Ria's Collection: 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

QUICK ONE POT CHICKEN STIR FRY for 900,000 HITS!

Christmas Card

Let me quickly wish you all a Very Merry Chirstmas because we will be busy tomorrow and I am not sure when can I update this little space again :-) Now onto the wonderful dish...I would at any point cringe at the idea of making a Chinese dish with coconut Oil. Infact, one of my friend's mom used to make Fried Rice in coconut oil and to be honest, it was a cross between a very Malayali pulao and something which I couldn't recognise. It was tasty, I agree but I couldn't agree to the fact that it was a fried rice.All said and done, this chicken fry has the most weirdest combo of soy sauce,coconut oil and curry leaves!!!
Chicken Fry
This is the way Amma sometimes made a quick chicken fry for lunch and she always made it with bone-in chicken pieces.Today, I am making it with boneless skinless chicken thighs which is my favourite part of the chicken especially for boneless preparations. The meat,no matter what remains very soft till the end even if you overcook it. I hate chicken breasts to cook with because no matter how careful I am,it overcooks and no flavour gets into it.To be honest, I like dark meat :-D
Chicken Fry
Now that Christmas is just a blink away,we are invited over for  appetizer and dinner parties. Everytime we go over to parties, we volunteer to get something so that it adds one more dish to the big table full of wonderful things.Therefore, I made this chicken stir fry for an appetizer party we are going to tonight. If you want it to be really dry, you can cook for a few more minutes .This is the perfect one pot dish!
Chicken FryQUICK ONE POT CHICKEN STIR FRY
Recipe: Amma

Ingredients:
1 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs (can use full chicken too), cut small
1 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 c dark soy sauce (can use regular soy too)
Salt to taste
2 tsp coconut oil
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/2 red onion,chopped fine
1 tomato,chopped fine
Black pepper powder, optional

Method:
Take a pressure cooker and marinate chicken pieces in it with red chili powder,turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce and salt to taste. Leave it aside for 10 mins. Pressure cook it for 1 whistle, exact and switch off the heat. Let the pressure go down on it's own.
Open the lid and if there's water in it, let it evaporate on high heat for 3-4 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and saute till the pieces are dry and coated well with sauce.
Add black pepper powder if you think is needed.
Enjoy!

We adore this chicken fry, especially Jobin. Also,once you transfer the pieces to a serving bowl no matter how much you scrape the pan you will still have some saucy bits stuck here and there. DO NOT throw that away instead use your fingers to enjoy that goodness! It's just so so so good!! :-) Also, I wouldn't dream of making this in any other oil other than coconut oil :-D If you are not like me, go ahead and use vegetable/canola oil.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PERFECT CARAMEL CUSTARD

Caramel Pudding
Ihave never ever come across anyone who doesn't like this delicious soft,melt-in-the-mouth pudding. I hope I don't, ever! I love this pudding and this would be my comfort dessert,anytime of the day, warm or cold.This is that pudding Amma  makes when unannounced guests comes knocking on the door and I'm sure it's the same with many of you guys.Actually, do we need any excuse to make this deliciousness??
Caramel custard
I've been thinking of making this pudding for sometime now because we both love it and therefore I don't need another reason to make it! I've seen many recipes which uses custard powder,cornstarch ,lots of eggs plus egg yolks but this one is just a basic recipe.I have added condensed milk in the custard which you can clearly substitute with white sugar,to taste.
Caramel Custard

The best part of making this pudding is when you turn it upside down which reminds of an incident which happened in Amma's twin ,Daisy mummy's house. Daisy mummy and Jose uncle runs a homestay in Kothamangalam and once I was there with them when they had about 150 guests for lunch.She made a variety of desserts and Caramel Custard Pudding was one amongst them. I was put in charge of turning the pudding upside down onto the serving platter and everything went fine except for the last one. No matter what I did,it never turned upside down and this being a delicate dessert I was worried about tossing it back and forth. She was in a hurry fixing other stuff and attending her guests but I had to call her. She came in and I told her the problem and she tried her hand at it. Nothing changed, it still fell the other way round, the caramel was at the bottom.  Finally,we caught the culprit...the maid who was in charge of wiping the pudding moulds buttered that particular tin! So lesson learnt...never butter the mould for a Caramel Custard!
Caramel Custard

I was very careful to remember that,just in case ;-) The bowls you see in the photographs were sent to me by Wayfair for a product review. They are really good to bake with and it releases the baked goods very easily. They look pretty as is.

