Friday, November 15, 2013

And I ramble on for 18 pages ....

Alive & Well
via

Hey you guys :) Big hug to all of you! :) I'm still the same. But come January, I'm gonna start learning baking at a local hotel management college. So I'm super duper excited about that. And also, Le Cordon Bleu, here I come!

This biannual blog post is really strange, right? I don't really know where to start or end.

Also, you mustmustmust make chocolate truffles. All you gotta do is mix equal quantities of cream and chocolate (cream in ml and chocolate in grams), chill it, hand-roll it, dust it with cocoa, and eat. Here's a proper recipe. :) Here's another one. :) Too many smileys? Yup, I think.

One thing that I have made more than any other this year is Orangette's near-flourless chocolate cake. It is nearly impossible to go wrong with it. And it is decadent. Total crowd pleaser, this one.

I 'm still searching for the perfect chocolate cake, though. I know it's out there, because I ate it at Johnson's Lodge in Manali. Manali is one of the prettiest places I have ever been to in India. Other pretty places are Munnar and Kumarakom. Take me with you if you go?

p.s. Where have all the pictures on my site gone. The France and Belgium post right below is bald!

Bye bye until May. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The year that was

It has been way too long.

One day, a long long time ago, it struck me that I needed to stop blogging. I hardly had time, and whenever I did and whatever else I did, I was simply feeling guilty that I wasn't blogging. And I stopped. Cold turkey. Of course, I could not come and say bye. I was not leaving.

In the past few months, I have thought frequently and deeply about how I could resume blogging without having to spend the many, many hours that I used to previously, trying to create a good enough post. I don't have an answer yet, but all I can say is that I miss blogging so. I miss you so.

Hi, how are you doing?

I am good. I am still an editor, I am still living in Bombay, and I am still in love with Taye Diggs. Little's changed, save my increasing waist size.

In September, Thom and I went to France and Belgium. It was the best gift that anyone could give me, and it was my father who did that. Paris is so cute. I don't know what I could add about the city that hasn't been stated before. Brussels offers comfort akin to warm milk and bread, and Bruges is a sight to behold; Bruges is so very pretty. Here are some pictures if you would like to see.

Notre Dame Cathedral.
I am trying not to say 'Cheese!'


To me, this is what makes Paris, Paris. Pop up. Random. Beautiful. Classic. Cheery, merry and bright.

Sainte-Chapelle. Beautiful, glorious Sainte-Chapelle.



This may be the reason I went to Paris. [You'll never know.]




Gardens at Versailles


Bruxelles

Dear Speculoos and Speculoos Butter:
Life is not worth as much in your absence!

The Beer Wall in Bruges. Made Thom happy.

Picture Perfect Bruges

Its worth going to Belgium just to eat the chocolates. 



Happy, happy, happy trip 

Next stop, Paris in spring. Who's taking me?

Now, the most important update is about Rocky and these three. You will be pleased to know that Judy's birthed from her loins yet again (the third time since my last update, I might add), and this time, out came this dashing young lad whom I have named Peter after my brother's old stuffed toy dog.

It's Rocky's son!!! Love has triumphed once again!

Until next time, here's hoping you're all doing great!

Blessed be.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Kilimanjaro

A long, long time ago, there was a 28 before 28 post. And no. 12 said "Buy, clean and cook an entire fish (I hate fish. I am petrified of fish. I have never touched an uncooked fish and have hardly eaten cooked fish. Hence, I really have no idea what to do with fish!)."

Now, fish and I have a complicated relationship. In the order of things, of all the things I would be most scared of doing, I would rate "holding a snake as no. 1 and "cleaning fish" as no. 2. Skydiving would be no. 50 I think. Swimming with the sharks and fighting shooting someone would be somewhere in between. 

I still have not cleaned fish, but I bought shelled shrimp (I thought I would ease into the fish territory by starting with seafood) and I cooked it! I'm telling you. This is my Kilimanjaro. Not my Everest, but very, very close. 



The shrimp was fabulous. I made it following this recipe by Five and Spice, and this is what I did:

Ingredients: 

1/2 kg large shrimp shelled and cleaned (there were about 30)
1 tsp paprika (the original calls for sweet paprika and I didn't have any with me.
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed herbs (Mine is a mix of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, and oregano,and traces of celery and mustard. I reckon that you can use any of these herbs or a combination of them.)
zest from half a lemon
a glug of olive oil
4 shallots minced
6 cloves of garlic minced
juice of 1 lemon
3  tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brandy


Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the paprika, pepper, salt, herbs, and lemon zest. Mix well and let it marinate. 


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (not nonstick). Add the shallots and the garlic, followed by the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce. Fry till light brown (about 5 minutes). Add the prawns and saute until they turn pink (about 3 minutes).





Now is the fun part. Pour in the alcohol with a ladle, light it up with a long matchstick, and let it burn. Eventually it dies out. 





That's it! Serve with bread, butter, and a green salad. 


:)  


This dish was yum; the plate was totally licked clean! The original calls for 5 tbsp of butter and even without it, it was awesome. 


