Technology and the Cookbook

Just the other day I was browsing through my mom’s recipe book trying to find a recipe for alfredo sauce. I flipped through all the recipes multiple times until I finally found it. I wondered why I was spending so much time when I could have easily found the recipe online in a matter of seconds.

This article, featured today on Huffington Post, discusses how technology is affecting the cookbook, and helping create satisfying meals. Certainly cookbooks as we know it are a thing of the past. There are countless websites that give you recipes based on the ingredients you have and your dietary restrictions. You can even splice together different recipes you find interesting.

There is also an added video aspect to recipes nowadays. Many cooks post YouTube tutorials of how to make items, which certainly helps those that learn visually. Or if you’re a beginner cook like me and lack any estimating skills about exactly how much masala to put in your paneer tikka masala.

How do you find new recipes? Do you still use cookbooks or have you shifted to recipe websites?

The Pizookie

For years and years, I thought that it would be near impossible to improve a chocolate chip cookie. I mean, it’s pretty much perfect right?

Enter BJ’s Brewhouse. BJ’s has an amazing dessert called the pizookie. It is essentially a freshly baked cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. It is the item that started my penchant for hot/cold dessert combinations (such as fried banana and ice cream, fried mango ice cream, etc).

After having this delicious item at BJ’s a few times, I realized just how easy it is to make at home as well. It’s a simple dessert that can be made at the spur of the moment, for as little as one person to five people.

Unplugged

I spent this weekend at Yosemite National Park. While I’m not a complete nature person (2 days is all I can handle max) I do enjoy going to Yosemite mainly because we used to go every summer when I was a child.

It was incredibly peaceful and the views were as breathtaking as always. Since there is no internet or phone connection, you really feel like you are cut off from the real world. It felt good to step away from everything and reconnect with nature.

Here are some pictures:

Yosemite Valley

Mirror Lake

 

Do you consider yourself a nature person? Why or why not?

Change of Scene

Since I work from home it can get very easy to go stir-crazy and lose all sense of the outside world. So I thought a change of scene would do me good, especially considering the Indian summer we are experiencing.

I went to a coffee shop to get some work done. (Libraries are too quiet for me.) I sipped on an iced chai, ate a marble cookie, listening to my favorite songs and powered through my tasks/emails for the day.

My current favorite songs I’m listening to on repeat and get me in the zone:

1. You Make Me Feel Like – Cobra Starship ft. Sabi

2. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

3. Stereo Hearts – Gym Class Heros ft. Adam Levine

4. Mein Toh Margaya Oye (Hindi) – Mausum soundtrack

Life on the Go

I’ll be honest, I was really struggling with a topic to write about today. So in the midst of my brainstorming, I opened up my Facebook app on my iPhone and browsed through the newsfeed. It made me realize just how ingrained Facebook is in our lives these days. It’s turned into such a big deal, causing divorces and ending friendships or relationships. But that is a whole other blog post entirely!

My favorite aspect of Facebook is the mobile uploads section. I feel like it really gives you a good insight into the person..you can learn a lot about the person based on what they decided to take a picture of and deemed it worthy to share with the rest of Facebook. If you all saw my mobile uploads album, you’d think “Wow, that girl really loves her desserts!”

All jokes aside, here are some of my mobile uploads I thought I’d share with you. Maybe it’ll give you a better idea as to who I am! (If this blog hasn’t told you already. :))

Crumbs cupcakes in NYC.

My own baking and decorating skills (for the India vs Pakistan World Cup Final).

Funny signs I come across.

Beautiful scenery: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

My travels: Maui, Hawaii

The Best Sandwich Ever

I thought of this sandwich creation a few months ago, when I was starving and looking for something to eat for lunch. It just so happened that all my favorite ingredients were in the fridge, so I experimented by mixing them all together.

I am a vegetarian, but this sandwich is so fulling and flavorful that meat eaters won’t even realize what’s missing.

Here are the steps to making the Best Sandwich Ever (I’m still trying to think of a better name):

The vegetables: tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, and avocado.

The spread: spicy hummus, pesto, pepperjack cheese, bread, Sriracha, and Sambal paste.

The assembly: spread the hummus and pesto, add the cheese and vegetables, and top with some Sriracha.

Serve with some kettle cooked jalapeno chips and you’re good to go!

Friday Favorites

This week has flown by pretty fast. While I’m excited that most of my shows are back on the air, it makes me wonder where exactly summer went. Even more, I can’t believe we’re already halfway through September!

Here are some picture highlights of the week:

I saw this while I was driving through town and had to take a picture.

Enjoying a white chocolate mocha and a warm chocolate chip cookie at Tart by Tart bakery in San Francisco.

A look at one of the sari blouses I’m wearing during my brother’s wedding events.

The menu for a dessert truck at a local food truck gathering. I took home red velvet, salted caramel, and chocolate coconut cupcakes.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Book Review: The Lovely Bones

I picked up The Lovely Bones at a Borders going out of business sale for $3 about a month ago. I was always a little hesitant to buy the book because I thought the subject matter was too depressing. For those that don’t know, The Lovely Bones is told from the point of view of a 13 year old girl who was brutally murdered. She looks down on her family and friends on Earth as they attempt to grieve and also find her killer.

I started it the night I got it and I’ve yet to finish. Normally, I am a fast reader and usually have to pace myself to not finish the book in a matter of days. I’ve never not finished a book, even if I really disliked it.

The plot of the book is definitely bold and innovative. I think the main reason I don’t like The Lovely Bones is because of the author, Alice Sebold’s writing style. Something about it doesn’t mesh well with me. There are so many characters; the book jumps from one to the other so abruptly I have a hard time keeping track.

I am really disappointed as I’ve heard great things about this book. There was even a movie based off of it.

I will give it my best try to finish reading it, but I can’t give any guarantees.

I also picked up Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories at the Borders sale. It contains work by Jhumpa Lahiri (my favorite author), Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, and so on..I am always interested in reading works by Indian authors, so I can’t wait to start it.

Has there ever been a book that you just couldn’t finish? What book was it and why?

Fall is Approaching

The days are getting shorter, the air feels cool and brisk, and the leaves are changing colors. (True confession time: I’m a member of the “I will go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf” group on Facebook.)

The onset of Autumn is best welcomed with a warm, cozy home-cooked meal. The Indian meal of chole fits that exact description.

It’s one of the easiest Indian vegetables to make; all that is needed is garbanzo beans and a simple to make gravy. Here is a recipe.

The tandoori naan is courtesy of Trader Joe’s, and I love having a side raita (yogurt) and onions.

Also, I have to share my new favorite soda (also thanks to Trader’s Joe): Organic Blood Orange Soda. It’s similar to orange soda, yet tastes fresher and an added bonus: it has less preservatives.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you make in the fall?

Road trip Essentials

Having traveled from the Bay Area to LA numerous times, I like to consider myself a pro at it. I can pack in a mere few hours, we have set rest stops that we hit along the way, and the six hour drive breezes by.

Here are my road trip tips:

  • Wear comfy clothes. In the summer I stick to capris or shorts because Central California is HOT.
  • Bring a pillow and a blanket to help you catch some zzz’s (when you’re not driving of course).
  • Pack your iPod and headphones for solo music time and burn CDs for when you are driving (The rule is that the driver gets to hear their preference of music.)
  • Reward yourself with some good road trip food.

  • Books and magazines help pass the time.
  • Once you arrive to your destination, treat yourself to some frozen yogurt. You deserve it!
What are your road trip musts? I’d love to hear them!