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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ramblings about things 'Royal' - and Macaroni in white pasta sauce

So all the hullabaloo over the Royal wedding is finally rubbing off me!

The Queen's shy but charismatic grandson is getting married.To a charming girl who will turn over from a commoner to a 'Royal' within a matter of a few rituals and regal formalities.

It all brings back memories of that elegant wedding that Prince Charles and the demure Lady Diana Frances Spencer had on the cloudy and tepid July morning in 1981.I didn't quite ever realize the aura around the British Royal family until sometime in the early Nineties,as a young girl, I was mesmerized at this doe-eyed beauty peering out at me from a weekly magazine cover.She had porcelain skin and almond-shaped Kohl-rimmed eyes - her blonde hair trimmed shapely with fringes shading those intent eyes.I grew interested and started looking up magazines to read all about her.Those were the days when Internet did not figure in human vocabulary(seems strange to imagine today!) and so all I could gather was that she was a royal princess to a prince who would one day become King and she his Queen.
 Then news starting hitting stands of things going amuck in the royal relationship.It seemed foolish at times to be thinking so much about something so discernibly unreachable-but there was something in this lady that made her close to people who watched her.Something so unlike the usual royal demeanor.

And when it all ended in a flash on an August day in 1997,my heart sank,like many others round the world.I watched her royal cortege escort her to her final resting place - a live transmission by BBC for viewers worldwide.The short life she lived was so blatantly public somewhere and yet so surreptitiously clandestine at times.I felt sorry for a young mother and her mourning sons.

Whatever that leaves us with,it will be exciting to watch an affair as extravagant as a royal wedding when the Prince weds his Princess on Friday - sans all the nitty-gritties that come with it!And I for one,will not at all miss out on that!
And while I'm keeping an eye on all shows on television leading to a countdown to D-day,I'm trying to create short but peppy recipes to make the Husband's heart grow fonder without missing out the episodes;)So today I'll post my Macaroni in White Pasta Sauce recipe which is rich and creamy and very easy to prepare at the same time.I used Macaroni in this recipe just because I had them in my kitchen,but any pasta would be right as rain for this recipe.I also happen to like the sea-shell look of the Macaroni-and love to devour spoonfuls of the cream-dipped roundlets.So on with my recipe and wish everyone Bon Appetit!

Sending this post and my pasta recipe to 'Presto Pasta Nights # 211', a lovely event that originated at Ruth's place 'Presto Pasta Nights' that is being co-hosted by Theresa of 'Food Hunter's Guide to cuisine'.

Also linking this up to 'Fresh, Clean and Pure Friday' hosted by Roz at her  exquisitely beautiful blog titled 'la belle vita'.

Monday, April 25, 2011

And now for the surprise...

So as promised - I'm back with the surprise!

The last couple of days I was busy fashioning out my surprise - and all the while the thoughts of a small girl,some good number of years back, kept coming back to me.The small girl would be a quiet and shy girl who would apparently be a bit drawn back but loved to make friends.She would paint and dance and sing and play with her friends.And she would very willingly take part in painting contests at the gentle behest of her parents.Her parents would want their little one to enjoy herself in whatever humble way they could afford to.

But the little girl never had too much luck in winning contests.She would huff and puff and try her best,but someones's best would always surpass her.Being a kid,she prayed for one time when her painting would be held up for everyone to see and she would beam a smile just like everyone else.But most of the time,all she came back with be her parents unending encouragement to try harder next time.She believed in them  - but felt bad deeper somewhere.

All that her little heart ever craved was not a trophy,not a medal - but a wee bit of recognition.How lovely it would be if all her friends held hands together and maybe shared a bar of chocolate among themselves!Wouldn't that be better than caring who got the medal and who did not - and wouldn't everyone feel good about it!

Coming back to my surprise, I really wanted to give back something for all the lovely people who participated in my event.I would like to give a humble award to each of four categories that I chose from the entries that I had - and believe me,I must tell you that it was extremely and unimaginably hard to select!There was not one award for which I could choose a single entry and that speaks for itself:)

So to start with, the 'Most Savory Bread' award goes to Tina of 'Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner' for her amazing 'Siopao', Lana of 'Bibberche' for her 'Rosemary Focaccia' and Trisha of 'My Hobbie Lobbie' for her 'Easy Garlic Rolls with Red Chilly Flakes' recipe.Congratulations!!
Next is the the 'Most Innovative Bread' award and it again goes out to three lovely ladies - Morsels of Life for her amazing 'Lemon Basil Monkey Bread' recipe,Carrie of 'My Favorite Finds' for her 'Homemade Bread Bowls' and Denise of 'Bread Expectations' for her 'Really Easy Soft Pretzels' recipe.Congratulations!!
Coming up next is the 'Most Decorative Bread' award and I really had a tough time deciding on this!I was almost reprimanding myself at one point as to why I ever chose this category - simply because so many of them fit!But finally I chose Sonia of 'My Creative Flavors' for her enticingly beautiful 'Whole wheat banana bread with cinnamon' (just check out the ribbon-wrapped loaf!) and Jaya of 'Spice and Curry' for her 'Banana Blueberry Walnut loaf'.I'm so sorry that both the recipes I chose had banana in them,but I was really going bananas in a way:) Congratulations ladies!!
And now for the heftiest one!I must have gone bonkers when I was selecting for this award but I just had to choose all five because they all had a unexplainable warmth cushioning them almost like the shallow heat ebbing out of smoking embers on a snowing wintry night.I'm pleased to gift the 'Most Original Bread Recipe' award to Debbie of 'Debbie does Dinner' for her 'Apple Cinnamon Streusel Amish Friendship Bread cake', MsNotSoPerfect of 'Ms Not So Perfect' for her 'Lebanese Bread' (thanks for sharing your story and lovely illustrations!),Heather of 'Girlichef' for her 'Onion Baguettes' recipe,Sarah of 'Spoonful of delight' for her her delectable 'Vegetable Cutlets' and last but not the least Cynthia of 'Tastes like Home' for her amazing 'Cross Buns'.Congratulations!!
Please accept your awards and display them very proudly at your places!You deserved it!:)

