It’s Spring Time!

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” ~Doug Larson

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Spring is being a real tease by giving us slight glimpses of it once in a while. The long days, warm glow from the sun, and the chirping of the birds are all hinting that it’s just round the corner somewhere. I simply can’t wait to see the bare trees turn green, frozen lakes come back to life again, the flowers to bloom and for the nature to unveil its myriad colors.

Spring is such a delight that it’s completely worth the wait.

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to add some spring flair to my home by playing around with different settings and introducing color to perk up the mood. Without spending anything at all, I compiled together a few things lying around in the house to create a look. Here are a few of them :-

  1. On my recent trip to India, I went to my grandmother’s place and she gave me this cotton sheet which had been with me during my college days. It’s a beautiful handmade block-printed sheet in a lovely blueish green color, which I had completely forgotten about. I decided to bring it back with me to the US.
  2. Two beautiful hand painted gold-rimmed mugs which were a flea market find for an amazing bargain price.
  3. This wooden plank which we recently got from Ikea to make extra storage space in the closet, but haven’t had the time to install it yet.
  4. Coffee mug turned planter in deep blue color which got chipped while moving from California.
  5. Wooden serving tray from TJ MAXX.
  6. Ceramic birds Salt pepper shakers, gifted to me by a friend.

DSC_4907DSC_4979Makes for a cute informal setting if you have guests over for tea.

This weather reminds me of the spring flower festival I attended last year around the same time. Here are some pictures from the same.

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DIY art for your home

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This is an ode to all the art classes I took in my architecture school but never put them to use. I’ve been so excited with these brick walls ever since we moved in, and wanted to create something on my own and hopefully shock my husband, either way..:P. Now that I have my first attempt out of the way, hopefully this will be the start of a series of challenging paintings. Here are a couple of them and I’ll keep adding more as I go along. The colors I’ve used here are royal blue and matt gold.

paintings

 

Glutton’s workshop..;)

Since the most important place in the house of every glutton is ‘The Kitchen‘, let’s start with that..:). For every new house one moves into, the kitchen has to be made functional as per the needs and requirements of its occupant. In some cases this might call for some major modifications but in a rental place it is just not possible. Thanks to Ikea and Home Depot, there are several inexpensive and easy solutions available, which won’t land you in trouble. In my particular case, all I needed was a couple of organizers to make things practical and easy. Since I use a lot of spices, I wanted them to be handy everytime I cook. So I made a list of items which could make that possible.

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1.  Ikea Spice Rack – $4 each
2. Ikea Planter which could be used as a cutlery caddy or a condiment stand. – $8
3. Spice Jars – $3.5 per 4 pack
4. Cutlery Tray – $1 each
Overall cost- $34
As 'Cutlery Caddy'

As ‘Cutlery Caddy’

As 'Condiment Stand'The colorful display of spices do make a pretty picture and add vibrancy to the kitchen decor.

My NEW home..:)

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So, the reason I’ve been away for a while now, is that we moved to Connecticut. Anyone we tell this to, attacks us with the SAME question every-time..”from California to Connecticut..WHY?”. NO, we aren’t insane but sometimes you just have to go where life leads you. Who knows what’s in store for us but for now after having settled a bit, I’m more than happy getting back to doing what I absolutely love – Blogging..:D

Since we are doing up our place from scratch, you guys will be treated to whole lot of Decor related posts. To start with, let me show you around our new place.

bedroom

living room

KITCHEN

This place has a lot of potential, and my mind is going crazy with ideas. Hope it comes together as I am imagining it to be.  

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

DSC_8294-Edit-2After my successful attempt at Aglio-e-Olio, I was tempted to explore more sauceless pasta recipes, so here is one of them.

For this you’ll need:

  • 7 ounces Whole Wheat or any other regular pasta
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1½  tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1½  tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  broccoli sliced into small florets
  • 3 sausages links diced
  • ½  cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley for garnishing
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil and drain the pasta as per the instructions on its packet.
  2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Add the garlic and the sausages. Saute for 5-7 mins.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid for 3-4 mins. Once the mushrooms start shrivelling up, remove the lid.
  4. Add the broccoli, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste and cook for another few minutes till broccoli becomes slightly soft (Don’t overcook the broccoli).
  5. Finally add the pasta and some parmesan and mix well.  Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. You can also sprinkle some parmesan while serving.

Your yummy sauceless pasta is ready..:)

(You can use Chicken stock instead of  Vegetable stock and you can add veggies as per your preference.)

Mutton Biryani

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Mutton Biryani … do I need to say anything else.

It is one of the most popular Indian recipes which people relish. I for one don’t know when to stop once I start eating it.

I had been after my mother-in-law to give me her secret recipe which has been passed on for generations in our family. Since she is in India and am here in the US, she wrote me a detailed recipe so that I could get the proportions and the technique exactly right. It took her a while to translate cooking-by-gut approximations into a precise step by step guide for me.

Once I got the recipe I went on a hunt to get good quality mutton. Goat meat isn’t very popular in the US; very few stores have it and if they do, it’s pretty expensive. I did a little research and found this store owned by an Indian in the bay area. I paid $17 for 2 lbs, which is a LOT, so I was praying it better be worth it in the end.

This recipe, is a ‘No-Shortcut’ recipe for an authentic Lucknowi biryani ( If you ever go to Lucknow, I would recommend going to Lallaji Biryani place in the Chowk to get the best biryani you would have ever eaten). This is one recipe that I’m unwilling to share due to its family value, but am posting a link to a recipe which is very close to the one I followed.

http://zeenews.india.com/exclusive/biryani-flavours-from-the-land-of-nizams-and-nawabs_2445.html

Making authentic mutton biryani requires a lot of effort and can easily take upto 5-6 hours. In order to make the process easier, I made the mutton a day before making the biryani which was a wise piece of advice from my mother-in-law. In the end, after 2 days of intense cooking I was more scared than excited because I wasn’t sure if I’d done justice to the recipe.  I made my husband the guinea pig and he was so impressed by it, that he literally had 3 servings. In the meantime I had also started digging in and oh boy, I was hogging as if it was my last meal on earth. Mission Successful!!…Woohoo! Now I can happily brag about my cooking skills..;)

4pm Hunger Bug

Tomato-Basil-Cottage Cheese Toast

The healthiest 4PM snack ever.

I had been struggling with my 4pm hunger bug since a very long time and used to end up having crappy junk food.

Finally I came up with this recipe to do justice to my taste buds without having the guilt of consuming unnecessary calories. This recipe is ready in minutes and is also a great snack if you ever have surprise guests over.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Take a few slices of any loaf (preferably rosemary-olive oil or Garlic) and spread cottage cheese generously. I used the unsalted one, so I sprinkled some salt and chili flakes on it.
  3. Put these slices in the oven for 2-3 mins or till you see the cheese melt.
  4. Take them out of the oven and add sliced cherry tomatoes, freshly chopped basil and sprinkle few drops of olive oil(optional).

Enjoy your toast…:)

The tanginess of tomatoes, the punch of freshly chopped basil blended with the soft cheese will take your tastebuds for a roller-coaster ride.