Thursday, October 31, 2013


Yes I am coining a new word: Haloween-i-fied:
\Pronounced\ Ha-low-eeee-niiii-f-ed
\Meaning\ Haloween activity which never ends....
\Usage\  Excalmation:  I am Haloween-i-fied
Let me explain.
Haloween is celebrated on: October 31

In our house:
Costume Search began: September 14
Costumes bought: September 28
Home decorated: October 5
Pumpkin Patch: October 12
Haloween Part'ies: October 26-27
Pumpkin Carving: October 28,29
Haloween Day: More parties, More Trick or Treating and More... Candy

So today is Haloween and I am Haloween-i-fied!

Our first pumkin carved together- Cutting- Sumit, Scooping- Chatter Box, Carving- Garima, Eating pumkin scopped gooey- Little Lady! 
Decorations in our house.... Flying ghosts, witches, stop-if-you-dare signs.... we went all out

nd of course- On day of Haloween even school lunches get Haloween-i-fied!

Happy Haloween All!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quick Food Fix: Roasted Asparagus with Dijon Vinagraitte

A couple of weekends ago, we had a dinner party at home and I was in my 'cooking mode'. I wanted to cook something intresting. Not the same old same old. So along with a complete Italian Dinner spread, I tried my hand at Roasted asparagus and trust me, they were delicious. We all gobbled them down and a friend who is not a big asparagus eater also stole them from another plate.

Let me put this way: They were a success.

Its super easy to make and super delicious and I think super healthy. So basically its a Super Super thing to make!

Ingridients:For baseAsparagus- Of course, I used one bunch
Olive Oil - 2 tsp.
Garlic- One clove finely chopped
Sea Salt- Per taste
Fresh crushed Pepper - Per taste
Chilli flakes- Optional
Base Process:1. Toss all the ingredients of the base
2. Bake it in preheated oven(350 F) for 7-10 minutes
And its ready

For DressingHoney Dijon Mustard- 1 tsp
Lemon Juice- 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 tsp
Dressing Process:1. Mix all the ingredients of the dressing
And its ready

To serve:1. Scoop out the roasted asparagus, spread dressing as needed.
And its ready!!

I told you, its very simple.
Now mind you, Dijon mustard mixed with lemons has a very tart taste, so go easy on the dressing.
The conundrum, how do you eat them?
1. If you use a fork, the delicious dressing gets left behind on the plate.
2. If you use a spoon, well good luck getting the asparagus on it.
3. If you use a hand, yumm yumm yummm

Let me know how you ate yours?

Sadly no pictures... I guess we are all too busy licking our fingers!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Date Day is as good as a Date Night

 Recently with the Columbus day holiday, it was perfect. Both Sumit and I had days off. V was to be in school and Little Lady with the nanny.
So we could do one of two things: Either finish off all the projects for the home and errands that have piled up and we have not been able to finish due to work. Alternatively, movie afternoon and no not in the house, but in the theatre.

Needless to say, responsible us chose the latter.
We chose the perfect time, after a heavy, delicious breakfast at home we headed out for Movie Number 1: Gravity 3D. I guess i had high expectations from the movie. But holding hands, enjoying pop corn and hiding in your spouse's shoulder when the meteor comes flying on you is perfect.
After the movie, I was famished. I needed food, so some unhealthy movie theatre food later.
Movie Number 2: Captain Philips. I loved loved loved this movie. It was chilling, real and oh my, Tom Hanks was fabulous and so were the Somali Pirates and so were the scenes and chilling reality of the seas. I was shaking even after the movie.

Yes, we did two movies back to back, such Date-Days come rarely for us, so we try to maximize them. Else date nights, needs a lot more planning- We need the sitter, V to be prepped and explained to why she cant join us. Little Lady to be fed and in bed and above all by the time we are out, we are generally super tired. So days are better, sometimes.

Back to our 'Date-Day': We then rushed to pick up V from school, rushed to come home to relieve the nanny earlier and then picked up the litte one and headed for a family night: Dinner outside. - No one in our family says no to Indian Chinese!
 A perfect date: Time spend reconnecting, laughing and sharing a common theme- Smile.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Absence of screen time

No, I am not going back to the dark ages. Screens, all forms, latest gadgets etc rule our household. They are used as barter, bribe and of course being 'connected' in all forms all the time. But I am 'trying' to make a conscious effort of making screens 'absent' for certain periods of time.

1. When I return home from work, until kids are in bed. I am trying to keep my phone in my purse on 'silent' mode. And the purse far away so I am not distracted by the 'buzz'. The only reason why an iPad is picked up is to start some music and an impromptu dance jig with the girls. This is hard. But it makes me less distracted, I don’t ask V to hold off since I am responding to this one text. I actually sit with Little Lady and not just take her pictures, but enjoy the mini-milestones she reaches each minute.

2. When I hit the bed, the phone is outside. I used to use the 'phone needs charging' excuse to have phone by my side. Now the gadgets and the chargers are all outside of our room. And yes, I have not needed alarm in the last couple of years. Having kids does that to you. This is harder. Since catching up on Facebook, unread emails, witty messages all get piled up. But you know what, I am learning if this really can wait, let it wait. Hence the phone is outside.

3. When I take the bus to and from my work, I keep my phone in the pocket of my jacket and look around. This is the hardest. But this has also made me realize that there are 4 nail spas en route (why does one need 4 in 10 blocks, I really don’t know), couple of bakeries which are so inviting (Must try with the family over weekends). The sun and the sky that I can peek at from the bus, makes me just decompress.
I am learning that I can switch off from screens and be switched on in person.

I can’t make bold statements and say- that’s how it will be all the time. In a week, even if I can do this for a few days, it’s a small step for me. Just to disconnect and really connect.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Baking Experiments: Eggless Pear-Rhubarb Cake

This is  exactly how this recipe came to life.
A week ago, I was walking in my grocery store and saw rhubarb. Perfect, delicious smelling, red rhubarb. I said, hmm. I have never cooked anything with it. So lets try something. Came home, refrigerated it and forgot about it until this weekend.

I realized, oh,Pears are very ripe. Oh, wow. I didnt do anything with this Rhubarb.
Googled, read a few recipes and then said: You know what, this looks easy enough. Lets try.
Here is my recipe adapted from here to make an Eggless Pear Rhubarb Cake.

1 cups finely chopped rhubarb (It felt like celery to chop)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pears (Mine were pretty ripe, so a juicy chopping board)
1 cups demerara sugar (Next time, I am going to use lesser, since the cake came out sweeter than I like)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups apple sauce (Peeled two apples and pureed them in the Nutri Bullet)- This is my substitute for eggs.
3 cups all-purpose flour (Next time, i will try 1.5 cup All purpose and 1.5 cup wheat flour)
1 cup chopped almonds (Since this was the only nuts at home, am sure walnuts, cashews, macadamia will taste divine as well)
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste (I am in the phase of gingering up all my food)

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients except apple sauce, baking powder and nuts
2. Pre-heat the over to 350F and grease the baking dish with butter. I have a dish liner so I used that instead.
3. Now mix the apple sauce, one spoon at a time. Then add the baking powder and nuts. Just save some to put on top.
4. Put the batter in the baking dish. Garnish with the remaining nuts and put it in the oven
5. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. You can test by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, its done!

And now... Enjoy
1. Warm with spreading light butter 0r
2. With a warm cup of tea  or
3. Ask your kids to decorate the slice and enjoy watching them make the mess and the smiles and the scary faces.

With Halloween fever in my house, We just used red icing for a 'bloody cake' V's words, not mine!

Kids say the darnest things

I am starting this new label today. With a chatter box around, it was only a matter of time. And I am really hoping as V is growing up REALLY fast, I want to capture this sweet innocence. And yes at some point, hold these stories as ransom for her to oblige!

Point 1:
This weekend, Little Big V, was not in the best of health. It started with a headache and resulted in a full fever, chills etc. Yup, apparantly 5 year olds do get head aches. I didnt know. The three chicas of the house went on a trip to Target for some errands and this is what happened in Aisle 9
Miss V:" I really need to get some coffee for this headache. "

Point 2: We picked up the girls V & her friend M from school yesterday. With two five year olds, its generally random chit chat about this and that. Sumit had played the songs from the movie 'Besharam' for the girls to enjoy
M: What does 'Besharam' mean?
V: It means to not be shy. So I will 'Besharam' all the time.
M: Oh ok, I will tell my mom that I will be 'Besharam' all the time as well.
Both the girls were dead serious, Sumit and I were in splits, the literal meaning went too far.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seeing the silver line

This past weekend, Sumit was travelling. I was holding the fort with the two kids. I was anxious and excited, two kids by myself, all weekend, alone. I had diligently planned for activities so all of us enjoy.
We had planned, a baking party, a brunch, a kiddie party, a dinner party. But on Friday night, V returned from school with a massive headache and that resulted in fever, chills, tiredness. So all planned stuff went out the window and we stayed home with no park, no TV, no nothing. Yup, not fun.
Looking on the bright side, I did get some 'down time' (Read: In our house hold: Down Time equates to 5 minutes of peace and quiet with no kid demanding attention of ANY sort).
The silver lining. V and I played at least 20 rounds of "Sequence' board games. I love to see V developing the same passion that we have for board games. We did simple craft projects in between her fever spells. We decorated the house in some Halloween delight. It was so much fun to see Little Lady amused by the 'flying ghosts' Little Lady got her round of practicing the crawls, the standing up and the self-feeding. And yes amidst all this we all giggled. A lot. 
I tried my hand at baking experiments- A date cake: Which I dont think I am repeating.
A rhubarb-pear cake: which got over really soon and I am surely going to make it again.
It was so sweet for a dear friend calling time and again and offering to help. It feels good to know and hear a 'I am here for you' message. Sometimes, just a text of 'Can I do something to help' would mean the world.
By 8, I was exhausted EVERY night. I don’t realize how much Sumit helps around. When I had to do it all by myself. It was- Tiring.

But it becoming a lovely girls weekend, I ended it by some TLC for V.
A lovely hair massage, a hair cut followed by V's favorite place for dinner. All for V.

I am glad Sumit is BACK. Phew. AND yes I slept for straight 10 hours once he returned.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I think WE have figured out this parenting thing

Honestly, I think Sumit and I have nailed it.
 And here is why:
 V, my 5 year old wakes up middle of the night wailing and sobbing.
The dad aka Sumit just walks to V's room, asks her to throw up 'properly' and then like machine work- puts every piece of fabric from her room in the laundry. He opens the windows and sprays in the room freshener.
The mom aka Me doles out of bed, cleans up V, asks if all is well. She then gets water for the kid and herself. Hugs and says it’s okay to sleep in mummy-papa's bed tonight.
 And then the perfect family just goes off to sleep, like nothing happened.

It’s another Monday morning of Business As Usual.

This makes me think, we worked like a well-oiled machine and I think we have figured out this 'parenting thing' until next throw up of course

And yep, that’s exactly what happened last night. At Midnight.