Thursday, November 6, 2014

New food favorites

I love sundried tomatoes. I love raw cheddar. So I decided to make a nifty sandwich. Onion roll, egg, sundried tomatoes and raw cheddar. Beautiful. Oh and broil at 400 F for 5-7 minutes. Bomb dot com.

This yogurt tastes soooooo good. With some cut-up strawberries, blackberries and bananas. Sooo good  Throw in a few roasted almonds in there and its just insane! The taste of this also reminds me of 'mishti doi' which is a Bengali dessert made of yogurt. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pollo Tropical

Hubby and I love this place ever since we've lived in Florida. You know how you like a restaurant because of the memories associated with that place. We were so glad to see this in Dallas a few months ago, although, this was only our second time going there. The food is Caribbean inspired grilled chicken, yellow rice, black beans, etc. kind of fare. Although it is considered a fast-food joint, we think its kind of the middle-of-the-road as they do give you silverware to eat your food! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rant time: My love for makeup!

Soooo....I love makeup.

Something about stepping into Sephora or Ulta or the makeup aisle in CVS, Walmart or Target just fills me with pure satisfication. Its as if all of my worries are slowly disappearing and I am in candy-land. Lipsticks, eyeliners, eye-shadows, foundations, mascaras, etc. whisper to me soft, gentle words which truly soothe my soul. Aaaah....Sorry I got a little too side-tracked with my raw and unrefined love for makeup...let me pull myself together. So. The thing is. I have a part-time job and I get paid peanuts. While I don't spend most of it and just put it towards my tuition, I save up a bit of it to buy some makeup. It makes me happy. So, when someone (a friend, a relative or just someone) thinks I should buy them Urban Decay eyeshadows and MAC lipsticks for shits and giggles, I am just blown away. Wait a minute? How did you even start to expect that?

By the way, my mom and sister are the only other people who I would and do buy makeup for...I learned to love makeup from my mom ( I used to see her Christian Dior lipsticks and lancome eyeliners and yearn for them) and my sister is my yeah, they are in the executive category. 

Back to the point---So how can people just begin to expect I get that look like 'Oh if she's using Urban Decay, she better get me some too '.. I mean....if I get you some out of my own will, that's a different thing, but here I am, trying to save up some of my peanuts (ew.) to buy some makeup and I am supposed to be buying some for you too? This might make me sound like a bad person (or not if you totally understand where I'm coming from), but I am not. I just don't have thousands of dollars laying around that I could just spend to buy department store makeup for other people. I bought a MAC lipstick two days ago and this is my first MAC lipstick of the year and that is the frequency at which I buy expensive makeup. Now. Why is all this relevant to this blog post? Well, I can't post any stuff about my makeup loot on any of my social media because the next thing you know, people are asking you to get them some too. My makeup is like my trophies. I treasure them and I enjoy caressing them late at night with some soft ballads playing (totally kidding). I would love to go all crazy on instagram and facebook and wherever talking about my makeup in discreet detail. What I post on here is not even half of what I have and I do that intentionally because I don't want emails or messages or even thoughts in people's head that the next time I see them,  I will be buying them a truckload of the same ish I have.

So I have to continue secretly admiring my makeup, without taking sensual photos of them and posting them up here or anywhere else. This sucks. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Restaurant review: First Chinese BBQ

    Beef Crispy Noodles
   Cheese-crusted jumbo shrimp

The food was alright. Very fresh, both of them. However, there was an overpowering taste of MSG to the crispy noodle. The shrimp was good...a bit greasy but still fresh. Sadly, we didn't get to try any of their bbq items because hubby's just not a bbq kinda guy. I'm not crazy about bbq either. Something about sweet sauces in savory foods gets to me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

One of many keys to happiness and contentment

I think I've found something. Something quite phenomenal. It took me some time to find it and I must say, it took quite an effort. Friends make up a huge part of our life (unless we are an introvert, solitary type of person). So as we forge new friendships in our lives, we often encounter a few snafus. Friends who don't quite reciprocate in the same way as we'd like them to or to the same extent that we'd expect them to. I had a blog post earlier about wonky friends and acquaintances, who never quite understand the meaning of maintaining friendship and reciprocation. But now, I think I have finally found the solution. This might be a bummer to many as its not a concrete, one-stop solution. There is a bit of faith and spirituality involved in this, so brace yourselves.

