Arugula Gnocchi with Spicy Brown Butter Sauce

Arugula Gnocchi with Spicy Brown Butter Sauce | Playful Cooking

Sometimes your palate takes time to relish certain flavors or ingredients and then there are times when it wins over your heart at the very first bite. Even before you know what the dish was all about, you desire for more. I have few such dishes in my list and gnocchi is one such indulgence. I remember the first time, both the taste and the awkward moment when I completely embarrassed us. Gnocchi is not something that I ate in India and didn’t really know how to pronounce it the right way. Thankfully, Arvind was there to correct me, very skillfully, except I am sure the guy had a good laugh as he placed the ticket to the chef.

It was absolutely delicious, soft and covered with flavorful pesto sauce!

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Chocolate And Coffee Mousse

Chocolate and Coffee Mousse | Playful Cooking

A decent chocolate treat is soul satisfying, mood uplifting and can switch any miserable day to a chirpy one. Living in west coast, I shouldn’t ever nag about the weather but it’s been blue off late and it yelled for some sugar rush to boost my spirit. Plus, with all the Valentine’s Day chocolate delicacies that are floating in the virtual food world and food channels, it’s tough not to flow with the temptation. It’s nothing bad, only food and good food, if I may say. Well, chocolate is good for health in several ways, obviously as long as you don’t over do it. I had mentioned it several times in past that I am not a chocoholic but at times, the craving hits hard. And if that’s an airy, fluffy, velvety mousse, which melts in your mouth, I could dig in and gobble non-stop. Not that I do, but I totally can.

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Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomato Chutney | Playful Cooking

As my Dad’s retirement day was approaching, my Mom started worrying more and more. He was never the kind of man who can sit idle or relax with a book and a coffee. His to-do list never got over and he enjoyed being active, on his toes all the time, including vacations. And once in a blue moon, when he spent a weekend afternoon over a long nap or with no work at all, he would regret saying ‘I wasted a day’. No matter how much Mom would try to explain him that we all need to slow down once in a while, it was not something he could ever deal with. So you can imagine my Mom’s state of mind when they moved to Kolkata after Dad’s retirement.

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Roasted Garlic and Cilantro Bread

Roasted Garlic and Cilantro Bread | Playful Cooking

A brand new notebook, few multi-color pens and a resolution to make the coming year better! The next half hour was crucial as all the points were jotted down one after the other with the hope to meet all the promises. The first few months were always fruitful and few points would successfully get checked off. Then came the shower of homework, assignments and exams, not to forget the crushes followed by heartbreaks. Amongst all these, that multi-colored page of New Year resolutions always got lost. And irrespective of the failures, the vital half hour of jotting down resolution returned around the same time next year. Silly innocent days!

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Panko Crusted Salmon in Piccata Sauce with Nigella Garlic Flatbread

Panko Crust Salmon in Piccata Sauce | Playful Cooking

This was undoubtedly the most relaxing holiday we ever had. Every year, during this time, we either visit families back in India or explore a new place. We both love to travel, which is why every time an opportunity strikes, we pack our bags and hit the road. This time was different. After a stressful last few months at work, my husband needed this break and so we made no plans. We kept most of our days blank and let things happened randomly. There was no rush or chaos. We slept a lot, hanged out with friends and checked some of the restaurants off our bucket list. There were movie marathon days and we prepared some of our favorite meals.

Sometimes, these slow phases help to revive and reflect, get one ready to deal with what’s coming next. We enjoyed this much-needed time off!

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