General

Introducing my Art Campus

I was working on my art & craft blog for about 2 months now. I moved it from one place to another and then finally made it as a sub-blog in Aayi’s Recipes itself. ArtCampus is a place to showcase some of my hobbies. I was never going to make it public, but few of my friends and well wishers pushed me enough to make it public.

Since my school going days, I loved any kind of crafts. If I saw a new craft, I would do anything to learn it. My aayi and pappa were greatest inspiration to me. Aayi taught me many things and Pappa would buy me any craft material I asked for. But unfortunately I could never learn anything properly. We didn’t have any kind of craft classes at my native place. I would learn from TV programs (Doordarshan used to have some craft programs in afternoons) and from my neighbors. Most of the things I started, I left half done. But whatever I finished, those items are still with my parents at my home.

When I started going to college, I could not work on any of my interests. But 2 years ago, when we moved to US, all these interests made their way on to become part of my routine. I knew I had to sit at home in an unknown country for a long time without a job. So I went to different art & craft shops in Bangalore and bought whatever I felt like – many different wool, knitting/crocheting needles, many starter kits for sand painting & cloth painting, colored pencils, many art books etc. I worked on few of them when I was at home. So I was on track again and I got the job too. But I could not stop pursuing my hobbies.

So I joined cake decorating classes in a nearby Micheals store. The classes were after office hours, so it was very convenient. V had to ask me to stop joining all different art classes there ;). So after I finished those, V and I both joined oil painting classes (which we attend every alternate Sundays).

All this time, I was struggling with my knitting/crocheting. I was planning on joining the basics of knitting/crocheting class too. But unfortunately, they don’t have these classes anymore. So, I started making whatever came to my mind. I neither could make up a new pattern nor do I have patience to follow a long instruction list without making mistakes. I can say after around 2 years, now I am a bit comfortable to follow instructions, but still lack the patience. I am sure one day will come when I will be able to do some neat work.

When all this was happening, I came to know about Sree. I can’t tell how much I adore her paintings. Her oil paintings, her pencil art and everything she posts on her blog is simply mind blowing. I get goose bumps when I see her art(I am not exaggerating a bit when I say that). Recently I have bought a colored pencil kit to follow her step by step pencil sketches. I showed her my personal art blog and as always, she encouraged me a lot.

Thanks to my friends Aruna and Purnima who are a constant support to AR and also believed that Art Campus should be part of AR.

Some two months ago, I showed my personal blog to my dear blogger friend, Manisha and she also suggested to make it public. She is the one from whom I got many good pointers about knitting/crocheting when I was struggling with it.

Then in one of our conversations, I came to know Sailu has a great talent with embroidery. I only wish I could meet her and learn it from her. May be when I go back to India, I may visit Vizag to meet her :). I am bowled over by her creativity with embroidery.

About 2 months ago, when I was blog hopping, I came across easycrafts blog. Oh my…the different crafts she has posted..its like a dream world for me. So I thought I should at least try few of the methods she has used. I made innumerable visits to art stores here to buy the tools. Because I didn’t even have a clue about some of these, I bought wrong tools most of the time and then had to go again to exchange them.

Now, the next thing I want to start is glass painting. I loved Shn’s paintings and asked her if she can help me get started with it. She sent me a detailed email with all instructions to get started. I will buy these soon and start something. Thanks Shn. Appreciate your help.

There are many more awesome people who gave me great suggestions and feedback about this. I thank them all.

So, that’s the story behind my art campus. I am hoping to get some constructive feedback & ideas from the art lovers/experts. Since I am just learning, I would love any pointers, like what kind of materials to use or anything that wold help me improve these. Again, thanks to all of you…

PS: I have moved all the comments from oil painting page on Aayi’s recipes to About of Art campus since I am closing down the page. If I have missed anything, I am sorry, it was not intentional.

Introducing my Art Campus Read More »

FAHC donate smiles – Raffle winner

A huge THANKS to all the people who donated for FAHC donate smiles.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $3,360, however due to all generous donations, $4,735 was raised. Kudos to all who have supported the cause

The Raffle prize winners are announced at Mahanandi, if you had bought any tickets.

My raffle prize “Mountain Valley” painting is won by Chandrarekha.

Chandrarekha, Congratulations!!!.I have sent you email, please reply with your mailing address and I will ship the prize to you.