Caramel PuddingPERFECT CARAMEL CUSTARD
My own recipe

Ingredients:
2 c whole milk
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
5 tbsp white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F/ 180C .
In a saucepan,add milk, condensed milk and 5 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs till well blended. Drizzle hot milk into it while beating all the time.
Strain the mixture to avoid any egg white lumps in the custard.
In a pan, on medium heat, caramelise 1/2 c sugar till golden brown and pour it into the pudding mould. Swirl to coat the sides. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the moulds.
Place the moulds into a baking tin with tall sides and pour hot water just so that the bowl are immersed halfway. Bake for 40 mins or till the centres are still jiggly and when a knife inserted comes out smooth.Let it cool for half an hour.
Release from the sides and invert onto the serving platter.Serve warm or chilled.
Enjoy!

Did I convince you enough, for you to make some of these? Go and bake away! If you want it a bit more firm, bake it a little more, about 5-8 mins.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

INSTANT EGGLESS CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE & giveaway winners!

CMC

Iknow some of you must have been wondering about my absence here. Well, I gather that up from the e-mails and msgs I have been recieving for the last few weeks. Everything is alright,it's just that our personal computer is out for servicing so,I rarely get the time to sit with his computer to upload pics and blog about it.Now that I am back, it's time for some yummy Chocolate Mousse Cake! Don't you all know my love for a good Chocolate Mousse?
CMC

I just assembled 2 of my favourite components together to make this dessert. A sponge cake and some Instant Eggless Chocolate Mousse. Yes,it's that easy and hardly takes anytime! I made this for a potluck Chritmas party last night and the kids loved it, more than the adults :-)
Old Fashioned Fruit Cake

Black & White Torte

Remember the Cake Recipes I was talking about to you guys,which was featured in Vanitha? I finally got hold of a copy,actually the folks at Malayala Manorama sent me a copy. When I blogged about it saying I haven't seen it yet,I get an e-mail from my reader Shani with an atttachement which was nothing but an entire e-copy of Vanitha! I am so grateful to you all,for such wonderful connect !
Brown Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Flourless Mocha Truffle Cake

So after I won the Pachakarani title, I recieved a call from Vanitha Magazine's office asking if I could bake some cakes for their December issue and tihs was just a few days before I left to US after my long holiday in Kannur. Inspite of all the crazy packing and last minute things happening at home, I found sometime to bake and decorate these cakes: Old Fashioned Fruit Cake,Black & White Torte, Brown Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting & Flourless Mocha Truffle Cake. Even though it might sound cliche, I have to say, each one of them tasted so good! Amma, the cake hater in my family & Appan loved the Black & White Torte the most. The remaining portion was carefully packed and taken for a small family get together we had that evening and the Mocha Truffle Cake was the star, there! My lil brother,Ritchie,dug into it rightaway! I'll be posting the recipes for each one here, in the coming days...so stay tuned!
Instant Chocolate mousse CakeINSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
Recipe for the cake: Amma
Recipe for the mousse: Nigella Lawson

For an 8 inch cake,you need:

1 batch of Chocolate Sponge
1 batch of Instant Chocolate Mousse
1/2 batch of soaking syrup

Assembly:
Cut the sponge into 2 horizontally and place it on a springform tin.Soak it with the soaking syrup and top it off with the Chocolate Mousse. Let it set in the fridge for 1 hour and then top with remaining cake,crumbled up and drizzle some melted chocolate over it.
Serve chilled.

The winners for the giveaway are :

1. Fruit Cake : Divya Vikram
2. Gingerbread Man:Nina Matthew
3.IPad cover:Jayz

Congratulations!!!!Please send me your postal address as soon as possible to airmathew AT gmail DOT com.

So, are you all waiting for the Santa to come down the chimney? I sure am! :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MINI AUNTY'S CHOCOLATE CAKE

Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake
It doesn't usually happen this way...Jobin asking for a cake because there will be some cake at any point in our house,any time of the day. We ran out of cakes which means we were out of desserts after every meal! We don't need anything fancy, all the time but sometimes yes. When he asked me for a dessert the other day, I asked him what he wanted and he said that cake I made when newly-weds G &J came home for dinner. I knew it! He loves that cake and any cake made along that line.Finally we settled for a chocolate cake .
Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake

So Chocolate Cake, huh? Hmm,I have umpteen choices in that one thing. Which one do I bake? Which one is my all time favourite? Which recipe  needs another try? Whose recipe should I try? Cookbook recipes or family recipes? Yes! Family recipe, it is!

