This and That

May 20, 2012

First harvest 2012 and Solar eclipse

Filed under: flora, food — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 7:49 pm

Harvested the first 4 cherries of the season while enjoying the solar eclipse. Usually our cherry tree produces only about 4 cherries. This year, the yield has been 5 fold i.e 20 cherries. Waiting for them to ripen. Maybe due to the little cherry tree we bought so that it has company. The rest of the cherries are still green or pink. So probably will harvest them in a couple of weeks if the squirrels and birds spare them.

Check out the cherries and the crescent shape shadows cast by the eclipsed sun!

May 13, 2012

Weekend movies

Filed under: movie — Tags: , , , — yaadayaada @ 6:08 pm

In the midst of many TV movies, ended up watching a Tamil movie and a Hollywood Blockbuster this weekend.

On Saturday watched Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi and on Sunday caught Avengers in theater.

Movie:      Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi
Cast:         Siddharth, Amala Paul
The movie was very cool and cute but for the cinematic climax. The casting isperfect. An enjoyable movie.  There are many scenes that makes one nod their head in agreement. Had a fun Sat night watching this movie!

Movie:      Avengers
After lot of deliberation between 3D, 3D IMAX and 2D, ended up watching this movie in 2D. I personally am not a big fan of 3D. The theater was full even after 2 weeks and we couldn’t get seats in the show we bought tickets for, so we were forced to go to the following screening! Well, it was worth the effort! It was an out and out super hero action movie. There were lot of funny lines that had the entire theater laughing. Kept one captivated for the entire 140+ minutes. 3D might not have been bad, but I guess this is not an original 3D but a 3D convert. So guess, we didn’t miss much! The climax though reminded me of Enthiran. Did anyone else feel that way?

Overall, it was fun movie weekend!!

May 6, 2012

Weekend food coma

Filed under: food, recipe — Tags: , , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 7:56 pm

Tasty dinner to ward away the cooking and blogging slump. Gobi mussallam, Roti, Blackeyed pea and mung dhal! Followed the recipe from Tarla Dalal website. Although slightly altered the recipe by adding creamy yoghurt to the marinade. Also baked the whole thing in the oven instead of pan roasting it.

On Saturday, had cousins over for dinner, so made masala dosa, onion tomato chutney, Idiyappam and Vegetable stew. Followed the stew recipe from here. Turned out to be awesome stew.

On Sunday, a friend’s family stopped by for lunch. Made Keerai molagoottal, Beans paruppu usili, Carrot cucumber salad, Pineapple rasam, ulli theeyal, curd and rice. Ulli theeyal was out of the world. I am sure it will capture a permanent place in the weekly menu for some time.

So Sunday night dinner was a lite affair with Asparagus soup!!

Hopefully, this weekend post will get me to post about the many posts(India trip, Hyderabad visit, Kahaani the movie, various Tamil movies and Hollywood movies, etc) that I have in my brain as draft!!

 

 

March 2, 2012

Tit for tat!

Filed under: family — yaadayaada @ 5:33 am

Well! Boo prompted me to write and I had nothing to write. So guess what she did!! Remember this from 3 years back! Sis decided it was her turn and messed her leg up over President’s day weekend. For more details on the sequence of events, go here! When she called to let me know of the accident, I was in Denver. Was worried sick after hearing the news! Came back home, told work that I will be remote, booked tickets and left for Zurich. Nieces are super thrilled with this unplanned visit! Since I came here, have driven around couple of times to drop/pick up kids to/from school with Brother in law as navigator.

Also celebrated my wedding anniversary across the oceans this time. Guess it is the first time in 14 years that we are apart on our anniversary! (Not blaming you sis!! Don’t look at me with guilt!!;-)). Bil got me a jewellery tree and a massager for the husband!! Sis made some lemon cake in spite of her messed up leg!! So it was nice! Husband had an uneventful day back home!!

We are eagerly awaiting mom’s arrival next week. Her visa finally arrived. Will leave after she comes. After going back, will be leaving for India. 2012, personal trips year I guess!! Looks like 2012 is dishing some not so fun surprises to a lot of folks. So stay safe everyone!!

January 15, 2012

Happy New Year & Prosperous Pongal!

Filed under: festival — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 11:00 am

Wish you all a happy new year and a prosperous Pongal!

December 12, 2011

Mayakkam Enna? (மயக்கம் என்ன?)

Filed under: movie — Tags: , , , — yaadayaada @ 2:32 pm

Movie:      Mayakkam Enna
Cast:         Dhanush,  Richa Gangopadhyay
Director: Selvaraghavan
If someone told me 10 years back that I will be announcing it to the world that I enjoy watching a Dhanush’s song and will go to the theaters to watch Dhanush’s movie, I wouldn’t have believed them. But what to do you know? I caught Mayakkam Enna today in theater this weekend. What made me go? Dhanush and he didn’t disappoint! Blown away by Dhanush’s acting! He has done a wonderful job. He is picking the characters that suits him and that is working out for him very well! Selvaraghavan has picked a very complex story and has done a very good job of making it into a movie. It is very believable barring the cinematic climax (But then one has to end a movie one way or the other! So he didn’t have too many choices there). The second half of the movie appealed to me more than the first half.  As for Music, not impressed by G V Prakashkumar. The voda voda song was not necessary for the movie. The rest  of the songs gave me a sense of Deja Vu. How many of you were reminded of “Naa maangun sona chandhi” from Bobby and the “Made in India” song when listening to “Naa sonnadhum mazhai”. Although I loved the song on screen. Even the background score was not all the great in my opinion.  As for the cast, everyone did a wonderful job, but I am disappointed with Richa. The first half had terrible lip-synch for her. In some scenes, the dialogues were delivered when she had her lips closed. Did Selvaraghavan dose off while directing Richa? Also she had a wooden expression through out first half. No chemistry between her and Dhanush. As for the second half, Richa made up for the flaws by her wonderful acting in a vital scene. If she didn’t, the movie wouldn’t have worked. The movie would have been even better and powerful if Andrea or Priyamani had played the role of the heroine.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this movie.

November 28, 2011

Dinner Tonight

Filed under: food, recipe — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 9:25 pm

We had been to Lake Tahoe for the Thanksgiving weekend. Surprisingly, it was sunny and bright there in Lake Tahoe. Had a relaxing and fun time there. Came back home to a gloomy weather yesterday and went to work today in the gloomy weather. What better way to spruce up a gloomy weather than a hearty wonderful dinner. So raided the pantry and finally found a bag of Avees Puncha Idiyappam podi and some cans of light coconut milk. Have never made idiyappam in life. Searched internet for recipes and gave up since all of the recipes were for white rice flour, not the red rice puncha idiyappam. Decided to give it a try on my own. Didn’t have high hopes. But guess how it turned out! Awesome! Look for yourself.

Idiyappam (6-8 servings  of 4-6 idiyappams each)

  1. Avees Puncha Idiyappam podi (Red rice flour) – 2 cups
  2. Boiling water – 2 cups
  3. Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Salt to taste

Mix the salt, Idiyappam podi, add water little by little. Mix it without any lumps and keep it aside closed for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the oil and knead it well without any lumps. Then using a idiyappam press or thenkuzhal choppu/Nazhi, press them into idly mould and steam them for 10 minutes.  Wonderful idiyappam is ready.

Kadalai curry(4 servings)

  1. Diced Onions 1/2 cup
  2. Boiled garbanzo bean(channa) 1 1/2 cup
  3. Grated garlic/ginger 1 tsp
  4. Red chilli powder 1 tsp
  5. Oil 1 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Madras curry masala powder/garam masala 1 tsp
  8. Tomato 1, chopped
  9. Light coconut milk 1 cup
  10. Cilantro leaves, 1 tbsp chopped

Heat oil, add ginger/garlic, then add onion, saute for 2 mins, add tomato and salt, saute for 10 mins, then add the curry masala powder, after 5 mins, add the garbanzo bean and 1 cup of water. Let it boil for 15 mins. Add the coconut milk, switch off once it is about to boil. Add  powder, saute for five minutes, add salt and keep it aside. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve it with hot idiyappam.

November 17, 2011

Why this Kolaveri?

Filed under: movie, music — Tags: , , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 8:33 pm

Did you laugh/smile/enjoy as much as I did watching/listening to this?

First it was Otha sollala, now this! I so don’t want to admit that I liked both the songs and Dhanush’s acting/expressions!!

November 13, 2011

Kullanari Koottam (குள்ளநரி கூட்டம்)

Filed under: movie — Tags: , — yaadayaada @ 10:08 pm

Boo has been asking me to watch this movie for a long time now. Since this is a movie with no popular actors and since utbt has R2I-ed, couldn’t get hold of DVD here. Finally saw the promos for it in Vijay TV and looked forward to watching it. To make things complicated, it was screened on the day of time change and the recording got screwed up. Since Vijay TV repeats the program twice, thankfully was able to record it the second time. Well, the movie was well worth the trouble. Thanks Boo for the recommendation!
Pros:

  • The cast. Don’t know any one of them, but they were all good. The hero’s entire  family was so natural and believable.
  • Very simple story, tight screenplay. I don’t know how to describe it, but the movie was pretty good.
  • Music was pretty good too and apt for the movie.

Cons:

  • None really. If I had to pick one, the movie would have been much better if they have picked a more Madurai looking girl instead of Ramya Nambeesan. Also the ending could have been more creative.

The movie was very entertaining. Overall, the movie was a fun and brilliant.

November 7, 2011

7aum arivu (7ஆம் அறிவு)

Have been looking forward to watch this movie for some time. But has been a  little skeptical since AR Murugadas said he wants to please A, B, C centers and their extended family with any of his movie irrespective of what he takes. Missed watching the movie the first week due to many schedule conflicts. By then reviews started coming in and my expectation hit rock bottom which was a blessing in disguise. Watched the movie finally this weekend, and it was not bad thanks to my low expectation.
Pros:

  • The cast. Shruthi, Suriya, Johnny tri Nguyen, all three looking good and acted well.
  • Bodhi dharma’s back story. Wish it was the entire movie. It would have been fresh and very entertaining. (Felt the same way in Dasavatharam as well. It is time for a good historic movie in Tamil. Anyone hearing me. If so, please remember it should be good.)
  • Didn’t screw up big time in an attempt to dumb down the movie for the audience
  • Visuals
  • Not dwelling much into Suriya/Shruthi romance
  • Strong role for the leading lady instead of typical “damsel in distress” heroine. Shruthi has played this part very well.
  • It was creative of AR Murugadoss to pick the story of Bodhidharma. At least I didn’t know about Bodhidharma until I saw this movie, although an article about Bodhidharma came in Junior vikatan in the 80s.

Cons:

  • Songs! Totally out of place and not impressive. “Ennum enna thozha” didn’t have the umph like “Jana gana mana” from Yuva. Probably the songs might work as a separate album, but not in this movie
  • Background score was not impressive, it was distracting in many places especially in the climax fight sequence
  • Too much reliance on Hypnotism and less martial arts
  • Unnecessary display of  Surya’s  body. Kind of starts reminding one of Salman Khan
  • Climax was dragging. Since we all know that Suriya is going to win, why drag it out.
  • Gets too preachy at times. I mean, if the directed has depicted Bodhidharma as a Telegu prince in 7th sense, what does it do the credibility of the director!! So why bring the tamil pride and get all preachy when you are ready to misrepresent historic details in order to make money

Overall, the movie can is worth watching one time.

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