Tuesday, December 13, 2011

9th Meeting

We had our last gathering at Miya’s Sushi house in New Haven. Vaishali D. and I had joked that reading the menu was like reading a book. The menu was so long that it felt a little intimidating. It was my first real sushi experience; I’ve had vegetarian sushi before but I always felt like I was cheating. It would be like going to an Indian restaurant and asking them for a spoon for your curry. You have your hands, duh! Okay- that’s a stretch but you get the idea. Back to the story…  Vaishali Shah has had almost every type of sushi available. Nishal and Vaishali D. have had the more popular kinds. Parul and Jalpa, our group vegetarian have had vegetable sushi. Thank god we made reservations because that place is bumpin’. There was barely any room to stand. A good sign of a good restaurant is where the restaurant is so full that you have to wait outside because there is no bar you can wait at. We asked our waiter to help us with the non-veg sushi. He made his recommendation and we ordered some sushi.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ice 6 ounces
 light rum
12 mint sprigs,
8 roughly broken apart
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons of sugar syrup
Club soda
4 slices lime
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup


1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 cup carrots (julienned)

1/2 pound fresh broccolli
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

salt and pepper
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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps:
The only thing missing from this recipe was a topping of crunchy noodles or peanuts. You can also ditch the lettuce and serve over rice for a more filling meal.

•16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves (any lettuce works)
•1 pound lean ground beef*
•1 tablespoon cooking oil
•1 large onion, chopped
•2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
•1 tablespoon soy sauce
•1/4 cup hoisin sauce (Less for vegetarian version)
•2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
•1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
•Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)- sriracha sauce is great! Add as much or as little as you like.
•1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
•1 bunch green onions, chopped
•2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
•4 scrambled eggs (optional)
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8th Meeting

September 25, 2011

Our 8th exchange was at Nishal's house in Trumbull, CT.. the theme was Soups and Salads! While Nishal's house isn't tucked away, this town sure is tucked away in Connecticut. Similar to Jalpa's house, the drive for couple of the girls was certainly adventurous to say the least. With drives like these, you get a nice glimpse New England. The lovely host had yummy mojitos prepared for us when we arrived. These were definitely needed today - we were all expecting rain per the weather people. Turned out to be a warm-mostly cloudy day... perfect for our lunch outside on Nishal's deck. Since the theme was soups and salads, all of the girls decided to pick something they'd never made before...which can be a daunting task, especially when us girls tend to reach for the same-ole-same-old when it comes to soups and salads. Parul made delicious "lettuce wraps"; Jalpa made a tangy-spicy "Tom Yum" soup; Vaishali made a soulful "brocolli chedder" soup; and Nishal hosted with delicious mojitos, crispy-flaky bread, and perfectly-moist chocolate cake! Amisha and Vaishali Shah couldn't make the exchange today - we missed you! Amisha just gave birth to the cutest little gem, Veer Anand - so she had to host some people at her. Vaishali Shah had a birthday party come up that she had to attend.
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Tom Yum soup (Thai hot and sour soup)

If you love tangy, spicy, hot goodness in a soup, you'll love this soup! Especially on a cold day.

- 1/4 yellow or white onion chopped into thin rings
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1-2 inches of galangal (Thai ginger), cut into thin "match sticks", grated, or minced
- 3-4 basil leaves roughly chopped
- 4 green chillies halved
- 2-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes [ground red pepper (1-2 teaspoons) works just as well]
- olive oil
- diced tomatoes (3-4 big tomatoes)
- chopped broccoli
- sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 - 1 cup small cubes of firm tofu
- vegetable stock (4-6 cups)
- 4-5 kaffir leaves
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1-2 lemongrass stalks (size of 1 popsicle stick)
- 8-10 spoons of lemon or lime juice
- 4-5 sprigs cilantro roughly chopped
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Baker's chocolate
Wax paper
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Asian Noodles

Jalapeno (optional)
Soy Sauce
Garlic powder
Ginger powder
Peanut butter (creamy)
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Salt & pepper
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Mango and Tomato Bruschetta

Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Italian bread
Olive oil
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7th Meeting

I don’t know about the rest of the girls but I was a little weary about Jalpa’s Chopped Challenge. I know the basic concept around the TV show but didn’t understand how this would work since we had already predetermined what ingredients we would all bring. And subconsciously we had all kinda thought about what we can make with the ingredients. Well, this goes to prove that you shouldn’t come with preconceived notions of how something will be. We made things that were not my list that I had thought about. Sorry, Jalpa, I know the rule was not to think about it too much, but I already had some ideas of what I thought we would make. I’m so glad I was wrong!

