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Atif Aslam Concert

October 24, 2016

Last evening I attended Atif Aslam’s concert at Colden Center.

Atif sung a string of hits including one of my faves Tu Jaane Na. I must say that hearing him live is just as good as his recordings.

Chicken Yum

Chief Brand Butter Chicken

October 14, 2016

Ingredients Needed

  • 10 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • 6 Pimento Peppers, chopped
  • 3 Inches Peeled Ginger, chopped
  • 2 Medium Onions, Peeled and chopped
  • Chicken Marinade
  • 12 Chicken Thighs, deboned, 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tsp Chief Brand Salt
  • 1 ½ Tsp Chief Brand Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp of Chief Brand Garam Massala
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Cinnamon Powder
  • 1Tsp Chief Brand Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Chief Brand Turmeric, Saffron
  • ½ Tsp Chief Brand Paprika
  • 6 Tbsp of Natural Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp of Chief Brand Chick Pea Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Tsp Chief Brand Fennel Seeds
  • ¼ Tsp of Chief Brand Maithe Seeds
  • 2 Whole Sticks of Chief Brand Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp Chief Brand Whole Geera Seeds, Cumin
  • 4 Whole Chief Brand Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Tsps of Chief Brand Coriander Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tbsp of Minced Chadon Beni


In a food processor, add the garlic, ginger, onions and pimento peppers and process into a paste. Add a Table spoon of water if needed. Divide seasoning paste into two portions and set aside.

Season chicken pieces with salt and black pepper and the rest spice ingredients for the marinade.

In a small bowl, add the yogurt and chick pea mixture and stir to combine. Add half of the garlic ginger seasoning paste to it, stir and then add this yogurt mixture to the seasoned chicken. With your hands, mix well ensuring yogurt mixture in integrated.

Let sit for 2 Hrs or up to overnight to marinate.

Place a Medium Iron pot on medium heat. Add the butter, followed by the, Fennel, maithe, cinnamon, geera and cardamom pods. Stir and cook for 20 seconds then add the coriander powder and tomato puree. Cook for 2 minutes on high heat. Add your chicken pieces and turn about in the pot to evenly coat. Cover and let cook for 6 minutes.  Add the heavy cream, stir occasionally and cook on medium heat covered for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the Chadon beni. Serve with Basmati Rice, Fried Potatoes or even Rotis.


Seafood Yum

Smoked Paprika Infused Salmon and Coconut Saffron Sauce

October 7, 2016

Ingredients Needed

For the Fish

  • 4 Each Salmon Filets, 1 inch Thick
  • 2 Tsp Chief Brand Salt
  • 2 Tsp Chief Brand Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Chief Brand Roasted Geera Powder
  • ¾ Tbsp of Chief Brand Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

Coconut-Saffron Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ Tsp of Chief Brand Turmeric
  • ¾ Cup coconut milk
  • ¼ Cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp pepper flakes
  • 1 Tsp of Chopped Chadon Beni
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste


Pat dry salmon filets with napkins to remove any excess moisture

Season with salt and black pepper first on both sides. Sprinkle on the geera and the smoked paprika. Massage these two spices onto the both sides and service areas of the fish.

In a medium sauté pan on high heat, add the olive oil and pan sear the salmon on both sides for approximately 2 minutes each and then turn off the stove. Leave salmon in hot pan to rest.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and melt the butter.

Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the turmeric and cook for an additional 1 minute while stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk, heavy cream and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the Chadon Beni and season lightly with salt and black pepper.  Spoon sauce over the salmon fillets and serve warm.

Dessert Yum

Chief Brand Black Pepper Corn Ice Cream

September 30, 2016

Ingredients Needed

1 cup whole milk
2 cup heavy cream

¾  cup White sugar
2 Tbsp Chief Brand black peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 Tbsp Chief Brand Vanilla Essence

¼ Tsp of Chief Brand Elychee Powder

Dash of Chief Brand Nutmeg

Dash of Chief Brand Cinnamon

Pinch of Chief Brand salt
6 large egg yolks



  • Place all the ingredients into a semi-deep sauce pan, with the exception of the egg yolks.
  • Put onto a stove on medium heat.
  • Allow the all milk, cream and sugar to mix and simmer gently with all the spices, black pepper corns and vanilla essence until bubbles start to break the surface of the mixture.
  • This may take approximately 5- 7 Minutes, but do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • After remove the pot from the heat and set aside. Place yolks into a medium bowl.
  • Take half cup of the hot milk solution and slowly add to the egg yolks whisking vigorously.
  • Do not add all the milk at one time, as egg yolks may scramble and cook.
  • Continue by adding a cup of hot milk again and whisk. Now add the egg mixture back to original pot of hot milk and whisk. Place pot back onto the stove on medium heat and cook an additional 3 minutes. Strain the milk and egg mixture through a sieve.
  • Place this creamy mixture into a clean bowl and chill for six hours until cold. Then add to you ice cream maker and churn according to your manufactures’ instructions or until ice cream is done. Place finished ice cream into a sealed container and place in freezer to firm up. Serve and enjoy.
Dessert Yum

Decorated Sugar Cookies

September 16, 2016


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 egg


Place a fine mesh sieve or a sifter over a medium mixing bowl and add the flour and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar; using a hand held mixer on medium-high speed cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light in color and has a fluffy texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the vanilla extract, lemon zest and egg. Beat until blended, 1 or 2 minutes longer. On low speed, gradually add the sifted flour and salt, mixing until just blended.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 2 balls. Place each half between 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper and roll into 5-inch diameter disks. Place the dough on baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or as long as 24 hours.

When you are ready to roll and bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silicone liners or parchment paper. Place 1 disk of the cookie dough on the work surface and remove the top sheet of paper. Lightly dust the surface of the dough with flour. Roll the dough out starting from the center to an even thickness of 1/8-inch. Using decorative cookie cutters cut the dough directly on the parchment paper. Use a spatula to transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet. Place the cookies at least 1/2-inch apart.

Gather the dough scraps and reroll them to make additional cookies. Only reroll the dough once.

Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges and firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

The cookies can be stored in resealable plastic containers or cookie tins for 1 week. To frost the cookies prepare a recipe of royal icing as follows and decorate as desired.

Royal Icing:

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon milk

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat slowly until well blended. Then beat at medium-high speed until the icing forms stiff peaks, 6 minutes. If icing is not stiff enough add more sugar if it is too stiff add more milk. Use immediately or place in a plastic container with a lid until ready to use. Allow icing to dry for at least 24 hours before packaging.

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups


Photo Credit –


Horse Back Riding

September 12, 2016


Over the long weekend I took a trip to upstate New York. The area I visited was very family oriented; it was a serene area with lots of activities. I enjoyed many of the breathtaking views, ambiance, aura as well as indulged a bit in the wide variety of local snacks and desserts, but what was truly a treat was partaking for the first time in horseback riding.

Leading up to this activity I was excited. When I arrived at the barn, I looked around to scope out the scenery. All the horses were lined up in their respective stables. When it was time for my ride an older gentleman approached me and took me onto the grounds.  Being closer to all the horses, the experience became even surreal to me. Wow what a feeling!

Finally, I was on my big brown horse name Sal. They are aware of their routine to allow the riders to get on them and then gallop towards the water. As other guests got on their horses also, my horse got a little impatient causing him to go out the gates. I had to command him by using the techniques shown by the experts and make him turn around. As we waited for other riders to get on their horses, I was told by the same older gentleman that my horse is one that they use a lot for kids. This made me less fearful as I presumed he may be gentler with me. You didn’t think I was all cool being on an animal that can suddenly go wild on me? Lol

Melissa the other riding expert led the way while all of us followed one by one. The path was filled with big rocks, so the horses had a tougher time climbing. Once in a while I had to steer my horse in the right path, but he knew the routine (they were all males).  The horse in front of me kept stopping to eat and poop. Lol.

Horse riding is one to be mentally prepared for as it can appear fearful. I recall a mom and daughter backing out last minute. The mom was about to get on the horse but allowed fear to overcome her and she took off her helmet and walked away, her younger daughter was on the horse and asked to come off. I saw the older sister and father going along with it and ended up being the ones behind me. At first horseback riding can be a little intimidating but you have to keep in mind that they are trained and can sense fear. Being courageous and adventurous can allow you to have an experience like none other.

Spending an hour on a horse and hearing him grunt, breathing heavily and forcing its way up a rocky trail made me feel pity for them. But my bonding time was lovely.

Chicken Yum

Sesame Chicken

September 9, 2016

 Ingredients Needed

3 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

For the marinade/batter:

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon baking powder

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili paste

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Peanut oil, for deep-frying


3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Wash the chicken under cold running water, pat dry and trim off any excess fat. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce: In a saucepan, add the sesame oil and set over low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry gently until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Gently pour into the saucepan with the fried ginger and garlic. Stir as you pour because the cornstarch will thicken up pretty quickly. Keep warm over low heat.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or deep-fryer heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 degrees F.

Photo Credit –

Indian Dosas

September 2, 2016

1 Cup of Chief Gram Flour (Chick Pea Flour)

1 Cup of All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp of Baking Soda

¾ Tsp of Chief Salt

½ tsp of Chief Black Pepper

1 Tsp of Ground Chief Mustard Seeds

½ Tsp of Chief Roasted Ground Geera (Cumin)

½ Tsp of Chief Saffron Powder (Turmeric)

Water to Mix

Place, all the ingredients into a mixing bowl with the exception of the water. Whisk to mix all the spices with flour. Slowly add water to the mixture until you achieve a consistency a little looser to pancake batter.

Let batter sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a small non stick sauté pan over medium heat. Place 1 tsp of vegetable oil to coat bottom of pan. Carefully ladle in 2 oz of Dosa batter into the pan and carefully rotate pan to allow batter to spread evenly to the sides to form a thin circular shape. Cook for 45 seconds on each side and then remove and set aside. Continue until all batter is done.

Place Dosa on plate and spoon a little of the shrimp curry onto it, fold over and enjoy as a snack or even as a light meal.

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