Category Archives: Cooking

I Cooked – P…

First of all apologies for writing so slow, these days I am really really busy. Why ? I will let you know about that story too.  So much to write,about Paris, about little one, about me , about us but I am not getting time enough to write. Today morning I decided to complete three posts. So here is the first post about the cooking I did the last weekend.  I cooked two dishes which I loved them, one of them is PIZZA 🙂

Yeah I made Pizza from scratch and I am proud of it. From dough to sauce and they turned out pretty nice.

Shape the dough, spread the sauce and put some vegetables

time for some Cheese 🙂

Yummy !!

Tadaaaaah !!

I was so excited that day, eating Pizza that I made myself.  And glad that it turned out tasty as well.

The next dish is PANCAKE. On Sunday we had pancakes for brunch and that too made from scratch. I had my first Pancakes in Denny’s (very famous diner chain in America), since then I loved them. Now in London I missed them badly, we got tons of frozens brands available but I like them fresh. I tried a couple of recipes before but they were not as good as they should be. But this Sunday they were perfect….

Pancakes with Strawberries

now lets drizzle some honey on it..

Mmmmmmmmmm..

I know you must be thinking of recipe now, see I am going to share not only recipe but a person who helped my cooking to another level.  I have followed him for more than 2 years now and at this point of time I can cook anything closing my eyes – yeah !!. His name is Sanjay Thumma and his food channel on youtube is Vahchef/Vhah-reh-Vhah. I made many dishes with his recipes and believe me they turned out delicious. His early videos are super annoying, I don’t even liked him initially but Vishal kept watching him and he was the one who tried his recipes first.  He really made cooking very easy, I made those dishes I only dreamt of. So if you are looking for some good recipes you should definitely try Vahchef, I am trying them for past 2 years and they are pretty good.

Till then Bon Appetite !!

Baking (no Soda)

Before I cry about my Baking disaster first I would like to tell you about my special encounter with the one of the contestant of the Great British Bake Off.  Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I saw Jas. I am sure very few of you heard of her or the show. I followed it religiously and I was thrilled her to see next to me. Show was about amateur bakers who love home baking and want to put their skills to the test. It was a nice show and Jas was the only British Asians contestant and I guess she stand fourth in the competition. I even talked to her [I know I am sounding like I saw Katrina Kaif but to me it’s the ground reality and I am happy to see Jas rather than Katrina].

In earlier post I told you about how I liked Gingerbread loaf and wanted to give it a try. So today was the day for baking the Gingerbread. I collected the ingredients a long time before but didn’t get the chance to bake it but today all-stars was aligned but unfortunately in wrong directions. In the morning I declared that I am going to bake The Gingerbread and under the breath Vishal said “finally”. I found the recipe on food-network through a very known blogger, I saw gingerbread in her blog post and was tempted, she also posted the recipe so I prefered to follow the tested one. And the process begins –

One of the different ingredient was Molasses, Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar, in hindi called gud and one of the common ingredient was Baking Soda. I always questioned this ingredient. I get conscious about it when I used soda and its quantity in the baking because in the past I had accidents because of its unpleasant taste. Today when I noted soda’s quantity I asked myself is it too much? But being a new recipe and different ingredients involved I thought may be it is required and I neglected my instinct 2nd time. Batter came out good and I placed it in sheet hoping for flying colors in the taste –

But I sensed of the disaster coming as I poked a knife in the middle of the loaf in the oven to check whether it was cooked or not. As I took out the knife the loaf collapsed. It never happened to my baking. Still fingers-crossed I waited to until it is cooked and cold. After 30 minutes or so I started cutting the piece –

Disaster !! And taste yuck !! [bhaanh!!]

It taste salty and bitter because of the baking soda. I was so excited about it but the result was so disappointing 😦

I immediately google about baking soda and found something similar happened to my loaf –

“Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. (i.e. The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.) Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center. Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb”

Baking soda is used to rise the batter when baked similar to what eggs does. So why Baking Soda ? So I have decided not to use baking soda going forward. I can’t let such disaster happen again.

Ramblings

For past couple of days we are very busy. Busy as bee. There are hospital visits, Friends visits, helping friends to search for apartments, cooking dinner for 4 and taking care of little one, little one who has stopped eating and sleeping, little one who just loved to do her swirls and twirls all the time and when there are guests in the house she can’t stop for a second.  Everyone is on toes for past 3-4 days.

Did this happened to you – you mourn for something which you never get to everyone you know and poof !! it’s everywhere, and it came so much that in the end you would say to yourself, I didn’t ask that much !! Yeah something happened to me past couple of days so I am now in excess mourning state.

Mourning aside, I baked Almond cookies this weekend.

I fell in love with cute little silicon muffin cases I bought few months back. They are such delights – reusable, require almost no cleaning and I like the shapes of cookies when they came out, all even. Classic process is to leave the spoonful dough of cookies on the greased pan or use parchment paper instead of greasing the pan but my dough some times has so running consistency that it doesn’t work for me. These muffin cases are perfect for me and they are so colorful, Reva loves to play with them as well –

Also I baked Banana-Walnut-Chocolate Cookies few weeks back.

