Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ethiopian cuisine-Injera

When we first tried Ethiopian food, we were surprised at how similar it is to Indian cuisine. The food is spicy and there are a lot of stir-fried vegetables/green leafy vegetables and even a kind of ‘dal’ along with meat/poultry. Traditionally food is eaten from a common plate and the staple carbohydrate is a crepe/ dosa called ‘injera’ which is basically eaten with all the gravies/meat/vegetables. The injera is broken by hand into bite sized pieces and dipped into the several side dishes that accompany a meal just like a roti/dosa. Some places serve the side dishes on the injera itself (which looks like a thin porous grey cloth/napkin on a tray/plate), but we asked for it to be served on the side as it tends to get soggy after a while. Injera is made from locally grown millet called ‘teff’. Like most millets, it’s a tiny round grain with no gluten and rich in calcium, iron and fiber. The making of injera is a long process. The teff is first ground into flour, and then mixed with yeast and water and left aside to ferment for 2-3 days. After it is fermented it is poured in circular motion (just like dosas) onto a hot flat iron pan. Due to the fermentation, the injera has a slight sour taste.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4th of July weekend at Arizona and Vegas

We spent the 4th of July weekend touring Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We landed in Vegas in the night and were immediately dazzled with the lights and the razzmatazz that "is Vegas".
The breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon
The "Thumbs-up" formation!!

Early next morning,we left for Arizona.The beautiful Grand Canyon was around a six hour drive from Vegas.We first drove to the Hoover Dam and then drove into Arizona. The drive through the dessert reminded us about the country western movies that we watched and enjoyed as kids. The Grand Canyon itself was breathtaking-a steep sided gorge carved by the Colorado river. The formation in the snap above looked so much like a "Thumbs-up"sign. Back in India,we had seen a similar rock formation on our journey back from New Delhi (to Bangalore) by train.

Las Vegas!!
Vegas at night
Vegas is a "must-see" city in the US. The casinos,the night-life, the shows all are something to remember. What we missed was eating at the buffets,since it was a holiday weekend and the buffets were all packed to full capacity. So,instead of waiting in the long queues we decided to spend the time exploring the city.

The Gondola rides inside The Venetian(note the artificial sky)

The tantalizing display of Gelato's at The Venetian
What we did manage to enjoy was the tantalizing Gelato's at The Venetian. They had a wide array of flavors ranging from banana, coconut,avocado,mango,passion fruit,chocolate and so many more. I chose the coconut and the lychee(litchi) which was just great and I really wish I could have tried all the flavors they had there.
To make up for not getting to taste the buffets, we decided to eat at "The Grand Wok & Sushi Bar" at the MGM Grand. This was/is the BEST Chinese we have eaten in the US. We started with the "Lychee Martinis" which was good.
Lychee Martinis with Blueberry's

Kung-Pao Chicken
Singapore Curry Rice Noodles
Then we picked the 'Singapore Curry Rice noodles' simply because the word "curry" got me curious. The 'better-half' is a big "Kung Pao Chicken" fan,so I wasn't surprised to see that he picked that as the side.He's the kind of guy who sticks to ordering what he is familiar with,while I'm the more adventurous type who likes to try out something new every time. So,we tend to strike a balance by ordering one dish which is new and one dish which he likes. Both the dishes were simply awesome,the noodles had a nice flavor and yet was not spicy while the Kung Pao chicken reminded us of the Chinese food we get in India. Our son ate the noodles with the baby onions that came as a garnish in the chicken dish(so much for being a vegetarian)!!

MJ at Madame Tussauds
We missed the 4th of July fireworks but we made up for it by catching a glimpse of all the stars at the Madame Tussauds.
Vegas is such an fun place to visit. There's SO much to see and so many things to do out there. If you ever plan a trip here make sure to spend at least 4-5 days, and most important-DO NOT visit during the long weekends or during any holiday season. The crowd's (and the prices) are just too maddening!!

Question(for those of you who have been to Vegas): What is your favorite memory of Vegas?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Birthday and Dinner!!

Cookie Dough ice cream cake from Cold Stone
What a great birthday it was!! Since it fell on a working day,we decided to postpone the dinner for a weekend. I was pleasantly surprised when a friend dropped by in the evening with a card(he,he,he) and a little gift to boot!! Then,arrived the hubby with a Cookie dough ice cream cake from Cold Stone.

