SIX SEASONS BLOG

Chocolate Coconut Cake

03Jan

chocolate-coconut-cake

Makes 1 (6-inch) layer cake, about 8 to 12 servings

  • Butter, nonstick cooking spray, or coconut oil for the pans
  • 280 grams all-purpose flour
  • 300 grams granulated sugar
  • 35 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 120 milliliters melted  oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •  360 milliliters hot strong-brewed coffee

For the coconut cream cheese frosting:

  • 225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 115 grams cream cheese Philadelphia at room temperature
  • 60 milliliters coconut cream
  • 440 grams powdered sugar, sifted

For the coconut caramel glaze:

  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 120 milliliters coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

For assembly:

  1. 170  grams unsweetened coconut flakes
  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350?F (175?C). Grease and flour 4 (6-inch or 15-centimeter) round cake pans and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Create a well in the dry mixture and pour in the coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir to combine. While whisking, carefully pour in the coffee. Mix until fully combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have gotten left behind.
  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
  6. Make the coconut cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add the coconut cream and powdered sugar until incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until it is combined and creamy.
  7. Make the coconut caramel glaze: Combine the sugar, agave, and water in a saucepan. Stir until combined. Heat over high heat until the mixture becomes a medium amber color and the rate of boiling slows (about 305?F/152?C on a candy thermometer).
  8. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the coconut cream. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Transfer to a heat-safe container and let it cool.
  9. Assemble the cake: Once the cakes have completely cooled, level them and choose which layer will be at the bottom. Place it on a cake plate or serving dish.
  10. Spread on 1/3 cup  of the cream cheese frosting with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat twice, ending with the fourth layer. Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting and cover it with the coconut flakes.

Thai Grill Beef Salad

03Jan

thai-grill-beef-salad

Ingredients:

  • 100 gm Beef tenderloin  1/2-inches thick
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  •  3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 head red-leaf lettuce, torn (about 6  pieces)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), divided, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup basil leaves,
  • Sliced cucumber into ribbons

Directions:

  1. Rinse and pat the meat dry. Place in a salable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce,canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated, to dress the salad.
  2.  Spray grill cooking oil and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired done ness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.
  3.  Combine lettuce, sliced shallot, cilantro, basil and beef in a salad bowl, reserving a few shallots for garnish. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Black Forest cake

03Jan

Ingredients:

  • 21/8 all purpose flour
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt,3 Eggs,1 cup milk,1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar, /8 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 12 cups white sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  •  3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, add all ingredients to list

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pan; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. add egg, milk, oil and 1 tbsp vanilla; beat until well blended. pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Back for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers come out clean. Col layers in pans on wire rakes 10 minutes. loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Drain cherries, reserving half cup juice, Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Cool before using.
  5. Combine whipping cream and confectioners sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. with long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs off top and side of each cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with third cake layer; repeat layers of frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake.

Dum Kacchi Biryani

03Jan

Ingredients:

    • Onion local-5 kg
    • Cashew-nut pest- 100 gm
    • Ghee-300 gm Milk vita brand
    • Mawa -100 gm ( should be homemade)
    • Allo Bukhara- 100 gm ( Radish color and fresh)
    • Salt- As required
    • Sugar-150 gm
    •  Red chili powder-30 gm
    • Ginger Paste-100 gm
    •  Garlic paste-50 gm
    • Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
    • Roasted cumin Powder-10 gm
    • Rup chanda oil-300 gm
    • Potato-4 kg (One potato cut in to four pieces)
    • Green chili-100 gm
    • Sour yogurt-150 gm
    •  Powder milk -100 gm
    • Shahi jera-20 gm
    • Nutmeg ( Jaiphal) –  a piece
    • Mace (Javitri) – 15 gm
    • Green Cardamom – 15-20 nos,
    • Cinnamon – 30gm sticks,
    • Kewra essence(screwpine)- 3 tsp

Other Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice or Old chinigura  -4kg
  • Mutton back leg and shoulder pieces – 8 kg (good quality and fresh)
  • Local small Brown onion slices (for this just slice up two big onions  and fry till golden brown in refined oil or ghee) Also ensure that you keep the leftover oil or ghee.
  •  Salt – for marinating the mutton and while boiling the rice.
  • Atta dough – a small ball of dough made of wheat required for sealing the handi/pan in which the biryani will be cooked.

PROCEDURE:

1.    Dry roast all the ingredients listed under ‘Biryani Masala’ and grind into a fine powder.
Please be careful not to burn the spices. This ‘is ‘the most important ingredients of the biryani.
2.    Wash and clean the mutton. Marinate with salt and keep aside for half an hour.
After half and hour wash the mutton once more and keep. Now add the yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, brown onion fry and the masala. Mix it very well and gently too.
3.    Cover this mixture with a cling film and let it marinate around 2 hours.
Take good quality basmati rice or Chinigura Wash it under running water, drain and keep aside.
In a big saucepan add water. Once the water starts to boil add salt and few whole cardamom and cinnamon, sickbay leaves and shahijera.
Next add the rice and let it boil till the rice is almost half done.
Strain the rice and spread it out on a flat surface.
4.    Take a handi or a saucepan (make sure it has a proper lid) and brush it with a little ghee.
We will make the first layer with rice and then the mutton.
First rice, then the marinated mutton and fried potatoes, then rice and then mutton again. Finally top it up with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining brown onion slices, grated mawa, roasted cumin powder, powder milk, whole green chili saffron, ghee and the kewra essence on top. Close the lid tightly of the handi and seal it with the dough for an hour ( 20 minutes high  flame of gas or charcoal and 40 minutes low flame)
Served the Dum Biryani very hot.

Carrot Halwa

03Jan

carrot-halua-1

Ingredients:
Carrot-500gm
Sugar-100gm
Liquid Milk-250gm
Ghee-70gm
Milk powder-70gm
Cinnamon stick-4 pieces
Cardamon whole- 4 pieces
Bay leaves-2 pieces
Almond flakes-5gm
Pistachio nuts-10gm
Raisin-3gm

Procedure:
1.    Wash, peel and grate the carrots. I used the medium blade in the mandoline to grate. I measured the carrots loosely but heaped.
2.    Place a wide-mouthed, heavy-bottomed vessel in Medium-High heat. [Wide-mouthed vessel so that the carrots get cooked fast and uniform.Add the shredded carrots into the ghee and mix well.
3.    Fry until the carrots turn pale.Let the carrots get cooked well in the milk. The carrots should drink in all the milk. This will take 20-30 minutes.

Stir the content from time to time to prevent scorching. Once the milk is completely drunk, add in the sugar. Mix well. Reduce flame to Medium.

sugar is added, the content tends to liquefy  We need to wait until the mixture turns thick. This will take around 10-15 minutes.

Place a small wok in medium flame. Roast the cashews will 1 tsp. ghee. When the cashews turn golden, turn off stove and remove the cashews from wok.

Cook the halwa stirring occasionally until the added ghee separates out. This takes 10 more minutes. [Do not wait for the halwa to become thick. 10 minutes after adding ghee should be enough.

The right consistency is when you mix the mixture, it should stir together forming a mass.

Serve the Carrot Halwa hot, preferably warm.  Make nice garnish.

Old Town Roasted Chicken

02Jan

Ingredients:

    • Onion local- 200 gm
    • Cashew-nut pest- 10 gm
    • Ghee (Milk vita)- 20 gm Milk vita
    • Mawa ( should be homemade) -10 gm
    • Allo Bukhara (Radish color & fresh)- 2 pieces
    • Salt- As required
    • Sugar- 5 gm
    • Red chili powder- 5 gm
    • Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
    • Garlic paste- 1.5 tbsp
    • Cumin seeds- .5 tbsp
    • Roasted cumin powder-2 gm
    • Rup Chanda oil 40 gm
    • Green chili- 4 pieces
    • Sour yogurt- 2 tbsp
    • Powder milk- 5 gm
    • Shahi jera- 2gm
    • Nutmeg (Jeiphal)- very little
    • Mace (Javitri)- 1 gm
    • Green Cardamon -5/6 nos,
    • Chili sauce- I tbsp
    • Cinnamon- 4 sticks,
    • Kewra essence(screwpine)- 1tsp

 

PROCEDURE:

  1. Take a large bowl and add ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, Red chili powder, lemon juice, mix well. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes (Whole chicken cut into 4 pieces)
  2. Heat oil and fry the chicken.
  3. Heat oil and add the thinly sliced onion. Fry until golden brown, and cooked well about 30 minutes.
  4. Cover the lid and cook on medium low flame until the chicken is tender and gravy is little reduced. Now add the raisin paste, Alu Bukhara and cream. Add green chilies. If necessary you can add little milk instead of water in this stage and finished with kewra essence and roasted cumin powder.
  5. Garnish with berestha, crusted cashew nuts, grated egg white and coriander leaves serve with polau, paratha, or Naan.

 

Steamed fish fillet

02Jan

steamed-fish

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm white fish fillets, such as cod or sole or a whole fish such as Dory or turbot
  • 1 tsp of coarse sea salt or plain salt
  • 1.5 tbsp of fresh ginger, finely shredded
  • 3 tbsp spring onions, finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut or groundnut oil
  • Handful of fresh coriander sprigs
  • 20 gm Bean sprout
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 piece Red chili
  • 50 gm Chinese cabbage

This dish is best served as fresh as possible so make sure you serve it straight away after cooking for the best taste with vegetables.

 

METHOD

  1. Pat the fish or fish fillets dry with kitchen paper. Rub with the salt evenly on the outside as well as the inside of the fish.
  2. Next set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok or deep pan and fill it with 5 cm of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Put the fish on a heat proof plate and scatter the ginger evenly over the top.
  3. Put the plate of fish into the steamer or into rack. Cover the pan tightly and gently steam the fish until it is just cooked. Flat fish will take about 5 mins to cook. Whole fish or fillets such as sea bass will take 12-14 mins. You will see the fish truing opaque and flaking slightly but still remaining moist.
  4. Remove the plate of cooked fish, pour off excess liquid that may have accumulated on the plate, and scatter the spring onions on the fish together with the light and dark soy sauces.
  5. Heat the two oils together in a small saucepan until it is smoking. When they are hot and pour the top of the fish.
  6. Scatter with handful of coriander and serve at once.

 

Best Of The Best Weight Loss

27Dec

builder-salad

Best Of The Best Weight Loss For Women Over 40

We’ve all heard about life begins at 40. For many women, reaching this age means a constant struggle against maintaining a healthy weight especially weight loss. It’s easy to say “don’t bite more than you can chew,” but the truth is, metabolism is just one part of the equation. Hormonal and body changes, lifestyle habits and other factors come into play as you reach this age. If you’re looking for trimmer shape, here are the best tips on weight loss for women over 40.

One of the ways for weight loss for women over 40 is indeed related to metabolism. The concept should be to consume fewer calories than you can expend. However, your metabolic rate at this age also slows down. You need not only count your calories, but also watch out where these calories are coming from. In order to lose 1 pound per week, you need to eliminate at least 500 calories. And since you now have limitations for caloric intake, make sure that where you get them will do you more good than harm. Furthermore, include a lot of vegetables and fruits into your diet in order to rev up your metabolism.

Another way to burn calories is through physical activities. However, several life changes happen at this age. You might not be as physically active as you once were. You can start by integrating little exercises into your routine. Walking and running are some of the easiest but most efficient exercises that you can do. And if your body has adjusted to these activities, you can gradually insert some strength training as well. Just keep in mind to consult your doctor before doing anything drastic.

Checking if you have thyroid problems may also help in dealing with weight loss for women over 40. Your thyroid glands play an important role in many bodily functions, including weight gain. This is a disorder that’s more common among women who are aging. When left untreated, women over 40 will find is excruciatingly hard to shake off the excess weight. The best thing to do if you suspect you might have thyroid problems is to consult a doctor right away.

Since early menopause begins to set in at this age, several symptoms will begin to show, including poor sleep and sleeping disturbances. Trouble with sleeping patterns can also affect weight gain as it also interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat. Addressing this problem can greatly help in weight loss for women over 40. A study by University of Washington found that doing yoga, meditation and relaxation poses is a great way to balance sleep-wake cycles.

Another problem women over 40 face is disappearing muscles. It is believed that men and women lose 1% of lean muscles annually. This is a sad truth since toned and lean muscles can help you burn several calories. The disappearance of muscles may gradually lead to the occurrence of more body fat. In order to fight this off, exercise and strength-training are key. You can gently lift dumbbells or do push ups from time to time to keep your muscles looking sexier despite the age.

