Tag Archives: apricots

A Quick Update and some Quick to make Oats Cookies

22 Jun

I haven’t seen this space in a long time. I miss blogging at whim. It is more schedule driven. More of a weekend activity. It is now that I doubly admire all those bloggers who blog inspite of having a full-time job and blog more than many times a week. So much has been happening and I feel life is just whizzing past me. I make desperate attempts to make tiny post-it mental notes every time I observe or feel something interesting but then it slips away.  This post is more to recapitulate all the important stuff that has happened over some time now.

First things first-Mimi

Mimi has started talking so much and I see this difference after she resumed school on a regular basis.  She has a quip to make about everything. She wants to give her expert opinion about how I look, or her Papa looks or how she looks. She can ride her bike now and it is such a pleasure to see her pedaling away. Just the other day I asked her,” Mimi, what did the teacher teach you today?”  Pat came the reply, ” Quiet Mimi! Quiet!”  and yesterday I asked her the same question and she said, ” Don’t shout Mimi” So I take it that the teacher is really having a tough time getting Mimi to do what the class is doing. Recently they even got a class photograph as the term is about end on 28th of June. But I am sending her off to the Summer camp in her school that starts on 8th of July. This Sunday, she has a class performance to which all the parents are invited and they are going to perform, ‘ Incy Wincy Spider’. The entire time, we hear Mimi singing Incy wincy spider and when she’s in the mood, she’d do it with actions. I am excited to attend her first class performance and I pray everything goes well. I know she will enjoy it because she loves to sing.

I am amazed they got her to stand. ahem.. straight!

The Class photo: The caretaker had to hold her so that she didn’t run off

2. Next is this wonderful poetry festival that I had the opportunity to attend last night. Set against the romantic back drop of the Bahrain fort, it was certainly a night to remember. 15 wonderful poets with their marvellous poetry enthralled the audience. The Poetry festival is the first of its kind arranged by the Bahrain Writers’ Circle’s – Poetry arm – The second circle.  The theme was The Colours of Life and the brochure of which you can see below. Though the lights went off in between for some weird reason, it only added to the drama of the whole evening.  It was such a good break for me from my otherwise hectic work life. To listen to soul-full poetry is the best way to usher in a weekend. Some of the participants are good friends and I had rushed from work to support them. It was a delight to see them read their work.

The poetry festivals’ brochure

3. Apart from that, we were able to watch a movie in the cinema hall, along with Mimi after 2.5 years. We avoid going to the movies because Mimi doesn’t think it is interesting to sit in one place for more than a few seconds. But now that she is a little grown up, we thought it should be easier now. We thought Madagascar-3 was a safe bet and right we were. She sat through 3/4th of the movie and enjoyed it too. This is great progress as far as Mimi is concerned.

4. I have been working out quite regularly and running as well. Hopefully by the year-end when its the marathon season, I should be able to run atleast a few of them like the 11 km one in November and the 17km one in December.

5. I have recently made good friends with a Bahraini girl in my office. She is pretty as a picture but apart from that, she is very special. She loves Hindi Movies. She has watched every Yash Chopra banner movie there is starting from Kuch Kuch Hota hai ( which was the first movie she had seen and by far her favourite movie) to the latest Anjana – Anjani or whichever is running in the cinemas these days. She watches them with English subtitles but follows Hindi quite nicely. We converse in Hindi for fun in office and she does a marvellous job at some difficult pronunciations as well. She is so familiar with our Hindu customs and festivals that sometimes I find it hard to believe she is a Bahraini. She is so moved by Bollywood that in her wedding this winter, she has a Bollywood themed ‘Sangeet” . How cool is that! She is also going to wear Ghaghara-choli ( traditional Indian blouse – skirt) for her Mehendi ceremony. She is such fun company to keep in office and I hope to learn more about the Bahraini culture from her.

6. Last but not the least, I have some great tasting, quick to put together Oats cookie recipe today from the latest issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine. I find myself trying more recipes from the BBC Good Food Magazine more than the other recipe books that I have.

But these cookies are literally child’s play and that is what prompted me make them in the middle of week after coming back from work.

Cherry + Apricots+ Oats

They were such a breeze to put together, and the original recipe did not add any cherries in it, but I did because… I felt like it 🙂

The cherries gave the blonde cookies a pop of colour and the apricots lent the gorgeous texture. Full of oat-y goodness, there isn’t anything that I can say that didn’t work in this cookies favour. I took them to office the following day and they were devoured before I could count 10.

Another reason why they were devoured so quickly was because, the recipe in the magazine was meant to give out only 6 cookies. So I doubled the recipe and managed 15 cookies out of it.  Usually when I take cookies or bakes to office, I ensure I have around 20 + individual pieces. 15 cookies stood no chance at all. I managed to save some for Mimi, who liked them equally. I am going to try them with the usual good stuff such as chocolate chips and more dried fruits.

Photos courtesy : Namit Bhatia

It has been a great few weeks so far. In a few days time,  this part of the world will fold itself into a prayer and fast non stop for 30 days. Life will slow down, offices will close early, super market racks would be empty sooner as people tend to buy more than they need when they are fasting and there will be an atmosphere of prayer and sanctity all around. It is a different kind of experience to be in a Muslim country during Ramadan, albeit a wonderful one because there will tents that come up in the evening with lavish spread of food for everybody who wants to sample it.  I hope to capture the essence of Ramadan in some posts of mine and at the same time try to experiment with some local dish that is typically eaten during Ramadan.

That is all for now!

Friends, Food and Fun – Stone Fruit Tea Cake

3 Aug

When you move to a new country, the biggest challenge that anybody would face is to build a circle of friends. I found this the most difficult part of settling in a new place. Since the time I remember, I always had a huge group of friends that I could count on. I was always the ” Socializer” like many of my friends called me. I had lots of BFFs (Best friend’s forever). Getting married, didn’t change me in many ways, as being a mother did. Suddenly, the focus of my world became my daughter. Slowly interactions with friends were reduced due the paucity of time. Then country-hopping did not do any favours either.

Today, I have amazing friends on Facebook and twitter, but I still find something amiss in my life. Also the craving to go out and make friends has disappeared too. Too much has changed, too soon. Probably it is an age thing or just a phase in life where I am little cautious before I expose myself emotionally to someone and make friendships. Now I realize the only ones that I can call my BFFs are the ones from school and college. Post that, friendships that I had made have evaporated. They did not stand the test of time. This phase has truly been a revelation where the wheat has been separated from the chaff.

So coming back to friendships in a new place-Friendship is precious to me-  It took me more than a year and a matter of pure chance to be able to meet with some people, whom I can call my friends, here in Bahrain. The very first friend, I met was Namit ( who happens to be my junior from my MBA school); then I met Gayathri ( we have common friends); then Hasina ( whom I met through my blog) and Anamika ( whom I met through her food blog). I meet up with these wonderful people from time to time. That time I must say, laced with good conversations and fabulous food has made wonderful memories.

I do not know what future looks like, in the sense that I might go country hopping again. The thought distresses me slightly even as I write about it. But what I have made sure is, I took a lot of time to build these friendships, so I am going to make the most by spending  quality time with them. Most of my posts about food invariably would have atleast one of them featuring in them. It is cooking/baking for them and my family which makes it worth the while.

So this post is about a certain stone fruit tea cake that I made for one such wonderful afternoon spent with friends- Hasina and Anamika. Both of these young ladies are new mums and fabulous bloggers in their own right. That we all stay at stone’s throw from each other has helped us stay in touch. We met up one lazy afternoon and caught up with the latest in our lives. It is always so good to talk to friends, there is no parallel really. The best part being, we all have children who are so close in age to each other that we can relate to each other’s situation easily.

Now for the recipe, I have been an avid follower of Deeba Rajpal’s blog. I find it fascinating the way she uses fruits in her baking and not to mention her gorgeous photography. One such post on stone fruits in baking caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. The occasion was perfect since it was a tea cake and I was going for a round of tea at Hasina’s place. This recipe is a keeper, in my opinion because the cake by itself is a wonderful one and paired with fruits, it is racing to perfection.  I used stone fruits like cherry, nectarines, peaches and apricots. I am sure plums would be great too. I made some mistakes on the way, which made the whole cake assembly a bit difficult to lift and put on a plate. But I am sure if you follow the recipe to the tee, it would as perfect as you  see on Deeba’s blog.

Recipe for Stone Fruit Tea Cake

from Passionab0utabaking


  • 1 tbsp butter (for greasing pan)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 110gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 125gm sugar powdered
  • 2 eggs
  • Light muscovado sugar for sprinkling over
  • apricots, peaches, cherries, nectarines


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a round tart tin with the tbsp of butter.
  2. Run the almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt briefly in a blender to mix
  3. Cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until light. Add the eggs and beat again.
  4. On low speed, add the flour mix in 3 goes and blend until just mixed. The dough will be soft. You can divide this into 2 and chill one half. Push the other half to line the base of your tart pan/ baking tin
  5. Pit and chop the stone fruit, and scatter evenly over the base lined with dough. Sprinkle generously with sugar if your fruit are sour.
  6. Dollop and roughly spread the remaining dough over the top, spreading roughly with an offset spatula. The dough will even out while baking, leaving pretty gaps for the fruit to peep out. Sprinkle over with muscovado sugar.
  7. Bake at 170C for about 30 minutes. The top will feel firm and set. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

We, had a good time digging into this tea cake, some delicious cupcakes by Hasina, rounds of tea and juices. Looking forward to many such afternoons of friends, food and fun.
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