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.