Baking |Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips | Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut + Classic Garlicky Cream + Rocket Cashew Dip … hit the ball out of the park #tickettocheer

“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents”
M Chiarello

Crackers & DipsWholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips…. for times like these when the game is up. Nothing unites the world better than sport and food. I think the two were meant to go hand in hand. Think world cup cricket, soccer, or then super bowl, and the first thing that comes to mind if food! OK, after the game of course! With the ICC  Cricket World Cup warming up nicely, it’s imperative to keep the food going!

Crackers & Dips Yesterday spent 20 minutes rolling out crackers … thin, crisp, delicious Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers. Paired them off with 3 quick dips. Dips are an out and out game favourite, and I have gone with simple ones! A Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut Dip {earthy, smoky, finger licking good}, a Classic Garlicky Cream Dip {tangy, creamy, GARLICKY ... an all time favourite} and a seasonal Rocket & Cashew Dip {where sharp peppery leaves meet the sweetness of cashew nuts}. Ingredients for dipsDips are really really versatile to throw together. Make them using what you have on hand. Herbs, seasonal produce, cold pressed oils, garlic, garlic greens, onion scapes, legumes, citrus fruit, nuts, cheese, spices. Get creative and follow your taste buds. You will be surprised at how much you can create with so little! To thin them down you can add coconut milk, citrus juice, single cream, sour cream, buttermilk etc.

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & DipsOnce ready, which is a matter of minutes usually, you can dip into them of course, or add them to your cheese platter. There’s so much more you can do. Slather sandwiches with them, toss them through a pasta, top grilled chicken or fish with dip. If you are more adventurous, them use them in a bread like the French Fougasse. I love that you can tweak the flavours as you like, and also that dips embrace local and seasonal produce whole heartedly!

Wholegrain Crackers & Dips  Why so many nibbles of late you might wonder? Well these are game days. Cricket, cricket and more cricket. From games you expect nothing and get the word, and from games you expect the world and hit rock bottom, the sports world is a funny place to be in. The cricket world cup down under has begun,and how! Talk sports and there is another huge thing in common …FOOD!

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & Dips And that’s where we DIP! These are simple ones to rustle up. You could even do a  make ahead simple hummus that I just shared with oat & cheese crackers. On the side, you could go the healthy crudite way or whole grain crackers maybe. Else grab the bag of chips, nachos, pita chips…whatever. Dig right in. foodEvery major gaming event, be it the super bowl, soccer or the cricket world cup, churns up an appetite for food, yummy, good, delicious food. These dips will hit the ball out of the park … like South Africa did today! If you are deft in the kitchen, and love getting quick stuff together, then here are a few other options.Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian KalácsThe India Pakistan thriller saw us polishing off  rustic Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács Do a quick version with cooked chicken tossed in the rocket cashew pesto dip and cheese! Or skip the chicken and go vegetarian. Next was the India South Africa match. That saw a rerun of Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers with a quick Hummus! Delicious times indeed!  Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus 8If you aren’t the cooking types, but certainly the eating types, then your best option would be a quick call to Food Panda to order your favourite food. It’s an online food-ordering service that makes it easy for customers to find their favorite food conveniently from home, work or on the road and get it delivered. It is now active in 30 cities in India and has over 4000+ restaurants available and the delivery of your food is free.

ticketThe nice thing is that during the Cricket World Cup,  Food Panda is running a “One child’s mid day meals collaboration” called Ticket to Cheer. ​In rece​nt months, the company has begun to get involved in helping for civic change of India, supporting NGO’s projects etc. This particular campaign is a novel concept. They are offering a platform where people can donate, in order to give mid-meals to 1.4 million kids for a whole school year. It’s certainly worth a shout out! As we cheer on our favourite teams, give Food Panda a cheer for the good work they are doing as well!

Oh and don’t forget to participate in the Philips giveaway here. Just a day to go!

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

Baking | Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake … for the love of baking & blogging

“Bake with love…”
Manuela Kjeilen

Dark Chocolate Mousse CakeChocolaty, chocolaty, chocolaty, this Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake is a chocolate lovers delight. Make ahead and not very difficult, it’s a lovely cake to make for a special occasion.The instructions might appear a little involved, but once you read them a couple of times, you can see it’s not to difficult. After all, a special occasion cake must have ‘some work’ to make it special!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So the other day Simi asked on FB…I think valentine’s day dessert is more to feed the blog than the valentine. Seriously, who agrees with me ??? It was quite interesting {and quite predictable too} to see blogs well fed over V Day! It’s been a trend for a few years now. Come V Day and loads of RED pops up across the globe! Such fun to see the creativity.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake I am quite the same. The blog must be looked after, in turn the love shared with the readers. That the family gets to eat the goodies is just purely coincidental and good fortune IMHO!  I don’t think I could’ve attempted so many different techniques and desserts religiously over the years had it not been for this little blog!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake This cake happened also because of the KitchenAid contest. I spoke about it when I recently shared the Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies recipe. It’s a fun contest, even if only for participation sake, and Ruchira’s been telling us for long to send our entries in. I think I got lazy, until the bakeware arrived. Then the mind began to think.Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte I first thought a Charlotte like the Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte. With strawberries really painting the bazaar red, chocolate seemed a good pairing. So the saviordi went chocolate, and eventually I settled for a dark chocolate mousse filling. The mousse might make for a really nice stand alone mousse dessert too, after you play around with quantities a bit. That seems a likely possibility in the near future.

Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte The saviordi recipe is based on a basic one I used a while ago when I did a tiramisu from scratch, zabaglione, mascarpone from scratch and all. That was one marathon baking session, and I can’t imagine what possessed me! As compared to that, this cake is an absolute cake walk!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So go on, try baking this cake someday. Be creative, take a leap of imagination. Do a genoise sponge base if you like, with a liqueur spiked mousse. Maybe a coffee chocolate combination, maybe vanilla orange, or a salted butter caramel swirled in there somehow. The possibilities are infinite, with baking fun galore!

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

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

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