Tiffin Tuesday: Summer Rolls

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Posted by Petra Hildebrandt

One of my favorite finger foods and hot weather foods are Vietnamese summer rolls, and - although they are, unfortunately, not really a quick fix - they are perfect for a bento box:




I made Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls for dinner last night, so I had some leftovers tucked away under a damp towel in the fridge, which does make prep a snap. But even if you have to do all the chopping it is worth the hassle, because summer rolls are one of the most versatile leftover using recipes ever. As long as you have a few fresh herbs and rice paper rounds on stock, go wild and chop up veggies, protein, even fruit as in the mango rolls (a sweet version with mango and coconut-milk soaked rice noodles may be worth a try). Yes, they are better eaten fresh, but they withhold travel in a lunch box easily and with a dipping sauce in a container on a side they make a full meal in a wrap.

In addition to the shrimp-and-mango-noodle-rolls we made leftover-beef and carrot/cucumber rolls, with a little chile powder on top to add spicyness. Without noodles they do not wrap as beautifully, but look nice and taste very good. The radishes add color and crunch.

This is the whole box for today - the other compartment features cape gooseberries and an organic chocolate bar, plus the dipping sauce in a small bottle:





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 Petra from FoodFreak


Birthday Traditions

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Posted by Nupur


April is my birthday month, and around this time of the year, I always think back to the birthdays I celebrated as I was growing up. My busy and harried parents always made time to throw a birthday party for me (and for my sister on her birthday). Year after year, they planned, baked, mixed royal icing, blew balloons until they were blue in the face, armed themselves with a ladder, sticky tape and crepe paper streamers, decorated the living room and put together a homemade party with the works- guests, games, decorations and a decorated cake!

One of the most vivid childhood memories I have: my parents would put together a themed cake (exactly the way Dharm recently shared the birthday creations he makes for his kids). My favorite one was a swimming pool one year (I was an avid swimmer at the time), complete with wafer-cookie springboards, green jelly as the water and little figures (crafted from sugar) bobbing in the pool. A couple dozen kids from the neighborhood would be invited for a party. We would play time-tested games like "Passing the Parcel", "Pin the tail on the donkey" and "Musical Chairs" but my mother had her other favorites too. One of them was the "Memory Game". She would place 20 common household objects on a tray- like a bowl, a banana, a matchbook, a pair of earrings, a newspaper, etc. The tray was brought out, everybody got to look at it for exactly one minute and memorize the contents; then the tray was covered with a dishtowel. The person who could remember the most number of objects correctly was the winner of some tiny but lovingly wrapped prize. Another game that I remember was the "Treasure Hunt". My mother made dozens of exquisite little paper butterflies and hid them over the yard. Teams of 2-3 were given a little map and then went on a butterfly hunt. Now that I think about it, my parents tolerated trampled flowerbeds, a ruined garden and muddy footprints *all* over the house to let us play this game.

The cake and the birthday song are pretty universal elements of a birthday celebrations, but every culture does have its own special traditions. Not all Indian families celebrate a birthday with cake and candles. A sweet something is certainly a must at every celebration in India- some of my friends had a traditional Hindu celebration called the "aarti" with a little lamp lit in their honor, with their parents holding the lamp in front of them, followed by a sweet treat popped into their mouth. In India, it is considered rude to open gifts in the presence of the giver, so birthdays consisted of a long and agonizing wait; the presents could only be opened when the last guest had left! Another Indian tradition: when cash is given as a gift, you are not supposed to give a round figure like 10 or 100 (rupees or dollars or whatever). You always give amounts like 11, 51, 101, symbolizing that it is a gift that is not complete and that it "keeps on giving", so to speak.

