Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Museum of Icecream; my visit.

Kindly note: The children's faces have been blurred on purpose in all the pictures in this post.

At the outset, I would like to start by saying that as much as my today's topic might seem against everything that I believe in and promote, that cannot be further from the truth!
The idealism behind Su's Healthy Living is to promote healthy eating and healthy living. This is not something that you do for a brief time, it is a way of life !! If something has to last, then you cannot have cravings or be deprived of anything. That's why, I believe that everything in moderation is good. As long as you are eating & living healthy 99% of the time, you have room for 1% indulgence! This is especially needed for children.

The visit to the Museum of Ice cream was one such indulgence!

Today, I am writing about my experience at the latest rage in town, the pop-up museum: Museum of Icecream. The museum opened on 29th July, 2016 and will remain open until 31st August,2016. Single tickets are $18,the Double couple package is $30 and kids under 12 and seniors pay $12. Ticket prices include a Scoop of the Week and studio custom tasting. The tickets for the entire period was sold-out the day it was released!! It is located in the Meatpacking District , a block from the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The museum on the opening day offered free tickets to all from 11am until 3pm. I had read about it in the newspapers.  My cousin and niece were visiting. Since I was working, I told them that the museum would be an interesting place for them to visit. My daughter went along with them. Of course, when they arrived there the line was snaking around the block!! After waiting for almost 3 hours they were  sent away stating that the museum was filled to capacity! And this was at 12 pm, an hour after the museum opened! The girls started crying. When I came to know about this, the mother in me was enraged!! Why couldn't they have let them know about this when they stood on line?? Why after 3 hours? I mean when they saw the amount of people standing in line, they should be able to tell how many could fit in the museum!!

The enraged me took to social media to express my opinion!! I even sent Museum of Ice cream a message on Facebook complaining how ill planned their event was and how callous their behavior! And then I forgot about it.. My cousin, niece and the kids had a great weekend in the city exploring other places and they went back home.Now, some of you might say that it is my mistake to make them stand on the line and may be that I was hoping to get in for free.The fact is that i came to know about this event only when I saw the advertisement for the free day in the newspaper a couple of days before the event. When I did look for tickets, they were all sold out!! There was none available!! 

Anyways, on Sunday, I noticed that Manish Vora, the co-founder of the museum of ice cream had sent me a message on Saturday, apologizing for the inconvenience on the previous day. I responded back to him and he offered for the kids to come back any day that was convenient to me. He asked me to email him. Being that I was busy at work, I didn't get a chance to get back to him until last Thursday morning!! I asked him if I could bring the kids that day or some day this week! The man immediately responded to my email and asked me to pick a time that afternoon. I was amazed by his efficiency!! I am just a mother who works full time and has a food blog but I have such a harf time keeping up with my emails, Facebook messages, so and so forth with the social media! Compared to me, how busy must this man be, yet he manages to respond to my email and messages almost instantaneously!! I took a leaf from his book!

Anyways, I scrambled around with my appointments and made it to the museum on time that afternoon. As soon as I got off the cab at the front door of the museum, the nice young man standing there asked me if we were the 3:30 pm guests?? When I replied yes, he escorted me to the inside of the museum where a young lady gave us all a cup of home-made boysenberry ice-cream, which was the flavor of the week. While we were eating another lady narrated the history of Ice cream.

Once all the ice cream was done, they led us to the next room, where the lady was making and giving out sugar balloons which was extremely sticky and filled with helium!! The kids were enthralled.

I noticed that guests were let in only in small batches and the staff in each area ensured that it was not crowded. You could not go into the next area if there were already too many people there. The staff were well dressed in uniforms, polite and efficient.

Our next room was the "sundae" room where we got to help create the world's biggest sundae!! This was by scooping some fake Ice cream and piling on the huge cup. More anecdotes related to Ice cream were shared.

We were next shepherded to the "melting chocolate room", where the walls were melting chocolate and there was a huge bean bag on the floor where you could take in the aroma of melting dark chocolate. Dark chocolate by dove was heaped all around the place.

From there we went to the next area, which was by far the favorite of kids and adults alike!! The sprinkle pool!! There was a 3 feet pool with fake sprinkles, complete with a diving board and all! While the kids had a ball jumping and rolling in the pool, I saw adults act like kids too!! On the wall in this room, there was a spread of candy from Dylan's candy bar! You could eat as many candies as you wished! I had to be firm and tell my kids that they can only try two of each! It was amusing to watch  grown men  indulging in fistful of candies! This was one room where the ushers had to tell people that they only have a minute or two left to get out of the pool!! I had a hard time getting my kids out of the pool!!

The next area is  Dr. Irwin Adam’s studio, wherein a taste-bud/ taste change experiment  is conducted. 

They have us suck on couple of small pellets of something which is supposed to alter the taste in the mouth such that anything sour that you eat will taste sweet!!

So, once the pellets are completely melted, they give us a sample customized ice cream in a cone with lemon slices in it. While the ice cream was absolutely delicious, the taste of the lemon was interesting!

The last area is a play area where there is an Icecream sandwich swing, an Icecream scoop see-saw and a sprinkle mural wall.

As you leave, there is a small stall where you could purchase Icecream-related stuff.

As you leave they have everyone a 8oz bottle of Aquafina, water.

We spent a total of 2 hours there. If you don't have little children with you and are not wanting to take many pictures like us, you could tour the museum in one- one & half hour.

My kids had the time of their life. I have Manish Vora to thank for this. He didn't have to do this. There woul have been no consequences if he didn't take any action regarding my ranting and raving. What could a simpleton like me do?? But he chose to make two little kids happy and for that I shall remain forever grateful!!

If you ever have a chance to visit the museum, do so.. It will bring the child in you out!

I hope the museum comes back next year!

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Cilantro Lime Rice; Meatless Monday

Have you ever eaten at the Chipotle  Mexican Grill?? Do enjoy the burrito or the burrito bowl? If yes, then have you ever wondered why their rice tastes so good??? Well, because it is cilantro-lime rice! I have tried to recreate it at home and I must say, that I have been successfull! Well, before going into the details of that recipe, let me tell you that Chipotle is one of the few fast food chains that I eat at.. May be once a year?? I cannot remember when I last ate there. You see, my husband and I we don't eat out much. We like everything fresh and cooked at home. But sometimes, when you are away or busy running errands, you have to kind of eat out. I don't eat pizza and sandwiches as I avoid gluten. Chipotle has gluten free options and is relatively fresh?? That's why it is one of the few place that I eat.

Coming back to the Cilantro Lime rice, it is pretty easy to make at home and requires very few ingredients: rice, cilantro, lime, salt, black pepper and olive oil. They might have put Adobo seasoning, but I have kept it to the basics! This recipe works well with both freshly cooked rice and leftover rice, which makes it perfect for weeknight dinners or for those times, when you want to put together a meal in a jiffy! I have shared the recipe for rice that is already cooked and ready. Please follow your method of choice for cooking the rice. If the rice that you are using is leftover rice, please warm it up before following this recipe.

Servings: 2

Prep time: 2 mins 

Cook time: none 

Total time: 3 mins


Cooked rice: 4 cups
Cilantro: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Lime juice: from one small lime
Salt: to taste
Black pepper: 1/8 tsp
Garlic powder: 1/8 tsp ( optional)


Add 4 cups of warm/ hot rice to a bowl.

Now add all the other ingredients and toss until the rice is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients. Be gentle while mixing so that the rice does not become mushy!

Serve hot with a side of your choice.


Cooking made easy:

While cooking Basmati rice, to ensure long grains, soak the rice for 30 mins after thoroughly washing it. Then drain it and keep it aside for 30 mins. The soaking lengthens the grains and the draining and drying helps it prevent from breaking upon cooking.

Follow the instructions on the package while cooking rice as every crop of rice  is different.

Tip for healthy living:

While choosing rice, choose those with a higher glycemic index and those that have not been processed too much. Parboiled rice is better than raw rice. Matta rice & brown rice are less processed than their other counterparts and therefore have a higher fiber content, lower glycemic index and less calories.

Food for thought:

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. Arthur Conan Doyle

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Strawberry Falooda; made healthy

Yesterday was the auspicious festival of Rakshabandhan. Rakshabandhan is an Indian festival where every sister ties a decorative thread bracelet on her brother's wrist and asks for his protection. You can read more about Rakshabandhan here.

It is extremely hot here and to combat that and celebrate the special occasion, I made Falooda!

Both my kids love strawberries, so I made strawberry Falooda. It is a classic Indian Icecream drink , which almost everyone loves! It is quite filling due to the numerous ingredients present in it and quite versatile due to the fact that you can add whatever you have on hand. I have made it healthier by adding lots of fruits, chia and basil seeds. Check out the recipe below:

Servings: 6 tall ( 10 oz) glasses

Prep time: 20 minsCooling time: 3-4 hoursTotal time: 3.5-4 hours


Milk: 1 liter ( 1000ml)
Vermicelli: 1/4 cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Corn starch: 1/2 tsp
Sabja/basil seeds: 1 tbsp
Chia seeds: 1 tbsp
Hershey's Strawberry syrup: 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp for garnishing
Cashew halves: 1 tbsp
Walnut pieces: 1 tbsp
Banana, peeled and chopped: 4-6 ( one per glass)
Strawberries: 12, washed and chopped ( 2 per glass)
Cherries: 6 ( one per glass for topping)
Strawberry Icecream: 6 scoops ( one scoop per glass).


Warm the milk on the stove. 

Once warm, take one glass milk aside. Mix in strawberry syrup to half of that milk . Add it to the pot.

In a separate cup, dissolve the corn starch in the other half of the milk. 

Add this to the pot with vermicelli,  sugar & cashew pieces and boil it for 10-15 mins until the milk thickens slightly and the vermicelli is cooked.

Once slightly thick, turn off the flame. 

Add in the chia seeds. Stir well and keep it aside to cool down.

Once cooled, place it in the refrigerator atleast 3-4 hours to get cold. Then use as needed. It stays fresh for 3-4 days, so can be made ahead in case you are having a party.

To serve:

Take a tall glass. Add 1 chopped banana & 2 chopped strawberries.
Now pour the milk mixture until 3/4 full. 

Now add in a scoop of Icecream. 
Top it with walnut pieces, drizzle strawberry syrup and place a cherry on top.

Serve immediately!


I am sharing this delicious dessert with my friends at Throwback Thursday #51, Fiesta Friday #133 and Saucy Saturday#57

Cooking made easy:

The fruits in this can be varied to your choice. You can also use orange segments, pineapple and grape pieces. You can use any flavor to make the milk base. You can top it with nuts of your choice or skip it totally!  You can top it with whipped cream too!! The permutations and combinations are endless!!

Tip for healthy living:

The treat above is mainly for children. Adults can eat too.. You can make it low calorie by using low fat milk or make it more protein-rich by using almond or soy milk. You can use a skinny tall glass and fill it with fruits and nuts and very little of the liquid base and a small scoop of ice cream! It is totally upto you!

Food for thought:

The difficulty in life is the choice. George A. Moore

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Zucchini Bread; gluten free; Meatless Monday

When my dear blogger friend Sarika called for a collective on breads, I didn't think I could participate! Firstly, I avoid breads, secondly, the only "bread" bread that I have baked is the gluten-free sandwich bread. Thirdly, even if I were to think of making one for my family, I don't have a stand mixer, which means I will have to knead using my hands. This would result in pain in my hands! You guys must have noticed already that I don't make anything that requires lot of kneading, stirring, so on and so forth!  Well, you guys get the idea..

Sarika then told me that any kind of bread would do! That perked my ears! I am all for cake-like breads that could be had for breakfast and the kids could enjoy. I make banana-nut bread, cranberry-pecan bread all the time! I have been meaning to try zucchini bread for a while now and even had this recipe saved from one of the posts at Angie's Fiesta Friday! Finally, I decided to try my hand at it . I decided to make a gluten-free version. I had brought this gluten-free flour mix from Costco a while ago and it has been sitting there. I worry that it will go bad. So, I decided to use it. The zucchini bread came out moist and delicious! It is very easy to make. I have modified the original recipe, which you can find here.

Servings: makes one loaf

Prep time: 20- 30 minsCook time: 50-60 minsTotal time: 80-90 mins


Gluten free  flour mix : 2 cups, I used Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect flour blend. ( you can use wheat/ all purpose flour, if you don't want it gluten free)
Baking soda: 1 tsp
Salt:1/4 tsp
Ground cinnamon: ½ tsp
Ground nutmeg: ¼ tsp
Vanilla extract:1 tsp
Butter:1/2 cup
Brown sugar:  1 cup
Eggs: 2
Zucchini : 1 large, grated , around 4 cups
Walnuts:½ cup,chopped(optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and keep aside.

