Mushroom mania!

I took a deep breath, trying to calm my racing heart. My fingers trembled as I searched for what I was looking for on Google. I needed a hit. I was desperate. I thought that it would do if I got my fix at that dark shady restaurant that night… but I clearly needed more. That’s when I decided I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to come up with a secret formula that would help me scratch the itch and satisfy me.

I needed my [mu]shrooms.

So when I was prowling the restless aisles of the supermarket, my eyes widened as my gaze landed on a packet. They were right there. I had to have them. That’s when I decided. I was going to make BBQ grilled mushrooms at home. I laughed an evil laugh and the checkout clerk looked at me wearily as I harboured a maniacal glint in my eye. I licked my parched lips and laughed to myself. Nothing could stop me anymore.

All clean and ready for action!

All clean and ready for action!

I spent the next few hours, tirelessly prowling the internet, looking for the perfect recipe and when I found it, I got to work. Deja vu plagued me as I began mixing the marinade ingredients together. I had flashes of the first time I tried to bake a cake at home (Read all about it here) But luckily for me, the ingredients blended smoothly to make one hell of a spicy mixture that made my skin burn when there was contact. My mouth was burning and my heart racing as I put the marinade on the mushrooms and let it sit, in an test of patience. My journey had only just begun.

Eventually, I began prepping the OTG to cook them and I found myself putting the mushrooms into the OTG with an excited sense of trepidation. But this time, I was prepared. I wasn’t going to let an hour’s worth of effort go to waste. I propped myself up in front of the OTG on a tiny stool with a torch light handy. I felt like Dora the Explorer on a Culinary mission. I watched intently, as the mushrooms slowly turned. It was a climactic build up that had my mouth watering in anticipation. It was literally food porn, happening right there in front of my eyes.

I got them out of the OTG and when I bit into them, I knew that my life was on the right path. It felt so good because I actually made it from scratch and it was super spicy and yummy. There was just something so satisfying about actually getting it right. I always thought that cooking was never my forte, but I guess now might be time to revaluate that.

Aren't they beautiful :')

Aren’t they beautiful :’)

So it was ultimately 10:30 when I actually ate my dinner and it consisted of idlies, green chutney and the grilled mushrooms XD

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Because absolutely nothing on this planet can beat a home cooked meal. Especially Idlis.

Doing this was a ton of fun because I personally loved getting my hands messy. Taking matters into my own hands also meant a lot of gravy on my shirt, but like the Surf Excel ad says, stains are good, and I agree because damn, I had so much fun.

Messy me :P

Messy me :P

Have you ever done crazy things for a craving? Let me know in the comments below! Also, here’s the recipe to make the grilled mushrooms, just like I did. Itch the scratch. Give in 😉

WIA: McDonald’s edition

I’m all for forgiving restaurants and giving them second chances, but I will draw the line when food from your restaurant makes me ill. Yeah, I’m never coming back if my bad experience extends beyond the taste of the food I ate and I end up having acidity or food poisoning or things like that.

On that note, hello again my lovelies! I’m back with the second post in the What I Ate (WIA) series. (Yay!) So for those of you who missed my last post, WIA is a section where I review the food I ate at a restaurant instead of the restaurants itself (there’s lots of blogs for that.). My first WIA post was at Haji Ali, Besant Nagar. Today, I’ll be writing about the food I ate at McDonalds(Though it honestly cannot be called a restaurant).

I remember the first time I ate at McDonald’s. I was 12, and we’d gone on a trip to Bangalore. Chennai wasn’t as posh as it is today and Bangalore was this big shiny city that had the coolest malls, the most amazing restaurants and so many great sights to see. I stepped inside McDonald’s in Forum mall and I still remember that excited feeling as I ate a veggie burger for the first time. I don’t remember how it tasted (I’m not superhuman the trip was 9 years ago) but I remember lovingly preserving the bright red paper cartons that the fries came in, as memories. It somehow didn’t occur to me that one day, Chennai would have its own McDonalds.

Which did happen eventually. An IT park by the name of Ascendas had a big swanky food court that had Chennai’s very first McDonald’s outlet. I remember being ecstatic at hearing the news and I was one of the first people to line up and buy something. Then my parents used to take me to Ascendas on Sunday mornings as an occasional treat, for breakfast. Of course, McDonald’s didn’t have their breakfast menus back then, but over time, things slowly began changing.

