Saturday, 2 December 2017

Vanillian Diet #6: Vegetarian Wellingtons

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

And yes, you read it right. I really mean vegetarian wellingtons. I know you have heard of the famous Gordon Ramsay beef wellingtons and such but I am no eater of beef, but at the same time I do feel like there can be creative ways to display wellingtons.
A Beef Wellington is a preparation of filet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. So to make it vegetarian, I have done some clever substitutions. 
I do want to highlight I am not much of a genius and this recipe was inspired by looking through endless photos of portobellos on pintrest. I have always loved british food but I do find it very difficult to obtain or enjoy the cuisine where I live. So, today I will be sharing to you my recipe for these gorgeous portobello wellingtons with a balsamic stuffing and avocado pate.

To mimic the filet steak, I decided to use the caps of Portobellos mushrooms. They are large mushrooms with an intense meaty and umami flavour. And all I do is to scoop out the gills of the mushrooms till it becomes a delicate shell and to cook the scooped out mushroom in some herbs and balsamic vinegar to make my version of a duxelle.




To mimic the traditional pate served inside the delicate puff pastry, I decided to mashing some avocados and mixing it with simple seasonings to give the creamy and luscious texture.
And for the puff pastry, you can always use the shop brought one or if you are up for the challenge and have an entire day free, you can make your own.  Unfortunately, where I live I really could not find pre made puff pastry and I barely had time, so I decided to cheat my way by making some shortcrust pastry. This is NOT the traditional way but I was okay with it considering the fact I switched up almost everything in the original recipe.




Ingredients Required:

For Shortcrust Pastry:

1. 2.5 cups plain/all purpose flour

2. 0.5 cup butter 


3. Approx. 1/3 cup cold water

4. salt

For Avocado Pate:

1. 2 avocados

2. Salt and pepper

3. 1.5 tsp ginger powder

For balsamic filling:

1. scooped out 'gills' from 3 portobello mushrooms ; minced

2. 1 medium onion;  diced

3. 2 cloves of garlic ; diced 

4. 4 sprigs of spring onion ; sliced

5. 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

6. salt and pepper

7. fresh/dried parsley [I used dried, but its better to use fresh]



Procedure



1. Make the shortcrust pastry by rubbing cold cubes of butter into the flour until a breadcrumb consistency is formed.

2. Add salt to the dry mix and make a well.

3. Add cold water little by little and form the dough.

4. Chill the dough in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes

[Vanillan Tip: If you have premade puff pastry, you can skip these steps and use the pastry instead.]

5. To make the filling: Add some olive oil onto a pan and fry the diced onions and garlics.

6. Fry the onions and garlics until they are soft and add the scooped out gills from the portebello mushrooms.

7. Fry till fragrant and add  balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and the parsley.

8. Fry for 3 minutes and add the spring onions.

9. turn off the heat and cover the filling.

10. To make the pate; scoop out avocados

11. Add the ginger powder, salt and pepper to the scooped avocados

12. Mash the scooped avocados into a smooth consistency

13. Assemble the wellington by rolling the pastry to cover the portobello. Spread the avocado pate in the interior of the portobello. Add the filling into the portobello until its full

14. Add the portobello on the pastry and cover it (I did it unsuccessfully haha)

15. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 22 minutes

16. Slice and serve



I hope you guys like this recipe and give it a try. I'm so sorry it took me so long to release this recipe. Until the next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!!



Find me!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @vanilliandynamicss
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

'Justice League' English Movie Review + Rating

Hey Guys!
Vanilla here.

Its been too long and now I have finally been freed from my GCSEs. I feel that life is a bit too surreal. I truly am worried for my results (which will be released next year) but for now I am going to enjoy all the time I have.
So last week Justice League the movie was released and I got the chance to watch it on the opening day itself. A lot of debate erupted on whether the movie was good or not. But here is my opinion.

