Friday, November 19, 2010

Linguine with Smoked Salmon

I always look forward to the weekend. No matter where I am in the week, just the thought of weekend relaxing and chance to sleep more than the weekdays makes me feel relaxed. You might think I am such a lazy bum, but trust me, this trick works when you have mountains of work around you. Some weeks I have more work pressure than other. By the time I come back home, I am terribly tired and no energy left cook a meal. That is when I make my Speedy Linguine. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and is an absolute pleasure.


Earlier to this post, every time I cooked this meal was in the night and been very tired so never really had the energy to take the photos. This time I made it in the weekend because, one it’s easy and fast, two I wanted to take the photos this time.  



Smoked salmon

Linguine (handful)

6-8 Cherry tomatoes

2-3 cloves of garlic

Red chilli flakes (optional)

Olive oil


Curly parsley leaves (handful - chopped)



Boil the linguine in salted water till al-dente. In a pan heat the olive oil and add the chopped garlic and fry till the aroma comes. Now add the red chilli flakes to it and fry for another minute before you add the salmon. After adding the smoked salmon immediately add the cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley, mix it well and don’t cook for more than a minute. Now add the cooked pasta, give it a good stir and check the seasoning. Remove from the heat after a minute. Garnish with some chopped parsley and drizzle some olive oil on top. Serve hot.


Note: you can add some toasted pine nuts on top, really makes a difference (I didn’t because I was running out of patience :) ).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Simple Pleasures - Panettone


Life is full of sweet surprises which suddenly appears and brings a smile on your face. Last week I received an email inviting me to try one of the Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range of products, which will help in making this Christmas a perfect Christmas for all of their customers. I was delighted to receive the e-mail and decided to go with Taste the Difference Panettone from the list of products.


On Friday, I received a big box in the morning’s post. I knew it is cake but didn’t expect it to be in that big a box. It was huge and came in a very pretty looking festive gift box with a ribbon on top. I so fell in love with box that I didn’t want to open it for some time. I was expecting a small loaf inside it but finally, when I opened the box, I found this huge cake occupying the entire box in all three directions and left no space for any extra packaging.


I usually don’t like to share my piece of cake but it was such a huge cake even I knew I won’t be able to finish it alone. We were planning to see our friends over the weekend, so thought why not take this cake and get an opinion form everyone. So we took the cake to the party.


We had a rocking party in my friend’s house and after dinner was time for the movie. So my friend put the kettle on and I started to cut the huge Italian Chocolate cake in to pieces. I was almost done with it and realized we need some plates for everyone to enjoy their cake with some fresh coffee while watching the movie. It took me only few mutes to come back with the plates but by then all the pieces were gone. I couldn’t understand for a minute what just happened. I looked at the empty plate (well, almost empty - they saved a piece for me) and then looked around, almost everyone had finished eating. “Oh My God!! What a cake!!!” one of my friend broke the silence. Then one after the other everyone started telling how lovely the cake was. My best friend and the host of the party said “All time delicious, mouth watering cake. It literally melted in my mouth. Very special for Christmas”.We were around ten people in that room and everyone loved it!!


Finally, I got my piece of cake and I couldn’t agree more with my friends present in the room. The cake was extremely light, sweet, buttery and chocolaty at the same time. The texture was very similar to soft inner part of a croissant. The cake had a very thin chocolate layer on top and inside it was filled with small chocolate bits. Simply divine and a must for the upcoming festive season. Thank you Sainsbury's. We all love it and will definitely get more in near future.


Also thanks a ton for the chocolate and the coffee I received last month. The Ethiopian Sidamo Ground Coffee from Sainsbury’s Taste the difference range is amazingly smooth and the bitter sweet dark chocolate goes perfectly well with the coffee. Thanks!!!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walnut and Coffee Cake

Two months. I can’t believe I am blogging after two months!! Feels like I am coming back from hibernation. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me these couple of months. Usually we get happiness and the sorrow in our life in a periodic manner but well spread out so you get enough time to recover from both. This time that wasn’t the case for me.   

It's way past midnight now and this is the only time I got to pen down something. When my parents were here with me, I had hardly cooked anything. My mom was in the driving seat cooking, taking care of the house and I was in the backseat, relaxed and pampered like anything. Now when I am back in to my old usual routine life, it feels as if I was floating on the cute little clouds in the sky and suddenly fell down on hard rock and broke all my bones and trust me it hurts like hell!! 

One of the few things I made during my parents stay was this cake. It was my better half’s birthday and this is the only thing I made for him. The dinner was a treat from my parents.



150 gm butter

150 gm brown sugar

150 gm all purpose flour

3 eggs

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in water (1-2 tsp)

1 tsp of Almond essence

100 gm chopped walnuts


For Icing:

200gm butter

200 gm sugar

1tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp water

few walnut halves

50 gm melted dark chocolate



Beat the eggs first until light and fluffy, to that add the melted butter and sugar and continue beating. Once you have a well combined homogeneous mixture add the flour slowly, little by little to the mixture while continuing to beat. Add the coffee dissolved in water, the almond essence and the baking powder.  Give the whole mixture a good mix again with the electric mixer. Add the chopped walnuts in to the light brown cake mixture and mix them with a wooden spatula and keep it aside.


Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Pre heat the oven at 180 degree C. Pour the cake mix in the baking tray and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until it passes the  skewer’s test (poke a skewer in the cake and it should come out clean).  Let it cool.


Now make the icing. Beat the butter and sugar together with the coffee for the icing. You can add more sugar if you feel the mixture is bit soft. Now spread the icing on the cake. It’s better to do the icing as soon as it is ready as the icing will become harder to spread later. Once the spreading is done, place the cake in the fridge to set. I took it out after few hours and decorated with the melted chocolate sauce and the remaining walnut halves.