Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tiramisu for Eggless Baker's Group

Tiramisu is one of our family favorite desserts and I have made it many times, but always with the regular cream.I have made different versions of this Italian dessert much before I started blogging.I have used cookies, cakes and even made a Tiramisu Sundae. Marscopone cheese has been introduced to be after I have entered the blog world, and how I loved this. It is a wonderful cream, making the dessert very light.The best is it is really simple to prepare.I was dying to make the lady fingers, but the heat is killing .I did not have the patience to try something new, as it is this dessert had enough disasters! 

Coming to my disasters while working on this dessert… 

I started off with Marscapone cheese, so put the cream to boil after adding the lemon the cream remained as it is !!I wondered and then it struck me that I was using non dairy cream.I called up my hubby who was on the way back to get some Amul tetra packs!This made things easier and the beautiful cream done! 

The second disaster was the cake!I baked the cake and put it back in the oven , you see this is my safe, no body knows that I hide my stuff here!! I was rather busy for two days .The third day I whipped the cream, got everything ready and then removed the cake from the oven. The minute I cut it I knew that the heat had effected it.There was a peculiar smell. I tasted a bit, and had to straight head for the bin.I was literally pulling my hair ..all my stuff ready to be assembled and no cake.I looked for some cookies, but it was one of those days!!I called my baker friend and asked him if he would sell one sponge to me, which normally he would not .Thanks Shimol!! .I drove like a mad person and picked the sponge , got stuck in the late evening traffic jam ..now aren't these enough disasters? 

Whatever I went through, when I served the dessert, I had a smile on my face, finally I made it.I did feel guilty about not baking the lady fingers, but will surely re do it in winters. Here is what I finally did!! 

Home made Marscapone Cheese 
3 tetra packs Amul tetra packs(200 ml each) 
1 tsp lemon juice 
Put the cream in a thick bottomed pan. 
Heat the cream stirring often.Ideally it should reach 190 deg temperature. 
(I did not use the thermometer, and kept it on slow flame for 15 minutes) 
Add lemon juice, continue stirring. 
The cream will become thick, it should coat the back of your spoon. 
Stir for another 5 minutes. 
Leave it to cool for a while. 
Transfer to a sieve, lined with double layers of cheese cloth. 
Do not press, just leave as it is. 
Cover with a lid and place the sieve over a pot in the fridge. 
Refrigerate at least 24 hours. 
You shall find just a few tb sps  of water discarded from this cream.Throw it, and use your beautifully prepared cheese. 
This shall yield about 2 cups of ready cheese. 

Coffee Decoction 
2 tbsp instant expresso coffee power 
2 tbsp boiling water. 
Add the coffee powder to the boiling water. 
½ cup water 
1/3 cup sugar 
Add sugar to the expresso mix and add more water. 
Add vanilla essence.(you could add Kahlua liqueur) 

Filling and Frosting 
2 cups marscapone cheese 
1 cup whipped cream +1/2 cup for garnish
½ cup icing sugar(you could adjust this to your taste) 
Whip the cream with icing sugar till it holds firm peaks. 
Lightly whisk the marscapone cheese. 
Stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the Marscapone. 

Assembling the cake 
I made a double layer cake, so slice the cake into three parts. 
Sprinkle the coffee decoction on the first layer. 
Spread a layer of cream. 
Place the second layer and repeat decoction and cream layers. 
For the top layer again sprinkle the coffee decoction and place it upside down. 
Spread rest of the cream on top. 
Place to refrigerate overnight. 
Place the Tiramisu in the deep freeze for 15 minutes before you start to garnish. 

150 gms dark chocolate 
Grate shavings with the help of a knife for the top garnish. 
Refrigerate till required. 
Melt the rest of the chocolate in the MW. 
Remove the cake from the freezer and gently pour the melted chocolate around the dessert, since it is chilled the chocolate will set immediately. 
Sprinkle the chocolate shavings. 
The dessert is ready to be served.

Everyone loved the dessert and it sure is a treat..Thanks Gayathri, !! and Thanks Sowmya for suggesting this wonderful dessert.

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Packing Chocolates / Candies

BM # 27   Day 30
Crafts:Packing with Piping bags

Ever thought of using your piping bags for packing ? Well I have used these to pack some chocolates and candies. If you do not have a piping bags,which I doubt ,  you could always make a cone from a transparent paper, or any colored paper.

The supplies used here are  simple and easily available, how ever you can always pick the idea and use different materials.It is all about creativity with availability.This craft comes to you on the last day of this month's long marathon.

Here is what you need
Piping bags / paper cones
Rubber bands
Paper strips / quilling strips
A paper knife to curl the strips

How to go about
Fill the piping bag with candies or chocolates, leave a little space at the top.
Secure it tightly with a rubber band.
Take some paper strips, these could either be shredded paper , or quilling strips.
Make sure you choose colors to compliment the occasion.
Tie a knot with these strips.
Rotate a organza ribbon around this and tie a simple knot.
Tuck in a feather.

And here you are ..with a attractive pack of candies!!

It sure has been a fun filled Marathon, where we all have given our best and we need to thank Valli for making us active with blogging.Not only that , we have learnt about the various occasions celebrated all over, the traditional food served and of course the seasonal dishes..not to miss the crafting section, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Commenting sure has had pressure points, but still fun.Thank you guys, have enjoyed reading each and everyone's post. Ending with a sweet note......

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Monday, April 29, 2013

The Big Fat Burger with Olives and Jalapenos

Every time I go to for my purchases to the Reliance Market, I always pick up wheat buns.Every time I make these burgers my husband likes to make a different patty, he is an expert with these. He makes them really healthy.This week it is Burgers for the week end cooking.This particular burger was made for my son and was a spicy one, you could use plain ketchup instead of those chilly sauces, but trust we with those sauces and jalapenos it tasted super. 

What you need 
Burger Buns 
Red chilly sauce 
Green chilly sauce 
Herb dressing (I used lemon pepper) 
Parmesan Cheese powder (feel free to use slices or grated cheese)

4 boiled potatoes 
1 cup mix vegetables (broccoli, beans, carrots, peas) 
2 slices jumbo bread , made into crumbs
1 tsp ginger garlic chilly paste 
Pinch garam masala
Salt to taste 
Chop the veggies very finely and boil them with minimum water. 
Strain and squeeze out the water. 
Reserve this for kneading your chapati dough or as stock. 
Mash the boiled potatoes, add the mixed vegetables, paste crumbs and salt. 
Mix well, make patty's and roast them on a non stick pan.

Assembling the burger
Apply butter on both sides. 
On one side squeeze red and green chilly sauce. 
On the other side place some salad. 
Add a nice big spoon of mayo. 
Place a patty. 
Olives and Jalapenos go on top of the patty. 
Some dressing and cheese. 
Cover the burger with the second half which has been drizzled with sauces. 
Serve with salad and sauces. 

This burger is huge, has a nice big fat patty..and one burger is more than enough as a meal.The patty ingredients can vary, but olives and jalapenos give it a wonderful taste. 

I had got some lemon pepper dressing from US, but you could use basic salt and pepper , along with the herbs you have.A little change here and there and a new burger will be created. 
Do check what my friends, Valli and Champa have cooked over the weekend.

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Packing Nature's Way

BM # 27 Day 29 
Crafts: Packing with Natural Materials

When it comes to packing we have a whole lot of materials to choose from. We have lot of easily available artificial stuff , but working with natural products has it’s own charm. These  surely work out more expensive, but well worth it.Today I shall pack and decorate my boxes with Natural materials,. 

I am sure you all have seen and know about raffia  Raffia is a natural fiber that is made from the leaves of a variety of palm tree.The large leaves are harvested, and dried and we get these long raffia strands.The raffia can be dyed to different colors. This is very versatile and is normally used by crafters, florists. You remember those rustic hand woven bags..well they are from raffia. 

Next I have dried some oranges, you could do that in a microwave or an oven.One just has to be careful, as these burn very fast. In fact I too burnt them, but I shimmered the little damage. 

So pick up your old rustic boxes , cane boxes, tie them with raffia  adorn them with dried leaves from the garden and a slice of dried orange or lemon . 

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Decorating Cookie Tins

BM # 27   Day 28
Crafts: Packing in Tins

While flying by Indigo , I enjoy eating their cookies which are packed in pretty little tins. I love these tins more than the cookies....love to collect these little bits. These tins are ideal to pack cookies or chocolates.Well you could even put some pins and clips .I have decorated these with net fabric and  ribbons .

What you need
Cookie tins
Some lace scrap
Broad ribbons
Some bling, stone or bead...anything to highlight

How to go about
Cut the scrap into a broad strip.
Take the strip and place the tin in the centre.
Bring the two ends upto tie a knot.
Trim away the excess scrap , leaving some to dangle down.
Half the tin covers with this.
Now take a broad ribbon and bring the ends up again tying a knot at the top.
Trim the edges in the similar fashion.
Add a bling on top.
If you do not have any scraps, use ribbons.
You can use different types of ribbons or strings or even raffia to tie the tins, they can be used individually or all together too to give a layered effect.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Recycling Sweet Boxes

BM # 27   Day 27
Craft: Recycling Sweet / Mithai Boxes

During the wedding season, we get lot of sweet boxes along with the invitation card. The sweets get over, but what do you do with the empty boxes?Normally these boxes are thrown away.Right? From now on store these boxes and recycle them, they can be used to pack just about anything.

