Ghiraldelli Brownies


No Second Thought as I baked these brownies...after TWO Years. They came up soo unplanned, unintentionally yet blissful.. Why B Brownies ? Infact anything.Just like another novice baker, my hands begun shiver to bake things in the oven because I do not have the control of the cooking inside the gas oven. I knew my electric oven well in my old house.

 As I was putting away dishes and stacking little masala containers in the kitchen , my eyes scanned on the Brownie recipe of the ghiraldelli cocoa powder container. With Miss Pink tucked on me.. very causually I read thro the ingredients and kept ticking the list in mind. Voila!!!! I knew I had all of them .. Best bit was I knew exactly where every ingredient was while ticking the list..Only worry was Can I do it ? Shall I do it after I tuck the kids to bed at night? Then I asked myself .. Why Not? Why am I panicking with Miss Pink around? Whats the worry even if the batch doesnt turn up as planned ... I have gorgeous two supporters who will back me up -- My Boys !!

With a positive vigour , it was a YES YES and we did it ! Gas oven took more time to bake but the end result is right in front of you !! I let the brownies cool... for a couple of hours before I cut them into squares.. H returns from work in the evening following the trails of the beautiful aroma of the baked brownies and said wow... Lets dig.. We all gulped bites after bites with tea and enjoyed freshly baked treat after years .
 As I knew we have guests the next day for lunch, I rebaked a new set the very same evening after tucking kids to bed.. The batch was absolutely gorgeous...kids, adults,chocolate lovers.. loved it ..and the tray was over as they all left !! I felt so contented and this is the story of a novice baker returning to baking !!


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O ..Orange Juice

Spring has begun , the Sun is shining and its bright and blooming outside !!!
Garden Centre's are getting spruced up welcoming new and little visitors like us. Mums  Dad's have begun to lawn move in an attempt to make it their laundered garden ever. So whenever transient visitors come around, they  are definitely tumultous  and wooed.  Easter break has begun.. So kids together at home are competely struck by boredom. Lil V. V is a 6 years old kid who likes to do cool stuff.. Have you got a definition of cool in your dictionary ? 
 Coloring with crayons is not soo cool. 
 Helping mama in the kitchen is not soo cool again.. 
 Watching Tele is boring ( aah for a change)
 Doing Maths is nice but easy peesy.. so again not soo cool... 
 Using I pad/ I phone  is doubtlessly cool ( I dont find it cool though like a typical moma)
 Going out is absolutely NOT cool.. 

What shall we doo??
Gazing at the fruit basket while lost in this COOL Vs Not SO COOL conversation with my Lad , I see a pack of Sweet Navel Oranges smiling at me saying " Pick Me !! Pick Me !"  In a way reminding me that I have forgotten its existence... Offcourse not ... my beau pie.
This in a way schemed an Idea in my mind . How about Orange Juice....?? And V rapidly agreed .He finds it COOL n CLASSY  thingy to do.

What can be more satisfying and thirst quenching than a freshly made orange juice ???



   A no brainer recipe ..Here it is !! Dont you agree ? Absolutely kids friends and the whole process kept V occupied for an hour or so. We first got onto writing the essential ingredients..

  Then mama did cutting the oranges into half n half. A little after that , my sous chef went on to place one half orange on my philips citrus juicer and with gentle pressure did one after the other.. A squeeze of lemon juice on to it.. by placing on the citrus maker and sugar to taste. We used 3 tsp. Alternatively you could use honey ! Since V likes sugar we went on the way he enjoys!




A quick snap on the ingredients and directions below , if you are not keen in reading the gabblings and my kith & kin memoir.
 

INGREDIENTS:


Sweet Navel Oranges 6 Large Nos
Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Sugar  3 tsp
Honey  Optional

DIRECTION:

  • Squeeze the oranges by hand or gently roll them on your counter . This will soften the oranges .
  • Slice the oranges into half and half . I have used NAVEL oranges and they are seedless.
  • Place one half on your manual citrus maker or on your electric citrus maker , like the one we have used in the pic above and gently give a pressure to coax out all the juice out. 
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the oranges. 
  • During the process we placed a half of lemon and squeezed it out too.. approximately 1 tsp and then stirred in sugar after all the process was done. Though the oranges claimed sweet.. , we did not feel the sweetness as usual and we incorporated sugar. You could alternatively use honey for sweetness. All depends on the sweetness of the oranges.
  • My kids did not enjoy the pulp , so I strained out the juice just enough for them . H and me sipped it just the way it is!!

There are other summer beverages in my space -  
Chaas |Spiced up Butter Milk 
 Pineapple Juice with a dash of ginger and lemon

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When I was walking down to school, I was thinking what could be my first post after a break... Rackling my  head hard, my lil miss sunshine smiled at me ..And I knew it got to be one of her favourites.. Onion Uthappam. Miss S doesnt like plain dosa's with sugar...as opposed to her elder brother !! And this is my favourite too .. A teeny bit of heat to this classic southindian dish !
A clear difference between a dosa to an uthappam is that the latter is thicker and the first is prefered thin and crisp .Again its entirely a personal choice.
Uthappams can have toppings of your choice.. Onion Uthappam , Tomato Onion Uthappam , kids friendly can be cheese uthappam , mixed veg uthappam . They are served with Coconut Chutney , Tomato Chutney & Sambar . But I just like it with Ketchup :) and Coconut Chutney.
One can have an uthappam for breakfast, brunch or after an evening tea.. We had it for breakfast today ..


INGREDIENTS:


Dosa Batter  2 cups
Red onions 1 Nos finely chopped
Green Chilli 1 Nos finely chopped
Coriander leaves  2-3 Tbsp finely chopped
Salt
optional
Oil/ ghee 2 tsp per uttappam

DIRECTION:

  •   Finely Chop the onions ,green chillies and coriander leaves. Season your chopped onions with salt..This is purely optional. chilli photo IMG_0348.jpg
  • Heat your non stick tava or hot iron griddle. Spoon in a laddleful of dosa batter and spread it lightly. Sprinkle in chopped onions ,green chillies and the cilantro. Add a few drops of oil around the uttappam and cook it in a medium flame. 
  • After a minute or so , flip the uttappam and let it cook for another a 1.5- 2 minutes until the topping gets slightly crisp. 
  • At this stage you can remove the pancake and serve it with tiffin sambar , coconut chutney & tomato chutney. As I enjoy it with tomato ketchup... I dunked my uttappam in ketchup .

uttappam photo IMG_0322.jpg 

NOTES :

  • You can buy dosa batter from an indian grocery store or can make it at home. I do not have the receipe posted , but hoping to post one soon.
  • There are alternative ways of making uttappam.  
           1.Mix in your topping with the batter and then scoop it on to your tava.  Flip on either side cooking for 2 minutes and serve. 
          2. After scooping in the batter on to the tava and sprinkling in your toppings followed by adding oil. .you can cover the uttappam with a plate or a dome shaped lid and allow it to cook. 
  • I believe this pancake as an excellent alternative to plain dosa's for kids. You can avoid green chillies and use ghee for lubrication .
  • For making this pancake, I do not wait for the last batch of idly/dosa batter or so.. I just make it whenever we like and its still yummy.

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    What transpired in two years???

    Hello dear readers, 
    Hope all has been well with you and I would like to thank you soo much for keeping this space live in these two years..
    Now that my two year's long sabbatical is finally drawing to a closure... I'm so glad to announce my return to this much dearie blogging universe. So much has transpired in these two years. 
    My baby Sandhya's kitchen is so much loved.. visited by a good lot in these 2 years.. She is now a 5 years old toddler... lol !!
    I have been asked by chunks, when am I returning?? My close friends, distant friends, relatives and more... 
    Wow.. Isn't this a motivation to make a come back....  
    Off course! Above all, my blog has become my identity !!Something I m very proud off...

    Ever after I have posted a come back note on the Facebook, I have been doing my homework reading through webpages, blog & Facebook. I knew my blog has been so outdated in apps,look and desperately needed a fresh face. Ever since then, I have burnt the mid day oil ( lol), worked on decluttering the content, dry run the newfangled content in my test blog, and have endeavored to give a youthful mien.

