Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pet Rock Pocahontas !

My daughter, a first-grader, brought home an optional school project titled, ‘Pet Rock’. The kids were asked to find an interesting rock (in the yard, at the park, in their collections, etc.), give it a name, a face, and maybe some clothes to wear.

This is what she came up with, of course with some help from me.
My daughter and I were flipping through an illustrated Pocahontas book when we came up with the idea of using several small rocks instead of one big rock. She pulled out her collection of rocks – some were from her last summer camp and some were from our own backyard; she even took some from my fish tank! I drew some outlines for her. She finished the background and colored it using her crayons. I showed her how to glue the rocks around the outline and she quickly got the hang of it. I did some touch up work on the face. We also glued on some hair. I cut a piece of purple suede leather and made a dress for Pocahontas. The images show how our handiwork turned out!
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The book that changed the way I blog!

I stumbled into the world of blogging quite recently. Needless to say, like everyone else, I soon got addicted. I went on a rampage, downloading anything and everything that was ‘free’. Result? Although my blog looked appealing (at least to me it does), I quickly realized I had dug myself into a deep quagmire! I did not know how to take advantage of all the fancy work I had done on my blog and turn it into a money making blog. Monetize?

I dug around the web & blog worlds for help and suddenly came upon an interesting site, Rob Benwell’s e-card caught my attention and I clicked on the e-card and landed in his web site. It sounded very interesting but I had to pay to get his e-book, 'Blogging To The Bank 2.0'! I hesitated since I was not keen on buying stuff when there were several help resources available for free.

But the more I researched his web site, the more convinced I was that here was a guy who knew what he was talking about and ready to share for a modest fee. I decided to take a chance and buy the book, 'Blogging To The Bank 2.0', which was priced just under $50, although I ended up paying a lot less because I was given a special offer at check-out! I was also given a lot of freebies as part of the deal.

As soon as I downloaded the book, I scanned through it and knew that I had finally found the kind of resource I needed. I felt I had to share my thoughts with others who may be in the same boat as I am. Thank you Rob Benwell for revealing your secrets to us novice bloggers.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Mango Pickle

A South Indian specialty


1. 2 fresh green (sour) hard mangoes
2. 6 tsp red pepper powder
3. 3 tsp salt
4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
5. ½ tsp Asafotida
6. 3 Tsp cooking oil


Cut the mangoes into small even pieces; try to keep the green skin intact on most pieces.

Add salt and red pepper powder, mix it well, taste it and add more salt or red pepper powder if you need. For best results, pick mangoes that are very sour. But if the mango is very sour, then you’ll need more salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, put the mustard seeds in it. As soon as the mustard seed begin to pop, take it off the heat, add Asafotida and pour the hot mixture on the prepared mangoes and mix thoroughly.

Allow the pickle to season for a day, place it in an air tight bottle and keep refrigerated. Will be good for 15 days.

Goes well with rice, dosa (Indian pancakes) and tortilla.

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From vegetarian Re...

Spicy Potato Fry

A spicy south Indian side dish

1. Fresh golden potatoes 2 lbs ( peel and cut to uniform shape of your choice; put it in water)
2. White onion 1 lb ( peel and cut into log thin wedges )
3. Ginger – finely chopped – 2 tsp
4. Fresh coriander leaves chopped 2 tsp
5. Sambar Powder 2 tsp ( Available at Indian grocery stores)

Heat 3 tsp of your favorite cooking oil in a large heavy pan or skillet, add chopped ginger and onion and fry over low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Take the cut potato out of water and add them to the skillet and add salt as needed and cook over low heat; keep skillet covered.

When the potato is tender add the 2 tsp Sambar powder and sauté; if you wish you can add another 2 or 3 tsp oil as well. Stir well.

If you like it spicier, add more Sambar powder.

Garnish potato fry with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice or choice of tortilla.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Green Peas Chundel


1.Fresh green peas 2 cups ( removed from the pod )
2.Green mango chopped 1 cup ( Slice one side and chop it into finepieces, preferably with a little green skin on every piece)
3.Grated coconut half cup ( Grated frozen bag or get a fresh coconut and grate it or cut it into small pieces)
4.Ginger - finely chopped - 2 tea spoon ( or use as needed)
5.Fresh Coriander leaves chopped – 2 tea spoon
6.Green peppers 3 ( add if needed)
7.Salt as needed.
8.4 tbsp cooking oil.
9.Keep 3 tsp chopped mango and 1 tsp coriander leaves to garnish.

Heat your favorite cooking oil in a large heavy pan or skillet. Add chopped ginger and green peas and fry over low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes until the peas are tender and cooked.
Add the cut mango and grated coconut and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Garnish Peas Chundel with finely chopped coriander leaves and chopped mango. Serve with plain boiled rice. The Chundel can also be used as a dip for chips.
If you like it real spicy, you can split a few green peppers half way and sauté it with the ginger and green peas.

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