Friday, August 29, 2008


This was a great forwad I got in my email. apt for my series. right click to get a clear look

This is my third post dedicated to a series on India cooking. This time the focus being on another tasty part of India, and one of my very own favourites- SOUTH INDIA.
before I move on any further with my blog, I would like to make a request to all those who have authentic south Indian recipes posted on their blogs. Kindly create a link to this post, or email me the link to the recipe at
so that all the readers, as well as me, have an opportunity to try out some authentic delicacies. thanks.

The hot, humid and coastal climate of south India, make it suitable for producing lots of vegetables, fruits and rice.The most important fruit being coconut. The Malabar coast is famous for its aromatic spices like cloves, cardamom, black pepper,curry leaves,fenugreek, mustard seeds are some of widely grown and used spices. Its coastal proximity provides a good selection of seafood.

The staple
rice and lentil are the staple foods anywhere in the southern regions. unlike north India where wheat is the staple. nearly all the famous delicacies are made by mixing rice and lentils, in various proportions. meals are made by using locally grown ingredients like coconut, tamarind, red chillies, green chillies.
Due to the extensive growth of various spices, the staple includes a lot of spice mixes or podis.
Kura podi (curry powder),sambhar podi (sambhar powder), paachadi podi (hot chutney powder), to name a few.

another staple, as well as my favourite is the filter coffee of the south called kaapi

The cuisines
When some one mentions south Indian food, what comes to mind is steamed idlis, dosa, sambhar and chutney. But there is a whole lot more to this cuisine than just the usual.
In order to know more, we need to know, what actually makes up SOUTH INDIAN CUISINE.
The south Indian platter is divided into four major tastes,


others include the hyderabadi, manglorian and the syria christian cuisines.
surprisingly the major difference in all these cuisines is the level of spiciness.

A little about each of them
I could have done away with this part, but when I was reading about each of them, and how each cuisine has a subtle uniqueness to it, I thought it to be worth mentioning a little about each one of them.

The food here is like a mixed platter of tastes. Vegetarianism is followed predominately because of the vast majorities of hindus living in the area. however, there are some parts of muslims as well as christians too who eat non-veg food. so one tends to savour the gastronomical selections of both vegetarian and non-vegetarain food.coconut and its products like coconut milk, grated coconut, coconut oil are used in abundance here. lots of plaintain, bitter gourd, ash gourd, colocasia is used in the cooking. fish and spicy fish dishes are a speciality of the syria christian cuisine. some of the most famous kerelite specialities are:

PUTTU (dish made out of rice powder and grated coconut)
APPAM (a fluffy pancake like dish)
STEWS (that are both vegetarian and no-vegetarian)
PAYASAAM (sweet dish)

to name just a few.lots of pickels, and spice mixes along with the famous pappadums are served along with the food.

The cuisine of tamil is more popularly known as the Chettinad cuisine. the people of tamil nadu strongly belive in good hospitality which comes forth by their love for food. Tamil cuisine emphaisis the need to include all the six basic tastes of food, that is sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent and salty. This is pretty evident by the various items that are served on a typical banana leaf. the chettinad cuisine is high in spices, and non-vegetarian dishes. due to the dry climate, dried salted meats, and vegetables are used. lots shrimp, fish, lobster, and prawns are cooked.
here are a few of the all time famous ones.

KARUVADU KOZHUMU (dried preserved fish flavored curry),

This is most mildest of all the cuicsines. The use of red chilli powder is very limited, and the use of plam sugar is in abundance. typically a vegetarain cuisine, ragi is a staple grain that is used here. there is a lot of useful information here about the karnataka cuisine.
The all time famous masala dosa, and medur vada originated in this region.
some of the specialities are

Among sweets, MYSORE PAK,

The most spiciest of all the cuisines. there is an abundance use of chilli powder and tamarind. rice being the stapel, andhara cuisine has a lot of non-vegetarian dishes to offer. with the capital being hyderabad making hyderabadi cuisine one of the most famous cuisines of the region.
Pesarattu is also a key item in Andhra cuisine. It is more similar to Dosa but the batter is made of green mung beans. usually thinner and crispier the taste is unique. the filling is that of with onions, green chillies, ginger pieces and coriander chopped. It is served with Chutney mainly made of ginger.
all time favourites

