Sunday, October 23, 2011

Orange Cranberry bread and more ...

One of my most tried and true recipes is for orange cranberry bread. I've lost count of how many times I have made this bread, and every time it has been received with much enthusiasm. Last week I was invited to a garden club meeting in our neighborhood, and I decided to make this fruity treat for the wonderful ladies.
Orange cranberry bread

2 cups all-purpose flour sifted

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature or oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. grated orange zest

1 egg

1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried apple

3/4 cup orange juice

Stir flour,sugar,baking powder,baking soda and salt in a bowl.Add the dry fruits and nuts and mix.
Beat egg, stir in orange juice and oil. Mix with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter in a greased 9x5x3 baking loaf pan. Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

.Of course, no treat of mine is complete without an embroidered accompaniment.

I used a vintage design from for the bread bag. Although I liked the designs, it seems like the stitches are kind of loose. I am afraid that the stitches might come off after a few washes. I may try to edit the design.

The wine bottle apron is from with a design from ABC embroidery and SewBeautiful. Coasters are from I decided to add the pocket to place the coasters.

The black bag with the fruit design is again one of my experiments in fancy fill design.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rendition of my individual expression

Today is 'Panchami', the fifth day of Navaratri. Durga Puja starts tomorrow, on the sixth day. Since the Austin community is small, we celebrate this festival over the weekend because the celebration depends on the availability of the rental hall, which is booked far in advance and cannot always coincide with the exact date. However, we always manage to celebrate somewhat in the proximity of the auspicious calendar. It is our attempt to unite as a part of a bigger family, to pass on to our kids our heritage, and to spend a day in merry making.

Personally, I do not miss the Puja so much, but I miss the excitement of the days and months of preparation in anticipation of this big day. My Ma would spend days planning, designing and shopping for fabrics, laces and buttons. She would stay up late in order to finish new clothes for all four sisters (we had a new dress to wear everyday for all four days of puja, and sometimes one for the morning and another for night). The house was scrubbed and cleaned, all furniture dusted and realigned. Finally, on the morning of ''panchami, we would put up our clean sets of curtains, heirloom table and bed linens; all created so lovingly by my great grandmother and aunts, carefully preserved over the years. The house would dazzle with the fresh new look. Every year this was our ritual. I feel dizzy thinking about it, and the nostalgia drives my creativity.

Here is my rendition of my individual expression.

Finger towels - A freebie from
                              Bath towel set - Endless Elegance from

Patio cushions - combination of freebie and designs from