Food and Drinks, India, Recipes

Fresh Lime Soda

One of my favorite drinks in the hot muggy weather of Kolkata is Fresh Lime Soda. It is a universal drink, made from soda (club or any other fizzy ale) fresh limes , salt or sugar depending on your preference. This drink is widely available , from roadside stalls to fancy five star restaurants and is liked by most people. When we were in Kolkata last December, J got a taste of it and now its his favorite drink too! Anyway, ever since we’ve been back we’ve been having our American version of this drink frequently, and now that the weather has started getting warmer, we have it at least every other night. Also, on the weekends we’ve started making them alcoholic as well, and it works really well as a cocktail!

Our recipe is suited to our extra salty palette, but it can be adjusted easily by adding some sugar instead , however using sprite or any other citrus soda, doesn’t really work that well. It needs the bitterness of seltzer or club soda.

Fresh Lime Soda w/ Gin :

2 limes ( or 1 lime and 1 lemon)

Seltzer Water ( Club soda is second, tonic water – a distant third)

heaps of salt (or sugar, or a mix of both, if you don’t like salty drinks)

a pinch of black pepper to make it interesting

Gin

Lemon wedge for garnish

Its best to make the lime soda first and combine one parts gin with 3 parts of the soda.  Howevr, with the sweeter version light colored rum works better than the gin.

***photo: google images ***

Food and Drinks

A Whole Lotta Food

As I was scrolling through my old posts, I noticed I haven’t done a food related post in a while, which is really a shame, since it has been rather eventful in my food life recently. So here’s a quick update.

I made meatloaf for the first time last week. I don’t really like meatloaf so I never cook it, but I found an awesome recipe that sounded so delicious that i just had to make it. It is a southwestern flavored meatloaf, that is stuffed with pepper jack , colby and prosciutto. And the recipe doesn’t call for ketchup…yeay!

 This weekend I tried a brand new dish called Menudo , which is a mexican soup/stew that is made with cow stomach or tripe, but unlike just one part of the stomach it is made with all 4 and each has very distinct textures. The soup is spicy and really heavy but it is super tasty if you wash it down with some pina agua or pineapple drink. Some of our really good friends took us to a little hole in the wall mexican place on Alston Ave. but it was definitely as authentic as we were going to find in Durham NC. I also went a little nuts and had some of my fave pastor tacos and an asada quesedilla. Fun trivia about Menudo, according to my friend Y- In mexico they have the 4 different stomachs up by the counter and you can chooose which ones you want in your soup. We went there after our pretty crazy friday night and apparently Menudo is good for hangovers!

I am also pretty excited because I just read somewhere that one of my favorite low brow drinks – Jack and vanilla coke is now an official drink named Blackjack! I have such weird tastes in drinks, I have been spoiled because I know all these awesome bartending gurus who have introduced me to cocktails and liquors that I had never even imagined- What would my life be without the Millenium Cocktail or a Sazerac or even just a classic martini, but Jack and diet coke is still my favorite drink ever.

Food and Drinks, Friends, Recipes

Everything in Excess

Thanksgiving is one of the few days that its absolutely okay to be as indulgent as possible. In fact, at Thanksgiving dinner, after I gave thanks, I raised a toast “To excess.” I know , I know, excess isn’t really a positive value , but every once in a while , I think it is absolutely okay to be indulgent, especially in our current day culture of all pervasive guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the guilt actually stops anyone from bad behavior- we still consume too much, waste too much, want too much, dirty up too many dishes, have too much clutter, etc, etc. And most of the time, I really do try to be a better human being and I feel guilty about all the ways my existence is damaging the planet and corrupting society and bloating our society but it is nice to have a day to indulge without the guilt. Really, isn’t that the spirit of Thanksgiving – to thank the world for its shower of bounty and all things good in life. So, that is exactly what I did on thanksgiving- ate too much, drank too much, used too many ingredients in my recipes, simply because I could and most of all, I had too much fun.

