Reshma Govind
I know, I know...I am late!! Valentines day was almost one month back and I am coming with this post now! Anyways better late than never!! Last valentines day was my first one after marriage and I wanted to do something special for that. I kept thinking about a lot of ideas and finally decided to bake a Black Forrest Cake together! Yeah together..I do feel something special about cooking together :). Its really romantic...! To my luck, he loves cooking. It feels great at times to be pampered and served with food cooked by him, but at times, when I want to make something special for him, he always make sure to pop up with his ideas and suggestions every now and then and yeah you guessed right, at the end it will be more like his "idea dish" than mine!!!

Anyways coming back to the topic, we finally made a black forest cake!! I have been always amazed by all the beautiful cake photographs in some wonderful blogs out there...It was something I imagined only professionals could do!! But I have to say that I really got inspired by all those yummy cake recipes and mouth watering snaps . This is our first cake and I do not have any recipes to share here as we did not do it from scratch. I bought Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake mix and followed the instructions to bake the chocolate sponge cake and used Betty Crocker Whipped Cream and followed the recipes that I had come across in some great sites. I used vanilla essence for the sugar syrup and semi sweet dark chocolate for decoration. Unfortunately I couldn't find any Cherries (Murphys Law guys!...You dont get it when you go looking for it..) So managed with strawberries.... Did I say my black forest cake was authentic in the first place?? ;d.

P.S : Please excuse our decoration.. :d its really clumsy...I will definitely try to improve next time :)

Having said all about easy to use cake mix and ready made whipped cream, we still took one whole evening to finish this..but aren't I glad that we gave it a shot!!!. As soon we finished baking and decorating, I refrigerated it for some time, and tried out our first slices(yup, it was really difficult to resist our temptations that long!). Our first verdict - it was a bit too sweet and does not have the vanilla taste or the moist finish of a good cake. But the second day it all set in very well and the cake tasted just "yum"....I would recommend this to all those who want to try a hand in cake baking...this is of course a good start. And now, I sure can't wait to go ahead and make this cake again from scratch using all proper ingredients!

Reshma Govind
Fried rice was never in my favorite food list until i got to try the basil fried rice from one Thai restaurant, here in Carlsbad . The flavor of basil and pepper brought an entirely new and refreshing taste to this dish and i have to tell you, I just loved it. Now this Thai restaurant is one of the few places i love to frequent, whenever I get that craving to eat something from outside..(I guess that's something for a person like me who will go for rice, moru curry/curd and pickle if any one offered me chinese food like fried riceeeee!!!)

Let me put a disclaimer before i start off with the recipe. This is not authentic and its just my idea of presenting this dish and any resemblance to the actual Thai spicy basil veg/egg fried rice is a pure coincidence ;) ...So here goes my version...


Rice - 1 cup (basmati or long grain white rice)
Vegs (Its your choice!!) - Capsicum/Cabbage/Celery/Beans/Asparagus/Carrot - 2 cups
Onion - 1/2 of one med onion
Green Chilly(small) - 2-3
minced garlic - 1 tsp
Spring Onion
Soy Sauce - 1- 2 tsp
Chilli Garlic Paste - 1.5 tsp
Vinegar/Tomato Ketchup - 1tsp
Freshly ground pepper - 1tbsp
Salt to Taste
Oil( Olive/Veg)
Eggs - 3
Basil Leaves - a small bunch


  • Cook the rice and keep it aside. It should be fluffy when cooked. You can use the refrigerated left over rice from the day before(actually that's ideal!)
  • Heat oil, add minced garlic and saute well. Now add the finely chopped onion, spring onion(white part) and small green chillies and saute well till the onion is soft and pale.Now add in some salt and crushed pepper and stir for 2 minutes
  • Add the chopped vegs and saute it. Cook for few minutes till done (no need of water here as the vegs are chopped fine , it will cook fast.)
  • Move the vegs to one side of the pan and add a few drops of oil and the add the beaten eggs(use only two, keep the final one for garnish) on the other side and scramble it with some salt and pepper . Mix it well with the cooked veggies.
  • Now throw in the basil leaves and mix well. Add some soy sauce and chilli garlic paste and tomato ketchup( I did not have vinegar) and give it a stir and cook for few minutes.
  • Add in the cooked rice and mix well till all the flavors combine well.
  • Garnish with green onion and scrambled egg(optional) and a generous pinch of crushed pepper. Enjoyyyyy!

