Cookie Thief And Wish You a Happy 2017

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Christmas tree loaded with ornaments, gifts and blessings


It has been a while! In fact, a long a long time! Time to break the hiatus and share some fun recipes. And there is “No better time than the Holidays” to have a come back. And Cookies – especially home made/baked cookies did the trick for me. Sharing with you all my favorite Chocolate cookie recipe. I have hoped it tastes like the ones you get at Subway- a pure blissful and sinful chocolate cookie. My version of cookie is inspired from the online recipe here.  Also, sharing some lines about fun time with my little Cookie thief.

She laid on the carpet
with her head down,
I nudged her, elbowed her
But failed a reaction from her.
Then followed a tickle, a giggle,
And a half opened eye
With a mouth full of chocolate,
She attempted a smile!

Having caught in the action,
She ran behind the tree
For Christmas is here,
I can’t hide my glee.
Unstoppable she is –
the cookie thief – I call her
As she ran to the counter,
Then to the couch, the table and the bar.

Dukku-dukku, dukku-dukku she sang aloud
With all the gibberish she felt incredibly proud.
The march to the kitchen was in a jiffy,
For her anklet bells sounded iffy
Spellbound she stood at the oven –
The sunlight and heat rays were woven
Taking a break, I drew a deep breath
Without forgetting my sheath underneath.

I rounded up my hair and pulled out the tray
As the sweet warm aroma filled the air,
The tiny eyes glistened with joy
The Curvy mouth almost said Ahoy!
Peekaboo – She tricked me
And darted again
Roaring with joy and laughter
She knew, hiding was not an option anymore.

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Eggless Chocolate Brownie

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A house and Christmas tree


I have been looking at the sky. For a few days now. The dark starry nights are the best ones. To watch. To adore. And to retrospect. On crisp cool winter evenings, sharing a cup of hot beverage with your beloved while counting stars is one of the best gifts of this holiday season. For you, it may be driving back home during Christmas on deserted highway 101 with soft carols playing on Classical KDFC. Or just enjoying a nice book on kindle while sipping cocoa and staring into the dancing flames of the fireplace. Or watching Christmas special “Home Alone” with kids. Or just chilling out with friends in bitter cold by the bay to witness the mesmerizing fireworks to bring in the New Year. Whichever, setting you may choose, it is all about the company and the solitude, ironically all at once. And thoughts – bidding farewell to the losses and gains in the past and looking forward into the future. You celebrate together with your loved ones but yet are terribly alone in your retrospect.

What do I see in my version of comforted holidays? I see those glittering, twinkling stars. I see another year of strength, of togetherness, of growth and a fresh list of adventures. Stars inspire me to count my achievements. They reminds me of one of the Carols I learnt while growing up – Count your blessings! The words of one of its stanza goes like this.(Isn’t it amazing how even after years of learning and experience, one always retracts to childhood basics to draw inspiration and strength.)

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

As I am out of time, I want to keep this post real short. To sum up, 2014 has been a roller coaster ride! New ventures, move, new house, new experiences, new friends, vacations, friends and family reunions and new phase in life!. And as we ring into 2015, I wish you all plenty of happiness, new food recipes, new lessons, new strength. And for everyone out there I wish that aviation travel gets safer – after 3 terrible recent incidents. I also wish that there are better laws on gun controls so that families can be safer. And I wish Neighbors and family members love each other and value shopping and money less. May the world be safer from deadly diseases such as Ebola. May we find cure for AIDS in 2015. And may we all believe in ourselves and with each passing year get better than ourselves. In words of Coach John Wooden, “Success is doing better than thyself and not better than others. With this thought, I leave you all to celebrate 2015. Hope you enjoy this eggless chocolate brownies inspired from an amazing set of recipes at ChefinYou.

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Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani

 

It began as a dream, then an excitement and finally a relief. It took a few weeks before it finally arrived. It took us a few months before we digested it as a fact. And then every step was filled with exhilaration, every corner with endless possibilities and ideas, and every glance was accompanied by Indian head shakes (yes, no, no, yes, and then arguments 😉 ).

After having moved around for most of my adult life, for over an decade now, finally it was time to hold ground. Bangalore. Chicago. Matawan. Billerica. Santa Clara. For all those years, all the cities and towns I lived, became my home. However, tiny the 680 sqft studio was but it was mine. The fun, masti, chores, decor, roommates, all belonged to me in that little space. It was my address. Over the years, every place became a milestone to the next. Every rental an inspiring, hand holding and a comforting abode. From crying into the pillows on the days when I received a C grade to hugging and insanely shrieking into the walls when I passed an interview. To dancing and stomping unmindful of disturbing the neighbors next door, when our wedding date was finalized. To decorating the walls with extending family pictures from our Reception to praying intently in my little pooja room on days of self assessment, it has been a journey. A tremendous journey so far with all those memories of friends, acquaintances, belongings, favorite hangouts, cafes and streets. With every apartment, I left behind, I packed a few boxes of carry-ons and discarded the rest. At this point, you will believe me if I say I am a hoarder (I still have that Boroline antiseptic manufactured in 2007..sshh).

From Silicon Valley of India to THE Silicon Valley, we finally reached home, our (for my is belated and cannot be justified anymore) permanent home. Yes, our house keys arrived, a house that we can call a home for years to come. With summer in our hearts and on the trees, we moved-in with our right foot forward.

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Trip to Yosemite and Methi Paratha

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Methi Paratha

Sharing an old draft from late April. This one is about our (road) trip to Yosemite and nice warm methi parathas. Whether you dig in the home packed food or explore the road side breakfast inns, road trips and food go hand-in-hand. A hungry drive or driver ain’t fun. Here are some of the glimpses and description of gorgeous Yosemite in Spring 2014. Our 3-day trip was a blockbuster weather show. It included one foot deep snow, heavy rain showers and hail and ample sunshine. It is amazing how nature turns 180 degrees within a few hours. I can say this as a matter of fact since a road drive in the valley on our first morning was decorated with boatloads of snow and the same drive back at dusk deprived us of any white views; the trees were deserted, skies were cleared, and warm wind swept us. Just unbelievable turns. Here’s a bit on one of the most gorgeous views on our 2nd day in the valley.

It’s a Sunday. Cold, Bright and scenic. We were surrounded by the mountains. In Yosemite valley.

The Spring Sun was kind on us. Melting away the snow. Washing away the roads. Clearing up the winter puddles. Driving up a slow, snow chain-ed car we finally made to the Falls and stepped out.

Forgetting, the morning chill, we were left in awe. Mesmerized. What a view! Nothing like what we saw on our last trip.

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Moong Daal Chila || Lentil crepes

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Moong daal chila

Today I am in need of words. To my surprise, more than often, they just flow out of my brains and I don’t need to do much mapping to fit them into sentences or para to get my point across. But today, na..the brain juices refuse to flow. How on earth was I dreaming to take a online or in-person creating writing class, (may be in near future, scratch that), when I can’t even motivate myself to write a few lines after all these weeks? Yeah, again, work, work and work is keeping my plate empty from all my creative side. After having said all that, and having started to communicate with you with all the gibberish above, I think I will help myself (finally) by getting started with some encouraging lines, here.. the ones I (always) so rely on to shake things up..


It takes courage to answer a call
It takes courage to give your all
It takes courage to risk your name
It takes courage to be true

Aah, definitely so true. In more than one way, this pithy saying has stood beside me all these years, in all my journeys. I won’t bore you by reiterating my life episodes. But I do find amazing is that “this” is still so immensely encouraging and applicable in all walks of my life. Even today. For instance, this time around, it pushes me to strive to remain healthy and fit – to participate in the offerings of this gorgeous weather and sunshine. As the spring is on its rebound, I find myself reciting these lines to persuade myself to get out of bed, to get in tune with myself, and my surroundings. And oh boy!, these lines definitely work out for me (if you know what I mean) Did these lines help you find meaning in your context?

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