Friday, May 1, 2015

Food Revolution Day 2015 : Fighting for Food Education

15th of May 2015 is the Food Revolution Day; a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. 

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is a movement that allows people who love food to come together to share talents and resources, pass on their knowledge and bring food skills to life. Each year the Food Revolution Community celebrates this day with an aim to raise awareness about the importance of good food and food education and I have put together a number of events with the support of some very enthusiastic supporters for all of you. 

Before I share the details with you I need you to do something for our children.

This year, Food Revolution Day's global campaign is to put compulsory food education back on the school curriculum. Jamie believes that by educating children about food and cooking, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves and their future families.  

We’re currently facing a global obesity epidemic, with 42 million children under the age of five either overweight or obese across the world. The bottom line is the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done to rectify these alarming stats.

So I am asking that you do two simple things if you haven't already – first, please sign this petition to show your support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world, then, most importantly, share it via your social networks. 

In just about a month more than 740,400 people across 182 countries have signed it. Lets make this happen people.

I am celebrating Food Revolution Day 2015 throughout the month of May. Here are my plans:
  • Sunday, 3rd May 2015: We begin the month with the children at the Indian High School . The children will be making the squash it sandwich, taking a pledge to eat healthy and interacting (This event is only for the students of the school).

I'd also like to invite all the children (6-12), along with their parents for a morning of tasting, cooking, sharing and eating:
  • Friday, 15th of May 2015 from 10.00 am-12.00 pm: Join Food Revolution Dubai & Jamie's Italian in celebrating Food Revolution Day 2015.  We will be:
    • Making Jamie’s "Squash it Sandwich"
    • Taking a pledge to eat healthy
    • Trying our hand at making fresh pasta
    • Getting our hands messy baking bread
    • Beating the heat with fruit ice lollies
    • Tasting new fresh foods
    • Colouring and more.
    • Complimentary meals for the children on the 15th.Terms & conditions apply.

This event is FREE but since there are limited seats registration is a must. 
You can register HERE.

  • Saturday, 16th of May 2015 from 10.30 am-12.00 pm: Join Food Revolution Dubai & Lafayette Gourmet in celebrating Food Revolution Day 2015. We will be:
    • Making Jamie’s "Squash it Sandwich
    • Taking a pledge to eat healthy
    • Trying our hand at making fresh pasta
    • Whizzing up a smoothie
    • Tasting new fresh foods and more
    • Complimentary fresh food for all participating children. Terms and conditions apply.
This event is FREE but since there are limited seats registration is a must. 
You can register HERE.

Also all participating children at BOTH the events will be getting certificates of achievement.

  • Friday, 1st- 15th May, 2015: Food Revolution Virtual Squashing and Smashing at Orange Kitchens.

This is what I ask of you. We are all in different parts of the world but we can all make a difference this sitting right where we are. Our Homes.

Simply sign up HERE and Join the Orange Kitchens Virtual Food Revolution get together. Download and print the recipe and here are some ideas on what you can do.
    • Make the Squash It Sandwich with your children 
    • Host a potluck dinner with your children and their friends and cook and eat the sandwich together 
    • Or perhaps teach the kids at your home/community.
It is that simple. Whatever you’re planning, I want to know how you are planning to getting involved. 

Remember to post your picture on the event page. Invite friends & families to join and inspire others to cook.

Can I ask that of you? Can we make this happen? I know we can :)

So let's food educate our kids. Raise healthy and happier children. 
Children who will thank us later for they ate real food and learnt a life skill; Cooking.

Before I end this post I must thank all the people who have come together to make this happen. Big thanks to the entire team at the Indian High School, DinnerTime, Lafayette Gourmet and Jamie's Italian. Without their enthusisam, support and generousity none of this would have been possible. Thank you ever so much.
This month is going to be exciting!

Images: Personal album, approved stills from the Food Revolution team and logos from the respective partners.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge: February 2015

Good Bye February. You promised to be short and sweet and you were. Crazy too. But I am not complaining. I like this kind of a crazy. Infact crazy is my new normal. Before I say hi to March tomorrow morning a look back at the February monthly challenges.