FAHC donate smiles – Raffle winner Read More »

Feed a hungry child by donating smiles

Feed A Hungry Child is a non-profit organization formed by V.K.N of My Dhaba.

feedahungrychild.org is a not-for-profit charitable organization formed in a collaborative effort of the like-minded people from all around the world. It aims to replace the empty plates of the underprivileged children and replace them with ones of food. While FAHC addresses the holistic needs of each children it supports, it believes illiteracy, malnutrition, and other concerns can only be addressed when hunger is appeased.

With the help of volunteers, FAHC has begun its support to a pilot batch of 14 children and their families since April 2007 out of which 8 children are girls. Please see the event report for details. This year we are also fundraising to support more children, so would be extremely grateful of any help or contributions you can give to FAHC. Funds from FAHC programs go directly to the children and their families. We do not have any paid employees or any other direct administrative expenses.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $3,360 by October 23, 2007.

What you can do?

Please donate by clicking “Chip In” in the following

  • You can donate any amount.

  • Each $25 donation will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize(Details of prizes are given below).

  • After you donate, please forward your payment confirmation message to [email protected], clearly specifying which prize or prizes you are interested in. Do mention how many tickets per prize, for example, a donation of $50 will buy you 2 raffle tickets.

  • For all correspondence by email, please use the same email address that you have used for your Chip-in contribution. This helps to validate your entry to the raffle and to contact you should you win a prize. For each prize, a raffle winner will be picked.

  • The event will close on 23rd October and raffle prize winners will be announced on 25th.

If you need more information about the prizes, please contact Indira at [email protected].

List of Raffle prizes

  1. Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts, Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy by Ammini RamachandranDonated by Indira
  2. A Gift Box of Spice ExtractsDonated by Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice
  3. Two copies of Complete Digital photography by Ben LongDonated by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi.
  4. Two autographed copies of Indian Home Cooking by Suvir SaranDonated by the chef and author Suvir Saran
  5. Two autographed copies of the just released cookbook American Masala by Suvir Saran – Donated by the chef and author Suvir Saran
  6. Two prizes: Dinner for two each, wine included, at Suvir Saran’s restaurant Dévi in New York City – Donated by chef and owner of Dévi, Suvir Saran
  7. Two ready-to-wear children’s sarees in red and green colors. Donated by Manisha of Indian Food Rocks
  8. A delectable Fair Trade Hamper with fabulous goodies – Donated by Padmaja of Spicy Andhra
  9. A beautiful hand-painted plate with a name of your choice – Donated by Mythili of Vindu
  10. 30-Minute Meals ~ by Rachel Ray – Donated by Siri of Siri’s Corner

To the list above, I am adding one of my latest paintings, ‘Mountain Valley’ – Oil on Canvas 16 X 20 as a raffle prize.

If you choose this painting and you win, you get my favorite painting that I’ve done so far.

For those who don’t know what a raffle prize is :

Raffle prize is lottery in which the prizes are goods rather than money. In the above campaign, you can buy a ticket for any of the prizes at Mahanandi. On 25th, there will be a draw and if your ticket wins, you will be sent the gift. No extra charges for shipping.

Please chip in. THANKS!!.

Feed a hungry child by donating smiles Read More »

A milestone and How to browse this blog efficiently

This is the 500th post on this blog. So thanks to all my readers who have given their immense support to me for last 2+ years.

I always wanted to do something about bringing my aayi(mom)’s culinary skills to people, since I knew every person who tasted her food had praised her. Her pickles were not only popular at my home but also my relative’s relative’s relatives knew about them. We thought of creating a website but that looked like lot of work at a time. When I got married, my husband suggested to create a blog and created ‘Aayi’s Recipes’ for me. Thats how it all started about 2.5 years ago. To begin with, I never thought this blog would be anywhere close to what it is now.

I started posting regularly after we moved to USA. The reason for the regularity could be attributed to the fact that, I was missing my aayi’s cooking a lot and wanted to keep track of the recipes so that I could go back to them whenever I wanted. Like a reference. Slowly but steadily people started to visit this blog, and I took more and more keen interest in it.

Over the last one year I received huge number of emails from readers who benefited from this site in many ways. I also started getting success stories of people who never cooked before and had tried recipes on this blog. It is an amazing feeling that this work has brought happiness and fond memories of their favorite food to those who live away from their home, from all over the world.

My main strength and inspiration comes from those who send me comments/mails giving me suggestions, ideas etc. There are few people who are constantly in touch and I greately appreciate your time, thanks a lot.

How to efficiently browse Aayi’s Recipes?

Let me explain each and every feature of this blog. Please read on.

Search – There is a search on the top which allows you to search for a particular recipe. So when you want something like ‘moong‘, enter it in the box and hit ‘Enter’. Select the one that you need. I am writing this specifically, because I have seen some readers almost ‘never’ use search. They ask me for a recipe which they could have got to, in seconds. If you try using search first, you might get to your favorite recipe much faster.

On the top navigation bar

About – On this page you can find answers to questions like – Why did I start this blog? Which is my home town? What do I do for a living?and more such.

Cooking tips – These are some tips I have learned from my aayi, Varada and also collected from different sources. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section of that post and I will try to reply.

ArtCampus – This is a place where I have posted some art work from of my hobbies like painting, knitting and crocheting, drawing etc

Contact – If you want to contact us, please use this page.

Disclaimer – Many don’t seem to have read this post at all. Please read it.

Kid’s lunchbox – These are collection of recipes from different blogs/sites which can help moms in creating great lunch boxes. If you find any interesting lunch box ideas, please leave the link on this page. If you have any ideas of your own, please leave them too. It will be helpful to others.

From other blogs – These are few recipes that I tried from other blogs and I loved them. I don’t make separate posts about them on AR, as I feel if it is required, I can directly go to original and try them. These are only a *few* of the lot I tried. I try my best to keep this page updated. There are many more which I need to add here. I wish to do it more regularly hereafter.

Glossary of ingredients used in my recipes is built right in to the posts, with links that take you to a glossary page with picture of the ingredient with description.

I have tried to create an extensive user friendly glossary. The main intention of this glossary is to make everyone understand an ingredient easily. It will have a picture of the item along with it’s name in different languages. This is an in-built glossary, that means, wherever an ingredient appears in the post, it will have a link to the term. For example, urad dal, avrekalu etc, just click on the link to read about the ingredient. You need not go searching for it.

This feature requires a lot of time and it’s laborious so I am working on it whenever I get some free time.

Popular posts – These showcase some of the most popular recipes on this blog. The popularity depends on number of comments. So if there are some dishes which are hugely popular but have less comments, they don’t show up here.

Recipe Index – I have created the categories depending on the type of dish. I think that is the easiest way to search because it is more convenient. I see that people don’t use this feature a lot. Please use it, it makes searching for recipes (names you don’t know) much easier.

On the right side bar

Revisited recipes – These are the recipes that I had posted long ago. As and when I get time, I rewrite these posts and update pictures. This is done mainly because when I started blogging, I didn’t know how to write a post. Primarily, I change the pictures, correct mistakes if any etc.

Latest posts – These show the latest 10 posts on this blog. Click on any to go to particular post.

Latest comments – Latest 10 comments on this blog.

Request

– I can hardly speak 4-5 languages. So when I am writing the glossary, I can write the translation mostly in these (or few of these) languages. Please send me the translation in your language, if it’s not listed, so that I can make it more useful for everybody.

– Please leave comments/feedbacks when you try a dish. This helps me to know what you all like. This also helps me to plan future posts. While posting comments, please leave the comments on relevant post. For example, write a comment about date cake, at date cake post instead of some other post. This is because your valuable comment might help someone else.

– Please be polite while leaving comments. This is not a paid site where you are paying for recipes. So at the least, it helps being polite while commenting and creates a positive influence on everyone.

Thanks for reading…

Again, I thank each and every one of you.

THANK YOU !!!

A milestone and How to browse this blog efficiently Read More »

iPhone ready

Aayi’s Recipes is now iPhone ready.

I am not sure how many of readers to this site are actually using iPhone. But this is kind of nice to have my site usable on an iPhone.

What that means is iPhone users will now be able to view Aayi’s Recipes on their iPhone in a very ‘iPhone friendly’ form. All the edges have been nicely shaped and trimmed to suit the gorgeous 3.5 inch screen of iPhone and made to be very easily readable. iPhone users can also comment on the post right from within the post, just like on a Mac or PC. The color scheme has been maintained from it’s original theme.

It was made possible by a wordpress plugin called iwPhone and as my husband is an iPhone user, he installed this plugin and did theming work on it.

If you are an iPhone user, go to Safari, tap on the address bar, enter https://www.aayisrecipes.com and tap ‘Go’. Also bookmark it for future visits.

Check out some of the screenshots below.

iPhone screenshot - Aayi's Recipes homepage

iPhone screenshot - Aayi's Recipes single post

iPhone screenshot - Aayi's Recipes Comments

iPhone screenshot - Aayi's Recipes Comments form

iPhone ready Read More »

Moved !!! Moving; Please check back in 3 days

Update: Moved, you should now experience faster loading pages and a better overall feel.

