Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Of Salad Days and Blog Birthdays

This past week, One Hot Stove turned 7 years ago. You'll agree that seven years is a ripe old age in Internet years. Now as to whether old qualifies as experienced or decrepit- that's for you to decide, gentle reader. Seven years after timidly starting this blog, I am in awe of (a) the power of words and (b) the power of community.

And by community, I mean YOU- so here's a tight virtual hug for ya (( )).

Speaking of community, there's a worthy blog event going on right this minute. Siri of Cooking with Siri, along with her family, often visits the Vaidehi Ashram, a refuge for little girls in Hyderabad in Southern India. Can you even imagine being a small child left all alone in the world? I sure cannot. The mere thought of a little girl (a little girl just like my daughter) being left to fend for herself on this harsh planet brings angry tears to my eyes. And makes me grateful for places like Vaidehi Ashram that provide a home and a family and an education to girl children who started life with such a disadvantage. Siri has written two posts talking about her visits to the Ashram and is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for food, clothing and schooling for the little girls. Get all details about the fundraiser/raffle by clicking here.

One Hot Stove is sponsoring one of the raffle prizes: An Ice Cream Package consisting of the Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker PLUS a copy of the book Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. The ice cream maker is a new and improved version of the one I bought for myself a couple of summers ago. I've enjoyed using it week after week, especially in Spring and Summer, often using the very simplest of recipes (mix the ingredients and pour into the machine) to make tender coconut ice cream, kesar pista ice cream and strawberry ice cream. In fact, my baby shower was an ice cream social. The book is one that I borrowed from the library and renewed as many times as they would let me. The recipes in this book are eggless and Jeni's ice cream is close to the texture of kulfi. I chose this raffle prize knowing that I love both these products and I hope you'll buy a ticket and put your name in the hat for this prize!

If ice cream is not your thing, there are loads of other prizes, from kitchen tools like knives and kettles to cookbooks to gadgets like e-readers. Read Siri's post for all the details. We often worry about giving money to organizations where we are not sure of whether the money will actually do any good. I feel very good about giving to Vaidehi Ashram because of Siri's visits and her description of how the place is run. The money will be used for the kids and not on advertising or overhead expenses. You have until February 25th to participate in this fund-raiser and share a bit of your good fortune with a child in Hyderabad.

On to the recipe. I wanted to bake something sweet and lovely to celebrate the blog birthday. In the end, I decided to spend my precious weekend moments cuddling with Lila and I ended up making an antipasto salad. The salad was an accompaniment to the pizza that friends brought over when they came to watch the Super Bowl. It was so tasty and colorful that I instantly deemed it blog-worthy.

The inspiration came from this drop-dead gorgeous antipasto platter. It induced serious salad cravings for me. My antipasto platter was a simple one, with bagged baby spinach, goodies from the olive bar at Whole Foods (olives, marinated mushrooms, artichokes, roasted red peppers) and giardiniera, which are Italian pickles consisting of cauliflower, celery and carrots in a vinegary brine (I happened to have a bottle in the fridge- an impulse buy from many moons ago). We added some very fresh mild mozzarella and a few shavings of parmesan, along with a shower of freshly ground pepper.



I served Meyer lemon dressing on the side. I've heard so much about Meyer lemons in food blog land but tasted them for the first time when I found them being sold in Trader Joe's. I have to say, I can see what the hype is about- this lemon has a remarkable taste, very aromatic and lemony without the harshness. For the dressing, I simply whisked together Meyer lemon juice, mayonnaise, honey mustard and some coarse salt.

I can see myself putting together such a platter for many gatherings in the future. And I'll be making my own marinated mushrooms and giardiniera to make it more cost effective. Slices of bell pepper and red onion would be perfect additions to this platter.


I'll be back to continue year eight on One Hot Stove. I'm still finding my voice, still learning to express myself, still just a novice in the kitchen and I hope you'll stay with me as we cook our way through life.

94 comments:

  1. Happy Blog Birthday "OHS". You are a very mature 7 and I have been a fan since the day I have visited you.
    All the best Nupur and may your blog grow as does Lila.

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    1. Thank you BongMom- that means a lot! Lila has become a part of OHS whether or not I consciously mention her here :)

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  2. Congratulations on reaching the ripe old age of seven! I am just a few months behind you, and I often think of how much has changed since those early days.

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    1. You know- I am truly fond of the blogs and bloggers from way back then and I love that many of us are still blogging.

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  3. Happy B'day OHS! Looking forward to years of wonderful recipes coming our way! Keep it up!

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  4. Wow, 7 years -- congrats! I wish that antipasto platter were sitting on my desk right now; it looks delicious :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm love vegetables but not necessarily in salad form but this salad induced serious cravings.

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  5. Happy Birthday to One Hot Stove! I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering this blog :)

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    1. I'm so glad you found my blog too :)

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  6. Happy Blog Birthday! 7 years - I'm impressed. Great work, particularly on the salad recipe. Greens are great anytime, but at this time of the year - particularly today, when it's kinda gloomy outside - they just brighten up the dinner table (and life). Very pretty salad - thanks for this.

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    1. Oh yes, the bright salad looked so cheerful against the grey skies!

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  7. Happy Birthday OHS! Looking forward to many, many more!
    Nupur, you and OHS are such an inspiration! Keep up the fantastic work !
    The salad platter looks wonderful.... I have recently started loving salads, like over the last year and a half or so, must try this!
    How r Lila & Dalu dada?

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    1. I know what you mean- I love vegetables, love koshimbirs but not necessarily typical salads. But I think you'll enjoy this one.
      Lila is doing great, smiling and cooing away. Dalu dada is also doing well, he has a groomer visit and vet check up this weekend so he won't be too happy about that. Thanks for asking :)

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  8. Congrats! Nupur. The food blogging world is richer with OHS.
    The blog is like pickles it gets better with age. So there is plenty more good things to come is what I feel.

    As for Lila she will be cooking with you soon :)

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    1. Oh thank you for saying that. Coming from you, it means a lot :)
      And yes, Lila will be promoted to sous chef as soon as she can toddle!

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  9. Wish you many more milestones like this,..:)

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  10. Congrats, Nupur, and a very happy birthday, OHS! If over the years, you've been my most favourite blog (as I'm sure with many others), that's saying something about turning 7!

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    1. Thank you Shvetha- I'm so glad you keep coming back to read OHS!

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  11. Happy Birthday OHS! You are my favorite cooking blog!

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  12. Happy Budday One hot stove! You're 7 and I have been your reader for 6yrs! All the best Nupur and hope to see more from you, you made the A-Z series so famous!

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    1. And I've been your reader for just as long. I was just thinking, I should come up with another A-Z, those were a lot of fun :)

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  13. Congrats Nupur and OHS for these delicious 7 yrs :) Looking forward to many more delicious years :)

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    1. Thanks Madhuli! I hope all is well with you and the kiddos.

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  14. Thanks so much for the mention! Your salad looks dee-lish! They are beautiful, aren't they? So happy you found inspiration in the post! Happy birthday to your blog!

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    1. Oh your post had me craving salad in a bad way- wonderful photos!!! I should go back and read more of your blog.

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  15. Congratulations Nupur ! 7 years is awesome !! That salad looks lovely !!

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  16. That is a great milestone to celebrate Nupur! Wishing you many more years of blogging :)

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    1. Thank you, I hope to be in food blog land for a long time!

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  17. Congrats on reaching 7 memorable years of blogging, Nupur! I've been reading for at least 5 years now (the years are blurring now!) and what a pleasure it has been! I hope you continue writing and delighting your readers for the years to come.

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    1. Yup the years are blurring for me too :D Thanks for the sweet wishes!

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  18. Happy 7 th blog b'day Nupur. That is awesome. I love visiting OHS. Wishing you many more years to come. :-)

    I see you managed to activate the reply button. Yay!

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    1. YESS like you said, I just changed my comment preferences from pop-up to embedded and there it was! Blogger gave me a lovely birthday gift :)
      Thanks for the wishes, and your blog is where I first noticed this reply-to-comment thing, got me all excited.

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  19. You are a seasoned blogger! Congratulations.

    Look forward to many more years of talking about food and our lives around the food we eat and share.

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    1. Thanks Anita! It is a pleasure to know you (virtually) and share our love for good food.

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  20. 7 years hah!! Time runs so fast ..Still remember the first time I visted your blog (when I didnt have mine) back in 2005 and got hooked to it.
    Happy blogging for many more years to come :)

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    1. Thank you Sumi! Yes time really do fly.

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  21. Congratulations on 7th bloggie anniversary Nupur. Lot has changed since past few years and am so glad I got to know you. I still remember the beautiful hand woven hot pads you sent me as my wedding gift :-).

    ..Thanks a lot for supporting the Fund Drive Nupur. Am so happy to let you know that we raised more than 2 Lakh Rupees until now. The very fact says, there are lots of ppl all around us who want to make a difference and do care about those little girls.

    Cheers to many bloggie-birthdays like this and muaah to Lila,
    Siri

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    1. Your fund raiser really made me so happy this month! Hats off to you, Siri.

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  22. Happy blog birthday Nupur!!
    Thanks for letting us know about the fund drive. I didn't even get through part of the first port before I had a knot in my throat and an urge to just hug the little ones. I am at work and closed the post in haste so I didn't break into an ugly cry at my desk. I have a two and a half year old daughter and the thought of a little girl her age alone just makes my heart break. I will definitely be donating. My husband and I have been on the lookout for a good cause and your post was so timely.
    Thank you!
    -Anu

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    1. Anu- thanks so much for your contribution! There's much sadness and injustice in the world, isn't there?

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  23. Heartiest Congratulations Nupur on OHS turning 7......
    Here's to many many more such milestones coming ur blog's way...

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  24. Hi Nupur! Happy Blog-Birthday! My goodness. Seven years. Time goes by so quickly. Thank you for bringing so much of your wonderful personality to our world and all the wonderful, zestful flavors along with it. I am so glad I had the chance to meet you! Here's to many more years of blogging! The salad looks amazing!

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    1. Oh Kelly what a nice thing to say!

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  25. Hey Nupur- A very happy Blog Anniversary- here's to many more..
    Oh and I wanted to tell you- My parents are in Bangalore for a couple of days- so I made my mom visit your sister Kashmira's studio to check out her bags and stuff. She loved her work too and I got a cell phone 'pouch/bag' yay!..:D. My sister ended up 'phoning an order in' through my mom too..:) I can't wait to visit her studio myself when I go to India next - I am a cloth bag fanatic (don't use leather and recently stopped buying silk) and her aesthetics/tastes seem to match mine..

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    1. Thank you so much for supporting Kashmira's craft business, Lavanya. That means a lot to me. I hope you and your mom and sis enjoy the products- I can tell you that they are made with a lot of love and hard work.

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  26. Congratulations Nupur! Happy 7th to OHS and many more. Your blog has been a great inspiration for me. I have been bitten by the Salad bug and strangely so, have been loving it. Enjoy the journey....

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    1. Thank you Ashwini! I'm liking salads more but hope to be addicted to them sooner or later :)

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  27. Congratulations Nupur. Your blog is always an inspiration. This salad recipe couldn't have come at a better timing. I got a box from olive bar yesterday and we have been eating a lot of salads lately. I will make this tonight.

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    1. Hope you enjoy the salad! The olive bar- I just lose control there, everything looks so good.

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  28. Heartiest Congratulations to you Nupur and a very Happy Birthday to One Hot Stove! :) I have been checking your blog since last 5 years and havent missed a single post of yours. I really can't thank you enough for creating and maintaining this space, for sharing your recipes and a bit of your life. Lots of Love to Lila and a friendly 'woof' to Dale. Wishing you many more blogging birthdays, lots of happiness, luck and laughter in the coming years.

