Friday, 28 June 2013

Very Versatile Chocolate Syrup - Homemade

Modern day city living means getting everything from the store. It is one of the many 'luxuries' of living in a metro where homemade is becoming minimal and store bought is seen as a way of living. But how many of us take care to look at the ingredient list and then decide what to buy and what not to. Believe it or not, not many of us. Time is short and workload is immense. The best thing to do is land up at a super market and grab all necessary items.

Chocolate syrup was one thing I had always spotted at the store but the presence of preservatives, fructose and corn syrup always discouraged me from getting it home. It definitely gives an instant kick to all those desserts and making chocolate milk becomes super easy but I could not go ahead with it.

The day I came across this recipe for chocolate syrup I went for it. In the next half hour I was sipping my glass of chocolate milk with my very own homemade chocolate syrup. It is one of the simplest recipes and the results are amazing. Plus you have none of the unwanted stuff. It is just chocolate, sugar, vanilla, salt and water.

Today I finished making my second batch with a little less sugar than what the recipe mentions. After all the sweetness preference varies from person to person.

Here goes the recipe (courtesy )

You will need:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1 1/4 cup brown sugar)
dash of salt
I cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
Add water and mix well. Take care to remove all lumps.
Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring regularly.
Allow to cook for another 1 minute.
Remove from fire and add the vanilla.

Allow the syrup to cool before pouring into a container. Store it in the refrigerator and use as per your wish. The possibilities are many. You can make chocolate milk both hot and cold; pour over ice creams, add to cold coffee, drizzle over brownies and the list will go on and on.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Chicken Junglee Salad

Children always tend to love food that is not homemade. Going with this habit Aseem seemed to just 'love' the Chicken Junglee Sandwich that he ate on board a flight. On tasting it I realized there was basically mayonnaise mixed with chicken shreds. I had to give it a try and soon came up with my very own version of it. It is a rather healthier version with lots more vegetables, less salt and with a crunchy edge.

This is a very simple recipe with minimal cooking (only the chicken has to be cooked) and very versatile. You can have it as is or use it as a filling for sandwiches and wraps.

Versatile Chicken Junglee Salad

Chicken mince - 100 gms

Cucumber - 1 medium sized

Onion - 1 medium sized

Capsicum - 1 medium sized

Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp

Mayonnaise - 2 tbsp

Mustard sauce - 2 tsp

Crushed black  pepper

Coriander leaves chopped -  2 tbsp
Salt as per  taste


Place the chicken mince in a non-stick pan and set to cook on a slow flame. No, you need not add any oil. Add the salt, stir a bit and cover it. The chicken will soon give off its juices and you will notice a fair amount of liquid in the pan. Let it cook in the juice. Stir once in a while.

While the chicken in cooking wash all the vegetables and finely chop . Mix all vegetables, add the mustard sauce, mayonnaise, garlic powder, pepper,  coriander and salt. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

The chicken would still be cooking and will take some time for the water to dry up. Once the water has dried  stir the chicken and try to get rid of lumps. It will have a rather grainy texture. Let it cool down.

Once the chicken is cool transfer it to the vegetable-sauce bowl. Mix all the ingredients very well and return to the fridge. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or till it is fairly chilled.

Relish as desired.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Re-purposed Boxes

Creating things time and again always gives a satisfactory feeling and when it involves making use of waste material the joy is greater. Same happens with this piece of craft - if I may call it so.

Milk cartons are a regular and till now I had been throwing them away. One of those bright days when ideas dawn upon me I saw a good storage space option in these boxes. Fabric was available at hand and in no time waste was transformed to a dainty storage box.

Since there is no stitching involved this project hardly takes time to complete. The only time taking part is the measurement and cutting of the fabric. Once you have your fabric pieces in place then it is a joy-ride.

Store whatever you feel like. They hardly cost anything. In fact, the fabric used here are the ones I obtained at discounted rates. The vendor was left with the last one or two meters which he wanted to do away with quickly. He offered them at reduced rated I could not resist the offer.

Worked out pretty fine for me. Spare one hour in a day and this super quick craft activity will be done in no time.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Mobile Pouch

Since the last phone pouch I think I have gained a little more experience with my stitching. I got a new phone and that called for new phone pouch. This one had to be a little larger, in fact a lot larger than the last one. I wanted an extra pocket in which I could hide in a little money and keys as well. The results were not bad.

Mobile Phone Pouch
As is pouch is supposed to carry by phone it needed some cushion. There is an entire layer of foam in between the two layers of cloth. Vertical stitches are done all along to keep the fabric and foam together. As for the button it is only for decoration.

You see, I was in a bit of hurry to complete it and so went ahead and stuck Velcro patches. I had come across these adhesive patches in a store and could not resist buying them. I know the two black spots do look out of place but who has to look at them all the time. :)