Concept

The idea of batman wanting to create a group of superheroes and save the world from evil is pretty cliche.. but its still nice. Given that I have been a batman fan for the longest time, I enjoyed how batman was the brains and tried to tie together different superheroes (who have their own agendas and issues) into a team.
However, I felt it took too much time trying to get off the drama between the different heroes just to come together and go against another cliche villain that is uber strong but can be dealt with only by superman.
This then brings me to another issue with the concept issue I saw. The movie had this dependence on Superman. Yes, he is powerful and everything but I felt that they should put more effort in trying to show the teamwork and development of other lesser known heroes like Cyborg and Aquaman. Almost 40% of the movie was depending on the resurrection of Superman, trying to calm him and talking about him only.
Thus, the concept of the movie was not that bad.. but not that good as well.

Pace

The pace was quite an issue. Once again I felt that unimportant parts of the plot was slowed down and emphasized on more than tho more important and climatic parts of the movie. Given that there will be a part 2 for the movie, I just hope there will be more content and at a more mediocre pace.

Cast Choice

There is nothing generally wrong with the cast choice. Batman and wonder woman were well picked. On a side note, I hope I was not the only one who felt that Henry Cavill (Superman) looked awfully alot like Christian Grey from the fifty shades of grey franchise.

Genre
Genre was also a bit wonky. There was way too much CGI effects that were used and the plotline kneeled towards a chickflick-drama more than action or even thriller. The science fiction part of the movie was still well delivered.
I feel like the next movie and Zack Snyder should have worked harder on the film concept.

Overall, the movie is still well enjoyable if you are not one to be a superfan of DC. If you take the superhero world very seriously, you might be met with disappointment. I hope you guys liked my review.

Until the next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!


Find me!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @vanilliandynamicss
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla

Thursday, 22 June 2017

2017 Mid year Catchup

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

So.. I have gone missing from my log for about 6 months. And I do understand that there may be a bit of confusion of what had happened to me.

Well, I do want to firstly clarify that I am in my education years now. 2017 is a crucial year for me to concentrate and to make sure my examinations are well written. I am very glad for the support I have been given and I am proud to say that I have now added my official blog page on facebook and instagram! So do check it out and follow!

I will put up a blog post or two for this year but do not expect it to be of regular timings. But once my examinations finish (in November) I will be posting more often on all my social media platforms. SO do stay tuned and keep your ice cream cones dripping!!

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @vanilliandynamicss [please show love and follow!]
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla

Friday, 9 December 2016

Vanilla round the globe #1: Sichuan, China!

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here,

It is December and the winter season is brewing in, if you want any winter posts do comment and I'll get to them. But then, I wanted to post about my trip to Sichuan, China. Not lie-ing, this was the furthest I have ever traveled from my homeland. I was very excited as I was with my besties and the trip did not disappoint! I will be posting about the beautiful places we visited, my attire and the amazing food we had. Of course, about the souvenirs bought.


On the way to Sichuan Earthquake Ruins from Chengdu

On the first day, we came from the airport, exhausted but managed to make way to the Sichuan Earthquake Ruins which commemorated the lives of people who died in the Sichuan Earthquake in 2009. The tour guide I had spoke only Chinese (and I could not speak Chinese obviously) so I had to get my friend to translate it for me all throughout the trip [except at times he was kind enough to speak in broken english for me]. I learnt a lot from the mini trip as well as found out a nice railway at the back where I took this photo.

The beautiful railway at the back which still works but it too beautiful to not take a photo 
and risk my life for it.
Attire: Jacket: Ralph Lauren (similiar here)
Jeans: Robinsons
Bag: Adidas (similiar here)
Gloves: Macy's (Get here)


The next place we visited was the next day. we went to do some fun opera mask painting then toured San Xing Dui Museum. The museum showed a lot of beautiful parts of Sichuan culture. This was my most favorite place from the tour.

We managed to have some time to go souvenir shopping, and right after that had a magical moment. The scenery outside the museum was explicit and breathtaking. Like I was not kidding and I really felt mystified (and took many many photos).

One of the breath taking picture I took outside of the museum, which 
displayed the beauty and elegance China was able to offer.

One of the most breathtaking photos and sight I have captured in China. This can 
be found right outside the museum. 

The greenery and the fog during the pre-winter season had a beautiful effect
on the evergreen trees found between the towers located.


