Posts Tagged ‘Hobby’

Pasta alla Vodka

Probably one of my best ever pastas, this was again an adaptation which was way better than the original especially since I incorporated some of my favourite ingredients(mushrooms and onions).

Ever since my sister said she had tried out a Vodka pasta back home in one of the restaurants, the idea of using Vodka in a pasta was quite enticing. And I just had to try making it at home. And it was every bit delicious and mouth-watering.

And the law of diminishing marginal utility went for a toss right out my kitchen window.


Fettuccine (Or any pasta of your choice) – 500 gms
Chopped Onions – 2 
Garlic – 6 cloves
Chopped tomatoes – 3 [Drain if tomatoes are juicy]
White Button Mushrooms – 1 cup
Red Chilli flakes – 1 tsp
Vodka – 1/4 cup
Heavy Cream – 3 tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Dried Mixed herbs – 1 tsp
Fresh sprig of parsley right from your garden
Grated Parmesan cheese

Place pasta for cooking as per instructions on the cover and then get your pasta sauce going.

Heat Extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic, onions and red chilli flakes and sauté till turning a slight golden brown. Try not to brown your onions.

Remove saucepan from the stove, set aside and add the vodka. Place saucepan back on stove top and simmer for a couple of minutes till vodka reduces to half.

Then add mushrooms. Cook until slightly soft. Turn the heat up and throw in your tomatoes, cook well. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and add heavy cream. Season with the dried mixed herbs. Let it cook for about a minute.

And if your pasta is cooked to the right consistency by now, drain and wash with cold water in a colander and  add your pasta to the sauce and coat well.

Garnish with fresh sprig of parsley and grated parmesan, serve. Voila!!!… your Pasta alla Vodka is ready to be enjoyed!!!

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Berrily crumbled III

Ay yay ay yay ay yay yay!!!

Loved every bit. Berry Crumble experiment was a huge success.

When I first saw the berries bubble away, I wasn’t so sure it was going to turn out the way my colleague’s had. And when I combined the oats, bread crumbs & butter, a little bit of hope flared.

And when I transferred the berry mixture onto the baking dish and sprinkled the crumb mixture onto it, the picture started developing much better. But not there yet.

I let it bake for about 15 minutes when I got a whiff of the butter and berry aroma. Awww, what a warm and buttery feeling it gave. I took a peek in the oven and saw that it started taking semblance to the actual picture. Another 10 minutes, it was all ready. I took a couple of ramekins and put some warm berry crumble. And wow, yummy is the word for it.

And here you go ……the fruits of my labour….hmmm…I should probably say berries of my labour.

The berry crumble I made

The berry crumble I made

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Each individual has their own form of outlet to de-clutter their minds and life.  Am sure you can relate to it when I say, there comes a few times in our lives where too many things are on our plate and our life becomes chaotic. It sometimes get to the point that there is just too much to worry about, nothing ever goes  right, everything needs to be done and yet nothing gets done et al. And amidst this sea of chaos, we reach our boiling points and may erupt anytime now, while all we want to do is go screaming out that front door like a banshee.

Having been there a few times myself, I have learnt to recognise the signs, and I immediately grab my saviour which comes in the form of  my trusty old paint brush.

Painting is one of my lesser known passions. I often resort to painting whenever I am a bundle of emotions or feel cluttered. I don’t know what it is about colours, but it has the power to soothe, provoke, create, open and brighten my mind. There is something about lavishing paint on plain white paper/canvas. The action of stroking paint onto paper is so therapeutic. The play of colours have a magical impact on my mind. The medley of colours, the shapes and shadows and light taking on their own meaning, yet they can be interpreted in a thousand different ways by each individual. Such is the beauty of “Art”.

Picture of painting taken in Queensland Art Gallery

Picture of painting taken in Queensland Art Gallery

‘Abstracts’ are what comes to me naturally. Am one of those people who just cannot paint a portrait to save my life. But they intrigue me. The play of emotions, expressions, shadows on the faces, the wrinkles, the laughter lines etc to name a few are so interesting and different on each subject.

Just the other day, I was talking to my mom, I was telling her that I just can’t do portraits at all and wished that I could. Her words were -“Not everyone can do abstract. You should count yourself lucky that you are able to imagine something and put it down on paper”. And I felt good about it afterwards. And I thought that I may as well work with what I have rather than  depict something that is not me.

Picture taken in Queensland Art Gallery

In conclusion, I find that painting helps me feel better, the colours brighten up my mood, and when I do my brush strokes, it lets me ponder on the various things on my mind, helps me slow things down and tackle things one by one. Life can be so overwhelming when everything comes at you the same time, but painting surely does help by providing a form of distraction and reprieve to the mind when the going gets tough.

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