VANILLA CUPCAKES FOR A CHRISTMAS PARTY…Merry Christmas!

“‘If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a Merry Christmas? “
Don Meredith
VANILLA CUPCAKES FOR CHISTMAS
OK…am back again. Yesterday & today were busier than I imagined they would be. I got literally talked into volunteering to make , hold your breadth, 80 cupcakes for a Christmas party for a little play school nearby! They were in a bit of a soup, & I eventually volunteered to bake. The only memory of yesterday morning is of the muffin trays going into the oven & out!! There were cupcakes as far as the eye could see. And then the usual rush…off to school to pick the kids after guitar etc. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…this morning went in meeting with teachers before school broke-up for the holidays, and icing stars onto the cupcakes. They’ve been boxed and delivered!! Always enjoyable after the job has been done!
Ingredients:
Flour – 2cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Butter – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Vanilla Essence / extract – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2
Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Line or grease the muffin pans.
  • Sift flour + baking powder + salt 3 times. Keep aside.
  • Cream butter + sugar well.
  • Add vanilla + eggs and beat well.
  • On low speed, beat in flour mix + milk alternatively in 3 lots.
  • Fill each muffin pan to 3/4th depth, and bake for 20-25 minutes till done.
  • Remove from muffin pan immediately & cool on racks.
  • Makes approximately 18 muffins.
  • For the 2nd lot , if you make 6 muffins in a 12 pan tin, fill a little water in each of the empty cases to ensure even baking.
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Cupcakes galore…

Have a great Christmas!

FUSION FOOD…Noodles with Stir-fried veggies & Chicken

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
Orson Welles

FUSION FOOD…Noodles with Stir-fried veggies & chicken

This is my attempt to recreate some really delicious Pan Asian food we had the other day. I ended up with a ‘confusion‘ of sorts; not quite authentic, even by my own meagre standards…but delicious nevertheless. We loved it, so did our young lad. Sadly my daughter didn’t enjoy it too much. But for me as a mother, even 50% is passing with flying colours!! With both the kids developing strangely similar tastes one day, and then being poles apart the next, uncertainty at the dinner table is part of the game! I heave a sigh of relief the day they concur, and do a little jig!!!!

Served on a bed of noodles…….

When I read blog posts about the farmer’s markets in the US etc, I know exactly what the feeling is. In North India, at this time of the year, the local bazaars are overflowing with fresh produce. Every little corner stall will offer coloured bell peppers, bok choy, sweetcorn,mushrooms, broccoli etc at ridiculous prices! Such is the temptation, that each time I step out, I’m lugging this cartload home. Then again, its time to convert it into a hearty meal! I love it!!!

Now how tempting are these? They colour my world….

I turned the blogosphere inside out in my search for a sambal chili sauce. The listed ingredients made me see stars. I eventually picked up a dipping sauce & merrily added my own bits & pieces. The resultant sauce was a bit on the sweeter side,despite all the chili flakes & garlic I threw in; the culprit was a dash of honey! Anyway, Pepy, who has a very authentic Indonesian food blog enlightened me, and will help me through the next time I venture in this direction. Until then, do enjoy this fusion that I cooked up!!

All chopped up & ready to go, lemme get down to the nitty-gritty..

Ingredients:

Rice noodles for 4

Chicken – 2-3 breasts/ chopped into bite sized pieces
Mushrooms – 200gms
Broccoli – 3 small heads, steamed to crisp
Bell peppers -1 each red, green & yellow
Spring onions – 5-6 with stalks
Garlic – loads of it / chopped fine
Bok Choy – 2-3
Cashew nuts – a handful / dry roasted
Thai Dipping Sauce (or if you have some, Sambal Chili sauce)

Method:

  • Crush some garlic + red chili flakes + honey in a pestle (just a dash of honey). Reserve half.
  • Make a marinade with the other half adding oil + salt + a tbsp of dipping sauce/Sambal chili sauce.
  • Marinade the chicken in this for about half an hour.
  • Chop up the veggies as you would like them to be.
  • Begin to prepare the noodles . Once cooked, I pan fried them in garlic and chili flakes & a dash of dipping sauce again (eye-balled it)! Next time it will be Sambal chili for sure.
  • Heat the oil in a wok. Put in chopped garlic + chili flakes + reserved half of garlic-chili mix (or Sambal chili sauce).
  • Toss in the chicken pieces, fry them well for 2- minutes, followed by mushrooms. Stir fry on high till all the water evaporates.
  • Toss in the peppers + broccoli + spring onions (stalks chopped up too) and bok choy. Add salt; adjust seasonings. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes till bok choy is wilted.
  • Serve over a bed of hot noodles, topped with cashews!
  • Note: Omit the chicken altogether & you have a wonderful vegetarian option.

PILE IT UP HIGH!!!

It’s so strange that every time a blog event is announced I tend to meander subconsciously towards the topic. These cashews reminded me of Jai & Bee‘s Jugalbandi event CLICK:NUTS…but have already sent in my entry, so this is just a reflection on the power of blogaddiction! I haven’t noticed so many nuts before!!

P.S. Zlamushka, this one’s savoury too!!

CHRISTMAS TREE HANGING COOKIE ORNAMENTS…Edible & Festive!

“Christmas Cheer Recipe-
Combine loads of good wishes,
heartfuls of love and armfuls of hugs,
sprinkle with laughter
and garnish with mistletoe,
top off with presents.
Serves everyone!”
Author Unknown
CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT COOKIES…
…With Christmas almost here, here are a set of cookie Christmas tree ornaments…edible, colourful and festive. They can be made with an assortment of Christmas cookie cutters, topped with coloured sugar crystals, sprinkles &/or M ‘n’ M’s . Do remember to make a hole on top of each cookie before baking; also, they need to be handled delicately whilst threading the ribbon.

SPIRIT OF THE SEASON…
The recipe for the sugar cookies is my basic sugar cookies recipe that can be found here. The M ‘n’ M’s are put on the cookie prior to baking. The coloured sugar crystals, sprinkles & dragees are sprinkled onto an icing drizzled onto the cookie after it is baked. I make the icing by combining castor sugar with water to get a thick consistency. Some people use lime juice instead of water. The toppings are sprinkled onto the icing when its wet; this way the icing acts as a glue. The combinations are endless & enjoyable…like an extended canvas!

My other Christmas cookies, pictured below, include Iced sugar cookies & Stained glass cookies.

Have just found a Christmas blog event ‘Waiting for Christmas 2007′ on the day of closing, which is today. Tripped onto the blog off Laurie Constantino while drooling over her Ladenia-Olive oil bread. These cookie ornaments are off to Francesca for ‘Waiting for Christmas 2007′, & of course to Susan at Food Blogga for ‘Eat Christmas Cookies’. Susan’s Christmas cookie entries are a sweet sight with such a delicious assortment under her roof…it’s unbelievable!!

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