Mom Said to “Eat Less, Exercise More”

A forkful of pancakes

Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”

Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.

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Appetizing Events: Eatwith.com’s Private Chef Shuchi

Appetizer to Start the Evening: Curried Eggplant Toasties

Appetizer to Start the Evening: Curried Eggplant Toasties

Chef Shuchi for EatWith.com and Food Blogger at 29calories.com

Chef Shuchi for EatWith.com and Food Blogger at 29calories.com

Flowers

Flowers

NYC Skyline from Shuchi's apartment

NYC Skyline from Shuchi's apartment

The view of NYC's new World Trade Center

The view of NYC's new World Trade Center

For more of Shuchi's recipes, visit 29calories.com

For more of Shuchi's recipes, visit 29calories.com

Elegant libations

Elegant libations

Chef Shuchi working her stove.

Chef Shuchi working her stove.

Dal Mushroom Soup: Cumin Roasted Mushrooms, Red Lentils and Cilantro

Dal Mushroom Soup: Cumin Roasted Mushrooms, Red Lentils and Cilantro

Chef Shuchi presenting Chickpea Fritters

Chef Shuchi presenting Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters: Curried Chickpeas, Quinoa, Sriracha Aioli

Chickpea Fritters: Curried Chickpeas, Quinoa, Sriracha Aioli

Shuchi preparing the Chicken Chaat

Shuchi preparing the Chicken Chaat

Chicken Chaat: Spiced Chicken, Carom Flatbread and Kale Slaw

Chicken Chaat: Spiced Chicken, Carom Flatbread and Kale Slaw

Green Biryani: South African Mint Curry, Basmati Rice and Raita

Green Biryani: South African Mint Curry, Basmati Rice and Raita

Cardamon Pot de Creme: Cardamon Custards, Chocolate Ganache and Biscotti Biscuits

Cardamon Pot de Creme: Cardamon Custards, Chocolate Ganache and Biscotti Biscuits

Date Ginger Tea to quietly end the evening

Date Ginger Tea to quietly end the evening

Appetizer to Start the Evening: Curried Eggplant ToastiesChef Shuchi for EatWith.com and Food Blogger at 29calories.comFlowersNYC Skyline from Shuchi's apartmentThe view of NYC's new World Trade CenterFor more of Shuchi's recipes, visit 29calories.comElegant libationsChef Shuchi working her stove.Dal Mushroom Soup: Cumin Roasted Mushrooms, Red Lentils and CilantroChef Shuchi presenting Chickpea FrittersChickpea Fritters: Curried Chickpeas, Quinoa, Sriracha AioliShuchi preparing the Chicken ChaatChicken Chaat: Spiced Chicken, Carom Flatbread and Kale SlawGreen Biryani: South African Mint Curry, Basmati Rice and RaitaCardamon Pot de Creme: Cardamon Custards, Chocolate Ganache and Biscotti BiscuitsDate Ginger Tea to quietly end the evening

The expansive floor to ceiling windows of Shuchi Mittal’s apartment yields a swiping sunset over New York City. Cars in traffic look like toys from far above as their red lights signal a rush for uptown and the fading white lights signal a race for the Manhattan bridge. Closer to the apartment building, but still far below is a wintery landscape of barren trees and brownish-grey grass surrounding New York City’s judicial buildings. The almost completed World Trade Center’s windows reflect fading lights of pinks, purples and oranges of a setting sun. Across the river, a Brooklyn skyline emerges between Manhattan’s tall buildings. By the time the sun takes its final bow for the day, all of the guest have arrive at Mittal’s apartment for EatWith.com’s “Indian Tapas: Curry Bowls to Creative Bites.”  Read more

Appetizing Event: Celebrating Pampano’s 10 Year Anniversary

Pampano Restaurant, NYC

Pampano Restaurant, NYC

Pampano Bar

Pampano Bar

Stairs leading to upstairs dining room

Stairs leading to upstairs dining room

Herradura Tequila for Pampano's Margaritas

Herradura Tequila for Pampano's Margaritas

Pampano's staff prepares for the evening

Pampano's staff prepares for the evening

Pampano's Hisbiscus Margarita

Pampano's Hisbiscus Margarita

Pampano's Fish Tacos

Pampano's Fish Tacos

CAZUELITAS DE CHILORIO

Cazuelitas de Chilorio: Plantain cups with black bean puree, adobo pulled pork and guacamole

Pampano's upstairs dining room

Pampano's upstairs dining room

Appetizer at Pampano

Appetizer at Pampano

Halibut Ceviche with mango, mint, red onions and cilantro

Halibut Ceviche with mango, mint, red onions and cilantro

Taco de Filete: Filet mignon, corn tortilla, green salsa and guacamole

Taco de Filete: Filet mignon, corn tortilla, green salsa and guacamole

Tacos de Langosta: Lobster, tortilla, black bean puree and arbol sauce

Tacos de Langosta: Lobster, tortilla, black bean puree and arbol sauce

Pampano's Mango Sangria

Pampano's Mango Sangria

Empandas

Empanadas

Yellow Roses

Yellow Roses

Pampano Restaurant, NYCPampano BarStairs leading to upstairs dining roomHerradura Tequila for Pampano's MargaritasPampano's staff prepares for the eveningPampano's Hisbiscus MargaritaPampano's Fish TacosCAZUELITAS DE CHILORIOPampano's upstairs dining roomAppetizer at PampanoHalibut Ceviche with mango, mint, red onions and cilantroTaco de Filete: Filet mignon, corn tortilla, green salsa and guacamoleTacos de Langosta: Lobster, tortilla, black bean puree and arbol saucePampano's Mango SangriaEmpandasYellow Roses

The recently hired coat check hostess said most of the opening day staff are still working at Pampano of New York City (there’s another location in Qatar). The evening celebrating the launch of Pampano’s ten year anniversary tasting menu of popular dishes, guests murmured about the friendliness of the staff based on their past visits. Before the event started, the staff finished preparations by placing small vases full of yellow roses on various tables. The bartender stood behind a table expertly arranged with wine, tequilas, fruit purees and garnishes. The evening was an unusually warm Tuesday in March, in between two frigid, cold days. As the event started, the waiters carried out trays of food. I carefully balanced my mango sangria in one hand, made sure the camera was securely around my neck, and tasted Pampano’s empanadas.   Read more

Appetizing Thoughts: “Bless this Food, Ancient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World,” By Adrian Butash

Bless This Food Book Cover

Christmas dinner was Roast Lemon Yogurt Whole Fish, Stuffed Clams, Brazilian Collard Greens with Shrimp, Kumquats and Couscous salad, and Chocolate Pound Cake served with homemade Coffee and Chocolate Covered Almond Ice Cream. I looked forward sharing our non-traditional meal — influenced by Italian-Americans The Feast of the Seven Fishes’ dinner on social media and writing about it after Christmas. Despite starting dinner early and prepping a few ingredients on Christmas Eve and the weekend before, the daylight for taking proper food pictures was lost, because daylight in the winter ends early. Initially, I was upset, but the anger was shrugged off. Instead, I chose to experience our holiday blessing of having an abundance of food sans working for my food blog.  Read more

Start the Year by Improving Bad Habits and Trying New Food Pairings

Maple Cumin Bread

Maple Cumin Bread

My knowledge of wine could be more than the average person, for I know my basic pairings with food. I’m also not an aficionado when it comes to tea, but I know enough to start with loose-leaf tea leaves and the different steeping times. However, my knowledge of beer is flat. Last autumn, Jo of AGiftofTea.com — a true tea connoisseur — invited me to her Beer and Tea pairing event in Harlem. Although, my time management is a work in progress, I missed the demonstration. However, I was able to sample Organic Golden Monkey Black, Jasmine Green and Alishan Oolong teas while nibbling on beer flavored popcorn, spicy dried mango from Trader Joe’s (that’s now part of my grocery list) and dark chocolate.

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