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Pressed Flower Cards & Announcements!
Hello all, it has been a long time!! I have been meaning to post for a while, but life has been busy... I am spending a lot of time scrounging for recipes and reading other blogs, but truth be told, I have not been cooking as much as I would like these days. Work has taken up a lot for the time being, so my time in the kitchen has been limited to the precious weekends. However, I have been reading a bunch of good books (more on that later) and doing interesting summer crafts with my daughter. As you may have noticed, this blog has been re-branded from Ginger & Garlic cooking blog to A Brownian Walk Through Life, a blog that covers food, cooking, books, crafts but also occasional commentary on tech or my long running interest of personal finance  or investing. Recipes will still be a big part of this blog, but I am hoping to broaden it to other interests and write about them often. Secondly, I recently joined Instagram! You can follow me here . I am really enjoy…

Fried Maggie Noodles & Reading, Activities Update
If there is one meal which defines my good old college days back in India, it would be this fried maggie recipe. Nights used to be super cold at my residential college campus and since our girls hostel had a 10pm curfew, the kitchen staff used to host a post-curfew canteen every weeknight to fuel all the eager students for their late night studying.  The canteen didn't have too many options, but it served us just fine! I remember braving the chilly nights wrapped in multiple shawls to get to the canteen for the pleasure of a steaming hot mugful of tea and a hot snack - which on cold nights would almost always be this plate of freshly prepared steaming hot fried maggie. The recipe is super simple and I know it by heart because the cooks used to prepare to order right in front of us. I highly recommend using Maggie Masala packets (available at Indian grocery stores) and no substitutions - as much as possible to retain the authentic taste. To make fried maggie, bo…

Happy Thanksgiving to All!
This has been a strange year to say the least; what from spending the whole year working from home, schools from home, the global travel and life as we know coming to a pause.. unlike anything any of us would have ever imagined! I can not believe the year is coming to an end.. Through the twists and turns and the wild ride of 2020, I have still found so many things to be thankful for! I am thankful that everyone in our family and our friends are well.. sure, a bit wary with cabin fever and tired of isolation but healthy and well. Considering the hardships a lot of people are going through, that is a lot to be thankful for to be sure. So this thanksgiving, like a lot of families across US, we spent at home, just with the 3 of us. It was different, but special in it's own way. We didn't skimp on any of the dishes or the decoration.. and while the table was a lot smaller than usual, we didn't miss a single bit on the festivities and the spirit of the seaso…

Recipes & Reading Update - Oct'20
2020 continues to be a very strange year. For many of us, it's been close to 8 months of working, schooling from home. While I continue to enjoy the no-commute part and spending more time w/ kids parts, a little monotone fatigue is also setting in. To add to that, we went through a crazy fire season in bay area, fueled by (guess what) a rare freak lightning storm event late summer igniting multiple fires across the nearby forests and mountains. For weeks, the sky was filled with smoke and the sun looked like a red orange ball in yellow orange skies. We lost parts of our beloved Big Basin Redwood State Park to raging fires and countless mountain communities suffered damages. Only recently that we are back to better weather now. Anyhow, through all that, here we are in the crisp fall season! Days are getting shorter and mornings are crisper. It's a blissful feeling to sit in the front yard watching the increasing yellows on the trees, fall roses in the air, b…

Summer Bruschetta & July Reading/Activities
Any time is a good time for bruschetta but, it's at it's best in mid-summer when the tomatoes are at their sweetest and fresh basil is abundantly growing in gardens everywhere. We often make bruschetta in summer - it's our favorite camping food.  4-5 weekends every summer we go camping to nearby beaches or redwood forests. Only one night spent camping every visit, but it's a lot of fun, and undeniably a highlight of our summer.  We always make bruschetta when we go camping... it's so easy and a perfect camp food! I pack 3-4 nice ripe heirloom tomatoes, a bunch of basil and usual condiments. Chop the tomatoes finely (seed and all), grate a clove of garlic and add to tomatoes, add handful of finely chopped basil ribbons. Season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper - and voila, bruschetta is ready! Sometimes I add chopped kalamata olives or mozzarella cheese for an extra oomph but totally optional. While the bruschetta is resting, we…

OT: Kids Craft - Paper Lilies
This is a guest post by my daughter (who incidentally has been pleading, crying and in-turn trying to convince me to give her a guest post once in a while on this blog... but, let's see :) ). To her credit, she does spend a lot of time inventing her own recipes and making crafts. This is one of her favorite craft project this summer. So without further ado, here are the paper lilies.  How to make paper lilies Lilies come in different shape,size,and color! It is time to design your own lilies. Even though it is not spring you can still make paper lilies! This is the way you can express yourself, culture, and ideas. Also this is a good craft to do with kids!! If you don’t have craft paper I suggest you use two sheets of regular paper and stick them together. Also, if you still don't want to do that you can use paint paper. If you don't have yellow pipe cleaner you can use whatever pipe cleaner you have unless it is not matching your flower. I hope you are…

