January 31, 2013

We Knead to Bake: Basil Garlic Pesto Pull-apart bread

I had seen quite a few blogs about We Knead to Bake, I thought about it and just let it go. But, today when I sat down and thought that I need to bake something, its been so so long, my thoughts were again on this. So I thought with January drawing to a close, lets jump onboard too!

I had some Basil Garlic Pesto handy and I thought for dinner, some bread would be perfect and this just seemed so perfect with the pasta veggie salad I had in mind.

I made a small loaf so that it is used up at dinner time, and I can make something new for tomorrow.


Flour - 1.5 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Yeast - 1 tsp
Basil Garlic Pesto - 3 tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup (warm)


1.  Add sugar to 1/4 cup milk and stir well. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it stand for 5 mins. It should become frothy.
2. Sift flour and salt together. Add oil and the yeast mixture to this. Finally add the 1/2 cup milk to this and knead well to make a elastic soft, little sticky dough.
3. Let the dough rise for 2 hours or until doubled.
4. Punch down the dough and roll into a square and spread the Basil Garlic Pesto evenly all over.
5. Take a pizza cutter and cut the square into equal strips. The number of strips will depend on the square size you have rolled out.
6. Stack the strips one over the other with the filling facing upwards.
7. Now, cut the pile into neat squares so that you have 3-4 piles of square shaped dough and filling towers.
8. Now, arrange the towers horizontally in a loaf pan so that the filling open outward and keep stacking so that all your towers are used up.
9. Now, let it proof for 1 hour.
10. Preheat oven to 180 C and and bake for 30-35 minutes or till lightly browned on top.

Prior to baking, arranged in the loaf pan

Baked Pull-apart loaf

January 29, 2013


I have never been the one for taking risks.

I am scared and I worry of what could have been the outcome under extreme circumstances.

I am not the optimist, who will always have the other side of the coin to look at.

I do not ever know how bad the situation will be and I tend to see things always in the light of, what I could have done.

That is just the way I am.

I know that it is not the right way, but then changing your self after years of developing into this kind of a person can not be easy, can it!?

I am trying.

I know I need to get out of this 'careful' attitude and take some risks in life to feel the rush and life within me.

I need to start and I plan on starting now.

Image Source: http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/penny-farthing-for-your-thoughts-irene-suchocki.jpg

January 24, 2013

Book Review: Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a book which I have been constantly recommended based on my liking for historic fiction. And not just by a software, by many folks too. Eventually I got to reading it and I finished it in pretty much long stretches as the book is quite gripping and how the story narrates through the eyes of a woman who is said to be the cause of one of the biggest wars in India.

The book is so beautifully written that at many times I felt that these are so many emotions which a woman feels but we just never voice them. They are so many instances where I was just nodding with her when she was speaking her mind. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and also  this made in many ways the complicated story of Mahabharat simpler in my eyes. I do not think now I will stand to forget many important characters which otherwise I have just got confused with at many times.

I must add that when I knew that it was about the Mahabharat, it was a reason for me not to pick it up as I thought it was one of the most fascinating, true, but totally confusing stories which I have ever come across. I believe I had this book with me for over 3 months and then I decided to pick it up. And I am so glad that I did not put it off for another time.

The author has a way with emotions and penning them down in a way you know you have also thought, but just could never precisely put it down into words. She just cleverly manages to do just that. I have previously reviewed another book by her also, Sister of my Heart and I picked up that book primarily to put off this one. And now, if I am to compare the two, I think I would undoubtedly pick this one. But, here the story was already there and it was only re-written in a manner, beautifully though. I had a very hazy image of the story myself, which I believe helped the book to do wonders for me. 

January 19, 2013

Astrology & Palmistry : A science? Really?

Astrology is something I am so dicey about believing and lets also include palmistry, when anyways at it. My family believes in the former, not the vehement kind, but they still do. I know they would consult an astrologer to find out whether the day/time is right for a particular act, and as always all marriages have been proceeded with only with an astrologer's approval. When I was dating B, one of the things which I did was use this software called Kundli Pro so that I know whether ours like a never to be match. I knew that as long as it was not so, things will work out fine at least on that front. The rest would be a fight to be fought and won, but that shall remain another post. In spite of all that, I still do not believe in it. I do not think that someone or for that matter, a software will be able to tell me whether I shall be compatible with another being. On what basis does it do that? I do not know. If you say astrology is a science, then why are human beings so unpredictable? Why doesn't answers for irrational behaviour also arise from this science? The reason I did the horoscope match with B was just so that I had one more ammo with me to fight my case.

After our marriage, many a times my FIL has asked me,
" What would you have done in case the horoscopes did not match at all? "
My answer to this has been, " In case they did not match, I would just have to fight another cause, which is how astrology is just crap and how I do not believe and neither do I wish to know what it has to say about my life!"
To this, he always laughs and says, " Life is not so simple."

At times, I wonder what would be the turn of events if our horoscopes did not match, I do not know. Another deal in which the astrologer helped us was in telling my parents that under any circumstance, I would not have an arranged marriage. I will marry on my own accord, and hence, these horoscopes as they match would be a good way to go ahead. Now, I wonder why or if there is any truth in what he had to say. I do not know. In fact there was a time when I was more subdued and in for an arranged match, then I do not know what came over me. Well, maybe that was LOVE, I do not know. I will never know, but there was a will in me to fight. And I did fight for close to 6-8 months before anything worthwhile happened. And by worthwhile I mean, parents just agreeing to meet so that it should start off something to the procedure.

So if you ask me if my marriage was because of astrology/the astrologer helping me out? I am guessing so, but would I have done something to change things up in case the astrology/astrologer decided not to help? I think so, for sure. I would have got down to just sitting put and waiting, if nothing else worked!

And then after marriage, there was a palmist who told me I should just have a kid and then things will all be good. Also, that the kid would certainly clear my thoughts and I will know what my life's calling was! Big Big Words I must say! And me, I went ahead and had a kid, well yes, by mistake, but has all been good after that. No No. I have had so much trouble getting into this groove and even now I am just trying to juggle things about so that I get time to start on doing the things which I want to do. I do not think life has become simpler after becoming a mother, certainly more complicated.  Where did my time disappear and when did my house change ever so much. That is certainly not something which I would call simplifying life. B, would have a completely different take on it. He would be about how everything is away in its place and how Tee has brought about a more organized me in return. And, I am sure he would even say that its certainly the better me! Yes, I know its better, but that has made my life complicated. That is not the way I am used to being. I am used to doing things as I please and that certainly does not happen with a kid. Everything has to be planned, to the extend you need to plan and slot a time for a bath! Now, I do not think that palmist knew his job, I do not know what was the meaning of saying life would fall into place, mine certainly HAS NOT!

January 16, 2013

Day 1s

Getting a child to school and getting them to stay there can be I think a very daunting task. Well, maybe that might be the case for me as I have decided to initiate Tee into the school life at 20 months. That decision in itself took quite a bit of time, with inputs and feedback from many folks on what is the best age to send a kid to school and why? Finally what I realized is that its not about what they do at school or what they will be seeing as a change, its more about getting them to be fine with staying away for a while through the day. Initially I was of the opinion that if she is just to learn a little separation, then why not at home, and then I can just start working. But, I did realize that when they are in known surroundings, things are very different to what it is when they are in a school or in an environment with many kids. Also, they do learn to understand the concept of discipline which I am sure I would not have been able to instill in Tee at home. This is also because she might not have taken my demands to sit and do something seriously enough, as compared to someone who is telling her to do the same in a completely new environment.

With time I do hope that she does start to look forward to going to play and have fun. At present the main issue is the separation bit, where there is bound to be a bit of bawling and pulling back on seeing the school gate! It does feel difficult to hand over a crying baby, but then that is what I know has to be done and eventually who anyways remembers their first days of playschool. That is what keeps me going and taking her back. I am giving her about 2 weeks now to adjust, as mostly she is quite comfortable within the school but she is not too keen to run into the new place. That should change I think, in due course....

January 3, 2013

This year

The past three days I have been thinking of the year which has passed and how it has been. What did I really achieve in 2012, and how did my year pass through so quickly. Frankly speaking, I do not really remember doing many things which I will remember in this past year. Baking classes with Monika from Sinamon, T's first birthday bash, my attempts at cakes through the year and also my attempt at gyming. That is all that happened this year.

What is it that I want to do this coming year? I would not like to call these my resolutions but these are things which I want so that I will feel at the end of this year that I have done something worthwhile.

Gyming has been working and not working for me in a way. I enjoyed the time I spent there and I liked the fact that I could do much more than what I had anticipated. But now I think I want to do the workouts as per my wish. I do not want to just squeeze doing everything in the hour that I spend there. The trainers seem to have pretty much the same attitude to every person who comes there. They aim at just getting the person to put in lots of hours into cardio and hence just lose weight and do basic muscle building work. I know that I need to lose weight, and the last 2 months of no gym , and my body has had it! Too much travel only adds to the woes.

Apart from the exercise in any form, what I want to incorporate into my lifestyle is better eating habits. My penchant for the fried and hence tasty is where my health goes for a toss. I have tried innumerable times to get off these things and have succeeded to varying degrees. Another concept which I need to get rid of is that this is the year I am going to hit 30 and hence what worked diet wise when I was 21 would not really work now. I have to accept that and start understanding what I should be eating and what not. Small quantities is what I need to emphasize on.

Getting back into an occupation is what I wish to do this year. There will be T's school and juggling that with home, I need to get the hours which I want to get myself into a work life routine. In fact I want my days to be jam packed and I do not want to sit on the couch with nothing specific lined for the day. I need to get myself into something and I want that to be something lasting. This is something I aim to attempt this year around. I think with the way things have been with T and home, now is the time I will be able to venture into something like this.