Friday, September 30, 2011

Decorative Cake Stand!




Here's what I had
1. Glass plate from ikea  :$1
2. Candle Stand from ikea :70 cents
I gummed them together using hot glue. Use a heavy weight on top of it , for at least 1 hour. this helps in setting it up properly.
and let it set for 2-3 hours.

Then I just spray painted it (left over paint from This project)
And here is the end result!


Inspiration to make this was  37$ Cake stand from Carlisle.

$37 to $1.7!!Not bad right!

Here is how it looks now! and Yes do you see the art on top of mirror, well its again using free paint samples!.
Detailed post on that will follow soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kerela Style Dinner At Home



On a week day , normally I would be making roti and some sabji and we will eat along with curd and salad. Or it's a simple meal of rice ,dal and sabji!


But As I was working from home and more pressing reason being following vegetables were getting rotten in the Fridge , namely beetroot, raw banana , beans etc I decided to make a south indian style dinner with thoran's and rasam ,curd and rice and papads.


Basically Thoran is a traditional Kerala dry vegetable recipe made with grated or finely chopped vegetables like carrots (gajar) , beetroot. The basic ingredients in which the vegetables are cooked are shallots, coconut, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, green chili or red chili and coconut oil.

I had the One huge beet root , I made Beet Root Thoran and Beetroot Saisve



Beet Root Thoran

Ingredients:
2/3 rd Beet root :Cut in to small cubes
3/4th cup fresh/frozen coconut
7-8 curry leaves
3-4 green chillies
2TB onion/shallot chopped
2 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chillies, broken
Salt

Method:
Roughly grind together coconut, curry leaves ,green chillies and onion.
Boil the beetroot till tender in some salt water.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and broken red chilies.
When the mustard splutters, add the paste .
Sauté for few minutes.
Add the beetroot and cook for 2-3 minutes
Take off heat, mix lightly and cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Mix well and serve.

Beetroot Sasive/Beetroot In A Mustard Flavoured Yogurt Sauce
Source : Here


With Raw banana's I made :
1) Kaya Mezhukkupuratti
Source :Here
Ingredients:
Raw Banana : one big, cut into long pieces
Garlic paste : 1 tablespoon
green chillies : 2 cut in to small pieces
Oil : 2 tablespoons
Salt : to taste
Curry leaves : 3-4 leaves

How I made it:

1. Add very little water to the cut banana pieces and boil it with lid closed.
2. When the pieces turn soft ,heat to evaporate the water
3. Heat oil in a pan and crackle the mustard seeds.
4. Saute the garlic paste, chilli and curry leaves before adding the banana pieces.
5. Fry till golden brown, add salt and serve hot.

2)Raw Banana Thoran or vazhakka thoran

Ingredients:

Vazhakka (Raw banana)
Coconut 1/3rd cup
Green chilly 2
Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
Garlic 1 pod
Cumin powder ½ teaspoon
Oil 1 tablespoon
Dry red chilly 2
Mustard seed 1 teaspoon
Shallots 2
Curry leaves 1 stem
Salt As required


Method :
Take the raw bananas and peel it, then cut into small square pieces and wash it properly. Take a pan and put the bananas into it and add salt and water as required and cook it.

Grind the coconut along with green chilly, turmeric powder, garlic coarsely I did it using a belan and on the kitchen counter. Add this to the cooked bananas and mix it properly and cook it on low flame for 2 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds add dry red chilly, chopped shallots and fry it till golden brown then add curry leaves and then add the cooked vegetables to this pan and remove from heat.


I had some cluster beans too waiting patiently for their turn, I made :
Beans PARUPUSILI
But instead of using chana dal mixture (to avoid the process of soaking and grinding it) I just used besan.

Ingredients:
Cluster beans : 1 and a 1/2 cup
Onion : One finely chopped
Green onion leaves: 1 pack
Besan :1/2 Cup
Asafoetida - ¼ teaspoon
Redchillies - few
Salt - To taste
mustard - 2 teaspoon
Urud dal - 2 teaspoon
Chanadal - 2 teaspoon


METHOD :
Cut , Boil, strain and keep aside the beans
Heat oil in a pan and add broken red chillies.
Add mustard and hing . Wait till mustard seeds start spluttering.
Add urud dal and the chana dal.fry them till golden
Add onion and saute them well
Add the onion leaves along with besan and cook with lid closed.
Keep stirring in between to avoid besan sticking to the bottom.
Add the boiled and strained beans and mix in kadai for few mins.


