FASHION

FASHION
FASHION

BEAUTY

BEAUTY
BEAUTY

FOOD

FOOD
FOOD
copyright: journospeak. Powered by Blogger.

BETTY RAE'S ICECREAM COMES TO RIVER MARKET,KC

What do you think of, when I mention Kansas City to you? My mind thinks of Barbecue. Why not, as KC is clearly the barbecue capital of the world. What if I told you that you can try out some ice cream which crosses the line between the desert and barbecue. Yes, you heard that right. Burnt Ends Ice Cream from Betty Rae's, Kansas City is a must-have for every foodie.


Betty Rae's has made a place in the hearts of KC foodies ever since they opened their first location in the Waldo area. So when they decided to expand to a second location, my foodie soul was happy to be a part of the soft opening. Betty Rae's officially opens later this month, at their River Market location of Kansas City. Located on Delaware street, Betty Rae's is housed in a great corner lot. The lines for the ice cream counter stretched on to the street in front if its any proof of how successful the soft opening was.
The decor was beautiful. From the touch of faux tropical plants, to the photo wall of ice creams, from the cute tables to the photo booth, from the pen bar to the DJ spinning your favorite tunes, from the high ceilings to the amazing murals, I was busy soaking it all in, when I remembered I had to order some ice cream. My 5-year-old in tow was busy trying to explain to me, that we need to get into the ice cream line quick. When you mention to a 5-year-old, that you shall be taking her to a new ice cream shop, she starts the countdown a week before, if its the opening day. So I decided it was time to get into the line and order us some sweet treats.


My daughter chose Cookies and Cream as her flavor for the night, while I went on a tasting spree. Note to self, offer ice cream in a cup to your kiddo, if you want an easier cleanup.
Coming back to the flavor I was most interested to try out - Burnt ends Ice cream. It was worth every hype I had heard of. Ice cream with chunks of burnt ends was the perfect dessert toying the line between savory and sweet. I am guilty of eating a few too many. Whenever you are at Betty Rae's next, make sure you start your tasting session with this gem of a dessert.
The second flavor I loved was the London Fog. It was complex but balanced and more along the traditional sweet ice cream route.

Strawberry Cheesecake, Lavender Honey, and Butter Scotch were a few other flavors that we tried out and loved. I mean, what is not to love about good ice cream, right. And Betty Rae's clearly know what they are doing.

If you thought the evening was only about ice cream, in a cone or a cup, then you are mistaken. Whizz up your favorite ice cream, with your favorite alcohol, and you had your custom Boozy Milk Shakes to choose from. I still can't forget the potent White Russian which I sipped on. I can tell you that I was happy to be not driving that night.

So if you are headed to the River Market area of Kansas City, later this months, make sure you head to Betty Rae's for a one of a kind ice cream experience. I know we shall surely be back for more.



PAAN : THE ALL NATURAL BREATH FRESHNER

 My India trip is almost coming to an end. I wait and plan for two years, to come to India. To spend quality time with my family members, who are still here. Eating out at our favorite restaurants, chatting up till late at night with my brother, enjoying a hot cuppa with my parents and a mandatory trip to the Beaches along the Bay of Bengal. This time around, the trip started on a great note, but midway through it, my father had a major cardiac arrest. He battled life and death, and every moment counted. My father is currently home, to regain his strength before he gets readmitted to another hospital, for the next round of treatments and medical procedures.

I had many many posts planned to write during my India trip, but all of those have been put on hold. Thank you to all of you who supported us during these dark hours. While I will write about the rest of the planned posts later, I thought of ending the stay in India, with a post about Paan. 
Why Paan, if you might ask? A celebratory Indian meal is often accompanied by a Paan, to end the meal. So a post about the Paan to end the India vacation. 

What is Paan? It is a breath freshener, to say the least. Often also seen as a sign of hospitality. A digestive aid. A heady concoction, which often can act as a stimulant for some, as well. Betel Leaves, are wrapped in a triangular shape, with chopped areca nuts, a dash of edible lime, desiccated rose petals, cloves, fennel seeds to name a few. 
Betel Leaves themselves can be of a few kinds- the Meetha(the sweet) or the Plain. Personally, I prefer the Meetha Paan, which is made with the sweeter variety of Betel leaves, with a host of sweet and savory fillings. Paan shops could be found earlier at street corners, and now with globalization, they have become fancier. Paan is wrapped and often chilled on top of blocks of ice, to keep them cook, in the hot sultry Summers of India. 

My recent encounters with the Paan were filled with memories. From the time of holding on to an extra Paan, after a meal at a wedding ceremony or a family, to the fancier paan, which I can't even fit in my mouth in one bite. The trick with paan is you take it all in one bite and keep on chewing. It melts in your mouth. 

Kansas City does not have an Indian restaurant yer, which has Paan on its menu. Correct me, if I am wrong. You do get the plain variety of Betel leaves from some of the Indian grocery stores, but they are the spicier leaves, which I can't handle. You could always buy those, and also pick up the other basic ingredients and make your paan at home. Of if you ever travel to India, do try out a Meetha Paan(the sweet paan) and you will love the experience. 

