My Technorati links for Indian Food Rocks showed a new link:

Hmm! That copyright statement looks very familiar but where is the link?

I clicked through to this sad blog:

When she copied my copyright statement, she edited the text but did not edit the underlying HTML. Go on, visit her site, hover over the URL or better still click on it and come right back to my blog!

Even when she copies she can't do it right! Go take a look before she edits it to make it look like her own. Like she did with my Aloo Gobi recipe from 1999 that she copied off AllRecipes.com!

And while you're on that other sad blog, scroll down to see the copyright statement on that blog, too, and hover over the link. And her third blog, too. What a freaking joke. Some people just don't get it!

Why the fuss over a copied copyright statement? Because this takes the cake for being simply ridiculous. Run the recipes on any of her three blogs through Copyscape, you'll know what I am talking about.

Giving Thanks, with friends old and new

Thanksgiving this year was full of wonderful surprises and a nostalgic reunion. I met my friend after at least 11 years, if not more. It was the first time I met her husband, her 9 year old and her almost 3 year old. Medha bonded immediately with the older child and the girls were soon inseparable. For Thanksgiving, they decided to surprise us with an all-edible Pilgrim's Boat Dip.

They used zucchini as boats and toasted white bread as sails instead of construction paper. They scooped out some of the zucchini and filled it a cream cheese dip with garlic and dill. They were so into their no-waste and all-edible boat dip, that the leftover scraps of toasted bread were also placed on the platter to dip with.

My friend remembered my love for All Things James Herriot and came bearing audio CDs for James Herriot's All Things Bright & Beautiful, read by Christopher Timothy. We shared our experiences with raising our daughters, cried together and laughed and hugged each other. Periodically, my husband would remind us that she was his boss first, then his friend, and much much later, my friend!

I also got a chance to meet new friends for the very first time. She is a prolific food blogger and while we've talked on the phone, we have never met. She and her husband were getting away from the daily grind and chose Colorado Springs as their vacation spot. They came for Thanksgiving dinner bearing these delicious gifts.

My favorite chivda, date cake and nankhatai. All home-made. And chocolates! Yummy!

Thanksgiving dinner was as much fun-filled as it was disaster-filled. My orange burfi refused to set. So while it tasted good, it was a gooey mess. I also made Saffron Hut's Coconut Burfi and that did not set either. I used 2/3 cup sugar instead of 1 cup but simmered it for much longer but it wouldn't thicken beyond a point. I dusted it with cardamom powder and sprinkled slivered almonds. It tasted like a heavenly and more delicious version of the inside of Almond Joy. I also made
  • my spring salad, but with mixed greens instead of the spring mix. I added dried blueberries to it this time
  • beans with peanuts, my own recipe that I hope to post soon
  • til aloo, a recipe from The Cook's Cottage
  • lamb curry, since no-one but me relished turkey
  • and store-bought Malaysian parathas
Besides the two burfis that flopped, my pumpkin curry was the other major disaster. It was so major that I did not serve it. I am not sure what went wrong or if I used the wrong kind of pie pumpkin. The last time I made it, the pie pumpkin had been sitting on my counter for a couple of weeks. This disastrous pumpkin curry has a distinctive flavor of an unripe fruit even though the pie pumpkin did not look or feel unripe. I have no clue what I did wrong! Wine and sparkling cider flowed liberally through the evening and after a quick cup of chai, my new friends made their way to Colorado Springs.

Things are never dull around here and the week was full of excitement, too. We made a quick trip into Rocky Mountain National Park and walked along the frozen Sprague Lake, looking up at the mountains on the Continental Divide, or the Great Divide, if you're finicky about names.

From left to right, Thatchtop Mountain (12,668 ft), Taylor Peak (13,158 ft), Otis Peak (12,486 ft), Halletts Peak (12,713 ft), Flattop Mountain (12,324 ft)and Notchtop Mountain (12,129 ft).

The highlight of my friend's visit was a mountain lion sighting, which I missed out on. The weather was gorgeous so I sent everyone out of the house for a short hike along the trails in the Open Space behind our home. They reached the "Red Park" near the Louisville Reservoir and soon I got a call saying "I think I am looking at a mountain lion! It's too big to be a dog and it walks like a large cat." It was far enough from the park for it not to be a danger to the children. Also, the park has a fence along the Open Space which the cougar would have had to leap over. We reported it to the local Police who said they would send someone out to the area as soon as possible. Mountain lions have been sighted here before in the past year and it looks like they haven't left!

I have a brief reprieve before my next guest arrives from Australia tomorrow. I thought I would quickly update my blog with tales of our recent adventures. I have more pictures of Sprague Lake, which I hope to upload to my photoblog, Inner Lens.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our Thanksgiving was extra special because of friends, old and new.

Hallowe'en Cupcakes

As promised...here come the pictures of the cupcakes

Monster Muncher, with Pillsbury's funfetti frosting, licorice buttons as eyes, cherry jelly bean as the nose and peel-off Twizzlers as the antennae.

Icing ghosts stand in an unkempt patch of grass (yes, that's grass not green worms!)

The tray of monsters and ghosts

The party table at school! Everyone loved the mice and the cupcakes!

I made some more green patches of grass with red twizzlers for the get-together in the evening.

This is the first time I have ever held a frosting bag in my hands. It was a ton of fun! None of this would have been possible without Archana's thoughtful and careful guidance! Archana, the kids at school and all of us thank you a whole bunch!