I promised to post this recipe eons ago (if you follow me on Facebook) and I’m only now getting around to it. I think we have moved beyond the stage of apology at this point. One can only do as much as she can with the cards dealt to her, and mine include classes, research, interning, feeding the husband (hehe) and a growing number of extracurriculars as well. This is not to say I lay my excuses humbly at your feet, or my life has become monumentally more important than my blog. Nay, I cannot emphasize the degree to which I miss this blasted nook in my life, where I might seek escape and comfort amidst piles of books and heaps of spices. I think grandly day and night about the possibilities that reside in this modest corner of the internet. Not even a corner, more like a floor pillow, or a footstool. A step to lead thoughts and tastes into hard-to-reach places.
What with books upon books upon articles upon blogging upon events upon books upon trying to drum up the courage to speak up more in class, it’s no wonder I’m under a wee bit o’ stress. Also hasn’t helped that the husband has been away but he shall return in the offing, so at least that bit is solved. Now, what to do with all the other stress… I know! Sweets! Sweets and cakes and cookies and fruits and ice cream and brownies galore! Well, it surely hasn’t been a dining extravaganza the likes of Willy Wonka around here, but I have had my fair share of comfort food in the guise of delectable goodies. But since my regular running regimen isn’t quite up to snuff yet (ok regular has become thrice weekly? That’s improvement from nil eh?), I figured I ought at least try to make something semi decent without a thousand pounds of sugar and other monstrosities for my health.
And so… I googled. Naturally. And sure enough came across a recipe that was easy (and easily adaptable) and which I already had all the ingredients. Don’t be alarmed by the … well, the blues and greens. Trust me, this cake is all chocolate by the end of it. If you like richer or sweeter cakes, you might not go for this. But it turned out perfect for me, fluffy but with the right amount of density to lend a rich factor, not overly sweet but that can be adjusted to your liking. And best of all, not a scant hint of spinach whatsoever. I might try just a berry mixture or something next time, just for kicks. But for now, if you or someone you love won’t eat his or her veggies, you might as well try this. No harm. And Really, it soothed my soul. Continue reading
Mangoes. Mangoes are upon us. Mangoes from the local Pakistani/Indian grocery stores that come in big crates and demand your full attention with a single waft of their juicy aroma. It was actually quite difficult to use the mangoes for any kind of recipe that did not call for immediate slicing and consuming, because… well… that’s the best way to eat a mango. Juices dribbling down your chin in unadulterated, oblivious bliss. Anyone who says otherwise is either a snooty “proper” fool or just entirely unaware as to the joy of the mango.
Nevertheless, the husband did request the possibility of a tasty desert involving that heavenly fruit, and a chiffon cake came to mind immediately. Airy where the mango brings it to earth, light versus the richness of the mango, and a dynamite vehicle to carry that mango sweetness in its batter. Coupled with a cloud of whipped cream, this cake caresses the taste buds into comfort. In my mind, one of the best ways to enjoy a re-imagined mango… if you can’t just slurp on a mango.
Is it time for dessert yet? Continue reading
Cinco de Mayo, that faux-holiday of monstrously Americanized proportions, fell upon me with a cleaver of inspiration, vigorously chopping away any doubt as to what I would cook for friends coming over on Saturday. Perhaps it wasn’t as intense as that, but when the husband asked if I’d rather go out to eat or have them over, the insane nutter butter masochistic soul that I am instantly chose HOME! Partly I just like to have cute little toddlers to play with (and they have one of the most adorable and cunning rascals), and partly the pseudo-Mexicana bug bit me and I just felt like cooking.
What resulted was 4 hours of super multitasking: marinating, mixing, sauteing, boiling, baking, chopping, roasting, and sweating. But my goodness it was worth it: fresh salsa, my corny bean mash, Spanish rice, spicy chicken fajita-style atop roasted peppers, and of course dessert. So what better way to shout out my Latin American love then with another recipe I picked up south of the Border: a simple but luscious flan.
Flan was probably the easiest recipe I picked up in my language school culinary expedition, so it was both an easy decision and an easy task. I decided to go a slightly different route by making individual cupcake-sized flans, but alas I kind of scorched my melted sugar caramel concoction, so my flan was missing one key element. Because of that, I whipped in coconut to add a bit of Alya flare. I think it worked. The fact that the husband’s friend ate 2 (or was it 3?) might indicate it worked. You decide. Continue reading