Christmas in july Paperless Post

Life has been sweet so far and to keep it that way, we try to spend more time with family and friends to make lifelong sweet memories. Ain’t that the treasure of life anyway? So here comes the reason to celebrate Christmas in July. I put my all into party planning to make it “The Unique party” experience for guests. But I have learned that “Simple is New SMART!” When the simplest form of pretty arrangements happens flawlessly  with all the crowd in the party; you know, that your party is successful when everyone is simply enjoying time. Back to what I have planned for my “Christmas  in July” party in my home, are listed below. Food, games, Invitations, thank you notes and much more…

First comes the Invitations on the list and needless to mention. I had to create my own. “Simple” is on my mind and below invite is the outcome.


The Christmas Card design is inspired by Warli Art. If you don’t have time to make your own card like I did, check out the brand new collection of Christmas cards availableover at Paperless Post. My personal favorite is this and this one!

Next comes, deciding the Menu. We have included ourselves to one of those dry communities here in USA being  in “Hindu Vegetarian (no egg) and alcohol free” Zone and so food items might not be authentic Christmassy dishes. 😉

Cocktail drink chosen Watermelon punch being party in July.


Starters : , Veg lettuce wrap & Mini Vada Pav (stuffed in Mushroom sized hamburger buns).

Entree: Jamie Oliver’s Sweet potato Falafel with pea & Feta Hummus and Wheat Enchiladas

Side dish: Cold pasta Salad with Spinach Peasto Sauce (for kids),& Mini veg Puff pastries.

Update on Side dish:  Sesame Veggie Lo Mein Noodles. This is on my To-Try list for next party, as its easy, kid friendly (No spices) and who doesn’t like Noodles? Thank you so much Miss Z. for sharing your KitchenAffairs with foodie people like us. Do check her recipes out fellas.

Sweet tooth Fixes: Peach cobbler with Almond Chocolate  Ice-cream


Last but not least are Home decors and Games. For the party, I stick to one element for the decors. Fresh Succulents for outdoors and flowers for indoors. I also like backyard party but its too hot in July here. For the kids play area, used lots of balloons filled with candies. 😀  For kids games, we bought lots of crayons and coloring pages, piano, puzzles and board games like candyland from Target. For adults, we bought sequence board game while we have late night snacks after desserts.

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For “Thank you for coming” favors, I gave them my handmade Henna Mini Canvas for home decors.  And that was our blast for the Christmas in July. As someone said once,


“One is only Happy in  proportion as he makes others feel Happy”  ~Unknown 😛 🙂

I hope, the post made you smile with the ideas! Thank you for visiting. Do let me know your feedback about my ideas and new ideas I can use on my next party.


Spinach-Peas pasta recipe / peasto pasta 

One of the foodie friend started this “Let’s get back to cooking” group under Google Spaces and her hubby shared this falafel recipe in the group. I must say he has a vey good taste to filter down the recipes for us foodies in the group. 😛😁 I still haven’t tried the whole recipe but was tempted to try it over the weekend. Just to respect my own feelings, I tried the sauce with the twist that works for my family. Thanks ZanPan, this post is dedicated to you guys. Basically I just made the Basil pesto sauce without Basil.


1 cup wheat pasta

3 tbsp fresh green peas

3 tbsp fresh spinach

1 tbsp mozarella cheese, 1 tbsp blue cheese sauce(you can also use cube cheese ), 1 tbsp feta cheese, 1 tbsp avocado olive oil( you can use any cooking oil), salt and pepper per taste, 2 cloves fresh garlic, 1.5 tbsp dried basil leaves( optional) , 1 handful of cilantro leaves.


1. First cook pasta of your choice per direction on the box. Keep the water from pasta.

2. If you have fresh peas, put spinach leaves and peas in hot water from pasta for 5 minutes.

3. Now in your mixer, add peas, spinach, cilantro, all 3 cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic, oil and half avocado if you want it creamy. I did not add though.

4. Your pasta sauce is ready, just add any veggies you like ( cucumber, Cherry tomatoes, olives, onions, bell pepper) in your pasta and mix well with sauce. You can sprinkle some Parmesan and blue cheese to serve.

It’s the best way to get the veggies in toddler’s system. I did not add any vegetables as I wanted the quick version but I still got spinach and peas in the sauce. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have fun cooking quick recipes. The falafel recipe I was talking about can be found here.

Malai Kofta Vada Pav recipe

Every time I am in a process of cooking least enjoyable recipes, my mind is having highest exposure of inventing some new recipe. Well I am trying to be positive about cooking same ole same ole. Do you have one of those days when you save even little left over curry because it was so yummy but next day its not enough for you and hubby both and have to cook something anyway. This recipe was quick for me, as I had leftover Punjabi gravy. So, here I come with some twist to  Mumbai-ya vada pav.  Now this combination might not work well for everyone’s taste buds but it is very interesting. Note: photos are not from my kitchen. I am to update soon.


Ingredients for punjabi red gravy:

3 -4 medium tomatoes boiled and peeled skin, onion powder (optional), 3 cloves of fresh garlic(optional), 1/2 inch ginger grated, 2 small green chili paste (if you like spicy), 1 tsp tomato Ketchup, salt per your taste, 3 tbsp cashew powder, pinch of sugar(optional), 1.5 tbsp kitchen king masala, 2 tbsp heavy cream. 1/2 tsp red pepper powder

Ingredients for Vada=Kofta:

2 cups grated paneer, 2 cups of boiled- mashed potatoes, 1/2 tbsp cardamom powder, 1/2 tsp saunf (variyali) powder(optional), 1 cup  finely chopped cilantro

Ingredients for Vada coating

2 tbsp oil, 1.5 cup gram flour Gram flour, salt per taste, 1/2 tsp ajwain, 1 cup very finely chopped spinach leaves. (this is a twist, you can avoid step 3, 4 & 5 with Style 1 below).

Ham burger bread/pav per your requirement.

Chutneys: garlic Chutney , green cilantro chutney and Dates chutney.


  1. First of all, prepare gravy if you don’t have it from left over. Give it some time to cool down while we prepare for kofta mixture.
  2. Gravy preparation similar to any Punjabi gravy you make. Remove skin of boiled tomatoes and make a puree. Add all the ingredients except heavy cream. Now take 1 tbsp oil in pan and heat it. Add the the gravy mix to cook for 15 minutes.Once oil starts separating, add heavy cream. As soon as the gravy is ready, let it cool while you prepare your vada coating mix. Make sure gravy is not too runny.

                           ——  Style 1 (Spinach coated Vadas/Koftas) —–

            3. For vada coating(with spinach), heat oil in pan. Add gram flour and keep mixing, so no lumps left. Add salt, ajwain and finely chopped spinach. It will turn in to sticky paste as water from spinach leaves. Make sure you keep mixing well for no lumps. This option is good if you want to make your kofta/vada in appam pan(no fry).

4.Now to Vadas/Koftas, mix all ingredients for vada/kofta and 3 tbsp of red gravy prepared. This twist will give that northern kick to mubaiya vada pav. Make small balls of this mixture.

5.For vada coating with spinach, take a medium chunck of this mix and spread oil in your palm. Now pat it into small puri and stuff the paneer-potato balls in puri. Roll them nicely and  fry them on medim flame. Alternatively you can cook them in appam pan.

OR———–Style 2  NO-Spinach coated Vadas/Koftas——–

3. For vada coating (without spinach), just take gram flour and add water as needed to make batter. Add salt, ajwain and 1 tsp hot oil.

4.Now to Vadas/Koftas, mix all ingredients for vada/kofta and 3 tbsp of red gravy prepared. This twist will give that northern kick to mubaiya vada pav. Make small balls of this mixture.

5.For Vada coating without spinach the dip the paneer-potato balls in batter and fry.

6.Take ham burger pav. Spread Green chutney on one side and Red garlic chutney on other. Put your vadas in between pav and bite into mind blowing Malai Kofta Vada Pav. You can serve this with tomato ketchup or dates chutney on the side.

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also put garlic chutney and green chutney on one side and spread Punjabi Gravy on other pav to give it a try. That adventure was not for me as it tasted like eating Punjabi subji with bread.  Some people like butter Pav and others eat without toasting pav. If you already have left over gravy, its very quick. Do try this in your kitchen and let me know how your family liked it.

Montessori at home by Mom-July 2016

Summer time, Vacation time. We were not able to do anything as planned except for the vacation, we just had. 😉 That being said, below are some exciting projects we ended up executing for fun through the Month of July. Not to mention that I try to Teach that toddler Montessori Style, best I can.

Language & Art Shelves:

We have done lots of arts activity done and most favorite was puffy paint.

Math Shelves:

We did counting by playing this game dedicated Olympics theme here. For every successful shot, she got points. 10, 20, 30,… That explains her the counting after 20. So like 1, 2, 3 and likewise 10, 20, 30..100.

Sensory shelves:

All the science projects we did this month were highly focused on Sensory and motor skills activity. Cooking Gingerbread man pancakes , Balloon Rocket(here), Olympic Kiddie Javelin Throw game,  etc.

Cultural Shelves:

We visited Disneyland this summer and that was great. We are also reading a book that teaches how different animals stay warm in winter compared to humans.


Practical Life shelves:

We did rock climbing and lot of travelling this summer. Thank you for visiting me this month. One new activity coming soon for next months DIY abacus for math counting  here.

Montessori inspired Math beads counting board /DIY Abacus (handmade/DIY)

For the coming months, I made handmade abacus or Montessori math bead board like this. Its not very expensive for the investment but I could not hold myself from making a DIY version of it with what I had available.

For this you need,

  • 2 (2 feet wide x  1 feet long) rectangle foam sheets.
  • wire
  • Circular Hooks ( I made my own from the wire I had, as I told you crafty momma inside me was high on DIY craft that night.  😛 )
  • scissors and mod podge
  • beads of different color
  • Fancy cover up sheet to decorate.

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First you need to cut the small rectangle from one foam sheet. I do not remember the measurement, but roughly 18 inch by 8 inch rectangle was removed.

Next you can decorate with your favorite craft paper and glue it to look like open laptop with other foam sheet. (L shape)

Now to making counting beads. Pick a color for  the number and put it in the wire to hang on the hook. As you can see the circular hooks are home made.
Ta-da, ready for you! you can make as many beads for counting activity. I am going to update this with some number sticking to top foam board and bottom foam board as well. If you end up making this one, please share how your kids like it. My toddler wants to count these days. Its so much fun. Thank you for visiting my blog.