The five prettiest Pinterest images making me smile into my screen this summer!
There’s a lot of writing out there on how to begin your own blog and I remember reading some of it before starting out but no number of helpful guides makes the process easier. Still, I thought this was as good an opportunity as any to write down the stuff about blogging I wish someone had told me a couple of years ago:
1. First drafts suck. The first set of photos/ posts you come up with will all suck. So will the second, third and fourth probably. Even the tiniest post on my blog takes much more effort and patience than I imagine it will.
5. The number of numbers can drive any crazy. Between facebook stats/ blogger stats/ instagram likes/ twitter/ pinterest and everything else, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the numbers and data being thrown at you. Make as much sense of it as you can but after a while I’ve learnt to let it go. Sometimes I slave over a post and am really excited about it and the only person who likes it is my mom. Sometimes I put up something random and hordes of people fall over themselves saying it’s amazing. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. I assume it’ll all make sense one day.
9. For those trying to monetize their blogs, congratulations you’ve just signed up for an impossible task. The more ads you put up, the less attractive the blog looks, the less traffic you get. The more sponsored posts you put up, the less genuine the blog looks, the less traffic you get. Basically you need to find a way to make money without your readers finding out you’re trying to make money. Good luck.
13. Read everything you can on what you want to blog about. There’s a lot of faffers out there and your knowledge will set you apart from the lightweights.
14. Ask for favors, for help, for advice, for input, for publicity opportunities. It won’t happen if you don’t ask for it.
15. Be prepared. Carry your camera, notebook, business cards and other tools with you everywhere you go. You never know when inspiration, a potential contact or the opportunity for a great photo-op will show up.
4 tbsp vegetable oilWhole spices
5 brown cardamom (badi elaichi)
7 green cardamom
Atleast 2 inch cinnamon stick
2 onions (sliced finely)
3 tomatoes (pureed)
4 tbsp yoghurt (stirred well)
1 tbsp ginger (paste)
1 tbsp garlic (paste)Powdered Spices
4 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp fennel seeds
3 tsp garam masala
Salt to tasteHandful of cilantro leaves with stalk (chopped for garnish)
I don’t like pizza. It reminds me of days spent in boxy conference rooms discussing shareholders’ agreements or nights when there’s absolutely no other option but to order in. When I moved to Delhi I was shocked to realize so many people close to me, including my brother and father, love that ridiculous flat bread with cheese on top. Since they do I started experimenting with pizzas at home and found that if you’re not making the crust yourself this is possibly the EASIEST food to put together at home. Also the easiest to jazz up.
What you’ll need:
Pizza bases (try whole wheat)
1. Pesto (I used store bought) – you can try the Basil Pesto by Wingreen:
2. Tomato –
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 pack tomato puree
2 -3 tbsp garlic (as much as you like)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 -3 tbsp Oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Be as creative as you like but here are a few options for inspiration –
Mushrooms/ Potatoes/ Capsicum/ Pineapple/ Spinach
Bocconcini/ Cheese (any kind that suits your fancy)
Pepperoni/ Bacon/ Sausage
Basil/ Parsley/ Oregano
If you feel like, put together different themes like Thai, French, Indian by using different ingredients.
2. Spread the pesto/ tomato sauce on the pizza bases, anoint with toppings of your choice. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
3. If you’re making multiple pizzas prep 3 – 4 at one go and pop them into the oven one after the other so you have one coming out every 20 minutes. Don’t bake them all at one go in advance because the pizza will get soggy if you don’t serve it immediately.
I spent an afternoon with my adorable, fourth grader fluff ball cousin recent and was, as usual, amazed by everything she did. She regularly demonstrates more awareness, confidence and wisdom that I only hope for at 27. I guess children are captivating because of the second chance they represent. You can’t help but try to atone for your mistakes by trying to keep them from repeating them. As if dictating their behavior will absolve us of ours.
Perfectly sized for any young cretins in your life, these shrimp sliders were a revelation. They’re adorable, fuss free finger food and the juicy shrimp chunks burst on your tongue with the complementing flavors of garlic and orange. I have to admit these aren’t exactly for a reluctant chef, getting the patties together and keeping them together while frying them was tough. I’m not particularly good at frying things anyway, all the oil and pressure freak me out but if you’re handy with a sauce pan and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, these little shrimp burgers are definitely worth trying.
What you need:
¼ cup red pepper (chopped into little bits)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic paste
1 cup refined flour (maida)
1 orange (zested and juiced)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese Slices (optional)
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Tomatoes (sliced) (optional)
Cucumbers (sliced) (optional)
Did I whimper with pathetic delight when I sank my teeth into my hot fried-chicken sandwich? You betcha.”
― James Patterson
(a) the recipe is remarkably simple,
(b) the dish is a classic I want to learn to make, or
(c) it involves unusual combinations of ingredients.
Just to clarify the ingredients themselves should not be unusual – I hate nothing more than having to forage through grocery stores for a bottle of something or the other which will gather dust and fungusify on my kitchen shelf after I’ve used 1 1/2 tsp for one goddamn recipe. I mean that the mix of ingredients should be unexpected.
Like for this exciting, punchy red pepper dip – it has old bread, it has pomegranate juice and peppers. Whaat?! What will this even taste like?! I get all excited and mad scientist-y about stuff like this. But to get back to the question of what it tastes like, this is a light dip with gentle, sweet tones and an incredible soft heat that follows – very truly an unexpected bouquet of delights. A must try.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
What you’ll need:
2 red peppers
1 cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 pita (torn into chunks)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1. Simmer the pomegranate juice in a pan for about 10 – 15 mins till it’s reduced and much thicker.
2. Throw in all the ingredients (including cooked pomegranate juice) and blend till you have a smooth paste.