KODI IGURU( chicken fry),
KODI PULUSU(chicken gravy),
CHEPA PULUSU (fish stew)
PAPPUCHAARU - (Lentil / Redgram based vegetable soup)
PULUSU - A vegetable broth resembling sambar, but very different in preparation and tast

wowow, that is a lot of information. yet I feel there is a lot more to know about this vast region. As I was writting this post, I myslef learnt so many things that I had simply assumed earlier on. As I mentioned earlier, that each part of india is unique, with its very own specialities. I hope I have managed to put some light on the varieties and specialities of yet another colourfull part of india.
again I would like to request all my foodie friends to send me some authentic mother's special recipes of the items I have listed above. It would be great if you could include the region and a little background to it. I will then update this post with all the recipe links. Though there is a lot available online, but there is nothing like good, authentic, individual recipes.
I am looking forward to sharing some great recipes.
Have a great long weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am actually thinking out of the box these days just because I want to send in entries to all the wonderful, innovative events happening around "blogdom", (wowow, I just coined a new word.....)

well making a crumble recipe is not so much thinking out of the box kind of a thing, but then using stuff lying around in the fridge and creating dishes exclusively for events, is sure worth some kudos......just kidding guys, I am just trying to give a decent intro to the stuff I made
I only had a few strawberries and raspberries and a few plums. So I got all the red fruits that I had, and decided to make a crumble. This recipe is going for two events that celebrate colours in food, the first one is to sunshinemom of tongue ticklers for the COLOUR IN FOOD EVENT- RED.

It also goes to the WYF: colour in food, hosted by simple Indian food.

here goes the recipe

You will need
  • 2 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries and strawberries)
  • 3 plums
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam, or any other jam (preferably a berry variety)1/2 tsp cinnamon powder.
for the crumble
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4Th cup slivered almonds
  • 4- 6 tbsp butter
You have to
  1. in an oven proof dish, chop all the fruits.
  2. add cornstarch, jam and cinnamon powder to fruits.
  3. mix well and keep aside
  4. heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit

  5. in a separate bowl, combine together the flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon powder, almonds and the butter.
  6. mix well, till everything is incorporated.
  7. spread it over the fruit mixture.
  8. bake in the preheated oven for 35 mins or till the fruit is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  9. serve warm. with whipped cream or ice cream (I had none!!!!!)

Monday, August 25, 2008


I will just make it on time to post this recipe for a few event, whose deadline is just an hour away.
The first event, that I am sending this to, required us to make something fruity using a fellow blogger recipe. I had mangoes and strawberries lying in my fridge. Curry in kadai's mango,peach and strawberry milkshake- a healthy decadence, was the closest fit.
though I did not use any peaches or nectarines, but the rest of the recipe remains the same.
So this goes to the MBP event fruit fare hosted by aparna of my diverse kitchen,

This recipe is also an entry to Ice creams and Milkshakes hosted by Me and My kitchen.

I am also sending one of my older recipes SIMPLY STRAWBERRIES to this event.

before it gets too late, here is the recipe.

You will need

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 3-4 strawberries
  • 1 glass milk
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
You have to
  1. simply blend all the ingredients together in a blender. pour out in glasses.
  2. chill, or serve immediately.


Friday, August 22, 2008


I need to really thank sia of moonsoon spice to host the JFI-SOY event.
It actually fits perfectly as an ingredient for life. A wonder food, that is an excellent source of healthy nutrition to the body.
Back in India, when I worked as nutritionist, soy was something I prescribed to all my patients.
textured vegetable protein is the most famous form of soy that is available in India, under the brand name of nutrella.
when I came here to the United states, I was in awe to see the different forms of soy foods available. from soft to firm tofu, from soy flour to garden burgers, from flavoured soy milk to soy ice creams, it was tasty to go all soy.

my husband is a vegetarian, so for me to give him his daily protein I thought I had a lot of choices. but alas....husbands are like fussy kids. You have to keep trying out different forms of the same thing. he loves tofu and the soy patties that we get for burgers. that's about it.
the textured soy, he is not a great fan of.
a few days back we went to whole foods and picked up lemon herbed soy kebabs. they are available under the brand of "yves". My husband was open to the idea of trying it out. but once again, all in vain. he did not like the taste. so I had to come up with something that satisfied his palate. I thought let me make like a tawa fry with bell peppers and onions. something like tandoori shimla mirchi chicken but with soy.
It actually tasted lot better, and the addition of veggies gave it a good crunch with lots of flavour.

here is the recipe. and off it goes for the JFI-soy event.

You will need

  • soy chunks (you can use nutrella, or the store bought soy kebabs)
  • tomato-1
  • onion-1
  • green bell peppers-1 big
  • ginger and chilly paste- 1 tsp
  • red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
  • garam masala-1 /2 tsp
  • tandoori masala- 1 tsp
  • chaat masala- 1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • oil- 1 tbsp

You will have to

  1. heat oil in a pan. saute the chopped onions, along with the ginger chilly paste.
  2. add the tomatoes and saute. add the chopped bell peppers. add salt. cover and cook for a few minutes.
  3. now add the soy chunks. along with all the spices. mix up everything . let it cook on high flame for a few minutes. scrape all the masala from the sides of the pan.
  4. empty out in a plate. serve hot. you can add a few drops of lemon juice too.

NOTE:you can make this with soy chunks too. just soak them in hot water half an hour before. the same can be made with tofu too.

have a great weekend

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Its a week already since my introduction to Indian cooking. With constructive responses from fellow blogger, I was happy to know that there are a lot of folks who would love to know more about Indian cooking. Well I hope, I can provide all the readers with as much good stuff as possible.

"variety is the spice of life" is personified by the cuisines India. with so many different regional cuisines, the food varies not only in taste, but in the method of cooking, the use of authentic cookware, dominant ingredients, way of eating the food and the use of typical spices.

If I were to delve into all the regions of India and their speciality cooking, I would probably have to dedicate an entire blog to that and not just a weekly series.

The regional food scene in India is divided into four major categories.
  • North
  • South
  • East and West
with further divisions among them.


North indian cuisine is made up of cuisines of punjab,kashmir, rajhasthan, himachal, delhi and uttar pradesh
This cuisine is the most popular cuisine of India not only in India outside India too.
the mouth watering chicken butter masala, the tandoori chicken, the naans, that one gets to savour in any of the popular Indian restaurants, outside India, are just a portion of the plate.


the dry, arid and cool climate of the north makes it ideal for growing wheat. which is the staple food in the form of chapatis, or "rotis", naans, puris (thin discs of rolled out dough that is deep fried).

stuffed paranthas, a kind of flat bread, are a staple for breakfast all over north india. the stuffing is done with spiced potatoes,cauliflower, radish, or onions and then the rolled out parantha is

cooked over a hot griddle or "tawa"

The use of dairy and dairy products are very prevalent in northern cuisine.
paneer or the indian cheese, ghee or clarified butter, milk and yogurt are used in abundance all over nothern india.
lentils or 'dal" as they are called is the basis of a complete meal.
chicken and lamb are eaten the most. fish is not a staple of this region.
for more on the main dishes of all the various north indian regions click here


the main influence in the northern part of India was that of the Moguls. not only is the influence seen in art and architecture, it is also seen in the food. their cuisine saw a use of nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew to make gravies. they introduced Indians to the process of cooking over charcoal on "dum" or steam. the process involved mixing the meat, or rice with all the spices and letting it cook slowly in a clay pot over charcoal. the sides of the pot was then sealed with dough, so that none of the flavours escaped.
till date authentic mughlai delicacies are cooked in this way.
the Mogul influence is felt in the cuisines of extreme northern regions like Kashmir, which is famous for its 24 course banquet called the wazwan. I wonder how long would that take to eat!!!!
the all time famous kabobs are yet another speciality of the region. minced meat mixed with spices like cardamom and nutmeg, cooked to melt in your mouth perfection.
Biryani is yet another speciality bought to us by the Moguls.

snack items include samosa, which is a flour dough, shaped in a triangle and filled with minced meat, vegetables, potatoes or paneer and then deep fried. pakodas or gram flour batter mixed with spices and then fried are also very famous.
sweets often make use of ghee or clarified butter as the cooking medium. these include "halwa" . this means a mixture made out of sugar and butter along with some nuts. the most famous being "gajar ka halwa" or carrot halwa.
other sweets that are a speciality of the region are "koolfi" a milk based frozen dessert.
"jalebi"spiral rings of fried and flavoured dough dipped in sugar syrup.

Initially when I started to write this post, I had thought that I would cover a little about all the regions. But as I went on to write, I realised that , that was not going to happen. With so much to talk about each and every region, how could I cover everything in just one post. so I thought about doing them all separately. I would love to hear more comments and feed backs. And all those who have tried out any north Indian speciality, I would love to add those recipes here.
some of the all the time famous north Indian recipes that I have prepared so far

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


After nearly four years, my brother and I were together for rakhi. he came here to the US, in march for his studies. We could meet, cause he is in Los Angeles, and I am in San Diego. both of these are just two hours apart.
So, it was really special. Had a good lunch of dal makhani and mutter paneer. went out to the beach later in the evening and caught up a movie. it was nice.
I thought it would be a good idea to send in these recipes to the Festive Food Event, Rakhi – Thread of Love, hosted by preeti and purva


You need
  • black dal- 1/2 cup
  • rajhma (kidney beans)- 1/2 cup
  • garlic pods- 3
  • ginger and chilly paste- 1 tsp
  • onions finely chopped- 1 big
  • tomato chopped- 1 big
  • tomato puree- 1/4th cup
  • garam masala- 1 tsp
  • red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
  • rajhma masala (optional)- 1 tsp
  • salt- to taste
  • jeera dhania powder- 1/2 tsp
  • ghee or butter- 2 tbsp.
  • cream-1/2 cup

You will have to

  1. Soak the black dal and the rajhma together for at least 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. rinse the dals, and pressure cook it with the garlic pods for 2 whistles.
  3. in a kadai, heat ghee or butter.
  4. add the ginger chilly paste, along with the onions. saute till onions turn brown.
  5. add the shopped tomato and the puree. saute again.
  6. now add all the spices and cook everything till the oil begins to separate out.
  7. add the pressure cooked dal to this along with some water.
  8. cover and cook till the dal begins to thicken.
  9. add the cream and let it simmer for a few minutes. check for salt.
  10. serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

You will need
  • frozen or fresh peas- 2 cups
  • paneer- 1 lb cut into squares
  • tomato chopped- 1
  • onion chopped- 1
  • tomato sauce- 1 tbsp
  • ginger chilly paste- 1 tsp
  • salt- to taste
  • oil-1 tbsp
  • turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
  • garam masala- 1 tsp

You will have to

  1. in a pan heat oil.
  2. saute the ginger chilly paste and then the chopped onions. brown the onions.
  3. add the chopped tomatoes. saute
  4. add the peas along with all the spices and the tomato sauce. let all this cook till the oil begins to separate.
  5. add all the paneer pieces with little water. cover and cook till peas soften.
  6. serve hot with with tandoori roti.
I am also sending this to srivalli's curry mela.

will be continuing my series on indian cooking tomorrow
till then
enjoy and happy eating

Friday, August 15, 2008


Going to Costco (a huge wholesale market, here in the US), and picking up food items, means one has to get use to seeing those items in fridge or on the shelves for quite sometim before they actually get over.The last time we went to Costco, my husband picked up a two pack seven cheese tortellini pasta. Though I froze it the same day, thinking of different ways to make it is pretty challenging.

The last time I made some minestrone soup. Again last night for dinner I ended up making soup, but quite a different one, with some blue cheese (as that was in my fridge too, and I had to use it up!!!!).

It turned out to be pretty hearty and wholesome.Made some garlic bread with five cheese assiago bread I had picked up from the farmers market.

Right on time, I thought, to send it to dk of culinary bazzar for the event, A.W.E.D Italliano.

here is the recipe

You will need
  • tortellini pasta (or any other pasta)- 1 cup
  • blue cheese- 1/ cup
  • all purpose flour- 2 tbsp
  • butter- 2 tbsp
  • carrot-1 (cubed)
  • beans- 4-5 (chopped)
  • peas and corn- around a cup
  • vegetable soup broth- 2-3 cups
  • dried basil-1/2 tsp
  • oregano-1/2 tsp
  • red chilly flakes- 1/4th tsp
  • salt and pepper- to taste
  • cream- 1/2 cup

You have to
  1. boil the vegetables.
  2. boil the pasta. reserve the water, do not throw it.
  3. in a pan, melt butter and add the flour to it. cook for 5- 10 mins, till the flour begins to cook.
  4. add the pasta water slowly mixing it. make sure no lumps are formed.
  5. add the boiled vegetables along with all the seasoning
  6. add enough vegetable stock and let it cook on low.
  7. now add the blue cheese,mix.
  8. add the cream and taste for seasoning. adjust if required. add the pasta and mix everything nicely.
  9. let the soup come to a boil and let it thicken a bit.
  10. empty out in bowl and serve with garlic bread.

this soup tends to thicken as the pasta keeps absorbing the soup. so you might want to add the pasta only a few minutes before serving.

for the garlic bread

You will need
  • butter- 1/2 cup
  • minced garlic- 1 tbsp
  • cilantro (chopped)- 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan cheese- 1/2 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • bread- 3-5 slices.
You have to
  1. mix all the ingredients except the bread.
  2. heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. spread mixture on top of bread, and bake in the oven till crispy.
  3. try to use some nice bread like french baguette, etc. it tastes really good

Now for a thank you note to sangeeth of art of cooking and srimathi of few minute wonders to pass on these awards to me. It means a lot to know that people are reading and liking what I write. its truly encouraging.

sangeeth also forwaded the brilliant weblog primo to me too. thanks a ton sangeeth.

I would like to pass these to

renuka of fusion
shilpa of ayis's recipes
jai bee of jugalbandi
sowmya of creative saga

enjoy guys
and a happy independence day to all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RANG DE BASANTI- bengali sandesh

India completes 61 years of independence on Friday the 15Th of august. The title of my blog post is a title of a very old Indian patriotic movie. It simply translates to colour me saffron.
The tricoloured Indian flag comprises of saffron, white and green with a blue wheel of twenty four spokes in the center of the white band.
Saffron being the colour of patriotism, courage and sacrifice.
The white represents peace, purity and truth. The green represents prosperity, faith and fertility.
The blue wheel in the center of the of the white band represents the "dharam chakra"or duty.

well this is not a history post,but just a little somthing about the most important colours for Indians. And offcourse, I thought it would be a good way to introduce the sweet dish I made for pooja's event, saffron white and green.

I made a bengali sweet dish "sandesh". made with chena. hope you all like it. and hope the colours of independence bring sunshine and happiness in all our lives.
here is the recipe

You will need

  • milk- 1/2 gallon
  • lime juice- of one lemon
  • sugar- 5 tbsp
  • cardamon powder- 1 tsp
  • ground pistachios- 1 tbsp
  • soaked saffron- 1 tsp, a few more strands for decoration
  • food colour- red and yellow (to make orange), and green
You have to
  1. boil milk. turn of the heat and add the lime juice.
  2. wait for it to curdle. strain.
  3. take the "chena" or cheese, add sugar to it and mash it till no lumps remain and it becomes smooth.
  4. add the cardamon powder, the pistachios and the saffron.
  5. mix and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. take it out and divide into three parts.
  7. leave one part white.
  8. to one part add the green colour. to the other part add the orange colour.
  9. mix.
  10. shape into any shapes. round is the easiest. sprinkle a few strands of saffron and some cardamom and pistachio.
  11. chill in the refrigerator till set.

happy independence day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Isn't that a cool blog title? thanks to chefectomy. He left me a comment on Foodbuzz, appreciating my blog and giving me this brilliant idea of writing about Indian food for all the no-Indian food lovers.
That was a real cool suggestion. I started to think as to how I should go about doing this in order to provide all the readers with helpful information, tips, suggestion and some easy recipes. I decided that I would do a series of blogs dedicated wholly to Indian cooking and to all its aspects.

And indeed there isn't a better time than now, as India completes sixty one years of independence on the 15Th of august.

Starting today, every once a week I would post a blog dedicated to this topic. I would love to hear comments, views, ideas from all my readers so that I am able to make this an informative post series.

India is a very vibrant land, filled with diverse cultures, languages, regions and offcourse with diverse flavours. Each part of india showcases a different connection with its food.
For indians food is an important entity, that is beautifully interwoven into our religion, our society, our culture and our daily livelihood.
The cuisines of india vary from one region to the other depending on its ethnicity. Where on one hand people follow complete vegetarianism, on the other hand non-veg foods are an integral part of all family gatherings.
The use of different herbs and spices gives each cuisine of india a unique flavour and identity. From cookware to cooking techniques it differs region to region.

Indian cuisine was greatly influenced by those who came to rule it. The kings, the Moguls and the British, each one bought something unique to the plate that stayed on to become a part of its unique flavours. Religious practises like Jainism and Buddhism gave way to vegetarianism.
Trading bought in a variety of spices, nuts and fruits. And as a result Indian cuisine nurtured itself to one of the most varied and diverse cuisines of the world.

