mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Whole Wheat Spinach Burger Buns

In Baking, From the Garden, Vegetables, Vegetarian on December 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Spinach Buns 07

Time for another tested recipe. If you try these once you will never go back to the industrial kind. That’s the thing with home-baked bread, even when made with only maida, it ruins you for the mass-produced bread. Thankfully, when made in small quantities, it is easier than cooking roti which we do as a matter of daily routine.

Mom had given me a load of blanched spinach from her garden. At first I wanted to make palak-panir. But I was hoping to send along some bread when the son left after Diwali holidays and decided to use the spinach in the bread instead. I love the spinach pavs served at Cafe Lota and this recipe is inspired by those really-green buns. It’s a different matter that the spinach made the bread seem too healthy to the son and he would have none of them. This when he doesn’t like the bread he gets in Pune!

Thanks to my smart phone I’m losing fewer recipes these days. Instead of committing my experiments and their results to memory I now jot down the ingredients into ‘notes’ on the phone right away. I had noted down exact measurements for the ingredients as well as the yield and there they were for my easy reference.

Here, then, from the phone archives, is the recipe for the spinach buns I baked last month and shared pictures of on Instagram. Notes and pictures from my very smart and handy Mi4. Read the rest of this entry »

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Foolproof Coffee Cake: Welcome 2015

In Baking, Eggs, Tea Party, This and That on January 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm

cake 06

Welcome 2015, with a quick coffee-flavoured cake.

All in all, 2014 was a good year.  Ani was home for some time.  When he left, it was to find his feet and spread his wings with more confidence – he got his first job!  I am now the mother of a gainfully employed young man.  We traveled a little.  The road-trip to Ladakh, a long time in planning, finally happened.  Vijay and I crossed another milestone together – we have been married 25 years now.  All of us, the extended family included, kept good health, which is the greatest blessing of all.

Ani Vijay 1992-93

The Boys – 1992

October 1989

October 1989

Read the rest of this entry »

Lime Cake for the Party

In Baking, Eggs, Tea Party on October 3, 2012 at 10:52 am

I sure botched up the invitation to the annual Party this time.  I published the announcement as a page and some of you missed it.  At least, that is the face-saving escape route I am taking.  It has been six years of blogging here.  In August.  Here I am updating an anniversary post more than a month late.  Like the White Rabbit in Alice, I am always rushing to wherever I’ve got to be.  As far as the blog in concerned, in any case.  I am never late for professional meetings or for my class.  Perhaps, I ought to set myself deadlines here as well.  But, won’t that make the blog more like work?  This is my space away from work.  Let’s keep it that way.  No deadlines; no stress.

lime cake with lime glaze

Even though I have slowed down here, the blog still manages between 800-1000 hits a day.  Some of those are from old-time readers and I cherish them.  New ones get added, some old ones drop out.  But, some, the really mad ones, stick.  And, this Party really is a celebration of that madness.  A welcome to new readers and a big thank you to the old ones – it wouldn’t be fun without you!

When the deadline for the event was extended for the late-comers (Manisha usually brings in the tail, and this time quite the tale she has!), I thought I ought to cook some more for the party.

September 28 was TH’s birthday and my sister urged me to not be my lazy self and bake a cake.  I too felt I ought to.  So after wrapping up a full day’s work in the office, I came downstairs determined to do something special for dinner where we would eat cake because I had no inclination to roll rotis. Read the rest of this entry »

Jam and Treacle Tarts

In Baking, on the side, Tea Party, Vegetarian on September 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Jam and Treacle Tarts

This weekend, I finally snapped out of my laziness and decided, after a long gap, to fire up the oven.  The extended rains have brought lowered the temperature enough to consider outside of subsistence food and I thought I might bake some tarts.

The pages of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are replete with mentions and tales of much food.  Just as there is purpose to every word of fantasy and nonsense in Alice, it is there to the bits about food as well.  It is as much a tale of wonder for children as it a reflection of the times.  The frequent discussions about food in the story are but a contrast to the scarcity of food in Victorian times.  And, like most of us today, Alice too seems to rely on something to eat or drink to alter her size all the time!

Jam and Treacle Tarts

Jam and Treacle Tarts

In modern times we are equally obsessed with food but for different reasons.  We are constantly trying to put food in some category or another and then assigning a value to the food as well as to the diets they fit into.  Some foods, and some diets then get to be regarded as inferior/superior.  Whether a people are vegetarian or eat meat, has all come out of pragmatism and to put values on these seems ridiculous.  I have the same view of raw-food and similar such other diets.  A good diet for anyone is surely one they can stick to without harming themselves or others?  If you are going to eat the shark to extinction, then there is a problem.  For me, a good diet is also one that does not require me to analyse food excessively before I can decide if it fits into the way I ought to eat.  That would make shopping for food such a chore! Read the rest of this entry »

Cinnamon Rolls

In Baking, Desserts, Tea Party on September 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Cinnamon rolls

I’ve had these on my mind for some time. A long time.  Even though the dough is like your basic bread the decadent sauce takes it to another level.  And yet it is not as sinful as cake (err…if you leave the sauce out, that is).  It comes together easily with just a little wait for the yeast to do its thing.

After ogling at many house-and-garden magazine in the college library while at graduate school, I finally succumbed and subscribed to one – Cuisine.  Low annual subscriptions for most magazines in the US make them affordable even for poor students from India. When you are home sick, missing your husband and your little boy, there is much comfort to be derived from staring at pictures of delicious looking food; it’s not called food porn for no reason.  Cuisine was 44 pages of only food, no advertisements.

I had a very basic kitchen then; not much in the name of gadgets except for a blender.  I don’t recall attempting any of the recipes I would drool over but all the issues of Cuisine were packed along with the text books and brought home to India.  Even today,  whenever I am feeling a little out of sorts, I sit down with some of my cookbooks and look for something I might want to cook (not for the next meal, necessarily).  It never fails to improve the mood even if it might mean butter-toast for dinner!

One of the recipes that I did finally try out were these sinful cinnamon rolls (sorry about the off-colour pictures; they are from two years ago when I hadn’t yet figured out white-balance, much to Manisha’s consternation).  They are as decadent as they look especially with the sticky caramel sauce; skip the sauce only if you need to diet.  I give in to occasional gluttony; we are all worth it. Read the rest of this entry »