I soon began to realise that the food that McDonald’s was serving me, wasn’t actual food. I had a vague feeling of guilt when I ate it and when my friends and I began to frequent KFC, I realised how McDonald’s, though cheaper, actually tasted terrible. I also was aware that it was unhealthy and so that made it easier for me to stay away.

I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s for close to six months. Eating a dinner from McDonald’s today, was honestly one of the stupider decisions I’d made. A new McDonald’s had opened recently, about two streets from my house, and my sister asked me if I wanted dinner from there. I unwittingly agreed, thinking ‘hey, I could use a change from the food I normally eat’

I tend to forget that all change isn’t good.

Little did I know of the atrocities this plastic bag carried.

Little did I know of the atrocities this plastic bag carried.

My sister announced that she’d asked for foccacia bread topped with oregano for our burger buns. I honestly thought that was a pretty lame marketing gimmick, it’s like trying to make Rani in Queen posh without actually sending her to Europe. But I thought to myself if it tastes good, why not?

My dinner for the night. Apologies for the slightly shaky image, I was hungry and impatient.

My dinner for the night. Apologies for the slightly shaky image, I was hungry and impatient.

The first mess up was that she’d ordered the focaccia bread on both our McSpicy Panneer burgers, but they only gave us the said bread on one burger. I ordered a McSpicy because when I’ve consumed a McSpicy Panneer burger before, it was hardly spicy at all (I mean I’ve tasted Maggi my mom makes which is spicier than that). However, today, when I bit into the burger, I had to pause and acknowledge that they actually got it right this time. It was actually kind of spicy, but the burger still tasted pathetic because the flavours of the Foccaccia bread were completely overshadowed by the dominant spicy flavour of the burger. The menu on the McDonald’s website claims that the McSpicy Panneer burger is a burger which is supposed to have a mix of flavours and keep you guessing at every bite. Um, y’all actually failed. Big time. It just tasted spicy, and maybe if you had used more than a tiny teaspoon of sauce, there might be an inkling of flavour apart from bland spice and panneer. (I know bland spice is an oxymoron, but that’s what I call it when food has no flavour but spice)

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Look at those strangely white fries.

It also made me feel weirdly full when I was done eating it, but the fries weren’t done yet, so my sister and I agreed to finish them together. I kid you not, those terrible fries were nearly white, weren’t warm, and tasted squishy, bland and felt so weird in my mouth. The only saving grace was McIlhenny’s mild jalapeno bell pepper sauce that I purchased recently (Will review that one as well), but I only finished it because I don’t like wasting food. It was one of the most terrible meals I’d had in a long time and I honestly do not want to eat at McDonald’s again as long as I’m alive, unless its for a good reason. Good reason being apocalypse.

The burger even had some sad, brownish green leaf like things lying beneath the burger. Note even going to try eating it or figuring out what it was.

I felt ashamed to put my blog's watermark on this photo.

I felt ashamed to put my blog’s watermark on this photo.

So good or bad, here’s WIA

McSpicy Paneer burger- 1.0/5

It was honestly just a sad little burger with no purpose in life other than to carry McDonald’s brand name. I will however, give it points for its consistency and for the fact that it seemed remotely cooked. Though paying extra money for a foccacia and oregano bun was a waste because the burger was so spicy, it completely dominated the already vague and subtle flavours in the bun.

French fries- 0/5

These fries redefined rock bottom as far as standards were concerned. McDonald’s, please take note, albino french fries are the worst type of fries. Maybe you could try actually cooking your food before serving it to us- cold and soggy the next time?

McIlhenny’s mild Tabasco Bell Pepper sauce- 4.9/5

I’ve always been in love with McIlhenny because they recognized that not everyone can handle a super spicy tabasco sauce and they actually went and made a mild sauce. It’s flavoured with Jalapenos, so it’s still got that slight spicy tang to it, but it won’t set your tongue on fire, and has slight undertones of garlic, pepper and some sort of sweetening agent I can’t quite put my finger on.

What a waste of money. Oh well. At least my blog gave me an opportunity to vent.

Have you had a bad experience with McDonald’s before? Let me know in the comments section below.

UPDATE: After eating dinner last night, I suffered from mild acidity. After all my efforts to keep my acid reflux at bay, something as dumb as a McDonald’s burger brings it up again. That’s just great. 😐