White Beans, Ham & Bacon Skillet

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Our Eating Habits.  Jamie has an awesome blog with plenty of great food to choose from. I thoroughly enjoyed looking all she had shared. I settled on her White Beans with Ham.  

It really is the perfect dinner for me.  We always have ham in the house. It is the one meat that they boys will actually eat so it's a staple in the fridge.  I also always have beans.  I'm obsessed with beans and practically devote an entire cupboard just to beans.  No joke. 

This was a very quick but completely delicious meal. Jamie served hers with cornbread which sounded awesome but I wasn't about to turn the oven on in 95 degree heat!  So I ate mine with gluten free chips.  The only change I made was to add some minced bacon.  I keep a bag of real minced bacon in the freezer.  When cooking the ham, I decided to add a couple of tablespoons of the minced bacon, just to amp up the flavor a bit.  It was delicious and I know I'll be having it again!

White Beans, Ham & Bacon Skillet Recipe
Adapted from Our Eating Habits

1 tbsp butter1 tbsp. bacon grease (or just more butter)
1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked ham
2 tbsp. chopped bacon
1 cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves. minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (I didn't have this)
2 cans Great Northern Beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1. Melt butter and bacon grease in large skillet, add onions, ham, bacon and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes until onion is tender.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients plus 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring it once in a while. Taste and season as desired.

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Pan Asian, ITC Grand Chola

I was looking forward to the day like a child anticipating a special gift. The day was going to be packed, that much I knew! The afternoon to 8pm was spent cheering CSK on at the Chepauk stadium as they beat KKR in the IPL 6 tournament and then came the special event of the day. I was heading over to friend’s house, to shower change and head off to ITC Grand Chola for a dinner at Pan Asian. It was courtesy a twitter contest I had won earlier the week. And since I was told I could bring a friend along, i chose A.  She was ready by the time I made it to her apartment, and it was nearly 8.30pm. A quick shower and I was ready.

We reached ITC Grand Chola close to 9.15 and we were welcomed by their Marketing Manager. The last time I was here was in Dec when I had enjoyed a one night two day stay and a relaxed lunch with another friend of mine. This time I was indulging in a new restaurant that had just opened up- The Pan Asian. But before we were taken there, we were given a tour of the place, including the recently launched Royal Vega, the pure vegetarian restaurant on the 1stfloor.

The restaurant is ROYAL, true to its name. There are tables set up according to themes and one of them had plates with covers that were heavy, and I mean heavy. They were embellished with stones and what not. There was a secluded room that was ideal for a small family gathering, and it was beautiful. There was a mannequin decked up in traditional attire. The beauty was that the room could be split into two, to host two small groups.
Anyways, before I wander off all over the place, we made our way towards Pan Asian. The restaurant sports a narrow passage way entry and you go around the bend to see the entire space. It was huge, not a huge square but a long space. We were seated in one end of the room, near the bar and the sushi counter. I wandered over to see the display which showcased different kinds of mushrooms, cucumbers, and other meat that were used to make sushi.

We were seated, and the Chef came over to introduce himself and gave a sneak peek into the menu at Pan Asian. The entire menu card could take days to read and decipher, but what I liked about it were the birds that adorned the pages, all of which were from the Oriental region of the world. The restaurant sported dishes from these regions as well- Thai, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and so on. Most of the dishes names seemed Chinese and Japanese to us, and so we requested the staff who was serving us to help us decide.

First up was the amuse-bouche - a sampler of sorts. It was a longish plate with 3 distinct items in it a small piece of tofu with a pickled carrot slice, a pickled slice of radish and a slice of white radish with a dollop of avocado cream on top. While we took in the surroundings, the music and the décor, our soups and starters arrived.  I had chosen to try the familiar Tom Yum Soup, but this was nothing like what I’d had earlier. A deep bowl with the vegetables arrived, and then a tea pot of sorts was brought forward from which the broth was poured from. The soup was delicious, subtle and flavourful. Then came our starters. My friend had ordered for sushi while I wanted to try a dim sum. A cane steamer arrived on the table and within it sat cute looking pumpkin like dimsums. Even though these turned out to be pumpkin dimsums with custard filling [almost a dessert] I loved them. Only thing that had me puzzled was the texture, it was quite sticky.

