Recipe: Amazing 2-ingredient Nutella brownies

2_ingredient_Nutella_browniesYes, you read that right. Just two ingredients – Nutella and eggs – combine together to create this beautifully complex brownie. Crisp on top, moist on the bottom, its guaranteed to take you straight to chocolate heaven! If this isn’t alchemy, I don’t know what is!

 

 

Here’s what you need:

240 grams Nutella
4 eggs

And here’s what you do:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175 C.
  1. Grease and line a baking tin (4×4 or 8×8 work equally well)
  1. Crack your eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer or in a big bowl. With the whisk attachment, whip on highest speed for about 6-8 minutes. Your eggs should triple in quantity and take on a light yellow color. This is the key to this dish – if it isn’t whisked enough, you’ll end up with an eggy chocolate flavored mess.
  1. While your eggs are beating, measure out the Nutella, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for a total of 1 minute, stopping every 15 seconds to give it a good stir. You want your Nutella to be creamy and flowy.
  1. Once your eggs are done, start pouring in the Nutella 1-2 teaspoons at a time and keep beating at a low speed. (With a hand-mixer, add a little Nutella at a time and mix in between.)
  1. Once all your Nutella has been added and is thoroughly combined with the eggs, give it a stir with a rubber spatula, paying attention to the sides and bottom where the whisk may have missed.
  1. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. The brownies are done when they start to pull away from the sides of the tin and a skewer comes out clean.
  1. Pull out of the oven and wait for the cake to cool completely before getting it out of the pan or cutting it, or they’ll fall apart easily.
  1. Eat! For a more decadent experience, sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with fresh fruit, and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Note: You can keep the brownies in an air tight container for up to a week – either outside or in the fridge depending on the weather.

The Kindness Revolution: Nurture Yourself

Those of you who have followed my blog long enough would know that spirituality is a big pLettering: Go where the peace isart of my life. I believe in taking regular me time, in meditating, and in being creative – be it through art or photography, writing or cooking.

In the busyness of daily life though, it is easy to let me time slide…to lose focus…but you need to give yourself permission to take a break and play.

And what better way to do it than by using art and journaling as a means to relax and comfort yourself and to get grounded while dealing with the craziness of every-day living?

It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and you don’t need fancy supplies. You can start with a simple sketch book, a pen and a few minutes a day. Do some doodling, combine it with some lettering, write some thoughts down on the page, paste a quote into your sketchbook and doodle around it. Something that simple can help you deal with even the roughest of days.

doodling_circlesIf you’re not comfortable with doodling, try keeping a journal. Write down your thoughts or observations, or try answering a question a day. Often that’s a good way to start journal writing if you’re very new to it. The questions can be as profound or simple as you’d like – it’s your journal after all!

Here are a few prompts to get you started:

What was I yearning for today?
What was my biggest achievement today?
What defined my day today?
When I look back at my life, what do I wish I could have told my younger self?
If I had the time and resources, what would I most wish to do? Is there any way to start doing that anyway?

Try doodling, sketching, lettering or journaling – even if all you can spare is 10 minutes a day. You’ll feel more grounded, more centered, calmer, saner…just 10 minutes a day, more if and when you have the time, can make a world of difference.

Will you carve out a bit of me time? I hope you’ll join me in the kindness revolution!

(Click on images to enlarge)

 

Book Review: Sita’s Curse – The Language of Desire by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

From the back cover: Trapped for 15 years in the stranglehold of a dead marriage and soulless household domesticity, the beautiful, full-bodied and passionate Meera Patel depends on her memories and her flights of fantasy to soothe the aches that wrack her body…until one cataclysmic day in Mumbai, when she finally breaks free. Bold, brazen and defiant, Sita’s Curse looks at the hypocrisy of Indian society and tells the compelling story of a middle class Indian housewife’s urgent need for love, respect, acceptance – and sexual fulfillment.

What I expected: Simply put: feminist erotica. This is the first book whose book trailer I actually watched. And I had high expectations from it. I thought it would be bold and brazen; daring and defiant; eschewing the stereotype of an Indian “bahu” (wife) and looking, instead, at the woman – at her dreams and hopes; her fight for respect and acceptance in her new household; her flight from the cage that traps her.

What it is: C-grade thrash. Honestly, 50 Shades of Gray was literary manna compared to this.

