Tag: blog

Pudding à la Catastrophe

I am sure if you have been around the food blogging word, the Zebra cake is something you would have come across and ooh’ed and aah’ed over. (And at the same time thought, why could I have not thought of such a thing!)

A unique take on the marble effect, I got introduced to this cake via this site. And I just had to make it.

And I did.

And it turned out really well. I served it when I had coffee for my friends at my place, and everyone was impressed by how the cake looked and tasted. V too loved the cake, but by the time he got to eat it in the evening, only a piece of it was left. So, I made it again (because it really is that simple to make). Once again it came out wonderful. But I did not blog about the cake, because I was not too happy with the pictures. I knew I would make it again and that’s when I would share it with you all.

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Oven baked Rutabaga Fries, a Review & a Giveaway

So after more than a month of no blogging, I am back and plan to keep it that way. I could give you the reasons for not blogging, but I realize I will just end up whining. And that is something I just don’t want to do, especially today.

Since I have been away for so long I thought I would come back with not only a recipe but a giveaway as well.

A few weeks back Ariosto seasonings sent me some samples to review.  (Do understand that even though these samples are free, I have not been paid for the review and the opinion I share today is unbiased, or as far as being unbiased goes)

Ariosto seasonings have been very popular in Italy for over 47 years. They have an excellent range of Italian seasonings which combine the right amount of specially selected herbs, spices and Sicilian sea salt to perfectly flavor meat (chicken, beef, pork and lamb), fish and side dishes. The seasonings use herbs such as rosemary, sage, juniper, bay, oregano, garlic, thyme, sweet marjoram, basil, coriander, onion, parsley, carrot and celery to create traditional Mediterranean mixes. All the seasonings are natural as they don’t contain preservatives, colorings or MSG.

I received several packages of Ariosto seasonings. One was for poultry and meat, one for tomato sauces, one for roasted or fried potatoes, one for fish, and one with garlic and chili pepper.

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Tish Boyle’s Luxe Pound Cake

I think I’m still a kid and no I do not mean the “young-at-heart” kind of way (though I wish I did). But, in the way that I need my mommy (no, that’s not what I call her) whenever things just seem a little too difficult to handle.

Well, uhm… kid would be putting it mildly. Baby would be the correct (although harsher) term, but let’s just be kind and think of me as a kid.

So the other day, my ankle (the very ankle that had gotten sprained months back) started swelling again, making working in the kitchen kind of difficult.

If that was not enough, I get a huge bump on my head thanks to me hitting it against a real sharp edged table. How did that happen? Let’s just say that I am really clumsy.


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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Channa Masala with easily available ingredients

I started Garam Masala Tuesdays with three aims- one, to familiarize non-Indians with Indian cooking; two, to familiarize Indian cooking to Indian ladies like me, who had only recently forayed into Indian cooking and who like me did not have the pleasure of their moms to guide them through various aspects of Indian food and three, to share recipes handed down by my mother or friends or relatives or seen on different sites along with giving a little background about the dish.

Now, because of the above three aims I am always in a dilemma when I write any post for the GMT. I wonder if I am writing the recipes for Indians, non-Indians or for Indians who are living abroad.

Indians living in India have access to all kinds of spices and vegetables and their taste buds are used to eating Indian flavored dishes. Indians living abroad have access to most spices, but might not have access to all and if they have been born and raised abroad might not be used to the different flavors of Indian cuisine. Non-Indians might not have any of the spices and even though they like Indian food, they might find it a pain to stock up on the oh-so-many spices that most Indian dishes call for. On the other hand, if I post a recipe without the necessary spices, Indians who might cook from my blog will lose out on the flavor that these very spices hand to the dish- and then for them the particular dish won’t be the real thing.

So, the dilemma always remains- how do I make sure I cater to everyone’s needs?

Of course I can’t and won’t even attempt to. And today I thought I’ll try to cook from a non-Indian’s pantry perspective. I think that’s something that GMT misses out on occasions.

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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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Guest Post for The Heritage Cook: Mom’s Date Cake

I was introduced to Jane’s site when she was assigned my blog as part of her Secret Recipe Club assignment. But it was when I was assigned her blog a few months later (as part of my SRC assignment) is when I really took to her blog, bookmarking tons of recipes. I finally zeroed in on an apple crisp recipe from her site and loved it.

A few days later I tried her red wine poached pears recipe, one of the many I bookmarked. And that recipe too was absolutely amazing.

Basically what I am trying to say here is that I just love Jane’s blog and all her recipes.

So when she asked for some help with guest posts, I jumped at the opportunity. I also owed her for the delicious coconut layer cake recipe that she had guest posted on my blog.

I decided to share my mom’s famous date cake recipe, which has got my mom several compliments over the past few years.

