Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beer and Poha Chiwda

When my fella's Mom came to visit at Thanksgiving last fall she brought will her a container of Poha Chiwda that had been made by his sister because she knew how much he loved it. What is it? Think Spicy Indian Chex mix. Typically it's served in a bowl with a spoon. You spoon some into your hand and eat it from the palm of your right hand. You don't put your hands into the bowl. When we finally finished it up I requested the recipe from his Mom which she gladly passed along! I finally remembered to get the last missing ingredient and voila -- my own Poha Chiwda. The perfect World Cup snack to go with a beer or iced tea!


1 lb. *Thin Poha (pressed rice often sold in 1lb. & 2lb. bags - poha shown at right)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup broken cashews
4-5 green chilli cut into pcs.
8-10 pc. *curry patta (curry leaves - use fresh if at all possible)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
small pinch of red chili powder (optional)
3/4 cup vegetable/canola oil (I used only 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp *rai (black mustard seeds)
2 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 350F.
Bake Poha on a dry pan (ideally a jellyroll pan as shown in photo above right) for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. The poha will go from tough to crunchy. Remove from oven and pour cooked poha into a large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil and add rai, green chili,curry patta and salt to taste. BEWARE. The rai will start to pop, so have a cover nearby to put above it after you put them in. When rai begin to pop and the curry leaves have begun to give off their scent (they smell SO GOOD when cooking!) set aside cover, stir, then add peanuts, raisins, cashews and grams. Continue to stir as nuts brown and raisins puff.

Add turmeric and red chili (optional) stir. Add to bowl of baked poha. Stir to combine well until all poha is slightly covered with a yellow color from the turmeric.

Sprinkle 2 tsp sugar all over, cover for 2 minutes.
Uncover, stir and let it cool completely. I stirred it a few times over the next few hours to help it cool without becoming soggy. Store in air tight container. Enjoy!!

* Commonly found in an Indian market near you.

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The Neville Brothers visit NYC

SJ and our friend Yuko joined me in seeing the Neville Brothers at one of their NYC shows at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square at the end of May. It's a large venue... don't forget your earplugs! We scored a spot right up front. A great band named Rubblebucket opened for them. What a sound!! DO see them if them if they come to a city near you on their cross country tour this summer.
The first paragraph from their Bio page:
"Someone once said that if Brooklyn and New Orleans had a love child it would be conceived while listening to Rubblebucket: a wild young eight-some from Brooklyn, Boston and Burlington, Vermont (i.e. Ver-brook-ston). Drawing influence from the likes of Talking Heads, James Brown and Bjork, their banging horns and bombastic dance beats provide a landscape for the warm vocals of lead lady Kalmia. In the 2 years since their mythical seminal gig their all-original music has come to define a new genre: rock-ro-beat."
Really, stop by their site for a listen. You won't be sorry.

Back to the Neville Brothers. These brothers still rock. The audience didn't stop moving from the first note through to the last. Smiles on every face, many singing along to old favorites or Neville classics. You tasted a little piece of New Orleans when they played. Aaron's angelic voice coming out of that muscular body was even more special in person. Cyril's drums kept the audience pounding...and his blue sparking shoes - WOW! Art played the keys, showing us why people keep coming back. Charles played a mean sax. Eyes were often on him (including during a sax vs. guitar play-off that was a wonder to hear!)
What a great night!!! You couldn't help but have a smile on your face as you left.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Life Auto Reboot

Yes, I know back in May I announced that I'd be writing more often... then life happened.
Change and lots of it all at once.

The Shake-up...
After over 11 years my position was discontinued during a
downsizing and merging earlier this month. I'm not the only one cast off (which doesn't make me feel better about it.) It's been difficult to just stop. I'm no good at "relaxing." What does relaxing really MEAN anyway?
(I don't just sit still well.)

The Good news...
My feller and I are waiting to hear from the sellers bank on a house we're in contract for... and I'm packing up to leave my beloved apartment after over 11 years here (I've accumulated a lot of stuff and can't wait to have a BIG house to be able to use it all in!!)

The Bad News...
Add to that my 24" iMac hard drive frying last week in the middle of a back-up. The computer no longer even recognized that it HAD a hard drive. Yes, it's under warranty and it's being replaced -- and yes, all info is toast but I wonder if any of the in-process back-up will be usable. That brings us current!

How have I been spent my first two unemployed weeks (thankfully on 4 months severance)?
After having my resume written (first time in 12 years - scary - I have a great woman I can suggest if you're in need), I've been getting my resume out there for jobs that won't go against my 4 month non-compete, watching World Cup matches at various spots around town with friends who have taken work time off to see them, gardening, reading, cooking (I've got some great recipes to post!!) and writing up some hand knitting patterns (3 of which I fear died with the iMac crash) for a book I've begun to write.

Wanting Work...
I'm interested in sample making (sewing, knitting, crochet), writing (crafts, cooking, travel) and teaching (fashion, craft, cooking) jobs if anyone has any leads out there. I can do hat related jobs after October 9th, 2010.
Part-time and freelance are also VERY welcome!!

The garden...
I've picked beans, lettuce and peas from the garden. Yum! The tomatoes and basil have jump started in the heat of the last week.

Live Entertainment...
My fella and I joined his boss & family to see Cavalia at the Meadowlands in NJ. A beautiful show indeed!! You can see when it's coming to a city near you at the link above.

Movie Entertainment...
I've enjoyed a few movies ($6 morning movies at any AMC theatre in NYC!!) I've especially liked The A-
Team and Toy Story 3 3-D. The A-Team completely surprised me. It was much funnier than I had expected it to be. Totally entertaining. Toy Story 3 brought me back through my own childhood. The loss of a favorite toy. Really a great moive. Get Him To The Greek had funny parts. Please Give was OK. On video I can recommend The Ramen Girl for any of you foodies out there (one of Brittany Murphy's last films.) It fed of my passion for Ramen.

Randomly --- Been researching for a new blender and really want the 5200 Vitamix. Does anyone out there have it? How do you like it??

I have no idea what to do career-wise next. It's all a bit foggy. It could be a blessing that I may not be working as we move and can unpack. I may travel a bit at some point after the move. Regardless my gut says this is a blessing - I'm just not yet sure how/why.

That's the update for today. Time to go watch this afternoon's match and work on a UFO. I've been attacking my UFO box between new designs. There will be hand knits and sewn gifts for Christmas this year!!!
Happy Sunday all!

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