SulaFest, panick attacks and food

Last week, I drove up to Nashik to watch one of my favourite bands play.
If you’ve been reading TBF for a while, you probably know about my favourite bands and one of them, is young the giant.

FUN NEWS. I GOT TO SEE THEM PLAY AND MET 2/5th of the band.

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Aaaaaaah.
I have no idea what I said to them.
Honestly.
The only thing I know I did for sure, is embarrass myself {which is typical, because that’s 50% of what I do every single day}, but I definitely said something vague and incredibly irrelevant, like how I had a math paper on Monday.
Speaking of papers, my HSC boards are 2 weeks away and I don’t know how I feel about that.
But that’s another post for another day.

So here’s what happened.
Turns out the band were staying at the same hotel we were.
I did not know this until much later.
Like, after I met them later.
Eh.
So.
I thought I saw Sameer {the lead} at the entrance of the hotel and freaked out a little but baaaaht, I wasn’t sure whether it was him so I just waited in my car, mentally preparing myself.
Eventually, I got out of the car and trudged into the hotel lobby but sobsob.
He was no where to be found. Dejected, I dragged myself back to my car, which my father now parked in front of this white van.
I got in and began to explain my dissapointment to him when my father said, “Uh. The van behind us says Young The Giant.”
I cried a little and with my heart in my throat, got out of the car.
Upon reaching the van, I stuck my head inside the open door, and made eye contact with Sameer { fun fact friends: eye contact = you are now best friends. Everyone knows that. Psh}
and I think I awkwardly said hi anf asked for a picture.
AFTER THAT I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF WHAT I SAID TO HIM OR TO JACOB WHO LATER JOINED US FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BECAUSE I WAS A LITTLE MORE THAN STARSTRUCK.
I apologise to anyone I’ve ever made fun of for fangirling.

And that’s how it happened.
I made it sound overly dramatic and like an extract from a very badly written book but friends, my hands are still shaking.

FOOD:

SulaFest had some fantastic food stalls!
There were stalls by Café Zoe, Woodside Inn and Maroosh amongst others.
We got lamb burgers from Woodside
and the most tender pulled pork sliders on brioche from the Zoe stall.
So so good.
There was the ubiquitous coupon system which personally, I think is annoying.
THE COUPONS BECOME CASH LATER ANYWAY SO WHY DON’T YOU JUST TAKE CASH IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Eh.

We also ate some delicious BBQ rub fries from Zoe which I LOVED. The served them with this incredible wasabi sauce. So good.

Apart from the incredible performance { yes, I drove all the way only to watch YTG play oh my god stop being so judgy} and the food, there were loads of pretty sunflowers and cool stalls.
I wanted to buy ALL the rock LPs but guess who doesn’t have a record player?
This gal.
Sob sob.

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Bring them baaaaaack.

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Nutella-Espresso Pull-Apart Rolls

Ahem.

I’m alive.
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I like to think that some kinds of food solve all your problems.
I mean, math homework? Make cinnamon rolls.
Sore legs? Green smoothies!
Heartache? Salted chocolate chip cookies to the rescue!

But.
I’ve never known of a food that makes sadness better.
Sometimes you just feel down and NOTHING can make you feel better. Ya feel me?
Except, except…
Nutella.
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Nothing screams caffeine like chocolate and obviously, coffee.
So I put them to sleep in a fluffy little dough pillow.

Then this happened.
Ta daaaaah!

These have a soft, espresso laced dough, and I’ve stuffed these babies with Nutella like whoa.

They work really well together. Nutella + Coffee = Thank you Amani you give us life.

Pull apart pieces of the rolls and dunk them in coffee. Mihihihihi, yes.
Except I HATE drinking coffee. I like the idea of drinking coffee and l love how it smells baaaaht nai. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

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Someone come fluff my pillows and make these for me.
I’ll love you forever.

Espresso-Nutella Pull-Apart Rolls

For the dough:
2 tsp fresh yeast, crumbled/ 1.5 tsp active dry
1 egg, lightly beaten
2.5 cups flour (lightly packed)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp espresso powder
3 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 lightly warmed milk, full fat (you don’t want it to be too warm as that’ll cause your yeast to die)

For the filling:
1 tsp espresso
1/2 cup Nutella
1/3 cup brown sugar

For the filling:
Combine all ingredients in the filling together. Set aside.

For the dough:
Put the milk and the butter in a medium sized bowl/ in the bowl of your KitchenAid Mixer.
(I’ve done this with both my KitchenAid and my hands. Both work well.)
Sprinkle in the yeast and wait for 5-10 minutes to see if it gets frothy. If it doesn’t (unless using fresh), discard and start again.

Whisk in the egg and the milk.
Slowly, add in the sugar, espresso and the flour in 4 parts.
Now, knead using either your hands or the paddle attachment on your KitchenAid for 7-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Do not overwork!
If it’s too dry, add a little water.
If it’s too wet, add a touch of dough.

Put it in a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Let it rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

AFTER:

After it’s doubled in size, roll out the dough on a greased surface.
Roll it out into a thin, even circle and spread with the Nutella filling.
(Make sure you grease the surface so that the dough doesn’t stick!)
Roll it up so that it looks like a log and slice into little rounds.
Place them in a greased baking bowl and let the rolls rise for 45 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Place the buns in and bake for 15 minutes or till light brown and the sugar is bubbling.
Watch carefully, you don’t want them to burn.

I love you guys.
Thanks for sticking around.
Romeo and Juliet appreciate it.
(As do I)

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Grilled Peach + Feta pie with Honey-Thyme Walnuts

You guysss

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This is the best thing you’re going to put inside your mouth this week.
So, there’s something I need to say.
I’m in tart-love right now. I mean, there’s so much incredible fresh produce in Indian markets at the moment and I just want to grab all of that and turn it into a giant delicious tart.
On the negative side, I CAN’T turn all of that gorgeous bounty into a tart because of the lack of time. College ughh.

Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but this whole being in full time education thing is getting in my way of doing brilliant things. Like inventing a time machine. (I joke, I joke, I’m not 7, I’m 17)

BUT when I’m not obsessing about the lack of time in my life or whining about how tired I am, I usually have some time to spare. That’s when I bake and make and “get my cook on”. Mmhm.
Back to the tart though. Grilled juicy peaches, sweet-herby walnuts and hunks of salty goats cheese: this is what I call heaven.

You can use my galette crust here as a base or just use your favourite recipie for an all butter pie crust. Yum. Also, be sure to pick firm peaches, you don’t want them to be all soft and mushy.

Grilled Peach + Feta tart with Honey-Thyme candied walnuts

6 firm peaches
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup walnuts, light toasted
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup or more crumbled feta/goats cheese
1 tbsp sugar
1 small all butter tart/pie crust
(Most recipes will give you three small pies, so save the rest of the dough for another day!)

For the peaches: heat the butter in a grill pan. Slice in half and pit the peaches. Press them to the hot, buttery pan, skin side up for a minute or two on high heat, till the bottoms have grill marks on them.

For the walnuts:
Heat the honey in a pan till hot. Add the walnuts and thyme till the walnuts are coated. Take off heat and allow to cool. This will take a minute or lesser don’t let the nuts burn.

Assemble. Heat the oven to 200 C. Roll out the crust and place in a greased pie tin. Poke holes in the bottom, and blind-bake till it’s halfway done.
Place the peaces, the walnuts and hunks of cheese in the crust. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve warm.

(200 more days to freedom ughhhhhhh)

corn stuffed cheese popovers + some blog news

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Heyhey
It’s been a long time since I last posted an actual recipe on Le Blog.
Here’s the news, real quick: I love writing and I love food. However, posting short stories on a FOOD blog isn’t the smartest to do. I’ve been a little tied up with working on a bunch of new, exciting projects, so I’ve been neglecting the blog a little. I’ve decided to start a NEW BLOG focusing only on my writing work, and keeping this one for food and only food. More on that soon!
Anywhooo,
I stayed home from college today, and used my time constructively.
I watched The Breakfast Club, drank lots of tea and made these super yum cheese popovers. I then stuffed them with creamy corn and caramelised onions.
They great tea time snacks, a pleasant change from the regular tea-biscuit situation you’ve been stuck in.

