3 Things Thursday {Week 52}

3 Things Thursday LinkupHappy Thursday and more importantly Happy One Year of 3 Things Thursday! When we started this link up it was to share the little things in life that we loved: a new flavor of tea that we tried, the amazing lip gloss that we found, a song that we couldn’t stop singing or a new recipe we tried that everyone loved. We often wanted to share little bits of life with our readers, an entire blog post wasn’t warranted but didn’t want you to miss out either! That’s when 3 Things Thursday was created!

If you’ve been following along for the last year you’ve seen us grow as a community and make connections with fellow bloggers. Thank you for making those relationships with us, linking up and sharing peeks of you lives.

In celebration of our one year link up anniversary all three of your hosts (Raj, Salma & myself) are hosting a giveaway. All you have to do is enter below for a chance to win all three of our hand picked prizes. Oh and because it’s 3 Things Thursday, here are the 3 things we chose for the giveaway:

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

Nisha:

rehal recipe reader rehal recipe reader

“As most of you have come to know I have a soft spot for childhood memories and Indian culture. Whether it be food, fashion or decor; I love when there is a little touch of ‘desi’ in the things I love most. For the giveaway I’m giving away a hand carved rehal (book stand) made from Kashmiri wood. I have fond memories of my Nanima (maternal grandmum) resting the Ramayana on it while reading stories to me. Because of its intricate detail I adore the idea of this being a kitchen showpiece – a place to rest and display your favorite cookbook or even just use while cooking when you have to flip through pages. Hoping this little part of me will make your everyday cooking routine more enjoyable.”

Raj:

Jaipur Notebook

“I’m an old fashioned girl and I love writing putting pen to paper when jotting down my thoughts, making to-do lists, or trying my hand at poetry – so a notebook is my contribution to the one year giveaway for 3 Things Thursday! This notebook is extra special because I picked up from a little shop outside of Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, and it is completely handmade {and pink of course!} The pen was a find from the Amer Fort in Jaipur, and I think it’s the perfect little accessory for a desi girl. I hope the winner will enjoy penning some personal thoughts in this notebook – and who knows she might even find a special little note inside!”

Salma:

book gift card

“For a first anniversary, the traditional gift is usually paper. Now I highly doubt that anyone would be excited to win paper. But then I thought, books! Not only are they made of paper, we love books in our house. Growing up, I was what someone would call, a “bookworm.” I couldn’t get enough of reading, now my kids love reading and I’m happy to share that with all of you! One lucky reader will get a gift card to a bookstore. If you’re Canadian, the gift card will be for Chapters. If you’re American, than it will be for Barnes & Noble. Happy Reading!”

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts! And don’t forget to enter out anniversary giveaway through the rafflecopter below.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

An InLinkz Link-up

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3 Things Thursday {Week 50}

Florida Happy Thursday! I’m in Florida this week visiting my parents. Sharing some of my favorite things about the Sunshine State. Less words more pictures.

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If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Family Time

Family Time [t w o]

Year round pool weather

Pool time

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Backyard Garden

backyard Garden

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

An InLinkz Link-up

Bhindi Do Pyaza

“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” -Anthony Bourdain

Sometimes the simplest of foods are the most delicious. Bhindi Do Pyaza is a simple okra dish popular in many North Indian homes. The name Bhindi Do Pyaza translates into Okra Double Onions, as double the amount of onions are used in this dish vs. other vegetable dishes. I’ll take anything with extra onions, sautéed, raw, fried, pickled – the more onion the better.

Bhindi Do Pyaza

I could have this any time of the day – in the morning rolled in a parantha (Indian flat bread) or for lunch/dinner scooped up with some hot rotis. It’s an everyday vegetable side dish that can be made fairy quickly. Onions are sautéed until translucent and sweet, okra is then added with the addition of spices and the dish simmers away to cook.

Bhindi Do Pyaza

Okra can get sticky if too much moisture is added, a few ways to avoid the slime is to wash and dry it before chopping and not to cover it while it cooks.

