25 November 2010

A cup of cheer!!!

What you need on a cold rainy day...ummmm....recipe here...
...hot chocolate and a marshmallow!!

24 November 2010

Orange Marmalade - a recipe


Orange marmalade

1 kg                             oranges/sweet lime
th kg                        sugar
1 litre                           water
1-2                               lemon- extract their juice.
Thinly slice the oranges with their skins.
Boil them in the water to soften the skin. And till the water is absorbed. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the sugar while still hot. Leave to soak overnight.
Add the lemon juice. Boil again for 10 minutes to thicken.
Now do the plate test to check the setting point.
To do this put a few drops of the mix on a chilled plate. Keep in the fridge for a minute. Now push the jam with a finger. If the surface wrinkles, it is done. (Note that the mix will be syrupy under the surface.)
Pour the hot mix into sterilized bottles. Seal.
Refrigerate the marmalade once open.


23 November 2010

Praline recipe

Praline is defined as a confection made of nuts, especially almonds or pecans, stirred in boiling sugar syrup until crisp and brown used in desserts to add the crunch factor.
For me praline is the sweet, crunchy, caramelised, slightly bitter nutty topping you get in ice creams and desserts.

 Here's an easy recipe to make praline...
1/2 cup                 sugar
1/2 cup                 walnuts (can use any kind - almonds, hazelnuts - but roast them a little before using)
Over medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed pan , heat the sugar, stirring occasionally. Within minutes you'll see the colour change. Let it caramelize to a rich golden, brown. Take off the heat and add the walnuts. Mix well to coat them with the caramel. Pour into a greased steel thali/plate and leave to cool and set.
Crush into pieces using a chopper or a rolling pin. If you want it finer crush it in a blender.
This can be used this as a dessert filling or topping.
(Yes, this is almost like the Indian 'chikki')

I couldn't take a picture when I made it so here's a picture of the praline powder sprinkled somewhere on the ice cream....found it??...no??...okay fine! I was on a diet!!!!

(I promise to take a picture next time I make it.)

21 November 2010

Recycle...reuse...repurpose...

Here's an innovative way to recycle your empty soda bottles.
This is definitely not my original idea. I picked it up while visiting this  fantastic site..inside urban green with great ideas if you like to grow plants in small spaces, indoors, in small containers AND, like me, you have a black thumb...:).
So here it is.....
...a self watering planter -also called SIP- sub-irrigation planter- made from recycled soda bottles.
I used an Indian Jamun plant, Eugenia jambolana or Syzygium cumini L, grown from a seed, for this trial. It's been a week since I planted this and the experiment seems to have worked so far.

You basically cut the bottle in two, the top part being the planter and the bottom acting as a reservoir. 
This picture shows how the sub-irrigation system...i.e the capillary action system...works.
You need to add a piece of jute or cotton rope through the cap - drill a hole in the cap or just catch it in the cap as you screw it on. 
Fill the top with your potting mix and plant whatever you like. Place the top - upside down, as it is obvious- into the bottom filled with water. The wick aids the capillary action.
Why not try this out? Seems like a cool idea to do your bit in recycling and not just tossing the bottles into garbage piles.
Do let me know if you do.
They have a step-by-step guide on Flickr too..here..tutorial.

17 November 2010

My New Silk Scarf Design!!!!

My Random Ripples Scarf Pattern....!!

"It has always been my dream to be a great designer and work for a big fashion house and design the coolest things ever...."
Naaaaaah!! Just kidding....:)
 I was gifted this wonderful silk yarn by a dear friend, rufaorcrafty on Ravelry, and as soon as I saw it the colours reminded me of  all the shades of sunshine. That's how the name came about.
While hunting around for a pattern, I started experimenting with a few stitches and this scarf just happened...and I proudly present it as a free download pattern.

This design worked perfectly to show off the gorgeous silk yarn. It knits up super fast and is a great pattern for a lace beginner who likes a little challenge. All you need is knowledge of basic stitches like 'yarn-overs/yarn forwards, and knit 2 togethers'. And who doesn't love garter stitch.

The basic lace pattern came from the  Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches. Once I started on the lace pattern it looked too delicate for me to use....( I am famous in my family for my clumsiness). So I decided to put in a few rows of garter stitch interspersing the lace to give it more body (...and to give the poor scarf a chance to live, uninjured...) 
From then on the design just knitted itself into shape. Here's the link: Random Ripples of Sunshine Pattern.
Hope the pattern works for you.



11 November 2010

I am a killer!!!!

I am a killer!!! Any plant I touch......I kill!!!!! I either drown it in water or I let it dry out till it's last breath..Sad but true.
So what does a girl who loves plants do???? She grows them in water!!! 
Advantages:-
-no tension about over- or under-watering,
-no weeding required,
-no messy drain holes and drip trays to worry about,
-no repotting needed,
-an easy way to bring the greens into your home,
- low-maintainence;  just change the water every 4-5 days,
-any container will do; but glass works best.
 So how do you do it? Just get a cutting, trim off any leaves from the bit that'll be submerged in water, add a few inches of water in the container and a few pebbles/rocks to anchor the cutting and 'plant' it. You are done!!
It will grow additional roots in a couple of weeks.

Points to remember:-
-it needs a light source for a few hours a day, at least. Place it on a window sill that gets some indirect sunshine,
-change the water every few days,
-in summer remember to top up the water as it dries through evaporation.
-plants best suited for this - plants that are vigourous climbers- ivy like   Pothos, what we call 'money plant', wandering jew, umbrella plant,
....new roots developing...

09 November 2010

A great giveaway!!!

A giveaway, but it's not me who's doing it!!
I came across this lovely blog mylittlecitygirl while searching for a teeny-tiny project to knit on Ravelry. I found it through this post rose bud brooch-crochet and came across this great looking giveaway. In case you are interested why not go across to visit and leave your comments too?? It is posted under the 'Hand Knitted Scarf' heading. Check out entry #2 of the post.

08 November 2010

Journal-cover

I made this fabric cover for my daughter's diary. She chose the polka dotted fabric as she likes bright colors. The tutorial I followed is from this great blog 'BloomandBlossom...here's the link..journal cover.
It is such a great tutorial with well-illustrated steps that are so easy to follow. You can sew this in one afternoon. And it's a great way to use up all the tiny scraps you have. Just remember to soak/wash your fabric before you use it.


To make a bookmark I sewed on little charms onto a D-ring and then sewed the D-ring to the loose end of the ribbon that was attached when the cover was sewn up.

The charms are bits and pieces from my kid's hairbands,etc




05 November 2010

Happy Diwali

Here's wishing all my readers a Very Happy and Safe Diwali...
....and wishing you a year full of prosperity, health and great success..

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