Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Your Laguna Niguel Plumber - Swift Delivery of Excellent Service!

From water heaters to leaky faucets, no job is too big or too small for Splash Plumbing.  Virtually anything water runs through we can repair, install, or service- anywhere in Orange County.

We consistently receive rave reviews and have plenty of return customers. Our Laguna Niguel plumbing company, Splash Plumbing, proudly does it all, and we'd like to share some behind-the-scenes secrets about how we're able to do that!

Service Starts with Selection:

Splash Plumbing is only as great as the employees we dispatch to our customers' homes and businesses.  Folks see our service technicians as the face of our company, but what they don't see is the rigorous hiring process a Laguna Nigel plumber has go through to work for Splash Plumbing.  It includes a background check, verification of certification, credentials, testing, and a re-training process, and evaluation of character.   

But it doesn't end there. The specialists who get hired at our Laguna Niguel plumbing company get weekly reviews, and are always learning.

Employees receive specialized training on our products and their installation- often times our employees train directly under the items' manufacturer.  This means they're educated on the proper way to use them, not the fastest way!  We value the wealth of knowledge our employees possess, and we enjoy seeing team members with 20 plus years of experience teaching our newer plumbers!

Visit the Laguna Niguel Plumbing section of Splash Plumbing's site to learn more about our Laguna Niguel plumbers  and be sure to check out our "Ask A Plumber" feature!   

Excellent Response Time:

Many of our employees live in or near the Laguna Niguel area, which is partly why we have such a great emergency response time- we've arrived on sites in as fast as 20 minutes!

All of our vans are stocked and outfitted with a wide variety of parts and an extensive tool inventory. We have access to the major supply houses on weekends and after hours to expedite your repair.

Plus all of our employees are:
  • Ready to work any time of day, any day of the week or year 
  • Licensed and insured
  • Conscious of values like honesty and keeping commitment 
  • More like a family than co-workers 
  • Assembled of the most skilled and personable Laguna Niguel plumbers
Evaluate Your Experience With Us!

Did you recently use a Laguna Niguel plumber?

Take a moment to tell others how your Splash Plumbing experience measured up and enjoy a discount on your next service call.

Click on any one of these sites to receive:

 10% off of a replacement Item Coupon
(see website for details)
Waived Call Out Fee Coupon
(see website for details)

Review your most recent 
Splash Plumbing Service experience 
on any one of these great sites:

Request Service here

Premiere Mission Viejo Plumbing - Offers Deals on Diverse Services

Whether they're in Mission Viejo or another city in Orange County, most of our new customers are not expecting the type of service they receive from our Mission Viejo Plumbing team. We take pride in assuming the role of the hero and pleasantly surprising people.

You will know how much a job costs BEFORE we start any work because we offer flat predictable rates, not hourly and overtime!  We get the job done the right way (not the slowest or most expensive way). No stressing over how long the job takes.  If the job takes longer than expected, you don’t pay a dime more...

We think of ourselves as a family company, and our Mission Viejo plumbing business flourishes because of our close-knit team. While some  plumbing companies "bite off more than they can chew" and leave customers waiting 2-3 days for service. We staff accordingly and can provide prompt same day service.

Splash Plumbing recognizes that you may be apprehensive because of bad experiences with other plumbers in the past, but we take pride in solving problems not causing them. We strive to minimize the stress of having your property worked on with professionalism and friendly service. Patient, professional, friendly, well-trained technicians will answer any questions you might have.

Some of the Mission Viejo plumbing services we offer:
  • Sewage Video Surveillance- for precise diagnostics 
  • Property Maintenance- we're a property manager's best friend find out why...
  • Kitchen and Bathroom - installation and repair sinks, faucets, and tubs 
  • Water softener - no more bottled water 
  • Water Heaters - we offer tank-free water heaters 
  • Leak Detection - most advanced technology we find them then fix them 
  • Leak Repairs- No job too small
....additional Mission Viejo plumbing services on our website. Call today to ask what we can do for you!

Request Service by clicking this link

REVIEW Our Services Online to get your Out-call Fee waived on your next service. Save up to $59!

Splash Plumbing- "If water runs through it, we can do it!"

24-Hour Laguna Hills Plumbing Service "Fixes" Fees -- Finally A Flat Fair Cost!

