Saturday, December 04, 2010

Baby Food Combinations

Because calling them recipes is a little bit of a stretch.

  • Baby Spinach and Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin and Green beans
  • Apples and Pumpkin
  • Apples and yogurt
  • Blueberries + Apple and Yogurt.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The shopping list for the first two months

First of all, hand me downs!! Nothing so useful as hand me downs. I had a lot of stuff from my aunts. Some of it about 25 years old, but it looks and feels newer than most new things. (How is that?!)

I also had a long excel list with 95 or 100 items, which frankly, was quite useless.
However, this link is a good guide for what you need. Of course, there will be a few things that you will want to add, but I don't think we needed anything else for the first two months. Besides gripe water (which is more for the parents than the baby anyway).

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Break

I am taking a break right now. A has gone to play this evening, and instead of resenting that and cleaning the house in martyr mode, I decided that I too, needed to get away from all the stuff that bothers me. Not that I mind his going to play-he does it only once a week. It's just that I keep feeling overwhelmed and every single minute of my spare time goes in trying to figure out how I am going to clean the next section of my house or something similar.
But not today.
Today I will not think of those things. Instead, I will sit here and meditate.
Good night.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Bread Pudding from Aarti's Paarti

I don’t watch Food Network. I don’t even have cable. And that is why I had to find out about Aarti Sequeira through a friend. She is awesome. And even better, she is a food blogger first.

Aarti's recipes seem to be the kind of recipes I have been looking for. Easy and more importantly, variations on stuff I have already eaten.

Which why I decided to give huggy buggy bread pudding a try. Now, husband has been making bread pudding for years, and considers it to be one of his 'signature dishes'. And while I love what he makes ( a base of caramel, chocolate syrup added in), Aarti's recipe seemed to have some interesting ingredients, such as the coconut milk and the ginger.

(And of course the catchy song. How can you not like the catchy song.)

Days went by, and I bought one ingredient at a time.. First we bought the bread. Then there was no ginger. In the time we went to buy the ginger, we ate the bread. So we bought more bread. And waited for it to get old. Until came a day I realized that I am not going to make this pudding unless I make it out of stuff lying around the house.

So of course, I put some variations on Aarti's dish, and here it is! Refer to Aarti's dish on her website to compare to the original. And of course, if you can, make the original.

Ingredients

  • 6 dried dates in hot water ( I did not have whisky, I did not have figs. What I did have was dates. And hot water. So that's improv #1)
  • 1 can coconut milk. (full fat she says..I found a lite variety sitting around. Was not going to buy the full fat one also. Had to use this can up).
  • 2.5 cups whole milk. (Seriously, this was killing me. Whole milk has not entered my house in three years, and it was not going to today. 1 % it had to be.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar.
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated (I went all out with this ingredient. I grated enough ginger to feed an army, and then used it all in the recipe. No idea how much it was. probably 2/3 of a 2 inch ginger root.)
  • salt
  • cashews (had bought them, but ended up eating them before I started the recipe, so cashew-less pudding it was. Though I can see how they would have made the dish super awesome.)
  • 3 tbsp butter.( I saw how much a tbsp is. It scared me. So I used 1/6th of a butter stick. I think that's around1 tbsp)

All the other ingredients were not found in the house and therefore not used.

Now the how-to:

  • Cut the bread into 1" pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • 2 dishes are needed- 1 large roasting pan and one 9"x13" baking dish.

I did not have either. What I did have is a big glass dish by pyrex, and theHefty EZ foil baking pans (8x4). Used two of those instead, and greased them.

  • Whisked coconut and regular milk, soaked the bread in that.
  • In another bowl, whisked eggs, sugar, spices, ginger and salt.
  • Added the slices dates.
  • Poured this mix into the soaking bread, and tossed together.

To bake this, I had to improvise. So instead of using the roasting pan, I filled the EZ foil pans with the bread mix and placed them in the 9x13" Pyrex pan. I then added hot water into the pan, such that the water was half way at the level of the pans. (True to the original recipe).

  • Threw in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Did not forget the shut door step.

In 35 minutes, delicious looking Huggy Buggy Pudding was ready. And the husband wandered into the kitchen. He suggested-hey- we have craisins lying around-want to throw those in too? So on top of the pudding they went. Everyone sat in the oven till we gave our baby a bath, dried him, fed him and put him in his crib.