Next week

regional foods of India

happy eating

Monday, August 11, 2008


Its already Monday, I am already a week behind for posting my menu for last week. So i decided instead of posting the entire menu for last week, I would rather just post some of the recipes that I had made.
this one is going for Srivalli's curry mela.

the use of kasoori meethi (dried fenugreek leaves), gives it that typical Indian "dhaba" flavour. tastes great with tandoori roti, naans and paranthas.

here goes the recipe

You will need
  • chickpeas (boiled, or tinned)- 1 cup
  • onions (finely chopped)-1
  • tomatoes (chopped)- 1
  • chilly ginger paste- 1 tbsp
  • bay leaves (tej patta)- 1-2
  • cumin seeds (jeera)- 1/2 tsp
  • kasoori meethi- 1 cup
  • red chilly powder- 1 tsp
  • turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • garam masala-1 tsp
  • chana masala- 2 tsp
  • dried mango powder (amchoor powder)- 1/2 tsp
  • salt- to taste
  • oil- 1 tbsp

You have to
  1. heat oil in a pan.
  2. soak the kasoori meethi in water.
  3. add the cumin seeds, along with the bay leaves.
  4. as the seeds begin to brown, add the ginger chilly paste
  5. saute, and add the onions. cook till the onions brown.
  6. add the chopped tomatoes. cook till the tomatoes become pulpy.
  7. add the salt, red chilly powder, armchoor powder and turmeric powder.
  8. saute this mixture till the oil begins to separate.
  9. mash a couple of tablespoons of the boiled chickpeas.
  10. add the boiled chickpeas (or the tinned garbanzo beans), along with the mashed chickpeas.
  11. add around two cups of water, cover and cook.
  12. cook for 10-15 mins, or till the gravy begins to thicken.
  13. add the garam masala and the chana masala.
  14. drain the kasoori meethi and add it to the chana.
  15. mix everything well and check for seasoning.
  16. serve garnished with corainder with paranthas or naans.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Each time I go travelling, there are two things that are a must. first I have to get some food item that is authentic to the place I am visiting and off course fridge magnets. the the food item bit doesn't always work out, but the magnets, they always do.
when I came to US, I never knew I would get into this magnet frenzy, but then it just happened. right now I have close to 31 fridge magnets and still going strong. I was actually surprised to see an entire event dedicated to FRIDGE MAGNETS. I was beginning to feel that my collection would never come to notice...............hahaha, just joking.
Thanks Veda of Iyengar's kitchen to host the event:fridge magnet collections. This is my entry to the event.

my magnet collection
this is my favourite........

all the national parks visited so far

my little piggy banks..

this is something I keep reminding my husband about......hehehehehhe

Hope you'll enjoyed my collection

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Its almost a week since my last post. Really don't know what kept me so busy. I did spend my usual time at the computer, somehow never got to sit peacefully and update my blog.
Though this is a little late to post what I did the past Saturday, however its better late than never right?
It was a day spent with a few friends at the DEL MAR race grounds. The races start sometime mid July and go on till the labour day weekend. Its actually so much fun. they give out it freebies every weekend, its food, fun and lots of horses.........(well that is obvious, its the races!!).

we first decided to have brunch at a local french bakery in Del mar called the champagne bakery.
I love the idea of bakeries. Small cozy hang out places. with all the baking happening on site.
apt for hanging out with friends for a nice weekend brunch and that is exactly what we were doing.
The menu is simple,with a good choice of soups, salads, authentic french crepes,Panini and flat breads. for those who eat non-veg there are quite a few options (I do, but I decided to eat vegetarian that day). My friend and I ordered the Artichoke & Roasted Veggie Crepes. our better halves ordered two different varieties of flat breads. the Five Fromages Flat bread and the Pesto-Tomato Flat bread. While we waited for our orders, I checked out the display of cakes, pastries and breads.

Its so fascinating to see these little creations lined up beautifully, gleaming at us, tantalizing our taste buds. we decided to order a Cappuccino Mousse pastry after our brunch.

As our orders were placed on the table, we couldn't help but notice the portion size. unlike any other American breakfast place that serves up humongous portions of food, this one was pretty small, normal I should say. Just the right amount of food, keeping that little appetite for a coffee and a dessert.

I loved the crepes. they were light and soft. the hint of sweetness with the roasted veggies and the melted cheese gave it a really smooth taste. the flat breads were served with a tomato sauce. the crust was nice and thin (off course it was a flat bread after all). maybe the addition of a little veggies would give it a little more bite.
Five Fromages Flat bread and Pesto-Tomato Flat bread

And lastly the dessert. that was awesome. the cake was soaked in cappuccino, just the right amount, not at all overpowering. moist with the right amount of sweetness. we were four of us who shared it but trust me, I can have the whole thing all by myself.
Cappuccino Mousse pastry,second from left

I would love to try out all the other items on their dessert menu.
we hit the races after that, just on time to collect our free beach towels. though we did not bet big, but it was fun cheering the horses that we bet for and being a part of all the fun and frolic.

overall a great Saturday with friends.