Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fruit trifle

'Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year'

What are your New Year's resolutions? Do you ever make any?
Setting the resolution might be easy, sticking to them can be challenging..
This year I have already set my resolutions and I'm pretty determined to stick to them.. This new year I have set not one but 5 resolutions which are..

Call me stupid for sharing the resolutions publicly but I kind of feel motivated.. How do u guys stick to your resolutions? Kindly share your secret!!


Let's start this New Year on a sweet note..

We absolutely love jelly custard and it has become a regular thing at home..So thought 'll take it up a notch by adding up more layers to create this beautiful trifle. If you're looking for a light, delicious dessert options, this is the one for you! You can build as many layers as you want, I went with 6 layers.. You can either stack the layers of fruits, jelly, custard in a trifle bowl or serve in  individual glasses(single serve desserts are the best, ain't they?)

Typically, a trifle glass is stacked with fruits, jelly, custard, cookie crumble, sponge cake, whipping cream the options are endless.. Here's how I made it!
Ingredients (makes 3-4 glasses)
  1. Cookies-8, crumbled
  2. Fruits- I used 10 strawberries and half an apple
  3. a packet of jelly(I used orange)
  4. Water- 1 1/2 cup
  5. Custard powder- 3 tbsp
  6. Milk- 3 cups
  7. Sugar- 6 tbsp
  • Layer 1 - Crumble the cookie and place them in the glasses and even it out.
  • Layer 2 - Arrange the strawberries over Layer 1
  • Layer 3 - For custard, Take 1/2 cup of milk, mix it with custard powder and sugar without any lumps until both gets dissolved completely. Keep aside. Heat the remaining milk, when it starts to boil. Add the custard mixture to the milk and keep stirring continuously to avoid lumps and burning of the mixture.When it starts to thicken switch off the flame and allow it to cool down.
       Once it cools, pour some over the strawberry layer.
  • Layer 4 - For jelly.. Heat 1 1/2 cups of water, when it boils add the jelly crystals and stir vigorously until the crystals are dissolved completely.switch off the flame and pour the mixture into a bowl and let it set. Refrigerate it and cut it place it over custard layer. 
  • Layer 5- Arrange the apple chunks over jelly/jello layer
  • Layer 6- Pour some more custard over the apple layer
  • Finally top it with fruits, nut or chocolate shavings
That's it, No biggie!! 

What I love about this recipe(?) is you can change the fillers to suit you or the folks you're creating it for.. options are truly endless!

Linking his post to :

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Curd Rice/Thayir Sadam

Curd rice is a popular South Indian dish and very easy food to make. It tastes great with pickle or potato fry or simple kootu. If curd rice is made with fruits and nuts it's called as Bagala Bath. My husband is a big fan of seasoned curd rice, he'll be very happy even if I temper with mustard and curry leaves alone. Me too!!

Curd has a semi solid and creamy consistency. Curd helps you beat the heat in tropical countries. It's a diary product with the following health benefits like instant relief from diarrhea and dysentery, enhances digestion, zero carbs, sugar and trans fat.


  • Sona masoori - 1/2 cup
  • Curd/ Yogurt - 1/2 cup
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Mango (finely chopped) - 2tbsp
  • Carrot (finely chopped) - 1tbsp
  • Cilantro (finely chopped) - 1tbsp 
  • Green Chilli (finely chopped) - 1
  • Ginger (finely chopped) - 1tsp
  • Salt - as needed
To temper 
  • Oil - 2tsp
  • Mustard - 1tsp
  • Urad dhal - 1tsp
  • Asafoetida - pinch
  • Curry leaves - few 


  • Wash the rice and pressure cook with 1 & 1/2 cups of water for 4-5 whistles in medium flame. Once done immediately mash the rice well and add hot boiling milk, mix well. Add more water if needed. Allow the rice mixture to cool down.

  • Now add curd along with salt, all the chopped ingredients one by one.
  • Then temper with the items given under 'to temper' table and mix well.


  • You can add cashew nuts, dry grapes, cucumber, pomegranate, grapes, apple etc. It's your call. 
  • If your preparing for occasions then add butter for creamy and rich flavor.
  • While tempering you can also add red chillies, that also gives a nice flavor  to the recipe. 
  • Before adding curd, ensure the rice is cooled down, because it tends to cause curdling when rice is hot. This will cause the killing of bacteria in the curd, which will not be comfortable to the tummy!
  • Always add hot milk to the rice. 
  • If you are packing for lunch then add more milk and less curd, which will prevent the rice turning too sour/tangy. 
  • If packing for kids, avoid green chilli. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Vathal Kuzhambu

I am a person of simple taste when it comes to food. But when I have an awesome mom and mom-in-law who cooks awesome food, the bar is set really high for certain dishes….the taste of which can never be replicated however hard I try. I am sure it is the same in any other family.

Vathal Kuzhambu is one such dish. It is a South Indian or to be more specific, Tamil Brahmin specialty. Sun dried vegetables (known as ‘Vathal’ in Tamil) are added to the curry. Most common vathal used are ‘Sundakkai’ a.k.a Turkey Berry and ‘Manathakkali’ a.k.a Black Nightshade. And needless to say, it has a whole lot of health benefits.

Although only vathals are used in authentic ‘Vathal Kuzhambu’, vegetables such as drumstick, ladies finger, onion, pearl onion, brinjal/eggplant can also be used. 

It is a spicy, tangy curry and it may be an acquired taste for some. But ask anyone who grew up eating this, it would spell heaven to them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Earn While You Shop - Shopkick Mobile App Review

I am obsessed with ShopKick!

If you are already a Shopkick user, it is now time for a group hug! It is freaking awesome, right?

If you are wondering what this hype is all about, read on.

It is one of the amaziiiiiiiiiiiiing mobile app that I have used till date.

I always go with the principle, “If it is too good to be true, then it is probably not true!” But this app proved me wrong.

And wait, let me give a disclaimer right here. This is NOT a sponsored post. Shopkick did not pay me a single penny for writing this review (How I wish it did!) I liked something and wanted to tell you guys about it. It is that simple. Hope someone somewhere finds it helpful.

So, what is Shopkick? It is mobile app that gives you ‘kicks’ for walking into retail stores/scanning specific products. You can redeem the kicks for instant gift cards of popular stores (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks and more). It is not like you can earn a money bag from it. But you do practically nothing out of your way. You can download it at free of cost. And all you do is take your phone to the stores you usually go with the app open. So it is like you are getting cash for free.

I wanted to hold writing this review until I am confident of the app. So I recently redeemed my kicks for 10$ Target gift card and 5$ Best Buy gift card with which I purchased a footwear ( $10 on sale) and a Galaxy S5 case ( 5$ off the total)

So it is TRUE!

The Catch:

This app works on the principle that “You See, You Buy”!  Shopkick have partnered with major retailers (JC Penny, Macys, Walmart, Target and more)so it can reward you for just visiting the store. Yes right! No purchase required. Just visit a store and you will be rewarded. The retailers are confident that once you are in their store, their amazing product will tempt you and you may end up buying something that you really did not intend to.
So if you fall to temptation, they win. If you know how to handle temptation, you win!

Kicks to Cash conversion:

The pattern I see across all stores is
500 kicks - $2
1250 kicks - $5
2500 kicks - $10

Usually, walk in kicks range from 50 to 100 kicks per store which can even go to 200 kicks per store during special occasions. Two visits to the mall during Thanksgiving was sufficient for me to reach 2500 kicks ($10). I did nothing but just walk in to stores like Macys/JC Penny/American Eagle with the app open. At times, you get rewarded even when you are near the store which is awesome!

Ways you can earn kicks:

Walk in: This is the best way to earn kicks. As mentioned earlier, walk in to the mentioned stores with the app open.

Surprise Messages: Shopkick have a news feed of products. Open a product and browse through it. You will have a surprise message with surprise kicks in it.

Scan Products: I have never tried this as it involves some efforts which I was not interested to put in. But if you are ambitious, go ahead. Scan the products mentioned when you go to certain stores and you will be rewarded kicks.

Link Credit Card: I don’t prefer this option as I am against sharing sensitive information in some random mobile app. But if you feel secured about it, you may go ahead. Every time you make a purchase in certain stores with the linked card, you get kicks.


It works perfectly fine with android mobiles although I have heard issues with iPhone and Blackberry.

I am not too sure of the availability of this app in other countries other than US. 

Words of Wisdom:

This can be totally addictive. You may go to a store just for the sake of kicks but end up buying things you never really wanted. So be a wise shopper and have fun getting kicks!

Use this holiday season to get kicks quicker as the number of kicks per store is usually more on special occasions. 

You can download the app from Play Store, but if you would like to thank me for sharing this awesome information, you can download it from here. I get referral kicks if you join using that link and you get 50 joining kicks as a gift. But that is totally optional and purely your choice. You can always download it from Play Store.

Hope you guys find it as interesting and exciting as I found it to be. Have you had any negative experiences with Shopkick? Let us know in the comments below so all of us can benefit from it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


A traditional Bengali sweet, soft and spongy cheese balls/dumplings floating in chilled sugar syrup. Best way to eat these is to stuff your mouth with one whole ball and you'll love the sugar syrup oozing out in your mouth... ok in plain terms..instant trip to sugar heaven!

This ought to be my most favorite of all Indian sweets, rasmalai comes close second(may be cos it has rasgullas in them). We always bought Haldiram's tin assuming it's very difficult or labor-intensive to make it at home..
 If you wanna make me happy, just give me a jar of rasgullas, all to myself!! 

