Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pasta with Homemade Pasta Sauce - Kids Lunch Box Idea 34

Pasta Meal

I have never thought of including pasta in the lunchbox series until Raji shared the idea with me.Then once when I was talking with my school friend she too said she packs pasta for her kid so thought of including it in my lunchbox series too.Mittu runs miles away when she sees pasta so I haven't tried this lunchbox with her.You can either make homemade pasta sauce or arrabiata sauce and pack it along with pasta and cheese, am sure this is just enough to make your kids happy who are fond of pasta!

Pasta Meal

Pasta Meal

Preparation Time : 24 hrs | Cooking Time : 15 mins
Recipe CategoryLunchbox | Recipe CuisineItalian

Click the links below to get the full recipe with stepwise pictures

Here is the kids lunchbox idea 34:

Homemade Pasta Sauce
Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce

My Notes:

  • Pasta sauce can be made the prior day itself so the next day morning cooking pasta and packing lunch will be a breeze.
  • If you feel the climate is too hot for the cheese to melt you can just cut into cubes and send.
  • Just toss the pasta with little olive oil so that it doesn't become dry.
  • You can even use store bought pasta sauce.
Pasta Meal
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Zone by The Part - Bazaar Restaurant Review Part 2

Hope you have read my experiences at the hotel premises in Part1.Now here is my restaurant review.The food was soo good that I am sure I must have put some extra pounds ;)

Bazaar is the in-dining restaurant by Zone.
Bazaar

The ambience is neat with ample amount of day light.There are colored water bottles in each table.
Dining

Many ancient and traditional utensils are neatly showcased which includes pithalai sombu,goli soda,petromax light,idiyappam press etc.It also included lovely cutleries which any food blogger would love to grab.
Bazaar3
This is the dining area with a buffet lunch neatly organised and arranged.
Bazaar2
I was surprised to a mortar and pestle with freshly ground pepper sure needs a special mention.A mobile food cart is placed in a corner of the dining area, it is still not in action so we couldn't experience it.But we heard that it seems to have all street foods that includes chats as well....So the food includes many cuisines in the buffet as well as alcarte  and in addition to this mobile cart.

Buffet
The colored water bottles are unique and eye catchy too.

Water
So the next day after the team returned back from Annapoorna breakfast we had a interaction session with Chef Kumaran.He explained us the concept and meaning of tastes, flavours, perfect omlette making and smoothies.

I was really surprised and happy at the same time when few of them recognised when I said author of Sharmis Passions....That was sure a feel good moment for me!! :)

THeChef

See all our volunteers in action.We were given a daba and we were asked to smell and guess the ingredient oh yes we were blind folded.None of us could identify it perfectly as there were 2 spices in the dabba and we couldnt identify them.And few of them even was asked to taste fresh fruit extracts and identify the fruit.
chefsession_tile1
And volunteers were asked to try Omlette after watching a video.We had a good dose of fun :)
omlette_tile

The lunch buffet spread was wide and nice which includes Non Veg and Veg arranged separately for the visitors ease.I love their rajma patties, chicken kebab,lamb curry and chettinad potato varuval and of course biryani.The biryani rice was perfectly cooked with mild flavours and the spice level was medium which is perfect for me.
meal
There were many continental dishes which included salads, pita bread,some pesto sauces,pastas, cheesey aubergine casserole and many more which I coudn't remember.The pic is from the second day lunch buffet menu, please don't judge the buffet seeing my plate ;) I chose to keep simple with my lunch to reserve my appetite for the desserts section :) But I tell you just the desserts sight is enough to increase anyone's appetite.
meal2
Thin Crust Pizzas are their speciality.I just loved thier pizzas and can easily say this is one of the best pizzas I've had so far.It is so thin and its light for our tummy.They make pizzas in the open kitchen so we are even more connected with it by the look of the firwood model.
pizza
Dessert Spread 1
dessert_tile2

Dessert Spread 2
dessert_tile1
This walnut honey caramel fudge tart needs a special mention as I soo loved it that this is the only dessert I helped myself for second serving...and the instant I tasted it I wanted to try it at home :) 

tart

The brownie was fudgy and chocolatey...truly my kind.The cakes and pastries are so eye appealing to see that any kid would to grab but mine being a picky eater took all of them, came and said Amma this is all for u :) She loved the pudding varieties.
Dessert1

Cake

Haa how can I be without tasting hot chocolate?! Hope you all know how crazy I am when it comes to hot chocolate.It was written Zone with chocolate sauce....nice na?! But tastewise sure it lacked my kind of hot chocolate taste but it was good.
HotChocolate

fruits

All the breads came in a basket neatly wrapped in a silky cloth.
Breadtile


Dining3

This is breakfast buffet we were served.There were 2 varieties of bread,cornflakes,chocos,wheat flakes,cut fruits,3 varieties of jams along with which south indian spread was given on order.I went with the south indian spread of dosa and poori with muffins.The muffins were so soft and delicious, the vanilla flavour dominates in most of the vanilla muffins I've had but this one was perfect with a mild flavour and the muffins were great for breakfast!

breakfast_tile
And thats us on the last day of our getogether at the eventdinner!! :) It was a great experience meeting everyone and I am sure to cherish the meories for my lifetime!!

Wishing Zone and team a great success from all of us!!

Team
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Zone by The Park, Coimbatore - Hotel Review Part 1

A few weeks back, I received an invite from 'Zone' by the Park group of hotels for a Blogger Outreach program. The dates were confirmed on Jan 18th - Jan 21st, so it was a 3 day stay program and I was really doubtful if I could make it as mittu was unwell that time but to my surprise they gave me the liberty to bring in my family as well :) Though I couldn't join the team for the 3 days program , I was happy to be a part of the event and I am here to write my experiences at the hotel during my stay there.

The itinerary included sneak peaks into the hotel’s facilities and services as well as an exploration of Coimbatore's highlights! As most of the bloggers / journalists were from other states, the event included a trip in and around Coimbatore which included a day trip to Conoor,Isha Yoga center,Perur temple etc and few other prominent places here in Coimbatore.To my surprise most of them loved the weather here and were praising about the city which as a crazy Coimbatorian I was feeling proud and happy :)

Thank you so much Disha for coordinating so well and also for involving me in this program.All my interactions were with her and I had prompt replies from her right from my first mail and she was very friendly which as a timid person like me needed the most :) She took atmost care in making each one of us comfortable throughout.Special thanks to the Ruchika and the hotel management too.I had a great time and will cherish those memories for ever!
Now lets get on to read my experiences....Part 2 here

TheZonebyThePark1
We reached the hotel at around 2PM on 18th, and as soon as I reached there I was handed a letter with a clear agenda for the 3 days.After clicking few shots of the hotel surroundings, we had our lunch and checked into our room.I was one of the first few to check in the hotel as the flights of few bloggers / journalists were delayed.So most of the events that day got cancelled...We were asked to assemble at the hotel lobby at 7PM and that was the first time I am seeing the team.To my surprise everyone were friendly and we got along well few mins after we started to play Treasure Hunt! We had our dinner at Valarmathi mess and went to bed.The next day morning as per schedule it was an outing to the local vegetable market along with breakfast at Annapoorna for which I couldn't join them.

Zone is a new boutique hotel in Coimbatore, by the Park group of hotels. Zone has a Orange and Bluish Grey based theme right from the logo to the colors in and around the hotel.Zone is situated at the heart of the city in Avinashi Road

The Zone by The Park:
No. 33/3, Avinashi Road, Puliakulam, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641018
Phone:0422 400 5000

The reception is neat with a golden lamp hangings which is apt for the wooden background.All the staffs are very friendly and they are at your service anytime.
TheZonebyTheParkReception

An auto stands pretty in the lobby area which includes a grab and go counter along with some accessories to shop as well.
Auto_TheZone
It has a grab and go counter perfect for busy mornings when you can just grab a muffin or a doughnut or some healthy munchy bites all under one roof.Apart from the muffins and doughnuts I was surprised to see the famous petty shop items like thenmittai, kamrakat,orange mittai, ellu urundai, murrukku etc which are almost disappeared in todays world.I am sure those who grew up in towns and villages will be taken back to the childhood days seeing these showcased and I am one of them too :)
Auto_TheZone1



TheZonebyThePark


Autotile_TheZone
Zone has about 56 rooms spread across in 3 floors which includes 1 Suite room.The pic below shows the standard room we were given.The rooms are neat and spacious with high tech.
Room_TheZone

Elevator has a map of all places of interest nearby Coimbatore, I loved the unique thought process behind it.The lobby has interactive system where we can browse through wifi and a khel zone...Oh yeah wifi is absolutely free for all the guests there, and its super fast!

And as you can see wherever the logo is placed the letters are all connected, that includes the hand written room number as well.
TheZonebyThePark_tile

The lobby is well spacious for the guests to relax and browse.The lobby area has overhead lamps in octagonal shapes.
Lobby_TheZone1

KhelZone_TheZone
The rooms have a mini refrigerator, iron box, safety lockers, 2 intercoms as additional features.All the equipments were modern with sleek feather touch switches, you don't even need to press it just tap it thats it.I loved the rotating reading lamps besides the bed which is a great idea.

Room_tile1

The Z shaped holder at the rest room was eye catchy and this shows their keeness in even the small petty things.I loved the idea of how the words are connected in no disturb tag.

The rooms are well equipped with USB and HDMI , and the power outlets support multiple formats which is a very unique feature atleast for me.

Room_tile2

This is the Suite Room, the room has a large living area apart from bedroom.

SuiteRoom_TheZone
Entrance at DayTime with guards checking each vehicle entering the hotel premises.
TheZonebyThePark5

Room Pathway , The room numbers are lit which looks so cool.
Pathway_TheZone
On the top floor there is a plan to have a Gym, a roof top restaurant and a pool.
TheZonebyThePark3
I know I know what you are asking for...?! Being a food blogger how can I miss writing about foood.The restaurant review will be posted tomorrow.Just that I can tell you, I just loved the food so much and that justifies the separate post for the restaurant.Wait for it soon :)

Part 2 here
TheZonebyThePark2
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cauliflower Soup Recipe - Easy Soup Recipes

Cauliflower Soup
I love cauliflower soup amma makes, it is very mild and soothing. During my childhood days I was forced to drink soups atleast twice a week but now I love soups but no one makes it for me ;) I will be happy if someone makes piping hot soup and gives it to me...soup and breadsticks for breakfast,in my couch watching the rain through the windows...thats my perfect day to start....okay enough of day dreaming...now I have to come to reality right?! :)

Soups are very healthy and also easy to make, but I usually don't get that urge to make soups but last week it was very chill here and I had few slices of homemade wheat bread left out so thought to have a soupy breakfast for the next day morning.
Cauliflower  Soup
Next day morning, I woke up only to see the bread box empty, I didn't tell hubby about the plan and he must have been very hungry when he returned from office late night so he finished off the bread....But my mind was fixed for a soup bread breakfast so at once kneaded the dough and set it to rise.By the time I finished packing mittus lunchbox my dough was ready so rolled the dough and pushed it into the oven and went to wave bye.And when I was back, my bread sticks were beautifully done....Yayy!! I just realised that I was ready for some unplanned cooking / baking too :)

The breadsticks were a great combination with the soup.Last time I made with multigrain wheat flour and this time tried a combination of maida and wheat flour.

Hubby loved the breakfast with soup and while he was having his last sip he asked So did you reserve the breadslices for the clicks....?! Ahh atlast he asked.....;) I just smiled :)) And that's a happy ending right?! :)

Cauliflower  Soup

Cauliflower Soup Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Main | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Cauliflower - 1 and 1/4 cups
Big Onion - 2 tbsp roughly chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves roughly chopped
Water - 1 and 1/2 cups
Milk - 1/4 cup
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Oregano / Mixed Herbs - 1/4 tsp
Cheese - 2 tsp just for garnish (optional)
Salt - to taste

To temper:

Oil - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp

Method:

  1. Cut cauliflower into small florets and measure it.Rinse it well and soak in warm water with salt.Drain water and keep it ready.In a pressure cooker heat oil - add jeera let it crackle, then add onion and garlic and saute till onions turn transparent.Then add cauliflower and saute till the raw smell of cauliflower leaves.
    How to make cauliflower soup - Step1
  2. Then add pepper powder,oregano ,required salt and saute for few more mins.
    How to make cauliflower soup - Step2
  3. Add 1 and 1/4 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles in low medium flame.Cool down completely then using a hand blender grind it smoothly.You can use mixie too, in that case reserve the water part and then grind.Check my notes for more detailed info.Adjust salt at this stage.
    How to make cauliflower soup - Step3
  4. Now add milk and let it to boil for 2mins then switch off and serve hot with a a sprinkle of pepper powder,oregano and a tsp of cheese.
    How to make cauliflower soup - Step4
Serve hot with a generous sprinkle of pepper powder.
Cauliflower  Soup

My Notes:

  • Adding milk is optional, I added it to make it more creamy.
  • At the final stage use a hand blender.If you don't own a hand blender, then using a meatal strainer strain cooked cauliflower cool down then grind it smoothly.Then add the paste to the strained water and let it to boil then proceed to step4.
  • Cheese gives a nice flavour to the soup.
  • Use pepper powder generously.
  • Saute cauliflower well so that raw smell completely leaves, then pressure cook it.
Cauliflower  Soup
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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