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Jeera (Cumin) Short Bread December 22, 2011

Filed under: Christmas Tips,Random Recipes — jkomal @ 9:49 pm
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Short-breads are wonderful buttery cookies that is of Scottish origin. They are usually served during Christmas and New Years. This year I thought to bake some for Christmas, but with an Indian twist and therefore I added some Jeera or more commonly known as cumin seeds.

Ingredients

2 ½ cup all purpose flour

1 cup butter (preferably unsalted, but I used salted butter because it is difficult to get unsalted butter in India. If you are using unsalted butter, then add 1 tsp of salt to the recipe)

2 tbsp castor sugar

Jeera

Method

  • With the help of an electric mixer or hand mixer (which I used) beat the butter till it is soft and creamy.
  • Then add the sugar till it is nicely mixed with the butter.
  • In the meanwhile, sieve the flour and then add it to the butter mix. Just beat the mixture till it comes together when pinched with your fingers. We don’t want to beat it too much and make it like chapatti dough.
  • Take the dough out and wrap in some butter paper or cling wrap and refrigerate for about 30-60 min.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Then roll out the dough to 1 mm thickness and then sprinkle some jeera/cumin on top.
  • Now with the help of a cookie cutter cut different shapes of dough. Place them on the tray and bake it for about 15-20 min or till it is light golden brown. A good thing to do before baking the cookies is to refrigerate them for 15 min so that the cookie retains its shape.
  • Let it cool before removing them from the tray.
 

3D paper star December 5, 2011

There is no better way to get into the festive spirits than taking upon some DIY (Do-it-yourself) Christmas Projects. Every year I like to create Christmas decorations for my home. And like every year,  I am planning to do quite a few  DIY Christmas crafts at home. Will post each one as I complete them 🙂

One of my all time favorites is the 3d star craft. You can make them in different sizes and colors. The best part about this craft is that you can use it as Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas lanterns or danglers to add some holiday cheer to your home.

What you will need

  • Paper of your choice
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Glue

Method

  • Take a print-out of this 3d star template.
  • Using this template, cut out two identical stars from the paper of your choice.
  • Fold the stars along the dotted lines, including the flaps.
  • Glue the inside of the flap and join the two stars (flap of the first star should stick with the flap of the second star). Let it dry.
  • Punch a hole at one tip of the star and run a string through the hole.
  • If you wish to use it as a lantern, you can consider using a light inside the hollow space of the star.
 

Pine cone decoration November 20, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner and many of us start preparing for it way ahead. Most of us gear up to decorate the house, organize parties and prepare several sweetmeats and other Christmas dishes. Every Christmas, I usually have a house party and have friends come over. So I thought why not put down some party ideas, decoration ideas and Christmas recipes in this section.

For any kind of Christmas party(informal or formal), the dinner table is the key component. Therefore it is essential to dress up the table and make it look pretty. You can use lovely linens, cutlery and other knick knacks to make the table look pretty. But having a good centerpiece is essential to highlight the table. Even more, if you create a centerpiece by yourself, it will add a personal touch to all the Christmas decorations. In this post, I will tell you how to create pine decorations that can be used as centerpieces for the table.

What you need

Pine cones (fresh from pine trees)

Metallic paint

Paint brushes

Mini decorations for the pine cones (such as stars, balls etc)

Candles in different sizes and shapes

Method

  • Firstly clean all your cones to ensure they are free from mud and dust.
  • Then paint them in the colors you like. You can even use some glitter to add that extra oomph factor.
  • Once they are dry you can stick the decorations on the cone. You can place the star on the top and balls in between. When placed vertically, it will look like a mini Christmas tree.
  • Once you have several of these, you can arrange it on the table and place candles around it to create a wonderful and different centerpiece for your table. You can use various sizes of candle stands as the base for the cones.
  • Another idea, is to just mound all the painted cones in a beautiful basket and Voila you have a fantastic looking centerpiece.