We had grilled Salmon this weekend, it was so easy to made and so yummy –

Yeah I am stepping towards to become Non-Vegetarian. I started to have eggs, chicken and fish. People tend to leave non-veg but I on the other hand start eating it, I don’t mind because I am eating for taste. I still love dal-chawal with Vishal’s cooked Aloo bhujiya indefinitely. So why Non-veg ?? There is a story behind it. I might be 5-6 years old when my family used to eat non-veg. I mean proper types, we used to have big meals for friends and families on Sundays cooked by Papa with helping Mom and Aunties. Papa loved eating fish, chicken and lamb and so we little ones. Few months back when I told Mom that Reva is having boiled eggs in her breakfast then she told me I used to love sunny side up eggs [ !!! I don’t remember anything like that]. So you know that my family loves Non-Vegetarian food 20 years ago but then one day a unfortuante [maybe fortunate] thing happened and Papa decided to quit. My father is very religious man, seriously. I could write hundred of posts to prove it that he is the most religious man I ever seen. In 1989, my father was posted in Gwalior. His office was in the little outskirts of the city and the building was quite big and old. One day a group of Jain Saints came to the office campus looking for shade and water [classic story!]. You know about Jain saints – they eat before sunset, they stop before sunset, they only walk and never use any kind of transportations, they keep their mouth covered. It was about sunset and the group need some place to spend the night. They send one of their man to Papa’s office to see if there any possiblity for them to have some place for the night. A man came to the office and was asking help, Papa heard his conversation with some men in the office. He immediately alowed them stay in one of the building’s room. He arranged electricity and water for them. Ask one of his helper to stay back if they would need anything in the night. The man went back to his group with the happy news. Papa was about to leave for the day when that Man again came up and said “Sahab apko Baba bula rahe hain”. Papa was like “kaun baba”. He said “Hamare baba, aapse milna chahte hain”. Papa said ok, lets meet him. He went to the room relunctantly and the man asked him to go straight where a man aka Baba was sitting a little higher on the ground. Papa walked towards Baba and sat. Baba asked Papa’s name and about his village. Then he said, “do you want peace and happiness in life” [tell me one name who don’t want it!!], Papa said yes. Baba said, ” Then you have to quit one of your favorite thing immediately and forever”. And the only thing Papa remember was “Non-Vegetarian food” [d’oh!]. Then and there he quit eating Non-vegetarian food for peace and happiness [which I don’t understand how quitting your favorite thing leads to happiness and peace and why saint always asked to leave what we love the most – is this the true way of happiness and peace or they want to make our life as miserable as they have their own ?? – another whole lotta story].

Though I never had any non-vegetarian food for 20 years but I still got that taste bud and living with a foodie I got the reason to reactivate those taste buds. So far I am loving it :). I am aware of what I am having in my food and I made myself promise to keep my indulgence in a limit. For sometime I loved to eat out but now I started cooking. Fish particularly Salmon is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, so we decided to have it on once a week. I cooked in a simple way so that Reva also can have some bites.

Here I am cooking, baking and rambling on about life.

An active Weekend

Hello Everyone

Luckily we had sunshine over the weekend so we finally got the chance to go out from the house. On Saturday we went to see apartment for Vishal’s friend who is moving from other country and looking a flat around us.  We liked the apartment, it has model kitchen  – dishwasher, washer+dryer, big refrigerator, lift, parking space, all those things that we are badly missing but it lacks the space. We are still in the dodgy state in our apartment now, our dear landlord still not contacted us after leaving number of voice messages and emails. It had been over 2 weeks since he visited the house and more than a week he answered any of our call.  And today a developement happened, water in gas meter. Hot water supply and room heating has already stopped working and we are counting on cooking gas – yuhoo!!

Back to happy talking, we talked to some agents about renting any “decent” property. Lets see what they come up with. Saturday was spent on property hunt, park visit for little one and food. Yes I was quite active on food that day. For breakfast we had Bread rolls, I don’t remember when we had them last time and for lunch+dinner we had proper feast, roti, dal tadka, rice and baigan bharta – yum yum !! [I could give a round of a applause for myself, you too if you like ;)] and did baking as well. I bake chocolate cake this time.

getting ingredients ready

I found this yummy recipe here. Don’t you wish somebody just put that cake in your mouth at once.  When I saw it first time I wish the same, then after many days and thoughts I decided to give it a try myself :). The main appeal on Alicia’s cake is her frosting – Oh God !! . My cake came out nicely but then I don’t had time to make the frosting. I had vanilla ice-cream though.

Ebony and Ivory

We usually love vanilla ice-cream with warm Chocolate Walnut brownies and Vishal is not much into frosting. But we enjoyed it as well. Now next baking would be Walnut Brownies. So Saturday went good. Our Sunday always start on a lazy note but yesterday we decided to go to mall which will be indoor outing for all of us in the chilling winter. We got ready in 2 hrs [fast eh!] and then we were on our way. We decided to take brunch there but half way through our stomach started growling.  We had just a Cornish Pastry on the way, hoping we could have nice eatery in the mall. Mall was really big and beautiful. Reva was all happy and we bought her a new friend –

Winnie the Pooh

There was a Disney store and we could not stopped ourselves buying it, plus it was on sale. 2 years ago we went to Disneyland, Los Angeles. I bought Mickey Mouse that time, little did I know that somebody would be playing with him next year –

Mickey Mouse and 8 months old Reva 🙂

We were having nice time at the mall but somebody got sleepy. After Reva was asleep we thought of having quite lunch [which is not very often]. But every restaurant had at least 30 mins wait time and we left with only option of having something on fast food joint [bummer!]. As soon we had our fast lunch we decided to go to home, we opt for bus ride as it was straight to our place without change but took more than hour to reach and ended with headache to both of us [bummer again!]. Overall we had a quite a weekend and we enjoyed it. Hope you too had a nice weekend.

Story of an Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Apple in the morning – Doctor’s warning

Roast apple at night – starves the doctor outright

Eat an apple going to bed – knock the doctor on the head

Three each day, seven days a week – ruddy apple, ruddy cheek

 

This is very known and old poem and I know its first line only.  I told you earlier that I am not a good fruit eater, I would rate myself 2 out of 5. I tend to buy fruits hoping one day I will make a habit of eating them daily but it happen only once in a week. I know apples are really healthy and as I knew “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away” but conditions of apples in my house is miserable. They come happily and nightly packed, I usually order pink lady [nice name] type but little they know about where they are going. Excitedly I eat one on them same day and hoping to eat them again but then rarely see them. Little one still hates sour taste and apple also comes in that category. Earlier she loved applesauce but now she gags when I try to give her. She happily take the apple slice but after few bites you will find it on the floor. Vishal also not much enthusiastic about it as well. Poor Apples !

So this morning I saw almost month old pack of apples and I decided to make applesauce before they goes in the trash state. After few searches on the Google I decided to make Apple Jam. I did not follow specific recipe, just follow my taste and instinct. It turn out nice and tasteful. My first jam ever – yipeee !!

 

my first jam - yuhoo !

I gave a spoonful to Reva and again she gagged, boy what am I going to do with her !!

Vegetable Feast

Frankly I am not quite fond of fruits and vegetables. But raising a kid and reading some healthy articles from quite sometime I have decided to change my attitude towards fruits and vegetables and accept them with respect. After few searches in Google and some food site I came up an idea of eating vegetables in a healthy and tasteful form. By making Vegetable Roast.

 

Vegetables on baking tray

 

It is the most easiest way to cook and eat vegetables. Pick some vegetables you like, pick some you don’t like and pick some you like ok ok. I like – Potato [heh heh], Courgette (member of cucumber family),peppers, I don’t like – beans, carrots, okay like – carrots, broccoli. To add some kick I even add apple and grapes. Add 1-2 crushed cloves garlic. If you want you can add one onion as well. Then drizzle some olive oil (or any light oil), salt and pepper. Bake them for about 15-20 mins in a preheated oven, temperature 180 degree.  Take them out, move them in to bowl. I use less salt and prefer to add a salty cheese like goat or feta, another way of eating cheese.

 

Roast Vegetables

 

 

Tadaa – scrumptious roast vegetables are ready. Eat them as side dish, salad or snack. Even Reva likes them. The best thing I like them about is the color. Green, Yellow, White – they look so appealing.  I remember Reva’s doctor telling us to make her habit of eating 2 green, 2 yellow vegetables. But before we have to start it on ourselves and I hope this way we will be on right track.

Eat healthy and Stay healthy.

Weekday Baking – Banana Bread

I know I am writing the post on Saturday about the weekday baking but what to do, I got the time today. So, I baked Banana bread on Wednesday for Reva. I now cook or bake anything keeping in mind of Reva because she likes to eat with us and I hate when she left alone when we eat together. The recipe of banana bread is butter free and good for kids and adult too. I baked it and guess what, Reva loved it so much that she ate whole loaf of the bread. I am not a fan of banana but I liked the bread too. So recipe goes like this:

The Ingredients

I used:

2 Eggs

225gms self rasing four

4T vegetable oil

2t baking powder

2 Ripe Bananas

2t Vanilla Essence

100gms Sugar

First mash the bananas in a bow. I used fork to mash them.

Mash the bananas

Then add oil into the bananas

Add oil

The add eggs and mix the mixture well

then goes the Eggs

To make it more interesting I add raisins, next time I am going to add chopped walnuts to give a light crunch.

add Raisins if you want

Ideally you first mix the dry ingredients separate and mix them in the wet ingredient bowl slowly to avoid any lumps but i just dumped all the dry ingredients one by one and slowly in the wet bowl.

Now add dry ingredients - add the baking powder in flour first and then add to the mixture

When the mixture is ready it will look like this

add vanila essence and the mixture is ready to go in baking dish

pour the mixture in oiled loaf tin

Put it the baking tray into a pre-heated oven at 180ºC  for 30–40 minutes.

tadaaaaa

We are so ready to eat it

baby is ready to take a bite

Franky it took me just 10 mins to make the batter and bread was ready in 35 minutes. Hope you will try this easy peasy and tasty bread for snacks.

Take Care, Cheers.