Rose – flavored Phirni/Rice Pudding with my two cents on Life

image_3

Flipping through the pages of this novel I got my hands on recently, The fault in our stars; I came across a line delivered by the narrator’s brazen love interest, Gus. “The world is not a wish-granting factory”.

A brooder that I am, this seemingly insignificant line got me thinking. How often we take everything in life for granted, just waiting for things to happen to us. Rather than working towards them. Whining, searching for a reason to lift our fingers. Or an excuse to not.

For example, just when a rare “black” sheep breaks free from the flock with some exciting new idea of his/her own. The next millisecond he/she comes up with a million reasons why he/she shouldn’t (these reasons often fed by his own family or “friends”). Thus snuffing out the fire within themselves. Cautious is he? No, a fool!

That teeny tiny voice in your heart screaming ideas at you? Take them! and LIVE them! Don’t wait for those ideas to add to your bucket list! Don’t plan to live. Just live!

Granted, there will be a few hiccups or maybe even a long coma along the way. But then it will all be worth it, when you look back. cause there’d be no “I should have” but rather ” I did or tried”.

You might encounter a mawkish flock along the way who’d discourage you from following your dreams for some weird cynical reason or just ’cause they are comfortable with the “average” you.

Walk away!!! NOW! You’ll thank me later. . .

Point is, If you have to get somewhere, you need to get out of somewhere. Make people smile, but not at the cost of your own. Don’t judge. Make your own mistakes. Learn. And move on.

Start realizing your dreams today. Life does not wait for mere mortals like us.

Ah well… let me get my brooding bum off of my bed and conquer the world. :P

Meanwhile, make a pit stop and enjoy the Rose Phirni Recipe, the new Special tradition I plan to set for Eid, starting this year! ‘Cause it’s just soooo YUMMM!!! :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients:

50 gms Basmati Rice
1 litre Full cream Milk
1 cup or less white Sugar
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1 tbsp Rose Water
Almonds/Pistachios (Sliced/Crushed)

Directions:

Soak rice in water for 30 minutes, drain completely and grind to a fine powder.
Make a thin paste with the rice powder and water. Set aside.
Bring milk to a boil and lower the heat. Stir in the rice paste and keep stirring to avoid clumping.
Cook for 30 minutes or more till the rice is done and you get the consistency of a thick custard.
Pour in the sugar while stirring. The mixture thins as the sugar melts. Keep stirring and bring back to the thick consistency.
Add cardamom powder and cook for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and mix in rose water.
Pour into individual bowls and set in the fridge overnight.
Garnish with almonds & pistachios and serve!

Escape Into The Lush Black Forest (Cake)

Black Forest (5)

Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.” – William Shakespeare

Ahem! That was a little much. In today’s world of futuristic technology, “Farewells & Goodbyes” are never forever. You pick up your snazzy ol’ phone and call your now “Long Distance” friend to update her on the latest gossip and it’s like she never left!!! Yup it’s that easy! So my good friend from college and colleague of almost eight months bid a teary goodbye to the Team to fulfill her career dream elsewhere. Although, I’m sure she’ll add to the awesomeness of the new company she is to join, I wish her all the good luck and success!

Smi, even though most our plans never really worked out due to the busy schedule, I will surely miss the gossiping and us, forever whingeing about the short breaks at work, crazy shopping and trying to keep under budget, the dinner/lunch outings that drained half our monthly pay and not to forget, the very first splurge on getting our hair straightened together. :P

Like they say “Life is not a destination but a journey.” You make many different friends along the way. Some stay, some don’t and some just fade away. I hope you stay, girl! It was fun knowing you as a colleague too! I hope you find success and some real good friends and that everything works out for you at the new place.

Now how about I stop being mushy and share a recipe? ;) Here’s the Black Forest Cake I whipped up for my work-family and also the one I made for my brother’s friend’s Birthday. Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 Cups boiling water
1 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup butter
2 1/4 Cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180. Whisk water and cocoa together until smooth, then refrigerate until room temperature. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs one by one and mix in the vanilla. Add the flour and cocoa mixtures alternately, in fourths. When fully combined, pour the mixture into greased cake pans 3/4 full and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Butter-cream

Ingredients:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream (or Whip-Cream powder mixed with a little milk)

Directions:

Mix sugar and butter on low-speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Assembling the cake

You Need:

1 baked chocolate cake

Vanilla Frosting

Berry crush (as required)

Directions:

Remove the cake from the pan and slice the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife. On the bottom half  spread a generous layer of berry crush. Place the top half of the cake back on. Then spread the frosting on the  top gently. Decorate with chocolate shavings etc.

A New Adventure

Hey there TGSians!!! Hope all of you have been doing well while I was away. I’ve been busy with work, trying to get used to the professional setting, trying to fit in, making new friends and what not. The world out there is pretty scary! But I must say, my family, friends and new friends at work have made it way easy for me. :D God bless them!

