Monday, January 16, 2012

Kitchen loves green

These succulent are happy sitting in a wicker tray in kitchen ... My Kitchen loves there company and we love watching them grow .. We grabbed these from botanical garden sale and planted them in these beautiful sea green ceramic pots ..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Instant India

During my college days I remember mom making Nescafe Instant Coffee for the kids .... at 12 in the night so that we all could study and keep our eyes open... ( mom makes the best one can beat that) ..That's about pretty much what I had seen as far as instant food/drink in India .. then we also started seeing MTR ready to eat food and Pillsbury's Pressure Cooker Cake ....At least in our house we didn't use a lot of instant/ready to eat kind of products .. not that we are against or anything it's just that we didn't ....When my mom came this year she brought something that was instant and she wanted me to try ... I wanted to but didn't get a chance.. then on a recent get together with friends mom reminded me of the Instant pack of Tamrind Chutney that she brought for me .." I can make fresh chutney for you if you want or do you want to try the packets I got for you? " ... she asked me in the kitchen .. "Mom is it good ? Should we try at home first" I said ... "Oh its very good" she promised... I took her word and tried it ...Mom are always right was the best instant chutney I had ever tried ...All I had to do was cook the powder in one cup waster for 10 mins and Ta-Da your instant tamrind chutney is ready ... What will we do without our mom's ... always guiding us with best things... If you happen to be in India or have family coming over this is a must if you are a tamrind chutney fan ... I think it's a cute gift for Diwali basket as well ...Ideas Ideas :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Music in the house

Last week we had prayers (Bhajan) at our house .. their is something spiritual with the whole expeirence .. house filled with incense smell and semolina sweet (Sooji Halwa)...everyone singing with each other and welcoming the New Year with almighty's grace ..Kids also had a great time and were clapping to the rhythm of songs ..

After bhajan we skyped with my brother and showed my nephew the musical instruments and his face lit up. He sang his nursery rhymes for us while mom played dholki (picture below).. My 5 year old niece also sang Jingle Bell and Old McDonald with dholki and enjoyed us singing hindi songs on Lohri. She was cold and wasn't feeling good but stayed with us outside near born fire and sang with us .. I started thinking next day that it is a great way to teach kids songs and rhymes that we grew up .. they will also build confidence singing in front of crowd and will make memories .. all this by just using musical instrument in the house ? ... Isn't this the easiest thing we can do ...I love the idea and will use it for sure in our house .... Hope you can bring some music to your house too ...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Harvest - Happy Lohri

One of the thing that I remember about Lohri was whole family sitting around fire and trying to barbeque Shakargandi (Sweet Potatoes) ...I do not think we were ever successful but it was fun to try it every year with different ideas. The mixture of Mungfali ( Roasted Peanuts) and Revari ( Seasme and Jaggery sweet) plate and eating peanuts all night long and cleaning the stack of shell next day is something still fresh on my mind...Being festive time the Band Wala's would show up uninvited on your door and would play the latest song till you gave some tip ..( I love India :) ...We continue to do the same here @ Niwas where our families get together and eat dinner together and dance and eat peanuts together ...Last year my brother's family brought stuff to make Smores ....With peanuts all around Squirrels next day have a party in out backyard and they seems to can't wait for this festivals to be back ..just like us. I love the simplicity of this festival yet it brings and builds so much memories with family and friends ... Wishing Happy Lohri to everyone ...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

It has been amazing feeling to seeing Niwas grow over past few year’s …
From Diwali to Christmas.. From a new table to a runner..
Sad to good times …Niwas has been with me as a place just like my home.. where I an unwind ..
Here is looking back at 2011 before we welcome 2012

We did better this year with our garden...last year were tomatoes… …this year we had green chilies, Indian squash and lots more tomatoes …I know it’s not that much but  we feel proud of what we did  .. We travelled to one of the places I always wanted to go …Colorado ...the place is more gorgeous then we see or hear from people … I would definitely go back to enjoy it more. The west trip also included Mount  Rushmore, Yellow Stone, Badlands…..driving over the mountains to snow filled peaks was an experience I will never forget ….nature and its beauty in Yellow stone is captured in the memory room in my brain forever ….Salute to the idea and craftsmanship of  Mount Rushmore …

We celebrated my Parent’s 40th wedding Anniversary …my niece first birthday and my nephew graduating from high school… We are blessed to enjoy these celebrations as a family….
Work has been very busy for me and my husband so we did take this year slow …I tried new recipes to for Christmas and Diwali …Not much craft this year just some bilingual ornaments for the girls…I think it’s ok to have a slow but good year . I hope you all had a year with lots of memories and good times, smiles and laughter. Here’s wishing a Happy New Year from our Niwas to yours …