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Bread Poha & a slice of my life

We had the most enjoyable three days for Eid this time. Time spent in the company of friends, eating out, bowling, watching movies was truly memorable. I thought of indulging in some cooking in these holidays but I couldn’t really get down to it. 

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Lately, I haven’t shared much on the blog about what is going on with my life. Well, there is a reason as to why I have been so cut off from this space. Everyday, there is so much happening that it is difficult to pin point a few events or even morals from the lessons I learn each day as a woman entrepreneur. Moreover, as a person, I always find it inspiring to focus on the positives that would help me move forward.

 

So here I am sharing a few highlights of my life in the last 6 months.

  • My company – The Butterfly Effect Co completed 3 years ( www.thebutterflyeffect.co). This means it has graduated from being a startup to a small business now. This also means we graduated from being a 2 people company to a 6 person company focusing on clients across industry verticals and geographies. We have also expanded our service lines from being a pure-play social media management company to a full-fledged digital marketing company providing services like SEO, mobile apps, Website development etc. 
  • Little Mimi who took up maximum space on my blog will start with grade 3 now in September. She is a little person now who has opinions and expresses them with the ferocity that makes me wonder how did she grow up so fast!
  • The blog completed 7 years in February, this year. I celebrated it with skillet brownie and ice cream. You can check out the recipe here.
  • One of the highlights this year was my foray into organizing events. Having organized community based food, art and craft festivals, bake sales in the previous years, I was able to harness on that experience to conduct a children’s painting exhibition. I cannot thank God enough for it went off smoothly despite all odds. 
  • Mimi and I started a reading club at home for children every Wednesday. It has been delightful sharing my love of books with these 7, 8, 9 and 10-year-olds. It also gives me a glimpse into the minds of this age group. How they look at books, plots, characters and what keeps their interest alive in the books they read!

These are few wonderful things that happened over the course of these 6 months which makes me feel very optimistic about the time to come. 

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Another highlight was preparing this awesome bread poha for breakfast this morning. Bread poha is one of my favourite snack / breakfast that I enjoy every once in a while. Generally, I am tempted to try this when I have some left over bread at home. It is wholesome, delicious and healthy too. Weight watchers may want to limit the portion cause it is nothing but C-A-R-B-S. For such dieters, I would recommend this dish for a cheat meal. For the recipe check out the recipe card.

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Bread Poha
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Bread slices, torn into small pieces ( atleast 8-10 slices- older the better)
  2. 2 large onions, chopped
  3. 5 green chilles, chopped fine,
  4. peanuts - half cup( boiled)
  5. salt as per taste
  6. chilli powder - 1 tsp
  7. coriander powder - 2 tsp
  8. tumeric powder - 2 tsp
  9. sugar - 1 tbsp or less
  10. lemon juice - a dash
  11. sprinkle of water
  12. mustard seeds,- 1 tsp
  13. cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  14. dash of asafoetida
  15. curry leaves - 8 -10 leaves
Instructions
  1. Tear all the bread slices into bite sized pieces, keep aside
  2. Take some oil in a flat frying pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and add asafoetida
  3. Add chopped onions and fry until light & translucent
  4. Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
  5. To this add, all the spice powders including salt and sugar and mix well.
  6. Add boiled peanuts and fry well
  7. Add bread pieces and let the spices coat the bread pieces very well.
  8. Once the bread is mixed well, sprinkle water to soften the bread.
  9. Take the pan off the heat and add a dash of lemon juice and serve hot
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

Sea Salted dark chocolate cake

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We think we can control it all. To some extent we might be able to do it but let me tell you this – You are kidding yourself if you think you can control it all. Family, work, work relationships, social connections and your own personal space are just few of the things most of us juggle. We set ourselves up for failure when we think we have it all and then when something goes wrong we feel shocked at how on earth did that happen. Relationships are the trickiest of the lot and as years go by I am left with fewer and fewer friends. How did I end up becoming a social failure ? I find it immensely difficult to connect with people beyond the acquaintances stage. I do not have the motivation to invest and nurture a social relationship. I am drawing up a list of invitees to a religious function – the first ever – at my home and I realize there are not even a handful that I feel comfortable calling to my home and into my space. 

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It doesn’t make me unhappy; this revelation. It only makes me ponder about how I have changed over time. Earlier I wasn’t outgoing but I had many friends and now I am more outgoing and approachable and I only have a handful! Funny how life is always such a paradox!

What has been your experience with having friends and building connections?

