Baking | Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies … KitchenAid – bakeware review & the quest for Probaker

“There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell-the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home.”
Sarah Addison Allen

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies … chewy, fudgy, mildly gooey and full of buttery goodness. Once you try these you just might get cured of your dark chocolate brownie passion, for a bit of course. I’ve made blondies in the past, yet somewhere along the way the charm waned off. This one bowl recipe turned out to be a different story altogether. A wholegrain and healthier version too!

Baking, eggs, oatsThen quite some time back I read of someone making blondies with coconut in them. I’ve harboured a grudge against coconut for long. Since we were studying down south, everything had some form of coconut in it. I’d had enough of it. As time passed, each time I reached for a chocolate in a box, you guessed it, always coconut. Bleh!Coconut Milk Based DessertsThanks to food blogging and more exposure than I could ever dream of, I gradually overcame my dislike for it. I discovered coconut big time in cooking. Curries, smoothies, even dessert. A Coconut Buttermilk Kaffir Lime Panna Cotta recipe developed for Saffola Fit Foodie … I knew that coconut and I could be good friends.

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies I now liberally use dessicated coconut and always have some on hand. The husband visited the US a short while ago and thanks to Ruchira, his list for shopping included cinnamon and butterscotch chocolate chips. The cinnamon of course went to her … take a look at her Chocolate Chilli Cinnamon Chip Cookies. The butterscotch chips stayed home with me and are mean little bits, addictive to boot. And they make some really mean blondies too! Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies With healthier twists and wholegrain baking the war cry at home, I took a chance with these blondies … wholewheat flour, healthy good oats, brown sugar instead of white and some coconut in these. Of course a generous dose of the deeply flavoured butterscotch chocolate chips and magic was created. The son couldn’t get enough of them. YUM! Mama, these are the best ever. Trying to stretch my now dwindling supply of butterscotch chocolate chips, I am careful how often I bake with them. The batches are rationed now.Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies Then one day some really good quality bakeware arrived from a new line that KitchenAid India recently launched. It was time to bake another batch of the Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies to try out the bakeware. The quality speaks out loud. Heavy weight, durable, great finish! So while I was baking the blondies, ideas began forming in my head as to what I could send in for the contest they are running. Currently thinking something chocolate, let’s see what I can come up with.

KitchenAid India is hosting a nation-wide campaign for Pro- Baker, the first ever national campaign which targets passionate home bakers from across the country. They are inviting entries through  their micro-site and we will host regional competitions at each level with a finale in New Delhi.KitchenAid ProBaker KitchenAid has been delivering premium standards of quality, versatility, and precision to the home kitchen for almost a century now and has everything you’ll want to stock in your baking armour. Providing oodles of culinary inspiration and convenience to the passionate baker, this year KitchenAid decided to find India’s first ProBaker. This search is far and wide to 4 cities, where KitchenAid with the help of its celebrated chef jury will mentor and judge the first KitchenAid Probaker. Lots on stake; nationwide spotlight, amazing prizes at every quest, a chance to meet your favourite chef and the opportunity to be the next baking legend.

Can’t wait to be part of this epic quest? Click here to Participate and visit website to know more!

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies If you are a passionate home baker and are up for the challenge, you must join in too. I think it’s going to be fun, and a great learning experience as well. Culinary inspiration is always welcome. Hurry up and participate, last day for the entry is 28th Feb! There’s not a lot of time left!

Oh… and I hope you’ve participated in the Philips Rice Cooker Giveaway. Do remember to leave a comment here!

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

Product Review & Soup | Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette in the Philips SoupMaker … and a giveaway

“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
Auguste Escoffie

Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette 600Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette made in the Philips SoupMaker. Days in the lives of food bloggers are sometimes very interesting. It was an exciting day when ‘it’ arrived. An appliance that was highly anticipated, and lived up to it’s expectations… after a few hiccups while I figured the soup maker out of course! From there on, it was smooth sailing! What followed was conversations that flowed smoothly {and sometimes chunkily} over soup of many kinds.

