Finally after the clouds tantalizing us for days, they decided to shower us with some water! And oh what a downpour! I have always loved the smell of freshly wet parched land! And since it started raining a little after I put a fig-date nut torte in the oven, the whole house smelled doubly good. Couldn’t wait for it to bake and have a warm slice with some tea, sitting outside, listening to some good music and enjoying the weather! And that’s exactly what I did!

It was an evening well spent. 🙂

That was day before. Yesterday, too, it rained! Thank god since the heat had been killing me.

Yesterday, was doubly special as I completed 1 year of blogging!

*Celebratory dance*

I would have posted yesterday but the weather was really nice to be sitting in front of the computer. So I chose to enjoy my blogiversary by not blogging!

Yes, I do things differently. Go figure!

Like most food bloggers, I started this blog as a way to document my experiments in the kitchen with a few little snippets from my life thrown here and there.

I got married last year in March and shifted to the US in April, since my husband, V,  works here.

Partly because of the strict visa restrictions but mostly because of the place where we are- its a mining town with only the mine to work at- I could not take on any job, leaving me in a new place- bored most of the day! The blog came to my rescue and kept me busy.

Before marrying, I hardly cooked- never, to be more precise. I did bake occasionally though. So when I started cooking I found posting recipes on my blog as a way to keep track of what I make, serving as a reference when I wanted to make the same thing again. It was also a great way to keep busy and explore my passion for food.

 The blog, of course grew and so did the obsession with it (I would refresh my site page every few minutes on certain days), though now the obsession is more or less tamed. “With age comes maturity. Thank god for that!”

And since I am in the thanking mood, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my blog, leaving me comments here, on my own facebook page- you have no idea how encouraging that is. A special thanks goes to those who painstakingly read most of my entries (and an even bigger one to those who read all)- I don’t know how you take all my rambling, but you should know, it means a lot!

One more thing before I get to the giveaway (sorry if I am testing your patience), here’s a little recap of the last one year- my top ten most viewed entries!

  1. Carrot and Cucumber Paper thin Bowls

2. Mango Kulfi

3. Butter Chicken

4. Vegetarian Samosas

5. Caramelized Onion Tartlets

6. Toasted Coconut Ice cream

7.  Carrot Cake Truffles

8. Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread

9. Zucchini & Coconut Bread

10. Caramelized Pineapples in Malibu Rum

Well, it has been a delicious year!

And, I want to give back to my readers who have made it possible.

As a thank you, I am hosting a giveaway!

The rules are simple, since I have no Facebook page to like, or a twitter account to tweet about!

And there is no compulsion to subscribe to my blog, though if you like what you see, it would really make my day if you do! You see the button saying “Sign me up” on the right just above the button for my foodgawker gallery- that’s what needs to be pressed!

(I’m sorry but I still haven’t figured out the RSS feed thing- you would think with all the time I spend on the computer I would have and a friend actually sending me a link explaining what to do- nah, I still am clueless or well actually, lazy to figure it out!)

Anyway if you want to, you can subscribe to my blog via email.

You will bring a smile to the novice/ “no vice” housewife’s face!

And like they say, a smile goes a long way!

But, no compulsions- I will understand- V will make me understand- not everyone can be interested in what I write and V will make sure I understand that. So no compulsion. I will have no qualms with you if you don’t subscribe. Promise!

As for what you have to do to get a chance to win the giveaway- just leave a comment on this post letting me know if you have tried anything from the site and how was it OR what you would like to try from my site OR something you would like me to try and post about. If this is your first time here, do explore the blog to find out what recipe you are most likely to try! Also, let me know what you would like to see more of on the Novice Housewife!

Simple, right?!

And since this is a self-sponsored giveaway I can only afford shipping to US residents. But, even if you are not from the US and know someone in the US- aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, sister, whoever, that likes baking and would enjoy this book, do leave a comment. In case you win I will be glad to ship it to that person!

Oh, I forgot what I am giving away!

Silly me!

Its Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hand to Yours

I really like this book and have tried the recipes for puff pastry, apple preserve, brioche- all with great success. The tartlet recipe I am posting today is also from this book. Even if you do not win the giveaway (I wish I could give it to as many people but then V would surely disown me) and would like to buy this book, do click on the link shown above to buy. It would be great if you could buy through my reference! A little money does not hurt anyone and I don’t mind the extra, albeit little, cash I can earn to sponsor some of the stuff I buy for the blog. V would be very happy to see me financing my own groceries!

The giveaway will close on August 15 at midnight, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!



Adapted from Sarabeth Bakery: from my hand to yours

Makes two 9-inch tarts or eight 3 3/4 inch tartlets. I got 24 smaller tartlets.

For the filling I used salted caramel frosting in one and lemon cool whip frosting in the other. I also added a little orange zest in the tartlet shells to give the shells an identity of their own. It was very subtle so that it did not interfere with the filling but enough to give the shells some character.

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day, but let stand at room temperature before rolling out as it will be very hard to work fresh from the refrigerator. It can be frozen, double wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 weeks. Defrost in refrigerator overnight.


  • 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into tbsp
  • 6 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, beaten ( I used 2 eggs- worked fine for me!)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • Pinch orange zest


  1. Beat the butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Add sugar and beat, scraping the bowl down occasionally. Beat till light in color and texture.
  3. Gradually add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Fold in flour and salt. Mix just until the dough clumps together.
  5. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times until smooth and supple.
  6. Divide dough in half. Shape each into disk, about 1 inch thick, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  9. On lightly floured surface, roll out each disk 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out 24 3 1/4 inch circles. And line the pan with each dough circle.
  10. Pierce the bottom of each tartlet in a uniform pattern with a fork. Freeze 15 minutes
  11. Line each with a round of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  12. Bake until the pastry is set and dry but not beginning to brown, about 15 min.
  13. Remove parchment paper and weights, and bake until tartlet shells are golden brown, about 10 min more.
  14. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.
  15. Remove from pan and fill once completely cool with filling of your choice.

33 Thoughts on “Celebrating First Blogiversary with tartlets & a Giveaway!

  1. bhinee on 29 July, 2011 at 1:02 pm said:

    Congratulations on your first blogiversary..!! :)..
    I have tried couple of recipes..and i think they are great!!…My all time fav is the “Puff Pastry Dough”

  2. Congrats on your first blogiversary. I so enjoy reading your blog and your photos are stunning. I actually subscribe to your blog via Google reader so not to miss anything. One of these days I am going to try your kulfi, I adore it and have yet to make it. Thank you too for your comments on my blog, they’re always appreciated.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. Apurva on 29 July, 2011 at 11:16 pm said:

    Many many congratulations on your first blogiversary! 🙂 Your blog is on my twice a week check list. Virtually delicious entertainment! 🙂

  4. congrats shumi!!! I closely follow your blog, gives me great tips and ideas! though i dont think i will ever be as great a cook as you have turned out to be!

    Well my fav recipe has been the mango kulfi one. I love the baking recipes you put up. Read the, sigh and think that i can never bake so amazingly 🙂

    on my blog, I am doing a blog marathon. Do let me know if you would be interested in putting up a gues post there?

  5. Congratulations on your 1 year anniverary! I only recently found your blog and am surprised that you are a recent cook. Clearly you are a very talented one!

    Sarabeth’s is a great restaurant…their breakfast is fabulous. I would love to see what great recipes their cookbook has!

  6. Congratulations! I actually just discovered your blog after joining SRC (this month will be my first challenge!) so I’ve yet to make anything from your blog…but you’ve got some great stuff in here 🙂

  7. I would love to try your carrot cake truffles and I love that you turned a disaster into something amazing. The white chocolate covered ones sound so good. I would love to win this cookbook!! You should come and enter my cookbook giveaway!

  8. Julien on 30 July, 2011 at 11:03 pm said:

    Congratulations on making it a whole year!

    I made the clafoutis you described last month, and even the baking brought back fond memories of having it at family events. This college boy is getting a new love for everything culinary… even baking (I actually find the science of it rather intriguing).

    The book would be an awesome tool for me by the way.

  9. Thanks so much for the giveaway. Lofe your puff paste recipe. I use it as a base for many of my experiments,

  10. heyy sweetie congratsssss!!!!! u kno im a lazy cook…so looking forward to visit u soon nd try ur delectable innovations!!!lots of love

  11. Congratulations on your blog! I enjoy cooking thoroughly and will definitely be trying your carrot/zucchini paper-thin bowl recipe!

  12. One year, huh? Awesomeness, Shu! 🙂
    Some day, I will try something from here! Actually, I might try lots! For now, I dream about marrying you, so I won’t need to do it myself 😉
    But I’m seriously impressed, if you’ve managed to get Bhinee into the kitchen too!
    Also, I think you should know, I subscribe via Google AND via WordPress. And, I’ve read ALL your posts ever since I discovered you had a blog. For my unwavering dedication, sincerity and loyalty, I think I deserve a special consignment of these tarts, with lemon cool whip frosting and blueberries, please! Thank you much! Also, would V mind very much if you could hand deliver them? 😀

  13. Pingback: Celebrating First Blogiversary with tartlets & a Giveaway! (via ) « pretty as you please

  14. Louis on 31 July, 2011 at 5:01 pm said:

    I’d like to try the Butter Chicken.

