Baking | Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Biscotti, GF Buckwheat Mini Apple Pies & Wholegrain Coffee Chocolate Chip Cake … & a product review #élan

“You begin with the possibilities of the material.”
Robert Rauschenberg

Baking & Serving with élanMy love for food props is understated. I am avid lover and collector of any prop related to food, from a spoon to a cauldron! It’s no secret that I haunt the streets of Old Delhi looking for vintage finds, that I browse Etsy just to drool, that Pinterest is another favourite hang out. That’s probably the tip of the iceberg as food photography props are an obsession! élan is a refreshing discovery!

living with elan I rarely veer towards bright colourful props, maybe something to do with my inherent bend of mind towards pristine neutral whites and dull un-shiny metallics! No longer though! I was recently sent this BRIGHT POP ART styled cake stand with server, and 3 tier stand. Gingerly taken out of ‘the well packed box‘, they bowled me over!!

living with elan This was where the very talented NY art school graduate Vidushi Gupta, the creative brain behind ‘Living with elan‘ comes in. She describes herself as  “passionate about the tactile, the messy, and the raw – designs and colors that transcend the mundane and bring joy to your everyday life.

living with elan

élan is a treasure-trove of fascinating lifestyle products waiting for you to organise, garden, entertain, gift, and even entice. Buckets, boxes, caddies, gardening tools, blackboard markers, suspended hearts-birds-mini homes, lanterns, stools, trays, napkin rings and more! Enjoy basic geometrics, vivid colors, patterns, and raw textures. Each piece is handmade.

living with elan I was instantly drawn to the bright, cheerful colours, the interesting and refreshing designs, and the powder coated finish. I love metallic bric-a-brac, and élan fills my heart with joy. That they used the rather underrated and unexplored world of galvanized sheet metal {read unbreakable , long lasting and sturdy} is a HUGE plus for me.

living with elan  The filigree lacework on the cake stand and matching server, the very neat powder finish of the tier stand all scream quality. And this quality available in the very heart of the NCR is even better! The lady was sweet enough to offer me the rani pink cake stand {though she did ask me if I’d rather have another colour}. PINK fitted in beautifully with Pinktober and my breast cancer awareness drive.  How wonderful that the tiered stand also had a nice touch of PINK {and the server can be used with it too}… sweet!

living with elan 6The products are not painted – they are powder coated in an industrial oven to ensure maximum quality and life. All their powder coating is lead-free and safe for foods, so you can eat from any of them. There was plenty in Entertaining with élan for me, yet curiosity drove me to explore further! Plenty of ♥-tuggers I have to say…

Organizing with élan

Wooing with élan

Gardening with élan

Traveling with élan

Mini bird homes, bucket caddies, chantilly gift boxes, an amphora pitcher of l♥ve {♥♥♥}, everything organiser, a fabled accessory bucket, mughal flower bucket, a mughal pie in the sky storage box {♥♥♥}, the dabbawala box {♥♥♥} … I was running out of words! These are just a few of the products they have on offer. The vivid colours, thoughtful designs and versatile range makes sure there is something for everyone.

living with elanBetter still, they offer ‘tailor made‘ options! How cool is that? They can customise any product for you , match it with a theme or occasion, or both. Their existing line can be custom coloured to match party theme or brand colours. You can even ask for a brand logo to be added! Immense possibilities to create refreshing, happy moments!

Whola wheat almond Biscotti & Whole Wheat Coffee & Dark Chocolate Pound Cake Of course I had a field day. I made a Wholegrain Coffee Chocolate Chip Cake that morning. Almost similar to the one above, but for a teeny bit of buckwheat flour. Also sneaked some Chocolate Almond Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Biscotti from a batch baked for Mr PAB who was leaving for HKG. He likes to carry a ‘taste of home‘ with him when he travels!

GF apple walnut buckwheat piesBeing a kinda free day, I made tiny little GF apple pies with buckwheat just because …

I scribbled  the recipe on a scrap of paper and can’t find it of course. It was basically chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, chopped walnuts & raisins, a few tbsps of buckwheat flour all tossed together. I patted them together into cupcake liners {thank you Finla}, dotted them with butter and baked them for about 20 minutes. The daughter loves anything apple, and loved these cold!

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

Baking | Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies …. #snugg

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies … felt like snug cookies. Something secure and comforting about them. The idea of course came from developing a comforting bite which felt ‘snug’ … thanks to this fabulous Snugg iphone cover I received in the mail the other day.

snugg antiradiation iphone caseI love the Snugg line of products. They spell quality and durability which is what I look for in anything I would pick. I have been using the Snugg iPad cover for a while now, and I love it to bits. The iPad  is ‘safer’ in the kitchen than ever before, and stands beautifully while I dash back and forth! Similarly, the iPhone case spells quality. In addition, this premium case sports some fantastic features.

Black iPhone 4/4S Anti Radiation Case.

- Reduces Cell Phone Radiation (SAR) by 92% and Hot Spot Radiation (EFI) by 90%!

- Ultra Thin, Lightweight, Sleek Design.

- Durable and Impact Resistant.

