Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge: November 2014

Hello lovely people. It is that time of the month when I get to share the monthly challenges that we as Food Revolution Ambassadors aspire to do. 

October Challenges. Check. 
November Challenges. Check. 
Double whoa.

(I had so much fun attempting the October challenges, read my experiences here and jump right here to read how my tryst with making pasta from scratch made the entire world conspire in helping me mastering fresh pasta

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.
Challenge One: Slow Cooking! We live in a fast food world, but this month we’re asking you to slow things down, try out and share your slow cooked food recipes with us. 

I agree we are all pressed for time. There are household responsibilities that we can’t look away from, children who we want to do everything for, work where we need to show up each morning, interests and passions that I think everyone in life needs to develop for sanity and give meaning to our lives and more. In between all this we need to feed our tummies. Feeding our souls isn’t enough. So we begin to look for shortcuts in the kitchen and rightly so. Frozen peas, ready to roll out pastry, tomato purees all become our friends. They help us put a meal on table in under thirty minutes.

But sometimes it is nice to slow down things. Endlessly stirring that pot of risotto with music in the background is my favourite thing to do when the mind needs some calm. Have you tried it? Getting the oven ready to dry tomatoes that will be used across meals is another. The oven does the work here, slowly; while we get to enjoy the results.

The pleasant weather here at Dubai called for a slow cooked lamb and date tagine. I cooked it in pomegranate juice with mejdool dates for company. It was slowcooked and after three hours of being on low heat it was exactly what I had imagined; rich, sweet and sour. Tender too. We had it with spiced couscous sprinkled with generous quantities of dried barberries and an onion and pomegranate relish.

Challenge Two: N is for November, and nectarines, and nutmeg… we want to see your recipes for dishes beginning with the letter N or using ingredients with the letter N. 

A for Apple, B for Ball, C for Cat and D for Dog. This challenge for it took me back to my kindergarten class. Wasn’t singing the alphabet a lot of fun? Only this time it was double the fun for it we were singing food. Sara and I often play this game at home and in the past I have had the kids loving this exercise in some of my food workshops when asked to name fruits and vegetables for each alphabet. So I decided to play this challenge with Sara.  N was a tough one for. She stopped at Nectarine. That is when I gave her a hint. Who do you like watching on TV, I asked. She rattled all the names that came to her mind. Siba, George and Gary, Ina, Jamie. Aannd I asked? N for! Nigella mamma. Nigella she screamed. I showed her the ingredient that matched the name. She was quite amused. How can she share her name with some seeds? 🙂 May be one day we will come across seeds that are called Sara I laughed.
N is for Nigella Seeds: With Christmas around the corner I tested a batch of tomato and raisin chutney tempered with “Nigella Seeds”. I also added ginger and red chilli powder for that little kick. I love giving edible gifts to all our loved ones on festivals and I am hoping this little jar of red garnet chutney dotted with black nigella seeds will make everyone around me happy. Trust me no store bought gift can ever match up to handmade love.


Challenge Three: Share your holiday traditions. Holiday season is almost upon and we want to know what your holiday traditions are and what food makes it to the table for your family gatherings.
My favourite challenge for the month. Celebrations, company and the customs. There is something so magical about the festival season. Be it Diwali, Holi, Thanksgiving or Christmas…I heart them all. Observing family traditions some that my parents made and we love to observe and some that we are creating for my little chefling each year.


Each festival comes with its own customs and rituals but certain tradition remains constant; making edible presents for loved ones, filling up our home with candles & flowers, setting up the “welcome table”, making sure there is abundant home cooked food for everyone and that essential element; the spirit of sharing that for me translates into going overboard when it comes to dips, mezze, platters and fondues. That and more.


But what I love most about the festivities is seeing the happiness shining on my little girl’s face, yet somehow reliving my own childhood memories.


Thank you lovely readers. For being there and motivating me to show up here; each time I a little voice in my head whispers hey is any one even reading this? For the kindest emails and messages you send me. For making Orange Kitchens a part of your lives. 


Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Eat real. 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! 

One Response to Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenge: November 2014

  1. Varsha November 27, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Always fun to read what you have been upto. Needless to say it doesn't help my foodie dreams.

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