 So, just before we left for our vacation, I was left with lots of milk which wouldn't stay good until we're back.. So I decided to make paneer out of it and suddenly I had a craving for something sweet. I googled for 'rasgulla' recipe and was so shocked to see how easy it is to make and made it right away. It came out so well, you guys!! I can't tell you how excited I was knowing how easy it is to make and that I mastered my favorite sweet at home!! And hey, did I tell you just need 4 ingredients? Yes, you read it right... So let's see what are the 4 ingredients... 

  1. Milk- 4 cups (I used 2%, you can use whole milk too..no fat won't work)
  2. Lemon juice - 1/4 cup 
  3. Sugar - 2 cups
  4. Water - 5 cups
  1. Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  2. Mix the lemon juice in half cup of warm water.
  3. When the milk starts to boil, add the diluted lemon juice to the milk and stir gently.
  4. You'll see the milk solids separating from whey, turn off the heat.
  5. Line the strainer with cheese cloth/ muslin cloth and pour the curdled milk and drain the whey.
  6. Wash it well with cold water to get rid of lime juice.
  7. Gently squeeze out the excess water or hang it for 30 mins so that the excess water drips away.
  8. Now take the crumbly paneer and start kneading it gently to a soft dough.
  9. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll them into smooth balls.
  10. Mix sugar and water in a pressure cooker and bring it to a boil.
  11. Add the balls to the syrup and close the cooker and cook for 7 mins.
  12. Turn off the heat and show the cooker under the cold tap water. 
  13. Open the lid, you'll notice that the balls have doubled in size.
  14. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

  1. You can add a pinch of cardamom powder or rose water to syrup.
  2. The balls should be smooth without a single crack.
  3. You can garnish rasgullas with saffron strands or pistachios.
  4. If you are bored of it, make rasmalai.. you'll love it.
  5. If your rasgulla turns out cracked, serve the rasgulla bits with ice-cream or add them to kheer.

Give it a try!
And just so you know, sharing is caring.. so send me some okay? okay!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Vegetable Cheese Sandwich


Looking to surprise your family/spouse with a special breakfast this weekend? Check out this easy & healthy breakfast. Give your loved ones a break from cereals, pancakes and waffles. Have it with a glass of chocolate milk or fruit juice or cut fruits to make this a perfect breakfast combo. 
                                                  Don't care how late you wake up
                                             eat your breakfast......
Breakfast makes you energetic, it improves your focus & concentration, weight control, metabolism boost, helps in lowering the bad cholesterol and balance your hungry for rest of the day. We can keep going, so please don't skip your breakfast.



  • Bread - 4-6 slices
  • Butter - as needed 
  • Sandwich spread - as needed (you get this in Indian grocery)
  • Cheese slice - 3 (optional)
  • Tomatoes (sliced) - 1
  • Capsicum (juvenile cut) - 1
  • Cucumber (juvenile cut) - 1
  • Pepper powder - as needed 
  • Salt - as needed 


  • Take two bread slice ( I used white bread ) . Generously spread butter on one side of each bread slice.  
  • Next grease the sandwich spread on one side followed by cheese on the same side of the bread slice. 
  • Now top it with all the cut veggies one by one, then sprinkle some salt & pepper powder on the veggies.
  • Close the veggies filled bread with the other bread slice.
  • Repeat the same steps for other slices of bread also.
  • Meanwhile heat the panini maker. Once ready, place the bread slices over the grill. Then close the maker and wait till it turns green in color. 
  • Once the bread is grilled completely, take it carefully and cut into triangle or square as you desire.
  • Now hot and tasty sandwich is ready to be served with ketchup and chips.


  • You can also use whole wheat bread to make this sandwich.
  • Any vegetable of your choice can be used.
  • You can also replace cheese with mayonnaise or ranch. 
  • Black pepper powder can be replaced with white pepper.  
Check our other sandwich recipe also Avocado Sandwich

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How to make batter for idly and dosa!

Idly/Dosa is a traditional and popular South Indian breakfast. Idly has been voted the healthiest Asian meal of the century. This batter is pretty handy, as it can be stored for a few days.

I have seen my mother prepare this batter. It seemed pretty hard and I never gave it a try until my husband asked for it. My first try was ok but the idlies were hard :(. This post would help newbies who are trying to make this batter for the first time or if you are trying to get soft idlies. Now here we go with the recipe... 


Idly rice is different from the rice what we all eat in our routine day. Idly rice is a parboiled rice and the regular rice is a raw rice. 

Idly rice (parboiled rice)
3 cups
Whole urad dal
1 cup
Fenugreek seeds/vendhayam
½ tsp
As needed


  • Measure each ingredients separately and keep it aside. 
  • Now soak rice + fenugreek seeds and urad dal separately for 3-4 hours.
  • After 4 hours or so,  wash the dal and rice separately for several times to remove the impurities. 

  • First grind urad dal by sprinkling water in regular intervals - when you do that the urad dal will get fluffy in texture and increase in quantity. It will make the idly softer.
  •  The grinding time of urad dal is 35- 40 min max. ( How will you find that urad dal is ground completely? Take little urad dal batter in your hand and put it in a bowl of water. When you do this the dal should float in the water)
  • After grinding the urad dal take it in a separate bowl and keep it aside.

  • Now add the rice + fenugreek seeds in the grinder with 1/2 cup of water. 
  • Grind to a smooth paste.
  • At this time, add salt so that it mixes well with entire batter in a right proportion. It will be  thick in texture once complete.
  • Now mix both the batters together.
  • Add little water and mix the batter well with your hand
  • Transfer the batter to a container. Keep the container in a warm place for fermentation process, that will take upto 12-14 hours (overnight).
  • You will see the batter fermented and raised in quantity the next day. A good fermented batter will give a soft and tasty idly.



  • Don't stir the batter when making idly.
  • If you want your idly to be soft add a fist full of cooked rice or sago or poha, while grinding the batter.
  • I prefer doing idly for first 2 days only, then rest of the batter I do uttappam or dosa.


  • Remember to add 1/4 cup of water and mix the batter well to make dosa. 
  • Dosa will be crispy if cooked with close lid.
  • While grinding rice ensure that the batter is not too thin.

Linking parties 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Two Ingredients Peanut Butter Fudge

You know what, I thought I cannot survive without bread and peanut butter for as long as I can remember until I figured out one day that it was all just a fad.

And then peanut butter cookies looked fancy to me but it was short lived too.( not that, I wont have one now! But just not as fancy as it was before). One thing that has stood the test of time as of now is peanut butter itself. I am not tired of it YET!(maybe sooner, maybe later or maybe never)

And for ‘God knows why’ but I assumed cupcakes were no cupcakes without frosting! Little did I knew of myself then that I would rather eat up all cupcakes as it is than spend time and efforts for the frosting. 

I mean, cupcakes are adorable and sent straight from heaven! Who even need frosting! At least, I don’t! And I don't do full sized cakes at home as its just me who has sweet tooth for the two at home. Its better I don't eat the whole cake all on my own(which I am capable of) or I be prepared to hit the gym which I don't. So cupcakes it is !

Oh, where am I even going! Back to business now. It so happened that I had a jar of creamy peanut butter and vanilla frosting lying in my pantry for quite some time and the  over-enthusiastic ‘me’ was all over Pinterest looking for interesting recipes.

And when I bumped on this recipe that used JUST THESE TWO INGREDIENTS, my joy knew no bounds! I just had to make it… that very minute or maybe that very second! Coz it’s that simple! 

 No bake, no piles of messy dishes to clean and you can even do it with eyes closed ! That simple!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Homemade Lychee Ice cream

When you're craving a dessert that brings out the little kid in you, this extraordinary ice cream will do the trick!. 

I received this recipe from a family friend and she gets rave reviews from everyone each time she prepares it. I tried it once and it's one of our instant favorites. I personally love lychees and it adds a great flavor when used to prepare ice cream. This is a simple version of a delicious recipe. It is not only delicious, but also refreshing and rich-tasting for a great holiday dessert. 


  • Sweetened Condensed Milk (Nestle) - 1 cane
  • Evaporated Milk (Nestle) - 1 cane 
  • Cool Whip (Karft) - 18 Oz
  • Whole Lychees - 1 cane 


  • Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl without any lumps.
  • Now transfer the mixture to a container and freeze it overnight. 


  • You can use any flavors like strawberry, mango etc...to make this ice cream.
  • Remember to mix it nicely without any lumps. 
  • Freeze it properly to get a prefect ice cream texture. 

Linking parties 
mix-it-up-mondaymelt-in-your-mouth-mondaya-round-tuit|  inspire-me-tuesdaytreasure-box-tuesdaytwo-cup-tuesdaythe-southern-special-week-37tuesdays-tablesimple-supper-tuesday|  a-wonderful-wednesdayhearth-soul-blog-hopflusters-creative-muster-party

Monday, December 1, 2014

13 Signs You Are Blog-holic...

It has been little more than a year since the birth of ‘A Kaleidoscopic Dream’!

 Little did we know then, that blogging would become such an integral part of our lives..! 

We are seeing our dreams turn to reality with every passing day. 

Thanks for all your support and encouragement without which the very existence of this blog would have been at stake.

'Thank you'

Here is a sneak peek of the life of bloggers.

It is also dedicated to all other bloggers out there in the blogosphere. 
I bet each of you can relate to these… :D


When you started blogging with big dreams and aspirations...

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