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So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Kahani

Kahani

Hello there !

This is nive.Author/web master of handful of joy.I am SAHM of two wonderful kiddos,wife of a Godly and very hardworking husband and above all the child of God,Christ is my savior.

If you are wondering about the title of this page,let me tell you,writing an ‘about’ page is quite a task,so I procrastinated and postponed it for long.’Kahani’ is hindi for ‘story‘.Say it like (k-ha-ni).

I have been always interested in food,who isn’t?Over the years,it became more than an interest,my passion to know more about what I am putting in my plate and what I am serving to my family everyday on the table.I have become more curious,conscious and attentive towards the journey food makes in order to end up in my mouth.Cultural aspect of the food attracts me.I find it very fascinating that how some food has so many different names and nationality though they shares very similar identities even though probably prepared very differently across the globe.

I am certainly not a picky eater.However like my mom always says,you eat first with your eyes, definitely plays the vital role in what I will try and what I will leave out if served  on table in assortment.The word ‘hate‘ is too strong of a word for ‘food’ in my vocab.Being said that,some are my favs and some I would not try second time,unless of course I am left in deserted island with that one food or die !Only time I would turn down the food completely is if it is uncooked or  too salty or charred and burnt beyond recognition or I  am being served the meat I do not eat.I eat only chicken/turkey and very selective sea food,so that is what i cook.

I am not good in creating recipes in my kitchen out of blue,though I certainly try time to time !My food is deeply influenced by my Indian heritage,my mom’s cooking,place I grew up, moved around,visited, live and the food shows I watch of course !

I am not always good in copycat the recipe verbatim  while cooking.I find the practice monotonous,limiting and not fun.So I  often end up tweaking the original recipe,many times in order to improvise with what I have in pantry for the lack of original ingredient asked for and sometime just to take a chance and see what comes out of it.I am also averse to measuring and I think it is because I  never saw my mom,grandma or anyone I know of growing up  measuring while cooking  everyday meal and yet they always served the best tasting food.Indians don’t measure in general,dare i say it.I have gotten better at eyeballing over the time.When I am not following someone’s recipe,I work in reverse order for the site

  • I note down how much I added “approximately” in the notepad as i cook, just to give you some idea.So my recipes are not exact,there is a room left for your imagination:-)

After coming to US,I have gotten my hands on baking.I am not an avid baker and you can say it is partially because of my dislike for measuring.But since I enjoy those baked goodies so much that I do take a pain to measure it and follow the recipe verbatim ,quite contrary to cooking ha ! So my kitchen philosophy in short would be something like

Baking is science,i follow the empirical formula i am presented with but cooking is an art.Spices and condiments are the colors.There are hardly rules which can not be tinker with your imagination when it comes to cooking.So add little bit of your imagination in your ingredient list,just don’t forget the love.

Since I am not an original recipe creator most of the time,I would link to the site of that amazing recipe creator,if there is a site.Else,I will mention the source I took it from.I would love the reciprocation if there is anything which I made and if you liked.All food Pictures are taken by me,if its prepared by me.They are not great looking,cutting edge food photography standard astonishing pictures but they are all mine !


My family and friends share some of their food passion here too.You will get the glimpse of the food prepared where they are,different country and surrounding.

I would love the comments/feedbacks if you have anything to say about,please don’t hesitate.So keep browsing.You may find something you like to serve on your table !!!Thank you for stopping by.

Lentil Salad

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Legume, Salad | 0 comments

Lentil Salad

Sitting around the dinner table and sharing a grub with good friends is one of my favorite way to spend the nice afternoon or any time of the day. It ended up being much grander then what I had anticipated. I heard the encouraging story of obedience .

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I was also privileged to hear absolutely phenomenal, knock your socks off, crying tears, 180 degree turn kind of story of transformation and redemption around the table during that hour. I cannot share the story here but I am touched beyond words by what one my friend has gone through and what the LOVE OF CHRIST has done in her life. My desire to proclaim the gospel ever so gladly has only been strengthened after her story.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” ~ Romans 1:16

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Conversation flowed with little bites of sweet potato chips, lentil chips, dips, fruit salad and lentil salad. I chose this spread of food keeping diabetic restriction,one of my friend i have, in mind.I will share lentil salad. It is inspired from vegetarian Greek food, the book I had checked out earlier from the library. I tweaked couple of things. I had prepared it for the first time that day(You should test the new recipes with your friends right?).It was well liked, so here it is.

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Lentil Salad

Ingredients

1 Cup Dry Lentils

4-5 baby carrots

1 shallot

½ Red bell pepper

1 medium tomato, pulp removed.

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 Tablespoons Olive oil

Salt to taste

Method

Cook lentil, covered in at least 2 inches of water above it. (Bring it to boil first then simmer it down.) It should be cooked but not mushy.

Meanwhile, fine chop all other vegetables.

Mix everything in cooked lentil. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

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If you want to , you can top it with crumbled feta or quartered hard boiled eggs. We just had it as it is 🙂

Pepper Onion spread

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Snacks | 0 comments

Pepper Onion spread

What do you do with bunch of red bell peppers ?

I love red bell peppers and I had bunch of them.It is a good problem to have but we were about to leave on long vacation and i was afraid it will wilt and go bad.So I roasted  the peppers and  froze them.You can freeze them without roasting but my oven was on, so I took advantage of it.One less thing to do later.

When we got back, I remembered those peppers.I turned them into a simple spread.

  • It is good as spread for crostini/bruschetta.
  • We love this with grilled chicken.
  • And when nothing fancy is available to spread on,simple cracker works too 🙂

It keeps well for at least a week in refrigerator. 

You can add plum tomatoes to it while cooking, chopped basil in the end if you want to. I kept it simple and let caramelized onion and pepper shine through 🙂

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Ingredients

2 roasted red bell peppers,sliced

1 medium-big onion,sliced

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Method

In a pan, heat 2-3 tablespoon of oil.Add finely chopped red onion.Saute it until little over translucent.

Add sliced bell pepper,season it with salt and pepper.Cook it covered, at low, until onion is caramelized and mixed with pepper.

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Enjoy it as spread with your choice of cracker/bread/protein.

Kale – 3 ways

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Veggies | 0 comments

Kale – 3 ways

Are you a Kale fan?

Well, we are not .Not without a makeover. I keep hearing how good these green leaves are and wished we start liking it for that reason alone. It doesn’t work that way for us unfortunately.My theory is, healthy  food is healthy only if you are going to eat it, not just talk about it.So I decided to give kale a try in different ways, with prejudice, i must admit.

Kale chips

I have seen them at grocery store and almost bought a bag. Then I thought, I will roast a batch.It was a clear failure in our home. It left unappetizing bitter taste lingering in my mouth.I wasn’t convinced enough myself to convince my kids to try it. Wrong road. My children taste buds are not mine.

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How to?

  1. Simply clean and spread Kale leaves, seasons with oil,salt and paper.
  2. Roast at 425F for 3-5 mins in a cookie sheet.
  3. Keep very close eyes .Don’t brown/burn it.Once out from the oven,let it cool down.

Enjoy(Well,that’s relative!) it warm and crispy.I have not given up on these chips after just one try. Will try it again.

 Kale-Dal(Lentil)

One of the easy way I sneak in greens is through soup and stews. So I added about 1-1/2 cups of packed chopped kale leaves to Mango Mung dal in this Recipe .

Verdict :My kids had no problem eating it.They were not phased by green leaves.It did not turn ‘Dal’ bitter.I was  afraid that bitterness will overtake lenti and it will be rejected unanimously. Tomatoes and mango powder had worked the magic. Just tomatoes will do too with punch of garlic 🙂

Kale – Mashed potatoes ( Borenkool Stamppot )

Mashed potatoes with kale.It works.

