Monday, January 31, 2011
Aval aka Poha is a rice flattened to light dry flakes. Aval upma is a very light, low calorie snack perfect for breakfast/dinner. The most common and known variety is Kanda poha though many varieties are still popular, like lemon flavored or tamarind flavored poha. Today's recipe is a simple aval upma flavored with roasted chana dhal and one of my MIL's specialty dishes. Trust me, this is very
Radiant heating is an emerging trend in new home construction and existing home remodeling. Radiant heating systems involve supplying heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. Radiant systems depend largely on radiant heat transfer: the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via the radiation of heat (similar to the effect you feel when you can feel the warmth of a hot stove top from across the room).
Here's how radiant heating stacks up against other common heating systems:
The Advantages of Radiant Heating
Radiant heating has a number of advantages over other home heating technologies. It is generally more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through your home's ducts.
- Comfort: Radiant heating sends heat through coils hidden beneath the floors of your home. There’s no dust, no noise, no hot air blasting through unsightly vents in the floor or ceiling. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the house, virtually eliminating hot and cold spots.
- Safety: Nails, water, direct contact with the heating element—nothing interferes with the safe operation of a radiant heating system. Each unit is tested to industry standards and uses worry-free low voltage energy.
- Reliability: Radiant heating is practically maintenance-free and most elements are backed by a solid manufacturer’s warranty. There aren’t any moving parts to malfunction and most have self-diagnosing technology so small problems can be identified before they become big trouble. You won’t have to worry about yearly maintenance or service checks, either.
- Convenience: With fully adjustable and programmable thermostats, radiant heating systems let you set a temperature schedule that compliments your lifestyle. Just set it and relax!
- Efficiency: One of the most energy-efficient types of home heating currently available, radiant heating requires significantly less operating time than conventional heat systems to reach desired temperatures. You’ll spend less on heating and can help reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Custom Design: Each radiant flooring system can be customized for your unique needs. Whether you want single-room floor warming in your tiled bathroom or whole-house heating under hardwood floors, you’ll find a radiant heating system to suit you. They can be installed under any surface and don’t require a furnace, boiler, vents, or ducts.
Radiant Heating vs. Hydronics
Hydronic heating uses hot water to warm floors, which then heat the surrounding room. Though they are similar to radiant heating systems, there are some differences.
Both hydronic and radiant heating use low voltage and are energy-efficient. However, hydronic systems present several considerations that don’t apply to radiant heating:
- Need gypsum or concrete slabs, costing $4.00 or more per square foot to install
- Need a boiler room or basement to house hot water controls
- Use only 65-85% of system’s energy, as heating strength fades the further hot water moves from the boiler unit
Radiant Heating vs. Forced Air
Forced air systems blow warm air freely around the room, allowing heat to rise up to the ceiling. This leaves floors and living spaces cold and releases dust and other particles into the air. In order to maintain a comfortable temperature forced air heat has to be set higher; this increases workload on the system and costs you more on your energy bills. Also, because radiant heat actually radiates through the room rather than being blown, rooms often feel warmer and heat feels more evenly distributed and consistent.
Related Heating Information from Horizon Services...
- Peel from 3 oranges
- Sugar - 1 cup
The left over orange flavored syrup can be used while making juices orr in fruit salad. You don't have much syrup left out and it gets used up faster too.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
1/2 cup Wheat flour
2 tbsp Almond Meal
2 tbsp Flaxseed Meal
Salt to taste
Oil and Water for making dough
Oil for frying the Poori
Dia langsung deh mo pesen cupcake buat Birthday suami tercintah nya, Andi.
Suami nya doyan bgt ama kue, manis n coklat. Mintanya ada motor, mama n lovely ( baby girl nya) ama laptop.
Tuapiiiii gara2 uda panik.com karna aku jg lagi ada urusan, lupaa deh ama si laptop. Padahal uda feeling tuh kok kaya ada yg kurangg.
Eh ga lama setelah cupcake nya nyampe, Ira bbm " Ren, kok ga ada laptop nya ?"
Comment nya : "Wokeh bgt deh kue nya Ren, tp krn laki g doyan coklat n manis, katanya kurang manis..Kalo gue sih uda cocok" .makasih yaa Ra..
I m running a Blogging Marathon with some of my Blogger Buddies, Please Do check out their Recipes here Srivalli, Priya Suresh, Jay, Monika,
Reva, PJ, Azeema , Ayeesha ,Veena , Usha, Soumya and Gayathri.
1/2 Cup of Flour
Handful of Mint leaves
Handful of Coriander
a Small piece of Ginger
4-5 leaves of Tulsi (Indian Basil)
Salt to taste
Water & Oil to make the dough
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Potato - 2 medium sized
Onion - 1 cup - finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp or to taste
Here's a quick and simple tiffin made with left over idlis. Picture quality is not up to the mark. I used a different camera this time.
Left over idlis - 4
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urud dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Idli powder (Milagai podi) - 2 to 3 tsp
Coconut - 2 tsp
Cool the idlis. Crumble into a coarse mixture and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds and urud dal.
When urud dal turns brown, add curry leaves, hing and crumbled idli.
Add idli powder and coconut and mix well.
Serve hot with yogurt.
'Pon Pottaal Pon Vilaiyum Bhoomi' meaning: 'If gold is sown the land yields gold'- this is the maxim used to define the fertile lands in Trichy district. The shimmering green banana plantations in this region fed with the waters of river Akhanda Kaveri is a bonanza yielding green gold in the form of healthy nutritious banans.
The raw bananas known as 'mondan vazhai' are ideal to prepare chips, kootus, porials, bajjis and kuzhambus. Bananas raw or ripe have numerous health benifits.
Raw bananas - 2
Tamarind - a small lime size
salt - 2 tsps
Sambar powder - 2 tsps
jaggery - 1 small marble size
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 1
Green chilly - 1
Finely chopped fresh ginger - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Finely chopped onions - 2 tbsps ( optional)
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Gingelly oil - 2 tbsps
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice and keep aside.
2. Chop onions and ginger finely.
3. Break red chillies and slit the green chilly.
4. Wash and peel the bananas and cut them into one inch long fingers and immediately add them to the tamarind juice. ( or you can immerse them in cold water till use, to prevent them from blackening)
5. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
6. When the mustard seeds splutter add fenugreek seeds followed by bengal gram dal.
7. Fry till the seasoning becomes reddish in colour giving out a pleasant aroma.
8. Add red chillies and fry till crisp.
9. Add green chillies, ginger and curry leaves followed by asafoetida.
10. At this stage add chopped onions and saute if desired.Or you may skip this step.
11. Add turmeric powder and stir well.
12. Pour in the tamarind juice along with the cut banana fingers.
13. Add salt , sambar powder and jaggery.
14. Let the kuzhambu boil on medium flame, stir now and then till the bananas are cooked.
15.The quantitiy of tamarind juice will reduce a little by the time the bananas are cooked, hence adjust the quantity by adding 1/2 a cup of water or more according to your taste.
16.Make a paste by mixing rice flour with little water and add it to the boiling kuzhambu.
17.Switch off flame when the kuzhambu thickens.
Enjoy the Vazhaikai Puli Kuzhambu with steaming hot rice topped with a dollop of pure ghee. It is a good accompaniment for coconut rice, ven pongal or any other tiffin.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I was planning to send in my smoothie entry for 'Breakfast Club- Yogurt' but I completely forgot about it. I was under the impression that the deadline was on Jan 31 but suddenly remembered it was today. I initially planned to whip up blueberry nut smoothie which would be perfect for a breakfast, now also added some dates to reduce the amount of white sugar I add and also to tweak in iron. I
Clean Furnace Filters Deliver Better Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency!
It’s winter and most of us have already begun to feel the effects of poor indoor air quality: dry skin, dry sinuses, stale air, etc. The average person inhales about 32,000 pints of air in a single day. Every one of those pints contains billions and billions of tiny particles of dust, pollen, dirt, and other microscopic debris. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Yuck!
Spending lots of time inside during the cold winter months can really do a number on your respiratory system, but there is a way to significantly improve the quality of the air inside your home. It is simple, inexpensive, and really effective. So what is it? Clean or change your furnace air filter!
In order to create the healthiest indoor environment possible, you have to keep the air clean. The best way to accomplish this is to select a furnace air filter that meets the needs of you and your family. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, the furnace air filter is a frequently overlooked source of poor indoor air quality, especially during the winter when heating systems run almost constantly.
As air passes through your home’s heating system, the furnace air filter traps dust and other particles and prevents them from entering your home. After several months, most furnace filters become so dirty that they can no longer effectively remove these pollutants from the air. What’s more, a dirty furnace air filter prevents your heating system from working at its peak so you could see an increase in your utility bills. Cleaning or changing the furnace filter regularly will not only improve the air inside your home, but it will also help you save money.
There are many different kinds of furnace air filters available. The key to choosing the right furnace filter is to decide which best suits your needs and your particular system. Each type of furnace filter has a different efficiency rating, different strengths and weaknesses, and different features that make them desirable for certain customers.
Generally, furnace air filters fall into one of several categories:
- Electrostatic furnace filters: Use an electric charge to attract particles; are washable and reusable
- Media furnace filters: Most frequently used in commercial applications; trap particles in thick layers of disposable material and need to be changed less frequently than other types
- Pleated furnace filters: Most common type; large surface area traps particles before they reach system interior
- HEPA furnace filters: Capture 99.9% of particles; good for allergy sufferers or environments where good air quality is essential (i.e. hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, etc.)
- Activated carbon furnace filters: Good for removing unpleasant odors from air (ex. cigarette smoke, gases, chemical smells, cooking odors, etc.)
- Fiberglass furnace filters: Durable; sometimes coated with special adhesive to trap dust and dirt particles
Improving your indoor air quality is not the only reason to replace your furnace air filter. Dirty furnace filters are one of the primary causes of furnace breakdowns and high heating costs. The more dust and debris that accumulates on your furnace filter, the harder your furnace has to work. Your furnace air filter should be changed every three months to maintain optimum performance. Always be sure to select the right size and type of filter for your heating system. Your Horizon Services Heating Technician can advise you on the best furnace filter for your system.
Related Information from Horizon Services...
- Roast the peanut in the oven at 180C for about 15 - 20 minutes until dark brown color. Please watch it as every oven are vary.
- When the roasted peanut still warm, try to skin off the peanut by using both hands to rub. Then use hair dryer to blow off the skin.
- Ground the peanut coarsely to remain some bits of nuts for the crunchy texture.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the grounded peanut, plain flour, sugar powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda until well combine.
- Gradually add in the peanut oil and mix until well combine. You will get quite crumbly texture but will still able to roll into a ball with your hands by giving it a bit of squeeze.
- I use 1 teaspoon measurement for each portions. Roll them up into balls then roast in a 175C preheated fan oven for about 13 minutes. Take them out and brush some egg yolks on top of each peanut cookies and continue to bake for another 10 - 12 minutes.
- Let it completely cool on a wire rack before fill them into a cookies container. Enjoy! Happy Lunar New Year!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Mushrooms - 2 Cups (You can use any kind of mushrooms)
Capsicum - 1 medium sized - Diced
Green Peas and Carrots - 1 cup (I used frozen)
Cooked Rice - 3 cups
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - According to taste
- In a pan, melt the butter and add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to sizzle, add the capsicum and saute it for a few minutes.
- Once the capsicum is cooked halfway through, add the sliced mushrooms and mix well.
- Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
- Mushrooms release a lot of water and get soft as they are being cooked.
- Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the frozen peas and carrots and mix all the veggies well.
- Once all the veggies are cooked, add the Garam Masala powder and mix well and turn off the flame.
- Mix the veggie masala with the cooked rice.
- Serve hot with Raita and enjoy your quick fix meal!!
I made this green salad for lunch today and we loved this. I added cubed and marinated paneer to bring in the protein factor and make it more interesting.
Serves - 2
For the dressing:
Ginger - crushed about 2 tbsp
Lemon zest - about 2 tsp (zest of a whole lemon)
Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper - to taste
For the salad:
Romaine Lettuce - 8 oz
Spinach - 1
Actually, gue jg bingung ini siapa, cm liat mutual friend nya banyak bener.. Eh ternyata, dia banyak kenal temen SD gue.
Dia bilang mau pesen cupcake buat ce nya pas anniversary mereka yang ke 2 thn. So sweeettt,Yop..hehehe
Pesen 9 cupcake , maunya warna electric blue ( karena ce nya suka warna electric blue ), suka baca komik.
Setelah berdiskusi..caileee bahasanya..hehehehe. so inilah hasilnya...
Laporan dari Yopi " ce gue langsung nelp, pas liat cupcake nya..cuma gue doang nih yang belom liat"
Iya tenang tar gue kirimin fotonya.. Trs tadi after lunch gue kirimin fotonya .
Comment nya : Kerennn..gue suka.Worthed ama harga dan hasilnya."
Makasi ya bang Yopi..hehehhehe
Moga langgeng n cepet merid ama Nopi ^_^
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
As with any other potential client, I approached this project with high intention of finding the best possible boiler and components to fulfill the requirements of this particular home and the owners needs. The approach is simple really, although some contractors do not take the time but I do and the following is proof of how big an impact this approach can make.
Boiler replacements, the same goes for furnaces and air conditioners, are only truly successful if the installing contractor does a little homework before the physical work starts. It all starts with a tape measure and some questions. How many square feet is the home? How well is the home insulated, and how many and what size are the windows and doors? In this particular home, how many feet of copper fin-tube baseboard is there? The only real amount of work needed to get the answers to these questions is actually walking through the home and physically measuring and recording the information. This information, when all gathered, is then used to figure the proper size rating of the boiler needed to adequately heat the home while using the least amount of energy. Simple right? For the average homeowner this may be a daunting task, for a contractor with his/her customer's best interest on the table this should be a standard service.
Stay with me for a few more lines....
Following up with my customers after the project is done has always been a habit, after all if there are any quirks or questions that need to be addressed I want them to know I am available. In this particular case I was contacted by the Eden Prairie homeowner with some very pleasing information. Pleasing for him especially because it was proof in writing, from his natural gas provider, that he and his family were now using 28% less natural gas this year as compared to the same time last year! That's a huge savings directly related to the replacement of their [then over-sized] boiler with a properly sized, energy star rated unit that also does the work of heating their domestic hot water; replacing a standard water heater with an efficiency rating of approximately 65%. Take a look at the "report card" sent to them from their gas company, the proof is in writing, and that is why the simple homework is so worth it! Oh, and the smiley face is the cherry on top...
Put an End to that Rattle and Hum!
You love your home’s central heating and air conditioning, but you hate all the noise it makes. Rattling, blowing, ticking, creaking, and a host of other noises coming from your ductwork can turn a fantastic convenience into a real nuisance in the time it takes to crank up the thermostat. Here are a few tips that can help turn down the volume on a noisy HVAC (Heating ,Ventilation and Air Conditionin) system.
Check Internal and External Components:
One of the biggest contributing factors to a noisy heating system is a faulty relationship between the unit’s indoor and outdoor components. If internal and external parts are linked in such a way that they vibrate against each other, this will send plenty of sound through your home’s ductwork. Because ducts connect every room in your house when you have a central HVAC system, you may find it hard to escape all the noise. If you hear whining, buzzing, howling, or vibrations, have a professional check your HVAC system to ensure indoor ducts are independently connected to outdoor components.
How's Your Insulation?
Insulating your ductwork can also really cut down on unwanted noise. Sounds that come through ducts are generally caused by your heating system’s air handler. This metal box has a motor that can make parts vibrate as the system works. Adding a layer of insulation to the air handler can dampen the noise caused by these vibrations, sending less reverberation through the ducts. Insulation can also eliminate noises on the outside of your house, making you instantly more popular with the neighbors.
Another way to insulate is with materials that absorb sound. This helps deaden noises, making them quieter and less intense until they eventually disappear at the farthest point from your system. Acoustic insulation can be added along ductwork, in the same way you might insulate plumbing pipes.
How's Your Fan?
Cleaning your home’s HVAC system fan is crucial to the quiet, efficient operation of your unit. The fan draws in dirt and dust, which can collect on the blades and interfere with its operation. Built-up debris can cause rattling and vibrations that will travel through the ducts and vents. If your fan is the wrong size for your system, it can also create noise as it struggles to keep up with demand. Keeping the fan clean and ensuring you have the right size fan for your unit will cut down on noise significantly.
Cleaning and Maintenance:
Regular duct and heat system cleaning and upkeep ensures your entire heating system is performing at its best. Professional maintenance keeps parts in good working condition and helps make sure that system components are installed correctly. A certified technician will tighten loose connections, fix gaps, clean parts, and add insulation to any system mechanisms that could be causing unusual noise. You should try to have a professional tune up and your HVAC system at least twice a year. The easiest way to remember is to schedule maintenance in the spring and in the fall, just before the peak cooling and heating seasons.
Related Information from Horizon Services...
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup Oats
1/2 cup Dessicated Coconut
1/2 tin Condensed Milk
4 pods of Cardamom, Crushed
2 tbsp Almond flakes
This veg soup is my MIL's specialty soup and she used to make this often for the mid-morning drink. This really is a great appetizer and a healthy soup with all the veggies.
Serves: 2 to 3
Broccoli stems - 3/4 cups
String Beans - 6 - chopped
Cabbage - chopped 1 cup
Carrot - 2 medium sized - chopped
Tomato - chopped - 2 tbsp
Pearl onions - 4 - chopped
Curry leaves - about
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Lemon/ Lime - 5-6 (About 1/2 cup of lemon juice)
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups
- We start by making a simple syrup for the lemonade. Add the 3 cups of water in a vessel and add sugar to it.
- Bring it to a boil until all the sugar dissolves completely in the water. Let the simple syrup cool down completely.
- Meanwhile, squeeze the juice out of the lemons and keep it aside. We should be able to get about 1 cup of lemon juice from 6 lemon.
- Once the simple syrup has cooled completely, add the lemon juice into it.
- Mix it well and bottle it. You can store this in the refrigerator for bout 2-3 weeks.
- Take quarter cup of concentrated lemonade and dilute it with 2/3rd cup of water. Chop a few mint leaves and add it to the lemonade. Serve chilled and Enjoy!!