An Apology, Exciting News + #EatingBhutan

Starting a post with apologies seems to be the topic of the year, so instead of making excuses, I’d much rather share with you, what it was that’s occupied my mind and may heart for the last few months, and I hope that you will love it as much as I do! But before that – I have another beautiful part of my life I’d like to share with you – snippets from my happy trip to the country that measure progress via its GNH index – yes, you guessed it, Bhutan!

This himalayan kingdom is a lot more dependent on India than I expected, especially in relation to access to the outside world. Its raw and vast natural beauty combined with a happy bunch of people combined with rooftops full of chilli just made this short break feel like we had ventured into the unknown, exhilarating our lungs and bodies, and to top it all off, we even got to fly past the mighty Everest in all its supreme glory. Having just watched the namesake movie, I kept trying to peer and see if there were any people at the top
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Potato Chip Cookies with Chocolate Glaze a.k.a. Magic Cookies

After a lot of introspection, I’ve realised that there are very very very few cakes I love. I know it sounds odd, but I don’t love any and all cake. I love pies, brownies, cookies, tarts, blondies, bars, you get the drift. All that being said, I love experimenting and baking cakes, in all shapes and sizes, and worry not, I shall continue to do so! I haven’t quite mastered layering and the tapestry of it all, but I always remind myself that the joy of baking is in the baking itself, and creating a unique piece of my heart.

Most of the time, I don’t end up eating any of the cake I’ve made (exceptions include tasting the batter, frosting, etc while assembling, but rarely stretching to the end product) – but I am known to sneak cookie crumbs (cough cough whole cookies).

Wait, what?

Potato Chips? In a cookie?

With Chocolate?

So bad, it’s good!

I adore the idea of a little bit of salt in my desert, and even more my favourite additions like popcorn – so this time, it’s another all time classic – potato chips! Inspired by @smittenkitchen’s potato chip cookies, these ones are elevated for the festive season at hand, by the addition of a chocolate glaze a la jackson pollock (yes, I’m rather artistic). I tried a dozen of the cookie without the chocolate – but (shockingly) preferred it with the chocolate (yeah, like duh). There’s a fine line on these delicate cookies between too much and too little chocolate – so try and follow your gut and not that trigger happy hand while pouring the chocolate!  Read more…

#EatingBangkok

My love affair with Thai food is rampant, and I suspect it will continue to be. SS and I did a quick weekend getaway to the Thai capital with the agenda of eating top notch fare, receiving numerous massages and squeeze in a bit of shopping. I would have loved some time in the sun too, but Bangkok, like Bombay, experiences a lot of cloudy skies and wet afternoons. We stayed right in the centre of the action – well, in a lane just off the action. I am getting old, with the 30th around the corner. Wait. I mean 23rd. More on that later.

Our home for the weekend was ultra-chic newly opened Hansar, boasting a winning combination of Thai service with western etiquette, massive suites (fully equipped with a kitchenette, fridge, freezer and washer/dryer) and scrumptious breakfasts at Eve – including these Banana, Walnut + Green apple pancakes and rich 100% arabica Elefin coffee shade-grown in Chiang Rai. They also house one of the most popular new spas in the city, which I felt extremely guilt-free to test out! While the massages were great, one thing which was out of the ordinary was their welcome butterfly pea tea (blue chai) sweetened with stevia leaves. Yes, please!
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Lemon Brown Butter Tart + My Latest Crush

As is typically the case when a brilliant new book hits the market (especially by some of my favoured sources of inspiration) I waste little time getting my hands on it. By some gross error, I landed up ordering this gem a tad behind schedule, but oh, it is so worth having in my arsenal! I’ll admit, a lot of the main meals are primarily not vegetarian, but the other chapters {Meatless Mains, Vegetables} quickly make up for that. What I love about this book is that it is an amalgamation of people’s favourites, by phenomenal chefs/bloggers/geniuses, and genuinely meant to be catered towards honest home cooking – none of that layered and complicated deconstructed stuff! Hence, I used two recipes from the book as inspiration for my Lemon Brown Butter Tart. The first is Paule Caillat’s Brown Butter Tart (which BTW is ridonkulously easy) and the second is Elizabeth Falkner’s Eggless Lemon Curd.

Right so in case you thought that this is my latest crush, it isn’t. I mean, I love recipe books and all, but this crush is totally legit. And Yellow too! It’s none other than the  Read more…

Breakfast Like a Queen

Off late, I’ve been steering away from the home-style Indian hot breakfasts, not because I don’t enjoy them, but because I just felt my body getting a bit sluggish and almost screaming for a change! Also, I’ve generally (i.e. for about a decade) been a big fan of breakfasts comprising of muesli, granola, fresh berries, dried and fresh fruits and beautiful yoghurt. Yes, breakfast looks and tastes pretty this way, but it’s also packed with fresh and super nutritious foods. I love adding compotes too the mix, especially when fresh strawberries are in season. I’m tempted to try out a cherry compote, inspired by the bounty of cherry in the city off late (and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that using my cherry pitter is oh-so-much-fun!), but haven’t gotten around to it just yet!

I recently discovered a brand of Greek Yoghurt called Epigamia (by the same people behind Hokey Pokey Ice Creams), which I must admit, I really enjoyed. One of the biggest selling points to me personally is, that it is a local homegrown brand, selling products at par with the world markets. This also very efficiently beats my mundane process of leaving homemade skim-milk yoghurt to drain overnight, resulting in a silky greek yoghurt consistency by morning. Here are the two combinations I’ve attempted to create over the last week, with more and more to come! Read more…

Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Sometimes, stinky cheese is just what the doctor ordered. Well in my case, any doctor that ordered me (any kind of) cheese would become my new favourite person. While I love adding cheese to salads, very rarely will I made a dressing, whose entire flavour profile is derived from the cheese. I also find that of all cheeses, it is blue cheese that most people shy away from, not due to lack of an acquired taste, but more due to preconceived notions. And the fact that it smells. Last evening, I just wanted a salad, without fuss and too much effort. So begins the birth of the Iceburg Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.

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