After a delicious lunch, we proceeded with some educational visits and cultural immersion to be more knowledgeable in Sichuan Culture. On the fourth day, we went to the Giant Panda research center as well the very famous mask changing show of Sichuan.

We had the opportunity to have a sight of adorable pandas 
chowing on bamboos.

Visited the famous Sichusn Chinese Opera and 
Face Changing show

This was accompanied by a visit to Wu Hou Shrine on the final day, where I saw a beautifully decorated garden cum memorial to the famous Chinese Poet; Zhuge Liang.

One of the beautiful sights I have visited at the shrine
which featured Zhuge Liang's house

Our last stop was to the National Sichuan Museum.. I learnt so much from the museum and saw many good artifacts as well an amazing aztec-designed notebook. as well as artifacts about the various types of people living there such as Buddhists and Tibetans. I realized a lot of the paintings were similar to Indian culture.

This was one of the portraits available that shows a Buddhist adorned with 
various scarves and jewelry, similar to Indian gods such as Lord Shiva

There was more to the museum that I enjoyed. The main part was the AMAZING views I had throughout the tour and learnt so much about Chinese culture and food (which was very enjoyable).


I do hope you like this post as it was very different from my usual posts as well as the fact that 2016 is coming to the end and I wanted to end the year in a bit of an unique manner (and compensate for the missing posts and late timings!). Comment for the support and hope this blog gets better soon!
Until the next post, keep your ice cream cones dripping!

Don't be a stranger!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @itsmeevanilla
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla


FYI; I was not sponsored for any of these products (or tours) k.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Vanillian Diet #5: Eggless Blueberry Strudels

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Its been a rough year in general. I've never been away from home so many times and have a stressful education year. It has been atleast 2 days since my trip to China and just before that a gruesome physical camp so I decided to get off my butt and post. I've also realized how much my recipes (especially eggless ones) are trending and enjoyed by you guys so I decided to get another eggless recipe for you peeps to enjoys!

Lately, I've been able to bake more often and came up with many tasty creations. Let me know in the comments which ones you want me to create and I'll be up to it! I will keep continuing to try my best when it comes to posting more often as I am still getting adjusted to the whole education routine.  I've just been through a bad time but yet determined to post and let you guys have more insight to my (not exactly famous) baking experiments and definitely be trying to post my trip to Sichuan, China  as well as my new year reading list plus literary round up of 2016 (The end is here already!)



Ingredients Required:

For shortcrust pastry:

1.5 cup butter

3 cups flour (a.p)

Salt

0.75 cup sugar

Milk (for brushing)

Cold Water (as required)

For Filling:

2 cups blueberries

1 Orange's juice

1 tsp confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar or icing sugar)


Paraphernalia/ Ingredients required:

Rolling pin

Silicon brush

Knife

2 bowls

Cling wrap

Your hands (tough huh?)

Procedure:


1. Make the shortcrust pastry by mixing the dry ingredients together.

2. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub it into the dry ingredients until it reaches a breadcrumb               consistency.

3. Make a well in the middle and slowly add in cold water and mixing it into the dry ingredients.

4. Using your hands, bring together the ingredients until a dough is formed.

5. Wrap it into cling film and chill it for 15 to 30 minutes.

6. While the dough is chilling, make the filling by slicing the blueberries into halves.

7. Maserate the berries in sugar and orange juice {A form of marinating. Just add the ingredients and     let it have some time to sit and infuse the flavors.}

8. Once the dough is cold and chilled, roll out bit by bit and form into a rectangle.

9.  You can fill it like a normal strudel and brush with milk on top before baking it or you can braid it      [as pictured above]

10. Let it bake at 180 d.c for 20 minutes or until it is well cooked. [Vanilla Note: You can dust with           icing sugar on top after it is cooked]

To braid the strudel: After you rolled the dough into a rectangle, use your knife and slowly slit the                                         sides of the rectangle horizontally, leaving a gap in the middle to put in your                                         filling.
                                 Fill the middle aisle with the blueberries and use the long strands from the side                                       over to a criss cross formation on the strudel and repeat until you reach the end.
                                 Twist the end to break off excess dough and make sure to do it fast if not the                                          dough becomes sticky.