Celebrating the birthdays of children results in fun and happiness all around, and memories to last a lifetime. But as people get older, they occasionally say things like, "I'm too old to celebrate my birthday". I disagree! After all, the life of a grown-up is often not an enviable one- it is too full of cares and worries and boring stuff like bills and tax returns. Children get plenty of attention and adoration, but adults are usually the ones looking after the needs and wants of others, not the ones being taken care of. A birthday is the perfect time to shower some special attention on a person, fuss over them a little bit and tell them the simple thing that we all need to hear from time to time: "You are special. The things you do are not being taken for granted. Your birthday is an important day for us to celebrate". Now that I am all grown-up (or so they tell me), I enjoy learning of new birthday traditions and trying to include them into my own little family. Here is one that I particularly like- letting the birthday girl or boy (no matter whether age they are) choose the menu for the day. If they want to eat pizza for breakfast and doughnuts for dinner, so be it. It is their day! This tradition sounds especially fun for birthdays that fall on an otherwise humdrum weekday.

For my sixteenth birthday, my aunt gave me a tiny book as one of the birthday gifts that she always showered me with. It was full of little quotes, and she had highlighted one that read, "Ever since you were born, my days have been happier". To me, this is the essence of celebrating a birthday. To both give and receive such a sentiment is indeed a joyous thing!

Do you have any special birthday traditions in your family? Please share them with us!



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 Nupur from One Hot Stove



Sophie's Favorite Salad

Friday, April 18, 2008

Posted by Ann

I love this salad and, more importantly, so does my family-- especially my sixteen year old vegetarian daughter, Sophie. I got the idea from a friend out in Seattle years and years ago, though her salads were complex compositions while my version is about as simple as I can make it while retaining the lemony-garlic flavor. The strong bright lemon and garlic flavors in this salad make a particularly fine accompaniment for rich heavy main dishes such as macaroni and cheese or lasagna.

Warning: you must love raw garlic and have a willingness to get your hands messy and a tolerance for the smell of garlic on your fingers or the recipe won’t work properly.

Sophie dubbed it "Smelly Fingers Salad," when she was little and the name has stuck (though I don't announce the name to guests!).


Tear clean dry romaine leaves into a salad bowl. Add a large minced garlic clove, a lot of freshly ground black pepper, and as much grated Parmesan cheese as you prefer. Use your hands to make sure all of the lettuce is coated with garlic, pepper and cheese.

Peel two very large carrots. Using the peeler, shave off long thin leaves of carrot, letting them fall into the bowl. You want the carrot pieces to be thin and flexible, not stiff. You may have to experiment with peeler types to get it right. Use your hands to mix them into the lettuce.

Cut a lemon in half, remove the seeds, and squeeze the juice (one half at a time, checking for taste) over the salad, then drizzle the best olive oil you can afford over the lemon juice. Toss and adjust to taste. Grind some more black pepper over the top, toss again and serve.




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 Ann from Redacted Recipes

Vegetarianism – An Introduction

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Posted by Suganya

A Vegetarian is an individual whose diet does not include meat, fish, poultry and other slaughter-by products. To what degree does he/she avoids meet distinguishes vegetarians into these further categories.
  • Pescatarian – An individual whose diet excludes all animal flesh except fish
  • Semi-Vegetarian or Flexitarian – Mostly vegetarian diet but rarely includes meat
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian – No animal flesh, but diet includes milk and eggs
  • Vegan – No animal flesh. Excludes all animal by-products like dairy, eggs. Vegans also refrain from products that may include animal products in its production cycle.
  • Raw Food/ Raw Vegans – Vegans who consume food in its uncooked or unprocessed form. The food is not heated over 115F
In addition to these, we have Macrobiotic, Fruitarianism and Freeganism. But before confusing you with facts, lets take a step back and explore vegetarianism.

Vegetarianism is a growing movement in modern society. Many world cultures have adopted vegetarianism centuries back. Surprisingly, it is still misunderstood by many, as there are quite a few unanswered questions. Lets take a closer look at the facts.

Why Vegetarian?

Becoming a vegetarian is a personal and individual decision, for ethical, environmental, health or religious reasons.

1. Some consider raising livestock for subsequent slaughtering and production of meat for human consumption is against their values. Reasons are many and vary from inhumane treatment of animals, unnecessary killing of other living organisms etc.

2. The environmental impact caused by raising animals for food is undeniable. Livestock’s long shadow – Environmental issues and options, a United Nations report, published by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations says,

“The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution and loss of biodiversity.“(page 22 of 408)

3. A well-balanced vegetarian food is effective in curbing health problems like Obesity, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.

