#BlogAlong + My Top 5 Comfort Foods

Hello Hello,

It’s blog party time.. whooop dee dooo, and this month I am so excited because Upasna, Pooja and I are talking about FOOD!!

I love food, she loves food, we all love food.

This month’s theme is comfort food, soul-food, food that you eat while sitting in your pjs wrapped up in your blanket, food that reminds you of home, food that makes you sigh in food-gasmic delight…. food that makes you feel downright good!

For me, all food in itself is such a comfort. Actually, it won’t be a lie when I say that for me the fascination with food borders on the obsessive. I am one of those peeps who is ALWAYS thinking about food. What I am eating, what I am going to be eating, what others are eating… gahhhhh! My favorite activity on weekends is going grocery shopping at farmers markets! I can make everything about food. Childhood memories, vacation stories, people stories, weddings, visits to friends and family, days at work, outings to the park, day out gallivanting, gymming. People who know me well know this to be true of me, and love me for it. Hopefully. Or they are too sweet to say otherwise. Errrrr…

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Anyhoo, the 3Girls want to share their list of the 5 favourite comfort foods with you, and hoping we get to know yours too. I compiled my list of 5 items and felt bad for the ones that didn’t make it in. Because I love all food equally. Except for karelas. eeyuck

I. Kadhi Chaawal: This used to be the first thing my mom would make for me whenever I came home for a vacation during my grad and post-grad. She used to make the most amazing pakoda kadhi and would always fry up some extra pakodas which I could and would hog on later. For me, the best comfort food will always be ma’s kadhi chaawal, served with her freshly whipped white (unsalted) butter and pakodas.

Image Source: sinamontales.wordpress.com
Image Source: sinamontales.wordpress.com

II. Dal Chaawal: I am such a Desi, because when I crave comfort food I crave dal and rice, maybe some onions and some pickle, and I’m sorted. Ahh, the slurpaliciousness of it all. I love rice, and I could eat it with anything, and a big bowl of dal-chaawal hits the right spot. Always. Remember my obsession with pahaadi dal recipes, here and here?

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III. Seviyan: I debated a lot between halwa and seviyan. I could eat both by the bushel. However, when I was compiling this list, I was also making a batch of seviyan for breakfast, so knew which one was the winner. Sweet vermicelli roasted in ghee and cooked with water and sugar, mmm mmm mmm… I love it. I prefer the drier version to the milky one.

ba1

 

IV. Muffins: Blueberry, raspberry, chocolate chip, apple, carrot-cake, healthy, savoury… I want ’em all. I see a muffin and I Have To T.R.Y it!

muffins
Image Source: http://www.threecheeses.com

V. Cheese

This is how I am with cheese…

eat the cheese

‘Nuff said!

Turns out my love for food is surpassed by my love for writing and gushing about it. Methinks we should do a list of comfort drinks too. Remember when I wrote this love song to Hot Chocolate? Or devote a section only to kebabs, maybe. I could add SO much to such lists :D

Now come on over and tell me what floats your comfort boat… is it a big bowl of soup, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, mom’s yummy chocolate cake, or a big pint of guinness, whatever be your fancy, I’am all yours, dear blogger.

This post is a part of the 3 Girls and a #BlogAlong monthly link-up party, co-hosted by Upasna from Life On My Plate, Pooja from A Bit Of This And A Lot Of That  and Shruti from MszKnowitall. This month’s theme is  Your 5 Favourite Comfort Foods  and it’s time to listen to your tummies!

BlogAlongTo #BlogAlong with us, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Publish a new post or share an old post on the monthly theme
  2. Link for posting remains open from the first Sunday of the month to the following Sunday, till midnight
  3. Don’t forget to include the #BlogAlong badge in your post. In order to get the code, click on the 3Girls and a #BlogAlong image in the sidebar on my blog or here itself, and it will lead you to the image URL
  4. We would also appreciate if you link back to your hosts, and follow us too. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and ofcourse on WordPress :)
  5. Join the party by clicking on the inlinkz button below any of our posts, and adding your post to the blogroll
  6. Comment on each others posts and spread the love
  7. Promote yours and others posts on social media using #BlogAlong with the 3Girls

Blueberry Crumble Cake

As any self-respecting food blogger will tell you, and even if I am a newbie I can tell you, that you just have to subscribe to tons of amazing food blogs out there. It’s all for the glorious love of food, for gazing lovingly at those yummy food photos, for sharing recipes, for finding more food-obsessed people out there and realising you are far from being alone in this gluttonous world, for that slightly envious twinge when you see a brilliant food shot and wonder how they pulled it off, for that aha moment when you realise that all the ingredients for this particular recipe are in your kitchen right now.

The last is what I had been experiencing quite a few weeks going now. Must be all those random grocery trips. I made this one-pot pasta wonder thanks to Joy the baker (joythebaker.com)

Joy Baker

Then this home-made satay sauce for a quick weeknight noodle dinner courtesy Averie from averiecooks.com

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So when this blueberry crumble cake recipe, from the Smitten Kitchen, popped up in my email feed, and I quickly ticked off all the ingredients on the list as being PRESENT in my kitchen, I was so SO happy. I love the smittenkitchen blog. Deb Perelman, author/creator/owner of the smittenkitchen.com, has this super gorgeous food blog, with such decadent food photography. Yet her recipes are ones which you and I can create, with no added stress,  using basic and fuss-free ingredients from our kitchen.

Sample this blueberry cakey beauty.

Blueberry Bliss
Blueberry Crumb Cake baked by me

You would think a cake with the words crumb, and blueberry, taken from an award-winning food-blog means 30 ingredients, 10 hours prep-time, 20 steps, yada yada yada. But nahhh. No triple-milled flour, or thrice-processed granulated sugar, or .. you get the drift. Her recipe calls for basic baking ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence) which I can vouch for being present in every bakers kitchen. And the method to make the cake itself, as simple as fudge.  Trust me.

In her own words:

What I’m wary of is: Excessively fussy foods and/or pretentious ingredients. I don’t do truffle oil, Himalayan pink salt at $10 per quarter-ounce or single-origin chocolate that can only be found through Posh Nosh-approved purveyors. I think food should be accessible, and am certain that you don’t need any of these things to cook fantastically.

I followed her instructions bit by bit…..

The Crumbly Layer
The Crumbly Layer

The basics are simple. Leave all your ingredients out to get them to room temeprature. Make the crumb layer first. Set aside. Make the batter. Pour batter into tin. Top with crumb layer. Bake. Serve. Store.

(I can’t take any credit for the recipe this time around. All steps and ingredients were as listed by Deb in her recipe; so I shall be sharing the link for the same throughout the blog; and just showing off pictures of my attempt at baking it :) )

You follow her instructions to the T and get this
You follow her instructions to the T and get this

God! The husband and I gorged on this blueberry brilliance for days. It got over a few days ago and I miss it so bad already. :(

Give me more
Give me more

For those of you reading this and are raring to replicate this in your kitchen, here’s the recipe and blog post from Smitten Kitchen:

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/07/blueberry-crumb-cake/

If you do make it, do let me know if it worked out as well for you as it did for me. Meanwhile, I have my eyes set on this yummazing Strawberries and Graham cracker crumb with cream recipe Deb shared on her blog a few days back. nom nom nom

Healthy Wholewheat Carrot Cake

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So I always knew that this blog would sooner or later start becoming an  honest-to-goodness-and-gluttonous love for all things food. I mean, I am someone who lives for, and loves food. I remember once I was showing my mom around town, in Pune, India, and each of my stories went something like this, there in that corner, we had the best vada pav, and that’s Marzorin, they have yummmazing cakes and shakes, and ooh, this is Koregaon park, they have this amazing burger joint.. And my mom turns to me and asks, is that ALL you did in Pune, eat? Emmm, yeah-huhh!

My happiest places are farmers markets, restaurants, kitchens, patisseries, cafes, anywhere I am eating good food. And I am kind of proud of it :D

The other thing I love about food is baking it. But for someone who loves baking and baked products as much as me, I do very little of it nowadays. And lately, I always have an excuse for not doing it…I am in a new country, new house, am staying alone, counting the days until the husband gets here, it’s no fun when you are alone, I don’t have the stuff I need, I am going to gain weight yada yada yada… Excuses excuses, and more silly excuses.Time to stop the silly whining and get back to it.
Continue reading “Healthy Wholewheat Carrot Cake”