D.I.Y. Signature Spa Kit

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Hello everyone! My boyfriend purchased a Do It Yourself kit for me last week and I have been making some of the Do It Yourself projects in the kit. So far, I have made a shimmer lotion and a roller perfume. I am going to make the salt scrub soon.

Roller Perfume

What you need: roller perfume bottle, dried flowers, fragrance droppers, essential oil, and stone

The two essential oils that come with the kit are rose and lavender.

Why are essential oils important:

Essential oils rejuvenate your brain. I especially love lavender and rose. Lavender and rose relieves stress and calms me. Different essential oils will have different effects and I will be talking to you about the therapeutic benefits of lavender and rose/

Lavender

Lavender is a very popular essential oil. I learned about lavender from my mother. In the past she has introduced me to lavender lotions and soaps. They use lavender in spas and beauty salons all of the time. It’s one of the most fragrant essential oils and it also relieves stress. Lavender also has healing qualities and can cure headaches, help fight against cold and flu. Some of the other therapeutic benefits from lavender are that it can act as an antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, decongestant, and deodorant.

What more can you want from an essential oil? Lavender can be used as a massage oil or added to a bath. You can also apply drops to a diffuser or your pillow for a relaxing sleep. For our Do It Yourself project, we will be adding lavender to a roller perfume.

Rose

Another one of my favorite essential oil is rose because I personally love the scent of rose flowers and the oil has a calming effect on me. Roses are derived from rose plants. Roses are distilled into essential oils. Rose petals are steam distilled and then you extract the oil.

Rose oil can be used to treat anxiety, depression, and digestion issues. Rose oil can also help those with heart and asthma problems. Rose is also very good for your skin.

Here are some videos about the projects I have done.

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More Pics of Red Bluff Park

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Check out these awesome photos of the Red Bluff Park 🙂

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Red Bluff Park

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Check out these beautiful pics of the Red Bluff Park I took today 🙂

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English Class: Indian Spice Box 4 Palak Paneer

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Blog post in progress.

 

Palak Paneer

Spinach with Paneer

 

7 ½ to 8 ounces paneer, either homemade or shop bought, cut into 1 inch cubes

10 ounces baby spinach leaves

3 tablespoons oil, plus extra for shallow frying

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato puree

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 whole green chili

 

Serves: 4

 

From the Spice Box

Whole Spices

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

 

Ground Spices

¾ teaspoon chili

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric

 

Heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the paneer pieces in batches of 5-6 until a light brown color all over. Be careful when frying the

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English Class: Indian Spice Box Part 3 Green Beans and Mango Lassi

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Hello Costa Rica and Nicaragua class,

Here is another English lesson today based off of recipes. The recipes are from the book The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook. It was written by Serena Kaul, Priya Kaul, and Alexa Kaul.

Kaul, Sereena, et al. The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook: Flavours and Spices of India. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

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Hari Rajmah

Green Beans

 

What you need:

3 tablespoons of oil

1 onion, finely sliced

¾ inch piece of ginger grated

3 garlic cloves, crushed

½ teaspoon of salt or to taste

14 ounces of green beans trimmed and cut in half

2 tomatoes peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon of flaked coconut (optional)

 

Serves: 4

 

From Your Spice Box:

Whole Spices

½ teaspoon of cumin seeds

½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

 

Ground Spices:

¾ teaspoon of chili

1 teaspoon of ginger

1 teaspoon of turmeric

 

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a shallow pan over a medium heat and add the whole spices. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion, ginger, and garlic.

Fry for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Remove from the heat momentarily before adding the ground spices and salt; mix well for 1 minute.

Add 7 fluid ounces of water and green beans. Cover and cook over a low heat. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes until soft and tender.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken and reduce the sauce until it is fairly dry.

Sprinkle with coconut (if using.)

Questions:

  1. What 5 spices do you need?
  2. In the second to last step, what do you do with the sauce?

Define reducing sauce.

 

Aam Ki Lassi

Mango Yogurt Shake

What you need:

2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and stoned

Pinch of salt

¾ pint chilled milk

1 ¼ pints natural yogurt

5 teaspoons caster yogurt

Ice cubes or crushed ice

 

From Your Spice Box:

Whole Spices:

1 cardamom pod, finely crushed

Instructions:

Puree the mango in a food processor or blender and pour into a mesh sieve with the salt.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, push the puree through and collect the thick juice. Discard the fibers that collect in the sieve.

Combine the juice with the whole spice and remaining ingredients except the ice, using a whisk or a food processor or blender until smooth.

Pour into tall glasses leaving space for some crushed ice or cubes. Cover and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Before serving, stir well and add the crushed ice or cubes.

Questions:

  1. What must you do to the mango?
  2. What must you pour the mango into with the salt?

Define puree.

Define sieve.

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English Class: The Indian Spice Box Part 2 More Okra Recipes

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Bhindi Masala

Spicy Okra

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What you need:

11 ½ ounces okra

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

¾ inch piece of ginger chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

8 cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

 

Serves: 4

 

From Your Spice Box:

Whole Spices

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

 

Ground Spices

½ teaspoon chili

½ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon garam masala

 

Wash the okra and dry between sheets of kitchen papers to remove the excess moisture. Top and tail them before cutting into ¾ inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan over a medium heat and add the whole spices. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion, ginger, and garlic and fry for 1 minute.

Tip in the okra, salt and ground spices, except the garam masala. Stir to coat the okra with spice mixture for 5 minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes and continue to cook the okra for a further 10-15 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter. Mix in the garam masala before serving.

 

Questions:

  1. What 6 spices do you need?
  2. After the seeds sizzle what do you add?

Essay Question:

Define sizzle and use it in a sentence.

Notes:

According to the online dictionary:

sizzle– verb

– (of food) make a hissing sound when frying or cooking. Example: “The pork began to sizzle in the pan after it had been cooking for a few minutes.”

Synonyms: crackle, frizzle, sputter, hiss, spit, fry

sizzle– noun

-A hissing sound, as of food or cooking. Example: “The sizzle of bacon woke me up in the morning.”

Aloo Bhindi

Potatoes with Okra

 

What you need:

14 ounces okra

3 potatoes cubed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

salt

 

Serves: 4

 

From Your Spice Box:

Whole Spices

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

 

Ground Spices

½ teaspoon chili

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

 

Wash the okra and dry between sheets of kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture. Top and tail them before cutting each okra into 4-5 pieces.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan or frying pan over a medium heat. When hot add the whole spice and when the seeds start to sizzle add the potatoes.

Fry the potatoes for 2 minutes then add the okra. Stir, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just soft.

Mix in the ground spices and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and fresh coriander and partially cover if not serving straight away.

Questions:

  1. What 5 spices do you need?
  2. When do you add the lemon juice and fresh coriander?

 

 

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English Class: The Indian Spice Box

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Part I

Chili– Chilies vary in color, shape, heat levels and pungency from variety to variety. They are a rich source of vitamin C. Whole chilies are dried and then crushed to give ground chili.

Coriander– All parts of the coriander plant are used in Indian cooking; the seeds are ground and used to thicken and flavor dishes and the fresh green leaves are used in garnishes.

Cumin seeds– Cumin seeds are strongly aromatic and the aroma varies according to whether the spice is fried or dry roasted. It stimulates, the appetite and acts as a digestive.

Ground cumin– Ground cumin gives a slightly bitter and sweet taste at the same time. It is used as a seasoning for lime or chili based sauces.

Fennel– This is a sweet and aromatic spice with an aniseed type flavor. Fennel seeds contain important antioxidants, with anti-cancerous properties.

Ginger– Fresh or dry ginger is aromatic, pungent and hot. It can be used in sweet and savory dishes. It is known to help digestion and calm mental activity.

Turmeric– The root of this plant looks very similar to ginger but the flesh is a deep orange color. When dried and ground, turmeric gives a beautiful yellow color to any food cooked with it.

Cinnamon– Cinnamon sticks are carved from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon has a sweet taste and a fragrant aroma.

Bay leaf– The Indian bay leaf is aromatic and bitter in flavor. These leaves are used whole to flavor mainly meat dishes.

Cardamom– Cardamom has a sweet, spicy, and pungent flavor. The green variety is used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Cloves– Cloves are strongly pungent and sweet. Very small quantities are required to flavor dishes. Clove oil is used topically as it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mustard seed– In Indian cooking, the whole seeds are fried quickly in oil to give a hot and spicy flavor once the seeds have popped.

Garam masala– A blend of several strongly aromatic spices designed to add flavor, fragrance, and heat to many Indian dishes.

Kaul, Sereena, et al. The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook: Flavours and Spices of India. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Questions:

  1. Which spice is a rich source of Vitamin C?
  2. Which spice acts as a digestive?
  3. Which spice has anti-cancerous properties?
  4. Which spice helps digestion and calm mental activity?
  5. Which spice has a sweet taste?
  6. Which spice has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties?

I wanted to share with you all a recipe from the book. I chose a recipe called Crispy Okra. I have yet to make it, but I wanted to share it because one of my favorite dishes is boiled okra dipped in soy sauce and vinegar.

Here is a recipe I got from the book:

Bhindi Churma

Crispy Okra Chips

 

What you need:

7 ounces of okra

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of white rice flour

3 tablespoons gram flour

salt

oil for deep frying

 

Serves: 4 people

 

From your spice box:

Ground Spices

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon chili

1 teaspoon coriander

 

Instructions:

Wash the okra and dry each piece well using a clean kitchen tea towel.

Top, but don’t tail the okras and slice each one lengthways.

In a large bowl mix the ground spices, salt, and lemon juice with the okra.

Use your hands to mix but make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after mixing.

In a separate bowl mix the rice flour and gram flour with 4 tablespoons of water to a smooth paste and pour over the okra, mixing well to coat but taking care not to break the okra.

Heat the oil in a khadi or wok over a medium heat. When the oil is hot. Fry the okra in batches for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on sheets of kitchen paper.

Serve with Coriander Chutney.

Check out this photo I found online of Crispy Okra.

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Here is a video I found on Youtube about how to make Crispy Okra. I have yet to try this myself, but I wanted to share it with you all. The recipe is slightly different, but it looks delicious too.

Questions:

  1. What 3 spices do you need?
  2. What do you mix in a large bowl?

Here is the recipe to the coriander chutney. It goes with the Crispy Okra.

Dhania Chutney

Coriander Chutney

What you need:

2 teaspoons olive oil

2.5 ounces of fresh coriander

Plus extra to garnish

1 green chili, deseeded and cut in half

¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste

3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

 

From Your Spice Box:

whole Spices

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

 

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the whole spice. When the seeds begin to sizzle, remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the coriander, green chili, salt and 1 tablespoon of yogurt in a food processor or blender and blitz to a smooth paste.

Add the oil-spice mixture and the remaining yogurt to the paste and blend for a further 3 seconds.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve chilled with starters or as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Questions:

  1. What kind of yogurt do you need?
  2. What do you garnish with?

Essay Questions:

Write about the difference between normal snack yogurt versus Greek yogurt.

Define garnish and use it in a sentence.

I hope you all enjoyed these recipes. I am hoping to try these recipes soon. Let me know if there are any recipes you are interested in learning about.

Notes:

Regular yogurt is thicker and creamier because the whey is strained off of it. Greek yogurt becomes dense because the liquid is drained off of it. Greek yogurt provides more protein than the regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also contains less sugar and carbs than the regular yogurt. Regular yogurt also has less fat than Greek yogurt.

According to an online source: “While Greek yogurt boasts more protein and less sugar and carbs than regular yogurt, it also has a higher fat content. An eight-ounce serving of Danon’s regular full-fat yogurt has five grams of saturated fat, whereas a seven-ounce serving of Fage full-fat Greek yogurt has over three times that amount (16 grams of saturated fat). It can be a good idea to go for low-fat or fat-free versions when buying Greek yogurt.”

Part II

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Pressed Flower Art

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A pressed flower art I made for myself. These are my morning glory flowers I decided to press. The plant below it is a basil flower.

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Hello everyone! I have been making pressed flower art. Here is a short video about my new hobby and here are some photos.

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Tie Dye Project Resources

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Check out my latest tie dye project. It was from the Paradise Punch kit. I also made a matching bandana. I absolutely love this outfit 🙂

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Hello Everyone!

I wanted to do more posts about tie dye. Here is my latest project above. I create a bullseye type tie dye. It turned out great! I am absolutely loving tie dyeing shirts and I am hoping to do more soon and then eventually start selling them. I recently made a video just about color mix. Check out the video below.

Also, check out this video below. I watched this when I was first learning how to create tie dye t-shirts and it is very helpful.

Here is the Paradise Punch kit I bought from Walmart. It is an awesome kit.  absolutely love the colors and how my t-shirt turned out.

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