I went home (Mom's) for a couple days and it felt great. I sat around, did absolutely nothing, except work from home. There really is nothing like home and it's nice to be taken care of for a change. I think most married women would agree with me on this.
My niece, Rhea, came over and we stayed up pretty late gossiping and discussing ways to improve my blog. Rhea isn't even a teenager yet, however she is very wise for her age, she actually gave me some pretty great ideas. I joke with her that she'll be my publicist someday. The next day, my Mom, niece and I went to the Sunset Diner for brunch. The Sunset Diner is one of my favorite diners in NJ and I've been going to this diner since I was 10 years old. This place is like home. I've been ordering the same special... THE NUMBER 5 - French Toast - and they nail it every single time. NJ is famous for its 24 Hour Diners, for this reason and many more, I will always love NJ and be a Jersey Girl at heart!
The next day, an unexpected surprise, the rest of my nieces came over... Jazz, Sal, Sonia, and Sar. It was awesome. The house was so full of life and my Mom was thrilled having most of her grandkids at home. She made Pasta for lunch and it felt so good enjoying someone else's cooking for a change, in this case, my Mom's! Pretty much anything my Mom makes tastes good and then I'll start asking her, what did you put in this? Did you add garlic? Onions? What seasonings? Anyone else would have been annoyed, but not my Mom. She answers with a smile every single time. Later in the day I took my nieces to Starbucks, yes, Starbucks again! Today I tried the Mocha Frappuccino, thanks to Sal's recommendation, which was amazing. We had so much fun hanging out at Starbucks. I have to admit that it was a bit weird walking into Starbucks with 5 grown kids, all 10 and above. I certainly don't look like a mother of 5. Of course, just to annoy me, my nieces started calling me Mom at Starbucks. How embarrassing?!?!? LOL!
One thing I have to say about my family is each person has their good and bad qualities, I mean no one is perfect, but one thing that is common amongst all my family members is that we are all very "happy" people. We are a family that keeps it real, we snap at one another and there are no hard feelings, we are sarcastic, we laugh, we joke, we make fun of one another, we love eating, we love drinking, we love dancing, we love having fun, we have a zest for life, and we all get along. KNOCK ON WOOD! There isn't a minute of boredom. When I have my kids, someday, I want to raise them in such a way so they are positive, happy, and have a sense of humor; I definitely don't want them to be negative, always serious, and boring. Being positive radiates on your face, on your skin, and it creates positive energy, and then good things start to happen. Even when I'm sad, when I'm around my nieces they have the ability to make me laugh so hard that all my negativity is out the door. My niece, Sonia, is a riot. This kid is simply hilarious! Smiling and being happy is contagious. So I thank you... Sal, Jazz, Sonia, Rhea, and Sar, the loves of my life, for a positive and fun-filled couple of days at your Grandma's.
And now... Mushroom Matar Pulao, one of my creations. Hope you like it.
NUTRITION: Mushrooms are a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Protein. Green Peas are a good source of Vitamins B1 & C, Protein, and Iron, and a very good source of Folic Acid and Vitamin B1.
- Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
- Cloves - 4
- Bay Leaves - 1 or 2
- Cinnamon Stick - ½
- Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
- Green Chilies - 3 (chopped)
- Garlic - 2 cloves (chopped)
- Red Onion - 1 medium (sliced)
- Mushrooms - 12 oz. box (sliced)
- Frozen Green Peas - 1 cup
- Red Chili Powder - ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
- Tilda Basmati Rice - 2 cups (if you don't have Basmati, use Local Rice)
- Water - 4 cups
- Garam Masala - 1 tsp
- Fresh Cilantro/Mint Leaves - 1 handful (chopped) (I tried both, Cilantro tastes much better)
1. Here is what you'll need.
2. Chop the garlic and green chilies, I just used my Magic Bullet - LOVE IT!
3. Slice the onions.
4. Set aside the spices... cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin seeds, and cloves.
5. Heat a pot on medium heat, add Olive Oil and then the spices from step #4.
6. After a few seconds, once the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add the turmeric powder.
7. After 5 seconds or so, add the onions, green chilies, and garlic. Season with salt. Cook this for about 5 minutes or until the onions are slightly golden.
8. Slice the mushrooms.
9. Once the onions are golden, add the mushrooms and salt. Combine.
10. After a few minutes, add red chili powder and coriander powder. Combine. Cook the mushrooms until they are browned and they release water. About 10 minutes.
11. Now wash 2 cups of rice and set aside.
12. Once the mushrooms are browned, add green peas.
13. Add the rice to the mushroom-onion mixture. Combine.
14. Cook for a few minutes until the rice slightly toasts.
15. Add 4 cups of water. Season with salt. Combine.
16. Cover with a lid and allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes on medium heat. Keep checking in between... it may take a little less or more time.
17. Chop the Cilantro/Mint leaves. I tried both, however I preferred this dish with Cilantro Leaves.
18. This is what you should have. Make sure the rice is soft and cooked thru. Turn off the stove.
19. Add garam masala.
20. Add Cilantro/Mint Leaves.
21. Garnish with tomato slices and serve with Raita (Indian Yogurt). So GOOD!