Archive | January, 2011

The Accidental Kheer – Guest Post

26 Jan

Since the time, I sampled some of Gayathri’s ingenious Apple Kheer, I have been badgering her to share the recipe. Then on second thoughts, I thought, what better way to do it than requesting her to do a guest post on my blog. So here is Gayathri’s version of  the incredible Apple Kheer and the story behind it.

She Writes—- Continue reading

Planting my Roses in the Desert

26 Jan

Courtesy: Padmaji, my Srilankan Cook

Restaurant Review Project 9- Take Away

26 Jan

Don’t be fooled. By the name. You can. Sit and eat there.

We did just that.

It might have been plain laziness or a sheer genius to name their place “Take Away”. A typical juice bar kind of set up with cafeteria kind of feel. It comes highly recommended from Amit’s colleagues. Great taste and its light on your wallet too, they told.

These guys actually come out of their restaurant, take orders from people waiting in their cars. They have a glorious juice bar. Since it’s not a fancy-shancy place, they serve only the traditional juices and mocktails. Though I am not a big fan of juices ( I prefer to eat fruit as a whole), I felt like indulging in some Avocado juice. For health benefits. They don’t call me a FF for nothing. Amit ordered a pomegranate juice. Meanwhile we placed our orders over the counter and took our places. Now Arabic cuisine isn’t for the faint hearted. The locals eat well, eat a lot and mostly it is just meat. Vegetables are thrown in here and there strictly for aesthetic purpose only. So while placing our orders, Namit did not have much to choose from.

So before I get into the thick of things, a little about what I gathered regarding Arabic Cuisine. My experience with Arabic food has been nothing but fantastic. They use spices to marinate the meat, whilst the rest of the platter is either seasoned with more but varied seasonings. Meat- read Mutton/Lamb features prominently in all their preparations. Arabic bread with zaatar ( seasoning), according to me, is the highlight of an Arabic meal. Spices only render flavour to the whole set up never taking a central role like that in Indian cuisine. But when they offer something that says spicy then they REALLY tend to turn the heat on. Lebaneh and Laban are their derivation of yogurt are refreshing. Continue reading

And What a Week it was!

25 Jan

Last week just whizzed past me. The first half, I actually have no recollection of what I did except there was a lot of job search stress, some studying and trying to teach Mimi how to solve some board puzzles. All three of them were met with instant failures. But the tenacious ‘Kida’ in me did not give up. I tried and tried and am still trying. All of this is teaching me to be patient, tolerant , as I repeat to myself “Your time will come.” The eternal optimist in me is never going to give up.

I haven’t written about my work out sessions for quite some time. I go to the gym ‘every other day’  and try to keep up with my cardio. I am trying to undo the damage that the India trip has done. So there is a lot of work to be done. But I am happy to see that my motivation hasn’t wavered inspite of the kilos I piled on savouring those goodies in Delhi. Thats the best change of mind set I have achieved till date. This itself is a huge achievement. Earlier I used to fret and fume, felt defeated if I went on a binge and get super depressed on piling on a single kilo. Probably because I used to work very hard. These days it is more relaxed but not lax. I understand the importance of feeling good vis-a-vis looking good. I try to maintain a healthy balance but not at the cost of enjoying the finer things in life. So MODERATION is my BFF ( Best Friend Forever) and that has helped me not take myself, my life, my body and all of it, seriously.

Mimi is being prepared to join a nursery. Yes! I have realized that I need to spend enough time with her to make her learn a few basic things. I have started off with nursery rhymes and now though she doesn’t recite it, she does the action for “Twinkle Twinkle”. All the patience and drama it took to teach her!!! She would do it for me but not for anyone else. That is something that I am working on now. Since she’s become a lot shy after her visit to India ( I suspect, all that overwhelming affection had something to do with it), I feel a bit worried if this behaviour would stay. I loved it when she was so receptive to other people. She has also learnt to walk backwards which she thinks is a super accomplishment. So to entertain me , she would walk backwards and feign a fall! 🙂 Also when she feels I am not in the right mood, she would run around in circles to make me laugh. We have a bought a huge nursery rhyme book for her which she likes to flip through and pass time. Continue reading

