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August 26, 2014

postcards from Goa

SO I've got a big test tomorrow that has me feeling anxious, nauseous, frightened, and about 10 other unpleasant emotions (yay for higher education.) But in an effort to not think about it too much, I temporarily distracted myself with this blogpost.

I've been sitting around with these photos of Goa for a while, which turns out is a good thing cause now I have the material for a quickie post. Perks of procrastination.

If you didn't know, Goa is a small state off the western coast of India, bordering the Arabian sea. It's famous for its beautiful beaches, spice farms, vast jungles, and rich history. We stayed at the Park Hyatt which was one of the most beautiful hotels/ resorts I have ever vacationed at. Random fact-- they had their own mini spice farm and vegetable garden where they grew ingredients used in their own restaurants.

Besides for relaxing at the hotel (their beach + pool were fabulous), we also visited some of the local public beaches and two of Goa's biggest cities, Panjim and Margao, to get a taste of the local culture. Goa is the only Indian state with a Portuguese history, and their influence is very much prevalent in the Goanese architecture and cuisine (the latter of which I admit to not being a fan of.)

It's also the home to numerous churches. Even though I'm not the most devout person, being Hindu and Indian are hand in hand for me. Obviously I am aware that people of all religions exist in India, but it was just a different experience to be in a place in India with much more religious diversity than I was used to. Especially coming from Kolkata where there's a temple or some figure of a deity on every street!

Anyways, here are my snaps from the few days we spent in Goa.

August 24, 2014

currently craving: internet impulses

I've apparently moved on from being a stress eater, to a stress online shopper. Problems of the 21st century. While I was tempted to stick to the end of summer sales, I've been fully sucked in by the "wear now and later" summer to fall campaigns.

Two items on my radar for the upcoming months are outerwear and necklaces. Ever since the beginning of the summer I've been loving longer hemlines on cardigans, vests, coats, really anything you can layer up with. Naturally a vest works as the ideal transitional piece in this category. Worn with a mini dress now, and with a button down and skinnies later.

And both outfits would go perfectly with the urban outfitters necklace that I've been dreaming of for so long ( go on sale.) Statement necklaces have made a strong comeback. But this time around instead of the heavy jewels and bright colors, it's more about layers of various metallic pieces. Dylanlex necklaces have always been on my impractical wish list, so I'm glad to see more affordable versions on the high street. And for something more subtle, there's always the option of layering daintier necklaces.

currently craving-- august 2014

August 21, 2014

herb-cheese stuffed squash blossoms

Technically I shouldn't even be blogging right now, cause I have a huge test next week. But since a miracle occurred and I managed to wake up early, I figured I'd treat myself to a whole 15 minutes worth of break time (which is dangerous since anything more than 5 and my attention span disappears.) So here's a recipe I tried out a few weeks ago.

Until recently, I had no idea that zucchini blossoms were found in cuisines outside of India! I had never seen them at the super market or at a restaurant. Since then I decided to try out this Italian recipe which calls for stuffing and battering the blossoms. My mom makes squash blossoms several times a week since it's easy to pick around a dozen of them a day in our little garden. I tried this recipe out to switch things up!

I used this stuffed blossom recipe from bon appetit magazine. Some notes:

  • I used green squash and zucchini blossoms.
  • Make sure you clean your blossoms! Remove the pistil on the inside, and the sepals from the outside (wow, all that plant anatomy crap I learned in HS bio finally has its use.)
  • I replaced 1 tablespoon of fresh mint with 3/4 tablespoon of dried italian herbs.
  • 2 inches of oil is a lot. I cut it down to less than half an inch, about enough to cover half a blossom. 
  • I had no idea where my mom's fancy schmancy cooking thermometer thing was, so I checked my oil the old fashioned way-- sticking the end of a wooden spoon in to see if it started sizzling. If it did, you're good to go!