4. While many religions promote a meat free lifestyle, some mandate a meat-free and cruelty-free living. So a vegetarian lifestyle is a means by which many people around the world fulfill their spiritual beliefs.

Vegetables

Is a well-balanced vegetarian diet possible?

Yes. Just cutting out meat doesn’t automatically translate to eating healthy. To achieve maximum benefits, various different food groups must be included for daily consumption. Refer to this vegetarian pyramid by Arizona State University, which gives an idea on how the meals are to be planned.

Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean going hungry. Carbohydrates, proteins and fiber can keep you full, while nuts can be good for snacking. Be creative to include the food groups in your meals appropriately.

Do vegetarians have trouble getting enough proteins?

No. There is a popular misconception that meat is the only source of complete protein and therefore, a vegetarian diet is incomplete. But there are many good vegetarian and vegan sources of protein like nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy grains and vegetables, which contain many of the essential amino acids. According, to Institute of Medicine, the guidelines for protein intake is 10 to 35 percent of total calories. This can be easily met by consuming protein-rich plant foods.

Is food combining necessary?

The complaint with plant proteins is, these foods don’t contain all the essential amino acids in one food source like animal proteins do. This is easily overcome by eating combination of proteins to get the complete protein. However, several plant sources like soy, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, spirulina and hempseed provide complete proteins. Nutritional yeast, eggs and dairy are other sources of complete protein.

Is vegetarian food bland and boring?

Of course not. Just look at the countless number of food blogs that offer a feast of delicious, healthy vegetarian dishes. Also, online and retail bookstores carry umpteen number of cookbooks that teaches to prepare and enjoy vegetarian meals in a jiffy.

Is eating out hard for a vegetarian?

No. Few years back this may have been a problem. But now-a-days, most of the restaurants carry few vegetarian options in their menu. Even if they don’t, when requested, they usually are willing to make something for you. Also, be open to different food cultures. Cuisines like Indian, Asian, Italian, Thai and Mexican are often very vegetarian friendly. So when you are traveling, locate nearby restaurants that offer these cuisines.

Fruits

Do vegetarians need to take supplements?

A well-balanced vegetarian diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy provides the essential nutrients like complex-carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals required for a good health.

Where do I get vegetarian foods?

In the same places where you shop for food. Supermarkets, farmer’s market, grocery stores, all carry vegetarian foods.

How do I transition to vegetarianism?

Gradually. Start with fewer meat-free meals in a week and increase the frequency. Also, talk to your friends and family that being/becoming a vegetarian is important to you. Making them understand avoids arguments or disdain. In fact, treat your family with a delicious meat-free dish to convince ‘em.

Despite several advantages, vegetarianism is not without its controversies. Not everyone likes the idea of a vegetarian lifestyle. Some even consider it weird and distasteful. Some of the common arguments against this lifestyle include

a) Human beings were meant to be omnivorous. And so, vegetarianism is not the ‘natural diet’ for us. Human consumption of meat is not only natural, but is mandatory.

b) Vegetarian diet is not a wholesome diet as it does not include enough complete proteins. Use of plant proteins like soy, as an alternative to meat proteins is also highly controversial.

c) An omnivorous diet with lean meats is also healthy. So the notion that meats are unhealthy is not only misleading but also wrong.

d) Meat consuming individuals are not necessarily cruel to animals. The ethical argument posed by vegetarians is hypocritical. Several so called vegetarians use several animal products including leather, wool, silk etc.

e) With choices like organic/free-range meat and poultry, one can respect the environment whilst still consuming a meat based diet.

No matter which side of the table you are, one thing is for certain, vegetarianism is here to stay. In life, we all like to have our choices, from everyday mundane things to more complex and important ones. So why should food habits be any exception?

Though bought up as a vegetarian by my parents, I continue to remain so by choice and honestly, very happy with it. But the choice of becoming a vegetarian or not, should be a conscious decision made by an individual in their right minds in a manner that suits their taste and lifestyle.

Further Reads:

1. NY Times article - Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler
2. BBC article - Hungry world 'must eat less meat'
3. Diet for a New America
4. Vegetarian Diets



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 Suganya from Tasty Palettes

Quick and Easy Can Make for Good Lunch Too

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Posted by Glenna


Sometimes you need lunch to be QUICK and EASY, right? So do I.

