Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eggless Double Chocolate Cappuccino Muffins

Ishaan had been asking me to buy nutella for a few weeks now. I have been avoiding it because it is delicious (so not good for me) and Shiv cannot have it due to his food allergies. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I decided to buy nutella for Ishaan. He was very happy when he returned from school and saw it. Shiv was a little sad. In order to cheer him up, I told him we would bake muffins. He loves baking with me in the kitchen. He was very excited and seized the opportunity right away. We got to work and he made sure that Ishaan did not help because even he loves to bake with me.... so Shiv's rule was - just like Shiv cannot eat nutella, Ishaan cannot bake with us. Shiv did not let him enter the kitchen at all. Poor Ishaan!

Even I love to bake! I just feel so happy when I see the baking tray out of the oven... be it a savory or a sweet dish... it just makes me extremely happy. I am on cloud nine and if the dish comes out as good as these muffins, mm mmm mmmm .. I start behaving like "Master Chef" for a few hours.

I digress. Shiv did all the measuring and pouring under my supervision. We also used this as a good math learning experience. We got a chance to go over fractions. He practically saw that two 1/4 tsps make 1/2 tsp, a 1/3 is a little less than 1/2, 1/2 cup+1/4 cup made the 3/4 cups of the flour. I just threw the question at him and let him do the thinking. For example: I said, "Shiv we don't have a measuring cup for 3/4 cup measurement all we have is 1 cup, 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup. What shall we do now? That's when he answered, "Let's use 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup."

It was fun!

Well, coming back to the recipe, I like this recipe because one it is eggless and two it is made with oil not butter.
Recipe source: US Masala

Ingredients: Makes about 12 muffins

1. All Purpose flour/ Whole wheat pastry flour/ whole wheat flour - 1 3/4 cups
2. Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup
3. Cocoa powder - 3 tbsps
4. Semi sweet chocolate chips - 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup
5. Salt - 1/4 tsp
6. Baking Powder - 2 tsp
7. Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
8. Milk - 1 cup + 3 tbsp
9. Oil - 1/3 cup
10.Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp
11. Instant coffee powder - 2 1/2 tsp


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips with 3 tbsp milk in the microwave. 
3. In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients.

4. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients and beat for a minute. Add the melted chocolate chips and instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water.

5. Add the above mix to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the 1/4 cup chocolate chips to the batter. Do not over mix. Make sure there are no lumps of dry flour.

6. Spoon this mixture into muffin cups till 3/4 way filled.

Shiv loves licking whatever little is left in the bowl. You won't believe it... he did not even let Ishaan lick the bowl. He is the nicest little brother I have ever seen, but at times even he acts up.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

8. Let the muffins cool down to room temperature.

9. Enjoy with warm or cold milk!

Linking to Beauty and Bedlam 
Jingle all the way @ Edible Arrangements

Friday, September 23, 2011

My First Yarn Wreath!!

Supplies needed:
A wreath form

I  purchased the squares from the kids craft area in Michael's. I am such a newbie to crafting that I learned after making the wreath that the felt from the kids area is not the right kind or I should say preferred kind. 

Expert crafters believe that the precut squares are more stiff. The best felt would be from the bolts in the sewing area. Too late for me though.... I learned it the harder way.

The first and the most time consuming step is to wrap wreath with the yarn.It took me good hour and half to finish it.

Now comes the fun part... making the embellishments. I had so much fun making the flowers that I went overboard. My wreath will show an overload of embellishments. I folded a piece of felt in half and then half again and then cut the squares. 
Next, I free handed spirals with scissors on the felt square. 
Then, start rolling from either the inner corner or outer corner and glue the end. 

I know, I know I need a better camera! I have been giving hubs some hints .... let's see if Santa surprises me with one.

 Coming back to the wreath.....the best part was hot gluing the flowers to the wreath. I was not too happy with the yellow. I think it is a little too strong for the yarn and God alone knows what was I thinking while making green flowers... but hey I am a newbie crafter and the excitement took over.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

On my bedroom door:

 On my dining room mirror:

 I personally think I should have picked better colors and gone easy on the embellishments. But because I was in the kids area for the felt, I think all they had were strong primary colors. Next time I will check out the sewing area and come up with better embellishments. I loved making the flowers so much.... I am definitely going to try it one more time.

Linking it to Patty's weekly party , Tina's Highlight Sunday, Motivate Me Monday, The More the Merrier, Craft Catwalk

Monday, September 19, 2011

Drab to Fab Lamp Shade

I have had this boring, old plain white lamp shade for about 5 years now. I have always wanted to change it, but never got about doing so. So, armed with a few acrylic paints and sharpies, I changed my boring old plain white lampshade from this

to this

Linking it to Patty's Colours Dekor: The Weekly Story, 
The Creative Blog

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tea Party with friends!

We have bi weekly tea parties with friends from our apartment complex. It was my turn to host the party so I decided to make Braided Bread with Paneer stuffing.. There are numerous recipes in blogland so I just mixed and matched recipes and come up with something delicious!

First, some ice cold water
Now a few steps of the Braided Bread.

Roll out an oval from the dough (approximately 15 inches long). Place the stuffing in center.
 Cut equal amount of slits diagonally on both sides of the stuffing
 Then, start braiding.

Once the loaf is braided, let it rest for half an hour covered with a damp cloth. Then bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20-23 minutes.

That's it! 

Linking to Patty's Colours Dekor: The Weekly Story ~ wk 48

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My New Vase

I love it! I was tired of glass and ceramic vases so I thought of using this copper vessel that had been sitting in the storage forever.

Linking to Patty's Colours Dekor: The Weekly Story ~ wk 48

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leftover Party!

My camera somehow switches to 2004..... I have tried everything, but it doesn't work. So, please ignore the date on the pictures. These pictures were taken on 09/04/11.

My friends had come over for a leftover party i e food left over from the night before. I had cooked the meal for a different set of guests, but when my friend, AM, came to know that I had a ton of left overs, she volunteered to come over for lunch because both her and  I don't like food to be wasted.

Now because of her kind act, I wanted to serve the food in style!! Not make her feel like she is really eating leftovers so this is what  I did.................Glass for water, ice cream cup for kheer, one bowl for gulab jamun, one bowl for raita, dinner plate for the main course and the salad plate for papad and salad.

Thank God for such lovely friends!