Friday, November 20, 2009

What can this be???

...can you guess!!! oooh the suspense ;)
It is a ring box that I made yesterday...with gum paste and fondant.For two very precious friends,who promised to spend their lives together...what a huge honor this was for me to be a part of this beautiful event.
My friend Jeff asked me on Monday, if I can make a ring box for him,he will be asking our beautiful friend Tina to marry him on Nov 20th.And since both of them absolutely love chocolate...I immediately knew the ring box will have a little chocolate cake inside :) MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SURPRISE FOR TINA!!!eeeekkkk, how am I gonna be able to keep it a secret from Tina when all I wanted to do was to call and congratulate her.BUT I have a very good history of keeping secrets :D LOL! Here are my beautiful friends,Tina and Jeff ,aren't they cute together :D
and ofcourse Waaiz absolutely adores his Aunt Tina and Uncle Jeff, and they love him too.

I saw our mutual friend Monica twice this week and I had that itch to just start jumping and screaming and let Monica know,"yayyyyy our Tina is getting engaged", but NOPE!!! I had to control.Trust me it was definitely NOT easy.
Needless to say I was thrilled and honored.Jeff graciously left everything about the box on me.
I knew a Tiffany Blue color will be perfect for the ring box...I asked Ms Sharon Zambito for color matching advice...and she being a sweetheart she has always been gave some accurate suggestions :) THANK YOU MS SHARON! YOU ROCK!!!
I picked up my Tiffany perfume box and brought it in the kitchen and started mixing colors in my gum paste...finally I had started the process of measuring and cutting... I needed an inspiration,my gorgeous friend Margo sent me a beautiful Tinker Bell pin a few weeks ago and it came in a cute little box,PERFECT!!! I used that box as my inspiration.
Here are the gum paste box peaces,drying.
3 days of on and off work and waiting for the gum paste pieces to dry...finally I assembled the box on Thursday.
Friday morning I cleaned up the melted chocolate I used for attaching the pieces together and dusted the box with some nice luster dust to make it look like satin.

Then I attached the silk ribbon bow.

Finally the box was completely done!I sent a text message to the happy guy and informed him that his ring box is ready to be picked up :)
He stopped by our house a little later and was very happy to see it :) Mission accomplished!!!
A few hours later , I get a call from the happy couple,saying they loved the ring box and loved the cake :) Another Mission accomplished!!! I was at a pie competition party at Monica's house and when I mentioned this to Tina, she immediately wanted to talk to Monica.Us three girls...on the phone..all happy and joyful :) what a beautiful moment!
I loved keeping this whole thing a surprise from my friend Tina and every one else :) I love love love surprising people..and this was by far the best one ever!
Tina and Jeff, CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement.Maani, Waaiz and I are SO happy for you guys.You guys are so cute together.We wish you a blessed life together.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I think I got a little baker on my hands :)

So... everyone knows how much I enjoy baking and decorating cakes...but recently I have been baking breads,c00kies,coffee cakes and cupcakes more and more...trying new recipes and tweaking them to slash fats and carbs a tiny bit.
Waaiz has been baking with me a few years now...he loves to measure ingredients,pours them and mixes them.He likes the anticipation,the excitement and the wait for the finished product.

Here, he was browsing through a book a got as a birthday present.He found an easy recipe for chocolate chunk cookies and asked me if we can make these cookies with M&Ms,ofcourse I said,Yes :)
Look at him scraping the bowl and everything,just like a pro!

and he knows,I am so proud of him.

tada!!! look at these cookies.Perfectly done...
Now that was about a year ago...he is still in love with baking yummies for him and his dad.This weekend,he entered in a little talent contest at a Homeschool Fair.He wanted to make cupcakes and cookies!with frosting and all... umm OKKK! umm SURE,CHILD! and he did.He made cupcakes, all by himself,made the frosting with my help,baked the cupcakes all by himself,he kept track of the baking time and when the cupcakes were at room temperature,he asked me to show him how to frost them and then he frosted his cupcakes!

Can you tell which one I frosted?

I am amazed,proud and happy :)
Guess what!!! His cupcakes and cookies won first place- A blue ribbon!!! my little boy is VERY happy.
He also entered in the creative art/hobby category and won first place there too.Everyone was interested in seeing his little creations.
He has been doing this since about 3 years now,he'd take a regular toy figure and will turn that figure into some other character by paper,scissors and tape.It is so interesting and amazing to watch him draw and then cut tiny,miniature things on paper.Things and shapes even smaller than his fingertips.
Here, he took a Clone trooper and transformed it into Chubaka and there is Iron man in the background.
A Han Solo figure into Batman,
A bulldozer guy into Boba fett and again,Iron man in the background.
and Ironman figure into Superman

you've gotta love the facial expressions and the resemblance,

Oh the attention to details...

