Showing posts from June, 2014

Glass bottle vases and plastic bottle flowers

Last summer, I did some crafting on glass bottles and vases. I love glass as a material. I like shiny and glamorous things :) (although I am sure you wouldn't guess that if you saw me)

Lets start with the shiniest of them all. I used glass gems on this one. These glass gems come in a variety of colors at any craft store. I first sorted the gems by their color.
I also cleaned the bottle. I removed the label, washed and dried it beforehand. I used some rubbing alcohol to clean the outside of the bottle before gluing the gems on. A clean surface is highly recommended for any glass craft.
I did not want to cover the bottle entirely with the gems and wanted some of the beautiful color of the bottle itself to peek through. I drew a design on the bottle with a marker to roughly mark where I need to leave out the gemstones. I tried to keep the lines equidistant but I am not good with measuring and straight lines. I just tried my best. I glued the gem stones starting from the bottom of …

Greens with Beans (Mustard greens with Black eyed peas and Kale with chickpeas)

I had bought some mustard greens and was thinking of ways to cook them. The obvious one was sarson ka saag. I wanted to go a little simpler. I thought of pairing them with one of our favorite dried bean - black-eyed peas. I based this recipe on the famous palak paneer and followed a similar method. This has become our new favorite way to eat greens. I recently made kale this way too. I am so glad to have found another way to eat greens in a totally yummy way while still being so healthy. It never fails to impress the husband (and of course, me too) with its taste.

Think of this recipe as a technique and use it on any of the greens, pairing them with different dried beans.

Mustard greens with black-eyed peas

Ingredients:1 bunch (4-5 cups)mustard greens1 cupblack-eyed peas1/2 cupspinach leaves (frozen) *3green chilies2 inchginger1 smallonion4 largegarlic cloves1tomato1/2 tspgaram masala2 tspmilk powder *Soak dried black-eyed peas for 4 hours. Pressure cook for about 20 minutes with just …

Birthday cake with strawberry cream and chocolate lace border; Paneer makhni and yeasted roti

Last weekend was the husband's birthday. It had been a very long time since I made a nice decorated cake. This was the perfect occasion for a nice cake.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a video for Strawberry Charlotte on the Joy of Baking youtube channel. I liked the look and I loved the strawberry cream topping. I am totally in a strawberry phase. We have gone through 8 lbs of strawberries in the last month (Some of them are in the freezer, but I am sure they won't last long).

I followed the recipe for the Strawberry Charlotte almost exactly. The sponge cake was made exactly the way it was shown in the video. The folding techniques are quite useful. Since the air whipped into the eggs and sugar is what makes the cake fluffy and you do not want to deflate the batter when folding in the dry ingredients.
I halved the strawberry cream as I wanted it to be more like cake with frosting rather than being tart like with a lot of strawberry cream filling. The ratio of cake and crea…

Highlights this week - Beets with pickle masala, strawberry dressing and doll dress from a sock

This week I had a few unexpected highlights in the kitchen and outside. I thought of putting them together in one post.

Beets sabzi with pickle masala
It was just a normal afternoon and I made a simple daal and rice for lunch. These days, I do not feel right about skipping vegetables in any of the meals. So I wanted to add a vegetable element that I could get done real quick, to go with the daal and rice. I had beet root and carrots in the fridge so I thought of making a quick saute with them and then, it went in a totally delicious direction when I noticed the pickle masala in the fridge. The cashews and chana dal add a wonderful crunch. I love the aroma of the tiny bit of bell pepper but it is totally optional.

Ingredients:1beet root1 smallcarrot1 smallonion1/4 cupchopped bell pepper1 tspoil1/2 tspmustard seeds1/4 tsphing (asafoetida)1/2 tspcumin seeds1 tbspcashew pieces1 tbspchana dal1dry red chili1/2 tspturmeric powder1 tspdhaniya powder1 tbsppickle masalaMethod
Heat oil in a pan…
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