If you are new here: At the beginning of each month the challenges are announced. These challenges are for inspiring the entire Food Revolution team and to make deeper connections with everyone (fellow food ambassadors, friends and family, anyone who wants to be a part of this challenge too), share our stories , whether we failed or conquered and more. The idea is to complete as many challenges as one can (Read about the October , November , December and January challenges).

For February:

Challenge 1: Cook for loved ones this Valentine’s day. Do you have a special recipe you cook for your loved ones? Whether it’s your kids, partner or a close friend, we want to see what dishes you make to win the hearts of your nearest and dearest. Find some sweet inspiration here

One doesn't really need a reason or a day to celebrate love. It needs to celebrated, acknowledged and respected each day of the year. But when the year gives you the 14th of February to tell those special people in your life that you love them , you should. For very often we love them but we don't tell them and sometimes it gets too late. Someone very wise (Read:Pooh) when asked, How do you spell LOVE? answered "You don't spell it, you FEEL it", he said. 

What is your LOVE LANGUAGE? Mine undoubtedly is FOOD. Nothing says I LOVE YOU louder than a rose kulfi and that is what I made for my loved ones this Valentines and hey rose does represent love.

Challenge 2: Embrace wonky veg! Jamie has been on a mission to cut food waste and get wonky veg back into our shopping basket. This month, we want you to embrace all leftover, wonky veg out there and try to reduce your food waste. Find out more here

A weird looking squash, a deformed potato, crooked get the idea. Did you know that as much 20-40% of produce gets wasted because it doesn't look perfect. Hard to believe but true. Such a huge waste of fresh produce just because they don't look the way we have been used to seeing them in the supermarkets. Round, glossy, clean, perfect lines. 

But who is to decide what is perfect? As far as I remember WE WERE BORN TO BE REAL AND NOT PERFECT. A quote that holds true for both people and produce. 

I came across this wonky sweet potato at the local organic store. Sad and forgotten because no one was picking it up. I decided to give it a home and it was unlike most sweet potatoes I had worked with before. A gorgeous purple from the outside with "curves" and black and sticky from inside. After I baked it with some olive oil, rosemary and some grated cheese it tasted like a cross between a sweet potato and banana chips. A texture we loved.

So let the new mantra be I AM NOT WEIRD I AM LIMITED ADDITION. Lets pledge to pick up that "imperfect" vegetable/ fruit and give it a "perfect" recipe ; one that promises to make our taste buds sing.  

Challenge 3: Start planning your FRD! If you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about what you’ll get up to on Food Rev day. Sign up for the day and get your friends and followers to do the same at Maybe you’re hosting a potluck dinner with your friends? Or perhaps you’re going into your local school to get cooking with kids. Whatever you’re planning, we want to know how you’ll be getting involved on the day! 

With the big day just a little more than two months away I am really excited. The month was spent thinking, planning, making contacts with people who "care" about what goes into the bodies of our little ones and want to give children the life skill called cooking.

So since there are so many wonderful people and opportunities out there instead of a Food Revolution Day it is going to be a Food Revolution Week. We are planning to celebrate food education through the entire week and the plans are just about taking shape. 

We already have a school on board who have shown great enthusiasm for bringing about a Food Revolution amongst their little ones (They even have a cooking club!).  We are going to sit down March end and make this happen together. More children will join us in making the Squash it sandwich at Galeries Lafayette’s Gourmet wing. The Culinary Director there strongly believes in cooking from scratch and is as excited as us about the Food Revolution Day. Also on the big day will be an event for Jamie’s Juniors; where else but at Jamie’s Italian!  The team at Jamie’s and I are looking forward to be working on it together.

Hopefully before the the end of the next month you will hear about more collaborations and I will have more specifics to share. 

To food revolution and to putting our heads and hearts into this, together. 

