Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own. (A quote by H Jackson Brown Jr)

A lot of my friends on social media have been saying that they don't celebrate Valentine's day as it's too expensive. My reply to them has always been that it does not cost money to tell or show someone you love them.  You don't have to buy expensive presents either.  Little treats like home cooked breakfast, a walk in the park and stopping for that special cup of coffee to just relax and watch the world go by are enough for me to feel happy.

So for me everyday I spent with my husband and children is Valentine's Day.  We start our weekend with a nice brunch of home made instant microwave dhokla



Followed by a nice walk by the riverside.


We usually stop  over for coffee or a favourite treat at a local cafe.



And finishing the day with bateta vada home pizza and nachos.  Simple food eaten with a loving family always tastes exotic.




Doesn't take much to make me feel happy.  The occasion Bollywood movie or  bunch of flowers get appreciated too!  The important thing is to remember that you love each other and will always be around to support each other - in sickness and health.




Make everyday a Happy Valentine's Day 

Recipes for most of the dishes shown here are in my sister blog - http://www.givemesomespice.com

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Lizi's Granola Review





Most mornings my breakfast is a quick cereal.   I try and pick the less sugary ones like shredded wheat ot Weetabix  but this week I picked up Lizi's granola.  I hadn't noticed it in the shelves before but  it was on Special offer and when I saw that it had passion fruit and cashews and also said that this cereal had a low GI (Glycaemic Index)  - I couldn't resist it.   There is quite an impressive write up at the back about how Lizi Shaw came up with the recipe but that was not the reason for purchasing the cereal.  Although the list of ingredients looked impressive, my heart told me they weren't very healthy!!

I liked the look, feel and smell of the cereal.


I had it with cold organic milk.  At first the cereal did have a strange taste which I realised was the taste of the passion fruit and other fruit concentrates used.  It almost tasted a bit like sour milk.


I got used to the taste by the third day and  finished the cereal but this cereal isn't going to be regular in our home.  It didn't have the luxury feel that I like to have in my cereals.  I would have liked to see more nuts in the cereal rather than to imagine them in my cereal.  I wasn't too keen on the fruit concentrate either.  I am not sure if children would like this cereal.

Please note that the review of this cereal and any views about it are my own and I did not get paid for it.   This review is for information for my friends and family .

What cereals do you like?




Sunday, 8 February 2015

Smart Phones - Apple and iPhone 5



I have decided to write about my iPhone 5 problems and how they got sorted -just in case any of you are facing a similar problem.  I have always bought Apple products as I find them so much easier to use .  My  iPhone 5 had problems with its sleep/wake up button which had stopped working so I decided to look on Google on see if there were any instruction on how to get it working using the screen.  I found instructions on  Apple's support website which gave instructions on how to use AssistiveTouch  which helps you use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch if you have trouble touching the screen or pressing the buttons.  This was helpful as I could continue to use my phone.   At the same time I read about iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program.   I wasn't surprised to see this information as a couple of years ago I had my nano iPod replaced with no hasstle under their iPod nano Replacement program 

The Apple web site asks you to enter your phone's serial number and informs you if you are eligible. Luckily my iPhone was eligible so I completed the form and called up the Apple support to check if that was still correct and my phone could be repaired.  I was informed that - Yes I  qualified and could either ask Apple to send me an envelop to return the iPhone for repair or take it my nearest Apple Store.  


I took the iPhone to the Apple store full of hope and was told by the Apple genius assistant that my phone could not be send for repair as it was very slightly bent - in fact hardly noticeable until he pointed it out to me.  I was gutted and asked for details of the Store manager and wrote to him telling him how disappointed I was as at no point did the Apple Support team inform me that my phone may not be replaced under certain circumstances e.g a bent phone!!.  


Thankfully, the manager replied and agreed to swap my phone and I am now a proud owner of a new iPhone 5.  

My advice is not to give up if you feel that you have not been fairly treated. When a big organisation like Apple admits on their website: " Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently. iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue. Apple will replace the sleep/wake button mechanism, free of charge, on iPhone 5 models that exhibit this issue and have a qualifying serial number"  To me this means that Apple is admitting to a problem and should be able to repair or replace the iPhone.  

I must say that once the manager agreed to replace my phone - the service I got at the Apple store was really excellent as usual.  



Have any of you had problems with their iPhones recently? Has this information been helpful?

Friday, 6 February 2015

Pizza Review and how to tart up a store bought Pizza




As you start your weekend, I thought I would share this cheat recipe with you.   The other day I was working late and my hubby text me to ask if I would like pizza for dinner.  I liked the idea and asked him to order from the local Domino's so that I could pick them up on the way home.  This was on a day when Domino did not have their 2 for 1 offer. Their veggie volcano costs
£16.99 for a large pizza.  By the time you add the the extras for the garlic bread and drinks etc- It costs as much as eating in a restaurant.

Lately,  I tend to buy a good make of a simple cheese pizza and then cook it by adding my own toppings and spices.   The addition of the extra toppings, herbs and spices really does make the pizza unique and tasty.  This week we bought Panebello Pizza from Waitrose at £2.00 each.



The pizza was thick sliced with plenty of topping of cheese and small pieces of tomatoes.  Everyone picked the toppings they liked.  I topped mine with onions, yellow and red peppers, hot green chilies and sprinkled some oregano, basil, chili powder, black pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil over the vegetables.




I cooked the pizzas as per the instructions on the package and enjoyed them hot with a nice glass of diet coke.   The pizza was a little too thick for my husband who prefers a thin crust but I enjoyed the pizza and had the left overs for my lunch. 




Check out my recipe for Home made Pizzas .   They are the best but this trick of tarting up shop bought ready to cook pizza is good when you come home from work. A delicious Pizza at half the cost.

Watch out for my post on my son making home made pizzas for us.

Please note that the mention of this Pizza and any views about it are my own and I didnot get paid for it. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

A Rare Snow Day


We haven't had snow in my Region for the last couple of years.  The weather mam/women keeps predicting snow and it always misses our Region.  I got very excited when I woke up to a small covering of snow this Tuesday.  I know it's nothing compared to what my friends around the World have had but it's lovely to see some snow.  Like I said- I like snow but I was worried about getting to work as lately, the Council hasn't been gritting the footpaths and car parks lately and I am afraid of slipping and falling!! How embarrassing would that be!!

Thankfully, the roads were gritted and clear of traffic.

No traffic at the lights.
The car park was empty and not gritted either.  I managed to park in a spot which would be easy to get out of on my return. The walk to the station was a bit slippery but thankfully, a colleague was also walking to the station and his company kept my mind of the slippery footpath. As usual, the trains were delayed due to the bad weather but I didn't mind as I could wait in the warm waiting room, enjoy the view and read my free paper.

I took some pictures from the platform to kill the time.  I love watching trains especially the long freight trains carrying loads from the Sea Port.





Once off the train, the walk to work was very pretty and pleasant.  A covering of snow always makes everything look pretty.   I love the feel of the cold on my face and love my  quiet  walk to work passing some amazing houses. There wasn't enough snow to build a snowman  but I passed quite a few kids having a snow ball fight.  Their laughter and chatter always cheers me up.  The confidence with which they run and skid/skate on the snow and ice makes me wish I too could do that.







After a day at work and a walk in the snow, it's nice to come home to nice cup of masala tea.  Recipe for masala tea is here. 


Do you enjoy going out in the snow?? Do share your snow stories.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Chips or Maru Bhajia Survey



Welcome to Tea and Catch up.  You may be confused as to why I am writing here as well at http://www.givemesomespice.com.  Well let me explain. I had started this sister blog - Tea and catch up a few years ago but never managed to keep it going.   Today I decided to resurrect this blog and use it to write about anything one can talk over a Cup of Tea.

The other day I asked a question on my Facebook whether they would prefer  Chips or Maru bhajia ? Maru bhajias are potato fritters made by dipping them in flour and spices.   Both these recipes  are in my sister blog.  My reason was asking the question on social media was to get some discussion going about the two dishes.  Of all the comments received - the majority of the people said they would choose Maru bhajias and so would I as they are resistible.   These bhajias remind me of my childhood when my dad used to make these hot and all of us used to eat them dipped in tomato sauce.   The recipe for the crispy bhajias called Maru bhajia is here

So here's the pictures of the bhajias  I made:



This is the chickflour with all the spices and coriander and sliced chillies ready to add to the sliced potatoes

Potatoes coated with chickflour, corn flour and rice flour and spices ready for deep frying 

Deep frying in sunflower oul

Served hot with love
These bhajias are a regular snack in our home.   We often use other vegetables such as Onions, aubergines, peppers to dip into a chick pea batter and make bhajias.

Do you have a favourite bhajia or pakora recipe you often make to have with a cup of tea? Do share.