From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I LOVE YOU ...



I love you ...
I really do...
If you ask me why ..
It's because "you are you"..

There is no theory or some fancy love story ...
It's just that from the time we first met ...
I don't know it was probably ,something you did or said ..

Or then it's just me ..

They say , "when some one loves you , they say your name differently"..
They handle it with care..
Like a fairy carrying dew drops ..
Or like twirling with a gossamer dress ...
Or flying in the air..

It's a beautiful feeling ...
This indescribable feeling called "love"...
And so it's gonna just stay in my smile and sparkle in my brown eyes ..
And if you ever wanna feel like I do ...
Look into the mirror ...
At the curve of your lips .. I'm sitting there in the warmest corner..
With my hands on my hips ..
And have the biggest smile ...
And am dancing like a fiend ..
To songs that are going to play in my heart to the very end ..

And yes I'm calling your name ...
Like no one ever has ...
Like the way only I say it ..
With a smile on my lips

Yup that's how it is ...
And that's how I'm gonna stay ..
Smiling ,laughing and dancing ...
Picking daisies and running ...
Blowing kisses ...
And then just standing still ..so you get a chance to look deep into my brown eyes and see ...
That the big grin on my face is actually you and me...

So I'm just gonna stay loving ..
That's the only way I can be....

SILENCE



Have you felt that when silence speaks to you ...
You just have to just stop and listen..
Because it just rips your soul and makes such a loud noise ...
That you have no choice ...
But to sit down and watch the show unfold...
All that you have said and done...
Is left to stand bare under the sun...
So that you can see clearly all your wonderful moments and follies...

Silence is beautiful...
Because it has no secrets and tells you no lies...
It just whispers the truth ..
And leaves you to dance in the shadows of the moon lite..
Under the stars it sings you a song...
That you will understand even if it does take you long...

It's in silence that you can see and feel love...
As love like silence is an unspoken story..
Of people , times and moments of blissful shared glory...
Silence steals your heart like no other can.....
It's beautiful and calms you and gives you time to indulge in your joyful plans...

So if silence ever comes visiting ..
Don't turn the other way....
It's the most beautiful time ...
When I feel my heart is completely mine...
So I walk up mountains, and sit on a peak and watch the clouds go by, as the Wind does a dervish dance around me...
I hear voices of people I love, conversations I have had, laughter, giggles and sometimes tears I have wept...
That have now become a babbling brook..
And winds down the mighty mountain ...In circles ..caressing him with tiny kisses and hugs filled with love...
And in the silence of the breaking dawn......
Just gurgles on, and spreads solace to the parched earth,pebbles, trees, animals , birds, fish and all...
And silently travels on to wherever a path she finds...
Unable to stop ...so laden with love ...
Until she meets the majestic blue sea...
And very quietly , she immerses herself in his fold...
Never ever to be running alone ...

And while you sit on an ocean shore and little waves play with your sandy feet...
Just remember, that it's truly only in silence, that you can really hear the love song ,in your heart beat ...


Saturday, February 25, 2012

HAVE YOU EVER...


Have you ever lay your head on your pillow and heard a heart beat..
Have you ever heard a song play in the silence of your heart..
Have you ever felt arms hold you tight while you sat in your bed reading a book at night..
Have you ever felt some one call your name, while you were walking alone in the rain ..
Have you ever felt a sleepy breath , while you were alone in your bed..
Have you ever felt a kiss that made you feel complete bliss...
Have you ever felt someone look deep into your eyes, while you wiped your tears with tissue wipes...
Have you ever felt someone hold your hand , while you were watching the sunset sitting in the sand ..
Have you ever heard someone serenade you , while you watched the moon , with your arms wrapped around you tight..
Have you ?

So what do I call this ...
What do I say..
Is this love ...
Or my heart is having a field day ...
It's a nameless part of me ..
It's feelings that I feel...
It's my "have you ever" time ...
It's just a collection of moments...
Most times life takes you for a walk without really saying much ..
And so I'm walking and meandering and finding my way...
And know my heart reaches out to you and touches you ...every single day..
The sun , a flower, breeze, snow, mountains, waves, an ocean shore, stupid lyrics or a rhyme ...
So I'm just loving..
It's like I can do nothing else ..
I can't switch myself off or say ... Stop...
So I'm walking on familiar paths...
But can't find any foot steps no more
Guess the winds blew them away ...
I don't really know ..

