The Indian Yogurt And Its Benefits

One of the beneficial food items that can help you keep your cool during the summer is to have curd or Indian yogurt.  Yoghurt is known for its health benefits the world over the Indian curd or dahi has certain unique features that are ideal for combating several conditions and keeping the health in Indian weather conditions.

Indian yoghurt or dahi is used in different dishes.  It is used in chaat dishes in sweet form such as aloo tikki, gol gappe and papdi chaat.  These are popular snack items which are yoghurt based.  In these dishes, spices are mixed along with sweetness to add a sweet and tangy taste.

Today, many benefits of yoghurt are discussed in nutrition circles.  It is known to be a primary source of probiotics which is our digestion.  As we consume prepared food and other kind of food items which have no probiotic content it is imperative that our Indian meals are accompanied with dahi which helps to balance out the nutritional requirements.

A friend of mine, Sarah, who lives in Schenectady, owns http://www.roofing518.com/, and has traveled around the Middle East & to India.  She has sold herself and her family on the benefits of raita and makes it a point to visit Indian restaurants in the Capital Region whenever she and her family can.

Probiotic curd is known to be good for digestion and it is recommended to be had after mid day meals.  It helps to cool the system, especially in the hot summer days in India.  Probiotic curd can be had in different forms.  It is made into a thick shake which is known as lassi where sugar is added.  Chaach is a lighter form used for drinking which is made with rock salt.  As extreme heat dehydrates the body and removes essential salt, a sweet or salted lassi is a beneficial drink to help replenish these minerals in our body.  Here is how to make raita, aka, Indian yogurt.

It is said that Greek yogurt is more protein richer than the Indian yoga.  However, it is a good source of animal protein for those who cannot have meat and other kinds of non vegetarian items.  It is easy to digest and helps to cool the system.  For those who are watching the calorie intake having a glass of lassi would be a great way to feel full and help maintain nutritional balance during summer months.

Bacolod – Home to the Sugar Industry and Diverse Cuisine

Image result for bacolod philippinesWhen I arrived at Bacolod in Philippines, it was a congested, modern city but there are certain historic landmarks and buildings as well as eateries to explore which make it unique. There are several places to go sightseeing as well from here.

City Definitions

Bacolod is known for the sugar industry that flourishes here; it also has a transport hub as well as food that are well known across the country. Though the city landscape might not appeal to many, there are certain historic landmarks that you can include in a sightseeing tour; there are nearby day trips to Silay, a historic district or Mt Kanlaon Natural Park that is worth taking up.

Historic Landmarks to See

I took a city tour here that comprised of several stops. These included the Negros forest that is also an ecological foundation. It is a zoo that preserves endangered animals, especially of the Negro community. There is also a Negros museum that showcases collections of toys of the plantation workers that are unique to see for sure.

Ruins of an Italian mansion, built in the early part of the 20th century is also worth seeing. It is surrounded by plantations of sugar that make it especially scenic. San Sebastian Cathedral is another place to stop by. I was impressed by the coral stone-based structure that was built in the 19th century.

Capitol Park and the lagoon is a gathering place in the city where it is scenic for picnics as well as for people to take strolls.

Eateries around Town

In the city, I discovered several eateries with unique cuisine to try. For instance, Tyrol is a favorite haunt of several expats here and Austrian food is on the menu here. Pala Pala is a restaurant known for seafood in the city and is a must-visit. Malaspina Inasalan is another where street food, mainly barbeque items are available. Manokan Country is an open-air restaurant where I enjoyed chicken inasal, oysters and cheap beer.

Antalya – The Highland City

Related imageThe city is named over the coastline it is based on. The city is surrounded by the western coasts of the gulf and looks absolutely adorable with the transparent blue waters. The city is rich in its cultural and historical heritage. The city has to be traveled on foot as the streets and the lanes here are cobbled up and very narrow, it is mostly that only one vehicle can get out in one time, so for me, it was better on foot or if you get too tired, grab a bike. There are many beautiful beaches in this city that you can go and relax or have fun with your family. The sea breezes of the city keep the atmosphere very mildly cool, providing with near perfect weather to roam around.

Old Harbor

The city is housed around a bunch of low down cliffs and waters which gives the city a very iconic and incredible look to be visited and enjoyed. The old harbor is the most famously visited place in Antalya, it is filled with shops regarding every need a human being would require, starting from quirky cafes and restaurants to the parlors and shopping destinations it holds everything in this one place and being so close to the coastline, it also serves as the trading port for Antalya. You will love the quality and flavors of the seafood that is offered here by the restaurant, all of them spicy and intense. The most famous dish you can find here is falafel crumbled fish with caviar hummus; the dish is very exotic and expensive but extremely worth it.

Hadrian’s Gate

Hadrian’s gate is one of the main tourists attracting offering Antalya could ever make. This is the entry to the high rise town of Antalya that is Kaleîcî. The walls on the gate have been preserved from the early centuries of the Romans and the Greeks. The walls are mostly grey and black colored and have engraved Islamic sayings in them. The ceiling of the gate is also carved with various names of the rulers that have defined the city to what it is today. The walkway from the gate is made of glass like a really small pull, it is exquisite.

Nandaime: This Hill Town Is Paradise

Nandaime comes under Nicaragua’s department of Granada. The place is not heavily populated and most of the population is comprised of young adults and teenagers. The name of the city literally translated to a place of abundant streams. The population is mostly Catholic and Easter, Christmas, etc are major events around the city. The most common and favorite game among the residents of this area is “baseball”.

We stayed at the Hotel real la Merced which cost us roughly INR 2500 per day. It is a beautiful historic inn. It is situated just near the Sor Romeo’s birthplace. It is just 5 minutes walk away from the church of Nuestra Senora Le Das.

We witnessed the residents of this place who mostly engage in folk dances which are rooted in the town. Some other forms of dances like a dance of bird, the owl, and the siren are also practiced during religious festivities. The people also enjoy the running of the bulls but in a different manner from the Spanish method. The most typical and famous Nandaime is the Baile of the Devils. The weather of the area remains quite sturdy throughout the year with an average rainfall of about 1200-1400 mm.

We also visited one of the most famous tourist places in Nandaime is the hill Las Banderas which is located extreme north of the city. Hiking is a very common activity on this hill. Another major tourist attraction is The Mombacho Volcano which is quite famous for various reasons like the access to infrastructure and the perfect location. The Mombacho Volcano has four craters which are covered with forest clouds. On the Mombacho Volcano, you can walk around or even hike around all of these craters. An abundance of trees, species, and plants can also be found here.

Livorno: This Port City Is Wonderful

I went to Livorno a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. Livorno is one of the largest port of Italy. After our arrival, we were hungry and so went to Cantina Nardi, where we had the excellent cacciucco. They also had pasta with a variety of bivalves and are a drinking den of wines. One may even have a light meal at Cafe Cellini. Then we went to the aquarium at Piazzale Mascagni which is open on weekends and holidays. One needs to have an appointment to visit during the weekdays. It has a series of tanks dedicated to the marine environments from the Ligurian coast.

We went to the Old English Cemetery in Via Verdi. It is the oldest place for non-Catholic burial in Italy. It has the grave of the novelist of the 18th century Tobias Smollett. We then went to the Mediterranean National History Museum. It is closed on Monday. It has a glorious botanical garden and has collections of whale skeletons. We then went to Central Piazza Cavour for shopping. One may even visit Via Ricasoli, Via Magenta for quirky shopping and Mercato Centrale Market. It is recommended to visit the Friday morning’s market in Via dei Pensieri that offers colorful mish mash food, clothes, accessories, and food items.

The area code of Livorno is 0506. We went to Terrazza Mascagni which was built during World War II. It is also known as the Fort of Cavalleggeri. It comprises of a tower and a large defensive complex. We then went to Piazza della Repubblica which is one of the largest and particular squares of the city. It was built to modernize the old streets of the city of 18th century. It is also known as the Piazza of the Grand Duchy.

