Monday, 14 December 2009

Tis is the season for sharing

After yesterday's cooking frenzy, I soon realised the cake I baked was way too big for me eat all by myself - as if I would that ;). I could rely on my housemates to help out, but there is only so much they can eat! So, I packed up half of the cake with a few paper plates and plastic folks; and off to work I went.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but the department I work in loves food, I mean looooooooooves food. So, any excuse to bring in cakes, chocolates and biscuits is never ignored. So, not only did we have my cake today, but one colleague brought in homemade Italian biscotti and another colleague brought in mini mince pies.

Like I said before - 'Tis is the season for sharing' or in my department's case that's an all year round excuse.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Gastronomic Sunday

So, spent most of yesterday doing absolutely nothing - which was sheer bliss. Although, today was a different story. It's been a good while since I cooked at home and so decided to bake a cake and make a spiced lamb stew to beat the winter blues away.

The morning started with a simple breakfast of toast with a quarter sliced tomato garnished with black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Preparing the Bramley apples for the cinnamon, apple and pecan nut cake.

Mixture poured into the baking tin and ready for the oven to be baked for an hour or until it has risen.

Time for a cinnamon latte while the cake bakes. It's hard being a domestic goddess!

Voila - homemade baked cinnamon, apple and pecan nut cake. The house was filled with spice and cinnamon fragrances, perfect for a cold day.

Time for a short break. Went to the cinema to watch Where the Wild Things Are
Highly recommend it - brings back memories of being a child.

Back home and refreshed; and ready for the next part of the cooking. I have a spiced lamb stew bubbling away on the hob.

Spiced lamb stew with couscous served for moi....yummy!

A small slice of cake for dessert (good thing I had a small lunch)

Decided to share some of the cake with colleagues and so, have boxed up half the cake to take to work tomorrow. I'm stuffed and tired; time for bed...night night.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Why I love London....

Well, you think it's going to be a quite night in at home, but then your friend tells you that Yolanda Brown is playing at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. And you say to yourself, why not, you have nothing planned for night and it's all about living for the moment. I had no idea who she is, but was pretty excited to find out that she is a saxophonist.

So, I arrive and the performance has started - thanks to the London tubes! And, I'm blown away by amazing music and the excellent crowd. She plays music from her old and new album (I managed to record a small video of her); and her band is absolutely amazing too. The performance finishes just after 11pm and then Choice FM's DJ Calvin Francis plays some old skool soul music and dancing begins. I call it night after three songs, much to my friend's disappointment, my feet hurt after standing through all of Yolanda's show and its time for rest.

This is why I love London - there is always something to do. Although, today is totally different and have said no to some other friends. I just feel like hanging out in my side of town.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Things to do, people to see...

So, the last couple of weekends have been pretty manic and has kept me from doing my usual favourite things - taking photos, blogging, tweeting etc. But, here I am to remind me and you (whoever you are) of some of the fun I've had so far.

Last weekend was all about Durga puja festivities - lots of fun with friends and family. But, the weekend ended of on a rather special high - thanks to Talvin Singh. A group us went to see him and Niladri Kumar play in Camden; and they were absolutely fantastic. Ever since my uni days, I have been waiting to hear him play live and all I can say - is waiting patiently for ten years certainly paid off big time.

This weekend was another packed one - of going to the films and food. Watched Wake Up Sid!, which was a nice, easy on the eye type of movie, which you could use some of your brain and leave the other half at home ;) As with most of my weekends, this was another foodie one. So, it started with Indian street food at Masala zone, Thai at a cute place called Cool Monkey in Holland Park, brunch in Wimbledon and ended with sumptuous food from Kerala at Rasa on Charlotte's Street in central London - phew - I'm exhausted.

You're probably thinking I should have a quite one next weekend, alas that isn't to be the case, as it's that time of the year when I'm off on my travels. I'll leave you guessing of my destination.....

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Weekend activities - Banana Bread

Voila my baking result in years

Guilt free enjoyment

Washing up as you go a long

My baking stuff

My baking view

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2/3 firmly packed cup (150g) dark brown sugar
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Lightly grease an 11cm x 22cm loaf pan and line base and 2 long sides with a sheet of baking paper, leaving 2cm overhanging.
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl with the brown sugar, then add the nuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher, then stir in the eggs, vanilla extract and cooled melted butter. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they're just combined - don't overmix.
  4. Scrape cake batter into prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the loaf in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into 8-10 slices - and enjoy with a cup of chai :)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Pottering around in the back garden

The Garden needs to be rescued!!

And then sun came out, so I was slightly distracted ;)

All cleaned and ready for visitors

I think I may have chopped a bit too much of the passion fruit plant. I'm sure it's not meant to droop in the sun.

Having fun with the camera

The end to a lovely day at home.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Whitstable Beaches

I couldn't let the summer go by without visiting the seaside. For quite some time I found myself enjoying my own company and so I thought as a treat I would go on a mini adventure (in preparation for a much bigger adventure to come - watch this space). When you are stuck in an open plan office as I am, you often find yourself daydreaming of places you want to see and visit. I found myself randomly choosing Whitstable in Kent for my trip.

As you walk along the beaches in Whitstable, you will come across an array of beach houses that you can't stop envying the occupants delight of waking up to amazing sunrises and enjoying the amazing colours of the sunset.

Beach houses line the pathway of Cushing's View

I stopped of for a bit of lunch at the Neptune pub and once done went for a long walk towards the West beach, where the path is lined up of more beach houses and huts.

The beach huts on the West beach come in the same shape and size; but are personalised by owners/occupants in various colourful patterns.

After my walk to the West beach, decided to walk back to the Harbour.

Where the town of Tankerton meets Whitstable is an area known as Tankerton Slopes. I came across this particular beach house and fell in love with it instantly and couldn't stop looking at it. I think it would have to be one my favourite beach houses.

Sat on Tankerton Slopes and thought to myself that I will certainly be returning to Whitstable and next time will stay a little longer. What I really liked about it, was how unspoilt it still remains which gives it its uniqueness of being the perfect secret seaside hideaway.

Monday, 24 August 2009

My first London Mela

Finally went to London Mela and I came across:-

  • People of all shapes and size having fun in the sun
  • Five different stages to cater to different tastes
  • Discovered a dance group called Akademi who fused kathak dancing with modern dance
  • Colourful
  • Laughter
  • Food
  • Dancing
  • The sun came out in London and
  • Good times