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Happy Moments

Happy Moments

Happy and Healthy 2013!

New Year New Habits

healthy-new-year source:lafitness.com

The start of January brings with it bold declarations about what’s going to be different in the coming year. So what was your new year’s resolution? Are you still on it? I read a post on Facebook which said “I wish to open a place called ‘Resolutions’ which will be a gym till 31st Jan and later will be turned into a bar, that’s called money making business”. Resolutions are self made promises and often ‘I wish …’ statements, some do take them seriously but for many they are meant to be broken.

For a couple of months I have been following a “New month, new habit” plan. I decide to do something for 30 consecutive days. It can be any activity like doing yoga for 15 minutes, walk for 30 minutes, eating soaked almonds, reading two pages of a book and so on. I am glad it’s been working quite well; not 100% success rate but three 9s are still better than nothing. This year I decided to expand this idea to “New Year, New Habits”.

Cultivating new habits at this age is not easy. From my experience, if you enjoy something and believe that it’s good for you, you may start doing it as your hobby and turn in into a habit eventually. I enjoy being in kitchen, experimenting with new recipes, relishing old memories, recreating my mom’s specialities, recollecting the exact flavor and aromas of innumerable dishes made by my Aaji (gradma). I started cooking only a few years back which does surprise me too but now that I have discovered the joy cooking has become my habit.

I will talk more about my new year’s habits at my first mid year review. For now, I want to learn “the food science”, want to work with local ingredients and I wish to be more regular in my visits to farmer’s market. This year we will celebrate healthy cooking from around the world right here in our kitchen at MyHomeMantra. I am excited to launch to new sections – tips n tricks and  how-tos for new comers in kitchen. Will be restarting “Know your Food” section. Every month we will dive deep in one ingredient under our upcoming Food-O-Wiki title. Cooking while working has always been a challenge and we wish to simplify things with some quicker and healthier yet more traditional recipes.

Our very first blog anniversary is coming up in few months and I wish to achieve 100 recipes mark before that. I will be hosting a couple of food events with giveaways so stay tuned for more information and I have promised someone to fill in the blanks under “Abous Us” title which is been missing for a long time now.

MyHomeMantra wishes you all a vey happy and healthy 2013!

Continental/ Desserts/ Entertaining/ Happy Moments

Coconut Macaroons

It was a cold winter day and we were driving pass Santa Cruz mountains. I was craving for cappuccino while S wanted an oven fresh pizza. Before I could realize he had parked in front of Domino’s. Since pizza doesn’t really fit into my ‘fat-friendly’ list, I started exploring other options. I saw this small bakery shop which looked very inviting. The smell of fresh bread was very tempting. While I was still deciding the owner brought out a tray full of coconut macaroons just out of oven. He dipped one macaroon in chocolate and insisted me to try.

That was the highlight of our trip! Warm, soft, sweet, chewy coconut macaroon with lightly crunchy base dipped in warm chocolate was a pure bliss! I packed some and promised myself to recreate this joy at home! Here it is, a very simple recipe and very few ingredients. Though it’s a sugar bomb, once in a while it’s worth the splurge 🙂

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroon

Warm, soft, chewy, sweet coconut macaroons - puer bliss!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine sweetened condensed milk, sweetened coconut and vanilla extract in a big bowl. Mix well
  3. Whisk the egg whites, initially on medium speed changing it to high till it forms medium peaks.
  4. Fold in the egg whites into the milk-coconut mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper.
  6. Drop the mixture either using 1 3-4 inch ice cream scooper or using two spoons. 
  7. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
  8. Done!

Confession – I baked them little too longer.

BTW, the name of the place is ‘companion bakeshop‘. It’s absolutely worth a stop if you are visiting Santa Cruz.

Sending it to Vardhini’s Bake Fest hosted by Anu’s Healthy Kitchen

Happy Moments

MyHomeMantra receives two Liebster awards :)

This was truly a special week for MyHomeMantra. My Tiramisu picture received a compliment from Serena Palumbo, born and raised in Italy, she was a contestant in Next Food Network Star season 6. I was very happy to see an Italian chef liking my Tiramisu. It was as good as winning an award.

On a very next day to my surprise, I did win a very precious blogging award – the Liebster award. I am proud to receive the award twice by two lovely  bloggers – Preeti and Janani whom I really admire for their wonderful blogs and amazing recipes. Thank you ladies!liebster blog award

Liebster is a German word and it means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcoming. The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The rules for receiving the Liebster award:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about herself.
  2. Answer the questions set by the tagger.
  3. Pass the award to 11 more bloggers.

Here are few things about myself:

  • I have never had tea in my life and I didn’t know how to prepare tea until I  got married.
  • I started real cooking during my masters and I feel I have found my new passion.
  • My mom is my role model, I wish I could cook like her, it’s still a long way to go.
  • My husband (fondly referred to as S on this blog) is a great food critique; though it helps me improve my skills, sometimes I wish he didn’t know anything about cooking.
  • My friends call me geek and they are not lying. I spend more time learning new languages than I should.
  • My technical blog is more active that this one.
  • I want to learn photography, for now I have outsourced the work to S.
  • Ganapati festival is my the most favorite festival.
  • The three things I miss about Pune are Alphonso mangos, pushkarni bhel & mom made food.
  • I am a big fan of coffee and chocolate and mangoes and ukdiche modak.

To answer Preeti’s question, the inspiration behind this blog came from many wonderful blogs (some of them mentioned below) and my mom. What I thing about Preeti’s Kitchen Life? I love your blog and honestly, I am jealous about how much you have achieved in such a short amount of time, you have a great collection of recipes. Your passion and zeal really shows in the variety of your posts. Keep up  the great work!

I am very happy to nominate these folks for the award –

  • EvolvingTastes –  I stumbled her blog while searching for “Ruchira” long back. Since then I have fallen in love with her writing style; very elegant and very personal. I have found some of my childhood favorites on her blog.
  • My Cookbook – Shweta is a wonderful person and an amazing cook.  We were flatmates for a year. I’ve learned many useful tricks from her.. She has excelled the technique of “fast cooking”.
  • Vadani Kaval Gheta – Though I don’t know her personally, I often visit her blog. She has a great collection of recipes and mainly Maharashtrian recipes.
  • My Diverse Kitchen – She is my inspiration for learning photography. Needless to mention a great cook with a large variety of recipes. I have a huge list of bookmarks from her site.
  • Sailaja’s Recipes – I know Sailaja through my dance class. She is a super woman. She is a software engineer, a mom, dancer, an artist and a cook! Hats off to her energy and her creativity.
  • Travelicious !!! – A blog that talks about travel and food. Love the name. I have been thinking of writing about our trips for a long time, happy to see Rupsha doing a great job.
  • It’s better to burn out that to fade away – It’s not a food blog but will definitely serve food for thought. He pens his candid opinions and in a very effective manner.
I have two simple questions for you all, what’s the inspiration behind your blog and how important for you to have a huge list of followers to keep up the good work? 

Now to answer Janani’s list of questions,

1) Who was the inspiration behind your blog? My mom & EvolvingTastes
2) What you will do when you are free? Work on my next website – apurvacreations.net (coming soon)
3) What kind of movies do you enjoy? All Salman Khan movies
4) What kind of people you like? Any one with positive energy, and with witty sense of humor.
5) What kind of food you like? I love chaat & everything Maharashtrian
6) Most memorable moment? When I told my 10th std result to my mom, she was very very happy.
7) Who is the best teacher in your school? Bhat bai.
8) Who is the role model in your life? My parents!!
9) What is your favorite movie? Hum Apke Hai Kaun
10) Name one book you had to read but hated? Civics book, every year!
11) What is your favorite album? All A R Rehman songs.

Have a great weekend!

 

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