Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 24: Christmas goodies/ Palagarams {25 Days of Christmas}

When we were little we as a family would bake and make loads of Christmas goodies as a family for couple of nights in a row. It was something that me and my brother looked  forward to. Mom used  to make huge batches of goodies to give away. It sure was an awesome time of fun love and bonding as a family. Now I also make couple of goodies with my family and hopefully the kids will do the same when they grow up :) Here are a couple of goodies that we made this Christmas. We baked sugar cookies, snowballs, fruit cake. We also made some murku/ spicy fried noodles, spicy cashews, baloo shahi/ Indian buttermilk donuts and some almond candies :)

Fruit Cake
Muruku/Fried Noodles
Roasted Spicy Cashews
Baloo Shahi/ Indian Buttermilk donuts
Almond Brittle
So what did you make this Christmas?????

Recipe 12: Chocolate truffles

"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate." - Linda Grayson


My truffle recipe is a very quick and easy one, given to me by my friend in Australia. I hope you enjoy it!


Cream cheese softened 8 ounces
Confectioner's sugar 3 cups
Chocolate chips 2 cups
Vanilla Extract 1tsp


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until well blended.
  3. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla . Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape into 1 inch balls.  
  4. Roll truffles in ground walnuts , cocoa, coconut, candy sprinkles, etc.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Recipe 11: Edible Arrangement!

An edible fruit arrangement is a beautiful dessert for your parties. It also serves as a beautiful center piece for your table. Its a practical alternative for flowers, and very refreshing. These arrangements are very popular here in the United States. There are companies where you can order them online as a gift too. Ive ordered a couple sometime back and they are pretty expensive...... I decided to try and make them for our party and it was such a hit!!! It was soooo fun and the kids also helped and it kinda became a family fun time:)..... of course kids nibbled on the fruits before and after it was done!!

Items You'll Need: 

  • Fresh Fruits
  • Plate
  • Wooden skewers
  •  Knife
  • Melon Scooper
Make Fruit Arrangement:

1. Scoop out the melons. Wash and clean the strawberries and grapes.You can also cut out  other fruits and shape them into flowers. You could also dip some of the fruit in chocolate and wait until it hardens.
2. Arrange the fruit onto the wood skewers. (This is what the kids would love to do)
3. For the base skin the pineapple and cut of the top part so that it would stand firm.

4. Stick the skewers into the pineapple,and arrange them as you please.Fill in the spaces with larger pieces like melons to hide the sticks.

Its best to make the arrangement before the party. You can assemble the skewers ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator

Day 23: Christmas Program{25 Days of Christmas}

Today, we had our Children's Christmas Program. The kids have been practicing for months and totally looking forward to it. Well my son got the last minute jitters and didn't want to go on stage. But, at the last min he decided to go up. The reaction after his performance was priceless :) He was proud of himself for doing it in spite of his fears. These moments are really special isnt it?? I love my lil ones to bits. All the kids did a fantastic job sharing the account of our Savior's birth with us. Their hard work did pay off!

Well my son got the last minute jitters and didn't want to go on stage. But, at the last min he decided to go up. The reaction after his performance was priceless :) He was proud of himself for doing it in spite of his fears. These moments are really special isnt it?? I love my little ones to bits. All the kids did a fantastic job sharing the account of our Savior's birth with us. Their hard work did pay off!

All the kids did a fantastic job sharing the account of our Savior's birth with us. Their hard work did pay off!
We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.
Todays ornament: Nail pierced hands
Scripture: John 20:1-20

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 22: Family picture {25 Days of Christmas}

Every year we take our family picture. This is what I love the most while my family dreads it. (And I pretend like I didnt notice LOL) I love everything about taking pictures esp my precious lil munchkins. Pictures are really precious to me :) All the lovely moments caught in a flash...... I love grasping all the precious moments and keeping them safe with me. So here is our family pic this season :)

At a time we should feel most blessed
Holidays can make us feel quite stressed
When you feel the "Crabbies" come near
Sprinkle yourself with Christmas Cheer :)
Enjoy this season and celebrate the birth of Christ while spreading the good news to one and all.
We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.
Crucifxion and Burrial
Todays ornament: Cross
Scripture:Luke 23:33-46

Recipe 10:Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana or trinity cream. Its a desert condisting of a thick custard as its base and topped with a layer of hard caramel and its usually served cold.

Heavy cream- 4 Cups
Vanilla essence -1/4 tsp
saffron few strands
Sugar- 1 Cup
Egg yolks -6
Hot water-  8 cups

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place the cream, vanilla essence and few saffron strands in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks and the cream Pour into ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Refrigerate.
  • Remove from the refrigerator sprinkle the sugar and used the torch to melt the sugar and garnish with safron.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 21: Family Movie Time{25 Days of Christmas}

This is one of the activities that we all love to do a couple of times during the year. But during this time of the year we love it the most as we snuggle up together and watch a fun movie. We Pick a movie that all of us can watch. And something that doesnt completely skew away fromt the true meaning of Christmas. We sure love to snuggle under a warm blanket surrounded by the christmas lights glistening and the fire warming us. The kids love popcorn drizzled with chocolate syrup topped with minty christmasy m&m's and hot chocolate. It sure is the most beautiful time of the year! What is your most favourite tradition/ activity during this time of the year???

We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.
Betrayal and Denial
Todays ornament: Rooster
Scripture:Mathew 26:47-54

Recipe 9: Easy Breezy strawberry mousse:)

This is a super easy recipe and its just right for the season:)


2 cups strawberries, halved
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup Cool whip


Combine the strawberries and sugar in a blender, and process until smooth.
Combine strawberry puree and sour cream in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Fold whipped topping into strawberry mixture.
Spoon into 6-ounce custard cups. Cover and freeze until firm.
Decorate with sliced strawberries.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 20: Snowman Soup{25 Days of Christmas}

During this time of the year, we love to give treats to our friends.I love to give some Magical Snowman Soup to the kids:) This sure is a perfect treat that kids will love :)

You could pack each serving in individual cups or in treat bags and add a little Snowman Soup poem:)
Was told you’ve been real good all year,
 always glad to hear it! 
With freezing weather drawing near,
you’ll need to warm the spirit.
So, here’s a little Snowman Soup,
complete with stirring stick. 
Just add hot water & sip it slow.
  It’s sure to do the trick
Heres the recipe:
1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 jar (8 ounces) powdered French Vanilla creamer
2 cups milk powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup instant coffee granules
Each Serving
  • 1 cup hot water
  •  2 tsp Snowman Soup Mix
  •  1 Candy Cane
  • You can throw in some marshmellows

    Topping Suggestions
  • Sweetened whipped cream,baking cocoa, marshmellows

    • In a large bowl, combine the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 months.

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Todays ornament: Gift
    Scripture:Mathew 26:36-45

    Recipe 8:Creamy Caramel Flan

    Flan is a traditional creamy, rich Mexican dessert.There are many Flan recipes but this is one of the simplest recipes and truly the best :). Ive tried this many times and its always perfect!!! If you've never made flan before, try this recipe and you wont regret it!!

    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    6 large eggs
    1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    2 13 oz cans evaporated milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence


    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    • In a small, heavy saucepan , cook sugar, stirring, until golden over medium-low heat
    • Pour into a 10 inch round baking dish, swirl to coat bottom and sides of the pan and set aside. 
    • Whisk the eggs and mix in the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.Then slowly mix in the 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla. 
    • Pour into caramel coated pan. Place the pan in a large glass baking dish and fill with about 1-2 inches of hot water. Bake for 45 minutes in the water bath.
    • Remove and let cool. Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. Invert onto a serving dish. 

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Day 19: Class Party{25 Days of Christmas}

    Hi everyone, today was my daughters last day of school. They started off with a fun pajama pancake party. Then they had a book exchange and they also watched a fun movie. My daughter hasnt stopped talking abt it :) All the little ones looked adorable in their jammies. A lovely day indeed. If you had read my earlier post, you would have known that we gave a cute gift to all the kids in class. Click here to see whats in these cute bags.

    So drop me a line and let me know what have you all been upto ?
    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Last Supper
    Todays ornament: Bowl and Cloth
    Scripture:Luke 22:14-20

    Recipe 7: Indian Rosettes (Archive)

    I don't go long without eating. I never starve myself: I grab a yummy snack.~ Sheeba Asariah

    I bet you cant have just one!!!. This sure is a very yummy and addictive treat!! They are made using a rosette iron, its called 'achi' in tamil. Click here to buy one.  It is a traditional classic recipe. We as a family would make huge batches for Christmas. We used to have over 100 people visiting us for Christmas. It was a tedious process but it sure was worthwhile.

    Prep & Cooking: 1 hr
    Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

    1  1/2 Cup maida
    1/2 Cup Rice Powder
    1 1/4 Cup Granulated sugar
    Vanilla essence few drops
    3 Eggs
    water as required
    salt to taste (a pinch is good enough)
    oil for deep frying


    • Whisk together eggs, , milk, granulated sugarand vanilla in a large bowl, then add salt and flour , do not overmix.

    • Heat oil in a pan with rosette iron in it until thermometer registers 370 to 375°F. Carefully lift out iron. Dip all but top edge of iron into batter for 3 seconds, then submerge iron in oil and fry until golden brown for few seconds. The iron should not touch the bottom of the pan.Shake the iron slowly and the rossettes will slide into the oil. Take it out and let dry on a paper towel. Make  rosettes by heating the iron in oil 10 seconds before dipping it into batter each time.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Recipe 6: Muruku

     Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are.  ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
    Crunchy Munchy goodness.....

    So how was your weekend? Hope you all are enjoying a ton!! We had a good one too. Heres another yummy crunchy treat.  Murukku is a very popular South Indian snack. Here is a very easy and tasty recipe  to make crispy and crunchy murukkus. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee.....  I bet you cant eat just one!!

    Rice flour – 4 cups
    Pottu Kadalai /Roasted Gram Dal/ Fried Gram Dal – 1 cup
    Melted Butter  – 2 tbsp
    Cumin seeds- 2 tbsp
    Sesame seeds- 2 tbsp
    Asafoetida a pinch
    Salt to taste


    • In a blender, smoothly powder the fried gram dal.
    •  In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients together by adding enough water to make a tight dough, dont use too much water.
    • Heat enough oil to deep fry, once it is hot, stuff the dough in the murukku press and press it into the oil directly.
    • Deep fry both sides until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel , cool and store in a air tight container. It keeps well for weeks.

    Day 18: Packing Presents {25 Days of Christmas}

    Hi there, Im sure you all have been super creative this holiday season. We sure have been. My daughter hase been super busy making some lovely gifts for ALL her classmates :) And my son made a couple for his friends. Their little hands have been working hard. Well we had to come up with a gift that we had to give 30 classmates and abt 20 or more friends.... whew I wasnt sure if I wanted to do it. But, she convinced me and heres what we came up with. She is all set to enjoy the class party tomorrow.

    Each child will get a Salt dough ornament, candies and a handmade card and to top it off its 'cutely' packaged!! The kids loved making it :)

    Are they not adorable???? Well I got this idea from Pinterest.......... oh how I love pinterest :)

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Triumphal entry and cleansing the temple
    Todays ornament: Donkey
    Scripture:Mathew 21:1-13

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Recipe 5:Yummy Rice Krispies(Archive)

    This is a very simple treat that kids will love ......My SIL had made this a couple of years ago and I just fell in love with it. My kids love them a lot. Its easy and quick to make.

    Sweet, Chewy, Crunchy Delicious.......

    3 tablespoons  butter
    1 package   (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
    6 cups crisp rice cereal

    • In a saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. 
    • Add crisp rice cereal and stir well so that the cereal is well coated.
    • Using wax paper evenly press mixture into the pan coated with cooking spray.
    • Cut them into squares or using a cookie cutter cut them into different shapes.


    Day 17: Christmas Musical {25 Days of Christmas}

    The kids love to see the enactment of the nativity scene. Kids can understand better who the real reason for Chrismas is. The kids have begun counting down the days ...... they look forward to something new that they could do this season. Have you done this with your kids? Im sure they loved it too.

    Its such joy to see the kids enjoy the season knowing the reason for the season!

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Mary and Martha
    Todays ornament: broon
    Scripture: Luke 10:38-43

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    Recipe 4: Chocolate chip cookies.(Archive)

    How about some chocolate chip cookies and som Hot chocolate???

    Soooooo yummmm

    butter Softened  1/2 Cup
    Sugar 1/2 cup 
    brown sugar 1/2 cup
    eggs 1
    vanilla extract 1 teaspoons
    Maida (all-purpose flour) 1 1/2 cups
    baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
     chocolate chips 1 cup



    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
    2. In a bowl, mix together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until blended.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla and blend in the flour mixture. Finally fold in the chocolate chips.
    3. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
    4. Bake for about 10 minutes or untill the edges are golder brown.

    Day 16: Decorating the mantle {25 Days of Christmas}

    My kids are older and they are more and more interested in decorating the house with me. This year it was really nice as we sat together to plan on how to decorate. It was lovely hearing their ideas and what they wanted to do :) They came up with the idea of making ornaments for the tree and also displaying their artwork and this is what we came up with :)

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    The woman's coins
    Todays ornament: coins
    Scripture: Mark 12:14-24

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Day 15: Christmas Fruit Cake {25 Days of Christmas}

    Like every year Christmas will arrive sooner as expected. It is right around the corner and everyone is in the spirit of Christmas here. The downtown is gleaming with lights, beautiful decorations. As we walk around we cannot stay from snacking on all the delicious goodies sold there. The aroma of baked cookies, deep fried donughts sprinkled with powdered sugar tantalizes our tastebuds. Every season I love to bake at least one fruitcake and I tweaked it a little bit every time  and I have come up with a wonderful recipe. Believe me you wont be dissappointed. Be creative with your dried fruit choices, you can add the ones you like and skip the ones you dont. But make sure the dry fruits weigh the same in total.


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  •  Candied lemon zest
  • Candied orange zest
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger
  • 1 cup gold rum
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 11/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup  pecans, broken
  • Brandy for basting and/or spritzing
  •  Vanilla Extract few drops

  • Procedure 

  • Combine chopped dried fruits and nuts. Add rum,and macerate for a week.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour the cake pan
  • Mix flour, baking powder, spices and set aside.
  • Beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30    seconds,and then on high speed 5 minutes
  • Beat in flour mixture on low speed.
  • Now fold in the fruit and nut mixture
  • Pour into pan.
  • Bake for 40 mins. Check if it is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If nothing is stuck to the toothpick then it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
  • Remove cake from oven leave it the cooling rack. Spritz with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
  • Enjoy it with espresso or cappuccino.

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    The woman at the well
    Todays ornament: water pail
    Scripture: Luke 15:3-10

    Recipe 3:Brownies (Archive)

    Mmmmmmmm Brownies :)



    vegetable oil 1/2 cup
    sugar 1/2 cup
     vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
     eggs 2
    all-purpose flour 1/2 cup
    sweetened cocoa powder 1/3 cup
    baking powder 1/4 tsp
    1/4 teaspoon salt


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a baking pan.
    2. In a  bowl, mix in the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs one by one and mix well. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
    3. Blend the mixture well. Pour the batter into the pan.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slice and serve.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Recipe 2: Snowball Cookies

    Prep & Cooking: 35 mts
    Servings 30


    butter-1 cup
    vanilla extract -1 teaspoon
    confectioners' sugar -6 tablespoons
    all-purpose flour- 2 cups
    chopped pecans -1 cup
    confectioners' sugar for decoration -1/3 cup

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    • In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners' sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

    Day 14: Cookie exchange {25 Days of Christmas}

            It was just another day, dropped my daughter at school, ran some errands, cleaned the house and  sat down with my tea to facebook.................. I just cant wrap it around my head about the killing in CT now, not ever! I was just praying and crying as I read what happened today. My day hasnt been the same since. I just wanted to hold my kids right away. I just cant imagine what the moms and dads are going through right now..... My heart bleeds for every family who lost a loved one. This is why we always tell one another that we love one another before leaving the house. But, it has also taught me not to procrastinate expressing our love. Which is why I baked cookies for my babies today coz my daughter wanted me to bake some before she left for school. I wasnt sure if I was ready to go for the cookie exchange pary later in the eve coz of all that had happened. But im soo glad I went. At last the day did end well.

    Today, our time of prayer and devotion was all about being thankful for all the blessings God has showered upon us. We are writing down one thing that we are thankful for each day.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Recipe 1: Rawa Ladoo (Archive)

    I have been craving for this Indian sweet for a while now. It is pretty easy to make and can be made with few, common ingredients from the Indian pantry:) Different variations can also be made- you can use other dry fruits and nuts that you have at home/ could also add dried coconut to the recipe. Use your imagination and create something new:)


    2 cups Semolina (rawa)
    1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
    1 cup Ghee
    1 tbsp broken Cashew Nuts
    1 tbsp Raisins, fried

    Heat 1 tsp. ghee in a pan and  roast the rawa (semolina) till golden color.
    Grind the fried rawa and powdered sugar in a mixer, to make a fine powder.
    Heat the remaining ghee and add the powdered rawa, cashew nuts, raisins.
    While still warm, make the mixture into small lemon-sized balls.
    Cool the rawa ladoos and store them in an airtight container.

    Day 13: Baking Cookies{25 Days of Christmas}

    I tried to bake some sugar cookies last year and it was a total disaster :(  So this year I was wary of trying it again, but today my friend who is a pro at it, taught me how to do it. I made another batch as soon as I came home and believe me these tips really helped me to make the best cookies ever! So here are a couple of tips and tricks on how to make the best sugar cookies :)

    1. Use the best Ingredients
    Since you are taking a lot of effort make sure you use fresh and quality Ingredients :) It sure is worth it!!

    2. Handle the flour delicately
    Flour affect your cookies' structure and texture. Too much flour will make your baked goods tough and dry. Make sure you dont pack your measuring cup with flour, just spoon it.

    3. Measure and follow the recipe
    Well this is kinda hard for me coz I ALWAYS eyeball the ingredients when I cook :) But my friend reminded me that following the recipe to the dot will give you the best results.:)

    4.Before baking chill the dough
    After all the measuring, mixing and tasting the delicious dough (I dont think its safe to eat it tho') you probably are ready to put it in the oven. But don't do it. Make sure you freeze it for about 20 mins or refrigerate it overnight for fuller more delicious cookies :)

    5.Store the cookies properly
    Place the cookies in an airtight container immediately after they cool. Set the container in a cool, dry place.

    Hope these tips  are helpful as you bake during this season.

    Well after all the hard work we gave them to our kids to color them pretty :)

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Parable of the lost sheep
    Todays ornament: Sheep
    Scripture: Luke 15:3-10

    Heres the cute Christmasy Sheep that they made :) Cute huh?
    After an eventful day we visited my parents where we met my cuz who had seen me when I was a baby just like my baby :)

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Day 12: Santa Bread{25 Days of Christmas}

    Today my friend came over and brought some delicious food and I decided to make something for her :) Since I had my baby, Ive had soooo little time ( duhhh!!!) But the place I run to for quick tips and recipes and decor ideas is PINTEREST!!!!!  I’ll admit it, I’m a Pinterest addict. My friend introduced me to it couple of months ago, and once I signed up,  Ive been completely hooked. So, I went into Pinterest to find some quick holiday recipe. And I pinned some holiday decor, holiday crafts etc etc and finally pinned some holiday recipes. Yes, I was pinning for hours ( I could have made 10 dishes in that time if I had just pulled out my cook book LOL) Oh how I love Pinterest! (Its therapeutic. Dont you agree?)

    Well finally, I found this santa recipe :) It looked awesome and I just had to try it :) Well I am a  bread amateur, but I decided to try it anyway and hoped it would turn on finet!!! And to my surprise it was a HUGE hit. The kids and my friend loved it :) And most of all I loved making it. The recipe site has step-by-step pictures on how to make this santa bread.

    Though it looks like you have taken hours to make it, its is pretty easy and uber tasty ;) Try it out this season and impress your friends  and family!
     Click here for the recipe.

    We are also making an ornament each day. We are learning the true meaning of Christmas during our Family prayer and devotion time.

    Ten Lepers
    Todays ornament: Number 10
    Scripture: Luke 17:11-19


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