Girl Scout Thank You

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with some wonderful woman.  At one point in time they were girls who I grew up with and was a girl scout with them.  For those who know me, know that Girl Scout have been a big part of who I am as a person.  I loved being able to hear what my former Girl Scouts have been doing in their lives. We were able to watch videos of activities we did together and see pictures of some of the fun things we did when we were younger.

Another amazing part of the day was it wasn’t get former Girl, Girl Scouts but as well as Mom, Girl Scouts.  Being a leader now, I definitely have an appreciation for the adults who gave us our Girl Scout experience.  Right now you hear a lot about how in areas there aren’t enough leaders or adults who able to lead a Girl Scout Troops.  So I want to thank my first leaders in giving me my love and passion of Girl Scouts as well as the other Moms and my Mom who volunteered and drove us to activities. I defiantly learned that I have Girl Scout traits from my first Girl Scout Leader.   If it wasn’t for them I would have never been able to spend the night in Museums, done lock ins, participated in etiquette class and so much more.

I hope to see my former troop some more in the future and maybe my former troop will be able to do something with my current troop.

PS. Girl Scout Cookie Season is starting so make sure you support a local troop!

My Leaders and I.  Top Picture 2014 and bottom Picture 1993
My Leaders and I.
Top Picture 2014 and bottom Picture 1993
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Girl Scout Moms
Girl Scout Troop All Grown Up!
Girl Scout Troop All Grown Up!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas.  We have had a great day.  We kept this Christmas very low key with going to mass and having dinner with just the family.  Mom showed me to how to make a special Indian dish called Biryani.  Due to how complex the dish is I won’t be able to publish it at this point.  I need to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  Mom has a tendency to add things to pot when I am not looking.

Merry Christmas! Here are some of the decorations in our home this year!

Mom loves Santa so we have tons!
Mom loves Santa so we have tons!
Our Dicken's Village
Our Dicken’s Village

Indian Christmas Sweets

In preparation for Christmas, our family joined a few of our family friends to make Indian Sweets and Savory Snacks. Everyone had a special part to play in the production from making dough, rolling, frying, or other tasks that needed to be done.

Throughout the day, many laughs were shared, too many jokes for me to remember all of them to share with you. Okay, maybe some of them I am trying to forget. In the end we were able to make and learn different recipes. My favorite part of the day was listening to everyone say his or her favorite memories about Christmas cooking. I know for me, this day will be highlight in the years to come.

Below are some of the delicious treats we made. Unfortunately, due to the organized chaos of the event I wasn’t able to get written recipes to share. There is always next year!

Kormolas
Kormolas
Murukku is on the left and Sev is on the right
Murukku is on the left and Sev is on the right
Neuris
Neuris

Quick and Easy Breakfast

Upma- (Indian Style Cream of Wheat)

Mom makes this quick easy breakfast for Dad, it’s one of his favorites. You can find different versions of Upma but I hope you enjoy ours!

1 ½ Cups of Cream of Wheat

2 tablespoons of oil

½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

1 medium onion (sliced)

1 sprig of curry leaves

Pinch of asafetida powder

3 chopped chilies*

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Roast 1 ½ cups of cream of wheat in a pan. Once you start to get the roasted smell, take off the stove and transfer to another bowl.

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roasted cream of wheat

In the same pan add 2 tablespoon of oil. When the oil it hot add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 medium sliced onion, a sprig of curry leaves, a pinch of asafetida powder, 3 chopped chilies* and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Fry till onions until slightly brown.

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Browned onions

Add three cups of hot water to bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling stir in roasted cream of wheat. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to prevent burning and you may need to add more water to help cook the cream wheat as you go (Make sure to add small amounts so you don’t add to much water). Towards the end you can add coriander leaves as well. Dad likes ghee to be added so we add 1 tablespoon to the Upma.

Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys
Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys

You can also add cashews to the Upma, if you like.

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Looking good!

*Dried Red Chilies can be added instead of green chilies

Mom and I go to Hot 995 Jingle Ball

Alright, so most of you know that Mom and I took a break from Christmas decorating to attend Hot 995 Jingle Ball.  I won tickets after a very exhausting but fun filled day of collecting canned food for a food drive my Girl Scout Troop is involved in at their parish. When I heard on the radio I could win tickets, I went home and asked Mom to go with me to where the radio station was and she said No (She was busy cleaning the house because I believe we had people coming over).  Anyway I went and I won the tickets and told her I would take her to the show.