The 6 of us together came up with this menu with these items.

Mango and Tomato burschetta
Deviled Eggs
Asian noodles
Chocolate covered strawberries
Bananas and Nutella

Ingredients we came with:
Mango, bananas, strawberries, baker’s chocolate, tomato, onion, eggs, Italian bread, spaghetti, tofu

Ingredients in Jalpa’s pantry/fridge:
cilantro, broccoli, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger powder, jalapenos, garlic, ginger marinade, Nutella, salt, pepper, mayo, paprika, olive oil, lemon juice

Our hostess, Jalpa

Nishal & VaiShali making Bruschetta

Krish resting for a minute before having his mom chase him

Action shot - well almost- we are all doing something

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce


Chicken Breast (Boneless & Skinless)
Peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Minced garlic
Minced ginger
Red pepper flakes
Lemon juice
Lilu marchu
Brown sugar (or white if you dont have brown)
Bamboo skewers
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1 bottle of red wine
1 cup orange juice
1 and 1/2 cup of beach brandy (can be regular brandy also)
1/3 cup lime juice
1 bottle selzer water
3 table spoons sugar (brown sugar works also)
2 peaches
1 large orange
1 lime
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Cold Pasta Tortilni

okay, so it's not the exact picture from the 5th meet- but it's something like this. :)
1 or 2 packages of dried pasta tortlini (found in the pasta aisle, comes in 2 flavors spinach and 3 cheese)
1 package of regular pasta (can be any kind you wish to mix)
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 bottle of Italian dressing (can be any kind)
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paneer Tikka on Skewers


350g (14oz) paneer
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 large onion
3/4 spoon chilli powder
1/4 spoon turmeric powder
1/4 spoon salt
1/2 spoon garam masala
1 spoon dried cumin
1 spoon dried coriander
1 cup natural (unflavoured) yoghurt
6 bamboo skewers
freshly chopped coriander for garnish

How to make:

Cut the paneer into 4cm (2") cubes. Cut the peppers and onions into 4cm (2") squares. In a big bowl mix together the yoghurt, chilli powder, salt, garam masala, cumin and coriander. Next add the paneer and the peppers, onions and stir gently until everything is coated in the spicy yogurt mixture. Leave in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours (or overnight for the best taste). Preheat the grill to its hottest setting. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 15-20 minutes. Thread the paneer, onions and peppers onto the skewers and cook under the grill for 3-5 minutes on each side. Watch to make sure they don't burn, if they start to, turn them over earlier. Garnish with coriader. Serve hot.
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Asian Salad

Salad greens
Cooked pasta
Mandarin orange
Soy & ginger dressing
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6th Meeting

Vaishali Shah hosted our 6th meet (OMG- have we been doing this for 6 months already?). It's amazing how time flies. I look forward to our monthly exchanges so much. It's the one day a month I get to try something new if no other day. I love the fact that all we do during the exchanges is eat and talk and drink! My mom is kinda getting into the meets. After all the meets, she asks what the menu was and what new thing I learned. I think she secretly wants to join our meet.

The sun was shining and the wind was blowing. It was a perfect day for a grill-a-ton. The object this month was to grill everything, including dessert. And did we grill! I was the only one in the group that broke the rules and didn’t make anything grilled. I was supposed to make stuffed mushrooms which we would later grill; the morning of the meet when I went to buy the mushrooms, I was left disappointed. The mushrooms were old and brown. Being 6 months pregnant in 85 degree weather was not fun. I was pooped from running errands all morning and just didn’t have the energy to go to another grocery store. So instead I decided to make an Asian Salad that I had at a Pampered Chef party. I had never made it and it was easy enough to make last minute.

We started off with the salad which was almost ice cold. Then went on to Vaishali D.'s chicken satay, followed that by Nishal's grilled paneer skewer with veggies. We took a little break before we had Parul's homemade veggie burgers. Parul’s burgers were so good that we inhaled them and then realized we didn’t take a picture of them quarter pounders. Lastly ended the night with Jalpa's grilled fruit and homemade whipped cream. The girls enjoyed VaiShah's sangria; whiled I enjoyed some H2O. We also had two furry guest with us this time and a baby. Krish joined us and stole the show. I was amazed that he fell asleep in his stroller – that’s my kinda kid. Meanwhile my little furry baby, Raka terrorized VaiShah's furry nephew, Sammy.

Here are some pictures from the meet:
Checking out the

How many girls does it take to make whipped cream?

Krish going for Sammy's water

Krish & Nishal

Viashali making the whipped cream

ViaShah spraying down the grill

Me just hanging out

Sammy & VaiShah
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grilled Mango Pinacolada

- pineapple slices
- mango slices
- honey
- hot sauce
- whipping cream
- vanilla extract
- granulated sugar
- coconut shavings
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Homemade Hummus

When hummus is this easy to make, you'll never want to buy hummus again!

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
red chili pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste

Directions1.In a blender, pour garbanzo beans with reserved liquid,lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic, salt, & red pepper. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
2.Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and pour olive oil over the top.

I love this recipe because it allows you to get creative and add anything you want. Next time I want to try homemade jalepeno hummus and artichoke hummus (Gee loves artichokes)! Enjoy : )
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Edamamole & tofu sandwiches

1 pack firm tofu
1/2 pack edamame (thawed & steamed)
Red chiles
3-4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
Vegetable oil (best with sesame or peanut oil)
Thai red curry paste
Low sodium soy sauce
Sliced mushrooms
Baby Spinach
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Crackles


1 cup confectionary Sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup cocoa powder
4 cups rice crispies
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 & 1/4 cup coconut oil (can be purchased at Vitamin shop,, healthfood store and speciality stores)
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Honey Joys


2.5 tablespoons of margarine or butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups Kelloggs Cornflakes
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Potato Salad

Okay, this is not a pic of my potato salad. But it looked like this minus the green stuff. mine had olives.
6 - potatoes
3 - eggs
1/2 cup - mayo
1/4 cup - Champagne Caper Vinaigrette or you can just use ranch
1/4 cup - black olives
2tbsp - spicy mustard
1 tbsp - paprika
2 tbsp. Rosemary
salt & pepper
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5th meeting

The weather was perfect. The location was perfect. The food was even more perfect. At meeting #4 we decided Nishal would host the next meet at her house or at a park near her house. Turns out the park by her house had flooded and was closed during the time of our meet. We weren't discouraged of our picnic in the park themed meet. I had noticed the Daffodil festival in Hubbard park was going to be held on the same weekend. I suggested we have it there and all the girls agreed. We really couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and we found a perfect spot under a tree.

Because there was a carnival going on we got a lot of "wow i wish i had a picnic basket" looks. We even had a few people just stare at us. The guy who cleans the park with his lawn mower type machine must have passed by us like 5x. There was no garbage to be picked up in sight. That guy wanted some of our food.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 small red potatoes, sliced
• 1 cup torn fresh spinach
• 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
• 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
• salt and pepper to taste
• 6 eggs
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
• Ketchup (optional)
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Mexican Pizza

refried beans
salsa (any kind)
chopped up lettuce
chopped up tomatos
jalapenos (as many as desired)
mexican shredded cheese
ranch dressing
tortilla chips broken into small pieces
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Buttermilk Pancakes with Chocolate Chips


3 cups all purpose flour
3 tblspns white sugar
3 tspns baking powder
1 1/2 baking soda
3/4 tspns salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter melted (and cooled before adding to mixture)
chocolate chips
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Monday, March 21, 2011


1 cup of brewed coffee
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of Sugar
Cocoa powder to sprinkle
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Homemade hash browns

Nisha's Homemade hash browns

Things you will need:
1 lb Russet baking potatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
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4th Meeting

We decided to have a breakfast style exchange. I envisioned mimosas and cappuccinos. Unfortunately not all the girls could make it to this one, but that was okay with the four of us because that only meant more food for us. Nishal, Vaishail D, Paurl and I met at my place. Nothing went wrong as far as the recipes go. I was blending my cappuccino mixture and it did explode but nothing like Meeting #2. Nishal made homemade hash browns and they were delicious!! Vaishali made pancakes from scratch- that’s right now bisquick here. Parul made a potato & spinach frittata or was that a quiche? She’ll have to clarify. Lastly I made cappuccinos for the three and opted for the OJ.