Anyhow having fewer friends is not a bad thing always. You can have more cake to yourself. It is important to look at the bright side, no matter what 🙂

This cake is an adaption from recipe in Donna Hay Magazine that uses black salt. Sea salt works just fine and pairs beautifully with the dark chocolate flavour in the cake. The photograph inspiration is also from Donna Hay Magazine which I believe produces the best pictures if you are looking to improve on your food photography & food styling skills. Recipe is fairly simple and the sea salts adds to the dark chocolate drama like lightning does to the dark and rainy skies. 

The recipe is as follows –

 

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate cake
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. For the Cake
  2. 375g Self raising flour sifted
  3. 50g cocoa, sifted,
  4. 330g caster sugar
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 375ml milk
  7. 250g unsalted butter, melted
  8. 200g dark chocolate, melted
  9. 2 tsp vanilla essence
  10. 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  11. For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
  12. 400G dark chocolate melted
  13. 250G Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, melted chocolate and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture in a round cake tin lined with baking paper and bake for 60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  3. While the cakes are cooling, make the ganache. Place the melted chocolate and sour cream in a large bowl and mix to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until firmed slightly.
  4. Spread the ganache over the cake.
  5. Sprinkle with the black salt to serve. Serves 8–10.
Notes
  1. originally it is a two layer cake but I made it into a single layer cake.
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

Beat the heat with Avocado- coconut Popsicles

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I discovered avocado very late in life. But I so glad that I finally tried this fruit and I cannot do without it. I love avocado on toast, avocado milk shake and love how it pairs beautifully with quinoa salad. It seems to be such a versatile fruit that goes well with savory and sweet taste. 

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What makes avocado special is by incorporating it in the diet, it gives a feeling of having a complete meal. This is because it has 34% carbs, 59% fats and 8% protein. All the constituents of a complete me. Weight watchers may feel cynical looking at the carbohydrates and fats content. But it is important to know that avocados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat.  Monounsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol. So it will do a world of good to introduce avocados in the diet. I learnt a fun fact about Avocado while browsing about this fascinating fruit 

“An avocado is ripe and ready to eat when it is slightly soft, but it should not have dark sunken spots or cracks. An avocado with a slight neck, rather than a rounded top, was probably tree-ripened and will have better flavor.”

I hope it will be easier to pick the right kind with this super tip!

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However, it is important to check oneself for over consumption of avocados cause they taste sooo good. 🙂

These popsicles were made out of necessity. It has been sweltering in Bahrain and the summer shows no signs of mercy. Cold water, popsicles, cold showers, AC hopping are the only means of survival. These avo popsicles use only 3 ingredients – Avocado , coconut milk & condensed milk. It is simple yet so delicious. To add to the drama, I felt it was necessary to dip the avocado into luscious, dark chocolate and sprinkled some chopped pistachio. 

The dark chocolate I used, was BARE Chocolates which is so good in desserts. You will find BARE chocolates at all the leading supermarkets. I used the dark chocolate from BARE ( not in the picture). Check out the other flavours in BARE

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For the recipe, check out the recipe card and promise me that you will make these at home.

Avocado - Coconut popsicle
Yields 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large ripe avocados
  2. 285 gm condensed milk ( or less if you like lesser sweetness)
  3. 2.5 cups full fat coconut milk ( I used the tinned version)
  4. 100 gm Dark chocolate
  5. 2-3 tbsp of chopped pistachio
Instructions
  1. Mash the avocados
  2. Add the avocados, condensed milk, coconut milk in a blender and blend well
  3. Scope out the avo batter from the blender into popiscle moulds.
  4. You can insert wooden sticks right away since the avo batter is very thick and the stick will stay in its place.
  5. Freeze 6-8 hours or better still, overnight
  6. Just before you want to eat the popsicle, just melt100 gm of dark chocolate in the microwave and dip the unmoulded Popsicle into the cooled ( at room temperature) melted dark chocolate. Because the popsicle is really cold, the chocolate freezes in a few seconds. Top it with pistachio ( chopped or crushed) for the crunch.
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

 

 

Eid Mubarak with Phirni

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Eid Mubarak to all the readers of my blog. Eid has come and gone, and we are settling down to our 8-5 routine and trust me it is very difficult after being spoiled by the easy going Ramadan timings. Lots happened during Ramadan even if it is considered to be a slow month. All in all, I am grateful for all the time I have been able to spend when my parents were here and with Mimi. I am also grateful for the wonderful bunch of special people in my life who always steer me toward the brighter side of life. 

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IMG_0511 copyEid is a special time in Bahrain and so it is for us. Usually, we plan get- togethers with friends but this time since most of them were travelling it was limited to just us and a friend or two. My enthusiasm for Eid didn’t ebb because of absence of friends and I chose to celebrate it with ‘Phirni’

Phirni, a sweet milk-based dessert is served chilled and is made with  coarsely ground basmati rice and flavoured with rose water, saffron and ground cardamom. The dish is decorated with chopped or ground almonds or pistachio nuts. The history of Phirni goes back a very long way; it seems to have originated in ancient Persia or the Middle East; and to have been introduced to India by the Moghuls. Phirni is traditionally served in earthen pots. The recipe is a keeper and I really urge you to try this.

Phirni
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 +2 tbsp cup basmati rice
  2. 2 litres milk
  3. 2 cups sugar or as required or 1 cup + 3/4th
  4. 18-20 almonds/badam, blanched, reserve a few for garnishing
  5. 6-7 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)
  6. 12-15 strands of kesar or saffron
  7. rose essence - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Soak the basmati rice for 3-4 hours
  2. Rinse the rice a couple of times in water and wipe the grains dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Take the rice grains in a dry grinder and coarsely grind it.
  4. Heat milk in a thick bottomed deep pan.
  5. When the milk becomes warm, take 1 tbsp from it in a bowl. Stir the saffron strands in this warm milk and keep aside.
  6. Let the milk reach to a boil. then lower the flame and add the ground rice and sugar.
  7. On a low flame cook the ground rice in the milk. do not cover the pan.
  8. Keep on stirring regularly so that the lumps are not formed.
  9. In a microwave safe bowl take the almonds and water and microwave it for 5 minutes
  10. When the almonds become warm, then peel them and slice the almonds. Keep a few almond slices aside for garnish.
  11. When the rice is almost cooked, add the almonds, cardamom powder and saffron dissolved milk.
  12. Cook the phirni until the rice cooks fully and it thickens. I usually keep the phirni on very low flame for a long time to get the desired consistency. Add rose essence once you have taken the phirni off the heat.
  13. Pour the phirni in serving bowls or earthen pots or glasses. garnish with the remaining chopped almond slices and/ or pistachios and saffron strands
  14. Cover the bowls/ glases and once cooled, refrigerate the phirni and serve chilled.
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

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Anita’s Date & Banana Medley for WaffleMeister, Bahrain

When I think of waffles, it brings a smile to my face. Therefore, it was exhilarating to create a Date & Banana waffle recipe for Wafflemeister Bahrain. Wafflemeister is a UK based waffle retail chain, which is expanding internationally. Off late, they have opened three outlets in Bahrain – In Galleria zinj, Seef Muharraq and Juffair Mall. Every Wafflemeister bakery serves handmade Belgian Liége waffles, Italian style ice cream (gelato), gourmet coffee and Thick Shakes.  

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The experience of creating a waffle in a professional kitchen was wonderful. On the designated day, I reached Wafflemeister in Galleria ( Zinj) to join a bunch of other bloggers to create our signature waffles. I presented the wafflemeister team with my date & banana waffle with a touch of cinnamon to be served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.  It seemed easy enough to recreate this waffle in the professional kitchen because I practiced making it at home. The pictures that you see on this post are from my experiments at home. However, if you follow me on my social media accounts – Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – @sliceofmylyfe, you will see several posts of the Waffle that is now on the menu of Wafflemeister – Anita’s Date & Banana Medley served with date syrup.

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The date & banana waffle uses a half cup of cinnamon infused, chopped dates for each waffle which is then pressed in a heavy iron waffle for that crisp outer layer and a soft insides.

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Now that my waffle is available at Wafflemeister in Bahrain, I would love for all who live in Bahrain to try it as soon as possible. If you have tried it, please let me know how you liked it. With each bite of the waffle, you will get a piece of date which will surely delight you. 

The recipe is fairly simple if you plan to recreate this at home. You will need a waffle press at home to make this. 

Date & Banana Waffle
Yields 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. For the waffles -
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup finely chopped dates
  7. 1-3/4 cups milk ( add as required to the batter)
  8. 2 eggs, separated
  9. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  10. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  11. To serve -
  12. Banana slices
  13. date syrup
  14. cinnamon powder to sprinkle
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
  2. Mix 1 tbsp ( or more if you like) cinnamon powder to the dates and let it infuse for a bit. Add it to the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg yolks and butter; stir into dry ingredients.
  4. In another small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Don't overmix
  5. Take ladle full of batter and pour it the preheated waffle iron and allow it to bake well until it is golden brown.
  6. Serve the waffles in a plate topped with sliced bananas and sprinkle cinnamon powder on the top. Serve hot with date syrup on the side
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/