Deep Fried Oreo

We took Aakash to Ocean City, NJ this weekend and had a fantastic time. Food was definitely a concern of mine because we wanted to hang out on the beach and boardwalk a lot. I also wanted to take him to some games and some plays around the corner (they have mary-go-round, etc.).

I fed him mainly in the stroller and he had finger food while on the beach (including a funnel cake :)) He loved it. The food. The sand. The water. Pooping in the ocean. Drinking water. Eating sand. Everything. We loved watching him have fun and enjoying the nature.

Anyways, while walking back to the hotel, I saw a sign of Oreo Cookie and had to go check it out. It reminded me of Oreo Cookie I missed out made by a friend Sarah right after I left the law firm. So, this brought memory back and I wanted to try it so bad. I ordered and it came with five deep fried Oreos drizzled with chocolate.

photo (2)

IT.WAS.SO.OVERWHELMING.IN.MY.MOUTH! I am not sure what it was. Was it me getting over excited? Was I too full from lunch? Was it too hot outside? Was it the drizzled chocolate on top? Or, was it because I watched them make it? I am not sure what but, I could only eat one of it. And, I had to force myself to finish it.

Perhaps next time I try it, it will be a party in my mouth? I hope so!

Korean Tofu Wrap

This week has been really crazy at work that I have had to go down for lunch almost everyday and get something boring for lunch. Then, I end up treating myself to brownie or a cookie not to only make up for my lunch cravings but to cheer me up from work stress. Anyways, when I went down today to get my usual salad or soup, I happen to glance at the sandwich bar and saw that they had this veggie wrap. I had to think for few minutes before I decided to give it a try. The guy wrapped it up for me to go and by the time I made it upstairs to my office, I could only wait to see what it had stored for me. I opened the wrapper and it was all a mess because the water from the sauce had all come out and made the bread all soggy, and above all it looked yucky.

When I took my first bite, I was instantly in heaven. This wrap was full of shredded split peas, carrots with some squash and Tofu, along with this delicious sauce. It was really a mess to eat but the wrap really did the trick on my stressful day and relaxed me. It was a full mess of deliciousness.

Istanbul, Turkey

We arrived in Istanbul by a flight from Nevsehir. Of course, I had to have Ayran when I got to the airport. Ayran is like water in Turkey. If there is no Turkish Tea or Coffee, that is what people drink. We loved it because it is same as Lassi in India. Ayran is plain yogurt watered-down with a pinch of salf. It was very refreshing as it was really hot at end of July. I think I had on average about two Ayran per day.

When we got to the hotel, we asked the front desk few spots to get good vegetarian food. Pretty much it was the same no matter where we went. 95% of the restaurant we stopped by to look at the menu had a vegetarian option. We went around the corner from the Best Point Hotel to a local restaurant. We both shared sampler veggie appetizer and a veggie casserole that was cooked in a pot (rather than in a clay in Cappadocia).

My sixth day in Turkey and I was already missing Gaziantep and its baklava. To buy water bottles, we made stop at this local store twice a day (in the morning after leaving the hotel and before coming back to hotel). The owner seemed very friendly. So, I asked him where to get the best baklava. He writes me a note that read “Baklavaci Said”. He kind of tell me where it was but wasn’t really clear. So, I asked around the train station and people pointed us toward the Grand Bazzar station. It was about 10-15 minute walk from the hotel. We went to Baklavaci Said every night for three nights. I would say it was the best part of Istanbul. They served us the baklava with a cup of tea and had tables out on the street. It was extremely cute.
Unless you have had a baklava from Baklavaci Said you haven’t had a good one. My favorite was the pistachio roll.

While at the Grand Bazzar, we took a break from shopping (really haggling) to have tea break. Well, I decided to have the Turkish coffee, while Mehul had tea. Both were really good, real smooth, and you can actually taste the flavors.

