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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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicken in Cashewnut sauce

I have always wondered what it is with nuts.
As a kid,I was never fascinated by the thought of them. Leave alone fascinated, I would be totally put off by the idea of even nibbling on them. In my part of the world, nuts would be a very handy option, used graciously in certain foods and oft-used as a snack. Peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts. My Dad, on his jaunts abroad would bring back packets of chocolate having macadamia nuts and hazelnuts jostling for space!As much as I loved having the chocolate on its own, I despised the idea of embarking on this wonderful journey of having silken chocolate running through your mouth and then suddenly have you teeth crackling on a hard nut, like an annoying boulder blocking the smooth path!This often compelled me to eschew the packets of chocolates altogether, much to the glee of my sister who would now had it all to herself!


As times changed, my aversion and bitterness towards nuts slowly diminished. I started enjoying walnuts and cashew nuts in cakes and brownies, savored those flaked pistachios in my ice-cream or 'Kheer' and enjoyed roasted hot peanuts, rolled in salt,black pepper and red pepper powder, while watching the cascading rains outside my window on many a rainy day. I was finally turning nutty after all!
While researching about food, which if my favorite pass time, I realized that Mid-eastern and Arabian cuisines have a whole treasure of skills in using nuts in their food - and that food means meat as well,not just desserts.Even in my own Indian cuisine, nuts find a place of prestige specially when it comes to Mughlai food. Finding all about that, I finally shed off my disdain and started using nutty pastes in my chicken and mutton curries and believe it or not, the result was magical every time!


A couple of weeks back,I cooked Chicken in cashew nut sauce for a couple of friends coming to dinner at our place and I was really flattered at the texture the rich cashew nut paste lent to the otherwise ordinary chicken curry. So I'm posting this recipe for today's post. Try it sometime, enjoy it and savor the goodness of the nuts after all!


Sending this recipe to 'Full Plate Thursday' at Miz Helen's place and 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop'!


Chicken in Cashewnut sauce
You will need:
Chicken - 500 gms
Red onions - 1 whole(if big) or 2 (if medium),roughly diced
Ginger - About an inch
Garlic - 3 to 4 fat cloves
Green pepper - Roughly diced
Green chilies - 2 to 3 chopped
Cashew nut - 150 gms, ground to a coarse paste with 1/4th cup of water in a blender
Turmeric powder - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin powder - 1 tablespoon
Roasted coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 a teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 2 teaspoons
Mustard/canola oil - 2 and 1/2 tablespoons, for cooking


How I made it:
1. Wash the chicken pieces well and run with some turmeric powder and cumin powder. Keep aside for 10-15 mins while the spice base is prepared.


2. In a wok, heat the cooking oil. Blend the red onions, ginger, garlic, green peppers and green chilies with half a cup of water in a blender to form a smooth,fragrant paste. When the oil is hot, add half a teaspoon of garam masala powder and after a few quick strokes, add the blended spice mixture to the oil. 


3. Allow the spice base to cook well and keep on stirring occasionally. When it starts changing color, add the turmeric, cumin, roasted coriander and red chili powders and give a good stir. Cook till oil starts coming out of the mixture, when you know it is time to add the chicken pieces.


4. Add the chicken pieces to the spice base and coat the chicken pieces well with the spices. Add salt as per taste and mix well. Next add about 2 cups of lukewarm water, or just enough to cover the chicken pieces and cover with a lid to let the chicken cook.
5. Keep a check on the chicken and it will take 15-20 mins to cook through and become soft. When the chicken is cooked, add the cashew nut paste to the chicken and stir everything together. The gravy will start thickening. Check the seasoning and add a bit more salt if require. Now turn off the flame and sprinkle the rest of the Garam masala poder over the top of the dish.Serve hot with any bread,roti or rice. Tastes good with anything as an accompaniment! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tales from afar with Sweet Tomato Relish

Here I am, back after a week-long vacation! I was actually having a whale of a time over Thanksgiving week - visiting places that I have been dreaming of visiting all throughout my life!
Six days, three time zones and seven states across - we visited Las Vegas and all the lights, glitz and glamour of this magical city left us mesmerized. The seductive dancing of the fountains of Bellagio, the canopied shops along the boulevard, the psychedelic lights adorning the hotels, the mystic temptation of the casinos and the maddening Friday night rush towards the city - everything transported us to a world where a gossamer's thread separated the decent from the brazen and one had to tread gingerly to avoid potential pitfalls!


