Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thursday Eve dinner - Hummus and Pita

Thursday Eve dinner - Hummus and Pita....

Yes, it is Hummus and Pita :).. Hummus takes the precedence. I love trying recipes that are quick, easy and filling. One of my favorite is Hummus, its a Indianized hummus with rich Indian flavor. Try it out , it is yummy , I assure .

Traditional Hummus only have these key ingredients - Chickpeas, Garlic, Sesame/Tahini, Olive Oil, Yoghurt, Salt, Paprika, and Lemon Juice.

My version of Hummus has few more ingredients to make it more Indian - A bit of garam masala powder, ginger , mint leaves, and grilled red pepper.

How to make:

Ingredients :

  •  1 Can of ChickPeas
  •  Sesame seeds/Tahini paste - 2 tsp
  •  Yoghurt - 3-4 spoons
  •  Garam Masala Powder - 1 tbsp
  •  Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
  •  Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
  •  Garlic - 2 cloves
  •  Ginger grated - tbsp
  •   5-6 mint leaves
  •   1 Red pepper - Grilled 
  •   Salt to taste
How to make :

1) Grill the Red Pepper in the Oven for few minutes and when it is slightly grilled, remove from oven.
2) In a Blender/Mixer, add a can of Chick peas, few drops of Olive oil , grilled red pepper and rest of the ingredients and blend them well to make a thick paste like consistency.
3) Add more lemon juice if needed .
4) Hurray - Hummus is ready !!!!!

5) Transfer the Hummus into a bowl, make a small depression in the center and add the olive oil. Add fresh black olives, and sprinkle some paprika powder.

6) Heat the Pitas, and enjoy with the yummy Hummus :)...

Namma Mane - Part 2

Floating shelves - Aren't they pretty ?

I love collecting artifacts whenever we travel, especially if they are handicrafts and clay or wooden stuff with bright colors. Me being a big fan of Indian handicrafts have been collecting some cool ones for a long time now.

This is one of my favorite corner of the house with two floating shelves and with my favorite collection from India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Thailand, and Dominican Republic. I tried to place them well to show the bright colors. Can't wait to have more floating shelves .

The cute elephant family from Sri Lanka

The amazing wooden collection from Chennapatna, India

Ceramic miniature pot collection from Mexico

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Namma Mane - Our home in Kannada ..

Namma Mane - Our home in Kanada ..

I finally decided to blog on our house decor ,, We haven't spent too much on our home decor with the kiddo around.  I have been reading soo many blogs on interior design and Indian themed home decor , and tried to incorporate some design ideas in our home.

The last few years away from India has made me so nostalgic about back home and I wanted to incorporate every bit of India and its colour and soul in our home , so that I can finally say that this is my  home. I  have been living outside for the last 4 years and till today , I can never call the place we live as "Home". The home feeling never seems to sink-in and I always feel that there is something definitely missing here . When I visit our friends houses here and see some of their Indian artifacts, I get so nostalgic and start relating to my grand-mom's house in Chennai.

My grand-mom's house is a cozee little house in the heart of Chennai. Even though it is small in size, there was everything to that house. Every inch of that house had a soul and every inch of the house spoke to me and missed me when I was away. The comfortable and relaxed feeling I have when I am there is something that I will miss for a long time.

My grandmom , and I fondly called her Ajji had a small kitchen garden . She always worked so hard to make the garden look so pretty. She had the lovely Tulasi plants in the backyard . And the lovely December and Parijatham flowers. We used to share a mango tree with the neighbours and the my most favourite tree. The Gooseberries tree. Even now, when I go to India, I get so excited by just watching these trees. These trees have been there for years and they grew with me.

Huh, miss her and the lovely house. The more I think and write, the more nostalgic I get and the more I yearn to go to India.

Anyways, I wanted to showcase some of my favourite corners of our house. I loved this Indian design and got it painted at the entrance of the house. I love the huge Vilaku and the hanging Vilaku (Lamps). I bought few of them from India this time and placed it in our house.

We wanted to celebrate Diwali exactly the way we do in India and I incorporated a small Pooja place to bring the Diwali colour and spirit.

More corners to come soon ....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saanvi's Jungle Party

1st Bday Party - Jungle Party Theme

Follow Me on Pinterest

I really wanted to keep the memory fresh forever about Saanvi's big milestone - Her 1st birthday party ...

The planning for the party started just few weeks before her party being the lazy us. I wanted the party to be very special and something that everyone including Saanvi to cherish forever.

The party was a super hit and all the last minute hardwork paid off.

Hubby and me were initially thinking of a small party for our close friends and our idea for the party then was book a party hall, decorate the hall with some colorful baloons, send an evite and serve good food.

