CLE Cooks

CLE Living: Gatherings Kitchen

There comes a point in your life where the line between friends and family starts to blur. And what better way to demonstrate your love for your family of friends than a home-cooked meal? You know what's even better? A home-cooked meal where neither you nor your friends have to clean up! Recently, my good friend and fellow blogger Charity organized a super fun evening where a group of friends gathered to take a private cooking event at Gatherings Kitchen

I've never done a group cooking class-- in fact, for me, cooking is a solo sport. So this was definitely a new adventure. Gatherings does not serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own, so armed with a bottle of prosecco (duh!) and a bottle of wine, Nick and I made our way over to Lakewood to cook. We had a group of about 12 people (the private cooking events have a max capacity of 16), and together we set out to cook an Indian menu of samosas and pakoras, lentil soup, Indian bread called khulcha, a lamb dish, a entree of chicken and vegetables, and Indian rice pudding for dessert. Gatherings advertises the event as four courses, but as you can see, we made a LOT of food!

Everyone paired off to work on different portions of our meal, but no one seemed particularly interested in making the chicken korma, so being Indian, and as previously mentioned, a solo cook, I decided to tackle this head on. Now if all of this sounds intimidating, it really isn't. Everything is perfectly portioned out, most of it is prepped, and there are 3 chefs on hand to help out. So at no point do you feel like you're on a sinking ship with no lifeboat. And you know what? It was SO MUCH FUN! We were all drinking wine and prepping food and having conversations, and along the way, I even learned a new way to chop onions! 

We cooked until we had our appetizers ready, and then it was time to leave it up to the professionals to finish off our dishes, and plate them, while we sat down for more alcohol, conversation, and table service. 

I have to say, everything was DELICIOUS!! The quantity of food was ridiculous, so most of us went home with leftovers (which were equally delicious heated up!), AND a cookbook to recreate the recipes at home!!!

One quick tip on cooking Indian food: I highly recommend finding a neighborhood Indian store (just google Indian grocery or Indian store) where you can buy spices for a really low price. They store for up to 2 years in airtight containers or you can freeze them. If you don't have one close, and/or you have Amazon Prime, you can also order kits like this one or this one

Overall, a fun, educational, and delicious way to spend an evening with friends or family or friends who have become family! Find Gatherings Kitchen here or on Facebook. The Supper Clubs (where you participate in a pre-scheduled class) as well as the private cooking events are $75/person! 


CLE Cooks: A taste of Mumbai

Yesterday, I finally pulled the trigger on something I've been thinking about for a few years.

I've always wanted to have a retail store, and yesterday, I finally founded my business, Bombay Taxi. Bombay Taxi will offer a selection of apparel and accessories, curated by me. And everything will have a little sparkle, because everyone should Sparkle Every Day.

Over the next few months you will notice a few changes to this page -- this site is in the process of being re-designed, and of course, Bombay Taxi will be launched too, so many exiting things in the pipeline here.

In the mean time, I wanted to take a step back and get a little nostalgic. It is the monsoon season in Mumbai, and given how wet and stormy its been here in Cleveland, its felt a lot like a monsoon here too! Anyway, one of my favorite things about the monsoon is eating grilled corn (bhutta) from the sidewalk stands in Mumbai---- Mumbai street food! Mumbai grilled corn is actually really easy to make, and while they usually use white corn in Mumbai, our more traditional yellow corn will do just fine.

Here's what you do: Mix equal parts salt and paprika (or red chili powder if you're feeling adventurous) on a plate. Slice a lemon into 4 quarters. Turn your grill on high, and de-husk your corn, but leave the stalk on as a little handle. You want naked corn on your grill. Now, grill your corn, making sure to give  it a little char on all sides. You may hear it pop- this is totally fine and normal. Once you have the char you like, take it off the grill. Use the lemon to grab some salt and lemon and rub it on the corn while you give the lemon a little squeeze. Enjoy and get messy corn-face! Its spicy and lemony and absolutely delicious!!!

So there you have it! A little taste from Mumbai for the next time you bust out your grill! Enjoy!