  15. Meryl on 31 July, 2011 at 5:01 pm said:

    The Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake sounds great!

  16. Happy blog anniversary sweetie 🙂 This tart looks so gorgeous and using the muffin pan to do that is brilliant. That book is beautiful and I am sure it has a lot of interesting recipe to try 🙂

  17. Congrats on your blog anniversary!!! And thanks for dropping by my blog.. The tartlets look perfect 🙂

  18. nandeeta on 1 August, 2011 at 11:17 am said:

    congrats! 🙂 love your recipes. i have saved your kulfi recipe to try before the summer gets done. 🙂
    PS – i already subscribe to your blog via RSS! 🙂 it shows up in my google reader every time you post. plus i see it on your facebook page! 😀

  19. salesprinciples on 1 August, 2011 at 11:27 pm said:

    Wow Shalu! I think I’m in shock 🙂 Great to see you cooking up such yummy storms. I love experimenting in the kitchen too.. and will definitely try some of your recipes. The recipes look great, and the photographs make them absolutely compelling! Congrats on completing your first married as well as blogging years. Keep up the great work. Much love, Rev

  20. Meghan on 2 August, 2011 at 9:46 am said:

    I loved your Garlic & Herb rolls. I agree with you that most rolls claiming to have garlic flavor can leave you wanting more. Your rolls were quite tasty, although mine were not quite as pretty as yours. Keep posting about your lovely food!

  21. Jenny on 2 August, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

    Everything on your site looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try the samosas, though – that’s going to be dinner!

  22. I would love to see you post ‘basic’ and beginner Indian dishes that are universally acclaimed (plus anything that you personally love) as I am just beginning to learn how to cook with the wonderful Indian spices and would love some guidance! Keep on posting!

  23. Belated Blog Anniversary wishes Shumaila..sorry for dropping by late..I m midway our vacation & the hotel internet sucks!! I m celebrating with you 🙂 Those tartlets look sooo neat and good.Keep the goodies coming 🙂 Love ..Tanvi

  24. Sukriti swarup on 4 August, 2011 at 8:11 am said:

    Babe awesome work ….count me as your fan…lots of love n a big hug….misss ya

  25. One year YAY!
    Congrats 🙂
    I am not eligable for the giveaway but I wanted to tell you I am already subscribed to your blog..
    I have been meaning to try the edible containers you made ever since I saw them on the forum but now my want to try list is way too long 🙂

  26. Congrats on your blog anniversary! Thanks for visiting my site also.

    Since I’ll be attempting macarons soon, I’ll be trying your macaron cake recipe. 🙂 hopefully I’ll just need to make it once and the next batches turn out better.

    So glad I found your blog on foodgawker. I hate waste and love using up leftover ingredients in baking/cooking also.

    Keep up the good blogging!

  27. krista on 9 August, 2011 at 4:45 pm said:

    I have been meaning to make the pita bread that you posted! I haven’t made any middle eastern dishes in a while though, so I’m still sitting on this one. Congrats!

  28. Those vegetable bowls. Oh my. I must make those soon!

    And happy blogoversary! What a gorgeous site you have.

  29. Michael L. on 12 August, 2011 at 5:38 am said:

    Hi and congratulations! I actually stumbled upon your blog today and have sat for a few hours just trolling through and reading your amusing posts and recipes. I was originally looking for a recipe for mushroom soup. I have come across a few, but your adaptation seems like the one I am going to try, but that will definitely not be the only one.
    Keep up the good work. I for one am hooked.

  30. OTA Mom on 12 August, 2011 at 12:24 pm said:

    Congratulations on making it this far and best wishes for the future. Your photography is great–mouthwatering, in fact, and inspiring me to try things for myself. Those caramelized pineapple slices–OMG!!! 🙂 My suggestion: I have seen on other blogs where the authors post their failures as well as successes, and we can learn just as much from these attempts. I also really like it when bloggers push up their sleeves and compare everyman/Mom’s/Grandma’s recipes with those posted by ~big name~ celebrity bloggers/chefs.

  31. I am happy, you got my blog to cook from and thanks for what you wrote. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the book you are giving away. Every time, I am on Amazon, I go to it to purchase it and then don’t because I don’t want to spend the money. So, I am in on this one.

    I have been looking through your blog and your ten favorites. I must try those carrot cake truffles first, but you have many recipes, I would like to make. I think, I will have to visit you for a week or so to get all the recipes.

  32. Pingback: Apple Pie Tartlets/ Mini Apple Pies «

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