Guest Post | AFBHLS … and ‘My 7 Links’

“Have a focus, creativity loves constraints. Be able to answer the questions, who is your audience and why would they be interested in your site?” “Who are you trying to reach?” Answer the following question to yourself, “my blog is for ________ who are looking for _______.” Find your genius!”
Todd and Diane @ White on Rice Couple

AFBHLS & My 7 LinksWhen Sanjeeta @ Litebite {don’t you just love the name?} asked me if I’d like to be part of her series ‘Awesome Food Bloggers and Their Healthy-Living Secrets’, how could I say no. I feel honoured to share my thoughts on ‘healthy living‘. AFBHLS attempts to bring forth some food bloggers who will share their experiences on food, recipes, health and ways of cooking with you all.PABSanjeeta runs a wonderful blog in India, healthy and delicious, and keeps a hawks eye on nutrition, diet and healthy stuff that she churns out of her kitchen. ‘Have kids, will innovate’ seems to keep her going, yet she manages to take out time to introduce her 97 year old grandmother to new cuisines! Bravo…. I will attempt to add my own two penny bit to the healthy series, things that are important to me, things that shape the way my world is. The word cloud above might give you a sneak peek…

Catch the rest @ Lite Bites with a recipe for a Peach & Plum Crostata.

Meanwhile I shall continue an invite from my dear friend Hélène Péloquin @ La Cuisine d’Hélène who has a beautiful food blog in Canada. We met virtually about 3 years ago, and have been in touch over Blogger Aid, chocolate  and much more! Both our better halves are in the aviation line, while family, food and blogging fill our days! It’s a pleasure to do the project ‘My Seven Links’ that she nominated me to join!

The goal? Katie @ Tripbase spells it out … To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

How wonderful is the idea behind My 7 Links. I think this has a lot in it for the blog author as it does for the reader! I ♥ it! Forgive me if I go overboard as I’m having a field day diving into my little blogs past!

Your most beautiful post

Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries. This was one of my favourite posts {and desserts}. It has a bit of everything I really love. Baking {♥♥♥}, fruit, roasted strawberries, homemade curd cheese, and a dark chocolate filigree border to the cake. I feel inspired each time I look at it {if I may say so myself} …

Your most popular post

I think this turned out to be the granola that changed my life {in some ways}, Chocolate Granola {gluten free}adapted minimally  from Bea’s gorgeous La Tartine Gourmande.

Easy as can be, healthy beyond belief, and addictive as a snack anytime of the day. I put together some parfaits using the granola with left over quark cream and strawberries from this Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake. The possibilities are endless.

 Your most controversial post

I must be blessed as I haven’t run into a controversial post {as yet} … Amen!

Your most helpful post

… is one of my favourite food related  subjects, Say CHEESE; It’s Homemade, a 24,24,24 I did for Foodbuzz in 2009 on making soft cheese at home. It covers cottage cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, quark and mozzarella {I didn’t have much luck with the mozzarella though}, and recipes that used each. I really enjoyed doing it, and have helped loads of foodies try their hand at making some.

A post whose success surprised you

It was a Secret Recipe Club post, and I was assigned my sweet friend Barbaras beautiful blog for it. I picked Old Fashioned {Eggless} Layered Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberries & Cream. It tasted fabulous, but I was amazed at the runaway attention it got!Later learnt that the cake was picked by Ree Drummond @ Web Deliciousness: Strawberries! @ The Pioneer Woman Cooks where she said “This is the first time I’ve seen this food blog and the photos are just spectacular, not to mention the treats themselves. Wow. Here’s another one. Whipped Strawberry Curd Cream Tartlets with Walnut Shortbread Crust. My, oh my. I don’t know what to say.” … that day my page hits soared to 11000!!

A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved

Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise with Crème Chantilly & Balsamic Cherry Sauce … was this Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise with Crème Chantilly & Balsamic Cherry Sauce that I posted on Mothers Day. It was the first time I had ever heard of a marquise and was absolutely charmed by it! Blog visitors were busy celebrating Mothers Day too so this delicious dessert got a tad neglected!Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise with Crème Chantilly & Balsamic Cherry SauceAs you might see by now, I have a firm fruit accent to my blog. I ♥ pairing desserts with fruits. And bittersweet chocolate? Yes please!!

The post that you are most proud of

Matcha Macarons with Preserved Brandied Cherries & MascarponeFood bloggers are a community that take pride and value everything they blog about. I am no different; I bake, cook and blog with a passion, and really enjoy what I do. One post that made me happy was Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry Filling that I made to mark World Macaron Day / Jour de Macaron  for MacTweets {a macaron blog Jamie & I co-host}.Matcha Macarons with Preserved Brandied Cherries & MascarponeThis post was also a tribute to the spirit of the Japanese people who displayed strength and dignity in the face of unimaginable adversity when the horrific tsunami hit their nation in the beginning of March 2011.

My 7 Links is a wonderful initiative, one I absolutely enjoyed.Thank you KatieHélène.
My nominated bloggers are…

Jamie @ Lifes A Feast

Shulie @ Food Wanderings

Amanda @ Amanda’s Cooking

Suma @ Cakes & More

Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

As I end, I’d like to thank BlogAdda.com, the largest community of bloggers in India who provide a platform to showcase Indian bloggers and help them promote to a large audience, for interviewing me so graciously.