Rustic Summer Plum Tart
I have been taking daily walks in our neighborhood during this work from home phase. Boundaries between the "work time" and "home time" have become hazy for so many of us, that it helps to set small rituals to remind you of just that. Our ritual is to go for long evening walks across our neighborhood right after I finish my work and before we start dinner prep.  There are so many things I am noticing about our neighborhood that I never did before! Like there is a beautiful creek and an old style footbridge tucked away merely a mile from us (I had no idea!).. and how many of our neighbors have fruit trees in their front yards - all laden with apricots, plums and lots and lots of apples! The apples are still small and green, but the plums are ripe everywhere.. we often see perfectly good plums lying on the sidewalks fallen from a tree laden with fruit. As you can imagine, we are over-flowing with plums at our house as well - some given by our youn…

Easy Bread Loaf & Summer Home Activities!
I caught on to the COVID home baking trend pretty early on, I think. It started with a need to make a sandwich loaf at home but once I mastered that, I realized that baking bread, even without a bread machine, can be super easy and deeply satisfying - just as long as you have access to flour and yeast!  My mind has been set for a while now on learning to bake a crusty bread loaf.. the kind of loaf with thick crusty skin and soft fluffy bread inside that you can dunk into hot soup and enjoy. I came across this recipe on King Arthur Flour and true to it's name it was indeed a very easy bread loaf to put together.  I didn't change anything from the original recipe except halving it and making one bread loaf instead of 2. In the hindsight however I should have made 2 for the work of 1.. the one loaf I made in the morning was long gone before the dinner time :) I am sure to be making this bread loaf again and again now. A keeper recipe. Summer Home Activities: T…

Flax-Seeds Chutney (Javasachi Chutney) & Reading Update
Javas (or brown flax seeds) chutney is a quint-essential Maharashtrian condiment. Easy to prepare, cheap due to the abundance of flax seeds in the region and super tasty. This chutney is a staple of farm lands, where fresh roti (or bhakri), this chutney with a glob of oil and some sabji can make a flavorful easy to prepare everyday meal. While flaxmeal (ground flax) is more common in supermarkets across US, for this recipe I prefer using whole flax seeds. You can find them at Trader Joe's or buy bulk from Amazon of this Bob's Red Mills brand. The "recipe" is super simple. Roast 1C golden flax seeds and 4-5 large peeled garlic cloves on medium heat stirring frequently until they release a nutty aroma and are starting to turn brownish. Often flax seeds pop while you are heating them, so be careful not to be to close to the stove. Remove from heat and let them cool completely. Once cool, add the roasted flax seeds and roasted garlic cloves to the bl…

Zucchini Paratha & A Sudden Sweet Tooth
I love the changing seasons -- like now, a crisp and flowery spring is giving way to hot summers, just as the life we know it is inching back to what is likely a new normal for the rest of the year. The usual bearers of the summer events like end of school carnival, trips to local ice-cream parlor and visits to the magnificent California beaches were very much muted this year... but one thing screamed summer loud and clear - and that is lots and lots of zucchini and stone fruits in our CSA boxes! For last few weeks, our CSA box has been overflowing with zucchinis, peaches, plums, nectarines and juicy California apricots. We have no problems finishing any amount of fruit at our home but finishing loads of zucchini is another matter :) This year, along-with grilled zucchini, zucchini "spaghetti" and zucchini raita, one new thing I introduced in our rotation is this zucchini parathas.  The recipe is very similar to the methi and chard paratha I have posted …

Spaghetti Pomodoro
One of the things we miss the most in this stay-at-home phase is going out to our favorite local restaurants. Sure, we can always do takeout, but it just doesn't feel the same without the anticipation of the evening out or the ambiance. So instead we have been cooking at home, a lot - but we also crave a few of our go-to restaurant dishes, like this sauteed kale with garlic from Din Tai Fung or the spaghetti pomodoro from Campo de Bocce.  Campo de Bocce is a lovely Italian restaurant chain in Norther California combining scrumptious family style Italian food with the appeal of outdoor bocce courts to play a few games! It's a lot of fun with a large group of family or friends, where you can combine fun of playing a few bocche rounds and nibbling on their amazing appetizers or enjoying a relaxed brunch! Anyhow, my favorite dish of their menu is the humble spaghetti pomodoro. I have been attempting to re-create it at home for a while now, but my att…

Stay-at-home Food & Activities
It is hard to believe we are in the week #11 of stay at home here. Over 10 weeks of home-schooling, 77 days of not going out for sightseeing or dinner and over 230 meals made at home later, here we are!!  The cycle of the prepping, cooking and cleaning is endless! Managing work and home-school has been a bit of an adventure with kids sneaking on and off into work meetings and parents walking into school zoom :) but on the whole we are settling into the new rhythm well and might I say, even enjoying it a bit. It has been stressful to see the news; but personally also enjoying no daily commutes, no drop-off and pickups and just less juggling social commitments with everything else. With so many meals at home, our kitchen has been churning non-stop! I learnt to make a few things from scratch not being able to just go out and buy prepped ingredients - like this dosa and idle batter for example. We always bought dosa/idle batter, but now with the abundance of …