Also if you haven't signed up till now, do it here. There is something that I have planned for all you lovely readers for the big day as well and I promise you it will be a lot of fun. Invite your friends and family to sign up as well :)

EXTRA CHALLENGE We want to follow you! If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account that we don’t know about, let us know so we can see all your amazing work and share it with others! 

Find me here : 


Get ready to welcome the third month of the year. Happy March everyone!

Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission.Just ask! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

My little chefling turns six : The Little Mermaid.

I clearly remember the day when my little chefling decided to come into our lives. Two weeks early. I called up DH in the middle of the night warning I would disown him if he didn't make it in time for the birth of our little monkey (He was travelling that night).

That day and last Saturday, 31st of January 2015.  Six beautiful years.
  • From being a part of my right arm where you spent hours sleeping to moving into your own bed
  • From not even being able to keep your head straight to becoming this young confident girl standing on the stage to recite a poem
  • From teaching you ABCs to you teaching me alif, be, te
  • From slipping your little fingers into mine to be able to walk to mastering the violin strings
  • From me picking up the hundreds of toys strewn all over your room to you asking me to sit down while you set the dinner table
  • From me feeding you apple puree to you making me a sandwich 
  • From me planning your birthday parties to you announcing the theme for your next
  • From pinafores and baby rompers to princess gowns and jeans
  • From pink soft booties to silver ballerinas
  • From soft baby hair pony tails complete with ribbon to long glossy untamed hair you wanting to always leave open
  • From not leaving my hand for even a second to running away without looking back when seeing friends
  • From mamma surprising you with lunch box notes to you leaving me a card for all of my special days
  • From me tying your shoe laces to you asking me to change my heels for the other ones looked prettier
  • From scribbling on papers to painting a canvas for our room
  • From me asking you what you did at school to you coming back and inquiring how was my day
  • From ten page board books to eighty pages stories
  • From having tea parties with dolls to hosting your own real ones 
  • From being a pint size to now reaching my waist and very proudly so
  • From being my little baby to being my partner in crime
  • From Dora and Barney to princesses and mermaids
To happy and tearful memories of the past, to precious moments of today and to all the unseens of tomorrow.

Happy Happy Birthday to you. My little chefling. You'll always be my little girl.

Always be your funny, mad, curious self. Always leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable. Always believe in mermaids and secrets that come in a bottle.

The girl has moved from pink to blue. From butterflies fluttering in the sky to mermaids swimming in the sea. 

It had to be a mermaid party. 

I was happy to oblige. Enough pink for the last five years. Bring on the blue.

Like each year we kept it small. She was surrounded by the the friends she loves, in the company of her family and we hosted it at home.
Whats a mermaid party without treasure bottles with secret messages inside.
So the invitations were mermaid treasure bottles. With tricoloured sand, a scroll carrying the invitation, a tiny blue star for every mermaid needs some sparkle and a name tag with a ribbon to complete it.
Tons of blue balloons and paper flowers that I handcrafted were decor. 
I also put together this shadow box with one of my favourite quotes that I just mentioned above. A bottle similar to the invitation, some shells and loads of sparkly white and blue stars. A shadow box is such a great and versatile medium to personalize any wall and makes for a pretty centerpiece too, Isn't it?
We welcomed the tiny mermaids and the pirates with this rubber tube on our front door or the "mermaid wreath" as Sara likes to call it.
Once everyone settled down a bit the mermaids and the pirates played three games. 
The first one was a take on pin the tail. Pin the fin. The little guests were blindfolded and were handed a fin each and then asked to pin the fin. I did cheat a little to ensure that each one did it correctly and won themselves a sea creature note pad. Can't have disappointed upset faces on such a happy day, can we? We can keep fairness aside for today :)

For this I used a free printable of a mermaid and added a personal touch to it by adding glitter to her tail, a tiara on her head and a moon for the night sky. A rock made with some white sand and some starfishes completed the picture.
The second game was take on the very popular limbo. We played under the sea limbo. I printed and cut out pictures of several sea organisms and the kids were asked to pick one from the lot. They then had to enact like the sea organism on their chit and go under the sea waves. We played the song "Under the sea" from the movie The Little Mermaid. 

This was such a happy game to play. The children were in giggles seeing their friends become jellyfish, octopus, dolphin and more. 

For this game I saved a brown paper tube the one that comes with giftwrap rolls and covered it with a white crepe streamer. On that were added several white and blue "waves" made from white and blue streamers. I twisted each of the streamers after every two inches so that the final thing looked twirly and wavey. This can take time but trust me it looked really pretty.

The mermaids got mermaid artprints to colour as prizes.
The third and final game was treasure hunt in the sand pit. Since we had the party at home, the sandpit was this container. Each mermaid/pirate had to find one fish eraser, one glitter box and a pair of blue rubber bands ( replaced with little dinosaurs for the boys).

After three games and some free play the kids were hungry. So we brought out the cake and served some kid friendly party nibbles.
Cake is one thing that I never even attempt to make for Sara's Birthday. My cakes can be best described as "rustic" :) not acceptable by little children who want pretty mermaids.
Elna from Cake Witch made this beauty. Multiple shades of blue, ruffles for waves and my little girl sitting there on the top as the little mermaid. Thank you Elna you made our day truly special.

The menu for the party was:
  • Star fishes (star fish shaped sandwiches with grated carrot, cucumber and cream cheese filling)
  • Conch shells (shell shape pasta with red sauce made with tomatoes, carrots, celery and leeks)
  • Mermaid rocks (puff pastry vol au vents with a corn pesto filling)
  • Seaweed (green grape mini skewers)
  • Oysters with pearls (homemade butter cookies with a light blue frosting and white buttons for pearls)
  • Shark's teeth (Mini cheese triangles)
  • Seawaves (Store bought  multigrain waves with homemade yoghurt dip)
  • Goldfish (well..just because and the kids didn't touch these..don't know whether to be happy or sad :)))
  • Mermaid magic potion (orange and mango juice)
  • Seawater (water)

We had quite a splash that day and Sara thanked her little guests with these blue beach buckets.
Each bucket carried a little thank you note that read "May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your toes".
The last activity of the day was the pinata for which I took a paper lantern and added white and blue crepe steamers (pinched every two inches) to resemble the tentacles of the jelly fish. We filled it up lots of little goodies.
The party could not have been complete without the yearly ritual of asking the guests to write down a little something for Sara for us and her to look at and smile years later. Each year right from her first birthday this is something that I always look forward to.

With that the FIN-tastic evening came to an end and like each year my little girl has already started the countdown for her next one :))

Before I bring this super long post to an end a quote Sebastian from The Little Mermaid is a must.

"You've got your own style, 
now let it shine through 
and remember no matter what, 
you got to be you". 

Birthdays from the past: First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth

Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission.Just ask! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge: January 2015

We are already in the second month of the year which means it is time to look back at the January monthly challenges.

If you are new here: At the beginning of each month the challenges are announced. These challenges are for inspiring the entire Food Revolution team and to make deeper connections with everyone (fellow food ambassadors, friends and family, anyone who wants to be a part of this challenge too), share our stories , whether we failed or conquered and more. The idea is to complete as many challenges as one can (Read about the October , November and December challenges).

For January: 

Challenge 1: Download YOU-app. Jamie's been working on a new and exciting app called YOU-app. It focuses on four areas – food, mind, move, love – and is all about completing one micro action each day to help you live a happier, healthier life.

I can't remember who said it but a fellow Food Ambassador said "it is like instagram with an intent" and I couldn't agree more. I have to admit ever since this app got launched the first thing I do each morning is to check the micro action of the day. 

Let me take you through the app. The app encourages you to make small changes in your life each day. It could be matter of your heart, mind or body. It is about enjoying the little things we do everyday for often little things are the ones that make the biggest differences in our lives. 

