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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Enid Blyton's Universe?

Hmm.. just as I thought I was not going to find anything to write about, a visit to the library reminded me of this.. Phew!!

I might have mentioned earlier that my knowledge of young children's fiction pretty much stops at Enid Blyton, as I have read those by the dozen. Which means most of the newer stuff was unknown to me until many of you kindly gave me some ideas in a recent blog post :). But we recently came across this series:

Wondering why the EB fans among you haven't heard of this book? When I(or D) picked up the first book of this series, I didn't even notice the author's name. It was only when I flipped a few pages myself (yes I can't resist EB even at this age!) that I noticed the different style of writing. Well I am apparently an EB purist/puritan/whatever the word is, and really couldn't relate to these as much as the usual EB books. D on the other hand LOVES it, and regales me with tales of Bizzy, Melody and who-ever-else is in it. The author has created a lot of new characters, and also has some passing references to Saucepan and Moon-face and I really wonder how the concept of using EB's universe and writing her own books came out, but to me somehow it feels like a very sneaky way of marketing them. Why not just have your own universe? And pardon me, I don't feel like googling it just now to figure it all out!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day of love? or Baking maybe ;) ?

So it was another Valentine's Day that went by quietly, the brightest aspect being that I decided to be in a baking frenzy :). Well food is a way of showing love isn't it ;)?

(1) Making that perfect whole wheat bread has always been such a dream, and I came a whole lot closer with this recipe from Chinmayie on Love Food Eat.

- Did not have flaxseed powder so left it out
- Added some wheat gluten
- Found I was at the end of my atta, so mixed a wee bit of maida at the end, probably 1/3 cup or so.
- 2 hours for 1st rise, 1 hour for 2nd and it really was easy and brilliant!
- And I musn't forget to mention my amazing KitchenAid that saves me all the kneading!

I need to get/swap/buy one of those smaller pans so that my loaves get to normal size, my present one is the aluminium long one, and seems like everything only rises up to a 2/3rds size due to the length of the pan. But doesn't that texture look amazing? It was! The only thing I'd change would be to increase the salt a bit (feeling less guilty using organic rock salt ;)).

(2) By afternoon I had this wish to try a chocolate lava cake, have always had a fascination for them. And Valentine's and Chocolate just seem to go together :). As is usual with me, I did not have the ramekins needed by the recipe so tried it in muffin pans instead. It looked too undone at 8 minutes so kept it for a wee bit longer and it turned to a sort of brownie cake. Even worse, I realized the recipe used self-raising flour and I used plain maida :(. End result, yummy and edible, but definitely no lava cake!

(3) Had to carry on the mood and finished off with a whole wheat pizza - 100% whole wheat and yes, I am very very thrilled. No photos as I hate taking food photos in the night and this one was definitely not going to stay until morning. My recipe started off from this link. But as many of the review comments have mentioned, I also tried making it completely whole wheat and it came out pretty well. Only change next time might be I might throw in some gluten and (once again) increase the salt a bit.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Rolls and no knead too!

When I see the words "no knead" I start smiling even before trying the recipe :). I came across this recipe by Suma Rowjee a few months ago, and tried it as-is the first time with brilliant results! I realized a few days back that I hadn't posted on the blog about it, and wanted to try it again with a few substitutions, so here goes:

- Instead of 260 gm Maida, I used 180 gms Maida and 60 gms Whole wheat flour, and the additional 30 gms too was Whole Wheat Flour
- Left out the Baking Soda
- Used different fillings like Kissan Mixed Fruit Jam(base got a bit soggy), and Bacon Jam (from Suman Bolar)

And the results are here for you to see(this is the Bacon Jam batch) :)

The weird amounts of Maida and Whole wheat are due to the fact that I calculated half of 280 to be 160 :P.. and I had already started mixing the flours before #facepalm happened.

I must also mention that when I have a strong need to bake something, I can apparently get up quite chirpily at 5 AM :).