Our next stop was Sedona, Arizona  - a neat, pretty little mountain village nestling along the shoulder of the Red Rock Canyon. One would be intimated by the red rocky terrain surrounding this mountain village. But when we witnessed the soft evening sunrays, filtering through the red and yellow leaves of the fall-ridden sycamore trees, playing a silent game of hide-and-seek with the towering rocks, we could not but wonder about the mysteries of Mother Nature.The flat-roofed Spanish-style villas, tucked cozily in nooks and crannies at the foothills of the rocks, took our breath away.


Grand Canyon National Park was a two hour drive from Sedona, and we managed to reach our destination late in the afternoon, grabbing a quick brunch at a Mexican kitchen on the way. The might of a river lurched me back to my senses, when peering through a pair of chain-attached binoculars, I could see the Colorado river right there in front of my eyes!Felt strange to imagine that a river could be powerful enough to fashion such a mammoth canyon!Well, I actually needed to see with my own eyes to believe!
'Leaving Las Vegas' and Grand canyon behind, it was an arduous nine hour drive through deserts to Los Angeles, California. A short but interesting city tour - Beverly Hills, Santa Monica beach, the Farmer's market ,Hollywood - followed by half a day at Universal studios left us spent for the day!But what a day it was - how much excitement can a heart hold in a day after all!We had not gotten enough of Hollywood and so early the next morning, we again made out for Hollywood. This time we had the tour of a lifetime - Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Kodak Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood walk of Fame - all of it was too much to behold! I sauntered along the sidewalk and saw people squatting on the Walk of Fame along their favorite stars, moviestar-lookalikes walking up and down looking for people to take photos with, a streetside crooner belting out a melodious Spanish number -  a mad frenzy of people lost in the lure of Hollywood!


Finishing up with LA, it was finally time to return home. The euphoria has stayed on although it has been a couple of days that we are back - guess it will take some time for the magic to die down and the heart to stop fluttering!In the meantime, Thanksgiving went by in all its festivity and I'm sure everyone had a pretty good time. Since Thanksgiving has heralded the advent of the Christmas spirit and the festivity is slowly building up, I will post the recipe for Sweet Tomato Chutney for today's post. This is a sweet relish and is a favored dessert item in our cuisine, taken at the end of a meal to let that sweet taste linger.I will, however, wish sweet beginnings for the festive season with this relish! 


Linking this up to 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop' and 'Midweek Fiesta # 5'!


Sweet Tomato Chutney/Relish
You will need:
Tomato - 250 gms, diced
Castor sugar - 100 gms
Ginger - About half an inch, finely chopped or grated
Bay leaves - 1 to 2,small
Dry Red chilies - 2 to 3
A pinch of turmeric powder
A pinch of salt
Cashewnuts (optional) - broken into halves
Raisins/Sultanas - soaked in warm water
Canola/Vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons


How I made it:
1. In a wok, heat up the oil and when hot, add in the bay leaves and dry red chilies. You can use whole green chilies if dry red chilies are not available, but the red chilies would give a smoky flavor to the Chutney.


2. Do not let the chilies burn. Now add the grated/chopped ginger. Now add the diced tomato and mix everything together. Cover with a lid and allow the tomato to cook. Remove the lid at regular intervals and mash the tomato slightly with the back of a spoon, till all of it becomes a pulp.


3. Once the tomato becomes pulpy and soft, add the salt and turmeric powder and mix well. Next add in all of the sugar. once the sugar starts caramelizing, the dish will take on its fiery red color. Keep on stirring till all the sugar caramelizes and the Chutney starts coming together.
4. Next add in the cashew nuts and raisins/sultanas and give everything a quick stir. put off the flame and give it a standing time of 10-12 mins. Your Sweet Tomato Chutney or relish is ready to serve. Serve this hot or cold - tastes good anyway. It can be had as a dessert item on its own or with fried 'Papad' ('Papad' is a sort of savory Indian snack that is a rolled out dough of finely ground lentils and spices, let out to dry in the sun. The dried paper-thin 'Papad' is then deep-fried or roasted as served as a crispy accompaniment).Have fun and relish till we meet again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vanilla Chocolate chip muffins