Mini Aunty,Tia's mother,is one of my most favourite aunts! She is a fantastic cook! I love her cakes, savory pies,manga pacchadi,moru curry,meen curry,cheemmen fry ,beef olathiyathu and oh! how could I forget her paper thin ghee dosa's and thenga chammanthi! She made me a Dosa convert!
She is Amma's brother's wife and all their kids and we were of the similar age,so we all got along very very well! Infact all our vacations were spent together, we still do if we get a chance. This time, in September, right after her daughter's wedding,we went to visit Jobin's sister in Kashmir. That way, I'm so happy to have spent some quality time with her, after one and a half years!

Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake
While I was studying in college, they lived in Bangalore for almost 3 years and I lived with them even though I was paying rent elsewhere :-) The power of lovely people and yummy food attracted me to their house. Mini aunty used to bake cakes once in a while and her chocolate cakes were really tasty. I got this recipe from her, long ago and she is very generous in sharing recipes, unlike a lot of other people who I personally know of! :-)
Mini Aunty's Chocolate CakeMini Aunty's Chocolate Cake 

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
1 c warm milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla


Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a loaf tin.

Sieve flour, salt and baking soda together. Reserve.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 c warm milk with 4 tbsp cocoa.
In another big bowl, on high, beat together butter and sugar for a minute. Add the eggs and beat till light and fluffy.Add flour and 1/2 c milk alternately and beat until fluffy. Add the cocoa-milk mixture and vanilla and beat for a minute. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins or till done.

Enjoy!

So I'm finally back baking with our baking group : A Sweet Punch. I have been away for a long time now and I hope this cake bring me back to baking with the group regularly.

This is just a good old cocoa cake. I love it and infact I really think you all should try it sometime as it is going to be your favourite too! You can slice it horizonatlly into 2 or 3 and then sandwich it with some yummy chocolate fudge frosting and then cover it with some more. Sprinkle some sprinkles and then stick a candle or two to make it into a birthday cake! :-) Plus, if you are looking to give something exciting for your lil one this season, maybe you could take a look at these kids kitchen play sets!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

SERRADURA- A no bake/no cook layered Portuguese dessert!

There's more, much more to Christmas than candlelight and cheer.It's the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all year.It's thoughfulness and kindness,it's hope reborn again,for peace,for understanding and for goodwill to men'.
~Author Unknown~
Serradura
This is the World's most easiest dessert, to date, according to me! Really! I always always look out for things which are easy to cook yet looks and tastes delicious. This is one among them and this will top my list of the most easiest dessert ever! Not convinced yet? Read through rest of the post and see if what I'm saying is right or wrong :-) You  hardly need 10 mins to whip up a bowl of this wonderful delicious dessert!
Serradura
When I was in India for my vacation,we had a wedding to attend in Goa. My most favourite cousin, Tia, was getting married to her long time boyfriend, Nitish. I was one of the bridesmaids for her wedding. It was such a beautiful ceremony.So, on the previous night, we had a ceremony called 'Madhuramveppu' and this was the dessert for that night. We all loved it and was trying all ways possible to get the recipe for it.We asked Tia what the name of the dessert was. She said something which none of us could remember!
Serradura

So the day after the wedding, before Amma and myself left for Delhi,my cousin Rosily found out that the caterers for Madhuramveppu had a restaurant closeby to where we were staying. That means, they will have the same dessert on the menu!! So without wasting another minute, we set out to finding Ernesto's.Making sure we saved some space for the much awaited dessert, we had a small lunch and then gorged on 2 full bowls of Serradura.Then we rushed back to the hotel to pack our bags and catch the next train to our respective destinations with one thought in our minds,'Get the recipe for this dessert!'.

SerraduraSERRADURA
My own recipe

Ingredients:
20 marie biscuits
1c cream
6 tbsp condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method:
Powder the biscuits until super fine. Whip the cream to soft peaks, add condensed milk & vanilla and whip till firm peaks form.Layer them in individual bowl and refrigerate overnight *.

