Saturday, July 28, 2012

Heart Warming Stories, Soulful Food : Easy Peasy Grilled Fish And Pineapple Salsa (For lazy single girls and boys :) )

My dinner tonight was amazing and I absolutely have to share this recipe with you all. It is a simple, no nonsense gourmet delight in your kitchen within thirty minutes. Makes sense for me and a lot of single, working crazy hour’s people out there. 

I have always been wary of cooking fish however recently I have vowed to be healthy in my food habits and fish seems to the smart option for dinner. The problem is I love eating fish but I don’t like if it smells fishy. My Indian palate also craves for something tangy and full of masala. So I need to really think before I cook any kind of sea food. After spending an hour browsing the internet for some inspiration today, I came across a few recipes that I decided to combine and make this yummy pain grilled fish and salad.

Pan grilled soy fish with caramelized onions and a pineapple salsa salad
 The fish –

Make a marinate of  1 tbsp olive oil,  2 tbsp chopped onions, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic paste. Mix portions of fish fillets with the marinate and keep aside for 15-20 mins (I used cream dory fillets and kept the marinate in the fridge)

You can bake the fish or grill it in an Ikea grill pan if you are as lazy as me. Allow the onions to caramelize and put the remaining marinate on the fish as well
The fish was ready in 5 minutes on medium heat, I didn't use any extra oil, the olive oil in the marinate was enough.

The salad –

The soy flavor of the fish needed something sweet and tangy to break the strong soy flavor. So I decided on a pineapple salsa. The prep for this can be done while the fish marinates, but you would like to leave it in the fridge for a while as it tastes heavenly when it’s cold and the flavors have had time to blend together.

Finely chop a cup full of pineapple, some spring onions, some red onions, half a red pepper, 2-3 tbsp of coriander and one jalapeno. Mix all this with 1 tsp of honey, juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper, a pinch of paprika and a pinch of cumin powder.

The fish goes so well with the salad. And even on its own the salad is refreshing and quite awesome! The caramelized onions give a very sizzler type flavor to the fish and there is no fishy smell :- )

So much so for healthy food, I am ending my dinner with an absolutely delicious coconut macaroon from Waitrose.
well, it is the weekend and a little bit of indulgence is allowed, isn’t it? ;-) 

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time To Throw Away The Yo Yo

Call me ignorant or lazy but sometimes I fail or simply refuse to see an issue hanging right in front of me. The issue goes up and down like a yo-yo and I simply try to look right and left, pretending it’s just not there.

I have been doing this for a while on an over powering issue hanging over my head. So, I was quite surprised when something very simple made me stop, stand back and take notice.

I was threatened, not physically, emotionally or mentally but threatened by an anger that rose out of me. In the larger scheme of things, probably the one thing that made me sit back and notice the ever swinging yo-yo was something very small and silly. But it had links that I realized led to everything that issue was made of. 

I tried to put two and two to make five, eight and ten. Acknowledgement = respect = honesty = gratitude = counting your blessings every day = happiness.

Seems simple, but to practice this is very tough. I sat down and listed each one of these attributes to see if everything fit this bill. If it did, then life couldn’t be better.

While I struggled to balance my insecurities as an artist, writer and self-confessed creative junkie with my poker faced, stiletto wearing, quiet and patient avatar, I wondered which side will tip sooner and which person inside me will take the lead, now that the truth was dawning upon me. 

If my happiness depended of gratitude and respect, I needed to do and be in every situation that fulfilled these attributes.

How many times in life, if not forever, we allow ourselves to live without the fulfillment of these attributes. We make excuses, give up and give in, only to rot inside because something always remains amiss. 

We forget that what matters in life is if our inner core is smiling, if we are actually smiling in our hearts, stomach and knees and not just on our faces.

We ignore indications and signs that tell us – something is not right, “You are not fulfilling your sole and inherent right to be happy”. We just ignore that voice deep inside us and allow ourselves to believe that we could make do with the average.

It is when this realization seeped into my soul that something inside me snapped. Something changed.

I pledged.

From today, I allow my eccentric artist to take the lead. Today, I give up on the average and empty that space in my life for the best to come and fill it. I believe that I deserve all the happiness of the universe, because I am God's blessed baby. Today, I throw away the yo-yo and look straight ahead into the future that shines so, so bright. 

Today, I take a step into an ocean of happiness and allow myself to float away in its glory, forever.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Luzern Top 5 Things To Do (On A Budget)

My top 5 picks for the budget traveler to Luzern, Switzerland. Have a read and maybe you can add some of yours :-)
Fairytale Luzern
1) Feed the swans 

These babies are ALWAYS hungry. And look at that view!
Apart from the fact that you get surrounded by plenty of swans and it is the prettiest sight in the whole world, you get to sit and stare at people walking up and down the Chapel Bridge for free. You would in other circumstances spend quite a lot for a pint of a glass of wine to people watch at one of the busiest places in Luzern. This way you feed the hungry and can spend an evening staring at the sun setting over this fairytale town.

