Monthly Archives: April 2010

Vegetable Noodles


This is one of my favorite recipes..Easy-peasy yummy meal in minutes.Just right for the days,when you want to eat something fancy and don’t want to go out.The whole dish is ready in almost the same time,that it will take your home-delivery guy to deliver a meal!
Serves- 2-4
For this dish,you need:
250 gms dry noodles-egg noodles or haka noodles.
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 carrot,cut into sticks
1 capsicum,cut into slivers
1 medium sized onion,thin sliced
4-5 green beans- cut into medium sized bits.
3 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar

Preparation:
Cook the noodles as per the instruction in the pack.Drain,run some cold water in the noodles,toss with a tsp of oil and keep aside.
Add the rest of the oil in a wok,put all the veggies and stir fry.Add a little salt and pepper and let it cook till all the veggies are almost done.I like to keep the veggies a little crunchy.
Add Soya sauce and vinegar and toss the noodles with the vegetables.Mix everything together and serve hot.
If you eat eggs,you can also add some scrambled eggs.
I sometimes add peas and baby corn too.
This is a hot favorite in my house and I love it for all the veggies that go in it.
Look here:

To save time,I put the water for boiling noodles on the gas,and start chopping veggies.By the time,I am done chopping,the noodles are also boiled.Then,I saute’ the veggies,while setting the table.Done this way,it takes me less that 30 minutes to put this meal on the table.:)
This dish goes well with Chili Chicken ,but tastes good by itself too.
Enjoy!

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Random winter rants..

Our days are just crawling.I hate short winter days,the over cast sky,the cold wild breeze,darkness falling at 5.00..and I think my dislike has rubbed off on Aadi.As soon as it starts getting dark,her mood starts getting darker too.She gets upset more easily,she whines more,she wants me to carry her,and reminds me,every few minutes,”Mommy,I am scared.”While,I let her sit in my lap and try to keep her entertained but,my mood is no better.Last winter,I used to spend most of my mornings in the Town Center,then,we’d come home and nap and the day would pass sooner.But,this year,we are out two days of the week and weekend and so,I like to stay in on the remaining days.
So,I have decided to do one new activity with Aadi each day..reading,painting,threading,craft,writing on her scribble pads-She now knows what standing and sleeping lines are and how to draw them.
She enjoys cooking,so today I let her measure the vegetables for her dinner and she was so excited.And we are counting her fruit/veg servings..In the last 3-4 months,she had almost given up eating veggies.So,I am trying to consciously introduce more veggies/fruits in her meals.If she doesnt eat it in her meals,I give it to her as a snack..sometimes,its frustrating.No,strike that Its frustrating..ALL the time!Aadi used to a very good eater and now suddenly,she is so picky about everything.I am not exaggerating when I say,that EVERY single time I ask her,what she wants to eat,her answer is the same- Dahi-Bhaatu-be it morning,noon or night!Its soo frustrating.Then last week I noticed a white patch on her face.I remember my mom telling someone,that those white patches mean vitamin deficiency.I havent taken her to the doctor for it,yet,coz I know her diet is deficient in so many nutrients.
Nothing frustrates me more,than hearing two demands-“Dahi-bhaatu” and “Candy”….Candy irritates me so much,I want to ban it.If not in the world,I want to ban it in my house.I just dont know how to tell it to our friends and visitors gently.If Aadi sees Candy,she has to eat it,till it gets over,and keeping it hidden somewhere else,doesnt make any difference.She is like a rat,sniffs her way to it.The only sweet,I dont mind giving her is the fruit jelly sweets or the fresh homemade cookie,halwa,kheer,whatever.I am seriously contemplating telling our next visitors,to please,not bring any chocolate for her.Will that be too rude?
This post is just very vague..because,I am in a weird kind of a mood..gloomy..weird,crazy-ish.I am having the worst acne break-out in my life.It makes me soooo mad.I didnt get Acne and pimples,even in my teenage.Almost whole of my right cheek is covered with painful acne..and I hate looking at myself in the mirror.When,I go out,my hair covers it,but..I know its there and that make me feel weird and ugly.Our regular GP is out of town and so,I booked an appointment with another doctor and the earliest,that was available is on Sunday..so,till then,I will just keep feeling weird…and hope to turn invisible.
Does anyone have any home remedies for this?
What else do you do to keep winter blues at bay?I made a scarf for someone,wound a skein into ball to start a cardie for Aadi,am finishing one book per day..what else..?The day,just disappears,its the looooooooooong evening,that just doesnt go away.
Hope your days are better than mine..:)

Savory Pancakes


My brother,is sharing an apartment with 3 other guys.One of them is Korean and loves cooking.Every other night,he cooks up a storm and feeds the other three..and to feed three hungry guys,is no easy feat.
One night he made these pancakes and Sahil passed on the recipe to me..it was a lazy,rainy weekend and I had to try it.I changed some ingredients,simply because I didn’t have them at home.He used- all purpose flour,frozen mixed vegetables,eggs,salt and pepper.I didn’t have eggs and had only self raising flour.So,here are the ingredients that I used :

Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1 medium sized potato-peeled and grated
1 medium sized carrot -peeled and grated
1/2 green capsicum-diced
1 small onion- fine chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste.
some water to mix
oil for greasing.

Preparation:
Take the self-raising flour in a mixing bowl.Add all the other ingredients.Mix well,adding very little water,if required to make a thick batter.The batter shouldn’t be very runny.
Heat and grease a non-stick pan and spread the batter on it,like a pancake.cover and cook on medium flame.turn after a minute or two.
Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Edited-WP is being very naughty n not letting me upload pics,i’ll try again tomorrow! It worked today!

Which one do you like?

Before:

After

Woohoo..

Indiblogger ranks are out..and mine went up from 50 to 71!! soo I am kicked.
I am so tired today,I opened the new post page,twice,but closed it.I didn’t want to think what to write.I was bloghopping,and saw Maverickshree’s post about her Indirank..and just out of curiosity checked mine..and I was excited and so had to post.
Today,was school day.This was the second week and I see Aadi settling in.Last week,she was mostly on her own.Her interaction with other kids,was if she needed a toy or if she didnt want to share it.She wasnt interested in any of the activities..like conversations on the mat,craft and painting(which surprised me!) the only thing that she was interested in was the sand-pit and the singing and dancing.This time,the change was remarkable.
She was sitting on the mat,right in the front,instead of on the side,from where she could run away.The poor teacher had a tough time,bringing her back to the mat.Today,she sat there and actually contributed to the conversation.Ms.Cherie’,the teacher asked everyone,”what their mum was doing today?” some answered shopping,some said,sleeping,while others said working.My little princess,said,”My mummy is helping today!”I was excited..I was the mom-helper today..and it was interesting that she made the connection.
I loved volunteering in her class.Three years of being a SAHM,had me convinced,that I didnt want to do,anything remotely child-related..but,these last two weeks,that I spent in Aadi’s class,have refreshed my memories and I think,I would like to go back to teaching.
I will be announcing the giveaway,soon…now,its monster-story time..and Ms.Aadya is making up stories..I have to go and listen in!

Of School and other stuff..

