Monday, July 16, 2012

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies- Guest post by RB

If I had to sum up my life’s current state in three words, they would be; ‘An Eventful Life’
Trying hard to maintain a work-life balance, I feel a bit scattered, with numerous things happening; lots of projects up in the air, too much work with no help at all, and family over for holidays. The good part is that I love all of it. After a tough work day, what would be better than having some homemade cookies? Together with the nieces, we baked classic chocolate chip cookies. The old adage of ‘Too many cooks spoiling the broth’ was proven entirely wrong; there were 3 of us baking while Ak was busy clicking away! We had a really good time baking and the cookies turned out delicious- fresh, just the right amount of sweet and extremely crunchy. I would totally recommend a batch. The icing on the cake is that the 12 year old RB has decided to a Guest Post on this one, while the 9 year old NB, has worked on the photographs. What better way to cook and communicate!

Hi everybody- I'm RB and this is first guest post. I hope you like it! A little bit about me and NB- We love cooking and watching shows like Masterchef Australia and Food Network Star. I had an epic baking session together with NB and the chocolate chip cookies turned out ''classic''. Chocolate chip cookies are not only one of my absolute  holiday time favorite- they are a year-round favourite. Believe it or not- Choco chip cookies were an accidental creation by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930, the owner of toll house.
Well- enough facts for now. Here are some things that are pretty interesting.
Did you know that you consume about 35,000 cookies in your lifetime? Well, you must be thinking- wow I better cut down on cookies. Well, fear no more. 
Because the chocolate chip recipe I am posting today is pretty healthy! Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pistachio Kulfi

Summers are wonderful for the ‘cool’ stuff they offer. By cool, I really mean chilly, frosty and icy.
Tis’ the perfect weather to sit indoors, in front of the TV with a tubful of ice-cream or maybe read a book; Simple indulgences that we deprive ourselves of in the rut of daily life. Gone are those days of summer vacations or days off, when one would just relax for a few days, without an agenda. This is a true luxury that most often I can’t or rather do not grant myself- yes, I am one of those people who is almost slightly, unfortunately stuck in ‘the busy trap’. (Must read this article here ).
p.s. Note to myself about the New Year resolution.

Coming back to ice-cream, since the family is visiting, and there is a lot of eating out and stashing of goodies at home, I decided to try out my mum’s tried and tested recipe for kesar pista kulfi (traditional Indian ice-cream with saffron and pistachios). I am an ardent kulfi fan and this recipe has been playing on my mind forever. Having loads of pistachios at home in our dry fruit reserve, this seemed to be a good use for the same. Traditional Kulfi is a dessert from the Indian region and is almost like ice-cream, except that it is richer and creamier. Its original form is with pistachios and saffron, and has more contemporary variations with fruits such as apples and strawberries. Being a frozen dessert, it can be made using a regular ice-cream maker, or the conventional technique of freezing, thawing, blending and re-freezing to avoid any crystallization. I prefer this particular recipe, because it is absolutely pure- made of milk, and does not have any gelatin or condensed milk as thickening agents. This recipe uses the traditional technique of slow cooking milk to make it thicker; infact the recipe is quite similar to the rice pudding or kheer recipe found here.

The recipe was a success; and it was one of those rare days when I knew it would be J. Most often, I am wondering how the results would turn out, but with this recipe and the memories of mom making it every summer, I could taste it even when it was cooking, knowing that this one would not fail. The time-honored kulfi is the perfect dessert for a busy, hot summer day; one should surely have a stock, hoarded away in the fridge.

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