When the sun is shining bright, a lot of people go BBQ - crazy! It has kind of become a norm to associate bbq to gorgeous weather , when you invite friends and family over . Plan a selection of meat or vegetables to fit in as appetisers , main course or may b even a side dish to bbq on slow indirect heat over the wood /charcoal… A whole lot of drinks and juices to compliment the bbq day . 
Spending hours of the day until late evening, its more like a celebration !

This year Summer has been quite good over all .. But it felt more like a raining season out here in London , rather than end of Summer. With welly’s ,rain coats and umbrella I have been splashing in puddles with kiddo’s .. Its not too bad , I must admit. .Actually a lot of fun ! Last weekend, one of the day’s the temperature shot up to 28 C and it was more like a heatwave . A perfect day to just relax and have a BBQ day. Kiddo’s were super excited about the picnic we were going to have in our garden. The menu was finalised - A Burger , Paneer and Vegetables grilled and some chilled drinks and Ice creams .

As planned we spent one quality time , just in the garden, off the electronic gadgets. Had some water gun fights to chill us down and then filled some water balloons and enjoyed the splash and splosh ! Oh what fun it was !!! 

In contrast to the gorgeous sunny weekend last week, we have been having rainy, gloomy, windy long weekend on and off. Whenever the sun decided to show up in intervals, we stepped out and tried to maximise the last weekend before the school officially reopens this Year. Oh where are you Sun ? Please come back ... And Rain Rain go away come again another day... I wish I could sing aloud and Rain God actually hears me and decides to shower somewhere else..

Nevertheless, I decided to recreate the burgers I made the previous weekend yet again but with some Blue Burger Cheese Slice.

 Castello had sent across some Blue Burger cheese slices and the deal was to recreate some delicious burgers and top them up with the new cheese slice. Using the opportunity of staying indoor, I made them yet again and it was as delicious as always.
I chose to make an Avocado Dip/Spread to top the burger , instead of Mayonnaise and ketchup as we always do.

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Smorging with Castello Cheese

After long school days, there are many evenings that I hardly want to walk into the kitchen and prepare an elaborate meal. Neither do I want to pick up my phone and order for a takeaway nor a Pizza delivery. All that I do is laser eye scanning inside my fridge, store cupboards, canned food stock ( very rare) if any and quickly plan up for the meal. It could be like a Hummus Sandwich, Vegetable Sandwich, Toastie Sandwich, a pasta stir fry, paratha's or anything .. but something really quick with all the available ingredients just at home.

Smorging with Castello Cheese
One of the days, coincidentally when I was sailing on the same boat I received an email about Summertime Smorging with Castello Cheese. A little later after we finished our dinner , I sat alongside my favorite corner on the left hand side on my Leather Couch.On further reading I realised, we are actually Smorging !! 

Cheese Selection - Castello Cheese

So what does it mean " To Smorg" ?
Based on the Scandinavian Smörgåsbord, Smorging is a relaxed style of eating that allows you to enjoy your favourite cheese with a combination of different tastes and textures. 

Smorging with Castello Cheese

To learn more about it, I went on with an elaborate search and here is what I found.
 Smörgåsbord is a type of Scandinavian meal, originating in Sweden, served buffet-style with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table.It is typically a celebratory meal and guests can help themselves from a range of dishes laid out for their choice. In a restaurant, the term refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which, for a fixed amount of money, one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes.
 Information source - Wikipedia

All that you need to do is to simply dive into your fridge and pantry cabinets to pull together a meal with whatever essentials is available to compliment with cheese and the left over works well . Castello sent me a guide along with a selection of cheese to try my hands on smorging.

CASTELLO'S How to Smorg Guide ?
  • Grab a selection of bases such as crusty bread, slices of rye bread, crisp breads, crackers, or toast. Plan the rest of your ingredients, or root around and see what you can find to make up your board! 
  • Try to find a range of tastes to include: salty, sweet, sour, and umami (a savoury taste). And try to include a range of textures too so that there is a balance between crunchy and soft. It is the combinations of tastes and textures that make each and every Smorging session unique! 
  • Choose your favourite Castello cheeses and get them out of the fridge, along with some butter, to warm up for 30 minutes. 
  • Present your selection on some kind of platter – a wooden or slate board is perfect, or even just a large plate. Most importantly, remember, you can’t go wrong! 
  • Have fun with it and make the best of what you’ve got. Don’t be afraid about trying out new combinations and see what happens!

Read on to see how I paired my Cheese !!!

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  The ordinary toasted sandwich gets a makeover with the delectable Mexican combo of Refried Beans,Peppers and Cheese in about 30 Minutes.

Refried Beans,Peppers and Cheese Toastie

Toasties have been a treaty snack at home , ever since I have known. When the weather gets a bit gloomy, a bit chilli or may b rainy, Amma ( as I fondly call my mum) would make us Potato Masala Toastie or  Paneer Toastie or Sugar Toastie and what not for a wholesome evening appetiser.

Refried Beans,peppers & Cheese ToastieOne evening ,sometime around my 11th Grade , a friend of mine invited me to the local cafe that was newly opened , just down the street. Probably that was the very first time , I actually went out on a date with friends. It was really exciting and a bit worrying as it was among my first few ventures alone. Pretending to be all bold not coy, casually putting my wallet by the table, I picked up the menu card.
Ingredients for Refried Beans,Peppers and Cheese Toastie

Stepping out my comfort zone, I flipped through pages and ordered my favourite dark chocolate fresh cake pastry. One of my other friends who had accompanied me ordered for a Chilli Cheese Toast. Others ordered samosa's , puff and so forth. We all decided to dig in and taste all the appetisers and the junky snacks on our table. Chilli Cheese toast was absolutely delicious - a bit spicy,cheesy !! It was one absolute fun evening, I still cherish.

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Call it Okra or Lady's finger , we are in deep love with those sexy looking  vegetable lady's finger.  Not until 10 year's back , I was familiar with this word Okra. When I landed into this foreign land a decade ago , names looked different from what I was familiar. I was in dilemma for a while if English  taught in our country is different to British English ? Or due to my poor exposure or interest , I wasn't aware of these ? My first trip to Grocer was extremely interesting and had tons to take back. Okra is Lady's finger , Aubergine is Brinjal , Cilantro is coriander leaves , Capsicum is Green Pepper and so forth.

Way back in India, there is hardly any necessity to use English names for our veggies. Instead, every regional state have their colloquial term for them. Okra is Bhindi , Onion is Kanda ,Pumpkin is called Bhopla in Mumbai but when you travel across to the North , Onion is referred to as Pyaz ... In Tamil Nadu , Okra is Vendakai !  Isn't it amazing to have so much of diversity in our language in India ?? 

For just the recipe, skip my banters and review and scroll right through the bottom.

  Bhindi Bhaji or Okra Masala it is ! I decided to cook up a simple homestyle Bhindi ki Subzi to go along with Dal and some steamed Pulav Rice.
 Some recipes that we create at home are just to suit our palettes and how we enjoy them at home .Bhindi Sabji is one of them . I didn't have any standard measurements for them but all approximate. Flipping through The Cafe Spice Cookbook, I decided to try the recipe to 'T". Since much needed ingredients for the recipe were missing , I did some substitutions. Still Okra masala tasted just simple, subtle, neat in flavours and loved by all in the family.

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Monbento Original

Growing up in Mumbai, our schooling lasted for just 5 hours a day in contrast to a lot of other cities around India. We would make it on time for Lunch at home or leave for school after Lunch, depending on your schooling hours. My early years used to be timed between 1pm to 6 pm and my secondary schooling would be in early hours between 7.30 am to 12.30 pm. This routine demanded us to carry a small snack in our tiffin dabbas. Dabba is an Indian term to refer Lunch Boxes. We used to call it tiffin , as we never carried any main course in them and it used to be some sort of mini bites/sandwiches /roti's rolled with jam or some form of healthy or junky snacks.
There was no scope to carry a large stacking tiffin carrier to School , whilst in Mumbai..

Monbento Original
Monbento Original

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