Orange and blueberry layer cake made for my grandfather’s 90th birthday!

Orange and Blueberry Cake

Yesterday was my grandfather’s 90th birthday. Although his birthday was yesterday, we had a big celebration where we invited friends and relatives on Sunday. Unfortunately, since I was busy with client work and a surprise video for him, I couldn’t make the cake for his 90th birthday celebration, but I did make this orange and blueberry cake for his actual birthday on the 6th.

There’s a lot to say about my grandfather, but one thing that always impresses me, besides his memory of past events, is his meticulous documentation.We wanted to surprise my grandfather with a short video showing glimpses of his life in pictures. Thanks to my grandfather’s perfect documentation skills, my mom and I were able to easily place his life history in pictures. It was fun going through his pictures, and in the process getting to know more about his life.

I thought I will share the video here on the blog, if any of you like going through old pictures. The pictures date back till 1930s (my grandfather was born in 1927) and document his life through the years.

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A super rich and moist almond flavored cake. This almond cake is perfect with a dusting of powdered sugar and slivered almonds to serve to your guests or have as a tea time treat.

A moist and delicious almond cakeA moist and delicious almond flavored cake

Last month was super busy, and even though I did complain about it when things were crazy busy and I had no time to myself, I am trying my best not to complain too much lest I jinx it. As a freelancer, you never want to complain about busy schedules. Since you work on project to project basis, you never know when your next project will be. So if I am busy, it’s good.

Only bad part is that this space gets neglected. As much as I would have liked to fit blogging in, when I was not busy shooting, I was busy editing, and there is only so much screen time I can take. As a result, blogging was put on hold. But I am here today to share the recipe for this almond cake.

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Perfectly grilled chicken tossed with tricolor spirali makes a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

I have professed my love for pasta salads on the blog before. I do love pasta salads, and love playing with variations. This one is a simple, easy weeknight pasta salad with grilled chicken.

The problem with grilling/cooking boneless chicken breasts is that it can easily become dry if you don’t pay attention. Since chicken breasts are uneven some parts cook faster than the middle, and as a result while you wait for the middle to cook, the other part of the chicken becomes dry and chewy. Pounding the chicken helps in solving this problem. The chicken is cooked evenly and it cooks faster. Thin breasts also mean more moist breasts. (That doesn’t sound right, does it?!) But it is true. Since cooking time is less, the result are juicy, moist chicken breasts.

Mix the perfectly grilled chicken breasts with some pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, onion and drizzle a light Italian dressing and delicious light dinner is ready.  I have used tricolor spirali here, but you could sub with penne or regular spiral pasta as well.

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

My photography work has been keeping me very busy the past few weeks. Recipes are piling up, with no time to post them on the blog. I am very happy that I am busy and honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. I am getting to meet people from so many different fields, and while not all projects pay as much as I would like them to, I am pretty happy with the kind of work I am getting and the people I get to work with.

While its good to be busy, I would love to go on a vacation. A vacation with no mobiles, laptops- basically no touch with the outside world and no technology.

I have never traveled to a new place completely alone, and its something that I keep going back and forth in mind whether I can do it or not. Have you traveled alone? What has your experience been? Where did you go, and would you do it again? Would love to know your thoughts. And in the meantime, if you do get to try this salad out, please let me know how it goes. You can tag me on facebook, instagram or leave a comment here.


Grilled Chicken pasta salad

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Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
Perfectly grilled chicken tossed with tricolor spirali makes a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.
Recipe type: Dinner, salad
Serves: 2
For the salad:
  • • 150 gms Tricolor Spirali
  • • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
For the marination:
  • • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • • salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
  • • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  1. Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper till they are an even ½ inch thick.
  2. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, dried Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Heat grilling pan, and lightly grease. Place chicken breasts on the pan and grill per side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once fully cooked, remove chicken from pan, and slice it into bite sized pieces.
  5. While chicken is cooking, boil some water with salt in a pot. Cook the tricolor spirali, according to packet instructions till al dente. Drain the pasta, and toss in some olive oil.
  6. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Toss in the pasta, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and red onions. Check for seasoning.


Grilled Chicken pasta salad