December 28, 2010

Chocolate Ganache Topped Cheese Cake

 Another hearty healthy feast has gone. But the festive spirit is not yet flamed off. Rather it is getting energized to welcome a brand new year. Christmas is the indication to wind up a year and to welcome another year. But wrapping and unwrapping gifts are all not done yet.  It's still to welcome a bunch of new gifts and grand party with your near dear one to toss the glasses in celebration of the new year .

 For us (my husband and me, daughter is too small to feel), the festive scenario is quite different. From past three years we end a year in packing and start a year in packing and moving to another land. We hardly feel the enjoyment of the new year. We hardly feel the spirit of shopping, buying gifts, et al. As for us, we keep on trashing things and weighing the suitcases to avoid the over weightage fine. Last two times we spent a huge bulk of money in giving fines as we are bound to make the suitcases over weight. This time we are determined not to spend any extra buck in fine. So we are just keeping on trashing all our favourite and unfavourite things with a  loaded heart every day. Our house is not getting decorated to welcome a new year. But We are taking off all the decorations to completely clean our house before we leave.  May be some of you will think that it’s a great fun to spend each year in a new land. But its not a boon to us at all. Mainly when you have a lil kid at home. We always keep crossed our fingers in the anxiety how our baby and her health will react after reaching to a new country. But this is what we call Life. A challenge that we have to accept every time.

 Any way, Now let me come to the recipe which today I would like to share. This is one of the most favourite desserts of my family which I am bound to make every week. Very easy to make and the taste is truly divine. I adapted the simple Cheese Cake recipe from Cooks.com and then added my twist with a layered Chocolate ganache on the top which gave the taste of the tangy cheese cake a sweeter version. Each bite melts down in your mouth and give an ultimate satifaction of a chocolaty creamy penchant.
Ingredients:-
For the Cheese Cake-

1.Cream Cheese- 8oz /1 packet (room temperature)
2. Eggs-2
3. Sugar-1/2 cup
4. Vanilla essence- 1/2 teaspoon
5. Ready made pie crust

For chocolate ganache-
1. Heavy cream- 1 cup
2. Milk chocolate- 1 &1/4 cup(grated or morsels)


Method:-
Cheese Cake:-

1. Pre heat the oven in 350 degree F.

2. Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add sugar and vanilla essence and mix all together nicely. Add egg one by one and beat till all the ingredients and nicely get mixed and turned in to a creamy texture.

3. Pour the mixture in the pie crust and bake for 40 mnts or till a tooth pick pricked in the cake comes out clean.

4. Take it out and leave it to cool down.

Chocolate ganache:-

1. Heat a pan and pour the cream. When the cream will become warm add the chocolate. Keep on stirring on a low heat until the chocolate melts and mixes in the cream nicely. Let the sauce make semi thick and then pour it on the cheese cake as a top layer.
2. Refrigerate the Cake over night to set. Decorate as you wish and serve.
Note:-

1.I got small bowls of ready made pie crust which are perfect for the party treats.

2. I am not sure whether cheese cake is available in India or not. But I was searching in the net and I came out with these tip. If we blend the cottage cheese, after straining of the water, till it turns in to a creamy texture, it can become a good substitute of cream cheese. I have not tried this tip yet. But will try it once I am back in India. One more thing to remember if your are using lemon to make cottage cheese then don't forget to rinse it thoroughly under cold water to get rid of the smell of the lemon.



December 25, 2010

Wish you Merry Christmas with Checkerboard Cookies

Wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Hope some of you are having and some of you already have a gala Christmas Feast along with all the mouth watering dishes and surprised gifts from Santa Claus with your family and friends. Though the Christmas bell has started to ring few weeks back of the respective day, when the house started to become fully aromatic with the small of baking cookies and cakes, buying gifts and packing them with colourful papers and shifting them in to decorated bags especially for this very day. The decoration every where is worth seeing. Even for my lil daughter's sake we also bought an artificial Christmas tree, decorated it to feel the spirit whole heartedly.
This time I tried this Checkerboard Cookies which came out real nice and tasty, though the visual satisfactory part of the checkers are not up to the mark. But still for a first time attempt it's not that bad too. I adapted the recipe from Here and this video also helped me a lot to make this cookie.

Note:
I am not writing the ingredients and the procedure again only to save my time as I followed the recipe more or less the same way it said. But would like to mention the variations I made. I made all the measurement of the ingredients half to make a small amount of cookies. I didn't use the lemon extract. I added an egg. As long as you will keep the dough in the refrigerator it will be easy to handle.

Once again wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy new year in advance.
Updating the post : Sending it to the ongoing event by Kolkata Food Bloggers...



December 21, 2010

Pancake Roll

I prepared and took the snaps of the Pancake Roll, when Priya of Priya's Easy n Tasty Recipes, announced the Pancake event, a decade back. And then I totally forgot to post it and to send it for the event. I am like this. Due to my forgetfulness I rarely participate in the events. Today while spending few moments with the old memories I suddenly found the snaps which I treasured very nicely in my web album. Before I forget again I am posting it right now. Priya this is for you. This is a very common breakfast at our home. Both my daughter and hubby like it very much. Very easy to make and taste too good.I think it is also common in your kitchen too. Let me share how I make.

Ingredients:-
Pancake:
• Flour-1/2 cup(approx)
• Milk-1/2 cup
• 2 eggs
• Salt- As per taste
• Sugar- As per taste

Filling:
• Chopped Tomato, carrot and cucumber-2 cups
• Mayonnaise- 1 table spoon
• Italian seasoning- As per taste
• Black pepper-As per taste
• Grated cheese -1/2 cup (optional)
• Salt & Sugar-As per taste

Butter/oil to fry
Method:-
1. Mix all the ingredients written under pancake and make a nice and smooth batter. If you feel its too watery then add little bit of flour more. Or if you think its too thick then add little bit of milk.
2. In another bow mix all the ingredients written under Filling. And mix well together.
3. Heat oil/butter in a non stick pan. Pour the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip the other side when its done. Take a spoon full of filling and pour in a line on the pancake. Then fold the right side then the left side in roll shape.
4. Serve hot with sauce.

December 20, 2010

Raspberry Quell

Now before taking a big break from the blogging world I would like to share at least few of my favourite recipes which I enjoyed and loved to share with you all too. I don't have much time to spend a lot of time here. But I will try to post few of my favourite recipes and crafts which I enjoyed with my family. Today I am going to share this sweet after which is one of my daughter's favourites.

Ingredients:-
1. Raspberry- 2cups
2. Sugar- As needed
3. Yoghurt-1Table spoon
4. Whipped Cream for topping(optional)


Method:-
Mix all the ingredients except the cream and put in the mixer. Blend it until smooth. Put in the freezer for couple of hours. Then again put in the mixer to crush the ice. Serve it with whipped cream topping.

Note:
You can also serve it as a drink by adding little bit of cold water and a couple of spoons of yoghurt more.
Raspberry Icecream is also another very good option for a healthy dessert. Visit my Strawberry Icecream recipe. You can make it the same way as I made the Strawberry Icecream.


Sending this to Indrani of Recipe Junction 's Summer Fruit event:




December 17, 2010

Colour Pencil Holder


I announced for a break of week or so. But when I saw the date of my last post I was alarmed and ashamed. As almost two months were over. Time runs so fast every time. And our busy life travels in the time machine where in a wink distance we travel a long span. Last two months passed quiet in a busy schedule. Even now in future I am going to face much more busy days as now the time has come to pack our bag and baggage again and leave our this bohemian nest and to shift to another new country. The feeling is mixed- I am happy to see my mom, dad and sister after a long time, but I am sad too to leave this beautiful peaceful place forever. But the memories, for sure, will work as the nectar to sooth in my low days. Though I am back, can't promise to be regular. The load of packing is slowing making me crazy. And I am sorry that I am missing all of your wonderfull posts. Anyways, let me share something with you, with the hope you will like it.
Here is a small creation I made for my daughter few months back. The main intention of making this Colour Pencil Holder, is to make my daughter more colour conscious each time she is going to use her colour pencils. Every time she will use the pencils , will keep it in the proper place and come to know about the colour coordination and on the other hand it will slowly teach her matching the same things. Teaching colors to the kid is quite easy if you follow the simple prescript. Take one colour a day, talk about the colour and give the colour to your kid's hand and tell him/her to match the colour with the things around him/her. This way they learn very fast to identify the colours. Here is the small creation of mine which is  also one of the best examples of Best out of waste.

Things you need-
1. Coloured papers
2. A hard board for the base
3. Empty yoghurt cans
4. Glue/cello tape



How to make:-
1. Cover the yoghurt cans with different coloured papers.
2. Stick them on the Base.
3. And your Colour Pencil Holder is ready.

October 18, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Again another week passed within a wink. And again here I am with my sunday hunt collection. This week's themes are:
1.Side Lighting
2.Jack o'lantern
3.Faces Formed in Nature
4.Sunset
5.Warm
And here are my interpretations:
1.Side Lighting
2.Jack o'lantern
3.Faces Formed in Nature
4.Sunset

5.Warm

Click the below button to view more collections from other talented photographers:



I will be not active for a week or so. Have some guests at home. Will be back soon..Happy Blogging...

October 10, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Sunday comes too fast and passes away within a fraction of moment. Anyway again I am ready with my collection for the Scavenger Hunt Sunday event. This week's themes are:
1.Pink
2.Book
3.Fall Colours
4.Leaf
5.Orange
And here are my interpretations:
1.Pink
2.Book
3.Fall Colour

4.Leaf
5.Orange

Thanks to Ashley for conducting this wonderful weekly event. Click the button bellow to meet more talented photographers through their snaps they clicked for the event:

October 8, 2010

Photo Challenge- Reflection

This click is off to the Photo Challenge started by Jessi. The theme is Reflection. Click the link below to see more talented photographs-

October 7, 2010

A Day, A World......


Picture Courtesy :Googleimages.com
Being an ex-student of Visva-Bharati University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore, (located at Santiniketan, India), what I treasure most apart from the highly cultural and creative value oriented educational system, is the Anandamela/Anandabajar( Ananda in bengali means Happy and Mela/bajar means Fair).Though each and every festival of the university is worth to value, AnandaMela is exclusively different. It takes place on the auspicious day of Mahalaya , when each and every student would wake up early in the morning almost before the sunrise by themselves and rush to the university campus to gather the iron railings and Bamboo poles to build their own little shop. And the evening will be an out burst of crowd and creation. This little fair is the heart of all the functional activities which the students of Visva Bharati cherish most. This little fair is the effusion of the hidden originative potentialities and energies of the all ages students.

The biggest and most auspicious festival of the Bengalis is the Durga Puja or Durgotsov. It is widely celebrated in all over the world where ever you will see a bengali community is gathered up. Mahalaya, an auspicious occasion which is also know as Devi-bandana, is considered as the first day of Durga puja, heralds seven days prior to the main Puja.
"Mahalaya is a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth. We bengali never can think Mahalya with out listening to the early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.” This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of “Chandi Kavya”, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama." (Ref: http://hinduism.about.com/cs/audiomusic/a/aa092003a.htm)

For the students of Visva- Bharati this auspicious day of Mahalaya is the most awaited cherishing moment prolonged with a planned project to be materialized on Mahalaya. This is a little fair where only students participate. The most glorious part of this little fair is that only homemade food and own handmade crafts will be sold. The students from the nursery to the college will be seen busy in selling their own hand made products. And all the fund comes out of this fair will be donated to the Poor Fund. It always takes place in the open area of Patha-Bhavan school campus, known as Gour Prangan.
Picture Courtesy: Googleimages.com
As the enchanting invocation of goddess durga gets over, the sun -rise starts to paint the morning sky, all the students will be seen running out of their home towards the school campus. A distant sound of Dhak(Click) will keep on spieling in the campus. The romance of the music will make the area spell bounded and every body will keep on forging in that rhythm. Each group will be first divided in to two groups, one group will go to collect the iron railings which are stood through the eternity holding each others hand and protecting the huge playground of the campus. This is the day those are departed from each other and travel for a while in the fair land. The other group will stand in the queue of a particular office of the university that will be supplying the bamboo poles. A spot is always reserved beforehand for each shop. So the next step is to build up the shop and decorate it. For each shop one teacher is always there to assist them. After the shop is built the shopkeepers will fly to their houses to borrow bed sheets or saris from their mother to cover and decorate their shops. And mothers are always ready in advance with all the handy material that will be called for. In decorating the shops the students will show their utmost art of creativity. They will make beautiful hoardings, price lists/menu cards, lovely crafts hanging from the top etc. After the shop is decorated then the turn comes to take some rest and have lunch. If it is a handicraft stall then it is quite relaxing. But if it is a Food stall then the mothers have lot of works to do. The moms will help the kids to prepare the dishes whatever have come to their part. In the late afternoon the stalls would start to shine bright with the creative foodie goodie crafts and the excited radiant shop keepers who are ready to trade. The  residents of Santiniketan will  all amalgamate in this fair to cheer up the new sellers. The romance of the evening is beyond explanations. The lights, the sound of the Dhak and the attractively dressed up people make the fair more gorgeous than ever. Food stalls are always very tempting that the crowd denotes. Mostly the crowd will bee around the food counters. But the handicraft stalls are more to be seen like an astounding exhibition. You will become amazed by seeing creative crafts mainly of the little brains. Small houses or cars or mini furniture made out of match boxes/card board, greetings cards, bags, dolls, wall hangings, etc . You will get endless ideas how many beautiful creative things can be made and out of wasted stuffs too. That day whatever crafts are made becomes too precious for everybody. All the shoppers would visit each stall and make the sellers face more bright by buying something. In the nursery stall the parents will buy their kids' hand made crafts and the teachers are amazing too who always remember which craft belongs to whom. The fair ends up counting the profit and giving the responsibility of the money to the teacher and return back to home after dismantling the shop and collecting their own stuffs to return safely to the mothers.

It will look like a simple fair organized by school and college students. But now I feel the truth hidden behind the purpose. It helps to work in a group and to make a united world. It helps to make strong bonding between the friends, with the teachers and also with the parents. Cooperation and coordination are hidden key tools of this fair. This fair diminishes the gender crises and show that both genders have the same capability to work. You will never feel forced to join this fair but your creative instinct will instigate you to build up a memory for you. Every year the fair will teach how to become more responsible and more creative. It infuses in the individual a kind of leadership quality to conduct a team and take decisions. A memory which in future you are going to share with the world.

I feel proud when I say I belong to this amazing world. Every year this day of Mahalaya makes me cry. I miss my friends, my teachers, my parents and the enchanting Anandamela. I am not sure when again I would be able to visit the fair. And I feel too sad that my daughter will never be the part of this world. But I also know this that my creative instinct will always try to show her the parts of this world everytime. A world where the self potentiality is always scooped out in an unusual manner with out knowing that ever existed within us. The world would infuse creativity in your blood and your education will be shown up not as a bookish knowledge but the noesis which you have learned from the nature. I have seen my husband how he misses those 4-5days of Durga Puja. He will always keep on telling me about the gorgeously decorated pandals of Kolkata, the huge Idols of the Gods and Goddesses, the extended rituals, the food etc. But I have only one day to treasure and would love to share that gives me all the spirits of Durga Puja. Durga Puja means to me Mahalaya and Mahalaya means Ananda Mela.

 Shubho Mahalaya & Happy Durga Puja to all of you...

Sending this to  Pree's Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja .

October 5, 2010

Simplicity Challenge-Flowers

This week's theme of the Simplicity Photo Challenge is Flowers. Here are my collections-
Click the below link to view more mindblowing Photographs-

Baked Crispy Tilapia Fillet

Now it's a Recipe time. In the recent weeks suddenly our car needed to visit the car service station due to some internal problem. Though it's quite annoying and frustrating if the check engine light starts to blink, for me it became a healthy boon. During the time the car got checked I confronted with a great recipe idea from one of the magazines lazily laid around the center table of the sitting area of the store. Nowadays I am proned towards making healthy recipes mainly where a wee bit of oil or no oil is added at all. I found a recipe of crispy chicken nuggets which is coated with cornflakes and more pleasingly it's Baked. I borrowed the idea, googled for more recipes alike after coming home. The next day I made this Baked Crispy Tilapia Fillet. I never thought even in my imagination that Fish Fry can also be made with out oil. To be true you will not get the exact pleasure and taste what a deep fried stuff enhances, but I bet too you will not regret after tasting it. More good is you will never suffer from the nightmare that next how much calories you have to shed. You can have it as a starter or as a  dinner  with some dips and salads. Following is the recipe:
Recipe adapted from Cooks.com


Ingredients:-

Marinade:

Tilapia Fillets- 3 large
Ranch/Salad dressings- 2 tbspoon
Vinegar/Lemon juice- 1 tbspoon
Mayonnaise- 1 tbspoon
Parmesan Cheese- 3 tbspoon
Salt+pepper+Italian herbs- According to taste


Coating:
Cornflakes- Approx 2 cups (crumbs) [Note: I will suggest to make extra crumbs and not to use all at same time. The extras can be saved and used later if stored in a airtight container.]
Bread Crumbs- 1/2 cup

Method:-
1. Pre-heat the oven at 350F degrees.
2. Mix all the ingredients nicely with the fillets, listed under marinade and keep for 10-15mnts.
3. Put a silver foil on the baking tray and grease it nicely. (lining foils make easy to clean the tray.)
4. Mix the cornflakes and the bread crumbs and coat the fish gently. Lay them on the tray. Now spread some crumbs on the top of each fillet and press it little bit with your palm. Gently turn each fillet and do the same process.
5. Bake for 10-15mnts. Then turn the fillets and bake for 10 mnts more.Serve hot with bread, salads or dips.
Variation:
I also tired with chicken. I marinated the chicken breasts with Shan's tandoori Chicken masala and yoghurt and coated them with cornflakes and bread crumbs. Baked them at 375F degrees for 35-40mnts. This one also came out perfect and too tasty.

Note: I am not satisfy at all with the snaps. The snaps are taken in a hurry struggling a lot with the hungry tummies. Hope you can understand.

October 4, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week's Themes are:
1.Golden
2. Smell
3. Fruit
4. Simple
5. Sport

Here are my collections:
1. Golden

2. Smell


3. Fruit
4. Simple

5.Sport

These clicks go to the Scavenger Hunt Saunday event. Please click the below button to view more collections: