Monday, June 27, 2011

Sleepless in...

Sleepless isn't just a condition in Seattle or Philadelphia for that matter. I have never been a foreigner to sleepless nights but lately I have felt like an stranger within my own norm.  I lay awake, think about the steps in life. My steps in life. Were they right or wrong? How did I grow? What have I learned? 

If our steps had been different, keeping us an "us," in New York or otherwise, where would we be? Would they be subtle and expected or larger than life and spontaneous.  It wouldn’t be drama. It would be us. An us as normative as a bat of an eye.  We’d explore the random nooks and crannies of the City we made home. Wine & dine all while cultivating our own moments. We would break bread, be it ravenous at a Whole Foods, because we can hardly contain ourselves, or at home, barefoot gestures on tippy toes standing in front of the fridge, melting into one another. We'd live, like living should be....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kissin' a Fool

If you're going to be kissing a fool, it might as well be one who has the power to seductively leave you speechless! Today I found myself in this exact predicament --- kissin' a fool. But not in the context one would expect!

Not how many of you are familiar with squash blossoms but for those of you scratching your head and squinting your eyes in befuddlement, they are the flowers which bare squash. If you're lucky, as I was this past week, you'll be able to find them attached to baby squash. These sweet tender flowers can be roasted, fried, added to salads or blended into a soup, all of which have the ability to seduce your mouth into a delectable trance.

I personally prepped mine without the baby squash.  Lightly poaching then shocking them ice water to maintain the bright crisp sanctity of the flower. I stuffed the blossom with a honey accented goat cheese mousse drizzled with toasted pistachios! The tanginess of the goat cheese, coupled with the sweet nuttiness of the pistachios and delicate cloy of the blossoms left me kissing a fool - in this case _____! (you fill in the blank)

Recipe to follow - Check back soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lost Looking for Found

Love is strange, love is wary, love is hard, and love is scary--but without it life is a desert....the peculiar magical alchemy of love has left many astray...I now find myself at a cross roads....

You know what was awesome? When I had this blog a la drama free on the side. The past couple of months have just been increasingly tumultuous. Sense is unheard of...however to stick to its true form tonight we visited a cozy little vino bar with a vast selection of worldly vines and a  spectacular tapas menu!!  I have to admit the cherry on the cake was definitely the quirky yet irrefutable wine descriptions...

I started off with a wine that was "prepared with some naughty spice" the Tinto Joven from Spain! Truly a spectacular wine with great after notes..however I draw my hats down to a shepherd of all wines described as "liquid barbeque". Some may squint or be repulsed however picture this...a spicy spanish influenced wine paired with smoked chorizo! Can you say YUM or can you say YUM! It's like this was a match made in Dhara's heaven!!!  I'm not into biblical references however a match definitely made in the culinary vineyards of "naughty spice" can prove no wrong!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So now that I have a steady grasp on my day-to-day happenings, I'm going to attempt this blogging thing again. The truth is I have missed it and everyday that passed, I felt that little guilt gnaw away at my insides with every stir, flip and bite I took. But I'm back and lets put the past where it belongs, in the PAST!! The last nine months have brought about major changes, both culinary and non-culinary, with the top nine listed below:

9. Discovered I'm not a fan of Copenhagen cuisine - Lard, not my go to delicacy...
8. Semi-cooked/hosted my very first Chanukah dinner. Recipes to come...
7. Cooked my very first dessert! Fresh fig tartlette.
6. Invitation to play in a professional kitchen. Maybe it may not have been a invitation but more of a self delegation...alcohol was definitely involved. Once the details are cleared, I will reveal who and where...and trust me it's a BIG deal!!!
5. Drove a "car" past 15 mph (hit 44 mph to be exact), which segways to #4, however before I do, I feel obligated to note I grew join NYC - we do not drive we hail!
4. Broke, well fractured really, my first bone. Needless to say I will not be "driving" anytime soon!
3. Have my very own place - 2 stories, 2 bedrooms and did I mention it's mine. ALL MINE!
2. I have found and in some instances re-discovered an amazing support system, all which emphasize me!
1. And finally to top it off...I am an aunt of a beautiful baby girl, who has officially left me smitten! I adore you Prisha!

Friday, October 1, 2010

...and a month later

There's way too much going on right now and when I have more time I promise to elaborate but here's the bite size version:

- Really started my job search about 3 weeks ago (since graduation is right around the corner) and was getting so emotionally discouraged with ZERO responses
- Living out of a bag with all the traveling for interviews = zero time for Bikram and elevated stress levels
- No response to my follow-up from the Managing Director's Office after 6 months of interviews...extremely bizarre, they were so responsive to my follow-up for the first 4 months!

Fast forward to this week: 

- MONDAY/TUESDAY: get a job offer from Corporate Ralph Lauren and they want me to start Wednesday in NY! Within a split second decide to move to NY. Parents overjoyed since I'll be moving home temporarily. The Suitor elated since this will mean we'll be living together again SOON! Switch my classes, allowing me to complete them from NY.

- WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: @ RL and get a voicemail from the MDO offering me the job of my dreams in Philly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Halt the move to NY. Quit RL. 

- FRIDAY: Off to Ft. Lauderdale

And the best news of all, expecting my first niece/nephew literally within a week!!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day

This weekend was my first trip to Maine and to sum it up - lobsters, steamers, open fires shuffle board and smack the bag!  Every meal, from breakfast to late night snacks, was to die for.  I had my first very full lobster experience and omg the meat the sweetest most succulent lobster meat I've ever had!  Oh we also managed to see our very first BLUE LOBSTER, roughly 1 in every 5 million lobsters are blue and our lobsterman managed to catch his second in 2 years--the guy should seriously consider playing the lottery!

Our first night, Friday, we had some steamers and oysters. I shucked my very first oyster, and let me tell you those suckers are tough. We played poker and drank some of the best homemade beer, courtesy of our hosts Jake and Wendi!  Don't know what it was but the girls sure managed to clean up shop.  My favorite part of the entire game was when the bet was between The Suitor and I and the risky child in me goes to bet big, The Suitor lets know his distraught with a soft high pitch claim of "but hun you're betting against me!"  Needless to say, the girls cleaned out their men and then the party moved onto a midnight dip in the beach, for the guys, girls are too smart for any of that.   :-P

Saturday we started off having brunch at Hot Suppa, a marvelous aclove of a restaurant which can do no wrong in the kitchen, in Portland.  Bloody mary's, best I've ever had and I've had some to die for bloody marys. After brunch we walked off the food comas around downtown Portland and had my very first Key Lime Pie, where have I been and why hasn't anyone ever talked me into trying one of these??

We spent the evening by an outdoor wood fire, warding away king kuppa mosquitos! Dinner consisted of corn on the dob, potatoes, sausages, chorizos, clams and lobster all cooking in one pot! The lobsters were AHHMAZING, corn perfectly sweet and scrumptious, clams equally as amazing as the lobster and by the time we got around to the sausages and oven baked shrimp, I was ready to throw in my flag but managed a few bites and then off to bed.

Sunday brunch consisted of  leftover potatoes and corn/feta omelets followed by the most lovely hike around a small peninsula in Maine. This is one of the most amazing hiking trails along the coast and the pictures truly don't do it any justice.  Just being there, tasting the salt from the water in the crisp morning air, feeling the hot sun on your skin along with the first tease of cool autumn breeze, made for great hiking weather!  Once again we ended the evening with an open wood fire meal, pork for me and steak for the guys, with a side of candied sweet potato and asparagus.  The pork was the perfect showcase for Jake's culinary skills, perfectly marinated in his own spicy/tangy sauce and charred to perfection on the open wood fire. This was my first wood fire meal and it certainly won't be the last.   Oh I would have to say the highlight of the evening was definitely smack the bag and watching the guys hula hoop!!!

Smack the bag for those of you who didn't go to college in the 90's is where you get boxed wine, remove the wine from the box and take turns chugging the wine from the bag and right before you pass  the bag on you smack the bag as hard as you can or until your fingers fall off.  By the end of the game my hands had swollen to two times their size and am still recovering finger sensation. Fun but not fun.  All in all, I can't think of a better way to bid the summer farewell, a big feast to keep you warm for the coming fall!

First time shucking oysters!! Yumm!!!

Maine steamers. It doesn't get any better than this!! Happy tummies all around =)

Had to! =)

The legendary Maine ginger beer! Good to the last drop!

Blue lobstah!!!!  

Enjoying a lovely fire before the lobstah feast!

Shuffle board!! Undefeated thus far!

Nite nite lobstah!

Edible lobstah =)

Afternoon hike in Maine

The Suitor and I along the coast of Maine

The Suitor at showing off his fire making skills

Smack the bag --- let's just leave it at that

Our supremely talented chef of the weekend Jake the Snake!!!!

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Friday, August 27, 2010


iPoo -- yup it's exactly as the name, not a term of endearment or a sigh of exhaustion, it's simply poop. AND SIMPLY HILARIOUS!

So what are the miraculous wonders of this app....(drumroll and in the wheel of fortune announcers tone) Your boring pooing days are over Alex. Now while you poo Alex, you can instantly connect to other users who are pooing at the VERY SAME TIMEEE!!!! 

I'd also like to dedicate this post to The Suitor  =P
...I simply had to!

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Another Week. Gone.

Another week coming to an end. When did it begin? Where did it go? I simply cant keep up!

It's finals week and all that's going through my head are bond and equity jargon, really not the most stimulating of topics, but I am happy to report that I now fully understand the bond market as well as can deconstruct almost all aspects of financial statements. Anyway so what do I do to tear myself away and take a breather...create a medley of food of course! On the menu this week was roasted eggplant & yogurt w/ chopped veggies, Boter salad (just can seem to get enough of this salad), summer zucchini-squash salad, and pickled jalapenos. By the way if anyone is in the Philly region, I have a fridge full of yummies for you!

Being Indian, I have grew up loving anything spicy, especially jalapenos. And pre-siriacha sauce, I put jalapenos on everything and I mean everything! They were even my favorite snack, I would eat them right out of a jar. My mother always bought a pre-made jar of jalapenos and never made them at home so I never really grasped how simple the concept of pickling is until now.  I think I may have unleased a monster because I am on already planning my next pickling eventSpickled beets, pickled carrots, picked endives!!! Just writing about them is making my mouth salivate. Seriously! 

Pickled Jalapenos
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup water
2 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp red peppercorn
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic

To start, cut the jalapenos however you want, discs, length wise or even leave them whole (if you're going to leave them whole, make sure to cut a 1 slit to allow the mixture to engulf the jalapeno inside and out) and place the jalapenos in a jar.

In a pot combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the jalapenos and seal the lid. Shake the jar around, making sure to evenly distribute the peppercorns and garlic. The jalapenos should be ready to eat in about 5 hours but longer you wait the more intense the flavor becomes.

15 minutes later

24 hrs and ready to eat!!!

Summer Zucchini-Squash Salad
1 Squash
2 Zucchini
1/3 cup of fresh dill (based upon preference, I'm not fond of dill so always use half the recommended amount)
1 garlic clove
1 shallot
Crumbled feta
1 tbsp Lemon juice and zest of 1/2 of the lemon
2.5 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper 

Cut the squash and zucchini length-wise into thin discs and toss in the salt and coat evenly. Place in a strainer for 20 minutes, I find this softens and evenly disburses the salt. Next, mince shallots, garlic and dill and combine with lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, feta and pepper. Mix everything together and toss evenly over the zucchini and squash.

Bon Appetite!