Showing posts with label Appetizers n Salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appetizers n Salads. Show all posts

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Grilled Green Tomato Salad

It’s August already,  I find time slipping like sand from my fist. I am always conflicted, should I put my feet up and relax and enjoy the pace of life and let things happen when they should, or should I push my passion and make goals and enjoy the adrenaline rush. It’s strange how I can train my mind to do either. But as I grown older with each passing year, I love to push myself, to get more creative, to overcome my fears and to be more flexible and spontaneous. For those who know me personally will find it hard to believe I am not spontaneous.  Well, to be frank I am a hard core planner and if your throw an un-planned agenda at me, it bothers me and I will rant till the cows come home. Ask my better half and he will nod in agreement. Strangely, I have observed that am my best when I don’t think and just do something with a spontaneous flow (I love to over thing), be it photography, cooking or something as mundane as driving twenty miles from your comfort zone (don’t judge me people, but I am quite a chicken when it comes to driving out of my comfort zone).  Planning is a great tool for all my task lists but not my creativity. 

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” – Paul Caponigro

There is really no formula for creativity, there is no gadget or lens that can give you the desired results, that will evoke an emotion. Tools can help you express yourself, but how and what you express is your creative journey. 

I had to share this, you all know my obsession with food photography, this last month we had a photography challenge (in our food photo critique group on FaceBook), we had to reproduce an image from a classical painting (still life). The purpose to push our creative boundaries. It was really a creative high and if I may say so myself I was proud of myself. Here is the image, the top one the original painting: Morston Constantine Ream - Still Life Of Fruit And Flute On A Tray. The one below it is my photographic representation of the painting by Morston. 

We had Andrew Scrivani critique it for us and this is what he had to say about my image, “ This one was the one that I thought truly started to blur the line between painting and photography. The incredible softness of the surfaces in the photo really look painted. Also, the creation of this set is remarkable. It must have taken a lot of sourcing to find all of these props. Stunning shot. I am mesmerized by the green grapes in this shot. 


I just love fresh produce and if it did not involve as much work as it does, I would have had a huge part of my yard growing tons of fresh veggies. I just might end up having a huge space just for herbs.  Am in love with my tomato plants, which were gifted to me by a friend. Impatience got the better of me and I could not wait for them to ripe. After I took pictures of the raw tomatoes, I was thinking of making a chutney, but grilled them instead, tossed them in a salad and loved the outcome.

#SimiJoisPhotography, #GrilledTomatoSalad, #Recipe

#SimiJoisPhotography, #GrilledTomatoSalad, #Recipe

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chipotle Mozzarella Sticks (It’s baked!)

There has been a lot of action in the Jois kitchen: crowded counter tops, dishes piled up in the sink and the aroma of freshly cooked food lingering around the household. Finally teen is often (very often) seen lurking in the kitchen trying out her culinary experiments.  In three years she will be off to college and it goes without saying I will miss her a lot. I have tons of time to clean up then, now is the time to enjoy and make messes. My friends who know me well will be quite shocked to read this. I am not only embracing the mess around me but even enjoying the hustle and bustle that goes with a messy kitchen. Well, this post is really about finally teen, and not the mess in our kitchen.   She has show her displeasure that I have not been speaking much about her on the blog. Even though she has now become an almost regular contributor to TnS.

Someone is really fond of cheese and when we are at the deli section, I see her spend a lot of time at the cheese bar. She picked up some fresh mozzarella, a few weeks ago, I had no idea about the plans and in a couple of days I saw her working with it. She made the mozzarella sticks and froze them for almost 2 days, then one weekend evening, when I had my feet up ready to watch some mindless telly, I was asked to take pictures - and it was now or never. So out came the camera, no thinking, no planning and I was given twenty minutes, 15 images later I came down to crumbs of half eaten mozzarella and a plate with hot mozzarella sticks and marinara for me. (awww moment). 

Finally teen has not only been busy in the kitchen but she and her friends have developed an app (available on google play). It is an app that monitors your calories and includes social media to motivate you, pretty cool app, here is the link if you want to download Fittastick. Version 3.0 is currently in the works.  

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creamy Chipotle pasta salad

June is a month of nostalgia and memories.  Reminiscence of my childhood, of hot summer afternoons, of family vacations, of endless philosophical discussion with my father. It was seven years ago that I lost my father in June. I don’t know when in these seven years I let go of the pain and embraced myself with happy thoughts of him.  I just loved my long conversations with him, little did I know that those dialogues will become my most cherished memories and I would refer back to it like an old book. Thankfully  there was no e-mail back then, I just love to read and re-read his hand. His letters were never short, nor were they mundane, in some way they are age-less and the lessons in them are so relevant even today.   It took him several days to compose those letter and they almost always had a sequel. His last letter was written when he was 75 and he told us ( my sister and me) ,”this might be my last” , “if am around till 80 you might probably receive another one”….even though I have re-read most of his letters, I have not had the courage to re-read the last one after he has gone.  Every year I tell myself to wait another year…. 

He was a botanist, he loved his plants and would love to capture them, I think somewhere in my mother’s place are hundreds of slides, most of them captured by him. The argus light meter has seen more summers than I have, it belonged to dad. Seeing my love for photography my sister gifted it to me, it is one of my most priced possessions. 

I just had to do a post for dad this June…. When ‘finally teen’ said she was making a pasta salad, I was thrilled to post it, it somehow tied all the three generations together. He was always very creative and encouraged us too…am sure he would have loved this.

Pasta salad, cold pasta salad, summer pasta salad

Pasta salad, cold pasta salad, summer pasta salad

This salad has more pasta then veggies, when I had my bowl, it had more bell peppers. Finally teen loves her pasta and I think it shows ;) now over to finally teen for the recipe. Since finally teen is a regular visitor in the kitchen, always trying out something, I must do a section ‘from the teen’ what do you guys think ?
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sweet n spicy Pear Chutney

#IndianChutney, #Dip, #PearChutney, #SweetNSpicyChutney
#IndianChutney, #Dip, #PearChutney, #SweetNSpicyChutney
Finally, it’s nice and warm, believe it or not I have still not planted my annuals, I don’t know where my time is going. I think I might need a book on time management. The last fortnight was a bit hectic. 2 weeks?? It has been a fortnight since I did a post on TNS??  For one, my sister was visiting with her family from India, even thou she was here just for the weekend, before that I was busy spring cleaning and getting a part of the house renovated. You know how that goes, am glad that’s behind me… Got some great props from my sister, I did put it up on FB for you all to gawk. If you missed it, here…an iPhone image. Got some great paper to use as the background, the green I have used in this post and the maroon in the prop pix too. Prop envy :) the aluminum box on the bottom right is two generations old (my mom’s)….can’t wait to use it.

  The other day I was eating some spicy tofu in salad, I thought it was missing something. I wanted to add a gooey sweet n spicy chutney to it….some pears, spice and  molasses …fell in love with the flavors. Since then we have been having this chutney with crackers, mini toasts, even in a burger. I must say the best pairing is with spicy tofu on a bed of salad. It’s a great lunch option with a bowl of soup. That’s exactly what I did today, some roasted red pepper soup with the tofu. It will pair very well with roasted chicken.
#IndianChutney, #Dip, #PearChutney, #SweetNSpicyChutney

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Friday, April 25, 2014

What’s on your plate ? A Giveaway

….. and  an insight into organic farming.

Congratulations to Ram Narain for winning the giveaway. Please send me your mailing address :, will have Wholesum Harvest mail you your chef knife. Thanks Mike from Wholesum Harvest, I really appreciate your generosity. Thanks to everyone who participated. Unfortunately we can only pick one winner. The winner was picked by Wholesum Harvest from a random drawing. 
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography

A big thanks to Mike from Wholesum Harvest for the generous giveaway for TNS readers. A little while back I started a series on TNS ( read here ) called What’s on my plate? The purpose was to understand the foods we eat and where it comes from. There is no better way to find out then to reach out to a farmer. After the last post we got quite a few queries about growing organic produce. So this post will be all about organic farming. Over to Mike ….

Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes.

Organic farming relies heavily on the natural breakdown of organic matter using techniques like composting to replace nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. This biological process, driven by microorganisms, allows the natural production of nutrients in the soil throughout the growing season, and has been referred to as feeding the soil to feed the plant. 
Organic farmers integrate biological and mechanical tactics to manage weeds without synthetic herbicides.  Other practices used to reduce weed pressure includes selection of competitive crop varieties, high-density planting, tight row spacing, and late planting into warm soil to encourage rapid crop germination.

#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
For pest control, organic growers encourage predatory beneficial insects to control pests.  They also plant companion crops and pest-repelling plants that discourage or divert pests.  In addition, they use insect traps to monitor and control insect populations.
A key characteristic of organic farming is the rejection of genetically engineered plants.  All USDA Certified Organic produce is grown from seeds that are not genetically modified.
Since 1990 the market for organic food and other products has grown rapidly, reaching $63 billion worldwide in 2012.  This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland which has grown over the years 2001-2011 at a rate of 8.9% per annum.  As of 2011, approximately 91,000,000 acres worldwide were farmed organically, representing approximately 0.9 percent of total world farmland,
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
That was really insightful…makes one think. What are we really eating ? Sometime it worries me, not so much for myself but for the next generation. We grew up plucking fruits from  trees and playing outside in the hot sun. These kids know none of this. I remember when ‘finally teen’ was a toddler I would walk her to the park and she would be so excited to go and play, unfortunately there would be no one in the park. Most days, both of us would feel so lonely and we would come back with an unanswered question, “ where are the kids?” play dates was the only way to have her socialize with other kids. I don’t know if it is a Midwest thing or across the globe. In the pursuit of sophistication and betterment we have lost the essence of who we are. This is my 2 cents worth. Now over to some exciting news….

A Giveaway : Wholesum Harvest has generously decided to giveaway  a Porsche chefs knife - all stainless steel. I won this last year in a photography challenge and love it. I use it everyday. It’s worth $200, so that’s really generous of them. It’s open to all bloggers and non-bloggers residing in the US. All you need to do is… 

Like WH on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest.
Like TNS on Facebook or Twitter  and follow on Pinterest

Leave a comment that you did so and you are all set. You can leave multiple comments.  One winner will be selected by a random drawing by WH and announced here on May15th. Another sneak peek at the knife.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Baked Aubergine Pizza with garam masala

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood

I have been planning to post since afternoon, but there was a bunch of things that had to be taken care of and some pending photo shoots, am so glad it’s all done and I have the weekend to myself.   There was a time when I did not understand anything about photography, it was Latin and Greek to me…Anything to do with the DSLR was my husband’s department. He liked photography, and I did not know anything about it, it was perfect. Things have changed, now I instruct my husband to stop shooting in program mode. He’s an amazing photographer and his angles and frames are very aesthetic and he uses light to his advantage, but when in a hurry, he loves and swears by the program mode and it bothers me no end. The other thing that bothers me is auto white balance. I could not have imagined  myself saying this two years ago. It really amuses me when he watches me shoot, he cannot understand why I keep staring into the frame for so long before I hit the shutter, am sure am not really cut out for action or sports photography. Lol! 

I remember about 5-6 years ago, I was searching for something that could quench my creative urges, I tried sketching and pastels, even thou I enjoyed it a lot, I did not feel passionate about it. I think I might have found it in photography,  I may not be that good, but my heart is in it. Blogging has really helped me bring together all my skills. My husband often asks me, “don’t you get bored looking at food pictures and blogs all day"…actually sometimes I wish I had an extra pair of eyes, there are so many talented people who inspire me. You will see me on my iPhone multiple times in a day, chatting, texting my photographer friends. We share jokes, that only we understand, and I catch myself chuckling away on my iPhone. I am telling you, take my phone away, someone. Jeez, I almost feel like am rambling and I don’t even drink…lol! (imagine if I did) 

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood
Aubergine as the call the eggplant in France (I was recently told this) is one of my favorites, actually I really do not have any vegetable I dislike, well probably brussel sprouts is the last thing I will eat, but other than that.  I just dig this recipe, it’s healthy, delicious and easy to put together. 
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lentil, Quinoa and potatoes in a Patty

#LentilPatties #QuinoaPatties #PotatoPatties #HealthyPatties #QuickSnack #HealthyPatties


In these sub zero temperatures the only things that are keeping me warm is hot soups, hot snack(y) food and the thought of spring right at the corner ( far from it). I have never been a winter person as I do not enjoy being outdoors in the cold, other then curling up with a favorite book, watching a movie, what else can a human ( like me) do. Rant warning! I miss my long walks, I miss my garden, I miss walking out in flip-flops and shorts, I miss my chat with my neighbors…and more than anything I miss sunshine.  Its hard to walk out to get mail…u need three layers. I have been overworking too, and that could be the reason am crabby, am just tired and need time off,  that is exactly what am planning for myself today ( now, let’s see how that goes). The extra lbs that has creeped up is another pain, lol! That is really the reason for this patty, I wanted something crunchy and tasty. I made this as healthy as I could without compromising on taste. Am not a nutritionist, so I have no idea about the calories in it, but the fact that it has lentil and quinao is very comforting. Love the texture of quinoa, it adds a crunch I loved. What pairs so well with this is tomato soup, I just loved the combination…

Before I forget, a HUGE thank you to all my readers for pinning my soups, I am thrilled to see my minestrone soup get a 1000 plus repins. In the last few days I have got a lot of traffic and gained a lot of followers on Pinterest, thanks ! I have got some messages with requests and questions about archived recipes, am answering them one at a time, sorry for the delay. 

#LentilPatties #QuinoaPatties #PotatoPatties #HealthyPatties #QuickSnack #HealthyPatties
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hummus n chickpea on a toast

#Bruschetta #Hummus #HummusAndChickpeaOnAToast

Am thinking spring, fresh salads, smoothies, ice cream, watermelon, flip-flops, shorts…ah the joys of spring n summer. I really wanted to eat something light and fresh today. For some reason I just ran out of ideas, I was thinking of warm n comforting recipes like soup, stew, warm sandwiches. But one look at the hummus in the fridge, I knew what I was doing.  Snack is a favorite meal in our household, we do snack for dinner all the time. A bowl of warm soup and some starters like this and it’s dinner. ‘Finally Teen’ can survive on snack like any teenager.  She loves bite size food and digs hummus.  Am not complaining, there is chickpea, home made hummus, and some greens, I really do not mind her making dinner out of this. She loves to add pineapple on hers.  I need to do an open toast marathon on the blog. What’s your go to snack in your house hold?

Thanks for all the visits on the last post,  I got 4000 plus views on that one, it jumped up to the second favorite on the blog in three days. That felt really good as it did take me effort to photograph those charred peppers. It’s an added bonus that the soup was delicious. My neighbor was pretty upset that we did not share it with them, so am going to be making this real soon for them.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spiced sweet potato

#SpicedSweetPotatoes #SweetPotatoSubji  #SweetPotatao Side

#SpicedSweetPotatoes #SweetPotatoSubji  #SweetPotatao Side

‘Finally Teen’  finds it very strange that I can walk up to strangers and talk to them. Now, am not talking to strangers all the time, but I really will not hesitate to strike a conversation, be it the Starbucks line, the shoe store or at the grocers. This is something inconceivable to ‘finally teen’ and a bit embarrassing too. Now that’s a different story that most teenager find their parents a bit weird. lol! If they do,  be glad, you are doing your job well. Am digressing, well on my last visit to the grocery store,  I saw this lady picking up banana peppers ( I hope that is what it is called), had to ask her the recipe,  and before I knew it, she rattled it off like a professional. And here it is in today’s post, a bit improvised from my end. I loved the recipe and it goes so well with some daal and rotis ( Indian flat bread). Makes me think, even I have shared recipes at the grocery store, wonder if the person made it, liked it? 
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Pepper Rasam / Clear soup for the flu season

#Rasam #ClearSoupForCold #ClearIndianSoup #PepperRasam
I really did not plan to have this as my last post for the year… I wanted to make something more exotic, - something that had a ‘wow’ factor to it.  I was browsing through my recipe folder a couple of days ago, to plan the last post. ‘Finally teen’ walked in sneezing and sniffling, (it’s hard to escape the flu at this time of the year); she saw all the recipes, and usually her eyes light up, but this time, she looked at me and asked, “Can you make some pepper rasam for me?”  So I made some rasam for her and went back to my quest. Sipping through the rasam, she asked, “Do you have this on the blog? If not, you should.” I looked at her. Even if I had made something exotic, she wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as she enjoyed sipping the rasam. Sometimes small pleasures give us so much more. So I went ahead to photograph the rasam… I enjoyed photographing this simple recipe, I’m usually so picky on the way my photographs look, but I felt so good about this one. I don’t know if it is technically perfect, or aesthetically wonderful, but I truly felt fulfilled. I guess that’s what this blog has been for me, very fulfilling.  It has helped me open up to understand my strengths, my weakness, made me stronger in my convictions. This year has been amazing: I did my first paid photography gig, my first sponsored post by Campbell, and I was featured on The kitchen, Fox news magazine, and The Daily Meal, to name a few. I’m part of some exciting projects in 2014, and I hope it comes through (keeping fingers crossed here). But more than anything, I’m thankful for all the associations I have made through the blog. Thank you guys! Hope you have a wonderful 2014 - Happy New Year to all of you and your family. Spread the love!

#Rasam #ClearSoupForCold #ClearIndianSoup #PepperRasam

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Fried poha / flattened rice

Last week was spent in trying to understand the technical aspect of blogging, ( I have no idea, what triggered it, but occasionally I do get such impulse in my brain)  I am aware that I am technically challenged. I told myself, "how hard can this be?" "It's all in the mind, if you think you can do it, you can" hmmm...I guess this law does not hold true for everything. You need some basic prerequisite. I did gather a few words, parroted it to my better half, he tried to explain them, all I had to say was "can you do it on my blog?" He did not know what I wanted, and frankly I did not know either. I crawled back to my iPhone, did some blog hopping, spent some quality time on social media, felt alive again. Jeez! It really tired me, I may not understand SEO, to alt tag my images, to view source to figure out keywords...Even if I knew, that's not really where my heart is. I write what I write as it comes from my heart, not because I need to hashtag keywords. I click pictures, cos I love to express my artistic self through photography, I cook, as I love food and enjoy sharing it with people I love. I bloghop and spend time on social media, as I love to interact with like minded people. Now,  that's simple and brings a smile on my face. I see the fog clearing! :) 

A cup of coffee is always a great idea, when you have exercised your brain, like I did. Evening coffee is great when it is accompanied by some snacks.  I think it is such an Indian thing. Cookies, biscuits, fritters and fried snack...there are millions of snack to choose from and you really do not have to break your back to make some of them.  Great for this time of the year, nip in the air, hot coffee and fried poha. Even thou am enjoying the nip in the evenings, it's hard for me to bid goodbye to summer, I love the colors of fall, but, I am not ready to throw away my shorts and embrace the colder temperature. We have been lucky this year to have nice warm days, (see me jinx it). I really miss the outdoors during winter.  Well, if you are imaging me  skiing through a white sheet of snow...hmmm! not really, am not going to elaborate on the details, but I have tried it and let's just say it did not work for me...If I do start talking about it, it's going to be a long hilarious post. For now, some coffee with fried poha and some clicks from my garden. 
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Kale and fruit juice blend

We are back to a Monday! Is it me or the pace of time just got faster.  I really wish I could hold on to time, I am impatient to do so much and am always behind. A lot of last week was spent on a liberating exercise of rejuvenating my creative energy. I absolutely enjoyed reading an e-book Sharp Shooter by Martin Bailey, am amazing photographer. I must confess that at one time I did coil myself into a mess of numbers. The science behind razor sharp images. Thanks to my better half, I did uncoil myself to some extent. Am, not really done with the book and have a couple of pages left, and may have to re-read portions. I like books that challenge me and this one certainly did.  I am compiling a list of my favorite bloggers/photographers, so a lot of time was spent, going around blogs and photography sites. If you guys have any recommendations, that would be awesome. There is so much talent and inspiration out there, it is just an amazing world. I feel so energized, you can see the halo of creativity around me. LOL! Some of these artist are just amazing and absolutely mind blowing work.Do you guys want me to share the list ? Should I do it in a post or just the side-bar of TNS.

These photographs are from my archives, but. The morning sun was so beautiful and I was having my kale and fruit juice blend, I was itching to use the camera and I did :). I love the play of light in the photograph, if I may say so myself. Had to share it today and not have it sit in the archives. Am also going to work on a dessert after I am done posting this. Can't wait to create it and then style it, have so many ideas, either am going to overwhelm myself and mess it up or its going to be a liberating exercise. Let's see how that goes :))

Thank you for all the great comments on last week's post . Am so glad that you guys actually read what I write and encourage me to prattle more ;-).

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My most memorable cup of coffee!

 I can't believe there was a time when I had a hard time finding stuff to write on the blog, now I find it so hard to cut it down. It is a long post, I have to share so much and picture heavy too.

Great news !

I moved to my own domain, so bye bye to .blogspot.
New look! what do you guys think ? love, like or hate ?
My write up about Coorg- coffee, got published on "The daily Meal" click here to read it.

It has indeed been a long day! phew!

  Coorg was a memorable trip in more ways than one. I have never experienced the raw beauty of nature the way I did on this trip... almost a self revealing process. It was a feeling of complete harmony and peace within myself and the inside was in perfect balance with the outside. I have never felt so close to nature, never felt I was part of it, like I did in those two days. I can go on about this for hours, but I will let the photographs speak for themselves.

I have so many pictures, it will be hard for me to pick. Each moment the scene would change with light and clouds playing hide and seek.

One moment...
and the next....

 ( Above picture taken by 'finally teen' on her phone) 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

iPhoneography on the streets of Bangalore and a simple salad

The pile of work seems to be growing in exponential forms. Either I have become slow or it's payback time for the 4 weeks of vacation.  I have my hands into so many things that sometimes I forget what  am working on. I have been waiting to share some of my clicks from my trip, finally found some time. I have so many photographs, it is hard to share all of them and even harder to pick which once to share. Here are a few:  colorful, vibrant and full of life - that's India for me.

Walking on the streets of Bangalore with my aunt, stopping for tender coconut water ( note to self : got to locate that picture and post), buying locally grown fruits and veggies, I don't think there are locally grown any more, it's easier to find Washington apple then the local homegrown apple. You just have to experience it to understand what I am talking about...random chats with street vendors, local grown (some of them) veggies n fruits. There is something magical about the experience that the most sophisticated super markets cannot give you. It takes me back to my childhood, I would follow my mother, who would stop at every vegetable vendor on the street, examine the veggie closely, either approve and buy it or would refuse to entertain any convincing from the vendor. The purchase transaction would almost always be followed by a chat or a sermon by my mother on how he (the vendor) should send his kid to school and not have him/her sit there all day to sell the produce. They all knew her by face and called her 'aunty ji' which was latter replaced by 'mata ji', now am the 'aunty ji'! I always thought I would hate that, but I don't seem to mind and it, it does amuse me (in a good way). Well, here is a slice of life that was in the 80s/ when I was growing up, am sure it will become extinct with the growth of super markets and malls... but for now they give me so much pleasure, I could not have imagined that back in the 80s.

The photographs are followed by a simple lentil carrot salad called kosambri in kannada.  Since all these photographs are taken in or near Bangalore - I thought kosambari would be the perfect recipe to share along with these photographs, since it is a common local salad.

Note : most of these are taken from my i phone, some could be from my dslr. 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Enjoying the outdoors :Puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade

I must have read 'The Prophet' a zillion times and every time I read it there is something new I discover...  The book is truly timeless. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book and I almost have it to memory now.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” 
― Kahlil GibranThe Prophet

Whenever I read these lines I think of a eagle in flight, free from any bondage, she flies not because she has a destination but she flies because she has wings that give her joy. There are always some people in our lives who give us that lift, to take flight.  The open skies have always enchanted me, be it star gazing at night or hot summer afternoons with impeccable blue skies...a meal or a snack under open skies is so romantic. It makes me realize how beautiful the world around me is, it helps me open my mind and realize what true flight and freedom is.

A simple snack,  walking on the grass with bare feet, lying on the sheet and watching tree tops... small things packed with life's biggest treasures. Here is a simple puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade packed with big fun !!

This is such a simple recipe, that I am wondering if I should post this... anyhow I am going to share it.

Puff pastry sheet, thawed, rolled out and cut in thin strips.

Mix garam masala, salt, garlic powder, chili powder into 4 tbsp of olive oil. Brush the seasoned oil on the pasty, twist it up for a nice shape and bake for 10- 12 min at 375 F or until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

For the berry lemonade 

Blend a cup of berries of your choice, squeeze 1 lime and add sugar, chaat masala and some salt. Now add some ice cold water - makes around 7-8 cups, instead of water if you add some sprite or a shot of vodka,  it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

 Happy Father's day to all the awesome dads out there !

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