“In the summertime girls got it going on, shake and wiggle to a hip hop song”

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Kids On The block, had a bunch of hits
Chinese food makes me sick.
And I think its fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer
I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch,
I'd take her if I had one wish,
But she's been gone since that summer
Since that summer

I am so happy that it is finally Friday!! Bhatji will be home soon and for good, 2 of my favorite lil girls, Sumi and Tina are staying with me and I love my dance class students! Whew…I am not sure how I have been able to contain all this excitement but I think that the summer sun has also put me in an extremely good mood. It’s very hot outside but I love it! I just went to the farmers market right outside my building and bought plums, cucumbers and banana peppers and it cost me only $3! Can you believe it? I mean I know farmers markets usually are a lil on the pricier end compared to super markets but you know you are getting quality veggies and fruits and you also know you are doing a small but very valuable contribution in saving the environment. Most supermarkets ship their produce from all parts of the country and import from other countries as well. These ships require tons of gas and also they emit masses of terrible waste and gaseous matter that pollute our environment. Also by the time the super markets get these products, a lot of them loose their freshness and some go bad. The local farmers usually drive no more than an hour to set up shop in your neighborhood which means they are using less petroleum and you are getting fresh quality products that have been picked out just the day before. These products taste yummy and they last longer in your refrigerator as well. Also at the farmers market you will see a lot of the local farmers with signs that say “no Pesticides” which means that their veggies and fruits are healthier for your body and for the Earth :o) I know its hard to shop at Farmers Markets all the time….especially if you live in a city where the colder months are long and Farmers markets can be a little harder on your wallet. But even if you buy a few fruits, flowers, veggies or even their baked goods you can be healthier while going green. So visit your local farmers market today!
Ok enough commercials about bettering your self and the environment and on to the foodie section of the blog. This past week I went out to lots of social dinners but on Wednesday all I wanted to do was to eat an easy and homemade meal. I noticed that I have some left over pasta (no sauces) and I thought I might make an indo Chinese version of the fried rice and substitute the rice with pasta. It came excellent and I think I am going to have make some more for Bhatji. I am sure it will be a hit with him! So here is the recipe for Spicy curry pasta:
2 cups cooked pasta (any kind will do. I used farfelle)
1 cup frozen peas, carrots or veggies of choice
1 medium onion chopped
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp light Soya sauce
2 tbl spn of chicken or veggie flavoring
1 tbsp oil
Salt, to taste

To Make:
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions till transparent. Add vegetables and cook for a minute or two. Add salt, pepper, curry powder, chili powder, haldi powder and chicken flavoring and cook till all ingredients are mixed in well together. Add pasta and Soya sauce and stir fry for 2-3 minutes and make sure everything is blended well.

I also added some extra red pepper flakes for added spice and it was excellent. I had it for dinner and I packed the left over’s for lunch the next day. Definitely try this easy and spicy dish! It is a great one pot meal. Until the next delectable blog entry…have a wonderful summery Friday!

PS (I know this LFO song is absolutely stupid, but you gotta admit it you love to hate this song)

“This just can't be summer love, you'll see”

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I can't wait to fall in love with you
You can't wait to fall in love with me

Ross: According to Chandler, what phenomenon scares the bejesus out of him?
Monica: Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance!
Ross: That is correct.
Joey: The Irish jig guy?
Chandler: His legs flay about as if independent from his body!

I love that dialogue from friends!! Speaking of dances….I wanted to share some exciting news. A local cable tv channel taped my dance class for a segment about Indian culture in mainstream America this past Thursday. I was interviewed and so were my students and then my class was taped for a few minutes. I am so thrilled that my class was picked for this opportunity. I will post a blog on timings and such once they decide on the date and time.
This past weekend was a Shenoy style NYC weekend with my sis and it was wonderful! We shopped, ate at our favorite Thai restaurant and indulged in new restaurants. We took naps, got all dolled up, hung out with fellow konks and ended the night with some hard core dancing! In the midst of all this we also managed to pack some of her stuff so she could get a head start for her move back home. While all that packing and moving, I realized that it was the end of an era for Mzswats. She loved, hated and assimilated into a very NYC lifestyle during her 4 years in college. I must say that it was the city that helped her become a confident, smart, social butterfly and a fashionista that she is today. I am sure that she will miss NYC and NYC will miss her as well :o) But the selfish side of me is also very glad that she will be home in DC…where she can spend more time with me! So once she moves back home this upcoming weekend, all I can say is DC better be ready for the Shenoy sister reunion DC style ;o)!!
More exciting news….Bhatji is also coming home this weekend for good. No more 4.00 am Monday morning drop offs to Union station, No more long train rides to NYC, no more sleeping alone for the both of us and no more lonely days and nights!! Yay!!
Expect a foodie blog entry soon and until then dance your summer nights away!!

