Monday, February 1, 2016

It's OPOS all the way

OPOS.. This is the new word and technique I have learnt the last month. OPOS - read as One Pot One Shot, is a new cooking methodology that I learnt in the last 10 days. It might not be a totally new concept, but the idea of one pot cooking has been extended to almost all recipes

I was introduced to this facebook group called Unified by Food, where the basic idea is OPOS cooking, flash cooking etc. Though they do have other regular recipes, the main theme is one shot cooking. As it is evident from the name, we layer all the ingredients in the pressure cooker and cook for the recommended time. The time depends on the type of ingredients we use. Lentils and legumes for example need longer to cook, whereas spinach and other greens take hardly 5 minutes. 

The only thing that is time consuming in this method is chopping the vegetables. After that it's only minutes before the meal is ready. The main problem with this is, it's extremely addictive. Once we have OPOS'd a dish, we think of OPOS'ng all!! 

What we need for OPOS is pressure cooker, that's it!! Of course other than our ingredients. In the last 10 days I tried 4 dishes using this method - Ram Khichdi, Sambhar, Palak paneer and beetroot Halwa. Yesterday being sunday, we had palak paneer with Phulkas and beetroot halwa for dessert.
Here's the method to make palak paneer
In a pressure cooker (PC), layer 3tsp (butter, water) 1tsp GG (Ginger garlic) paste, 1/2C Ch onions, 1Ch tomato, 1/2tsp (salt, chili pwdr, GM, cumin pwdr), 2tsp dry kasuri methi, 1Ch chili, 250g Ch spinach (4C) & 1C paneer cubes. Cook on high for 2Wh (6min). Release pressure. Mash all except paneer.

And for Beetroot halwa:
Peel & grate 500g beetroots. Squeeze out moisture. Mix In 1C sugar, 1/4C crumbled paneer, 1/2tsp cardamom pwdr. In a PC, layer 1/4C ghee, carrots. Cook on high for 10Wh (8 min). Release pressure. Mix in 1/2C (nuts, dry fruits)

I made a mistake by not squeezing out the water from beetroot and it let out a lot of water. I had to drain out the excess
Another advantage in this method is, the vegetables retain their original color unlike other methods of cooking

Well, I have OPOS'd all through this post!! Hope you catch the OPOS fever too

Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015, a recap..

HAPPPPY New Year dear friends.. Wishing you and your family the best of all this year.. Wow, yet another year has flown by and here we are wishing each other a Happy New Year!!

The past year saw me doing a little of everything.. some beading, lot of baking, some cross stitch. It was a great year as far as work was concerned.. hectic yes, for sure, but satisfactory. I had taken on a new assignment towards the end of 2014 and the first few months of 2015 went in getting accustomed to the new role. It was extremely demanding but paid off towards the end of the year, when our milestones were met and accolades came pouring in from all sides!!

The major event of 2015 was the floods in Chennai after a century which shook the whole country!! The city is still recovering from the shock. Many families faced very heavy losses. The good part about the flood was the city saw the rise of many a good Samaritan. People helped each other out in all possible ways.

The hectic work took me away from my stitching the first few months, but I managed to catch up in the second half of the year. In the beginning of 2015 this is where I was with seashells
..and this is the current status
There is only about 1/4th of the design left and I can't wait to put in that last stitch and get it framed

My first bake of the year is.. of course a rich fruit cake


The recipe is here. I followed the instructions for an eggless, non-alcoholic version


Signing off on this positive note today.. till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Water water everywhere...

Yes, Chennai is flooded everywhere. It has been raining everyday ever since 6th November, and it's not mild showers!! Schools have been closed for over 15 days now.. all lakes full and overflowing.
On one of the days when there was a dry spell, V and I were so bored that we drove down to the marina beach to see how it looked.. there was water till the road.. here's a snapshot

We took this picture from the footpath!! We could not make out the beginning of the sea or end of sand!!

Thanks to being stuck at home, I tried my hand at some of the recipes that have been on my to-do list for quite a while

Egg-less quiche. I could not believe how simple it is to make. I substituted spinach with corn. Here's the recipe

V's bestie had come down to visit from Mumbai and it happened that her birthday is just a week later. V and I baked this cranberries-cherry cake to celebrate her birthday in advance

Thanks to all the time I got at home, I made quite some progress on seashells
This is a picture taken last week, I made little more progress since this was taken. As I get closer to the end am just unable to put it down!!

So friends, that's the story from my end today. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Diwali!!!

Yes.. the festival that everybody looks forward to the most all through the year is over!! Some parts of India celebrate Diwali today. Wishing all my friends here a very Happy, prosperous Diwali

I do not know how many do this, but as soon as the annual holiday calendar is released, first thing I check for is Diwali. This is one festival that I look forward to each year from the beginning of the year. Even thinking about Diwali brings so much joy and happiness. And just like each year, Diwali is over in the blink of an eye.. sigh!!

I tried a new sweet this year - Maalpua. It's a north Indian sweet dish. These are basically crisp pancakes made out of refined flour and milk, soaked in sugar syrup. I wanted to make this a diabetic friendly sweet as majority of my family members are diabetic - the husband, dad and mil. I got the basic recipe for Maalpuas from here. For the sugar syrup I used Sugar Free Natura and used the recipe from here. It was a big hit with everybody - except me :( I did not like the taste of sugarfree, but the hubby, mil and my dad just loved it!! I thought it left some kind of a bitter after-taste

On the stitchy front, I have a picture to share my progress.

With only a month a half more to the year, I am sure I cannot finish this project in 2015. But I am pretty sure that the day is not very far when I share a 'completed' post!!

So, till next time.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir

Friday, October 16, 2015

Navrathri

Festival season has begun here. The first is Navrathri (nine nights translated literally). The significance of this festival is to drive away the ignorance in us and win over unwanted characteristics like ego, selfishness, jealousy and such..

The air is full of cheer and happiness - little girls dressed up in Paavaada - chattai (traditional south indian costume for girls), ladies in sarees adorned with their fineries. This is a time to visit friends and relatives. This is also a good time to start on any new activity - education, new craft, pick up on pending crafts etc

We were unable to have a big golu the last 2 years primarily due to my work hours. This year though, I somehow managed to work around that and have setup a simple golu

V is all set to invite people home, to visit our golu and take vethala paakku


Now, as you all know, my stitching has taken a back seat over the last few months. I won't say that I did not stitch at all, but much much lesser than I would have liked to finish. Post Navrathri, I plan to start with all the vigour again and try to complete seashells by the year end.

With that I say bye today friends.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stash.. Stash..Stash

The subject says it all!! Yay, I have more stitchy stash, which I ordered from the US


1. The limited edition 'Sweet Summer' pattern from Lizzie Kate. This is my first ever Lizzie Kate.
2. One Winter pattern by Myrtle Grace Motifs
3. Bluebird Out my Window by Blackbird Designs
4. Classic Orientals pattern book which I bought from Meari's Stash sale. The patterns are all so beautiful

Am totally excited now and super motivated to complete seashells soon and start on one of these..

That's from me today friends. More updates very soon..

Till then.. Take Care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Monday, August 3, 2015

A visit to my birthplace..

It's been a continuous line-up of celebrations in the family.. 60th birthdays (2 uncles turned 60 recently), baby shower, cousin's engagement.. it's been a busy 2 months

The function hall where one of the 60th b'days was celebrated used to be a house earlier, where we lived back in 1985, and has been converted to a hall now!! It was such a nostalgic trip, recounting olden days, mischief... This hall was 2 blocks away from the house where all of us were born (my cousins and I). Our grandparents lived there for almost 30 years, and we used to visit them here every summer vacation. We could not resist the temptation to at least walk past that house and take a picture in front of the gate. The current tenant was very kind and allowed us inside!! Oh, we were all so emotional and nostalgic.. there was absolutely no change to the house, except that it was painted recently

That's some of us who were there in front of the house. The kids were totally delighted to see the house, most importantly because there is such a huge area to play around the house. Lot of open space for the kids to run around, a huge open terrace... sigh what times we had as kids

Here's a coffee cake I tried - Classic nutty coffee cake with browned butter topping
I got the recipe from the book Classic home desserts by Richard Sax

V and I got down to some serious beading last weekend

She - preparing for her birthday, which is coming up.
I implemented this design which has been eating my head for a while now

I did a very teeny bit of progress on seashells. Will post a picture with my next post

Till next time folks.. Take Care.. Be happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir