Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little House and Lemon Rice for Lunch

BigSis is reading HarryPotter now and it is hard to get her off that and make her read anything else. So Harry Potter is going to be the major player book wise in her reading list for the next months.

But since I love buying and borrowing books and our library always has an ongoing book sale where used books are sold really cheap, I picked up two classics for a quarter and two dollars recently. 

One of them is "Little House on the Prairie", the second book in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I hadn't read the Little House series as a child and am thoroughly enjoying it now. BS has read some other books in this series but not this one. She read and finished it in between Harry Potter. It is a charming book very well written and gives a picture of a different America years ago. The details the author adds about her father building the house and the front door which has a latch from logs is intriguing as is the part about the wild animals in the prairie. I wasn't aware that this was part autobiography and to know that Laura Ingalls really lived a life like that now makes it more interesting.
When I asked BS what she thought was hard about Laura and Mary's life, she said lack of Television and wild animals. And when I said what she though was fun about their life, she said "No homework"!
On Amazon

The other book I got is "The Swiss Family Robinson" by Johann Wyss. I had loved this book as a child and I really want BS and later LS to read it. On Amazon

The Food

Uma, a reader of my other blog had wanted me to post what I send for school Lunch everyday. Now BS is a fourth grader and I don't send a home lunch every day. Her school has a good cafeteria and serves decent hot food so at least a day or two in a week, I ask BS to eat there. Since her tastes are more Indian than American she prefers the home food. Else I would have asked her to at the school cafe every day !!

LS who is 4 goes to school only 3 days a week, of which one day is Pizza day. The other two days I give her a staple boring lunch because at school she doesn't want variety. Her lunch is either a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambled eggs and a bread or boiled pasta with ketchup.

BS however likes variety in her home lunches and so I try to rotate things a bit. I thought it might be a good idea to post the lunches that I pack for her, at least the better ones.

Today's(this was actually last Friday's) lunch was Lemon Rice, Brownie and a Clementine.

The Lemon Rice was a simplified version of the more exotic Lemon Rice. I could have added some vegetables but then didn't.

1. Cook Rice like you would normally cook rice.

2. Now heat oil in a fry pan.

3.Temper the oil with few cumin and mustard seeds and some curry leaves.

4. Follow with the rice, say 1 cup of cooked rice. Sprinkle little turmeric powder and salt and then mix with rice. Fry the rice for a minute

5. Next add lime juice. I added almost half of a Meyer lemon for 1 cup of Rice and mixed it with the rice. Also sprinkled a little sugar. Taste and adjust and you are done  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Aloo Tikki and a story

I have neglected this blog for the longest time. The house and school move has taken its toll on us. Also BS being in fourth grade now, there is lot of school work to be done which takes up considerable time during the week.

Of the books that have been read in the recent past we have very much enjoyed Laura Numeroff's, If you give a Dog a Donut and If you give a Moose a Muffin and now we are waiting to finish the rest. These books are for smaller children in the 3-5 years age range with superb illustration and whacky imagination.

BS has been reading a book for her school called "Letters From Rifka". She sees it from a school work point of view but I read it in snatches and it is a beautiful book. Yo can read the review here on Amazon.

BS recently also wrote a story which she then wanted me to post on this blog. So here I am with her story. The colors and font are all hers and I am in no way responsible for the neon glow

There once was a land named Sugarland. There was something very special about Sugarland. Everything was made of candy! The houses were made of gingerbread, the grass was made of licorice, and the flowers were lollipops! In that land of Sugarland there lived a group of friends who started a club. They named their club the Sugar Buddies. The Sugar Buddies had lots of fun in their club .They would do arts and crafts, sing songs, and help those who needed help. One day a little boy moved to Sugarland with his family. The little boy became good friends with the Sugar Buddies, so they let him join the club. As they got to be closer friends the Sugar Buddies realized that the little boy was very greedy. The Sugar Buddies told him “Everything here is made of candy.” The little boy said “I don’t believe you. The day after there was a big storm. The next day when the little boy was going to a club meeting he saw that a piece of some ones roof had fallen off. He thought about what the Sugar Buddies had said and tried it. He exclaimed “They were right! This is the best thing I ever ate!”When he got to the clubhouse he said “You guys were right! That was the best thing I ever ate!”From then on the little boy would eat the grass when no one was looking. Then came a day when he got caught. Some older kids saw him and made fun of him. Hey look, why is he eating the grass? Does he think he’s a cow? If he is, why isn’t he saying moo?  HA!” The Sugar Buddies saw the older kids and asked them to go away, so they left. Then the Sugar Buddies asked their friend nicely why he was eating the grass. The boy said he was eating it because it tasted good. He had eaten almost all the grass. A few days later everyone in Sugarland was alarmed. The little boy was greedier than ever! When someone asked him to stop, he would say “NO.”. The Sugar Buddies had to save Sugarland! The Sugar Buddies had an idea. They let him keep on eating and pretty soon he had a stomach ache. The boy said “My stomach hurts. I never want to eat any candy again.Everyone cheered loudly! Then they said “Sugar Buddies, you’re our hero!”

                                        THE END
Now to the simple Aloo Tikki which both the girls love. Well BS definitely does and LS says she does but does not eat hers

Boil 3 large-ish potatoes.

Cool the potatoes and then peel.Now mash the potatoes very smooth.

Next take 3 slices  of bread, remove the sides, dampen by sprinkling water and add to potatoes.