Please leave me a comment or email if you come across any issues. I appreciate your help.

I am in the process of moving Aayi’s Recipes on to a new web hosting provider. You might experience issues with this site such as site unavailable, broken links/images or any other errors.

Please bear with me for 3 days and we will be back up and better.

As always I appreciate your support, see you soon.

Moved !!! Moving; Please check back in 3 days Read More »

Wish you all a very happy Independence day


(Thanks Aruna for the suggestion to post this video here today).

While growing up, Independence day and republic day of India were big occasions for all kids. There used to be preparations for the parade weeks before these days.

On the big day, there used to be flag hoisting in our school early in the morning. Then our teachers would take us in a procession to a old fort in a nearby village called ‘Mirjan’. There, the kids of all neighboring schools would gather. The Chairman of the Mirjan gram(village) would hoist the flag and give a speech. They would distribute some sweets/candys to all the kids and we would come back to our respective schools. Ohh, I can’t explain how happy we used to be to get those sweets/candys, even though we used to eat like princes/princesses daily at home, those small pieces distributed on these days were a big treat for us. We also got to meet so many other school children, some of whom were very arrogant to talk and some were very friendly. I also remember, only 4+ standard(grade) children were taken to this fort because it was quite far and we had to walk all the way.

When I was in 4th, for some reason, they didn’t take us and I started crying out of frustration, teachers had a tough time to calm me down. Then my pappa took me to the fort in the evening to show the flag.

While we enjoyed in school, my parents would sit glued to the TV to watch flag hoisting on Red fort. They would watch the hoisting, parade and then speech by our Prime minister. This year, pappa was terribly missing all these, then he read the newspaper from start to finish to get the updates.

Aayi and pappa were telling all these stories to my husband yesterday, I wished I could go back to those days again, at least for one day. I am sure at least few of you have similar memories and if you are outside India, you must have terribly missed all the celebrations.

Wish you all a very happy Independence day Read More »

Garlic mango chutney(losney-ambli gojju)

Raw mango is called ambli (Konkani) or mavinkayi(Kannada). In India, it is a mango season now. Every time I talk to my parents, they talk about mangoes in our yard. We have many mango trees, though they are not any export quality mangoes, they are one of the best mangoes I have ever tasted. Juicy, sweet and full of pulp. So usually these are used in cooking also.

Aayi gave this recipe to me last week when I was in search of mango recipes. This is not the famous ambli gojju the Konkanis are familiar with(I will post that version some other time). The mangoes we get here are pathetic, so after couple of failure trials, I have stopped buying them. We get raw ones here, by chance if we get ripe one, they have the hairy pulp(not sure what it is called, it is impossible to eat these mangoes). So my best choice was to buy them from Indian store. I bought the most fragrant ones that I could find. When I tasted them, they were very sour. So I thought of using them for this recipe. This recipe calls for raw mangoes and jaggery is added to give the sweet taste to it. Instead of that I used these semi ripe – sweetish sour mangoes and the final result was very good. You can’t eat it in large quantity like a side dish, but it is best when tried like a chutney, a little at a time.

Ingredients:
1 cup mango pieces
1 tea spn jaggery
1 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn finely chopped garlic
Oil
Salt

Increase or decrease the jaggery content according to the sweetness of mangoes. This dish should have a tinge of sweetness.

Method:
Cook mango pieces in water till they are soft. Mash them. (I cooked them along with the skin and used mixer to slightly grind it).
Mix jaggery, salt, chili powder and mix well.
Heat oil and add garlic. Fry for a min and pour it on the gojju.
Serve with hot rice.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15mins

Garlic mango chutney(losney-ambli gojju) Read More »

Fond memories…

I usually don’t prefer to write about non-food related posts here. But today when I heard these songs, I felt like living my childhood all over again. I thought many of you would love to listen to these. So enjoy :).

Baje Sargam har tarfse goonj bankar desharag..

Baje Sargam Har Ta…

Ek chidiya anek chidiya

Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai…chaddi pahanke phool khila hai phool khila hai

and finally, Mile sur mera tumhara..to sur bane hamara


Those who don’t know about these songs – These are the most popular songs & title songs which used to play on Indian national TV – Doordarshan. As kids, we all grew up listening to these.Thanks to esnips user for uploading these clips to there, thanks to the youtube uploader too.

Fond memories… Read More »

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