“Well I’m not paralyzed but, I seem to be struck by you”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I want to make you move
Because you’re standing still
If your body matches
What your eyes can do
You’ll probably move right through
Me on my way to you

I am back in NJ with Bhatji and it feels good to be back to being a homemaker and working from home. This means that I will be spending some quality time in my kitchen. I just wish it was a lil warmer. I am officially sick of my coat and this never ending winter. I can’t wait till its summer again. I am afraid I’m suffering from a bit of the winter blues….luckily the many foodie events out there has been keeping me a bit busy and motivated to try new things out in the kitchen. Last month I wanted to participate in Jugalbandi’s click event but Bhatji got sick and then I
got sick and by the time I recovered….the event date had passed me by. But this month when the announcement came on that the click event was going to be flour….I knew I had to come up with an interesting pic idea. So I started racking my brain through out the month and then finally while listening to some old Hindi songs from Mr. India….this really cool concept hit me. Mr. India was invisible so I got this story of an invisible person making a mess with the flour and leaving my kitchen in disarray. So here is my entry to Jugalbandi’s click flour event.
The messy invisible person with my flour

Here are additional pix for the click flour.

“All the boys think she's a spy she's got Bette Davis eyes”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

She's ferocious and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush
She's got Greta Garbo stand-off sighs
She's got Bette Davis eyes

Can you believe my lil sis is turning 24 today!! When I was 4 ½ years old, I vaguely remember my pregnant mom asking me if I wanted a brother or a sister. And I specifically remember demanding a brother. When asked why, I said “I don’t want to share my clothes with a lil sister”. Well my mom didn’t agree with my reasoning and I was forced to the idea of a lil sis who cried all night, craved my moms’ attention 24/7 and only wanted to play with dolls and make believe house. I on the other hand was a pure Tomboy. Today all our differences has not only made us good sisters but best friends as well. I have never been ashamed to admit that my younger sis has always been the more mature one out of the two of us. She is always the one with a strong head on her shoulders, the one who is always neutral during any family feud and absolutely loyal to her friends and family. She never makes hasty decisions, incredibly patient and is unbelievably talented!! I am almost envious of her genius and yet shamelessly advertise her forte everywhere :o) I have always felt that I can be myself around her without worrying about her judging me or criticizing me… unless I’m making dreadful choices in my life….then she will never hesitate to whack me on the head and tell it as is. So cheers to you Mzswats….HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetie! I will try my hardest to be the “bestest big sister” possible ;o) “try” being the operative word hehe.

Ahh Typical swats. Would you trust a baby sitter sippin beer while playing with the kids? hehe

Now on to the foodie portion of this blog entry. Bhatji and I love spicy food. The more green and red chilies in a dish, the better. If you love hot and spicy food like we do and live or visited NYC then you probably have heard/tried the food at Kati Roll Company or Mamoun’s Falafel. Kati Roll is known for its Frankie style wraps where they make it spicy as per your taste and Mamoun’s makes yummy Falafel sandwiches but it’s their kick ass hot sauce that makes them stand out from other Falafel vendors. We don’t really go to NYC once Bhatji gets home from work unless we have plans to meet up with friends or a show to catch etc. So this past weekend when Bhatji had a hankering for Kati Roll, I decided to make our own version at home. In the past I have made Kati roll combining 3 different recipes but I wanted to try a new version of the recipe with Shrimp. So here is my recipe for Spicy Garlic & Ginger Shrimp Roll.

½ lb of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 tbl spn of olive oil
3-4 medium sized wheat tortillas or rotis
1 small onion diced
1 tbl spn ginger paste
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
½ tsp of turmeric powder
½ tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
3 tbl spn of soy sauce
Salt to taste
A few drops of lemon juice (garnish)
½ tsp of red chili pepper flakes (garnish)
A few chopped scallions (garnish)

To make:
Marinate the shrimp in the chili powder, turmeric powder and garlic powder in the fridge for about 30 mins. Heat 1 tbl spn of oil and on med heat fry the shrimp until it is well cooked in the marinate juice and set aside. Heat another tbl spn of oil and fry the onions until it is browned. Add the ginger and garlic and mix well into the onions, fry for about 3-4 mins. Add the cooked shrimp and soy sauce to the pan and blend well. Cook for about 4 mins and take off heat. Add the lemon juice on to the shrimp mixture as per your taste. On a flat tortilla, place the cooked shrimp mixture in a straight line in the center of the tortilla. Garnish the shrimp with a few chopped scallions, red chili pepper flakes and more lemon juice if you want and it is ready to be devoured!

