Sunday, July 22, 2012

Easy Peasy Kale Chips - In Your Face Salty Snacks !!!

Easy Peasy Kale Chips - Delicious, Healthy & Easy 

A beautiful weekend comes to an end, this weekend was just the way I wanted some R&R, attended a beautiful Indian wedding that transported me back home and brought down sunday evening with a dear friend.

Last week was filled with too many conflicts some wanted and some unwanted. As they say all is well that ends well, so a relaxing weekend was all I needed to get recharged.

Every trip to farmers market motivates me to cook something different and to experiment. With abundant fresh greens picked up Kale and decided to make Kale chips. Tried Kale chips for the first time in Whole foods and I was sold. Today's recipe comes very very close to the store brought and the best part  you control the ingredients that go into it.

Super easy, quick and takes less than 10 minutes .
1 bunch of Kale - about 8-10 stems
tbsp of Olive oil
tbsp of garlic salt
pinch of chaat masala (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Wash Kale and wipe it towel dry.
3. With a kitchen scissors , cut along the stem of the kale and remove the hard part .
4. Now cut Kale leaves into about 2-3 inch pieces
5. In a bowl add Kale leaves, olive oil, garlic salt and chaat masala and give it a good toss till all the Kale leaves are well coated.

6. Line them on a baking sheet spreading without overlapping leaves.
7. Bake them in the oven on the middle rack for about 12 minutes.

 Remove from heat and enjoy the crunchiest and healthy snack.
Kale chips when baked turn paper thin and crispy and melt in your mouth. Finally found a snack that can kick salty snacks in their butt and are healthy and guilt free.

Finally saw this on Pintrest and could not agree more, sometimes we forget the basic rules, made me think and also a reminder to others.

Have a super week ahead everyone.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tomato Rice - Easy and Delicious

This is my second post in a span of a week boy I have Mr.Time on my hand. Well can’t complain actually had half of last week off which truly was a blessing to recuperate and catch up after hectic few months. With husband and kids out of town I was really anxious about spending time alone at home and that’s when good KARMA kicked in.   Felt blessed being surrounded by friends and family who genuinely cared and made every effort to make sure that I am doing fine and invited me to their homes, fed me and made me feel so loved. Break was filled with dinners, lunches, home delivered brunch (yes I know I have rock star friends what can I say touch wood J) and catching up on movies and gossip sessions into the wee hours. I must have done something right in my previous life I say.

Last few years I have definitely changed as a person, made sure people close to heart and who are worth fighting for are cared and people who make me optional are treated the same. As we age I think we recognize the birds with same feathers and when we do we should consider ourselves blessed and hold on to them tight.

Anyways with kids and husband out of town realized I haven’t cooked for weeks and had ripe vine tomatoes lying in the fridge desperately calling for help. With that said decided to make tomato rice/ tomato baath, so here goes the recipe
2 ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup rice, I used Basmati rice today, can be substituted with regular rice or risotto 
1 onion sliced finely
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 mint sprigs 
2-3 green chilies
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 pod of cardamon
about 2-3 inches tall cinnamon stick
2 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp tumeric
salt according to taste
1/2 cup of cashew nuts
2 tbsp oil

1.Heat a large pan with 2 tbsp of oil when oil gets warm add cloves,cinnamon stick, cardamon pod, ginger garlic paste, green chilies, pudina/mint  and cashew nuts.
2. Saute for few seconds until garlic is well cooked.
3. Now add sliced onions and saute for a minute, till onions turn translucent.
4. Add tumeric and chili powder and saute for few seconds
5. Not add diced tomatoes
6. Add Basmati rice and mix until rice grains are well coated.
7. Add salt and one cup of water and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on low flame.
11. Remove from heat and allow to cool for few minutes before you serve, this  allows for rice grains to be not mushed and stay separated and
12. Serve warm with Raita and it will be one delicious one pot meal.

Shared my meal with the lady who comes to help the one who has been doing so since a decade.