We have Meera, an innocent village girl, who starts her sexscapade as a child with her twin Kartik, moves on to underage sex with her dance teacher, girl-on-girl sex with the daughter of her father’s associate, and then has sex with a stranger on a riverbank before she’s pushed into a loveless marriage with Mohan.

Now Mohan, despite trying really hard, just cannot get it up. So in between pleasuring herself, Meera has sex with their guruji, indulges in voyeuristic behavior by spying on her brother-in-law having sex with his wife, bangs the dance teacher in her colony, and then discovers the joys of internet porn. And on that “cataclysmic day in Mumbai”, she calls her chat room lover to a seedy hotel in Colaba where she discovers that maybe she is in love with the gigolo.

And if you’re wondering where Sita fits in all of this – you’re not alone. I have the same question. Apart from the fact that Meera played the role of Sita every year on Dusserha, Sita has nothing much to do in the book. Except to cringe at this gross misuse of her name.

By now I am sure you can surmise that you will have to hunt for the plot with a magnifying glass. The sex will not titillate you – it will disgust you. And feminists everywhere are most probably seething at having this book labelled “feminist erotica”.

Final verdict: Give this one a miss

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

{Z} Zen and the art of blogging

Finally, it’s the penultimate post of the A to Z challenge! I never thought it would get this difficult, and I never thought I would manage to persevere, what with the crazy schedule at work and the craziness of writing a blog post each and every day. But this month of daily blogging, of stretching myself to the max, has thought me a lot – about blogging and about life.

  1. It pays to plan: Before April rolled around, I had already drawn up a list of blog post ideas with almost all the letters and had also scheduled 2 weeks’ worth of posts. This made the start of the challenge easy, and I was able to use a couple of weekends in April to write and schedule more posts and go visit fellow participants. That early momentum powered me through the rest of the month, when the going got tougher and tougher. I wasn’t always able to spread the blog love, but I wrote a post a day, which is the main reason why I joined up for the challenge.

    Zenitude: When you have a why, you can achieve anything!

  2. Do what you humanly can: Part of the challenge involved blog hopping and commenting. I kept up with the commenting for as long as I could, but on the days when it was too overwhelming (which was essentially mid-April onwards), I just did what I could. I’ll go catch up on posts slowly now, when I have the time to actually read and leave intelligent comments. Giving myself some slack here meant that I didn’t totally burn out, and was able to juggle the various things that came up this month.

    Zenitude: Work within your limitations, without beating yourself up, and you’ll accomplish more than you thought was possible.

  3. But don’t give up: I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up! But I didn’t. I wrote entire posts and designed graphics to go with it on my phone, I wrote a post outline before going to sleep and fleshed it out when I woke up, but I didn’t give up. The high I am feeling now, on completing the challenge, is immense. To top it all, this month of blogging every day on a huge variety of topics helped me break out of the blogging inertia that had set in, which is a plus!

    Zenitude: Stretch yourself in new ways, challenge the status quo, and you’ll be surprised at the font of creative gold you will find.

What lessons have you learnt from this challenge or any other challenge that you’ve participated in?

{Y} The Kindness Revolution: Don’t say no when you want to say yes

Erm, but, I don’t know how to say no, you might be thinking. And, wait a minute, why would I say no to something I want to say yes to?

Maybe, because you’ve said yes to things you didn’t know how to say no to.

Are you confused? Let me explain.

How often do you feel overwhelmed, feel like 24 hours is too less? How much time are you able to devote to the things that matter to you? How often have you said yes to something because you didn’t know how to say no, or you thought it would be rude or mean to say no?

If you’re giving away handfuls of your time to other people and things, is it any wonder that you have no time to focus on the things that really matter to you? Be they personal goals – like focusing on your health, your hobbies, your dreams; having some time to simply unwind; or wanting the best for your family – and this isn’t about monetary things, but about having time to enjoy life together.

Well, guess what? To be able to say yes to the things you want, you have to say no to the things that don’t matter that much to YOU.

20140429-153922.jpg

Sometimes this is easier said than done. But, at the end of the day, every thing and every choice has a price tag. When you’re sacrificing one thing for another thing, you should be sacrificing a good thing for a better thing. If you aren’t doing that, you aren’t really sacrificing, you’re compromising. And that isn’t a good feeling in the long run.

So take the time to figure out what matters most to YOU, or you’ll find yourself saying no to the things you want to say yes to more often than not.

Are you ready to say yes to the things that matter to you? ill you join me in the kindness revolution?

Leave any tips, strategies, or burning questions in the comments; I promise to get back to you soon!