Thursday, June 12, 2014

Furniture and Furniture ....Floor planner and Me

    So relocation is over and I am in the middle of arranging my apartment ...its actually complete one floor with three bed room and one hall . Before buying the furniture I wanted to have a floor plan for deciding which furniture to put where. I used this website "floorplanner" to design my floor planning and choose the furniture. Floorplanner allows user to have one complete floor planning with no cost of charge. So it was very helpful from my side.We have loads of wardrobe in the different rooms so I did not buy any additional wardrobes.
So, here is my floor plan.

What my experience says that we accumulate furniture with time so I am pretty sure over the year these rooms will be filled up with loads of other furniture.
   So I started looking for furniture and after some search ordered them. I am posting here the picture of my drawing room. I am sure this glass coffee table of mine will be filled up with bowl of chips, crayons and coloring pages pretty soon. And guess what I am ok with it. Still I am missing my Boston's drawing room sometimes.

  I chose all the furniture in the same shade of color..maroon is my new love.
     Hope to blog more but it looks like life is getting busier than ever.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lunch in Mason Jar: A Burrito Idea

I have recently fallen in love..with my Mason jars. I never gave much credit to them..except storing staffs in it. But recently I really appreciate the total potential of Mason jar. No sarcasm ..
  Yesterday I had my afternoon snacks in Mason jar and today I was having lunch in my Mason jar. And I love it. The transparency of the glass and the color of salad reflecting through it, worked actually  as appetizer for me. So today I had "Salad in a Jar"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Relocation ...How to choose a new home ?

  Three of us moved our little boxes in to a different part of the world now. We decided to live in India after a long stay in USA. The decision was completely experimental with greater intention of going back to roots. We are now living in a small town named Mandi located at the bottom of Himalaya. There was not many unexpected shocks for me as I was born and brought up in India, but for my son it was a huge change. Anyways he has his grandmother now, so he is very happy on his change...but back of the mind he still misses his friends and especially school.

   Always relocating in a new place is a difficult task..especially if you were moving from one continent to other. There was no way for us to find an apartment/house beforehand. Fortunately we have this guest house booked for us for three months. And we are liking it.:) But we have continued our search for apartment from the very beginning. We got plenty of houses to look for and we did not like. I know we are a bit choosy but I am ok with it. The main reason is my previous experience. So what I am looking for in my new house.
1) The house should be well connected to the rest of the city. For next few moths we are not planning to have car (slowly getting accustomed with Indian style driving and driving through hills).  So having a beautiful house in scenic place (with out good communication) is not what I am really looking for.
2) I want to live in specious house with at least three bedrooms and one hall.
3) The safety of the house is also important. How is the neighborhood ?
4) ) I also check for the water problem in the particular locality. Yes, there are some places in India, we do get water shortage in summer..but that could be tackled by additional storage.
  So far I have these points to consider, not much through..but still searching...


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Snack Craving and Mason Jar

     My afternoon snack craving is very genuine but often not very healthy. Especially I am sugar-lover….like I recently bought heavily frosted red-velvet cupcake in a jar during one such a craving time. I am in search of new snacks ideas. This one is very popular and can be eaten at any time of day. Make this one before going to bed at night and eat it in breakfast/ while commuting/in office. This is all purpose and healthy food. So here comes my “Yogurt-granola in Mason jar”.

Ingredients:  ½ cup of Greek yogurt (77 calories)
  ½ cake of granola (I chose Bear naked

  100%natural Banana-nut -so no need to add nuts   separately) (226 calories)

  ½ cup fruits-blue berries,strawberries, grapes, raspberries (any small size fruits available in your refrigerator) (approx. 54 calories)
  1 tbsp. honey (64 calories)


I tried to do layer-by layer way.

1) First layer has half of the yogurt-on top of that I drizzled half of the honey.
2) Second layer is having ½ of the fruits. 
3) In third layer, add rest of the yogurt and on top of that rest of fruit and honey.
4) In forth layer, add the granola.Put the strawberries at the top. 
Close the lid and put in refrigerator or take to office.

Total calories- approximately 421.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Argo-Tea Inspired Chickpeas Salad

   Do you feel a punch of hunger in your tummy around 3-4 pm afternoon in office hours..and this one is the type of hunger you cannot soothe out by drinking coffee ? Juice may help..but little bit of solid food aka snacks work wonderful. On the quest of good snack I hunted a lot of places near my office area. Likewise I landed up in Argo Tea Shop in one sunny day. Argo in its website say they are passionate about tea, however I love their selected snacks items a lot and especially their Tea-infused chickpeas salad is just awesome. But it costs like $ 5:00, little bit higher than my budget of spending for snacks and hence I looked for recipes and wanted to make the same. Though the following recipe of chickpeas salad is inspired by Argo’s but it is not the exact recipe. I googled it little bit, I came up with this one..its tastes good and yummy and saves my money. Here it goes.

