Guacamole on a Sandwich- An Avocado a day!!

Avocado sandwich

Hello Sweeties!! Greetings from Ashland!!! Todays post is all about eating good fat. Fat is as important as protein in our everyday diet. 

No Food is bad per se, its the enormous amounts we stuff ourselves with which we need to cut down on. Ghee is much needed part of a desi diet, rich in diary and vit D, the sunshine vitamin

This has been proven in Ashland as Ms. Ash loves her ghee and  has a teaspoon of it everyday like a religion. Mr. Ash not so much; Dr asked him to start the Vit D supplement even when he runs and exercises like that is  his religion.

So to prove my point and irritate him just a bit, I am disguising ghee in the tempering for subji's and dals also now. Cut down the fat in candies and cakes I say. 

Avocado was new to me when I came here, having tasted Guacamole in restaurants and licking the bowl clean, but the fruit  kind of overwhelmed me, how to open it and how to remove the flesh was something I never got to until, we got Food Network home.

Rachael Ray was using it almost 3 times a week in her cooking and such a cute healthy chef was really someone I could ignore for long. The way she explained on how to choose the fruit and cut it, it was no more of an anxiety situation for me.

Now we make Guacamole fairly often and enjoy it as a dip for chips, with a puhlka and even on a bread. I know weird but it tastes just fine. Even Subway has been  promoting it now. There is a reason for that, just am not sure of what right now.

Health benefits of Avocado can be read here.

You will need;
Flesh of 2 Ripe Avocado's
1 Med Tomato chopped
1 Med Onion chopped
1 Tbspn Cilantro chopped
1tspn Lemon Juice
Salt and Sugar to taste
Cumin -Optional

In a bowl, mash the avocado flesh, cover with the lime juice, this will help in keeping it green, (or it will oxidize like any fruit like apple or banana), add the chopped  onion, tomato, cilantro, salt and sugar and  cumin and  let sit for 10-12 minutes. After that, stir well or mash with your fork, your Guacamole is ready to be served.



Rose Water Infused Cofee Soap.

Rose water soap
Hello Dearies!!! I have made and send soap to a few of my trusted friends recently. I needed some opinion of how and what changes I needed to make. Some of them said no changed are needed while someone suggested if they had some kind of exfoliate in them, the soap would be a great scrub. Your wish was my command, I set the grey in my brain to work. I though of adding oats first, then backed out as I did not find any oats that were ground so fine. I searched my pantry to find any thing that would work, I found filter coffee, rose water, milled flax seed and some sesame oil. So with these ingredients, I set to work.

The wonder never ceases as I can mix and change according to my mood and fancy. Its as easy as 1-2 -3. Video link for melt and pour.
1- Melt
2- Add and stir
3. Pour and set in molds.

This batch I made is of rose water and filter coffee. I had made my homemade rose water that needed to be put to use, what better than soap. Next batch is likely to be with shea butter, cream, turmeric along with some sesame oil. 

Wish me luck and join me in this wonderful world of home made soap. The options and combinations are endless. Soap and lotion making has given me a good insight in things I can do and make in my home with everyday ingerdients. Do you have any tested recipes and home spa remedies that you have been practicing at home? Share them in Comments, looking forward to hearing all your tips and practices.


Doodhi Che Ghavan- Bottle Gourd Pancake.

Eggless Squash Chilla with whole wheat

Hello Sweet Buds!! Spring is in the air. Today it rained which is a good sign, April showers brings May Flowers. Spring is the season where new gives way to old. New Blossoms, new buds and new beginnings. Spring also is the time for gardening.

I am planning on making some organic gardening like growing my own herbs, vertical gardening and such. Watch this space as I pave my way in the vertical gardening space. 

I was reading an article few days back, where they were discussing the vertical growth of the metro cities. The land as such is all used up and there is no space anymore to widen the cities. So now vertical growth of the cities is happening. Roof top swimming pools, rooftop Gardens and roof top play areas are being planned.

I am not able to grasp the vertical growth syndrome we are all running behind. The structure has to bear the weight of the things put on it. Are we not heading towards self destruction. The weaker construction, cost cutting construction ways and things that we see make me think of a structure we used to build with playing cards when we were small. One wiff of air and it crumbled to the floor.

Recently, Donut made a "I Care" project in school, where he spoke about earthworm farming, organic ways to grow food and like. Where did he learn that? beats me.