So there have been times when all of us have given a 'friend' a present, invited them over for a lavish dinner, or simply done them a favor and never heard from them ever again or worse, saw them doing the same but for other friends. I used to get so angry and think 'what about the effort I put in?' That is when my mind went like 'Eureka!':a higher power will reward me in a much better way. Possibly with a new job offer, saving a loved one's life, a higher salary or a gift of some sort. So wouldn't I rather have that greater, bigger, better gift from the Almighty than a five-course meal from a friend? Well, of course I would. This way of thinking has improved my mental well-being. It has actually happened more than once, when after an instance of disappointment, it was immediately followed by some sort of good news that is much bigger in magnitude, than what I would have received in return from that 'friend'. While not expecting anything in return is the best solution, it is equally important to watch who you spend your efforts on. However, the occasional snafus do turn up, and that is when I revert back to this thinking that my efforts have not been wasted. Something good is going to happen for me or someone I love, and I just have to wait. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

In an anniversary mood...

So maybe I lied about our anniversary celebrations ending on Sunday. Yesterday, while hubby was shopping for eid groceries, I snuck into Cafe Mozart Bakery and bought this butter-cream cake roll. Cafe Mozart Bakery is a korean bakery, where they have the most decadent cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, sandwiches and bubble tea. What I like most about their baked goods is that they all have only a few ingredients and butter is always one of them. It's a shame that most bakeries and grocery stores here carry baked goods made with rapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable/palm oil or something unpronounceable. If you were raised outside the United States, you know we've always had our cakes with more butter and less sugar (absolutely nothing against American-style cakes and confectionery but I do feel they really go to town on sugar.) Long story-short: bought this cake and a beautiful card. Hubby and I have always been a fan of Papyrus greeting cards. Complete with the gold hummingbird seal, it lends an old-school feel to the whole greeting cards thing. Needless to say, hubby loved the cake roll and the card, but guess whose been hogging most of the cake?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Repost: How to recreate 36 world cuisines with 3 spices.


Recipe: French Toast with Caramelized Bananas


6 slices challah, brioche or any thick bread (I used italian since that's what I had on hand)
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp sugar
Clarified butter (as required)

for the caramelized bananas:
1 banana
few sliced almonds
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp clarified butter

In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, sugar and keep aside. Soak slices of bread in mixture. Heat clarified butter in a non-stick pan and fry bread slices until golden brown and remove from pan. For the caramelized bananas, add clarified butter to pan, add sugar, bananas, almonds, cinnamon. Let it cook for 1 minute. Stir everything to combine.

Pour on top of french toast and finish with dusting of icing sugar and sliced strawberries. Also,very important, serve with dollops of salted butter. Must be salted as it contrasts really well with the sweetness of the french toast and banana topping.

(as you can tell, I like to cook quick without much preparation or decoration.)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

This past Sunday marked our 3rd anniversary together as husband and wife :) We didn't really plan anything extravagant. Well, let me rephrase, I didn't plan anything--Currently, I have so much school work that everything else is blurry to me. As most of our life is governed by food, this anniversary was too ruled by grub and needless to say, I don't regret it :)

The morning of our anniversary I prepared some french toast (first time for me) with caramelized bananas and almonds on top of it and dusted with some icing sugar.