Recipe :
1.       One can of chickpeas, drained and washed
2.       Two stock of Celery..chopped
3.       One salad tomato..chopped
4.       One handful of dried cranberries and raisins
5.       Chopped Onion (optional )
6.       Chopped cucumber -1/2 cup…(this one for eating at home), for taking out I do not add cucumber as it releases lots of water
7.       Salt and salad seasoning mix
8.       Half spoon of olive oil

      Mix all the ingredients on the bowl and put it in refrigerator. Next day take to office.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Whole Foods' Pizza

   Do you have a kid who feels pizza is the most delicious food in the entire world, who can eat pizza from breakfast till dinner and you can serve him pizza when nothing works out for him ? Then this post might be little helpful for you.
  I do like pizza, easy food and dial the number (or order online)..its ready in 20 minutes at your door. However, my recent pizza encounters are not so good. Sometimes the dough or the sauce turns out to be not so tasty, even my best pizza lover rejects. I wanted to make pizza from the scratch (it was a long weekend kidding). But my culinary skills was not that great and dough turned out to be very hard. I still have that yeast bottle at refrigerator.
  Recently I was talking to my friend who is an expert cook. She suggested me whole food pizza dough. I was too naive in this business. However this pizza turns out to be good.And most importantly you have a chance to control over the quality of sauce, cheese and the toppings. Its also another good activity to involve the little one to participate. We may call it as the pizza project. Usually in our house hold we do it on Saturday evening (especially on a rainy/snowy one).

Ingredient : 1.One pack of pizza dough (you can choose whole wheat one, multi-grain one or plain white
2. One tablespoon of  oil
3. A very small amount of all purpose flour 
4. Pizza sauce (sometimes I do use canned tomato paste also)
5. Grated Mozzarella cheese for pizza ( I sometimes use Kraft cheese, sometimes I do buy from Whole Food's cheese for Pizza
6. Toppings are of your choice- like broccoli, pepperoni, mushroom..lots of room for creativity

Directions : Preheat the oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit
 Now let the pizza dough to come to room temperature..what usually I do if I plan to make pizza in afternoon. I put the dough outside after lunch.
When the dough comes to room temperature, take a ball of dough .
On the rolling board, with the help of rolling pin and little bit of oil and all purpose flour, make the flat pizza. I usually make 1" thick one, easy to make.
Now at this point I slowly transfer the pizza on the pizza pan.
Then I put the pizza sauce on top of it.
Next cheese and last step is adding all the toppings.
After all the decorations, put the pizza in oven and bake it until the sides of pizza turns brownish.

Ready to serve and eat.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Very Lazy Chicken Rice Vegetable Soup

   I am a very very lazy Mom. And here in Boston, we have this very cruel winter, that makes me lazier than ever. From there only comes my "very lazy chicken rice vegetable soup". Whenever I feel exhausted after a long day work, I land up ordering take-out food or pizzas. However, we, as mom, all have this guilt consciousness lurking in corner, that we are not doing enough. Hence I come up with this easy recipe of chicken rice soup (especially made for a picky-eater preschooler). Its very easy to make and now a days I have some other short-cut plans too.
    I cut the vegetables in inch size at weekend and store them for a week. I usually store different type of vegetables in separate boxes. Most cases I use Pyrex, Rubbermaid or progressive storage box. This helps me to choose the menu I want to cook whenever I need in the working weekdays. If you want to cook in half of the weekdays, as I do; this is a very good option for you. Do choose the menu before hand and keep the vegetables pre-cut with date labelled on the box wall. I also keep peeled garlic in the zip-lock bag. However I do not keep chopped tomatoes or onions stored.
  Coming back to chicken rice soup recipe again, you can choose to ignore chicken part and make same way completely vegetable rice soup. Here is the recipe.

Recipe :

1. ½ cup brown rice, washed-soaked in water  for 30 minutes (this is first step, you can start here and prepare the rest)

2.Coarsely cut onion-1 cup
3.Garlic-3-4 pieces-crushed
4.Ginger-peeled and stick size
5.Tomatoes-1 cup coarsely chopped
6.Green beans-cut in 1” size
7.Brocoli floret-cut in small chunk
8.Potato-cut in long 2” size
9.Carrot-cut in ½ “ size
11.Green peas-1/2 cup
12.Spinach -1 cup
13.  ½ cup bite size chicken breast-washed,cleaned

Cooking Direction :

1. Warm up 1 Tb spoon of oil/butter (you can play around with amount) in a flat bottom pressure cooker or flat bottom pan
2. Sizzle the oil with one cardamom (usually I crush it little bit before putting it in oil) and one 1” cinnamon stick
3. As soon as the beautiful aroma of spies comes out, add onion
4. Fry Onion for 1 minute and add veggies
5. Sauté the veggies little bit and then add chicken
6. Add ½ Tb spoon of cumin powder, coriander powder and pinch of ground black pepper and turmeric
7. Sauté veggies and chicken for 2 minutes
8. Add 1 cup of chicken broth ( you can use vegetable broth or plain water too)
9. Add salt according to taste
10. Boil them for 10 minutes
11. Add soaked brown rice with ½ cup of water
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and wait for 3 whistles. Cool it off little bit before you open the lid.

Soup is ready to serve.:)