A fortnight ago , just like any other weekday morning, I was buzy sipping my morning tea. After sending my elder one off to school I was having some time for myself checking my emails, facebook , news and so forth. I read a message from Vidya about doing a guest post in her space , specially for toddlers. She such a lovely and warm person , I have known e-socially over the last couple of months .How can I refuse ? I had no second thought as I knew I was going to do that. Thank you for giving me all the time in the world and let do this interesting delight at my pace.




We are a family who love to have a mixed variety in a meal all through the week. I am sure, in this modern world most people would. Our diet varies from Palakad South Indian cooking  to a Northindian Paratha ,Curry  to  a Pasta Bake and what not? Guess this post will have a never ending page , if I have to list the elaborate choices we have.

Undoubtedly we love our regular flame baked phulka's with any dry vegetable curry or may b dal or paneer delicacies or if pulse arenas. We love spinach and its rich in iron content is definitely something that makes us include in our diet ritually. When it comes to kids, getting my son V eat his spinach in gravy or a molagutal ( southindian lentil coconut curry) is slightly tricky. Knowing his love for Parathas , I decided to use them in the dough.It was a complete win win situation, as the all the required spinach is being consumed and yet there no complain from the boy of 7 years. All that he tells me is that the Green Chapathi is Yumm.  An easy way of sneaking in the greens into our diet.

 The procedure to this spinach phulka is dead simple , just like you would make your regular phulka. The recipe calls for few basic ingredients like flour, salt, very little water .. Oops some spinach puree with very mild spices and knead the dough . Roll it , flip it and flame bake it . Sweep a delicate spread of ghee , if you like. Hop over to Vidya's Traditionally Modern food for the detailed recipe.

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Sending my  Black & White Wednesday entry in to Week #159 at Cafe Lynnylu

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Two weeks ago, just like another day, I was casually having some Me time on Facebook. On the Fleaboard group, they were looking for Mum's with kids in UK bloggers. Thoughtlessly I pitched my details in. In minutes I have an email about having a Partnership with Monbento. For sure it was an instant Yes!
Monbento has recently started shipping to UK and they were looking for bloggers to be in venture with them.
They sent me two products - MB Tresor Kiwi- The Kid's Bento box and  a coordinated color bag  - MB Pochette in Kiwi.
When the Fedex delivered my package,we were overwhelmed. I was totally not expecting it that week but in days to come.. My miss butterfly and me went totally overboard looking at the sophisticated lunch box and the bag.


Bento is a Japanese term refering to a meal in a container that is eaten outside home. We refer it as Dabba's in India. The Bento box comes with a package of fashion,style,practicality and freedom of choice.

MB Bento Tresor is a kid's treasure chest that won the design award in 2015.The Bento box in kids range is available in 3 other colors - Blueberry, Banana and Rasberry.
They are made from food grade heavy duty plastic , whilst outside is soft and smooth. The boxes are sleek, sophisticated and a nice to have lunch box in your wish list if ever you see them.The bottom container (450ml) is airtight and waterproof.The two food cups (each 150 ml)  are microwave-safe and perfectly airtight.


The only slight con in the food cups is the design. They are rectangular and hence the children need to be really careful when placing the lid back onto the food cups. Wish the design over all was slightly square. This would have sorted the worry out.
MB Pochette is perfect to dress up our Bentos -  MB Tresor or Original too.The polyester fabric used in the making, is very resistant and easy to clean. It is also machine washable.



In the MB Tresor, I packed in
The bottom container - Two wholewheat tortilla's ( Also known as Phulkas)
The two food cups - sliced carrots and a white chocolate chip cookie.




MB tresor is priced at 16£ in UK .MB Pochette is priced at 5.60£

 I definitely will look forward to exploring their other ranges - Lunchboxes, To go bottles , the reversible bag - stylish and useful and the accessories.



