Dessert: Rabri

Rabri or Rabdi, is a sweet milk dessert most famous in Uttar Pradesh in India or Nepalgunj in Nepal. This dessert is mostly made during festivity and/or celebrations. It is one of my favorite desserts, and thankfully it is very simple to make. It has the right amount of sweetness and creamy texture that just melts in your mouth. Adding nuts to Rabri brings out even more of the taste. I usually don’t use nuts, because of allergies.

Ingredients: rabri

6 cups of milk

3 tablespoon of sugar

8-10 pieces of cardamom

Preparation time: 1.5 hours

Serves: 4 people

Step 1: Shell and grind the cardamom then put them aside till the end.

Step 2: In low heat, pour all the milk into a large pot. Stir for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Watch carefully, as you do not want the milk to boil out of the pot. Turn the heat to medium. Carefully separate the top layer of the milk and put it aside, either on the same pot or onto a different bowl.

Step 4: The milk should decrease to ¼ of its amount. At this point, add the cardamom and 3 teaspoon of sugar into the boiling milk. Mix them carefully. Do not try to break the layers too much.

Step 5: Pour it all into a bowl. Let it cool off in room temperature for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate for an hour.

Step 6: If desired, add cashews or pistachios to garnish the dish. Serve and enjoy!

Please do check out a quick picture video on making Rabri!!

 

 

Bryce Canyon and Zion Mountain Summer Camping Trip

Our 2016 summer camping excursion is finally posted! Please do check out our Bryce Canyon and Zion Mountain Camping Trip.

Day 1: Drove directly to KOA Cannonville Campground. We arrived around 3 P.M. We setup our tent and relaxed.

Day 2: We woke up early in the morning to hike Bryce. Just breathe taking. The Hoodoos were just amazing. All day at the event!

Day 3: We went to Zion Mountain National Park. There are so many trails. If you don’t want to drive, they have a very well organized bus system that takes you close enough to the trails. Sadly, Sky got sick, and we had to return back to our campsite.

Day 4: This was just a tease for us. We have to come back here. I just fell in love with Bryce and didn’t get to hike enough trails. We packed our tent and headed back home to Colorado. We took the most scenic and beautiful drive ever!! We stopped by and hiked some smaller trails on our way home. We also found a hidden coffee shop (Kiva). They built the coffee shop and one bedroom hotel literally on the side of a cliff. Amazing.

**We kind of rushed and will have to return again (someday). Sadly, because of time, weather, and everything else, we were not able to do as many hikes as expected. So, I recommend spending at least couple days per area.

We went camping in the middle of Summer (July). It was crazy hot!! I think September or early fall would have been a better time. The summer heat and heat from the sun hitting the rocks made it unbearably hot by the end of the day. We started the camping trip on a weekday and it wasn’t that busy. As weekend neared, more campers started coming. I prefer a more spacious and less crowded campground, so it worked out well for us. The campground even has small hiking trails. We actually made time to hang out at the pool, which a nice plus! I cannot find one bad thing about this KOA Campground. It was about 20 minutes away from Bryce Canyon and 45 minutes from Zion Mountain. This was our first KOA experience, and well worth it!

This KOA campsite even provided pancake breakfast on Saturday mornings. If you forgot anything, they have a small shop with almost everything you needed, even potatoes and onion. I really liked the community kitchen available for free to use for everyone. The bathroom was exceptionally clean and shower was separate, which was nice. They even had few washer and dryer! It was a perfect family friendly RV, Camper, Cabin, and tent campground. We had a pretty open and large campsite. I don’t know if all tent sites are that large. It was great for us, as we had amazing mountain views. We also had water and electric on site. Price differs accordingly.

Every night was a clear night. We saw so many shooting stars. It was just beautiful. It does get cold in the evening and early morning, which is expected. Besides that, we really enjoyed the trip. It is always nice to take time off and be away from our man-made lifestyle. I think we all need this type of break from our busy lives. Seeing these natural beauty makes me realize how small we really are, and how easily we can take our lives for granted. It is even more special, because my son, who is only three, is the one reminding us of “that time” and asking us when our next camping trip will be. It is that enthusiasm and excitement that makes me more eager to share and enjoy nature with him. All in all, this camping trip has been the most “Awwing”, most amazing, and most scenic yet.

TENT SITES: They have electric/water, just electric or tent site only (no hookups). You will have to call them to get the rates. As a KOA Member you do get 10% off each night at all or most KOA campsites. I think it’s a great deal.

**Also, it seems that their online reservation is not up-to-date with the current availabilities. So it is a better option to just call them.                  

Campground: CANNONVILLE / BRYCE VALLEY KOA

215 N. Red Rock Dr., Cannonville, UT 84718

Open March 15 – October 30

Reserve: 888-562-4710    Info: 435-679-8988

Coffee Shop: KIVA COFFEE HOUSE

Hwy 12, Milemarker 73.86, Escalante, UT 84726

Phone: 435-826-4550

Hours: April- October from 8:30-4:30 Daily (Closed on Tuesdays)

 

First Day of School!

I am sure, actually, I am positive that the first, first day of school of your child is more exciting for the parent than the child. Seriously, I am not exaggerating; well it img_4496was for me. Today marked the officially first day of school for my son, even if it’s just pre-school. He was very eager to wake up, brush teeth, wear new clothes, eat and just get to school. Strangely, waking up early felt normal. I am sure it will be just TODAY. As it was totally worth it! I could see in my sons’ eyes the eagerness to get to school and feel special that he is old enough to go to a place and learn. I felt so proud of him. 

As you may all know, we have recently moved to a different State. So, we have a lot of cardboard and wood boxes, storage bins, and just stuff around the house. Instead of throwing it out, I thought I’d make a chalkboard out of the wood box. The the thing to make “first day of school” sign!

Step 1: Using your power tools or saw, cut the wood to the size useful to your needs. I made a square size and a picture frame style.     img_4410    

Step 2: If needed, sand the wood board, so that the paint will go on more efficiently. 

Step 3: Paint the wood board with chalk paint. Let it dry for at least a hour before doing a second coat of the chalk paint.      

    Step 4: Once dry, the chalkboard is ready. Write your messages!! Erase, reuse, have fun! **Recommendation: Do not use permanent pens or marker, unless you want it to be permanent. Use chalk markers, so that you can erase and use the board. 

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Our first camping trip: Moab & Mesa Verde

Atul and I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world together, from different parts of Mexico to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Nepal. I hope we can continue this trend with our son. Sky has done not so bad for being just a 3 and half year old. He went to Puerto Rico at the age of 3.5 months. Then to Nepal for his first birthday. He has been to Mexico 3 times already. Sky loved it every time.

Atul loves the nature and I love the beach. So whenever we have any free time, you will find us hiking or driving on any closeby scenic mountain routes. Our local excursions means being with the nature. We felt Sky, at the age of 2.5 was a good enough of an age, especially since he also enjoys nature to start camping. As always, he was an awesome trooper!

Please do check out our first camping trip to Moab and Mesa Verde.

Day 1: Drove directly to Moab (hiked as much as we could with the little guy). Around 4 pm we arrived at our campground.

Day 2: Visited Mesa Verde National Park. Hiked on few trails and saw amazing cliff dwellings. All day at the event!

Day 3: We practically spent the whole day driving from one destination to another on the San Juan Loop: Durango, Silverton, Ouray, and back to Mesa Verde. Most scenic and beautiful drive ever!!

Day 4: Packed our tent and headed back home to Colorado. On our way back, we saw a dinosaur park. We had to stop! Great way to end an awesome camping trip.

Campground: Ancient Cedars                                                                                                       

34979 Hwy 160 Frontage Road
Mancos, CO 81328
Cell Phone: 1-970-565-3517
Toll Free Number: 1-844-565-3517

We went camping at the end of camping season (September), so the campsite was pretty empty. I actually like it like that (less crowded). It is the same exit going towards Mesa Verde National Park, except you would make a left turn instead of right to go to the park. It’s a little hidden but close to the highway. They even have small hiking trails within the campground. We didn’t have time to play mini-golf or go to the pool. Pool looked okay. We saw so many shooting stars. It was just beautiful. It does get cold in the evening and early morning, which is expected. Besides that, we really enjoyed the campsite. Our tent site was exceptionally large. I don’t know if all tent sites are that large. It was great for us, as we had amazing mountain views, on the corner, next to a cool looking barn (almost abandon) and the playground. The last night, they even brought us “free” firewood. It was nice gesture.

TENT SITES                    

$20.00/night for one person.
$27.00/night for two people.
$3.50 for each additional person six years and older.
All sites shaded by ancient cedar trees, with fire pits.

**I don’t really agree with the ratings. The husband and wife who own the campsite were very helpful. They had told us that they recently purchased it, so the rating maybe a reflection on the past management. The bathroom area was clean and the campground itself was very well kept.

Dinosaur Park: Moab Giants     

112 West SR-313, Moab, Utah 84532

If you have a dino lover like my son, it is totally worth the visit. It’s actually a thrilling experience for adults as well. The giant dinosaurs amongst the natural desert and the rocky arches as the background makes it look so real. Be ready for the scorching heat!! They have a small museum. It was still being worked on it when we were there.

 

A cup of tea

A cup of tea.. relax.. it looks like it will be just fine…

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My Nepali Style Chai Tea:

Tea, it’s a simple way to bring people together. In Nepal, tea is served at all times, in any occasion, literally, any of time of day. Tea truly is a source of hospitality and conversation.

Everyone has their own style, which is okay. Some like it with a lot of masalas (spices), some don’t. Some make a large batch of just the black tea with masalas and just add milk as needed. I prefer it to make it fresh each time.  It only take about 10 minutes to make the hot and savory Nepalese chai tea.

Chai (serves 3-4 people)

2 cups of milk

1 cup of water

2 tablespoon of brown sugar (add as needed)

1 tablespoon of freshly, chopped ginger

2 teaspoon of black pepper

4-6 pieces of cardamom and cloves (slightly crushed)

½ piece of a cinnamon stick

2 table spoon of black tea (If you cannot find Assam loose tea—Tetley tea bags are fine)

Step 1: In a medium size pot, pour all of the milk and water. The stove should be in medium to low heat.

Step 2: Be cautious, as milk heats up quickly. Allow the liquids to boil and then add the sugar. Stir occasionally.

Step 3: Add the tea, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and the cinnamon stick. These are essentially called the tea masalas.

Step 4: Once all the masalas are added, the liquid should stop boiling. Within 5 minutes, once it starts boiling again, turn off the stove and let the tea sit for few minutes.

Step 5: Strain into the cups, serve, and enjoy!

 

 

Moving to North Carolina

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Leaving CO

2016 has been a year of full of roller-coaster rides for us. After a year and half of searching for the “perfect” place; it seems like we are a step closer. We decided to move to North Carolina. We packed our bags and drove cross-country to Charlotte, North Carolina. We made our road trip to NC into a mini vacation and visited our family on route. It was one of our best decisions we have made, yet. As Skyler (Sky), our son, met his cousins Pala Didi and Mayank Dai in Kansas and Maniel Dai in Centralia for the first time. Even for us, grown ups, it was great seeing our family we rarely get to visit, and just simply hanging out with the cousins!

Once we arrived in Charlotte, we struggled for a few weeks. Struggled in the terms of directions, adapting to the hot and humid temperature, as well as learning that ABC is the where you buy liquor and liquor only, and beer and wines are sold only at the grocery stores. In this time, we were also breaking out of our shell and becoming more so emotional, which was good, as we were able to talk more openly about if the move was even the right decision. Thankfully, Sky didn’t get too sick from his allergies; as Spring is suppose to be horrible because of pollens. It also confirmed to me, at least, that this was the right decision. After few weeks, we finally met up with few of our friends. It felt good to meet people we knew in a new town.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we realized within a month that we are in-love more so with Raliegh, NC. So imagine this, you are paying monthly rent (short-term lease=higher $$) in Charlotte, but looking for homes in Raleigh, which is about 2.5–3 hours away. Sometimes, we would drive 2 or 3 times in a week, back and forth, and spend extra money on hotel for the weekend. I think we spent our down payment in just 3 months. No joke. It was one of the most stressful 3 months ever, but poor Sky, he was a “trooper!” He quickly realized that this was going to happen more often than he liked. Thankfully, he didn’t mind it too much, as he knew he would get to play in the pool and have waffles at the hotel! Such simple pleasures! Thankfully, we also made wonderful friends to take care of us and tell us “just relax.” On a funny note, every house we went to see, Sky had his opinion. He would take off his shoes in almost all the homes, feel it out and be very blunt in what he had to say, such as, “I don’t like this house, this room smells, why is that there?” and the one and only home he said, “I like this house, this is my room,” is the home we picked in Chapel Hill.

Our closing date wasn’t set till few months down the road. So we thought, “why not travel around till we closed on the house.” And, that is exactly what we did. We went to Playa Del Carmen in May, Bryce Canyon and Zion Mountain in July, and by the end of the month we were back to our new home in NC. I truly feel that we found our beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. Every time we would talk NC, Sky related it to this home. I only realized this when we walked into our new home after getting the keys and Sky said, “finally we are in North Carolina.” It’s adorable what a 3 and half year old thinks and says.

I have an amazing family and great friends that I’ve left behind in Colorado and I’ve made wonderful friends here in North Carolina, so why not share my journey with all and keep in touch in a more unique manner. I want to share my life, experiences, and what I am still learning…

I wanted to end on this note. Thank you to my family, who has always supported me. Thank you to Atul and Sky for always loving me dearly. And thank you to my new friends in NC. I am very thankful and I can’t say it enough. You guys have been a wonderful support system and made this move a breeze! Thank you again!

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Arriving to NC