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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creamy Rabri/Basundi ~ For Blog Hop Wednesdays ~ From Enveetu KItchen!

For the 3rd edition of Blog Hop Wednesday I am assigned Priya's Blog- Enveetu Kitchen. She has an amazing collection of recipes. I just love her bakes. Despite that I have chosen her recipe of Basundi for today's post. I am sure some baking posts will follow soon.

To know more about it and participate check this. This event is the brain child of Radhika.

She had very lovingly prepared it for her grand mother's anniversary. Basundi is very much like Malai Rabri which I grew up eating. My mom's recipes is almost the same except she does not add saffron. Here, I have followed Priya's recipe to the T and loved it immensely.



I had prepared this long time back, before coming to my India visit and today on seeing these pictures I am tempted to make them again soon. I have used half of the measures as given in the original recipe.





Ingredients:

1 Litres Full Fat Milk
1/4 +2tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Almond Meal
2 tbsp Chopped Almonds
2 tbsp Chopped Pista
3 cardamom pod seeds crushed
a generous of Saffron, rubbed in 2 tbsp of milk

Method

1. In a Heavy-bottom non stick pan, boil Milk. keep the flame on medium and boil till  it reduces to 3/4 of the volume. 
2. Stir the Milk and Scrape the Pan-Side and return it to the boiling milk. When the Milk reduces to 3/4 of its quantity, add saffron Soaked Milk to this and Sugar. 
3. Keep Stirring often and scrape the sides and stir the malai in to the milk.



4. When Milk reduces to half its quantity, add the almond meal and Chopped nuts and Stir Well. Switch off the Stove and let it cool. When cool refrigerate it. Serve chillled


I enjoyed it very much. See what other bloggers are up with for Blog Hop Wednesday!


Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Orange Spritzer ~ Homemade Fanta ~ India Calling!

Finally the day is few hours away!

Some times back, I had mentioned in one of my post that I will be going to India soon and that is the day I am talking about. I am flying to India tomorrow! Yayy!

Days have been busy of late, as I had been preparing for this trip. Finishing reading books I had brought from library, returning unfinished books, shopping, preparing lists for India shopping, packing and preparing the home for DH as he will be making this trip 2 weeks later, cooking things to finish up vegetables from my pantry (and clicking them as well, watch out this space for recipes in coming days)! So, this space has been silent for a couple of days now. 

Today I have chosen to post this refreshing orange drink which I like to call Orange Spritzer, When, I served this to my DH, he said it is just like Fanta! To add a little here, we both love Fanta!

 
The recipe is very simple. You will need:

200ml of freshly squeezed orange juice.(About 3 oranges).
1 tbsp lemon juice.
6-8 ice cubes
3-4 tbsp sugar(as per your taste or the sweetness of the oranges)
120 ml or more chilled soda water.
Sprig of mint to decorate.

Serves 2

Process:

1. In a jar mix add orange juice,lemon juice and sugar. Stir well.
2. Add ice cubes to two tall glasses. Pour the prepared mixture.
3. Top it with chilled soda water and stir. Add a sprig of mint and serve immediately!Enjoy!


This drink is perfect for hot days. Perfect to beat the heat. Here is one glass for you!


Thanks for stopping by! Cheers. 
P.S. I will be back soon with posts from India. Till I write again, stay tuned!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair

Meet Akhilandeshwari aka Akhila. 45 years old, spinster, an income tax clerk, a daughter, a sister, the only provider for the family after her father died. She has played all the roles all her life but she has never been herself. One day, she decides to shed off all responsibilities and buys a one way ticket to Kanyakumari, the southern most part of India, to be away from all the people she had known all her life, to find the ‘Akhilandeshwari’ which was lost somewhere in the midst of duties and responsibilities.  She travels in an all female coupe where she meets five other women, each of whom has a story to tell. These stories changes the way Akhila thinks and that changes her life.

The stories are all an attempt to answer Akhila's problematic question: Can a woman stay single and be happy at the same time?

In this novel, Anita Nair has tried to dwell on the complex issue of women's freedom in a male dominated Indian society, her dreams, desires and her needs. Although, I could not bring myself to connect with all the stories the women in the coupe tells Akhila, I can very well understand the plight of women who suffers because society does not see them at par with their male counterparts and it is always them who has to compromise with their aspirations. I found the whole premise scary, in the sense that it was depressing at times - women suffering the brunt of the rigid society. The end of the novel was somewhat uplifting, when Akhila comes in terms with her life, she knows what she wants of her life. The confidence she radiated was exhilarating. To me, the author has left what happened there after to the reader's imagination. 

What I could not comprehend was, how someone could pour out their life story to a stranger in an over night train journey. One of them  telling about her life is possible but when all five of the fellow passengers are so forth coming with their life story, you know it is part of fiction. However, the book made me ponder over how so many times women consider living is mere existence. It made me realize that a great deal inner strength is needed to break free of the bonds of relationships be oneself and be in charge of one's life.

A full blown chick lit book that will take you on a ride of deep introspection.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Creamy Veggie Filling In Potato Bowls ~ For Blog Hop Wednesdays ~ From UK Rasoi!

The second edition of Blog Hop Wednesdays is here. This week I am paired with Nupur of UK Rasoi. To give you an insight into how this event works - every alternate wednesdays, bloggers participating in this event are paired with a partner and each of them has to chose a recipe from their partner's blog, prepare it and blog about it. To know more about it and participate check this.

Nupur has a good collection of scrumptitous recipes on her blog and it was a hard choice for me. But finally I decided on her Twice Baked Herby Potatoes. Using this recipe as an inspiration, I created Creamy Veggie Filling In Potato Bowls using the ingredients I had at hand. As, I was preparing them as appetizers, I just used half of the measures as given in the original recipe.



Ingredients:


2 baking potatoes.
2 tbsp butter
11/2 tbsp AP Flour.
1/2 tsp ground white pepper.
 salt to taste.
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup or little more warm milk.
2-3 tbsp cream, optional.
2-3 tbsp chopped green pepper.
2-3 tbsp sweet corn.
3 tbsp shredded mozarella.
1/2 tsp mixed herbs.
Process:


1. Microwave the potatoes for 6-8 minutes. Read the instruction given on the packet for cooking them in microwave.
2. Let it cool down. Once cooled, cut them in half and scoop out as much flesh as possible without distorting the shape. Keep the scooped potatoes aside.
3. Heat the butter in a pan and add the chopped pepper and thawed sweet corn and cook it for a minute. Then add the AP flour.
4. Cook it for a couple of minutes stirring, till the raw smell goes away. Add salt, pepper, herbs and sugar and stir. Add the warm milk, stirring all the time. Make sure there are no lumps. Add 3 tbsp of the scooped potatoes. Cook for another 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Keep the potatoes with the scooped side up. Fill them with the prepared filling and sprinkle the shredded cheese.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 15-18 minutes till they are golden brown.
7. Enjoy them as they are or add a dash of tomato sauce. Serve them fresh from oven.



Check out other Blog Hop Wednesday Bloggers and what they are up with for Blog Hop Wednesday
Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#18 Teaser Tuesdays ~ Mistaken by Neil Jordan


I have chosen the very first lines of the book, Mistaken by Neil Jordan for the teaser tuesday this week. These are powerful words that set the tone of the book.

"I had been mistaken for him so many times that when he died it was as if part of myself had died too. And so, I attended his funeral, to say good bye to that part of myself that would abide now in the cold clay of Deansgrange..."

Page: 1

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sinfully Delightful ~ Chocolate Truffles ~ For 100th post!

I am so delighted to post my 100th post today which co-incides with Raksha Bandhan. I have a younger brother but he is miles away from me today. So, through this post, I am conveying my wishes and love to him and a virtual treat!

For those who are not aware of this Indian festival, "Raksha Bandhan is a festival primarily observed in India, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her." (Source Wiki).

As I am writing this 100th post, I feel as if I have achieved an important milestone! The Wordless Wednesdays and Teaser Tuesdays helped me to acheived it faster. Till date I have posted a number of book reviews and some recipes too. Thanks you all for supporting me in this blog journey!

Without much ado, here is today's recipe ~ Chocolate Truffles!

Recipe Source: Joy of Baking


Chocolate Truffles:

100gm semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
125gm milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
120 ml double cream
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder for coating.
Makes about 25-30 truffles depending on size.

Process:
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2.  Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. 

3. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Make sure the chocolate has melted. If not, microwave it for 20-30 seconds.

4. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight to make the truffle mixture firm.

5. Place your coating cocoa powder for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator.

6. With a spoon or melon baller or  a small ice cream scoop form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Greasing your palms slightly helps in the process.

7. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray.

8. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#17 Teaser Tuesdays ~ Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair

"Panic fans the flames of fear. Panic dulls. Panic stills. Panic tugs at soaring dreams and hurls them down to earth. Panic destroys. Akhila felt panic dot her face. She had escaped. But from what to what?"

Page: 41

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eggless Strawberry Banana Muffins ~ For Sweet Punch!

I am really excited to be able to participate in the August Sweet Punch. I hope it is going to be a regular affair on this blog from now on. This month Ria chose Strawberry Banana Muffins from the Joy Of Baking site. To tell you the truth, I was a bit apprehensive about the combination of Strawberry and Banana. I have used bananas in making chocolate cake. It has a mild banana flavour but I was not sure how I would like a prominent banana flavour muffin. So, I went for making a small batch and hence halved the quantities as given in the original recipe. Also I had to make it eggless. The results were good and I really enjoyed the moist flavourful muffins.

Strawberry Banana Muffins Recipe:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup yoghurt+1/4 cup water+1/4 tsp baking soda ( To replace 1 egg)
About 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh strawberries (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspooon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

I got 9 regular size muffins of these measurements.




Process:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the muffin pan with paper liners.

2.In a saucepan melt the butter and let it cool down to room temperature.
3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the yoghurt, water, baking soda, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.   
4. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour. (This helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking).

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result. 
6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups using an ice cream scoop. I got 9 with these measurements.

7. Place them in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8.Transfer into a rack and let it cool. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.
Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Alyce’s site.

Today, I am sharing some pictures of Bray to GreyStones Coastal Walk (Ireland). We took this walk last saturday and it was an amazing experience. Beautiful sea cliffs bythe Irish sea, fresh sea air, lovely weather ~ what else would make a perfect weekend. The coastal walk is 8km in length and it took us more than 2 hours and we went on slowly but steadily, soaking in the views and capturing some in our cameras. Check these pictures for a virtual tour!
Just the beginning!
 A train line through the mountains!
 A bird eye view of Grey Stones. Still way to go!
Done with the cliff walk, through the country fields to GreyStone!

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

When you pick Nicholas Sparks books you know what to expect of it ~ a poignant love story. That is what I was exactly looking for when I picked up the book. I wanted an easy read, which the author's book definately are- not in the wrong way of course. This is the fifth book I have read of the author this year and I am simply not tired of reading his books. Safe Haven is different from all the other books I have read of the author. Of course, there is romance but Sparks has added a new twist in this story. It can be rightly called a romance thriller. Full of twist and turns and a suspense factor, I really found it unputdownable.

I am quoting the blurb from the book for the synopsis.

"When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven."

If you love Spark's book you cannot simply miss this one and if you do not like his writing, I think you should try this. This book kept me on tenterhooks as the story unravelled slowly and turned more dramatic than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed reading it.

Like many others of Sparks Novel, this is also going to be made into a movie and is going to be released in June 2012. I will be definately watching it. Vist http://www.nicholassparks.com/  to know more about the author and his works.

I am linking it to Nicholas Sparks reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen along with the other books Sparks book I have read so far namely The NoteBook, The Choice, The Last Song and Dear John.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blog Hop Wednesdays 1 ~ Cranberry Lemonade ~ From RedSpice!

Come Wednesday and here is my first entry to the brand new event, Blog Hop Wednesday started by Radhika. This week I am paired with Madhusmita of Redspice and I have tried this Cranberry Lemonade from her blog. I loved her space and really liked the way she gives the background information about all the dishes she posts.

As it is evident from this  my previous post, I love lemonade. Unlike, my blueberry lemonade this is much quicker as one doesnot have to prepare the syrup. Of course, if you wish you can using fresh cranberries. Infact, it is already in my to-make list when these berries are in season. Only thing I tweaked was I did not use frozen lemonade for making it. Instead I made the lemonade myself.

Here comes the recipe:

Ingredients:
250 ml cold water.
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice.
150 ml craberry juice.
A slice of lemon to decorate and ice cubes.

Process:

1. Stir in the sugar in the water and let it dissolve (I didn't go for heating it).

2. Add the lemon juice.

3. Before serving add the cranberry juice and stir well. Add the lemon slice and ice cubes.

4. Serve cold.

 Check out other Blog Hop Wednesday Bloggers and what they are up with for Blog Hop Wednesday


Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!
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