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Showing posts from December, 2013

Planning a Drinks, Appetizer and Dessert Party for the holidays

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Last year, I had an appetizer and dessert party for the holidays. I had 5 different appetizers and desserts. I also added some homemade hot chocolate, pumpkin spice latte and rose lemonade for drinks. It took a lot of planning and almost a week of preparation to pull off comfortably. For the drinks, I kept a thermos of hot milk and the hot chocolate mix and pumpkin spice mix separately. The rose lemonade, ice and seltzer formed the cold drinks part. I only have the pictures of the dessert table which was set up beforehand. The appetizers were in the oven, to keep warm.


There were around 12 people invited to the party and I grossly overestimated the amount of food that would be needed. I did not realise that one person cannot eat 5 different appetizers and 5 different desserts in a single night :) (specially since appetizers and desserts are generally so rich). I made 12-15 servings of each item. At the end of the night, I was packing food for the guests to eat as breakfast or lunch t…

Steamed methi balls in Kadhi

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These days we are getting some good methi leaves in the local indian grocery store. I always pick up a couple or more bunches every time I visit. I stagger my methi preparation steps because I cannot get it all done in a day with a busy 3 year old to take care of. I pluck out the leaves one day, the next day I wash and chop them and the methi gets prepared on the third day. We do eat other vegetables that take less prep time on day 1 and 2 in case you are wondering :)

Steamed Methi balls in Kadhi

One day, while talking to my mom on the phone, she mentioned she saw a steamed methi ball in kadhi recipe on the TV that day. I had the methi all prepped and ready to go. This was as good a day as any to try the recipe based on the general idea. My daughter loved to help me make the little balls. She was inspired to eat them too :)


Ingredients:For Methi Balls1 bunchmethi leaves, cleaned and chopped1 mediumonion1/2 to 1 cupbesan1 tspsalt1/4 tspchilli powderFor Kadhi1 cupyogurt2 cupswater2 tbspb…

Christmas crafts - Pinecone Christmas trees and DIY holiday snowman cards

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This week me and my daughter did some Christmasy crafts to get into the holiday spirit. We did some pinecone christmas trees and cards for the daughter's preschool teachers.

I had some pinecones lying around the house and decided to put them to good use by crafting them into Christmas trees. I had picked up some foam glitter stars from Michael's the other day. Those were used as the star tree toppers.

I did two kinds of pinecone trees. The first was very simple. Just some glitter glue and some glitter stars.

I arranged some pinecones in a plastic tub which used to be a takeout container (reuse!). Just added some red and white glitter glue and topped with silver glitter stars. I kept it simple so the arrangement can work for other seasons with some modifications.

For the second arrangement, I went the whole wintery route.
First, I made faux snow. There are different ways to do faux snow. I opened up a clean diaper and removed the powdery stuff inside and placed it in a tr…

Citrus Marmalade muffins with almonds

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I like to bake muffins as I have said before. I bake a tray of muffins and freeze the batch. It lasts us about a month. I make them healthy enough to be eaten at breakfast since they make for a quick, portable breakfast.

Today's muffins are a tad bit more indulgent. They could pass for dessert if you really try. :)
I had an overflow of citrus fruits in my fruit drawer and they were not getting eaten at all. So I made a marmalade to rescue them. The marmalade will have a blog post of its own sometime later. I made marmalade muffins from some of that homemade marmalade.

Marmalade Muffins
adapted from Poppytalk

The citrus zest and vanilla make it one amazingly scented packet. I could love it for just the smell but it tastes delicious too. I think it is a better use of marmalade than even spreading on buttered toast.



Ingredients:1/2 cupall purpose flour (maida)1 cupwhole wheat flour2 tspbaking powder1/2 tsp salt3/4 cupmilk1/4 cupmelted butter1 tbspvanilla1 egg 1/4 cuphoney1/2 cupmar…

A special Gujarati meal - Chana bataka nu shaak (black chickpeas and potato curry), Gujarati Kadhi

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I have a special place in my heart for gujarati food. Having tasted authentic home-cooked gujarati food, I have very high standards when it comes to eating gujarati food. In my experience, it is very difficult to get the gujju taste outside of Gujarat.
Although here in the US, gujarati food in Atlanta does come close to meeting my standards. I haven't tasted the food since a couple of years so I hope this still holds true.

Today's lunch thali of chana bataka nu shaak (black chickpeas and potato curry) and kadhi with rotis and rice is a special combo where everything goes so well together. These recipes make me feel I am back in Gujarat eating a homely meal.
Chana Bataka nu Shaak

Black Chickpeas and potatoes are cooked in a sweet spicy gravy thickened with besan. The besan is a key ingredient to get the signature gujarati texture and taste to the gravy.



Ingredients:3/4 cupdry kala chana2-3potatoes1tomato2 clovesgarlic1 tbspjaggery1 tspsalt1/4 tspturmeric powder1dry red chilli1…