Picture from here
While there are definitely some TV shows and movies that either Jeremy OR I like...(Jeremy = Cops, Wipeout, MythBusters, gun or war stuff on the History Channel; Kristen = Drop Dead Diva, Gilmore Girls, a goodly amount of romantic comedies and musicals) we actually enjoy quite a few of the same shows (among those being Psych, LOST, The Biggest Loser, Design Star, Ace of Cakes, and The Next Food Network Star). Thankfully! So, among those, all of them have different seasonal schedules so we're guaranteed something or another to keep up with together throughout the year. =)
We watched the finale of The Next Food Network Star last Sunday evening after church. Jeremy and our friend Kevin were witness to how ridiculously elated I was at the outcome! From the beginning, I thought Aarti was going to win, even though I enjoyed some of the others, too - Aria and Tom, to be exact. But Aarti seemed to have it all...a different look and a new set of flavor profiles for The Food Network, since she's Indian and all. With a British accent - it's awesome! She had a well-developed idea for a show...since she already had a blog and a YouTube channel with a mini Aarti Paarti series, which she and her husband had developed. Honestly, I thought that Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Susie Fogelson, and Bob Tuschman probably had her pegged from the beginning as the winner. Since this is technically a competition, though, Aarti could have made some huge missteps and gotten cut along the way...but she held her own through the whole thing, coming out with consistently great-tasting food and a charming personality on camera.
I just had a great feeling about her, especially since she inspired me to cook Indian food where no Indian food had been cooked before. Last weekend I made two recipes from her blog...Baked Samosas and Earl Grey Kulfi. Before her blog, I had no idea what either of these were. In fact, I saw the title of "Baked Samosas" and my first thought was, "A baked drink? How is that possible?" I was thinking of a mimosa. (Can you tell I don't drink? Ha!) A samosa is actually a pocket pastry filled with meats, vegetables, spices, etc. - and usually fried. This particular recipe is baked (for health and safety reasons - hot oil! Yikes!) and contains chicken, potatoes, and mango, along with a lime and chipotle sauce. I'm on board with anything chipotle. For real. And the mango was a sweet touch also. Seriously good.
It was delicious! We both really liked it. I ended up having more of the chicken mixture left and making more dough for it on Sunday for lunch. Then after lunch I worked on the kulfi recipe to be ready for dessert that night. And Aarti's impending victory. ;) I don't much get into sports, but I can get into some Food Network competitions!
Kulfi is an Indian ice cream and Aarti's version doesn't even need to be churned. Incredibly easy. As for the flavoring, Earl Grey is generally my favorite tea. Cream Earl Grey is even better (Jeremy strongly dislikes Earl Grey but will repeatedly drink Cream Earl Grey) so that's what I used for the recipe. And I left out the pistachios. I don't yet have any popsicle molds, so I froze the concoction in two small bowls instead, which worked perfectly.
I can't tell you how much I loved this recipe. It is FABULOUS! Tastes just like my favorite tea. Jeremy thought it was a tad sweet, but I am inclined to respectfully disagree. ;) My friend Sasha and my mom both loved it also. We've been brainstorming about different teas to infuse it with next. Maybe a chai tea?? Or a peppermint green tea? Or my Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea? That's it - that's the next one! It's an Earl Grey also, but with notes of jasmine. Ahhh...
So we ate kulfi last Sunday night and bit our (my) nails and waited for the outcome of TNFNS. And I was as happy as if I knew Aarti personally! 'Cause I kinda feel like I do, after watching her on the show and reading her blog. Her new show is already set to record at 11:00am this Sunday. Here's the teaser for it. =)