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Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

I received a very interesting email from Tumblr today. Happy Anniversary email at that. Haha. So 3 years ago, I made a similar effort at a blog. Well, it lasted all of 3 posts. However, it did remind me of a time when I was just starting to explore food with my then boyfriend, and now husband. It made me realize how far I have come and overall nostalgia. So I thought I’d share my opening post/about me with you guys to give you a sense of me in 2011. Hope you enjoy!

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Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

My claim to fame until 3 years ago was that I could mix milk and chocolate together and love every sip of it. Considering how much I love chocolate(oh you’ll find out), it was no big feat at all. Growing up in an Indian household, I never really had an opportunity to cook. You focused on your life and career, cooking would come later. Hence, I never really cared for it. Thought it would be something that I would not be able to do anyways. Why fret, eh?

My first love- seeing garlic frolic around in a bath of olive oil. Oh so beautiful and man did it smell gooood! I wanted to play with ingredients every day! Am I great cook? Yeah no. But do I love it. YES! I love it cause I cook for the ones I love. I love it cause it makes me happy. I love it cause I can put 2 and 2 together and it somehow blends into this blissful delight that I can’t help gushing over. Haha that got mushy real fast. This blog is an insight into what I do on weekends, the drinks I enjoy, the places I go to and the ones I share it with.

This is all about the little luxuries of life 🙂

What’s cooking this chilly Tuesday afternoon? Umm NO on the chilly part.

We are 2 days away for Halloweekend. Yes. So at this point in life you would not be wrong to expect temperatures to be in the 70s. But if you live in Florida, that can be a distant dream as I have come to realize. I used to always scoff at people who said things like this: ” I LOVE seasons!” or “I LOVE cool weather”. I did not understand that BUT Florida will be the end of the old me. Now, I LOVE seasons. After spending a tortuous winter in NY last year (Sorry for reminding everyone about that nightmare), I was very excited about the never ending summer that is Florida. But you know what, I miss my warm fuzzy jackets, my warm cuddly uggs, and warm food. That sounds weird: warm food? There are some recipes that scream winter and I miss them all.

So, you know what, I’m going turn the temperate down in the house and have a winter party. Or give it a few weeks and I will be eating my words cause I miss the summer. Who knows.

So back to the post, what is cooking today? I am making turkey burgers! Woohoo. I got some amazing goat cheese yesterday and have been scouring the internet for recipes. A burger seems fitting. I am even considering making my own buns. *GASP* More to come on that. IF it was success.

Also, this past weekend I had some amazing baked brie with some macadamia nuts and fun other toppings. I’m hooked and will go exploring for some recipes. You got ideas, come share and save me some googling. There is only SO much google-fu a gal can do in a day. Or is there? *What is in this coffee?*

Also, I am going to be doing some collaboration posts with family aka my sister 🙂 Watch out for that. VERY excited for this one. I’ll do a profile introducing her as well!

Have a fun afternoon guys and lets talk tonight after my burger expedition.

Weeknight dinners: Yogurt & Ginger Spiced Chicken with Mint

Who does not like an easy but tasty meal? I love it when I can finish cooking in under 30 minutes. AND especially if you can get a curry done in under 30 minutes – WIN! Maybe, I am new to this. Maybe most seasoned curry chefs cook in under 30 minutes. Who knows. Let me celebrate my victories where I can get it, right?

The other night, we went to a local craft beer brewfest. Fantastic selection of beers and a great night overall. We get back and of course, both the husband and I are starving (yes even after having a ton of beer. No judgy). So I turned to this trusty recipe and whipped it up even before the rice was done cooking. This was enough for my husband to prompt me to apply for Masterchef. Oh the things he says in his drunked stupor. Haha.

Anyways, hope you enjoy this. Its great with some fresh coriander rice or naan bread. Or if you’re watching carbs, just have it like a curry soup (don’t know what that is). No matter how you have it, C’est si bon!!

Yogurt & Ginger Spiced Chicken with Mint (Serves 2)

INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken legs (Skinless. Important to have skinless legs as they are lighter and more delicious. With skin meat can be tasty but quite unhealthy and fatty)
4 medium sized garlic cloves
3 inch ginger root. 2/3rd chopped and rest julienned
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Whole spices:
Peppercorns
Bay leaf
Cinnamon
Cloves
(you may skip some if not available)

Marinade:
1.5 cup thick yogurt (unflavored greek yogurt will work)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander and cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika/cayenne pepper/kashmiri chili powder (All good substitutes. Add depending on heat preference)
1 tablespoon mint powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 green chili chopped
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

How to:

1. Marinate the chicken leg pieces with the ingredients listed for marinade. Put it in the fridge while you prep your other ingredients.

2. Go ahead and thinly slice the red onion, and dice the ginger and garlic (no need to make a paste).

3. Pour one tablespoon of oil into the pan. Add about 6 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 5 cloves, and a one inch cinnamon stick. (The photograph doesn’t indicate all the ingredients cause I was in a hurry. Its to just give you guys an idea.) Saute the whole spices, until you a get a nice aroma.

4. Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger in the aromatic oil until the onions turn light golden and the garlic and ginger lose the raw smell. Things should start smelling fantastic right about now.

5. Go ahead and get the chicken out of the fridge and add to the onion mixture.

6. Cover the pan and cook at medium high for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. (20 minutes for this quantity of chicken is very accurate).

7. Remove cover, and top the dish with gresh ginger (julienned), few teaspoons of cream(optional), and fresh mint leaves. Ready to serve!

P.S. Don’t hate me cause I forgot to photograph the final dish. Coming soon. I promise!

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The Easy Aioli

I’m not the biggest fan of sandwiches. Yup. Blasphemy. I know. But I just don’t enjoy them as much. I enjoy burgers every now and then (a really really good burger) but sandwiches, I can pass on. Anyways, since the husband’s back in school again, we’ve resorted to sandwiches on some week days. Oi vey. 

So to keep things interesting, I was determined to find a secret ingredient that would make the sandwich, well, amazing! That’s when I chanced on the aioli. I have had different kinds of Aiolis in the past but never made one. And to be completely honest, did not know what it looked like or what it really was. It was always in my burger but who knew what it looked like.

I’ll share my Aioli for Dummys guide with people who are in need, like I was earlier today. Aioli essentially comes from Spanish cuisine and stands for a garlic oil sauce. Essentially, think about it as a Garlic Mayonnaise if you will. But better. Now for most American sandwiches, a Mustard Aioli is a great addition. And since I am lazy on most weekdays as most people, here is an easy recipe that you can whip up in about 4-5 minutes using a, wait for it, BLENDER! It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle and if you want to do that, more power to you. It may take you about 15-20 minutes with the pestle, which is not THAT bad, I guess. 

Anyways, here it is. I smeared one of the sandwich buns with the aioli and then added the fresh vegetables and lettuce and such. You can add a dollop (such a fun word haha) on top or just eat it on the side or dip veggies in it. Wow I get carried away.

Bon Apetit!

Recipe:

3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced

2 Egg Yolks

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (You can add another half tsp if you love the mustard flavor)

1/4 Tsp Salt ( a little bit will go a long way)

0.5 Cup Olive Oil

1. Add the first five ingredients ( all except Olive Oil) to the blender and make sure its all smooth and blended well. This would take about 10 seconds. Stir it with a spatula or spoon.

2. Now is the fun part. Once Step 1 is completed, open the small opening at the top of the blender and start dripping in olive oil. You will see that the mixture will start to emulsify and get thicker and lighter colored as you keep going. Few things here:

a. Make sure the blender is on low. 

b. Ensure the oil is dripping down slowly but steadily. There should not be oil puddling up in the blender. So go slow. 

Keep blending until its thick like mayonnaise. Now you may or may not need more oil (See how specific I am). What I mean is that, this amount of oil may perfectly suffice in getting that thickness. So if you need it to be more viscous, add more oil and keep blending. If not, call it a day and go have your sammich. 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Semifreddo with an Oreo crust

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Oh my. This sure enough put a definite end to my wedding diet. Well considering how the wedding is all done, dieting of course doesn’t matter ._. *runs and hides from husband’s glare* He is no position to speak cause he is the one who made it. One of the most decadent and easiest desserts we have made in a while. We did have some issues with whipping the cream but still easy enough.

The other day I came across this show by Gordon (Ramsay. Yes we are on first name basis) called Ultimate Home Cooking. Loved it. Very homey and shows a different side of Gordon cooking with his family. Anyhow, turns out he made this dessert in the first episode. The moment I saw it, I was like…

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Anyways, now he did use pistachios but I am a purist when it comes to chocolate so no nuts for me. But we did add the oreo crust and chocolate chips to add variety in texture. Needless to say it was deliciousss. Recipe coming soon!

#songstuckinmyheadtoday

This song will forever remind me of Houston haha. You know how some songs just tie themselves to locations, memories, and situations. This song won’t stop playing on my current Pandora Station and to be honest, I have grown quite fond of it. I’m sure Spongebob square pants has nothing to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7MoXPxA5LM&feature=kp