Monday, December 31, 2012

The year that was- Hello and Goodbye 2012

Learn from yesterday, Live for today and hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein


The year that was extremely eventful. In more ways than one.
A lot of it is water under the bridge...
I've fallen in love once again...
With my niece...
I've moved across the country..
Lock ,Stock and Barrel...
I've been published in the newspaper twice and in a magazine once...
I've been recognised for my best friends..Words...who don’t come easy to me...
I've been out grown...by sweet child...who is now as tall as I am...
I've inspired more and more people to crack eggs and get baking...
I've frosted more cupcakes than the entire neighbourhood combined...
I've laughed  more ,because I've felt freer..
I've lived more...
And I'd love to share my favourite moments with my readers...


1.                 I made  Artisan Bread with Flax ,Oats and Ragi and I received the Notable Newbie Award from Blogadda. And more people visit this post than any others. I do hope that they have tried out the bread, though!


2.                 I made a Barbie Cake for my niece Sanskriti and used fondant to make her dress. Sweet sister was home after 2 years ,we sat up till 4 am to make the cake...and it was so worth it.

3.                 I made a cake that looked like sweet child’s obsession Play Station 2. And he absolutely adored it. Hubby dear was too amazed to comment, and was floored!

4.                 I made the fondant flowers for a cake I made for the cousins when they met for the first time. Flowers and a cake. The awe on Sanskriti's face was totally worth the back breaking effort.

5.                 The Mango Mousse Cake that  friend Kanchan Bhartari could replicate with such ease. Tasted out of this world and for a moment, I ,the mango hater ,could actually smile.

6.                 The Triple Chocolate Bavaroise that I made for a reunion with friends. I'll remember for the rest of my life. We laughed so much that our jaws ached for the next two days. No electricity, and hubby dear arranged for a high power generator just so that the Bavaroise could set. I love his attention to detail, amongst other things.

7.                 The Mille Feuille, the most labour intensive thing that I have ever made...and the visual appeal was AWESOME!!! The compliments that flowed were even better.

8.                 I have never struggled as much as I did when I tried to braid the six strands of the challah bread. But I did, I braided till hubby dear laughed his guts out. And when I finally dared to attempt the daring bakers challenge-I succeeded.

9.                 I made an eggless tiramisu with homemade mascarpone. The dessert wowed many, and the eggless cake has been used in many ,many ways since. Mahika , my 11 year old neighbour can now make any type of these cupcakes herself.

10.             Baketitude was featured on page 3 of Hindustan Times City, Ranchi . The press coverage and the love that followed left me speechless. The excitement that flowed though my house was palpabe. And so much fun!


The best gift that Baketitude has given to me- it has been an outlet for all my DIY madness. I’ve fostered new Friendships and relations. The journey has been incredible. And tomorrow will always be better.

Amen.

Here is wishing all the people in blogosphere a happy 2013.
So what are you baking today???

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shave or Crave- McDreamy and Sweet Dreams!

Sweet Dreams!As if!
All day long,I've been ferrying stuff from one place to another...
Groceries,veggies,Errands...
Now this new stinky obsession with Horses...Horse Riding?And why can the horse not pick up sweet child from our doorstep?Why does he need to be dropped??
Buy this...this is not working ...oh god...dinner is not ready yet...and I wanted to take advantage of the first day of the sales tomorrow....
And I have to be posting on my blog...or my readers will retire...
Nuzzle, Nuzzle,Nuzzle.....Scratch ,scratch,scratch...No, I don't need the whisker burns!!!!!

He:"So you are not asleep yet???"
Am I audible...OMG!!!I must be talking to myself again...
Me:"Er, nooooo, You scratch...and I dont have an Itch. You better SHAVE or CRAVE dear...till your stubble is off ,I'm sleeping ..tired...need to wake up at 6 to send sweet child to school...go back to your laptop...and for gods sake turn of the lights!!Good night!"
He:"You've been avoiding me for so long now..."
Me:"Spare a thought for me...You can spare 2 minutes for your boss , you  will shave if you have to meet him, but a shadow is supposed to be sexy for me?"
He:"Come on,I'll shave tomorrow..."
Turn,Turn,Turn

Hopefully bliss comes ASAP! There is so little time, to dream!



