Category: The Secret Recipe Club

SRC: Berries & Cherry Walnut Oatmeal Bars

The first week of the month is generally busy for me- what with the Recipe Swap post going up the first Sunday of the month and the SRC post going live the first Monday of the month. As a result, the weekend is always spent working on the posts and since I am a big time procrastinator, I end up baking/cooking, editing photos and blogging two posts in one day. I know, I really should plan things better!

Anyway yesterday proved to be doubly busy as I finally made myself a Facebook page for the blog! Yay!

After toying with the idea for months, I finally decided its time to face my fears. When asked by V why I wouldn’t get a Facebook page, I would give him the excuse that I am too scared that no one will like my page and also a big reason for no FB page was that I as it is struggle with my own profile on Facebook- a blog page will be a lot of commitment in terms of updating status and making sure they are good, etc., etc. But I knew I was just being lazy about it. So, I took the plunge and set up a page.

Since I was getting all tech savvy for the blog, I made myself a twitter account too! Woo hoo! I have to admit, I have no clue what to do with it, but I am sure I’ll learn along the way.

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April SRC: Cooking from “I Was Born to Cook”

I have been busy the past few days and it’s going to be like that for the next few days as well. This is also the reason why there have been no Office Thursdays for a while and I missed last week’s GMT.

I’ll try to blog as often as I can but if I go missing in between it’s because my in-laws are here and I will be busy catching up with them. Also, unlike with V, where I can tell him to wait for food while I photograph stuff, I doubt I’ll be able to do that now.

Fortunately, I was able to make and photograph my SRC assignment few days back, and able to schedule my post while V’s parents were getting over their jet lag.

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March SRC: Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza

My SRC assignment for the month of March was to make something from the site Baking & Boys.

Baking and Boys is a blog managed by the talented Katrina. Katrina has been blogging since Feb, 2008- that means she has been blogging for more than 4 years now. This is how Katrina describes why she started this blog and how it turned out to be what it is today.

I started my blog just thinking I was going to keep my family and friends up-to-date with the boys. I’ve said it before, I just put some cake pictures of Sam’s first birthday party on here and then for some reason my favorite cinnamon rolls. Next thing I knew, this whole wonderful world of food blogging opened up before my eyes. I often say that baking and sharing and blogging are my sanity—which with this house full of boys I often find necessary! Keeps them fed and me sane. Sounds like a good combination. 😉 And here I am, four years later with just noticing yesterday that I now have 400 followers on my blog and 200 “likers” on Facebook.

I am glad she changed from just a daily journal to much more.
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February SRC: TSRI’s Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

I am not used to posting recipes one day after the other. And that is why I should have drafted this post earlier. Especially since this month I was very good at managing my SRC recipe selection. For once I did not procrastinate till the last moment to try a recipe. But that’s the only thing I was good at it this month.

I thought I would have the weekend to complete the writing part of the post- as the making part had been taken care of. But on Saturday, we had a pre-Super Bowl party at home and I got busy with that. And on Sunday, half day was spent hungover and the rest watching the super bowl. I also managed to lose $10 to V, betting on the Patriots to win! I was not happy.

So, as always, even though the intitial planning was great, by the end I was left rushing through another SRC post.

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December SRC: Brioche “Estonian Kringel” style

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Mini Fold Over Pear Tortes and Masala Chai

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An Apple a Day: The Heritage Cook’s Apple Crisp for September SRC

With fall just around the corner and the apple picking season on in orchards in Arizona, V and I thought of showing my parents to the Apple Annie’s orchard in Willcox this Sunday.

Sunday being lazy days, made us doubt our decision to go (it was a two hour drive to the orchard and we are lazy people). But our experience last year to the orchard and the near-by vineyard was so much fun that we decided we must show them the place before my dad leaves on Wednesday for India.

To kick start the apple-y mood, and to make space for the freshly picked apples we would bring back from the orchard, I decided to make apple crisp from the store bought ones in my refrigerator.

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Indonesian Ginger Chicken

It’s India’s Independence Day and though I would have liked to post something Indian today, its also the reveal date for the Secret Recipe Club. And true to the Indian personality, I’ll give more importance to another country than ours. And I don’t mean it in a mocking way. I think that’s something about Indians, a testimony seen in their past: they have always welcomed foreigners, their ideas and their culture with open hearts, absorbing it in with our own. This has resulted in a great influence in every aspect of the Indian life- most predominantly our food. And that’s what makes India so unique.

