Earlier this week, I attended one of my most favourite events ever. I was invited to a Cook Along evening with Hari Ghotra to learn to make some relatively easy, yet authentic, Indian cuisine. I love Indian food, so of course I jumped at the chance. One of my favourite things about Indian food is its tendency to be naturally gluten free. Often the only chances I get to having something yummy and deep fried is by ordering pakora which is made with gram flour. So learning how to make it myself, from a cooking pro, was very exciting.
Hari is doing a lot of cool things with cooking in the digital space. For one, her website is full of all of her amazing recipes, which you can filter with impressive precision– dietary needs, spice levels, time to cook, stuff to make with kids, etc. She’s also incredibly prolific on YouTube for anyone who might be more of a visual learner or in search of… ahem… some “food porn” if you will.
The night of the Cook Along event, she was trying YouTube’s live streaming service to bring it to wider audiences, which was really interesting and fun. I’ve always wanted to be on a cooking show!
Together our group made four dishes: turkey kebabs, samosa, vegetable pakora and fish cakes with a vermicelli crunch. Of these, the kebabs and pakora are both gluten free and were delicious. I’m hoping to create gluten free versions of the other two in the next few weeks so I can try them as well!
After our starters, Hari took us through how to make a quick lemon rice, which she paired with a chicken dish (perhaps this thari wala chicken?), which was brilliant as well.
We rounded off the evening by just relaxing, chatting and (for others) drinking. The hosts at Jellyfish basically had to kick us out at the end because we didn’t want to leave! I’ve spent every day since then dreaming of the delicious food and planning what to make next.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the gluten free section of Hari’s website!
When I was 18, I got my first tattoo. I was in Katimavik, living with 10 roommates, and a few of us decided to each get one. I used Microsoft Word to pick a font and a little star clip art and that is the story of how the word “dream” became permanently engraved on my wrist. I definitely don’t regret it. In fact, it’s such a part of me now that I do not see it unless I am actively looking for it.
However, my newest tattoo required planning. If you’ve done the math, you’ll know that it’s been 9 years since my last tattoo adventure. This is because I took a long time to come up with something. I designed a few different things that I ended up hating before coming up with this idea:
I wanted to get a tattoo of my dog’s paw print to remember her.
Unfortunately, I lived in the UK and my dog lived in Canada. So with the help of my family, they were able to freak my dog out (sorry, Spice) and eventually get a print of her paw– pads, fur and all.
Then, time passed. And a few weeks ago my favourite little doggy left us. So it was time for some tattoo action.
For various reasons, I did not want to get a big black blob permanently etched into my skin, so I had a play around in Photoshop (a clear upgrade from MS Word) until I settled on a watercolour effect involving my favourite colours and sort of evoking a flame-esque vibe. Then I found an artist, Ollie Pinder, who could bring my vision to life.
And I love it. I really do. It’s so perfect and lovely to be reminded of my best pal. Laying on my bed and looking at it reminds me of all the times I sprawled next to her on the floor and examined the bottoms of her feet. Or all the times I let her inside from the snowy yard and wiped her paws on a towel but she still left little paw prints on the wood floors anyway.
Here is a pic of it freshly done (compared to my Photoshop mockup).
And a little bit closer, a week after (still a bit of healing to go)!
I have a few other ideas for tattoos that I would like… but hopefully it will take me less than a decade to execute them!
The other day I was sad and I went for an epic chocolate shopping spree in Montezuma’s. They had 4 bags of their delicious chocolate buttons for £10. Now that may seem steep, but these chocolate buttons are amazing. They’re… magical even.
I shared the milk and dark chocolate bags I had picked up with my pals at work, but I put away the white ones with a vague plan of using them to make brownies with raspberries and white chocolate on the weekend.
Then I promptly got a cold. And a lot of bad stuff happened in the world. And in my life. It was like the Dementors were all around me. I didn’t really feel like baking.
On Sunday, though, I was feeling my cold start to lift and I decided to cheer myself up a bit. I went to the grocery store to grab some baking ingredients and I found this:
Gluten free brownie mix from Delicious Alchemy!
This is a brand I’ve wanted to try for a while because their name sounds both yummy and mysterious. And they do some interesting sounding products. But I don’t tend to use a lot of mixes because I have always loved to bake, and I like doing it from scratch.
But sometimes you feel down. Sometimes you need a little help. Sometimes you want a little magic.
It was pretty simple. I combined the brownie mix with butter and eggs. Then I threw in a punnet of raspberries. Then I broke the chocolate buttons in half and combined everything.
Soon I had a magical brownie treat to help brighten up my gloomy Sunday evening. And I decided to brighten up Monday morning for my colleagues by bringing in the rest to share!
Definitely impressed with Delicious Alchemy’s mix and I know I will use it again when I want to brew up another quick and easy brownie concoction! Going to be keeping their other mixes on the radar too.
(Er, and, no… this post isn’t a collab with Delicious Alchemy or anyone. I put this many magic references into a post on my own. It’s been that kind of week.)