Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birthday on a roll!

I celebrated my birthday last week. The first one after getting married! Previous birthdays started to flash across my mind.

* With my family - this means it was MY day. I was the emperor and every single wish I made on that day had to be fulfilled :)

* In the hostel - in this case, my batchmates used to proudly wear their thick soled and very heavy military boots just to give me birthday bumps. Its original purpose was for the NCC!

* In the U.S - here, my roomies spared no opportunities to throw eggs on me or to smear me with cake.

Back to present! I didn’t know what to expect! All of the above, perhaps ;) But my birthday began on a fantastic note when N came running with a huge baking dish at midnight. It was the best cake I've EVER had! A chocolate-cherry-nut cake…..when I dug my teeth into it, I exclaimed in my mind “Move over Kashmir….there is a NEW paradise on earth!” It was THAT good! And eggless on top of it! N later told me that she followed Mahanandi’s recipe. The cherry gave it a unique “liqeury” flavor and the nuts made it decadent and gave it that crrrrrrrrunch.

On my birthday, we had lunch at the Hindu temple of Atlanta (yes, besides a nerd, I am also a tad religious :)). For dinner, N made some fabulous lasagna rolls. She followed a Food Network recipe to perfection! Well, there were a few rolls too many for the amount of the rich sauce made, so, instead of the sauce she made for the rolls, she dunked them in marinara and they still tasted heavenly. I must admit that even though I was supposed the ‘emperor’ on that day, I actually ended up bowing to the culinary prowess of my significant other.

We didn’t stop cooking between lunch and dinner. The bakeware that we’ve purchased is placed strategically in order to meet our eyes ever so often! So, I gave into the temptation and decided to bake some stuff. I made some savory garlic conchs, mushroom squares, apricot-orange jelly stuffed bread and some chocolate spread bread. The dough was essentially adapted from the Challah bread recipe. For the sweet flavored bread, I added some orange zest to the dough whereas I added additional salt to the savory bread dough.

For the mushroom filling, I used:

1 can of sliced mushrooms (7 oz)
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1tsp Parsley flakes (dry)
1 tsp Rosemary (dry)

I heated the olive oil in the skillet and added the mushrooms and the spices. The herbs were added when the mushrooms were almost done.

For the garlic conchs, I prepared some garlic butter. I melted about 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a skillet and added 1 tbsp olive oil to it. I added 1 tbsp minced garlic and sautéed it for sometime. When almost done, I added some oregano flakes and chives to the butter to give it a nice aroma. I made sure that the garlic did not turn brown.

N and I also made some apricot-orange preserve. We peeled and chopped 6 apricots and added one orange (sliced, without skin) to it. We mashed the fruits with a wooden spatula, added ½ tbsp pectin and 2 tbsp honey and microwaved the mixture for 10 mins. The mixture was then closed and cooled in the freezer for 2 hours.

After the dough rose, I knocked it back and then made balls out of the dough. For the conch, I rolled the ball into a thick strand and then flattened it. I applied the garlic butter on one side. I started rolling the dough and while doing so, I applied some garlic butter on the other side too.

For the mushroom squares, I flattened the ball into a 1/4 inch circle. Using a knife, I cut some edges to form a square. I put some of the filling in the center and then folded over the edges towards the center.

For the apricot-orange jelly filled bread, I flattened the dough into an oval shape and then placed some of the jelly in the center. I folded the dough over in order to leave some room in the middle such that some of the jelly could be seen.

For the chocolate spread bread, I shaped the dough just like the conch. Since the dough was slightly stickier than the savory dough, it turned out like a croissant!

All these were baked at 400F for 20-25 minutes on a greased pizza tray. I brushed the tops of all these rolls with some milk. You could use egg too. And here’s how they came out…

Well the fun doesn’t end here! I was so blown away by the birthday bash that N threw for me that I had to do something in return. Since I couldn’t wait until her ‘real’ birthday (which is at least 5 months away, while the fake one was celebrated last month!), I decided to take her to Florida. We visited Pensacola, Navarre beach and Fort Walton beach near Destin. Here are some snaps of the beautiful beaches!

