Friday, April 29, 2011

dear mom,

dear mom,
i am still your little princess mom
there are times i still wanna hold ur hand
i still need you to tell me to eat
and force one more morsel down my mouth
i miss u mom
when i dont know what to eat
i miss u when i go to sleep
and i want to feel u patting me
i have grown, but my needs are the same,
i want to hug u tight and lay in ur lap
through the night
i miss u, when i open the door
and i am greeted by a dark, cold flat
i miss u in all my victories
when i try out new recipes
i want u to be by my side and
pat my back with great pride
i need u here when i celebrate
to cheer for me when i graduate
i need u here, with me, forever and always...
in all my highs plateaus and low,
coz highs are not high enough without u
and lows seem lower than they are...
i miss u mom...i love u..
life just isn't the same without u here..

song of the day: one of my mom's favourite song...and mine too...hum aapki aankhon me...love the banter! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

strawberry meringue pie

so this weekends delight was strawberry meringue pie.....more than the pie i was challenged to do the meringue....and i wanted to know if i got it right....well i did get it right for the most part....and yes as usual i did make some changes in the recipe and method....so i am giving u the original links too...i need more practice setting meringue on the pie.....so it can be more decorative! other than that the pie taste fabulous :)
Ingredients
for the pie crust

  1. one cup wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup solid butter (cut it into cubes)
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
for the filling
  1. 1 1/2 cup strawberries
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 cup cream (i used whipped, but heavy is better)
  6. 2tbsp + 2 tsp wheat flour
for the meringue
  1. 2 tbsp sugar
  2. 2 tbsp corn flour
  3. 3 egg whites
  4. 5 tbsp sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. little more than 1/2 cup water
first of all i wanna tell u....dont get intimidated by the name of the dish or number of ingredients!!! is a very simple dish to make.....almost all the ingredients are going to be there in ur kitchen year round

Method

for the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula or spoon till its all combined well and has a texture similar to bread crumbs.....press it down on the baking dish...preheat the oven at 350 deg F (175 deg C) and bake it for 20 min or till you feel that the crust is baked well..this is post baking pic...so yes my crust looked white only..




for the filling: while the crust is getting baked....whisk together the cream, egg yolk, flour, sugar, salt.....once its well mixed...add chopped strawberries...once the crust is done...pour in the filling on the crust and put it in oven again...




bake at 350 deg F for 35 to 40 min...till the top is golden brown....mine is little bit darker brown than it should be...i think...taste wise its good..i dont know exactly how much to bake the pie...coz it does remain little soft and knife doesnt really come out clean...u might want to do some research...or just bake it for this much time...one thing i can tell u is mine is not under baked at the center or anything like that..




for the meringue: while the pie is getting baked....put together the egg whites, vanilla essence, and salt in a large bowl and beat the eggs till soft peaks are formed.....if u use a electric appliance it will be easier for u...else u have to beat it for at least 20 min till u see the soft peaks rise in the eggs....add sugar one table spoon at a time and mix it well...


in a saucepan, take take water, add 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp corn flour...and stir it continuously...till the mix gets thick and transparent....ask some to add the mix to the eggs while you beat them....I wasnt able to pour it....i had to take in spoon and add to the eggs...so thats how thick it was....


continue beating the eggs till stiff shiny peaks are formed....this will take 10 to 15 more min...
so if you are doing it by hand its 30 min of beating....yes your muscles might ache but the results are worth it...




by now the pie is done....so get it out of oven and top it off with the meringue...you can make nice design with the spatula or the beater...i did it with the beater...and mine wasn't as good as the pic i saw on web....but it was a good result considering it was my first time :)

bake it in oven for 10 min....once u see the meringue turning golden brown, take it off from the oven....







it can be served warm or at room temperature....dont refrigerate it if possible as the crust gets too hard to break...yes i am saying this from experience and search on the internet....and this pie should be consumed immediately or in 2 days time...so dont keep it for many days...and i am sure it wont last that long...coz it is indeed very very tasty!!!

it takes an hour to be made....but trust me, its so yummy...and u ll be so proud of yourself at the end of it...the result is way better than the effort put in...coz only the meringue takes some work...rest of stuff is super easy....go ahead and give it  a shot!

