Friday, December 24, 2010

Kheema Mattar Pulao on your Christmas Table

It's been a month without a post so here's quickie to add on to your Christmas menu.
Kheema Mattar Pulao will be an excellent accompaniment on your christmas table. It also is another dish that can stand by itself when served with raita, papad and pickle. This recipe is adapted from the good housekeeping magazine.

Kheema Matar Pulao:
  1. Tomato Puree - 11/2 tbsp
  2. oil - 4 tbsp
  3. cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. garam masala - 1tsp
  8. salt - to taste
  9. ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
  10. onion - 1 chopped
  11. mutton/beef kheema - 2 cups (par- cooked, I used beef)
  12. green peas - 3/4 cup
  13. Basmati rice - 2 cups
  14. coriander leaves - a handful
  15. mint leaves - a handful
  16. curd - 4 tbsp


- Cook the rice as per the instructions.

-Mix tomato puree, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, and garam masala powders with 1 tbsp oil and salt to form a thick paste and keep aside.

-Heat remaining oil in a large pan and saute onions and ginger garlic paste.

-Add the spice paste and curd cook for 2- 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook.

-Add the kheema and cook on high heat until fully cooked.

-Add the coriander and mint leaves.

- Stir in the cooked rice and keep covered for a few minutes on low flame.

- Garnish with mint leaves.

Merry Christmas everybody !!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Passion Fruit Cake

This is a recipe I've been wanting to try for a looong time. My mum grows Passion Fruit on her terrace and this year she had a rocking yield. So she scooped out the pulp and stored them in containers in the freezer. Not a bad idea actually if you want to use them later on. So I brought back one box of the frozen pulp. And finally got to making this last week....

The cake has a slight tang and great aroma. You can just dust with some icing sugar and serve or for those (like me) who like the flavour of the passion fruit can pour some passion fruit glaze...see below. I added the pulp with seeds into the batter as straining it was too much of a bother. I knew it turned out well when I saw my chocoholic husband reach out for the second helping. ;);)

Passion Fruit Cake

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

sprinkle of salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

4tblsp fresh passion fruit pulp ( I added the seeds too...)

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients in larger bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl.

Blend both of the above.

Put the batter into prepared pans and bake for 40-45 min.

Remove and when cool dust with icing sugar and glaze.

For glaze:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs passion fruit pulp

To make glaze, sift powdered sugar into a blender. Add juice and blend until smooth. Strain and spoon glaze over cake, allowing glaze to soak into the cake.

It's different !!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cake Take - Rolling On!

Big Girl, RM turned 9 recently. As her birthday approached, I was again faced with the dilemma of what kind of cake to make for her....... especially after her own suggestion of a Selena Gomez cake! Yikes! No way! Well, of late, the girls have both been very much into roller skating and I thought that would be a much better theme for our birthday.

Roller Skate Cake!

The cake was a Yellow Cake filled with her favorite dark chocolate pastry cream and Whipped cream frosting. The roller skate was made a couple of days ahead with royal icing using the Color Flow Technique and let to dry hard. It was placed on the cake just before it was cut.

I must say that Selena Gomez got no mention after Big Girl saw her cake ........ Guess she's a bigger fan of dark chocolate! Keep Rolling, Girl!


p.s : Just wanted to share some of the t-shirt art some of our friends and us did at the party!

T-shirt Painting

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Panchranga Pulao

This was made for a quickie lunch and also another one dish meal. As the name suggests panchranga ( 5 coloured ) pulao, it has veggies of different colours. This recipe is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoors Panchranga pulao. I avoided the capsicum as that is a big no no for my DH and replaced it with corn. Carrots, corn, beans, peas and cauliflower provided the pretty colours.

Here's the recipe:

PanchRanga Pulao

Basmati Rice - 2 cups

Corn - 1/2 cob (after microwaving for 2 minutes )

French Beans - 8 ( cut in to 1/2" pcs )

Carrot - 1 medium sized ( cut into 1/2 "pcs )

Cauliflower - 1/2 medium sized (separate into small florets )

Green Peas - 1/4 cup

Onions - 2 sliced thinly

Green chillies - 1 slit lengthwise

Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

Ghee - 3 tblsp

cinnamon - 1 " stick

Cardamom - 4

Cloves - 4

Peppercorns - 8

Bay Leaves - 2

Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

cashewnuts, coriander leaves for Garnish


Wash and soak rice for half an hour.

