What to carry in a car with a toddler

Car is like our second home and has to have many things when you have a toddler.

Some things that I keep in the car other than the carseat are

Trunk of the car

  1. Stroller in each car
  2. Small diaper bag with diapers, wipes and 1 set of clothes
  3. Ball

Beside the carseat:(Back seat)

  1. Toy Box- with lots of cars, some board books, interactive toys
  2. Water bottles
  3. Towel
  4. Umbrella
  5. Extra pair of shoes(Believe me , this came in handy, when we had to walk in a mushy tulip farm and my son enjoyed the mud so much!)
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What to pack in your diaper bag with a toddler

My son is now two years old and in the most explorative mode.He is testing everyone’s patience.He then gets away with everything with his innocent smile.He loves to say hi to everyone he sees.

Traveling with this dude is fun as well needs a little planning.He has outgrown his old diaper bag and has progressed to needing entertainment and variety of foods(tiny hand sized) while we are out.This can happen at a store, where he is cruising in the shopping cart and can get bored.Or maybe a long car trip, where there’s no way but be prepared.

I  have never invested in a “diaper” bag, always looked out for other handbags that would work for me and my family. My family  needs to carry this bag too aswell know the items inside the bag to help ourselves when needed.

Recently , I bought a Kipling bag which has a lot pockets and doesn’t look like a diaper bag and can be transformed for later use.Kipling bags are generally known to be sturdy and last long.

I felt a checklist of items will surely help to pack and repack at anytime.The below list is for everyday travels and shopping etc.Being out of the house for 6 to 7 hours.

Checklist:

  1. Diapers – 4
  2. Wipes – 30 sheets
  3. Changing pad
  4. *Small trash bags (to throw soiled diapers)
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Tissues – small packet
  7. Water bottle
  8. Milk bottles
  9. Milk powder – Enfamil 1-3 years
  10. Food pouches
  11. Snack boxes with cheerios or gold fish
  12. Cookies or biscuits
  13. Extra pairs of dress(Mostly 2)
  14. Sunscreen lotion
  15. Small towel
  16. Emergency medicine – allergy ones specially
  17. Small toys – I carry hot wheels cars, crayons, books

*Small trash bags –  I use black doggie bags.You can get them at the dollar store.

While going for long trips, the bag is certainly going to need more things.Will post a picture of my diaper bag soon!

 

Dry Mix Vegetable

I have been wanting to make this dish for a very long time. Everytime, its turned out different.Today seems to be my lucky day and its turned out great.Before I forget, I want to jot down the recipe.IMG_4090

Its easy as well as cooked a bit on stove and in microwave.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower – 1 cup of florets
  • Potato -1 medium – cubed
  • Peas – 1/2 cup ( I used frozen green peas)
  • Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup , cubed
  • Tomato – 2 medium, diced
  • Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  • Ginger – finely cut or crushed, 1tsp
  • Garlic – finely cut or crushed, 1tsp
  • Green chilli – 3 nos., sliced
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1tsp
  •  Oil – 2tbsp (I used coconut oil)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to sprinkle for the vegetables to cook

 

Procedure:

  • In a plate, take the potatoes and peas , spread evenly and cook in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes, till half cooked.This is done so that the shape of the vegetables are retained and cooking time on the stove top is reduced.
  • Simultaneously, heat oil in a kadai and saute the ginger and garlic for 1 minute.Add in the chopped onion and green chilli and saute till onions are translucent.Now add the bell pepper and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add in the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.Fry for half a minute.Take care not to burn the masala powders.
  • At this point, spread cauliflower florets on a plate and cook in the microwave for 4 minutes.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are pureed and well cooked.Use you spoon to do this.
  • To this add the microwave cooked vegetables as well as  salt to taste with just a sprinkle of water to cook the vegetables.Cover and cook on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, making sure to stir in between.
  • Have with roti, paratha, rice or even just like that!

Note:Water added in the last step is to get the vegetables cooked to your desired level.

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Pasta in white sauce with spinach and chicken

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This Friday , wanted to try pasta.

This recipe is all credits to the internet, but tweaked to my family’s taste.Got good review from them, so wanted to save the recipe for future use.

Ingredients:

  • Boiled Pasta – 4 cups (I use Penne, boiled as per the box instructions with salt to taste and 1 Tbsp of  olive oil. Oil is used so that the pasta don’t stick together.
  • Cooked Chicken – Chicken is cut into small pieces and cooked in water, salt and pepper.Keep any stock left to be added to the sauce when we add milk. It adds flavor to the pasta sauce
  • Butter – 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic – 4 cloves ; finely chopped
  • Spinach – 1 – 2 cups ; cut
  • All purpose flour – 2 Tbsp
  • Milk – 1 cup (I used 2% milk)
  • Oregano – 1tsp
  • Crushed chilli flakes – 1tsp
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

Procedure:

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  • Heat kadai / pan on medium heat and melt butter.To it add chopped garlic and stir fry for a minute.You will get a roasted fragrance of garlic.
  • To it add all purpose flour and stir it for 2 minutes on low flame.This is done to get the flour cooked, but make sure you don’t burn the flour.
  • Add in chopped spinach and fry for a minute so that its wilted.
  • Now slowly add in the milk and keep stirring till any clumps formed are removed.Here, you can also add any chicken stock if you have.
  • When the milk boils and the sauce thickens, add the pasta as well as oregano, chilli flakes and pepper powder as per your taste.
  • Finally, add mozzarella cheese and let it melt.
  • Yum, your pasta is ready.Enjoy with garlic bread or even just like that!

 

Asparagus Thoren

Asparagus is a new vegetable in our family as its not very common in Bangalore, India.In Seattle, its a local spring vegetable and so needed a s way to add it in our diet.Eating seasonal local fruits and veggies is always a plus as its travel time to the food shelves in a grocery store is comparatively less.

Asparagus is packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber.So, it is worth adding it to your diet.

You can just grill asparagus too and sprinkle a bit of salt.Its yummy good.

Ingredients:

  1. Asparagus – 2 cups, chopped round
  2. Onion – 1 small, chopped fine
  3. Green chillies – 3, chopped fine
  4. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  5. Dry /Fresh grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  6. Curry leaves – 1 Sprig
  7. Oil – 1 Tbsp
  8. Salt to taste

Procedure:

  1. Pour oil to a pan and when hot, add the mustard seeds.When the seeds splutter, add onions and saute till translucent.
  2. Now add green chillies, salt and asparagus. Cover the pan and cook on low flame.Mostly the asparagus cooks in 3 to 5 mins.
  3. Now add the dried coconut and curry leaves , stir and cook for 1 to 2 mins.fullsizerender-28

 

Dal Palak

This dish is highly nutritious as it contains  split pigeon peas (Indian name: toor dal) and spinach(Indian name: palak).The lentil provides protein and spinach is high in iron.This combination is therefore very healthy and filling.

We can have this dish as a soup or as gravy with rice or roti.

Ingredients:

  1. Toor dal – 1 cup
  2. Tomato -1 small, chopped
  3. Garlic -2 cloves, minced
  4. Green chillies – 4 , split in half
  5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Spinach leaves- 1 cup, washed well and chopped
  7. Tamarind juice – 1 Tbsp
  8. Salt to taste

For seasoning:

  1. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  2. Dry red chillies – 3nos.
  3. Asafetida – 1/4 tsp
  4. Coconut oil/ any oil -1Tbsp

Procedure:

  1. Take all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water.Keep on medium flame and cook for one whistle.
  2. Note: One whistle in my cooker , cooks the dal.But, may not be the same way in other cookers.So check , if dal is cooked, else cook till its done to your liking.You can also cook dal in a closed sauce pan.
  3. Once the dal is cooked, we need to season 0r do tadka.
  4. In a small frying pan, pour coconut oil and add the mustard seeds.When they splutter, add dry red chillies and when they change color, switch off the flame and add the asafetida powder.You will get a fragrant aroma.Add this seasoning to the cooked dal and mix well.
  5. Your dish is ready!!!Enjoy!!

 

 

Chinese Salad

This is something I have had at restaurants but am not sure if the ingredients are the same.I tried and tested at home to get the flavor we have at Chinese restaurants in India.

Anyway it raw veggies with a mix of condiments.Served it to my daughter’s friends and they liked it too..so it must be good.

Ingredients:

  1. Cucumber – 1, sliced  thin  & long
  2. Carrot – 1, sliced thin & long
  3. Vinegar – 1Tbsp
  4. Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  5. Tomato ketchup – 1/2tsp
  6. Hot & Sour tomato ketch up – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  7. Chilli powder – a pinch(optional)

Procedure:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the above ingredients and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Serve the salad cold.