Summer Cool-Down Drink: Lassi Two Ways


Summer’s finally here – a bit unusual to be saying this in mid-July but the weather’s been a bit dicey with the relentless monsoon rains we’ve had recently (note the vibrant green of the lawn). Yogurt, a staple in our fridge, is the star here in lassi, a beverage made of yogurt, presented sweet or savoury. The latter may not suit the uninitiated but I find it very refreshing.

Mango Lassi

  • mangos, 2, skinned and cubed
  • plain yogurt, 1 cup
  • sugar, 1 tsp (if needed only)
  1. Blend together till creamy and serve

Ginger-Lime Lassi

  • yoghurt, 1 cup
  • ginger, grated, 1/2 tsp
  • zest of lime, 1/2 tsp
  • juice of lime, 1 tbsp
  • green chili, 1/2, chopped
  • coriander/cilantro leaves, a few – to garnish
  • salt, pinch of
  • cummin, ground, 1/8 tsp
  1. Whip the yogurt till creamy
  2. Add all the other ingredients and serve

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July 15, 2009. Tags: , , , . Beverages, Kids Cuisine, Nutrition, Summer. 2 comments.

The Recession-Safe Cuppa (or Caffeine-Pumped Delusion?)


In Toronto, where we last lived, we were extremely fortunate to have The Remarkable Bean at the bottom of our street – a charming neighbourhood cafe where they roasted and ground the finest coffee beans, and baked the most heavenly blueberry muffins I’ve ever had. It was a delight making the brief walk to savour its sights and scents on the streetcar-visited Queen St, which itself was home to a treasury of quaint shops and restaurants.

At the Bean I’d meet our stalwart family friend, Rob, and we’d dissect one of the above muffins ingredient by ingredient, later feverishly attempting to replicate them at home for the kids. We both had excellent results, although I really need one of those giant North Amerian muffin trays to get it down pat!

And so, Richard and I would get our just-ground remarkable beans and make the coffee fresh in our cafetierre, the good old low-tech way. Sadly, we have yet to spy a Bean-equivalent in our New Jersey neighbourhood and Richard’s had scant time to make coffee in the morning before he joins the throng of NYC commuters. Instead, he gets one at work – a detour which puts the household budget back about $60 a month (closer to $90 with my less-regular habit thrown in) and not necessarily providing the satisfaction of a home brew.

Enter the Krups Dolce Gusto coffee maker and a handy Bloomingdale’s coupon – we are now the proud owners of one of these caffeine-spouting ducks. With all the savings on offer to lure bean addicts, Richard figures the 15-bar coffeehouse-strength machine (which incidentally produces a very attractive cuppa with a layer of foam on top that’s very fit to drink) will pay for itself in three months. My latte macchiato was so delicious I frantically scoured the box for its calorie content, expecting to find all my optimism ground to bean dust. Thankfully, it was a neat 90 calories.

Meanwhile, we can have a perfect latte, cappucino, cafe lungo, iced coffee or espresso (and the kids a choccacino) whenever we feel like it. A tasty deal at *25-50c a cup, I say!

*25c for the coffee pod, another 25c for milk (if using)

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May 19, 2009. Tags: , . Beverages, Kitchen Gagdets, Kitchen Snippets, Kitchen Stuff, Musings. Leave a comment.

Bloody Mary


Ideal for the summer, with or without alcohol, the Bloody Mary is said to have been introduced to and refined in the United States in the early 20th century. The drink’s name is associated with Queen Mary I, who reestablished Roman Catholicism in England, causing many Protestants to be burnt at the stake for heresy and spurring the justly unflattering nickname for herself.

Its teetotaler sister drink is, sensibly enough, the Virgin Mary.

Don’t know about you, but I need a drink after all that!

  • Tomato juice, tall glass of
  • Vodka, 1 1/2 oz (omit if making the mocktail)
  • Pepper, dash of
  • Celery salt, pinch of
  • Worcestershire sauce, good 5-6 dashes of
  • Tabasco sauce, 3-5 dashes of
  • Lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp of
  • Celery stick, 1, to garnish

  1. In a tall glass, add ice cubes and fill with tomato juice
  2. Add all the other ingredients, gradually, adjusting for personal preferences
  3. Pop the celery stick in at the end. Cheers!

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

August 3, 2008. Tags: . Beverages, Breakfast, Cocktails. 1 comment.