The result was amazing. If I hadn't stopped to write this down, I probably would have finished the whole thing, and gained 15 kilos. But I did not. One little bowl (okay, two) was enough to put a huge grin on my face.

So thanks, Aarti, for your recipes. Will be trying out a lot of them for sure!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Meal planning

These days we actually plan out our meals. The full week's menu. This from a couple that used to eat out almost every other day. We still haven't gone to the fresh home-cooked meals everyday, but at least we eat at home most of the time. More importantly, the trips to the grocery store have significantly reduced. Sunday morning routine is now 'make list, pack baby and stroll in the grocery store'.

What was very useful in all this planning was the 'couple's calendar' I picked up from BN probably two years ago. It has a his, hers and his and hers section, and does not have any dates on it. That's why I love it so much. I could buy it in 2008 and use it in 2010. Of course, the his section is now the dinner section, and the his and hers section is now the baby food section, but it still works.

As you can see, there is a lot of planning, and scheduling involved here (very organized..;). Also, the baby gets to eat healthy homemade ( and freezer stored) food every day. And mom isn't running around trying to make something for him because hey! she knows exactly what he is supposed to eat that day.

Hopefully this is still available at BN once I run out of pages on this one.

And why I'm thinking about starting again

This post

I love change

I logged on to blogger after a really long time, and was surprised to see so many options in their backgrounds and templates. Before, I had a flowery template, but that just looked pretty- didn't say anything about me.
However this new one seems to really reflect the way I blog. Relaxed. I do find blogging relaxing, and keep posting sporadically.
My posts do tend to be very self-centered, but I guess that is the way I am. Right now, I cannot find the time to do anything else except shape my career and take care of my family. And maybe, at some point, I will care to blog about things other than that. But not right now. (well, never say never, right).
I recently had a baby. A very cute one, may I add. So chances are, this thing is going to morph into a mommy blog.
I also have a snazzy new phone (ok, who am I kidding, its an iPhone 3G. But hey, it's snazzier than anything I had before).
So the result of that is I may be able to blog pictures! Bloody directly! Oh the possibilities. Need to learn taking close-up shots of everything around me.
Oh well, lets see how this thing goes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The garden

I have a little container garden going on, mainly flowers, since Kolu likes their bright colors. I also have 4 little pepper plants going, which are really not producing much by the way of peppers. So may need to fertilize them a little. Since I am going to eat them, I think I might just fertilize them with some organic fertilizer, and hope for some harvest.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The eyebrows

Why don't I ever shape my eyebrows. Why do I let the mustache grow? Why don't I get mani-pedis? Why don't I buy better clothes? Why don't I earn more money so I can spend it?

Weighty issues

I have let myself go.
That is an understatement. I was actually never captured really.. I have steadily grown in size ever since birth. I was told it would stop. Well, my height stopped, but my weight never did. I went from a thin school girl, to a weirdly flabby one in college. I probably went from 120 lbs to 140 lbs in those two years. And I know exactly what brought it on. Sleeping. Lots of it. I love to sleep. And the odd hours of the junior college, and the lack of any rules of attendance let me rush back home and nap like crazy.And eat fried fish at 6pm. With rice. And curds. No wonder I gained all that flab.

Then I went to college, which was a 1.5hour commute one way. In the first year, I lost all that weight, and came back to 125 lbs. However, by then, that was not my happy weight. I started to become tired, cry a lot and in general became depressed. Slowly, I came out of that, started eating at home instead of outside, and therefore healthier. My weight quickly went back up to 143, but this time, I was happy. I felt good, I felt like I had a lot of energy.
Then I came to the US. Mom made food and strict regimens no more ( strict regimens=meals at predetermined times). Living with roommates meant eating a lot of home made junk. One of my roommates would pour oil in the pan for 15 seconds. Think about it. A lot of oil can flow in 15 seconds. She would never make rice, always jeera rice. She loved to cook- she made all kinds of things-rasagullas- biryani, you name it, she would love to make it. And we loved her for that.
Surprisingly, I did not gain all that much over those two years. That's probably because us roommates used to hang out at the gym. My roommates' idea of a good time was a good aerobics class, or a good swim or even a good long brisk walk-followed by lots of eating.
Followed by lots of eating- but still- I was still at my happy weight.
Then I joined the PhD program. Things were good-but the weight had started inching forward. I was gaining about a pound a month or so. I was 147 when I came in. By my second year, I was 156. In spite of going to the gym, and having a nice roommate who cooked healthy meals as well.
Then the steroids came. I had an illness, which involved me taking steroids for 3 full months. And that took a toll on my body. I peaked at 186. I probably gained a full 20 lbs that summer. And then that weight never went back. I had also lost stamina, i did not go to the gym anymore- neither did I walk, or run.
I used slimfast and lost a good 12 lbs before I got pregnant- I was 170lbs during my first checkup. I gained 25lbs during the pregnancy, and lost 23 of those in the first 6 weeks postpartum . Mom, I tell you. She came in, put me on a very healthy diet, made sure I eat at specified times. Also, my little one took to breastfeeding very well, and that I am sure helped me lose weight too.
After my mom left, I was still breastfeeding, but I gained some weight. Thanks to the fact that I was now eating rice as well. That is my poison- I eat rice, I gain weight. I am now 176lbs.
I have now also started running a little. Have to also move on to the exercises to gain muscle tone to run. The fact that I have co-workers who are health freaks has helped me a lot. And I think, as he was saying, everyone is more active this year. This may be a good time to get active, and stay active.
I am happy again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wish List

