Monday, May 30, 2011
Hiya. We didn't go for a movie on Friday since there was a damn IPL match. I am sooooo glad its over and I can actually watch TV without guilt. On Saturday we headed to Noida for house hunt after which we caught Kung Fu Panda 2. I was very exhausted and too keen on the movie but went ahead anyway. I mean.. I liked Kung Fu Panda 1 but was not crazy about it... atleast not like KC who can mouth every dialogue. How different could part 2 be... there is Kung Fu and there is a panda. It was definitely better than watching a boring Bollywood flick.
We also fought like any married couple on Saturday... me, complaining about the lack of involvement in household chores and him, about me wanting to go out too often.
Sunday was relaxation time... we just went mango and chicken shopping during the day and spent all day indoors.
I tried my hand at Tandoori Chicken. Somehow I have been unable to cook good chicken till now and almost given up. All the food blogs I read these days gave me hope. If a normal housewife can do it, why can't I? I purchased good chicken drumsticks from Le Marche at Galleria. It is a heaven for non-veg shopping.
Here is the recipe:
3 tbsp hung curd. I do not have a muslin cloth and don't know where to purchase one... so, I use a colander (used for sieving milk) and leave the curd on it for 15 mins. I did not leave it long enough due to which it was slightly watery. Please ensure it is kept for atleast 30 mins
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp tandoori powder... more if you want it really spicy
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red color (I didn't have any)
1 tsp red chilli powder (to give it color)
1 tsp garam masala
oil/butter (I used butter)
1 tsp chat masala (I didn't have any)
Mix all above. Make incisions on the chicken... this is the most imp step if you want flavours to enter inside. Add chicken to the marinade and keep in the fridge for an hour.
Now, my microwave has automatic settings for tandoori chicken but recipes suggest microwaving in a greased tava for 10 mins. Brush with oil and butter and grill for 15-20 mins. Flip pieces in between. Please ensure excess water is removed else marinade can burn and cause fire. My microwave almost caught fire.
I don't have pics 'coz we were too hungry and didn't have patience for pics.
Tonight I am trying out Paneer and Veg quiche from Anita's blog: http://sliceofmylyfe.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/a-vegetable-and-paneer-quiche-from-scraps/
This is really nice... it feels good when something turns out well. Next on my list is mango cake. I find it easier to follow recipes from blogs instead of books.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Hey... I have been meaning to try cooking pasta for quite sometime. Tonight was perfect... KC ain't home. Experimentation is much easier when he is not around. He is quite fussy when it comes to food and if the experiment is not to his liking he will not eat it... which will make me feel bad. It means either he has to stay hungry or 2 meals have to be cooked. Yeah... its kinda complicated.
I purchased sausages over the weekend and looked for recipes of pasta and sausages. I found one on Kalyan's blog (in sidebar). It turned out to be quite good.
- Pasta- I used spaghetti... anything can be used
- Sausages cut into small pieces... chicken or pork. Available in all hypermarkets
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 mugs milk
- 1-2 cheese cubes
- Tomato puree
- Tomato ketchup
- Black pepper
- Chilli flakes (I didn't have any)
Boil the pasta till almost done. Drain. Wash in cold water and keep aside. Heat olive oil, add garlic. Add tomato puree (half pack) once garlic becomes red. Sprinkle a little tomato ketchup. Add the sausages and cheese. Mix till cheese completely coats the sausages and starts sticking a little. Mix cornflour in 1 mug of milk and add to sausages. Add 1 more mug of milk and boil. Reduce flame, cover the vessel and let it thicken. Add the pasta and salt. After 2 mins add basil, chilli flakes and pepper. Do not add too much salt since sausages do have salt. Cover and cook for a few mins.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It was a good weekend. The priority was getting the balcony door fixed. The repairman told us he would come at 12 for measurements and then at 5 or 6 to fix it. It eliminated any plans we could make. The morning was very rushed with cooking Chinese lunch, ordering groceries and water, ordering in b'fast. I had to rouse KC from his deep slumber to help me out.
The b'fast from Flip Bistro is becoming a Sat or Sunday morning ritual for me. The service is slow...the food cold... and delivery takes an hour. But I like the waffles and sausages.
We headed to Dilli Haat after lunch in the awesome weather. After some daal bhatti and kachori I was ready to hit the shops. The bargaining was so much fun. I wanted to buy pearl earrings to match the necklace KC had bought me from Bangkok and pearl necklaces similar to the ones I bought last time I was here. The guy priced it at 500 bucks, brought it down to 400 but I was ready to pay 300. He offered 350 but I walked off and was surprised when he didn't call me back. I went back and was giving him the 350 bucks. Another customer next to me told me he had called out to me ready to sell it at 300 bucks but I guess I didn't hear. I thanked him profusely for saving me 50 bucks...paid 300 and left. The shopkeeper face was quite a sight.
We reached home in time to get the door fixed. It was a relaxing weekend but it did not stop Monday blues.
Both of us were feeling extremely lethargic and tired on Monday. Even our horoscope asked us to take a break.... but we went to work. It got to me last evening and I have skipped work and rested. Of course, that did not stop the phone calls asking me to do this work or that. I will work on my day off over my dead body.
I have a rule- I do not call people who are on leave- unless it is the end of the world. And I expect the same in return. I know people who work even when they are on vacation- whether out of their own will or by pressure, I don't know. But it sucks. I can imagine this person in some exotic place working on his laptop. The family is either away sightseeing without him or waiting for him to finish. I mean c'mon, the work we do is hardly serious. Its not like we work at nuclear plants where one mistake can be disastrous or policemen who have to be on their toes all the time.
We are just managers.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
KC is a fan of the series. I have watched the first part and bits and pieces of the 2nd and 3rd one.
The movie is a major disappointment... dialogues are cliche... romantic angle is un-necessary. I used to like Penelope but she cannot act. I would have preferred Kiera Knightley in this one also.
It is same old... same old... and very slow. We didn't know what was happening in the first half... there was no action. It all starts in the 2nd half.
Posted by Buls at 11:39 AM
I cannot stay hungry, it makes me irritable and cranky. With waffles and sausages for b'fast I am blogging on a happy tummy.
The weather has been stormy past 2 days which is good... there is respite from the heat and it saves electricity. But... on Friday night after watching Pirates of Caribbean we were just sitting at home. I had dug into the lightest cheese cake and KC was online when we heard glass shattering. I thought it was the bathroom cabinet lying in the balcony. It toppled over whenever there were strong winds. If only. The glass on the balcony door had broken. We had forgotten to close it and the glass had given way due to the constant banging. The glass was all over the bed and floor in the bedroom. Catastrophe. So at midnight KC and me armed with broom and vaccum cleaner set out to clean the mess. Thats how strong the winds are here. We slept on the narrow sofa cum bed in the living room while the wind howled outside. Very uncomfortable.
The search for a good Italian restaurant continues. I have bought the Time Food Guide and marked restaurants we can visit (Ok... ok... I am crazy). The plan was to go to "56" at Golf Course Road which is supposed to be the best Italian place here. Some more research online took me to FresCo. The reviews were excellent specially for the buffet. We went there last night. Major disappointment. It is popular, the huge crowds are testimony to that. But does not even come close to Little Italy. Going for the buffet was a mistake. Italian has to be served fresh... it cannot be cooked hours earlier and then re-heated and served.
We have decided to take a break from the Italian search for the time being. There is a limit to the number of disappointments we can take in a month.
Spencers hyermarket has a bakery which serves the lightest Japanese cheese cake. It truly melts in your mouth... I have a slice whenever I am there. Yum!!!
Posted by Buls at 11:21 AM
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I have been meaning to blog everyday... but life has been busy and hectic. I will get to that in the next post.
This last month in Gurgaon I have been calmer than usual... my tempers have reduced, I leave work at work and things don't seem too stressful since KC is with me.
But today I lost it. I had to bully, abuse and lose my temper. Don't be surprised... it comes with the job I am in. I had to make some things clear and put my foot down. If I am right, I don't "bloody" care what anyone else feels. What is wrong is wrong. I have been trying not to rock the boat by letting things go. I would tell myself- "Let it go. Don't stress". Not the best thing to do. If its war, I am ready for it.
All the above refers to work life. Personal life is damn good.
On Thursday my colleague told me how he and his wife had gone to Sariska for a day and liked it. I planned the trip over the weekend. Bookings were made within 1 day- booking at RTDC hotel for 2500 bucks for an AC room. We decided to take the train instead of driving. The train is till Alwar only and the hotel guy told me cabs will be available from the station. KC and I left on Saturday evening. We arrived by 6.30 pm but could not find any cabs. We headed to the bus stand hoping to find something there. I loved the small town of Alwar- I could smell Rajasthan in the air and it took me back to my school days in Mt Abu. Its amazing how the air smells and feels different in every place- Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka. Maybe it is the memories.
Anyway, we had to take a rickety old bus. We reached Sariska at 8.45 pm. The bus fellow forgot to inform us that the town had arrived and we had to get off some meters away in the dark.
KC and me were extremely scared... no lights, no visibile sign boards, no people around, no town, just buses and jeeps passing us by. Thankfully, the RTDC guy came and showed the way. We reached in time for dinner. After spending sometime in the lawn we hit the snooze button.
RTDC hotel is located within Sariska wildlife park. The first jeep safari begins at 6.30 or 7.30 am. That is the best time to go... the animals spotting is easier. In the afternoon, they generally move into the shade and rest. The duration is 3 hours.
There were 4 snobbish Delhi oldies with us. We decided to take a safari with them since sharing is cheaper. Whenever KC and I travel we always run out of money... always... no matter how much cash we initially carry. This time also we were running short and chatted up the oldies. It was nice since they were carrying candies, water and channa... Yeah, I am kinda cheap that
The safari was good.... we spotted lots and lots and lots of deer- spotted, cheetal, smabhar; jackal; many species of beautiful birds; wild boar etc. Thats not even the best part. We saw 4-5 peacock dances. It is a sight to be seen. I have only read about it in school textbooks (generally, Hindi). We tried to click pics but could only get 1 clear one.
The jeep stopped at a temple where we had hot, yummy kachoris with my fav tamarind chutney. There were taps of drinking water. A small monkey opened the tap, put his mouth to it, drank the water, closed the tap and ran away. Wow!!! The safari back was dull. We had seen enough of the deer.
The plan was to hire a cab, check out some nearby sights and catch the train back.
But destiny had other plans. Only 1 cab was available who was charging more than double. We cancelled sight seeing and took another rickety bus to Alwar. KC did not get a seat and bus was packed. The train was on time and we happily boarded the sleeper class (tickets for AC were not available). The train refused to move for the next 3.5 hours. We reached home at midnight instead of 8 pm.
If I forget the return journey (very difficult) it was a good trip.
While planning, I wondered if it was better to sit at home instead of making the efforts. Sometimes we get into a comfort zone and do not want to move out.
- Drive... it is 180 km from Gurgaon... public transport in North sucks
- You can either stay at Alwar and travel 37 km in the morning for the safari or stay in one of the hotels near Sariska- Sariska Palace, Tiger Camp, RTDC etc
- The food at RTDC is homely and it is a decent place
- Don't expect to see tigers... there are only 4 of them... they have better things to do than exhibit themselves
Posted by Buls at 8:12 PM
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I read excellent reviews of this flick and watched it last night. It is an out and out kids movie... Stanley does not bring a dabba to school... but his friends share their food. Amol Gupte- the Hindi teacher also does not bring a dabba... he dips into his colleagues' dabbas during lunch but does not like it when Stanley does the same. He is asked to not come to school without a dabba.
In the end we get to know why Stanley does not bring a dabba and why his uniform is torn... and why he has bruises on his face sometimes.
Good movie... for the kids.
Posted by Buls at 2:05 PM
I picked up this book from the library. There is no way I would spent money on such a title.
It is a satire on the advertising industry. Some guy (the author) has worked in advertising for a very short period and poked fun at everything that goes on there. It has 3-4 forewords from eminent advertising professionals. Maybe to justify its need?
I mean... why would I want to read someone making fun at an industry? What purpose will that serve in my life? Beats me. As a blog post it would be a hit... but as a book it is useless.
Posted by Buls at 1:48 PM
Sunday, May 8, 2011
- 2 sausages
- 1 plate poha
- 1 croissant
- 1 glass of freshly squeezed juice which turned out to be bitter and had to be thrown away
I came across a nice B'fast place in Galleria in the morning. Wish I'd seen it earlier... we could have gone there today.
I have joined the gym... freaking expensive. But all gyms around my house are expensive so I do not have an option. The trainer really pushes me hard. I am hurting all over but feel nice. Whether I lose weight or not, atleast I will be fit and increase my stamina. The best part is all treadmills, cycles and cross trainers have a personal TV. I catch up on my fav serials during gym time. It helps that most English channels have subtitles.
Last night we went to Earth Lounge. It serves Italian food. Good place but we didn't find the lasagne to our liking. The perfect lasagne is served at Little Italy... it has layers of the pasta with spinach, red sauce and covered with cheese sauce. Yum!!! The best part was the dessert- Chocolate Lasagne... chocolate sponge cake covered with a layer of white chocolate and then dark chocolate. Chocolate sauce was spread all over it. The white chocolate has a mild taste- not too milky or sweet. Heavenly.
Posted by Buls at 11:00 AM
Another masterpiece from Shashi Tharoor... not at the level of 'The Great Indian Novel' but much better than 'Show Business'.
It is the story of an American lady who comes to India to work with a NGO in a small town of UP as her research project. She gets killed in a riot. Her family comes to the town to figure out how she died. I loved the beginning... with newspaper reports on her death... the story moves forward through the diaries of various people. The only let down was the fact that the reason of the death was pretty simple. I mean, after all the build up... there should have been something surprising.
But worth a read.
Posted by Buls at 10:54 AM
I was looking forward to reading this book since 'Life of Pi' was so damn good.
I gave up after 1/4th of it... which is a big disappointment for me. I hate leaving books half way...it breaks my heart.
The story is about a writer whose book newest book gets criticised by the publishers and he gives up on writing. He then meets a man writing a play on a donkey and monkey called Beatrice and Virgil (I can never remember which is which). Thats when I lost interest.
Read it at your own peril.
Posted by Buls at 10:42 AM
Saturday, May 7, 2011
This is what happens when you have commercial actors trying to produce and star in "art movies". They make a complete mess of it.
I know... I know... people have given good reviews. I just don't understand why. The movie begins well... with good jokes and acting. It drags in the middle and enters cliches at the end. Predictable.
For movies like this, the pace has to be fast... you cannot dwell too much on anything. Lara could not act "angry" in some scenes. I hated seeing Akshay in the end. Why?
Vinay was good, as always. Lara did not have to apply sooo much make up. She ended up looking uglier than she is.
Posted by Buls at 11:43 PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I was typing a comment on Madmomma's blog on the Osama death and decided to put it in the post also.
She wanted people's views on the incident. Here is my reply:
I do not believe it at all... everything sounds fishy:
- Osama conveniently dies when elections are near
- There is no proof- no photos or dead body
- If Islamic tenets mean so much, why was Saddam's body not buried at sea? Why was his hanging video taped?
- How could USA have enter Pak air space without PAK not realizing it?
- Osama was staying near the army and Pak was clueless?
- There was firing for 40 mins and Pak army was unaware?
- Was Obama tired of waging a war with 2 countries and withdrawing would mean USA is a failure and coward. Was this a clever way of ending the war? I hope so.
Even if pics are released, who knows what Osama looks like now? Wouldn't a smart man cut his beard and get a makeover after newspapers released his pics?
Sorry, I am not buying it. Will USA use this excuse to start a war with Pakistan? I hope not.
Anyway, coming back to India and specifically to Gurgaon...
Weekend was ok types... I caught up with a friend... caught up with movies... bought a GPS device (Yes... directions from people are completely unreliable)... we drove all the way to CP for a yummy dinner at Kake ka dhaba. Totally worth it and so damn cheap.
Posted by Buls at 9:02 PM
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sigh!!! Its a season of disappointments. Another dud. Most of the movie was spent on introducing the characters and hardly any time was dedicated to the climax.
Don't watch it... the stories are nothing great even though they are based on actual incidents.
Posted by Buls at 10:03 PM
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Hiya... watched this flick on Friday night. Was disappointed. I had read extremely good reviews.
The movie is about 4 people- 4 stories which are not linked with each other.
Story no 1: Nandita Das is divorced and looking for a sperm donor. For some reason, she is not looking too good in the movie. She looks fine in her recent photographs. Anyway, she meets Purab who is her sperm donor. End of story.
Story no 2: Juhi travels to Srinagar to sell off her ancestral property. She has to confront the past which has made her bitter. Manisha is her friend and is looking good. Thank god, she has lost all the excess weight.
Story no 3: Sanjay Suri is gay and was abused as a kid by his father. He is expected to attend his father's funeral but does not want to.
Story no 4: Rahul Bose is gay and meets Arjun Mathur. They start making out in his car when the cop catches him. He has to pay him a bribe of 50k to get out of the situation.
I wish the movie was about only 1 of the above stories and as an audience I could connect with it. The last 2 stories had more impact compared to first two.
Avoidable. The acting is great but not the concept.
Posted by Buls at 3:25 PM