30 October 2010

Bonsai Garden, Mysore

If in Mysore, Karnataka, this Bonsai Garden is a must-see. It is located in an ashram called Avadhoota Datta Peetham. This seems like a well-kept secret because not many people seem to know about this. We, too, hadn't heard about this garden till a local contact took us there. It has a vast collection of hundreds of bonsai arranged so well you could spend hours admiring them. The atmosphere is calm and serene. Lovely experience.



29 October 2010

Erma Bombeck - funny quotes

Erma Bombeck, an American humourist, has been one of my favourite authors. 
Her writing is witty and quietly funny and her books are great to drive away your blues and put you in a happy place. My favourite-- 'Aunt Erma's Cope Book' - is a definite must read!!
Here are some of her funny quotes. If you are a woman - and a mother- reading this, you might identify with many of them. Read on and smile a little...
    • There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo. 
    • I just clipped 2 articles from a current magazine. One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend. The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie. 
    • My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you?
    • When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway. 
    • Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. 
    • In two decades I've lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.
    • It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.
    • What's with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?
    • When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".
    • Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.
    If you too are a fan and have your fave quotes please feel free to add them here...I would love to read them.

    19 October 2010

    Two Recipes ... Chocolate-Walnut Fudge....old n' new

    I Looove chocolate....mwaahhaaahaa...
    Here are the 2 recipes for the chocolate fudge that I love making...

    Recipe 1:-
    This one is the old-fashioned one...my Mum's method from the time when it was almost impossible to get cooking chocolate in India, and candy- making thermometers were unheard of here - slaving over a hot stove, sweating away to glory, cursing away to heaven - in my case, at least..sigh!!!

    Ingredients..
    1 tin (400gms)         condensed milk,
    1/2 cup                    sugar,         
    1cup                        walnuts/cashewnuts, chopped,
    4 tbsp                      butter,
    4-5 tbsp                   milk
    4-5 tsp                     cocoa powder,
    1/2 tsp                     vanilla essence.
    Few tips to remember before making fudge.
        -avoid making fudge on a humid day.
        -use a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
        -cook on low flame, stirring all the time.

    Mix all the ingredients, except walnuts, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
    Cook on a very low flame, stirring well all the time so the mixture doesn't burn. 
    Once it thickens and starts to 'leave' the sides of the pan - the mix starts to form one homogenized lump...sort of...:)
    Add the walnuts and take it off heat.
    Pour into a greased steel thali.
    Let cool for some time then mark out the pieces before it sets completely.
    Let cool completely, break into cubes.
    Enjoy.

    Recipe 2:-
    Now here's the super easy one....
    Ingredients...
    1tin(400 gms)          condensed milk,
    350 gms                  semi-sweet chocolate,
    50-60 gms               butter,
    1/2 cup                   chopped walnuts.

    Grease a dish and line with cling film...this allows you to remove the pieces easily once cool.

    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. 
    Gently heat up the condensed milk in a heavy-bottomed pan.
    Pour the melted chocolate into the pan. Mix gently.
    Add the butter and the chopped walnuts.
    Mix well and pour into the dish.


    Let cool to room temperature. Once done keep in the fridge for a couple of hours to set well. 
    Cut into squares. 
    Enjoy.

    12 October 2010

    Saturday Night Indulgence....

    WHAT I MADE (AND ATE, OF COURSE) THIS SATURDAY......
    CHOCOLATE FUDGE (recipe here)....and.....
     and.....PIZZA SQUARES (find the RECIPE here) !!!...in that order.....



    04 October 2010

    Banana Cake

    Banana Cake..
    Bananas are a staple at my home. But invariably we are left with a couple that go over-ripe and no one's interested in. They sit on the counter, looking sadder by the minute. So what do we do with them?? Can't throw them away every time- they cost me MONEY!! 
     Here's what you can do with them...
    - make a banana-yogurt/milk-cinnamon-chocolate/strawberry-smoothie.
    - make banana bread (recipe sometime later...:))
    - freeze them for use later in breads, cakes, etc..
    - to freeze, peel and mash well with a fork. Spoon into an airtight box and freeze till further use. To use, take out of freezer a couple of hours before use and let thaw at room temperature. 
    Here's what I do with them...a recipe for an easy cake... 
    Ingredients:-
    2   cups           flour,
    1¼  cup           sugar,
    100gms           butter, at room temperature,
    03                  eggs,
    1 tsp              baking powder (levelled tsp)
    ½ tsp             baking soda 
    1 tsp              vanilla essence,
    02                  ripe bananas, mashed
    ¼ cup             chocolate chips (optional)

    Method:- 
    Sieve the flour with baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
    Beat the butter and sugar together till sugar dissolved.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well each time.
    Add the essence.
    Now add the flour,a little at a time, mixing well.
    Mix in the mashed bananas.
    Pour into a greased and floured pan.
    Sprinkle chocolate chips on top (optional).
    Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
      

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