Monday, 31 October 2011

Help.Me.Out (!)

One of the weeks I dread the most in a year. Because next week is my sister's birthday. And every year, my friends do remember. I pester them for ideas until they beat themselves up for having befriended me in the first place. My sister has this gift of predicting the exact gifts or surprises that we've arranged for. Come on, can't she atleast fake it up like I do? No. She has to blow it away!

I've been sick this week, unable to be disciplined in my workouts. Too much happening. I sleep too less or too much. Too much is more often, I think. And it has been a week of cravings. I have to literally tie my hands to not bake and eat everything on my own. Maybe, that's why Allah gave me brothers. To finish everything up and lick the plates clean. I do mean that!b

These 10 days until Eid are considered to be the holiest days of the year. I should wake up and do better. Aaaah, Eid. Writing about Biryani makes me smile. And I'm already thinking about what to make for dessert. Fried Ice Cream, perhaps? ;)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Eventful Week? I think.

You know when they say you will never understand the value of what you have unless you lose it? They are right. And I did realize it this week. My mom has to stay away from home for a fortnight until she is nursed back to health. Boy, did my brothers jump with joy or what. No Mom = Fried snacks in the evening = Control over the remote. They did at least take the effort to fake tears when she left. But I know that deep down, they do miss her. I'd like to believe that's true

I'd gone to stay with her for a couple of days and that's when I learned the BIG lessons of life. The only source of entertainment was our conversation. All depressed souls around us. I'm not getting started on the food. I started comparing everything to how awesome it is to just SIT on a couch at home. It broke my heart to leave her there, will be heading again on the day after next.

God, I miss her. I am so not ready to leave all of this behind and start a "new" life. When mom's around, you don't have to ponder over meals and make sure they're tasty enough after a long tiring day. Its also true when they say a mother is the warmth that completes home. Sounds like oodles of emotion, I know. But you should start believing them. I know they are absolutely right. :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

My 21st

It feels so damn good to be writing after a long time. Stressful week it was, I'm wondering now if that's the reason for hairfall. At this rate,I it looks like I might have to bid an early goodbye to one of the things I like about me. I don't sound self-centred at all, do I? :)
Now even though I do not celebrate birthdays, there's this excitement that gets me a couple of days before each one. Because every year I'm reminded of how many people care for and remember me. Cheeeesy, I know. But, sometimes cheesy is good.

Lameez, my sister FINALLY managed to give me a full tossed surprise by gifting me with an early birthday cake. Now, I can call her a darling.

My friends turned out to be a smart bunch this year, everyone kept a 15 minutes gap between each call. Which ensured that my night's sleep was ruined. Having slept only around 4 hours, I woke up with a really bad sore throat (That is the effect I always have to endure upon having sleepless nights). One of my best friends, Yashi surprised me in office with a chocolicious cake.

2 cakes. Just what I needed to boost my journey in achieving my weight loss goals :)

Another friend gave me a surprise visit with a card. Yes, they still do make them. And I got a cookbook, people! Dorie Greespan's Baking from My Home to Yours. My brothers are absolute gems and really smart. They know the benefits of giving me a cookbook. They happy, me happy. Get it:?

So, I turned 21 on the 21st. Sounds huuuge. Guess I'll get used to it in a couple of days. By the looks of it, most probably when I'm about to turn 22. :)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Websites that are absolute steals.

It does go unsaid, about Google being the unanimous winner. I can't imagine a life without it, it has become such an irreplaceable part of my life. Its the first thing I run to whenever I'm in doubt. I'm going to take you through a couple of websites that you should - wait a minute - SHOULD consider checking out if you're smart like me :)

My last post did have reference to this, so I will elaborate. We all waited for an amazon to serve the Indian crowd and now we have it. You'll find pretty much all the books you need at good prices (along with mobile phones and other stuff) with a hoard of payment options. Timely service. And good ads lately.

Now don't go spend ridiculous amounts on perfume and other branded stuff when you can buy them online at an average discount of 60% off. No, I ain't kidding. They have a business model which allows them to offer good discounts for genuine products (Google how online shopping websites work). The collection is pretty good, so go check it out. Like now!

If you're traveling, this one is a must visit. Has reviews of almost every hotel/restaurant imaginable and some of them are downright funny. Its the one part of my job that I love because it can get so entertaining :) Back to the point, do check it out when you're packing your bags next. Or Aise Hi :)

Oprah isn't just for girls but if you're really macho, then turn to Dr.Oz. Facts that even amaze a person like me, who's science-averse. Its a pleasant mix of health, food, lifestyle, fitness and a lot more

Essential to keep a check on the economy. I know many will just skip this point!

Fantastic website for all recipes with a million reviews. Try it to believe it :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Yes, I'm an Adult - Oh Nooo, I'm turning Old!

