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Spending time with a toddler is so much fun and can make you really tired and worn out by the end of the day!!
Its so much fun sharing and living with you all... each and every day :)

Each day brings new challenges and precious moments with my naughty lil' sweetheart.

Time is a precious commodity, which many of us wish had a price-tag and we could buy some more of it... Days are too short when we have our dear toddlers around us.
Links to important tips and informative facts... Keep reading

Leave me COMMENTS... FOLLOW my blog... Suggest new topics...Email me.. I would love to interact with my blog visitors.

Thanks for all your co-operation and love.
Keep Smiling and...
Happy Parenting to you All!!

Dec 1, 2016

Pregnancy, Parenting and Beyond: The Rave... Instant Pot... My new kitchen toy

Pregnancy, Parenting and Beyond: The Rave... Instant Pot... My new kitchen toy

The Rave... Instant Pot... My new kitchen toy

Its all over the internet... and among the mom's. A new programmable electric pressure cooker for safe and convenient cooking. With its delayed start function, stainless steel interior for healthy and nutritious cooking and energy efficient, I couldn't resist the urge to jump on the IP bandwagon.
So here goes... Ordered it on black friday and still awaiting delivery....
What do I do in the mean time....Learn the basic functioning...
 Try to get a hold on recipes... and Share the word among my friends for the same.

A great review and awesome video for beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6-6nnbLJmM

Getting to know your instant pot ~courtesy IP Youtube

Click here if you need a video to follow for the Water Test.

If you are a member on Facebook...there are several groups for Instant pot cooking and Instant pot for indian cooking where the members are very helpful with tips, recipes, reviews and more.

If you are a member of Amazon Kindle...you dont need a Kindle fire, you can just download the kindle reader app on your phone or computer and there a few books you can access for free.... I will be listing the link to a few of them down below...for my future reference and yours too.

Now, please note that I have not yet received my IP and not tried any of these yet...but here goes the book list...
365 days of IP Recipes
Top 50 IP Recipesby Katya Johansson
Skinny Instant Pot
Top 100 Paleo Recipes
Top 50 vegetarian pressure cooker meals. (non IP)

A handy tip from a current IP user... If you already use a regular stove top pressure cooker, if you give it 2-4 whistles (dals, sabzi, khicihi) IP cook time would be 5-7 minutes.
If you give it 5-7 whistles (meat stew, beans) IP cook time would be 15-17 minutes.

READ THE MANUAL.

The IP website has approx times to for cooking a whole range of foods.
Cooking times as per IP Website


Happy Pressure Cooking dear readers.
Leave me comments....What was your first IP dish? What is your favorite IP dish? Sweet or Savory?
Cheers!

Aug 17, 2016

Whats new this summer? Camp Gladiator

Hello readers
For the first time ever, I joined a boot camp.
This summer has been brutal, we moved, kids in a new school, new accommodations, heat and humidity, bugs and bees have all driven my anxiety and patience level off the roof.
How did I deal with it... Lots of support from my dear online IHM community and few other mom/exercise groups online. But, eating habits were going out of hand, weight increase and clothes not fitting the way they should was taking me down hill.
How did I deal with it.... CAMP GLADIATOR... from a fellow mom who also moved into the similar region where I am... I signed up for something that I thought was so so expensive - but I did it anyways and I am Totally Loving it!!!

Its for people of all backgrounds,beginners, runners, weight trainers, wanting to get Strong, lean, lose weight, test your limits,... 

New Members looking to join... TUESDAY 23rd August is your day....for only $8 for the month, unlimited sessions.... multiple locations.... sign up and use me as your reference!!!
Go get 'em!

CG Strong!!

Look up for Camp Locations here:  http://campgladiator.com/camp-gladiator-regions/

If you have additional questions - email me dee.diva007 at gmail dot com.

Feb 22, 2016

Recipe - Mutter Paneer. Indian cottage cheese with Pea in an Onion-Tomato Gravy.

1- 14 oz pack of Paneer - cut into bite size cubes or smaller
1 cup frozen green peas

1-2 medium red onions - finely chopped
1-2 medium tomatoes - chopped
1-2 hot green chillies
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 in pc of ginger
or use 1 tsp of ginger/garlic paste
1tsp lemon juice


Take 1-2 tbsp Olive/Vegetable oil. Saute the Onions until brown, Tomatoes, G.chilli, ginger and garlic. Let it cool. Blend it into a paste. Pour back in to pan with 1tsp oil. Let it cook until the paste changes color. (from red of the tomatoes to brownish) Add 2tbsp of the East Indian Masala powder.
Add 1/2 cup water and cook. Now add the chopped cubes of paneer. 1cup of g.peas. add water according to consistency of gravy required. Add salt to taste. Simmer until the oil floats.
Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and chopped cilantro leaves.
Serve over steamed white rice, Naan bread or whole wheat buns.

