Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Apple Salad - Go healthy with Washington apples!


Apples are Really Good For You! Eating fresh apples is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day.

I was sent some fresh Granny Smith apples by the SCS Group and Washington Apple Commission for me to taste and make something. What can be more refreshing than a salad. This is how I like my everyday salad.

Ingredients

Fresh Granny Smith Apples-2
handful of walnuts (slightly toasted)
Romaine Lettuce- 1 cup
handful of Mint leaves
Italian seasoning-1/2 tsp
lemon juice- 1/2 tsp
olive oil- 1tsp
any cheese (optional) - 1 tbsp for sour taste

Preparation

Wash and dry the apples, lettuce and mint leaves. chop them roughly into bite size and toss them in a bowl. Add toasted walnuts, Italian seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice and mix. I do not add salt.

Granny Smith apples are green, extremely tart, crisp, juicy and versatile. They are popular for making Pies.
Apples have lots of health benefits like cancer prevention, healthy lungs, heart disease and stroke prevention and weight loss!
For more information visit bestapples.com

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cafe Infinito - A Mediterranean experience !

Eat, Drink, Dance, Repeat is the concept of Cafe Infinito, a Mediterranean restaurant where I had been last week. I was impressed by the simple elegant decor and seating arrangements. There was a small bar and a live pizza counter.
We got to see how the the pizza was made, right from scratch which my son enjoyed a lot.The cuisine is primarily Cafe-ish with influences from Italy and Med but not limited to it. This forms the major inspiration to create an offering that exists from breakfast to desserts and drinks for a post dinner offering. One can hop in anytime of the day for a quick bite of a crostini or attend out-of-office meetings devouring varieties of small eats and salads; work on creative projects on work table or indulge in home preparations of pastas, wood-fired pizzas, healthy sandwiches, burgers and wraps.
We were served with assorted bread basket which was fresh from oven along with some condiments.
 Their Vegetarian Pizzas have signature smoked cherry tomato sauce & house salad
Greek pizza‐ crumbled feta, pitted olives, red onions, sun dried tomatoes & torn basil,
Garniture pizza ‐ seasoned potatoes , fresh thyme, sizzling brie & sour cream,
Margarita pizza ‐ mozzarella, plum tomato sauce with torn basil,
Been to Mexico pizza ‐ salsa , re fried beans, jalapeno, cilantro & sun dried tomato (this was served to us) are some of their specialty.

These days I am much into salads so loved the Arugula, goat cheese crumbs, red wine poached pear & balsamic fresh salad. to my surprise the menu had veg-pastas, Penne with smoked cherry tomato sauce & broccoli florets and Spinach & ricotta ravioli in porcini cream sauce kept me asking for more.
Oven cooked spinach & ricotta cannelloni with pine nuts was nice and creamy.
I loved the wide chioce for kids. There are huge burgers with Soya, barley & crack wheat, with onion tomato relish & harissa mayo and many variety of milk shakes.
We were so full but could not resist the desserts even veg options!
Bakewell tart, Classic crème brûlée and Tiramisu were some to pick from! You can see what a feast it was :)
Address:Cafe Infinito Level 1, Inorbit Mall, EPIP area, Whitefield, Bengaluru.

All were reasonably priced and it is a nice place for a simple weekend brunch with family or friends!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chocolate Indulgence with Royce !

JW Marriott Bengaluru is Launching a premium chocolate and confectionery from Japan and I was invited for the tasting session.

ROYCE’ was founded in 1983 in Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.
ROYCE' chocolate is made in a truly special place surrounded by the beauty and contrasts of
all four seasons.
ROYCE' has brought together the best ingredients from all over the world and developed cutting-edge production techniques to produce a truly unique range of high quality and exquisitely packaged chocolates.
Chef Jolly, Director, F&B started with an introduction to the chocolate tasting session.

 Avani  Raheja and Samir Gadhok, Directors, Burgundy Hospitality spoke about Royce, and the products they plan to launch shortly in Bengaluru on 20th June.

