19 July 2009

Hasta la vista

Nope..I am not going to Spain..but who cares...I am off to the continent of romance (that's how I like to think of Europe...am hoping that the reality lives up to my thinks and thoughts)!

By the way, N reached Copenhagen safely and now its my turn to get there...have had some visits from 'Auntie Anxiety' telling me about flights not making it, missing the connection flight (don't have a direct flight, you see) and finally not having N at the airport to take me to the hotel (am reaching a little late in the night, so he comes to pick me up!)...fortunately, these Auntie A's visits didn't last too long...she tried to stay but 'Uncle Europe Excitement' pushed her out of the room :D

I leave tonight and hope to post some memories as we go along...see you later my friends, or as the Spanish would say 'Hasta la vista'

Super-duper excited,

12 July 2009

Banana Bread recipe

I love fruits...am a self-confessed fruit lover...my early affairs with fruits began when I was little...Baba made it a point to see that each of us had a fruit serving after dinner...I used to resist them a little at that time (aai's food used to make me pretty full and there was little place left in my tummy for fruits)....but after I came to Canada (and after I made my own food..haha)...there was always place in our tummies for fruits...the fact that Vancouver is blessed with lovely and fresh fruits makes it all the more convenient for me!

One of the fruits we get all year around is bananas...every time I go grocery shopping, I literally 'go bananas' when I buy bananas...more often than not, I end up with more bananas than we can eat...and once they get extra-ripe and those little black spots appear, neither N nor I want to eat them anymore...one of ways to put them into our 'want-to-eat' zone is make them into a Banana bread (don't know why they call it a bread, to me its a cake)..anywho, of all the recipes I have tried, this one works the best..the bread comes out moist, not-too-sweet (which is how N and I like it) and totally snack-a-licious!!

(Unfortunately, I don't have the source for the recipe...I got it from a book N got for me from the library when i first came to Canada..it was called either 'Healthy Canadian Eating' or 'Healthy Canadian Living'..i wrote down just the recipe at the time and have used it ever since)

1 cup mashed bananas (approx 3 overripe bananas)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup curd/yogurt
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup brown (or white) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup white flour + 1/2 cup wheat flour (i use all 1.5 cups of the cake & pastry wheat flour and it works just fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Celsius, grease the baking pan (i use the 8.5x4.5x2.5 inches loaf pan)
2. In one bowl, combine the mashed bananas, baking soda and the curd. Let it rest.
3. In another bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and vanilla essence
4. In a third bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt
5. Mix the bananas mix with the oil mix and gradually add the dry flour mix. Stir till moist.
5. Transfer to the baking pan; bake for 50-60 mins...when a knife put in comes out clean, the cake is ready.
6. Cool, cut and enjoy!

The best part of baking this cake/bread is the lovely aroma that your house is filled with as the cake bakes....also, its pretty healthy..makes me feel good about what we eat...its totally worth the efforts!


10 July 2009

Trip Update: 9 days to go

Just wanted to give a quick update on the trip....the countdown has begun...9 days to go (its 7 for N, but this is my blog so its my countdown)....the flights and hotels are booked..we did this about three weeks back and since we have done nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No trip planning
No laundry
No packing
No money arrangements

N, the planning freak is doing only half of that...freaking out...not planning...and I am too lazy and dis-organised to anything anyways...but the trip fever is slowly setting in..might just wake up the traveller-cum-packer inside me...who knows? :D


There's a zoozoo in my house!!

what's a zoozoo, you say???Well, thats exactly what I asked A, my dear sis-in-law, when she told me that she calls her kiddo a 'zoozoo'...(that's my sweetie little 4-month old niece....i personally like to call the little munchkin 'gol gappa'...she is a golu and loves to yap...so I think that's a better name for the cutiepie than zoozoo)...anyways, I ask A what on the earth is a zoozoo and she says 'Look up on the net and you will know'.

So we looked it up and found that they are these kind-of-animated characters in Vodafone TV ads in India...found a short write-up about them here....I guess those of you from India already know about them but it was completely new for us...and as i look at the clips, I realise I have one in my house!!!!!!!!

Well, the one in my house isn't all white and is 6 ft tall, but:
~It plays as **both** players in online tennis games just like in the clip here
~It dances exactly like the one in the clip here (totally entertaining...but only I get to see these dances...its a special perk I get for getting married to this zoozoo)
~It gets upset just like this one when I mess up the driving directions :(

and just like the ones in the ads, the one is my house totally adorable too :D

Right, N?


08 July 2009

Daily musings

I started writing this post just after Canada Day (1st of July) but didnt finish until today...posting it as is!

Back to work today after a lovely Canada Day holiday yesterday..one of those days when the Canadian spirit and the maple leaf rides high...the fact that its in Summer makes the celebrations even more enjoyable (not sure if they planned it that way though)!

Anywho, met this nice lady bus driver on my way to work...she kept saying 'Good morning' and 'Have a nice day' at each and every stop, that too at the top of her voice...the bus I take stops at every other block so you can imagine why I admire her vocal cords!...i am guessing the bus stops at atleast 50 odd stops, so I think she was in a really good mood to go on like that!!....I didnt have my book today with me and so I put on my MP3 player and do the next best thing...look out of the window you say??Of course not, I stare at the other people in the bus...not those 'I-want-to-make-you-uncomfortable' kind of stares but just quick, sizing-up ones..you see, I like to think that I can study personalities and this is one of the ways I do that (atleast this is what I like to think to myself).

Anywho, I was looking around and saw how most women were carrying these neat little purses...I envy this type, I tell you...anyone who has met me knows I just cant manage with those teeny-tiny ones..there was one time when I had such a big one, N called it a suitcase...when I told him my dear colleague at work complemented me on the purse and called it 'Hollywood style', he told me she must be joking...hmmpf...as if N is a bollywood handbag expert...(by the way, this same colleague carries a really small purse...hopefully she wasnt joking!)

So, cut to today, I decide to peep into my purse to check if I can get rid of anything...here's what I find there:
-My lunchbox, including a fruit
-My cell, my bus pass, house keys, MP3 player, my sunglasses
-My comb, a little lip balm, a small cold cream (??), two different types of lipsticks(???), a compact powder (I swear i didnt know I had all these things in there...anyone who knows me will also know that I never really use any of this once I step out of the house...no wonder my bag is full)
-a pen, some hand tissues, a bracelet
-three different take-out menus and a free coupon (haha)
-and this one tops the list: a receipt for a meal we had in India during our visit in Jan this year!!

My my, I had no idea my purse was this cluttered...I came home and tried to clean it up...the only thing i got myself to throw was the menus and the Indian bill.....the rest is still in there...the never-going-to-be-used comsetics are still waiting for their turn to come :)


04 July 2009

Fishy Sunday

Last Sunday I was in a good mood....this usually means N will get lucky (not what you think, any of you perverts...haha)...this means that N will get some good food! So this Sunday I checked my fridge to see what I had...and yipee, I found that I had some trout fish!!!

N and I both come from the western coastal region of India...no prizes for guessing that fish and coconut are a huge part of our food...in the place where my parents stay in Mumbai, we get amazing fresh fish every day...the frozen fish we get here in Vancouver just doesn't compare with the fresh one...fresh pomfret, prawns, king fish, mackerel, Bombay duck...ABSOLUTE HEAVEN....just the memories make me nostalgic....I remember occasional trips to the near-by fish market with my mother when i was little..I used to hate the stink of fresh fish but it was an interesting fare to watch Aai check the fish, make sure it was fresh, haggle with the fisher woman over the price, do the 'Oh-I-am-not-interested-and-am-going-to-walk-away' routine and finally buy the fish for less than 1/5th the original price...miss all that fun here!

Anywho, last Sunday I cooked the fish in two ways: Goan fish curry (a coconut-based, spicy curry) and fish fry (fish marinated with spices, ginger-garlic paste and tamarind paste and then shallow-fried...turns our amazing tangy hot!). I served these with salad, rice and chapatis (Indian flat breads). The meal was complete with a small shot of 'sol-kadhi' (a staple in Goan food..this is a digestive drink made with coconut milk to make sure your tummy doesn't burn with all those spices)!
Fish curry and sol-kadhi

Fish curry, sol-kadhi, fried fish, salad and chapatis

Meal complete; moments before N and I dug into it!

Needless to say, N was more than happy with the food...in fact, he ate so much, he could not move for some time after the meal :) I took that as a compliment to my food! I am dedicating this post to my A, my sweetest little cousin brother who had loved my food so much when he came to visit me this summer....this one (especially the fried fish) is for you, A!!

I am not posting recipes here as it was taking just tooo long to write them...however, if anyone wants to know more, I am more than happy to share the recipes..just let me know!