Bhindi Do Pyaza

Ingredients:

1 lb. okra (chopped into ½ inch pieces)
1 large onion (sliced)
½ teaspoon methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon lal mirch (red chili powder)
½ teaspoon haldi (turmeric powder)
½ teaspoon jeera powder (cumin powder)
½ teaspoon dhaniya powder (coriander powder)
2 teaspoons salt – adjust to taste
pinch of amchur powder (dried raw mango powder)
pinch of hing (asafetida)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
chopped cilantro for garnish

Bhindi Do Pyaza

Bhindi Do Pyaza

Method:

In a heavy bottom skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add methi dana, jeera and hing. Once spices start sputtering, add onions. Mix and cook for 4-5 minutes until onions become pink. Add okra, salt, lal mirch, haldi, jeera powder, dhaniya powder and stir ingredients together. Reduce heat to medium low, letting simmer for 20 minutes (mixing occasionally.) Uncover, add amchur powder, mix and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Enjoy!

3 Things Thursday {Week 49}

Holi Recipe Round UpHappy Thursday! This week I wanted to share some of my top Holi recipes from the archives. Holi is a two day spring harvest festival celebrated all throughout India. It is also known as “The Festival of Colors”. Bonfires are lit the on the eve of the festival. The second day the celebration continues by people throwing colored powder and colored water at each other. It is a joyous and festive occasion which welcomes spring and brightness in every one’s lives. (Think color run times ten!) Huge parties are held and parks are filled with people of all ages celebrating the festival of colors. Here are some ideas to make your holiday more festive!

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If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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DIY Homemade Edible Paint

If you’re worried about toxins, unknown ingredients or/and your little one putting powdered paint or colors in their mouth this easy 4 ingredient at home paint recipe is for you!

DIY Homemade Edible Paint

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Thandai

Thandai, literally translates to ‘something that cools’.  It’s a sweet, creamy milk drink flavored with nuts and spices and is a popular drink of choice during Holi.

Thandai Recipe

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His & Her Lassi [Cumin Mint Lassi & Cardamom Rose Lassi]

Lassi is a drink prepared by blending yogurt with water and adding salt, sugar, or spices to taste. It’s known as a “cooler” and served during Holi as a refresher after being outside all day.

His & Her Lassi [Cumin Mint Lassi & Cardamom Rose Lassi]

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

Masala French Toast

Masala French Toast

Last year when my daughter started eating finger foods I started running out of ideas for breakfast. She seemed to gravitate towards savory foods and I was rotating between dosas, paranthas and eggs every few days. She wanted to hold her food and her aching gums craved for something to bite on.  Although she didn’t seem to mind her morning menu, I wanted her to have more variety.  Prior to becoming a Mum my husband and I would rush to work grabbing tea, coffee, fruit, anything quick to bring back to our desks. Weekends were the only time I had time to cook in the morning and the only time my husband had the desire to sit down and eat breakfast peacefully. Now that our little one is eating “grown up foods”, I get to have breakfast with her and truly relish that time. In fact, growing up we generally were in the same rush going to school/work on the weekdays. Mom would force us to have cereal, some bread with cheese and jam or at least a glass of milk before rushing to catch the bus. Once the weekend rolled around she made sure we had a satisfying breakfast with dishes such as Aloo ke parathe (Potato stuffed flatbread),  Chole Bature (Chickpea curry with a soft warm bread to soak up the curry), Omelets stuffed with mixed vegetables and Masala French toast which we would dip in ketchup and HP sauce before eating.

How to make Masala French Toast

Masala French toast is something I started making for Little Mirchi which she immediately took a liking to. For this recipe I used a soft baguette but any bread will do. I like to use firmer breads as I prefer the way the crust holds up and the middle doesn’t become mush after soaking in the egg and milk mixture. Regular bread is scarce at our home as we can never manage to finish the entire loaf. When we do bring bread we generally pick up baguettes, Portuguese rolls or croissants, as they tend to come in smaller quantities and we prefer the texture and flavor more.

