Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekly Menu -- Week of May 17th


Ok so I finally baked a cake succesfully. My baking attempts have always been a flop show even with the simplest of the cakes. So I always stick with a Betty Crocker mix or a Bisquik and try to end the story there.

I guess I am not good at sticking to instructions and my mind wanders off just where the recipe says sift flour and baking soda together. Improvising where baking is concerned is a strict no-no and I have learned it the hard way.

This time I was determined to make it work though and I chose a simple recipe from Sunita. Something that did not ask for any new fangled ingredients hitherto unknown to me, something that could be achieved with what I had at home and something that did not ask me to beat eggs and such for 5 whole minutes.

So Pear-Walnut Cake it was made with atta.

But trust to me goof up even with the simplest of all recipes. After following all her instructions I preheated the oven to 180, did you read it right,1 - 8- 0. Isn't that way too less, I told myself, maybe I should increase the temp. But then I had decided to stick, blindly stick with the recipe so with all my doubts I heated the oven to 180. And then I followed what the recipe said exactly. When the timer went "Ping" all excited I took out the bake tray to see nothing had turned "golden brown" and the batter was the same gooyey mess it was half an hour earlier.

And then my brain which had hit the dead end, 'coz it was 12:00 at night by then did a jolt and it struck me that Sunita was in the UK and so her recipe said 180 C, see the C, not F but C in capitals. I was in goddamn North America where they didn't believe in C (Celsius) and had F (Fahrenheit) !!! So after all the math conversions we finally raised the oven temp to 350 F and the cake turned golden brown and delicious after a glorious 17 minutes.

This week I tried to go carb-less on some days of the week and it was easier as we did a lot of grilling outside. This was the menu

Potato Capsicum Curry -- This was based on this dish, not exactly but kind of

Pepper Mushroom -- All time favorite from Cham and my recipe

Uchche Begun -- Bitter Gourd with brinjals. Shall post soon

Cabbage Fry -- This was M Didi (baby A's nanny) contribution. I finally asked her to cook one or two dishes for me each week.

Masoor Dal & Toor Dal with Dill -- Regular masoor dal. The toor dal with dill was a new flavor. Haven't tried dill too much and this was the first time had it in a dal. Reminded me of one of the paying guest Aunty in B'lore, this was the unknown taste I always found in her dals.

Grilled Chicken

Baked Tilapia

Grilled brocolli, carrots and long green peppers


  1. I was skeptical that you cannot bake but after reading you set the temp. to 180 the fact is confirmed :) But applaud you for the first successful attempt. From now on your kitchen is going to smell like a bakery I presume ;)

    Looking forward to the bitter gourd brinjal dish.

  2. Congrats on baking successfully! Love that crispy looking bottom. I sometimes just warm the oven and put in the cake (impatient) ... and then of course I need to grill it a little for the colour. I think baking cake is just a matter of trial and error. :-)

  3. cake looks good,..and the menu too...even i luv to eat grilled veggies..:-)

  4. For a first bake it looks so so good, like a pro.
    Well i hate when the recipe says F as then i have to go and take the book and convert to C as we use also C here :-)

  5. I've had my shares of baking nightmares as well... I'm in first name basis with my garbage bin. :) The cakes looks scrumptious.

    What sort of marinade do you use to for the grilled veggies? I'd love to try a new recipe.

  6. Hmmm - looks good. Tumi onek cook korcho aajkal - kichu din tomar blog check korini and see that I have missed a lot. Will probably try the kadhai paneer sometime. I am not too fond of paneer but the little one seems to love it.
    WHat spices or seasonings do you add to the grilled chicken and grilled tilapia?

  7. LOL... that was funny, San! But glad all's well that ended well! :)

  8. Hi Sandeepa,
    Ask me and I'll tell u a whole lot of disasters lined up in baking and usual daily dishes. I learnt cooking the H-A-R-D way!! was a tough journey :)

    Am glad u baked ur first lovely looking cake successfully....LOL on the temperature goof up...I was a lot like that...there were times when I forgot to add the baking powder/vanilla essence...had to take out the whole batter from the tin mix it up again , wash the tin clean grease it again and bake ...temperature goof up's? Oh bhagvaan! I can write a book on that ;)
    Ur no carb meal plan looks cool, looking fwd to the mentioned recipe. Thanks for visiting my blog,ur visit makes me happy :) wish to c u more often.

  9. cake looks yummy. and i love baked veggies.

  10. I've falled prey to the 180/350 mix up too. But hey, we're in good company. If the NASA scientists could do (and send one of the Mars landers way off course), why not us!?

  11. Yaay! you baked the cake! Never mind the goof up, next time you'll not forget :-)

    Btw, I loved your menu.

    Hope the sisters are doing well :-)

  12. Kay

    Grilling is D's responsibility. For veggies he keeps it simple -- olive oil + lime juice + garlic-pepper powder + salt
    yesterday I did one which was spicier --> evoo + little soy sauce + squirt of lime + drizzle of honey + garlic-pepper powder + very little sambal olek + salt


    Chicken is yogurt + ginger-garlic paste + some biryani masala. We also used tandoori masala but this season we don't have any yet. Sometimes also brush corriander paste

  13. I love that cake! I've tried it too :)

    And - on that no carb diet again? Good going, Sandeepa!


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.