Saturday, December 7, 2013

Living the Dream at Harbour - 'Home Sweet Home' !!!!

I feel like living the dream at my New Home !!!!!!!!!!

It is a place where I enjoy the first amber rays of sun streaming through windows and sheers !
Delighted to read Aesop's fables and family fables to my growing buddy !
Like to brew a cup of green tea in my kitchen and gazing out at  dew drops on the grass !
Savour a simple supper on the deck full of baskets of morning glory !
Fond of feeding the birds chirping in the bird house !
Get mesmerised by the sight of the deers running in the backyard and
Simply love a perfect tinkle of wind chimes, every time the wind breezes and it drizzles !!!!
A serene and peaceful place to relax and rejuvenate, to enjoy the nature and the Almighty's grace !!!!!

Reminiscing about the once upon a time days when making a 'home' with play cards; in the drawing books; and with sand on the shores used to make up for happy hours...! 

Now every Sunday began with the hunt for the Dream Home. We were on virtually an open house spree......!!!!!!!!

Streaming one house after another....!

The hunt for the perfect home continued week after week.....!!

At last we did found our own cozy space called, 'Home Sweet Home' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After walking in and out of number of houses, as I stepped into this house, it smelled like "HOME" to me.

There were huge empty walls, empty rooms and empty closets......!
I felt like getting an opportunity to start the life on a fresh note...!
Curled up near the window panes with a big drawing pad, spent days and nights religiously doodling our plans for the decor of the house.

Yes, to be precise it was like having an 'Idea Marathon.'

And here we are couple of weeks later, unpacking our stuff, still continuing with the activity though and making this place as our own Lil' world ! It was just going crazy and crazy everyday with innumerable trips to Home Depot and Lowe's ! I did ended up make beautiful paintings for family room and my munchkin's room !

On Browsing through different chapters of my life experiences and excursions,  I often pondered on the ways to make the most happening and memorable days of life. I sat down and realized it wasn't shopping in Milan or strolling in the New York city.

It is indeed carving a niche for yourself, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, right at your own harbor - Home !  

Pretty soon I realized that my home has become like a small observatory to my mind and soul, a perfect place to unwind and kindle beautiful memories of past and at times of future.... !!!!

Here is a sneak peek of our new 'Home Sweet Home' !

Blooming Soft Pink Roses in my Backyard Mini Rose Garden !

Belonging and becoming a  part of your dwelling, calls for celebrations.... !

Celebrating the happy moments with family and friends is priceless......!!!!!!!!

Welcome Guys to My New Home !!!!!

 Bringing an end to the week after week  unpacking mode, the weekend was spent in doing the rituals and housewarming ceremony with close friends followed by Buffet made at Home from Scratch. 

The menu had concoction of Asian and American appetizers, nibblers, main course and homemade red velvet cupcakes in the dessert for the little fellows!

A bunch of Fresh Flowers for the Dashboard of the Harbour !

The Sunny Side Up of my Kitchen !
The Kitchen Island turns into Learning Pad with Quick Breakfast & Dinner Makeovers  !!!! 
My Cozy Corner from Dawn to Dusk to Enjoy breakfast & Supper; Beauty & Bliss of Nature;
with a picture perfect view of Geese & Deers in the Backyard ...............!!!!

The Rays of Sun adding Warmness to my Nest.... !!!!

So finally we have settled in ready to get LinkedIn with the new neighbourhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Everyday is a new day, giving me a platform to create new things and glide with the times !

Everything is looking so far so good... ! 

And I finally feel like living the dream at my New Home, Ever since !!!!!!!!!!

Guys, I know I took a really long break for settling down but I do promise to make it up by sharing sizzling recipes for the holiday season ! Before signing off, check out my holiday seasons favorite recipes at mycreativeflavors -

Stay warm and stay tuned for upcoming sumptuous recipes to keep you cozy in the fall .... !!!!

Love & Regards,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Birthday Greetings with Orange Jaffa Cakes and Vanilla-Chocolate Teddy Bear's!

A walk through the memory lane, I pulled down my glasses to refresh the memories of the final count down for the arrival of my Lil' monster to rocking his cradle to the joy of watching him crawl. 

The very excitement of getting the first teeny-tiny tooth to nowadays losing teeth and the earnest wait for tooth fairies. 

Half a dozen books of 'where, why, and how' couldn't satiate his question bank and I am in awe with the curious mind of my curious George! 

The time flew by and today we are celebrating the birthday of a big boy! Some days are special and they leave a trail of memories like perfect Disney moments in life. 

I do wish to pause and freeze time to give umpteen blessings to our growing 'Peter Pan'....!!! 

Wohooooo, It's your Birthday............ !!!!!!

We are super excited for his Birthday............... !!!!!!!

This is the time of the year when I do wish him to be my Lil' boy for another couple of years and at the same time bless him to grow up fast. 

I fondly remember each and every day.

The memories of days spent in sleeping and nights playing around... 

The days of learning the art of writing while making the first scrapbook...; to days of discovering the world of photography to capture every precious moment in the camera; and finally learning to cook food ...!!! 

Some were happy hours for me and others were challenging moments, for sure.

 And I realized that though parenting is not an easy task, It is a MEANINGFUL Journey, where I learned to LIVE Life again...! 

I learned to be HAPPY in every season...! 

I found a new QUEST for learning...! 

I started enjoying the simple JOYS of life...! 

I found my best buddy ever...! 

I learned the art of Parenting, Cooking, Photography, Writing, and Loving the world once again...!

I wish I could make caterpillars from your bread and stews for you for another couple of years. 

But I do enjoy him giving me ideas and spending holidays in baking specialty cakes and monster cookies :)) 

Last year I  baked Pirouettes Pearl Chocolate Cake for My Peter Pan and  Mini Bundt Cakes for Little Guests. He loved to eat The very hungry Cheesy Caterpillar...

This year I was wondering if it is time to bake a big cookie cake for my big boy or still hangup with mini muffins. 

A vast array of thoughts were crossing my mind back and forth. After getting a very special Mothers Day celebrations which lasted for almost full one week, it was time for me to bake him a surprise cake for his Birthday.  

This year the Special Birthday greetings from Mom and Dad come with,

'Orange Jaffa cakes and Vanilla- Chocolate Teddy bear's for my Bundle of Joy - with Love'! 

Jaffa cakes were introduced by Mcvitie and Price in 1927 and are named after Jaffa oranges. The standard jaffa cake has three layers - a sponge base, a layer of orange jelly, and a chocolate coating. I explored this cake on my first visit to the UK and ever since nibbling it in all seasons..... !!! 

A Perfect Day and what a great sight at Tower Bridge 

coming out of Westminster Tube Station.

Getting an Awesome view of London City through the London Eye!
Finally Hopping on the Iconic Red London Bus!
at Harrods Knightsbridge

I never thought I shall ever bake Jaffa cakes at home, but did it after so many years and with all my passion... !!!! 

It's as simple to bake as a pie and you are bound to be obsessed with this cake with an orange twist. It was a good choice as he could also take some cake to share with his friends on his upcoming field trip! 

My boy was hopping with joy to find the perfect concoction he was always looking for in his after school snack...! 

Check out the Simple recipe of Jaffa Cakes.

Home-baked Jaffa Cakes :
APF: 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract: 2 drops
Orange zest: 1/2tsp
Orange juice: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Butter: 1/4 cup (melted)
Egg: 1
Milk: 2-3 tsp as required

Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
Lightly spray the muffin pan and dust with flour.
Mix the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, orange rind in a medium bowl.
In another bowl whisk egg until light and fluffy.
Add flour mix, orange juice, milk, and butter. Mix well to make a smooth consistent batter.
Add a dash of vanilla extract.
Fill the muffin pans with 2/3 rd of the batter.
Bake the cakes for  ~15 minutes until they are light golden brown.
Let it cool down on a rack.

For Jelly :
Make jelly as per the instructions on the pack.
Mix the jelly powder with warm and cold water and pour in a flat container. Let it cool down for a couple of hours and cut into round shapes with a cookie cutter.

Chocolate Mix:
Take a handful of vanilla chocolate wafers in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave for around 30 seconds.
Stir the wafers and microwave for another 30 seconds, till the wafers start melting.
Stir with a spoon to get a lump free thick chocolate mix.
Repeat the process for the brown chocolate mix.

Arranging the Jaffa cakes:
Line up the muffins in a tray.

Cut the jelly into rounds and place it on top of muffins.

Quickly pour the warm white and brown chocolate mix on the muffins.

Let it cool down.

Enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A lovely sweet cake with a hint of fresh orange and jelly- IS GOOD FOR SURE !!!!

Homemade Chocolate Teddys Bear's.... !!!!!! 

Chocolate Teddy Bears:

Vanilla White Chocolate Wafers: 1/2 bowl (10-12pcs)
Brown chocolate wafers: 1/2 bowl (10-12pcs)
3 oz. of Teddy Bear candy mold

Take 1/2 bowl approx. of vanilla chocolate wafers in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave for around 30 seconds. Stir the wafers and microwave for another 30 seconds, till the wafers start melting.
Stir with a spoon to get a lump free thick chocolate mix.
Swiftly, start filling the mini molds with the chocolate mix.
Repeat the process for brown chocolate wafers too.
Let it cool down a bit and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
Gently tap at the back of the mold to get mini chocolate teddy bears !!!!!
Enjoy !!!!!!!

Jaffa cakes were a pure delight for my cake lover, orange lover, chocolate lover, 
lego lover and pinata lover !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do I need something else.... ???

My boy muttered with his mouth full of cake, Brilliant Mom....!!!!

And a 'Reward back' Time begins................ !!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rendezvous with Mystic Self & Stroll through Blossoms @ Washington DC !!!!!!!!

With the onset of spring, as cherry blossoms bloom to their fullest, let the inner Self bloom to what it is meant to be and live happily ever after... ! It's a time for Rendezvous with the mystic Self for New Beginnings in life when we learn to surf in the sea with the waves and believe in the will of God to celebrate Life once again!!!!!!!!
On the podium of life, there are times to get perturbed when relations and things don't go as per the expectations and deeds. The unconditional love and bonds are swapped with ego and pride. It hurts for sure... ! The moments of sweet and sour memories flashes before misty eyes. Tears roll down the cheeks and make you numb... The clouds of love and hatred rush through the mind, and you do pause and wander what life is meant to be.....???

Perplexed by the array of complexities in life, you ponder if you could be ever happy again...???

It's a time for Rendezvous with the Mystic Self...!
It's a time to take a break and a time to Introspect ! 
A time to Believe in yourself and a time for Faith in some!

It's a time for Rendezvous with the Mystic Self...!

A time to Love the precious and a time to Bless few !
A time to Forgive  somethings and forget about others !
A time for Rendezvous with the mystic Self !!!!!!!!

A time to reveal Self and a time to be Happy again !
A time for the Self to bloom !
Yeah, It's a time for Rendezvous with the mystic Self !!!

A stroll through the serene beauty of around 3000 cherry blossom trees on the banks of Tidal Basin in Washington DC in the spring of 2013 gave me an opportunity to streak the darker side of life with hues of pinks and whites, thereby making a blooming self and family by dusk, as it was a time for Rendezvous with the Mystic Self...!

Here is a glimpse of circle of life, beauty and bliss... !

Beauty Blooms @ National Cherry Blossoms Festival, Washington DC, April 10, 2013

Bright Blossoms in Springtime @Washington D.C.

Captivating Glamor of 3000 Cherry Blossom Trees !!!

Rendezvous with Nature!

Warming up Mystic Self with Nature 

Fascinating Blossoms at banks of Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, DC

At this moment , Thank God for all the bright sunny days we've ever seen, for all the rainy and snowy days we've ever enjoyed, for all twinkling stars at night, for all the beautiful mountains and lakes, for all the lovely weekends with family and friends, and all the dishes and desserts we relish every night...!

Thank you so much guys for being here  and your continued support, likes and comments !

Love One Another and Hug a tree on Earth Day !

Cheers, Mycreativeflavors

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let It Snow 'n' Let's Bake Corn Bread !!!

It's snowing.......... !
It's raining.................. !!!
It's has been snowing and raining for quite a while now........ !!!!!!

It seems like soft, fluffy, granular sugar, resonating with white pearls dropping from the blue skies.  And for a food blogger like me, snow looks more with a cotton candy and making up for the white days and nights ! After having snowflake lights and decorations around, it is actually swirling and whirling snow flakes !!!!! Yesterday morning I woke up and got completely mesmerised with the view outside my window. The dry bushes and woods were looking so photogenic with 'white lacy trees' and teeny tiny hills of snow and snow covered rooftops. The sun was shinning bright and its golden rays were making everything look more beautiful. The scenic beauty was pure bliss to the eyes and soul ......!

These flurries and snow showers kept us indoors for a really long time. So one day we thought of watching 'Disney on Ice'. It was so much fun to see the uber talented Disney characters spinning, singing and dancing on Ice.  My lil' Dennis actually bought a sledge and went for a slide in a nearby park and came out fully messed up tossing himself in and out of slush, still smiling though :)

 There was a bright ray of hope.... As Punxsutawney Phil, the king of Groundhogs was awakened from his borrow at Gobblers knob for one hundred and twenty seventh year to give this delightful weather prediction, we all hoped with joy!!!!!!!!

"And so ye faithful, there is no shadow to see. An early spring for you and me." 

Got some tinkering in my ears and thought of baking corn bread for our Anniversary. Time flies and we came a long way relishing speciality cakes to a home baked version of sweet and simple cake.
Here is the recipe of Corn Bread !

Supplies required to make Corn Bread :

Corn meal:1/2 cup
APF: 1/2 cup
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: a pinch
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Honey: 2tsp
Milk: 1 cup, add a little more if required
Butter: 1/2 cup
Eggs: 2

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease the baking pan or cast iron skillet with cooking spray. My method of baking is simple. Mix all the dry ingredients and then gradually add wet/liquid ingredients. Blend well and bake. The step wise procedure is like this.
Sift corn meal and all purpose flour in a bowl few times.
Now add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Swirl all the ingredients with a spoon.
Bring the butter to a room temperature and add sugar plus honey.
Now add eggs to the butter and sugar mix.
Blend this mixture with the cornmeal + APF mix made above.
Add milk as required.
Stir all the ingredients once again to make a nice thick batter without any lumps.
Pour the batter into the greased pan/skillet.
Bake for atleast 25 to 30 minutes, till you get the nice golden color, a crack and a fragrance of a home baked cake !
Get yourself ready and grab supermoist countrystlye home baked corn bread.

This is BLISS, or should I say warm and sweet bliss.... !!!!!

This was my first attempt at baking cornmeal and making cornbread at home. The experience was quite satisfying. Earlier I had only made cornmeal flat bread Indian style on griddle with veggies but baking was so much fun and hope to make it more often. Hope you guys also like it and try it...!

Thanks for stopping by my space. Wish you all a wonderful Time !!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blessings for the New Beginnings and Rose TeaCakes !!!

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep. 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep."

As we herald into another beautiful and bright year, these lines by Robert Frost and a very popular quote often used by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India always touch my soul to the core. It gives me a meaning to live and a mission to accomplish. From dawn to dusk, there is so much to do for own self, family, society, country and world...The list is endless and so are the wishes ever hoping for the Utopian world.... And here, I made a small wish too ! I prayed to the Great Almighty to bestow His Blessings on Each one of us and may we all get happiest times of the Millennium in 2013 !!!! Wish all my readers and friends a Blessed year from the team of Mycreativeflavors ! May this new year be a perfect year to dig in your potential and be your BEST ! May this year be a dream year to carve out a niche for yourself ! May this year be another beautiful year to make New beginnings in life, a time to unleash a 'New You' !!!! May this year we learn new things and create memories to cherish the joy of cooking and sharing!!!! Hope the healthy and nutritious recipes/posts from this site add flavor to your platter for all seasons and reasons !!!! 

Let's move a Mile and Treasure the Past... !!!!! 

The holidays just rolled over. We spent time at home while making Ginger bread house, doing Christmas Tree decorations with Lego's, Disney and Sesame toys, making marshmallows in warm Chocolate, marshmallow fudge and some s'mores (coming up in next post). It was great fun catching up with friends, reading and watching the classic holiday stories and just RELAXING... !!! 

In hindsight I think I did lot of cooking and baking, but couldn't do much shooting. Should i attribute it to chilly and cloudy days??? The dip in the temperature to below 20 degrees F...snowy evenings makes it never the less a difficult project to squeeze out of the warm and comfortable home and do even grocery. The only thing on your wish is for a hot cup of tea and some vegetable chips with a dip :))) But yesterday I mustered  the courage to go out a bit for a quick grocery and make something plus did my down jacket test :) This was followed by alternate cups of tea and coffee and I baked lil' teacakes in teacake pan I got on Christmas. The cakelets are looking like Lil angels in assorted shaped and I added rose flavor  to make it more flavorful! Check out the aromatic recipe  !

Supplies Required for Egg less Rose TeaCakes:
All purpose flour: 11/2 cupsSugar: 1/2 cup
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: a pinch
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Sour cream: 1/2 cup
Butter: 1/2 stick (melted in microwave)
Rose Essence : 1/2 tsp
Milk: 1/2 cup 
Oil spray to grease the cake pan

Recipe for Rose TeaCakes :
Lightly spray the tea cake pan with oil and line the cupcake pan with liners.
Get the  butter to room temperature and micro it in a dish for ~ 30 seconds.
In a pan, sift all purpose flour for 2-3 times and add sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients again.
Beat butter, milk and add one egg at a time. Beat well after each egg with a mixer for about 2 minutes.
  Scrap the sides and finally churn the mixer in the bowl on all the sides. (I generally prefer to beat the mixture in one direction). 
If the mixture is too thick, then add little more milk to get thick yet running consistency.
Finally add rose essence and run the mixture for another 30 seconds.
Take 1/3 of a spoon and pour the mixture in the tea cake pan. 
Pour the remaining mixture in the cupcake pan or ramekins.
I baked it for approximately one hour at 350 degrees till you get a lovely aroma in the kitchen; a light golden brown color; and generally a crack on the top of the cake. It made the cake little dark brown rather than golden brown. 
If you want to add eggs, add 2 eggs to replace yogurt and sour cream and bake it for 25 -35 minutes to get golden cake.
Take the customary  bake test with a skewer.
Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes, in the oven and if you cannot resist, it's absolutely okay.
Sprinkle the tea cakes with sugar. Just pick it and enjoy ! You deserve it !!!!!!!!
The assorted tea cakes in shapes of teeny tiny bundts, roses, hearts, chrysanthemums were looking lovely and tasted like soft cookies... !

There is nothing sweeter in this world than a fresh oven baked cake at home sweet home....!

A Rose cupcake draped in rose frill in pale pink.... ! A quick icing is made with 2tsp of sour cream, 2 tsp of sugar, 2 drops of rose essence. Decorate with silver balls... !
RELISH..... !!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by my space and stay tuned for upcoming posts!

And Wish Each One of You and Your Loved One a Sweet and Warm Winters  filled with Loads of Comfort Foods, Happiness plus Blessings !!!!!

With Umpteen best wishes,

Editor in chief: Dr. K.K. Mangla; 
Photography & Technical Management: Ashish Gupta; 
Author : Dr. Sonia Mangla

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