No Bake | Chicken Pasta Salad in Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing #mealinabowl #comfortfood

“The cuisine of a country is the only exact attestation of its civilization.”
Author Unknown

Chicken Pasta Salad in Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing 1 800Chicken Pasta Salad in Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing. Stirring memories.

My one and only trip to mainland Europe was to Milan and that too decades ago. The UK has it’s own charm, but Europe is a different story altogether. The husband often carried back tales of Germany, Netherlands and France yet I get a first hand feel as I couldn’t connect very well. It took the recent trip to Switzerland to change my whole perspective on Europe, how culturally and historically rich it is. You also get a taste of local cuisine. It makes the heart sing out loud when you see the pride they take in stirring up and serving local cuisine, each platter served in style, laced with culinary history. As you cross regions, the stories of food change, the influences are varied, French, German, East European, maybe more.

Swiss cuisineI got back and possibly the first thing I dabbled was was this char-grilled tomato gazpacho, one which is found right across the country. In temperatures ready to sizzle Europe, this Spanish chilled soup is popular across menus in Switzerland. A tomato gazpacho, spinach, cucumber, peach too where they get a little experimental. It’s chilled, it’s bursting with flavour and possibly the most welcome bowl to douse the heat wave!Vine tomatoes with LFP

Gazpacho The Swiss love food and they love life. Local produce rules the roost, and it is heartening to visit a country that celebrates seasonal and local produce practically on every platter. Fruit in bakes, sweet and savoury, greens that are to die for, micro greens just in case you need an additional excuse. Cheese in every avatar, eat as much as you like! If there’s one thing I picked out, it’s there love for salads. Fresh, crisp, from farm to table. SwitzerlandSalad bars are standard at sit down restaurants. Pick and choose what you like, and then drizzle {or drench} with either French or Italian salad dressing. I love the generous servings of dressing that stand alongside, lashings that take the salad up a lot many notches.It’s travels like this that inspire you to stir up something special, maybe something different.Sydney 2015 The trip to Sydney this summer had the teen in love with a good Caesar salad. I soon played around with ingredients for the dressing as that’s what a good salad needs IMHO. The rest I can manage, a little painstakingly in summer of course. So I came up with this dressing, which is like a cross between a Ranch and Caesar, no anchovies in here, yet nice and creamy and zesty. I’ll call it a Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing. It’s nice because it’s easy to whiz up, the trusted Hamilton Beach blender being the workhouse through my experiments.Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing I really should also be making my own mayonnaise, though always have an eggless one in the fridge! Del Monte does a really nice one. Just makes life easier on days when you are short on time. Using just locally available ingredients, this is a nice salad dressing to have in the fridge to perk up the most mundane of salads. Adjust the zinginess as you like, increase or decrease the garlic according to your palette, skip the cheese spread to go light. This is your dressing. Do it your way!

Once this is done and in the fridge, then the rest of the Chicken Pasta Salad in Home Made Buttermilk Salad Dressing is usually a breeze. Summer is a pain for fresh produce here, everything wilts so fast. So I threw together a quick summer chicken pasta salad, inspired by a Caesar.Chicken Pasta Salad in Home Made Buttermilk Salad DressingIt’s a meal in a bowl, and quite balanced too. I’ve kept the carbs to a minimum, a generous dose of greens {iceberg is all I find locally these days} and a handful of roasted walnuts. On other days, you could find some sliced avocado, tomatoes, feta, pine nuts and rocket in there. Do remember to add the croutons just before serving so they stay nice and crisp.Char-grille Tomato GazpachoOh, and you could always serve a chilled tomato gazpacho on the side, making it a more filling meal!

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

Baking | Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a splash of pink in December!

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C

Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeLime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a very simple cake made in the Philips AirFryer a few days ago. 15 minutes was all I could manage that day. There have been no desserts of late and the kids were beginning to make strange unhappy sounds. There’s been barely any ‘free time’ what with final exams on for both teens which are well underway. The cake came out surprisingly nice. Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeDidn’t take pictures of it once made as it was slightly domed and I didn’t have time to pretty it up. One bite down and I thought it was really nice. Lime and strawberries pair well. The second round of the strawberry season has finally begun here in North India. Can’t have too much of this delicious fruit.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The sponge was soft but not moist as always because I whisked in the flour instead of folding it in G E N T L Y. So I didn’t get a ‘light as air’ sponge. Still it was quite soft. Interesting!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The easiest way to get cake moist is to give it a good soaking with a simple sugar syrup. Love doing that when I make my pineapple cream cake. If you are doing a black forest cake, you can always reduce the syrup the cherries are canned in, and add a dash of Kirsch or lime juice to it to moisten the sponge.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake I thought the Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake was nice enough to share, a quick easy cake, make ahead, light and delicious. A slice was hidden away for a picture opportunity while the rest of the cake was devoured by the happy family. Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake Then late that evening the bell rang. It was the courier with the Samsung Netbook that I had won at the Del Monte recipe contest hosted at Indiblogger.  My entry was the Tropical Cream Pie. Much excitement followed and we found a candy pink gizmo. Even though I’m not a pink person, the netbook is really pretty and very handy! I ♥ it!!