I made Mysore Rasam/Bele Saaru to go with the side dishes .


BELE SAARU


You need the following:
Toor Dal-1.5 cup
Tomato - 2
Grated Fresh Coconut - 1tsp
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Curry Leaves - 7-8 leaves
Coriander Leaves - 2tbsp (chopped)
Rasam Powder (I used MTR) - 1Tbsp
Tamarind paste 1tbsp
Salt and a little jaggery as per taste

Tampering :
1tsp Ghee/Oil, 1/2 tsp Mustard, 1red chilli broken into pieces, Asafoetida/hing one big pinch

Procedure:
Add enough water and cook Dal with tomato and turmeric in pressure cooker. Once cooked ,mash it so that there is no lump.
Add tamarind juice, Salt, rasam powder, grated coconut and let it rest for few minutes.
In separate vessel take ghee/oil and heat it. When it is hot add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Finish tampering by adding broken red chillies and curry leaves followed by asafoetida
Immediately after adding asafoetida pour the rasam mixture into the vessel. Bring it to boil.
Add a bit of jaggery as per taste.
Switch off the gas and add coriander leaves






Here is our dinner thali












Saturday, September 24, 2011

London Diary Part 7 - Visit to London

Finally the trip , I should have written about lot earlier . Trip to the City of London, to the city of Royal blood , epitome of etiquette.Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennium,its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London , Kew Gardens; the site comprising the  Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian and GMT) Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the  London Eye , Piccadilly Circus,St Paul's Cathedral,Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium . London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions including the British Museum,National Gallery, Wimbledom and 40 theaters. Its a lot to cover in one day right! . So this post has bits and pieces from all the visits we made to London .And yes how can I forget our new years celebration we had there! the fireworks , the crowd  it was so magical.

We decided to visit London in train to be able to experience the London Tube . Oh! the London tube map looks really like a large  network of nerves . We first went to the famous Trafalgar Square .Its a public place . located in Central London .At its center is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base.Trafalgar Square is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown.When we visited , there was a public conference happening for increasing awareness about the china-tibet issue. It was a protest  against  Chinese government , by Chinese/Tibetan people.So it was fully crowded and people were handling pamphlets.
We stayed there for some time , watching what the drama was all about.

We then went to the The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum . I did not find it extraordinary , it was Ok
Here you can get more information about the place

                                           The car made of swarovski crystals
                                           Famous Marilyn Monroe

                                              Wedding dresses made with Tissue papers


On our next visit to London we were glad to be in time to watch the Change of  Guard Ceremony.Guard Mounting, or Changing the Guard (often incorrectly referred to as the Changing of the Guard), refers to a formal ceremony in which sentries providing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries. The ceremonies were elaborate and precisely choreographed. It was like watching a well directed movie, where every action , every person involved was following a rhythmic motion which was timed perfectly. There was a loud crowd which gathered well before it was time for the ceremony What I liked about the people , was that even though there were thousands of people there, it there was no chaos , people formed themselves in to lines and followed it.It was a great experience.







We took a ferry to have a tour of the River Thames . We sailed passed the London Bridge , saw the business district , the financial hub , and weathered the horrible cold.






Here are few more pics from our trips to the Westminster abbey ,Palace of Westminster ,the London eye , Picadily circus .each of these place have their own charm .Westminster Abbey is a collegiate church governed by the Dean and Chapter of Westminter, as established by Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1560.
Did you know , Westminster was the primary London residence of the Kings of England until a fire destroyed much of the complex in 1512. After that, it served as the home of Parliament.I could not help but admire the English architecture .Every detail is looked in to , I just stood there admiring the buildings. Every building  has a story to tell, a legacy , a history.




I can actually go on and on about the London visits and It will never end. I think I will have to reserve the rest for a different post keeping the long/boring post I have already written!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meri Ma!

यह पोस्ट मेरी मम्मी को समर्पित है . वोह बेस्ट परसों हैमेरी लाइफ का इसलिए नहीं की वोह मेरी माँ है लेकिन क्यूँ की वोह एक अची इंसान हैं और वोह हमारी ताकत हैं वोह हैं तो हम हैं  उनको देख के हमने समर्पण क्या होता है सीखा . उनसे ही हमने अपने सिधान्तो पे कड़े रहना  सीखा . उन्होंने हमने हर प्रॉब्लम का सामना करना सिखाया.  वोह हमारे घर का पिल्लर हैं मजबूत वाला!
में उनके बारे में लिखना सुरु करून तो एक पोस्ट काफी नहीं होगा!

