Wishing all the readers of The Novice Housewife a very happy New Year and lots and lots of good food like this stuffed mushroom and spinach braided bread.
2014 was not too great blogging wise. I did not post as often as I would have liked to. I wasn’t even able to visit my favorite blogs and see what my favorite bloggers were up to. I got 52 posts up which if you aggregate means one post per week, but in reality it was only the first half where I was active and the past few months hardly saw this space getting much action- maybe one post a month. In 2015, I want to change that.
A lot of new exciting things happened in 2014. It was a period of a lot of stress as well. A lot of decisions were taken, changed, re-taken and then stuck to, with a lot of apprehension. One of the biggest change was The Pink Cakebox (only after coming up with the name did I realize there was already a pretty famous pink cake box in US, which is pretty stupid on my part since being obsessed with cakes I should have known. But I went ahead with it nonetheless, since I couldn’t turn back- mine has THE and its in India so I am hoping nobody gets confused. Yikes!) More about TPC (The Pink Cakebox) in another post because I think it deserves a lot of of explaining to do. But yes 2014 was the year it came to existence (a dream five year in the making). You can keep up to date with that chapter by liking its facebook page or following me on TPC’s instagram.
That’s essentially was (and still is) what kept me busy most of 2014.
This new venture also introduced me to new people- and I realized complete strangers can be so helpful. The experience made me wiser, at the same time made me doubt myself on multiple occasions. But slowly I am gaining confidence and growing and learning with each order. The whole ordeal of the past few months has made me a much stronger individual. And I am very grateful to the people I have in my life- my family and friends who made me stick through it and picked me up when I was ready to give up. And I have needed to be picked up a lot of times.
I moved back to India also last year. Temporary for now. While V was busy with his MBA I needed to sort out my life and pursue my passions more seriously. 2015 will see how it all unfolds.
Before my grandparents moved to Mohali they were living in Jalandhar, a city in the northern indian state of Punjab. About ten minutes from our house in Jalandhar was this Gurudwara (the holy place where Sikhs worship) that my grandparents would go to regularly. Every afternoon, just a few feet away from the Gurudwara, a guy would come with his mobile cart and sell these amazingly thin, crispy yet soft Amritsari Kulchas. He would only come in the afternoon with the dough and filling prepared at home and would stuff and bake the kulchas in front of us, serving them in plates with his famous spicy chickpea curry. Our summer vacations were full of foodie adventures and my grandparents loved feeding us. These amritsari kulchas were a must on each of our visits.
Every afternoon, people would come during their lunch break and line up for a plate of this guy’s delicious Kulchas. He always came alone and stuffed the dough in front of you and baked it in his mobile tandoor to serve the dozens of people waiting next to his cart. Since he baked then and there, we would get piping hot kulchas laden with oodles of butter that would immediately start melting once placed on the kulcha. Not only were his kulchas to die for, but he made a delicious spicy chickpea curry and gave homemade pickle on the side. Eating them fresh out of his tandoor was the best option but generally we would get them packed for the whole family and eat at home. And stuff ourselves crazy. No wonder my brother and I would gain 5-6 kilos easily during the months of May and June.
I had been eyeing this recipe for sweet buns on allrecipes.com for a while now. It had great reviews and I am always looking for new bread recipes to try. Plus it seemed easy to put together. And with such great reviews I was sure I will not be disappointed. And I was right, after about two hours of kneading, resting and baking, I had light and fluffy (and absolutely delicious) dinner rolls. I also got an absolutely drool worthy cinnamon swirl bread. And with my love for all things cinnamon I honestly cherished the cinnamon swirl bread more than the rolls. And that actually says a lot about the bread since the rolls were amazing without any additions!
The recipe makes 16 dinner rolls. I used half the dough to make 8 dinner rolls and the other half I used to make the cinnamon swirl bread. I do not have a recipe, but I followed the same instructions I do when I make cinnamon rolls. Rolled out the dough to a rectangle (keeping it 9 inch long, and as wide as I could with a thickness of about 1/4th inch) and spread softened butter on the rolled out dough, followed by a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. I rolled the dough up and let it rise in my bread pan. To achieve the shape I have in the pictures, I cut the rolled up dough like you do for cinnamon rolls (but slightly thinner in thickness) and put each cut part side by side in the bread pan. I wish I had pictures because I feel I might not be explaining this too well. If that’s the case, sorry!