Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Celebration!

A Royal Wedding!  When I was a child, I used to dream of days like these.  The fairytale prince marrying his beloved, the princess, marrying her prince charming.  Well, it happened today!  And I was right there to see it, in my living room, of course.  The girls and I woke up bright and early to watch it LIVE on television.  And boy was it worth it! 

Yesterday evening, I made lemon scones to have with our tea this morning.  I used flour, sour cream, egg, butter,  and lemon zest.

The tops of the scones are brushed with whipping cream and sugar!

I baked the scones at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. The kitchen smelled lovely!

The "royal" table was set in the living room.  There was candlelight, royal wedding tea, lemon scones, raspberry jam, and black currant jam.  The pretty union jack napkins were a gift from my dear friend, Rachel, who lives in UK.  

Here is Anita, who was so excited to watch the wedding, she woke up all on her own!  

And here is Annabel, who watched most of the ceremony, but then fell fast asleep on the couch.

11:00 am, England time.  The ceremony is about to begin!

Kate looked incredibly beautiful!  Her dress was perfect.  I loved the lace, the neckline, bodice, the whole thing, really!

I took all these photos with my camera, directly from the television.  Just wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  I wish the newlyweds a lifetime of happiness!  Their wedding, a modern-day fairytale, has brought hope and inspiration to the world.  I feel blessed to have shared this historic day with them! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter, Inspiration and Carrot Cake

It is customary to have lunch at my parents' house every Easter.  Since my Mom makes the lunch, I usually like to bring dessert, and this year was no exception.  I thought, what could I make that would go well with the Easter theme?  And then carrot cake came to mind.  Carrots remind me of bunnies and bunnies remind me of Easter. Now I needed a delicious carrot cake recipe.  Of course, the first that came to mind was Susan Branch's Three Layer Carrot Cake.  If you don't know who Susan Branch is, well let me tell you!  She is by far one of the most inspirational people in my life.  She is a wonderful author and artist.  Her recipes, art, and writing have inspired me for years.  You know, if I was ever asked to choose any person in the world to meet and talk to, the name "Susan Branch" would roll off my tongue, straightaway!

This was my first Susan Branch book, bought over 10 years ago.

Inside this book are recipes for many delicious desserts, including her delicious three-layer carrot cake.  I have made this cake before and it is absolutely yummy!  I have since adapted the recipe and altered it for this year's Easter celebration. 

Carrots, vanilla, and spices

Stirring coconut and walnuts into the batter

Cooling three 9 inch rounds on racks.  The kitchen smelled divine!

 Icing the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and decorating it with mini cadbury eggs.

The carrot cake was ready for travel to Toronto.  

Our Easter lunch was delicious, as usual.  We had oven-roasted chicken and potatoes.   For dessert, we had carrot cake!  It was a happy Easter.  I hope your Easter was delicious too! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

For the Love of Butter Chicken

First of all, I would like to say, "Welcome to my blog!".  After months of "Should I?  Shouldn't I?", I have finally taken the plunge and created my own blog.  Here I will post some of my culinary adventures where I can express my love and passion for cooking.  I really hope you enjoy and will follow me on my trails.  This very first post is regarding Saturday's lunch - Indian butter chicken.  
I have adapted this recipe from Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, where I first found him cooking on a youtube video.  Here are some of the ingredients used to make the sauce:

Diced tomatoes and spices should be cooked until soft and mushy, for approximately 10 minutes.

Once tomatoes are soft, pulse in the food processor until smooth.
Next step is to pour sauce through a sieve to remove all tomato seeds, skin, etc.  These are thrown out, and you are left with a smooth, aromatic, tomato gravy.
Sauce is then returned to skillet, add your chicken (I like to use cubed chicken breast).  The last step is to add whipping cream, which makes the sauce creamy and delicious!  

I always like to serve basmati rice and naan bread with the butter chicken.  The best part of the butter chicken, for me is the sauce.  The naan bread is perfect for dipping!