Blog Break

I am off on another blog break, a 10 day break this time.

I have anyway been busy, and even blog hopping had been difficult for that last few days. But now, I am off on a proper break with no blogging for the next few days.

I have loads of comments still to be replied to. Apologies to all of you – I  promise I will get to it, when I get back.  I have also been extremely tardy in blog hopping – I promise will read and comment when I get back. For now, am off to enjoy the remaining few days of good weather here.

Arrivederci !

Has it really been that long?

I can’t believe it. It has been a year since I started blogging.

Of course, it is another story that what blogging then was so different from blogging now. I started simply because I thought I wanted to write.. and shared the url with very few friends -very select friends of mine initially. One of my friends commented on my first post – and I did not even notice it until a month later! I was so clueless and had no idea how magical it would become a few months down the line.

Though I started writing in September, I did no posts in October as we were busy with moving houses(and cities) and it was in November, when I got hooked onto reading other people’s blogs. I was taken aback at the number of blogs and from then on – used to read blogs like mad. IHM and Mr Vinod Sharma were the first people to comment at my blog – apart from my friend who I had ignored so badly 😦 I think it was mind boggling to me – to think that anybody would  care to read what I write..I can’t say how encouraging their comments were, at that point in time.

And then slowly, blogging became much much more than a hobby – it became an obsession 🙂 The blog world is such a amazing place. The number of ideas, the different perspective on various things – has all helped me broaden my outlook. So many things , I have taken for granted, I am now thankful for.. Similarly, in a lot of areas, blogging has opened my eyes to a different reality.

The most fantastic part of this journey of mine, has been the people! Every one of you – I want to say thanks – for reading, for commenting and showering me with so much of love! I don’t have a single post of mine, that I consider special – but your comments – so many of them,  are so so special! I can’t thank you guys enough!

I don’t know how long I will continue blogging, but one thing I am sure is that I will cherish every minute that I have blogged.. It’s been an amazing experience, a learning experience, and an unforgettable, unmatchable one.

Just a quick Onam update , we had a lovely lovely time 🙂 Poohi had the time of her life with the pookkalam and the food – for a change, she ate without a murmur 🙂 , and had the most lovely time with her friend D. We were up till 11:30 in the night – a very very rare occurance in our home.  And we all struggled to wake up today.

Leaving you with the picture of our modest pookkalam, made with all the wild flowers that I picked from the nearby woods at 6 in the morning 🙂

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My Baking Days

Blog Blog Blog… Everybody around me seems to be blogging and I have been thinking about joining the bandwagon , never really being able to decide what to write about. What with my extremely active 2 yr old, being extremely allergic to me sitting at the computer.. It just was not working out. So in the middle of trying to potty train her and getting her to eat something – I decided that enough was enough and I am going to write and here we go.
So ! As my little girl seems to be saying these days., what better to write about other than food.. Now , despite the fact that I am a full time , stay at home mum, I am not a great cook – but I love food – I actually dream about food and these days the only thing I watch on TV is UK TV food .. So what better to write about other than food.
Now , to give you an idea , of the kind of cook that I am. I end up cooking good stuff accidentally – I never seem to know how to replicate anything I cook well.. So to my husband constant disappointment – I can barely get his favorite dalchawal right . Having said that my total passion is for baking. I love cakes – I can stand for hours at Morrisons Bakery section gazing at the cakes – embarrassing poor dear hubby to no end. And my favourite browsing sites are always food sites – baking of course. And there is something about the smell of baking that I just love! I always loved it since I was a little girl when Amma used to bake the most delicious cakes ever.
So when I took time off work to stay at home with my daughter , my most enthusiastic experiments were always the baking ones.

Here is the very first recipe that I tried out and amazingly came out really well.. It is an Annabel Karmel recipe – and is very very simple.

225g/8oz butter, room temperature
225g/8oz caster sugar
75g/3oz ground almonds
175g/6oz sifted self-raising flour
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond essence
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
75g/3oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp cocoa powder
icing sugar (optional)

Method
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Sieve the almonds and flour and add to the mixture.
2.Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time and add the milk.
3. Transfer half the cake mixture to another bowl and stir in the almond essence and orange rind.
4. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, and stir the melted chocolate and sifted cocoa powder into the remaining cake mixture.
5. This looks best when baked in a 20cm/8in ring tin, fluted for the prettiest effect.
6. Grease and flour the tin first or use a non-stick baking spray.
7. Spoon alternate layers of the cake mixture into the tin and use a skewer or a knife to swirl through the mixture to give a marbled effect.
8. Level the surface and bake for about 1 hour at 170C/325F/Gas 3 or until the cake is well risen and golden.
9. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool. If you like, you can sieve a little icing sugar over the top.

It is absolutely delicious this way , but on my daughter’s birthday, I baked 2 cakes, and filled and topped with Chocolate Buttercream topping – Yum!! Unfortunately , I do not have any photographs of the cake – next time I bake it – I will remember to take some snaps and add it on.

Happy Baking!

p.s. I have to really thank my friend Ramya – as I posted this right after having a conversation about blogging all the recipes that I tried out:)