Happy people, happy me
I think I'm in love with baking.
I was excited all weekend to make these.
I finished all my homework and set to work.
I was thrilled when they came out of the oven: bubbling sugar, crumbly tops and sides that were perfectly smooth and separated from the pan like magic.
I kid you not: I began leaping sky-high and laughing as I was removing the muffins and my mum and sister thought I was a little weird...
The frosting was stupidly simple and it solidified soon, enabling me to neaten the decoration.
Our teacher said that loads of people had written about cooking in their summer holidays (3 cheers for cooking!) and she suggested that whoever wants to can bring in a dish for the class on Monday.
I was scared of the icing melting out of the fridge, but this icing just stayed set- perfectly set.
I ended up being the only one who brought food... but everyone loved the muffins! People took seconds, thirds, and even offered to market them (I'll wait for my cafe!)
I'm just glad... I received lots of compliments and the class and my teacher enjoyed the sugary, cinnamony treat.
My sister was upset when I told her on Sunday night that I had only made enough for my class, so I made sure I save 3- for her, my mum and my dad... some people just went without a 3rd muffin :P
I had this salad at a sleepover party at my friend's house this summer and I loved it- everyone did. It must be a known concept, but I had never put together this flavour combination.
I made it again the other day with some fresh ingredients and it was a great afternoon snack while ploughing through my homework.
Pass The Plate
One tremendous thing about Mumbai is the street food- while many deem it unhygienic and dangerous, there are still thousands of people who enjoy the myriad snacks available:
papdi chaat, sev puri, bhel puri, dahi batata puri, moomphalli, chana, pakoras, samosas, jalebi, mathri, dhokla, bhutta, snackwiches, lassi, naryal pani... there are dozens more.
'Snackwiches' are a very cute invention that my mum has grown up eating at her house too: a filling is made for the sandwich, it's closed, and placed in a hot panini-like griller, except it's curved to allow for the fat filling.
The result is a warm, oozing sandwich.
Ours is the more modern version, but above is the traditional snackwich maker that the food stalls use. So for Pass The Plate this week, I decided to make a snackwich that I had tried at our sports day once (the best way to get through the long, boring, hot day).
Loads of butter, some sliced boiled potatoes and lots of chaat masala- a spice mix put on the typical Indian snack. I've fallen in love with it and my favourite way to eat it is on popcorn!
Try making a snackwich: vegetables, meat, leftovers, cheese... maybe even some wacky ones: leftover pasta, nutella, peanut butter, chocolate!
Microwave Mug Cakes...
My friend told me about the website Food Gawker and was astonished that I had never seen it (it's amazing!). He said he's made 2 minute microwave cakes from it, so I looked them up that night. I've seen recipes for microwave cakes before, but they were all made with loads of fake stuff: fake eggs, fake sugar, fake milk.
But that night I stumbled upon Chocolate Covered Katie and found loads of mug cake recipes (along with a myriad other chocolatey goodies) all made healthy, yet real.
This mug cake wasn't exactly like hers, and I should have let the chocolate soften a bit so it melted on top like a frosting. But it was a lovely start to my day.
I tried a coffee cake the next day- the photo looked divine! But mine didn't cook, so I put it in for longer, and it came out really congealed (although it tasted good). I think it must be because I used mashed banana instead of applesauce or oil. Next time, I'll just follow Katie's instructions and stick with the oil...
But go and check it out! It's full of bars, cookies, cupcakes and pies... and why not have a mug cake while you're at it... cakey goodness all to yourself...
It's insane how much work we get at school- just over a week and from day 1 we have been swamped with work.
I love blogging, but I find myself having to prioritise: Write a post, or finish my homework...
I've had consistent views lately- even on the days when I haven't posted. I'm sorry for disappointing you when you visited and saw no new post.
But whoever you are, thank you. You make my day and make me feel oh so happy :)
On thursday night I decided to cook dinner, because I knew I had to make something this week and I had specially ordered pumpkin as we've never cooked with it before. I spent a lovely evening cooking, but of course, I didn't finish working until 1:30 that night.
This soup was inspired by a recipe for pumpkin stew, but we had to change it based on the ingredients we had at the time and the fact that we didn't have 8-10 hours at hand to cook a stew in a slow-cooker.
Although due to our mistake in the proportions, the pumpkin wasn't the star of the show, it was nevertheless and thick and comforting soup- filling and healthy in and of itself.
Once again, thank you for being so loyal, and don't lose faith in Chocolate Tulip. I'll always keep posting- there's no way I can make it through schoolwork without the comfort of some cooking!
Yes, it may seem like a silly recipe.
But this is part of a campaign to get people to ditch those horrible store-bought sauces and the homemade ones that taste like ketchup.
It's basic, quick and you can use it for any cuisine just by changing the spices.
Do yourself a favour. Throw out any ketchupy stuff, any recipes that lead you to make that, and if you already make good tomato sauce, send this on to your friends who need it.
Or a scrumptious soup...
I know I posted about a dal recently, but I just have a soft spot for it. It's warm, nutritious and always delicious.
This one is made with split peas (chana dal) and has a tomato-spinach masala mixed in.
The only thing that takes time is cooking the split peas, but everything else is quick. If you have the time to let stuff sit on the stove but don't want to spend ages in the kitchen, this is a great recipe.
As with most dals, this can be eaten as part of an Indian meal, or with a western meal as a soup. My mum makes a chickpea- ditalini soup from Jamie's Italy and it's my all-time favourite soup. (I'll make it one day and post about it!)
You can try adding some semi-cooked pasta to this dal to turn it into a similar dish and a perfect, balanced meal.
I unfortunately don't have a photo of this salad because we finished it all at lunch, but it's definitely a new favourite of mine. I'm really not fond of raw vegetables but I just love fruit in any form. Our staple salad was generally iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan or feta, walnuts and an olive oil vinaigrette.
I like it, but I can't have much of it. But I can eat a bowlful of this pear salad.
The salad is made of roquette lettuce, some leafy lettuce, crumbled feta and peeled & sliced pears. The citrus dressing need the juice of half an orange and half a small lime (I mean really small- ping pong ball sized), a teaspoon or so of honey, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
I asked my mum if I could make the noodles today, because we've had them hundreds of times but I've never actually made them. It's pretty simple and I did a lot of experimenting with whatever Chinese sauces we had in stock at the time.
Just fry about 1/2 an onion and a small chunk of peeled and finely chopped ginger in a wok with sesame oil. Pan-fry some chopped tofu in a skillet and wash and chop some beans and broccoli. Add the vegetables and the tofu to the wok with some soy sauce. Cook and add some hoisin sauce & black pepper sauce (maybe start with a teaspoon of each).
Cook the noodles according to the instructions, add them to the wok, add more soy sauce, hoisin sauce and black pepper sauce to flavour it. Lightly toss the noodles to even out the colour. Season with salt and serve!
This is just a template- use any other vegetables you want, any other soy products, or any meat and add chinese seasoning if you have some.