Showing posts with label Snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snacks. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Home-made energy bars - small bars packed with big energy




Last week I connected with an old friend, we spoke to each other after a long time. Time just melted away, it felt that we had never lost touch. Some relationships are effortless, it’s a blessing to have such a friend in your life. I think a lot of it has to do with expectation - some people just give you the time and space, you don’t feel the pressure of keeping up the relationship. It is done out of pleasure not pressure. We chatted for almost two hours on the phone and that is a lot for me as am not much of a phone person. Talking about school days brought back so many memories…there was no sport that we were not part of.  We would be out on the tracks preparing for a race in 40C.

One year I remember my dad was the chief-guest for the sports event at school. I felt like a celebrity, telling everyone he was my dad. Even though dad did not voice his appreciation as much, I could see his pride for me in his eyes. I recollect praying  secretly that he kept his speech to the school very short as everyone hated long speeches.

I don’t think we had sports drink or energy bars those days - we just had water and some snacks. The coach had a first-aid kit and some glucose powder, which was given only if you felt sick. I  wonder  how we managed.  A few weeks back teen told me she is joining tennis, I was surprised (she’s not crazy about sports). I loaded her tennis bag with sports drinks energy bars and what have you. And still that was not good enough for me so I made these energy bars for her….Don’t give me that look, ok ! go ahead judge me. I think I should kick myself for not having tried this earlier. Loved the taste and the ingredient list - healthy.

It’s a great snack for post-workout.  Guilt free too. You can make it in large quantities and probably refrigerate them.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Channa Masala Pot Pies


Old recipes new -look !! Choley bhaturey presented as pot-pies. 
Channa-Masala, Potpies, vegetarian, Quick-recipe Channa-Pot pies, Photography, SimiJois

Channa-Masala, Potpies, vegetarian, Quick-recipe Channa-Pot pies, Photography, SimiJois
Channa-bhaturey reminds me of Delhi. I was doing my post graduation in marketing and we had this guy, a street vendor who sold channa-bhatura. In the hot summer months, we would stand outside in the heat, on the streets and enjoy the meal. I don’t remember Kotler (one of the pioneer gurus of marketing) as much as I remember the taste of the channa. No offense to Kotler.  We were a crazy bunch, loud, obnoxious and always hungry for food. When you have great friends and good food - life is good !! Well, those days, life was simple. I don’t think we have laughed as much either - there were always stories!! I wish we had cell-phones back then, I would have had a couple of selfies to share. It’s hilarious to think back that the guys would love to pay for our meals - hoping for some spark of romance.

It’s strange how food is so strongly associated in our minds with memories.

A couple of months back I did some recipes and photography for Tasty Bite. They wanted me to develop an easy recipe from their ready to eat Channa- Masala. For me channa- masala/ choley and bhaturey is one of the classic combinations you cannot beat. Hot spicy channa, deep-fried bhatura, with onions and lime on the side - mouthwatering right?  When you have a classic combination like that, it is hard to think of something out of the box.

My teen loves choley-bhaturey and will eat it every single day if she can. This is a great after school snack for her. Quite filling and a great size for snacks. If you want to make a meal out of it, just pick a bigger pot to make your potpies.

I did not go the traditional way - with the bottom pie crust. In fact the top crust has more of a bhatura consistency - since that was the inspiration behind this. It’s flaky and light, not at all crusty.

There are a couple of ways to make this. You can opt for the read-to-eat way, ready channa with puff-pastry sheets as the crust/bhatura or make it all from scratch. Since I was making it for Tasty-Bite I adopted the mid path. Ready-to eat channa with bhatura crust from scratch.

Channa-Masala, Potpies, vegetarian, Quick-recipe Channa-Pot pies, Photography, SimiJois

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pistachio Almond Milk Cookies

Almond pistachio cookies, made from whole-wheat pastry flour, love the flavor of almond in the  chewy crunch cookies. Super easy to bake.

I have never been a great baker, no kidding. It does not come natural to me. Not like spices and curries…but given a good recipe, I can manage. This is a keeper, loved the taste and you really don’t need to study rocket science to bake these cookies. The recipe is from A brown table, the only difference I used almond and pistachio, while Nik has just used pistachio. I also did not bake for as long as he did, as I prefer chewy cookies. Thanks Nik for a great recipe.