How is any of this related to the food blog? Well, we would like to recommend this place called Another Broken Egg Café. We literally hogged on French toasts and an “Earthquake” sandwich which had sautéed onions, mushrooms and sprouts with mayo. The sandwich also came with country style potatoes which were devoured within 30 seconds of taking its picture :D. They also make their own “tack” sauce which was really delicious! Nothing was overwhelmingly greasy. It was homely, and simple and delicious and fairly healthy which was quite surprising! Here’s a glimpse of our meal at the café.

Overall, I had a superb time! I’ll never forget my first birthday after getting married. And in the rare event of my memory getting feeble, I’ll just read this post :).


Sreelu said...

A&N, Happy Birthday though tad late :), glad you had a blast.Bread looks really tempting, I am going to give it a try

Cham said...

"A" see how sweet it is the married life! N made it unforgettable!
Belated wishes to you! U guys had a blast! Lovely pictures...

Nags said...

how nice :) and u two cook up a lot of things, dont you!! everything looks great!

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Happy Belated Birthday "A".. You are one lucky guy who has such a wonderful companion..acyually both of you are :))
Glad you guys had such a lovely time!!


Hey .. Wishing you a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY "A" .. good to know that N made you day really memorable .. see the advantages of getting married :) glad you guys had a wonderful time

Aparna said...

A belated birthday wish. You certainly "packed" a whole lot of stuff into one day. Can see you had a great time and wishing you many more.
Btw, your blog header brings back similar memories for me!

sra said...

Belated Happy Birthday, A! Nice to read your post - now want to know how N will celebrate hers!

Shreya said...

Hi A, a belated happy birthday wish. Many Many Happy Returns of 'married' birthdays:-) N, you rock!You are the most wonderful cooking-inclined newly wed couple I have seen. May it stay that way, God bless.:-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Belated Birthday wishes.Looks like you all had a rocking time :)

tigerfish said...

Happy belated birthday! Looks like a great day for you :)

Rachel said...

Belated B'day wishes A!

I can see that the barely bakers (checked twice this time) are doing a good job on the baking...

Ramya Bala said...

Belated Birthday wishes!!! and can see from the pixs that u had a wonderful time cooking,eating n enjoying :)

Adam said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

What a feast of a day. You practically covered all cuisines and that cake looks awesome.

Looks like your still the Emperor of the day... just maybe more willing to share in good food :)

Adam said...

Oh, and you've been tagged. Head over to my site and fill out the questions and post your own answers in your blog :)

Sireesha said...

The magic lamp is waiting for u at my blog......

Hi A, a belated happy birthday wish:))glad you had a blast...Bread looks really tempting...

PG said...

belated Happy Birthday, A! Who says that you cannot bake or cook on your birthday.... as long as you have fun and enjoy it :)

PG said...

BTW, the bread rolls look too yummy!

Tartelette said...

Happy belated Birthday! What nice memories!

Sameera.. said...

Belated Happy Birthday "A" !
Wow looks like you guys are having fuuun ! Keep it going

Laavanya said...

Belated bday wishes A. Sounds like you guys did a lot of cooking that day and everything sounds delicious! Your post also reminded me of the days when I had eggs poured on my head (along with other weird things) and had a perfectly yummy cake on my face... :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy belated birthday! What an awesome day! How lucky! My B'day is on Xmas day, so it never was MY day...

I love that recipe! Delicious!



Dibs said...

Wish you both many happy returns! Amazing how many varieties you'll baked!

Vaishali Sabhahit said...

Belated Happy B'day, Ajit!!

Mental note to self: Never read these waste people's blog at breakfast/lunch/dinner. Makes you either

1) want to throw something at them or
2) pay a visit to the nearest pizza hut and ruefully gaze at the garlic bread or
3) plan a trip to their house and hope they'll invite you to lunch

You guys rock!!

