Date Cake, Bell Pepper Soup, Nutella and Oreo Balls

After a long pause it feels nice to be back here; like meeting some old friend and open up a small backpack of many stories, thoughts, joyful moments, photos and silly dreams… like a one in which I was the owner of a restaurant, in other I was in a blue pottery shop filling my bag with some unique dinner plates; and a most haunted one in which  I was the silent observer of a plane crash. Dreams has always been vivid and strange and I strongly believe that they pass on some message or warning like ….you won’t believe but whenever I dream of a plane crash, it happened somewhere next day.Nutella and Oreo BallsNow, when the school has started and life is back on a track, on a routine  I am so looking forward to start my walking, clean my cupboards and drawers; weeding my leftover plants. I even have planned a few interesting reads (will share the title, if they seems worth sharing).Dates muffin After sending Virat to school, I sat down to check some old mates and colleagues on Facebook and I happened to discover an old boss of mine with whom I lost the touch after I left the job. If you ask me name one person in whose life I am interested to peer into then she is the one. She  surprisingly married our next immediate boss and now has two lovely children.   I didn’t send her a friend request as I want to keep a close tab on her life without letting her know. During the holidays Virat has shown a great interest in kitchen work. Together we stirred many routine things and he even made his first independent cake for his sister(will share soon). Now,  he  knows how to break the egg more perfectly than I do. lohri

Lohri s is celebrated to mark the end of the peak winter season but amazingly this year it happened otherwise. After so many sunny days, we welcomed the first ever cold day on lohri and since then it’s getting colder day by day.   Bundled up in our shawls and sweaters, we sat around the small bonfire. While Virat played/ roasted a few sweet potatoes over the fire, Inder kept adding woods and  me and MIL chatted and watched an almost different mood on the other side of the road .  Our neighbors and their young PGs, all dressed up in glittering clothes sang and danced to  one song after the other.home visit'15home visitthomevisit'15 Like every year we had another long week party at my mummy’s house.  Kids were certainly most happy.   All week there have been lots of silly activities by them.  One day they took out all the month’s newspapers and rolled them into guns and swords and wrestled playfully. Every time my poor sister provides them a neat ground to play  there was another blow out from them. But we have  a few peaceful moments as well  like when they were sleeping or when they have tabs in their hands or when their mamu’s around (who either took them out for a treat or play cricket with them).  We ladies only then get some peaceful time to chat about a serious business i.e food. This year,  I learnt many new dishes from my sister-in-law;my mom taught me to pickle carrot, turnip and cauliflower.  Remember the above brown headed barbet pair living on the tree outside my mom’s house, well the pair doesn’t live there anymore but they do came  once to say ‘hi’ to me. Cakes I made this Zuccini cake  (pictured above, right)  and Nutella balls for the kids. And the plum cake on the left was made for one of my friend.  He totally loved the cake.  I used my last and best ever Christmas  recipe for the cake (just replace fruit juice with rum). https://bakingflavours.wordpress.com/2015/12/25/kerala-plum-cake-and-chocolate-christmas-cake/ Roasted bell pepper soupdelhi haat'15 One other outing during the holiday was to Delhi Haat.  The highlight of the ongoing fair was Handloom, which didn’t interest me much. I picked  two bowls and some hooks from a permanent shop.  

Last year we welcomed another gorgeous lady in the family.   My cousin-sister and brother-in-law organized a grand reception to celebrate the wedding of their son (happened in America).   For us, it was a time for double celebration  as it also gave us an wonderful opportunity to meet  her and her family after many many years. In fact, it was my first meeting with  Abhinav, the groom..  We didn’t interact much as they all were busy introducing Anne(bride) to the family.  I just want to wish the couple the very best in future.adventure island'15 Just before our Ghaziabad visit Virat and me spend the day with my sister and with her son at Adventure Island.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – 2 big
  • Red bell pepper – 1
  • Onion – 1
  • Spring onion – 1
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh ajwain leaves – 5
  • large cloves garlic, peeled – 2 – 3
  • Water – 2 cup
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp

  Method Preheat the oven at 200 degree C.   Arrange bell pepper, onion, spring onion, ajwain leaves, garlic clove and tomatoes on a baking tray. Drizzle oil over; sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast until slightly black and tender, turning peppers and onion occasionally, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool. Transfer vegetables and any juices to a mixie jar. food processor. Process it, leaving it a little chunky.   In a pan, add water and puree and give it a boil. Serve hot. Dates Muffins Recipe adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Recipe/Sticky-Date-Pudding-KhaanaKhazana.html Serves 6 Ingredients

·         Dates pitted and chopped – 1 cup

·         Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

·         Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

·         Brown sugar – 1/2 cup

·         Butter – 90 grams

·         Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon

·         Eggs – 2

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dates in a bowl, add soda bicarbonate and one cup of boiling water and set aside to soften. In another bowl take sugar and butter, blend till fluffy. Add vanilla essence and mix. Break eggs into the bowl and continue to blend. Add flour and mix. Finally add the dates (should be at room temperature) and blend for a minute or two. Pour the mixture in a lined muffin molds and bake for about 20 minutes or until the knife inserted comes out clean. If desired drizzle some chocolate sauce and some grated chocolate over the top.

Recipe adapted from Lorraine PascaleOreo biscuits – 2 packets

  • Nutella – 5 – 6 tbsp or more
  • Dark chocolate – 200gms
  • Milk chocolate – to drizzle (optional)

Method Place oreo in a mixie jar and blend add nutella and blend again to form a paste. Take a small amount of paste and roll into a ball. Make small balls with the mixture. Pop them in the freezer for 15 minutes. While in the freezer melt chocolate. Dip the balls in the chocolate with the help of a fork. Drizzle some melted milk chocolate over.      

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