Some call it the sticky date pudding, but I have always known it as Date Cake with toffee sauce. The sauce is to die for and the cake is perfect served heated for just a few seconds in the microwave.

Head over to The Heritage Cook for the recipe. This is one recipe you would definitely want to try!

March Daring Bakers’: Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

So, I finally got to see The Hunger Games Movie. After waiting out the weekend for my gang of girls to get back from their spring break vacation so that we could all watch it together, we finally went for the movie yesterday.

And well, I am not sure how I want to react to the movie. I liked it. But, as much as the book? No way.

I do understand that fitting 384 pages in a two hour twenty two minutes movie is a task and while Gary Ross has done a good job bringing Suzanne Collins’ book to the big screen, I somehow feel, had I not read the books I would be a little lost during the movie. Knowing the entire back story was a definite advantage. There were lot of instances, where had I not read the book, I would have been totally confused as to what just happened. Also, I remember rooting for Peeta and Katniss’ love story, but in the movie the chemistry between them left me indifferent to the idea of the two together. If only left to the movie, I would have been on Team Gale for sure.

Since the people I went with had read the books, we knew the back story well, but I would really like to know what the people who haven’t read the book thought about the movie. Do feel free to comment here.

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Chocolate Ice Cream Philadelphia Style

Off lately I haven’t been too blog social.

Besides writing the occasional blog post, I haven’t been spending too much time online, (except for prying on other people’s lives on Facebook, but that doesn’t count, does it?)

Anyway, I haven’t been able to visit the lovely blogs on blogosphere and telling the oh-so-many talented bloggers out there how much I love their recipes and posts. I am sorry. I truly am. I also have been very lazy with replying to the lovely people who have been leaving comments on my blog. I know its the rudest thing possible, but please know each and every comment you leave makes my day.

I am just bad at all this.

That’s one of the biggest reasons why I don’t have a facebook fan page (besides the obvious- the fear of not having anyone to like my fan page!). I know fan pages require constant updates and interactions. And even though I would like to be interactive, I am very lazy with such things.

That’s also why I have no twitter account. Keeping up with my own personal facebook page can be a task, I don’t think I would be able to manage twitter as well.

Maybe I should have a ghost writer too! Maybe that way NY times would talk about me too!

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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Even before you are in front of a Cinnabon outlet in a mall, you know its near you with the cinnamon aroma hovering all around it. When that cinnamon air hits you, there is no looking back. You are already opening your wallet, taking your credit card or cash out, and in a trance, walking towards the origin of the smell of cinnamon mixed with yeasty goodness.

Now, Cinnabon did not come to India till a little over two years back. Had it not been for my friend the Pious Hippie from college I would not have been introduced to Cinnabon’s cinnamon rolls for a long time. I would have for long still been unaware of their ooey, gooey, incredible cinnamon buns with the most addictive smothering of frosting.

Once I was hooked, there was no return. Since there was no place in India then, where we could get cinnabon style cinnamon rolls, I took to making them at home. This was more than 4 years back. I think I found a recipe on allrecipes.com. Not sure though, because I just noted down the recipe in my diary; back then The Novice Housewife did not exist, it was just a diary with recipes scribbled in it.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Punj Rattani Dal

Dals are an integral part of Indian meals. In some form or the other, they are eaten daily in almost every Indian home.

Dals- lentils or pulses- are varieties of dried beans and peas. They are the main source of proteins for the average vegetarian Indian. Although dal generally refers to split pulses, in actuality there are two types of dal. Whole pulses are known as sabūt dal and split pulses as dhuli dal. The hulling of a pulse is intended to improve digestibility and palatability, but as with milling of whole grains into refined grains, this affects the nutrition provided by the dish, reducing dietary fiber content

Each state in India cooks its dal in different ways.  In south, dal is mostly eaten in the form of sambhar. People of Uttar Pradesh swear by toovar dal which is tempered with asafoetida, cumin seeds and sometimes garlic. Punjabis love their dal whole and unhulled, in the form of the delicious dal makhani, or rajma to accompany their rice or chole with their bhaturas.

When I have to describe dal to people in America who haven’t eaten it, the easiest way is to give them a picture of a lentil soup, although dal is a far cry from just a simple soup. The dal that we have is not as watery as soup, generally being creamier (without necessarily adding cream). A well cooked dal is generally quite thick, but sometimes just to keep it light, people thin it down a bit, such being the case for some of the dals that are cooked in southern India.

The tadka or the tempering is what gives a dal its distinct flavor, and is probably what distinguishes it from soups.

Tempering involves heating oil/ ghee in a small pan, to which whole spices are added, which in turn is poured over the cooked dal. Tempering can be simple with a little asafoetida and cumin seeds being tempered in some ghee/or oil, and then mixed in with the cooked dal. Or it can be elaborate by tempering some onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in ghee/oil, before adding to the cooked dal.

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