Sunday, July 26, 2020

OT: Kids Craft - Paper Lilies

This is a guest post by my daughter (who incidentally has been pleading, crying and in-turn trying to convince me to give her a guest post once in a while on this blog... but, let's see :) ). To her credit, she does spend a lot of time inventing her own recipes and making crafts. This is one of her favorite craft project this summer. So without further ado, here are the paper lilies. 

How to make paper lilies

Lilies come in different shape,size,and color! It is time to design your own lilies. Even though it is not spring you can still make paper lilies! This is the way you can express yourself, culture, and ideas. Also this is a good craft to do with kids!! If you don’t have craft paper I suggest you use two sheets of regular paper and stick them together. Also, if you still don't want to do that you can use paint paper. If you don't have yellow pipe cleaner you can use whatever pipe cleaner you have unless it is not matching your flower.

I hope you are doing well in the covid 19! Stay safe, get creative, and enjoy this craft!!!   

You will need: Craft paper, yellow pipe cleaner and green pipe cleaner, pencil, hand, scissor!!

(if you don’t understand, look at the pictures)

It is gonna be fun okay!!

  1. Take the paper and put your hand over it!

  2. Trace your hand neatly using a pencil and cut using scissors. 

  3. Fold it like this:

  4. Now with your pen roll the paper like this:

  5. Take your yellow and green pipe cleaner, fold the yellow pipe cleaner into a small thing,and stick both together, like this:

  6. Now, stick it in your flower

  7. Wrap it in a bow and enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Rustic Summer Plum Tart

I have been taking daily walks in our neighborhood during this work from home phase. Boundaries between the "work time" and "home time" have become hazy for so many of us, that it helps to set small rituals to remind you of just that. Our ritual is to go for long evening walks across our neighborhood right after I finish my work and before we start dinner prep. 

There are so many things I am noticing about our neighborhood that I never did before! Like there is a beautiful creek and an old style footbridge tucked away merely a mile from us (I had no idea!).. and how many of our neighbors have fruit trees in their front yards - all laden with apricots, plums and lots and lots of apples! The apples are still small and green, but the plums are ripe everywhere.. we often see perfectly good plums lying on the sidewalks fallen from a tree laden with fruit.

As you can imagine, we are over-flowing with plums at our house as well - some given by our young plum tree, a lot shared by generosity of neighbors and our CSA. After enjoying a lot of plums this summer for snacks and deserts, I was left with a bag which was not super sweet and more on the tart-sweet side. What better motivation than make a plum tart then!

This is a very simple recipe and perfect for weeknight deserts too. I used the pie-crust recipe I always user - but you are welcome to use frozen crust too.. works just as well and a huge time-saver!

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

To prepare the filling: thinly slice 5-6 plums. Add 1/2C sugar (or less depending on how sweet the plums are), 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp salt, 1/4tsp cardamom powder (optional). Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes. After 20 mins, drain the plum juices but do not discard! Arrange plum slices on the pie crust tightly and fold the edges inward to "seal" the tart. Brush the edges of the crust with melted butter. 

Bake for 40 minutes until the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling. While the tart is baking, cook the plum juices + 1Tbsp of whatever fruit preserve you have at hand (I used strawberry) until it forms a thick sauce. When the tart is out, brush the sauce on the plums, let it cool completely and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Easy Bread Loaf & Summer Home Activities!

I caught on to the COVID home baking trend pretty early on, I think. It started with a need to make a sandwich loaf at home but once I mastered that, I realized that baking bread, even without a bread machine, can be super easy and deeply satisfying - just as long as you have access to flour and yeast! 

My mind has been set for a while now on learning to bake a crusty bread loaf.. the kind of loaf with thick crusty skin and soft fluffy bread inside that you can dunk into hot soup and enjoy. I came across this recipe on King Arthur Flour and true to it's name it was indeed a very easy bread loaf to put together. 

I didn't change anything from the original recipe except halving it and making one bread loaf instead of 2. In the hindsight however I should have made 2 for the work of 1.. the one loaf I made in the morning was long gone before the dinner time :)

I am sure to be making this bread loaf again and again now. A keeper recipe.

Summer Home Activities:

This summer has been special for my daughter because she got to spend all of it at home, without any summer camps or travels. She was excited about no summer camps - she is at the age where she has gotten over the fancy of the camps and just prefers spending her time her own way. However she was bummed about the no travel plan. Anyhow, she got a promise out of us to make up for it by 2x longer vacation next summer :)

We did manage to do a lot of fun things at home however and had a lot of summer fun. It was a different kind of summer than traditional summer, but fun-filled neverthless!

