A movie cake for a dear friend!

Hello everybody,

How have you all been doing? I am down with a terrible cold and my baby was also down with the flu. Well he’s much better now and I am getting better. I have’nt been able to write-up a post for a long time now and I guess its cause I haven’t been organised! It does take a great amount of skill to organize your day around a crawling 10 month old. But I am not complaining. I love it!

Baking and cooking are my stress busters 🙂 Like having out with friends and family! haha. Ok don’t get me wrong, I do hang with my friends and few days ago I delivered my first cake for a friend’s birthday. The cake was a simple chocolate cake with praline and chocolate ganache. It took me a few days to get the fondant figures right but I got it done and I am so happy!

 

 

 

 

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Key Lime Zucchini Bread / Mommy talk

      I woke up this morning with a happy tune in my head, a warm hug from Mr R and my baby slept the whole night without waking up even once! That, for me is a good night’s rest. The nights when he wakes up wailing for milk or just to be carried and it takes so much out of me to just stay awake. But in that moment it is like an automatic reflex that just wakes you up and you just know what you have to do. So I wake up and I tend to my little Adi’s needs. Don get me wrong, Mr R wakes up too. But I just hate waking him up and I hate that he wont get a chance to rest like I would the next day. So yes, I do let him sleep through the night. But that’s just happens on weekdays! Weekends I sleep! Ha! And through all this sleep and no sleep cycle the one thing that is constant is “Change”. Oh I have read so many articles about how to put your baby on a routine but that’s the thing. The day I think I have my son on a routine is the day he falls sick, or he has had his shots and developed a fever or he just wants to sleep more and eat more. So, what I do is I just let him decide. I know he will tell me when he is hungry. Not by words but by actions. I know when he is sleepy and I know when he just wants to be held. And through all these emotions and changes I have learnt so much about myself. My tolerance, my idea of love, what it means to have your heart flutter in happiness and so much more. Yes motherhood means giving up so much, but when you see his two teeth smile and the pride in his face when he takes his first step. At that moment you just know that it was worth it all! To share that first moment with your baby is the best feeling in the whole world. So yes, my little baby took his first three steps today and I am so proud of him!! I felt like it was too early for him to start walking without my help. But the truth is I am so proud of him and I am proud of the mommy that I am to him J

Key Lime Zucchini Bread

Ingredients: –

  • AP Flour – 200gms
  • Sugar – 250gms
  • Eggs – 1 big (room temp)
  • Oil – ½ cup (any neutral smelling oil)
  • Key Lime juice – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/2tsp
  • Baking Powder – 2 ½ tsp
  • Zucchini – 2 cups (grated zucchini)
  • Zest – from 1 lime
  • Butter Milk – ½ Cup (or half up milk + 1tbsp vinegar)

Instructions: –

  • Preheat oven to 180 C and butter your loaf pan and set aside
  • In bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt
  • In another bowl combine sugar, eggs, oil and whisk on medium speed
  • Then into the same bowl add lemon zest, buttermilk and lime juice. Once the mixture has combined well, scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients
  • Then slowly add the grated zucchini a table-spoon at a time. Don’t add it all together, it will clump and you will have blobs of batter in the bowl. You also don’t want to deflate the egg
  • Finally add the flour mixture to the egg zucchini mixture, again in three parts
  • Combine well and make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl
  • Finally pour the batter into your buttered loaf pan and bake for 35 – 40 mins

For the glaze

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  • Lime juice – 3 tbsp
  • Milk – 3 tbsp

Combine the lime juice and sugar well in a bowl. Slowly pour in the milk till you find the mixture is almost like a syrup Pour this glaze onto the loaf once the zucchini bread has cooled completely

SONY DSC

Sweet and Sour Mango pickle with Nigella seeds

 

 

 

 

Hello my dear readers and fellow bloggers and wonderful people of planet earth! How are you all doing this Monday night? For a fact I can tell you that the week had started with quite a bang for me. My baby is still down with the flu and Mr R is down with a horrible cold. So the weekend was basically me taking care of two babies 😉

Some time I look back at when I would go to office every morning and I still remember how I would wish that there would be a day that I don’t have to go to work. And now here I am, a stay at home mommy and I some times I really do think it was easier to just pick up my bag and go to work. Many mommies tell me that some how everything just falls into place. But I just can’t imagine leaving my little son for a whole day. And honestly I would never be able to give my 100% to work or to being a mommy. That’s why I totally look up to all mommies who manage to handle it all. But like I tell Mr R, there is not a single moment I would trade or give away from all the moments I have had with my family and I will build with them. You just can’t put a price tag on it.

