Thursday, March 5, 2015

Strawberry and Mango Ice Lollies

BM # 50 Week 1 Day 3

For Day 3 under colorful dishes I have chosen Strawberry and Mango Ice Lollies. I have always been fond of ice . As kids we used to eat the tubed ice lolly called Pepsi cola and desi ice gola, which is shaved ice with syrup. That is still one of my favorites, but due to health reasons can't indulge into any more. The home made ice Lollies are perfect to replace the craving of those shaved ice golas. I have used fresh strawberry along with strawberry crush to give it a more fruit and fleshy taste. The frozen mango slice is double treat.
These Lollies also go the kids delight hosted by Varada.

Strawberry and Mango Ice Lollies

1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 glass strawberry crush drink
1/2 glass mango drink
Few slices mango
Blend the strawberries with the strawberry crush drink.
Pour the blended drink in lolly moulds, fill just about half.
Now gently pour the mango drink.
Add a slice of mango.
Place it in the freezer for freezing.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Strawberry Lychee Twirl

BM # 50 Week 1 Day 2

For day 2 under colorful dishes I have yet another drink. This is a combination of two most delicious fruits. Strawberry and Lychee.i have added a little sugar to the strawberries as the strawberries here are not as sweet, but you can omit the sugar if you get sweet ones.the lychee juice and sprite both are sweet enough, so the sugar can be avoided. The rimmed glasses enhance the flavor of the drink, giving it a mild salty, tarty flavor, which is fantastic. If the kids don't like that flavor you could serve them in simple glasses too. Sending it to Varada for Kids Delight.

Strawberry Lychee Twirl
1/4 cup strawberry chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tetra pack lychee juice
1 bottle sprite
Salt rimmed glasses
Coat the rim of two glasses with lemon .
Place some salt on a plate.
Invert them and dip them into this salt.
Leave the glasses to chill.
Give a quick blend to the strawberries and sugar.
Pour the mix into a jug.
Add lychee juice and mix.
Top up with sprite.
Pour into salt rimmed glasses and serve.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Plum Juice

BM # 50 Week 1 Day 1

Plum juice is a delicious drink , which we all enjoy during summers.It is delicious and very refreshing and what a pretty color too. The drink is simple to make but one must make sure that sugar and salt have to have a balance in the juice. It actually depends on the quality of plums, if the plums are sour you shall need more sugar. So taste the juice before serving. This is my first days post of BM # 50 week 1 under colorful food.
This also goes to kids delight at Varada,s place.

Plum Juice
500 gms plums, pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
Salt to taste
Mint leaves.
Blend the plum pieces and sugar till sugar is completely dissolved.
Strain this mixture .
Add water to dilute the juice. The consistency should be light , like orange juice.
Add the salts , cumin powder and mint leaves.
Serve chilled.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

BM # 50 Chennai Meet - Day 3

22 nd Feb Sunday
Day 3
Wake up time 4 a.m
Good Morning! And I have been wondering , when do I say good night and when Good morning, we have been sleeping at erratic times, almost early mornings, and waking up within hours, any way this morning started by saying bye to Kalyani who had an early morning flight. Most of the friends were sleeping and just opened their eyes for a minute.

We were still in our night suits when Gayathri started kneading the dough for her super soft and spongy pavs. Everyone observed her very carefully, just like school kids attending a class.

Plan for the day
Now what is Foodology?
It is a recreational culinary studio where you cook , eat and enjoy fantastic food..
Kamallika is one of the chefs there and she had arranged for us to take demos there.
Gayathri for Pav
Gayathri and Pradnya for Topsy Turvy Cake
Archana for Goan Tondak
Me for Shahi Paneer.

This place was really cool and had a amazing ambiance, it was well equipped with all equipments a food lover cook could ask for.
The cake was a treat to see, and everyone was glued to see how it was crafted.
I even made a face time call to Japan , so my daughter could make full use of this demo.
Thanks Valli and Padma for making this happen. it sure was a job to hold on to the phone for so long!

Archana got busy with her Tondak, and I with the Shahi Paneer.
Pradnya had a flight so we had to make sure our dishes were ready to feed her.
The Tondak was teamed with the pavs made by Gayathri , the paneer with chur Chur Parathas, which I still have to feature on my blog.
Kamallika was gracious enough to help us with whatever we needed, and made sure we were comfortable.
I must mention the drink that she made...ah it is one of the most refreshing and delicious ones I have had in years. Thanks Kamallika!
We cannot miss out the desserts at which Kamallika is a hit.
Thanks Gayathri for teaching all those piping patiently, that is one quality of yours which I admire the most!!

After everyone finished the meal, it was time to cut our Topsy Turvy Cake .
The BM meet was closing!

