At work I am a complete professional people would say in my past roles. However since April 2007 that changed. I moved into a team with more ladies. I changed quite a bit. I have been most times working with men and used to being the sole lady around. I surprised myself by opening on personal matters with Nimmy, Manasa and Deepa in the first few weeks itself. I was experiencing the female bonding theory here !!!
The friendship with Deepa took time to grow and is one of mutual trust. Her beliefs are almost similar to mine when it comes to family. She is someone I can talk to without worrying about being judged. She tells me point blank when I am wrong and there are very few people whom I allow that. Deepa is a good listener and is very caring. She is my support and I value her much more than she knows! I see her blushing as she reads this.
Now I am not very easy at accepting gifts and always discourage anyone trying to gift me. Yet when last week we met and were on our way to see Preeti's baby she handed me a big and heavy packet saying she wanted to off load it. I took it thinking, "Oh let me hold it for her, how many things will she carry?!" her second one is on the way you see. Then she told me it's a gift for me, for the blog! She surprised me with it.
I loved the gift Deepa! I felt like a kid playing with lego bricks and shapes. So here are lots of pictures today.
To put together this meal for two:
Clean and wash the mushrooms. Separate the caps and stems. The caps will be used for stuffing and stems for separate spiced bake.
15 Mushroom caps
1/4 teaspoon dry Oregano
1/4 teaspoon dry Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
15 nos. 1 inch bits of Mozarella cheese
salt to taste
In a baking tray spray some olive oil. Line up the mushroom caps hollow side up. Fill one cap with one mozarella cheese bit. Complete all 15. In a small bowl mix together the herbs and garlic powder with salt. Sprinkle this mix on the stuffed mushroom caps. Spray olive oil just a bit.
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2-3 garlic pods
In the same tray. Halve the red and yellow peppers and arrange them in the baking tray such that the hollow side is down. Spray them with olive oil. Slice the garlic thin and sprinkle on the peppers. Sprinkle salt.
Spiced Mushroom Bake
15 mushroom stems diced
1 teaspoon Chili flakes
4-5 garlic pods
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
2 teaspoon vinegar ( I used from my pickled onion and chilies)
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a aluminium foil put the diced mushroom stems. Slice garlic over it. Sprinkle the chili flakes. Add the vinegar. I used vinegar from my pickled onions and chilies. If you have any pickled veggies in vinegar use that as it adds a nice dimension to the flavors but if you don't then use plain. Top with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Make a packet of the foil by folding at the edges.
Preheat oven for 10 mins at 250 deg Celsius.
Put the baking tray into the oven and the packet of Spiced Mushrooms. Keep them in for 20 mins or till you see burn spots on the skin of the peppers. Remove from the oven. Let it cool.
Deskin the peppers and cut into strips. Save in a bowl.
Remove the stuffed mushroom into a serving dish.
Open the foil packet and empty into a serving dish. It will have some liquid from the baking keep it. Bread dipped in it tastes wonderful.
In a bowl I sliced some tomatoes and kept some pickled baby onions.
Arranging the sandwich.
I warmed the bread in the oven. Sliced it in the median. Layered with tomato slices, roasted bell peppers both red and yellow. Sliced the pickled onions over it. Then topped with spiced mushroom bake. Closed the sandwich with the other half of the bread and it was ready to bite into. Quite a mouthful !
The stuffed mushrooms were a nice accompaniment too.