Check out the awesome flying cape

Here is the entire display.
mmmm sweet victory :)

Look at him so proud :)
I uploaded his cupcakes video on youtube despite the fact that we were in a hurry to get the cupcakes and cookies ready for the fair :)
Here are his recipes.Try them,you will love the flavor of these cookies and the moistness of these quick cupcakes.

YZ's Gameday cookies:
3/4 cups ~ -unsalted butter -soften
1.25 cup ~ -brown sugar
1 -egg
1/4 cup ~ -orange juice
1 tsp ~ pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ~ salt -
1/4 tsp ~ -baking soda
1 cup ~ Whole Wheat-flour
3 cups ~ -rolled oats
4ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks -toblerone chocolate -chopped into chunky pieces
2 ounces white chocolate chunks.( you can substitute for 1/4 cups of chopped walnuts)
Pre heat oven to 350'F.Cream Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy,about 3 minutes.
Combine,flour,baking soda and salt.Set aside. Add egg to the butter mixture,beat well.Add Vanilla extract.Add Orange juice.

Now add the flour mixture.Mix.Add oats,a cup at a time.

Then stop the mixer and toss the chopped chocolate chunks in the dough.Run the mixer for about 10 seconds to combine everything. If you want thick chewy cookies, you can refrigerate the cookie dough for 20 minutes.Or just scoop about 1 Tbsp of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
They smell and taste divine!!!
YZ's Mother's day Cupcakes:
These can be made in one bowl.Easy and quick.
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pre heat oven to 325'F .
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.Line your cupcake pan with liners and fill them 3/4 full with batter.Bake for 20 minutes.
mmmmmm YUMMY

Frost them White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.
1/2 Cup Butter,
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon half n half(optional)
2 lbs confectioner's sugar(10x)
1 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks,melted and at room temperature.
Beat butter and cream cheese until light and creamy.Add vanilla.Gradually add powder sugar and continue mixing- about 5 miutes.If it is too thick you can add half and half by teaspoons full.Or you can use water or additional Vanilla extract.
When the frosting is smooth and doesn't look grainy,add melted and cooled white chocolate.Beat for another 4 minutes.
This frosting pairs wonderfully with Red Velvet cupcakes,carrot cake and best with these chocolate cupcakes.
Enjoy and don't forget to share your adventures in baking.Remember, you are never too old or young to bake yummy treats for your friends and loved ones and sneak a bite yourself too ;)

November Fun!

Ah...the month of November...what a fun month...both of my boys celebrate their birthdays in November...little boy's big day falls on Nov3rd and Daddy celebrate his birthday on Nov 11Th.
Waaiz's birthday party is a whole 'nother blog post in itself :) which I shall be composing soon.
Big K's birthday was fun too...W and I planned that we will surprise daddy by showing up in his office with a cake :)So we just did that.
I made a yummy double chocolate fudge cake and decorated it with chocolate ganache and topped it with silvered almonds(daddy's fav)
and off we drove to daddy's office, 50 mins later we were in the parking lot,just when he left for his lunch break.PERFECT TIMING!

Maani thought I was out and about running errands,he didn't have a clue that he will be seeing us in 15 mins at his desk :)
I had asked one of his very nice co worker to meet us at the front desk,so he can escort me and W to Maani's cubicle.So with our visitor's pass and a cake in my hand, we went upstairs and set the cake by Maani's computer.

After some extraordinary long 15 mins, Maani showed up in his cube with a cup o coffee in his hand and just stopped when he saw the cake with all these candles burning on it :) ( I was afraid to set the whole office on fire,heehee)
He LOVED the surprise...W got a kick out of sneaking up on daddy like was a whole new adventure for him :), for me... ah it's one of my speciality to throw surprises like that =) I LOVE getting surprises...which I don't get very often..but I just absolutely love surprising people.
Here is big K,our birthday boy...pretty happy with his cake :)
Then when he came back home in the evening,W insisted that all of us should go out and "celebrate" their birthdays once more,by eating some yummy pancakes at IHOP! So off to IHOP we went...W proudly informed the IHOP staff that he and daddy are birthday boys :) So the nice peeps at IHOP brought them this yummy treat :)

Here are the birthday boys posing with their birthday treat.

Here is big K!

and the junior Khan

look mama! a pecan!!!

YUMMY!! much love !!! I can't thank God enough for blessing with these lovely guys in my life!
I just want to thank them for loving me for who I am and putting up with me :)
Love you boys!