Merry Christmas - Red Velvet Cake

For past couple of days I had been running like a headless chicken... I hear "yeah me too" from you all....Well reason was mum arrived on Sunday and she is going to staying with me for three months "Happy Dance". I was in rush to clear the chaos, attending Christmas parties, organising my unorganised schedule and climate being super cold here, I had to take some extra efforts for mum's warm cloths (it's going to reach -30 this weekend). Thought I packed mum with warmers, snow storm horrified her! She ended up saying when will I go back to India? on the day she arrived :O. And since I didn't want her to rush back immediately to India, took a day off saying working from home, to give her some company and make her feel better but ended up making red velvet cake ...mum cleared up the whole kitchen mess! Lucky me isn't it? :)) You see I was actually working! (My boss doesn't know I have a food blog )...ha ha

Anyways, Red velvet cake was in my do list for many months, finally it got chance for this Christmas. Being honest it wasn't red but brick red velvet cake, but the texture, flavor was awesome. Mum loved it, I know mum's are biased to daughters......I handed half cake to my Finnish God Mother and she asked for the recipe ..big yay! so I'm basically not bothered about the color failure...

Here is my Santa Clause with some gift and a piece of brick red velvet cake wishing you Merry Christmas. Have a peaceful and fun Christmas with your Family and friends..Greeting from Finland :)

PS: I did fondant flowers by myself, learned from this video. Made white flowers and painted with red food color!


Santa is on his way - Rum fruit cake

All set and ready? enjoying the bling bling and the redness?. Oh I'm loving it. City has completely turned white and with minimum day light (no complaints) it is glowing with numerous lights and huge decorated Christmas trees. It's fantastic to see many merry people around, shopping, exchanging gifts, excited about their vacation, pretty much the list goes endless. Am sure it's the same with you guys too! I already received three Christmas gifts :)), so during the weekend was wrapping mine, all to be give this week, excited! I love exchanging gifts and may be I sound like school kid, but I'm very impatient until the gift boxes are opened ;p

What have you all been baking as Christmas home made gifts?...I made rum  fruit cake, one of my fav cakes, have made it already 6 times still feels fresh whenever I bake them. Have made them as individual muffins, easy and fancy to pack as gifts....This cake has longer life time (well packed and stored-one month). The taste and flavor enhances as it ages, personally I prefer to have them after couple of days. As always I can't resist warm cakes out of the oven but have noticed the difference as the days goes by.

Ah is anyone missing in the pictures below? Yes Santa!...He is all set and ready, reindeer is waiting for him... very soon he will visit ur house with loads of gifts and happiness. Stay tuned :) 


Missing Colors? Pumpkin Scones

Warning :) Post is heavily loaded with pictures
How are you guys managing with cold and darkness? Are you missing colours? Very strangely this year's darkness is having a huge impact on me. People living on bright side of the world, I'm plain jealous. After one of the most freakish week, I was completely torn off, wanted to be in two place with contradictory situation...this made me go all heebie-jeebies. Basically was giving myself a hard time. Now I have weighted my new priorities, understood the existence of tricky question, tried not to pervert and in a way balancing my inner book! Exuded some repulsive force to be less bothersome and slowly generating few small packets of positive ripples on the surface which is taking me to otherwise happy pond. During all this process, though I have quieten for a while, Autumn colours was helping me out (was editing and clearing my hard drive which has been piling up from 2005 :O) since I was missing the colours. Here it is some fall pictures with pumpkin scone.

I made two version one was tradition sweet scone and another one I jazzed it up few dry chilly flakes and corriander and of course replaced sugar with salt :). Will start right away to catch up with all your post I missed! These Autumn pics are from my 2009 collection my 2010 autumn is here.


A Mini Flashback - Garlic Masoor dhal and Okra fry

It's -17 C today and it's going reach -23 C tonight. I have no issues with coldness. More or less used to it but one problem is coldness makes me lame and useless in the evenings and during weekends. I simply eat and crawl under my duvet. Sigh! It's been three weeks already I haven't made any recipe and did a photoshoot, yes you guessed it right I'm digging my recipe bank! Since I haven't been doing any justice to my blog thought its Mondays let me be productive! So here is it. I have beautiful memory attached to this recipe.

My mum worked as principal (currently retired) for a private school in my home town (Coimbatore) for 29 yrs. The school was managed by three trustees. One of them was very close to our family, they were old couple from Punjab who were like our God parents. Uncle was a great artist, master in abstract oil paintings and aunty was dutiful house wife and very stylish lady. You know olden days people follow strict rules and they have wonderful principles. He was very health conscious man, who used to go for walking every morning at 6:30 AM for one hour and on his way back he used to stop by our house every day except Sundays to enjoy my mum's tea (used to be his fav) and discuss politics with dad. As kids we used to dislike uncle coming to house just for one reason, coz our mum used to wake us up early and we have be ready to wish Good morning to uncle. But what we used to enjoy is to have lunch at their house. Mostly it will be potluck, mum cooked for them and aunty cooked for us. She was great cook, this used to be one of our fav food, roti, dhal, onkra sabzi, brinjal sabzi, simple salad and masala dahi. Since aunty and uncle didn't have their own kids, they treated my parents as theirs, me and my sis were pampered!

During my childhood days, I was interested in wall paintings, still I'm. My parents were generous enough to let me draw on the walls. My dad, smart enough, he painted all the walls in the house with oil paints, so I had many chance to reuse. Main reason was they let me grow with my creativity. Every weekend I used to go to uncle house to get trained with strokes and play with colors, he took me to many painting classes, I did improve after that. These days I paint when I'm extremely stressed out on charts and I concentrate mostly on abstract since they don't need extreme perfection. I simply love to paint on walls becoz they are like big paper to fill in my thoughts and colors. When my sis was expecting her first baby I decorated room with lots of glass painted (where u paint on the glass, later peal and stick it on the walls) toads, stars, doggies, butterflies and dolls just for my niece to enjoy. As days went by, unfortunately uncle became a victim to intestine cancer and we lost him forever, but the knowledge of art he imbibed in me is something I cherish. Slowly we lost aunty due to age factor...but we are still filled with their fond memories. This is the recipe I dedicate to them with lots of love and just to say we miss you! My mum inherited this recipe from aunty and I inherited from mum.


On A Date With Pear - Parmesan With Pear and Wine

Whenever the feel of my PhD going stray starts to creep within me, instantaneous revitalizing element is to treat myself extravagant or do completely out of my thinking. That's when during working hours shamelessly I end up searching recipes. My desktop either show pale boring LaTex screen with my head tug into it or food picture with palm on my face! The moment any good link is found will quickly pass it over Vinoo thro' skype she does the same. One day we were going thro' our chat history to play word mingle, we could hardly find any written messages there, it was basically all food link. Likewise she sent me this link from academiabarilla, when I was in search of pear recipes. We decided to try it out on the following weekend.

Went in search of wine pink incarnation, wanted to bring in a special effect for the evening. Wala, found it but it was half dead. Switched to giga red rose, romantic enough with few twinkling candles! Next day I made the mousse, Vinoo made spinach ricotta tortellini for dinner. It was perfect evening with wine, creamy tortellini and wine cooked pear. It was fun to cook fruit, wine gave fantastic color and honey induced great flavour. We both were in love the way it looked, texture and fragrance. But mousse had a very delicate taste, as you know Parmesan is salty cheese. The gelatin amount they gave was way too much. That spoiled the whole texture. Overall was an interesting try. I would give thumbs up for cooked pear and average for mousse. For those who would love to try we came up with better solution for mousse, vanilla ricotta mousse or just plain vanilla ice cream would be heaven with warm cooked pear. That was my date with pear, try urs but skip the mousse ha ha :) Note, chef who is teaching the recipe is cute :p

Submitting this for Monthly Mingle happening on Deeba's passionate about baking and Meeta of what's lunch honey? 

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