Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spot on Baby!

"Its been 6 months since I posted anything in the space. Laziness, thoughtlessness whatever reason :)
Lately, I have been meeting couples married by an arrangement for less than an year. Well, nothing special just they all had a baby in the same year. That's what got my mind boggling, on how???
I feel marriage is a big change in ones life - could be a shock which takes not less than a couple of years to ingest. And having a baby is even a heavier dose which drains not in lifetime.
It took me 4 years to spot on the man I would bear my child with, which really isn't a long enough time but I am a lucky chicken.
Kids are the most beautiful things on the earth and cherishing them with a partner is the most wonderful experience. I understand its lucky if you spot on the right partner from an arranged marriage and luckier if you fall in love with him in coming years. What leaves me appalled is - how can you spot on a right father from an arranged marriage. Does this double leap any good or is it just a trend to save time ?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jazz fest

Check out the glimpse of Jazz fest at Regina Canada- 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

FIFA 2014 live on streaming stick (Roku) - Canada

After an unending struggle, finally broken the code to watch FIFA 2014 through my internet streaming Roku Stick. Based in Canada, there are rights issue for WatchESPN or CBC or Sportsnet on Roku. Based on the forum discussions in Canada, I tried Plex which didn't work for CBC live, bothering the support team was of no use either - phew!! and I don't have an arrangement for HDMI yet so ...
Necessity is the mother of invention, the solution is here--

Go to Channel LIVESTREAM from the channel store, search for FIFA Live.

Channel LIVESTREAM streams from ESPN3 in Canada.

La La La La LEGGO!!! XoXo

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pawsitively cool!

I had my first experience watching dog show at Regina Canada.
Sharing the live videos here-

Sunday, June 1, 2014

30 Day Ab Challenge for those who need some motivation like me

"This is a promotional post for the Abs challenge starting June 1st for 30 days.

I am going for it and hope some of my readers too join the initiative :)

Check out the link to the Facebook event at-

The exercise how to can be watched at-

How to do a plank correctly (planks are done in seconds, for example Day 1 is a 10 second plank)

How to do a sit up correctly:

How to do crunches correctly:

How to do leg raises correctly:

Happy working out!!

All the best :)


Tuna sandwich

"I came across an Indian style tuna sandwich recipe some days back. I am going to share mine with some more variations which would be good for a high protein meal for kids and adults.

First variation is pickled tuna sandwich, for this we need 2 tbsp of pickle oil (I used mango pickle), quarter can of drained tuna (I used light tuna chunks in brine), a quarter red onion chopped and 1 tbsp. of low fat mayo (optional).
In a bowl, drained tuna and pickle oil are to be mixed and rested for 5 min. Meanwhile, the whole wheat or any kind bread can either be dry toasted or butter toasted on the skillet. Mayo has to spread on the toasts (optional) and set aside.
Then onions have to be mixed with the pickled oil-tuna mix. The final mixture has to be spread on toast and covered with another slice. Viola!! you have a desi tuna sandwich ready :)

 Second variation is for kids - tomato tuna sandwich, mix in 2 tbsp. of low fat mayo with quarter can drained tuna and chopped tomato. Butter toast the bread slices and spread the mixture between the slices and cut it in half. Serve with tomato ketchup for a yummy snack :)

Third and final variation in my list is for breakfast, its a high protein tuna sandwich - beat one whole egg with quarter can drained tuna and a vegetable of your choice (I tried with tomato and onion). Pour it on the hot skillet smeared with little oil (sprayed or brushed). Make a patty omelette of size good to fit on the toast. Spread low fat mayo on toast and place the omelette between the slices.
Put the assembled sandwich on the preheated skillet and toast the sides of sandwich till brown.
Serve it with dip of your choice or as is with a cup of black coffee :)

p.s. I didn't add salt in any of the above variations as tuna will be salty because of the brine.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sally Hansen french manicure

"I was a big fan of nail paints before marriage, name a colour and I had already tried it. Later, with hectic schedules and baby - my choices got more sophisticated and I preferred to have at least clean tips, if not anything jazzy. Since then, I am a French manicure lover - its simple, clean and workable do.
I used a white and a beige nail paint for a French manicure for quite long time. I agree the brushes need a little art and is difficult to put on the right hand.

 I came across a not-so-pricey ($5) product in Drug mart known as a felt tip French manicure pen from Sally Hansen and just the idea of it wowed me as it would definitely be quick, would not require ambidexterity and a simple skill drawing a line :)

Here goes my first impression on this pen. The packaging is simple, pen is sleek and handy.

 The instructions are clear, a little tapping on a surface would get the ink flowing to the tip within seconds. Its easy and intense application with lean chances of mistake. The coat dries off quickly saving time and any chances of smudging.