Seems to be an early Christmas over and over again. I am feeling quite pampered … maybe too pampered! First the Philips AirFryer, then Finla spoilt me silly, next Mr PAB got me a Samsung S3. My sister sent me more stuff as her better half was visiting … and just when I thought I had everything and more I could ever ask for, PINK came into my life!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake December’s here already. A clutch of days to fly through, a year that’s been packed to the gills. So much happening in this foodie world. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised with some fabulous tea from a beautiful tea company in China. Yes China! And yes tea! Teavirve Blurberry TeaIt’s funny because I am a 100% coffee addict and never drink tea. My first foray into tea was at the Aussie MasterChefs breakfast meet where Sangeeta talked me into sipping some lavender tea. It was wonderful. Then she got me some beautiful green tea from Darjeeling from a recent visit. Teavirve TeaThis herbal and green tea from Teavirve was a nice coincidence. In the bag were samples for green tea, and for Blueberry Fruit Tea and Apple Awakening Fruit Tea. The green tea was similar to others that I have recently sampled, but it was the Blueberry Fruit Tea that was amazing, and stole my heart. Beautiful aromas and subtle flavours of blueberry, black currant, roselle and grapes. The teen is in love with this tea!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The Apple Awakening Fruit Tea is really refreshing too … teasing the palette with an intriguing combination of apple and lemon.  With such an extensive selection which can be shipped across the world, Teavirve is a great gifting option. Green, white, black, Oolong, Pu-erh, herbal, fruit, ice, organic, flavoured … the variety is endless.Teavirve Blurberry TeaTo make the range complete, Teavirve offer a stunning range of teaware too. {They offers worldwide free shipping for orders over $30 … you should check out there collection.}

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Baking & Giveaway | Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake … and a Retro Giveaway {#zansaar}

“A little too much chocolate is just about right.”

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake  “Happy December”! Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake … a cake as delicious as it sounds. There comes a time when you heed a certain call, and you succumb to the temptation of dark chocolate all over again! Pair chocolate with berries … cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and there are good times ahead! Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake This was yet another cake that just happened on the go. The culprit as always – too much to do, too little time. Thankfully chocolate is something that hardly ever lets you down. Use dark chocolate, and you can kiss ‘hardly‘ goodbye. Dark chocolate always delivers! This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake was for my Mums birthday a few days ago. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake I hit a ‘cake block‘ and decided to bake out of the Chocolate Bible by Le Cordon Blue. Quick check of star rating and Sachertorte was the saviour! I had all the ingredients in the pantry, even apricot jam. I also had 4 egg whites in the fridge trying to gracefully age for macarons. The macarons would have to wait!Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream CakeBaking the cake was a breeze.What bothered me though was that cake was flat-tish as the tin I used was bigger than the specified one. That I didn’t like! By the time I was done with driver duties, doing lunch {hail the AirFryer and chicken tikkas} etc, there was no time to look at the book. All I knew was that I wanted a layer of filling to give the cake some height.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream CakeDark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake A Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake ‘happened’. It was sublime! Dark, deep, divine, luscious chocolate, a beautiful raspberry cream filling to go with it, and a ganache like velvet … smooth, dark, rich! Of late, I have begun posting recipes based on weight and not cup measures; an attempt to standardise recipes . I have something for you today dear readers.Zansaar giveaway on Passionate About Baking

I am glad to offer my readers in India a Retro Kitchen Electronic Scale with a Retro Kitchen Worktop Saver from the beautiful online site Zansaar. I have partnered with them to bring you the above from their exclusive Vintage Pantry collection. A bold and lively interplay of black and white to lighten up those kitchen chores …

Zansaar

Have you been to Zansaar? Zansaar means ‘world’. I love the colour and vibrancy this online destination offers . The selection is vast – vintage, quirky, vibrant, colourful, retro. It’s a one stop shop for all things food, home and garden. Whether it is black and white that grabs your fancy, or a splash of vibrant  yellows, you’ll find something here.

Passionate About Baking Zansaar Giveaway

So dear readers, if you’d like to win this beautiful retro scale and worktop saver from Zansaar, please leave a comment saying which product from Zansaar  catches your eye.

This giveaway is open to Indian residents, or anyone with an Indian postal address. You can enter if you don’t have a blog too. Please make sure you leave a contact {else mail it to me at vindee {at} airtelmail {dot} in}.

The giveaway closes on the 15th of December. 

To increase chances of winning you could do any of the following. Please leave an additional comment for each of the following:

1. “Like” PAB on Facebook.

2. “Like” Zansaar on Facebook.

3. Follow @vindee on Twitter and tweet the following : Win a @zansaar giveaway from @vindee http://bit.ly/bowerybag #giveaway #zansaar

4. Follow on Zansaar on Twitter.

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