Heat some oil and fry quarter of the onions and cashewnuts for the garnish and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in which you plan to cook the rice and add all the spices and fry.

Add the remaining onions and ginger garlic paste and saute till translucent.

Add all the vegetables and green chilly and cook for a minute.

Add the soaked and drained rice and stir gently for a minute.

Add in four cups of water and salt and cook covered in medium heat till all the water is absorbed.

Mix and garnish with fried onions, cashewnuts and corinader leaves.

Serve with Raita, Papad and any non-veg curry or paneer curry.


Friday, October 22, 2010

New Beginning!

Hey everyone! Its good to be back after taking off for a mighty long time. During the absence, I did enjoy a 10-week trip to India where we had a great time with the family. Yeah Li'l Sis and I did spend some creative time together making Little girl SS a birthday cake. And of course, after a holiday comes the pain of getting back into the grind again! Now that we are settled in, I thought I should start over. So, since this is kind of a new beginning, I thought I should share something I made for a friend's new baby.

Cupcake Hat and  Booties
I had seen these "Cupcake Hats" around the internet and had been wanting to try these for a long time. Somehow, I didn't have anybody to make it for. Little girl SS refused it, saying it was for babies. (She's "Big" now!) Ahem! Anyway, recently a friend of mine had a baby girl and I immediately knew what I was going to give her. There are so many patterns out there for the "Cupcake Hat", but I went with this one because I liked the way the picots looked at the transition from the cupcake wrapper to the frosting . The pattern was simple enough for me, a novice at knitting, and I didn't have any trouble at all with the directions. I used DPNs for this project.

Cupcake Layette
The booties were made from the ever so popular pattern, Saartje's Booties . My only modifications were that I went for the Mary Jane straps rather than the cross straps. These booties are knitted using straight needles, so there is quite a bit of seaming. I also added a row of crochet picots around the first round of pink knitting to match the hat. I was lucky enough to find a Cupcake layette set complete with a sweater, onesie and pants in the same color scheme as the hat and booties. I don't think I'm pro enough to knit a sweater yet!

Cupcake Tag
Finally, just to go with the theme, I made this Cupcake tag to go on the giftbox. Of course, if its knitting, there has to be something of Julie Williams. I'm always in awe of her work! I omitted the cake color from the pattern and went on to use the frosting color after the case color just to keep with the color scheme.

I thought it all turned out pretty neat. Baby S must be looking "as cute as a Cupcake", don't you think?


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lazy Mutton Curry after a Lazy Summer Break

I know it's been a long time since our last post. Well sis was here in India for the summer vacations and we went on a long and fun break which at the end got over all too quickly. Many of our fans have been checking in to find out why the sudden break and also prodding us for a new post. Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Well, about the Mutton curry - There have been many a times by 7:00 pm I am left wondering what do I make for dinner. This is specially for people who've had this same experience. It's a very easy one dish mutton curry, the ingredients of which will definitely be in any indian kitchen - unless of course you have mutton in the freezer. And the good thing about this is, it tastes really good and can go with Appam, Parathas, White Rice or anything else. Don't be fooled by the redness of the dish thinking that it may be spicy, it's just the Tomatoes. In fact I increased the chilly powder and added some pepper too when I adapted it from the original which is from Shabs cuisine. You can also increase the water if you want more gravy or keep it on the fire for longer if you want to decrease the gravy.

So here goes the recipe:

500g Mutton cubed and washed
2 medium size onions chopped finely ( I used a a chopper)
2 (heaped) tsp ginger -garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes dices
2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
1 ½ Tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp lightly crushed pepper
½ cup water
2 twigs curry leaves
Salt to taste

- Heat oil in a pressure pan and when hot add the chopped onions and saute till it starts to turn brown.
- Add the ginger garlic paster and saute for same time.
- Add all the masala powders including salt and few curry leaves and saute.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and a little water and allow to cook till soft and oil separates.
- Add the meat and stir in high heat for some time.
- Add the water and pressure cook till done. (It took me 5 whistles and 5 min on low flame and it was just perfectly cooked).
- When the pressure is fully gone, open the pan and add the remaining curry leaves and adjust seasoning.