Soups on PAB I admire good kitchen designs. How fun and creative can minds get. I have been using the Thermomix now for several years and was always fascinated by it’s ability to cook and blend like magic. Along comes another option, at a fraction of the price, almost a tenth actually, and promises fuss free simple soups the winter through, and smoothies galore through summer. Bonus…frozen yogurts and fruit compotes too!Kitchen appliancesNew toys are always fascinating for food bloggers and this one shone. It’s a simple machine, though a better manual with CLEAR instructions might have helped. It took me a little figuring out, cleaning my steamed spectacles a few times. I wish there was a better manual to go with it, maybe better online videos. After sifting through very vocal and gibberish Spanish videos galore, an advertorial video on the website, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.Mushroom Walnut Oats SoupFor my second experiment, a mushroom walnut oat soup, one of my all time favourites that I cooked with Chef Vikas Khanna for Food Food Tv. I wanted chunky soup and presumed that it would give me ‘chunky chop’. So I cooked it, and cooked it…and cooked it again. Thought the machine was spoilt. Later, the better half suggested that maybe chunky is cooked but with the choice of pre-cut sizes. Obviously he was right!! I turned to something quite genius the machine offers – a manual blend!Soups on PAB In the beginning I forgot to add oil, butter etc. Later I realised that it didn’t really matter. You can always top soup with some EVOO, a vinaigrette, butter or Parmesan. Once I got the hang of things, we were swinging soups by a dime a dozen! I loved some things about the soup maker, not least how sleek and shiny it was.

  • It fits small on the counter, so is great for compact kitchens. Of course, it’s great for big kitchens too. Mine is spacious, and the soup maker is sitting happily next to the Thermomix and Philips AirFryer
  • It’s simple to use once you get the hang of it. Just put everything in, give it a good stir, shut it and forget about it. Turns off after the soup is made.
  • Makes a comfortable serving of 4.
  • Keeps the soup nice and warm since the body is like a thermos.
  • Is handy to take to the table as the cord slips off easily, transforming the soup maker into an elegant jug.
  • Has a clean, non drip, pourable spout.
  • Last but certainly not the least, it’s a quick wash and dry design. No uncomfortable bits an bobs to deal with, a straight clean jug.
  • Did I tell you that the finger touch menu buttons on the top are neat, fascinating and so simple? {Don’t push them too often the first time, or the poor thing gets confused. I know because I confused the poor machine, then called Ruchira for advice! My problem was eventually the ‘chunky chop’}

Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette The good thing is that once you get a HANG of things which should ‘happen’ almost instantly {I confused mine with my Thermomix which behaves a little differently}, there’s no looking back. Suddenly soups are all you want and your creativity takes over. I’ve been in this healthy ‘fitfoodie‘ frame of mind even more of late while working with Saffola as part of their Fit Foodie Panel. The soup maker makes me think out of the box even more! It takes the ‘work out of the soup’.

Saffola Oats Fit FoodieIf you are looking for inspiration, the Philips SoupMaker comes with a packed book of recipes. Interesting smooth to chunky soups across seasons, hot & cold soup recipes, smoothies, compotes, frozen yogurts too. Use local produce like fresh beetroot, baby mustard greens, or go gourmet with ingredients like courgettes and Gorgonzola cheese, the book has something for everyone. Even quick recipes for fruit compotes with apples and plums, and smoothies! A quick strawberry fro yo tempts you so. I know where the mangoes will head this summer!

Fresh produceQuick, easy and pleasing to the eye is how Philips as a brand has developed kitchen appliances. The AirFryer was one such example, and the rice cooker is another. Philips has been nice to offer a Daily Rice Cooker as a giveaway to a reader of my blog.

Philips Rice Cooker

To qualify,
All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what your favourite soup is.
Please leave a valid email address. Will pick a random winner at the end of the month.
The giveaway is open to anyone who has a permanent address in India.
Thank you for being part of the giveaway!