PS>self wrote recipe for a friend.

Substitute the Paneer and Peas with Chicken and potatoes. Beef and potatoes.
Use broth instead of water.
For variation - add coconut milk.



Aug 26, 2015

Book Exchange/sale and Fundraiser

 As a part of son's community service project, we (or I must really say He) decided to host a Book Exchange - along with a few neighbors.

As the days passed, J got more and more excited and spread the word.
With the generous donations from well-wishers, we were able to host it
as a Book Sale - all proceeds of which we are to donate to St Jude Children's
Research hospital.


 

 We created a Raffle box - and picked out a winner at the end of the event.
The little 9 yr old girl was over  the moon and brimming with joy.




Also, as we waited for our patrons to show up, some of the
children and J made bookmarks. The children were super excited to learn how to fold the paper and then embellished them with glitter - (sadly no pics as I was enjoying with them).

But below are a sample of what we made.















Courtesy: Creative M by Meetu G
For step by step instructions click here : Bookmarks

Aug 25, 2015

Our very first Meals on Wheels Experience

Thanks to our growing up children and especially J's school that encourages the children to do for and give back to our community.
With the Book exchange/sale, it was a project within our community. As for the community as a whole, we decided to deliver meals to senior citizens via the Meals on Wheels program of the Newark Senior Center, DE.

We promptly picked up meals at half past 10 and since we were new, we were given an easy route.
From carrying out the lunches to our car... J's journey began with following directions to the patron's address.... walking down to the front door, knocking ever so gently or "bang on door" were instructions on some of the front doors.  It was wonderful to say "Here's your lunch!!" and we got plenty of smiles and blessings on the way.

Something that we would definitely consider doing again... Coz J was totally elated by the experience. 
If interested... Call Stephanie at the Newark Senior Center, DE.


Jun 16, 2015

Recipe - Everyday Dal/Lentil Soup

1tsp Ghee/clarified butter (available at any Indian Grocery)
1 tsp Oil
1 cup Dal (masoor/red split lentils, tuvar dal/yellow pigeon peas)
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic/ 3-5 garlic cloves (mashed )
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro
5-7 curry leaves
1-2 finely chopped hot green chilies - optional
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 pinches of Asafoetida
1tsp - garam masala (optional variation)
1/2 red onion (optional)
1 medium tomato chopped in cubes.

Wash the dhal 2-3 times. Let it soak for 20-30 mins.
Using a pressure cooker for this preparation since it cooks the dhal until its a good mash.
Take Ghee+Oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida. Then add the green chilies and garlic and fry. Add the onion and saute until it softens. Next add the tomatoes and cook until soft. In goes the Dhal, salt, turmeric and garam masala. Let the dal cook for 5 mins. Then pour in 4-6 cups of warm water. Cover the Cooker and on medium heat let it go for 6 whistles.
Let the cooker stand for a few minutes until the steam settles.

Garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro
Serve over steamed rice.

The Lowland... listening to the CD Recording

14May2015 It was from a time before we had children that my husband and I indulged in listening to CD recordings of Books. A completely different experience from actually having to read the book. No additional concentration towards keeping up with the lines, the print, the pronunciation...rather sitting back, listening, understanding, relating and reliving the book. Getting transported within the story or connecting the scenes to our own lives.
Many years have passed and we'd almost forgotten what it meant to just Listen.
A dear friend, suggested The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. Its a book she's read as part of her Book Club and is hosting their meeting. In search of wanting to cook an Indian Meal she turned to me for Menu options.

The book though not set in my hometown, reminds me so much of home. The setting, the family traditions, the rituals, similar to what most Indian families grow up with. The older child - seemingly the one responsible for the family; obedient and obliging in every way possible. The younger child more rebellious, wild mannered, free-spirited yet always sheltered and babied by the parents.
Not even a third into the book...a death and turn of events... every chapter unfolding  just as anticipated yet in an expected way.

21May2015 Now at about half way through... I sit to think.. Whats next? Where the story lead? This should be it. Really what more can this story unfold?

Slow paced yet captivating... Still reading..Ah listening. Loving how my husband and I have something to discuss, something that's increased our span of communication which we'd lost somewhere between child#2 coming along and getting #1 to fit our new lives into his world. 

....and Parenting Beyond
Find a hobby, an activity, a TV show that you enjoy as a couple and Talk about it after....
Always remembering to Laugh!!
If life throws you lemons... Go make Lemonade!!


12Jun2015As I come to the end of the book, in my opinion all mothers  must read this book. A mother is the best person in her child's life and all that you are doing Is the Best!! and your Child will always Love you. Take time to talk to them, play with them, read and laugh. You are your Child's world.
G from the book never seemed to have gotten out of her grieving for her first husband and hence was never able to fully love and accept her child. Children are God's gift to us LOVE LOVE and LOVE them always.