And What a Week it was!

25 Jan

Last week just whizzed past me. The first half, I actually have no recollection of what I did except there was a lot of job search stress, some studying and trying to teach Mimi how to solve some board puzzles. All three of them were met with instant failures. But the tenacious ‘Kida’ in me did not give up. I tried and tried and am still trying. All of this is teaching me to be patient, tolerant , as I repeat to myself “Your time will come.” The eternal optimist in me is never going to give up.

I haven’t written about my work out sessions for quite some time. I go to the gym ‘every other day’  and try to keep up with my cardio. I am trying to undo the damage that the India trip has done. So there is a lot of work to be done. But I am happy to see that my motivation hasn’t wavered inspite of the kilos I piled on savouring those goodies in Delhi. Thats the best change of mind set I have achieved till date. This itself is a huge achievement. Earlier I used to fret and fume, felt defeated if I went on a binge and get super depressed on piling on a single kilo. Probably because I used to work very hard. These days it is more relaxed but not lax. I understand the importance of feeling good vis-a-vis looking good. I try to maintain a healthy balance but not at the cost of enjoying the finer things in life. So MODERATION is my BFF ( Best Friend Forever) and that has helped me not take myself, my life, my body and all of it, seriously.

Mimi is being prepared to join a nursery. Yes! I have realized that I need to spend enough time with her to make her learn a few basic things. I have started off with nursery rhymes and now though she doesn’t recite it, she does the action for “Twinkle Twinkle”. All the patience and drama it took to teach her!!! She would do it for me but not for anyone else. That is something that I am working on now. Since she’s become a lot shy after her visit to India ( I suspect, all that overwhelming affection had something to do with it), I feel a bit worried if this behaviour would stay. I loved it when she was so receptive to other people. She has also learnt to walk backwards which she thinks is a super accomplishment. So to entertain me , she would walk backwards and feign a fall! 🙂 Also when she feels I am not in the right mood, she would run around in circles to make me laugh. We have a bought a huge nursery rhyme book for her which she likes to flip through and pass time.

A very funny thing happened which I feel bad about not having a photograph of. It was already past mid night and Mimi was showing no sign of slowing down. Amit & I were lying down, lights switched off and waiting for her to get to bed. She came often, picked up something from the dresser or the drawer and dashed off to the hall way, where the light was still on. After sometime I felt her clambering up my side of the bed making some weird noises. I was shell-shocked to see her face covered completely with thick cream. On sniffing, I realized it was her nappy rash cream that she had so generously lathered on. She would have probably seen her reflection in the full length mirrors in the hall way and got scared. So she rushed to me to help her clean up. She was clearly terrorized by what she had seen in the mirror. We had a good laugh at her plight and I was half mind to click a picture. She would have hated me as a grown up , if I had done and put it up here for the world to see. That look on her face, still makes me laugh out loud.

The baking mania has continued and I feel I am drawn more into this love affair with flour, sugar,eggs, chocolate and butter. I am still testing waters to see if it lasts. If it sustains, fuels and becomes uncontrollable then I might consider branching out into a food blog. Subject to a few more conditions such as polishing my food styling skills and my non-existent photography skills.  So for starters, I went to the gora super market here that specializes in all things baking. I shopped for all kinds of syrups, a mixing bowl ( atleast now my dough won’t be flying around while I mix it), ramekins ( for puddings and souffle), sauces, chocolate chips, etc. I am still to lay my hands on muffin liners and all super markets seem to have run out of them. None of the local bakers are willing to tell me where they source their muffin liners from. I have blown my grocery  budget for this month but I am happy that I got most of the stuff which would let me experiment. I am seriously very excited to try all the recipes that I have saved in my google documents section.

So moral of the story: My refrigerator is fully stocked and it feels like playing a game of Tetris each time  open it!! Uggh!

One more exciting news to share. I am going to test a recipe for one of the fellow food bloggers. Her name is Vanessa and she lives in the U.K. Her super fantastic cookery book is coming out this May and she called out on twitter that she needed volunteers to help test the recipes in her book. I volunteered and she was kind enough to trust me with her Savory Chocolate Biscuits. I have shopped for all the ingredients and now I shall try it in a  few days time. I need to fill out a test sheet for her which would mean answering questions like how much time it took to make it, were the ingredients easy to source etc. So I am mentally preparing myself for this challenge and to do so with more confidence, I baked 3 batches of  Whole Wheat and Oats cookies

Whole Wheat and Oats cookies ( adapted from here)

Whole Wheat & Oats Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup demerarera sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oats (I used Quaker Oats)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Method:

  1. In a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients – flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, walnuts.
  2. In another big bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. Next beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Drop a tbsp of cookie dough onto greased cookie trays, leaving an inch and a half in between for spreading during baking. I used a spoon at first but couldn’t drop it, so I used my hands instead. I hope you have better luck with the spoon. Better still if you have a cookie scoop, it works the best. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork.
  4. Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven, leave to cool on trays for 1 minute, then remove to cooling racks and allow to cool completely. Store in air tight containers.

