Very Berry Smoothie

My husband does not believe that I used to give my mum a really hard time having fruits as a kid. I used to hate every fruit, with strawberries and mangoes being an exception.

As a teen, I took a liking to oranges, sweet limes and kiwis mainly because my friends at college were obsessed with orange juice with chilly cheese toast to be had on an almost daily basis post our tuitions. I gave in due to peer pressure and my mum could not thank my friends enough.

Fast forward to last 6-7 years and I love fruits. In fact I look forward to having smoothies, fruit juices with breakfast and fruit based sorbets and frozen fruit yoghurts as desserts. A transformation of sorts!

With Dubai summers having dawned on us, smoothies are a staple breakfast accompaniment these days. Last weekend I was quite nostalgic about my college days back in Mumbai and as an ode to the chilly cheese toast and juice days, I made the same for breakfast.

Breakfast

Sahil loved the smoothie. I used bottled Lacanor mixed fruit juice since I was not keen on yoghurt based smoothie that day. Below is the recipe for the smoothie loaded with the goodness of antioxidants and all essential vitamin C and E. This is low in fat and offer high fiber and mineral content.

Ingredients
2 Zespri Kiwis
1 cup chopped srawberries
1/2 cup blueberry
400 ml Lacanor mixed fruit juice
Juice and pulp of 2 fresh oranges
1tsp flax seed-super seed powder
1 tsp runny honey (optional)
A few ice cubes (optional)

In a blender, add all the fruits, juice and seed powder and mix well.

Fruits

At my place, I usually powder flax seeds and super seeds in a spice grinder and keep it in an airtight jar.

I use this mixture in smoothies, muesli, granola parfaits, cookie and cake mixtures. Flaxseeds and other super seeds are great source of getting iron, fiber, folic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B. I do not support taking supplements, I much prefer getting these essential nutrients by natural sources.

I skipped the honey this time since the berries were sweet enough for our liking.

Berry Smoothie

I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I did. Until next time may the Sun God be kind to us in this part of the world! 🙂

Disclaimer : This is not a paid post. I have not collaborated with Zespri or Lacanor brands in specific. I prefer them over others and hence the mention.

2014 – A new year! An old post! Super Moist Chocolate Cake :)

Chocolate Cake1

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a blessed year with good health, happiness and contentment in life. Late wishes I know, but like they say – Better Late Than Never!

Before I hop on and start creating memories for 2014, I want to share that it was a lovely December last year! Apart from the ever increasing To-Do list, year end review and strategy meetings at work, I have had a blast.

I have been dining out almost thrice every week for a month now, given late evenings at work leave me too exhausted to face the stove top. However I have been batch cooking a lot for friends and family this month. I even sent a care package of granola bars and cookies to mom-in-law ensuring she does not miss her granola at breakfast. She lovingly distributed some to her kitty party friends.

Last 10 days of 2013 have been very endearing filling me with gratitude for God having given me a great year and making me hopeful of an even better 2014.

I participated in @uaesecretsanta this year, it’s a stand alone gift exchange for tweeps within UAE. I got gifted an amazing book on baking and a Gingerbread house making kit from Tavola by my super sweet Santa.

Ain’t it cute! My secret santa was very thoughtful towards my wish list I’d say. See them below, so this post is dedicated to her 🙂

Secret Santa Gifts

I did my bit by sending gifts to my Santee too and it reached her just in time.

This year New Year’s evening was a quiet one for me and Sahil, we are home listening to some music, sipping our favorite beverages, me masala chai and him his Old Monk. He was working on his final draft for his upcoming coffee table book and I was catching up with friends and family back home. We later stepped out and saw the amazing fireworks. We parked ourselves with several others on the Knowledge Village flyover, we had distant view of fireworks at Global Village, JBR and Burj Khalifa. The magic begun when Burj Al Arab started it’s colorful array of fireworks.

And then like Dubai style, the best was saved for the last. What I saw gave me goosebumps! The much awaited fireworks started over the Palm, a 180 degrees view of colors and lights saw me giggling like a school girl. I such a sucker for fireworks! This was the highlight for my New Years Eve and I will cherish this for the longest time ever.

For the first post of 2014, I’m sharing a recipe for a chocolate cake I baked for my office pot luck lunch for Christmas. Yes! I had a full working day but it turned out to be fun towards the end of it.

I have completely followed the recipe from Joy of Baking’s website. This is very simple cake, comes together in just less than an hour including the prep time. Perfect when you are hard pressed for time like I was!

http://www.joyofbaking.com/cakes/SimpleChocolateCake.html

Chocolate Cake Making

It’s quite a thin batter which can get you scared in the beginning whether the cake will hold it’s shape but it’s alright. The end result is a gooey, moist chocolate cake oozing with flavor. This is one recipe I swear by, it’s not let me down ever.

Chocolate Cake

I simply topped it with some home made chocolate fudge frosting and strawberries! My colleagues are a berry loving lot 🙂

Chocolate Fudge Icing 

1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine cocoa powder, sugar and milk in a saucepan and blend all together for few minutes on medium heat. Take off heat when it starts to simmer, add butter and mix well. Add vanilla extract and blend all the ingredients together. You can add little milk if the mixture is too dry. Let the mixture cool down. Spread over cake sparingly, the fudge icing stays well if kept refrigerated unto 3 days.

I hope I’m able to bring out more posts at regular intervals this year around! Here’s too more cooking and creating great foodie memories ahead 🙂