Cooking frenzy.

We are giddy to be back home. The kids have been couped up inside for almost a week with no intention of ever venturing out into a world where parents encourage their kids to experience the world via vacations, the husband has been back to work with a vengeance, and I, I have been cooking, baking, reading like nobody’s business.

We spend the whole day in our pajamas, take showers as and when we feel like it (or not), basically just relaxing and taking each day as it comes without prior plans. Without deadlines to distract me or a schedule to stick to, I’m listening to their crazy invention ideas, laughing at their loud (omg, is it ever loud) silliness, actually mediating fights rather than ignoring them and taking a step back from all that nagging to finish this or that quickly.

I have to say, I’m beginning to see the allure of a staycation.

So, what’s cooking?

For a gal who doesn’t mind cooking, oh maybe even enjoys it a little, coming back to my own pots and pans and spices has been more than a little satisfying. This week’s Indian grocery run yielded tinda, a kind of small pumpkin-like vegetable not very readily available in Indian stores here in the U.S. so I don’t cook it often. Not that that would dampen the life of my 15-year-old self at all. Growing up, tinda was one of the veggies that didn’t earn mom any accolades for being served. (Sorry, mom, I now know how crushing a child’s whiny “not thaaat” can be at the end of a long day!)

From tinda to masala

Now that I’m the one doing the serving and the eating, I have to say tinda is quite not so bad at all. Cooked with some onion, ginger, cumin and basic spices, tinda masala is a tasty veggie dish to go along with a hot roti.

After a couple of weeks of deprivation, the kids wanted some of their comfort foods. If you’re thinking that’s something normal like mac n cheese or dal-chawal, you’re SO not their mom.

Slam dunk.

Well, they demanded chocolate chip cookies that did not have the crunch of those packaged boxes or the chewiness of the Starbucks one. In short, cookies they know and love. So we baked a batch of those. 23 cookies gone in 2 days.

Then came a brownie request that was fulfilled today. Filled with milk chocolatey goodness and the crunch of pecans in every bite, these brownies are hard to resist even for me. I couldn’t take an after photo because of the mad rush to devour the scorched pan.

Before the oven.
I managed to grab a couple to go with my coffee.

In an effort to pare down on the excesses of vacation eating, I’ve been trying to prepare light, healthy lunches for myself. The heat outside hasn’t hurt this quest either. ImageA quick bowl of Chinese style brown (not so) fried rice is filling and delicious. Bonus: R tried a bite and didn’t spit it out. I count that as a success.

So, it’s been fun. V doesn’t have full-day camp until the week after, and I’m glad I didn’t sign them up for too many. It’s summer vacation, after all.

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