Saturday, October 3, 2009

mushrooms and onions

I made a large batch of caramelized onions and mushrooms and used it in different ways over the week. To make the caramelized onions and mushrooms, first obviously I thinly sliced lots of onions and 2 packages of mushrooms. I used white button and baby bella mushrooms. Heat up a lot of olive oil and once it is hot, add the onions and mushrooms. Meanwhile mince some garlic cloves and add it to the pan. Add salt and pepper and keep stirring on medium-low heat. This is going to take a while. In the meantime, I cut up strips of green bell peppers and also de-seeded and sliced jalapeños. I used the jalapeños for a bit of kick and also coz I had to use them up. The onions and mushrooms will reduce to more than half their original size and will look all brown and caramelized. At the last min, add the peppers and jalapeños.

Armed with this batch, the first thing I made was pasta. I made a beautiful white sauce. Add some flour to heated olive oil and butter, stir it till the flour is cooked. Slowly add milk and keep stirring to avoid lumps. I also add a little bit of water to the sauce. The sauce will thicken and will be smooth and silky. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes and italian seasoning. Thats a flavorful white sauce! Cook up some spaghetti in boiling water and pre heat the oven. Layer some white sauce on the bottom of the pan, add some of the onion mushroom mixture, some more sauce, spaghetti and the rest of the sauce. Top with grated cheese if you want. I just don't keep cheese on hand these days since we are trying to avoid it. Heat it up in the oven till the cheese melts and you are in for a treat.

The second thing we had was subs with the onions and mushrooms. I bought some sub rolls from the bakery at the local grocery store along with swiss cheese. Some things just need the cheese. ;) Cut up the subs and layer the swiss cheese slices and heat it in the oven till the cheese melts. Layer some lettuce leaves and add the onion mushroom mixture on the subs. Top with sliced avocados and some of the leftover white sauce. Thats the second treat.

The last of the onions and mushrooms got used in a frittata which is a type of Italian omelette. It is a big fat omelette which is generally cooked first on stove top and and then broiled in the oven. But since I don't have a oven safe skillet, I did all the cooking in the oven. Add a little bit of milk into a bowl and break eggs into it. I used 5 egg whites and one whole egg. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper. Add dried parsley leaves and of course the onion and mushroom mixture. Pour into greased baking dish and top with swiss cheese. Cook it for 15 mins at 350 F oven and broil for 2 mins after that. Remove from the baking dish and cut into wedges or layer on some sliced bread.

I loved all the three dishes. I think its because I really like mushrooms cooked this way. Anurag was not a fan of the frittata. Not really sure why. Out of the three, the pasta was really a star recipe. I had also made an asian inspired spaghetti where I used a bit of this mushroom mixture but it was not the focal point as in the above recipes. But that was some lip smacking and easy dish to make. Chopping was the hardest part. If you use the coleslaw mix, this can be made in minutes. I had to cut up cabbage, bell peppers, onions, spring onions and carrots. Heat up some oil in a pan on high heat. Add onions and garlic. Keep the heat high and keep stirring. Add the cabbage, carrots. Add some salt and pepper and stir till the cabbage is slightly cooked. Add cubed tofu, caramelized mushroom and onions, peppers, frozen peas and spring onions. Thats a lot of veggies compared to the amount of spaghetti but I like it that way. Meanwhile, find some time to make the sauce. Heat a little bit of peanut butter in the microwave, add soya sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice. I also added a sesame orange asian sauce. Mix it up and keep tasting to add more of what you like till you love the sauce. Add this sauce and cooked spaghetti to the cooked veggies. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onion greens.

I did not take any pictures this time. I am just bored of taking pictures before eating. And I have not written about my trips too. We had gone to Niagara falls and Gatlinburg,Nashville. But I didn't write about it. Bored of that too!

Till I get inspired enough to write a post....bye!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Easy and simple dinners

When you have, some tomatillos, an extra large tomato and some beautiful pink radhish :

what does it turn into for dinner?

Mooli paratha and Sev tameta. I can eat mooli only in parathas, that too made my way. I sautee the grated mooli and its leaves in some oil with hing till they are cooked. Then I take some wheat flour, add a bit of besan to it, some salt, chilli powder, turmeric and the cooked mooli. Then I make a soft dough adding water as needed and make parathas as usual.
I used the wrong type of sev for the sev tameta but that was the only one I had at home. Usually, the thick variety is used. Making Sev tameta is really simple. Just make a tadka with some oil, mustard seeds, jeera, hing. Add some chopped onion and garlic if you wish. Otherwise just add some chopped green chillies and turmeric. Add the chopped tomatoes. I had some tomatillos so I used them along with the tomatoes. But tomatillos are more sour than tomatoes so be careful. Cover and cook the tomatoes. Add some salt and sugar. If you have jaggery, better still. Add some dhaniya jeera powder. Add water. We need a gravy and the sev will also soak up the water. Keep tasting to adjust the sweetness and sourness. Let it boil for a 4-5 mins. Add sev just before serving. It was a really nice combination of the mooli parathas and the tangy tomato curry.

Once in a while, I buy the beautiful purple cabbage.

I had some of the cabbage leftover after making a sabzi. I made a colorful salad for dinner along with sandwiches. I had some sprouted brown chana. I added the chopped purple cabbage, onions, grated carrot, finely chopped and deseeded jalapeno pepper or some finely chopped capsicum. Add some salt, chaat masala, pinch of sugar and lemon juice. The sandwiches are the usual potato sandwiches. Boiled and mashed potatoes, seasoned with salt, chillies, dhaniya powder and a tiny bit of garam masala. Mix it up, layer it on bread and toast it on a pan. And you are ready for a nice and filling meal.
The other type of sandwich we generally have for breakfast are the vegetable filled ones along the lines of the mumbai street food sandwiches, but not quite. But it works for us, since it is simpler and still tasty.
For the sandwiches in the picture, I have spread some honeymustard on the bread, layered some boiled and sliced potatoes, sliced onions, sliced cucumbers, sliced beetroot and sliced jalapeno. Sprinkle salt, pepper and chaat masala on top. And roast it on a pan. Sometimes we use green chutney on the bread, if we have a bottle sitting in the fridge. Sometimes, we add some cheese to the sandwich. It all depends on the mood and the availability of ingredients.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Miami - on the road

Last weekend was a long weekend. 4th of July. And we are in the middle of a travel or more specifically, a driving spree. As usual, we made last minute decisions about where to go. We went to Miami to a friend's place. We decided to start on Wednesday afternoon around 2 o clock and again as usual, we were delayed by more than an hour. We finally left after 3:30. It was a 730 miles journey by road. We took our first stop around 6 in the evening, just before hitting I-95 S which makes up for 450 miles of the total journey. After a cup of tea from our excellent new thermos, a plate of triple layer nachos for our stomachs and fuel for the car, we were back on the road. I was asked to sleep in the back seat. I tried but within an hour, I was hungry again. Glad we brought the bananas with us! We wanted to cross Jacksonville before our dinner stop but we stopped a few miles before. One of the reasons was a weird noise. We were worried the tires might have a problem. But it turned out that there was something about the road which caused the car to give out that weird noise. Since we had stopped, we ate our packed dinner of roti and potato sabji. We also had donuts from the nice store at GATE fuel station. After that, another tea and fuel stop at 2 in the night, we reached Sumit's house at 5 in the morning. I did doze off a few times but thankfully, Anurag didn't and he was fast asleep as soon as he hit the bed.

I spent the next day in a half asleep state. I did sleep for a while in the afternoon while Anurag had to work since he had not taken leave that day. Shweta had prepared a nice meal of rice, dal and aloo capsicum the previous evening. We had that for lunch. After a dinner of chole, roti and rice, we slept early for the long day ahead.