Last night was a lot of fun! We headed down and had drinks and dinner at Lucky Strike   next to the Verizon Center.  Tried to win floor seats and meet and great passes but we didn’t win.  But we did have great food and drinks and hopefully we will be going back since we have some passes for bowling.

So to the concert…

I have to say I was very excited to go and didn’t know really what to except especially when you have such a huge line up.  Mom and I were very impressed by all the artists.  Mom really liked Calvin Harris because of the lights he was using during his set.  We were very impressed by Kiesza, her choreography to her song was amazing. I was super excited to see all the duets to songs which have been so big this year (“Fancy”, “Black Widow”and “Bang Bang”).

All the artists were so energetic and dynamic, you couldn’t help but dance and sing along. The crowd seemed to love everyone especially 5 Seconds of Summer (we may have loss our hearing when they came on).  There were tons of artists that I would love to see live: Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato and Jessie J to name a few. Mom did get a little worried at one point when the entire venue started to shake, so you know it was great show.  Mom and I both decided that we want to go back next year!

Look out tomorrow for a new recipe.

Till Next Time,

Pida

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Natsfest with Best Friend in the Whole Wide World

My Best Friend in the Whole Wide World (BFITWWW) and I went to Natsfest today. (I have known BFITWWW for the last 25 years.  We grew up together on the same street.) BFITWWW loves the Washington Nationals.  This year on her birthday she and her family as well as Mom and I were at the first No Hitter game for the Nats.  So naturally she would want to go with the Natsfats and I said I would go with her.

BFITWWW

At Natfest we enjoyed watching Natsfest Feud with Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen and also saw At the Movies with Jerry Blevins.  I had to keep asking BFITWWW who players are when we pass by them or see them.  BFITWWW was able to get her picture taken with Bob Carpenter who announces the games for the Nats.  She was pretty excited. We were both able to take a few pics with some players, Blake Treinen, Michael Taylor and Steven Souza Jr.

After lots of lines and waiting, we had a great time! We both can’t wait for the new season and next year’s Natsfest. (Let’s say we both have a plan)

Till Next Time,

Pida

Natsfest

I figured it out!

So after many weeks of thinking about what to write about for my blog, I decided to write about my adventures in learning how to cook Indian Food. I will also write about books that I am reading and other fascinating things that may happen in my life.

My mom has for years been saying that she wanted me to learn Indian cooking but it never happened. Mom just throws ingredients in a pot and creates something yummy to eat where as I need a recipe to cook. Finally, today was the first day of my learning how to cook Indian Food.

Turkey Fry Indian Style

After Thanksgiving, mom made this Indian turkey fry earlier in the week and it was very tasty. Today, she made it again and it became my first ever Indian cooking class. My adventure in learning how to cook Indian food, here we go…

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Sprig of curry leaves

½ teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of grandma’s garam masala

½ of teaspoon of fennel seeds

½ of teaspoon of cardamom seeds

Leftover shredded turkey

You first need 1 medium onion finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and fry onions till brown. While browning the onions add a few curry leaves, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of grandma’s garam masala (since you don’t have my grandmother’s garam masala, the one from the store will work fine as well). Once the onion is browned with the spices go ahead and add the turkey. Add some water to help it cook. Crush ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds and cardamom seeds in a mortar then and add to the fry. Stir until it becomes dry.

If you want you can add coriander leaves (cilantro). Simple enough, Right?

Turkey Fry
Turkey Fry

Alright ,let’s go to something a little difficult.

Need something saucy to go with our Turkey Fry, right? How about a classic, dhaal (lentils).

Ready?

1 cup Mysore Dhaal

1 medium onion sliced

1 tomato sliced or diced

5 garlic pods sliced

3 green chilies chopped

½ teaspoon of turmeric

10 strands of coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds

½ teaspoon of cumin seeds

A pinch of asafetida powder

A few curry leaves

Take 1 cup of Mysore dhaal (the orange one) add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. While the water is boiling, add the following: 1 medium onion sliced, 1 tomato sliced or diced, 5 garlic pods sliced, 3 green chilies chopped, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, about ten strands of coriander leaves chopped and salt to taste.   The dhaal is done when it is soft to the touch. Finish the dhaal by seasoning it as follows:

In a different pot put 1 tablespoon of oil, a pinch of mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, a pinch of asafetida powder and curry leaves to sauté. As the seeds start to pop (be careful), take it off the stove and add the dhaal mixture to the seasoning and stir well. Turn the heat down and let boil for a few minutes. You want to get rid of the raw smell.

Guess what? It’s done. Enjoy.

Dhaal
Dhaal

I hope that was easy to fall along. If you make it and something comes out well let us know.

Till Next Time,

Pida