Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Food Blog

I keep having this urge to update my blog, but keep having writer's block, not on how to write, but on what to write. Sometimes I have 10 topics in mind, but then after repeating them several times in my mind, I dismiss all of them and my blog never gets updated. So I came up with a solution. I am going to write about my favorite thing in the world - Food. I am going to make this into a food blog that will have recipes, criticism and all info that is food. I love cooking and eating out. When given a choice, I always go for the cooking shows on TV. So here it goes.....

Last weekend we went to this restaurant named SOHO/TUSCANA situated in a very popular area of Pune. Here is a gist of our experience -
SOHO(North Indian cuisine) and TUSCANA(Italian Cuisine) are 2 restaurants in the same place and you can order from either of them.
Ambience - Was Okay. What I loved is, it is a huge place with lots of distance between the tables which gave us lots of space to park our stroller and when my little one cried there was even space for us to push the stroller around the table. It was supposed to be a high end restaurant, although I would have preffered nicer chairs and plates.
Order - We ordered Vegetable Kebabs(starter), Vegetable Kadai, Garlic Naan and from Tuscana we ordered Putanesca sauce in spaghetti.
Taste - Everything came with a boat load of butter, so naturally it was tasty. The kebabs were very dry and I would not order them again. The vegetable kadai was really good. It didnot have the usual tomato sauce(I am tired of this), which was a welcoming change. It did have a variety of vegetables. The naans were dipped in butter, other than that, they had lots of garlic and it was a good combination of soft and crispy. It was not burnt like naans in most of the other places. Coming to the pasta, I had great doubt in the standards of an italian dish in India. But I was proven wrong. The spaghetti was cooked right and the sauce was delicious. I knew Putanesca sauce meant lot of olives and since I am not a big fan of olives, I ordered it with hesitation. But it was great. It had just the right amount of olives and herbs. The best part was that there was a lot of sauce for the spaghetti. I hate it when the sauce is too less for the pasta. I like it when there is extra sauce for every mouth. Even my 5 year old, who is a very very picky eater loved this meal.
I would have enjoyed it if it had a little less butter and a little more in quantity.

To sum up, It was a great restaurant and I wouldn't mind frequenting it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Wish List

...Or should I say my unrealistic wish list. Lately I have been thinking about things that would make life soooo much easier and here it is(in no specific order)....
1. What everyone wants.....30 hour days.
2. A laptop with atleast 10 hour battery life and takes only 2 mins to recharge.
3. A law that states women should be provided with a healthy and tasty breakfast every Saturday and Sunday in bed at 8 AM.
4. Cheese, Chocolates, fried items, Pizza, butter, ghee become the healthiest items to eat. Ok fine, I'll add fruits and vegetables to the list.
5. An understanding girlfriend who knows exactly what to tell you and when and preferrably lives closeby.
6. Never stuck in traffic and the lights are always green.
7. The power to know when you are about to take bad decisions.
8. The power to forget bad memories.
9. A pet that cleans and feeds itself.
10. A TV channel that plays FRIENDS episodes all the time 24/7 without commercials.
11. Hair that is black and thick and never gets grey.
12. Pollution and corruption free India.
13. A real chill pill that works.
14. A stable IT industry.
15. Awesome neighbors and workmates.
16. Grocery store, cloth store, bank, school, office, restaurant, park and lake only a few steps from your house.
and finally.......
16. An answer to all my questions.
I am sure there are many more. But these are the ones that came to my mind. ....my very very very very unrealistic wish list.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3 Recipes

video

Egg Curry -

Needed - Lots of diced onions, diced tomatoes, boiled eggs, turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, garam masala(optional).

In a heated pan, add oil and lots of it(I use Olive oil). Add mustard seeds and jeera. Then add the onions and little salt. The salt helps the onions cook a little faster. When the onions are half cooked, add the tomatoes, the chilli powder, the turmeric powder, garam masala(optional) and salt. Do not add water. Cut the egg into halves. After the tomatoes and onions are fully cooked, add the egg and cook for 5 - 10 mins. Enjoy!

