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Wesley Turns 5

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For Wesley’s 5th birthday we celebrated just ourselves in the evening since it was a school night (photo left). The following weekend we had a pool party at home with his cousins (photo right).
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Unity turns 9


Unity turned 9 last weekend. To celebrate, we took her and her friends to Landry's seafood restaurant for lunch followed by the Alley Theatre to see Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure. Click through to see a couple of more photos. Read More...
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New Years Eve | Bollywood Style


This year's New Years Eve party was hosted by Kanika and Arun. We are asked to arrive in our Bollywood best. The week before the party each couple was given a Bollywood movie song (and video) to which we had to perform a dance.

Janice practiced her dance at home earlier in the day and we decided that at the party we would go first to set the bar for the rest of the crowd. It was quite a blast. Everyone had their Bollywood get up and everyone got into the dancing and singing. Kanika and Arun were the most gracious hosts. They served incredible wine, hors d'oeuvres, and dinner—Bollywood style, of course. We had a second round of food and aperitifs after midnight. You can see the photos
here. Below is the list of the Bollywood movie songs given to each couple. Read More...
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Christmas 2009



Here is a video clip of opening presents on Christmas morning at home. For some reason the timestamp on the video camera was left on, so you can see that we got a late start on Christmas morning.
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Ethan turns two


Thanksgiving day was also my nephew Ethan's birthday. He turned two, here pictured with his grandmother, Donna.
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Thanksgiving


For this year’s thanksgiving I decided to make a nine course dinner including a turkey main course. There were eighteen people—twelve adults and six children. One guest was vegetarian, so I also made some vegetarian alternatives for some of the courses. You can view the photographs from the dinner here. There were some new items in the menu that I was making for the first time, including the carrot sorbet with pea soup as the starter and the pan fried haddock topped with roasted foie gras. Here is the complete menu: Read More...
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Richard and Tamara get married


Richard and Tamara got married on Saturday, September 26, 2009. We arrived in NYC on Friday. There was a dinner hosted by Tamara's uncle Friday evening where each side of the family got to meet the other side. It was great to finally meet Tamara's parents and sister — I had heard great things about her family — and her uncles, aunts and cousins. We mingled on the roofdeck with drinks and snacks before going down to the apartment for dinner. For the wedding ceremony on Saturday, they had picked a really beautiful location at Cherry Hill in Central Park, Manhattan. The weather was just right for the stunning outdoor ceremony. The wedding reception afterwards was at HanGawi, the Buddhist Korean restaurant. The six course vegetarian gastrnomic experience was absolutely delectable. Click here to see the photos.
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Wesley's birthday



Here is a short video clip from Wesley's birthday on May 28, 2009. He turned 4.
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Unity's birthday



Here is a short video clip from Unity's birthday on February 7, 2009. She turned 8.
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Christmas 2008



For Christmas this year we stayed at home in Houston. Richard and Tamara came to visit from LA. My mother arrived on Christmas eve. Shahed and Kim visited with their children right after Christmas until new years. Here is a short video clip from the holiday where you'll see the dinosaur that Wesley got for Christmas and the new play set in the back yard that the kids got.
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Thanksgiving


We wanted to do something other than turkey for Thanksgiving this year. We ended up deciding on pheasants partly because some fresh pheasants were available and partly because it has been a while since I cooked pheasants. I prepared an 8 course meal this year. The highlight was the 1995 Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru that we paired with the Pheasant; Janice and I bought it in 1998 and have been holding on to it for the last ten years. For the initial courses we had an incredible Didier Dagenau Fumé Blanc. Read More...
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The Texans vs. The Bengals


Last Sunday I was invited by MC to the Houston Texans vs. the Cincinnati Bengals football game at Reliant Stadium. MC had 4 VIP tickets and 4 pre-game field passes, so Rashed and I went with MC and EF. When we arrived a couple of hours before the game we were served a quick lunch and then led to the field. During the hour on the field we watched the players from both teams warm up; saw the Chairman and CEO of the team, the President of the Stadium and General Manager of the team and various other characters that one normally sees only in the local newspaper. Read More...
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Grandma's birthday


We invited Janice's mother to visit us for a week for her birthday. She arrived on her birthday on Saturday morning, October 4. For lunch we grilled some steaks and vegetables and sat outside by the pool. The weather was just right with the temperature in the low 70's F. The kids got an opportunity to swim right afterwards. Click here for a video of the lunch. Read More...
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Photos of my wedding


I have finally scanned in the negatives from my wedding photos, edited and posted them up here. I had originally printed only one of these photos. I stored the rest of the negatives away in archival quality sleeves. When I pulled out the box of negatives recently I noticed that there was no fading or discoloration. A couple of the negatives had minor scratches but I think that must have been from the time when I originally developed them. Putting them through the scanner at a very high resolution you can start to see how grainy the Kodak TMAX 400 film is and also that the manual focussing of yesteryear was never as quick or precise as today's autofocus lenses. Read More...
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Third degree encounter with Ike


Hurricane Ike passed through the Houston area early morning of Saturday, September 13. Exactly a week prior, hurricane Gustav had its landfall on the Louisiana coast. Then Ike developed from a tropical depression to a Category 2 hurricane by the time it had its landfall on the Texas coast near Galveston Island. Category 2 isn’t quite like the category 4 or 5 of Katrina that devastated New Orleans a couple of years ago, but there was something else about Ike that was very unsettling. Read More...
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Getting Old Together


Janice and I have been planning a small bash with family and close friends for my 40th birthday. The theme was “Getting Old Together,” with the key word being together. Two key challenges were that most of our friends don’t live in Houston and that we had just moved into a new home so we had to get it furnished on a deadline. We also needed to choose a caterer for the party and pick the wines to pair. Read More...
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My mother turns 70


For my mother's 70th birthday we decided that we should go some place that she had never been to but a place where we could take the kids and family. After much deliberation, consulting and researching we decided that the Grand Canyon was it. My mother was very excited. Janice found a 5 bedroom house that could sleep up to 18 people just outside the Canyon so we went ahead and booked it. We had a 5 day trip planned including travel time over spring break. Shahed and Kim could not make it and Tayyba stayed back with Athena, but Janice's mother joined us. We would fly into Phoenix from Houston and then drive over to the Grand Canyon; Janice's mom would fly into Phoenix from Baltimore and meet us at the airport.

Finally on the departure date we went to the airport and were checking in. We handed all of our ID's to the gentleman behind the counter. A minute later he handed us back what looked like my mother's ID and said this does not match the boarding pass. I looked at it and saw that it was in fact my father's ID!
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Turkey Day


This years thanksgiving was our first one in Texas. The big change from the recent past was that my father was not around any more. Shahed was living in Atlanta, and my mother went to visit them there for Thanksgiving. So, it was Rashed with his family, Janice’s mother and us.
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To view the
photos click here. Read More...
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Thanksgiving


It has been a while since I created a gastronomic dinner for Thanksgiving. In fact the last time I created a nine course dinner we were living in San Francisco. This year it was just the family with five kids running around at home in Atlanta. You can see the menu and the photos here.

It took three days to design the menu - I must have gone through about five drafts. And then based on the ingredients available in the market, I made final modifications to the menu.
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