The staff at Splash Plumbing has spent a good  deal of time trying to understand the hourly rates of other Laguna Hills plumbers. We believe that unclogging a customer's drain at 3am on a Saturday night should cost about the same price as it would at 3pm on a Monday.  Does some inexplicable force make the drain harder to fix at 3am?  We think not!  
The Splash Plumbing Approach to Pricing - No Surprises
When a plumber tacks on extra fees for parts that you believed to be included or that you couldn't point out if you had to, you end up paying more than you expected and you feel taken advantage of.  
When an hourly rate Laguna Hills plumber charges outlandish overtime fees because he didn't arrive at the restaurant you operate until past six (just about the time the dinner service gets busy), even though you requested service in the morning- you end up paying more than you expected, your customers were inconvenienced, and you feel cheated.  
When your mother-in-law tells you that, "The nice man from XYZ plumbing company said that I could really use another kitchen sink installedy...."  She ends up paying more than you expected, and you don't have the heart to tell her she's been "had".   
As a leading Laguna Hills plumbing company, Splash Plumbing sympathizes with the customer in an  emergency plumbing interruption. We dispatch our experts efficiently and we are able to offer affordable and predictable pricing, since price by the job, not by the hour.    

In the event that an unforeseen cost arises, our technicians will ask the home or business owner if he/she would like to proceed, we don't wait until its time to settle up....

Installing softeners and reverse osmosis systems
Fixing that toilet that runs constantly
Plumbing Repairs
Drain and Sewage Cleaning
Backflow Installation
Water Heaters
Leak Detection
Leak Repairs
Renovations, Remodeling
Bathtub, Toilet, and Faucet Repair and Installation

Review your most recent 

Splash Plumbing Service experience 
on any one of these sites:
Yelp Reviews
to receive:

10% off of a replacement Item Coupon
(see website for details)
Waived Call Out Fee Coupon
(see website for details)

Lake Forest Plumber Offers the Best of Both Worlds: "Large Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care!℠"

Splash Plumbing, a long-standing leader in the Lake Forest plumbing industry, boasts the best of both worlds by serving all of Orange County, without compromising our customers' smooth experience.  We think of ourselves as a family company, and our Lake Forest plumbing business flourishes because of our close-knit team.  While some Lake Forest plumbing companies "bite off more than they can chew" and leave customers waiting 2-3 days for service. We staff accordingly and can provide prompt same day service.

To show our appreciation, Splash is offering all Lake Forest plumbing customers big savings in the form of coupons!  We're sure you'll be satisfied with with our already-low flat rate fees and expertise of Splash Plumbing.

The Best of Both Worlds, We Do All Varieties of Lake Forest Plumbing Jobs:

Big or Small
Commercial or Residential 
Planned or Unexpected
Night or Day
Emergency or Diagnostic
Common Occurrence or High Technology 

Continuing with Ed. What about the tradesman?

Everywhere you look, it seems, we are bombarded with advertisements showcasing various two year courses geared toward either training us for a new career or gaining a leg up on others along our existing path.  Maybe I have the tendency to notice these advertisements a little more, after all I have been in school for nearly most of my life.  My guess is I am not the exception, however, more of the rule these days as many more professionals are going back or have never really left school in search of something more.  What about plumbers?

We live in a country that is geared specifically, with very few exceptions, toward readying us for the next level.  When you enter grade school you are milled into the machine that will, through repetition, have you ready to move onto middle school in just a few short years.  As history repeats itself, this continues through high school and then onto college.  Some choose a different path along the way.  I did but not after realizing that the University of Minnesota Engineering school just wasn't for me.  That path, trade school.  I still remember thinking how much more simple it seemed that I would go to work, doing something I enjoyed, and then go to school a couple nights a week all the while getting paid at the end of the week. Well I am still there, on the other side of the desk part of the time but, if you ask my kids where I am most nights you are likely to get one of three answers....work (because I own my own business and when the phone rings...), fishing or school. 

Naturally I prefer the fishing answer the most but the reality is, more often than not, I am either teaching a subject or devouring as much as I can about a subject somewhere either close to home or even half way across the country.

After finishing trade school locally I then continued on in the industry as a worker bee, only to realize I needed to prepare myself for the next level.  Sound familiar? Add to this the invitation to teach for Mpls Local 15 about five or six years ago and, ten years later and a few dozen classes completed, I find myself holding course completion certificates and syllabi amassed with great fervor along the way.  I would have to say that teaching trade school classes to apprentices and journeyman plumbers has lent as much opportunity to learn, for myself, as I could possibly hope to return to my students.  I enjoy it immensely, and will continue to do it as long as they will have me.  After all, I too learn so much each night spent in class.   

I keep a quote I printed out and taped to the wall near my home office computer, I don't know exactly who said it but it rings true for so many of us, me in particular.  I reads "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less". 

Change for me comes in the form of learning.  New skills, new tools or methods.  We all have the need for change.  The plumbing and heating industry is no different than many others; if your going to offer the very best to your customers you have to stay on top of your game.  My game, for so many years it seems, is held in the classroom.  After all, if your not learning something new your just wasting your time.

Meadow Flowers

What a lovely walk in the fields picking wild flower, just what is needed to clear the mind.

Lemon Rice

This recipe is a typical South Indian recipe, especially in Tamil Nadu. I always remember my Mom used to make this with either chicken fry or potato fry as a side for this lemon rice. This is one of  the favorite food for me and my brother. 
My Mom used to make this all the time when we go out for a long trip, just to avoid restaurant foods and we used to eat it, under a shaded tree near some fields on the way. It used to be fun.
I hope you guys will also try and like it. I made this with simple changes.

1 big Lemon, lemon juice extracted with seeds removed, and zest the lemon too and keep it aside.
1/4 cup Peanuts
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2-3 Dry Red Chilies
1-2 Green Chilies slit
1 sprig Curry Leaves
1/4 inch Ginger grated or minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil
2 cups Cooked Rice ( I used Basmati rice)

1. In a heavy bottom pan, add oil and when it's hot add peanuts and dry red chilies and fry them in medium flame until the peanuts turn slight brown.
2. Add the green chilies, curry leaves, ginger and asafoetida and saute it for a min.
3. Now add the turmeric powder and salt and off the flame. 
4. Add the rice and mix well and finally add the lemon juice and the zest of the lemon. Taste check for the tangy taste, you can add less or more according to your taste.
5. Serve this hot with any sides I mentioned earlier or just like this. This is a good recipe to take out while you are traveling. It will not spoil for at least a day.

Sleep depravation

Omg it was 5 before I fell asleep when the baby stopped screaming! Now my brain will not function. I've just learned today how to stamp - you'd think I was daft. But it is so easy and pretty, now everything will be stamped. Now I'm going to go for a long walk to keep myself awake, this pullover is never going to get knitted.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I really should be in bed, I wont want to get up tomorrow!! My mind is buzzing with new ideas, I don't know where to start. I really should finish off projects I've already started. I'm knitting a pullover for the baby and it needs doing. I have to embroider the eyes and mouth on the rabbit. However tomorrow I'm going shopping so I'm thinking of all the new things to buy.  Bye for now. x

Methu Vada / Urid Dal Vada

Methu Vada is synonymous with any Tamilian festival. Medhu Vada and its close associate Dal Vada (Parupu Vada) will find a permanent place across any tea stall in Tamil Nadu. A cup of tea with Medhu Vada is a simple breakfast / evening snack for many commoners in Chennai. Initially I had great difficulty in making crispy, soft methu vada with a perfect hole at its center. Later I learnt it with little practice and it became a child's place thereafter.


For Dough:

Urid Dal - 1 cup

Rice - 1 tablespoon

Salt - To taste

Oil - for deep frying

For mixing:

(All the below ingredients need to be finely chopped.)

Green chillies - 2

Ginger - 1 inch size

Coriander leaves - 1 string

Curry leaves - 1 string

Onion - 3 tablespoon / 1 small one

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon


1) Wash Urid Dal well and soak it in water for an hour.

2) Drain the water from soaked urid dal and grind the dal. Add salt and make a fine paste using a grinder / mixer. If required,only add one or two tablespoons of water. Adding too much of water won't help the cause and it would be difficult to prepare it in a round shape.

3) Add the ingredients mentioned above to be mixed with this fine batter. Mix the contents well.

4) Make sure the batter is only light thick to get the perfect soft methu vada.

5) Heat oil in a Kadai / Frying pan.

6) Take another bowl of water and keep it near to your batter pan.

7) Dip your hands in water and grab the batter paste just in the size of a lemon. Dipping your hand into the water avoids the batter getting sticky.

8) In next step, dip your thumb into the center of the batter to make a small hole.

9) Gently drop this vada batter into oil.

10) Repeat these steps for the remaining amount of batter. Each time ensure that you dip your hand into water before dipping it into batter paste. This helps to prepare vada in the perfect shape and also prevents the batter getting sticky around your fingers.

11) In a single round you can fry 3 to 5 vadas depending on the size of your frying pan.

12) When one side is fried, turn the other side and allow it to fry well. Continue this frying process until you see the golden brown colour.

13) When vada is fried well, remove it from oil and transfer it to a plate / bowl. Let the plate / bowl be covered with a kitchen tissue so that it will absorb the excess oil.

14) Now serve the vada hot with coconut chutney or sauce.

Just another method to make Vada:

1) This method is using a plastic paper/ food wrapper.

2) Take a plastic paper in your left hand and grease it using oil.

3) Dip your right hand into water and then take a lemon size of batter from batter bowl.

4) Put this batter to the plastic cover.

5) Gently put a hole in the center of batter using your right hand index finger.

6) Drop slowly to the oil.

Bottlegourd in coconut gravy / Suraikkai Paal Kootu | Indian Curry Recipes

Kootu is a gravy based side dish made with vegetables with or without lentils. In south-Indian cooking, it can be tamarind based or coconut based. While adding tamarind gives warmth and tartness, adding coconut to any gravy gives it a unique rich taste. This method of paal kootu with coconut is my personal favorite whose taste I got hooked to when I was working in Chennai and staying at my

Samosa Inspired Tartlets

My parents entertained a lot when we were kids. The day of a dinner party, my mom would pat ground beef into cutlets and whack apart a whole chicken for biryani. She would fry papadum, one by one, and stir together a bowl of raitha. For dessert, she would roll out dozens of little footballs from a milk-based dough (her signature shape for gulab jaman), fry them, and soak them in a simple syrup perfumed with cardamom and rose water. She never referred to recipes while she cooked.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

When I walked into the kitchen after completing a task I had been assigned (dusting shelves, vacuuming stairs, polishing mirrors), she would accost me with questions.

"Does the rice have enough salt?" "Are the cutlets too hot?"

By mid-day, there was desperation in her voice.

"Did I fry enough papadum???"

My mom always felt trapped in the kitchen
. But she had standards to uphold. I had seen it in India. My aunts served multiple courses and pulled everything together from scratch. They closely monitored guests as they ate and plopped servings of rice on half-filled plates. When glasses were emptied, they were quick to fill them.

Thirty minutes before the dinner party was supposed to start, my mom would put the mop away and fold up wet dish towels. My dad would put the needle on a record of belly dancing music and bring out the wine glasses.

Their guests would always stay well into the night. I took it as a sign that my parents had done something right.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2010)

(2010 Cardamom Kitchen LLC All Rights Reserved)

I've preserved my mom's three-course tradition. It charms and baffles my guests since so few people seem to cook these day. But I have tweaked my mom's menu to make it my own. I serve a lighter starter: samosa inspired tartlets. They are faster to make than cutlets and less filing than regular samosas. The phyllo cups offer a wonderful crunch. If you're in a hurry, skip all the spices except for cumin, garlic, cayenne and salt.

Makes 12 tartlets


For tartlets:

6 sheets phyllo dough

For filing:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup boiled and cubed potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 teaspoons finely diced cilantro

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Unwrap six sheets of phyllo from the roll. Keep the sheets stacked and place on cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut out 12-3 inch x 3 inch squares from the layers of dough. Gently push a square in each cup of a miniature muffin tin.

Bake until cups become golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Gently remove cups from tin. Time saver: The phyllo cups can be baked up to one month ahead. Store them in an air tight container at room temperature. Do not place in refrigerator. The moisture will cause the cups to soften and wilt.

Heat oil on medium heat in saucepan. Add onions and ginger and cook for 5 minutes.

Add cumin, garlic powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add potatoes and peas. Cook until peas become bright green, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Cool.

Place filo cups on serving plate and fill them with potato mixture.

Susan Pachikara (COPYRIGHT 2011)

Paper flowers

I've been making paper flowers not really knowing what to do wth them. I'm going to make a few of them in contrasting colours and stick them together to form a ball and hang them with ribbon or beads.Lets see!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mushroom Fried Rice

The Mushroom looks strange as it shares striking similarities with an umbrella. It hails from the fungus
family and it is considered by many as a meat supplement for the
vegetarians. However few of us don't like this even though it is good in
tasty and nutritious. There are quite a lot of mushroom varieties among
which button mushrooms are widely used in cooking.The same variety I
used here for preparing this fried rice. I remove the the outer skin of the mushrooms and wipe the upper part
using a damp cloth for cleaning them. Also whenever I buy them, I tend
to use them as soon as possible, because they easily get spoilt and once
they are in that stage it is difficult to differentiate the good from
the bad mushrooms.


Mushroom - 1 cup, cleaned & sliced

Rice - 1.5 cup

Carrot - 1, finely chopped

Beans - 5 nos, finely chopped

Peas - 1/4 cup

Onion - 1 small size

Soy sauce - 1 tablespoonRed/green chilli sauce - 1 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon

Oil - 3 teaspoons

Coriander leaves - 1 string, for garnishing

Spring onions - 2 nos, for garnishing


1) Clean the rice once or twice using water.

2) With one cup of rice, a teaspoon oil and salt. Pressure cook / boil the rice by adding 3 cups of water.

3) When rice is cooked, remove it from the cooker / pan and mix it gently.

4) Spread on wide plate to cool them. Instead you can also go for cold rice/left over rice for preparing fried rice.

5) Remove the stem of the mushoom and clean them using a wet towel.

6) Cut them into medium slices.

7) Meanwhile, take a pan and heat oil in it.8) Add finely chopped onion. Saute well. When they are half sauteed, add vegetables and sprinkle little water. Toss on high heat to cook the vegetables.

9) Add mushrooms to the pan.

10) Add salt, soya sauce, chilli sauce and pepper powder. Mix them well.

11) Toss for few minutes in low flame.

12) Mix the cooked rice with this and toss gently. Make sure the soy sauce is coated well with rice.

13) Garnish with coriander or chopped spring onions and serve the rice hot.


1) You can use either coriander leaves or spring onions for garnishing.

2) If you prefer washing mushrooms, then (pat)dry them well before adding to the pan. 

3) Increase or decrease the pepper quantity according to your taste.

Sambharam /Spiced Buttermilk - Ultimate Thirst Quencher and Summer Cooler

Sambharam/Morum Vellam is buttermilk thinned with water spiced with curry leaves, limes leaves, hing, chilly and salt. In the olden days when fridge was not part of the kitchen, buttermilk was stored in the china pot/bharani. This will ensure that the buttermilk doesn't turn sour faster. Buttermilk and curd are different. Buttermilk is obtained after churning the curd and the butter is removed. Buttermilk is healthier than curd, with the butter removed. Buttermilk has many healing properties and Ayurveda always recommends the use buttermilk . You can read here to know more.

During the summer months, most homes in Kerala, will prepare the sambharam in large quantities and will be offered to any guests who drop in. In some homes, you can find an earthen pot filled with sambharam in their courtyard. Any passerby can partake the sambharam. In Kerala, summer is the period which the annual temple festivals (pooram/vela)  is celebrated. The celebrations will be through the day and participation of people will be in huge numbers, despite the scorching heat. And you can definitely find at least  one outlet where sambharam will be distributed free to the people. 

A glass of sambharam will instantly quench the thirst and can give a run for the money to any of the bottled drinks, available in the market. A sambharam need not be chilled. The inherent cooling effect of buttermilk is enough to cool your body. The chilled bottled drinks may cool your senses while drinking it, it may not cool the body. The buttermilk cools the senses and the body too.

Each house has their way of making this sambharam and there is no standard recipe for this. You can just go by your taste and availability of ingredients.

You need

  • Buttermilk -1 cup
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Green chilly - 2 nos, slit
  • Curry leaves - few sprigs
  • Lime leaves/Narakathila - 2 nos
  • Hing - few shakes
  • Salt to taste

Take all the ingredients in a bowl. Crush the leaves and chilly between your fingers. This will release the flavors into the buttermilk. Enjoy the spicy, flavorful buttermilk. You can't stop with one glass. 

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me 

Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Aarthi, Divya, Jayashree, Kaveri, Pavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:Gayathri, Priya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika,
Seven Days of Regional Specials:Harini, Vaishali, Suma, PJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, Kamalika, Srivalli

Onion Vatha Kuzhambu (Onion cooked in spicy tamarind gravy)

This is a tangy and spicy gravy that goes well with rice and curry. Vegetables like ladies finger, capsicum, sweet potato, drumstick, brinjal can be used instead of onions. Some call it Kaara kuzhambu.

1 medium sized onion sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp thur dal or channa dal
A few curry leaves
3 tsp sambar powder
1/4 tsp hing
3.5 cups tamarind extract from small lime size tamarind
1/2 tsp jaggery
1 tsp rice flour

Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek, channa dal or thur dal, curry leaves.
When mustard seeds crackle and dal turns brown, add sliced onion and fry till it turns soft.
Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract 3.5 cups of juice from the same.
Add this juice to the cooked onion.
Add salt, sambar powder, hing and allow the mixture to boil for 20 minutes or until oil starts to float on top.
Add jaggery if you like the gravy to be slightly sweet.
Mix rice flour in 1 tsp water and make a thick paste.
Add this paste to the tamarind gravy and stir continuously until the mixture becomes little thick.
Serve with rice, ghee and curry.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Conway SC Historic Renovations Benefitting from Spray Foam Insulation

