Friday, May 27, 2011

Cucumber Salad –Sri Lankan style…

I love cucumber it is very refreshing especially during summer not that I don’t consume in winter. It is staple vegetable for me. I add them in my regular salad, cook, and make a salad to go with rice and curry. As some of you might know Sri Lankan food is spicy and we do eat rice and curry. Sri Lankan food is heavily influenced by India. However there are simple dishes that attract the eye and the taste buds.
I always work the best I can to offer a wide array of food to my children. They are good on trying new food but will stick to it if they are spicy guess like mom.
This is a very simple salad you can make and add as a side dish if you are serving rice.
I cucumber
1 red onion/shallots (2-3)
Green Chilies (I prefer the spicy but you can choose what you want I usually add short small green chilies you can buy from the specialty produce section add few if you are not consuming chilies)
½ of a lime juice
Salt to taste
½ tsp Cracked black pepper
½ tsp Cracked mustard seeds (you can buy this from a Indian grocery store or whole foods remember we are influenced b Indian food)

Wash, peel, thinly slice cucumber and place them in a bowl
Slice onions, green chilies with seeds to the cucumber bowl
Add cracked pepper, mustard, lime, salt and mix with your hands throughly to cote everything.

Serve immediately with warm rice and chicken curry.

Quote of the day “make something for someone else”


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Positive Approach towards Chaos…

Summer approaching around the corner my classes starts this week and with all the other things I am getting ready to take on another semester. Moving, packing, and everything in between have shape and sharpen our lives greatly.

Boxes everywhere in the apartment I can’t wait till WED to movers to come in to haul our belonging to the storage. My goal is to have clean apartment till the final day arrive for us to move out from our apartment. Some of the pictures are from the overlook from the balcony which I have enjoyed very much during our stay in the west side of the Mansfield.
We will be camping out in the living room in our sleeping bags. Nicolette will be the only person to sleep on the bed while rest of us will be sleeping in bags.

I will not be officially gardening this summer. We have so much going on I decided to let it go. However I will be responsible some yard work you will be able to see. I may have herbs for cooking and that’s it. I used a lot of basil, flat parsley, sage, chives, and coriander. But this summer we will have something very simple.

I did restock my etsy shop during my small break that was a huge accomplishment.

You will get to see what I will be working on soon…

Quote of the day “in every moment you have a choice”


Monday, May 23, 2011

She is my little Miss. Confidence…

Past week I took little Nicolette to the park and we had a great time. This was the very first time she got to see a lot of kids surrounded her in a gigantic beach like sandbox. You can she was very contend in her little own world. She was looking at all the strangers, exploring and enjoying every little bit of her environment.

I was able to steal some pictures… I love summer for this reason…

Quote of the day “stop over scheduling”


Friday, May 20, 2011

Frittata for Breakfast…

How would you get your family to eat a healthy breakfast that would help them to make smart decisions throughout day, handle the test with confidence, remember to get the study material from the memory to writing, and enjoy the rest of the day? There have been many researchers done that a healthy breakfast can do wonders to brain and to maintain active lifestyle.

I am not a big breakfast eater but I will make it for others. I am fine with a small breakfast as long as I can snack throughout the day. But in the morning I am having a difficult time getting up early and offering a health breakfast. So frittata sounds like an excellent plan for a busy morning and now with abundance of fresh produce you can make many varieties.

This is my version of Frittata with Feta Cheese.
2 tbs butter
12 large eggs
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp Paprika
1 5 oz bag of spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 Jimmy Dean sausage meat (skillet fried)
1 onion cut and sauté
8 oz feta cheese crumbled

Heat oven to 350° F
Add butter to a 2-quart casserole and transfer to oven for 5 minutes. ( do not let it brown)
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and combine. Gently stir in the feta.
Remove casserole from oven. Add skillet fried sausage meet, sauté onion Pour the egg mixture into casserole. Bake until the frittata is browned around the edges and slightly puffed and a knife comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

You can serve this with fresh fruits or as it is.
My kids and picky dad didn’t like the tomatoes but I tried.
Breakfast done a head of time left over can go to the refrigerator for another day or with a small salad for a dinner.

Quote of the day “bring breakfast fixings over to a friend’s house and cook something together”


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moving, and Packing…

This has been one of the key elements in our lives for the past few years. We have been moving from state to state. We still call VA as our home base may be due to the fact that we still owned a house. I always try to see the brighter side of moving process rather than a critique. This has allowed us to learn more about different cultures, food, etiquettes, what is native and not and many more that I can write a book.

However this moving has shaped our lives in different ways. This is my daughter’s third move and she is only two and half years. If you ask me how she is handling this I would say she is doing great it’s me having this difficult time trying to fix everything to my schedule.
My goal was today to pack at least three boxes with few other things.

My day started like this with a list

Drop Niegel at school
Do the blog post
Pictures shoot
List items in the shop ETSY
Make breakfast frittata
Cook lunch and dinner
Pick Niegel after school
Take Niegel for Swimming
Drop at Knitting Club
Get kids to bed by 8:30 (including my -pre teen)
Get food ready for (Charity – CMN) I don’t complain for this I am happy to take part in this and thankful to have an opportunity in this event.

Not too bad for stay at home mom. Life changers in many ways with un- imaginable bumps bottom line is how I face and handle it. My motto how to handle my list is with a smile, a lot of praying, and asking strength and knowledge to face it with a smile I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Quote of the day " complete a project"


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fiddlehead/Ostrich Fern

Finally I was able to buy the fiddlehead before the season ends and learn more facts about his great food. This was one of my goals that I had set aside during winter. I found out in some parts in US 1 lbs of fiddlehead could be as pricy as $19.00. Since I live close to the fiddlehead cultivation area I paid only $ 9.99 lbs. Fiddlehead is native to Maine and New Hampshire. People resides in north eastern region pays a fairly decent price for this delicacy.

I got mine from Whole Foods there was one stand with fiddlehead. They were kept on ice all of them were in great condition. I bought one pound and washed them thoroughly before cooking. I also found out most of the time the fiddlehead grows by the river banks and the experts recommended washing it through before cooking. I let a pot of water for boiling and add the fiddleheads, brought it back to boiling, add fiddlehead, and brought the water back to boiling while timing it for 10 minutes.
Drain and soak them in an ice cube water bath to stop the process of cooking and to keep the vibrant green.

Then it was ready to add to my dish. We had spaghetti, clam, mixed with fiddlehead. Everyone liked it and enjoyed it very much. The presence of fiddlehead was very subtle. Littleneck clams were $ 4.99 lbs. this was a great combination if you want to try something new and seasonal.

Quote of the day “savor the sensual experience of eating”


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spending time with Little One

Past week we were blessed with beautiful weather. I grab the camera and Nicolette to the petting zoo. We are lucky to have this beautiful facility in memory of the World War 1 in Attleboro, MA they built a beautiful park for children with a petting zoo. The Cool factor is it is absolutely free. We invited Nicolette’s friend to the park and a great time.

I knew Nicolette enjoyed every bit of it. After long papers and studying test I was happy to enjoy this time with her as much she wanted. Nicolette had so much feeding animals and exploring the butterfly park. I was amazed to watch her using the big slide with so much confident. She is my little miss independent. That’s exactly I wanted her to have.

Quote of the day “giggle with children”


Monday, May 16, 2011

New Art in my life from my 3 D Art Class…

I took this class with hesitation because I am not good at sculpture. But I had a great time because I was blessed to have a wonderful professor. I love her work personally. She has done some great pieces and had them displayed in the greater Boston Area and was interviewed by museums and was written articles about her pieces in few art journals.

Having the opportunity work with a great artist helped me to look deep into my talents and art. I crated this mold from a computer program named Maya and cast on many pieces from grout as well as a material called ultracal.

I made this piece for our home. My hubby helped me with the backdrop. I found this wooden plank from an old warehouse which has been closed and about demolished and took it to Home Dept to cut into pieces. Talk about tools at Home Depot they have this cool wood cutter that cuts a very clean cut by guided laser beam. I loved it very much now I can understand what the industrial revolution has done to mankind. I was in ah mood then was thinking what’s happening to the job market. I guess you have to give and take what is best…

So here is the piece I crated this is 3D piece, which I adore very much from every aspect. What I like most on this piece is the naturally stressed wood back ground. I can’t wait to find the ideal place to hang this.

Quote of the day “use every moment skillfully”


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring has sprung…

I took my daughter to the club house to pick up Easter eggs. I have notice recently she seems to happy to run along the side walk until she sees the playground. Nicolette loves the playground so much I have been taking her to play ground twice a day. She loves outdoors I can’t wait to take her camping this summer. It is wonderful to see how she runs away I remembered and felt her taking her first steps few months ago. Time does fly buy fast and children grow up fast. I want to enjoy them as much as I can…

As we come home from her outside time she is ready have her lunch and takes her afternoon nap. I love spring it does adds different spin to everyday activities…

This past weekend was a special weekend for her because she gets to spend some alone time with us as her brother gets to celebrate outdoors with boys scouting camp out. They both get to have special time.
Happy spring…

Quote of the day “notice changers”


Monday, May 2, 2011

Red Thread Soap Company…

I am please with Red Thread Soap Company. I ordered their new product of lavender infused coconut oil as a hair treatment. I am in love with this product. When I was little growing up Sri Lanka. I was lathered with coconut oil. Usually it was the hair that gets this kind of treatment. That was the culture I grew up. I do remember my mom making palm oil which was a very hard process. But we would make it as a joint production and use throughout the year. Best part of making this oil is the aroma that intensifies the air. I can still remember those wonderful activities I did with my mom. She is indeed a talented person with many skills.
Red Thread Soap Company has done a great job creating this product. Coconut oil can do wonders to your hair. In South East Asia and in many cultures uses oils to message the scalp. Lavender helps you to relax and adds a great aroma to this wonderful product. Great product and very safe so far I have used it couple of times.

I loved the sample soap how it looks and smell can’t wait to give it a try. I bought the soap as a gift to a person who works hard with many Medias to create. I can’t wait to offer the gift and use my thank you gift.
I stored my coconut oil in the refrigerator because I like to use it while it is in solid form and transform it into the liquid base. I have used the lavender oil on my daughter once after a bath she was happy to get into her PJ’s.

The best part of using this product is that you feel good about helping someone. Great Job!

Quote of the day “ give anonymously to charity”