Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mehendi - Day 27

I've been seriously lacking inspiration to blog for the past couple of days. This is the last pic in my reserves to share with you all. This design was inspired from a friend's pattern.


I gave it a old-ish look just to let you all know that I don't remember the exact date or function for which I did this. Couple of years back. As you all can say... its not even close to perfect.. I really like mehendi and wish to get a more steady hand..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Simple nail art (on short nails) - Day 26

I'm writing this post among so many thoughts. Past couple of days had me thinking about many surprises and shocks that life throws at us.. hmmm... I wasn't prepared to blog anything today. But I din't want to let go of the challenge as far as I can. Its 26th day. 4 more to go.



This was a very very simple, novice nail art that I tried 1 year ago. Had it in the pics and wanted to show you all. I prefer short square nails - that is all I can manage :)

I used tooth pick to draw the ...err.. flowers? This was my first attempt (and the last too.. couldn't spend time after that) Now a days I use fimo flowers. Let me know if you like to see the fimo flower art... 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Purple Adai (with kauvni arisi) - Day 25

I got to know this interesting, healthy and a colorful twist from my Mother in law. That is adding black glutinuous rice to the usual adai we make. I added carrots too just to make it even healthier. In chettinad cuisine you can never miss a sweet called kauvni arisi(I have written 2 posts on the same before)

This is guilt-free healthy dish!




Number of servings - 4-5
Ingredients:
Black glutinous rice - 1/4 cup
Idly rice- 3/4 cup
Sona masoori rice - 3/4 cup
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Channa dal - 1/4 cup
Urad dal - 4 spoons
Red chillies - 2
Hing
Turmeric powder
Onion
Carrot
Salt


Procedure:

  • Soak all the dals, rice to gether with red chillies for 2 hours and black glutinous rice separately for 2 hours
  • Grind it in blender with hing and salt and gring the black rice separately. Mix both together.
  • In a kadai heat splutter mustard seeds, urad dal and add onion, saute. 
  • Add the carrots and saute and add turmeric powder. add this mixture to the batter. Make yummy adais
Part of adai recipe is from a book called Aachi samayal. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Crochet Scarf - Day 24

Today is also a holiday here.. for memorial day. So no cooking pics today too.. its a scarf that I crocheted some time back.



Got the pattern from a book from our library. Adding pom poms was my idea. Scarves are really good and useful during winters here. There is a sense of satisfaction in wearing the things we make/ or in just making them itself. This was one such pattern. Very quick and easy. Now a days finding time is becoming increasingly difficult.. wish I could complete all the projects I started :)


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Maybelline color tattoo - Bad to the bronze - Day 23

Today being a Sunday.. things are very slow and relaxed :) I thought of doing a makeup related post, since I din't click any cooking pics...I never tend to have any post/pics in my drafts.. its always on the spot.. hmm.. may be I should start saving..

Okay, today its about Maybelline color tattoo in bad to the bronze. It is a cream eye shadow.. that claims to be there for 24 hrs.




 I like cream shadows because they are long lasting and I like the texture. This shade called "Bad to the bronze" is.. well.. a bronz-y color. I picked this one because it looks very neutral on my dusky skin tone. I can wear this alone to give that nice wash of color all over or use it as a nice base to my powder shadows.  What is your favorite?



I've had this for like 5 hours max.. and It stayed put!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Roasted wheat upma - Day 22

Upma is always a savior! It is the first rescue I could think of if there is no dosa/idly batter. Wheat upma is a fav :)


Number of serving - 2
Ingredients:
Roasted wheat upma - 1 cup
Mixed vegetables
Jalapeno (deseeded) - 1/2
Onion - 1/2
Water - 2 cups
Salt

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal

Procedure:

  • Heat oil in a kadai and splutter items to temper
  • Add onion and jalapeno and saute well. Add mixed vegetables and salt for it and saute
  • Add the water, salt and let it boil. When its boiling add the roasted upma and stir continuously to avoid lumps

Friday, May 25, 2012

Zucchini Sambar - Day 21

Few days back I had posted zucchini kootu. Because that was my kid's fav (then...) Now a days, he hates kootu!

So here comes sambar with zucchini.. God knows how long this will be his fav :)



Ingredients:
Zucchini (big) - 1
Toor dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Tamarind - lemon size
Turmeric powder
Sambar powder - 2 spoons
Salt

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Red chillies
Hing

Procedure:

  • Pressure cook the toor dal with turmeric powder and keep aside
  • In a kadai, heat oil and splutter items to temper. Add onions and saute well. 
  • Add tomatoes and saute. Add sliced zucchini and saute 
  • Add cooked dal, salt and sambar powder and stir
  • Add pulp squeezed from tamarind and let the sambar boil till zucchini is done


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celery kootu / celery dal - Day 20

Thanks to my friend Gayathri for introducing me to the concept of making kootu with celery :) I tweaked her recipe a little bit. Its real delicious!


Number of servings - 2-3
Ingredients:
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Celery 5-6 sticks
Turmeric powder
Salt

To paste:
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Jalapeno - 1/2 deseeded

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Red chilli - 1
Hing

Procedure:

  • Pressure cook the dal, celery and turmeric powder together to one whistle
  • In a kadai heat oil and splutter items to temper and add the pressure cooked items
  • Add the ground paste to this and salt and let everything cook together for few minutes
Note: You can always skip the paste part and add chilli powder instead

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NYX cream blush in ORANGE - Day 19

Finally the NYX cream blush arrived! There is only one information I would like to say - Do not shy away by seeing this color from the pot. Its really good when blended and gives a nice warm glow - perfect for the spring and summer.

I should say that the camera did not do the justice to the blended swatch, it was a very nice glow-y color in person.



Camera din't pick up the blended part at all! Trust me its brighter n better!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brown rice Idly, Dosai n Target sale - Day 18

I wanted to try Idly out of brown rice for a long time. Dosai comes out well. Idly was something I never tried. So here is the trial result. My kid loved the dosai very much...





Ingredients:
Brown rice - 1 cup
Idly rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1/2 cup

Procedure:

  • Soak urad dal and both the rice together  for 8 hours (overnight)
  • I ground the urad dal in grinder to fluffy consistency and both the rice together (like normal idly batter)
  • Mixed the batter as we normally do for idly
Result:
  • The batter fermented real well!
  • The dosai was excellent and roasted
  • The idly was good. But a little sticky and flat (not fluffy)
Have you tried idly with brown rice? I'm wondering If I should have soaked both the rice separately and ground them separately to get fluffy idlies.. or is it not possible to make idlies like that with brown rice?

Anyway.. I tried one plate of idlies and the rest went as dosai's as we all love dosai's :)



Another quick note, Target is having sale on Macademia oil products. Including their deep repair hair mask, shampoo.. all buy one get one free (for the price of one).



If you wanted to try those products, now would be a good chance as you get 2 for the price of one. Just to let you know..  the shampoo retails around $20(I'm not sure about their other products). I've read good reviews on their deep repair mask. I din't buy it though (Can't do the stuff every week! :))

Note: I'm not sponsored or affiliated to anyone. Just letting you all know about a good sale I happened to notice and make use of.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Celery soup - Day 17

This is a comfort soup that can be made anytime with simple ingredients. A good addition of nutrition to your kids tummy and yours too!



Number of servings - 2 -3
Ingredients:
Celery - 3 to 4 stems (small)
Onion - 1/2 (big)
Tomato - 1 small
Jalapeno (deseeded) - 1
Moong dal - a fistful
Lemon
Cilantro
Olive oil
Salt

To temper:
Fennel seeds
Pepper

Procedure:

  • Boil the moong dal in water. Keep aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a kadai and add items to temper. Add onion, jalapeno and saute
  • Add chopped tomato and saute well. Add the chopped celery and saute for a minute. Add the moong dal along with water, salt and let it boil until celery is done
  • Squeeze a dash of lemon and chopped cilantro
  • For adults, add freshly ground pepper before serving
Linking this to "Healthy food for healthy kids : toddler" hosted by Enveetu kitchen and started by Nithu's kitchen.






Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pressure cooked eggs(quick n healthy fix) - Day 15

This is not a recipe per se. But a tip/trick may be. Did you know that ONLY pressure cooking kills all the virus/bacteria in eggs (to the maximum).  And trust me, Its even more faster and quicker than boiling eggs in water!


That is what this post is about - Pressure cooked eggs. I have a pressure pan. I fill it with water to about an inch and keep the eggs in a flat bottomed bowl/vessel with eggs covered with water. I put the weight and leave it to a whistle. Switch off immediately after whistle. If you are going to put it directly in the cooker, I would suggest to switch off even before the whistle (since its more of a direct heat)

After the steam is let off, you can peel off the shell and add salt n fresh ground pepper and feed the kid :)

And to "Healthy Morsels baby and toddler" by Taste of pearl city


Friday, May 18, 2012

Vegetable fried rice (Quick fix) - Day 14

This is a quick fix recipe for me.. because it does not required making pastes, masalas, etc. If I really din't plan for what to cook I tend to go with this. Mainly - KIDS FRIENDLY.



Number of serving: 2-3
Ingredients:
Carrot - 2
Bell peppers - 1 cup (mixed colors)
Onion - 1
Spring onions (optional)
Jalapeno (de-seeded) - 1
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Olive oil (I used only olive oil)
Fresh ground pepper
Salt

To temper:
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cloves - 2
Elaichi - 1



Procedure:

  • Wash the basmati rice once and cook it along with water to grains. Keep aside
  • In a kadai/wok, heat olive oil and add items to temper. Then add onions, jalapenos and saute well
  • Add the vegetables and saute well. Add salt and ground pepper (go easy on the pepper for kids) and spring onions
  • Now mix the rice with vegetables. Fried rice is ready!
We had this with spicy egg gravy.

Linking this to "Healthy foods for healthy kids : toddlers" hosted at Enveetu Kitchen and started by Nithu's Kitchen. 



Thursday, May 17, 2012

NYC blushable creme stick - Day 13

Okay, now I know you might be wondering why the title has suddenly diverged from cooking topics. Let me explain first before abruptly telling you about the product...  If you are not interested in the story.. skip to the pic.

The world of blogging opened up a bunch of pretty things to me. Originally I started blogging to keep myself occupied on dependent visa( believe me, I even had a separate blog under that name!) But later, it turned out to be a good hobby. I started blogging about cooking. A little more than a year ago (just after I had my kid) I took a long break from blogging.. well basically I wasn't cooking anything :) Just enjoying.

During that time I got to know about the pretty things I mentioned earlier.. like crochet, knitting, jewelry making, makeup, etc. After a year and a half or so of researching, reading reviews, experimenting, etc, now I feel confident about writing about all that stuff.

So, Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in this category. Its simply my opinion/view on/of the product. With all products purchased by me. Just letting you all know what I learnt basically.

Done with all the blabbing... to the post now!

Some time back I was reading a lot of rave reviews for this product called NYC blushable creme stick. The reason being its price and the quality that this delivers given the price($3.99).  So, I started looking for it. This brand is available in walmart, target. But I couldn't find it. Later I came to know that it has been discontinued.



But recently I spotted this at Sears (outlet). Grabbed a couple of it right away. But its been seen at Dollar tree's now I believe. My local dollar tree din't have it.

So if you want a good cream blush that is totally affordable go for it in sears or dollar tree.

The shade I got for myself was Mauvin' Uptown. I think it'll go well with my NC 43-44 skin tone. Here are the swatches.

Swatch - right, Blended - left


Excuse me if the pics aren't good enough - first attempt :)

Can't comment on staying power and stuff since I haven't used it yet. Another blush I'm terribly excited about is NYX cream blush in orange :).. waiting for its arrival. Once it is here, will swatch it too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Won a giveaway @ Nithu's :)) - Day 12

I'm very elated on winning the pearl earring giveaway @ Nithu's kitchen. Mainly because it makes me feel good about coming back to blogging world after a looooong long break.

Thank you Nithu!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chocolate cake - Day 11

Okay.. I've been wanting to make this cake for a long time. It looked so yummy, moist and delicious at Foodlyrics that I had to try it!

Bookmarked it long ago.. but got the opportunity to bake it recently - for my husband's Bday. It turned out so well. We topped it off with vanilla ice cream and it was divine.



Ingredients:
Maida - 1 3/4cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 2 tsp
Baking powder -1 tsp
Cocoa  powder - 3/4 cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Freshly brewed coffee decoction - 3/4 cup

(The original recipe said mixing instant coffee powder in boiling water.Check here. Since I din't have instant powder I brewed it fresh)



Procedure:

  • Pre-heat the oven at 350 F
  • In a large bowl sift maida, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt together twice and keep aside
  • In another bowl beat the eggs,buttermilk, coffee, oil, sugar and vanilla essence until the sugar melts. I did this with hand mixer on low
  • Add flour mixture to this and beat
  • Transfer this to the pan and bake for 35-40 min
  • Cool the cake completely before removing from pan
Linking this to Mharo Rajasthan's Bookmarked recipes. Again.. this was bookmarked from Foodlyrics




Monday, May 14, 2012

Cauliflower, carrot n potato masala - Day 10

There is a chettinad dish called perattal or masala that involves making a paste of coconut, khus khus, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and red chillis for the same combination of vegetables. (Will do a post on that some time). This dish is inspired from the perattal but minus the paste and adding ginger garlic paste instead. Learnt the trick from my friend.

The reasons for going for this instead of the paste is to avoid coconut. For us it gives the feeling of having perattal. It is a very good way to finish up left over vegetables.



Number of serving - 2
Ingredients:
Cauliflower - 1 cup
Potato - 1
Carrot - 1
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Fresh ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp (look here to make the paste without mixie/blender)
Red chilli powder - 1 spoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt

To temper:
Cumin seeds
Fennel seeds
Pepper

Procedure:

  • Heat oil in a kadai and splutter the items to temper. Then add chopped onions with ginger garlic paste and saute. Add turmeic powder
  • Add tomato and saute
  • Add all the vegetables and saute for a minute. Add salt, red chilli powder and little water and let it cook well.
Note: 
  • You can add beetroot to make this colorful. 
  • You can microwave the vegetables before hand to cook even faster.
  • You can vary the vegetable portion sizes as you want. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy mother's day!!! - Day 9

Celebrating the one person without whom no one can be were they are now!

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY :)))







Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jewelry making - Day 8

Since its a Saturday I din't want to do a long post on cooking, recipe, etc.

Here's the recent necklace I made. Its very similar to the one I did before. With only one difference - I've used ring type spacers for this one as compared to rod type spacers in the last one.






Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Aloo chapathi - Day 7

Its been a week of blogging now... seriously, this is getting the best of me. Keeping me occupied with a thought always. I like it :)

Coming to today's dish, yet another quick fix with chapathi 's - kids friendly and adult's craving aloo chapathi. If your kid is one of those who doesn't need a side dish (like mine) this is for you.



Number of servings - 2 chapathis
Ingredients:
Chapathi dough

Stuffing:
Aloo - 1/2
Red chilli powder - a couple of pinches
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Lemon
Salt



Procedure:

  • Boil the potato, peel and mash it
  • Add all the other ingredients of the stuffing (lemon adds a nice light tangy taste!)
  • Pinch out balls from the chapathi dough. Flatten it a little with a rolling pin and keep a small ball of stuffing in and close all the sides. (it does stick together).
  • Flatten out the stuffed chapathi with rolling pin.. if you see the aloo peeping out and making it sticky, just add dry flour to that area and keep flattening and make chapathi's as you always do!
Linking this to "Show me your Hits : Iron rich foods" hosted for the month at Julie's and started at Spicy treats.






Thursday, May 10, 2012

FRESH Ginger & garlic paste without blender/mixie - Day 6

This is an instant quick fix for make ginger garlic paste that we often use to increase the flavor of the dish. Since I found this method I've stopped using mixie/blender for the past 2 years. This is fresh, quick and absolutely saves a trip to the blender :)



I got this shredder at IKEA. But I've seen it in all other stores too. I just use this shredder to shred the ginger and garlic. Its super fine and makes a good paste.



Few pieces stay as tiny strands that is so small that it really increases the flavor even more than the traditional paste made in blender.

When you have sore throat an effective remedy is to mix lemon, honey and ginger in hot water and drink. I just use this way to instantly squeeze ginger juice freshly.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

I would like to link this to "EP series - herbs & spices" event hosted @ Prabha's cooking started by Julie.




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick fix paneer dosa - Day 5

Don't we all want our kids to be, if not chubby.. at least to have a weight that balances the energy spent??

Well, its no new news that kids don't gobble up everything given to them. This is a real quick fix to add something wholesome and fat-some to the dinner plate. Well.. since this was the first time the kid liked it.. I'm pretty sure that is not going to be the case if this re-appears within a week..... or two.

I liked it too :)



Number of serving - filling for 2 dosai-s
Ingredients:
Paneer - 1/4 cup shredded
Chaat powder - a couple of pinches
Coriander leaves
Salt

Dosai batter

Trying to get a shot of the paneer from side ways - no luck 

Procedure:

  • Shred the paneer and mix it up with the chaat powder, salt and finely minced coriander leaves.
  • Well, make the dosai and after its roasted one side keep the paneer filling and fold it and let is be in the tawa for few seconds on both sides of the fold.
Paneer dosai is ready!!

Can you see the coriander leaves? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Green apple & cucumber raita - Day 4

This raita is my favorite. The tangy taste of green apple combined with yoghurt gives a unique taste. You can also do the same with just green apple too.. kids will love it too!



Number of serving - 2 -3
Ingredients:
Green apple - 1/2
Big cucumber - 1/2
Youghurt - 1 cup
Green chilli - 1
Freshly ground pepper
Salt

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Jeera (Cumin seeds)

Procedure:

  • Well there really is only one step - chop the cucumber and apple and mix everything together and add the items to temper after spluttering in oil.
I've never tried it with red apples as they are very sweet. But if you do tell me how it is :)

Linking this to Radhika's  "Let's cook with fruits" event