Information on the Chapel Bridge and the area around it can be found here

2) Grab a drink at Roadhouse

Roadhouse, Luzern
It’s a cute little bar close to the Bahnhof and is packed almost every night, wait in the line, it is worth it. The pizza is great and they serve beer by the bottle. Get a big Heineken for 5CFH and split it between two. Just next to it is McDonalds perfect for a cheap dinner post drinks. 

Check out Roadhouse here

3) Hog on Doner Kebabs

The Doner Kebab rolls here are quite different from the ones in Turkey. These ones are juicy and minus French fries. In an expensive country they make for a really filling, yummy and cheap dinner option. 

I found this amazing kebab shop right next to my B&B check it out here

4) Hop on and off on a boat trip

Sunset from the lake
If it were up to me, I could do this the entire day and maybe the next day as well. Start your journey from Luzern and get off at the next tiny town, walk around and get back on to the next boat making your way to another town. This makes you see the quaintness of Switzerland. Some of the villages are so quiet you wonder if anyone even lives there. But these little insides are so pretty, I could get lost in them forever. Another option is to take a train in any direction, get off at every station and just walk around. Trust me; it will be way better than spending your day in the touristy places.

Tickets can be bought on the spot or online, check out the website for Lake Luzern here

5) Walk around the old quarter 

Should I shop, should I stare?
Walk a bit, stop for a glass of wine and then walk a little more. The picturesque old quarter with its cobbled lanes, street side cafes and intricately painted buildings make it perfect for an afternoon stroll. There is a lot of window shopping to be done and if that doesn’t interest you just laze around a fountain and stare at the sky.  I went crazy taking photographs of the painted buildings and also posing in front of them (Now that is something no one would mind!)

For a great walking tour of the old quarter check out Frommers 

*Chapel bridge, old quarter and lake lucerne image - Idle Tuesday Afternoon Thoughts
*Swan image courtesy Jim. M. Goldstein  
*All other images from Google 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thank You Airbnb!! - My review of the best travel site at the moment!

When I was planning my trip to Europe this summer two things were killing me – airfare and hotel rates. Even bed and breakfasts were so expensive. At one point I almost gave up the holiday planning and decided to book myself in a 5 star spa in Thailand for a week – trust me, it was turning out cheaper.

There must be an internet fairy or something because by mere chance I stumbled upon what I now call a travelers saving grace –
I had my doubts while I browsed through it. Mostly because I couldn’t believe the rates and the accommodation that came with it but apparently people were raving about it. I had the choice between expensive hotels and inexpensive couch surfing, this somewhere fit in the middle.  

I took the bold step and booked my Switzerland and Florence stay with airbnb and I couldn’t have had a better stay anywhere else than I did via the airbnb hosts. The dynamics of my entire holiday changed because of this, for starters I had more money to spend of food and then I met some amazing people!

My host in Luzern, Viki, hosts two rooms in her lovely apartment right in the city center, I loved making breakfast and looking out from her kitchen window, it seemed like I lived in Luzern forever. Viki on her own turned out to be a gem of a person and even volunteered to drop me to Zurich if I missed my train early in the morning. Now where would I find that in a hotel?

Viki's amazing home

In Florence, though it took a while to find and I almost saw half of Florence while looking for the apartment, Mario’s apartment was one of the most beautiful homes I have seen. Mario, taking a break from work was right there to pick my bags and take them up several flights to this old building and as soon as I took a breath he spread out on his dining table the map to Firenze and marked each restaurant and bar I should visit and what I should eat where. Mario and Harry left me the sweetest note and some chocolates for my journey back home. It was the sweetest end I could have had to my trip.

The view from my window at Mario's apartment

In the end I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, mostly because I was so vary about booking from the website. 
However the fact that when I was in their city, I referred to their address as ‘Home’ kind of says it all! My hosts were such nice people and made each day I spent in their home a lovely one. 

Airbnb as an organization was apt with emails, reminders and most of all the cost of my entire stay, making it so cheap!

I am back and already planning my next trip and guess where I went first – this time I am deciding a vacation spot based on a pretty vacation home for rent. 

For all you travelers out there, before you rush and book into a hotel, check out this website and you might actually live, eat and party like and with the locals! 

Until my next update from the recent trip to the updates on the next upcoming one – Happy Travels!

All images copyright - idle tuesday afternoon thoughts 


Related Posts with Thumbnails