We all have bucket lists, things we want to do, places we want to go. Well I have a separate bucket list for the things I want to cook. 😛 One of the desserts I… More
Recently, we have been decorating our home with different ideas. 2020 being 2020, we have good time to think & work upon things. And how cold it is today here in New Jersey being just September. Hello, weather you surprised us too this year.
Sipping my hot coffee today evening, curled up in a blanket I thought let me take you around my home. Some DIY’s we have been doing including paintings, sketches, adding plants…I mean lots of plants.
- Canvas Paintings
I have developed a great skill to paint. Back in school I used to love painting. The old me has finally managed to get some time & done my painting skills. I have really enjoyed painting these & our wall looks lovely .
What all you will need:
Canvases (9″x12″), Acrylic paints set & brush set : Easily available at Walmart
YouTube link I referred: Wow Art:
- Disposable Plate Painting
You have disposable plates? I give an idea, Paint them. 😀
I collected some of the disposable plates I had in my kitchen and painted them. Now our dinning are is smiling.
What all you will need:
Disposable plates, Acrylic paint set, Brushes, Thumb pins
Greenery is all I need
Love plants, how they can make it so lively. We have added alot of plants in different nook & corner of the house.
Where can you find them:
Home depot, shop write & nearest Nursery.
You can add plants to walls too using these plant holders. They can hold up good amount of water & need no drilling on the wall. They come with stick-on hooks.
Before going for acrylic painting I stared out with sketching. Small doodles to bigger ones. Now this has become quite a wall in our home everyone loves to see.
What all you will need:
Paint white paper, Pencil set (https://www.amazon.com/Sketch-Pencils-Set-Page-Drawing/dp/B07CM9RTZ3/ref=sr_1_20crid=2IB0G9YKPVVGZ&dchild=1&keywords=pencil+set+for+sketching&qid=1600553475&sprefix=pencil+set%2Caps%2C165&sr=8-20)
Sketching Reference: https://www.youtube.com/c/FarjanaDrawingAcademy/videos
Let me know your ideas, how you would decorate your house with a little creativity.
Makhane with a twist. Your evening breaks can get healthier & chatpata with this recipe. It’s super easy and you know its good when none is left. 😛
Seeing how much the “Easy Healthy Evening Snacks: Puffed Rice Namkeen & Garlic Grilled Corn” was loved & appreciated, decided to put up another recipe for munching healthy snacks during the evening.
This recipe is inspired from my mother’s recipe. When she tells me to eat makhane as they are rich in calcium. So we stopped bringing namkeens, seeing how bad the oil they are using & replaced them with murmura (puffed rice, makhane). Was reading how unhealthy canola/sunflower/palm oils are. This recipe is cooked in Ghee.
- 100 gm Makhane
- 6 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tbsp Kashmiri mirch/deghi mirch
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chat Masala
- Take a large big pan/kadhai. Add 3 tbsp of ghee.
- Stir & roast the makhane for 10 mins on low flame.
- On a separate pan, add 3 tbsp of ghee, kashmiri lal mirch, red chilli powder, salt, chat masala.
- Mix the tadka with the crispy makhane. Stir well. Mix well
- Keep stirring the makhane, otherwise they will stick to the pan & easily burnt.
- You can add more chat masala or chilli powder if like it on the spicier side.
- You can use olive oil also.
Happy healthy eating guys! 😀
Life is a combination of magic and pasta.Federico Fellini
I have always wanted to try cooking Spaghetti pasta. Seeing how restaurants serve the noodles curled up on the plate dipped in a sauce. On a cold day, a hot sphaghetti pasta immersed in white sauce along with something hot to drink. A good way to Netflix & chill.
I was just trying to see online how its cooked, managed to re-create something like that with some of my own additions. Its quite simple and easy to make. Specially the sauce, it can be reused and added to other pasta recipes.
Here is the recipe: I hope you guys enjoy as much as I did.
- Sphaghetti pasta
- White sauce/cream
- Cheese (Parmesan/ Mozerella)
- Veges: garlic, onion, capsicum, spinach
- Olive oil
In a pan boil pasta for 10 mins to the point where its 95% done
In separate pan, heat up olive oil & add garlic.
When the garlic is golden brown, add oinion, capsicum, chopped spinach.
Add the white sauce
( You can make your own white sauce: https://crazycravings.travel.blog/2019/08/20/pink-sauce-pasta/), or add cream & mozzarella cheese.