Now its ready to serve.
It was quite simple to prepare and used just one dish for the cooking, but the end of it all it was really worth it (we had it with parathas ;) ) !!! Am sure it will taste good with beef too.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Karaikudi Chicken Curry

First of all...sorry for the looooong wait for the next post. Just saw that its been over a month since we posted. Since sis is on holiday I guess the onus in one me to keep the blog rolling. So here's a quickie post..... "Karaikudi Chicken Curry" recipe that I borrowed from my SIL's cookbook. It goes well with rotis and white rice.

KaraiKudi Chicken Curry

1. Chicken - 500g
2. Onions - 1 diced
3. Tomato - 1 diced
4. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
5. Chilly Powder - 1/2 tsp
6. Coriander Powder - 11/2tsp
7. Mustard - 1/2 tsp
8. Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
9. Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
10. Oil, salt as required.
11. Coriander Leaves - handful

To Roast and Grind:

dry red chillies - 5
coriander seeds - 2 tsp
ginger - 1"
garlic - 7 small
cinnamon - 2"
cardamom - 2
pepper - 1 tsp
clove - 5
grated coconut - 4 tsp
curry leaves - few

-- Marinate chicken in turmeric and salt.
-- Heat little oil and fry ingredients for roasting and grinding.
-- Add a little water and blend to a smooth paste.
-- Heat oil add mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek and onions.
-- When the onions brown, add tomatoes and cook till soft.
-- Add chilly powder and coriander powder and saute for 5 min.
-- Add the ground paste and saute for 3 min.
-- Add chicken and little water and adjust salt. Cook for 20 min or till done.
-- Garnish with coriander leaves.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recycling - From a kurta to a kool Tote

Recently I was cleaning up my wardrobe and separating the clothes I hadn't worn in the last two years so that I keep only the clothes I wear and get rid of all the clutter. Among the clutter was this chocolate brown jute salwar set with cute little bell embellishments. I didn't want to throw this away so I decided to recycle this and breathe some new life into it. Well it would serve another purpose too : Last year I had bought myself a sewing machine and I decided to get into sewing. With so many blogs and really good tutorials available on the net, it has become very easy to learn anything....and you get a lot of ideas too. So here lay the fabric for my next sewing project.
I had actually done some research and finally zeroed in on Tote Tutorial for beginners by Rita. She has given very clear instructions and also pictures of each step. Great one for beginners (like me). I was waiting for the weekend to buy the fabric but didn't have to now.
For the tote I followed Rita's instructions exactly and for the recycling part.....I used the body of the kurta, that is the widest part from the bottom, for the body of the Tote. I didn't bother with removing the stitches I just snipped away to get my two rectangles. From the top part of the kurta, I got my handles for the Tote. That leaves us with just the two sleeves and the bell embellishments. One of the sleeves was used for the inner pocket and the other sleeve for the pocket which is seen on the outside. I decided to use the bells too to decorate the Tote. I snipped off the string of bells, took 2 bells out and sewed them on to the outer pocket and sewed up the remaining bells as is on to one of the handles. There you go from a "kurta to a kool Tote"....And I am glad.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday !!!

"Grandmas are for stories about things of long ago.
Grandmas are for caring about all this things you know.
Grandmas are for rocking you and singing you to sleep.
Grandmas are for giving you nice memories to keep.
Grandmas are for knowing all the things you're dreaming of...
But, the most important thing of all,
Grandmas are for love."

This post, a week late is for a very special person who just turned 80. She is my Grandmother and also my Godmother. She is one of the most selfless human beings I've ever seen. An excellent cook ( she started at the age of 12) and always a delight to be with. She is a homebody and hates to go out. She just loves to stay at home and cook and serve for the family.

My grandmother is the ultimate chocoholic. Yeah she can survive on just chocolates and that is something she would never say not to, no matter what. And I know from whom I inherited this gene from ;);) !!!

