Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

The inspiration for these muffins is from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/11/06/cranberry-orange-muffins/. This is one of my favourite sites for baking stuff.
Also, I didn’t have any oranges. So I decided to experiment with lemons. These are organic lemons from my mother-in-law's lemon tree!

Here is my version of cranberry lemon muffins with a lemon glaze -

This recipe makes 6 muffins.

Ingredients -

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 egg at room temp
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tspn vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn cinnamon powder
1 tbspn lemon juice
1 tbspn milk
3/4 cup dried cranberries

For Lemon Glaze -
3/4 cup finely powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Procedure -

Preheat oven to 220C.
Beat the butter till soft and creamy. Add the sugars and whisk well. Add egg, yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk well. The yogurt gives these muffins a really moist quality. Add the lemon zest and incorporate well.
Mix all the dry ingredients and add them to the wet stuff. Mix well. Add the lemon juice and milk. Add the cranberries and fold them in the batter.
Bake in the oven for 5 mins at 220C. Without taking the cupcakes out, lower the temperature of the oven to 180C and bake further for 20 mins or so. Check to see if done with a clean toothpick test.
While the muffins cool, whisk all the glaze ingredients and pour over the glaze on the warm muffins. Allow to cool before eating.

Happy seventh anniversary honey!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chappati Cozy

Ajay takes a lunch box to college. It is healthier and tastes better than the food at their canteen. So chappati is a regular feature in the lunch box and I have been thinking of ways to ensure that it stays kind of warm and soft. Yes, yes,  I know I can just use foil or something, but that just seems so wasteful. In our efforts to be an environmentally conscious family we ditch anything that cant be reused. We don't even own aluminium foil!

So here is the tortilla warmer aka. chappati warmer that fits the bill!

This project used up some of my previous project scraps so I get bonus points!

What is it ?? There are two round pieces of quilted and batted fabric(8 inch diameter) with an inner muslin lining. These are then pieced together at the halfway mark to make a half open envelope using a similar coloured binding.
The original tutorial is here - http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.in/2010/07/tortilla-cozy-tutorial.html
This can be used straight away in a microwave and washed for reuse!
Reuse - Reduce - Recycle!

He likes it and says its really professionally done and that I could sell these! Made my day. :)


Monday, November 17, 2014

Cross-Stitch Family Portrait

This is the day and age of obsessive "selfies". They are everywhere. The social network is teeming with them. And here I am in my own anachronistic world peering at those tiny square of an Aida fabric trying to embroider a cross-stitch family portrait. It took more effort than I thought. So here is the end result.

The last time I attempted a cross-stitch was in the 5th grade! This time around I wanted to do stuff much more professionally and extremely neatly.

The inspiration for this project came of this place -

Now counting cross-stitch is not as easy as it looks. There is the whole matter of getting everything properly accurate once you start embroidering. Also I wanted to make slightly bigger figures so I had to put in some math to scale up my picture.

Here is the original plan all put on a graph paper -

Once I had a general idea of the portrait, I spent a fair amount of time learning all about colour blocking. I wanted to use colours that go well together yet look really vibrant and coordinated. After spending quite a few hours, I kind of decided on the colour scheme and started shopping.

The major stumbling block was acquiring the right Aida fabric. I wanted a count 14 or higher. Finally found it on the pony craft store - http://www.ponycraftstore.com/product/viewdetail/aida-fabric-white-42-x-48cm-70402

Also more hours watching videos and learning to cross-stitch properly, I think I managed to do a decent job with this piece. Look at the back side of my embroidery to get a gauge of the quality. There is not a single knot anywhere. All the crosses cross over the same way and I have all these beautiful parallel lines on the back. So I finally did something right! And what a lesson in patience!

Now all that is left is to carefully wash this up, add some interfacing to stiffen the backside and frame it up. This one goes up on my craft station at the new house!