I really can't decide upon what I feel. Honest. I might not look like I'm 16, but I do feel like it. :) I'm turning 21 on the 21st...Nice, eh? My birthdays have always been a silent affair, mostly just me and my friends. You already know about my big 18th celebration (Remember I was in the train all day). My sister is a complete goner when it comes to planning my birthdays. She can't do surprises because she's too lazy to think. She's so lazy that she even leaves the "thinking about the gift" thing to me.That is my favourite part, I get the best gifts from her.

I haven't told you about my stint with gifts, have I. I am blessed with the reputation of getting a lot of gifts but only I know the turmoil my mind goes through when I think about what will be inside. Because, it always nearly is faaaar from my taste. When I was a kid, I used to get multi coloured vases. By the time I was 16, I had enough to open a store. Not to forget the hu-uge number of showpieces of dancing girls and crawling animals. It has become a standing joke in the family now. :)

My brothers have been pestering me for a wishlist since a couple of weeks now, I wanted them to buy something on their own this year. Haha, which reminds me of the gift they once gave. A rotating showpiece, I think, which cost a huge chunk of their savings. Bad me, I exchanged it for a neckpiece. I own it even today , and whenever they see it, they put on their sad puppy face and say " You never like what we gave you, did you". Now that is indeed an Awww moment for me  :)

1. Cookbooks and more and more of it!

How awesome would it be to own a library. I've lately been taken to cookbooks written by blogger-turned-authors. I love reading them even at bedtime, yes people, bedtime. There are like a million authors and I thought I'd lose my mind if I continued reading after 2 hours. So I did have to stop. At this -

Rachel Allen's Bake! - is my all time favourite
Nigella Lawson's Recipes from the Heart of the Home
Any book by Sanjeev Kapoor
Or your personal favourite book

FYI, did you know all these are available on  :)

2. Perfume
Love Love Love it. Ricci Ricci or Nina by Nina Ricci are my current stalking victims. Or anything that smells nice!

3. This jacket
I think I'll die in my quest for this jacket but will not succeed. I must have searched in every store I've been to and by the looks of it, I'll probably get it when everyone else has stopped wearing it! Size M, people and a little longer!  ;)

4. Bag ... Has to be there on my list!
You know the kind. Nothing flashy, but in good basic colors and of this length. Not a shoulder bag!

This is an easy-easy one. But its a very personal thing. You see, I'm not a very jewellery person. I hate anything that's flashy. I love solitaire diamonds ;) The only accessory I pretty much use are watches. Oh , speaking about watches, that's a fantastic idea as well!

See, ain't flashy. You might be thinking its drab, accept it, you have bad taste :)

 6. ANYthing to do with interiors. 
Now this is where you get to be creative. Personalized photos in wooden frames (No cheesy stuff, oki?). Or involve my favourite magazine.

Now take a breather, folks. This is for my brothers. Its called a "wish"list for a reason!

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Obsession Series - 3

The Joy of Shopping

This is definitely one of those foolproof ways to make a girl happy. At least all the ones that I know! Ask a girl, and they would never have shopped enough. Because we just can't ever shop enough.

This week was a not so happy week for my wallet. I keep asking myself why I'm such a pathetic spendthrift. I can't seem to master the skill to save. Even the fact that I earn close to peanuts doesn't seem to work :| Well, getting back to the point, my close friend had this sale and I ended up buying three pairs of footwear. What else did I buy this week? Thinking...Thinking...thinking

I can't choose between what's best - Street shopping or the Malls. Maybe I'll do a briefing of both :)

Street Shopping -

Rows and rows of clothes/footwear/bags of ALL colours imaginable. Vendors who speak Hindi that's heavily accented with their native slang. And the bargaining. Now that can become a lot of fun. Especially when you go from school and patofy the vendor by saying that you're poor and you got less pocket money. And you fight with friends to say that you liked the stuff first so its yours.
Its amazing to see the blend of people that come for street shopping - There's the middle class bunch, who'll bargain like their life's dependent on it only when it comes to street shopping and act all hi-fi when they go to the high end shops, because bargaining is not even a thinkable option. Or the look-like-model girls who get down from their Mercs and end up being even better bargainers than them! Of the places I've been to , Mumbai has got to be the best when it comes to this. Even Bengaluru doesn't fail to surprise , with ComStreet and Brigade Road. Or Chennai's Cotton Street. Don't be surprised if you see something like this while you're at it -

My friend Dhruvi at ComStreet, Bengaluru :)

And after all that walking, a plate of Sev Puri or a Softy completes it all.

Mall Mania -
Now this is best enjoyed when you have your wallets full if you're a guy. But when you're a girl, all you need are the bucks to reach the mall. And that confident attitude when you walk into a store that you WILL buy something! I was an expert in my prime (I'm not 80 now, but you tend to be awfully good at this sport when you're 18). I can still manage to pull this one off though. You walk from store to store in the hope of buying something. You see, unlike the affirmation you have in street shopping that you will get something, this is an investment that requires time and price comparison. On top of that, the pressure to visit all the stores until you reach the food court in limited time. All these principles go down the drain when there's SALE. How much do we love that word. You absolutely have to buy something but no one likes carrying their stuff in the store bag that has the word 'sale' on it. :) Calicut is still waiting for a mall revolution to sweep its roads, so unfortunately we have to depend on other cities. All malls are kinda the same - They have the same branded outlets, the same crowd, and kilometres and kilometres to walk. But, who's complaining? ;)

Did I mention that its my all time favourite exercise too? :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Some people just touch your lives regardless of the closeness you share. You recall the long lost love you shared. Or you fondly remember the jokes you laughed at together.

When it comes to Steve Jobs, I know we had nothing in common. I haven't used an Apple product till date. Probably touched them, yeah. I'm just his millionth admirer. The shock that I felt when I heard he was no more took even me by surprise. I don't know why, maybe its because some people never die. Such an awesome man. How many people actually live to see their dream become even better than mere true!

We never think about death until it happens to (wait, not us) anyone in our family. I did lose a dear friend, a brother. And even today, it feels like it never happened. The Creator gave us the most beautiful gift of forgetting. Else the fresh memories would have made us mad with grief. I never believed it until then, but it is true. That you know when you're about to die, somehow. He used to talk about how he wanted to die young. How he thought he would be bored out of his skull if he lived really long. He jokingly asked me to make sure I prayed at his funeral. In the last week, he ate his heart out with all the stuff he liked just because he felt like it. Scary. The whole thought of dying. May Allah protect us, Aameen

Its very unlike me to get so serious, but some days are just like this. And I felt like writing :) You know how you kinda think of how many people would turn up at your funeral , what would your fb profile look like, who would cry and stuff like that. Its only when you think of instances like that, that you actually realize your family means the world to you.

Hell, I'm getting outta control here! Next post - Happy Post :)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

If you haven't had this,

you have to be ashamed. You haven't experienced life in all its glory. One post per week has to be something related to food :) Been a while since I've written, but finally I have a busy life! Work has been a little hectic 
 this week. But good hectic. I welcomed the weekend with 2 glorious dishes -

Carrot-Orange Muffins

David Lebovitz's Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

 My mother is pret-ty soon going to ban me from the kitchen because she says I'm on a mission to make everybody fat. Healthy portions are fine :) The pics aren't that great , with the ice cream, its completely my fault. I just didn't have the patience because it was melting :) The electricity line always seems to know when I'm going to bake. Because it has to cut off the power supply for a good amount of time and make me wait. The usual story of my life!

I wasn't referring to these two dishes in the title. So here's some to die for desserts that you should, should try out once at the least.

1.  Cinnamon Rolls
Oh my my. That's definitely heaven in your mouth if you have a sweet tooth. Cinnabon offers the best. Or get baking. Very Berry Easy :)
2. Middle East - Yum Yum!
They know this stuff almost better than anybody else. Its not just shawarmas. The next time you make it to an Arab country or a restaurant, don't overlook the Baklava. Or the Konafeh.

3.Molten Lava Cakes
You've committed a crime if you haven't had this one. Even not-too-sweet-tooth having people will love this inside out. All it takes is 8 minutes to bake. Oki, I think I'm pushing you into the kitchen a lil too much.

4.Shahi Tukra
The Indian version of the bread pudding is unbelievably simple yet, oh so satisfying. The Pakis make it better I guess. I still remember this amazing restaurant in Saudi called the La Sani which served this beauty.

5. Kheer
Rice pudding at its best. Tough competition between this and Ada paysam, there is!

6. Bravarian Chocolate Ice Cream
You like chocolate? Like really good chocolate that's a lil dark? Run to the nearest Baskin Robbins store!

7. Muffins/Donuts

If they are double choco chip, I will lose all my senses. Especially the ones that make me lead a healthy life. Or try out the Double Trouble Donut in your nearest Mad Over Donuts store. You'll be thanking me for gifting you one of the most lip smacking moments everrr!

8. Banana Cake
No, it doesn't taste like you're eating a banana. This is such a classic. You have got to taste the moistness and the homely food feel that it gives.Can't count the number of times I've baked this. Won't be a winner when it comes to looks but you know how some things are just well, better experienced than said.

If you are tempted to make anything, I'll help you out. Now if even that is a tedious task, you know Google is our savior :)

All photos are taken via Google and are taken in good spirit - Rightfully owned by the persons concerned.