*The Serradura I had was frozen.If you want to do that, freeze the dessert and then leave it outside 20 mins before serving time.It is absolutely delicious this way! It melts in your mouth. I also sprinkled some cocoa powder over the last layer of biscuit,for an effect :-)


Serradurra means 'sawdust' in Portuguese.I think this is becasue of the texture of the finely ground biscuits. You really have to powder it very fine to get the real texture for this dessert.Use your mixie for this purpose.I searched high and low on the web for this recipe and they all looked similar and very easy! So I thought of coming up with my own proportions.Adjust the sweetness to your taste.You just cannot go wrong with this dessert.This is one of our favourite desserts and one cannot eat a large quantity because it's rich and heavy.So when you serve, serve it in small portions. I sincerely hope you all try this because it's worth it! :-)


Thanks for all emails asking me about my absence here...lots are happening on the personal front! Don't worry, it's nothing bad, it's everything happy but I just cannot find the energy to blog like before! :-) I have a happy news to share! I am featured on VANITHA December 2011 with my 4 Christmas special cakes, so when you get the time, grab a copy and have a look. I haven't seen it for myself but I heard the cakes look good :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

MILLIONAIRE'S SHORTBREAD BARS...for 800,000 hits!

IMG_4555
So, this little space of mine crossed 800,000 hits and I want to celebrate it with something sweet,something simple yet something simply delicious. If it has chocolate in it, it's an added bonus!I have a special liking towards shortbreads,especially these Ultimate Shortbreads! I love the fact that they are super easy to bake and it tastes like a piece of heaven! These 3 tier bars are another version of my favourite shortbreads and they are an instant hit whenever and wherever I have served them.It's quite a complicated looking one but trust me, you can pull it off in less than 30 mins (cooking time)!
Milllionaire's Shortbreads
Now that we both (Jobin & myself) are back to our regular routine,we are enjoying looking at our new home from different angles,keeping things straight , moving the furniture a bit that side just to see if it looks better being closer to the wall, we painted together. Oh yes, we painted 2 walls in our condo, together. One in our bedroom and one in our living room. The bedroom has an olive green paint with white bold stripes and the living room one has a nice ocean blue colour. I hope to stencil my kitchen wall, very soon. I have a pot of mint growing steadily even now and it keeps me company while I roll the chapathi's for Jobin, for his lunch.I always thought I never had a green thumb but the truth is every living plant need some water, every now and then ;-)
IMG_4562
This recipe has been mentioned here before but I thought it needed more attention just like my Chocolate Biscuit Pudding, as it is something you all should try, atleast once in a lifetime. OK, so what if you are on a diet? Atleast, make this for someone else so that you can experience what I experienced when I cut into the layers. It's such a monochormatically (?) perfect dessert/snack which is equally heavy on the stomach as it has quite a lot of  butter in it :-) Hmmm, that reminds me of the days in Kannur when there was a butter shortage and I how I used to miss baking then! :-)

IMG_4555MILLIONAIRE'S SHORTBREAD BARS
Ingredients
Base:
120g butter
60g sugar
175 g flour

Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C and line an 8x8inch square tin with foil with some extra foil hanging over the sides.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Add the flour and mix to form a dough.Pat the dough into the tin and prick with the tines of a fork.Bake for 20 mins or until pale golden brown in colour. Keep it aside.

Caramel filling:
120 g butter
60g sugar
2 tbsp caramel syrup (melt some sugar till golden brown)
200ml condensed milk

On medium high,boil all the ingredients together till it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Pour over the baked base.

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Melt and pour 150 g of dark chocolate over the caramel layer. Let it set in the fridge till the chocolate firms up. Cut into bars and enjoy!
I demonstrated these bars for a class of mine in Kannur, a month ago and all of them loved it. Go on, try this immensely satisfying goodie and let me know how you liked them! This is perfect for birthday parties, lunch boxes or even as a midnight snack, which is what I would chose this to be :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ULLI THEEYAL / PEARL ONIONS IN TANGY ROASTED COCONUT SAUCE

Ulli Theeyal

Till I was in 5th standard, Perappan  & Peramma (Amma's elder sister)used to live just 100 m away from our school which in simple words meant, I get to eat piping hot lunch everyday! Their youngest daughter, Prinu ,who was in 10th then would wait for me with her friend, Fairooz by the school gate, after the lunch bell. We three would walk together talking , actually they would be talking and I would be listening to the big girl's talks. As we approached their house,I could tell what we were having for lunch because it used to smell so good! If it was fish fry then it's easy to tell :-)