As one of my friends PB (from the garlic noodles fame) put on as her FB status:

“Can’t imagine what would my life be without jalebi & doodh, butter chicken & garlic naan, being stuck in traffic for hours, cribbing about the infrastructure in this city, alloo tikki in chandini chawk, my 3 am friends spread around this country, my fav city delhi, over the top expression of love among family…list is endless!!would I wish were born elsewhere??…nah…can’t help but feel partiotic!! Independence day is around the corner:)”

I remember when we were in school, 15th August was marked by flag hoisting, patriotic plays and songs being performed by us school children, a thought provoking speech given by the chief guest and then distribution of sweets to all the students and an overall feeling of being a proud Indian citizen!

This day also makes me even more proud of being born and brought up in a defence environment- dad’s an air force fighter pilot, brother a Naval fighter pilot, father-in-law a retired air force officer, grandfather a retired police officer and several others of my family in the defence. I am the kind of person who appreciates the efforts of all these individuals and others who serve the country every day of the year, but on Independence Day seeing others appreciate the sacrifices of such individuals, makes me even more proud of my family and privileged to be part of them. Jai Hind!

Anyway, coming to the secret recipe club (the brain child of Amanda).

This month’s assigned blog was Bizzy Bakes. Chaya’s emphasis here is on what she calls QED – Quick, Easy and Delicious recipes. In her words,

I find cooking and baking to be comforting and I truly enjoy all aspects of the culinary arts including the clean-up.

Chaya also has another blog: My Sweet and Savory that focuses on Chaya’s growth as a cook, and includes a variety of recipes and techniques.

Chaya also features Ina’s Garden a popular biweekly linky, on her blog Bizzy B. Ina’s Garden is a place for “all things Ina”. And being a fellow Ina Garten fan, I had to pick up a recipe from Chaya’s Ina’s garden post. And I found just the recipe, Indonesian Ginger chicken.

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Alfredo Sauce (With Fettuccine) for July SRC!

When V and I had gone to Ogden, Utah, for a week, we ate at this restaurant called Jasoh. I don’t remember now what V ordered, but I had ordered this alfredo fettuccine served with mushrooms and duck, topped with a chocolate gastrique. It was sooooooo good!

A gastrique is a reduction of vinegar and sugar brought to light caramelization, to which a little stock is added. It is a base to which many other ingredients, or just a few, can be added to form a sauce. It is generally used to create a sweet and sour sauce.

This was the first time I had eaten something savory that had chocolate in it and was really happy to have been adventurous enough to try it! I really wanted to try cooking the chocolate gastrique on fettuccine alfredo, but never got around to doing it.

So, when I was given “From Apples to Zucchini” for my this month’s SRC assignment, I was glad to know Pam had a recipe for Alfredo sauce. I had to give Pam’s recipe a try!

In From Apples to Zucchini, Pam focuses on recipes that feed her family responsibly, with as much nutrition as possible.  She takes great pride in remaking recipes to be healthier, lower in fat and calories than the original, just to prove that healthy doesn’t mean boring and tasteless. The discovery of this site couldn’t come at a better time- I have resolved that this time I am going to take my weight loss program seriously and I have a feeling Pam will be of great help!

Her version of the alfredo sauce is considerably less in fat than the actual version and still tastes great. Its an easy recipe and V and I enjoyed eating it. I also made the chocolate gastrique to go with it but was not as successful- of course, with some tweaks I made it good enough but not like how I had it at Jasoh. And since there were so many afterthought additions, there is no recipe that I can write here today.

Although the gastrique recipe is still a work in progress, Pam’s alfredo sauce recipe is a keeper! Its an easy recipe and as Pam points out its really light in calories as well!

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Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

It’s that time of the month again- the Secret recipe Club time. Amanda from Amanda’s Cookin’ started this fun club as a way to try other recipes and help introduce bloggers to each others’ blogs. Every month, each member is assigned another member’s blog and he/she has to try and post about a recipe from that person’s blog. My assigned blog for this month was Heather’s Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks.

Heather has a great blog with a lovely collection of recipes. She is a special education teacher and loves reading and of course, cooking. Occasionally she also posts reviews of the books she reads as part of her book club. Though she likes cooking, but baking is where her heart lies, much like me. So it had to be a baking recipe of hers that I decided to give a try.

I haven’t made bread for the longest time ever- been too lazy- not too lazy to make bread but extremely lazy to clean up after the baking is done. I hate that part of doing anything in the kitchen. I do not mind the cooking or baking but hate the utensils that pile up after I cook or bake, and that makes me lazy to make anything. And, being careless as I am, I make a whole lot of mess in the kitchen while I am at it, so the clean up just puts me off before even starting. But Heather’s Jalapeno Cheddar bread caught my eye and I knew this was what I wanted to make. So out with the lazy bones.

The only change I made to Heather’s recipe is that I substituted a part of the bread flour with whole wheat and reduced the cheese used to 1 cup instead of 1 1/2 cups (I love cheese but sadly, my waist and hips don’t)

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