I am moving…come visit!

…and hopefully stay 🙂

Hello my lovely readers, I have finally moved to my new home over at http://www.flourandspiceblog.com ! Those of you who subscribe to my posts will now be getting emails from the new site. Those of you who haven’t subscribed ought to. lol. In all seriousness at the very least bookmark the new one. I will be blogging a lot more frequently and would hate for anyone to miss out on deliciousness 🙂

I hope you like it as much as I do. There are still some kinks to work out and I am working on including a print friendly recipe with each post, but please do write and let me hear your thoughts!

So what are you waiting for? Come see (the new) me!

Top 5s of 2014

I am not going to lie, I am weirdly excited about putting together these lists. Makes me feel all fancy like you know 🙂

It also makes me happy when I take a look back at the year that was and see all that love in one place. Thank you so much for popping by here when you do and cooking from my lil ol blog. Your visits, messages and emails keep me going (true story).

Even though I know the Beef Biryani and Anday Aalu ka Salan are fan faves so to speak for these round ups I am sticking to recipes posted in 2014. Hope you enjoy the year that was as much as I did!

First…*drumroll please* your top 5 from the recipes published in 2014…

 Chicken Ginger

Chicken Ginger

Haray Masalay ki Murghi (Chicken in a cilantro based gravy)


Bhindi ki Sabzi (sauteed Okra)


Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Ice cream Stars

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel Icecream Stars w Edible Gold Stars

Coffee Flecked Blondies

Coffee Flecked Browned Butter Blondies w White Chocolate Chunks

Then let’s take a quick look at my personal favorites shall we?

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies w Pistachios

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pistachios

Thai Noodle Salad

Go To Noodle Salad

Reduced Fat Spinach and Corn Mac and Cheese


Spicy Shredded Beef

Spicy Shredded Beef or Bhuna Gosht

Chicken and Rice


Thanks so much for all the love in 2014 and for your patience with my admittedly erratic blogging! You guys are so cool like that, I heart you 🙂

Three Things Thursday

Hello it’s me. I know, I know, I haven’t been Three Things Thursdaying much recently, but it has been a little chaotic round here. Thankfully I finally have the illusion of control if not control itself and so here I am back in the fray 🙂

Thing One: School

My big girl – hurts my heart when I think of her like that – is now in her second week of school. There were tears (mostly mine) and the unfinished lunches continue, but other than that she is so happy. It makes me a little sad to think that “mama zara days” are over and that my little coffee-croissant buddy will now be gone 5 days a week.

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Fortunately for me I have another little buddy to keep me company! When she goes to kindergarten I will probably lose it. lol

Thing Two: Red Baby Red

I don’t have a stand mixer. When I tell people that they are usually very surprised, but the fact is that I don’t need one. My compact kitchen doesn’t have the room and I love my handheld mixer. When it finally wheezed and whirred for the last time this past week I had to replace it.


So I did. With the same one. In a different color if that counts 🙂 If you’re looking for a good hand mixer that you can really put through the paces for several years (mine lasted 5) then this Kitchenaid 5 speed is it. No, they don’t give me anything for saying this. I wish.

Thing Three: Flipp

I have recently discovered price matching and it is so easy that I thought I would do a quick share here. Going through flyers with scissors isn’t exactly my thing, but tapping a screen even I can do and that my Canadian friends is where Flipp comes in. It won’t give you Extreme Couponing style savings, but if I can have more money to shop with  pay less for my groceries then why not I say!

Daddy, I know you’re proud hehe

Don’t forget to show a little love for my awesome hosts at The Write Balance, Pink Chai Living and Love Laugh Mirch.



Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Chocolate for breakfast is the most terrible kind of wonderful there is. I had made the original version of these muffins from Dorie Greenspan’s incredible “Baking: From My Home to Yours” many years ago, but I think I prefer this ‘healthier’ version from one of the most beautiful blogs out there. It subs out the butter for oil, adds in a hefty amount of yogurt and uses whole wheat flour as well. To make the batter looser and the chocolate flavor deeper I also added a little coffee to the mix. The resulting muffin is one that has a soft chocolaty crumb that is still substantial enough to keep you feeling full.


Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Makes 12

80 ml canola oil
4 oz chocolate coarsely chopped divided – I used a mix of dark and milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coffee
Coarse Sugar for Sprinkling (Optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tray with cups. Melt half the chocolate and let it cool. Then whisk the dry ingredients together.


In a separate bowl whisk all the ‘wet’ ingredients to combine and pour into the dry mix. Mix in with a spatula until almost combined – some streaks are okay and then add in the chips/chunks and fold those in. DO NOT OVER MIX. Divvy up the mix between the muffin cups and sprinkle with coarse sugar (if using).


Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top springs back when gently pressed.


Three Things Thursday – IV

ImageI know, I know. It’s Friday and the post is called Three Things THURSDAY. But guys, between the two kids, a playdate, and some fabulous roast chicken (to be posted), Thursday just rushed by. So here we go, 3 random things I have thought about/done over the week and get to share with you thanks  to our lovely blog hosts The Write Balance, Pink Chai Living, and Love Laugh Mirch.

Thing One: Matchy Matchy Much?

I must confess to having rolled my eyes at the kids who are obviously a few years apart and dressed exactly alike. Apparently Karma is a thing because twice in the last week I have been bamboozled by my 3 year old into finding/ordering an identical outfit for my 6 month old. Sigh. So now if any of you are in Toronto and happen to see two lil ones in the swim outfit below please don’t roll your eyes. It could totally happen to you.