“Summer, summer, summertime…time to sit back and unwind”

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Here it is the groove slightly transformed
just a bit of a break from the norm
just a little somethin' to break the monotony
of all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be
a little bit out of control it's cool to dance
but what about the groove that soothes that moves romance

Work has been too busy and the office politics has gotten way outta hand. Its times like this I was 10 again and enjoying my summer vacation at home. Ahh well…the best thing about summer so far is all the social get-togethers I have been busy with. I guess the summer weather is a good enough reason for people to call each other and hang out. I have been steadily hanging out with a new fun group of friends that I met at a random happy hour, I have also been keeping in touch with the dance instructors from my new dance company and a lot of my old friends are making time and efforts to meet up….even if it’s for a drink. Last night I hung out with Ms. Pai and talked about her upcoming wedding. We had dinner at Tandoori Nights in Clarendon and the food and décor were superb! I have eaten at the Tandoori Nights in Germanton, MD but the food and décor at the Clarendon location was way better. Definitely give this place a try. It looks like this weekend I am making a trip to NYC to visit my sister. I am excited because the last time I went was for her graduation and I didn’t really get a chance to hang out with my sis and do our usual NYC stuff since it was short and our parents were with us. But this weekend….we will paint NYC red…Shenoy style ;o)
Now on to the foodie part of this blog. My mother in law and I made this simple potato dish last week and we then turned the leftover into a raita (yogurt dish) both the dishes were excellent. Here is the dry version of Garlic potatoes:
4 small potatoes
4 tblsp olive oil
1 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tspn chopped thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
Boil the potatoes and peel off skin. Cut the potatoes in quarters. Pour the olive oil into a roasting pan heat on medium heat for 5-6 minutes before adding the potatoes.
Roast the potatoes 30 minutes, until crisp. Shake the pan several times during cooking, so that the potatoes roll around to brown evenly. Remove from the oven. Drain the potatoes on paper towels or a cloth to absorb the excess oil, and then place in a serving dish.
In a sauté pan, melt the butter, and then add the garlic and sauté until light golden brown. Add the chopped herbs to the garlic butter, stir together quickly, and remove from the heat. Pour the garlic-herb butter over the potatoes, season with the salt and pepper, and serve.

This was an easy and yummy dish. We had some leftover garlic potatoes which my mother in law turned into a raita. For this, you just add the potatoes in a little bit of yogurt add some salt and you are done. I loved the raita so much that I didn’t even wait to take the picture….it was all gone within a matter of seconds. This could be used as an appetizer or even as a side dish.
I can’t wait till dance class tonight….I am so excited because some of my coworkers have decided to attend :o) Well that’s all for now…until the next mouth-watering blog….enjoy your summer, summer, summer time ;o)

“It's a cruel, cruel summer leaving me here on my own”

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's a cruel, cruel summer
Now you're gone
The city is crowded
My friends are away
And I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle
So I’ve got to get up and go

"Waiting for her love to return"
- ©Linda Bergkvist - http://www.furiae.com/

You know the worse part of being away from your better half…..is not being able to share in their joys or sorrows. Usually when Bhatji calls me from NYC he is either super happy about a successful project or dejected about a project gone awry or stressed about the upcoming job hunt. And me being here…I feel…helpless. I can’t celebrate the good times with him or comfort him during his rough times. But the positive event that I am looking forward to is the last day of his internship which is next Friday and he will be finally home with me :o)
This past weekend my mother in law left for Chicago to spend the new few months with my sister in law and my apt is empty again. I immediately made plans so my mind wouldn’t focus on the loneliness. Last night me my coworker and his gf went to see Spiderman 3. I know it’s a lil late…but I really didn’t get a chance to watch it when it first came out and then I heard a lot of negative reviews so I decided to wait till it came on DVD. Well yesterday it was showing at the Arlington draft house for the Monday $1 special so I decided to see it. I agreed with the negative reviews…the story line was a bit choppy and it felt a lil melodramatic (almost like a Hindi movie...where the bad guy “suddenly” decides that he is gonna help out the hero after all) And every time they portrayed a villainous Spider man, it was foolish that they had him wear eyeliner and bangs so the audience could distinguish between evil and good. But the positive highlights were the superb action sequences and the graphics were mind-blowing. It also made me wonder how I never noticed James Franco before…I mean yes he was in both Spider man 1 and 2 but it wasn’t until the 3rd that I actually thought he was cute. Maybe because in this movie he actually had scenes where he was a good guy portraying kind of a renaissance man, who paints and cooks (yes he’s only making an omelet but still!) a good listener and a fun loving normal guy. He seemed to be great boy friend material. In any case I am glad that I finally got to see the 3rd and possibly the last installment of the Spider Man. Also this past weekend I saw a very entertaining Hindi movie (paradox?) called Honeymoon travels Pvt. ltd. It was a comedy with some serious points about 6 couples that are traveling on a bus for their Honeymoon destination, Goa. The storyline revolves around how these 6 couples interact and deal with problems, solutions, secrets and revelations. Unlike the old school candied Hindi movies…this movie actually illustrates real problems that young couples who have met their better halves through various situations, endure in a new marriage. I highly recommend this movie!
I will be back with my foodie blog soon…since my mother in law is gone and I will have to start cooking again. So until my next entry….enjoy the weather :o)

Add on:
Happy Birthday to the best Mommy in the whole world! You are truly the rock of our family. I hope you have a very very very wonderful birthday!

“This ain't nothin but a summer jam”

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bronze skin and cinnamon tans, woah
This ain't nothin but a summer jam
We're gonna party as much as we can
Hey, woah woah, hey
Summer jam alright

I was really sad mid week when I realized that I will not be able to attend the Konkani Youth Convention this year taking place in San Francisco :o( I am going to be missing out on one of the most anticipated weekends this year but my life around that time is going to be far too busy. So before I get lots of comments as to why I am not going, scoldings and advices galore….I want to share reasoning as to why I can’t make it. First and foremost, my sister in law who lives in Chicago is due the first weekend in August which coincides with the konk youth convention. Although Bhatji and I are not going that very first weekend since the new baby could come early or later….we are going for a long weekend at the end of August. It is top priority for me to see my new niece/nephew. Secondly, my parents have never been in the city of Chicago so Bhatji and I are surprising them with tickets for that end of August Chicago trip. Sure my parents have driven through the city and we even attended the konk convention a few years ago which was held in Elgin (outskirts of Chicago and quite a distance from the city itself) but they haven’t actually seen the downtown area, the beach, Michigan Avenue or any of the fun sights. So for all the nice things that my parents have done for me and Bhatji, we decided to buy tickets to a well deserved trip to see the city and see the new baby :o) thirdly, the prices for airfare to San Francisco is ridamndiculous! I mean right now flying from Washington Dc to San Fran, San Jose or Oakland is going to cost $400!! I was able to buy 4 tickets to Chicago for less than that!! And finally Bhatji and I have booked tickets to an awesome vacation to Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok in early Sept (More on this later) Seeing how we have these 2 big upcoming trips…I will not be able to add another trip to my itinerary. I am sad that I will not be seeing my konk friends and family or party it up San Fran style but I am sure I will be seeing them at other gatherings throughout the year. And I guess a trip to San Fran will have to wait. To all my konk friends going to the event….please take a moment of silence to show how much yall will miss me and follow it up with a shot ;o)
On to the foodie part of this blog. My mother in law loves pasta so I thought I would make a simple one pot Italian/Indian pasta dish from Meenas blog that I knew she would love. My mom used to use noodles in this recipe but I used bow tie pasta. You can use any pasta you have and it will turn out just fine. So here is the recipe for Spicy Veggie one pot Pasta:
2 cups bowtie pasta (or any pasta) cooked and strained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp of garam masala
¼ tsp of turmeric
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
To Make:
Heat oil in a deep pan and sauté garlic and onion till fragrant and browned. Add in tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano cook till tomatoes begin to pulp and turn liquidy. Add turmeric powder, garam masala, chili powder, peas, carrots and macaroni and mix to coat well with sauce. Cover cook for 5-7 minutes. Take off heat and serve.

