February 22, 2013

Chocolate Ginger Bundt Cake

I have recently discovered the lovely bundt tin which my mom gave me and baking a cake in that is so wonderful! The slices are so beautiful, perfect for a person to munch on. I felt like a chocolate cake and generally I do NOT like ginger, but when I saw the combination of ginger and chocolate, I thought why not give it a try.

And before you ask why not complete cake picture... it was cut even before I could get the camera !

Chocolate cinnamon cake with rum drizzle

Chocolate cinnamon cake with rum drizzle
Inspired from Martha Stewart


Flour - 1 cup
Light brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Condensed milk - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/3 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Freshly peeled and grated ginger - 2 tsp
Baking Soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 1/2 tsp


1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease a bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder.
2. Put butter, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and heat, stirring, to get a viscous mixture.
3. Transfer into a bowl and let it cool for 5 mins. Now add condensed milk, grated ginger and milk to this viscous mixture and mix well.
4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and ground cinnamon.
5. Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture and pour into the prepared pan. Do not over mix.
6. Bake the cake for 20-25 mins and check whether it is done. In case the tester comes out not clean, you can proceed for another 5 mins.

February 18, 2013

Whats been cooking?

Half n Half Pizza: Pesto sauce with tomatoes and
tomato sauce with basil leaves!

Lemon tart 
PS: I really need to learn to take better photos. I am so terrible at it. :(

February 13, 2013

Book Review: Gray Wolves and White Doves by John D. Balian

Armenia, Turkey, Germany, Sweeden, France and USA, a story which pans across continents and 10 years in the lives of the Ibelin family.

This is a book which is filled with history about countries and eras which one might not know in depth about. This book does not particularly try to prep the reader in history but uses the historic references in weaving a story of great interest. There is also a reference to terrorism and how human beings can turn to be vicious when faced with tragedy and misgivings over generations.

The protagonist starts off as a small boy and travels through deserts and mountains to reach a city to be left with only a father and 2 siblings from him family of six. The life of children are so dependent on their parents, their well being and character seems to represent that immensely through this book. It shows how boys when they grow up emulate the facts of history and try to avenge and stand up for their family against external forces.

For a reader, there is so much to know about the ways of the church, the ways of the missionaries and how children become fathers of the church. Many a times, they do not even wish to, and circumstances land them so. Family, single parent, displaced families, there is so much to this than what we see as the Popes and Bishops.

I enjoyed this book seeing the lands which are rarely written about and a time in history which has so much shrouded in disguise. Each country has its own story to portray and one wonders at the end of it all, who is the true perpetuator of this injustice to the many children of these lands.

Image Source: http://www.johndbalian.com/addons/shared_addons/themes/minimal//img/Gray_Wolves_IE_front.jpg

February 6, 2013

When you hit the gym...

Last year around this time, I made a pact with myself that I shall be getting fit and I want to make sure that I have a dose of exercise every day teamed with a light nutritious meal for dinner everyday. The gym started and has been in full swing till Nov 2012, but then I just stopped. Now, I have started to get back to my gym routine after close to a three month hiatus. I would not put it that travel and the holiday season was the sole deterrent, but also the schedule which the trainers keep imposing is something which made the whole gym visit a drudgery.

I do not know about many, but I am a person who likes someone to tell me the right way to do things, but I would like to do the things as I please. A schedule makes me feel like I am being forced to follow the set of instructions and I am slacking if I do not meet the requirement for the day. I do not believe that is the way to fitness. If you wish to keep yourself fit, first and foremost you need to believe that YOU need it. And it is YOU who stands to gain. Hence I very strongly believe that YOU need to research and find out about your body and figure out what is working for YOU. A gym instructor I believe, will not be able to figure this out for 20 odd people he would be training at any given time. I, for one, have tried the schedule which they prepared for me to the T and the only effective change in my body was toning of muscles and a greater stamina. I still felt that I did not have the flexibility which I was intending to gain. Now I do not know if this is because of the stretches being insufficient or was it because I was not pushing myself enough. I have also seen many folks who are so in love with the gym that I wonder how is it that they do not get frustrated with the routine that they have. This time when I started back with the gym, I decided that I shall do a mix of cardio and weight training as what the trainers had suggested, but I shall do the weights as per my wish. Which are the different muscle groups I wish to work out that day and push myself to what I can achieve. I will not be carrying around my schedule and working myself crazy trying to achieve everything which has been written on it.

One week of this routine and I had a few trainers coming and asking me whether I would want a schedule prepared for me and if I have something which I am following. I expected it, but this quick, maybe not. I informed them I am going to do as I please and workout to my understanding as my only aim is to keep fit and exercise, which can be achieved I believe doing pretty much anything. They were obviously persistent why it is important to have a trainer and a schedule, but this time I have decided to stick to my stand and try whether this is something which will be working out for me.

Something else which I have been contemplating is a group exercise routine, maybe in between or on all days. I am not sure whether I would be able to stick to the timings of a group but that would have so little for me to think and just workout for 45mins and be done. Also, some trials I attended, I saw that the pace is great in group sessions. Questions and questions... I need to decide on what will work soon!

Image Source: http://rentneighbor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/948833.gif