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Monica Bhide

eG Foodblog: Monica Bhide - Thoughts without a thinker

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Hey, Monica -- look forward to reading your food blog this week! :biggrin:

What do I put for snacks in my son's lunch box? Well, this a.m. it was Snappea Crisps, which I get at Trader Joe's and homemade apple sauce I made up this weekend. (Super easy -- core and cut up apples, throw in a pot with some apple juice/cider, cinnamon and cloves and cook down for 30 minutes, then run through a food mill -- voila, apple sauce. And the apples were so sweet I didn't need sugar.)

I also give him a couple of Newman's Own chocolate ABC cookies.

Love the henna!

di

Thanks Di, I think he may like the cookies. He never got into applesauce.. just does not like it. I do...

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Monica, do you make the fruit roll-ups yourself or buy them?

I dont do either and that is why he gets mad. I guess I should be a bit more lenient with him. When I grew up we used to eat something called "AAM PAPAD"-- literally these were mango fruit sheets hand made and topped with tangy spices. SO if he wants a rasberry roll up.....

My fear is all that stuff has so many preservatives.

Let me go find a picture of AAM papad to show you what I am talking about.. be right back

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The reason I ask is that I make a lot of fruit leathers for my son, esp. during the summer when we have tons of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. We have a dehydrator that makes things very easy, and I can control the sugar and whatever else goes into the puree. I think last year I did a banana-sweetened strawberry fruit leather that my son loved. When I come down to DC this summer I'll bring some.

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That would be great. How do you make them? Perhaps you can start a new thread on it? THat is what I like about eG.. I learn something new each time I post.

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I think that an ornate serving dish is just where those lentil dumplings belong! And the recipe can be found where...?

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Regarding monkey food, we tended to let snack be a little treat without overregard for the nutritional content, and work on getting the good food into their systems at regular meal times. Lotta peer pressure at snack time.

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Regarding monkey food, we tended to let snack be a little treat without overregard for the nutritional content, and work on getting the good food into their systems at regular meal times.  Lotta peer pressure at snack time.

Exactly -- all he keeps telling me is what other kids brought into school. Today we settled on some yogurt and with much discussion a banana. Tomorrow its chips.

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I'm so thrilled that you're doing this week's blog, Monica! When I saw you online this a.m., I guessed it would be you and I started looking at your book, which I bought about a month ago, to prepare for any questions I'd like to ask. At the same time as I bought your book, I also got another Indian cookbook, and a guide to Indian grocery stores, as part of a little "project" of mine to learn more about unfamiliar foods.

If you don't mind, could you identify the things on the henna table for me? I think I see some samosas, and I certainly know what deviled eggs are, but I may need help figuring out the other things.

Thank you, and thanks for blogging. This will be marvelous. :smile:

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The table has no eggs -- what looks like deviled eggs is Indian cheese (paneer) scrambled and placed on baby pita. :smile:

I hope I can answer at least some of your questions.

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Monica, I am very much looking forward to this blog! Just returned from living in India for three months and I am dearly missing the food. Thanks for the beautiful pics! Love the tea and biscuits -- sometimes it is the simple pleasures we remember the most.

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Monica, I am very much looking forward to this blog!  Just returned from living in India for three months and I am dearly missing the food.  Thanks for the beautiful pics!  Love the tea and biscuits -- sometimes it is the simple pleasures we remember the most.

Where were you staying?

I love the tea ritual we have at home. There is something about it that is very soothing. I think I did a piece on that a while ago for eGullet.. let me see if I can dig it up

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Monica, so happy to see your blog! The henna party looks fun, and the photos are gorgeous. (I use henna powder on my hair, love the way it hides the gray and makes my hair springy and shiny. Last time I ran out I couldn't figure out why, and I was standing there shaking the box, puzzled, until my SO walked by and asked me nonchalantly to order some more. :shock: Now we'll try it with tea, lemon and egg!)

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Where were you staying?

I love the tea ritual we have at home. There is something about it that is very soothing. I think I did a piece on that a while ago for eGullet.. let me see if I can dig it up

We stayed with a lovely family in New Delhi. Tea was very simple -- chai with ginger in the winter, with cardamom as the weather grew warmer. Served with biscuits or savory goodies depending on the time of day, and always with the most gracious hospitality.

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Hey Monica, looking forward to your blog!

Do you cook everyday? Do you ever cook other cuisines? I note that you are going to make a Malay Chicken (sounds wonderful), but do you ever cook say, thai green curry chicken?

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I cook everyday - primarily Indian, leftovers (hee heehee) and a bit of Malaysian. I do make random things from different cuisines but I am not an expert on them. I dont even consider myself an expert on Indian food. Just a lover of it.