Thing Two: The Book of Awesome

Okay so I am a little late to the party on this one (too), but a friend of mine got an autographed copy of this book for me shortly after Baby No.2 was born. Things got crazy and I only actually got it from her a few weeks ago and started reading it this week. “A high five for humanity” is how they describe it and I think that’s quite apt. It is basically a collection of the little things that make us all happier, but that we don’t ever take notice of. Like the pillow fluff. You know when you’re uncomfortable at night then flip your pillow over, fluff it a little and life is good again. Yeah… 🙂 Every day has so many little feel good moments like this, I love this book for reminding me to take notice of them!


Btw did you notice how I casually threw ‘autographed copy’ in their like the fact that is is autographed didn’t almost make me die from excitement 🙂

Thing Three: Mothers Day

With mothers day around the corner Shana at Ain’t No Mom Jeans (my favorite mom fashion blogger) has put together an awesome gift idea roundup. Love some of the stuff there and so wish I was cool enough to rock leather leggings, but alas that’s another matter for another time.  Love the umbrella and raincoat though – even more so given that we seem to have had nothing but rain this past week!



Picture Source: Ain’t No Mom Jeans

What do you guys think about Mothers Day? Am starting to feel like what should be about expressing genuine appreciation has turned into something far less meaningful. That said who doesn’t like pretty stuff 🙂

Three Things Thursday – II

Welcome to this episode of Three Things Thursday, brought to you by our lovely blogger-hosts, Raj at Pink Chai Living, Salma at The Write Balance and Nisha at Love Laugh Mirch. For those of you who missed last weeks post Three Things Thursday is a way for us to share three things that have been on our mind, but don’t really need a post of their own.

Thing One: My Black Thumb

You know how you go to a greenhouse and they tell you that such and such plant can survive anything? Well, whatever it is it can’t survive me. That is for sure.



My little girl (3rd from the left) and her friends planted some flowers and herbs today and here is to hoping that her efforts are more productive than mine. If so then who knows I may give plants another shot – I can already see my husband shaking his head in dismay.

Thing Two: Reading in Bed

I was/am a huge bookworm. When I went from good ol’ paper books to e-readers and apps I realized two things. One that I can no longer remember names of authors or titles of books and two that my daughter will never see me read. As far back as I can remember my parents read something almost every day – my dad his National Geographics and P.G. Wodehouses and my mom her Danielle Steeles and Mills&Boons. I want my daughter to grow up feeling that reading is something we do and ought to do on our own (vs just being read to) so to that end before I put her to bed in the evening I have started taking a book into bed with her and I read my book while she reads hers. Although I started this for a reason I find that I am really enjoying the quiet time we share together.

Thing Three: Baking up some Uglies

Folks I am so Disappointed in myself. Yes, capital D disappointed. I attempted these beautiful supposedly easy butterfly cupcakes and this is what I wound up with.



Call it quits or redo? I also used an eggless cake recipe that I am not super happy with. Failure all around. Sigh.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the cool posts put up by other Three Things Thursday bloggers!

Three Things Thursday

Happy Almost Friday! It’s a thing you know… sort of.

The wonderful bloggers at Love Laugh Mirch, The Write Balance, and Pink Chai Living have come up with Three Things Thursday, an opportunity for bloggers to share things that are on their mind, but don’t merit entire blog posts. I am always happy to join a party so here I am 🙂

Thing One

SPRING!!! It is here! It really is! For those of you in warmer climes this probably is no big deal, but after the winter we have had in Toronto anything over 5 degrees Celsius feels positively balmy. Sure we have had a few wet days, but that is what these cheery rain boots are for!


Thing Two

I have been trolling the web for outdoor play ideas for my 3 year old and found this I can see her and her friends having so much fun with some  of these. Can’t wait to try them out!

Thing Three


In the past I have spent a fair bit of time in bookstores going through cookbooks. And being stared at by people who thought it was a bit weird that I read cookbooks. You guys get it though right? Anyway it has been ages since I added anything new to my shelves and I am  looking for recommendations. What are your favorite cookbooks? Do share!

Hello Baby!

If frequency of posts is anything to go by then I am a terrible blogger. But just LOOK AT THIS FACE!


That folks is the face of Mishaal Mir, the newest member of the Mir family. She came into the world on November 18th and is overall a wonderful little baby. Her big sister is thrilled to bits as well. The only down side is that I have now been usurped as Zara’s best friend and replaced by Mishaal. Then again, who can blame her 🙂



Fish Biryani

Do you guys ever think about food? As in ‘Id like to eat/make something with ____ that tastes ____’. Well I do, not very often mind you; I am usually a follow the recipe kinda girl. But I have been thinking about fish biryani lately. Now, we eat a lot of biryani in this house and historically my fish biryani recipe has been a variant of this one here. Since I usually buy whatever firm white fish is on sale (Basa this time around) I started to feel that my traditional masalas were too strong for a delicate fish. Plus it’s summer you know, time to lighten up – at least flavor wise. Far be it from me to suggest that white rice is diet food 🙂

On a serious note, it is easier on the oil than most biryanis  or curries and that actually contributes to the lightness and freshness of the flavors. Also, dill and fish equals yumminess. Trust me – or even better, try it for yourself and see!

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Liebster Award!


First of all a HUGE thank you to Agata  of Bark Time for generously nominating me for the Liebster Award. I have not been blogging for the last little while so I did see this a little late, but did not want to deny myself the fun of playing along! The Liebster is aimed at start up blogs with less than 200 followers, and it is this simple – you get nominated, you nominate 11 others and then you answer 11 questions that your nominator (is that a word?) came up with and formulate 11 for those you nominate to answer. Sounds fun right?

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