Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life in perspective

I thought life was hard. Our international flight was delayed 7 hours. We got put on another flight. That meant we reach our destination a day later. We'd to spend a couple of hours sitting in an air-conditioned airport talking to a customer representative. That wasn't easy. 

Almost 200 people died and hundreds (if not thousands) lost everything that they owned - in the flooding in chennai. 

Life. Is hard. For them. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yes please!

Author: Amy Poehler

Yes-Please, amy poehler

This is a life story of Amy Poehler in her own words. If you have seen Saturday Night Live then you might be familiar with her. I hadn’t and so didn’t know much about her. Her writing style is so funny!! I just loved reading the book!! For that alone I would recommend the book.

There’s not much you can say about somebody’s life can you? It is what it is. Though it was interesting to read how much she’d to struggle (although she doesn’t refer it to as struggle) to get to where she’s today. Most of the times when people look at celebrities they only think of the luxuries that they have, how much money they get paid for each show/movie/etc. Little do we know how long did it take them to get there and the road to that destination wasn’t easy. I had some why-do-I-need-to-know-this moments; probably somebody who knows her from her shows and is a fan of her would be more interested. She has life lessons too in there and I liked some of the bits of advices she threw in there. One particularly that stuck with me was – she says don’t go after your career, depend on your creativity (or talent or skill). I quite agree with her there. This does not mean you should not have a plan for your career, you certainly must.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Salt Sugar Fat: How the food giants hooked us

Author: Michael Moss


If you never ever ever want to set your foot in the processed food aisle go read this book! I’m actually not kidding once you read this book, you would think twice before buying any of those convenience foods like pasta sauce or yummy cookies like oreo.

The book is almost divided in three sections, one section each for sugar, salt and fat. For each ingredient, the author has done research on what roles they play in making processed food tasty and have a long shelf life. When you read it you left aghast at how many teaspoons of sugar one single oreo cookie has or how much percentage of sodium is there in the bottle of pasta sauce. Or when people call it junk food, it is really that – junk. The author goes over how things changed, what brought about these changes and where we’re headed. It turns out that people are becoming more and more aware because of which companies have had to introduce low-cal, low-salt and/or low-sugar products.

The book is filled with lots of facts. I just wish it wasn’t as thick as it is. At some point I felt like tearing my hair, banging my head and screaming “I get it! I get it!”. A lot of it was interesting – to see how the changes were brought about, what the companies were thinking, what the government was doing (or not doing) and where did all that put the consumer.

One thing was clear from the book, end of the day it is our attitude towards “convenience” that pushed us to the market of processed foods; and we’re so blinded by it that we don’t care to look at the ingredients to see what we’re eating. That brings to my mind Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”. One of the rules in that book was to not buy anything which had an ingredient you couldn’t pronounce. If one were to follow that, only 1% of the processed foods would remain in your cart.

It’s hard to put a bottomline on this one. I enjoyed reading most of it and gained a lot of insight. However I would’ve loved it had it been a little shorter.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Gardening update


Here’s an update on how our veggie garden is doing. As you can see it’s thriving! The sun god has been very generous this year (and so has the heat goddess!). While both are too much for me to take, I take relief in the fact that the veggies are relishing it!

Unfortunately I forgot to post photos when we’d just planted all these veggies Sad smileIn the above photo:

  • In the front square: onions on the bottom left, lavender just next to it. Red Pepper on the top right an spinach adjacent to it.
  • In the back square: tomato all along the vine and then a summer squash plant.


In this photo:

  • In the front square: Strawberry plant in the bottom left, onion on the bottom right. Beans in the rest of the area.
  • In the back square: Cucumber all along the vine and a zucchini and summer squash plant in front of it.

Can wait to harvest the veggies!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Butterscotch ice cream

butterscotch ice cream

Sorry for the terrible photo – I wanted to take a photo of the ice cream before it got over. Everyone really liked it!

This year we’ve had summer since the spring! Yes seriously the temperatures started climbing in spring and we’ve seen no end to it. I figured it’s a good year to put my ice cream maker to use and get some expertise in the art of making ice cream.

Butterscotch is a very popular flavor of ice cream in India and something that we don’t get here. So I tried to search for recipes for butterscotch ice cream. I already had a base recipe and just wanted to figure out how I could modify it for butterscotch.

My recipe is a marriage of two different recipes. I took the base recipe from KAF and the recipe for pralines from Tarla dalal.


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butterscotch flavor

For the pralines:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp butter

To make the pralines:

    1. Powder the cashews using a grinder. I was careful not to powder so much that it became butter and to be on the cautious let some pieces remain larger than the others.
    2. Prepare a baking sheet with a non stick mat or grease a plate.
    3. Heat the sugar in a broad non-stick pan and cook on a medium flame for 5 to7 minutes or till the sugar melts, while stirring continuously.
    4. Remove from the flame, add the cashews and butter and mix well.
    5. Spread the mixture on a greased flat surface and allow it to cool and harden.
    6. Scrape it out using a palate knife and coarsely powder it using a mortar-pestle. If you don’t have a mortar-pestle, put the pieces in a zip loc and smash them using a rolling pin.

To make the ice cream:

  1. Mix sugar, cream, butterscotch flavor and milk till the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the above mixture to your ice cream maker and make the ice cream per the directions of the ice cram maker.
  3. Half way through add the praline bits.
  4. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours. Cover the container with saran wrap and then close the lid. This prevents ice crystals from forming on the ice cream.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Big Little Lies

Author: Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty is soon becoming my favorite author! Why do I say that in continuous tense? Because this is only the second book I’ve read so I don’t want to jump the gun so soon! She has an easy style – like Sophie Kinsella. You become completely immersed in the story that’s going on. As if you’re sitting amidst all the characters. Everything is so down to earth and that’s what makes it feel so real. So next-door. No perfect families, no best-evah wife or husband.

The story is centered around three characters (and their families). Jane – a single mom who doesn’t seem to settle down. She keeps moving from one place to another. Never likes to talk about her son’s father. Madeline – a mom of three with a nice husband. With her ex married to the “ideal” woman. Always ready to stand up for her own people be it friends or family. Seems to be losing her teenage daughter to her stepmother. Every single person in the town seems to know her. Celeste – the most beautiful woman married to the most eligible husband. She has twins who are uncontrollable. Other than that her world seems perfect to all. The lives of these women cross when their kids start going to the same school. It’s the interaction between them and their interaction with the other parents of the school that spins an engrossing story. It starts with the investigation of murder. Murder of one of the parents in the school. Enuf said. Anything more I saw may spoil the thrill of the story.

It was pure joy reading this book! I would highly recommend it!