I finished it with Revlon multicare base+top coat enamel which is also decent enough for the brand.

Overall, I loved this buy and would definitely find an alternative in India, if not -  this is going with me in bulk ;)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Canada Vanada - Food-oh-lick!

 "As mentioned in my first post under the Canada Vanada series, that I am determined to be personally useful now. The best I could think of to start with is Food. Back in India, I had a wish list of food items, I wanted to eat or inhibit in my diet but couldn't do for various reasons (I shall talk about the same later in the post).

I have experimented with the available superstore food items in Canada which I think, am habituated to now. Most of them were available in India but I didn't try then and the ones I think were not, if otherwise should have made my life in kitchen much easier.

Lets start with my must-haves in the kitchen or refrigerator -

1. Yogurt

I have always been a big fan of yogurt. More because of my Punjabi genes, I end up using yogurt in all of my recipes or mixing it to save an unpalatable dish. Difference being, in India I used to have full fat home made curd and now I have guilt free options with zero fat or probiotic or protein laden greek curd varieties. Yogurt tops my list as I almost have 500 gms on daily basis with cereals or just like that :)

2. Quinoa

This super grain was introduced to me from a celebrity diet overview published in 'Prevention'. I grabbed the copy for the coverage on losing post-baby weight acknowledged by the gorgeous Shilpa Shetty. I searched for the grain in Hyderabad just to be disappointed by the price of it (somewhere around Rs.600/Kg) :O

Ever since, I had the wish of inhibiting the grain in my diet which got fulfilled in Canada. I wouldn't say its not pricey here but proportionately affordable as the grain comes from North America (not sure). Quinoa is super light, high in protein and an excellent substitute for rice. It helps in weight loss and also good for the overall health. I prepare this by boiling on medium for 15 minutes with spinach.
Loving it and am surely going to miss it back in India.

3. Berries

I remember how I hated fruits and rarely had any. The only compensation for fruits was the lemon water which I take as the first thing in morning. Though, I bought loads of fruits for my daughter especially strawberries and apples. But, berries were too tart that I wondered how she finished off the pack.

Now, I would like to mention Canada is the best in terms of variety of fruits especially berries. I get all the fruits suffixed with berries aka strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc. The taste is awesome and has better shelf life. I am not sure how healthy is it for they are not the organic varieties, but whatever I am having Vitamin C and loads of fibre.

4. Meat

I am not shy to admit, I was born carnivorous :) But, time and availability restricted me to have non-veg only on weekends. More because, it took at least an hour to cook the meat and it required a lot of effort with spices and mandatory marinating to mark it to the level for our choosy palates. The American recipes always made me wonder as they were labelled 'quick' and were mostly non-vegetarian.

The secret unveiled - its the quality. The meat here is fleshy, soft and chubby ;) and it takes not more than 20 minutes or even lesser,if marinated in lemon juice, to cook fully. I have seen the difference as I have tried making whole roast in India and should admit the poor chicken was suffering from malnutrition :D

I cook meat from Saturday through Wednesday- easy way for daily protein requirement and its yummy delight of course!! What more - its wine and chicken for weekend parties and quinoa for weekdays for that extra protein :)

5. Tortillas

Frankly, this Italian 'Roti' (flatbread) is an excuse for not making indian flatbread. I find it hectic and messy for the number of equipments required to name a few.. rolling pin, rolling surface, flat spatula, skillet, oil, flour, water etc etc phew!

So, tortillas are a big help in lunch or dinner for me and my husband and my daughter likes it seasoned and baked :)

6. Bakery items

I was a baking freak with my new microwave oven in India but not here. I realised the effort and the expense put in to bake a cake was way more than the price of a big muffin pack in Canada ($1). I gave up on baking after the first stove oven disaster and have muffins and breads in my grocery list.

Moreover to acknowledge the variety of breads available, I am a big fan of sandwiches now - tomato, cucumber, chicken, name it!

7. Cereals

I always wanted to have cereals in the breakfast; first, they are convenient; second, they are wholesome and non-oily. I tried many times but in vain, I couldn't have more than a couple of spoons that too gulping with water. I found the root cause, its because I don't like it with milk as I have always been a yogurt fan. I mix it with my low fat yogurt - top it with lots of berries and viola!!!

I am loving the guilt free breakfast :)

8. Crackers

Snacks has always been an integral part of my kitchen shelf, fridge top, night stands :D Courtesy- My husband. The difference being we have some good healthier options like muti- or whole- grain varieties which are baked and can be relished with some low fat dips :D

With this I would like to mention about the commendable low fat options in dips and spreads apart from tartar dip and high fat mayo which we had in India. None of the dips gift me a more than 40 calories per am all up for the tea sandwiches and a few friendly crackers with guests :)

9. Frozen foods

You can't escape frozen vegetables in America especially if you have a baby and a super busy husband waiting for his lunch box. I stock my freezer with frozen mixed vegetables to mention, frozen spinach cubes and carrot-corn. I just have to defrost in running hot water, stir fry and voila!

I am going to miss this way back for sure :'(

10. Canadian Lager Beer

Sushhh!! I am a pun(fun)jabi girl who doesn't mind having few cheers with friends occasionally.
I have tried a variety of beers to end up liking Carlsberg 'only'. Congrats! I have found a big brother in Canada its a Molson Coors Canadian lager beer. I bet you will love it chilled on a hot summer day. My two cents for this one - you can have it staple if you are a beer lover!

11. Multivitamins

This one is an odd, I found the multi vitamins to be abundantly over the counter item in west. More because of the weather conditions, where you don't get much sun. Despite, I like the fact that health and food association in Canada has the guidelines for every food item manufactured for humans. It will have added Vitamins to compensate the natural deficiencies. I have started taking multivitamins as a precaution for my age and the place.

12. Canned Beans

Canned beans is the result of the failure to find cheap kidney beans :P I was looking for the Indian kidney beans to find them to be too expensive around $5 for half kilo and then I noticed the cans for 85 cents - advantage being it saves energy required to pre-cook the beans in pressure cooker. My 2 cents for this product too!

Disclaimer 1 - the list is totally out of my convenience and doesn't consider the health quotient. Considering the fact, canned , processed foods and alcohol are unhealthy options - I am neither recommending nor promoting any of the above.

Disclaimer 2 - The post doesn't indicate lack of resources in India, its more about how accessible they are! To mention, there are hundreds of things in India which are untraceable in west. So, proud to be an Indian :)

Keep watching the space for more on what I found different or presumptuous in Canada...


Canada Vanada

 "Hi World!

There has always been a trend of using a 'starting from the scratch' (as if it would erase or rectify the bygones) tool, if something is uncontrollably erred. But, I have adopted a new perspective called 'Revival' lately - hence forgiving myself for the long break of no posts, here I go reviving 'Touche' with my latest experiences.
Starting with the big updates on my life, bulleted as -

1. I have left my home country in March 2014 and tagged on to explore the world abroad.
2. On lieu of the first update, I am currently 'Jobless' (not workless mind it!)
3. Following the second big update, I am now a fully saksham (efficient) home maker.
4. Adding to the mentioned big changes, I am on the journey to adopt or relieve myself of some good and bad habits (courtesy- Canada).

I tried to be economically useful from the last couple of months, but when I found the horizons are not too wide for me - I determined to be personally useful. How? I shall be writing on the things I feel, I should have done way back but I did it now...or...the habits I have been trapped in now which I think would make me suffer when I return etc etc. :(
With all said now, I am geared up for the subsequent posts on my Canada Vanada life :)

See you, take care till then eat healthy - live healthy !!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Whole wheat jaggery cake

 "My 2- year old has a fetish for birthday cakes, from her play school. Though my work schedule tags me as an once-in-a-while chef, I try not to disappoint my little one with her sweet demands.
The whole wheat cake without sugary calories is a solution to a healthy satiation for my daughter as well as me. I did a little innovation with the regular recipe and the results were evident from the speed with which the cake disappeared from my cookie can :)

I shall make it easy to grab by listing the dry and the wet ingredients below:

Dry ingredients (to be sifted):

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cup organic jaggery powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp choco powder

 Wet ingredients (to be whisked):

 2 eggs
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup refined oil
1 cup milk

Nuts for sweet surprises (optional):

3/4 cup raisins
1 cup water
1 tsp butter (any - I used Amul butter)

Step-by-step procedure-
  1. Put the raisins in pan with a cup of water and butter to boil for 5-10 min on low heat till its dense.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients for no lumps.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients till frothy and light.
  4. Preheat the cooker with the salt base for 5 min and grease the tin (Refer -chocolate-cake-weekend-challenge).
  5. Mix sifted ingredients in to the whisked mix and add the nut syrup. Additionally, milk can be added to attain flowy consistency.
  6. Pour the mix in the tin and place it in cooker. Keep it on high for 5 min and then cook it for around 45-50 min on medium-slow.
  7. Test by putting a tooth pic/fork in the middle of cake and it should come clean. Unlid the cooker and cool the cake for 20 min before taking the tin out of the cooker.
 Finally, invert the tin and plate the cake for a yummy and healthy treat :)