Tag Archives: mom

Cake Walk

Now that I’ve proclaimed myself a baker (I can do that right?), I insist that we do not buy cakes for special events.  Why have a beautifully decorated cake, when I can provide an amateur-ly decorated cake for all special occasions?!

Somehow or another, I have convinced my family that it’s a great idea.  Either that or they will do anything to shut me up.

So, when my mom’s birthday comes around, I jumped at the chance to host a pizza party at my house.  A pizza party for my mom?  Her heart wants what it wants.

You know the pizza.  Meet the cake – The Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake (another Kitchen List-er).

I’m still working on the decorating.  Hmmm-kay?!

I’ve had my eye on this cake for a while and was waiting for the best opportunity to bake it.  What better occasion than my mom’s birthday?

The process was easy.  The cakes were cooperative.

And I used what I had to create something fun and festive for my mommy.

Because a party cannot live by cake alone – that is when there is pizza involved!

By golly.

I think she liked it.

The cake was delicious.  I have never made yellow cake before and this will forever be my go-to recipe.  The sour cream frosting was not necessarily my favorite but it was delicious.  I think I prefer a chocolate butter cream above all when it comes to yellow cake.

So, to my mom – who will let me be me, put up with me being me, forgive me for when me-being-me is not very nice, and eat whatever concoction I make (in lieu of a nice restaurant with a fancy cake) just to support me on her day – Happy Happy Happy Birthday to the best Mom ever!

Do you bake your own cakes?  Does someone in your family?  How do you celebrate birthdays?  Have you tried the Smitten Kitchen Best Birthday Cake?


Filed under baking, Cake, Desserts

Baingan Good Time

Yesterday, my mom came over and it was a food fest in my apt – lucky me!  My mom is probably the nicest person I have met in my entire life.  With that said, she is probably the quirkiest!

She and I were cooking together in my tiny kitchen and I told her – “move mom, move!”  She responds:  “When I move, you move – just like that”  Uhhhh…..

HOLD UPLuda?!  This 50-ish-yr-old tiny Indian woman, who watches no American TV/Movies has the strangest things come out of her mouth!  I asked her where she learned that from, and she said she’s in the know!!!  When did this happen?!

Oh lawwdddd….have mercy.

So, let’s get cooking.  I must preface this by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE eggplant.  It is one of my – nay – my favorite vegetable!  An old favorite that I recreated myself was baingan bhartha.  Went deliciously with my mom’s chapathi.

With my mad skillz (in honor of Luda), I turned this:

into this:

And then magically the oven timer goes off and this appeared:

I swear to Moses I only had TWO!  I resisted my little grabby fingers I did.

I’m not one to say my mom and I are best friends.  Man, we have duked it out from 13-26.  Then, 27 hit and somehow she and I had more in common than we knew!

Now if the woman would only teach me where she learned to be such a lyrical gangsta!

Baingan Bharta


–  1 eggplant

–  2 tsp garlic, finely minced – I use garlic paste

–  2 tsp ginger, finely minced – I use ginger paste

–  1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

–  1 roma tomato chopped

–  1 jalepeno – (adjust to the level of heat you want)

–  1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – (adjust to the level of heat you want)

–  1/2 tsp garam masala

–  1/2 tsp turmeric

–  1/2 tsp ground coriander

–  1/2 tsp ground cumin

–  1/2 tsp black pepper

–  1/2 tsp salt

–  olive oil



1. Preheat oven to 450F

2.  Wash and cut the eggplant in half, lengthwise.

3.  Place eggplant cut-side down on a well oiled cookie sheet.

4.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

5.  Once cool, cut the eggplant in bite-size pieces.  (Many baingan bharta recipes say you should scoop out the flesh but I keep the skin because it contains alot of nutrients.  Moreover, I don’t mind it!)  Set aside.

6.  In pan, heat oil.

7.  Saute onions and jalepeno on medium heat until the onions are golden brown.

8.  Add ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garam masala, salt and pepper.

9.  Saute spices with the onion and jalepeno until the raw smell of the spices are gone – for approximately 5 minutes.

10.  Add tomatoes and saute for another 3 minutes.

11.  Add eggplant and again saute for another 5-7 minutes – until the eggplant is soft and has absorbed some of the spices.

12.  Serve and enjoy!


Filed under Dinner