Thursday, July 12, 2012

Got this as a forward, this is just awesome,am sure you would love it.

Attitude is something which changes the way one looks at a situation or experiences it.  It is always good to have a positive outlook which changes the consequence decision to it.  When we are upset about anything, the normal thought would be to think 'why me' and then brood over it. Now, just try thinking a different way of approaching it and one can really see the difference it makes. When I got this forward from my cousin, I could not, but enjoy each one of them and they were true to the core. I felt that some of them were written just for me. Hope you too would enjoy and adapt some in your like when the situation arises. Enjoy !!!!!!!!!

When Snake is alive, Snake eats Ants.
When Snake is dead, Ants eat Snake.

Time can turn at any time.
Don't neglect anyone in your life.

Never make the same mistake twice,
There are so many new ones,
Try a different one each day.

A good way to change someone's attitude is to change your own.
Because, the same sun that melts butter, also hardens clay!

Life is as we think, so think beautifully.

Life is just like a sea, we are moving without an end.
Nothing stays with us,
what remains is just the memories of some people who touched us as Waves..

Whenever you want to know how rich you are, never count your currency,
Just try to Drop a Tear and count how many hands reach out to WIPE that-
that is true richness.

Heart tells the eyes "See less, because you see and I suffer lot".
Eyes replied, "Feel less because you feel and I cry a lot".

Never change your originality for the sake of others,
because no one can play your role better than you.
So be yourself, because whatever you are, YOU are the best.

Baby mosquito came back after his maiden flight.
His mom asked him "How do you feel?"
He replied "It was wonderful, Everyone was clapping for me!"
Now that's What is a Positive Attitude

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yummy Pineapple upside down cake

It has been a long time since I wanted to bake pineapple upside down cake. Not only it tastes good, it is a feast to the eyes too.  I finally decide to surprise my better half with this and hunted for a good recipe. I found one of the best in and am happy of the outcome. Thanks Stephanie for the recipe. I made a few changes on the availability of ingredients and the result was wonderful. 

Pre heat the oven to 350 deg.

For the cake:
Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Milk - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

For the topping
Pineapple- quartered pieces
Butter - 4 tbsp
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup

For the topping, add the brown sugar and butter in a pan in low heat until the butter has melted.  Keeping in heat for a few more minutes. makes the sugar to caramelize. Once the caramelized stage is reached, pour the contents to a greased baking pan and evenly arrange the quartered pineapple slices on top of the caramelized mix.

Sift the flour with baking powder and salt.  Separate the yolk and the whites of the egg.  Whisk the egg white well until it is stiff. 

Mix the sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy (5-6 min) and then add the vanilla extract.  To this mixture, add the egg yolks beating well. Now, add the flour and the milk alternatively ending with milk. Gently, fold in the egg white to this flour mixture. Pour this mix into the baking dish already with pineapple and caramel topping.

Bake  for about 40 to 50 minutes. Allow it to cool for about 45 min before turning it upside down.

Yummy gooey pineapple upside down cake is ready to devour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mmmmmm, yummy Tomato jam

There are certain moments in life which one would love to relive and cherish. As my dad was posted in North India when we were young, we had a big kitchen garden in the backyard. Maali (gardener) used to come regularly to sow seeds as well as take care of them etc. My sister and me used to water them regularly. Plucking fresh veggies used to be fun and straight away they used to end up in the kitchen without any storage. Most were seasonal veggies and come winter, it is fun. Cauliflower, cabbage, peas and tomatoes would grow in abundance. Tomatoes would ripe quite fast and my mother used to prepare tomato jam and ketchup on regular basis for daily use and storage too. The taste of tomato jam still lingers and thought of making when I saw lovely, rich red tomatoes in the market. Not much of a recipe, here goes the same.

