Tag Archives: summer

Beat the heat with Avocado- coconut Popsicles

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I discovered avocado very late in life. But I so glad that I finally tried this fruit and I cannot do without it. I love avocado on toast, avocado milk shake and love how it pairs beautifully with quinoa salad. It seems to be such a versatile fruit that goes well with savory and sweet taste. 

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What makes avocado special is by incorporating it in the diet, it gives a feeling of having a complete meal. This is because it has 34% carbs, 59% fats and 8% protein. All the constituents of a complete me. Weight watchers may feel cynical looking at the carbohydrates and fats content. But it is important to know that avocados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat.  Monounsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol. So it will do a world of good to introduce avocados in the diet. I learnt a fun fact about Avocado while browsing about this fascinating fruit 

“An avocado is ripe and ready to eat when it is slightly soft, but it should not have dark sunken spots or cracks. An avocado with a slight neck, rather than a rounded top, was probably tree-ripened and will have better flavor.”

I hope it will be easier to pick the right kind with this super tip!

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However, it is important to check oneself for over consumption of avocados cause they taste sooo good. 🙂

These popsicles were made out of necessity. It has been sweltering in Bahrain and the summer shows no signs of mercy. Cold water, popsicles, cold showers, AC hopping are the only means of survival. These avo popsicles use only 3 ingredients – Avocado , coconut milk & condensed milk. It is simple yet so delicious. To add to the drama, I felt it was necessary to dip the avocado into luscious, dark chocolate and sprinkled some chopped pistachio. 

The dark chocolate I used, was BARE Chocolates which is so good in desserts. You will find BARE chocolates at all the leading supermarkets. I used the dark chocolate from BARE ( not in the picture). Check out the other flavours in BARE

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For the recipe, check out the recipe card and promise me that you will make these at home.

Avocado - Coconut popsicle
Yields 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large ripe avocados
  2. 285 gm condensed milk ( or less if you like lesser sweetness)
  3. 2.5 cups full fat coconut milk ( I used the tinned version)
  4. 100 gm Dark chocolate
  5. 2-3 tbsp of chopped pistachio
Instructions
  1. Mash the avocados
  2. Add the avocados, condensed milk, coconut milk in a blender and blend well
  3. Scope out the avo batter from the blender into popiscle moulds.
  4. You can insert wooden sticks right away since the avo batter is very thick and the stick will stay in its place.
  5. Freeze 6-8 hours or better still, overnight
  6. Just before you want to eat the popsicle, just melt100 gm of dark chocolate in the microwave and dip the unmoulded Popsicle into the cooled ( at room temperature) melted dark chocolate. Because the popsicle is really cold, the chocolate freezes in a few seconds. Top it with pistachio ( chopped or crushed) for the crunch.
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

 

 

Keep calm and have a very berry loaf cake

To have faith is like trusting yourself to the water. When you swim you shouldn’t try grabbing hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead  when you relax, you’d float. It is so simple a fundamental, yet so difficult to grasp when you are in between things that are not in your control. Running your business can teach you things about yourself that you never knew before. It is like doing a crash course in all kinds of adrenaline sports at the same time. Deep sea diving, jumping off cliffs or most of time swimming with the sharks. But you know what, I wouldn’t change a thing because there is so much character polishing that happens every single moment of being an entrepreneur. 
 Last two months were extraordinarily difficult, work-wise. I was told that the region worked a certain way and I had no choice but to adapt to the nature of it. Overall everything was so slow and excruciatingly frustrating. 

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Though it was very grey in the months of August and September, there was never a dull moment. I met many people and each one of them had so much to teach me. 

I understood that I needed to get out of my employee mindset and accept the fact that there will not be a monthly cheque coming into my bank account at the end of every month

Once I managed unrealistic expectations like not having a regular income, it was easy to focus on what I needed to do to get out of this murky situation. Let me tell, it is not at all easy to see anything clearly when finances aren’t robust and your lifestyle is feeling threatened because anxiety rules the roost. Yet, I learnt to accept. Somehow. 

I am not saying that I don’t feel anxious anymore. Oh, it is just that, I manage it better now. Breathing helps and so does pushing myself away from the situation mentally into a completely different environment. 

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It is also unbelievable how far the firm has come in the last 5 months with a team that help deliver projects. By the grace of God, I have a talented lot on my side – smart, intelligent and very capable. I feel safe from that perspective because I can rely on them for any kind of work. 

Yet, there are days when I don’t feel like getting out of my bed because in my head, it feels there is nothing worth looking forward to. Then those days pass and I get back to work. Well, I am a moody entrepreneur like that. What I am not is the fearless kind. I know I operate from a position of fear. Fear of the future, the fear of putting myself out there in the crowd of the unknown and the fear of feeling like a fraud. That is  fear I constantly struggle with. But what I have understood is most people who have willed themselves out of their comfort zones feel like frauds. Confident frauds, if that makes sense. Ofcourse, capability exists and so does commitment and sincerity yet can’t escape feeling like a fraud. How are we doing what we are doing and getting away with it? A keen and educated observer would say, through your skill, sheer determination and hard work!

