The Savoury Bakes Workshop with Nandita Iyer

I’m beginning to rely on the inimitable Dr. Iyer for my food photography fix! Yesterday I attended my third workshop with her – Savoury Baking. Since I’m not fond of sweets this workshop was perfectly suited to my needs. I love savouries and the sight of a perfectly baked quiche is rapturous to say the least πŸ™‚ Which is precisely what we did! Baked a quiche I mean among other stuff which included Golden Cornbread Muffins that packed a subtle jalapeΓ±o punch; a Cheese & Walnut savoury cake that was surprisingly light and luscious; and some crispy, salty crackers that are fast becoming my new addiction πŸ˜›

As I’ve said in my previous post, Nandita is a fantastic teacher and a very warm and fun person to be with. She holds the classes in her beautiful home and graciously shares her private space with us eager beavers! What I really love about the classes other than learning new dishes and meeting new people, is that I get to indulge my passion for photography! As a friend of mine said – Baking and Photography seem made for each other πŸ™‚ They are so wonderfully complimentary! Am already looking ahead to next time πŸ™‚

Here are the pictures, collages this time of theΒ scrumptious treats we baked! And for the food enthusiasts among you, do check out Nandita’s food blog at Saffron Trail for details of future workshops, her youtube channel and some great recipes!

Take52 Challenge: Week 4 – Creamy

Should have posted this one earlier but was having a busy week! Last week’s theme was Creamy and again I wanted to do something other than the normal ice-cream, creamy coffee, shaving cream shots, although after seeing some of the other pictures this week, I’m beginning to regret my decision! I think I could have done better but Hey! Live & Learn right?

After I posted my picture, I was still on the lookout for something creamy and I took a couple of more shots that I thought fit the theme.

And here is the one I posted for the challenge! Creamy Guacamole with crispy Nachos. The idea was to contrast between creamy and crisp. I think I could have done better. But I’m really glad to have found this group and this challenge on FB. Very inspiring πŸ™‚

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Take52 Challenge: Week 3 – Routine

This week’s theme ‘Routine’ was harder than one might imagine. Or perhaps it’s just me, challenged by the thought of making mundane ‘routine’ events into interesting pictures! I wanted to do something different from the routine take on ‘routine’ [this is becoming ridiculous!], and so took a few shots while going about my daily routine…like these…

And although all of them represented routine…none of them felt ‘differently routine’ πŸ˜› Finally thought of this and it’s what I chose as my theme pic. Books are very very routine to me, but I thought the definition of the word in Hubby’s Portuguese-English dictionary was rather a fun take on the theme. Perhaps the fact that ‘rowdy’ is on the same page had something to do with it? πŸ˜‰

Hope you like it!

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The Zesty Salad Workshop with Nandita Iyer

Yesterday, I spent a fun-filled, educational morning learning to make Salads. Let me confess that I have grown to love Salads over the years – fallen in love with the mix of colours and come to appreciate the blend of flavours & textures. Although I make them much more often at home than I used to in the past, and often have them as a one-dish meal for lunch, I still stick to a few basic favorites. Attending this workshop gave me a chance to extend my repertoire. Also attending a class like this is enriching in so many ways other than just learning new recipes don’t you think? I mean, you can get a million recipes online, but that one-on-one interaction with fellow enthusiasts, the humour, the banter and of course sharing the fruits of your labour with a great bunch of people is priceless and inspirational!Β 

This is my second workshop with the very talented Nandita. She is a medical doctor, writer, chef and author of Saffron Trail, her blog which focuses on Indian vegetarian cooking and baking, her other passion. The first workshop I attended was called Breaking Bread where we learnt how to…you guessed it…bake bread! She’s a great teacher – patient, funny and experienced. She keeps it simple, is open to suggestions and encourages interaction. She conducts the workshops in her beautiful house with a gorgeous garden where she grows a lot of the ingredients that we used in the salads! Organic goodness πŸ™‚ I hope you take a few minutes to check out her blog (just click on the link above). I promise you won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚

And now to the pictures!! What I really loved yesterday was the fact that I had my 50mm lens with me! Had a field day clicking pics. I love that salads are so colourful and vibrant! Just the pictures guaranteed to recharge drooping spirits πŸ˜‰ Although I can tell you this – they were even better tasting then they look πŸ™‚

Here goes…

 

We made 4 salads, learned how to grill fruit, bake croutons, caramelize nuts, ‘chiffonade’ basil and to my great delight discovered the ‘julienne peeler’, a boon to people like myself with minimal knife skills πŸ˜› Another highlight for me personally was when Nandita casually sprinkled a few orangey-gold edible marigold petals on the Chick Pea & Grilled Apple Salad we had made – so frou frou, so moreish!

All in all, a great way to spend a morning πŸ˜€Β 

Eat Healthy People πŸ™‚

Drive. Dinner. Mr.Tickles!

The gist of my Saturday!

A glimpse of the Reis Magos fort...

The morning started out with a drive, its been a while since we’ve been on one…and the weather was perfect! Misty, crisp, breezy and a light drizzle. We set of in the direction of Coco Beach…we were in the vicinity for a family gathering on Monday last, and loved the surrounds πŸ™‚ On the way, we stopped at the Reis Magos Fort (Goa has more forts than I had imagined. Apparently the Portuguese were keen fort-builders!), although we didn’t go up and explore it. That’s for another day.

Sea. Sand. Stone.

We did however stop by the road side and feel the breeze in our faces while taking in vistas of a heaving, choppy, Arabian Sea and the Panjim shoreline. At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum…I must say that Goa in the monsoons is enchantingly beautiful and the air you breathe…words fail me…suffice it to say…I feel ALIVE and it’s a good feeling πŸ™‚

Colorful Sentinel!

We wandered on until we got to Coco beach and there stopped on a narrow road that ran along the bank of the Sinquerim river. It’s an idyllic spot…paddy fields stretching green all around, a temple in the midst of them, standing colorful guard, exuberant greenery bordering the road with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers that seemed to have attracted every butterfly and bee in the neighborhood, a pair of black ducks diving for fish and the river flowing smooth, it’s surface disturbed only by the soft pattering of random raindrops, providing safe harbor for resting fishing boats. Calm. Peaceful. Soothing. I could have stayed there forever…well for a few hours at least…urban soul that I am πŸ˜‰ Ishaan enjoyed too and ran around yelling ‘Butata‘ (his word for Butterfly), trying hard to catch one! All in all…a fabulous morning πŸ™‚

A typical Goan fishing village scene...

In the evening, we had dinner with family @ The Pan Asian Bowl, a restaurant that specializes in South-AsianΒ cuisine, which means it’s got a great Indian-Chinese menu, of which most of my family (those who have good taste ;-)) are die-hard fans! Stuffed ourselves on Malaysian Chicken, which came with delicate rice noodles, fried (heaven!); Shrimp in chilli garlic sauce; Thai-style barbecue chicken; Fish Phoenix (I half expected the fish to rise from it’s sticky, red-brown sauce!); Burnt garlic rice and that old favorite American chopsuey!! Great food and company, a very decent Mojito to go with and an old favorite, a glass of Bailey’s on ice to finish of a fabulous evening πŸ™‚ I wish I had pictures of the food (it was pretty too!), but it disappeared soon enough and I didn’t want any distractions while eating. So maybe next time! We didn’t take Ishaan along, leaving him at home with my Grandma and his Nanny, which brings me to Mr.Tickles πŸ™‚

Enjoying the breeze πŸ™‚

We were back home at 10.30 pm and all seemed quite within. I am disappointed…I hate it when I don’t get to tuck Ishaan in and say goodnight. It leaves me incomplete. I tip-toe to Granny’s room and the lights are out…further sinkage…I nudge the door open an inch and instantly hear, “Mama?” In a flash, he’s in my arms and all is well with the world!! In that moment, I remember Maura’s tag and the question about best compliments received…and I think…this is it,right here! My son gives me my best compliment every time he says Mama πŸ™‚ Lots of kisses and hugs later, the scene shifts upstairs to our bed…and that’s when the tickling starts…he loves being tickled and it’s become part of our bed-time routine πŸ™‚ Then the giggling begins and the sound of his laughter surrounds us. For a good 20 minutes we’re all lost in an orgy of tickling and laughter, until finally, spent, cheeks flushed and eyes shining bright…I hush him and crooning softly, coax him to sleep.

Oh Happy Day πŸ™‚