Wednesday, May 30, 2007


First recepie - A sweet.

Rava Kesari
Fried Rava - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Elaichi powder - 1/2 t.sp
Cashew/Kismis - 1 tb sp
yellow/red colour - 1 pinch

Boil water after adding color to it. Add the fired rava slowly to the boiling water. Keep mixing while adding rava to avoid forming lumps. When rava is cooked (ie, when the rava and water forms a solid proposition) add sugar to it with continuous stirring. You will see some rava lumps already. Don't panic. You can break them using the laddle by pressing on the lumps. Keep mixing. When it starts to solidify, add ghee little by little. Add elaichi powder. When the mixture does not stick to the sides of the pan, it is ready.
Take a small frypan. Add 1 teaspoon of ghee. Add cashew to it. When cashew starts browning, add kismis.
Add the fried cashew and kismis to the kesari and mix well.

Preparation time - 15 mts
Serves - 4

Usually I make this after dinner when Hubby dear cannot find any sweet to eat. This is the instant sweet which can be made with the 'all time' readily available items in the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Stake in the Heart of the Light Bulb

Canada has taken steps to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012:

"The environmental benefits are clear. By banning inefficient lighting, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6 million tonnes per year," added Minister Lunn. "More than that, these new standards will help reduce the average household electricity bill by approximately $50 a year."

It is only a matter of time before the United States will follow suit

And individual states, like California, will be in the vanguard.

It is time to discard antiquated notions about fluorescent lighting. Only cheap fluorescent lighting flickers and hums and makes people look ghastly.

Manufacturers are now offering us a multitude of configurations and colors to replace the old cool white and warm white. And the old magnetic ballasts that caused the flicker and hum will be available only through 2009.

After 2010 you won't even be able to buy a replacement in California. Instead only electronic ballasts will be sold. Instant-on, dimmable ballasts that make fluorescent lighting systems behave like our beloved Edison bulbs.

Juno has just received an innovation award for this new ceiling can fixture at 2007 LightFair International, and you can't even see the spiral bulb because it has a lens covering the opening:

"2330 CFL Lensed Trim Juno Lighting Group introduces the 2330 CFL Lensed Trim with its regressed baffle and frosted domed lens positioned above the ceiling plane. The trim features a CFL optical system optimizing lamp placement, reflector design and diffusing glass lens for increased illumination and better uniformity than an incandescent open baffle trim."

And LED manufacturers are making great strides in improving their products to compete with the energy efficiency of fluorescents while giving the same or similar light output.

Here's an interesting square one from Gallium Lighting that just received a 2007 award at LightFair International:

6" Square Series Luminaire Gallium Lighting’s specification-grade 6” square LED luminaire features high-output, white LEDs, to deliver light comparable to compact fluorescents."

And another, more conventional looking award-winner from with the distinction of producing a light color rendering index above 90% This will make your tomatoes look...well, like tomatoes. And it's affordable too!

The LR6 by LED Lighting Fixtures Inc. is an 11 watt downlight module that generates 650 lumens of 92 CRI white light at 27 or 3500 Kelvin with breakthrough technology for light output, beautiful color, high efficacy and affordability.

Here's another LED award-winner that doesn't even require a hole in the ceiling!

"The Faux-Can from MaxLite is a 26 watt 10,000 hour flat disk that mounts flush to the ceiling with a twist and lock GU24 connection. Equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent R lamp downlight, it requires no ceiling holes, no heat loss or gain through openings and no overheating."

To see all of the LightFair 2007 award winners go to their site.

Innovation in lighting is a candy store for designers and homeowners alike.


Streetcar Named DSIRE

Here is a cool site called DSIRE (Database for Renewables & Efficiency) where every U.S. state's incentives for increasing energy efficiency and encouraging renewable energy projects are neatly aggregated.

Everything from rebates for solar installations to green building grants, to Energy Star appliance rebates and beyond.

Everything offered by utilities, the state, the feds, and local governments.

What a fabulous resource!