Monday, March 31, 2014

Tusal and more

Firstly, thank you dear friends for all your encouraging words. Each time I slow down, all I have to do is login to our blog world and take a look everybody's progress. Lo and behold.. I am all charged up to continue and not to give up

Ok now for my Tusal of the month

All ORTs are from seashells

Over the weekend I tried 2 new recipes. The first one is a dessert - a faux cheese cake.
V wanted something for dessert. I had craving for cheesecake, but no patience to whip up a proper cheesecake. So, I combined whipped cream with cream cheese, used ginger cookies as the base and strawberry oreo for topping

The second is choco-peppermint cookies
I replaced the egg with flaxseed powder. Also, I varied the baking time for each lot - baked one slightly longer for crispy cookies, one lot shorter for chewy center and in the last lot added some caramel in the center.

I don't have any picture to show you on seashells this time. So, that's all from me today dear friends.

Till my next update.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Monday, March 10, 2014

TUSAL and progress

Oh what hectic days these are!! With more stress I should say that I have been on a crafting detox. But I have diligently tried to contribute atleast one ORT to my TUSAL jar the last month. So, here it is

And here's the progress on Seashells

I am now trying to finish atleast a row in a day. Hope I keep up the pace and make considerable progress

On the baking front, I tried a new recipe - Lemon clove loaf with lemon drizzle
This time I let go of all my inhibitions and decided to experiment. The original recipe called for 3 eggs. As a first attempt, I used 3 tbsp of flax seed powder to replace the eggs. As there was no other leavening in the recipe, I added some baking powder. Later I found the batter was not of the right consistency, so added milk till I felt it looked right. Just out of some "inner voice" added a tsp of vinegar. The result was an amazingly soft and moist loaf. I was really pleased with the outcome.
I plan to try this recipe with a few other egg replacers and find the best.

That's the updates from me now friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Oops..

..I missed the first TUSAL of the year!! As it is almost time for the next TUSAL to be posted, I am making up with a TUSAL compare
I had saved up all my orts from 2012, just so at the end of year 2013 I could do a self evaluation and see which year I stitched the most



I think they are more or less the same, maybe 2013 was marginally better what with the finish of all the cottages!!!

And from Sep 2013 my stitching graph went on an all-time low almost hitting 0 sometimes.

I have been busy baking though
One of them is an orange, dry fruit cup cake.
Got the recipe from one of Nita Mehta's books that I borrowed from my library

Tried my hand at a baked cheese cake

Again, the recipe is from the same book. Used cream cheese and orange marmalade as topping

Well, that's about it from me today dear friends. Till my next post.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - In Retrospect

Dear friends, it's now time to bid farewell to yet another year. This year has been a very eventful one for us in many ways.

On the family front, there were quite a few anxieties causing stress in more than one way.
 

Well, what's life without all of this right. As we face each challenge we learn something new, which in turn makes us much stronger and a much better person. While we are right in the middle of a situation we might think "why me". But if we try to take a step back and look at the situation, we can see that God has His own ways and everything happens for a reason. It's just that when we are right in the middle we do not know why all this is happening. Once this phase passes and maybe a year or 2 later when we look back we would think "wow, now I know why that happened. What would have happened had that situation not occurred".

As a result, I finally took a step towards a healthier me and have started yoga classes. So, end of the day (err year) all's well and this too shall pass

The year saw me take a step forward towards becoming a small time entrepreneur. After a lot of cajoling from friends and family, I gathered courage to post some of my jewellery in a group called "Chennai Shopping" on FaceBook. And the response was not at all disappointing. This has motivated me now to start my own page to display my jewellery.

Thanks to the lovely Homebaker's Guild, the year saw me explore new recipes and move out of my comfort zone. Baking anything with yeast was once very intimidating. I got over that fear. I also moved out of baking only sweet cakes/muffins and tried a whole lot of savoury recipes.
That's a collage of all the new recipes I tried this year

On the stitchy front, the year saw me finish the Cottage series from CCN. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the whole project

Now, that's alllll about the year that was. Going forward, I hope/plan to finish seashells this year.

That's where I am with seashells right now. I have not been stitching much the last 2-3 months. But I think I have got back the mojo and have been stitching daily the last few days.