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies With the word snugg in mind I marched ahead with a cookie idea. I attempted to snuggly fit in some Nutella into the heart of my cookie. At the end of my experiment, wasn’t too sure if the Nutella taste came through, but the cookies were a hit alright!

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Soft cake like cookies, ‘no longer tiny’ hands sneaking them away from the cookie jar one after another. They seemed to hit the right spot with the kids. With a nice deep chocolate flavour, you could barely tell that these were whole grain cookies!

Wholemeal Chocolate Nutella Cookies Maybe it’s the recent almost 100% switchover to healthier eating & whole grains, a sign of evolving tastes. Or maybe that chocolate and wholegrain are good ‘companions’, I have had loads of luck of late. I barely ever use plain flour anymore, unless it’s a special birthday cake, or maybe partly in bread. I’ve had a patch of good luck with 100% wholewheat bread too, so I ain’t complaining!

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

Food Event | Tom Alter & Anandini Himalaya Tea … when poetry & tea created magic in Lutyens Delhi

ime for you and time for me, and time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions, before the taking of a toast and tea.”
T.S. Eliot

Tom Alter & AnandiniIt was when ‘Tea & Poetry’ created magic. In the heart of Lutyens Delhi with Tom Alter and Anamika Singhs Anindini Himalaya Tea, monsoon winds, the 20th floor at Le Meridien, good folk, music too, life was good! So many shades of the uber talented actor, poet, writer Tom Alter and tea, so many!! The event ‘Reflections’ is part of the New Perspective event series, an initiative by the Le Meridien, New Delhi.

DelhiTea was the call and the day couldn’t have begun any better. With Delhi now blessed with the monsoon winds and thundershowers at the blink of an eye, Anandini added deeply to the romance.

Anindini Himalaya TeaThe romance that spells Delhi in the rains …  the smell of wet earth, dark skies, pregnant clouds that threaten to burst,  sudden downpours that catch you unaware, birds taking shelter on ledges … and of course that hot cup of tea! Traditionally chai, but TEA at Anindini created by the effervescent Anamika, tea taster and sommelier.Anamika Singh Tom Alter AnindiniIf you thought it couldn’t get any better, hang on! It certainly did. Thespian actor and poet, Tom Alter, a name we grew up with, who played many a ‘sahib’ in Indian films and Indian freedom fighter Maulana Azad too, blended some evocative poetry with Anindini Himalaya Tea. His deep rich timeless voice made for perfect pairing, the man himself a charmer to boot!

Tom Alter & AnandiniBorn and brought up in India, this son of American missionaries can easily pass off as a local. A brilliant command over urdu and english, the charming Tom held us in rapt attention. Such a beautiful evening. From TS Elliot to Ghalib, from the Beatles and Frank Sinatra to old Rajesh Khanna numbers, the man had us captivated. Absolute pleasure! And to add to the charm, there was Anindini in many different avatars.

Anandini Himlayan Tea“Tea for two or two for tea, me for you or you for me … ” the narrative engaged us as the tea delighted. Tom divided the day into seven sessionss with a special tea blend for each.  From the luxurious morning cup that gently awakens you to the second that relieves you of your sorrows, to the most needed post lunch afternoon digestive, tea came in many flavours …  Rosehip & Chamomile, Rhododendron & Himalayan Tulsi, Rose Petals and Mint, Fire Flame Blush and Mint, Pomegranate Flowers and Himalayan Tulsi.Anandini Himlayan Tea All natural, Anindini presents the finest tea delicately paired with herbs and flowers from the Himalayas. Romantic, intriguing and refreshing. I loved the first serving of tea in tall flutes of cold mint and rose tea. Such a pretty sight to greet you, perfect for the early monsoon evening that we walked in on.

Anandini Himlayan TeaTiny shots of brewed tea followed. You could pick out the slight undertones. We gleefully matched them with the fine print on the pretty containers, all colour coded! Tom Alters deep voice teased, mesmerised, cajoled, questioned the crowd. He held our rapt attention. Every now and then an applause would loudly break out, the gathering so appreciative of his immense talent, an encore heard every now and then!

He ended with tales of his childhood. His eyes gleamed with delight while recalling the memories of  his mum’s fresh cinnamon buns on cold winter days when he returned from school. Those warm buns served with tea were the best thing ever. I knew just what he was talking about. These quick Cinnamon Buns are a favourite in our home too …

Anandini Himlayan Tea & Anamika SinghCouldn’t have asked for a better celebration for this not so humble anymore cuppa. Anindini attempts to redefine the humble chai. Tea that adorns a new garb. Tea, herb & flower blends tease the palette, surprise you with the pairing. Behind the venture, a passionate lady. Anindini Himalaya Tea reflects the depth and beauty that Anamika personifies. She is warm, affectionate, passionate, humble and dedicated. Her passion is what Anindini is about. Try a cuppa and you will see what I mean!

Anandini Himlayan Tea

Thank you Le Meridien for hosting this beautiful evening and for taking the wonderful initiative. ‘Reflections‘, a perfect blend of tea and poetry, made for a great beginning! Thank you Anamika for having us over. And of course, thank you Tom for making the evening magical!

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

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