The next morning, we woke up at 4:30 and left home by 5:30 to reach Key West in time for our day long adventure which was to start at 10 in the morning. It is a cool 4 hr drive to Key West on the overseas highway. The highway connects several islands and also goes over the ocean for some part. Key West is the last island in the chain. The highway is quite scenic and there are a few stretches with ocean on both sides. We reached the Fury Cat Ultimate Adventure boarding point by 9:30 after finding a place to park the car. Key West is a very small place and we had heard people have trouble finding parking there. We had booked the Fury Cat Ultimate Adventure package online before leaving for Miami for a small discount although people can book it on the spot for a higher price. We had to first fill out a few forms confirming that we are fit for the adventure activities which included snorkeling, para gliding and jet ski. Other activities included kayaking, artificial iceberg climbing. At 10 o clock, everyone boarded the Fury Cat boat all set for the day. Breakfast was immediately laid out. We had bagels, cream cheese, muffins, yogurt and orange juice. After breakfast, we were given snorkeling instructions. We were not allowed to touch or stand on the coral reefs, obviously. The Florida reefs are the only location in US to have live coral reefs. We were given the snorkel gear - the mask, snorkel tube, fins, life jacket and vest. Soon, we reached the reef location and descended down the stairs at the floor of the boat into the ocean. I was quite scared to be leaving the safety of the boat to go into the ocean. But life jackets are an excellent thing. After a few minutes, I was sure I am not going to drown. :) But I had a huge difficulty breathing through the tube in my mouth. I also had problem getting the tube to fit properly in my mouth. Extremely salty water filled my mouth ever so often. After some time and some coaching by Anurag, I was able to breathe a little. After that I really enjoyed my time observing the under water views. Snorkeling time was 1 hour and before we knew it, time was up. We headed back to the boat and had a fresh water shower. It was time for lunch. We had pasta salad, potato salad, buns and cheese slices. The other options were fried chicken and lot of other things which we wouldn't eat.
The boat then left for Gulf of Mexico for the second part of our trip. There it docks on a floating island which is the base for para sailing, jet ski, kayaking, artificial ice berg climbing. The people on board are divided into groups and a group of around 10 people are taken for para sailing or jet ski while the rest can do any of the other activities like kayaking or iceberg climbing or just swimming in the ocean. We were in group no. 7 which mainly consisted of Indians. First we were up for the jet ski. We were given instructions on using the jet ski and then were handed the jet skis. The instructor told us to remember 2 things : this is not a bicycle so you don't need to balance it and other is not to turn without running the engine. I was a prepared to fall off because our other friends who had done it earlier had fallen off. But luckily, we didn't fall. It could be because I used to start screaming if Anurag increased the speed too much. It felt like I would just fly down the jet ski if I didn't hang onto Anurag's life jacket straps. We had a fun 15 min on the jet ski.
There was a one hour gap before our para sailing turn. So we just took the kayak and went around. I had thought it would be physically strenuous but it was fun. After an hour of kayaking, we were ready for para-sailing. We went into a smaller boat and were strapped up and sent flying in the air. I hadn't expected to be scared. But once we were very high up in the air, I was so scared. All I could see below me was water and the huge ocean. I still find it funny that I was scared like that.
After that, it was time to go back to the shore. We roamed around the little town of Key West for a while. I tried the key lime ice cream but didn't like it too much. Anurag had gone with the safer option of vanilla ice cream and enjoyed it. We left Key West around 5:30 and were home by 9. Had dinner and crashed for the night.

Next day, we got up late and had a late lunch of kadhi chawal. In the evening, we went to Miami's most famous landmark - the South Beach. I had heard that it is a very good beach but I had not expected such clean and clear water and white sands. It is also not very deep near the shore for some distance. While Anurag went for a swim, I just dipped my legs in the ocean and was collecting shells. We spent nearly 2 hours there and it was time for sunset. We had had a difficult time looking for a parking spot when we had reached. We had finally found one after nearly half an hour. While going back, there was a near traffic jam. The driving in Miami is not as disciplined as Charlotte and nearby places. We reached home, showered and changed and left to watch the Transformers 2 movie. The Movico cinema hall was modeled on Egyptian theme. I cannot say if the movie was good or bad because I had dozed off during the movie. But the others said it was good.We came back after the movie at nearly 2 o clock.

Sunday, the last day of our stay at Miami. We had planned to go to Everglades national park. We hadn't done any research on what the place exactly offers. We just drove down to Ernest Coe Visitor Center. We were given a map and were told to take some of the trails while hoping to see some alligators. We drove down the route towards Flamingo Visitor Center. Our first stop was the Anhinga trail where there is a high possibility of spotting wild life. The weather was hot so the cap and sunglasses were necessary. We did spot two alligators on the trail. There was Gumbo Limbo trail near Anhinga trail and we decided to try it. It was completely swarmed by mosquitoes. Anurag's bad luck was that he had worn a black t-shirt and they were all over him. I was saved to some extent due to my white t-shirt. We couldn't stop to see a thing. The huge mosquitoes were feasting on our blood and they just stuck to our bodies even if we tried to slap them. We ran as fast as we could and got out of the trail. We didn't stop at any of the other trails for the fear of mosquitoes. We reached the Flamingo visitor center. There they had an AC room housing a small museum. We were relieved to spend a few moments there away from mosquitoes and the heat. There was a small shop near the visitor's center where we could buy sandwiches and microwave them. Our only option was the egg salad sandwich. I loved them. Maybe because we were really hungry. We also took a piece of carrot cake and choco bar ice creams. All of us enjoyed the lunch because we were completely unsure whether we would find anything to eat in the mosquito swarmed forest and when we found food, we were happy. There are 2 hour air-boat rides offered at the shop. We didn't take it because we were already so uninterested in everything. "Once bitten, twice shy". But we were actually bitten hundreds of times in a matter of minutes that we were terribly shy of going anywhere else :)
We just drove around a bit more and returned home. Ordered in a pizza for dinner and slept.

The next morning, we left for Charlotte at around 11:30 in the morning after packing some lunch and tea for us to eat on the way. Our first stop was around 2:30 near the cocoa beach exit. Does it remind anyone of 'I Dream of Jeannie' (Cocoa beach, Florida)? We had lunch and moved ahead. Our second stop was somewhere around 6:30. We ate two subs from subway and had some more tea. After that it was non stop till Charlotte although we did have some tea in the car. We were home at 12:30. We were still catching up on sleep a few days after we arrived.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trip to Atlanta