    During these two years... We grew from three to Four. Let me introduce my baby 2 - Baby Shreya.. in future, I will b referring her as Baby S / Miss S. She is nearly a year and half now.. Woooof!! Cant believe.. she is already 18 months old! 
    Little pink is a foodie , loves to try new food but quite a difficult eater.She cannot have any food repeated in 4 days and here is where my challenge begins !!!  Meet my Baby Shreya.


    My elder honey, VEDANT - Earlier known as Baby V will be now called as V ..He is 6 years old and is big boy. Hates to be mentioned to as a baby anytime and at any moment.. 
    Still a very fussy eater , cannot stand the sight of many colored vegetables and enjoys his comfort food.
    During this period,We moved houses, V moved to year 1 - the very first year in independent schooling away from nurtured nursery care. 
    My companion - my camera was robbed and I had to wait until we get one.  This was something I couldn't digest. I would woe in agony ,annoyed but whats the point?  Felt a lot handicapped for good 6 months.... not that I don't have a camera in my iPhone or don't have a p&S. Still....
    But not anymore... I have a friend,a companion.. my Canon 6D !! Thank you H. H already feels after the arrival of my new friend, its like I have a second relationship .So true. And why not?

    I never baked in 2 years... I never tried  experimenting any new food or cooked anything out of the box for 18 months...  I have been engrossed between my pink, blue and the daily chores , trying to set things right after the arrival of our pink.
    Last 6 Months,I have tried to be spry and nimble .I have been wanting to pen down in my very own space.I have attempted and grasped new cooking, new approaches , new shortcut.. In fact a new dimension to cooking ! 

    This break has been startlingly welcoming and I hope to bring back something exhilarating after this gash ,but at a snail pace. Looking forward to your support and love through my journey in this novel phase.

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    I know.. I know.. It has been more than a month.. I have been absconding from the blogosphere , Facebook and in fact every other social network… You just wont believe , I hardly checked on my lil pea online.. if ever she is doing fine … But I m glad she is fine and all up and running…
    I have had a relapse of flu and then cold n cough since the beginning of this year.. Practically tired and hoping every other day passes getting better.. Alas… I m here writing this post… so this surely reassures I m slightly better… Not 100% well to be precise… I just wish , that day comes past me , I can vouch .. well I am as fit as a fiddle… and lets go shopping …
    We had a wonderful blogger meet sometime earlier last month… with 2 wonderful bloggers , Nayna & Jagruti   and we yapped yapped and yapped…. shared experiences about travelling to India , spoke about our culture…, about our fussy food eaters at home and how smart could we get in tackling them…  All over  the sharing Mexican platters…  I cherish all the lovely time we had together…
    Sandhya’s Kitchen ( that’s v much ME) has been a secret admirer of one Indian online journal ever since I got to blogosphere… Even before I knew the difference of a  personal blog to a website.. I have been hopping n admiring n drooling  ( off course !!!)  Soo much down to earth .. and  every recipe on her space has a memory linked to it…..  Simplicity in her posts make me want to do them right away any time…. Bingo !! I m talking about E-Curry and the pretty writer –Soma behind the scene..
    Her presentation with food , art of bringing together the props soo beautifully.. I love it.. Specially the dark background pictures… Trust me .. it comes with practice…… I struggle with shooting them.. And Soma always shoots them soo well…
    Soma … please do post luchi and aloo sabji that people get for breakfast in Kolkata.. I have had them in Gupta’s and roadside.. never got that authentic flavour anywhere after that.. I m not convinced with any blog post yet ... Hope you are reading Soma…  
    I love her space.. So keep hoping over there…and show her how much you love tooo ..
    This post was meant to be live here a couple of days back… Just that my health had been in a horrid state that I haven't been able to do much.. Can u believe I haven't picked the Camera for more than a month ???  Thank you for being soo patient and understanding me through this… Soma… 
    And finally…. lets read in Soma’s very own style…
    rosemary crackers 11
    Back in India, the late afternoon or evening tea break is like a ceremony (no, not the Japanese kind). I think it is just another fine excuse to be with friends and family or maybe even to overcome the hint of lazy after the big late lunch and the nap. Whatever the reason may be, the evening time for tea is an important part of the day for many, with a spread of food befitting a dinner.
    rosemary crackers 10

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