Thursday, April 26, 2012

Say cheese(cake)!

Ok, first things first. I can't bake to save my life. Really. I do have a big fat oven in my kitchen, but it doesn't work. It has not worked in the last 5 years. In fact, when we moved into this house 5 years ago, it was in the 'to be replaced' list, but it never was replaced because I simply have no use skills for an oven. I do have a toaster oven, which works just fine for making lasagna and garlic bread and stuff. But baking and me do not go together. The one time I tried to bake muffins for my ex-colleagues, I had to tell them they were cookies instead. Yeah. But I do make things, which are otherwise baked in a big fat oven by normal people. For example, I can make muffins in the microwave oven, and I'm proud to declare that they are butterless and soft and spongy and very highly edible. (I should probably put up the recipe sometime).

Anyway, back to this post. We got a recipe booklet with a tub of yogurt we bought, and some of the recipes looked really good and erm, possible. When I saw the recipe for cheesecake, I jumped. You see, cheesecake is pretty much the only type of cake I like, and I really do love it to bits. Plus, there was no mention of an oven in the recipe, so unless it was a horrible typo, it looked like something I could make. Mom-in-law, who loves cheesecake just as much, was thrilled when I told her I wanted to try it out. And yes, the results were fantastic. I must admit though that this is a very jugaad recipe, because I couldn't find some of the items and had to use my imagination and replacements. Also, I realised that because it was a yogurt company's recipe book, they had to go and stuff yogurt into every recipe, but the yogurt actually made my first round of cheesecake a little softer than it should have been, and when I skipped the yogurt in round 2, the cheesecake came out perfect. Also, it was to be a trial so I only bought one pack of cheese which was 125 g, while the recipe called for 500 g of cheese. So I had to use a quarter of all listed quantities, and you try measuring 5 g of gelatin powder without any weighing scales! So the recipe I have below is a mix of what they had plus my jugaad modifications.

5 Digestive biscuits (finely powdered)
4 tbsp melted butter
5 g gelatin powder (I couldn't find this so I used lemon-flavoured jelly crystals instead! In round 2, I increased the quantity to 1 tbsp and it came out better. I suspect gelatin would be the best option though. I'll try it in round 3.)
1 can of peaches in syrup
125 g of cream cheese at room temperature (I couldn't find cream cheese so I used fruit cheese, which is the same as cream cheese except that they add fruit bits that you have to live with)
40 g castor sugar (I just put regular sugar in the mixer.)

1. Mix the melted butter and powdered biscuits and press firmly onto the base of the container you're going to make the cheesecake in. I just used a regular round plastic bowl with a cover. Keep in the freezer. (The recipe asked for it to be chilled, but freezing worked better for me.)
2. Boil the gelatin powder (or jelly crystals) in 50 ml of peach syrup from the can. Keep stirring till all the powder is dissolved.  Leave to cool.
3. Beat the cream cheese and castor sugar till fluffy. (Now here's the thing. Mine wasn't that fluffy because it was fruit cheese. I think if you use plain cream cheese, it would be quite fluffy. Another change to try out for round 3.)
4. Mix the gelatin solution into the cream cheese and sugar mixture.
5. Pour the mixture over the biscuit case. Chill for 3 hours.
6. Decorate the top with peaches from the can.
7. Cut into pieces.
8. Hog.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ups and downs

Ok, bewdas who don't like babies are going to throw their hands up in the air and say, "No, Sayesha, not a baby video again!" Well, my answer to them would be, "Relax! This post does not contain A baby video, it contains TWO."

Ok seriously, I can't help it. Xena has been upto a lot lately, and I have my camera around my neck 24-7, like some pativrata naari and her mangalsutra. So in view of her increased mobility and curiosity about the world around her, and the fact that the in-laws will be going back soon, leaving only me to watch the very jumpy Xena again, I have been training her on a very important skill - getting down safely from a couch or a bed. I'm very proud of how fast she has learnt to rotate her body so her legs move down first. And now she's also been trying to climb on to the couch with minimal help. I'm lucky to have captured both on video.

And bewdas who don't like babies, I hope you like cheesecake. I promise to share my 15-min no-bake no-fuss yummy peach cheesecake recipe in my next post. :P

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Translator needed. Urgently.

Ok, is it me or does she really say "McDonald's" from 1:34 to 1:36??

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mama's the word

Xena says "Mama" a lot, but not in context yet. I don't even think she knows I am the addressee. She just likes to say it randomly, along with all the other words she babbles.

Well, that's what I thought until today, when I realized that she may not know the significance of the word "Mama" yet, but she probably knows exactly where to use it.

It was her feeding time, and as usual, the area looked like a complete war zone. She had splattered the purée all over her face, arms, legs, clothes, bib, high chair, floor and some on me. She had flung the spoon away, along with the pieces of steamed apple I had given her to gum on. Disasterville. And to top it, she was giving me the bechari face.

"Xena, look at all this mess you have made! Who's going to clean it??" I chided her.

"Mama." She said without batting an eyelid.