Home Alone making paranthas, salad & pizza and thinking of all things sweet & scary!

by Shumaila

So I am home alone for three nights.

V had to go for some office stuff to Texas, and I am left home alone.

This is the first time I am staying alone in our house. And I was very nervous about it. Our town is quite safe. So I was not scared of somebody breaking in (although, I made sure all my windows were closed and do not laugh, but I also put a chair/stool in front of the front and back doors. Just in case someone does decide to break in, I will be warned by the noise. Too much of CSI does that to you!)

Like I mentioned, I am not scared of someone breaking in (you are rolling your eyes, aren’t ya?), but all the horror movies I have seen have made me a little scared of the paranormal- ghosts to be more precise. So that you are sure, yes, I am an adult. But I have an overactive imagination. A very overactive imagination.

I remember after watching the movie The Ring , I slept with my lights on for a month, imagining the girl ghost in the movie standing next to my bed every time I switched off the lights off and then even when the image of the ghost left after a month, I continued sleeping with the lights on, thinking the ghost would get pissed off that I wasn’t sacred anymore, and would be tempted to scare me off.

Yes. Overactive. Imagination. Mine is.

So, how I always do when I am alone, the first night I slept with the lights in my room on. And with the TV on. And the bathroom lights on. And the hallway light on. And the living room light on. With the phone in my hand every time. I felt really bad that I was wasting so much electricity, but honestly I could not help it. This is how I slept last night as well. Today though, my protector, my husband, will be back home, and I should live in a world less scared of the evils it possesses. (I repeat- do not roll your eyes! or laugh! Please?)

Besides being scared at night, the other thing that was bothering me about being home alone for three days was the food situation. With V gone, I knew I would not feel like cooking for one. I knew I would be cooking Maggi noodles for lunch, dinner, and well, even breakfast. But, I did not want that. So, instead, as soon as V left I made it a point to pre-make things. I made the tomato feta pasta salad. I made the topping for the artichoke spinach pizza and also had the necessary leftovers for the chicken paranthas I had packed for V before he left. The maggi packets are left to be eaten some other week.

This post has no recipes. It has links to some of my previous recipes though. And all of them are good. Some are quite old, some not so much.

Chicken Paranthas

When I was doing my MBA from IIFT, Delhi, my friends and I would regularly eat our meals at the Dhaba outside our college. Laxman Dhaba is quite famous in Delhi for its paranthas and rightly so. A lot many times I would order the chicken paranthas there and I am yet to have a chicken parantha as tasty as that. I tried my hand at making chicken paranthas yesterday at home, by mixing Chicken Masala, Stuffed Parantha Masala, roasted cumin powder, green chillies and fresh cilantro leaves with shredded, boiled chicken and stuffing the mixture in rolled out whole wheat dough. With some mint chutney and butter, these were great, although it would be stretch to say that they tasted the same as the Laxman Dhaba ones. It has been over 2 years that I have tasted those chicken paranthas, but I would like to believe these paranthas tasted quite close to those, else the thought of not having access to Laxman Dhaba’s chicken paranthas for another year would just kill me!

Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

Although I did not have enough sundried tomatoes to make the oh-so-delicious TSRI’s tomato feta pasta salad, it still tasted great. I did try my hand at making sundried tomatoes in the microwave using this recipe, but forgot to read one of the comments that mentioned changing the power as the recipe accounted for 2005 made microwaves. The result were burnt tomatoes. I could have used the oven but that takes a long time, so decided to use only the ones that I had. The salad still tasted great. Its always a pleasure to have such quick but delicious recipes for days when you are cooking for one.

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

The whole wheat pizza that I am in love with was another starrer in my make-ahead meal for home-alone-me. I made the filling, and the dough, though I think next time I will make the dough only when I am ready to bake the pizza, freezing the extra dough. It doesn’t take too long to make- just twenty minutes (half of which you need to preheat the oven) and I found the crust better when I use it right away, than putting in the refrigerator. I did have issues with it rising and tearing the cling wrap and drying out in the refrigerator. But since it was just for me, I did not mind the minor issues.


I did not make these. No way am I making these when I am home alone. I am not that crazy. I am sure after hearing about my overactive imagination you would like to think otherwise, but I have some sanity in me to not make these outrageously fudgy, gooey, crusty, chocolatey, truffle-like brownies when I am home alone. These were made a while back and are my favorite brownie recipe so far. The recipe has  been visited quite often by me and since I had posted the recipe more than a year back, I thought it would be good to post the link again, for those who missed it out the first time.

Lavender lemon chiffon cake

It was my friend’s birthday yesterday. She is one of my lifelines here in the US. Thanks to her our small mining town has been quite enjoyable. We celebrated her birthday last week with all our coffee friends. I took this cake along- a lavender cake with lemon whipped cream frosting. I made this for the first time on my birthday, the year before last. The cake is a chiffon cake infused with lavender flavor, which is not too overpowering (I feel too much lavender can give a mouthfeel of soap but in the cake it was just the right amount). The lemon curd whipped cream complements the lavender flavor perfectly. I love this cake, and if you are looking for something different from the regular chocolate, vanilla cakes, this recipe is a good one to try.

Healthier Pear & Apple Walnut Cake

This cake was a result of last month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge. Its my own recipe, and I did not get it right the first time. But now the recipe has been perfected, and the page has been updated with the new recipe. Thought would let you all know.

Besides that, I had my friends to give me company and to remind me that I am not alone, even when I am. 🙂