Ripe tomatoes: 10 nos.
Sugar - 1 cup
Juice of one small lemon
Grated orange rind - 1/4 tsp

Place the tomatoes in boiled water. Peel off the skin, remove the eye and mash it well. I did not remove the seeds as it was too pulpy.  Reduce the tomato pulp by cooking in low heat. Add the lemon juice and the orange rind. When the pulp is reduced to 1/4th quantity, mash well again.  Now, add the sugar and keep stirring till the thick consistency is obtained. Cool and store in bottles. Yummy and delicious tomato jam is ready to devour with everything or just like that :):)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegetable Korma

Hey friends, this is the continuation of the previous post on Malabar Parotta. This is the Korma recipe, again from my younger daughter. Here she goes,

I love to learn new recipes as and when time permits. During my recent visit to India, my Mum-in-law, her mom (Hubby's grandma) and I were chatting about food over lunch. My mum-in-law had made this amazing vegetable korma which cleanly bowled me out. I immediately took out my iPhone and started typing  the recipe in my notes. I made this a couple of times and realized that it comes out best with fresh coconut and adjusting the spice quantity a little. And of course korma tastes the best with a nice flaky parotta and some filter coffee. Hope you enjoy this recipe. Thanks to my m-law for this recipe, although tuned to my taste.
Fresh coconut- 1 cup
Finely cut vegetables: carrots, potato, beans & green peas
Onion: 1 nos
Bay leaf: 1nos
Clove: 2-3 nos
Cumin Seeds: 1tsp
Khuskhus - 3/4 tsp
Ginger: 1 small piece (finely chopped)
Garlic: 1-2 nos (finely chopped)
Green Chillies 1-2 nos
Salt to taste

Step 1: Separating the coconut milk involves three main stages. Add some water and fine grind 1 cup of grated coconut and the khuskhus. Strain the coconut milk, lets call it Coconut Milk 1(this will be our thick coconut milk). Add some more water to the coconut and grind it again, strain it and store it in a separate mug, this will be our Coconut Milk 2 (kind of like 2% fat milk). Add some more water to the coconut and grind it again, this will be our Coconut Milk 3 (will resemble fat free milk)

Step 2: Add some salt and boil the vegetables till it is just cooked but still has a slight crunch

Step 3: In a pan add 1tbsp of oil, add cumin seeds,bay leaf and cloves. After cooking them for a few minutes, add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute till the raw smell is gone

Step 4: Add the boil vegetables and Coconut Milk 3 (fat free milk) and bring it to a nice boil.

Step 5: Add the Coconut Milk 2 and turn down the heat to medium flame and bring it to a boil.

Step 6: Turn the heat to low flame and add the Coconut Milk 1, make sure  not to turn the heat to high as it may curdle.

Step 7: Add some more salt if needed.

Vegetable Korma is ready to be served!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our very own 'The famous Malabar Parotta'

Hey friends, this recipe is from my younger daughter who is very interested in experimenting new dishes in her kitchen. She enjoys cooking and I appreciate her determination to keep trying out new dishes till she attains perfection. The credit of this recipe goes to her :):) Now, upto my younger daughter's recipe as narrated to me.

During my childhood days, I used to visit Kerala quite often during the  summer vacations. I cherish the numerous road trips along the Western Ghats travelling in Tata Sumo filled with the chit chat and the bantering of a group of cousins, all of us almost of the same age group. This was one of the last vacations before my marriage that I spent time with my folks there. Within the first couple of days after reaching Trivandrum, I made sure to stop by at my favourite roadside stall to savour the most amazingly freshly made parotta alongwith korma.  Usually, I would think that the side dish is the 'star' but this was one time when  the soft and flaky parotta was the 'star'.

Here is my first attempt at making the Parotta and korma. The vegetable korma that is coming up is my mother-in-law's recipe. I wanted to go the authentic way and pair it with Malabar parotta. Here is the recipe and this needs a little patience and the results are delicious and definitely worth it.

Maida (All purpose flour) - 2 cups
Milk - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Water as needed.

Step 1: Mix in the maida and the warm milk and make it into a soft dough by adding just enough water. Work the dough for five minutes until it has a smooth texture.

Step 2:Apply oil to the entire surface of the dough. Cover it with a clean cloth and allow it to rest for ten minutes.

Step 3: Break the dough into balls of a big lemon.  Roll each ball and apply oil to the surface of the balls. Cover it again with a clean cloth and let it rest for five minutes.

Step 4: Flatten out the dough to the size of your palm. Apply oil uniformly to each of the flattened surface and let this rest for ten more minutes.

Step 5: Roll out the flattened dough very thinly (Almost like a tissue paper).
Step 6: Cut this diagonally and roll each section starting from the center.

Step 7:Twist the diagonal sections into concentric circles. Cover this concentric circles in a muslin cloth until you are ready to make the parottas.

Step 8: Flatten out the concentric circles to the size of your palm.

Step 9:Apply oil on the tava and cook the parottas on medium heat.

Step 10: Use your fingers to apply some pressure on the parottas to bring out the flakiness.

Yummy flaky parottas are ready to be served. Korma recipe to follow soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A cup of hot coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I am sipping my morning coffee, I am drifted back to Chennai. The best coffee I have ever had is of course brewed by my mother. We had a traditional manual, metal coffee grinder attached to a wooden shelf. Amma used to buy 'A' and 'P' raw coffee berries and store them. Daily evening, she used to roast these berries in dry kadai and cool it for grinding. I cannot express in words the aroma of the roasting  bean. It used to be my daily job to dry grind the coffee powder for the next day.

There was no storing of milk in the fridge as we do nowadays. Early morning, the milkman used to come with a couple of cows and buffaloes. He will start milking after showing the container to us. It is assumed that the container does not have any water inside. Within 10 minutes, we can get frothy fresh milk which goes into a vessel for boiling. Meanwhile, the coffee powder goes into a filter and hot boiling water is poured into it. If we need thick decoction, less water has to be put. Within 15 minutes, thick first decoction is obtained.

Coffee is prepared in a vessel by adding milk, little water, sugar and the decoction. The prepared coffee is poured in stainless steel tumblers which is kept on a small bowl called 'Davara'. This 'Davara' serves as a bowl to cool the coffee and drink if someone finds it very hot.  Then hot water is again poured into the filter to obtain the second decoction which is slightly a diluted version. Sometimes, when we have many guests, Amma used to take out her big brass coffee filter which used to accommodate around 200 gms of powder at one time.

Not a day goes by, without a guest at home coming around in the morning for Amma's coffee.  I remember my Appa's friends who just drop in to say 'Hello' and have a cup of coffee and leave. Those were the times when guests could drop in at any time of the day.

No matter what the temperature is in Chennai, we do not mind a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I have my traditional filter here and get a Kilo of ground coffee powder from 'Coffee Day' and store it and would enjoy filter coffee till the powder gets over. Then, over to Maxwell!!!!!

My coffee in the ceramic mug has become cold, let me go and heat it up in the microwave :(:(

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yummy Pumpkin cup cake

New Year and Pongal wishes to you all, although a bit late.  I was flooded by relatives and family over the past month and was extremely busy with the guests. Felt very guilty at neglecting the blog site but literally could not find time. This one was drafted last month and hope you all enjoy it. This is my elder daughter's recipe and the credit goes to her. Since,she could not post it, I am doing on her behalf.

It is a big trouble to keep thinking what to do with the Halloween pumpkin.  Usually the carved and lit pumkin would adorn my porch for sometime till it had to be discarded. But, this time with the addition of my second one and keeping pace with his crawling, it was difficult to cut and carve. Hence, the pumpkin was lying unattended. Only the costumes and the sweets came to the forefront. Not wanting to waste it, was looking out for some nice recipe to bake a pumpkin cake. Found this one here and was an easy preparation. The taste was amazing and this is the fourth time I am baking this cake since Halloween :):) A big thanks to Diana for her recipe. I send them  to my daughter's class and the surprise look at tiny tots' faces was unforgettable. I came to know from the teacher that everyone loved these and wanted a second one. This is the perfect verdict..

Here goes the recipe:

All purpose flour - 2 1/4 cups
Sugar - 1 1/3 cups
Butter - 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Cooked/canned pumpkin - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Milk - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 3/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp

Sift the dry items and transfer into a bowl.  Mix butter and sugar until  light and fluffy.  Beat the eggs and add to the butter sugar mix.  Blend the mashed pumpkin to this mix. Add the dry ingredients alternating with milk into the butter-sugar-eggs-pumpkin batter blending well after each addition. Spoon the batter in greased cups.  Bake at 375 deg for 25 minutes.

Yummy cup cakes are ready to devour.
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