OUDH 1590, KOLKATA - THE ROYAL CONNECT

I had promised that I would share glimpses from my visit to India. So here comes the first chapter - a travel back in time. Being a Foodie with Kolkata in my soul, I have a special connection to biriyani. And by Biriyani, I mean the quintessential Awadhi style, which is famous in Kolkata. While I could go on and on about the history of Kolkata's Biriyani, let me cue in the hottest star in the Biriyani scene - Oudh 1590.

We had been hearing rave reviews about this brand, and seen enough pictures on social media, to have us head straight there, once our jet lag had worn off. In the last 20 days, I have already been there thrice, and that is enough proof of how good it all is. Oudh 1590, is the brainchild of musician and restaurateur Debaditya Chaudhury and his elder brother Shiladitya Chaudhury. The Chaudhury family knows their food and hospitality pretty well. I remember nibbling on lip-smacking evening snacks, during our college days, when we would all crash at their place. Yes, Deba is an old friend from college and it's with sheer pride that I try and pin down this post.
Coming back to Oudh 1590, it creates the perfect period dining experience, tapping on the right gastronomic chords of a Bengali foodie. I have been to two locations of Oudh 1590 - the one in Vivekananda Park(South Kolkata) and the one in Salt Lake(twice) and loved both. In a city known for its enormous choice of eateries, its no surprise that my brother and me, chose Oudh 1590, to treat our father.
Oudh 1590 does not accept reservations, and they have a first come, first serve policy. As we waited, for our table, the waiting lounge almost looked like, we were in some old Mughal fort or palace. Yes, pictures do not do justice to how beautiful the place is. From the outfits of the servers to the beautiful way the air conditioning units are camouflaged to blend into the decor, I loved the attention to detail. We were a larger group, and I just loved our tables, at each of the three visits.


 Let us talk about the food. Once the food arrives, you are truly transported back to the ear of Nawabs. For the uninitiated, the kingdom of Awadh was known for being a gastronomic paradise. Legend has it that the khansamas(royal chefs) of the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, created this special style of Biriyani, which is the way to any Bengali foodie's heart. And Oudh 1590, clearly delivers on its promise in making you travel back in time, with all that they serve.

We started off with Galawati Kebabs(Mutton paste marinated with Awadhi special spices: shallow fried on a hot grill) and Kakori Kebabs(Mutton paste marinated with Awadhi special spices and grille don a seekh). I am a Kebab lover, and if you know me well, you know of the Kebab nights at my home in Kansas City. We also ordered a take out of Zafrani Kebab(Boneless chicken cubes marinated in saffron, yogurt, and cream and cooked in a tandoor) and Qalmi Kebab(tender leg pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt, green chili, and cilantro paste and grilled in a  tandoor). All four varieties of Kebabs were melt-in -your -mouth, and so rich in their flavor profile. We had already ordered for round 2, of the same order, on all three occasions, with the three different groups of family, I had been with. I was already guilty of overeating, but who bothers about calories, when you are visiting India, once in a few years.
An order of Soda Shikanji(Masala Soda) for me, and an order of Aam Panna(Raw Mango Cooler) for the man and we were ready for our entrees.

For the goat lovers in our family we had order Raan Biriyani (shredded mutton from the rack of lamb cooked with rice, prepared in the signature Dum Pukht style) and for the Chicken lovers, we had ordered Murgh Metiabruz Biriyani(Dum Pukht style of cooking chicken and rice). An order of their Biriyani is enough for two adults. And if you are a small eater like me, then you can save some for the next morning's breakfast. The biriyani was flavorful, and yet very light. Biriyani can be off-putting if it's over spiced or over greasy. And if you have a furry baby at home, make sure you pack the large bone of the rack of goat- the Raan, and they will love it. I did it and my pets in Kolkata loved it.


If all this was not enough, then we ordered for Gosht Bhuna(Pieces of goat prepared in thick tangy tomato and onion based gravy with green chilies, red chilies, garam masala and lemon juice.) This was the dish I was very intrigued to try. In the beef-eating belts of Kolkata, Bhuna is a pretty famous dish to try. Every eatery swears by their own preparation and Oudh clearly created a new benchmark in this Bhuna loving town, with their creation. For the chicken lovers, we had ordered Chicken Chaap(Chicken leg and thighs marinated with yogurt and house spices and shallow fried) and Murgh Irani(Chicken pieces in a sweet and sour taste). Of all the meat dishes, I think my favorite was Gosht Bhuna.
We had clearly over-eaten and over ordered. A large chunk of our meal was packed up, as we had to save room for dessert. Phirni(Creamy rice flour based pudding, flavored with saffron) it was and Phirni we loved !
After having pulled each other off the seats, for overeating, I can tell you, we did feel like royalty.

