Thought for the day

" Live in the active voice, rather than passive. Think about what you can do than what is happening to you. "

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My trials with Pencils.....

I don't really remember from when on i started to sketch.I used to draw figures..images or even tried calligraphic arts on the back papers of my school notebooks..and its my friends who advised me to keep these sketches i make rather than just discard them along with the many papers that we all tend to discard at the end of every school year. i was never an artist..nor that i am now... but drawing just like cooking made me feel  good about myself  and of the world.... this was an was one best way i found to kill my loneliness.. my insecurities.. i tried to see the sketches i drew take life.. it made me feel some kind of happiness or satisfaction..that i cud see life differently after all.. but these feelings evolved inside me with time.....
The unicorn.....

Unicorns are legendary horse like animal first mentioned in Greek Mythology...its a symbol of purity and grace...Unicorns are truly known for the amazing healing powers of its horns...

Eagles..a very powerful predator.... 

Peacock...known for its elegance and majestic beauty..

village girl..

within the draps...trial on shading techniques..


for jenny..
dedicated to the lovely jerin & anna...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My test of skill...

Pencil sketching has never been my skill or let me put it this way that i never knew i could was when i was sitting on my desk one day depressed and irritated thinking of all the unpleasant things that i found myself sketching something in the paper i had in front of was not from my imagination it was a picture that my eyes was locked to while i was in my own world of misery. The paper i drew on was the report i had to present that day. Ever since that day i thought of trying to distract myself form my weird thoughts by two thinks one is cooking and other sketching. Here are a few sketches i made...these are my version of works done by talents artists...i am just a beginner learning to master this skill in a gradual process.... 

Firstly lemme share the picture i drew of Lord Shiva whom i believe to be my side whenever i have called for help. Though this is an unusual picture i found of him to sketch.... mainly Lord Shiva is known and depicted for his fierce forms but here i have drawn him with  sanctity of a baby.
o  നമ: ശിവായ 

Now ever since i drew Lord Shiva i had an urge to learn to draw other Hindu Gods.... Trust me its one huge challenge in drawing Gods with the lot many details they have...most importantly their eyes, as its the eyes that result in the expression they have finally, its always best to see Gods smiling rite? I have always believed that if Gods are happy so are we.... :) After the eyes its about all the features of the God, lips, cheeks, all the elaborate ornaments they wear most importantly the props they carry, as its of great importance as to each God in Hindu Myths.

Attukal Amma or Attukal Devi. 
A Goddess believed to be the incarnation of  Sree Parvathy, the consort of Lord Shiva.She is believed to have taken this incarnation of destroyer goddess so as to destroy the evil and to preserve good and harmony. Millions offer her Pongala (a porridge meant to boil over, made of rice, sweet brown molasses(jaggery) & coconut gratings) as an offering to the Goddess to seek her blessings.
സര്‍വ മംഗള മംഗല്യേ ശിവേ സര്വര്ധ സാധികെ
സരന്യേ ത്രയംബികെ ഗൌരി നാരായണി നമോസ്തുതേ
Lord Krishna ..a God who is much loved for his charm, tranquility, naturally loving and sweet aspects....Being the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu...he is believed to be the Absolute Truth or the Supreme Personality. He's the source of all spiritual & material worlds. Drawing such a splendid character was rather a challenge for myself.. as it was not easy to draw such an aura of supreme..every single feature in the Lords body depicted unlimited nature of the spiritual realm.
i drew a picture of lord Krishna in his teenage ages...the days he was in Vrindavan, which is believed to be the most happy moments in his life... with his childhood friend..lover..his ardent devotee Radha...
It is said that ever since Krishna has left Madurai he never played his its believed that he left it for his absolute devotee Radha...

Yet again i drew Lord Shiva..but this time chose to draw the Lord drinking the poison 'Kalakudoom' 
The picture i drew has its many faults.. as Lord Shiva's featured turned out to be quite feminine.. this was one of those pictures i drew as a beginner in that i realized my flaws is trying my best to make good drawings :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blanc Mange with Indian Flavors

Almond Blanc Mange

What u need...

       3 cups        - Milk, divided
   1/4 cup       - Cornstarch
   2 tbsp        - Badam (Almond) powder
   1/2 cup      - White Sugar
   1 teaspoon - Vanilla extract 
   2               - Cinnamon sticks
   1               - lemon peel, cut into strips
   1 pinch       - ground cinnamon (optional)
   3 ounces     - shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish (optional)

What u do...

  • Place 1 cup of the milk into a saucepan. Add lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. 
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, badam powder and sugar. Whisk remaining milk into this cornstarch & badam mixture. When the milk in the pan begins to simmer, pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan in a thin steady stream. Whisk vigorously and increase heat just a bit to bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Allow the mixture to boil for about 20 seconds while continuing to whisk, then remove from heat. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. Stir in the pinch of cinnamon and the vanilla. 
  • Pour into a dish or mold, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Garnish with shaved chocolate just before serving.