अब जैसे की में हिंदी में लिख ने की कोशिश कर रही हूँ ,काफी दिफ्फिकुल्ट है 


सो इस पोस्ट को शोर्ट एंड सिम्प्ले बना रही हूँ
मम्मी हैप्पी बर्थडे!
 विश यू हेअलथ एंड हप्पिनेस .!

लव यू हमेशा!

Broken Glass Turned Cute Keeper!

BEFORE :)


AND AFTER

Process  :

I had one broken glass  waiting to go in the recycle bin. Then I thought of reusing it . And I am glad that I did not throw it.

After Pic is not as perfect As I would have loved.. But Hey it was my first try as Glu gun and I am pretty happy about it!

Ok So I had the following Supplies :
1.Glu Gun
2.Left Over White Spray Paint (Used for Other projects)
3. Broken glass

So I proceed to make words on the broken side of glass (L covers the broken Line perfectly )


And Itched LOVE. Once it was set , I went ahead and spray painted it .

Thats It! As easy as it can get right!



Then I noticed one plastic Tumbler lying around, which looked kind of cheap. So I itched EAT and spray painted it also.

A and T are little too distant right :((

Any idea how can I remedy that ???



Monday, September 12, 2011

New Years in London!

We were lucky to be  able to ring in 2010 from the banks of River Thames,amongst thousands of people and fireworks worth dying for.
New Year’s Eve in Central London is one of the busiest nights of the year - the Mayor’s midnight fireworks display on the banks of the Thames attracts around 250,000 people
New Year’s Eve in London is all about fun and celebration and we all want to have a great time.
If you are planning to celebrate in central London, particularly if you want to attend the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, it pays to plan ahead, including:
  • Travel plans before the fireworks event
  • Where you plan to be at midnight.
  • How to get home.
 So we along with our friends decided to plan ahead and left for Central London ,We decided to go till Southall and take the tube from there (to avoid the traffic) . We first tried the Westminster Bridge which was one of the viewing area, but when we reached there by 7.30 pm it was already full! People swarming all over the place,some were playing cards, others were dancing to the tunes of live radio , some were just sipping tea to warm them up. So we decided to move near the London Eye area. These were the areas which were best to enjoy the fireworks.
We settled in by 8 pm and then the long wait started, weather was chilly to say the least .We then started our evening by drinking some hot hot tea and then played cards (my favorite game of 29!) . It was lovely to play under the sky by the side of river and surrounded by thousands of people. We had dinner of burgers and french fries  .By the time it was 11 people were dancing in full swing so we decided to go along, dancing with the crowd, cheering school kids who were showing there stunts was fun!It was my first romantic dance under the sky! Oh loved it.
And before we knew  we were counting 10 .9.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1 and !!!!!!!! Happy New Year!! Boom and it was fireworks from the London Eye!It was breathtakingly beautiful . I cannot express it in words!
Red, white and blue fireworks lit up the London Eye in the display.The 10-minute display had a musical soundtrack for the first time, showcasing some of the most famous songs by British artists.

After we greeted everyone surrounding us at the top of our voices and when the fireworks ended, we decided to  head home . That's when we sensed we were actually trapped  in a human chaos. Although people were peacefully walking towards train stations /parking spaces, Still imagine 50000 people trying to move!. It was really hard and to top it all my shoes started hurting . At freezing -2 degrees I had to walk in my socks :( It took us  1 hours to reach train station which was a mere 15 minutes walk .After we reached Southall and got in the warmth of  our cars , it was fine. We reached home around 4 in the morning and then crashed on the bed staright

Hmm Will I again spend 10 hours to watch  10 minutes of fireworks live! Will have to think twice seriously ,but experiencing it once was worth all the trouble!

It was a great New year!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Oreo --my baby!

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why....
Missing Oreo a lot today :(( really want to be with him.. nothing else ..hope time comes soon!

he has actually proved above saying... I was sitting on terrace once was upset and crying.. Oreo came.. actually licked tears from my eyes and sat there with me...silently.. did not move or do anything was just sitting there.. finally when I started going down he accompanied me.
. I really cannot ever forget what he did :) He seemed to understand me...As if he knew I was in pain and needed some time alone..he gave me that..


he has surprised me many times.. really when I used to do some craft work also he will just sit and not even touch anything.. there would be papers /colors /bowls and everything on the floor and he will just sit with me , give me company.. He used to sit with me for hours.. really Best companion for my art sessions :)

I am surprised about the understanding he shows to me! its like he know me fully and can read my mind...:)

I hope this 1.5-2 years pass soon and I go back to him...that would be the best day in my life :) 

.. I just love love love him.. Thanks Oreee bache!!





Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Decor Balls using ThumbTacs!

Sometime ago , I found this art using Styrofoam balls covered in thumb tacks . It was immediately moved to my  TO DO folder . But as I was in India, I was not able to do it as I could not find Styrofoam balls .
This long weeknd I finally got the chance to get the stuff and try making the balls!

I got the Thumb tacks from Dollar Tree (Yes 300 for 1$ cool right!) and few colored ones from Home Depot . Totally I spent around $8 on this project , including the vase for keeping these.

I also snagged the styrofoam balls from Dollar Tree . Here are my Raw materials.


Then started the tedious process of sticking the thumb tacks in to the ball. It's nothing if not time consuming.



                                           

But end result is worth dying for! This is picture of only golden thumb tack balls in the vase.


one more pic :) taken during morning!


What I am going to do with the colored ones! Hmm something nice, Pics will follow soon!

 People in India , I have seen these balls on Amazon  for reasonable price, and maybe check out in Staples.

Note:That Green colored bottle is actually , lemon juice bottle, which I re used ! Looking great right!


Well on those colored balls :) I will let the pics say it all.
  I had one candle stand , just spray painted it Glossy White (Only one coat worked :))


Looks great right .. I am loving it!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Teacher's Day

This post is dedicated to the my idol, inspiration, strength and yes the best teachers in the world  - my parents.

Teacher's Day celebrated on September 5th, is the birthday [5 September 1888], of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. It is considered a "celebration" day, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. At some schools on this day, the responsibility of teaching is taken up by the senior students to show appreciation for their teachers.

As children this day always held special meaning for me as both my parents are wondeful teachers. Me and my siblings did our schooling from remote north east part of India , i.e. Arunachal Pradesh (The land of rising sun ...)

My fondest memories of Teacher's day are from the years when I was old enough to understand and participate in ways other than savouring chocolates!

On this day we would go to school at normal time and as usual the day begun with morning assembly prayers and the national anthem followed by the teachers speaking about Dr Radhakrishnan and how he loved children. Then, the students took turns to show their appreication to the teacher, by either giving an speech or reading a poem dedicated to them. Then the most anticipated and interesting part, the games! Sack race, toffee race (yes we had this too :) ) etc for Junior kids and then the best part -- sweets distribution!


There were also literary competitions like  elocution/essay writing etc. I vividly remember an instance when I enacted Indira Gandhi!, wore a saree(my first time) and powdered my hair to imitate the famous Indira Gandhi grey stripe! I then delivered a speech as Indira Gandhi! The effort won me the first prize, it was a great feeling!

Although we shall always be grateful to our teachers for the persons we are today, this day gives us an perfect opportunity to acknowledge this fact and show our appreciation for our wonderful teachers.


I am few of the lucky people who got the chance to be taught by their father .. in school. He is one of the most patient teacher I have ever met . Even now you can ask him a question practically 100 times and each time he will answer calmly and with same enthusiasm. His grasp on his subjects is unparalleled. He was the tutor and mentor for me and my siblings in all high school subjects English, Hindi, Social Sc, Science and even Maths.And then Science in 11th and 12th. This when he has done his masters in Hindi and Economics! Its sheer hard work ! proves that Hard work pays! He was my Social Studies teacher in 10th and You know what I scored All India Highest in Board Exam!

He was sole teacher in remote place called Tawang  He practically started Schooling in that area. He was treated royally by the tribal people there .
One story I remember from that time (I heard it obviously! as I was not even born then . BTW Tawang is my birth place cool na! ) .When My father started school in Tawang , he was the only person taking care of everything , he was the principal , teacher, management head everything!. So tribal's used to interact with him almost daily. In those days teachers were given way more respect than today , so these people used to get Egg/Meat etc as appreciation to my father,He used to politely decline that - Reason 1 being We are strict vegetarian and 2, he avoids favors as it might promote favoritism. . Slowly these people started giving my father same level of respect as a Monk (!!). [Note:We have Buddhist population as majority in Tawang]

There are hundreds of such stories, I can keep going on and on.

I just wanted to dedicate this post to the best teacher I have known, and lucky to have him around even after finishing studies!



I just wanted to dedicate this post to the best teacher I have met , and lucky to have him around even after finishing studies!  He is still my GO TO person for Politics and anything related to latest changes in political or administrative scneario . He is  a walking talking encyclopedia for me :)  He gives me my weekly dose of Politics and what is happening around the country/world. When He  says/explains something it becomes so easy !


