Shumaila has always loved to create sweet and delicious edibles and The Novice Housewife has an extensive selection of tempting desserts but her blog, which she started after getting married and relocating to a small mining town has much more in store for her readers. Having to move to a foreign country and finding herself a full-time albeit *novice* homemaker, she began reading and collecting a large selection of cookbooks to teach herself how to cook delicious Indian dishes for her new husband. Shumaila has a regular feature on her blog entitled Garam Masala Tuesdays where she features a new Indian dish every week. Don’t let the title fool you though, not every Indian recipe in this feature includes this famous spice mix. Dishes like her Dal Makhani and her Tokri/Katori Chaat are indicative of the wonderful self-taught skills that Shumaila possesses both in the culinary field and in the challenging arena of food photography. Several of Shumaila’s photographs are featured on her Foodgawker site and are certainly worth browsing through to see everything from her Indian Flatbread to her Edible Vegetable Bowls. This newlywed is quite gifted with her hands outside of the kitchen as well. She has built and decorated two trunks and has showcased her watercolour paintings on three different occasions on her site. Yes, Shumaila is keeping very busy as a Novice Housewife and readers are very much enjoying popping in to visit her every day. I’m delighted that she is here today sharing her story and recipe with us.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and today I am doing my bit to spread the awareness.
Now as you all know (well, by “all” I mean those few of you who follow my blog), I am a big time procrastinator. I had volunteered for Frosting for the Cause a while back and knew much in advance that my post would go live on the 24th October. And even though I did not want to procrastinate this post, I did. It’s not entirely my “procrastinating self’s” fault. I have been real busy the last couple of weeks, with my parents visiting me and then me coming to India for two months.
I won’t bore you with the details, but bottom line, I left this post- this very important post-for the last minute.
Much like this post, I know we, as woman, leave all the important things- especially where our health and our well-being is concerned, for the very end.
We prioritize everybody else’s life and health over ours and as a result always keep ourselves in the back seat. Because of this innate quality, we end up postponing things like breast cancer checkups till it becomes too late for some of us. Kind of like how I did it with this post, we keep thinking we will get it done, but somehow by giving other things importance, it never happens.
But as its Pinktober, I have made a resolve and urge you to do the same- self- examine yourself or get yourself checked regularly.
As part of Guest posting for Frosting For the Cause I was told to write about a woman in my life that has personally dealt with cancer. I choose to tell you about three such women.
The first is my “nani mama”, my maternal grandmother. She is one of the sweetest persons I know. About two years back, she was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. She stays in Canada but we found out about it while she was visiting us in India; visiting us during the time of my marriage. She could not take part in any of the celebrations since her chemotherapy was going on, but she never let it show, and made sure that we all enjoy my wedding to the fullest.
That’s her always putting others’ happiness and joy before herself.
She is a fighter though. At her age (she is 80), many would have given up and gone into depression, but she fought. She fought her way through it all and I am glad to say she is recovering pretty fine, especially for someone at her age. And even though she is still going through a lot of pain and taking medicines regularly, she is keeping herself fit by exercising and eating right. Whenever I talk to her and ask her how she is doing she always says this, “ I am doing fine as long as you, my kids, are doing fine. My only wish to god is to keep you kids happy and for Him to give you all the joy in the world.” That is she. That is my “nani mama”- a fighter and a cancer survivor.
The other two women whose story I would like to share are people who I have personally met and even though no one could ever tell, they both have dealt with cancer personally.
The first of the two is one of my aunt’s friends. She suffered from breast cancer about ten years back. But, in no way did that affect her. She fought the cancer and is cancer free now and is successfully running a boutique. From a small enterprise, where she dealt in taking orders only for her friends, she is now running a full fledged business and all this while she battled cancer.
The other person I want to mention is one of V’s aunts. She (of the Mango Kulfi fame) was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus when she was in her early 20s, a prime age for marriageable girls in India. Since she had cancer, there were not many takers among Indian men (a sad truth about our society). Now, she could have gone into depression, but she studied hard and now is a successful doctor in London and doing pretty well for herself. I have had the privilege to meet her and no one can say that she has gone through so much at such a young age. She is full of life and its always fun to talk to her.
The reason why I mention these three women is because through them I have realized that no obstacle is big enough to cross. You just need to remember to never lose hope. And till you can, fight! Fight against cancer, fight for life! But as important as it is to fight, it is to prioritize your health and make sure you get yourself examined regularly. Start making a fuss about you for a change! You really are worth it!
Whole wheat Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
I have made these cupcakes before, but the first time they were a failure. Since I was visiting my mom, we baked them together and this time they came out perfect. Last time’s ‘disaster’ actually turned to be a perfect success, as I turned the failed recipe into carrot cake truffles. And such, my friend, is life. There might be setbacks, but you need to learn to rise, every time you fall. And while you are rising, have these cupcakes to lift you up!
Makes about 20
- 2 cups Whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 3/4 cup cooking oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- Sieve dry ingredients.
- Lightly beat eggs, vanilla essence and oil.
- Add the shredded carrots.
- Fold in dry ingredients.
- Lightly mix in the walnuts. Pour in muffin pan.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20-25 minutes. (My mother’s oven is a little off, so do keep a check on the muffins)
- Top with a frosting of your choice. You could use a standard cream cheese frosting. I used this one and then added sprinkles on the top.