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One of my favorite flavor tricks when making cous cous is to replace the oil with salad dressing. Usually a box of NearEast will require 2 tablespoons of oil, but swap it with a homemade or store bought salad dressing and the flavor profile of the dish will change completely! You can use an organic, non-gmo or low fat variety in keeping with your food preferences.

I made this dish for company and it was really tasty. I marinated the lamb kebabs a day ahead as follows:
1 lb Ground Lamb
2 small Shallots – finely chopped
1″ Ginger – finely grated
2 tsp Mint Chutney (I like Swad)
2 tsp fresh mint – finely chopped
1/2 tsp Tikka Paste (I like Pataks)
1 tsp fresh ground chili powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
Turmeric – just a pinch
1 tsp Cumin powder
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 tsp Ghee
The juice of half a lemon
1 cup fresh Cilantro – roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Next Day: Form kebabs about 5″ long and 1″ thick (you should have enough meat to make about 6 kebabs). In an oven preheated to 400 degrees, cook the lamb kebabs for 25 mins, turn once, reduce the heat to 350 degress, and cook for another 20 mins. Remove lamb from the oven and let rest. I usually top them with a little pat of butter to keep them shiny and moist.

Serve: You can serve them just as they are, or as I did, cutting them into bite size pieces and serving on a bed of cous cous. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some more cilantro. Serve with Mint Chutney on the side.

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Date night: Bar Boulud & Carla Bruni

by Priya on April 25, 2014

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I am Indian by birth, Italian at heart and French in my dreams. Who wouldn’t want to have an innate sense of fashion, a sultry accent, endless access to the best wines & cheese and a romantic existential approach to life? Although I’ve only visited Paris, I am convinced that France is the answer to all one’s problems in life <3

When singer/songwriter and former first-lady of France announced the tour schedule for her 4th album: Little French Songs, my darling husband, Rob, promptly scooped us up two tickets and planned a soirée détendue à deux.

Just a stone’s throw away from Town Hall NY where she performed last night, we began the evening at Bar Boulud near Lincoln Center. We’d been meaning to check it out for some time now and this seemed as good a time as any. I’ve been to a few of Chef Boulud’s other restaurants including Boulud Sud, DBGB Kitchen & db Bistro Moderne. Recently, my husband had been researching his favorite pastime (wine, what else?) and came across the name Michael Madrigale, the Sommelier at Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud known for his laid back, un-intimidating approach in the restaurant.

One of the things he’s known for is pouring from rare DOUBLE magnums – each night he selects & serves a new bottle by the glass at a very affordable price, who does that?! So, twist my arm, we ordered a glass and lucky for us, Michael was working last night. He came over to our table and in his casual style, began to tell us about the wine we were ordering. A rare pinot, considered one of the top 5 from the Burgundy Region. Excellent…I’m no wine snob but it was clear this wine was a cut above the rest – needless to say, we ordered a second round.

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On to the food – We started with half a dozen oysters from Plymouth, MA. They were medium-sized and a perfect balance of briny and sweet – divine with just a touch of lemon juice. We shared the small Charcuterie board, my favorite meat was the Saucisson Sec (red wine and pepper pork sausage). SO good! Next, we ordered the Aïoli de Homard (Lobster, Mussels, Quail Egg, and Crudité), fresh and seasoned to perfection. The aïoli was so light and perfect for dipping the lobster. We ended with the Sundae, because I never order sundaes and why not? It was almond ice cream, with candied almond crumble, white, milk and dark chocolate pieces, fresh whipped cream and a caramel sauce – umm…heaven.

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Rob got a photo with his wine idol:

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Fully satisfied on fabulous wine and fare, we made our way to the Town Hall Theatre at 43rd and 6th. The commotion inside was nothing but the former French President, Sarkozy, making his way to his seat. We got up close and snapped a shot and I’m almost positive he winked at me.

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Carla Bruni was in full form – I had been hyping this night in my mind for over 2 months so I had no clue how it would all go down. For the next two hours she did not disappoint. Favorite after favorite, she sang, cracked a few jokes (in english, in french and in Frenglish, as she calls it) and in general was just too awesome for words.

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Check out Bar Boulud if you’re in Manhattan or when you visit and I think it goes without saying, but definitely check out Carla Bruni’s new album: Little French Songs. I’ve posted a few of my favorite songs below for you – Enjoy!

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Happy Happy Happy! This time of year feels so rejuvenating…

It’s been a very busy Winter, filled with lots of fun on the slopes, aprés ski, making new friends, an engagement and lots of yummy food! I thought we should take a moment to catch up :)

For starters, I hit a record number of the days on the slopes this year at 25 days!! Almost doubling my previous record! It was a great season up in Killington…made some new friends, hung out with some old friends and thank goodness, no major injuries to report…I did happen to take out a snow fence on my 3rd to last day which left me with a pretty sore neck for a week or so. Really wish someone caught it on video but alas, I am not a Kardashian and my entire life is not being filmed.

One of our favorite things to have up at the ski house are homemade paninis. They are so satisfying after a day on the slopes. I made 3 different types one weekend, cut them into tapas portions and served them on a platter along side some pipping hot French Onion Soup.

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Shrimp & Sausage Paella

by Priya on January 22, 2014

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FlavorFULL Paella in under 30 mins

This was such a fabulous dish that I threw together so last minute that I definitely surprised myself! Paella seems so fancy and intimidating but I can tell you that it’s not! It’s beautiful to present at a dinner party of even to surprise your spouse with a quick, easy and healthy dinner.

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Brussels Sprouts Hash

by Priya on January 18, 2014

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It was a Saturday morning not unlike today and Rob was craving hash browns but I only had one small potato. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and my man needed hash browns! So armed with a bag of brussels
sprouts and a few slices of Canadian bacon from my much beloved Flying Pigs Farm, this dish was born.

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Steak & Kale Salad

by Priya on January 13, 2014

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With New Year’s Resolutions in full force, this is a delicious salad that you can feel good about eating. Not to mention, it’s so easy to make!

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Crab Cakes

January 8, 2014
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This is a simple recipe for a show stopping appetizer, and the Crab Cakes are amazing, too!! :) Let’s start with those. A few years back I had hosted a party of my husband’s family and I made homemade crab cakes that were a big hit. Back then I never had this lovely blog to […]

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DIY Fresh Mozzarella

November 20, 2013
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I always love learning new things and this past weekend we celebrated my lovely grandmother-in-law’s birthday by taking a Mozzarella Making class at Brick NYC in Tribeca where we learned how to make our own Mozzarella balls.

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