song of the day: hum hai rahi pyaar ke phir milenge chalte chalte....love this medley :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

lessons learned

today i had a fantastic day....i attended couple of lectures....and there were so many take home messages that were spoken in context of career or work but could be applied to personal life (relationships, family interactions) too....
i wont waster time writing prologue to it.....here we are...capsules of knowledge :)

5 important things to take care of so u DONT mess your CAREER
  1. Quality of service you provide: of course superior quality will result in better profits and prevent loss of customers.
  2. Know your customers: its wise to know who you are actually serving...take time out..get to know them....ultimately they are the reason why you have your bread butter jam cheese etc etc :)
  3. Love your work: take interest in whatever you are doing, and do it at the best of your ability.
  4. Dont talk ill about your BOSS: yes...this ones a biggie...after all he is the one with more say than u !
  5. dont belittle your employees: they should love working for you, only then will they put in their 100%
now are some more bullet points that are worth thinking about:
  • No one got hurt coz they didnt say something (esp wen that something is bad or hurtful) avoid saying things wen you are angry....
  • you are never secure; just know about your insecurities!
  • "It depends" everything has reference to context and your views change once you know an extra bit of information......never judge....most situations/ actions can be looked at objectively....and always the answer to the question is "IT DEPENDS on.......................or.................."
  • layers of protection and back up plans: how many layers are enough??? sometimes its better to keep the shield aside and face the situation.......similarly how many back ups are enough??? who decides this??? YOU....accept situation as it comes....soemtimes you can never have enough back ups.
  • Transform yourself as per situation/ people, rather than trying vice versa....
  • Little problems turn into big problems if you dont face them, they dont go away......
  • know your weak spots
  • biggest security concern : identity....who are you...know yourself...
these are some interesting things i learnt today and all this had to do with IT SECURITY...and how people mess their careers......got lots of material to think and learn from..
felt good writing something after a long long time......ciao guys.....

song of the day: janam dekhlo mit gayi dooriyaan......miss u ravi..

Saturday, April 2, 2011

World Cup 2011...the nation celebrates!!!

India has won the world cup....We are the world champs...the feeling is not yet sinking in....i didnt know how much this meant to me till i finished watching the highlights....till i heaved the sigh of relief....i didnt know there was so much pent up tension within me.....

as far as i remember, it was 1996 world cup, when i understood the importance of it...i remember going to see the match in a new york theater with family...it was india-australia match....and we lost the game....thats all i remember about it...

next was 1999 world cup..it was being played in england, and there was so much hype about it....media hyping india as the defending champions as per the venue.....but i dont really remember any of the tournament...i was in 10th then...i think the tournament happened during my board exams....whatever......

i followed 2003 world cup quite religiously....i remember being super excited about india- australia finals....seeing it and watching india lose.....

2007, i followed it....but india's performance was dismal.....

so well in 2011, i didnt  really know what to expect...and yes, i did believe by then that i was jinxed for india...that if i saw the match india wouldnt win....the only match i saw was against south africa....and we lost...so I didnt want to take any further chances.....i vowed not to see a single match from then on....thats why i saw the highlights now and not the match even though i was up till 5 am....

i was definitely concerned about the quarterfinals, coz as you can see, we didnt have a great track record against the aussies....but with that hurdle down...i was very much confident of a win against Pakistan...coz even though they are a formidable team, most matches of india and pakistan that i remember, india has won....but yes, sri lanka was a difficult team to beat...so again in finals i was a nervous wreak.....

anyways, so here we are seeing our favourite cricketers or as we like to call them MEN IN BLUE lifting the coveted trophy.....and i had tears in my eyes.....i didnt know sub consciously i was waiting for this moment...yes i had seen the hysteria with a 20-20 world cup win....but this was different....this time it was for the players i wanted us to win....

the T 20 world cup win was about celebrating the youth....it was about boys who had never played before to go out there and to prove themselves....and showing that yes there could be a team without the cricketing greats....all of them have a long way to go yet....they are going to be around for sometime

the world cup 2011 was about seniors.....it was about they guiding the youth to the win....they being there for the team.....and i always thought about wanting this for SACHIN TENDULKAR more than anything else....coz i thought 6 world cups is long enough a wait....if he was to be a part of world cup winning team it was NOW....

only after the match i realized though that this cup meant a lot more for almost all players....coz they have been around for a while...some of them have been a part of losing side of 2003...as Harbhajan Singh said that he had waited 3 world cups for this dream to come true....and if he waited for 3 i am sure there are others like Yuvraj Singh, Nehra, Sehwag, Zaheer Khan who have been part of 3 world cups...this being their third world cup.....no wonder they got so emotional, and had tears in their eyes....