Now that Anurag got his drivers license and we made the small trip a couple of weeks ago, we felt ready for a longer trip. We decided on Atlanta and quickly booked a hotel and bought the Citypass online. Citypass is a good way to get tickets to all the attractions in a city in a single booklet at an affordable price, atleast for Atlanta.
We had decided to leave by 4 in the afternoon on Friday but we were finally able to get going at nearly 6. Being, summer, the day lasts till atleast 8:30 which was good for us. As we neared Atlanta, we moved into severe weather of thunder, lightening and heavy rain. But it was the last part of the journey and we finally made it by 10:30 to the hotel. Somehow, I was not able to sleep that night. At 6 in the morning, it was a great surprise to be awake. At home, I never feel awake before 8:30.
We were out and about by 8 and headed to the georgia aquaruim. There we exchanged our Citypass e-ticket for the booklet. On summer Saturdays, the aquarium works extended hours (8 am to 8 pm) to accomodate the larger crowds. We were among the first few to reach there which is a good thing as the crowds grow larger later in the morning.
We started with the Ocean Voyager exhibit. It is a huge tank with more than 6 million gallons of salt water. It contains fascinating animals like the largest fish - whale shark and hammerhead shark, sandbar shark and many other sting rays and fish. And the beautiful and the only manta ray in US aqariums.
After that we went to the 3-D show. It was good for children and gave a message that our small actions can pollute the rivers and oceans and harm the ocean life.
After that we went to the Tropical diver exhibit. It was an amazing collection of a whole lot of colorful fish in a huge tank. It was kind of like watching a rainbow come alive! We saw some beautiful jelly fish too in there. By this time, the aquarium had gotten really crowded.
After a quick look around the River Scout exhibit, we were just in time for the Quick dip tour. The quick dip tour guide takes us to the top of the Ocean Voyager and River Scout tanks. It is great to see the huge whale sharks from the top of the pool. The Ocean Voyager pool itself is the size of a football stadium.
After a better look around the River Scout exhibit at the pirhanas, the tree boa and the otters, and then looking at the touch pools, we were just in time for the Titanic Aquatic exhibit which is a temporary exhibit till Sept. It contains artifacts recovered from the Titanic and stories about the passengers on the fated ship.
The Coldwater Quest was the last exhibit at the aquarium. We spent a long time looking at the beluga whales there. They are giant animals with very graceful movements. It was beautiful watching them. The other animals included the spider crabs, sea dragons.
It was already past 2:15 by the time we finished seeing everything at the aquarium. And hunger hit us and I could feel the first signs of migraine coming up. The cafe at the aquarium had only roasted vegetable pizza as the vegetarian option apart from desserts. We took the pizza and the keylime tart. The pizza was good but the tart was way too heavy. We had to finally leave out the cream and eat only the crust.

The next stop was 'The World of Coca-Cola' which was just next door the aquarium. There we found out that the Coca-Cola company is more than 100 years old, saw coca-cola artifacts from all over the world, watched how the machines used in coca-cola factories, watched a 4-D show and tasted coca-cola products from around the world. Some of them were downright bad and others were good. But nothing beats the coca-cola original. Everyone gets a bottle of fresh coca-cola at the end. We sat down for a while near the lawns. My migraine had picked up intensity by then. We checked the GPS to find a subway nearby. It was right down the street next to Centennial Olympic Park. We decided to walk down there. We were thinking of spending some time at the park but we were still really tired after eating the subway and I could see the migraine coming full on. So, off we went to the hotel. After some tablets and some rest, I was better by night.

The next day we checked out of the hotel around 9:30 and headed towards the Swaminarayan temple. It is a beautiful temple with the carved stones sent in from India and assembled here. The other highlight there was the sweets and snack shop in the temple complex. We filled up the trunk of the car with khakras, chundo, sweets. And also had a nice lunch there.

After lunch, around 1, we headed out to Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

The highlight there were the dinosaur fossil skeletons. The other interesting part for me was the 'Reflections of culture' exhibit. It had traditional clothing, jewelery and accessories from around the world. We also caught the 'Dinosaurs Alive' IMAX movie.

We left around 5 from the museum towards home. After pulling over to a rest area and enjoying papdi and jalebis picked up earlier at the temple, we were back on the interstate around 7:30. After a few missed turns, we were home by 10 at night. Its times like these when the frozen parathas come to the rescue. After a good fill of aloo parathas, it was good to be sleeping on my own bed :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

weekend trip

Last week Anurag finally got his driver's license here. So we decided to rent a car for the weekend. I should write about the fun and food before it gets too late. On Saturday evening, we went to the temple at Charlotte. It was only recently we found out that there is a temple here.
It might just have been the first centrally airconditioned temple I have been to :) Next to the temple was another small building. We saw many people going there. So we thought of checking out what it was. It turned out to be a dining hall and people were having dinner. We were not sure if it was for everyone so we started to go back. But a person called us and asked us to have dinner and go. And dinner we had!! I still remember the vaghareli khichadi and bateka nu shaak and the cooling chaas (that is khichadi, potato curry and buttermilk). Yummy! And also got to eat sukhadi as prasad. It was pretty nice to go to a temple after a long time and meet some friendly desi folks. Because otherwise, the desi folks just see through you while the Americans stop to say hi.

The next day was Sunday. After a late start to the day, we ran some errands for grocery shopping and after lunch, headed out to Lazy 5 ranch It is quite an amazing place for a privately owned, no federal funding setup. And it doesn't burn a hole in the pocket. We reached the place after an hour long drive. At the gate, we paid the entry fee and bought the feed buckets. No sooner did we enter the safari drive, we were surrounded by ostrich. I asked Anurag to feed him from his hand. It was not such a good idea! The ranch recommends feeding only from the feed buckets. And we hadn't read that. Well, Anurag's fingers are still intact. But the ostrich was still hungry and he saw the feed bucket in the car and was trying to get in to reach it. There was some screaming in the car, it was mostly me! But Anurag managed to move the car forward a bit and the ostrich thankfully didn't try to follow. The windows were quickly closed and noone tried to feed any more ostriches!! :)
There are around 750 animals at the ranch including the lama, different types of deer, rhino, giraffe, zebra, bison, cows, bulls and birds. We had a fun time getting them to eat. Be prepared for dusty roads and dirty cars because the animals spill their food on the car if you don't keep the bucket completely outside the car. And as you must have guessed, I am speaking from experience :)

This was our first time driving experience in the US and for that matter, in a car. And we did nearly 100 miles that day. Even though I was not the one who was driving, I was thinking from the front seat, wow, this is difficult! Although the absence of clutch and gears makes it a bit easier, there needs to be a lot of multitasking. Checking the speed limits, the GPS, changing lanes and all that stuff. It was a good driving trip. Hope we have more soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

sweet somethings and i feel love

Thats baked karanji/gujiya. I took the crust recipe from here. I took
2 cups of all purpose flour, salt, 3 tbsp ghee, 3 tbsp yogurt, pinch of baking soda and water to get a tight dough as mentioned in the recipe. For the sweet filling, I melted jaggery and added dried grated coconut, cardamom powder and some sugar too. It would be great if you can find the soft kind of jaggery. I baked it at 375 F as mentioned in the linked recipe. It turned out delicious for a low fat sweet. Anurag said the crust was like biscuit. Maybe because it was crispy hard, which means, I had to cut up the karanji with a knife instead of being able to break it by hand. We got a lot of karanjis from the dough but we were still sad when they got over after a few days :)

I had tried this easy rasmalai recipe on diwali. Yes, thats a long time ago. I also made a lot of other stuff which is in the background. This baked ricotta cheese rasmalai is so tasty, that its hard to believe you didn't toil hard in the kitchen to make it. :) I love these type of recipes. I admire the smart people out there who create such innovations.

I made these banana nut muffins from this recipe. I had made the loaf version of the recipe a couple of times earlier. And banana bread or muffins are always delicious. Anurag made this absolutely yummy bowl in the second row. He cut up two muffins and scooped vanilla icecream over it. Then he poured chocolate syrup and sprinkled nut topping on it. It sure felt like a tiny bit of heaven in a bowl :)

I had made the banana muffins again. This time, skipping the nuts and adding chocolate syrup in the batter since Anurag enjoyed them with chocolate syrup drizzled on them the last time. Although I try to avoid chocolate as much as possible lest the migraine flares up.

Check out this video. "I feel love" by Venus Hum and the Blueman group. It is electric and vibrant. Sure to lift anyone up from a bad mood.

Isn't Annette Strean almost super natural with her singing? She is singing it so effortlessly, you would think its baccha song. I have heard other singers try to sing it for the blue man group but they are just not able to cut it. I also love how the guitarists and drummers are so totally enjoying what they are doing. Each person on the stage seems to be in a trance, completely absorbed in enjoying their own thing. But yet it works so well in complete harmony. :) Let me not get philosophical about it and say bye before I start sounding weird.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

new veggies, old tastes

There isn't a huge variety of "known" vegetables in the supermarkets here. The staples on our weekly shopping are cabbage, cauliflower, french beans, spinach. Sometimes, I buy the vegetables I am not too familiar with, just to break the monotony. So, this post is about those vegetables which I tried to cook for the first time.

