Summer Corn and Basil Salad and Happy 4th of July

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My family is big on family reunions. My mom’s side of the family has reunions every year at state parks in upstate New York. My dad’s side of the family had them every year when I was young and my great-grandmother was still alive. However, after she passed, we didn’t really do formal “reunions” as much. We all still got together frequently though as my dad has a somewhat smaller family. In the past 8-10 years though, the family has really grown as my generation has gotten married and had children. We really needed that formal “reunion” time in order to have a time when everyone in the extended family could get together. This year the reunion was over the 4th of July in Beaver, Pa, where my parents, my paternal grandmother, my dad’s brother, and my dad’s sister-in-law all live. Not everyone in the family could make it, but we had a pretty good showing of people from all generations!  Continue reading

Savory Bread and Tiny Visitors

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After enjoying the beach with my family, my sister’s two kids came to stay with me for five days. We’ve starting calling this “aunt camp.” We went to the Durham Museum of Life and Science, Marbles Kid’s Museum, the movies to see Finding Dori, swimming, and Frankie’s Fun Park for mini golf. It was a busy few days, and I also got a summer flu in the midst of it all that made napping and downtime more of a must as well. When we weren’t out seeing the town, the kids loved when I put music videos on and then they would have a dance competition. We ate a lot of cheese sandwiches, Captain Crunch, Gogurts, and ice cream sandwiches. One night, I made homemade pizza and had more leftover dough than I had planned. I decided to make a grown up treat for Rajat and I with the leftover dough. Continue reading

Street-Cart Style Chicken and Rice and The Beach

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I’m all about the beach in the summer. Growing up, we went to the beach every summer with my parents’ friends and our aunts and uncles. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are at the ocean with my family, and summer just doesn’t feel complete without a trip to the coast. This year I went once with my mom and my youngest two sisters and then again with my sisters JoAnna and Victoria. I love laying out in that hot sun and then swimming out past the breakers to cool down. Living in NC makes it a lot easier to get to the beach more often🙂 Continue reading

Spinach and Cheese Filo Cups and a Housewarming Party!

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After a lot of work around the house (and many more projects to go) we finally had a house warming party (in May)! I’ve never really thrown such a formal party with so many people, and it ended up being more stressful than I anticipated. Making the food and getting ready was all fine, but greeting and talking to so many people was really hard for me! When my family has large parties, I generally make a few appearances in the crowd and then hide out somewhere for at least half of the party to avoid all of the small talk. I really couldn’t do that at my own party though, so I had to man-up and be social the whole time! It was really fun and a great way to get to know our neighbors and some work friends we hadn’t spent much time with. It all went pretty smooth in the end thanks to some planning and lots of help from my Didi in the hours before the party! Continue reading

Walnut Pesto and Being Grateful

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Yesterday was the six year anniversary of my uncle’s passing. His death was really hard on his children and wife as well as my father (his brother). My cousin Alison (and daughter to this uncle), lives close to us in Durham. Yesterday she came and helped Rajat and I clean our old apartment before we turn the keys over. Before my cousin arrived to help us clean, Rajat and I had gotten into a stupid argument. My cousin could tell that we were unhappy with each other, and she gave us such simple advice on a day that I am certain was painful for her: “Be grateful for each other.” It was a heartfelt reminder that there is so much in life to be grateful for, and we often take for granted the things we have in front of us.  Continue reading

Espresso Freddo

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Owning a house is a lot of work. I know people tell you that, but in my mind I was like “yeah yeah yeah” because I am a brat and think I know everything. Everyone was right. It is a lot of work. We planted grass seed in the back which is coming in well…in patches. My husband bought an axe (God help us all) and chopped down some very small trees. I have been working on flowers and a vegetable garden. We bought a lawn mower and now mow our own lawn! It’s all so crazy. Continue reading

Spinach Parantha

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A few days before my husband and I got married, I stayed at my sister-in-law’s house. This was my first real introduction to Indian cooking. There were many new tastes and textures, but I was most intrigued and in awe of the bread making. In all the time my husband and I dated, I had never once seen my husband make bread or heard him talk about making bread. Yet in those days before marriage, he skillfully made all types of breads without measuring or a recipe. To say I am the least skilled bread maker on my Indian side of the family is and understatement. I am playing catch up in a game where everyone else has a lifetime head start. However, I am slowly learning different recipes and building my confidence. One day maybe my own children will be in awe of my own bread skills. That day isn’t today. Continue reading