I loved them all for dedicating this victory to sachin....loved virat kohli's words about sachin "he has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, its high time we carried him on our shoulders now"...Yuvi choked as he was getting his man of the series award...I am happy that Dhoni played a captain's knock, that too in the finals....that when the stalwarts faltered, Gambhir and Dhoni showed their mettle......loved the team carrying sachin around the ground....then the lifting Gary Kirsten too....sachin acknowledging the efforts of support staff...Yuvi and Harbhajan paying respects to their respective Gurus......loved the way the entire team hugged each other........Dhoni's calmness and sturdiness showed as he spoke....his explanation for not performing well enough in the tournament...(makes us realize they are normal human beings too)....loved everything about the game....

loved that there was no clear cut winner at the start...that there was no under dog...this was a game of two equals...and the game was to go in the favour of  those who showed the nerves of steel....who played excellent in all three aspects...that there was a fight from the first ball to the last ball bowled....that it was a team effort and not one man show....

sri lanka was gracious in their defeat...they played well, and showed great sportsman spirit....i didnt feel any kind of animosity or bad vibes on the ground even as we inched towards victory....loved the way the entire team shook hands with Dhoni and Yuvi.,....i loved what kumar sangakara said at the end of the game....

It was indeed a great game.....And the Celebrations have Begun!!! 28 years is surely a long wait for the country...Thank you Men in Blue....

song of the day: chak de india......perfect song

lebanese dinner

well my blog is turning out to be a food blog more than anything...but then, this is about my interests and i love cooking....so there sure is gonna be lots of recipes on it..and these days as i have time on my hand, trying new cuizines is something i am doing at the moment...and well, i am finding out that its turning really good...thats the process i am enjoying right now....making exotic sounding dishes at home....and i hope to incorporate it on a day to day basis....there is nothing exotic about the ingredients!!! trust me, most of the stuff will be in your home daily...and the taste is out of this world...having satisfaction of being able to cook some awesome dishes in the same time is something you have to do to feel......

and imagine the variety u get sitting in ur home!! all u people out there....have to try making these dishes at home and enjoy the feeling it gives :) :)

so today for dinner i had: hummus, baba ghanoush, pita bread and salad

hummus:
ingredients:
  1. 2 cups boiled kabuli chana (garbanzo beans)
  2. 3 cloves garlic
  3. 2 tbsp olive oil
  4. 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  5. 4 tbsp lemon juice
  6. salt and black pepper to taste
Method:
blend everything in a mixture/ blender to form a smooth creamy paste...
enjoy!!!! 

baba ghanoush:
ingredients:
  1. 1 pound eggplant (bharte vala baigan)
  2. 3 tbsp tahini sauce
  3. 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  • Roast the egg plant on flame till the skin is charred.
  • let it cool....then peel the skin...chop into big pieces
  • add all the ingredients to the eggplant and blend it in a blender (if u like it in paste) or else finely chop the eggplant like in bharta and then add everything and mix well.
Pita bread
I made the bread exactly following this recipe...PITA BREAD RECIPE....so please check that out...i just added 1 tbsp vegetable oil to it...and the other difference was in cooking...i didnt bake it in oven but cooked it on iron pan (tava) which we use for chapatis...also, please roll the pita bread as we would roll the chapati...dont keep it too thick...if its too thick it tends to become rubbery...

Steps in pita bread making

stage 1


Stage 2: after fermentating (1 and half hour)
Step 3: Cut into small pieces with a knife and then rolled into balls- allow to sit for ten minutes before rolling out the dough
Step 4: roll into a chapati, sorry dont have a pic for it

Step 5: nicely puffed up pita bread....cook it till brown spots seen

Salad
I just chopped some cabbage, one tomato, half onion, some coriander (cilantro)....added some salt, pepper a dash of lime, some cheese, one tbsp olive oil and mixed them all well together....and trust me it was yummy!!

with this your meal is ready!!!! and trust me, this wrap is so tasty...just spread hummus on ur pita bread, put on some baba ghanoush, top it off with salad....and bite into this delicious wrap.....its simply awesome :)

song of the day: tum mile..