I am still on a baking spree and I'm still working hard on revamping my home.Just like that!
This Saturday I visited a flea market just a few good minutes from my home. I had buzzed passed the tiny shop(or so it looked from outside!) umpteen times so far, and even though I wanted to have a quick peek almost every time, I was not getting a chance to. So this bright,sunny autumn morning, I entered the doors and was completely taken aback to see that it was actually a gargantuan warehouse that ran farther inside and was immaculately made up. The shop owners had created little cubicle-like partitions - each of which resembled a cozy home and had decorated the pieces on sale as if they were arranged inside that home. The unending stock bowled me over as I gaped at regal lampshades adorning ornate wooden tables replete with flower pots with pretty flower arrangements in them. On end of the shop was reserved only for books and what a world of books they were! I took a deep breath and breathed in the mustiness that hung heavily in the air. 
The stock was mostly second-hand, as it happens in most flea markets, but the nattiness of the whole area amazed me! Rather than feel like scuttling around for old and used wares, the magnetism of the shop lay in the fact that one could feel the urge of welcoming a bit of history from someone else's life into one's own by carrying something from here. I spent a good two hours just whiling around that place - to me it seemed like a place where every little item had a tale to tell. 
I finally settled on a fancy lampshade for my bedside table - the shade the color of toasted almond flakes. A bouquet of yellow roses in chiffon, ready to bloom, was next in line as a perfect complement to the lampshade.A potted pink Tulip next caught my eye and I scooped it up to keep atop my hazelnut-colored wooden closet.And last was a pair of beautiful candle holders, all entwined in rich amber-hued flowers and leaves as green as newborn blades of grass.I happily carried everything home, a huge contented smile dancing on my lips and could not stop smiling till I had set everything up and coo-cooed at every little detail in the room. The details that I had so painstakingly painted just to call this house my home.


Off with my recipe for Vanilla muffins stuffed with chocolate chips, that I had baked that very evening to enjoy the essence of all my daytime conquests with my family.This is a very easy and very quick recipe for muffins and thanks to Laura Vitale, for showing me the way. Do check out her blog for more lovely recipes!Till then...thanks for checking in and have fun!!


Sending this post to 'Midweek Fiesta # 3' a lovely blog event at Amy's place, 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 15' and Zesty Palette Series #2 - Sinful Delights' at Vardhini's place!!!


Vanilla muffins with chocolate chips
You will need:


Dry ingredients:
Plain white all-purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Instant coffee powder - 1 teaspoon
A pinch of salt
Dark chocolate chips - 1 cup


Wet ingredients:
Butter - 1/2 cup, melted
Canola oil - 1/2 cup
White castor sugar - 1/2 cup
Light brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup
Plain or Vanilla-flavored Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Pure vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons
2 large eggs


How I made it:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line each individual muffin holder in a muffin tray with butter.


2. In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients and blend everything together well. Now take 2 tablespoons of this dry flour mixture and add it to the bowl of chocolate chips. This will help the chocolate chips spread evenly throughout the muffins while they are baking and not huddle at the bottom.


3. In another bowl, take all the wet ingredients together and whisk everything together with an electric mixer or by hand.


4. Once down, add the dry flour mixture in small batches to the wet mixture and fold it in well. Keep on doing this till all of the dry mixture has blended in well. Now strew over the chocolate chips in dry flour and give another good mixing to bring everything together. 
5. Now ladle the batter  into each of the buttered muffin holders in the muffin tray. Pour just enough to fill up each holder and leave some space for the muffins to puff out.Let the muffins bake for 15-18 mins or till a toothpick comes out clean.The insides of the muffin should be soft and spongy. Enjoy the bites in between sips of tea or coffee!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spiced Egg curry

Today is 11.11.11 and I had to write a post on this date - just to have a post with this date posted on my blog!!See how I'm caught in all the hype and hoopla!
Just the other day, I was reading a very amusing post about eggs. I should have bookmarked it for getting back to later on,but unfortunately I forgot!So forgive my clumsiness  - the gist of the whole matter was that, there is nothing more useful on the face of the earth than eggs. You use eggs for baking(lots of them actually), you use them to perk up the taste of your fish and chicken fries and cutlets, you curry them or you simple poach them or boil them and gulp!!
The Husband is so very fond of eggs that he won't hesitate to ask for a quick Omlette even if the meal has more dishes that one can eat and digest!To him, eggs can be everything, starting right from being appetizers to desserts!I don't say I disagree - but what irks me is the invisible hand I extend to all those evil cholesterol levels swirling inside our bodies, every time I serve an egg. Till sometime back, I believed that the yolks are to be blamed for high cholesterol levels and should be shunned, while the whites cause no harm and can be taken to the heart's fill.That really put me in a dilemma given the Husband's crazy fascination with eggs and my maniacal desire to bake! Neither of these two could do without eggs!
But then, along came this informative post which very lucidly described that eggs are after all good for the health. For people allergic to eggs, it is definitely a strict no-no. But if taken in balanced quantities, they do more good than bad to the body.Ahem,ahem - whether I provide my consent to this is not a concern anymore in my household because anyhow all my worries have always been very un-majestically ''tsked,tsked''! So on one of those days this week, when the mercury plummeted uncannily and the chilly winds sent shivers down the spine, I cooked my authentic Bengali-style Egg Curry or 'Deemer Dalna' (Deem - Egg;Dalna - Curry) and we had it ,all brimming with fragrant spices, with fried Indian Flat bread. Need I say more about how the Husband licked off the plate clean that night?!?


Bengali-style Spiced Egg Curry (Deemer Dalna)
You will need: 
4 large eggs, hard boiled
1 whole onion, roughly cubed
About an inch and a half of fresh ginger, cubed
4-5 fat garlic cloves
Green peppers, roughly chopped
Green chilies, chopped
Tomato - 1 whole,diced
Turmeric powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Roasted coriander powder - 1 tablespoon (dry roast the coriander seeds in a skillet and then blend to a powder in the blender)
Red chili powder - 2 teaspoons
Garam masala powder - 1 tablespoon
Bay leaves - 2 to 3
Salt to taste
Mustard/Canola oil for frying the eggs and cooking the curry - About 3 tablespoons
Fresh Cilantro,finely chopped (optional,but good to have) - for garnish


How I made it:
1. Shell the hard-boiled eggs and rub with some salt and turmeric powder. Heat the oil in  pan, and when hot, add the cooked eggs and shallow fry till the outsides are lightly fried. Do not over-fry as that cause the eggs to become hard.


2. In a blender, blend together the onion,ginger,garlic,tomato,green peppers and green chilies to form a smooth paste. Keep a few cloves of garlic aside and chop them up finely.


3. To the same oil in the pan, add the bay leaves and the finely chopped garlic. When the garlic is slightly fried, add about 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala powder and fry it with the bay leaves and garlic for a couple of seconds. Next add in the blended spice mixture and mix everything together quickly.


4. Allow the water from the spice mixture to disappear and when the mixture changes color to a slight reddish, add the turmeric powder, cumin and roasted coriander powder, red chili powder and salt as per taste. Add a little water to dissolve all the dry spices and give a quick stir.Allow to cook and when oil starts leaving the edges, you know that the spice mixture is ready.


5. Now the spice mixture will change color to a deep amber. At this point, slide in the fried whole eggs in the pan and coat well with the cooked spice mixture. Add about half a cup of water to form a nice,simmering,thick gravy and mix everything together.
6. For the final touch, sprinkle the remaining Garam Masala powder over the curry and garnish with coriander and split or whole green chilies.It is usually eaten as an accompaniment to white rice, but it can as well be enjoyed with any kind of bread. Hope you enjoy cooking this dish and have a great weekend ahead!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marble cake with Chocolate chips

I am a happy creature today. Because I can bake cakes! 
Just a couple of posts back, I was telling you all about how intimidated I am about the idea of cooking a perfect cake. But now I realize that the time I've spent on literally slopping up every bit of footage time of the Nigella and Rachael Allen shows on TV and browsing blogs with scrumptiously crafted cakes peering out at me has not all been in vain! Not that I can bake cakes as good as any of these expert bakers, leave aside Rachael and Nigella, but at least I now have the courage to try. And that's what makes me happy!

