Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beef Stew

Since I don't have any special baking activities recently, I decided to post up my daily cooking here to keep you remember me :) I've stew quite often at home but never think of taking any pictures of it until my hubby mention to me. 

As I don't have a proper casserole which can be used on the hob to the oven, my stew was cooked in a normal pan then transfer to a slow cooker for further cooking process. I love to make stew simply because it's a one dish meal as it's easy to prepare and serve. Furthermore, it could be turned into different type of pie dish, either bake it with mashed potato, sliced potato, pastry or just have it straight with rice, pasta or mash that would not make me bore about it. I find the stew always taste better after the day it's cooked, so I normally cook more to keep in the fridge or freezer. Some people like to cook stew with stout but it's not for me and my hubby. So I use homemade chicken or beef broth to replace it, we love  it so much! Bon Appetit!

Recipe from Jamie Oliver. (I've slightly amended the recipe to suit our appetite)

Trim the ends off 1 big stick of celery and roughly chop • Peel and roughly chop 1 onions • Peel 1 carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop • Put a casserole pan on a medium heat, fry 2 slices of chopped streaky bacon until slightly golden brown • Put all the vegetables1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary and thyme and the 2 dried bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes
 Add 300g beef  (cut into approximately 2cm cubesand 1 tablespoon flour • Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup diced can tomatoes • Give it a good stir, then season with some sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper • Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an 180C preheated oven for 3 hours • Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking • When done, your meat should be tender and delicious • Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper • You can eat your stew as it is with some mash potato and green peas at the side, or you can use it for pasta or even turn it into a beef pie. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Federal Government Takes Steps to Strengthen Energy Star Program

Standards are Getting Tougher for Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems and Other Appliances

According to a March 2010 press release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have been implementing stricter policies to improve the federal Energy Star program and to increase consumer confidence in the label. The action comes at a crucial time, when more American consumers are both struggling financially and turning to home heating and cooling equipment and home appliances that will save energy and reduce utility bills.

Strengthening Testing and Enforcement

The EPA and DOE have begun a two-part process to expand Energy Star testing:
  • The DOE recently started testing on six of the most common Energy Star product types: freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, refrigerator-freezers, and room air conditioners. The DOE will conduct testing on more than 200 models at independent laboratories over the next several months.

  • The EPA and DOE are currently working on a system that will make the Energy Star qualification process more rigorous. Changes include testing by approved third-party labs, ongoing verification testing, and new manufacturer compliance cooperation procedures.

On the enforcement front, the EPA and DOE have been working to identify and resolve issues with manufacturers who fail to meet Energy Star standards. This includes actions taken against nearly three dozen manufacturers since January 2010:

  • January 7, 2010: The DOE announced that freezer manufacturer Haier had signed a consent decree on four of its models that were found to consume more energy than the company reported. As part of their agreement, Haier was ordered to notify all impacted consumers, repair defective units at no cost, and pay a fine of $150,000 to the US Treasury.

  • January 25, 2010: The DOE disqualified 34 compact fluorescent lightbulb models from more than two dozen manufacturers. These bulbs did not meet all Energy Star criteria for CFL.

  • January 28, 2010: The DOE took action against four companies that manufacture showerheads because the products were not certified to meet federal water conservation standards.

  • February 4, 2010: The DOE initiated a civil penalty against an air conditioner and heat pump manufacturer because some of its products were not certified, while other products were certified without the proper testing.

  • March 7, 2010: The DOE commenced enforcement actions against two more showerhead manufacturers suspected of marketing products that did not meet federal water conservation standards.

  • March 11, 2010: The EPA terminated their partnership with US Inc./US Refrigeration based on the company’s history of Energy Star logo misuse, unresponsiveness to EPA communications, and a habitual failure to comply with Energy Star guidelines.

Energy Star Brand Aims to Bolster Consumer Trust

The Energy Star program already has several systems in place to ensure consumer confidence in products that carry the Energy Star label. The requirements for certification are as follows:

  • To receive the Energy Star label, companies must submit to the federal government data that shows their product(s) meets clear and quantifiable energy efficiency standards.