Such a shame, isn’t it!

However, I have all the confidence when it comes to enjoying some splendid cake. Especially the kind that I bake myself. For no reason. This cake is stellar and trust me you will have your family and friends fighting for crumbs. In the making of this cake, I coated the berries with flour so that they do not sink at the bottom. But they sunk anyway. Now this is why I have trust issues but I am letting it go because the cake turned out amazing. 

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This recipe is from BBC Good Food Magazine- 

Ramadan Kareem! Falooda Recipe and a Social Media Award for #SMDAY

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This is my 5th year and Bahrain is home now. The comfort and the familiarity makes me disown my expat status and feel like local. The food, the culture, the openness and the warmth are addictive which makes me wonder whether I would think about a time when I would feel like packing my bags and heading back to my home country, India. It is when I moved to Bahrain that I started writing and blogging and discovered that part of me which I never knew existed in the first place. Being a blogger allowed me to explore several avenues which otherwise would have been unapproachable. With these experiences, I gained confidence and started trusting my own abilities and after 4 + years of blogging, my efforts were recognized by the (@SMCBahrain) Social Media Club of Bahrain where my blog was awarded The Best Blog under the Kitchen and the Dining category. It makes me very happy because it was completely unexpected yet somewhere I feel fulfilled with the recognition that my blog got.

Interestingly, it is also a great time to be in this region when it is at the cusp of this amazing social media revolution. The region has begun to sit up and take notice of what social media platforms and bloggers can do and what an important part they form in the overall scheme of things. I extend my special thanks to the Social Media Club of Bahrain for taking steps towards encouraging us bloggers. This award makes us want to do more and better now.

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Bahrain opened my mind and my heart to the culture and its religious beliefs without ever imposing them. Ramadan is a very special time to be in the region as it provides an opportunity to witness a collective sentiment towards a common goal. It is almost like the entire island quietens down during the day and all you can hear is prayers that the winds carry with them. These years have taught me that if Ramadan is about fasting, it is in equal parts, also about feasting. Whether it is Iftar or Ghabgah, food is a the center of all discussion and a chance to sample a wide array of traditional and modern classics at all the grand buffets around the town. But most locals swear by the traditional food made at home that beats the tastiest meal in any restaurant.

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To celebrate my blog’s win and the blessed occasion of Ramadan, I was prompted to create this indulgent treat called Falooda. Most of my Indian friends would be very familiar with this dessert drink which perhaps might have also been a childhood favourite.

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This is an indulgent yet refreshing drink that pleases all the senses, instantly and together. A perfect summer dessert in a glass that is full of rose scented and flavoured milk, starchy- rice noodles, sabja seeds that make it look exotic and a dollop of kulfi flavoured icecream to give a greater depth of flavour.

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It is surprising, how unbelievably easy this is to whip up together. For all my Muslim friends who are fasting and want to eat at home, and aspire to indulge on a treat, this comes highly recommended. Primarily being only an assembling project, Falooda is delicious as it is filling after a day of fasting. It refreshes the mind and the spirit considering July is a very tough month with longer hours of fasting.

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With this I end my post on a sweet note and wish every body a wonderful weekend.

Ramadan Kareem to all the readers of Slice of my lyfe.

AND

Thank you again for reading my blog – it really pushes me to write my next post and to keep doing better.

{Restaurant Review} Vapiano – fresh and delicious

What do they say about never saying never?

Insalata di arance e noci
Insalata di arance e noci

Well, I experienced it myself very recently. Vapiano in Bahrain City Center always looked promising but the previous two dining experiences at Vapiano were sub-par and less than delightful that I was quite sure I wouldn’t want to try them again. But with a little coaxing from Obai & Hill’s Zainab, I thought about giving Vapiano’s summer, fresh menu a try with a disclaimer that if I didn’t like it (again), I would refrain from doing a review on my blog.

On the scheduled day, my family and I stepped into Vapiano to sample their new menu. We were ushered in by a very friendly server who then educated us about all the new dishes and desserts. On her recommendations we settled for 1 starter, 2 main courses, 1 salad and a dessert. All this was to be accompanied by freshly squeezed orange.  For the starters we ordered the Caprese  that had cherry tomatoes with buffalo mozzerella on the bed of basil and rocket leaves. The cherry tomatoes were sweet and juicy and the rocket peppery as its supposed to be – all fresh and crunchy.

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Caprese

This was just the right antipasti to whet our appetite for the remaining courses to come. The hubby had ordered Estiva – a tender chicken breast pasta drenched in semi- dried tomato sauce, with a mild kick of ginger, mint and rocket . We specially asked our server to request the chef to cook the pasta a bit more than the “Vapiano” al dente. As per our request, the pasta was just perfectly done with succulent chicken pieces and  flavoursome tomato sauce and herbs.

