Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yay Bee See?

I have been working on this list for quite a while. It is a hard task to settle on one dish and one phenomenal blogger / chef for each alphabet. I worked it and reworked it until the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place. That is when I felt like Edison who said about his strife - I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. 


Alright, maybe I should stop being a drama queen and tell you that...

A is for Amazingly Awesome Apple Pie

A is for Apple Pie, one of my absolute favourite things to lust after. And who better to start this post with than the pioneer of food blogging, Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman! Everything she touches seems to turn into gold. It's altogether another story that you can't afford to eat her food if you don't run for 40 miles on a ranch everyday, but her food is oh so delectable. Consistently.

Make this apple pie. It is (very, very, very) awesome.

is for Babelicious Blondies

But B is also for Bakerella, the 'Cake Pop' Goddess whose creations are so gorgeous, I don't know how anyone can eat them. You must obsessively read her blog, if you don't already. It's critical for your mental health.

These Blondies are apparently a copy of Applebee's Walnut Blondie with Maple Butter Sauce from The Secret Recipe Blog. You gotta make blondies if you haven't already. 'Coz haven't you heard? Blonde is the new brown!!!

is for 'Cuter than a Cuddle' Cupcakes

Nigella Lawson's Cupcakes are as good as it gets. And it's vintage Nigella in a way that is decadent, reliable and unbelievably delicious. This is my go to recipe for cupcakes. I make it as is and it is gorgeous. I add all sorts of stuff to it and it tastes mind blowing  One day, I accidentally made it with rice flour instead of cake flour and it still tasted great. Gives a whole new meaning to 'fool proof'!

D is for Darling Dumplings and Dim sums

I have a secret that I have kept safe with me thus far that I am about to reveal now. So hold your breath and sing Hallelujah. When I want to feel healthy, all I do is eat vegetable dumplings. They are wholesome and healthy and the vegetarian ones are so chockful of vegetables and ginger that they are evidently good for you. Whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant, I always order Dim sums ( Dim sum dishes are usually those wheeled around in serving carts in Chinese restaurants and the usual choices include steamed buns, dumplings, and rice rolls and as much green / jasmine tea as you can possibly drink.) The dumplings are awesome, the rice buns are even better and the tea blows my mind! And they let me eat all the fried Chinese goodness that I want to afterwards, without a semblance of guilt.

These vegetarian dumplings that Deb from Smitten Kitchen has made from a recipe adapted from Alton Brown's is the perfect example. In any case, it is hard not to love anything that Deb does, because her little kitchen and her - they are adorable. So do as Deb does and make these dumplings.

is for Eggstraordinary Eggs

I love eggs. I am a good girl and I eat my eggs everyday. And what I love the most are eggs baked with heaps of cream and cheese, the way Katie from What Katie Ate has made here.  You would do well to make these eggs and stalk Katie's website compulsively.

is for Fantabulous Feta

I want to sing songs about feta cheese after confessing my undying love. Feta makes my soul come alive.

Donna, in her wonderful blog The Slow Roasted Italian, teaches you how to make a Tomato Feta Pasta Salad that is actually by the food world stalwart Ina Garten.

Feta and tomatoes are like Romeo and Juliet; like Bonnie and Clyde; like me and Taye Diggs - always a show stopper with each other.

So make this salad, make all the other recipes on Donna's blog or just throw in some tomatoes, feta, balsamic vinegar and salt together, and chomp away to glory. It's good for your heart and soul.

is for Glorious Granola

You know what kinda gal I wanna be when  grow up? The kind that makes Granola. This is because knowledge of Granola making is symbolic of so many desirable traits in a girl, such as beauty, grace, intelligence, poise, class, culturedness, presence of mind and knowledge of television trivia.

In the amazing Always with Butter, Julie teaches you how to make Cocoa - Hazelnut Granola. You can trust her, you know why? Because it's always with butter. 

is for Happiness - Inducing Halva

The Indians make Halva, the Middle Easterners make Halva, the Eastern Europeans make Halva, the North Africans make Halva, the Greeks make Halva and I make Halva. Why? Because it is delectable and sinful and none of us can resist temptation. There are many ways of making it, but the basic tenet is that you need to have a flour, fruit or nut base and a fat. For instance, Indians make Carrot Halva with carrots and cream.

But the Halva I have for you is Greek, and it is a recipe by the amazing Greek food blogger Peter G, from his webiste Souvlaki for the Soul. I love reading his blog because there is so much to learn about his country's food on his blog and it makes for such an interesting read!


is for Irresistible Ice cream

I am not a big fan of ice creams because they are too textureless as is and because they hurt my teeth! But what I can't resist are the Tempura batter coated Fried Ice creams that you can find in Asian Restaurants. They blow my mind away, all the way to Uruguay! And another thing I love is Baked Alaska, which is in the same family as Fried Ice cream if you ask me, so you get my drift.

And this is how Jamie Oliver, the king of my world, makes Baked Alaska Mice Pies. James makes the rules and I just follow it. You should try it out sometimes.

is for Jolly, Jocular, Jocose Jackfruit

Come summer, and the air in Kerala is pregnant with the smell of this fruit. It is a ubiquity and it signifies the bounty of the land. The fruit is eaten as such or made into various other sweet creations that have shelf lives of up to a year. Consistent with the tradition of using every part of most fruits / vegetables / livestock, even jackfruit seeds are painstakingly clawed out and made into stir fries or other sides to be eaten with rice.

Sarah, in her uber sweet blog Spoonful of Delight, has a recipe for a jackfruit dish called Kumbal Appam, which is basically mashed, sweetened and spiced jackfruit filled inside a rice pancake that is steamed in a conical shaped leaf. And it is delightful. DELIGHTFUL. Go Sarah!

K for Killer Kahlua

I am not a drinker. Not at all. I pretty much hate the taste of alcohol and can't for the life of me understand why people would want to regularly consume something that tastes so vile, even if it does get you happy. Drugs, I can understand. Cigarettes, I get. But alcohol?

Except for Kahlua. And Bailey's Irish Cream. And all the other liqueurs actually. Like Grand Marnier. And Tia Maria. And Limoncello. And Creme de cassis. And Amaretto. And Nocello. And Frangelico. And... Wait. What was I saying?

Right. That I hate alcohol. But anyways, if you must drink, drink B-52. Only 'coz it's got Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream and Grand Marnier and its the only drink I'll drink. The ONLY.

Go to Kahlua Recipes now and make yourself some flaming B-52. Your liver will thank you for it. (Don't ask me why.)

L for Lustworthy Lemons

I am a sucker for anything that tastes lemony, and if it has got the texture of lemon curd on top of that, I'm sold! Ok. In simple terms, my soul belongs to Lemon Curd. A lot of food blogging biggies make Lemon Curd the Pierre Hermé way. You can find the recipe here and in many many other places. I make a more offensive version of it, minus the thermometer and it still tastes stunning because butter, lemon and sugar could hardly go wrong!

But my L recipe for Lemons is by the super duper trooper blogger Molly from Orangette because she has made these gorgeous Lemon Souffle Tartlets for you. Now look at that. Are you in heaven yet?

M for Mindblowing Milk

If there is ONE thing that I consistently crave for multiple times a day, it is milk. I of course blame my mother for this because she was still studying to be a doctor when I was born and when I was around 3 months old, had to leave me with her parents to go back to the university. So I hardly got to drink her milk, and I grew up disliking milk for the next 24 years of my life. For the past two years, I have been a milk addict and I drink milk around 3 times a day. (You would do well to refrain from going all Freudian on me and diagnosing this as a psychological illness!)

I drink  Badam / Almond Milk all the time, and I am not referring to the milk extracted from almonds, but rather the very Indian recipe of blanching almonds, crushing them and boiling them with sugar, saffron, cardamom and milk. How could you possibly go wrong with that? What a glorious comfort food!

Mala from Mala's Kitchen will teach you how to make this amazing drink. And while you're at it, you should look around in her space for amazingly traditional Indian food.

N for Nasty Nutella

When I need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to wipe my tears, that's when Nutella quips in. And I can write paeans about it's unfailing support, and I am inclined to believe that you would be able to too. World Nutella Day is on the February 5th and you can find a gazillion Nutella recipes here, at their official web page.

But what I need you to unfailingly do, is make this Homemade Nutella by Dessert Lord David Lebovitz. It is creamy, it is nutty and it is a tad less sweet - just the way I like it. Making Nutella - its the closest thing you'll ever come to alchemy.

O is for Outstanding Olive Oil

So the only two oils I use for cooking are coconut oil and Olive Oil. The ancients whispered this wisdom in my ear and I had to start listening to them. One area where this started getting complicated was when it came to cakes, because that requires vegetable oil and I'm obviously not going to stop baking cakes just to listen to the ancients.

That's why it made me incredibly happy when I saw this Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake by David Leite in his website Leite's Culinaria. It is zany. It is zesty. It's perfectly delicious. And it is as pretty as a yellow bunny rabbit! Leite's the way to go, I think.

P for Perfectly Pleasing Pizza

One thing I can tell you for sure is that Serious Eats takes their food pretty seriously. They are pretty much like me in this respect - they obsess about food, they talk about food, they make lists about food, they make other people talk about food and then they talk about it some more. So when they tell me something about food, I listen.

And that is precisely why you should listen to me when I tell you that P stands for the 'Hacker - free Neapolitan Pizza for a home kitchen' from their website. It is stunningly simple, wholesome and unfailing.


Q for Quirky Quinoa

I first ate quinoa when I was on a quest to find my calling, along with 1000000000000 other misanthropes, philanthropes and monkeys in the foothills of Himalayas. It was a quinoa flour bread and I don't think I'll ever forget the flavour of it. Quinoa is a dream for people with Gluten allergies. And one of my absolute favorite food photographers, Aran from Cannelle et Vanille, uses Quinoa extensively in her cooking. She is a rockstar. Check out how she makes Meyer Lemon and Lime Quinoa Pudding Cakes. Sounds about as good as it gets, huh?

R for Ravishing Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Must know trivia about me (a) - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are my absolute favourite chocolates - more than Godiva and Lindt and Scharffen - Berger combined.

Must know trivia about me (b) - My absolute favourite food in the world is cakes.

Combine these two and what have you got? Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes from 52 Cupcakes, a cutie pie of a blog! Seriously! Must. Make. This. Must. Eat. This.

S for Sweet & Sour Strawberries

I am still kinda fascinated by strawberries and it's all Enid Blyton's fault. All day, I was immersed in her books for about 7 years of my life, and all night I dreamed of eating strawberries and cream on a branch in The Faraway Tree with Amelia Jane.

Strawberries are not cultivated in most parts of India, and you hardly have access to good ones in any case. So S stands strong for Strawberries and my never ending craving for it and that's why you're gonna have to make Strawberry Charlottes for me when I visit you, alright? :)

And you know who's gonna teach you this? The stunningly talented food photographer and stylist, and of course the established chef and food blogger Helene Dujardin from Tartelette. Here are two more things about her that I love! 1. She cooks gluten free. I think that's fancy. 2. She is a macaron fanatic and she can make millions of kinds. Actually trillions. How adorable is that!!!

So now you have no reason not to make Strawberry Charlottes for me, right?

T for Tantalizing Tomatoes

I love tomatoes. I can eat it any time. And you know what I love more than raw tomatoes? Tomato Jam. And you know who can make the best tomato jam? There is this phenomenal blogger who calls herself Dizzy Lizzie who has this inane and insane little blog called Whims and Fancies, and here she teaches you how to make the most fabulous tomato jam. 

Ok. In all seriousness. I am here not because I can cook well even by a stretch, but because I love food as much as any of these fabulous food bloggers / writers. So forgive my iniquity / greed /covetousness for a spot in this list, and make this tomato jam! ;) It is better than good.

U for Unfailing Upma

Upma has always been one of my favourite breakfasts.

There are as many ways to make it as there are hairs on Charlie Sheen's blessed head, but my favourite way to make it is with just Semolina, onion, green chilies and ginger.

You can find the recipe here at the trusted website Pachakam (which means Cooking), but I like it definitely without the ghee / clarified butter, but with olive oil, because the ghee takes away from the flavour of the other ingredients.

Make it any way you like; just make it.

V for Very Very Versatile Vanilla

Vanilla is one of my favorite flavours - so understated and never clamouring for attention; confident in a way that it lets other flavours shine in their presence.

Vanilla. She's beauty and she's grace. She's Miss United States.

Maybe I got carried away in the end.

So V is for Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding by Joy the Baker. Her website is sinful. That's all I'll say about it. Enter at your own risk.

And as for rice pudding, everyone needs to know how to make rice pudding. It is the most uncomplicated creation and it is so comforting to eat! No wonder pretty much every culture in the globe has their own version of this sweet concoction. Go Rice Pudding! Rice Pudding for President! Rice Pudding for the entire royal family!

W for Wondrous Water

I am a water girl. I drink 3 liters of water on an average day and 5 liters on good ones. And I love my water chilled but not cold, with a splash of lime, served in a tall glass tumbler. A lot of the water I consume is in the form of tea that I brew and then allow to chill in the fridge! So unbelievably good!!!

Anyways, food goddess Georgia Pellegrini -, the master of the Powerpuff girls, teaches you how to make Rose Petal Tea here. A girl's gotta have rose petal tea in her arsenal, man - for the moments of romance, sorrow, pleasure and whimsy. So take out your prettiest tea cups and your fanciest table linen and let Georgia guide you in the art of dain'tea' living!

X for 'Xmasy'Xmas Pudding

I know I'm clever! ;) And you should thank me for it, because otherwise you would be reading a horrendously complicated and technical recipe made with Xantham Gum, and why would you want to do that when I present to you here a figgy, plummy, raisiny, boozy 'Xmas pudding by none other than food writer extraordinaire, Dorie Greenspan! I love reading her recipes and her writing because it is simple, honest and very, very wholesome. Buy her books and they'll provide bedtime stories like none other. And as she says, give this pudding a chance. Works better than peace for the most part.

Y for Yummilicious Yogurt

Yogurt for a South Indian is like wine for a Parisian. We need it at every meal, nothing tastes good in its absence and a good splash of yogurt changes the tone and the taste of everything. I eat rice for all my main meals and home made yogurt always accompanies the rice. I mash it all up into one big mess, eat it with vegetables / curry and then lick my fingers clean. 

Makes my day!

And as for dessert, I take a banana and some honey and mash it right into the yogurt with my fingers and then slurp it up. Fantabulousness defined!!!!

And an other favourite of mine is Tzatziki. I love how it 's pronounced and even more so, it's taste. It's so simple to make and yet so good. All it needs is some yogurt, lemon, a cucumber, garlic, dill and salt. And you can eat it with anything and everything and it makes all the difference. This recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen is my go-to recipe for Tzatziki. This website is dedicated to recipes for The South Beach Diet, which is a crazy diet that I'll never be able to do for more than a week. But it's got awesome recipes that are tasty and also help you lose weight. Go Kalyn!

Z for Zany Zucchini 

Z is also for Zebra but I'm never gonna eat that. Z is also for Zig Zag, which is the theme of my wedding because that is what life is like - zig zag and zonky. But this Zuchhini - Cheddar Bread is for my country, India, whose flag colours - orange and green - are resplendent in this loaf.

Go India.

Wow! I don't think I have ever felt so patriotic before. (I am not a patriotic person, but that story might be offensive to many, and I'm in no mood to be stoned to death right now. So I'm gonna save that for when I live in Iceland.)

Now the bread is brought to you by the awesomely skilled and artistic Hannah from a sweet, sweet, sweet blog called Honey and Jam. I love her blog because it is unbelievably comforting and 'feel good' and welcoming, both with her words and with her photography. God should definitely focus on making more like her for the world.

That's all folks! See ya next time!


  1. Fun post, hope you enjoy the Tzatziki!

  2. What a great post! Love how you used every letter of the alphabet. Will definitely be checking these out.

  3. wow! i love this way to A to Z... i think I'll teach my 4 yr old the alphabets this way! And its so sweet of you to include my kumbal appam... thank you Liz...

  4. i love your alphabet fir the foods .. yeay .. love it ..

  5. Fabulous A-Z

    *now feeling very hungry*


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