Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chocolate Marble Chiffon

I've no idea what cakes I would like to bake, my mind is just hanging and running out of idea. Other than making ice cream, I feel myself have no mood to do anything (may be the weather is too hot). So, I decided to do something simple rather than complicated baking.
This the simple marble chiffon cake I've baked which is nothing special that had filled my mood as the texture is excellent. The bad thing is the surface got a tunnel which I've no idea why. How nice if it's a smooth surface and this could be the perfect baked chiffon.
This reminded me life is not perfect, it's the matter of how we value and appreciate everything we have at the moment.

Ingredients for 21cm chiffon pan:
Egg white mixture:
180g egg whites
90g caster sugar
10g corn flour
Egg yolk mixtures:
70g egg yolks
60g water
60g vegetable oil
70g + 10g plain flour
20g caster sugar
8g cocoa powder
  1. Mix all the egg yolks, water, oil together until well combined. Add in the 70g of flour and the 20g of sugar, mix everything well combine and no lumps left.
  2. Measure the egg yolk mixture and divide it into equal quantities of two portions in separate mixing bowl.
  3. Mix 10g of the flour into a bowl of egg yolk mixture and mix 8g of cocoa powder into another bowl of egg yolk mixture.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a clean large bowl until peak foam. Gradually add in sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Then finally add in corn flour. Make sure the corn flour mix well in the egg mixture. The egg whites mixture should be peak foam, smooth and shiny. Gently fold in half of the egg whites mixture into the cocoa egg yolks mixture and plain mixture accordingly until well combine. (Note: This stage took some times and patient and practice. Make sure all the egg whites mixture well combine with the egg yolks mixture without breaking the egg whites. Little egg whites left will cause a big hole in the cake during baking. And, over mixing will cause it hardly rise during the baking.)
  5. Pour the well mix mixture into a 21cm chiffon cake tin and bake at a 170'C preheated oven for 50 - 55 minutes. After baked, let the baked cake turn upside down for cooling before unmold it. Enjoy this supper soft and fluffy chiffon cake!

Rava Ladoo ~ Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian Cooking challenge is the new event of the blogosphere, kick started by Mela Queen - Srivalli. It has been decided to have a trial run before the real show begins and Rava ladoo turned out to be the recipe for same. The recipe which Valli provided is different from what I usually follow. This one was damn easy and everyone loved it. I simply followed the recipe. No changes.

Rava - 1 cup

Sugar -1 cup

Ghee - 4 tspn

Milk - 2 tblspn

Powdered cardamom - a big pinch

Cashew nuts and raisins - few

Grated coconut - 2 tblspn

Take a kadai. Heat 2 tspn of ghee. Roast cashews and raisins. Remove and add the grated coconut. Roast till it is light brown. Remove the coconut and add the remaining ghee. Roast rava till you can smell the aroma of roasted rava. Switch off the flame. To the kadai, add sugar, powdered cardamom, roasted cashews,raisins and coconut. mix everything well. Slowly add warm milk to the mixture. Mix and switch on the flame and cook for two minutes. Remove from fire and stir for two minutes and transfer to a bowl. While warm make small balls and keep for 10 minutes for it to set well. If needed, you can sprinkle some milk for binding, while making the ladoos. I got 14 small sized ladoos.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Roast Chicken and Sweeet Potatoes

I dread ordering chicken. Whether lounging on salad greens or snuggled between two slices of bread, the meat is usually dry and dense. (Sometimes I worry about choking.) Worst of all, it has as much taste as raw zucchini. Try as one might, the flavor of the chicken cannot be revived with thick goops of Mayonnaise or layers of processed cheese. Luckily, I grew up in an era when family meals often centered around roast chicken. The only thing lovelier than biting into the moist, rich flesh is inhaling the aroma that permeates the kitchen and beckons anyone in it's path to S -L-O -W down. As you'll see from the recipe below, it takes very little effort to create a satisfying and healthful chicken dinner.


Serves 4 to 6


- You can limit the seasonings in this recipe to salt and freshly ground pepper and produce a delicious bird. Adding thyme, parsley, rosemary and oregano will make the meat even more flavorful.
- It's most economical to grow your own herbs. I have an array in my community garden. Before I got a plot, I raised them in window boxes.
- I'm not one to advocate for buying a lot of kitchen gadgets, but I do recommend investing in a pepper mill. The bright, almost lemony flavor of freshly ground peppercorns really outshines pre-ground varieties.
- I opted to pair the chicken with sweet potatoes because I love the subtle molasses flavor they develop when roasted. They also provide a strong dose of the heart healthy antioxidant, beta-carotene.


1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken, preferably free range
Freshly ground pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh sage finely chopped (optional)


Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Rinse chicken and pat dry.

Place chicken in 9 by 13 inch roasting pan. Season cavity and outside with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and garlic. Gently lift chicken skin and spread herb paste against flesh.

Truss the chicken to ensure even cooking.

Arrange potatoes on a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sage. Drizzle on remaining olive oil.

Roast chicken for 1 hour or until thermometer reads 170 degrees when inserted in flesh. Roast potatoes until fork tender.

Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

congratulations are in order...

...for Craig! On Saturday he submitted his final assignment for his final class to earn his Masters of Business Administration!

Can you believe he's been working on an advanced degree during the renovation?!

