fun

yet another hidden gem of Indian Cuisine — అరటి పువ్వు రోటి పచ్చడి

raw banana flower bracts pounded in a rock mortar and pestle, added curd, raw green mirchi paste along with a heavy dose of mustard then tempered with traditional spices in peanut oil … Its all.. simple yet a bliss to eat in.  yes.. a bliss.

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Categories: తెలుగు, food, fun, health, indian, kitchen, recipes, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your kid “foodthusiastic” at the dining table?

Do you cook once and eat it for a week? yuck! (sorry, I honestly didn’t mean to insult you) Are you killing your kid’s taste buds and enthusiasm with stale, reheated, boring food? Don’t you agree defrozen items from a Microwave Oven can never ever compare with a Mother’s warm and fresh magic delicacy?
In a world obsessed with Calories but not Kitchen Wisdom, at times when eating out is considered convenient and fashionable but cooking your daily food is looked down, with families hardly having enough time to cook, sit down and eat together, if your kid is NOT saying this everyday, every week, at least once in an year, then you as a parent is a complete failure:

“<grins>Mommy! You are the best cook in the world</grins>”

PYKFTW – NTWFYK

In the Pic below is one of the super man snacks that a kid can get… minapasunni

“ఇంటికి ఇనుము – ఒంటికి మినుము” కదా మరి 🙂
minapasunni

Categories: తెలుగు, family, food, fun, health, indian, kids, kitchen, my, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel log: Six days in SoCal

Roadtrips in Southern California are sure a true mix of technology and nature. 2 days in Los Angeles, 2 days in Joshua Tree National Park and 2 more days in Legoland gave us a perfect blend of fun, infocation and entertainment.

Day-1:

what else goes first? The Universal Studios, yey.  Start early if you are visiting for the first time because you need to catch up with a lot of rides. And if its December-31st, then you would get to enjoy live music and frenzy crowd dancing until midnight and finish it with a brief but amazing fireworks.

Day-2:

Here you have a really lot of options. We went to the Science Museum for a leisure day of infotainment. Don’t miss the IMAX movie experience, its one of the biggest screens in the world.  You may prefer to stroll among the exhibits, but let kids roll all day and tire them with some science 🙂 You may drive to the BAPS swaminarayan temple if you have spare time and energy in the evening.

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Lotus Pond — BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, LA

Do you have the heat image of your family? :P

Do you have the heat image of your family? 😛

Day-3,4:

Drive to the Joshua Tree National Park, to slow down your watch and mind. Mesmerize yourself with a million stars in the sky and a zillion cacti on the ground :). The skull rock is silly but together with one of its kind — cholla cactus garden — would make a day full of fun for your kids. I think the baby cholla cacti  are some of the cutest in their category, no wonder they are called the “teddy bear cholla” 🙂 We did our first exotic hike of the year on the “hidden valley trail”,  with tall boulders all around, walk by the world-famous climbing destination the “Burrito rock” and of course watch your kids jump, climb and run in every direction. Its important to keep them on the trail, watch the plants and other micro organisms.  Test your leg muscles too and your shoe grip. There are no cabins inside the park, only campgrounds but there are many hotels just outside the park entrance.   If you are an astro enthusiast, then you are in the right place. Just go out after dark and grab yourself an experience of a life time.

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At the “Hidden Valley Trail” head

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It takes to become a Junior Ranger.

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Ranger’s check point

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Cactus cactus lots of cactus

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Skull Rock

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Cholla Cactus Garden

Day-5,6:

LegoLand. This is a place that sure entices every kid with a lifetime of memories. Their Lego characters coming live, trivial but funny rides and lots of walking and excitement around.

Legoland -- you can never leave without buying something :P

Legoland — You can never leave without buying something in that shop.

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Hero Factory 🙂

Bonus:

They say the roadtrip between SFO and LA would take at least a week if you are serious about all the places in between, thats so very true. But when you are doing it for the first time, don’t miss the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Soda Lake.

Watching the San Andreas Fault stretch a hundred miles with your naked eye  leaves you in awe.

The Petroleum Highway and the thousands of “Oil Derricks” swinging like giant dolphins doing Sine curves will bring smile onto your face and explains something that drives that metal body under your steering wheel.  The “driving buds” in your brain would sure get some satiation 🙂

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Thats one grand plain and my next campground for star gazing 🙂

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault — it stretches hundreds of miles on the West coast… Just from the Soda Lake with a good wide-angle lens, you can capture at least a few miles of it.. An iphone camera doesn’t do any justice to that spectacular view 😦

bumblebee on the south bed of Soda Lake

Bumblebee at the south bed of Soda Lake

Road in Carrizo Plain approaching Soda Lake south bed

Road between Taft and Carrizo Plain National Monument

Petroleum Highway & the Oil Derricks

Petroleum Highway — thousands of Oil Derricks

Right, thats all. There are many other places worth your time :).. Just start driving first.

thanks for reading.
B

Categories: California, car, family, fun, hike, infotainment, kids, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, secret, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how to entice a kid to his breakfast?

how to entice a kid to his breakfast?Just a lil trick I thought worth sharing. When kids say they are not in a mood for breakfast but its time, you can certainly grab the ‘parent’ wand and force them eat something, but thats not what the daddy here does 🙂 I asked them to the kitchen, made them break the eggs, wash the veggies, light up the stove, put the pan and toast some bread slices. In the meantime, I beat the eggs and cut the veggies. Then they added a good amount of garlic salt and jira masala, readied another pan and butter.. One kid  wanted a dotted-sauce outlining and the other a linear ketchup border 🙂 Daddy bows like a magician and voila!

Cheddar jack cheese on garlic omlette with 17-grain bread sandwitch is deliciously ready 🙂

and they ate it happily.. thats the finishing touch.  Hope this gives you a message.  Happy Thanksgiving week 🙂

 

Categories: family, fathering, food, fun, kitchen, suggestions | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

you are welcome to the family foosball championship (weekly)

 

  • Every Sunday afternoonUntitled
  • You and your spouse are a team
  • Each team plays 3 games with all other teams on that day
  • Potluck or Pizza Lunch
  • Entry fee $10 (to start with) and the lady in winning team takes all

Lets have some fun as adults. Bring your kids too but focus on your own game. They can play separately :). We can drop the entry fee if none of the teams are interested in OR we can bump it up, bet separately likes if someone wanna become a little richer by the evening 🙂

This is an open invitation welcoming you all to get hands on and have some fun. Beer and wine are on the house 🙂

Please feel free to ping me for any questions or directions.

🙂

Categories: california, entertainment, family, food, friends, fun, my | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

apple ripples

If you hear someone bite an apple loudly, you will most likely to eat an apple yourself in the next few days.

Do you agree?

Categories: food, fun, health, logic | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

grow-up Whatsapp users!! please!!

Dear Whatsapp users,

  1. Aren’t you tired of forwarding every joke to every other group?
  2. Typing/copy-pasting the same festival wishes into almost every room?
  3. Brazenly forwarding pics/videos that are not yours which are otherwise copy-righted, without mentioning any credits to the source?
  4. Too many groups that are solely circulating entertainment, but nothing of any life-worthy points like books, politics, psychology, parenthood?
  5. Supporting the so called fake/viral news and latest fashion is even adding funny a disclaimer: “I don’t know if this is true”… How else the kcuf do you think the fake news spreads?
  6. And oh yeah.. changing the DPs with your “best of the best” photos which actually make you unrecognizable if someone sees your original face?

Come on!  Its time to evolve. If you are not already doing this:

  1. Maintain domain-specific groups and share only related updates.. Your effing jokes will all be limited to only one group in that case.
  2. Never ever forward “something” if you don’t know for sure its true. Understand the dynamics of fake news. This will largely discourage the assoles getting paid for nothing.
  3. Always attach the source of every picture/video/news. In that way it can be backtracked, gives the creativity a chance to grow and get recognized and lets the fakers step back.
  4. For the sake of the society and for the future of your own kids’ , pl start discussing books, psychology, parenthood and politics etc.  Start voicing your opinion. Thats how we correct each other.
  5. Stop posting your food and home decor.  If you feel like sharing, start blogging.  A blog will keep track of what you are posting, reaches out to a larger audience and enriches the overall online knowledge-base.

Thats all I can think of for now. Please add in the comments if I missed any or if you have another great point.

thanks for reading.

 

Categories: entertainment, fun, life, online-life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

global cuisine or a globetrotter’s humble dinner?

I didn’t realize at first but that is a freshly baked French baguette served with Israeli olive oil from the Arbel mountains at the Sea of Galilee, sprinkled with Italian seasoning and the famous Californian garlic salt… truly Global cuisine? haha, no, a globetrotter’s humble dinner I would say 🙂
global cuisine - humble dinner

Categories: food, fun, kitchen, my, recipes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

I finally figured it out and its my responsibility to share this secret recipe with the rest of the world. Whenever a husband communicates with his wife, he must remember these 3 rules: 1) Say it with love; 2) Say it softly; 3) Say it again… I bet you will never have a communication problem again.. for all the marital bliss for eternity.. All the best to you.
greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

Categories: analysis, తెలుగు, emotions, family, fun, life, my, philosophy, recipes, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legume Paradise — బొబ్బర్ల దోశ – ఉలవల చట్నీ — Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

If you are an energy freak but likes a zero glucose, zero fat, zero cholesterol recipe, then this wonder combination with superb amounts of soluble Fiber, symbiotic bacteria, Iron, Potassium and Zinc will be on your menu, salute the Leguminosae.  You don’t need guts of steel to digest these but the health burst will surely be visible the next time you go for a hike or hit the gym..  Along with that heavy coat of nicely baked onions and ginger, this will also help tune your body to maintain a steady temperature no matter what the weather is..  Try it out and lemme know. Traditional Indian Recipes never let you down 🙂 #sunday #experiment
బొబ్బర్ల దోశ -- ఉలవల చట్నీ -- Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

Categories: experiments, family, food, fun, health, indian, kitchen, my, recipes, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is so wrong with “conveniences”?

I didn’t see a better example for something that was running in my mind for many months, what can be so wrong with a cuttable kitchen-ready coconut? 

cuttable kitchen-ready coconutNo, there is nothing wrong with the coconut or the business model that made it ready for the kitchen. You don’t have to worry about breaking it, no hassle with the safety of your fingers, right?

But the problem is its too much of a convenience.  At the cost of what? They cut the coconut in two halves and then drained the actual tasty water that was inside (probably there was another business around bottled coconut water).  Then they sealed the two halves with a hard ‘wax’ after filling the space with distilled water and some air. That water is labelled ‘undrinkable’ and you have to drain it after “cutting your coconut” into two nice pieces with a normal kitchen knife.

So far, so good. If you want a coconut along with its natural refreshing water, then buy a normal coconut and break it yourself.  Or if you want the convenience and pleasure of cutting it with a normal knife, then buy this.

I thought a ‘convenience’ is something that makes my life easy. The ‘cost’ I am paying in return, often goes into fine print and I was made to conveniently miss it.

There are tons of such conveniences in our every day life and we are silently paying a price. Our lives were just good without any of these conveniences but we chose them, we pay a price and we miss something in the process, something natural, something good.

Don’t jump into any conclusions yet, but lemme give you few more examples:

  1. We were walking, cycling or taking a public transport to go to a workplace or a museum etc, but now with the transport ‘conveniences’, we go there by a car. Lets not talk about congestion, pollution and global warming now, NOT YET.
  2. We were buying fresh vegetables, or grow them in backyard, or store them for a short period of time, but with all the storage ‘conveniences’, you hardly eat fresh vegetables but just keep them in refrigerator for a very long time, I have seen people frequently throwing away rotten veggies and spoiled meats, almost every week. Lets not talk about the cost of growing and the cumulative loss now, NOT YET.
  3. Many of the families have even given up cooking as a daily activity, with the advent of all cuisine ‘conveniences’, that they just eat out every day.. almost every day. I can’t even imagine myself in their shoes but lets not talk about MSDs, health hazards, carcinogenic preservatives used in restaurants and their lethal impact now, NOT YET.
  4. We were playing outdoor games on a daily basis or spending lot of time outdoors otherwise, but with all the living room ‘conveniences’, we are stuck to TV, I mean your every day entertainment whatever it is.  Tell me what is used more frequently? Your TV or your treadmill? Be frank.
  5. We used to remember by heart, at least 20 phone numbers, another 20 full postal addresses, at least 200 names of people in every day life, people at the vegetable market, grocery store, bus conductors, autowallahs and who not? And the thousands of interactions it triggered, hudreds of relationships and tens of friends. But with all the electronic ‘conveniences’, we hardly remember 2 phone numbers. We don’t go out for shopping groceries, clothes, books at all. The e-commerce is slowly taking it away and yes, there is a ‘one-click’ ordering convenience too. Lets not talk about how many businesses are shutting down in your local area now and the wonderful personal moments you missed just like that, NOT YET. 
  6. We used to go out with different kinds of people and when a true difference came up, we fought, we patched up and then we moved on. We lived a 100 years together in spite of all our differences. But with the advent of friendship ‘conveniences’, you go out with like-minded people. you cut down your risk of getting into a difference. Lets not talk about how you just screwed your mind into a comfy-zone and forever denied it an opportunity to evolve, and thereby run into relationship issues later, NOT YET.

In fact, this list is endless. I don’t want to sound ridiculous or unwelcoming of the modern day changes or the techy pleasantries we enjoy having accustomed to live with.

But I want you to consciously look out and understand the price you are paying for the convenience you are claiming. I am sure it will change your life and lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading.

B

Categories: analysis, entertainment, friends, fun, health, home, life, my, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travel log: Utah’s Mighty Five minus one (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, then Antelope)

2700 miles and 8 days can’t really justify a roadtrip circling the Utah’s Mighty Five (minus one, we couldn’t plan anything in the capitol reef due to lack of time). But the stunning memories of rock and ice beauty would forever be your cherished possessions. Touring the Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands National parks have certainly elevated my spirits, may be because I personally believe, if I ever have to visualize my heart and mind in a comparative form, that would be rocks and ice in monumental sizes ;):P #cold #rock I would say.. hehe.. Jokes apart, it was a wonderful tour covering so many great geological features and nature’s sheer beauty that its extremely hard to compile it all into a single blog post.

  • My first solo hike in -24°C is the most beautiful so far
  • Kolob canyons made me drive backwards in snow for a quarter mile in the exact track I went ahead. Rear view mirror is your only source. No other option.
  • We did our first family hike in sub-zero temperatures at -7°C
  • We hiked the hoodoos in winter #navaho #loop #bryce
  • We were stuck in a passing snow storm and took 1 and a half hour to drive 2 miles in blinding snow fall with no trace of a human or any tire marks on a valley road. And that so happened on one of the most scenic drives between Zion and Bryce. Not scenic at that time ;(
  • Another family hike to the Delicate Arch, the slick rock, the ridge walk and the slope to the Arch are so very tensively beautiful
  • A family self-rescue on a very slippery icy track to Landscape arch, thanks to my crampons, hike unfinished.
  • Walking the slot canyons will take you back in time by a million years for sure, as we did the Lower Antelope Canyon.
  • Getting away from civilization will teach you the importance of a social life ;):P
  • Driving through the Monument Valley is like driving into a movie set

Take a look at the pics. I better be brief in words but I sincerely wish you take the same journey to appreciate and experience the amazing states of Utah and Arizona.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

where is the road? which way to go? come on... try it.

where is the road? which way to go? come on… try it.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Get away.. please.

Get away.. please.

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can't of course :)

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can’t of course 🙂

please please get away.

please please get away.

And that one pic for my bumble bee :)

And that one pic for my bumble bee 🙂

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

upclose with the Thor's Hammer at -7°C

upclose with the Thor’s Hammer at -7°C

you would love driving those roads.

you would love driving those roads.

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far.

Don't slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Don’t slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Do you see the Ms.World  2017 in this picture?

Do you see the Ms.World 2017 in this picture?

Kids' 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

Kids’ 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. :)

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. 🙂

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains.. another classic from the slots.

the fish

the fish.. this is my best in handling the light shades.. of course the guide will help you with all this ;):P

Laughing Dolphin

Laughing Dolphin

getaway.. getaway.. u.

getaway.. getaway.. u.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

At 7am in -7°C in 7

At 7am in -7°C in 7″ snow, what the heck do some people do?

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids' 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats lot of, really lot of preparation.

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids’ 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats a lot of, really a lot of preparation.

Categories: friends, fun, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, travel, utah | Leave a comment

What the heck do kids learn outdoors?

For fun they played in snow
In pain they cried in snow
The contrast taught them a lesson which they don’t realize now

Take your kids to the great outdoors and face the elements, let them handle the inconveniences and they will quickly stop crying and start thinking solutions.

You can’t give them anything better as a parent… Anything.
    
what the heck do kids learn outdoors?

Categories: california, entertainment, family, fathering, fun, hike, kids, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, winter | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

Categories: family, fathering, fun, kids, life, my, philosophy, urban | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experiment :: 30 days of my “Social absence”

It may sound crazy or silly, but yes it happened to me.

I was “connected” too much and it started suffocating me with overwhelming flow of incoming messages.

In the age of facebook, whatsapp, hipchat, snapchat, slack, linkedin and google+, its easy to grow your online circles , start liking groups of your interest, subscribe to the endless RSS feeds of choice and bury yourself with tons of data.  I never thought social networking can be so suffocating.  And you know what? I am not a “power user” of these networks. Just a normal guy with usual circles and casual interactions.. And if I experienced such a flood of data, I can image what happens to people with thousands of friends and hundreds of groups.. My phone was vibrating almost all the time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So I thought I should take a break.

I deleted all my social network accounts and went into online-oblivion.. for 30 days.

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And not surprisingly, not many noticed my absence.  As I said, I am not a power user. Few might have frowned at seeing me go, but you know people dropping out accidentally is so common so they just ignored.  One friend has gone to an extent to drag me into one group so badly that he added another ‘balu’ in his contacts ( I don’t blame him, no one remembers phone numbers any more).

Thats all. Nothing much. That PROVED one thing very clearly.

My absence doesn’t really matter much.

All that constant flow of incoming messages that gave me an immense sense of belonging, all the phone vibrations that demanded my attention and gave me a false feeling of importance, all that hype around an illusory possessiveness that cared so much to notify me of so many happenings… all that everything washed off… in 30 days.

Now, I came back and activated all my accounts silently. I now know the core circles where I actually belong. I will see how many people will actually read this and care to add me back to the groups because my number is now active.  Lets just wait and see :):p

And hey, what happened in these 30 days? what did I do productively in the absence of a constant stream of connectivity? Thats suspense for now .. and thats the concept of my next post 🙂

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to do the same experiment and realize your true connections and also use that time to realize and prove your true potential, because you won’t have as many distractions.

Happy experimenting.

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Categories: experiments, fun, life, me, online-life, philosophy, secret, society, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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