 

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

Feature | Walking through the streets of Old Delhi on a cold winter morning #winter #food #props #delhi

‘Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.”
Jonathan Safran Foer

Old DelhiThere can be nothing better than an impromptu walk through the streets of Old Delhi on a cold winter morning. Unplanned turned out even better. One day, a couple of weeks ago, I tumbled out of bed feeling restless and tired of work. The cold had been getting to me, work progressing slow and somewhat unsatisfactory! I needed a fix, and for me it was an instant decision.

Old Delhi With Mr PAB away in HKG, it was a free day. I literally tumbled out of bed into a very foggy and cold morning. Then bitten by the familiar addictive ‘old delhi bug‘ once again, within the hour I was on a train into the beautiful old city. The experience is always enriching, and to my delight, I found this impulsive visit an eye opener.Old Delhi 3For me, Purani Dilli or Old Delhi, or the walled city too as it is sometimes called, is synonymous with two things. Prop shopping is the big bait for the incorrigible prop collector that I am. And obviously, some of the best places to eat in Delhi is the other. It’s the ambiance that charms you, tempts you to go back over and over again – the flavours, the sights and sounds, the cacophony!

Old Delhi No North Indian food is complete without sweets, and the streets of the old city do not disappoint! Having never been to Old Delhi during the peak of winter, I was elated to dive straight into a light, airy and heavenly bowl of the elusive Daulat ki Chaat. Pure love!! It was everything Pamela Timms wrote it to be in her beautifully written book on Old Delhi – Kheer, Korma & Kismet! In the back of my head, the pages of her book turned, one by one. So much connect. Felt like kismet.

Old Delhi A quick chat with the gentle, sweet salesman and a few quick clicks later, I set off towards Jama Masjid. I wandered down the street which is home to some of the best restaurants in Delhi that offer old world rustic charm. Fresh, artisan food, aromatic, as spicy as you like it, flavours hard to find elsewhere. It was early and I wasn’t hungry for a meal, so just took in the flavours wafting through the air while lunch was being prepared. No sense of urgency at all, a languid charm, a nip in the air, lots of tea brewing everywhere..

Old Delhi Like most restaurants in Delhi, there is plenty of choice on offer here, though mainly North Indian cuisine. Since I was alone, I had plenty of time to take it all in. One place that caught my eye was a tiny little eatery offering Wazwan, Kashmiri cuisine. The tables already full with folk enjoying a late breakfast or an early lunch perhaps, the restaurant owner, an old man, was quite happy to chat with me. Old Delhi We talked about Srinagar since I had been there just last year, typical dishes {goshtaba, rajma, haaq, tabaq maaz, rogan josh}, that they cook everything on the first floor, how people come from far and wide to eat their food. I was really tempted but alas, with no appetite, instead opted for a nice cup of Kashmiri Namak Chai {salted tea}. What a revelation. Salty tea … deep, earthy, warming. Almost soup like! The best part was that the old man refused to take money for it. And that stunning samovar… a thing of everlasting beauty!

Old Delhi The samovar reminding me of why I was here, but sadly the shop I went in search for was shut. Quite disheartened, I hailed a rickshaw back to Chawri Bazaar and reluctantly stopped at a random copperware shop. Must have been my lucky day as the owners were more than happy to oblige! I returned giddily happy with stuff I fell in love with, stuff they couldn’t understand why I was so happy to buy. Once cleaned up, it shone. And how!!Old Delhi , food propsSpirits revived, it was another rickshaw ride again, this time to Khari Baoli as I had a promise to keep. Since it was past noon, the market is packed. Being Asia’s biggest spice market, trading is at a frenzy. The crowds carry you along, and it’s easy to get lost in all this mayhem. Visit it during winters as in summer the crowds can be pretty overpowering if you know what I mean. Bought some enamelware for a friend, some dry fruits that are always a part of the shopping list, took in the sights, sounds and smells… then very satisfied headed back to the train station. It was time to go back.

Old Delhi With a head full of memories and a bagful of goodies I reached home cold, exhausted but so so happy! I love any trip into the old city. The next trip will be on an empty stomach and with friends. The charm beckons you, the aromas call your name … kormas, rotis, rusks, sewain… it’s a food paradise. A food prop paradise too if you are lucky!

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

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