Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Italian Cook-off at APB Studios.

I was being transported from the sets of Rachel Allen bake, to reliving the Scarlett Johansson Jon Favreau’s famous ‘Chef moment and after a while I felt like I was at a cheeky teenage slumber production. That’s pretty much sums up my experience at the Italian Cook-off at The APB Studios hosted by the celebrity food blogger Rushina M Ghildiyal and Ritu Gorai JAMM’S founder.

The Rachel Allen Bake experience.. I am someone who loves watching foods shows over soaps. One of my favorite is the Rachel Allen Bake.. where the cookery school students have their own little portions of dough to work with. I always wanted to be able to learn like that. The cooking experience at APB was just not a demo with a bla recipe but we got to cook our own little focaccia. I was literally breaking bread with Rushina and 4 other mommy bloggers… 


 The Scarlett Johansson and Jon Favreau’s food seduction experience…  So Rushina takes center stage and announces. Toady am going to teach you a recipe that will get your man to do anything that you want.. EVER…. Discussions about solitaries and trips to the Alps were followed by the classic Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. She added her little variation of adding green garlic and green chilies by staying true to the use the produce in bloom philosophy . Soon we got to cook off our personal batches and sat down for lunch.

The teen age slumber production moment.. I blame it on the Garlic.. the infamous aphrodisiac, had 7 women who pretty much were strangers until few hours ago were busy discussing all things sex and boys.. Food really does that to people. It brings them closer and an impersonal space like the APB Studios is instrumental in creating food memories. 


This was my second visit to the APB and am such a fan of the sheer versatility of the space. APB is famous for arranging cook off by chefs from all over the world to hosting book launches. From an hands on, how to cook experiences, to hosting a little cook your own pizza and cupcake party for kids birthdays. The possibilities are endless.. 

Apart from running her pet project, this full time mommy of two is also a gifted artist.

 To get in touch with APB and get on their mailing list of their upcoming events connect them here. And if you are a mom from Mumbai and are looking to be a part of a no- nonsense, socially responsible community dedicated just for moms get in touch with the fabulous Ritu Gorai @ JAMM’S.. 

I went back home with a signed copy of Rushina’s book,
A pinch of this, A handful of that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

FlipKart Kids

A commercial for the all new Funschool Pop up pirate intercepted the Dora and Boots adventure. I knew what coming up next.. Mom I want this! Christmas is around and since he has been such a good boy all year I think he has earned this one. We quickly get the tablet. Firstly check out the reviews online. “It looks fun Ma”, he says. Now for the troubling part. To find out the damage. With the FunSchool label I assumed it was a 1000 upwards. But I was in for a sweet surprise. It was available on Flipkart for a steal at 640. Plus free shipping…  Into the cart it went and we await for the little men in blue to come baring our pirate.

Am a chronic deal hunter.. so shopping online for me is a sheer rush. Especially when it comes to buying toys online. I’ve scored some great knock off’s on Thomas tracks, hot wheel cars, tons of reading material, fun worksheets,  his scooter, a wave board, a minion backpack are only a few of the things from our online shopping haul of 2015. One of it was bought on a full price. Trying getting the same deal on your local store.

I love the comfort of shopping on the go. I not only have a hassle free shopping experience, but return too are a breeze. For the last three years that I’ve been a FlipKart shopper I’ve returned a few products and the pickup is quick and the refunds are efficiently reverted.  Try doing that at the local store.. he will ask you to come again cause the returns are only accepted between 12-4, he announces smugly pointing at a dainty sign. 

You shop at the mall you say.. firstly parking is not only expensive but finding a spot on a weekend is a whole other challenge. As you enter the store with the product you are expected to get a gate pass.. which is a painfully slow process. Then get it checked at the customer service counter on another floor altogether. Where they generate a credit note, make you sign the register. This credit note if not used instantly will most definitely be lost. In this fast paced world id rather spend quality time doing something I love rather than spending time in long checkout ques. 

E-commerce has come a long way and FlipKart has been instrumental in changing the shopping scene of India. I remember its humble  beginnings as an online book store and to growing into one of the largest ecommerce website in the country. It has truly redefined they way be buy.

On 19th December I was at the Indiblogger & Flipkart Bloggers meet @BlueFrog, where they announced the launch of their official kids store i.e. Flipkart kids. We address a lot of issues from getting more variety to maintain safety standards. Am a true Flipkart shopper and can’t wait to  see what’s in stored for the mommy in me.. 


Me rubbing shoulder with the Bheem and the official Bheem and the Himalayan adventure  Movie merchandise was a great surprise for my Son.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Nutrition overhaul!

Snack menu for school days…
Monday- cheese and carrot parathas.
Tuesday- oats and walnut cupcakes.
Wednesday- mayo broccoli and corn sandwich.
Thursday- Nutella and dates crêpe
Friday-  Mixed sprouts Bhel.

One of the biggest challenges a parent faces is trying to get some nutrition into their little monsters. My child loves his vegetables, said no mom ever. So the only option we are left with is disguising health with a bit of a bait.
It’s a constant struggle.. the dinner table feels like an Arnab debate where we contemplate the future of the multigrain- Dal khichadi on his McQueen racer plate. Negotiations & connotations feel like they go on for an infinity.
Milk, the wonder food is a whole separate challenge.
7.45 am - We are in a race against time. The son needs to be dressed and fed all in time or we miss the bus, which translates into another 40 minutes wasted beating the mad morning rush to school. This morning dash is made worse when my son staring at the glass of Milk un-interestingly announces MILK IS YUCK!

I reckon children are programmed to hate milk or for that matter anything with truckloads of nutrition.  ‘Creative ways to feed a picky eater’ is am sure the most Googled topic by all conscience  parents.
In my conversations with lots of parents I always love to find how they get their kids to love food. Last year I was at a cook off with Rushina, a chef and celebrity food blogger and she shared how she always got her kids involved in cooking. Her 5yr old hated carrots.. So instead of forcing it down her throat, she got creative. Together they made fun carrot carvings, shaving of carrot that were called carrot pasta, baked some carrot cup cakes… the works. She slowly took a liking to carrots.. A hallelujah moment for Rushina!

I took my cues from her and started incorporating the fun back in the food. Milk has been one of my biggest challenges so far.. But I came up with ways of making Milk more fun..

#1One of the house favorite is the milk and fruit popsicle that we make. This time around strawberries are in bloom. So we chop a few and churn the rest with milk and let them freeze away to whole milk popsicle glories… You can substitute this with any fruit of your choice.

#2Another one of my sons favorite treat after football practice is Brown Sugar and Vanilla milk shake. Brown sugar beingl less refined then wihite is s good option, also make sure you only use pure vanilla extract only. I serve it in chic mason jars and add a dollop of ice crème as a special treat.

#3But for days when I just don’t have the luxury of time on me, I safely reach out for Sipahh. All it needs is a glass of cold milk, and he sips away at a flavor wonderland. With zero preservatives, natural flavor and only half a tsp of sugar per serving, I don’t feel guilty when I indulge him in some Okey-Dokey Cookies and crème goodness.  

turning plain milk into Strawsome!

As long of you find ways to make meal time more fun.. The dinner table will be a much more happier place… Got a creative spin on something healthy? 
Share your ideas in the comments below. 
You might just save a mom from her Milk misery.

*the images have been linked to their sources.