S for Kitchen Confit said...

Happy birthday! Wow, those garlic conchs look great.

Sameera.. said...

Hey A&N : Looks like I am late on the scene guys !
Have been busy with re-designing my blog ! :( Do check it out and ur feedback is appreciated ! Added 2 posts as a compensation ;)

Bharti said...

Belated wishes guys. A small "present" for you on my blog. :-)

Cynthia said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!

Lore said...

Oh my it sure sounds like a busy day and tons of fun. Happy belated b-day!
Those garlic conchs and mushroom squares are positively mouthwatering.

A_and_N said...

@ Sreelu: Thanks! Glad that you find it worth trying :)

@ Cham: Very true. It was unforgettable indeed!

@ Nags: Thanks :) But dont f'get to ask N about her navigation skills. She is going to kill me after reading this!

@ Swati: Thanks Swati. I can imagine how lucky are those who get to have their b'day cakes crafted by you :)

@ Vegetable Platter: Thanks V.P :) Yes there are a lot of perks for getting married :D

@ Aparna: Thanks for the wishes. Glad that you liked our header :)

@ Sra: Sure! Will keep everyone posted :)

@ Shreya: Thanks for the wishes and Amen! I hope so too :)

@ Homecooked: thanks! We had a great time at the beach but driving 700 miles in one day did take its toll ;)

@ tigerfish: thanks! yes it was a truly memorable day :)

@ Rachel: lol :) thanks for the wishes and words of encouragement :)

@ Ramya Bala: Thanks. Yes, it was a jam-packed weekend but it was totally worth it :)

@ Adam: hehe..i think after marriage, there is only one person that rules the house...and its a she ;). Will chheck out the tag too.

@ Sireesha: Thanks for the lamp. Wish I could rub it and ask it to get me those Bajjis!!!!

@ PG: Thanks PG! So you are a molecular biologist, eh? Sweet! And yes, I had a lot of fun. I try to explain chemistry to N while cooking but she frowns and yawns at such things ;).

@ Tartelette: Thanks for checking out our blog and your wishes :)

@ Sameera: Thanks Sam :)

@ Laavanya: lets hear more about the 'other weird things' :) I had colored water, mud and yogurt put on my head.

@ Rosa: Wow! b'day on christmas day? Weell I think it is totally your day then because you must be getting double the amount of presents :)

@ Dibs: Thanks Dibs :)

@ Vaish: Exercise option #3 :) You have been invited for b'fast, brunch, lunch, tiffin and dinner :D.

@ S for Kitchen Confit: Thanks....and thanks :)

@ Sameera: Will check out the reevamped blog soon :)

@ Bharti: Thanks for the present. Yes, I hope that we stay vivacious in the blog-world forever too :)

@ Cynthia: Thanks for your wishes Cynthia :)

@ Lore: thank you so much! N is not a big fan of mushrooms so she ended up eating the conchs :)

Cakelaw said...

Happy belated birthday! Lovely looking bread.

Dhanggit said...

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday to you :-) big kisses!!

note: sing to the tune of Will Smith's Men In Black hehehe

Bhavani said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.All I can say is WOW ! you have an amazing blog. And you made bread !! that is awesome.

TBC said...

Belated birthday wishes, A. Good times with food and fun- the perfect way to celebrate! :D

Kumudha said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

Bread looks very tasty!

notyet100 said...

belated birthday wishes...enjoyed readin the post throughout,..

The Caked Crusader said...

You have such a lovely enthusiasm when writing about food and cooking that it cheers me up!
Keep on cooking (and eating!)

Veda Murthy said...

hey beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelated birthday wishes!!!!!i know i m too late to wish u....thats why the beeeeeeeee there:-)seems like u had a good time!

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

A very belated happy birthday. Your stories are very interesting to read. Good that you are a converted blogger.

Maria said...

belated happy birthday. that bread looks like a perfect treat. my kiddos will surelly love that.