Plans, Excuses and Recipes

I won't say life has become busier, it is just the same as it always has been, thesis to finish, projects to chase down, kids to teach, cakes to bake, dishes to try etc... etc... I have somehow given away to daydreaming and watching more crime shows on TV rather than hunker down and getting everything done.  6 pm to 9 pm time is wasted on arguing, shopping and TV. 9 to 10 is dinner and 10 - 11.30 I work. Sometimes. 

 But, yet again, no more.  I have resumed my NTC workouts (3 days) and I already feel less lethargic despite the heat. I have kept up with interesting bakes and cakes though and learnt to not fool around with crowd pleasers like my Garlic Rasam, Vatral Kuzhambu, Arachivitta Sambhar, Paniyaram, Cocoa Brownies etc....

One of my favourite bakes of late is breakfast muffins with grapes, sattu mava and whole wheat flour instead of blueberries and APF.  It tasted awesome! The trick is to whip the eggs until it is triple atleast in volume and able to hold shape.  Results, in a much more tender crumb and airy muffin even when I skip the APF.

I tried Debbies one bowl Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp bar with Jackfruit Mango and Grapes instead of Strawberry and Rhubarb. The Jackfruit fragrance dominated but the mangoes and grapes tasted really delicious, crisp outside juicy inside and a little carmelized.  I forgot to save some of the flour mix to strew over the fruits, resulting in a more carmelized fruit flavour. No pic unfortunately.  The bars were over as soon as they were out of the oven.

I made an excellent sour cream poppy seed mango cake.  I used the indian version, white in colour called Khus Khus locally.  Nothing beats well roasted poppy seed flavour in cakes and adding coconut to it is just gilding the lily.  Khus Khus is supposed to be extremely cooling for the body.  The mango pieces were superfluous though.  They didnt add anything to the fruit flavour, remaining just a sudden change in texture, not altogether pleasant, when you eat the cake.

I discovered the best way to get my son to enjoy my very healthy pasta with a ton of vegetables is to simply disguise the vegetables, either as a salad on the side or roast all the vegetables and blend it into the sauce :)

I discovered I have done such a good job teaching my children to enjoy the flavours and not the sugar high, I found that they enjoyed today's Orange-Chocolate breakfast cake while I felt it needed a lil more sweet!

Come June I will have to pack 2 breakfasts and 4 lunches by 8.30 am! My plans for the coming school year includes. well, planning better so that I can cook and pack in 60 - 90 minutes :)

Indian Dabbas are spectacular.  I never understand why they don't share bento's popularity.  Perhaps because it is completely adapted to our cuisine?  The daal-roti/ sambhar-rice and veggies + curds ilk?  I have to pack 2 each for my kids, a small one for the morning break and one for the lunch break.

I want to try breakfast in a mug/jar 1 or 2 days a week - layer granola, fruits and yogurt in a single cup for breakfast on the go.  Granola / Muesli will of course be home made.  I would do muffins, pumpkin pies, fruit custard, dates nuts granola, cold sundals etc...

Lunch will have to include curd rice because it is my lil one's must have for lunch, . He firmly belongs to the above mentioned ilk, other box(es) could have the usual suspects, roti subji, vegetable pulao, pasta, sandwich, crepes, pancakes, idlis etc...

I have a list of things I need to try in the lunch box:

This lentil salad from Heidi.  Also her Fig leaf rice, though I will go with jasmine/hibiscus/lemon, all unsprayed in My Garden.  Her braised spring vegetables (I only roast mine)

Debbies egg sandwiches, sans eggs/meat (school has a vegetarian meals policy).  Her 3-bean chili. Her warm-lentil potato salad.  Her cheese blintz.   So many more.... What can I say?  If I were living in NYC, she might have to get out a no-stalking warrant against me.

I have decided to start a trial run next week, Mon-Fri.  Pics, Recipes and Reviews to follow.


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