Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mango Nut Halwa - "Welcome to Dear Kavin"

This is quite an exciting post for me for two reasons. The reason being that I wanted to try something new with mango and make it simple but at the same time rich and delicious, I never tried any typical halwa at house, cos I really don't like any thing which is too sweet. I agree that I like sweet things but it should be right amount and not too sweet as such, maybe this is an excuse to eat more if it!! :) The second reason is that this recipe kinda fitted to the occasion i guess, I know you might be wondering why? ...well here is the reason, we (some of the blogger friends), started by Reva wanted to do a little sweet surprise for Kirthi's new born baby boy, like a welcoming party for the little baby. So I wanted link these two things into one, and decided to make a Mango Nut Halwa for her new born welcome virtual party.

Well now I think it's time for me to go to the recipe.....


Ingredients:
-------------
1 can Sweetened Mango Pulp
1 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/4 cup Cashew Nuts (chopped)
1/4 cup Blanched Almonds (chopped)
1/4 cup shelled Pistachios (I used lightly salted) (chopped)


Method:
---------


1. In a heavy bottom pan, add the mango pulp and cook it for about 30 mins on medium flame until it thickens and changes into little bit darker in color and reduces to about 3/4 to 1/2 of the original quantity.
(NOTE: Make sure you keep stirring it occasionally, so that the bottom will not stick or burn to the pan).


2. Now add the ghee and the cardamom powder and keep stirring it frequently. So that it gets to the halwa consistency.
3. Now grease a plate with a little bit of the ghee and keep it aside.


4. Now to the halwa you can add all the chopped nuts. (You can also toast the nuts, cool them a bit and add it to the halwa and mix well, I actually forgot to toast them, so it's optional).
5. Now off the flame and spread the halwa on to the greased plate and spread it even and let it cool or come to a complete room temperature. It might take an hour or 2.
6. Then you can cut into desired shapes and I preferred to cut into this cute little heart shapes. Enjoy this awesome summer fruit halwa. I can say that this is one of my favorite now. :)


The other blogger friends who were are part of this virtual welcome party:
8.Melange [Dhuythi]:http://www.desimelange.com/

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Griddled



This month's theme for Serve It series is Serve It - Griddled. Every cuisine has its own specialty of dishes cooked in griddle or tava. It is believed that the first cooking vessel used by man was a flat top or a griddle. Although griddle cooking is primitive, it is something that is used for quick cooking. The griddle was the preferred method of making bread, before the invention if ovens. Yes

Monday, July 30, 2012

KHI Quarterly V3 Q3 - Summer 2012

Five Ways to Increase Your Home's Value

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, there is no doubt you want to do everything possible to get a great deal; certain projects can add significant value to your home. So which home improvement projects should you invest in? Below are some helpful tips for home improvement projects that can increase the value of your home.

1.  Remodeling the Kitchen


Most people don’t want a home that has an outdated kitchen. When you modernize your kitchen, your home value will go up and it may make it significantly easier to sell. Because we spend most of our time in the kitchen, updates here really pay off.  According to HGTV.com you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel. In addition to increasing the value of your home, if you decide to stay put a brand new kitchen can renew a love of cooking and make you eager to entertain. You’ll be able to add more space to move around and you’ll probably increase storage as well.

2.  Remodeling a Bathroom


According to "Remodeling" Magazine, remodeling an existing bathroom was more profitable in terms of resale value than adding one on. QualitySmith.com states that if you are in the process of taking care of necessary repairs throughout the property, and you include a bathroom remodel as part of the home upgrade, you can expect to see as much as an 80% return on your investment.
In addition to improving your bathroom’s appearance, remodeling allows you to make better use of space. Bathrooms are often too crowded, especially in an older house. Today there are many new furniture and fixture choices that look great and take up less room, so you can make the best of the space that you have. With the right fixtures, d├ęcor, and a great tub, your bathroom can become an oasis to relax and sooth away the stress of the day.
3.  Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

These days, buyers shop for homes with energy efficiency in mind -- so old, drafty single-pane windows are a major problem. Energy Star claims that adding Energy Star-rated windows can save you up to $500 a year in heating and cooling costs by making your home more energy efficient. According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-90% of your costs when you invest in energy-efficient windows. You may also receive a green energy tax credit of 10% for this upgrade, as long as you install Energy Star-rated windows. There may be additional credits from the state or utility company as well. Since new windows save you several hundred dollars a year and you receive a tax credit, you will recoup your window investment sooner than you think.


 4.  Finishing a Basement


Beyond the functional, social, and environmental benefits of finishing your basement, it also significantly increases the value in your home. Finishing a basement offers the best price per square foot of any remodeling project and is very marketable, especially for large families. You can receive as much as 150% return on your investment with a finished basement.

There are an endless number of ways that you can use the space.    Basements frequently work well as second living rooms or bedrooms, a child’s playroom, a game room with a big screen TV and pool table, a home theatre with surround sound or a gym. A finished basement often ends up being a favored room in the house and where most family members prefer to spend their time. A well insulated basement is commonly the coolest place in your home during the summer and the warmest in the winter. With today’s new technologies and specialized products, it is easy to be comfortable in your finished basement without paying outrageous energy bills.

If you’re looking to improve the value of your home while providing the immediate benefits of a remodel, finishing a basement accomplishes both, increasing square footage and value simultaneously.

5.  Adding a Deck

Building a deck can be a smart and enjoyable way to maintain or improve home value. After all, it's less expensive than building an additional room but it still expands living space and bridges the gap between indoors and out. Robert Markovich, home and yard editor for Consumer Reports says "It's safe to say that a deck is one of the more cost-effective things you can do. Decks are really a high-return item."

Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially since more people are staying home for vacation than in previous years. If you make your deck and your backyard more comfortable, your house will be more appealing to prospective buyers if and when you decide to sell. HGTV.com claims that homeowners recoup 65%-90% of their investment by adding a deck. Improving your outdoor living space is a smart move in today's uncertain economy.

For more information on anything you see in our newsletter or if you'd like to obtain a quote, contact us at 860-584-8784. 



 


 
Main floor bathroom window is now complete.  www.bettermadecabinets.com








Main floor bathroom window is now complete.  www.bettermadecabinets.com

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake, Coffee Flavored and a Celebration

While sorting out my Recipe Index recently, i noticed that i don't have a basic Chocolate cake recipe in my list. This is the first ever Cake recipe i tried and how come it didn't show in my list?,Strange !!! So, decided to do some justice to My First-Bake recipe and had a Wonderful Reason to post it!!!! We Welcomed our Second Junior on 14th of this month!!!! Yes, we are blessed with another little prince!!! We are doing fine and my elder one is enjoying his lil bro very much!! Thanks for all your wonderful wishes. 
Recipe Source : Divinetaste
Ingredients
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
150 gm or 1-1/2 Stick of  butter, melted
2 tbsp Instant Coffee Powder
150ml Hot Water
Chocolate hearts to decorate (optional)
Method
  • Preheat Oven to 160C and Line a Loaf Pan with Parchment paper. I used two small Rectangle Alu-foil container's.
  • Mix together Hot Water and Instant coffee Powder, Stir well. Keep Aside
  • Sift together All Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Baking soda. This is to ensure uniform mixing of all the dry ingredients.
  • Add Condensed milk, melted butter, Instant Coffee Mix to the flour mixture. Using a Electric Beater or a Whisk  beat/stir until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool for 10minutes, Take it out of the pan, Cut and serve Warm.
Sending this to Bake Fest Event Happening @ The Pumpkin Farm, Event by Vardhini of Cooksjoy, Let's Party - Go Bake it, happening @ My CookBook.


Note
  • Baking Time Varies from Oven to Oven, so Bake Accordingly
  • If you don't favour coffee flavor much, then replace it using Vanilla Essence. Instead of 2 tbsp of Instant Coffee,  use 1 tsp of Vanilla Essence.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2 Weeks Vacation - Slow Blogging !! :)

Hello Friends,

I am taking a happy 2 weeks vacation. So will be slow in blogging. Hope to see you all asap and happy for all the fellow bloggers and friends who will still keep in touch and keep visiting my space. But will post the guest events and all the post as promised and as scheduled.

But still keep posting the recipes for the ongoing Events : "South Indian Cooking" Series Event, if anyone interested please leave a comment in my space or email me at anu (dot) healthykitchen (at) gmail (dot) com.

Cya Soon!! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

MBS & Co.'s Green Initiative Project - South Carolina - Myrtle Beach

MBS & Co's Green Initiative Challenge to Myrtle Beach, SC Area Businesses


What is the MBS &  Co's Green Initiative Challenge?

As hotels and resorts in the Grand Strand area are making upgrades in the next coming season, MBS & Co. would like to issue a challenge to property owners that when investing in remodelling. to consider remodelling with Energy Star Rated "Green" Building Products.  If building new let us come out and give you an estimate as well, as it is cheaper because of no removal cost.

What are some of the best selling Energy Star Building Products in 2012?

We have already been able to save a few hotels already money on reroofing cost with an excellent Energy Star Rated Roof Coating product called, Gaco Western S-2000 Silicone. Using thermal imaging we can pinpoint troubled areas of the roof that need repair, and leave the rest, saving big money on roof replacement cost. S-2000 Silicone roof coating systems are so versatile and can be applied on top of a lot of different roofing surfaces.  By using Energy Efficient Roof Coatings, commercial building owners in the Grand Strand can save money on utility cost as well.  In addition to roof coatings, we also have Energy Star rated meteal roofing systemss, as well as a variety of other roofing products that can lower utility cost.

Our biggest Energy Saving product however is spray foam insulation. What many hotel and resort owners are finding is that open cell spray foam insulation can not only save them money on heating and cooling cost, it is also a good soundproofing device offering another ammenity that not all hotels and resorts can provide. With the combination of Energy Star rated heat pumps, hotels have been able to reduce energy consumption tremendously by using superior insulation systems like open cell spray foam insulation.  Spray foam insulation is also a popular choice for homeowners as well in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, and surrounding Grand Strand.

Also, solar panel investments generally have a better payback rate for commercial buildings. Many hotel and resorts who launder there own linen have used solar power to run there washing and drying machines, which was a big part of their energy bill every month.  Renewable energy sources have always paid off for commercial building owners who use appliances that take a lot of energy.  There are also many federal grants, tax credits, and other initiatives out for solar panels that isn't offered on other Energy Star Rated Building Products list.

What do building owners in Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand recieve in return?

If you choose MBS & Co. we will include your business on our webpage as a member of the Myrtle Beach, SC community, your company stepped up and used a "green" product to help reduce energy consumption. We would like to make Myrtle Beach, SC the 'greenest' tourist destination in the United States. Myrtle Beach, SC has been getting a lot of good reviews since the addition of the boardwalk, and we think by setting a standard for energy efficiency can be could marketing material, as well as good for the enviroment. Our goal is to help partner in advertising Myrtle Beach Hotels, Resorts, and Rental Companies in association with the use of Energy Star Rated Building Products.  I addition to all of this, your business will also see a huge and fast payback on investment in the amount of saving you will see on utility cost.  It's a win-win situation for both the building owner and the enviroment.

Why is MBS & Co. pushing a Green Initiative this year?

Another major reason besides our concern for the enviroment, is the threats and rumors of utility companies raising prices in the upcoming years. With major tax credits available, now is the time to lock in your energy savings, and fend off the upcoming rate increases coming from power companies in the Grand Strand area. Many power companies are offering incentives for businesses that make "green" building improvements.

How do I get in touch with MBS & Co.?

MBS & Company
530 Piedmont Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: 706-951-0158
Website: http://www.myrtlebeachenergysavers.com

Thanks for reading our blog, and stay tuned for more informative information on businesses going "green" in the Grand Strand.

Energy Efficient Roofing Systems | Spray Foam Insulation | Wall Foam Insulation | Crawl Space Encapsulations | Solar Energy Powered Hot Water Heaters | Solar Energy | Energy Monitoring | Standing Seam Metal Roofs | Tile Roofs | Slate Roofs | Historic Home Retrofits | Energy Efficient Roof Coatings | Gace Western S-2000 Silicone Roof Systems | Mold Guard | Air Barriers | Commercial Roof Coatings | Roof Coatings | Silicone Roofs |
 
The back of the house was painted many years ago.  This paint on the stone has slowly been power washed off, and is now looking like it should.  We need to go over this area at least one more time before we can say it’s complete.  www.bettermadecabinets.com








The back of the house was painted many years ago.  This paint on the stone has slowly been power washed off, and is now looking like it should.  We need to go over this area at least one more time before we can say it’s complete.  www.bettermadecabinets.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 
Things have come a long way.  Hope to have new glaze for the glass and painted within the next 2 weeks.  www.bettermadecabinets.com







Things have come a long way.  Hope to have new glaze for the glass and painted within the next 2 weeks.  www.bettermadecabinets.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tinai Paruppu Paayasam For Varamahaalakshmi Pooja - Foxtail Millet And Gram Dal Porridge


 TINAI PARUPPU PAAYASAM 

Millet is making a great come back with all grandeur. Consumers are being enlightened about the health benefits of these tiny grains. Farmers are being encouraged to grow them abundantly,with a promise of a profitable market. Millet Melas are becoming a great success in all Metros. 
Here I have used the tiny nutritional wonder called Foxtail millet (Tinai in Tamil and Navane in Kannada) with Bengal gram dal to prepare a delicious Paayasam for Varamahaalakshmi Pooja.


INGREDIENTS


 Foxtail millet (dehusked) - 1/2 cup 
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 cup 
Crushed jaggery - 1 cup 
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp 
Ghee - 1 tbsp 
Cashew nuts - a few 
Raisins - a few 
Milk - 1 1/2 cups 

METHOD 

1.Wash Tinai and Bengal gram dal and carefully decant the water.The grains are so small that they tend to run away with the water used for washing. 
2. Add three cups of water and pressure cook the washed millet and dal like you cook rice and let it cool. 


3. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter it. 
4. Boil the jaggery water till it becomes slightly thick. 
5. Add the cooked millet and dal and keep cooking till it blends with the jaggery syrup giving out a very pleasant aroma. 


6. Switch off flame and blend in the cardamom powder and milk. 
7. Fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and pour over the paayasam


Offer the Tinai Paruppu Paayasam to Varamahaalakshmi and savour the flavoursome prasaadam.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

GOING BANANAS - Vaazhaipazha Kozhukattai For Varamahaalakshmi Pooja - Banana Dumplings

GOING BANANAS! 

VAAZHAIPAZHA KOZHUKATTAI 

Idlies, Kozhukattais, Vadaes, Chitraanna and Paayasam are the five traditional prasaadams we prepare for the Varamahaalakshmi Pooja every year. This year since we are 'GOING BANANAS!', I want to offer a banana dish to the Goddess on the auspicious day. 


INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING


Ripe bananas - 2 
Crushed jaggery - 1/2 cup 
Ghee - 1 tbsp 
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch 

TO MAKE THE FILLING 

1. Peel and slice the bananas. 
2. Heat a pan and add ghee, sliced bananas and the crushed jaggery.


3. Cook on low flame stirring now and then till the whole sweet mass comes together. 


4. Mix in the cardamom powder and allow to cool. 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH 

Rice flour - 3/4 cup 
Water - 1 cup 
Salt - 1 pinch 
Gingelly oil - 1 tsp 

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH 

1. Boil water with salt and oil. 
2. Add the rice flour gently into the boiling water  stirring continuously. 
3. Decrease flame and stir till the dough is cooked. 
4. When the dough comes together into a ball, switch off flame and tightly cover with a lid. 
5. Let the steam subside. 
6. When the dough is still warm but cool enough to handle, remove it into a bowl and knead it well into a smooth ball. 
7. Take a small lime size ball from the dough, knead and shape it into a cup.
 8. Place a spoon of the sweet banana filling inside the cup.



9. Fold the edges of the dough cup over the filling, press them together and seal the kozhukattai
10. Make all the kozhukattais similarly using the entire filling and the dough. 
11. Arrange the koozhukattais in a greased steamer and steam in a pressure cooker for fifteen minutes without using the weight. 


 Offer the steaming hot Vaazhaipazha Kozhukattais to Varamahaalakshmi and savour the prasaadam with your near and dear ones.