Nishal making her hash browns

Parul and Vaishali enjoying their cappuccinos

Vaishali making her pancakes and me lurking in the background

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Pesto Pizza

Ingredients for pesto sauce:

1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup walnuts
8 cloves of garlic
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Homemade Pizza Dough

For 1 pie (about 10 inches):

1 cereal bowl flour (about 1 ½ cups). For a healthier recipe, substitute ½ wheat flour, and ½ white flour
1 tablespoon oil (olive is best, but canola is ok too)
1 teaspoon yeast
¾ cup warm water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar- OPTIONAL
½ teaspoon garlic powder (finely chopped fresh garlic works as well)- OPTIONAL
½ - 1 teaspoon cumin- OPTIONAL
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes- OPTIONAL
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Classic Margherita Pizza


Tomato Sauce
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mozzarella
Ripe Vine Tomato
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Greek pizza

  1. pizza crust
  2. baby spinach
  3. fresh grated garlic
  4. diced red onions
  5. kalamata olives
  6. dry oregano
  7. basil-feta cheese crumble (or plain feta)
  8. soy mayo
  9. sun dried tomatoes
  10. olive oil
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eggplant Pizza

Pizza pie
Cheese (mozzarella, or ricotta)
1 Egg, beaten
Bread crumbs
Salt & Pepper
Italian seasoning
Red pepper flakes
Oil for frying
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3rd Meeting

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

I must say we are super talented. I bet if the six of us opened up a restaurant, we would make some decent dough… pun intended!

Speaking of dough… WOW! Paurl is a master at making pizza dough. I don’t know how she does it but it’s awesome. I love how it’s so workable and tasty. I usually have to use a roller to roll out my dough, but not hers. Her dough can be worked with your hands. The best part about her dough is how fast it is ready to be eaten. I think she made one of the batches at like 6pm, and by 7:30-8pm it was ready to be eaten.
Shayni couldn't make it because her lil man was sick. We welcome Nishal to her first Exchange!
Let’s talk toppings!! We had five different pies and one that we just couldn’t make because we were so stuffed.

We started the night with Vaishali’s Margarita Pizza
Moved on to Jalpa’s Greek Pizza
Then we had Vaishali Shah’s Mexican Pizza
And ended by your truelys Eggplant Pizza
Nishal’s pesto pizza didn't make it to our now stretched out stomachs… so we took it home.

Jalpa also had plans to make a dessert pizza, which I’m kinda happy to say we didn’t get to that night. (Side Note: Jalpa and I made the dessert pizza at my house the next day on naan and it was delish).

There we were 6 little piggys sitting around Vaishali D’s island eating 4 whole pies of pizza!
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Friday, January 21, 2011



Fajita size tortilla's
refried beans
capsicum (green/red pepper)
jalpenos (optional)
taco shredded cheese
taco seasoning
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Vegetable Pastry Puff Bites


1 x box of Puff pastry (find it in the frozen section of the supermarket)
3 x potato's (or more depending on how many people you are making for)
frozen peas
chilli powder
garam masala (can be overpowering so just add a pinch and then taste)
coriander powder
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Peach and Cinnamon Streusel Cake

2 boxes of Cinnamon Streusel Muffin Mix Recipes
1 Can of peaches - you can use fresh peaches
Cranberry sauce – optional
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2nd Meeting

I had such a great time at this second meet. It was long overdue. During the 1st meeting I had decided I would make these stuffed cupcakes that I found a recipe for like 6 months ago. Unfortunately I didn’t make those. We had to change the day from Saturday night to Friday night and I had no energy to make the cupcakes. So instead I took the easy way out and made this peach streusal cinnamon cake. Sandra Lee has nothing on my semi-homemade cooking.

I started off using a larger baking pan to make this in, but ended up using a small pan, which resulted in this:

We all had a good laugh and now we know that a small pan like that cannot hold two boxes of cake and peaches.

You live and learn.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Magic Cookie Bars

Makes 12 servings

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (they come crumbed in a box or you can get Honey Maid and crush them finely)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk (low fat is ok too)
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Jalpa's recipe: Stuffed RAW red peppers (not baked? you got it!)

- one or two fresh red peppers, cut into slices to create "scoops"
- 1 can baked black beans (rince well, NOT straight from the can), tossed with fresh grated garlic, cumin, 1 small onion diced, and olive oil
- lemony-avacado sauce (smash 2 ripe avacados + 5-6 tablespoons of almond milk + juice of 1 lemon + ground black pepper...mix all together well in a bowl or a food processor)
- seeds from one pomegranate
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