So guys hope you enjoy this recipient and do share photos that tag me if you ever made or recreated them. I have posted for this November (yay let out the confetti!) and I will keep on trying to post and plan more for you guys. This year has been great and terrible at the same time. We have also reached some cool records on this blog and hopefully it will continue.
Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!

Don't be a stranger!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla


Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Winter Reading List 2016!! (#3)

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Daaaammmnnn, its been long. I do have to say when it comes to exams, everyone forget time flies. I am extremely happy as my final exam is finished today, which means I can live freely like it is the 4th of July.

So, I have actually made a target for reading 15 books this year on goodreads app (an amazing app in my opinion). You might wonder whaaat?15 books only, what are you, a jock?
But please do understand that I am not (nor will ever) be a jock but the fact I have important examinations this and next year (My O's!!) So I already knew it is difficult for me to dedicate my time into reading. (though now with my EOY over, I can read so much more! DO tell me if you guys want a New Year reading list or something!). You can consider this to be my annual well-known November and Winter Reading list which I posted darn late but now I am a month early. Hooray? It also made me realize that today marks officially 3 YEARS of VD!! Holy Figs on a stick! I am extremely proud for where we have come today (though it is still a very boring and always-late updated blog). I don;t really take this as seriously so yeah... but anyways, this is the compilation of the rare times I have managed to cheekily slipped in a book or two in midst of studying.

1st Book: City of the Beasts   by Isabel Allende
                 Adventure/ Fantasy

The fantasy queen is back at it again! I have always made fantasy an important part of my life. Like no joke. If you have seen my wattpad (link at the bottom of the post), I started out and still do write and create fantasy books throughout my pastime. I have enjoyed the genre growing up.
So, I was very hyped when I heard about this book and it did not disappoint me!! It talks about a boy travelling with his grandmother t the Amazon due to a dramatic turn of events that is very emotional and I loved it. He goes on an adventure, meeting a girl from the local village and shares his similarities with her. Both of them go to discover not only the Amazon Forest but also about themselves. They see a side of the jungle no one can and the book brings about some of the most important and serious messages through a simple tale of a complex world. This book does not only have random characters flying and stuff (the stereotype people tend to have about fantasy) but instead the writer is able to describe a world of magic and discovery through the eyes of a young boy as well as put in enough detailing to make it seem you are there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you are an avid fan of either genres, this is a MUST for you to read.
3 ice cream cones out of 5


2nd Book: 7th Heaven    by James Patterson
                  Mystery/Thriller

I think I might just make a combined review of the whole woman murder club series one day. If you have seen my blog at least once in your life, you will be aware of 2 things; I love food and I love James Patterson's works more than any writer. 7th Heaven is the 7th book in James Patterson's WMC Series which you can know more about via my previous posts and here.
This book is about a series of fires that get solved alongside another case Detective Lindsay Boxer has to deal with. And throughout the series (f you have read it), they don't only touch about the mystery and action part of finding the killer and blah blah but it also tugs on your pathos by having Lindsay's personal life involved. So this book does have a fair share of drama. I kind of enjoyed this book more that the 6th target and I am pumped for the next book which is the 8th confession. A little secret: I have never finished a single book series till date. I know.. I'm pathetic but it is true. I tend to  lose interest in series quite fast due to the fact the turn of events is just unlikely and absurd or it loses the magic it once had. My hope is that I would be able to finish WMC as my first series but I'm not so sure now.
7th Heaven is another really good book by James Patterson and I believe you should check it out.
2.5 ice cream cones out of 5


3rd Book; Snow White Read-Handed    by Maia Chance
                 Historical Fiction/ Fantasy(sort of)

I heard so much about this book on pintrest which hyped up my interest. I also searched for this book for more than a month or so in which I came across it in my local library in June-July. The synopsis of the book was very promising, talking about a mystery twist in a classical fairytale. However, the writing style and the main character was just out of sync as well as the fact that the story progresses very slow, making it uninteresting and boring to read. I quit about a few chapters into the book as the whole characters are confusing which made me both disappointed and upset.
1 ice cream cone out of 5


