Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Inspiration Strikes..

..I guess nothing can stop me :)

I.The object of inspirationOven roasted mint chicken. Found this in one of the food blogs I follow regularly. She posts some really good, easy to make recipes and ever since I saw this I wanted to make some myself and I did!

I. The product of inspiration:
I marinated the chicken with a paste made from- mint, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and green chilli (1). Added some red chilli powder, turmeric powder, a bit of garam masla, corriander powder, lemon juice (half slice of a big lemon) and 2 table spoon oil to the paste, and marinated the chicken over night (almost 12 hrs). Baked it for 45 mins at 350 C and then raised the temp to 450 Cand baked for 30 mins. Before baking I threw in 1 bay leaf, couple of cloves, couple of cardamom pods, 1 star anise and 1 cinnamon stick into the dish.

II. The object of inspiration


Poached pear with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Found this on one of my favorite design blogs and have been tempted ever since. So the weekend came and...

II. The product of inspirationI bought organic pears (so that the skin can be eaten as well) , pitted them, and stuffed them with raisins, walnuts and some powdered sugar. I also threw in some powdered sugar and a cinnamon stick to the water bath for poaching the pears. oohlala!

Yes..the weekend's been busy in a creative sort of way :).

(PS: My attempts were well appreciated. There is an option for an alternative profession after all!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

LOVE Restored

Looks like I am continuing with the "love" theme, although this time more to do with restoring my convictions on how love is supposed to be. Full of passion and madness, kindness and caring , overwhelming and everlasting. OK, I did not fall in love overnight--nothing as dramatic- sadly! But, I saw a staggeringly beautiful love story-a movie I mean. An old American one called The Way We Were, staring the breathtakingly handsome Robert Redford and the quirky, smart and passionate Barbara Streisand. Yes people! the exquisitely handsome man did fall for the quirky, pretty-in-an-odd-way looking girl *gasp*. The end was sweet in a sad sort of way. She was more than he could handle and they decided to go separate ways but the love never really died you see...making it everlasting, in a way.
This song by Barbara Streisand from the movie..hmm!!..loveliness!!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

LOVE Is In The Air or Not?

Is affairs of the heart an outdated concept these days? Has it indeed reduced to mere affairs of the mind? It appears like people don't use their heart even where/when they should; where conventionally what the heart says is what matters. I am speaking about the age old concept of love. It completely baffles me what "today's generation" (I just made myself sound terribly old and I apologize for generalizing so broadly)conceive love to be.I speak from the experience of seeing some of my friends and cousins go through it.
There is no crazy love, or deep in love or can't live without you love.Instead I hear phrases like adjust, get along, parents & family, consent/support, wavelength (which is fine), reliable(which is reasonable), convinced, priority, and E&E (that's educated & employed)! Do you see a pattern here or is it just me? Everything sounds so sensible and calculated and planned and practical. If there is indeed some truth in what I am saying then I am deeply disappointed and slightly disturbed. Where the hell is love, romance and all the silliness, sweetness and profoundness that comes with it? The dramatic declarations of "I-can't-breath-without-him" kind? Why is there so much thinking and logic involved when love is supposed to make you lose sense of logic and reality (to some extend).
Am I being the fool here and refusing to catch up with time or have I got it all wrong?

Story behind these out of the blue thoughts- A cousin "loves" a guy (well, in my times I would have simply called it like a guy)and they have been friends forever (as in together from middle school).Both are E&E, similar background as in both are from the same place, speak the same langauge, eat the same food and breathe the same air..you get my drift?(pun intended), well off folks, or in other words no glaring differences except that she is a Hindu and he is a Christian. So, now the girl's parents refuse to even acknowledge that their darling daughter may be interested in this guy and is frantically trying to marry her off to the first perfect-in-every way Nair boy. Now the sad-dest part is, the part which inspired this post-the girl cannot make up her mind!!! The girl's mom( and some members of our family) are still stuck in the middle ages unfortunately, but that is pardonable considering their age, time and circumstances of their birth and how they were raised and blah blah blah. But my question/concern is why is it so hard for young couples (of the current gen) to make up their minds, if they believe they love each other? I don't know much about the guy's version of the story, but he has an elder brother who is getting married soon and he can talk about his "interests" at home in a more I-am-really -serious-about this kind of way only after the brother gets hitched.again a little too planned and calculated I say..but as I said..maybe I have got it all wrong, right from the start, which takes me back to square one- is there love in the air or not?
Meanwhile, our gal is not saying yes or no to the "perfect guy" daddy and mommy chose. *sigh*. So basically everyone and everything is in limbo. Not fun!