For dinner, we went to a Malaysian restaurant called 'Secret Recipe'. We've been here before and everything on the menu just tastes exquisite.
 Malaysian beef curry: Chunks of tender beef brisket in a coconutty sauce with eggplant and okra.
Sambal fried rice with shrimp: Fried rice with sambal paste, eggs, shrimp, fish sauce, etc. Absolutely delicious!
 Penang Char Khay Teow w. chicken: This is like a variation of Pad Kee Mow (thai), where flat rice noodles is sauteed with bean sprouts, fish sauce, eggs, chicken, etc. Swoon-worthy!
Beef Roti Murtabak: Star of the show! Amazingly flaky, buttery dough filled with spiced, ground beef and pan-fried, Served with a curry dipping sauce. Hubby and I are coming up with all kinds of ideas to try make this at home.

The food was fantastic. The ambience was great (we were the first ones for dinner...we had an early brunch!).We had so much leftovers, hubby took some to work today. I am just sitting back right now and wondering how three years just flew by. All kinds of cliche phrases and sentences come to mind in moments like these. I'll just say that its been a great journey so far with the usual share of ups and downs...but at the end of the day, we have each other, and that is all that matters. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Watters Creek

Hubby,  I and some friends visited a beautiful locale called Watters Creek in Allen, Texas. Its a cute shops and dine kind of area in a soothing, naturalistic environment. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

Hubby and I visited the Fort Worth Japanese Garden a few weeks ago (where I massively bruised my ankle on a very rough piece of rock). The garden was a little heaven of emerald goodness with ample koi fish ponds thrown in there.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Like Wars, Unfriending and Drama on Facebook!

I've been on Facebook since 2004...pretty much since it was invented and boy has it evolved! For those of us who use it, I think Facebook controls us in more ways than one. For instance, when we upload pictures and update statuses, we expect some kind of response from our friends, either in the form of 'likes' or comments. No likes or comments means you are a nobody. To make matters more intense, we start getting worried when our close friends don't like our posts. Is she mad at me? Is she better friends with that other person whose posts she keeps liking? All kinds of thoughts run amok through our minds. Initially, liking wasn't much of a big deal. But liking means the world in the Facebook community. A lack of likes from an active Facebook friend is guaranteed to mean some kind of beef. I say active friend because if you were to compare all Facebook friends, you'd be in a fix as inactive friends rarely show any activity on Facebook. A like can mean so many things...from a pat on your back to 'yeah I still like you'. I am not stingy with likes for the most part but when I see friends and acquaintances (active ones) being thrifty with likes, I close my 'likes' shop too!

Moving on to unfriending. I probably unfriended a few people here and there a long, long time ago. However, in recent times, I have started to think about unfriending much more seriously. The social networking landscape has changed immensely over the years. Even compared to 5 years ago, statistics indicate socializing is much more prevalent online than anywhere else and I predict the numbers to only go higher. For instance, when someone unfriends me now, I feel much more affected than I would have 5 years ago. Now, if I am not feeling so groovy about someone, I will simple Unfollow them. Its a simple function that keeps that person out of your news feed. No fuss no muss. I feel especially sad when I see someone unfriend me who I haven't met in a long time. There have been instances where someone will send a friend request a few months after unfriending and usually this is someone I am not to close to...make absolutely no sense. I say, if you have a problem, just unfollow and if they are a real threat or cause for concern, thats when you can hit that unfriend button.

Overall, Facebook has changed the mechanics of our relationships with our friends, family and acquaintances. I don't know how much more it could change our relationships, but something tells me its going to be downhill from here as too much of a good thing, can be bad.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pixi Perfection Palette: Swatches & Review

 First and second row of eyeshadows
 Third and fourth rows of eyeshadows
Fifth row:  Three blushes
Sixth row: Highlighter and bronzer

I bought this palette a while ago...probably late last year. I got this in a clearance bin for $15 at Target. Considering that its retail price is $30, I thought I got a pretty good deal. I saw a few youtubers talk about this palette and how the eyeshadows are highly pigmented and buttery.  I love the eyeshadows as they are beautiful bronze and rose tones, suitable for everyday wear as well as for dramatic looks. The blushes are great too however they work as a highlighter on my skin as opposed to a blush. The highlighter and bronze I am not crazy about, but the bronzer works well as a crease/transition color. Overall, a nifty little palette that is compact and great for travel. A winner!