To the above mashed potatoes and bread add
1 tsp Amchoor
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Red Chili Powder (go easy for kids)
2 clove of garlic minced
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
salt to taste
some Beet noon or black salt

Mix all of the above with the potatoes and make a smooth dough

Heat a non-stick pan lightly greased. Very, very little oil is needed and spraying a non-stick pan with oil or greasing with your fingers works best

Now take a scoop of the mashed aloo, flatten on the palm of your hand and put on the pan. If you are using a large pan you can do about 7-8 patties/tikkis at the same time. At medium heat cook for 5 minutes and flip. You will see that the side has deep brown spots. Next cook other side for 4-5 minutes.

Remove and arrange on a serving plate. You can later make a chaat out of it or serve it to kids just like that with some ketchup.

These patties also make great fillers for lunch sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adventure, Mystery and Curried Potato Salad Sandwich

The Books

Last Saturday was a good day with lot of time spent in the library. The books that BS picked for the week screamed adventure and mystery

Key to The Treasure 
Author: Peggy Parish of Amelia Bedelia Fame
You can buy it from Amazon
I didn't read it but gathered from the excitement shared by BS and little neighbor girl that it was a hit as were The Famous Fives when I was a kid. Three siblings are the main characters who have major adventure when they  come upon a roll of paper in an old Indian bonnet which leads to a treasure hunt.

Pirate Island Adventure
Author: Peggy Parish of Amelia Bedelia Fame
You can buy it from Amazon
This was another adventure of the three siblings from the other book which was thoroughly enjoyed. This one also involves a series of clues and unraveling of some mystery. Clear winner.

The Tree of Life
Author: Peter Sis
You can buy it from Amazon
This is a book I bought fascinated by the illustrations. The book offers a detailed look at the life of Charles Darwin through beautiful and intricate illustrations. Voyage of Darwin on the HMS beagle and his notes on the various animals, bugs and life forms he observed and studied for the 5 years are offered as little notes with beautiful drawings. It says Grade 4 and up but I am not sure if BS was as taken by the book as was I. It was a good intro though to Charles Darwin, theory of evolution and as BS says "lots of animals I had not heard about".
We also tried to find the places Darwin visited on his voyage using Google Earth and that was fun

The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Author: Beatrix Potter
You can buy it from Amazon
LS loved this one and was mighty impressed with naughty Peter.

The Food

For Food BS made a Curried Potato Salad sandwich based on the Curried Chicken salad sandwich in Vani's blog. We didn't have cooked chicken so we had to make do with potato. We made it on father's Day and both the Dad and I loved it. BS loves her potatoes clean and not with too many flavors so she was okay and thinks chicken would be better.

This salad and then the sandwich can be easily done by 8-12 year olds with little prep work from the parent. If the parent helps the kid to make the salad it is ready in the refrigerator for the child to make a sandwich later.

This is how we did it.

What I did

I cooked the potatoes, cooled them and helped her peel. If you are using chicken, you need to cook and chop it or use pre-cooked chicken.

I also chopped the onion and carrots and added the spices.

What BS did

1. She peeled the potatoes and chopped them with a butter knife. We used 1 cup of chopped potato.

2. Next in a bowl she put 2 tbsp of thick Greek Yogurt (or use Mayo). I added a dash of lime juice, salt and sugar to taste and she whisked the yogurt.

3. In a big bowl she added
1 cup of cooked, chopped potatoes
1 tsp of minced onion
1 tbsp of chopped/grated carrot
few raisins
1/2 tsp of Garam masala
salt to taste
Toss it together

4. Add the yogurt to the potatoes and mix. Cover and let it chill in the refrigerator.

5. To make sandwich toast bread slice, spread mango jam/chutney (we did not have this so used apricot jam), place a  piece of lettuce and top with salad. Cover with another slice of bread.

6.BS decorated the sandwiches.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anne Frank and Easy Bread Pizza

The Books

Big Sis read "Who was Anne Frank ?" this week.
Author: Ann Abramson Illustrator: Nancy Harrison
You can buy it from Amazon

We had talked about Anne Frank before but she did not know much about her. This book which I found in a "Who was"series at Barnes & Nobel seemed to do that task very easily. She not only got to know about Anne Frank but also about the Holocaust. She was also very impressed with Anne Frank's spunk. The book is simple, with plenty of sketches, concise and gets the point across in a simple manner. It is intended for & and up and I think it is the right book to start on before the child goes on to read Anne Frank's diary

 To follow this up BS also read an interview with Miep Gies, the lady who helped Anne's family when they were in hiding and Hanneli, Anne's friend at the Scholastic Web Site

She wants to read the diary now which I guess we will do in 4th grade and also visit the secret annex in Amsterdam

The other book she read this week was "Ramona and her Father".
Author: Beverly Clearly.

The Ramona series is a big hit with her and also me. I love Ramona and her family and often look upon the Quimby household for parenting wisdom. BS loves both Ramona and Beezus and has read almost every book in this series.



The Food

BS makes a very good Bread Pizza and it is loved by all of us.

To make Bread Pizza

1. Take a slice of Brown Bread

2. Smear with Pasta Sauce or Ketchup

3. Sprinkle cheese liberally. What she loves is the Kraft Singles shredded roughly.

4. Microwave for 20-25 seconds until cheese melts.

5. Wait and take it out only when it its cooler.

6. Eat