About 4 months back I got a lovely present from Tracy. I opened it up and found this beautifully aromatic almond paste by Mandelin. Did you know that California is known for its Almonds? Also almonds are not as fattening as Cashews and so I can get away with using it in anything I please.
That’s me cutting my 6th year birthday cake baked by my Mom(she’s in the right corner of the pic making sure I don’t hurt myself), wearing a dress she stitched for me. I still have the chair I’m sitting on though I don’t fit on it anymore :) This year I celebrated my 28th birthday away from her and I missed her terribly. This was also my 1st Bday with (r)oomie so its got that bittersweet feel to it. :)
It’s also been a while since I got back to blogging - can’t believe that the last I actually blogged about food was in August for (r)oomie’s bday!!! Life sometimes does that to you – it flies by so fast leaving you to wonder why you didn’t catch up with it. Google+ seems to have caught on, facebook is making tons of changes, the Govt is trying to control the internet and I’ve finally gotten some time to get back to baking. And because of the long break, this post is going to be super uber long. You have been warned!
We’ve made a few changes to our eating habits. We gave up rice – 100%(Well, it’s been 3 weeks now). We almost gave up all other grains too except for the odd parle-g/marie biscuit we treat ourselves to once a day. So well, what do we eat instead? – Samo seeds/Moraiyo/Vari Tandool/varyache tandul/ bhagar . It is quick to cook and the quantity required is very less compared to the regular rice/chapatti.
We have noticed that the craving for rice/chapatti and other grains have reduced drastically since we started on Samo. I’m not sure how long we will continue with it but as long as it doesn’t do us any harm, why not? I do get a craving for Pasta once in a while though and at such times I go with the flow - I don’t like to deny myself of anything :) An added plus is that it is Glutenfree!
“One such food is known here in Marathi as Vari Tandul, Bhagar or Kodri. It is the seed of a grass ( Echinochloa Colonum) which frequently grows amongst the rice paddy as it requires damp, or even waterlogged, soil. Instead of removing it with weedkiller, farmers harvest it. When cooked, it makes a tasty and filling meal. Tandul means rice and though Vari is not a grain it provides the nourishment and energy that rice does. In the west it is called ‘Samo’ or ‘jungle rice’.”
I’ve come across recipes like Khichdi, Upma, Pulav, Kheer, Kadhi, Dhokla, Dosa, Soups with Samo… The easiest way to make it is to wash it and cook it with excess water(1:4 samo:water) in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes. You can add salt and ghee for taste.
On that note I’ve been making ghee at home for sometime now. Apart from cooking I also use it to light the lamp everyday. I’d love to share the recipe with you but I honestly feel this post by Lakshmi from Purevege does it perfect justice!
A few weeks ago our friends dropped by for dinner and shared with us this unique treat called Turkish delights or Locoums/Lokums. I loved almost all the flavours they had to offer. These are perfect gifts to take home to anyone with a sweet tooth– I have them on my list. They were also suspiciously close to Kerala style Halwa - texture wise.
We also got to contribute to a wine and cheese party for the 1st time ever! I’m the wine “connoisseur”(not) of the family so I reached out to Sala and got a ton of help from her via twitter and finally got our act together. Everyone loved the cheese – can’t say the same about the wine. Since it was a day time event people preferred the white wine to the red which made me sad for some reason. After this party I totally got into the wine and cheese mood and got a pinterest board fully dedicated to it.
I also finally figured out a way to bake eggless cookies so I could share them with (r)oomie!(when we go off of being grainfree) Yay! Will put up the recipe soon. Meanwhile all my friends are having babies and so I decided to bake cookies for one of them. I’m super proud of these cookies because I managed to find a balance with the ingredients and an amazingly mess free way to do the icing. Once again thank you Pinterest! I have so much more to learn about icing though. You’ll notice the boo-boos in a bit. I also dedicated 2 cookies to Dude who celebrated his birthday on Oct 25th!
I just cannot bring myself to eat/break these! :)
It’s holiday season!!! I had to redo the red icing because of a taste issue.
I love how soft and white these cookies have come out though I used brown sugar.
Spot the frocks I tried to freehand for the new mommy. :)
Oh and we had a really cozy Thanksgiving this year.
And a really awesome guiltfree/caloriefree cake on my birthday!