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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones

Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones MainWanted to make something new, exciting and easy dessert for Christmas which would mainly be exciting for Anush to enjoy. I had a box or unused rainbow cereals and wanted to use it in creating a dessert. But none of the recipes impressed me. I don't remember how I ended up getting this dessert recipe and I was totally carried away how awesome it looked and how easy it was.Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 3
Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 6Anush likes to eat these cereals, so thought of making this instead as I was not sure if I make anything with the other cereal that he does not eat anymore he would like it. I was sure if I make this he will be lot more excited and happy as all the ingredients are his favorite.
Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 7Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 9Wow I am amazed by the thought that people around the world are so creative and create awesome things that I could have never imagined. don't you think we have so many things to learn? Well I have to convince myself that no one can be a master of any thing in particular and if someone is he should be someone to worship. :)
Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 5This dessert is a winner in my heart. I really enjoyed each and every step of making this dessert. I was so relaxed, made this recipe watching TV and slowly and still it looked wonderful and so neat and so beautiful. I am expressing too much? NO, it's true. It's as delicious as it looks beautiful. This was the compliment I got from my son, so I am more than happy.
Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 2
Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 8

Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 1

1/4 Cup Nutella / Chocolate Spread
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
6 Pretzel Sticks (I used Chocolate Finger Cookies instead)
3 Tbsp Butter (room temperature/soft)
3/4 to 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Cups Kellog's Krave Double Chocolate Cereals

In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the pretzel stick with a wooden spoon and later make it to a ball of dough.
make six equal parts and shape like a cone with each ball with your hands.
Insert a pretzel stick or finger cookies or anything that is long or cylinder shape and again shape it back to a cone and place it on a flat surface/serving plate.
Now arrange the lower part of the cone with the cereals and work your way upwards in a circle and also on the top.
Make sure that these cereals are 45 degree angles like pointing upwards and closer to each other so that the cone base is not shown much.
Make each one of the pine cone as above and arrange them on the serving plate.
Add some powdered sugar in a sieve and dust the powdered sugar all over the cereal pine cone and little bit on the serving plate to make it look like snow.

Decorate with Christmas decorations around and enjoy this delicious simple dessert.

Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones 1

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Strawberry Vanilla Gelato

Strawberry Vanilla Gelato MainBerries and Ice Cream does not stop me from eating them any time of the year. You might be thinking I named the recipe "Gelato" and I am talking about "Ice Cream"?? Well, I did read about gelato and ice cream earlier, but this time when I was naming the recipe I really wanted to know the reason. Basically it's all Ice and Cream, but few factors and levels makes the difference.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 11Once I knew the difference, I always wanted to try and eat gelato first out of a store bought one and then try it at home and definitely adding my own twist to it. :) But as and always homemade is always the best and so comforting when you know that it's worth the time.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 8I would like to explain here the difference as per my understanding. As I say it always, if you would like to read and want to the difference; you are most welcome, else you can skip this short story. :)
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 2Ice Cream:
Ice cream contains more air, milk fat, eggs and cream when compared to gelato. It has more calories and fewer carbohydrates, which is obvious with more of the fatty ingredients. Generally higher in saturated fat which varies by ingredients and type of milk.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 3Gelato:
In "Italian" Gelato means "Frozen" and refers to a type of soft, dense, low-fat ice cream that has traditionally made by hand using milk, sugar, cream and fruits and nuts. It has fewer calories, less saturated fat than ice cream and is dense in taste and probably uses more sugar to prevent the ice from crystallization.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 4 Don't get alarmed by reading this, because anything you eat, if you concentrate on the amount of intake and stick to eating just as much as you need, then everything is healthy and good. Since both have milk and cream it's good.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 5Let's go to the recipe now.....I made condensed milk at home. Click on the link for the recipe for Homemade Condensed Milk. I have explained 3 different ways to make it. I didn't want the ice cream to look all red, but little specks of strawberry should be seen, so I cooked the strawberries in syrup and made it very thick so that I just swirled the thick mixture into the cream and condensed milk and later mixed it bit more when it hardened.
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 7p
1 Box Fresh Strawberries
1/2 to 1/3 cup Sugar
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 box Heavy Whipping Cream

1. Clean and cut the strawberries into half or smaller pieces as you like.
2. In a sauce pan add the strawberries and sugar. If using frozen strawberries, first thaw them. If using strawberries in sugar, thaw it and no need to add any extra sugar.
3. Bring to a medium high flame, when the liquid starts to bubble, reduce it to medium low and cook it until all most of the water is gone and it should look like a thick syrup for about 15-20 mins.
4. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
5. Meanwhile with a hand/stand mixer add cold heavy whipping cream and whisk it until you get soft peeks.
6. Now add sweetened condensed milk and mix just until well blended.
7. Transfer this whipped cream mixture into a freezer safe box.

8. Add the strawberry mixture and swirl it all over using a spoon or fork.

* You can use frozen strawberries or frozen strawberries in sugar.
* If using frozen strawberries in sugar, check and avoid adding more sugar to both the berries and the cream.

* I used Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (Click Link to view recipe:
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato 11

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk | 3 Ways

Homemade Condensed Milk Main
I had never thought of myself making condensed milk at home. Want to know the reason ?? Well, there is no such particular reason, but always until now as and when I get a thought of making any recipe that called for condensed milk; always went and got store bought, as easy as that right?? Well maybe not anymore or at least until I have the patience and time, else no worries too. 
Homemade Condensed Milk 6Which one of the Ingredient reminds you of in making easy desserts? I bet it's "Condensed Milk". So how about making it home ahead and using it in recipes. This condensed milk recipe with so many method options is very handy especially during this holiday season to make desserts in minutes. In internet I have seen many recipes to make condensed milk at home earlier, but as I said never thought that I would make it at home one day. Guess what, now it's time. But which method do I do was a big question. That is the reason behind this recipe, which gives you 3 options and ways to make it at home. so each way is bit more time consuming than the other and you can choose which ever method suits you. The best part of making this at home would be that you can control the amount of sugar that you use. By doing so, you might not get the exact results as you get with a store bought but you get more than that with respect to satisfaction and comfort.
Homemade Condensed Milk 3Sweetened Condensed milk is nothing but reduced milk and sugar. This can be very handy to whip up easy, fast and delicious dessert recipes in no time.
Homemade Condensed Milk 4Now let's go to the 3 ways of making this at home starting with the easiest method first.
 Homemade Condensed Milk 5Homemade Condensed Milk 1

Easy Method:
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cup Sugar

Moderate Method:
1 pkg / 1 Cup Dry Milk Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/4 Cup / 1/2 stick Butter (Melted)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Hard Method:
1 1/2 cup Whole Milk
1/2 or 2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Easy Method:
In a small sauce pot, combine evaporated milk and sugar, keep stirring until it comes to a boil.
Off the flame and allow it to cool and store it in a clean air tight glass jar.

Moderate Method:
In a mixer blender add dry milk powder, sugar, butter and boiling water and blend it until you see no lumps and it's smooth and creamy.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
Allow it to cool and store it in a clean air tight glass jar.

Hard Method:
In a heavy bottom sauce pot, add milk and sugar. Bring it to a boil.
Now lower the flame as much as you can and make a note of the level of milk.
Reduce the milk to half of the level. It might take anywhere from 2 hrs or little more or less.
Make sure you stir is occasionally.
After it reduces to half, off the flame. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Allow it to cool and store it in a clean air tight glass jar.

* I haven't tried substituting sugar with any other sweetener, so you can try that too.
Homemade Condensed Milk 2

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