These are a range of NAMA CHOCOLATE-Velvety smooth chocolate that will melt in your mouth
Ghana Bitter-A liquor-free bitter Nama (means Pure) Chocolate with an excellent acid-bitter combination. This was true chocolate indulgence! Egg free, smooth and creamy, these come with a thermal bag to help retain the delicate texture during the journey from the store to your refrigerator. They are similar to truffles and have to be refrigerated. it has a limited shelf life. When I heard the name Nama I said " Nama chocolates in Namma bengaluru"!

Mild Cacao-The smooth flavor and fragrant aroma of cacao fill your mouth in this liquor-free Nama Chocolate.


CRIOLLO CHOCOLATE-Bitter Chocolate that fully conveys the intense flavor of the rare Criollo cacao bean.
CRIOLLO CHOCOLATE Sweet-Moderately sweet chocolate with the delicate flavor of the rare Criollo cacao bean.



PURE CHOCOLATE-The beautiful facade and shape of the Pure Chocolate was designed to enhance both the texture and the shape. This chocolate is available in six varieties, ranging in cacao percentages. Each box contains a set of two varieties - 20 pieces of each - a total of 40 individually


POTATOCHIP CHOCOLATE-The eye-opening combination of salty potato chips coated with chocolate. This was the first time I was tasting a combination of potato chips dunked in chocolate!

BATON COOKIES-Coconut Golden-baked coconut cookies coated with chocolate on one side.


BATON COOKIES-Hazel Cacao Finely crushed cacao nibs blended into a cocoa. These are made of eggs so could not taste them!



We were served with canapes and water in between so as to differentiate between the taste of chocolate.
On the whole I carried my sweet tooth with me :)
The Price ranges from 500 to 1000 and upward. Currently being retailed out of their outlets in Mumbai at JWM Mumbai and Palladium Mall, this range will be launched at JWM, Bengaluru on the 20th of this month.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Paper Boat Drinks to quench summer thirst!

Day by day I float my paper boats one by one, down the running stream.
In bid black letters I write my name on them and the name of the village where I live.
I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.
I load my little boats with shiuli flower from our garden, and hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land in the night.
I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the little clouds setting thee white bulging sails.
I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them down the air to race with my boats!
When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars.
The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and the lading in their baskets full of dreams.

Paper Boats by,
Rabindranath Tagore.

I was very much carried away by the Paper Boat website. Couldn't believe someone has created a drink with a concept of bringing back childhood memories !


Paper Boat, much like the Tagore poem, claims to send these drinks, these culinary messages to those who have never tasted such concoctions. And of course to those, who long for the days gone by. Of homemade Aamras, Jaljeera, Kokum, Aampanna, Kala Khatta and many other secret recipes.
 
Inspired by these famous lines….. four industry veterans Neeraj Kakkar, James Nutall, Suhas Misra and Neeraj Biyani coming from varied backgrounds, these Founding Fathers who are also nicknamed as The A-Team and Fantastic Four are the power behind ‘Paper Boat’.


Imli ka Amlana
A refreshing ale from the hills of Marwar, usually had a bowl of tasty khichda, the amlana is a testament of the region’s victories and
celebrations. A drink fit for the grandest of events, Imli ka Amlana offers to your palate something you thought was long gone - an
element of surprise. The tang of tamarind coupled with the
complimentary zest of cinnamon (and some other secret spices), this is the definitive sweet-sour (and spicy) ale for the centuries
Jaljeera 
 A hot summer day is magnified tenfold in India. The sun, once a trusted ally, is now a vengeful god charring its antlike populace. Don’t worry he’ll calm down in a while. But till he does, what respite does a mortal have against the might of distant nuclear fusion of a main-sequence star that constantly turns hydrogen into helium*? The answer descends from the heavens in the form of Jaljeera - The perfect infusion of cumin, lemon juice, black pepper and rock salt that functions both as an electrolyte AND an appetizer. Perfect for those summer days, those heavy meals, those elaborate family functions... Actually, you don’t need a reason to drink Jaljeera, you just need to be.
Golgappe ka Pani
Nothing makes you stop in your tracks in a harried evening like the sight of a Golgappewala (Or Panipuriwala. Or Phuchkawala. Or Patashewala. The list goes on.) The very thought of a Golgappa can make you salivate like you did the first time to had one. You couldn’t believe yourself. You couldn’t believe that they could make food taste like this. But they did. And we bring you the same Golgappe ka Pani. Well, minus the aftermath of the gastrointestinal horrors that you might or might not have faced.
 Aam Panna
The pre-vacation between your actual summer vacation and the last day of the final exams.The buffer time it took for your teachers to grade you, to graduate you into another class. That was the window of The Kairi. There was something poetic about raw, unfledged mangoes enticing our fully formed taste buds. Like it was another fruit altogether. Mixed with spices, mint and served cold, almost inversely to the soaring temperatures outside. You gushed it down in a single gulp. But the moment lingered forever.


Jamun Ka Khatta
Jamun Kala Khatta is not quite the Kala Khatta (of chemical Gola stain fame) you grew up with... A paradox of sorts, this Kala Khatta, dark purple and not black, dates all the way back to the year 100 AD. Made at the peak of civilization, this drink was called Raga. And those who had it, described it as music for the taste buds. (They also described actual music as fragrance for the ear.)
Therapeutic as it is tasty, they say Kala Khatta can be used to cure a host of ailments. (Hangovers? Certainly!) But don't take our word for it. Try it out. Take a little swig. Fancy a gulp. Infer a chug. Who knows? You might even describe it as a great novel for the nostrils.

Kokum
 A berry belonging to the mangosteen family and largely indigenous to the western ghats, Kokum is a specific affair. Seemingly made exclusively for the South Asian palate (it grows nowhere else in the world!), Kokum, with its unique zest, is certainly a taste to reckon with. And eventually accept defeat to.
And the sherbet made from Kokum berries, a hint of cardamom, cumin and sugarcane extract has been described as the reason why Ratna fell and decided to name an entire district after the incident. But Ratnagiri's dubious nomenclature aside, Kokum is a relaxant, an anti-oxidant and an appetizer. So when you treat yourself to Kokum, Kokum treats you back.

 Aamras
During summer, there is barely a home in western India, be it Gujarat or Rajasthan, that doesn’t partake in the festivity that is Aamras. Sometimes, they have it with milk, sometimes rotis and if time and patience allow, they even make sweets out of it. But the best way to go about Aamras is to have it directly as is. The way the ancients intended. Without preservatives or artificial flavour. Without frills or hassles. An honest treat for an honest day’s work. A silkesque ale cascading down your throat - Soothing, serenading and more importantly, lingering. To remind you that the mango is indeed the true king of the fruit realm. And that we cannot help but submit to its tasty tyranny.

My personal favorite is chilled Aam panna for this summer and for the kids its needless to say!! All are their favorite!

The Best part I like about the website is Hope Floats
It is a lovely initiative to gift a bit of childhood to kids who really need it. For every Paper Boat you make, the paper boat people will give INR 20 to facilitate the education of an under-privileged child somewhere. All you have to do is make a simple paper boat, take its picture and upload it on their Facebook or Twitter page. This way you will help a child who is in need.

So quench your thirst with theses drinks which have a touch of tradition and memories!

 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cashkaro coupon site - A Review

These days online shopping has become very popular,convenient and time saving. I too am addicted to online shopping and now it has become an habit. Its so difficult to go to malls along with kids and husband. It becomes so chaotic with them that we forget what we came for and land up in the food court tired and exhausted. Hope it is the same story with every women :)

Online shopping  is slowly and steadily becoming part of our lives.It is comfortable ,convenient and we get to browse so many varieties just sitting in the couch. It also actually save money and time.These days lots of sites have free shipping, return and refund policies.You can also choose between online pay or COD( cash on delivery). Everything is so safe and well organized.




