Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A new craze - Flamework beads....

It feels as though it has been ages since I blogged... there is so much happening in my life right now, that I have been barely able to digest everything at once...!!!

The very very special news I will disclose later. meanwhile, I have started giving art classes to a couple of kids.. I find that I quite enjoy this part, and to my surprise, I seem to be able to make them understand what I mean :)

And there is so much fun that I find that I am inspired to do more myself..!!!

Also, I have been fascinated by the Flamework bead-making and ordered the book 'Making Glass Beads ' - by Cindy Jenkins.. One day I hope to make them myself and I really hope that it is sooner rater than later.... !! The shipment was more than a week late and I was in despair... but since it arrived a couple of days back, I have hardly kept it down... the explanation is very easy to understand and I am thrilled just looking at the pictures !!
I have also been working on a couple of things and one is nearly complete.. hopefully I'll post it in a day......

Meanwhile , some pix from my new book...... 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kappa (Tapioca)Puzhukku

Growing up, we were inundated with all sorts of fresh produce from our ancestral farms . Be it tapioca,papayas, mangoes, yams, string beans, bitter gourds, coconuts, bananas... and there was so much of everything that we used to get fed up of even mangoes half-way into the seasons...

And now things have changed so much, than when I got a piece of tapioca and cooked it, I was so delighted with the result, that I called my sis in Pune and my mom in Doha to give them the news!!!

Yep ! things have indeed changed... my sis actually told me that she wanted the recipe too.. 

So this is for you too S, coz I know I will have to give the recipe all over again when you finally get hold of Tapioca..

Tapioca - 1/2 kg  (peel, cut ito cubes and wash well)

Word of wisdom from my mom- always buy One piece of tapioca. Two pieces may belong to different batches of produce and  may have two different cooking points. - not good news......

Bring the tapioca to boil and drain the water. 

Now add 
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly powder -1/2 tsp
Water - level with the tapioca

Cook till water is nearly gone and the tapioca pieces turn opaque. Add salt to taste .

Now coarsely grind 

Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Shallots - 3 nos
Jeera/cumin - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 nos

For tempering..

Heat oil in a kadai ( I used coconut oil)

mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Raw rice - 1 tsp
Shallots - 1 tbsp (finely sliced)
Curry leaves - 1 stalk
Dried red chillies

Add each ingredient in that order. 

Once the shallots brown, add the tapioca and the ground coconut mix. Mix well and take off the flame.

Excellent with fish curry and rice....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Awarded - again!!

Rita of rkdsign88 has awarded the Let's be friends award and the Kreative Blogger award to me. I already consider her a friend, and if you have seen her precious drawings, and she has seen fit to bestowe the Kreative Blogger award to me, you can imagine how honored I feel. 

Thanks Rita, for your very kind gesture. For thse of you who haven't see her work please do so.. I guarantee that you are in for a treat...  

I had recently recieved the same awards and have done my share of awarding those. So this time round, I am keeping them :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home remedies

Both my grandmas, mattemma and all those wise women all over are sure to have many things at hand that were very very effective for quick relief...whenever we children had small ailments. 

I have grown up around these remarkable women and have thankfully imbibed a very small percent of their home remedies.. 

While I do have a good pediatrician for my daughter and have stocked all the medicines according to his advise, I am nevertheless glad that I have some of these remedies. Somehow, I do feel that giving so much medicine doesn't do much good to my daughter's immune system and since she goes to playschool, cough, cold and things like that are a regular feature at home.

A couple of days back I offered this tip to a friend whose son was suffering from a sore throat and she informed me that it helped a lot..So I thought I should share it with you too...

For a sore throat and congested chest - Grate a tsp of ginger. Mix with 1 tbsp honey. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Now give the liquid to whoever is affected. You don't have to be careful with the dosage and it can be given as often as you want. It tastes good too...

My mom reminded of this one some days back

Indigestion, diarrhoea - the same remedy can be used for either problem. 1 pinch of grated nutmeg in 1 tsp of honey. 

For a sore and tired body - In a bucketful of hot water, add 1 tbsp of rock salt and take a bath. rinse off with water of the same temperature. (it should not be cold). 

For cold  (grown-ups)- Add crushed pepper corns, coriander seeds, Jaggery /palm sugar, crushed dried ginger (all about 1/2 tsp) in 1 and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, simmer for another 5 minutes. Sieve and add 1 tsp of instant coffee powder(optional). Add more sugar if needed. 

These are a few things I do on a regular basis .. let me know what you think..

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Shawarma, but...

I had a craving for 'Shawarma'... the succulent meaty sandwiches that are a favourite of most people who have been to the Middle East..

Since I did not have anything on hand that I could suddenly put together into a semblance of the same, I nevertheless had to bite into something that could satisfy the craving atleast to a decent degree.

And this is what resulted from the experiment...

I already had on hand, the following

Ready-made chicken meat-balls - 200 gms
Lebanese bread - Kaboose (they are big enough for 1 to make a good portion for me)
Frozen french fries( ready to fry)

Then I went for the veggies
Spring onions - 3 
Red and yellow peppers - 1/2 each of big sized peppers
Mushrooms - 50 gms cleaned and quartered.

Next, the sauce

Tahini paste - (I had some that I had made early)- 2 tsps
Curd - 1 tsp
Mustard sauce - 1 tsp
A pinch of salt and paprika powder.