If there is something constant in my life, it is the wishlist. Things I wish to do. And often, there are many things that are constant on that list.
Top of the list: Declutter the house- I have managed to donate and convince A to donate a LOT of things in the house. So yay! we are moving on that one.

Hire cleaning lady- Did that too. Charges $50 per visit (biweekly) but gets the job done very well. So happy about that.

Solid Food update

Mangoes.

Next up: Apples

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken Liver Recipe

Chicken liver recipe for @patrix

1.5 lbs chicken liver- cut to size.
3 big red onions
4 garlic cloves
one bunch coriander
methi seed powder
jeera powder
(roast the mixture beforehand)
ginger garlic paste
yogurt
Chillies

To marinate the liver:
Rub yogurt, ginger garlic, tumeric and chopped coriander on the liver pieces- let stand for 2 hours.

In a wide bottomed pan, add oil, followed by finely chopped garlic and chillies, then the masala, followed by onions and then finally the livers. Cook.

Questions? Leave them in the comments.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh Hello There, Blog!
How have you been? I have been neglecting you, like everyone else has been neglecting their own blogs, for something thats more suitable for us ADD types. Twitter.

But now, since I have been doing things in real life, I can actually blog about something. Also, blogger's got this new design thing, so you won't look so boring anymore.

So let me bring you up-to-date on what's happened so far

As you know, I got pregnant, and I got stretch marks. I also went to baby classes, got all excited about baby delivery and such, and then delivered a beautiful baby boy in the middle of the winter. Things went very beautifully, and my mother helped us out a lot for the first 8 weeks, followed by her and dad together for another 5. Then they left and along came my in-laws. They have been here for 2 months now, and leave in another month.

So I am guessing that after a month is when the real fun will begin. And you will no doubt, turn into a mommy blog. Face it. I changed, so you will have to too.

Thanks to the fact that I am now a mom, I also have to sleep when the baby sleeps. So abrupt signing off it is.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Grrr

Faaaak. Stretch marks. Stupid stretch marks. Should have been more generous with that cream. Now I'll never be able to wear a below the navel saree again. Then again, as A pointed out ' maybe first we'll think about the regular saree.'
woe is me.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Being pregnant exposes you to a lot of propaganda. My first experience, thanks to my dumb decision of taking these pregnancy classes so late, was at the end of the term. And it was about breast feeding. The class was supposed to be about videos on technique, what to do, what not to do, when to panic and when not to. And that's all fine. The reasons I signed up for. What I was not expecting was the filler information on how BPA bottles are horrible. How breast-fed babies are smarter than formula babies (By like 2 points. Seriously. Advertising this clearly tells me you are forumla fed. kthxbai).

After that I dozed off. And I was so tired, I couldn't even go to work today (after sleepwalking through it yesterday, I decided I needed a day to recharge, and worked from home.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Buying books

I realized that I havent really bought a book in the past 9 months. They have been all bout the becoming a mom phenomenon. Trips to babies r us. Buying what to expect when you are expecting and devouring all kinds of parenting magazines. Add to that finishing the thesis and starting a new job.

Of course, I did read quite a few good books in the time. But they were ALL from the public library. Which is not a bad thing of course, but I think now I need to go back to buying a book. It's almost like if I don't buy now, my habit of buying books will stop.

So now the question is, what books to buy:

Mary Roach's Bonk and Stiff are already on the list, and perhaps the checklist book by Atul Gawande.

Hopefully I actually go through with the order and buy them.

I will. I will. I will.

Update: I bought them I bought them!!The first two that is.. And then some baby mittens and socks to bump the order up to $25.
Cannot wait for the books to show up!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My weekend so far

Part of the series of 'weekends' :P

Fri even: Played Mario. Watched a short Hindi movie.. in all, not bad.

Sat morning: woke up early-ish to low back pain. Got scared that it maybe contractions. Figured no.. but must look to see what they really feel like.

Played MORE mario. went to get brunch. Ate more sugar than I though there was in the world. Chatted with mom, these days, since we talk during the daytime, talks have become more interesting..

Back home, some blog surfing, some twitter. Nap time.

Wake up. Off to the mall to shop! Try trousers for A. No good ones.. so come back. Get the Ugly Truth from the store.. hope that its atleast ok.. since I suggested it and A grumbled 'It better be good'. :|:|

Wait for the chicken curry for dinner.

A good Saturday so far. Hopefully Sunday's equally good.

Will not let the Rag-of-a-movie Ugly Truth ruin my weekend. Will. Not.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ideal Weekend

So now that I've cribbed about my currently boring weekends, lets see what an ideal weekend would look like.

1) Friday evening: Take care of all the calling that needs to be done. That includes family members who care about me, but haven't had an 'eventful' week. This gives me more time in the weekend to myself. Sleep early. Buy the local newspaper and leave it to be read on Saturday morning.

2) Saturday morning: Up at 8am. Breakfast by 9. Do not settle into the couch, but sit and read the newspaper. Spare a couple of hours to clean the house. That includes throwing out junk that hasn't been used in a long time.

Sat evening: Be 'creatively productive' in some way. This includes blogging (don't know why) or some sort of 'crafty' thing.

GO OUT! and not to Babies R Us. The problem is it is too cold to walk around here right now. So maybe going and sitting at a coffee shop isn't a bad idea. Take something to read along.

Sat Night: Nice dinner. And sleep by 11pm.

Sunday night: Wake up by 8 am. Brkfst by 9am. Go through all the blogs that I normally do.

That's all I can think of to do right now..Damn, atleast I have one 'ideal' day.

Typical Weekend

I think I have been sleepwalking through weekends for the past few weeks. So I need to write down what exactly my ideal weekend would be.

But first, what does my weekend look like now?

Saturday: Wake up at 10am. There goes half the day. Sit around and watch TV. By the time 1pm rolls around, go for a nap. 'Nap' for 4 hours.. wake up when its dark. Go out to Babies R Us for some shopping. Come back. Dinner. Some TV and then zzz.

Sunday: Wake up NOT before 11am. Go through a ton of blogs. Sometimes catch We the People on NDTV..(watch more of that since we cut the cable). Obsess over the fact that the house isnt clean. Try to clean it. Fail. Give up and nap. Sunday evening. DO nothing. I am not sure what I do on Sunday evenings. But try to sleep ASAP.

Monday rolls by and I can crib about the workweek.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thought I had posted this before but..

While looking at the window display at Destination Maternity, I wondered aloud why the model looked like she was fake pregnant.. without a second’s lapse, A said ‘Oh, because she doesn’t have pregnancy boobs’.

Very observant indeed.

(and now some perv is going to come here from google using that word. Shoo! there's nothing interesting here.)
Discovered a new pick me up..just go read my blog archives!
But since this is such a good pick me up, maybe I should write one post or two everyday. That might become too much, but atleast that will give me something to look back on. And also maybe unashamedly blog about my baby.

its scary that the due date is just over a month away, and I become 'full term' in less than two weeks. Right now, every second thought in my head is 'Am I hurting the baby?' Need to stop this now, because later on, it may end up making me a super paranoid mother and we dont want me to become the type of mother that keeps calling her kid every 2 hours to find out where they are..

In other updates, there is this fun phenomenon called fetal hiccups.. where the fetus starts hiccuping for about 20 minutes, and you can feel every single one of the hiccups. Mine somehow gets them only after I eat a clementine. :| Acc to my doc, thats them trying to practice swallowing.. and so I take that as baby loves clementines.

Easily Depressed

Went through half the book 'The Joy Luck Club' By Amy Tan, and am now a little depressed. Need a pick me up. Perhaps Super Mario Bros Wii might help.