Monday, July 3, 2017

Missing Appa... 18 years

"My Dad used to say that it's never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said,
You never know what you can accomplish until you try it " and today what I am it just his memories

When I was a child I was fascinated by the Cuckoo Clock and used to ask my dad to buy for me and he always said that he wanted to buy me the biggest Cuckoo clock and it never happened.

Yesterday June 30th , it is being 18 years since he is no more with me, it's a day filled with his memories. I had a cooking class with Kathrine from Germany and we were meeting for the first time and she said she got something for me, when I opened the packet it was few cookie cutters, chocolate and fridge magnet which is a miniature cuckoo clock. I just hugged her and thanked my APPA
A quick pic

During the Session

Thanks for the Gifts!

Orange Caraway Castles

Orange Caraway Castles

You're Invited 

















Ingredients
  • Butter                          75gms
  • Castor Sugar               60gms
  • Orange Marmalade     120ml
  • Orange  rind                     1
  • Egg beaten                   2
  • Flour                            125gms
  • Baking Powder            1/2 tsp
  • Salt a pinch
  • Caraway seeds            1 tsp


Method

  1. Sieve flour, salt and baking powder. thrice
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl
  3. Now add orange marmalade, orange rind
  4. And slowly add the beaten egg and beat till combine
  5. Fold the sieved flour to this mixture along with caraway seeds
  6. Pour it is your mould and bake for 170 degree for 25mts
  7. Cool and glaze with warm marmalade if you desire.
  8. Enjoy this yummy bites


You're Invited!

Bestie for Tea Time

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pineapple Cupcake Delight

While the Sun Sizzles
We're in the midst of another blazing summer. With each passing year, sun seems inching closer to us and breaking previous year's hot weather record. It's the occasional evening rain in B'lore that gives us some respite from dust and heat. But, these intermittent shower is like water sprayed on a hot dosa stove - it just fizzles away. 


Summer Specials - Swalpa Adjust Madi 
With summer, most people head to closer places like Oooty, Coonoor and Yercaud. Well, the Facebook updates of people says it all. 


So, how do you plan to escape the blunt of summer? How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally?. One way to cushion the impact of heat is by drinking more cups of water, or juice and eating fruits. If you're working in a cubicle, keep a bottle close at hand. For those who're at home have the liberty of making curd milk or drink chill lassi. I have a curd milk recipe on my blog for those looking for a simple and easy to-do curd milk. Try it out!

Keep Cool Indoors - Humm of Air Conditioners 

As summer peaks, there's a constant hum sound of air conditioners coming from all sides. For those without an air cooled room, there are many ingenious ways to bring cool interiors. I have read some where that changing the color of drapes gives a feeling of cool interiors..

In our case, we do minor adjustment during the hot season. We shift our bed to the floor so that we can get few degrees cooler and also a good night's sleep.

Fruit for the Summer Season!

Summer season, and summer vacation is synonymy with mango season. It's a fruit which has no close competitors ( my prejudiced thought). So, which fruit can beat the subtle and enchanting fragrance of ripe mangoes.

Every time around this season I get a blessing. It's from the generous yield from the mango tree right in our house in Bangalore. So, every summer this tree brings joy to us and I feel it's one of the very few trees in this pin code. 


Seasonal Fruits All Through The Year - No End to Any Season 
Gone are the days when fruits were seasonal. Now, many upscale supermarkets sell mangoes all through the year. Even though the conventional wisdom says that it's best to have  fruits based on the season, many of us are either unaware of the seasonal fruits or ignore such logic.


Summer Bake - Tried a Recipe from a Dusty Recipe Book 

Btw, how many unused recipe book do you have in your bookshelf? Did it get lost in the crowd, or you just didn't have the time to go through it. 

Pineapple Cupcake
Pineapple and coconut are the perfect partners in the tropical-flavored cupcakes.

Ingredients
  • Butter                  115gms
  • Caster Sugar       115gms
  • Egg                         2
  • Flour                      115gms
  • Baking powder  1/2 tsp
  • Canned pineapple rings 3
Frosting

  • Butter                                   115gms
  • Soft Cheese                          115gms
  • Icing Sugar                           280 gms
  • Desiccated Coconut             55gms
  • Chopped Pineapple              25 gms
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree
  2. Cream the butter and sugar to light and fluffy
  3. Gradually beat the eggs
  4. Add the sieve flour and baking powder and fold in gently
  5. Fold in the chopped Pineapple
  6. Fill the cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Frosting
  1. Beat together the butter and soft cheese
  2. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, then fold in the coconut.
  3. Swirl the frosting over the tops of the cupcakes and decorate with pineapple pieces
Baked Wonder ( Next is a layer of icing which I didn't do)


Following this Recipe 

Cupcake liners in the tray 

Weighing Castor Sugar

Butter Not in Room Temp ( Don't do this)

Note: I used half the recipe to make this cupcake. I felt the cupcake without the icing to be a bit dry. Probably icing would add to right taste.
Fill the batter not to the brim but only 2/3

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Drop Scones

Scones is a part of my childhood memories. Now when I have scone, it makes me reflective of my school days, the house where I stayed during my schooling, the extended family members who dropped in and stayed with us, the food prepared in that time, etc. But, today, all these seems like dusted memories, which are more like a changing wallpaper, which I keep seeing, and then disappear.

Mom had come down from Hyderabad for Easter and she is there with me now in Bangalore. Today on this lazy Sunday I was so happy to see my favorite breakfast made by mom.

I think all my cousins and brothers will agree with me with me about Scones , we used have it as a snack when we get back  home from School
Scones for Breakfast

Scone Photo shoot 

Scone Breakfast
Here is the simple recipe of Scone - There are many types of scones. These warm tea-time treats get their name from the fact that spoonfuls of the mixture are dropped on to a hot, lightly greased frying pan to let them cook.

Drop Scones

  • Flour 225gms
  • salt         ½ tsp
  • Sugar 1 tbsp
  • Egg        1
  • Milk 300 ml
  • Butter      50 gms (melted)


Method
  1. Sieve flour and salt into bowl.
  2. Add sugar then mix to a smooth batter with the egg and half the milk
  3. Then add the remaining milk slowly
  4. lightly brush a large pan with melted butter and heat.
  5. Drop small rounds of scone mixture from a tablespoon into pan
  6. Cook over a moderate heat until bubbles show on the scone surface.
  7. Carefully turn over and cook for further 2 minutes.
  8. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  9. Keep scones warm and serve with butter, Jam, golden syrup or honey.

So, what kind of food invoke your childhood memories?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pondicherry Trip

On March 10th 2017 both of us went to Pondicherry and Velankani for a short trip. The timing was great as the sun was not too harsh.

On the day we reached Pondy, we had the usual stroll along the alleys and lane ways of French quarters part of Pondy. We hired a two wheeler which made our exploration easy. After a laid back lunch, we headed to  Auroville Visitors Centre were we tasty bakes. By the time we got back to our room, I got a call from Geetha Paul   mam inviting us for a dinner in their resort Le Pondy Resort, Pondicherry. She had came to know that I was at Pondy by my FB post.(Love FB for that)
Both Geetha mam and Priya being my students at Trivandrum since long time and we share a special rapport.

Both us were very excited and glad to receive the invitation and reached the location around 9:30 pm. The resort was around 12kms from the White Town (French quarters).
And there it was –  Le Pondy Resort, Pondicherry  a sprawling property with a heritage look. One side of the resort is a lake and the other side faces Bay of Bengal. We were escorted to the private beach and was awestruck by the beauty of the windy beach

After walking around and seeing the charm of the resort, we went for the wide spread buffet. The dishes were from North to South Indian as well as Continental.

Even though we did not stay there, the rooms we saw blended with the surrounding space, offering calmness, and privacy to the guests. As I was not carrying camera and it being dark, I could not capture the real charm of the place.

One dish ( dessert) I must stood out was the Caramel Custard, which had a homely touch. (Sujo's was the best homemade Caramel Custard, which I will never forget). Also, the Cherry filled rolls. I was too feeling too full after having a bite from the appetizer to main course and the dessert. It was heart full feeling!

Le Pondy Resort, Pondicherry experience was a surprise visit and a unique one for us. It was a one-hour culinary treat for our pallet. I should thank the staff who extended the usual time to cater us. A special thanks to the Chef who made Mutton Ullathaiattu on our request which was well cooked and the spices all blended together.
Soup to Start With

Arched pillars in the dinning space and open outdoor view

Buffet Space at Le Pondy

Open Spaces are welcome

After the dinner - Thank You All


Our love and warm hug to Geetha mam and Priya for making our stay memorable at Pondicherry.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Girl

A big thanks to all who had wished me. Love you all.
It was a big surprise for me when Biju decided to bake a cake for me and it turned out to be yummy. Almond coffee cake. A flourless butter less cake. A big thanks to my mom who made my favorite megoreng noodles.
This year I had Stuti with me to cut the cake, we both share the same date but not the year  :-) Wishing her all happiness and joy.
I love my life. I love the age I am. You couldn’t pay me to be any younger; I’d have no interest. 45 had approached me quickly, but the real question is: 45 are you ready for ME?
Eat the cake. Drink the wine. Swim with those sharks. Be on TV. Ride that rollercoaster. Walk on that stage. None of us are getting out of here alive, so why the hell not?
Karma is a wonderful thing. It does work. So be good! Enjoy each moment





Sunday, April 9, 2017

Blooming City... namma ooru bengaluru

The canopy of Pink Tabebuia is common in Bangalore city, a spectacle to watch it during the season. Love the sight of it when we went for our morning walk. Love you Bangalore City!!!

Spectacular Bloom Near Home - Domlur

Wings of Guardian Angel

When I look back on my life, I wonder how I survived - when I was small and scared of anything my mom always said I had a guardian angel and she will take care of you and I believed her.
Two years back Chantel from Netherlands had come for my cooking class and it was a two day cooking session. She came back again to Bangalore again for her holidays and she came home yesterday to see me. We spent the whole day together just talking. She gifted me a small statue of an Angel which reminded me of my guardian angel whom I have forgotten as I grew up and I also loved the Dutch cookies she got for me.
The way people come into your life when you need them, it's wonderful and it happens in so many ways. It's like having an angel. Somebody comes along and helps you get right.
Chantel - House Visit - 2017
Guardian Angel - We all Need One! 


Chantel - 2 years back

Learn Baking Online

Everything happens for a reason. When I fell sick and could not travel much to other cities to take my classes, Biju gave an idea of online classes and it turned out to be a blessing when my students from Hyderabad approached me with the same and then I started taking online classes. Marina Online Indian Cooking ClassMarina's Online Bread Baking Classes
Liza heard of my online classes, contacted me to do a write up. I am so humbled to have featured in today's The Hindu Newspaper, Trivandrum edition. Thank you Liza for the wonderful write up.
Thank you lord for all the blessings. Thanks to all my students and friends who had called up to wish me luck for my new venture.
Wishing, hoping and praying to do many things in the field of baking,cooking and icing.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Profiterole - Queen of Desert

Profiterole

Oh, profiterole, queen among deserts! With chocolate sauce surrounding it on your plate, it stands out with all its divinity! This pic is from yesterday's class where I covered - Profiteroles, Eclairs and Doughnuts.

Where to Buy Profiterole or Eclairs in Bangalore?
When I made my first set of profiterole and eclairs, I wan't sure if I had made it right. Often, we follow the recipe word-by-word, but the outcome can slightly differ from the ones available in the market. So, to test and prove to myself that I had got it right, I send a messenger to buy these items from any of the upscale bakeries located around my locality.

Well, this two wheeler sporting messenger ( my hubby) came back with a disappointed and nasty look. Disappointed that he could only get eclairs from Lavonee, while all the places like Glen Bake House didn't have it on that particular day. Well, he had a irritated look as he had stop at many many popular bakeries and cafes in and around Indira Nagar locality, only to find none of these outlets have it. Well, I can understand how it's to drive on this no-mercy summer sun. 

Thakkaaram Idavazhi Experience

Rice is great if you're really hungry and that too if you want to have a good meal served in banana leaves

Had an yummy experience recently at
Our Family at Thakkaaram Idavazhi 
After the meals, comes banana! Self Service! 


Lunch on Banana Leaf ( Like the buttermilk served in clay mug)
Trivandrum is witnessing a renaissance in eateries - from themed restaurants, trendy cafes, and startups. One such place at Thakkaaram Idavazhi which has opened at Statue, Trivandrum. This place is open at 11 to 4 Trivandrum.

It was a simple spread of meal with two types of vegetables, sambar, dal , fish gravy, chamanthi ( killer taste) and payasam ( dessert needs improvement). Apart from the items served here, you can order extra dishes. There are a wide range of sea food ( king fish fry, mackeral, prawns, Chicken, etc) which you can choose.  I feel it's worth Rs 100 for the meals. So, give it a try if you're around Secretariat area in Trivanrdrum.

Address to reach this lunch joint:
 Kodar Lane, Statue Junction, Opposite to Accountant, General's Office,
Statue,Trivanrum, Kerala 695001
Phone: 085938 14422
Hours: 11AM–4PM

( I think they also cater to large orders or takeaway)

Gleeful Xmas Bakes

I have dreams of becoming a professional pastry chef and open a little bakery cum cafe some time down the line - that's how much I love baking. I love to cook in general, but my heart lies in baking.

Xmas Season - Yule time Spirit
Every year during this season, I have the same special festive feeling which comes along as we approach Christmas time. It's something that will remain where ever I'm. There're few memories that come along with it - the fragrance of plum cake, the melodious tune from Jim Reeves, and the overall mood of Christmas.

Christmas Bakes in Trivandrum
Trivandrum crowd surprise me each time I conduct classes over there. Love the students and their eagerness to learn new cuisine, which drives me to improve and innovate new things.

Young one giving all attention to the task
After the Xmas Cake Class



All smiles after the cupcake session 
This month I had a new person who joined me to assist in my classes at Trivandrum. Gnanakshi Ganesan. She had come down all the way from Bangalore who loves to bakes, and passionate about all kind of bakes. A big thanks to her for helping me run the session in a smooth flow.
Wishing her all the best in her future baking career.

See you Trivandrum City in 2017 with more fun filled baking and cooking sessions.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Whole Wheat Egg less Chocolate Cake



Slice of Goodness ( Whole Wheat Egg less Chocolate Cake)

Egg less Whole wheat Chocolate Cake

I'm not a person who's comfortable baking cakes without egg. However, I stumbled on this excellent blogger who has a wide range of egg-less cake recipes. This recipe given below is from her, which I did small changes to enhance outcome to come my way. Hats off to Akilla Subramaniam and her pursuit of healthy bakes.

Ingredient
  • Whole wheat flour          1 and 3/4 cups
  • Cocoa powder                 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder                2 tsps
  • Powdered sugar               3/4 cup + 4 tbsp
  • Milk                                 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Oil                                    1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence                 2 tsps
Method
  1. Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together thrice.
  3. Cream the powdered sugar and oil  add the milk and essence then combine well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the sieved mixture.
  5. Fold in the mixture until you get a smooth batter.
  6. Grease an 8 Inch pan and pour the batter into it.
  7. Bake in the pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Final Result

I'm really surprised to see the find texture and finish of this cake. I bet it will be the same when you bake with this recipe. Pls do try this and thank the recipe maker for her recipe.

Your's in Baking!

Marina

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cupcake Baking for Beginners in Bangalore

Joy of Baking Cupcakes

Cupcake Rising - Oven Baking

  • Are you new to baking? 
  • Are you familiar with the baking terminology, measurement, process, etc?
  • Do you know the ingredients used in baking?
So, you bought a new oven or you have a new-found passion/interest to bake. How do you go about baking and learning the rudiments of baking?  
If you're new to baking or you feel you need a strong foundation in baking, then I suggest you to start with the beginner level cupcake class.

In this class, I cover from the basics - learn the ingredients used in baking, the importance of measuring using standard measuring cups, setting of oven temperature, folding technique, knowledge on how cake rises, or to avoid common pitfalls of baking.

What's Covered in the Beginner level Cupcake Class?This 3 hr session is suitable for anyone who are new to baking and those who are with half-knowledge on baking or those looking to perfect their cupcake recipe.

Here're the topics covered in the beginner level cupcake class:
  1. 5 Types of Cupcake ( Vanilla, Strawberry, Orange marmalade, Chocolate, Dry fruits, ) 
  2. Basic buttercream icing on cupcake ( Learn to pipe simple design on cupcake)

Practice with Hands-on Experience 

In this class, you'll follow the process and recipe and make your own cupcakes. This hands-on practical session will help you to clear your doubts and it will help you to gain confidence in creating perfect cupcakes.

Fee for this 3 hr session is Rs 950 and you'll carry back the cupcakes make in the class. This class will usually have 3 to 6 people in one class. However, each person will get a chance to participate and bake own cupcake.

This class is at Domlur, Bangalore, and it's usually taken on Saturday morning ( 10:AM to 1:PM). However, each week class schedule is keeps changing. So, pls visit my blog to know about the upcoming baking classes in Bangalore.

In case you're are not able to attend this practical baking class, then you can register for the one-on-one online cupcake class. It is conducted through Skype. To schedule a Skype session, you can mail to mennasdelight@gmail.com or msg me at 9379398865.

Learn To Bake From Home - Online Cupcake Lessons ( Skype Class)

In the online class, you'll get a chance to bake along with me. These classes are a convenient way to learn as you can take this class at your own time and place. I also teach other cakes in the online cake class. You can check for the classes by visiting this Facebook Page

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.