sunbeams and sugardrops

Posts Tagged ‘Food

Savory recipes that capture my imagination enough to do anything more than bookmark them for future reference are few and far between, but eggs…they’re beautiful. And so easy. That’s what I love most about them…something so simple that can be dressed up, dressed down…taken any way you want. So I finally made something unsweet that was a little experimental, a little rough around the edges, but a lot of delicious, savory, satisfaction.

This one was for my poor husband who suffers (ha! I wouldn’t mind suffering like that) through all my sweet obsessions, experiments, what have you – all the while craving something..anything!..a little savory, something with a little meat in it. So I threw him a bone…er…I mean an egg.

I’m not sure what to call them yet… they’re my bacon, egg and cheese cups that I would have loved to make with actual puff pastry but in a rush, ended up improvising with some frozen paratha instead.

So here goes!


Click here for the recipe

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YouTube – Frances Langford sings Cole Porter – Easy To Love, 1936

Breakfasts are my absolute favorite of all meals, especially those not on the run. There aren’t too many things as satisfying as the idea of a crisply laid out table on a sunny porch, overlooking a lush and still-damp green lawn, chirping birds…maybe a swimming pool off to the side…and you know…not costing Rs.1850 + taxes to enjoy.

This love for all things breakfasty has led to many fantastic brunches that melt away in a slightly alcoholic haze as the afternoon sun glints off our glasses and silverware and we find ourselves struggling to split the bill and calculate a decent tip. It has also translated into some pretty awesome home cooked meals obviously not limited to the AM because Chez Sugardrops is an All-Day-Breakfast and Open-Bar establishment.

Some of the highlights of this long-standing love affair range from the simplest fried egg on buttered toast to elaborate pancakes and tortillas. There have been luscious stewed apples with cinnamony french toast, crusty potato and sausage hash, boozy bourbon banana bread, elaborate roast pepper and chorizo frittata and pancakes in so many forms – ricotta pancakes with a fresh peach compote, buttermilk pancakes with dried blueberries, eggnog pancakes courtesy joythebaker (whose love for pancakes is legendary), chocolate pancakes with strawberries – all with endless drizzles of maple syrup.

One might notice a tendency towards the sweeter breakfast but one of my current favorites is this gorgeous omelet which is a Sunday morning staple at my in-laws’ place. Nothing fancy, no precious ingredients, just the simplest combination of onions and tomatoes cooked till they’re perfectly savory-sweet.

Click here for Mum-in-law’s omelets

I promised myself I’d blog more often and I’d join a gym (this was in Feb). As with so many other resolutions, I haven’t done either. But I can never be too hard on myself. While yes, I admit, laziness may have been one of the contributing factors (it would be pointless to deny it), it is one of probably 10 other far more nasty factors. So really…I understand. In fact if anything, I feel quite the martyr to my circumstances. And that’s the official party line!

My cooking isn’t going quite as well as planned as I reach home later and later every day. So most nights, its either left-overs, home-delivery dinners or eggs on toast (the best!!). But yesterday, the planets aligned in my favor. I read a recipe at Steamy Kitchen that sounded easy and refreshing. I was craving some pasta. I happened to have some basil that needed using up. My husband stash of peanuts wasn’t depleted. And I also happened to – for no real reason – have bought some coriander the night before as if guided by some other-worldly power.

In other words, I had everything I needed and a good mood to boot. This resulted in one of the nicest dinners ever. It was fresh, tingly, zesty from all the lovely herbs and the lemon juice.

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It was unctuous and flavorful from the olive oil, garlic and cheese. The sauce coated the perfectly al-dente spaghetti just beautifully. And…as it’s my husband’s birthday week, I thought I’d show him how much I loved him by adding 2 things he loves and I am quite indifferent to – peanuts and peas!

My usual pasta attempts go down pretty well with A but with one constant that keeps him from rating them higher than a 7.5 on 10. No meat. But…as I was filled with all this love and other rainbows and butterflies feelings, I added some sausages and really…I know I’ve raved enough about this meal but it was just that good for me. And Him! He gave me a whopping 9.25 on 10 and loads of snuggles for the rest of the evening! Yay! I gave myself a 10 on 10 :p

Click here for the recipe

Cocoa OD

Over the last week I had baked and done my share in polishing off a lemon cheesecake and a banana loaf cake. Needless to say, the effects showed. I found myself looking in the mirror this Saturday morning and couldn’t help but notice that my cheeks looked rosier and fuller. While that description is lovely if you’re a 7 year old girl in an Enid Blyton book, it has rather the opposite effect in a girl of 27 (ok almost 28). So I wondered how all those food bloggers manage, what with all the delicious things they are constantly cooking up. And I promised myself that I wouldn’t bake again for at least 2 weeks. And I kept my promise too – technically.

A and I spent Sunday at his parents’ place and within 15 minutes of arriving, my sister-in-law and I were shortlisting cupcake AND cookie recipes. We figured since we were spending the day together, we’d make the most of it and be each others assistant. SO, we made Martha Stewarts one-bowl-chocolate-cupcakes with chocolate frosting AND Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace cookies via SmittenKitchen’s Deb.

I used my mom’s frosting recipe because I specifically asked her for it and it’s a recipe that I have licked out of bowls for many many many years. So many birthday cakes my mom made for us and for other kids had some variation of this frosting and it always tasted delicious and I ALWAYS got her to ‘test’ the shapes on my hand (I’m very helpful like that). And of course I always helped with the ‘cleaning’ of the bowls. Especially the chocolate version…the taste of that is sort of imprinted in my DNA now. I dream about her birthday cakes with her beautiful buttery frosting….oh but I digress.

I think I might have messed up the frosting – it was more sugary and less chocolatey than I wanted. But A liked it and I liked it the next day out of the fridge too. So I will stand by my love for this special frosting (the recipe for which is at the end of post).

The cupcakes weren’t spectacular but they were still satisfying. We’ll have to try out many other recipes which will be oh so difficult but it’s a sacrifice we will make in the hunt for the perfect cupcake. And the cookies were hard to cut so they weren’t nearly as neat as the ones on SmittenKitchen. But I felt good (though a little sugared up to be honest) by the end of that day. It was a day well spent. I made my first dainty little cupcake with pretty frosting. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but lack of time and equipment have gotten in the way. And I made those amazing cookies that turned out exactly as tasty as Deb promised BUT since we halved the recipe there were far too few and they are all gone now. They were good cookies and will be fondly remembered.

But oh… by the end of the day the smell of cocoa had taken up residence on me and in my nostrils and I couldn’t look another cookie in the face. After just one cupcake, I started to feel a chocolate OD coming on. I suspect that might have been the result of the non stop licking…I mean cleaning up!! involved in the cupcake frosting process.

Still…not a bad way to spend a weekend 🙂

Click here for the recipe

While the parched city waited for the weather to change, my body decided it wasn’t up to it. So while I coped with the flu and whined at A (The bum I’m married to) to my heart’s content, I also thought I’d make myself a really easy, and what I had hoped would be comforting, cake.

Since I’d been putting off eating some bananas for about 5 days, they’d started growing that mottled brown that usually means the bin. But this time, they were spared their sad fate. They came together with my desire for a warm gastronomic hug in the form of a delicious banana walnut loaf cake that was so easy to put together, even for a sick person.

And I found the perfect time to make it in…The silly T20 world cup finals which I was completely sick to death of courtesy A again (who watches pretty much all cricket and blogs about it rather well at outsideedge.wordpress.com) In any case…boring cricket = alone-time for both of us.

And that is when this warm banana cake took shape.

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Moist Banana Cake

2 cups flour

1 cup soft brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup oil

3 eggs

3-4 over ripe bananas

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

2 tsp raisins

Pre-heat oven to 160°C (325°F). Prepare an 8” or 9” round cake tin or a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and beat together till crumbly. Add the eggs and beat together till combined.

Meanwhile mash the bananas in a food processer, with a masher, with a fork – anything you like. I used a fork and made it pretty smushy. Throw in the chopped walnuts and raisins. Add this to the flour, oil, egg mix and beat till combined. Don’t worry too much about lumps.

Pour into your prepared tin and bake for an hour or until a skewer in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for a while then turn it out on to a plate and let it cool further.

Or dig in when you please.

The loaf was wiped out in 3 days flat. We had it for breakfast, dessert after dinner, after-work snack. But we’re not all bad. I dropped off about half the cake at my mother-in-law’s place where it was rather well received. Even my sister-in-law and her anti-banana sentiments were pleasantly surprised by this winsome little thing.

The picture there is pretty much exactly how my cake looked – except the walnuts on top and the foil. Which brings me rather abruptly to my next point. Until I get better at taking pictures, I’m going to have to use images I find on the lovely internet. But I don’t know how I’m supposed to go about it. I definitely don’t want to seem like I’m stealing. I want to give credit for pictures I use, or ask permission for them before I use them. Or use pictures that no body minds my using without asking or telling. If anyone at all has tips on this, it would be brilliant.

Until then, this picture is a royalty-free image downloaded from Getty images where I couldn’t find any restrictions on downloading and using so I did and I am.


Sugar Droplets