Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rendez Vous With A Foodie - A New Event with Priya R of Cook Like Priya

Blogspot,the virtual mom is getting more and more new babies, obviously a four years old blogger like me is just wondering how to know all those beginners. Everyday, i can see newbies are budding here and there and am completely lost with it. Since i love to discover the other food blogs, finally i planned myself to ask few of the new food blog buddies to join their hands with me. This is how my new event was born, also we named it as 'Rendez Vous With A Foodie', the main motto of this event is to showcase the new food bloggers,their passions and their respective blogs.Truly i want to bring out those buddies and their blogs from their cocoon to showcase each and everyone to my fellow bloggers and followers.Every month i'll be inviting two new bloggers and they will be inviting you all to their place with their wonderful guest post.Give them your supports and your encouraging words, hope this will definitely gives them more enthu to stay a long in this virtual world.

Today my first guest is Priya R of Cook like Priya, a wonderful blogger,down to earth person,a very caring and an adorable sister of me.She was kind enough to accept immediately my invitation, obviously am waiting eagerly since  few days to see her guest post. Actually i didnt gave her much time to make this post for me,but honestly she was simply awesome and prepared this guest post within less than a week. I can proudly say that i love her dedication, her passion for food as well as her new baby blog here.Priya is blogging less than a year, you can find many fantabulous dishes at her place,she have a collection of wonderful South Indians foods with many beautiful bakes. Seriously you guys have to visit her space to see her recent post, she just baked a rose cake for her anniversary and it was mindblowing, if you ask her she will definitely say she is a novice baker, but trust me she makes many fantabulous baked goodies in a jiffy and once again she proved me that she bakes beautifully by sending me some meringue cookies for the guest post.

Now lets meet my first guest Priya R of Cook like Priya..

Today is a special day for me, the reason being I am the first one to do the guest post series hosted by my dear friend and fellow blogger Priya Aks called 'Rendez vous with a Foodie'. Last week Priya aks had approached a group of newbie food bloggers to do guest posts for her famous blog Priya's Versatile Recipes aka Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes and I jumped to it almost instantly. This series is only for new food bloggers to get to know more about them and the blogs they write and Priya aks plans to do this twice a month.

I found this as an immense honor and a superb opportunity to showcase talents from the upcoming bloggers like me. As always I wanted to share a special and favorite recipe for this series and keeping in mind the short time frame, I had planned for this Rose Meringue. Priya aks is a very lovely friend and dear sister to me, and I am so happy to get to know her through this virtual platform, she is an inspiration to me and my cooking. We talk a lot and I got to know more about her and one other reason for doing this guest post is her love for meringue cookies and the color pink. And my own surprise for her is in this post itself. Thank you aks for giving me this lovely opportunity to cook for you, your blog and readers. I hope you like my recipe..

Since 10'th March 2013 is Mothers' Day I planned to dedicate this post to a lovely mother of 3 Priya aks and to every mother in this world also remembering my sweet Amma at this time. Mind you Mother's Day in Europe falls in March, in India and US its in May. So since I live in London I am sending out my wishes to all the Mothers' and mum's to be.

1) Tell us about you and your blog?

I am Priya Ranjit and I write @ Cook like Priya, my blog is around 9 mts old. I blog about Indian, Continental and baking recipes. My roots are from Chennai, India, I started to fascinate about food and cooking only after marriage like most girls. But least did I expect to blog about my recipes, it was only through the sure motivation of my husband that I decided to do a food blog. One fine boring afternoon I logged in Blogger created a blog. Little did I know that blogging can get me addicted and fetch me tons of like-minded friends.

About me I am a friendly, easy to get along person, I love to cook, eat, draw, paint, sew,sing... my interests are endless. I always believe that I can learn even from a small child, I am open to criticism and I do get hurt when people misunderstand me. But no matter what I just be myself .

2)Before and after blogging, tell us how blogging changed your life?

- used to cook and forget recipes, never make notes of any recipe that I cook so I used to end up playing guessing games on proportions. This resulted in same curry ending up in a different flavor everytime.

