Sunday, July 31, 2011

FROM THE LAND OF LOOMS & LORES - POOVANKOZHI

Poovan

We have a Poovankozhi /Rooster and a Pedakozhi/Hen as our pets at home.The Poovan is really dumb and can be fooled (by me) easily. Whereas the Peda is really cunning. I can never get her to get into it's cage without bribing it with rice grains :-) They are the tamest birds I have seen till date, they follow us wherever we go!

Friday, July 29, 2011

FROM THE LAND OF LOOMS & LORES - Kaapi

Early Morning

No coffee can beat Amma's Bru Kaapi! Period.
Taken on Day 1 at home. I really hope the time doesn't fly!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I AM GOING HOME TODAY!

HOME!

Yes, you read it right! I am going home. I will be in my dear dear Kannur very soon! I'll get to be in my room, my bed, my bathroom and oh! my cupboard with my old soft clothes :) Will see you all in a few days with treats from Amma's kitchen! :) That is if Appan lets Amma do the cooking and not ME as planned, by him! :-) Life of a food blogger! Sigh! ;-)

This pic was taken on 28 Feb 2010 when we flew together to the US for the very first time after our wedding. I was so excited to see the new country...experience everything what I have been dreaming of. Now, I am going home...after a year and a half, almost! So you can see how excited I am! :)

So everything is packed and I am doing the last minute cooking to stock up whatever little I can. Oh wait, the meat is done, let me go and check on that! :)

See you all soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

WHEN A DREAM COMES TRUE.

The Kitchen
Idream a L.O.T! There are no boundaries to that, for me. I don't remember which birthday it was but I once received a coffee mug from Chandini Aunty which said 'Dream. Only you can make your dreams come true'. It is insanely true. You have to work on it if you want it to happen. You have to be persistent  Fortunately for some, it just happens :-)
There is a store here in Minneapolis called the Kitchen Window. They are the biggest in the US (that's what I am told) with 14,000 items. I should say, it's a magical store. It is my wonderland. Everytime we go there, I end up spending so much time just browsing through all the books, gadgets, salts, spices,utensils...everything! They really have some amazing stuff. If you are in town, don't forget to go there. It's an awesome store.
So they have a cooking school where they conduct some real fancy classes. It is beautiful. You can see it from far away because it's doors are made of glass so everything is transparent. You can see what's happening inside. It's just beautiful. Every single time I have passed by it I have wished to have been the one behind that beautiful countertop.
Chef Ria
And it was my turn.A very nice turn. A turn which lead me to a room full of wonderful utensils and cookware. I was like a little girl in a candy  Dora store! I could use anything I wished to. No questions asked. No answers needed. I could use the most expensive cookware, the best ever oven/stove/ refrigerator...all of it wearing my Chef's coat and while being addressed as Chef Ria!  Now that last bit doesn't happen everyday! I had 3 Culinary Assistants to help me with each and everything. They were so efficient. They chopped,prepped,arranged, helped me while cooking and in the end cleaned up the entire kitchen!It was insanley magical! During the class, a man walked in thinking it was a restaurant! The entire building was smelling of Curry when we left, no wonder he walked in! :-)
Moi
The Menu : Gobi Manchurian (with minor changes), Poori, Badami Chicken , Jeera Pulao, Kadai Vegetable & Royal Falooda. As soon as I was done with cooking each item, they were plated in the most beautiful manner by my Assistants and served.Everything came out really really well and they were an instant success. It's so nice to see people enjoying what you cook, especially right in front of you. I am usually never pleased with myself but this time , I really am! The last time was when I made this Baby Shower Cake.
Working!
Everything happened so fast that I couldn't believe it until I came out after the class. I couldn't stop beaming. Jobin was waiting for me outside the class and I think he got the idea of how I excited I was and even he couldn't stop beaming! It's so nice to have a partner who can share your happiness equally, without even having the slightest tinge of jealousy in them. I am blessed. It was a wonderful evening, for the two of us. I shouldn't forget to mention how tired I was after the class. Tired to the bones. I couldn't feel my knees, they were like jelly! :-) Also, let me tell you how wonderful it is to have a dream come true. It is awesome! Really really awesome! You fly around and it takes you many days to come back to have your feet back on the ground :-)

I am going back, in Fall. Will keep you posted on that!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!  Some of the pics were taken from my camera, the rest are from Emilia.Thanks Emilia, for sending me the (90) pictures :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LIME POUND CAKE for Sweet Punch - Season 2

Lime Pound Cake
Do you know how this cake got it's name? In the olden days the main ingredients used for baking this cake measured a  pound each in weight. So one pound flour, one pound butter,one pound eggs,one pound sugar plus the other teeny-weeny bit of leavening agents made the original cake. Amma's Marble Cake is a perfect example for the 'real' pound cake. But these days, things recipes are way too different from the original but the name remains the same.
Daisies
No complaints whatsoever because this cake was a decadent one. Soft, buttery, lime-y with the perfect crumb! Our apartment was filled with the aroma of citrus when the cake was baking. I would never trade it for something else. Do you like naturally- flavoured cakes or do you like it plain? I like both depending on what mood I am in, mostly. I know one thing for sure, I love cakes, be it simple or decorated.
Cake & Daisies
I had plans of making a simple lime drizzle over this cake but later chose not to. I loved the way the cake looked when it came out of the oven. It had a lovely crack on the top, perfect for a Perfect Pound Cake. I sometimes like the natural designs cakes have on top, like this Sunflower patter on my One Bowl Vanilla Cake. A lot of you thought that it was a deliberate move from my side,no, it wasn't. The oven did it :-)
Lime Pound Cake
Coming back to the topic, our baking group, A Sweet Punch completed a year of it's existence and we are starting the Season 2 with this beautiful,decadent cake. This recipe is chosen from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbum. The cake had the perfect tight crumb and the texture was awesome! You/ve got to try this one. You will fall in love!

Lime Pound CakeLIME POUND CAKE
Makes one loaf

Ingredients:
3 tbsp milk
3 large eggs
Juice & zest  of 1 lime
13 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c sifted cake flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

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

In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and lime juice. Reserve.
In another mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (which includes the lime zest).
Add the butter and half the egg-milk mixture to it and mix till the dry ingredients are moistened.Beat on medium speed for a minute. This will help in aerating and developing  the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides.
Add the remaining egg-milk mixture in 2 batches beating for 20 seconds in between each addition. Scrape down the sides again.
Pour the fluffy batter in your pan, smooth the surface and bake for 55 mins or till done. If you are using a fluted pan/bundt pan, keep a check on the baking time (from 35 mins onward).
Cool in the tin for 10 mins, turn out onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
Slice and devour!


Verdict: I made this over the weekend for the family who was visiting us. I cut them into thin slices and they vanished! On the Fourth of July, our friends came over and we grilled some Brats & Chicken Wings. I had saved some cake for the occasion, so this time, I served 2 slices each per person with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries, a drizzle of roasted strawberry syrup and a nice big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream to beat the heat. It was yummy! Serve it any way you want, it will be delicious!
Stone Arch Bridge

Later we walked along the river and watched the fireworks sitting on the stone arch bridge. It was breathtaking. I took this picture last year when we went to the Farmers Market nearby. It's a beautiful bridge with the Mississippi flowing beneath it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

GIVEAWAY : FROM ME TO YOU -2

IMG_1460
It's that time of the month again! I am giving away some goodies made by me :-) This time, it's for my Indian readers . After all the complaints I got last month here's your chance to win some yummy yummy Cinnamon Rolls. These rolls are so good and they will turn a cinnamon-hater to a cinnamon-lover! I was one such case!
IMG_1479
You can read more about it on my Cinnamon Roll post. All you need to do is just leave a comment and you are automatically entered for the giveaway! So, go on! Comment away! If you win, you will be receiving 16 freshly baked yummy Cinnamon Rolls in your mailbox! I'll pick a winner on August 1.
Sin-a-mon rolls

Annnnnd the winner for June's Cookie giveaway is Reshmi Mahesh!! Congratulations Reshmi! All you need to do now is to e-mail me [ airmathew AT gmail DOT com ] your postal addy and the cookies will be on it's way :-)

This giveaway series is not sponsored by anyone, it's from me to you! So make use of it :-)
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