Between courses there was a bit of a breather, allowing us to enjoy the surroundings and the ambiance. The décor is very retro, with concrete brick walls, and simple light fixtures. For the main course we were recommended the fried noodle basket with a Chinese stir fried vegetables and a pineapple spicy thai rice to go with it. Yes, I know, I have forgotten the names of the dishes. We polished them off with delight. And we pretty soon eager to see what was in store for dessert.

I chose the Green tea cheese cake while my friend chose a chocolate dessert. Both of these arrived in style, the plating was beautiful. we dint have the heart to cut into our dessert and spoil the whole plating.  It was colourful, and the desserts were quite large in portion size.  We chit chatted a bit longer with the staff before bidding adieu. We were happy, content. Not only did we get to enjoy some amazing dishes, but it was an evening worth remembering. More so since my friend was soon moving away, out of the city.

ITC Grand Chola is more than just rooms and food, it is an experience! I have been back here multiple times, with friends and for events, and every time has been a memorable one!

A meal for two here would cost around Rs 2000 to Rs 3000/-

ITC Grand Chola
#63, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai,TN,600032
Ph- 044 2220 0000

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Green Your Beauty, Beauty Foodie Attitude

Here are some advice of Jolene to adopt the "beauty foodie" attitude from now on:

"the beige, it is wrong": the famous quote of the Dr. Jeannette Graf, the doctor and dermatologist. In the same way as the beige can not work in mode, any "beige" food (industrial bread, cereals) is devoid of nutriments and is indigestible by our digestive tract, what makes it tired. Complete cereals are weak alternative in grease and rich in nutriments and in fibres.Do not make the dead end on the green. They are forgotten or they avoid them, and however green vegetables (spinaches, parsley, vegetables with leaves, bettes) balance the pH of our body, and are rich iron. A tendency came into the world to take more pleasure to get its daily dose of "Greens" with the fashion of smoothies and other natural green juices.To us bays. Besides being sweetened and delightful, especially in this epoch of the year, bays (blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants) is rich in oxidizers and in vitamin C and them favour the production of collagen.Nice proteins. Fish, poultry, nuts and almonds are packed with nutriments true booster rockets of collagen and of keratin, for nails and nice and strong hair.It' s (Green) tee time! Its beneficial effects on health are known to all, the green tea is also a powerful bulwark against wrinkles.Detoxez-moi... Instead of rushing on the cup of coffee of morning, why rather not starting its day with a glass of hot water with a bit of lemon? This brew will awaken your digestive enzymes, detoxera your digestive tract and favours the brightness of the skin.and away with the stress! Stress ages the skin prematurely and favours weight gain.protect your skin from within. Red and orange ailments (beta-carotene and vitamin A) are good for your health and protect your skin of damage caused by radiance UV. There is too much exposure to the sun? Fill your plate of tomatoes, carrots, with melon with at least 2 weeks before your arrival on the beach (or swimming pool, terrace etc). And do not make the dead end on the sun-protection cream!

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ReThink Varicose Veins & Music Giveaway

Ok, we're taking a little detour away from food today.  I recently was privileged to be able to attend a meeting with Summer Sanders. She is a U.S. Olympic Gold medalist, TV correspondent, blogger and a busy mom of two. Summer was the most decorated swimmer at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, winning two Gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

Summer shared her amazing story with us.
 "As a life-long athlete and Olympic swimmer, I NEVER thought a condition like varicose veins would affect ME…”

Summer never thought that varicose veins would be an issue for her. She assumed her training as an Olympian and her health-consciousness would make her exempt from getting varicose veins. Summer inherited her veins from her mom!

In February of 2012, Summer was on her feet for two days at Disney Land.  That’s when she realized she couldn’t live with the leg pain she was trying to tolerate.  Just a couple weeks later, Summer had a minimally-invasive treatment. The procedure took 45 minutes and to her surprise, was easy and simple! She walked out of the procedure and right back into her normal routine.

Summer pointed out that there are underlying issues for vein diseases and it is so important to realize that it’s not just a cosmetic issue. She is passionate about the issue and committed to spreading the word to people with vein disease that they don’t have to live that way!

What are Varicose Veins?
More than 30 million people suffer from Varicose Veins
Less than 10% of these sufferers seek medical diagnosis and treatment.
Varicose veins occur when the valves in the leg veins no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs.

The Connection Between Varicose Veins and CVI

Varicose veins are one of the first signs of CVI
If left untreated, CVI can progress to worsening stages over time
Common CVI symptoms include:

Pain, aching and heaviness
Swelling of the legs
Restlessness and fatigue of the legs
Skin damage

Who's At Risk?

Prolonged Standing
Excess Weight
Age, 50 +
Family History
Women are 2 - 3 times more likely than men to develop varicose veins, primarily due to pregnancy

Spa Trip Anyone?

Take the short assessment quiz that takes no more than a minute and automatically be entered to win an all=expense paid trip for two to the Escape with MORE Magazine event at Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa in Tucson (November 14 - 17)

During this exclusive, 4-day girl's getaway, the winner and a friend will be pampered with daily spa treatments and yoga and meditation classes and can participate in a health and wellnell seminar led by MORE editors and special guest speakers.

What Can You Do? Giveaway!

I have 10 free music download cards that I am giving away to those who help spread the word about varicose veins.

Follow ReThink Varicose Veins on Facebook and Twitter (@RethinkVaricose and @SummerSanders)to get the latest campaign news.

Leave a comment here and let me know that you've helped spread the word.

Twitter Party!!!

Come join Summer Sanders and other bloggers for a twitter party tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. 

#Rethink Varicose Twitter Party Details

WhatMore than 30 million Americans suffer from varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).*,**

Because there is a prevailing misconception that varicose veins are a cosmetic issue, only 10 percent of people who suffer from vein disease actually seek treatment.*** That's why we're getting together to share knowledge and break myths about this common, yet serious condition!

Rethink Varicose Veins is a campaign that encourages individuals to think differently about varicose veins and understand that if left untreated, they can progress to a more serious form of venous disease known as CVI. 

Summer Sanders, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, television correspondent, blogger and busy mother-of-two will be sharing her personal experience with vein disease, how she treated the condition head-on and her role in the Rethink Varicose Veins campaign. 

Join this party to learn about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of varicose veins and CVI and latest minimally-invasive treatment options available. 

Trivia questions will be asked throughout the Twitter Party and five lucky winners who answer the questions correctly will receive a $50 VISA gift card from The Motherhood.
When: Thursday, July 18 at 2 p.m. ET (the party will last one hour)

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #RethinkVaricose hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite: 

Hashtag: #RethinkVaricose

Prizes: We will be giving away five $50 VISA gift cards

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann and @SummerSanders_

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Daal Makhani Courtesy GITS

I went over to my grandparents place after about a week and noticed a package sitting on the side shelf where post is normally kept. It had my name on it and seemed to be a box of sorts. When i opened it, I discovered a big blue box that said "Ready to eat" Dal Makhani & Biryani from GITS. I had no clues where it was from, a mystery which still has me wondering. I did find a note inside from FBAI saying this was a review box and they had found me amidst the blogging community. 

There was a box of Dal Makhani which looked very tempting. Ever since I began living on my own, I have been creating one pot meals - salads, soup, pulao, pasta etc. But the minute I saw this box, I pulled out the packed of dosa batter I had in the fridge and decided my dinner. Dosa with Dal Makhani. 

I made 2 dosas and kept them aside
In a pan, I added a drop of oil and 2 tbsp of Dal Makhani and heated it up . 
Voila, dinner was ready.

The Dal Makhani was good, it was thick rich and yet not heavy [not loaded with butter/cream/etc]. I managed to use the packet over 4days, for brown rice, roti and 1 more round with dosa. Now, am curious to try the Biryani. 

One packet of Dal Makhani is priced at Rs 59/- For someone like me who enjoys the occasional Dal Makhani, but is too lazy to soak, boil, cook and eat, this is a good alternative!! 
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Cake Recipe With Chocolate Flavor

Cooking has never been this easier with the introduction of the Internet. At first I thought that baking cakes was something that was hard and would take my whole day. This was short-lived as a friend of mine informed me that she was simply using the Internet to bake cakes for her family. This surprised me a lot since she was simply searching for a recipe that she thought she could manage. Once this was done, her work was simply to rush to the stores and find the ingredients that were recommended in the cake recipe that she was about to use. I thought over this and I knew it was time to try out my cooking skills. I tried this twice and the best recipe that I found to be easy was the chocolate one. I am quite certain that by following my way of cooking you would definitely prepare something that your family would enjoy. Below is how I cook my chocolate cake:

Ingredients of the cake recipe

1½ serving of butter - softenedSugar- 1¼ spoonfuls of sugarEggs - (number will vary)All-purpose flour - 2 cupsUnsweetened cocoa - 2 cupsBaking powder - 2 spoonfulsOne and a quarter servings of baking soda1½ spoonful of vanilla¾ cup of milk - buttermilk

Filling ingredients:

Pie fillings of cherry - 2 servings3-4 servings of cream that is chilled2 cups of confectioner's sugarMilk chocolate (shaved) - will help in garnishing the baked cake

Cooking tips and procedure for your cake recipe:

The first procedure of this cake recipe is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit [should be done before you even start preparing your ingredients].

Using a non-sticking paper, you should line your cake pan to ensure that the cake does not stick on the sides of the pan.

Allow the butter that has been mixed with sugar to soften before you beat it using an electric mixer. Add the eggs to the mixture but make sure that you add an egg at a time as you mix well before adding another egg. You then need to add sifted flour, baking powder, buttermilk, cocoa, baking soda as you stir well to ensure that no lumps are formed. Once your oven has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit, as mentioned earlier, slowly add the batter into the pan and allow it to bake till there is a middle set. Ensure that the bake time is about 40-45 minutes. Use a tooth pick to determine if it is ready or not. If it comes out with some crumbs in it then you will still need to place your cake in the oven for a few more minutes.


The best way to serve is when it is cold. Cut it into three or four layers for easy storage if the cake is big enough. This will ensure convenience in keeping it in a refrigerator.

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Vijaya Forum Mall- The Food Court - Squeeze

After gorging on yummy food from Sbarro, Sammy Sosa and Moti Mahal Delux, we were all set to wind up for the evening when suddenly 2 glasses of chocolate milkshake appeared out of nowhere. It was from Squeeze juice bar [they also have outlets in Ampa Skywalk]. The drink looked thick and tempting, so we gave in and had a sip each. It was thick, creamy, rich and filled with chocolate flavour. I have had milkshakes and hot chocolates in many places, but this one was divine. The outlet also offers a variety of juices and shakes, and small eats as well. 

The Squeeze Juice bar is situated right in the middle of the food court, near the entrance... And well, with this we bid adieu to the food court and decided to walk off some of the calories we had consumed before heading back home!!  Oh, and just as I stepped out of the mall it stated to drizzle which turned into a downpour. What a beautiful evening it had been. 

Vijaya Forum Mall
183 NSK Salai, Arcot Road | Vadapalani, Chennai 600026
Right next to Green park and Vijaya Hospital

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 
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Vijaya Forum Mall- The Food Court - Moti Mahal Delux

You thought we were done? No way... 

1st was Sbarro and then came Sammy Sosa, and then we attacked Moti Mahal Delux. I have eaten at the outlet in Nungambakkam and so was familiar with their menu and food. Therefore it came as no surprise that the food here was excellent as well. 

The first plate that landed on the table was... yes, you guessed it right- Achari Paneer, and it melted in our mouths. Their paneer is exquisite, like no other I have ever had. This one was a tad spicy and so I had to request for some water. The non veggies got the Tandoori Chicken which they dug into. before we were done with these, the main dishes arrived. The tray was overflowing with plates. It had a plate with Naan/Lachcha parantha and 2 side dishes- one was Butter Chicken and other was Paneer Tikka Masala. 

As always, the naan being hot was easy to tear and eat, otherwise it does get a bit chewy. The gravy was good, not too rich not too oily. Oh and how can we leave without trying their infamous desserts. The minute I mentioned Paan ice cream wee saw 4 cups of ice cream float onto the table. I requested for Kulfi since I dont like Paan ice cream and voila, there was a plate with a kulfi cut into neat pieces. 

The food here speaks for itself and needs no jazz.. I just pray they maintain the quality and keep serving up such yummy treats. Woah, we were stuffed. But there was just one more item waiting.... 

Vijaya Forum Mall
183 NSK Salai, Arcot Road | Vadapalani, Chennai 600026
Right next to Green park and Vijaya Hospital

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 

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Vijaya Forum Mall- The Food Court - Sammy Sosa

After sampling the pizzas and garlic bread from Sbarro, next up was Sammy Sosa. The tag line in the stall said "Chennai gets its own Mexico".I wondered how different the place would be when compared to Don Pepe. It was very different and I must say I liked the flavours. We tried the Mexi Skins and Fajitas aztec style. 

The Mexi skins were potatos with the skin on, stuffed with vegetables topped with cheese. It was served alongside curd and a salsa. We couldn't get enough of it. It was amazing, and best eaten hot. As for the Fajitas, it was served on a bed of rice that had been cooked with refried beans and had salsa on top. The fajitas were like khatti rolls, tortillas stuffed with sauted veggie filling. One plate of this and you are sure to feel full.

Apart from these two dishes, the place offers quite an array of dishes, ranging from Soups, Nachos to Pizza, Virgin Margarita and chocolate desserts.

Vijaya Forum Mall
183 NSK Salai, Arcot Road | Vadapalani, Chennai 600026
Right next to Green park and Vijaya Hospital

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 
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Vijaya Forum Mall- The Food Court - Sbarro

This was my 2nd or 3rd visit to Vijaya Forum mall, and 2nd visit to the Food court. The 1st time I was here with a friend and her son, we headed straight to Sbarro grabbed a few pizza slices and were on our way.  But this time, I was here to explore more than just this outlet, to see what more was in store in the Food court. I spotted ID, Moti Mahal Delux, Sammysosa, Kailash Parbhat and few other outlets. 

The 1st place to try was once again Sbarro. But this time, the pizza was hot and the crust was super thin and crisp. I tried the veggie feast slice while the boys dug into the super spicy Chicken Keema pizza. It was a good pizza, not soggy, not overloaded with tomato sauce. 

Apart from the pizza slices, we were also given two kinds of garlic breads. One was mini garlic rolls which resembled croissants and the other one was Garlic bread, long soft melt in the mouth bread. It was served with a different kind of tomato sauce, that was cooked with herbs and spices. 

The veg pizza slices are priced between Rs120 and Rs135 while non veg goes upto Rs170. They also serve pasta and soft drinks. So, if you are not ravenous and looking for a good option, then Sbarro is where you should head. 

Wait, this is not all we sampled. We also got to try food from other outlets... keep watching this space to read about them...

Vijaya Forum Mall
183 NSK Salai, Arcot Road | Vadapalani, Chennai 600026
Right next to Green park and Vijaya Hospital

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 
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[Recipe] Tawa pulao

Last evening while out walking, suddenly it hit me.. I knew what I was going to make for lunch today [monday]. I quickly walked across towards More supermarket and bought what I needed. I had seen and tasted this dish at Spoonbill when Kamalika made it, so there was no confusion on the process. What was I making? Tawa Pulao ofcourse :D

Here is what you need:-
1 cup Rice 1 tbsp – Oil 1/2 tsp – Cumin seeds 1/4 Onion chopped 1 Garlic pod 1 cup Mixed vegetables - Yellow capsicum, red capsicum, baby corn - all chopped into chunks 2 tsp – Pav bhaji masala 1/2tsp - curry powder Salt- to taste Mint leaves/coriander leaves Water to cook the rice and boil baby corn
Other Options for vegetables: Peas, cauliflower, paneer, and just about anything you can think of.

The process:
1. Take a pressure cooker and cook the rice [1cup rice =3 cups water- 4 whistles]- turn off stove and set aside I placed the baby corn in a plate along with the rice and cooked it. 2. In a pan, add oil, jeera, garlic and onion. Once sauted, add remaining vegetables and the masala powder & curry powder. Let it cook till the raw smell of masala goes away. Add required amount of salt and let it cook. 3. Add the cooked baby corn to this and saute for a minute. Now add the rice and spread it amidst the veg mix and cook for 2-3 minutes till it evenly mixes.
Voila.. Serve with curd, pappad or onion raita. I had it with boiled beetroot and curd.

PS: Am using pictures taken at Spoonbill because today I forgot to take pictures as hunger had taken over my brain.. :-)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Serves: 2
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Preparing a Delicious Strawberry Pie

There are many things to be considered when you make a pie. First of all, make sure that all the ingredients are cold. The butter should be cubed and it is best if you could chill the flour before you make the pie. Use ice water while you prepare the pie crust. If you use warm ingredients, the result will be a tough tart crust. This is a step that should not be ignored. Plus whenever you use fruit, make sure that it is well ripened. You can make a nice flavorful pie, if you use the fruits that are seasonal, especially when you are making a strawberry pie. Listed below are two different ways you could prepare the strawberry pie.

Recipe 1

Ingredients required for this strawberry tart are:

Baked pie crust of 9 inch - 1Fresh strawberries - 1 quartWhite sugar - 1 cCornstarch - 3 spoonsWater - ¾ cHeavy whipping cream - ½ c

Preparation: In a pastry shell, arrange half of the strawberries. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar with berries after mashing it. Over medium heat, place the saucepan and bring it to a boil while stirring frequently. Whisk together water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Into the boiling strawberry mixture, slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture till it thickens for about 10 minutes while you stir continuously. In the pastry shell, over the berries, pour the mixture. Before serving, chill the strawberry pie for several hours. Whip cream in a small bowl and serve this pie along with the whipped cream.

Recipe 2

Ingredients required for this strawberry tart are:

Roll-out pie crust - 2 sheetsMelted butter - 2 spoonsFor topping the crust, white sanding sugarWashed and hulled strawberries - 5 cGranulated sugar - ½ cCornstarch - 3 spoonsA pinch of salt

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. First you have to roll out the pie crust and place it in a plate of 9 inch size and crimp the edges so that it gives the presentation a pretty look. Cut the second sheet after rolling it out into ½ inch thick strips using a pastry wheel or knife. Mix together all the ingredients for filling in a medium bowl and pour them into the pie crust. In a lattice pattern, arrange the strips over the pie top, tucking in the edges. Using melted butter, brush the top and sprinkle the sanding sugar. For 25 minutes, bakes the strawberry pie and then lower the temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake for another half an hour or till the top turns golden brown in color. Allow it to cool before you serve it along with strawberry whipped cream.

Strawberry whipped cream:


Whipping cream - ¾ cVanilla extract - ½ tspConfectioners' sugar - 2 spoonsStrawberry jam - ¼ c

Preparation: In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream till it thickens. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat. Add jam and beat till firm peaks are formed.

If you want to learn some new and interesting strawberry pie(or as it's known in Denmark jordb?rt?rte ) recipes, then I can recommend you to take advantage from some of the best in this branche, that you can find at Isabellas place .
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I am really not good at making cookies.  I don't own a cookie scoop so they are always misshaped.  I also tend to get distracted and miss the timer and end up burning at least one batch. Every time, no joke. 

This Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie is the best solution.  It is much simpler and you still get all that great cookie taste. I was impressed how quick it came together.  The only hard part was waiting for it to cool.  The consistency is better if you wait, so be patient. 
Oh yea, and the vanilla ice cream rocked this dessert.  I'm glad I have another pie crust in the freezer.  I'll be making this again for sure.  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Adapted from Eats Well With Others
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust, you can make your own or used a prepared one.

Place dough into a pie plate and stick in  the refrigerator while making the rest of the pie.
Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together the eggs until foamy. Stir in the flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and whisk until combined. Stir in the melted butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract and mix well.
Stir in the chocolate chips, walnuts and oats. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until just set in the center. Let cool 1 hour before cutting and serving.

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Egg Salad Sandwiches

My favorite scene in Lilo & Stick is where Lilo declares that it is "sandwich day".  We've watched that so many times, we have the whole scene memorized.  In the movie, Thursday is sandwich day.  Around our house? Everyday is sandwich day. 
We eat a lot of sandwiches.
I make 2 sandwiches every morning for my husband for lunch to eat at work. I've asked him if he wants a salad, a wrap or something hot to microwave.  Nope, he's good with sandwiches.
I do like to try to mix it up for him a bit. So about once a week I've been making egg salad. I make it different ways but I think that this is his favorite though.
But of course there is the dilemma over Miracle Whip over Mayonnaise. He swears by Miracle Whip but I am a mayo chick all the way.  He eats way more of it than I do so he usually wins. 
How do you like your egg salad?

Egg Salad Sandwiches

6 large eggs, hard boiled, cooled and chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped finely
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped finely
3 tbsp. mayo (or miracle whip if you must)
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Dash or two of paprika
Bread, optional

Mix the eggs, celery, red pepper and mayo together.  Add the celery salt, pepper and paprika.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Make sandwiches with lettuce and enjoy.

Optional mix ins: Chives, sliced green onions, tomato, or cucumber. I've done all of these at different times and they are all good.

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[Recipe] Quick Fix Pasta

I had been busy cleaning up the house, and other chores that it completely slipped my mind that I had to cook lunch. Only when I was talking to a friend who mentioned she was just winding up lunch did it hit me.  Walked into the kitchen knowing I had only a few items there..

An idea formed in my head and within 25 mins Lunch was ready. What did I make? A Quick fix pasta with the ingredients in my cupboards.

Pasta - penne- 1 cup
Garlic- 1 pod crushed
Cabbage- few leaves finely chopped
Beans- cut lengthwise [1 inch long pieces]
Capsicum- 1/4- finely chopped
Baby corn- 3- finely chopped
Almonds or walnuts- 4 to 5 chopped up
Pesto sauce- 1 tsp
Sundried tomatoes- 1
Olive oil- 2tsp
Cheese- 1 small piece
Salt- to taste

The process:
In a pan, add enough water, a pinch of salt, a tsp of oil and allow pasta to cook  [al dente]. I went ahead and added the baby corn to this water to allow it to cook well [you can cook it separately]. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it out , saving 1 tbsp of the water.

In another pan I added 1 tsp of olive oil, the garlic and other vegetables, allowing them to saute for a few minutes. To this I added the pesto sauce, almonds, sun dried tomato and salt. Add the water [in which you boiled the pasta]  and finally sprinkle the grated cheese and serve hot..

It tasted good, even if I do say so myself...

Serving portion - 1
Cooking time- 20mins
Prepping time- 10mins

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Moti Mahal Delux, Chennai

This was my 2nd or 3rd visit to the restaurant and I have always enjoyed the experience. As you walk/drive down the road next to Signoraa on Nungambakkam high Road, you will find Moti Mahal Delux on your left. I vaguely recall there being a furniture store on the ground, but now Sam's pizza is located there. Anyways, you take the staircase beside the restaurant to reach Moti Mahal. For those who are lazy or old or cant climb stairs, there is an elevator as well :D 

As you walk in, the dark wood interiors greet you, showing off the large seating area and the private dining area on the extreme left. There is the kitchen at the end of the hall, and seating area has been divided into sections. There are eclectic art work on the walls, which Maaria mentioned were done by a lady she knows- they were traditional paintings overlapped with digital imaging. 

We settled in the private area as we were 10+ in number and my eyes went straight to the water canister on the table. It was purple and very Mediterranean. I had seen it in several stores, but not bought one.  Anyways, chit chat around the table brought me back to reality. We were served lemon iced tea to start off the evening and a huge bowl of salad was placed in the center of the table. The iced tea was passe, I went ahead and ordered my saviour drink- Fresh lime soda salt, while many others followed suit with their drink orders. 

Having eaten here before, I knew their paneer was as tender as it can get and the daal makhani was to die for. We were served Paneer tikka, veg seek kebabs with mint chutney and the non vegetarians got their share of the meat to keep em smiling away. The paneer as mentioned was just divine, melt in your mouth and the kebabs were soft and good. 

Little bit about Moti Mahal Delux.... 
"The original Moti Mahal Delux restaurant was founded in 1975s by Sh. Amrit Lal Kohli in the tony Greater Kailash and South Extension regions of south Delhi. The restaurant has since become the most popular Mughal food destination, attracting guests and publicity from all over the country. Over the years, Moti Mahal Delux has achived numerous accolades and awards for its one-of-a-kind Mughlai fine dining restaurant. Many of the recipes are family recipes, handed down through generations, with the entrees served with innovative appetizers"[Source: Motimahaldelux]

Now that you are a tad enlightened, let us move on to the main course, shall we? The staff brought out a huge plate and we were all curious to know what it held. There were 4-5 different kinds of  Indian breads on it, am referring to Roti- there was a plain naan, pudina paratha, chilli roti, makki ki roti and few others as well. They were quite good in terms of flavour, but as always the naan and roti need to be had hot, else it becomes dry and chewy... They were served alongside 3 vegetarian gravies- Daal Makhani, Vegetable gravy and paneer korma [forgotten their names, pardone moi]. Each one had a rich texture and flavour. It was quite yumm and filling. 

 Within minutes I noticed nearly all from the table make a dash for the table placed on the side, realised they were all there clicking pictures of the Biryani. I waited for the crowd to settle down before sneaking over and taking a shot. It was indeed Biryani served in a mud pot. Looked good alongside the raita.

And finally, we were done. Ready for desserts. There was the infamous Paan ice cream, and since I dont eat paan or the ice cream, I opted for the Kulfi which was amazing, delicious and every other adjectice you can think of.

Oh and wait, I was in for a lovely thoughtful surprise as we were leaving.The Manager handed me a bag and said "here is a little something from us, hope you enjoy it".. Any guesses? No? Well, they gave me the purple glass water canister :D

What a fun evening it had been. Moti Mahal is a place you should head to if you are looking for good north Indian fare. Dont miss their Paneer dishes, Daal Makhani and Kulfi...

No 7, Jaganathan Street
Nungambakkam High Road
Chennai- 600032
Ph: 044 4213 7539

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 
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