List of Vegetarian Menu Ideas – from Appetizer to Dessert

Our small circle of family friends back home usually hosted dinner at one or the other person’s place every few weeks.  My aunt was hosting one at her place last year and was discussing some menu ideas with me.  As I mentioned each dish, either she already made it before or she recently ate at someone else’s place.

You know, ‘what to make for dinner?’ and ‘what to cook for a party?’ are the most common questions you and I have as the master chefs of our home.  So while searching through cookbooks and websites for some dishes, I realized having a database at one place would be a good idea – at least starting from Indian food.

Conversations with my husband during dinner...

Me: One last bite, please. Only a little is left, I don’t want to keep it until tomorrow, please finish it up.
Alok: Man, you are making me overeat.
Me: (rolling my eyes) Just one bite does not make you “overeat”.
Alok: If you hang from a mountain with a rope that is about to break and that last thread remains, even if an ant comes on top of you, the rope will break and you will fall down. This one bite is the same thing.
Me: An ant? With a weight of .001 gram? Will make you fall down?
Alok: (with a straight face) Yes.

I tell ya – my husband has made my life entertaining in more ways than I can count.

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Alok: I think I eat a lot.  I don’t see any other colleague eating so much.  I think everyone is health conscious.  But I don’t become fat, so I think it’s okay.  But I really like to eat, I cannot help it.
Me: Come on, it’s fine.  I like to cook for you.  The only problem is the days you go to gym or workout, you think you MUST eat double food to make up for the energy.  That shouldn’t happen.
Alok: But I feel bad you have to cook so much for me.  I’m sorry I eat like a monster.

I had to stop laughing before I could eat the next bite.

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Train Your Brain

I was watching a video by psychologist Shawn Achor on TEDTalks and loved something he said that I'd like to share here:

There are ways we can train our brain to become more positive. If you spend 2 minutes of your time in the day and do the following things continuously for 3 weeks in a row, you can actually rewire your brain and allow it work more optimistically and more successfully.

our recreational activity: assembling furniture

A friend saw pictures of my canvas painting, she thought it was really sweet and said she really liked how Alok and I tried a creative activity together - something not all husbands would be ready for.  Surprisingly, it did not take much persuasion and Alok was ready to try canvas painting for the first time on one of the days of a long weekend, and he enjoyed it.  One of the other pastimes we have enjoyed in the three years together is assembling household furniture.

The glass of juice

Over dinner one day, I served food on our plates and began pouring fruit juice in our glasses. Alok told me he did not want the juice.  Despite that I was continuing to pour the fruit juice in his glass when he got angry and said, “I told you I don’t want.”  But I knew he did.

While eating, he took a sip of the juice from my glass.  Halfway through the dinner, my glass was half empty and I was beginning to get annoyed.  I suggested, “If you want the juice you can take some in your own glass, you know?”

He got angry (for no reason, as always) and said, “If you had a problem with me drinking from your glass you should have just said it.  I’m sorry, I will never drink from your glass again.”

I replied, “I don’t have a problem with that.  I have a problem when you angrily tell me you do not want something when I do it, but continue to do the same on your own.”

He got angrier and said, “Okay, just stop it now.”

He obviously did not appear in a good mood, but one thing was clear – he does not want his own glass of juice just because he wants to take ‘sips’ of juice from mine.

And they say it’s impossible to understand women?

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History repeats itself

Until about four years ago, I was the kind of girl that if I stepped into the kitchen, it would cause stress to my mom and the house help.  I rarely cooked and hardly even looked into the cabinets.  But the day I’d opened the drawers, or look through the containers – I’d complain.
“Why don’t you clean the cutlery tray?  There is so much dust.”
“I still see some spots on this plate and glass, rinse it again.”
“Why don’t you label the containers?  I don’t know what’s what.”
“Why are you keeping these bowls and pans here?”

Non stop.

My mom would be so annoyed: “You don’t come in this kitchen the entire year, and when you do all you want is to complain and mess my whole kitchen.”

Today, I know that drawers and cutlery trays cannot be cleaned every day.  Every container does not need a label.  Some things have to be kept at certain places.  And you organize your kitchen based on YOUR accessibility and convenience – not for others.

But now I have a hard time explaining this to my husband.  Because he does the same thing today.  He will be the exact pain in the ass that I was once upon a time, and grumble about everything that is there and that I do in my kitchen.

Like they say, history repeats itself.

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Need my help?

Two years back…Apurva called, “Is there anything else I can use instead of vanilla extract?”
Last year…Swati Bhabhi called, “I kind of burnt my ghee. Do you have any idea what I can do with it now?”
Few months back…Ipsi called, “I’m getting this red velvet cake mix box, what can I use in place of eggs?  Wanted to check with you if there’s anything I need to buy from the store or I might have at home.”

Those are just few of the phone calls I can recall at the moment.

Some months ago…