Baked Apple Roses

Apple roses

Unless you have been under a rock, you must have seen the Apple Roses Video. Its been making rounds on the interwebs. At first I ignored it. Then it popped up in my Facebook Newsfeed again. And again. Till, we had an email from Varun’s school for a bake sale. That day the video which I had ignored for days popped up again. Cut apples, roll them in puff pastry with a bit of jam and bake. The video made it look real easy. I figured I could bake a few dozen of those. I signed up for the bake sale. And even told a couple of mom’s about it. Big mistake. Now I had to make them. And make sure they were edible. And looked good. Good enough for someone to buy them with real $$. So I made the first batch using Manuela’s recipe.They looked ok. Not as good as in the video. But were edible. No one died ūüėČ I decided to make chocolate cupcakes instead. My trusted fallback! Only to find we are out of flour and butter. So I had to make another batch of apple roses. Since we have a ton of apples at home from the trip to the apple farm on Columbus day. Apple roses

This time, I made a few changes:

  1. Didn’t defrost the puff pastry completely. When it was partially thawed, rolled it thinner.
  2. Made 12 sections instead of 6 from one pastry sheet.
  3. Didn’t cut the apples paper-thin but slightly thicker
  4. Cooked the apples for 90 secs instead of 3 mins.
  5. Baked them longer for about 50 mins.

It’s not easy to work with puff pastry but with smaller sections that are not completely thawed,¬†it’s not that hard either.

Voila! Had a better batch of apple roses.

Apple rosesThe real success: People bought them at the bake sale and they were gone in no time. We were sold out! A big deal given that there were dozens of professional cookies/cupcakes/brownies there.

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Give them a try for a fun dessert! Well worth the effort to put it together ūüôā

Can Water Walk? Intriguing isn’t it?

Water Experiments

Varun and I are continuing with our science explorations. First we did our volcanoes and then we watched what happens to the dishwater tablets. Next up, it was our turn to watch water walk.

Yup, when I read the title of Walking Water Science Experiment on Pinterest, I wanted to see it action right away. We set to it right away.

Water Experiments

First up, we got out 4 glasses of water and added food color to it. Varun stirred it all up.

Then I folded paper napkins into thirds (along the length) and we folded and added them to the glasses. See image below.

I asked Varun to touch the top of the napkins. They were dry.

As water started “walking up” the napkins ( ala capillary action), the tops got damp. When he touched them a few minutes later they were damp. And later they got the color.

Water Experiments

He was excited to show me how the color’s met towards the top of the napkins. We used tall glasses so this kindda took hours. It was a test of patience. But with shorter glasses and higher water levels it could be within an hour.

Next up was another variation of seeing water walking.

Walking Water

We stared with 2 glasses full of water. One was colored blue and other yellow. A third empty glass was placed in between them.I folded paper napkins and kept them such that one end dipped in colored water and other end rested in empty glass.

Over time, water rose up the napkins and collected in the empty glass in the middle.¬†The empty glass now had green water ūüôā

Walking Water

An excellent way to showcase color theory alongside some science!

I think Varun is too young to understand “capillary action” or at least I wasn’t sure how to explain it to him but I think when he learns the concept later on he will remember these fun experiments. It was fun for us grown up’s too : )

Would you try this? What else would you recommend we try as we explore Science at home?

Where Do The Dishwasher Tablets Go?

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Varun has been in love with science. He doesn’t know it as science but as experiments. Say Experiments and his eyes light up!

I couldn’t believe it how simple baking soda + vinegar volcanoes have evolved into a love for experiments.

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We also did the “free” toys trapped in ice to learn about how water freezes into ice and then it slowly melts back into water. Instead of waiting for the ice to melt slowly, he took the¬†entire ice box under hot tap water to melt it in minutes. Talk about impatience!

We mixed different liquids (water, oil, vinegar and soap) to see if they dissolve into each other or separate out into different layers. He shook it and then kept it on the counter and was fascinated to see the liquids separate out.

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He wants to measure, mix, stir and see what happens.He keeps asking for more.

More than the guided experiments that I try with him, what impressed me most about this is how he has taken this further. Today while helping me load the dishwasher, he wondered what happened to all the tablets that he puts in. Where do they go?

He asked me what happens to them? Where does the white part go? And what about the blue?

And what about the plastic wrapper?

I handed him a glass of water to see what happens. He dropped in a tablet and it immediately started bubbling up. It turned cloudy, the blue soap rose to the top slowly. He got a spoon to stir the water and then fish out the “plastic” and saw that it has disappeared a little bit.

Then he asked me for hot water. He said, will it disappear completely in hot water.

I gave him some and this time the whole thing melted quickly. A small plastic piece remained, which we have kept on the counter so we can check it out in the morning.

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I am excited to learn “science” with him again. Its fun. Its interactive and its simply amazing to see how he is learning.

If only he shared some of this excitement for reading and writing ūüėČ

Whole Wheat Chocolate Mug Cake & Happy New Year!

Chocolate Mug cake

Happy New Year!

I know its 11 days late ( or 12 depending on which side of the world you are on!) but it’s still January. Its first post of the year. And more than date its the intention that counts isn’t it? I sure hope so.

I debated what should the first post of the year be? Quick and Easy chocolate mug cake? Endive and Citrus Salad boats? Or our Christmas trip to Palm Springs? There were couple of soups and salad contenders. But then I thought of starting the new year on a sweeter note.

I have seen mug cake recipes floating around the blogosphere for couple of years now. I never believed that they worked. I thought this is one of those things that work on a blog or Pinterest board but FAIL in real life. I secretly hoped they failed in real life so temptation will not be minutes away.

So here I was last weekend, debating what to make and feed my rather hungry family at 4 pm. Varun wanted something “fun”. He thought about it and told me he would let me know what he wants once he thought about it some more. Vipul wanted something “tasty” but healthy. The only fresh things in our house were some tomatoes, milk and a lone banana.

I turned to my Pinterest recipes inspiration and felt worse. I literally had nothing in the house.

In such a state, cake usually does the trick. But I didn’t feel up to baking an entire cake and then eat it all up.

In that moment, I wondered if mug cakes truly work. Working quickly, I mixed flour, eggs, milk and sugar. A dash of baking powder whisked in and off the cup went into the microwave. First for 90 secs, then another 20 and then another 10. The cake eventually puffed u p over the top of the cup – kindda like a souffle. It collapsed back into the cup as it cooled.

Varun saw me get the cups out and didn’t pay any attention thinking it was tea.

When he saw me eat from the cup, he scrambled over. It cooked like soft chocolate cake. He couldn’t believe that I was eating cake out of a cup. He had a bite and you should have seen his eyes widen as he realized this is something he wants a separate cup of. No sharing business.

Vipul and I shared a cuppa while Varun had his share.

These mug cakes really do work.

It was fun and I fear will be addictive. Something that takes only minutes to “bake” and with endless possibilities. With nutella, vanilla, some cream cheese frosting, or caramel or hot fudge.

I am secretly thrilled at this quick dessert. Hopefully we keep up with salads and other healthy habits to indulge once in a while.

Chocolate Mug cake

Whole Wheat Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

Makes 1 mug cake

  • 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Chocolate powder
  • 2.5 Tbps Sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. In a 14 oz mug, mix all the ingredients. Whisk well.

  2. Place a tissue in a microwave (to catch spills). Place the mug in the microwave and microwave for 100 secs to 2 minutes.

  3. Take it out carefully (it will be hot!)

  4. Let cool and enjoy!

Persimmon Smoothie

Persimmon Smoothie

Its been a long time since I posted here.

It was an intentional sabbatical. Too many things happening in real life. A new job, becoming parents to 2 kiddos with no life lines (aka parental support as grandparents went back home), vacations, Varun’s K school tours. We were being stretched in too many different directions.

But now that things are bit under control and we have a semblance of a routine, I am back.

You see, persimmons are in season. If you don’t know about them, you are truly missing out on a unique fruit. Rock hard and bitter when raw but soft and fragrant when ripe, this fruit is pure sugar. I am surprised it is not used in place of applesauce.

I accidentally picked a persimmon instead of an orange at work from the fruit basket. Realizing my mistake too late, I left it in the bag and then set it on the counter for a few days. The fruit visibly softened over days.

Persimmon Smoothie

And having read about their legendary sweetness, over the weekend, I decided to make it into a persimmon milkshake (aka smoothie) on the lines of “chickoo” milkshake.

Within minutes there was a creamy smoothie that was naturally sweetened. Delicious. It was gone in no time.

I wished we had more ripe persimmons on hand to make into persimmon chutney, ice-cream or sorbet. Or just more smoothie as my husband suggested.

Luck be hold when I came early to office last Monday morning and there were 2 ripe persimmons sitting in the week old fruit basket. The admin said I could take them as they would toss the old fruits out and replace them with this weeks fruit.

I eagerly took them home. Another one was made into a smoothie and the one last one was added to a kale salad Рwhich is another winner winter recipe.

Rathi (a dear friend and a fellow foodie) visited us couple of¬†leeks ago¬†and eagerly told me about her cousin’s backyard persimmon tree loaded with fruit. If that was my backyard, the fruit¬†would probably be all eaten up. These two persimmon recipes ( and my foray back to blogging) is thanks to Rathi’s enthusiasm which rubbed off when they visited.

Without further ado, a simple 3 ingredient persimmon smoothie recipe below.

Chop, whirl and drink. It doesn’t get easier than that.

Persimmon Smoothie Recipe

  • 2 ripe persimmons diced
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 -2 teaspoon yogurt
  1. Blend all the ingredients till smooth. Serve immediately.

P.S.- I made this in my magic bullet – which makes serving and clean up easy. If you don’t have one, truly consider getting one this holiday season. That and a crock pot truly make everyday cooking a breeze!