Random reflections

Two years / The Blogger / A Giveaway!

“Hello wonderful folks! I’ve been missing in action for past few months. Needless to say, I was either busy or bored not to post anything. This post has no recipe but a small chat with me. Plus a wonderful giveaway (I assume) for all the readers of Kitchen Kemistry”. This is how I started the post on the first week of December, 2013. There came a mild headache, runny nose, nasal congestion and fever. I was unwell for a couple of weeks. All plans went kaput. After that, It took forever to get my rear moving. My mojo ebbs and and flows. Finally here’s the post.

On the personal front, last month marked an important milestone in my life. Three years of married ‘bliss’. Cliched! Playing wife needs a lot of patience, people’s skill, investment of trust, mutual respect and tolerance. If wedding is a day’s affair, marriage is a work in progress. That’s what I learned about this wonderful institution.

couple's pic
My man and I on our first photo shoot as a couple

On the blog front, Kitchen Kemistry completed two years. That’s a record. When I started, I didn’t know what a blog meant. I didn’t know that recipes were available on food blogs just like that all over the internet. My first blog encounter was when I wanted to cook a satisfying meal for the husband returning from NYC after a business trip. Therefore, I went on a recipe hunt for a shudh desi ‘Chettinad Chicken Curry’ recipe. The first recipe that appeared on Google search was this. And I cooked it as instructed. My man had a happy meal.

After working in the health care industry for more than a decade, I took a break from a regular job after marriage. Y2K, I left India to live in Singapore and later in Ireland. Living overseas wasn’t something new. But living in a place without friends and family, bored me to death. I had plenty time in hand to try different things. Nonetheless, I was hooked to cooking and baking though I’d mastered these life saving skills long ago. Documenting those escapades gave birth to this food blog. Today, my baby has less than 100 recipes 😉 and a face book page with 1800 followers.

Honestly, I’m not computer savvy. Starting a blog in word press, deciding on a recipe, preparing it, shooting pictures, composing and typing a post and hitting the publish button was a herculean task. This is my first post. I’m not a wonderful writer or a voracious reader, but a good speaker. Initially, I found my posts dry, lacking oomph. It took time for me get the hang of  writing a post using a conversational tone without an overkill of personal information. For instance, this recipe took 5 days to compose and publish.

There are gazillion food blogs. So what was different about this blog? True to it’s name I wanted to explain the ‘kemistry’ involved in a recipe. But I had no clue how to do. The posts were wordy and long winded, but I was satisfied when I received wonderful feedback from readers that the post helped them understand why, what and how of a recipe. It was absolute bliss to know that I helped someone understand something. Without a doubt, I’m proud of this post which received umpteen accolades.

Food photography – I started with a ‘point and shoot’ Sony T-100 that is antique. This picture was shot with my humble camera. Gradually I mustered up the courage to hold a DSLR. I switched to Nikon D3000 with a 18-55 mm kit lens. Now I use a Nikon 5100 with 18-200 mm Nikkor lens. I also use my mobile phone to shoot Instagram pictures for recipe posts. I believe that a good post must carry substantial information about the recipe rather than tonnes of pictures. After all, this is a food blog not a coffee table book.

Today, I can say that I love blogging as much as I love baking and cooking. I post recipes at my own pace without any rush. No rat race! Blogging has opened a whole new world of opportunities to learn, to try and to recreate. I’ve met some wonderful bloggers in real life. The one who impressed me the most is Sala Kannan of  Veggie Belly, a suave young lady with an infectious smile. I admire Lakshmi of Pure, Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, Suma of Cakes and More and many more. The list is endless.

To honor my persistence in food blogging, I wanted to host a giveaway. I wished to give something that the readers would enjoy. So, I put forth a query on Kitchen Kemistry’s face book page. The response was overwhelming. The choices boiled down to ‘personal interaction, baking tools, more recipes’. I’ve combined all three in this giveaway. Thanks to Saadhana Parthiban of Sugar Code for sponsoring the prize for US Residents. A huge thanks to Tadka girls Ruchira Ramanujam and Ranjini Rao of Tadka Pasta for sponsoring the prize for Indian residents.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS WORLDWIDE. Here’s what you can win.

First prize (worldwide – including USA and India) – Online class for 2 hours on basic cake baking by yours truly. 


This prize is for anyone living in any part of the world. One lucky winner gets to interact and learn the basics of cake baking via Skype or Google Hang out. I will demonstrate baking a basic cake, explain the scientific principles involved in each step, chemistry of each ingredient, share tips n tricks, conquer your passion in healthy baking, share health tips and the much guarded basic cake recipe.

Second prize (US residents only) – Baking tools gift hamper by Sugar Code 

sugar code

One lucky winner residing in the USA wins 1) Set of 6 Christmas cookie cutters. 2) Set of 4 holiday theme stamps for cookies and fondant cakes. 3) A spirit level to achieve even leveled cakes. 4) A holiday theme coffee mug. Check out her Etsy shop here.

* I know the prize contains Christmasy stuff. My sincere apologies for not able to host this giveaway in time. Save it for this Christmas. 

Third prize (Indian residents only) – Around the world with Tadka Girls by Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam

Tadka pasta

One lucky winner residing in India wins a fabulous cook book by Tadka Pasta.  This amazing cook book, bake book and cake book is the brainchild of two best friends – Ranjini & Ruchira, who love to cook, click, write and eat. Every recipe is accompanied by real-life stories. A must have in your collection. This cook book is available in India. *Check FlipkartAmazonSapna and eBay.


– One entry per person

– All 4 questions have to be answered. Odd entries will be void

– Failure to respond within 3 days after receiving the email will automatically void participation and another winner will be chosen.

TO ENTER, head HERE. This link takes you to Kitchen Kemistry’s face book page. You should see a GIVEAWAY tab (next to photos) on the right upper corner. Click that and read on to participate.

The giveaway closes on Feb 13, 2014 midnight PST. The winners will be chosen using Random.org. and announced on Feb 15, 2014 midnight PST. The winners will be contacted via email.


First winner (Worldwide) – Shivangi Daga wins a 2 hr online class on ‘Basic Cake Baking’ by Cheryl Rajkumar

Second winner (USA) – Natasha Singh wins baking tools gift hamper by Sugar Code

Third winner (India) – Nisha Vignesh wins ‘Around the world with Tadka Girls’ cookbook

Fb giveaway snapshot

Thanks heaps for being supportive thus far. I wish and hope to garner your continued love and encouragement in future. Have a great year ahead!


10 thoughts on “Two years / The Blogger / A Giveaway!

  1. Cheryl!!! Congratulations and you guys look completely made for each other!!!! Wish you all the happiness!!!! Loved your blog!!! I am participating in the contest so excited!!!!! praying that I win 🙂 so that I can attend your class!!! You ROCK always!!! Here’s to Kitchen Kemistry!!!!

    P.S. I have a blog too but haven’t been updating for a long time….

  2. Best wishes for a happy anniversary and a your blog anniversary here’s to many more happier years on both fronts. 🙂
    Thank you for the kind mention. Cheryl.

    1. Thanks a tonne Aparna 🙂 Glad to have known you as a blogger friend who does a fab job with her blog. Thanks again for stopping by.


  3. Congratulations!! Infact like you I too got to know about food blogs while googling for a cake recipe.. and it opened a whole new world!! I cant quite believe that you’ve just been blogging for two years… from your wealth of experience ..I assumed u were one of those bloggers with 6-7 years behind them!! Anyhow, here’s wishing you many more years to come and the all the best with all that you set out to achieve!!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Sarvani 🙂 Every lil appreciation is encouraging. I’m glad to have bumped into amazing bloggers like you. Thanks again for stopping by.


  4. Hi Cheryl I am loving your recipes didn’t you had it in you? You probably don’t remember me Ireland is probably a lifetime ago. Can’t wait to tryout your recipes. Good for you 😃

    1. Thanks a tonne Shohida. I’m glad that you like the recipes. Of course, I remember you 🙂 how can I forget Ireland. Spent 5 yrs of my life in the Emerald Isle.

I truly appreciate your feedback. Drop me a word.

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