First Blog Anniversary :D

Chocolate Cake

Today my blog completes it’s first year *happy dance*

Yes! It’s been a fantastic year of creating foodie memories for myself and my family. It feels like it was just yesterday when I shared my first blog post. Like how every first brings an amazing sense of nostalgia of the time gone by, this one did too. I woke up all chirpy and have a smile plastered on my face 🙂

It’s such a great feeling when my mum, friends or cousins call me to say that they like what they read. My best supporter has been my grandmother who relies on the translations my mum gives her for my writing. It’s funny when she asks me to Whatsapp her pictures of something new I cooked or baked. She is tech-savvy that way. Ain’t she the coolest grandma ?

She loved every picture I clicked at my Italian cooking class, she found the Pasta machine quite exciting. This makes me very proud since she is my mentor, she is the one because of whom I first held a chopping knife or learnt how to make a dough. I owe my love of cooking to her.

I have hosted many dinner / lunch / brunch parties to bring in someone’s birthday / anniversary / promotion / farewell or just catching up with everyone. Friends and family been very supportive and let me take pictures before digging in to the feast. They do email me recipes, they want me to try out and feed them. I like how I got to make some really good friends bonding just over food. I also did get to introduce some non-Indian friends to Indian cuisine and now it’s wonderful to see how they enjoy it and ask for that white pancake recipe while referring to Dhokla.

Dining out on weekdays when I’m too tired to cook after a long day at work came in it’s own pleasures. It gave me and Sahil with some alone time to catch up with each other. We also did a round up for nearly most of the coffee shops. This habit came into being since the very beginning of starting our expat journey here, we do weekend coffee dates just before hitting the supermarket for our grocery shopping.

The first year meant experimenting, getting conscious of the responsibilities which come in with having a food blog. Spending Thursday nights curled up on the couch reading up food blogs or wandering over food websites, buying cookbooks or baking supplies over a pair of shoes, having a window open for The Kitchn while at work, bookmarking favorite recipes, testing the recipes and trying to get across the same emotions into writing as I felt while cooking the recipes. I learned and listened to many people share their food stories and philosophy, letting me in to their personal space and asking me about mine.

I think during the course of the year I came across some really fantastic people be it the restaurant owners when we go out to dine, asking them about their foodie journey or fellow food bloggers who share same passion as me.

I also got to be a part of the wonderful Fooderati Arabia group. Attending fabulously put together food events and reading their food blogs. All of them have been such an inspiration.

It’s been a fun ride so far. The year has passed by in a jiffy, I promise to get more regular with my updates for the next year. I have a better vision and clarity for this blog now. I hope the second year brings in more excitement and learning.

Cake

Like I always say – A prayer in my heart, a song on my lips and spatula in my hand, I love my life 🙂

p.s. I have posted pictures for two of the cakes I baked this year for two very special people in my life. First is for a dear friend and second picture is for Sahil’s birthday cake!

Starting a Food Diary – Ramblings

Food for me is not rocket science. It should be comforting and simple. I do not believe in using a zillion gadgets and techniques to create a tasty dish. What’s important is that you should be generous with drizzling love and care while making the dish. The warmth in your heart should translate in the dish you are making.

Simple, easy to make recipes appeal to me. I love cooking traditional recipes, which represent a particular region. I love to stay true to the original recipe as far as possible. I do not come with the best dish and have faced many kitchen disasters but I try and learn from my mistakes and make sure never ever repeat them.

A typical Taurean by nature I value nostalgia and associate certain foods with my memories. Like the maggi with veggies and filter coffee while having important exams, Pasta in creamy velvety white sauce on my first date with orange juice, Masala chai with onion fritters during Mumbai monsoons, Gobhi Paratha with luscious cucumber raita and a dollop of butter on weekend breakfast with family and the list goes on.

I am very liberal with the spices and seasoning dishes. I do not always go by standard measurements, I like to touch and feel the spices and go for my instinct. I am a very intuitive cook. If I am not in a good mood, cooking lifts up my spirits and gives me back the zing.

I find drawing up menus and grocery list fulfilling. I am happiest while grocery shopping and thinking of the endless magic simple ingredients like garlic or dried basil can do to a dish.

Making the most out of the best you have in hand and not look for a zillion things and use different gadgets is my philosophy towards cooking. I always wanted to better my skills in cooking but never really got time to venture into it being a corporate banking slave. Still I used to whip up cakes and brownies in a jiffy and cook quick dinners for my roommates most of the nights.

I moved to Dubai, cultural melting pot simmering with world cuisines, refined palette and saw myself exposed to an altogether different food scene which I was missing back home. Being jobless in the desert land after getting ‘just married’, gave me the perfect opportunity to cook the tried and tested recipes. Once I ran out of recipes I starting looking for them online. I usually try them giving them my twist.

I have a doting husband who is very honest with his take on what I cook. He being a foodie helps me as well, because I learn with my experiments every time he gives me a feedback. Not to mention our outings to restaurants and cafes as often as possible, and cooking the things I sampled there. That’s a high, one experiences after recreating what you’ve had.

I have been thinking of starting a food blog ever since I came here in Dubai but something or the other cropped demanding my undue attention. So I took to checking the food blogs here in UAE for inspiration.

I did manage to get inspired with the beautifully put together food diaries. It was so colorful, painstainkly taken pics mesmerizing you. They present the dishes so beautifully I would want to keep looking at them for hours on end. The props used, the focus on having them photographed under perfect lights and brightness. I am just an amateur trying to put together what I know to cook and have a collection of the recipes I would like to try.

The lights I use are not perfect and the pictures are taken as soon as I prepare them. We have a Canon 1000D DSLR and I also love using my husband’s Samsung Galaxy Note to click these. We are not a patient lot when food arrives hence click a few shots and go by the Indian way “Toot Pado”. We end up acknowledging each other just when the dish is about to get finished.

I hope to have this blog witness all my foodie fantasies. I aim to post stories from the simmering pots and pans of my vegetarian kitchen and my experiences while eating out. Here’s to a new beginning.
A prayer in my heart, a song on my lips and a spatula in my hand. I love my life!!