Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cake Take! - Poinsettia Cake.

Before the holiday season passes, I just wanted to show off my Christmas cake. It was made as the final cake of my Wilton Fondant and Gumpaste course. I chose not to go by any of the cakes given in the course book as I wanted to make something apt for the season. The cake is the classic yellow cake filled with vanilla pudding, iced in buttercream frosting and covered with fondant. The poinsettia is made with fondant and gumpaste. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the poinsettia, even handcutting some of the leaves and buds and covering it with lusterdust. Finally, it was bone dry and time to assemble the whole thing and would you believe I had no clue how to do it. So now I had the sense to go online and figure out how to do it, but to my disbelief, every site I checked said that we had to wire each leaf while the gumpaste was pliable, let dry and then form into a flower by twisting the wires together. I almost had a heart attack! My uncle and family were coming over for Christmas, so there was cooking to do. We have a little tradition of baking cookies for Santa, so that had to be done! I also had to bake the cake to be decorated. I couldn't start over again, oh no!

Anyway, after a restless night , I decided to just stick the buds in a ball of pink fondant and arrange the leaves around it and glue them to the cake with royal icing. And voila! Am I proud of myself or what?! I know its not a great 3-dimensional poinsettia or anything but I sure am glad!

On this happy note, I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year and I hope the next year turns out to be great!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Wish!

A time of year to think of love and sharing
A time of peace for the whole world to cherish
A time to be with all your friends and family
And wish them all a Merry Christmas!

Making angels in the snow or sliding down the hill
Roasting chestnuts on the fire takes away the chill
Candy canes and mistletoe and grandma's home-made pie
Gingerbread and hot cocoa, you know its Christmas time

Seasons come and seasons pass, but we still remember
The joy we shared on Christmas last and looking forward to next December
Flowers bloom, then pumpkins grow, then suddenly it starts to snow
Then our hearts are young again and we know its Christmas time
On Christmas eve Santa will soon be coming
With lots of toys for girls and boys
To see their eyes sparkle like above
Is all we need for a Merry Christmas...........
So live your life with kindness and love in your heart
And you'll always have a Merry Christmas!
- Philippe Brisebois

Wishing you all a happy and healthy and peaceful holidays and hope all of you have a wonderful time with all your family and friends. Merry Christmas!


p.s: The pattern for the cute mini stockings is by the very talented Julie Williams and you can find it here .

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Sweet" Survivors!

A couple of years back, while browsing through some magazines in the library around christmas time, I came across a Christmas tablescape featuring various kinds of red and white candy. It looked really nice and everything but being so hopelessly sweet-toothed as we are around here, I dont think the decorations had a chance of surviving Christmas. Somehow the idea stuck in my head and this year when I saw the scraps of red and white yarn left over from another project, I just had to try.
I used scraps of red and white worsted weight cotton yarn and a G crochet hook. Being a self-taught crocheteer, I have tried to explain the pattern as best as I could. Please let me know of any errors.

Peppermint Roll Lollipop:
Outer layer: With red yarn, chain 43.
1) Sc in second chain from hook. Sc in each ch across.
2) Ch-1, turn. Sc in each sc across. Finish.
Inner layer: With white yarn, chain 32.
1)Sc in second chain from hook. Sc in each ch across.
2)Ch-1, turn. Sc in each sc across. Finish.
Place inner layer over the outer layer.
Roll up in jelly roll style.

Sew to hold in place.

Insert a lollipop stick.

Peppermint Swirl Lollipop:
This pattern is done using both red and white yarns together and worked in rounds. Do not turn.
Red sc means sc with the red yarn pulled up. Similarly, white sc means sc with the white yarn pulled up on hook.

With white, ch-4, join to form a ring.
1) ch-1, (white sc in ring, red sc in ring) 4 times. Join to beg sc. (8 stitches)
2)ch-1,1 red sc and 1white sc in first sc, 1 white sc and 1 red sc in next sc, (1 red sc and 1 white sc in next sc; 1 white sc and 1 red sc in next sc) 3 times. Join to beg. sc. (16 stitches)
3)ch-1, 1 red sc each in the first 2 sc, 1 white sc each in the next 2 sc, ( 1 red sc each in next 2 sc, 1 white sc each in next 2 sc) 3 times. Join to beg. sc. (16 stitches)
Make 2 of the above. At the end of row 3 of 2nd one, do not finish.
Place both motifs wrong sides together, aligning similar colors.
Slip stitch the 2 motifs together using the red yarn while working over the red area and using the white yarn over the white area.

Make sure that the yarn you are not using is carried between the two motifs and not outside.
Finish. Tuck ends in.
Insert lollipop stick. Voila!

I really can't say if these "sweeties" are going to survive Christmas because I did chance upon a pair of tiny hands pick up the lollipops and give it some pretend licks!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas !!!

This probably is my last post for this year as I'm off for my christmas vaction in a couple of days.
Looking back, the past year had some happy moments but a very very sad and shocking one too.

- We finally got the chance to live in our own house, something that we never imagined and we feel truly blest.

- Sis & me took up a resolution to start a blog. I'm happy that we have been able to keep our resolution for 2009 and kept the blog rolling. So cheers to us !!! Well we started with lots of doubt but kept going and then we had long discussions on the blog name, blog template, font, image sizes and even the 'about us' section. We did take long breaks, but we've kept it alive somehow.

- A nice long happy summer holiday at mita's place. The fun started right from when we started filling the visa forms, going for the interviews, the journey itself, the half day break at frankfurt (with SIL) was real fun ;), and a nice relaxed vacation at mita's. Also a trip to our unlce's place at Fredrick and Atlantic city was fun too. I would like to thank my uncle &family and mita & family for making it so memorable and also for the loads of pocket money ;);). The ONLY sad part was the teary farewell at the airport. I still remember my squirming elder niece RM's face at her mum and aunt's public display of emotions.

- A cousin got engaged, and we are looking forward to the wedding. Soon after the engagement, we all sat around our ailing cousin and joked and laughed, and his mother said that she had not seen him that happy in so many months.

- But it was followed by some really sad news as we lost our dear dear cousin, and since we are still in the 40 day mourning period, there won't be any christmas for our family this time. His 40th day being December 30th.

For me the last year just zoomed off and it was crazy at times, but I look forward to a bright and happy 2010.
I had some leftover chocolate cookie dough, so this is my cookie wreath for christmas.
May you have a Blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year !!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Colourful Crostini

My search for a vegetarian snack this lenten season ended with this...the very italian Crostini. The best part of this is that you can experiment with your topping and add whatever you like. My DH suggested minced meat, but since we're vegetarian for a couple of days, this is my version of the Crostini.

Recipe :

Baguette (sliced diagonally) - 1 loaf
Salted Butter - 2 Tblsp
Garlic (finely chopped) - 6
Oregano - as taste

- Mix butter with garlic and oregano.
- Smear the baguette slices with the garlic-oregano butter.
- Bake in an oven for 5 minutes at 350F.


Diced Onion - 1/4 cup
Diced Red capsicum - 1/4 cup
Diced Yellow Capsicum - 1/4 cup
Diced Tomatoes - 1 medium (Pulp discarded)
Corn - Half a cob
Celery - 1 stem
Chopped Garlic - 6
Olive oil - 1 tsp
Grated Cheese - as required

- Mix all the above except the grated cheese.
- Place a spoonful of this mixture on the toasted slice.
- Garnish with Grated cheese.

As the aroma of the freshly baked garlic bread lingers on, I'm sure "no one can eat just one" !!!