I'm so proud of him!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

dining room; clear chairs; corn vase

We often hear kind words about the fact that we're a productive pair. Although, as of late work has slowed dramatically. There are a number of small, unfinished projects preventing the joyous occasion of a to-do list strikethrough.

It's funny how a professional designer and real-estate agent, with camera crew in tow, can motivate you. Things are getting done - in fact, we removed the to-do list altogether.

The picture is old - many of the jobs are now complete. Can you believe we had a question mark behind 'Backsplash'?

So about this dining room... before:

Mmm. Wallpaper.

And I must point out the fireplace massacre. Some brilliant person covered the entire front with an inch of mastic to secure rocks.

Today - In progress:

I'm digging the clear chairs.

The corn vase - SO FAR - is only liked by two people. Me and
Jessica. It came from Red Tree.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Entry for Click-Stacks

Stacks of chips ahoy!

Hi friends,
Wondering why I am back so soon? Well, I miss blogging. I could not resist myself from participating in CLICK - Stacks photography event this month. I will be blogging on and off till next month(July) and will be on break till October.

Thank you so much for your comments on my 15 minute event round up. I hope you are trying those recipes one by one.

How about enjoying a cup of masala tea and some chips ahoy for afternoon snack? This is my entry to CLICK - Stacks event.

Mango Mania from other blogs

During the last mango season, I had bookmarked few mango recipes. As with most of the bookmarked list, this also did not make its way into my kitchen. This year, I did not want to give it a miss and had decided to try them, as soon as the season began.

1. Lata's Mango cake

I followed her recipe with some changes. I used half and half of All purpose flour and wheat
flour. No nuts in the cake since I did not have any. And I used fresh mango pulp. I was making the cake for my guests. So I decided to bake in the muffin try for easier serving. The cake batter was less for two batches, so I reduced the muffin size and saved the batter for a small cake in a tube pan.
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup (Aashirvad Atta)
Baking powder - 1 tspn
Baking soda - 1 tspn
Fresh mango pulp - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk powder - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Hot water - 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 180 C. Sift together the All purpose flour,wheat flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.Blend together mango pulp, water, sugar, milk powder, yogurt, and oil in a blender, until smooth. Mix in the blended puree into flour mixture and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a baking pan and bake for 35 minutes or until done. The cake was very moist, with a slight flavor of mango. The mango flavor is not very intense. I might try the same recipe with some other fruit puree.

2. Ice cream from Bharathy's kitchen laboratory

You need:

Mango pulp - 1 cup

Thick creamy milk - 1 cup

Arrowroot flour/maida - 1 tbspn

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Fresh cream - 1 tblpsn

Keep 4 tablespoons of milk aside to dissolve the arrowroot powder. Boil half litre of milk and simmer for few minutes so that it reduces in volume and gets thick. Stir in sugar and boil till
it is fully dissolved. Add the arrowroot mix with constant stirring to avoid lumps. The milk will get thicker now. Cool and min in the mango pulp. Blend the mix until smooth in a blender. Transfer the mix to a plastic tub and freeze. when it starts to freeze, whip again in a blender with the fresh cream added. Freeze the mixture again till it hardens.

Scoop into cups and enjoy homemade ice cream.

I am sending these to Srivalli's Mango Mela

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Extravagant LED Lighting

I have seen these new Mini iLume™ Flush Mount LED fixtures in a couple of applications and been intrigued at their possibilities.

Apparently I'm not the only kitchen and bath designer to be interested. Here's an image of a kitchen backsplash from their web site:

I recently attended a seminar by a wonderful lighting designer who presented new thinking (for me) about how we approach interior lighting.

She showed, in a series of slides, how we designers can make lighting more interesting and engaging in a space.

She used prisms to catch sunlight and throw rainbows onto walls and furnishings, creating a new kind of decorative lighting that used to be only accidental.

She used different colored light sources to create "warm" or "cool" areas in a room.

I was fascinated.

LED lighting presents us with opportunities for such lighting because it can be so small and unobtrusive.

What an exciting time to be a designer with such tools.



I was just browsing my friend Kit Golson's blog, Chic Provence, and ran across this post on artist Rudolf Stingel's work.

I have stolen this image to illustrate. Thanks Kit!

Would you believe the walls in this room are white?

This is the incredible power of light and color used to create art. But it also illustrates how light bouncing off colored surfaces can change the colors in a room, subtly or dramatically, depending on the light intensity and colors being reflected.

Question? Do you know what color the walls would appear to be if they were painted navy blue with the same orange carpeting and lighting?

29 Norwood Kitchen Renovation

Overview of the kitchen area using clean, traditional cabinetry and fixtures to create a spacious, aesthetically pleasing space

Floor to ceiling details

Adding ease of use to the kitchen, a bar sink is a wonderful addition

A beautiful, classic farmhouse sink by Whitehaus.

Granite countertops

Beadboard backsplash continues into the breakfast nook storage area

Photography provided by Alexis Stein Photography

8 Betsy Lane Bathroom Renovation

Beautifully designed classic bathroom with brushed nickel accessories, granite counter and undermount sink.

Granite countertops with a brushed nickel classic faucet

Brushed nickel shower fixture

Interior view of the tiled shower

Photography provided by: Alexis Stein Photography