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Quick lunch for the summers - egg chowmein

Hello gorgeous! Yes I'm talking to you my reader, and not to the bowl of yummy noodles. How have you been? Hope the summers are treating you nicely. What a question, you might say. Summers are to be enjoyed by soaking all the lovely sunshine, and with great picnics and beach parties. Yes of course, only when we are able to stand outdoor for like 5 mins, in the blazing Dubai. We would surely plan a beach party, but maybe indoors.

You might be wondering where did I vanish yet AGAIN. Yes again has a repeat value in my blogging life. Like a lost child, I keep meandering my ways in the busy life. But like a good friend, it keeps looking for me and takes me back home. And we start again, from where we left, like there was no pause in between. That's how it is with best friends. It gives such a comforting warmth to be back in your own space.

But this time I have been busy with good reasons. And much of it is thanks to my blog. Love you! Yes in last few months, I did so many new stuff, which I was sceptical to try. I did it and it was good fun. And of course I have to share it all with my lovely readers.

Just to refresh your memory, I have been busy taking care of my two cute brats and have been a home maker for few years. Of course baking and blogging is always there in this journey. But lately I took it to next level, by taking baking classes. I still can't believe that while I, who had never used an oven before coming to Dubai, was the one taking classes. But then, the eager smile of the ladies who wanted to learn. and the platter of cookies, pies and cupcakes, assure me that I had indeed learnt something worthwhile. In the same direction, I also made many cakes on order, which was again a first time baking for business. See, calories are not always bad :)

But the bit, that got me even more excited is that I started with my own photography business. Here, I said it!!! Melanger Photography is up and running. I did a portfolio shoot for a three year old, a birthday shoot for one year old and a birthday party too. Next I'm doing a commercial shoot for a dental care centre. Yes the variety is getting wider. Please do check my portfolio here  and let me know what you think of it. And if you like it, then do follow my facebook page, just to give me the much needed support. 

If these were not enough to keep me busy and occupied, well there was something else too. While net surfing on one boring day, I had chanced upon an "entrepreneurs' competition" and had submitted an idea that was running in my head. And that's it, I forgot about it, the pressed 'enter'. But then few weeks before I was travelling to India for my summer holidays I got a call, that I had been selected in this competition, which was being run all over Middle East and Africa. Hence coming in top 50  from over 3000 participants was also a great deal. Surprised, shocked, nervous and so much more. Yet thinking of making the most of this learning platform, I went ahead, and started shaping my thoughts. Next thing I knew I was in top 10. It surely was one of the most memorable days of my life. Thank God I had holidays soon after this crazy schedule. It helped me unwind, and recharge myself. 

After coming back, to the hot temperatures here, cooking and baking are not on top of my list. Specially the elaborate ones. They can wait for the cooler weathers. But hunger pangs can't wait till then. And for that, there are easy comfort recipes, that doesn't take time and yet always tastes yum! After all who doesn't like chinese food. I don;t see any hands out there :)

Easy Egg Chowmien/ Noodles Recipe 

  • 1 packet noodles of your choice (I used Ching's Hakka noodles) 
  • 2 tbsp oil (used in parts)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 capsicum, cut in thin strips
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in fine strips
  • 2 tbsp shredded cabbage
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilly flakes (optional)
  • 1- 2 tsp soya sauce 
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp chilly sauce
  • Salt, as per taste
  • Black pepper
  • Spring onion, chopped - for garnishing
  • 3 eggs
  1. Cook noodles, as per packet instruction - in a large pot of boiling water, with salt and little oil. Once done, drain and keep in broad platter with little oil, to avoid sticking.
  2. Keep all the veggies, chopped and ready. Heat a wok or broad thick bottomed pan. Add 1 1/2 tbsp oil and when it gets hot, then add chilly flakes and chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Soon after add sliced onion, saute for few seconds. Then add carrots. and then capsicum and cabbage. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add salt and let it cook till bit crisp but cooked through.
  4. Now add all the sauces and vinegar and let the veggies absorb it al. Keep rotating the pan to avoid sauce getting burnt. Now add the drained noodles and mix it well.
  5. Add salt, as needed and black pepper. Toss for a minute or two and keep it aside.
  6. Heat another small pan, and add 1/2 tbsp oil. Whisk the 3 eggs in a bowl, with pinch of salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Cook it like an shredded omelette - or egg bhurjee, as in bit golden than the scrambled egg.
  7. Add the egg pieces to the chowmien and mix it well. Crush some extra black pepper and garnish with spring onions (which I didn't have)

Your bowl of yummy chowmien is ready. Just grab a cosy corner and dig in.  And with so many veggies packed into one, I'm sure mummies would also be glad to give to the little ones. A good dish for the lunchbox too. Most of the times, you need no side dish too. And when you do, we will make some chilly paneer. But that's for another day. Till then enjoy this one!!

