Star Wars cookies? Why not?

I’ve had a one-sided love affair with baking which means that I love baking but I haven’t really tried experimenting a lot with it. I studied Home Science in college and hence I did get to cook in college and learn the basics of baking (how awesome is that?!). When I was a student, I made a promise to myself that I will continue to bake even after I graduate and get a job. I didn’t stick to my promise and I decided to spend my weekends lazying around at home rather than bake.

Anyhow, I’m trying to change that now; I’ve even enrolled for a 3 month weekend baking course so that I learn the basics all over again. My classes start this Saturday and I’m really excited! 😀 I thought I’d do a little baking at home just to familiarize myself with the process all over again. I decided to make some cookies and I headed out to buy cookie cutters.

Now this is where the problem starts; there are very few stores that sell ‘fancy’ cookie cutters. Arife in Crawford Market is one place that sells a lot of baking equipment but I doubt there are other stores that match up to the options they offer (which aren’t too many to begin with). The branches in Andheri West and Borivali West don’t even have half the options that the Crawford Market shop stocks.

What if I want to make Star Wars cookies for a friend?

Star Wars Cookies

Star Wars Cookies

Or maybe a simple cookie puzzle for my niece?

Cookie Puzzle

Cookie Puzzle

I won’t be able to execute these ideas unless I find all the required equipment. So all you bakers out there, please help me with this. Do you guys know any stores (even online stores) where I can buy all these fancy equipments from?

Midnight cravings: Strawberry Muesli

Let’s admit it, all of us have vague midnight cravings – I usually want to have something sweet and non- fussy and more often than not I find myself curled up in my bed with a nice big bowl of strawberry muesli.  My favourite is the Bagrry’s Fruit n Fibre Strawberry muesli (I love berries so this is my first choice). This muesli is crunchy and full of fruity goodness though I should warn you that it comes with raisins and almond pieces.

I have a constant battle with raisins and it’s difficult to avoid them but everytime I spot a raisin before I eat a spoonful I give myself a hi-5! But then there are times when I eat one and this is how I react –

Attack of the raisins :(

Attack of the raisins 😦

Also, I’m not too fond of milk so I just take a couple of spoonfuls of cold milk and fill the entire bowl with muesli. Yummmmmm. I don’t usually like to top my muesli with more fruits but if blueberries were easily available here, I would have had something like this EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Blueberries

Blueberries

I pick up the 1 kg box of Bagrry’s Fruit n Fibre Strawberry muesli from Hypercity in Malad for approximately Rs 350/- though I want to try making it at home once. Any tips or recipes will be welcome and I might even share some with you!

What’s your midnight snack?

How to pretend to be in Italy – Make pesto sauce at home

What’s green, gooey and tastes awesome?

That’s right, it’s pesto.

 

Pesto

Pesto

For those who don’t know, pesto is a really simple sauce made with basic ingredients.  Here are the ingredients you will need to make fresh homemade pesto.

– Basil

– Walnuts (or pine nuts)

– Garlic

– Lemon juice

– Lots of olive oil

-Salt

Blend everything together and tada, pesto’s ready 🙂

I used to be one of those people who used to opt for the safe option of ordering pasta in arrabbiata sauce (the tomato based sauce) but once I developed a liking for pesto, there was no turning back.

While pasta and pesto make a really good pair, you don’t have to restrict yourself (Though, that’s pretty close to being in heaven)

Heaven in a bowl

Heaven in a bowl

This healthy sauce can be used as a base for a lot of other things too.

Pesto Pizza

Pesto Pizza

Pesto hummus

Pesto hummus

Pesto sandwich

Pesto sandwich

You can even add a big dollop of pesto in your salad. In fact I had that for lunch today and it turned out to be rather yummy.

Are you fond of pesto too? Do you have any signature pesto dish?

 

 

Cookbooks – A cook’s best friend?

I’m not really fond of cookbooks; sure hundred pages of glossy food pictures are good to look at but how many of those recipes are you actually going to try to replicate in your kitchen? I usually visit a few of my favourite blogs or Pinterest for a little inspiration and start cooking. Tip: The ideal way to hunt for a good recipe would be to identify one or two main ingredients that you will be cooking with and then scan these blogs.

Having said that, I have been thinking of making my own cookbook at home – arts and crafts is not something that I am good at but I am really fascinated with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) stuff. I want a book where I note down all the recipes that I love so that when I’m 80 and I forget everything, I can atleast go through my book and make the food I love.

I’ve read a few blogs about how to make a DIY cookbook. Homemade cookbooks look so pretty (and vintage!) – you can decorate it the way you want it to be. Here are a few ideas that I like.

Pretty and minimalistic

Pretty and minimalistic

I think this will be easier to use while cooking

I think this will be easier to use while cooking

I can sit and stare at this the whole day

I can sit and stare at this the whole day

Do you like cookbooks? Have you made one at home?

Make biryani, not war

It’s Id-E-Milad today and that brings me to today’s topic – Biryani. Now I’m a vegetarian so most people will argue that I’ve not really tasted authentic biryani.

Frankly, I do feel left out with my friends make plans to go to these hole-in-the-wall places for some authentic biryani but I do accompany them and order a watered down vegetarian biryani. Such is life. The depressing thing about biryani though are all the spices that you get in each mouthful. I understand that’s what gives the biryani the ‘flavour’ and ‘taste’ but come on, elaichi?

I have a constant battle with these spices when I’m devouring my biryani and here’s how I feel when I win 😀

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I’ll have to be honest though – the one time I really crave biryani is when I’m drunk. Nothing like a big plate of biryani to cheer me up 🙂

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Biryani with curd and curry that I always waste

Biryani with curd and curry that I always waste

I love having my biryani plain – without any curd or curry. How do you like to have your biryani?

For the love of Gummy Bears

Gummmyyy Bearrrsss! Just thinking about this chewy candy gives me an instant sugar rush. Seriously, how can someone not like gummy bears? I remember when I was in college, I used to save up a part of my pocket money for a monthly visit to Alfa to buy packets of Haribo.

For those who don’t know, Haribo is a confectionery company headquartered in Germany and I think they make the best gummy bears. Come to think of it, I would love to work there. I can imagine myself in a pool of gummy bears 😀

Here’s a picture of the packet just in case you’re out at the supermarket looking for gummy bears.

Haribo

However, now you don’t have to go all the way to Alfa or Crawford Market to pick up a packet – Hypercity in Malad has this almost constant deal on Haribo. Buy one packet (150 grams for Rs 49/-) and get one packet (150 grams) free. So essentially you get two packets for Rs 49/- and that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Two packets of gummy bears barely last me for a day 😦 but if I ever develop some self control I want to do this –

Vodka Gummy Bears

And now because I cannot stop drooling over gummy bears, I’m going to torture you guys as well with some awesomesauce pictures.

Gummy bears rainbow - OCD WIN!

Gummy bears rainbow – OCD WIN!

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Are you a gummy bear fan too?

Twinings Strawberry & Mango Infusion

Just like most Indians, I like my chai to be milky and full of masala. I cannot start my day without my morning cup of masala chai. However, my friends have been experimenting with all these fancy fruit and herbal flavoured tea. I decided to try it out as well and I picked up a packet of Twinings Strawberry & Mango Infusion.

Frankly, I’ve had multiple (failed) attempts at getting used to green tea and I wasn’t expecting much this time around as well. This one, however, turned out to be slightly different. I loved how it was so fruity that you barely tasted any tea. Strawberry was the more dominant of the two flavours and I am not complaining – I love berries.

You can have it hot or cold though I’ve always had it with hot water.

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The packet comes with 20 tea bags and retails at around Rs 199/- in stores such as Hypercity. The packet says that the infusion is available in two more flavours – Raspberry, Strawberry & Loganberry and Cranberry & Pomegranate but I couldn’t find it in Hypercity. There’s no mention of the other flavours on their website too – http://twiningsindia.com/hrbl.html. Anyone knows where can I get these two flavours?

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Have you experimented with your tea lately?