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Baking | Some more Brownies


Couple of things have been running in the background.I have been wanting to promulgate about two of my recent expeditions. My post on Anzac Biscuits has been published in 3 of our Local Magazines in the November edition- Sunbury Matters, Shepperton Matters and Village Matters. Its quite a swell feeling in mind and gives some usaid satisfaction as these magazines are circulated in around 12000 houses locally. Secondly, I have become a featured contributor to Sweet n Spicy App. This app is available for free in Android and Apple. Do download them in your mobile gadgets and browse over 100's of recipes.



Necessity is the mother of invention..And this recipe of Cake like, slightly crusty on the surface like Brownie is just out of a little goof up. And I am joyous as this blooper happened with no compensation on flavours. Divine and complete to relinquish your pallete with these cake like chocolate brownies.There are more brownie recipes in my blog - Hershey's Brownies, Ghiraldelli Brownies , My favourite Brownies



With respect to the pictures in this post, I had clicked them at about 4pm evening BST in the month of December. There was barely any daylight left. Hence got just  3-4 decent pictures that I could share. Picture data for the first image is ISO 800 , 50mm ,0.4sec at f / 2.5. You can imagine ...



 BROWNIES


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time : 25 Min

INGREDIENTS:
85g  Plain Flour
250g Caster Sugar
145g Unsalted Butter
2 Large Eggs
85g Cocoa Powder
1tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Baking Powder
100g Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat the fan assisted oven to 350 F, gas mark 4. Line a 9” Baking pan with a parchment paper cross wise extending it all the way up. This will help us to pull the paper out of the pan once the brownie cools down. 
  •  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter sugar and vanilla essence together. Whisk the egg, one at a time, Stir in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder with a wooden spoon, mixing the batter well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake it for 20-25 Minutes. My brownie came out batter-clean, when I inserted the skewer at 25 minutes.
  • Allow them to cool down. Cut the brownie bake into size that suits you. I got 25 bite sized brownie pieces.

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Week 1 Catchup from 30 days to Better Food Photography



 My best picture this week
I am extremely overwhelmed when this picture received a lot of appreciation and some postive comments in food photography groups.
All the positive feedback and critique comments makes a difference and helps in doing the task better. 

It has been one fabulous week in terms of food photography. I have enrolled for Neel's LFP course and the assignments gets delivered to your inbox for 30 days. Everyday we have something new to learn , new to understand and a new dimension to our way of looking at images.
I have never looked at an image like that !! Well " that" means nothing strange..But in an altogether variant direction.
Studying the images of some professional photograph was the begining of the course. Can you imagine, this can change our magnitude of reading an image . Helen Dujardin , writer of Plate to Pixel has been my all time favourite . But now I have a growing list - Aran Goyoaga, Penny De Los Santos, Beatrice Peltre

We knew Depth of Focus( DOF) , but what was unknown was how the varying DOF can have a varying impact on the image.
Title - Chocolate Chip CupCakes



Next concept that we were told was about Finding the Right Angle & Framing .
Repeately clicked clicked  and I sat to analyze... I was amazed ... Since there was no pressure about clicking for a post , no pressure in food getting cold  - I picked the camera and snapped the camera in all directions.  Absolute satisfaction and some amazing results..

Vertical framing has become soo much a habit , it had become absolutely hard to think about Horizontal framing. I used to find Horizontal framing absolutely abnormal and would never dare to place the subject ( food ) and its components to suit the abnormal way.
But during this exercise and after , I am training myself to make a conscious effort for framing in either ways.. Its working !!
I loved the horizontal framing for this subject . Do you agree with me?



Yet another new concept that was introduced to us was to Create a story line for your image. We all know about cooking your food, placing them in the frame and just shoot. When Neel introduced this theory, I actually rackled my head hard. I knew exactly what goes into my frame , but then this new theory actually got me thinking in terms of story lines . It can be very simple , non fussy but must have a story associated with it.
With just raw vegetables I began to think and drafted a story to associate with it.

1. Tomatoes 
Here goes my story - One summer afternoon, we go Tomato picking and they are indeed red,juicy and lovely. I begin to cut them .


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