Monday, February 20, 2012

We didn't miss the snow this year......Cary, NC was graced with one inch layer of snow on the day of MahaShivaratri.

This year we enjoyed absolutely pleasing winter here in Cary, NC. There were  very few days of frost, cold temperatures to remember, warmer winter brought some  beautiful foggy mornings. We thought, this year we missed the winter snow. 19th was very cold and rainy, I slept early listening to the rattling  noise of freezing rain and next day morning I woke to the most gorgeous sunny day.  It was Mahashivratri Day and earlier days freezing rains ended with gentle shower of snow covering  one inch of ground,  good enough to declare a  Snow Day in Cary.  Enjoy few pictures of snow clicked  around my home during noontime on 20th February.

Female Northern Cardinal was patiently sitting on a patch of growing moss, gave me enough time to take her pictures.
  I was 20 ft away so  choose to use 18X zoom feature of Nikon coolpix S9100, worked well to get closeup. (click to enlarge)

Moss covered with snow.

Snow from Pavements and side walks was cleared by noon.

That is my home.

Sparkling snow....

Spotted animal foot prints  in snow, could not figure out which animal?

Mint Pot covered with snow.

Previous years Cary snow pictures posted on the blog.

1) Cary Snowstorm Images Christmas 2010 - Link

2) Cary Snowfall Images December 4 2010 - Link

Indian stir Fry vegetable withTofu - Capsicum, Broccoli, Edamame Beans Combo.[Tofu Recipes -1]

Weather out side is Beautiful, bright sunshine and landscape is covered in a blanket of  snow. Good weather always initiate me to cook something different. This quick, healthy and full of natural flavor vegetable stir fry was cooked  today morning. Tofu pairs up so  well with Indian cooking, I use Tofu  in crumbled or cube form, either raw or baked. This  vegetable stir fry is combination of Green peppers , Broccoli, Edamame beans and flavored with curry leaves, green chilies,  ginger and fresh cilantro (Hara Dhania) Simple, Delicious and healthy.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 Big size Green pepper / Capsicum - cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 Cup  - Mix of broccoli florets and stems - cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 Cup - frozen Edamame beans
  • 1 Cup - 1/2 inch size cubes of firm tofu -lightly marinate with salt. (I used Nature's soy firm Tofu)
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 2 small green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - finely minced
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (Hara dhania)
  • 1 T.spoon oil
Cooking Process :-
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saute pan. Add 5-6 curry leaves, sizzle for 15 seconds. Add chopped onions, minced ginger and  chopped green chilies - saute over high heat stirring frequently for 5-6 minutes until onions turn soft. 
  2. Add green peppers/ Capsicum - saute over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Now add broccoli  and edamame beans, throw in remaining curry leaves, sprinkle salt and continue sauteing for 3-4 minutes. Stir at regular interval. If pan gets dry, sprinkle one or two tablespoons water. 
  3. Now add tofu cubes, gently mix with veggies. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until veggies reach cooked texture of your satisfaction.
  4. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with rice and roti or pour some salad dressing and enjoy as stir Fried veggie salad.
Healthy Green Stir fried Indian subzi


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gulab / Rose -- One month lifespan of a special Knock-out rose that bloomed in small container. [summer Rose shots -Year 2011]

This past summer few roses bloomed in my small patio garden. I had one pot of  red knock-out roses  gifted by my friend and another pot of red miniature rose survived from last years Valentine's day. Later part of  the summer I got two more rose plants from Lowes store, one is  hybrid Tea rose and another is  Floribundas  white iceberg,  they produce beautiful clusters of blossoms. Last years mild  winter in NC kept roses blooming until December and this pleasant winter gave lifespan of one month to one single knock-out rose. Please check set-3 to view 12 pictures of  one single beautiful rose that graced my garden for over one month. Valentine Day wishes to my followers and readers, you all have a wonderful Valentine day filled with lots of Love, Care and Joy.

[Set-A-1] Red knock-out Rose (April-2011)
[Set-A-2] Red knock-out Rose (April-2011)
[Set-A-3] Red knock-out Rose (April-2011)

A tiny branch from above rose plant  was inserted into another
 pot which turned into blooming rose plant. (2nd July 2011)


[Set-B-1] Miniature Red rose (February 2011)
Click here to check last years images of miniature roses.
[Set-B-2] 2nd July - above plant survived in new pot
 roses are a bit unhealthy.
[Set-B-3] 18th November still green with two roses.

Following 12 Rose shots are taken over the period of one month. If you carefully look at the plant, it is very tiny but still bloomed one single beautiful rose and amazingly it stayed graceful for over one month on the rose plant. I had no idea that just 4-5 inch tiny branch of knock-out rose can bring new healthy plant by just inserting it into the pot. I had inserted it around April and by November it matured enough to bloom one rose. Once I noticed that it developed new roots and sprouted  new leaves, I potted it into the small container filled with combination of soil and cow manure. Rest of the magic was done by mother nature. One day bud was exposed to frost and that changed red color into shades of orange, pink. It is still alive and waiting for spring to start its new life again.

[Set-3-1] Dark Red bud was left out in frost for one day but 
that created wonderful new color shade.
[Set-3-2] 3rd November.
[Set-3-3] Above bud was fully bloomed in one week.
[Set-3-4] 9th November 2011
[Set-3-5] Rose was so adorable that I could not
stop from clicking it several times from different angles.
[Set-3-6] 9th November 2011
[Set-3-7] Beautifully shining at the entrance door.
[Set-3-8] Rose leaning on Garden solar light.
[Set-3-9]  9th November.
[Set-3-10] 18th November...color started to fade.
[Set-3-11] 2nd December. Rose stayed fresh for over one month.
[Set-3-12]  2nd December - after one month  Rose was still Graceful.