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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Food network ramblings

I wonder if the food network chefs ever taste their own food? Or if they do, if they really like it.

Take for example Sandra Lee. In her show, Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, Sandra once made a Broccoli pie, where she basically boiled some Broccoli, arranged it in a dish, and put some ranch dressing on it like you would do on a pie. And she did not even bother to taste it. This is what it looked like(Oh, and she decorated it with cherry tomatoes):

Or take Paula Deen. She made this Oyster Shooters. She poached/fried oysters in butter(4 pounds of butter), then she cut up the oyster and put them in shot glasses, poured a couple of tablespoons of melted butter in each glass and drank it up! YUCK YUKKITY YUCK is what I felt. And YUCK YUKKITY YUCK is what her face looked like, but her mouth said “it is so good y’all”!

Next up we have Giada. First of all, this is what she told the interviewer in the February issue of the Redbook magazine:

All men want to be treated like kings in a relationship, and I think if women don’t indulge that sometimes, their men are likely to stray and look for someone who can give that to them.

My first feelings were of anger (WTH is she saying), then I went from anger to mere acceptance of the fact that there are people who will spout nonsense and I will do well to ignore them. So aside from this mention, I shall not say much about her comment. Her food is decent but she looks like she NEVER eats her own food. And have you seen what she wears? It seems like food network focuses more on the region between her head and her waist than what she cooks. Oh, well!

Oh Ina, Ina Ina! Ina Garten has an interesting background. She was a Whitehouse nuclear policy analyst for Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, eventually giving up her high stress career to one of a celebrity chef and entertainer in the Hamptons. So her shows feature her making breakfasts and lunches and dinners for her friends. I normally like her food. It is clean and looks tasty. What irks me is her language. She keeps saying use “good olive oil”, “good vanilla”, etc. By good, I think she means $100.00 an ounce! And then there is her trademark phrase – “How easy is that?” or “If you don’t grow your own blah blah, store-bought is fine!”. Oh, well Ina, if we had access to the awesome multi-million dollar gadgets and “good” products that you do, sure it is easy! All there irks aside, I do quite like her. But for fun, this picture from foodnetworkhumor.com sums up some of the best bits of her shows.

Then we have the Neelys. The less said about them the better. They are too busy trying to make up sexual innuendos to cook a decent meal. Sample this:Big mama, fat daddy, gimme your pork chops big daddy, etc. Enough said!

Talk about Rachael Ray. I used to love her, until she started over-doing her making up of words/phrases. Like EVOO, Stoup, Spoonula, Sammie, eyeball-it, yumm-oo, delish and then the most annoying mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm! I still love her food though, looks easy, and most times, pretty tasty, and her show is intense!

Last but not the least, Guy Fieri. How does this guy’s hair not catch on fire, given that he puts on loads of hair spray? And what is with the sunglasses at the back of his head, does his chota brain need to be shielded from the light? One look at him, and tell me if you would eat his food:

So is there anyone on the food network I really loooove? Oh yeah, Alton Brown! Have a look at an episode of Good Eats if you get a chance and see how simple his shows are and how delicious the food looks. His shows ooze food-telligence, deep knowledge of food and no big words or big gadgets to hold you back. The best part is that the man eats his own food 🙂 Oh, and that he is good-looking is only a plus!

 

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Food memories

 

I have been reading this tag all over the blog world about memories associated with food.
Five memorable meals ever eaten: It could be anything that makes the meal memorable – the food, the place, the place you were in your life when you ate, the company, the weather, the ambiance – heck, the guy who served the food
Now I cannot be silent where there is food in question. So I voluntarily decided to take up the tag. Here are my 5 best memories associated with food. More than the actual food in question, it was the people around, the beautiful time I had that makes these moments precious:
  • Growing up we used to rush to my Ammamma’s (my maternal grandmother’s) place every summer vacation. I and my sister would  join 3 more of our cousins in 60 days of revelry, fun and frolic in the sun. Ammamma was super cool about kids playing for as long as they want and eat what they want. She would assemble us kids in the courtyard everyday at around 3:00pm and feed us some pappu-annam and perugu-annam and tell us tales from the Chandamama. It was the whole package of annam muddalu(round balls of yummy food) and Chandamama kathalu(stories) that made it all so wonderful. We could have read the chandamama ourselves(those of us who could read Telugu) but the way she narrated them made them all the more interesting. Unfortunately, this art of feeding yummy food and telling wonderful tales died with her 😦
  • My mom is a great cook(of course all kids say that about their mammas) and we loved to eat what she cooked, but there was this one dish that she cooked when we had relatives over that made us drool. Whenever we expected my aunts and cousins home on a sunday my mom would start the preparations for lunch early. The smell of pudina and adrak would infuse the air with expectations. Me, my sister and my cousins would then wait for the signal for us to come to the dining room to eat! The very first spoonful of the masale masale “>bhat was heavenly and we would eat till our little stomachs burst, and then go out to play. Sunday night I and my sister would have leftover masale bhat again, after the guests had left. I remember we would be talking about what good time we had playing while dad would be feeding us spoonfuls!
  • Now this is a fairly new and ongoing memory. The husband does cook once in a blue moon. When he does, it is dhaba-style rajma. I just sit in front of the TV and watch food network/TLC or whatever pleases me, and he creates his rajma magic in the kitchen. Then we both sit down to a wonderful meal of rajma-chawal, after which  I retire to a long long nap. Bliss!
  • Dal-roti-subji with the EMP(Evershine Millenium Paradise) gang. When I was working in Mumbai I had 7 roommates(yeah that’s right, 8 of us lived in a 3 bedroom apartment) and at least 5 of us would assemble each night to have dinner together. One of us used to make a dal/subji and one would get rotis from the roti-aunty and we would sit in a circle on the floor of the hall and eat. Tarana would be yapping away to glory on the radio and we would talk more and eat less and the dinner would extend to hours sometimes. Most days the topic of conversation would be errant boyfriends, weird bosses and other girl troubles. If any of my EMP roomies are reading this…love you girls!
  • The one memory associated with food that will be with me forever is that of my undergrad days. We were a gang of 6 who used to hang out everyday and talk a dime a dozen, and then get home and call each other and talk again! Anyway, coming back to food, one place we used to hand out most at was this bakery aptly called Friends. We would go there during lunch sometimes, or sometimes after classes, and eat burgers and dosas and bajjis and whatever caught our fancy, and talk till the cows came home! The food wasn’t spectacular but the company was and I made some of my closest friends(including the husband) there.

Ahh this tag has left me all nostalgic and hungry. So while I wait for lunch, you guys should take up this tag.

 

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Do I love my food or what?

Life was a cake walk for 21 years,

a time with no fears

of love handles or the growing waistline,

and food was on mind all the time.


Gokul was the place of choice

to eat mirchi bajji for that extra spice.

Then come home to a cup of tea,

and polish off some avakaya annam with ghee.


Summers were the fun months,

and the days of indulgence.

Days of eating to beat the heat,

with icy rasna and ajji’s thalipeeth.


The exhibition was another place to stuff,

yummy pav bhaji and hot curry puff,

and wash it all down with ganne ka ras,

then pop a pan while in the bus.


Then I moved to Mumbai,

the home of vada pav and cutting chai.

Now there were so many friends to meet

and myriad avenues to eat.


Order in some pizza from smokin joes,

or let us go out and get our dose,

of sev puri-dahi puri

and eat it all guilt-free.


Sigh now when I think about food

I remember it does no good

And only accentuates the waistline

No choice but to curtail the wine and dine!


Growing up changes your perspective.

Are we living to eat or eating to live?

Graduating from the former to latter,

we hope life’s taken a turn for the better!

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Its been such a long time since I last posted and my sis seems to have slipped into a comfortable hibernation, I thought I shall break this hiatus with a post on the new year. This Ugadi was good as we cooked a lot and ate a lot :D.

Maamidikaya Pulihora(my version)

2 cups rice(sona masuri)
1.5 cups grated raw mango(kairi)
1/2 cup peanuts
Popu/tadka ingredients(chana dal, oil, mustard seeds, jeera,curry leaves, slit green chilies)

Heat some oil and add all the popu ingredients. Toast for a minute.
Add the peanuts.

When the peanuts turn light brown, add the grated mango and heat for 1-2 minutes.

Cool the grated mango mixture and mix thoroughly with cooked rice.
Yummy pulihora is ready!


Pongal

1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup chana dal
1/2 to 3/4 cup jaggery

1 spoon ghee
1-2 cups milk
chopped toasted cashews
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut

Mix the rice and dal and cook in milk until rice is cooked and the dal tender.

Add the jaggery slowly until its thoroughly melted and mixed.

Add ghee to this mixture and stir until the mixture thickens.
Finally add the cashews and the coconut and mix and enjoy!

We worked hard to make a traditional meal and enjoyed the heavy lunch!

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