We kept thinking on those lines when suddenly I told hubby that we should make it special for Saanvi and lets put more effort into it. We decided to have it as theme party and there goes the issue.. What theme do we come up with -Barbie/Princess/Winnie the Pooh... I had few friends mentioning to me that their daughters had special liking to the soft dolls and loved watching their cartoons. Saanvi never liked any toy in particular, she infact dint care much for toys, she loved playing with spoons, cartons, medicine boxes and so on. We had a tough time figuring what theme we could have and finally decided to go with the Safari/Jungle theme for her party.

We thought Safari party was the most simplest to have as we could quickly buy some animal cut outs and make it look like a jungle. We were soo wrong , we had to create every bit of the party by ourselves. But, it all paid out , I should say ..

Let me give you a sneak peek to the party :

Our invite :

I designed it on Photoshop, my friend who is an amazing photographer took some pictures of Saanvi with party hats and different costumes. I decided to have a color theme too for the party as it gets simple to decorate the hall and the cards and rest. We designed a card that had Saanvi's pretty pics taken by my friend and tiny animals on a train that were heading to Saanvi's party. This was tough, had to hand draw the train with animals on photoshop. Used the color brown and yellow as the combo looked nice. We added a front flap with her pictures and had the details of the party on the inside of the flap. I bought these fancy envelopes from a paper store and stuck animal stickers on them to give it a nice personal touch.


Saanvi's month-by-month chart: I made four canvases with jungle sketches and stuck Saanvi's pcitures for each of the 12 months. I loved the way it came out and going to have it in our room :).

This was the most toughest part of the party. I had no clue on how to bring the jungle theme to the party hall. I sat down over one weekend , had some pictures of these really cute animals . I drew them on chart paper and cut them out . The lion was the 1st one. I cut his body structure out and cut petals out of crepe paper and stuck it around his face to give the wild look.

Elephant was the 2nd guy , I love elephant's ears, they look so cool, especially when they keep flapping them . I cut out the elephant's ear with another sheet of paper and stuck it on them. It worked out .

Zebra was the 3rd guy. He was tough. I drew him, cut him out on the chart and had to literally cut thin strips of paper to give him his skin. My friend cut his tail out and gave the additional look to it :).

Giraffe was the last guy. He was easy , just had to draw, cut him out and stick brown dots all over his body.

I made 3 of each of these guys to paste them on the walls around the party hall. I made trees with Styrofoam and painted them. We also cut some styrofoam for grass and painted them green. We stuck these guys on the large windows in the party hall.

I bought heaps of animal stickers from the dollar store and had them in hand just in case , my animal on chart dint turn out well.

Pom-Poms : I learned to make these cute Pom-Poms with crepe paper and made few of them in Brown and Yellow. We dint find brown crepe paper and found a closer maroon paper instead.

We wanted a backdrop for the cake table. I visited all the party shops in the city and dint find anything impressive. I decided to create my own backdrop. I made a wide banner with brown paper, printed the same pictures of Saanvi's that were on her card, blew them up and stuck it to the banner. I cut some grass and trees of the crepe paper and stuck them . I also pasted the dollar shop foam animal stickers.We dint have Saanvi's name cut out until the last minute. One of our friends wrote it the curly style and cut them out for me. I had a garland of all the animals with the "Happy Birthday" on it.

Cake Table:
I wanted the cake table to be colorful and have lots of props around the table. I found this really cute animal parade center piece from Meri Meri and we placed it on one side of the table. On the other converted a cup cake stand into a rack to hold all the animal on them. We placed the safari cake and added some green n yellow strips of paper on the table to give them their colors.

Cake: I kept looking online for safari cakes and finally found this girl near my house who bakes amazing cakes. I told her the color theme of the party and the animals , I wanted on the cake. She baked the most amazing cake. We had two layers. The 1st yellow layer was a marble cake with raspberry filling and the 2nd brown layers was a ultimate chocolate cake. It had these tiny animals which matched to the animals , I had on my card and everything about the cake was edible. Everyone loved the cake.

Cup Cakes: We had 24 cupcakes in brown and yellow and I these tiny animals as their toppings , which looked super cute.

Bottles: We printed 'Happy Birthday Saanvi' bottle labels and left a bunch of them at the entrance to bring the party theme.

Party Favor: I searched online for like a month to find a good return favor. I did not find anything that went with the theme. I finally bought some wooden photo frames , as everyone can use them with their favorite pictures. I stuck few animals on them and designed a 'Thank You' note that was slided it into the photo frame. It was simple and sweet , atleast I thought so :).

We bought brown and yellow table cloth, brown and yellow cutlery to match the theme.

We had some yummy Chinese food for dinner and everyone loved it.

This party wouldnt have been a hit if my dear friends dint help me in decorating the room. They transformed my little creativity into a amazing party. Thanks to all of them.

That was the story of my little Saanvi's bday party. We had fun celebrating it and hope you guys have fun reading this blog.