I and the kids enjoy one activity in summer when it rains. We have an old house and the soil is rich, clay like. When it rains we see a lot of earthworms coming out of the soil. It has been a practice with us that we each pick them up with sticks and put them in the soil. While doing this we discuss how that will help make our soil rich and help us grow healthy veggies. 

Things keep changing around us, at times we change or at time situations change. Some things however never change in Ashland. Healthy food and my nag for eating good and enjoying life to the fullest. 

This meal was the result of strong dislike towards doodhi by Ms. Ash. I like the sweet halwa made from it, but the subji or veggie preparation turns me off. But this is an helping vegetable that should be a part of our diet, so I disguise it in a pancake.

You will need;
1 cup Wheat flour -
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1 tbspn Besan
1 chopped Big onion
1 and 1/2 cup Grated Doodhi/Bottle Gourd or any squash
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 green chili - chopped fine
1 tbsp chopped curry leaves
few coriander leaves
Salt and Sugar to taste
2 tbsp refined oil

water as needed

In a wide bowl take the above and mix with water till you get a flowing liquid. Heat a skillet, grease well with oil and  make pancakes of about 5-6 inches. Serve hot with any dipping. I made Beetroot Raita to go along with my healthy pancakes.



Choc Cream Flower Cake

Chocolate Creme

Hello Sweetbuds!!! Todays post is yet another awesome sweet cake, which I had the pleasure pf baking for our family friend who also happens to be our kind neighbor. Mr. J celebrates his birthday on Feb 29th. This year not being a leap year we celebrated it a day before.

 I was totally not prepared to bake this cake a day before when his sweet wife asked me to make him a cake. she simply asked me to bake any cake any size, with less to minimum icing. I have baked cakes for Mr. Ash's birthdays for many years now, but never done many for other guys. I was not sure what designs he would like or what his hobbies were or what flavors he liked. 

His wife also gave me no direction and left me at my free will. Her words were, "I know Ash you will do great even without my hinting you." I am so happy for her vote of confidence, yet pulling any cake off in one night is difficult for me, when I work in the day and evenings like any Mom is for kids homework and family. 

I was able to do this cake only for the free will she left me with. Her confidence shone in my efforts and I was truly happy delivering the cake the next morning to her. She gave me the excited look and said Mr.J will be surprised at the cake, and( :) no bragging,) Mr. Ash could not agree more with her.

 The Vanilla cake is from the boxed mix. I use boxed cake mix as it helps people like me who are in time crunch. There I said it. Please do not kill me for I use boxed cake mix shamelessly.

For the  Choc. icing;
3/4 cup choc chips
2 tbspn butter
2 tbspn canola oil.

In a microwave safe glass bowl, mix in the choc chips, room temperature butter and stir well, add in the oil and buzz in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir if not melted then again buzz in another 30 seconds. The icing has to be free flowing but not too liquid. One the icing is spreadable consistency, ice the cake and let cool. After its cooled, pipe the flowers using Whipped cream icing and top with choc shavings.

** Whipped Cream icing can be made by using simply Heavy Whipping Cream and Conf Sugar,

The Rec is as Follows;
1 Cup heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Conf Sugar
**One packet Instant pudding mix. OR
IF desired One Packet Unflavored Gelatin dissolved in water.

Take a bigger bowl and keep some ice cubes in that.. Over the cubes place anr bowl. Take one cup cream and add sugar and Pudding mix( if needed )... and beat with electric mixer for about 5-7 mins on medium till soft peaks are on the blade. The icing is ready. Fill in a piping bag and ice to your mercy.

I love making such cakes for my near and dear ones. Cake decorating is an art that is  slowly becoming my alternative career. I am told time and again by my friends and well wishers, that I am in a wrong profession, I should be pursuing my passion more definitely, do you my dear readers also agree to this??? Let me know in the comment box?



Kothimbir-Methi Paratha- Cilantro Fenugreek Flatbread

Hello Dearies!!! I am back today with another kids favorite. Both my boys love taking parathas, as they are easy to eat and filing also. But the main reason for me to make lunch box items that are  kid friendly is to avoid them being teased by their peers. Indian food is spicy, and has a distinct smell. I by no means give them traditional foods or even with strong spices. 

Donut takes food from home mainly because we are vegetarians and the hot lunch option  from school has cheese almost everyday in its menu. Its either cheese toast or cheese quesadilla or buttered noodles with cheese sauce. He prefers home cooked food so its mainly sandwiches, fried rice or noodles. I do not give him tadka rice, tamarind rice or biryani etc which can be difficult to eat for some and the strong spicy aroma difficult for others.

Yet  a few days back, he was mocked and teased over his lunch of fried rice. It was really unfortunate on part of the students to ridicule their peer over lunch/food. We did take it up and discussed the incident with the school authorities. But it has become a matter of concern as  a parent if things are going the way they should be.

I was suggested by some of my very happening friends that we overreacted and teasing was just a boy thing. I should have been more careful in giving the lunch to my kid that he does not get mocked at. 

Is this the way we react and is this the message we want to give our kids? If this is not bullying what is?

Respect is something kids need to learn from the young age and learn to treat others the way they want to be treated themselves. Mocking or teasing is fun only when both parties enjoy the happenings. If one party is getting hurt and offended that amounts to harassment and bullying.

In my never ending effort to give  healthy, easy for me to make and easy for them to eat lunch, I am sticking to  some simple meals. I try adding an egg for the growing boys as  our diet needs some form of protein. However much I try, I cannot guarantee that Donut will not be teased over food, but at least I can try to eliminate/reduce it at my end.

To make the Parathas;

You will need;

2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 cup Cilantro washed, drained and Finely Chopped
2 Tbspn Kasuri/Dry Methi Leaves-Crushed
Salt to taste

1 tsp Red chili/cayenne powder

1 tspn Haldi/Turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 Amchur or dry mango powder

1tsp Sugar

1 tsp Garam masala

2 tbspn oil to knead the dough

Water as needed to make the dough soft.

In a wide bowl, take the cilantro and dry methi leaves and the dry powders and add salt and sugar, add oil and mix well, now start adding the flour and start mixing in the flour. Add teaspoon by tea spoon water till you have a soft pliable dough. Once  the dough is soft enough, cover  and let rest for 15-20 mins.

After the dough is rested, roll out the parathas like you would make roti's( make small balls  of the dough and roll out thin round tortillas dusting flour if the tortillas stick to the surface). Heat a griddle or tawa on medium heat and cook the partahas on one side. Flip the parathas and spray oil and cook the other side. Repeat on side one and cook both sides. Serve hot with some ketchup. or green chutney or any curry of your choice.

Optional: If making it for kids lunch, I usually scramble an egg with milk and make a small frankie of the egg with the paratha, in this way.

Hope that you all have a wonderful time and smile when you see your little one bringing home empty lunch boxes.



Fried Rice-Kids Lunch Box

Hello Sweeties!!! Are you well today? Did the kids take the lunch with them to school without any fuss? Lately this has been the story in out home, kids wake up, get ready with morning rituals and  sniff the lunch boxes to try guessing, whats for lunch?

If this has been a regular thing in your homes as well, worry no more. Moms United is there to help you. I have been experimenting in few items that are not only loved by my kids, but which are also easy to assemble in the morning rush. This is essentially as easy as giving tadka to rice and gets ready in no time.

When I was young the lunch box never changed unless it was my birthday. Taking the same old Poli Bhaji aka Roti Subji made school less appealing, seem like a drag throughout the day!! The anticipation of whats for lunch, smells of aloo parathas smeared with ghee from an old classmate's lunch box kept inviting us that we raided his tiffin box well before we were actually supposed to, Come on; who ever will pass out on an delicious piece of aloo paratha, well not me for sure. Sigh!! only if my Lunch box was  worth the wait, School might have been an interesting place to be!!!!

You will need;
1 Cup cooked White rice  
1/2 Medium Onion, Thinly Sliced  
1 Carrot-shredded
1/2 cup Cabbage shredded
5-6 Baby Corn- Sliced lengthwise
1/2 inch Ginger--finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 tbspon dark Soya Sauce
1 tbspn Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 tspn Maggi Noodle seasoning--Optional
* I have saved it from Maggi Instant Noodle packet  
1/2 Tspn Black Pepper  
Salt and sugar to taste 2 Tbspn Oil

 In a wok, heat oil on a high flame, add ginger and garlic.. fry for one min...then add onions., carrots and cabbage and corn. Fry till the carrots get cooked slightly. Then add the Soya sauce, Maggi Seasoning and  Black pepper, Salt and Sugar.. Stir continuously...lastly add the cooked rice.. and fry for anr couple of min's.

The rice is  ready to be served. Garnish with spring onions if kids like it. Enjoy this fried rice hot or at room temperature.