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Let me tell you,the moment I set this dish on dinner table, my children started spooning it.Why? Because greens never bothered them anyway, NOT. First, timing was right(?), I was late in fixing dinner and they were starving(not earning best mom badge here).Mashed potatoes was appetizing enough for  them to try it out.

Bitterness of boiled kale did not overpower the sweetness and creaminess of potatoes.Healthiness of Kale may have been compromised by the starchiness of potatoes but it is still a clear winner in my book.ugh..that was lots of ‘ness’ in one sentence but you get it !

So to summarize

Like I mentioned earlier, healthy food is healthy only if you consume it.

If we don’t like certain food we keep following in mind.

  • Try couple of times.Some tastes are acquired and it takes time.
  • Hide it in soup and stews in small proportion or mix it in dough etc.It is important that you do not add ‘too much’ of kale at once, subtle increments works.It is bitter in itself, not gonna lie.
  • Go Global.There are more then one way to cook green beans or Kale for that matter.Keep open mind.

 If none works, well God created varieties of foods and vegetables for a reason 🙂

 

 

 

Boerenkool Stamppot

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in International, Side Dish, Veggies | 0 comments

Boerenkool Stamppot

What’s in the name?

Well,if you are Dutch,you will know it immediately.If you are not, like me, then here is an explanation. Boerenkool is ‘Kale’ ; Stamppot simply means “mashed up’, potatoes being the consistent ingredient.

Just like Irish has colcannon (cabbage with mashed potatoes),Dutch has Boerenkool Stamppot.If  carrots or parsnips are added instead of kale,name changes accordingly.Concept remains same.Pretty cool ha !

What inspired  ?

My theory is when we are trying a vegetable or fruit, which is known for its failed record in our taste department, I go global.I research how the particular produce is enjoyed across different culture. Though there are some produce which are  grown only in set regions of the world, there are many fruits and vegetable available to us which has global presence. I learnt that Kale has been enjoyed by Dutch for long time, way before it became the talk of health town.

How it is eaten in Netherlands?

It is mashed with potatoes and enjoyed with sausage.Here is my version.

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Ingredients

3 Russet potatoes  cleaned

1-1/2 cups chopped packed kale(I chose curly because it simply has more personality to it in produce aisle)

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

*Boil potatoes.Add chopped kale towards the last 5 minutes of potatoes getting done.Potatoes take lot longer.Kale takes 5 minutes.

Drain water.Mash potatoes and kale together in a bowl using potato masher or whatever tool you got(hand works too-Indian way).

Add melted butter and warm milk.I just add butter to milk and microwave it for couple of seconds.

Add slowly to the potatoes and kale mixture as you are mashing them.

Enjoy it as a sidedish or with sausage like Dutch do.

We all loved this version of Boerenkool Stamppot 🙂

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Note : I boil my potatoes in Indian way, the way i have seen it being done for years, back at my mom’s home.I do not cut and peel the potatoes before i boil it.I simply scrub and  clean it well.If potatoes are too big,I cut them in half/quarters.So there is always a task of peeling hot boiled potatoes afterwards.Indian cooking chore.It was not until i watched my sister in law making her famous creamy mashed potatoes,that she peeled and chopped the potatoes before boiling them.If you are adding kale or cabbage or something like that,you want to follow my sister-in-law route of making mashed potatoes(evidently that’s how it is done around here).It is bit painful to peel the hot potatoes but i am used to it(and i am convinced that it takes less time then peeling and chopping),so i am likely not going to change unless i am making mashed potatoes+ 🙂

 

chilaquiles

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Breakfast, Entree, NonVeg | 0 comments

chilaquiles

What do you do with leftover roasted chicken?

Tacos, enchilada, Chalupas, Taco bowl, Casserole, burritos are some of my go to routine with leftover chicken. I remembered the taste of Chilaquilles  at my friend’s home.  I had tried making it once before in short cut way. So I tried to do it again, this time going all out way.

Chilaquilles (Chila-Kee-les).It’s a mouthful to say, Isn’t it? 

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 What I know about ‘Chilaquiles’

It is  very popular breakfast in Mexico, using day old  leftover tortilla. Fried tortilla chips are smothered in freshly made salsa. Served with Fried eggs, crumbly queso fresco and Mexican Crema on top.

My husband is not a fan of eggs with tortilla in any form. You can leave the eggs out completely.I stayed with meal version for our dinner.

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I hardly ever fry things. So I had trial short cut run before with tortilla chips. It works but the taste is vastly different when you do fry your own tortilla. Traditionally, day old stale  dry tortillas are used in this dish. Since I bought the tortilla for this purpose alone,I baked my store bought tortilla for 5 minutes at 350F to dry it out. It absorbs less oil while frying, if it is dry.

Ingredients

1 cup leftover roasted chicken in bite size pieces

10 corn Tortilla

Oil for frying

Tomatillo Salsa

Refried Black beans

Queso fresco

Chopped Red onion (optional)

Frying Tortilla

  • Layer tortilla on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350F for 5 minutes.It will dry,curl and crisp up a little. Cut the tortillas in triangles.
  • Add oil in a pan. I used steel saute pan and just enough oil to submerge the tortilla barely. Heat the oil without smoking it. Medium-High I suppose.
  • Add corn tortilla without crowding the pan and fry it. Keep an eye, do not let it burn. It happens very quickly.
  • Do not add too many tortilla at one time.It brings the temperature down and makes oil drenched soggy chips.
  • Once tortilla chips are out, put them in paper towel to drain extra oil.

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Refried black beans

  • Add 2 cans of rinsed out black beans in a pot.You can use Pinto beans if you like or just used canned refried.
  • Add 1 table spoon of taco seasoning, salt if needed,1/2 cup water. Cook it at medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Put everything in blender and puree it.

Tomatillo salsa

  • In a cookie sheet, add 7-8 medium sized tomatillos, 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 serrano chili(or jalapeno). Drizzle it with oil. Broil it until top is brown.
  • In a blender, add broiled tomatillos, garlic, onion, chili, few sprigs of cilantro, salt, 1/2 lemon juice. Puree it.

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Assembly

  • In a pan, add the tomatillo salsa and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Now add the fried tortilla chips to it and let it get coated with salsa.
  • In the serving plate, spoon refried black beans, salsa coated tortilla chips, chunks of roasted chicken. Top it with Queso fresco.Add chopped onion and mexican crema if your family like it.I do but no one else likes raw chopped onion in my family.Serve it hot.

It was well liked by my family. So I think it’s a keeper for us 🙂

Mangoes

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 in Food-lens, Indian | 1 comment

Mangoes

Do you have  a favorite seasonal fruit ?

May be peaches in summer and pumpkin in fall ! Mangoes are synonymous with summer in India.My most favorite fruit. Indian ‘Malda’ is likely to be the sweetest,silkiest  fruit God created in my opinion.No other varieties of mangoes that i have tasted comes close to it.Wish they imported it here 🙂

Place where i grew up at is popular for mangoes orchards like in this picture.To this day,in the beginning of  summer,i ask my parents if they have seen ‘manjhar’ (blooming mango flowers)!

Mango tree

Usually during summer we  get storms in India,which damages the ‘manjhar’  and destroys mango crops.

Mango tree

Mango tree

I remember when we were little,we will go walking and looking for small fallen mangoes under the tree after the storm.We gathered them.Some we sliced and ate it just like that,teetering tart.Markets are usually full with small raw mangoes after the storm.

Mango leaves and mango woods are used in many Hindu worship.

Raw mangoes

Raw mangoes

How do you use  mangoes?

It is more then Mango Lassi which is popular here in Indian US restaurants.Depending on the type of mango,whether it’s raw or ripe, usage varies

  • Raw mangoes pickle  is must summer to do.It is a labor of love.Homemade mango pickles are the best.Used as condiment.
  • Sweet and spicy chutney with “Panchforun” .Post for another time 🙂
  • Grated raw mangoes quick pickle relish.
  • ‘panna’ , delightful  mango drink during summer
  • Using raw mango in dish such as lentil soup or mango rice.
  • Dried mango slices(“Khatai”) / dry mango powder(“Amchoor”) used in cooking.
  • I learnt after coming here to use semi raw/semi sweet green looking mangoes in salsa.

I love all the above i mentioned but i enjoy it best as just sliced sweet fruit.During summer, we had mangoes as dessert after the meal growing up regularly.I am very glad that both of our children love mangoes.My husband has yet to like this fruit.That’s ok because i like peaches in cobbler only 🙂

So it was only appropriate that when we go to Indian store,we buy mango by the boxes.Don’t ask how long it stays at our home.

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I get the impression that mangoes are not very popular around here.I have met people bewildered not knowing what to do with it.

So How do we eat ripe mango?

It sounds silly question to ask but i get the question because i don’t know how to approach something like dragon fruit either.First make sure mango is ripe.Tart mangoes should be consumed as  condiment  in my opinion.

  • Is it green or yellow?Green usually means its not ripened but yellow can be deceiving.It can also mean very ripe.
  • Touch it.It should feel bit soft but not mushy.Firm but not rock solid hard.Not wrinkly skin.
  • Smell it.It should smell sweet.
  • See  the very top where it was attached to the branch.If it is green,means it may not be ripe all the way.Give it couple of days.
  • If the very top where it was attached to the branch is black and juices are coming out of with little press,it is likely to be overripe.Just use the sense God has given you 🙂

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  • Mango has one very hardy seed in the middle.So wash the mango first.Use sharp  knife and cut it lengthwise on both sides.You will know if your knife hits the seed.Just move the knife  away from the seed and slice through the side.You can score and scoop the pulp.Or do what my children do.Once the side of the mango is sliced,you can scoop it directly using a spoon.My son calls it mango ‘bowl’.I have heard there is nifty mango slicer available nowadays.

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  • You can also cut thin slices out of mango ‘bowl’,no need to remove the skin.Eat like you will eat the watermelon.It is dripping sticky mess.Or use spoon.
  • If you do not care about how messy you get while eating ,then simply cut/peel the skin off.Eat like you will eat apple,only more messier ,of course don’t bite on the seed:-)
  • Some mangoes are very fibrous,juicy but not meaty with big seed.Some are silky and meaty,which i prefer.Depending on the variety of the mango,slicing and eating method will vary.

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Oh the imagery of bushels and basketful of ripe silky smooth meaty sweet  ‘Malda’ is salivating !Hope you will try a mango if you haven’t yet.

Enjoy !

 

Spaghetti with baked Cajun shrimp

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Grains | 3 comments

Spaghetti with baked Cajun shrimp

Couple of days back,i was once again in the kitchen standing clueless about what i want to eat or cook for  my family?All i knew was it has to be quick and simple to put together and of course likable.

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That’s when i noticed  the container full of basil growing.From a month back we had couple of big tomato cans left out.We decided to recycle it.What would be easier then turning them into little planter?So we drilled the holes.Kids painted it with chalk paint.Filled it with dirt and planted the seeds.They were responsible for making sure that it is watered regularly.So now we have parsley and basil thriving.Coriander and mint barely coming up.

Our menu : Baked Cajun shrimp,spaghetti tossed with sun dried tomatoes,basil and generous amount of olive oil.

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Ingredients 

1 lb medium size cleaned up shrimp,Cajun seasoning(it has salt),oil to drizzle ,lemon slices

Method 

Spread the shrimp in single layer in a baking dish.

Sprinkle it with Cajun seasoning.

Drizzle it with olive oil.

Add thin slices of lemon on top.

Bake at 350F for 20 mins until done.

While shrimp is in oven,cook the spaghetti.Once done,add basil leaves ,chopped sun dried tomatoes as much or as little as you desire.Salt to taste and generous drizzle of olive oil.Add feta or Parmesan cheese if you like.I forgot.

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Enjoy it Al fresco !

How did we celebrate our sponsored child’s birthday?Part 2 – Experience

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Celebration | 0 comments

How did we celebrate our sponsored child’s birthday?Part 2 – Experience

If you have followed along on Part 1,then you may  understand that next thing we asked ourselves was, how do we make our kids tangibly experience what a life must have been for the birthday girl,we are sponsoring in India?

Easy answer is,take a trip to India to visit Apeksha. (Read Part 1)We are praying that this will happen one day for us. Until then, there are couples of ways that I can think of, to bring the experience closer to home.

Compassion experience

It is an excellent initiative by compassion. They set up a ‘mock trailer house’, similar  looking and feeling like what some of these sponsored children might be living in different locations throughout the country.

Compassion Experience Video

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I was pleasantly surprised that it was happening close to where we live in birthday weekend. Could God have planned any better?

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What can you expect at compassion experience?

We arrived at the location and waited for our turn. We got our headphone gears with mobile devices. We had a choice to ‘tour’ the home of 3 of these children in three different countries. These self-guided tour lasts for around 20 minutes.You can hear the narration in the child’s voice.You can tour each of these children’s ‘home’ , if you want to, in little over an hour.

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My daughter naturally picked India. We watched our kids as they curiously looked at very small rooms.They noticed the lack of bed as family must have squeezed on the floor to sleep. Noticed the pictures of the family and God(s) on the shelves. I can confirm that room was pretty good representation of what the actual house of some of these children might be in India.

We heard the story of how sponsorship brings transformation in the life of a family. Biggest of it being the family coming to Christ.

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If you have never stepped your foot out of US to witness the poverty that many Asian, South American, African countries faces, you may have the moment of awakening. If you have never sponsored a child before, you will feel encouraged to sponsor one as you look at the walls filled with the photos of some of these children who are waiting to be sponsored. We came back with the strong desire to sponsor another child.

 

Media

What if compassion experience is not possible for you logistically speaking?You must have heard that pictures are worth a thousand words. We have indulged our children with Hindi songs on YouTube and books on Indian culture. There are many documentary and still images out there depicting correctly the plight of these children. Some may be too hard to watch for young children. Use your parental discretion .At the same time; please remember that poverty is not pretty. That’s the reality of these children and our children need to grasp that.

 

Family Mission Trip 

I have talked to my friends who are originally from South American countries.One thing i  have realized that despite of cultural difference  poverty looks very similar in India or Guatemala or Brazil to name a few. If you cannot visit the country where you are sponsoring your child from, pray about going on a family mission trip to visit some of the countries closer to you, if it is feasible.

If you are sponsoring a child already, I pray that you continue to be the light and encouragement to these children by your words, by your visits God willing. If not, why not? What is holding you back?

How did we celebrate our sponsored child’s birthday?Part 1-Wishes and Food

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Celebration | 1 comment

How did we celebrate  our sponsored child’s birthday?Part 1-Wishes and Food

Couple of years ago, we decided to sponsor a child through compassion international. A little girl from India, the country that I am from. Preferably sharing the birthday and age as our daughter so  our kids can co-relate as we carry out the conversations about her.

Our sponsored Child, Apeksha, which means “expectation”  in Hindi, lives in poverty and not in safe community, as has been the case of many of these children. Growing up in India think I have vivid idea about what her home and surrounding might be. But our children don’t.

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We celebrated her birthday, a day before our daughter’s .She is an year younger than our daughter. So I asked our children what we should do for her birthday. Unfortunately we can not get the cake delivered to her even though it is logistically possible but not allowed for many good reasons. We tried few things such as

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  • Asked our kids to color happy birthday poster. We sent the actual poster through snail mail. We also took a family picture with the poster and emailed the letter.
  • Abby made a paper cut out flower in a vase, which we sent as a gift. Since we can send only paper gifts through regular mail.
  • We cooked the food that she may be having. Birthday in India for these children is just another day, no special affair because family can’t afford it. I went through her letters. Plain white Rice and simple vegetable curry with lentil is the food in the area, so her food liking was not surprising to me.

