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  • Travel

    Five Foodie-Approved Short Breaks to Take this Summer

    I’m in the process of researching and booking my Summer holiday destinations. The criteria always remains are unchanged from the last year: solid foodie credentials, direct flights on Qatar Airways and as few visa entanglements as I can muster. If you are, like me, when choosing a destination, food is a major consideration. Well, let’s be honest, it’s probably top of the list along with easy (or no visas) visas and bearable flight times.And many times, I book a food tour before I book a hotel. All the below destinations are a manageable four to five hours from Doha and have visa on arrival or e-visas AND have the Life on…

  • India,  luxury travel,  Travel

    Five Reasons Why India Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

    I have a confession. It wasn’t until I moved to the Middle East that I even considered India as a travel destination. I’d always considered it to be a little too confronting. Too big. Too crazy. Too dirty. Then around five years ago, I finally made a decision. I took a deep breath and booked a trip to Delhi. It was a revelation. Organized chaos and a riot of colors and smells, yet also somehow addictive. So if you are on the fence about India and in honor of their amazing festival Diwali, here’s five reasons why you should take the plunge. THE FOOD: This goes without saying but the…

  • Five Reasons Why...,  India,  luxury travel,  Travel

    Five Reasons Why You Need to Put Kerala on Your Travel Bucket List ASAP

    It’s no secret that I have a real affection for India. But it took 16 trips to this amazing country for me to finally visit the state of Kerala. To the delight of many friends, I decided to change up my planned Eid travel schedule and spend it in Kerala. I based myself in Kochi for practical and personal reasons. The city (known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea) is central, boasts great hotels and is also the hometown of several good friends of mine. With more than 300 languages spoken and a religiously diverse population (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Jain…), a rich food culture and history everywhere you…

  • Cheese,  India,  Travel

    The Goan Rate – 48 Hours in Goa

    Sometimes a gal just has to get out of the city. And at just three hours away from Doha, with its European heritage, spectacular beaches and yes, tasty food Goa is the perfect quickie escape. I gathered up the gang and headed to Goa last weekend, in search of good food, cheap spa treatments and a dust free environment. Goa is one of those destinations that can truly surprise you. It’s kind of India Lite. This was my fourth trip to Goa and unbelievably my 12th to India. They should give me residency or a lifetime supply of dosa anyway. Fresh off a 5am flight and a sprint to Immigration to…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Cooking,  farmers cheese,  Food Trends,  Hotels,  India,  Media,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Paneer to the Action

    The thing about cheese, is that it’s actually really simple. Milk, a souring agent and time is all it takes to produce a simple white cheese. No complications. It’s when you start adding things like flavor, smokiness, rinds that things get complicated. Kind of like relationships. Except they don’t have rinds.Well, you know what I mean. I’m glad to have introduced my friends to the power of paneer and Indian cheese. It’s to the point where we actively seek it out, like DVD copies of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We had a couple of brushes with this cheese on our recent trip to Mumbai. This included a unique paneer salad…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  farmers cheese,  Food,  Hotels,  India,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  wine

    A Dosa the Action in Mumbai

    Six women board a plane to go to Mumbai, India. What happened next will shock you. It’s a wonder we all actually made it to Mumbai. With visa and immigration hassles and the copious quantities of bubbles consumed in the lAl Mourjanounge at Hamad International Airport, I was pretty sure there was some kind of black notice issued by multiple authorities. I will admit, there was a moment when I thought this trip would never happen. It was when one of our crew was forced to get her visa at the very last minute. This required the speedy skills of our driver Shafi and many Hail Marys. Many dosa, samosa…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Hotels,  India,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Destination Delhi

    An Indian friend asked me recently “What is it with you and India?”. Good question! <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13089593/?claim=qvjc53vatsk”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> It’s close to Doha. It’s truly interesting. And they have awesome food. I dragged Alicia and Lesley to Delhi a couple of months ago, promising the Taj Mahal, paneer and seven million people following us around. See in India, tall blondeish well fed white women attract attention. Everyone wants to have a photo with us I mean we’re gorgeous, so frankly who could blame them. The thing about India is when I travel there, I am hungry. All. The. Time. I believe this is because the air is thick…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Food,  Hotels,  India,  Restaurants,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  White Cheese

    Paneer to My Heart

    There was a seminal moment on my recent girl’s weekend to Amritsar, India. When, at a famous local restaurant, the Brothers Dhaba, we ordered two more parathas. This is a flaky Indian flatbread, buttery and oily in that perfect way, served hot from the oven and irresistible. The waiter, stared at the already heaving table before our party of four, and said “but you heave two more dishes coming”. Shoveling food into our mouths, we barely breathed, in unison we said “We don’t care!”. He backed away from the table like a man who had seen something very, very alarming. There is something about India. I do love visiting –…

  • Cheese,  Food,  Travel

    Snacks on a Plane – Adventures in India Part 2

    You have to admire the Indian obsession with snacks. Snacking in this country is an art form from samosas through to the more elaborate chaat featuring all types of fabulous spices and textures. But I found perhaps my favorite snack so far – and it’s a meal unto itself. Behold – the Bombay Vegetable Sandwich. Yes.. a sandwich – bread, tomatoes, cucumber, crushed potatoes (usually cooked with spices) and finally – cheese. Gourmet this is not. Hearty and comforting, that it is. Yes, it’s a toasted sandwich. Potatoes are boiled well in advance, and peeled prior to assembly and sometimes mashed with spices. The tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and other ingredient…

  • American Cheese,  Cheddar,  Cheese,  Travel

    Passing Muenster

    This story about a man who either loved his cheese or saw the dollar signs caught my eye this week and I just knew I had to track Muenster down. Monster Cheese Theft I mean who does that? Anyway, I found Muenster lurking in the dairy cabinet earlier this week and just knew I had to see what the fuss is about. Here’s the thing. Muenster cheese is not as exotic as it sounds. It’s an American cheese, not to be confused with the French variety, Munster. The name Muenster is derived from an English transliteration of Münster, a city in Germany. Muenster is a smooth textured cheese with an…