I have been promising this post for almost a week now, it’s just been a whee bit busy. Had an exciting photography project (can’t talk about it now) - I’ll definitely share with you guys, when I can. In the mean while thank you so much for the love, appreciation, compliments, best wishes on the release of the book ‘A Life of Spice’  - by Monica Bhide on amazon yesterday, which I have photographed. I was absolutely overwhelmed with all the generous comments. Time to descend down to mother earth…

 This batch made 25 cookies and the cookies were generous size.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mini Samosa cocktail bags

Crunchy on the outside and savory-spicy and juicy on the inside. A perfect samosa in a bite size, great as a cocktail or mock tail snack. And look so adorable. VeggieSamosaBags4-SimiJois

It all started with frozen peas. I wanted to have a quick lunch and got out some frozen peas, as I looked at the beautiful peas. I just placed them in a green bowl to take some pictures. I added my spices and made some masala peas and was thinking about samosa. I have no idea how these happened, before I knew it I was working wild in the kitchen and had quite a few of these cuties ready.

These are great cocktail or mocktail snacks, that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze it and fry them later. It’s super cute and bite size. I just fell in love with them, crunchy shell, soft insides, just like a samosa. You cannot bake them,  I tried it and it was very uneven baking all round, so I do not recommend that. For everything else let’s count calories but not for dessert or samosa. It’s really not worth it.

About the stuffing, you can add anything, potatoes, peas, carrots, paneer, cheese…bacon ! Take your pick.

Really picture heavy post again !! Someone take my camera away, I just can’t help taking pictures and then sharing it with you guys :)

Ilva & Sophia  and I planned to do a monthly post of appetizers for April. Do check out their blogs and see what an amazing treat they have in store for you. Being super busy girls, they were a few weeks late :)


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Rava dosa from broken wheat.

Crunchy, crisp and flavorful, it melts in your mouth. Savory crepes or dosa made from broken wheat and rice. 
Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe

Pour some oil, heat the griddle and sprinkle some water on the hot griddle - perfect surface for dosas. 

Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe

Vegetarian Rava dosa, easy healthy recipe

Soaking in the sun is probably my recipe for nourishment of my soul ....
As a child, youth and now an adult, warming my ever so cold feet to the warmth of the sun is soul filling. It’s so strange, loft philosophy, esoteric art, poetry,   does not touch my soul like the light from the sun, playing hide and seek in the forest, glittering streams of waterdeep blue skies, the smell of freshly cut grass and buzzing of the bees. I am so ready to welcome spring with my arms wide open. 

This has been a good year so far in terms of the blog and photography. I am digging the creative journey.  I am not pushing myself, I am not sure if this is a good thing but it’s making me creatively more aware. I spend a lot of time wandering around trails and waiting for spring to sprout. I watch the rain pour down on my window and enjoy the water drops slipping on the glass and trickling down. The dark rainy April evenings followed by bright blue skies the next day…it’s all so beautiful. Sometimes, I consciously make an effort not to cary my camera, so I can soak the moment. Hopefully to carry that energy back to my kitchen to create something on my gas stove or with my camera and if I am lucky both.

I shared ‘A life of Spice’ with Andrew Scrivani (you guys know I am a HUGE fan of his work) and here is what he had to say. I am absolutely ecstatic and literally dancing …

It is clear that Simi's influences, both cultural and artistic shine though her photographs. The richness of color, the dynamic range of light to dark and the recognition of the beauty and simplicity of her subject matter speak to her artistry. Her work embodies the less is more mantra. 

-Andrew Scrivani 

Kimberly - The Hungry Goddess and Sara  invited me over for a podcast. It’s an informal chat about food photography, and we girls had a blast, if you want to listen to the recording click here. I share few tips on food photography. We are planning to do another podcast on spices - stay tuned. Thank you so much Kimberly and Sara for having me over.

