Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

formerly Ladles and High Heels


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For the Love of Baking

I admit it. I am a compulsive baker. I love my ancient yet awesome oven and all the scintillating smells it can create when I am in the mood for it. When I first moved here, new to the country and my home, I took an oath: I will venture anywhere in this new land but I will never dare to open my oven to cook food. A few of my friends use it as a storage space of sorts and I actually thought it was a novel idea. Thank god I changed my mind!

Hours of watching Food Network and Cooking Channel actually made me curious about the forbidden territory that lay behind the dark door under my stove. For some reason, I hadn’t found the heart to stack my pots there so it lay hollow, like an empty cave. During one of our grocery escapades a month after the relocation, I found a packet of Betty Crocker’s SuperMoist cake mix on sale and decided to grab it.

Since then, it has been a journey for me. I read up some oven tactics on the internet and the Food Network website has always been a guide to me. My culinary gurus, Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis have never given up on mentoring me (of course, they would be surprised to know that!) For a haphazard cook like me,  I have had it pretty easy so far. First of all, I took Ina’s advice seriously.  Quantity is really the key to baking. Hence, I decided to move up a step by abandoning my faithful little coffee cup measuring device (I know Rachael Ray did). Lucky for me, I found an inexpensive plastic set at a local store. I didn’t want to give up baking but I was not very keen on taking giant steps either.

Oh, I remember the day so well! To celebrate my black cups, I made biscuits. Apart from a charred stray that set off the fire alarm, the rest of it was crisp, delicate and wonderful. So I have moved a few phases. Right now, I have a well stocked baking pantry and a couple of basic baking pans. I have a whisk that I use to mix pretty much everything. So in case, if you are planning to start baking after this “inspirational” blog, here is a small list of things you need in your kitchen:

Oven mits (keep those hands safe!)

Measuring cups (very very VERY important!)

Couple of basic baking sheets

Aluminum foil sheets

Tongs

Whisk (for desserts in which you use dry and wet ingredients)

Baking soda

Baking powder

Vanilla essence

All-purpose flour (Maida)

Sugar

Butter

Eggs

Of course, I am still a beginner and making scones or croissants is a pretty far away dream to me. But I am hoping to get there. There are so many awesome bakers in this country so I am hoping that being in their radius will rub some of their goodness on me. Anyway, I’ll post a couple of my favorite recipes the next time. They are easy and delicious. Until then, look for a packet of Betty Crocker, Pillsbury or Cadbury cake mix in your local store and have fun. May the baking begin!

Ps: People in India can use the perfectly beautiful alternative for the oven there: the OTG. I bought one for my mother from Vivek’s (this is not the exact one but the closest one I could find) and it is amazing!

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What SATC taught us… a girl fights to defend:

Yeah yeah, I’ve heard it a million times from men specifically. Watching Carrie and her friends on Sex and the City is mind numbing. I’ve even heard ridiculous declarations like the show is actually soft porn for women. Guys, open your eyes and admit. You have no clue why we watch it. To you, the dialogues and those (rare) sex scenes spell kinky but we seldom get our jollies from the show. I could argue, you could roll your eyes and give me that sarcastic smile so let me cut to the chase and put our reasons for loving the show down in points.

1. You meet a lot of shmucks: wrong men, stupid men, chauvinistic men. The road is a therapy, you learn your lessons, make more mistakes and move the hell on. This is why we cry every time Carrie breaks up with Big and when Samantha said good-bye to Richard.

2. Chicks before d!@#$: yes, this is the retort for your crazy “Bros before hoes”. We women don’t consider every other member of our sex a threat, as is the belief. We fall back on each other like Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha do and befriend a random stranger in the restroom.

3. We are always on the search: call us desperate but take a look at the mirror first. Love is ultimately what we need. The column Sex and the City is exactly about that. We may be from a traditional or a fast-forward country and our tactics may vary but we are constantly looking for love. It took Miranda five years to realize she is in love with Steve, it may take us a gazillion more but we will reach there.

4. New York, New York: the city holds our hearts. NYC, when we refer to it, may not mean that city by Hudson but the city we grew up in. Whatever it is, we are city girls. Nothing, not even a bare-chested Ryan Raynolds, can lure us away from it.

5. We heart shoes: no matter what, we strongly believe that a brisk walk to our favorite shoe store can cure even the most monstrous pitfalls. Remember how Charlotte had to literally go into therapy after befriending that shoe store guy? Hey, bankruptcy didn’t cure us, I don’t think you staring at our shoe closet with a stern headmaster frown will.