Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy 7th Blogversary to Ginger & Garlic!

This November Ginger & Garlic turned 7 - wow, I can't believe it was 7 years ago that I wrote my very first quinoa salad post. I never thought anyone would read it. And I was ecstatic when someone did read it and comment!

It has been a long journey since then. To some extent I think the changes in how I blog reflect my own personal journey over the last 7 years. And this 7 year blogversary is making me sentimental enough to walk down the memory lanes....
Carrots with Saffron & Cardamom

This blog started off with a simple enough reason. I rarely set foot in kitchen until I moved to US for grad school. I was trying to be a better cook, reading recipes on internet, on the many blogs popping up in 2008-2009 timeframe and experimenting a lot with various recipes and cooking techniques. 

I also wanted to improve my photography -- and most importantly, I love to write, always have! This is probably the primary reason I blog; I love to write. Anything. And cooking was a great medium for me.

In an alternate universe I wish to be a successful chef and a writer, owning a beach front house where I just write, cook & bake. In this universe, I am happy to be a working mom who loves to food blog :)

The blog started off at a point when I had a major lull in my career - I felt stuck where I was and felt a bit helpless. I wanted a metaphorical escape. My husband, always the supportive type, encouraged me to start a blog, which he said will add up to something over the years - sort of like a digital diary/recipe box. I agreed. And started Ginger & Garlic.

As are most new bloggers, I was attention seeking, number of comments on a post signified to me the value of that post - and that's what I chased by posting often, posting more fancy things, blog networking etc etc. It worked. The blog was vibrant and I felt like a part of blogger community. I was super happy but not fully satisfied deep down, I think.

Around then life happened. My career picked up, a few great opportunities (in hindsight) came along at work, I jumped on them and worked like crazy; often neglected the blog for months at a time. But the blog was always at the back of my mind - every weekend I would open up the webpage and browse through old postings, always with a smile on my face :)

And then we decided to start a family. The morning sickness put me off of food in general and I couldn't even look at food pictures, let alone blog about food. So came the longest break from first trimester through the birth of the baby. I picked up steam during my maternity leave finding time to blog about cooking as a new mom - it was a wonderful period!

And then career picked up again. None of these things are planned. An opportunity comes your way, you pounce on it and do the best you can. It was a simple matter of prioritization then - family, work and some time for personal care. The blog always took the hit :(

But one thing I did not want to happen is to kill the blog or orphan it. So I came up with a new plan. The holidays Nov-Dec, right when work tempers down is when I'll invest in my blog. Then by spring time I am back in my got-to-prioritize routine. It's not much, but it's something. And something is better than nothing.

Over the years I also learnt to be true to why I blog. It is not for appreciation or acknowledgement. There are readers who will always read no matter how infrequently I post; and then there is Google which will ensure good content stays on through search., I learnt to let go of chasing appreciation and instead focused more on creating a portal where I can write about what I cherish - something which I hope to hand down to my daughter.

Something I hope she will read to her kids when she grows up and something I'll look back years from today to immerse myself in the time of "back-then" as if it never left me.... and that's why I blog.

Happy 7th Blogversary, Ginger & Garlic!    

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving and Let The Holiday Season Begin!

A very happy thanksgiving to everyone who celebrated. Our thanksgiving was a quiet affair spent talking and eating and sipping wine with friends at home lazily over the course of an afternoon! 

For me there is so much to be thankful for this year - from family and friends to work to our house to my daughter's wonderful teachers and of-course all of you readers!

Thanksgiving is officially a home cook's holiday - a time to celebrate every home cook laboring over the stoves or ovens to put a warm and delicious food on table for their loved ones day after day. Thanksgiving always puts me into the gear for the upcoming holiday season and for emptying that recipe bookmarks I let build over the year.

The menu this thanksgiving was a set of simple oven heavy dishes. I love oven only recipes in winter, you avoid the wait and watch and stir phase next to the stove which just means extra time for sipping tea or playing with daughter.
Pumpkin Pie

We had a turkey free dinner so chicken was the star of the table instead. I cooked NYTimes Sam Sifton's roasted chicken provencal - which is a super simple roasted chicken seasoned with liberal amounts of herbs de provence (blend off rosemary, thyme, majoram and other French herbs) baked with lemon slices, potato wedges and whole cloves of garlic. It's a dish that fills here
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
your kitchen with warm heart-warming aromas and really could not be any easier to make! I'll snap a pic next time we make it. But do visit the recipe

Holiday Pinwheels
For starters I made holiday pinwheels again - a super simple dish - just needs puff pasty and a blend of pestos (or one, whatever you have at hand). No matter how many pinwheels I make, there is always someone asking for more - and that's a sign of a successful appetizer :)

There were three sides - my daughter, now an almost 5 year old, whipped together a cranberry chutney from Trader Joe's crushed cranberries.

We made some roasted red peppers and tomato soup with garlic bread to go-along with it and some roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with local honey, olive oil and S&P.
Vegertable Biryani

For vegetarian guests there was a veg biryani made with cauliflowers, potatoes and carrots; topped with roasted cashews, saffron and fried onions.
Cranberry Chutney & Honey Roasted SWeet Potatoes
And the dessert was the quint-essential thanksgiving dessert - a home-made pumpkin pie! I used this Allrecipes. Pie turned out wonderful - I increased the seasoning and added some fresh grated ginger for additional perk of flavors. We enjoyed the pie with some home-made whipped cream.

Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving and let the holiday season or eating or shopping or whatever it is that you do -  begin!

Copyright and Disclaimer

This page and all of its contents is copyright of Prajakta Gudadhe. All rights reserved.

This is a web catalog of the recipes that I have tried and tasted in my kitchen. While these recipes and instructions have worked well for me, please use all the information and the recipes from Ginger and Garlic at your own risk.