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Tag Archives: blogging

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

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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.

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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.

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!

Kidspot #Voicesof2015 Experience + a recipe for Maccher Chop (Bengali style Fish Croquettes)

If you happen to follow me on any of the social media channels, you would have definitely come across my winning tryst with Voices of 2015 and the amazing experience I had over the last weekend with my blogging tribe. I managed to click a few photographs of the day’s events though picking up the camera was the last thing on my mind; I was busy soaking it all up like a sponge!

And for all those who aren’t yet aware of it, I take great pride in informing you that ‘The Spice Adventuress’ is a finalist in the Food and Travel category of Kidspot Voices of 2015.

KSV2015_Ford-FT-FINALIST

The feeling is yet to sink in! I hold onto it with a fear that someone is going to grab it away from my hands any second. I remember how ecstatic I was last year when I won a nomination; it meant the world to me even then. Would you like to read that post? It’s all here, and there’s an amazing recipe too.

We had an official event last Saturday which began with a networking breakfast, then went onto a Masterclass for almost the entire day and then finished off with the official launch of Voices of 2015 and the formal announcement of this year’s Top 100. Now I am not going to go into the details of the event; Michelle of An Organized Life has done a pretty good job of it so you can read it all on her space. If you are a blogger, then you must definitely read Michelle’s post.

But what I would like to share with all my readers today is why this recognition means so much to me.

I am a finalist, not yet a winner! But for me, deep down I feel like a winner. You would ask, are awards important? And I would say, yes……at least for me. It is important not because I want to brag about it or be in the limelight and feel like a celebrity for a few days but because it is a recognition of my hard work. It is easy to be passionate and it is definitely easy to dream; what’s tough is making it come true through bone breaking hard work, day in and day out.

This journey, which started around 2 years back, has been a difficult one….and for the most part, a highly emotional one. The decision to say no to a regular income and taking on the role of a full time blogger was not an easy one. I have swayed and wavered a million times, fallen down into the realms of despair and depression but fought on with a vehemence to realize and make my dreams come true.

Completely self taught and with hardly any support or encouragement from close friends or family, I stuck on to my passion which is why I am so very proud of this recognition. I will be honest that I will be disappointed if I don’t make the Top 3, but it won’t matter much because deep down, I feel like a winner already. Not winning is going to give me the impetus to continue the hard work fuelled by my passion and dreams.

And so much of it would not have been possible without the love and support that has been generously showered by my readers. Heartfelt gratitude to every single one of you who have been with me in this journey…every single like, follow, comment, share, interaction has been priceless. Thank you.

Phew! That was a long talk isn’t it. Ok, so let’s get back to what this space is all about…gorgeous food. Today we have a delicious seafood snack – Maccher chop or Bengali style fish croquettes.

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Maccher chop is a famous snack of Bengal. These delicious fish cutlets or croquettes are soft on the inside with a crunchy exterior that is enjoyed by both children and adults alike. Traditionally, these fish cutlets have a flattened shape but you can just roll it the way you want. Mine’s round, simply because I felt so….

If you are observing the Ramadan fast, then these fish croquettes can be a delicious addition to your Iftar platter. I have served these maccher chops with sweet chilli sauce but you could pair it with your favourite dip.

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You can use any white fish like barracuda, cod, basa etc… to make these croquettes. Purchase the fish as fillets or get your fishmonger to chop it into a coarse paste for you; this saves on the cooking time. Easy to make in large batches and can be frozen for upto a month.

Ingredients:

1. 2 Basa fish fillets (you can either purchase as fillets or as paste)
2. 2 large potatoes; boiled and pat dry
3. 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
4. 1 medium onion, finely chopped…..

Find the full recipe here….

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Recipe Courtesy – Foodies Hut

Italian Lamb Stew in Red Wine

How much, of your personal self/life, do you share on your blog? Is there a limit? Should there be a limit?

A debatable topic and one that lurks behind the back of every blogger who brings a piece of her self to her blog. It’s the same with me too and I often wonder if my readers are really interested in knowing that extra bit of my life, my thoughts.

When I started first on this blog, I didn’t write much or rather I was hesitant to write about several topics which are very much a part of my life and personality. But as the blog evolved, my dormant love for writing got awakened and I started using this space as an extension of myself. I still have reservations on what to write and what not to for fear of being misunderstood.

Earlier, I knew most of my readers at some level but as the numbers grow, it almost becomes impossible to know each and every one personally. And hence, I have tried to keep my writing as general as possible.

So, this question is to all my readers out here….do you really read the stuff that I write or just skim over and go to the recipe. I know a few of you do, but I really would like to know if most of you do. Do you think I should just continue the way it is now or are there changes that you would like me to bring to this space. I love what I do and am unapologetic about it, but I would still love to hear what all of you have to say…an occasional reality check is necessary.

Staying on the topic of misunderstanding, Italian cuisine has been a fairly misunderstood one till recent times. All that the common man knew was pizzas and pastas when the cuisine offered much more than that.

This lamb stew incorporates classic Italian flavours, very moreish. I made this a couple of times during fall and winter; the rich robustness of the dish is perfect for the cold weather. With the rest of the world approaching fall, this stew seems to be the perfect dish to share.

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The dish is an easy one to make but slow cooking is the best technique to go here. If you have a slow cooker, use it by all means.

Italian lamb stew – succulent, fall-off-the-bone lamb pieces coated with the tangy sweetness from the red wine and ripe red tomatoes, flavoured with herbs and the juicy tartness from the olives. Rich, robust and moreish!

And remember, plenty of freshly baked bread to mop up the gravy.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 kg lamb (on the bone), cut into medium-sized pieces
2. 1 cup unbleached wheat flour, for dusting the lamb pieces
3. Salt, to season
4. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
5. ½ tsp dried oregano
6. ½ tsp dried rosemary
7. ½ tsp dried thyme
8. 2 dried bay leaf
9. 1 red onion, chopped finely
10. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
11. 2 cans crushed tomatoes
12. 3 sprigs fresh parsley
13. ½ cup red wine (any good cooking variety)
14. 6 green olives
15. 6 black olives
16. Olive oil, to sear the lamb pieces

Method:

1. In a bowl, mix the flour with the dried oregano, thyme and rosemary; season with salt and pepper.
2. Dust the lamb pieces in the flour to coat lightly and keep aside.
3. Heat a deep bottom pan, add a bit of oil and sear the lamb pieces in batches till browned all over; keep aside.
4. In the same pan, add bay leaf, onions and garlic. Saute till translucent.
5. Then add the red wine and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes to burn off the alcohol.
6. Add the crushed tomatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the lamb pieces, mix well and add water if necessary. Cook covered for 40 minutes on low heat.
8. Open and add the olives and parsley. Check seasoning and continue to cook on low heat for another 10 – 15 minutes or till the lamb is soft and done.
9. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley leaves.
10. Serve hot with bread.

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