Monday, March 30, 2015

Start of summer vacations - 2015

Oh my god, end of another academic year!! I know, each year it's the same reaction, very cliche.. but it really feels like I just got the new books and uniforms for last year

I always feel as excited as V does when it's vacation time for many reasons:

1. I get to re-live my own vacation through hers
2. I get to sleep for a little longer in the morning (if only for an hour more)
3. The air is generally very relaxed during vacations - no early morning rush

CBSE board have been following this crazy system the past 2 years - close school for 10 days after the final examination, then re-open school to kick start the next academic year and close again for the whole of May, which is the actual vacation. School then re-opens in the 1st week of June. I have been trying to understand the logic behind this crazy system ever since, but have not been able to understand. Anyway, V is done with class 5 and is on vacation for 2 weeks. Then there's school again all of April!! We are enjoying the brief 2-week vacation now before she starts off her next academic year

Summer is synonymous with beaches and cold desserts and all things fun. That's precisely what we have been doing the past week. We kick-started the vacation with a visit to the beach with cousins


V bought a new bi-cycle for herself. Yes, for herself, because she bought this with her own pocket money that she's been saving up for over a year.

I took a ride on it.. rode a bi-cycle after years.
What a wonderful feeling.. one of freedom and liberation.. I have always loved to ride a bi-cycle.

We kick started the vacation with this cheese cake

It's a dulche-de-leche cheese cake topped with carrot halwa, home-made caramel sauce and butterscotch.

I do not have a stitchy picture today to share. Will share my progress next week

Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Feb Tusal

Yeah yeah I know it's March and the subject says Feb.. but in my defense, new moon was in Feb ;)

So here goes the TUSAL

 For those who are wondering what a TUSAL is, you can find the details here

And here's my progress on seashells

Doesn't she look pretty.. Love the chubby little arms

I have been trying to bake healthy. So, using jaggery instead of sugar in most of my bakes. Here's a Feta cheese and apple muffin I baked

This is a little low on sweet, so tastes absolutely yum with a li'l bit of cheese spread. The mildness of the muffins and the slightly salty cheese spread compliment each other beautifully.
Here's the recipe:
1.5cup flour - I used 50-50 whole wheat and plain flour, 1/4cup oats, 2tbsp sugar - I used jaggery instead, 1 large Apple, 2tsp bkng pwdr, 1/2tsp bkng soda, 1/2tsp salt, 3/4cup milk, 2 eggs - used flaxseed substitute, 1/4cup butter- used oil here, 3/4 cup cheese. 
Method is the same as for any cake

V has been quilling away. She made a pair of jhumkas, which I simply love

Love the colors she has used

That's all from me today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Craft away to glory.. Au Revoir

Friday, February 13, 2015

Belated TUSAL post

Wow, we are already a month and a half into the 'NEW' year!!! I know this sounds soooo cliche, but time flieeessss


I took this picture of my ORTS way back (in time for the new moon post), but never got to make that post. Better late than never, so here goes

For those who are wondering about what the TUSAL post is all about, you can get the details here 

I have been working diligently on seashells daily after work and made good progress

Stitching is such a great way to unwind after a hard day working (at home and at work). I can't wait to finish seashells and start off on a new project

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Bye 2014.. Welcome 2015

What, the year is over already?!! It's like we just wished each other a happy new year 2014 and it's already over.

Going back to see the year that was - it has been a year of changes for me. Changes within and without, changes personally and professionally, changes in my outlook and  how I see things, changes in how I handle things.. the list is endless. Though it was not a very easy year, I have enjoyed each and every moment of it - the challenges that were thrown my way and how we emerged out of it, only stronger. It has been a year of loving and understanding the people around me.

On the crafting front - I learnt quite a few recipes, some of them keepers. Zilch on the beading front, hoping to catch up with that too this year. Though I was not able to stitch much in the first half of the year, I caught up from August and the progress has been good ever since.

