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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stuffed Bread at Potluck

During my visit to super market, I chanced upon this box of flatbread mix. I read the instructions on the box, it was easy to follow. It was just mixing and baking, as simple as that. I was naturally interested.

The packet had flour with herbs and a packet of yeast. I brought it home then waited for some occasion to try this out. Making only for my self is not my idea of fun. Sharing with friends and enjoying the meal has different kind of pleasures.

The opportunity finally arrived when my friends planned a potluck lunch. I told them I would make stuffed Pizza with spinach and mushrooms. But what I had planned did not happen. I had ordered Spinach but my vegetable fella ditched me the last minute, and also, one of my friends warned me not to use mushroom, (she hates it, she said) so I was to make changes and think of more friendly veggies.

I don’t normally follow the instruction on the box, I like to create my own recipes.  So although the box said plain flat bread, I had other plans. I decided to make stuffed bread instead.

I made the dough using yeast and milk

Left it in a warm cabinet for over two hours till it grew double its size.

In the meantime, I prepared other ingredients.

Grate the cheese and keep it aside

Chop onions, capsicum and green chilies, boil corn and green peas, and crush dry fruits like almonds and walnuts. Keep them aside

Prepare tomato pure,  fry in oil with garlic and black pepper, add little sugar and tomato sauce.

Back to the dough after two hours, I spread the dough on a plate

Spread the tomato puree

Spread all the vegetables and dried fruits

Cover it with grated cheese

Add spice powders such as Chili lime seasoning, cheese powder, cinnamon powder, paprika and garlic powder

Fold the dough over the veggies 

Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil. Asahi Kasei is the best brand that I have used so far, specially when I do not want to use oil, I just layer my tray with this foil and the food does not stick to trays.

Transfer the bread roll on to baking tray

Make cuts on the bread roll

Baked it for 15 minutes in pre-heated oven on high heat

Slice, top it with grated cheese and served it warm.

You had to be there to taste……everybody loved it…

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Orange Is the Color in Summer

Its too hot nowadays and you can find juice stall almost in every street of Mumbai. The price of the juice may vary from lane to lane and from shop to shop. One street hawker sells it for Rs35 and twenty steps away, on linking road, it shoots up to Rs60. Have it in restaurant and pay Rs150 and if you are in five-star hotel, then it can spiral to their whims.

But, this is the perfect juice to heat summer.

In my photography challenge, I was asked to post pictures with three different stories.

I went specially for orange shopping. The oranges are not really fresh, but I have clicked in the afternoon, in natural light by the room window. The pictures then transported to photoshop for little editing.

so here it is:

Kill summer heat with orange juice

Oranges on the go

Fruit Basket

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Evening at True Tramm Trunk

True Tramm Trunk at Juhu seems to be the favorite hangout place for youngster. They have the most peppy music that is quite loud and catchy, the leaves little quiet moments for conversation but everybody was tapping their feet, swinging their body as they sipped on drinks and enjoyed the finger food.

The ambience is good, with low-lit rooms, seating is either on high table-chair or a comfortable islands of easy sofas with cushion for relaxed evening. Two walls address a big TV screen playing some sports or other, while other walls have attractive wall art. There is a separate large room where one can have private parties.

It was interesting to see tables lined up with crushed ice at the centre of the table, where one could keep the bottles to cool while they feasted on finger food.

I was there on invite to #FBAISoiree and sample the new drink, ‘Turning Point Sangria’. It’s specialty being that you could drink straight from the bottle, while on the go. There were two unique flavors: Metropolitan and Nashik Mule.
Metropolitan is the combination of red wine, sugar and nature identical flavors of orange and cranberry. You could drink it chilled, directly from bottle, or pour it in glass, add some chopped apples and oranges and top it with ice.
Nashik Mule is the perfect blend of white wine, sugar and nature identical fruit flavors of orange and ginger ale. You could drink it chilled or pour it in glass. Add some chopped apples, oranges and curry leaves and top it with ice.

A brief hic-story of Sangria

In 200BC, the Romans plant vineyards in Spain. The locals make merry of concocting a fruit punch which was referred to as Sangria and have been thanking Romans ever since
In 1964, the Big Apple gets its first taste of Sangria at the World Fair. Americans take to it like fish to water.
In 2014, Turning Point Sangria launches in India and turns the century old drink into modern and cool beverage!

It was great meeting other food bloggers. Our #‎Quizmasters Alok and Saher killed it with the #‎FBAIQuiz with 5 teams asking questions on all things Food and Sangria! There was continuous stream of finger food appearing at intervals, which was tasty and spicy.

There were other cocktails too, served in bottle with Bihari names, innocent drinks but with funny names, that created the curiosity to taste just a bit.

Rest of the evening was spent watching others dance……a wonderful evening indeed!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fratelli Wine Tasting Master Class

The glass of wine kept appearing at our table, one by one, red wine, white wine, each distinct in taste. The waiter came around with the plate of assorted cheese, bacon and toasted breads. It was the fifth glass of wine. Although I had taken just few sips from each glass, (only to taste,) I could feel my head heavy. I still had shopping to do after the wine-tasting event. I stretched my hand to eat something, hoping that munching would dilute the dizziness.. While I nibbled on olives and bread, sixth glass arrived. Stop, I send the glass away. The person sitting next to me, moved his gaze in my direction and smiled.

Did I drink too much to draw his attention? But the event was on tasting different wine. I was at Nature Basket on invite from Fratelli Wine and I was there to taste different wine and get some knowledge on this brand.

It was an interesting event and quite informative too.

Mr. Craig Wedge would smell each glass, shake it, and take a long sip.”You should shake to aerate it, to put oxygen into the wine” he explained. It was interesting to observe how the wine coats the side of glass., the thicker streaks that seem to run down the glass indicates the higher level of alcohol.  “A good wine should smell like a female perfume, it should be clear, crisp and shine like a diamond.” He said, holding the wine glass up in the air.

He explained that the first impression is on its visual impact of its charity, brilliance and cleanliness.

White wines vary in color from clear to yellow to golden brown. As white wine ages, it will lose color and begin to turn browner color.

Red wines vary from red to purple to dark reddish brown. As red wine ages, it will lose color and begin to turn browner color.

The main factors that affect the color of wine depends on the grapes variety, the age of the wine and the amount of time the wine spends in oak barrel. You cannot make good wine from bad grapes. If it tastes stale (like nail polish) you need to throw it away.

The wines that appeared on my table were quite delicious. Mr Fabio Zardetto, the Maestro himself, took us through the the journey of wine culture through his presentation briefing us about Italian passion.

It was an perfect afternoon, tasting wine while studying the finer points behind the Fratelli Wines – Hand-crafted wines by Tuscan icon Piero Masi.

Fratelli wines currently consists of 18 various labels, I taste six varieties, each distinct in its taste.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I completed 30days Food Photography Course Online

Earned it here

Everybody loves to eat exotic food and some of the dishes are so visually tempting, that one wants to capture the image immediately. The food arrives, you drool, but before you even take one spoonful of that delicious food, you click on an impulse. Most of the time you click ‘bad’ pictures. What do you expect on an empty stomach?

Learning food photography is a serious business. It is an art. It has to be done the proper way, preferably from the experts who know it well.

I stumbled upon a post on Facebook that said “Learn food photography in 30days’’ and immediately got interested. I signed up for the free course and shared the link with many friends, hoping that they would be interested too.

Neel is my Guru for this course and he has been the perfect guide. During the month of March, everyday, at 12:30am India time, I found his mail creep into my inbox.

This one-month journey has been the most creative and entertaining month for me, where I have done hands-on assignments that came each day into my inbox. Briefly I have shared my journey along the way, so that I could refresh myself on the go.

You can check my journey by going through my post on Food photography series

Part one Soup Pictures 
Part three Field of Depth 
Part four Frames 
Part six Lighting 
Part seven Prop Styling 
Part eight Food Styling 

A lot of discipline is required to do online course, you tend to slag, to become lazy, postpone it for another day, but Neel knew how to keep us on toes. He invited us to a private group on Facebook where we could share pictures with other members who had enrolled into this course. We posted our assignments everyday that not only helped us improve our photographs but also inspired us to post our own. We learnt from each other, pointing out the flaws in pictures, critique work and also to encourage the good photographers. There was improvement in the pictures as the days passed. We learnt, angles, composition, lightings, props and many more aspects of photography.

Everyday there was a new lesson, and everyday a new trick. There were useful links posted everyday that gave great insight to food photography and the famous photographers from whose work we could learn.  There were live sessions too  (mostly during week-ends) whereby Neel came on web stream line and conducted power point presentations. and answered our queries and our struggles during photography.

Although I took a free course (there was paid course too called VIP, that might help more serious photographers, with video lessons and more details) but this course helped me a lot.

I am not saying that I have become expert in 30 days, no, that is not what I mean, but this course has helped me understand the basics of food photography and I plan to improve on the tricks that have been furnished till now.

Improving the skills is not just doing the course, it is all about practice, practice, practice, after you have learnt the basic. Someday, I hope to print out my photographs and decorate my kitchen walls.

I have already made one picture that I hope to print this one and put it up in my kitchen...seriously!!

                                                 “It’s not the hand but the heart that cooks”

I would recommend this course to all my friends who love food photography.

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