She is quite outdoorsy and likes to learn a new outdoor activity every summer. This summer learning to skateboarding has been her main project. After a few falls and bumps, I think she is coming along quite well!

We wrapped up our Spanish learning course on duolingo and embarked on Scratch programming. Scratch is a programming language for kids - like blockly, where building a game or a program is simple putting the right blocks together. It encourages kids 8-12 to build logical thinking which is a key skill of computer programming but at the same time keeping it fun and exciting. I spent some time teaching her scratch, she attended an online camp and had fun building some fun new games like this obstacle run and a simple translator (being a young coder and all, both games need keyboard and not mobile friendly yet :) )

I also bought an embroidery starter kit and we had fun doing embroidery together on long weekend afternoons. It took us about 4 weekends to finish the two projects - but we had a lot of fun. She did the simple straight stitches and attempted some loops. I finished remaining loops and all the french knots. We are super happy with how it turned out!
I hope you are all having fun and relaxing summer break and staying safe!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Flax-Seeds Chutney (Javasachi Chutney) & Reading Update

Javas (or brown flax seeds) chutney is a quint-essential Maharashtrian condiment. Easy to prepare, cheap due to the abundance of flax seeds in the region and super tasty. This chutney is a staple of farm lands, where fresh roti (or bhakri), this chutney with a glob of oil and some sabji can make a flavorful easy to prepare everyday meal.

While flaxmeal (ground flax) is more common in supermarkets across US, for this recipe I prefer using whole flax seeds. You can find them at Trader Joe's or buy bulk from Amazon of this Bob's Red Mills brand.

The "recipe" is super simple. Roast 1C golden flax seeds and 4-5 large peeled garlic cloves on medium heat stirring frequently until they release a nutty aroma and are starting to turn brownish. Often flax seeds pop while you are heating them, so be careful not to be to close to the stove. Remove from heat and let them cool completely.

Once cool, add the roasted flax seeds and roasted garlic cloves to the blender, along-with 1/4tsp red chili powder and salt to season. Blend until smooth and powdery. Taste, adjust salt as needed. Store in an air-tight container and serve as condiment for any meals! Mix 1Tbsp of this chutney with warm cooked rice, olive oil and salt for a quick meal or add oil to 1Tbsp of this chutney and eat with warm pita breads - yum!

Reading Update:
My reading front is still going strong. This stay at home phase has provided a unique opportunity by saving the commute times that I am putting to good use by exercising  couple times a week and reading 30 minutes almost every day. Access to kindle and online library makes finding content a breeze!

I would classify June reading as 2 hits and 1 miss :) I read highly awaited book The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. This is a beautifully told story transporting us back to the 1950s India, Jaipur in particular, told from the voice of a henna artist, Lakshmi, known for her most unique and creative patterns - it's a story of many contrasts, women's struggles and empowerment in a paternal society, cast systems and middle class vs upper class struggles. All in all, this was a true page-turner.. transporting me back to 1950s Jaipur. A must read!

The second hit was this well awaited Marie Benedict's Carnegie's Maid. This is a book about a young girl, Clara Kelley, leaving her family behind in Ireland to travel to America to support her family and earn some money. She doesn't have much more other than her wits, an uncanny business sense and resolve to strive and do better, both for herself and her family. She ends up as a lady's maid in the Carnegie household of Pittsburgh, and soon her employer starts to trust her business instincts. It is again a story of a woman ahead of her time, with a business sense parallel to the business magnet Andrew Carnegie, but needing to hide her talents and thoughts behind a subdued ladies' main persona. I have enjoyed all of Benedict books so far, so I knew I would love this book, and happy to say it didn't disappoint me :)

Third book, and a miss, was "Ada's algorithms - How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age". Ada has been long considered as the original computer programmer, and a key but overlooked figure in the history of computers and programming. I wanted to love this book, I really did, but unfortunately writing was hard to keep up with - not being written as a story and not being quite a well engaging non-fiction either, I finished the book but it was quite a struggle at times.

Anyhow, my July reading list is promising and I look forward to posting about it here soon!

Copyright and Disclaimer

This page and all of its contents is copyright of Prajakta Gudadhe. All rights reserved.

This is a web catalog of the recipes that I have tried and tasted in my kitchen. While these recipes and instructions have worked well for me, please use all the information and the recipes from Ginger and Garlic at your own risk.