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Regarding monkey food, we tended to let snack be a little treat without overregard for the nutritional content, and work on getting the good food into their systems at regular meal times.  Lotta peer pressure at snack time.

Exactly -- all he keeps telling me is what other kids brought into school. Today we settled on some yogurt and with much discussion a banana. Tomorrow its chips.

I think you wrote he just started first grade? Year round school system?

I let my first grader choose what goes into her lunch bag. She knows she has to choose from the healthy food groups and she's allowed to have a "fun snack" everyday. The peer pressure thing at her school isn't so bad. She attends a French private school with a large International student body, lucky for me most of the other parents are like minded about junk food so her classmates don't pack too much. Her cousins on the other hand are allowed free reign on sugary, processed crap. After a visit with them she starts whining about all the "healthy foods" she has to eat, even though she actually likes the "healthy stuff." The problem is the good stuff doesn't come in cute packaging with cartoon characters.

Anyway, I talk to her about overall nutrition and good health. She prides herself on being pretty and smart so lines like "this makes your hair shiny" or "this is brain food" usually work.

Great blog by the way. Looking forward to more this week.

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Here is this year's annual henna food table before all the guests arrived --

gallery_6825_1143_324661.jpg

And last years

gallery_6825_1143_219865.jpg

ANd some henna hands  :smile:

gallery_6825_1143_689381.jpg

gallery_6825_1143_285871.jpg

A friend of mine made this delightful lentil dumplings -- gallery_6825_1143_776513.jpg -- bet you never expected to see a stand like this used for lentils  :laugh:

What's that on the far right of the first pic? That hedgehog-like thing. Hope I'm not being disrespectful.

Look forward to the Malaysian food, especially the curry! Chicken, fish or other? Will this be the Mamak (Indian-Malay) curry or the Malay version?

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Regarding my monkey - He and I cant seem to agree on what should go in his snack bag for school. I keep adding fruits and he keeps insisting on fruit roll ups. I am sure there is a happy compromise somewhere. What do other moms add in the school snack bags??? Help!

I always put in a fresh fruit - or if I'm short on time, a small applesauce or some canned pineapple chunks - she doesn't always eat it, but I can't reconcile not having it available to her. I also used to include fruit snacks (the kind where the first ingredient is fruit juice), but she decided they're gross, so now she just gets fruits. We also do little baggies of crackers, baggies of cut-up veggies, yogurt tubes (I store them in the freezer), or if I'm feeling European, olives, cornichons, cheese.

Morning snack is supplied by a "mom of the week" - so I'm just responsible for afternoon snack.

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Hi Monica,

Just to chime in on the school lunch thing, peeled citrus fruits are ideal because they come in convenient bite-sized segments. Grapes too. Once every couple weeks my kids get those red hot cheese puff things as a special treat, but most of the time it's farmers market produce and yogurt.

I'm wondering what other projects you might be working on. Since you took over the New York Times Food Section last week, you seem to be conquering the food world!

:)

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Catching up on your blog and I eventually realized you don't actually have a monkey. It was not uncommon for people to have marmosets as pets in Brasil so I began thinking that having a five year old was pretty good... :blink:

Loved the Times article! :smile:

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The problem is the good stuff doesn't come in cute packaging with cartoon characters.

My poor five year old now thinks that apples make your legs grow stronger so you can swim better. I know I am evil.

I wish Spiderman would endorse prunes :laugh:

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Monica, so happy to see your blog!  The henna party looks fun, and the photos are gorgeous.  (I use henna powder on my hair, love the way it hides the gray and makes my hair springy and shiny.  Last time I ran out I couldn't figure out why, and I was standing there shaking the box, puzzled, until my SO walked by and asked me nonchalantly to order some more.  :shock:  Now we'll try it with tea, lemon and egg!)

The lemon helps it release its color better so you get a darker red instead of an orange

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Here is this year's annual henna food table before all the guests arrived --

gallery_6825_1143_324661.jpg

And last years

gallery_6825_1143_219865.jpg

ANd some henna hands  :smile:

gallery_6825_1143_689381.jpg

gallery_6825_1143_285871.jpg

A friend of mine made this delightful lentil dumplings -- gallery_6825_1143_776513.jpg -- bet you never expected to see a stand like this used for lentils  :laugh:

What's that on the far right of the first pic? That hedgehog-like thing. Hope I'm not being disrespectful.

Look forward to the Malaysian food, especially the curry! Chicken, fish or other? Will this be the Mamak (Indian-Malay) curry or the Malay version?

No disrespect at all -- that is shrimp on a stick stuck in foil :laugh:

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