DIY: Grow cilantro/coriander in flower pots

Yay!!! That’s all I can say. Little coriander rose from its seed-slumber as I was sleeping away. This morning when I peeped out of my window, I saw a little leaf smiling at me, saying, “hi”. How I adore this little leaf- it gave me the sign that now I can officially grow my own cilantro, outside my window. Happiness is a cilantro leaf, I say.

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Blossoms and a kitchen peek-a-boo!

With the onset of monsoons, my darling house plant decides to bless me too. A thing to celebrate I guess? Looks like it from the menu!

I spotted an array of earthen ware pots at a local nursery- all beautiful, with pure Indian motif. And you wouldn’t believe how cheap they were. I actually paid 20 rupees more to the young boy who sold it to me because I thought paying them what they wanted was still below its worth- at least to me. My city-conscience couldn’t believe they could be so cheap. In shopping malls and trade fairs, we would have bought the same stuff for thrice its price, happily. In fact it was only a matter of days when me and my sister were strolling through a shopping mall and found some great earthen ware. We wanted to pick it up but thought it was overpriced. Thank god we didn’t buy it! Coming to think of it now, we would have been fools to buy them and also criminals, to have supported such an ugly affair of exploiting poor manufacturers and making money from their hard work, by selling “brand exotic”. No, way!

Anyway. I planted three colors together, just because one of each was available and then thought it might look good! I am proud of myself. At least just in one case. or maybe two! For not contributing to capitalism just once. For my happiness’ sake.

DIY: Revamp a cushion with fabric rosettes!

This post is dedicated to two people; two bloggers I really admire. To

1. Janice from postcardsfromwildwood– for being an inspiration. She is just beyond normal when it comes to needle work, she is extraordinary. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to stitch patterns like her, but again, maybe its her magic wicker basket after all. Contemplating a thievery. Check her post: Hungarian rhapsody to see what I mean.

2. Kristin from Myuncommonsliceofsuburbia– again for inspiring me to live out of the box on a budget and for the tutorial. She is probably one of the most talented DIY-ing blogger I have seen, by far. And yes, I do see a lot of blogs from around the world, being someone from the digital industry.

The drift

Kristin from MyUncommonSliceOfsuburbia blogged a beautiful tutorial on fabric rosettes, seeing which I was really inspired. But again, those who know me, knows that I’m no good with needle and thread or lets just say that I don’t have a sewing thumb! But surprisingly this time I made it. Maybe, finally, God listened to my prayers of delivering me from being such a lousy-needle-n-thread-girl.

This is a great and a very easy makeover theory and takes only a couple of minutes! Even for someone like me. I took scrap clothing from the side of an old bedspread that matches my new quilt, tore it down to rags (in strips, no precision required), twined it and kept swirling around a knot that i formed before twirling the cloth. And as I went, i kept stitching it to the previous layers from below. My cushion was ready to be used in less than 10 minutes. Isnt it real fun?

Chocolate walnut cookies Recipe

I think one foodie finds the other! By default. She is a brilliant cook, a great baker, an equally great girl and cherishes food just as much. I’m featuring my friend, Nupur Birla’s chocolate walnut cookies today. What a thing to have on a rainy day with a steaming cup of cafe latte!

The Recipe

Ingredients:

½ cup butter

½ cup castor sugar (can use powdered sugar)

1 cup plain flour (maida) (Nupur’s tip: use equal proportions of maida and wheat flour for healthier cookies)

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice (brings a lovely tangy zing to the cookies!)

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

¼ cup crushed walnuts

¼ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (use any chocolate – milk/dark/mint/caramel,etc)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C for about 3-4 minutes
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter using a wooden spoon till it becomes soft and creamy. Now add the sugar and beat well
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon juice, vanilla essence & crushed walnuts and mix well using your hands to make a dough.
  4. Cover it with a plastic wrap and chill for a while. For at least 2 hours.
  5. Divide into 15 equal portions or shapes of your choice and roll in the chocolate chips. Make sure the shapes aren’t too big because the cookies will spread once put in the oven
  6. Place these on a baking tray and bake the cookies for 20 – 25 minutes at 150⁰C. Ensure the color doesn’t go too dark or else it will bring a bitter charcoaled like taste (:P)
  7. Remove the tray from the oven. Cool &  serve.
Of course, you know, cookies can be stored, which never happens in our case.
Here’s some additional tips from the lady herself!
  • You can even use crushed cornflakes instead of chocolate chips for crunchier & crispier bites J
  • Try replacing walnuts with almonds/peanuts/cashews or pistachios and you can have assorted cookies for your friends. But don’t forget to tell me how they taste!
The girl in question
~Have a good day folks~

Window View

After years of staying in a brick and mortar jungle, I finally have a window to wake up to. A cup of tea and the blue hills beyond is what I look forward to every morning: there’s nothing else I’d want to do, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Specially when it’s raining!

Back in the hills, my window used to open to a bed of Chrysanthemums, Mt. Kanchendzongha (the third highest mountain in the world) and a glistening river flowing from the Himalayas, snaking it self through the valley until it finally met river Teesta. And while on a sunny day it sparkled like a thousand million suns, on a moonlit night this became the secret stream of molten silver. Sadly, I have no photographs of my own to show you how beautiful and striking it was but this photograph is ditto of what I’m talking about. Meanwhile, I need a bite from my lemon cake.

Life has brought me into this weird situation, where every time I see these hills, I’m equally happy and sad.  Happy because they make me feel at home. Sad because I miss my little room and the extended study that dad built for me with glass windows.

And as I write from my window, the only thing that worries me is that I’m having to see my childhood memories get tarnished and replaced with snapshots of violence. With political outrage, killing, strikes, processions and so much blood, I wonder if I’d ever be able to return again. In fact I guess, the only way to live those memories is to not re-live them anymore.

  Somethings are better left the way they were

~X~

DIY: A quick back rest makeover

I bought 5 meters of organza from the flea market at Rs. 100. 4 meters went into making curtains that adorns my living room. Where is the other 1 meter?

I snipped the extra 1 meter into halves and tied a bow on the backrest of my two white chairs. Yeah, it’s a bit girly, but it gives a fairy tale effect to my room! And i love it.

Hope you like it!

~X~

Welcoming the change: New home’s living room

Yes, I have finally moved away from the city, an information for all those who might stumble upon my blog for the first time. And what a task it has been; not to mention, what fun too! More possibilities, more scope of DIYs, more negotiations and finally getting a good deal. I surprisingly enjoy the process. It makes me feel like a winner.

Its raining here in India. From yesterday, that is the 2nd of June, the great Indian monsoon has officially struck the parched subcontinent, bringing with itself the much needed relief. Honestly, after a couple of days we all will be pretty much cursing the rains, but for now, we are loving it.

Although most people would think of it as a bad choice to dab your room with blue when its sombre and grey outside, but I say, what better time to bring out the blues if this is not it. Count the color and of course the music. Different hues of blue and pops of cool color scattered here and there. Ah, I can die for it. I wanted to go blue, lime-green and grey set in the milieu of the darkest grey sky and transparent pitter-patter. I’m clearly going beyond rules.

 

Oh, and I finally got my hands on a crate. I love crates. This is a mango crate that acts as the center table in the living room. I wanted to give it a worn out white look but I feel for the grain. Maybe later.

of course, these are just sections of the living room and there are lot more that needs figuring, but for now I’m happy with how its shaping up. I hope you all agree!

Have a good weekend

~X~