Traveling, festivals, dinner parties, marriages and relatives have kept both V and me busy.
V leaves tomorrow for US but I am staying in India for another month and half since lot of my close friends are getting married in November and in December I want to be here in India when a very special guest arrives in our family.
I have not cooked a bit since I left US for my 3 months vacation in India. I have a feeling by the time I go back I would have forgotten how to cook. We have hardly stayed at home for me to do anything related to cooking. If I have been home, I use that time to catch up on leftover sleep- since everyday we have been sleeping only after 1am and getting up early in the morning and busy with some work or the other the whole day. Yes, things have been that busy!
Luckily, I was able to finish this month’s challenge before leaving US. Its probably the quickest I have done a challenge. Of course later I had to pull a “me” by not drafting the post before leaving. As a result this post comes in a day late, even though the challenge had been completed in the first week of October.
The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!
Today was coffee at my house. Its always fun having these coffee meets. Get to talk and learn so much from the diverse group of friends I have. We had a new girl join us. I remember, how, about 8 months back I was new to this group. And now the group feels like family- people I can count on when I need someone here. Its always fun to cook for them- they are all so generous with their compliments! Also, it gives me a platform to not only experiment by baking extravaganzas, but to introduce my friends to Indian food. They now all know about Samosas, kathi rolls, mint chutney and I feel happy to have made them taste that part of the world. Today, though, I did not go Indian. I kept it simple with buttered garlic on a home-made Spinach bread and carrots served with tzatziki dip. For the sweet tooth there was fruitcake and I also kept some olive-cheese-pineapple on a stick appetizers. Surprisingly the latter were quite a hit with the children!
The idea for Spinach bread had been haunting me for a while. I had a bunch of spinach in my fridge and thought it would be an interesting way to use it up. Found a recipe here.I wanted to add some feta cheese but did not have any in the fridge. And cheese had to go in the bread! So instead I added some parmesan cheese. I also added roasted garlic to the dough. The bread came out very flavorful. I served the bread baked with some garlic-herb smothered butter and everyone devoured them!
Next time I will replace some of the all-purpose with whole-wheat flour – you know, make it all healthy and all ;). Would also add some powdered flax seeds! Oohh, the sound of it makes me want to run to the store and grab a bunch or two of spinach. (What would you know, we finished both the loaves at the coffee today- yes! it was that good!)
I have tried this recipe with whole wheat flour substitution and while the taste isn’t as good as white flour bread the recipe works fine with it. Instead of substituting the entire amount of bread flour with whole wheat flour, I have started substituting only 1 cup with whole wheat flour and add about 2-3 tbsp flax seeds, 1-2 tbsp wheat germ and sometimes hemp seeds as well.