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So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Kahani

Kahani

Hello there !

This is nive.Author/web master of handful of joy.I am SAHM of two wonderful kiddos,wife of a Godly and very hardworking husband and above all the child of God,Christ is my savior.

If you are wondering about the title of this page,let me tell you,writing an ‘about’ page is quite a task,so I procrastinated and postponed it for long.’Kahani’ is hindi for ‘story‘.Say it like (k-ha-ni).

I have been always interested in food,who isn’t?Over the years,it became more than an interest,my passion to know more about what I am putting in my plate and what I am serving to my family everyday on the table.I have become more curious,conscious and attentive towards the journey food makes in order to end up in my mouth.Cultural aspect of the food attracts me.I find it very fascinating that how some food has so many different names and nationality though they shares very similar identities even though probably prepared very differently across the globe.

I am certainly not a picky eater.However like my mom always says,you eat first with your eyes, definitely plays the vital role in what I will try and what I will leave out if served  on table in assortment.The word ‘hate‘ is too strong of a word for ‘food’ in my vocab.Being said that,some are my favs and some I would not try second time,unless of course I am left in deserted island with that one food or die !Only time I would turn down the food completely is if it is uncooked or  too salty or charred and burnt beyond recognition or I  am being served the meat I do not eat.I eat only chicken/turkey and very selective sea food,so that is what i cook.

I am not good in creating recipes in my kitchen out of blue,though I certainly try time to time !My food is deeply influenced by my Indian heritage,my mom’s cooking,place I grew up, moved around,visited, live and the food shows I watch of course !

I am not always good in copycat the recipe verbatim  while cooking.I find the practice monotonous,limiting and not fun.So I  often end up tweaking the original recipe,many times in order to improvise with what I have in pantry for the lack of original ingredient asked for and sometime just to take a chance and see what comes out of it.I am also averse to measuring and I think it is because I  never saw my mom,grandma or anyone I know of growing up  measuring while cooking  everyday meal and yet they always served the best tasting food.Indians don’t measure in general,dare i say it.I have gotten better at eyeballing over the time.When I am not following someone’s recipe,I work in reverse order for the site

  • I note down how much I added “approximately” in the notepad as i cook, just to give you some idea.So my recipes are not exact,there is a room left for your imagination:-)

After coming to US,I have gotten my hands on baking.I am not an avid baker and you can say it is partially because of my dislike for measuring.But since I enjoy those baked goodies so much that I do take a pain to measure it and follow the recipe verbatim ,quite contrary to cooking ha ! So my kitchen philosophy in short would be something like

Baking is science,i follow the empirical formula i am presented with but cooking is an art.Spices and condiments are the colors.There are hardly rules which can not be tinker with your imagination when it comes to cooking.So add little bit of your imagination in your ingredient list,just don’t forget the love.

Since I am not an original recipe creator most of the time,I would link to the site of that amazing recipe creator,if there is a site.Else,I will mention the source I took it from.I would love the reciprocation if there is anything which I made and if you liked.All food Pictures are taken by me,if its prepared by me.They are not great looking,cutting edge food photography standard astonishing pictures but they are all mine !


My family and friends share some of their food passion here too.You will get the glimpse of the food prepared where they are,different country and surrounding.

I would love the comments/feedbacks if you have anything to say about,please don’t hesitate.So keep browsing.You may find something you like to serve on your table !!!Thank you for stopping by.

Russian Potato Salad

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Condiments, International, Salad, Side Dish | 0 comments

Russian  Potato Salad

I have always loved potatoes in different form. Growing up, my mom would add potatoes to green vegetable dish because we wouldn’t eat the vegetable otherwise. With potatoes, we were willing to give that a try and eventually we started liking some of those vegetables san potatoes. Good trick ha! I do this with my family too.

After being in US for as long as I have, I get the impression that potato salad is must have for BBQ events and picnic during summer. Most potato salad I have tasted have mayo, pickles and some common condiments across the board. In most salad, potatoes are left in chunkier cut with the exception of my mother-in-law’s potato salad which we all love in our family so much.

