Saturday, August 30, 2008

7-grain pasta

I've just discovered a fun way to eat pasta. We all know that when we hear the word 'pasta' our mind conjures up images such as big hips, cankles and bloatedness. True to my bangladeshi roots, I have always loved rice and bread more than anything else but I also like pasta every now and then. So anyways, I haven't been able to go and buy rice for a few weeks now so I reached out for the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest 7 Grain Blend Pasta that was sitting on the counter. I love anything whole wheat and multi-grain so I loved this one too. I made it real easy. I sauteed some chopped shallot, garlic and serrano peppers in some olive oil. Followed with some chopped shrimp, turkey sausage and mixed vegetables. I seasoned it with some italian herb mix, salt and pepper. I closed the deal with some shaved parmesan cheese (I use the block and not the stuff that comes in the green shaker bottle). I drizzled some more extra virgin olive oil in the end to make it even more delicious and shiny. I know you're thinking all those stuff are probably the weirdest things to go in a pasta, but it actually came out quite really good (although I did end up putting a little more oil, sorry mom). So anyways, don't put too much oil because then it defies the whole point of having health food. But this multigrain pasta is not bad at all. I am definitely going to make it again. Sorry was too hungry and forgot to take picture. Next time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


So I have been frequenting YouTube a lot these days for all kinds of videos particularly makeup tutorials. Please don't stare at me like I'm a freak. It's better than having a hobby like knife collecting or smelling shoe polish (I used to like the smell when I was 10 or something--not anymore). So as I was going through some videos I came across a particular user and she had a video where she was going to show her skin care routine and before she proceeded to do so, she mentions that she is trying not to say 'umm' between phrases so she will just pause instead of saying 'umm'. Okay---everytime she paused (eerily long pauses), my ears braced for an 'umm' and it never came and it annoyed me a lot because that 'umm' would have been smaller than her pause. I am used to 'umm' because I 'umm' too if it is a casual conversation or something. I mean obviously phone interviews, in-flesh interviews, presidential speeches and courtroom procedures are some instances where 'umms' are absolute no nos. But for normal activities, using 'umm' has actually become commonplace. We are the 'umm' generation. It shows that you are thinking aloud. Of course when people do long 'umms' multiple number of times every millisecond, it can get very irritating. But this particular situation was vexing because she mentioned it prior to starting the tutorial. Only if she hadn't. By the way, I am not promoting 'umming'. I just think that for all those unscripted moments in our lives, umms are just normal. Geez, look at me, talking about something that is probably a little more important than what ants discuss about carrying on their backs. Oo-kay, time to put the lame brain to bed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chicken Curry V2.0

Yes that's the chicken curry I made today. Yes it has that glistening citrine colored layer of oil on top but that's trademark of authentic south-asian curries. Eh it doesn't look that good but once it sits on your tongue and seeps through your taste buds, you're going to be in culinary heaven {wow, I sound like a food critique lol}. So I first attempted chicken curry when I was a freshman in college and ever since it has evolved quite a lot. There are probably ten billion versions of chicken curry and usually one tastier than the other. I have many versions but the one I am about to share is my favorite as it is comforting, wholesome and delicious! I must say I borrowed a lot of the ideas if not the whole recipe entirely from mommy dearest. Also, there is no particular reason why I call it V2.0...I just like using it as going in with the whole Web 2.0 revolution. So here it is:

1/2 of a whole chicken (cut up into pieces)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tbsp ginger chopped
2 shallots chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
3 seranno/jalapeno peppers chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp roasted coriander powder
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
1 tbsp roasted garam masala powder
1 tsp pickle (I like Patak's Hot Mango Relish)
Salt to taste