I was honoured by this introduction… “We are all set to welcome the person who has made baking very interesting and taken to the next level in India. Say Hello to Deeba Rajpal, the blogger behind one of the finest baking and food blogs in India, Passionate about Baking. Pre-heat your ovens as we are sure, you will get the urge to bake something after reading this interview.”  {you can find the rest here…}


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India





Baking| Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate Ganache … a guest post

“The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness.”
Henry David Thoreau

Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate GanacheInspiration comes in strange ways. I’m racing with the wind, time is no longer my friend, the hands of the clock whiz by at a dizzy pace … and the pressure of baking macarons for our baby, MacTweets appears to be a lost case. Then uncannily enough I get a direct message on Twitter from Shulie, my sweet talented friend from Food Wanderings asking if I’d like to do a guest post for her on macarons. I want to say yes but I know I can’t manage it. I should say no … but predictably, I say, “Yes of course, sure!”Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate GanacheHow  ambitious of me! Didn’t realize that Shulie is doing a series on macarons on tree nut free macarons. Blimey! With the current humidity and high heat here in North India, where the monsoons are knocking on the door, I wonder what I was thinking. In good times, with perfect weather, I can barely find my feet with normal almond meal macs! Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate GanacheHave you met Shulie @ Food Wanderings … an immensely talented and wonderful food blogger of Indian Jewish descent, born and raised in Israel, who now lives in the US. She is fun, has a wonderful style of writing and a knack of blogging the ‘right’ things {read the most delicious coffee ice cream recently posted}. She loves food photography and styling to the point of silliness and I begin to wonder if she’s another long lost twin!Vintage pots & pans, New DelhiShe promised to come down to India to buy pots and pans after I blogged about vintage pots & pans from my favourite little shop in New Delhi. It’s another passion we share … pots, pans, cookbooks, accessories, food culture. Shulie confesses to possess ‘many other food quirks’ and that gladdens my heart. She’s a lot like me! Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate Ganache Mac time! I bravely peeped into my freezer to see what it held for me. Black sesame seeds. Should I? The devil may care attitude kicked in, and I threw a 1/4 cup of black sesame seeds into the Thermomix with 1/2 a  cup of sugar! Left the feet to fate …  time to think of pairings with fruit to fit the macarons into MacTweets. The theme this month – FRUIT, not a difficult task for fruit passionate me.Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate Ganache & HKGBlack sesame seed macarons sandwiched with fresh cherries in a dark chooclate ganache were the happy ending of my mac-adventure this time, colours inspired by the tea set I found in a night market in HKG last month.

Do head across to  Food Wanderings to catch the rest of the post & recipe.

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us  for the next challenge. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

This post featured in the Foodbuzz Top 9 on 5th July 2011 via @ foodwanderings.
“Today’s Top 9: July 05, 2011
The best of 2,261 posts from the Foodbuzz Community, as chosen by our editors and users. You’re looking at #3!”

Download the all new PAB iphone app –

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

 

Baking|Papdi Chaat & Bhel Puri … Indian Street Food & Guest Posting!

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”
Mark Kurlansky

North Indian Street Food Talk street food and it throws up a myriad of colourful pictures in my head. It’s an amazing food group, one that goes deep into culinary cultures and is fast becoming haute cuisine, upmarket and constantly evolving. Yet, hit the streets and you find good old rustic appeal, preserved from the past, especially in the old city areas. You are instantly hit by a culture that time hangs on to. North India is no different; the streets are painted with colour and flavour, heat and dust.North India, Old Delhi Monkeys wander above while cattle languish below, spice sellers plonk themselves under umbrellas sheltered from the sweltering sun, pan walas sit in rows with an engaged clientele. Across the street, chicken tikkas sizzle over red hot coals! The camera works overtime, how much can you possibly capture and, then again,  how much can you blog? As you see, Indian streets are ‘happening’, and Old Delhi holds that eternal charm. North India, Old DelhiThe camera feeds hungrily at as you get transported to a different age. I feel compelled to share some street culture before I go further! A few more pictures … all taken on a day when Mr PAB and I decide to take a train ride into Old Delhi. Didn’t shop, just wandered around clicking, caught up in mixed emotions … North India, Old Delhi We found a water carrier opposite Jama Masjid selling chilled water in engraved silver handmade bowls, the water stored in a stitched and sealed whole goatskin {top left}. Handcarts piled high with plates and plates of neatly sliced pineapple {painstaking job that}… all open air but plenty of takers, dry fruits sold in small sacks, chocolate too{top right}. AMAZING!North Indian & Street Food {Jama Masjid} In North India street food is a quintessential part of our tradition, not always healthy {read nice and deep fried delicious}, and holds eternal appeal. If you literally eat it off streets, with all the heat and dust thrown in, you are bound to be awarded with a Delhi belly, but there are ways of beating that!North Indian Street Food Papdi ChaatWhen Asha, the Fork Spoon Knife gal wrote to me wondering if I would write her a street food themed guest post for her 3rd blogiversary, she heard a resounding YES! After much dithering, I decided on something I could bake, reflective of PABs central theme, and so made the most delicious Papdi / Whole wheat Crackers {if I may say so myself}. I also made some Bhel Puri from a trail mix of sorts! The crackers would make great bases for canapes too, and the trail mix is easily munched on its own.

North Indian Street FoodDo get across to Street Food Month on Fork Spoon Knife for the rest of the post and recipes! Happy 3rd Blogiversary Asha!

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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