Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series Finale - Original Recipes from Home

This is the last theme in the Serve It Event series. After 15 themes over 18 months, Serve It event series hosted by I and Denny comes to an end with this one. The theme is "Original Recipes From Home" and runs for two months, November and December. Every family has its own tradition and practices which has been followed for generations. Be it Diwali, Pongal, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any

Updating Your Kitchen Lighting Fixtures

Kitchen remodeling can be a tough yet enjoyable project. Even if it has been years since you made any design changes, you can alter the entire look of your kitchen simply by making minor changes, such as updating old lighting fixtures.

Your choice in kitchen lighting can drastically change the mood in the room with just a simple change in the color of your light bulbs. You will immediately create a whole different atmosphere in your kitchen. If you want to give your kitchen a facelift, changing the lighting is definitely a great way to get started.

Kitchen lighting can be classified under three main types:

First is the surface mount ceiling light or recessed light, which attaches directly to the ceiling of the kitchen. This is most common and probably the cheapest kind of kitchen lighting you can find. Ceiling lights come in all shapes and sizes but the most common are rectangular and circular. These kitchen lighting fixtures are usually wide and can provide adequate lighting for the entire kitchen, but they are often lacking in style and elegance.

The second type of kitchen lighting is the hanging or pendant light. The hanging light can either be a single light hanging down from the ceiling. A chandelier is also considered a form of pendant light which is composed of several small lights hanging from the ceiling. Pendant lights are popular in groups of two or three mounted over a kitchen table or counter where bright light is needed to help with food preparation or eating.

The third type of kitchen light is the under cabinet light. Under cabinet lights are meant to be installed beneath the upper wall cabinets. Under cabinet lighting is both practical and decorative but is considered “task lighting” to aid with food preparation.

Hanging Lights and Under Cabinet Lighting
installed by Kruse Home Improvement
There are no rules in choosing the best lighting for your kitchen but it is always good to strike a balance between style and practicality. You should look for lighting that couples the light you need with the style you desire. For more information on updating your kitchen lighting fixtures contact KHI at 860-584-8784. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Halwa

This halwa turned out delicious! Try this for Diwali. I hope to post more sweet recipes in the next few days.

Mixed vegetables and fruits (Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Carrot, Apple, Dates) - 2 cups
Sugar - as needed
Cardamom - 3 crushed
Roasted cashews - 10
Milk - 1 to 1.5 cups
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Saffron - a few strands

Peel the skin of pumpkin (pooshanikai), sweet potato, apple and carrot. Grate and set aside. Chop dates (about 4) into small pieces.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan. Roast Cashews and set aside.
In the same pan, add grated vegetables and fruits. Fry for 5 minutes. Add milk, saffron, crushed cardamom and cook till the milk is absorbed and the mixture turns soft. Add some more milk if the mixture turns out dry and needs to be cooked for some more time.
Add sugar and some more ghee and simmer for 10 min.  
Garnish with roasted cashews and serve warm.

Note: You can adjust the quantity of each veggie and fruit as per your taste and liking. 

Braam's Custom Cabinets new blog!

Site under construction, please check back soon for updates!

Socks Not Required

A specialty of Klasinski Plumbing is the installation and maintenance of In-Floor Heating systems. In-Floor heating provides 5 important benefits:

The installation of most underfloor heating systems allows them to operate without making any sound. This silent running can help in making a building more relaxing and comfortable for the occupants, a benefit that most will appreciate.

Air Quality
Some home heating options (particularly in the case of forced-air systems) can have a negative impact on the air quality in a home by blowing dust, pollen and allergens around. This is not the case with in-floor systems, which have no moving air and therefore will not cause air-quality problems. This can make them a good choice for anyone that suffers from allergies.

Efficient Heat Distribution
Because the entire floor of a room becomes heated using an underfloor system, warmth is distributed more evenly around the entire room. This results in much less chance of cold spots developing, where the heat can spread out unevenly from a vent or radiator at only 1 or 2 points in a room.

During the colder months of the year, the floors in a home can become cold especially in the case of hard-surface flooring. Using an underfloor system removes this inconvenience, increasing the comfort of a home. In-floor heating also helps to concentrate more warmth in the lower half of a room, rather than up at the ceiling, and this can help improve comfort for occupants.

Energy Efficiency
The Radiant Panel Association indicates that occupants of a building using radiant heating, such as in-floor systems, can feel comfortable at lower room air temperatures than would be required with other types of heating. This enables running an underfloor system at a lower thermostat setting, which in turn saves energy and reduces energy bills.

In-Floor Heating installed at the Windsor Apartment Complex in Plover, WI. 

If you have further interest in regards to In-Floor heating systems, give us a call or check out our website and we'll schedule a meeting to discuss your specific questions and needs.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pancakes with Maple Syrup and B-O-O-O-O Halloween Event Round Up

 Am I getting too much into Halloween or I have too much pumpkin at home. Well maybe both... he he....cos here I am with another pumpkin recipe. Actually it's another accident turned into a yummy breakfast. In my second previous post I made Cocoa Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting and I had the left over frosting and didn't know what to do with it. Today, as it's Sunday I promised Anush that I would  make pancakes for him. So as I about to make these pancakes, I opened the fridge to get egg and instantly I thought I can use this frosting into the batter and didn't have to make any changes to the pancake recipe. Well here it came out so soft and fluffy, yummy and loved the color.

Now that I decided that this would be my last recipe (for now) for Halloween.... so to sum up, I have a pictorial links to all my new and old Halloween recipes and also the round up for my event which ends today.

Last but not the least I thank all of the wonderful and great bloggers and cooks who participated in sending their Halloween goodies.

Have a safe and freaky HALLOWEEN ...... BOO!

Click HERE for the recipe

1. In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients except butter with a whisk or wooden spoon, just until mixed if there are small lumps, it's OK. Make sure you don't over mix the batter, because the pancakes will not be fluffy.

2. Heat a pan and when it's medium hot, add some butter and then ladle a spoon full of batter or a small scoop according to how big you want your pancake to be.

3. Cook one side for about 2-3 mins.

4. Flip to the other side and cook another 1-2 mins and serve it with the same cream cheese frosting or maple syrup or your choice of any syrup or jam or get creative. :)

My other Halloween Recipes:
Witches Finger CookiesCocoa Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese FrostingBerry Cobbler
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie BarDark Chocolate CookiesPumpkin Cheese Cake

B-O-O-O-O Halloween Event - Oct 5th to Nov 5th Round up:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Adding a Kitchen Backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes are an affordable way to inject some style in your kitchen. A unique kitchen backsplash can define the look and feel of the room.

Backsplash installed by Kruse Home Improvement
Backsplashes come in a wide variety of materials and colors to suit your kitchen's vibe. The most common type is a tile backsplash for its dura- bility and easy cleaning. Tiles in all shapes, sizes, and colors can be con- figured into unique, one-of-a-kind back- splashes. Bead-board backsplashes are a popular selection while wood backsplashes are now seen in some of the most recent kitchen designs. If you like a clean, streamlined look, solid-surfacing backsplashes and solid-sheet glass backsplashes can add the finishing touch to your decor. In some areas, natural materials such as brick and Mexican terracotta tile are popular choices for a backsplash. A professional installer can create interesting combinations that play up the subtle texture and pattern deviations of the choice you make.

Below are some simple tips for choosing the perfect backsplash tile:

Look at your kitchen’s current color as a guide. Use the look and color of your kitchen cabinet finish and appliances to choose what color tile would match best.

You don’t have to follow trends. There are enough different styles of glass tile to suit any design budget and taste so take your time, compare tile colors and styles to choose something you’ll love for years to come. 

Backsplash installed by Kruse Home Improvement
Choose the correct tile size. Choosing the correct tile size is very important. A large tile in a small room can make the room appear even smaller. For small rooms, small tiles work great.  For larger rooms you may want to consider larger tiles such to create the right feel for the large space. Very small tiles can work great in a mosaic pattern and style which will give a nice uniform appearance throughout.

Keep it simple.Avoid kitchen backsplashes with too many colors and patterns as they may appear nice at first but over time, a classic or neutral looking backsplash will outlast the trends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Witches Finger Cookies - ShortBread Cookies - Just 3 Ingredients

I am trying to do some Halloween goodies, as because this year Anush started learning more about halloween and the fun things to do during this day, and the second season is that this is my first year hosting the Halloween event at my space....HERE (Oct 5th to Nov 5th). So in my previous post I tried "Cocoa Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting" and this would be the second recipe.

I decided to do these witches finger cookies because it is easy and scary, rest of them seems to involve more artificial food colors and sugary frosting which I would not prefer much and more over I feel it's bit more decorative work to do, for which I am not at all ready on a weekday. 

Anyways, this recipe for the shortbread cookies is very simple and extremely easy with just 3 main ingredients and addition of nuts is an advantage.

1. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
2. Add coconut extract and all purpose flour and mix it with hand to make a ball of dough.
3. Divide it into 12 equal parts, shape it like a finger, pressing in between twice to form the knuckles.

4. Place each finger shaped cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.
5. Now with a tooth pick draw lines to get the wrinkles in fingers.
6. Brush the top of the knuckles with cocoa powder.
7. Press each almond at the top of the cookie fingers to form the nails.

8. Cover these cookies with a cling wrap, make sure it is not pressed and refrigerate it for about 30 mins.
9. Preheat oven to 350F.
10. Bake these cookie for about 10 to 12 mins or until just a slight brown.
11. Arrange these cookies according to your table Halloween party setting and enjoy.

You Might Also Like:
Cocoa Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting "B-O-O-O-O Halloween Event" Oct 5th to Nov 5th Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Bar

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Puli Kaichal / Home made Puliyogare / Tamarind Rice | Indian Rice Recipes

Puli Kaichal meaning "boiled tamarind" is one of the ready to eat rice mixes. Puliogare/Puliodharai is known for its long shelf life and is a perfect food for packing during travel. This is DH's favorite and since MIL is here she has been making it quite often. Actually she has been making a lot of her son's favorites.. talk about 'pampering' :). This time I managed some time to click few

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kitchen Basics


I grew up in a family that rarely ate out. In some ways, it was dumb luck. My parents wanted dishes from the old country so the only option was to do-it-yourself. The rhythms of the kitchen – the tuck, tuck of steel on wood, snap of hot oil, gush of water – perpetually played in the background and I soaked it all up.


I moved in and out of many apartments once I left home. Most of the kitchens were tiny and outdated, but they grounded and delighted me and on the worst days offered the comfort of a protective womb. Thanks to my mom’s example, I rejected the silly notion that cooking was costly and burdensome. I ate more happily and healthfully than most people I knew.


For me, cooking has always been critical to self-care. It allows me to avoid monstrous portions. I control the fat, the oil, the salt. But that’s not the real reason I spend so much time in the kitchen. I cook because I want to indulge in the flavors of seasonal produce and other fine ingredients every day. As a singleton, I have never bought into the idea that cooking for one is a waste of time.


I’ve learned through my classes (and the longing looks I get when toting baked good on public transportation), that fewer and fewer people know how to chop vegetables, cream butter, and peel shrimp. I have experienced the joy of cooking for so many years and the realization pains me.  

A year ago, I approached an editor at Whole Foods Cooking with the idea of writing a column on basic cooking techniques with illustrative photographs. She bit and we began a very fulfilling collaboration to coax people back into the kitchen. Below I’ve compiled links to all of the entries to date to share with readers at Cardamom Kitchen.



Citrus: zest it

wedges - 4

Melon basics

Cover shot - edited

Peaches basics

Cover photo

Strawberry basics


Skin base

Asparagus basics


Avocado basics

End shot

Chili pepper basics


Eggplant basics

Bulb and cloves

Garlic basics


Garlic: roast it

Cover - 2e

Ginger basics

Onions 2E

Onion basics

2012 Jan 24_caramelized onions 1-23-12 (2)_7649_edited-1

Onions: caramelize them


Root vegetables: roast them

2012 Aug 08_WFM tomatoes '12_3021_edited-1

Tomato basics


Plucking basil leaves - 2

Fresh herbs basics


Spice basics 1

Blackened catfish

Spices basics 2



Butter: brown it


Cream: whip it


Egg in water

Eggs: boil them

Cover 2

Egg whites: whip them


Soaked beans rinsed

Dry beans basics


Types of rice

Rice: boil it



Shrimp basics


Final photo

Bread crumbs

Complete 3 -e

Cream butter and sugar

Dry ingredients 2_edited-1

Measure dry ingredients

Cover shot 2

Melt chocolate

 2012 May 01_2012-4-30 Icing_1937_edited-1

Pipe frosting