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giveaway

Genoa Fougasse“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.”
William Cowper

Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I’ve baked in a while. Sometimes you just need ‘bread luxury’, and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home. French Fougasse has always been on top of my list of fave breads. The Genoa Fougasse just knocked it off!Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Spices have always fascinated me since I entered the kitchen. My love affair with them getting more intense when I joined Dolphia and Simi on the spice journey with The Masala Dabba. The colours, the flavours, the versatility never cease to amaze. I am rather light handed with spices in the kitchen, using them only to enhance flavours rather than overpower the dish. The fougasse I planned to make was just a cheese and walnut bread.Genoa Fougasse with SprigIt’s a dough I’ve been working with, an experiment which goes on substituting grains on the go. I wanted a light bread, so I decided to stay half whole wheat and half plain flour. Also instead of water, I like kneading my dough with cultured buttermilk. Kills two birds with one stone, no make it four! Adds some calcium, makes the dough buttery light, reacts faster with the yeast, and of course lends beautiful flavour too! I recently did pitas with a similar dough, playing around with the quantities a little. Seems to work its charm each time!Genoa Fougasse with SprigThe  charm however turned to absolute joy with this gourmet spice blend from Sprig. The spice blends arrived as the dough was proofing. On a whim I decided to add some to the bread. The fresh flavours please you as you undo the foil, the aromas very enticing. The packaging is quite eye catching, the quality excellent. If you look closely, you can pick out the ingredients as listed on the box.Genoa Fougasse with Sprig It’s quite a generous portion in the box, will see me for a while. It added colour, flavour and real happiness to the fougasse which was quite aptly renamed Sprig’s Genoa Fougasse. I can see a Syracuse Fougasse, maybe a Tangier Fougasse in the future perhaps. That’s the really nice thing about spice blends. They are so versatile to use – as a rub, marinade, glaze, paste, crumb, sprinkle or dressing! Or like me, with my imagination on about everything. You can see just what happened!!Genoa Fougasse. Also Malacca Spiced Yogurt, Tangier Hummus & Syracuse FoxnutsI made a Genoa Dipping Oil to serve alongside the bread. Just when you think the bead can’t get any better, one dip into the oil and you reach another exciting new level. Ideas popped into my head. You can do Malacca Naans or Tangier Pita Breads! Imagine a themed meal with the spice blend running through the meal? Really had me happy. Tangier Pitas with Tangier marinated grilled chicken, a hearty salad within paired with a mild Tangier laced salad dressing. Just the idea makes me happy!Falafel with Sprig Gourmet Spice BlendAs I see spices, new ideas constantly develop in my head. How about a spice blend spiked yogurt, like a raita. I gently tried sprinkling some Malacca and melon seeds over home made yogurt. I can’t even begin to tell you how addictive that was. It was actually bowl scraping good. Next time it’s going to be either grated radish, a spice blend, chopped walnuts, maybe a dash of garlic and fresh mint or coriander as a side. The possibilities bring a smile to my face, somewhat like these fox nuts {or makhanas below}.

Spiced Yogurt and FoxnutsAs the days pass by, there is always something interesting happening in the kitchen. These days falafal seems to rule, hummus much in demand. While attempting to make hummus the other day, I added the Tangier Spice Blend on a whim since it seemed to tie in with the region. What an amazing result. It lifted the hummus to a new delicious level. The daughter dug in asking where it was from. ‘You made it? Really? This is much better than store bought hummus‘.Tangier Hummus with SprigSo chuffed, I added some into the falafal mix as well. This turned out to be fun! Pitas, falafal, garlicky dip, salad all happening in tandem!Falafel & Tangier Hummus with SprigThis gourmet spice blend from Sprig is available at Nature’s Basket, Foodhall and many stores across India. Locate a store here, else shop at the online store.

Gourmet Spice Blends from SprigSprig has offered to giveaway a set of the Gourmet Spice Blend to a reader of Passionate About Baking.

To enter all you need to so is like Sprig on FB and tell me what dish you would make with any {or all of the spice blends} should you win. I’ll pick a winner on the 25th of July. You must be a resident of India to enter.

Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Genoa Fougasse
Print Recipe
Genoa Fougasse turned out to be the best bread I've baked in a while. Sometimes you just need 'bread luxury', and this became that and much more. The difference here was the new level of deliciousness brought on by the addition of a gourmet spice blend, Genoa, from Sprig. It brought the flavours alive, went beautifully with the cheese and walnuts within, making it our new favourite bread at home.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Bread dough
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer. Mix gently first at speed 2 for a couple of minutes, then at speed 4 for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Add a spoon or two of buttermilk if the dough is a bit hard, or a spoon or two of flour if it is still sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and leave in a warm place for an hour until doubled. {Alternatively, leave in the fridge overnight for a slow rise}
  5. Preheat oven to 225C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Knock back dough, and flatten to a rough rectangle of 8" X 4" on a floured surface. Drizzle a little olive oil, then sprinkle over with Sprig Genoa Spice Blend. Top with grated cheese and walnuts. Fold into thirds, flatten again, and fold into thirds again.
  7. Place on prepared cookies tray, and shape into large oval, about an inch high. Cut slits through the dough to resemble leaf like cuts. Drizzle over with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over with more spice blend, rosemary sprigs and Himalayan rock salt. Leave to rise while you preheat the oven to 20 minutes.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven, middle shelf, both upper and lower elements, until puffy and golden brown. Serve with a spice blend infused extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
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“Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Sasha Cohen

GOQii LifestyleIt’s been a few weeks since I joined the GOQii lifestyle campaign, and I have to admit I am enjoying it. It’s worth every step I take, with self motivation in every breath. YES, I still reach out for the GOQii band every morning, quite religiously, even before I grab my cell. Small changes go a long way, and I have to thank the sweet online coach for that. For her patience too.

Smoothies The days have been BUSY, not a moment to rest. The headless chicken dance has taken over, where most of the day whizzes by in a blur. What keeps me going are the small, simple things that make a huge difference. It’s the advice from Elena, that she touches base everyday, that she gently cajoles, that she offers choices.

GOQii LifestyleGOQii Lifestyle She gently reminds me to start each day with lime in water, to make sure I reach for walnuts. Drink more water. Are you staying well hydrated? She walks the talk. Summer’s here, so she’s promised to send me a new summer cooler recipe everyday. Here’s one, and it uses basil seeds.

GOQii Lifestyle GOQii Lifestyle They are fascinating little magical seeds. They swell up beautifully after 10 minutes of soaking. But she doesn’t just leave you with instructions to use the seeds. She explains why they are good, what their properties are etc. And these are the small things that matter. Madhuli sent me a bag of basil seeds recently. I was so thrilled to finally use them! Again, and again ….GOQii Lifestyle  SproutsToo exhausted to skip or exercise, then eat more fibre says the coach. So here I am … sprouts, lentils, salads, smoothies. Summer is perfect to sprout whole lentils. 1 cup of dal sprouts into a lot. Someone asked me the other day on FB how my sprouts go so long. Seriously, they just happen. If it helps, here’s what I do

[print_this]Recipe: Whole Lentils Sprouted Salad
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Summary: A protein and fibre rich salad that is great for summer. It’s filling, and quite nice stirred into a bowl of yogurt too. Plan 2 days in advance for the lentils to sprout. Serves 3-4

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes {plus soaking and time to sprout}
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole moong dal {whole green lentils}
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh herbs {coriander, mint}, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, finely chopped
  •  1-2 green chilies, finely chopped {optional}
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.
  2. Drain the next morning, then leave them for a day in a sieve lined with muslin, kept over a glass bowl in a cool dark corner. By now they should be sprouting.
  3. < Rinse and repeat for another 24 hours…that’s it. Then refrigerate. They just grown and grow. Maybe it’s the temperature. We are quite warm at 30C these days.
  4. Toss everything together in a large bowl. Serve immediately, or chill until required.

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

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Lao Tzu

GOQiiNumbers have meant nothing to me. So far I mean. The number game and number crunching was meaningless. From how many blog visits, to blog rank, to page views, for me all unnecessary. Then I hit 10K!! Yes I fell into the number race and how! That 10 thousand refers to the number of steps I hit on Pi Day, the 14th of March!

GOQii

This 10K is a special 10K and I owe it to GOQii Life. What is GOQii Life you might wonder. It’s a fitness program with a cool GOQii band with a complete 360 degree experience to stimulate your body, mind and soul and helping you make a permanent shift to a happier life through a healthier lifestyle.

Healthy foodFor folk like me who want to get to a healthier lifestyle{read including exercise}, this is a GREAT campaign. It’s not about dieting to kill yourself, it’s not about going on a no carbs diet The campaign is about a lifestyle change, a change supported by a company that credits you with karma points. Karma points that you earn while you walk and meet your own set goals. To give back to society, GOQii translates those points into money and donates it to a charity of your choice. A win win situation no matter how you look at it. A GOOD FEEL to it too!

GOQiiI began timidly as with anything new. Exercise and me are old enemies but my new pair of Sketchers stare at me all day. With renovation on at home, a million other targets to meet, recipes to be developed, grocery, dog, laundry all seem the perfect excuse to shy away from exercise. I know I got to embrace this too…but heck, it’s a tall order!Ingredients for dips

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & DipsActually was a tall order until I ‘met‘ Elena, my sweet online coach. Was it music to my ears when, after a long chat understanding my daily diet, she said “Wow, aren’t you a healthy eater despite being a food blogger! You don’t need changes to your diet. What would you like to achieve, what are your goals?”Summer Ready with GOQii Ahemto begin that dreaded walk at least I muttered, ‘those shoes‘ staring me in the eyes! She said, Great, I’ll nudge you once in a while. She did more than that. She motivated me, and on a day that I was dog tired, I reached out for those shoes. I had been on my feet all day, I had hit 7.5K steps …yet 10K called my name. Stepped out, it was raining. Almost turned back, but then I just walked on. And on & on. Then came back and took the dog for a walk. Suddenly there was whirring on my wrist. 10K. YES!! I was so thrilled.

GOQiiI aim to get there 3 times a week. Today I did 9K, and then thanks to Elena a 10 minute stretching video was duly followed! In addition we touch base every morning, she showers me with tips, small changes that I might incorporate – lime, walnuts, breathing exercises …so much! The thing is that you feel accountable when the app is by your side. Accountable to yourself really!

GOQiiSo if I can do it, so can you! I’m telling you if this bag of lazy exercise bones can reach for the fitness band every morning instead of the smart phone, you can too. Do it. There’s a app with it that helps you go along syncing your daily food intake, steps, calories burnt, water too. Which reminds me. I’m drinking 200% more water than before! Yay!

GOQii #BeSummerReady #BeTheForceAnd some of this beautiful fresh water too. Make it, keep a jugful next to yourself, sip along all day long, then make another batch. it’s just flavoured water. Lime, mint, strawberries, kumquats … anything to get me ready for the summer! Are you in? Make a splash!

GOQii twitter contest @vindeeI’m running a contest on twitter to give away a band. Join right in. All you need is to send in a healthy recipe to @GOQiiLife on twitter. Here’s the thread or find it on my timeline @vindee

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