As soon as I get a sweet box I first try to transfer the contents to another box, so the box does not get dirty and can be reused for packing some home made goodies. 27th day of this BM and we shall recycle boxes!

What you need...
Empty box
Some papers
Ready flowers and leaves

How to go about
Normally the boxes have some kind of logo or names of the two getting married, so make sure to cover this.
Stick a doily paper , it gives a lacy effect.
In one corner stamp some leaves, and fill some color in leaves.
Glue a paper flower and a tiny heart sentiment.

If you do not have stamps, you could just draw some leaves, or cut some leaves from green paper.
I have used ready flower but you can make your own flowers. some of the flowers that you can make are here and here.

After Packing granola bars in this box, I realized that there was some empty spaces between the pieces, so I filled those gaps with a few pearls.
Your pretty box is ready!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Birthday with Fruit Lolly Craft

BM # 27 Day 26

Crafts: Food Craft with Fruit Lollies

We are in the last week of this month’s long marathon.Today is the 26th day and the date is 26th April , a very special day.It is my grand daughter’s birthday who has turned 6 today.I had planned a craft , but I decided to do a food craft, which my little Kaira would love as a virtual treat from her naani. 

Happy Birthday Kaira !

Have fun on your birthday and enjoy these Fruit Lollies!! 

God Bless !!!

Now a little about Kaira.

Living in Japan she has started resembling the Japanese. She is very loving and affectionate and does not waste time in expressing her thoughts.This is how she talks...a little in her Japanese accent....

Wow!  what a beautiful dress!    you look beautiful naani!

Naani, I love you soo much, I don’t want to go back, but then who will take care of muma…

I am waiting for her comments on these Fruit Lollies..I will surely up date this post after she gives them!!

Anyway here is how I made these..
Strawberries, sliced
Kiwi, peel and cut circles
Black grapes
Mango,peeled and sliced
Take your lolly moulds.
Arrange the fruits in the order you like, I put a kiwi first, then placed a strawberry slice.put some mini grapes and a slice of mango.
Pour sprite or lemonade or any clear drink.
Insert the stick.
Freeze overnight.
De mould and serve. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Disney Themed Birthday Party Decor

BM # 26   Day 25
Crafts: Mickey Mouse themed Birthday Party

Organizing Birthday parties is so much fun, specially when you are doing the decor also. 
It was my grandson’s second birthday and his love for Mickey made us decide on a Mickey theme party. 

For me colors play an important part where decor is concerned, red, yellow  black and white are The Mickey colors, so I stuck to those.Today for the 24th day of this marathon I shall tell you how to go about with the Mickey Mouse Decorations that I did. 

To begin with a Back Drop and the Birthday Table 

We decided to use a round table for the cake. Red and white polka dotted fabric covered the table, and the top was covered with red fabric. We tied red and white balloons in the front and dangled some yellow curling ribbons. 

The back drop was a black and white dotted fabric with the Birthday banner in the center and balloons and ribbons on either side. 

The Birthday Banner 
The birthday banner was made in three parts. 
The first one said HAPPY 
The second said BIRTHDAY 
And the third the birthday baby’s name..in this case AVYAAN.. 

So in all I cut 19 triangles in red , yellow, black and white.The red and black triangles were glued with polka dots. 
I picked up a 3d bold font and printed the alphabets, cut them and painted them.These were then glued to the triangles. 
On either side of the triangle holes have to be punched and with the help of a satin ribbon we joined the triangles to make the banner. 
Make sure you leave enough ribbon on the sides..we need to tie all the pieces and the finished product too !! 
Similarly join the Birthday and name triangles. 
Once we have all three banners,tie the first one straight  and work on the placement of the second and third one as to your back drop. 

Next come the Streamers 

For streamers we simply downloaded mickey images and pasted on round card stock , punched a hole on top and bottom.we tied red satin ribbons at the top which were attached to a transparent thread and a curling ribbon at the bottom. 

We had some mickey shadows cut from black card stock to put all around the walls. 

 Ready Mickey stickers were used on the walls too. 

Mickey games 

Well since we had a mixed age group we had a few games.. 

Can knock down 

We took pepsi cans and covered these with red and black papers, a few polka dots on the red paper. 

Mickey Khoi Bag 

This was a ready made one , but one can easily paint one! 

The rest of the activity's were what we normally have in parties..the ball bouncer, the tattoo corner. 

knock down cans

Khoi bag

Fun after the khoi bag

The cake was Disney themed and made by one of our special friends, who is into a baking profession, yes some of you know .....Cream and Crunch!......right ?

We loved the party as much as the kids did!

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