Signing Off For The Year

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

White Christmas (02) by MeetaK


Well folks, we from the Daily Tiffin wanted to take this moment to wish you a Merry Christmas. Hope you have warm, happy and a fantastic holiday with your family and dear ones. Hope Santa brightens up the eyes of your little ones and the good food comforts the older ones :-).

We'd also like to wish you a Happy New Year and hope you have a fantastic start to 2008. May it be filled with joy, health and love. Our team will be taking a well deserved few days off to spend this time with our own families and friends. We hope you will join us on January 7th, when we will be back with a lot of great and exciting new lunch box ideas, fitness motivation, health tips, dating secrets and family rituals.

Thanks for your wonderful comments and readership. See you all in the new year.

Workout who? What?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Posted by Helene


By now you must be in full holiday mode, shopping, baking, visiting with family and friends. You might be busy with church events, packing, wrapping and ….eating! Every day you must be wondering how to come up with a 25th hour, let alone finding the time to fit in a workout. Yet, you long for the days when just 20 minutes of exercise was giving you the energy of a super hero. Well, might just have the tricks you need to cure the Holiday Workout Blues.

1/ The Kitchen Workout:
- If you are baking a lot these weeks chances are that you lean over every time you open the oven to get that pan of cookies out. To give your back a break and work your quads, squat down instead when you open the oven door. Make sure to have feet about hip width apart and body weigh evenly distributed over both heels. Add a set of 20 pulses while in squat position to get a full set. Before you know it, your 4 batches of cookies will have helped you achieved 80 squats!
If your oven is separate from your stove and on a higher level, keep the same concept in mind but do calf raises instead. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and stand on your tippie toes. Do 4 sets of 20.
- While standing in front of the stove or countertop stirring and prepping, take this opportunity to do some leg extensions. Stand with both feet together, flex right foot and extend your right leg up to knee level. Repeat until you reach 20 repetitions. Switch legs.
- For your upper body, take a step back from the counter and place both hands wider than shoulder width apart on the countertop. Do two sets of push ups (20 reps) to work your chest. - To work your triceps, place your hands on the counter one next to the other and press down and up until you reach 20. Repeat both exercises.

2/ The Home Workout:
- Chances are you will be seated at your desk or kitchen table writing cards and thank you notes this holiday season. Why not do the same thing while seated on an exercise ball?! You will engage your core and keeps your abs engaged and contracted while working on your balance.
If you find yourself lying on the floor playing with babies or pets, why not do a few sets of crunches? Place the baby or pet on your stomach, bend your knees, feet flat on the floor, hold them while you keep your chin away from your chest and crunch up.
- Try to engage the children around you into a mini workout sessions with you, we all can use a little fitness during this time and they might need to work off their sugar rush. Work in pair, seated on the floor facing each other with both sets of feet touching. Take an object in your hands, you both lie down and crunch up towards each other, exchange the object and repeat 20 more times. You can work your obliques the same way by having two people back to back passing an object back and forth starting going towards the right.
Have them do buttlifts and leg extensions with you on the floor.

3/ The Outdoor workout:
The weather might be nippy or downright freezing but spending even a little as 20minutes outside can make anybody feel energized.
Play snow angels, have a snowball fight. Do a few sprints form one house to the end of the street. Organize mini games for the kids and go play with them. Even 10 minutes. Do that several times during the day and you can get a pretty good cardio boost.
Instead of walking the dog at your normal pace, bring a little skip to your step, within a minute you will increase your heart rate and start burning calories. Your dog may not be a runner and you may not be either but do mini jog segments for about a minute. He may think of it as a game and you’re getting some benefits out of it too!

During the “normal” times of the year, getting to the gym is like being on auto-drive, it is second nature, another thing on the “to do” list. During the holidays, excuses are plenty to put exercise on the back burner,and that is why you have to make a conscious effort everyday to remain active. It’s not easy, it takes strong will and this is the last thing we want to think about. Maybe it’s time to take a break or slow down and just to find a few minutes each day. It will not give you an athlete’s body but it will put your mind at ease and that is definitely a plus right now. Take this opportunity to reassess your goals and needs and make a list for the new year.

Have a Merry Christmas and drink plenty of water!!







Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Helen from Tartelette


Christmas: It's in the Decoration

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Posted by Meeta K



What's in and what's not? Traditional or modern? Are these the type of questions you ask yourself and the rest of the family each Christmas?

After all a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and a warm and inviting home is one of the major things about Christmas. I have friends who start planning their Christmas decorations in November! As for me I believe I have found my style and it suits my family and me very well. Although I do pay close attention to what is happening on the Christmas decoration scene, finding my own theme is very important. It's something I too would seriously recommend because I have seen how quickly something good can get real tacky.

And that is something no one wants on such a special day.


Christmas decorations for the home and tree are often subject to the what's currently en vogue with regards to colors and impressions. I decided to put together a few ideas and themes that might help you find your own style for the perfect Christmas decoration.

Traditional Red
Clearly the classic choice. Rot epitomizes the color of Christmas in every way. It is ceremonial and radiates warmth. You can decorate with baubles, ribbons, bows, candles and tinsel. Combining red with gold or silver you'll add a warmer (with gold) or a cooler (with silver) touch.
For me I always seem to combine red with more natural items. It gives the whole look a homier feel. I often use straw stars, wooden figures, dried apples, oranges and limes, nuts and spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anis. I just love the wonderful aromas that linger in the air throughout the Christmas time. And it all comes from the decoration! This is what I have been decorating with for several years now and each time our eyes beam with joy when the tree is lit up.

Silver, White and Grey
With this combination you will conjure up a more modern and elegant decoration. Use ribbons in different widths, tie up bows below the candles or use unobtrusive angel hair. I am sure you will find a large variety of decorations in this color.

Brown and Beige
This is the hottest trend this year. I also do have to say that I was very tempted to try out this theme this year. It looked so gorgeous and rich in the stores. It gives a warm and cosey feeling all around. Depending on your taste you can add cream or white colored highlights to your entire look. I decided to stick to my usual decoration for the simple reason that I am not sure where we will be celebrating Christmas next year. There might be a move for us sometime next year and I just did not want to go out and buy an entire new decoration set. Otherwise this would have been my choice this year.



