June 1, 2011

The Tactile Aesthesis

Hello every body!!! How you all are doing???? I am not back yet in this creative blogosphere. Still struggling with the new settlement, hopefully this will be the permanent one, in Kolkata. I just wanted to make my lonely blog a bit active. So here is a short  story for you. Hope you will enjoy it.

This is my daughter when she was just 2 & half days old.
Her old aching limbs needed earnestly a fresh air walk. She locked the door and went out to relax in the fresh breeze for a while. She had a small shaded trail guarded by big green trees in her apartment complex, which she felt the only treasure remained in this concrete world. The air was no fresher to inhale but still the trees worked as the catalysts to strain out the pollution and spread the freshness in the area. Burden of thoughts, leaned down her head and her eyes aimlessly followed the path and suddenly got stuck on a feather. A feather with a colour of yellow and black and the length might be a palm long. She knew this bird, but didn’t know its name. She often saw it from her kitchen window, humming in the trees, flying from one branch to the other. Her heart suddenly felt with joy and the 9 year old child jumped out of her and picked up the feather in no time. Her life within a fraction of moment dated 50 years back when she was a desperate feather collector and was awarded the first prize in her school project for her feather collection. She rested her body on a lonely bench on the side of the trail and felt her pounding heart which was though little bit exhausted with the brisk walk, much more excited on getting a suddenly found treasure. Her wrinkled and trembling fingers touched the soft surface of the feather. The delicate and smoothness of the feather just injected a weird kind of sensation in her whole body and it went straight and hit her heart. She felt a different kind of happiness and relaxation. A different kind of excitement started to run through her blood. She was holding the feather with the utmost care she could give it to. She didn’t want to distort the shape of the feather or any of its barbs. Her aged limbs were trying to gather all the power to give it the full comfort. The touch sensation of the feather infused new life in her senescing body. Again it took her to the moment when she first held her daughter in her arms. The little bundle of joy made her whole life blessed. Though she was young enough at that time, her hands were trembling too then. Her heart was beating fast with a fear that might be her touch would hurt her little soft baby. Today she was feeling the same first motherhood experience after so many years just after touching the feather. Her heart swelled with happiness and the joy flooded down her cheeks just alike what she felt that moment when she first had her baby in her arms. The two ages suddenly commixed with a new age and all her burdened soul, her burdened age energised with a new light of power to live life. She touched the feather in her cheek and closed her eyes, she felt like touching her newborn baby. She sensed the same joy and ecstasy. Her charged body headed towards home. Now her hands or limbs were not trembling nor were her limbs aching any more. She went straight to her room and grabbed for a secure place to keep the feather. The mere feather was not a mere feather to her anymore. It’s the source of power to live and sense the precious moments once again. Her excitement could not wait for a moment to share about her treasure and the tactile sensation with her husband, who would be back any moment from his job and her grown up married daughter who calls every day at night.

""Happy Blogging""

January 16, 2011

Truffle Shuffle

Those who are shivering in the unexpected fall in the temperature, those who are imploring to get rid of the warm clothes soon and feel the warmth of the nature god, here, what I am going to say will surely wake up the green-eyed-monster sleeping inside the deep dark chamber of their heart. Here in Irvine, California, we are festively celebrating the 83 degree F in the middle of winter. Blessed we are not letting off the chance to enjoy the drastic change of climate to the full pit. The open malls and parks are worth seeing. You will just feel that the whole town has burst into one place with summer clothes on. The jovial and excited sound of the people playing the music of happiness and like a contagion it will directly rap your heart. And sooner or later your soul will feel the glory of that glee and feet tapping on the music of mirth . This is how a full bright smiling weather can change the whole spirit of the world. That what I realized today. For us, we are feeling too lucky to enjoy the summer line before we leave the Golden state of USA. People in the cold poles, are you not envying US ????

Day before yesterday I made Swiss Roll with cream cheese filling. A bit of the filling was left and I wanted to use it soon before the time comes to trash it. So I made this dessert, which hardly took 5 mnts to make, and tasted too good. I named it Truffle Shuffle to give it a poetic touch. Hope you will surely like the recipe. And this recipe is mainly consecrated to calm down the green-eyed- monster off screen…:P
Truffle Shuffle
(For 3)
Ingredients:-
Cream Cheese - Approx 4 ounce (room temperature)
Sugar- 1/4 cup
Truffle- 6 piece
Pink colour(optional)- a bit
Whipped cream for the topping.
Chocolate Syrup (optional)- for decoration
Coloured and chocolate Sprinkles- for decoration

Method:-
1. Cream the cream cheese along with sugar very nicely till both equally blends together.
2. Separate the cream cheese in two halves.
3. Dip a tooth pick just a bit in the colour and add the colour with a half of the cream cheese. Fold nicely to make the colour evenly blended in the mixture.
4. Take three shot or small glasses. Pour the chocolate syrup in thin lines in the walls of the glasses.
5. First 1 table spoon of white cream cheese in each glass. Pour a truffle and then 1 table spoon of the coloured cream cheese. Pour some coloured sprinkles and another truffle. Top the glass with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. The divine dessert is just ready in a minute.
Note:-
I used store bought truffles. But If you want to make homemade truffle Here is the easy recipe.

Sending this to the Lets Celebrate Sweets- Chocolate hosted by Veggie Hut and started by Nivedita.

January 12, 2011

Simple Vegetable Pasta Soup

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949) 
Among all kind of foods, I consider soup as one of the most healthiest, tastiest and the easily made dishes. I am not talking about the canned or the ready-to-make soups but purely the homemade ones. After a tiring day, a bowl of hot healthy soup makes our day to start over again. It helps to regain the power of energy which we have shaded all day long and gives the taste of heaven in just a single sip. Of course if it is a tasty soup the warmth of it is totally uncompromised.:)  

Our dinner will not be completed if a hot bowl of soup is not served. In my parent's house, I could not recall a day when a bowl of soup was not served. My mom is a wonderful cook and I should mention my dad too, whose cooked food make you smacking your fingers and the plate till the end. My mom's way of cooking or rather it's better to say the motto of cooking is "Less spice makes healthy foods". Dad's motto of cooking is "More spicier more tastier". From my mom, we (my sister and I) learn the traditional Bengali cooking and from dad, we learn the fusion style of cooking and also at the same time we are introduced with the different tastes of the world which our dad loves to experiment in his free times and we love to devour them in no time.
So my sister and I are grown up in the custom of gutting all kind of foods and both us, for this reason, grow up a passion to taste and cook any kind of food. But this tradition, of having a bowl of soup before dinner, vanishes for meanwhile when I got married. In my In-laws' house a bowl of soup is more fancier than a habit. So after I became little quondam in there, to introduce my own choices, the first thing I started the soup before dinner. Now it has become a wont for my hubby and for my daughter, to make their meal satisfied if they have a bowl of soup prior to the main course meal.
 When I was going through my recipe list I found no soup recipe is listed yet. That means no post on any soup. So today I am going to post a soup recipe which is very easy to make, filling, refreshing and comforting in anytime.
Simple Vegetable Pasta Soup
Ingredients:-
Vegetable Stock/ Water- 3 cups
Boiled Pasta- 1 cup
Assorted Vegetables cut in to small pieces - 2 cups (Like- Green Peas, Beans, Carrots, Bamboo shoot, spinach, etc. )
Spring onion/Scallion separated- 4 sticks
Garlic chopped- 1 table spoon
Ginger chopped- 1 tea spoon
Salt , Sugar and pepper- As per taste
Vinegar- 1 tea spoon
Oil/Butter- 1 tea spoon
Method:-
1. In a deep dense pan pour the stock/water, the vegetables and vinegar. Add salt as per taste and boil till the vegetables become semi tender. Take it off the stove and reserve.
2. In another pan heat the oil/ butter. Add the garlic, fry till it turns brown. And the white part of the scallion and sauté for 2-3 mnts. Add the ginger and the pasta. Fry for a minute. Add a pinch of salt, sugar and pepper. Then add the green part of the scallion and pour it in the reserved soup. Boil for couple of minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.
Note:

1. If you want make it a nonveg sopu then use chicken broth in stead of vegetable stock.
2. Add boiled chicken and fry it along with the garlic. And add an egg at the end of cooking the soup to give the texture of an egg drop soup.
3. If you want make it little bit hot add a finely chopped green chilli along with the garlic.

Sending this to Sameena's SOUP RECIPE event.

January 7, 2011

Salmon Florentine Phyllo Cups

Wish you all Happy and Healthy New Year. Little late, but not so late to cheer. How did you start your new year? Did you wait till the midnight bell melodically sings the new year song? I missed the auspicious moment of the shift. But welcome the brand new year with a blast and with new promises. Last year the most remarkable thing and a long lasted dream had been fulfilled, that was, I tried Ice Skating. And on the same time I also promised to never wear the Ice skates again in my life.
From my childhood skating was one of the dreams which I always wanted to try for. But that never materialized as both my mom and dad are too scared with the thought that if I skate I am going to break my bones. I loved seeing the Ice skating ballets in the television and used to spend many nights dreaming myself skating and dancing with some elegant moves.

The Ice Skating Ring at Sea World, San Diego, California....
Any way, after coming to USA I felt my dream a bit closer and my husband not so rigid in this affair. Moreover he is also quite interested in Ice skating. Last year when the winter knocked the door and the artificial Ice Skating rings built up in various places, we decided to try our potentiality in this field. Last year the day before Christmas we went to Sea world (famous theme park for the sea creatures and shows) and the first thing we did, bought the tickets to Ice Skate.
My daughter and me in the ring....
Whenever I have seen people on the ring so fleetly skating, the moves gave me the feeling of a free bird flying in the sky. The gestures of the moves always made me to feel the taste of freedom. A freedom, free form every thing just tasting the beauty of life and the rhythm of romance. This kind of sublime feeling I always wanted to feel and taste.

Before starting this new action I am too confident and determined that when I am on floor I am going to win the podium. I will just turn in to a swan princess and will make everybody stuck dumb with the graceful dancing poses. But all the confidence and determination just went in vain within a second when I wore the Skate shoes and put the first step in the Ice skating ring. I stayed in the ring for less than an hour and was not able to leave my hands from the side bars. I never thought in my dreams that the floor could be so slippery. I never thought in my dream that I would not be able to step a single move without holding any thing. On the other hand my husband and my daughter they tried few steps without any support. But the over confident Me, skated many steps, only holding firmly the side railings. A weird scare was injected in my body, in my blood and all my limbs had a eldritch sensation which kept on giving me goose bumps and made me weak in every move. After coming out from the ring I felt like I got a new life again. I felt so relieved like I had survived from a great danger. I promised that not in my remaining days I am going to try this action again. But I will surely train my daughter in Ice Skating and will see me through her rocking the floor with majesty.

In this new year I made a new dish which I have never made before and would liked to share with everybody.

SALMON FLORENTINE PHYLLO CUPS
(Recipe adapted from www.athensfoods.com)

Ingredients:-
Salmon Fillet- 1/2 lb
Spinach chopped- 1 cup
Tomato chopped- 1 medium sized
Tomato - 12 sliced in thin pieces
Garlic chopped- 1 tea spoon
Ginger paste- 1 tea spoon
Onion chopped- 1/2 cup
Vinegar- 1 tea spoon
Plum Sauce- 1 table spoon
Salt , Sugar and Black Pepper- As per taste
Oil- 1 table spoon
Shredded cheese- 3/4 cup
Phyllo sheet- 1 packet

Method:-
1. Boil the Salmon Fillet with little bit of salt and the vinegar. Drain the fillet and reserve.
2. In a skillet heat the oil and then add the chopped garlic. Sauté it till brown then add the onion. Let the onion fry till it turns brown add the tomato and the garlic paste. When the tomato will become soft add the spinach. Cook it until it gets tender.
3. Mash the salmon fillet with a fork and add it to the spinach mixture. Add salt, sugar pepper and plum sauce and cook till it gets a dry texture. Cool it and then chill.

4. Take the Phyllo sheet. There are two rolls in the packet. Unroll the sheet. I cut each unrolled sheet in six squares. You will get total 12 squares.
5. Pre heat the oven in 350 degree F.
6. Take a muffin pan. Grease it and gently put each phyllo square inside the cups with a light press. Now put the Salmon filling in each cup with an approx measurement of 1 table spoon. On top of each cup put a sliced Tomato.
7. Bake for 25mnts. Then take the trey out and put the cheese on the top of each cup and again bake for 10-15mnts more till the phyllo cups turn brown.
8. Serve hot with sauce and salad.

Note:-

1. I have done a mistake. I put the cheese right in the beginning, I started baking the cups. For that reason the cheese became over cooked and didn't get the melted creamy taste. Please make sure to put the cheese before 10 mnts of the total given  baking time.
2.You can serve it as snacks or starter and you can also devour it as the main meal.
3.Please read the instructions well on the packet of the Phyllo sheets before using it.