Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recipe for the month: Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse from Gastronomy Illustrated

If you have been following my blog and especially my recipe section, you should know by now that I have a major sweet tooth and I love desserts! And moreover I prefer quick and easy recipes that are high in flavor.

Today’s recipe is Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse, a rich and refreshing dessert for a warm spring or summer afternoon. I came across this lovely blog created by a loved one who has evolved over the years. Rithu Grace Job, the author of Gastronomy Illustrated, has done her masters in Bioinformatics but her passion was always designing clothes. Recently she was chosen as a designer for an Italian brand called Maison Academia. And now she has discovered a new sphere for herself in being food blogger.

Let’s get to know more about Rithu and how her journey began and her inspirations before we hop over to her blog for her recipe. Over to you Rithu!

What inspired you to start a blog?

It's been only two years since I got married and henceforth, began my journey with cooking! So over a period of two years, I have been pleasantly surprised and filled with joy to see how an amateur like me can make diverse, satisfying and healthy food, within the walls of a kitchen, right at home! In February, this year, my husband celebrated his milestone birthday and a much-deserved promotion at work. I really wanted to bake a cake for him but I had no prior experience of cake baking! My baking experience was nearly negligible at that time! But then I got the idea of baking mini cupcakes and placing them on a tiered glass server, that was once gifted to me! So before the day came, I practiced baking a set of cupcakes, about a week before! I was so thrilled with the final product, that I naively thought to myself 'If I can do that, I can do anything else in this world!!' That experience led me to starting this food blog, actually! I feel there could be many girls out there, like me, who are afraid, culinary beginners. But I wish to be a humble motivator to inspire more individuals to enjoy the art of cooking!

What's your favorite cuisine?

Back in the day, it used to be Italian. But ever since I shifted base to the States post marriage, I am a lover of Japanese food!! Sushi, noodles, ramen!! You name it! I'm a fan! I'm also a great fan of the techniques implemented like hibachi and teppenyaki! These chefs are nothing short of world-class entertainers! And oh, the precision with which sushi masters work? Spellbinding!

Did you have any formal training in cookery course?
No, not as yet. But if given the opportunity today, I would be interested to attend classes. Incidentally, I have an interest in attending the classes by Rumana Jaseel of the 'Incredible Art' fame! Kudos to her for gorgeous cake art!

What tips would you recommend to those who are yet to venture out in the world of cooking?

I consider cooking an art, a labour of love! It's a beautiful affair! There is no need to be afraid! Cooking in the modern day, is really that simple. My first tip to beginners would be to have patience and go by recipes, word by word, measurement by measurement! If you do that, your chances of blunders will be close to nil! This I can assure you! And with each successful meal made, you get more confidence in time, and are inspired to go further. Secondly, traits like being organized go a long way in the kitchen! The process is much easier if one keeps all ingredients organized, measured and ready to use before cooking, rather than fluttering around the kitchen like a confused butterfly! Thirdly, I'd say "Don't overwhelm yourself with several utensils and appliances!!" I prefer having cooking basics and making myself aware of how I can use these basics to the maximum. For instance, I have a rice cooker which I have even steamed dumplings! Fourth, write a menu for the upcoming week and shop for groceries accordingly. This way you can eliminate over-spending and have fresh produce to work with, every week. And lastly, do a 'pantry and fridge check' every week, before you write out the menu. Be mindful of expiry dates or remaining ingredients from the previous week, so you don't have to unnecessarily trash anything!

What are your future plans?
With regards to my journey with food, I wish to publish a book on my experiences in the kitchen, dining out, travelling and eating at popular spots, and my most-loved recipes that I would like to share with my readers. I am also an aspiring fashion designer, for long. I am currently a designer for an Italian fashion brand named Maison Academia. I hope to take forward my passion for designing, side by side with my culinary ventures!

Thanks Rithu for sharing your inspiration and thoughts with us!! Wishing you all the best with your culinary adventures! Looking forward to your book.

Click here and hop on to Gastronomy Illustrated and go through the recipe. When I tried this recipe I had all the ingredients except for sour cream. But I went ahead and made it without the sour cream and it still tasted just like strawberry cheesecake mousse!!
What do you think of my garnish? Perfect for Valentine's Day special!!

I enjoyed making it… it definitely impressed everyone I made for and each spoonful of this dessert is a joyful experience.

Images are clicked by me


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joy of Harvesting

Nothing is more satisfying than growing your own vegetables and herbs in your own garden. It’s pure and blissful joy to harvest your own organic vegetables. And I know this is not going to last long as the expected fierce summer will set in soon here in Oman…. So here I am enjoying it while it lasts…

Sharing my joy with you all…




Images are clicked by me

Monday, March 17, 2014

Riot of Colors: Happy Holi

Today is Holi, a popular festival in India that is celebrated with colors that make it the most vibrant of all. How about a splash of colors in our home décor?

Enjoy the riot of colors through these pictures!
Happy Holi Everyone!

Beautiful crockery; Image via redonline.co.uk ; photographed by Lawra Edwards 

Beautiful colored cushions for your room; Image via Pinterest

love the shades of paints; Image via Natures Doorways

Orange and Pink Table Setting; Image via Pinterest

Colorful flowers; Image via Pinterest; Picture taken by Rachel Elizabeth

a beautiful kitchen cabinet; Image via Pinterest

explosion of colorful peppers... now that's hot!; Image via Pinterest

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Through my lens: Dubai's Architectural Beauty

I missed talking to all of you. My ten day break in Dubai was a much needed get-away for me. And post break, it took me exactly a week to come out of my “Dubai Blues”, with loads of laundry, replying to emails, getting back to my daily routine…. Suddenly the so called recent vacation seemed distant. But the fantasy of another break is one of the reasons that make me smile and chat with you all. So how have you all been?

I am glad I was able to capture bits and pieces of Dubai’s architectural beauty even though the surreal attraction of different malls lured me into retail therapy! Dubai, a melting pot of different cultures, is blended and reflected on its architecture design.
Enjoy the pictures!











Images are clicked by me