This picture isn't as cute as a lot of them I've taken of my lunchbox because, hey, my lunchbox isn't in it, only a brown paper bag. But that's okay, this particular lunch didn't fit in my regular bento. In a way this was a "thrown-together" lunch whipped together in under five minutes from the produce drawer of my fridge and the shelves of my pantry. You know what? It turned out to be one of the most satisfying, and more importantly, it taught me a lesson. The lesson that you don't ALWAYS have to go into huge planning and effort for the little lunchbox.

The contents of this are: some beautiful green beans that I quickly rinsed (didn't dry) and steamed in the microwave wrapped up in a paper towel and then spread out on the counter to cool while I packaged up the rest. There's a handful of granola, this happens to be my own homemade, a small handful of dried cranberries mixed with a few walnuts, and a bean and cheese burrito quickly prepared of pre-shredded bagged cheddar and a scoop from a can of refried beans that I always keep a can or two stapled in my pantry. Voila, there it is. No fuss, no muss, but a tasty and nutritious lunch. Sometimes the biggest lesson in life for me is that not everything has to be complicated to be good.








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 Glenna from A Fridge Full of Food







It's Getting Tasty Here!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Posted by Meeta K

We've got some fabulous news to share with you. Allow us to introduce our newest Daily Tiffin member - Suganya of Tasty Palettes. For those who know Sug from her blog will know that she is a health conscience person, striving to get her family to eat healthy. Sug is a vegetarian, who recently started delving into the Vegan lifestyle. Sug is witty, flexible, talented and never too scared to experiment - all the right ingredients to make it on our team ;-)

Sug will be brining articles focusing on a vegetarian/vegan way of life. She will be telling us how she started to explore veganism for herself and her family and also share a few recipes. We hope to add to the quality of the blog with Sug's input. She will help those of us who are interested in veganism, by showing us how to start step by step and for those of us who would just like to include more vegetarian meals into their diets, Sug will give us a few great ideas, tips and recipes.

Here is a bit more about the stunning Sug, in her own words:

I am a fun-loving, affable & broad minded individual of Indian origin, living in the US. I started cooking at a very early age and have a strong affinity for tasty and healthy food. I write a blog called Tasty Palettes, where I express myself through food & flavour that is not limited by cuisine.

I believe in leading a healthy lifestyle. Naturally this consciousness extends into my day-to-day activities, food recipes and choice of ingredients as well. I constantly strive to make food healthy, by making sensible choices while cooking or baking. I also try to make healthy food interesting and appealing for everyone, using contemporary presentation / styling techniques and photography.

Being a vegetarian all my life, I often find myself in a position where I need to be very flexible and adaptive. So, one can find me experimenting on proven recipes (Indian or not) with locally available or organic ingredients. I have recently started exploring veganism not only as a means of extending my beliefs in a healthy lifestyle, but also my beliefs as an animal lover and an environmentalist.

My other interests include food styling, travel & photography. I also love to read a lot, watch movies and drink a good cup of coffee.

Please help me welcome Sug to the Daily Tiffin. You can catch her first post this Wednesday, 16th April.

Que Sera Sera Quesadillas

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Posted by Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)


Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like tortillas?

I didn’t think so.

These days, there’s a tortilla on the market for every taste and dietary preference: corn tortillas for gluten-free eating; oat bran tortillas for lower-carb eating; spinach or sun-dried tortillas for colorful eating. I always have a few different types of tortilla in my refrigerator and freezer.

Originally from Mexico, tortillas are the ultimate flatbread, made from corn cured in lime water; the process, called nixtamalization, causes the skin of the corn kernels to peel off, which increases the nutritional value by activating the niacin and tryptophan in the corn.

My newest passion is Joseph's brand wheat-oat bran-flax tortilla, with 70 calories and just 5 net carbs. With the carbs reduced, tortillas seem to lose a bit of their heft, so they're not wonderful for heavy fillings, but they're perfect for quesadillas, and the kids in our family love them.