Cappadocia (kapa-doh-kia), Turkey

We took a bus from Gaziantep to Nevsehir and it was definitely an experience. We were little nervous about being alone in the bus ride for 6 hours and having to do an exchange from Nevsehir to Goreme. But, once we got there it was easy to figure out and people were really friendly and helped us figure out the right bust station to Goreme. The bus services are real nice. They serve tea and ice cream non-stop. And, we had a stop in some town in between where we snacked on Chips and Ice Cream.

We stayed at the Goreme House Hotel for two and half day and it was a really good cave-like hotel. The restaurant (Mercan) around the hotel were also delish! They made us a special veggie Kebab and Pides.

The next morning, we took a green tour that went around the underground city to caves to Ihlara valley. In between the hike on Ihlara valley, we stopped to grab a bite. The restaurants are all located on the river. So, your tables are built on water for more relaxing lunch and there are tables and chairs also on the water. So, you can just take your shoes off and relax in VERY hot weather.

That day was very long. After we came back to the hotel, we hiked up on a cave to watch the sunset. Then, it was dinner time, so we walked around Goreme main street for us to just relax while we have light dinner. Well, it turns out that I got (yet again) way excited by the menu at a local restaurant and ordered their veggie casserole with Efes. The casserole came in a clay pot that I had to break with a knife. It was really delicious and fun to eat.

As you can see Cappadocia has variety of options for vegetarians and we were in love! I am looking forward to planning our next trip already.

Turkish Food/Drinks (Gaziantep)

My husband and I spent a full week in Turkey. The trip got triggered by a friend’s wedding invitation, which was going to take place in Gaziantep, Turkey. We were very excited to be part of the wedding festivities that we went ahead and also decided to see more than Gaziantep. We decided to go to Gaziantep first, then to Cappadocia and to Istanbul, before going to Egypt or a week (another entry for this coming up).

Turkey overall had the BEST vegetarian food to offer. At first, we were nervous not being able to ind vegetarian food (we packed odwalla bars with us :))

In Gaziantep, we had a very nice time with the Ozyazgan’s. They were the sweetest host. They constantly fed us and had tea or turkish coffee on spot all the time. We were really spoiled. To add to the excitement, we were invited to their farm house where they grilled veggies before the meat for both Mehul and I. Ayran was unlimited. Here are some photos of delights from Gaziantep.
Turkish Tea Pot and Cups:
Farm house food:

The wedding was amazing. Again, it filled with food. Even before we sat down, we were asked what we wanted for drinks. Then, the moment we sat down, the waiter was over with appetizers and it was all downhill from there. I ate so much that I could barely dance. Then there was dessert and cake 🙂

After food and dancing, we drove around Gaziantep honking horns. Apparently, you go around the town after marriage in a parade-like-form and honk around (letting everyone know that you just got hitched). We ended up at the Groom’s house where we danced more on the street before going back to the hotel. It was an awesome experience.

I might have to have a different entry capturing Cappadocia and Istanbul as I am getting carried away with this blog. FUN!

Lara Bar – Cashew Cookie

It was Monday July 5th. And, I was determined to bring well overdue Lara bar to life. I got this great recipe from a friend who directed me to this site.

Last month, I happen to be in an Indian store in Jersey City with my MIL. She convinced me that their cashews were on sale. Long story short, we ended buying lots of cashews. Well, I had to do something with them…

So, I decided to re-create CASHEW COOKIE flavor of Lara Bar.

Take about 15-20 (cut in two pieces) pitted dates (1/3 cup).
Take about 30 Cashews (1/2 cup).

First chop dates in the food processor. Take it out and set it aside in a bowl.
Next, chop cashews in the processor and pour on top of dates.
Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon.

Start mixing dates and cashews with your hands (I made sure I removed nail polish and clean my hands in advance). Enlightened Cooking referred to the mixing process same as playing with play-dough.

Take about 3-4 big tablespoon full and start making a ball in your hands (rather the palm). From here, start making the rectangle shape (like the actual bar) and wrap it using plastic wrap. Note: place out the plastic wrap beforehand; this way you will avoid sticky-ness. You can refrigerate if you want, but not needed.

Enjoy!
Thanks to Sarah for the Enlightened Cooking link.

Next on the list: coconut, chocolate, date bar……..hmmmmmmmmmm