Sunday, November 30, 2008

A great idea gone awry!

Winter is getting intense in our part of the world and our little bundle of joy is rebelling against the layers of garments that we make her wear. She hates socks and shoes and pulls them out within minutes of us putting them on her.

She loves to wear matching shoes when we go out, but home, it is a different matter. The moment we are inside our home, she sits down and pulls out her shoes and socks.

Since she is an ardent fan of Mickey mouse club, we shouted Eureka when we found very cute slippers with minnie mouse on them... we just knew that she would love to wear them, and no more worries about her tiny frozen feet!!!...

Well... we were right...and wrong!!!

She is never without the slippers at home, but instead of wearing them on her feet, she holds them close to her chest!!! ...After all, it is Minnie mouths ...

The picture is of her wearing them on her feet for the first time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moutabel (Eggplant dip)

This is a lebanese preparation, which is predominantly served as a starter(Mezze), along with hot pita bread. Also called Babaghanoush.

When I visit my parents, I always remember to order a large salad platter from a Lebanese restaurant . The platter includes Hummus, moutabel, and a lot of other yummy treats.

Most of the recipies given on the web, call for a microwave, or an oven. But since my OTG (oven-toaster-grill)is taking a vacation, I decided to seek an alternate method to make this. My mom had successfully prepared this in the microwave.

Aubergine/eggplant/Brinjal - 1 fleshy large or 4 medium sized ones (approx 250 gms)
Garlic - 1 clove
Tahina - 1 tbsp (or according to choice)
Salt - to taste
Whole Pepper - 1/2 tsp
olive oil - 3-4 tsp atleast
Lemon juice - 1 tsp

Blister the eggplants on a flame to get the smoky taste. Make sure they are blistered all over, but not burned. If so, cut off the burned portions.
Steam the aubergines so that the flesh is cooked through.
Scoop out the flesh from the aubergines.
In a blender, add the garlic, pepper,salt, lemon juice,tahina and the eggplant flesh. Just pulse twice, remove to a bowl and add the olive oil. Mix well. It is okay if the constistency is not very smooth. Just adds interest to the texture.But, ensure that the taste is blended all over. In case you want it more smooth, break up the pieces with a fork.

Sprinkle a bit of paprika and serve in a bowl.

Sorry about the bad picture!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Aloo-methi - (Potatoes and fenugreek leaves)

I just grabbed a huge bunch of very fresh methi leaves as soon as I saw them. have very fond memories of my mom preparing the same. They were so fresh, that even the stalks were very tender. So I decided to chop the leaves along with the stalk and add it to the preparation.

Fenugreek/methi leaves - a bunch (finely cut )
Potatoes - 2 medium (peeled and cut into cubes)
Onion- 1 (cut into cubes)
Dried red chillies - 2
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp (can use more or less according to choice)

Take the peeled and cubed potatoes into a thick bottom vessel, add some water (enough to level with the potatoes in it. Add the chilly powder and turmeric powder. Once the water boils, lower the flame to medium and let the potatoes cook through and the water almost disappears. (You may use a pressure cooker to cook the potatoes too)

Now, in a wok, heat oil. (I added some mustard seeds to temper)add the onions and the red chillies (can use chilli flakes for more heat , or can just crush the whole chillies too)Add the potatoes and stir to coat the oil. now put the methi leaves,add salt to taste, put the lid on and wait till the leaves change colour. Slowly mix till the leaves and potatoes are mixed. If so desired, the potatoes can be lightly fried with more oil before adding the methi leaves.

The aroma of methi leaves cooking is out of the world. Superb with just rice, curd and some tener mango pickles...Yum!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Problems with Paypal

Hi, Just wondering if any of you have had this problem.. I signed in for paypal, but have not been able to add any credit or debit cards.. did everything as per instructions, but have been asked to question the cardproblems department..but their response is either slow or no use.. feel as if I am sending my mail and getting responses from some pre-programmed machine.

Anyone encountered this problem?

And is there any other alternative for this ?

Really would love to know...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great, untried recipes - Tini's cookies

Don't you have a collection of recipes that you have not made yourself, but know that they yield great results? ....I have!

This is one such recipe. I have tasted many variations on these cookies made by a very special friend Tini. They were so good, that I pestered her till she gave me the recipe. The ones I had had nuts in them and yet another time, with chocolate chips. And she does make the most fabulous cakes too...

I am not even mentioning the other dishes she makes!!! Since I am scared to bake, (never had anything to report but disasters !), I am more in awe of her baking skills.

so this is the basic recipe, on which one can add other ingredients to make variations. She is a certified dietician, so she makes all this food with healthy ingredients too..

Flour - 200 gms
Sugar - 100 gms
refined oil - 120 ml
Baking powder - 5 gms

Mix everything together, roll the cookie dough into balls . Grease the tray and place the dough with even spaces between, to let them expand.
place in an oven at 130 degrees, and stay near it to make sure they don't burn!

I did not take down the time, it is done in a few minutes and my OTG anyway has nothing in common with Tini's oven...

Anyway, I will definitely try my hand at baking...a s soon as I gather a bit of confidence!!! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

About Entrecard....

I have a system about the 'drops' I make on entrecard. that was because I saw that I could miss the people dropping in my blog. So I first went to the drops feed, dropped for all the blogs there each day, then dropped for the friend's feed, the blogs I follow and those that advertise on my was a good system and all together ranged invariably between 50 to 70 drops a day..

But today, just my droppers themselves numbered 91!!!! am amazed, surprised and thrilled . So I have been carefully returning the drops and am still not done, since I do take time to read the latest posts of most of the blogs and go through some of them thoroughly !

Love the comments more than the drops though...:)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another masterpiece.......!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two days back, our daughter brought home worksheets from her playschool, that looked a bit too perfectly colored for a 2-year old. Still we did not want to doubt the achievements of our special miracle.

Finally I could not stand the suspense, and wanted to find out for myself. So I drew an outline of one of her favourites - Tweety, gave her some crayons and let her loose.. well the result speaks for itself doesn't it???

And she insisited I put it up since I frame and hang up my paintings!!! I do think in this instance, she does take after her aunt S !!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ninan Dip (mayo and curd)

This is a toot for a great creation that made so many meals memorable!

Made some kebabs with the leftover mince from the meatballs. We had bought some Kaboose (flat Lebanese bread).
Also had some nice pickles and relish that we had bought earlier, so all that was missing to make things complete, was our Ninan Dip.

This is a treat from our childhood days, bringing back lot of memories of great barbeques, picnics and dinners. Fried chicken, barbecued chicken, cutlets, fish-fingers, batter-fried prawns, everything tasted better with this dip. It was originally made by my dad's friend Ninan uncle, and everyone always called it Ninan's paste. But actually it is a little liquidy to be called a paste. And since we use it as a dip mainly, I decided to call it thus.

Mayonnaise - 1 cup
Curd - 1/2 cup
Red shallot - 2 (I used 1/4 of an onion)
Green chilly - 2 nos.
Coriander leaves - one bunch
Salt to taste

Put everything in the blender and pulse twice.
Sprinkle a bit of crushed pepper.

I just placed the kebab on Kaboose, added some finely sliced tomatoes and peppers, relish, pickles, and a liberal dose of the dip.....ummmm heavenly...It is something to toot about indeed...

Monday, November 10, 2008

A very eventful weekend...

It was a very busy weekend for us..

Took our daughter to the Delhi Zoo with our friends and neighbors. Came back, went shopping, then dinner at a friend's place some 10 Kms away ..we had slight trouble finding the way, there raided my friend's library, brought back a bunch of books, and had a lovely time meeting some new folks.

Reached back after 1 am.!!!

Sunday we got up late, had lunch and then went to watch Quantum of Solace..enjoyed it a lot. Picked up a pizza and came back home.

Slightly hectic, but nice.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mutton Meat balls (snack)

The meatballs were so fragrant and melt-in the mouth, that they could be eaten just fried, with a dip.

Minced mutton - 300 gms
Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried oregano - 1/4 tsp

Heat a small wok / kadai and add

Oil - 1 tsp

Now saute
Onion - 1 small(chopped very very fine)
Garlic - 2 cloves (finely chopped)
Green chilly - 1 (finely chopped)
Celery - 1 stalk (chopped fine - may include leaves too, if fresh)

Add the sauted onions etc to the minced meat.
Add about 1 tbsp of grated cheddar (I used a cheddar-mozzarella mix)

Mix well, add salt to taste and roll into small lemon-sized balls.

I made spaghetti and meatballs, though it would be a stretch calling them balls since my daughter was a bit cranky and i rolled the balls with just one hand, while carrying her!!!

OOPS!!! I did forget to mention this and hadn't noticed it till my mom mentioned this.. shallow fry the balls. The outsides are crisp and the insides are tender and melt-in-your mouth.
And I did keep aside some of the meat mixture to make into Kebabs for another day...

Ever felt this way?????

I was just browsing and I turned to talk to my daughter... all of a sudden, my heart sank to my toes and I suffered a very severe pang of anxiety ...she was not standing on her favourite chair, looking out through the windows...

Then my world righted itself... when I realised that she is at her playschool and it would be another hour before she comes back home... I'm having a bit of a hard time getting adjusted to her being away at school.

It is nothing like the exam tensions, or anxiety before interviews or any other fear that I encountered before... The world just turns a bleak place when I don't find her , and then everything is all right as soon as I remember where she is..!!!

But those few seconds before sanity returns, is just excruciating!!!!Gosh it's hard letting go...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

When monkeys come visiting...

There are four monkeys who keep visiting the our flats and those in the vicinity... we reached Gurgaon almost one year back , but we have been aware of the monkey problem only the past couple of months...

Whenever they appear on the scene, the security personnel in our buildings will announce it over the speakers and then it is a scramble to close all the doors and windows.

The monkeys get into any building..they are not scared of the people and if anyone has been unfortunate enough to leave the windows or doors unlocked, then they are sure to find a lot of damage including the glass of the televisions. We are told that the monkeys break the television sets fairly often, not to mention opening fridges and destroying evrything they get their paws on... still they are just shooed away since they are sacred animals...

I am all for respecting the religious sentements..but I hope that no one comes to grief over the tolerance, especially since there are so many small babies and toddlers in majority of the flats...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Comfort food - Chicken and veggies

There are some days when thinking up a dish is very tedious.Even more so when the cooking has to be done with a bit of care. So if there is some kind of bread readily available, this is one meal that needs very little preparation.

Chicken breasts - 500 gms (cleaned and cut into medium pieces)

Marinate the chicken pieces in
Curd - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Keep the chicken in the fridge for atleast a half-hour.


Onion - 1 large (sliced lengthwise)
Green chillies - 2 (slit)

Toss in some veggies like french beans, potatoes, carrots, green peas ,capsicum etc.. lightly fry them.

Add the chicken and the marinade .

Now add 2 sliced tomatoes to this. Once the liquid starts bubbling, lower the flame to medium and cook with the lid on. Once the chicken is cooked, add

Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - according to taste (I like a lot of coarsely ground pepper)
A pinch or dried oregano (optional)

More salt if needed.

Enjoy hot with Kaboos, porottas, chappatis etc.