Apparently, Russian potato salad takes the liberty to expand on the basic base by adding chopped vegetables and meat (such as cubed ham or turkey if you like).I stayed with the vegetables.

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Ingredients

2 Russet potatoes

5 baby carrots chopped

1/4 cup chopped green beans

1/3 cup frozen peas (thawed) or fresh sweet peas if you have

2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion

5 Gherkins chopped (dill pickles)

5 Piquilo peppers chopped (optional)

2 Tablespoon mayonnaise(adjust if you like more may)

Salt to taste

1 hardboiled egg chopped

  • Peel and cut the russet potatoes in small pieces.
  • In a pot,boil potatoes and carrots together for about 10 minutes. Add green beans in the mix. Cook until vegetables are tender but not falling part.
  • In a bowl, add mayo, piquilio peppers, gherkins, onion and peas. Mix it well.
  • Drain the boiled veg making sure no water remains. Let it cool off.
  • Add it to the condiment mixture.
  • Season it with salt and peppers.
  • Let it chill for a while if you can before serving.

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I wasn’t sure how it will be received in the family, since we are so accustomed to the traditional American potato salad.I served it as a side dish with lemon-thyme chicken. It was different as it was and was received well enough to try to change up the things now and then, not regularly though I may add!

 

Lemon Thyme Cilantro Chicken

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in NonVeg | 0 comments

Lemon Thyme Cilantro Chicken

Sounds like my opening line these days are, “It’s been a while..” We are couple of weeks into the summer and it has flown by. And I have loved every second of it. Wet summer I would say but who is complaining?

I really haven’t paid much attention to food blogging lately and then yesterday I sat down and clicked through some of my favorite food blogs …and realized, I really like this ‘food’ thing, you know? I mean, I still do. I like talking about it and writing about it 🙂

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This particular dish I made couple of weeks back. Last minute decision. Original recipe requires to marinade the chicken for hours/overnight. Also original recipe is primarily ‘lemon thyme’ chicken. I added my favorite herb, cilantro. I think cilantro makes everything better (despite of many claiming that it tastes like soap, really? how do you know? .I also added ‘Rojo Recado’. I am a big fan of this Mayan spice mix. I blended this couple of weeks back and it is still keeping well in the refrigerator. It adds red-orange hue to the dish. I will post the recipe if I can find the book again.

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Ingredients

5 pieces of chicken thighs

Marinade 
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Juice of half lemon and rind
1 teaspoon Rojo Recado(optional)
1/4 teaspoon dry Thyme
handful of chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

  • Score the chicken with knife. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour and smother the chicken in marinade mixture. At this point, you can leave it to marinade for couple of hours or overnight, if you desire.
  • Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange the chicken in baking dish,not crowding.Bake it  until juices runs clear and top skin browns up a bit, about 40-45 minutes.

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I served this with Russian potato salad and butter toasted Kaiser rolls. Though I think it would be lovely with coconut rice.

Since my daugther, had second serving of the chicken,it got to be good , just saying !

Progressive Dinner and Chicken – Spinach Lasagna

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Celebration, International | 0 comments

Progressive Dinner and Chicken – Spinach Lasagna

A month or so ago, our American Heritage Girls troop hosted progressive dinner. Theme for the dinner was ‘Tour the World’. Can you hear me squeal? My most favorite theme for anything pretty much 🙂 This theme fitted very well in our ‘World Heritage’ AHG Badge.

I feel like I am learning a lot through AHG with my daughter. For example, take this dinner. Until that time, I had never been a part of or hosted a ‘progressive’ dinner. When I first heard of it, house hopping every 30 – 40 minutes sounded too much of hassle but those who had participated in this earlier, went ga-ga about what a wonderful experience it was. So we signed up. To those of you who are new to the concept of ‘progressive’ dinner, this is how it goes.