It's the same blue sky , the same pretty clouds...
The same wind tousling my hair...

I stand here and think of you and all that you said ...
And wonder ..
Have you ever...
Have you ever felt the way I felt ..

Monday, February 20, 2012

DAY 64 - LITTLE MISTAKES


So how many times a day do we all make mistakes ...
According to me, mistakes in life are good...
Frankly , if we don't make mistakes , how will we know what not to do and frankly, there is a lot we can learn from the mistakes me make ..

I for one suffer from what my friends term "foot in mouth disease" ...
I also suffer from "memory loss" ...
Also from , "pouncing with all my love " Labrador syndrome..
Also,"making an unrepairable mess because of impulsiveness" syndrome...

And most times, promise myself , won't do this again, or then at least try and think before I leap...
But think mistakes make great memories...
How will you remember all the moments in your life , you are bound to forget a few, but your mistakes , you don't really forget, and even if you do , you will be reminded of them ....
So yup I'm OK with my mistakes...
There is always something good that comes out of them..
My mum in fact just yesterday out of the blue, tells me, " it's good to make mistakes,if you don't make them, how will you know which is the right way....

So today I'm going to share with you one of my mistakes....
It was Zeke's best buddy Dhruv's 7th birthday and I promised Radhika his gorgeous mum that I would help with cooking food , for the boys...
So among the white sauce and Arabiatta sauce pasta, hot dogs, sandwiches etc, we decided to make a chocolate fondue for the kids post their food....

And so while we were serving the last of their Scrumptious treats, I asked Radhika, for chocolate and started making my fondue, and as I'm always in a race for some reason, I mixed the chocolate with the cream , and lo ! And behold , it just became a big thick gloop...
Oh! Goodness...
Then I read the wrapper , it said non sweetened cooking chocolate....
And so all the waiting marshmallow's and strawberries had no chocolate fondue...
And I was wishing I had read the wrapper...
"look before you leap" how many times have I heard that before...
But then again if you look where you going to leap, you will just miss what could be a lovely surprise or then a big Shock ...big gooey gloooopy chocolate mess...

Now I was looking at 400 gms of chocolate mixed with cream....
And did not want to waste it , as the chocolate was really fantastic...
So decided to make muffins...
And in my head was hoping that i don't have another disaster..
so this is what I did...
Very very simple actually..
My mum would do this when we were kids add, the same quantity of everything and make us amazing muffins...
So I just applied that...it always worked like magic for her ....

Ingredients
200 gm cream
200 gm unsweetened chocolate
300 gm castor sugar
200 gm eggs
200 gm flour
250 gm butter
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence

Method
Mix the baking powder with the flour...
Whisk the butter and sugar till its really fluffy...
Whisk the eggs with the vanilla essence...
Add the egg mix to the butter sugar mix...
Then add the flour to this batter and mix till its incorporated really well....
Then add the chocolate cream mix...
If you feel the batter is too thick add a teaspoon or so of milk...
Spoon it into very small muffin cases, and bake them in a pre heated oven for 15-18 minutes ,in a oven that was pre heated at 180 degrees...

I wanted to put marshmallow's into the batter but they were swiped by the boys...
So in case at this point you want to add bits of mars bars or, broken pieces of cashew...mix it into the batter..
I'd you adding marshmallows, fill the muffin cup a bit, put tiny pieces of marshmallow and batter on the top, so it does not burn but just gets a little gooey....

Well , I was helped by Radhika, Sharmista and Gauri, in the various stages of these muffins...
So amidst some lovely white wine and much laughter from the kitchen and the boys running amuck through Radhika"s apartment, the muffins were done...
And taken out to be served and frankly warm out of the oven muffins, taste like something else...
Nothing can prepare you for that warm burst of chocolate goodness...
These little Mistakes ,melt in your mouth...

Frankly I was relieved that this worked....
What started as a mistake, just worked out beautifully ....
I ate half a muffin, could not eat more, because was full with the aroma of food and baking the whole day long...
But the three trays of my "mistakes" we're devoured ...
I'm happy, very very happy...

Like I said , I actually love my mistakes...
Some make me laugh..
Some make me cry..
Some make me tear my hair out..
Some make me clap my hands with joy...
Some make me smile
Some make me hopping mad..
Some make me sigh...
Some just make me sit quiet...
Some make me have conversations in my head...
Some I love and will make them again....
So dont judge me but Smile instead....

So here 's presenting, "Little Mistakes" made in a hurry , but with lots of laughter, chatter and a whole lot of love , that's what really matters....
only from , Maria's Kitchen"

Monday, February 13, 2012

DREAMS

I put my dreams in a box...
I wanted to keep them safe...
Why , I really don't know..
Maybe because they were moving at too fast a pace ..
I have often wondered about them ..
And how they must feel in that closed space..
I some times hear them call me ..
When all is very quiet..
And most often ,when the moon is bright ..
Like tonight..
So I went for a walk with my precious box ..
And sat by the river on a moon-lit rock ...
I opened my box most carefully ..
And what do I see..
My dreams have all grown shiny wings ...
And are flying around...
Singing this song ....
It's the sweetest melody ever ...
That takes you far far away..
Into a space that's so beautiful and pure...
that you have no need for any more..

My dreams sing a song of places to greet and people to meet ..
Of long tight hugs and kisses so sweet ...
Of wonderful moments ,and running through the rain ..
Till the sun comes out and dries you once again ..
Snow fall and icy roads .. With marshmallows near the fire place ..
And warm toes like toast...
Of drinking wine ...
And laughing till early morn..
Of holding moments till the break of dawn ...
And taking off again ..
And meeting where the rainbow never ends...
These dreams I say..
Have taken me away ..
To a place I love and hold ...
I love my dreams ...
More so each day ..
As they will turn into a reality and will stay that way ...

P.S. Just a song that I like ...
I

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I LOVE CHRISTMAS...














































YUP... if there is one season I am completely in love with , it is the season of CHRISTMAS...

Well I love the month of December, because its my birthday and then we get into Christmas...
I don't know what it is about this day...but I just wait for Christmas like my long lost love...Hmmmm...
and like every year, I get ready for Christmas much in advance...
This year I spent 11 weeks at Tante Marie, doing my Cordon Bleu certificate course in food and baking..
And every time we cooked something that I loved , I would mark it in Green as I was also simultaneously planning my Christmas menu..
By the end of 11 weeks, I had had so much fun and cooked so much that the last thing I wanted to do is get into the kitchen , though I wanted to make everything I have learned...So yup I am a bundle of contradictions..and that somehow never works in my favour or then it always does.
Christmas menus for me are very very special ,as special as my guest list..
As , i cook everything from scratch all at home..
and so I make menu's and cancel and add ..and at the end of it all I have so much food, that I could feed an army, I'm not able to make small amounts, in my past life I think I must have been a part of the Red Cross and made food for soldiers , because I make soooo much ..
And love it when everybody has a really hearty meal..

So like every year, I planned and put this menu together..

Starters-
Basa in XO sauce...
Argula salad in a balsamic orange reduction with pears...
Red onion Chutney with toasts...

Main Course-
Mummy's East-Indian Prawn Curry...
Mutton Vindaloo...
Coq-au-Vin...
Little potato gratins..
Lamb Carbonnade...
Baked tomatoes with Rosemary
Baked garlic...
Pesto pasta with fresh vegetables
Naan

Dessert-
Lemon Cheese cake...
Strawberry tarts...
Very gooey chocolate cake...
Hazelnut chocolate sin...



Yup that's about it...

It was a day that was so fantastic and also a bit blurry, with all the activity and friends..
I cooked for three whole days .
I think my help goes crazy with me at that time. but it was all so worth it, because everyone enjoyed the meal and had a happy satiated smile on their face...
There was champagne that flowed in plenty and lots of laughter and cheer..
I love Christmas...
Its the season of love, and I missed a few really special ones who could not be there..
Maybe next time...
I really thank god for all the loved ones in my life..

