Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Cake(Red velvet Cake with Cream cheese frosting ) and our Halloween Party !!

One day lil A came from Nursery and said " Amma I have called my friends for a Halloween party ". I couldnt stop laughing when I heard that. I wasnt ready for throwing another party after his birthday party but  since this week is a half term break for schools here  I decided to  call just few of my friends and  kids and have a kids dressing up party.Last weekend when we went for shopping we  bought a big pumkin to carve .Lil A was very enthuthiastic when we went for halloween shopping, he himself selected a big pumkin  ,but when we went to  the costumes section his face began to change,he got really scared seeing all the spooky costumes,he said  " I dont want a party  and I dont want to dress up"  ! Kids are unbelievable arent they ? I asked him again " But you only wanted to have party " ,and he replied" but I changed my mind now " I somehow convinced him that its too late to change your mind now and all ur friends are excited about it  and he too seemed o.k with that.

Yesterday I drew a face on Pumkin and waited till evening for S to get back and carve it .Lil A was also eager to see the carving ,he stood by the table as S carved it,once the carving was done we lighted it and turned off the light. We were pretty happy with our first Pumkin but somebody was not happy,it was lil A ! He was not happy to see the dark room with lighted pumpkin,he asked us to blow the candle and turn on the light :)

You can see our Pumkin below :)

We did our Halloween party today,a day ahead and it was good fun .Lil A's mask scared two of his friends and they cried :( So he took of his mask and said " Dont worry ,its only me ".I was wondering whether its the same boy who was scared about   dressing up  2 days before  :)
Party food was contribued by all of the mums, and my plan was to bake some cupcakes and make some onion vada's but since the party was at  my place I had so many other things to do and so I decided to make a cake rather than cupcakes as baking and decorating the cupcakes will take more time than  a cake.I didnt have any intention to cover the cake with fondant too,but my icing was not quite enough to crumb coat the cake and then to decorate it.I started panicking and then decided to cover it with fondant .I didnt have any decorating ideas  as everything was last minute,so just tried a simple cobweb with some melted chocolate. The cake was a redvelvet cake with a cream cheese frosting and it tasted delicious !
In the picture below you can see the yummy party food ,Kids were already on the table when we got the food out and before we could click it they were taking their shares :) If you look closer you can see two tiny finger prints on the cake too :)They coudnt wait to eat the cake !

Yummy Party food ! Onion Vada,Halloween cookies,Halloween cake,Korean Sushi,African salad and Bread Pakoda :)

My boy with his mask !

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

Flour - 2 cup
Corn Flour - 1/2 cup
Cocoa Powder - 2 tbs
Butter - 1/2 cup (softened)
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Butter milk - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Distilled white Vinegar - 1tsp
Red Liquid food colour  - 2 tbs

1.Sift the flour,corn flour and keep it aside.
2.Beat butter for 1-2 minutes .
3.Add sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until its fluffy .
4.Break 2 eggs in a separate bowl and beat it lighly with fork.
5.Add the beaten egg slowly to the Butter-sugar mixture ,beating with mixer running or add little by little and beat after each addition.
6.Add vanilla extract and red food colour to the buttermilk.
7.To the Butter-Sugar-Egg mixture add flour and buttermilk alternatively and finish it in 3 additions.
8.In a bowl mix baking soda and vinegar and immediately add this to batter and fold in.
9.Spread the batter into two 8 inch cake tin and bake in preheated oven at 175 degree centigarde for 35-40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
10.Cool the cake completely

Ingredients (for Cream cheese frosting)

Cream cheese - 220 gm
Mascaporne cheese- 220gm
Powdered sugar - 1 cup
Double cream - 1 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
1.In a bowl add cream cheese,mascaporne and beat until soft.
2.Add sugar,vanilla and beat again.
3.Finally add double cream and whisk until its a spreadable consitancy.
1.Cut both the  cake into 2 layers.
2.Spread the cheese frosting on to 3 layers and finally spread on  the sides of the cakes too.
3.Cover it with fondant if you like.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kallummakkai Achar (Mom's special)/ Pickled Mussel's

Everytime when I come back after a  vacation from home, I will be carrying a  lot of goodies that my amma has packed for me .I never thought how much work is going onto all of this preperation until this time when I got to see her doing all the preps.I always bring all the spice powder which would last for a year and this year too I packed up a whole lot of  chilly powder,corainder powder,turmeric powder,Puttu podi(rice flour) ,pickles etc .But now that I know how much work is behind it ,they are precious to me.

Kallummakai Achar is one thing that I would die for  and always bring back and this time since  amma was busy with few other things I was in charge of cleaning it.Oh God,I thought I never will ask amma to make this again for me.We bought 100 of them and I was standing in the kitchen for nearly 2 hours cleaning it and removing the poo from inside..phew! With just the cleaning done I handed over it to  amma and she did another 1 hour work to make this one jar of pickle. Eventhough that day I thought I am not going to make it again,every time I take a spoon full of it, it makes all our effort so worthwhile,what can I say more about it...

I have been relishing  this pickle for almost 2 months now, only taking it when I crave for it badly, just to save it for later. But now the pickle jar is almost empty and I thought I should blog about it before finish it off. All that I have got now is in the pic,weather was too gloomy today but I m sure if I wait for a sunny day to click it then there wont be any pickle in the jar :)

Here is my amma's recipe


Mussels/Kallummakkai - 100 nos
Dates - 10 no
Ginger - finely chopped ( 1 1/2 tbs)
Garlic - chopped ( 3 tbs)
Green chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - few
Vinegar- as required
Pickle Powder - 1-2 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1 1/2 tbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Sesame oil


1. Clean the mussels outer shell and steam them in a saucepan for few minutes until all the shells have opened.
2.Remove the mussels from the shell and discard  the shell.
3.Take out the poo and vein  from each mussel and clean.(quite tedious)
4.Marinte the mussels with redchilly,turmeric and salt and shallow fry them in sesame oil.
5.In another  pan add some sesame oil and saute ginger,garlic ,curry leaves and green chillies for 1-2 minutes.switch off the flame.
6.In a bowl mix mussels and  the sauted ingredients.
7.Make a puree of dates with little vinegar and add this too.
8.Finally add pickle powder,sugar,salt and vinegar if required.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


After our vacation in India  this time, we kind of got used to a  habit of eating an elaborate breakfast daily.Since my mum in law  also came with us this time, we  continued  doing that here too . After spending nearly 40 days here  she went back to India  last  weekend. I am finding it a bit depressing especially the loneliness after a busy 2-3 months :( Now we are back to our cereals in the morining and finding it a bit boring ! Uthappam was a one breakfast menu we had when she was here, I like it a lot and love to have it with a little coconut chutney.

Here goes the recipe..


For Dosha batter

Raw rice/idly rice - 1 1/4 cup
Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Cooked rice - fistful
Fenigreek  seeds- 1 tbs

For toppings

Onion - 1 finely chopped
Tomato - 1 finely chopped
Green chillies - 2
Carrot - 1 (grated)
Coriander leaves - finely chopped


1.Soak and grind all the ingridients for dosha batter and ferment it overnight .
2.Add salt to the batter.
3.Heat a nonstick pan and pour and ladle of batter and spread it .Immediately sprinkle th veggies on top and cook it covered for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with coconut chutney !

1.If you are in cold country its better to place the batter in a preheated oven at 50- 60 degree centigrade,I  repeat heating it 2-3 times .
2.Its always  better not to flip the uthappam,you will not get a good looking uthappam .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthday cake !

Hope u all are doing great..I was thinking about  updating  my space since  many days,but  something or the other kept me busy. As I told before, we went to India for an amazing vacation and got back in the mid week of september and  this time when we came back my mother in law also came with us .It took few days for all us to setlle down  and adjust with chilly weather which welcomed us.Then next came lil A's birthday,I had only few days to organise everything and then the biggest  job ofcourse was baking the birthday cake ! He wanted a Mc Queen cake from Cars movie,Initially my plan was to try out a 3D mc queen cake,but then I was not confident enough to go for it,so I decided to go for sheet cake with fondant figurines of his favourite characters from the movie.

 I had to bake a cake for 20 kids and 20 adults ,so I baked 3 sheets of vanilla cake and filled it with swiss meringnue butter cream and vanilla buttercream and covered it with fondant .I made figurines of his favourite charcaters Mc queen and Mater from fondant too ! I made the figurines two days before the party and did all the baking and most of the decoration a day before the party.The whole process was quite laborious but when lil A said" thanks amma for making this cake " all my efforts became so worthwhile ! The cake tasted good too, everybody loved it !

You wont believe me when I say I didnt even get the time to click the pictures of the cake ,luckily a friend of us who  took the  party pictures  clicked the  picture of  the cake too ! Thanks to him :)

So see u all again with another post soon :)