Thursday, January 24, 2013

Not your ordinary french fries!!

Here's a neat recipe for Sweet Potato fries, that my family loves, and of course, I love! 

Yes, yes, I know, that seems to be a very matter-of-fact start to this post..... so, here, a few words on the very cool Sweet Potato: Literally a super-food, packed with a ton of vitamins, and fiber. Check out some facts on this awesome site! I also read that it has a pretty low glycemic index (GI), like 17 or something, as compared to a regular potato, that has a GI of 29. Yeah, hard to believe, what with the two taboo words for a diabetic- Sweet & Potato! And no, I am not yet a diabetic, but there are a fair number of diabetics in the immediate family...... and therefore just a bit more alert....... 

And here is that recipe: 

You Need:

1. Sweet Potatoes (as many as you want!)
2. Seasoning- such as salt, pepper, herbs, garlic powder (or some crushed garlic)
3. A drizzle of oil

What you do: 

1. Prep the sweet potato(es) by washing, and then chopping, with skin on please, in any way you want. Since we are talking french fries, I just try to julienne--- though, I don't do a very uniform job of it, and so here's what I get:

Look at that color!
2. I spread this on a baking sheet, season it all, and drizzle some oil, and give it a quick mix, so as to get  the seasoning and oil all over.

All seasoned up, and ready to go into the oven
3. I place this in a pre-heated oven set to 375 degrees F, and bake for approximately 15 minutes first. Then I remove it from the oven, mix it all up once more, and pop one in my mouth, to taste. Hey, you gotta do that! And then throw it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

And you got yourself some beautiful french fries! Eat them plain, or with ketchup, or alongside a nice, juicy burger!

Sweet Potato French Fries! YUM! 
Oh yeah!!! 
The best thing about this is that you can make it any weeknight-- it is so easy to make. And no hassle of frying, and making a big mess either. Oh, and did I say, way healthier than that 99 cent bag of fries from that fast food place near where you live!! There, that should inspire you to try this tonight!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Surprise- Successful! The Green Goop- Sheer Disaster!

Our man turned 40 on the 11th! We threw him a surprise birthday bash, and a successful one, to boot! The planning started before the holidays, that included reaching out to his old buddies from college, and trying to get them to send in birthday video messages for him. I must say that he has some pretty awesome buddies, so much so that I almost feel jealous!! With the help of iMovie (of course!), we made a decent display of pictures, and buddy messages, that blew our man away. And thanks to all our dear friends, for making it so special and memorable!

Here's the cake we got for him. Err, the cake decorator perhaps needs a lesson on punctuation.....

The Birthday Cake!

Now surprises can be quite stressful, really! I mean, for starters, the number 1 rule is that you gotta shut up. And for some of us, this can be a bit of a challenge. The next rule revolves around all the arrangements you make. You have to make sure you hide everything from the surprisee (is that even a valid word?). In this case, that was actually not an issue, because our man here is not really into the affairs of the kitchen, so that really worked out well.

The Menu: 

His favorite Indian dishes of course, including egg curry, dal (lentils), and rotis (Indian bread). I asked a friend if she could make tindora (ivy gourd) or okra stir fry (yep, he quite likes these two vegetables!), and she was very kind to offer to make the tindora fry. Perfect menu, I thought.

And then:

I got this great idea that hmm, that might not be enough, and perhaps I ought to make one more dish, for some of the people who might not like to eat the egg curry. Fair enough!

And so: 

I started making my special saag-paneer (spinach and other greens with Indian cottage cheese). I've made it a gazillion times before, and each time it has been delicious, with that awesome green color. Here, you can go check it out yourself: Saag Paneer.

So yeah, pretty good looking, and tasty, right? Wrong!

The Green Goop Fiasco:

Just as everything was going perfectly well with the greens, our man called, saying he was on his way back home from work. That would have been such a delightful thing to hear on any other day, considering the fact that I am married to a workaholic, but not at that moment, when I was preparing stuff for his surprise birthday bash! That was it- I got into this frantic rush mode, and my brain kept telling me, forget it, don't do this, it is OK, just cool it, take it easy.... but I just wouldn't listen to myself! Now normally it would have been a breeze for me to repair that stuff, and make it, if not look good, taste good, but that was not possible in that particular situation, as there was no time! The end result was this very uninviting, horrendous, green goop.

The Disastrous Green Goop!
Oh Well!:

The surprise was a super success, and I know that our man was super touched. Everybody had fun. BUT you know, for a pretty good cook like me (hey, I have some bragging rights in that department!), the saag paneer was below mediocre, with this horrible pasty consistency, and gross green color, and I am disappointed......... everybody was very polite, but quietly stayed away from that pot of the green goop. Yes, very sad indeed!

Sunday Lunch:

Since we have that entire pot of saag paneer lying in the refrigerator, and I really don't feel like throwing it into yard waste, I think I am going to repair it, and make it taste good. I know I can't do anything about the consistency or the off-green color, but I can definitely pump up the taste. So here's to Sunday lunch!

Notes to Self:

1. I don't have to try to please everybody.

2. I mustn't unnecessarily add to a perfectly set menu.

3. I should be happy to know that the main person I did this for is happy! And that is all that matters!


1. I do like to please everybody!

2. It is OK to add to a perfectly set menu, sometimes!

3. Yes, I am happy that the main person I did this for is happy, but I'd like everybody to be happy!


I shall reinstate myself the next time around, and that is a promise to myself!

Inner Voice: 

Uh, I need to chill!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

You don't have to always make Fried Rice!

Happy 2013!!

I bet sometime in your life in the kitchen, when you have run out of ideas, you have gone ahead and converted leftover rice into your very special Egg Fried Rice. Aww, come one, I know you have! I used to think that egg fried rice is all you can make out of that leftover rice lying in the refrigerator, until recently, when we made our annual year-end trip to my brother and SIL's place. They introduced a new and very interesting eggs and rice dish to me.

Ever heard of Omuraisu? It is supposedly a Japanese omelette made with eggs of course, and rice, and topped with ketchup. Therefore the name Omu, meaning Omelette, and  Raisu, meaning Rice. Pretty cool concept, I think. Any kind of rice should work for this, though my brother recommends a rice-medley.


1. Cooked Rice- any kind- white, brown, green, red..... you get the idea! (2-3 tablespoons for 1 egg)

2. Eggs- beaten (typically 1-2 eggs per person)

3. Finely chopped onion, green chilies. I also like thinly sliced mushroom (Not too much, else the omelette will break....)

4. Oil to cook

5. Salt, pepper, any other seasoning you like

6. Ketchup, or any sauce that you like


1. Beat the egg(s).

2. Get your pan going on the stove, with some oil.

3. Throw in finely chopped onion, green chilies, and mushrooms and sauté for a couple minutes. I add salt-pepper at this stage.

4. Add a couple tablespoons of rice and sauté everything for another minute or so.

Fried Wild Rice 
5. Pour the beaten egg(s) onto this fried rice. And cook like you would an omelette. Be careful not to break the omelette- it tends to be heavy because of the rice..... if it breaks, no worries! It'll still be good!

Beaten egg(s) poured onto the fried rice

Flipped to complete

Omuraisu Ready! 
I used some leftover wild rice from last night, and the rice omelette, or Omuraisu, turned out real good! Instead of ketchup, I used, yes, my very favorite Ghost Pepper Salsa on the side. And since I have a huge crush on sharp cheddar (I can be crazy that way!), I sprinkled a tad bit of shredded sharp cheddar on the top. The wild rice added a nice nutty texture to the omelette, that I quite enjoyed. And not to forget, it was super-filling. I mean, eggs, veggies, and rice--- now that's a complete meal!

The next time you decide to make egg fried rice, try a little change, and make Omuraisu instead! It'll make you happy!