Table Decorations
For me an extremely important part of Christmas is the table decoration. There is nothing like gorgeous decorations and centerpiece to set the perfect accent to your dishes.

If you, like I have decided on the classic red theme then use cream or beige colored plates and combine with cream and red napkins. For the natural highlight I will be adding some holly, berries, and once again those wonderful aromatic spices. On the table spread a few straw stars and put up a few red or cream colored candles.

For the more modern look in silver, white and grey use mistletoe tied in bunches and place on white colored plates. In a large bowl place white, silver and grey baubles around a bunch of long white candles. These can be tied with beautiful satin bands.

If you are using the trendy brown and beige colors, then I would suggest adding a natural note here too. You can use wooden stars, pine cones and cinnamon sticks. Here too I would suggest using cream or beige colored plates and dishes with mocha colored napkins. You can simply roll the napkins and tie them with natural bast.

For my own centerpiece I am using a wreath made of natural grapevine. I tied a bit of fir branch and a twig with red berries. Then I simply glued some cute wooden figures, dried apples, oranges, limes, cinnamon and star anis for the final aroma. Easy to make and looks ravishing.



And finally, if you are now looking for something edible to place on those lovely plates I have the perfect Christmas menu for you:

Chestnut Potato Soup
Apple Glazed Duck Filets with Pomegranate Red Cabbage
Coconut Mousse With Mango Coulis

Hope you enjoy your Christmas. Happy decorating and happy holidays!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

12 Things You Should Never Talk About On A Date

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Posted by Meeta K


The purpose of dating isn't to divulge all of your personal details, or to express every feeling you may have for a person. It's just supposed to be a fun night out, to "test the waters" and see if you have basic compatibility.

These early times in the relationship should impress the other person, so that much later when the time is right all those personal details can be shared. You have to attract the person before you can get close! Since the things you should talk about depend upon you and the person you're talking to, and can include so many things, it's better to name the things you almost all the time shouldn't talk about.

Here's a pretty good list of the top twelve:

1. Past Relationships – Nobody, man or woman, wants to hear about the people you've been with in the past. It's an extreme turnoff to hear about all the good times you've had with someone other than who you're sitting in front of, and also appear that you're carrying a lot of baggage if you talk about the bad times. If you really feel the need to talk about your ex's, save it for (much) later.

2. Work – Another topic that not many people want to hear about, unless you have a very interesting job. For the most of us that aren't stunt men, astronauts, or exclusive nightclub owners, your work should stay at work.

3. Kids – Whether you like them or despise them, make sure they don't become a topic. It can be a touchy subject for people, plus it makes it seem as if you're already looking too far into the future. Plus, how embarrassing would it be to say you can't stand kids and then have your date say they have them?

4. Religion – Unless religion is a very important factor in your decision to see someone, I wouldn't mention it. It can make people feel uncomfortable, or assume that the other person won't like them due to differences. Save it for when the time is right to discuss it. Also, there aren't than many people who are attracted to proselytism…

5. People you Dislike – Generally complaining is a bad idea, especially when it's about people you can't stand. It makes you look disagreeable, and that you can't hold good relationships. It looks bad to be negative (this applies to all other topics too).

6. Politics – People usually either love it or hate it. It's better not to take the risk and just leave it out of conversation. It's a source of conflict, and until you're both comfortable with each other, don't bring it up. That and it's kind of boring compared to other things you could be talking about.

7. Money – Don't flaunt it if you have it, and definitely don't say you don't. If it means that much to the person they're probably not what you're looking for.

8. Sex and Feelings – Far too personal for the early stages. It also makes it look like it's all you're looking for. And if it is, learn some bar tricks and go to one instead. Hold back on the emotions, too – sex and your feelings for a person come later. A general guideline – make your compliments about them and not about yourself. For example, "You're great! You have such a friendly personality!" is much better than "You're great! You make me happy and you're what I'm looking for!" It's neutral, and just it'll prevent hard feelings if they don't like you as much as you like them.

9. Yourself – You don't have to list all of your positive traits to show you're confident (in fact, it usually shows you're insecure by needing to talk about yourself). Ask intriguing questions instead. Do your best not to do the usual questions like "what's your favorite color" and "what do you do for fun". Think of random, out-of-the-ordinary questions, keeping them rather impersonal and non-offensive.

10. Technical stuff – Science is only interesting to a scientist. There are many other ways to show you're smart than to give a lecture on why the second law of thermodynamics explains how messy your house is due to the tendency of a thermodynamic system to increase in entropy over time (see what I mean?).

11. Odd Habits – These often repel your potential mate. Everybody has quirks about them, but let them discover them over time.

12. Nothing – You should always try to make sure you're talking about something – long periods of silence are almost as awkward as bad conversation. Sure, talking to a new person can be hard, but it definitely gets easier.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happy dating!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was contributed by Vicky from Got A Crush



Welcoming in the New Year

Friday, December 14, 2007

Posted by Dharm

I love Christmas, don't get me wrong. However, it can be a very tiring time. What with putting up the tree, testing all the old Christmas tree lights and finding out some sets don't work which means going out to buy new Christmas lights. Then digging out the decorations and dressing the tree. Whew. I'm already tired thinking about it. Fortunately, our tree is already decorated.

Then there's still the shopping for presents and wrapping them! I haven't even gotten to the part about baking the cakes and cookies. And don't forget the preparation of the Christmas Eve Dinner and maybe even Christmas Lunch the next day. All extremely tiring stuff.

The problem is, just when you think it's all over and you can put your feet up and relax, the realisation that New Year is just around the corner hits you like a ton of bricks. WHAM!



I have many fond memories of New Year celebrations ranging from when I was a young boy through to my teenage years and now as a father.

As a child, New Year was always celebrated with lunch at my grandmother's house. She used to make the most exquisite ham, roast potatoes and even tongue! Surprisingly, the tongue was tender and very, very tasty. We weren't told it was tongue of course until AFTER we had eaten it!

In addition to the cold cuts, there were always curried dishes as well, usually Mutton Curry and Chicken Curry. Sometimes, instead of rice, one of the aunts
would order loads of string-hoppers.

For dessert, my Grandma would make her famous Caramel Custard while my Aunty Julie would make her wonderful, wonderful desserts - Chocolate Biscuit Pudding, Frozen
Sponge with Choc Sauce and so many others. She was the Dessert Queen! New Years lunch at Grandma's was certainly a treat.

As I grew into a rebellious teenager and attained legal age, New Year's Eve was spent partying at some night spot with many friends. No matter how tired (or hungover!) I was from the previous night though, lunch at my Grandmother's house was not to be missed. Church could be skipped but not lunch at Grandma's!

After I got married, New Years would alternate between lunch at my grandmother's or lunch at one of my wife's uncles' houses. The crowd at my Grandmother's had also dwindled with a lot of the grandchildren married and having obligations of their own. Two of my Aunts (including the Dessert Queen) have moved overseas as well.

My Grandmother is still alive, (Yes! She recently celebrated her 100th Birthday!) and although she doesn't cook anymore, we still meet at her house for a Pot Luck lunch on New Years Day. Each family brings a dish and since my Aunt Julie is overseas, I have taken over the mantle of Dessert King.

A Pot Luck is fine when you have a large family, but if you are just cooking for your own family and maybe a few friends, why not throw together something simple
yet worthy of a New Years meal?

I'd like to suggest taking the route of lots of light dishes or tapas. Serve it all at once or bring them out dish by dish. No real recipes are needed for these dishes as they are simple enough and you can play around with the flavours and ingredients as you see fit.

Stuffed Mushrooms
I love the taste of mushrooms and you can experiment with different stuffing's. I love to stuff Portobello Mushrooms and usually fry some garlic together with the chopped mushroom stems, a little chopped red chillies, pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Then stuff this back into the mushroom caps and bake for about 20 minutes. Simply delicious.


Garlic Prawns on Leek
Shell and devein the prawns. lightly sautee some garlic and black pepper to taste and then toss the prawns in. Cook quickly on high heat till the prawns turn pink. Serve on a bed of boiled leek. Simple yet so tasty.


Meatballs or Sausages
Marinate ground beef/chicken/lamb/pork or a mix of these meats with some ground onion, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Roll into balls or sausage shapes.
Bake for about 30 mins in a 190C oven. The meatballs/sausages will hold their shape and this is something the kids will love. Serve it on its own or with some tomato sauce or maybe mustard or even barbecue sauce. If you want something more substantial, make some Bolognese sauce or maybe even Meatball Curry. So many choices!


Pasta with Chilli Flakes
For a difference and to spice things up a little, why not toss some pasta in olive oil and chilli flakes. You can use whatever chilli you like depending on the 'hotness' factor you want.



Devilled Eggs
This is always a favourite with the kids. Hard boil some eggs, and then cut them in half. Scoop out the yolks and 'devil' them anyway you like. Perhaps some mustard, or curry powder; maybe just some Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise. Or perhaps a combination of everything! Spice it up even more with some Tabasco sauce.



And of course, finish off with dessert. To welcome in the new year, why not have something very simple to make and yet so tasty. The kids love this and it was indeed one of my favourite desserts harking back to my childhood. The original recipe comes from my Aunty Julie but over the years I have modified it to what it is now.

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding
Ingredients
1/2 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Castor Sugar
350ml Unsweetened Cream
2 Eggs (separated)
150gm Dark Chocolate
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1/2 - 1 cup Chopped Cashews (or Almonds)
1 packet Marie Biscuits
1 cup milk
Optional
Brandy or Rum (I use liberal amounts - 4 to 6 tablespoons!!)

Method
Melt chocolate with 1/2 the cream over slow fire. Ensure cream does not boil. Leave to cool. Separate eggs, ensuring that egg whites have no yolk. Whisk egg whites till they peak. Cream butter and sugar then beat in egg yolks.
Add Rum (dependent on your alcoholic tendencies!)
Stir in sifted cocoa then stir in cream followed by the chocolate mixture.
Fold in egg whites and Stir in 75% of nuts.
Dip Marie Biscuits into milk (to soften slightly) and line a tray with one layer of biscuits.
Cover biscuits with layer of mixture. Alternate with layers of biscuits and mixture (with final layer being mixture).
Sprinkle remaining nuts on top (this just makes it look good)
Chill for 2 - 3 hours

All in all I think this makes a lovely menu for New Year's Tiffin. Or maybe do it for New Year's Eve to welcome in 2008 or just throw it all together for whatever you are celebrating! Best of all, I think it is something that both adults and kids alike will enjoy.

Happy New Year Everyone!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Dharm from Dad ~ Baker & Chef



Love Food, Hate Waste

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Posted by Abby



The recently launched Love Food, Hate Waste website reminded me that here in the UK, a third of the food we buy ends up being thrown away. Most of this is food that can be eaten, not just banana skins and tea bags.

For every three bags of food we carry home, we are effectively dropping one straight into the bin. As well as being a waste of money this is also a huge waste of resources.

As we approach Christmas, a time when many of us are buying more food than usual, it is particularly important that we think about how to ensure that we are not wasting food


Plan your meals and shop accordingly
Normally, keeping your cupboard and fridge stocked with the basics, and knowing what is in them and your freezer, is the best way to ensure that you can pull a meal together. Keeping an eye on best before dates and checking how your fruit and vegetables are every few days so you can use them up when they are at their freshest and ripest is also critical. For many of us there is no need for strict menu-planning.

However, during the festive season, when we often want to eat particular foods on particular days, planning meals becomes really important, both to ensure we shop for what we need but also to avoid waste.

Make a timetable and mark in the special meals that you want to cook and eat. Think about which of these are likely to result in leftovers and then work out how you can use these leftovers to make other dishes, not forgetting smaller meals when a sandwich or bowl of soup will be more than enough.

If you have gaps in your menu planner slot some of these in. If there aren’t enough gaps, think about which leftovers can be frozen for use another day. For example, if you are having turkey on Christmas Day you can freeze the carcass to make stock or, if you have the time, make and freeze the stock itself.

When you are shopping, obviously you’ll want to have some treats to hand for snacking on but don’t go over the top. So many festive meals are large and rich and those extra cakes, chocolates or nuts that you buy really aren’t going to get eaten. Or if they are it is just because they were there which is always a waste of calories!

Get your portion sizes right
When planning special meals it is so easy to get carried away. If you are anything like me, you write a list of everything that you traditionally have, add on a few of your new favourites and then an extra something, “just in case.”