Peramma makes the most awesome sauce fish fry (esp.Sardines/Mathi/Chala)! She had this little pan, maybe a 6 inch fry pan which had some dents and no handle. She used that only for fish fry and I used to tell her I wanted that pan when she was planning to throw it away because I believed that that pan gave the fish fry some extra taste. I think and still thinks, it did!
Cheryulli

So fish fry was a regular at their house and another thing was a regular too! A Theeyal! It could be a 'pavakka'/bittergourd theeyal or someother theeyal. If that was there, I wouldn't even need a fish fry because the theeyal was delicious on it's own! I would finish up my rice and curry very soon and lick my fingers and every last bit of the curry left on the plate.Then I would go wash my hands (without soap!) and wait for Prinu to wash her's so that we can go to her room and tie our plaits once again :-) Peramma used to tie our plaits after lunch. I had just shoulder length hair (even now!) and Prinu had a little more longer hair. So,the two things I envied in her then, was the length of her hair and height. I used to stand on my toes to reach her height and I used to bend my head back so that my hair touched my waist! :-)
On our way back to school, I would cover my nose with my right palm and smell it, so that I could get the 'Theeyal' smell, till it lasted! Now you know why I didn't wash my hands with soap :-)
Ulli Theeyal

Now, when I look back, it feel so funny to realise that I am 5'10" tall...3 " more than Prinu but my hair is still shorter than hers. She lives in Kenya and the last time I saw her was before our wedding. Peramma still makes the best theeyal and fish fry. When I was home this time, I asked Amma to make a Theeyal for me and she said she will but ,Peramma's is still the best :-) Yesterday,when I spoke to Amma, I asked her for the recipe because for the last 2 days I so badly wanted to have Theeyal and therefore thought of trying it at home and compare the taste of mine with Peramma's. The method of cooking was exchanged and I made a mental note of it. After we hung up, I went straight to the kicthen and started cooking.I knew it's a simple recipe and all I wanted was that exact taste,like the original.

Ulli TheeyalULLI THEEYAL
My own recipe

Ingredients:
1c pearl onions/kunjulli/chommanulli
5 green chilies/serrano
11/2 c freshly grated coconut
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt
Tamarind, lime size soaked in 1/2 c water.
Water

Method:
Cook the pearl onions, green chilies & salt in 1 cup water till the onions are soft .I don't chop the onions, I use them as whole.
In another wide pan, on medium heat, fry the grated coconut till they turn dark brown in colour. This decides the colour of the curry. Make sure you don't burn it but it should be dark brown. Take it off the flame and add the spices. Keep mixing for a minute or two so that the spices don't burn from the heat of the coconut and the pan.Let it cool.
Grind the roasted coconut to a smooth paste with just enough water to aid in the process.
Add the ground coconut to the pearl onions and cook till it boils.
Extract the pulp from the tamarind and add it to the curry.Check for salt.
Let the curry boil to a consistency you like. I like it thick.This curry will thicken as it cools. You will see a thin layer of oil floating on top, which comes from the coconut that was used.I would say, that's the way a perfect Theeyal would look like :-)

* We don't temper anything to pour over this curry but if you want you can temper some mustard, dry red chillies and onions in coconut oil and pour over.

I'm so happy that it tasted just like the original. When I say original here,I am not saying it's the original recipe for a theeyal but it's the taste I grew up with. Do try this with Pavakka but when you do that you will have to add more tamarind to compensate for the bitterness of the gourd.This is just too perfect with a bowl of hot Kanji/Gruel and Motta porichathu/Indian Omlette.This is my comfort meal :-)

I just hung up my daily call home and when we were talking Amma asked me,'So did you make the Theeyal?' and I said,'Yes! Nallathayirunnu!' . How can I say otherwise when I'm gobbling up a childhood favourite curry of mine like soup! :-)

We are back to our regular routine now, so you should be seeing some activity here, more often! :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

GIVEAWAY(S) !! CAKE, COOKIES & some more!

Those of you who have been reading this blog of mine, for a while, will clearly know my favourite month of any year! It's December! Even though we are just in November and when people are gearing up for Thankgiving, I'm waiting for the day after Thanksgiving so that the FM stations starts playing Christmas Carols 24/7 ! I am waiting for it to snow when I listen to 'I'm dreaming of a White Christmas' since I've always pictured Christmas to be full of snow on evergreens and sloping roofs of houses. Cannot blame me, blame the Christmas cards we get in India ;-)
DSC05168

Anyway, I'm back ,after almost a one month break. So much happened in between. I got back to Minneapolis on 19th October and the very next day we got the keys to our own Condo in Downtown Minneapolis :-) Then the remaining days of October was busy spent packing up, teaching a class of 25 at the same place where I taught before I left for India in July & finally moving to our new place on 28th October. From 28th till yesterday, it was just unpacking and days without internet. I must say, I never missed being online, catching up with my friends because I was so busy planning where to place our new furniture, crockery etc in our brand new home! The only thing that was giving me company was F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I love that show! I really wish they ran forever! :)
Fruit Cake

Now, let's get back to the topic, shall we? Well, some of you have baked it at home beofre and I have baked it many many times including last month for a Magazine shoot. That's the best thing to bake during Christmas.Any guesses what that thing could be? No? It's my Christmas Fruit cake, people! Yes, I am giving away a 6 inch Ria-baked Christmas Fruit Cake for ONE lucky reader of mine! Don't forget to make a claim for it because I can honestly say, that's the best Fruit Cake you will ever ever eat! My Amma, a hater of Fruit Cakes claims it to be the best :-) So that's going to be Giveaway no.1 :-)
The Gingerbread Man!

Hmmm, now since it's gonna be Christmas time and we all since atleast some of us love Gingerbread Man, I'm giving away a dozen of  Ria-baked Gingerbread Man, yes with full decor on them to another ONE lucky reader of mine. That's Giveaway no.2 :-)

IPad cover
                                                        (Photo courtesy -Anu Menon)
So a few months back, Anu and I were chatting away on Twitter and as we discussed life and other things, she asked me if she could join me in my monthly giveaways (which I have not been doing for a while!).I was so happy about the offer and I instantly agreed! As you all know, I am a big fan of everything handmade and all things homemade! Anu knew that and therefore offered me an IPad Crochet cover which she stitched to be given away for my dear readers! How cool is that? Very cool! So that's going to be the Giveaway no. 3 :-)

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For entering the giveaway :
1. Tell me your best memories of Christmas or even the month of December! Is it your wedding anniversary? Is it your birthday? My Grandmother's birthday was on December 25 th! :) Whatever it is, tell me...don't worry, your chances of winning the above mentioned 3 things does NOT depend on the length of your stories, but definitely it's content :) So write away!

2. Like my page on Facebook  and leave another comment saying so, which gives you an extra chance to win! :-) [ I have to get something cleared out here after reading a comment below.This is just for pure fun, this option! You can totally skip it. I had double thoughts while putting this up but went again just to see how many of you actually do that! If it were for me, I wouldn't like a page just because I want to win a cake or a cookie but only if I really like that page's extension on Facebook. For me, in many cases, I never realised that my favourite blogs had a page on Facebook until they mentioned it on their blogs mostly during giveaways! It did help me at many instances because I get to interact with the author directly over their pages on FB :-)So please decide how you want things to be :-)No hard feelings and no way are you gonna lose your chance to win something I am giving away! I am doing this for you and it will always always always be for you, I am not expecting anything in return :-) This is not a camouflage to get more followers :-)  I did think of taking off this option after reading the comment but decided not to do so because I didn't want to sit back and pretend as if I never wrote a thing like that! I hate pretense! :-)]

3. Now,tell me, what would you really like to win! I have to pick 3 winners and I'm  hoping that it would help me :-)

This giveaway is only for the US residents (rather for an address in US, so you can win it for a cousin, friend or even a pet! :-) This giveaway ends on December 10th.

ALL THE BEST!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MIXED FRUIT SWISS ROLL...for 3 years of Blogging!

Mixed Fruit Swiss Roll

Please don't go away reading the title,pretty please!I promise you ,there will not be any speeches given on this special day. Even then, I do have to say that I'm very happy about it and I owe a big thanks to you , dear readers! I haven't been participating in any group baking that I used to for the last 2 months,  I promise you, I shall return to it very soon! :-)
Mixed Fruit Swiss Roll

Jam rolls/ Swiss rolls has been something which my aunts used to bake. We never rolled anything  sweet at home except for these yummilicious Coffee Cream Wheel .This was the time when I never quite liked anything with jam in it, so I stayed away from any such rolls. Later, when my taste buds developed I had a liking towards all these jammy treats especially My Favourite Jam Tarts  , Jam Filled Cookies and also Bakewell Tart .
Mixed Fruit Jam Roll

When I think of it , all the veggies that I disliked when young is my favourite, now! Bittergourd was something I disliked terribly and I love it with all my heart,now! Have you observed such stuff about yourselves? I bet there are plenty for you to tell me! :-)

IMG_4610
MIXED FRUIT SWISS ROLL
Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c -1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp mixed fruit jam, stirred well

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 9x13 inch/ swiss roll tin.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs & sugar for 12 mins, non stop.Add the vanilla and beat for another 1 minute.Add the dry ingredients and fold it in.Pour into a prepared tin and bake for 10-15 mins or until the top is golden and is springy to touch.Pull it out of the oven and unmould it onto a tea towel sprinkled with sugar.Roll it away from you, along with the towel. Hold it there for 10-15 second.Open the roll and let it cool completely.Spread the jam and roll once again.
Slice and serve!


Verdict: I have lost the number of times I have used this basic sponge recipe given to me by Amma. It's so versatile.You can roll it, layer it,mould it or better still, eat it plain! This roll was very very soft and we really liked it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FROSTED OREO COOKIE CAKE SLICES ...delicious!

IMG_2993
Are you all Oreo lovers? I bet many of you just shook your head and said, No! I was one among you all till I tasted the ones we get in US. It is very delicious and just cannot be compared with the ones we get in India. I have no idea how can you make it so tasteless, it really taste like chalk to me, not that I've eaten chalk before, you know,just for you to get an idea! :)
Oreo cake
I baked this cake 2 months ago and it was photographed with an intention of making an appearance here which it never did until today. It's a very basic cake recipe where in the cookie crumbs are added. When I took a bite of it, I thought to myself that it would have been 1000 times better if I had made with the REAL Oreos, the ones which tastes like a piece of heaven in your mouth. I love the double stuff! Nevertheless this cake and the yummy icing tasted fabulous!
Oreo Cake

Look at how grainy the cake is! I absolutely loved the colour the cookies gave to the cake and the icing. I got this recipe from Amma's twin sister Daisy a.k.a Daisy Mummy . She got it from someone whom I've never met so cannot give you the exact source of it. Now you must be wondering why do I go in detail to tell you the source of each recipe. It's just because I've been taught to give credit where and when it's due ;) I always write the name of the person from whom I got a recipe, next to the recipe. It's a habit that I cultivated from a very long time, even before these food blogs came into existence! :)

IMG_2983FROSTED OREO COOKIE CAKE SLICES 
Ingredients:
For the cake:
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
7 Oreo's crushed with hands

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 9x9 inch square tin.

Sift together the flour & baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar till creamy. Add the eggs and Vanilla and beat till fluffy.Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately ,starting and ending with flour. Fold in the crushed cookies.Pour this batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins or till done.

For the Oreo butter frosting:
1 c sugar, powdered
1 c butter
4 Oreos, crushed with hands

Method:
In a small bowl, beat together sugar and butter till fluffy and pale. Stir in the cookie crumbs and spread it evenly over the cake. Cover the sides too, if you'd like .


Verdict: A very good cake with an equally good easy icing! Try it, dear Oreo lovers and be Oreo happy!

CookOutSo as I mentioned in my previous post , there was a Cook-Out with me, planned by the YWCA,Kannur. It was  a fund raising event and I am so happy that I could contribute. There were 51 attendees for my class (my biggest number till date!) and I was very happy to cook for all of them!! :)  This time around, Amma was my assistant! :-D

Menu: Mini Cheese Pasta Rolls ,Easy Rice Roti's,Murgh Methi Malai ,Coffee-Chocolate Triangle Cake  & Vanilla Pannacotta with Pomegranate Sauce .

Tomorrow would be my last session of classes in Kannur and I am ending it on a sweet note with a luscious Cheesecake,layered and filled Shortbreads,some Scones and a creamy Pudding with a fruit sauce! A reader of mine, Maya, will be joining us tomorrow to learn from me :) I sincerely hope she finds what she came looking for :)
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