I have been out of sorts..I didn’t feel like writing,or reading..I did lurk around but,just didn’t have the heart to comment.I did write a few private posts..but thats all.
I was feeling quite sick over the last couple of weeks..and I guess that took away whatever energy was left in me.Today,I am just making a conscious effort to write something:)
So,first let me tell you about Aadya’s first day of school.She was so excited about it for the last so many months.When the day arrived,I think she was a little edgy..she refused to eat and wanted to just sit in the car and go.I gave her a new napkin,with one of her favorite characters,Miffy,the bunny and she had her Ben10 bag.She was soo excited.
We got to the school and she just wanted to run inside.We were about 15 minutes early and that made her so upset.Finally,the doors to the classroom opened and she entered excitedly.
The classroom is divided in various activity zones- the kitchen,the mason’s corner,the blocks mat,the story mat and the craft center.Aadi loved the kitchen and mason’s corner.I stayed for an hour or so before stepping out.She seemed alright on her own.This week,I signed up to be the mom-helper..lets see how this week goes.
My blog stats show me that the visitor count is few hundreds short of 15K visitors..I am thinking of a give-away..so,watch this space.
Winter is here and so are winter-blues..I am a little down..depressed even and I dunno how to shake it off.When I was planning the party,atleast momentarily,I was happy…but now back to square one.
I am back in the weight-loss game-I have managed to keep the weight I lost,OFF..and I am happy about it.But those measly 5kgs,don’t even make a dent in my big FORM and I want to make a big dent!!That will make me happy.GM,thanks for making me hang up,today…I worked out with my excercise video.Its a little hard,because the video is really fast paced and moving my bulk is sync is not easy and to add to that,Aadi thinks,I am playing by myself and wants to join in,pulling my hand,pushing me…So much Fun!NOT!
Anyway ,hope aal izz well with you:)

Cream n’ Pineapple Cake


Last year,when we organised a party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday,we were very disappointed by the choice of cakes offered. Either the cake was too dry,or the design wasnt nice..or we didn’t want the frosting that they offered or they didn’t agree to do a frosting of our choice..OR..it was just TOOOOOO expensive.
We still ended up paying $$ and getting a cake that we didn’t like..Ok make that I didn’t like..DH doesnt care much anyway.That day,I decided that come what may,I will bake the cake for her b’day hence forth.
The cake in the picture is the one that I baked for her 3 rd birthday party,2 days back.
Its the first time I baked a sponge cake..and I can tell you,this recipe is a KEEPER!The recipe is a hand-me-down from my brother,who is an HM graduate.He made me try out a sample 1-egg cake..and I was hooked.I baked it in the nite,iced it.DH and Aadi loved the taste and I was happy with the result.
And my scientist brain works better,in stress!So,baking that one egg cake was a great help and made for easy calculations.
To make this cake,you need-
Ingredients-
For the Sponge Cake:
Self Raising flour- 200 gms
Corn Flour-1 tablespoon
Sugar- 200 gms( Sugar- can vary depending on your taste)
Eggs- 4
Baking Powder – 1 1/2 tspn
Vanilla extract- 1 tspn

For the filling-
400 gms whipped cream- thick and fluffy
1/2 can pineapple pieces(Do Not throw away the syrup,keep it aside.

For the final finishing-
700 gms whipped cream,thick and fluffy(I used ready to serve whipped cream,which came in 400 gms tub)-chilled
Pineapple rings
Halved strawberries.

Preparation:
Line and grease two 9″ round cake tins.Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C(160-fan forced).
Sift the flour,corn flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Separate the yolks and egg-whites.
Gradually add sugar,to the egg yolks and mix using a whisk.Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking,till the mixture turns to cream color and gets a buttery consistency.
Divide the flour mix in three part and slowly fold into the egg-sugar mix,using a spatula.
When the mix gets too dry and it gets difficult to move the spatula,then beat the egg white,till its frothy and add it to the mixture,little at a time.
The final batter shud be creamy and smooth and should fall in ribbons,when you lift the spatula..
Put the batter in the greased tins and bake for 15-20 mins.When you insert a knife in the cake and it comes out clean,turn off the oven immediately and remove the cake from the oven after 5-10 minutes.
Let it cool.

Puttin the cake together :
Put the cakes upside down.Prick the surface with a fork and spoon some pineapple syrup on to the cake,till all the surface is wet.Let the cake absorb the syrup.Repeat again after 10-15 mins.Let the syrup be absorbed once again.
Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on the base cake.
Put a layer of pineapple pieces on that and then,spread another thick layer of whipped cream.Keep the other cake on this,like a sandwich.
Cover the top of the cake with whipped cream.Cover the sides of the cake with whipped cream.Cover with cling wrap and let it sit overnight or atleast a couple of hours.
When the base coat is set,spread a fresh layer of whipped cream on top.Smooth out the top and sides.Garnish with pineapple rings and strawberry halves.
Let it chill for a few hours,before serving.

Here’s what my final cake looked like.My daughter wanted a Scooby Doo cake and so,I propped a Scooby Doo figurine in the middle.

I can’t wait to try it with other fruits…The cake was super soft and super moist-totally melt-in-your-mouth.When my brother suggested pineapple cake..the first one that popped in my mind was Monginis pineapple cake..and I so wanted to re-create that..And I am glad,this is the closest thing to it,that I have tasted in all the years that I have been away.
BTW,when I decided to bake this cake,I searched the blogs for Pineapple cream cake and stumbled upon Soma’s recipe..it is slightly different..but,her pics are very detailed.
Hope you enjoy baking it,as much as I did..:)
Happy Baking.

The party that was…

We finally had a party for Aadi’s 3rd birthday, this Sunday.The birthday was on March 30th,so,the party was way over-due..isn’t it?
This year the Princess wanted a Scooby-Doo cake..and she kept insisting..she wanted a Scooby cake,everytime I asked her..and not even once in the last 3 months,did she change her mind.Occasionally,she wanted a Cars cake like the BB got..and then she would change her mind and say..she wanted Scooby and the Cars! ..and so on.So,Mumma promised her a Scooby cake.
A Scooby-doo invite was made using Evite.com..I used her pic and Scooby images and this message(Please don’t laugh at my lame attempt)-
Scooby Dooby Doo,Scooby Dooby Dee,
Guess who is Three?
It is….Aadya Doo..
Won’t you come too?
Come for Scooby snacks and treats..
Lets have a party,that can’t be beat!

I had been planning the party for more than three months.I asked her what cake she wanted and decided to have a general theme floating.But,last two-three weeks have been terrible ,health-wise so,I didn’t do everything that I had planned. But,there was one thing that I was not prepared to compromise on and that was the cake.And I didn’t.More on that when I post the recipe..this post is about the party.
So,the cake was mommy-made Cream and Pineapple cake.

It was light sponge cake with whipped cream and pineapple filling,with whipped cream frosting(?) and pineapple and strawberry for garnish.I looked in all the party shops for the scooby cake topper and didn’t find anything.Finally,found a set of 5 Scooby doo characters in Big W,toys aisle.So,I used that as the cake topper.
I was very happy with the finished cake and it was a big hit with the guests and most importantly the Birthday Girl.
It was a tea-time party and most people arrived by 4.30-5.00.I had planned some craft activities for the kids,if it was cold.But,luckily,it was a beautiful day and all the kids were outside,running and playing and sharing OR fighting for the ride-ons.
When it was time to cut the cake,Aadi was more excited about blowing the blow-out than cutting the cake.Her little friend,S,took a step closer to the cake and that was all the push,she needed to blow out the candles.And she blew off half the candles even before DH or I could take our positions besides her..and called us,only when she needed help to blow out the ones far from her.
Then,it was chow-time..I had planned on making bone shaped sandwiches for kids..but,didn’t find a bone shaped cookie-cutter..(and I didn’t look enough!),so,it had to be mini-triangles..

The Menu was-
Sandwiches– We had three kind of sandwiches
*Mini Bread-butter-jam sandwich-I used the chunky strawberry jam and threw in a few fresh strawberries in the sandwich tin.
* Veg-Chutney Sandwich-The Sandwich Wala kind.
*Egg Salad-Chutney Sandwich
Aalu-Chole Chaat
Veg Noodles
Samosa from the Indian sweet shop
Fresh Watermelonand Pop corn,chips,cheetos,coke,fanta,juice..
And there was Tomato Soup..that I forgot to serve till the very end.
Some people forgot to tell us that they won’t make it and some others had to bail out at the last minute and so,we were left with a lot of food.So,everyone got to take some food home.
And now the most important part of a kiddie party-The loot bags.I fell in love with these bags that Patricia used for her daughter’s party and I knew..this is what I was looking for.Before I saw Patricia’s bags,I was planning on making some bags with newspaper and stamping them with some cute stamps.But,in the end,I decided to go with the brown paper bags-

The bags were embellished with ribbons on a corner and each child’s name was stamped on it.And then a handwritten Thankyou note was tagged to it.There was one for Aadi too and her note said-Happy Birthday.
The loot bag this time contained- My little Pony toy sets for girls(because all the girls on the guest list are crazy about My little Pony),water rings video game set for boys(you know the kinds we used to get when we were kids-sort of like a handheld video game),balloons,blow-outs,mini easter eggs(come on-her birthday falls before easter-almost all the candy available is easter themed!),and Marshmallow lollypop shaped like bugs and butterflies(so cute!)
We didn’t take a lot of pictures this year..but that’s because we were sooo busy having fun!Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I had fun planning the party.
More about party planning in another post…For now,I will leave you with a picture of the birthday girl and her loot…

A Durango for me..

Winter is here..and I hate the greys it brings with it…grey skies,grey coats,grey moods.
I have decided to bring in color in my life this winter…This hat is the first step.
When I made the Durango hat for my friend,Devi..I loved it.I wanted to make one for myself..but I was so tired of making the orders,that I didn’t get around to it.One of my goals this year is to knit more for my family and myself.I will still do a few orders..but somehow,it just doesn’t work out alright for me.The yarn too expensive,me too shy to ask for the right price or any money at all.This year I have decided to take orders only if when yarn is provided.Lets see how long,I can keep it up.
Anyway,here’s the hat,that this post is about-

A close up-

Sadly,this pattern is no longer available..
I am very happy with the finish of this one.Now all I need is a matching scarf..:)

Chocolate Fudge cake


I found this recipe in the Good Food magazine..and I knew instantly,I was going to try it out.More than anything else,I was sure,I wanted to bake it for Aadya’s birthday.I tried it as is,without mucking up and the cake was to DIE for! For the birthday cake,I upped the flour and used plain butter frosting instead of chocolate fudge..it was fine..but nothing to beat the chocolate,eh?
The recipe finally..Sorry for the long wait people.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups(225 g) self raising flour
1/2 cup(50 gms) cocoa
1 cup sugar
11/2 tsp baking powder
250 g butter,softened
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
75 g dark chocolate,melted( remember to pick up dark chocolate with atleast 70% cocoa solids)

Fudge Icing
200 g butter,softened
200 gm pure icing sugar
200 gms dark chocolate,melted

*Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (or 160 deg C-fan-forced).Grease and line two 20 cm round sandwich pans.
*Place flour,cocoa,baking powder,sugar,butter,eggs,vanilla extract and melted dark chocolate in a food processor until smooth.If the batter is a little stiff,add 2-3 tbsps water and process again.
*Divide mixture equally between the pans,smooth surface and bake for 30-40 mins ,until a skewer comes out clean.Cool cakes in pans for 5 mins,before transfering onto wire rack to cool completely.
*To make icing,place butter and icing sugar in a clean food processor until combined.Add melted chocolate and process,until smooth.Sandwich together layers of cake with half of the icing and top with the remaining icing.

Cut a huge slice and ENJOY!!!

For this cake,I used vanilla custard filling and instead of the chocolate butter icing..I used pink frosting.EVERY thing was same,only I didn’t add chocolate powder and added some pink color.When adding color,add color to only a small portion of frosting,at a time.
I covered the top of the cake with pink frosting and then added chocolate sprinkles.The fairies were sugar fairies,cake toppers ($6-from Coles)..
Ta..daa.. all done!