A miracle of life!

Expecting a baby at an early age is not only challenging but draining too, both mentally and physically.Ten years ago, bearing my first kid, was nothing more than a feeling of desperately wanting to get over with the infinite hours of over stressed days. Not even knowing how to change a nappy, social circumstances had me married early and here I was happily fulfilling my pregnancy cravings, post six months of my wed-lock.

Then comes finally a day just before my first delivery, sitting with my mother and sipping an energy drink that our ancestors feed an expecting mother when her due date is near.The drink, made of whole milk with saffron and lots of clarified butter ( which makes me puke)and I am forced to gulp it down. Little did I know that would make me fat rather than helping my baby ‘slip out’. Lol. Yup that’s what every elderly person in my family thinks.

The very next as I lay on the hospital  bed moaning with unbearable pains of labour, and finally after hours of endurance I delivered a handsome baby boy. Being a mother finally transformed all the painful memories into a beautiful memory painted on the most elaborate page of my life…

The third day was the discharge and as I was preparing to gather my stuff, highly elated with joyous pleasure, the paediatrician entered for a final check up of my baby who had been sleeping calmly for hours. Being so young and naive, I didn’t realise a baby isn’t supposed to sleep for longer than three hours without feed. 

‘May be he is asleep as he didn’t sleep well last night,’I told the doctor,who by now understood something queer due to the lack of reaction from the baby.Except the breathing nothing seemed normal as he hadn’t even passed stools since hours, hadn’t got up for feed and hadn’t even cried since six hours.

The next moment was the nurses taking my baby away from my arms as he had to be taken to the NICU.Not knowing what was amiss, why wasn’t the baby responding , various blood tests began. Some of the tests had to be done at hospitals of higher caliber which were quite far, so blood had to be transferred into ice bags and were transported there. My eyes were swollen due to my constant weeping and lack of sleep. His blood was unable to break down the protein component of my milk, which resulted in halted-functional-disorder of some kind incomprehensible  even to the doctors. When the results came in, they were even more confused as all the tests were normal. They weren’t able to crack down the reason for this disorder, as we never had a hereditary history too. The paediatrician immediately contacted various doctors from all over the country and abroad in order to get help on the matter. With the grace of the Almighty Allah,they found a solution but were unable to justify its cause.

My mind lay stunned and haywire amidst the chaotic phone calls and relatives asking questions to which I had no answers. I was just praying and asking forgiveness to my lord. After five days of monotonous torture of fear  gripping my nerves, as my baby held for his tiny life, I saw his feet move just a bit and a ray of hope enlightened my world.That sudden thump of my heart when everyone lay busy  in their chores, is the memory  vividly strong in my mind till date and will forever be. A MIRACLE OF LIFE! 

My prayers were answered and my baby started recovering gradually during the coming days. Even the doctors were stunned. Slowly the top feed was replaced with my milk and there weren’t any problems reported.( the tests were performed on a daily basis).

My son started gaining the lost weight, and became mobile and active , showing all signs of a healthy normal baby.But the doctors were still confused and this case was taken to  the higher medical council of the state were meetings were held in order to find the cause. After many assumptions, ( of course Miracles don’t need a cause) they finally stated a MAYBE CAUSE.

MAY BE IT WAS DUE TO THE SLOW FUNCTIONING OF THE INTERNAL ORGANS WHICH TOO TIME TO BREAK DOWN THE  PROTEINS OF THE MILK.

That was the reason stated by the doctors but I define it my way; A MIRACLE OF LIFE PERFORMED BY MY LORD.

The OS syndrome-how to control  your online shopping addiction.

   
 When the world’s incredible things are at your disposal and a keypad with wifi at your fingertips, you seem to own the world.

‘Online shopping ‘- yup that is the definition for the most inexorable addiction channeling through various gizmos these days, have halted people and their mindsets into a fantasy-laid- state, creating more n more shopaholics each day. When everything is just a button away, pockets are drained dry even before the mid- month, and the rest of the month is spent in waiting for the first day of the next( when we usually get our allowance or salary.) 

 I so call it a “Syndrome” as it has led me too in its on flowing stream of wants,turned me into a shopaholic  and I became unable to decipher my needs from my wants. I still do it, but control it to a great extent.

