Onion and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Mumbai weather has been unusually kind to us city folk.
When your bare feet hit the floor in the morning, they are icy cold. The blanket has become a life support of sorts. And of course, jackets and hoodies are making their appearances after being stuffed at the back of the wardrobe for months.
I feel the 2007 winter rushing back all over again.
The only thing that can make you enjoy this winter better is that mug of coffee. And if you crave some umami, you better reach for that reassuring bowl of Onion and Cheddar cheese soup.

Apparatus required
2- 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 medium sized chopped onions, a clove of grated garlic, a bit of flour, chicken/vegetable stock, milk and cheese (Cheddar preferred).

Procedure
It’s simple as hell really.
You heat up the pan. Add the butter, watch it melt furiously. Dump in the onions, and saute them. Here, you are recommended to stop for a second and just smell the brilliance of butter and onions.
Once the onions become a bit translucent, add a bit of grated garlic. Then, shake it up baby now, shake it up baby. Twist and SHOUT! Twist and shout! C’mon c’mon c’mon c’mon baby now, c’mon baby. C’mon and work it on out, work it on out!
Ok, sorry. I think I lost track there somehow. *mutters**stupidbeatlesplaylist*
Coming back, add the tiniest amount of flour to this mixture. Maybe a tablespoon or so. Any flour will do. (Even if you don’t, I doubt the Earth will blow up) You see that this soaks up all the butter. It’s the funniest thing. Anyway, just plop in the stock at this point ( It depends on the amount of soup you’d want to make) and cover it with a lid for a good 5-7 minutes.
Once you take of the lid, the most gorgeous smell will hit you. Don’t panic. Such levels of awesomeness in food, do occur.
Add salt, and pepper. Taste it.
(Don’t you love the fact that you get to keep tasting the food at stages to “check the flavours”? Who cares if it brings down the final amount to half the originally intended amount!)
Stir it up. And finally, add milk. Not a lot, maybe half the amount of stalk you added. If you have an urge to be extra unhealthy, and desperately want to make you jeans feel tight at all places, add cream as well. Two minutes more on the stove, then tip it over in your bowl and you’re done.
Refrain from slurping still. You need to add the final crumble of cheese (Cheddar preferred. It’s not too salty, and just perfect), and another dash of pepper.
And there it is, winter bliss in a bowl.

Onion and Cheddar Cheese Soup The first slurp, will be these thick creamy taste hitting you like a truck. You can taste the sinful butter, the chicken stock, the slight sweetness of the milk, and the most amazing little tiny kick of that garlic.

It’s unbelievable how thick and delicious this soup is.

Onion and Cheddar Cheese Soup
And the melting piece of cheese crumbles on the top just add another dimension to it.
Onion and Cheddar Cheese Soup
Good ol’ toasted bread goes perfect with this. Garlic bread, even more so ๐Ÿ™‚
So do yourself a favour, and make this steaming reassuring bowl of soup already.
You know you want to.

Spicy Honey Chicken

For me, it always starts with that inexplicable widening of the eyes and a ‘I need to do this right now’ message running through my head.
If I fall in love with the idea of a particular book, I will drop all and run to the bookstore to get a copy. And of course, I wont sleep until I finish it. If it is a random song I fall in love with, I shall listen to it on loop until the lyrics are embedded in my memory. If my mum asks me to clear the table on a ‘Monica’ day, I shall not rest until the kitchen and the fridge is spotless. Well, you get the picture.
It’s with every little thing I do. It needs to happen that very instant, or I shall die a restless soul.
This is the incident of 2 days before I had to leave for Kolkata. I woke up in the morning, dragged myself out of the covers, switched on the laptop and sat with my orange juice to decide my IMDb Top250 movie of the day. It was precisely at that moment the ‘ping’ of my feedreader caught my attention.
A few hours later, I was dazed and wide eyed. Total credits to the food blogs of course. These images of food later overflowed into a lot of conversations I had that day too. Many people accused me of making them hungry minutes after they finished lunch. I got a bunch of angry phone calls from a couple of mothers too. It seems they had to cut short their afternoon nap, to feed their kids for the second time. I was talking of food in THAT much detail.
This one particular recipe caught my eye, and looked fairly simple to make. So I decided to take the plunge.
Spicy Honey Chicken , they call it ๐Ÿ™‚
Apparatus required

A bowl, a spoon, boneless chicken, vegetable oil, grated garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, (and anything else you have at home, which would make sense. I tried to be cool and added something on the lines of a pinch of ‘Chaat masala’, and something brilliant smelling called ‘Meat Masala’), and honey.
Procedure
Apparently, all you need to do is mix everything in the bowl minus the honey. Check for the taste, balance it the way you’d prefer (Extra spicy, lemony, whatever) and just marinate the chicken in this mixture for 5 minutes. Place it on the grill for 20-25 minutes.
Voila!
Oh wait, and finally, just coat on a layer of honey on the chicken which looks and smells gorgeous by now. Let it be on the grill for another 5 minutes. And then truly,
VOILA!
(Can you believe how ridiculously simple this is?! Of course I had to drop everything else and make this! )

Spicy Honey Chicken This is how tender the chicken was. A bit crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside.

Lets take a closer look, shall we?

Spicy Honey Chicken
Can you see the sweet honey rolling off the surface?
The balance of the sweetness of the honey and the heat of the chili powder is something which has always fascinated me.
Spicy Honey Chicken There just happened to be some Mexican rice leftover.
Spicy Honey Chicken The most satisfying lunch for one in a long time.
Next time, prawns! *snicker*

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Up until 4 hours back, I was even consciously aware of the presence of the red velvet cake/cup cake in the world. Like any other Saturday afternoon, I was fiddling with the laptop and came across this video about ‘Re inventing the cupcake‘, based on this nice female with a ‘cupcakery‘ in New York. Needless to say, the moment I laid my eyes on the gorgeous cupcake she was baking, I knew I had to try it.
Like a tune which is playing in your head on loop the entire day, the image of the cupcake was flashing before my eyes every few seconds. Scanning through the recipe, I realized I could actually pull it off before the sun sets, and before my family wakes up from their ‘Saturday – post lunch – fish curry and rice’ slumber.
Terribly sorry for the ones who don’t stay nearby and can’t come over, and bite into the awesomeness this is. The red colored cupcake is a delight to look at, the subtle taste of dark cocoa which hits you at the very first bite, is very gratifying ; and the huge blob of chocolate frosting on the top is just plain sinful.

Red Velvet Cupcakes


 


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Look how red!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes

*drool* chocolate.
So, yes. That. ๐Ÿ™‚
P.S- I mean. Seriously. These things are a pain to carry out of the house with the roads that we have. The frosting gets absolutely ruined. So I mean, call. And come over won’t you? And stop threatening me!
Yes, Samata, I mean you. ๐Ÿ˜›
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