Mini and Kabir..Vivaan and Sairah and Aunty Leela...cannot imagine celebrating without you guys, and Mins you are too special.

Jaya and Sanju..Kabir and Gia...we will always be friends, you just know too much ha ha ha ...

Sandy... Its amazing that I met you on a film set and we are still friends, Unbelievable...ha ha ha , there has to be something right about our equation ..

Shaheen and Roshan..Arsalan and Ayatal, Its always nice to have friends you have chosen as your family....

Amit and Bhavna...Want to always see you happy ...

Kunal Khemu... You are just the sweetest and cannot think of cooking and you not being there to share it...

Riteish and Genelia.....Wish you tons of love and laughter and lotsa romance always..


Sahukar...
Just wish we met more often than we do, you will always stay special to me..

Yudi....HA HA HA what can I say, you are as mad as the best Saggi I know , and have a heart of gold..

Gaurav... and why is it that we dont meet more often..

Mushran....its so mant years and its always like we met just yesterday..

Sam and Jas...now that you have moved to bandra , think we will meet more often ha ha ha

Kichie and Akshay..AWWWW you guys, I love you tooo much ..

Sambo...Thanks for always being there...always..

Shruti and Danish...Dabbie.. you are the cutest..stay happy inside-out always...

Julius...next year all of you ok !

Iqbal ,Pheroza, Zara and Zeba...Thank you for all and everything ...

Baji, Tina and Zaid....For always being there no matter what..

And last but not the least Zoya, who helped me so much with all the preparations...Thanks Zoya...You are an amazing girl...

And my help Sumita, Uma, Bhagi , Bahadur and Vijay...could not have done it without you...

And Warsi, who sees to it that every one always has a great time..No matter how tired he is ...
Thanks for being Santa the whole year through...

And my Mommy and daddy...For always coming over and spending Christmas here with us..And for shaping me into the person I am today...


And lastly but most importantly, my babies(who are not babies anymore) , they taught me a lot about myself by just being born..and I am a better person because of them..
No Christmas is complete without children, because if there were no children, there would be no Santa...
And I don't really care if I sound crazy, but I love Santa, and ask him for things every year...
And he is mostly very generous with me, the trick is to never ask for anything 'Material'...
This year I cooked listening to Michael Buble serenade me with all the Christmas songs I love..
Ha ha ha it just made cooking more fun..And yes he wanted to come over for lunch ...but...ha ha ha ..Me and my extremely fertile imagination..

You know I believe that if you cannot tell the ones you love , that you love them,for some reason or the other, say it during Christmas...
It's the best time of the year...

Well then till next year..

Dear Senor Santa,
Feliz Navidad...y todo lo que queiro para navidad es .......


P.S I know this should have been posted during Christmas, but did not have time..and frankly if you shut your eyes, it can be Christmas any time of the year, all you have to do is believe..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

WHAT IF....



Today is my "what if "day
Just wanna run and hide , because no answers inside, never felt so confused or out of tune ..
Feel a bit tone deaf with all the music in my head
Wanna calm my mind and relax ..
And it's not the coffee I know that...
It's my heart that I'm not able to stop from running a mile ..
I don't know how or why
But I really need to stop a while ..
And scan my head ..
But frankly think it's my heart
It's busy drawing circles in the sand ..
And makes me fly to unknown lands,,
Makes me soar above the clouds..
And then makes me free fall ...
That I don't know if I'm feeling fear or surrendering to life's open door..
And letting me meander through twists and trails ..
Where there are no footsteps ..
No one has walked here for a while ..
But I can see in the distance ..
Eyes so kind and arms open wide ..
But .. I'm gonna wait right here ,
And just catch my breath...
Because I wanna just take no more steps..
Don't wanna run in any direction ,any more ,
Done that too many times before so today I'm gonna watch the clouds go by and see if anything changes with the sands of time ...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DAY 62 - ALL ABOUT EVE...HEALTHY QUINOA SALAD AND BAKED MUSTARD CHICKEN..














And where do I really begin...
well I met Eve for the very first time on the 24th Sept 2011...
I did not have any assumptions or preconceived notions of , how she would be..
But when I rang her door bell, she opened the door , with a bright , "helllloooo" , something that I got sooo used to and also miss today...
I was greeted by this lovely bobbed silver haired woman, in trousers and a light blouse...who looked at me and said , "is that all the luggage you have?"
Well did not want to frighten her with what all I'm capable off so said"yup" and she and me proceeded to pull my bags in, for some reason , we both think of our selves as 'super-girl'..
So after I beg her not to carry my bags and she does not agree, we trudge up to the room , where I will spend my next 11 weeks in...
I loved my room on sight, it was small, had a cup-board , a bed and a study table with a window to the world...and a terrace...yeah yeah yeah...
I was a happy bunny...
We chatted a bit ...and like a good Brit-lady, she scurried away and left me to unpack...

The next day she took me on a tour around Woking, so I could find my way to class and to the Market or the mall...
Remember she took me to Carlton Road and stopped there...
And she said, so this is the famous Carlton Rd, and I looked at her and said "for what" and she looked at me incredulously and said, "this is where your cooking school Tante Marie is, so better don't forget this..."
Ha ha ha ....
Then we continued chatting 19 to a dozen and then she bought me Hot Chocolate, showed me the most IMP place in Woking the MALL ha ha ha...
Then Sainsbury,Boots , the railway station and various other necessary places like clothes stores...

Eve is a girls , girl and I realised , I have found an amazing person to live with, was just worried she may get fed up with my constant chatter ...
And then also told her to please not leave the house and go , as I'm petrified to sleep alone...
She looked at me like I'm nuts...

And I realised that she is Aries like my mad friend Sandy back home...
So being a true blue Sagittarius who believes in sun signs and all that Jazz..
I did some stupid calculation , told her we are both fire signs and she was up for the chatter and we had a lovely time...

This first week I came home with French vocabulary, that was really French to me ha ha ha...
And so Eve used to teach me correct pronunciation, but then after some time, I would go all about the place and she used to say learn it like you will remember it...
Then I started getting all the baked goodies home to Eve...
And she would taste a wee bit , because she always mostly ate right..
So I used to tell her, "we need to distribute the calories , so none of us get fat"....

I went to my First ever Ballet with her and her sweet partner Ralph, who is Virgo, so yes, occasionally we have talked about the various Virgo's in our lives and how different they are from Fire signs, I should know , my dad is one... And how this and that..and the other...
But Ralph was a doll..

And when I came home to Eve's with Goodies, I knew Ralph would always taste the calorie filled stuff and enjoy it...
So it made bringing home all the goodies worth while...

Well I went for my first ballet about Cleopatra, with Eve and Ralph...that was beautiful...

Well Eve would always ask me if I needed to be dropped to the train station on Saturday...
She did not have to but she always did...
Very time I had a problem , I would come and spill the beans to Eve...
And I would tell her, this is what I'm gonna say and this is what I'm gonna do..
And she would raise her eye-brows and say , "Young Lady,I don't think so, if I were you"....

And well she also said that her mum used to tell her that she would get quieter as she got older, which I never saw...
She was one of the most fun girls I hung with...
We would go window shopping at the drop of a hat...
She was spontaneous, always looked spiffy and drove like a fiend ha ha ha ...
And every time I shopped, "she would talk about the great depression that I kind of knew nothing about, and she would say, well thank you for helping my economy" ha ha ha

She would make me keep my credit cards home...
Take the taxi service card , before I left home , and always tell me to be safe....
Then she would say , I'm sorry I'm not your mother, but just needed to tell you this"adorable and absolutely loving, I just fell in love with this Eve and used to look forward to spending time with her , whenever...
And like my mum she would see that my uniform was impeccably kept ...
And we used to shop for fruits, groceries and general gifts to take home...
Eve was all heart always, I never ever saw her with a frown or in a bad mood ever..
She loved her garden like my mum, looked after her plants, fed a fox , I heard somewhere in conversation one day...and was the best land-lady a girl could ask for..
She always encouraged me to travel and when I was to go to Paris , she gave me books and maps...
I used to share most things with Eve, she was a modern woman but also so beautifully old fashioned..

