I am sorry that I have been Missing in Action for quite some time now. I am guilty of not feeding my blog since the last two months.
Actually me and my husband decided to take the big plunge... No, we are not getting married again.... We decided to move to The United States ....lock, stock and Barrel.
When my husband was offered a new project in Houston, it was a real difficult decision to make for us...it was so hard to make up our minds as we were leaving a lot behind. It's not easy to uproot yourself totally, throw away everything that you have lovingly built and collected over the last 20 years, move away from the only life you knew, leave behind your loved ones and family and move to a totally alien country, where you arrived with just two suitcases in hand and literally start everything from scratch. We just didn't know what to expect. Back in India, we had a plush comfortable life, everybody's routine was set and we thought we had reached a stage of life where you had seen everything, done everything, achieved enough to make you satisfied and content.
Then this gauntlet of a new project was thrown at us. Perplexing as it might have been, we thought to ourselves, "Why not? Let's take this offer as a new adventure, what better opportunity will we ever have in our life to give our kids some international exposure, a chance at a new life!! This opportunity was given to us in a platter so let's grab it with both our hands!!
And secretly, I too have always nurtured a dream, hoping someday to be able to do a baking course from the prestigious CIA (culinary Institute of America), though it might seem really really far fetched right now but I do feel a step closer to it.
To cut the story short, we landed in Houston a month and a half back with literally nothing but just two suitcases each. I won't say things were easy at the start. It was challenging right from renting a house to buying a car and then collecting things for the house especially as all you are doing in the beginning is converting from dollars to rupees and gasping at how expensive everything seemed. Especially when you knew that those very things you were buying, you had literally thrown away/given away at the price of peanuts.
You can imagine throwing away 20 years worth of life back home and building your house brick by brick all over again. Things that we had taken for granted back home, which didn't hold value to you out there, suddenly held a lot more value in your eyes (like my maids!! How I miss them here and the subji wallah who used to drop the vegetables home and the society grocery shop...everything was so easily available and just a phone call away). It's been a big adjustment for all of us but in a nice kind of way. In a month and a half we have settled down comfortably and enjoying the American way of life. There are many anecdotes about my transition from India to U.S which I would love to share with you and believe me there is so much to share, but I think I will be documenting my new adventures in a separate blog.
The absolute worst thing that could have happened to me was that my laptop died on me...it is just refusing to respond. Initially I thought it must be the battery problem but even after replacing the battery, it is still unresponsive. It's absolutely horrifying as with everyone else so busy, hubby with his new job and kiddo with his school, keeping busy with my food blog was what I had backed on, looked forward to, so you can imagine how heart wrecking it is for me not to be able to post anything on my blog.
But then I thought enough is enough. For how long do I sit idle waiting for the laptop to get repaired/replaced. I had to do something about it. I have decided to experiment a bit and write my posts on my iPad and copy-paste, download the pic from google web album. I know I won't be able to post too many pictures as I plan to post two pictures and copy paste my written post in between, that way ican have a picture in the top and another at the bottom. Don't be too alarmed if the posts are a little blotchy, there might be a few errors as I have to copy paste the post in entirely one go. Somehow 'Blogger' on my iPad only allows me to edit my posts in the beginning and end of the post. I just don't know how to get to the middle portion if I have to edit. If anyone has successfully used 'Blogger' on their iPad for posting on their blog, please guide me how to go about it. Inspite all efforts I am totally clueless.
So here goes, fingers crossed, my first experimental post on my blog from my iPad after a long absence. Wish me all the best!!
I made a batch of these spiced apple cinnamon muffins with oats for my sweet 84 year old neighbour. It's incredible how he manages the complete household himself - the cooking, washing, cleaning in addition to the shopping and looking after his wife who has completely lost her eyesight. Hats off to him!! And with all this too, a more cheerful soul I have yet to meet. Full of life he always greets you with a smile whenever he sees you outside. Thinking it would be a good way to get to know my neighbours better, last week, I went across to his house with a batch of these muffins. He called back later to say how much he enjoyed them. I hope you too enjoy them.
They are so so scrumptious, full of the warm spicy flavour of cinnamon and delicious crisp apple bits, it's hard to keep your hands off them, honestly!!
2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 2 teaspoons for coating apples)
Oats- 1/2 cup (I used 1 pkt of Quakers cinnamon and spice flavoured oats but you can add plain oats too)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (+ ½ teaspoon for coating apples)
2 cups diced apples
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp honey
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
For the Topping:
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375º F. Spray muffin tins with bakers spray or coat well with shortening or butter and flour, making sure to discard any excess flour from the tins after coating.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Toss together diced apples and 2 teaspoons of flour to coat apples in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Beat sugar and eggs till creamy and light in colour, about 4-5 minutes.
Gently fold in the sifted flour and oats. Mix in the vanilla essence, oil and milk.
Fold in apples.
Stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples and scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Prepare topping for muffins while the muffins are baking by melting the butter and allowing to cool slightly. Pour butter into a separate bowl sized easy for dipping tops of muffins. Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
Once muffins have baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin. Then, remove each muffin and dip first into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place onto a plate to finish cooling.