Monthly Archives: April 2008

Hiking @ Alviso Marina Park

Over the weekend, I was wondering whether it was just me or did we just move to summer directly from winter. Till about a week or two back, the temperatures were in the 50s, cold and breezy threatening to rain anytime – well, typical winter weather in general. And suddenly over the weekend the temperature shot up to 90 – hot and sweaty. Where did the beautiful spring disappear amidst all this? I wonder…

Anyway, I thought it was a criminal waste to sit at home in this weather and so decided to go for a hike on Sunday. Near our place, there is a quaint little town called Alviso with an old world charm to it, that boasts of a nice county park that opens to the bay. This town was once a prosperous town with a busy port shipping agricultural products from the Santa Clara Valley. With other means of transport getting more popular, the port lost its importance and so did the town. The current attraction in this town is the Alviso County Marina park with its miles of trails for bikers and hikers on the levees here.

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Posted by on April 29, 2008 in Activity


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Baked Veggie Pasta

Ever since I saw Giada making this on Food network, I have been meaning to try this. This is a dish that can make a super elegant presence on your dinner table when you have guests or for a simple weekday dinner.

Baked pasta

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Posted by on April 24, 2008 in Cooking, Italian


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Mexican Grilled Sandwich

Ever since I saw this recipe at TasteTinkerer, my friendly neighborhood blog, I have been meaning to try this grilled sandwich with a Mexican twist. High in protein with very little fat aka nutritious and can be fixed in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect weekday dinner candidate.

Mexican grilled sandwich

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Posted by on April 21, 2008 in Cooking, Mexican


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Inspired Wrap

Inspired by the roll-up that Nandita made for the WBB – Balanced Breakfast, I made this wrap for dinner (as you can tell, I am not too much of a breakfast cooking person) couple of nights ago. This is super easy to make, extremely delicious and highly nutritious – definitely a keeper. Thanks Nandita!

Tortilla Wrap

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Posted by on April 16, 2008 in Cooking


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Eat, Pray, Love

The book starts with an unusual premise – here is a woman brought down by life – divorced, broke up with her boyfriend and completely depressed. Left with meager choices, she decides to step out of the country, travel the world (well, 3 countries) for a year with the hope that this experience will enrich her and inject some much needed vitality into her life. Does she find hope and peace through and in her journey? Well, that is what you find out when you read the book.

Eat, Pray, Love is a memoir of her travels through Italy where she eats, India where she learns to commune with God and Indonesia where she discovers love. Having read a few memoirs myself (Kabul beauty school – avoid it, Into the Wild – can read, Chasing the monsoon – can read), I did not have high expectations of this book when I started reading. But Gilbert’s chatty style of writing is very engaging and is almost like holding a conversation with a friend. Memoirs can tend to get very repetitive and boring, as it is essentially a monologue capturing the world (and culture) from the author’s perspective. Eat, Pray & Love was refreshingly different in this aspect and there was not a single instance throughout the book when I got tired of the soliloquy.

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Posted by on April 13, 2008 in Books


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Rama Navami

Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and a just-ruler whose reign is a symbol of peace and prosperity. It is also significant as it is celebrated in the beginning of summer when the Sun is moving towards the Northern Hemisphere and Rama is supposed to belong to the Sun dynasty. The birth and story of Lord Rama is chronicled by Sage Valmiki in the epic Ramayana, meaning Rama’s journey.

Lord Rama is believed to be born on the ninth day of the bright fortnight (Sukla Paksha) in the month of Chaita, the first month of the Hindu Calendar. As He was born mid-day, people usually fast till mid-day, in anticipation of the Lord’s birth and then break the fast with the offerings to God. In South India, we usually make panagam (water sweetened with jaggery and spices), neer mor (watered down butter milk) and kosumbari (pre-soaked moong dhal flavored with green chillies and ginger) as offerings on Rama Navami.

The virtues of Lord Rama and why His worship is important is beautifully explained here.


Posted by on April 13, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)



Tamil New Year

Although there is no single true Hindu calendar, mostly, Hindu new year falls around late March to early April. Different regions of India, celebrate the new year on different dates. Southern states of Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra celebrate Ugadi / Gudi Padwa on the same day (typically around late-March and early-April). Other states of India – Bengal, Assam, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu celebrate their new year in mid-April.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

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Posted by on April 11, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)