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Review - Pantry Cafe, a gourmet neighbourhood cafe

The exuberance of Dubai is infectious. The excitement in the air, the buzz on the streets and the action around you, envelopes you. It prevents a shy one to hide in a cocoon. Rather encourages everyone to step out and mingle. To get introduced to different cultures, and to experience the diversity.

Thanks to being a mum and a blogger, I get to see this diversity of Dubai from various perspectives. And I keep discovering great places to be with friends and family.

One such new place that I discovered last weekend is Pantry Cafe, a friendly gourmet cafe. After the popularity of its Al Wasl branch, Pantry Cafe launched this new cafe, in Business Bay, Dubai. And they invited the blogger community for a taste of their vibrant menu and delicacies.

I visited the place with my family, which included my two kids, aged 6 and 3. And what I loved about the place, was the friendly warmth that it exuded. The cool ambience, the open kitchen and the cheerful smiles, made it all the 'friendly cafe' that it promises to be.

The tasting menu was elaborate and interesting. The kids loved their “Mango lassi” and “Cookies and cream” milkshake, along with the 'margarita pizza”. And as they got busy, relishing their treats, we got to trying their “Taster Menu”.

For starters there were some interesting options. From 'Savory Mushroom Waffles' with feta cheese, semi dried tomatoes and rocket, “Open Eggplant Sandwich” with sriracha, ricotta, roasted red pepper & tomato chutney and “Smokey tomato scramble”.

Then there was the middle eastern delight Shakshouka' - eggs cooked in a sauce of fresh tomatoes, red peppers, onions & spices, topped with crumbled feta & served with toasted pita bread.

The main course dishes kept the menu as interesting with “Baked Brie” and “Green Tea Noodles with smoked salmon”, “Mexican Chicken” and “Katafi Prawns

For us the highlight were the eggplant sandwich and the green tea noodles. With fresh ingredients, and nice flavour combinations, the dishes were light, fresh and delectable. In fact with every dish, one could see the thought process that had been put into, making the dishes unique, fresh and cafe – style. Perfect for the weekend brunch or weekday bite.

And of course the menu would be incomplete without some yummy desserts. Pantry Cafe lived upto this challenge of giving the final course, a delicious flavour. The dessert menu included – bittersweet chocolate cake, churros, pecan nut tart, lemon curd shortbread and blueberry cheesecake. Yes sinful indeed. And quite a task, to find your favourite from such gorgeous treats. Still for me the cheesecake was like the icing on the cake.

You know you enjoyed your meal, when each member of the family, had their own favorites and loved the place equally. Would definitely recommend this “gourmet neighbourhood cafe”, if you are looking for something beyond sandwiches and wraps. And to enjoy good food in good company.

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Eggless Orange Cake

Whisking a cake, is more than creaming butter and sugar. For me, it is equal measures of indulgence, fun and absorption. The thought of that elusive perfect cake, keeps lingering in my mind and occupies all the space, in my tiny mind. And I search for 'that' recipe. Everytime. 

Once the recipe has been settled for, the fun part of making the cake starts. Seeing few simple ingredients to come together to form a creamy sweet batter, is a pleasure. And then to see the evenly baked, perfectly done cake, emerge from the oven, is a mix of relief and delight.

After the cake, gets its due rest, it becomes my canvas to have fun. With sketchy ideas of the final look or even flavour combinations, and with even sketchier skill sets to decorate, I still jump into the game. And soon the game is won, with something simple and pleasing.

This time, the eggless orange cake became a "sunny" ground, with fluffy peaks. Inspite of it not at all being perfect, I loved this one - I guess, has to do with the bright color. Just made me feel happier and brighter. Yes, we all need some sunshine in life. And this one had some tiny butterflies also taking flights in the sun...as my friend described it :)

This cake was also my first cake on order. Felt good, doing it and hence I ensured that all requests were met: eggless - check, no chocolate - check, less cream - check, and no - butter too. Wow seems like a keeper of a recipe for easy eggless cake.

Eggless Orange Cake Recipe
Recipe Source: Here 
(Easy eggless cake, flavoured with fresh orange juice. Makes an 8' inch cake)

All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Condensed milk - 1 can (400g) sweetened
Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
Oil/ Butter - 1/2 cup (I used oil)
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar - 1-2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Orange zest - 1 tsp

  • Preheat oven at 180C. Line an 8" pan
  • Sift together, all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda, to mix
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together - condensed milk, orange juice, powdered sugar, oil or butter, vanilla essence and lemon juice, till all mixed
  • Add this wet mix, to the dry ingredients and combine, till no lumps remain
  • Add orange zest and fold it in the batter. 
  • Place batter in prepared pan. Tap to remove air bubbles and bake for about 25mins, till tester comes clean
  • Keep aside to cool, before cutting it
Note: If using fresh juice, check for the sweetness level. For me even 1tbsp was more than enough. Or you can use packaged juice, and skip sugar, all together too.