Mix the sauce and keep aside
Now the preparation and assembly of the filling........

1.-Deep fry the potato fries
2-Shallow fry the meat balls
3- Saute the mushrooms
4-Slice the rest of the veggies
5 -Season with salt and pepper

Now take the Kaboos and butter and toast both sides(optional). Add the fillings in the middle of the Kaboose . Liberally pour the sauce on top of the fillings, roll up the kaboose and take a bite..

It wasn't Shawarma, but I was happy :). Sorry I did not have the patience to take the picture of the end result.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holi.. The festival of colours

Hi.. sorry.. I could not get any photos .. we had organic colours and all ready but when I called a friend I was cautioned not to take my daughter down since the festivities were getting a bit rough.. people were also not particular about what they dumped on each other..

There have been many reports of rough-play so I decide to not go downstairs..there were colours being thrown from balconies and such.. and I did not want my baby to end up with skin problems... but here are some pictures from the web..

All the people we saw in the evening had colour they could not fully scrub out... and the lifts, and the entrance to our building is a mess.. my daughter pointed it out and said..see mamma..dirty dirty....naughty boys...!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Kreative Blogger Award

Wow .. yet another award ..from my friend Jenn.She has four blogs and yet manages to post interesting stuff on all of them. She passed on this award to me two days back and I have been late in posting it...!!!

I apologize..believe me it is not coz I am any less thrilled about this award.. it is just that I have had a couple of days where I seemed to be busy and never had a moment to myself, yet when I think back, I hardly had done anything worthy of note.. !! 

Tomorrow is going to be another day like that .. it is the festival of Holi and it is celebrated with great zest in these parts.. so anyone stepping put of their homes will be bombarded with balloons with coloured water, sprayed with colur through water guns, pistons etc... it is a bit risky since people are not very cautious about the grade of colours used to celebrate..so we prudently remain inside..And both my hubby and my very restless daughter will be cooped up in the house...so I am going to have my hands full..since our daughter thinks that when dad is home, it is time to TATA..or else !!!
I will try to take some pictures of the festivities... but no promises :)

To return to the award,

 1. Copy the award to my site.
2. Link to the person from whom we received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those sites on my blog.

There are so many creative bloggers out there..what do I do?

This time I will just randomly select seven of the very talented Entrecard droppers on my blog...!!


Hope all of you 'Kreative ' geniuses like your awards. And a heartfelt thanks once more to Jenn, for thinking of me...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another surprise !! - The Gauntlet

I won another giveaway by Tammy, whose blog is called AutismLearningFelt. I was very interested when I saw her review of the book ..and any way, wherever there is a good book, I follow...!!

So I am just thrilled . Please visit Tammy's blog to get an insight into living life with an Autistic kid. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A new convection microwave oven..

Howz that??? It is just pasta (cooked) and sausages layered with egg,thyme, oregano,cheese (parmesan & mozzarella) and some fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce with generous helpings of freshly crushed pepper.

That is what I first tried out on my convection microwave, I had originally planned to buy an OTG (oven-toaster grill) with intentions of learning to bake. But I wasn't very thrilled with the choices available and so I picked this up.. it is not an international brand but is well-known in these parts and it is easier on the pocket that the Philips , LG or others..

Since I am just learning, I thought I ought to experiment on a much economical version..but to tell the truth, I am absolutely thrilled with it and do not feel as if I have made a compromise. And it looks good too....
It has a lot of features that I have not familiarized myself with.. anyway it has microwave, grill and the convection oven and I can use those separately or in combination. And there are also preprogrammed menus for pasta, fish, meat .... okay...it is a bit daunting..but I will definitely experiment...so watch this space for some fun..(I hope..!!!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An award and a contest prize !!!

First - the Prize ! - I am a Comment Contest Winner !!!

I have won some 'surprise' beads for commenting on Nicole's blog - Beadwright. Though I had read about the contest earlier, I had forgotten about it. I do like to connect with people and when I am moved to comment, I do so... 

But this prize is a very pleasant surprise... I would get to know what the beads are only when I get them...Please visit Nicole's blog to see the beautiful stuff she crafts with beads ....Also watch this space and I will let you know when I get them... 

Now the Award ....

This is the "Let's be friends" award that I have received from Kat, who has two great blogs and is amazingly talented. You could tell that we have a mutual admiration society going on here and I definitely count her as a friend... 

Usually, I do limit the number of people who I pass on the award to because they may have received it earlier or because the number of recepients are mentioned. Here too eight people are supposed to be picked, but that is a very low number in my opinion... 

This award states that...

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement (? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

And so, not in any particular order....

Nicole - Beadwright
Sudha - Sudhersana 
Kandice - Coloraddiction
Susan - Hot Rocks
June - Cen's Loft
Arundati - The Singing Chef

You may in turn choose just eight ..but I wanted to pass this on to many of the wonderful people I have met via my blog.. I just hope I haven't missed many.. I know I must have though... So an advance sorry for that. 

Hope you all enjoy this award... take care........

Monday, March 2, 2009

Award for Top Ten droppers - Feb 2009

Please collect your Award ...

Entrecard Top Dropper Award
These are my Top Ten entrecard droppers of last month.. Hats off to you .. I have no idea how you do it..I try.. but I don't think I have made anyone's list yet!!!