Estiva with conchiglie
Estiva with conchiglie

My daughter who is notorious for shunning restaurant food was content with her bread and butter. She particularly enjoyed the fresh orange juice with her simple grub. As for me, I had ordered a barbecued chicken pizza which was sumptuous to say the least. It was quite a large portion unexpectedly and so we had the rest of it in a take away bag.

barbecued chicken pizza
barbecued chicken pizza

All the wonderful food was balanced by a very citrus-y , sunshine salad adorned by pistachio called the insalata di arance e noci. To my mind, it feels like summer on my plate with juicy orange fillets, pistachios, lamb’s lettuce and chicory. The flavours were heightened by a very light walnut and orange dressing. This was the highlight of my meal at Vapiano and it would be something that I would keep going back to Vapiano for many times over.

Insalata di Arance e noci
Insalata di Arance e noci

The close of the meal was marked by the unavoidable chocolate dessert called the Cioccolata e espresso which is Vapiano’s own homestyle chocolate espresso mousse, cantuccini (literally translates as coffee bread or popularly known as biscotti)  refined with grape juice and sweet amarena cherries.

Cioccolata e espresso
Cioccolata e espresso

Feeling happily sedated after such a wholesome meal, we thanked our hostess for the day and returned home with the lingering memories of the summer food at Vapiano. Thank you Vapiano for a wonderful experience that was so fresh and delicious that I don’t think I can have enough of it this summer!!.

 *This is a sponsored post but the opinions expressed all solely mine.

{Breakfast Banter} New York Coffee : Restaurant Review

It is no secret how much I adore this first meal of the day. Breakfast was and shall remain the single most important meal for me. I plan my breakfast carefully and take time to enjoy my breakfast, however meagre  because that sets the mood for the rest of the day. Weekend breakfasts are even more important because that is the time I take out to spend with the family while having my favourite meal of the day. For this very reason, I was extremely excited to visit the New York Coffee outlet with my family at The Walk in Riffa. To begin with, I have to say, this newish New York Coffee outlet is impressive – full of sunshine, large, spacious, and airy – it gives you a feeling of a relaxed setting.

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Within one quick glance several things caught my eye with regards to the decor. Modern and contemporary with an easy vibe is how I can describe the decor of the cafe. I was overcome with a sudden urge to sit down with my laptop and start writing a new novel or a blog post such as this whilst enjoying a nice cup of cappuccino. My thoughts were interrupted by the cheerful staff at the Cafe who welcomed me with great enthusiasm. The smiling server explained to us our breakfast and brunch options and also made explicit mentions of the offers of the day. We settled for a sumptuous American breakfast and an omelette (my way) while my daughter ordered for a sugary crepe along with a carrot cake.

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While our orders were being prepared in the kitchen, I took the opportunity to walk around the cafe. They have a small outdoor seating area which was dappled in the mid – morning sun. I also loitered around the shelves that housed different coffee and tea selections. The aroma of coffee was so inviting that I was half tempted to ask for an espresso instead of the orange juice I had ordered.

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I also happened to have a quick chat the General Manager of the outlet who filled me in with all the details about the outlet.  The New York Coffee outlet at the Walk in Riffa is open 24 hours. I was also told that it is the only coffee outlet in Bahrain that roasts and grinds their own coffee locally. Armed with this interesting trivia, I went back to my seat as the server had brought our piping, hot breakfast.

My husband had the omelette (my way) with brown toast and a large glass of fresh orange juice. He was enjoying his breakfast so much that I did not feel like interrupting him to ask how he found the fare. My daughter tucked into her sugary crepe on which there was  a pool of melted butter. Light and mildly sweet, the crepe was just perfect.  As for my breakfast platter – two fried eggs (runny), chicken sausages, salad, brown toast and fresh orange juice – was sumptuous!  I have an aversion towards sausages but these were done so well that they seemed like a treat. Later when my husband finished his breakfast and was sipping his orange juice he mentioned that he wouldn’t mind coming in here for this very plate of omelette every weekend. My daughter enjoyed her slice of the carrot cake mumbling “mmmm, mmmm” in between. That itself was a good indicator of how much she was enjoying her treat.

 

 

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Finally, when we were patting our warm bellies the server asked us to try their special drink. We couldn’t fathom eating or drinking anything more but he insisted and we thought ‘why not! It’s the weekend!” . He brought in two icy-looking drinks called Honey dew and Mango -tango. While placing these drinks, the server informed that these drinks are special because they are ‘low cal. In my experience, I know of many drinks that are supposedly low cal but are full of sugar. So I challenged him, “ How low?”  ”

“Only 7 cals!!“, he replied

That was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it. We went to the counter and he showed me his premix and described to me the method of preparation and I realized it was true. I enjoyed my drink with a greater gusto. The honey-dew was refreshing and I have a feeling its is going to be hugely popular this summer. 

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All in all, it was a wonderful morning spent savouring one gastronomic delight after the other. Bahrain!! Chuck your usual breakfast dos and go to New York Coffee. I dare say, you won’t regret it!

*This is a sponsored post but all the views and opinions expressed are my own.