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

Blueberry Muffins

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Since I was a kid, one of my favorite breakfast treats has been a blueberry muffin. I love the sweet cake-like texture and the bursts of acid from the blueberries. Since my brother-in-law was out of town a few weeks ago, I wanted to make something that I could share with my sister-in-law who was on her own with her son until her husband came back. I had been craving blueberry muffins and wanting to try a new recipe, and the recipe below was the result. Continue reading

Tomato Chutney and India

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We got back from India on January 5th, and I already miss it. After three weeks in India, I had a rhythm to my day. I had mastered bathing from a bucket, I was understanding what people were saying, I wasn’t afraid of riding in the car, Cows in the street no longer shocked me, I even had saris damnit! Coming back to America felt like waking up to a dream I had. I desperately wanted to close my eyes and find the place I was in before, but of course, it was gone as all dreams are in the morning.  Continue reading

Paneer (fresh cheese)

Paneer

Paneer

It has been an Indian weekend! My husband and I have been enjoying matar paneer, home made breads, and many other Indian recipes. We even went to an Indian play performed in Hindi at UNC Chapel Hill last night. The play was called Meira Vo Mutlab Nahi Tha starring Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, and Rakesh Bedi. It was cool to see some well known Indian actors in person. I didn’t understand most of the play, but it was fun to try to catch words and see everyone all dressed up.  Continue reading

Paneer 65

Paneer 65

Paneer 65

We’ve been on a homemade paneer kick around here. After buying paneer from the store for forever, we finally read the ingredients. Well, my husband read the ingredients. Paneer is really a two ingredient dish, but these paneers from the store had a laundry list of other gums and such added. So, we decided we were going to do homemade paneer from now on. It’s honestly one of the easiest Indian dishes I’ve ever learned and definitely the easiest cheese I’ve ever made. With all this fresh paneer around these days, I wanted some new recipes for it! I found Paneer 65 on Dassana Amit’s blog, Veg Recipes of India. 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