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Friday, February 24, 2012

"Pat a Cake"- Dinoco Car Cake

It was little 'A's 2nd birthday last month...and like my 'E' he is a BIG--- CARS fan too!!! What else could make a little kid happy on his birthday than to have a cake shaped like his favorite toy???
We (I mean "M' had a lions share in this cake...he drew the car for me and helped with the icing too!! ) baked this 'Dinoco Car Cake" with a base of eggless orange cake with plain vanilla frosting.
1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
3/4th cup Granulated Sugar
1/3rd Cup Canola oil
1/4 th CUP of cut up canned Mandarin oranges in 'light syrup'(cut into tiny pieces)-[Add upto 1/3rd cup for more orange flavor]
1tsp Baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1 tbsp Vinegar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup 'light syrup' from the canned mandarin oranges
Orange zest of one orange(add more for stronger flavor)

 Icing: 1 can ready plain vanilla frosting and food colors and food pen/markers, few M and M's

1)Preheat the oven to 350F (preheating is very imp). Grease the 8 inch round pan with vegetable shortening. Apply liberally in all corners.Dust with all purpose flour to coat the pan.
2)First sift flour, sugar separately.Then by a spoon add to the measuring cup to measure exact amounts.Level with a knife.DO NOT pack the flour into the cup.The ratios will change and the cake will not come out as good.
3) Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.Add the chopped up mandarin oranges and 1/2 of the orange zest to the batter.Save the remaining for the glaze.
4) Mix them together in a single direction.Bubbles will appear as vinegar reacts with baking soda.Do not over- mix.But all the lumps should be gone
5) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 mins.Do not open the door for first 20 mins atleast.
6) Check with a tooth pick, if the cake is done.The inserted toothpick should come out clean.

7) Flip on a serving platter carefully

Icing and shape cutting:
1)  Choose a picture of the Dinoco car and draw it on a paper to use as a stencil to cut the cake

2) Place the car shaped paper stencil on the cake and cut the outlines.With a food color marker draw the lines on the cake to make it easy for icing
3) Mix food colors with the vanilla frosting in different bowls to get the colors of your choice.We used blue, grey, white,red as main colors. Carefully spread the icing on the cake in between the drawn lines

4) Remark the lines with food pen/marker and decorate with M and M's.
5) Vromm Vrooommm the cake is ready to RACE!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Everyday Cooking"- Tandoori Spiced Grilled Tilapia

I am back from a wonderful vacation to Pune,India.I had a great time and the most flavorful and delicious food during my vacation.Tried many new things and revisited old memories by having food that I loved through my childhood years. So...after coming back....my 'tastebuds' are still  jet lagged and demand the same flavorful food here!!!!
Tilapia is one of my favorites fishes here in USA.For a quick dinner last night, grilled this easy but spicy and tender tilapia fillets.

 3 Tilapia fillets
 1tsp Tandoor Chicken masala
1/2tsp red chili powder
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp water
1/2tsp salt
1tsp oil
1tbsp chopped cilantro

1) Was the tilapia fillets and dry with paper towel.
2) Mix together tandoori chicken masala, chili powder,salt,lemon juice,water,chopped cilantro and make into a paste.
3) Marinate the fish with the paste for 15-20 mins

4) Heat a grill pan and spray with nonstick spray.Grill the tilapia 2-3 mins on each side
5) Serve hot with extra dash of lemon and some side dish. Brush with ghee for added flavorfulness!