Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Very Merry Christmas !!!

'tis that time of the year again...the wind blowing outside is definitely chilly...
even if the sun shines, it seems quite reluctant to stay on...
The trees (most of them anyway) are bare and the grass is no longer green..
On the other hand...'tis also the season to be jolly !
cause bells are jingling round the corner and taste buds are tingling everywhere ..
I have been reading all these amazing food blogs for quite some time and have also been meaning to jump onto the bandwagon..but with a 5 month old baby and a new house, just couldn't get a hold of it..
Recently I read about Nandita's WBB Christmas special and decided that I would definitely send in an entry...
So without a preamble (there is no story behind this recipe...this was solely attempted for the WBB event),
let me show you what was being whipped up in my kitchen for Christmas morning breakfast...

I got this recipe off the site

I made some changes to the recipe
Used a replacer for the required egg in it...
I don't cook/bake with eggs at home though I don't mind eating purchased baked products with eggs in it
(a strange quirk that I possess :-) )..
Increased the amount of applesauce and decreased the oil..
Decreased the baking soda and also added a little baking powder..
Added nutmeg to increase the flavour..
Also, I substituted walnuts for pecans because thats what I had in my pantry...


* 1 + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* Egg replacer for one egg (I used Ener-G)
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
* 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a muffin pan, or use paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, mix together applesauce, oil and egg replacer. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon , nutmeg and salt.
3.Make a well in the center, and pour in applesauce mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in the cranberries and the nuts.
Spoon into muffin cups, 2/3 full.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing.

Results :

I was quite pleased with the end results... The muffins were definitely edible (so pronounced my taster, my husband !! )
They were moist, not at all dense ...not too crumbly either...They rose very well..
The only changes that I would probably make in the future would be to add more flavourings...maybe some lemon or orange zest..
Ideas and suggestions are most welcome !!! Paula Deen's words, sweet cranberry muffins from my kitchen to yours...hope you make these muffins and let me know the results !

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Are You a Stable Bow ??

"My son" - two words which still feel unfamiliar when I say them out loud ! My son is almost 3 months old now and I am still in awe of the privilege that has been granted to me.. I am also a little apprehensive when I realize the immense responsibility that comes with this privilege..
It is no small feat to be completely responsible for raising a child..
Will I be a good mother ? Will I be able to raise my child such that he becomes a good citizen of the world ? More importantly, will I be able to raise him such that he is able to lead a happy and content life ?
Will I be able to teach him to avoid the mistakes that I made ? To overcome the shortcomings that I have ?
I guess only time will give me the answer to these questions...
Other parents out there will agree with me when I say that we have a lot of dreams about out childrens' futures, we sometimes start planning them even before they are born ! But, face the truth, a child is going to enjoy pressure as much as we did, back when we were children !!
So, I guess, parenting is like walking on thin ice, walking a get the picture..
We cant burden the little ones with our expectations and dreams, however,
we have to be there to show them the wonders of this life and fuel their dreams and ambitions ...
If I were to indulge in a cliche, I would say that we need to show them the door and then let them open it and
walk through it by themselves ;-) !!
As all these myriad thoughts go on in my mind, I am reminded of Kahlil Gibran's musings on children :

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Very thought provoking, isnt it ?
Well, while you sort out whether you are a stable bow or not, I will go and enjoy my baby's gurgles and giggles..
I will revel in his smiles, be comforted when he nestles in the crook of my neck and heave a sigh of relief when he sleeps peacefully there ..
Ah...what can I say....its bliss ...having him in my son !

Monday, April 03, 2006

New Beginnings !

In accordance with the lunar calendar, Mar 30 2006 was celebrated by quite a few Hindu communities as their New Year. Yug + Adi or Ugadi literally means a new era or a new year and is ushered in with the same fervour and joyous celebration as the traditional New Years...
People might celebrate New Years on different days ...Ugadi by the Kannadiga and the Andhra community, Gudi Padwa by the Maharashtrians, Vishu by the Malayalees, Baisakhi for the Punjabis, Bihu for the Assamese..
as you can see the list can go on forever...
but the main objective is to celebrate a fresh start..
to let go the past year and look forward to the new...
to expect better things from oneself and the people around you...
It is always heartening to see how a second chance brings out the
enthusiasm in everybody..
like the disappointments and failures of the past don't matter any more..
What matters is that you can start afresh..and have a second chance at everything that you wanted to do and couldn't !

Well..That's how CheerfulTulips came into being..I figured that it was high time that I let go of my complacency and did something more with my time and energy..
I don't think I am talented enough to devote my blog to just one
category..therefore this blog is going to be a hodge podge of ideas ...of my ideas and thoughts :)
And to say that I was inspired by the myriad blogs out there would be an understatement..There seems to be a lot of connecting and exchanging of ideas going on, for me to miss out on..
Plus , in this age, when everything seems to be "online", this seems a nicer way to
reach out to people and share experiences and friendships.

Well, coming back from my ramblings to the subject of Ugadi..I really wasn't able to celebrate the festival in a traditional way..didnt even get to eat the bevu bella (a special mixture of neem leaves and jaggery symbolizing the bitter sweet nature of life ...) that my mom used to prepare every year ..
but I didn't want the day to slide by unnoticed, so made a special dinner for hubby and myself and enjoyed the food along with the good old memories of sumptuous meals of the past :-)

This Ugadi started on a good note and I hope that continues for CheerfulTulips as well as all the others out there wanting to make a difference in their lives ..
Here's to friendships and creativity ! Here's to enthusiasm and good will !!
Here's to New Beginnings !!!