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

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

Bhuna Makhana (Toasted Lotus Seeds)

Bhuna Makhana

Bhuna Makhana

I have really loved all the time I have been able to spend in the kitchen over the summer. Our house has been full of snacks and treats. Now my husband and I are both working and busy, and I know I will have to work extra hard if I still want our snacks and dinners to be healthy and homemade. When my mother-in-law was here, she made this makhana (lotus seed) snack for my nephew’s after school snack. They are salty and crunchy and just what I am looking for in MY after school snack as well.  Continue reading

Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

My in-laws are still in the U.S. for another two weeks before heading back to India. I have had so many cooking lessons I cannot count, and will be posting lots of awesome recipes from my Ma in the coming weeks. However, since we are approaching 4th of July weekend (and since I found some awesome pickling cucumbers in the grocery store), I thought I would post a tasty American staple- dill pickles.  Continue reading

Vegan Banana-Blueberry Muffins

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Vegan Banana-Blueberry Muffins

I wanted to make something for my father-in-law for Father’s Day, but he has some diet restrictions, plus, Ma does not eat eggs. So, if I wanted to make something that they both could eat, then it needed to be healthy and eggless. The basic recipe I used came from Dassana Amit on Veg Recipes of India. I added blueberries and walnuts to give the muffins some extra flavor. If I was making these for myself, I would also add one or two tablespoons more of sugar. These are pretty great for a healthy muffin though. The texture is lovely with a nice subtle banana flavor coming through.

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Poha

Poha

Poha

I was totally a poha hater the first time I saw it. Poha is basically just rice flakes, but to me they look a lot like instant potato flakes. I was expecting the poha to turn into the mashed potatoes of my nightmares, but it didn’t. It’s delicious. My husband at this for breakfast in India, but I really find it to be more of a lunch/dinner/snack kind of thing. I’m kind of an eggs-bacon-toast or just-a-coffee sort of breakfast eater. I don’t really branch out much. Continue reading

Cheesy Pizza Dosa Bites

Cheesy Pizza Dosa Bites in Ebelskiver Pan

Cheesy Pizza Dosa Bites in Ebelskiver Pan

As a kid (and shamefully also as an adult), I loved Bagel Bites- tiny pizza bites that are delicious and glutinous and horrible for you. I swore off bagel bites several years ago as I was no longer a starving undergrad and was a bit more health conscious. But recently at my sister-in-law’s, I was reminded of the sweet cheesy bliss that is bagel bites when she made dosa balls in an ebelskiver pan for her son.

 

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Mung Bean Chaat

Mung Bean Chat

Mung Bean Chaat

When my husband first told me he was making me a sprouted bean for breakfast, I was a little put off. I love beans and sprouts, but I was suspicious about the breakfast part. Of course, it was delicious, and I was dying to know how he made it. However, I was totally right about the breakfast part. This is better as a lunch or a snack in my opinion. Continue reading

Khandvi (Gram Flour Noodle Snack)

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Khandvi

I tried Khandvi for the first time right after I got married. I quickly realized that the love I felt for my husband could not compare to my love of Khandvi. It is a light, spicy snack that is irresistible. This snack comes from the Gujrat region of India. (Obviously my husband told me this and spelled it for me just now as I wrote it.) If you want to sound like a world traveler, tell people you love the Gujrati snack Khandvi. I’ve been gaining lots of cultural capital with this phrase 😉 Continue reading