Try and restrain yourself! If there are only two of you, that festive roast really doesn’t need six different vegetable accompaniments plus two types of potato dish as well as the usual trimmings of pigs in blankets, stuffing, bread sauce and Yorkshire puddings! Or if you can’t bear to cut back on the number of dishes, make smaller portions, particularly of those things that won’t freeze/work well as leftovers.

Think about eating your meals over an extended period of time. A mid-morning Christmas glass of something celebratory would be lovely with smoked salmon blinis, taking away the need to do a more formal starter. Similarly, your choice of pudding can easily be eaten an hour of two after your main course. This approach also helps your body digest the larger-than-usual amounts of food that many of us will be eating.

Think about smaller, lighter meals for the days when you’ll have already overindulged. Simple vegetable soups – using up some of those extra veggies you inevitably bought – are a lifesaver. And if you do cook too much of anything, portion it up and put it in the freezer.

Think about storage
Think about how you can store your food so that it lasts as long as possible. The Love Food, Hate Waste has some great tips about this as well as how to rescue foods that are becoming past their best.

It’s also important to be realistic about how much space you have and what space is needed for the festive food that you are planning to buy. If you have a garage think about using this for keeping drinks and vegetables cool, only bringing them in when you need them.

Fridges and freezers become particularly pressured at this time of year, so have a sort out and remove any items that are out of date or really don’t need to be in there. Using up almost empty jars can clear lots of valuable space. This weekend is a good time to go through your freezer and plan a few meals for next week that will use up large bulky items that could be cleared to make space.

And when you’ve done all of that, it’s time to think about how your saved pennies can be put to better use…




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by abby from eat the right stuff



It's a Wrap

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Posted by Meeta K


This holiday season, rather than wrapping all your gifts the same way, let the gift wrap hold some clues about the contents- see if your recipient can guess the gift just by looking at the way you have wrapped it. Chances are pretty good that you already have things around your home that would be useful for jazzing up your gifts.

Here are five ways to give your gifts a unique look:

  1. Skip the store-bought gift wrap...and come up with your own. Sunday comics, old maps, calendar pages and foreign language newspapers all make interesting substitutes for wrapping paper. You can get kids to make their own signature wrapping paper by decorating plain brown or white paper. One of my favorite craft activities as a kid was to dip cut vegetables into paint and stamp paper with them- cut okra, carved potato halves and halved onions look just beautiful. Leaves and buttons are also great for stamping.

  2. Skip the paper altogether and use fabric for wrapping. Fabric is especially great for wrapping gifts that are awkwardly shaped. Some ideas for pretty fabric wraps: scarves (could be made of a variety of fabrics), Indian dupattas, shawls, tea towels (for food gifts and kitchen-related gifts), bandanas. Scour thrift shops for old linens that will the gift an antique look. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of fabric gift wrap with many beautiful ways of neatly wrapping gifts in fabric.

  3. Skip the bows and try some unusual package toppers. Found objects from nature look gorgeous as gift toppers- some examples include pine cones, dried leaves and flowers, perhaps a sprig of mistletoe? Shells and pebbles could be glued on too. A cute brooch or pair of earrings might be much appreciated as well. For a food related gift, spices like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and star anise would be very suitable. Jingle bells or small ornaments would also be gorgeous toppers for the perfect look.

  4. Skip the conventional ribbon and look around the home for something different to use instead. Bright shoelaces are a great way to tie a gift for a child or a teen, or if it is a sports-related gift. One could use beaded necklaces too. Yarn or lace might be cute for a gift for a crafter. For a festive look, use colorful tinsel.

  5. Give a gift inside a gift. Use a nice tote bag or drawstring bags to package the gifts. All of us should be using reusable shopping bags anyway, so an extra tote bag is always welcome. Or you might give a gift card packaged inside a wallet. Flower pots or watering cans can be filled with gardening supplies. Homemade food gifts can be filled into a cute baking dish. A child's toy could be wrapped in a folded T-shirt. The possibilities are endless!

One tip that I have found very useful is to have a location in the home as a central spot for all things related to wrapping gifts. It could be a shelf or a drawer; I simply use a cardboard shoe box tucked into a closet. Throughout the year, any bits and bobs (trinkets/beads/ribbons), old cards, paper with interesting textures, gift bags that I receive- all of these things find their way into this box, ready to be recycled into fresh clothing for the next gift. Yes, I freely recycle wine bags and gift bags. There are those who believe that recycling gift bags is tacky. To me, being spoilt and wasteful and tossing perfectly good gift bags and boxes into the trash is waaaay tackier. A small pair of scissors and sticky tape also have a home in this little shoe box. It makes wrapping gifts a fun and interesting activity when you don't have to overturn the whole house to look for double-sided tape.

Happy Holidays!




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This post was contributed by Nupur from One Hot Stove



Tiffin Tuesday - Favourite Things

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Posted by jokergirl@wererabbits





Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleighbells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things



Well, I'm vegetarian so it's not Schnitzel but garlic-roasted zucchini with noodles (a staple food!). But the apple strudel is there!

Old-fashioned Viennese Apfelstrudel recipe
For one strudel, I used:
3 leaves of filo (phyllo) dough, stacked, because I'm too lazy to make my own dough.
4 medium-sized Golden Delicious apples
About 2-3 cups of white breadcrumbs
Raisins, butter, floursugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, lemon juice

Peel the apples and cut them into thin leaves (best with a slicer). Mix them with a dash of lemon juice to prevent browning.
Add raisins (the recipe says to soak them in rum but I'm not too fond of that).
Roast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan without fat. When they are golden brown, take them off the heat, pour in 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1/2 cup of floursugar and some vanilla powder if you have it (I didn't).
Spread the filodough on a clean towel and brush some molten butter onto it. On the lowest third of it, spread out the breadcrumbs evenly. Spread the apples and raisins on top of the breadcrumbs, then sprinkle the walnuts and another 1/4-1/2 cup of floursugar mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon on top.
Roll the dough with the help of the towel, fold in the edges.Brush molten butter on top. Place the strudel on top of a cookie sheet in an oven pan and bake for about 30 minutes (or until golden brown) at 200°Celsius (~400°F). If you let it rest for a bit it'll taste even better than fresh out of the oven! Serve warm or cold - it's very good with cream or vanilla icecream, too.