4th Book:  Digital Fortress   by Dan Brown
                 Mystery/ Thriller

Obviously, when you (or I) hear Dan Brown, we squeal. It has been quite obvious that I have been a big fan of Dan Brown ever since the Da Vinci Code era, so upon finding this book, I was beyond excited as well as heard many positive responses from my friends (whom I have turned into Dan Brown fans as well).
But however, when I read the book, I was initially upset that the main character was not Robert Langdon and that it is a woman ( not being sexist) It is not that I don't like female leads but in mystery and action books, it is more difficult to write in their perspective and handle situations without looking like either a sexist or feminist. The book was rather bizarre and I just hated some of the main characters as they are explained and crafted in a way very unappealing. Midway the book (or more), I gave up because it was really boring and the writing style was rather messy.
No joke, this is the most disappointing book from Dan Brown I have ever read and obviously this is my personal opinion.
1.5 ice cream cones out of 5


So this is my Winter aka November and December reading list for 2016. I do apologize not all of the books in this series are really good books to read and I have yet to reach my goal of 15 books this year. I have purchased another Dan Brown book and am crossing my fingers this is not terrible if not I would be writing a rant post soon.

Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Vanillian Diet #4: Eggless Cheesy Pinwheels!

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Its not been too long as I decided to abandon my homework to write this post. A lot has been happening and I am extremely grateful for you all.

If you have not followed me on Snapchat yet (username is at the end of this post), I have recently hit more than a 1000 page views for VD which is crazy! I am really happy that people from different regions of the countries are looking at my blog and hopefully enjoying it. I do urge you guys to not be a stranger and follow me on social media sites if you want to know how I look like and please do subscribe and comment.

I do not even want to continue on explaining my posts' timings because honestly I am a busy woman and I have so many other things that always grabs me. Even though at this point I have so much to do I do not want to have zero posts for this month so definitely I will be trying to do something about it. If you guys really want me to speed up, please comment because it does make me happy and I will put in more effort.

Onto the real deal. I love cheese. Everybody loves cheese in general. So my original plan was to make some pizza pinwheels which failed terribly because I had no pizza sauce. I decided it was awesome to just have cheese because CHEESE! *remembers fond memories with cheese*

This is once again a super easy, eggless and vegetarian friendly recipe. If you want to make it vegan, feel free to substitute the butter with coconut oil and the cheese with any vegan cheese.




    Ingredients Required:

    For Flavored Pastry:

    1. 1.25 cups plain/all purpose flour

    2. 0.5 cup butter [Vegan: Coconut oil]

    3. Nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and dried parsley flakes

    4. Approx. 1/3 cup cold water

    For the Filling:

    1. CHEESE (you can never go wrong with chees) [substitute for vegan cheese if going vegan]

    2. Black Olives (chopped and pitted)


    Paraphernalia/ Equipment Required:

    1. Large bowls

    2. Rolling pin

    3. Oven

    4. Cling wrap

    5. A surface to roll on (that sounds hilarious but yeah..)

    6. Refrigerator (huh? you might say)


    Procedure:

    1. For the puff pastry, rub in salted butter (or coconut oil with a pinch of salt) into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs consistency

    2. Add in the spices and dried parsley flakes

    3. Mix the dry mixture slowly while adding in the cold water and kneading it into a dough.

    4. Once it barely forms into a ball of dough, smoothen into a disc and wrap tightly in cling foil.

    5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    6. Once chilled, roll it into 0.5cm thickness and slab over all that delicious cheese.

    7. Press the cheese into the dough if needed. (Vanilla Note: Remember to work fast as the longer you take with the dough, the stickier and more difficult the dough gets as the butter will start melting.)

    8. Add in olives or any other vegetable (or even cured deli meat) if you want and start rolling it like a log/ cinnamon roll or whatever you want to imagine as.

    9.Slice into 1.5cm slices and place flat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

    10. Bake at 180 d.c for 10 minutes



    I hope you guys enjoy making (and eating it)! See, once you read the instructions, you realize it is extremely easy to make them! Like seriously, even a person using the oven for the first time can do it, You can make it a group project and do it with friends or your children! Please comment and pin this post to voice out yourselves! Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!


    Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
    Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla

    Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla