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Showing posts from August, 2011

The Bookworm Family

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I jumped onto the google+ bandwagon as soon as I got my first invite. Despite a niggling fear in the far recesses of my mind, I feel safer in google+ than I ever have in facebook. I added books and food to their Sparks feature and the first time I clicked on Books Spark, I hit a very interesting blog post, cataloging the blogger's 5 best books in the detective fiction genre. One of her favourites, The Eagle has landed is one of my 3 favourite mystery-spy-thriller set in the world war II time period (The other two,Eye of the Needle and JackDaws are both by Ken Follet) The reason for my excitement? Well, I have read none of her other favourites so I am looking forwards to some awesome reads thanks to her! I am sure the single book match is not a statistical outlier because she lists Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and the hound of baskerville amongst her favourites, we Are on similar wavelength then.

The last two books I read in the Mystery genre The Snowman and The Hypnotist,…

Inverse Problem Solved with Potatoes

My 9 year old is very very skinny, blown away by monsoon winds skinny, model for a middle school human skeletal system skinny, drought hit refugee skinny. In the indian growth charts he is <10 percentile, off the charts in the american growth charts. He is also a very fussy eater and a slooooooooooooow eater, he chews each mouthful atleast 90 times. I cook for his palette. always. very very rarely my hubby or my toddler enter my culinary horizon.
My goal is both to keep him healthy and put some flesh on his bones. If I get him to enjoy his meals along the way that would be an excellent bonus. My methods to achieve my goals range from following everything in the latest NYTimes health bulletins to old fashioned methods suggested by my husband, friends etc... Currently I am on a give him an egg and potatoes everyday phase as suggested by hubby. Today I made potato wedges with guacamole; Cut 6 fingerling potatoes into wedges tossed with cold-pressed peanut oil and snuck it i…

Oatmeal Muffin

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Reducing carbon foot print means buy local as has been reported ad nauseum (though not necessarily, and not always) but what about the actual preparation, storing, washing, wasting etc...?   Where are the guidelines for greening our cooking?  I have decided to draw them up along the way.  Home cooked probably better than store bought.  Electricity is poorly produced (low efficiency in power plants) and poorly transmitted here in this country, but no, I cannot put a figure on the efficiency here as opposed to say Switzerland or Germany.  But the perception of government organization lends credibility to my view.  Better to cook on my LPG gas stove than to bake in my Glen Oven.  Except when?  I don't have the time or inclination to start quantifying this just yet, but one exception would be when I can make enough for 2 days of breakfasts and make something yummy without driving to the bakery and buying it shrink wrapped in a air conditioned room.  I promise my 9 year old a Western b…

Heart Healthy Oats?!

I know oats/ragi porridge or the Kellogs Speical K Cereal are decent breakfast choices and even pretend to enjoy them..  But I really really love basic South Indian breakfasts, Idli Vadai Sambhar, masal dosa, utappam, poori all made in the traditional way.  Ragi dosa is nice,  nothing wrong with it, but Regular white rice dosa is comforting and awesome all at once.  I do want to try to wow everyone at home with excellent breakfast choices made with one of the healthier grains/proteins.  Now pay attention to the caveat.

There is a huge disconnect between a grain/protein being declared heart healthy or diabetes friendly or gluten-free and how it actually ends up being cooked and consumed in the kitchen.   Someone needs to put a disclaimer in headline font : 

Healthy ONLY WHEN COOKED AND CONSUMED WITHOUT BUTTER/SUGAR/SOME OFF THE SHELF JUNK

or even better:

healthy ONLY WHEN NOT CONSUMED, JUST VIEWED AND SALIVATED then even ice cream would be heart healthy :)

Coming back to the cooking, my …

Cavatappi with Spinach Coriander pesto

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We love watching MasterChef Australia and I love any cook show, seeking inspiration, new techniques and anything to feed my procrastination habit.

I don't understand my son's fascination with it though.  Unless, he is so starved for TV time he will watch anything?

MA has some things going for it; unlike American shows, the judges are not hypercritical and cold, George is a sweetheart!  He always tries to find a silver lining and comes up with ultra sappy rhymes.  Matt's foppish outfits are always amusing.  The contestants are generally supportive of each other, not nasty (again as opposed to most American cook shows).  I wish the contestants were a bit more stoic though,  they are definitely not Spartan.They frequently have a tip or technique I want to use NOW.  Season 3 seemed to feature a lot of pesto.

I have always bought pesto off the shelf, never really made it from scratch.  I looked up basic pesto and I found it is just a chutney of raw basil, pine nuts and some oli…

The Menu Planner Challenge

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My days are crazy busy. nanny quit so my 19 month old is completely managed between my hubby and me, and work, especially research, has taken a back seat. Even so, I need a lot of planning to get up at 5 and still be out of the house with lunch and breakfast all cooked and stacked at 7.05 am. Since planning is definitely not my forte, I find myself downsizing the variety of grains and vegetables I cook to a bare minimal, easy to mange items. But, I have finally conquered food waste! Most days everything i cook is consumed within the same day.
I have decided to start planning the week's Menu (atleast work week).  A good starting point would be consolidating current lunch box options, my starting point for the day's menu
Other than the usual suspects - prep time, cooking time, balance, whether suitable for lunch box, i also need to look at how fast by son can eat the food.  His lunch hour is 25 minutes and he chews every morsel 60 times.  He rarely comes home with a empty lu…