-Make notes of recipes and replicate every dish how I did the very first time. I not make variations with ingredients and understand what makes the curry taste good.
-I started to love my camera and internet without which God forbid my day is so boring.
- I started exploring possibilities in cooking, I learnt to bake only after starting my blog, I never knew one can bake eggless, vegan, gluten free.  I used to stick only to South Indian cooking now I have learnt to explore north Indian recipes and I have some favorites too
- Learnt lots of terms/food names/recipes - gluten, zucchini, rye, vegan, foccacia... etc
- My writing skills have improved a lot, blogging has helped me nurture that aspect in me
-I have tons of lovely friends, sisters, blog buddies you name it, I have enemies too :P so my life is balanced and I enjoy, learn, share, giggle, pull legs...and so on

3)When and what motivated you to blog about food?

My husband and parents. I used to click pictures of every dish I cooked and over a time period everyone started asking me for recipes and hence wanted to share them, so that's how I started to blog.

4)There are tons of blogs/pages on food these days what according to you is the speciality of your blog and the food that you cook?

My blog has vegeterain  non-vegeterain, baking, eggless bakes, breads, desserts, Indian sweets and so on. It is my collection of favorites (Indian, Chinese, Thai), Amma's recipes (south Indian) and recipes that I have learnt from other sources(baking,vegan gluten-free). I write my personal experiences, tips, tricks and also write about my struggles to a recipe.

5)When its comes to cooking, who is your inspiration?

My mom, she is by far the best cook that I have known. She cooks so many recipes and never fails to reproduce every recipe in the same taste as it was the previous time she cooks. She also cooks Chinese and north Indian recipes

6) Every newbie blogger faces tons of challenges when it comes to blogging,tell me about one of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it? please specify with facts and details.

The first ever challenge I faced is Blogspot, since I was totally new to it, being someone who was a novice with html I struggled a lot. Later I used to google for answers and found tons of information posted in the internet that helped me build my blog to what it is today. I feel the learning has never stopped, I have a far more things I can do and every day seems like a new thing I can learn.

7)What is your best recipe and your favourite recipes you have blogged till now?

I think my best till date would be my Rose Cake which I did for our anniversary :-). Other recipes are - Caterpillar Nutella Bread, Plum Cake, Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani, Whole Tandoori Chicken,Tomato Pickle

8) Few tips about food photography?

- Good lighting (best is day light)
- Neat plating with less clutter in the name of props
- Focusing the main object food
- Clicking in different angles and choosing the best
- Using different background colors, usually depending on the food color and try to use a contrasting background
- Using a good post-processing tool(editing software)

9)What is your budget for the props,do you have any or else do you manage with your household stuffs?

I would say anything less than £5 is a good deal, as long as its versatile and would look great in pictures. I usually buy new ones and also save a few just for food pictures, this works for me.

10) How do you plan your blog post? Do you post rarely,regularly or once a week?

I make sure I post 4 times a week, although I wish I can post often. But there are some weeks where I may not post more than 2 recipes.

11) Do you have any other passion apart from food blogging or blog you own?

My hobbies and passions keep changing from time to time, as of now my mind is totally focused on my food blog, but I do want to venture into other interests like sewing and writing, which I am yet to explore.

                           Do accept my sweet surprise Priya aks

Rose Meringue Cookies:

Meringue Cookies are so light, airy, sweet and crisp that seem to just melt in your mouth. The outsides of the meringues are nice and crisp, yet the insides remain wonderfully soft and puffy, almost like mini-Pavlovas. I love to have them as they are, they also make a very nice plated dessert that you can top with whipped cream, ice cream, sorbet, and/or fresh fruit.
Makes - 25 cookies
Prep time - 20 mins
Bake time - 1.5 hrs

Egg large whites  - 3 
Caster/ superfine sugar - 3/4 cup
Cream of tartar - 1/2 tsp
Rose essence - 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Pink liquid food color - 1 and 1/2 tsp

1)Pre-heat oven to 160 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain/ rosette tip, 

2)In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract.

3)Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding.  
Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a tip, pipe them as you wish not leaving much space sice they won't spread. 

4)Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 hours if you have piped them in small-medium size. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.)Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours.

The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.

Cooks Wisdom:
- If you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30-60 seconds in a food processor
- If using liquid color make sure you use a lot of it, ideally its good to use gel colors, don't be like me 
- The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.
- The standard ratio when making hard meringues is 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated white sugar for every egg white
- You can also add nuts/ coconut/ sugar sprinkles on top of the meringue if you like them that way

                               Happy Mother's Day to all Mum's and Mum's to be

Hope you all enjoyed this guest post by Priya R, stay tuned friends to watch out my next guest on 20th of this month with an another wonderful blogger buddy.


Vimitha Durai said... Reply To This Comment

Thats a lovely event and the meringue cookies look so gorgeous. awesome post Priya(s)

virunthu unna vaanga said... Reply To This Comment

very fantastic post Priya... cookies looks so yummy... Kudos to both Priya n Priya aks...

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

lovely cookies.. perfect one.. nice to know abt Priya..

Sanoli Ghosh said... Reply To This Comment

OMG! I am drooling here see this awesome maringue cookies. Just speechless to see those clicks. Wonderful guest post Priya sis. You Gorgeously started your event Priya akka. Thanks to both.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

What a noble thought to encourage new bloggers:) And I just fell in love with your blog. Nice one Priya:)

Rafeeda AR said... Reply To This Comment

absolutely amazing guest post... priya is such a versatile blogger, looking at her blog hardly makes you feel that she started recently... loved it... :)

Priya Anandakumar said... Reply To This Comment

Very yummy meringue's and a lovely post. Nice event very encouraging for the new bloggers like me.

Asiya Omar said... Reply To This Comment

Wow! What a lovely post! Both Priyas are rocking in the blogging world..Well Structured post.
Great Event too.Very new & yummy recipe.Thanks for sharing friends.
ennavellamo vazhthi ezhutha asai,english thaan enakku problem.

notyet100 said... Reply To This Comment

Tis ones good,,,will get to know more bloggers,,,loved the post nd the cookies too,.

Kaveri Venkatesh said... Reply To This Comment

Love the idea of inviting budding bloggers, Priya...Wishing you success with this wonderful event.

A lovely guest post by Priya Ranjit...Good to know more about her

Divya A said... Reply To This Comment

Wowwwwwwwwwwww my jaw is down on the floor now..I loved those cuties and clicks..Priya Suresh akka am sure this is the best start ever for an event, right??? Priya Ranjit akka this is such an awesome treat for a lovely mom :) Perfect theme and lovely words about a mom loved that rose pic.. The interview is not new to me but I loved reading it all through :) Kudos to Peps model and don ;)

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment words to say:)your kids are so lucky sis:)and me too:)enjoying virtually:)wat a lovly interview:)super:)priya sis and priya sis awesome:)meringue awesome:)

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you aks for giving me this lovely opportunity :-) I am so happy to see my post here :D loving cooking and eating them on your behalf ;-) love and hugs

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Beautiful event Priya square (the host and the guest) what a coinci.

You guys rock.

Luv you all!!

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Inky pinky looks so so beautiful. Luv the recipe too.

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Congrats on your post. just arrived from Priya's blog. following you.

meena said... Reply To This Comment

This is a wonderful way to start the event Priya.Liked the tips,i have never dared,but you guys make me dare.....

enjoyed the post.waiting for many more surprise guests from u.have a lovely hosting.

Prema said... Reply To This Comment

Cute roses,luks fab...

Reva said... Reply To This Comment

What a lovely post... Awesome cookies .. lovely pink colour..
Priya, it is lovely event to encourage newbies..:))

Raksha said... Reply To This Comment

The guest post is very well written.

Check the below link for a great giveaway:

Manju said... Reply To This Comment

Nice event priya. So kind of you no words to express. I thought priya R was blogging for longtime by this event only came to know its 9 months old. As you said she got lot of baking dishes and good decorating skills. Good work priyaR.

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Wow! wonderful guest post Priya and Priya. Cookies look great and perfect for a guest post.

Usha said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely event Priya, nice way to get to know new bloggers !!

