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Showing posts from March, 2013

An enchanting hour at a book fair...

Visited a book fair today and it was wonderful poking through second hand worn out books. They belonged to some library, so there were quite a lot of romance novels; the Mills & Boons and Silhouette types to Barbara Cartland and Nora Roberts. Then there were the usual Danielle Steel and Jude Deveraux books that usually span centuries. The staple teenage fodder was there too: The Hardy Boys ( I used to love the Hardy Boys, had a huge crush on Frank Hardy, growing up), Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and R.L. Stine. Saw some Archie comics lying around... the others were just the usual Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Harold Robbins and James Hardley Chase. Surprisingly I didn't see any John Grisham or Crichton or Cook. There were a few Maeve Binchy's, Patricia Cornwell and Jeffrey Deavere's too. I saw an A.J. Cronin book and my heart skipped a beat, I've been in love with him since I read his autobiography. Then picked up a Maeve Binchy and a few other random books because …

Jeffrey Archer...

So Jeffrey Archer was in town recently and I went to see him at one of the Landmark outlets. I am not that into him, I've read only two of his books: 'Kane and Abel' and 'Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less' and both of them were lent by friends. While I remember thinking Kane and Abel was nice, I loved Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less... only a very brilliant mind could have weaved such an enticing and hilarious story. I've never read any of his other books, I guess it was because most of his characters seem to resemble their creator, in the sense that it is not hard to imagine Archer being convicted of whatever he was convicted of, because his characters are unscrupulous like that. Jeffrey Archer is in the midst of penning down his Clifton Chronicles, and as he admitted at the meet, these series are more or less autobiographical in nature. I think he was here to launch the third book in the Clifton Chronicles, and the crowd seemed to love him. He enthralled…

Bailey's Irish Cream Brownies

I had a little Bailey's lying around, so decide to make some Irish cream brownies. These were really good, not too dense like brownies not too light like cake, it was in between, and I loved them.
Ingredients 1/4 cup butter 1/3 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips 1 cup all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda A pinch of salt 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 eggs 1 cup powdered sugar 1/3 cup Bailey's Irish cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Getting started heat the butter in a saucepan and while it starts melting... Drop in the beautiful chocolate chips... And stir them around till they dissolve... this is paradise in a saucepan.  Remove from heat and keep it aside to cool down a bit. Now, sieve the all purpose flour (which is basically maida and baking powder) and baking soda into a container. Add the salt too. Drop in the cocoa powder... Now add the coffee powder... Close the container, and give the whole thing a nice shake. This is the easy way to mix dry ingredients, …

Cumin and Coriander rice...

This is quite beautiful and stunning in its simplicity and ease of preparation. When I am held up with work or am loathe to stand in a hot kitchen, this is the lunch I invariably end up making. With a couple of masala coated eggs (which can also be cooked up in a jiffy) this is the best way to live. I hate all the coconut scraping and the grinding and the avial /theyil/ poriyal drama. 
Anyway, first wash and soak your rice. Measure the quantity of rice, you'll have to add double the quantity of water later on while cooking.  Wash and grind a whole bunch of coriander leaves...
Now heat some oil in a pressure cooker, add some jeera / cumin seeds, a little garam masala powder and mix it around. Then add the coriander leaves paste, saute a few minutes. Add double the quantity of water to this green masala... Take a cube of vegetable or chicken stock in the spoon...  Take a little of the warm water from below and using a knife, break it down... until it disintegrates, then drop it in …

Tender Tuesday

This was taken by a cousin in The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She perfectly encapsulates tenderness in its most human form, if only we could love or serve others half as much as she did, the peace that emanated from her could fill us and overflow the world. Click on the picture for a larger view. 
This post is part of a themed series organised by CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) to celebrate and encourage the spirit of blogging. 

P.S: Thanks for the picture Zak.

WhatsApping... with the cousins.

So we (me, siblings and the cousins from different parts of the globe) have taken to watching/witnessing most world events together while having crazy discussions on whatsapp. That was how we watched the Oscars and last night the discussions turned even crazier as we waited for the pope to be revealed. When my sister alerted the group with a message saying 'White smoke!', a cousin replied 'are you sure it's not coming from your pressure cooker?' After that it was non stop banter for more than a hour; when we started to get tired of waiting, another cousin quipped 'maybe he already resigned.' And somebody else was like 'Taylor Swift is probably penning down another song about how disappointed she is, because she has to wait so long.' So anyway, the Holy Father finally arrived and all the wait was worth it... he seems like a humble and gentle soul. I like his name, Jorge Bergoglio. So here's wishing and hoping that you do a great job, Pope Franci…

Game of Thrones (An Assault to the Senses)....

The past few weeks have been traumatizing and Games of Thrones is partly to blame for that. I started reading the book and watching the show recently, and I can't say which I hate more. Let's start with the book, the author, George R. R. Martin, seems to have written the book in some drunken stupor and all his sick, lurid not to mention porn-ish fantasies have been given free rein here. There are too many plot lines, and too many deaths... each time you really start to like a character and BHAM! he is killed immediately. What is that, you kill off all the main characters and let the dregs of society dictate the rest of the book. When Ned Stark dies I was like what the... heck, he was the only person with integrity and values and you kill him off and let his family flounder. And I was so hoping Ned Start would tell Jon Snow, who his mother was... was hoping for another beautiful love story there. I don't know if that ever materializes, I read only the first book 'Game …