A quesadilla (pronounced kay-sah-DEE-yah) is nothing more than a thin grilled cheese sandwich, made on a tortilla instead of bread. And like any good grilled cheese sandwich, you can make it with any kind of cheese, on any kind of tortilla, with any kind of stuff stuffed inside. Cook it on the grill, in a frying pan, on a griddle, or even under the broiler.

It’s really fun to make your own salsa (which is Spanish for “sauce”) for topping, but you can also buy good salsa in the store. Salsa doesn’t have to be hot and spicy – it can be mildly spicy, or sweet, depending on what you like. In the summer, you can make salsa from fruit (like peaches or mangoes), and in the winter from canned tomatoes.

OH – and you parents may remember this from Doris Day movies – que sera sera means “whatever will be, will be” – and that fits this recipe perfectly.

Que Sera Sera Quesadillas
This isn’t really a recipe; it’s just a starting point. Serves 2, 4, 6, 8…..

2 large flour tortillas (or 4 small ones), per person – plain or flavored tortillas of your choice

Two handfuls of grated cheese – Monterey Jack, cheddar, or a mix – shredded on the large holes of a box grater (store-bought shredded cheese works well, too)

Optional add-ins:
Chopped cilantro
Mole sauce
Canned black or red beans, drained and rinsed in water
Chopped fresh tomato
Leftover cooked chicken, shredded
Cooked sausage
JalapeƱo peppers, seeds removed, minced
Canned chopped green chiles
Cooked onions or green or red bell pepper
Goat cheese
Cooked hamburger (or veggie burger), crumbled
Chopped sun-dried tomato

Method: Preheat your griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on your work surface. Sprinkle a bit of cheese, then arrange any optional add-ins. Sprinkle remaining cheese, and top with the other tortilla. Don’t mound up too many toppings on your tortilla; you need the cheese to melt and hold the quesadilla together.

Place your quesadilla in the frying pan or griddle (no oil necessary), and cook for 2-3 minutes. Gently lift one edge of the top tortilla; if the cheese on the bottom has started to melt, and if the bottom tortilla has started to brown ever so slightly, it’s time to flip the whole quesadilla over. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until the cheese has melted and the quesadilla is stuck together. Remove to a cutting board, let it rest for a minute, then cut into small wedges and serve with salsa.



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 Lydia from The Perfect Pantry

Themed Birthday Parties

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Posted by Dharm



Children love to celebrate their birthdays and there is nothing better than throwing them a themed Birthday Party. I know that the words Themed Birthday Party bring up images of $$$ but I am going to show you 4 Themed Parties that were not only held at home, but where most everything was home made as well.

In creating a themed party, the first thing you need is a nice invitation card based on the theme. For the invitation card, I sourced the graphics from the web and then personalised the cards for each invitee and printed them out on to nice thick coloured paper. All this was done off of my home printer. Cost is thus minimal.

Try to decorate the house or party place along the lines of the theme as well. To go one step further, if you are giving away party favours of Party Packs, try to include some small toys or gifts that go with the theme. Finally, bake a cake and serve food that goes along with the theme as well. You don’t really need to get fancy food. The trick is in giving exotic names to everyday food just to go along with the themes.

African Animal Jungle Party
First up, we have the ‘African Animal Jungle Party’. My son was fascinated with African Animals – in particular the African Elephant. I had made a card too but I can't find my copy of it - so you'll just have to imagine what it looked like!

We printed out pictures of African Animals and stuck them all over the house. The pictures came with an explanation of the animals habitat, average age, height, speed and food. So it was a learning experience for everyone too! I even got my son a white shirt with an elephant and his name embroidered on the pocket – so he looked like a little ranger!

For the food, my wife and I cooked a variety of dishes and we gave them exotic sounding names, all themed after African Animals.

• Warthog Stew (Pork Curry)
• Impala in Bamboo (Sausage Rolls)
• Crocodile Patties (Fish Cutlets)
• Jungle Vegetable Quiche (Self Explanatory)
• Steamed Jungle Vines (Stringhoppers - this was bought)
• Jungle Swamp Gravy (Sothi)
• Elephant Ears (Cinnamon Sugar Pastry)
• Spotted Leopard Cupcakes (Choc Chip Cupcakes)
• Spiced Giraffe Muffins (Apple Cinnamon Muffins)
• Jungle Berry Cupcakes (Blueberry Muffins)
• Jungle Hare Marsh Jelly (Cendol Jelly served as 3 rabbit moulds atop a flat layer of jelly)
• Assorted Pickled Animals (Lychee Jelly in animal moulds)

I printed out labels for the food so that everyone knew what they were eating!






As a finishing touch, we put up a small tent outside so that the kids could pretend they were on an African Safari camping trip!



Prehistoric Party
What do you do when your child is crazy about Dinosaurs? Why, have a Prehistoric Party of course! For the invitation cards, I sourced the web for pictures of cartoon dinosaurs and then designed this card.


We did the same thing with the food and gave them Dinosaur names together with signs to explain what everything was. You couldn't fool my son who wa an expert at Dinosaur names, so we had to do our research! This was the menu:

• Ankylosaurus Curry (Mutton Varuvel)
• Fried Pterodactyl (Fried Chicken)
• Fried Archeopteryx (Fried Chicken Nuggets)
• Fossilised Fruits and DNA (Custard Fruit Tarts)
• Preshistoric Weeds and Vegetation (Fried Stringhoppers)
• Steamed Jurassic Tuber (Yam Cake - this was bought)
• Spicy Triceratops Pies (Minced Beef Curry Puffs)
• Triassic Vegetation Parcels (Vegetable Puffs )
• Cretaceous Swamp Packs (Cheese Tarts)

See? It’s really easy to turn normal food into exciting, exotic food that will not only delight the kids but educate the adults as well! It was all rather funny seeing the two sets of grandparents trying to decipher all the dinosaur names!

For the party packs, we made Dinosaur Eggs out of Papier Mache. The dinosaur eggs were filled with tiny plastic dinosaurs together with sweets and chocolates.
How do you make dino eggs? Again, not that difficult. A little time consuming perhaps but really not that difficult.

Simply blow up balloons slightly till they are shaped like eggs. Then layer them with paper soaked in starch or glue, leaving the tied end of the balloon open. Once the ‘shell’ has hardened, burst the balloon and remove it. Fill the ‘shell’ with your choice of gifts and then cover the open ends with more Papier Mache. Once it has hardened, paint the outside. I painted the ‘eggs’ for the girls a peachy colour while the ‘eggs’ for the boys were painted a duck egg blue.





Formula One Party
This party was a blast to organise simply because I love F1 too! As invitation cards, I designed and printed them in the form of tickets. The only downside to this was that some people got confused with the ‘venue’ and thought that we were hosting the party at a racing circuit (although there isn’t one anywhere nearby!) instead of at our home! All part of the fun anyway.






To get into the spirit of the party, we got our son a ‘replica’ F1 shirt. We also bought lots of balloons with Chequered Flags on them as well as a Helium balloon with an F1 Car on it. I also draped Safety Tape across the staircase.


The finishing touch was me wearing a Safety Vest and pretending to be a Race Marshall!!!

In addition to the usual spread of food, we also prepared some finger food and stuck toothpicks with flags of countries that have F1 races into the finger food.

Under The Sea

Following the same lines as the previous party, I printed personalised invitation cards for everyone. As you can see, we pretended the party was at an Aquarium but this time, I made sure to add our home address so the guests wouldnt get confused!



We got an Ariel T-shirt for our little princess to wear which thrilled her no end!

The house was decorated with green and blue balloons – like the sea. I had also wanted to create ‘waves’ out of crepe paper and paste them to the ceiling but since we live in the tropics and have ceiling fans that are turned on practically the whole time, that wouldn’t have been possible. But that’s an idea for those of you that can do it!


For food, we kind of followed a seafood theme and as usual I named and tagged the food as follows:
• Chicken Pie and mini Chicken Pies
• Mini Vegetarian Pies
• 'Ursula Octopus' Sausages - chicken sausages cut to look like octopus
• Under the Sea Pasta - Seafood Marinara Pasta
• Spicy Sebastian Crab - Spicy Crab Claws and crab meat
• Garlic Prawns
• Chocolate Brownies


So there you have 4 themed parties. All rather simple, with minimal costs and all done on your own without having to seek professional help. Oh incidentally, should any of you use these ideas, you would have to pay me royalties…..!! LOL!

So what idea do you have for a themed party?




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



Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Friday, April 04, 2008

Posted by Meg Wolff

With diabetes at epidemic proportions in the United States I thought I would share this important information from Physician's Committee For Responsible Medicine for people that are interested in changing their diets. Dr. Neal Barnard is doing clinical trials using a vegan diet with amazing beneficial results. His online classes are free to those interested. I receive their email notices and if you are interested here is how you or your loved one can get started (If you notice the date of the class has passed but the archives and power point can be downloaded so please keep reading):

Video Support Group



Thank you for your interest in our diabetes video support group. This exciting new series offers education on diet and diabetes, along with group support. Each week covers a different topic. Most sessions include a brief lecture by PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D., and a cooking demonstration, along with success stories and answers to your questions with members of PCRM's Nutrition Department.

The next class of this series will be Thursday, April 3, at 8 p.m. EST. The session will last about 30 minutes. You will need a high-speed Internet connection to participate. All of the classes are free of charge.

To connect to the session on Thursday, click here. The link will only work between 8 and 8:30 p.m., as the session will be live.

The class will also be repeated this Saturday, April 5, at 1 p.m. EST. To connect to the session on Saturday, click here.

If you are unable to attend Thursday or Saturday, you can acccess archives of the classes and download PowerPoint presentations.

If you have any questions, please submit them by using the form at the bottom of the screen during the session. You are invited to join our Get-Healthy Club message board, which will allow you to post questions that will be answered by a team of health care professionals.

We look forward to having you join us!

Best Regards,

PCRM Nutrition Department


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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 byMeg Wolff from www.becoming-whole.com

Favourite Foods

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Posted by Abby




Each year there are various articles decrying the lack of variety in the British diet. Last year we were told that most Britons have four staple meals – spaghetti bolognaise, sausage and mash, chicken tikka masala and chilli con carne.

This year there are apparently six staple dishes – roast chicken, spaghetti bolognaise, stir fry, sausage and mash, curry and pork chops.

I find this sort of information fascinating! Obviously the first thing I do is think about how often the dishes that are mentioned appear on my table. Spaghetti bolognaise and roast chicken feature most often. Sausages appear regularly but never with mash. The other dishes might make an occasional appearance, apart from the pork chops that is – a more tasteless cut of meat I’ve yet to find (although glenna's recipe is tempting me...)!

I then start to think about what my personal “top 5” would be and how I can find out what other people eat – partly out of nosiness and partly out of a desire to find new favourites.

Given Daily Tiffin readers come from around the globe I thought it’d be fascinating to see how similar, or different, we are with what our staple meals are. And don’t be shy, whether it’s homemade, out of a packet or a takeaway, we want to know about it!

I’ll get the ball rolling – most months we will eat:
* Homemade pizza
* Sausage, cherry tomato and fennel bake (this is a new obsession)
* Risotto – this is usually vegetarian and changes according to the season, at the moment I’m thinking about green vegetables with lemon, mint and basil flavourings
* Smoked mackerel and spinach pilaf (this is a favourite for packed lunches)
* Crab linguine with salad

What are your top five?





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This Post was written by abby from eat the right stuff



Tiffin Tuesday - Sausage on a stick

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Posted by Petra Hildebrandt

One of the German staples for a quick-fix meal is potato salad and Wiener sausage. And since they don't need much cooking, if you have your potato salad ready, they make for a great and speedy bento, too, as long as the sausage is high-quality and will taste good even when cold.





A full-length sausage, though, is somewhat hard to handle (and pack) so I opted for a skewered version here, adding cornichon gherkins in between the sausage, and some carrot to add color. Armed with a fork or spork, the (in this case home-made) salad is a nice and filling addition, and you might even pack a pouch of mustard.

The other tray features a few munchies - a homemade sugar cookie and fruit jelly stars, damson plums and a rice cracker.




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This Post was written by Petra from FoodFreak