So if you are headed to Kolkata, India for a vacation and want to feast like a royal, then head to any of the locations of Oudh 1590 for a one of a kind experience. We will clearly be back for more.

TANDOORI CHICKEN PIZZA

Who does not love a good pizza! I know I do! While I could go on and on about what I love in my pizzas, I decided to take you through a pizza journey in my kitchen. When the world has become a global village, it is but natural for tastes and flavors to mingle. While Tex-Mex may be one of the most iconic cases of food fusion, there are many kinds of culinary fusion, which are born in the kitchens of both celebrity chefs and home chefs. As a vaction to India is on the cards, how about some Indian flavors to play with. 
We were recently watching an episode of Netflix's "Ugly and delicious," where we came across Sushi Pizza from Tokyo. Many might have found it intriguing and many might have found it repulsive. While lazing on our couch during the episode, my husband reminded me, of a fusion food, he loves to create - Tandoor Chicken Quesadilla. If you want to read about it, then click Here. We both remembered how well the chicken flavored with Tandoori spices, pairs well with the melting cheese. And that's how the idea of Tandoori Chicken Pizza was born in our couch. 

We had the idea in place and we both love to cook and document our culinary adventures. It is a different thing that only 20% of our adventures make it to the Blog in time. The chicken part of the pizza was easier to take care of, but the Pizza dough part of the pizza was yet to be figured out. That is when we remembered that we had been to a Dough Making Class at Pizzeria Locale a few months back, and we had coupons for free dough balls, somewhere at home. So the coming Friday, after we had marinated the chicken in the morning, it was time to pick up the dough in the evening from one of our nearby Pizzeria Locale locations. I write this post with a heavy heart, as all of the Pizzeria Locale locations have now been closed. 
Coming back to the Pizza, we had marinated skinless, boneless chicken thighs, in our homemade tandoori masala, and salt. If you are running short on time, and then at least marinate for two hours. 
Pizzeria Locale had also given us some extra flour to help us roll out the dough balls into Pizza bases. If you want to know more about how to make Dough from Scratch, then Click Here. 

Grill the chicken first and then shred it with a fork or chop it. Now its time to assemble the pizza. We used veggies we had at home. Tandoori chicken in general pairs very well with onions and bell peppers. 
Ingredients : 
Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken tights - 1/2 lb 
Green Bell Pepper: 1: sliced
Red Onion: 1/4, sliced 
Mozzarella Cheese 
Marinara Sauce 
Pizza dough balls: 2 
Tandoori Masala/Spice Mix: 2 to 4 tbsp 

Procedure: 
Marinate the chicken with tandoori spices overnight or a minimum of 2 hours. 

Grill the chicken and chop into thick chunks. If you are not grilling it, then bake it in a pre-heated oven, at 350F. Place the marinated chicken thighs in a greased grill, of a Turkey roasting pan. As the chicken bakes, make sure the cooking liquid fall son the tray below. Discard the liquid. One of the major problems of cooking Tandoori Chicken is either making it soggy by literally boiling it in the cooking liquid or letting it go dry. Please, babysit your tandoori chicken. 

Once the chicken is cooked and is cooled somewhat, its time to roll out the pizza dough. 




Add a dash of marinara sauce, or white sauce, whichever you prefer. 
Cheese goes next along with your toppings. 



Cook for around 6 to 7 mins. 

Serve hot! 

Bon Appetit! 








RED,WHITE & BLUE : JULY 4TH OUTFITS FOR THE FAMILY
















July 4th is almost here and I thought of previewing what my family is going to wear this year. If you remember, last year, we channeled our Flowers and Stripes as we holidayed in Flint Hills, Kansas. Whenever you are planning family outfits, try picking out one outfit, and coordinate the rest of the family's outfit around that. Last year, we were a family of three and this year, we are a family of four. Blaze, our son, completes our family and makes this year extra special when it comes to milestones.

While last year, I had coordinated the family's outfit around my outfit, this year, it was my Son Blaze's turn to lead the pack. I was shopping for bandanas for him and found this cute red, white and blue tie-dye number. I knew it was time I started planning the family's outfit to get us ready for July 4th.

We were in a rush to get the pictures, and they are not as good as we would have wanted them. Some of the details of the outfits are lost, for the bad weather in which we shot. And trust me, having two kids stand still, and look at the camera, while it goes off on a timer, has its good days and its bad days. Clearly, this shoot day was not the best of days. coming back to Outfit details, our toddler daughter is wearing the most beautiful red and white striped top with white lace around the sleeve area. Paired with blue shorts and red sneakers, and her Rayban aviators, she is all set.

I and my husband followed our daughter in the Stripes department. While he sported blue and white nautical-inspired stripes with his dark red shorts, I opted for a shirt dress in red and white pinstripes. My Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Cobalt Blue, Prada Cat Eye sunglasses, and my Denim mules completed my ensemble.

Have a lovely July 4th everyone with family and friends!

OUTFIT DETAILS :