Look, I baked my own bread!

I have tried to bake bread at home several times before, but sometimes the yeast wouldn’t rise, sometimes it would turn out to be a brick and sometimes it would taste like straw. In effect, epic fail, every single time. Until, that wonderful day when I chanced upon Alexandra’s Kitchen, and landed on her mother’s recipe for the perfect peasant bread. And if she claims that this is the best & easiest recipe, then just believe her, ’cause it just is! How she gets the ideal water temperature for the yeast to activate is the coolest tip ever, I tell you it always works. She uses 3 parts cold water to 1 part boiling water (right off the water kettle, for instance), and then equal parts of sugar & dry yeast. No more dormant yeast in my kitchen, hah! Plus it’s no-knead bread, so much better than one that requires muscle power, right? I’ve tried a few variations of the original, it’s turned out super delicious each time. As my colleague said, I’m now ready to be a grand-mom 😀 Here’s me showing off my newly acquired grand-mom skills 😎

My first attempt was to follow the recipe word by word. I really surprised myself with the result. I guess I didn’t have any expectations at all, heh heh.

Next time, I tried to mix the all purpose flour with wholewheat flour in the ratio 3:1, and added some dill. I also baked it in small cupcake moulds, and ramekins just to see how that went. The dill smelt & tasted so good, and these were great for breakfast.

The third time I tried to up the health quotient a bit more by changing the flour ratio to 5:3, the bread was slightly denser, but still quite fluffy. I think I’ll keep this as my standard, any more of the wholewheat will probably not be as yummy. I also put in some chopped up olives and sun dried tomatoes, which made by bread oh-so-fancy!

Do you have a perfect go-to recipe that you swear by? I’d love to know!

Anniversary Teppanyaki

Two words, but quite a mouthful, right?! See how punny I am 😉 So tried out the new teppanyaki restaurant in town, Budda Khan at the Mall of Scandinavia, Stockholm. Mr.A had had teppanyaki before when he was in the U.S. & he was so eager for me to try it. Lucky for us, the joint opened its teppanyaki section just in time for our anniversary, our 6th year as a wedded couple, yes, time flies! As is common at this kind of grill, we shared the table with two other couples. They were such happy souls, the best strangers I could have asked to share our evening with. We ordered king prawns, scallops and rib eye, all prepared with flourish right before us. Seeped in garlicky goodness with flavours of soya, vinegar and some special sauces, each dish was a pleasant surprise. The dinner was accompanied by a fresh mango-rucola salad, some mixed fried rice and a velvety green tea ice-cream served on a bed of fried plantain. The food was absolutely delicious, but of course, half the fun was also watching the ‘show’ being presented by our super friendly Chinese chef. If you haven’t tried it yet, I do recommend going to a teppanyaki restaurant, where dining is supposed to be a complete experience. 

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P.S. This post shares my own opinion of the restaurant and is not an advertisement.

Croatia Day 1: Dubrovnik 

Mr.A and I went road-tripping across Croatia, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! This trip checks off nr.3 on our 2016 wishlist, after  Berlin and Prague, isn’t that awesome?!

Day 1 was Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. And it’s proved itself rightly so during our first day in this beautiful city. Actually, I should begin with Day 0 which was spent in three flights, Stockholm-Istanbul, Istanbul-Zagreb and finally Zagreb-Dubrovnik. It was a long day but the happy anticipation of the trip ahead kept us so pumped up. We arrived at our cozy hotel which was right by the Pile Gate at the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and settled in to start off our adventure next morning.

The Highlights

  • The city walls were definitely a high point. The entry fee is 120 Kuna. Euros are not accepted, so be sure to get some local currency. It’s a cool experience to walk atop this ancient structure, barely 2Km all around, there are only a few steps to climb up and down. It’s fun to get a different perspective of the buildings and streets from a vantage point. The views are extremely scenic, both of the Adriatic Sea on the one hand, and the trademark tiled rooftops of Dubrovnik on the other. I must have clicked a thousand photos! Can’t blame me, you’d feel the same 😉

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  • The food was yummy, all that we ate and drank turned out fantastic. The Old Town streets are lined with bistros and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, from fine dining to fast food. Sea food is superb here, and always check for the local delicacy. Croatian food is said to have influences from many of its neighbours, say for example, Italy and Bosnia. But they have some delectable local cheeses, wines and of course, olive oil. Try their ice creams, too!

  • Game of Thrones locations. And of course Mr.A and I went looking for some of the places that have served as sets or the inspiration behind the sets of Game of Thrones. There are tours that take you around the city and help you with prints of the scenes from the series! We didn’t have time for that.  It was so much more fun to turn a corner and chance upon a structure that was familiar to us from the series! I’ll do another post exclusively on those sites 😉

The Flipsides

  • The weather was just not with us today, it rained throughout the day and winds blew strong. There were so many photo fails, too many umbrellas and rain ponchos in our line of sight 😝  Thankfully the two of us were dressed to bear the onslaught and although we ended up destroying one of our umbrellas, we didn’t let the rain dampen (so much pun!!) our spirits 😎

Followed by Croatia Day 2: Split…

Postcard from Delhi <3

Namaste!  Sending you all a big hello from India & wishing you a very Happy New Year!

I might have seemed MIA for a while but that’s only because I have been away enjoying my trip home. Mr. A and I started off on Christmas eve and have spent the last few days in Delhi, spending time with family & friends.

We have been gorging on our favorite foods from across the country aka getting fat on vacation 😉 Delhi’s food scene is simply amazing; all sorts of regional cuisine is easily accessible for foodies like us. We got the chance to enjoy Mughal, Kannada, Malayali, Bihari, Hariyanwi, Chinese & Bengali cuisines in the span of ten days. As they say, “Happiness is good food”!

We also succeeded in doing a bit of touristy things as well, enjoying joyful Christmas decorations, and visiting the serene Humayun’s Tomb and chaotic Chandni Chowk.

So far it has been great fun – just the kind of time we wanted to spend in Delhi. The next leg of our trip started yesterday – off to Jodhpur! Stay tuned for more updates 🙂