Monday, October 22, 2012

Spicy Cornish Game Hen

For a family of 2, cornish game hen is simply perfect. One of these is about 1.5lb and costs about $2.5/lb.
Safeway has a package that has 2 hens in a package for about $8.5
I have tried a few recipes from food network to cook the hen before -- they were all OK.
Today, I was thrilled when an experiment turned out to be successful.
So here is the recipe for spicy oven roasted cornish game hen.

Special Equipment:
2 Heavy cast iron skillets

1 cornish game hen
6 cloves of garlic
one slice of bacon
2 tsp vegetable oil
Spice mix:
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp red chillie powder
1 tsp corriander powder 
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp clove powder (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Wash the hen thoroughly and pat it dry. Sprinkle enough of the spice mix on the skin of the chicken and also inside the chicken. I left the chicken in this state in the refrigerator for 1 day.
Preheat oven to 355F
Spatchcock/spattlecock (  the hen - if you have a nice pair of shears, this is easy to do.
Heat 1 tsp oil in the larger skillet. Sear both sides of the hen for a little less than a minute at high heat.
Lower the heat and place 6 cloves of garlic (some around the hen, some under the hen).
Cut up the bacon into one inch pieces and spread them over the hen.
Place the second heavy skillet on top of the bird and turn off the stove.
Move the arrangement into the oven.
Set the timer for 35 minutes.
When the time is up, let the hen rest for 15 minutes before you cut it up.

For people opposed to using bacon, try butter.
Also - always check that the hen is fully cooked before you dig in (juices must run clear or internal temp must reach 180F)
Wish I had taken pictures - it vanished way too fast..

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Project September

Each month I try out something new that I can do for a short while.
One month it was baking, another month it was gardening..
This month is for re-reading stories from Indian Mythology..
I dont know how many of you remember being 5 or 6 years old and sitting around the evening lit lamp and listening to your grandmother telling you stories about kings and gods and magical creatures..
I have vague memories of these stories and I remember reading amar chitra katha books when I was around 10 years old.. Alas, I never kept those books and these days those books are crazy expensive...
So I have decided to scour the internet and re-read those old stories..
Some are very familiar and some are not.. but it feels good to be reading these...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Done with summer!!

I know its only September but I so done with Summer and cant wait for it to get to fall.
This month is going to be an in-between-month, its cold enough in the mornings to want to get you to dress up in layers but by noon its hot enough to make you feel stuffy.
I want to wear my boots and stockings again!
Hopefully by the time I'm back from my India trip, the weather turns crisp and chilly..
Then it would be time for sweater over shirt, sweater dresses, scarves and gloves..
I know it doesn't get THAT cold in cali but its cold enough for me!! I am also looking forward to a trip to Ohio - more cold weather!
Another thing I noticed these days is how much I use my ovens when its cold. It is a winter thing.. we bbq all summer and bake all winter.. mmmm  roasted pumpkins and sweet potatoes...
cant wait.....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer is here again!

And it is that time of the year again! It is time for light clothes, sunscreen, hats and bright colors. Every summer we do something to keep us outdoors. Last year, we went fishing. We weren't very good at it but it got us out and near some beautiful lakes.
This year, we are doing hikes. It has only been 2 weeks and so far we did Monte Bello and Elkhorn Slough Natural Estuarine park.
Monte Bello was a last minute call and we wanted to do a medium difficulty hike. My friend Nirali and I drove to Palo Alto from San Jose and started driving up past foot hill college into the preserve parking. It was a warm summer day and the trail was well shaded and beautiful with its blonde hills and twisting paths. That day we hiked 11 miles.

View on top of Monte Bello

A small creek with green all around
Details at :MonteBello 
I wish I had a better camera or even better skills at taking pics with my iphone but you will have to take my word for how pleasant that hike was.
At the end we stopped by for a well deserved mani pedi and settled down for Chinese food.

Next week Arvind, Nirali and I decided to spend Saturday at Watsonville. We drove for an hour to Gizdich farms where we picked berries all morning (a first time for all 3 of us). This farm is famous for the pies they sell. We tried to stop by and buy some pies on the way back from berry picking around noon and found the place packed. So we turned around and decided to settle for home made pies.
After leaving Gizdich, we drove to Elkhorn for a short hike. Elkhorn is a gorgeous wetland with beautiful views and interesting plant and animal life.
We walked through areas that smelled of Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Dill, Mustard and so much more. The shallow waters around the hike had bat rays (these we saw)  and supposedly leopard sharks(we didnt see any)
Details at: Elkhorn

Here is my wish list for places to go see before summer ends

hoping to add more

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Working out

There used to be nothing that I hated as much as working out. My brain would make up weird reasons to justify not going to the gym. I wont even bring them up to cite just now. But one thing is true above most things - I am not a quitter. I have tried so many different ways to keep me going back to the gym.
And now I think I am getting the hang of it. So here is a little write up for people like me - if there are any.
  • Plan to give yourself one day off from burning all those calories
    The easiest way I find I can do this is by trying to get to the gym continuous 6 days of the week and taking the 7th day off. I find that if I say, I'm skipping on Thursday, there is a good chance, something will turn up on Friday that will be unavoidable or a weekend plan that keeps you away. So take the first chance you can get and get to the gym
  • Find the right kind of cardio for you.
    I find that stepper gives me much better results than elliptical. I also tried group x classes like STEP. I also know that I hate running for cardio - I give up too fast. Swim works the best. Try a few out before you decide what works best for you.
  • Find a work out buddy
    This works best for cardio.
  • Get 2 days to do weights
    Figure out what weight pushes your limits for different muscle groups and work with it. Pick weights that barely let you complete your 3 sets , each with 20 reps?
  • Time, motivation and attitude
    The day you are supposed to go to the gym , set aside extra time.Mine is the hour after I wake up - the hour before I get to the gym. This time will be useful for the last minute slackers. :P During your extra time, use your motivational tools ( memory of a bad photo, all the food you ate, how good your friend looks, a dress you want to get into.. ) to push yourself into the gym.
    Deep breath and say I CAN DO THIS say it again .. this time with conviction :P and now try I WANT TO DO THIS
  • And this is the most important one - watch what you eat.
    This is especially hard for Indians - we eat a lot of carbs and get too little protein in to us.Bay area engineers get the worst kind of deals. We eat out a lot and heavy.
  • Dont Give up
    Cardio - it is the hardest for the first 10 minutes
    And then it gets better. Do not give up for the first 10 minutes. By then body is warmed up.
    Distract yourself with a book, tv or music - or conversation with a friend. Try not to watch the clock.
And now slowly, I'm getting where I need to be.  Will keep you posted if I fall off the healthy train or stay on it.
Good luck to all of you out there!!