Thai Basil Turkey Kabobs

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Technology, she laughs at me.  In spite of the heavy week I have had, and the ridiculous struggle between  stomach bugs and long fasts, this tempestuous maiden of the modern world prefers to kick me where it hurts and completely erase an entire draft of this post, nearly finished but evidently not backed up.  Alas. I had this brilliant post marveling in the magnificence of human athleticism that is the Olympics, leading to the trials of fasting through Olympics, and if you can believe it I had some kind of delicate turn oh phrase that led quite seamlessly to these kabobs.
Humph.  You don’t get to read that now. But that’s okay, what does it compare to the mind-blowing skills of the amazing US women’s 4×200 m Medley.  Olympic records being broken left and right.  Wow!  I guess you could say my personal Olympic challenge would be in the realm of cooking–that is, trying to make the tastiest kabob out of the medley of ingredients found in my sister-in-law’s kitchen with nary a taste to guide me! (Not quite as seamless, but good enough) Continue reading

Ginger Soy Sunrise Salad

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Greetings and the best wishes for a fruitful and blessed Ramadan to you all!  So begins the holy month of Islam, whereupon lengthy days of fasting (yes that does mean no water either) are coupled with nights of prayer, gratitude and reflection (and some eating as well). At first glance you might say this comes at the most inopportune of moments, while I am in the midst of transporting my self and my worldly belongings to the opposite coast, a time that would by general consensus require a great deal of energy. Oh but how can we find energy when we can’t have a morsel of sustenance throughout the day?? As exhausting as it is (and as grumpy, curmudgeonly, demonesque, slightly irritable as I get), this is the time for utmost reflection and strenghtening of what lies within, and that type of strength far outreaches the mere physical variety (well, it should, at least). In other words, I’m hoping to be blessed with more peace of mind and a heart full of gratitude and calmness, the better to attend to the next few weeks of encroaching madness. In the process I also hope to extend that level of gratitude in sharing with those less fortunate. What better place than a food blog then to share the hopefully eventual food-giving exploits of charitability?  I do hope I have the chance to write up on something of that nature when the time comes.

But I digress. We begin Ramadan, so I begin with a recent salad the husband dubbed something along the lines of Ginger Soy Sunrise Salad (Unfortunately the full cheesy title escapes me now, but you catch the drift).  Because we get up to eat before the sun rises, this thematically falls in line with that. However if you’re to enjoy it in the evening, you might choose to dub it a Sunset salad, since that’s when the breaking of the fast commences. No matter the title, the salad is refreshing and sharp with just the right crunch and kick of spice. And it truly is a wake up call for your energy, with the hint of ginger and the morning-esque value of boiled eggs.  Plus, sunflower seeds just kind of fit the title all the more. I’ve made it a few times since, each with variations which I will include below.  And so, Ramadan Mubarak and consider this salad for a protein rich but light dinner piece. 20120716-211331.jpg

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Pumpkin Ginger Cakelets

yumWinter chills have seeped into town. Bright sun bears down false sustenance, leaving barren trees to tremble in the icy air. Absent of snow though the days may be (for now), the frosty turn of foggy breath and arctic shivers leave no room for doubt that warmth is the number-one desired commodity now. Warmth and comfort. Warmth and comfort and languid bliss. In my short triple-decade stint of existence, I’ve learned that this is best achieved through that most dangerously seductive of avenues: the tummy. And nothing sings joyful choruses like a soft ‘n sweet treat, bite sized to match your tiny indulgences (we shall forget the ease with which infinite bites can be had in one sitting for now). Continue reading

Festive Chicken and Paneer

I recently stumbled entirely by chance on a writing competition—a short story challenge—held by a creative writing organization called NYC Midnight.  A tiny spark of excitement flashed in my tired little brain but I let it runs its course because who am I kidding, right? I couldn’t possibly compete against practicing, aspiring, more well prepared and well-versed writers from across the globe (the competition is open to the world, to the universe even, I bet!).  I wrote it off, pun intended, as a nice dream seriously what’s the point of trying? Continue reading

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Comfort meals and warm, decadent dishes are a boon for these chilly days and wintry evenings.  And for someone who has lived only in California up to this point, it has been sinfully easy to fall into that track.  Who would refuse the seduction of so many comforting treats: the cakes, hot chocolate, biryani, pastas, and all else.  And yet, the healthnut in me screams for my West Coast lifestyle, the minimalization of carbohydrates, the salads, more natural sweets of fruits as opposed to cake, cake, and more cake!!

Not to mention I am on a mission to wean the husband off of his dependence on rice.  As such, imagine my disappointment when I realized I just kept making rice-supplemented dishes, not to mention full-fledged biryani, without any regard for what I promised my husband or myself.  And so I felt compelled to whip up a salad last week.  Nothing fancy, mind you, but it warrants sharing the amazing proclamation G bestowed upon me: that this was the first time he ever truly relished eating a salad. Ever.

I’m sure there was a slight touch of hyperbole to that, but it warmed my heart more than a huge slice of French apple pie could do.  So much so I could feel the calories melt off from the glow. Continue reading

Roasted Brasaola with “Mustered” Eggplant

*And so marks the return of GautamCity! Posting his very own splendid creation. Enjoy!*

I have always had a thing for dry spicy appetizers. A couple of months ago, I discovered a very special kind of of air dried beef – ‘Brasaola’. That’s what its called. thin …very very thin slices of lean beef that come in sealed packets. Its actually ‘ready-to-eat’ out of the packet – but I felt the need to do something to it and give it some ‘stove’ treatment. I also decided I would serve eggplant with it, and so I created Roasted Brasoala with “Mustered” Eggplant.
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Disaster Roulade!

Well, Thanksgiving has passed but it’s still the holiday season, so I’m going to (belatedly) share the dessert I made for my family’s own makeshift, last minute, let’s throw Alya in the kitchen and see what blossoms Thanksgiving.  And yes, that is precisely how our thanksgivings always go.  Planning for this auspicious feast never crosses anyone’s mind, we simply debate for weeks if we will do anything, then hit the grocery store the day of and whip up some simple magic. Nothing extraordinary (didn’t make a turkey either, nuh uh.  Just bought one)… but at the end of the day, it always turns out good. And fun, if a little bit stressful.

That said, I – being addicted to the Food Network – stumbled on a pumpkin roulade that wrapped its warm fluffy self all around my heart.  Lately I’ve been keen on challenging myself a bit more in the kitchen too, so this seemed like the most awesome thing to attempt.  Plus, it would be a variety to the typical (yet quintessential!) Pumpkin Pie dessert.  **thankfully my sister made that too, because I admit, I ADORE Pumpkin Pie.  ADORE!**

Rock n' Roulade!

Anyhoo, so this is a rolled cake with a cream filling – I was surprised how easy the rolling turned out to be.  I thought I would break it apart massively… though I did have some little mishaps here and there, for which this earned the label of disaster.  Always make sure the ENTIRE cake is cooked before you flip it off the tray… kinda important.  But it tasted amazing, and the ginger-pumpkin combination is a beautiful beautiful thing. Makes your insides join in the melodious singing of a heavenly choir… or something.

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