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.






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.