  • Dinner ‘progresses’ course by course through individual houses.May I suggest to carpool when you are house hopping ?We did.
  • Couple of our AHG family signed up to do each course. Starting from Appetizer, Side, Main, and Dessert.You can even further refine the course to categories if you like.

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  • You can go ‘theme less’ but I think having ‘theme’ makes it fun. In our case, each course represented different country.

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  • You can go all out and have music and decor representing the country you are hosting or just focus on food. Since it was the part of AHG badge, we made small effort in  picking up music, decor, and maps to give the girls some cultural background for their badge requirements.

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  • We took the ideas from the color of the flag for our plates and napkins.Made ‘Welcome’ signs for the countries we hosted.Few easy and simple touches,not time consuming.

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  • My friend,Jenny who was responsible for ‘Germany’  dressed up in traditional german costume and had many items on display from their German,Italian trip and slideshow playing from their trip.Since she teaches German at local high School,she was phenomenally great in talking all things German culture.So did my friend Chelsea,who has Spanish heritage.Not only she prepared mouth watering patata,she richly explained the culture.We were fortunate to have some people who were originally ingrained in the culture.

Tortilla de Patata

  • My overachiever friend, Amy, put together a ‘passport’ for each girl. As the girls ‘toured’ the countries, host explained little bit about the culture of the country. They filled up the details in their passport. Got ‘stamped’ for the visit.Our girls tasted ‘tortilla de patatas’ from Spain in their appetizer course. ‘Spätzle’ and ‘Wienerschnitzel’ from Germany as side, Lasagna as main from Italy, Honey cake and Baklava from Greece for dessert.

I was responsible for main course. Though Indian would have been very easy choice for me, I went with Italy. Who doesn’t love pasta, right? So I picked ‘Lasagna’ .

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What makes my lasagna different then traditional? I use chicken instead of traditional beef. I also added spinach. If you think your family will not touch the food with green sighting, you can leave the spinach out or add less. I doubled the recipe for the progressive dinner but I didn’t double the spinach. I was concerned some of the girls may not like it and I wanted them to eat 🙂 .However I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it was finished with some second servings. Though  personally, I am not a lasagna fan, my family loves it and so did my friends. So this is how I make lasagna at my house. My seasoning may vary depending on what I grab from my spice drawer but more or less this is what I stick with.

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 Ingredients

Lasagna Noodles(9-10 pieces)

1 lb. Ground Chicken

10 Oz frozen spinach – thawed

Pinch of Thyme (Italian seasoning if you have in hand)

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil

1-1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

5 oz. tub shaved parmesan cheese

1 Egg

Mozzarella cheese 

For Marinara sauce

1 (28 Oz San Marzano tomatoes)

1 (15 Oz Italian stewed tomato)

3 heaping tablespoon tomato paste

4 cloves of garlic

1 dry chili pepper (optional)

Chopped basil and parsley

Salt to taste

Olive Oil(about 2-3 Tbl spoon)

Water(as per desired marinara consistency)

OR Store bought Marinara sauce

Method

Whenever I make this, I have three stove burners going at the same time.

  • Burner #1 – Boil Lasagna noodles, as per the package direction in a pot.
  • Burner #2 – Heat skillet. Add oil. Add ground chicken. Once it is lightly brown, add thawed spinach. Season it with thyme/salt/pepper or your choice of seasoning (Italian, Herbs de Provence etc.)
  • Burner #3 – In a pot, add oil. Season it with chopped garlic and 1 dry chili pepper. This is very essential for me when I am making marinara sauce. Can anything be better than the aroma of garlic in the kitchen? Add tomoatoes.Season it with salt and pepper. Add water to desired consistency of the sauce. Cook for 20 minutes. If the texture of tomatoes is chunkier, then puree it through the blender for smooth texture. Add chopped parsley/basil in the end. You can totally use store bought. I just like mine better 🙂 
  • As things are cooking, meanwhile in a bowl, add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Mix it well.

