Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A Cupcake Cake, and other Summer Treats

Summer 2022 is going by in the blink of an eye. I don't have a recipe today, just a few pics and notes about things I've made recently. 

1. First up, our little boy turned 6 this month and we celebrated outside at a local park with a few of his little friends. This park has a splash pad as well as a playground, and the kids had a blast running around and eating cupcakes, sandwiches, watermelon and chips. 

The birthday boy loves ice cream cones so I made a cupcake cake shaped like an ice cream cone. The idea came from (where else but) pics I've seen online. The cupcakes were a double batch of this funfetti cupcakes recipe, made the night before, with the "cone" cupcakes in cocoa frosting and the "ice cream" cupcakes in strawberry cream cheese frosting, with Mike and Ike candies as sprinkles. The "cherry" cupcake was dipped in red sanding sugar. 


2. A staple of summer is summer rolls. They are refreshing, colorful, and wholesome, a mini hand-held salad, if you will. We made this batch for a small gathering. I prepped everything and then my daughter made the rolls. Yes, it is nice to have a sous chef around. They are fun to make and absolutely delicious to eat. While the weather is hot, I hope to make these a couple more times for a light meal. 

3. Next up, we've been making chutney sandwiches. I always think of them as "Bombay sandwiches" because they're sold as street food in Mumbai. Waaay back in 2005, I wrote about these on a post about the green chutney spread that makes these sandwiches so tasty and special. Recently, I've discovered that Trader Joe's sells Yemeni zhoug sauce that's so very close to the hiravi chutney. When I buy that tub of sauce, sandwich making is just a matter of slicing veggies and assembling everything. 

4. Eggplant is my favorite vegetable, and when eggplants are in season in summer, it is time to try all those bookmarked eggplant recipes. This stuffed eggplant parm was one I got around to trying and it was delicious. However, the effort it took to scoop out the eggplant halves, and the way the eggplant shells did not bake evenly means that I am unlikely to make this again. 

5. Pickles! My daughter adores pickles and eats ungodly amounts of them. We always tell her about her unusual daily breakfast when she was just 2 years old- a fried egg and a pickled okra! This time, we tried making these refrigerator dill pickles and they were so easy to make, and turned out perfect. The only problem is pickling cucumbers are not easy to find. 

6. For a recent brunch with friends, I decided to try making a pan of cinnamon rolls. I used this recipe but the way I rolled and cut the dough yielded about 16 medium rolls rather than the 24 mini rolls I was going for. But they were delicious! I made an icing drizzle rather than the cream cheese frosting.

7. Last on the list, a sewing project. I made a set of quilted coasters with some of my favorite Indian block prints. They are easy and fun to make- pattern here

Other than these little kitchen projects and craft projects, summer has been full of work, driving kids to and from various camps (botanical garden camp, interior design camp, barn sanctuary camp, gymnastics camp...), a little outdoor swimming, some reading, some spring cleaning...and before we know it, the new school year is almost here. 

How is your summer going?


  1. Every time I read your posts, there is so much I relate to. I think both our kids are the same age and born in the same months, except opposite sexes. My daughter also celebrated her 6th birthday this month and we ended up with far too many parties - so we have agreed to do it differently next year and streamline into one celebration and repurpose the funds to better use. Last year I had made an icecream cake for her - nothing but freezing layers of icecream on top of a store bought cake - but I topped it with an upside down cone and it looked a lot of fun.
    I've been making a ton of chutney sandwiches too - another relatable part of the post - I checked the link for your recipe and was surprised to see sour cream and yogurt - do you still make it that way? I have a simple recipe - coriander, green chillies, salt, cumin powder, a cap of oil and generous amounts of lime/lemon juice.. its a big hit with my friends ! I've been adding shredded mozzarella and grilling mine..
    Eggplant is another one - I recently made a great caponata for a girls night in - my best thus far and I've tried it a few times.. it was from a recipe on youtube.. I love eating crostinis with various toppings in the summer..
    outside of that summer has been filled with family visits, pool days and a little bit of travel.. time seems to be flying so fast!

    1. That's really funny, Archana, the parallels in our lives :) I love the idea of your ice cream cake.

      Yeah, the chutney recipe is SO outdated and I don't use dairy any more in making it. I need to rewrite dozens of recipes that I posted long ago and have since improved on. I love your simple recipe. I add mint when I have some on hand. (Have never had luck growing my own mint, sadly)

      Eggplant caponata is so good! I haven't made it in ages. My favorite is a simple instant pot stuffed eggplant which I eat with yogurt rice. The ultimate comfort food for me.

      Enjoy the rest of summer and belated happy birthday to your little girl. They are growing up fast but I for one will not mess the craziness of the toddler years LOL

  2. Just popping by to say how much I enjoy your posts. Glad you are all enjoying summer. I’m in Australia, but in the sub tropics, so our winters are mild. And now I’m going to have to order a Bombay Club Sandwich for lunch!

    1. You're so kind, thanks for reading my posts :) Club sandwich, wow, I haven't eaten those since probably the days of cafes in Mumbai. I'll have to make one and dare my kids to eat all layers in one bite!

  3. Nice to always hear updates from you! I love zhoug and infact was having a egg sandwich spread with zhoug for breakfast while I eating this. Have a good rest of your summer!

  4. With every new post of yours I am impressed anew by your creativity and zest for life! I really enjoyed reading this.

  5. Hi Nupur,
    Whenever you have time, can you give more elaborate recipes/methods for the summer rolls and chutney sandwiches. They are my favorites and it I am not good at recreating them. Even though they sound simple.

    I am impressed your daughter was able to roll the summer rolls, whereas I have trouble with them. It is one of my favorites.

    Happy birthday to your little one!

  6. That is a lot of good food! Those birthday cupcakes are cute and a splash pad sounds like a fun birthday activity. I miss summery food like spring rolls. Though roasting pumpkin is one of the joys of winter! We could not find any cucumbers in the supermarket today (covid and floods are doing odd things to our food supplies). But I am not clear what pickling cucumbers are as I have never tried them! And love those cinnamon rolls - can almost smell them. I like the idea of the eggplant parm but I have a fave eggplant parma at a pub near work that is just sauce and cheese over fried eggplants and it is so good that I think I prefer it to the mixing everything in that recipe! All those camps sounds like a busy summer. Good luck with return to school. I am looking forward to warmer weather and getting back into the outdoor pool!


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