Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sausage cheese vegetable bread

It was a Saturday morning. Everyone at home wanted a different breakfast. Only one sausage was left in the refrigerator. So, I couldn’t sausage and egg to everyone. I had to use one sausage in a clever way. And I came up with this recipe.

One cup flour

One egg

One tsp baking powder

4 tbsp. yogurt

4 tbsp. olive oil

One cup shredded cheese

One fourth cup chopped black olive

salt to taste

One sausage

One small onion

One capsicum

3-4 sprigs of parsley

One tsp. dried cilantro

One tbsp. oil for frying vegetable

Take a big mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and mix well. Keep the bowl aside. Finely chop the onion, capsicum, and cilantro. Cut the sausage into thin slices. Take a pan, heat one tbsp. of oil in medium. Add dried parsley. When you get the fine aroma, add all the chopped vegetables. Saute for few minutes. Add salt. Add the sausage pieces. Fry for another few minutes. Switch off the stove, and keep the pan aside. In the big mixing bowl add the egg, yogurt, oil, and mix well. The mixture will be very tight and sticky. Then, add the vegetable mixture , olive and mix very well. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F. Take a 9”X 5” rectangular loaf pan. Spray oil inside it. Pour the mixture. Spread cheese on the top. Bake for half an hour or until a knife comes out clean inserted in the middle. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Noodle soup for kids

My sonny boy was not feeling well past few days. Due to the viral fever he lost his appetite totally. He was getting wired smell in every food. I had been just scratching my head for this picky eater. His lost his interest in his favorite pasta also. The pasta was the last resort for me. When he refused to eat pasta I was really at bay. He usually eats banana and mango. He also stopped eating those. With a stuffy nose he was breathing through his mouth which was causing a bloated tummy. Today I asked him whether he would like have noodle soup. He said yes. Before cooking I asked him what kind of vegetables he would like have in the soup. I didn’t want to put vegetable of my choice. He wanted only corn and peas in it. Anyway, though he lost his taste , still loved this simple noodle soup.

Here is the recipe:
Noodle for one person ( In the packet there were six chunks of noodles, and I used one chunk for my son.)
One-fourth cup corns
One-fourth cup peas (I used frozen peas. I didn’t need much time to cook. If you feel that you need more time to cook the peas, then boil the peas separately.)
One tsp soy sauce
Two tbsp. tomato sauce
Two cup chicken broth (I used low sodium chicken broth. If you use normal, chicken broth, then you may need to use less salt.)
One egg
Salt to taste
Boil the noodles according to the instruction on the package. Once it is done, drain the water and keep aside. Take another sauce pan, add chicken broth, soy sauce, tomato sauce, peas, and corn. Bring the mixture into boil. Break the egg and carefully add into it, to keep the yolk intact. Sprinkle salt over the broth. Don't stir the broth, otherwise the yolk will break. Add the noodle into the broth. Bring heat to medium, and let it cook. After five to six minutes check the thickness of the soup. If you need a very thick soup, then let it cook, otherwise switch of the stove. Pour the soup into a soup bowl. Take out the egg, and place it on the top of the noodle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mission peak hiking

It was going to be the second attempt to reach the peak. I hiked many trails in recent times. Even I hiked almost same elevation of Mission peak. However, in my first attempt I failed to reach the peak. Why so? Yes, it was a real difficult trail. Last year Mr. Man went hiking there with his friends. After coming back he told me that it was impossible for me to hike up to the peak. So, I was eager to go there.I was eager to reach the top. However, in the first time I just able to hike only halfway, and I compelled to come back. I couldn’t take the strain anymore. My knees started painting beyond my endurance. From that very day I wanted to go back again and to give a try to hike to the peak. 

This Mission Peak hiking trail is very popular trail. In the weekends it is nearly impossible to get a parking. Getting parking place just at the trailhead is like getting the moon in hand. This time really this happened to us. We took to cars to the hiking area, for the difficulty of parking. When we enter the small parking area, Mr. Man just beat somebody to get one parking spot. 

Just behind us was the other car with rest of our fellow hikers. Their luck was same as ours.When they were thinking of going outside, just  at that time one car was about to left the area. So, they also got the spot to park the car. We were ten people in our group. Anyway, this time the crowd was much thinner than other times. It was a long weekend, and on the top of that , Sunday was Valentine's Day. Anyway, when we started walking the weather was not very cold, but also not that much hot, so that, we could take off the jackets.

Unlike last time, the mountain was covered by thick lush green grass, thanks to few spell showers until January. Last time it was extremely barren, and the trail was full of dust, and foot steps of people raised  dust clouds. This time instead of dust, the trail was as hard as cement. 

There were very little trees scattered here and there. The trail was not scenic, but really hard. There were no danger, no chance of falling from the cliff, no narrow path, rather the trail was broad enough that at least six people could walk side by side. However, the trail was steep, and continuously moving upward, and the elevation was not a wide angle. First when we started walking it was fine. Soon, I lost energy. On the top of that, due to the strain, I got a runny nose. I started panting heavily. I asked my husband whether we reached halfway. To my utter disappointment he told we yet to arrive halfway. Almost halfway there was a resting bench, as much as I could remember. However, I yet to see any resting bench. The steep trail wound the mountain in such a way it was difficult to see how the trail was going upward.

 Some time you could see people were walking high on the mountain. Whenever I could see the trail from the bottom, I could see people were walking three-four layers. That meant the trail wound like that way. I just ran out of energy, and I had to sit on the stone on the side of the trail. I sat for few minutes, and drank water. Then I felt a little better, and started walking. At first I thought that I gained a lot of energy, and I could walk. But, after few steps I almost unable to drag myself. Then, again I paused for few moments before resume walking. By this way I walked, and I asked Mr. Man whether I reached halfway. He told me we yet to reach halfway. I started thinking that, this time also I would fail to reach the peak. At last I reached the bench. I sat there, again drank water before resuming. Anyway, after reaching halfway, the walking became easier.

 The trail in the middle was little bit flatter than the beginning of the trail. So, walking was much easier, though on every turn the elevation was extremely high, where I faced a big difficulty. However, as soon as every turn as passed, again the road was almost flat. We walked and walked,but the peak was not coming in our sight, as if, it was moving from us. I asked Mr. Man,he showed me a far away mountain , and told that the peak was behind the mountain. The thin ray of hope reaching the top vanished that very moment. I declared , I was stopping at that very point, and turning back. He told me that, when I could walk that much, then I could reach the top also. The we reached one point from where the train was just going upward straight, and the trail was full gravel. I stopped looking at the top. I pulled myself forward, and started walking upward just like an ape. After a long tiring time, I could see the stick on the top. Last half mile was dangerous. There was no trail. You have to step from one stone to another. No two person could walk side by side. On the top of that, if you make mistake in stepping, you are going to just fall from the cliff. But I managed to reach the top, where two of our team mate already reached there. The gift of the toil was the view. The whole Bay Area could be seen from the top. The whole bay of the Pacific ocean could be seen just like the map. The entire bay came into full view just like a picture of the atlas. 

Then another challenge was left,coming down from there. While coming down we realized that, climbing was much easier. While climbing down you had to control your speed. If you started walking casually, you would start running, and could not control your speed, and eventually you would fall down. So, climbing down, either you had to walk sidewise, or you had to lean backward, and walk slowly. I opted the second method. The major problem, was that, climbing down process would put lot of pressure on the knees. My knees started hurting a lot, but there was no option to stop. Lastly I was feeling that I could not reach the parking lot. When I could see the parking from distant, I was over joyed like a child. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Huddart park hiking

As soon as the alarm went off in the wee hour of morning, Mr. Man jumped out of the bed. 6:30 in the morning of a foggy damp Sunday is really wee hour. I tried to drift off in to slumber, to get some sweet morning dreams. Some great kicks like a pro soccer player from my son made me jumped out of the bed. I didn’t peek out through the curtain after waking up. That was right thing I did in the morning after waking up. I knew, if I saw outside, I would promptly changed my plan of hiking, and would jump into bed again.

Wild berries
I could capture the bicyclist

It was a long drive from home to the hiking spot. In the same area we went hiking on a different trail before. This one of our hiking team members decided the very trail, because this time we wanted a family friendly trail. Some of the spouses wanted to come with their little ones. The Chickadee trail was the best for that. It was very small trail, almost with no elevation. Anyway, when we start from home, the outside was almost white with thick fog, almost everything was invisible. While driving we were anticipating more fog on the  area where we were going to hike. 

Huddart park was near to Half moon Bay, and generally the place was foggy and rainy through out the year. Though we thought that, but when we drove near Half Moon Bay, the weather was different. There was no sign of fog, but the sky was populated with heavy dark clouds. It was verge to pour on us. It seemed that, the clouds had been waiting us to reach our destination.

 The narrow winding road with thick forest , and cliff on one side made a spectacular beauty, though it was a little tough job for the driver to drive. The thick forest, with a mixture of big redwood trees, and other trees with some peeking bright red wild berry, with a dark gloomy sky over the head, made the place so unique, I couldn’t even imagine that I was only 30 miles away from my home. Just crossing 30 miles I reached a place, where nature was living with its full glory,uninterrupted  by anything.  This was the place, where people were living in picturesque cottages amid nature , and they fully embraced a small-town’s slow and peaceful life. 

I had been keeping track of our route on the cell phone, before taking my head up and look outside. Suddenly I saw a very small market place with boutique shops before entering the forest with gradually decreasing homesteads. 
When we reached the park, we saw the ranger’s empty office. Before getting very much confused we found out tiny locked box on a stand where we could pay the park fee. In the mean time two of our fellow hikers lost the road, and reached the archery area on a different side of the park. The GPS system on their phone showed them some different rout. All of us were very much new in the area, so hat we couldn’t guide them to the Chickadee trail head. At that very moment a ranger appeared in front of us. We sought help from him. At last when all of us unite on the trail head, we were way past from our schedule time. 

rough skinned newt

The trailhead was full of leaves, with redwood trees on one side. First I made a mistake, then I found out the actually path, when everyone started walking. The small narrow trail was covered with thick bright green trees, apart from the tall redwood trees. It already started drizzling, but due to thick forest we couldn’t feel that. All most all the stump of the trees were covered with bright green parasites, and some time big bright yellow fungi popped out from the hollows of the trees. 
The soiled path led to an open area with a vast green grassy patch. The trail was so small that it couldn’t satisfy us. We wanted to toil more. So we took another path which was not a trail, and walked on the same path twice. Though we were’t tired, still we decided to go back. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016