Cinnamon Caramel Bubble Bread Christmas Breakfast worthy

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness." ~ Bob Hope


Hey! I just got back here to the US after the really long flight with the little monkey who was thankfully a very good not-so-squirmy boy. He only complained (complaining to his Ammamma halfway around the world away) when I curtailed his socializing with the other  babies so that we could get back to our seats. Finally we landed and after a mix up with the suitcases (guess red is a really popular colour after all) we got home to T after 24 long hours, just in time to spend Christmas week with him.


We are quickly adjusting back to the routines after my holiday to visit our family  in India. The little monkey has rediscovered all his favorite toys and hiding places and I am back amongst the clatter of pots and pans in my own kitchen where I know where everything is ( mostly). The morning sounds and smells of whole wheat toast popping in the toaster and just brewed  tea is actually quite comforting after elaborate breakfasts of dosas and appams which I will miss in a few days but today, warm butter spread-y toast with a sprinkling of sugar on top, is good enough for me!
(Is anyone else in love with the movie Toast based on Nigel Slater's memoirs btw? Caught it on the flight and had SUCH a bread craving! )


Christmas morning, however is not like any morning is it? It's truly the most magical part of the day I think, when the kids ( and some adults ahem ) are all excited about what Santa left them and soon the living room turns into a scene of wrapping paper and ribbon strewn carnage!  Christmas morning deserves somethign special, like CINNAMON and CARAMEL smothered, warm freshly baked bubble bread! 




 I am sure that everyone is counting down to Christmas too! Can't help being excited about Christmas where ever you are right?  I'm still wondering what to cook for just the two of us so we wont miss too much the feast the rest of our large extended families will be enjoying back in India when they all get together. But there is one thing I'm all set on and that's this cinnamon caramel bubble bread  bread for breakfast. I will be whipping up a batch of the easy, versatile dough and putting it in the fridge until the 25th. I strongly suggest that you do this too. 



This is so the month for cinnamon. I had made a loaf of this gorgeous bubble topped bread the day I saw this on Zoe's blog. Although this type of bread is called monkey bread (No idea why- maybe because you pull it apart with your fingers like monkeys, instead of cutting neat slices like I attempted in the pictures above. Tho that was after we had already devoured most of the loaf ) I prefer the name bubble bread and I'm sticking to it. Why did I wait this long to post it? Because I was waiting for it to seem like the right time for cinnamon. And it finally is.


While Zoe used the more rich Brioche dough seen in this apple brownsugar braided bread, I used and loved her Challah dough recipe which has less eggs and so is less rich though it tastes amazing. It is absurdly easy to make and it has been the recipe that I used the most this year. I have lost track of the number of times I made it during my visit to India, with savoury, fruit and even jam fillings. If you have never made bread before, let Zoe and Jeff convert you with their super easy technique.

 Wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and an extra special Christmas Morning!



Recipe for the Challah Dough
Recipe source: Zoe and Jeff from their book Artisan Bread in 5. This recipe was also featured on the kitchn and Zoe and Jeff share many recipes and instructions on their site Artisanbreadin5


( Makes enough for 4 loaves so you can halve this quantity) 


Ingredients

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets -any kind of yeast is ok)
1 tablespoon salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey ( I used 1/2 cup sugar instead)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (or neutral-tasting vegetable oil such as canola- I used oil), plus more for greasing the cookie sheet
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water- I omitted this and just brushed the tops with butter)
Method
1.Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter (or oil) with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. I used my extra large pyrex bowl. 
2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon.You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
3. Cover loosely with a lid or a large plate (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze in 1-pound portions in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. Then allow the usual rest and rise time as specified in the recipe below.

5. What ever shape you roll it to before baking, allow it to rise for another 1 hour. Then apply an eggwash or spread some butter on the top and bake at 350 F or 180 C for 30 mins for loaves and 15 mins for buns. See step below how to make the bubble bread
How to make the bubble bread, see step by step instructions here  
( Note: Zoe used brioche bread dough instead of the Challah dough which I used) 


My Notes:
I used sugar in place of the honey since the taste of honey doesn't really come through that much, you can use either. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of sugar. This is a very forgiving recipe

While making the bubble bread, in the instructions it is mentioned to pour the caramel sauce over the bread only once. I think that it deserves some caramel in the middle too, so next time will be pouring more caramel over the first layer of bread bubbles too.
The caramel sauce hardens as it cools. But just microwave or heat it for a little while and it will soften more.
You can also add a tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup of cream to make it more like a pour-able sauce. And hey why not add a dash of rum in it when no one is looking :)

How do they taste? the dough is yeasty, sweet and soft. So its almost like a bunch of dough nut holes bunched together and smothered in warm caramel and cinnamon. Yes, that means this is VERY dangerous stuff. You have been warned.

Love Joy Peace Cuppiecakes!


We put up our Christmas Tree today and got into the spirit of the Holiday Season with these drippy chocolate cuppiecakes.

Used my all time favourite so easy to make and yum chocolate cake recipe that I have posted many times already  poured the batter into greased cupcake tins and baked them for 20 mins
Then I dipped their tops in this easy peasy melty chocolate ganache frosting from my post here

Wishing you all much Love, Joy, Peace and baked goodies this holiday season! 



Lonan's Tender Coconut Pudding for The Kerala Kitchen!


 I have wanted to make tender coconut pudding for a while now. Finally when my father brought home a bunch of perfect tender coconuts  from, of all places- a charity auction for the local church community, I jumped at the chance. Divine providence, even in matters as small and unimportant as my longing for tender coconut pudding ! This recipe is from Lonan, a famous cook in Kerala who's recipes are hailed as being fail-proof by my mom and aunts.One bite of this silky smooth, refreshing tender coconut pudding and you will be transported instantly to the almost assaultingly green and peaceful Kerala.


I have been having a happy but hectic past month here in India, hence the lack of updates. Hope you have all been well and those in the US had a good thanksgiving feast and ate an extra slice of pie for me since I left before I could bake even one, though I did have more than my fair share last year!

Here its cloudy and chilly with the heavens threatening to pour down on us and warnings of floods and dams bursting. All around sombre reminders of how much at the mercy of God and nature we always are..
Inspite of the gloomy weather I have been having a wonderful time with my family and friends here who I am meeting after 3 long years. Been trying to take a break from the Internet and maximize our time visiting my mom-in-law and watching mallu movies, managing to do a little bit of shopping and lots of cooking and baking up a storm with her as she is an awesome baker herself and makes the world's BEST tea cake.Her cook Sarah also taught me finally how to roll and make the perfect fluffy fulkas and crispest dosas!

I also had the awesome opportunity to renew my spiritual life through a Catholic retreat for 5 days. So that's where I was the last week, in total peace, away from the pull and tug of everyday distractions and really close to God and learning so much more about my faith.

During my self imposed Internet break, I received the nicest surprise- my first ever DMBLGIT (Does My Blog Look Good in This) Photography Award! for the picture in my post here. Am thrilled beyond words!
Also ecstatic that despite Ria and I being off on holiday, our cooking event featuring the cuisine of our homeland The Kerala Kitchen has been going on in full swing thanks to our AWESOME members! Thank you ladies for all the deliciousness and especially to our wonderful hosts including this month's host Fajeeda of Faji's Hot Pot and the host for December Sonia of Dinner Recipe Guide 
Fajeeda, here is a delicious tropical dessert full of the taste of Kerala for your roundup!


Orange Layer Cake with Orange Bavarian Cream for Diwali


Diwali fireworks are bursting around us as I type. We have all been sitting in the balcony with the little one who was very impressed by the pretty starbursts, although he does not like the noise too much and is now with his great-grandmother, my Ammama who has come to my parents home here in TN all the way from her beloved farm in Kerala to be with our little monkey. He is sitting on her lap with his fingers in his ears, wearing cotton shorts and the thin cotton sleeveless t-shirt  like all kids here since it is very warm. An amusing sight for me since I am so used to seeing him all the time in his Oshkosh hoodies in the US. Hope my Indian friends are having a wonderful Diwali and everyone is enjoying the feastive ahem festive season!



The picture above is the result of about half an hour on the terrace of my parents home, trying to capture atleast one star-burst before it vanished into the dark sky. The cheeky fireworks kept teasing me, bursting on one side then the other while I lumbered around with my heavy camera until I caught this one and decided it would have to do. There were much prettier ones and I ask you to please ignore the slight blurriness of what I managed to capture and see it for what it really was -a burst of little diamonds scattered in the night sky. 


Diwali is a Hindu religious festival celebrating the return of Rama and Sita after years of exile and is spread over five days. It is great that I was able to be in India during this time.You just cannot help getting caught up in the excitement, whatever be your own religion. For me atleast means fireworks, beautifully bedecked women in their finest saris, jewelry and with jasmine in their hair, but most of all - sweets! It just would not be Diwali without the mandatory boxes of ghee and cardamom scented sweets that would arrive from friends. Cake is not typical to Diwali but I was inspired to make this cake yesterday. Why would I bother making laddoos or mysore pak when all I have to do is step outside to Sri Krishna Sweets, that institution of south Indian sweets practically next door to my parents home? I love Sri Krishna's and I loved them even more today when I read an article about how they are trying to preserve traditional sweets and snacks by renting out spaces for mamis near their homes to get together and cook up murrukus and jaelabis for sale, providing them a source of  income as well.
But back to the cake - layers of soft, airy sponge with a touch of citrus zest and just sweet enough orange Bavarian cream with segments of fresh orange that burst as you bite them-citrus fireworks in your mouth!


The sponge cake is made with a lot of eggs but no butter. It is quite dry and slightly eggy-smelling on its own. But it absorbed the simple syrup I made with orange juice and sugar like a...well, like a sponge and becomes moist and tender with a filling and frosting. So for a layer cake, do not look past this simple sponge cake which is also quite easy to make and very easy to remember. If you are looking for a plain tea cake to eat on it's own, check out these instead. I was itching to add a dash of cardamom powder which  think would have been perfect with the orange but my kid brother (no longer a kid really) does not like cardamom too much so I controlled myself. Besides Diwali brings about a cardamom overdose anyway!Which ever way you try it -with or without the cardamom and for whatever reason you find to bake it, you will love it! Even if your Bavarian Cream does not set like me -I don't know why :( and is a little runny, it still tastes really, really good! 


Hello from India!

Hope you are all doing great. I missed you! Thank you to all of you who wished and prayed for our safe trip here. Our flight down could not be more pleasant. The monkey was as good as gold, charming the Flight Attendants who took turns carrying him around.Though often he tried climbing over my shoulders which was not fun for me, trying to stand on my head to converse in very confident streams of gibberish to the amused co-passengers behind us!
I must confess I hardly missed blogging otherwise, these last two weeks that I was without the internet and all its attractions/addictions! We were busy travelling to my mom's and dad's homes in Kerala and enjoying meeting our large families, who were meeting the little one for the first time. 

We have been marveling at sights like this:

He makes climbing coconut trees look easy
And rekindling memories

The old Amby that is about the same age as me. Wait, that didn't come out right!

And creating some new ones!

My flower obsessed little monkey
The little monkey is completely enjoying all the attention he is getting though I am hoping he doesn't get too used to it! He is also gleefully discovering such  new and fascinating (for him) things like colourful clothes pins, ceiling fans (a-FAN-uh!) and crows (Kaa-kaas)  and most of all newspapers ( shame on his net addicted parents). Everyone is disappointed that he has ignored their gifts of fancy toy cars with flashing lights and beeping horns and other toys and prefers rolling a big plastic bucket around and throwing news papers in the air and chasing bits of paper around the room. I am thrilled that he finds so much glee in such simple things- atleast at the moment! 


Of course his mamma is more interested in all the awesome food. Oh the food! I have been FEASTING eating many wonderful meals like this:

Pearl spot (Karimeen) Fish Fry, Dal ( Parippu), Beef and Chinese Potatoes ( Koorka)
And cooking and baking and learning a lot from my grandmom and aunts and now that I am connected to the net again I will be posting some awesome recipes. See you soon with a recipe and not just pictures!

Red Moong and Squash Erissery for Veggie Belly as I'm off to India!

I am heading off to India next week! Am really excited-  this will be the little one's first visit to India to meet his adoring great grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins! Am also quite panicked because this will be the first time that I am travelling alone with the troublesome toddler, without his Pappa to keep him in check and provide entertainment.

As I am running around like a headless chicken packing tiny t-shirts and miniature nail clippers and all the other sundry things the monkey and I will need,  I decided I also wanted to do a guest post for Sala of Veggie Belly who is on a cross country road trip! How cool right? As a kid my parents would drive us down to Kerala almost every month and I LOVED it! making pit-stops at road side dhabbas for parottas, quarreling with siblings for the window seat, singing out loud and watching the changing landscape as we whizzed by, cities melting into villages and then forests and hills and fields, and the excitement as we spotted "our" river and the road curved into my grandmothers driveway.... and I might get to do atleast some of that soon. Hope that you are having an awesome time Sala, thank you so much for haing me over to guest post for you!


(Update: This picture won me my very first DMBLGIT award for photography! )

Since Sala is part Malayali and loves Kerala food, I am sharing one of my favourite everyday Kerala dishes, Red Moong and Butternut Squash in Coconut ( Van Payar Mathanga Eriserry ) -something simple yet comforting and delicious, and perfect for the transition to the fall season that I will be missing out on. I think it will  make a really different yet delicious addition to your thanksgiving feast :)


Eriserry is a typical lentil dish from Kerala like parripu (Dal or Yellow Moong stew) and cherupayar (Green Moong) and is part of everyday meals being nutritious and easy to digest. It is also often part of the Onam Sadhya or harvest feast. I like to serve eriserry with a heaping mound of rice, pappadam and pickle and don't forget the payasam for dessert!

Do head over to Veggie Belly for the rest of the post and the recipe and well as drool at Sala's glorious vegetarian fare including such awesomeness as chocolate beetroot cake and lovely Chettinad fare!

Also sending this off to this month's Kerala Kitchen hosted by the lovely Divya of Easycooking. Don't forget to send her all the Kerala inspired dishes you cooked up this month!

And please DO pray that the little monkey and I survive our trip ( and each other!) See you all next from India :)

whipped cream cake- soft airy and cloud-like!


I am totally enjoying having my mom here. Whenever I am with her I hardly even enter the kitchen and happily relax and enjoy her delicious cooking. Everything -even things that I make all the time like dal and even coffee tastes better when mom makes it for me. Mothers have some extra special kaipunyam or magic touch, don't you think?
But I am always game to make the dessert so when she said she felt like eating cake, I happily obliged with this treasure from Rose Levy Beranbaum who is considered the Queen of cakes. This cake is apparently one of her most popular and with good reason. It is tender, airy and cloud-like. Perfect as a simple tea cake or as a layer cake underneath oodles of frosting and it is my current and absolute favourite- a definite must try for all cake lovers! 


Here is a close up shot so you can see how tender it is! Similar to an angel food cake in texture but minus all those eggs and so much easier to make! 
The main fat comes from heavy whipping cream and not butter. Yes you read that right, this unusual cake contains no butter, instead using cream. I am dying to buy a carton of cream and make this again with some simple whipped cream frosting or my favourite chocolate nutella ganache frosting with the leftover cream, or maybe slathered in some dulce de leche , or with some juicy fruit? Mmmm the possibilities! Since we practically inhaled this cake though, you can guess that it's pretty awesome on its own! 

ada payasam for onam (sweet flattened rice and milk pudding from Kerala)

Tuesday September 11 2001. Ten years. Gosh has it been that long? I am not from New York. I have never been to New York but I am sure like me, almost everyone around the world will remember what they  were doing that day. Early in the morning, I was in my college hostel room in India prepping for a test when my roommate rushed in with the day's news paper. I will never forget the look on her face. Shock, disbelief. Such a senseless tragedy that impacted so many innocent lives.

I remember asking my grandfather after a trip to the zoo when I was eight or so, which animal he was thought could be the scariest and he answered "Man". I understand today how much cruelty and at the same time, how much goodness man is capable of.

By contrast, September is the beginning of many celebrations in India. There are many religious festivals during this time starting with Ramzan to Ganesh Chaturthi to the week long Diwali celebrations in October and ending with Christmas and the universal New Year's festivities when the air is thick from the smoke of fireworks. In Kerala this weekend many Malayalis like me, whether they be Hindus or Christians or Muslims would have wished each other a Happy Onam although Onam is a Hindu festival unique to the state. They believe that during Onam the good king Mahabali visits the homes of his people and so special feasts are prepared and a carpet of flowers laid out to receive him. Today it is celebrated by one and all. Who would not like to share in a delicious feast? I wish we all can find more such happy reasons to come together.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Onam weekend. I enjoyed having my mom here in the US for Onam and the two payasams she made. The first is my favourite and very simple to make,  in fact I would call it beginner's payasam. Am sending this off to Divya who is hosting this month's edition of The Kerala Kitchen  as well as to Shulie for her Rice Love event :)

grilled chicken wings indian style for the last few weeks of summer


This has been one glorious summer. Beautiful sunny days just meant to be spent outdoors. Picnics, barbecues  melting ice cream, fairs, trips to the park and the  farmers market and a bounty of fruits and veggies and grilling. Let's not forget the grilling!



Especially when it came with views like this..


and days like these..





This is a picture I love of the little monkey going for a walk (or rather a run!) with his Ammama, after which he brought me this flower, sometimes its a leaf or a twig. Once it was a tiny rock. Toddler treasures! 


But back to the grilled chicken which made this summer complete. Simple to make on a grill or under the broiler or even on a pan on the stovetop. Easy and delicious! 

Orange Cardamom Almond Biscotti from and for David Lebovitz!



Yesterday  the teenager in me ( who I usually try very hard to repress) had a field day! She took a bus, then the muni and trekked all the way up to San Francisco and stood in line outside ( no, not a club or backstage at a rock concert ) but a bookstore, (this one) to meet one of my favourite cook book authors and bloggers, the inimitable David Lebovitz!


I have been a huge fan of his cook books and his wonderful blog featuring to die for recipes such as flourless chocolate cake and home made ice cream interspersed with lovely accounts of his life in Paris. So I considered it a truly Divine coincidence that he was visiting San Francisco and around the same time that the Sweet Punch baking group had chosen his biscotti recipe for this month! I am thrilled that I was able to bake a batch for him adding an orange cardamom twist to his own recipe.


Orange Cardamom Chocolate Almond Biscotti


Biscotti literally means "twice baked" and it is a sort of hard crunchy cookie similar to the texture of rusk that is popular in India and it is perfect to dunk in your mug of coffee or hot chocolate. It is usally made with eggs and traditionally no butter or fat is added. It keeps for a long time, so it's great to make ahead and give away as gifts. It's also surprisingly easy to make! 


I followed the base recipe from David Lebovitz here on Joy of Baking 

Naturally I had to bake up a batch adding my own twist by adding 1/4 tsp cardamom  and the grated zest from one orange which I rubbed into the sugar, and this was the only change I made.






It's a good thing I doubled the recipe to make two batches because we LOVED it too! I don't know if David liked it, but I hope he did!

Here are some more glimpses from the day:




I was hoping to buy Ready for dessert but unfortunately all his books were sold out so I had to ask him to sign a copy of Baked and that pamphlet instead which he very kindly did!  (Sending this picture off to Susan because it is a Black and White Wednesday! )


The cute little Omnivore bookstore was swamped because apparently every foodie in SF loves David and made it a point to come see him, fog or not! I was even an hour early and went to the nearby Martha and Brother's coffee shop to tank up after my long commute and guess who was sitting right at the entrance? David! but since he was deep in conversation I just said a quick hi and went to get my coffee and a yum turnover that had zucchini and onions and tomato and all sorts of yumminess inside it. Besure that I will be trying to replicate it at home soon!




When I got back to the store there was a line stretching all the way around it! This picture of finally entering it was after about half an hour! Notice how everyone came prepared with copies, except me :( Note to self: When going to book signings, even if IN a bookstore, get your copy before-hand! 




Still it was a fun day and the man is as witty, friendly and laid back in person as he is in blogdom. I also got to meet the fun Christina of Learning by Fire  (who took that picture of David btw- thanks Christina! : ) and Irvin of Eat the Love  who also hosts some fun foodie events at 18 reasons.




The wonderful ladies who run Omnivore are super nice and they even gave us samples of buttery toffee with pop corn bits in it, covered in dark chocolate from poco dolce ( which alone was worth the trip to discover) and wine!




I took along the biscotti and also some spices from Kerala. Sort of as a small thank you for how much we all enjoy his books and recipes and tales of Paris :)

David opened the bag, and in his inimitable witty manner, gasped with he saw the small bag of Kudampuli/ Kokum and asked me if it was marijuana! David, I really hope you enjoyed the biscotti and get to use the kudampuli and enjoy it in sol khadi or fish curry or something edible and DO NOT try smoking it!

Sugar High Friday August 2011 Round up: Rice Sweets

I was so excited about hosting Sugar High Friday  the sweet blogging event created by the awesome Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess. I had chosen the  theme Rice , since it hadn't been done before on SHF, and had grand plans to try out many South Indian rice based sweet snacks and desserts for the event. But before I even realized it, the deadline was already here and I am filled with regret at all those rice sweets I had planned to make but didn't! Blame it on the farmer's markets and grilling, and picnics, and my mom visiting and the plain fact that its SUMMER ( for only a little longer! ) I hope to make and post those sweets on my to- do list soon.


But for now, I am so happy to present some wonderful rice treats from these awesome people who took the time out to meet this challenging them. Rice as a sweet is not too common outside some communitites, so its great to learn about these. Rice sweets are also usually gluten-free (But not always, please check other ingredients and possibilities of cross contamination) and so a great option for those with allergies. 


Thank you so much for sending these goodies in :) I so wish you could attach a sample along with your entries :)

Sugar High Friday Aug 2011 - Rice Sweets Round up 


 

andi unda (roasted cashew and rice sweet balls)



Today tea time seems to be either a long forgotten luxury or a quick sip of something scalding to get you going through the rest of the day.
In my grandmother's home in Kerala, however, tea time is a languid, happy part of every day. It is when the men folk are back from town, the women including my mom and aunts are done with most of the day's chores  and us city kids home for the summer holidays, were tired out after a day spent running loose.


We would arrive panting, an internal alarm having magically alerted us while climbing trees,  splashing in the river, feeding and petting my grandmother's collection of critters including a flock of white geese that followed her around everywhere, and three cows, or while simply flopping down with our books, reading away the summer holidays.


Everyone would gather at the kitchen table, including very often neighbours and aunts who lived closeby, always unannounced, walking in through the kitchen door that was always open, sometimes with a freshly baked pound cake or some other palaharam (Malayalam for sweet snacks) to share. How I miss those cozy, informal tea times in today's hurried days!


There would be boxes of laddoos or jaelabis that the uncles brought home from town, cookies or tea cakes or warm pazham pori (banana fritters).
We kids were allowed into the dark store-moori ( room) to choose among the treasures within and bring out tins of typicak Kerala snacks like banana chips, sharkaravartty ( jaggery coated crunchy fried bananas), crisp kozhalappams, achappapams ( made with rosette moulds) , uniappam and other goodies that my grandmother, mom, aunts and the cheduthi's painstakingly made together sharing stories,  along with the various tasks involved with the cooking.




My eyes would light up when I spotted the glass jar containing these smooth brown rounds.
But there was a catch. They could either be the dreaded avalose undas ( which I hated as a child) or these cashew andi undas which I loved. They both looked quite similar to me so every time I picked one up I would wiiisssshhh so hard before taking a bite, that it was an andi unda and not avalose unda! Of course today now that  they are both much harder to come by, I would happily eat either!


The flavour of andi unda of roasted cashews, jaggery and roasted rice is truly wonderful. It is a simple snack involving only 4 ingredients. Some people add spices like cardamom and cumin, however my Amma doesn't since she feels that they may take away from the wonderful flavor of the roasted rice and cashews. Here is her recipe, more of a rough guide since she doesn't measure anything mostly going on colour, smell and taste as do all grandmothers in India! So if it doesn't taste sweet enough for you, simply add more powdered jaggery, if its too dry, add more coconut. Taste away and adjust as necessary.

black and white wednesday: bagel breakfast



Canon T3i  18-55mm lens  f/5 iso 1000

Hope you are all having a lovely week soaking up the summer sun! Friends on the East Coast, hope the mild quake you experienced did not cause any problems and all is well with you all. From what I hear it was more puzzling than worrying, so that is good. Here in California we experience mild tremors now and then, though I still have not got used to them and still panic a little. Just another reminder about how fragile life is, and how everything great and small is all in God's hands. 


Here is a picture I took of morning coffee and bagels for Susan's Black and White Wednesday, a culinary photo event

I shot it in colour and then used the free online editing program Picnic by Google Photos to play around with various effects including fading black and white, 1960's, vinignette which gives it that darker edge as well as cross processing.


Since I am learning, I thought it would be a good idea to note down the camera settings mainly for my own reference. Not that anyone else would be interested! ( Fishing for compliments here. Someone please tell me my photographs are pretty and my camera settings are worth knowing.Thanks!) 


Also, here is an article I LOVED on creating moods in photography using lighter or darker back grounds and controlling the exposure and light by Ilva Beretta, somethign that I am playing around with currently, overexposing or underexposing pictures with a +1 ot -1 to create a brighter or darker mood to suit my own mood that day! 


Editing this post to add some GREAT news! I was perusing the awesome Xiaoulu of 6Bittersweets Wednesday Favorites  a collection of photos and recipes that she liked that week and I fell off my chair when I saw that she had included my bourbon peach ice cream in her fabulous list!  I am soo stoked! Head on over there and check out the collection and the rest of her droolworthy blog!