  • The DOE and EPA conduct regular third-party laboratory and “off the shelf” testing of a range of Energy Star products to ensure continued compliance.

  • Because the Energy Star label is so attractive to buyers, market competition drives compliance from manufacturers. Manufacturers frequently test competitors’ products to ensure compliance and can report violations to the EPA or DOE.

  • When a manufacturer is found to be in violation of Energy Star policies, the label is removed from the affected product, corrective measures are outlined, and if changes are not made the Energy Star partnership may be terminated.

Related Information from Horizon Services...

Vanilla Pound Cake with Peach Glaze

Peaches are rich in vitamin C, protein and calcium. 

I wanted to try a simple pound cake today and came up with this recipe. I also wanted to try to bake this cake in my steel mixing bowl. Though it took longer than the usual cake recipes take, but it came out so fluffy, soft and tasted good but not too sweet. But I did want to add some more natural sweetness to it. I had these lovely and fresh peaches, so thought of making a glaze out of these and decorate it on top of the cake.
Hmm…..just read the above description……guess what, I think I did try too many experiments in one recipe. That’s OK…because the end result was good and I did serve this to my friends who came for dinner. Hope they also liked it as much as I did.

For Vanilla Pound Cake:
1 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
½ cup Milk
¼ cup + 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil (you can substitute with Apple sauce/crushed pineapple)
1¼ tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Peach Glaze:
3 big Peaches peel, chore and sliced
¼ cup Brown sugar
¼ tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tbsp Butter
1 pinch Salt


Vanilla Pound Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 inch round cake pan/9x13-inch rectangular baking pan/steel mixing bowl (I experimented) with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
2. Add flour, milk, oil, baking powder, and vanilla and beat for another minute, just until the batter is smooth and creamy. Don't over beat.
3. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick poked into the center of the layer comes out clean.

 I used the steel mixing bowl and had to bake it longer, for about 75mins.
A single rectangular pan will take longer to bake than round ones.
Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan with a thin knife, then turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Let cool completely before covering with frosting, if desired. 

Peach Glaze:
1. In a sauce pan add all the ingredients and cook for about 7 to 8 mins or until the peaches become little soft/halt cooked (because you need to have some crunch from the peach when u bite it).

1. Cut the bumpy head of the cake to make a flat surface.
2. Turn the cake upside down and arrange the peach slices in a circular shape and pour the glaze on top.
3. This yummy cake can be kept in fridge to set for about 30 mins so that the juice of the peaches will be absorbed through the cake.

Note: You can also top it up with Whipped cream or ice cream as a complete dessert.

Podalangai Pachadi - Snake Gourd in Yoghurt


Podalangai (snake gourd) pachadi is an oft prepared dish in our house. The tender green colour and the juicy soft crunch of the vegetable lends a special taste to the pachadi. We love to relish this pachadi with vattal kuzhambu and rice.


Tender snake gourd without fibers (Chopped) - 2 cups
Fresh thick Curds - 2 cups
Fresh coconut gratings - 4tbsps
Green chillies - 2
Salt - 1 pinch
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


1. Wash and chop the snakegourd along with its tender seeds into small uniform pieces.
2. Boil the chopped snakegourd in just enough water with 1/2 a pinch of salt till it is cooked but not mushy.
3. Drain the vegetable and set it aside to cool. Save the drained water to be used in other dishes.
4. Grind coconut gratings and green chillies into a smooth paste adding a little water.
5.Blend the paste, 1/2 a pinch of salt and the thick curds together and mix in the cooked and cooled snake gourd.
6. Heat coconut oil and add the whole black pepper.
7. When the pepper cracks add cumin seeds and switch off flame.
8. Add curry leaves into the seasoning and pour over the Podalangai Pachadi.

Relish the aroma of the seasoning and the luscious pachadi with any 'variety rice' you like.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salmon Potato Curry

I was very busy from morning because I had to drop and pick up Anush from school and didn’t get time to make any lunch for both of us. As Anush likes to eat fish and he was hungry and I didn’t have time to think/cook a time consuming recipe. So I thought of making fish curry and came up with this recipe because I had boiled potatoes. It was easy and was done in 10 mins and tasted so good.

½ lb Salmon steak
1 big Tomato
1 tbsp Curry powder ( I used Jamaican Curry powder)
1 tsp black Pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp Olive oil

1. Cut the salmon steak to bite size pieces.
2. Cut the boiled potatoes to bite size pieces.
Chop the tomatoes.
3. In pan add oil, when the oil is medium hot add all the ingredients and mix well and add ¼ cup of water.
4. Cover with lid and cook for about 5 to 6 mins until the tomatoes are cooked and soft.
5. Open the lid and cook again for about 2 mins on low flame until u have a thick gravy.
6. Serve this easy n tasty recipe with rice.

Bansi Rava Kesari

Bansi Rava is also called as Godumai Rava/ Samba Godumai/ Broken Wheat/ Dalia. It is rich in fiber and very nutritious. Kesari is usually made out of Sooji. Kesari/ Kesari bath is usually made of milk and sugar. But this Bansi Rava Kesari is made of jaggery. It is a very delicious and simple recipe. This is how I made it.


Bansi Rava - 1 cup                                            
Jaggery (powdered) - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon
Cashewnuts - For Garnishing
Raisins - For Garnishing
Ghee - 4 Tablespoons
Water - As required

  • In a Pan/ Kadai roast 1 cup of Bansi Rava in 1 table spoon of ghee.
  • Then boil the Bansi Rava in about 2 cups of water or as required. Cook till it is completely cooked.
  • In a different pan, add the Jaggery and add 1 cup of water and boil the Jaggery. 
  • Once the Jaggery is boiled and dissolved completely, remove it from heat and strain out the Jaggery water.
  • Mix the strained Jaggery water into the Bansi Rava, add 2 table spoons of Ghee and stir it well.
  • Take a Tadka pan and add the Ghee into it. Once the Ghee is melted, add a few Cashewnuts and Raisins. 
  • Then add this to the Rava Jaggery mixture and stir it well till the Ghee leaves out on the sides.
  • Remove from the pan and serve it hot.Enjoy the Bansi Rava Kesari.

Red Swiss Chard and Lentils

The word Swiss was used to distinguish chard from French spinach varieties by 19th century. 
The chard is very popular among Mediterranean cooks.
Swiss Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C with one cup containing 214%, 716%, and 53% of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.
Shoj likes these green because they look similar to the kerala red cheera (greens). I didn’t want to make the usual cheera recipe but wanted to try something new out of these greens. So I ended up in this recipe.

1 bunch Red Swiss Chard washed and chopped finely
½ cup Whole green moong dal/moong bean
1 medium Onion chopped
½ cup Red lentils
3 dry Red Chilies
2 pods of Garlic chopped
Salt to taste
½ tsp Mustard seeds
¼ Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
¼ tsp Asafetida
1tsp Oil

1. Wash the lentils and cook them in pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
2. Wash and chop the red swiss chard finely.
3. In a pan add oil and when it is hot add the mustard seeds and when they sputter add asafetida, dry red chilies and chopped garlic.
4. Add the onion and sauté it until the onions turn transparent.
5. Add the swiss chard and cook them on medium low flame/ until cooked.
6. Add the cooked lentils and salt and turmeric powder and cook for another 5 mins or until all the ingredients are well blended and soft.
7. Serve this hot with rice or as a side for any rice recipe.

Microwave Ragi Laddoos

Had Some Ragi Flour, awaiting my attention in my freezer, tried making these Laddoos!!! The Laddoos tasted amazing!!!! The Taste of Ragi blended well with the Dessicated Coconut  and Cardamom added that extra flavor and made the laddoos taste Divine!!!
To My Surprise, Even my Son, had a full Laddoo!!! So, it is Definitely a hit among Toddlers too!!!! Come on Give it a try and let me know!!!

Ingredients (Makes 5-6 Laddoos)
3 tbsp Ragi Flour
1 tbsp Dessicated Coconut + 2 -3 tsp for coating the laddoos
2-3 tsp Ghee
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar
2 pods Cardamom
2-3 tbsp Milk

In a Microwave Safe Bowl, Add ghee and Ragi flour and Microwave high for 4 minutes, Stir, after every 1 minute. Powder Sugar and Cardamom together. Once the Ragi is done in the MW, take it out, add Sugar and Dessicated Coconut, Mix well, Spread on a Flal plate, let it cool for a minute or two. Add Milk little by little and make balls out of the flour mix. Roll them, with some Dessicated Coconut. Do this immediately, else the laddoos might become a bit dry on the outer and coconut will not coat well on to the laddoos.

Sending this to Srivalli's Kids Delight - Finger Food  and 365 days of Microwave Cooking
Cooking 4 All Seasons 
And also to Celebrate Sweets - Laddoos, happening @ Nithu's Kitchen, Event by Nivedita

Monday, September 27, 2010

Year Round HVAC Repair and Maintenance

Let the Season Be Your Guide to Fixing and Maintaining Your Home Heating and Air Conditioning Systems!

At some point in your homeownership, you’re going to have to call an HVAC technician to service your home’s heating and cooling system. Whether you need furnace repair, someone to take a look at your air conditioner, or a professional opinion on the state of your ventilation and ductwork, a reliable HVAC technician is your best bet.

But how do you know when it’s time to call? This handy guide gives you some suggestions for seasonally appropriate repairs and maintenance, which should help you begin the conversation. Remember; always shop around for a reputable technician even if you need immediate assistance. There are few things that feel worse than being taken for a ride by a shady contractor in times of desperation.

Spring HVAC Repair and Maintenance:
Early spring is a great time to have your HVAC system cleaned and inspected. If there are any problems or necessary repairs, you can have them completed well before the warm summer weather sets in. That way you can rest assured that your air conditioner will kick in without issue when you need it most.

Summer HVAC Repair and Maintenance:
It goes without saying that summer is one of the busiest times of year for HVAC technicians. But if you’re having trouble with your system there are a few simple do-it-yourself tricks to try before you call a pro. Make sure your air conditioner is clean from dust, dirt, and debris. Change the filter monthly. Check your thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. If you still can’t figure out the problem, call a professional HVAC technician but expect a bit of a wait, as summer schedules can fill up quickly.

Fall HVAC Repair and Maintenance:
Toward the end of summer and into the fall, think about calling an HVAC technician to schedule a furnace tune-up and ductwork cleaning. Postponing this crucial step can put you at the end of a long line of other customers or worse—stuck in the cold without a working furnace on that first chilly autumn morning.

Winter HVAC Repair and Maintenance:
If you need service in the winter it’s likely that your furnace has stopped working. But before you call a professional, do a few quick checks on your own. Start with the furnace pilot light and make sure it hasn’t gone out. Then check the thermostat to see that it’s working properly. Be certain that all floor and ceiling registers are open.

Sometimes, simply replacing the filter furnace can improve your system’s function. You’ll certainly have to hire a pro if none of these produce results. If you do need to call a technician, don’t delay. Putting off furnace repairs can lead to even more serious (and costly) problems like frozen or burst pipes, carbon monoxide poisoning, and system-wide damage. You can generally expect a quick response to a call for help during the winter, as HVAC professionals understand the urgency of furnace problems at this time of year.

Related HVAC Repair/Maintenance Information from Horizon Services...

Soya Fritters

Made this for my Kid's Snack Box. Tasted great and healthy too. I had just potato @ home, you can add some green peas, shredded carrots to make even more veggie!!!!

1/4 cup Broken Soya Chunks
1 Large Potato
a Handful of Besan/Gram Flour
1/2 tsp Red chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
Salt to taste
Oil for Frying

Soak the Broken Soya Chunks in Hot Water for 2 minutes, Drain, wash in cold water and Squeeze out the Excess water. I used the small Tea Filter to Drain the broken soya chunks and used a Katori/Bowl to squeeze the excess water. Peel and Boil the Potato.
In a Bowl, Mash the Potato, add The Broken Soya, Besan/Gram flour and all the spice powders and Mix well to make a soft, a bit sticky dough. If needed, Sprinkle some water to make the dough.
Heat oil in a Deep Pan, make small balls of the dough and Deep Fry them in batches. Drain on Kitchen Towel. Enjoy with Tomato Sauce!!!!
Sending this to Srivalli's Kids Delight - Finger Food and also to Any One can Cook - Weekly Series @ Taste of Pearl City.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This is a famous side dish especially for the briyani varieties. Years back, I have learnt this from a Muslim friend who belonged to Salem area. In her area, Thalicha [Mutton kuzhambu with bones, dal and vegetables] and this ennai kathtahrikkai kuzhambu are the most famous side dishes for the Briyanis. Fresh and tender small brinjals will always enhance the taste.

எண்ணை கத்தரிக்காய் கறி


Small tender brinjals-15
Chopped ripe tomatoes- 1 cup
Small onion- a handful
Small garlic flakes-10
Tamarind- a small lime size
Salt to taste
Gingelly oil-5 tbsp
Turmeric powder- half sp
Asafetida powder- half sp
Chilli powder- 2 tsp
Coriander powder- half sp
Chopped coriander- 3 tbsp
Curry leaves-a few
Peppercorns- half tsp
Slit green chillies-3

Fry the following ingredients to golden brown:

Groundnuts-2 tbsp, sesame seeds- 1 tsp, fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp, cumin seeds- half sp


Soak the tamarind in warm water for an hour and then extract its thick juice.
Heat a pan and pour a tbsp of oil.
Fry the onion, garlic and the tomatoes until they are cooked well and the oil floats on top.
When cooled grind them with the fried ingredients to a fine paste.
Cut the brinjals in to long fleshy stripes.
Add the powders, ground paste and salt.
Mix well and allow it to marinate for 15 minutes.
Pour 3 tbsp of oil.
Add the peppercorns and the slit green chillies along with the greens and fry them for a few seconds on slow fire.
Add the brinjals and cook for some minutes.
Add the tamarind extract and mix well.
Cook until the brinjals are done and the gravy is thickened.
Pour the remaining oil around it and put off the fire.
Ennai kaththarikkai curry is ready now to serve!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Plumbers in Mission Viejo

Have you searched through google for "plumbers in Mission Viejo" lately?

It's amazing haw many companies "pop up" in the results when they are as far away as Los Angeles and Corona.

If you are looking for a Mission Viejo Plumber, look no further than

We offer 24 hour emergency plumbing service for Mission Viejo and all of Orange County.

We also service Lake Forest, Ca. - Laguan Woods, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills and Laguna Beach.

Feel free to call 877-HEY-SPLASH for fast, friendly and professional plumbing service.

Inji Tengai Thair Pachadi -Ginger,Coconut and Yoghurt Dip


Inji Tengai Thair Pachadi (ginger and coconut pachadi) can be termed as a double dish because it can also be used as a chutney depending on the requirement. One spoon of this pachadi with one spoon of hot steaming rice at the begining of a meal ensures good appetite. It goes very well as a side dish with pongal, pulav, dosas and adais.


Fresh coconut gratings - 1 cup
Peeled and chopped fresh ginger - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Fresh thick curds - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Oil - 1 tsp
Freshly chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp


1. Add little water and smoothly grind coconut gratings, ginger and salt into a thick paste.
2. Blend the paste into the curds.
3. Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard seeds splutter add the seasoning to the pachadi.
5. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Enjoy the cool Inji thair pachadi and its appetising aroma.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shrimp and Green Onion on Grilled Italian Bread

One of my favorite seafood is Shrimp. It's easy to cook and very tasty. I came up with this recipe, as I got this freshly baked bread and could not wait to taste it ...especially when grilled and combined with shrimp. 
The day before, I tried the same recipe with mushrooms....It was as good as the shrimp (sorry could not wait until I could capture the picture in my camera :-)). I am mentioning this to satisfy the veggie lovers. :-)
I would like to share some nutrition aspects of shrimp.  Shrimp is high in calcium, iodine and protein and low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also significant source of cholesterol. Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp means that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides.
6 slices of Calabrese bread/Focaccia bread/ciabatta Baguette
Note: Use can use any kind of Italian bread too which has bit hard and crunchy outside and soft inside. 
20 Shrimp – divined and cleaned and cut into small pieces
1 bunch Green onions – chopped
¼ tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Ginger powder
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
Salt to taste
pinch of Sugar (optional)
1 tsp White pepper powder
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
2 green Chilies chopped finely
1 small Onion chopped finely
1 tsp Olive oil
1tbsp Butter

1. In a pan add olive oil and when it’s medium hot add 1 tbsp butter, when the butter melts add the onions and sauté it until it turns transparent.
2. Add the chopped green onion stems and shrimp, garlic powder, ginger powder, hoisin sauce has salt in it, pinch of sugar, white pepper powder, red chili flakes and chopped green chilies sauté all these for about 5 mins or until the shrimp is cooked on a medium high heat. sauce, salt it needed as the
3. Mean while take the bread slices and brush both the sides with Olive oil.
4. Heat a grilling pan and place the slices in a slanting position so that u can get nice grill marks on the bread. 5. To get nice flat crispy bread and nice grill marks u can place a flat pan on top of the bread slices and press down a bit and hold for a min.
6. Remove the slices on to a plate.
7. Check the shrimp and finally garnish with chopped green onions.

8. Take spoon full of the shrimp and place on the bread and eat it when it is warm.

Note: I tried the same recipe with chopped mini Bella Mushrooms instead of shrimp. It was as good as the shrimp. This would be a good alternative for veggie lovers. (Sorry could not capture it in my camera).

Chicken Fry/Varuval (SHOJ)

Varuval mean fry. It can be anything from veg to non-veg. In india varuval is favorite dish to go with dal/sambar or any mixed rice recipes. varuval is mainly done with veg or non-veg coated with masala and slowly sauteed to fry until it becomes crispy with no water. 
This recipe was made by Shoj. It was a Friday evening and was raining outside and I was in no mood to cook, but wanted to eat something spicy and hot. So Shoj decided to cook for me today. 
It was a wonderful dish to go with chapati/roti and I was enjoying it so much that I ended up eating more than I should :-). 
We ran out of curry leaves which is the only missing ingredient as per Shoj...but for me, the recipe was so good that I didn't think about it at all.

2 Chicken breasts with bone cut into small bite size pieces
1 pcs of cinnamon stick
2 Cardamoms
1 pcs of Star anise
4 dry Red chilies
1 tbsp of black Soy sauce
10 Curry leaves
1/2 cup of Water (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Pepper powder

To make paste in mixer:
2 medium size Onions
5 cloves of Garlic
2" of Ginger
Curry paste:
1 tsp water
2 tbsp of Curry powder
2 tsp of Chili powder
2 tsp of Turmeric powder

1. Heat oil in pan add cinnamon stick, cardamoms, star anise, dry red chilies and curry leaves, fry it for about a 5 secs.
2. Add the ground paste and sauté until golden brown.
3. Add the curry paste and fry for a min.
4. Add chicken and sauté it until the masala is coated well.
5. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce and water (optional) (because I used defrosted chicken which had enough water to cook on its own).
6. Cover with lid and cook in medium low flame for about 20 mins or until chicken is cooked and dry without any water.

7. Serve hot with chapati/roti and sliced onions (favorite part for Shoj,especially when eating chicken and chapati).

Why Your Heating Repair Professional Should Be Your Best Friend

When if Comes to Home Heating, The Right Relationship is Everything!

Heating season is now upon us, and that means the inevitable need for heating system maintenance or repairs. Most homeowners are capable of handling the most basic heating system maintenance tasks: changing disposable filters, washing electrostatic filters, lighting or relighting the pilot light. But when it comes to more complex heating repairs or furnace tune-ups, the sheer complexity of most heating systems makes them inaccessible to even the handiest do-it-yourselfer. So it pays to have a reputable heating repair professional that you know well and can trust on-call to handle both common repairs and emergencies.

The following is a list of reasons why developing a relationship with an experienced heating repair technician is good common sense.

Stay on Top of Heating Repairs:
Your home’s heating system is only as good as its equipment. It is important to give these systems plenty of attention to help keep them functioning properly. A heating professional can inspect your heating system to prevent future issues, make sure your furnace or heater is up to code, make repairs, replace old parts, and recommend updates. These kinds of regular check-ups are especially important if your HVAC system or furnace is older, as some parts or components may be out of date or not up to current standards.

Never Too Much:
The average American takes their car in for service 4-5 time per year. Since you probably spend more time in your home, don't you think it needs at least half as much professional maintenance? Don’t worry if you see your heating repair professional at least two or three times a year; that's average for most homeowners. Having your heating system inspected and cleaned frequently can translate into significant savings on your utility bills, your safety, and your schedule.

You’ll Save Money:
Replacing your entire heating system can be very costly. And the number one reason that heaters and furnaces break down is because of neglect or deterioration. To help you avoid the expense of buying a new heating system or incurring a major heating repair, have a heating professional come to your home to inspect and clean your existing unit several times a year. You’ll actually end up saving money in the long run.

You’ll Save Time:
You don’t have the time to learn everything there is to know about heater or furnace maintenance, but a qualified technician does. Having a number you can call when your heating system breaks down means you can spend more time enjoying your life. To save even more time, do a heating system test run during the mid to late fall. Because winter is the busiest time for any repair professional, it helps to have an idea of your problem before you call.

You’ll Save Your Health:
Hiring a heating contractor to come inspect your property a few times a year helps guard against potential safety hazards like leaks, allergens, fire, and carbon monoxide poison. This can ultimately improve not only the health of your heating system but the health of your household, too.

Familiarity Breeds Success:
Every heating system is different. Heaters and furnaces have their own peculiarities. Do you want to waste time and money with a heating repairman who has little or no experience with your type of heating system or who has to learn on the job and familiarize himself with the workings of your heating unit? It pays to have a heating repairman who already knows your heating system inside and out and is familiar with your particular heating unit's performance and repair history.

How to Find a Heating Repair Professional You Can Trust

This is not something to take lightly. Choose a heating repair professional as carefully as you would choose a new doctor or dentist. Ask around to friends, family, local companies, or the Better Business Bureau to compile a list of trusted, quality heating contractors. Heater and furnace emergencies are no joke, and you want to be sure the heating professional you have on call is the best person for the job.

If you live in Delaware, Pennsylvania or Maryland, you can't go wrong by choosing Horizon Services for your heating service needs. Our heating technicians provide a level of quality and professionalism that is unequaled in the industry. Friendly, accountable, experienced technicians with a personal touch. It's a relationship that you'll treasure for years.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coto De Caza Plumbing

Do you still feel you "live in the sticks" when you drive home to Coto De Caza?
Who do you call for plumbing service in Coto De Caza?

Despite all the development in South Orange County, Coto De Caza is still "way out there".... but not to worry, services your area too. Although we don't advertise in your area, we have plenty of clients in Coto, Dove and Trabuco Canyon as well as Wagon Wheel!

Give us a call today for a free estimate on any of your Coto De Caza plumbing issues.

Call 877-HEY-SPLASH today!!

Plain Uttapam & Coconut Chutney

This recipe is from Mallika Badrinath's cookbook. Uttapam and dosa can be prepared using the same batter. Dosas are usually crisp and thin while uttapams are thick like pancakes. If you want soft, spongy, white dosas or uttapams, this is the recipe.

Raw Rice or Sona Masuri Rice - 3 Cups
Whole Urud Dal - 1 Cup
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Water as required (roughly 5 cups)

Rinse and drain rice and dal.
Soak them together for 3 hours along with fenugreek seeds.
Grind to a smooth batter adding water gradually.
I always use wet grinder to prepare idli/dosa batter.
Add salt and mix well using your hands.
Allow the batter to ferment for 16-20 hours.

To prepare Uttapams:
Mix the batter well. If it is thick, add little water.
Heat a griddle.
When it is hot, grease it with oil.
Take a laddle full of batter.
Pour it in the center.
Do not spread it.
Drizzle oil around the corners.
After a minute, flip it and cook the other side.
Serve with chutney.

Coconut Chutney:
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Almonds/roasted unsalted peanuts - 10
Green Chilli - 1 or 2
Hing - a pinch
Ginger - small piece
Coriander leaves - a handful

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp

Grind all the ingredients with water to a smooth paste.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Pour the seasoning over ground mixture.

To make onion uttapam, add chopped onions, green chilli, curry leaves, coriander leaves to the batter and follow the same procedure.

EPA Regulations Govern Use, Disposal of Refrigerants

What You Can't See CAN Harm You!

Refrigerant gases used in HVAC systems have long been linked to environmental risks and depletion of the ozone layer. For nearly 20 years, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pushed for legislation regarding the proper use, repair and disposal of refrigerant systems in order to minimize the harmful effects on the environment.

There are several different classes of refrigerant gases, each with specific uses in both commercial and residential situations. Generally speaking, refrigerants are used in temperature control systems in homes and businesses. The most common types of gases used in these HVAC systems are hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Each of these gases has elements that can cause harm to the ozone layer and can have other adverse effects on the environment. This is why the EPA strictly measures, monitors and regulates their use.

HCFCs, PFCs and CFCs are classified as ozone depleting substances and have a very high potential for contributing to global warming. Also known as destructive greenhouse gases, these chemicals are a factor in the destruction of the upper ozone layer and release pollutants into the atmosphere. In the United States, The Clean Air Act defines the EPA’s role in preserving our air quality and limiting further damage to the ozone. There are similar laws in several other countries throughout the world.

The main job of the Clean Air Act is to set forth proper procedures for dealing with refrigerant gases. This involves intense, detailed materials management and tracking. EPA officials, federal regulators and local agents are all partners in monitoring and inspecting commercial and residential heating and air conditioning systems. They may perform random spot checks of locations, audit service records and purchase orders, or periodically review transport logs of gas delivery and removal. This is meant to ensure that harmful greenhouse gases are used and disposed of in accordance with federal regulations in order to minimize environmental impact. The current law also mandates that technicians be EPA certified before performing any maintenance work on an HVAC system containing refrigerant gases.

In 2009, the Clean Air Act was amended to include specific regulations that will allow HVAC system owners and service professionals to monitor leaks more accurately and make sure that refrigerants are recycled, recovered and documented properly. Anyone who is in contact with systems that have 50 pounds or more of refrigerant gas—either through ownership or service profession—will now be required to keep thorough service records, regularly monitor systems for leaks, log all refrigerant purchases, and present yearly reports of use and disposal of gases. These more detailed reports will make it easier for the EPA to gauge the effects these gases have on the environment and their impact on global climate change.

While the Clean Air Act has long been a means of protecting the environment by limiting the release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, these amended regulations will go one step further by empowering consumers and service professionals to take a more active role in environmental protection.

Related Information from Horizon Services...