Pastini, Corvallis

For the weekend dinner,I picked Pastini Pastarias (oh yes,my love for Italian food won hands-down)a local Oregon chain of restaurants. It's a nice little place with a very comforting ambiance.
For starters we ordered the Scampi Pastini which is Shrimp sauteed in garlic, butter,sherry and lemon served with ciabatta bread.

Starters:Scampi Pastini

Hubby decided to order the Five cheese lasagna with meat sauce which was quite nice(though I'm sure he would have liked a bigger portion).

Five Cheese Lasagna With Meat Sauce
I simply could not resist ordering what was called the Nonna's Sunday Supper which was described as comfort food in the menu. It consisted of creamy Maccheroni and Cheese topped with meaty bolognese sauce. No wonder it's under the category of "comfort food"-I loved it and the portions size was so large (even though jr nibbled it with me)that we had to parcel it and take it home.
Nonna's Sunday Supper
By the end of it I was too stuffed to try out their tempting dessert menu (we also had half the sinful cake sitting in the freezer,and I just cannot run the extra mile to burn out any extra calories).
Like these weren't enough to make a memorable birthday,I got a big box of goodies from my brother(he's been doing this for almost 9 years now,even when I was back in India).

The goodie basket from my bro

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Snow capped mountains to Painted Hills-all in a day!

The first glimpse of Mt.Bachelor
The weather report said that it was going to be a sunny Saturday,so we decided to spend the day doing some local sighseeing. We experienced both extremes in the weather-that too all in one day. We had decided to go skiing at Mt Bachelor -where we had fun in the snow. Then we drove to the Painted Hills which was exactly the opposite-extremely hot!!
Skiing on Mt.Bachelor
Painted Hills

As you can see,both the places were breathtakingly beautiful!! The only disappointment was that I could not check out the New York City Sub Shop in Bend(which is on the way) that was highly recommended by Kim in her blog The Ungourmet. We left home by 6am,and by the time we reached the sub shop it was 9am and they had a sign board which said they open only at 10!! Thoroughly disappointed, we decided to have breakfast up in the mountains.So,we ended up eating some unhealthy stuff up at Mt.Bachelor,which I'd rather not talk about. On our way back we had to pass through Bend again,but this time the rest of the gang didn't want to try out subs for dinner. We chose to eat at Carino's (as they don't have a branch here in Corvallis).

Bread with olive oil
Penne Alfredo(vegetarian)
Stuffed Vegetable RigatoniMeatball fettuccine in Alfredo sauceChicken Marsala
I had heard so much about 'Chicken Marsala" that I had to try it. The hubby decided to make his own pasta-so ordered the meat balls in Alfredo sauce!! Our friends were vegetarians and they ordered for the Penne Alfredo and the Stuffed Vegetable Rigatoni.
The Stuffed Vegetable Rigatoni was the best among the lot. Since it was the first time I tried "Chicken Marsala" I can't compare it, all I can say was either I was expecting something else or that I've eaten better Italian dishes. On the whole a very filling dinner-we had to pack some of the "chicken marsala" and had it for lunch on Sunday.
Question: What is your favorite weekend getaway place?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Broken Yolk (Corvallis,OR)

Yee-Haa (South of the border) Skillet

Spanish Omelette
Pancakes with strawberries and blueberries

Purple Cow
We first went to this restaurant about a year ago and instantly fell in love with it-who wouldn't!We went there again this saturday and this is what we had:
The Hubby-(the usual)Spanish Omelet
The Brat- Pancakes with strawberries,blueberries and fresh cream.
Me-I decided to try the Yee-Haa (the name sounded so interesting).
To drink we decided to share the Purple Cow between the three of us-no,we aren't cheap.It's just that we can never finish our orders whenever we order something to drink individually. The Purple Cow is grape juice(that's why 'purple') and had two scoops of ice cream,and was quite nice.
The brunch on the whole was great-we managed to finish almost everything. The brat picked and ate only the fruits,so we had to pack the pancakes and take it home.They have a homemade strawberry jam which was really awesome.
Broken Yolk: http://www.broken-yolk.com/index.html