Vegetarian Concoctions

May 15, 2007

Fondant cakes

Filed under: Cakes — Hema @ 10:45 am

These are the two cakes I baked recently. The first one for my daughter’s birthday and second one for her party the following weekend. This was my first experience with fondant icing…actually any kind of icing. I have hopelessly tried royal and buttercream icing with tips and have decided that it is not my piece of cake:) Fondant seemed so much more forgiving and easier to work with. I made the marshmellow fondant from here and baked up this cake on my daughter’s birthday.

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I messed up the writing and did not like the orange color for the fonts after it was all done. My reference cakes
– for the daisies was this (scroll right down).
– and the border was this.

I got a little more courageous with my second venture and took the idea from here.

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Frankly, I did surprise myself with the way the animals turned out. The trees gave me a hard time, so I turned them into bushes:) No points for guessing why they are behind the animals and why the candle is on top of the bushes:)))

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If you are wondering what the sticks are, they were supposed to be the trunks for the trees, but ended up in the trash can prematurely.

On the whole I did enjoy making the animals and Ananya loved the fact that I actually gave her the eeefant, jeeba, beea and yanon (elephant, zebra, bear and lion) to play with after the party was done.

As Asha suggested, I am sending my first cake to Coffee’s MBP, Something Sweet

May 10, 2007

My Little one turned 2!!!

Filed under: Birthday, General — Hema @ 11:23 am

It is hard to believe the fragile little life that needed support to hold up its head two years back has actual conversations with me now with her head held high. Before I know it she will be ready to take on the world.

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….impatience?

May 1, 2007

Celery thokku

Filed under: Celery, Chutneys and Thughayals, JFI, Tamilnadu — Hema @ 9:43 am

My Mother-in-law is one of the most enthusiastic cooks I have seen…not to mention one of the best! She manages to cook up a ‘Kalyana virundu’ (Marriage feast) everyday. The minimum she prepares is a sambhar, a rasam, a kootu, two curries, a pachaddi (raita), a salad and a pickle…all within a matter of two hours. The list would have featured a sweet as well if not for the diabetes that runs in my husband’s family. Sweet preparations are limited to special days now. Not only is the food prepared, the kitchen is left spic and span within that time-frame. Her policy is to wash every dish as soon as it finds its way into the sink. ‘This way you will not feel the extra work of cleaning the dishes at the end’, she says. She was never inclined to use the dishwasher during her stay with us. She very rightly never trusted it to work as well as the hands.

She used to eagerly wait for our flea market trips during the weekend. That was her ultimate idea of entertainment…..picking up vegetables for the week. The India-like climatic conditions in Florida yields all the vegetables that we find back in India. MIL was surprised to find veggies that were not available even in Delhi where they live. Not only was I introduced to her old-time traditional favourite recipes, but was also taught new ways of making everyday veggies. Celery thokku is one of her innovations too. She first made them with some left-over celery I had used for making my usual soup. Now-a-days, I make soup from the left-over celery that I buy for making thokku. This tastes so good mixed with rice and a dash of til oil or just with curd rice too. Here’s my contribution to JFI-Greens at Indira’s.

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What you need:

Celery – about 5 stalks

Green chillies – 4-5 nos

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Methi – 1 tsp

Cilantro – 1/2 cup chopped

Ginger – 1/2 inch cube

Mustard: 1 tsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Gingerly oil (til oil) – 1/4 cup

Chop up the celery and saute it with cilantro in about 1-2 tbsp of til oil for 4-5 minutes. Set aside. Next heat up another tbsp of oil and add methi, chopped chillies, hing and ginger. Let this cook for 5 minutes. Put this and the celery in the blender and grind to a fine paste. Heat up about 6-7 tbsp of the oil. Add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the paste. Add salt and turmeric and keep cooking till the oil leaves the sides of the pan. This step takes a while. The thokku should have a thick paste like consistancy. Add more oil if required. Serve with hot rice and appalam or vadam.

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