Road Trip To Baja California Sur

I went on a road trip to Baja California with my friend a few weeks ago. We stayed at La Huerta, a modern and best standard hotel situated in the center of the town. The next morning we went with a company called Kuyma, one of the oldest companies operating there and charges around 200 USD for a max of 9 people. It also offers camping services, tents and cabanas on the lagoon.

Places to visit

We started in the northern half of Baja at San Felipe. We spent an afternoon hanging around at the beach on the Gulf of California. We then went to Taco factory that served great Mexican food and margaritas. Then we went to the Sea of Cortez to kayak. With calm water, it is easy to paddle around and take in the sights of the surrounding. It is recommended to stay at La Palapa RV Camp located on the beach that charges $17 USD per night or Las Palmas Hotel.


The next day we headed to the Puertecitos Hot Springs, situated at the edge of the ocean. It was fun. There is also a small bay to walk out. Then we stopped at the paved side road of Bahia Los Angeles, a small town located on the Sea of Cortez. It has a few small restaurants and even a museum. We stayed at Playa La Gringa located at on the beach and are free of cost. One may even stay at Villa Vitta Hotel Restaurant. We also went for whale watching in the San Ignacio Laguna. Then we headed to Mulege, which was like an oasis in the desert. We stayed at Hacienda De La Habana which charges around $20 USD a night. It is also recommended to stay at Clementines Mulege.

Make a perfect cheesecake

Cheesecake has always been my favorite dessert. Largely because my grandmother made an outstanding, thick and flavorful cheesecake. There are good ways to make one and bad ways. Most often, the biggest challenge bakers face is having a large crack that forms down the center when they are baking it. There are a number of things you can do to minimize, and remove, the reasons for causing your cheesecake to crack.

Here are some great tips to ensure you make the perfect cheesecake for you and your family:

The right ingredients will make all the difference. Never use those plastic containers you find at the grocery store. Use the solid boxes of cream cheese, the soft ones. If you buy any cream cheese in the tubs, the manufacturers whip air into it and it just won’t taste the same. Also, be sure to use cream cheese that has the highest fat content.

Make sure all your ingredients are ready to be used at room temperature to ensure that all the ingredients blend together, avoiding the possibility of a lumpy cheesecake.

Make sure to not over beat the ingredients. Mix everything very thoroughly but overdoing it can cause your cheesecake to have that infamous crack that we are working to avoid.

Use the old-fashioned springform pan, it is the best best pan for baking cheesecakes. Because these have side panels that are removable, it will allow you to remove your cake without damaging it. Further, always make sure to grease the bottom so when you press your graham cracker mixture into the bottom, it will not stick.

Keep your cheesecake moist but baking it with a pan of water in the oven. This will generate moisture by way of steam and will keep your cheesecake from drying out. Put the water on the lower rack and the cheesecake above it, this way the steam rises and keeps it moist.

Follow these simple steps and you will have a perfect cheesecake that you and your family will enjoy.

Albuquerque Offers Amazing Spanish Food, Life And More

Albuquerque is known to be the most populous city of New Mexico. It straddles the Rio Grande which makes it one of the popular cities of the country, given its unique location and rich tradition.

This city is known to be home to the University of New Mexico, National Museum of Nuclear Science and History as well as Central New Mexico Community College, Lovelace Respiratory Research Centre and several other commercial and educational institutes of renown.

If you are visiting, be sure to experience the amazing food and tantalizing desserts at the many great restaurants in Albuquerque!

As a visitor to this city you will want to visit important landmarks like Petroglyph National Monument or the Albuquerque Biological Park. Geographic landscapes here are unique, given the Sandia mountain ranges that are by the eastern side of the city while Rio Grande flows through it, creating picturesque locations for recreation and stay or leisure destinations.  If you wish to witness a popular event here, plan to be here in the month of October when the International Balloon Fiesta takes place. This event brings in creators and enthusiasts from all over and the hot balloons in the air as well as rides are worth experiencing.

As mentioned, Petroglyph National Monument here should be one of your first stops as a visitor to the city. It is an archaeological site that has prehistoric art which showcase drawings of the Native Americans on stone walls.

For outdoor experiences head over to Sandia Peak. Here the tram ride which is an aerial one, gives you a wonderful view of the mountain range. There are other activities to try as well, such as skiing in winter and trails to discover in summer. The dining options also help you enjoy the mountains as you spend a day here.

Head over to Albuquerque Biological Park next. This is a riverside spot that has train rides and varied animals to spot. There are about 250 species to watch here, all kept in their natural environment such as koalas, monkeys and polar bears.

While you are here a visit to Old Town Albuquerque is a must. This historic district with adobe houses that date back centuries as well as narrow cobbled streets are wonderful to explore. Enjoy sopaipilla pastries, enchiladas here as well as artisan shops that sell pottery, rugs and jewelry.

Squash And The Nutritional Benefits It Offers

Among the different summer food items available such as fresh vegetables, squash is one of the versatile vegetables that you could get for your kitchen.  This can be used to create different and delicious dishes and it also packs in a lot of nutritional and medicinal benefits.  Squash when it is well ripened can be used to add a sweet and mushy flavor to different dishes, similar to pumpkin.

If you have been using squash every year as a summer vegetable, but not really known its nutritional benefits, then you will be surprised to know that it has several medicinal benefits to offer. For instance:

  • It can help to improve vision.
  • It helps in skin care.
  • Strengthens our immunity system.
  • It can help prevent or manage diabetic symptoms.
  • Helps maintain heart health.
  • Helps in preventing cancer.

There are other benefits as well.  When you consume squash you would help bring down inflammatory conditions, remove users, benefit those with arthritis, improve prostate health and so forth.

Squash is a fruit, though it is usually used as a vegetable.  It belongs to the same category as zucchini pumpkins and others.  There are different varieties of squash available in different parts of the world.  You will find summer and winter varieties of squash in areas like North America.  In tropical countries summer squash varieties are common.  Squash is widely grown in North America where it is a common crop along with beans and corn.

So how should you eat it?  This vegetable can be used in different ways.   It is often eaten fresh when included in salads.  You can also add it as part of baked vegetables in any meat dish.  Many use it to flavor vegetable soups as well as consume it in patty form which is flattened and fried.  The seeds of squash are also known to have nutritional benefits.   These are often dried and flavored and sold as snacks.  Even the greens of squashes are eaten in salads.

With the above information you would be convinced that squash is a versatile and nutritious vegetable to be included in your summer meals.

Melons For Your Summer Diet

Summer is the time to indulge in fruits and enjoy their natural sweetness. One of the summer fruit category is melons and thanks to the large variety, you are sure to find some or more always around the summer months. If you crave sweets and wish to cut down on calories, the best way of doing so is to stock up on melons of different varieties. Melons, such as honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon have high water level content.

How to have them?

Melons are easy to serve or to stock up in your refrigerator in airtight containers. There is melon balers that help you cut out desirable shapes or round balls from these fruits. You could add them along with other citrus fruits to create a delightful fruit salad for your summer breakfast. Add on leafy vegetables and other protein food items and they can convert to summer lunches as well. For kids who do not like to indulge in fruits much, there are ways of creating fruit skewers with different melons and other fruit pieces and provide them with tasty and healthy snacks.

Different kinds of melons

There are different kinds of melons and one can indulge in them as per the availability in their region:

  • Crenshaw is melons that have green and pink tinges on their skin and are waxy to touch.
  • Casaba is a common melon that is bright yellow in color and should not be too soft when you buy them.
  • Orange flesh honeydew is another melon that is evident from its name.
  • Watermelon comes in a dark color but some have other varying stripes on them. Nowadays seedless varieties are available as well as yellow ones that are also sweet to have.

Other melon varieties that are slightly uncommon are the Pepino that are plum like and have purple stripes with an orange skin that is smooth; Santa Claus that has yellow and mottled green skin and the Persian that has the looks of a cantaloupe.

When you are buying melons ensure that they are not soft from the outside; some undergo color changes that indicate that they are overripe.