Friday, January 22, 2016

Guilt free Baking – Cookbook Review and Bourbon Biscuits

  Baking has become my new leisure time activity. I like to bake a lot as it requires less effort on our side to make delicious treat. Usually I prefer to make eggless bakes .

 I received  the book Guilt – Free Baking by Gee Charman from publisher Nourish books.

About the publisher :

 Nourish books is the book publishing company based in United Kingdom. They published many famous cookbooks. I thank them for sending me the guilt free baking cookbook.

About the Author

  Gee Charman was raised and educated in Berkshire . she finished her training  at Tante Marie. Soon after that she started cooking for Royal family at Kensington Palace. She also owns a catering company called Duck Duck Mousse doing dinner parties and weddings.
  She  is a great demand Home Economist for television shows such as Market kitchen , Lorraine , There’s No taste Like home , Daily cooks and Britain’s Best Dish. She has worked under Gordan Ramsay , Hairy Bikers , Gino D’Acampo , Simon Rimmer , Jun Tanaka , Paul Merrett , James Martin and many more.


About the book :

  The book comprises of Low – Calorie and low fat sweet treats. The book begins with a introduction from the author about her sweet tooth and her interest in low calorie and low fat desserts.
 The book was divided into seven sections.

Then a section for basic recipes like berry coulis , apple puree , pear puree , pavlova , meringues, guilt free shortcrust pastry  and so on .
 Above all the recipes I liked the instant guilt – free banana ice cream with just three ingredients. It is a must try recipe.

 The next section consists of cupcakes, muffins and small cakes begins with Victoria sponge cupcakes to go fruity muffins to pumpkin puffs.

The next section is for biscuits and cookies which comprises Lime fingers , Jaffa cakes to oats coconut cookies and so on.

 Then comes the tray bakes which consists of fruity flapjacks to Jamaican Gingerbread , blondies and Chocolate beetroot brownies.

  Next was the Tart and pies section which has my favorite French apple tart  , other fruit tarts  , fruit pies , cobbler and crumbles.

 Next section consists of meringue Nest  , meringue Roulade , swiss roll and passion fruit mille Feuille.

 At the end of the book the large cakes section  which has Rhubarb cake , orange polenta cake  , Lemon Tofu cheese cake and so on.

I want to try my hands on each and every recipe , so far I made Instant Guilt free ice cream and Bourbon Biscuits.

Bourbon Biscuits are my favorite biscuit , I immediately decided to make these biscuits when i go through the book.

Bourbon Biscuits
Makes 24 biscuits ( 12 servings )


40 g butter softened
50 g golden caster sugar + 1 tsp for sprinkling
1 tbs skimmed milk 
100g plain flour + extra for dusting
1 tbs corn flour 
3 tbs cocoa powder 
1/2 tsp baking powder 


2 tbs evaporated milk
1 tbs coffee essence
1 tbs cocoa powder 
75 g icing sugar 

  Preheat oven to 160 * C / 315 * F.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl  until light and creamy , then mix in the milk.
 stir in flour , cornflour , cocoa powder and baking powder  mix everything together really well until stiff.
wrap in cling film and chill in fridge for 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface , roll out the dough into 3 mm thick.
Use a rectangular pastry cutter or a knife and ruler  to cut out 48 rectangles about 2 X 4 cm.
 Place the cut out biscuits on the baking tray , with a skewer make small indentation on half of the biscuits and sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until just firm  to touch. Transfer to wire rack and let it cool.

To make filling :

Put the evaporated milk , coffee essence and cocoa powder in a sauce pan over a low heat for a few minutes , stirring occasionally until melted and combined.
Beat in the icing sugar until  a thick paste is formed and let it cool.

Spoon the filling to the piping bag. Take the plain biscuits and squeeze a small line of the filling mixture on the centre. Place the biscuit with sugar sprinkle on top and press down lightly and leave to set.
Bourbon biscuits are ready to munch on.........

My verdict :
 Each recipe was clearly explained in step wise.

Each recipe is accompanied by a full page picture , the food photography and the styling was fabulous.

Each recipe has a column for fat and calorie count per serving along with cooking and preparation time.

Of all these all the recipes are low calorie and we can bake guilt free, it was a happy news for those on diet.

 This book was worth having to try all these delicious guilt free desserts. You can buy from the publisher , online book stores or in leading book stores.

Disclaimer :
This is not a paid review and all the views are my own.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ramayana The Game of life - Stolen Hope #Ramayana

    Ramayana The Game of Life series third book was Stolen Hope by  the author Shubha Vilas. I recieved this book from the author  ( Tulsi books ) as well as from the Indiblogger.

  This book was a continuation of the previous two series

  The rise of sun prince 
   Shattered Dreams

The book begins with storyline from the above two books.

  Stolen Hope begins with reason for the name of the Dandakaranya - the forest were the Rama , Sita and Lakshmana were residing.

    Dandakaranya was named after the ruler of the region  Danda. One day while he were hunting , he happened to saw Araja Daughter of Sukkracharya. He tried to misbehave with her that leads to the curse on the region to burn into ashes and the region becomes a forest where sages reside.

  The forest was caught in a draught and the sages living in the forest sought help in the ashram of Gautham and stayed in his ashram. After the drought goes off , Gautham didn't allow them to leave the ashram. so the sages decided to play a trick.

  They make a diseased cow to eat on the vegetable patch of the ashram . when gautham touched the cow to make it to move away, the cow fell down and died. All the sages said he made a big sin by killing a cow and they are leaving the ashram.

 Gautham understood what happened actually through his power . He cursed the forest to be filled with demons and dangerous animals. All the sages fell on their knees and asked for forgiveness.