I was approached by Cashkaro.com for a review and was a little skeptical thinking how can someone get cash in return after shopping. This is how it works.

Why Cashkaro.com

1. Great Cashback offers:
Through Cashkaro.com you can earn Cashback on retailers you shop at. All you need to do is visit the retailer's website through Cashkaro.com & shop. It's that simple! For example, if you visit Myntra via Cashkaro.com & shop, you will get Rs 180 Cashback from us. We have over 500 brands.

2. Coupons with Cashback:
We also have coupons from these top brands like Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong, Zovi, Yebhi.com, Tradus and many more. Unlike other coupon sites, not only do you get the instant coupon savings you also get Cashback on top. This makes us the most rewarding website in India.

3. Cashback and coupons on International Brands:
Our parent company is based in the UK, which gives us access to many international brands like Expedia, Hotels.com, Hilton and many more. No other Cashback site in India gives you access to these brands.

4. Restaurant offers:
We are actively tying up with the best restaurants in your city and are launching this platform soon. With our exclusive restaurant offers you can easily save 1000s on your next meal.

5. Earn free money:
We work with many of India's largest brands. Because you are shopping with them anyway, by being a member of Cashkaro.com and visiting these brands via us you get extra Cashback and coupon discount. Saving has never been this easy.

6. Cashkaro.com is free to use:
Using Cashkaro.com is ALWAYS free. There are no admin fees, no joining costs or any other hidden costs. We are paid by the retailers we promote like Myntra, Snapeal, Zovi and India Times Shopping.

7. India's most attractive referral program:
For every friend, family member or colleague you refer to Cashkaro.com, you get a lifetime referral bonus of 10%. So 10% of everything your referrals earn comes to you. So if your friend earns Rs 5000 a year in Cashback, you earn Rs 500. This comes from us as a thank you. You can refer all your friends easily via Facebook, Twitter or email.



How Cashback Works?

Join Cashkaro.com & Browse offers from 500+ brands
Click-through & Shop
Click out of Cashkaro to the retailer's website e.g. Myntra. Now shop like you normally do transaction gets tracked. After you shop, within 72 hours we add your cashback to your cashkaro account & send you an email. This remains in 'Pending' status till the retailer pays us cashback gets confirmed. As soon as we get the commission from retailers we change the status of your Cashback to 'Confirmed'. This usually takes between 4-12 weeks. Get Paid!
When you have Rs 250 or more as 'Confirmed' Cashback , you can request payment and we transfer the money to your bank account for free

Cashkaro.com is the India's No.1 Cashback and coupons site. Their goal is to help their members save on their regular online purchases at leading Indian and International Brands. Their cashback and coupon partners includes your favourite brands like Jet Airways, Yatra, Expedia, Flipkart, Myntra and 100s more. Other coupons site gives you only free coupons, but Cashkaro.com gives you coupons and cashback too.
Cashkaro has turned one recently and is celebrating its success by giving away some amazing gifts check here to know more .

Cashkaro.com sets Cashback in Motion - the New Wave in E-commerce

Cashkaro.com is the first cashback site to reach the Rs 1.5 Crore mark in Cashback paid
to members within a year of operations; quickest by any cashback site yet

Members earn cashback on every transaction made via Cashkaro.com on partner brands like Amazon.in, Jabong, Myntra, Yatra.com & 500 more, over and above discounts already available

Created one of the most cost effective customer acquisition platforms for partnering
e-commerce brands in India

Categories Fashion and Electronics contribute highest, followed by Travel and Babycare

Company expects to reach the Rs 5 crore mark in Cashback paid by end 2015

Happy Shopping and saving!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

7th blog Anniversary with Magnum Icecream

It's been an amazing journey so far, I lost track of time and forgot that my blog is now seven years old. Didn't know that when kids grow older our responsibilities multiply! I am hardly posting recipes and only doing the review part these days.

