Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 ! My first baking of the year got nothing special to share but just a simple cookie recipe that came with some compliments from my family members and friends during the Xmas season. This is a very simple recipe which you could make the dough in advance and bake it whenever you want to refill your cookie jar. It could be shaped in any fancy patterns before frozen. I've no idea how to name this frozen cookie, please give it a good name if you can. Here are two type of flavours, plain and cocoa that go with some pecans and chocolate chips. People who had tasted love the texture and it serve well with a cup of coffee or tea. Freeze more doughs and make it as a little gift in a rush in NO TIME!!

Beat 110g butter with 50g icing sugar until lightly pale and fluffy. Add in the 150g shifted flour and 25g cocoa powder if you like to make cocoa flavour, otherwise replace the 25g with plain flour. Add some pecan, walnut or chocolate chips but not too little or too much. You want to taste the crunchiness and also easy to cut out in pieces once the dough harden from the freezer. I added 30g pecan and 30g chocolate chips into the mixture. Using a wooden spoon to mix until everything come together. Place half the cookie dough on a piece of cling film. For square shape, I used a 1 1/2 inches height baking tray to make an even square shape. Wrap the cookie dough with the cling film in a longish shape about 1 1/2 inches even size then pushing it to the side of the baking tray, press it and pushing another side again until you've got an even size of square loaf of cookie dough. Place in the freezer until harden. Cut out the cookie with your desirable thickness and bake in the oven at 170C for about 15 minutes. Keep in the cookie jar when it completely cool. Place a piece or two at the side of your coffee or tea, enjoy!

Apple Dates Milkshake

Wishing you all a Very Very Happy New Year. Thought of Cing off 2009 with a Sweet Recipe.
Apple-Dates Milkshake a very easy to make recipe.  Enjoy this Healthy Treat and a Give a Big Bear Hug and c off  2009 and let us all Welcome 2010 with Hands Wide Open and Heart-full of Happiness. God Bless Everyone and Have a Fantastic New Year.

Apples - 3 nos
Dates - 15 nos.
Cold Milk - 1/2 cup
Silvered Almonds for Garnishing

Core and De-seed the apples and cut it into small cubes. Remove the date seeds. Blend the apples with milk first then add dates and blend again. Garnish with Almonds and Serve.

Wishing u all a Wonderful New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Navratna Kurma

Navratana kurma

 Navratna  Kurma is a Delicious gravy with combination of Nine vegetables.It is a very popular dish in North India. You can add your choice of vegetables.It is a Excellent Combination with plain Parotta & Roti.


Chopped vegetables-2cups (combination of Carrot,beans,peas,beetroot,paneer,potato,gobi,Tomato)
Cashew - 10
Onion- 1 (optional)
Chilli powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp
Green chilli-2
Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
Curry leaves-1 arc
Coriander leaves
Butter or oil-2 tsp
Salt- To taste
Coconut milk - 1cup(small)

Navratana kurma

Preparation method:

1. Heat the pressure cooker,add butter. Add onion,green chilli,curry leaves,saute well.
2. Add ginger garlic paste,saute well.Add chopped vegetables & cashew fry until the raw smell goes.
3. Add chilli powder,turmeric powder,garam masala & salt.mix well.
4. Add chopped Tomato,saute until it will become soft.
5. Pour 2 cups of water,pressure cook for 4 whistles.
6. Finally pour coconut milk,allow it to cook for 2 min.
7. Garnish with coriander serve hot with Roti.

Navratana kurma

                  Wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous New Year

Thank you ASRA   for passing this beautiful Award for me

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chettinadu Chicken Curry

Chicken is one of my all time favorites......I actually cannot be without eating chicken more than a week.
                 I love chettinadu food very much and I know the main ingredients that are supposed to be in chettinadu style cooking like whole garam masala, Shallots, curry leaves etc., So thought of trying my own recipe of chettinadu chicken and here it goes.........
                 It tasted awesome as it looks try it and let me know your comments.

1 Whole Chicken cut into medium size pieces or small pieces
10 shallots/small onions sliced
1 medium onion chopped finely
1 Big Tomato
2 or 3 Green chillies slit into half
2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
2 Sprig Curry leaves
1tsp Turmeric powder
2tbsp Coriander powder
3/4tbsp Red Chili powder
1tbsp Black pepper powder
1tsp Garam masala powder
1/2tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped
1/4 cup Coconut milk powder 
Whole garam masla:
1 Bay leaf
3 whole Cardamoms
5 Cloves
1inch Cinnamon Stick
1tsp Cumin seeds
oil for cooking

1. Take a heavy bottom pan add 1tbsp oil, add the whole garam masala and fry for 1 minute.
2.  Add chicken, Ginger-garlic paste, onions, tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder and half the salt and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes/until done, add the rest of the salt and pepper powder and coconut milk powder and cook it for 2 mins. Off the flame and keep it aside.
3. In a small kadai/pan add 2 tbsp oil, once the oil is hot add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and wait until it splutters, then add curry leaves and green chillies then add the shallots. Fry until the shallots turn light brown.
4. Off the flame and pour the mixture on top of the prepared chicken. Mix once and garnish with corriander leaves and slices onion rings.
                N'joy my Chettinadu chicken curry with a twist ;-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Glimpse at my Photo Gallery

Here's a collection of some of the food pictures in my blog. You may find the recipes by choosing the corresponding category under "Recipe Index".
There are a lot more than these pictures and recipes in my blog. Don't forget to check out these!

Hot and Cold Drinks

Soups and Salads


Rice Varieties

Rotis and Side Dishes

South Indian Recipes


International Cuisine

Happy Holidays and have a Fantastic Year Ahead!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Small Home Improvements Equal BIG Energy Savings

Green initiatives for home improvements are great for the environment, but aren’t always financially feasible for many Americans. Thankfully, there are tons of inexpensive solutions to take the load off of your heating and air conditioning system, increase your home’s energy efficiency, and save yourself some money along the way.
  • Start from the Outside In: Inspect your home for drafts or air leaks around windows and doors. While replacing or adding insulation is always a good idea, a more cost effective quick fix is to weather-strip or caulk around windows and doors. Weather-stripping costs around $10 for almost two dozen feet. Put draft guards around the bottom of doors to keep warm air in and cold air out.

  • Dial Down, Dial Up: Turning down your thermostat just a few degrees in the winter not only uses less energy, but can also save 1-3% on your utility bill. If your home has air conditioning, the reverse is true for summer months. That’s a potential annual savings of nearly 10%!

  • Snuggle Up: There are people who actually prefer to sleep in cold rooms, but for the rest of us it’s worth it to invest in some heavy blankets or a down comforter (you can find a decent queen size one for around $100) and lower the temperature in your home at night.

  • Let the Sun Shine In: Give your furnace a rest. Open curtains on south-facing windows to create passive solar heat in winter and use natural light instead of lamps whenever possible.

  • Let the Sun Shine Out: Close blinds and drapes in the summer to keep out the sun’s powerful rays and reduce the load on your home’s air conditioner.

  • Be a Fan of Fans: Ceiling, box or desktop fans, used instead of central air or a room AC, can provide relief from the heat without breaking the bank. You can get a good fan for about $5 at most hardware or discount stores.

  • Go Acoustic and Unplug: Few people realize that even when not turned on or in use, many devices continue to draw power as long as they’re connected to an electrical outlet. Unplug anything that’s not being used—toaster, coffee maker, cell phone chargers—and use power strips or a surge protector for things like computers and home theater equipment.

  • Give Old Bulbs the Boot: Switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs—you know, those weird looking spiral things—can help you save money and reduce energy consumption. The average CFL bulb lasts longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, doesn’t get as hot, and burns exactly the same as a standard bulb. A single CFL bulb can save about $35 over its lifetime; changing every bulb in your house could save you thousands. Plus, they just look a lot cooler!

Get More Energy Efficiency Tips from Horizon Services:

Eggless Orange Cake

I had too much of oranges at home, to be used up. Making juice is one good way to finish up more number of oranges at one go. I thought of cakes and did a search for orange cakes. I wanted a recipe where in orange juice is used and majority of the recipes I found had only the zest in it. Finally I found Shammi's Orange Cake. The feedback by those who have tried was encouraging. Hop over to her blog for more eggless baking recipes. I have changed some ingredients else its almost her recipe. I didn't do the filling. But decided to try my hand in icing the cake, which is a first for me. The amount of sugar and butter in the icing, puts me off, usually. Also me and my husband prefers cake with no frosting. My dad was here when I baked and he pushed me to do the icing. My dad really enjoyed the cake very much. While slicing the cake, I did in a hurried manner and the top slice cracked but managed to keep it whole. I know I have much more to go on the icing part. But for a first timer, I think it will get a pass.


Whole wheat flour - 1 cup

All pupose flour/Maida - 1/2 cup

Cornflour - 2 tspn

Baking powder - 2 tspn

Salt -1/4 tspn

Oil - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Yogurt -1/4 cup

Orange zest - 1 tspn

Fresh orange juice - 3/4 cup ( from 3 ornages)

Orange color a pinch


Sift the dry ingredients - wheat flour, maida, cornflour, baking powder and salt.

Cream sugar and oil. Add yogurt. Beat well. Add a pinch of orange color.

Add the flour mix and orange juice alternatively to the wet mix. Mix well after each addition.

Finally stir in the orange zest.

Transfer the batter to a greased and dusted cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 minutes.

The cake on its own also tastes very nice. You can just dust it with some powdered sugar and serve.


Butter - 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar - 1 1/2 cup

Corn flour - 2 tblspn

Beat all the ingredients together till creamy. Cool the cake well and slice it horizontally.  Spread the frosting on the base slice. Carefully place the top slice over it. In the remaining  frosting, add a pinch of orange color. Cover the cake fully with the frosting. Leave it to set and slice.

Wishing all my readers A Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas!

This will be my last posting of the year 2009. Year end normally would be the most busiest time for me. I really have no time to think a new log cake this year, however manage to made a log cake last night which is exactly the same log as last year. Hope you don't feel bored with this old log.
Wishing everyone have a blessed Christmas and thank you for all your comments and encouragement to help me go on with this food blog. Look forward to seeing all the lovely post on you all. Happy New Year!

Maggie - Step by Step Photo Shoot

Maggie - Step by Step

My grandaughter Ditto, was inspired to contribute to the blog, and has gone into a joint venture with her dad to send in this photoshoot! :-)))

Message to Ditto:
Ditto Dear, The photoshoot is very very good! You can also make this all by yourself, if you boil water in the microwave ...but you must be VERY VERY CAREFUL with the hot water, and do it only when appa or amma are around!


The stairwell was extra oak'y and extra ugly. This first pre-kitchen, pre-brick picture is startling.

I believe Dustin preferred the stairs go unaltered...

...but, it had to be done.

Eventually it'd be nice to install new stairs altogether - for now, some aesthetic clean-up was in order. We primed first then used a dark brown floor paint from Valspar for the treads and balusters. Some bright white trim paint for the risers finished it up.

Since I'm sure most are curious about wear and tear with painting the floor, I'll admit that we actually did this job prior to filming the show (last summer). The paint has performed quite well. For about $50 I'd say this was a worthwhile, buck-banging effort.

Yep. Lady Gaga on the TV.

master bedroom; the big show

Sorry about the hiatus.

First. A few things about the show. We'd do it all over again. Seeing the house looking fantastic on TV was quite rewarding after all the work we've done. Also, watching ourselves was surprisingly not as painful as expected. We are good looking dudes.

I can't say I agree with the results (dead last). Although, trailing behind Leigh and Corey is fine with me - they're place is beautiful. While much of the show pointed out valid points, I would have liked more credit for actually building a kitchen in a space that did not have one. Conversely, we spent less than half the budget to which we were compared... that aspect wasn't discussed on the show and ultimately feels pretty damn good.

I can say we had a wonderful viewing party. The house was jam-packed with amazing people and much fun was had.

If you missed it, the folks at HGTV can't seem to get enough of us and it's been in rotation. Additional airings:
December 30, 2009 - 11:30 AM e/p
January 15, 2010 - 9:00 AM e/p
February 16, 2010 - 5:30 PM e/p

Now, about this master bedroom.


How about those beams? We tried to work with them. Ultimately, they darkened the room substantially and the lack of ceiling material allowed entirely too much noise transfer between the master bedroom and the one above on the third floor. You do not want to hear the noises coming from the master bedroom.

What's new? Covered the ceiling; added crown moulding; installed recessed lights and a new fan; refinished the floors; wallpapered a wall; FINALLY used those doors we spent so much time on a year ago; and have started putting it back together.

We love the king sized bed - which is resting on top of a frame from West Elm.

The side tables are an Ikea hack we saw on Apartment Therapy - $39 each (plus materials).

We think the wallpaper is stunning and give credit to Kay Ayres for helping find this. Kay is a close friend's designer Mom with a great eye. It's from Lee Jofa and installation was a breeze.

Merry Christmas from Baltimore!! Look at all this snow:

Of course - a dog picture. Here's Kanga looking sexy:

Caramel bread pudding

 IMG_0306 copy

Today I had decided on bread pudding because my son is keep on asking some desserts.I got this recipe from Priya's Easy N Tasty recipes . This pudding is pretty easy, I made small changes to the recipe. Instead of vanilla  essence i used Pineapple essence. It came out really good.Here my recipe


Bread-8 slices
Sugar-6 tsp
Pineapple essence-1 1/2 tsp
Milk- 1cup
Sugar for Caramel- 3 tsp
Walnuts- 3 tsp(crushed into pieces)
Badam flakes- 2 tsp( for decoration)

IMG_0289 copy

Preparation method:

1. Put bread to soak in milk until it completely soft.Then smash fully.
2. Add essence,sugar & walnuts,mix properly.
3. Heat the pan add sugar,mix until it turns brown.Add 3 tsp of water,mix well.
4. Take a flat vessel,pour caramel,allow it to spread to entire vessel.
5. Now pour the bread mixture,cover with aluminum foil,make 4-5 holes in that.
6. Pressure cook with out using cooker weight  for 30 min.
7. Wait until pudding is completely cool,Keep it inside the refrigerator for 1 hr.
8. Cut into pieces,decorate with  almonds,serve cold.

IMG_0306 copy

Priya from Priyas Recipes    passed this Xmas card & Thank you card.Thanks a lot priya for remembering me.



                                            Wish you a happy Christmas to everyone.