It is about taking notice of our beautiful surroundings that we often ignore because life takes over. It is about making a shift to real food because you need to but without making it difficult and yet indulging in whatever you heart fancies when you want to. It is about making memories and thanking the people who make your life complete and it is about a fitter, healthier, happier and a more positive YOU

This app has me giddy with excitement and if you have been following me on instagram where I share my YOUapp posts as well you will see how much fun I have been having. I'd love you guys to check it out and connect with me and the lovely community there. I am orangekitchens there as well.

Read all about YOUapp and join here.

Challenge 2: 10 meals to kick-start a healthier 2015. This year we're helping you to kick-start a healthier new year with 10 delicious recipes from Jamie and his friends, plus loads of other helpful tips, ideas and inspiration. 

You don't need a New Year to kick start healthy eating but a New Year gives you a fresh plate to fill and I absolutely love new beginnings for they give us a chance to look back on how the last year was, an opportunity to start afresh, several new possibilities to grow, to learn and to experiment.  

So this year fill up your plate with foods you have never tried, cuisines you have never experienced, ingredients that have never said hello to your kitchen. Keep it healthy and keep it real. 

This Hit n run traybaked chicken we had earlier this month is a family favourite now. It took like all of five minutes to assemble and the oven did the rest of the work. It was bursting with the goodness and flavour of the bell peppers and tomatoes. We had it with some greens and some crusty bread to soak up all the ambre juice.

Get the recipe here and get many more such recipes here

I love it when someone had already done the menu planning and given me the list of ingredients I need to buy too. 

Challenge 3: Share the Food Revolution Day! It's 2015, which means time to start thinking about this year’s Food Revolution Day on 15 May.  

Its about the little changes and the big ones. And the big one (which I earlier shared with you lovely readers on the Orange Kitchens FB page)has been announced. Yay! Food Revolution Day is going to be on the 15th of May this year. 

"Food Revolution Day is a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. It's a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources. Food Revolution Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone by focusing on three simple actions – cook it, share it, live it".

I have put on my thinking cap, meeting and connecting with some lovely people already to plan for the big day and I'd love you all to spread the word around. Lets get our little ones into the kitchen and make some noise. 

But I am going to need your help.

All you awesome parents, hardworking teachers, the enterprising teams running local businesses and restaurants, wonderful conscientious people who are behind the farmers’ markets, the ever giving community groups and organizations, the voice of Dubai; local newspapers, radio stations and magazines who would like to be a part of this or have ideas on what I can do for our kids at Dubai or are in position to help me spread the word around please get in touch with me.

Let us make a difference in lives of our kids and bring about a Food Revolution at Dubai.

Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission.Just ask! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year Food Resolutions For Kids.

A very Happy New Year to all you lovely readers and your little ones. 

Each year I set out some food resolutions for myself. I will be sharing how I fared last year and my resolutions for 2015 with you pretty soon. But before I do that I wanted to share some food resolutions that my little chefling made this year (With her mum's help ofcourse). 

We are very excited about this and would love all you parents and children to join the two of us.