For now I cross my fingers on my heart and count my good KARMA and be thankful for my friends and family.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Reading List

Well could not have agreed more with the poster above, as the summer days roll in and traditional activities take a back seat and I get used to life moving at a lazier pace could not resist posting reviews on some of the books I have read since the start of the year. Signed up for a book reading challenge along with other enthusiastic bloggers at the start of the year and the challenge was to read 52 books from authors around the world, personally 52 was beyond stretch goal so signed up for 26, which I am still far behind . Personally for me challenge was a motivation to pick authors beyond my realm of comfort and to indulge in cultures and stories around the world and the fact I share with friends made it even more interesting and fun.

So here goes my list,  off late I have been gravitated to stories that reflect a personal triumph and stories with female protagonist. Included both fictional and non-fictional reads in today's list.

This book was my pick for Afghanistan "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," written by a former reporter for ABC News, tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan." source . Personally for me it's hard to imagine living in a war torn country and also in a country at cross roads of its identity. How do you deal with changing time and yet keep your culture preserved.  It's  hard to imagine the atrocities against women who are beaten ,raped and left to dogs in the name of culture and religion, yet with every obstacle women face we see protagonist like Kamila make a life not just for her but to build a community around and help other women a like .Very well written and easy to read prose. 
More reviews here 

I must admit I was very reluctant to read this book at first, last time I read Khaled's "The Kite Runner" I was devastated , took me weeks to come out of the sadness and tragedy, such is the impact books have on me. But since this was well recommended and I did get the spoiler alert I took it up.
One such book that you read through the night and can't keep it down until done. LOVED IT to the core, what a well written book and what an experience read it.
Detailed reviews here 

I love books that have a mystic,bohemian and hippie kind of feel and stories that take place in isolated hill stations where life moves in a slower pace and Miss Timmins School for girls fits the bill perfect.  It's been a while since I read mysteries and what a joy this book was. All about coming to age of a shy and sheltered Charu and how she finds her self tangled into murder mystery. Light read that will keep you at the egde of your seat.
Detailed review here

This was my pick for Denmark though I must admit reason I choose this book is because of the author Amulya Malladi, I feel connected with the author at so many levels and she has never disappointed with all the books she authored. The reason I loved this book is it exemplifies the complexities of building relationships, some relationships are forced say your family and to an extent folks you work with and we all know how complex these can get and the time it takes to build one  now imagine trying to build with folks who are immigrants from a war torn country who looks, talk and dress differently. Without giving away to much it's the language of the heart that wins and not that of the language and Amulya expresses this in her own style.
Reviews here

A tale of a daughter to find her roots and to come to count the blessings she has been bestowed. If there is one thing I like about the book it's the ending Shilpi could have made this book into a Bollywood movie if not for the way she treats the ending. Also gives a glimpse into the country and society that still favors boys and think of girls as a burden.

Detailed review here

Here are the non-fictional books read in the last 6 months, I guess with age comes wisdom and off late I  have been gravitating a lot more to biographies , self-help and of books that motivate me to do better no matter what I choose to do.

I have always wondered if I had to chance to define what I want to be and what I want to choose all over again would I have the wisdom to know what I like vs. what I want , I guess to an extent yes. This book is an illustration what one can do when they follow their passion and are not afraid of taking risks . I am a fan of David's blog and what an experience to read his adventures in Paris as he starts his life all over again and not to mention my cravings for the delicious foods he shares his recipes and wish for someone to make those for me. Brought back memories of our vacation to Paris.
Detailed review here

The Blueberry Years follows the same theme as above passion above anything else a memoir of a Blueberry farmer couple and how their dream is fulfilled. 

Review here 

I was fortunate enough to attend Professor Neale class in Stanford last summer, this book was a handout from her class which I never got to finish until last month. If there is one key factor for success Negotiating sure makes it to the top. Negotiating is such a critical personal trait, to navigate with folks be it with your spouse, children, boss ,peers or your reports. Understanding the tactics and to negotiate rationally requires certain tools and this books gives an understanding and tools to assess and navigate the negotiation rationally. Now when I see my self in a situations I definitely feel confident applying techniques to evaluate the situation and tools to negotiate much better.

So that was my list so far, if you have any good recommendations please do leave a comment or if you would like to follow me in this challenge you can find me here.

Happy summer everyone. 

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