lately

Hi.

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Things have been crazy and I’ve had to get back to studying.
I’ve had basically no time to bake/cook, apart from a couple of odd weekends. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and I’ve been eating OUT more than I’ve been cooking, so I’ve a looooot of food to share with you guys. So for everyone who’s been looking for new places to eat, I’ve made a list of places you’ll find me at most often. I’ll share the list in a few days, once I get a breather.
How’ve you guys been? I’ve been getting a few emails asking about the blog and no, I’m not “quitting”, I’ll be back to my three posts a week routine AFTER my exams, which end in March.
So
Here’s what my life has looked like.
I really like you guys. I’ll be back before you know it.

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Nananananaan
I’ll see y’all in a week.

Goat Cheese, Watermelon + Cucumber Salad ie: the best salad i’ve ever eaten

I never thought I’d say that.
Ever.
Ffffffff.
But honestly, I had two helpings.

I like to think of myself as a healthy person. I’m quite a balanced eater, I exercise, I drink water instead of soda.
But recently, I’ve been feeling a little meh.
It’s probably all the meals I’ve eaten outside and well, a little too much dessert.
I’ve realised that my fruit + veg consumption has basically dropped to ZERO.
I’ve eaten absolutely NOTHING (naturally) green and the only fruit in my house was this decaying apple, now home to 17272827 fruit flies.

Which is why, I decided to set a goal this month. I’ve always been terrible with resolutions, these one year plans just don’t sit well with me. So, I’ve set a “month goal.”
This month, I’m loading up on fresh produce. Green smoothies, salads and fresh juices…Mmm, yes.

ANYWHO.
Back to this salad.
Oh my gawwww. Loaded with salty (super fresh!) goat’s cheese, maple-candied nuts, juicy watermelon balls and lettuce, I COULDN’T STOP EATING THIS.

Oh, a quick note on the cheese.
My parents just got back from a trip to Spain and they returned with LOTS OF FOOD. All for me, obviously.
The star? This hunka fresh cheese. Mmyum. I’m a major Goats cheese lover, so, I went absolutely crazy the minute my mum pulled the beauty of the bag.
IT’S JUST SO SO GOOD.

The nuts I’ve used, are a mixture of sunflower seeds, almonds and sesame seeds all candied in Maple syrup. But mostly, just sunflower seeds.
Also a product of Spain.
And so so addictive.
Someone come eat these with me.
Bye.

Goat Cheese, Watermelon + Cucumber Salad with Maple Candied Sunflower Seeds

Serves 2

1/2 head Romaine lettuce, cut up
1/4 cup salty goat cheese
(use more. Do it!)
A handful maple-candied nuts (use other nuts, omit or even make your own. Heat up a little maple syrup/honey and a touch of granulated sugar and toss the nuts in it at a low temperature. Watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn)
1 cucumber, diced
5 big green olives
5 watermelon “balls” (you can use cubes. Cut up a watermelon and uses pieces)

Dressing
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp each maple syrup and olive oil

To make the dressing:
Put everything in a bowl and whisk

To make the salad:
Combine the leaves, olives and cucumber in a bowl.
Add the dressing and toss to combine.
Too with watermelon, the nuts and sprinkle on hunks of cheese.

FEED YOUR FACE.
unf.

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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Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m going to say this upfront.

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I’m (occasionally) allergic to peanuts.

Not always. But sometimes I choke and get a rash and can’t breathe. Not always, but sometimes.
(I was also allergic to Pepsi, but that was eons ago and all allergic tendencies vanished in a year. So there.)

Anywhooo, on days that I’m not feeling particularly allergic, I like baking with peanut butter because I have a penchant for the peanuty.
I do not fully understand why I wrote that sentence, but I refuse to delete it. It adds style to the blog.

Mmhm.

Getting back to the cookies, these are chewy and wonderful, crispy on the edges and soft on the inside. Basically the cookies of my dreams. Don’t over bake these beauties as they’ll be quite soft when you take them out, but fear not, they are not undercooked.
They’ll harden as they cool.

Obviously, dipping in chocolate is not an option. Nor are the sprinkles.

I’m watching you.

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Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

1 stick (100 grams) butter, softened (if using salted butter, such as Amul, omit the salt)

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

200 g dark chocolate + sprinkles to decorate

Directions:

Line/ grease a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix, you don’t want hockey pucks.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add in batches to the wet ingredients and combine gently just until a dough forms.

Chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Scoop our balls of dough and press down gently with the back of a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let cool till firm.

(Not)Optional:
Melt 200 grams of dark chocolate. Dip one edge of the cookie in and top with sprinkles.

Yessss. Mondays just got tolerable.

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 jalapeƱo 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.