This year I will help Sara:
  • To learn one simple recipe each month: We will master one recipe a month. It could be a simple omelette or putting together her favourite sandwich. A muffin or a salad. At the end of the year she will know 12 recipes. 12 recipes! At the end of twelve years when she goes to college she will know 144 recipes and will not have to eat boring and unhealthy dorm food! Okay clearly I am going a little giddy with all this excitement but the point is that helping our children learn to cook is a very precious gift we as parents NEED to give them. It is a gift for life.
If you'd like to join us: Choose age appropriate recipes for your children,  food that they already enjoy and are familiar with. Depending on their age/interest/ mood they may or may not be able to/ want to cook the entire recipe and that is perfectly alright. Most importantly always be there with them in the kitchen. 
  • To volunteer for one dinnertime chore each night: Each time when we sit around the dinner table, enjoy a home cooked meal and talk about our day there is a very impatient kitchen sink in background full of dirty dishes, there is a refrigerator that is begging us for a clean up every few weeks, there are dishes to be put away after a meal and there are placemats and plates that need to be carried to the table before we begin eating. Our children may or may not realize this depending on how much they enter the kitchen. Sara often helps me with little tasks like taking the cutlery to the table or always putting back her plate in the sink. This year, I'd like her to partner us with a chore she chooses to do for the entire family. It could setting up the table or filling up water, basically something that she can do on her own. Helping  mum and dad with these chores make children realize the hardwork that goes behind each meal. It isn't just about cooking. The little ones also feel proud when asked to do "adult" tasks and when we begin to "depend" on them and they share responsibility.
If you'd like to join us: Talk to your child about what she/he would like to do so that they enjoy doing it and not look at it as a "chore".  Let them do different things for the first few days. It will help them figure out what they like doing. But make sure post that they stick to it. This will help them realize that mum and dad depend on them for "this  task" and also teach them about commitment.
  • To choose and try one new food from a country of her choice each month: Our kids are so lucky to be growing up in a world where food from other countries is easily accessible to them in whichever part of the globe they are in. A lot of them also have friends from different nationalities and that presents them with a great opportunity to taste what their friends eat at their homes. Some of them are also reading and learning about different countries in their geography or history lessons. Picking up a country of her choice each month, knowing a little more about the food that grows there, the recipes that are made in the kitchens there and trying out the cuisine is what learning and growing is all about. Exposing Sara to new foods through this fun exercise that we will play with the globe kept on her bookshelf will help expand her palate.
If you'd like to join us: Help your child choose a country each month. Read about the vegetables and fruits that are grown there, the national dish/es of the country, the recipes that it has shared with the rest of the world. There is a wealth of information/ recipes available online else just give me shout out and I will be there with Sara to assist you. 
  • To start one new food tradition that involves all of us: My parents gifted me some lovely traditions that revolved around the dinner table. Some I still observe for they have become a part of my life and take me back to a very happy place in my head and heart called childhood. After Sara came along we began to have some new ones that we didn't consciously make but became a part of our lives somehow like Friday mornings are for ALWAYS for pancakes. I'd like to start a new food tradition with her this year. It could be anything really, may be homemade pizza night each Thursday that we all make together and eat watching a children's movie. Something to look forward to each weekend and something to look back at once she is a little grown up. 
If you'd like to join us: Do you have any weekend or weeknight traditions revolving around food that you'd like to continue this year and share with us? Any new ideas that you have been already thinking about? 

Sara and I would love you to become part of this. Choose one resolution or two or all four. If we are in this together I can assure you the year will be exciting and we will push each other to do this through the year. 

So how do we do this:
  • Share your pictures on the Orange Kitchens facebook page, on instagram or twitter
  • Remember to use the hashtag #okfoodresolutionskids when sharing so that we can all get inspired and learn from each other. 
  • Share these resolutions with other parents who you think would like to be part of this mini food revolution (feel free to share the image above).
Lets make this happen and raise healthy children who eat well and cook from scratch.

Eat real and stay healthy. 

Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission.Just ask!  Please feel free to share the image in this post.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Looking back at 2014.

2015 is three days away. Before we make new year resolutions let us look back at 2014. Wish you a 2015 full of magic, memories and madness.

Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if  use those without my permission.Just ask! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge: December 2014

Time for my favourite post of the month where I get to share the monthly challenges that we as Food Revolution Ambassadors look forward to doing each month.

If you are new here: At the beginning of each month the challenges are announced. These challenges are for inspiring the entire team and to make deeper connections with everyone (fellow food ambassadors, friends and family, anyone who wants to be a part of this challenge too), share our stories , whether we failed or conquered and more. The idea is to complete as many challenges as one can (Read about the October and November challenges).

For December:

Challenge One: Join #JamiesChristmas. Join Jamie and our global community in getting into the festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we can all celebrate the food revolution today! Look out for tips from Jamie and the team and some fun and games to join throughout the month!

Christmas is always a special time of the year. I studied in a convent so though we didn't celebrate Christmas at home initially, as I grew older and learnt more about Christmas I became very very fond of everything connected to Christmas and mum dad became part of this new tradition at home. 

When my little chefling came along she joined us in the festivities. Each year we work on an advent calendar for her, she makes Christmas cards, we make edible gifts, we sing carols, we play Christmas games, write a letter to Santa and she invites her friends over for Christmas festivities. 

This year we did the same and just like the twinkling fairy lights on the tree little eyes sparkled, just like the glowing baubles their faces lighted up and we celebrated Christmas.

I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas yesterday.

Challenge Two: Share your greatest Food Revolution moment from 2014. Whether conquering a certain recipe, getting your picky eaters to try new foods, or joining FRD 2014 we want to know your best food revolutionary moments from this year - send us your quotes, images, achievements and favourite photos. 

Early this month, I had the opportunity of putting sixteen little children, red juicy apples, a couple of really really funny songs and a story in a room. In return I got giggles, grins, sparkling eyes that went wide, crunching and munching,millions of questions, amusing tales and a lot of fun.

This and more was exactly what I took back home with me from the Apple Workshop that I put together for the little ones as part of my Food Revolution Diaries (The workshop was for the children between the ages of 3-7 and was free for everyone who wanted to attend).

This for me would be my Food Revolution moment of the year. I joined the wonderful and very encouraging team of Food Ambassadors very recently (third month here so technically not the moment of the year type of a moment but hey it is the drop that counts!) and I am so happy that we enjoyed our apple story and biting into apples. Post the workshop even if a handful of kids out of the group of sixteen who came that day end up including apples in their diet and in turn convince their friends to try a bite from theirs I think we may have a little proud moment here.

2015 is almost here and it is going to be my goal to connect with more and more children this year through cooking, telling stories, getting parents and kids to be in the kitchen together, writing and more.

Then there is the big day on the 15th of May that I can’t wait for and together we will bring about a Food Revolution at Dubai.

To the little changes. To the big ones. To healthy eating. To real food. To Food Revolution.

Read the complete post here

Challenge Three: Festive cooking. Share your favourite festive recipes from your home country, what food gets your friends and family together to share the love and enjoy time together?

I come from India where every festival, celebration, special occasion like so many other cultures translates into making and eating some Meetha (sweets). We take our "meetha" so seriously that "kuch meetha ho jaye" is like a national anthem (Let us have some sweets). 

India is a pretty large country where food habits change every few kilometers but what is interesting is that across the country we all have our very own rice pudding and that is what I'd like to share with all the other ambassadors who come from so many different countries for the third challenge. 

Our rice and milk meetha is something we all like to make to mark our special days.  Kheer,Khiri,Khir, Payasam, Payasa, Payesh, Payoxh, Phirni,Gil e Firdaus and more. Each state has its own variant. 

It is made by boiling rice with milk and sugar (sometimes jaggery); it is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. Ghee (clarified butter) / cream are added at times to up its richness quotient. 

With 2014 coming to an end and a promising 2015 almost here, I'd like to share this "meetha"with all you lovely ambassadors and my awesome readers. 

Phirni (makes 4-6 servings)


  • a few saffron  strands
  • 1 litre milk (full cream)
  • 4 tbsp long grained (basmati) rice
  • 6 tbsp sugar

To finish

  • a few chopped almonds
  • A few saffron strands


  1. To the saffron strands add 1 tbsp of warm milk and keep aside.
  2. Soak the rice in water for about 1 hour.
  3. Drain the rice and grind it in a mixer to a coarse powder.
  4. Add ½ cup of cold milk and mix to make a paste. Keep aside.
  5. Boil the rest of the milk and stir in the rice paste.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame, stirring continuously.
  7. Add the sugar and saffron milk and simmer for another few minutes.
  8. Pour into individual containers and let it come to room temperature. Refrigerate. 
  9. Serve chilled garnished with almonds and saffron strands.

p.s I added some cardamom pods to the milk as well.

Wish you all a sweet, sparkly and a shiny New Year. May 2015 be filled with magic, memories and madness. 

See you in 2015.

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