And while I was away I’ve been thinking of something new, something that can take the relationship with my blog to the next level :P And a nudge from my bestie and her offer to help me with it made me sure of this idea! :D

Here goes. . . What do you think of “placing orders online for cupcakes” option add-on in the blog? You place an order, and I get some yummy cupcakes ready for you!!! Well. . . would you be interested?

Since it is a new and very different venture for me, there will be few enticing options for you. If all goes well, more choices would definitely be added.
For example, this option would be open only for Bangalore city in India for now.

I am still working on the idea, and it will be set up completely soon! But your feedback and suggestions would give me a much needed push!

Please do let me know what your thoughts are on this!!! :) Meanwhile I’ll get back to working on it!

Buh Bye for now! :D

Choco-Caramel Tart/Life’s Simple Pleasures

Choco-CaramelTart

All our life, we’ve heard things like “Work hard for now. it’s gonna get a whole lot easier after this”, “Just this once… give it your all, you can enjoy later” and so on. Truth is, it never gets easier.

As a matter of fact life gets more demanding every passing day. You need to make choices along the way, which however right they might seem at the moment would make you kick yourself later, Or you would end up happy making them. Either way, Life just keeps you on your toes.

The best answer to life is to do the best you can and hang in there. You rarely get appreciation right away, But it does come to you sooner or later in ways you have never imagined. Just be the best possible version of yourself and take it from there.

I dedicate this post to thank everyone who’s played a part in my life. I wish you all peace and love. :)

This year impress all, at your Christmas table with this divine Chocolate Caramel Tart! Happy Holidays!!! Cheers!!! :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate caramel tart with my own adjustments and convenient substitutes.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Tart Dough:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 small egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/8 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Caramel Filling:

1/4 cup water
1 cups granulated sugar
1/8 cup light corn syrup or pancake syrup
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream or 1/2 sachet whip cream powder
1 tablespoons creme fraiche (2 tablespoons if using whip cream powder)
a pinch of coarse salt

Chocolate Ganache Glaze:

1/4 cup heavy cream
50 gms extra-bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Method:

STEP 1

Make the tart dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Sift in flour and cocoa powder, and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and form it into a disk; wrap well. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

STEP 2

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper, roll the tart dough 3/16 inch thick. Using a floured rolling pin gently roll the dough over a 7 inch tart pan, trimming away any excess dough. Chill the tart shell in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

STEP 3

Line the tart shell with a piece of parchment paper, and fill with raw rice or dried lentils. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and its contents, and bake until the pastry looks dry and set, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. (The tart shells can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)

STEP 4

Make the filling: Place 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan. Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook mixture over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it becomes a dark-amber caramel, about 10 minutes. Carefully whisk in butter, cream/whip cream powder, creme fraiche, and a pinch of salt (the mixture will bubble up), whisking until smooth. (The caramel can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.) Carefully transfer caramel to a glass measuring cup. Pour caramel in the tart shell while still warm (or reheat caramel over low heat until it is pourable), and let stand until the caramel is set, at least 45 minutes.

STEP 5

Make the ganache glaze: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the glaze over the tarts while still warm. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

A Bitter-Sweet End of an Era/Nutella Cloud Frosting.

     1 (19)

    Hey there everyone! Sorry, I’ve been MIA for quite some time now. I was busy dealing with College coming to an end. It’s funny how in such a short period of time you make friends and memories that may stay with you for the rest of your life. You learn so much in these few years; Trying to fit in, in the first few; Trying to keep up with the assignment deadlines in the next. The petty tiffs, the making up.The group studies that has hardly anything to do with studies. ;) Then trying your best to scrape through the tests. :P In short, College life is like a whole life time in itself. And I’m gonna miss it all. I want to share something with you that made a lot of sense to me; When you land up in a job, the salary is not the only thing that will make you happy. Sure, It’s important to pay your bills. But someone who is paid more doesn’t necessarily have more fun or friends. It’s what you do with what you have. It’s all about the journey, how meaningful you make it for yourself and the people around you.

    Ah well, to end on a sweet note, here’s a recipe for a yummy Nutella cloud frosting I came across over the internet on Sweetapolita. I’ve already shared the recipe for Chocolate cupcakes before. To revisit them click here. Enjoy! :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients:

1 cup/227 g unsalted butter, softened but cool
1 1/2 cups (190 g) icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (125 g) premium bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup (100 g) Nutella
1 tbsp milk
pinch of salt

 

Method:

  1. In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
  2. Add vanilla, and beat on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the Nutella, milk and pinch of salt, and beat on med-high speed for another minute. If too thick add small increments of more milk and blend until smooth.

Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes or simply smear it on and decorate with some sprinkles and enjoy :D

Easy Italian Spaghetti & Meatballs

Comfort is to me as meatballs is to spaghetti! People who know me would agree that I’m all about comfort! I love Comfort food! Where you take a morsel, sit back in a nostalgic stupor and then lazily dig in for another. . . Even when it comes to clothes and accessories, comfort is my priority!

Last week or so when I really needed my spirits lifted, I thought I’d make myself  something comforting. . . And what could be more comforting than a huge tub of slurpilicious Spaghetti & Meatballs!!? And what’s more! It’s fit for a gourmet too!  It’s easy! It’s Italian! And it’ll have you smackin’ your lips for sure! Try it! :D

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 egg, beaten

Sauce:

3/4 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 bay leaf
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Method:

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil,  pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. Serve.

Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Sauce

There are days when you just wanna sit in the confines of your room in solitude and sulk… Such days creep up on me when I least expect them to. And my lovely mum knows how to snap me right out of it! By making something sweet for me! :D

Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Sauce

These pictures right here show you just how much my mum knows me! Love you, Mummy!!! <3 :D
These melt-in-the-mouth chocolate brownies can put a smile on any grumpy face! Don’t you agree??? :D
Whip these up for your loved ones and cheer them up today!!! :D

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

180g Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
3/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
3 Eggs
1 cup Sugar (ground)
1 tsp Vanilla essence
A handful of Walnuts dusted in flour

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 deg.
Melt the butter and mix the cocoa powder in it and set aside to cool.
Sieve the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs till fluffy and mix in the ground sugar and vanilla gently.
Mix the butter-cocoa mixture with the eggs gently.
Fold in the flour little by little to get a thick batter. Then fold in the walnuts(Mum didn’t use the walnuts ‘coz I don’t like em).
Grease your baking tin with butter and sprinkle some flour so your brownies dont stick to the tin and are easy to unmould when baked Or just line your tin with parchment paper.
Pour the batter in the tin. Tap the tin to level the batter. Bake for 30 min at 180 deg.
Let cool completely in the tin, Unmould, cut into squares and garnish with Chocolate Fudge Sauce (recipe below).

*Loved these brownies even more when they were a day old. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. :)

Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Water
2 tbsp Sugar
4 tsp Cocoa powder
2 tsp Corn flour
1-2 tbsp Water
1 cup Chocolate chips
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter

Method:

Mix cocoa powder, corn flour and water in a small bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
Bring the water to a gentle simmer in a pan. Pour the corn flour and cocoa mixture into the simmering water while stirring continuously.
Stir till it thickens a little. Take the pan off from the heat and toss in the chocolate chips and mix.
Put the butter in and mix to get silky chocolate fudge sauce!!!

Soya Chunks Stir-Fry

Soya Chunks Stir-Fry

After cramming my brain for the semester exams and my mouth with food (I eat a lot under stress :O) I’m back to my good ol’ blog!!! Gosh I missed being here!!! So much that I day dreamed about it with my software books open in front of me, googled various recipes during my study breaks so I could try them out after the exams, dreamed of cupcakes and Thai food at night. . . Well that’s how much I missed Baking/Cooking or at least writing about it here! And now that I’m back, I thought I’d start by posting something healthy. There’s a very wrong notion that healthy food doesn’t taste good and to be honest I’ve been there too. . . I ran for the hills whenever someone suggested salad for lunch and crinkled my nose in distaste whenever I read about substituting food with something else altogether! :/

And one fine day in the college cafeteria when me and the girls were having lunch and chatting, I absent-mindedly took a bite out of my friend’s lunch box when she offered. And my eyes flew open in surprise! It was delicious! And I was even more surprised when she told me that it was made out of soy chunks*! It was a life-altering experience!!! Well not so much, but yeah I can say that my aversion to (healthy) substitutes is now cured! :) Here’s the recipe!

 
*{Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is often used as a meat analogue or meat extender. It is quick to cook, with a protein content equal to that of meat.
TVP be made from soy flour or concentrate, containing 50% and 70% soy protein, respectively; they have a mild beany flavor. Both require rehydration before use, sometimes with flavoring added in the same step. TVP is extruded, causing a change in the structure of the soy protein which results in a fibrous, spongy matrix, similar in texture to meat. In its dehydrated form, TVP has a shelf life of longer than a year, but will spoil within several days after being hydrated. In its flaked form, it can be used similarly to ground meat. } -Wikipedia

Ingredients: (Adjust the ingredients according to your taste)

2 cups Soya Chunks
Oil
2 small Onions (chopped)
1 Tomato (chopped)
2-3 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp Red chilli powder
2 1/2 tsp Garam masala
salt to taste
Coriander leaves (chopped) to garnish

Method:

Wash soya chunks thrice in hot water, drain and squeeze the water out.
Toss the chunks into boiling water and cook for 5 mins, drain and gently squeeze almost all the water out again.
Chop the chunks into bite size pieces (I used small chunks so I didn’t).
In a large colander heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the onions till translucent.
Add tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Stir.
Toss the chunks in and stir. Add a little water if needed and mix till it all comes together.
Garnish with chopped coriander. Enjoy! :)

Sorry! Will be back soon!

