Sep 27, 2013

Quick Dinner Rolls (without a stand mixer)

I bookmarked this recipe so many months back but knowing my history with bread, I was afraid to try it. Its so pretty like a flower with bread petals. Anyway, yesterday I decided to give it a try. While the result was a soft, light bread, the process without a stand mixer was totally icky. Thanks to my friends T,O and B for helping me with very good advice!

I followed this recipe  but I made several changes to make it by hand and to reduce the number of rolls.

My rolls were not perfectly round!

Rising to double the size

Served with tomato pepper soup.

Ingredients -
Active dry yeast - 1 packet
Warm water - 3/4 cup
Honey - 1/4 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
A pinch of salt
Flour - 3 3/4 cups

Method -

1. Soak the yeast in lukewarm water for 5 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave. I used a kadai for mixing but you can use a glass bowl.

3. Add the yeast/water mixture, butter, honey, egg and salt in a bowl and mix well.

4. Now add flour one scoop (upto 3 scoops )at a time and mix. I mixed with a spoon while it was liquidish but once it comes together, ditch the spoon.

5. Sprinkle a bit of the last 3/4 cup of flour. Flour your hands, fold in the dough. Sprinkle flour again and fold. Repeat this process until the dough is springy and mostly non-sticky.

6. Make a big disc and cut the dough into equal portions. This recipe makes seven big rolls. Arrange in a greased skillet.

7. If you kitchen is warm, leave this to rise for 30-40 mts. If not, I preheated the oven and left the bowl in to rise.

8. After 40 minutes, the dough balls must be doubled in size. Now bake them in the oven for 20 minutes (I baked for 18) at 400F.

Serve with soup. Would make very good pav bhaji too!

If you do not like to touch stuff with your hands, you are in for trouble. I washed my hands about twenty times because yeasty dough is sticky and they get on everything. If you have a kitchen aid stand mixer, then life became easier for you. Other than the one drawback, its a very very very easy recipe and a very rewarding one. Hope you love it as much as I do. I am still not over the thrill of actually producing bread in my own kitchen. Its a wonderful feeling!

Sep 22, 2013

Drugstore Beauty Haul

A month ago, I wandered over to to find a 30% off all cosmetics deal. I had two hours to whittle down my shopping cart from 100+ items to about 20 and buy something. So if I look like I bought a ton of stuff here, give a girl some credit for restraint!

Here is some of the stuff that I bought! 

Youtube is super enthusiastic about this CoverGirl 3 in 1 foundation. The shade selection for tan skin is really bad in the regular line, so I checked out the CoverGirl Queen collection. The shade selection is so much better for darker skin tones there. I got shade 805 but its still too much yellow for my neutral undertones. It works for me with some blending. Its a primer + sunscreen + foundation. I use the Neutrogena sunblock SPF 50 if I am going out so I was only looking for a primer and foundation combo. This works as a foundation but not as a primer. It didn't keep me matte all day nor did it even out my skin, so not worth all the hype IMO.

Now THIS, is my holy grail bronzer/blush combination. Its so so so beautiful. It adds the right amount of colour without looking like I have layers of blush/bronzer on. Best.Product.Ever!

Ah, the quest for a matte shadow palette for tan skin for under $15. Its an impossible quest filled with palettes with more highlight shades than crease/lid shades. This is the Physician's formula Matte nude shadow palette in Classic Nude. When I found this, I assumed that the top two were lid and the bottom were a highlight and crease. Unfortunately, the three shades look very similar on my lid and there are no crease colours. I am still looking for a good MATTE nude shadow palette for tan skin. If you know of any, do let me know!

Another product that I am on the fence about. This is the OPI Dulce de Leche. I wanted a pretty nude colour but more pink that mink muffs. This one is a really pale pink where it is more the colour of skin than the colour of my nails but after a week on my nails, I am liking the understated pink and think it would work well even for a super formal work place.

(Sorry for the picture overload)

Sep 14, 2013

Crave/Save - Coach Legacy Bag

The Coach Legacy bag with its pretty tassels and simple, clean lines is a huge hit for Coach and a personal favourite. It is available in multiple colours. Here it is, in a pretty yellow perfect for fall! Buy it for $198 here.

If you love the look but not the price, check out the much more affordable Old Navy version of this bag.

The ON bag has a center stripe stitch running through it but is otherwise very similar to the Coach bag with an adjustable strap and tassels on the side. Buy the Old Navy bag for $24.94 here.

Old Navy has several other bags that are modelled after Coach, so if you love the Coach bags, you might want to look at ON website to save some cash!

Sep 9, 2013

Super Quick Modhaks/ Sweet Dumplings!

Modhak or kozhukattai is an Indian dessert made for the celebration of Lord Ganesha's birthday. And since I am always looking for super fast ways to make stuff, I came up with this recipe. I am not sure if it passes the religion test but it sure passes the taste test.

Ingredients  -

Rice paper rolls - 4
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder- 2
Almond slices - 2 tbsp

Method -

1. Melt the sugar and coconut together till it forms a solid, crumbly mixture. Add the almond and cardamom and stir.

2. Immerse the rice paper roll in warm water till it gets translucent.

3. Spoon the filling onto the rice paper and roll and twist to the best modhak shape that you can manage.

4.Steam the dumplings in a steamer for ten minutes. I used a regular pressure cooker with which I make idlis.

5. Top the dumplings with almond slivers and a little of the filling and serve hot.

Thats it. The actual recipe calls for making a lump-free paste with rice flour and then folding them onto a dumpling shape. I think this is a much simpler way to do it with almost the same taste. Do you have any shortcuts for festival recipes? Do share in the comments!

Sep 5, 2013

Fitness update, Haul and OOTD!

You must be wondering where I disappeared. Well, the last few days have been really tough for me. I was waitlisted by my favourite university for the second year in running. I have been really struggling to deal with the fact that I now need to focus on schools away from home and the thought of leaving my husband and Maddie for two years is really depressing. I am very proud of how disciplined I am normally but the last week has been ridiculous. I have been up all night and going to bed at four and waking up at noon. (Sleep by 10.30PM fail). I have been shopping a lot and spent some cash in Target, Gap, ON and I did need to buy a few tops, so maybe that is not too bad, eh? I have been eating cereal for dinner (one vegetable a day fail). And I have not done the shred since friday. Suffice to say, the fitness challenge is not going good.

The moping has to stop right now and we need to get this show back on the road. The next interview is in a week and I never want to do anything but 100% in what I do. So I am going to gather what remaining willpower that I have and get back on the fitness challenge train. I hope those of you doing this challenge with me fared better than me, last week.

Moving on to some happier news, I weighed myself after a long time. I was so excited to see a 0 after the 6 for the first time in four years. I weigh 60.5 kgs now (around 133 lbs). My goal weight is 56kgs but that is maybe a little cray-cray since I did look kind of stick figure like when I weighed that much. So maybe I can be happy with a 58? How many months do you think that will take?

Happy thing number 2: I bought some really pretty stuff from Target and Gap. I ordered the $70 Gap legging jeans and I returned it in store yesterday. I might have kept it but when they say legging, they mean sprayed on to your body. It looked nice but my posterior was too much on display and I am not comfortable with that. So back it went. But I did end up keeping these dark olive khaki pants ($14!) and these leather ballet flats in cognac($27). (sorry about the LONG post!)