And yeah. I'm never gonna be a food photographer, that's for sure. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Panorma

This is something that I learnt during my photography class a couple of months ago. I've been wanting to post this really simple but awesome photshop tutorial on Panorma Photography, but I've been looking for the perfect "panorma" since then.


Enter my living room.


You know how sometimes some things are right under your nose, but you don't appreciate them because you take them for granted. Well, this is not one of those instances.


About 270 degree of my living room. 
My living room is no place for a panorama shot, or for any kind of shots for that matter. Except for close up shots of a certain part of the key hole. But necessity is the mother of invention and I need to post these pictures now and show you how to do this!

Ok, let's go. 


Stand at any point. Anywhere. Click a picture. Turn a bit and take a picture of the portion to the right/left, making sure that there is some area on the side of both pictures that are the same, i.e., the pictures should overlap.Continue doing this until you cover the area you wish to cover. You can shoot even a full 360 degrees if you wish.


Open up Photoshop and then open all these pictures.


The method by which the panorama is created is called photo stitching. In Photoshop, this technique is called Photomerge. Photomerge can be started from the File menu (File > Automate > Photomerge). What happens is that Photoshop arranges and matches the edge details of successive pictures and what you end up with is an extremely long composite image. It's quite ingenious, really, as are all things Photoshop.


Flatten and crop the image because the edges will be ragged. 


Aaaaaand you're done. 


Now you're all set to take on the Brooklyn Bridge or the Hudson River or the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. :)

For a very detailed tutorial and a lot of trouble shooting information, please go here. This is the official Photoshop website, and its helped me out on so many instances; a good emergency website to keep handy. 


A gentle reminder to my father: If you don't come to Bombay soon, this is all you're going to see of my house. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bang Bang

Zooey Deschanel makes me want to get bangs. 

Does she make you feel the same?

Pinned Image

zooey

And on a completely unrelated note, listen to this.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Pain Perdu?

After I started working, Thom and I have become the kind of couple who sprawls on the couch and watches Game of Thrones marathons over the weekend. My former energy and lust for life have been taken over by a kind of languidness that is emanating from the deepest part of my being. Do you feel me?

And then I cook. {Last weekend I made beef pickle}This weekend, I neither went out nor cooked. I slept. While Thom watched Game of Thrones. And it made me feel deeply unproductive. And tired. And lazy. And listless. And dull. And... Ok done. 

And that is why I made French Toast. 

It is quick. It is easy. And it's taste proves that good things are not hard to come by. 

Now there are as many recipes for French Toast as there are types of bread. As there are stars in the sky. As there are strands of hair on my husband's head. More than the strands of hair on my head, because I'm growing bald by the day.

Maybe that's why none of my gazillion  recipe books have a recipe on French Toast. But the Internet. The Internet is a maze with French Toast recipes around each corner. The Pioneer Woman's got a very smart suggestion: use only egg yolks. She is a smart and wily one, that pioneer. Joanna from A Cup of Jo has a "The best x you'll ever have, and Miss. James of Bleubird Vintage has written a post on French Toast. Deb of Smitten Kitchen has written about a very, very appealing Creme Brulee French Toast, which I want to try  out desperately. Molly has a very standard recipe on Orangette. And then there's Slate, which will tell you how you're doing it wrong. Now that's a fitting end to your French Toast saga if there ever is one!

And as for what I did, here is my recipe. This is my healthy French Toast that still tastes awesome. This is what you need?




3  eggs
150 ml milk
1/4 cup of caster sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 slices of whole wheat bread
oil

Whisk the first six ingredients. Place a non-stick pan on medium heat and anoint it with a little oil. I used a smidgeon of olive oil.  Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture one at a time, making sure that it is soaked through but not breaking apart. This is the tricky bit.  

When the pan is hot, place the slices on the pan and let it cook until the under side is golden; about 2 min. Turn over. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Oooops.Wrong forum. Repeat the cooking process.

I like to make a few like this and a few with jam in it. All you need to do is make jam sandwiches, dip them, and fry them.

And you know what the French Toast of my fantasy is like? They are Elvis-style, with peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiched between fat slices of bread, French toasted, and doused in maple syrup. Yum!!!!

And arguing for the flip side of the coin, don't let anyone tell you that you need butter to toast the bread. Olive oil French toasted my wholewheat bread just fine, merci beaucoup!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

You know what I think is the biggest irony of blogging? The more you write, the easier it is to find stuff to write about. In the one and a half years that I have been blogging, I don't think that I have ever felt like I have run out of topics. There is always something to write about... something to talk about. It's been a while since I have felt that, and I here I sit, staring at the screen, words failing me in a despairing way.

And this gets me thinking. What does one blog about?

Let me count.

1. Photography
2. Fashion
3. Food
4. Babies/Pets/Husbands/Families
5. Decor & Craft
6. Books
7. Life--its idiosyncrasies and its ironies
8. All of the above

And where do I fall in? No. 8. Shame on me for not thinking that I have enough to write on!!!

So now I think I should write on one thing each from the above until I'm done with the list. In two weeks. What say? I'm gonna do this with all kinds of discipline, ok? Wanna join in?

And tomorrow's topic: Photography! To set the mood, here are a few pictures of my honeymoon in Vietnam and Thailand.












Thailand for its temples and Vietnam for its food. Always.