100th theme celebration – FoodieMonday Group
100th Theme Celebration
The FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group celebrates its 100th theme this week. Its been a journey where I personally have made some good blogging friends, learnt a lot about other Indian cuisines, oogled at how some of the members style and photograph their dishes, learnt how to be more aware of healthiness in a recipe, how to think out of the box and it also has made me more aware and respectful for the people and families of the armed forces of India. Not only have I learnt new recipes and new cooking techniques but the journey so far has taught me to grow stronger as a person. My journey with the group began on 14/3/2016. I was introduced to the group by a former member Jolly Makkar who blogs at Homemade Recipes.Its through the group I found a distant relative of mine all the way in US, none other Thana former member Rupal Patel who blogs at Good Food Good Mood. I got to know Krithika, Shibani and Nisa also.
Basically the quote below sums up what I felt during this journey so far.
To celebrate the 100th theme, we decided for a change not to cook but to put Our Best together in a collage form. My best if going by food styling and photography would not even meet the mark. It was difficult to choose which recipes to put into the collage. So I decided to share with you some of my best based on various reasons.
Before I go to the various themes please feel free to click on the name of the dish to check out the recipe. The pictures are in the correct order starting from left to right.
My First post for the FoodieMonday/Bloghop group based on the theme Fusion Thandai Recipes
Thandai Kulfi – I remember that when I was thinking what to make for the theme, I was a bit nervous as I was new to the group. My photography was so basic. Photos don’t speak on the tastiness of the dish. However, the friendly group was very welcoming.
Some enjoyable healthy desserts
I love trying to make healthy desserts, considering I have an extra sweet tooth. Healthy desserts doesn’t mean a plateful of fruits. I’ve used fruits to make delicious and yet healthy desserts. Some of my favourite desserts are:
Honeydew Melon Sorbet – Theme – No Cook No Bake. Do you sometimes land up with cantaloupes, musk melons, honeydew melons etc which are not sweet at all? I just cube them and freeze them to prepare a quick healthy sorbet. Add a bit of honey or maple syrup and a cool healthy dessert is ready.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding –Theme – Summer Fruits. Whenever I make this chocolate mousse like dessert, guests don’t believe that it has no fresh cream or gelatin in it and I use honey or maple syrup to make it into a healthy dessert. The mousse like creamy texture comes from avocado.
I love baking and try out different recipes, be it breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, tarts, scones, etc. So I had to include some of the goodies which I had baked for the FoodieMonday/Bloghop themes.
Turkish Kahvalti Buns – Theme- Nigella Seeds. I was really pleased with how soft and flavourful these buns had turned out.Adding mashed potato to bread dough makes it soft and the flavours came from the feta cheese and the nigella seeds.
Gougères – Theme – Cheese. I’d wanted to bake these famous French puff pastries for a long time. When I baked them, Hubby and I actually made a meal out of it. I was elated how soft and perfectly they turned out. This recipe is so special to me as after being in the blogging world for 5 years, its this recipe that brought me recognition as I won my first ever blogging prize from Plattershare for it.
Being a Gujarati I’ve prepared quite a few Gujarati recipes for the FoodieMonday/ Bloghop themes. Some of my favourite are:
Keri Nu Shaak – Theme – Curries. I made this curry for 2 reasons, one was, my daughter loves this mango curry and had requested that I put up the recipe on the blog and secondly its one of my mum’s signature dish. Everyone loved how she prepared this simple test so delicious curry.
Amiri Khaman (Gujarati Sev Khaman) – Theme – Tea Time Savouries. Its when I was photographing this post that my daughter insisted that I think creatively. I begged her to take the photos and she refused telling me that I had to learn by myself. She has been my greatest teacher in the blogging world. And this post I dedicated it to her. And yes she was pretty impressed with the way I had photographed the dish. Not perfect but a good attempt was her comment.
Makai no Chevdo – Theme -Monsoon Madness – I chose to make this snack as tender maize or corn is associated with the Monsoon season in India and the rainy season in Kenya. My kaki (chachi) used to make this often for us during the cold rainy season in Nairobi. Its comfort food for me. Its not a dry preparation but a wet one and why its called chevdo I have no idea !
My most favourite themes since I joined the FoodieMonday/Bloghop group are:
The 99th Theme – Flower Recipes – I baked lemon and lavender scones and absolutely loved the theme.It made me explore the world of cooking with flowers and I chose lavender as its lavender season in Montreal and I also happened to lay my hands on the most fragrant dried lavender buds from the world famous Provence region (known for lavender). The scones turned out as a beautiful amalgamation of two summery flavours…lemon and lavender.
The 76th theme – Colonial Inspired Cuisine – This theme made me search the world wide website for information and it opened up a whole new cuisine and how and why Indian food is what it is today. I enjoyed reading up on how the British Raj influenced cooking in India and how India influenced their cuisine. Most dishes were meat based but I chose to make a vegetarian version of the famous Mulligatawny Soup a soup inspired from the peppery Tamil rasam to suit the palates of the British Officers and the Memsahibs.
Its because of FoodeMonday/Bloghop themes that I got the opportunity to prepare dishes from some of my most favourite chefs.
I made Khamiri Green Peas Puri, a recipe by Tarla Dalal for the theme on Peas. It makes an excellent breakfast treat with some pickles or chutney and hot masala tea.
I also made Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad , a recipe by Yotam Ottolengi for the theme Cookbook Cooking. The recipe is in his book Plenty more. I love how he makes food appear vibrant. This salad is vibrant, healthy and delicious.
FoodieMonday/ Bloghop themes have brought me ‘fame’ in the blogging world. My two highest or most visited FoodieMonday/Bloghop recipes are:
Moong Dal and Spinach Handvo I prepared for the theme Bite Size Food. Till date I’ve got 3137 views for this recipe.
The second highest FoodieMonday/ Bloghop recipe visited is my recipe on Mohanthal for the 50th theme celebration. So far I’ve got 2525 views.
I know that bloggers to go lengths to capture a good photo or even to style. I must admit I’m probably the few bloggers who still uses her iPhone to capture photos. Don’t worry slowly working on going ‘professional’ by learning to use a camera. That’s on my ‘to do list’ in December when I see my daughter next. I’ll use her camera to practise on under her and her friend’s guidance. However, till I do that I must admit I was pretty ‘tickled pink’ when I took the photograph of my Watermelon Bruschetta for the theme on Watermelon. Not only did it appear refreshing but people opposite to our apartment were wondering what I was doing with a plate of food and wine on the balcony floor. I was all red with embarrassment!
To end on a sweet note and celebrate the 100th theme, lets all enjoy a bit of healthy and a bit of a ‘sinful’ treat. Lets round it of with some Chocolate Medallions which I have made for the theme – Dry Fruits.
Congratulations to my fellow Group members Waagmi, Saswati, Kriti, Preethi, Sujata, Alka and Pushpita who had made the journey so far meaningful, fun and educative. Looking forward to some more exciting themes, friendship and experiences as new members Amrita, Veena, Priya Iyer, Poonam, Aruna and Mallika join the group.
The FoodieMonday/Bloghop journey does not end here but we are bringing in some changes.As I mentioned above we have 6 new members, Waagmi created a beautiful new logo and we now have a group Facebook page, again all thanks to Waagmi, the initiator of this wonderful group. Look out for the next post to know what we’re up to.