Friday, January 27, 2017

Gratitude 2016

I am grateful for a unique experience which happened on 17th December 2016.
It was one of the busiest day, the day of 5 Cakes and 5 Icing workshop which was happening at Trivandrum , when the session was about to finish I heard my door bell, to my surprise one of my old student (Mini) was there. She said I need to speak to you Mam, told her to please wait till the session get over and I got back to my class and completely forgot about her.
About half an hour later someone said there is a gang of girls outside waiting for me. I was shocked to see many of my old students waiting along with Mini to meet me.
They have come to wish me Christmas with a beautiful greeting card , a cup which says –“ The best Teacher” and a wonderful gift – An Air brush, which we use for our spray painting in Icing. I already have one but wanted to buy one more for Trivandrum classes since I carry it up and down all the time.
In the year 2016 Santa Clause had gone through my wish list and blessed me abundantly and gifted me two things which I wanted the most. Kenwood from my bro and Air brush from my students.
I wanted to say thanks for the wonderful year 2016... and share my gratitude for everything I've been blessed with. Family, friends, students and continued support from everyone.
Happy New Year to everyone. Wishing you each a healthy and grateful 2017




Lost Art of Letter-writing

I love writing letters and receiving letters. It's so sad that we've lost the art of letter-writing and the charm of saving correspondence.
Sending Christmas and New year cards used to be a norm before the digital era. The first signs of change came with ecards and then it too disappeared. Ask people about sending cards and you'll hear a common thread - who has the time to buy cards, and post them.

Exceptions Remain 
To my surprise this year on 26th Dec 2016, I received a greeting card through post, a cute little Christmas card from my cute little(now she is grown up) cousin Maria Jacob.
Thank you so much dear, I will cherish it forever.

In love with Pathanamthitta City

A year back I got a call from PATHANAMTHITTA CITY enquiring about my class details at Trivandrum. I was quite surprised to see her for my one week session. The time, dedication and passion she had in learning was amazing and also found her as very warm person were everyone would love to keep in touch with her.

She came to meet me with her family after my Surgery and invited me to her home, since I wanted a change of place and want to relax for a day, we took this opportunity to be there.
Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. I experienced it at Sujo's home, she is so magnificent that she stretch so much to make you feel at home. She valued beautification in every area of her life.
In two days we had a wide spread of cuisine cooked with so much of love by Sujo. And the caring Sajan and kids Mahima and Shobith took us around the Elanthoorr, Pamba RiverAdavi EcoTourism Bowl Boat Riding, Konni and Konni Elephant Cage and Sajan's brother Aji runs a Home stay The Mannas Veedu at Elanthoor which is worth staying, check it out for more details http://bit.ly/2fhKbWa
I want to thank the entire family for making us feel at home and looking forward to meet you all again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Smart Marketing Tactic!

Marketing Tactic - Similar Packaging
Some brand shine, few out shine many other brands and in some cases there are trendsetter brands who carve a niche market from nothing. In this realm, I feel ID brand falls in the category of innovation, and quality.

For a long time, I have been a loyal customer of ID idly batter. I've seen how they have changed their packaging from a ordinary looking one to a more polished brand.

Today, the company has introduced new varieties in the market -  Kerala Parotta, Wheat Parotta, etc. While it has grown it's biz volume, it has also attracted more competition.

Sometime last week, I went out late in the evening to buy few things remaining in the shopping list. The last item required was idly batter. I rushed to a near by shop and picked one and rushed into the waiting auto. When I reached home I realized that I picked a different brand and it was not ID brand.

It's apparent that some savvy marketing guys must have cloned the cover. And it made me wonder how customers are influenced by the color, font and packaging. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Coconut Cake - Ring of Delight

Coconut Cake 

Slice of coconut cake
I grew up with Coconut as my main flavor in food. It's a part of our culture.
And today when I made the Coconut Cake, a familiar flavor whizzed around, waking up an old forgotten memory. This is when I realized how much we are tied to our olfactory senses.

Coconut Cake Experiment
This coconut cake, had coconut milk, coconut essence, coconut oil and dedicated coconut as Icing. Try the recipe given below. When you make this in you home, give a little bit of spin to the recipe or the finish or the final photo. And that becomes your's for sure!

Ingredients:
  • Maida            180 gms
  • Egg white          2 
  • Coconut milk   1 Cup
  • Coconut oil    1/3 cup
  • Sugar            170 grm
  • Vanilla essence 1 tsp
  • Coconut essence 1 tsp
  • Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Method
1. Sieve maida and baking powder 3 times
2.Beat egg white to stiff peak ( make sure your bowl and beater blades are oil free)
3.Use a beater and cream the oil and powdered sugar to a creamy texture.
4.Slowly beat in the flour, milk and essence.
5.Gently fold the egg white into the batter
6.Bake it at 180 degree for 40 mts.

For Coconut Frosting
  • Butter - 1 Cup
  • Vanilla 1 tsp
  • Coconut essence 8 tsp
  • Icing sugar 4 cups
  • Coconut milk 4 tsp
Method
  1. Cream the butter and icing sugar
  2. Add the essence and milk and beat to a creamy texture.
Note: I have jotted this recipe from a website or blog, but I can't recollect the source. Due to this, I can't give the proper source.

If you get any doubt or confusion  while trying this recipe, then you're free to msg or call me for clarification.

Get, Set and Bake!

Marina

P.S: Here's a handy checklist for first-time bakers.