2012 Wrap Up (and yes, I’m Still Here)

Oh my! How many months have gone by! Ay, I really did begin a few posts in October… and November… but fine, perhaps not in December. I just suppose my follow-through hinges were a tad rusty (*sigh* my old tennis coaches would be ashamed to hear that). I also had a bit of a balancing act to contend with. Oh but guess who survived her first semester of graduate school?? Sweet bubbly goblets of Martinelli’s! Oh wait, that’s my new year’s treat. Still, I did manage to trespass into the academic world once more and not only emerge unscathed, but with a banner of flying colors undulating behind me. Another time I’ll share details about some of my most interesting projects, but for now let’s just raise our voices in a collective “Huzzah!” that 2012 culminated in good vibes, despite all the heaviness of personal and national calamities that may and have befallen many. A new year emerges, not that I really buy into the “new year” mantra of resolutions and whatnot. I don’t deny that it’s an astronomical miracle of science to behold the world completing another revolution around the Sun, but… well, if it lends a sense of motivation and control over the limitless track of time and circularity for the greater population, then so be it. How about we all endeavor to make 2013 a wee bit more consistent in all our pursuits then? I for one have epic visions of “litereature” posts galore (since I basically read nonstop now, much to my glorious delight). Let’s see if I can maintain an evenly scheduled serving of these posts for you in general, sprinkled with recipes, stories, and reviews.

Now that 2013 is well upon us, I do want to move forward afresh and new, focusing on upcoming recipes and exploits, but I would also like to recap the last few months with a sampling of the goings on down here in San Diego. Admittedly I fell off the virtual map because of academic commitments and personal events that elicited monumental distraction and required a steely grasp on focus–occasionally the hand does slip from sweaty beads of nerves and anxiety, but so it goes. Amidst all that, I did remind myself to cook well, eat well, and try to live well. I wonder why that has to be such a struggle; for something that brings so much harmony, it is painfully difficult to maintain isn’t it?? Don’t digress, Alya! The point is, I did some fun little concoctions, culminating in a swirly cake of fruitastic proportions. So for now, let me hearken back to those simpler times, when the raw pulse of 2013 did not beat upon my weathered head with demands for more work, more stress, more pursuits, more projects, and hopefully more accomplishments!

First up… Achari Bhaingan (Eggplant in Pickling Spices). I made this for the husband upon his return from his eastward sojourn (back from Maryland!), having found an exciting and enticing recipe on eCurry. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of Indian/Pakistani pickled blends, but this dish looked so fabulous and I do love me my eggplant, so I gave it a go. Husband was pleased. I even impressed myself.

photo 1 achari eggplant

Sometimes you crave a little sweet and spicy, right? Well if you’re me, you might venture more sweet than spicy, but I found a wonderful balance that was also super simple: Hot Masala sweet potatoes (or yams?). I had a masala pasta sauce by Dave’s Gourmet that inspired this.  Simply roasted a sweet potato in the oven (after pricking it all over with a fork) for about an hour, while in a frying pan sauteed some green peppers and added the sauce and teaspoon of garam masala for added zing.

photo 1 photo 2


And lastly on our journey through experiments past we reach the pinnacle of the year: a light, fluffy Cara Cara orange cake roll filled with plum jam-infused cream cheese filling. The sweetest way to end the year, which is how we indeed celebrated New Year’s Eve (along with some bubbly Martinelli’s Cider of course). I do have a recipe for this: I might post it later or you can email/leave a comment and request it. I just have to find my notes and write it up.  For now, imagine that heavenly combination of light cake and sweet creamy goodness melting in your own mouth… Gah. I wish I had more.

photo 1 photo 2


  1. So glad to hear from you, Alya, and so glad to hear that you’re doing well. I have a graduate degree, too. Glad I have it but I’m glad it’s over … Best of luck in all your endeavors & Happy New Year!

    • Happy new year to you as well! I’m going to try very hard to not fall off the planet this time around :). glad to hear from you too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s