How to make Masala French Toast

Here’s a little history and humor about the name. For many of the North American sweet breakfasts there are savory South Asian versions, the traditional sweet crepe is our very own Masala Dosa, for oatmeal we have dalia or upma, for smoothies there are sweet and salty lassis. Masala French toast is the South Asian savory version of the traditional cinnamon and sugar laced French toast. If you’ve seen the movie Queen (Which if you haven’t I highly recommend you do) there’s a scene which describes the irony behind this dish perfectly. Rani (the protagonist) makes this “French Toast” for her European roommates. When one of her roommates asks her what it is she tells him it’s french toast, to which he responds “I am from France, it is not French toast.” Rani: “Nahin yeh sirf India mein milta hain. We get this only in India. (You get this French toast, only in India)” I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve watched that scene and how I get a kick out of it every single time.

FrenchToastQueenScene

When I’m making this for my husband and myself I like to incorporate chopped green chilies, onions and cilantro for added flavor and texture.

I love that Masala French Toast is a complete family breakfast that can be made last minute. I serve it to my daughter plain or dipped in a bit of ketchup. It also tastes great with a sweet and spicy chutney or hot sauce. This recipe can be altered to your spice tolerance and is a great finger food for kids or for adults on the go.

How to make Masala French Toast

Ingredients:
1 small baguette
4 eggs
¼ cup of milk
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons oil or butter
Optional: 1/3 cup finely chopped mix of onions, cilantro and green chilies

Method:
Cut baguette into 1 inch thick slices. In a large bowl wisk together spices, eggs, milk and any vegetables and herbs until everything is well incorporated.  Soak bread slices in mixture. On medium low, heat oil or butter in a heavy bottom pan.  Add a few slices of soaked bread to pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. You might need to do this in small batches as the Masala French toast will not cook evenly if you overcrowd the pan. Garnish with chopped cilantro or your choice of chutney.

masalafb4

Enjoy!

 

P.S. Don’t forget about the Freshly Picked Moccasins giveaway ending next week!

Freshly Picked Moccasins {Review & Giveaway}

I first came across Freshly Picked while my husband and I were watching an episode of Shark Tank. After hearing creator Susan Petersen’s story of how she started making the shoes for her little boy with leather sourced from yard sales and a tight budget of $200 (which she collected from recycled aluminum) I was immediatly drawn to a company with such a passionate artisan. A few years after their creation (and six design changes later) Freshly Picked Moccasins have gained a huge fan following from moms, celebrities (and their children) to entrepreneurs in the handmade market.

When the team at Freshly Picked offered to send some moccasins for Little Mirchi that I could review, I graciously accepted.

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & Giveaway

| Sizing |

Freshly Picked Moccasins range from size 0-10. The best way to choose the right size for your little one is to measure their bare foot and match it up with Freshly Picked’s sizing chart. I ordered a size 5 for Little Mirchi which are loose without socks, with socks however they fit perfect with a little wiggle room.

| Comfort & Fit |

The first thing I noticed when I slipped the moccasins out of the dust bag they were shipped in, was their softness. Soft as in butter, smooth, cushy soft – perfect for baby feet. I instantly wished I had ordered these in the early days when Little Mirchi was crawling and learning how to walk. Another plus is that they stay on! Little Mirchi has slim feet, which means most shoes I buy for her end up slipping off. Freshly Picked Moccasins have an elastic surround which helps them stay snug.

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & Giveaway

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & Giveaway

| Colors |

There are over 50 colors to choose from, ranging from basics, metallics, suedes, neons, camouflage, prints to pastels. I chose the ‘Merci’ color that’s a light golden snakeskin leather. It has the perfect amount of shimmer without being obnoxiously loud. I love that I can pair this with Little Mirchi’s jeans, dresses and even Indian clothes.

| Price |

Before owning a pair I wondered if the shoes were worth it – after all $60 seems a bit pricey for baby shoes. After receiving them and feeling the stitching and softness I can see the quality outshines many other baby shoes. They would be a wonderful basic to add in your little ones wardrobe, especially for those who are just learning to crawl and walk.

