Food and Drinks, Recipes

Limoncello Cocktail

I guess I have been all about the citrus lately! Another liquor that I adore at the moment is Limoncello. It is an italian liquor made from the rind and zest of lemon. It is really sweet and really alcoholic- almost as high as vodka or rum. Although, this is a traditionally drank either on ice or plain as an apertif or as a dessert drink, I prefer mine with champagne.

It is essentially one part Limoncello with three parts champagne. Its bubbly, sweet, citrussy and boy will it give you a little rush! Its also especially delicious with some raspberries and blueberries thrown in.

The other thing about Limoncello is that it can be quite easy to make at home so J and I are going to attempt to make our own one of these weekends. Will post more on that later!

***photo: google images***

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


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, 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.


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.


Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms>>>>>Recipe


Green Beans with coconut>>>>> Recipe


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


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. 


Food and Drinks, Recipes

Drunken Citrus Salad


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, 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, Life, Recipes

Rainy day…Moping around

This morning, what was starting out as a nice relaxing morning quickly ended drastically on my way to school. I noticed my car was driving funny and I pulled over, only to find that I had a flat tire. I know, I know flat tires can happen to anyone  anywhere, but I was especially upset because they were brand new tires. I had just replaced my tires last month and here I was in the pouring rain, on my way to school with a flat tire. I called J and he drove out to help me fix it but for some reason he couldn’t get the tire off to put the spare tire on. So we had to drive to Target, buy a fix a flat and by now it was raining quite hard. When we got to the car, it turned out the fix a flat had a defect and most of the goo ended up on J and we only had a little bit to fix the tire. We finally manged to  get it to the mechanic and they assured us that they could fix the tire and I wouldn’t need new ones. Of course luck wasn’t on our side and they had to end up replacing the tire and it of course took a lot longer than they said it would. Ultimately, I am now poorer and had to come late to work and now I have to stay late too. Boo Hoo.

In other news, since I had a few hours at home this morning because of the car, I was able to make a yummy lunch and i decided to experiment with potato salad. J has been asking for poato salad lately and I’m really picky about potato salad. I absolutely love Jason’s Deli potato salad , where its all mashed and mustardy so I tried to make my own. I used

 Horseradish mashed Potato Salad

smashed potaoes,

horseradish mustard

a little chilli powder

  celery salt

black pepper

onion powder



 I mixed them all up together until it was smooth and lump free and it was delicious. Next time I am going to add hard boiled eggs, for more flavor explosion. We were in such a hurry to eat lunch that I didn’t take a picture, it looked so creamy and delicious though. 😦

Here’s a generic pic thats close, only mine was creamier

i am so lame, i just blogged about potato salad. oh well

Food and Drinks, Friends, Life, Recipes

Dahi Vada and Potluck

I am becoming rather proud of culinary skills lately. I have graduated from just cooking for J and my family to now cooking for big groups of people. Last Sunday DS and Y hosted a Potluck in their backyard and I cooked up a big batch of dahi vada and people actually enjoyed it.

In fact I overheard this conversation between DS and Y

DS: This is great, Did X make this ?

Y: No , this is the dish N and J brought

DS: N made this , really , wow!

The setting was really fun, they had set up a long picnic bench and it felt like this big family meal outdoors. There were Italian dishes, tapas, mac and cheese, shortbread cookies and Tempeh and also DS’s homebrew. After dinner Y and I watched her wedding video and the boys made fun of us.  Also I got an email from DS saying that they will be hosting every sunday , so it will become a summer tradition.

Anyway to celebrate the summer season, I am posting a recipe for Dahi Vada( Dough balls in Yoghurt): A yummy, chilled summer snack

Dahi Vada ( Makes 6 small portions)


  • 1 1/2 cups Urad Daal without skin (black lentils)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2″ piece of ginger grated
  • 2 green chillies chopped very fine
  • Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower oil for deep frying
  • 3 cups thick fresh yoghurt (should not be sour)
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds roasted gently and ground into a fine powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Chopped corainder leaves to garnish


  • Soak the urad daal in a bowl of water overnight. Grind it into a paste the next morning. Do not add any water while grinding.
  • Add the green chillies and ginger to this paste.
  • Mix 1 cup of yoghurt with 2 cups of water and salt to taste
  • Keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix the remaining yoghurt with the red chilli powder, chaat masala, cumin powder, sugar and salt to taste. Mix well. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil for deep frying on a medium flame. Grease your palms with oil and put 1 tbsp of the lentil mix in your palm. Make into a donut shape (these are the vadas).
  • Slide each vada into the hot oil and fry till light golden. Drain and put immediately into the yoghurt/water mix. Allow to soak for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the yoghurt/water mix and press gently between your palms. Arrange these vadas in a deep platter as you prepare them.
  • When all urad daal paste is used up and the the vadas are done as above and in the platter, pour the thick yoghurt mix over them to cover completely.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
  • To serve, put 1 or 2 Dahi Vadas in a plate and garnish with Tamarind Chutney and green Mint-coriander Chutney. (optional)
  • Food and Drinks, Recipes

    La Michelada and She Crab Soup

    Saturday afternoon at Cape Hatteras, DS had a very strong craving for a Bloody Mary. We went to this little restaurant called Dolphin Den to eat some seafood and drink some cocktails, only to find out that Hatteras was a Booze free island. THat meant that they had beer and wine but not liquor. Being the good wife that Y is , she decided to make this yummy, spicy and delicous beer coctail for us. It is a Mexican Cocktail called La Michelada and here is the recipe

    La Michelada

    The Michelada is a refreshing summer twist on the standard Bloody Mary.  Try it with a light Mexican Beer.  You can’t go wrong with the Michelada!


    4 drops of Tabasco Sauce
    1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Dashes of Salt and Ground Pepper
    Juice of 2-3  Lime wedges

    1 Bottle of Beer, preferably a Corona Extra

    Optional: Maggi Sauce


    Combine above ingredients in a glass and pour beer to top.  Serve with wedge of lime in a salted glass. Serves 1.





    She Crab Soup


    Originally this soup was prepared with the meat and roe (crab eggs) from female blue crabs.  However, it is now considered environmentally unfriendly to harvest roe, therefore the soup is just made with female crabs. Since I cannot afford 9- 10 large crabs with shells (just in case there is roe inside), I found this recipe that uses lump crab meat.


    Ingredients: Serves 6

    • 2 hard-cooked eggs, optional
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 scallion including green top, minced
    • 1 rib celery, minced
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups Fish Stock, or bottled clam juice
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 pounds lump crabmeat, picked free of shell
    • 1/4 cup dry sherry
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 6 thin slices lemon

    1. If using the eggs, separate the yolks from the whites and save the whites for another use. Press the yolks through a sieve and reserve.

    2. In a large pot, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the scallion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, milk and cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring.

    3. Add the sieved egg yolks, if using, the crabmeat, sherry, salt and pepper and bring almost to a simmer. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a pinch of paprika and a lemon slice. Serve soup with oyster crackers.

    *Recipe from*