For Vanilla Frosting:
(Its a very light and not very sweet frosting, so works great to make cakes bit lighter)

2 packets of Dream whip frosting
1/2 cup cold milk
Yellow food color
1 tsp vanilla essence

Add milk to the dream whip powder, in a bowl. With a hand blender, whip them together, on high speed, till it forms soft peaks. Add food color and vanilla essence and whip again. Put in piping bag, and use as desired.

Note - Adjust consistency, by adding drops of milk, if needed.

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If there is one topic that will not evade the discussion of mums, it has to be about "eating concerns". Its kind of a bond that unites us all moms. A wave of emotion, that a mother of every origin, experience and character would relate to. 

And with 2 fussy eaters of my own, I know its so hard to keep a combination of taste, variety, ease and nutrition in their meals. One "online group" that surely helps me to get inspired, after "PInterest" is the "Nutrition for kids" on Facebook. With almost 8,000 mums sharing their tips and recipes, it gets easier to sail though the "lunchbox mania" Hope you are there too.

Not just the recipes, I also get to interact with some fabulous mums. And such lovely lady is -Shreya Brahme, who is a trained dietician, specialising in "child care nutrition" and "Sports nutrition". Also a a yoga and naturopathy practitioner. Wow, just the kind of person, you would love to discuss about your child's health concerns. Right? So I thought it would be great to share her wisdom with all of you. You can know more about her at her website or her Facebook page. Over to Shreya............


Hey all!! This is my first time sharing my blog with you, feeling really wonderful! Since 5 years, I’m working as a dietician, as wife and a mother. I’m always trying to keep my family healthy and happy. Cooking, making healthy choices from smart food is my hobby. 

My views and tips about today's kids and mums: 

According to me many times we are only one responsible for kids' eating habit and our self too (I mean mother too). Healthy food introduction is very important at this age (3-6 yr). It is not good to feed something junk just because he did not have his or her meal properly and he must have to eat before going to sleep. Please don't do this, dear mothers remember it is not only about food it's all about appearance, taste, colour. Please try to understand what your child's actual demand of that time, which colour, taste or food she attracts. 

For mother specially newly mother, who tries to manage her job, baby, and housework, in this chore she forget about her meal, don't do this. If there is too much gap between two meals, it may lead to weight gain. Have proper balanced 4 meals in day, it will keep you happy. My funda "Happy mother, healthy child". If you are happy you will be in a good mood to cook healthy food and feed your kid patiently, and kid will healthy.

Tips which I personally follow and tell to my clients too

  • The best way to manage all this plan your weekly routine.
  • Spend time with them, educate your kid at their level.
  • Take them when your are going to shop vegetable, fruits or grocery.  
  • Educate them to read labels.

Kids love granola bars, but store bought ones, will have too much added sugar and preservatives. By making it at home, you will give your child a healthy snack, that is easy and tasty.So presenting my new recipe with you all hope you all find it helpful for you.

Health benefits of this homemade energy bar

 Contain good complex carbs, which releases energy slowly slowly, this will help you stay    energized for longer hours.
 I added Oats, which gives good amount of fiber
 Ghee- gives healthy fat to your body.
 It is best pre exercise and sport bar.
 Ideal for Growing kids.

Oats Nutella Energy Bars Recipe:


Plain Oats- 1 cup (I use Kellogg’s) 

Muesli- ½ cup (I use plain Kellogg’s)
Honey- ½ cup
Nutella- 2 tbsp
Brown sugar- 1 tbsp
Ghee/ homemade butter- 1 tbsp (I used ghee)
Water- 1 tbsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Dry fruits- 1 tbsp (optional)
Butter paper


1. Heats a pan, dry roast the oats until they are slightly brown n colour.
2. Now add muesli, roast for 3-4 mines.
3. Switch off the gas and keep aside
4. Now again heat a same pan with ghee once ghee melted, add honey, sugar, Nutella, vanilla essence, and water. Boil the mixture for 2-3 mins.
5. Now add oats and muesli, dry fruits mix well coat all with honey mixture.
6. Take a plate place a butter paper, spread the above mixture on paper, 
and make square or rectangular shape.
7. Cover this with another butter paper, put this into refrigerator for 5 mins
8. Take out from refrigerator, remove covered paper, cut into your desire shape, again cover with same butter paper, refrigerate for 15- 20 mins. or until it becomes crispy

9. Now remove both papers, your oats Nutella bar are ready to eat.

10. You have to store this into an airtight container.

11. Complete the meal with glass of milk.

Please try this recipe and let me know your feedback..Thank you hope we will meet again.

Please note that the granola pics in this post is from the earlier Granola recipe and the bar pics are from this recipe.

Thanks Shreya for the wonderful tips and yummy recipe. We also hope to see more of you.

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