In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar until creamy. 

Add the eggs, beating until smooth.

Now add baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg  and vanilla essence.

Squeeze the grated zucchini to get rid of as much water as possible. Add this to the bowl.

Add the flour and nuts ( optional) mixing gently. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan .

Place it in the middle rack of the oven.

Bake the bread for 45-50 minutes at 350 deg F.  Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 5 mins at a time. I needed additional 15 mins.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Slice as desired.

Serve warm with butter ( optional).

To store: keep the slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

May be warmed slightly before serving.


I am sharing this delicious breakfast with my friends at Throwback Thursday #51, Fiesta Friday #133 and Saucy Saturday#57

Cooking made easy:

You can use a combination of zucchini and overripe mashed bananas or zucchini and apple sauce.
To make it vegetarian substitute one egg each with 1 tbsp Flaxmeal mixed in 3 tbsp water.

Tip for healthy living:

Breakfast is the most vital meal of the day. Do not skip breakfast. Try to eat something that you like, even if it is a small quantity.

Food for thought:

There is a kind of beauty in imperfection. Conrad Hall

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Banana Split, dairy free; Independance Day Special

It is rightly said that you can take an Indian out of India but you can never take India out of an Indian! Today marks 70th Anniversary of the  Indian Independence Day!  To mark this occasion, I decided to make something tricolor: orange, white and green ; the colors of the Indian Flag. 

Happy Independence Day to all Indians!

The past week has been super-hot here in New York. I wanted to make something to help cool down. I have been meaning to make this sorbet for the longest.. I decided to make it but in tricolor! I used cantaloupe for  orange, banana for white ( which well, turned brownish!) and honeydew for green. These fruit sorbets are super-simple & easy to make! Simply cut the fruits, freeze them, blend them, freeze them again and then serve!! It is dairy free, therefore those who are lactose intolerant can also enjoy it!

Let us know check out the recipe in detail:

Prep time: 30 minsCook time/freeze time: 7 hours

Servings: 4-6


Cantaloupe :1/4 medium sized
Honeydew: 1/4 medium sized
Bananas: 4 ripe
Lemon juice:  2 tbsp
Honey: 4 tbsp ( can be adjusted as per individual taste.) If you have no honey, you can use regular sugar.
Water: 1 cup
Almond milk: 1/2 cup ( can use regular milk if not allergic and don't have almond milk).
Vanilla essence: 1/2 tsp
Banana: ripe, but firm 1 per person.
Chocolate syrup: to drizzle
Walnut pieces: 1 tbsp, for garnish ( optional)


Wash, peel and cut the fruits into bite size pieces. Lay them on a baking tray and freeze them for 4-5 hours.

Take the cantaloupe out. Add it to a blender with  2 tbsp honey , 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Blend it. Put it in a container. Cover it with  cling-wrap  and freeze it for 1-2 hours.

Repeat the same with the honeydew.

Next, take the frozen bananas, add them to the blender with 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and blend. Pour it into a loaf pan or plastic tub-like container. Cover with cling-wrap and freeze it for 1-2 hours.

To assemble the banana split:

Slit one single banana lengthwise. Arrange it on a serving plate/ bowl.
Using a ice cream scoop, scoop one scoop each of cantaloupe, banana and honeydew sorbet, in that order. Arrange it on the serving plate/bowl as shown in the picture.

Drizzle the bananas with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Serve immediately!


I am sharing the skinny, healthy, dairy-free Banana Split with my friends at Throwback Thursday #50, Fiesta Friday #132 and Saucy Saturday#57! Angie's co-hosts this week are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting With Friends

Cooking made easy:

While freezing ice cream, the use of cling-wrap, helps prevents the formation of ice crystals.

To scoop ice cream cleanly and in a perfect circle, dip your ice cream scoop in warm water before use and in between scoops.

Tip for healthy living:

To help reduce the use of sugar in your diet, you can substitute it with natural sweeteners like honey or natural sugars like palm sugar, coconut sugar or jaggery.

