Author Archives: theprashanthiravinutalablog
Another kid-friendly and kid approved baking post. As I said, we have a chocolate fan (Arya, my elder son) in house and demands some snack related to it. He loves chocolate chip cookies and I have decided to bake these healthy vegan cookies. Like all moms, I don’t want my son to indulge on too much chocolate and whatever he eats, make sure it is healthy. Hence did my online search on the cookies and found the recipe from mycaliforniaroots.com (https://www.google.com/amp/mycaliforniaroots.com/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/amp/). This recipe is so easy and looks delicious. Thank You Raquel!!!
I am posting the recipe which is pretty much same as in the above link with some ingredients changes like I added Rolled oats flour, *Coconut oil and *Coconut Palm Sugar. Please have a look and try these and I bet they will turn out deliciously chewy inside and crispy outside. My 6 year old expresses his “YUMMMM” moment whenever he snack on them. 🙂
1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water
1 cup Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats Flour (Pan roast the rolled oats and blend them to fine powder)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Oil, Melted*
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Palm Sugar*
1/3 cup Organic White Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Make the flax seed meal using whole grain flax seeds and grinding it to powder and then add water to it and keep it aside.( I have Flax seeds hence I did this. If you have Flax meal powder use it directly.)
Mix the two sets of flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and keep aside.
Take the melted coconut oil and add the sugars and whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes.
Now add the flax meal mix and the vanilla to the oil mix, and whisk well until combined.
Add the flour mix to the Coconut oil mixture and stir together with a rubber spatula or wood spoon just until combined – do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips and gently fold into the batter.
Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto the baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating once, until just barely beginning to brown on the bottom. They will look underdone on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Enjoy them once they cool down.
Lately I have been using coconut oil instead of butter in my baking because it is a good fat and a plant based saturated fat which is healthy for your body and heart. And I have no issues when it comes to taste. They taste as good as the same when using butter. Moreover I was born and brought up at the tropical side of the south India and lived at coastal region which is famous for coconuts and the water was our thirst quenchers.
Coconut Palm sugar is the new product to my baking shelf. I am loving it. I read and heard it has low Glycemic Index value and good for diabetes patients. And more over this is plant based product too. It almost close to brown sugar and has very few calories.
Here I am after a long time (Started working then second pregnancy, birth to a baby boy who is 9 months today) with a new post on baking. All thanks to Arya,my older son, because of him, I started baking and restart blogging, which I always love to do. Th
This is a simple recipe yet healthy and delicious soft muffins for your kids and family. You can serve in for morning breakfast with milk/coffee and as a snack in kids lunch. I made mini version and aways prefer indulging into little bites. 🙂
I revised one of the recipes online and completely changed the proportions and replaced ingredients with whole grain flax seed, coconut oil. Since Arya is a big fan of chocolate cakes, cookies, cupcakes and as a mom I always limit his daily or weekly intake and at some point he feels sad and few tantrums, even though he listens to me most of the times, at times i feel like to feed him the healthy baking goods. I am always NO to store brought baking products. I fear they add lots of cane sugar, too much artificial colors and not so organic. Hence whenever I bake at home for or for family and friends parties, I always make sure to cut down atleast 1/2 cup of sugar from what the recipe says and alway use organic eggs, milk and butter. Well to say precisely, I mostly try for healthy baking. Okay.. not much delay, here is the recipe I followed for these muffins. The below recipe yields 24 mini muffins.
1 cup Organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tbsp Almond Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
a pinch salt
2 tbsp Organic Whole Flax Seeds
1/2 cup Mini Semi sweet Chocolate Chips (depends on how many you want)
1/2 Cup Organic Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Organic Coconut oil, melted
1 cup + 1/4 cup Butter Milk (I used homemade yogurt and churn it to buttermilk)
Firstly in a big bowl, mix all dry ingredients (Two sets of flour, baking soda, salt, Almond flour) and then add flax seeds.
In a small bowl, mix sugar and coconut oil and stir it with beater until the sugar dissolves in the oil. Then add butter milk and Vanilla extract to it and mix well.
Now pour the Oil + Sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix them well but do not overmix. Finally add the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
Preheat the Oven to 350F, fill the muffin pan with the batter and bake it for 10-12 minutes or until the fork comes out clean of batter. Let them sit on the pan for few minutes and slowly transfer them to the cooling rack.
That is it!!! Done!!! Enjoy the bites with the family. 🙂
Hello Dear Readers,
I am back with a wonderful DIY project which its not just by me but also by the men in the house (my husband and my son) helped me finish this beautiful master piece. 🙂
I am super excited to share it with you all. When we were living in one bedroom apartment, we had a built-in bookshelf to the wall and that is where we place the pictures of God and technically it was our Puja Space (Worship Space). Recently we moved to a new two bed room apartment with spacious rooms and spectacular views through the windows. We are loving the new one as much we loved our one bed room. (So many memories in that home). But here there is neither a bookshelf nor a proper facing or position to place our God to worship. I am not too religious (doesn’t mean I am atheist) I worship HIM and believe in HIM and follow festivals but don’t do too many pujas/mantras for hours and hours. Chaitanya is quite opposite to me. He do all kinds of pujas, chant mantra, hours of meditation and really follow them ritualistically. To such a man, I have no other thought but to gift him a nice puja mandir where he can sit and do his puijas peacefully and also I want to create a beautiful, peaceful home to our GOD. 🙂 Here my creative brain craved for ideas, ideas and more ideas. I want a simple, less expensive, elegant, easy to design models. The only furniture store that helped this want-to-do-something-great-desparetely woman is IKEA. It is a super saver for most of my ideas. I found a nice brown wooden storage shelf unit with doors for $49.00. It has enough storage for puja materials and books. Chaitanya assembled it and then the fun part begins.
To get that divine look to the shelf unit, I have decided to paint with muggullu (Rangoli) hence for this I need a permanent marker rather a paint, because I am not fine in painting with painters brush and it will be little clumsy if I go with that option. So I opted permanent white marker which found it in amazon for $7.05. Soon I received it I started drawing Rangoli’s (famous chukkala muggullu) on the shelf. I drew few and then look over again for updates to make the shelf more traditional and vintage look. Then I thought that it should need a gopuram on the top of the shelf. I went to Lowes (a home improvement departmental store) I walked all the aisles and looked for some wooden pieces that are only in sale. Finally I got some already done wooden crafts and also a Wall Ledge for a pretty reasonable price of $26.00. I also need wood glue which is $4.00 and then the cup hooks to hold the bells which is $3.00 and I wanted some wooden beads and gold ones also the bells. I went to Michaels and got all these for $11.00 (the beads were in sale and I always use the 40% off coupon on regular price items). I also bought the battery operated LED lights which is $13.00 and an Espresso color coat on Wood for $5.00 in Lowes. Just the pictures for you of all the material I bought.
Chaitanya and Arya helped me with drilling holes to the unit. They did a good job. You will see my final output and I bet you can’t take your eyes off from it. 😉
A picture of my “The BEST DIY” so far. I honestly fell in love with this. Chaitanya was totally mesmerized by this. (More pictures in Facebook)
Get inspired and give it a try and please drop a message on how it is….
Yes – As the title says, this post is about the great renowned one and only, Mr. Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana garu, known as BAPU, was an Indian Film Director, Not to limit that, he was a Painter, Artist, Cartoonist, illustrator and designer too. It is a an honor to me and to my blog to have him part of my posts 🙂 . Almost all the telugu people around the world are a huge admirers of his Arts.
If anyone interested, please visit this link of his great arts.
The reason of writing few lines on Him is my only inspiration and driving force to create this awesome cake for my dear Sarada Atha(Aunt) on her Birthday which is on June 28th ie., today. Recently she renovated her one bedroom apartment in the New York city very beautifully with all her ideas and endless efforts. Everything and every corner in the home transformed so gorgeously. She is a great admirer of Bapu guru and his Arts that she wanted to fill up the walls with His paintings. And certainly those paintings have spruce up the apartment. Simply Superb!
Coming to the gist of this post, Being a passionate, very new, self taught, showoff-my-creativity-kinda baker, I have decided to bake this cake and the idea originated from the above to reasons. When I started to vision the design of this cake, I believed in my self completely. I knew that I can do better job :-).
The interesting part was the painting on the cake from one of his works and I chose the simple art (Phew! because I am not an Artist at all in my entire life till now 😉 I want an easy one for my shakey hands). I must mention my 4 year old Arya, to whom I am teaching easy ways to draw things, humans, etc., these days, and that helped me too. Then the base ingredients to project the painting on the cake, that’s when I have decided to use FONDANT. But I really don’t like Fondant’s and their texture and their usage in cakes. I don’t !!! I figured out after few google searches, that if I use Fondant, I can paint easily than painting on the buttercream frosting. You see, I have to keep few constraints, like first time hand painting, need to make crusted buttercream blah blah.., in mind. So I picked Fondant.
Hmmmm….FONDANT….. thinking whether to buy the store ones or make it at home??!!! Finally a homemade marshmallow fondant was ready two days before I wanted to bake and design. I followed an awesome recipe from Artisan Cake Company website. It was really good. Now deciding the Cake flavor – Since it is summer, I wanted the flavors tangy, citrus with a tinge of fruit flavor. So I baked two 8 inches Lemon and Blueberry Cakes. I used fresh Lemon juice and blueberries. Then the filling between the cakes, it was a simple Vanilla Buttercream.
Good bakers tip: Bake your cakes and make the frosting and any other decorations related a day before actually using it. Always plastic wrap the cakes, not to allow the air and store the frosting in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Before you start decorating, let the frosting come to room temperature.
After I fill the frosting and cover the cake with fondant, I was ready to paint and I was very excited. Painting and Coloring is always fun even though you are not a great artist (I sometimes grab Arya’s drawing pads and color them with crayons though he doesn’t let me do. I love it! ) But before coloring, I actually need a trace of the art on the fondant. Hence I printed out the picture in medium size and started tracing. First attempt was very awful so I have to smooth the fondant on the cake and try again and could able to trace a little. Then the real fun started. But suddenly Arya saw me sitting with all the edible wilton gel
colors and brushes and a cake, which excited him too to show his talent. He came to me and took a brush and about to lay his hands. I was like NOOOOO. “Dude! this is not the coloring time and definitely not my cake ;-)” . Poor guy! he was very upset and threw a tantrum 😦 . Then arrives our savior, the favorite Daddy, who helped me to do my job by giving my space. Sweet Guy, you see! 🙂
I completed the tracing, painting and added few bapu muggullu (rangolis) around the sides of the cake successfully by listening to this awesome Thyagaraja keerthana sung by Karthik. It is a Cranatic fusion and my favorite. If anyone not listened to this number yet, please do if you really like fusion music.
The decoration turned out really good and beyond my expectation. The men in the house love it. By the way I did let Arya do some finishings on the cake. ( I am a Nice Mom, I don’t leave him unattened 🙂 )
Here are the pictures
I came to know very recently that the Home Depot does workshops for kids and it is completely FREE. It was so much fun to take Arya today and he had a blast. This workshop will happen first saturday of every month in the morning from 9:00 AM to 12:00PM. The staff is friendly and very helping. Kids are allowed to take their project to home and also they get a CERTIFICATE of ACHIEVEMENT of the project with their names and also a commemorative pin with a picture of the project to put on their apron they are given. Today we couldn’t get any aprons since they are running out of stock. Overall it’s a great achievment for the kids and a great experience to the family. I took very few pictures through my iphone6 at Home Depot in Jersey City, NJ.
Wishing the viewers and readers a Very Happy 2015!!!!
I wish 2014 had been a great year and hoping the new year will be more
I really don’t know what to start or where to begin. I was off from this “my space” quite a long time. I know, I’m sorry my blog 😦 . But then lets start this year with great posts . The reason could be whatever but here i’m with some fun, creative, cool posts just for you. To begin with here is a post on my baking for Arya’s school teachers and the class for the Thanksgiving 2014. Arya played a major role in this to deliver the treats to his best. 🙂
I have decided to give THANKS to Arya’s teachers and his class. This is one amazing school with awesome teachers and lovely kids. Hence I put my hands on my very own baking and thought what could be better than home baked gifts. I made Cinnamon Spice Pound cake for teachers and vanilla cake pops covered with chocolate to kids and packed them neatly with Arya’s help.
Firstly, the Cinnamon Spice Pound Cake: Very easy and simple recipe also simple ingredients and just the best way to start you day with this as part of your breakfast with your coffee or can be savoring for your evening tea time snack. 🙂
1 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon Powder
a pinch salt
1 Large Egg at Room Temperature
1 1/2 Cups Unsalted butter at Room Temperature
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
Preparation: Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes on medium speed and then add sugar and mix it well then add the egg and beat it for 2-3 minutes so that the whole mix looks creamy and fluffy. Meantime prepare the loaf pan and preheat the oven at 350F and also the dry ingredients mixture. In a bowl add flour, baking power,baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder and whisk it to blend well. Add this flour to the butter and sugar and mix slowly using the mixer and make sure you add the flour in portions and once the ingredients are blended well, add Vanilla extract and also milk to make it smooth consistency. Once this done, pour the batter in the loaf pan and bake it for 30 minutes. Once it is done, let the cake cool down and savor it.
Once this is done, we have decided to pack in a glass floral bowls (that i bought for his teachers which has a sunflower shape in multi colors). Then I place the 3 piece of cake in each bowl and wrap them with the cello wrap and packed in the a gift wrap tied with a DIY “Give Thanks” message labels that I printed and cut in the shape of Fall leaves. I made sure Arya write his name by himself on each label. And he did it 🙂
You can see some more pics of our crafts.
I also made Vanilla Chocolate Cake pops for kids but unfortunately I couldnt take pictures because I was almost tired and I have make everything ready for the next day Thanksgiving Feast. I will definitely curtain-raise the Cake Pops project soon in my blog. Till then take care and Always a Happy face 🙂 (That’s how I tell Arya when he cries or sad and also he tells me the same – Amma, show me your happy face.)
Diwali ( a Hindu festival of lights, fireworks, home decorations with diya’s, flowers, rangolis, fun with family and friends, lots of food especially sweets, beautiful dresses, exchanging gifts…) is always special to me and gives me immense happiness since childhood. I love all the festivals and I make sure to celebrate all of them very well at my home and also being a mom, I do these for Arya as well to make him believe and understand our culture and values. This time we had a simple, peaceful time at home and I started working on these diyas 3 days before. I used Crayola Clay and Fabric Paints and few gemstone embellishments. Neither I know about making clay sculptures nor I tried before (Well I did Ganesha Idol for a festival which was a month before). Without any hint I just laid my hands on this cute project and I think I able to create my vision of beautiful Deepams. 🙂 Check my gallary:
Yes, the cupcakes in the background are also homemade by me. As it is Diwali, I baked Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting in Mehandi and some Diya designs on them. I can tell you a best tip if any one wants to try these mehandi design cupcakes (I’m not sure if that is what the bakers do outside) – I used the Ziploc bags as the piping bags and after you put the batter in the bag, cut the edge where you want to pipe as per your design. Could be small or medium. I did cut a very small part to make sure I get the thin lines on my cupcakes. In this you can avoid using tips and waste the piping bags. 😉 Again the gallery of my cupcakes:
I hope you enjoy the post as much as I enjoyed doing everything for the family. Please leave me comments if anyone needs more details. I really want my blog to be very helpful and more interactive if you like it.With Love, ♥Prashanthi♥
Almost after several months, I started baking again and this time the kid friendly, very soft and moist Banana Cupcakes. These are definitely my little one’s demand that he wants to eat the cupcakes after school snack. At the end I make him do a small activity of decorating these cupcakes and I gave him Hershey’s Syrup and Chocolate chips and he turned these to a spooky treats, after all this is the Halloween month. Ha..Ha…Ha
I’m presenting to you the very easy recipe to try it on your own and the healthy ones too for your little critters.
Ingredients: (yields 12 cupcakes)
1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Large egg at Room temperature
1 Stick Butter at Room temperature
1 tbsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Baking powder
a pinch Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Preheat Oven at 350F and place the cupcake liners in the pan.
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients and keep aside. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until it gets soft. Then add an egg to it and beat for 2-3 minutes on the same speed. Meantime take the banana and mash it smoothly and later add to the mixer and beat the whole thing for a minute. Add Vanilla Essence. Now add the flour mixture and beat slowly. While doing also add the buttermilk and mix for 1-2 minutes. After it is done, pour the batter in the aligned liners and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. Once done let them cool down and enjoy them.
These are the most soft and fluffy cupcakes I ever had.
Hope you enjoy these!
It started for us as a regular weekday and in the evening it happened to be a “Family Cooking time”. We had these kind of days in the past and it always feels good and a mood change phase in the house. To mention, our little guy also started helping and cooking. His favorite things to do in the kitchen are, rolling the wheat flour dough and cracking the egg and scramble it (100% under my guidance) 🙂
Okay coming to what me and my husband cooked last Friday was very easy and healthy meal. Classic Cracked Wheat Upma/Porridge and Ginger Chutney. I picked the former and He picked the latter. Well there are several reasons why he wants to eat the chutney – he loves this chutney and probably he had bad cough and fever and he feels like to eat to recharge his taste buds and he has been thinking to do this chutney from so long. While I was in the process of making Upma, he quickly took a brief visit to all the food blogs and lastly end up with this recipe link: http://www.gayatrivantillu.com/recipes-2/chutneys-and-aachars/allampachhadi . Thanks to Gayatri Vantallu and to Mr Husband that it turned out amazing and tasted heavenly makes the best dish of the day. He almost felt like “Iron Chef America” ;-).
Alright, Here is the classic grandma’s recipe of Upma but with lots of veggies to make it more colorful in your colorful life. For your information, Cracked Wheat is low calorie food and very good for Type 2 Diabetes.
All the pictures in this post were taken from iPhone 6 (Which I got it on that day and was my anniversary gift 🙂 )
Use as many Veggies as you want. The Upma tastes great with ginger when tempered in oil and also at the end, by drizzling some lemon juice to it.
I always get the finely coarse cracked wheat from Indian market.
Here it is my Husband’s Ginger Chutney and for the recipe please check the above link.
Here is the final meal of the day with lots of love and happiness. Just Be Happy and Enjoy. 🙂
“Life is too short to stress yourself.”