    1. Almond Powder or Badam Powder is readily available in market. or u can even make it at home and prepare as below,
            [ 1 cup almonds lightly roasted and grinded into fine powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 5-6 pods of cardamoms, a pinch of saffron (optional). Mix all the above mentioned ingredients and grind to fine powder and store in airtight containers. ]
    2. You can use fresh milk or boiled milk for the dessert, though i prefer fresh milk.
    3. Don't forget to strain the milk before the mixture starts to turns thick, for the removal of cinnamon sticks
    4. You ca also use cardamom instead of cinnamon sticks as each has its own unique flavors 
    5. Garnishing can be according to you wish , u can even serve with fresh cream , whipped cream or even fresh fruits

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Cream Pudding with Mixed Fruits stew in Strawberry puree

    For all the sweet tooth's here's my recipe for a simple dessert...
    Cream Pudding with Mixed fruits stew in Strawberry puree
    What u need is,
    for Cream base:
          condensed milk  - 1 tin
          milk                      - 2 tins
          china grass         - 10 gms
          fresh cream         - 1/2 tin (optional)
          water                    -  1 cup
          vanilla extract      - 1 tsp

    for the fruit stew:
          All seasonal fruits  - diced into small pieces
          Strawberries          - 200 gms
          milk                         - 11/2 cup
          sugar                      - 3 tbsp

    What u do!
    Firstly u can decide if u need the fruit stew as a sauce or as a layer for your dessert. Here i have taken it as layer for my dessert.

    for the base cream layer,
    • First mix the milk and the condensed milk in a skillet (a heavy bottom pan)
    • Soak the china grass sheets in the one cup water ((wash the sheets in running water before soaking))
    • Place the milk mix on medium heat and keep stirring continuously 
    • Once warm whisk in the fresh cream and mix thoroughly by stirring continuously
    • Meanwhile bring the soaked china grass into a liquid consistency by a double boil 
    • Now when the milk mixture is homogeneous and warm add in the china grass to it and keep stirring and make sure that it melts in completely and homogeneously
    • Once the mixture starts thickening remove form heat and add vanilla extract and mix well 
    • Cool down the mix to room temperature by placing on cold water and keep stirring 
    • Transfer this mix into the dish and refrigerate till it sets
    fruit stew: 
    • take the strawberries and puree them 
    • take the puree in a pan and add milk and sugar to this and cook on medium heat for about a minute
    • add the finely diced fruits to the above mix and cok the fruits in the milk plus strawberry mix
    • once the mix gets curdy, take from heat and cool to room temperature
    • then pour the cooled fruit stew over the cream layer that will be already set by now and refrigerate
    • The dessert can be dressed with fresh cream and fresh strawberries
    My notes:
    1. u can use gelatin instead of china grass, ((use about 2 tbsp gelatin powder soaked in 1/2 cup cold water))
    2. u can use any seasonal fruits available and i used strawberry for puree as kids would love them
    3. the fruit stew can be used as the base layer and can be freezed before adding the cream layer on top
    4. if u need to set the fruit stew u can use gelatin in tat mix too instead of freezing it..
    5. Enjoy!! :)

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    The beginning....

    I always wanted a perfect ending... Now i've learned the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it all, without knowing what's going to happen next....
    in my case it all started with a dream..a dream that woke me up into the reality......that gave me strength to live through this ..and when its over i shall be all happy and secured...and eventually i'll get to be myself...

    Hence as a part of being this new year 2012 i am starting to blog and as one of my good friend told me if i plan to start bogging then The best way to learn it, is by trying it.. feel free to experiment, feel comfortable to make errors.. and so i am here to learn ..and to make mistakes... ;)
    Firstly lemme start by my favorite its been an amazing feeling whenever i get into my kitchen and start cooking from makes me feel good in fact more than happy when i see my dish taking its shape....
    I have been watching all the wonderful and gifted chefs around the world for long time and have always been fascinated by their ways in the kitchen and awestruck by the beautiful dishes they produce...
    Thus i start by thanking God for all the wonderful cooks at my house starting from my dear mother & Indira,my nanny, who taught me the first lessons of cooking and helped me through the pains of cuts & bruises of a beginner and finally made me feel proud when i created a dish of my own... Your lessons and guidance is my one step to success.
    Secondly to all my wonderful aunties who have been renowned cooks who inspired me into world class cuisines..who taught me how to bake my first batch of dough's...
    Last but never the least my loved ones, my friends, who have always loved me for who & what i am and has been with me whenever i needed them and helped me into becoming a better person.