SPOTLIGHT Home bakers rejoice!

Life is truly about the simplest things. Dreaming and aiming high is admirable, but it’s possibly the smallest things that give us true happiness, most pleasure.

Food is one such thing that is loved by all, and there are few things more enjoyable than cooking a special meal for friends and family.

Homemade food is always better in more ways than one; it is healthy and preservative free; the quality is ensured, and the total cost is much cheaper than store-bought food.

It also makes for a wonderful gift. Imagine the smile on your friend’s face when you bring her a basket of homemade muffins when meeting for tea, or your father’s face when you make him a cake for his birthday — these are truly priceless and bring meaning to our otherwise mundane lives.

Cooking is instinctive and anyone can master the skill with some practice. While most people out there can turn out a decent meal and something special without help, some prefer to use expert tips and tricks.

For one thing it enables one to hone his/her existing skill. There is always room for improvement and that is true for even the seasoned cooks! The food industry is constantly evolving, new trends and techniques emerge every day, and thanks to the Internet, such ideas can easily be implemented in our traditional kitchen with some minor adjustments.

Entertaining guests at home is a major global trend, and parties need the oomph and glamour to make it a success; a ‘wow factor’ if you will!

A plain cake with vanilla frosting just does not cut it anymore. So if you are looking for means to learn cooking, or simply want to enhance your prowess then keep reading!

Many people are looking for cooking classes in a homely setup where a friendly instructor will show them the ropes. Cook and Dine with Saima does exactly that, and more. A dentist by education, Saima Tasnim has embraced cooking in all forms as a profession. Baking since she was a little girl, Tasnim recalls her mother being the biggest inspiration and teacher. Trained in various reputed institutes, she has an impressive array of skills under her belt. Baking and decorating is her forte, even though she also specialises in various authentic cuisines.

Saima offers many different types of classes. Cream and Cakes is the most basic, beginner’s level course that offers six different types of cakes, basic buttercream and some desserts. A very informative course, this is the class you want to do if you are a novice at baking. Then there are other specialized courses that focus on Buttercream making, frosting techniques; sugar art classes that focus on fondant and gum paste techniques.

There is also an advanced level class where students learn more about sugar art.  Other classes include focusing on making cookies and decorating techniques.

Baker’s Choice focuses on different types of pastry and bread making as well. While Party Shooters and Majestic Desserts teach fancy, impressive desserts to bring style and flair to your parties, the 3D Jelly Art class teaches basic and advanced level jelly cakes. And last but not the least, Mughlai Special is offered for lovers of this regal cuisine. What is truly interesting is that for every baking class Tasnim goes for a trendy, new theme that keeps things exciting and fun!

Floral sugar art is her forte, but expect to be surprised, for she has new things up her sleeve every time. Aside from taking classes, Tasnim also takes orders for cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods. She is a wizard with a wand for sugar art, and some of her fondant cakes are objet d’art.

Saima takes every class herself, and most courses are workshop-based where students get to practice what they have learned. The thought of taking a cooking class may be intimidating to many but Tasnim’s classes are relaxed and friendly. One feels at home right away, and can pick up a few handy tips here.