Archive for December, 2006

A Fabulous Vacation in Dallas!

A Belated Merry christmas and an advanced Happy New Year to everyone!…The last week has been so– busy that I have been unable to even approach the computer leave alone blog !!! We had a blast with my sis and Bro-in-law at their place in Dallas. They had recently bought a house there which, in keeping with my sister’s favorite adage that “Everything is big in Texas”, was rea–lly mammoth and it being Christmas and all,they had made the place look very festive. We had a perfect, lazy, chatty weekend; of course the delicious food that my sis cooked added greatly to the general bon homie we were all feeling!

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A view of the Christmas lighting on one side of their house

Coming from a match-box sized one bedroom apartment in California,where we cannot afford to have even the word ‘personal space’ in our dictionary, we cherished every minute of living in the hu–ge house where you didn’t crash in to your husband if you moved too fast!!:-)) . They had a total of five bedrooms including the master and so my hubby’s favorite comment was that we could lock ourselves in a separate bedroom if ever we had a tiff!!!:-)))

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The Christmas Wreath was made by my sis

Ok, now for a few of the choicest foods that we all consumed heartily:-))

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She made this great Bruschetta topped with a mixture of tomatoes,olive oil,basil & salt,garnished with lemon juice.

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So don’t the golden and crispy vadas all artistically arranged by my bro-in-law,make you folks want to sink your teeth into them? That is exactly how I felt when I saw these lentil vadas fried and removed from the oil. This is made from toor dal but I found that she uses some rice flour also to get the crisp outside!!

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Another picture of the vadas along with the paal payasam(rice payasam. The colour is solely due to the saffron strands which my sister had ground and dissolved in the milk.

She also made the typical south Indian lunch of Rice, Sambar,rasam, curry, appalams, all consumed before I could click a photo.

Finally on the day we left, she made a very simple but delicious veggie noodle dish;the recipe I shall post soon. But for now below is the mouth watering picture.

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She garnished the noodles with scallions and lightly browned paneer.

So ended our Christmas vacation. Now we are back to our little apartment in California but with great memories of our time in Dallas.

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Couscous revisited!

When Hua, who rides the vanpool to work with me, said that though she loved looking at the colorful couscous recipe pictures in my blog, she didn’t know/use half the ingredients I used, my friend Pinal suggested this versatile couscous recipe with “American Friendly” ingredients!! It is a very simple and flavorful recipe, especially wonderful to cook if one is dieting, which btw we are supposed to be doing!!:-)).

I sort of adjusted Pinal’s recipe with whatever I had in my pantry. here goes the recipe:

Serves 4

1/4 cup onions sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup of frozen vegetable, I used Tuscan style veggies which had cauliflowers, bell peppers, mushrooms and celery

1/4 cup of broccoli (optional)

2cups couscous

2 cloves of garlic minced

1tsp olive oil

1/2tsp of dried oregano (can also use fresh/dried parsley,fresh/dried basil whichever you have in the pantry)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

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Cook the couscous according to the instructions in the packet. I used plain couscous, while Pinal used whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe’s. Fluff it up with a fork to prevent the grains from sticking.

To 1 tsp of oil taken in a wok throw in the onions,and the garlic. cook for a minute then add the frozen veggies. sautee in high for about 3 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic. Once the veggies are half cooked (the crunchiness should still be there), add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix the couscous with this and garnish with dried herbs. Serve with soup.

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Our diet dinner:Couscous with Sweet corn soup

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