"The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique" – A Walt Disney Quote
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Carrot Ginger Soup

For a nice cold night like tonight’s a hearty soup cannot fail you. So I called A, “Hey let’s have soup & a nice nutty crunchy bread for dinner”. Quick came the answer – “Yeah a Knorr instant soup sounds good, Do we have bread at home?” Nope, wasn’t surprised at all !!

I was determined to have a homemade soup for dinner tonight, so the Knorr idea was tossed out very quickly – Yup, a hot bowl of carrot ginger soup with some yummy bread, that’s what I had in mind. So we went to Harry’s and picked up Carrots, Onions, Ginger, Vegetable stock and some Bread – yeah, we seemed to be out of all our basic grocery.

On a different note, it’s such a great feeling to be outside these days, happy people, festive decor, the bakery was smelling of freshly baked goods, beautifully wrapped chocolates, cookies and cakes…hmm why isn’t it Holiday time all through the year?

So Here’s what I did to make the Fresh and Lovely Soup -

Scraped of the peel of 4 Big carrots and chopped them, cube sized
Finely chopped half an Onion
A few small pieces of Ginger, I peeled out the skin and chopped it finely
A couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped them
A couple cups of Vegetable stock
Salt for taste
Red Chili Powder
1/4 cup milk

Add oil to the pot and saute onions, garlic and ginger. You could also use butter to make it richer. After the onions turn golden brown, throw in the chopped carrots and let them cook for a couple of minutes and then add a couple cups of vegetable stock. After the carrots are tender, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down for 5-10 minutes. Puree the cooled down mixture and add that back to the pot. Some salt for taste and some red chili powder for heat and then add 1/4th cup of milk. Stir and Bring to boil. You’re Done !!

I recommend not adding any other spices, because the ginger has such an intense flavor in the soup, you don’t want to lose it at all.

This made about a good 4 cups of soup – I added some butter to each cup, you can add chives or fresh basil or cilantro to the soup if you like, I didn’t add any. We had the soup with this lovely bread A got home – It was a whole wheat bread with pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds. Slapped some Garlic butter on the Toasted Bread and there’s a meal I would say just about anyone would crave for, esp. when its freezing outside.

Stay Warm you all out there !!

A Yoga Marathon

How many of you guys know that something is just super great for you to do, but heck – end up giving some lame excuses and almost skip it entirely and then later at night brood, Oh how I wish I had just done it. I’m like that with Yoga – I love it, Once I do it – I adore myself for doing it. It makes me feel young and all the great things really.

So I decided to do a Yoga Marathon for 90 days :) Trust me – It is not easy. It is just so tempting to get cozy one of these winter days and sleep in. But I’m going to try to be accountable to myself and now that I just made this public – Oops would it not be such a shame if I could not live up to it :) ….. jokes apart, I’m really excited about this – I don’t think I have ever done Yoga every single day for 90 days. My parents – Mom & Dad gave me a nice kick start, Thank God for such awesome parents !! Last year through winter some of my Yoga friends and myself practiced Yoga every Sunday morning, so this is definitely one step in the forward direction for me and I know my Yoga friends will be proud of me :)

My Yoga marathon started on Nov 1, 2010 and will go through the end of January 2011. If any of you would like to join me one of these days to practice Yoga, just howler – will ya?

If any of you are curious, what Yoga routine I follow or practice, please take a look at this link: http://www.ashwinikhadkikar.com/yoga

Can you hear what isn’t being said?

As I sit back tonight and think, I feel that “Peter Drucker’s quote is so relevant in our everyday lives “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. “Body language, nonverbal communication and listening to “between the lines” is almost becoming really key to the survival of any relationship – personal or business. Being able to manipulate your reactions or atleast having the benefit or a choice to do so immediately puts you in a better position. I’d just say in today’s world of social networking active listening and eventually knowing your audience will avoid having to deal with hot mess of stress and confusion.

Just giving an example of the movie “The Social Network” – I mean how could the Winklevoss Bros. not figure sooner that Mark was pushing aside their emails, delaying work on ConnectU until after he could get Facebook off the ground? Knowing what a phenomenal coder he was, it was quite obvious something was cooking, No?

Recognizing the ABC’s and the 123′s

It has been a few weeks now that M has perfected his Alphabet and Number recognition skills. He learnt how to say the Alphas and numbers pretty early on, but helping them recognize them…let’s just say it takes a little bit of time for every kid. Or it almost does not if you know what the best learning tools for your kid are.

Ooh, Did we a have a fun time facilitating M’s learning of his ABC’s and 123′s. There were lots of Oops and wow’s and the process is worth remembering :). M is the type of kid and one amongst many others who are like that I’m sure, where traditional teaching just does not make sense.

We tried to introduce the Alphabet and number Abacus – and M did not even peek at it for a bit. It is almost like he did not even care for it. He loved to rotate the cubes and toss the abacus here and there, but that’s it.

Then we tried the Board Block Books, but heck M would open them, look at the pictures -  and then THE END – Letters – Really? who the hell cares?

So these were tossed into the closet.

The next came the Alphabet and number puzzle. Usually we would introduce these to improve motor skills and teach the kids how to hold these pegs with two fingers. Oh yeah, M mastered that pretty quickly. He knew which letter fitted where – so he had great skills understanding the shapes of these things – Analytical, should I say? But Letters —blah..No..I don’t care what a R looks like or what a Y looks like.

The Alphabet Flash Cards – Mom, why are you bothering spending all that money – I’m just going to simply twist these, scribble with crayons on these – Ooh I just love abstract ART :) — So no luck with these !!

What did miracles was this !!

Yup, a laptop learner. It is made by Circo and I think we purchased ours from Target. – It essentially does the same thing you and I would do by holding up a foam letter “P” and asking – Which letter is this? and if the child gets it “Good Job” or if he doesn’t “Uh..Oh, this is letter P; let’s try another letter” and keep repeating until they get it. We even tried to play games like arrange all the foam letters and (M – go jump on letter “G”)…This sort of worked, but definitely not as good as the laptop.

I guess as humans, we lose our patience and move on to doing other things, but it just amazed me the speed at which M started recognizing his letter after we brought the Computer.

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