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Black Pepper + spicy cheese popovers

For the Popovers:
2 cups milk
4 eggs
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
250 grams all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/3 cup grated spicy paprika cheese/ you can use Parmesan etc, whatever floats your boat
1/4 cup spiced cream cheese (I used jalapeño flavoured)

For the Corn:
1/2 cup boiled sweet corn
4 tbsps cream
1 tbsp butter
Pinch salt

For the onions:
1/2 an onion, sliced into moons
3 tbsps olive oil
Pinch salt

Make the Popovers:
-Heat the oven to 240 degrees C. Grease two muffin tins with butter.
– whisk together the eggs, milk and butter. Then work in the dry ingredients. Mix well. There should be no lumps.
– place the empty tins in the oven for 5 minutes till they get really hot. Remove from oven and fill halfway with batter. Add a spoonful of cream cheese and fill up with batter. Repeat till full
– bake at 240 for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 15 minutes, till a deep golden brown.

Make the corn:

Heat a spoonful of butter in the pan till it melts. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Let cool a little.

Prepare the onions:
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onions and salt and fry till golden brown.

Construct the popovers:
Make a ting hole in the middle of the popovers (unless there already is one).
Fill with a heaped spoonful of corn, then with the onions. Serve warm.

I’ll be back soon with more food + stories.
Enjoy!

stars

You reach for the stars and you want the moon.
If you can fill in the relentless minute between where you are and where you want to be, yours is the earth and everything that’s in it. But even if you can’t, I would gift you the universe and all it’s galaxies that much you can be sure of.

Building a better sandwich

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For everyone a particular dish hold some sort of memory. A certain food holds a special place in our hearts, every bite of said meal takes us back to a place and time that was inportant to us.

Often, when we’re in the need of something happy, we reach for those foods to take us back to those moments. Foods that fill us with a sense of comfort.

Persoanaly, there’s nothing a good grilled cheese sandwich can’t fix for me. Perfectly toasted whole grain bread, good creamy cheese and se good sharp cheese, a hit of heat from the chilly flakes and a touch of butter to bring everything together.
Sandwiches make me think of picnics in the sun, road trips and early mornings with coffee and the newspaper. There’s this irreplaceable nostalgia to a goof grilled cheese and so much lies in its construction.

Here’s how to build a better sandwich:
1. Bread – the good bread is the base to great sandwich. No cheese and no amount of butter can fix stale, dry bread. Pick a good sturdy loaf, preferably whole grain, the nuttiness pairs great with whole grain mustard!
2. Cheese – I like using one cheesy cheesy like mozerella, and one sharp cheese, usually a blue cheese. Salty goats also works really well.
3. Whole grain mustard – a teaspoon of this works wonders.
4. Add ins – sometimes, I like adding fried up bacon rashers, ham, roasted tomatoes or even, arugula for some pepperiness.
5. Butter – butter thy bread.
It will make a difference.

There’s nothing a cheesy, delicious sandwich can’t fix. Every bite takes me to my happy place, and hopefully, this sandwich will help you find yours.

terminal velocity

(Day 4 of my 30 day project!)
He stood at the edge. Bits of gravel clung to his shoe. He could smell the wet soil.
He drew in a sharp breath and leaned forward, almost on his tippy toes, flirting with jumping off.

There was a tiny tree straight below and after that it was an endless mess of blue waves, this stretch of sea green glass extended below him.

Closing his eyes, he thought back to the day before. He had left home in a flurry and his mother was equal parts hysterical and furious.
“It’s unsafe son.”
“Don’t do it. What if..what if something happens?”
“Why would you risk your life like that?!”

The last question clung to his chest, clawing at his heart. Why would he risk his life?
Cheap thrills?
No.

He inhaled again. His body filled with the scent of freshly cut grass and rain.
“Why would you risk your life like that?”
Because why not?
If you love something, you hold on to it and never ever let go. But he was so tired of holding things close to him, he had no space to move.
He wanted to feel the wind again.

The instructed whispered it was time to jump.
Without a second thought, he lept off the cliff, parachute on his back, and the wind swooshing around his body.
He felt himself tear through the layers of the universe.
He felt the wind ruffle his feathers and finally, he began to soar.