Monday, January 31, 2011

Paneer Peas Butter Masala

I came up with this recipe alteration from a friend of mine (her name is Taral), who made this curry for us...I liked it so much because it was so simple, yet very tasty and rich. Moreover I like paneer a lot. I made some changes to this recipe and it turned out to be the way I liked it.
I would like to share some info about Paneer (An Indian Cheese, known as Cottage Cheese):
A 4 oz (113 g) serving of 4% fat product has about 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 3 g carbohydrates, and 14 g protein. It also contains about 500 mg sodium, 70 mg calcium and 20 mg cholesterol.
It is popular among dieters and some health food devotees. Cottage cheese is a favorite food among body builders and weightlifters for its high content of casein protein while being relatively low in fat. Pregnant women are advised that cottage cheese is safe to eat during their pregnancy, whereas some cheese products are not.

1 pack Paneer (cut into medium sized cubes)
½ yellow Onion minced or chopped finely
2 big Tomatoes minced or chopped finely
1½ tbsp Tomato paste
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1tbsp Kasuri Methi
1tbsp Cayenne Pepper powder
¼ Chili powder
¼ tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Cumin powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Garma Masala powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp Sugar
½ cup Peas fresh/frozen
1tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tbsp Butter
½ tsp Oil
2 tbsp Cashew Nut powder
½ Whipping Cream

Whole Garam Masala:
1 small Bay Leaf
2 Green Cardamoms
3-4 Cloves
1 small Cinnamon stick
½ Cumin seeds
¼ Fennel seeds

1. Turn Oven to Broil, place the paneer pieces and broil it for about 5-10 mins until all the paneer pieces turn slight golden brown. (Note: best way to avoid deep frying the paneer) (I used only half pack of the paneer)
2. Off the oven and let the paneer come to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile in a sauce pan, add the butter and oil, once it medium hot add all the whole garama masala and sauté it for a mins until u get the auroma of the garam masala
4. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté it on a medium low flame for 2 mins.
5. Add the minced onions and add a pinch of salt, cook the onions until they turn slight brown.
6. Now add all the powders cayenne pepper, chili, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala powder and sauté it for a min
7. Now add the green peas and also add tomato paste, minced tomato and ketchup and stir it well and add ¼ cup water and cover and cook until the masala and tomatoes are cooked. (Note: oil will be seen outside to make sure it’s cooked)
8. Now add enough water and add the cashew nut powder and stir well, cook for another 5 mins.
9. Now simmer to medium low and add the whipping cream and paneer pieces and bring it to a boil.

10. In the meantime, in a pan add the Kasuri Methi and dry roast for a min.
11. Now add the kasuri methi by crushing it with hand over the paneer butter masala and mix well and off the flame.
12. You can serve this taste and rich curry with roti’s or naan or even seasoned rice. It goes well with Jeera Rice.

Aval Upma / Poha Upma | Upma Recipes

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

Warm Up Your Home with Radiant Heating

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...

Candied Orange Peel

Any fresh fruit juice is welcome at home. Now a days, I make some fresh juice or milkshake every day for breakfast. On one such day, I made orange juice and I did not feel like throwing the fresh and bright orange peels. I remember my mom saying about a vethakuzhambu using these peels. But I wanted to try some candied peels. On searching the internet, I landed here and used her recipe. Do drop in her page to see some step by step pictures and for more candy recipes in her blog. Though it involves quite some time, its worth and tastes and smells much better than the store bought one.

You need

  •  Peel from 3 oranges
  • Sugar - 1 cup
Scrap the whit pith in the inner part of the peel using a spoon. I tried taking it out using a knife and I was tearing the peel in the process. I found the spoon works out better. Cut the peel into strips. Blanch the orange peel in hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of  salt added to it for 10 minutes. Drain and blanch again in  water without adding salt. Its blanched twice to remove the bitterness from the peel.

Heat water and sugar together. When the syrup starts  boiling, add the blanched strips. Continue to cook on low flame, till the strips turn translucent. Its better you  don't stir it very often,which lead to sugar crystallising.  It took 20 minutes for me. Drain the peels and spread it on a plate to dry.

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

Nutty Poori/Roti

Another Variation of my Kid's Favourite Poori. Today is the last day of our Blogging Marathon, it has been a great month, with lotz of tasty recipes from all of us. Thanks to Srivalli, for Kick Starting this Blogging Marathon. Had a good discipline to attend to my blog daily, though i missed 4-5 days due to ill health!!!! Hope to continue this discipline!!!!  A Post, A Day, Keeps your Blog Healthy & Happy!!!!!

Do check out my friends posts here SrivalliPriya Suresh, JayMonika
RevaPJAzeema , Ayeesha ,Veena , UshaSoumya and Gayathri.

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

Mix Wheat Flour, Almond Meal and Flaxseed Meal, Salt  together, add water and a teaspoon of oil and Make a Soft Chapathi Dough. Divide the dough in to Balls and Roll them out as Flat disc or Cut out Desired Shapes using a Cookie Cutter and Deep fry the Poori. You can also Cook them on a Hot Tava/Griddle as Chapathi. Since it has Flaxseed and Almond Meal along with the Goodness of Wheat Flour, this is a Nutritious Treat to Kids and also to Adults.

Birthday cupcake for Andi

Ini pesenan dr temen SMA yang dulu kita dekett bgt kaya lem ama perangko..hehehe.Tp lose contact krn dia pindah sekolahm trs ktm lagi bbrp hr yang lalu.

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 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 ?"
Jreng..jrengggg..maaappp Ra.lupaaaa,,

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..

Herbal Poori/Roti

This Chill Weather, everybody is Coughing @ home. My Mom used to make us a Kashayam/Concoction made of Tulsi, Coriander, Ginger  and lil bit of sugar. I cannot make my Kid to drink that!!! thats all, the whole house would come down!!! So, thought of mixing up these ingredients in to his Favourite Poori!!!
I m running a Blogging Marathon with some of my Blogger Buddies, Please Do check out their Recipes here SrivalliPriya Suresh, JayMonika
RevaPJAzeema , Ayeesha ,Veena , UshaSoumya 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

Grind Mint leaves, Coriander, ginger and Tulsi to a fine paste and add it to  Wheat flour and Make  a Soft Dough using Water and Oil. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes. Divide the dough to small balls and roll them out  as discs. You can either deep fry them poori, or Cook them on a Hot Tava/Griddle as Chapathi/Roti. I would suggest Poori's for Kids and We can have them Chapathi's/Roti's!!!! Though he came home and Complained about the Green Color of his Fav Brown Poori, he finished his Dabba!!!!! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spicy Potato Fry / Urulai Kaara kari

Potatoes are nevertheless the most favourite vegetable liked by kids and grown-ups equally and is rich in carbohydrates. Urulai Kaara kari is the regular way I prepare potatoes whenever I make them because we love this spicy version. 

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

Idli Upma

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.

Vazhaikai Puli Kuzhambu - Raw Banana Cooked In Tamarind Gravy


'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

Blueberry Dates Smoothie

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

Eggless Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet - The Daring Bakers Challenge January 2011

The Daring Bakers Challenge for January 2011 was Joconde Imprime/Entremet, a decorative design baked into a Light Sponge Cake and Filled with Interesting Fillings!!!! This Challenge was given to us by Astheroshe from Accro!!!!
It was indeed a daring Challenge!!!! I as a Vegetarian, wanted it to be Eggless and this being my First Daring Bakers Challenge, wanted to make atleast 70% Success!!!! First and Foremost thing which i needed most was a Good Mould!!!! I didnt have one!!!! I tried to get one!!!But in Vain!!! So i made my own Mould, using the Muffin Liner Box!!!!I cut out the Bottom of that Box and used it as  a Mould!!! It was a bit wobbly, but managed it a bit!!!!
Now comes the Eggless Experiments, i tried a Egg-less Sponge Cake Recipe and Used it for the Joconde!!! I thoroughly enjoyed baking this Awesome Dessert!!!! The Final Look of the Joconde, though could have been even more better, the Taste was Awesome!!!! I got very good comments from my husband who tasted it this Afternoon after lunch!!! Overall, it is an amazing Experience and i would definitely try to bake it sometime again and make it 100%!!!!

Recipe Source : Tarla Dalal & Kailas Kitchen
For the Pattern
1-1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tin Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Warm Water

Sieve the Dry Ingredients together. To This add Melted Butter, Condensed Milk and Stir Gently. Now, the batter would be Rolling thick!!! To this Add Warm Water, to make it to Dripping Consistency. Be careful, it should not be Runny!!!

For the Sponge Cake
Recipe Source : CookCurryNook
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Meal
1/2 Cup Cocoa
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1-1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Thick Curd
1/2 Cup Cooking
1/4 Cup Warm Water

In a Bowl Mix Curd and Sugar, until Sugar Dissolves. To this Add Baking Powder and Bakinbg Soda. Mix Well. Let it Sit for 2-3 minutes. The Curd will Start Rising & Increasing in Volume
MeanWhile, Sieve together all the three flours thrice and Set aside.  Add Oil to the Curd Mix and Stir Gently, Fold in the Flour Mix gently to this Curd-Oil Mix!!! Gently, Gently, Gently!!!! To this add water and Mix a bit more to make it bit more loose in consistency!!!!

Preparing The Joconde
Preheat the Oven to 200C. Keep the Mould Ready!!!!! In a Parchment Paper, using the Pattern Batter, draw a pattern of your choice and freeze the Parchment paper for few minutes. I did for 5 Minutes. Take it out and Spread the Joconde Batter on the Parchment Paper to fill the entire Design!!! Bake in a Baking Tray for 12 minutes. Take it out, Let it Cool!!!!

Cut it out as Strips and Fit the Strips into the Mould . For the Filling, i have used Ready made Strawberry Filling and Whipped Cream and Garnished with Some almonds!!!!
I m running a Blogging Marathon with some of my Blogger Buddies, Please Do check out their Recipes here SrivalliPriya, Suresh, JayMonikaRevaPJAzeema , Ayeesha ,Veena , UshaSoumya and Gayathri.

Clean Furnace Filters = Better Health This Winter

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...

Happy Lunar New Year!

Hello there! I'll be away for some time but before that I'd like to use my very simple yet traditional new year cookies to wish all my supportive readers a very blessed Lunar New Year! Beside, I'm submitting this to ""j3ss kitch3n" who are hosting the Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favorite CNY Cookie (Jan 2011).
I know this peanut cookie might seems like nothing special to everyone but it's only what I can do for this coming Lunar New Year. I've tried out different version of peanut cookie recipes and this is the one that specially make for my mum as she particularly likes the bits of crunchiness yet the richness of peanut taste. As for me, I like all kind of peanut cookies as long as it had the finest peanut taste in it. I thought adding more grounded peanut for the cookies dough would increase the flavor but it doesn't work for my experiment last year. I found out the peanut should actually roasted to a slightly darker color in order to get a better taste. You might think the peanut may burnt but it's not actually. It helps to produce very  flavorful cookies yet the proportion used is only 400 gram of roasted peanut with 600 gram of plain flour instead of 1:1 proportion. Beside, I purposely ground the peanut quite coarsely to suit my mum taste bud, and she is happy with that! 
Lastly, I would like to bless everyone who are reading this have a wonderful yet healthy New Year! I will be here again to update my latest news after March 2011. BYE!!

400g peanut
600g plain flour
220g sugar powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
300ml peanut oil
  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. Ground the peanut coarsely to remain some bits of nuts for the crunchy texture. 

  4. In a mixing bowl, mix the grounded peanut, plain flour, sugar powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda until well combine.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 

  7. Let it completely cool on a wire rack before fill them into a cookies container. Enjoy! Happy Lunar New Year!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Capsicum-Mushroom Rice

I have so fallen in love with mushrooms!!Oyster mushrooms are my favorite!! I have always used mushrooms to make dry curries and used it as toppings on pizzas. I just tried using it along with capsicum, peas and carrots and made a spicy rice. It tasted Awesome!! This is a very easy recipe to make and gets done in a jiffy!


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!!

Paneer Green Salad with Ginger-lemon dressing

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

Romantic Blue cupcake

Hmm ini orderan dari temen di FB,namanya Yopi. tiba2 comment " Ren, bs nanya-nanya cupcake ga?"
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

Great savings in writing!

Just under a year ago I had the opportunity to provide service for a customer in the Eden Prairie area of the Twin Cites.  The customer had motivation to replace his old hot water boiler through a low interest loan program offered to Minnesota residents, at the time, who were candidates for major appliance upgrades that would improve efficiency and lower utility costs.

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...

Simple Ways to Reduce Heating Duct Noise

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.

Acoustic Insulation:
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...

Oats Cornmeal Coconut Squares

A Very Lengthy title!!!! I don't  want to Miss out the main players in this Recipe!!!! Easy, Breezy Recipe to make!!!!
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

Dry Roast Cornmeal and Oats separately. Grind it together in a mixer. Take this grounded mixture to the pan again, add Dessicated coconut and give a good mix, Lower the flame and add Condensed milk, cardamom, Almond Flakes and Mix Well. When the mixture comes together as a Soft ball, take it off the stove and transfer it to a greased Plate and Press it down hard. I did this on wax-paper laid round cake pan. Let the mixture cool a bit, mark squares using a Sharp Knife.
You can even roll them out as Ladoos, once you take it off the stove, let the mixture cool a bit, shape them as ladoos and coat them with some Dessicated Coconut!!!! Squares or Sphere it tastes Fabulous!!!!!
Sending this to CWF-Oats, happening @ Priya's, Event by Sumadhura.
I m running a Blogging Marathon with some of my Blogger Buddies, Please Do check out their Recipes here SrivalliPriya, Suresh, JayMonikaRevaPJAzeema , Ayeesha ,Veena , UshaSoumya and Gayathri.

Mixed Vegetable Soup | Soup Recipes

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

i love music cupcake

Laporan dulu ah hari ini..

Ini pesenan nya Mela, repeat order.Mau kasi adik tersayang nya, Bram yang ultah.
Pengennya ada co maen gitar, pokoknya yg berbau musik deh.

Jadi aku bikin deh figurine co lagi maen gitar sambil dengerin i pod n pake headphone trs disampingnya ada not lagu gt.

Tapi ada insiden yang bikin bete bgt. Cupcake nya nyampe tempat Mela ada yang patah.hikss..maaapp ya Mel..

Untung Mela baik bgt,..dia jg ga kasi aku ngomelin kurir nya..

Makasi ya Mel..

Comment nya :" Its ok ko,Kak..Gpp rusak dikit.Sesuai ama yang aku mau..wangggii bgt kue nya,Pengen aku makan..Nyam..Nyam ..."

Thanks Mela

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Lemonade

Lemonade is a refreshing drink at any time of the day. It is the favorite drink of my DH. Homemade lemonade has its own unique taste and is heavenly to taste. I usually make a lot of concentrated lemonade and then dilute it whenever needed. You can make a lot of variations to the taste by adding fresh basil or mint leaves or any fresh herb to the lemonade and give it a variety of flavors too.


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!!