Oh - the napkin by the way is a way of celebrating Devil's day, December 5th, and St. Nicolaus' day, Dec. 6th. The devil takes all the naughty children away so the nice children can get candy and fruit from St. Nicolaus, who of course is noone else but good old Santa. Or rather, Santa got his name and colours from him - St. Nicolaus is a Greek bishop who gave gifts to the poor.

This post is a year old - hard to believe I've been making bentos for that long already! But there are some more details about the festival over at my blog, which I didn't dare post here - the devil can be quite scary!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by jokergirl from Wererabbits



Food Blog Awards 2007

Posted by Meeta K


We folks here at The Daily Tiffin are rather speechless to say the least! The Daily Tiffin has been nominated for an award over at Well Fed.

When we look at the list of names in this category, we are filled with pride to be named on the same list. This just would not have been possible if it was not for you, dear readers. Because, without you we would not here.


I'd also like to thank my spectacular team for putting in so much hard work and passion into their posts. I love you folks.

So, if you do fancy voting, we would certainly be lying if we did not say, we'd like you to vote for us. ;-D



Whatever, you do, we still feel like winners, because in our eyes we have great readers and thank you all for the honor.

Hugs!




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.


Special things for Family, Friends and Special People

Monday, December 10, 2007

Posted by Amanda at Little Foodies

Like most people in this day and age I have family and friends scattered all across the globe, in this country and abroad. As much as I would like to be in regular contact with all of these people, life sometimes gets in the way. Now I could berate myself and feel guilty (which in all honesty I do sometimes) or I can know in my heart that I think of them often and at times like Christmas, make the effort to send them a personal gift. To do this you have to be organised, something which nowadays doesn't come naturally to me. December seems to creep up each year faster than the year before and before I know it the last day for national and international posting has been and gone. Over the years the personalised gifts have taken on a number of guises, some of the ideas for which I'd like to share with you.

A short (edited) DVD of video footage taken over the last twelve months. It helps that my husband is a whizz with the video editing package that came with our computer.

A little less effort but still a lovely thing to do is a CD with a slide show of photographs, set to good music. We did this for my Mum last year who we only see once a year on average. She must have bored the rest of my family senseless by showing it over and over again. Proud grandparent see?

A beautiful photo album with copies of old forgotten photographs of times spent with the people years ago and little captions. I love looking at old photographs and reminiscing. You could do this with more recent photographs too.

Cards and pictures made by the children. Not just something they would have painted anyway but a picture that has been thought about with the recipient in mind. We have a DJ in the family, a picture was painted of him wearing earphones.

Paint an object such as a wooden spoon and then adourn with ribbon. You could do this with other objects. Ask people what their favourite colour is and try to match the object accordingly.

This last weekend I iced some heart shaped cookies with the names of the teachers at my sons weekend activity club. Tied with satin ribbon or raffia they look beautiful and cost next to nothing to make.

On more of a foodie note, I've made marmalade, jams and chutney. Spice mixes with recipes, rolled and tied with raffia. Bath salts, scented with essential oils. Cookie mixes in a jar, with a cookie cutter attached with some gorgeous gingham ribbon and there's always our fail safe sloe gin that we make using sloes picked from the local hedgerows at the start of Autumm.

The reason I like making things is because while I make something I think about the person it is for. I like that, it suddenly seems okay that I might not be spending time with those people. I'm quietly celebrating that I do actually know them. Besides I love picking glue and bits of paint off my hands, and glitter, well finding bits in my hair for weeks on end is just a bonus.

These are just a few of the things we have done over the years. If there are any special things that you make for people we'd love to hear your ideas.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Amanda from Little Foodies

Your Health And Fitness During The Holidays

Friday, December 07, 2007

Posted by Helene


It seems that when you health and fitness resolutions should be high on your list during the holidays, they seem to take a back seat. We always find a dozen excuses to put our fitness goals on the back burner such as family visiting, long shopping trips to the malls, children’s holiday pageants, baking sessions, parties to attend. Yet, with simple strategies, it is easy to maintain your fitness spirit and if not lose at least not gain too many pounds and keep your energy levels up.

Situation # 1: There is so much food around the holidays…I can’t resist!
Solution: Visualize how you will feel after you overindulge: was it really worth it? Could you have been satisfied with a smaller amount? Identify all the situations that make it difficult for you to stay on track: family gatherings, office parties, baking with the kids, and come up with a plan of action for each.
- Bring a low calorie appetizer to the office party, or a family potluck.
- Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. Have a healthy smoothie (see recipe at the end), a bowl of soup or half a sandwich before you leave the house
- Budget calories throughout the day, so you can afford to spend a few more at the party. Don’t starve yourself, but be extra diligent of what you eat during the day.
- Stay focused by getting 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. Fatigue does impair our will and motivation to make good food choices. We often mistake lack of energy for lack of sleep but it can also come from the food we eat and the lack of good nutrients we put in our body.

Situation #2: I am busy running around. That should be enough of an exercise!
- Stay active. Don’t confuse being busy for being active. Now more than ever is the time of the year you need to make sure you exercise 30 minutes a day. Break it into smaller 10 minutes session but do make this appointment with yourself. Treat yourself to an early Christmas present by hiring a trainer for 1 to 2 sessions a week if necessary.
- Burn extra calories in a longer-than-usual exercise session. Some research shows that adding just 10 more minutes of intense exercise to your usual workout can stave off holiday weight gain.
- Make snow men or snow angels with the kids.Rake leaves for 20 minutes.
- Join a holiday race: a lot of cities organize holiday races and walks. Not only will you help raise money for charities but you will keep your exercise going during this busy time of the year.

Situation #3: Party Time! Everyone else is eating. The hostess will be offended if I say “no”.
Because everyone else is eating does not mean that you have too. To stay on track, I often take inspiration from kids : look at them at holiday parties, they are much more into playing games and talking and getting to know each other than staying at the buffet line. If you are close to the host (family or friend) try to see about organizing board games or outdoors Frisbee or football sessions that will take the adults away from the buffet table, or make you digest after the meal.
At the tale, choosing smaller portions should not offend anyone. If somebody says something remind them it is your thighs not theirs…just kidding! Just say you are saving room for their scrumptious dessert!
At a buffet, use the smaller plate, makes only one trip and pick your favorites. I tend to use the items I am less likely to make or eat during the rest if the year, have one serving and eat slowly.

Situation #4:
It is the holiday season. I should have treats available all week long!
Now is the time to broaden your repertoire of healthy low-fat treats and to have plenty of fresh fruits available when the urge of snacking creeps up on you. Make healthy substitutions like using applesauce instead of oil, 2 egg whites instead of one egg, skim milk instead of whole. Try to reduce the sugar by using some strong honey and upping the spices.
Make mini cookies and mini muffins, cut brownies and bars into tiny square pieces, cut pies into 10 instead of 8. See the recipe for the Pumpkin Carrot bites below.

Finally, remember that even the most motivated person will slip and that everyone strays a little during the holidays. Do not add more stress during this busy time worrying abut the 2 extra truffles and the glass of Champagne you had. Keep on track as much as possible and stay positive the whole time. The trick is to do your best and enjoy this time.

Healthy Morning Smoothie:
2 cups orange juice
1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
4 servings vanilla low fat yogurt
1 banana

Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Number of Servings: 4

Calories: 195.0
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 5.0 mg
Sodium: 77.3 mg
Total Carbs: 43.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 6.5 g


Carrot Pumpkin Bars:

Filling:
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light butter/margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 large egg whites
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
1 cup carrot, finely shredded

Cream cheese topping:
4 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon skim milk

Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease 15 x 10 jellyroll pan.
Prepare Filling:
In small bowl: combine flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder & baking soda.
In larger bowl: Beat sugar, butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie mix and carrots. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
Prepare Cream Cheese topping:
Mix together cream cheese, sugar and milk until thoroughly blended.
Drop teaspoon-fulls of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl mixture with a butter knife.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester (inserted in center) comes out clean. Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 48 squares.
Nutritional Info
Calories: 67.2
Total Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 9.1 mg
Sodium: 86.7 mg
Total Carbs: 13.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.4 g






Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Helen from Tartelette


Christmas Baking - A Family Affair

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Vanilla Kipferl (01) by MeetaK


Covered in flour, sticky dough on the fingers and the good old fight over who gets to lick the chocolate covered spoon - it certainly can get chaotic in the home Christmas bakery. However, with a little bit of planning, baking cookies with the family can turn out into an unforgettable experience.

The best thing to do is discuss the types of cookies you would like to bake with the family a few days in advance. Everyone has a different favorite, so consider everyone's liking and disliking, otherwise you will have a few long faces around the kitchen table.


Weighing, whisking and mixing are exciting things for the children and they want to be a part of it right from the beginning. They want to see how the dough is made and formed and often cannot wait to get their hands into the dough.

Make room on the countertops of the kitchen. Move any machines, like the coffee machine, that are not going to be required while baking the cookies. Wipe the countertops clean and organize enough aprons for all the little ones.

Each task can be alloted according to the ages of your kids. So, make a list of the "to dos" and distribute the tasks accordingly. For example, allow the older kids to melt chocolate in a saucepan or weigh the ingredients, the younger ones can be responsible for mixing or whisking the dough. Everyone however can form or cut out their cookies. So, it is important to have enough cookie cutters and forms to go around.

As soon as you are ready to go - make sure you are always there to keep an eye on the kids and lend a helping hand whenever required. Take time to answer questions and explain the processes in detail. Show your little baker-boys and girls the tricks and tips that makes a professional baker. You will notice they will be in awe and will eagerly apply the learned lessons.

Being the grown up it is important to set an example for the children around you. Hot cookie trays or forms should be taken out of the oven using oven gloves and keep the little ones away from sharp knives, hot saucepans and other dangerous kitchen utensils (read more about Kitchen Safety with the kids).

Nibbling during baking is explicitly allowed. That's the fun part of any baking session. Just be careful about raw dough, as these often have raw eggs incorporated into them it would be advisable if the kids do not eat this.

Decorating is a process that everyone can join in. Make it fun and maybe even a small competition in teams will add to the motivation. Besides the regular sugar and chocolate frosting, you can find many decorating items in the stores. Colored frosting or sugar pearls, hearts or colorful sprinkles are great and make the cookies look very eye-catching.

I personally often find making a simple type of dough, like a shortcrust pastry dough, in larger quantities is the best way to go. It is a simple dough, even for the children to make. Once rolled out the children can cut out several forms and shapes. An additional advantage is that cookies from this dough often do not require long baking times.

Maybe you'd like to organize a cookie baking session and then donate them to charity for a good cause. Drop In & Decorate is an awesome way to share sweet moments with your children and then together sweeten someone else's day by bringing them some of those fresh cookies.

I wish you happy cookie baking!

Need a few good cookie recipes?
Marshmellow Chocolate Mud Cookies - Fun and Food
Mom's Shortbread Cookies - What Smells So Good
Nankatai - Indian Food Rocks
Hello Dolly Cookies - Food Blogga
Gluten Free Gingerbread - Saffron Trail
Gingerbread Man Cookies - Simply Recipes
Linzer Cupcakes - Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Raspberry Bars - Homesick Texan
Vanilla Kipferl - What's For Lunch, Honey?




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

10 Unique Christmas Gifts for Her

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Posted by Meeta K


The holiday season is supposed to be about enjoying oneself, spending time with family, and enjoy the act of giving and receiving gifts. And it is the thought that counts when giving a gift – that is, the long thought required to make sure the gift is liked.

While getting the usual gifts can often times get you by, you should at least once in a few years put some effort into truly impressing your lady. There's also no requirement to break the bank in doing so, as many people assume. While knowing what the woman values, you can know what to give her that's surprising, unexpected, and most importantly appreciated and remembered for years.

Here's a starter list to give a few ideas. Think fast, though, the holidays are coming up quick!

  1. A perfume she's never worn – The expected gift would be her usual fragrance, but why not shop around the department stores for something new? Find something you think will match her personality and style. Done right, this gift can be quite affectionate.

  2. Custom portraits – Ask her friends or family if they'd be willing to take a trip to a photo studio (or take your own if it's more financially feasible). Add them to a collage, or buy a large frame with numerous smaller places for photos. Add hers to the center, surrounded by the portraits taken. Of course, be sure to include yourself.

  3. Personalized bible – If the woman celebrates Christmas for religious reasons too, then she'd appreciate your acknowledgment of this by giving her a bible with her initials or name printed on it.

    Generally you have to order a bible with the included monogram, although if you look around you may be able to find a shop that will add one to a bible you already have. Do not alter one she already owns, and take any messages from yourself you decide to add lightly.

  4. Book of Poetry – Writing one poem is great, but writing a few and adding them to a book says a whole lot more. Again this can go from simple craft style to elegant, handmade by you or professionally printed and bound.

    If you need fillers, draw a few pictures or include photos. Write the poetry about them if it's not written already. Other great, appropriate, and rather easy topics include the winter season and weather, holiday foods, and Christmas itself.

    It's also quite acceptable to give this gift privately, as there are very few men who would want to be seen by anyone other than their woman giving their own written works of art. And any woman who doesn't absolutely adore this can just enjoy the lump of coal she probably received this year!

  5. Photo locket Рavoid the clich̩ gold heart locket with a photo of her on one side, and one of you on the other. Why not a tree instead of a heart? Silver is also a great Christmas color (and less expensive!).

    Want to be seen as open minded and caring again? Rather than a picture of you, put in one of her mother. Want to be cute and funny? Make it her dog instead. While a locket is more on the expected side, you can add some twists to make it creative.

  6. Music lessons – Sign her up for a few music lessons. For all either of you know, she's a great guitar player! An instrument is generally a better idea than vocal lessons. Also, make it something fun and easy like the guitar or drums.

    It could spark a new interest in music, and could lead into easy gift ideas for the next occasion.

  7. Swimsuit – For the girl who hates the cold winter weather, buy a swimsuit along with the promise of a trip to the beach in the summer. Not meant to be the main gift, but something on the side for a laugh. Plus, she may just have to try it on for you!

  8. Make her a Scarf – It's surprisingly easy to knit, and anyone with a little patience can pick it up rather quickly. The supplies are very cheap, and she's sure to love the effort you put into it. If you like what you're doing, you can even go onto knitting other articles of clothing, such as gloves or a sweater.

  9. Bicycle – Certainly not expected for an adult, which is what makes it unique. Many bicycle manufactures still make the old-style bikes seen in the '50's, which when accompanied by a basket on the front and a big Christmas bow would be adorable.

    Intended not only to be in the style of Christmas, it's also a great hobby to take up for those who haven't peddled since they were in middle school.

  10. Finally, something has to be said about jewelry. One problem that men make when buying jewelry for a woman is that they always stick to the expected, and they think that going over the top is the best.

    That may be fine for Valentine's Day when it's expected, or an anniversary, but it's not the best taste for Christmas. Take a step away from the tacky holiday sales at chain stores that advertise "Diamond heart pendant for only $59.99!" It's not worth your money, and it's definitely not something she'll want to wear after the season ends. Go for something elegant and stylish. Handpick a set (necklace and pendant, earrings, and bracelet, for example). Every piece, by no means, has to be encrusted with gemstones, and nor does it have to be gold.

    If you can afford it, it's certainly acceptable, but don't feel the obligation to spend hundreds or even thousands. Smaller, non-commercial jewelry stores often sell sterling silver with earth stones (Jade, Onyx, Turquoise, etc) that are much more affordable. This is by no standards "cheap" jewelry – it will still set you back a bit, but it's much better than truly "cheaping out" with low quality gold and gemstones.

    Plus, many women enjoy silver and stone jewelry. To go even further, get a set with stones that are her favorite color. Save spending a large sum of money on very valuable jewelry for a more personal time.





Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was contributed by Vicky from Got A Crush



Frozen pancake bento lunches

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Posted by Biggie @ Lunch in a Box

One of my speed bento tips has been to make a little extra when you’re cooking another meal, and set it aside for lunches. Planned leftovers can be divided into individual portions and frozen, or just stashed in the refrigerator for quick use. So when I had time over the Thanksgiving holiday to make buttermilk pancakes, I made mini pancakes with the excess batter at the same time and froze them for a quick lunch option. My son was excited to get pancakes for lunch as a treat, and it was a fast and easy option for me: win, win.

Mini pancake lunch for preschooler



Over the holiday, I made the iconic Thanksgiving dish of green bean casserole from scratch with this Alton Brown recipe, using fresh mushrooms and green beans, but minus the canned soup. When I first saw this on AB’s Good Eats TV show, I thought it was way too much effort for a single dish on a day when the cook would presumably be working on other dishes. Then I realized that it would be an ideal candidate to bring along to a potluck Thanksgiving, what we did this year. Everything turned out beautifully except for the onions, which other readers on the Food Network site had problems with as well. Either turn the heat down and watch them like a hawk, or buy a can of fried onions (you can also find these sold at Thai markets in addition to the mainstream Durkee’s at chain supermarkets). Overall, I’d say it was worth the effort; I especially liked the large slices of fresh mushroom and crisp green beans throughout.

Contents of preschooler lunch: Buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup, deconstructed green bean casserole (mushrooms in the food cup, green beans on the side), scrambled egg ball with peas, and pomegranate seeds. I shaped the egg purses with plastic wrap, as in the how-to here.

Morning prep time: 12 minutes, using frozen pancakes, leftover green bean casserole, and a sauce container that I pre-filled with syrup for speed. The night before, I put a little stack of two frozen pancakes into the refrigerator to defrost naturally. This worked passably well, but on seeing that there was more room in the box in the morning, I microwaved an additional frozen pancake. The microwaved pancake came out softer than the naturally defrosted pancake, and is how I’ll reheat them going forward.

Packing: For some reason, my son doesn’t like green beans when they have sauce on them, so I simply picked them out of the casserole, rinsed them off, and dried them well before packing them alongside. Bug ate them with his fingers. I packed the mushrooms in a reusable plastic food cup that I thought was shaped like a cow, but my son pointed out that it also looked like a car when you looked at it ‘upside down’. It was like looking at a trompe d’oeuil drawing of a vase, and suddenly seeing it morph into two faces, depending upon how you look at it. Packed in a 360ml Disney Cars bento box with one sub-divider removed.

Verdict: Good over time. Surprisingly, when I picked Bug up from preschool he had only eaten one pancake and all of the mushrooms, leaving everything else. In the car afterwards, though, he happily ate everything except the green peas and the pomegranate. When pressed, Bug said he ran out of time, but I’m thinking the pancakes and egg might have been frustrating for him to eat on his own as I hadn’t cut them up into bite-sized pieces.

Freezing homemade pancakes

Freezing: To freeze the pancakes, thoroughly cool, then wrap individual servings in plastic wrap (I made stacks of two). Place the wrapped pancakes in a freezer bag or plastic freezer container, and freeze. If using a freezer bag, use a straw to suck the excess air out of the bag before sealing to reduce the chance of freezer burn. Eat within a month for best quality, although technically they can be kept indefinitely if stored below 0 degrees C (not F). One of my books on freezing says that allowing frozen pancakes to thaw naturally causes them to lose fluffiness and collapse, so to unwrap the frozen pancake, rewrap in aluminum foil, and reheat in a toaster oven or oven. My pancakes didn’t collapse when I let them defrost in the refrigerator, but I preferred the light, fluffy texture when I microwaved them briefly on medium heat.

* * * * *

Mini pancake lunchContents of my lunch: Pancakes with orange cranberry sauce, olives, green bean casserole, pickled herring and pomegranate arils. I really enjoyed the pancakes with cranberry sauce, it was reminiscent of Swedish pancakes with ligonberries…

Pon de Lion bento box from Mister Donut

Morning prep time: 8 minutes, using all leftovers.

Packing: The cranberries went into a lidded disposable condiment cup, the kind that I used for jello cups. The green bean casserole went into a short, large silicone baking cup with fluted edges that I picked up from Daiso (2 for US$1.50). Packed in the 465ml two-tier Pon de Lion box from Mister Donut described below.

Pon de Lion bento box from Mister Donut

Container: A friend gave me a limited edition bento box from the doughnut chain Mister Donut, given to customers in Japan accumulating enough points on cards given with a purchase from March to May 2007. The “Pon de Lion” character is a play on the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and one of the chain’s new products, a filled donut that looks like the outside ring of the lion’s head. The box itself is 465ml total, with a 190ml top tier and a 265ml bottom tier. The upper tier has a flat, tight-sealing white lid, and the top tier can be turned over when empty and nested into the bottom tier, reducing the size of the empty container you carry home. The outer lid isn’t latched and the bottom tier lid is essentially the bottom of the top tier itself, so best to be sure that foods packed inside aren’t wet. The box is all held together with the yellow elastic bento band, and sits inside a non-insulated matching cloth bag. It’s a little on the small side for my lunches, but Bug is quite taken with it (good when I pack bulky foods or when he gets a little older).




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Biggie from Lunch in a Box.

Magical December

Monday, December 03, 2007

Posted by Meeta K


Isn't December simply a magical month?

Candles, sparkling lights, smell of baking and spices, presents, family, food and so much more! We love the month and are counting down to Christmas just like you.

The whole Daily Tiffin team is so excited that we decided to share our joy and Christmas cheer with you.

All throughout December we'll be writing articles focusing on Christmas. As a matter of fact those regular readers might already have noticed we've started to spread the joy of Christmas and given you a few decoration ideas, we've also helped you tackle those Winter blues.

But there's more ... we'll be helping you with gifts, decorations and much more throughout December. So hope you will join us on the Daily Tiffin as we spread the Christmas spirit with a few great articles.

There's a little more going on behind the scenes here. We've got a few new members and contributors who will be joining us in the next few months. Last week we introduced you to our rooster and today I would like you to welcome two wonderful ladies.

Vicky Zhou will be joining us as a regular contributor. I am sure you ladies and many gents will love her. See Vicky is a dating expert, but I'll let her tell you a bit more about herself.

A bit about myself.. let's see. I'm half-Japanese, and was born in Tokyo. I lived in China for 5 years, and then in Brazil for 1, and since then, I have lived in the United States. My father was in the military, so generally we moved to where he had to work. As a result, I know a fair share of languages - Japanese, Chinese, some Spanish, and English of course.

I graduated with a BS from NYU, and a Masters degree in Journalism from UCLA. Since then, I have been spending my time doing freelance writing, and personal projects. I am currently occupied with writing my first book, and starting my own dating advice site at www.GotACrush.com.


Stay tuned for Vicky's first article this week. Pssssst! This one's going to be for all the men out there - ssshhhh!

The next lady probably needs no introduction at all. Lydia Walshin has that Perfect Pantry I am sure everyone wants. She is also the great mind behind Drop In & Decorate a great charity event.

Here is a bit more about Lydia:

I write the lively blog The Perfect Pantry and am a professional food writer. I am a contributing editor of Rhode Island Monthly magazine, where I write a monthly column called Local Flavor. Author of one cookbook -- South End Cooks: Recipes from a Boston Neighborhood -- I currently teach cooking classes at Rhode Island School of Design, a world-famous art college in Providence, Rhode Island (because artists make great cooks!), and also teach classes for adults and children in my log house kitchen. A long-time hunger relief activist, I am the founder of Drop In & Decorate Cookies for Donation, and a co-founder of Will Paint For Food, which works to help end hunger through education, outreach and food distribution. Oh -- and I am a grandmother of 4!

Lydia will start as a new Co-Admin in January, on her birthday, January 16th!

We do have one more person that we are really excited about but we would like to clear up the last few details before we introduce you to her. So, watch this space for more news!

If you want to know more about all our members and contributors check out our Hall of Fame!




Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.



Weekend Recipe

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Posted by Dharm

It appears that my last post caught a little bit of attention and there was a request for the Corn Bread recipe. The recipe comes from an old edition of the Australian Women's Weekly New Cookbook. Not so new now, obviosuly, as this was my Mother's copy that I nicked from her - and the book is dated 1978!!

Anyway, for everyone that wanted the recipe and even for those that didn't ask, I've posted it below together with my own Herbed Butter recipe.

Corn Bread
60g Butter
1 Cup Cornmeal / Polenta
1 Cup Self Raising Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 Egg
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Method
Put Cornmeal in a large mixing bowl. Sift Flour and baking powder together into the bowl. Mix all dry ingredients together. Heat milk and butter together in a pan until butter melts. Pour into flour and mix well. Add in egg and mix the whole mixture well. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 220oC oven for 25 minutes or till done.


Whipped Herb Butter
100 g Butter
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp basil

Method
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Beat Butter on high speed until light and creamy
Pipe onto serving bowls

Easy Schmeasy! Hope you enjoy it.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Dharm from Dad ~ Baker & Chef