Saturday, February 11, 2012
Pinned by me on my Tumblr this morning. :)
Found this picture this morning, while trawling Tumblr........that potato-rosemary pizza looked so tempting, I decided to make it for our saturday brunch. As I type this, the pizza dough is in the oven, rising. The pantry has been raided, I had baby red potatoes and fresh rosemary on hand. Two garlic cloves have been crushed and doused in olive oil and are sitting in a small bowl next to the pizza dough....In about an hour's time, I'll be ready to assemble the pizza. :)
There are several recipes and many iterations of the potato-rosemary-garlic pizza out there. I'm pretty much eyeballing everything and going with my gut, but in case you're interested, you can find some good ones here, here and here.
On the weekends, I like to keep things simple, opting for a quick brunch for the day and a nice dinner at night. My brunch favorites: parathas top the list, in every possible permutation and combination; some days it's upmas of various types (semolina/cracked wheat/bambino noodle) loaded with veggies, with a side of hard boiled eggs; sometimes it's sandwiches (panini-pressed or cold) served with salads....
Do you cook on the weekends? (I know many families in which the mom takes the weekend off! :) ) Does brunch figure in your weekend plans? What are your favorites?
Hope you're having a good weekend,
Update: Thought I'd add a pretty picture of the outcome........here you go! There's blogging in real time for you, LOL! :) (PS: the pizza's already vanished.)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The past couple of weeks have been brimming over with good tidings. In the space of these two weeks, we celebrated our ninth anniversary and my birthday(!) and there were many happy little surprises in store for me....I received the news that my little blog had been featured in an article in the latest edition of Khabar magazine. I was in very distinguished company, and I'm extremely thankful to Girija for inviting me to be part of it. You can read the (very well written) article here (Girija, you rock!).
Earlier, I'd received a boxful of goodies (I'd won a giveaway) all the way from Atlanta, courtesy Ally of From the Right Bank. Thank you Ally, I'm really enjoying the latte bowls and journals. (Do you follow From the Right Bank? If not, you really should, it's one of my favorite blogs and I'm totally in love with the new series on Living La Belle Vie; it's thoughtful, inspiring, and brimming with eye candy!)
My birthday came complete with sweet flowers, birthday cards and gifts......and... sunshine! really, now what more can a girl ask for? Here are some of the goodies.............and thanks are due to the two adorable men in my life, who make each day a celebration....
That was the pretty extensive thank you section of the mail.
Now on to the shout-out.....in case you follow Aarohi's blog, you must be aware of the exciting new project she has been working on. She has teamed up with the not-for-profit organization, The Voice of Stray Dogs (VoSD), to launch a new line of home- and personal- accessories that will benefit the management and care of stray dogs in India. Many of you may be well aware of the plight of stray dogs in India; they are often victims of neglect and abuse. VoSD has come up with an actionable plan that offers animal birth control and road-hit/accident attention and recuperation services. Aarohi will be donating half the proceeds from the sale of her new line to the VoSD animal birth control and recovery efforts. You can read more on Aarohi's blog here.
On a personal note, I have to say I am totally in awe of Aarohi's zeal and determination in carrying out this project. Working within the limitations of several personal challenges that she has been facing, she has devoted weeks of her time to this (almost) lost cause. If you are an animal lover, a dog lover or even simply a civic-minded person, I'm sure you must be excited to see what the Poonchh collection has to offer. (Translation: poonchh is tail in Hindi. Think happy, waggy tails-- saying thank you for all your help!!)
The following excerpt has been taken from her press notes; I hope it will lend some insight into the Poonchh Collection.
"Talking about the collection, Aarohi reveals that every piece in the Poonchh Collection has been hand-crafted using the best quality products, not mass-produced on a factory floor. As a matter of principle, she did not haggle with any of the craftsmen along the value chain. “Since this is for a good cause, I wanted the ‘vibe’ associated with each piece to be positive,” she smiles.
Through the edgy, hip and very stylish Poonchh Collection, Aarohi hopes to make stray dogs hip and stylish too, a fashion statement in themselves. “I want people to carry the products around, and for the products to become a talking point,” says Aarohi. “Hopefully, that will set off a ripple effect, leading to increased awareness about strays, and translate eventually into better and more humanitarian care for the dogs.” It is for this reason that the Poonchh Collection is priced as reasonably as it is – almost every piece is available for under Rs 2500. The paintings are priced at Rs.5000."
I couldn't have said it better. You go girl! She's holding an exhibition from the 10th-12th of February. Further details here..... I do hope you can attend!
I LOVE the functional aspect of her collection; she's put the Poonchh stamp on phone sleeves and pouches, laptop/iPad sleeves, stylish clutches, and pillows and totes--there's something for everyone! So what are you waiting for, go get your wag of approval!
Posted by GB at 11:06 AM
Friday, February 3, 2012
February. Cold grey skies hung so low, threatening to erase the very memory of spring, of sunshine......Sound familiar? Wait! I know the perfect antidote! Come, sit by me, tuck your legs under, pull up that warm wooly throw, let me pour you a cup of comfort. Cup it in those near-frozen hands, let the warmth radiate through those porcelain walls....take a sip and tell me how your day went......
Isn't it amazing that no matter which part of the world you call home, there is this undeniable comfort a cup of tea brings.....it's like this universal language that says, "Welcome! this is where you can feel at home." Offering a cup of tea is synonymous with hospitality across all cultures and each home in each part of the world has its own special spin on the way it is brewed, the way it is served.....me, I'll take it any way it is offered, whether in a kullad (for the uninitiated: these are single-fired clay tea glasses that lend the most heavenly, earthy aroma to the tea they hold) or Moroccan tea glass or in a porcelain cup with gilded handles........
With that in mind, I'd like to introduce to you a new series that I've been working on, where we will be dropping in on friends for a cup of tea and some gupshup (chit-chat). But before we do that, I'd like to invite you in, to our home, for a cup of tea....
We love to entertain, my husband and I; we're not huge fans of crowds and our parties are almost always a rather intimate affair. Our fail-proof formula: one family or two at a time, loads of good homemade food, great conversation (that never seems to want to stop!), the sound of children playing, and of course, tea. Not just any tea, but special, brewed with magic, tea. Tea that will linger on in the memories of the imbiber (made that word up!), ensure that the next invitation to visit is accepted in a snap. :) Tea that has fully grown adults reaching down into the bottom of their now-empty cups, greedily scooping up the nutty morsels with their bare fingers (not making this up. it happens. each. and. every. time.) And that look of satisfaction in the end? that's the best hostess gift ever, knowing that the care and effort put into the evening was appreciated, savored. This magic tea originates in the cold mountain state of kashmir in India. It is called kahwa/kehva and is a kind of green tea, brewed with fragrant spices and a sprinkling of crushed or slivered nuts.
I first came across kahwa back in the early 90s and, smitten with the flavors, I hounded the chef for the recipe.....he gave me a small packet of the tea leaves and allowed me to watch while he prepared the next batch, in a huge silver samovar with hot coals in its belly. I was mesmerized and vowed to master the art of brewing it --thankfully, it was a deceptively simple technique, one that I've adapted to my small saucepan, on my tiny, not-so-glamorous stove burner. It makes for the perfect nightcap--mildly sweetened and fragrant with spices, it is the perfect way to end an evening with friends. You only need a few tea leaves (these are much larger than other green tea I've come across and 7-8 tea leaves easily fill half a teaspoon.) You can (could?) get these at the Kashmir emporium in Delhi and I think also at Dilli haat. If you know of any other sources, please do share in the comments field. The rest of the spices are ones that are easy to procure, most already available in our pantries....
(Please click on the images in order to read the text--I didn't really think through the font size while creating the image above. Lesson learned. :) )
To brew this cup of comfort, you need:
- ¼ tsp Kashmiri green tea.
- 3 green cardamoms.
- ¼ inch cinnamon stick.
- 2 cloves.
- A generous pinch saffron.
- 2 ½ cups water.
- ½ tsp slivered (or crushed) nuts like almonds or walnuts.
- A pinch of powdered ginger (soonth).
- Two tsp sugar (optional).
Brewing that perfect cup of kahwa is easy……place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat and allow the tea to simmer, with a lid on, for at least fifteen minutes. Or till your entire kitchen is filled with the fragrance of saffron and cinnamon and cardamom. Pour into teacups (traditionally, they use shallow, wide cups, much like the green tea cups from China or Japan.) Sprinkle an extra pinch of crushed nuts on top. Serve accompanied with bowls of dried fruits and nuts. Sit back and enjoy!
Want to know more? Suggested Reading:
The Kahwa facebook page.
Kahva Recipe from an authentic Kashmiri food blogger.