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Archive for March, 2008

Indi Friday

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I occasionally get lucky and my mommy and daddy share some yummy stuff with me!!

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I like to drink all of it, even the little drops on the floor!

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I know this sounds crazy, that’s what I thought as well when I first saw the picture of a bacon pancake in one of Martha Stewart’s magazines. A whole year later, I still could not get the curiosity out of my head so I decided that I was going to give it a try. I liked the results, but J wasn’t too into it. I think it was because of the batter which was a little too dense. So anyway, we had a fabulous breakfast as I also made banana pancakes! Ever since we have been going to Nosh Cafe I am all about brown sugar bacon, so I added my own twist this these yummy pancakes.

Pancake batter (homemade or from store bought mix)

Bacon (as much or as little as you want…I went a little crazy)

Brown sugar

Maple syrup

I would highly recommend making the bacon in the oven. I didn’t because I was being lazy. I usually make my bacon on Georgie (George Foreman Grill), but I didn’t feel like taking it out. I made it in a pan and I ended up messing up the Teflon because of the sugar. In retrospect, I am so glad that I did not use my Georgie! So the oven option is the best, especially, if you have a wire rack, in case you prefer that your bacon does not cook in its own fat!

Cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set a wire rack on the cookie sheet and line bacon on the wire rack in a single layer. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and bake until crisp. Take out of the oven and place on paper towel. Crumble bacon once it has cooled down enough to handle.

Make pancake batter and add bacon. Cook pancake and serve with maple syrup! YUM!!!!

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Indi Friday

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So I have posted about Indi and her pink blanket before. She still loves her blanky as the holes continue to increase! The other day she stepped into her crate, picked up her blanket, and laid down all curled up with her blanket under her head. It was too cute and of course I had to capture this tender moment!

Bonus picture: Indi once again winking 😉 or more like “leave me the f@#$ alone mama”

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Today is the first day of spring which coincides with the first day of the Persian new year. The official time of the transition from winter to spring was last night at 10:48. I made it home from school just in time to sit around and celebrate with J and Indi.

The picture above is my Haft Sin which we are supposed to make where each items is symbolic. Once again, I am lazy so I am going to cut an paste the smart people from Wikipedia who have taken the time to do a nice write up about it.

Haft Sīn (هفت سین) or the seven ‘S’s is a major tradition of Nowruz. The haft sin table includes seven specific items starting with the letter ‘S’ or Sīn (س) in Persian alphabet). The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. Originally called Haft Shīn, the term was changed to Haft Sīn after the Iranian people adopted Islam, because wine (sharab) was one of the Seven ‘Sh’s, and drinking intoxicants is forbidden in Islam.[citation needed]. The Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sīn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Nowruzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste.

The Haft Sīn items are:

  • sabzehwheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
  • samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing affluence
  • senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
  • sīrgarlic – symbolizing medicine
  • sībapples – symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaqsumac berries – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkehvinegar – symbolizing age and patience

Other items on the table may include:

Happy New Year to all who celebrate this wonderful day!

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Today is the evening of Chahar Shanbeh Sury. In Iran people gather around bonfires and jump over the flames while reciting a phrase which loosely translated means “give me your red complexion or coloring and take my yellow or sickly coloring.” This is an old ritual which always takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year.

Tonight I created my own version of a bonfire. I came up with my own genius method a few years back when I didn’t have a backyard. A good old candle on the floor of my apartment was given he honor of pretending to be a bonfire. So once again this year I jumped over a candle! J partook in the celebration by jumping over our makeshift fire while reading the phrase from one of my Persian cookbooks which has a description of the whole event. Then he promptly handed me the book and went back to watching his documentary. I am glad that he at least partakes…while he probably thinks to himself “what have I gotten myself into.” 🙂

Wikipedia does a fabulous job of explaining this ritual and because it is late and I am tired I am going to just post the portion that is relevant to today:

The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated by the Iranian people as Chahârshanbe Sûrî Persian: چهارشنبه سوری, (Azerbaijani: Od çərşənbəsi meaning wednesday of fire, Kurdish: Çarşeme surê, چوارشه‌مه‌ سوورێ meaning red wednesday), the Iranian festival of fire. This festival is the celebration of the light (the good) winning over the darkness (the bad); the symbolism behind the rituals are all rooted back to Zoroastrianism.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make bonfires, and jump over them while singing the traditional song Zardî-ye man az to, sorkhî-ye to az man; This literally translates to “My yellowness for you, your redness for me,” with the figurative message “My paleness (pain, sickness) for you (the fire), your strength (health) for me.”

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It is St. Patrick’s Day and I must post to honor J’s ancestors. The other day while at TJ I found a cute little pot of Shamrock and bought it for J. I had never seen one up close; it is cute with really pretty white flowers that open during the day and close at night.

We are going to have a couple of our favorite Irish things today such as Guinness and Dubliner cheese. YUMMYY!!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!!

 

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Indi Friday

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I am pretty, oh so pretty!!!

woof woof, kiss kiss!!

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I love Spring time, not only because I graced the world on the 20th day of Spring, but because of all the flowers that bloom during this time of the year. I love flowers, even though, I am also very good at killing them. I should also mention that I love it when J gives me flowers!! Hehe 🙂

Our house is filled with a lot of flowers right now. A couple of weeks ago J got me a white daffodil plant that smells heavenly, a little purple violet plant, and a fava bean plant while shopping at the farmers market. How excited was I about all of my little gifts!!!

I also love this time of the year because you can get beautiful small bunches of daffodils at TJs. I usually pick up one or two bunches every time I go until they are out of season. I bought my first couple of bunches this past weekend and they have opened up beautifully. One vase sits on the kitchen window sill above the sink and the other in the living room. Back in the days they used to be $.99 a bunch making them very affordable. To my surprise there has been some serious inflation this year. Generally, one thinks that the price would go up by maybe ten cents or so, but no they went up 30 cents. YES, they are now $1.29, granted, still affordable, but not as good as a deal as before. Now if my salary went up at the same rate as every things else around us….Nevertheless, this is not going to stop me from buying more, especially, when they look sooo beautiful and make me so happy every time I wash dishes.

So Happy Spring to everyone and enjoy all the flowers around us. We should have plenty around here because of all the rain that we have had.

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Little India in Artesia, CA

I love Little India in Artesia. It is such a cool little stretch filled with all kinds of Indian stores. My friend Kumar was the first person who ever took me there. For the past few years we have kinda established a little routine: go for some vegetarian South Indian food at Udupi Palace, go the Indian markets to stock up on spices and ingredients as needed, and finally check out the store and the beautiful variety of saris displayed in the store windows. This time around J came along and we all had a great time eating some good food and hanging out.

I highly recommend starting with the ASSORTED HORD’OUERES (Medhu vada, Samosa, Cutlet, Mysore Bonda & Vege Pakoras) because it is yummy!!! Or at least this is how we do it. I try to order different things every time, and everything that I have had from the menu has always been good.

Here are some pictures of our delicious food:

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ONION TOMATO CHILLI UTHAPAM

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ONION & HOT CHILLI UTHAPAM

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MUTTER PANEER (Green peas and cheese cooked in a rich creamy tomatoes sauce)

Udupi Palace
18635 Pioneer Blvd.
Artesia, CA 90701
Tel: 562-860-1950

 

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Maria De Barros

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A couple of weekends ago we went to a concert at the Getty Center. I am always happy to go to the Getty center because I love going to museum and this one happens to have an amazing garden and view of LA as a bonus. I have been to a few concerts at the Getty in the past few years, but this last one was by far the most amazing experience EVER.

There were three musician and the one that made a lasting impression on me personally was Maria de Barros. What an amazing singer, her music touched my soul. Her band was also mazing. I had never seen people actually get up and dance at the Getty center. Her warmth was felt by everyone in the auditorium. It was just a unique and terrific experience. I really like the sound of Portuguese and because of her I like the language even more.

J and I bought one of her CDs and continued to listen to her on our way home from the Getty. Maria de Barros was gracious enough to sign our CD followed by a warm hug and kiss, well just to me, because by then J was wondering off on his own, so he missed out!! One thing that came to mind was the fact that it was nice to see a real artist that connects with her crowd and is a gracious performer, unlike all the fluff and untalented singers that we hear nowadays on the radio.

We tried taking pictures, but the lighting wasn’t right in the auditorium. I was able to take a picture of her outside, not the greatest picture, but you can still see how beautiful she is! You can purchase her CDs through her website which are sold through Amazon.

The LA Times did a nice review of her performance which is worth reading:

MUSIC REVIEW

Live: Maria de Barros

Dancing the night away with a diva-in-waiting
By Don Heckman, Special to The Times
March 3, 2008

Maria de Barros came onstage like a colorful whirlwind of Cape Verdean exhilaration at the Getty Center’s Williams Auditorium on Saturday night. Engaging the full-house crowd from her very first note, she sang and danced her way through a colorful collection of songs rooted in the island culture of her parents’ birthplace.

Although the multilingual De Barros was born in Senegal and lived in Mauritania before moving to Rhode Island as a teenager, she has come to prominence as a highly visible exponent of Cape Verdean music. Her Getty performance, however, clearly demonstrated that — although she is the goddaughter of reigning Cape Verde diva Cesária Évora — De Barros is creating an expressive vocal style that is uniquely her own.

Much of the material in her too-brief set was drawn from her second CD, “Danca ma Me” (Dance With Me). “Rosinha,” the tale of a woman awaiting the return of a lover, embraced the deep Cape Verdean tradition of songs associated with loss and longing, tinged with the poignancy of Brazilian saudade.

Other songs — “Bo Ke Nha Boy,” Espaco Infinito” and “Riberonzinha” among them — dipped into the traditional mornas and coladeiras that first came to the attention of Western listeners via the recordings of Évora. And “Sol di Manha” added the vigor of funana rhythms, energized by the stirring percussive sound of the ferro, which is nothing more than a piece of metal vigorously scraped and tapped with a spoon.

In each case, De Barros enhanced the traditional rhythms with other elements, sometimes infusing them with the spice of Brazilian sambas and Afro-Cuban salsas, always enlivening them with the dark, velvet timbres of her voice, her emotive phrasing and her sheer enthusiasm for making music.

Those qualities triggered effusive responses from the crowd, especially the substantial numbers of Cape Verdeans present, many of whom lined the sides of the auditorium and the edges of the stage in dancing posses, occasionally waving the multi-starred flag of their native island.

De Barros, after drawing the audience into singing a selection from her soon to be released third album, “Morbeza,” slipped into the aisles, winding up her engaging performance with up close and personal contact with her enthusiastic listeners.

Opening the evening, singer-songwriter Waldemar Bastos delivered several stirring numbers affirming his reputation as the “voice of Angola.”

And the evening wrapped on a high point with a characteristically vigorous blend of African and Cuban rhythms from Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca.

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