Add the boiled pasta.
Add some salt & pepper. Cook for 10 mins in low flame.
- You can add milk to give the sauce a creamy texture with little bit of cream.
- In the veges you can add some mushrooms, corn, zucchini or broccoli.
- If you like to add oregano or mixed herbs that can be added too.
- Don’t cook spaghetti completely, it will break while mixing it with veges.
- After the pasta is boiled, add 1 tbsp of olive oil & then keep it aside. This will prevent it from sticking with each other.
It’s already August end, just another month of summer left here in New Jersey. It’s amazing how this year has made me appreciate simple things in life. A simple day at kayak could be so much fun. Its amazing how nature has so much to offer. How it surprises us.
Last weekend just to enjoy a good summer afternoon, we went kayaking. It was our first time here in USA trying Kayaking. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about whether we’ll be able to row it properly. I thought we might get stuck at one place.
But it was so much fun. We did collide with the edges of the lake. But it was such a great experience. The most exciting part was rowing under the bridge and singing out loud.
We took a ticket of 28$/boat for 2 hrs. There was a all day pass also for 45$/boat. Sanitized ourselves & good to go!
It was a beautiful little picnic on the boat. With home cooked food & some juice to drink along.
How are you guys spending your weekends this summer ?? Would love to hear about it! 😀
For evening cravings, two very easy recipes that can be made with a cup of tea or coffee. I was surprised how quick they are with bare minimum ingredients.
Puffed Rice Namkeen
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp kashimiri mirch
- 1/4 tsp red chilly powder
- Salt, chaat masala to taste
- 3-4 chopped curry leaves
- 1 cup Puffled rice (Murmura)
- 1/2 cup Flat rice (Poha)
- In a pan put oil, heat at medium flame, add turmeric, kashmiri mirch, chilly powder, curry leaves, flat rice, peanuts & roast it.
- Add puffed rice, salt, chaat masala & mix well. Done 😀
Initially I used mustard seeds, you can avoid it. Tastes better without it.
Garlic Grilled Corn
- 2 Medium sized corns
- 2 tbsp butter & olive oil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Chopped garlic/ Garlic Salt
- In a bowl mix butter, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, chilly powder, oregano.
- Brush the corns with the mixture
- Pre-heat oven at 350F & bake for 25 mins. Done 😀
You can roast the corns by baking it at broil mode for 2-3 minutes to give an extra crunchy texture.
Last week we added a new equipment to our lovely kitchen, The Instant Pot. Heard a lot of good reviews about this device, how it can be used without worrying much about the food getting overcooked.
Earlier, we had a pressure cooker that mostly households have. We decided for an upgrade to replace an old one. We bought the model: “Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker“. As we start using it, I can surely share its advantages or review it after making a couple of recipes.
To start with, here are few simple recipes that we tried in its first week of use:
First thing we tried to make were rice. Its pretty easy & quick.
- Take 1 cup unsoaked rice.
- Take water in 1:1 ratio.
- IP has a default mode for rice. It takes 12 mins. (or)
- We can also use the pressure cooking setting: 4 mins (Unsoaked, 1:1)
1 cup chickpea flour, 1 tbsp semolina flour,1 1/2 tsp white sugar, salt to taste, 1/8 tsp turmeric powder, 3/4 cup water, 1 tbsp oil, 1 1/2 tsp Eno fruit salt.
- Mix the ingredients. Whisk it till its fluffy.
- Grease the container (preferably steel). Put it on the IP steel rack.
- IP mode: Steam, 10 mins (or)
- IP on high pressure cooking: 4 mins
- Soaked red beans over night.
2 tbsp oil, 1 cup red beans, 1/4 cup onion & tomato puree, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 3 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp garam masala, salt to taste, 1 tsp haldi powder, 3 bay leaves, 3 cups of water.
- IP saute mode: add oil, cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander powder, haldi podwer & onion tomato puree. Saute till brown.
- IP mode: bean/chili mode, 30 mins cook time (or)
- IP high pressure cook mode: 7-8 mins
A table to show 2 ways of cooking the above recipes in Instant pot.
|IP Mode||Rice (12 mins)||Bean/Chili (30 mins)||Steam (10 mins)|
|Pressure Cooking Time (High)||4 mins||7-8 mins||4 mins|
Do try the recipes in your Instant pot. Any suggestions of what to try next?
Would love to hear from you guys. 🙂
Mumbai! The city famous for its marine drive, Gateway of India, monsoons and street food. When I was back in India, Mumbai was among the top 5 places left I wanted to visit. Someday though. Talking about monsoon I remember, we always used to have pakode (Chickpea potato fried snack) with some coriander chutney back at home.
Vada pav, its one of the most popular instant street food loved by all. It’s like a sandwich made from two buns with fried potato coated in chickpea flour with garlic sauce. What is special about it is the sauces that go inside & the dried chilly.
Growing up in Delhi, I was not fully aware of this authentic Mumbai street food. I experienced my first vada pav very late, but it was worth every word. I remember eating a lot that day! Living here in USA, I crave for that similar taste every time.
On a rainy day here tried recreating the exact taste. Step by step recipe is below:
How to make vada pav?
- 2 Pav
- 4 Potatoes
- Spices- 3/4 tbsp Mustard seeds, 1/2 Hing,1/2 Haldi powder, pinch of Baking soda, 1 tbsp Dhaniya powder, 2 tbsp Cumin powder, Salt, 1/2 Chat masala
- 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 4 tbsp Garlic chutney
- 1/2 cup Chickpea flour
- 3-4 Curry leaves
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 5-6 Green chilies
- 1/2 Lemon
In a blender add coriander leaves, green chilies, garlic cloves, cumin powder, salt, chat masala, water & grind together. Add half lemon.
- Filling– In a pan add oil on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, haldi powder, dhaniya powder, ginger garlic paste & salt.
- Once all the ingredients are roasted properly, add the boiled potatoes & chopped cilantro.
- Make medium sized balls & keep aside.
- Batter– In a separate bowl, add chickpea flour. Add pinch of haldi, pinch of baking soda, salt, chat masala.
- Mix well by adding small amount of water slowly. The batter should be of medium consistency.
- Frying– Fill the kadai with oil & heat the oil on medium flame. Coat the potato balls with the batter & put into the kadai.
- Fry till its golden brown. Do this with all the potato batter.
Assembling the vada pav
- Slice pav in a way, that its joined on one end. Toast the pav on a pan with some butter.
- Appy green chutney one side and garlic chutney on another.
- Now put the fried potato ball at the center & serve with chutneys.
- You can have fried chilly along with the vada. Cut green chilly vertically in way that its not cut completely into two. Fry it along with potaoes.
- Boondi Chura– In Mumbai, chura is filled inside vada pav. Also given alongside. To make chura, you need a boondi-making-jhara spoon. Pour the batter on it into the oil & fry.
June, almost half way through this year. With so much going around, there is so much this year has been, a learning experience. More than anything it’s about feeling different. Different emotions. Some days you feel optimistic about the days ahead and some, you just want to block everything things you are hearing, seeing or feeling!
Pandemic has changed us as humans (at least for me) and it’s better we realize it now. Introspect, learn and see what we are doing wrong. Be it towards our closest ones, nature, animals or environment.
Pushing myself, being productive and trying to stay motivated about this year & hoping to learn something through this pandemic. Here are the things I am doing during the 24/7 lock down.
Things I am doing & learning:
Cooking has been an integral part in the quarantine days. As much as me & M love to travel, we love trying eating at different places. Due to pandemic, we have completely ruled out the option of eating outside. We have been cooking everything at home. That means EVERYTHING. It has been a fun ride trying different recipes, the items I have always hoped i wish i could make someday. Treating the taste buds well.
Lazy bone, always been. As much as I enjoy working out, that initial motivation is very hard to get it going. Once on it, I love the feeling of a worked out body. This pandemic has taught us so much about our body, health, immunity & we are still learning. Skipping is another fun thing to do.
Last year me & M, we traveled a lot. We just came back from our anniversary trip in March 1st week. Not knowing this would be our last for the coming months. Glad we could make it. Blogging our older trips is adding some work to my long endless days.
- Decorating the house
Adding new show pieces to the house can really bring change in your daily life. Just trying to change the working environment. Still planning to add more plants to make it more vibrant & give a homely feel.
- Keeping in touch with family & friends a lot more
One thing pandemic is surely taught us is to keep in touch. A simple phone call or a video call can mean so much. Though having in-person conversations, meeting people I do miss and cannot be replaced. I have started valuing more, the family dinners & friends get together.