When I tell my friends from college and school that I am a stay at home mom, they act like I have the best life ever! “Oh that means you can sleep however long you want and you do not have to worry about targets and you can go to the gym and look good and all that!” Yes I can do all that. But here’s the thing, I can go to the gym every day, but I stay at home for my child, not for me. I can get up late, but wait till you have a baby, cause your baby decides when and how long you sleep. And yeah I do have targets! I do have goals. Yes they have changed over the years but that’s what makes them tougher and harder and much more satisfying. The bottom line is that the grass is always greener on the other side.

When you work, you want an off. When you don’t work, you want to work. When you have a hobby, you want time to make it your living. When you make a hobby your living, you want just a regular 9 – 6 job. It never ends.

So until you learn to live in your skin, walk in your shoes and pull your socks up and get with the program, you are just going to compare and compare and compare. Eventually leading to hate or just a mental break down. So stop.

Stop and look at the bright side of things. Learn to appreciate everything in life. Big, small, tiny, fat, beautiful or ugly. Every thing has its purpose and every body should be respected for the choices they make. Cause until you walk a mile in my shoes, you will never know why I like to wear them in the first place 🙂

Now on a lighter note, just like how life is full of sweet and sour, I present to you my sweet and sour mango pickle.

Kalonji Aur Aam Ka Achar

Ingredients –

  • Mango – 4 large (Slight ripe but still sour) chopped into small squares
  • Kalonji/ Nigella Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Jeera/ Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  • Water – 1 cup

Instructions

  • In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil till nice and hot. Then add cumin sand nigella seeds. Once they being to crackle, add the asafoetida.
  • Then add the Mangoes and water
  • Let the mango cook in the water along with the spices
  • Once the mango is cooked and soft, add jaggery
  • Let the mango continue to cook in the jaggery water. This should take around 15 mins on low heat
  • Then add salt
  • Let it simmer for a few more minute till the mango mixture begins to thicken
  • Turn off the heat and let the mixture rest till it  cools completely
  • Transfer into a pickle jar and your Mango sweet and sour pickle is ready!!

Barbeque Chicken in plum sauce

Ok so this post is really a continuation to the earlier post. I used my plum sauce to marinate chicken breast for dinner the other day and OMG!! It was amazing!! I served it on a bed of pasta in creamy white sauce and sautéed veggies.

Ingredients 

1) Chicken breast – 4 pieces

2) BBQ Plum Sauce – 4 – 5 tbsp

3) Salt – 1 tsp

4) Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (optional

Instructions

1) Clean, wash and dry the chicken breasts. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the chicken and rub the sauce into the chicken pieces. Make sure you get all the sauce and spice into the chicken.

2) Let the chicken rest for half n hour to an hour. This allows the chicken to absorb all the flavours of the plum sauce

3) Finally grease or line your baking tray with foil and place the marinated chicken into the tray.

4) Let the chicken bake at 190 for 30 – 40 mins

5) You can also use a grill for the chicken. Grill the chicken directly on the grill till nice and crisp on the outside. ( make sure the chicken is cooked well on the inside)

6) Serve with your favourite bread, pasta or just sautéed vegetables

Plum Barbeque Sauce / Strong Women

  My last post was Butterscotch and yes it was great fun making and even greater fun serving it to my mum, dad and husband. Mr R had around  4 -5 pieces of them at one go and my mum also enjoyed it. I know my dad loves sweets and any sweet in any form cake or cookie, ice cream or burfi, my acha (dad) loves it! But I realized that I forgot the reason I started this blog. In between cleaning diapers, sleepless nights and a complete stand still in my career as a lawyer, the reason I started this blog was hold on to one thing that I could count as “still building and developing myself”. One thing my mum was good at was juggling home, her job, me (when I was a baby) and “the kitchen”. Now the reason I said “the kitchen” is cause, back in Kerala, when you say “Adakala”(kitchen), it does not just mean a gas stove and a pressure cooker. For my mum, every thing has to be perfect to the T. So when I say I want Chutney, it means bring out the big “Araakal” and fresh grated coconut and baby green chilies from the kitchen garden. Masala powders even today are made at home. (I have never bought Garam Masala Powder, coriander powder, Chilly powder or turmeric Powder ever) So when I was busying growing up I failed to see what she went through as a mother, a daughter, a wife and mostly as a lady! And there, even in that sentence I said “Lady” at the end. You know why? Cause some how, once you’r married and you have a baby and a home, you “the lady” some how becomes the last stop on your list. Yes, priorities change, but that does not mean that you should stop having time for yourself, right? And by the way, being a lady does not have anything to do with having a 9 -6 job! Nope. Do you stop being a lady when you are unemployed? Did you stop being a lady on your maternity leave?? Or when you took a year off to travel? So yeah, my blog is not a recipe blog, not a travel blog or a food and photography blog…. My blog is a summary of a lady who is also a mommy and wifey and daughter and a friend. My blog is about how I am holding my son on my lap right now as I type up this page to tell you that you are important. Being your self and discovering ‘you’ is as important as learning how your DSLR works or how mangoes go with anchovies ;0) My blog is about my love for food, my love for my family and my love for myself. Cause I live through family, food and photography 🙂  By the way, my poor baby is down with a bad stomach, so I had to rush him to the doctors and now he’s fast asleep on my lap. Apparently this is the stage where everything goes straight into their mouths thus the stomach flu. I hate having to give him meds. The poor fellow does everything not to have it but in the end he does finish it. Also the weather has been quite funny off late. It is hot and sunny one day and cold and windy the next. Nights are cold and windy. So by 9pm I have my socks on and my baby has his sweater over his onesie. Mr R on the other hand finds the weather pleasant and prefers shorts and cotton T!!   Plum!! I love plums! When I was around 5, my grandfather would send out the office boy to the fruit vendor who set up shop in front of the school where my mother taught. I still remember how the shop has fruit hanging from the rusted beams that held the rickety roof together. Some how there was never a season when you couldn’t find Bananas!! All sorts of them!! Big and small. Green, yellow and red. And pineapples!! And Papayas! And then in the corner hung this long plastic bag with red sweet sour plums!!

Plum Barbeque Sauce

Ingredients :-
  • Plums – 500 gms (cleaned, stoned and chopped)
  • Cinnamon Powder – 2 tsp
  • Ginger – 2 tsp
  • Garlic – 3 – 4 cloves
  • Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
  • Lemon – 1 (squeezed)
  • White Vinegar – ½ Cup
  • Sugar – 1 Cup (more if the plums are sour)
  • Soya Sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Worcestershire Sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Chilly Powder / Paprika – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp (more if necessary)
Instructions
  • In a heavy bottom pot, add the chopped plums. Leave the heat on low and let the plums cook for 10 – 15 mins. By then the plum would start to lose their water and become mushy
  • Add all the ingredients (apart from the salt) into the pot and let it simmer for another 15 mins. Make sure to stir the mixture at intervals to incorporate all the spices
  • Finally add salt according to taste. I used 1 tsp but you can add more depending on how you want to use the sauce.
  • Continue to cook the sauce till all the plum has completely turned into liquid. It should resemble a thicker version of ketchup.
  • Finally once the sauce is nice and thick, turn off the heat and let it sit in the pot till it cools down.
  • Store in a nice, clean, air – tight container.
  • Make this sauce the day before you want to marinate meat or poultry.

ButterScotch Cake

This is post is just a photo dump. I haven’t really had the time to do much cooking or baking as my little boy is unwell. So this one is just a quick post 🙂