Little Things in Life

Dec 14, 2011
I did not realize until this morning how good it feels to wake up late, not worry about early morning traffic, and of course school..My past few months were quite overwhelming as I was constantly trying to juggle between school, work, and have a life..Once I had a lot of time to spare..now not so much..and I truly miss that..The same tea tasted so much better as I sat in the living room and watched Cake Boss...For once my travel mug got a break..I miss running outside and reading books for leisure..I am not a big fan of gym,but  now I do not have a choice but to be on the machine (i hate it)..Today simply being able to take long walk at a nearby park made me euphoric..and to make it even better, I got a copy of  Steve Jobs biography from one of my friend...
You don't know what you've got till it's gone...

I had been feeling kind of miserable because I am always on the run and never have enough time to enjoy things once was a part of my life..I have learned to appreciate little things that my life have to offer and not take things for granted.. Because you know what, eventually its little things in life that matters the most and not the designer purses or smart phones...

Sweet N' Low or All Natural..

Dec 6, 2011
As I was getting my coffee, a stranger made a shrewd comment that Splenda is killing me slowly. I am obviously not going to sit there and argue back and forth why I choose Splenda over Sugar In The Raw or any other sweetener..Lady, do you not realize that it is very controversial and as a matter of fact no one has real answer to it. I mean nutrition is such a grey area and there are lot of things you eat and do based on your discretion and artificial sweetener is one of them! I am here not telling if you should eat artificial sweeteners or not but if you are concerned about it so much, at least get your facts straight from fallacies...

Sugar substitutes are simply food additives that mimic the taste of real sugar. The terminology used for sugar substitute is very vague and that is why it creates a lot of confusion. They are either natural or  at least they claim to be such as Stevia or artificial (synthesized in the lab). It was back in 1879 some chemist accidentally discovered saccharin (sweet n' low-pink packets), which is 300-500 times sweeter than sugar. There are many other sweeteners such as aspartame (equal-blue packet), cyclamate (banned in US), sucrolose (splenda-yellow packets), and few others. They are widely used by food and beverage industry in many processed products including soft drinks, gum, baked goods etc.
Stevia ( truvia-green packet), fairly new to the United States is a herb native to South America. It was sold as a dietary supplement and now FDA has approved certain refined Stevia preparations in food and has not permitted the use of whole-leaf Stevia or crude Stevia extracts. Even though it is raved about being no calorie natural sweetener, like other sweeteners studies have pointed out the possible hazards such as cancer and fertility problems.
Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, or stevia


So why all this craze and controversy about artificial sweeteners?

If you are trying to lose weight, reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, or have diabetes, artificial sweeteners could be your answer and you are not alone in this.  Unlike regular sugar, they do not contribute to tooth decay.These artificial sweeteners have less calories compared to regular sugar. A regular table sugar has 4 calories per gram while artificial sweeteners have close to zero calories. Compared to regular sugar, you only need a fraction of artificial sweetener because of their heightened sweetness.

Like I said artificial sweeteners is a never ending topic. Critics say that they cause variety of health problems including cancer. There was a study that linked saccharin to bladder cancer in laboratory rats.Those poor rats were given the amount of saccharin found in between 1200 and 1800 soft drinks a day. Wow, if you drink that much soda daily, regardless of saccharin, you are in troubbbbble...Because of those studies, saccharin once carried a warning label that it may be hazardous to your health.

Health agencies such as National Institute of Cancer, American Dietetics Association and numerous studies have now confirmed that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities, even for pregnant womenArtificial sweeteners are regulated by FDA and they have established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each artificial sweetener. It is basically the maximum amount considered to be safe to consume each day. Follow this link for details on ADI:
http://fcs.tamu.edu/health/healthhints/2010/may/acceptable-daily-intake.pdf

Too much sugar, either natural or artificial is not doing good to our body anyway. Everything in moderation is such a cliche but true. Either real sugar or artificial ones,  do it in moderation. Check the nutrition food label to see if the product contains any artificial sweetener. But remember, as of yet, we do not have any concluding evidence that any artificial sweetener out there is lethal to us.

P.S. Put whatever you want in your coffee but please no early morning discussions on sweeteners or creamer!!!

Bake--No-Bake!!

Dec 2, 2011
Yes, I am back! When i initially started this blog, I was very excited and thought I was going to write on a regular basis...A lot of things changed over past 6 months or so...I moved to a new place,new lifestyle, blah blah..blah...well but most of all I lost the motivation to write.. I had excuses lined up even before I thought about a topic..But since past week or so, I have been wanting to blog about things,,by things I mean food! For thanksgiving, I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, a recipe by Paula Dean. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/red-velvet-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/index.html 

I normally do not like baking because I get very impatient, plus I have this tendency to constantly open the oven or simply turn the oven light on and stare at the batter...kind of lame!! Since I had followed the recipe and measured all the ingredients very precisely, I knew they were going to turn out pretty delicious..and I was pretty excited to get started with blogging...Ta-da...the cupcakes looked velvety and divine..After letting it cool down and frosting it.. we all were tempted to taste the cup cake that had been sitting for the past hour or so...Everyone including myself absolutely loved the frosting...we even saved the leftover frosting to use as a spread or something, obviously did not happen!  It was good to hear that everyone in the room enjoyed the cupcakes..I took a bite, past the amazing frosting and realized that the cupcakes were actually underdone!! Arghhhh..It was very nice of my family and friends to praise the cupcake in spite of the fact that it was not cooked all the way through...This tells you all what a good baker I am...Oh well..I have not lost that hope yet, I still have most of the ingredients left and one of these days, I am making the same red velvets and make sure that they will come out just perfect...Until then if any of you folks have a good recipe or ideas about red velvet cupcakes, please help this lady out there!!