For our evening meal, I prepared plain white rice. Regular everyday lentil, no special seasoning and basic vegetable side dish and yogurt rice for the end. We took turns praying for her and wishing her happy birthday before we took a bite.

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Bhindi fry (Okra ) 

1 Lb fresh okra, cut in small pieces

2 tablespoon garbanzo beans flour

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

Mix everything in a  bowl.Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add Okra. Stir it and cover it until it done.Serve.

Yogurt Rice

Indian food tend to be spicy in general. So there is custom to eat yogurt in the end to cool the belly down. Depending on which part of India you are, preparation varies. In north, we have just plain yogurt served with the meal or sugar is added to the yogurt to be eaten as dessert in the end of the meal. In south, we have yogurt rice towards the end of the meal .

1 cup cooked rice

2 cups yogurt

Seasoning :4-5 Currey leves, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, chili flakes, cumin seeds,1/2 teaspoon lentil, 1 tablespoon oil.

In a pan or deep ladle, heat oil and add all the seasoning until it blooms.

In a seaparte bowl, add yogurt, add seasoning to it. Add cooked rice. Rice absorbs the yogurt,so add more yogurt if you think it is dry.

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I was surprised how much my kids loved the yogurt rice.I love yogurt in all forms but yogurt rice is  one of my easy favorite and now I know of our kids too 🙂

Do you sponsor a child ?

Pasca

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Celebration, International | 1 comment

Pasca

Happy Resurrection Day my friends!

We celebrated the risen messiah at the downtown square, out and open in our community with sprinkle of rain here and there. It is great that we can hold the meetings like that, so openly in our community without any fear.

I have been thinking of the events in Ukraine, Russia, and Crimea a lot lately. Persecution of Christ follower is very real at this point of time in that part of the world .I wondered if the resurrection day was marred with fear this year for them.Can you imagine the fear that your Bible may get confiscated or you may be arrested or fined for reading the word of God? Would you pray for the leaders, for people and especially for the children who are often most neglected and end up orphan in the crisis like this?

What is Pasca?

‘Pasca’  is sweet bread, popular at the time of Easter in East European countries.I  baked the Romanian version because  I just happen to have the right amount of ingredients in hand .Ukrainians have  very similar ‘Paska’ recipe, which is adorned with  resurrection symbols and lacks the cheese.

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What I liked about this bread?

It is very lightly sweetened bread. It also goes well with the coffee.Winner in my book 🙂 I didn’t think I will care for the cheese filling but it is a surprise element .We just started chowing down on it when we got back from the  church service since food was yet to be ready. It is kid friendly .I taught my daughter to braid the dough rope. She was reluctant in the beginning but once she got the hang of it, she was proud of it.Taste reminded me of Peruvian Panettone minus the cheese of course.

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Recipe

I followed the recipe verbatim from Roxana’s home baking !I liked the visual sign in the recipe as it says,wait for the crack to appear on the top.This is a clear sign that yeast is working and blooming so the top of the dry flour cracks  as it looks for the way to expand.

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My disappointments and adjustments

  • After I added the layer of dough at the bottom and braided rope around it, my well was not deep and big enough to contain the entire cheese filling.I used ¾ of the cheese filling. Cheese is the best part for me and I felt I didn’t get enough of it.

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  • Mine was also not shiny golden as it is in the original recipe.I think i missed some brushing step.

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  • You will notice the patch work in one of the side of bread.I was not very patient with snugging the end of the braid.So when i poured the cheese mixture,it oozed out little to make the spectacle for you all as it baked !
  • One more thing,i baked 35 mins as suppose to 45 mins what recipe calls for at 325 F.Also after baking at 375F for 15 mins,i felt the top was browing too fast,so i covered it for aluminum foil for the rest of the baking period.
  • I used cream cheese filling and vanilla extract. 

Since all of us took a bite from it all day along,i would say this bread is a keeper.Do you have a favorite Easter recipe?