Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bundle of Chocolate Fudge Bundts with Hot Cafe' Mocha for Christmas Eve !

"Christmas weaves a magical wand over this world, and behold, everything is more softer and more beautiful"                                                                                 Norman Vincent Peale

It was the night before Christmas. Millions of lights were twinkling..... The Christmas trees were lighted and decorated with keepsakes as per family traditions from zillion years. Many of us were busy tracking Santa on NORAD and eagerly waiting for their surprise gifts.....

Still from the bottom of the heart I was feeling pain for the Li'l angels at the Sandy Hook Elementary School who lost their lives to something so terrible, that - Logic, Reasoning, Religion and Technology all fail to provide us answers to what happened. So many questions are being asked of the psyche of the alleged killer, "why he did what he did?". His 'Actions' brought everybody around the world back to 'square one situation'. Everybody is perplexed looking into this complex 'human behaviour'. Being a Psychologist, my retrospection of the case reminded of the experiment done by Albert Bandura on Bobo Dolls. The behaviour of any individual is determined by interplay of both nature (genetic) and nurture(environmental). The results of the experiment recapitulates the very fact that the kids DO what they SEE. So a very important lesson for all the parents and guardians is to be a good models in front of the children as they learn loads from experiential learning. Let's give a present of 'Unconditional Love, Bond, Faith and Glowing Happiness' to our kids on this Christmas eve, so they grow up to be healthiest and happiest people, and be merry in every season on this planet !!!! 

While I was feeling very low, my Son thought of an idea to perk me up. He asked me how about baking a bunch of bundts on the very merry Christmas eve for all the special reindeer's, elves and the Santa on their annual mission of delivering presents.  I said Okay ! As he was setting the table for the Santa, calling the reindeer's too, now Dancer, now Dasher, now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph, the red rose reindeer.... I quickly took an inspiration from this Nigella Lawson recipe at Food Network website and started off with my mission to bake a 'cake' for each one !!!
I skipped the icing part and instead of using sugar, made the cake with a special sweetener. I made these mini bundts with 'Sweet and Low' and soon had a bundle of bundts !!!!!!!!

Couple of days back I received a cocktail shaker full of 'Sweet and Low' samples to make and bake any dessert this festive season courtesy Dailybuzz Food.

Hence, instead of using white or brown sugar in my bundts, I used 'Sweet and Low'. I also made a warm cafe mocha using sweet and low.
Here is the quickest recipe of Hot Cafe' Mocha:

Ingredients: (Makes 1 cup Hot Cafe' Mocha)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup coffee, strongly brewed
1 Sachet of Sweet & Low

Combine milk+half'n'half in a large coffee mug and microwave for 1 minute.
Use milk frother to make froth (takes ~1 min using hand frother)
Brew coffee separately [ I used my Keurig ;) ]
Add sweet and low & cocoa powder to the hot coffee, give  it a quick stir.
Slowly add coffee to the milk.
Sprinkle a pinch of cocoa powder on top & we are ready.
Enjoy a real comforting cup of hot cafe' Mocha made with sweet & low in the chilly winters.
Hot cafe' mocha to beat the chill in the holidays :)))

Isn't it a perfect accompaniment to these mini bundts.... 

These bundts are for all the kids around the world and those beautiful Li'l angels who are shining the lights on us.......God Bless everyone.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, 


Disclosure: This post is a part of DailyBuzz  feature publisher program.  I was reimbursed by Sweet'n'Low and DailyBuzz towards my expenses incurred towards preparing this post.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Garden Vegetable Soup With Pesto For Fa La La La La Days !

This is the season to be merry and sing Christmas carols, fa la la la la, la la la la. This is the season to sing jingle bells, fa la la la la, la la la la. This is the season to be naughty or nice, fa la la la la, la la la la. This is the season to go gifting, fa la la la la, la la la la. This is the season to bake cakes & cookies, fa la la la la, la la la la. This is the season to make frosty the snowman, fa la la la la, la la la la...

December 1, 2012. He woke up with a merry twinkle in the eyes, and sparkle on his face. My  pixie elf at home is hopping around in a jolly mood. Like most children through this age, he looks curiously to his Advent Calender for his very first surprise. Hey, it is book on A Christmas Tradition- The Elf on the shelf ! With wondering eyes, he simply loved to flip the book while munching gingerbread cookie with his sweet hot chocolate milk. The customary big stocking is hung carefully and is getting fatter day by day with goodies and candies. The dazzle of the holiday decorations makes it the most beautiful time of the year. The house is decorated with scented candles, pine wreaths, red bows and glowing lights. The Christmas trees around are simply looking gorgeous.  For my Lil Lego fan, we made a Lego and sesame themed tree, decorated with silver lights and frills. And we all happily wait for St Nicholas with a nose like a cherry to come on his miniature sleigh, full of toys and eight tiny reindeer to bless us all and make us glitter with joy and glee !!!!!!!

It seems like having the perfect wintry days. There is nothing like snuggling in a warm cozy blanket, day dreaming about sugarplum fairies and watch the very merry Christmas shows of the Disney. There is a knock on the door... Who could it be ??? An early bell by Santa :))

I walk towards the door to see my hubby dear with a bowl of soup and warm bread from Panera Bread. Yes, it is a wonderful bowl of my favorite soup, Sizzling Hot Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto !!!!

The soup has to take a Pitt stop on the table for camera, lights and action.....!!!!!!

And here we go with  one of the best kinds of vegetable soups. Yummmm....!
It is so enticing, satisfying and fulfilling. The addition of fresh pesto made it all the more nutritious plus flavourful... !!!

Ah, Love the earthy color and flavor of freshly tossed veggies and pasta swirling and whirling around. Dunk the bread into the soup and I knew it is a moment to be merry.... !!!!

Cheers to the classic cooking technique adopted by the team of head chef Dan Nish in blending all the secret ingredients so well in a single serving bowl. And I wish for another one and another one... !

The soup was made with diced tomatoes, sliced zucchini, yellow beans, fresh Swiss chard, cauliflowers, bell peppers, and pearled barley in tomato broth. Perfect bowl of soup made in just the right way with right bunch of ingredients !!!!

There is an awesome collection of soups - classic french onion and broccoli cheddar by Panera bakery cafe' to keep you cozy and merry in the winters.  Check it out by clicking here and hear some amazing Soup Stories. My favorite is The Amazing Soup Scrambler. It is in fact amazing...!

Thanks for stopping by ! 
Wish my each and every reader a very merry fa la la la, la la la la days and happy holidays !!!!!!

Cheers, Sonia!

Disclosure: This post is a part of DailyBuzz program . I was reimbursed by DailyBuzz towards my expenses incurred in preparing this post.

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