This dish was a huge hit with mother in law since it was an Italian dish with an Indian twist. It’s the perfectly spicy and hearty weekday meal and very healthy.
This weekend promises to be a beautiful summer weekend and I am super excited to do some outdoor activities! So until the next blog entry…have a safe and warm weekend :o)

“Summer days driftin' away to uh-oh those summer nights”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer lovin' had me a blast
Summer lovin', happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
I met a boy, cute as can be

Summer dreams ripped at the seams,
But oh, those summer nights

It’s truly funny how the weather affects our daily lives. I have noticed that I actually feel like getting out of bed when I see the sun light through my window. If it isn’t too humid outside I love walking to run my errands, even if it is a 15 minute walk vs. a 5 minute drive. Can you tell its summer? The warm sun beating down, birds chirping, flowers in full bloom, people hanging out poolside, bbq parties, kids out of school enjoying their summer vacations and of course a lot of the bloggers taking a break from blogging…coz most of us either on vacation, have guests visiting or just spending more time outdoors. Well as of right now summer is my excuse for being a lax blogger lately :o) I cook very minimal for just moi and the most interesting thing that I am doing right now is choreographing for my dance classes. I know I promised to give more info on where I am working so here it is: I am an instructor for Dhoonya Dance and I teach a walk in/session Bollywood/Bhangra class on Thursday nights at 8.30-9.30 PM in Chinatown, Washington DC. So if you are ever in the area and want to learn a new dance or just want to get some fun exercise…just drop on by!
My mother in law is visiting me and Bhatji so we have been seeing a lot of family members who have invited us to dinner. This past Sunday we were at my Mama’s (Mother’s brother) house in VA and we played carrom! If you grew up in India then I am sure that you have played this game. It is similar to pool but instead of the pool balls you have black and white flat coins, a red coin which is the 8 ball. And instead of a pool table you play it on a flat board and you use your fingers instead of sticks. It was tons of fun!
I recently took my lil cousins to see the new Disney cartoon Ratatouille...if you love Disney movies then you’ll definitely enjoy it!
OK enough blabber..I am going to eat lunch under a tree with my coworker. And for our viewing pleasure we have the monument on the left and the DC Capital on the right and tons of tourists. Ahhh Summer days…

PS (For the next few days…all the songs on my blog are going to be summer related. Mzswats and I love this song from Grease…so here’s to you Mzswats ;o)

“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind”

Thursday, July 5, 2007

See the smile a waiting in the kitchen
Food cooking and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through

Ahh summer is in full swing and the remake of the Seals and Croft song by Jason Mraz summarizes Bhatji’s and my summer perfectly! Usually our Friday nights consist of me picking him up from his class and then bringing him home for a hot home cooked meal :o) followed by cuddling up on the couch for a movie. Sigh I truly look forward to Fridays. But this week Bhatji is coming home tonight! My mother in law is visiting us this week….so he wants to spend some extra time with his mommy. This means that there will be some serious Marathi home cooked meals and lots of mother in law and daughter in law bonding time ;o)
Unfortunately I am going to have to make this a really short blog since I have to rush home to teach my first class dance class today! So here’s a recipe I wanted to share for Meena’s Pepper chicken:
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
7-8 curry leaves
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 tbsp soya sauce
salt, to taste
½ tsp crushed black pepper
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp light cooking oil

To make:
Mix chicken pieces with salt, turmeric and chilli powder and set aside to marinate for about an hour. In a non-stick pan, heat oil and fry chicken till brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add more oil if necessary, and sauté curry leaves, green chillies, garlic till fragrant. Add sliced onions and fry till lightly transparent. Add green pepper, salt, and pepper, a fry for another minute or two.
Add fried chicken pieces and soya sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing flavors to blend well.

It was excellent! Try it and let me know how it goes…until the next yummy blog…enjoy the summer breeze!

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