Ideally cookies need to be chewy but I let them bake on the lowest rack where the heat was maximum ( I have a gas oven) so the cookies were really crunchy. I did so keeping in mind that Mimi is teething and she needed something hard to bite on ( there are not very hard. Just as hard as the biscuits in the market). I feel good about giving these cookies to Mimi instead of  the ones with maida. It made about 42 cookies in all ( ofcourse of varied sizes)

Over the weekend, we had a lunch invite from my dear friend Gayathri. She had laid out a grand feast for us.  Puris, alu methi, jeera rice, paneer makhmali, dal makhani and apple kheer. All of it was so deelish. We had a great round of catching up though we chat every single day. She was wonderful enough to lend me a vegetarian continental recipe book and my first ever PG Wodehouse. I am having a blast reading about Jeeves, Gayathri. Thank you for introducing me to  PGW. I have requested her to write a guest post for my blog wherein she would be sharing her ingenious recipes. She experiments and comes out with her own recipe. I see a career in recipe development for you Gayathri. For example, the paneer makhmali and Apple kheer were two of the dishes that we hadn’t had before but were simply superb. When we came back home from Gayathri’s place, all we could do was to zzzzzzzzzz. I almost forgot to mention, that I undertook an ambitious project of baking cheesecake brownies for Gayathri, but it was an all out disaster. The crust was soft and brownie could hardly stand on its own. I felt quite deflated as I was quite looking forward to some handsome cheese cake brownies to give to Gayathri. But I am not going to admit defeat just yet. I shall try again, I have promised myself.

The next day, which was a Saturday, Namit suggested that we should visit the Causeway also known as King Fahd Causeway. This is a road flanked by sea on both the sides connecting Bahrain and Saudia Arabia. At the border there are two posts one belonging to Bahrain and the other to Saudi. Ofcourse, we were allowed to visit and get a panoramic view from top of the Bahrain tower only. It felt the place was nearly in shambles. It was disappointment at various levels literally!!! The in tower restaurant was hardly functional and the view was hazy because of the unclean glass panes.

Mimi inside the Causeway Bahrain Tower

Causeway

In other extra cirricular activities, I happen to watch the movie “Social Network” ( downloaded) and that movie has stayed on my mind. It is probably the best movie I have watched in recent times. Maybe I’ll watch it again. I like it that much.

12 Responses to “And What a Week it was!”

  1. amit January 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    nice post mrs.a request please review the movie as well

    • Anita Menon January 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      I need to see it plenty of times before I can review it. I think, I’m not really cut to do a movie review. Lemme think about it

  2. Sandhya January 26, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Awesome.. Anita..i keep checking your blog everyday for the new post :). And as i told you i have this lil gal Anu who is my neighbour, she is Anu’s age and she does exact same thing you mentioned..:) going round, walking backwards.. finally i can get a feel of playing with Mimi 🙂

    Keep writing

    • Anita Menon January 26, 2011 at 3:03 am #

      @Sandhya- They are all the same, aren’t they! Yet they are unique n special in so many other. Thank you for reading..
      lotsof love

  3. Iya January 26, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    hi there.. you know i have very distinct recollection of you from college days. all geared up in tracks and sneekers either going for a workout or coming back from one. and its inspiring to read that you are still on it.
    I have given up somewhere on the way i guess. life is running past too quickly and while i steadily notice myself going up on the weighing scale i just cant seem to find the time to do something about it. sad.. but true..

    • Anita Menon January 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      Hey Iya,
      Thanks for stopping by. I try and maintain some form of exercise routine else I tend to feel bad emotionally. I wish for you to find that TIME for yourself somehow! Let me know if I can help in anyway.

  4. gundumaami January 27, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Thanks for the compliments Anita…While Apple kheer was my concoction , the Panner Makhmali was courtesy Ms Tarla Dalal.

    • Anita Menon January 27, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      🙂 okie! But you made it so well, Gayathri

  5. Anks January 27, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Anu…. I love this pic of u three a lot…. And I m waiting to start blogging back again… each time i read urs I feel this urge to start back… 🙂

    Keep writing…Waiting for the next week…

    • Anita Menon January 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      @Ankur- Please write. I am going to badger you, till you don’t. Serious.

  6. dewdrop January 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I understand the importance of feeling good vis-a-vis looking good. – Well said 🙂

    The antics of your daughter are so nice to read. I could feel instantly warming upto her 🙂

    • Anita Menon January 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

      @Hima- Thank you so much for stopping by.

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