Happy New Year folks!! The New Year is already 15 days old and I am just getting around to wishing you guys. Terrible, I tell you, terrible. Thank God, I subscribe to the philosophy “Better late than never” so I am very easily able to forgive myself.
So, how was Christmas and New Year’s, did you guys have a good break? Like i said in one of my earlier posts, DD had 2 weeks of vacation while DH and I got a week off. It was a long-awaited, much-anticipated break because, get this we had NO plans. The last 2 years we have traveled during Christmas break. In 2010, we went to visit my cousin in the East Coast for a week. It was a time for the kids to get to know each other better. We watched movies, played a lot of scrabble, saw the nation’s capital and generally basked in the warmth and affection that only family and some very close friends can provide. Last year, we did our big Disney trip. While both trips were fantastic, coming back to regular life was painful.. We were tired (both times we came back with just a day to go before school and office reopened). That one day,we spent taking down the lights and the Christmas tree and locating lost library books and finishing pending homework. Not a very fun day.
This year, in a complete reversal, we stayed home, slept in, ate, met a few friends, put together a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle, watched movies and ate some more. I made a couple of things for which I am going to share recipes below. We strayed from tradition and took our Christmas lights and the Christmas tree down on the 27th of December itself. Since we were all to go back to regular routine on the 2nd of January and we’d get a late start on the 1st thanks to the New Year’s eve party, we decided to wrap up all the Christmas stuff prior to New Year’s. DD was not too happy but on hearing our explanation she was a good little trooper and helped us too.
In keeping with the theme of rest and relaxation, for New Year’s eve we met at a friend’s house for a pajama party. There was food, drinking, music, some dancing and a resolution to raise strong, independent daughters (Everyone at the party is the parent to a young girl) and events towards the end of the year brought home to all of us the importance of teaching our daughters to be strong, self-reliant and to not think of themselves as second class citizens.
Thus ended Christmas and New Year’s. Now for the recipes, I promised to share. The first recipe is a really old one. When my maasi (mom’s older sister) was getting married in the 1960′s, at the wedding reception the chef served a cutlet that was the talk of the evening. My mother, being very interested in cooking asked the chef how he had made the yummy stuff. He elaborated the following recipe for her
This recipe makes about 60 medium-sized cutlets.
beetroot, medium-sized 2, peeled and grated
Carrots – medium-sized 6, peeled and grated
4-5 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tsp grated ginger
2 finely chopped green chillies (Serrano or jalapeno peppers) (use less, if you’re not a fan of spicy food)
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste (can also use paprika or cayenne)
Cornstarch dissolved in water to form a thin liquid (in India, use arrowroot powder) about half a cup
Bread crumbs 1 cup
Oil for frying
Fry grated ginger and green chillies/peppers. once the chillies/peppers are slightly browned and the ginger becomes aromatic add the grated beetroot and carrots to the frying pan. Add salt and cook on a medium flame stirring ever so often until all the water in the mixture evaporates. This can take a little time so be patient. Once all the water evaporates, mash the boiled, peeled potatoes and add to the mixture. Adjust salt to taste after adding the potatoes, also feel free to add red chilli powder (or cayenne or paprika) if the spice level goes down after the addition of the potatoes. Once the potatoes are nicely integrated into the beetroot-carrot mixture, take the pan off the flame. Wait for the mixture to cool and then shape into flat rounds or ovals (any shape that suits your fancy is fine).
Once you have shaped the mixture, dunk it into the liquid made with cornstarch and water (or arrowroot and water), then roll it in breadcrumbs and deep fry it in oil. If you are calorie conscious, you need not deep fry it. instead fry it in a shallow pan with a little oil. The latter process will take longer so make sure the cutlet is well cooked before you remove it from the flame. Here are pictures of how my cutlets looked.
We also baked up a storm of cookies using this recipe. I didn’t use the recipe for the frosting mentioned here, using store-bought instead. This is what they looked like
This last recipe that I am sharing here is what DH called my piece de resistance. I found the recipe on the Huffington post. It took a looong time to make. My arms hurt from all the stirring – not an issue for you if you have an electric mixer. I knew it would be rich thanks to all the eggs and the cream etc. However, I had my doubts as to how the cake would rise without any baking powder in the recipe. I wasn’t sure of the proportions in the glaze, either. All my doubts were laid to rest though once I saw the end product. This is what it looked like. It tasted heavenly, not too sweet with just a hint of the citrusy fruits coming through in every bite.
With that I hope I have added a little bit of sugar and spice to your New Year. Have a good one people. As to what has kept me so busy the first 15 days of the New Year, I will have to do a separate post.