aloo matar (spicy Indian potatoes and peas)

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This north Indian dish is super easy, hearty and is very flavorful. You can customize this by adding more or less of the spices and can cook for longer if you would like your consistency to be even softer. I like my potatoes soft enough so the smaller pieces start getting incorporated into the rest of the gravy, but turn off the pressure cooker before it all gets too soft and mushy. You can also add more or less water depending on how you like your gravy. I don’t like it too watery. I would make a double recipe because this only gets better with reheating…


2 large potatoes peeled and cut into cubes

1 cup frozen peas

1 large onion chopped

3-4 cloves garlic minced

1 tbsp grated ginger (if you don’t have fresh garlic or ginger you can use ginger garlic paste)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black pepper

1-2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp tomato paste

3-4 cups water


  • Sautee the onions, garlic, ginger and cumin for a few minutes in oil until onions are tender.
  • Then add remainder of spices and cook spices for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, peas, water and tomato paste and stir until combined.
  • Place the pressure cooker lid and whistle on and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the gas and leave the lit of pressure cooker on. Once the hissing of steam can no longer be heard, open the lid of the pressure cooker and stir. If it needs more time to cook, you can cook for an additional 5-10 minutes without covering with lid.
  • Serve warm over a bed of basmati rice!

Thanks mom for continually inspiring me to be a better cook:)

good reads

Osho on self acceptance


Osho – The energy is perfectly good. Just one problem is there, that you don’t listen to your own voice; and that has to be done. Don’t be distracted by anything else – follow your own feeling. If you are feeling happy, be happy; don’t think of anything else. If you are feeling sad, be sad; don’t consider others, their expectations. Your energy is flowing perfectly well, but you consider others too much, so sometimes you repress, sometimes you become pseudo, inauthentic. You look into others’ eyes and then you try to fulfill their idea of you. Now this is the problem.
Nobody is here to fulfill somebody else’s expectations. And the person who tries to fulfill somebody else’s expectations will always be in misery because he will not be true to his own self. He will not be respectful to his own self, and to show disrespect to one’s self is to show disrespect to god. And the punishment is misery. Respect yourself! That does not mean that you become hard on others – that simply means that you become soft on yourself. Be tender towards yourself.

You immensely need to grow a kind of tenderness towards yourself. You are very tender towards others but very hard towards yourself. That’s what has been taught to everybody, to be hard on yourself and be soft to others; that is utter nonsense. If you are not soft to yourself your softness towards others is just a show, a pretension, hypocrisy. And it is not going to make the other happy either, because he will see through the game; and particularly those who are close to you, who are in love with you, will always be able to see through the game. So you become false and they are not satisfied with your falsity, because falsity can never satisfy anybody. To be really tender and caring towards others, one needs first to be basically tender and caring towards oneself That’s where you are a little hard. Relax!

And your energy is going so well that now I can speak through your energy to you, so whenever you hear something from the inside, remember: I am telling it to you! And that is your commitment. Be polite to others if sometimes you have to go against their expectations; apologise, but don’t pretend. This is one of the problems that always comes in relationship: you have to consider the other, continuously, and he has to consider you, and both become false, inauthentic. How can love grow when both are inauthentic, insincere? Love grows in authenticity – it is a fragrance of authenticity. One needs to be absolutely genuine, only then does love grow. So in the world there are so many lovers and no love at all, because the basic requirement is never fulfilled.

So from this moment, this is your work on yourself: be utterly genuine. And even… it may create a few troubles in the beginning, but only in the beginning. Soon people start understanding – they can see your truth…. And if you respect yourself, others start respecting you and start respecting the space in which you are. But if even you are not respectful to it, who is going to. be respectful to it?

The old saying in the Talmud is: ’If I am not for me then who is going to be for me?’ Then nobody is for you and you are left in a kind of limbo. Be for yourself and only out of that can you be for others too, because then you will have something to share, to give. The energy is perfectly good – there is nothing wrong in the energy; just your mind goes on interfering with it. Stop interfering!

Source – Osho Book “Don’t Look Before You Leap”


Lancome’s amazing gifts with purchase!

I needed more of my current beauty fav- lancome’s micellar cleansing water( which will be featured in my february beauty favorites), so I went on Macy’s website. Little did I know that I would be getting 7 pieces for free:) I am so excited to share them!! Here’s what I got in the mail today:unnamed (14)

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As part of this bonus, you get to choose your day moisturizer- I chose the BIENFAIT MULTI-VITAL SPF 30 Cream and I chose the blush and lipgloss in the cool colors. The gloss is pretty sheer and has a nice subtle shimmer to it. I plan to use the day cream, blush and mascara tomorrow.

As far as the micellar water, or EAU FRAÎCHE DOUCEUR goes, it is just perfect and I am obsessed with it. I cannot be without it, which is why I had to get it in the larger size!

Ladies, get your hands on these gifts with purchase before they’re gone! Oh and did you see the adorable kit everything comes in??

beauty · photography

february beauty favorites

Hello beauties! As the frigid month of February comes to a close, I thought it was time to share my beauty loves with you. I have to admit that I’ve recently become a beauty/skincare addict and have tried and tested quite a few products recently to help improve different skin concerns. So I’ve come up with a list of the things that have been working for ME- this doesn’t mean they will all definitely work for you! I’ve learned that you need to try out a product one a time to see what it does (and doesn’t do) for your skin, for at least a full week. I have combination acne prone skin with some post acne scars. Thanks to my current regimen, I am finally starting to feel good without makeup on… I even feel beautiful from the inside out! Here are the products that have earned a permanent residence on my vanity shelves:

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Lancome micellar cleansing water: I cannot say enough good things about this cleansing water. It can be used to remove makeup, to freshen up (a sticky face) after the gym, before reapplying makeup if you’re going out in the evening, to use as an alternative to washing your face with water, and the list goes on. I like to use it on the weekends in the am and pm. I love to use it as the first thing that goes on my face- it does a great job at removing the oils from the night before. This product smells and feels amazing going on, leaves my skin super soft and supple and a bottle has lasted me quite a while- I use it at least once a day. The dispenser is fabulous too!

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 Estee Lauder revitalizing supreme cream: I have already raved about this product here and have been using it as my night cream since the day I purchased it. Perfection in a jar is what this is, especially for the winter months!

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The body shop hemp foot protector: This has quickly become part of my nighttime winter ritual. I like rubbing this on my feet once I get into bed then getting under the covers- I always wake up to super soft feet- plus I really like the way it smells, but if the smell is not your thing, don’t purchase this scent.

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Estee lauder double wear stay in place makeup : This is my all time favorite foundation! It doesn’t feel heavy, stays on all day, makes me look flawless and I think the shade options are incredible. I’m the shade tawny in this. Sorry smashbox, but I have found a new forever foundation.

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Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster: I recently learned the importance of vitamin c in any skincare routine and have found the one that works best for my skin. Vitamin C helps against sun damage, helps fight wrinkles, is brightening and for me is helping with post acne scars. I use this serum every morning and it feels like an instant wake me up. I am so glad I discovered it! I really do see the difference in my complexion.

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Honeymania Lip Butter: After trying several lip balms, I finally found one that is not sticky, yet moisturizing, has no tint to it and leaves my lips super soft. I use this every night and love love love it! I just love the body shop and think it doesn’t get enough credit. Yayy for the body shop!!!!

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OGX renewing argan oil of Morocco shampoo:  I love all OGX products, but this argan oil line is amazing for the winter. I also use the conditioner and once a week I use the mask. These are fantastic. They leave my hair shiny, soft and moisturized. For added moisture I use this oil before brushing my hair.

What are your February beauty favs??



perfect rose


“If you really want to know about love,

forget about love and remember meditation.


If you want to bring roses into your garden,

forget about roses and take care of the rosebush.


Give nourishment to it, water it, take care that it gets the right amount of sun, water.

If everything is taken care of,

in the right time the roses are destined to come.


You cannot bring them earlier, you cannot force them to

open up sooner.

And you cannot ask a rose to be more perfect.”- Osho IMG_8239


Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas

This is my all time favorite orzo( rice shaped pasta) dish. It’s creamy, flavorful and decadent. This is definitely a special occasion meal, so if you want to make it more often, I would omit the heavy cream. The marsala wine is essential to the flavor of this dish, however, so I would not skip it. The fontina cheese gives it a perfect cheesy texture, melts beautifully while having a very subtle flavor. This one is for all you cheese lovers, pasta lovers, and all things Italian 🙂

I love love love this dish! It just makes me so happy:) I hope you will love it too.

recipe courtesy Giads De Laurentiis 






chocolate covered strawberries

After sending my husband chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s day a few years ago, I was unimpressed (too sweet and too expensive) so I decided to make my own. Since then, they have become a new tradition. These are so ridiculously easy to make that it almost doesn’t make any sense to go out and buy them.  All you need it chocolate, strawberries and a microwave!

milk chocolate salted caramel drizzled with dark chocolate & chopped walnuts
milk chocolate salted caramel drizzled with dark chocolate
dark chocolate with chocolate drizzle topped with chopped walnuts
dark chocolate with sprinkles
dark chocolate with chopped walnuts
white chocolate with dark chocolate drizzle and red sugar sprinkles
food · good reads · music · paper crafts · travel

A more romantic week!



Since this week is Valentine’s week and it has been ridiculously  cold out, I thought it would be nice to set the ambiance at home so there’s a romantic feeling in the air:) It’s all about the mindset- every night can feel like “date night” and every day can feel like Valentine’s day:)

Here are some tips for a more romantic ambience:

eat at the table

I think we all fall into the routine of eating on the couch in front of the TV. This week, though, try setting the table and using those pretty dishes you have! Put that dining table to use too while you’re at it:)

light scented candles

Nothing sets the ambiance like scented candles throughout the house. You can place small votives in the bedroom, living area and bathroom. Be sure not to place scented candles at the dinner table though, since you don’t want competing scents with your meal!

soft music

Instead of the background noise of commercial breaks, how about some Adele, John Legend or my new favorite, Ed Sheeran? 🙂

bring home flowers

Bringing home an inexpensive bouquet of flowers and then dividing it up and displaying into small vases or mason jars throughout your space is super romantic:)


This week is a good time to put away that folded laundry on your ottoman, or stacking up that pile of magazines:) A less cluttered space is much more inviting and relaxing:)

make time to unwind

Instead of having jam packed days, where by the time you make it home, you’re exhausted, why not try to free up your schedule a bit so you can have some down time in the evenings? It’s a great chance to try a new recipe, play that board game you never play or plan that dream vacation together!

be creative 

Paint, write, read, draw, play an instrument or make a card! You might find that a more romantic ambiance ignites your inner artist.

What is one thing you can do to make your home more romantic?



garden delight- sunday night favorite


I am in love with this garden delight pasta by Ronzoni! With 8 grams of protein per serving, you can’t go wrong. There are three flavors in this pasta – spinach, carrots and tomato. I had no idea what to make for dinner tonight so I came up with this. It was comforting, hearty and delicious! Half a pound of uncooked pasta is enough for two plus one lunch for one person. Enjoy!


1/2 lb of garden delight ronzoni pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 green pepper chopped

1/2 red pepper chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

1 small yellow onion diced

1/2 of large eggplant chopped

6oz diced or whole fire roasted tomatoes

6oz diced san marzano tomatoes (or any brand you like)

1/4 cup vegetable stock

4oz sliced mushrooms

salt & pepper to taste

shredded parmesan for garnish


While pasta is boiling, sauté the chopped eggplant for 5-10 minutes until tender. Add diced onions and cook with eggplant until translucent.

Add green and red peppers along with garlic until a bit tender, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook for around 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt and pepper and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. You can add more or less vegetable stock depending on how thick your sauce is turning out.

Serve a heaping bowl of pasta topped with sauce sprinkled with some parmesan.

This is great with a slide of crusty garlic bread and beverage of your choice:) enjoy!

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