Sunday, December 22, 2013

Influenster Voilet VoxBox

Got these goodies  as a compliment from +Influenster in the #VoiletVoxBox. Really excited to try out the new brands and items...

The Sally Hansen Triple Shine nail color

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cracked Wheat Pongal

This was a very random trial and worked out for real good! I liked it better than its rice rival :)

Number of Servings - 2
Cracked Wheat - 1/2 cup
Moong Dal  - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 and 1/2 cups
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp

To Splutter:
Pepper Corns/Powder
Cumin Seeds

  • Dry roast the moong dal till it gives an aroma (few mins)
  • Add the cracked wheat, moong dal, and all the ingredients listed, in the pressure cooker and cook it to 3 whistles 
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter the items to splutter and add it to the pongal
Enjoy it with piping hot sambar :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jordana 12 Hr Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil

I think its better to let the pictures do the talk :)

Jordana products are available at Walgreens and their website as far as I know. This eyeshadow pencil retails for $2.3o... isn't it a crazy deal for such a good quality!

As it claims, it truly is water resistant. Mainly the colors are so pretty and seriously pigmented! These are just single light handed swatches... the pictures are unedited and true to color.

Have you tried Jordana Cosmetics??... If you follow me on Instagram @perspectivemedley you'll find some blush swatches from Jordana and others... 

Note: This is not a sponsored review. I bought these products and it purely is my opinion. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spaghetti - tossed in Cilantro Almonds Pesto

This is an easy peasy recipe for a quick one pot meal kinda days :)

Number of servings - 4
Spaghetti - 1 pack
Mixed Vegetables - 1 1/2 cups (I used colored peppers, carrots, broccoli)
Garlic - 4 minced
Crushed red peppers
Onion - 1
Tomato ketchup - a squeeze

To Paste:
Cilantro - 1/4 of a bunch
Almonds - 5 -6
Pepper - 1/2 spoon
Olive oil

  • Cook the spaghetti as per instructions and keep aside. I like to add salt and olive oil to the cooking spaghetti and give a nice cold wash after draining for it to be nice and separate.
  • In a wok add olive oil, add the onions, minced garlic, crushed red peppers and saute
  • Add vegetables and slat and saute well. Add the paste, a squeeze of tomato ketchup and saute for a few minutes
  • Finally add the spaghetti and give it  a nice toss
Note - you can add more of the pesto if you like it a bit more saucy. I use this green chutney as a base for sandwich too... the pepper is really flavorful! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Re-Posting: How-to VITA Volunteer

Its time to VITA Volunteer again!!!  Browse through the post and let me know if you have any questions -

It is so interesting to get to know about your own taxes. Let alone that, you get the opportunity to do taxes for some one else! It is such an rewarding experience and personally enriching too.
I wanted to re-share all the information. I do this because it took me a very long time to find all these information.  So wanted to put everything together, hoping it'll be helpful at least to one of you??.. If it is please let me know.. :)

What is VITA?
VITA stands for Volunteer in Income Tax Assistance. This program is in place during the tax season.

Who can Volunteer?
Anyone can. But you should pass the certification test. If you decide to volunteer with any firm like AARP, Ladder Up or Center for Economic Progress, etc they provide you with all the needed in-class and software training.

You need not have any financial or tax background to volunteer in this program.

What is the Certification?
Since anyone can volunteer for this position, you should read the basic rules for filing taxes and pass the certification online/ in the organization where you volunteer. But many Organizations require you to attend their training. You'll have to find out from the Organization. Once you have the certificate you are ready to volunteer.

When should I do all this?
I'm just going to start for the upcoming tax season, that is why I'm posting this information now. The tax season runs from Feb to April. So all the firms will be providing  training before that, in around Jan.

What does it hold for you?
Trust me, this will be a rewarding experience. You will meet people. Not to mention the rich mentioning on your Resume! and some firms offer you with hours (if you are CPA / Accountant) You can be sure that by the end, you'll be able to understand your own taxes!