This dish satisfied both our cravings for spicy Kati roll without actually travelling into the city. It makes for a great dinner or a filling snack. And it goes great with a cold beer :o) Well until the next scrumptious blog entry…..eat, drink and……umm celebrate birthday’s ;o)
PS (Mzswats. The song is dedicated to your compulsive love for this record when you were a kid hehe. Enjoy!)
PPS (Swats...plz dont kill me for using the pic. I know we were at a party and you weren't really baby sitting but its a funny thought and I couldn't help myself hehe)

“Love's a shoulder to lean on; love is you….”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's your definition of it?
How does it make you feel?
Tell me what you say that truly makes it real
Kings and Queens, Philosophers have tried so hard to find
Tell me what it means to you dear, never mind
Love is kind when the world is cold
Love stays strong when the fight gets old

What a splendid weekend! I wish I could do it all over again. Here is recap of Bhatji’s most romantic v-day weekend plans! He told me that he had it all planned 2 months ago since everything in NYC gets booked pretty quickly. On Saturday we had reservations at a pre-theater restaurant called The District. I had never been to a pre theater restaurant so it was exciting to try out my first one with Bhatji. Both of us have lately been trying out different wines so he decided that we should do the wine pairing with each course. And the food was amazing!! I mean we eat out quite a bit but this place is definitely is up there in terms of the food quality and ambience. The wine pairing was picked for each entrée so we got to try 5 different types of wine. MMMM man I will be having dreams about this dinner hehe. After the yummy meal we headed over to watch the new Broadway musical Curtains (I had been hinting about wanting to see it for a while) it was pretty good.

There was humor, drama and tons of dancing. The best part was seeing David Hyde Pierce on stage. I have always been a big fan of the series Frasier. Partially because I was raised on Britcoms and even though Frasier isn’t really one….the humor is very similar to British wit. So to see “Niles” again on stage…was a thrill! We both enjoyed it very much. On Sunday, Bhatji took me to see the new Hindi movie: Jodhaa Akbar.

I have been a huge fan of Ashutosh Gowrikar’s after his master piece - Lagaan. I knew I was in for a feast for the eyes…since Gowrikar’s known for his cinematography. And with the addition of A.R Rahman’s musical score…how could it not be a feast for the ears? Aishwarya Rai looked good and acted well…but Hrithik stole the show! He was a very believable Mughal emperor, Akbar...and it also helped that he is gorgeous ;o) I gotta admit that before this movie, Hrithik didn’t really do it for me; I mean he is a good actor but his movie choices are a hit or miss. But in this movie, he is a hit! The outfits and jewelries in the movie were absolutely stunning! The scenes with the war and fighting made Bhatji happy. For me the romance and storyline were points of interest. The plot flowed well and the cinematography was truly breathtaking. I wish I could take a trip to Rajasthan!! The movie is a bit long just like Lagaan…but I think Gowrikar is a great story teller…weaving in the history of the Mughal empire in India and details of the Rajput rule in Rajasthan. He has shown the correlation between religion, politics and power. All in all an entertaining film filled with grandeur, romance and history. If you get the chance to see the movie…definitely see it and let me know what you thought of the movie :o)
Will be back soon with recipes to share with you…until then stay warm.

“Mil jaaye is tarah, do leharen jis tarah . kabhi ho na juda haan ye vaada raha”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

tu tu hai vohi dil ne jise apna kaha ...
tu hai jahaan main hoon vahaan
ab to jeena tere bin hain saza

kisi mod pe bhi na ye saath chute
mere haath se tera daaman na chhute ...
kabhi khwaab main bhi tu mujhse na ruthe
mere pyaar ki koi khushiyaan na lute
ho mil jaaye ...

kabhi zindagi mein pade mushkilein to
mujhe tu sambhaale tujhe main sambhaalu
ho mil jaaye is tarah ...