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & Giveaway

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| G I V E A W A Y |

And now the exciting part… Susan and her team at Freshly Picked have generously offered a GIVEAWAY to the readers of Love Laugh Mirch! The lucky winner will get to choose one pair of “Freshly Picked” moccasins in any size and color! This contest is only open to residents of the United States due to shipping costs (apologies to readers from other countries). Additionally, if you’ve won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in the last 60 days, you are not eligible to enter. Check out all the different moccasins available here.

To Enter: Like the Love Laugh Mirch Facebook Page and leave me a comment on the blog letting me know. If you already like the page, let me know in the comments section below!

If you would like a second entry in the contest, follow me on Instagram and leave a comment below letting me know. If you already follow me, let me know in the comments section below!

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & Giveaway

The contest will close March 11, 2015 at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be contacted within 24 hours.

Good Luck!

*No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be selected at random. All entries received after the giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winners do not reply within 24 hours, another winner(s) will be selected. Giveaways will be mailed to the winners’ address. This giveaway was sponsored by Freshly Picked. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that have relationships with Love Laugh Mirch.

 

3 Things Thursday {Week 48}

3thingsfinal-1It’s Thursday! This week seemed to fly by for me!

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Cast Iron

Sooo I FINALLY took the leap and invested in cast iron pans! I was nervous about the weight and maintenance but I seasoned them yesterday and made my first dish in them today… it’s a bit if a learning curve but the final results are completely worth it! I plan on doing a separate post soon sharing some of the things I liked best and what I had trouble with.

Cooking in Cast Iron

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Food Huggers

Um has anyone used these?! I came across these Food Huggers yesterday while reading an article on kitchen hacks. These are genius and I need them in my life!

Food Huggers

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Freshly Picked

Yesterday we got a special delivery in the mail – these adorable mocasains by Freshly Picked. Stay tuned to the blog for a review and an exclusive giveaway for my readers!

Freshly Picked

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

Bombay Style Pav Bhaji

 You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food. -Paul Prudhomme

Little Mirchi at 22 months

Can we talk about this picture for a minute? Yesterday I had Little Mirchi try on clothes to see if they fit or had to be returned (yay for online shopping!) This denim jacket was the only thing she didn’t fight off, instead she walked over the the mirror, checked her bad rad self out and took a seat on the window ledge. I don’t know why I’m so I love with this picture… perhaps because it’s so candid or maybe because it’s not the usual dress & bow outfit? What I love most about this picture though is that it captures her recent  “Miss Independent” personality with a touch of sass. All I know it’s she’s getting too big too fast!

Bombay Style Pav Bhaji

Back to the food!

Sharing one my favorite Indian street foods today, Pav Bhaji:  spiced vegetables mashed together served with toasted warm buttery bread. Just thinking about this dish makes me think of Bombay Mumbai! Pav Bhaji originated in Mumbai, India during the 1850’s when textile mill workers were looking for a light but complete meal during their short lunch breaks. A street vendor created the dish by combining popular saabzis (vegetables) and replaced rice or roti for Pav (bread rolls). Today Pav Bhaji can be found on every street corner and many restaurants.

Bombay Style Pav Bhaji

As a child Pav Bhaji was one of my favorite foods, I remember asking my mom for it often and she happily obliged (this recipe is a serious Mom win with all the vegetables it includes). Now that my little one is all about feeding herself with limited help from us, I find myself gravitating towards dishes that she can pick up, dip into, walk around with and eat independently. This is also a great fridge/freezer clean out dish. You know when there are tiny amounts of random vegetables left in the fridge or freezer, not enough to make up an entire dish but you feel guilty letting them spoil or trashing them… add them in Pav Bhaji! I’ve put everything from a handful of edamame seeds to a quartered leftover beet, you can completely make this recipe your own! The Pav (bread) used to scoop up the Bhaji are eggless dinner rolls, if you don’t have access to a local Indian store that sells these you can use Portuguese rolls, plain dinner rolls or seedless hamburger rolls.

Bombay Style Pav BhajiBombay Style Pav Bhaji

Ingredients:

2 medium potatoes, peeled & cut in quarters
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup mixed vegetables, I use the frozen blend
1/2 cup green bell pepper (capsicum)
1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala (found at most Indian grocers)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon salt, adjust to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice and extra lime wedges for garnish
Butter for toasting Pav

Bombay Style Pav Bhaji Method:

For Bhaji: In a steamer or pressure cooker add potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, mixed vegetables, bell pepper, ginger garlic paste and turmeric – steam/cook until soft to touch. Mash to desired consistency (I like some chunks) and set aside. In a large pan heat oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add in cumin seeds and one cup onions; reserve the rest for garnish. When onions become translucent add tomatoes. Once water starts leaving the mixture add salt, Pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and mashed vegetables. Add lime juice, mix well, reduce heat and let simmer.

For the Pav: Heat pan on medium low, slather butter on both sides of Pav and toast until crispy and golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside.

Bombay Style Pav Bhaji

Serve Bhaji hot with pats of butter, squeezes of lime juice and heaps of chopped onions & cilantro. Scoop up with toasted Pav.

Enjoy!

3 Things Thursday {Week 47}

3thingsfinal-1Happy Thursday All!

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Birthday

Monday I celebrated my 30th birthday. I had told my husband months ago that I wanted to cut my cake in the new house even if it wasn’t done – because that’s where I know I’ll spend most of my 30’s. Closer to the date he asked me again if I was sure I still wanted to cut it in a construction zone, of course I said yes. Not only did we cut my cake in the new house he had it cleaned up and planned a surprise with some of our friends to hide so we could toast with champagne and cake. It’s the small things that make life so special :)

30thBirthdayCollage

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Frozen Tundra

Ok so anyone ready for summer besides me? The last few weeks have been so unbearably cold! I’m ready for warm days, sun in my face and not having to spend 20 minutes bundling up Little Mirchi when we go out.

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This Video

Yesterday I kept trying to clean our living room and Little Mirchi kept dumping her toys back on the ground. By my third attempt I gave up giving my husband an exhausted sigh.

When I saw this video on Facebook this morning I was so glad that I wasn’t the only one who goes through this… this is real life people – mom life.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

Embracing 30

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” -Oprah Winfrey

MorningChai

Through the years, this weekend in February always seems to bring big milestones. It was the weekend my husband asked my parents for my hand, the weekend we put our first offer on a house together, the weekend I decided to pursue my passion for writing and start a blog, the weekend we saw our Little Mirchi via 3D ultrasound and it all became real. This year it’s the weekend I’ll leave my 20’s and start a new journey into my 30’s.

The other night I was telling my husband how I felt old and he laughed, agreed sarcastically and then told me to think about all the good things that happened in my 20’s. We all have highs and lows in life, and I’ve had my fair share of lows, but these are some of my most treasured moments during my 20’s.

In my early 20’s I got my first corporate job. Traveled often with girlfriends. A few years later I moved to a new state, took a risk and met a stranger, had my ‘jab we met’ {when we met moment} and married that stranger. I learned to cook with some epic fails in the process. Bought a house with my husband, demolished it, managed our own construction and built our home. I discovered my passion of writing, started a blog while meeting an amazing community of like minded people. Built a closer relationship with God. Pregnancy was one of my most cherished and proud moments of being a woman. I experienced motherhood, a daily peak of my life. Breastfed for longer then I thought I could. Experienced being a working mom and a stay at home mom. Had my words featured in web and print publications. Some of my best travels were in my 20’s including mother daughter India trips, once with my mom and the next time with my daughter.

Thank you my darling 20’s, for all you’ve given me. 30’s I welcome you and look forward to the memories we will make.

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