I marinate the chicken overnight with salt, yogurt, garlic and ginger (so that on the actual day of cooking I don't have to smell like garlic and ginger). Next day, heat a heavy bottomed pan with vegetable oil. Add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Wait to splutter. These gems might look like little nothings but they add such a robust flavor to the whole dish. Add chopped shallots and brown them. Add a little garlic and keep browning but don't burn because we all know burnt garlic is as good as burnt plastic. Add the chopped seranno/jalapeno peppers. Follow with all the spices viz. turmeric, red chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Roast them for half a minute for all their oils to release. Now add the chicken and salt. Stir everything together and lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Check on it every now and then to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.Add some of the mango pickle, stir and cover. Add the cubed potatoes. Now would be a good time to check the salt...nothing like poorly salted chicken curry. Add half a cup of water (or more or less depending on how dry or wet you want it but enough to cook the chicken thoroughly without sticking to the bottom). Cook for another 20 minutes. I like when the chicken is semi-soft and almost falling off the bones---neither like mush nor like cartillagy. Turn the stove off and enjoy it either with fluffy white rice or some buttered bread.

Disclaimer: I am not by any means claiming to be a great cook or the chairman of chicken curry recipes, I just like this one and thought of sharing it with you guys.

And just like that*...

...I came back from Mickey Dees with Gowri at 1:30am having witnessed a very uncalled for situation/drama. So as we were feasting on our caramel sundaes with nuts (lurve) and discussing jobs shmobs, this argument between a middle-aged white lady and a freshman-aged indianish boy caught our attention. So it happened that the boy did a 'finger hand-gun' gesture at the lady who was making an order at the window of the drive through. That's some she came around, parked her car and walked into McDonalds and yelled the shi* out of this kid and even pushed him. She even made a call to the cops. The boy kept circling inside McDonalds going from table to table looking at all the people and everyone there was on his side. We had to leave because first of all we shouldn't be out this late and secondly we are cat like girls. 2 seconds and the cops were there already and started searching the boy. Poor thing. I mean he shouldn't have done the finger gun, that was just wrong, but this lady was so violent. She's probably one of those people who are so unhappy with their lives that they find little things like these to take their frustrations out on.
*The 'and just like that' title for this blog was inadvertently borrowed from Sex and the City...I've always wanted to use it!*

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Distracting myself...

(Picture has nothing to do with my post...I am just reminiscing the good ol days when my skin wasn't a disaster and a victim of 'adult acne'...eww...hope this phase passes)
Back to my rant of the day: Have you ever thought about the mundane things in life to distract yourself from the more serious things in life for a long stretch of time? Well, I have and let's just say I am close to becoming messiah of that department. For hours long I dabble in watching make-up tutorials online, researching the latest deals and steals, reading up on product reviews, etc. all to keep my mind off the more serious, unplayful things in life. But here's the catch--my mind still is thinking about all those deep and in some cases grievous things as I am busy learning about the latest peach-colored eyeshadow that will make my eyes pop. Here's another secret: I am very, very sensitive to listening to sad/mellow/slow songs. On my ipod or on my playlist, I am always listening to annoyingly fast upbeat music that one probably should listen to either on a treadmill or in a party. I know everything that I am saying is summing upto one thing: I am a supresser..which is not good. Well, a supresser (according to me) is someone who doesn't use any kind of outlet to release their frustrations. I do...I just named so many.
Anyways, speaking of reality, what's up with all these burgeoning plane crashes? Aircrafts need to be inspected with a little more scrutiny I believe but then again who am I to say, it was probably fate. What else has been the world upto? Oh, I read this article about whether the legal drinking age should be 21. I think no matter what one makes the drinking age, there's always going to be those who just take it a little too far. Look at me, giving a spiel about not thinking about serious stuff and here I am talking about it all in one breath. Okay, fun stuff :) I am going to the mall with Julie and Gowri tomorrow and we are very excited to use our $10 off coupons at The Body Shop. Yummy! Julie and I might also go to see 'Sex and the City' movie at the cheap theater for like $3. Yes yes we didn't see it yet...we were busy wrapping up our degrees then. Oh, also tomorrow is the first day of fall semester and I am not going back to school...feels good:) Although, the sucky job hunt doesn't...I have been reading so many news articles that are talking about how 2008 graduates are going to have one of the hardest times finding jobs. Even places like New York are facing hiring freezes. Ugh...there goes my sleep for the night. See, every night ever since I finished my thesis and got officially done with school, I haven't had a decent night of sleep unless it was induced by some kind of allergy medication (bad, don't do.) But I still try to wake up every morning thinking about the possibilites of making it a perfect day...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Being fob