Historic Home Renovations in the Carolina's

Conway, SC is a historic River Town located right outside of Myrtle Beach, SC. A perfect city in the Carolina's for an example of how Retro-Solutions Energy Saving Home Improvements can save Historic Homeowners in North Carolina & South Carolina money on power bills. If you don't know where Conway, South Carolina is, it is a Historic River town located right outside of the popular tourist destination of Myrtle Beach, SC.  Conway SC is in the same county as Myrtle Beach, Horry County, and offers a more historic look into coastal living in Colonial times. There are more Historic Homes in Conway, then Myrtle Beach, as most of Myrtle Beach was farming land, developed into what it is today, but ultimately newer homes, as farms take a tremendous amount of land space, not offering much space for development during colonial times. Therefore, if your into Historic Homes, or Historic Home Renovation, Conway is a better choice to look in Horry County.  Conway is also about 10 degrees hotter in the summer on average than Myrtle Beach, SC, giving it the perfect environment for maximum benefit from energy saving products.

So what makes Conway,SC a different experience from Myrtle Beach, SC is the Historic Homes & thriving Historic Downtown of Conway, SC.  Retro-Solutions Construction Co. of Horry County, is proud to announce that 3 homeowners in the Conway, SC area are now saving money on utility bills, in historic homes, due to Spray Foam Insulation & Energy Efficient Roofing.  At Retro-Solutions Construction Co. we know the value of having homeowners preserve & revitalize the architecture & history of the past by renovating historic homes.  That's why we are proud to announce the 3 homeowners taking advantage of "green" building materials, that are becoming increasingly popular in Historic Home Renovations across the country, to reduce utility bills.  Anyone that is or knows a historic homeowner anywhere in the United States, and the number one complaint about their historic home is the high energy bills, with power bills being #1 on the list.  Retro-Solutions Construction is here to let Historic Homeowners all across North & South Carolina that there is help for utility bills in older homes. Our Spray Foam Insulation Services, Wall Foam Insulation, Crawl Space Encapsulation, Standing Seam Metal Roofing, Tile Roofing, Tin Roofing, Solar Energy Products, & other "green" building products all pass requirements for historic homeowners committees.

The main reason that Historic Homes cost so much to heat & cool, taking out the larger floor plans, is due to poor insulation.  Exterior Walls are impossible to insulate with traditional fiberglass insulation, without incurring major renovation cost.  In the past their wasn't an affordable option to insulate exterior walls.  Even though foam insulation has been around since the late 1950's, early 1960's, It was mostly regulated to industrial construction & commercial construction due to high cost of material.  The development of foam technology, and more chemical manufacturers of foam products targeting specific markets like Historic Home Renovation Projects, has increased competition & lowered cost to homeowners tremendously.  Although new construction is increasingly going to SPF products, we can't discount homeowners 3-5 years into a new home purchase, just looking to improve overall comfort ability of their home. Historic Homeowners in South Carolina, because of the beautiful weather, and heat in the summers, experience both ends of the spectrum.  Where as a new homeowner will see 33% savings on utility bills, Historic Homeowners in South Carolina can see over 60% in really poor insulated historic homes.  The major advantage, taking out energy savings, that foam insulation has over traditional fiberglass is that it offers historic homeowner new building technology, with spray foam insulation unique "building envelope" system.  That new HVAC system you got last year will operate at a much more energy efficient level.

As a Spray Foam Insulation provider in the North Carolina & South Carolina area, keeping up with new technologies & continuing education on energy saving products, and new energy saving technology; we can save historic homeowners money on utility bills.  The fun thing about our industry incorporating Historic Home Renovation into our business model, is that many of the roofing materials used in Historic Homes in North Carolina & South Carolina are now proven to save on Energy Consumption.  Examples being metal roofing & tile roofing, with both having Energy Star rating products, proven to lower energy bills by up to 20% in homes in the Carolina's. All of our products are approved by Historic Home preservation committee's & boards because insulation is not atheistic & we have roof tile matching capabilities to match the time era, colors, & styles of most homes in the North Carolina & South Carolina areas. Solar Energy is also being incorporated into Historic Home Renovations, as solar panel technology is developing, smaller panels can store as much energy as larger panels 10 years ago.  The development of solar energy powered appliances is also another unique way Historic Homeowners are saving money on utility bills as well.  Most of our customers who are renovating a Historic Home are unaware of all of the utility saving, "green" building materials available for Historic Home Renovations. So call us today or contact us thru our website for more information on how to save money on heating and cooling your Historic Home in North Carolina or South Carolina.  We guarantee we can save you 33%  or more on Energy Savings.

Call: 706-951-0158 (Dan) or 843-424-7180 (Glenn)
Website: Retro-Solutions Construction Company Website

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Carrot Halwa

One word to say about Carrot Halwa is "Yummy". Well it is one of the yummiest dishes I have prepared. Carrot as such is rich in Vitamin C and good for eyes and Carrot Halwa is good for your taste buds. The bright rich colour of this halwa makes this as a tempting dish that every connoisseur would appreciate. Here I present you the method for preparing simple, tasty and delicious Carrot Halwa.


Carrot - 2 cups grated

Milk - 1.5 cups

Sugar - 1 cup

Butter - 2 tablespoon

Cashew nuts - 10

Raisins - 10

Cardamon - 3 crushed

Ghee - 1 teaspoon


1) In a heavy bottomed kadai / frying pan, add 2 tablespoon of butter.

2) Once butter melts down, add cashew nuts and raisins.

3) Make sure the flame is in medium level.

4) Fry them till cashews become golden brown and raisins start to blow up.

5) Add grated carrots, cardamon and stir them well. Don't add water.

6) You would notice water content oozing out from the carrots after sometime. Don't worry, continue to stir well.

7) When the water content from the carrot gets evaporated, add milk and stir well.

8) Stir continuously till the milk reduces to half the added quantity.

9) Now taste the carrot and according to the carrot's sweetness , add sugar. It is not necessary to use the whole 1 cup of sugar as mentioned above in the ingredients.

10) Keep stirring the contents well and make sure the kadai doesn't get burnt.

11) When the milk gets absorbed and carrots get the texture of halwa, add ghee to it.

12) Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

13) Serve warm or chill it and serve as it suits your taste.


You can add cashew, raisins in the final step (step 11) along with the ghee instead of adding it in the beginning. Also you can not add cardamon directly to butter as they have a tendency to burst wide. Use crushed cardamon if you are going to use with hot butter/ghee/oil.

Eggless Mango Souffle

Regular readers of this blog might have noticed that I have been posting summer coolers for the past 5 days. As part of the blogging marathon, I have been making various frozen desserts to suit the Summer Cooler theme. For today, its mango souffle. I adapted this recipe from Nita Mehta's Eggless Desserts. In the original recipe, mango drink (Fruity) in tetra pack is used. I have used fresh mango pulp and also scaled down the ingredients to make two servings.

You need

  • Mango pulp - 1 cup
  • Sugar -1/2 cup
  • Fresh cream - 1/2 cup
  • China grass/Agar agar - 5 gms
  • Hot Water - 1/2 cup

Take a big mango, which is not fibrous.  De-skin and chop into pieces.  Pulse the pieces and add the sugar to it and blend once.  Take the mango pulp and sugar mixture to a bowl and heat it to get a saucy consistency.  Take half cup of  water and add the agar agar to it. Heat on slow fire to dissolve the agar agar. Gradually add the dissolved agar agar to the mango mix. Make sure you add the solution while hot. Else the china grass will start to set.  Leave the mix to cool. 

Take the cream in a bowl and beat till fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream to the mango mix. Beat well till smooth. Transfer to a serving dish or individual serving glasses. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Garnish with chopped mango pieces and serve.

This mango souffle is joining the event- Kids Delight-Cool Comforts, hosted by PJ, an event started by Srivalli

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me 

Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Aarthi, Divya, Jayashree, Kaveri, Pavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:Gayathri, Priya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika,
Seven Days of Regional Specials:Harini, Vaishali, Suma, PJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, Kamalika, Srivalli

Friday, May 27, 2011

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream

Ice creams are available in stores under various brands in numerous flavors. And consumers are really spoilt for choice. And top with, majority of brands comes with attractive offers. So when one has too many options to choose from, why would you go for a home made ice cream. As for me there is some satisfaction when you make your own than buy it straight from the shelf. Not that I don't buy them at all. But when you are making it at home, you are free to play around the flavors and the ingredients that go into it. This chocolate ice cream is a result of one such experiment. I started with the idea of adding cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor. While I took out the ingredients, the chocolate bar inside the fridge caught my attention. That also went in to the ice cream. And finally added the chocolate chips for the extra flavor. There isn't like too  much of chocolate, isn't it.

You need
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Fresh cream - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar -1/2 cup
  • Chopped chocolate - 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa powder - 1 tblspn
  • Corn flour - 2 tspn
  • Chocolate chips - 2 tblspn


Take the chopped chocolate in a MW safe bowl. MW for 1 to 2 minutes. After a minute, check if it is melted fully. Keep in intervals of 30 seconds. If melting it on stove top, do it using the double boiler method. Add the cream to the melted chocolate. Whisk well to blend chocolate and cream.

