“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Love this Beatles song posted on my blog “Here comes the sun”
Ahhh…I can’t hold it in any longer….now that everything is confirmed I am finally able to share our wonderful “secret” that I have been eluding to in most of my blog entries the last few weeks. Bhatji and I are about to experience a huge change….actually it’s more of a huge change for me. So drum roll please!! Bhatji and I are moving to NYC area this Oct! :o)
Yea, yea I know that most of you must have thought that I must be pregnant…especially with the opening sentences of this blog entry. But no babies until Bhatji and I are growed up our selves.
So here are more details about the move: Bhatji accepted an offer with the company where he was doing his summer internship. The offer was too good to give up because the experience at such a huge financial firm will only open up more future career opportunities for Bhatji and the pay is great as well! Now most of you know that I am not the biggest of fan of NYC. Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting it every chance I get; the people are busy but nice, the food and shopping is awesome! But living in the city is not really something Bhatji and I want to do….especially not for the ridiculous high rents for the smallest apartments. So after doing some serious apt hunting we decided on living in Rutherford, NJ. It’s a cute suburban town about 8 miles outside NYC and the apt we found is right across the street from public transportation so the commute to the city will be about 20 mins. For an added bonus we already know some friends who live in the building. Our one bedroom apt's rent is definitely much cheaper than a small studio or one bedroom in the city. And it has all the amenities such as parking included, washer dryer in the unit and a gym in the building...so I guess a luxury apt if you will with the added benefit that we can go into the city whenever we want. We are very happy with our decision. This way we also save some money for some major traveling we are planning on doing in the coming year. I am excited!! This will be my first big move within the US. When we moved from India we moved to Maryland and I have been here ever since. I was never averse to the thought of moving but never really needed to. So moving to NJ which is only a 3 ½ drive from Maryland is still a pretty big deal….for me. I also lucked out because my company is allowing me to work from home and to commute back to DC every other week and work on site for 2-3 days! The pressure to find a new job (at least for now) is off and I am happy that I am able to stay home for the majority of the working month.
Our upcoming vacation is fully planned out, our hotels are booked and I am contacting guides in various areas. Our first stop is Singapore, where we are spending 4 days at my father in law’s banks guest house. Then we are going to take a fun train trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and stay downtown for 3 days. I did some research on what places to see and the best restaurants etc. We will then be taking a flight into Bangkok and staying downtown for 2 days and then one day in Phuket, Thailand. I have read reviews on how beautiful Phuket is and that this lil beach town is a honeymooner’s favorite spot in Thailand. What I am truly excited about this vacation is not just the culture filled countries endowed with natural beauty but the FOOD! I love Singaporean, Malay and Thai food! I have full intentions to consume as much food in all three countries as I possibly can. Even if this means that I will be gaining tons of weight…although I hear the food there is like eating in India….you can eat in plenty and not gain an ounce. We leave next Wednesday and get back on the 19th. 2 Weeks of awesome vacation time with Bhatji…it’s been a long time coming.
Whew….so glad that I was finally able to share all the good news. The future calls for new adventures and I for one am getting in the front seat to see what life will throw my way.

“Summer rain whispers me to sleep and wakes me up again”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Storming outside, rain
She keeps me home
Quiet conversation makes me warm
Summer rain
Whispers me to sleep
And wakes me up again
Sometimes I swear I hear her call my name
To wash away the pain
My summer rain

Did yall miss me :o)?? I am super busy with….well life! Bhatji and I have been taking full advantage of his time at home with no school and no work. He is soooo different. He’s more playful, fun, sweet, and just an absolute pleasure to be around. He drops me off and picks me up from work. When I get home, the house is spotless and sometimes even plans for dinner have been made. Best of all he sleeps in with me since he has nothing to worry about….no school work. Sigh…I love being married to him.
It’s been raining this whole week….its sooo gloomy but Bhatji and I spend most of our time lying on our futon. I am so glad that Bhatji and I decided to grill last week. Our apt comes with an awesome state of the art grill that we can use as residents anytime. So last week Bhatji decided to make his famous Turkey burgers. Now Bhatji can’t really cook. I mean he can do the whole microwave thing but cooking….where you need to cut veggies and pick out spices….yea that’s not really his thing. But his burgers are phenomenal!! I mean they are by far the best burgers I have ever eaten…and I am not being partial. Best of all he enjoys making them; maybe because he’s working meat and usually he uses his George foremen grill. So he was super excited to use the grill and play with fire. I don’t know what it is about men with meat and fire…but they love grilling! Anyway here is the recipe for Bhatji style burgers:
3 lbs of ground turkey
Cajun seasoning
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Mince Garlic paste
Garlic seasoning
Season all salt
Lemon Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Worcester sauce

To make:
In a big bowl empty out the 3 lbs of ground turkey. Pat and knead the meat like you would dough. Then on the top of the meat start adding each spice until it covers the top layer of the meat. For example, spread the Cajun seasoning on the top layer of the meat until it is fully covered with the seasoning. Then add the black pepper until it fully covers the meat followed by cayenne pepper and so on and so forth. Save the Worcester sauce till he end. And go easy on the chili powder and crushed red pepper. Also feel free to add extra minced garlic paste. One you have added all the spices, mix and knead the meat so all the spices get integrated well into the meat. Then pat the meat again and start the process again. Add each spice again and then mix and knead. After the second round of spice adding, mixing and kneading…you can start making the patties. Take the meat and ball it up into any size you would like your burgers to be and then pat to make the patties. If they are a decent size you should be able to make 4-5 burgers with 3 lbs of meat.Keep in mind not to make the patties too small because when you cook them they shrink.

They were sooo good. I bought wheat buns, cut tomatoes and onions. For the condiments I had ketchup, hot mustard and Bhatji loves his A1 sauce.
Try this recipe out and tell me what you think. Of course wait till it’s a beautiful sunny day...until then enjoy the summer rain.

Happy Indian Independence day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Independence day to all my fellow Indians :o)

“Summertime, and the livin' is easy”

Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky
But till that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With daddy and mamma standing by

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high
Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

I know I have been gone too long but I have been way too busy these days. Bhatji is home full time now but the decision making and work load has not reduced. If anything it is the busiest we have ever been! I have lots to share but unfortunately everything is up in the air right now so until things are solidified. Just like the adage “don’t count your eggs” Id rather not write about something then have to retract it.
The best news that I would like to share is that I am now a new aunt of a beautiful baby girl. Rhea Ganpule was born on Aug 4th at 12.05 pm. My sister in law and the baby are doing well. Our upcoming trip to Chicago should be so much fun! My mom and I have been shopping for lil baby clothes and baby goodies. Awww I love babies!!
I know short blog entry but soon I will be sharing several pieces of good news!! Until then have an easy summertime :o)

Anshul and his new lil sister, Rhea
PS (I love Fantasia’s version of the “Porgy and Bess” summertime song. It’s so hopeful…which is what I am feeling right now. It fits Rhea’s birth announcement too:o)

“Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet”

Friday, August 3, 2007

Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate.
Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.
You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

I really have nothing to share other than the pure fact that I am looking forward to planning out our Pan Asian trip coming up this September. We have a few more hotels to book in Thailand and I need to do some serious research as to what are all places I should see when I am there. I also need to talk to a few folks to plan out our trip in Singapore and Malaysia. Once we get it all done I will update my blog with all the juicy details :o) So yes this is a really short entry but I wanted to wish you all a wonderful and relaxing summer weekend.

A beach in Patay...Thailand!! WOOT WOOT!

“In the summertime when the weather's high”

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

You can stretch right up and touch the sky,
When the weather's fine,
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea.
We're always happy,
Life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy

Its amazing how my days are going by so fast…even if it means spending time lazing outside :o) Bhatji is back! And needless to say life has resumed itself as if he had never left. This also means that I am cooking again and busy spending time with him. It is super hot during the days but in the evenings you can catch me and Bhatji lounging in our balconies with a beer or lemonade. Ahh there’s nothing like lounging on your papasan, enjoying a warm evening breeze while the sun is setting. I am super excited because today Bhatji is making his famous turkey burgers and we are actually gonna grill outdoors! Of course I will blog this event so you won’t miss on the juicy recipe. Men get so excited when it comes to grilling and it will be interesting to see him cook something without any help from me :o)
Last night all Bhatji was craving was soup and salad. Basically one thing that I have noticed that the summer weather makes you crave lighter meals and cool drinks. So I made a very summer salad. Here are the ingredients I chose that will guarantee a perfect meal to enjoy out on your balcony.
A Salad bag from your grocery store (Fresh express salads have lettuce, carrots and radishes)
1 medium cucumber thinly sliced (farmers market product)
1 small red onion cut thin and long
1 small banana pepper cut thin (farmers market product)
2 tbl spn of olive oil
1 tbl spn vinegar
1 can of garbanzo beans or red kidney beans
Parmesan cheese as needed to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper to taste
And any dressing you like. I love the red vinaigrette and Bhatji loves Italian dressing

To Make:
In a big bowl mix all ingredients listed above except the banana pepper, cheese and dressing. One all the veggies blend well you serve the salad in a bowl. Add the banana pepper if you like some kick to your salad and sprinkle cheese according to taste. Finally add the dressing of your preference and enjoy.

You can also add pickled jalapeno or banana peppers for a sourish tinge but personally I prefer a spicy kick to my salad. It goes perfect with the sweet red vinaigrette. You can also throw a few pieces of apples and walnuts for a sweeter taste. There’s nothing like a sweet and tangy salad and a cold glass of beer or buttermilk to create a seamless summer evening. Until the next spicy blog entry…indulge in a perfect summer meal :o)

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