There were days when I used to spend hours browsing for the perfect pair of shoes to the perfect pair of ear studs and go bonkers over the in numerous offers and sales. From site to site , I lost track of time. It was a new world to me , with infinite boutiques of stuff, kinda lost in a fairy tale land with a desire to enhance my wardrobe each day.(most of the stuff lays un used till date.) I even kept ordering for my kids , mostly apparels, and the left over time was spent in figuring a way to stack up and manage the money to pay the COD’s. It took over me so badly , I started neglecting important chores and kids. Of course they would be happy when receiving those parcels, but it would not last for long. So for those temporary moments, I was going astray.  

 Realisation hit me, when my elder daughter fell off the stairs, and there I was browsing, not attentive enough to notice until she came with a bruise on her elbow. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself much.From then I decided to put a check on this habit of mine.

  • Do some stress cleaning 

Cleaning your closet and shoe rack will help you realise the number of things lying unused or many items that are hardly used. It also relieves stress,as  going through old items like photos , cards etc is refreshing.

  • Save money

Decide on a particular amount as target on a yearly basis( keeping a high target ) which will help you save more than spend.

  • Off the wifi-Go take a walk

Whenever you feel the need to browse stuff online,just switch off ur wifi and go out for a walk, or indulge in some work out. If you feel lazy , then treat yourself with an ice cream instead. It’s better than being a shopaholic.

  • Pray and meditate

Praying has been proven to have astounding effects on mind and soul. Meditation has even better outcomes, in contrast with the chaotic world around us.

  • Do some baking

Sweet treats are simply ravishing after a day’s work, but obviously tastes better when it’s made by you. It’s simply a divine merriment when you bake a cake or accomplish a challenging dessert recipe, taking your mind off things for quite a while.

  • Watch your favourite TV show

The moment you take your smart phone in hand for browsing, prove you are smarter. Take a chill pill, go online and watch your favourite TV show instead. Mine is the vampire diaries… What’s yours?

  • Delete the shopping apps

These days we find a lot of ads compelling us to download innumerable  web related apps. Just delete the ones you have downloaded and avoid more.

  • Make a list of your priorities 

Making a scheduled list has always helped. But here the idea is not making a chore list but making a list of the fundamentals which you prefer doing other than shopping, like reading painting, listening music, dancing , any outdoor sport and try performing a different task each day. It surely helps, as mine is blogging.

So less of OS AND MORE OF HH…

Happy hobbies!!!!

    Chermoula Prawns..

        A multi cuisine restaurant where you can have enough assortments to pacify your tastebuds, Cafe Basilico offers great dishes, providing a top class hygiene. 

    One of my favourite dishes from here is chermoula chicken skewers, a green marinade , hailing from South Africa. So restless to try the same taste in prawns, was what I was dying for. Ok , that says I love sea- food. But simultaneously keeping a check on health factor, grilled prawns are a better outcome, ( for taste as well.)

      So paired with assorted stir fried/ steamed vegetables gives a gratifying meal. Hope this one will captivate your hearts and become your weekly flavour, as it’s extremely effortless to concoct. 

     Ingredients 

    1. 1 kg prawns/chicken
    2. A bunch of coriander leaves
    3. A bunch of mint leaves
    4. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
    5. 5-6 green chillies
    6. 8-10 cloves of garlic 
    7. 1 whole lemon’s juice
    8. 1 tsp black pepper powder
    9. Salt to taste

    Method

      Grind ingredients 2-9 into a fine paste for the marinade and marinate the prawns/chicken for 3-4 hours.Grill on an electric braai or stir fry in a pan until cooked properly.serve with stir fried veggies of your choice. Also great with mashed potatoes.

      Easy to prepare, this recipe is great for parties and gatherings. Sure to enthral your kids too.

      Curbing the intense- how to overcome bad habits in kids….

       Parenting requires a full time duty, which goes on inexorably throughout our lives. It’s not just a 24/7 scheduled anaphoric job, but makes us more of an all-rounder professionalist from a doctor to a teacher and lot more. And not any doctor, but a psychiatrist. Truely, we are so jammed up performing little acts of these people on a daily basis, that we forget the most important role to be in with our kids- the one they need the most in a parent–

      A FRIEND 

       Relying  on our instincts (and anger too) is what we do most. But  counselling with our mothers and paediatricians has proven to have immensely positive results in their upbringing .so below are some useful suggestions; if followed; can not only improve our parenting tactics, but also help ourselves to remain calm mentally and cherish the childhood of our kids.

      • Be a friend.

      Studies have shown that friendship between parents and their kids has astounding  results in boosting a child’s confidence and performance. It also helps in curbing bad habits and encourages polished etiquettes.

      • Time to time counselling with a knowledgeable person

      This gives us a better grasp of our current scenario- as parents we tend to face day to day challenges like lack of studying , activities or misbehaviours etc. Discussion proves to relax mind as sharing our anxieties relieves stress.

      • Talk to them

      Most important base of a relationship is easy communication. We talk with our kids and share; so do they. They learn from us. Take interest in everything they tell you, though it may seem irrelevant at earlier stage, forming a habit to talk with you will never allow them to keep anything from you.

      • Imagine yourself in their place/age

      One of the greatest fears of a parent is their children repeating the same mistakes done by then when they were kids. But we need to understand, putting ourselves in their place, come out with a suitable solution to the problem they face. Imagining ourselves in their place will help us comprehend them better.

      • Respect their wants

      We often say no when kids ask for something, because we know their needs from wants. But it’s better to acknowledge the fact that those wants become their need due to the competition they face in school with their friends. Someone from their group might have more luxuries like a play station, iPhones, iPad etc. At such situations, dont promptly deny them. Instead  try to deal with them, asking for something in return,like better behaviour or better scores. This way both sides win!!

      • Pray play and eat together

      A family that eats together,prays together and plays together is a happy and content family. Unity in family is mandatory for a docile upbringing of children. 

        

      • Try giving minor responsibilities

      The first step towards this is encouraging children to perform tiny tasks, (of course you have to tolerate a little jibber jabber,but it will stop eventually,believe me).  Another useful method is allotting little amounts of fixed allowance weekly or monthly, which will help developing a habit to save money, helping them to understand the meaning of being responsible better. It will also enhance their calculating skills and will learn to be careful by handling money.

      Hope this post helps you in a better upbringing of your little ones and keeping a check on their mannerisms.


      Two ingredient mousse!!!

        My life changed drastically after the birth of my third child, and as you all know it’s no easy job being a referee. Yup, thats what my friends call me now, as I have become super busy to meet them. But parenting has its own unique challenges and obstacles, like making instant meals as per your kids wishes. Though the greater challenge lies in making with whatever stuff handy and minimal ingredients. 

      Also It requires a lot of mental synthesis to decide different recipes everyday; which in turn demands various products to be available at your disposal. Desserts too are a  boon in bribing  kids to finish their meals and chores on time.

         So here is a recipe of chocolate mousse, so yumm, with only two ingredients and a minute of you precious time. 

       Ingredients 

      1. 200 grms Nutella
      2. 200 ml fresh cream
      3. 1tbsp sugar(opt)

      Method 

      Combine Nutella n cream n beat on high for a minute or two. Fill into mousse cups n refrigerate until set. Garnish with walnuts or toppings of your choice n serve.

        This delectable yet easy dessert is my favourite, as it is a time-saver. It is also a great dessert for small parties, and believe me, all from kids to adults simply enjoy this luscious dessert. Go , give it a try!!!

      Malaysian prawns….

        
          So here’s another one of the fusion recipes that I successfully accomplished, after a few trials of – course. Believe me, nothing better than a sea food menu on a weekend with your family of prawn-lovers. No more I -don’t -wanna – eat tantrums when you have an elvishly planned meal for your little ones.

        Voilà!! Here is the recipe of all times, hailing from the legendary Malaysian cuisine with a kick of our very own exemplary Indian spices. So savour each bite, pairing with either rice or fries and a light salad.

      Ingredients 

      1. 1kg prawns
      2. 1/2cup heavy cream
      3. 1 cup coconut milk
      4. 1/4 cup cheese spread
      5. 2tbsp ginger piced
      6. 5-6 cloves of garlic
      7. 5-6 whole red chillies
      8. 1/2 onion
      9. 1/2 lemon juice
      10. 1tsp cumin powder
      11. 1tsp red chilli powder 
      12. 1 tsp garam masala(5spice)powder
      13. Salt n pepper 
      14. Oil 
      15. Chopped parsley/coriander

      Method

      Grind a fine paste of onion, garlic,ginger and red chillies. Heat oil in a wok and add the prawns. Cook till almost done. Add the ground paste and the rest of the ingredients one by one, starting with spices and ending with cheese. Continue to sauté on high till thick and well reduced. Garnish with coriander/parsley and serve with rice or fries.( can add veggies like bell peppers and baby corn too).

          Trying this incredible dish , you will surely mark it in your favourite top ten.  

      Lasagne Fusion…..

                  Recently had an amazing entreé so blissful; it’s surely gonna leave you lusting for more. I had had once for dinner in a party , but since couldn’t savour it enough, I tried it the very next day . But I found something missing, so I added my homemade shezwan sauce to it….

           Yup!!! That’s what gave the dish an exotic kick- a twist which I always crave while trying to replicate a dish I eat at a party or restaurant. This one is simply going to pamper your tastebuds and enthral your senses. Comfort food is the category in which this dish must rightly fall into. Hailing from Italian cuisine where cheese , being the most requisite ingredient, with a fusion of Chinese shezwan sauce, it’s a must try.

      lasagne fusion

      Ingredients 

      1. 2-3tbsp all purpose flour
      2. 3 tbsp butter or oil
      3. 200 grms fresh cream
      4. 200 ml milk
      5. 250 grms boneless chicken( cut in cubes)
      6. 200 grms bell peppers( cut in cubed)
      7. 150 grms brocolli ( in pieces)
      8. 4-5 baby corns (sliced)
      9. 1 tbsp oregano 
      10. 1tsp paprika
      11. 1 tsp pepper pd n salt
      12. Chicken stock(frm above)
      13. 4-5Lasagne sheets(cooked n drained)
      14. 2-3 green chillies (chopped)
      15. 1 bowl shezwan sauce( preferably homemade)
      16. 300 grms grated cheese

      Method 

         Boil chicken cubes in ginger garlic paste . Drain and reserve the stock. In a wok , heat butter add flour and sauté until fragrant. Immediately add oregano paprika and chillies. Stir in milk and fresh cream and sauté for another minute. Add salt, pepper powder and veggies. Simmer for 3-4 mins until half done. Add chicken and stock. Pour in some water if required. Add half of the cheese,mix well and remove from heat. In an oven proof dish, spread2-3 lasagne sheets, pour half of the shezwan sauce and then pour all the white sauce mixture . Cover with the remaining sheets, spread the leftover shezwan sauce and the remaining cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil(opt) . Bake in the oven for about 20 mins at 160  degrees F*. Enjoy when done.

                 Do try this fusion recipe and keep looking into my blog for more fusions… Next one on my list Is Malaysian prawns which I had in South Africa at Kashifs…. A restaurant owned by a man wth the same name; also a master of fusion cuisine. So hang on for more…..

      Frozen – movie and a dessert!!!

            Pleasing kids is not an easy métier; and when the demand is spending quality time with your little buddies, a parent needs to disguise herself / himself as a kid even younger to them. As the world advances towards new technologies, the kids have become more demanding by nature; and never settle for less. We as parents also endeavour a lot on providing the best for our little ones, be it anything from games to food. Especially, when it comes to food, I being a spontaneous cook , like to make something instead of ordering ,( when in mood , of course, coz ordering from out is much more painless.)

             Yet another holiday today, and deciding something fruitful and funfull that can be implemented…. With kids..,, lol. I would recommend the movie Frozen with a delicious frozen dessert. Wow !!! That sounds entrancing after a simple dinner, this heavy and nutritious dessert is surely to win your kid’s hearts.  So get up and get going……

      Frozen cheese cake

      Ingredients:

      1.  200 ml fresh cream
      2. I tin nestle cream
      3. 1 pack laughing cow cheese triangles
      4. 1 tin nestle milkmaid ( condensed milk)
      5. 1/2 cup milk
      6. I small pack of digestive / Marie biscuits
      7. 1/2 tinned pineapple slices cut in small pieces
      8. 1/2 cup chocolate syrup 
      9. 1 cup cornflakes

      Method: In a bowl , blend together the cheese, milks and creams. For the base, grind the biscuits and spread in a deep dish and freezeEdit for five mins. You can also break the pieces and add to the blended mixture .( Cake without base, to save time). Pour the cream mixture over the base… If you are preparing without one, then pour directly in the dish. Add pineapple pieces and freeze for 6-8 hours on high. When well Frozen , top it with chocolate sauce and cornflakes . Make triangular pieces and serve.

        You can top it with variety of toppings like strawberry , blueberry syrups, or fresh fruits or garnish with your choice of nuts too! As for the movie, it’s so amazing, you will want to watch it again with more yummy desserts. Yes you are right, more lovely recipes on the way. Till then , enjoy!!

      Happy Independence Day-  proud to be an Indian!!! A ravishing recipe on the very theme.

          
            Saffron , white , green and the blue chakra are the colours of our Tiranga, also the more prominent colours of the rainbow. How can we miss them being true- hearted Indians. How about a Recipe named Rainbow rice… Actually it should be renamed- Tiranga rice – to go along with our theme.

        

       
           Finger-licking goodness is what is promised here in this delicacy. 

      Ingredients:

      1. 1 kg boneless chicken 
      2. 2-3 tbsp ginger- garlic paste
      3. 1/4 kg curd
      4. 1/2 pack tandoori masala
      5. 150grms French beans( cut into strips)
      6. 1/4 kg carrot (cut into strips)

      Grind a paste of :

      1. 1 fistfull of almonds and cashews 
      2. 2 tsp red chilli pd
      3. 2 tbsp ketchup
      4. 2 tbsp red chilli sauce
      5. 2 tbsp hot sauce
      6. 1 tbsp soya sauce 
      7. 4-5 boiled eggs
      8. 4-5 tbsp cooking oil
      9. Salt to taste
      10. 2 tins half  boiled n drained rice

      Method: Heat oil and fry the boiled eggs till golden . Remove and fry the veggies. Remove and set aside. Add tle chicken, the ground paste , chilli pd , tandoori masala and sauces and sauté well. Add curd and cover and cook till chicken is tender. Add the veggies and eggs and mix well. ( can add fried potato strips). Cover up with boiled rice . Colour the twice by adding food colours (Orange, green , blue and yellow , keeping one section white). Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low flame till aroma arises (25-30 mins). Serve with raita or salad.

              

      Café Basilico- A Scrumptious dining place!

            
           Yet as another weekend approaches, my mind is already racing from managing my chores-to -do- list to where-to-eat-on-Saturday kind of stuff. As a mother of three , my pre – planned schedule becomes a boon to my toiling days. Then again , I have this predicament of deciding a multi-cuisine restaurant or bribing my elder one with a lucious dessert, so that I get to eat at my favourite places.
                Café Basilico is the answer to my upcoming weekend, though I realise it’s not much of an anticipated break with three kids and their never-ending tantrums. Still….

      Something is better than nothing

             The taste of their exotic dishes hailing from Mediterranean and middle-Eastern cuisine, relieves the stress. I have visited the place twice before, but each jaunt promises a totally new experience.    
                While ordering for food , it’s crucial for me to strike a balance between taste and health. Their four cheese fondue as an entreé is a must, the Mediterranean platter, chargrilled rawas,Thai curry, creamy chermoula chicken are a few exemplary dishes to mention. But the menu offers a lot more than you can believe;from salads to appetisers ;burgers and sandwiches; from waffles to coolers …… And their authentic taste will leave you tempted for more. 
             Well, for the amazing non-alcoholic drinks(passion fruit mojito and Apple peach cooler being the best) and the dessert section , there is so much to explore each time you visit this place . The ambience and service being up to the mark, you are sure to have a hospitable evening. I am already waiting for my Satuday… Are you’ll still deciding?