Thanks Papa for being such a great teacher!

This is from all the students you have ever taught and are teaching!


I also want to take this opportunity to thank my mother as a wonderful teacher that she is. Although I was a bit unfortunate having not got a chance to be actually taught by her in a classroom(By the time she started teaching , I was well past her class), but I was a lot more fortunate to have taken the lessons of life from her. She made me what I am today! She is my problem solver, any issue any problem, you take to her and you can be sure of a solution! She is my pillar of strength, her courage gives me strength literally. She was quite a favorite teacher in her class. When the students passed from her class to next level, they would literally go to the principal with written applications! and request her to make my mom their teacher again. I think this speaks a lot about how great a teacher she is. I shall always regret to have never got a chance to be in her class. But, hey, she taught me at home and for my whole life and is even doing that till date!



Well this is my way of saying Thanks Mom and Dad for being there for us.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

London Diary Part 6 - Visit to Bournemouth


It was a weekend Sunday to be specific and we were getting bored sitting at home, so it wasn't surprising that we were out in car , in flat 5 minutes ready to visit Bournemouth  as soon as a plan was made!

Bournemouth is a large coastal resort tow in the county of Dorset, England.Bournemouth is a tourist and regional center for leisure, entertainment, culture and recreation.Bournemouth is located directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile (153 km) section of beautiful and largely unspoiled coastline recently designated a World Heritage Site. Bournemouth sea front overlooks the Isle of Wight . Bournemouth also has 7 miles (11 km) of sandy beaches.Bournemouth has seven long miles of golden sand!
Weather was a bit cloudy when we are on our way to the beach, but luckily as soon as we pulled in to the driveway it cleared !We first went to the Southbourne , which is a quieter beach along the Bournemouth Coast. Blue Flag award-winning Southbourne offers great food at the seafood restaurant. We as usual took a vege burger and french fries and sat there enjoying the sun and water!




Then we went to , Boscombe Beach. Boscombe seafront has been transformed from a sleepy 1950’s style beach into the exciting 21st century through Boscombe Spa.We decided to hit the water here as weather was favorable now! Water was chilly,  I mean really really chilly . coldest I have ever felt at any beach! But after 15 minutes of going in and out of water, I finally was able to make it to the water and enjoy some time there.


Then we went to the Bournemouth Pier , for a speedboat ride . Shockwave (operated by Dorset Cruises) gives a speedboat ride every 15 minutes.The boat is equipped with the latest safety features and is powered by a 880HP Jet Drive. With twin jet controls the skipper can spin the boat in her own length. It was thrilling and adventurous to say the least!
See my picture says a lot! I was  really afraid.

It was great trip to one of the safest beaches of the world!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi, the birth anniversary of Lord Ganeshji, is celebrated with great pomp and show in India. It is a popular Hindu festival that is celebrated in a grand manner every year According to the Hindu calendar; the festival comes on the 4th day of Bhadarva Shukla-Paksh and falls around August or September.

Lord Ganesh is known for his inclination towards sweets. Therefore, a festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha will always be incomplete without special sweet dishes .

I decided to make some for the Lord this time, I am normally not in to too much pooja and all . But One has to start !
I thought of making , Seven Cup Burfi  
from the famous Devine Taste . But It was a flop :( I guess I goofed up some measurement So It ended up being gooey ladoo instead of Burfi . Although it tastes good!
After one failure I decided Ok let me make 5 different kinds of sweets this year . Yup that was the level of my enthusiasm.

I started with Besan Ladoo . My mother's fail proof recipe, It involved only 3 ingredients (Besan/Sugar and Ghee) Fairly simple right. After many misses I was finally able to make both ladoo and burfi with this!

Then I wanted to try Chikki . But I went through my pantry and I had only handful of groundnuts . So I improvised, I used Half groundnuts and then almonds to make this Burfi. Looks delicious!

Then I made my trade mark Coconut Burfi, using Fresh Coconut and Milkmaid
Recipe is so simple that it can be described in one line, i e Heat the Coconut and Milkmaid for 3-4 minutes and then Pour it on a plate and let it cool/refrigerate.

As I was thinking what to make next , this yummy Rava Ladoo caught my eye, I got all the ingredients and started making this. Again I made some mistake somewhere and ended up mixture being too dry (. So I added little more ghee , warmed it again and made burfi .I hope taste wise its good.





So all done and set to lure Ganeji this time!


Here one more my prasadam which I just feasted myself on!