What are my resolutions for the coming year you ask? Well, I think I'm going to keep that for my next post.

With that my dear friends, let's bid farewell to the year 2013 (it's just past midnight 31st Dec) and welcome a whole New Year with an all New perspective. Wishing you all a brilliant, very happy, very prosperous Year in 2014. Hope this year brings everyone all that you wish for

Till my next post.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my dear friends here a very Merry Christmas

I am part of this group on FB called the Home Baker's Guild (HBG in short). The group has a whole lot of lovely people baking from home and willing to share their experiences and guide novices like me as we travel the baking journey. All my recent baking has been majorly inspired by the lovely people here.

And here's some more baking that I tried inspired by the beautiful Christmas baking. First off is the snow ball cookies aka melting moments
This was so super easy to make and the result is just absolutely awesome. I am definitely going to bake more of these. The recipe source is here

I also made a maiden attempt at a Christmas fruit cake.

I brought some of this to work and the pieces just vanished within minutes. I cut down the sugar by half a cup and I thought it was good. The link to the recipe is here. Both the recipes are eggless and very easy.

It's a great pleasure sharing our joy with everybody and looking at other's faces isn't it? Baking and crafting just makes us so much more generous. I have absolutely started enjoying baking and beading for friends and family. Gives us a feeling of total satisfaction.

Though I do not have a stitchy progress picture to share with you all yet, I have definitely started working in seashells again. And I promise to show a picture of my progress in my last post for the year

Oops, I missed my bloggoversary again!! Dec is my bloggoversary month and thanks to all my lovely friends here I have completed 5 whole years of blogging!!! I cannot believe it myself that it's been 5 years now since I started the blog and along the way I've made so many new friends, learnt so many new ways and the blog world has made me a much more confident crafter. Thank you all again my dear friends for guiding me and keeping me motivated. Hope to know more and more people and learn much more.

With that note of thanks I sign off today. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So much baking.. still no stitching!!

Dear friends, I have been very quiet again this last month. Neither have I posted nor kept myself update with the happenings around here. I have been missing you all terribly, and promise to catch up soon. 

So, here I start with all my baking expeditions. 

I have been wanting to try my hand again at trying to bake a bread loaf with yeast. Ever since I had a not-so-successful attempt at making cinnamon rolls with yeast, it has been intimidating me. Finally, I got over that and decided to move out of my comfort zone. Here's the herded bread I baked a few weeks back for breakfast




The house smelled heavenly for a very long time. 

The norm in the home front these days is to have a new dessert every weekend, and mostly Fridays to kick off the weekend with a bang. Last weekend it was Cherry-Lemon "cheese" cake. Only I did not use cream cheese, but whipped cream.

Got the recipe from a Jamie-Oliver show. I had bought a bottle of lime curd a while back and wanted to use that up before it expired. The base was ginger-nut biscuits and pounded hazelnuts. The combination of flavors was absolutely wonderful and a must-try

Last but not the least, the cottages are all done up!!!

I have no idea why this picture is turned, the original is not. I am not able to rotate it :( But anyway, aren't they all beautiful. This has been a wonderful project to work on. I have started working on seashells again the last 2 days. Hope to share some pictures of progress next time

Well, that's it today from me friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tusal

Dear Friends, let me first apologize for being away for so long. The last few months have been totally crazy. So many changes happening at home, first with DH's travel to Germany, then his falling sick. Lot of anxiety, stress and work not being any easier either. Now that DH is back and is getting back his health, hope my old routine would set in soon

My stitching has been zilch the last 2 months, thanks to so much going on. Add in the most important festivals of Navrathri and Diwali happening during this period too. I am yearning for some calm and some me time

Here's the Tusal - nothing new there, just a few orts from seashells

Oops, wonder why it's rotated :(

Through all this, baking is what has been keeping me sane.

I have been wanting to bake red velvet cupcakes for a very long time and I finally got down to it
Got the recipe from Goodhousekeeping magazine. I replaced the eggs with flax seed powder. It turned out so soft and moist. Topped with cream cheese frosting, perfect combination indeed

Tried another recipe from my new Baking book - currant muffins
Again replaced egg with flax seed powder

I managed to put together November cottage and up for display

Well friends, that's all from me today. Hope to share lot more interesting updates next time. Till then.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir