Birthday party with slime cake and "Be a chef" activities

My daughter has her birthday in October. This year she had a double whammy on her birthday with half yearly exam and Navratri. So we decided to have a birthday party after the exams and also after Navratri.
The first order of business while planning any birthday party is the cake. My daughter is 100% into slime these days. This phase started almost 2 years ago and is going stronger than ever. All she thinks about is making slime, watching slime videos on youtube and playing with slime. So naturally, I thought of doing a slime themed cake. A quick search on google images led me to my inspiration image.

I made a four-layered eggless vanilla cake using this recipe. Eggless because some of the children do not eat eggs. I made 1.5 times the recipe and got 3 round cakes and a small square cake. I would have got 4 round cakes if I had filled the first batch a little less. Tastewise, the cake was good but it was not structurally strong. Almost all the cakes cracked at different times after co…

Delicious Cheese pasta sauce loaded with vegetables

When your kid does not like to touch vegetables, even with the proverbial 10 foot pole, you have to think of ways to put vegetables in their tummy. Most kids, especially mine, love pasta. She has progressed from plain buttered pasta to pasta with cheese sauce in recent years.

When there is a sauce, there is always a scope for adding vegetables. Looking at that silver lining (to eating pasta with cheese sauce), I added creamy vegetables which will not take away from the texture of the cheese sauce. Cauliflower and pumpkin blend to a creamy texture with onions and garlic providing flavour. I did not forget the cheese in the cheese sauce. I put in a mix of colby and cheddar cheese.

I prepare a relatively large portion of the sauce and freeze it. It freezes well for 2-3 months. This is such a big help on busy school mornings. I just boil 1/2 cup of pasta and mix 2 tablespoons of sauce, quickly defrosted in the microwave and a couple of teaspoons of the pasta water. I pack it in her lunc…

Ganapati holidays Recap

The 10-day Ganesh festival has come to an end. The kids had a 6-day mini-vacation for this social festival in Mumbai. People come together to celebrate and worship Ganesha. Our building also had a Ganapati kept for 5 days and people came together for Aarti and activities. It is most exciting for the kids. My daughter didn't miss a single evening aarti or any of the activities organized for the kids.

The daughter was quite excited about the kids activities and I was surprised to see she wanted to practice for them. :) I hadn't seen that much enthusiasm for school work. These festivals are a way to make childhood memories by breaking the routine and bringing on excitement. There was lemon and spoon race, musical chairs and a drawing competition. She was sad she didn't win anything but kids being kids, she quickly recovered from it. She also wanted to go for visarjan but we had other appointments that day. So, she sportingly agreed to wait till next year.

We had our share of…

A short trip to Saputara

We went on a short one night trip to Saputara in the middle of the week. It was a holiday for Independence day and the school was on a 4-day short break combining Independence day and Parsi new year.
The three of us, along with my in-laws left from Thane around 6:20 am. My parents were going to reach Saputara from Gujarat. They started at 5:50 am. We stopped at 7:30 am at Shree Dutta snacks on the Nashik highway for breakfast. It is famous for their Maharashtrian food. And Maharashtrian food is usually spicy. So, I and my daughter stuck to plain idlies and bread butter. The others enjoyed sabudana khichadi, upma, and sheera.
We left around 8:30 and headed towards Nashik. The route to Nashik is very scenic and especially so during monsoons. We were in Nashik around 10 am and took the diversion towards Saputara.

The road becomes a narrow 2-lane road once you divert from Nashik towards Saputara. This time, the road was quite bad with really huge potholes in some places. It might be due t…

DIY rakhis for kids and babies

Rakshabandhan is around the corner. I thought, why not try to make a rakhi instead of buying it; especially for the kids. It would be a fun activity for the daughter. It was a school holiday in the middle of the week due to Maharashtra bandh. This was a good way to utilize the day.

I looked around the internet and saw a couple of DIY rakhi ideas. Then it hit me that we have a flower kit in which there are foam flower cutouts which can be stacked on straws to make flower branches.

I thought of staking the foam flowers to create a rakhi. I used some decorations from a broken bracelet and old rakhis to give it a finished look. I used wool threads to create the string for tying.

Here's how I did it.
Cut out woollen thread. I measured around my wrist and doubled the length.

Tie 3 threads together with a sewing thread. I used 2 orange and 1 yellow thread. I used red thread to tie them together.

My daughter braided one to make a cohesive thread. For the other one, she wrapped the 2 orange t…