Chocolate Bundt Cake & Another Week of Stay-At-Home

I now completed 3 weeks of working from home; and 2 weeks with family working from home. The second week brought with it much needed smoothness in our daily routines. We went for walks everyday; made simple dinners every night which served as left-over lunches for the next day and found us managing our work time with daughter's remote learning time without anyone having to pull their hairs apart - all in all, it was harmony and I think we are settling into this new normal :)

I found some strategies which work well for us, the first is time limiting the news hour and coronavirus topic at home to evenings 5-7pm, which hugely helps manage stress/anxiety particularly as kids are always listening, even if we don't think they are! The other is shifting the kids school week so that she has no work on Mon/Tue two of my busiest workdays while she makes up for those days on our weekends. 

We also set aside some time every week to just have family fun - cook something together, play board games (chess and Jenga are current favorites!) or watch movies (+1 to Disney+, great kids and NatGeo content). 

I think this phase is going to be bring a tactical shift into how we cook and eat and bring back the forgotten value of family time. For a while now, a lot of us have been so busy in our lives (both professional and internet social) and reliant on modern day luxuries like DoorDash or countless restaurants or frozen meals that we forgot the basics - the basics of cooking from fresh ingredients and the basics of enjoying leisurely dinners with good ol' family time. I wonder if this phase will force us to explore those skills and if so, I think we are going to come out of it stronger as a society! 

The vegetable patch and a fruit orchard in our garden was always a luxury until now, but now it's a much necessary supplement of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for our meals (even though it's tiny in quantities today). I find myself baking bread out of necessity instead of curiosity. It's challenging times for sure, but I do think as a society it will help us reconnect to some of the basics of simple fresh family meals and enjoying each other's company. 

Anyhow, on the food front, this week saw us making simple meals like egg curry w/ roti, spinach daal w/ rice, fajitas, burgers and simple cauliflower curry w/ tortialla. We did manage to squeeze in a few luxuries like this no-fried batata wada and also a very yummy chocolate bundt cake!
stay-at-home week2 meals
This chocolate bundt cake was a sudden inspiration... while going through pantry I found an old half used packet of chocolate cake mix. The only additional ingredients it required was 1 egg and few Tbsp oil, we had that so we quickly put the batter together. It's been many months since I made a cake, so while looking for the regular cake pan, I instead came across our bundt cake pan (another well loved kitchen utensil catching dust in the pantry) and decided to tweak the cooking times a bit to make a bundt cake instead. 

The result was this delicious light and fluffy chocolate cake. I waited 10 minutes after removing the cake from the oven before doing "the flip"... and we cheered like the staff of NASA when it made the "pop" sound noting the cake had successfully landed from the pan to the plate!

We dusted it with powdered sugar and ate with a few fresh chopped strawberries on the side. It was delicious! These small impromptu luxuries I feel are super important to keep the spirits up, particularly with kids. Enjoy and stay safe!