I baked a Christmas fruit cake this year - my first attempt. My cousin and her children visited us last weekend. I baked 2 mini loaves to give them as return gifts, and a bigger one for us. 
The pan I used was not of the right size, so it looks kind of flat. 
Here's a link to the recipe I used. Mine is an alcohol free, eggless version. I am definitely going to be baking this one again, it's a keeper

V learnt a new craft this year - quilling. Guess what, she now has her own craft box. Bad part is, some of the things from my craft kid suddenly just 'disappear'!! 
V made a few cards, here are 2 of the best 

And as we walk into 2015, here's where seashells stands

Dear friends, looking forward to more and more interactions this year with you all. I am hoping to learn atleast the basics of sewing this year, focus on the family's health and bring more discipline into our daily routine. Don't they sound simple, hope these are as simple to keep up.

Wishing one and all a very happy, healthy, prosperous 2015
See you in the New year. Till then.. take care.. be happy.. keep stitching.. Au Revoir!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Recipes and progress...

I have been quite irregular in the blogger world this year - updates wise and also on catching up on other blogs. I definitely intend to mend that and be more regular from now

There are a few new recipes I tried during the last few weeks, out of which 2 stand out.

A whole wheat pizza made from scratch. The base is so simple and does not require yeast.

I used 2 kinds of toppings - the classic tomato and minty toppings. I found the recipe in Nita Mehta's book - Italian cooking for Indian kitchen.

I have been wanting to bake something using pumpkin for a long time and here's what I made

It's an eggless pumpkin streusel bread. The basic recipe can be found here. I skipped the chocolate chip and used a streusel topping instead

The husband passed a comment - "Every Sunday if I open the oven there's something smelling great and looking yummy"!!! Yyaaayyy, now need I anything more motivating to keep baking

Now, best for the last - my progress on the seashells

I am really happy with the way things are shaping up here. The last few months I have been stitching every night and the results are obvious. I definitely intend to keep this up

Well, that's from me today folks. Till next time.. Take care.. be happy.. keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Monday, November 10, 2014

Anniversary..

Today is the day when they held hands and started their journey of life together as a couple - 40 years back. That's right, it's my parents' 40th wedding anniversary today

We had a small celebration at home to mark the occasion yesterday and I baked an eggless red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting topped with chocolate shavings.


I got the recipe from the HBG group on facebook. This time I took some time to try and get the frosting as smooth as possible. I think it is much better than my earlier attempts, but a long way to go still

This diwali I tried a new healthy snack - oven toasted oats mixture

The recipe had come a while back in the Hindu newspaper. Here's what we do - mix together oats (I used quaker quick cooking), turmeric powder, red chilli powder, raisins, cashews, peanuts, curry leaves and salt. Mix till all the dry ingredients are mixed well. Drizzle some oil - I used olive oil, but you could also use vegetable oil. Toast in an oven pre-heated at 125 degrees for about 45 minutes. Stir at regular intervals to avoid the  mixture getting burned. Toast for longer if you think it's not cooked enough
As it has raisins it also satiates the sweet craving.. It definitely helped me

So folks that's it from me today.. Be back soon with more..

Till then.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching and baking.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A new recipe and progress

I just realized that I have not posted any updates in over a month!!

It has been a busy month and half here. My brother and family visited us during their annual vacation and we all had a lovely time. And when it was time for them to return, well it was like the whole month just flew in the blink of an eye!! That is the worst part of anything wonderful, isn't it - it always has to end..siggghhhh

And then the first term exams for V - this is the first time she faced an actual examination. All these years they just had a test which lasted an hour at the most. From this year they have started examinations. She gets to use the pen once school re-opens. Now isn't that a big milestone that children look forward to, she's totally excited - rubbing it all off on me as well :)))

Now for the new recipe I tried - paneer orange cake

I had a lot of home-made paneer which I wanted to use up in something other than the regular paneer dishes. I started googling for paneer cakes and found this absolutely easy recipe

Here's the link to the recipe. I used flaxseed powder in place of eggs. So, you might find that the batter is slightly thick. If that is the case, add milk little at a time till you get the right consistency

Here's my progress on seashells

As I said, I am making (very slow) progress. So one day V saw my "progress" and says "Amma how long would your blogger friends have taken to finish this picture"
Me - "Umm, maybe 6 months max" (of course I stretched a bit to defend myself, knowing what her next question would be)
V - "How long more do you think you would take"
Me - Totally blank expression.
Now how do I answer such a question?!!

So, atleast for that friends I take an oath to work on this vigorously and move on to the next project

Till next time friends.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir