Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rendez Vous With A Foodie - Savitha Ramesh of Savitha's Kitchen

Life is becoming a roller coaster for me, three months stay in hometown changed my life style a lot. Dont talk about the jetlag,am suffering very much with it. Am sleeping and eating as per Indian time, early wakeup is just killing me.Hope within a week, everything will be alrite. Without any delay let me start with an another guest post by a wonderful blogger. Yea its 20th February and am here with my monthly event called Rendez Vous with a Foodie, an event i have started a year back. If you are my follower,you might have noticed that every 7th and 20th of the month i'll be introducing a newbie blogger to this immense virtual world.I know that my co-bloggers aka my virtual sisters will definitely join their hands to make this event a big success and trust me they proved that,yes this event is a big hit. I have to say big thanks to each and everyone for giving me this immense support since a year.Next month is going to be the first anniversary of this event,happy to say that 22 bloggers have already written a guest post specially for me,obviously i feel honoured and blessed.

My today's guest is one of my favourite blogger Savitha Ramesh of Savitha's Kitchen, she blogs since 2010,she shares many authentic dishes from Tamil Nadu and from many more cuisines. Dont ask me about her baking skills, she was just amazing and one of her post French Yule Log Cake will speaks a lot about this. If you are her friend in FB, you might have crossed many beautiful cake she prepared for many special occasions like Valentine's day; birthdays etc, seriously i wish to have some patience as much as Savitha especially when its come from cake decorating. Actually i crossed Savitha through this immense world before two years and immediately i started following here,since ever i have became an ardent fan of her space.

Have you ever seen her detailed post about Kumbakonam Degree Coffee aka Filter Coffee, if not seriously your are missing something. If you are a coffee lover like me, you cant stop yourself drooling over her fabulous post about our morning raaga aka filter coffee. I can talk for hours about Savitha's space without any break,dont forget to go through her space if you are in search for Authentic South Indian dishes that too she shares her posts with stepwise pictures. Obviously,am sure that whoever started cooking recently wont go wrong after going through her stepwise pictures. 

Let's hear from Savitha..

First , I would like to thank "Priya Suresh", for giving me this opportunity to turn back and look the path, I travelled in blogging world. I always cherish Priya for her innovation and creativity. She is a one hardworking blogger. One more interesting thing about Priya is "consistancy". She is the one ,who posts first in all the events.She motivates us all with her cooking.I have given a simple and easy "home made chocolate recipe" from Mallika Badhrinath 's cookbook.

1)Tell us about your blog and you?
HI , I am Savitha Ramesh. I am a MCA graduate from IRTT Erode.I am from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A busy mom with two naughty boys. My H works for a IT firm. Currently deployed at Irving Texas. Its been 5 years since we came to US. When we came to US, my hobby was to take pictures and save it. And it became a passion now. I  blog at "Savitha's Kitchen". My blog concentrates mainly on South Indian Cuisine. Now started learning various cuisines and baking.

2)Before and after blogging, tell us what blogging changed your life?
Before blogging, I used to keep a record of recipes. Now I register it online in my blog diary. But after starting a blog, I learned a lot and started exploring new cuisines. My photographic skills to developed.Which was not the case before starting a blog. One more thing is, I have so many virtual friends ,this is because of the blogging.

3)When and what motivated you to blog about food?
 I started a small blog about my son in 2009. I was inspired by my friend "Ramya Seetharaman"; She was one active blogger in 2009. She taught me , how to start a blog and explained with the settings. But still I was hesitant in starting a blog about food. It took me one long year to blog about food. In 2010 September, started a food blog, which my life revolves around now.

4)There are a tons of blogs/pages on food these days, what accordingto you is the speciality of your blog and the food you cook?
I would say, that my blog specializes in south Indian cuisine. Also my detailed , step by step pictures helps me to give a clarity about the recipe.

5) When it comes to cooking, who is your inspiration?
Here at this point, I cannot give one person. I have to give a list.
 My mom - for giving me the intention to cook healthy food, My MIL   - for inspiring me with her cooking and organized life style. My friends Sheena Shanmugham, Shobana Sekar, Manjula Jawahar, Saraswathy Tharagaram inspired me a lot in various point of time ,with their cooking. I am always thankfull for them and will never forget them in my life.  I should thank "Priya Suresh" , for making this post as a tribute to all my well wishers.

6)Every newbie blogger faces tons of challenges when its comes to blogging, tell me about one of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?Please specify with the facts.
When I got my SLR, I was fumbling with the settings. And Nalini Suresh was the one, who helped me to overcome with the settings.

7)What is your best recipe and your favourite recipes you have blogged till now?
All my recipes are my favourite.  May be "Chicken Biriyani" , as it is my family's favourite.

8)Few tips about food photography?
Though I am not a pro in food photography, I have a passion for food photography. I read a lot and view various pictures about food photography. I would like to take pictures in day light. That too particularly in the evening , after 3 pm. This will be the right time, there will be shade in my patio. Whenever, I make food during night, I reserve a small portion and take picture , the next day. Because, nothing can beat natural light source.

9)What is your budget for the props,do you have any or else do you manage with your household stuffs?
I don't have any  budget for the props. I will see to that I don't spend much on props for a month. Whenever I visit India, will shop the props and bring it here. Whenever I go shopping , I see for props which are small and unique.This habit, now caught my H too.. I will not mind to go for "dollar shops",Walmart or any other arts store to dig in for the props. As I am collecting my props , for the past 3 years, now I have a good collection ,which can fill up to 3 cartons :) I can give away any of my stuffs, except my props.

10)How do you plan your blog posts? Do you post rarely,regularly or once a week?
Usually, I take pictures of the food in bulk and prepare the posts randomly. So there will be weeks, where I will prepare so many dishes and save them in my draft.  Because, I want to sustain in this field for long. I don't want to post daily now and disappear in the future. To maintain consistency I post 2 to 3 posts weekly.

11)Do you have any other passions apart from food blogging or blogs you own?
Yes, I have passions like cake decorating, writing  poems in Tamil and photography.

                                                      Homemade Milk Chocolate

Chocolates are my son's favourite. Whenever I come across recipes, I will try to make it chocolate. This is a simple recipe from the cook book of "Mallika Badhrinath" about sweets. It is very simple and easy. The ingredients are readily available in our pantry and can be whipped under 15 minutes.

Yield: 12 chocolate squares
Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes

1.Milk Powder    -     1 cup
2.Sugar              -      1 cup
3.Cocoa powder -      4 tbsp.
4.Water               -       1/3 cup
5.Butter               -       1 tbsp.
6.Broken cashews-      1 tbsp


* Sift the milk powder and cocoa powder.
* Take a loaf pan or a plate. Cover it with parchment paper or butter paper.Keep it ready.
* Take a pan, add sugar and water. Cook the syrup till it reaches 1 string consistency in medium flame.We can check the consistency, by placing a drop of syrup between our thumb and index fingure.  It should form a thread.This is the right consistency.

* Now remove the pan from flame. Add the sieved milk powder and cocoa powder to the syrup and mix. Add butter and cashews now. The mixture will be bit thick now.

* Pour the mixture to the pan. Level it with a spoon.Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
* When the chocolate is about to set, draw lines using a knife. This will help us to cut the chocolate without any crumbs.
* When the chocolate is set, cut using the lines as guide and store in air tight container.

* If the sugar doesn't reach 1 string consistency, the chocolate will not set.
* We can add any nuts or raisins to the chocolate.
* Full fat milk powder works well , than the fat free milk powder.

Hope you all enjoyed this homemade milk chocolate with simple ingredients..Make some and give surprise to your near ones.

Stay tuned for an another beautiful guest post from an another new blogger..


nandoos kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Yummy chocolates and glad to know more about you Savitha.

great-secret-of-life said... Reply To This Comment

looks so tasty .. Who doesn't like chocolate? esp homemade

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Wonderful guest post and nice to know about savitha :) chocolate bars looks very delicious and very addictive treat :) lovely presentation savitha !!

Asiya Omar said... Reply To This Comment

Welcome back Priya, Hope you enjoyed the trip. Nice post from Savitha. Thanks for sharing.

Priya said... Reply To This Comment

Wonderful post priya and savitha ...Lovely chocolate ..Home made is the best ...

Sangeetha M said... Reply To This Comment

Nice to Know more about you Savitha! Homemade chocolate looks absolutely delicious..

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

An awesome post and Nice to know about Savitha

meena said... Reply To This Comment

Savitha,loved reading more about you and ur style of taking pics.Wish to see many more such posts from you.
Priya..welcome back..saw all ur fb pics...ore enjoyment eh?:))

Sangeetha Priya said... Reply To This Comment

wonderful post from Savi, hats off to both!!!

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Hi priya, that's a great post. I have come across many recipes of savitha's kitchen and have tried a few. Thanks for sharing.