It turned out to be something like the basil fried rice i had in my mind when i started off and my hubby seemed to be in good condition even after i tested this on him (except that it was a bit spicy...but then it was authentic with the spice level of Thai food;) )


Reshma Govind
Snorkeling - the beautiful and scary world of truth !!!

I was lucky to visit Florida last X'mas with my friends. Everyone were interested in some or other adventurous activity - para sailing, para gliding, snorkeling, scuba diving....Scuba diving was out of the list in first few seconds as we need to know swimming for this and in our group of four , only one knew swimming. Next in the list was snorkeling. We inquired at one place and came to know that we should know swimming for that too. All were a bit disappointed, but the ray of hope came when the lady in charge at the second place told that swimming is not necessary!!! I was also very happy (i really don't have any idea what i was thinking then!!!). To tell the truth, I had not given much thought into what is snorkeling/scuba diving or rather i did not care!! I was just getting excited about doing something adventurous with friends (silly me!!!).

I do not know anything about swimming and tends to panic in water. When we reached the place for snorkeling and started putting on the outfits, tension started to sink in. I started becoming nervous at the thought of going into the water all on my own! Even though my friends did not know swimming much, they were very excited (or at least they wanted us to believe so ;) ) . So I tried to take it with a smile, but Sree could make out my tension and tried to comfort me. Finally our turn came to jump into the water and my heart started beating fast (yes......butterflies in stomach). I climbed down the steps of the boat and sat on the side bar and put on my snorkeling fins and slowly tried to slide into the water(scary!). I was in water by then, but still was holding the bar and was hanging there with my head fully above water. I didn’t get the courage to leave it and go. Sree tried to make me leave my hand from the bar and balance my body in water, but all i did was go under water and come up in panic with salt water in my mouth, nose and ears!!!!

After all these panic episodes, the people in charge (realizing my pathetic condition!!) decided to give me some additional support by providing me a body surfboard. Even after so many trials, I was not able to balance on that board and stay in the same position and float on top of water!!!Then they came up with something called a swimming noodle, which I can use to float along with some one else….however i still managed to take in a very good amount of salt water(even with all that safety mask and gear !). Finally they gave me a boogie board (more like toddler stuff!) on which I can lie down properly and it also has a rope that can be pulled by another person(yes yes…he was pulling me in water like a man jogging with a dog!!)..I was feeling so embarrassed that i decided to give up and go back, but somehow got on top of the boogie board and Sree guided me through the water with the rope attached to it(that's how i finally did snorkeling ;))…He had a very tough time with me , out there….. I was concentrating more on different ways to panic rather than balancing!!!

The view under sea was amazing after all that hard work. It was worth every second of the effort we did to keep myself afloat!!…I recommend it to every one who does not panic in water(oh it really doesn't matter ;), go ahead and give it a try!).…its beautiful!! Amidst all these confusions, we still managed to take our snaps of snorkeling ..check out the two snaps here… one the 'picture perfect' snorkeling snap of us.

And another, truth behind the first snap!!!


Reshma Govind
It’s been looong time since I posted something. I am having this syndrome – starts off everything with great enthu, but drops it after 2 or 3 weeks. I would have become enthu about something else by then…. There are lots of things in this list – cross stitching, reading, blogging , dance(its more of laziness than drift of interests!) , physiotherapy( I guess I was never soooo enthu about it), preparing a recipe book( Don’t misunderstand , it doesn’t have any innovative recipes by me!!!). It’s a mix of so many wonderful recipes I found while surfing so many wonderful blogs…. I know it sounds stupid. What is the need to note down all these recipes, when its all freely available in blogs and you can just access it in 2 minutes!...Ya , but I am a bit crazy and I love the idea of having all these wonderful recipes in my special recipe book . The latest hobby in that list is making Earrings ;)…. I don’t know how long this new found hobby of mine is going to last, even though I have already got special orders for my earrings business from my sister :) , my one and only customer!!!

This Christmas was a memorable one with a great trip to Florida with Mr & Mrs Dinup Kulangara :D. Hope you all had a great christmas and new year. Wishing each and every one a wonderful, happy, fun filled, exciting, peaceful & prosperous Year 2009…..May all your dreams come true!!!!