Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In pursuit of "Chocolat"

"This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! There was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! There was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women... poof! He turned into a box of chocolates."

Well this is the power of chocolate...Irresistible!!! I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't like chocolate. In our house there are two basic rules with regards to food.
1. It has to be visually appealing.
2. Dessert has to be gooey, dark and sweet. ( so its chocolate all the way)

Now these two rules were laid out by my DH a self confessed chocoholic, and the only time I'm forgiven for the cardinal sin of breaking rule #1, is when rule #2 is strictly adhered to...gooier, darker, sweeter!!! So this weeks post is dedicated to my chocoholic grandma, chocoholic DH, chocoholic niece RM (if there was a competition am sure they will figure in the top 5 ;) ) and all chocoholics.

The valentine platter...
The recipe for these home made chocolates are from Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. Thanks Aparna for this amazingly easy recipe. The best part of this recipe is that there are very few ingredients and all are easily available in the market. She has also given the recipe for 3 different fillings - coconut, coffee and marzipan. I tried the coffee filling and also tried my own chcoclate Ganache filling.

Ganache filling:
Dark semisweet chocolate - 100 gm
Butter - 1 tsp
cream - 1 tsp
- Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Mix in the butter and the cream till blended. Refrigerate till firm. Scoop with spoon and fill chocolate centres.
Seen above are the chocolates with gooey chocolate ganache and coffee filling. For chocoholics, the ganache filling is a 'must try'.

I also made plain milk chocolates using moulds. They say chocolates can do wonders and I say chocolates can do weird things too as I got bitten by the Robert Frost bug...So here I go...

The Chocs are gooey, dark and sweet.
But I have dinner yet to eat,
And piles of other recipes to try,
And piles of other recipes to try.

So...till then!!!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hats Off !!!

I guess i don't need to introduce myself. (Remember me??....."The older sister with the frozen brain" from the first post?!!!! We live in sub-zero temperatures here these days, so it took a while to thaw!!)

Well, I'd like to begin my post with a kudos to my little sister ,who came up with this blog as a way to share with each other things we enjoy doing, as we both live in different corners of the world। I'd also like to like to dedicate this post to all homemakers, who besides being the chauffeur, the shopper, the cook, the janitor and everything else also find time to blog. So HATS OFF to you guys for doing what you do everyday expecting only a toothy smile or an uncontrollable burp for a paycheck. And to everyone who'd like to join in our little blogging expedition, Welcome to the Sisterhood!

In honour of the "Hats Off To Homemakers", check out these hats I crocheted.

This was made for my big girl. The instructions for this Cute Kid's Earflap Hat (crochet) is available here. I chose to go with a single colour and the yarn I used was Bernat Baby Boucle. You may have to register to get the pattern. Its free.

This "Dressy Cloche"was made from a pattern from the book called "Crochet Hats!" by Candi Jensen with Lionbrand Jiffy Thick & Quick yarn. Hopefully it prevents future brain freezes!! A similar pattern can be found here.

Now that our heads are nice and warm, how about pampering our tastebuds for a change?!! Why sis, didnt hear about any Sweets for your Sweetie for Valentines Day!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Hand Painted Bedsheet

I had some baby pink coloured soft cotton fabric in my closet for around five years till I finally figured out what to do with it. I decided to make a bedsheet with matching pillow covers. This is the close up of the hand painted bedsheet with matching pillow covers.

I bought this design from a store and they did the tracing on to the fabric too. He even taught me how to transfer the design to the fabric. ( Carbon copying the design often leaves black/blue marks here and there on the fabric and it looks ugly. Also I was using transparent dyes, so the carbon paper marks would show through the design). Another advantage was, since this was a repetitive design, just imagine carbon copying the entire design..it would have taken ages. Through this method you copy the design just once.
To transfer design to fabric:
Things needed were cotton wool, kerosene, solid boot polish ( or even blue powder, the powder used to whiten white clothes). I used boot polish.
- First the design is traced on to butter paper.
- Place the butter paper on a piece of foam or cushion and using a needle/pin poke holes throught the design, even this lines and curves.
- Place the slotted butter paper design over the fabric where you want the design.
-Dip cotton wool in kerosene and squeeze well. Touch this lighlty over boot polish.
- Rub this over the slotted butter paper.
- Now when you remove the butter paper you can see the design on the fabric as grey dots.
- Keep the the same butter paper wherever you want and repeat the procedure, for transferring the design again.

Different color combinations were tried and I finally stuck to this. After painting, I let it dry for 24 hours and then ironed on the reverse to let it set.
I have yet to get the edgings done for the sheet and the pillow cases and I hope it won't end up as another 5 year plan...;) !

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baby Steps to....a Baby dress !!!

I thought creating and setting up the blog would be the tough part, but writing the first blog seemed even tougher. Its more than two weeks since we discussed about this blog and since then it seemed like I have hit a wall. So I happily put the ball in my sisters court asking her to write the first one....she being the elder of us!!! :) But she soon put it back in mine saying that she's just taken her brain out from the freezer and waiting for it to thaw...(smarter than I thought) ;)...!!!
So here you go, as we take baby steps into building this, here's a simple hand painted baby dress for all craft lovers. This was done by me for my niece.

Things I used :
- a cute little yellow dress
- fabric paints (I used dyes)
- a cute design
After transferring the design onto the dress. Have fun with the paints and let it dry for 24 hours and then iron on the reverse to seal the paint.
You can also try using puff/foam fabric paints which puff up when ironed. Looks cute on kids clothing.
So sis I've set the ball rolling, now over to you...!!!