So when the Birthday Boy, staying far away from home, missed getting his cake delivered on time, I decided to bake a very simple homemade Marble cake with chocolate chips in it. His wife had lovingly couriered him a Birthday cake from back home (ya,I know that sounds daunting,but that is exactly how much he means to her maybe!) that would reach him on the morning of his Birthday. But somehow things got muddled up and the UPS man left without delivering the cake!I felt bad for the poor chap and then it clicked, why not a homemade cake just to cheer him up!So we had a fun time last evening, gorging on the Marble cake and wishing him lots of happiness and good cheer on his birthday.
I failed to make the swirls look very distinct (have to work on this next time) and since I was taking it as a gift, couldn't cut and take clicks of the inside.All that apart, it made me happy from inside, just because I could do it.


Sending this to 'Bake Fest#1' at Zesty Palette ...
and 'Winter Carnival' at Tickling Palates!Check out the lovely events!

Marble cake with Chocolate chips
You will need:
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Brown Muscavado sugar - 1/2 cup
Castor sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter (softened) - Half a stick
Vegetable oil - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon, in 1/4th of a cup of hot water
Instant coffee powder - 2 teaspoons, in 1/4th of a cup of hot water
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Pure Vanilla extract - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
Chocolate chips - 1 cup

How I made it:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray with butter/margarine or parchment paper.
2. In a deep-bottomed bowl, add the butter, vegetable oil, brown and castor sugar and cream everything together with an electric beater.

3. Add the eggs one by one,beating the mixture well after every egg. Add pure vanilla extract, baking soda and the chocolate chips and finally beat everything together well.

4. Take half of the mixture in a smaller bowl and add the cocoa powder and instant coffee liquids into that mixture. Mix well. So now you have two batters with you, one the chocolate batter and the other without the chocolate.

5. In the baking pan, place a spoon of the white batter at one corner and alternate it with a spoon of dark batter next to it. Keep on alternating the two mixtures,till both of them have been used up. Essentially,it should look like a brown and white checkered chessboard.Now using a clean toothpick or a skewer, gently swirl through the mixture creating random patterns. Swirl with very light strokes, otherwise it may all become chocolate colored, nullifying the whole effect (as has somewhat been in my case!)
6. Now bake it in the oven for about 35-40 mins or till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Enjoy with a hot mug of coffee and enjoy your evening!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tilapia in sauce

It has always been a habit to catch with the day's news - even if it be at the fag end of the day!Reading the newspaper has always been sort of a relaxant for me - ever since I was old enough to properly read on my own.I guess its a habit that my Maa coaxed me to imbibe. When I was a kid, my Maa would thrust the newspaper in my lap whenever I would start to get cranky. I would start off by using my Dad's ball pen to scribble and scratch and when that would yield no audience, I would climb right on top of the newspaper and try to exercise my nascent knowledge of the English alphabets, punctuated by mindless sounds and occasional guffaws!And that I guess,was the beginning of my loyal relationship with the newspaper that stuck on!
Times have changed and now I check out the news on my laptop. But I feel saddened to see how much the print media has changed over the years. They say its a global revolution of the media industry - I say its the end of simplicity and credibility. Because all that the print media now does is rent out space for advertisements (apparently that is where the moolah comes in from!), fuel inane rumors about celebrities and fan them with all their might to help revv up sales and even create sensational news - the credibility part being unabashedly thrown off to the winds!I would love to filter out the actual,useful news that comes my way but unfortunately that is so insignificant a number that it beggars a mention!Do you feel the same about today's print media? Do let me know your thoughts!
Leaving all the rant behind, I move on to my recipe for today's post. It is a very simple yet very tasty Tilapia fish preparation that has a perky sauce to go with it. I love eating fish and people back home know just how great a fish-lover I am. And luckily enough, so is the Husband! Mostly,I tend to cook fish the Indian, rather the Bengali way because that's what I like. Initially I would be skeptical about the spices - whether they would gel with the fish available here. But cooking over time, I realized that they jolly well do - specially the Tilapia! So here goes my recipe - hope you will enjoy it and have a great weekend ahead!


Linking this recipe up to the 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 73' , 'Midweek Fiesta # 3' a lovely blog event at Amy's place and the 'Fish Blog Hop' at Katherine's place!!!


Tilapia in sauce
You will need:
Tilapia fillets - 3 cut into halves (I use the packaged Tilapia fillets from the 'Frozen' section of the store I usually shop from)
Indian Five spice - 1 teaspoon (Readily available in Asian/Indian stores - commonly known as 'Panch phoron')
Turmeric powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1 and half tablespoons
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Red Chili powder - 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Green chillies - 4-5; Finely chop 2-3 and split the rest for garnishing the dish.
Salt, to taste
Mustard/Canola oil for cooking - 3 tablespoons


How I made it:
1. Defrost the Tilapia fillets and wash well. Rub each of the halves with some salt and some turmeric powder and keep aside for 5-10 mins.
2. Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is hot enough, carefully shallow fry the fish fillets. Fry the fillets on both sides till a light golden brown. When done, drain the fried fish pieces on a paper napkin and keep aside.
3. To prepare the sauce, add the teaspoon of Indian Five Spice to the same oil. When it starts to splutter, add in the chopped green chilies.
4. In a separate bowl, add all the powdered dry spices - the rest of the turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chili powder and mix together. Add a small cup of water to the spices and mix everything well. Next add all of it to the pan and give a good stir.
5. Add salt to the sauce as per taste and let it come to a boil. Add in the fried fish pieces to the sauce and allow everything to come together for another 2-3 mins.
6. Garnish with split green chilies and serve hot with white rice. Enjoy a healthy and nutritious meal and wallow in the joy of this comfort food!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yet another award - the Triple Cute Awards!

I have done something which I seldom ever do! Although I am a self-professed procrastinator and I've admitted so very truthfully in one my posts, I hate to procrastinate when it comes to thanking someone.


A couple of days back, I was greatly elated to find that Kalyani of Kalyani's Platter has been kind enough to pass on the 'Triple Cute Awards' award to me.Thanks so much Kalyani -  I am humbled! Any token of appreciation for my work is extremely coveted and this I say with all my heart! 
I was supposed to write a post on this and share this award with 7 more bloggers - but things kept holding me back! So in today's post, I have the privilege of passing on this beautiful award to 7 talented bloggers. Please do check out their lovely blogs!


Amalia at Cake to Crumb
Marelie at Cookie Droplets etc.
Patsy at Pattycakes in the Kitchen
Jaya at Spice and Curry
Kitty at Kitty's Kozy Kitchen
Amelia at Amelia's De-ssert
Tamara at Bite my Cake


Congratulations to each one of you!Please do come over and collect your award - hope you will display it on your blogs! An earnest request - please do write a post about this award and pass this on to other bloggers of your choice and help in spreading the love and appreciation.


I do have drafts lying ready to be posted, but all the stress has taken its toll!I will be back soon with another of my recipes suffused with my mindless banter, as always:) Take care in the meantime and have fun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Black & White Wednesday - Repose...

Lovely autumn is in full swing!The trees across my balcony are now covered in bright red and golden leaves instead of the usual green. Nature has its own magic at play.How else could one explain this dazzling canopy of red and gold against a sun-filled and clear azure sky?I just love gazing at the swaying branches for hours together and feel the tickle of the bittersweet autumn breeze sashay through my hair.


I have been baking cakes like a maniac for the past couple of weeks. Not because I need to bake them,but just because I want to try,try,try and finally succeed. I have never been too good at baking for the simple reason that it was not one of the commonest things that got cooked in my Maa's kitchen. She did have an old-fashioned cake oven that she used rarely. But after a minor mishap involving a blow-up, the cake oven went kaput and Maa never insisted much on getting it mended. So, store-bought cakes were more or less in vogue at our home.


Still Maa never hesitated to pass on her knowledge about baking cakes - the most important being that in baking,proportion does make a huge difference and one has to be very careful about that.All this got registered cozily in my mind but still I couldn't muster the courage to bake one of my own. Till I entered blog land!And all the awesome bakers out here with their lovely cakes left me absolutely breathless!I trudged with halting steps into baking territory, baking straight-shot cakes at first and carefully steering off fancy ones, but deep in my mind I longed to bake one.After a good number of trails,I did bake my first coming-of-age cake last week which was a simple fruit and nuts cake.
Once it was baked, I photographed my work of art with elan and mind-boggling satisfaction!I have tried to portray one of my photos in black and white and will be sending this to Susan's marvelous event Black & White Wednesdays at the Well-Seasoned Cook
I have titled it 'Repose...'.As for the recipe, it is a hackneyed one as you all might agree,but still I will share my version   for it in another post. Till then...happy cooking,happy baking and happy clicking everyone!