A big "Hearty Thank You" to all my readers and visitors for your support, patience and encouragement all through these years. Please keep visiting and commenting. This keeps me inspired to blog. This year started with a big bang for me! I got the meet the very handsome and modest Indian celebrity chef and restaurateur Kunal Kapur and attend his masterclass!

Kunal Kapur is one of the most celebrated faces of Indian cuisine today. He is Chef extraordinaire, TV show host, winner of several culinary awards and the author of recently launched cookbook- ‘A Chef in Every Home’. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one cuisine in the world and empowering everyone through power of cooking to become self-sufficient. Chef Kunal (Executive Sous Chef, The Leela, Gurgaon) has been recognised amongst the Best Chefs in India by National Weekly Magazine - India Today. Recently, the Food & Nightlife Magazine adjudged him as the “Gourmet Guru”. He has been honored as one of the Top 20 chefs of India.

The event started like an interactive session with the chef. It was real pleasure to meet him. He started asking us about chocolates, the various types, test to identify the  best chocolate and how Magnum is different! We got 3 samples of chocolates and were asked to do a taste test.
For me eventually all were chocolates but I liked the bitter sweet one better and it was a nice start up!
Then came the tasting of Magnum Ice creams which was served in 3 different flavors. Chef Kunal Kapur wanted us to take the first bite and asked us how it feels after the very first bite! We were all speechless and were more keen on continuing the ice cream :)
Next was the creativity part. We got divided into teams and were given some ingredients along with the ice cream. We had to create something out of the given items.
I grabbed a few ingredients and found some gummy bears so we all decided to create traffic signals and a sundae out of them. This is what it eventually turned out to be :)

Though we all ended up with messy and sticky fingers we had so much fun creating it all! But the chef  created his master own piece which was standing out amongst us !

He even explained how to get the angry look of the bird with the placement of its eyes! That was simply awesome!
The event happily came to end with some refreshments, photo sessions, autographs, and goodie bags!



About Magnum:
Unilever’s biggest impulse ice-cream brand globally, Magnum not only dominates entire Europe but also is making giant waves across U.S., Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Its currently sold in more than 40 countries.Made from the finest Belgian chocolate and velvety smooth ice-cream, each bar of Magnum is crafted skillfully from bean to bite to invoke a sophisticated sensuous sensation, keeping perfect balance between bitter, sweet and milky. It’s a luxurious choc o-bar on a stick, fairly sophisticated flavors — vanilla wrapped in a neat, sturdy shell of Belgian chocolate.Magnum strongly believes " A day without pleasure is a day lost... " .They say if you haven't tasted Belgian chocolate you haven't experienced pure pleasure.
Magnum in India :
After a successful launch in Chennai last year ,the impulse ice cream brand is all set to make waves this summer in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.
Magnum ice creams are made with 100% pure Belgian chocolate. They are delicious, creamy ice-creams covered in a thick layer of Belgian chocolate shell
Magnum’s “distinctive crack”- The sound and sight of the Belgian chocolate shell breaking when one first bites into the ice cream is signature Magnum
Magnum is one of the world’s largest chocolate ice cream brands and is owned by Unilever. As Unilever’s biggest impulse ice-cream brand globally, Magnum not only dominates Europe but is also making waves across the U.S. and Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. 
Magnum truly is an intense and remarkable experience of pleasure. It delivers pleasure experiences that are sensorial and intense, the kind that leaves you completely satisfied. It has a perfectionist approach.  From crafting to ingredient selection, there’s attention to every detail
Flavors available in India :
Classic: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for those who don’t like too much frills while enjoying an ice cream bar.

Almond: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell with almond nuts. Perfect for those who like some crunch in their ice cream.

Chocolate Truffle: Plain chocolate ice cream with chocolate truffle syrup covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for the chocoholics out there who like a good mix of creamy and bitter chocolate ice cream.
My Hearty Thanks to Sameer Malkani of Food Bloggers Association, India (FBAI) for sending me the invite and making it a memorable evening for me!