Monthly Archives: February 2009

Easy Pot Pie: Pret-a-Porter

The cooking has begun. I am trying to get it together for selling on Sunday while simultaneously keeping a five year old and a three year old off the disabled list. Everyone knows kids are made of rubber…and milk. Which is my son’s remedy of choice when his sister just elbowed him in the eyeball while stomp jumping on packing bubbles.

Milk is easy, but my husband requires a real meal, even if nobody elbows him in the eyeball. Thankfully he’s pretty lenient on what he considers a real meal. Mostly he just wants to see me give it that old college try. Well actually, a little better than that.
A few days ago I was inspired to purchase a copy of Bon Appetit. My free subscription had expired a few months ago and, to tell you the truth, I really wasn’t missing my issues. But when I saw the cover of the latest issue, my mind somehow looked past the meatiness and focused on the one pot mashed potatoiness of the whole thing. Pot pies five ways. I knew the recipes would be easy to convert to veg recipes and besides, who doesn’t like pot pie?
We are not so big into one pot meals in practice around here, although I adore the idea of the heartiness and simplicity of them. So as dinner time neared last nite and most of my pots were already in use, I decided to follow my feeling and take inspiration from Bon Appetit.
Only I didn’t use any of their recipes.
Who has time to look at recipes when you’re busy cooking?

I had some tomato sauce in the fridge…fragrant and rich….and a lot of fresh veggies which, if not used soon, would no longer be considered fresh. Combined with a thick layer of parmesan cheese I stuck it in the oven for 45 minutes covered, removed the lid and topped with buttered crumpled sheets of phyllo dough, in the oven for another 15 and, miraculously, dinner was served.
My husband, always kind and merciful when it comes to my cooking assessments, said it was very good. But not something I should sell on Sundays. 
Well, yeah! I so know that. It was Sabjimata Off the Rack…not Couture. I save the good stuff for Sundays.

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The Pizza Party Post

Radharadhya das….Pizza Master

Radharadhya makes the dough the night before. I am still waiting for him to fork over the recipe…but if I do remember properly, it is 22 ounces of flour to one teaspoon of yeast. That’s right. He measures his flour by weight. Tres European.
Radharadhya always makes 12 doughs at a time and puts them in these little containers overnight in the fridge.  The slow rise gives the dough an extra delicious flavor. Lots of fresh basil goes into Radharadhya’s pizza. 

Radharadhya brought all his pizza making equipment from home (Emmaus, PA!). That’s his Kitchen Aid stand mixer, not mine. He always uses it for his dough making. Here Gopa is busy shredding lots and lots of mozzarella. HELLA!

Dainty hands shape silky dough.

Radharadhya hand shapes his dough, tossing it back and forth between his hands.

The Inaugural Pie: The first of many of the night.

His travel peel. Pine. The awesome hardwood one stays at home.
Precisely eight minutes later….:

Crisp and bubbly. Eat your heart out, people! Radharadhya’s pizza is so good I did not mind one bit stuffing myself until I felt sufficiently sick (family saying–shout out to Mom!). So many different toppings, but the plain was the most popular with the kids. White pie was the fave of the adults hands down. White pie with kalamata olives. White pie with capers. White pie with asparagus. Any way Radharadhya made it, we were there ready to eat it–hot from the oven. We all burned the roof of our mouths just so we could fully replicate an authentic pizza parlor experience.

My Italian-American neighbor, Dhananjaya, was called in for a spontaneous taste test. What did he think? Better than the best pizza in New York. On par with the best pizza in Italy. No topping that!

These kids, deprived of the American experience of eating at pizza parlors because all of their parents are total vegetarian nut cases, were loving Radharadhya’s pies. For my son there’s no turning back. I need that recipe, Radharadhya! My son’s childhood memories depend on it!!!

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Not the Pizza Party Post

I am cooking again on Sundays so the Sunday report will return…well, Sunday! Very busy around here. Still recovering (and blogging about) the friends’ visit. Before they came I embarked on a little living room remodel. Sick of living like I just moved out of the ashram (it’s been eight years now), I convinced the husband to let me take my Sabjimata winnings and blow it on some room beautification. Since the contents of the entire room had cost us only $250, the husband did not take much convincing that yes, it was time to take the plunge into home decorating.
Today I picked up the new cushion covers for our old rattan sofa which we bought in North Carolina, along with a chair and coffee table, for $200. A great price for all that lovely patina. The cushions were pretty beat to begin with. Originally I had sewed some covers but, let’s face it, it would just be unfair if I was able to cook *and* sew. Sad, sad Devadeva sewn covers. They didn’t last long; the staples kept falling out. Thankfully, there are people who do this kind of thing professionally.
I took the cushions to Clotheworks Upholstery and am super happy with the job they did. The fabric is a yellowish green on parrotish green wooly tweed. Originally I was going to go with a teal tweed but at the last minute switched to green, thinking it would pick up the green in the rug and curtains.
I probably should have gotten the teal. But I can handle the green. It is growing on me. And I swear…I will tell my husband I love it, no regrets.

The boomerang chair and coffee table are from my husband’s grandmother. I love “The Chair.” The veneer top on the table is in trouble, but don’t worry…I have plans to fix that.

My Pier 1 Imports. Peacock feather panels, pleather chair, wool rug (on sale!).

The cushions. White rattan + green cushions = that cooling minty feeling. Every time I walk into the room now I feel like brushing my teeth.

Although I am unsure of the colors, I am sure it is a total improvement from the crap look of the before room. The name of the fabric was *kiwi.* Fruity.  (Throw pillows TBA.)


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Kiriti Will Rock You

Whoops! I totally forgot to share Kiriti’s street performance in St. Augustine, of which this picture of my son has absolutely nothing to do with.

To check out Kiriti and her original composition….*CLICK HERE!*

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Eggless Ice Cream in St. Augustine

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Our Trip to St. Augustine: Discovering My Own Personal Hellish Planet

After the cupcake drop-off we loaded our people into three two cars and one minivan and made the trip out to St. Augustine. The weather was fair. Could have been warmer but it was in the 70’s so I can’t really complain. It is February, after all. While the air was balmy, it was also sandy!

Up north high winds were blowing down trees (on our property in Pennsylvania) but at the beach it was blowing sand. Welcome to HELL, Devadeva.
Hours, hours I tell you, were spent cooking up kebabs for friends. A fresh batch of sausage was steamed and pan fried for a huge salad which included chickpeas (not from a can!). Fresh tarragon, virgin olive oil, organic dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar were combined for the dressing. Fruit was washed. Napkins packed. We had a classy picnic planned for our beachside escape.
If you’ve never eaten on the beach when the wind was fiercely blowing, let me just tell you…it’s ruinous. Wonderful, tasty stuff assaulted. Insulted. Leaving the eater feeling revolted. I am not an earthworm!!! 

The Friends are such serious eaters that even sand breading did not slow them down.

Welcome to HELL!! You have no idea how unhappy I was. No idea.

After we split from HELL we headed into town in search of some eggless ice cream. Here Madhumati poses as the fourth triplet. 

Vrindavani resting up for our almost endless pilgrimage for the one ice cream shop with eggless ice cream. Of course it was the last one…a few miles from where we began our sojourn. No easy journey with seven kids in tow.

This pic was taken at the beginning of our ice cream walk–while the kids were still rested and hopeful.

Outside  Yo! MTV RAPS (the St. Augustine studio), chillin’ with my posse.

Old Timers

The triplet mommy hitting the bars. Hey, it gets rough taking care of all those kids. Actually, we were looking for a potty (for ourselves). The bar was too gross even for that so we split.

Look Who’s Chanting!

Castillos de San Marco aka “The Fort”
(Pizza Party Post Coming Soon!!!!)

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Vastu Shyam

Nobody said Martha Stewart had the market cornered on sharing good things. That’s why I want to share with you this totally bitchin’ (I just really needed to get that phrase out of my system) site offering some much needed services around here.

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

Fatigue or lack of motivation? Can I answer this later?
Constant stress or tension? Who wants to know?
Insomnia or overeating? *Crunch* *Crunch*
Lack of mental clarity? What was the question?
Financial misfortune or legal problems? It’s the five-O, G!
Discord with spouse or coworkers? Not as long as they leave me alone.
Behavioral/performance problems with children/employees?
That depends. How do you define “problem?” is more than an Indian Phd graduate from Standford trying to sell you his consulting services; it is a total lifestyle website! From weekly insights to really good ghee, is the place to cruise for info on stuff you haven’t put that much thought into yet.
Ever thought about getting shanti with The Devas of the Directions or The Cosmic Person? Of course not. But once you *do* start thinking about it you will totally want to get yourself the shirt to go along with the thoughts. Do so here.
Ever thought about consulting someone about, you know, vastu house stuff? Do so here.
Ever wonder about what it’s like to live inside a lotus flower? No? Now you can.  Do so here.
Seriously, if you want to evaluate your living environment for good vibes, no one beats Vastu Shyam….also known as the Co-Director of my children’s private school. And no, I am not getting any tuition breaks on account of this post.

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