@ Priya R, loved the meringue cookies, they look so lovely, great pics too !!

Sangeetha Priya said... Reply To This Comment

Wonderful guest post from Priya(s) :-), perfect n cute pink cookies...

Julie said... Reply To This Comment

great to know more about u,Priya..& that's a sweet thought,Priya of showcasing other bloggers,Best wishes..Cookies looks just melt in mouth,Yummy!!
Participate & win e gift vouchers in Flavors Of Cuisines-"Chinese"

Nadji said... Reply To This Comment

Tes meringues sont très réussies.
J'en mangerai avec grand plaisir.
A bientôt

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

it took me a while to complete the full post :) such a beautiful writing with awesome images..
good to know more about you dear priya.. and thanks to priya sis for conducting such a beautiful event.. said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely to Hear from Priya... Nice event Priya... And rose cake is just awesome and cute cute Dear..

Sweet'n'Savoury said... Reply To This Comment

A superb event and what a start with those beautiful meringues!!

Menaga Sathia said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely event n nice post from priya(s) cookies looks fab....

Deepa. R. Krishnan said... Reply To This Comment

Gorgeous Cookies and awesome post,Priya...And last but not least , a big hug for the comment on deepsrecipes...Thank u,Priya

Hema said... Reply To This Comment

Beautiful event, an these cookies, can't believe it's from someone who's new to baking..

Saraswathi Ganeshan said... Reply To This Comment

Stunning clicks and very pleasant to eyes..Love it.

KrithisKitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Great idea Priya! Nice way to meet newbies.. I am not able to blog hop these days and this would be a good way to know about fellow foodies... Waiting for more!
Krithi's Kitchen

Rashida Shaikh said... Reply To This Comment

I must say this is beautiful guest post. I loved the idea of introducing new bloggers.
Happy Women's Day!

Sona - quick picks/pick quicks said... Reply To This Comment

beautiful..too gud clicks. gud job to both the Priya's

sona - Quick Picks

Binys Recipes said... Reply To This Comment

priya dats very sure ur mum is lucky

POOJA PATIL said... Reply To This Comment

Very nice post!!! said... Reply To This Comment

Gorgeous cliks n beautiful d intro n chat. awesome post Priya...

Anitha said... Reply To This Comment

Nice event... and cookies look yummy

Mahi said... Reply To This Comment

Elegant cookies! Nice to know more about Priya!

Thanks for the wonderful event and a beautiful post Priya*2! :)

Sumee said... Reply To This Comment

Love the clicks! Priya and Priya.. great job.. Love the post, very nice to know about you..

Vikis Kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Nice idea Priya. Guest post is also nice. Meringue cookies look pretty.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

What BEAUTIFUL Rose Meringues, TRUE!
Very warm, welcoming, brightened my day and hopefully will try and make soon too! Thank you!

Joanne T Ferguson said... Reply To This Comment

G'day! What a GREAT idea to welcome new bloggers such as me into the worldwide blogs of foodies!
I was wondering how I can contact you to make a submission to be considered for a future post?
Your Eggless Walnut and Lavender Cookies did inspired me!

Thank you in advance!
Cheers! Joanne

divyagcp said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely post to start the event! Wishes to both of you. Meringues look awesome in pink ;)Nice clicks..

Lena Jayadev said... Reply To This Comment

wonderful event dear..rose meringue looks stunning :)

Indian Khana said... Reply To This Comment

Beautiful ....looks so fab ...great work by Priya

Lifewithspices said... Reply To This Comment

Wow wow wow.. Too good post.. lovely looking meringues.. Fab Fab work...

priya sis u rock ..u r simply sooperbb blogger thalai..for welcoming buddies like us to write on ur page..

Priya Elias said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely event. The Cookies look so elegant :)

saraniskitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely event to encourage newbees like me akka...Meringue looks gorgeous...Wonderful work by both priya dears...

CbeFoodBlogger said... Reply To This Comment

No words.. simply superb

Motions and Emotions said... Reply To This Comment

It is a great innovating and nobel thought priya...As a beginner I hats off to you ..