Dinner with the Woodys'

The last weekend was lovely. I was kind of busy half the time and the other half, I was just doodling away, indulging in idle banter with the good man Himself.

The weather was beautiful and for a change, it was nice to do nothing but just unwind. On Saturday, the Woodys' came over for dinner. The dinner was fab and they loved it! Totally. The day was spent in preparing for the guests, and that usually means, cleaning up, making sure there is enough cutlery for the family of five plus two (that is us) and adding my final touches to the Banquet (if I may say so) with the lasts of garnishings and tasting. Not even a little spicy, warned A. Keeping that in mind, we decided on the creamy paneer butter masala and a mild and flavorful daal made out of black-eyed peas. Paranthas were stocked in the freezer and needed to be cooked just before dinner. And, yes, Jeera Pulao was the other mild entree that I could think of, next to plain rice, of course. What about the appetizer? "How about Chaat? We can make Sev Puri. No spice at all.", I said. A agreed it was a good idea. Onions, potatoes, cilantro, tomatoes were chopped, the green chutney and sweet chutney whipped,  and A with his oversized faded T-shirt made the perfect street Chaat Wala. The only thing that lacked was the sweat trickling from his brows. Yuck! I know.

The  Woodys' arrived. Hellos and hugs were exchanged. The kids were chirping away, acting out "Doctor, doctor...."  skits. Laughing. Talking. Then, it was time for Chaat. What's Chaat? Alright. Explaination followed and was received with oohs and aahs. Alrighty, bring it out, they said. D wanted the papdi topped with just the tomatoes. C wanted it with everything except the onions and Big D wanted just the papdi. Oh, these kids! "Puhleez. It's Chaat. Has to be eaten in a certain way. Eat it all or not at all", I wanted to yell. And, S said it was more like Nachos. Huh?? Yeah, except for the chips and cheese and jalapeno and olives and salsa and guacamole and sour cream, I said.

I got started with the Paranthas while A was catering to needs of his customers (Oh, BTW, he changed into a smarter T-shirt and looked more like a Chaat Wala in a five-star restaurant :) ). The table was laid and all the dishes were explained. They dug in and the food was a hit! Even the kids it. Though they ate paranthas with sugar and jeera pulao with sugar, they ate a good number of paranthas and a good helping of pulao. My legs were tired, as I stood there, making paranthas after paranthas which seemed to be vanishing minute after minute.I am glad they liked it! In the end, everyone was so stuffed and we settled to play poker. We finally opened the poker kit! It was fun.

The Woodys' got the dessert - Root Beer Float. I usually don't like Root Beer much, but it always tastes good when someone makes it for you. A took a big Coca Cola glass, put in three scoops of vanila ice cream and then P filled it up with Root Beer! Looks like it is a traditional American dessert! A was pretty sure I won't be able to eat it all because of my love for root beer ;-), but was quite surprised to see that I had tucked it all in!

And then more poker. 9 pm. Time for the kids to go to bed. Let's leave, said S. After they left, we turned the dishwasher on and crept upstairs to hit the bed. Three kids! S must be spending all time and money just feeding them. But, it's fun, nontheless!

Bed story.

A and I were on the bed last night, my leg on his, and we were each reading a book.

Me: It seems Inception is so good you need to watch it atleast twice to follow the movie.....
A: Yeah, even E said something like that....
Me: Hmmmm...


A: I am sure he will buy the Blu-ray as soon as it is out.
Me: What else is new? I think he should soon open an E-flix and start renting out movies...you know, he can buy many more with the money he makes...
A (chuckling) : He will be very upset if he heard that.
Me: Seriously, you should suggest (**snort**)


A: It's an addiction. Same as how I used to buy Hardy Boys case files.I have so many of them (gestures with his hands spread apart). And then I stopped buying them....
Me: Why? Was that when you got introduced to "Library", where people borrow books from?

A punch, pounce and then, A was on top of me.

Me: (Squealing)
A: Miss Saarchs.....every month a case file used to come out, but the Library will get hold of it only after 8 months...by then I would have read 8 of them!

So, now you know why I was eyeing that larger than life book case.......

Moksha Lounge

Owning a cafe sometime in life, is on the cards. I would choose a touristy spot, on an Island that's bombarded with visitors year round. Everyone's on vacation, happy, partying and splurging. Good for me and them, as well.

My dream cafe will be on the beach, obviously. Tall tiki lamps will light the tables and people will sit under the serene skies with their feet buried in the sand, the gentle breeze kissing their face while the soothing sound of the lashing waves bring with them a certain tranquility. Lounge music (Cafe Del Mar/Buddha Bar) is the kind of music that will play in my cafe.

People can waltz on the beach, if they wish to. The decor will be white with a splash of blue, to give it a Greacian feel.

And, we will offer an excquisite asian fusion cuisine.

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Pet Peeve revisited

"Hi, what can I get for you?"

"Hmmm...We'll have the Sambusa to start with-"

"I am sorry, we are out of it."

And I want to scream, "Why couldn't you tell that before? I WANT Sambusa. Now."

Weird or not, that's one of my pet peeves. Having something on the menu but not in the kitchen. Bummer!

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Weekend stories.

OK, so, the weekend is almost over. Friday was Pasta night. I was working from home, so had the time to cook Spaghetti in marinara sauce with some garlic bread for dinner. After dinner we watched Well done Abba. Quite a funny movie and Boman Irani has done good acting. The story is set in rural parts and quite true, I believe.

On Saturday, we made veggie tacos for lunch and headed out for some shopping to Lynnwood. We went to Rock Bottom for happy hour and had their Margherita Pizza, quite awesome! Got back home after doing groceries at TJ's and Whole Foods. We made Mabo Tofu and the Veggie dumplings that we got from Hmart for dinner and watched EMI.

And today, has been a slow day. Sundays are always lazy days. I have blogs to catch up with. Laundry needs to be done. I still have to cook for the next week. And I have lots of books that are waiting to be read. I wish Sundays were longer. Like 40 hours or something.Will come back later for more blah.

My Favorite Quote of All Time

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." -- Carrie (Sex & the City)

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At a grocery store, one of the staffs had set up a booth to demonstrate their new garlic flavored penne pasta. The pasta was ready for sampling, when she laid out paper cups and started distributing it. The pasta was sliding off the spoon as she tried to scoop it, and not more than 3 pieces of penne landed in each cup.A 4 year old was amused and quipped with sarcasm,"Well, you sure got your math right!" .
Ah, kids these days!

Six good reasons to eat my Monter-In-Law's cooking.

1. She is a foodie and loves to cook. And, A says that she is an excellent cook.

2. I haven't eaten a proper meal cooked by her yet.She has not been feeling very well and doesn't cook these days. In the two weeks that I stayed at A's with my in-laws, soon after my wedding, I got to eat Dahi Vadas made by her and they were delicious!

3. She cooks food the healthy way. Doesn't peel the veggies (even if they are meant to be), doesn't fry much, avoids potatoes and other roots and uses more of the greens.

4.When we visit her, on some days when the cook takes off, she instructs me and I cook. She'll place a chair in the Kitchen and place herself on it. I do all the manual labor. Though the amount of oil and ghee makes me gasp, I noticed that the food tastes excellent. Oh, just this once, I tell myself, as I stack the nearly empty oil bottle back in the pantry.

5.She reads up recipes and watches the cookery shows on TV and comes up with innovative ideas for making exotic dishes. She used to, atleast. These days, she promptly makes copies of the said recipes and sends it to me. And I open a folder and file it in. I take a sketch pen and write "Recipes" in bold on the folder and draw two swirly lines under it. On either sides of "Recipes" I draw a tomato. That is the last I see of the folder. I open it again only when she sends me some more copies. Thank god, she doesn't ask me if I ever tried making all that stuff. But I have a totally different plan in case she asks. Blame it on A! That, he doesn't want to eat any of that. Easy peasy! Ring ring ringa...

6. She takes up cooking seriously, like I do fashion or travelling or of the sort.One topic that is discussed every single time we call her is - "What's for dinner today?" Tell me about it. It's all about food!

Random things about me.

On days when am desperate to write something, but don't know what to write about, I'll treat you to know me better! Here you go -

I love Spicy food and hot sex.

I want to write a book some day. In fact, I want that to make that my career few years from now.

I love fashion. When am bored, I like to get creative on H&M's fashion studio, online.

I procrastinate all the work that I don't find interesting. This includes taking the clothes out of the dryer and folding them and placing them in the wardrobe.

I love to cook as much as I love to eat.

Am addicted to travelling. I want to get away somewhere, atleast, once every three months.

At home, you will find me in my sphagetti top and shorts.

Arrogance and sarcasm are my turn-me-ons ;-), in the opposite sex, that is.

I tweet atleast once everyday.

I have picked up an undiminishing ability to fumble on words, from the sole master of Spoonerisms , our man, A. I even once fumbled at work when I said "J-Soo-Tee-V-M-1" for JC2VM1. I don't think my boss ever recovered from that.

I find Latin Impact class at the gym very refreshing.

I sleep with my legs crossed.

I kill any plant that I bring into my house. I forget to water them.

I am not a big fan of being in the company of friends. If I really don't enjoy their company, why waste time?

I love the vacations that A and I go on. We enjoy the whole experience - travel and food.

I am a beach bum and I made A one too. You will find us traveling mostly to beach destinations.

Red and white look good on me.

I love platform shoes and flip flops. Nothing in between.

I can be very stubborn and arrogant when I am moody. Just like a raging bull. Well, what can you expect from a Taurean?
I want to tour the world some day. At my own pace. Just go, with no fixed schedule. Stay for however long, where ever I please and just keep moving on. Of course, all this only after I write a dozen books or so and have made enough dough to laze around. Or, after A becomes the CEO of some company. Which ever is sooner.
I can't stand the "Know-it all"s. Sheesh!
If you read this, consider youself tagged and write random things about you, and link me to your article in a comment here. Would love to read 'em!

Eat, drink and be merry!

I think this is the first weekend when we didn't eat out. Honestly, how couldn't we? I know, I can't believe it myself. On Friday evening, I made some yummy penne pasta in tomato mushroom sauce. We had that with some focaccia garlic bread. The meal was so delicious it made us realize nothing can beat cooking at home. No, I take that back. I do like to eat out. Let me put it this way, eating out is fun when you are in the mood for it, or when you haven't reviewed restaurants for a while in your food blog, like I do here. :)

On Saturday, we had some yummy north Indian thaali for lunch at home. I made Rajmah, the basmati rice medley from TJ's, Roti, Pappad and Pickle. The we watched World Cup, in the middle of which A had a sudden craving for Kheer and I whipped up pohe cha kheer in a whim. It was delicious. Am only worried that he will ask for it more often as he was quite impressed that I could make it in 15 mins. Ho hum!

And then, S called to say that they can actually come over for dinner that night. So, after the game, we did a quick grocery shopping at Costco, TJ's and Fredmeyer's. We got back home and started off with the Lebanese fair. Toum, Hummous, Shawarma, Pita, Saffron rice and Greek Fries. S brought some Falafels and the dinner was a huge hit! The plates were scraped until the last morsels of the garlic sauce miraculously disappeared.

Dinner was followed by a movie Milenge Milenge. It was a remake of Serendipity. Oh c'mon, get creative and come up with a different plot, for heaven's sake! In the middle of the movie, A brought out the dessert -Raspberry, Lime and Orange Sorbet.Another big hit!

On Sunday, there was more cooking (for the rest of this week - Black eyed peas daal and tindora sabzi) and Worl Cup finals. I spent some time doing my hair and laundry and the usual weekend chores. Never wanted to step out of the house.Sheesh! There are even days such as these! But I loved being at home.


Life is a puzzle. Look at the bumble bee, the tiny little baby that makes its way into the big bad world, the smiling face, nature and you are so happy to be here. And then one peek at the sufferings and the sadness and you wish you weren't there, after all.

Oh well! Life is an enigma in itself. Everything about life is such a mystery. I wish I had answers to all the questions that I am burdened with.

To start with, why are we born? What is the purpose of this life? Is it true that our past actions (karmas) rule our present and the future? Is what we are today, because of what we did in our past life? Does God exist? If yes, what's his role in this world? Why is there so much suffering? Why are the good always punished?

