Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Of Beautiful Cakes & Fancy Dinners

๐ŸŽ‚ This magical Chocolate Frog ๐Ÿซ ๐Ÿธ themed birthday cake was done by magical sister, my BFF for life, the amazing Sara! ✨ We’re the sister version of the Weasley twins (cosmetic in our case!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ••• She worked days and nights (brainstorming panic and anxiety in the nightly hours ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’ฅ) to create this masterpiece for me! ••• She’s combined a couple of techniques and fondant molding styles in this one ••• She’s marbled purple and blue fondants together, a hexagon mosaic tile pattern, and also a tufted hexagon chunk ••• ๐Ÿฅณ Chocolate Frog, undoubtedly the most famous confection of the Wizarding World ✨ is a craze among Potterheads! ⚡️••• So inside the iconic hexagon box is a gianormous, delicious, velvety, Belgian chocolate Chocolate Frog! And underneath is a collectible Wizard or Witch card, and ••• wait for it ••• it is lenticular aka it moves! ••• ✨ To us, this cake ๐ŸŽ‚ is a tribute to the Chocolate Frog moments we enjoy at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ๐Ÿฐ ••• So when we hit the parks we buy a bunch of these and enjoy the surprise of the wizard or witch card we get! Next we work on exchanging the repeat ones (something we found out we can do!) ••• Do visit Sara’s Instagram profiles for some serious baking magic! ๐Ÿ’‹ And detailed photos of this cake! I am blessed to have a sister this magical! 

๐Ÿช Oatmeal Cream Pies! ••• my birthday gift ๐ŸŽ from my brother, a newbie baker. He was assisted by his daughter, my darling niece who helped Daddy out for Bua’a special day. I like! This is breakfast people! From heaven! ✨ I could eat these everyday.

A highly difficult stunt ๐Ÿคฉ Putting fondant on a cake sponge ๐Ÿงฝ (I like emojis!) ••• Performed under expert supervision of Sara!
⭐️ Dinner Menu
๐Ÿ”นGrill Seared Tilapia
๐Ÿ”ธTehri (potato rice)
๐Ÿ”นChicken Tikka
๐Ÿ”ธChapli Kababs
๐Ÿ”นApple and Corn Salad
๐Ÿ”ธAloo Bhaji Masala and Puri
Birthday season is a rollercoaster ride. Heavy duty cooking, cleaning, and decorating are making me demand a vacation. But 2020 is cancelled so no Wizarding adventures this time. I treasure cozy afternoons like these when I can curl up in a ball and watch a Netflix Christmasy show with unnatural holiday cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰ and down some instant coffee secretly fearing the fate of my irritable innards and a possibility of explosive diarrhea ๐Ÿงจ
Aloo Bhaji Masala and Puri. Made this after a super long time. I couldn’t make Halwa because Sooji flour had gone rancid. Yikes! Brilliant Desi comfort food.
Conspiracy? So Mom has made these using roll wraps for the first time ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Filling (tastes ace ๐Ÿ˜‹) made by me ••• Now, she’s made ME fry these ๐Ÿ˜† and I’m suspecting she’s avoiding the blame in case the wraps fail and turn out too hard or explode in oil which didn’t happen! ๐Ÿ˜† Ma, if you are reading this ๐Ÿ‘€ I see what you did there!

๐ŸฐKeto Cheesecake Brownies ••• Tried the recipe out for my birthday dinner for Bro on keto, he always misses out on birthday cake ๐ŸŽ‚ The recipe is from Maebells (website) ••• It made 9 super rich brownies! ••• The recipe mentioned the swirls won’t be distinct but with Sara’s help and some technique we managed to get seriously beautiful swirls! ••• Bro has enjoyed himself eating these with a side of keto ice cream ๐Ÿจ
We have reached the end of the beautiful Chocolate Frog Cake ๐ŸŽ‚ It was a mad hit among Potterheads on Instagram and Universal goers on Facebook! ••• Sara has been receiving such wonderful compliments ✨ November has been magical! ••• I make sure the cake is not cut up in pieces and stays as long as it can in the fridge as we work our way to the last piece! ๐Ÿ˜† Yesterday was the last show!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

FALL DIARIES: Fall Through The Neighborhoods

Fall has officially been ruined (for me) due to the pandemic and my quarantine lifestyle. (Photo by Sara). I am not roaming around like I used to. The long drives enroute to various errands and appointments, Starbucks Coffee adventures, mall days, and casual roamings at Target, Michaels, Home Goods, and all those goody goody places have been canceled for me! The only drives I am going on are for pharmacy pickups and the above photo was taken during the same. *sigh* 

Neighborhoods everywhere have transformed into Fall bouquets. Yards are covered with leaf piles. No romance there, I see heaps of work for landscapers! I am not picking up those! My back will die. Some more photos of gorgeous Fall scenes taken by Sara ...

As for me --- I am photographing Fall from mi casa! I can live with that I believe in 2020. That's how Fall will roll for me, through windows. 
I do step out a bit though. Trash and recycling bins need to be taken out and then brought back in. Mail and parcels (the neverending loads) have to be picked up. And during these short strolls I take whatever Fall photos I can. Of course, I am in my PJs *winks* what did you think? The suits and boots are on a holiday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

November, November: Finding Focus, Reset Button *Evil Laugh*

Where to begin? ...

Just here ...

