I’m on the fence when it comes to coffee in desserts. Tiramisu is probably the only dessert on this planet I would pass on. I wouldn’t mind a scoop of Coffee Gelato or a couple of squares of Mocha Fudge. Given how the world is right now, a lot of us will be observing Eid very differently. When Ramadan began, I was a bit hopeful about seeing family on Eid. I was thinking of having them over for a traditional breakfast that is made on my husband’s side of the family. I wanted to make something sweet that could accompany the spread. A cake would be too much, a Payasam would have to be made the night before and even though summer has arrived, it would be too early for a cold dessert. I started looking through a few of my recipe books and felt that Cake Bars was the answer. Since we would all be having caffeine in the morning after a whole month, I felt that Espresso would be just the right flavor to end a heavy meal. I love texture in desserts and rummaged in my quarantine dictated pantry to see what was easily replaceable. I had almonds in all forms: raw, powdered and even flakes. A little testing later, I was hopeful to bake these on Eid morning. I’ve come to terms that this Eid will pass by without meeting the extended family. Baking has helped me with the uncertainty of our times and I will still be baking these Espresso & Almond Bars to lift my spirits.
When I first baked a cheesecake, I didn’t know I was stepping on what is considered to be a slippery slope. I first baked it for my husband on his birthday because its his favorite. Honestly, not knowing that its a recipe that might fail more than succeed helped because I just followed the instructions, put it in its water bath and let it bake. And it came out just fine. Later on when I was hoping to be a bake something other that the classic version did I encounter the horror stories. Cracked tops, collapsing middles and still wet insides. There seemed to be so many things that could go wrong. After having read that, the next time I attempted to bake a cheesecake I added some fear. And this despite having read troubleshooting tips from my trusted baking bloggers’ list. It came out of the oven with a crack on the top pretty much like the Mercedes logo. I laughed aloud at the coincidence and didn’t bother covering it up. It did make me want to find a daunting free cheesecake recipe.
It makes me anxious. Well before the set date, I would have made four lists. A shopping one, the intended menu, preps to be done the day before and what needs to be finished on the day itself. All this time, I’ve only helped prepare the main course or casually looked after dessert. After our move to Dubai, I’ve entertained for my extended family thrice. I feel we don’t do the social house visits, even to the homes of close family, as much as it was done when I was a child. Our lives are just much more busier than what it used to be. However, gathering together for a meal is still a family affair. While preparing for it, I don’t know why I have an adrenaline rush that feels exactly like I am about to sit for an exam. The Math paper, for which I’m unprepared for, to be specific. It’s the nerves of the responsibility of having to do prepare everything solo. Coupled with my little one, it takes a bit longer considering his meals and acitivites are priority. Yet, I love entertaining. I relax once everyone arrives and the conversations overpower the nervous chattering in my head. Needless to say, dessert is the least stressful (and my favourite) course. This was dessert no.2 the night I made that simple Shahi Tukra. Considering how easy it comes together, it would be a wonderful addition to a dinner your’e hosting or even to take over for potluck.
There is a reason why Nutella Day is held in February. You know, January with all its resolutions. And when you hear Nutella, you’re either cringing or craving it. No Nutella for you for guessing where my loyalties lie. To celebrate World Nutella Day, I’ve put together a few of my favourite Nutella recipes and a delicious No-bake Nutella Cheesecake. But first, a solution for the empty Nutella jar. A Nutella hot chocolate party.
Encouraging frugality is rewarding in my kitchen. I’ve never been one to waste food, let alone toss it away. I always scour recipes to prevent such a thing from happening in my kitchen. This particular baking session happened because of that opened jar of Lemon Curd which has been residing in the refrigerator for less than a year.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I thought to myself what a pretty galette. Instantly I wanted to make one too. I started looking at a few recipes to see how feasible it would be to bake one and blog about it too while managing Ali. I was going to spend the weekend at my folks place and figured I would have a few hours free from chores. I wanted to make my Pate Brisee crust from wholewheat. Most recipes I read said that it could be made unto 4 days in advance. So all I had to think about was fresh seasonal fruit.
Happy New Year you guys! I’ve taken over my husband’s duty of moving the marker on our calendar every day for the past few months. Last year there have been days where I’ve been waiting for hours to pass by and a few where I wanted to sit down and capture time. There is a reason behind my anticipation, my impatience and why I have been posting less than usual. We’re expecting our little one to arrive later this month. Apart from losing a battle to nausea and all day long ‘morning’ sickness in the first trimester, it’s been a beautiful phase. After doting over baby cousins, nephews and nieces and possibly every chubby baby being wheeled in a pram, it still has to sink in that we’ll be having one of our own.
This is a post that I have been waiting to share with you. Have you watched It’s Complicated? If you have, I’m sure the scene which had inspired us to cook together has come to your mind. Meryl Streep’s kitchen Country Style kitchen has such marvellous details that it’s hard to believe it is actually a movie set. Floor to ceiling exposed shelving hosting dainty ceramics, terracotta tiles and that heavenly marble island (that must be Carrera) for hurried breakfast.
Raise your hands if you haven’t been able to stop at one Oreo. How can you? I love Oreo. Pulling it apart, trying minimum crumb-falling tactics, feasting on the cream. You get the picture. I haven’t had it with milk. Never been a cookies and milk sort of person. Say cookies and cream and you have my attention.
I’m a Keralite who neither loves nor worships tea. Neither does my husband. I don’t drink coffee. My husband does. I’ve never been too fond of either beverages. I attribute that to my sweet tooth. I cannot drink tea without contaminating it with teaspoons’ full of sugar. I enjoy a South-Indian style freshly brewed filter coffee minus the sugar. Sometimes a chai latte. Then again, it’s not something I need to wake up to. Or not drinking it doesn’t give me a headache.