So today am gonna share with you a recipe, that I made Eve a lot while I was practicing for my 1st practical exams...
And since she was very particular about what she eats ...
Have a lovely fresh Quinoa salad and a Mustard Baked chicken...

INGREDIENTS..
Quinoa - 1 cup
Hand-full -broccoli red and yellow, bean sprouts, mushrooms and assorted beans..
1 1/2 cup Chicken stock
1/2 lime squeezed
Oregano
salt to taste

Baked mustard Chicken
6 legs of chicken with or without the skin..
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbsp grainy mustard
Honey
2 tsp mixed Morrocan spice..
Salt to taste.

Method..

QUINOA WITH VEGETABLES...
Boil the quinoa in the chicken broth till nicely cooked..About 10 minutes...please do taste it..and when done, fluff it up a bit with a fork...
Par-boil the broccoli
Just stir fry the rest of the vegetables , sprouts and beans with a little olive oil, or a little more depending on how healthy you like your food to be..add oregano to the vegetables..
I love to roast pine- nuts and add them to quinoa..
Mix the quinoa and the vegetables , and add the lime and mix it throughly..
Sprinkle with pine nuts..

BAKED MUSTARD CHICKEN

In a glass bowl, mix the morrocan spice, grainy mustard, olive oil and honey to the chicken legs and let them marinate as long as you possibly can.
But at least leave it for an hour...so that the chicken is well flavoured.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for at least 35-40 minutes..

WELL Eve she ate my exam chicken 3 times before I finally made it for my exams....
She was always encouraging and so loving that frankly I felt at home with Eve...

So while my chicken was baking in the oven and I was multi-tasking all my par-boiling and stir frying activity...was thinking about Eve..

In the evenings, I would sometimes hear Ralph talking to Eve and she laughing hilariously .
It just felt so nice to hear them...share this beautiful companionship...
At the end of the day , is that not what love is all about...

Eve's home was always filled with laughter...
I always showed her all my shopping...
And when we went out shopping together, she would ask me, should I stop you, or should I not interfere, so we always made a pact that she should stop me and I always ended up with something new....

Went with Eve for a fashion show one day, and fell asleep...
And when I stirred awake , she said," go back to sleep, you are not missing much"...
Ha ha ha hilarious...
She helped me choose a beautiful gown, the one I have posted here on the blog, which when I wore I thought of "YOU" first Eve...
You would have liked how I looked ..ha ha ha


It was really cute, but every time I came home after class, would hear Eve say, "There she comes , that girl,and wonder what she has to say today ."
She would talk of me in third person, like I was not there...
There is another very dear friend of mine who also does that..who I really miss a lot...

And as I would walk into her hall, like I did when I was in school with my parents ...
And show her my food for the day, and then tell her about it, and then pour my heart out if anything was bothering me...
And she always gave me time..and that's what made me feel like home..

When I had over shopped and was packing my bags , before coming home, she came with me to buy my bags , not once or twice...but thrice...

She always gave me a napkin while I ate...and said, sit-down and eat properly...
I loved every moment of fussing that she did over me...
I love that feeling of having someone, who was so my own, so far away from home...
I will never forget, when I came home from my exams, she was just full of love and I could see , that both Eve and Ralph really do care for me as much as I had come to love them...
They were my family away from home and I can say without a doubt that my land- lady Eve is a loving Star....
And I was really lucky to get her...
Thank you Lorraine for making that call...

Now I can smell the lovely chicken baking in the oven..
Its come out looking crispy on the outside but is really soft and juicy...
Kept the quinoa salad nice and warm...

All food should always be eaten fresh and piping hot..
that's when it tastes OH SOOOO YUMMM...


And so todays meal, I dedicate to Eve who was my friend , therapist, psychiatrist, travel- encourager, French teacher, shopping-buddy, wine-buddy, food-taster, smile bringer and the most amazing land-lady a girl could have ..

So here's presenting, "Eve's quinoa vegetable salad with mustard Chicken"...
Fresh full of super nutrition, succulent and yummy, and made with lotsa love and some beautiful memories of Eve, Ralph, her kitchen, the room I lived in, my 'love-spell' green tea, my path to class everyday and all the music that will always play in my heart...
Only from "Maria's Kitchen"....