Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chicken Salad Sandwich Spread

Somehow, of late, I have been reminded very much about my driving instructor. I really don't know why but she seems to be coming in my thoughts very much of late. My license was taken in 2002 and I had a happening six months training under her. She was a Pakistani women in her early 50s, who had taken up the job to support her family, as her husband had passed away. A very jolly personality, I used to eagerly wait for the driving classes. Later, I discovered that even she loved my company - so it was basically mutual admiration! She would have a little radio in her bag. In driving school vehicles, the audio system is disconnected. When she knew I loved to hear music, she would slowly pull out the radio and keep it in low volume as she used to train me to drive. She particularly would tell me that the song from the movie "Hindustani" - "Telephone dhun me hasne wali" was written for me and I would go red with embarrassment! Hehe... Each time I take a roundabout, I remember her instruction, "take a round about as though you are drawing a circle with a compass." I was not an excellent student, took quite a lot of tests to finally land up with the license but I always tell a good story of my instructor, when many have bitter tales to tell. I haven't seen her after getting my license since I did not have any need to visit the place. I hope she is fine wherever she is and the thought was just from Him to remind me of the beautiful people I have come across in life, Alhamdulillah....

Talking about morning rushes... just that schools are almost opening *sigh!*, it is imperative to have some quick fixes that will make life easier while planning lunch boxes. I had already mentioned earlier that the only thing my girls need is bread sandwiches, but now I am wanting to look at more options and get myself more organized as far as their eating in the school is concerned. Somehow, I have been miserable in managing it and always depend upon the jam, Nutella or cheese to accommodate the bread, and some cut-up fruits to go with it.. Though they finish it off, it makes me feel guilty of not putting much thought into what goes into their boxes. This was one idea my colleague P (of the Bombay Biryani fame!) shared with me. The kids just love it because it has chicken, and it has their favorite veggies, carrot and cucumber in it. Make them handy in a little bottle, so that you can just slather it on two slices of bread with some butter and toast them!

Chicken Salad Sandwich Spread
Makes a small bottle


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Just keeping my introduction short for today, a powerful statement...


Strawberries are slowly fading, though not completely. It is just getting slightly a bit expensive every week. I still keep buying boxes whenever I find them at a good deal. I am looking at making some compote and topping them up for some pannacotta... but at the moment they are still a part of a dream! Ahem... hehe... meanwhile, let us enjoy this really simple strawberry fro-yo! Just three ingredients, if you like the combination of sweet and tangy, then this one is for you. More that the kids, it was the adults who enjoyed it. Since I slept off after keeping it in the fridge, I had a problem with the crystal formation. But after keeping it in room temperature for sometime, beating it and then refreezing them gave me a better texture. Off to the way I made it...

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from BBC GoodFood


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kummelweck Rolls

Another interesting yeasted savory bake for this month's We Knead To Bake! Each month, Aparna lists a bread, I feel so nice being a part of this group!

What exactly is this month's bake? A very interesting name, isn't it? Kummelweck Rolls or Buns are of German origin, the literal meaning of the name being "caraway hard rolls". These rolls have a topping of caraway seeds and a generous sprinkling of coarse sea salt. There was a lot of confusion in the group as to what is the Hindi name of caraway seeds, moving in between shah jeera, cumin and fennel. I decided to top these with my favorite cumin seeds and absolutely loved the flavor. As usual, I halved the recipe and got just what we wanted to have for dinner. I was surprised that the elder kiddo, Rasha who is never fond of my yeasted bakes, had her share with a burger tucked inside and finished it off without a trace! The out was hard but the inside was super soft and we enjoyed the buns warm, as soon as they were out of the oven! Off to the way I made it...

Kummelweck Rolls
Makes 4 
Recipe adapted from here



Monday, March 23, 2015

Gajar Ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa ~ Microwave Method

The other day, I was just thinking to myself... being a working mother makes me miss a lot of little joys in life. It is not that I am not enjoying my current life. I do love being super busy and having no time on hand, which gives me hardly any free time to think about anything but at times I crave for some leisure time. The time when the kids and the HD is off to their respective morning places and I could sit in the hall with my big mug filled with hot chai, slowly sipping on them and thinking about sweet nothings... Eagerly awaiting the kids' warm hugs and kisses when they come back from school... Serving them lunch and putting them off to nap... Being with them when they are at home... In fact, I miss that time. My girls are growing up so fast that sometimes I feel I am falling behind on catching up on their growth. I hate my lack of time and patience with them, especially when millions of things are playing up in my mind - the dinner, the breakfast for the next day, the laundry, the beds, the cleaning, the sleeping... At times I hint to HD as to how much I would love to be at home. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side. Being a Muslim and a Malayalee too, I know that I am an envied figure to many women, but I guess all of us have this interest of getting off the mad rush, of settling down to ourselves and being our own boss, rather than the number crunching and the human dealing, which may satisfy mentally but drains emotionally... When women tell me they want to work, I ask them, "Why? For the money? You lose out on so many things because of that money..." :) Maybe I sound selfish, but that's how it is...

I guess I was getting a tad bit emotional so a classic dessert to pep me up... Gajar Ka Halwa is a home favorite. Rasha loves to grate carrots so she would do that without any complaints. The only thing I have to do is to make them. I have already shared my go-to recipe and this time, I am sharing you about how to make it in the microwave. I was sceptical whether it would give the texture I like, since I like to see my carrots all nicely mashed up and surprisingly, it did turn out to be a lovely halwa! We enjoyed it post dinner nice and warm...

Gajar Ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa ~ Microwave Method
Serves 3-4
Recipe adapted from here