I am all smiles today!! Bhatji sent me the most beautiful surprise as a Valentines day gift. FLOWERS!! 2 dozen roses….and the cutest note that made me tear up a lil and laugh a lot :o) Even though I am going up to NJ to be with him tomorrow he still sent me flowers to sweeten my day. I am the luckiest girl I tell ya! Bhatji scored some major points for this weekend ;o) I hope the rest of you celebrate such sweet moments with your better half or family. Muuuuuahhh Bhatji ;o)
Oooh btw for those of you who remember this song…..they don’t make tunes like this anymore huh??

“That’s the way love goes. Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire…”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My love is blind
Can't you see my desire
That's the way love goes
I'm gonna take you places
You've never been before and
You'll be so happy that you came
That's the way love goes
That's the way love goes

This week is for the lovers….yep its Valentines day and there are flowers and red hearts everywhere :o) Unfortunately I will not be with Bhatji until the weekend...but I know he has a very romantic valentines day/weekend planned for us :o) I’m so excited!! He was able to make a short trip down to DC this weekend, so we got in lots of quality family time. We played cards, made plans for the future, Mzswats, Bhatji and I also managed to do a chill night out in DC with friends. All in all a good weekend I must say.
Creative Pooja is hosting a valentine’s day foodie event and I had to come up with a romantic meal/dessert idea as an entry. I was scratching my head for a while but finally came up with the perfect concept for my entry. Usually I would go all out and make a 3-4 course meal but this year I decided to tickle our sweet tooth. Baking isn’t really something I’m good at….I know I know…I need to start venturing into more baking so I can be a versatile cook. But past experience of burnt cookies and flat cakes have left a bit jaded and unmotivated. I need to get over myself and just do it! One of these days, I’m sure to get around to it. This weekend my family was going to be hanging out at home and it was going to be ridiculously cold. So I thought what would be a fun way of getting the whole family together and enjoying a warm dessert together. So my recipe idea for a valentines day with your loved one or your family night in is…..Hot Fondue! Just the thought of hot dark chocolate along with the sweetness of yummy fruits and cake got me drooling. I didn’t have a fondue pot at my parent’s home but I knew a saucepan would do the trick. I couldn’t wait to get home and start on the dessert. So on my way home from work on Friday, I made a quick stop at the grocery store and picked up all the ingredients and after dinner got started on a delectable Chocolate fondue with cake and fruits recipe.
This is also my entry for Pooja’s theme of the week – Valentines day entry

Source: Food and wine magazine Dec 2007
8 oz. of semi sweet chocolate or bitter sweet chocolate
½ cup of heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
15/20 strawberries rinsed (optional)
2 bananas cut in 1 inch pieces (optional)
¼ piece of pound cake cut in cubes (optional. bake if you got time. I went the store bought route)

To make:
In a saucepan warm the cream on medium for about 6-7 mins. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the chocolate and stir in all is melted in a thick sauce. Add the vanilla essence and mix well. In a separate plate arrange the strawberries, bananas and the cakes. Using fondue forks or regular forks dip into the heavenly chocolate sauce and indulge!!

Bhatji isn’t really a fan of chocolate but the Shenoy family loves their chocolate. So while the non chocolate lovers can enjoy their fruits….the chocolate lovers can go all out :o) It’s a super easy recipe that gets you and your loved one to huddle over a hot pot of chocolate…and that my friends, can make any night a valentines night ;o) Happy fondue making!!

“Whoop whoop! When you run come around, cuz I know you’re the talk of the town yea”

Friday, February 8, 2008

Easy now no need fi go down
Just walk it gently and no break nah bone,
Cool end-it-ly, you have a style of your own,
Me never know you saw ya master the saxophone
easy now no need fi go down,
easy now no need fi go down,
walk it gently and no break nah bone

How I love this song!! If you haven’t heard it….click on the play button on my seeqpod player on the top left of my blog. Most dance hall tunes invoke the dancer in me. I’m so excited that the weekend is finally here….there is new recipes to try out this weekend. I am planning ahead creating a brilliant recipe for Creative Pooja’s upcoming V day entry :o) Depending on his work schedule, Bhatji may come down to DC and I really pray he does.
Bhatji and I are both non-vegetarians….but for some reason lately both of us prefer consuming vegetarian meals. Indian vegetarian food is awesome. The use of all those yummy spices, masalas, onions & garlic adds flavor to vegetables and in turn makes it a feast. But there are times when Bhatji and I crave my mom’s chicken biryani or fish fry. Well I can’t just go visit my mom when I’m in NJ or attempt making any of her famous dishes. I know that I cant out cook my mom …so I don’t try hehe. Instead I try out new recipes from food network chefs or from the bazillion foodie blogs and cook books at my disposal. On a lazy Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago…while laying on the couch watching a marathon of food network shows…we happened to catch an episode of Guy Fieri’s Guy’s big bite show. He was preparing a Cuban feast with Pork Chops with mojo, Sofrito mashed potatoes and a Double apple mojito. Bhatji started salivating and looked at my pleadingly with those light brown puppy eyes to recreate the dish for him. I agreed and so grocery shopping during the week, I bought 2 pork chops and white wine as per Guy’s recipe. I decided that instead of making mashed potatoes (although they looked divine!) I was going to make a simple Spinach salad. The results were phenomenal! I followed Guy’s recipe but added and substituted some of my own ingredients. So here is the recipe for Cuban pork chops with Spinach Salad:
Recipe source: Guy's big bite, a Cuban meal
2 bone in pork chops
1 small red onion finely minced
2 cloves of garlic finely diced
1/4 cup of white wine
1 cup orange juice
½ cup lemon juice divided into 2
A little less ¼ cup of vinegar (eyeball it)
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 tbl spn of garlic powder
1 tbl spn of onion powder
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 ½ tbl spn of olive oil
1 tsp spn of pepper
½ tsp of red chili powder
Salt as needed

To make:
In a large Ziploc bag combine the orange juice, ¼ cup of lime juice, vinegar and pork and marinate in the fridge for about an hour. After an hour take the chops out of the Ziploc bag and set aside. In a small bow add the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and chili powder and mix until all the spices are blended well. Rub the dry spice mixture evenly on the chops. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan on high heat and sear the chops well on both sides for a few minutes. Bring the heat down to a medium and add the onions for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until brown. Add only half of the marinate mixture of OJ, lime juice and vinegar. Then add the white wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced and thickened. Make sure the chops are cooked through. Take out the chops and continue to cook the liquid until it further reduces. Pour the cooked liquid on the chops and serve.

Spinach Salad Ingredients:
A bag of baby spinach
One small onion diced
1 tbl spn of olive oil
2 tbl spns of vinegar
Raspberry walnut vinegar dressing as needed

To make:
Wash the Spinach thoroughly. In a pan heat the oil and cook the onions until browned. Add the spinach and cook until they wilt on low heat (for about 3-4 mins) Add the vinegar and mix in well. Take of heat and place on a plate or bowl. Add the Raspberry Walnut dressing as much as you like.

The combination was too good. The salad itself was bursting with flavor and the pork chops turned out very well :o) All in all, there was a satisfied hubby and a cheery cook. What’s even better was that my mom called me last weekend to get this recipe from me. Dare I say it…Have I joined the big leagues. Hehe hardly! But it was indeed a proud moment when the best chef ever called lil ole me asking for a recipe ;o) until the next entry…Have a wonderful weekend folks!

“Habibi, ya nour el ain, ya saakin khayali”

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Habibi, ya nour el ain,
Ya saakin khayali.
Aashek bakali sneen,
Wala ghayraak fibali.
Agmaal eyoun fil koon,
Ana shoftaha
- Amr Diab
Translation: My darling, the glow in my eyes is my fantasy of you. I’ve loved you for years; No one else is on my mind

Reading has always been one of passions. My mom used to tell me that when I was very young and growing up in Nigeria, before my sis was born…I was displaying “only child” characteristics. I would talk to myself, dress up in my mom’s clothes, sing and dance in front of the mirror but most of all I used to read a lot. My mom encouraged this habit by buying me tons of books. I used to read the Dick and Jane series by Dr. William S. Gray, Mr. Men series by R. Hargreaves. My mom also bought a lot of classic books by Mark Twain. Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott etc. At a very young age I was able to quote dialogues from David Copperfield and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and 20,000 leagues under the sea by Jules Verne. I’ve continued reading literary works by new and old authors. Last year I fell in love with Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. The book is about 2 best friends with different backgrounds, growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan before the Russian invasion and the Taliban rule. A life changing incidents separates the 2 friends….one moves to the US and the other stays in Afghanistan. The book follows the protagonist’s life….through his decisions, his ups and downs and finally his atonement for his past mistakes. The Kite Runner instantly became one of my favorite books. I loved Hosseini’s writing style.....he is great with descriptions and you cant help but immerse yourself in his rich story of friendship, loyalty, salvation and a country ravaged by war and religious hypocrites. I was ecstatic when I found out that the book was going to be made into a movie!!

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Kite_Runner_film.jpg
I started looking up the release dates and theater showings. I wasn’t sure that it would hit mainstream theaters but I figured I would be able to catch it in certain theaters in DC or NYC. I was glad to find out that the movie would be shown at mainstream theaters and I made plans to watch it with my folks. Unfortunately Bhatji got sick and then I got sick and our plans for watching the movie were pushed back. My sis and my parents saw it and raved about how good it was. Luckily the movie wasn’t completely out of the theaters so this past weekend Bhatji and I finally got to see the movie. It was incredible!! I mean the book is good but the movie was well done and was almost as good as the book. There were scenes in the movie that tugged at my heart and soooo much of the old Afghanistan reminded me of India. The street vendors, the kite flying contests etc. We couldn’t help but be nostalgic. The other interesting tidbit was that their language (Pashto) had similar words to modern day Hindi. So Bhatji and I sat picking out those words hehe. I really hope all of you get to see the movie and definitely go grab the book: The Kite Runner

“And I, in time, will come around, come around. I always do for you”

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Suppose I said
you’re my saving grace?
Would you want me when I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

Yes I am back…with a looming cough but doing much better. No fever or weakness. I am also back in DC for some work this week. I miss Bhatji. I know I just got here last night and I am probably going to be seeing him this weekend…but still you can’t help missing your better half at any given point when he/she isn’t with you. I am however glad to see my folks again and get some much needed mommy time in :o) Yea that’s right I’m an overgrown kid and I am proud of it hehe. By the way did you all catch the super bowl game on Sunday? I’m not really a football fan but the game was soooo good that I found myself cheering for the Giants. It also helped that Bhatji and I were surrounded by 15 other Giants fans at an awesome super bowl house party at one of our friends places in NJ…so you couldn’t help but get into the game <- more on that later.
Last week I had updated my blog with the Indian republic day foodie event sponsored by Creative Pooja but due to my illness, I was not able to elaborate on the recipe or my memories of Indian Republic day when I was in India. So I guess today’s entry is a part deux of the previous post and more. I went to a Catholic Convent school in Mysore and even though we would technically had the day off in celebration of Indian Republic day, our school would have a mini parade where there would marching competitions…..yes that right…marching competitions. Not fun! But then we would have volley ball tournaments, An Indian game called coco (sp?) involving a lot of running and then we would be released early from school :o) My friends and I would go to the near by street vendors and gorge on samosas, spicy toast or sour gooseberries. Ahhhh the sweet, innocent days of childhood. Well anyway this year with all the love and encouragement from my new foodie community, I was to recollect those days and come up with an orange, white and green foodie blog entry. I had written about the spicy rasam, okra bhaji and rice as my entry. Here is the recipe for the simple okra bhaji/upkari:

5-6 okra cut in small pieces
1 tsp of mustard seeds
3 dried red chilies
3-4 tbl spns of water
3 tsp of cooking oil
Salt to taste

To make:
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter add the red chilies and cook for about a minute. Throw in the okra and cook stirring occasionally. When the okras start giving off the gummy consistency, add the 3 or more tbl spns of water, cover and cook for about 5-6 mins. Add the salt and stir in well and serve hot with rotis or rice.

Okra isn’t really my favorite veggie but it’s very healthy and so I try to include it into our dinner plans often. This is such a simple and quick dish and Bhatji seems to enjoy it. Give it a try and as always…let me know what you think. Until the next blog entry…keep warm.

PS (Ms. Pooja…I hope you are doing well. I’m sorry to have sent you the “sick bug” through the net ;o)
PPS (Congratulations to Ms. Shenoy on her engagement and upcoming wedding. Can’t wait to celebrate with you this summer)

Life with Extra Mirchi - by Templates para novo blogger