The HoH Holiday Giveaway: Winners announced!!

Written by Meena Agarwal on December 21st, 2007 | 7 Comments


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Thanks so much for everyone who took the time to send me emails and leave such lovely comments on my blog. It’s been such a great trun out and I’ve had so much fun reading your feedback, that I think I should have these giveaways more often! It’s been a long wait, but we finally have our lucky winners!

Each of these lucky winners get a copy of the cookbook listed by their names:

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson: Jackie, who said, “I’ve tried many of your recipes and enjoyed everyone! I started visiting your site a year ago, and have been stopping by each week since then. Keep up the great work!”

Curries & Kebabs, by Madhur Jaffrey: Susie, who Said, “If there was one thing I would suggest, then it would only be to post more often. Your writing has got me hooked and I can’t help wanting to read more of what you have to say. You have one of the best food blogs I’ve come across.”

Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, by Faith Willinger: Tina, who said, “I love the way you write! I’ve tried some of your recipes and have simply loved each and everyone of them. Thanks a ton!”

Dish Entertains, by Trish Magwood: Danielle, who said, “Heya! Well, as you probably know, I love your recipes, your photography, and the way your personality comes through in your writing. There’s nothing I don’t like! As for the months ahead, although I’m not one to talk, the only thing I could dream of asking for is for you to post more often.”

Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten: Anita, who said, “Ohh!! What a lovely way to get us lurkers out of hiding and finally saying hello! I love your writing style and your recipes have always worked out amazing for me. I look forward to many more insightful posts and delicious recipes in the future. Keep up the great work!”

Indian Everyday, by Anjum Anand: Kimmie, who said, “You have way with words, it’s almost as if I’m right there listening to you as you speak. And your food makes it even better!”

Each of these lucky winners get a prize hamper with six spice bottles each, from The Spice Depot:

Dawn, who said, “Yippee! Happy Holidays! I’ve been an avid lurker for a bit of time now. Your posts always inspire me to get out of my “Italian” comfort zone and try something new. So, win or lose, just wanted to send a heartfelt THANK YOU!”

Jamie, who said, “I love this blog! The food always looks delicious and is often either already vegan or is easily veganizable. I love how even the simplest recipes always come out delicious. Please, keep blogging for ages to come!”

Marn, who said, “I’ve loved Indian cooking since my university days in Ottawa over 30 years ago. Stumbling into your blog and finding recipes that I can make myself has been fabulous. I’ve been exploring the blogs you link to, and one of the frustrations for someone such as me who isn’t from India is that many Indian terms are used for spices, terms we don’t use in Canada. I would be eternally grateful if you could create a glossary of sorts for those of us who don’t know these words. As well, because I live in rural Quebec, some of the ingredients are impossible for me to find. If there are equivalents I could substitute for certain dals, I would love to know that. Thank you for this great resource. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold evening than a bowl of savoury dhal.”

Tiana, who said, “My favorite thing about HOH is that it’s obvious you have tried the recipes and adjusted them to perfection. Your tips make it really easy to learn to cook this cuisine and the way you write your posts is entertaining and also very accessible. As far as what I don’t like…not much! I’m a vegetarian so I’d like to see more meet-free recipes but there are plenty of those already. Happy Holidays!”

Congrats everyone! Each of your prizes are on their way to your day as you read this!

Here’s wishing all of you out there, a wonderfully faboulous Holiday Season! See you in the New Year!



The HoH Holiday Giveaway!

Written by Meena Agarwal on December 11th, 2007 | 62 Comments


When I started blogging a little over two years ago, little did I know how my life would change. These wonderful two years has brought me so much joy in ways I had’nt dreamt possible. It continues to be an enriching journey for me and I owe it most to all of my dedicated readers. As a big THANK YOU to all the wonderful readers of my blog and for all the people who send lovely e-mail my way, I’d like to do something special.

I have a few fabulous prizes up for grabs that I would really love for each of you to have. But as luck would have it, I have limited resources. So I leave it up to you to shake your dice and throw it my way. And what is it that’s up for grabs you ask? Well, look no further…

Books, Books & lots more Books!

Nigella Express Curries & Kebabs Adventures of an Italian Food Lover
Dish Entertains Barefoot Contessa at Home Indian Everyday

Nigella Express has been generously donated by Knopf Canada, and the sweet Trish Magwood has donated a copy of Dish Entertains. The rest are all courtesy of me. If you know me well, you know how much I love books, so what better way to make you all feel special than by sending you my personal favourite reads!

And what kind of a spice lover would I be if I couldn’t sprinkle some flavour you way?

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The Spice Depot has generously offered four prize hampers, with six spice bottles each. and what’s even better is that they’ve included my favourites, Garlic Pepper and Spicy Sea Salt in the collection! I know you’re not gonna wanna miss this one!!

Like any fun game where prizes are at stake, this one too has certain rules you’ll need to follow in order to increase you chances of winning! From now, until December 15th, which is this coming Saturday, all you have to do is drop me a comment telling me what you like about HoH, what you don’t, and what you would like to see in the months ahead. Be sure to leave your name and a vaild email address so that I can get back to you if you’ve been chosen at a winner. Anonymous and spam comments will be deleted. At the end of the week I will add all the names into a hat, or maybe a cookie jar, and pick out the 10 winning names. So come on people, what are you waiting for!

I wish you all a very happy and festive Holiday season!



A perfect bite: spicy honey garlic spring rolls

Written by Meena Agarwal on December 10th, 2007 | 12 Comments


Pic taken from www.hookedonheat.com, visit site for recipe details.

As a child, I remember giving out handmade gifts often. Be it friends or family, I almost always had something made out of my own creativity to hand out to them on their special day. I especially remember making gigantic heart-shaped cardboard cut-out greeting card smothered with glitter and little silver star stickers, to give to my teacher when I was in the 3rd grade. I could swear her face lit up with joy, or maybe it was from the sheer pleasure of seeing one of her favourite students suck up to her. That moment stayed with me in my memories and I began making a point to always create something to gift as often as I could.

Even after all these years I still try and continue to keep up with the practice I started eons ago. A few weeks ago, I had a gang of girls over from our book club meet. I always look forward to these all-girl meetings, especially when it’s my turn to host. I get to experiment with fun menus and love the fact that we girls can totally agree on chocolate cake as a filling dinner option.

For the past few months I’ve been toying with the idea of throwing an appetizer sampler party. According to me, it’s probably the best party you could get invited to, second of course only to a chocolate themed night. This book meet was the perfect setting for what I had in mind. We were meeting to discuss the book, ‘Cooking for Mr. Latte’, and though I enjoyed the read, I knew that planning the party was going to be even more fun.

It was obvious that I was going to serve tiny bites and mini morsels of divine finger food, in all shapes, sizes and forms. My centerpiece comprised of a huge platter flavoured oven-roasted pita chips and deep bowl overflowing with cool creamy hummus. It was to be the decoy for those health conscious skinny ones. Neatly arranged around that were the actual sinners. Melt-in-your mouth Tandoori wings, my simply-to-die-for Ginger-Chilli Shrimp, and to mention petite little squares of a rich dark chocolate almond fudge cake that I had baked for the first time in my life, among many other delicious treats.

The cake was delicious, to say the very least, and if I were locked alone in a room with it, you’d probably find me digging into it with my bare hands and stuffing large chunks of it into my face. I also made sure I catered to every palate by dishing out a variety of sweet and savoury treats, including, mini quiches, spiced potato wedges, and spiked hot chocolate in mini espresso cups for that something extra after dinner. But the highlight of my evening had to be the warm crisp rolls that simply had me wishing I were in the Orient somewhere, digging into a bowl full of slurpy noodles to go with it – tiny little spring rolls.

HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN SPRING ROLLS
Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Makes: 24 mini spring rolls

Ingredients:

24 small spring rolls wrappers
1 chicken breast, finely chopped into tiny pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp garlic, finely crushed
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey-garlic sauce
1 tbsp light cooking oil
salt, to taste
oil, for deep frying
water, as needed

Directions:

Marinate chicken, onions, green pepper and crushed garlic with honey-garlic sauce and pepper powder for at least an hour.

Heat sesame oil and a tbsp of cooking oil in a non-stick wok and stir-fry marinated ingredients with any leftover marinade over high heat till chicken is cooked through. Remember to stir and mix continuously, so as not to let it burn. Season with salt, and set aside to cool.

Once the filling is cooled, begin rolling out the spring rolls. Start with placing a spring roll wrapper on a cool flat working surface. Place about 2-3 tbsp of the filling to one corner of the wrapper. Fold over that corner and roll up half way, tucking in the open side corners. Seal edges with a bit of water and set the spring roll aside on a cool plate. Continue to roll out remaining cigars, making sure to cover them with a slightly damp towel so that they don’t dry out.

Deep fry in hot oil till golden and crisp.