  Gautham said that demons and dangerous animals will stay in the forest till Rama's feet touches there.This story was new and I am reading for the first time.

 There was so many new informations like Agastya role in ramayana. There were so many short stories and the trio spend two years  of their forest life. Rama talks with sita on so many things. From their talks we know so many things.

 One such story Rama told sita was about the five banyan trees stood infront of them.

  Usha , second wife of sun god left him and was on the earth. Sun god felt her absence and returned to earth to find her. When Usha saw the sun , she transformed into mare and galloped , sun transformed into horse and chased her. Five brahmin boys were witnessing the whole incident and started  to laugh on their act. Usha cursed them to be banyan tree.

 Surpanakha's husband  Vidyujita was killed accidentally by her brother Ravana in a war. I am hearing for the first time that Surpanakha was married. She was searching for her dream boy then she saw Rama. That's the beginning of the destruction of her brother Ravana , kiths and kins.

  Ravana got eighteen curses because of his behaviour towards woman . Sage Rituvarman cursed him as he him as his wife too suffered of him.

 Ten brahmin girls who were molested  by Ravana infront of their mother cursed him by pulling a hair each from their head and cursed him that his wife will molested like them by wild monkeys.

Agni and his wife svaha cursed him that his wife will be insulted infront of him by monkeys.
Sage Atri cursed him that his wife will be denuded and pulled by hair  in his helpless presence by monkeys.

 Brihaspati , guru of demigods cursed him that Rama's arrows will kill him. 

 Lord Brahma cursed him that the day he touched a woman unwilling to accept him , he would be robbed of all his powers , all his heads would be chopped off and he would die a merciless death.

  As we know the transformation of Marichan into the sinster stag , which sita wanted to own leads to her kidnap.

The book ends how Rama felt after sita's diaappearance. The book with 312 pages is a worth to read as we read and acquire new knowledge. For those who want to know the detailed Ramayana this series is a must........

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Varagu Venpongal / Koda Millet Pongal #HappyPongal

  Today was the second day of the south Indian Harvest  festival – Thai pongal . it is the first day of the Tamil month Thai as well as the thanks giving for the Sun as the sun was the important source for agriculture.

  As I have already shared my mom’s sakkaraipongal and our pongal celebration .  We make sakkarai pongal every year to thank the sun god.
   I  thought of sharing a pongal recipe with the millet. As well are spice loving I made this venpongal with varagu / Koda millet. Check out my other pongal varities here.

 Celebrate the pongal festival with this healthy pongal.....
Requirements :
Koda millet – 1 cup
Split greengram – ½ cup
Ghee – 2 tbs
Oil – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Black Pepper corns – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Salt to taste
Cashew – 6

Method :

Wash and soak together millet and green gram dhal  together for 20 minutes.

Roast the cumin and black pepper for two minutes and crush finely.

In a pressure cooker add the oil and a spoon of ghee , add the split cashew and sauté for a minute.
Add in the curry leaves and let it fry.
If using the cumin and black pepper as whole add at this time.
 Add in the soaked millet and dhal to the cooker and stir once.
Add about 3 cup of water i.e., 3 cup of water for one cup of millet.
Add the required salt and the crushed pepper and cumin , mix well.
Cover the lid and cook for three pressure releases ( whistles).

Let the pressure comes down completely and open the lid.
Add the remaining ghee and mix once.
Koda millet ven pongal is ready to be served.

Serve along with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to turn Good Mornings to gold morning…….#Colgate360GoldMornings

  Mornings being good and gold were what everyone wants. As the day begins good we all believe the whole day will be a great day for us.
   When we start our day with a good morning it will be sure the whole day will be good as well as gold. Gold fancies everyone. Even though there are many valuable metals and gems , the gold has a unique and highest place.

  Gold , the metal as well as the colour gives a richness and happiness to the wearer.

 Being in a country which is the largest buyer of gold , I too fancy gold. We love to get gift made of gold.

  Everyone wants their day to be gold when they wake from the bed.

Tips for converting your good  mornings to gold morning :

1.   Start your day by waking early in the morning. The golden yellowish orange rays of the early morning sun is good for our health especially eyes.
2.   Brushing the teeth twice daily makes your breath and teeth clean and fresh. Fresh breath raises your self esteem.
3.   Physical exercise and meditation for 30 minutes a day will makes you active and keeps energetic the whole day.
4.   Breakfast – the important meal of the day . as many are skipping the breakfast in the name of dieting , it is a bad idea. Breakfast – Break + Fast – breaking the fast as we won’t take food the whole night  - 12 hours approximately. The breakfast is the meal to break the fast and it is important to keep as energetic the whole day.

   Once we skip a meal we will look and feel     tired and we can’t concentrate on any of our work and we show our frustration as well as anger on others. So, don’t skip your breakfast and continue your good mornings as Gold mornings…….

5.   If activities of the day are planned ahead i.e., the day before we can carry on our work without hurry and stress.
6.   I always start the day with a prayer to god , that gives me strength as well as belief that the whole will be great for me.

About colgate 360 Charcoal Gold toothbrush #Colgate360GoldMornings

 The new product from the colgate.  This gold coloured toothbrush infused with charcoal and thin bristles . its gold colored antibacterial bristles inhibits bacterial growth on the brush for 90 days and the charcoal spiral bristles clean and remove the stains of the teeth. The tounge cleaner on the back of the bristles , so the brush itself does two jobs.

Keep smiling to turn your good mornings to gold morning……. J J J J J

Recieved Flipkart voucher worth INR 1000/- .