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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pizza



So, if my understanding is right, pizza has few basic rules:
  • Lots of cheese
  • Few/No vegetables
  • Smooth sauce

 So well, if those are the rules, I broke all of them, since this is what it looked like, and it was yummilicious!


More importantly, the 3.5 yr old son ate three pieces of it, and liked it. So my day was made.

Preparation Time:

40 Minutes



Ingredients:


For the Sauce:
  1. Tomatoes: 2
  2. Onion: 1
  3. Ginger: 1” piece
  4. Basil and Parsley: Few leaves
  5. Garlic: 4
  6. Green, yellow and red capsicum: 1/8 part each
  7. Bay leaf: 1
  8. Balsamic Vinegar: 1 Tbsp
  9. White Sugar: 1.5 Tsp
  10. Brown Sugar: 0.5 tsp
  11. Pepper: 2 tsp
  12. Oregano: 2 tsp
  13. Salt: As per requirement
  14. Extra virgin olive oil: 1 tbsp
For the Pizza: 
  1. Pizza base (white or brown): 2 (depends on the size. I used 2 small brown pizza base)
  2. Mozzarella Cheese: As required

The vegetables depend on one’s own preferences of course, but I added the following.
  1. Green, Yellow and Red Capsicum: ½ part each
  2. Mushrooms: 6
  3. Broccoli: 4-5 florets
  4. Corn: a handful

Methodology:

Making the sauce:



  1. Cut the tomato into quarters, and keep them in the oven in grill mode for about 10 minutes.
  2. Let it cool, and then peel off the skin.
  3. Chop ginger and onion into chunky pieces and grind them along with the grilled tomatoes.
  4. Finely chop garlic, capsicum, basic and parsley.
  5. Take some olive oil in the pan. Once heated, add bay leaf and garlic.
  6. Add the tomato-onion mix, and stir for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add red,green and yellow capsicum. Stir on medium flame. 
  8. Add salt,pepper, white & brown sugar and oregano.
  9. Finally, switch off the stove, and add basil, parsley and balsamic vinegar.

Finally, the Pizza: 
  1. Cut the mushrooms, capsicum and broccoli into small pieces.
  2. Taking the pizza base, spread a generous and thick layer of sauce on top.
  3. Grate cheese on top of the sauce layer (the amount depends on you).
  4. Spread the vegetables evenly on top.
  5. Load the pizza base with toppings into the oven (I had pre-heated it for about 10 minutes), and keep it in for about 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy it hot!

Notes:

  • If you’d prefer a smoother sauce, avoid the vegetables.
  • Balsamic vinegar elevated the taste of the sauce to a whole new level.
  • The tomato skin is peeled to reduce the acidity of the sauce – I had tried doing it with skins the last time. It was a lot more sour.
  • Tomatoes can be added directly as well. Grilling tomatoes gave the sauce a sort of a smokey taste.
  • To make it toddler friendly, no red chillies were added.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Charting Parenting Expectations


I remember one of my friends once mentioning that she is planning to have kids. 
“Why?”, I asked casually. 
She sounded surprised at the question. “Because I am going to be 30! Everyone my age already is a mother.”
“But that really can’t be the criteria for wanting kids.” 
“You already are a mother. You don’t know the pressure we go through”. 

Hmm. Before I start this post, let’s get a couple of things out of the way: 

  1. I am a very happy and content mother. I have a son I adore, and who reciprocates that back. 
  2. I have a very happy life. Enough said. 
So, despite being that spoilt, I still warn every wanna-be mothers to think it (it=baby fetish) through. There are very strong reasons for that warning, and I thought of making some charts to explain it (just so, next time I can send a link to this post instead of lecturing the poor souls!)

Things to look forward to while parenting
  • Time Crunch: No time for hobbies, sleep, friends or for exercise.

Average time spent for various activities

  • Advice overload: Everyone who has an internet connection (or memory) is going to give you an advice.

Sources of advice




  • Finance crunch: There are some additional (unexpectedly expensive) factors to consider.
Sources of Expenditure

  • Stress Hike: Every parent, working or otherwise is going to go crazy with guilt, and the sheer number of things to do. 

Stress and Multi-tasking levels


  • Songs Crunch: The choices narrow down inadvertently. 

Frequency of songs heard/sung



Of course, there are some major perks as well. Your life gets a direction, and you (finally) get some perspective. Specifically, there are two things I could think of 
  • Energy Spike: Coming back home is not about resting, but looking forward to some cricket/football time. 

Average energy levels during the day




  • Work-Life Balance: The chaotic work-life balances and OCDs are finally sorted out.

Average Work-Life Balance in a week



Happy parenting (or non-parenting as the case may be)!

Source: Imagination and experience :)