This is a picture heavy post, I really got carried away…

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Homemade pizza crust

#PizzaCrust #HomeMade #EasyPizza #SimiJoisPhotography

#PizzaCrust #HomeMade #EasyPizza #SimiJoisPhotography

#PizzaCrust #HomeMade #EasyPizza #SimiJoisPhotography

This week has been exceptionally cold, if you are following me on Facebook  I am sure you have heard me rant about the brutal cold. I did accomplish a lot this week and am surprised at myself, finally I cleaned up all my folders and millions of photographers that I keep taking. It was a mammoth task and at the end of it I look like a raccoon, staring at the computer screen for so long. I feel like a zombie! Am so glad my teen baked a pizza and I took a break from all the filing work to go and take a few pictures. I was so relieved to go and do something creative.

The pizza break was even better, loved the pizza bread and all that cheesy goodness. It was the best homemade pizza ever the pizza bread is to die for. Teen wanted to bake this during her winter break but then we were to loaded with food and gave ourselves a break. Am glad she had an extended break and we got to eat this.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cheesy Garlicky Pull Apart Bread

#CheesyGarlicPullApartBread #PullApartBread #GarlicBread #SimiJoisPhotography

#CheesyGarlicPullApartBread #PullApartBread #GarlicBread #SimiJoisPhotography
I can’t believe it is going to be Christmas even tomorrow. I have be working on getting the house in order and baking some cookies while sipping some mulled wine. With all that work and prep, we wanted to have something light for dinner so I decided to make some soup with some ready bread and olive oil, trying to save some extra calories to munch and overload the next few days. Teen wanted to bake some cheesy garlic bread that she had pinned  for a while, every time she wanted to bake this, I said next time. I wonder why we did not bake this earlier, ( am sure teen is going to say, I told you so) this is sinful, absolutely sinful, loved every cheesy garlicky bite. So much for a low cal dinner :) well it is that time of the year. Am glad teen baked it, loved the flavors and can’t wait to try different variations.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Am looking forward to a wonderful 2015 and wish you guys the same.

#CheesyGarlicPullApartBread #PullApartBread #GarlicBread #SimiJoisPhotography

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sweet potatoes curried chips ( baked)

#SweetPotatoChips #BakedSweetPotatoChips #Recipe #Baked #SimiJoisPhotography

#SweetPotatoChips #BakedSweetPotatoChips #Recipe #Baked #SimiJoisPhotogr

It was a cloudy day, I was hopping against hope that it does not rain. I turned by moped to the gate and yelled out, “ mumma, will be back late today” Bosky was visibly upset and grunted a bark, as I petted her silky soft hair and zoomed off.  I was scared of the geese that were lining up in a war pattern. I put my feet up on the tiny foot rest of the moped. The geese got distracted by a cat, it was an everyday story, geese are such stupid birds I thought to myself. Kp was out with her denim backpack, “ sorry am late” I smiled and we were off to collage. the route was so scenic,  hardly any traffic…as we entered our campus I could smell the aroma of fresh samosas and  sweet n sour emli ( tamarind) chutney. I parked my moped,  waved at kavita, who had herself just entered in her green Maruti 800.

Three of us made way to the canteen, a shaggy shed like structure, not conducive for cooking…the output:  best burgers, chaat, samosas in town. We told him to keep three burgers for lunch and a generous helping of chutney.  It was an Indian sloppy burger, as you bit into the burger, the chutney would trickle down and the structure of the burger will collapse from the weight of the ingredients.. it was the most juicy thing I have ever eaten. With a sweet n spicy potato cutlet…there was reason to live, light at the end of the tunnel. It was always lunch after  Watal’s grilling macro economic theories and the law of diminishing marginal returns ( which failed miserably when it come to the burger) …The canteen was right by Watal’s class and the smell of roosting potatoes on a ghee smeared grill was as tormenting as Watal’s hawk eye on us.

It was one of those cold winter Lucknow days when bhaiyaji ( canteen owner/chef) was in a chatty mood, I asked him, “ bhaiyaji, tikki mein kya dala hey” ( what are the ingredients of the cutlet). Bhaiyaji responded with great pride, “ mitha alu aur sada aloo, is kay chips bhi bahut achey banteinhai” ( sweet potatoes and plain potatoes, you can even make chips from it ). I suggested he starts making chips,  he told me it was labor intensive and declined my recommendation.

Kp, Kavita and myself walked to the far end of our campus with three paper plates housing three giant juicy burgers…little did I know,  that taste will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chipotle Mozzarella Sticks (It’s baked!)

There has been a lot of action in the Jois kitchen: crowded counter tops, dishes piled up in the sink and the aroma of freshly cooked food lingering around the household. Finally teen is often (very often) seen lurking in the kitchen trying out her culinary experiments.  In three years she will be off to college and it goes without saying I will miss her a lot. I have tons of time to clean up then, now is the time to enjoy and make messes. My friends who know me well will be quite shocked to read this. I am not only embracing the mess around me but even enjoying the hustle and bustle that goes with a messy kitchen. Well, this post is really about finally teen, and not the mess in our kitchen.   She has show her displeasure that I have not been speaking much about her on the blog. Even though she has now become an almost regular contributor to TnS.

Someone is really fond of cheese and when we are at the deli section, I see her spend a lot of time at the cheese bar. She picked up some fresh mozzarella, a few weeks ago, I had no idea about the plans and in a couple of days I saw her working with it. She made the mozzarella sticks and froze them for almost 2 days, then one weekend evening, when I had my feet up ready to watch some mindless telly, I was asked to take pictures - and it was now or never. So out came the camera, no thinking, no planning and I was given twenty minutes, 15 images later I came down to crumbs of half eaten mozzarella and a plate with hot mozzarella sticks and marinara for me. (awww moment). 

Finally teen has not only been busy in the kitchen but she and her friends have developed an app (available on google play). It is an app that monitors your calories and includes social media to motivate you, pretty cool app, here is the link if you want to download Fittastick. Version 3.0 is currently in the works.  

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks
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Friday, April 25, 2014

What’s on your plate ? A Giveaway

….. and  an insight into organic farming.

Congratulations to Ram Narain for winning the giveaway. Please send me your mailing address :, will have Wholesum Harvest mail you your chef knife. Thanks Mike from Wholesum Harvest, I really appreciate your generosity. Thanks to everyone who participated. Unfortunately we can only pick one winner. The winner was picked by Wholesum Harvest from a random drawing. 
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography

A big thanks to Mike from Wholesum Harvest for the generous giveaway for TNS readers. A little while back I started a series on TNS ( read here ) called What’s on my plate? The purpose was to understand the foods we eat and where it comes from. There is no better way to find out then to reach out to a farmer. After the last post we got quite a few queries about growing organic produce. So this post will be all about organic farming. Over to Mike ….

Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes.

Organic farming relies heavily on the natural breakdown of organic matter using techniques like composting to replace nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. This biological process, driven by microorganisms, allows the natural production of nutrients in the soil throughout the growing season, and has been referred to as feeding the soil to feed the plant. 
Organic farmers integrate biological and mechanical tactics to manage weeds without synthetic herbicides.  Other practices used to reduce weed pressure includes selection of competitive crop varieties, high-density planting, tight row spacing, and late planting into warm soil to encourage rapid crop germination.

#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
For pest control, organic growers encourage predatory beneficial insects to control pests.  They also plant companion crops and pest-repelling plants that discourage or divert pests.  In addition, they use insect traps to monitor and control insect populations.
A key characteristic of organic farming is the rejection of genetically engineered plants.  All USDA Certified Organic produce is grown from seeds that are not genetically modified.
Since 1990 the market for organic food and other products has grown rapidly, reaching $63 billion worldwide in 2012.  This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland which has grown over the years 2001-2011 at a rate of 8.9% per annum.  As of 2011, approximately 91,000,000 acres worldwide were farmed organically, representing approximately 0.9 percent of total world farmland,
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
That was really insightful…makes one think. What are we really eating ? Sometime it worries me, not so much for myself but for the next generation. We grew up plucking fruits from  trees and playing outside in the hot sun. These kids know none of this. I remember when ‘finally teen’ was a toddler I would walk her to the park and she would be so excited to go and play, unfortunately there would be no one in the park. Most days, both of us would feel so lonely and we would come back with an unanswered question, “ where are the kids?” play dates was the only way to have her socialize with other kids. I don’t know if it is a Midwest thing or across the globe. In the pursuit of sophistication and betterment we have lost the essence of who we are. This is my 2 cents worth. Now over to some exciting news….

A Giveaway : Wholesum Harvest has generously decided to giveaway  a Porsche chefs knife - all stainless steel. I won this last year in a photography challenge and love it. I use it everyday. It’s worth $200, so that’s really generous of them. It’s open to all bloggers and non-bloggers residing in the US. All you need to do is… 

Like WH on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest.
Like TNS on Facebook or Twitter  and follow on Pinterest

Leave a comment that you did so and you are all set. You can leave multiple comments.  One winner will be selected by a random drawing by WH and announced here on May15th. Another sneak peek at the knife.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Granola Bars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

Granola for snack, granola on the go, granola before a workout, granola after a work out, we consume a lot of granola bars in our household. So I have many variations on the bar that I like to try, I still buy the store bought ones for on the go, as they are individually wrapped. One thing I need to learn and get into is wrapping my food better, I hate it to just be put in a zip lock, I want it to look desirable, not sad. Something I will definitely be exploring this year. Some people really know how to package gifts, especially edible gifts. They are done to a perfection, all you want to do is open the wrapper and devour it. Delicate, feminine things always catch my eye, and I really admire people who have a keen eye for finer details. As far as I am concerned, I stick to the basics,  no extra frills. Maybe it’s time to explore that a bit …any pointers in that direction, will be awesome. 

Before I forget, a lot of people ask me about the smoke. Yes! it’s real. 
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Baked Aubergine Pizza with garam masala

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood

I have been planning to post since afternoon, but there was a bunch of things that had to be taken care of and some pending photo shoots, am so glad it’s all done and I have the weekend to myself.   There was a time when I did not understand anything about photography, it was Latin and Greek to me…Anything to do with the DSLR was my husband’s department. He liked photography, and I did not know anything about it, it was perfect. Things have changed, now I instruct my husband to stop shooting in program mode. He’s an amazing photographer and his angles and frames are very aesthetic and he uses light to his advantage, but when in a hurry, he loves and swears by the program mode and it bothers me no end. The other thing that bothers me is auto white balance. I could not have imagined  myself saying this two years ago. It really amuses me when he watches me shoot, he cannot understand why I keep staring into the frame for so long before I hit the shutter, am sure am not really cut out for action or sports photography. Lol! 

I remember about 5-6 years ago, I was searching for something that could quench my creative urges, I tried sketching and pastels, even thou I enjoyed it a lot, I did not feel passionate about it. I think I might have found it in photography,  I may not be that good, but my heart is in it. Blogging has really helped me bring together all my skills. My husband often asks me, “don’t you get bored looking at food pictures and blogs all day"…actually sometimes I wish I had an extra pair of eyes, there are so many talented people who inspire me. You will see me on my iPhone multiple times in a day, chatting, texting my photographer friends. We share jokes, that only we understand, and I catch myself chuckling away on my iPhone. I am telling you, take my phone away, someone. Jeez, I almost feel like am rambling and I don’t even drink…lol! (imagine if I did) 

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood
Aubergine as the call the eggplant in France (I was recently told this) is one of my favorites, actually I really do not have any vegetable I dislike, well probably brussel sprouts is the last thing I will eat, but other than that.  I just dig this recipe, it’s healthy, delicious and easy to put together. 
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lentil, Quinoa and potatoes in a Patty

#LentilPatties #QuinoaPatties #PotatoPatties #HealthyPatties #QuickSnack #HealthyPatties


In these sub zero temperatures the only things that are keeping me warm is hot soups, hot snack(y) food and the thought of spring right at the corner ( far from it). I have never been a winter person as I do not enjoy being outdoors in the cold, other then curling up with a favorite book, watching a movie, what else can a human ( like me) do. Rant warning! I miss my long walks, I miss my garden, I miss walking out in flip-flops and shorts, I miss my chat with my neighbors…and more than anything I miss sunshine.  Its hard to walk out to get mail…u need three layers. I have been overworking too, and that could be the reason am crabby, am just tired and need time off,  that is exactly what am planning for myself today ( now, let’s see how that goes). The extra lbs that has creeped up is another pain, lol! That is really the reason for this patty, I wanted something crunchy and tasty. I made this as healthy as I could without compromising on taste. Am not a nutritionist, so I have no idea about the calories in it, but the fact that it has lentil and quinao is very comforting. Love the texture of quinoa, it adds a crunch I loved. What pairs so well with this is tomato soup, I just loved the combination…

Before I forget, a HUGE thank you to all my readers for pinning my soups, I am thrilled to see my minestrone soup get a 1000 plus repins. In the last few days I have got a lot of traffic and gained a lot of followers on Pinterest, thanks ! I have got some messages with requests and questions about archived recipes, am answering them one at a time, sorry for the delay. 

#LentilPatties #QuinoaPatties #PotatoPatties #HealthyPatties #QuickSnack #HealthyPatties
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hummus n chickpea on a toast

#Bruschetta #Hummus #HummusAndChickpeaOnAToast

Am thinking spring, fresh salads, smoothies, ice cream, watermelon, flip-flops, shorts…ah the joys of spring n summer. I really wanted to eat something light and fresh today. For some reason I just ran out of ideas, I was thinking of warm n comforting recipes like soup, stew, warm sandwiches. But one look at the hummus in the fridge, I knew what I was doing.  Snack is a favorite meal in our household, we do snack for dinner all the time. A bowl of warm soup and some starters like this and it’s dinner. ‘Finally Teen’ can survive on snack like any teenager.  She loves bite size food and digs hummus.  Am not complaining, there is chickpea, home made hummus, and some greens, I really do not mind her making dinner out of this. She loves to add pineapple on hers.  I need to do an open toast marathon on the blog. What’s your go to snack in your house hold?

Thanks for all the visits on the last post,  I got 4000 plus views on that one, it jumped up to the second favorite on the blog in three days. That felt really good as it did take me effort to photograph those charred peppers. It’s an added bonus that the soup was delicious. My neighbor was pretty upset that we did not share it with them, so am going to be making this real soon for them.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

James Beard's Persimmon Bread

#James Beard’s Persimmon Bread #Persimmon bread #MoistFruitBRead

#James Beard’s Persimmon Bread #persimmonBread #FruitBread

#James Beard’s Persimmon Bread #Bread #Persimmon #FruitBread #PersimmonBread

A recipe by James Beard, on David Labovitz blog is something! No joke! A decade ago, I did not know what a persimmon was, I almost mistook it for an exotic tomato. (don't judge me people I was born in a tropical country) Thanks to finally teen's piano teacher, who introduced me to the world of persimmon. I was certainly missing something, it is one of my favorite fruits now.

Last week I got a lot of persimmon home, if am not mistaken I think it is the Fuyu and unlike the Hachiya, it can be eaten when firm.  I wanted to bake a dessert with persimmon and after going back and forth with cake, pudding, bars and bread, I found this recipe. As most of you will know I am a big fan of David, and it's a James Beard recipe. Duh! There was really nothing to think…I had all the ingredients, the outcome was amazing. we had it with coffee, we had it with mulled wine and we had it with maple syrup and crushed cloves. I did not change anything in the recipe. The amazing part of the recipe is that James Beard does not mention the exact amount of sugar for this recipe. David's suggestion, "Although I recommend using the higher amount of sugar, feel free to use whichever quantity you’d like…after all, you have permission from the granddaddy of all cooks, James Beard himself." I did not want to risk messing up with this recipe so I took exactly the same amount as David Lebovitz. 

I really need to thank all of you for an amazing year, I think this has been the best year of blogging so far. Thank you for reading what I write and thank you for all the love and encouragement. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! 

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Roasted masala soybean

This is actually the first time I am writing up a post without photographing the dish. I prefer to have a visual inspiration, and then write. I am surprised that I have an urge to write. I always thought writing would be my waterloo, not really! I finally said that! For the longest time I would claim on the blog, about my bad writing skills. Some reprimanding from friends from the blogging community and my own family, 'stop saying that'. I have stopped saying that and am finally ready to embrace the writer in me. I read somewhere, we are all born story tellers. So true! I certainly am not Shakespeare, but I love to share the little happenings from my world.

Last week was the week of 'clutter attack' and it was dealt with an urgency! Don't ask me what was the urgency, it was like a woman with a mission. Every nook and cranny has been examined and taken care of, except the basement, am not cleaning the man cave and risking it. I did take care of the little prop space I have there, it's shinny and gleaming. I dislike clutter and de cluttering was like yoga (I hope my better half is reading this) Finally teen was ecstatic, finally I was not breathing down her neck, asking her to clean her room, I took charge. ( hope she's not expecting that, every week). Well, my family is used to these outburst every two to three months. Probably this is what has spoilt them. I really don't mind spoiling them, they are so worth it. It did give me a pain in my neck ( literally) and I almost thought of taking a couple of weeks of from blogging. All the gawking at the food pictures did not help, and slowly I found the way into the kitchen... ;)

Something very simple today, simple but healthy. Snacking is my middle name, and I try and eat healthy ( key word is 'try')...this is something I enjoy with my chai. Btw it goes great with beer. You can add some onions, cilantro and pomegranate and squeeze some lime juice over it and enjoy. Don't we always love chaat and try and make chaat with every possible thing ? I dig chaat!

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Fried poha / flattened rice

Last week was spent in trying to understand the technical aspect of blogging, ( I have no idea, what triggered it, but occasionally I do get such impulse in my brain)  I am aware that I am technically challenged. I told myself, "how hard can this be?" "It's all in the mind, if you think you can do it, you can" hmmm...I guess this law does not hold true for everything. You need some basic prerequisite. I did gather a few words, parroted it to my better half, he tried to explain them, all I had to say was "can you do it on my blog?" He did not know what I wanted, and frankly I did not know either. I crawled back to my iPhone, did some blog hopping, spent some quality time on social media, felt alive again. Jeez! It really tired me, I may not understand SEO, to alt tag my images, to view source to figure out keywords...Even if I knew, that's not really where my heart is. I write what I write as it comes from my heart, not because I need to hashtag keywords. I click pictures, cos I love to express my artistic self through photography, I cook, as I love food and enjoy sharing it with people I love. I bloghop and spend time on social media, as I love to interact with like minded people. Now,  that's simple and brings a smile on my face. I see the fog clearing! :) 

A cup of coffee is always a great idea, when you have exercised your brain, like I did. Evening coffee is great when it is accompanied by some snacks.  I think it is such an Indian thing. Cookies, biscuits, fritters and fried snack...there are millions of snack to choose from and you really do not have to break your back to make some of them.  Great for this time of the year, nip in the air, hot coffee and fried poha. Even thou am enjoying the nip in the evenings, it's hard for me to bid goodbye to summer, I love the colors of fall, but, I am not ready to throw away my shorts and embrace the colder temperature. We have been lucky this year to have nice warm days, (see me jinx it). I really miss the outdoors during winter.  Well, if you are imaging me  skiing through a white sheet of snow...hmmm! not really, am not going to elaborate on the details, but I have tried it and let's just say it did not work for me...If I do start talking about it, it's going to be a long hilarious post. For now, some coffee with fried poha and some clicks from my garden. 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Uttapam : the Indian Pizza

Rain has always evoked a romantic response from me. Am not restricting romance to just a feeling of love towards a special someone. It's a feeling of being alive, of the lush green, of being comfortable in the moment and enjoying it. Our minds are always running between the past and the future. It's strange that we forget to live in the present. I love to stand by my patio door and watch the rain, nothing on my mind... just enjoying the moment. It probably takes me back to my teen years, coming home from college my mother would make hot adrak chai with some hot savory snack, and both of us would sit and spend some good time, talking about the day. Brings on a sense of comfort,  no matter how many pot-holes life may have, finally in the end, it's worth it. It's 'this' life that has made you who you are and its more than worth it. See, what a pitter-patter does to me. It brings out the sage in me. lol!

Some hot chai is a must on such days... bring on some music, a good book and snuggle in your little corner. Blissful! My reading habits have changed over the years. There was a time when I enjoyed fiction and you would often see me biting my nails while reading a mystery or literally crying with the protagonist in a poignant scene. Now, I love to read about food, history of food, photography and even techie stuff. But the feeling to snuggle with your favorite read, chai, rain and hot uttapam... that has not changed. And last evening I did just that. What did I read ? David Lebovitz's blog. 

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