the industry.

Mental Load and Gender Wars! Finally an article that has spoken the woman’s mind when it comes to household chores.

Her food photographs have always inspired me, especially this one.

Another inspiring food photographer with this fabulous recipe.

Need to learn how to make gnocchi just to make this plate of deliciousness!

Another goal for the year is to learn to bake these gorgeous dinner rolls.

Do you love bulgogi?

This soup has a chilli chia seed tempering. Fabulous, isn’t it?

Drooling big time over this spicy mutton curry.

This pickle has a deep emotional connect with me and my childhood.

This Mojito and this Martini.

And for my friends who are basking in the sun at the moment; this summer salad.

I am definitely making this when summer arrives here again…

May Favourites

Another fabulous month has gone by and once again it’s time to share with all of you the highlights of my month and all that tickled my fancy in May.

The world seems to be in much turmoil these days, most of which are beyond reason and comprehension. Which makes me all the more grateful for all that I have. In spite of the dark days, I continue to remind myself of all the goodness in this world, glimpses of which cross my life almost everyday and I continue to celebrate the simple joys that come my way.

Mother’s Day this year was a very special one for me. The little fellow showered me with quite a few gifts that he had bought from the Mother’s Day stall at his school. There was a also a special handmade Lego gift for me, a small house with our little family inside but, I was placed in the centre and he gave it to me saying, ‘you are the heart of this house, Mama’ which pretty much had me teary eyed. He is such a thoughtful boy and these simple joys make life so worthwhile.

The other surprise for Mother’s Day was from Pottery Barn, Australia. Earlier that month, they had run a competition on Instagram asking to post a special photograph of you with your mom or with your children. I had posted one with my little boy and we turned out to be one of the lucky winners. So we were sent a $100 gift voucher and also featured on the special Mother’s Day wall inside all their stores. It was a really beautiful thing to do which completed our special day on a high.

At Pottery Barn, Chadstone - thespiceadventuress.com

That’s us at Pottery Barn, Chadstone pointing to our photograph on the wall.

Coming back to the Lego bit, Adi is a Lego freak and a visit to the newly opened Legoland, Chadstone was on the cards for a long time. If you haven’t visited yet, then please do…..it’s amazing and the perfect place for some indoor play.

At legoland - thespiceadventuress.com

Stir fries have featured a lot on my dinner table last month, due to a lot of work commitments. Just a few ingredients and hardly any cooking time, that’s why stir fries are so popular these days. One of my favourites and one I have been making a lot recently is the Stir Fried Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns, Chillies and Cashews. Its delicious guys, do give it a try.

Stir Fried Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns, Chillies and Cashews - thespiceadventuress.com

And this has been my favourite drink of the month. A tad bit expensive, but totally worth it.

Dalmore single malt whisky - thespiceadventuress.com

Everything else that has inspired and wowed me last month;

Let’s start with this quote.

Quote of the month - thespiceadventuress.com

This Spanish chicken stew with cumin flavoured Cauliflower broccoli rice; healthy and absolute deliciousness.

One sheet pan shrimp fajitas; yet another quick weekday dinner.

More stir fry inspiration.

We are crazy about olives in our home; so the puttanesca is also much loved.

Pork belly rolls! Need I say more?

Have you ever wondered why the restaurant salsa tastes so good? Then here is how you make it.

This would make an interesting starter at your next party.

The most delicious thing I have seen all month.

This pineapple chutney is so interesting; would make an excellent addition to my cheese platter.

What a delicious way to finish off the sambal paste in my fridge.

Learning to incorporate more farro into my diet with this salad

Such a beautiful cocktail and delicious too.

Cocktails and sun signs! Apparently I am the champagne girl…hmmm, really interesting. What’s yours?

Lusting after this beautiful Staub dutch oven. Sigh!

April Favourites + a Giveaway!

Usually I always start by saying the month has gone by pretty fast but that’s not the case with April. It was a heavily packed month in terms of social commitments but it felt like a long month too. Perhaps, it was the weather transition or just a feeling but April seemed to go on forever.

The month began with an impromptu trip to Lorne for an office party at one of Sam’s colleague’s holiday home. Now I have never been to Great Ocean Road before (I know, not yet seen the Twelve Apostles) so it was quite exciting even if it was just a day trip. Their holiday home is set on a beautiful property which has the rolling hills on one side and the ocean on the other, with breathtaking and stunning views. A truly spectacular place to retreat….

Lorne - travel photography - thespiceadventuress.com

I also discovered a new Mexican restaurant El Sabor, which serves really good food and drinks. I was actually invited for some photography work but it turned out to be such a delicious affair so thought of doing a proper review as I really enjoyed the food. Read more of the review here.

Fajitas - El Sabor, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Coming to the giveaway, I would like to introduce you to my latest spice obsession – Fuegorita, the dried hot pepper flake blend. Crafted in California from some of the hottest chili peppers of the world, Fuegorita is a flavourful alternative to the regular dried chilli flakes. Trust me, this blend is really hot but I wanted to create a dish that won’t blow your socks off so I came up with these delicious grilled chicken skewers marinated with a mixture of parsley, coriander, basil, garlic and Fuegorita in lots of olive oil. Pair with some flat breads and hummus for a thoroughly satisfying meal.

The folks at Fuegorita have been kind to sponsor one bottle of this hot pepper blend to one lucky reader of mine. So to take part, visit my Instagram page for more details. Content open worldwide!

Fuegorita - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so I decided to do a guest post for the website ‘Stuff Mums Like’ which featured a delicious brunch perfect for treating your mom. So forget all the expensive gifts this year and treat the special woman in your life by letting her sleep in followed by this delicious Toasted Bread with Mushrooms, Avocado Smash, Poached Egg and Grilled Tomatoes,  served with her favourite cup of tea and ofcourse, the bubbles!

Mother's Day brunch - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

And with the weather transition, it was time to bring out my favourite J.Elliot Ellis Pom Pom throw in the most beautiful deep grey colour. It has an amazing cozy weave yet lightweight and resilient. And the contemporary finish adds the perfect hint of winter glam to my living space.

J. Elliott throw - product photography - thespiceadventuress.com

The Indian parathas have carved a name for themselves in the culinary world but I have not been the biggest fan till these delicious Stuffed Prawn Parathas happened. Fabulous, and hence you need the recipe.

Prawn Paratha - thespiceadventuress.com

And now time to dive into my top picks and favourites from around the world;

Let’s start with the drinks. This floral cocktail, in spite of its name, is quite apt for autumn and so simple to make.

Our family is all about sleep-ins and weekend brunches. And these baked beans are so flavourful and fit right in!

This lamb salad is just freaking awesome.

Here’s more salad inspo, this one with prawns in it.

Is there something called ‘dumpling porn’? Because these are just making me swoon….

Anything with sriracha in it wins my heart, like these devilled eggs.

I have never made a hollandaise sauce before. Have you?

Time management is a skill and as a creative, I constantly need to re-work my strategies. This was an extremely helpful read.

Whenever I tell people (especially working women) that I am self-employed and work from home, I always get this line…..’oh, life is so easy for you. It’s super hard for us to go to office, manage children, home etc…’ Self-employed is like being unemployed to them and this article is my answer to them.

What you need to know about life; this lady’s advice is spot on.

Are you an Instagram fledgling? Then this article will be of mighty help.

And this Gold opulent floral charm is truly after my heart!

March Favourites

March…..the birthday month!

With so many birthdays in the family, March sped by at rocket speed. Little Adi (growing up way too fast) turned 8 and I turned 37 (ahem, age is just a number folks!!). We are pretty low key on birthdays usually but this year turned out to be a lavish celebration.

Adi wanted to celebrate with his buddies and lots of Pokemon, so that’s what we did. Lots of handmade decorations, party bags and a fabulous birthday cake from Vanilla Cakes, Oakleigh (Melbourne). A big shout out to them for taking my order at the last minute and doing such a fabulous job. Do check them out for customized cakes and the Vanilla Lounge is also a great place to dine out.

Pokemon theme cake - thespiceadventuress.com

On my birthday, I was treated to a special surprise dinner at Fedele’s Ristorante Italiano, Glen Waverley. No photographs though because it was a special intimate dinner for the three of us, one just for our memories. But do check out the restaurant…..it has a beautiful ambience, great food and wine which makes it a good option for celebratory dining.

A feature on Dandenong Market had always been a dream, but now it’s a reality. For those who missed out, here is the article and my top picks on where to shop, what to eat and drink while at the Market. I also conducted two successful giveaways, the third one coming soon. If you are interested, make sure you follow me on Instagram.

Dandenong Market - thespiceadventuress.com

Snippets from my Easter party was the most read post last month with lots of you writing to me about these delicious Moroccan Lamb Chops.

Moroccan lamb chops - thespiceadventuress.com

Wine of the month – Yering Pinot Noir 2015; a really balanced wine on the palate with hints of cherries, dark berries and savoury forest floor spice. I loved the fact that the tannins are not overpowering and has a delicate finish, thus pairing beautifully with grilled Moroccan lamb chops

Yering Station Pinot Noir 2015 - thespiceadventuress.com

I was quite lucky to get introduced to Chef Anshul Chandna and do a feature on his gastronomic and culinary journey for Indian Link. With a wealth of experience working with the who’s who of the culinary world, he is all set to return to Australia to start work on his dream venture. More of the write up here.

Masala Roast Baby Barramundi, a signature dish by Chef Anshul Chandna - thespiceadventuress.com

Been digging into this bowl of Burmese style Prawn Tomato Curry, an absolute fave of ours.

Prawns with Tomatoes - a Burmese style prawn curry with chillies, aromatics and tomatoes - thespiceadventuress.com

Slowly getting my wardrobe ready for the colder months ahead and absolutely loving the knitted top from H&M and the 100% Australian merino wool coat from Marcs.

Winter fashion - thespiceadventuress.com

I have been ignoring my skincare for the last year or so which has begun to show in the form of dull and dehydrated skin. So picked out this Seaweed Toner and Vitamin C glow boosting moisturizer from Body Shop which has proven really beneficial to my skin. Loved the fact that they do a detailed analysis and then recommend products most suited to my needs; I can already notice the difference.

Seaweed Toner and Vitamin C glow boosting moisturizer, The Body Shop - thespiceadventuress.com

And now it’s time for all those amazing stuff I found on the Internet; loads of delicious stuff last month.

Let’s start with this drink. I am gonna try it even though it’s autumn here already.

A Devilled eggs party……now that’s more like my entertaining style.

Chickpeas and spinach. This dish is just fabulous, taste and health in a single bowl.

Vegetarian Nachos. You need this in your life.

This pork roast is just insanely delicious.

This chili is gonna be perfect for the colder months.

Turkish kebabs! Need I say more?

This laddu and this laddu! (For the uninitiated, laddu is an Indian sweet.)

Desserts like these are a lifesaver. And it’s so pretty…..

Eggless brownies; needed a good recipe desperately for school bakes.

Latin Food in Melbourne; need to check out this place for sure.

Little Joys, Breaking the Trance of Busyness…..so apt for our lives.

%d bloggers like this: