January 28, 2015

Celebrating 5th birthday with Ninjago lemon cake

Lemon cake with ninjagos

This last fall Lil A has been obsessed with Ninja turtles and then Ninjago characters. So when I asked him what cake he wanted for his birthday, he said Ninjago cake without batting an eyelid. My brain went into shock. How am I going to make it?

The next day we were at his pediatrician for a check up and he told the doctor, "My mommy is making me a ninjago cake for my birthday." She looked at me and said, "don't forget to get a picture when you are here next." Ah, my heart sank.

After several failed attempts to not do it, I decided to tackle it myself. If you don't know what ninjagos are: there are five of them with different colors. One of them is a teacher with white flowing beard and a hat, the other four are the ninjas.

I got fondants from Michaels, little packages, of red, black and white. I made the yellow and blue using food color and white fondant. I saw this YouTube video and sort of followed it.

January 20, 2015

Making Japanese milk bread at home

Japanese milk bread

It was late, I was putting kids to bed, almost half asleep myself when a picture popped into my facebook feed. It was the softest bread I had seen and all I remember was the name - Japanese milk bread. Somehow, I could never find that picture again. But it had served its purpose. Next day, I woke up determined to learn more about this.

There were many, many recipes and versions to follow. You can add condensed milk, heavy cream to the ingredients in some of them.

I decided to give a try to New York Times recipe. But I made some modifications. I used whole wheat white flour. Plus, I don't have a mixer, you see. So I did it all by hand.

But the taste, what can I tell you. With hints of sweetness, and buttery taste with flaky crumb, this bread was my companion till we finished it. You can butter it, add some jam or even condensed milk, and it will still taste amazing.

The secret to the bread is tanzhong - a roux of flour, milk and water that is cooked on stove top. I have detailed pictures of the steps, so I hope it's easy to explain.

January 07, 2015

Goddu rasam to put us back on track

Happy New Year friends! Hope your new year is filled with fun, love, good health and good food.

We went away to Tampa, Florida for the last week of December and soaked in all the sun, visited the beach, relaxed, went to the zoo, aquarium, and had fun with the kids.

Goddu rasam Lil A and Tiny M went swimming everyday and grew more confident about being in the water. There was also a splash pad in the resort, but they didn't care for it much. After 5 days of fun-filled days, we came back home and promptly fell sick.

So I made goddu saar or rasam, friend some papads and made some rice and we all had a big bowl of the rasam which aswin and my MIL swear by. The perfect mix of sour and sweet soothes the throat and the soul.

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