Sunday, July 01, 2012

'Are you nuts?' Zucchini Bread

Today I made zucchini bread. And it turned out so good I had to post it on myblog. A little jogging of memory was required to recall the password. That'show long it's been.
SinceA had given up on every food I used to give him, I as frantically looking fornew recipes to get him his daily veggies. He still loves and eats spinach andpeas from the baby food jar (comfort food as Mandira put it), but everythingelse from green beans to avocado was out of the window. My last hope was zucchini which I had not tried in a while, and baking which I had never tried before. So the success of the recipe is an indication of how fool proof it is.
Combining ideas from recipes of healthy baked breads I give you

 'Are you nuts?' Zucchini Bread

5ozcup whole wheat flour, sifted.
3oz cup powdered sugar
1teaspoon baking powder
1teaspoon hot cocoa mix
1medium sized zucchini
2oz fresh grated coconut

Forthe zucchini and coconut mixture
  1. Chop zucchini into small pieces.
  2. Add zucchini and coconut into the magic bullet.
  3. Using the flat blade, blend till smooth paste.
  4. Mix this blend with the eggs.

Inanother bowl add the sugar, baking powder and cocoa powder into the siftedwheat flour.
Addthe zucchini mix to the flour mix and mix gently till well mixed.
Pourinto pre-greased loaf pan
Bakefor 1 hour at 350F (check for clear picked toothpick).

Recipeswhich inspired me:
 Healthy Zucchini Bread by Karyn Tripp

WhyI used the cocoa mix :
Thisrecipe called for cinnamon and nutmeg, I did not have either. These days mycooking is restricted to opening masala pack and dumping the chicken into it.The next best thing that came to mind was this.

WhyI used the coconut.
Iwas craving coconut (it happens to GSBs and other coastal folk I guess) and Ihad to use up the fresh coconut that was lying in the fridge. And Aarti'srecipe uses coconut milk in a very similar way.

Toddler approved.

ps- there are a ton  of other coconut zucchini bread recipes out there, which i did not even know about-  kindly google if you would like more reading matter on the subject.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Digital content at the public library

One of the advantages I have to reading hard copy books was that I could go to the library, get a bunch of books and read them at leisure at home, for FREE! How could I possibly do this on an e-reader? Well I shouldn't have worried. Because my public library is up with the times, and has a ton of content online. Now I don't know if this is the case with all libraries (though now it does seem so), but my library has a certain amount of good content available for download for free.

My longer commute and 'active toddler' are leaving me with less time to curl up with a book, so I needed to find better ways to do it. On the public library's page, I found the link for e-books and audiobooks, both of which could be transferred to an iPod/hone/ad, a Nook or a Sony reader ( I don't know why not Kindle, but I hope they are working on it).

The process to actually get the books was time consuming- I had to download this app called 'Overdrive Media Console' which apparently many libraries use to loan out their content. Once that was installed on the iPhone, I could go to the library's website through the app, select the book I want, check it out (it's a little tedious, but not too bad) and then download it on the iPhone.

After that I can access it for the checkout period (7 days usually) and also transfer it on up to 6 devices. Which is a VERY good deal, considering that that means I can transfer it on my computer as well, and read it from there, to reduce battery consumption.

So far, I have downloaded one e-book and one audiobook (I had downloaded one the past, but by the time I could figure out the app, the book was overdue). Both are very good quality to read and listen to.

I was very, very impressed with my library and hopefully they keep adding more titles to their digital collection.

I am not sure though, how the checkout system works. Do the overdue files simply stop working, or is it an honor system. I guess I could find out next week.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Aarti Sequeira is one of the very few people whose recipes I can like and can easily replicate. Other TV food show hosts who claim simple dishes in 30 minutes, seem to just dunk everything in a glob of cheese and call it amazing dinner.

This is the second recipe of Aarti's that I tried (first here). It's not 'her' recipe in that this soup is sold at every single Chinese establishment (cart or upscale restaurant) in India. But corny commentary aside (oh who am I kidding, I love the corniness) the recipe she uses seems so simple that it would be stupid not to make it at home.

Followed the recipe to a T,and yes the result was as yummy as the local Chinese gaadis and stalls around Mumbai. To make the experience closer to home, I cut up green chillies and added them to vinegar and served as a companion to soy sauce. If you know a better way to make that amazing clear stuff, let me know.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

How it went

I survived the first day.

Two days ago, I was all tensed up because I didn't know if would be able to get back on track with the whole 'get ready and out the door by 8am' with Aditya. Since his diet has changed substantially now, there is more food prep involved, as is eating breakfast and getting the whole daycare bag ready.

But it worked out. The fact that I couldn't get much sleep last night worked to my advantage. Here's what happened yesterday and this morning. Notice how things are broken down in 15 minute blocks. That's how tight things get for me to make it.

