A HEALTHIER KERALA LUNCH A typical Kerala lunch is healthy. With the highest per capita consumption of fish, predominant use of meat, variety of vegetable dishes and par boiled rice; it’s already a healthy lunch. Here it is made even healthier with replacement of the rice with quinoa. Accompanying are fish curry, beef fry with coconut slices, cabbage thoran, Avial, vazhakka Mezhukkuvaratty with coconut slices and home made curd.
MANGOSTEEN, QUEEN OF TROPICAL FRUITS. I was thrilled to get this loving delivery from a cousin of a box full of mangosteens. Most exotic and considered a luxury, these are highly seasonal and geographic, but ardently grown in Kerala, of late. My father was one of the pioneers in bringing this to our place and the ones planted by him are still bearing lovely fruits, after nearly 50 years, I suppose. Lockdowns and my current circumstances has been preventing a trip to the hometown, but this is a very very welcome gesture.
NATURAL YOGURT. CROCKPOT WAY We get our yogurt from the stores, thick and pure white. As for all store bought packaged foods, I am not very sure if preservatives, thickeners and sweeteners are used. That’s when I see one of the twelve options of my Crockpot as Yogurt. Bought a litre of packaged full fat milk from the store and did the crockpot process as per the cookbook. It should have been thick well fermented Greek yogurt copy, but I find lots of water, even though it tasted good. That’s when I remembered my classmate, who’s in US trying to make coconut oil using packaged, tinned thick coconut milk. She found no oil after boiling it to the end. If we can do the full process ourselves with natural ingredients, it’s the best way!
COCONUT MILK, CHIA SEED, PUDDING Mango season is going away! And I haven’t made the chia seed inspired, falooda like, healthy, display friendly, dessert. And here it is. Soaked in thick coconut milk and refrigerated, chia seeds form layers, in between mango, pineapple, papaya, musli and pumpkin seeds fillings, in glasses. Honey is poured in to the attractive layers. Thank you @neethu.nambiar1 for the inspiring idea, two years back.
I am happy to be part of the Blog Tour for the book ‘Tainted Harvest’ by author E. Denise Billups, thanks to Shalini and her Digital Reads Blog Tours.
Tainted Harvest: A Simone Doucet Series Blurb She escaped servitude for a worse fate. Now she wants everyone to know what happened. Simone Doucet is searching for a meaningful life. As a travel writer, she’s searched but hasn’t found a purpose yet. She accepts an assignment that takes her to Magnolia Sunrise, a historical bed-and-breakfast on the bluffs of Natchez, Mississippi. Soon, frightful images of a young slave girl, Delphine Randolph, haunt her every evening. Are the dreams related to the assignment? Will she find answers in Natchez? The first night at the B&B, a ghostly visitation transports Simone to 1863, antebellum Natchez. Through spectral eyes, Simone sees Delphine’s history. Her servitude as a wet nurse to her master’s wife, rape, and forced pregnancies, her daring escape, and early demise inside a Civil War contraband camp known as the Devil’s Punchbowl. Delphine wants everyone to know what happened to her at Magnolia Sunrise and inside the Union soldier’s encampment. She won’t stop haunting Simone until she TELLS HER STORY. But why has Delphine chosen Simone? Will this awakening bring a new purpose to Simone’s life? Or more untold mysteries to be discovered? BOOK LINKS AMAZON USA – https://amzn.to/2TKeGJp AMAZON UK – https://amzn.to/36fiRjg AUTHOR BIO E. Denise Billups is an author with a rare mixture of southern and northern charm. She was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she has worked in finance and as a freelance columnist and currently resides. A multi-genre author of fiction, she has published four novels—Keepers of the Gate: Twilight Ends (Book 1), Kalorama Road, Chasing Victoria, and By Chance. She has also written several supernatural short stories, including Off the Grid, Ravine Lereux: Unearthing A Family Curse, The Playground, and Rebound. As an avid reader of magical realism, mystery, suspense, and supernatural novels, she was greatly influenced by authors in these genres. Currently, she is working on book two of her trilogy, Twilight Ends, a paranormal historical fiction, and book two of Simone Doucet Series to be released in 2022. SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS Website: https://edenisebillups.com/ Next Chapter Publishing: https://www.nextchapter.pub Facebook: @E. Denise Billups Twitter: @DeniseBillups Goodreads: @E. Denise Billups YouTube: @E. Denise Billups
(Counting counting jackfruits seeds charcoal roasted and eaten and without mother knowing the coconut scooped and eaten) A childhood mumble is relevant even now as far as coconut goes, just that mother is replaced with wife. But jackfruit seeds are rare and counting and tossing in charcoal fire is difficult. The barbecue grill in the balcony thus comes handy for the barbecued seeds. And I have to get new coconuts to scoop and eat without anybody seeing as what’s in the house has assigned jobs.
BONE BROTH Finally, the slow cooked (24 hours) Lamb Bone Broth is done. Thanks to the multifunction Crock.Pot. I always wanted to have it during my intermittent fasting limited eating window. Now there’s an additional valuable use while nursing my wife in her recovery process. She had the first cup and she loved it. The lamb bone broth is flavoured with organic herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley and I added some Kerala spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. Added in were carrots, mint leaves, garlic, ginger and onion. Of course Apple Cider Vinegar is added as an essential. As for all organic preparations, treated filter water is used. Sea salt will be added only at the time of consumption. The excess broth will go into the freezer for use on a daily basis. I love my Crock.Pot.
How about plucking mangoes from your balcony! That too all season. Well, if the claims are true, that’s what I may have in our balcony. These bonsai, cloned, budded trees are on sale. I once had a dream of high High density mango plantation. Perhaps, this could be an alternative. At least, I love the idea.
Thank you to Shalini and her Digital Reads Blog Tours for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Blog Tour for the book ‘Princess and Country’ by author Emmanuelle Snow.
PRINCESS AND COUNTRY Excerpt -1
My throat closed. No air could come in and out of my lungs. I’d never meant to fall for my brother’s best friend. Especially considering I was pretty sure my brother had feelings for her too. I’d known Dahlia Ellis my entire life. I used to cheer them on when they were just kids singing songs to us in her backyard. For as long as I remembered, I considered her a little sister. Not anymore. No matter how I tried to bury my feelings and stay away from her, I failed. Dahlia occupied all my thoughts. Even at school, I became a fool every time I caught sight of her or heard her laugher in the hallway. Nobody knew about my crush. Not even my friends. It’d been going on for quite some time but had intensified in the last few months. So much that I was miserable the days we didn’t cross paths. I tried to ignore my soaring feelings. I really did. Two years ago, I even dated Vanessa to forget about Dahlia, but it backfired because she cheated on me, accusing me of not caring about her. Lately, I noticed how Dahlia had been looking at me. With heat and a glint in her eyes. Each time our eyes met, my heart either beat faster or jammed in my chest.
My boyfriend turned to face me, and I hurried into his arms. “Princess, you’ll be amazing up there. Look at me.” I tilted my head back. “I’m so proud of you.” He tucked a strand of hair behind my ears. I rose to my tiptoes. “I love you.” With the pads of his fingers, he wiped the tears pooling in the corners of my eyes. “I love you too.” I looked around. “It’s kinda scary. All those people. The stage, the crowd—” “Carter will be up there with you. You have nothing to worry about.” Riley stepped next to us. “Okay, Dahlia, time to go. Ready?” “I guess.” Would my voice be shaky like this on stage? Butterflies took flight in my stomach. The not-so-fun kind. I walked away, my hand locked in Jeff’s, touching until our fingers broke apart. Carter neared me and snaked his arm through mine. “It’s okay, Dah. I’m here. We can do this. Just follow my lead, I’ll take care of everything.” Those words. My pulse evened. We exchanged a smile as Stud padded in our direction and put his arms around us. “Let’s show them what we’ve got.” He stopped and pulled us into his embrace. “We’re kicking off our first world tour. How awesome is that? Let’s do this, motherfuckers.” Stud’s longish stubble rapped my cheek. “Oh yes,” Carter said as I replied, “Let’s make history.” The lights of the stage blinded me. My heart sank down to my toes. “Seventy thousand people,” I said, mostly to myself. “Seventy thousand.” My insides tightened. Carter said a few words to the crowd, but I registered none. My eyes drifted to the right side where Jeff stood. Did I look like a deer caught in headlights? My fingers shook. My head turned. My legs wobbled. I tried to breathe, but my lungs were closed for business. “You can do this,” Jeff mouthed. I swallowed the lump choking me. Carter strummed the first chords of “Heart for Rent.” My heart leaped in my throat. Why did I agree to this? I loved our simple garage band. This, right here, was way too big for a White Crest girl like me. I shut my eyes, silencing my thundering heart. I could do this. I breathed out. My fingers played on their own. I locked my eyes on my best friend. He winked. No one was here except the two of us—and Stud. We were back in Carter’s garage, dreaming about getting fifty people to come see us play. This—right here—was our dream. I rolled my shoulders—chasing the tension away—rotated my neck and found my voice.
BLURB Her best friend and his brother. A passion that can’t be shared. A record deal that will bring her all over the world. And one fateful night.
Country superstar Dahlia Ellis is sweet, leveled-headed, and passionate. When she finds herself loved by both her best friend and his brother, Dahlia must find a way to come to terms with her own feelings without leaving too many broken heart’s pieces behind. Despite her best intentions, Dahlia will be sucked into a tornado of love and loss that will hurt her and the people she loves the most.
One night will change the rest of her life. One night will shatter everything she’s ever known. And one encounter will give her the courage to dream again.
For Dahlia, fame, money, and beauty don’t mean anything. And her story is one of love, strength, trust, and fate. When her life falls apart, will Dahlia be able to get back out there and rise to the top again? Get to know a younger version of Carter Hills in this prequel of Pink and Country. Princess and Country is the second book in this small-town, second chance, country music romance series. If you like raw emotions, sizzling moments, relatable characters trying to overcome their flaws to reach their goals, lots of heat, banters, and chemistry, you’ll enjoy Emmanuelle Snow
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Smart, Sexy, and Sassy Love Stories Emmanuelle Snow is a contemporary author of mature YA and New Adult love stories, who likes to give life to strong characters who’ll fight with all they have to reach their life goals and find their own happiness. Emmanuelle is in love with love. Especially those complicated, deep, and passionate feelings that make a relationship extraordinary and complex, all at the same time. In her spare time, when she’s not writing or reading, Emmanuelle likes to go on road trips—with her four kids and her own soulmate—watch movies, paint, or do some DIY, always with a cup of green tea in her hand and listening to country music. She splits her time between beautiful Canada and the small US towns she adores. Find all of Emmanuelle’s books here: http://www.emmanuellesnow.com/books
Author Social Media Website http://www.emmanuellesnow.com Bonus chapters and bonus scenes http://www.emmanuellesnow.com/PAGE Snow’s VIP newsletter (for all the cool stuff, promos, releases, and free gifts) Readers’ VIP group Snow’s Soul Mates facebook.com/groups/snowvip Facebook facebook.com/esnowauthor Goodreads goodreads.com/emmanuellesnow Bookbub bookbub.com/authors/emmanuelle-snow Instagram instagram.com/snowemmanuelle Twitter twitter.com/snowemmanuelle TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@snowemmanuelle
A mention that original sin occurred in paradise could raise eyebrows. That’s what I would do when I hear someone say that appam came from Dutch (they said Puttu came from Portugal). Jealous people also say that Jewish people in Kochi invented appam. Make no mistake, it’s invented in Kerala (if you don’t want to accept that my mother made it first, at least that’s what I thought). And the mutton stew too. And believe me, I first saw the mutta appam in our kitchen. And it’s the very special.