FOB means Fresh Off the Boat...A term that many people get labeled with when they come to a new country (USA, UK, Australia, etc.). I am a fob...I mean I was born in Bangladesh, raised in Oman and then I came here to the US just for my undergrad and grad education. Yeah, so I mastered the american accent quite well, discovered frizz ease, flat iron, lipgloss and bronzer within the blink of an eye, learned all the cool slang words like 'snap', 'score', 'watchamcalit', 'thingamjig' , etc. faster than you can spell cat and so I understood american humor real quick (I mean not to forget that back in Oman we were always watching a lot of american movies and watching popular prime time tv shows.) In spite of all of that, I am still a fob because I still love my coconut oil hair massage very much, I still love my spice rack and all the 500 spices it holds, I still love eating with my hands and licking my fingers after it and most importantly, I love where I am from because that is who I am. I know I have changed in ways but not in a way where I would look at someone with a derogatory look saying 'eww he/she is an international student'. No. That is just unacceptable. I see former fobs do it all the time. Makes my blinis boil. I mean just because you became a permanent resident or a citizen 10 years ago, does not make you something you're not.
Back to all the things that I learned as I stepped into the US... I am not saying that I learned all the things out of angst or sort of to win a competition as not be labeled a fob. I did it because I wanted to...It makes it a lot easier if you can roll your r's, spell color without a u and spit out a 'have a good day' every second...I think it is important to understand a country's culture if you are going to stay there for a while (or forever), but by no means does it mean you have to completely abandon the traits and characteristics of where you came from in the process of doing so. Those people never cease to amaze me...they are so eager to ape the host country's culture, be it in any way possible, viz. marry or pair up with someone from the host country and also they almost start hating their own kind (this is nothing against white, black or any non-south asian people). Like many call them..coconut: brown on the outside, white on the inside-lol.
Y'all wondering where this sudden burst came from right? Just thought of it after I came across some people making fun of fobs. So mean. The funniest part is it is usually people of color using that word...I don't think caucasians are much aware of it. So there you go, the same kind hating on each other. Aesthetically, it probably isn't appealing when that boy from india, wearing unimaginably tight (in the wrong place) jeans, bluish white sneakers, hair smeared with oil and a look of cluelessness on his face steps into class or that girl from bangladesh wearing a jacket two sizes too big for her, face covered in talcum powder and a head full of frizzies comes in as your roommate. But he/she is a human being and unless he/she does something completely unethical or completely wrong...there is absolutely no reason for you to judge him or her just based on their accent and fashion faux pas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fall is almost here...

Ugh I have been very upset today after I learned about the plane crash in Madrid, Spain...Really devastating. As I stared at the news article online in dismay, my heart felt so heavy and I thought, it could have been my loved one or me...After sometime my roomie tells me that she is headed towards Galleria mall and if I'd like to join her. I decided to go and get my mind off the horrible things happening in the world. It was a quick day at the mall...we hit a few stores starting from good ol macy to sephora and all. We had to get into Urban Behavior due to the obnoxious sign that they hung outside the store '50 to 90% off storewide savings, closing sale, etc' in all sorts of neon colors. As we entered, it was quite a sight...people rumagging through the jean rack, the tank top rack, the tees rack, etc. to find out what we all look for...the ridiculously low prices...and to our dissapointment, there were none. Soon, we were headed towards Body Shop and there they currently have a really nice sale, you combine any two products from the tea tree oil range for only $18. The roomie bought two face masks from the tea tree line and used another $10 off coupon on top of it and bought it all for $8. Amazing. Then we entered sanctuary a.k.a sephora. All those sephora people dressed in black man suits (women and men). Upbeat techno playing loud, whiffs of all kinds of manhattany-scents flying around and beautiful makeup products staring in your face. One day, I will be rich and I will buy all of it lol. I sprayed some of that L.A.M.B by Gwen Stefani...that smell reminds me of this:

"A high-end magazine editor, attending an elegant party, atop a roof in one of manhattan's classiest, skin glowing from all that creme de la mer, wearing a chanel black mesh ball gown, louboutin pumps, with a 5-carat d flawless harry winston on her...middle finger".

Sweet independence thats the picture that comes to mind...Yeah I know I think real rich lol'. Back to after the mall Julie and I went for a walk and then we were craving that Gelato once again so off we were to Wegmans. We got kind of hungry for food so we had some food from their food bar. I had some lemon pepper shrimp, shrimp purse, fried fish, etc. yummers. We still had some gelato after that....we love food! Yay Julie! So that was today :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Favorite Family Guy Quotes

Peter: It's like that time I tried ecstacy. Oh Brian, your fur is so soft, oh your ears, your ears are like dog ears. Awwww this couch... Eehhhhh Oh Stewie... your headis so smooth... h-how is that even... how ya doin' that? H-how how ya doin' that? Ah, everything here is fantastic! Ahhhhh Ahhhh Ohhhh, these clothes. Ehhh eh ehhhhh ehhhh ehhh ehhhh ehhhh ehhh ehh nyeeehhhh...

Stewie: Yup, that's my package. God delivered it, I signed for it. World keeps on spinnin'.

Stewie: How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? (voice getting higher pitched) Yea, talking about that 3 years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? (voice returns to normal) No, no, you deserve some time off.

Source 1 2

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Julie's bday

Yesterday was a fun day...Gowri, Julie and I went to Wegmans to quickly celebrate Julie's bday beacuse we all had prior engagements and were running on a tight schedule. We had some gelato at the Wegmans cafe. I had the coconut sorbetto and pistachio gelato. Yummy is an understatement...Gelato is just so much better than ice-cream. It is super smooth and silky, isn't as airy as ice-cream and just seems much more sophisticated (ignore the neon green kiddie cup...its just the smallest size)...Julie and I came here last week too so we are trying to stick to kiddie cups since we come here so often :)
Okay, heres a funny commercial I recent saw :-D
Scott Tissue

Friday, August 15, 2008

I wish I was Michael Phelps :)

Food for fuel: Olympian Phelps' unusual diet

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tsk Tsk...

Chinese defend Olympic ceremony lip-synch

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stuck in a rut

Yes this is a semi-ranting post. I am upset... And no it's not about the fact that I have had no recent luck with job-searching and every time I've had luck, companies turn me down because I am on a F-1 visa and will require sponsorship in the future, it's not about the fact that I live in a place like Buffalo where the only thing that changes is the season and nothing else, and it's not about the fact that I have to become independent soon or else I have to get married...
It's about the fact that I have these ugly, beady, oil pimples on my forehead that are popping up together like a tight army. It's about the fact that my hair is like so weirdly dry and becoming this dirty brown color that I absolutely hate. It's about the fact that I have been sleeping really, really late every night thinking about the billion things going through my mind such as the deaths of Baby Khala and Boro Mama. It's about the fact that the voice, scent and giggles of Baby Khala still echoes through my mind and I cannot absolutely believe that she is gone. It's about the fact that I am not with my mom, dad and sister now and instead waiting here(dare I say it) to conquer the 'American Dream'. It's about the fact that I am stressing so much about being far, far away from the homeland that I am breaking out (in pimples) left, right and center and no matter what, the signs of dismay won't go away.
So there you go, a concise list of all the things going on in my life and what is bothering me and what is not. That is not a complete list by the way, the complete list I don't think even my conscience knows it...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fun day at Gowri's :)

