Okay, I lied. It was actually two days ago… in my kitchen. But anyways, I made a star wars cake for Bubby’s birthday! And it was pretty fun! (although it wasn’t that fun when I was adding each dragée on one at a time with tweezers at 1:30 in the morning… but I digress).
I’m actually kind of a faux star wars fan, considering I’ve only seen the new movie (and like parts of the 1st movie). But Bubby’s basically told me everything that ever happens so I don’t think there’s any point watching the rest of the movies now to be honest. The only reason I watched the new one in the first place was because we were in India during December and my brother and dad were going to see it (cause it had just come out) and they had an extra ticket so I was like “what the heck” and I just went. And I’m glad because I really liked it! Although I’m not sure if I can ever take it seriously again after watching this…
But anyways, I’m a total star wars freak now. So when Bubs asked me to make him a star wars cake for his birthday I was like YES!
well….. let’s admit it: summer is sort of almost getting close to being over (??!). there’s still a month left which is good but I went to jo-anns today and they had all their fake halloween leaves and stuff ready in the front and I almost went into cardiac arrest.
Also, it probably seems as if I’ve been slacking on the baking (from the lack of posts) but the cold hard truth is that everything I’ve made has either: a) turned out horrifically (MACARONS) or b) not been exciting enough to document (like banana bread or something like that haha). But I figured lemon bars are pretty exciting if you’re into that kind of thing! and also lemon things are always a good idea in the summer… so
So somehow I managed to finagle a two week trip ALL BY MYSELF to India last month. I’m not quite sure how it happened – but it had something to do with my darling husband and somehow all the stars aligned and before anyone could say “Mommy!” I had booked a ticket. It’s like therapy for my soul – I miss the food, I miss the people, I miss the country.
Now, I love NYC like nobody’s business but there are some things you just cannot get here:
A proper dosa. (Sorry nyc peeps – it’s true)
Fresh lime soda
A Hanyuman temple in the middle of a busy street.
Dancing south indian coffee
fresh flower garlands for your hair every day (not that I put them in but nice to know i can!)
a reasonable car and driver (because you would have to be mad yourself to drive there!)
the food. omg, the food. it just does not compare
Luckily I got my fill of two weeks and am ready to hit the ground running for summer 2014!
Let’s talk about some of the delicacies I experienced over there.
Well, before we get to India I feel I need to mention Emirates Airlines and the sheer ridiculousness of their awesomeness. I got a ticket last minute and because we have a gajillion miles I upgraded myself on some of the legs. Well I did not know what I was in for.
This was the breakfast scene at the airport (my flight left at 11am so this was about 9:30am). I wasn’t even hungry but I couldn’t help myself.
What is it about the psychology of buffets? Can someone please explain this phenomenon? I never even eat breakfast but somehow was powerless against the draw of the buffet and had to throw down a breakfast. And VC for brekkie? I restrained myself. I still had a 14 hour flight to get through.
But get this!
This was ON THE PLANE! There was an actual bar and lounge. OMG. I thought to myself, “This plane doesn’t even have to leave the tarmac – this is enough!” A bed, George Clooney movies and champagne. It was already a vacation. Since it was now 10:30 I thought, why not?
And that was the start to the most blissful transatlantic flight I have taken and sadly, probably the last. Let me tell you I had a bit of a rude awakening when I had to fly economy on the next leg. I know, I know – cry me a river.
My first stop was Mumbai. I love Mumbai. It is a large bustling metropolis surrounded by water. Sound like a city you know and love already? You betcha! It’s the NYC of India.
This is me trying to cross the street at Crawford Market. While taking a video. Probably not the best idea.
Pretty hairy, huh? Well I did safely make it across. It’s funny how in all the chaos there is beauty and things actually work.
Crawford Market is one of Mumbai’s most famous markets. It was completed in 1869 and architecture is a blend of European styles. You want to buy a puppy? or a chicken? You want fake Croc’s or a sari bag? You want any kind of fruit or veggies you can think of? Quality Street candies? This is your place. Everything is here. Somewhere.
To fortify ourselves in the midst of all the shopping we stopped at a very famous falooda place – Badshah’s.
Never had a falooda? Well, you are in for a treat. If you can find one here (let me know if you do!). It’s basically a flavored syrup with vermicelli noodles, milk, chia seeds and ice cream. Whoa! I know it sounds like a lot going on but man – it’s delish! It’s basically a not-very-healthy smoothie-like drink you eat with a spoon! Well it does have chia seeds so maybe that negates some of the naughtiness. Eh, who cares?
mine was mango flavor!
Badshah’s has been doing this for over 100 years so they seem to know what they are doing. Check them out next time you are in Mumbai! Or visit Crawford Market and take home a mix!
We spent one glorious lunch at Trishna’s. I was so excited to eat there that I forgot to take any pics of the food! They are one of the best known sea food restaurants in India and some say the world. The inside looks like a drab conference room but people come here for the food, not the ambiance. We weren’t very hungry so we just had a simple lunch of Butter Pepper Garlic Crab and thin butter naan, but Oh momma. If ever I was on death row this would most certainly be my last supper. Just perfection. I didn’t want to eat dessert lest the flavors left my mouth. And you know me, when do I not eat dessert? Twice? It is that good.
trishna with the cousins
Mumbai has lots of other great dining options – Sassy Spoon, Table, Leopold’s Cafe, Brittania, the Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Hotel. You need a good week to hit everything. Which we didn’t have. On the way to the airport though we made one last stop:
for the famous Mumbai sandwich! Somehow I have lived 40 something years and have never had one of these! We stopped at Hajiali which is next to a mosque in the sea behind it. It happened to be high tide so the walkway was covered in water and no one could get to the mosque! It was quite a sight to see. So we had to fight some serious crowds to get our Mumbai sandwich! But it was worth it!
This sandwich is not fooling around – triple decker, layered with grilled veggies, cheese, potatoes and chutney. A perfect send off to a perfect Mumbai visit!
So! I’m assuming that the vast majority of you all know (from our incessant updates) that we recently decided to assert our status as true food-bloggers by attending the annual BlogHer food conference! It seemed pretty great in my mind… a congregation of people dedicated to the art of food-writing! We’d be surrounded by famous food bloggers and walk out changed forever by the insurmountable amount of knowledge we’d gained! How could anything go wrong!?
(…also the conference just so happened to be in Miami this year which wasn’t sounding too bad when we booked this trip aka in the dead of nyc winter)
Well. . . I’ll start with PART I of our saga: flight gets cancelled by rampant tornado!
Happy happy Mother’s Day to you out there! I know some of you probably get breakfast in bed and homemade cards and gifts and all. Drink it in! We are a little more casual here in our house. I do get cards and gifts but for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to host my entire extended family for Mother’s Day about 10 years ago. Well, my extended family has now grown to be about 35 people. That includes my mom and her two sisters and their kids and their kids. Phew! We’ve got all generations mingling here and it’s always fun albeit a little hectic. Needless to say it’s not much of a Mother’s Day for me. I usually get up early, go for a run and hit the ground running for guests arriving at noon. Ten years I’ve been doing this! And as my brother-in-law Russ mentioned – he has it good! He gets to come into the city, hang out at our apartment, eat good food, drink a beer, go for a walk in Central Park and go home! And his wife is happy! Mother’s Day done! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Somehow spring is just not ready to pop it’s pretty head in on the east coast here. We have had numerous snow storms. Plenty of skiing. Worn our down coats to death. And winter just keeps hanging on. It’s the end of April here and I think it snowed last week.
It’s been so cold that my bees didn’t make it. For those that don’t know, this was my first year at attempting to be a beekeeper. Apparently they had food in the hive but were too cold to leave their cluster to get it. So so sad. Poor cold bees. Poor cold me!
I was trying so so hard to come up with a pun that would incorporate Harry Potter and cake……. but alas my mind is overwhelmed with the overabundance of Harry Potter knowledge I’ve acquired over the years so I settled on “intense harry potter cake” because let’s be real here, that’s what this post is about.
BUT if you are still doubting my superior knowledge of Harry Potter, I’ll tell you that I’ve read the series twice and somehow managed to watch all the movies once within the span of 2 weeks- my deepest darkest fantasy involves going to Harry Potter world and drinking butterbeer soo… I think it’s safe to say that HP has a special place in my heart.
full disclosure: cake pictured is NOT the marble bundt in this post, just an AWESOME bundt I made recently!
I quite like making bundts now. We seem to have come to an understanding. As usual it was all about money.
I love to cook and bake but some of my favorite dinners are one pot stewy dutch oven-y things. The bundt is a baking version of that. It’s fancier than cookies but doesn’t require frosting so easier than a cake. I was having an ongoing issue with trying to get the bundts out of the pan cleanly - it never seemed to work for me. I would wait 10 minutes. Or 20. I would run a knife around the edge. I would wrap the base in a wet paper towel. I got nothin’. But a fragmented craggly bundt. Which still tasted good but was not very pretty.