Pizza - I made this all from scratch, even the sauce

Needed -

For the base - All purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar and salt.

For the sauce - tomato sauce, diced fresh tomatoes, diced garlic and italian herb seasoning. I used the McCormick mixture and it had basil, Marjoram, thyme, rosemary, oregano, savory and sage. I am just writing this straight from the bottle. Just look for anything that has Basil.

Toppings - any cheese you want, but Mozzarella is a must. How else will you get that string of cheese falling from your plate?!. I used a mix of Parmesan and Mozzarella, onions, bell pepper.

To make the base - In a bowl of warm water, add a tsp of yeat, sugar and salt and leave it for 10-15 mins until it starts becoming foamy. Add this to the flour and mix it like chappathi flour until it is smooth. apply some olive oil on top of the dough, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and leave it for 1 - 2 hours until it doubles in volume and it does!

To make the sauce - In a heated pan, add olive oil and add the garlic and fresh tomatoes and little salt. once the tomatoes are cooked and mashed a little, add the tomato sauce. I also added a little tomato paste to get that red color. Then add the herbs seasoning. You don't have to cook this for a long time. Just get this mixture heated up and you are good to go.

To make the pizza - spread the dough, a little bit thicker and put it on the pizza pan. I actually bought a pizza stone. It was only $2 more than the pan and I know that it awesome for making naans. They come out really well. Heat the oven to 420 degrees and put just the base into the oven for about 15 mins. Then take it out and add your toppings and bake again for about 10 - 15 mins. Don't forget to sprinkle a little salt if you are using lots of vegetables for toppings. but use very less since cheese is salty. The recipes in internet ask you to put the toppings and sauce on the uncooked base and cook them together. but I found that the base doesnot cook properly if I do that. That's why I cook the base separately before adding the sauce and toppings. It is much easier when u actually do it. Enjoy!

Stuffed Baingan(borrowed from a friend) -

Needed - Brinjals, Onions, garlic, ginger, red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, basin flour, turmeric powder, red chilli powder.

Fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, besan flour, red chillies, turmeric powder and little salt and grind them all together. This is the stuffing. But my friend made another stuffing by grinding roasted peanuts, red chillies and salt and it was better than the besan flour stuffing.

Slit the brinjals and put them in sality warm water for half an hour.

Grind the onions, garlic and ginger and fry this paste in heated pan with oil. Once the mixture is cooked, add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt and a little water and let it cook some more. Stuff the brinjals with the stuffing and press them hard so they won't fall off. Add this to the mixture on the stove and cover it and let it cook. turn the brinjals slowly inbetween until everything is fully cooked. It tastes awesome. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cars

After reading lazy blogger's old movie review, I decided to write on the animation movie "Cars". I just love this movie a lot. I watched it 3 times last weekend inspite of working till 7:30 PM on Saturday! When I am changing channels and see this movie in one of them, I just stop there and start watching as if I am watching it for the first time. Out of all the animations I have watched, this is my very favorite. Well, Finding Nemo and Cars equally good. Where do I even begin to describe the scenes I like? Every one of them is awesome. The attention to detail is mind blowing. Luigi is so cute! and Mator is funny....every Character in Radiator Springs is as if they are real and meant to be there. I like "Back then Cars didn't run to make great time, they ran to have a great time". Very true. Scaring the tractors and getting chased after by that Frank? don't remember his name very much. The big one with the ring in the nose.....that one. And winning the race with the tongue, the cozy cone, the dude who sells organic fuel, the very shy Red, the old car whose husband built Radiator Springs, the 2 cars that come looking for directions, Besse...yup I like every car in that movie. The main characters just wow you - Lightning McQueen, Sandy(right? the porsche?) and Doc Hudson. what else can I say.....I just love this movie.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I am not vanilla.....