Make a paste of the corn flour with few tablespoons of milk. Boil the remaining milk. When the milk starts boiling, add the corn flour paste and cocoa powder. Stir well to prevent lump formation. Finally add sugar. When the sugar is fully dissolved, remove from fire. Add the chocolate+ cream to the milk mixture. Whisk to blend everything well. Cool and transfer to shallow freezable container. Make sure the height of the liquid is not more than 1 1/2 inch in height. This will ensure easier setting of the ice cream. 

Once the ice cream is slushy, break the ice crystal with a spoon or fork. Leave it to set again. Repeat it for 2 more times. When you are leaving  it for the final setting, stir in the chocolate chips.  Ice cream will set in another 3 hours.  The ice cream is enough to serve 3 large servings. 

Note: Once you have the final liquid mixture ready, you can pass it through a fine sieve to filter out the undissolved chocolate particles, if any. Though this is optional, this will give a more finer texture to the ice cream. I skipped this.

I am sending this chocolate ice cream to the Kids Delight-Cool Comforts, hosted by PJ, an event started by Srivalli

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me 

Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Aarthi, Divya, Jayashree, Kaveri, Pavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:Gayathri, Priya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika,
Seven Days of Regional Specials:Harini, Vaishali, Suma, PJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, Kamalika, Srivalli

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry banana smoothie is a refreshing drink that everyone would like. A smoothie is nothing but a drink which is blended with milk / yoghurt and chilled well. Whenever I prepare this drink, I always wonder how an easy recipe such as this is rich in taste and refreshingly wonderful. Prepare this and serve it chill for this hot summer.


Strawberry - 10 nos

Ripe Banana - 2 no

Honey - 1 teaspoon/ to taste

Yoghurt / Curd (Asian) - 1 cup

Milk - 1/2 cup

Ice Cubes - 3 no


1) Wash strawberries and remove the twig from them.

2) Peel the banana.

3) In a food processor / mixer, add the strawberries and banana. Blend them well for a minute.

4) Add yoghurt / curd,milk and ice cubes. Blend them again till you get a creamy smoothie.

5) Coat the serving glass with honey and pour the juice into it.

6) Serve it chill.


1) You can substitute honey with sugar, if required.

Carrot Kheer - Celebrating 100th post

Today I am very happy to draft my 100th post in Krithi's Kitchen. I am super-excited and would like to thank all my readers and fellow bloggers for the support. I also want to thank my DH (my constructive critic), family and friends for giving inputs and feedbacks on my journey so far. As in any tradition, a celebration calls for something sweet. I made Carrot kheer to celebrate!
I tasted this

Aam Ka Panna - Perfect Summer Drink

The summer vacation, during my school days, was always with my maternal grand parents. Those were the days without TV. All the day we used to play various games. While playing, we used to snack on cut raw mangoes sprinkled with salt and red chilli powder.  We used to smear the mangoes pieces with a paste mixed from red chilli powder, salt and coconut oil.   My mouth is watering as I type these.  The sour taste of the raw mangoes were balanced by the chilli and salt and coconut oil to reduce the heat of the chilli. Do try it once to know what I am talking about.

Now coming to the recipe of the post, its a drink made from the raw mangoes, perfect cooler to beat the summer heat.  The mangoes are cooked and the pulp is mixed with sugar and other spices to create a harmony of various flavors. The mangoes can be cooked with the skin on and later the skin has to be removed to extract the pulp. I find cooking the mangoes after removing the skin easier. You can choose either method according to your convenience.

You need

Large sized mangoes - 2 nos
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Roasted and powdered cumin - 2 tspn
Crushed pepper - 1/2tspn
Black salt - 1/2tspn


Peel the skin of the mangoes and chop into big pieces. Take the chopped mangoes and the seeds in a pressure cooker. Add water enough to cover the mango pieces. Pressure cook for two whistles.  Meanwhile take half cup of sugar and 2 cups of water in a bowl and bring it to boil, till the sugar is dissolved fully. Leave it to cool. Open the pressure cooker and transfer the cooked mango pieces in a blender jar and pulse to get fine puree. Add the mango pulp to the sugar syrup. Stir in the cumin powder, crushed pepper and black salt. Stir well.  The concentrate is ready. The panna concentrate needs to be refrigerated else it will ferment faster.  Since no other preservative is added, this will have a maximum shelf life of one week, on refrigeration.

To serve, take one part of the concentrate, and mix in 3 parts of chilled water and stir well. Serve with a garnish of mint.

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me 

Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Aarthi, Divya, Jayashree, Kaveri, Pavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:Gayathri, Priya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika,
Seven Days of Regional Specials:Harini, Vaishali, Suma, PJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, Kamalika, Srivalli