30 August 2010

36: Fresh Green Potato Salad and Green Bean Pasta

A refreshing potato salad to perk me up after a long and gloomy Monday...

For this salad you will need,

6 small red potatoes
1 tsp chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cucumber chopped (medium size pieces)
6-8 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Baby spinach
Black olives, crumbled feta cheese and a vinaigrette based dressing

Boil the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes until lightly soft (you do not want the potatoes to become mushy). Peel the potatoes (or leave skin on) and cut the potatoes into halves. Season the potatoes with the olive oil and chopped parsley and salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss the salad. A wonderful and refreshing salad for a summer day...

Green Bean Pasta.... I came up with this recipe as I had a lot of green beans at home and wanted to make a whole meal with it. I have always made green bean casserole and was looking for something different. This recipe is just a result of me trying to play with different  flavors.

You will need,
1 cup cooked pasta (I used the bow tie pasta)
1/2 cup blanched green beans (green beans cooked in boiling water for 3-4 mins)
6-8 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
5 pieces of sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
5 cloves of garlic
5 Tbsp of Olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese

Grind the sun dried tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, the red wine vinegar and 3 Tbsp of olive oil to a paste. In a pan heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil and add the remaining cloves of garlic. Add the blanched green beans and salt to taste and stir for 3-4 mins until the beans no longer have a raw taste. In a large bowl mix the pasta, the ground paste, the beans and cherry tomatoes and mix well. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Love the freshness of these recipes and I must say I have a new found love for cherry tomatoes. I find myself using them in almost everything I have been cooking lately.....from salads, pasta, omelets, to sandwiches....they just are great with everything...

29 August 2010

35: Ferm Living

Discovered a great store while looking for wall decals/stickers...Ferm Living is a Danish company mainly specializing in Wallpaper and wall stickers...loved their designs..great option if you are looking for something unique and want your place to make a bold statement...

Love their bold and fun prints...the owls wallpaper for kids is my absolute favorite...how adorable is that...and best thing found out that they have a store just 5 minutes away from my place!!

34: Happy Weekend!

Homemade breakfast sandwiches, omelette with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil with coffee...having a great Sunday so far. Hope y'all have had  a great weekend so far too.

Had an awesome day yesterday at the MAGH Onam celebration.. loads of Malayalam food and festivities...

And a yummy Onam Sadya to top it all off...Had a great time there..

Have a fabulous weekend!!

27 August 2010

33: A Portrait

Something I randomly painted today...

Miss Pretty Eyes...

Loving it...couldn't be happier...

25 August 2010

32: Pretty Everyday Shots

There are moments in everyday life when the beauty around you makes you smile and wish you had a camera to capture the beauty in front of your eyes. And yesterday I happened to have my camera...

A jar of pretty flowers sitting out in the patio

I like the randomness of these birds sitting on electric cables

A pretty yellow full moon as seen from our apartment, captured by my sweetie

Have a wonderful day y'all..

24 August 2010

31: Simple Hors d'oeuvres

I have been behind in posting this due to lack of time and not having good pictures...but I have decided to go ahead and share some of the recipes for hors d'oeuvres that I thought are easy and perfect for entertaining.

I recently hosted a birthday party for my sweetie
and this is a collection of hors d'oeuvres I served at the party.

Shrimp cocktail (Recipe from Alton Brown @ Food Network)

What surprised me was how easy and yummy this was....way better than the $20 ready-made shrimp cocktail bought at the store.
Make a brine solution with 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup ice. Place cleaned and de-veined shrimp into a bowl with brine and refrigerate for 20 - 25 minutes. Place a baking sheet or broiler pan under oven broiler and preheat for 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and drain thoroughly. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Place shrimp onto a sizzling sheet pan and return to broiler immediately. After 3 - 4 minutes, turn the shrimp with a pair of tongs. Return the shrimp to broiler for 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a cold parchment paper or cookie sheet. Refrigerate immediately. Serve the chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce.

Homemade guacamole (Recipe from the Joy of Cooking book)
Peel 5 Haas Avocados and mash into a paste using a potato masher or a large spoon. Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, juice from 1 lime. Add a tsp of salt and chili sauce. Mix well and then add 1 finely chopped tomato. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.

Tangy and Cheesy Tortilla Scoops

Mix 1 can of black beans with 1/2 can of sweet corn. Add 1/2 finely chopped onion and juice from 1 lime. Lay out tortilla scoops in a baking tray. Add the a tsp of the bean/ corn mix to the tortilla scoops and top with shredded Cheddar Cheese. Bake in oven for 5 mins at 375 F.

Antipasto skewers

Made with store bought selection of marinated black and green olives, marinated mozzarella, artichokes, salami, cheese and grapes. Serve different combinations of these antipasto on skewers as people always love food on a stick.

Chocolate dipped Marshmallow skewers

Molten fondue chocolate can be used. I used 4 oz semi sweet baking chocolate, 6 Tbsp butter and sugar. Melt the ingredients in a double boiler. Insert toothpicks into large marhmallows and dip into the molten chocolate.

Consider using these ideas the next time you host a party.... Happy entertaining!! 
Leaving you guys with a really cute pic of the B'day boy with his buddies

23 August 2010

30: Happy Onam

Wishing all the Malayalees out there a happy and wonderful Onam.

Having a simple Onam at home with a small mini version of Ona Sadya - only Sambar, Beans thoran, papadaam and payasam. I really miss having a whole sadya :( How I wish I had a ready made Sadya waiting for me at home....and I miss being with family....

On a happier note...the Onam Pookkalam always cheers me up....I was always responsible as a kid for putting together the rangoli and flower decorations.....

For those in Houston and interested in a Onam Sadya, the MAGH (Malayalee Association of Greater Houston) is having a Onam Sadya on August 28.

17 August 2010

29: WoooHooo...My painting of Buddha

I am so excited...my first painting of a face and Buddha's face at that.. not perfect but I am so happy!! :)

28: Home Decor: Chalkboard Walls

I love chalkboard walls. I know chalkboards walls have been around long...the trend has become a big decor idea again this year and I think it is an amazing way to keep changing the look of your room. It is a brilliant way to let out the artist in you or anyone else. It sure was fun as kids to let your imagination run wild on a little chalkboard and then just erase it all if u don't like it and start fresh.. isn't that such a joy to do the same thing on a whole wall at home.....a whole wall to unleash your creativity....where you don't have to worry about messing up an art work...

Here are some ideas of chalkboard walls at home that I love:
From the Anthropologie Catalog,
From Apartment Therapy,

Martha Stewart shares this idea of mixing black chalkboard paint with color and making custom color chalkboard paints - great idea for people whole don't like the idea having a whole wall painted black.
Colored Chalkboard wall  from Raising Olives,
I know this is an idea that does not appeal to everyone....What do y'all think, is this something y'all love or y'all think it is too messy.

15 August 2010

27: Breakfast Pizza

Late in posting this...but thought I'll share this with y'all. An easy and great idea for breakfast. I made two kinds of breakfast pizza.

One with bread and vegetables. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. On a slice of bread, break an egg and place chopped tomatoes, spinach, corn and mozzarella cheese (You can use vegetables or meat of your choice) and bake for 10 mins.

The second pizza I made was with crescent dough. Spread the dough and coat with a Tbsp of a beaten egg. Place toppings and cheese and bake for 18-20 mins.

Whats better than a yum pizza and homemade mimosas for brunch...

Have a great week y'all..xoxo

26: Few of my favorite things this week

Some of the things I loved this week,

Furniture from Threshold Furniture & Design, Austin TX

my little Dino out in the wilderness of my patio

my fav pic from the trip to Austin

my own magic beanstalk :)

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