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J stuffing mushrooms, while giving “Layla’s pathetic face”

Anyway, that was my rant and onto the fun stuff. For Thanksgiving this year, J and I spent the morning and afternoon cooking up our contributions to our Potluck thanksgiving dinner. We had decided on a non traditional thanksgiving menu so my contributions were.

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Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms>>>>>Recipe

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Green Beans with coconut>>>>> Recipe

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Smashed Eggplant w/ Malaysian Roti ( Baigan Bharta)>>>>>>Recipe

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Catfish in Yoghurt Sauce ( Doi Maach) >>>>>> Recipe

Around 5:30 we headed over for dinner and started on our night of drinking. There was about 10 people and there were nearly 20 bottles of wine, which I am happy to say were all consumed by the end of the night. As for the food, there was Goat Cheese with Fig sauce, my mushrooms and Eggplant and spinach dip for appetizers. For our main entrees and side dishes we had Turkey with Mole Sauce, mashed potatoes, asparagus with pinenuts, brussel sprouts, green beans, mustard greens with Kielbasa, sweet potatoes and so many more dishes. For dessert, we had homemade sweet potato pie and chocolate pecan pie.

It was a great thanksgiving. 

Recipes

Food and Drinks, Friends

Here comes the holidays!

Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays ever! This year we are going to a pot luck at our friend DS’s house and we are required to bring one dish and one bottle of wine per person, so 2 dishes and 2 bottles of wine for me and J . But I’m in a cooking mood, so I’m thinking I’ll actually make a few things.

So far, my menu ideas are

Stuffed mushrooms- appetizer

Shepherd’s pie- entree

green bean casserole – side

or

green beans with coconut-side

I might also make some sort of potato dish. Also, I feel like I might cook a bigger meal later into the holiday week, b/c J wants thanksgiving turkey leftovers, so it might be fun to have a random big meal a few days after thanksgiving.

In other news, I am leaving for India in less than 3 weeks and my Mom has already left to get things ready for the weekend. I am starting to get really excited.

Food and Drinks, Life, Travel, Wedding

Leaving on a Delta Plane

Okay,so technically we are flying American Airlines, it just didn’t sound cool as a title.  So we are leaving in 16 hours for UT. I can’t believe it, its been so stressful lately turning stuff in for school and I am really excited to not think about it for a while. I’ll deal with the consequences when I get back.

 Its been a busy couple of days and its going to be super busy the next couple of hours! I got my dress back yesterday and it fits beautifully, thanks to all that extra weight I gained. Oh well!

 This week, I also dealt with the case of the missing cake lady and got another one to do my cake instead. Also, I decided I didn’t like the flowers my mom wanted, so I’ll be making my own bouquet! We also finally have all our food finalized and it place and we hired the people I originally wanted. J and I also finally managed to find a tie for him that will look good with his suit! ( He looks hoooooottttt! )

 I am so excited, hence the crazy rambling of superflous details.

Family, Food and Drinks, Life

Birthday

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So , the birthday came and went. It was a mellow day and relaxing day. On saturday, My parents took me and J out to this really fancy Brazilian Steak house. I have been to various Rodizios before , but this one was just amazing. We went all out on the dinner, We ordered Wine and Chocolate Mousse cake. Also the buffet has amazing dishes like Smoked Salmon , Salmon in passsion fruit sauce, eggplant parmesan and lots of really exotic cheeses and olives. Of course the main event was the meat, I think I had the best top sirloin and filet mignoin of my life. I ate so much that it was almost impossible to walk out of the restaurant.

Sunday, I woke up and opened my presents, I got some clothes from my parents ( which I desperately needed) I got a dress, dress pants, some nice dressy shirts for work, new shoes and a bracelet. J got me a Scrapbooking book that has ideas for different styles of design like Victorian, Retro Modern, Contemporary etc. He also got me a gift card to B&N and a trip to DC. Yippee.  In the morning, we took the dogs and went to Eno River state park to have a birthday picnic , hike and wade in the eno with the dogs. It was a perfect activity for a hot summer day. Our picnic too was delicious with fresh Jalapeno Bread, Spinach and Feta Croissants, chilled green tea and my favorite coconut macaroons.

Here is a  pic of the Eno:

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When we got back from the Eno, my mom started cooking a huge birthday meal for me. She made a Goat/mutton dish, a coconut fish curry, Pulao and I made some kabobs. We ate everything with some delicious naan and red wine.

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(My  computer is being weird and I can only post thumbnails)

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I also made my watermelon cocktails, which were delicous.

Watermelon Cocktail

Blend seedless watermelon cubes with lime, vodka and a little bit of salt, for a delicious sweet and tangy cocktail. Also, its pretty healthy, because it doesn’t have added sugars.

Food and Drinks, Recipes

Drunken Citrus Salad

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This sunday for the weekly sunday potluck I made Drunken Citrus Salad. It is the easiest, tastiest and prettiest salad ever.

Drunken Citrus Salad

1 cup manadarin oranges

1 cup navel oranges

1 cup red grapefruit

1 cup white grapefruit

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped mint

3 shots of good quality gin

Combine all the ingredients together and let sit for a while. Garnish with Mint leaves before serving.  You can also add sugar if you like your citrus sweet. I served it after 2 hours and it was good,but it was even better the next day.

Food and Drinks, Friends, Life

Southern Fried Chicken

I have had fried chicken before at restaurants, buffets, diners, KFC but I had home made fried chicken for the first time this sunday.  My friend F who is a total southern girl fried chicken and brought it over for the our weekly sunday potluck and it was unlike anything I have tasted before. I am not even a fan of fried chicken but this was delicious, crispy w/out being greasy, flavorful even on the inside, it was delicious. I guess there is something to be said for home cooked food. We also had fish tostadas, pasta salad, carrot slaw, caviar, seafood salad and my contribution Rasmalai(which I messed up). I love our weekly gathering of food and friends.

Food and Drinks, Recipes

Spicy Mexican Ceviche

I had Ceviche for the first time this weekend, Ceviche is a appetizer or salad that is made with fish that has been “cooked” in lime or lemon juice, essentially the acidity of the limes and lemon cook the fish w/out it ever having been on any heat source. Y made it mexican style, here’s a recipe I plan to try this week:

Mexican Ceviche

Cut 1 pound of white-fleshed fish into half(Snapper, catfish, bass, or tilapia work really well) —inch cubes and squeeze the juice of six limes over them. Set the dish aside (approx 6 hours) , and—while it marinates—chop 1 Bermuda onion, 3 tomatoes, and 2 jalapeno peppers (they’re hot!) very fine. Add theseplus 1/4 cup of olive or salad oil, 4 tablespoons of fresh cilantro or parsley, and salt and pepper to taste—to the fish, and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Food and Drinks, Friends, Funny, Life

Ode to 7Eleven

Okay, its not really an ode, but in honor of it being 7/11 today I thought I’d post about how much I love Seven Eleven. Right now, there is no seven eleven in my life because they don’t have seven eleven in the south. They have Circle K and I suppose its close to seven eleven, but i aske where’s the green and the orange? Its just not the same.  My favorite seven eleven memories are of course of the slurpee . Walking over to seven eleven on a hot summer day to get the diet coke slurpee…yum.  Or even having a debate about if the seven eleven at the bottom of Big Cottonwood canyon is the busiest 7 Eleven in the country. I still don’t believe it but if think it is , you are not alone, I went to high school with several people who thought that.

Another of my 7 eleven memories is of the one on Main street, Logan, where MB and I would stop by every friday evening to get  their syrupy sweet frozen coffees. This was our friday night ritual after which we would either drive down to SLC or go out and party. Those coffee drinks gave us just the right amount of caffeine boost. I remember we would often show up at a friend’s house giggly and acting stupid and people would think we were already drunk, but it was just the caffeine.

Anyway, maybe the next place J and I move to will have 7 elevens and I’ll make some more memories, but till then Thanks for the Slurpees and the good times 7 eleven. You were a huge part of my adolescent landscape.