- Self care
Taking more care about my health, skin, eating habits & drinking good amount of water.
- Brushing my technical skills
Apart from all the other things, learning new technologies. Studying about them and reading.
Wishing you a happy & safe quarantine.
What all you learnt & tried this quarantine??? How did/is it going for you guys???
Ro-sho-gulla! That extra sweet, dipped in sugar syrup, soft, Bengali dessert. Spongier the better. Lockdown is all about cravings. Trying new things & improving our culinary skills. So here is another one. A very quick recipe for an extra sweet dessert.
Always fascinated by how it is so soft & puffy, we had to try this. Its definitely worth trying and to my surprise does not require much of an effort. This was our first attempt ever trying the recipe below and it turned out so good. I’ll give a perfect 9.5/10.
- 1 ltr Milk
- 1-4 tsp Vinegar
- 2 cups Sugar
- 3 cups water
- 2-3 Cardamom/Saffron
- To make Paneer/ Ricotta cheese – Boil milk to 1 boil with cardamom/Saffron. Add vinegar/lemon till it starts to separate into water and cheese. Collect the cheese in a strainer and water it thoroughly to remove extra vinegar. Its a very easy step.
2.Soak the extra water of cheese for 10 mins in a cloth or a tissue.
7.After 10 mins add into the sugar syrup.
8. Cool them for an hour. Ready !!!!
All set to serve!!!
If you are an Art fanatic, Bushwick Collective is a street you must visit. Located in New York city in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, it offers you street art gallery that are so beautiful to watch.
The Bushwick collective attracts artists from all the world to showcase and contribute to this vast collection of paintings. Its open all along the year, has no ticket. All you need to do is stroll around the streets and click amazing landscape views.
We were fortunate enough to visit Brooklyn last year (2019) to have a memory of our own.
LOCATION & CONNECTIVITY
The Bushwick art gallery has a good connectivity through subway. The nearest station is Jefferson Street Station – L line.
A bit of history about this place. It was started in 2012 by Joe Ficalora, a native in this area. He was born here and had all kinds of experiences. It was him who wanted to change his bad experiences and create good memories about this place, by inviting artists from all over the world and showcase their ideas. Its a great place to be for an outdoor art gallery.
THE ART COLLECTION
Some of the art pieces we managed to click that day. A lot more needs to be explored. We were thinking of visiting there someday again. Enjoy the virtual gallery below 😀
BEST PIZZA IN BROOKLYN
One pizza place I would like to highly recommend. On our way back from The Bushwick Collective, we ended up at this pizza place called The Best Pizza at Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Being a vegetarian we always crave for different varieties of veg pizzas, though I am a huge fan of standard to go all time favorite cheese margherita, this place has so much to offer. We call it “out of the box pizza”.
What all it had– Instead of regular toppings and tomato sauce base, it had pickled veges (cauliflower, potato, beetroot). Never had such combinations on our pizza. Its worth a try. We ended up eating more than we thought we actually will. 😛
Ending the day with carrot cheesecake at Junior’s. What a day!! 😀
Pesto sauce? Nope. Yesterday, I was craving to make pesto sauce, due to scarcity of ingredients I thought why not Spinach?
A healthy but not so healthy version of white sauce pasta. I wish technology could do justice and we could feel the taste somehow. Expressing things would have been so much easier. So happy about how well the experiment turned out. Will not stop raving about the sauce. ;D
Try this amazing Spinach white sauce:
- 1/2 Onion
- 1/2 Capsicum
- Pickled jalapenos
- Spinach paste
- 1 bowl boiled pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt, pepper, oregano
- White sauce: Add all purpose flour & butter in a pan. Stir and add milk slowly. Keep stirring till becomes like a paste. Add salt, pepper & oregano according to taste.
- Spinach paste: grind 4,5 spinach leaves with some water into a fine paste.
- In a separate pan, add oil, chopped onion & capsicum, fry till medium brown.
- Add the white sauce & stir everything.
- Now add the spinach paste with the boiled pasta.
- Cook & stir for 5 minutes.
- As the white sauce has salt, pepper and oregano, taste before adding more to the pasta.
- Always add the spinach paste into the white sauce and not the reverse to prevent the spinach from getting a burnt flavor.
- Cook pasta in medium flame to have a creamy affect.
Do try this version of pasta & let me know how it turned out for you.
What all do you like to add in your pasta?
Breads and cheese always draw me towards them. Imagine entering a store or a bakery, that smell of freshly baked bread and hot cheese. Yah, that. Drool worthy.
Just like that on our regular visit to do grocery, we bought this sour bread loaf, some cheese and pickled jalapenos. Assembled everything and jalapenos egg salad sandwich is ready. It surely is guilt food. Yep that’s what you feel after eating it. 😀
- 2 slices Sour Bread
- 4 Boiled eggs
- Pickled jalapenos
- 2 Boiled potatoes
- Half chopped onion/ 1 green onion
- Finely chopped corriander
- Salt & pepper
- Mayo dip– From 2 boiled eggs take out yolks and mix it with 3 tbsp of mayonnaise.
- Egg salad/ Sandwich filling – Mix chopped onion, coriander, grated boiled eggs, chopped boiled potatoes and mayo dip all together to make sandwich filling. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
- Toast bread– toast bread in white mayo sauce. Add filling and make a sandwich. For grilled cheese sandwich I always recommend toasting in Mayo to get that yummy crunch.
Instead of red onions, you can also use green onions. Ours was still in process of growing so used a substitute 😛 .
Try this recipe and let me know how it worked out for you.
Also, what’s your favorite ingredient in your version of grilled cheese sandwich ? Would love to hear back! 😀
A big giant pineapple! That’s what comes to my mind when I look at The Vessel. A newly opened building at Hudson Yards, New York. Am I too much into food? I wonder.
Vessel was opened to public from March 15, 2019. It was around July summer time when we decided to be a bit touristy and visited this massive shiny architectural piece.
What works for this building is its location. Located at the center of Hudson yards with unique wide big offices, stores, fancy apartments and High Line where you can stroll around in the heart of New York, Manhattan. More about High line, later below.
And also the design which is quite unique as mastered by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio.
It’s a 2500 steps, 150 foot tall structure with 16 stories.
If you want to go inside, there is a ticket. We decided to see it from outside because it was way too much crowded. Has become quite a tourist spot in a very short time.
The High Line
High line is an elevated public park built on an old rail track on the West side of Manhattan. It starts from Washington Street and runs till 34th street 34th ave. It showcases skyscrapers, nature, design and art all together.
Saravanaa Bhavan : Vegetarian restaurant
To my surprise, NYC has its own Saravanaa Bhavan. Its located at Lexington Ave. I remember back in Delhi, how we used to wait in long queues to have that perfect Dosa with variety of chutneys. My all time favorite is Coconut chutney. This one was pretty good too. Felt like home. 😀
Heard so much about the legend dosa man at NYC Washington square park. Will be sharing our experiences once we get a chance to visit there. 😀
What are your favorite places to eat near Hudson yards??
Would love to hear from you.
Just hang in there folks.
Just hoping when the things get better we start valuing more, the normal we had and the new normal we’ll be going into. Trying to take one day, one meal at a time.
For now cheer up guys, try this amazing Honey chilly potato recipe and you’ll never miss your favorite food restaurant.
Here it goes..
- 1 Potato
- 1 Onion
- 2 Green onion
- 1 Capsicum
- 5 Garlic cloves
- 2-3 Dried red chilly
- 2 tbsp Soya sauce
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Schezwan sauce
- 1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
- Salt, Pepper
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1/2 tbsp Sesame seeds
- Cut potatoes into big thick french fries shape. If you like it without the covering, you can peel it too. We used it with the peel.
- Chop onion, capsicum, garlic and green onion. Save some of the green leaves of green onion for garnishing.
- In a frying pan add 3 tbsp of oil, chopped garlic, onion, capsicum and white part of green onion. Fry till medium brown.
- Add 2 tbsp of soya sauce, 2 tbsp of schezwan sauce, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp of vinegar, salt & pepper to taste.
- Bake the potatoes at 425 C for ten minutes one side, flip the potatoes & repeat again of the other side.
- Add the cut potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes till crispy.
- Pour it into a dish and add 1 tbsp of honey.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of sesame seeds on top.
- Honey is never cooked. It should be added off the heat when poured into the dish.
- To make the potatoes more crispy:
- Frying- Coat the potatoes into a paste of corn starch or all purpose flour with water and fry them till medium brown.
- Schezwan sauce is a bit salty, taste before adding extra salt.
So what are you cooking this Quarantine?
Would love to hear from you 😀