Just Another Green Blog

22 Jan

Yes, I am worried about the state of this World. More so because it’s my daughter’s future we are talking about here. I fret and fume every time I hear something about an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico and I feel helpless not knowing what world I would be leaving my daughter. As a responsible parent, I decided I needed to do something at least which would seem like a contribution from my side. So I do my bit by switching off all the unneeded electric appliances, switching off unnecessary lights, shifting to CFL, trying to recycle as many plastic bags that I can or re-use them as much as possible. But that didn’t feel it was enough. So I set up an alert for Carbon Foot print on my google alerts . Every day some news on green living, carbon foot print, etc popped up. I realized I was getting involved in it so much. Finally, I decided to dedicate a blog to the whole purpose itself.  That is how I came up with

I posted a few entries, some relevant, some not so relevant and then it kind of took a back seat. But by posting about it over here ( which seemingly is a more important blog for me), I have made it a mandate that I am going to stop giving step motherly treatment to ‘ icontemplateabout’ space. There was one particular entry which I wrote with all heart is this

Continue reading

Restaurant Review Project 8- Casa Mexicana

20 Jan

I think my Restaurant Reviews are jinxed. Last week I was supposed to do “Monsoon” – South East Asian Cuisine (Bahrain) and imagine,  I did not get a reservation there! This was despite the fact that I had called in early for reservations. Well, I understand it’s the hot spot in town and on a Friday night I should have known better. Alas! they were all booked and all they could offer us was some seat at their sushi bar. Naah! I am not going to take that.

On the spot, we chucked Monsoon and drove ourselves to Casa Mexicana. You have little expectations when you change plans like that, at the spur of the moment. You kind of go along with the flow and that flow is immediately disrupted when you realize you have forgotten the camera at home. Duhhhh.

Which self-respecting restaurant reviewer would do that? Well, I did and had to manage with mobile phone photography.

Namit: Thank you very much for saving my day.

So now that we were up and about at Casa Mexican, Continue reading

A Week in the Pursuit of Culinary Content

18 Jan

Even as a kid, I used to be extremely restless. Constantly wanting to be engaged, entertained and put to some good use. My teachers called it creativity and my parents called it nuisance. Especially during the holidays, I would finish off everything from school and come running to my mom, asking her, “What do I do now?” She had to face this every single day and it irritated her to the core that after every one hour or two, I would come back to her asking for more things to do. Anyhow, time passed and my mom learnt the art of keeping me engaged and out of her way. She sent me to tonnes of classes such as dancing, painting, singing, sports, mehendi, teddy bear making and what not.

But I find even after years,  am still the same. I managed to keep my energy in bounds by engaging in a lot of sports, running, dancing and working out. Still, there were times when I used to come back to Amit saying, there isn’t enough for me to do. Now that I am in Bahrain with practically zilch social life and nowhere to get up and go each morning, I thought, I would literally go crazy. But I guess, God has His own ways of making us realize what a pain we were to our parents when we were kids. So to teach me a lesson, he gave me a baby who’s as hyper active, if not more. She makes me want to put everything down and get into to bath for  a relaxed afternoon. I crave to rest my back for atleast a whole five minutes. Alas! it is not to be. She pushes me to my energy limits but it is fun all the same. So it is rarely do I ever open my mouth to complain about not having enough to do.

But my creative ( teachers are always right to guess. I think I do have some creativity) juices were nudging me to do something that I hadn’t  done before. So I took up blogging and found out I was enjoying it very much and now I have a new obsession BAKING. I started trying out the out-of-the-box ones first (Betty Crocker) and recall burning the very first cake. But now after so many baking adventures, I am getting more confident by the day. To add to this new -found mania, I am following a zillion food blogs and all possible chefs/bakers/gourmand/amateur cooks/ recipe developers on twitter.

Earlier, I used to enjoy being on twitter but all the denigrating comments people passed on other people put me off. I started avoiding twitter, feeling I did not have what it took to be out there. Moreover, if I had to just know whats happening around the world, I can just log on to google news or any online newspaper. I do not need twitter for that. Many a times, I felt, I wasn’t getting what I had signed up for.  But then I started to follow a blog by the name of Purple Foodie and she opened the doors for me to see how amazing this food world was. One baby step at a time, these wonderful people led me to believe that yes, it is possible! I can bake too. The magic of watching your cake rise up to perfection and the cupcakes turn soft and moist  is incomparable.

Please consider all the prattle to be a prologue to what is to come now. Continue reading

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