20 March, 2015

Just Dreams

Title:    Just Dreams
Author: L.J. Taylor
ISBN: 9781941778005
Format: E Book

Synopsis

Sparks fly when attorney Kathy Brooks agrees to represent novelist Charles Morgan, Jr. in a high-profile suit against a powerful government defense contractor. But when Charles’ hidden agenda threatens to expose the government’s dirty little secrets, what started out as the case of a lifetime could cost Kathy her heart, her career and even her life. Charles doesn’t just want to win the lawsuit. He wants to destroy the company responsible for his wife’s death. His enemies, however, will stop at nothing to make the case go away – and that includes blackmail, kidnapping, and murder. As the body count rises and the stakes get higher, Charles and Kathy will have to decide just how much they’re willing to sacrifice for the win. To get justice, they’ll have to put it all out on the line - including each other - and it still might not be enough. "Just Dreams" is the first book in the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series

My View

I got this one as a review copy and wasn't expecting much from it but ended up liking it. Honestly its a breezy read, fast paced and in a way moves like a movie. Keeps you hooked till last moment. My only issue with it was that it is a tad unrealistic (and may be that's why plays like a movie) and the ending is too quick.

But overall a good travel read.

Rating 3/5

05 March, 2015

Holi & Gujhiya's go hand in hand....

Don't they?

Think of holi and the memories that flash past me include Gujhiya, Mathri, Besan Sev, Dahi Bade & of course Tehri. The later might look out of place to you but this one was a family tradition. After playing a fun filled Holi and coming home tired my Mom would always make Tehri (actually its UP Version Mixed Veg Rice) along with Curd, Green Dhaniya Chutney & papad.

I have been making Gujhiya's (of course with the help of my Ma In Law & Ma) post Arnav was born. The logic behind it was very simple, I want to give him memories that we have. I want him to remember festivals the way we did. So, the gujhiya's & meethi mathri's have been made even this year (though I wanted to make more but my health isn't permitting) and here I am re-posting my How To Make Gujhiya's post from my cooking blog. Last year this was posted thanks to Reema :D & this year Rachna's post gave me an idea to re-post this. So here you go

Gujhiya

Ingredients for the stuffing

Khoya/ Mawa -     1/2 Kg
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 Kg
Sooji -                 200 gms
Desi Ghee -          2 tbsp
Elaichi -               5-6
Dry Fruits -          Raisins & Cashew nuts a handful each

Ingredients for the dough

Maida -            1/2 Kg
Water -            For making the dough
Ghee/ Dalda -   For frying
Ghee/ Dalda -   3-4 Tbsp for Moin

Though you get mawa in market but the quality available isn't really good. So we make it at home. All you need to do is take a liter of milk and burn the milk to such a level that reduces to become mawa. You need to keep stirring it.

The Mawa!

In a skillet add the ghee and put the sooji in it. Fry it at low flame till it turns a light brown like in the picture.

Now add the Khoya in it. Powder the Sugar along with the Cardamom and add it to the mixture along with the dry fruits. The stuffing, also known as kasar is now ready. Let it cool down & store it, to be used later for making the Gujhiya's.

Before!
After!
Waiting to be sweetened
Ready to be Powdered
Added to the Khoya + Suji Mixture
Throw in the Dry Fruits!


Now on to the dough.

Melt the ghee/ dalda for moin. Take the maida in a parat and add the moin. The trick of adjudging the correctness of the moin is that when you mix it with the maida and take it in a hand a ladoo should form (like in the picture). Now slowly add the water and make a dough which is tight, quite like the way we make for poori. Cover the dough and leave it for 15-20 mins.

Now, get yourself a chakla, belan, this spoon with which you can cut the ends or the Gujhiya cutter. I will now let the images talk

Take a Kadhai, add the Ghee/ dalda (we used dalda because Ghee would have been too heavy) and let it get heated up. Points to note while frying the gujhiya's)
I forgot to melt the ghee! You shouldn't
See A ladoo/ lump to check the correctness of the moin
Done
All Set!
The mold! We used a spoon cutter
This big a portion of the dough
Roll out the poori, remember it should neither be too thick nor too thin
Put the stuffing the center
Bring in the sides together to seal (you can apply a little water on one side to seal it). Remember to close it properly otherwise the stuffing can break out while frying. Also remember not to over stuff. 
Now cut the corners
Like This
Ready!

Ready to be fried
Another view
In the oil
Done
The Bunch is ready!

  • When you are starting the oil should be warm. Check the heat by putting in a small ball, if it springs up immediately you are ready to fry.
  • Keep the flame at medium and put in 3 pieces of Gujhiya.
  • Within a minute the poori will swell up, turn the gujhiya.
  • Keep turning them till they turn pinkish and then take them out.
  • Maintain same heat all the time.
  • Be Patient!!! :D
Last year I had thanked my Ma In Law for her support and this year I have my Mom to thank :). She had made the stuffing and kept it ready when I came from office. Also, the images are from last to last year coz this year I forgot to click images as was a little under weather.

Have a great holi everybody :)

02 March, 2015

All the Gabbars in the House

Are asking at regular intervals

Holi Kab Hai??

And when they get confused they even ask Diwali kab aayegi. *rolls her eyes*

Pichkari has been bought and when I was buying a new big one for sonny boy he very nicely reminded me; "Mumma ghar main big waali pichkari hai na we don't need this". I was like he takes on right things from his father (who BTW is Gabbar-2). But I still ended up buying a small one for him because last year by the time poor fellow would pump in water in his pichkari, people would splash colour on him and go. 

See it is taller than him!

So the plans are on for Gujhiya & Mathri's which we would have made yesterday had we not gone to see Dum Laga Ke Haisha. It was an impromptu plan but a great one.

The Movie is just awesome. We were laughing most of the time and the best part was I could relate to it at many levels. The movie is true to its setting & takes you down to the memory lane. Remember how we used to buy audio cassettes, clean the player? Or the way we used to give songs for recordings and would then make a cover of the blank cassette, write all the songs inside?? Of how the reel would get entangled and we would take it out & try to make it work but by putting in a pen in the spool and repair it?

The movie also took me back to my homeland. The language used, the cunning relatives, it was all there. 

It is a must watch movie with a stellar cast. A sweet story very well told.

I also managed to finish my passport application work this Saturday. Would you believe me if I tell you that I was out of the office under an hour? I reached there at 8:40, got in by 8:45-50 and was out by 9:55 AM. It would have ended faster had their been no government employees. But what to do the verification is done by them and none of them had arrived till 9:20. Here I must tell you that the girl who verified my documents was quite young and the way she was yawning at 9:30 AM? I was about to ask her if she wants me to sign in her place *rolls eyes*.

And I am keeping all my finger crossed for India's campaign in World Cup 2015. So far so good!!!

So how was your weekend? What plans for diwali holi?

27 February, 2015

Shopaholic to the Stars: (Shopaholic Book 7)

Title: Shopaholic to the Stars
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Price: Rs. 284/- (Kindle Edition) 352/- (Paperback)
Pages: 400 (PaperBack)
Category: ChickLit


From The Blurb

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood! It's as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She's hanging out with the stars … or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing. There's so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some…er…help. 

Becky sets her heart on a new career - she's going to be a celebrity stylist. Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it's tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail. But somehow...things aren't quite working out as they’d hoped.

Then Becky's big chance comes, and it's an opportunity that money can't buy. But will it cost her too much?

My Review

I am a big fan of Shopaholic Series and have read the 1st four books more than once. In fact I am a fan of Sophie Kinsella as well. There was a time when I would not wait for the proper paperback to release; grabbing the much expensive trade paperback.

There was a time when I used to relate to Becky; their was a phase in my life when my shopping pattern was a little in line with being a shopaholic but then life changed and I grew up. Unfortunately Becky hasn't grown up till now. In this book we are transported to Los Angeles and Becky is still as vain as she was in the other books from the series. Not that she isn't entertaining but how much can you rehash the old formula again & again.

Shopaholic Series follows a template
  1. Becky is Adorable
  2. Becky Shops
  3. Becky is Selfish
  4. Becky is Hurting everybody
  5. Becky Knows she is committing mistakes but ignores
  6. Everybody leaves her all alone
  7. She gathers her marbles and understands everything
  8. Ta da Novel ends
Its very simple, the books is entertaining but offers nothing new. We know where the story is going; ummmm not really because there is an unexpected twist but you keep reading because Becky is addictive but by the time you finish the book you realise it was all fluff. 

I hope the next book in the series offers us something new.

My Rating: 3/5 (Yes it is still an entertaining read)

26 February, 2015

The World is Not All That Bad

This morning when we were on our way to office our reverie (read Hubby riding & Me hurriedly reading something on my mobile) was broken by a strong hooting of horn behind us. We slowed down and turned around to see Truck (of all vehicles) hooting behind us and the cleaner half leaning out shouted "aapka bag gir gaya hai" (your bag has fallen down).

Hubby checked and found my lunch bag missing. He was clearly in two thoughts, "to go back or to leave it".

I myself was clearly in two thoughts; to get it back or to leave it. The previous thought was winning and then I remembered Methi ki Bhaaji, Pakodi waali kadhi & Tupper ware ka dubba.....

And then came in another truck & another cleaner leaning out, "zyada door nahin hai".

Both I & Husband started peering back and In came another truck with another cleaner leaning out, "its there not far"..

We were like how come all the Truck drivers know that we have stopped for that bag only and how do they know its our only? Since I was standing rigidly, hubby decided to drive back and rescue the bag.

I thanked all the Truck wallahs, their cleaners & my hubby profusely (of course in my mind) while eating the lunch coz it was lip smacking yummy! And Yes I made it and I am usually modest.

On a side note, my Blog has featured in Top 15 Books Blogs of India, you can view it here. And to be honest I am embarrassed after reading that post because a) I Haven't written a book review in like ages? b) I know that site is something else and they only want footfalls for their website. I feel embarrassed for falling it for it. But well, its there so its there.

How's life? You guys don't really comment these days no? No words of encouragement for people like me who are trying to get back to blogging huh?

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