Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (full fat or low fat)

1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable, canola, safflower, or corn oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 – 1 1/2 cups (240-360 ml) fresh or frozen blueberries (If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding them to the batter.)

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together the lightly beaten egg, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract.

In another large bowl whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir in the blueberries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined and moistened. (The batter will be thick.)

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin just comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 12 muffins.

Galitos Restaurant Review

Founded by Louis Germishuys in the sleepy town of (then-named) Nelspruit in 1996, Galito’s has been consistently expanding in South Africa as well as opening international markets. They say their unique flame-grilled, fiery, bold African flavour is their claim to fame. They serve 100% flame-grilled chicken, marinated with only the best ingredients, in a range of flavours – lemon and herb, mild, hot, and extra hot piri-piri. They have one outlet here in Cochin, which is in Lulu Mall on the 4th floor next to the food court.

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My cousin Sujith and I have been there a couple of times together and I have been there a few times alone and once with a friend. Last night we started with the excellent drinks that they have. I ordered my usual Peach Lemon Ice Tea, which pictured here, almost looks like a frothy amber beer. He had a green apple spritzer.

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Then came our starter dish which was the chicken wings. These are amongst the best wings in town and certainly the biggest I have seen. A plate of 4 is more than enough since these are the full wings. And they are delicious! We choose the mild spiced sauced on the chicken wings.

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The main dish we chose were chicken quarters with a side dish each. He picked the potato wedges and I went for the regular french fries. Again we went with the mild sauce that you see dripping on the huge pieces. So good! I could go one spicy level up but beyond that is crazy. You would not, or I would not atleast, enjoy the meat if all I can taste is the higher spices levels.

Evening Out, Met A Friend

It has been a couple of weeks since I had gone out for an afternoon or an evening and this weekend I had planned to go out to Lulu on Sunday morning. But I slept very late and hence work up only by 11 am. So I though let’s chuck that and relax at home till the evening. I watched a movie and a half in the afternoon after lunch and then showered and shaved I had coffee and sat watching Youtube till 6:45 pm. I booked an Uber and went to Cocoa Tree for a nice snicker shake and some fries while I played bowling on my phone.

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After an hour I went to Center Mall and I had to visit the loo. Then I washed up as I was sweating a lot and went to buy some groceries at Big Bazaar. That done I went to have some chicken wings and a mini pizza at Pizza Hut. As I was leaving I saw a friend of mine walking past the Pizza Hut and going down the escalator. I quickly left and caught up with her; she was there to take her son to Burger King. We caught up for a bit as I hadn’t seen her since she left my current place of employment. I had to say bye quickly as she had booked her Uber to take her and her son back home.

After she left, I booked my cab and then went home. It’s a humid evening and I am sweating in my room. I guess I will watch a movie and then go to sleep.

Foodies Without Internet

If the Internet disappeared tomorrow, how would you continue to share your love of food?

Perish the thought! How would we let other people know what we are eating for lunch or dinner.

Ah, remember the good ole days where if you ate a great meal, you would only talk about it to the people you happen to be eating it with and perhaps possibly the next day when you went back to school or college or work,  you’d tell you friends about it? But you couldn’t show them the photos of it could you?

So if there were no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and no internet, the world wouldn’t end for foodies. We would still eat the food we love and enjoy it and tell our friends and family about the awesome places and menu items to eat. I would write about it on a journal atleast. Cameras are still there right, so I can take photos of it and share it in a smaller group.

Prompt from 16 WRITING PROMPTS FOR FOOD BLOGGERS @ Food Bloggers Of Canada

On Donuts

National Doughnut Day! Will you be celebrating with homemade doughnuts or picking up a box at the store? Share your best doughnut story or recipe.

I am not the biggest fan of doughnuts / donuts but on the odd occasion I get a craving for a nice & fresh donut. Very few times have I had a really good one and I find that it’s either average or really good. Ever since I can remember having donuts in India, it’s usually a very bad donut base with a chocolate glaze that kinda makes up for the lack of taste of the dough, just because it’s chocolate.

That leaves one less satisfied. Now, please understand that this is the case where I live. In the recent years we have had some improvement and there exists a few places – just a couple – where the donuts that they serve are mostly good to really good. Still we do not have them major chains in our fair state.

While in Chennai & Delhi respectively I was able to sample some really good donuts from Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts. The difference in taste is amazing! While I understand that the best donuts might not be from a chain but a small store run by a mom n pop in some small town, those towns and shops are nowhere near me. So I must rely on the major chains if I want a really good one or find a one of bakery or shop that does serve halfway decent wares.

Beers, Cocktails, Pork & Fries In Couchyn

Yesterday afternoon was a welcome visit to Couchyn after a couple of months. I don’t go out to drink much anymore and prefer to buy my booze from BevCo and drink at home. But it’s been over a month since cousin Sujith and I met so we decided to get a couple of beers at Couchyn and have lunch there.

We started off with Amstel beers, two each, and choose French fries as the first accompaniment. They also provide you with free masala peanuts which are always great with beer. We talked and laugh a bit. And then we got the grilled pork with veggies.

This is an amazing dish which should be in the hall of fame as far as food in Kochi goes. Succulent and juicy and big pieces all. Wow and the grilled veggies and fries goes well with them. After the two beers we moved onto a cocktail each. We choose the passion fruit and vodka cocktail with a squeeze of lemon in it. I must say that I could knock off quite a few of those in an afternoon. Dangerous!

We also had grilled chicken sandwiches which were small but good and finished off with banana splits. And then we both had to split as it was 5 pm by then.

Coffee Cake Receipe

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line and grease 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. Add the sugar and butter to a bowl and whisk until very fluffy and pale.

Whisk the eggs in a mug with a fork, then add them gradually to the mixture with 1 tbsp of flour each time. (Make sure you don’t use all the flour.) When the eggs have been fully combined into the mix, add the rest of the flour and the baking powder and fold it in gently.

Add the dissolved coffee to the mixture, still folding. Divide into the sandwich tins and cook for 25-30 min until risen and firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Can be frozen at this stage.

Meanwhile make the icing by beating the icing sugar with the butter until light and fluffy, then add the dissolved coffee. Whisk then cover and put to one side until ready to ice the cake.

Once the sponges have completely cooled, spread half the icing on the bottom of one (leaving around half for the top) and spread the strawberry jam on the bottom of the other, if using. Sandwich together, spread the remaining icing on top. Decorate with walnuts, or cherries if you prefer.

From The BBC Good Food

New Favourite Ice Cream Flavour

This Saturday I was alone at home for the evening – from 5pm onwards – and post a coffee I knew that I would be ordering some food for dinner. Plus I had bought a few beers as well. I had a pizza and two beers and like usual after I have had a meaty pizza and beers, I feel like having something sweet like a chocolate or an ice cream.

I checked up Swiggy, an app for delivering food to your door step, and saw that they even had a discount for Baskin Robbins. Now, I can count on my fingers how many times that I have indulged in this brand of ice cream. I remember the first time I ever had BR, it was in Bangalore and me & a friend had a taste of a few flavours before settling on a small scoop of what we each liked the best. Since then I have probably had some BR ice cream 4 or 5 more times and ordered a family pack a few weeks ago.

So this night I ordered a small pack of a flavour called the Three Cheers Chocolate ice cream. They describe it as a heavenly combination of chocolate and vanilla married together with chocolate chips and ribbon (contains milk & soy). And Oh….My……Sweet Satan! This was amazing and on a hot evening after pizza and a couple of cold beers, this was perfection. Amazing taste and texture. I have a new favourite flavour!

Me Time

This is is me for the evening. Except I do not have a cat. Though I want one. I want 2 cats. Yes I want 2 cats and 2 dogs. I want my cats and 2 dogs back.

This morning after breakfast and coffee I quickly dressed, booked an Uber and went to Supply Co in Gandhinagar to check out what was in stock there in terms of alcohol. A little disappointed in what they had so I went to the BevCo self service that is right next door to them, the one I usually go to. I bought 6 beers – 2 Kingfisher Blue 650 ml botles, 2 Hunter 500 ml cans and 2 650 ml bottles of a new beer which is called Woodpecker, a wheat beer, that I had never seen before.

I’ve watched a movie (Replicas), did a video review of the film, been watching Youtube videos since 5pm and I have ordered some food for dinner. Chicken wings and a pizza which will be coming over to me via UberEats. After a couple of beers and dinner, I will watch the series finale of The Big Bang Theory and then another movie before I go to bed.

The New Mash Is Not An Improvement

Today was not a fun day to go out. My main interest was to go get some shopping done for groceries and toiletries but before that I wanted to get some lunch. The problem was my choice of place. I picked Mash RestoCafe as I hadn’t been to this particular place in 2 years. The thing was they had closed that particular outlet in Pallimukku and opened one in Edapally and had another one in Panampilly Nagar.

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From that rather big sized venue to this tiny cafe with just a few uncomfortable chairs & tables (4 in total) and built in benches. Neither the chair not the desk looked comfortable but I picked the chair at one end. Looked at the menu and picked a very refreshing banana & strawberry shake (which I have had before) and their meat lovers sandwich which is a double decker sandwich with a chicken ham, beef chunks, a fried egg, tomatoes & fried onions). I had a started of very thin fish fingers. The shake was awesome and very refreshing on a hot day. I couldn’t finish the fries having only made a slight dent and I couldn’t finish the sandwich either and feel it would have been better without the middle slice of bread.

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I had had enough of the place – food is good but I don’t appreciate the close quarters with the counter being just right behind me and having to hear the staff talking so loudly near me and also some guy who came in and perhaps knows these guys and him talking so loudly in Hindi. From that big setting in Pallimukku to this cramped space where you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation in peace. Chairs are uncomfortable and the bench – no thank you. I do like their food so will mostly order via UberEats.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : List Of Best Wings In Town

Chicken wings were always something that I saw American and to a lesser extant Canadians eat at bars or restaurants while sipping on beers. It was something that I saw on the tv shows, cooking & food related shows or travel and living shows or in movies. Wings were never a big thing over here in India or atleast my part of India until a few years ago.

I don’t actually remember where I had my first wings but I guess it was at 360 Degree pizzeria which is in Panampilly Nagar. They focus on pizzas and some Italian pasta dishes but they also has wings in their starters menu. Then it was The Burger Junction and suddenly the fast food franchises like Pizza Hut, Dominos, Burger King & McDonald’s followed suit as did local franchises like ChicKing & MarryBrowns. It has become my starter dish of choice and I would love to get 6-12 of them while I enjoy beers at home. Pizza Hut makes my favourite ones; they are just so succulent and juicy. I can never get enough of them. Here are my rankings:

  1. Pizza Hut
  2. 360 Degree Pizzeria
  3. The Burger Junction
  4. Double Roti
  5. Galitos
  6. Burger King
  7. KFC
  8. ChicKing
  9. Dominos
  10. McDonald’s
  11. MarryBrown