ANYhows I don't know how the story is going to end and it is funny to watch our whole family waiting in anticipation on whats going to happen next. I even got a call from another cousin 6 in the morning (which scared the crap out of me.Phone calls at an odd time always does that to me)wondering if my cousin (the girl) had disclosed anything to me.

Yep...welcome to our family soap-special edition!

Monday, August 15, 2011

ROFL

When you are done blog hopping and you are still bored to bits, when your mind is too restless to function well, when you are haunted by thoughts that are impractical, unrealistic and ridiculous, when you have plenty work to do but you just don't want to, when you took the day off hoping to get all the pending work done but didn't get too far with it, when you feel like a bloated whale from eating too much and too tired to work it off, when your left arm feels weird and heavy and you wonder if you are having a heart attack, when your body is screaming how uncomfortable it feels and you are not able to really focus on anything then..you watch Four Weddings and a Funeral and then blog about it. Oh my god!Let me just sum it up in a few words- it was ROFL funny!I mean check out this scene.
(ROFL- roll on the floor 'n laugh)

PS:August 16th, 2011
On second thoughts it is more LOL funny than ROFL funny...I mean its British humor after all.
(LOL-laugh out loud)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oh Little Darling!

We have friends visiting from Florida and this is their little son. Been a while since I held a baby in my arms and at home we are all baby crazy people. Aren't they just little darlings?! Their sweetness and innocence always melts my heart.

Look at this little one--Loves his toy so much that he now attempts to eat it...
Hard not to smile when they are around.




Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Pressure is Building

I am at a specialist's office with some ongoing issues with my body.

Doc: So how are you today?

Me: (In my head-*If I was feeling great I wouldn't be here sitting with you*). I am good thanks.

Doc: So then what brings you here?

Me: ( In my head- *Ah!--good question*) and *Gotcha looks from the doc*.
I've not been feeling well blah blah blah...

Doc: Your blood pressure readings don't look good. It is pretty high for your age.

Me: Oh yea..I noticed (In my head- *Right, as if I needed more pressures in life. Your stupid machine is broken .That's what it is.*)

Doc: I would categorize you as borderline hypertension. You may want to fix up regular appointments with your family physician for more routine check ups and monitor yr BP.

Me: (In my head- *yea as if I have all the time in the world and thanks for the fancy title*). Ok..will do and a smiley face :).

Doc: I would also recommend reducing your sodium intake and exercising more. I am not prescribing any medication for now--but check with your family physician.

Me: (In my head* What! Indian food without salt! Imagine sambar without salt! ugh! And did you say exercise?! and now way I am going to be popping pills!!*).
Yes..ok. I do want to get back to a more regular exercise routine blah blah blah...

(PS: Actually I don't mind the exercise part. I wish I could be more regular with it. I genuinely feel good after a work out. Just need to get off my lazy bum and get moving!)

Much later......

Doc: Ok guys..nice seeing you today and looking forward to seeing you guys soon.

Me : (In my head * How can you say something like that!!*)
Yep--bye..thanks! and see ya...another smiley face :)

So here I am, in my 30s, a borderline hypertension-ist (just made up the word). How boring a profile is that?!!





Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is This Silly?

Nostalgic is what I feel.
Miss people from my past
miss places from my past
miss moments from my past
want to grab people, places, moments from my past and hold on.
I dont know if this is silly.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Paradise

Read this on someone's blog today and couldn't agree more "Paradise has no fixed address..but usually it is in the middle of nowhere".



This was paradise to me zillions of years(actually 7)ago.It was 15 days away from the "civilized" world, and perfectly fit the expression "in the middle of nowhere". I have never seen so many stars in the night sky, I have never talked to more simpler people, I have never eaten more simpler food, I have never lived more simply, and I have never NOT missed home so much. But eventually you go back to madness. Stupid huh?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I ♥ AVIAL \m/

Want to know how I spent the weekend so far? Well, I am in one of my obsessive compulsive phases and the object of my obsessions this time is AVIAL, as in the Kerala based, malayali rock band and not the veggie dish from the same state. Who are they?..They are Kerala's answer to Iron Maiden/Led Zep/Metalica...no kidding. And, not only do they sound amazing, their lyrics are awesome too, mostly commenting on social issues of importance.Oh..and they sing in "shudha"(=pure)malayalam!! I tell you-Malayalam has never sounded so cool and sexy to me. I am so in love with them...cannot quite articulate how much. And when you are blinded by (inarticulatable) love, you do crazy things like listening to all their live performances and music videos on youtube late into the pre-dawn hours ( a matter not to be taken lightly considering I also lead an (alternate life) as a graduate student, supposedly preparing hard for a big exam coming up in a couple of months..*sigh*). Handicaps of a mind suffering from bouts of OCD and inarticulatable and unrequitable love (with the band i.e.) I guess. The band's original singer, Anandraj Benjamin who is not with the band anymore is, simply put-INCREDIBLE! I mean this man rocks! His rendition brings in so much edge and character to the music...its just WOW!. The band's current lead singer is Tony John. Has his own unique style of singing and quite a dishy looking guy too! Fits the expression Bold Bald and Beautiful. And I am not the only one who thinks so. How else do you explain a more than 4000 long friends list on facebook?!?Bottomline--this man can sing and has the looks too? OR....is that whom you call a ROCKSTAR?!?
And ofcourse the band wouldnt be a 'band' without-Rex Vijayan an absolute wizard on the guittar, Mithun Puthenveettil an absolute powerhouse on the drums, and last but not the least the amazing Bass guittarist Binny Issac.
As a dedicated fan, I did what any decent, self-respecting fan should do. Purchased their AVIAL album from i-tunes and now I have them close to me, stored in my i-pod. The point being- I did not steal or search for free downloads. Boy ain't I a loyal fan? AVIAL people--you reading?
ANYways..before I leave I must mention the band's female (guest) singer-Neha Nair. Lovely--lovely--lovely voice. Stumbled across her blog and vidoes she had uploaded. An amazingly talented singer who should go places with that voice of hers.

Enough of my crazy rantings and now go listen to some KICK-ASS music. This one is one of my favorities called Aadu Pambe, not only for the music but also because the issue is close to my heart and what I have spent years studying and continue to study.




If you want to check out their other songs w/ lyrics go here. Rock on \m/

Friday, August 05, 2011

My Design Fantasies

Beautiful designs have always been a bit of passion for me. Be it outside, inside, furniture, photographs, pottery,linen, pots & pans---Oh well!.. the list is LOng. I may be broke, yet I manage to save enough money to buy monthly issues of design magazines. Inside outside or society interiors when I am in India and here in the US, I replace them with Elle decor ( my favorite) UK and US edition, the UK edition being a particular favorite. I guess I love the European minimalistic sensibilities when it comes to design, especially home decor. Not exactly the scandinavian black & white with a touch of wood and steel. My preference would be more of that with some splashes of color ,a.k.a anything Indian, ethnic and exotic.

ANYhows..do not be under the false impression that my house looks anything like what I described. Living on a student stipend does not allow me the luxury of living out all my design fantasies. So I do the next best thing. Buy magazines, drool at other people's homes and lead a sad, voyeuristic existence. Alright it is not as pathetic a life as I am making it out to be. I try and make my little space in the world as pretty and aesthetically appealing to me as possible. After all its about what best you can do with what you have. Right?

Timepass: @ my backyard, tea in my favorite coffee mug ( yea I know), my favorite magazine, with Ganpati inherited from the previous tenants.