Food for thought:

Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become words, your words become actions, your actions become habits, your habits become values, your values become your destiny. Mahatma Gandhi

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sandwiches for your kid's lunchbox

When Sonal announced her lunchbox collective, I could only think of what I go through with my kids. I have a 7-year old and a 4-year old who are picky eaters and therefore lunch is a big issue. While there are several things that could be sent to kids, when it comes to my children these are the issues I face:
1. They are picky
2. They don't eat messy food by themselves.
3. They don't want food that has sauce/ gravy as it may spill.
4. The food has to be in good condition by lunchtime.

I am might have forgotten a few more issues..😉

Anyways, the solution for most of these problems is SANDWICH!! Yes, sandwiches .. The possibilities are endless.. Most people / kids like sandwiches unless you are someone like me, who actually doesn't like them!😌 Don't get me wrong, I will eat them in a pinch, but for be most part I avoid them. Enough about me, coming back to lunch.. Sandwiches work for my kids and my husband too for his lunch!

Like I said earlier, there are endless possibilities for sandwiches! I am going to share with you some of them and ways to make sandwiches appealing to kids. Children don't like CRUST!! That is a big turn-off to them. If you are someone like me who thinks that throwing the crust is wasting food, then you better reconcile with it. Save the crust to make bread crumbs/ croutons or feed it to the birds/ducks.

So once you have taken off the crust, try to make it appealing by cutting the sandwich into different shapes. I use shape cutters to do them. They are inexpensive and easily available. If you don't have them, just use a regular knife to shape the sandwiches. Much as kids like hearts and trains, they also like little triangles and squares and circles. For little kids, keep the sandwiches simple. I like to make my kids' meals as balanced as possible, so I use whole grain or wheat bread, some protein in the sandwich and fruit on the side. The protein could be nut butter like Nutella, almond butter, peanut butter  or cheese. You could pair the nut butter with sliced apple or banana. You could pair the cream cheese with sliced cucumbers tomatoes or just plain. You could also make an olive oil and tomato sandwich .  For the slightly older kids you could use a layer of coriander-mint chutney with tahini or hummus.

Now let us look at some of the very basic options!

Servings : makes one sandwich of each kind


Whole grain wheat/ white bread slices: 2 slices -per sandwich

For butter and jelly sandwich:

Butter/ nut butter: 1 tablespoon per sandwich. ( can adjust as per individual preferance)
Fruit preserve/jam: 1 tbsp

For the cucumber/ tomato sandwich:

Cream cheese: 1 tablespoon per sandwich. ( can adjust as per individual preferance)
Butter: 1 tsp
Cucumber slices: 3-4, depending on the size of the cucumber.
Tomato slices: 2-4, depending on the size of the tomato.
Coriander/mint chutney: 1 tbsp


For butter and jelly sandwich:

Apply butter/nut butter on one bread slice. 

Apply fruit preserve on the other slice.

Place it on top of each other. 

Place the desired shape sandwich cutter on the bread and cut into desired shape. I used a train-shaped cutter and a heart-shaped cutter. 

Pack it in your child's favorite lunch-box.

For the cucumber/tomato sandwich:

Using a serrated knife cut off the crust from the bread slices.

Apply butter on one bread slice. 

Apply coriander-mint chutney on top of the butter. 

Place the cucumber and tomato slice on each other in layers . 

Drizzle with some more coriander-mint chutney.

Apply cream cheese to the other slice. Place on top.

Slice it into two rectangles in the middle and then each rectangle into tow triangles.

You can use toothpicks to secure the sandwich.

Pack in lunch boxes with a side of desired fruit, cut into bite size pieces!

I am  bringing these lunchbox ideas to Throwback Thursday #50, Fiesta Friday #132 and Saucy Saturday#57! Angie's co-hosts this week are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting With Friends

Cooking made easy:

The above sandwiches can be altered in many different ways depending on what you have on hand.
You could make only cheese sandwich, or stack with more veggies like sweet bell peppers, grilled tofu or paneer. You could also add ketchup or serve it on the side. Use your imagination!

Tip for healthy living:

It is recommended that every meal be a balanced meal to meet the daily requirements of nutrients. The best way to attain this is by making your meals colorful.  You can read more in the references below.


Food for thought:

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Frederick Douglass

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!