Finally the lights are off!!!So ...
All that about Meredith and Derek Shepherd is dancing in my head...watching season 5 now...
Everybody struggles!Whether they are inside the idiot box or outside...
When you have a dishy man like Patrick Dempsey hovering around you 24*7, you don't need a choice...
But do you??
The human life is made up of choices.Yes or no.In or Out.Up or Down....
A little warmth near me...creeping up near me...
Nudging for a little neck space...
Nudging for a little coziness...
Hands seeking ...
Ping!
That is the elevator!Doors slide open ...to the harbinger or smiles!
He:"Dr Shepard."
Me:"Dr Grey."
He:"I missed you all day."
Me:"I've been busy..."
He:"I have been watching you ,from afar.You seem to have a lot to take care of."
Me:"Thats right.I'm overworked and not paid at all. And what do I get in return???"
He:"The rule of life. The nurturer needs to get nurtured!So what will make you happy?"
Me:"A little TLC...and maybe some thing else..."
He:"I think I can fill your prescription..."(moving closer and closer..)
Just when I can hear his heartbeat and feel his breath on my face, I feel the scratching of his 5 o'clock shadow. Ow,Ow,ouch!
I dont want to,but I have to push him away!
Me:"Not a whisker burn again!I may as well be treated with all the TLC by the Plastic Surgeon Dr Mark Sloan...at least he will have a remedy for my scarred skin...You better Shave or Crave mister! No getting close to me till that shadow is off your face."
And then he parodies Red Hot Chilli Peppers for me...
He:"Whisker Burns,I'll shave for you..."

And within two minutes he transformed to an amazingly well groomed man, on duty, to please me!


And nudging my face are the now smooth cheeks of McDreamy...turned McSteamy...
Hormones raging...
And are my dreams coming true??
I feel something warm and smelling of Cool Water by Davidoff!
That is so familiar...just like coming home...
I turn and find my freshly shaved personal McSteamy,at my service.
So that shave or crave warning worked...
A smile and I am at his beck and call again...
Me:"I like my man clean, and clean shaven!Clean will get you every where and anything!Don't let your stubble make you stumble."

Man,he likes the carrot dangling in front of him.Only then does he get sensitised to what his woman wants.
Women,we can find a way.

Tell me...does this work for you and your man too??

So why are you sporting a stubble today???Shave!

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with BlogAdda.com

Bad Hair Days -The story of any girl's life!






One thing god never lets you choose , is the type of hair you sport. Maybe, he likes playing with your sentiments and feelings. I have yet to meet a man or a woman who are satisfied with their hair. There is always something wrong with the hair...
Its either too curly or too dry or too wavy or too lank...
Whatever the story...
I've got mine to share as well.
I  was blessed with thick ,shiny wavy dark hair.
My mum took more care of my hair than she did of hers...
Typical!
Oil, comb,wash ,braid ,plait or make pony tails of my hair till I was old enough to supposedly handle them myself.
And then ,in a hissy fit...I went and got them permanently screwed.
In what was known as a PERM .Because I wanted what the others had...Big, curly ,over processed hair.
I subjected my  long ,wavy, soft hair to a stinky ammonia smelling chemical reaction...
Came back home looking something like this ...
To a resounding slap at the door from my mom...for I'd screwed(pun unintended)the hair she had so lovingly cultivated.
And the rest -is hair-story.
I have been fighting my now moody hair for a manageable solution since.
I often wake up with a nightmare of a bad hair day..
Even Donald Trump with all his millions has them...
I religiously try all kinds of remedies and treatments to try to straighten my hair.
My least favourite one being the hot oil treatment.

 After subjecting my hair to thick and gloppy Castor oil that refuses to wash off, leaving behind oily, straight hair.

Total NO NO!
I used coconut oil and mustard oil..they washed off better ,but I never got the desired poker straight hair that the Granny's and old wives promised.

Sigh..
I tried cooking Amla Juice,Aloe Vera Juice,Juice of Basil leaves Curry leaves and hibiscus Flowers in coconut oil and applying that too...
No poker straight hair there too.
Then there was the hair mask bit...
Did you know that bananas were good for your hair too!(Yeah Right,that is why monkeys have long luxurious locks!)

I pureed bananas and added honey and olive oil and lemon juice to it and applied this gloppy mess and sat while it tunneled its way down my face and onto my clothes and onto the math grade 7 final exam papers I was checking .Fortunately, I could wipe it all off...the somewhat straight hair was OK...but the mess was not worth it...
Then once I tried the mayonnaise test.
Straight hair???
Half a bottle of good Kraft mayo ,which would have done more good inside my body than on dead cells that we call hair...

Well straight hair ...maybe...
But the smell of the mustard and the mayo..
I smelt of a stale egg sandwich till the next time I washed my hair was so not worth it...
BTW ,I needed to wash my hair within 6 hours...My ginormous doberman was sticking to me, too much and was dropping his stinking drool all over me.
So if you have an animal at home...Bad idea.

Then the eggs on my hair which generally landed on my face...
Especially in the winters.
Nobody wants a scrambled egg hair day!
After my disastrous perm...Chemical reactions were out.So a Chemical Straightening or a rebonding treatment after an expenditure of almost 10k was out of the question.
Big no to that to.
Humidity is a curse for my hair type...as the humidity rises...my hair begins to look as frizzy as a goblin's hair...Instant curl-humidity.
Six months in a year, my hair frizzes up...
That augments my need for a cure even more!
I don't even want to start with the tales of henna on my hair...
Then it was sweet sister to the rescue!
With a Remington Straightening Iron that she bought for me from the US.

So ,today I may look like the wild witch from the west in the morning....A five minute spell on my ceramic plated straightener is all my hair needs to be straight.
No more Bad Hair Days!
All my experiments are by choice...complicated!
Not that I choose them,they just happen to me!
Maybe you have something better...Mind sharing??
I learnt that its not just important to envy the grass on the other side of the fence-or the hair on the other woman's head...it is important to care for and water the grass too...maybe use a hair pack!
I've also learnt not to experiment too much...as long as you have a hair on your head...that is always better than two on the brush!


So what do you straighten your hair with?

PS this is my entry to the Sunsilk Straight Hair Experiment. for Indiblogger.

All Images Courtesy -Google!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Fruit Cake in one bowl...

A terrible time to be a girl in Delhi...
When I think of the times that I have travelled alone after dark in Delhi...I shudder!!
And to think,I used to get so, so irritated whenever the parents asked me to come back home before dark, feel so crappy when they never allowed my sister or me to frequent  the party circuit...
Thank God!
But this girl was not out too late...
This girl was out with a friend...
She was not dressed to provoke..
Then why???
All I can say ...feel a terrible sadness for the girl and I wish she recovers to see her culprits punished.
I wish no girl has to go through this again...
And that this does not have to be a terrible time to be a girl any where.

We are still finding our feet in Jalandhar, which incidentally is COLD. I am operating with bare minimum from a tiny kitchenette...but a fruit cake was definite...even if it meant a struggle in the limited space.

























The easiest cake to make and bake, topped with a lemon flavoured glace frosting.
I did not have my mixer,so butter was out.
No baking tins, so this had to be a small cake...
Frosting...of course!
So glace ,it was.
And ,I had some cup cake liners...And the mini muffins...
Cakes always make me happy!
And when they have fruit macerated in rum...I'm happier!
This cup cake looks like one from Noddy...
All I did was soak the fruit two days early.

For the

Christmas Fruit Cake in one bowl...

you need

300 gms dry fruit(dates,tutti fruitti, cashew nuts,glace cherries, dried figs, crystallized ginger and candied orange peel)
1 cup ground sugar(I used icing sugar)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp honey
3/4 cup butter or neutral vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder(I couldn't find it,so I didn't add any)
45 mils rum /brandy or orange juice

A day before, chop the dry fruits.
All the stuff is store bought.Even the candied peel.I was not sure if I would be able to bake..so I bought small amounts.
Chopping the figs was the most pain full. So,if you have someone to chop for you...get it done!
Add in the cinnamon and the ginger powders.
And the rum...
Cover and set aside...hoping that tomorrow will dawn bright!
But no, we had fog!
Visibility...less than 10 meters in the day time. The sun did not shine...So I had to bake...
Oven on at 180C/350 F.
I know that's so not traditional...but, easy does it.
Easy, two eggs and sugar in the bowl.
Blend with a wooden spoon and add in the oil.
Yes ,the cashews were an after thought...so they are not dark yet.
Into the mix with the honey.
You should sift the flour and the salt and the soda bicarb.I couldn't trace my sieve...so all went unsifted.
I started with the soda bi carb...And mixed all the flower in with the vanilla essence.
Now the baking dish...a makeshift bowl, lined with notebook paper.
Mini Muffins and cup cakes and 1 cake...
In for about 25 minutes...
The cake took 40 minutes.
Covered with cling film overnight.


Glace icing.

juice of 1 lemon
1 cup icing sugar

Into the lemon juice,keep adding the icing sugar,mixing in till you get the consistency you desire. I desired pouring consistency...so ...

Sprinkle some tutti frutti on for colour...


Allow the icing to set and...enjoy!!

Wish you all a Merry Christmas...
Wish the next year is better for all...
Wish the Delhi girl gets better and that every girl is safe!

Til next time...

So what are you baking today???

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Makki Ki Roti -Without the Saag-Baketitude Style

Its the time to be merry...
Its the time to be sitting around a bonfire...
Its the time to be munching on sarson ka saag and makki ki roti...

Only if someone else is making the sarson ka saag for you.
Sarson ka Saag, a cooked and tempered puree of mustard leaves with spinach ginger and chillies. Loaded with butter and ghee...
The most tedious and cumbersome and painful vegetable to make.
The peeling and the chopping and the washing and the cooking and the pureeing....god what a pain ..only to scoop up the saag with the makki ki roti.
Makki ki Roti...flat bread made out of fresh,sweet and satisfying corn meal and water...topped again with butter and ghee...Something akin to corn tortillas...

Awesome!
Its the effort which gets to me.
Better to pay someone to make the saag for you...but the Makki ki Roti is best made yourself and eaten FRESH off the pan with a wee bit of butter.
Makki ki Roti is also not an easy thing to make...
And they form a wonderful accompaniment to any dal, veggies or curry. And when they are made the way my mother makes them...
Back in Jammu they are called todas  टो डा ...
And they taste best any time...
All they need is corn meal and radishes...
Fresh..these are plenty now.
Yes, they are healthy ....and they are filling.
You do not need to be an expert in making rotis with your hand like the old ladies from the villages(BTW...I can make the rotis with wet hands and nothing else-and I am not old), a simple cheats way will help you out.

for the

Makki Ki Roti -Without the Saag-Baketitude Style

you need

2 cups makki ka atta or corn meal-polenta
2 -3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 radishes grated
1 tsp ajwain -bishops weed
1/2  cup chopped coriander /cilantro
hand full of garlic chives,chopped
2-3 chopped green chillies-seedless if you will
2 tsp salt
a little olive oil/refined veg oil or ghee to cook the rotis

Heat some water to scalding point. If you are familiar with polenta you will know that corn meal needs hot water to help the dough bind.Chemistry!
Place the makki atta/cornmeal, whole wheat flour,salt, ajwain/bishops weed,coriander/cilantro,garlic chives and chillies  in a large bowl and mix them around. Try to squeeze it all together.

The whole wheat flour acts as a binder, making it easier to form the rotis.
Place your non stick girdle /tawa to heat on the gas stove.
Pour a little of the hot water at a time on the mix and rub with the back of your hand. Just pour enough to mix the dough. You don't want the dough to be too wet or too dry.
It should form a ball.
Take about a  lime sized ball in your hand.Place a sheet of cling film on your chopping board.Sprinkle some wheat flour/corn meal on the film.
Place the ball on the flour and press to form a roti about 1/2 cm thick.
Lift the board and plop the roti on to the pan and cook.
When the roti looks cooked,turn it over after pouring a few drops of whatever fat you choose.
Press to cook and turn over once more.
This has to be done on a medium flame...
Once done...

Enjoy!!!
Eat it with chutney, yogurt, veggies, butter ,curry or even sarson ka saag.

This can be cooked in an electric tandoor at 250C or 475F in an oven, without the butter or fat. just slather it on afterwards and enjoy.
Corn meal or Makki ka atta is high in fibre, and nutritive values...it is a little high in sugars and fat...so don't eat too much of these...and complain!
One or two per person is good...more,eat at your own risk.
PS that is why, the ajwain/bishops weed is put...to help your tummy!

So what are you baking today???


Monday, December 17, 2012

Bombay Bhel BhelPuri , The Maggi /Ramen way

Happiness in 2 minutes.
Happiness and Yumminess in  2 minutes!

This is an ode to Maggi 2-minute Noodles.

More than ever ,this is an ode to new friends.

Friends, I wish ,I had spent more time with...

Friends ,you know you'd like to keep forever.

Supriya Bandekar!

A lady I met in October 2012.
A lady with an immense amout of affection for het pets.
All 8 of them!(No, I did not include the mandaory son and husband here! She seems to be a bit more refined than I am.)
A dog, a Persian cat, two turtles and 4 birds.
Ta...da!!!
Yes, that ladies and gents is Snowbell!
Really,really soft and sweet ,but arrogant as hell!
He posed for his owner...not me!
My philosophy is extremely simple...any human who loves animals so much...has to be the best!
So...without any doubt...Supriya Bandekar is an extremely fine human being!
And she fed us comfort food!
Maggi!
This way!

As Bhel!
And yes, that is the maharaja...I could not leave him on the aircraft- alone at night.
We landed in Delhi at 1720hrs and by the time we reached home ,it was time for dinner-Delhi traffic!
But I had to get my dad to taste this.
He, like me ,loves all kinds of stuff that is not good for your  constitution...
I just follow my leader!
And he absolutely ,totally loved it!
A closer look is warranted!
Crisp, tasting of Bhel Puri and Maggi!
Bhel Puri -is street food, made of puffed rice,onions tomatoes and potatoes with an assortment of chutneys and sauces.Yum!Speciality of Mumbai...
Maggi like Ramen noodles are soggy and yum.
So ,this bhel is the combination of both.

Lets not wait too much...

for the


Bombay Bhel Bhel Puri , The Maggi /Ramen way...

you need

2 packs maggi/ramen 2 minute noodles
2 tbsp refined vegetable oil
2-4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 large onion finrly chopped
2 large firm tomatoes chopped
2-4 green chillies chopped
a handful of green corriander or cillantro chopped

You can be health conscious and roast the maggi...but then why do you want to eat the bhel???
Start by crushing the maggi/ramen in the packet-see excersis befoer you eat.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and pop the crushed maggi into it to fry. Save the taste makers...
Fry till they are pinkish brown and place in a soup strainer to drain the excess oil.
See, told you, not too calorie dense!
Almost all the oil is out.
Place the chopped tomato, onion ,chillies and corriander in a bowl and mix well.
To the taste makers(sachets inside the noodle packs) add the ketchup and mix well.You want the mix to be a little thick ,a little liquidy.
Mix that in with the veggies.
And when you are ready to eat ,add in the noodles and mix...
What do I say...Eat, pray and love...
Me ...for giving you this!


A Yummilicious thank you to Supriya Bandekar for sharing this recipe.
Wish we had spent more time together, but friends, we can stay forever.
Cheers!
When you bite into this bhel, you taste the maggi...mmm and the bhel...tangy, crispy, saucy...


So what are you waiting for???

Spread the happiness

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