NOVEMBER HAS TAKEN OFF and I am expected to pen down my psychobabble effortlessly into blog entries. November, after all, was when I was found dangling naked --- it was my first performance - the birth cry! - and I am expected to bawl every year around this time. Ah! *dramatic sigh* Things are not so effortless anymore, are they? It is getting difficult. One half of me needs to scream out loud and tell everybody how I hate that they ruled Johnny Depp wrong and then made him resign from Crimes of Grindelwald Part 2 (moron behavior!) --- I just did it! I said it! --- The other half wishes to spiral into silence because do I even wish to speak? I mean ... who's the audience? 

Also, because I know I would be providing myself to them on a plate to dissect. But then I have this pet peeve *evil grin - the one in my 4 year old photo above* I do wish to be dissected just a little *winks* see if the world can take the strong, bitter ooze. I was called 'Poison' this year folks! Remember! Year of the Covid 2020. But then, if I put myself entirely out there, I don't wish to be dismembered, you know? Not yet, at least. I don't want the shameless "real thing" to be dismembered by self-serving critical commandos. 
I have always invited the CRITICAL COMMANDOS *hysterical Maleficent laugh* and they have had a jolly good time bumping heads together discussing moi, pointing pointy fingers at my metallic spike-studded boots, and twitching noses at my stubborn existence. Yikes! Do we have problems! But I like that kind of silent combat, you know? I enjoy the puzzled expressions. I picture the question and exclamation marks hovering over their bumping heads. And I provide no solid answers *haha!* Everything is left open-ended, a hint of more to come. 

So how do I hit that RESET BUTTON this November? It's getting quite stuck as I gracefully age into my mid-thirties you know? Like I do not wish my chaos to be disturbed! Let it be that way. But there is always a wish for peace of mind.This year's exhaustion needs to be recorded in the book of world records! The pandemic, the sanitizing, the fear, the quarantine ... it's made a swampy puddle inside me head, the skin of my palms looks like that of a chicken that took an extra long shower, and my senses are split between "should I listen to Dr. Fauci? Or should I just become a deranged, stout follower of Mr. Ex-President and refuse to believe that we are in the middle of a death scare! 

I am doing a bunch of things in November to hit that Reset Button:
1. Attending to my cracked heels!
2. Finalizing the Room of Requirements a.k.a. Abbie HQ
3. Bringing back 'blabber blogging' - need to vent!
4. Answering deep questions about myself, publicly! 
5. Scrapbooking

Stay with me!

Hawaiian Pineapple Rice

  • Rice (soaked, washed, strained) 1 1/2 cups 
  • Frozen, cooked, deveined, tail-removed shrimps (as many as you like)
  • Chopped pineapple chunks, as many as you like
  • Natural, unsweetened pineapple juice, 1 cup
  • Fine chopped red and green bell peppers, 1 cup 
  • Fine chopped green onions, 3
  • Fine chopped onion, 1 small
  • Frozen peas, 1 cup
  • Red chili pepper flakes, 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Sriracha sauce / hot sauce
  • Tomato puree, 1 cup
  • Salt
  • Black pepper powder (coarse), 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup canola / vegetable oil

Boil 1 1/2 cups of long grain rice with 2-3 slices of pickled jalapenos (more if you like) and 1 teaspoon salt. Once rice are soft, strain and set aside.

In a large skillet add 1 cup of sliced red and green bell peppers (mixed), 1 small sliced onion, 1 cup of frozen sweet peas, 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, and 1/2 cup oil. Mix well, and set to cook to dry moisture. 

As liquid begins to dry, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tsp garlic powder, and continue cooking. 

Once veggies have softened, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 cup tomato puree and continue cooking until puree caramelizes and oil separates. 

Add shrimps, generous Sriracha (hot sauce), and cook well for about a minute until shrimps are tender.

Add 1/4 cup pineapple juice and cook well to a gravy.

Add salt as per your taste at this point. Do not overdo and let the sweetness of the pineapple juice stay.
    Add the boiled rice and mix super well! Continue to stir fry the rice with the shrimps and veggies.

    Add pineapple chunks, as many as you like and generous black pepper, and continue to stir fry.

    As the rice dry up, add a sprinkle of pineapple juice and fry well. 

    Friday, November 6, 2020

    Foodie Diaries: November 2020

    THE ABBIE EATS Foodie Diaries November ••• Walker Shortbread, holiday M&ms, Chocolate Frog, and Birthday Cake Life cannot get more grand! Or can it? ••• Carried over plans from October ••• Puff pastry experiment ••• Gajar Halwa to be made ••• One Birthday Hi Tea and one Birthday Lunch coming up! ••• Mug Cake anyone? ••• Netflix Foodie Watch: Somebody Feed Phil (continued) •••

    Abbie's Foodie Films of November are actually my Insta Highlights for November 2020.

    Sunday, November 1, 2020

    Foodie Diaries: October 2020 "Birthday Bakeoffs & Fall Cornucopia"

    FOODIE DIARIES: October ••• Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice season begins! ••• Happy Falloween ••• First Fall BBQ done! ••• Dairy Free Apple Spice Cake in R&D phase for sister in law’s birthday ••• Birthday Season Bake Offs ahead ••• Designing a Badtameez Dil themed cake for Sara ••• Pumpkin Bread (low sugar) trial planned ••• Pumpkin Pasties maybe? Try Apple Cider from apple juice! ••• Netflix Foodie Shows: Somebody Feed Phil (continued), NEW tryout “Cooked” (Documentary series) ••• Food Network Halloween Wars ••• S’mores grill/indoor electric machine buying decision!

    Abbie's Foodie Films of October are actually my Insta Highlight for October 2020. Catch it as it happens, all month long! October marks the start of the family's birthday season.