Happy Mother's Day!!

It was my first mother's day and though my doll isn't old enough to wish me, she sure gifted me with her cutest smiles today. Didn't sleep a wink and insisted on being carried the whole day, guess she wanted to spend every minute of the day with me :).

A New Life...Meet our Bundle of Joy

Here's introducing the newest addition to our family...my baby girl, Anushka, who turned one month yesterday. The last month has been an adventure really...one exciting day after another. Its so much fun as she now recognizes us, makes adorable sounds when we talk to her, sleeps in such cute poses, rewards us with an occasional precious smile...I could go on and on :).
As for cooking, hopefully I'll post something soon before this blog is declared dead:).

Moong Dal Halwa

I was so excited when Srivalli chose Moong Dal Halwa for Indian Cooking Challenge this month. It's one of my favorite dishes, perfect for the winter and it's been atleast a couple of years since I had some. I missed the last few challenges and I was praying that the next one would not involve any deep frying. So this was just perfect.
I followed the second recipe, the only change I made was reducing the ghee to just 2tbs. That probably made a difference to the consistency of the halwa, we could only have it warm as it used to become stiff when cool. Also added cardamom powder. The halwa was yumm and just irresistible.

Pinapple Upside Down Cake and Vegan Fruit and Nut Cake - Last Bakes of 2009

There was a time when I used to bake every second day or so. In the last couple of years all that butter, sugar and flour have started showing at all the wrong places and on top of that we realized that Manoj's cholesterol was a little high. It was time to change our eating habits and I must say its been really difficult. Both of us are crazy about junk and fast food and could happily have just that all day. Some changes we made were giving up eating out, no fried foods (except when visiting friends), its all about simple home made meals now. I bake only on special occasions, when visiting friends or when I'm having friends over. We are getting results and we feel so much better now.
Anyways, here are the two cakes I baked last month.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I made the Pineapple Up-side Down Cake to take along to a friends place. I've had this recipe bookmarked for a while, it's from My Kitchen Snippets. See the recipe here. Just substituted pineapple and cherries instead of peaches.

The cake came out beautifully and was perfect. The sponge by itself was moist and buttery and delicious. I made two mini cakes, so I could taste it before I took it to my friends place. This recipe is definitely a keeper, can't wait to try it with peaches.

Vegan Fruit and Nut Cake

Whats Christmas without a fruit cake! I had a tough time selecting a recipe as the ones I had used alcohol and that's off limits for me. I also wanted an eggless cake and one that was not loaded with calories. After a lot of hunting I finally saw this recipe at Jugalbandi and it was perfect for my needs. That's a blog u can trust and there were so many people vouching for the recipe, I had no doubts what so ever.

I followed the recipe as is. I did not soak the fruits, used half orange juice and half water and totally left out the alcohol. The cake was fabulous, I could not believe that its vegan and was better than any fruit cake I ever baked. Manoj is already asking me to bake another one, guess he won't have to wait long.

This is a must try!!

Both the cakes are going to Sara's Cakes and Cookies event and to Divya's Show Me Your Cake event.

Happy New Year!!

Here's wishing you all a Very Happy and Prosperous 2010!! The last year was filled with a lot of wonderful memories and the new year comes with promises of even better ones. We have a lot to look forward to this year, most importantly the birth of our baby in early March. Life is full of excitement and anticipation right now :).
2009 ended on a beautiful note, we had a wonderful trip to Mount Shasta with friends and I had my first White Christmas, it was breathtaking. Here's a picture of the view from my window on Christmas morning....

Here's a picture of the cake I baked for Christmas, more about that later in another post.

Some more pictures of my trip...

Our backyard...

A cute little tree...

Eskimo Hill...

Burney Falls...

Lake Shasta...

Have a wonderful year.....