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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Eggless Microwave Brownie in Just 3 Minutes


 I am very much a brownie person – I prefer a brownie over a cake. There are several reasons for that – brownie is easier and hassle free to bake. No matter how it turns out, you can always have it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.


I have tried several brownie recipes and you can find a few of them here too. But, the recipe I am sharing today here is different from all those I have already shared. This one is an instant brownie that you can make in your microwave in just about 3 minutes. Yes! You heard that right. The measures given here make 2 serving. It will satiate your brownie craving without giving you the guilt of gulping down a whole lot of brownies! 


 This is a fuss free recipe that needs only one mixing bowl, a strainer (optional), a whisk and of course 2 ramekins. If you have a friend over, you can make it less than 10 minutes and serve it.

Let’s hop to the recipe now.

Microwave Brownie

Ingredients:

2 tbsp maida or all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp melted butter
1-2 tbsp water
2 tbsp chopped dark chocolate

Process:

Grease two microwave safe bowls or ramekins.
In a medium bowl, add shift all the dry ingredients. Made a hole in the center and add the wet ingredients and mix to form the batter. Add the chopped chocolate. Stir.
Divide the batter equally in the two greased ramekins/bowls.
Microwave it on a high for 2 minutes. Take it out and let it stand for a minute. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Bluest Marble by Vipin Kumar - A Book Review



Book: The Bluest Marble
Author: Vipin Kumar
Publisher: Become Shakespeare
Price: Rs. 199
Pages: 264
Genre: Fiction

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

The Bluest Marble by Vipin Kumar is an inspiring novel. It is the story of an ordinary young man who has simple goals in life, but life has other plans for him. As the story unravels the readers get to know about the various facets of his life and personality.

The protagonist of the story is Aditya. He has a good job, good friends, a great bike (he is passionate about it), loving and caring parents. But, as destiny would have slowly things slips away from him – he is fired from his job, his friends desert him and his parents begin to see him as a loser. Aditya doesn't feel there is anything in his life worth living for, so he decides to end his life. And thus begins a new chapter in his life.

Aditya lands up in a mental asylum where he is named as Ram Kumar 125 – a name given to patients suffering from amnesia. Well, Aditya is not amnesiac, but he pretends to be so that he doesn't have to go back to his old life. He makes friends with Rajesh – a software engineer and Jacky who is a Doctor in theoretical physics. Amidst the new surroundings, new home and new friends, Aditya experiences life like never before. He discovers himself, his inner self and his key to happiness. What happens to him in the mental asylum? How he survives there? How he finds the secret to happiness – the bluest marble? You have to read the book to know about the same.

The book is narrated in flashback; the protagonist is telling the story of his life to his girlfriend and would-be wife Jenny.

The first part of the novel dwells on the kind of life urban bachelors working away from home in big cities live. There are various incidents and situations to which readers can relate. The writing style is simple and clear. However, at some point I did feel the narration wavering. I didn't quite relate to the conversations he has with his bike and often found them somewhat creepy. The experiences of the protagonist when he landed up in the mental asylum were the most interesting and intriguing part of the novel. I loved the way he gradually fought with his fears and insecurities and took to life head on.

Overall, it was a great read and inspiring in many ways. One of the things that I would have wanted to read about more is about his friends – Rajesh and Jacky in the mental asylum. If the author ever thinks of writing a sequel to this book – I would love to read how his friends did in life and how Aditya’s life took shape.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami - A Book Review

It has been two weeks since I finished reading this book. What an extraordinary reading experience it has been. It is an incredible story of a seeker who eventually becomes a revered seer.


The blurb gives a quick idea of what readers should expect from the book.

Within this extraordinary memoir, Radhanath Swami weaves a colorful tapestry of adventure, mysticism, and love. Readers follow Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide. The Journey Home is an intimate account of the steps to self-awareness and a penetrating glimpse into the heart of mystic traditions and the challenges that all souls must face on the road to inner harmony and a union with the Divine.

Through near-death encounters, apprenticeships with advanced yogis, and years of travel along the pilgrim’s path, Radhanath Swami eventually reaches the inner sanctum of India’s mystic culture and finds the love he has been seeking. It is a tale told with rare candor, immersing the reader in a journey that is at once engaging, humorous, and heartwarming.”

Can you imagine a desire for spiritual knowledge in a person so strong that he could hitchhike from Europe to India with almost no money? Sound incredulous, right? Those were exactly my thoughts when I came to know about the way Richard (later known as Radhanath Swami) reached India.

The year in 1970 and the author, then only 19 years old flies to Europe with friends. He is a Jewish American who lives in Chicago with his family. At that time, he is immersed in the hippy culture, but something is constantly nagging him. While he is in Europe with friends, he suddenly has a strong urge to satiate his spiritual quest. With practically no money in his pocket, he travels from London to some popular European destinations like Amsterdam, Florence, Athens, etc., and finally Crete where he decides he must visit India. Since, he has no money for a ship ticket or for airfare; he decides to hitchhike to India via Turkey. His journey is filled with various encounters and experiences that will make you wonder about the person’s determination.

So determined Richard was about his quest that he kept on moving towards his goal with conviction and determination. I am totally in awe for him and his life story.

The book gives you some of the very important lessons about life. It is an inspiring and enlightening story that could help many seekers like him in their quest.

I received this book from Jaico publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.

This book was originally published by Mandala Publishing in the United States in the year 2010. It was first published in India by Jaico in 2013.

About the Author:

Radhanath Swami was born in Chicago in 1950. In his teens he set out to wander the world on a spiritual quest, eventually discovering yoga path of devotion.

He presently travels in Asia, Europe and America teaching devotional wisdom but can often be found at his community in Mumbai. People who know Radhanath Swami speak of his dedication to bringing others closer to God. Almost in the same breath they speak of his lightness, simplicity and sense of humor. Visitors and friends are inspired by his unassuming nature and natural unwillingness to take credit for the works he inspires - community development, massive food distribution to indigent children, missionary hospitals, eco-friendly farms, schools, ashrams and emergency relief programs.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!
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