Tag Archives: wanderlust

I Dream of Nutella

There are numerous subjects I could blog about today. Should I talk about the wanderlust induced by reading Dan Brown’s Inferno, which frustratingly (for a thriller), I can read only few pages of, before I get thoroughly bored. How, during impressionable teenage, I read Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy and started building my bucket list. Or should I talk to you about more earthly matters such as my expertly curated list of the best nacho recipes, involving tater tots, grilled zucchini, roasted tomato salsa, pressure cooked refried beans, and a creamy cheesy yoghurt dip to bind it all together into a bite of heaven? Or I could tell you about the orange chocolate cake baked two weekends in a row and that practice does make perfect but does not care of zested but whole oranges which take over all the fridge space. Or we could talk about my shocking discovery of the number of calories in a pint of beer which takes me 10 minutes to drink but 20 minutes on the treadmill to burn, which in turn has led me to intensely dislike the people who invented calories and math.

All of it – my love for travel, nachos, orange-chocolate, beer – pales in comparison when stacked against my one true and forever soul-mate *drumroll* Nutella. God made those people who invented calories, and then as repentance created Nutella. You can feel the love in every ooh-and-aah creating spoonful. We can continue to be friends if you don’t like little puppies and kittens, even if you don’t care for watching cooking shows ad-nauseum. But if you don’t intensely love Nutella, am afraid, we’ll have to have a ‘conversation’ followed by an unfriend request. We don’t have anything in common, in fact we don’t even orbit the same sun. Go away.

Nutella Mascarpone Cheesecake
Nutella Mascarpone Cheesecake

If you are still here, you would know that the world celebrated World Nutella Day this week. In fact, since serendipity has such a crucial role to play in soul-mates meeting, it is no co-incidence that I rediscovered Nutella in a department store aisle exactly on Feb 5, four years ago – making it our anniversary day. The rest, as they say, is history. We have not looked back since.

As a reminder of the good times, dug into my archives, to share this Nutella Mascarpone Cheesecake with you. A simple chocolate biscuit base, topped with whipped mascarpone and Nutella. Hits the spot like nothing else does. If you are feeling ambitious, you can always make your own chocolate wafers – a dozen times better the store-bought version.

Don’t have Mascarpone at hand? Don’t possess a regular oven? Fear not, for you have this four-ingredient Nutella Mug Cake, ready in exactly five minutes, from conceptualization to paradise.

Don’t have Nutella at home?! Remind me again, why are we friends?

I was forced to let the anniversary pass by this year, unmarked. To make up, I plan to spend some quality time with the Nutella jar this evening. What did you do to celebrate? If you missed it, please join me this evening. I’ll get the mugs ready.

Mid-week Wanderlust and Daydreams

Some mid-week serendipitous resonance earned me a few moments of day-dreaming, and you a bonus blog post.

I got off early from work, and instead of scurrying back home, I stopped at a neighborhood café (which you must check out if you live/visit Bangalore, for its quaint charm and cream of mushroom soup!). Ordered myself some soup and presently there was the aroma of sizzling garlic, which can warm even the coldest day. And this is how it came to pass, that I found myself, in an island of calm, in a busy city in the middle of the week, reading Bill Bryson’s “Neither Here Nor There” and day dreaming of the Northern Lights.

“I had an itch to roam.
I wanted to wander through Europe, to see movie posters for films that would never come to (my country), gaze wonderingly at billboards and shop notices full of exotic umlauts and cedillas and No Parking sign O’s, hear pop songs that could not by even the most charitable stretch of the imagination be a hit in any country but their own, encounter people whose lives would never again intersect with mine, be hopelessly unfamiliar with everything, from the workings of a phone box to the identity of a foodstuff. I wanted to be puzzled and charmed, to experience the endless, beguiling variety of a continent where you can board a train and an hour later be somewhere where the inhabitants speak a different language, eat different foods, work different hours, live lives that are at once so different and yet so oddly similar.
I wanted to be a tourist.”

On wanting to share the extract with you, I stumbled across the Homesick Wanderlust blog, proving yet again, that technology like the internet can unite, more than it can divide.

Apart from listening for resonance, eating better is a part of my ‘go slow’ new-year resolution. Hence, sharing with you the recipe for a whole-wheat carrot cake, baked a couple of weeks back, to make the most of the seasonal ‘spindly red carrots’ (duly inspired).

IMG_20150110_172525349Grease a nine inch baking pan, and get some buttermilk going by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to about 3/8 cup of whole milk. Grate 1 ½ cup of carrot. Whisk together a cup of whole wheat flour, about a teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, and some cinnamon powder and nutmeg (1 combined teaspoon). Using your stand/electric mixer, whip together 2 small eggs and ¾ cup of Demerara sugar. Add the buttermilk and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Fold the dry and wet and add the carrots. Sprinkle on some optional almond. Bake for 30 minutes and check for done-ness.

Easy, right? We will not mention the spring-form tin which I failed to fit properly, resulting in carrot cake batter oozing across my kitchen counter. Not when we are thinking positive thoughts.

A good book to read, a café to eat at, a blog to visit, a cake to bake, and inspiration to day dream – now that you have several choices, what is it going to be? Am returning to Paris, where I left Bill attempting to navigate the traffic.