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Jiggle Happy!

Saffron cheese pannacotta with crushed nuts and chocolate
Saffron cheese pannacotta with crushed nuts and chocolate

Really! What is with the constant rule following and thinking within boundaries? When did anything ever get done that way? And, if one isn't one of those goody-two-shoes, corporate-culture-toeing types, why the heck should you apologise for it?!

This rant is prompted by a saying on a tee that one of the staff is wearing today at the place where I work for free and pay for over-priced coffee (ok, really wifi-priced coffee) "Sorry, I am Different" it says. Why?! 

So, I told her "Don't be!" and she laughed sheepishly. Why?!

Let's just give us space to be ourselves, shall we? We just need a little jiggle room! And, we'll all be happy.

Not Sorry, I am Different #justsaying!

I have always known I was different. I couldn't quite describe how or why but growing up in India, I just felt like deer caught in headlights all the time. My coping mechanism was to simply say nothing, walk away from situations that I did not agree with. Consciously and sub-consciously I worked on ways to escape.

Then I came to NYC, found myself and somehow I fell into a hole and was afraid of getting out. Again, I found myself being different, and not, finding myself in a place as diverse as New York!

So, I thought... It must be me! Right? I need to figure out a way to... err... fit in?!

Saffron cheese pannacotta with crushed nuts and chocolate

Well, actually I was wrong! Thing I realised is, I am always going to be different.

Changing myself, simply because I could not find an easy hole to be a peg in, made no sense. I had to make my own unique hole and fit snugly into it, leaving a little jiggle room to change and grow. Now, that I can say is far more easier said, than done. How difficult cant it be?

figuring what my hole could look like

As it turns out, quite trying, because even though I have the peg {me}, I have to create the right hole. So, I have to first define the size and shape of my hole, then convince other holes around me that I am a valid hole even though I may not look the same, and, finally that my hole is just as valuable (if not more!), and, much needed.

I am still in the stage of figuring what my hole could look like.... Currently, I am juggling three different channels, loosely connected but sufficiently distinct enough to require individual efforts, in an attempt to define my hole.

No one ever said being an entrepreneur is easy, but, I can also tell you that it has never been boring so far, is often exhausting, done mostly on-the-fly, curiosity rewarding and very fulfilling in human interaction.

Over the last few months, since I actively embarked on the journey of building out my full-service consulting firm, I have grown by leaps and bounds, stretched my own physical and mental limits, and created a sustaining stream of amazingly insightful experience through interactions with some really awesome thinkers and doers!

And, in pursuing my own agenda, I feel I have created just the right jiggle room for me to be different!

Saffron cheese pannacotta with crushed nuts and chocolate

Saffron Cheesecake Pannacotta

with crushed pistachios, chocolate and almonds

A couple of tips I learnt in making this recipe that helps get that creamy smooth consistency without too much effort - 

  • Gelatin dissolves slower in milk products than in water. That is why I heat the water and milk separately and then whisk them together.
  • Mixing the the gelatin with sugar helps avoid the lumps you would get if it was just gelatin and liquid. 

Prep Time: 10 Mins | Cool Time: 3 hours | Serves: 8inch cake or 12 singles

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup half and half or light cream

1 packet gelatin

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp of gelatin

pinch of saffron

handful of pine nuts, chocolate almonds and pistachios crushed


Heat the milk/cream to a simmer. Crush the saffron threads and add to it. Remove from heat and let it sit for a few minutes for the saffron to color and flavor the milk.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and gelatin. Boil the water and add to this mixture, quickly whisking to dissolve the gelatin.

In a food processor, add the softened cream cheese and gelatin water and whiz to a smooth mixture. Add the saffron flavored milk and process to just mix.

Grease a pie pan or individual ramekins and pour the cheesecake mixture into them. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

To unmold, place the pan(s) in a tray of hot water for 2 minutes to loosen the panncotta from the mold.

Invert onto plate and serve topped with crushed, roasted nuts.

Will stay good in the fridge for a week.


Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK