Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bakery Story - Retro theme birthday cake

We don't have a Birthday party in our house for kids... we have Birthday PARTIES... Depending on my energy level, my kids can get anywhere from 1-3 intimate birthday parties... one with just family, one with their friends and one with our friends families.... and there are lot of cakes made, like this one.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's cooking Wednesday - Maple walnut biscotti


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
1.5 tablespoon maple extract
(This recipe yields 3-4 dozen biscottis)

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2.In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and maple flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, add walnuts and stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.

3. Divide dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.

4.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack.

5. When The cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet.

6. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Slices should be lightly toasted.

7. Unless you plan to eat it all right away, store it in a good air tight container. I only choose Lock & Lock for this.

Until next time,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our home grown Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas everyone!

This year, instead of buying a full size Christmas tree and throwing it out later and add to the trash, I decided to be creative and minimize the carbon footprint of Christmas in our house. And while I was at it, I also decided the kids can learn a thing or two about what "naughty" and "nice" means... And voila, the Mission Christmas tree was created...

Right after Thanksgiving, I took a green poster board and cut out a Christmas tree structure. I made the trunk from brown construction paper. This "Base" tree was then attached to the side of the fridge! I also made an ornament from cardboard as a starting decoration and did some basic decoration on the tree.

I marked one side as Reya's side and the other as Rithik's side. Then I told the kids that they had a whole month to decorate the tree, BY BEING NICE!... Basically if they are nice, they will earn stickers, ornaments and stamps that they could use to decorate their side of the tree. The kids also out up their wish lists and letters to Santa there and they started working to earn "nice" decorations.

By the Christmas eve, the tree was fully decorated and I had 2 NICE and happy elves who were proud of their accomplishments...

Operation Christmas Tree was definitely a success and the kids and I are looking forward to another mission like this soon... Mission Valentines may be!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday deals!

Hi all,

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving and Black friday. We had family over for Thanksgiving dinner and we played Taboo which was so much fun.

For the Black Friday, I got tons of stuff from Macys, Old Navy, LocknLock.com, Joann and JCPenney This was by far the most relaxing Black Friday I have ever had because I did most of my shopping online (Old Navy and LocknLock.com). I only visited Macy's store and spent 2 hours... and then I was back home... all done! JCPenney and Joann was for Saturday.

I think another reason was that since the stores have had good sales throughout the year, I have already been getting things I need throughout the year.

Here are some of the things that I got...
* Programmable slow cookers
* Belgian Waffle Iron
* Panini press
* Tons of clothes for the family
* Lock n Lock Borosilicate glass bowls
* Lock n Lock Cookplus cookware
* Lunch boxes
* Soft fuzzy popcorn socks

Well, we also wanted to buy a TV from Costco, but when my husband reached there, it was sold out.... so we will try again in a few weeks...

Anyhow, Black Friday is my favorite shopping day of the year... and the next favorite is Cyber Monday that has just started in East Coast... and for this special day, I want to share some deals with you...

Just for today, you can buy a $100 gift card from LocknLock.com for just $40.... I couldn't believe the deal when I saw the email a few minutes ago.... seriously, this is a good deal and their products are great...

And 30% off at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta for the next 24 hours... so what are you waiting for... Happy Shopping!

Until next time!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Whats cooking? Kadai chicken

I have decided to be a vegetarian for the 6 months...

I do this from time to time, but before I started the 6 months, I decided to eat my favorite Kadai chicken one last time... This is my no frills quick (very quick thanks to my cookplus ceramic pan) recipe to make Kadai Chicken using leftover Rotisserie chicken.

 1. Start by putting some oil in a pan and heat in on medium flame. Add shredded ginger and thinly sliced onions and let me fry just a bit. You don't want onions to go all soft.

 2. Then add carrots. since carrots are the toughest vegetable used in this recipe, you want to cut it thin. Strips work best. Add it and cook it on high heat for a bit. Keep stirring as this pan gets quite hot.

 3. Add bell peppers. Do not cook them for long as they get mushy very easily.
4. Add turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper and a tiny bit of garam masala. Stir.

 5. Add a little bit of tomato puree. you can also deseed a tomato and dice it to use in place of puree. But I find puree has a consistent taste and you don't have to taste and adjust as much with it.

6. Add pieces of cooked chicken. I use grilled chicken strips or leftover Rotisserie chicken from Costco. If you do not have cooked chicken, pan fry the chicken pieces in a tiny bit oil, salt and a pinch of garam masala before adding it here. For a vegetarian recipe, use Paneer in place of chicken.

7. Cook for a few minutes. Add cashews and raisins (soaked in water) if you like.

There you have it.... Enjoy!

Until next time,
Shilpa at The Crafts Corner

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Deal, no steal alert!!!

Hey all,

If you have been reading my blogs, you already know that I love LocknLock products and actively promote them. If you do like them too then you are in for a good deal. I happened to be surfing the LocknLock website today and I saw that several of my very favorite zen ceramic containers were on clearance.
I have these containers in both sofi and esly patterns and today I bought the Summer Breeze pattern too. They are beautiful and functional and I genuinely feel happy when I use them. I know it sounds weird, but they make me happy.

I remember one of my friend telling me last month that she loved the containers but they were a bit pricey at $18 a pop. So right now, for less than $4 a piece, these are a real steal.... do check them out.... and if you cannot think of any use for them, feel free to buy them as a gift for me... I wouldn't mind filling my fridge and closet with these... just be sure to fill them with some delicacy before you give them to me... LOL

Until next time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Little Hands Art #7 - Bouquet of flowers greeting card

I really like the cut and glue projects for little kids... And when you have a 2 kids, one older than the other, they make for perfect teamwork projects....

Here is one such "teamwork" project.... A "Bouquet of flowers" greeting card that the kids made by helping each other...

Reya drew and cut the yellow flowers and Rithik glued them on to the construction paper that was folded to make the greeting card.

Rithik drew the green stems that were then re-enforced (corrected) by Reya. I made the bow which Reya colored.

 A little more decoration on the edges and voila.... it's ready....

Greeting cards were quite popular when I was growing up back in India... anything you wanted to say.... there was a card for that... and I loved making them... I don't make cards any more... but I still remember how great it felt to get a hand-made one... hopefully the person who got this card felt the same way...

Until next time
Shilpa @The Crafts Corner