If you have more questions contact me -

Disclaimer: I'm not reviewing any jobs or positions. This is purely my volunteer experience and wanting to share with you all... If you already are a VITA volunteer please shed more light on this for all of us :) 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Oma Podi - a beginner's maiden recipe

This was a result of such an instant decision that I have to write it down immediately or I'll forget what I did the next time. Mainly, because the reason I made it - my kiddo - liked it :)

I have to tell you, this was my maiden attempt and I was prepared to dilute the batter and make bhaji out of it, if it din't work out.

Number of servings - 3 - 4
Besan flour - 3/4 cup
Rice flour - 4 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 spoon
Hing - a pinch
Turmeric powder

To Paste:
Ajwain - 1 spoon
Garlic 2 -3 pods


  • Make a paste of ajwain and garlic in the blender with water. It need not be smooth, since we are going to strain it and use the water. Keep aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the besan flour, rice flour, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing and give it a good mix. I kept one handful of this mix separate before adding water, just in case the actual dough becomes sticky, I can add this. And it happened :)
  • Now to make the dough, add the strained ajwain water and prepare the dough. Sprinkle extra water if needed
  • To finish up the dough smoothly, add a spoon of oil  and make a smooth, non-sticky dough
  • Heat oil in a wok at medium flame and once it is hot, make oma podi with the murrukku press. Once it cooks one side, flip it over and cook for a few seconds and drain it

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carrots N Pomegranate Salad, Tempering Spices

This is a random post about two completely different sections of cooking. First is the Salad, I've heard that a combination of carrots and pomegranates are good for salads, tried it this time and really liked the combo! Just added a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground pepper and its ready to eat. I would recommend adding equal parts of both carrots and pomegranates for the sweet taste and crunchy carrots taste to be perfectly blended

Next is about tempering spices. I save the crushed pepper packets from the Papa Johns and use it in tempering for dishes and pasta, instead of red chillies. Trust me, it adds such a unique flavor. Made celery kootu today and tempered it with crushed peppers and crushed cumin seeds.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spicy Fried Rice - Using Sambal (Chilli Garlic Sauce)

Variety rice is very tricky to me. Lot of times, it ends up being dry. This is yet another attempt and came out nice and spicy! So, wanted to share the recipe with you all :)

Number of servings - 2 -3
Mixed vegetables - 1 cup (I used celery, colored bell peppers, carrots)
Onion - 1 chopped
Pepper - freshly ground
Ginger Garlic - 1 spoon freshly shredded
Sambal or chilli garlic sauce - 1 spoon (I got this from Target, but you can get it in most grocery shops. Can be made at home by soaking red chillies and making a paste along with the soaked water,garlic) - This is the main source of the spiciness (kaaram), so adjust it to your taste.
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 spoon
Olive oil

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Water - 1 and 1/2 cups

  • Heat oil in a wok, add the onions and ginger garlic shredded and saute well
  • Add the vegetables and saute well and add freshly ground pepper and salt
  • Add the sauce and ketchup and saute well
  • Add the sauteed vegetables to the rice and water and cook it in the rice cooker
Note - I totally forgot to temper any spices!. But, next time sure will :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Plantain Masala - Chettinad Style

In Chettinad, when a marriage is fixed, the whole kitchen area along with groceries, spices, cooking, etc is called "UKKRANAM" and a person is put in charge of the whole area and items. I got this recipe from the "ukkranathu akka" (the person in charge during our marriage) :) I like plantain very much and this is such a yummy, spicy way to cook it.

This was the lunch I made recently for a occasion, I hope you can locate the plantain masala !

Number of Servings - 2
Plantain - 1 (Peeled and cut in to long slices)
Onion - 1 chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped
Red chilli powder

To Paste:
Coconut - 1 spoon
Garlic - 3 -4 pods
Ginger - 1 inch

To Temper:
Fennel seeds

  • Heat water in a pan and when it heats up, add the cut plantain. Add salt and boil it, until half done. The plantain will get over cooked if not drained at the right time and keep aside
  • In a wok heat oil and add fennel seeds. Add chopped onion and saute well.
  • Add chopped tomato and saute well. Add chilli powder and cook.
  • Add the ground paste and cook the base well
  • Add the boiled plantain and mix well 
Note: I added very little oil and coconut. But in the actual cuisine, The oil has to separate from the masala and plantain should be well cooked in the oil and spicy base. I added turmeric powder when boiling the plantain.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tomato (Thakkali) Thokku

Tomato thokku is such a versatile recipe. It's like a one stop , multi purpose dish :) Goes well with everything, today we had it with ragi dosai.

Number of servings - 3-4
Tomato - 5
Red chillies (for the color, I added less spicy chilli) - 3
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder
Garlic - 7 pods
Gingely oil

To Temper:
Mustard seeds

  • Blend Tomato, turmeric powder, chilli powder, chilli to a paste
  • In a wok pour the blended tomato paste and let it cook until the raw smell parts and reduces to about half the amount
  • In a tempering vessel, add gingely oil and add items to temper and crushed garlic pods and add it to the tomato
  • Add and adjust salt and let it cook well until it comes off like a thokku (does not stick to the sides of the vessel)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kasturi Methi Kara Kuzhambu - Recipe Inspired From Madam Revathy Shanmugam

I bought kasturi methi a few days back and din't get a chance to cook it. Came across this recipe from Madam Revathy Shanmugam and instantly liked it. I love kara kuzhambu and to use kastuir methi in it, would be the best way to cook for me :)

Recipe Source: Madam. Revathy Shanmugam.
Kasturi Methi - 1 handful
Onions - 1 chopped
Tomato - 1 big chopped
Garlic 6 - 7 pods
Red chilli powder - 3 spoons
Coriander powder - 3 spoons
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Tamarind - 1 lemon size

To grind:
Coconut - 1 spoon
Cumin seeds - 1 spoon
Onion - few slices

To splutter:
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Fenugreek seeds

  • Grind the ingredients to grind and keep aside. In a wok heat oil and splutter items to splutter. Add the chopped onions and garlic and saute well until golden brown
  • Add the kasturi methi leaves and saute well. Add tomatoes and saute well. Add salt.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute well to get cooked
  • Then add red chilli powder and saute well
  • Once the base is well cooked, add the tamarind extract and water needed and let it boil
  • To finish up, add the ground paste and let it cook
  • Garnish with cilantro 
Disclaimer: I altered the measurement of ingredients to suit our taste and availability. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vegetable Dhaniya Masala - Recipe Inspired -Dr. Chef. Damu

Yesterday, I came across this recipe video from Dr.Chef. Damu on a show and instantly liked it so much that I wanted to try it right away (I used the veggies I had at the moment). This is a real fresh flavorful recipe than our usual curries, the lemon squeeze adds a real good flavor to this recipe. We had it with beets rice.

Disclaimer: The recipe is from and inspired by Dr. Chef. Damu. But the one I've written here is my own measurements for the ingredients.

Recipe Source and Inspiration - Video from Chef Damu.
Number of servings - 2 to 3
Mixed Vegetables - 1 cup (I used cauliflower, peas and bell pepper)
Onion - 1 chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste
Red chillipowder - 1/4 spoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 spoon

To Grind:
Dhaniya (Coriander seeds) - 1 handful
Red Chilli - 4
Cilantro - 1/2 bunch

To Temper:

  • Dry Roast the coriander seeds and red chillies and grind it along with cilantro by sprinkling water in the blender and keep aside.
  • In a wok, heat oil and splutter items to temper. Add the onions and ginger garlic paste and saute well
  • Add vegetables and saute. Add the salt, chilli powder and coriander powder( these are barely for the coating, the main masala is from the grond paste)
  • Add the paste and cook well. It becomes like a thokku
  • Squeeze lemon and the yummy dish is ready to eat 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reuse Empty Glass Salsa Jars - Quick Tip

This is a great way to reuse empty glass salsa jars - to store spices and powders. Run the jars in the dishwasher once and you'll not smell even a spot of whatever was previously stored in it. Its squeaky clean and ready for a reuse.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Vegetable Curry and Pumpkin Farm Visit

Its fall season and pumpkins are all over the air! Pumpkin farm is a great place to take the kids and enjoy family time. The main reason are the animals they bring in each year. It's not only farm animals, but a good number of wild ones too. We saw bears, tigers, kangaroos, fox, giraffe etc.

Apart from all of this, I like the pumpkin farm store. Got this veggie knife from the store for $1.50. I got one last year and used it so well for tomatoes. It literally slices tomatoes down to a chip size. We got farm grown tasty apples. Over all it was a lot of fun!

Coming to the recipe of vegetable curry... I din't have a better name to call it otherwise, since I took all leftover vegetables and made a dish out if it.

Number of Servings - 2
Cauliflower - 4 big florets chopped
Bell pepper - 1/2 a bell pepper
Potato - 1
Beetroot - 3/4 of a small beetroot
Onion - 1/2 big
Tomato - 1 large
Ginger garlic paste - 1 spoon
Turmeric powder
Chilli powder 

To temper:
Cumin seeds
Fennel seeds
Pepper corns

  • Heat olive oil in a wok (sometimes I use a cast iron wok, since we like the taste better). Splutter items to to temper
  • Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste and saute well
  • Add tomatoes and saute well
  • Add tumeric powder, chilli powder, salt and saute well
  • Add all vegetables and cook well in the masala base

Monday, September 23, 2013

Recycle - Cookie Trays to Bangle Holder

I found this way of storing bangles to be more useful and organized when we are in a rush to get ready. I do a extra layer of paper covering over each set to keep it from getting mixed.

Cookie trays are the ones in which cookies like oreo, short breads, etc are packed. After a pack is done, get the tray, wash and clean it and use a tissue to line if you need and stack the bangles!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Veggie Pasta - Quick Cooking, Healthy Eating!

Pasta is one dish I turn to, when everything else fails.. or simply there is nothing to do or make :) Like a one pot dish... which can be spruced up with veggies!

Number of servings - 3
Pasta (I used whole wheat, whole grain) - 1/2 a box
Mixed vegetables - 1 cup
Red onion - 1
Tomato - 1 big
Garlic - 10 pods (finely chopped)
Chilli flakes - 1 spoon
Sambal (chilli paste) - 1/2 spoon
Garam masala powder - 1/4 spoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 spoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Ketchup - 1/2 spoon
Jalapeno sauce - few drops
Basil (dry) - to season
Olive oil

  • Cook the pasta as per instructions in the box. (I'm used to adding olive oil and salt when the pasta cooks in boiling water and wash it in cold water once the pasta is cooked and drained, so it separates beautifully)
  • In a wok, heat olive oil and as a optional step you can splutter mustard seeds and urad dal. Add the chopped garlic and saute well. Add the chilli flakes, onion and saute well. 
  • Add the tomato and saute until the tomato cooks. Add all the veggies and all the sauces, powders and ketchup given in the ingredient list. Add salt.
  • Let it simmer and get cooked into a well made base for the pasta. Then add the cooked pasta. Saute well and finish it off with chopped cilantro.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mango - with chillipowder

Suddenly, I got so reminded of eating the mango in the good old way - with salt and chilli powder!!.. Reminds me of old times :) No one can miss this street styled snack!

I pulsed the chilli powder and salt together for a minute in the blender..

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sargento Cheese Review

Received this product / coupon for the product complimentary for review purposes from Influenster in the Sargento Voxbox. I was really excited to try it out mainly for my kid.  (#ChooseSargentoCheese) 

Sargento has a wide variety of cheese snack selection including sliced, shredded, string cheese, etc... This is a very good choice for a healthy snack for both adults and kids. I redeemed the coupon for their string cheese. The first and foremost thing that caught my attention was the packing.. each string was vacuum packed. I could take out one string at a time and not worry about others might spoil. It is very healthy too.

Here is a cheese snack plate that I created for my kid. he absolutely loved it (not the carrots though!) :) He likes to eat the cheese in string and sliced forms. But needs a change in presentation once in a while. I feel that each string of cheese in this pack is the right amount of snack for protein and calcium. Feels good when kids eat it! You can find different snack option with calories and other specifics here

Disclaimer:  "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Chronic Journal - About Section of My Blog

That's what I re-named my blog. This blog journals my learning experiences and cooking. Unless otherwise stated, each and every blog posted, crafts listed and more than anything... recipes written were and are a learner's experience. Here you can find information on kids activities, recipes, crafts, crochet, jewelry making, makeup, volunteer work, accessories... in short everything a woman likes!

Anyone on a H4 will know what I'm babbling about :) Believe me, there are tons of things to experiment and learn. This blog was a result of one such trial to keep time occupied... I remember writing about Chettinad tradition and some other experiences and a few recipes to start with. Once I got a warm welcome and good response.. it literally kept me excited.

Off-late you would've seen a lot of posts relating to kids, kids activity, food, etc.. that is my active phase of life currently. Over the years I've had a few breaks, and name changes to my blog.. the reason is, as I entered a new phase of life each time I wrote about it.. so finally I settled on a apt title which I realize is MY CHRONIC JOURNAL.

Simple Quinoa - Pressure Cooked

After the Quinoa Adai , this is the only recipe I liked with quinoa (out of some weird trials :) )The recipe is adapted from a cookery show to the  ingredients I had at the moment. Had it with Bell Pepper Pachadi and liked it better.

Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 1 and 3/4 cups
Tomato - 1 small
Turmeric powder

To Splutter:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Channa dal
Cumin seeds
Red Chillies

  • Pressure cook the quinoa upto 3 whistles with the water and keep it aside to cool
  • In a pan heat oil and splutter items to splutter, add tomatoes, ginger (freshly grated), turmeric powder and saute until the raw tomatoes gets cooked well
  • Add the copped cilantro and saute. Squeeze few drops of lemon.
  • To this, add the cooked quinoa and enjoy the simple, healthy meal :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rimmel Show-off / Apocalips Lip Lacquers - swatches

This is by far the best pigmented lip colors I've used... next to Milani. Picked up 3 shades from Walgreens.. a few days back. I've read rave reviews about these and was really excited!

The shades I picked up were Comet, Celestial and Light Year (other shades I would try were literally sold out). The names are interesting right? :)

Rimmel show-off lip lacquers are kind of liquid lipsticks. Like it is a combination of both lipstick and gloss. It is available at Walgreens (or at least was available only there when I got it like a month back :) ) Retailed for about $4.99.

Light Year - is the perfect nude/brown color for my lips. It looks just like it evened out my pigmented lips with shine- no more / no less, which works best for a everyday wear. But... neither did it last long nor left a stain.. definitely requires re-application.

Comet and Celestial - both belongs to the pinky family. Comet is just the perfect pinky nude color - shows up on the pinkier side (which I like and this is my favorite of the three). and Celestial is a nice bright pink!

Celestial, Comet and Light Year

What I like about Rimmel Show-off lip lacquers:

  • Completely opaque and true to color in the tube
  • Celestial left a nice light stain (no uneven fade-off)
  • Nice consistency, not drying 
  • Best quality for the price 
  • Very pigmented
Disclaimer: The products were brought by me. This is my honest opinion and view of the product. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Poori Dough Shapes - fun for kids

The other day, when I was making pooris.. I gave a small ball of dough to my kid to play with. He came running and told me he made a seal... I got really excited and clicked it right away.. :)

He got more excited and reformed the ball into a shape and called it was oval (the top right one) and the final one was a ball (bottom right).

Isn't it fun/keeps the kid occupied :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Fix Tips - Peeling Ginger , Growing Mint Plant

Read this tip in a magazine in a waiting room... isn't it nice to pick up useful tips during the time we need to wait!

TIP - Peel the ginger with a spoon. Peels off the skin like a paper, with absolutely no ginger wastage.

Its much easier than the peeler or knife. A spoon is always available, easily washable! This comes in real handy most of the times.. especially TEA!

I planted mint this time and it started growing!! Totally excited to see new leaves and growth everyday! Here is a pic showing the growth in 2 days! Just plant the mint stems (the ones left after taking the leaves for cooking) that you bought in a pot. 

Have you read my latest review on  Annie's Crafts??

Tunisian Crochet Honeycomb Stitch Scarf

Friday, August 23, 2013

Annie's Crafts Review - Learn to Tunisian Crochet & an Exclusive Offer!!

Recently I got the opportunity to learn "Tunisian Crochet" through videos from Annie's Crafts online classes. Stay tuned to find some exclusive offers at the end of this post!!

I'm elated that I got to try a completely new type of crochet. I'm a beginner in crochet. All the knowledge about basic crochet and the few little basic projects that I've tried so far are completely learnt online. When I got this opportunity, I din't know what Tunisian Crochet was. The name itself interested me a lot.

"Learn to Tunisian Crochet" is taught by Kim Guzman through Annie's Crafts video classes. They also provide you with a pdf manual with written instructions/patterns. Instructor Guzman explains each and every stitch, supplies, reason and concept completely. The video is very explanatory and will make you want to crochet that scarf / project right away... that's how interesting it is!

A crochet hook and yarn - is all you need to learn this beautiful "Honeycomb Scarf". I picked up a little trick from the video to use our normal crochet hook to Tunisian Crochet this scarf... It is a work in progress.. I'll have it done for this Winter :)

Honeycomb Stitch Scarf

I had no idea that we could create such nice knit like stitches through crochet! Believe me, if this can be created by an absolute beginner like me, anybody can do it. Don't we all like to wear scarves during Winter?.. it would be really nice to wear a hand-made one, right??

Honeycomb Stitch Scarf

I created a swatch for the next stitch Instructor Guzman teaches through the video (she teaches a hat using this stitch), you'll be amazed at its striking similarity to knitting:

I went out and got an afghan hook to try this hat some time. Can you believe crochet creates real knit like stitches?! Trust me - this was my very first attempt at the stitch by watching the video... The video is so very explanatory! Here is a peek into what you can expect to learn from the video:

The video is also presented at shorter segments, meaning you could directly play the segment you want to watch and need not start from the beginning every time. Apart from Crochet, Annie's Crafts has a wide range of online classes for Beading & Jewelry, Knitting, Sewing, Paper Crafts, Quilting, etc.

Now to the exciting part!! They were kind enough to offer my readers some exclusive offers:
If you are a beginner like me, I strongly recommend Annie's Crafts videos to learn a new craft.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank Annie's Crafts for offering access to the video - "Learn to Tunisian Crochet". The supplies were brought by me out of my own interest. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Spinach Dosai - an easy and a quick twist to dosai!

This is just an instant idea to hide the veggie for my kid.. worked out well.. and the next time planning to make it a whole family dinner rather than just for the kid.

Its just a couple of steps:

  • Saute the spinach with a green chilli and salt. Blend it in the blender to a smooth paste
  • Mix it with dosai batter and make dosai
What is your way of hiding veggies??

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kids Activity - Letter Recognition - Fun With Stickers

Got these alphabet stickters from Joann for 0.89 cents... thought of making an activity for my kid out if it...

here it is.. Letter Recognition... Both capital and small letters.. fun with stickers!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nails, Arm Candy N Cast Iron Griddle - Recent Happenings

Confusing title right??.. Din't know what else to put in there.. hmm..

My recent nails. arm candy and recently got a cast iron griddle... did you know that cooking in cast iron helps boost iron in our body??... I got rid of all non-stick, aluminum cookwares a couple of years ago.. 

Can you guess what the bottom right pic is??

PS : If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll already know all of this.. just updating my blog with everything...  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Fix - Tofu Chapathi / 3 in 1 Mini Idlies

My posts are getting really sparse over the last few days.. hmm.. I've been studying a course and have the finals in the next couple of weeks.. that is the reason.. Feels really good to study after a long time.. and with a kid of course.. it takes a lot of planning!

Anyhooo.. these are 2 quick fixes that I've tried lately.. One is from my friend..

Tofu Chapathi:
I'm not a big fan of tofu nor is my kid.. but try to incorporate it into our food... so tried stuffing tofu with a ltiitle potato for binding... it turned out pretty good.

Tofu (toasted in a tava to dry it out - so that it can be shredded for the stuffing)
Potato (boiled)
Cumin powder
Red chilli powder
Turmeric powder

Mix all the ingredients and make the stuffing.. vary the proportions according to your taste. Make chapathi dough and stuff it and roll it out like you usually do for chapathis.

3 in 1 Mini Idly:

Tried this at our friend's place.. she made a lot of mini idlies and made 3 different flavors of them - Sambar idly, podi idly and lemon idly... my kid loved the podi idly so much!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fun Shaped Poori - Kids Delight! - 250th post

This is the 250th post on my blog.... feels good :) 

Fun shaped pooris for the kids... with cookie cutter.. trust me it works when different shapes are given.. be it eggs, idly, chapati or poori :) My kid liked the butterfly one even more.. 
flowers were kind of realistic.. you know..

Shapes from past...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mint (Pudina) Biriyani - Lunch Plate Today (with recipe)

A big bunch of mint has been sitting in my refrigerator... and I had to finish it today.. it was loosing its freshness. So thought of making biriyani. Turned out to be very flavorful and yummie!

Number of servings: 3 - 4
Mixed vegetables - 1 cup (I used cabbage, red pepper, beans, carrots)
Basmati rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 big
Yoghurt - 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic ( finely minced/shredded) - 1 spoon
Cumin seeds - 1 spoon
Cinnamon, cloves -2 

To Grind:
Mint (pudina) - a big bunch
Green chilli - 2
Jalapeno - 1
Pepper corns - 5-6

  • Soak the basmati rice in water along with cinnamon and cloves and keep separately
  • Make a paste of the items to grind and keep separate. Do not make a super fine paste - slightly coarse is better
  • In a wok, heat oil and splutter the cumin seeds. Add the onion, ginger garlic freshly shredded and saute well
  • Add the mint paste, salt and saute well. Add the vegetables and saute like a nice stir-fry. Add the yoghurt and saute
  • Drain the rice from the spices and water and add it to the wok and wait till it heats a bit
  • Now add water for the rice to cook. Adjust the water depending on the amount of water the paste contains. I added a little less than 3 cups
  •  Let the rice cook and stir occasionally. Mint biriyani is ready! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Quinoa, Lentils and Sago Adai

Now a days I'm really excited to make adai.. you know.. I really think its fun to mix different stuff at different proportion each time!

This time tried adding quinoa.. (well tried a couple of recipes with it and din't quite get it right.. soooo :) ).. But it turned out really good (even my kid liked it)

Number of servings: 4-5
Coarse cracked wheat - 1/2 to 1 cup
Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Toor dal - 1 cup
Sago - 1/2 cup (soaked)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Pepper - 1 spoon
Cumin seeds - 1 spoon
Fennel seeds - 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 
Hing - a pinch

To Temper:
Mustard seeds
Onion - chopped

  • Soak the wheat separately and sago separately for a couple of hours
  • Soak all the dals and quinoa together for a couple of hours
  • Blend the wheat in blender. Blend the dals and quinoa with cumin, fennel, pepper, hing and ginger and mix it with wheat to make the batter
  • Add the soaked sago to the batter. Splutter items to temper and saute chopped onions and add it to the batter
  • Add turmeric powder and salt. Adai batter is ready
Goes well with red chutney. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Diaper Basket - Baby Shower Center Piece

My friend made this diaper basket for a baby shower.. It was made as the center piece. Isn't it cute??.. stuffed with toys and wrapped with receiving blankets.. (She made the roses too!)

 I was the ribbon/bow maker.. :)

Based on a few Youtube tutorials..

Monday, June 24, 2013

Strawberry Picking

This was the first time we went on strawberry picking and it was soooo much fun :) The kid had the best time in searching for strawberries and picking them. The weather was perfect and so were the strawberries!

We started off with picking up one of these baskets and filled them with strawberries from the farm... What fun activities do you do with your kid in the Summer?