A photo session followed and we actually looked like chefs with those chef caps and aprons.
Well we cannot miss our little chefs, can we?
PJ left!
Lots of hugs and byes.
Headed back home, Valli quickly packed her stuff and left.
Gayathri and Nandini too left soon.
Archana and I were the only ones left behind, as we were to fly the next day.
We went for some prop shopping , picked some steel ware.
Enjoyed Appams for dinner and finally got back.
Last minute packings and weighing the luggage...this is one experience which I practically hate..wonder why can't the airline people understand we are visiting friends...
Left early morning...saying bye to Padma was rather tough, she had opened her house to a notorious gang and hosted us very beautifully. Absolutely have no words to thank her and her hubby. As the car was leaving, her eyes welled up , we hid our tears ....and moved on waving.
A deep sigh...

At the airport Archana and I parted , but with smiles..yes all good things come to an end....only to look forward for new beginnings.
Yes we look forward to another fun filled BM meet...The BM # 75 !!
Once again Thanks to The Chennai Organizers for this wonderful meet, Thanks to their families for sparing them for these three days.(.well we have to ask if it was a relief to get rid; )

See you guys:)

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

BM # 50 Chennai Meet - Day 1 , Day 2

Friday 20th Feb
BM Meet begins 
Dress code Green 
Wake up time 5 a.m 

Scene in the kitchen

Breakfast cooked by our host Padma
Hot idlis ( batter grinded by Veena)
Kanjeevaram idlis

Friends started coming in by 9.30
Lot of commotion as all come in.
Meantime preps for lunch in process.
Drinks being made by Kamallika.

The lunch Menu
Korma with idlis by Padma
Chaawal ki Bhaakri with Zunka and Thecha by Pradnya.
The thecha was made in mortar and pestle and Kalyani did the hard work.
Fresh green garlic rice with fresh green peas by me.
Cucumber raita by mixed hands.
Ginnu by Archana
The meal that was prepared was as good as a demo  for me as I was very keen on learning the chaawal ki baakhri and the kaanjeeveram idlis .
Frankly speaking I did not bother to see how the dessert was made, and truly repented, it had turned out awesome.

Next a display of the variety of bananas available in Chennai, thanks to Veena, who got a huge pack of these , Nandini sweetly labelled them all. The Chennaites giggled away, amused that I had no clue about this variety...wonder if it was my ignorance or their mischief which made them giggle.

Celebration Time begins!!
We have birthdays of two members in this month, one had already passed by, the other was yet to come!! 

Happy Brthday Kalyani!
Happy Birthday Valli !

Time for the BM photo shoot!!
Dress code - white with the BM # 50 aprons , yes the aprons were designed by me, and I want to make for BM # 75 too, but of course hope to make many many more..which means we want more participants . Are you girls listening? Get ready, time will fly off.

A photography class by Usha.
It was interesting to see how she had placed the luggage bags as reflectors.
She had saved some korma from the lunch menu and showed us how to click.

Time to get dressed in a traditional attire.
All in beautiful saris, adorned in beautiful jewelry and of course how could we miss the flowers in the hair.
All dressed we wanted to give a toast to the BM , and could anything be better than some shots! Hey wait...these were non alcoholic pani puri shots , which really hit all of us, since they were dead spicy!!

It was about time we all headed for the beautiful traditional dinner arranged by PJ at Anna Laksmi.

Since Valli sat next to me she kept guiding me on the details of the meals served.
All I know is that it was beyond me to eat that heavy meal, I totally skipped the desserts.
On getting back home it was time to give and receive the goodies. A lot of effort had gone in planning these and all we could hear was Oohs and Ahs! There was a special gift for our host Padma, who blushed like a little girl on receiving it.

The only concern was to carry the gifts back, but guess a solution comes up automatically !
It was time to sleep, but the girls wanted some mid night fun and we had little Ishku entertaining us and Nandini giving us tips and some briefing
 on sour dough.
A lot more entertainment, with all telling their own stories, a lot of giggling, lot of blushing..finally around 4 we knocked down only to be up by 5 as we had plans to go to the beach.

Day 2
21st Feb, Saturday
Color code - pink
Time - 5.30 a.m

The Beach
Groggy faces, Sleepy eyes, yet everyone had to get up and get ready to leave for the beach.
By the time all got into the cars, everyone's faces lit up.
A few went into the water, but a few preferred to just to be together and gossip.

Breakfast at woodlands

Since we did not get one big table, all got divided into groups.
Veena , PJ and I shared one
PJ was busy with little Siddhu, and Veena and I caught up.
Once again I felt we shared a strong bond.

After getting home
Dress code Blue
Back into cars
Shopping at Waltax road- bakery products
I really didn't need anything, just picked a mini cookie cutter set.
Nandini took some of us for prop shopping, which was amazing, Thanks dear!!

Off for Lunch
Venue E Hotel
Hosts- Padma and her hubby
It was a buffet and quite elaborate
I just had some Daal with weak point, as I prefer roti to rice.
I wanted to gorge on the desserts, which were all eggless.

The desserts
Mocha pastry
Pineapple mousse
Walnut Banana Bread
Gulab Jamun
Ice cream with various toppings

Time for Usha to leave
The first member was leaving, everyone got emotional.
Welled eyes:(

Next some super demos by the chefs
Chef Balaji
Chef Hari Babu
Adai with drum stick leaves, Keppai Roti as it is called
Steamed rice dumplings, Kara Kozhukattai

In the dessert section
Chocolate mousse
Toffee filled chocolates
I could just taste with a lick, as the tummies could not accept any more food.

Back home.
Rushing to get ready in Red for the dinner.
The dinner was arranged in a banquet hall.
It had a surprise element, which some how I had guessed, but kept mum.
Ah the Chennai traffic!!
We were late .

Chennai friends families were there, which was the surprise element.
It was wonderful to meet everyone in person.
I was very keen on meeting Atthama and Amma, (yes Vallis mom and mil, )and take their blessings. I felt I knew them so well as I have been associated with them through Vallis posts.
It was fun meeting the kids , though they were a little shy.
Again the menu was rather elaborate, but by now tummy had reached its saturation point, and I could only taste a few dishes ...just by teaspoons.
Once we were back home most of the members conked off, I got busy packing my excess luggage as I had to hand it over to my son in law who was in Chennai for a day.
Finally made to bed around 2ish, only to be up by.....come back and read tomorrow:))
and yes this my Day 2 post under special theme .
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM # 49
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

On your mark get set - Chennai BM # 50 Meet !!

By now most of you friends know that we have a group where we post recipes every month under different themes, and this group is conducted by our leader Srivalli. The group is called the Blogging Marathon group.The members of this group live all over the world and this month we complete 50 months of this marathon. To mark a celebration , we decided to celebrate and have a meet. The BM # 25 was a big hit when some of us met up in Ahmadabad. The BM # 50 was even a greater one.Let me give you some glimpses of this meet.

The participant Bloggers

The little participants

The planing for the meet stared almost five months back. I remember the day when the Jet announced some cheap tickets in all sectors. My hubby immediately asked me to book my tickets, but without finalizing the Meet dates, it was not possible, so I called Valli and we quickly on the spot finalized the date. I booked the tickets, unbelievably these were low cost ticket, so I told the friends about it, and Archana booked them right away. Time flew by and during this time lots of mails wats app messages were exchanged to organize the meet. We wanted to make the most of this.

Well for us it was just to prepare the goodie bags, but the Chennai Team had lots to do. Time flies by and the BM dates were approaching, I stopped eating all junk, I simply could not afford to fall sick, my hubby was amazed at all the preps that I was doing, he felt I was preparing for a family wedding. Well sure was a big event.
Since Pondicherry is so close to Chennai , I was very keen on visiting it, so asked Archana if she too was. I got support and next we asked Padma, she was in too. Finally a trip to Pondicherry was decided .

Ok I was planning on giving you glimpses but I have been jabbering non stop, I am sure if I go on you guys will end up thinking what a crazy person I am!!
Ok now the actual glimpses.

My departure for Chennai
18 th Feb

Pick up by Veena.
Met Veena for the first time, 
A little about Veena
A beautiful tall lady with a very very warm heart. I instantly clicked with her and some how got close to her in that one hour. Veena, you are a beautiful person and now a stronger bond has developed between us.

Joined in by Archana around an hour late.
The three of us gossiped non stop while going on the heavy traffic Chennai roads.

Scene at Padma , who was our host!!
Warm Welcome!!
 We have more blogger friends waiting.
What do we have ?
Warm big hugs.
Padma's vibrant lighted face in happiness.

Dinner prepared by Padma
Aaloo fry
Potlakaya Kura
Dosakaya Pappu
Later Usha and Pradnya joined in.
Valli came in with Konda to receive us.
More hugs and lot of chitter chatter. 
After Valli and the the other friends left we started organizing our goodie bags and finally slept with an alarm of 5 a.m. 

19th Feb Thursday
Pondicherry trip by road
Innova arranged by Veena

Pondicherry is a popular tourist destination and about 3 hours from Chennai. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance.


The most popular tourist destinations are the four beaches in Pondicherry, which are Promenade Beach(also known locally as the Rocky Beach), Paradise Beach, The Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India. Strangely, this place had some kind of magnetism and we loved sitting there with pin drop silence. We also visited their paper factory and their weaving unit. 

Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry. It is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Their organic natural handmade products caught everyone's attraction. 

There are a number of old and large churches in Pondicherry, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A number of heritage buildings and monuments are the centre of attraction for tourists.

We left early and before we could stop for breakfast we munched some snacks which Usha had got . These were new for me , called Appalu and Sinallu. We stopped for breakfast at a place called Aarya. it had amazingly soft idlis, Pongal and crispy crunchy dosas.

We had lunch at one of the cafes, which was built in a rather rustic French style. 
And here is something that we did just for fun!!

On the way back to Chennai we stopped by at Taj Fisherman's clove to get the feel of the beach and our last halt for the day was Savarna Bhawan for dinner.

I enjoyed a typical Tamil meal, where as the rest were happy with their dosas and mini meals.

It had been a hectic day and we all needed rest. The BM meet was to start the next day and we had loads planned up. 

So shall see you guys tomorrow.
This is my Day 1 post for the last week of BM # 50

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