The Last Day of Winter

Today has been the most extraordinary last day of winter.  The sky was blue, the weather hot and sunny.

One could almost imagine that it was a summer's day, except that the sun was too low in the sky.

After lunch I lay down on the grass in my backyard, shut my eyes and soaked up the delicious sunshine.

What is the weather like in your part of the world?
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Lemon Bars

Lemon bars remind me of my mom.  My mom passed away 31 years ago but I still think of her when I eat lemon bars.  I was very young but I can remember the sweet but tart bars with the slight bite, almost a crunch to the topping.  I've tried to recreate the memories and the bars for many years now.  I don't think that you can really re-create a memory from when you are 11 years old but I've been having fun trying!

I found this recipe and knew I had to try them right away. I loved that there was a gluten free option. These bars are delicious! One of the best lemon bars that I've eaten.  They may not be moms bars but they sure are close!

Sunburst Lemon Bars
Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/3 cup brown rice flour 
1/3 cup tapioca starch 
1/3 cup potato starch 

Filling Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown rice flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more as needed

* If you are not in need of a gluten free recipe, simply substitute regular flour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat until combined. Add the flours and the beat until until the mixture is crumbly. Press the crust into the bottom of a parchment lined or an ungreased 9x13 pan. Parchment paper will make slicing the bars and removing them from the pan much easier. Bake for 25 minutes, until light golden brown.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat with a whisk until combined. Remove the partially baked crust from the oven and pour the filling over it. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and starting to crack around the edges. Let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

In a small bowl, stir or whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add more lemon juice, by just a few drops at a time, until the glaze is a pourable consistency. Spread the glaze over the cooled bars and then let it set for at least half an hour before slicing. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator. Bars can be served cold or returned to room temperature first. Enjoy!

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Jalapeno Cornbread

We make cornbread a lot around here.  My son loves to make those little boxes of Jiffy muffins.  I'm sure he makes a box weekly.  I love cornbread because it's easy to make it gluten free.  There isn't a lot of gluten free bread that I like but I love corn bread.  

Cornbread just seems to go with a lot of meals too.  Chili and cornbread of course is awesome but I make it with plenty of other soups as well.  It also goes well with many other Mexican or southwestern meals.  The kids don't like the jalapenos in it as much as I do but they still eat it.  

What do you eat cornbread with?  

Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil or butter
2 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour, I used gluten free
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

Mix the buttermilk, oil and eggs in a bowl.  Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix the cornmeal mixture into the buttermilk mixture.  Mix minced peppers into the mixture and pour into a 9 x 5 loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 375 for 30 - 40 minutes.

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Quinoa Coated Baked Chicken Parmesan

I love quinoa but don't make it often enough.  I've been looking for different ways to use it. I thought it was a great breading for this chicken.  I was impressed how crispy it became in the oven.  

Not everyone here are so gung ho on quinoa though.  They'll eat it but they are still trying to get used to it. My husband came home from work, looked at the chicken and asked what was on it.  I told him to, "Shut up, and just eat it!" He did and he loved it.  

I already have ideas for how to make different versions of this breading.  Can't wait to try them out!  

What do you like to use quinoa for? 

Quinoa Coated Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used gluten free)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry cooked with 1 cup liquid)
  • 2 teaspoon italian seasoning blend
  • 1 cup mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Marinara sauce

  • Mix cooked quinoa and italian seasoning in a small bowl.  Put flour in a small bowl and eggs in a small bowl. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. dip in flour, dip in egg and coat in the quinoa mixture. Place the chicken on a pan coated with foil and bake at 400 degrees until cooked and lightly golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, top with the cheese and a bit of sauce and broil until it has melted, about 2-4 minutes. Add more sauce while eating if desired. 

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Dutch Apple Pancakes - Pannekoeken

When I was a kid, my dad took us to Pannekoeken Huis.  We'd get dutch pancakes filled with the most delicious toppings.  I remember getting Pannekoekens filled with mixed berries, strawberries and banana cream.  Loaded with tons of whipped cream too!  

Well, there is still one Pannekoeken Huis left here and it happens to be in the same city that my dad lives so we all went there.  It turns out they have a whole bunch of new flavors.  They have a Southwest version, Turkey Divan and my husband ate the Taco Pannekoeken.  The kids had Dutch Apple, Pineapple Upside Down, and Bacon. I tried the Banana Foster Pannekoeken with a fantastic rum sauce.  We even saw a Smore's Pannekoeken as the special of the day.  That sounded good!

Of course, the topic came up that we could try to make these at home.  I started out simple with just apple.  It turned out wonderful!  It was light and fluffy and tasted amazing.  

We ended up making a single batch in the pie plate and then a double batch in a 9 x 13 pan.  There are a lot of us and we needed a lot of food. 

I covered mine with a bit of powdered sugar, the kids used some syrup.  The only thing missing was the whipped cream!

There are so, so many different ways that I could make these.  I look forward to trying out different fruit combinations and maybe even trying a savory one!  

German Apple Pancake Recipe

1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tbsp. butter
1 apple, cored and very thinly sliced
Big dash of cinnamon
About 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  In a small saucepan, combine the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

While the apples are cooking, whisk together the flour, salt and milk.  Add the eggs and whisk again and set aside.

Place 2 tbsp. butter in glass pie plate and melt in oven.

When butter has melted, remove pie dish from oven and turn to coat the bottom and sides with the melted butter.  Add the cooked apples to the butter.  Then pour the pancake mixture over the apples.

Return the pan to the oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees.  Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, the sides of the pancake will rise over the rim of the pie plate and brown slightly.  Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.

You can also double the batch and make it in a 9 x 13 in. pan.

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Chipotle Caramelized Onions

I love onions.  I put them in just about every recipe I make.  If I see a recipe that doesn't have onions, I usually add them.  (ahem, Biz's recipes)

I also seem to be adding chipotle peppers to just about everything.  I love the smokey flavor and of course the heat!

It just seems natural to put the two together.  My kids run when I cut this many onions, it hurts their eyes.  I have contacts and somehow they completely prevent the onions from affecting my eyes.  

You can take the seeds out of the chipotle pepper if you're afraid of the heat but I leave them in.  Funny, it seems like just a little bit of peppers in a whole lot of onions but it really does flavor them plenty!

Don't forget the sauce. This stuff is golden.  Careful about licking your fingers though, the stuff is really spicy!

Be patient. Let these babies cook for at least 45 minutes.  Longer if you can!

You can put these on just about anything!  Tacos, eggs, nachos, sandwiches, you name it! Make plenty and keep them in the refrigerator.  Every time I make them, I always wish I'd made more!

Chipotle Caramelized Onions Recipe

3 large onions, sliced
1 chipotle pepper, diced
Chipotle sauce (I used about 2 tsp.)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup water
Salt and pepper

Add everything to large pan. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 45 - 50 minutes.  Stirring occasionally. Add water if necessary.  

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Nandos, Chennai

I heard of this place when they were about to launch, and there was a lot of talk about the Peri Peri chicken. Since i am a vegetarian, I ignored the thread but the franchise owner insisted they have quite a range of vegetarian fare. After a few weeks, while at Phoenix Mall with friends, we decided to head out to Nandos for lunch, mainly since the friend visiting from abroad wanted some meaty juicy food. We walked in, found a table near the entrance and got comfortable. 

I scanned through the menu, noticed that veg options were all around Paneer. Throwing caution to wind, I chose the Veg Espetada and for sides, i chose the corn on cob since a friend had already chosen the 3 bean salad and other chose the Mexican rice with her chicken breast. My dish arrived in style, it was a tall stand with a skewer and big chunks of paneer on it. The table had a range of Peri Peri sauces, and I had to slather the paneer with some of them to add some flavour. I ate maybe 2 pieces and I was about done.

I wish the waiter had warned me the size of the dish and what it actually was [since it was my 1st time there and I had no clues what to expect]. The sides were delicious- I could eat just the corn and 3 bean salad as a main course and would have been very happy. 

The beverages were good, we ordered 3 different drinks, one common thread being they all had pomegranate syrup/concentrate in them. Paid the bill and walked out not too pleased. 

I guess many places that are famous for non veg food use paneer as the substitute  and this kinda gets my goat! There is so much more than paneer to veg food.,..anyways, if you are a meat eater, then you should head to Nandos and enjoy some of what they offer!! 

I did like the interiors, art work on the wall and service was top notch! 
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Momos and Rain- perfect combo

I stepped out of home and it began to pour, not a gentle drizzle but furious downpour. I was loving it. Began walking further and then landed at the neighborhood vegetable store- Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam. My eyes are always roaming around, observing people and all that is happening around me. I noticed a couple taking shelter near the fruit juice stall from the rain [am sure they were riding a bike and so were going to wait till rain let up], there was another elderly lady struggling with bags when a driver rushed to her side and took the bags and came back with an umbrella. 

Amidst all this is when I spotted the "momo" stall. There was a north eastern looking guy plop on the stool and put his head down like he was tired. Before stepping into the store to buy veggies, I walked over to him and asked if he had momos. He answered in the affirmative after asking if I wanted veg or non veg. I told him "veg" and then he asked me to go get a coupon from inside. He had a box of 7 veg momos packed and ready with 2 packets of red sauce by the time I came back with the ticket.  Asked him if he could hold on to the box while I went shopping, but he obviously dint understand for he handed the bag and smiled a big one and plopped back on his stool. 

I spent a few minutes shopping for vegetables and rushed home in the gentle drizzle and dug into the plate of momos. I normally avoid the sauces and just gobble them up as they are. These momos were quite good, hot with plenty of filling and yummm... 

What a perfect snack for this kind of a rainy evening. I do make momos at home, but once in a while it is nice to just pick something up and dig into..

A pack of 7 momos- Rs 45 

Location: Outside any Kovai Pazhamudir nilayam am guessing- this was on Harrington Road.. 
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Discover Ways To Prepare Creative Home-Made Cupcakes, Desserts, Home Decorations and Fashioned Stuff

Discover new ways on preparing home and self-stuffs artistically online! Baking cupcakes, cooking delicious recipes and creating artistic home decorations and even jiving to new trends of fashion stuffs like of nail arts and hair styles can be very easy for you with the help of this site. This site will be your helpmate to do out of this world creative creation. Also, offers a step-by-step tutorial demonstration of activities. It would be very helpful for you to have varieties of creations. The LIKE IT SHORT site has its updated advertisements of new recipes and trends which will definitely help you discover and try new possessions. Moreover, this site will teach you on how to be creative, resourceful and initiative in many ways that could make complex ideas of arts from scratch.And, will lead you not to be dependent on ready-mades instead let yourself to be the one to create and design. So let's get started!

When talk about foods and desserts! Creative evolution of cooking recipes and baking cakes dominates the nation rapidly. We can see and appreciate those stuffs at parties like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and more. Through this site, you don't need to hire caterers or even buy expensive ready-made foods and desserts for party servings;you can now make it by yourselfdeliciously and creatively. This site offers you a detailed ways on how to prepare cupcakes, healthy dishes and more from ingredients up to plating.

What about having gifts and souvenirs? There is no need to buy expensive ready-made gifts and souvenirs because you can actually have it home-made. You can now customize simple presents to make extraordinary offerings. Even a simple thing can become complex with the use of imaginative skills. Try to check out some available wedding souvenirs and birthday gifts in this site and you can have it in your most creative and convenient way. Remember that hand-made is greatly appreciable. However, following this site will teach you new ideas of inspired gifts.

How to make house a sweet home? Hmmmm...You may think that having an attractive house is expensive, you may think it wrong. Other than having luxurious furniture and decorations, make your own styles to make home utensils attractive and appreciable in to the eyes of others. Make use of old stuffs that can revamp a new one. This site has various challenging ways that will make you fun while altering the old ones.

Lastly, Be on the trend! Indeed, fashion moves rapidly. Affording the new trends every after another might be a ridiculous to have. This site will help you to have customized yet elegant bracelets, necklace, bags and other fashion stuffs. You don't need to spend more time and money to get out and buy new fashioned trends, with the available tutorials that this site offers, you can have it all.

Just follow the steps that the site offers and you'll be experiencing a simple yet creative masterpiece and feel like a master. There's no need for you to contact experts or even spend big money to be on trend. Try to check out every new updates that this site have and you'll be having a standout of arts that you never thought. It's never too late to start, so why start now? THINK, DISCOVER, FOLLOW and creativity will follow.

Lucy Handler Photo Click Here for more exciting blogs and recipes. Do not miss the chance to visit the website. You can also share it to your friends. So check it out now.
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ID, Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai

Many a sunday morning movies has been done at Sathyam. And they were all possible because we would grab a good breakfast at ID before the flick. We would all reach ID around 8.15, grab a table, and dig into the hot pongal or idli vada and gulp down a hot cup of filter coffee before moving over to the movie theaters. That is how good and reliable ID is.  And if you are not a coffee drinker, you can have a glass of fresh fruit juice to quench your thirst :) 

For as long as I can remember, we have eaten at ID- I enjoy their pongal, kasi halwa, and my alltime favorite is the keerai vadai. Apart from these, they also serve adai, and a MLA pesarattu which has upma stuffing. I love the chutneys they give, white coconut chutney, tomato-red chilli chutney and ofcourse the piping hot sambar. I have been here so many times that the staff know me by face. 

I have also visited their outlet in other malls and find the quality to be just as good! The most recent being a visit to Forum Mall where a friend wanted to grab a cup of kaapi when her son insisted he wanted idiyappam. He ate them plain and devoured them, which is a sign that the food is good. 

It is such a saving grace for movie goers and morning movie watchers like me and my group of friends! 

A big thumbs up for ID and Sathyam Cinemas!
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Entree, Express Avenue

There we were in the mall, wandering aimlessly when hunger pangs began hitting us. We spotted Entree on the ground floor and decided to go check it out. The manager told us it was a pure veg place, and they offered both a la carte and buffet. We walked around seeing what the buffet had to offer, liked what we saw and chose the same. Priced at Rs 600, it is good value for money meal. The buffet began with a soup, going ot a range of straters spanning Indian, Italian and Thai, and then ofcourse came the main and desserts. I loved the noodles and thai curry, and salad options as well. They had a variety of premixed salads, extra olives, dressings that one can choose from

The dessert section had a few pudding, cakes and ice creams, along with payasam as well. Apart from this, friend ordered for a Tiramisu which arrived in style with a side of cut fruits. Overall, we enjoyed the meal. 

There are two entrances to this place- one from within the mall and other through the EA hotel entry!! 

Entree Located on the ground floor of Express Avenue Mall [in the luxury section] 
Ph: 044 28463333
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Scrumptious Shrimp Scampi

We love shrimp. The whole family does.  But we don't eat it too often.  We go to Red Lobster once a year for all you can eat shrimp and then have the occasional shrimp basket at Culvers.   I never make it.  Weird, huh.

This month for The Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Danielle's blog Hugs & CookiesXOXO. Now, if you're familiar with Danielle's blog, you'll know that she has the most fabulous treats.  Her pictures are completely mouthwatering. I just went back there again and saw Deep Fried Snickers Bars. We have a private joke around here, every time I make something really healthy, the family says, "I'll bet deep fried snickers bars are better!" 

I drooled looked at tons of Danielle's tasty treats.  Then I saw her Scrumptious Shrimp That Will Knock Your Socks Off!!  The title alone just grabbed me!  I knew right away that it was high time that I made shrimp scampi for the family.  

This was super easy to make and the whole family loved it. My shrimp loving son probably ate half of it and continues to request that I make more.  She also has a Coconut Shrimp that looks amazing. 

Scrumptious Shrimp Scampi
Adapted from Hugs & CookiesXOXO

1 stick of butter
2 lbs. shrimp, deshelled and deveined (thawed and dried)
Sea salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, turmeric
1 1/2 lemons, thinly sliced

1. Line a baking pan (with sides) with nonstick foil.
2.  Lay the butter on the pan and place in the oven until melted, 3-4 mins.
3. Remove and lay lemon slices on the pan.
4.  Place the shrimp on the lemon slices.  Season with the above spices evenly & generously and then flip and season the other side.
5.  Bake at 350 for 10 mins.  Flip shrimp over and bake another 10 minutes or until fully cooked through.  Serve over pasta or rice using the rest of the lemon/butter sauce in the pan!

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Savvy Treats Delivering & Catering to DC, VA, MD

At Savvy Treats we strive to make your day as sweet as possible with our deliciously made cupcakes. No longer do you have to walk all the way over to a store or a bakery and go to the hassle getting your order carefully back home in one piece. We'll do it for you! Savvy Treats is now delivering cupcakes to your doorstep anywhere in DC, MD or VA. We offer you a wide variety of flavours to choose from:

Carrot Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese FrostingRed Velvet Devils Food with Whipped Cream Cheese FrostingVanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean FrostingGerman Chocolate with Chocolate FrostingSalty Caramel with Salted Caramel Butter Cream FrostingLemon Cake with Lemon FrostingChocolate Cake with GanachePeanut Butter BlossomPumpkin Cake with Apple Butter FrostingToffee CrunchChocolate MochaCupcake of the Month: Pink Lemonade

You can order any of the above in any assortment with a minimum order of 12. A new addition to our shop is the mini-cupcake which is available in the same flavours as mentioned with a minimum order of 24.

Savvy Treats at Your Event

No matter what event you are hosting, be it a birthday, a wedding, a Bar Mitzvah or any other festivity, we will make sure that our cupcakes are delivered safely to you. We will gladly accept your calls and messages for the details, and if you are unable to do so we also have an online order form which you can fill out in a jiffy.

Apart from that we also provide you with the service of catering at your party. You can contact us and tell us what it is that you require from our existing menu or have it customized especially for you. So whichever event that you are planning, let us make it a little more delightful.

Party Favor Fun

With our new party favors, you can have your guests go home with their own Savvy Treats. Choose from our variety of cupcakes or mini-cupcakes and add your own touch with a personal message. Include them in your order as a perfect way to thank your friends for being a part of your special day. Please keep in mind that currently our catering and delivery system is limited to the DC, MD and VA metropolitan area.

Savvy Treats knows that quality products are very important to the consumer today. We delivered Wedding Cakes DC in Washington.
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Easy Fruit Dump Cake

I'd seen this recipe for Easy Dump Cake all over the place.  I found cake mixes for $.99 at the store so I bought a bunch to have on hand for quick desserts.  I found a Sprite hidden in the back of the fridge and the kids had a sleepover so I figured this was the night to make this cake.  

I always have frozen fruit on hand.  We make smoothies for breakfast almost every morning.  I buy the huge Costco sized bags of fruit.  For this cake, I used a mixture of berries, peaches, pineapple and mango. You could really use any fruit.  Just berries, just peaches, whatever floats your boat.  

The fun thing about easy cakes is that there are always plenty of hands available to help.  All I did was measure out how much fruit we needed and the kids did the rest. 

The kids were skeptical about how it would turn out and I admit, I wasn't sure myself. It did seem a bit odd.  I thought the top would still be dry and crumbly. 

How wrong I was. It turned out perfectly!  The kids loved it and we finished off the pan in no time.  I loved the mixture of the berries with the peaches and mango.  While I thought the mixture was perfect, I can't wait to try this with a different combination. Looks like I might have to buy more Sprite!

Easy Fruit Dump Cake Recipe

24 oz. frozen fruit, any kind
1 box yellow or white cake mix, no pudding
1 sprite or 7 up (can use diet if desired)

Put frozen fruit in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add dry cake mix over the top.  Pour soda slowly over the cake mix.  DO NOT STIR.  This will give you the "crust" for the cobbler.  

Bake at 350 for about 45 - 50 minutes

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