    - Priti

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    1. Priti- Thank you- I truly appreciate your support! And your sweet wishes!

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  29. Congratulations Nupur, I admire the long innings of One Hot stove and wish many more to come.

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  30. Happy Birthday to One Hot Stove and many congratulations to you. Keep cooking, keep writing and keep inspiring newbies like me :)

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    1. Thank you Riha and wishing you lots of fun in the food blog world!

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  31. Happy Birthday OHS ! You are a huge inspiration to me.. so keep going and I will be always around :)
    ~Kanchan ..could not connect to google so anon comment :(

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    1. Thank you Kanchan! I love the glimpses of your Bombay kitchen too :)

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  32. Congratulations, Nupur! Like good wine, OHS only gets better with time!
    How is dear Dale? And his little sister:)?

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    1. Kamini- Thank you :) Dear Dale is doing well, he's getting older which is hard to see but he's in good spirits. His little sister wants to reach out and pet him now!

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  33. Congratulations Nupur, looking forward to eating through life with One Hot Stove! How is lil Lila?

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    1. Thanks Mandira! Lila is sprouting an adorable personality :) it is such a cute age.

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  34. Happy blog b'day!
    Seven years, quite an achievement there.

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  35. Happy blog anniversary, Nupur! Here's to many more years with One Hot Stove!

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    1. Thank you Niranjana! Discovering your blog was a happy day for me.

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  36. Congratulations!! I always visit your blog when I am looking for inspiration or just something to cheer me up after a stressful day!! You rock!! I am amazed that you conitinue to post regularly even after your precious baby's arrival. Here's to another 7 years!!

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    1. Thank you Jhelum! It makes my day to know that this blog cheers you up- truly I am humbled.

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  37. Wow, happy 7th blog birthday, Nupur! It is so admirable how you are managing it all - new baby, blog, work, house, reading, crafting etc etc! You are becoming my hero now.. Congrats..

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    1. You're my hero too, PJ, because you're doing all of that as well! Best wishes to you and your baby girl.

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  38. CONGRATS! 7 years! Keep going ! Would like to see more on Maharashtrian cuisine and off course much more on books, crochet, kids, Dale and so many more!

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    1. Chandrima- I'll try and post more Maharashtrian dishes in the coming months!

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  39. Hello Nupur,
    What a shame that I've been off blog hopping and looks like I missed the awesome news of you becoming a mom. Please accept my heartiest congratulations and love for the little one.
    I turn a ripe-old-seven as a blogger too in a few weeks so I understand how you feel.
    And hat's off to your spirit for managing the blogging with the baby!
    Lots of love,
    N

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    1. Nandita- Thank you so much :) Motherhood is so much fun and so much work :D I've been enjoying your return to blogging.

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  40. Hi Nupur,

    COngratulations....on the blog turning 7! and that IS ripe in internet years! and no you are nowhere near decrepit...hush!!! How is little Lila? DO post some pics of her! Lovely platter that and when you spoke of Whole Foods Olive bar..you got me hungry! yum!

    Shoba

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    1. Thank you Shoba :D Lila sends her love- she's doing great, growing up all too quickly.

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  41. WOW !!! 7 years !!! Congratulations Nupur !
    Wishing you many many more delicious years of food blogging !

    Hows Dale & Lila ???

    Hugs to them,
    Leena Goutam

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    1. Leena- thank you for your support over the years! Dale and Lila are both doing well, Lila wants to pet Dale these days.

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  42. Hi Nupur,
    Yours was the first food blog I found when I was googling for Misal's recipe 6 yrs ago..
    You have opened up food blog world for me of which I am a big fan now.
    Congratulations to you and One hot stove. Keep it up!!
    -- Jyoti

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    1. Jyoti- I am so thrilled that you discovered the wonderful world of food blogs! Isn't it a most delicious place?

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  43. Congratulations on beginning Year 8. I'm inspired, as are a ton of others if the comments above aren't proof enough :) ... !!

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    1. Thank you so much! We all inspire each other and that's the most wonderful thing.

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