I guess one can never find answers to these questions. It is more like finding a drug for a genetic disorder. Will never happen.

That said, I believe in living for the present. This moment. Now. For who knows when what will happen? Cherish every moment, hold and never let go. I wish time will just stand still and there will be no tomorrow.

East, West, North, South!

I am awful with directions. If you twirl me, when I stop twirling I won't have a clue which direction I have to go. When I walk out of restrooms in the malls, I usually stop and look at either sides to make sure I go the right way. Yeah, am so pathetic, and poor A has a tough time with me.

I was meeting A downtown to watch the Baseball game at Safeco. A's office was offering tickets and there was a huge BBQ set up. We were given T-shirts to wear to the game and at the stadium they even gave us Baseball caps!

There was heavy traffic and I was running late. A called to find out where my bus was.

A: Where are you, baby?
Me (looking out of the window): Hmmmm...here...near Utopia.
Utopia is a cafe that I just spotted. Never heard of it before.
A (never heard of Utopia) : What? Where in the world is it?
Me: Here, on my left!

And after I got off at my stop, I was a little confused as to which direction to go. I was about to call A, when my phone rang.

Me: Hon, I got off and the driver asked me to follow the crowd to the Stadium. So, am just walking with the crowd.
A: Hmmm....OK....
Me: Am at 5th now....everyone's taking a winding bridge kind of thing...am also on the bridge now...
A ( knowing West will confuse me): Are you walking towards the sun? Is the sun ahead of you?
Me (looking up at the sky): Ah, yes!
A: Phew! You are on the right path....
Me (hesitating a lit): So....that means am walking west, right?
A (Laughs): Yes!

See, am not so bad after all!

C'est la vie!

A lot has been happening in life. Suddenly life seems larger than life.

Jun 3rd - 5th
A fun trip to coastal california. Lots of dining n whining, baby. I hope to write a brief account of my travel sometime soon. Highlights -

  1. Herbivore and Dosa on Valencia.
  2. Drive along the Pacific to Monterey, Carmel n Big Sur.
  3. Monterey aquarium.
  4. 17-mile drive - too much of a hype.
  5. Hike to Andrew Morela Beach at Big Sur.
  6. Amir's Kabob House, Hula Island Grill, Madura, Chaat Paradise, Carmel Cafe and Kasa - We travelled the Bourdain way - lots of food sampling is a major part of the travel.
  7. And of course, just peeped into China Town and glanced at the Golden Gate.
June 26-27
It was the anniversary weekend. 5 yrs! On 26th, hand lunch at Med Kitchen and toured the Deception Pass in a Jet boat. Totally awesome. Wore the blue beachy dress that made me look mediterranean. Got to see some wild life. On 27th, had brunch at Maltby Cafe, cut the absolutely delicious and fattening Princess Torte that I got from Hoffman's Fine Pastries and went to Root Table for an early asian fusion dinner. Awesome! Awesome!
In between June 5th and 26th, went to an Iranian Festival at Seattle Center. All about food again. Falooda Ice cream and home made baklava.

Got a nice hair cut and love my hair style now! Phew! My hair grows faster than weeds. Hiked up to Twin Falls on July 3rd. Lovely 3 mile hike. Followed by spicy schezuan dinner at Spicy Talk Bistro. The next day, met with S & C for dinner at their place - pasta salad, grilled veggie burgers, nachos and ice cream. Then went with them to the Bellevue Park to see the fire works. Got back home and watched Housefull. A slapstick comedy.

On 6th July -R & S were vising from San Diego- we met them for dinner at Orexi. Horrible food. Crappy Service. The waitress is a total looter. She kept calling me a "Pretty Lady" all the while and put on such an air of pretense. Never again!!
Today, am joining A for a Baseball game at Safeco. Am not a Baseball fan. Am going there purely for decoration. I'll be the fresh Cherry on the cake.Will wave and try to get the camera's attention. And there will be food, of course. And, for lunch today, the cafe had a special - footlong sub for 3.99 with tax. Cool, isn't it? I ate half of it and save the other half for A. I know.....am very sweet.
Flying to India very soon. Really excited.

Suddenly, life is happening!! How about you? What's new at your end?