Carrot Halwa

Hope you had a great Diwali! I am sure most of you living outside of India will agree with me that it is hard to get the same atmosphere as in India especially on Diwali-the diyas, crackers, home made sweets and the visitors at home!As much as I want my daughter to enjoy the same way I did during my childhood and growing up years, I know it is not possible. We try to make it as much fun as possible and as close to Indian Diwali that we can.
We put the clay diyas, wear new clothes (usually that will be just my daughter),light up the sparklers (they are the only ones we can burn in our county) and follow the family tradition of feeding the kids with sweets after they burn the crackers!
We do that for 3 days consecutively and we save a few crackers for Nagula Chavithi which comes after a couple of days of Diwali.We did no different this year.This diwali's sweet in my kitchen is Carrot Halwa.
  • 1 Kg (2 lbs) Carrots, grated
  • 1 liter of Whole Milk or 1 can of Evaporated Milk+1 can of Sweetened Condensed milk + Milk (about 2 cups = 16 oz) The combination of evaporated, condensed and regular milk should equal a liter, about 32 oz
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Ghee
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 3 tbsps Whole milk powder/Mava powder
  • Handful of Cashews and raisins fried in ghee, separately
  • Heat milk and add grated carrots in a heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Cook for about 10- 15 minutes until the carrots have absorbed majority of milk/liquids.
  • Add Sugar and Cardamom and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until all the moisture from the liquids evaporated and the mixture is coming together.
  • Add Ghee and the milk powder.Cook for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with nuts

  • Adjust the amount of sugar to taste, I had a relatively mild halwa as I did not want to add too much sugar but feel free to do so if you like. Also, if you use condensed milk in the recipe, which I did, you may not need too much sugar.
  • You can add more ghee if you don't like it dry.
Since I made this anyway, why not send it to FIL-Ghee, hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi's Food delights?

Have fun,

Outer Banks

Outer Banks, known as OBX(as much as it sounds like a ticker symbol on NYSE, it is not!) is a series of small islands (Bodie Island, Hatteras island, Roanoke & Ocracoke) along the North Carolina coast.The place is quite popular for the beaches and light houses.The most popular lighthouse, I believe is the Cape Hatteras.Not to mention, the Wright Brothers' memorial in Kitty Hawk!

Our trip to OBX is one of the many memorable trips, both good and bad.Good because we went with my parents,my brother and my Sister in law(future:P) ,and bad because we got a speeding ticket.Anyway, I will save the cries for some other time.

The day we went, we wanted to visit Cape Hatteras Lighthouse but we realized that it will take longer to go to Hatteras given the weather. The place was expecting Hurricane Danny at the time and the weather did not seem cooperative. So we were content with Bodie Lighthouse, which is very beautiful too.


You can recognize the light houses by the markings and the patterns on the light house. While the Cape Hatteras light house has spirals in black and white, the bodie island light house has horizontal bands.

Isn't this charming?It is romantic to just walk on this beautiful wooden structure.


This charming town has an outdoor theater , playing the longest running production-'The Lost Colony', a play written by Pulitzer prize winner Paul Green.Roanoke has some impressive history behind.It happens to be the first English Colony in America.


We strolled along a bike trail that runs along the waterfront.


Although the Wright brothers are from Ohio, they camped here in Kill Devil Hills to carry out their experiments of the first human flight which they were successful in 1903.



Padma has passed me these awards a few weeks back.Thank you very much and sorry for the delay,Padma!!

Raje has passed me these awards and there is a fun meme that goes along with it which needs to be answered in one word!Thanks Girl!It means a lot:)

1. Where is your cell phone? With me, on my lap
2. Your hair? Black
3. Your mother? The soul of my family, truly
4. Your father? S
5. Your favorite food? Italian
6. Your dream last night? No dreams
7. Your favorite drink? Pepsi
8. Your dream/goal? Well….
9. What room are you in? Family room
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Falling off of heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Preferably in a warm place!
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something you aren’t? Hypocrite
15. Muffins? Hard to limit myself to one or two!
16. Wish list item? To go to Italy, Spain and Greece in one trip
17. Where did you grow up? Hyd
18. Last thing you did? Phone call
19. What are you wearing? Sweat shirt and pant
20. Your TV? Playing Mickey Mouse
21. Your pets? None
22. Your friends? Really the best
23. Your life? Is good
24. Your mood? Alright
25. Missing someone? My Mom
26. Vehicle? Camry
27. Something you’re not wearing? Hair band
28. Your favorite store? Barnes and Noble
29. Your favorite color? Black
30. When was the last time you laughed? Last night
31. Last time you cried? Don’t remember
32. Your best friend? Pallavi
33. One place that I go over and over? The mall
34. One person who emails me regularly? None
35. Favorite place to eat? Bravo (Cucina Italiana!!)
These awards go to each and every reader of this blog..Feel free to pick 'em up and will be looking forward to each of your memes!


Cardamom Cookies(eggless) with Walnuts

It is sugary treat again this time.I prepared these cookies for my friend’s daughter’s birthday party. We have been eating the delicious rice krispies that I made and now, I want more sweet treats. Last week, I was determined to not sway from my exercise plan-to walk for a mile and a half, do the abs and toning but once I started eating sugars, I am slowly slipping away, slip sliding away…Speaking of slipping away, do you remember the wonderful song ‘slip sliding away’ by Simon and Garfunkel or Paul Simon to be exact? The lyrics are a delight to listen to!These are some of my favorite lines from the song.

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

I know a woman, (who) became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day aint got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been
I digress!All the lovely readers of this blog know how much I love participating in events. The recipes that I have been posting for the past 4 months or so have been primarily for the events.
Meeting the deadlines for the events may not be possible from now because of some work at my end. However, I may send in for an event or two, just may be! But I will continue to post recipes but this time they don’t go anywhere :-)) (Laughs)!
Please do not ask me the source of this recipe as I have no idea where I snatched from! If I remember it right, it is from a magazine that I picked up from a book store last Christmas. I cannot be certain though.
They taste very similar to Mexican wedding cookies in that they are very delicate in taste and touch.

Makes about 6 dozen
2 cups butter, softened
2-1/2 cups Confectioners' sugar,divided
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
1tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.Grease a cookie tray and line with parchment paper if desired.
  • Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add the almond extract
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cardamom, and salt.
  • Add this to the butter mixture. Add the walnuts
  • Make 1 inch round balls and place them a couple of inches apart (the balls will spread a lil’ bit) on the baking sheet
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden
  • Remove from the oven and let them sit for a min or so until warm and easy to handle
  • In the remaining sugar, roll the warm cookies and place them on wire racks to cool.


For variation: You can use pecans instead of walnuts or a combination of both.
Note: If you are using salted nuts, you can skip adding salt.

Also, Padma and Raje have passed me some awards and I will post them in my next post.Thanks ladies!

I will leave you with the last verse of the song...

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The informations unavailable to the mortal man
Were workin our jobs, collect our pay
Believe were gliding down the highway, when in fact were slip sliding away
Have fun,

Rice Krispy(ies) treats

I bumped into this wonderful website, Joy of baking sometime back when I was searching a recipe for Rice Krispies.There are several mouthwatering recipes in every possible category, mostly baking related.
I am not fond of the ones that you get in the grocery stores, the prepackaged ones.I feel they are very sweet!While I was doing my Masters, I often used to go to Borders Book store and they used to have the Rice Krispies, not too sweet, just perfect and crunchy.These taste just like that...
This recipe used Rice Krispies cereal, which is loaded with Vitamins and the parents should have no problem allowing their kids to gorge on these.

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
3 tbsps unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-10 ounce package miniature marshmallows (I used Kraft's Jet puffed mini marshmallows as I think they are just perfect in sweetness)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Grease or butter a 9 inch square baking tray

Butter a bowl and place the rice krispies in it

Melt butter and add salt to it.

Add marshmallows and stir until they are melted completely.

Add vanilla extract

Mix until well combined

Immediately pour into the greased tray and let it cool.

Cut into squares.


These crunchy snacks are off to Kids Delight hosted by Srivalli

Mixed Berry Scones

My parents left this past weekend and it has been gloomy these 3 days.It took longer for me to convince them to come over than their stay with me.When my dad came 2 years ago, he was determined not to come back as he always felt they are dependent on us for everything when they were here.So,it took longer than expected to bring him here.With mom, it was not as difficult.You know how moms are!
As a child I never realized the sacrifices my parents (for that matter, any parent) had to make.Now, I do really appreciate all that they have done but sometimes I wonder if I should have had that realization early on!
I like to go to airports to pick up some one, not to drop off.Even when I drop off some one not so close, I almost end up with tears in my eyes.My guess- it is the location that might be the problem!As my parents went in, my childhood memories flooded my mind while I was wandering restlessly outside.I always wish/ed, US was closer to India or it takes only a few hours and not a day to go to India, not to forget all the tight airline regulations.
All in all, I had some great time with them although it was a short trip and I was hoping for it to not end!

Recipe adapted from Ina's strawberry scones
(Makes 14 to 16 scones)


4 cups + 1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp sugar + extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
3/4 lb cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra large eggs, lightly
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup mixed berries( or berries of your choice)
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water or milk for egg wash

  • Preheat oven to 400F.Grease and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and sugar
  • Blend cold butter at lowest speed and mix until pea sized pieces
  • Mix eggs and cream and combine with the flour butter mixture
  • Add berries to this mixture.If the dough is too wet. add some flour to it and roll the dough in to about 3/4 inch thick
  • Cut into triangle shaped pieces and place it on the baking sheet.
  • Brush with egg wash
  • Sprinkle with sugar and bake it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.


Aparna of My diverse kitchen is hosting this month's Monthly Mingle, started by Meeta and the scones go to the tea time there!

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