Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mixed fruit vegan muffin


The other day sonny boy suddenly demanded a cake. I had no cake in my fridge. So, I had to bake. I didn’t feel like searching any recipe from book or Net. Only I knew that I had finish rest of the grapes which were left in the basket. So, I incorporate them in the cake. I just put the ingredients whatever came in my mind. I used one orange because of the flavor. This is the first time I got such a nice flavor from the orange zest. Thanks to the previous owner of my house who planted that very orange tree. Anyway, the muffins turned out very good.



Here is the recipe

Ingredients:
One cup grapes
One large orange
One and a half cup brown sugar
Three tbsp. flax seed powder + 12 tbsp. water (1:4 ratio)
Pinch of salt
Two cups all purpose flower
One and half tsp. baking powder
One tsp. baking soda
One cup vegetable oil
Method:
First grate the whole orange to make the orange zest. Cut the orange into 4 pieces. In a grinder put the orange pieces, grapes, salt, and half cup of brown sugar to make a fine paste. In mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Then add rest of the ingredients and the paste, and make a fine batter. Pre heat the oven at 350 F. Divide the batter into the cupcake pan (approx. 2 tbsp. in each). Bake for 20-25 minutes in the middle of the oven. Yield 12 muffins.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Diary of a hectic week

That week was not a normal week to me. Since we had shifted to our new home my sonny was at home only. However, his teacher asked me to send him to school to practicing for his Graduation Day ceremony from Pre-K to Kindergarten. Since we shifted far away from his school, it was an enormous task to me. I was really tensed, rather a little bit scared before starting of the week. I knew that every day we had to start at 6:30 in the morning from home to reach school on time. Though I usually wake up at 5:30 in the morning to ready the breakfast and lunch for hubby dear, but getting ready of all three of us within one hour is really a task. On the top that I had a presentation scheduled on Wednesday. Before the staring of the week I really didn’t know how I would manage. I only knew that I had to manage. Previously I contacted with one of my friends that I could stay at her home in the afternoon for one week.
That very week was Spirit Week at his school. I forgot to check the newsletter on Sunday so I was completely unaware of that. When we reached the school on Monday we saw that everybody was in sports-attires. I couldn’t understand why? I asked my husband why? He also didn’t know. However, something was there. Anyway, after dropping him in school I went to the near-by Starbucks. I opened my laptop to study. I got four hour at a stretch to do all my studies. No more ‘mama, mama, mama’. First I opened the newsletter.. oh!!! It was the Spirit week, and Monday was sports day. I apprehend the situation after 12:30!!! Anyway, that was the time to forget everything and to concentrate in studies. I really could study well sitting at Starbucks. I almost finished my write up for the presentation.  In the meantime the laptop clock indicated me to shut it down and to go to school. After picking him from school I went to of my friends’ place, who eventually lived very near to his school. My sonny was very excited, to play with his “Baby Bhai”, the name he calls my friend’s son, which means “baby brother”. We sit there the whole afternoon, and had lunch there. Though I could spend a good time with my friend, but on the back of my mind I couldn’t stop thinking about my presentation. Around 4:30 my hubby came. Before going back home we went to a car garage to test the smog of our car, which was a long-pending job. At last when we came back home, at 7:30in the evening. Still my day was not finished. Again I cook a little for our dinner.  It was the Monday.
Tuesday was a great relief to me. Actually I needed to stay back home for some reasons. Father-son duo left home at 6:30 in the morning. He went to school in Hawaiian attire; because it was Hawaiian day. I was all alone until 1 pm, so I could do many of my pending jobs. I finished my presentation and almost ready to speak at the session.
Wednesday was very challenging to me. It was ‘wacky Wednesday’ in son’s school. We were puzzled what kind of funny dress he could wear. He could wear different socks in feet, but what about dress. I suggested wearing one of my hubby’s T-shirt, even our son agreed to wear that. However, after reaching school we saw that nobody wore something very funny. We felt that, our son could feel awkward in that dress. So I changed him to a T-shirt of his own, but he wore that in wrong side. My project presentation was at 6 pm. I had only 4 hours in the morning to do my final preparation. After dropping him at school again I sat at the good old same Starbucks to do my final preparation. 12:00 o’clock I wrapped up everything, even though I felt I needed little more preparation. Again I went my friend’s home. That became routine, going to school, sitting at Starbucks, going to friend’s home then at last coming back home in the late evening. Wednesday I asked my husband to come early to pick me up, because I had to reach my class early. However, he was unable to do that. Then I contacted with another friend who was doing the same course with me. Fortunately she was very near to the place. I coordinated with her, and went to class with her. All my toil paid off. After the presentation our teacher told that I did a great job. I really felt elated like a child. I came back home at 10:30 at night. In the mean time my hubby did a blunder. While coming back home, my son fell asleep in the car, and his father didn’t wake him up. He slept up to 9 o’ clock. When my hubby went to bring me from train station he woke up and he couldn’t sleep anymore. When I went to bed at 11:00 he was still awake. It was a great pain. He couldn’t sleep and he didn’t let me sleep also. Suddenly he started crying, and again I soothed him. I was dead tired; I wanted to sleep desperately, because I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to bake a cake for the next day Luau party at school. It was an extremely long day.
Thursday started at 4:30 am. My hubby asked me why I wanted to wake up so early, my answer was, you couldn’t understand. I baked the cake; pack everything for the party, then my study materials, HIS lunch, and many more. The two hours in the morning was too little to get ready. However, I could manage. In the morning one of my friends, whose daughter was in same class of my son, asked me how I was managing? I answered that, only I knew that I was managing, but how? I had no answer. Again I started studying for a final exam which was scheduled on next week. Same routine was continuing, after his school I went to my friend’s place. That day was Pajama Day. He was in pajama, but we were too busy to choose his pajama in the morning, rather dug out from the suitcase, I totally forgot to take a spare clothing to wear after bath. After lunch I asked my son to sleep, but he was not ready to listen to me at all. At last he fell asleep around 4 o’clock. We had to reach school at 4:45 pm, and it was a tedious task to me to wake him up at make ready for the party. When I woke him up he just started screaming, and didn’t want to do anything. Somehow I managed to dress him up. The poor child went to school crying and whining. I was too exhausted to dress up. I went to the party as the way I was. Anyway, the party was a great amusement to us. All the little ones from 2 year to 4 years performed on the stage. It was really a great fun to the parents, though the children performed very seriously. After their performance we had dinner watching Hula dance. The Hula dancer taught the dance to the children. They extremely enjoyed the dancing. The party ended at 8 o’clock. Our son fell asleep in the car as usual. However, my day didn’t end here. I had another major job. Next day was Purple day. He had no purple T-shirt. Suddenly I remembered, once he received a purple T-shirt from a summer camp. It was too big to wear at that time. It was case in the suitcase. However, thing was that I needed to cover the name of the camp logo. I took one of his old t-shirts, cut out the pictures and stitched on the purple T to cover logos. It came out fantastic.  At last I could go to sleep.
Same day began with little difference. After school I had no idea where to go. Actually that very was not supposed to at home, because had to attend the spring festival at her son’s school. Another friend had to leave her home due to water problem. Sitting at Starbucks I pondering over what to do? I remember another my friend lived near to his school. I called her and told my situation, she happily agreed. After school I walked almost one mile to take a bus with a whimpering child, who was not ready to walk. Every now and then I assured him that he was going to play with a friend. After reaching her house my son’s mood turned on. The both children started playing, and the both mothers had great time, though we had to resolve fighting every now and then. My hubby came a little late, around 4:30. While coming back again I did grocery from Indian store, and we reached home around 8 o’clock.
Saturday was the D day. For what I toiled through the whole week – yes ! The graduation. The teacher asked to reach school-church with 10:45. So there was no scope to sleep late in the morning. Anyway, the ceremony was spectacular. We thoroughly enjoyed that. And with that the busiest week also went by.