Gowri picked me up today after work and took me to her place. We hung around and did a whole bunch of stuff. Everytime I go to Gowri's, she keeps stuffing me with food. In the midst of food, we were playing with Ginobili, taking goofy pics with Gowri's camera booth in her MAC, etc. We were 'You-Tubing' for a while and looked at videos by 'Caught in the Act' (Gowri's favorite band back when she was a little one in switzerland), 'Boyzone' (my favorite band till I was well into my teens) and a whole bunch of random stuff from 'Family Guy' clips to 'South Park' clips to my favorite 'Ms. Swan from Mad tv'. Before dropping me home, we stopped at Mickey Dees for some flurry/ice-cream/sundae but they stopped the ice-cream machine 10 minutes before we went there so we had to settle for those yogurt parfaits. It was still tasty though--you know how these fast-food restaurants do, even the healthy stuff tastes so unhealthy a.k.a good! It was fun chit-chatting about what has happened, what is happening and whats going to happen. Girl, I take inspiration, motivation and determination from you. I hope I can stick to my determination. Everyone's been telling me that the job hunt takes a while, so I am trying to be patient, but sometimes I get a little restless. Okay, bedtime for me now...ttyl.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And we can ride the boogie

I need to, need to, need stop these unstoppable bouts of bitterness in me. I am really not that bitter. Situations, circumstances, weather, pimples, etc. all account for the acerbity. I am trying to amend myself and be more sunny, bright and bubblegum princess like.
I had a great day today, I went to the gym with Gowri and Julie. We had a light day today at the gym but nevertheless got them endorphins running. After that we all went to Galleria for a bit, Gowri and Julie needed to stop at the MAC store. Stepped out of there quickly and soon the sky got so heavy with moss greenish clouds and crackling noises. It started raining like a mad man. After that, Gowri dragged me along to Samah's place for a random get-together. Samah is a beautiful girl who made such scrumptious dishes, like punch with french vanilla ice-cream swirled in (its awesome, although I did almost call it weird before tasting it). She made this really decadent dessert, with condensed milk, cool whip, crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts. This one was so good too. She made enchiladas which were awesome as well and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was a great time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When retaliation becomes an answer for everything...

Ever met the kind that respond to every thing good or bad with a retaliative (don't know if it is a word but I am deriving it from retaliation) attitude? It could be that some people look at every moment as an opportunity to win or something. I don't blame those people. Maybe they were raised like that, maybe its genetics, maybe its an in-built biological design (or error) or maybe its a combination of all of the above. They cannot say things like 'Sorry', 'I Love You', 'Thank You', 'It is/was my fault', etc. They think uttering those phrases might belittle them and make them look less powerful or less credible. These people, go on hurting others everyday with their defensive attitudes. I am sure they would definitely succeed if they were to become politicians, lawyers or chief of defense. But in other realms of their lives? They might succeed but not for too long.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August beginnings

*Yawn* so August is here. Nothing has changed except for the fact that the unemployment rate has reached an all time high (in 4 years) of 5.7%. You can read it more at some news sources like CNN. My internet is acting silly so can't put a source here now. I am confused about a ton of things. I might be going to new york city for a month after my lease is up here. Just the fact that I will be staying in a new city for an extended period of time makes my muscle twitch. I mean I am a small town kind of girl. I am not a city type person. I know there are a ton of people who move from small towns to big cities and transition into it pretty well. I just hope something works out for me soon *all fingers crossed*. I have upped my eating a bit too much. Jasmine today (Iced-tea with extra creamer, curry rolls and pad kee mow), Chinese tomorrow (Fried rice with greasy dishes), etc. etc. This mouth of mine, needs to go away. I will never become the size I want until I stop this mouth of mine. It never says no to food...ever. Okay, I am not in a very good mood now due to various reasons. All I can say is, once I get a nice job, I will make some very big changes in my life...I hope its soon :)