Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cooking Countesses

Kitchen Fail

There really is nothing like a home cooked meal. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty good cook and when I go to my finance's family home, his mom's food is also really tasty. But at the end of the day, I really miss eating food cooked by my own mummy and sister. I miss those familiar smells and tastes. My soon to be family is African, they have some very different foods compared to my Pakistani family. I've had the opportunity to taste and learn about different foods, but I still miss the classics I'm used to. I even miss cleaning up together with my sister, we would take turns everyday doing different tasks so our mom could relax. After all, mummy did do all the cooking and preparation for dinner.

Moving away from home means the first time I have to properly cook for myself; and it hasn't exactly been easy. Not because I don't know how to cook, but because my apartment my kitchen really isn't the best. The basics are there, but they aren't the best quality-wise. Since September I have had to master the foreign-to-me ways of cooking on an electric stove top. Although it took some time to get used to, I think I have a good handle on it now. Which is a good thing since my new place will have one too. I am afraid to use the oven though. I honestly think it will blow up if I try. And this Fahrenheit to Celsius business is pretty annoying as well.

It's also difficult to have to share a small kitchen with 3 other girls. We have limited pantry storage and fridge/freezer space. There have been many times I was unable to cook when I wanted to because someone else already was. To make matters worse, up until January we had a fridge that stuck out into the small kitchen space we had because it wasn't the right size. It's been quite the experience learning to live on my own and cook for myself.

Hopefully in my new home my sister and I can try new recipes together when I have a nice spacious kitchen to work in.


Cooking Countesses

Aloo Gosht

Growing up this was one dish I always looked forward to no matter how many times we ate it. So much so that I didn't feel like our new home was really home until I had made aloo gosht and roti for dinner. For those who are unfamiliar with Bohra cuisine aloo gosht is a savory stew-like dish made in a tomato based sauce with goat meat and potatoes. It is commonly served with rice or a flat bread such as naan or chapatti. This dish plays nicely with a lemon or mango pickle. I like to serve it with sliced cucumbers sprinkled with a little salt and pepper as a side dish.

1 1/2 lbs goat meat (bone in stew meat)
2 small tomatoes (diced)
1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
2 medium potatoes (cubed)
2 small cloves garlic (minced)
2 tbsp garlic (minced)
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp gharam masala
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp oil

1. Warm up the oil (on high flame) in a medium sized pot. Once the oil is warm, saute the onions.
2. When the onions start to go soft add the spices, garlic and ginger.
3. After about 30 seconds add the tomatoes and saute.
4. Once the tomatoes soften add the meat.
5. When the meat starts to brown add 2 cups water and turn the stove down to low.
6. Let simmer for about an hour, until the meat is cooked though.
7. Add potatoes. Note: Depending on how much water has evaporated during simmering you may need to add more. All the contents of the pot should be submerged in order for the potatoes to cook properly.



Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's my ishtyle

The jeans have it

After pregnancy it has been hard for me to get my groove back.  Who better to help me feel a bit more confident than my sister?  After all, before the move we shared everything...clothes, jewelry, makeup...

shirt: Onepiece jeans: Hollister shoes: Toms purse:
Ted Baker  watch: Marc Jacobs
bracelet: Pandora

sweater: Akira jeans: ASOS glasses: Love
shoes: Qupid headband: gift

Sunday Bliss

Sunday is the day we slow down and really appreciate what is around us.  When we catch up with ourselves after a busy week. 

Day at the beach with the family. ~M

Lunch with friends at home. ~T

Monday, May 20, 2013

Home Sweet Home

This is our childhood home
They say home is where the heart is, but for me my heart is in two places. In September 2012, I moved from Chicago, Illinois to Manchester, England to follow my dream of attending art school as well as to be closer to my soon to be husband. I have never spent this much time away from my family, and it has honestly been the hardest but best time of my life. No matter what, Chicago will always be my home. It's where I spent the first 20 years of my life. My family and friends are there. But Manchester is now my new home. It is where I will be spending the rest of my life. I go to one of the best art schools and have made amazing friends. The past few months Manchester has shaped me into an adult; I have never lived on my own before. I will be getting married in August in Chicago and will come back to Manchester. I will have a new home here with family and friends. This where, one day, I will start my own family. No matter what, though, I will never stop calling Chicago my home, part of me is still there. Home is where there is love and happiness, I am lucky enough to have two.


Home Sweet Home

This couch was the first purchase I made for our new home
Growing up I always thought I would be the first one to really leave home. Not simply because I am the oldest but because I had grown up with the mentality that one day I would get married and move away from my family. After all that is what my mother did and her mother before her and I am a traditionalist at heart. However, of the three grown-up children in our family I am the only one who is still where we grew up.

That's not to say that I am stuck where we started. I went to college not too far away. I married an Englishman who generously offered to move to Chicago for me and we now have a baby boy and a new-to-us house only 10 minutes away from my parents' home. It's funny how so much has changed in my life while the scenery has remained the same. But, it isn't the scenery that makes my new home feel like home. It is my husband getting out of bed early to mow the lawn, my son squealing because he saw his reflection in the mirror, my bookcase rammed with books, the vase one of my best friends gave me as a wedding present and the family housewarming party filling our living room with banter and laughter.

The every day chores, tribulations and triumphs plus the people I share my home with are what make me feel like we really belong here. I certainly had my doubts and the path to getting this house was full of strife. But, now, I am glad to call it home.