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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

March turns out to be not an easy month for one reason or the other, but I am coming around to think that this may have something to do with the fact that it is my birthday month.

You see, it starts out full of resolutions (the list is long and detailed) but then a week later, I am too exhausted keeping up with this new me. This year, the list came down from ten to two pretty quickly, so I am almost back to being the old-me but not quite.

Of what I did keep, one was to bake a birthday cake!

I bake often, usually uncomplicated stuff. This time I wanted to try something special (put it down to a birthday resolution of course!) and so here we have…

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a carrot cake (simple) with cream cheese frosting (for the first time). N decorated it with silver sprinkles, adding just a touch of festive, and we had it last night and some more today. The recipe comes from here which is one of my all time favourite food blogs, and in my experience you can follow her recipes blindfoldedly. The cake and frosting are predictably yummy, but this time around the a-ha moment came while making the cream cheese. To my delight the thing turned out to be incredibly yummy. If you are in a pinch, or like me find cream cheese to be prohibitively expensive where you live, try it. It’s not the ‘real’ thing (what is real anyway??) but good enough for me and my cake.

Anyhow, so, now with cake out of the way, I want to talk about sewing for a bit.

My last success with pintucks made me want to make a few more, and so N got another top.

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Sadly, the results this time leave something to be desired. Mostly my overconfidence with the pintucks got in the way, combined with the fact that I was making something from a fabric that I was not feeling particularly excited about.

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Plus, for whatever reason it makes her look like she is slouching.

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I am now trying to figure out how else I might have done it, because I followed exactly the instructions that came from this pattern book, and I would swear by it. I love this book so! Is it just the uneven gathering of elastic at the back? And what’s with the uneven front and back? I checked my measurements again–they were fine, and so I am still wondering.

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What I don’t like much, the child is loving, and despite the intermittently rainy and somewhat chilly weather that we have had in during last week she has worn it more than a few times. In fact in the photos above, you can see even threads hanging from the hem that she refused to let me cut. 🙂

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The other top I made I like, but the reaction has been far from ‘loving.’ I knew my fabric choice wouldn’t produce an ecstatic response but I had hoped the little frill at the end of sleeve would. And the fact that I lined the frill at the end with a bit of pink.

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Well, no such luck.

N is a kind of child who will never refuse anything I make absolutely (okay, maybe except this and this over which I had slaved). She is more of the ‘let me gradually divert my mother’s attention so that she forgets what she was suggesting in the first place.’ So this little top is definitely heading in that category. And there goes my nani iro which I love.

As a saving grace, she does like the pattern. It comes from the same book as the one above, and with excellent pictures was not difficult to make. I love the style, and post detailed consultations might attempt another one in the near future.

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It is good to know one’s mind I suppose, and I should be listening more to what she wants to wear anyway!

Asmita/

P.S. On a (food) related note, I realised right now as I am writing that the cake I really wanted to make was not the one pictured above (!) but this!! Same blog, different recipe with an addition of apple cider (I substituted with one stewed apple). Check it out if you have carrot cravings.

P.P.S. And on an unrelated note. This made me feel like I was flying.

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gifts

Happy day-after-valentine’s day!

I hope you had a good yesterday and of course today. I made a quick little gift for N the night before.

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The inspiration for it came from purl bee which is always excellent for quick and gratifying ideas. I won’t say much about the fabric now (because it’s a little piece of what I am working with right now), but N had asked for something in red and something heart shaped so she got what she wanted. And it was super super quick to make.

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This blurry photo is unfortunately the only one I have but she is pretty pleased with it.

Then also we sent off some stuff she made and I sent off my package a few days before that.

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Sadly none of these have reached their destinations yet, it seems. So for now I will remain quiet about it!

All in all it was quite a valentines day celebration for someone (i.e. me!) who is not much into festivities.

Oh,and I almost forgot…on a totally unrelated note:

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I cracked the method to make homemade butter! Over the years I have tried this many times, and finally on Friday thanks to some patient instructions of a good friend and pictorial aids from here, I got my first blob/handful (?) of butter. The taste is divine and N had three straight spoonfuls of it. I admit that I had a few undisclosed number of tastings too 🙂 And while I can always buy butter from the shop, this opens up more possibilites….

xo/a

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purple skirt 1

With the baby heading our way, possibly sooner rather than later, I am becoming very good at posting the stuff I make instead of waiting around for a few days until I manage to get decent enough photos.

So here is the skirt I finished this morning.purple skirt 2

Given that it’s a skirt, in her (new) favourite colour (purple) and somewhat twirly, N was ready to pose in it almost as soon as the last bit of hemming was done. purple skirt 7purple skirt 6

The pattern is another Oliver+S one, this one called the swing set tunic and skirt.

And it just so happens that the skirt goes perfectly well with the top that I made last year. It does look like I made it as a set, didn’t I?

The size is 5T with the usual 1″ extended length, but I extended the lining by almost 1.5″ so it is hemmed just above the main fabric.

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The main fabric is khadi (hand spun cotton), from Khadi Gram Udyog here in New Delhi. The lining is blue printed muslin that I brought in Pune. Oh, and for some visual interest I added beads to the tie.

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The skirt is a super quick sew, and despite the fact that I took my time with it, the whole thing didn’t take more than three hours. With only three pattern pieces, I want to make more. Maybe even double sided?

So. Anyway, happy with the new skirt, she went off to the Farmer’s market attired in the new skirt, which brings me to the next topic (unrelated) which is of plums.

plum cake 2We bought them last week, and they have been absolutely delicious. Today I made a cake with the last of the plums with a recipe from here.

Can I just say that if you have any love for plums, make this cake. plum cake 1

N usually helps in the baking, but loses all interest in eating it post the cake being out of the oven. But even she was willing to have more than a piece. plum cake 3

All in all, a good skirt, cake and a day. purple skirt 4

How was your Sunday?

Asmita xox

 

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Hello friends. It has been a week of glorious weather. Good news is that my curry leaf plant that I had given up on in the cold weather is sprouting leaves again.

This week I also celebrated my birthday, with some lasagna and cake. I turned 40; it seems suddenly like I have been around for a long time. A big birthday and I have been thinking a lot about things I want to do differently than the way I am doing them right now.  But more about that in another post. We went to Humayun’s tomb, the magnificent ode to the 16th century Moghul emperor Humayun, and one of my favourit-est places in Delhi. All in all, quite a lovely birthday.

Things have been going well on the sewing front. I made a little zippered pouch for myself with the help of this excellent tutorial. I still am not feeling very confident with zippers (broken needles and all that), but I plan to make more. In any case, there’s lots more to show and tell over the next few days and weeks.

So just wanted to say hi at the moment. Hope you are all well too!

Asmita

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cake

Hello all!

I hope you are enjoyed the Sunday. I spent a nice day with N planning and plotting a bit about what to make in this upcoming week. DSC_0010Usually I keep a diary of sorts, something like this where I record what I make with little fabric scraps, and also plan what to make next, to see what combinations work….that kind of thing. I think earlier it was for me a lot more on the spur of the moment, but these days I rarely make anything without first checking with N ( if it’s for her). Unless of course, I know it is something she’ll love, like a doll’s dress. 🙂 I would love to hear how you all plan. Do you also keep a diary of sorts?

Oh, and then I also baked. So we had lots of cake today and yesterday, it’s been a quiet day with not many people to share it with. DSC_0077The recipe is from my current favourite cookbook. I replaced ricotta with paneer. Much cheaper and easier to find around here. The results? While I don’t know how it would taste with ricotta, this was not bad at all. If you ask me, Deb Perelmen is quite a genius. I discovered her only recently, and have been working through this book now for about the last two weeks. Not a single bad dish so far. Nothing even so-so. All very yummy, and on the “let’s make this again” list. This cake needed a bit something, so I made the coulis as suggested.DSC_0075It was my first time to make coulis of any kind, and for the next time around, I think some less sugar, more lemon and maybe a touch of rum.

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday too! See you soon.

Asmita

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…of the same. With only one little addition.music class blouse v.2

sleeve detailsHello friends! This pattern, exactly the same as the last one, got done super fast. No unidirectional prints; no mistakes. Well, you might say I would have learnt from the last time, but I am not so sure.

To tell the truth, I wasn’t so sure of the colour choices before it got made. I feel a bit ho-hum about pastel shades, but these fabrics were picked by N, and she absolutely insisted.top 1

top 3I think she did pretty well. In fact we have a drawing around here somewhere (in this mess) that she had drawn of this top before it got made, but this post will never make it to “publish” if I keep looking around for it.top 2

top 4There is a blue dress I am onto next, another of the child’s fabric choice, so will be back soon.

Asmita

P.S. Oh, and before I go, here is what else is being made around here.cakeTruly yummy! Our first cake of the season; the recipe is from here.

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food etc.

More cooking has been done this week than anything else. Late last weekend we went to this place called the French Farm (directions are here). The place is located so 60 kms outside Delhi off Delhi-Jaipur highway. He grows organic veggies all of which can be procured quite easily in Delhi itself. But because I have a friend who often goes to the source itself and likes to see things before they are dug up from the ground and procured as it were, we decided to tag along.

The outing itself was not as fun as I had anticipated–N got car sick, cranky etc., but the produce itself was (is) so fantastic that one way or the other I am going to have to figure out how to do this again.

So here is my haul.

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Given that our entire dining table was covered with only veggies (and it is a pretty large table) I have spent a lot of time cooking this week. Mostly stews and soups since it’s still very cold–at least too cold for me. My current favourite blog for recipe hunting is smitten kitchen, and we’ve so far had the most yummy swiss chard pasta, and swiss chard bean soup (with still more of swiss chard in the fridge), celery soup, and…

So, anyway, feeling pretty well-fed, N and I embarked on our long term project this week. “Long term” because I have been planning this with her for the last four months at least. This week after a major melt down over this issue I stopped procrastinating, and we have finally begun work on our DOLL house. And here is our first room–

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This was a lot of fun to make, given that I am not a fan of making tiny things. And, if I wanted to sound like a brochure, I would add that the room has a lot of “fun details” like extra “room” for guests to sleep in.

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train bedroom

And a train service! Apparently, this is necessary because we do not have any other rooms as yet, and if  turtle and fish need to travel some distance to get supplies they need some mode of transport. So I have been told. Not a bad idea, and I wouldn’t mind a train at my real doorstep. (Seriously, there are too many cars in Delhi.)

N is pretty delighted with this, and hopefully this will give me the necessary impetus to get going with the other rooms.

N in her hat

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And now having finally shaken myself out of my procrastination mode, I am also on to getting into the mode to make some other stuff. So here is what is coming up.

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More on this soon!

Thanks for visiting. I am very happy to be back. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

-Asmita

P.S. My long running favourite read is the Orangette blog. I really like the way Molly Wizenberg writes and what she writes about, and I loved this essay that she recently posted.

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