Monthly Archives: October 2015

Fall Leaf Cookies

20151017_225656Decorating the fall leaf cookies

This project has been in my mind since last winter. I was waiting for this fall to do it. I enjoyed every moment painting and decorating it. My friends loved it too.20151017_225635

Things you need for this project

 Sugar Cookies

Food Color – Yellow, Red, Brown, Green

Alcohol like bacardi or gin to dilute the food color.

Wilton Golden Pearl Dust

Royal Icing

Brush- make sure that you store the brushes separately and use it only for food color

Method

  • Add 2 drops of food color in separate bowls and dilute them with alcohol. Place a few cookies onto a parchment paper on your table.20151017_175643
  • Using a paint brush start painting the top and sides with yellow as shown in the picture.20151017_180529
  • Then use the red color to fill up the top middle part of the cookie.20151017_181120
  • Then the brown color for the lower part of the cookie.20151017_181822
  • Lastly the green over the bottom sides as seen in the picture. Let it dry. 20151017_182651
  • Using royal icing, pipe the veins of the leaves. Let it dry.(Sorry, forgot to get a snap. Got too engrossed in the work).
  • Then mix the pearl dust and a drop of alcohol to dilute it.Paint over the top of the piped royal icing.20151017_225656

Decorating Techniques from Sweet Amb Cookies.

Royal Icing

Royal Icing is easy to make and very useful to decorate cookies.

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures this time. I shall definitely add it next time.

Ingredients

Icing Sugar – 2 cups

Meringue pw – 1.5 tbsp

Vanilla or Lemon Extract – 1/4 tsp

Warm Water – 1/4 cup

Method

  • Whisk the icing sugar and meringue pw together in a bowl.
  • Add water as well as the extract and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff peaks have formed.
  • Add more water or icing sugar if needed to get to the right consistency.
  • I have used flood consistency which means that the icing falls of from the beater in the form of a ribbon.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container to prevent hardening.

Sugar Cookies

20151016_225336These sugar cookies are easy to make and highly pliable. They can be rolled over and over again and it won’t lose its texture. The recipe is from Gretchen at gretchensbakery.com. She is very kind to share her professional recipes with us. After trying numerous recipes for cookies, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best recipe for sugar cookies especially if you plan on decorating them.

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour – 6 cups

Baking pw = 1 tbsp

Salt – 1 tsp

Unsalted Butter – 2 cups

Sugar – 2 cups

Eggs – 2 (large)

Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp

Method

  • Cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and then eggs, one by one and beat well.Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.20151014_164642
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking pw and salt. Add this to the above creamed mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Wrap this dough in a plastic wrap and chill it for at least 6 hours or overnight.20151014_171038
  • The dough can be stored safely in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for 2 months.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.20151016_213012
  • Transfer the cut outs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.20151016_215700
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown in color20151016_225336

Homemade Breakfast Pork Sausages

20151006_092514These homemade breakfast sausages are so much tastier than store bought ones. Definitely will be a winner in your family. Enjoy in a breakfast sandwich or by itself. Thanks to Alton Brown.

Ingredients

Ground Pork – 2 lbs

Ground Black Pepper – 2 tsp

Nutmeg Pw – 1/2 tsp

Cayenne pepper/Red Chilly pw – 1/2 tsp

Dried Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp

Sage Leaves (chopped) – 2 tsp

Thyme Leaves (chopped) – 2 tsp

Rosemary Leaves(chopped) – 1 tsp20150913_100808

Light Brown Sugar- 1tbsp

Salt – 2 tsp

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together.20150913_101614
  • Make round patties with it.20150913_105055
  • You can store it in a refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for 3 months.20151006_091328
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the patties on each side till well cooked (about 10 min).20151006_091838

Breakfast in a Bread Cup

20150913_105605An easy breakfast to go that you can make ahead of time from Martha Stewart. I like the convenience of carrying it with me as I leave home in the morning. Also love the fact that its a make ahead though it definitely cannot offer the taste of fresh hot breakfast in the morning.

Ingredients

Bread Slices – 8

Eggs – 6

Bacon – 6

Salt

Pepper

Method

  • Use a dough roller to roll out the bread very thin.20150913_091427
  • Cut out the bread using a round cookie cutter. 20150913_092538
  • Slice the rounds in halves.20150913_092702
  • In the meantime, cook the bacon in a pan. Make sure that it does not get overcooked and it is going to get further cooked in the oven. 20150913_091352
  • Place the bread slices into the muffin tins as shown in the picture.20150913_09300720150913_093021
  • Also place a little pc in the middle to cover the bottom (The 2 extra slices are for that). 20150913_093049
  • Place the bacon in the middle with the edges hanging over. 20150913_094026
  • Add the egg in the middle.20150913_094403
  • Season with salt and pepper.20150913_094520
  • Now bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Cabbage and Carrot Thoran (Cabbage – Carrot Stir Fry)

20150906_211152Thorans (Stir Fried Veggies with coconut mixture) is a traditional dish in Kerala. Its an everyday stir fry made with different veggies. The same method of preparation is used with different vegetables. I love it as it is such a healthy option and easy to make.

Cabbage and Carrot Thoran (Cabbage – Carrot Stir Fry)

Ingredients

Cabbage- 150 -250  grams( cut lengthwise and chopped)

Carrots – 2 (shredded or chopped)

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Shallots -1 ( chopped)

Dried red chillies – 2 ( broken into pcs )

Curry leaves – few

To grind

Coconut – ½ cup

Ginger – a tiny piece

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Garlic flakes – 2

Curry leaves – few

Green chillies – 2

Salt- ½ tsp

Method

  1. Grind the above ingredients only coarsely. No need to add water. 20150906_204433
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, red chillies, shallots and curry leaves.20150906_205045
  3.  Then add the ground mixture and turmeric pw (½ tsp). Saute for two minutes.20150906_205305
  4. Then add the chopped cabbage and a little salt to it. Mix well.20150906_205427
  5. Add the carrots and mix well.20150906_205637
  6. Sprinkle water just enough to wet it and then close and cook for 2- 3 minutes. Keep mixing in between and sprinkle water if needed. Ready.20150906_211152

You can make the same dish with carrots, beetroot, beans or papaya. Thoran is the name for it. So if its made with carrot , it would be called carrot thoran, with beans- beans thoran etc.