Howdy folks! I’m so sorry for disappearing for so long. I’m swamped with work from college. Was taking care of that all these days. And this might go on till the end of December ;( So, I may have to disappear for days together. But I will try to check in and answer your queries and requests everyday if possible :) Please bear with me :) Will be back soon with more yummy recipes. . . Until then, keep your aprons on and get ‘em dirty!!! :D I wanna hear all about your projects in the kitchen when I get back :) Ciao!

Peanut Butter Cups / Peppermint Patties

No, I haven’t gotten enough of chocolate; if that’s what you’re thinking! Like most of us girls , I daydream of it all day long! When I think of dessert, all I can think of is chocolate! That glistening chocolate fondant flowing down a scoop of chocolate ice-cream! That perfect bite of moist chocolate cake that makes your eyes roll in the back of your head! Those little chocolatey surprises you get with each bite from a perfect little chocolate chip cookie! *sigh* Anyways! Snap out of it! :P So, here’s another recipe for chocolate-freaks like me.

You’d like to think that there can never be anythin’ as good as chocolate! But there is! And that glorious food is peanut butter! Am I right or am i right??? :D And what’s better than the both of them??? Chocolate and peanut butter together!!! As soon as the idea hit my head, I thought of peanut-butter cups. and I had little blue silicon cups, I had bought spontaneously one day ‘coz they looked so cute and I just couldn’t abandon them in the lonely corner of the shelf at the store. At least that’s what I told my mum when she asked me why I bought them! Now all I had to do was to search for the perfect recipe. I started my search from this wonderful vegan blog I follow “BitterSweet” By Hannah Kaminsky, a fellow food-blogger. And I had to look no further ‘coz there they were!!! Peanut butter cups!!! I had to stop and drool over the pictures for a minute or two before I could start reading the recipe. :P Tried them out and needless to say they were perfect!!! You could even try the chocolate cups with peppermint filling (recipe by Hannah Kaminsky). Click here to go to the original recipe :)

I dedicate this recipe to my school friend “Shari” who shares my love for PB. NO, I’m wrong here. She doesn’t love PB, She is crazy for it!!! And that is the understatement of the year!  ;)
Try the recipe out and celebrate our obsession for chocolate and peanut-butter! ;) Cheerio!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chocolate Candy Cups

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter filling:
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
Splash Vanilla Extract

Peppermint filling:
1/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
2/3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 – 3/4 Tsp Peppermint Extract (depending on desired intensity)
Splash Vanilla Extract

Method:

For both treats, begin by melting your chocolate in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds at a time, and stir thoroughly until completely smooth(I melted my chocolate on a double boiler). Use a spoon, thin spatula, or paint brush to brush the melted chocolate over the insides of paper mini muffin cups, making sure to leave no holes and spread it as evenly as possible. No need to go crazy though, because even if the walls are too thin and break when removed from the wrapper, I doubt anyone will mind after they take a bite! You will only use about 1/2 – 3/4 of the chocolate, so set the rest aside for later. Place the chocolate-covered papers into mini muffin tins so that they retain their shape, and let them cool and set completely. You can speed up this process by placing the tins in your refrigerator.

To make the peanut butter filling, just stir together the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until completely homogeneous and toss the mixture into the microwave for 30 – 45, just to warm it through and liquefy slightly. Give it another good stir to combine everything again, and drop dollops of the filling into your prepared chocolate cups. Be careful not to rub the sides too much so as not to melt the chocolate, and fill each up to about 2 – 3 mm from the top. Let the filling cool completely.

To make the peppermint filling, place the shortening into a bowl and microwave it briefly until just melted. Add in the sugar and both extracts and stir everything together until smooth. Drop the mixture into the cups as described above for the peanut butter cups, and let cool.

Finally, take out the remaining chocolate and melt it back down into a liquid state. Spoon the chocolate onto each of the filled cups and spread it out to the edges to fill in any gaps. Let it cool once again until set, and enjoy!

Previous Older Entries

cookingwithsapana

A collection of Indian cuisines

Just a Smidgen

..a lifestyle blog filled with recipes, photography, poems, and DIY

nitu didi

cooking is like making love......

Style Inked

India Fashion Blog, DIY Blog, Street Style Blog

Dannivee

{we all deserve a little wanderlust}

Emily Cooks Vegan

Student cooking for vegetarians & vegans

The 'Khoji' Cook

My attempt to collect 'East African-Indian-Khoja' recipes

You Monsters Are People.

A million screams. A billion dreams.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers

%d bloggers like this: