2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pineapple Upside down cake

I have forever been a fan of the gorgeous glassy appearence of the upside down cakes. ❤

It is an art to decide the artwork that should be placed at the bottom of the cake pan, before we pour the fluffy batter on top. A lot of people like the blonde look on the cake, but I love the caramel color brown sugar gives to the base. I based me recipe on the classic cake recipe I found on Sally’s blog.

You shall need:

For the topping-

8-10 pieces… Pineapple slices (I used delmonte slices)

6-8… cherries or 3-4 tbsp… tutti frutti

3 tbsp…. Brown sugar

3 tbsp… melted butter

For the cake:

1/2 cup… butter

1/2 cup… white Castor sugar

1/4 cup… Light brown sugar

1/2 cup… Pineapple syrup from the canned pineapples

1 ans 1/3 cup… All purpose flour

1 tsp… Baking powder

1… whole eggs

1… egg yolk

3/4 cup… Butter milk (In 3/4 cup of milk, add 1 tsp vinegar and let  it send for 10 min)

1 tsp… vanilla essence

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 180C and line a cake tin with butterpaper on bottom as well as sides.
  • To the melted butter, add the sugar and layer it evenly at the bottom of the lined cake pan.
  • Now arrange the pineapple slices and cherries/tutti frutti in a pattern that you like.

IMG_0486

  • Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl.
  • Sift together, flour and baking powder.
  • Add the egg to the creamed butter and sugar mix and mix well.
  • Now add the yolk and mix well.
  • Put about half the flour mix and mix well.
  • Add the pineapple syrup and half the butter milk and mix.
  • Add the remaining flour, syrup and butter milk and mix until incorporated.
  • Lightly spoon the batter on the pineapple base.
  • Level the cake from the top.

IMG_0487

  • Bake for 25-30 min or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

IMG_0493 IMG_0495

Serve with love.

Cheers,

Pallavi

Sending this to Bake fest by Vardhini hosted by Taste junction

Sending this recipe to Kid’s delight hosted my My Cooking Journey.

Nupur’s whats with my cuppa?

Cheese Sauce with Cheese Slices

One of those days when you are in no mood to cook but have to entertain guests, this version of the cheese sauce comes to my rescue. Serve it with some chips, veggies, croquet or even nachos and it will never fail you.

You shall need:

5 Nos…. Cheese clices

1 cup… Full cream Milk

1/3 cup… Fresh cream (I used amul)

pepper and salt to taste

Method:

  • Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a pan.
  • Add slices one by one and whisk until they are melted.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with love.

You can also add finely chopped herbs/garlic/paprika/veggies to elevate the taste.

IMG_0490Cheers,

Pallavi

Of Airports and Life #HowWeMet Stories

Airports bring out so many emotions in human beings. Happiness, sadness, love, surprise, disgust, anger… yet all the trips we take have a distinct memory. One such memory is from my travel to South Africa via Dubai.

On the third layover at Dubai, I finally decided to meet this beautiful person I kept seeing over and over again. Stark white hair, flawless caramel color skin and well dressed. The green scarf was a stand out. It was hard miss the smiles this person brought. People would laugh, cry, mindlessly wander to wonderland or even befriend with this person.

The innate warmth and welcoming feel was what drew me to him. There were no presumptions or judgement about him. Every person would treat him differently. When I walked up to the gentleman next to him, he smiled at me and asked for my name. “Pallavi” was what he registered in his mind ad I am glad he did. After a series of questions and a few minutes later I got the opportunity to share the Iced Caffè Mocha with my beloved.

8416ee849ba04a0f897c6dac342bfe4e

Hours turned to days and then came the year 2011 when we got married. Three gorgeous years hence and the love, companionship and friendship have endured. May there be peace, joy and faith always.

Did you meet this wonderful person yet? If not, rush to the nearest Starbucks store, meet new people and share your #howwemet story 🙂

Cheers,

Pallavi

Gift Shopping and a cookie

It was one of those hectic days when you have tonnes of work in the office, have to pack for a trip and also pick gifts for a kiddos birthday. Between running around in the aisles of Landmark, making the payment and reasoning (read haggling) with the gift packing lady for a better wrapping sheet, some generous soul handed me two cookies neatly wrapped in a purple and gold wrapping sheet.

This reminded me that I had skipped lunch and I was on so called “diet” where I was supposed to eat every couple of hours. Since my hunger pangs had started to kick in, I quickly opened the cookie pack and started to munch. The golden discs with dark specks of raisins seemed like the universe with black holes in it. Infinite, gorgeous and oh-so-in-my-mouth. 😀 I still had not read the name or the brand it belonged to.

Since I never throw wrappers around in a mall, it stuck with me, in my bag. After a couple of days, while scouting of something in the bag with a million things, the wrapper found me and stared.

I was feeling guilty as the crumbs would have split in the bag, but the cookie wrapper wanted me to take a look at it. And I did. I was amazed to find out that it was from a brand I had never tried, Sunfeast. (being a person with minor OCD, I never change the brand of the things i have been using or consuming) It came in as a big surprise that it was made of oats.

To be very frank, I am not a oats fan, I have to disguise it in some form or the other and tell myself to just gulp it down. Since I had loved it so much, I got a pack to be kept in the office drawer and one for home. The oats, wheat and minimum use of sugar give the cookie the twist of health that we can add to our lifestyle without altering anything at all.

The generous use of dry fruits in all its varieties can make one seem like a “Going all out” for health kinda person, now come on, who does not want that.

Go ahead and give health a fair chance.

Source: http://sunfeastworld.com/about-farmlite.html
Source: http://sunfeastworld.com/about-farmlite.html

Oh and before you go, see this awesome video from Sunfeast 🙂

Cheers,

Pallavi

Eggless Dates and Apple cake with streusel topping

I have been dying to make a streusel cake for sometime now. It is noting but a crunchy topping over a beautiful cake. It is very simple to make as well.

I used dates and apples for this cake as I wanted to play around with the sugar comtent of the cake. Adding naturally sweet ingredients gave me that freedom. Here is how you can make this gorgeous cake.

You shall need:

3/4 cup… Whole Wheat flour

3/4 cup… All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup… Chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup… diced apples (I didnt peel them)

1/2 cup… Light brown sugar

1/2 cup… White sugar

1.5 tsp… Baking powder

1 tsp… Salt

1 cup… butter milk (In a cup of milk, add 2 tsp vinegar and let it stand for 5 min. Post this you shall have the butter milk ready to use)

1 cup… refined flavorless oil.

For the topping:

4 tbsp… All purpose flour

2 tbsp… Softened butter

3 tbsp… light brown sugar

Method:

  • Pre heat an oven to 180C and line an 8″ cake tin and keep aside.
  • For the batter, in a bowl, mix the dry ingredients (except the apples and dates) with a whisk and keep aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients.
  • Mix well with a spatula.
  • Once all of it is amalgamated, add the apples and dates and mix well.
  • Pout it in the cake tin.
  • For the topping, tip the flour and sugar in a bowl, use a spoon to mix through the butter.
  • You should land up with a rubble of flour and sugar.
  • Cover the cake batter with the topping mix uniformly and bake for 30-35 min or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

IMG_1062

streusel before being baked
streusel before being baked
baked streusel
baked streusel

IMG_1058

Cheers,

Pallavi