Thanksgiving and Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 2:55 am | Posted in Food, Life | Leave a comment
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Here are a few pictures of my Thanksgiving table, without all the food on it. Also, pictures of my trip to Santa Barbara.

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Sona

Conversation between Friends.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Food, Fun, Life, Poetry | Leave a comment
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Jasmine and I
we went to the city
today
a long time ago
a week ago
and we sat on the train
and we had vanilla lattes
and oatmeal raisin cookies
and paninis
with the best barbeque sauce
and pizza made by Shawn

We talked about cereal
and garbage
the city at night,
shopping,
people,
clothes and shoes
buildings
old buildings in Europe
and books,
the ones we’ll write
about stupid things
the future
the present and the past
and what ifs and we should have
done that
about other cities we should have gone to
should go to
could go to
can’t right now
maybe someday

and that’s where it ends and
starts
maybe someday
maybe one day
that’s what we talked about
today
yesterday
and maybe tomorrow
probably
most likely
we’ll figure it out
all of it
some of it
maybe none of it
during one of these conversations

Sona

Oh how I love thee, Pizza!

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Food, Fun, Gyan, Life | Leave a comment
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Few days ago I decided to make pizza at an instance. It was lunch time and thanks to my friend google, I found a pizza dough recipe that didn’t require a day for the pizza dough to rise! Let me cut the story short, the pizza turned out amazing and I took pictures of the process with our new Canon EOS Rebel T2i EOS 550D. We mainly bought the camera to take pictures for our fashion blog but how can you resist taking food pictures…

The taste still lingers…

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Food, Fun, Humor, Life | Leave a comment
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Our first pizookie experience and we must say it was divine! When our server brought the pizookies, us and two of our friends had a long conversation about why this dessert was called a pizookie. Well, then our very intelligent friend uttered some brilliant words, “it’s a pizookie because it’s a cookie baked in a small pizza pan” (wish I remembered her exact words!) Silence followed those words and then Jasmine said, “Wow, you’re so smart!” Silence followed once again and this time it was so we could all relish every little bit our pizookies.

The misadventures of the Lost and confused…

Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Posted in Food, Fun, Humor, Life, Television | 5 Comments
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We’ve been thinking about going to the park or the beach for a day to get some inspiration for a while, but it never really worked out. So, yesterday when Jasmine decided we should just go have a picnic and e-mailed Sona the cutest e-mail ever, it was decided instantly. We were going to Alum Rock park because that’s the biggest and the oldest in the area and the pictures looked very appealing. Maybe, we could even pretend we were in Central Park, NY instead of the damn Silicon Valley.

So today, we packed chicken salad sandwiches, chocolate cake, strawberries, melons and water with a sheet to sit on and left our houses around 1:30, maybe 2.

We had directions, but if you know anything about us by now you know that we’re experts at getting Lost. We really are, not a day goes by when we go somewhere together that we don’t get Lost. So, yes we did get Lost. We couldn’t find parking…and the road the map told us to go on was closed. So, we asked a biker for directions and after feeling like Jack in Season 1, we finally found the other entrance to the park, where there was the option of parking, or paying and driving inside the park.

Since we’re broke and found somebody leaving a spot, we parked Sona’s black (this will be important later) car. We took our bags, filled with food, water, a sheet to sit on, notebooks for writing…and started walking up the road, while bragging about how smart we were by walking instead of paying six dollars and wasting gas. It was beautiful. A creek on one side of the road, rocks and trees on the other. We saw a dead squirrel and a dead snake on the way, not so beautiful, but cool nonetheless…and a deer, which was alive. We kept walking and walking and soon we started feeling the 84 degrees, the weight of the bags, the not-so-sensible shoes. But, we were adamant. We walked a bit more, but we did not see a picnic area anywhere, just more wilderness…and cars going by us every few minutes.

We should’ve noticed the amount of cars sharing the road by us. But, we usually get too excited by our own assumptions and totally ignore what the majority is doing and think they’re the weird ones. Yeah…we are very “special” that way. And also the whole time, we felt like we were in Lost, except it wasn’t as green, and we felt adventurous.

Eventually though, we asked a father and son, sitting by the creek, how far one of the picnic areas was. The dad said it was really far, that’s why people were driving. Are you laughing now, yeah we were laughing too. We decided to go back, since even if we walked a bit more and ended up at an area, we would have to walk back and it might actually get dark. Neither one of us wanted to run into the Smoke Monster.

So, we finally started walking back and the mercury seemed to have gone even higher than 84 degrees. On the way, some guy stopped and asked us if we wanted a ride. Also, he asked us why were walking? Seriously people! Yes, the park is big and there’s a road for cars, but it is still a park! People can decide to take a walk in a park, it is not strange behavior! GAAH! Anyway, we said our ‘no thank yous’ and he left.

We kept on walking, our chins held up even though every other other person in a car seemed to be laughing at us. Freaks!

Than, remember how we said we thought we were in Lost…well something magical happened. A car drove by us, slowly, a vintage top-down antique looking car, with two people in the front and a bald old man in the back. He smiled at us and we smiled at him because this man looked like freaking’ JOHN LOCKE! That’s right, John Locke in the park that reminded us of the island. Obviously, this means Lost ended too early. The writers should take it as a sign and make a sequel or something, even though that season finale was the most amazing television experience ever…past, present, and future.

Than, we kept on walking. And finally when we could see the parking lot with our black car, John Lock with his friends drove past us again! And he smiled again! Two times in a row, it is definitely a sign.

We opened our black car, and did we mention the leather seats. Body parts were burning people!! We were so angry. We did not plan a hike, we wanted to sit in a park, surrounded by trees, eat good food and get inspired. Instead, our feet were burning and we were all sweaty and gross and tired! But, we still wanted to see the picnic areas, as annoyed as we were. So, we decided to pay the six dollars and went exploring in the car, in true Cali fashion. Yeah, no wonder people were laughing at us.

This probably took fifteen minutes at the most, to reach the end of the park and come back out. On the way, we saw all the picnic areas, which looked nothing like we had imagined. First of all, they were all filled with people, BBQing, and there were picnic tables in between all the trees, not the grass we had imagined. All the areas were like that, and one of the areas was some sort of Science Institution with a freakin’ log cabin. So, we drove back…six dollars wasted, feet still burning, car running out of gas any moment, useless.

We got out of there and went to look for a gas station and decide where the hell we could go next, to salvage whatever was left of this day.

We crossed out quite a few parks off our list and decided that we might as well just go Murphy Park, which is right by Sona’s house. Yeah…don’t even get us started. But, while we were at the gas station Jasmine’s mom called and Jasmine had to stop and do something. So, we stopped there…drank some water, Sona washed her feet outside with a hose to relieve some of that burning because of the stupid thin sandals. Once Jasmine finished, we went on our way.

A few minutes later, we were at the park and found an area that didn’t have people by it. Right under a big tree, we spread a sheet and finally relaxed under the shade, in the breeze. It was heaven, we had some strawberries and the melons and started forgetting the adventures on the “island park.”

Than, we saw something that looked like a carpenter bee, called a “bhoond” in Punjabi. It’s a hilarious word if you speak Punjabi, we laughed for a while before we freaked out. It kept hovering all around us, and we couldn’t focus on anything except the hideous creature. We tried to ignore, but it felt like a restless polar bear trying to chase Walt down. All the while, there were two little girls doing pretty much what we were doing. Trying to relax on a blanket, except they didn’t have food instead all they had was a Pepsi bottle. They were so adorable.

For every few minutes we could ignore the bhoond, we tried to relax. Sona started writing down whatever was happening in the surroundings. But, it just didn’t seem like our day. This little kid started playing right next to us, these three men were sitting a few yards away talking a bit too loudly and than these girls came and started talking, but this was nothing… than another girl joined them with a damn DOG! We are really really scared of dogs, and it just kept coming closer and closer and it was getting louder and louder.

We couldn’t take it anymore, so we decided to move across the park and just ignore the soccer players near that area, there was an area under the tree that was sort of secluded. It was nice. We laid down and started talking about how we can make our lives better, get out of here and fulfill our dreams. We put some music on using a cell-phone. It was finally getting nice. Than Sona’s mom called.

It didn’t seem out of the ordinary, she always calls once or twice day from work. She asked where Sona was now, because she knew about the park. And she told her we were by the one near home. The day couldn’t be salvaged, it was just cursed or something. Sona had to go home because there was a guest there, and her dad hasn’t been feeling well, so it didn’t look good that nobody else was there, especially when Sona could be there. Sigh…

So, Sona dropped Jasmine off at her house and Sona went home, where her dad was talking to said guest. After maybe ten-fifteen minutes, somebody came and picked up the guest (she had gotten dropped off). Yeah, basically Sona didn’t really need to leave the fifteen minutes of peace we had gotten all day. Yeah…

You know what this proves, don’t you? The Universe hates us, it really does.

Dark Chocolate-Lime Soufflés with Fresh Whipped Cream and Lime-Sugar*

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Food, Life | Leave a comment
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From what I’ve been told throughout my life, about life, has always contradicted itself. There’s always some variation of ‘it’s fate’ or ‘things always work out for the best’ and of course right after there’s always the variation of ‘god helps those who help themselves’ or ‘you can’t rely on destiny.’ I guess it’s possible for both things to be true and as I think about my experiences, they have been contradictions themselves. So comes to an end this syllogistic rambling and conclude that…life is a contradiction. But, why am I talking about life. There’s always been an inner dialogue with myself, I don’t know if that means I’m very self-aware, self-obsessed or just plain crazy. I think it’s some combination of these three…but why am I talking about this?

It might be because it is officially the future. I remember various teachers overtime always made students do the ‘where will you be’ exercise. It almost always took place in 2010, and now it is. It also might have something to do with people, the kinds of people you sometimes have conversations or angry spats with, that drive you so crazy with fury that you want to tear apart any surrounding semblance of civility that you might have left within yourself. You just want to be somewhere else, where you cannot hear yourself think or even somewhere so quiet where you can hear the trickle of a crawling cockroach that you than have to smash with your shoe. These kinds of people add to the disappointment you already have on your mind because that list is taking so long to fulfill itself and they make you look at those banal faded stains on the walls that you thought you’ll get to cleaning one day look like your enemies that you than attempt to destroy with your fiery gaze resulting in nothing and you wonder…

Did any of my predictions, hopes, and dreams come true? No, no they didn’t. This doesn’t mean that I’m utterly and hopelessly disappointed…well actually I am, but I have to say I’m also a bit proud of my few accomplishments. But, the disappointment is overpowering and the pride merely resembles an old childhood scar I got while idiotically swinging back and forth in the stairs while holding to the rails and of course falling…splat!

Anyhow, things haven’t turned out as I had hoped, but I’m still striving for the future I had written down on a piece of paper when I thought I had all the time in the world. And while striving for the lines on that list to become reality and feeling like I’m running out of time…I make some soufflés for the very first time on New Year’s Eve.

Happy New Year People, may your lists become reality soon!

— Sona
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*Recipe from Epicurious.com via Bon Appetit Magazine

The Mother of All Cakes

Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 1:05 am | Posted in Food, Fun | 4 Comments
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It’s a bird…It’s a plane…no it’s the GyanGurus! We’re back and we’re here to stay…until we get uninspired and depressed again, which we’re still currently, but we did something that was completely the opposite. It was utterly inspired and uplifting. What could it be?

Well you’re talking about the GyanGurus here…so it has to be one of the fs of life. In this instance it’s food. For Jasmine’s mom’s birthday we baked a birthday cake. It wasn’t just any birthday cake, it was the mother of all cakes. We’ve been into food forever…eating it, cooking it, and writing about it. We got into baking quite a while back, but recently we’ve gotten really good at it…all that free time and all that practice.

We saw the recipe on gourmet.com and we both wanted to make it, but it just seemed so daunting. But, we decided to do it last week for Jasmine’s mom’s birthday and thought it would be less daunting, if we did it together and so we did.

We baked the Twelve-Layer Mocha Cake.

First, it was the cake layers.

Second, the soufflé layers.

Third, the meringue layers.
There are toasted hazelnuts in this layer, we just didn’t get a picture.

The buttercreams – Mocha and Coffee.

The syrup.

Assembled cake.

We made the decorations ourselves too!

That piece, the last picture, turned out to be ambitious, the cake was heavy so you couldn’t eat a lot, but it was delicious and every bite was completely and utterly satisfying. And it didn’t hurt that we made it ourselves. Of course making it wasn’t like eating it. It wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be, but it was very time-consuming…even if we hadn’t messed up and had to make the meringue layers twice.

The first time we toasted the hazelnuts and when it was time to take off the loose skins, we used a towel that turned out be dirtier than it looked…ooops! So we had to throw it away, but we should’ve tried to take the wax paper off of that layer because the second layer turned out to be a pain in our necks, literally!

If you’re going to make it, please don’t butter the sheet when you bake the meringue layers…the wax paper will stick to it and you will spend the night trying to take the paper off with your hands, while breaking the layers into pieces because it’s too damn delicate. So don’t butter the sheet, for the love of god don’t butter it! It didn’t say in the directions to butter it, but we just assumed since the other two layers had to be…and when could butter be bad in baking…well it can be. Follow the directions exactly as they are and you’ll be fine.

In the end, it was a really satisfying experience, we think we should open a restaurant.

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