Weight loss for women over 40 is not a lost cause. You can still look fit and trim through making healthy food choices and regular exercises. It is also important to be committed to your weight loss goals so you can enjoy a healthier life for the years ahead.


 

Avocado Great For Skin Care

27Dec

avocado

Avocado Great For Skin Care

Avocado is also known as Alligator Pear originated in southern Mexico. It has become a useful ingredient for our daily skin care routine. It is rich in fat as well as protein. These fats are monounsaturated which is good for a healthy heart. The provision of vitamin E in avocado helps the heart to remain fit. It is also known to supply 60% more potassium in comparison to banana.

It is also rich in fiber, foliate (folic acid), vitamin B6, iron, copper and magnesium. Other than applying avocado on your skin, consuming it in salad form can also be beneficial for your skin. Avocado contains vitamins like A, D, and E which has penetrating qualities to improve your skin. Avocado oil is also very useful for skin care. The oil is useful to remove any sun damage or age spots. It also softens the skin and provides a moisturizing effect and can do wonders on damaged, undernourished and dehydrated skin.

Simple Recipes for Skin Care

Puffed Eyes
Cut avocado into slices and place it under each eye and relax with it for next 20 minutes. The changes would be remarkable.

Eye Cream
Make an eye cream by mixing 5 drops of almond oil in 3 ripe slices of avocado. Blend this mixture and dab it around your eyes. Keep it for five minutes then rinse.

Another method of making the eye cream is by using 1/4 cup avocado oil with 1/4 cup aloe Vera gel. You could also use apricot kernel, grape seed or sesame oil.

Facial Mask
This facial mask is useful for dry skin. Mash half avocado and apply it leisurely on your face. Keep it for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.

Make a paste of ½ ripe avocado mixed with 1 tsp vegetable oil. Apply this paste on a washed and clean face. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse it with warm water. This masque is very good for dry skin.

Smooth and Beautiful Hands
Make a paste by mixing 1/4 peeled & smashed avocado, 1 egg white, 2 tbsp. oatmeal and 1 tsp lemon juice. Apply this paste on your hand and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse it with warm water and pat it dry. You would be thrilled by the results by using it regularly.

Facial Scrub
You would need 2 tbsp. flax seeds, 1/2 mashed banana and 1/2 avocado peel. Use a small bowl to mix flax seeds and banana. Scoop the banana and flax seed by using avocado peel. Massage this scoop on your face in circular motion, slowly and gently. Rinse it with warm water.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.


 

Winter Skin Care

26Dec

moisturizer

Its early December and you know who’s knocking at the door . Yes winter is coming.

winter may not be a bad as it sounds when you consider all the fresh vegetables and rices-cakes, and cozy mornings wrapped in warm blankets. Nevertheless, it is also the seasons of gloomy weather, dry leaves and CRACKED SKIN.

Cool winter temperature and low humanity level, combined with hot showers and soap-based products can pull moisture from the skin. On the surface, skin looks dull, feels tight, dry and itchy. At a microscopic level a lack of moisture and oil weakens your skins natural protective barrier, leaving it susceptible to invading chemicals causing redness, irritation and sensitivity.

Gladly its not a mammoth task to take care of your vulnerable winter skin. Little proper effort can bring great benefit for your skin. Wearing warm clothes and using moisturizing cream or lotion would tend to do good to skin from outside, while skin needs protection from inside as well.

Most common mistake we make is that we tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration and hydration starts from the inside out. If you want to make sure your skin is hydrated, your body must be hydrated, too. According to Canada’s Food Guide, you Should consume about 30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tbsp) of unsaturated fat and oil each day and you should aim for about 9 to 13 cups of water.

Eating food high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. A little warm with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.

Using a daily moisturizer that contains ingredients such as vitamin E, Shea butter or any other natural moisturizing element will keep your skin from feeling the effects of water.

Its very important to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter as moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hand, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months

Don’t forget that while you are enjoying your winter-sound sleep, your skin is fighting really hard to keep the moisturizer intact. Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturizing cream at night to seal in the moisture until morning.

Its your turn to rinse off the dead cells by exfoliating and enhance the new ones with moisturizers from outside and by hydrating from inside to keep skin more healthy and comfortable this winter!