The first one is Brussels sprouts. The picture shows them raw and then cooked with potatoes.
I just quartered each Brussels sprout and cooked it like the usual cabbage aloo. Made a tadka of jeera, hing, turmeric, chilli and then added the cut up Brussels sprouts and potatoes, some salt and dhaniya powder. Then instead of cooking it up in the pan like usual. I thought this needed to be crispier than that. So I put the almost cooked vegetables in an oven tray and broiled them for a while. I didn't warm up to this vegetable a lot though Anurag thought it was good. I thought it had a strong odour and taste. I never had this problem with cooked cabbage. I thought this was way stronger.

Who wouldn't be tempted to buy these cute little chillies? I gave into the temptation and bought them. I was thinking of stuffing them but I finally made mirchi ka salan. It sure is a tasty dish and the best recipe is here.

If you don't concentrate on reading the label "tamarind paste concentrate", and read it only as "tamarind paste" then you can end up with mirchi ka salan that looks a lot more brown than necessary and you also have to add a lot of sugar to compensate the sour. If you didn't notice, thats the stupid mistake I made. But the positive side is that, I could still turn the blunder around into an edible dish. Though it didn't taste like a mirchi dish :) It could have been a spicier. I think I shouldn't have de-seeded these peppers. They were pretty mild even without the sugar addition.

I had been intrigued since I first saw asparagus on the internet when I was in India. I wondered what a stem like vegetable would taste like. So I took the opportunity to taste it first-hand. It does look pretty and tastes good too. It is nice and crunchy when baked. That is the only way I tried it. Need to buy it again one of these days.

I cut up 1-2 inch pieces of asparagus and carrots. Added olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli powder and a tiny bit of dhaniya powder and rolled it around to coat it with the spices and baked them till crisp. We had them as a side with dal chawal. Surprisingly, it also tasted great on the pizza I made the next day.

Next is the very traditional punjabi dish of sarson ka saag and makki ki roti. I used a can of mustard greens instead of fresh ones. This one doesn't have a before and after picture as I didn't take the picture of the can :)

I followed the recipe almost as it is from here as I think this is the most authentic recipe I could find on the internet. My makki ki roti doesn't look yellow because I used white corn meal. I also added a bit of wheat flour as the corn meal was quite coarse. I also didn't add any radish to the roti. You know how I avoid strong flavour and odour. They make my stomach feel weird. This was super yummy. And don't forget to add ghee or butter on both the saag and the roti.

This weekend, we were just roaming around the neighborhood shopping center. We tried the ben and jerry's frozen yogurt. I had frozen yogurt for the first time and I thought it is an amazing idea. It is lighter than ice-cream and is not as sweet. So I loved it.

I almost feel bad writing about this after all the food stuff but I just need to tell this. We also went into a pet shop. We always used to see these cute rabbits and birds from the shop window, so we thought of having a look around the shop. There were so many beautiful fish in there and then can you believe it, there was a section of reptiles. Absolutely eww. There were snakes, and lizard or I should say gecko. eww. eww. Let me not get into their types and sizes . I ran from there into the dog section. What kind of people would want such pets!!! And here I used to think "wow, I live in a lizard free land" coz I had never seen them before like in India where they sneak into the house. Oh enough!! I need to stop before I have nightmares about them.
Lets talk about movies. It seems like a mandatory section here these days :) But I don't have much on this front lately. Just saw "Aa dekhe zara". It is an average movie in the thriller category. Neil's first movie "Johnny Gaddar" was way better. His next is going to be "Jail" I think but I don't have high hopes on that either.
I think I haven't mentioned "Marley and Me". Saw it long time ago. It is a beautiful movie. Nothing extraordinary in terms of story but it touched my heart.