Life in the dream home

Author Archives: Roti Kapda aur Makaan

It has been raining all morning and it’s dark and deary. Its one of those days when although the tummy craves comfort food, it feels like an uphill task to go and make a soup or a dish that takes all day long.  The following is the dish I make during those times.  I call it the lazy days pasta.

Lazy days pasta

The dish is quite simple to make actually and a combination of fresh veggies, protein and the other items borrowed from the pantry. I have used asparagus, red, yellow and green bell peppers and onions for the veggies and shrimp for protein. A

lthough chicken or I suspect a firm fish would work too, but then that would not be an under 15 minute lazy days dish.

Veggies and protein

I used penne pasta ( that’s what I had in my pantry) and store bought alfredo and tomato sauce.

Items from the pantry

The way to make it is to start cooking pasta first.

Cook pasta

Then saute garlic in olive oil and onions in olive oil. I have used a couple of cloves here and slightly over cooked the onions, when I ran to get the door. Lesson to everyone, do as I say, not as I did. We don’t need them to brown, just turn translucent and soft.

Garlic and onions

Add asparagus and cook for a minute.


Add the veggies and cook for another minute.


Add the sauces. I’ve used about a cup of tomato sauce and 1/1th of a cup of alfredo sauce here.

Sauce and veggies

Add the shrimp, and let the sauce warm up.



Add drained pasta to the dish and mix.  I do not use any extra salt or black pepper to taste, except for the salt in the pasta water. You can adjust the seasoning according to your taste though.

Mix pasta with the veggies and sauce

And, there you have it possibly the simplest pasta dish after the microwave mac and cheese.

Lazy days pasta

I don’t have a picture of this dish in a bowl, because whenever I make this dish the family is very hungry to even wait for it to be transferred to a dish and served at the table. We just plate it straight from the wok.

I apologize for the bad quality pictures, will take better pictures of the dish next time and upload them.


There was this barren tree in the backyard when we first toured our home and the husband and I both wondered what it was.  Then the gardener we hired to clean the backyard (did I mention that the home was a foreclosure and the backyard wasn’t maintained for around 6 months and was overgrown)  said that it was an apple tree and I’ve been waiting impatiently for any signs of life from it ever since. And look what happened a week ago after the storm.

Surprise in the apple tree

The tree was filled with flowers overnight.

For someone who grew up in a city, in a home that had no backyard and the only plants I’ve ever had in my home growing up were rose bushes in  pots on the balcony of our home.  Those are the only plants I knew how to take care of and rose bushes were the only ones I bought when the husband and I moved into our first apartment.

When we moved to a bigger apartment a couple of years later, I tried my hands at garlic, peppers and strawberries, but managed to keep only the strawberries alive and the fruit was never sweet and juicy.

This apple tree gives me hope, I’ve watched this tree for the past 5 months and there was nothing, and now suddenly it is blooming. It’s like there is a little heart inside the tree that keeps beating tick tock, tick tock, during the cold winter bidding time, not giving up, waiting for spring. I just wish that we humans all had the same resilience and perseverance and bounced back blooming from winters in our lives instead of withering out.

Now, the first thing the kids and I do when we wake up is to look outside our windows to check on the tree, my son has already requested apple jam and apple sauce and has even made a list of people who we need to share the fruit with. His gets so filled with excitement and sings Apple tree, apple tree, when will your apple fall on me?

Hi there,

First a picture of our new home.

The "Makaan" of Roti Kapda aur Makaan

So we’ve lived in the house for close to 3 months now and are finally settling in. Almost all of the boxes have been unpacked even though many things are not in there final homes yet and are always being moved around. We also haven’t bought any furniture yet, ( although I’ve been visiting furniture stores and craigslist frequently) is for a couple of reasons.

The first reason bring that this time around I simply do not want to add furniture to the home without any consideration to design and aesthetics  and second being that we wanted to get a new roof before we started spending money on other things.

This home was a bank owned foreclosure and we knew before we bought the home that its roof would need replacement and it would have to happen SOON. Every time it rained we would cringe and pray that the roof not leak, this was especially true after the last storm that brought hail to the Bay Area.

Hail deposited by the storm last week

Now I know that this is not a lot, but for a roof that has missing shingles and two people who do not know a lot yet about roofs and repair of roofs, it was scary.

So we finally got our free estimates done and chose a new roof for our home. We are going with this brand of roof called Certain Teed and are having it installed next week. Hopefully with the roof taken care of we can focus on the other million things that need to be taken care of in the home.

The deed was recorded at 10:45am the day before yesterday and we got the keys at 11:45am that morning. Our realtor called us to tell us about the deed transfer and an agent from the agency stopped by to hand over the key to the new place. And, suddenly it was all over and we were home owners from  house hunters.

The whole process took 60+ days from start to finish  and 100+ days if we count the number of days from the time of our first offer on the property.  And 3+ years if we count our entire house hunt. Yes it took 3 and 1/2 years to find a house that would become a future home for us.

The home is being fumigated as I write this post and the guy from the termite agency said that its okay to enter Monday evening. This property was a foreclosure, and vacant for the past few months, so there is dust and dirt and cobwebs in the closets. It needs a thorough cleaning before we can move in.  We hope to move in by Wednesday next week, as that our last day in the apartment after 4 extensions because of the loan.  Will keep everyone posted in real time along with pictures of the home.

What can I say, shiny appliances make me happy. Just looking at the gleaming appliances in stores, with their buttons and LEDs and dials makes me so happy.

The new home came with its own 5 burner gas cooktop , double wall oven and a dishwasher. So, we needed to buy a refrigerator  a washer and dryer. The home has a separate laundry room with enough space for a side by side washer and dryer so that wasn’t a problem. The refrigerator  though had to fit into its built in alcove.

Our small fridge in the apartment was bursting at the seams and since most top freezer ones in apartments are 14-20 cu ft, we decided that an upgrade in terms of size to 24-26 cu ft would be perfect. When we measured the actual dimensions of the cabinet they were 39 x 26 x 71, that meant that a 25 cu ft fridge would leave a couple of inches of space on either side, which is a magnet for dust bunnies, cheerios, legos etc. So we decided to upgrade to the next size, 28 cu ft.  This would work perfectly in the space and the extra real estate that it remain unused by our family. So a 28 cu ft refrigerator it is.

Our apartment complex has 40+ units and 4 washers and 4 dryers available for all the occupants to share. Though the washers were upgraded a couple of years ago the dryers and old and cranky. Every few weeks a couple of them sulk and stop working. When they work, its a delicate balance that you have to maintain to get your clothes to dry, sometimes they are still wet after going for a spin in the dryer and sometimes they crisp up like fries. So, I’m definitely glad and thankful to be getting my very own washer and dryer. Now I can do laundry whenever I want and no more waiting for the person before me to empty the washer or dryer.

We ordered them yesterday and they will arrive next week, once they arrive I will post a separate post on how we bought them, how much we spent and why we selected those particular models.

Wishing everyone a very happy 2012!

May all you decorating dreams come true.

After a week of waiting, we finally got the signed contract from the seller. Waiting to hear from the mortgage broker, he’s back at work though.