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Assembly

  • In a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Ladle the sauce at the bottom. Add a layer of lasagna noodle. Spread the ricotta mixture. Add chicken-spinach mixture on top. Ladle of tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  • Add lasagna noodle for second layer. Repeat above. Meat is all used up by the second layer. So for the third and last layer, add lasagna noodle. Spread the ricotta mixture; ladle the last of tomato sauce. Top it with mozzarella.
  • Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with the side of some Italian bread.

 

Camp cooking – foil packs

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Storytelling | 0 comments

Camp cooking – foil packs

Couple of weeks back we went on family camping with our American Heritage Girls troop. Though I have done cabin camping before, purist opines that unless you sweat out the ‘tent camping’. It is not legit…so well this one was certainly all kind of legit…And did I love it or what?

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How often your daughter comes running to you to say, mom, you gotta see the sunset?My daughter loved feeding the horses and chickens,splashed at the river,made mud balls,tasted Kumquats (nature’s sour patches btw).But the coolest of all was to see the lamb only couple of minutes old.

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I had bit of an apprehension about some things but I was fortunate to go with some very experienced tent campers and they made it look like a breeze. So much so that I am ready for the next one…Time will tell if my future experiences are as breezy as the last one but until then I am dreaming of the next one!

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I learnt a lot. Dutch oven cooking, foil packs on open coal fire was all new and exciting for me.Since girls were doing it as part of their badge work, they were responsible  to do lot of prep and cook stuff under leaders supervision of course !

Our AHG girls had decided on pancakes and bacon for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and foil packs for dinner. Now my experience with foil pack is limited to cooking fish with wine broth in parchment pouch, baked in oven. 

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  • We cooked chicken, beef in foil. Chicken was cubed in small pieces so it cooks evenly.
  • Each aluminum foil  was layered with cabbage leaf at the bottom. Very important. It keeps the meat from burning.
  • Meat was topped with very thinly sliced potatoes and carrots as kids preferred. So it cooks evenly.
  • All was topped with butter and seasoning. You gotta have butter right?

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I quickly learnt that my way of wrapping the foil was ..Well…reflected my noviceness in foil cooking.It would have oozed out the cooking liquid. Then I leant the correct way to fold it.

Once wrapped, it was initialed and put on charcoal to cook for 10-12 mins to cook. Once done, top with cheese, it was DELICIOUS. Though my kids discarded the cabbage, I loved the cabbage, slightly charred, and soaked in chicken juices.

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For dessert, we didn’t have one or two but four different kind of desserts. All cooked in Dutch oven from blondie brownie to baked caramel apple to ooye gooey cake (purple people eater, isn’t that funny that’s what girls named it?) and something else that I can’t remember the name of.

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It could be that dinner was prepared with so much love, cooked on open fire, enjoyed with friends, it tasted far better than if I did at home perhaps 🙂

 

 

 

Jalebi

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Food-lens, Indian, International | 0 comments

Jalebi

Couple of days back I was craving Indian sweets. Precisely ‘Jalebi’. Something to do with the shared food pictures by my aunt. I ended up making Indian rice pudding, no ‘jalebi’.*sigh*

When I think of Jalebi, I think of Friday. Place where we grew up, there is a very popular shrine of Muslim Saint, local call it ‘Peer baba’.{Pee-r :Holy saint, Baba : term of endearment  you can say) Every Friday, locals, Hindu – Muslim alike go there to pay respect to the saint. Growing up Hindu I visited that particular shrine many many time. Not too far from our home. Usually people offered few things at the shrine, like ‘shawl’ and flowers etc. Right next to it, vendor sold ‘Jalebi’ ,made to order ,hot out of oil, which we always bought. So to this day when I see ‘Jalebi’ I think of ‘Peer baba’.

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You can think of ‘Jalebi’ as Indian funnel cake, laced piping and fried, with some key differences.

  • ‘Jalebi’ is much smaller in size then American funnel cake. ‘Jalebi’ piping is dainty compared to funnel cake.I have seen funnel cake served as one giant piece on a plate, whereas you don’t buy ‘jalebi’ just one piece, though technically you can.(but why would you?)
  • ‘Jalebi’ is vibrant orange color or yellowish unlike brownish funnel cake.
  • Most importantly, ‘Jalebi’ is soaked in syrup right after it comes out from frying oil unlike funnel cake which are sprinkled with powder sugar. Reason why I have never tasted it here because cold ‘Jalebi’ is worthless.It is not available hot out of oil like that in India.I am  too lazy to make it at home :-).

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I am not funnel cake fan but ‘Jalebi’ is another story.Messy and sticky goodness, oh so mouth watering.Too sweet perhaps, with every bite, little syrup oozes out but totally satisfying.

Gatta Sabzi

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in Indian | 0 comments

Gatta Sabzi

Couple of months back I traveled to my native India.During travelling ,I pretty much keep it to myself ,no small talks whatsoever. Though  while waiting at Heathrow for our common connecting flight enroute,I couldn’t help but ask the lady sitting next to me ,obvious icebreaker question,”So where in India you are headed to? ” Turned out that she was fellow Texan. Yee Haw !!!

All of a sudden, I was bizarrely comfortable carrying out the conversation with her, as if I found some common thread of ‘familiarity’ to plow through the ‘strangeness’(is that a word?) in a foreign land. I learnt that she visits India regularly for her jewelry business. Her place of interest is none other than renowned pink city, ‘Jaipur’. City of enchanting Palaces in a desert state of Rajasthan. Growing up, I wondered, how can someone enjoy the desert? I mean what is there to enjoy? Lack of greenery would drive me to insanity, I thought back then.

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My aunt calls Rajasthan her home.I get to enjoy the beauty of this place through her lens and salivate looking at the food she tastes.She prepared the state favorite dish ,”Gatta Sabzi”  and shared the recipe with me.It has taken me a longgggg time to post this but here it is finally.  Really,I didn’t even know what ‘gatta’ is until now?

Ingredients

3/4 cup Chickpea flour *
1/8 tsp red chilli powder,
1/8 tsp black pepper powder
pinch of oregano
pinch Fennel crushed (optional)
Salt to taste 
Yogurt

  • Knead flour adding yogurt into a nice smooth dough.
  • Oil your palms,so the dough doesn’t stick to your hand.Roll the dough into small cylinder about 1/2 inch thick,6 inch long,it just depends. You can play around with the size.
  • In a pot ,bring water to boil,enough to submerge these rolled out dough.
  • Cook the rolled out  dough for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Take it out from the water.Slice it into small discs. (aka “gatta”)

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Gravy
1 Onion chopped
2-3 medium tomatoes chopped
Oil
1/8 tsp of Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander powder 
1 whole red chili
1 clove of garlic crushed
Pinch of grated ginger
Spicy chili powder to your taste
Salt to taste

  • In a pan,heat oil.Add cumin seeds and red while chili,broken into pieces to the hot oil.
  • Add chopped onion.Saute it until it is translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add rest of the spices(turmeric,coriander,ginger,garlic,chili powder).
  • Add water if need to.Add ‘gattas’/discs.Cook until gravy is thickened.
  • Garnish it with fresh dill leaves

Enjoy as a side dish with chapati/Rice.

Festival of India – Sankranti

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Celebration | 1 comment

Festival of India – Sankranti

Almost a week ago, on Jan 14th, India celebrated one of the biggest Hindu festival. India is saturated with colorful festivals. However, after Diwali in late October, early November, it slows down a bit and picks back up in full swing when Jan 14th arrives. Perhaps that the reason anticipation runs high for the arrival.

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Tilkut-Jaggery-Dahi- Chura “my sister plate”

So what is  the name of the festival ?

Well it depends on which part of India you are celebrating it.Isn’t that neat? I call it Makar Sankranti’ because that’s what we call in the part of India I grew up. However, if you go to Eastern state of Assam, you will be greeted with the sound of ‘Bihu’.

Pongal Thali

Pongal plate

If you are in West state of Gujrat, you are probably looking forward to kite flying with friends as you celebrate ‘Uttarayan’ .If you are up  in Punjab,you can barely wait for ‘Lohiri’  and bonfire. I happen to be in Southern state of Chennai at one time and I loved the taste of ‘Pongal’

Despite of diversity, celebration marks the time sun making a move to the zodiac sign of ‘Makar’ (Capricorn).Though Jan 14th is pretty established date of celebration; it varies from Jan 13th or Jan 15th astrologically speaking. It is also a huge ‘harvest’ festival. Food eaten on this occasion has the significance of new harvest produce. As you can tell from the pictures, different part of the India has different food.

Andhra Sanranti Plate

Andhra Sanranti Plate

What kind of food ?

It varies region by region .So I will focus on what I grew up eating this day.At our home, we always had ‘Dahi – Chura with Tilkut‘ . ‘Dahi’ is yogurt ,’Chura’ is flattened rice. It comes in different textures. For the record I have found only one kind here in US and not the one which I grew up on. Tilkut hmmmmm ? How do I explain it to you? It is a semi delicate,little flaky flat ,round shaped dry dessert made with  sesame seeds(Til)  and sugar or jaggery(Gur).

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Jaggery is easily available during this time of Sankranti because of harvested sugar canes.. So this is a traditional part of eating of the region I come from .

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However, one non-traditional element, which  continue to be ‘must have’   for my family in India is ‘Aloo- Gobi  Dum’ (Potato and cauliflower curry). The reason being, ‘Dahi-Chura-Tilkut’ is sweet combination of food and our Indian palate craves for something spicy to go with the sweet combo.

Regardless of which part of India you find yourself in, you will be ‘eating’ lavishly on this occasion.

 

 

Yogurt Caramel Dip

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Condiments | 0 comments

Yogurt Caramel Dip

We kicked off the New Year with friends and fellowship. Well sort of…not exactly New Year day. Our Bible Study small group decided to have Christmas party, post-Christmas in New Year. Great idea, wise one I should say. So many benefits 1.) Far more relaxed. You are not trying to add one more thing in over scheduled month of December. 2.) You actually get to enjoy the food little more after  saturated month of holiday food and sweets.  3.) Best, you get to start the New Year with friends.

I loved the evening spent with friends. We all did. Our dinner was set to potluck style of sandwiches. We had verities of them.

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Keeping with light and easy theme, I decided to do simple dip. I had this dip couple year ago at my friend Kristen’s party. I loved that it was yogurt based. She shared the recipe with me.Keeping with the recipe, I set out to get the vanilla yogurt from the store and encountered caramel flavored Greek yogurt in the dairy aisle. It instantly changed my plan. 

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My version is embarrassingly easy to even qualify for a recipe. But it was a yummy escape on a busy party day for us.Someday I will post the original. For now, here it is.

Ingredients:

4 Oz Cream Cheese (softened)

2 (5.3 Oz) Yoplait Greek Yogurt- Caramel flavored

1 TBSP Honey(more or less)

Whip all the ingredients together until smooth. Let it sit for at least 30 mins.Serve it with apples.For the sake of visual appeal,I added pomegranate seeds on top of otherwise whitish creamy dip .You can totally skip it.

 Word of advice (really?): It is important that you let the cream cheese softened at the room temperature. I forgot to do so as usual. When I started mixing it with the yogurt, it broke into pea size cream cheese pieces. Grainy looking texture. Not ok. I had to whip it longer and faster to make up for the time I didn’t let cream cheese rest at the room temperature.

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Since it was well dipped, I would say it is a winner in my book 🙂

Happy New Year

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Celebration | 0 comments

Happy New Year

Happy New Year friends!

It has been a while since I have penned in this space. Still love food, still love experimenting with food, still love cooking but I don’t get around staging pretty food pictures and writing about it.Winter? Life? Priorities? As you can see below all the picture are taken from the phone and shared in real time with my family.Yes extra flashy shine on plate,some little blurry,served on dinner table.And I am ok with that. It is less about impressing with photography skills and more about sharing what I want to with you.

So let’s talk about the new year. My family in India and I are always whatsapping.A cool app which I use a LOT with my family living oceans away. Thank you Wi-Fi!

New Year started half a day early for us. Food pictures started showing up and memories of picnic stirred up.

This is a plate my sister’s neighbor shared with them.

Lentil and veggies pakoda(fritters), creamy rice,Indian sweet

 Spread of food at my aunt’s house. Yes, I know I wish I could have flown to Rajasthan just to have dinner with her.At least dozen items not all in the picture.It is very traditional for Indians to serve multiple varieties of side dishes and take little bite of everything.

Paratha, egg curry, fried aaloo with sesame seed, masala boiled egg , mixed veggies in olive oil, khichdi, kadhi. Whole roasted tomatoes n sewain

Paratha, egg curry, fried aaloo with sesame seed, masala boiled egg , mixed veggies in olive oil, khichdi, kadhi. Whole roasted tomatoes and sewain

 

 Compare to above, my chicken biryani looks pale and minimal, all piled up in a plate with basic four side dishes. It was good though, everyone had double servings and leftover to follow.

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Chicken Biryani,Spinach Lentil stew,carrot-radish raita,sauted potatos and cauliflower

 

I added Christmas crackers to our New Year plans. Case of forgetfulness. I bought these crackers months ago. I had concocted the idea of English meal one day leading to the Christmas, complete with Yorkshire pudding,Bubble and Squeak,some stew and  jam tarts .Sigh; it rested tastefully  in my imagination. Crackers  were big hit with my kids. They thought the jokes and little prizes are the coolest thing, not to mention they got a kick by hearing them ‘pop’. I think Christmas crackers will adorn our New Year table if I ‘forget’ next year.

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New Year is big foodie affair. Visiting and sharing food with friends and family appears  to be a trend everywhere. I stayed cozy in my jammies and blankets and did not step out from the home that day.Sounds much better plan(although lazy) to me when it is Texas cold out there in lower 30s.

What did you do on New Year’s Day?Do you have fun New Year’s tradition?

Shakshuka

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Breakfast, International | 0 comments

Shakshuka

What do you do with farm fresh eggs?

My friend Suzy shared with us some farm fresh beauties.Anything farm fresh makes me very happy.I would go extra mile for it and create my menu around it.I wanted to  try so many things with the dozen.

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I settled on Shakshuka. It has  a winning taste combination of onion and red bell in my book.

Shakshuka is very popular middle eastern breakfast.Different region have slight variation to it.Core idea remains the same.Egg is cooked on top of the onion,bell pepper,tomatoes medley.

I told my kids that this dish is  middle eastern.Abby asked, are they still battling in middle east? She remembered it from our last middle east inspired meal.So we collectively prayed over the region.

I will not go into the gory details of atrocities going on this  very volatile region.If you keep up with the news,you know precisely what is happening there.Please pray for the change in heart for those persecuting.Safety and rescue for those being persecuted .This part of the world needs our earnest prayer.

 May the Lord give strength to his people!     May the Lord bless his people with peace! ~ Psalm 29:11

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Ingredients

5 eggs

4 medium tomatoes

2 Red bell pepper

1 Medium Onion

3  cloves of garlic crushed

Cayenne pepper to taste

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh herbs for garnish(optional)

Method

  • Chop all the vegetables.In the pan, heat about 2 tablespoon oil.
  • Add onion.Let the onion get translucent. Add red bell pepper.Let it wilt a little.Add tomatoes. Season it with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer it down until onion,pepper and tomato mixture is cooked though.
  • Break each egg gently on the top of vegetable medley.Cover it and let it cook until eggs are cooked through the firmness/runniness as you desire.

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Enjoy it warm just as it is or with a crusty bread.I served this breakfast for dinner 🙂 My son loved the eggs.My daughter and hubby gave it average.You don’t need to know my verdict, do you ?