Sunday, 29 June 2008

LEMON CAKE!

Cake
Ingredients

  • 1 yoghurt (nature, vanilla or lemon)
  • 4 eggs (if small, 6 eggs)
  • 3 cups (yoghurt) of flour
  • 2 ½ cups (yoghurt) of sugar
  • ½ cup of oil (neutral taste)
  • ½ cup of cream
  • Yeast
  • 1 lemon

  1. Pre-heat oven at 180°C
  2. Separate the whites from the yellow of the eggs.
  3. Whip the whites of the eggs until firm. Keep aside.
  4. Mix the yellow of the eggs with the sugar and whip until creamy.
  5. Add the yoghurt to the eggs/sugar cream.
  6. Add the yeast to the flour.
  7. Add the flour to the yoghurt/sugar/eggs preparation.
  8. Add the oil and the cream.
  9. Add the grated lemon zest and juice of half of the lemon.
  10. Add the whipped whites and mix in gently.
  11. Cook for about 40-45 minutes. The best way to be sure the cake is cooked is to put in a toothpick; if it comes out clean the cake is baked.




Lemon Syrup
Ingredients:

  • 3 lemons (juice only)
  • 1 glass (careful, not too big and not to small either) sugar
  • 2 glasses water

  1. Put the sugar with the water in a pan.
  2. Add the juice of the 3 lemons and let it boil until sticky syrup is formed.
  3. The best way to check if your syrup is ready is to put in a spoon. If it sticks to it then it is ready. However, to be sure pass a finger in the back of your spoon (careful not to burn yourself) and see if the line your just did on the syrup remains clean.
  4. Pour over the cake still warm.
  5. Let it cool until serving time.



Wednesday, 4 June 2008

TUK TUK...COMING THROUGH...!!!

Coming back to my post about India, I was reminded this morning that there was much more to say about it...true, but it was not my primary intention when writing that particular post.

Nevertheless, it is true that during that week, many situations happened that deserve a little "highlight".

Many funny moments (unbelievably funny!!! One time at dinner I laughed so much - and was not the only one - I completely forgot there was important people at the table as the atmosphere was so great), many hard working moments and moments of peace and enjoyment.

So let me tell you about one particular moment...the motorickshaw ride!!!! Have you ever had the impression that you had absolutely no idea of what you were doing and if you would still be alive the next second? NOOOO???? Well, get on a motorickshaw and go for a ride in the Indian traffic...funny as hell (excuse the expression) and scary as hell!



Where to start? Maybe I should mention the fact that it seems that traffic rules are not to be respected, after all, what are they for? Or do I mention when big trucks pass by and it just happens that their exhaust pipe is at your face level and you have this incredible warm wave hitting you on the face and when you think you are going to faint because of that unusual heat there comes the second wave...the smell...ah that is probably the best part...the smell...oh smell of wonders!!!! Huh...it helps you turn red, yellow, blue...just pick the colour you like best! Preferably some colour that matches what you are wearing on that particular moment...I was lucky I was wearing black, so ...was an easy pick! Can you imagine the dilemma if I was wearing another colour????

Oh...do I also dare mentioning people rushing by in the middle of the traffic instead of using the pedestrian crossings...drivers that only seem to know one (or two) traffic rules i.e. HONK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND OCCUPY ANY EMPTY SPACE IN FRONT, AT YOUR SIDE OR BEHIND YOU!!!

When we reached our point of destination (after having zigzagged our way trough) and I got out of the motorickshaw, I didn't know if I was going to throw up or just plainly lay on the floor and try to recover my breath!

To be honest, I enjoyed every minute of that ride...I really did (was laughing all the way back too)! It is an experience I would recommend to everyone at least once. It was even funnier because I wasn't alone...if I was I would have "behaved" as a "lady" (well, yes...I am!) is suppose to.

Anyway, advice is, go to India, go on a motorickshaw ride (preferably be as lucky as I was to be with a wonderful person who has a sense of humour the size of the universe) and have the time of your life!!!!

I happened to be with a person (you will recognize yourself) who has a sense of humour which is as weird and as huge as mine...try that too if you can...go on a motorickshaw with a person who has a solid sense of humour....it gives another dimension to it!


I would go on a motorickshaw right now...for sure! I may joke, but I love India and all its little "tweaks"!

Don't miss the next episode of "The Adventures Of A Lady (well yes!) In India"!



Unfortunately, this time the pictures I took in India did not come out OK, so I am using motorickshaw pictures I took 4 years ago when I was in Hyderabad.

Cheesecake...from India with Love!

The need to bake (although am not quite sure, one can talk of "baking" regarding this cake), is still to overwhelming to let it go...as a result I have made a special cheesecake. A recipe I have learned from a friend of mine from India and who lives in Dubai.

I stayed at Rani's place for a week and believe me was hard remembering I needed to diet...was not only the sweets, but all the other recipes, and her "masala dosa"...mmmiiiiaaammm...and if I would speak of Elizabeht's coffee...but I better stop here before I start craving for things I shoudl not eat (where's the chocolate when needed????????)!

Ok, so here goes the recipe...I have modified it a bit (sorry about that Rani and Elizabeth!) but I guess that is the whole point when it comes to cooking...experimenting!
By the way, the cookies were a major success at the office...so, have a go at the recipe and don't hesitate in "experimenting" too!

PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE
Missing in the picture, the butter

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can sliced pineapple
  • 1 packet whipping cream
  • half glass fresh lemon juice
  • Digestive biscuits nicely powedered
  • Butter melted
  • Hazelnuts (this is my "addition" to the recipe!)


For the base

  1. Mix the powdered digestive biscuit with the butter. I have added the halzenuts for a little "pizazz" and a to have a difference of consistence between the finely powedered biscuits and the crunchy feeling of the halzenuts.
  2. This is the base of the cheesecake, so firmly press it on the bottom of your cheesecake pan or other "presenter" so that your base stay firm when serving.
  3. Whip the cream nicely - Keep aside.
  4. Mix the lemon juice constantly stirring into the condensed milk (in a pan).
  5. Chop up the pineapple nicely leaving a few big bites.
  6. Mix the whipped cream and the chopped pineapple.
  7. Now mix this with the condensed milk and lemon juice.
  8. Pour this over the digestive biscuit base.
  9. Easy...refrigerate for 4 hours before serving in the chiller.









Tuesday, 3 June 2008

DUBAI...

...there is so much to say about it...and so little time...after all...each time you end up in Dubai you end up discovering a "new face" of the city!

I was there for one week to visit friends and have fun...which I did!!! Another story, other chapters opening and closing...a re-discovering "journey".

Nevertheless, aim number one was to have fun...how to describe the amount of fun I had there...? Could mention so many things...but maybe I can let you discover it through the photos of this post...enjoy it...more photos are coming...so hold on!

video

India...mysteries...

I was back in India very recently...for work...but it was wonderful to be back to that wonderful place.

The moment I landed (at midnight) in Mumbai I was engulfed (not only by the incredible humidity!) by the atmosphere of peace and the sounds (not just the cars honking!) of the night.

How to explain it? Don't know...maybe a sense of letting yourself live.

One thing we seem to hold dear in Europe (and in most countries!) is this need to constantly be in a rush, go as fast as we can from point A to point B. WHY??? For one week, I lived at another rhythm...ok, ok...so you might say I rarely got out of the hotel so how could I know? I KNOW....and that is all that counts for me. After all, even the working rhythm (although generally doing more hours than I probably would in the office), the peace and "no rush" aspect was dominant.

I re-discovered many things about me when there, closed and opened a few chapters...and that helped me to follow to the next travel which is the post above this one...where I also did some interesting discoveries...but that is another story!

In many ways (for many reasons), it was hard being back home, I still feel I am not back, I am still there...if not physically...my mind remained.

I will soon be back for sure...!



P.S. The song on one of the posts below (Bang Bang - My Baby Shot Me Down - by Nancy Sinatra) is connected to this post...and the closing and opening of certain "chapters"...the lyrics are self-explanatory...maybe.

SWEET...IDEAS!

Whenever I am stressed, sad, furious, disappointed or just plain happy...I cook...better yet... I bake! I am not a good cook, but when it comes to baking any kind of sweets...I am quite good according to "critics" who end up eating everything I bake in the blink of an eye!

This evening was one of those occasions...don't ask me what kind of mood I was on...so, I needed to bake something to help me concentrate on myself again.

I ended up trying a cookies recipe with some "left-overs" I had in my pantry (pity I did not have any macadamia nuts...next time). I ended the evening baking around 30 chocolate chip cookies (without macadamia nuts!!!!


Yes, I know...next time!) and 6 "Pasteis de Nata" (the recipe and short background of this traditional portuguese pastry can be found HERE).





So, enjoy as much I have baking and as much as my "critics" will enjoy it tomorrow!!!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons hot water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • Nuts (macadamia, walnuts etc...follow your taste buds!)



  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C .
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  4. Dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  5. Add to butter along with salt.

  6. Stir in flour, chocolate chips (...and nuts).

  7. Drop large spoonfuls of the dough on a greased pan (or protected with baking paper).

  8. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Bang Bang...My Baby Shot Me Down...

I was five and he was six
We rode on horses made of sticks
He wore black and I wore white
He would always win the fight

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.

Seasons came and changed the time
When I grew up, I called him mine
He would always laugh and say
"Remember when we used to play?"

Bang bang, I shot you down
Bang bang, you hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, I used to shoot you down.

Music played, and people sang
Just for me, the church bells rang.

Now he's gone, I don't know why
And till this day, sometimes I cry
He didn't even say goodbye
He didn't take the time to lie.

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down...


By Nancy Sinatra