♥ Sparkly corners, little things, joy and sunshine
Smiles. Gingham cloth on breakfast table. Freshly baked bread
Pear tarts.. Yum.
Family time, love time, under the holiday sun
The man in the kitchen, grilled fish over lemon grass
That little black dress, red wine, Christmas pudding, fairy lights
Quiet corners to dream away, Hot chocolate, Polar express, flannel pajama with teddy bear on it.
Fluffy blankets, movie time, secretly watching stars at midnight!
A glittering Christmas tree with hopes for a better world on its branches.
Wishing you a thoughtful Christmas if you are reading it and all the things above ♥
In a sauce pan, put to boil brown sugar, raisins, grated ginger (1/2 teaspoon), cinnamon (2 teaspoon) and Jack Daniels Whiskey
In another bowl, cream 2 eggs and 3/4th cup sugar. When fluffy and doubled, add dry mixture (1 and a 1/2 cup flour, 3 heaps tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt)
Fold it in nice and easy and add chopped almonds.
Bake in 220 (centre rack) for 10 minutes, turn down to 180 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs attached to it.
This is a dense cake and should be like it. It’s not light and airy and decadent at all. Your cake should have a packed, dense base.
Enjoy with coffee or cocoa.
Merry Christmas all!
Grab a cup of hot chocolate
Prefer Polar express over Charlie’s Angels
Spike your cuppa coffee wit a lil’ whiskey
Grab your knit-socks and earl flaps
Watch Christmas specials
Sit on your bed
Maybe doze off for a while
Marinade the chicken
Open the windows
Let some sun in
Check on the Rum Glaze
Eat a cookie
Take a walk
See your hydrangeas
Go back to Hot chocolate
Do whatever you like
Have yourself a Merry Christmas
From Rukmini, Rohan and all things Tru and happy!
Hello Ladies! All set then? Are you spiking your morning coffee with whiskey like me? Are you wearing your beige peep toes and trying it out? Haha, or maybe testing a bit of rum while making the rum and raisin cake? Girls, while I write this, Im sitting in a blue, green and white little cubicle, with my Second cup of “morning” coffee and all my mind is not at work. I can see only glittery bells, sunshine on my feet, lots of TV and chocolates on the center table. I do not want to work, not now! Who does!
So, here is my tree that we decked up last to last night. Simple red and white with touches of silver. This is not a real evergreen, a fake one, but I do think it looks gorgeous. Well, we did it over some really good port and a “rehearsal chicken wings on barbecue sauce”. I’ll give you the recipe after Christmas, or if anyone wants it before, let me know. I’ll email it to you
This is how she looks with lights on. I love to switch off the lights of room and simply stare at it. It is so dreamy. It makes me sing “and man will live forever more, because of Christmas Day”
Merry Christmas my beautiful friends. Have a fun filled holiday, laugh a lot, spread cheer and keep being who you are.
From us to yours.
Sharing @ here!
Hello and a morning to all the lovely talented ladies! How’s it going in this “3 days to Christmas” phase. Not too good here at the Tru-palace: Im only cooking and baking and jamming (that would be making jams)! But finally, R is back, the tree is done over rehearsal chicken wings in soy sauce and wine dinner, and it’s looking just the way I thought it would. But that’s a different story! Today, it’s only Jam we will be talking about.
There is something about homemade jams that keeps me glued to them. I love its taste, I love the fact that it has no preservatives, I love the fact that they are absolutely dump-and-go that much suits my style and I love the fact that they are so easy to make and yet gives you so much credit. I love being appreciated! So, obviously when I got 1/2 a kilo of strawberries from Mahabaleshwar, it was evident that some of it are going into the making of the most tasty jam ever. I’m such a self praising thing, am I not?
Once you get your pulp cornered, (add a lot of spills if you are listening to good music and dancing like me while you are doing this) add 3/4th cup of caster sugar and a tbsp of lemon juice. Lemon Juice will keep the sugar from crystallizing, giving your jam a smooth consistency.
Now, dump all of it in a saucepan and cook in medium heat for about 5-7 minutes and then on low for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. You’ll see a lot of white froth in the beginning, which will die out later. Once all the foam has settled and your strawberry mixture starts looking thick, pick your jam with a fork and see whether it stays on the fork without dripping. If it does, your jam is done.
The next batch becomes pie; recipe courtesy: the very talented Tammy Mc.Leod
Sharing up with:
There, there! Hows it going with all of you with only 4 days left to Christmas? In this teeny apartment, to-do-lists are back! Isn’t that wonderful. Because perhaps I am the only one alive in this earth to be as daring as to go vacationing on the only weekend left for Christmas. Yup. I was up-early and away to Mahabaleshwar (Spell Ma-Ha-B’-Leash-War), a hill station about 400 kilometers away from Mumbai that’s also the largest producer of strawberries in India. can you see the hearty, happy, full of strawberry goodness and bursting with all the vitamin C, me? You can? Oh yay! Money well spent. Oh wait. it was a sponsored vacation, courtesy: Naaptol.com, one of India’s largest e-commerce platform of which I am a part.
Hydrangeas!!! Oh me my, kill me. I managed to get a cutting too but I do think it’s gonna survive. *sobs*. Let’s hope it does. And now, on to some snippets of the road, the purely old school vintage stay and some colleagues/friends.
When I opened the door to the verandah of our cottage that was given to us, I instantly fell in love with it. Bathed in sunlight, amidst greens and lined with terracotta, yes, I would love to buy this place. Someone evaluate please!
MTDC resort- that’s the name of the place. This is only one side of it, there are other cottages as well- the place is pretty huge and is kept quite old school- intentionally or due to lack of attention is a question to ponder on!
ye ye! You could tell i was smitten. Lurve the light fixture. I would actually love to have a similar one over my dining table. R, are you listening?
Okay, guys, my room had a transistor! A TRANSISTOR too. When was the last time you heard about it? oh, love at first sight again.
The team. From Left: Sachin Singhal (The captain), Abhijeet Shewale on starboard design, Anil Rana on Ctrl X, Tushar Sarang: Ahoy coordinators, Rukmini Roy: The one and only, editor cum foodie turned cook cum brilliant photographer cum advisor cum all that makes you a genius etc. and Sheetal Joshi: On loading, uploading and exporting and a renegade hat lover!
These two individuals who seem to be asking me are actually warning of an impending accident. I was oblivious to a car behind me which was honking in its full glory and me without earphones or any sort of distraction couldn’t hear it. My mind is never at its place.
We caught someone sleeping in my very colorful Earl Flap hat. Mr. Rana it is- our designer. Well, this became quite a hit. (We tricked him to close his eyes- dont ask)
This would be Vidhi from IT. Chatter box, masters in whats app, head strong and an aspiring singer. We need Lime Soda here!
And this Mr. with my earl flap is Pratik Gupta who mumbles, cut=copy paste in his sleep. Signs of a hard working employee!
The two very-fond-of-each-other men again, I have a story to tell here. The man is yellow began with, “Dude, behind the taxi stand of Darjeeling, the one that’s below the road, there is a hotel where you have to self serve yourself. **** what a view man, that’s probably one of the best self serve joints I have seen. Tell me Rukmini, what’s the name?” I say, ‘Glenary’s?’. He says, “yes, yes, man…..what a…………………………… they have the best lime soda”.
And we hear a squeak from the man in blue. “All this for just Lime Soda?” Hahaha!
We also munched on some Farm Fresh Raddish. YUM!
And finally, doing what I do best. Anybody heard of the process called cross process?
Well, that would be about it from this daring little escape. Off to sleep for the day- we hardly slept. 6 hours in 48 hours. Think I can even stand straight? C
P.S: Coming up next Strawberry jam recipe from the Strawberries we got off the local vendors.
Ladies and gentlemen (doubt there is any), welcome to my humble abode. Hows it going at your nooks? All happy and white? Ready for a lil’ sneak peek? Well, even if we are a zillion years away from snow or even frost, its been getting a bit chilly here in the evenings. Nature’s way of telling you, “dowse thyself in bourbon, Eggnog and cookies and read a good book by the fire. This is December yo!” How I love winters. The moment I stepped out of my very blue cubicle, a gush of cool wind hit my face and whispered in my ear that maybe I should jump a bit instead of walking so straight on the pavement in my formals. Maybe I should have some junk food and pick up a warm pint. Maybe I can. Lol, and I did. It felt wonderful.
Anyway, after all that jumping, warm pint, Christmas songs on youtube and the last of the surviving cookie crumbles (I swear I added 2 inches to my already plump waistline) I finally brought out my China and laid the table.
Here are the elements that went into the making apart from my China and Crystal ware.
Clay coastal creatures and hearts- strewn carelessly (Like I have the patience)
Glass baubles (Yes, without a couple of sparkly spheres, I’m never satisfied). I tucked in some red satin ribbons in them to go with the theme.
I filled a glass with scented salts and stuck a red tapered candle in it. Rested a real, dried starfish (a colleague got it for me on request- yes my colleagues are very supportive of my blogging habits which also accounts for the fact that I owe the credit of my header to one of my flash designers 🙂 ) at the foot of the candle!
Simple, coastal, clad in red, silver, cream, a hint of gold and loads and loads of white. Just the way I like: a coastal take on my mom’s Christmas decorating!
And that my friend leaves me with only two places, yet to get the touch- my bedroom and the tree- of course I cannot do this without R here. This tradition was started by my father, who always roped in his family in anything he did, anywhere he went. Decking the tree together was his idea, which quickly became a tradition. Now, me and R deck the tree together, every year over sweet treats, food, coffee, wine and music, since my family is far away. He always makes me feel @ home. He is home. I’m waiting for him to be back! He is my best friend you see.
Am I talking too much? Okay, sorry, quickly to the menu
This obviously is not traditional and we keep changing it all the time, except the roast. That’s possibly tradition again.
Take a look:
Chicken Wings in sweet soy sauce
Crab cakes (if i find crab meat that is)
Rum Cake with candied fruits and raisins
(how could I forget) Jelly! Red and green- specific with passion fruit and cranberry toppings.
Off to some pedi I am. Have a fabulous weekend!
Hello my lovely ladies! How goes it? Needless asking ‘coz I know it’s going happily hectic. Do you know I still did not decorate my tree? Well, it’s not because I have forgotten but because Mr. urban aka R wants to do it too (It’s our own tradition to devote an evening or a day to it completely over music, treats and wine) and he is on a “business trip”. So that part of my house will be here after Monday. Till then I’m prepping up my Christmas dinner recipes and making some cheerful desserts: the excuse is, I’m just warming up a bit. The original reason: I love desserts. Sad part is R is not a dessert person at all but Rum cake and Jelly. He expressed his ardent desire to have Red and Green jelly in Christmas and so shall it be. How can you deny Jelly to someone, specially when that someone asks you with cutest face ever? Can you? I’m a bleeding heart and I simply cannot, although I’m no Jelly fan. I’ll give my jelly cup a dash of whipped cream and some strawberries maybe.
So, anyway, coming back to the topic, last night I made a batch of cookie crumble with whipped cream and choco chips and I’m telling you I seriously, just cannot get over this very easy, assembled dessert that also somehow has no fixed name. By the way, did you know my blender’s gone awry and I whipped the cream with my trusted full blown wire whisk and of course my hand? *sobs*. But somehow there was a satisfaction in this hard work. T’was fun, nevertheless.
R got me these cups from Delhi, last week and they are just what I want. A little sandy on the surface and glossy on the edges, the chocolate shade in them perfectly compliments my spirited hot chocolates and Monday night desserts + they are microwave safe which means I can warm up my thick chocolates a jiffy! I love, love, love them.
Okay…*coughs*…Are you still with me? (I doubt). Good. So, here’re the ingredients from the Trukitchen:
Whipping cream: 1 cup
Chocochip cookies: About 12 (crushed fine)
Chocolate chips: A handful
Very easy this step is. Just beat the whipped cream till it forms soft peaks. Layer your cup with alternate layers of crushed cookies and whipped cream. Finally, sprinkle some chocochips. Be generous, this is Christmas!
Chill for minimum 2 hours and best if kept to set over night.
Serve in clear glass or cups.
Very easy, very festive, very doable and very me!
This has been a productive weekend by far. I finally got around making my wreath, making the clay coastal ornaments for my tree, clearing the hall, putting garlands to the tree (We use a fake but very real looking evergreen. Why? Because Evergreens wont last a day in this hot and humid place, count the little nasties, unless you’d want to have an Adam’s family Christmas) and bringing out the Christmas specials. I also got around making some grilled carp, curried chicken and Bruschetta! Yes, it has been a good, productive weekend with no sitting on Trash and wondering why the ideas aren’t working. I dread those days. Anyway, back to clay lovely.
Those of you who know Sarah from abeachcottage, I’m sure you’ve seen these in their real form. She is a coastal princess, a beautiful blogger, a Nuffnang Asia nominee (Under the category: Hidden Gems- head over to vote for her) and her blog is where you head to when you need some rock solid inspiration. I heart her blog and her house and one occasion also, oh-so-shamelessly invited myself over to hers if I ever am in Australia.
With the otherwise Rustic decor, I thought a little coastal touch won’t be bad to accentuate it. So, off I went to Hobbyideas and picked up some white air drying clay. And instead of cutting them with cookie cutters and stamping them, which is also the perfect way to do it and is of course advisable if you are not someone like me, I hand shaped all of it; I think I started liking everything imperfect due to two reason: 1. Too perfect anything looks to me like its factory made. 2. People think they are cool. You know, when I first started making stuff, I used to crib about the fact that it’s not perfect. But on many occasions when people loved what they saw in my home and even picked it up, telling me that they look wonderful, I re-considered the blame that I so severely used to put upon my impatience. And now, I love everything that is not perfect. I find a charm in things that are not too fine. They are more palatable to this rustic-carefree chic. In fact, these days, people actually tell me that they saw something really nice and thought of picking up for me but it was not me. So, finally, through my spontaneous imperfections I have successfully created a perfectly imperfect image of myself. Which is great. One should have a personality than merely aping the neighbor’s perfect home. What say ladies?
I love air dry clay. No filthy baking smell at all. Regardless, half of them went to a cane wood weaved wreath frame and half yet to be incorporated as part of the Christmas centerpiece- coming up next 🙂 On top of an antique grain sack runner with red stripes! Think that would look lovely?
Have a beautiful and cheerful week ahead.
Good day! How’s the decor bug biting you? What say you? Biting you mad? I know. It’s bitten me to such a state of Frenzy that I’m almost a step behind fainting. I planned everything beforehand, don’t get me wrong. But somehow the process of decking up has rendered my home far from looking perfect at the moment. I am returning home to a pile of trash, unending to do lists, dumped with fabric corners and I swear last night the refrigerator door told me, “Stop banging those disgusting post its on my door lady. A fridge has feeling”.
No matter what I do, an addition or subtraction is always popping up and Im losing my track: count coffee overdose. Seriously, how much can you do in a weekend and 3 hours each week day? This is year end, so work load is increasing. Plus friends have already booked my weekends- next Sunday we are baking pastries from Cordon Bleu (just so you might know- yay!) and I’m hopelessly sitting everyday in the middle of my living room, achieving only 20% of what I intend to. Plus, new pinterest lovelies flowing in and confusing me even more every day. Lol, save me.
Nonetheless, amidst all this, I completed one craft properly; a coaster that I wanted to make after seeing a huge serving made of wood slices in my sister’s house. To my surprise, it was not only easy but I kind of got done with it in only about an hour. You see, I dont have a wood slicing tool so I asked the nearest wood-guy to cut me about 10 slices from a stick that I collected on my way to work. While going to work, I dropped it and while coming back, I picked it up. He only charged me half a $. Because I was hell bent on giving him something. But apart from that, I spent nothing. The base comes from a shelf that we got cut.
After getting them home, I gave it a rough sanding and then rubbed on some clear wood wax on it. After the wax dried, I simply glued them to the base. No brainer at all. The following day, I asked the guy to cut off the sides of the slices that were sticking out from the base. He just ran his electronic wood cutting blade through all the four sides and rubbed some wood wax on it. This time he charged me nothing! God bless the old man.
Well, I dont know how much my sister paid for it, she spends a lot on these things, but I have paid Nada. Nill. Zero and Shunya for this little thing of joy. All from the lap of nature.
Hope you’ll liked it and have a great weekend!