...That's what Rachel from FRIENDS said when she was described as being very common/usual/nothing different. Ever since I saw this episode, I have been thinking if I am also a "vanilla", meaning there is nothing interesting about me? There is nothing wrong in being one, it's just makes you feel better if there are distinctive qualities that make you stand out. So here is the list of "not so vanilla" things about me -

1. I hate coffee. Tasting even a single sip of coffee makes me feel nauseous for hours.
2. While the rest of the world counts calories and tries to lose weight, I have been trying hard to put on weight ever since I can remember. I have always been on the too thin side and had to wear selective dresses and hairstyles that makes me look plumpier(is this even a word? who cares. you know what I mean.) I proudly tell everybody that I put on 40 pounds during my pregnancy and even today am probably the only one who is scared to go the gym for fear of losing weight.
3. Hate makeup. Makes me feel fake. May be a little lipstick, that too only because my lips are very dark.
4. Doesnot care about my career very much. I love to work and earn, but would give it up in a heart beat if it means compromising even the smallest of things for my husband and daughter. Have done it before. This might not seem to be a big thing for others, but the fact is that I am really good at the work I do, if I can say so myself. I have been working in my current job for only a year now and am already the most important person in my team. I got a bonus on the first 3 months of working here(you are eligible for a bonus only after completing one year) and the work is hard core script writing, sql querying, sometimes worse than a developer kind of work. But as I said before, would give it all up without second thought if it comes even slightly in my way of my duties as a mom or wife.
5. Am scared of cats. Love dogs, but scared of cats.
6. I am comfortable only at 90 degree temperatures. Anything less than 80 is cold for me. and a couple of days back the high was 5 degrees in Fahrenheit!
7. Don't like sweets that much. ofcourse chocolates and icecream is fine, but don't like most of the Indian sweets, pies, cookies.
8. cannot absolutely eat cereal at all. I would rather faint with hunger than eat cereal. Nope not for me.
9. I am a very good cook. I mean really really good. I do sometimes make flop recipes, but 90% of my cooking will be unbelievably tasty. Guess I got that one from my mom...:)

Now all you busy, lazy, touring and wondering bloggers, haven't seen an update from you guys in a long time. Here is you next topic.....your "not so vanilla" list.......

and a Happy new Year To All!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What should I write about?

I am trying to think of a topic to blog about. I have like a million topics in mind, but none that interest me enough to write of. I am at work and nothing much is going on today, which is good because it means no issues. I feel bored but convince myself that every minute I sit here is money. Somedays are so crazy that I forget to have lunch until late in the afternoon my tummy hurts and then it strikes me that I haven't had anything from morning other than a cup of chocolate milk! Then I rush to the nearest restaurant, which is a very high end Italian restaurant, which translates to big cheques. But I don't have time to go anywhere else. So I get food from there and eat it with a lot of guilt(one, it is pricey and two, lots and lots of cheese). Even this meal gets interrupted by 10 phone calls and 15 IM's(yeah we have Internal messenger in office). After about a million more issues and a zillion more emails, When I finally reach home and sit in my sofa, that is when I realize how tired I am. I don't even have energy to lift a finger. Again masking the guilt I have with the "making money" matter, I end up asking my hubby to feed my kid(and me!) and go to bed only to be sound asleep in 10 secs. This is how most of my work days are. But some of them, like today, are very slow. I keep checking the time atleast every 10 mins and calculating how much more time till I go home. Thinking what to do for dinner? Should we watch a movie after dinner? etc...etc.... Slightly changing lanes here.....Sometimes, I think I am taking way too advantage of the fact that I am working. Although I portray that men and women are equal in everything, deep down, when it comes to earning for the family, for loss of better words, I think that I think men are supposed to be the bread winners and women working is the extra mile. So when I come back from work, for some reason, I expect my husband to be extra kind to me, forgetting that he has also worked that day and is as/more tired than me. On the contrary, during the days that my hubby works and I don't, I feel like it is my duty to make sure there is a very delicious 3 course dinner waiting for him when he comes home along with all the dishes washed and Kitchen cleaned. Why is this this way? I think the true meaning of "men and women are equal" is not only that when men can go to work, women can also go to work(any work) and men and women have to do equal work at home also. It could also mean that the work men do at office and the work women do at home should be considered equal, to be more specific, just because the office work pays money and house work does not, doesn't mean one is better than the other. If you think about it one cannot function without the other. This concept is mostly stressed to men so they don't take us, women, for granted. But I believe that this should be equally understood AND followed by women to prevent knowingly or unknowingly taking advantage of husbands just because they are working.

Hey, look...I started this blog with nothing in mind, but I did end up blabbing for 50 lines!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Movies

I have been watching a lot of hindi movies these days and I must say...I love them all! I have become a very big fan of Hindi movies. For some reason I don't remember, I stopped watching Hindi movies 5 years back. Probably because I am not subscribed to any hindi channels here and I don't know what movies are getting released and who is acting, songs...nothing. and I kinda used to be content with the occasional tamil movies. But off late the tamil movies are so horrible that I cannot stand even 5 mins. There is a trailer of the movie "Thenavattu" coming in SunTV these days. It is really pathetic. I change the channel as soon as the trailer starts. it is that bad. When are people going to realize that there can be movies made without any heroism or unnecessary songs that makes us close our ears more than anything else. It is just irritating. I mean c'mon, atleast learn from seeing movies from other languages. where did the originality in tamil movies go? intelligence? Do the producers and directors think that we are stupid enough to fall for the same story again and again with just a different hero. Do they think the movie will be liked as long as they keep stripping the heroine and have a couple of useless unrealistic fights with the villain? These days even the comedy has become so bad. Vadivelu and vivek...just screaming at someone doesnot mean it is hilarious. Tamil cinema is missing the freshness that hindi movies are full off. During Thanksgiving holidays I saw Kuch kuch hota hai, rangeela, Lage raho Munna bhai, Yuva, Life in a metro, Mumbai Salsa, Hum dil de chuke sanam, Jab we met and the greatest movie I have ever seen...Taare Zameen Par! Kuch kuch hota hai and Rangeela brought back old memories. so I enjoyed them. Lage Raho Munna Bhai...kya originality hai! Loved it. Hum dil de chuke sanam...I don't think Aishwarya has looked more beautiful in any other movie. The entire movie was a beautiful love story. How many so-called love stories made these days can be described this way? Jab we met.....One of the very few movies that I watch in which I don't want to fast forward even a single scene..not even the songs. Shahid is my new favorite hero and I never liked Kareena until I saw this movie. I read that they are remaking this movie in Tamil. I only hope they don't forcefully add Vadivelu or Vivek. And Taare Zameen Par...what can I say about this movie? Simply brilliant! I must admit that I was hesitating to watch this movie at first because I don't like very sentimental movies. But once I started watching it, I realized that the reviews I read were infact well deserved. Everyone(who hasn't yet) should watch this movie. It is a very powerful story told in simple terms. Whoever came up with the screen play....kudos to you! simply superb!

Now coming to movies like Life in a metro and Mumbai salsa......I watched them back to back. After finishing it, I longed for movie without any extra marital affairs. Is this how it really is or have they concentrated it too much? Is having an affair so normal these days in India? what about one night stands? I was seeing a scene where the girl and the boy are falling in love. what I was expecting...girl and boy on the roof garden with a clear sky and stars and moon and they both looking into each others eyes and talking. what I saw....girl and boy in the roof garden, with clear skies and stars and moon...only, 15 beer bottles around them and the girl is challenging the guy on how fast she can drink the beer! Somebody please tell me that there are still college students who think a girl and boy just touching is a bad thing. So yeah, those 2 movies were a little out of the range for me, but still watchable.

when am I going to be a tamil movie fan again? When is Vijay and Ajith and Rajini going to act in age appropriate roles that mean something? when is Nayantara going to stop stripping? when is there going to be a good full length comedy movie that is going to make us laugh till our stomach's hurt? Tamil movie fans are waiting.......till then I will keep enjoying the reruns of old classics.