So on her special day I made this "Black Magic Cake" from Hersheys. Its really dark colored cake. But be sure you use the freshest of baking powder and baking soda. Its kinda very similar to the Hersheys Perfectly Perfect chocolate cake I had posted earlier. I used Hersheys Perfectly Perfect chocolate frosting to cover the cake.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sewing Challenge for the "Sewing Challenged" !

Its almost getting to the middle of the year and I thought it's high time to honor one of my new year resolutions for this year - to get serious about sewing! Yeah, sure I can do some hemming, some mending, make some simple skirts or anything involving straight stitching and cutting. But when it comes to tops and pants and things like that, I'm terrified. I feel like once you've cut the armsyce or the seat, there's no going back if you've done it wrong. With other crafts like crochet or knitting or even hand embroidery, if you don't like it, just rip and redo!

So, I, a "Sewing-challenged" person decided to take the plunge and get rid of my self-given title! With summer around the corner, I was going to make a skirt and top for Little Girl SS. (Summer clothes are definitely easier to make and an outfit for Little Girl meant that lesser fabric would be wasted in case of a blunder! Oooo! The ghost still hangs around! The title's going to be a keeper, you think?!) The challenge was on! The skirt was a breeze. Took the easy route - all straight stitching and an elastic waistband. A moment of prayer and the fabric for the top was cut. Sewing went much better than expected and Ta Da!

The outfit was finished while Little Girl SS was taking a nap. So, as soon as she woke up I scooted upstairs with it so that she could try it on. What I got is one look up and down and "The top's not fancy, I dont want it. I'll keep the skirt."! I was speechless! Not fancy?!!! Okay Little Girl, I can do fancy! The challenge had only begun! I spent the better part of the evening ripping the seams open, something I hate to do. (All that piping! sigh!) There was no more fabric left, so I had to make do with whatever I had already cut. That didn't leave many options for "fancy"! A fresh start on the next day and this is what I came up with using only the two front panels of the first outfit!

It must have turned out fancy, because she was quite excited to try it on this time around! She's only three. Imagine what it's going to be like when she's 15!!!!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Basket Goodies

The festival of Easter comes with a number of symbols and traditions. Apart from the religious importance of the day there are the Easter Baskets laden with Easter Eggs, Bunnies, Hot Cross Buns, Easter Lillies, Cookies, Chocolates to make it more fun. This Easter my Easter basket had Chocolate Easter Eggs, a cute little Amigurumi Easter Bunny, and yummy Traditional Easter Biscuits.

Chocolate Easter Eggs:

My Chocolate Easter Eggs were store bought and were given by my SIL. Though I found some interesting Chocolate Eggs at Martha Stewarts Easter Crafts.

Easter Bunny:

Amigurumi is the japanese art of crocheting or knitting, stuffing and sewing small animals or toys. So I tried to teach myself crochet and Amigurumi with the free pattern of this cute little Easter Bunny from Lion Brand. You have to register with Lion Brand to see the patterns. It's free :) !!

Traditional Easter Biscuits

This recipe is from my grandmother's recipe collection. They are cookies with little currants and have a nice buttery taste. This recipe also uses lemon zest which adds a very subtle lemony flavor.

1. Plain Flour - 2 cups
2. Pinch of salt
3. Butter - 1/2 cup
4. caster sugar - 1/2 cup
5. Grated Rind of 1/2 lemon
6. Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
7. dried Currants - 1/2 cup
8. Egg - 1

- Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
- Rub in the butter to form a crumbly mixture.
-Add in the sugar, grated lemonrind and currants.
- Beat the egg lightly then work it into the mixture until it forms a stiff dough.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut using cookie cutters.
- Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 350F till they are lightly golden brown.
- Cool them and store in airtight containers or watch them disappear.

To get a nice glaze
After five minutes of baking, take the cookies out of the oven, brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with little caster sugar and pop them back into the oven to continue the baking.

Happy Easter !!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break.......At Last!!!

Aah! Finally we can put our feet up for a while and relax! Spring break is here! The past few weeks have been kind of a whirlwind. We packed in numerous tests at school, parent-teacher conferences, ear infections, 500-word essays and what nought into those days! The hub has been super busy with work. And the weather........ has been brutal! Pouring rain, non-stop! We had to boil the water before use. Just getting out of the house was a mess! Winds.....our dish got blown down. We were without television for a few days. Aaaagh!!!! Anyway, this morning the weatherman has assured us that we can expect almost summer-like weather for the next few days upto Easter! Yay!

Okay, we're not yet into barefeet or flip-flop kind of weather, but we can still have pretty slippers, right? I used this pattern for Little Girl, SSs' slipper. I avoided the button for the straps and just attached the strap to the other side for ease of use. I used the same pattern for Big Girl RM's slipper but skipped the strap and added a flower. This is how I made the flower:

1) Chain 2.
2) 10 sc in second chain from hook, join with sl st to 1st sc. Chain 1, turn.
3) 1 sc, 1dc, 1trc, 1dc, 1sc in 1st sc , skip next sc. Repeat all around.

Well, I'd be kidding myself if I thought these feet were going to stay up for long! You guys have no idea what I went through to just take a few still pictures!!

Happy Spring!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Laal Maas (Red meat curry) and Tikona Rotis

Lal maas is a popular dish from Rajasthan. The recipe for this has been lying with me now for a couple of years. I had kept it safely with me wanting to try it out. But soon forgot about it till the same recipe appeared in the newspaper a few days back. So I had to try it out this time. And it did taste as good as it looked. Though not as spicy and fiery as it looks. The nice red color is got because of the kashmiri red chillies used. I served this with tikona rotis. My husband came home for dinner and he thought I had ordered in. I have read somewhere that you can try the same recipe with pork too. Well if any of you try it with pork lemme know.
So here are the recipes (my slightly tweaked version) for lal maas and tikona roti.

Lal Maas

1. Mutton - 1/2 kg
2. Oil - 1/2 cup
3. Onions - 2 chopped fine
4. Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tblsp
5. whole spices - ( black & green cardamom - 2 each, cinnamon - 2 ", Bay leaves - 2,
whole black pepper - 1 tsp )
6. salt to taste
7. Whole Red kashmiri chillies - 6 - 8 ( I used 7 )
8. Coriander Powder - 1 tblsp
9. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
10. Curd - 3 tblsp
11. Tomato Puree - 100 g
12. Garam masala - 1tblsp
-- Soak red chillies in 1/2 cup water.
-- Heat oil. Add the whole spices. When it crackles add onions and saute till it turns golden brown.
-- Add ginger garlic paste and the cubed mutton and cook till oil comes out.
-- Grind the red chillies to a fine paste and add to meat.
-- Add all spices except garam masala and saute.
-- Add beaten curd and cook till the meat is half cooked. (Original recipes calls for slow cooking. I used the pressure cooker till 1 whistle.)
-- Add tomato puree and cook till done .
-- Finish with garam masala.
-- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Tikona Rotis

This is the healthier version of the Tikona Parathas adapted from Jeeti Gandhi's book "Curry Leaves and Cumin Seeds".
-- Take your dough for the roti and divide into balls.
-- Take one and roll it into a circular shape as you roll for a normal roti.
-- Using a pastry brush apply a little oil or butter and sprinkle with little flour. Fold in Half so now you have a semi circle shape.
-- Repeat the above step and now you have tringular shape with a rounded base.
-- Roll this into a this larger triangle. Repeat the same with the remaining balls. Cook on a griddle till done on both sides.
This is specially for my niece RM and BIL who are very fond of north indian cuisine and also to tempt them to come to India soon.


Friday, March 5, 2010


"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

Mom was here with us on her birthday so I had to bake a cake for the occassion, well I am just a beginner as compared to my big sis - the pro. Anyway mom said that it was good....!!! We had a nice little cake cutting ceremony in the evening which mom wanted to avoid as she didn't want to remind herself that she is yet another year older.

The cake is the white butter cake from

I tweaked the wilton buttercream icing recipe a little. My modified version of the buttercream icing is :

1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk

Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth whenever not in use.

--I used a flower nail to get level cakes as explained in Nice tip as it avoided formation of the dome in the centre. Hence very little sawing of the cake.

So once again "Happy Birthday" to our dearest mom...!!!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Strawberry Hearts on Strawberry Tarts...

Valentine's day is long gone and february is almost over. But mom couldn't resist leaving the store without those lovely looking red strawberries. So along came the pack of strawberries with us. They spent another two days in our fridge, often taken out and admired and then kept back, wondering what to make with it. A friend was coming over to spend the day, so decided to make some strawberry tarts (Finally...!!!).

Strawberry Cream Tarts

Tart base:
1/2 cup butter softened
1/8 cup brown sugar + 1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup honey
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and the sugars in a blender mix until fluffy. Add in the honey. Combine the remaining ingredients until well blended. Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film and chill for an hour at least.
Preheat the oven to 325 F . Roll the dough to 1/8 " thickness. Use a pastry cutter to cut out dough. Press the dough gently into the tart tins, prick dough with a fork and chill for 5 minutes.
Pop into the oven for about 16-18 minutes. Cool the tart shells before removing from the tins.

Strawberry Lemon cream:
1/4 cup sugar
lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
1 egg
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tblsp butter
3-4 strawberries
Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a sauce pan. Whisk in the egg and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over simmering water, whisking constantly, till the mixture thickens. Take the cream off the heat and let it cool. Keep whisking else the egg will scramble. Strain this into a blender. Add in diced strawberries and butter and blend at high speed till smooth and shiny. Chill this for an hour.
Spoon the strawberry cream into the tart and top them with strawberry hearts.

Serve immediately !!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow, Thrills, Addictions, Splurges and Banana Muffins!!!????

Phew! What a week it was, completely snowed in! I've never seen it snow continuously for so long and it kept piling and piling. So, the kids got an unexpected mid-winter break and the hub was working from home, which meant that every morning requests for breakfast were going to be like orders off a restaurant menu! But if you've been up till late night to watch Hannah Kearney and Alexandre Bilodeau win the thrilling moguls skiing competitions at the Olympics and the morning shows keep showing replays of it the next day, who wants to stand in the kitchen. (The hub even went to the extent of calling me an addict of the event! Did I mention snowboarding or Seth Wescott anywhere? Thats in the mix, too!)

Anyway, back to breakfast that lets you indulge in your other addictions!!!! These banana muffins are so easy to make that Nigella Lawson has the recipe under the kids section of her book "How to be a domestic goddess : Baking and the art of comfort cooking" .

Easy Banana Muffins

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup clear honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 heaping tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (the kids don't like it, so I left that out.)

pinch of salt

muffin pans and liners

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Melt butter, honey and vanilla in a pan on low heat and set aside.

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add the mashed bananas and the melted-butter mixture and stir. Don't overmix.

Place muffin liners in muffin pans and fill them about two-thirds full. Bake about 25 minutes. Leave in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Our muffins don't get to cool off for so long as we like them slightly warm topped with a drizzle of chocolate glaze! Notice that the recipe calls for absolutely no sugar and very little butter? See, its okay to splurge here!

Another addiction in the making?!!!!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Cake Take! - We are 1 today!

Oh My!! A year gone by since we started this blog! Really? We made it to our first birthday ?! I know that we've taken long breaks and vacations in between, but we've kept it going! Starting this blog has made us set aside some crafting time to keep us sane in this ever-in-a-hurry routine life. We've also got to know so many talented bloggers who have inspired us with their work. We hope to have done the same for somebody,too.

I want to thank my mom today as she is the person who got Sis and me ( and the Bro!) into crafting since we were young! A special thank you to our followers......You guys keep us motivated! Liz, Ira, Wickedly-yours, we appreciate all the comments, suggestions, pushes and pats on the backs!

So, Sis, I know you are used to sharing your birthday with the Bro (Yeah, they are twins!), but today it's Happy Birthday to Us! Let's keep it rolling!


Check out our very first post here !

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Something for a Special Little Someone!

A good friend and hub recently welcomed their "little man" into the world. I wanted to make something for the baby and send it to them ( They live faaaar away!). But with the holidays and guests and everything else, this little project got stalled!

Anyway, my new year resolution and the fact that the little guy may grow out of it by the time I'm done, got me back on track and I finished this crochet blankie and a teeny tiny bunny to go with it. Most of you must have already recognized the pattern. I think I'm the last person to jump on the Tiramisu Baby Blanket bandwagon . I followed the original pattern, except making 111 chains in the beginning instead of 91 and I used Bernat Baby Sport yarn in Fun print. I must admit that I am not much of a knitter, but the the person who inspired me to pick up my knitting needles, Julie Williams has her cute rabbit pattern here.

In case anybody is curious about the new year resolution that got me going, I decided I should stop buying and hoarding craft supplies till I've used all the stuff in my stash. Ha ha! I broke that resolution twice already. To my defense, I only broke it to keep another of my resolutions - to get serious about sewing! And, who knew that Joann Stores would have their Winter Warm up Fabric Sale in mid-January? Blame it on them!!!!!!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Baked Lemon Cake Pudding

I had to go scouting for a non-chocolate dessert recently, as one of our guests for lunch was a no chocolate person. So I finally zeroed on this one. It was an experiment and am quite glad that it came out well. The texture and the color too came out like in the book. Tastewise, this is for people who like the lemony flavor. My chocoholic husband liked it too. As it is cold here, I served it warm.

1. Lemon - 2 med. sized
2. Eggs - 2 Large
3. Sugar - 3/4 cup
4. Milk - 1 cup
5. Flour - 3 tblsp
6. Salted butter - 2 tblsp

- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 6 ramekins.
- Grate lemon finely to get 1tblsp zest.
- Squeeze juice of lemons to get 1/4 cup of juice.
- Powder the sugar.
- In a bowl beat egg whites to soft peak consistency. Gradually add in half of the powdered sugar and beat till dissolved.
- In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar till blended.
- Add in zest, flour, butter, milk and juice and beat till blended.
- Gently fold in egg white mixture into this.

- Pour into prepared ramekins.
- Set ramekins on a baking pan. Fill this with water to come half way up sides of ramekins.
- Bake for 40-45 mins till pudding tops are golden and firm on top.
- Garnish with a slice of fresh lime and serve warm.

This really was an easy dessert to make.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cake Take! - Wedding Wish!

This weekend my cousin S is getting married to her Prince Charming R. As we live on the other side of the world, we are left cribbing about the fun everybody else is having there at the wedding(including the other sister, Gita)! I'm sooo jealous! Even my girls feel robbed of their chance to be flowergirls and twirl around in pretty dresses. We've been calling in to check on whats going on regularly. Right now the previous day function is underway, so to curb that urge to pick up and dial, I thought I'd send the couple a wedding wish!

S and R, Wishing you both love and strength, wisdom and faith in the new life ahead. Happy Married Life! And R, Welcome to the family!

This cake was made a while back when we had our sibling reunion. I was having another chocolate meltdown (literally!) with the chocolate heart topper, when in zoomed "SuperBro" to the rescue! (Yes, we watch a lot of Sesame Street around here!) All was well and the cake went off to an engagement party!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Silk Ribbon Embroidery

This post is inspired by the work of a little boy who did Silk Ribbon Embroidery. I was impressed by the neatness, color combinations and the fact that he finished it!!! Then his mother told me that it is very easy and anyone can do it. So that got me hooked...and I browsed for information on this very old form of fine art. Soon I learnt that it is true...anyone can do it and also it is not at all time consuming. I practised different stitches and finally stuck to the lazy daisy stitch for my table cloth project.

As in any other form of embroidery, SRE also has to start at some point and end at some point. Melissa's videos in her blog "" was of great help and I followed all her instructions to the T.

The best part of SRE is that the ribbons come in so many beautiful shades and on a white/cream background they look lovely and you just can't go wrong!!!

Another reason that encouraged me to try out this craft was after I stumbled on Carol Daisy's blog "". Even the design on this tablecloth that I have tried is adapted from her silk ribbon embroidery on a christmas stocking. She has also put up tutorials for the basic stitches and different kinds of flowers. So for those of you who need inspiration...check out..!!!

Happy New Year and Happy Stitching...!!!