Mon Jan 31, 2011

  • 5pm - 5:30pm Back home: Baby VERY tired. Grandma feeds baby snack, while parents get their coffee.
  • 5:30pm - 7pm Play time with Baby: Chasing around the house, climbing stairs and reading books.
  • 7pm - 7:15pm Dinner for Baby! Rice and Lentil with Veggies. yumm.
  • 7:15pm - 7:30pm A little play time before bath and bed.
  • 7:30pm - 8pm March upstairs for bath and Bedtime
  • 8pm Baby cozy in crib
  • 8:15pm - 8:45pm Dinner for the adults.
  • 9pm - 10pm Get Baby's stuff ready for tomorrow: Prepare formula, rice and lentil␣mix for lunch. Cheese and cereal for snacks.
  • 10pm - 11pm Upstairs for some Zs!
Tue Feb 1, 2011
  • 6am - 6:30am Wake up! Shower, coffee and reheat Baby's meal.
  • 6:30am - 6:45am Start making baby's breakfast: Mashed bananas with wheat cereal
  • 7am - 7:15am Baby UP! Sponge baby down and dress him up.
  • 7:15am - 7:30am Get downstairs,Grandma feeds breakfast, while I get ready for work.
  • 7:30am - 7:45am Of course we have a poop diaper! Change that. Get trash out the door.
  • 7:45am - 8am Get baby bundled up and OUT THE DOOR!

Now as you can see, things went quite smooth sailing. We had two things working for us: 1) Baby fell asleep with 15 minutes of rocking, and 2)My mom was in charge of preparing dinner for the adults, so we could focus on baby related things until 8pm.

It is going to be a challenge to squeeze cooking and doing the dishes in between 8 pm and 10 pm. When the baby is awake 100% attention has to be given to him, since its only 1.5 hours in a day that we get with him anyway. But if as usual we cook only every other day and get our teamwork approach in full aggression, we should have a schedule by the beginning of next week.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting my act together

The past two months have been nothing short of luxury. Mom is visiting. Free miles due to expire at the end of the year, and a grandson who needed a little TLC made my mom take a impromptu trip to the US. During this time, Kolu could stay at home three days of the week and play with his grandma. During this time, all the meticulous planning I had done for the months before pretty much unraveled. Mom took over the kitchen and general care of the baby while we played with him when we came home and before we left.

But now she leaves next week. And that is freaking me out. Not only have I forgotten how things are done, but Kolu is also older now, and has developed a mind of his own. He is at the stage where he squirms away in the middle of a diaper change and refuses to be clothed on many an occasion.

So this week is going to be a practice run. Getting all his bottles ready for daycare, his food ready, meal planning for us AND the baby. And work, in the middle of all this.

This is going to be hard. But do-able.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stuff worth hanging on to.

Today is the first time in many many days that I have the opportunity to sit and type out a paragraph or two. In this time, I could be doing many other things that will be more 'productive', such as clear the room, do the laundry or the dishes. etc. Get my home in order. But all that is for later. Now, I type.

They say ( and I agree) that after you have a baby, your life will never ever be the same. But that does not mean letting go of things that were interesting to you before you had the baby, does it? Do you have to be a mother whose only interest in life is fawning over her little one? I mean, how am I to get my kid interested in all kinds of things if all he sees his mom do is laundry and clean and feeding him? (Maybe he should learn those things too, but that's for later)

I have had to completely cut TV out of my life. Completely. In the last one year, I must have watched 5 hours of TV. And one full movie. I have not watched a single movie at home, without being pulled away from it because the little one decided he wants to investigate the cabinets in the kitchen.

But you know what, that's all okay. Because I guess I didn't mind letting those things go. I love TV and movies, but I guess not that much. Thanks to baby, I have had to re-prioritize and the only thing that has stayed constant pre baby and post, is reading. I don't get as many books done as I used to pre-baby ( and well, during the pregnancy I read more books than I had in the two years before that) , but I still do manage to sneak in a book every two weeks. And I am okay with that. The type of books has also changed. From fiction I have now moved to non-fiction and short stories, as those are easier to finish in the short spans of time I have now. I also embraced audiobooks, which give me a chance to catch up on 'reading' in my 30-minute-each-way commute. car. I guess if something matters to you, you find ways around the hectic lifestyle of baby raising. Hopefully as baby grows up, I will be able to go back to longer books, and the more leisurely method of sitting down with a book by the window.

On the subject of books and babies.. mine loves books. But what he loves, is to just keep turning the pages. If I hold a page and try to get him interested on what is on the page, he gets impatient, and turns the book the other way. Crook. But at least the interest is there. Maybe 11 months is too soon to teach a kid to stay on a page. May be a few months down the line..