3 Things Thursday {Week 70}

Helllllooooo there! I feel like it’s been forever since I last linked up. I’ve been running around like a crazy lady between home depot, city departments and the house, trying to wrap up the construction and finally move on with life. (You can read more about that here.) I miss blogging but by the en of the day I’m just wiped. If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post! Have a great weekend!

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Addicting

Iced Coffee{via}

So last week for a few days in a row I started getting iced coffee’s to start the day. I don’t know what started it, I think partially because it was so hot out and partially because I didn’t have time to make my usual morning chai. Anyways, I realized after getting it 2-3 days in a row that the 4th day I was craving it like a crazy person… as in I was jittery like what is wrong with me.

So basically coffee is a drug. I’ve never felt this way with chai, chai is a love… not an addiction. Literally, I felt like I was on a drug. Now I get why coffee addicts can.not.stop

The good news is I went cold turkey for a few days and shook off those coffee jitters… never again friends, never again.

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Lately

I’m SO not ready for summer to end! I feel like I’ve been so busy running around I haven’t read gotten a chance to enjoy summer. Please don’t go away warm weather, I’m not ready for PSL updates anytime soon.

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Linner

Goat Cheese Mushroom PastaLinner… you know lunch+dinner 😉 its a thing guys, I’m not crazy. Anyways this multi grain penne tossed in goat cheese sauce and topped with baby bella mushrooms hits the spot. It’s amazingly easy and delish.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday Linkup


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Chai Popsicles

“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited it will calm you.” -William Ewart Gladstone

Chai Popsicles Chai (black tea leaves brewed with water, a blend of spices and milk) was one of the first things my mom taught me how to make. It was her way of introducing me to the kitchen, and eventually getting a break after work before she was back in the kitchen prepping for dinner. Piping hot chai holds a warm place in the hearts of many Indians.

Chai Popsicles When I was younger I thought it was odd that on a hot day my Mom would want a ‘garam’ (hot) chai but she would tell me it was refreshing. She explained that when one drinks chai the body is actually cooled as the body’s core temperature is raised above the surrounding temperature. The selection of herbs and/or spices you add in your chai also makes a difference in it’s cooling and warming properties. I now completely “get” what she meant and chai is an everyday necessity in our house.

Chai Popsicles While chai is made during all four seasons in most Indian households, I thought it would be refreshing to try a colder version of chai for hot summer days and transform them into popsicles. They have coffee ice cream, pops & gelato so why not chai popsicles?! After all, what’s more refreshing during the sweltering heat then a cold popsicle with a caffeine kick. I started out with a basic chai recipe and added some of my favorite spices. I also substituted heavy cream for milk for a richer, creamier flavor. The best part about these chai popsicles is that they are completely customizable! Make your grandmothers age old recipe or add your new favorite spice, the possibilities are endless. Due to the caffeine in chai, these cold treats would be better suited for us moms (and dads) rather than our little ones. These chai popsicles would be a wonderful pallet cleanser after a spicy meal or cooling treat on a hot summers day.

Chai Popsicles

Chai Popsicles
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Creamy chai popsicles flavored with cardamom, ginger & heavy cream. Perfect for hot summer days.
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 whole green cardamom pods, smashed
  • ½ tablespoon crushed ginger
  • 1 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar (adjust to taste)
Method
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat, add tea leaves and simmer for 3-4 minutes, brewing the tea.
  2. Add the heavy cream and sugar and simmer for another minute. Turn off the heat and let steep for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour into heat safe container through a fine mesh sieve. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once mixture is at room temperature beat with a risk or hand mixer until frothy. Distribute into popsicle molds (I froze in 2oz. ice cube molds but you can use what you have on hand) and freeze overnight.

Chai Popsicles Enjoy!

3 Things Thursday {Week 67}

It’s Friday night and I’m posting for Thursday… yup such is life lately. If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post! Have a great weekend!

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Shark Week

Hands down shark week is The Husband’s (and now my) favorite time to watch TV. I’m pretty sure most of our DVR is full of recorded documentaries so let’s just say it’s Shark Month. If it’s on while Little Mirchi is up, The Husband keeps saying look baby look at the fishy… BIGGGG fishy. Basically my child will have no fear of sharks. Awesome.

sharkweek

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Blog Maintance 

Ok so it’s been a big slow on the blog because I’m doing a major clean up. And by clean up I mean painstakingly manually adding pictures back to old posts that somehow got deleted. By somehow I mean when I went to the self hosted WordPress something went kaput and deleted a bunch of my old pictures… so there you have it. No fun.

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@hatecopy

GUYS!! Correction GIRLSS! You know all those things you think as a desk girl but sometimes just keep it upstairs. Enter Instagram account @hatecopy… she’s in brown girls heads I tell you. All the things you were thinking… and probably doing, drawn out. Follow her, trust me.

hatecopy

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday Linkup



Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice Mix

“I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face.” -Katherine Mansfield

Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice MixSimple food is often the best food. This Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice Mix is one of those recipes, it’s quick, simple and requires minimal ingredients. Hot grilled bhutta (corn) rubbed with fresh limes, masalas and salt is a Monsoon favorite in India. Bhuttawala’s (grilled corn vendors) stay busy roasting the corn on their little wooden carts as customers line up to slather their desired amount of masala and nimboo (indian lemons) on the charred treat.

Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice Mix

The sweet charred corn in combination with the tart & spicy masala’s makes my mouth water. It’s also one of the healthier street foods available. Each vendor has their “special” masala blend and roasting technique to get the most flavor in each and every little corn kernel. It’s a rainy season delight and often associated with the warmer months of India.

Bhutta Masala _1Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice MixWhile growing up we would visit India during our summer holidays. My Nanaji (maternal grandfather) and Mama (maternal uncle) would take us to Bombay’s Mumbai’s Juhu Beach for horse rides, gaane ka juice (sugar cane juice) and masala bhutta. The bhuttawalas would be grilling their sweetest corn over coals until the sweet kernels were nicely blackened and then they would rub them with lime juice and a mixture of spices and salt. During the summer months I love making a big batch of bhutta masala so it’s always ready when we decide to grill corn.

Bhutta Masala | Indian Spiced Corn + Spice Mix
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Hot grilled bhutta (corn) rubbed with fresh limes, masalas and salt. A monsoon favorite in India.
Author:
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • Spice Mix:
  • 4 tablespoon chaat masala
  • 2 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • --------------------------------------
  • Bhutta Masala:
  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 1 lime, cut into small wedges
  • 2 teaspoon bhutta spice mix
Method
  1. Mix chaat masala, red chili powder, paprika and salt. Store in an airtight container.
  2. When you are ready to use the spice mix, grill the corn over a medium flame (for about 5-7 minutes), rotating until all sides are well charred.
  3. Dip a wedge of lime in the spice mixture and rub the lime and spice mixture against the corn while applying enough pressure to squeeze out the lime juice. Repeat several times, in order to thoroughly coat all sides of corn. Enjoy Hot.

Bhutta Masala _5

VB3 Restaurant Review

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Chef Michael Colletti and try the new menu at his restaurant VB3. Chef Colletti has cooked for President Obama, been a competitor on Iron Chef America, and competed in Food Network Food & Wine Festival challenges. He’s opened several restaurants in New York City which eventually helped pave the way to the opening of VB3, his Jersey City restaurant. I sat down with the young and innovative chef to get his thoughts on food, Jersey City and learn about his favorites.

VB3Where did you grow up?

Elizabeth, NJ – Jersey born and raised.

Favorite meal as a child?

My Nonna’s (grandmother’s) food will always be my favorite.

What is your favorite food memory?

Family style meals with my family, course after course of my Nonna’s cooking.

What motivated you to open a restaurant and why in Jersey City?

Jersey City has a great food scene and when the opportunity presented itself my cousins and I decided to invest together.

How do you get your inspiration for your menu? 

I love using ingredients that are in season, I try to change the menu accordingly. It’s my modern version of traditional Italian and Asian food.

Favorite item on the menu?

The Rigatoni with lamb Bolognese and the short ribs.

Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?

I have some lucky spoons I’ve had since I first started cooking. Everyone knows they are my spoons.

Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

Cooking for a living isn’t easy. You have to love food, be ready for long hours and self driven.

What do you like to eat when youre at home?

Home cooked meals, one pot dishes – I don’t cook much when I’m home. I would rather have someone cook for me.

Favorite local restaurants?

The Kitchen on Grove, Powerhouse, Razza and Porta all have great food.

What do you most love about your job?

Each day is a new day. I get to meet new people every day, I love that about this industry.

Whats your Last Suppermeal?

French fries, watermelon and a full course meal made by my Nonna.

Chef CollettiEven after all he’s achieved Chef Colletti was humble, down to earth with the heart of a kid. I had the pleasure of dining at his restaurant and tasting some of his top menu items.

The first plate Chef Colletti prepared for me was the Grilled Octopus with Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Celery and Lemon. 

vb3 vb3So this was my first time trying octopus and I was so nervous. I was pleasantly surprised, it was such a light and fresh salad with a citrus punch at the end of every bite. It’s a perfect spring/summer item and is laced with chili oil for those who enjoy spice.

The next plate was the Rigatoni with Lamb Bolognese accented with Mint and Pecorino Cheese.

vb3vb3O M G! I can not say enough about this dish. It was THE complete meal. The lamb was flavorful with hints if fennel and the mint gave it a perfect freshness. It’s one of those dishes that I would order again and again as it has that homemade touch.

To accompany these wonderful dishes I ordered the Blackberry Smash which is a mix of death’s door white whisky, fleur elderflower liqueur, cherry herring, fresh lemon juice & blackberry preserves. It was as flavorful as it sounds and strong!

vb3If you’re looking for a mix of bar favorites, seasonal ingredients and a modern take on traditional Italian fare, VB3 hits the spot. I will most certainly be back (I’m already craving the Rigatoni with lamb!)

This post was sponsored by VB3 and I was invited to try their new menu. All opinions are my own.

3 Things Thursday {Week 65}

Hi there! Zombie Mom here checking in. Sooo you guys know how much I love Summer but lately because of the sun coming up so early our Little Mirchi has been waking up with it. “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake…” – name that movie. She usually starts stirring around 7:30am and is up by 8am but lately she’s ready to start the day at 5:30-6am and today she decided she wanted to play fort with the comforter at 4am. It’s only mid morning and I’m already yawning! We’ll me figuring out a way to black out the room this weekend so we can get some shut eye. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and an even better weekend! If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post! This week I’m sharing three Bollywood movies that I can’t wait to see this year!

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Katti Batti
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Starring: Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan

I can’t wait to see Kangana take on another girl power/frank role and see how her chemistry is with the adorable Imran Khan.

katti batti

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Bajirao Mastani
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra

The cast, the setting, the story and the COSTUMES. Sanjay Leela Bansali always creates a beautiful fairytale and I’m sure this movie will be no exception… I can’t wait see what he has up his sleeves. Oh and did I mention Ranveer Singh!?

Bajirao Mastani

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Dilwale
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Starring:  Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon

SRK & Kajol reunited?! YES YES YES. I feel a twinkle of childhood Bollywood love every time I see news about the movie. They’ve even recreated the famous train scene!

Dilwale

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday Linkup



The Importance of Homemade

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. -Marcus Garvey

The Importance Of HomemadeThis weekend we packed up our bags and drove through the night crossing the border into Canada to see one very special person, my Dadima (paternal grandmother). My parents had planned a special reunion for my Dadima and her sister (they hadn’t seen each other in over 7 years) and we thought it would be such fun to surprise them both. It was a heartwarming experience to see both sisters reunited, sharing childhood memories and stories about the times they’ve missed together. The day started out with us surprising my Dadima in our pajamas early in the morning. She was speechless and thrilled as were we. Once we got ready we headed over to see my Dadima’s sister and the oooh’s and aahh’s started over chai about how they couldn’t believe I was a mom, about Little Mirchi’s antics and of course the menu for breakfast. As the discussions continued my Choti Dadima (Dadima’s sister) offered The Husband some mathri, a savory Indian biscuit to enjoy with his chai, and mentioned they were from India. Upon taking a bite, my very frank (and sometimes embarrassing) husband blurted out: “These are nothing compared to Dadima’s mathris”. Awesome. Surprisingly, everyone laughed it off and my Choti Dadima admitted that lately she was buying more and more of the traditional snacks from the stores since they were readily available and saved on time. My Dadima piped in saying there was no replacement for ‘ghar da swaad’ (home cooked taste) and how important it was to her that her children and grandchildren to taste food made by her hands.

The Importance Of HomemadeAs I sat this morning with my chai and homemade shakkarpare (fried Indian cookies covered in sugar syrup) I reflected back on this weekend and realized the importance of homemade. Growing up we never knew anything else. While living in London with my grandparents that’s all there ever was and when we moved to Florida the availability of ready-made traditional foods wasn’t there so my Mom did all she could to keep up with traditional recipes, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with the foods my parents grew up on. Now, after getting married and living in New Jersey for the past fews years, I find no shortage of pre-made Indian spices and foods – after all, it’s home to one of the largest Indian populations in the country. Ironically enough, the more available it becomes, the more I stray away from it. There is a reason my Dadima’s mathri tastes the way they do, the way my mom’s Aloo ka Paratha melt in our mouths and why my mother in-law’s Nimbu Pani refreshes us like no other store-bought juice. Yes it’s their love, but it’s also the care that goes into their food, the way the spices are toasted and freshly ground at preparation, the quality of ingredients used and the deep-rooted tradition behind each and every recipe.

I started this blog to help myself document these traditional recipes and over the years I’ve noticed myself taking the longer, less travelled route more and more. My cooking has started to taste more authentic, closer to the recipes of my grandmothers. I’ve started taking the time out to blend my own spice mixes, make my own yogurt and grind my own masala. This became even more important after I become a mother and started reading all the fillers in store-bought products. While I know it’s not easy to cook homemade in the busy world we live in, it’s something that holds great importance to me and something I am willing to make the extra effort for.

The Importance Of HomemadeSpending time with my Dadima this weekend made me realize that my cooking is more than just food I prepare on a daily basis, it’s a cultural road map for my family. It’s a love that I hope to pass on to my children so they can taste the same foods that their parents and grandparents tasted while growing up and experience our culture through food.

3 Things Thursday {Week 64}

TGI-almost FRIDAY! YAY! Can you tell I’m ready for the weekend? This week has been exhausting and I need a break. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and an even better weekend! If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Almost there.

This weekend we planted a tree in front of the house. While that may not seem like a big deal to most people – to us it was major. It means we are there, at the finish line. Only a few things left to do before we are DONE! Here’s a little peek of what the front looks like now (we got our iron railing this week as well!) For those of you that have followed along the process (1,2) you know it’s been a long time coming.

Building a house

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Little Mirchi is growing up too fast… isn’t that the complaint of every mother?! But seriously, everyday she wakes up and looks bigger… makes me want to pause time.

Little MIrchi

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As I’ve mentioned before, gel nails just don’t seem to work on me. For some reason they always end up peeling/lifting off my nails way earlier than expected. Am I a glutton for punishment? Here goes one last try. Summer nails – gel polish.

gel polish

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday Linkup



Nimbu Pani | Cardamom Limeade

“Our happiness is certainly mixed in with the tragedies of life. You have to find the lemonade. You have to find the silver lining in the middle of everything that happens in life.” -Chandra Wilson

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom Limeade

With the house nearing completion, I have been extremely busy with managing the construction and making constant runs to Home Depot. Yesterday I was so exhausted I told the Husband that I felt like a zombie on auto pilot mode. By the time I get home I want something cool and refreshing to drink, something to beat the heat and give me a little pick me up. Nimbu Pani, a cardamom infused limeade is the perfect fit for the craving!

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom LimeadeNimbu Pani is one of those drinks that you will find in most Indian homes during the summer months. It’s a drink made with Indian lemons and sweetened with sugar. Just like its western cousin the traditional lemonade, every household has their “signature recipe” for Nimbu Pani.  Indian lemons are smaller than the usual lemon we are used to seeing and taste more like the small limes we get here in the US.

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom LimeadeMy favorite Nimbu Pani is my mother in law’s recipe (which only involves 4 ingredients). She keeps a concentrated version in the refrigerator for extremely hot afternoons and last minute guests. To give this drink a refreshing boost I made mint ice cubes and added them while serving.

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom Limeade

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom Limeade
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A refreshing drink made from fresh lime juice, cardamom and sweetened with sugar. Perfect for hot summer days.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 4-5 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup of fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoon sugar – to taste (I added 6 teaspoons for 4 glasses)
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 cup water (chilled)
  • ice cubes for serving
Method
  1. In a pitcher or jug, add one the fresh lime juice and sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add the water, cardamom powder and pinch of salt and mix until everything is incorporated. Add ice cubes a few minutes before serving. Serve in chilled glasses garnished with lime wedges.
Notes
To make Mint Ice Cubes: fill an ice cube tray with mint leaves and top with water. Freeze until ice cubes are formed and serve with Nimbu Pani.

Nimbu Pani | Cardamom LimeadeEnjoy!

If you like this Indian inspired summer drink you’ll enjoy Kokum Cooler or this Ginger Mint Spritzer

3 Things Thursday {Week 62}

I know I say this often but seriously how fast is this year going?! It’s already June… whhhhaaat?! Just a little this and that on this week’s 3 Things Thursday. If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Pretty (and delicious) breakfast bowls

I feel like weekdays get so busy in-between Little Mirchi’s morning routine and me running back and forth to the new house that my first meal of the day ends up being closer to lunch time. By that time I’m so hungry I start snacking on not so great food choices. So, in an attempt to eat a more nutritious breakfast I started making a big batch of steel cut oats to last a few days & top it with whatever sounds good that day. This oats bowl consists of bananas, raspberries, blackberries, coconut, crushed roasted almonds & a squeeze of orange blossom honey… AHHMAZING!

Breakfast bowls

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Little Mirchi has become a bigger fangirl of Target than her Mom. It’s also the only store I can get her to sit in the cart the entire time (Thank You Starbucks chocolate milk!) It’s no secret that in my early days of motherhood I used to consider visiting Target a break (I know you new mammas will understand how I feel!) Target Visits

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Junk mail dilemma. So every week I feel like I am shuffling through PILES of mail. Collecting it from side tables and our dining table (and sometimes under the couch if Little Mirchi has gotten her hands on it). What do you guys do to keep your house free of junk mail and unnecessary paperwork?

Junk Mail

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday Linkup