Monday, May 6, 2013

One hour meal


Sometimes happen that no time in your hand and on the top of that there is a dearth of stuffs in the kitchen, what will you do then? The same thing happened to me yesterday. After moving to new place we are not finding time to sit back. Every now and then we have to go somewhere to buy something. Yesterday early in the morning we got a call from Lowe’s. They were about to deliver our refrigerator, but at the last moment they found some dent on the fridge, so they wanted to consult with us. Anyway, after breakfast we reached there. The gardening section mesmerized me so much that I couldn’t help me without buying few plants. When we came back home it was 11:30. It was my turn to cook on a war footing. We didn’t buy vegetables, because we yet to get out fridge. Only few potatoes, onion, and carrots were left in my kitchen. While coming back hubby bought few chicken leg pieces. Anyway, I quickly washed the chicken and marinated with salt. Then put the lentils in the pressure cooker. I quickly chopped the potatoes and started cooking that. While lentils and potatoes were on the cooking range I washed the rice and put that in cooking in very low flame, so that there was no need to pay attention to that. Then it was the time to cook chicken. I had no time to paste ginger and garlic. So I used only onion and tomato for the chicken. I had some fresh mint leaves, which I kept, but didn’t know what to do with those leaves. I finely chopped those and used to cook the chicken. One burner was left on the range and put the chicken there. So, four items I cooked almost simultaneously. When I finished my cooking the clock was ticking 12:30. So, mission accomplished. 

 


Lentils


Ingredients


Half cup red lentils
One medium sized onion
One medium sized tomato
¼ tsp. five-spices
 Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
One tbsp. of oil


Method:


Finely chopped the onion. Cut the tomato in cubes. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, and add five spices in it. When it starts crackling add onion and tomato into it. Stir for some time. Wash the lentils and add into it, add one and a half cup of water. close the pressure cooker and cook up to two whistle. Lentil is ready.


Potato curry


Ingredients


2-3 medium sized potato


One small onion
1/3 cup frozen snow peas (thawed)
One tbsp. of oil
pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste


Method:


Chop the onion finely. Cut the potatoes in thin slices. Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok; add onion and potatoes into it. Fry for few minutes in medium heat. Add snow peas and fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and turmeric. Add half cup of water and cover. Cook until the water dries. Potato curry is ready.


 


Mint-chicken


Ingredients:


One big onion
One big tomato
4-5 chicken leg pieces
Handful of mint leaves
1 tsp. garam mashala
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric
2 tbsp of oil


Method:


Marinate the leg pieces with salt for half an hour. Chop the onion finely. Cut the tomato into small pieces. Finely chop the mint leaves. Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok; add onion and tomato into it. Fry until the onion become transparent stirring occasionally.  Add the leg pieces and cover the wok. After few minutes add the mint leaves and let it cook covering the wok. After 10 minutes add 1 ½ cup of water and bring into boil. Cook until chicken becomes tender. Chicken curry is ready to serve.



 




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pear squash fry


The other day reluctantly I was browsing my cooking photographs. I just came across one simple recipe I used to cook. For some unknown reason I stopped cooking that very dish. I learned to pear squash from one of my friends. She also learned that from her friend. When I first came to the USA one day I saw that at vegetable market. Why I didn’t know, I thought that could be cooked like pumpkin-potato curry. I cooked the pear squash using the same recipe, but that taste was so bad, I never dared to buy pear squash after that. Anyway after having squash fry at my friend’s place I cooked that many times. So simple, yet so delicious, that you can finish a plate of rice with this.  

 

Here is the recipe

One-two pear squash

One tbsp. of oil (I used olive oil)

One-fourth tsp. of nigella seeds

Salt to taste

Pinch of turmeric powder

Method:

Thinly slice the pear squash. There is no need to peel or core. Heat oil in a wok, and add nigella seeds. When the seeds start crackling add the sliced squash. Slightly stir and reduce the heat to medium. Don’t cover the wok. Otherwise water will ooze out. You need keep it dry. Stir time to time. When the squash become tender add salt and turmeric. Cook for few minutes, and then switch of the cooking range.