And now,for all my lovely friends out there who participated - a token of my appreciation to each and everyone of you.I would love you to accept this badge as my way of saying 'Thanks' for being there at my event.I look forward to your participation very eagerly again the next time!
See you soon!Keep posted in the meantime!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A lengthy note of thanks - heart to heart!

I was lying low all this while.I truly was!

From the day I announced the first event on my blog till the day it closed, I wanted to stay by the sidelines and be a spectator to whatever was going to follow.When I first stumbled upon the idea to host my own event,the reaction I got from myself was a quavering mishmash of trepidation,self-doubt and big dollops of self-induced discouragement!Almost to the point of not hosting one.But then something told me that I needed to go ahead - and I hosted my event.

Debbie,Champa,Rumana,Lisa,MsNotSoPerfect,MalaysianDelicacies,Jane,Tina,Sonia,ComfyCook,Em and M,Marelie,MM,Treat and Trick, Morsels of Life,Sarah from 'I blame my mother' and Sarah from 'Spoonful of delight',Carrie,Heather,Trisha,Jaya,Kristy,Lana,Cynthia,SnoWhite and last but not at all the least, Denise and Ayantika - A BIG THANKS to all of you for making my event a resounding success!:)
       Pic source - www.fotosearch.com
For a month,me,myself and my blog waited with bated breath for entries to trickle in.I say so because I was still wallowing in this huge sea of self-doubt and apprehension.And then it happened!The first two entries came in from this lovely lady whom I'd met just a couple of weeks back on a blog event - thanks dear Debbie:)I cannot express in words the happiness and joy I felt when I opened my mail one fine morning and found your recipes linked up to my event.You figure on the golden pages of my blogger life's history as the very first friend to post me a recipe for my very first bloggie event!

And then they started tumbling in- one by one!Every morning at work,I would not miss the daintiest chance  to sneak upon my blog and scout for a new link-up.And yes I'll be unabashedly confessional here - scout for an even greater reason for excitement -  a new comment!It felt so good to know that there were people out there who didn't know me ever but who cared to take time to post a recipe and leave a line for my blog event- a diminutive speck of a place in wondrously gargantuan blogosphere!And never before did I have so many comments - the feeling was absolutely out-of-the-world!

And then there was dear Denise,who almost put up with a struggle to post a beautiful recipe of hers to my event.She had to take her link back for a teeny-weeny correction and wanted to re-post her entry but an impudent technical hitch would not makes things easy for her!And guess what - it was so touching to know that she finally managed to do it and that too from a borrowed laptop!Dear Denise,can I thank you enough ever?

I would not miss out on speaking of my dear friend Cynthia - not only did she link up her fantastic recipe to my event but she left me such a heart-warming note.I cannot help but say that you often miss out on such touching gestures even while interacting with real people in real life in the real world - and how so surprising that you manage to find it here in the virtual world!Realisations that make you stop and think and savor for a lifetime!

And then there were friends who stopped by to let me know that they would come back and post me a recipe - and post they did!

Maybe all this exhilaration is because everything is happening the first time for me - I know that seasoned bloggers will agree and give me a conniving wink;) - but it was really heartening to know that I was on people's minds and they thought of my blog and my event when they cooked and baked!My love to you all!

So now that my event has finally wrapped up,I would like to invite each and everyone to please come back and take a look around at the splendid collection that my event has managed to garner:)The theme was anything and everything that had a hint of 'Bread' in it and I have this treasure trove of freshly baked and cooked delicacies at my place - I could almost start a virtual Deli here, eh?And of course,I still can't stop wondering at how immensely talented and creative people can actually be!
           Pic source - www.fotosearch.com
So please be my guest this Easter and enjoy the posts during the long weekend!I do have a couple of small surprises for you - but I need some time to come out of my stupor - right now all I want to do is bask listlessly in the humble glory of having become richer  by a culinary fortune:)

Thank you each and everyone for participating - Happy browsing,Happy cooking and Happy Easter everyone!See you soon!

P.S - Ayantika sent me her lovely recipe for Pineapple-Zucchini bread but unfortunately she missed the linky timing by a whisker.Nevertheless, I could not let my readers miss her nice recipe.So I'll post it right here for everyone to enjoy along with the rest!

Pineapple-Zucchini bread