300 grm lasagne strips
  ½ cup cream
  ½ cup parmesan cheese

For meat sauce
  ½ kg minced meat
  ½ kg tomatoes, boiled and skinned
  ¼ cup tomato ketchup
  2 onions, chopped
  2 tsp garlic
  salt to taste
  2 tbsps oil

Cheese sauce
  50 grm butter
  2 cups milk
  4 tbsp flour
  Pinch of nutmeg
  ¾ tsp pepper
  ¾ tsp salt
  100 grm cheese, grated

For cheese sauce
1. In a pan melt butter and stir in flour.
2. After cooking for a couple of minutes add milk gradually, stirring until it gets thick. 
3. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheese, and stir until melted.

For lasagne
4. Drop lasagne strips gradually in a big pan with boiling salted water. Cook for 30 minutes, or until they get tender. 
5. Drain and put in a pan of cold water with a bit of oil until ready to use.

For meat sauce
6. Heat oil in a pan, fry onions until they turn brown then add garlic, mince meat and sauté. Add salt, tomatoes and ketchup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
7. Now reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes until it is well cooked and dry. 
8. A little water can be added to make sure the meat gets tender.

9. Now to assemble, place a layer of lasagne strips in a shallow ovenproof dish, spread half the meat sauce over the strips then cover with half the cheese sauce. 
10. Top with the second layer of strips. Repeat the layers of meat sauce, cheese sauce, and finally lasagne strips to cover the top completely. 
11. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake in a moderately heated oven for 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven and gently spoon cream over the top and bake for about 20 minutes more.
12. Enjoy

Pumpkin Puree

1 medium pumpkin
cheesecloth (or any Light weighted cloth)

1. Cut the skin off the pumpkin.
2. Cut pumpkin into 1 or 2 inch cubes.
3. Place in casserole.
4. Cook in 175 degree celsius oven for one hour.
5. Pumpkin is done when it is soft and "mushy" when pressed with a fork.
6. With hand blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
7. To remove excess liquid, place pureed pumpkin in strainer or cheese cloth and allow to drip overnight.
8. Use right away or freeze in small amounts to be used in cooking and backing.
9. Cover large slices of pumpkin (with skin) in tin foil place on cookie sheet and after baking scrape the fruit from the skin and follow instructions for puree.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

  1 whole chicken
  Black Pepper and salt to taste

1. Place chicken on a flat surface breast side down, legs facing away from you.
2. With kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut out the neck bone all the way to the butt by cutting down one side of the neck bone and then repeat on the other side.
3. Turn chicken over and press flat, season and grill or bake as desired.

Cracker sandwich

12 biscuits (salty flavour of any brand)
½ cup chicken boiled and shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tomato cut into 6 slices
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 cucumber peeled, cut into 6 slices

1. Mix mayonnaise with chicken and corrinder leaves. 
2. Spread this mixture on the biscuits evenly. 
3. Place tomato slice and cucumber slice on six of the biscuits. 
4. cover each with a second biscuit to make a sandwich.

Fruited ring

  4 cup milk
  5 tbsp rice
  1 cinnamon stick
  1-1/2 cups orange juice
  1-1/2 cups dried mixed fruit
  3 tbsp icing sugar
  Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  Oil for greasing

1. Mix the rice, milk and cinnamon stick in a pan and bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1-1/2 hour or until no liquid remains. 
2. In the same time, mix the dried fruit and orange juice in a pan and bring to a boil. Cover, and then simmer very gently for about one hour, until the fruit are tender and no liquid remain. 
3. Remove the cinnamon stick from the rice and stir in the sugar and orange zest, mixing thoroughly. Put the fruit in a lightly oiled 6-1/2 cup ring mould. 
4. Spoon the rice smoothing down firmly. Chill. 
5. Run a knife around the edge of the mould and turn out the rice carefully onto a serving plate.

Berry coffee cake

  225 mg cream cheese, softened
  1/2 cup butter (margarine), softened
  3/4 cup sugar
  1/4 cup milk
  2 eggs
  1 tsp vanilla essence
  2 cups flour
  1 tsp baking powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 tsp baking soda
  3 cups fresh berries (sliced of needed)
  1/2 cup chopped nuts
  1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Combine cream cheese, butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla essence. 
3. Add together pre-sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix with cheese mixture until smooth. Spread half the batter in greased and floured in the  baking pan. 
4. Spread berries evenly over the batter. Dot the remaining batter over berries. 
5. Mix brown sugar and nuts, sprinkle evenly over cake. 
6. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm. 
7. Add whipped topping to make it even better!

Christmas fruit cake

  Butter or margarine 250 gms 
  Caster or brown sugar 1 cup
  Honey 2 tablespoon
  Eggs 4
  Flour 200 g 
  Corn flour 25 g 
  Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon, levelled
  Mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon
  Orange or lemon rind 2 teaspoon
  Chopped mixed fruit (glazed apricots, dates, prunes, raisin) 450 g
  Orange juice 3/2 cup

  Glazed cherries 50 g
  Flaked almonds 25 g
  Orange or lemon rind 50 g

1. Combine fruit and milk in a bowl, mix well, cover, let stand overnight at room temperature.
2. Grease round cake pan. Beat butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add honey, beat well. Add eggs one at a time. 
3. Stir fruit mixture into creamed mixture with sifted dry ingredients. 
4. Spread mixture over the base of prepared pan. Decorate top of cake with topping. Bake in slow oven 150 C or about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 
5. Brush hot cake with extra orange juice. 
6. Stand 5 - 10 minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool. 
7. Serve warm.

Caramel bananas

  100g butter
  1/3 cup brown sugar
  1 cup castor sugar
  1 cup thickened cream
  4 ripe bananas
  2 tbs water 

1. Heat butter in a pan, add brown/castor sugar and water, stir over heat, without boiling, until the sugar is dissolved. 
2. Now stir in the cream and bring to boil. 
3. Then add the bananas. 
4. Leave to cool. 
5. Serve with cream or ice-cream if desired.

Chocolate cream cake

  1 packet cream
  2 tbsp sugar (grounded) or to taste
  ½ tsp vanilla essence
  1 cup chocolate pieces
  1 pound round plain cake
  ½ cup pineapple pieces
  1 cherry

1. Keep the cream in the refrigerator for two hours; then take the cream out from the fridge and beat it along with sugar and vanilla essence. 
2. Cut chocolate pieces in julienne shape or grate the chocolate, and mix gently in the cream. 
3. Then cut the cake horizontally into two layers.
4. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate, top with half of the cream mixture. 
5. Place the other cake piece on it and top with the remaining cream. 
6. Refrigerate it for two hours. 
7. Top with pineapple pieces and garnish with cherry in the centre.


Baking is quite an interesting and rewarding hobby and very enjoyable too.

Sumptuous pizzas, tasty cherry cakes, moist, chewy, huge spicy fruit buns, chocolate brownies, crunchy biscuits, irresistible chocolate fudge cakes so wonderful to imagine, arent they? But to tell you the truth they aren't all that difficult to make too if you follow directions, mix the ingredients in the right proportions and if your oven is in perfect order.

Equipment List
Baking is a process by which articles of food are cooked entirely in the oven. So the first and foremost thing that you need is an oven. Other things that you will require are baking trays, large roomy mixing bowls, wooden spoons for mixing, a rolling pin, sieves, cutters, scales, nylon piping bags with nozzles, whisks, measuring jugs, palette knives, etc. etc.

Some ingredients are common to all recipes. These are flour, baking powder, butter or margarine or oil, sugar and eggs. Self-raising flour is at times used instead of plain flour (maida) because it has just the right balance of raising agents for quite a number of cakes. And, yeast is often made use of instead of baking powder especially when baking bread or pizzas. If it is a chocolate cake that you are baking, you will also need cocoa powder.

The first thing is to get hold of some great tried and tested recipes. Seek help from your friends or consult some good book. Weigh all the ingredients first and then mix them as directed. When the dough is ready, place it in the baking tray but first grease it with some oil or butter or line it with greaseproof paper. Now put it in the oven at the temperature specified.

Once it is ready, you might decorate it with fruit or jam or cream or icing sugar or top it with some delectable chocolate sauce which you can prepare according to the instructions given in the recipe.

Useful Tips
1- Never open the oven door until the cake is at least three-quarters cooked according to the time given as this lets in cold air and might spoil your cake.
2- Always give your flour a good airing by sifting it two or three times.
3- Eggs to be used should be at room temperature and not too cold.
4- Dont keep yeast longer than two months before using.
5- Insert a skewer in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.

Home made goodies taste good and cost less than those bought from the bakery. They can also be symbols of friendship and love for if someone takes the time to bake something for you then that means he or she cares about you. So surprise others with your baking talent and get the praise which is your due!

Uses/benefits Of Salt

Although you may not realize it, simple table salt has a great number of uses other than simply seasoning your food. The following list discuss uses/benefits of salt, many of which you probably didn't realize: 

1. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.
2. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.                                                
3. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.                                                
4. Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker for easier pouring.                                                
5. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting..                                                
6. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.                                                
7. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.                                                
8. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.                                                
9. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.                                                
10. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.                                                
11. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.                                                
12. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.                                                
13. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.                                                
14. Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily.
15. Boil clothespins in salt water before using them and they will last longer.                                                
16. Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour                                                
17. Add a little salt to the water your cut flowers will stand in for a longer life.                                                
18. Pour a mound of salt on an ink spot on your carpet; let the salt soak up the stain.                                                
19. Clean your iron by rubbing some salt on the damp cloth on the ironing surface.                                                
20. Adding a little salt to the water when cooking foods in a double boiler will make the food cook faster.                                                
21. Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys.                                                
22. To fill plaster holes in your walls, use equal parts of salt and starch, with just enough water to make a stiff putty.                                              
23. Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water.                                                
24. Mildly salted water makes an effective mouthwash. Use it hot for a sore throat gargle.                                                
25. Dry salt sprinkled on your toothbrush makes a good tooth polisher.                                                
26. Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.                                                
27. Eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.                                                
28. A dash of salt in warm milk makes a more relaxing beverage.                                                
29. Before using new glasses, soak them in warm salty water for awhile.                                                
30. A dash of salt enhances the taste of tea. ?                                                
31. Salt improves the taste of cooking apples.                                                
32. Soak your clothes line in salt water to prevent your clothes from freezing to the line; likewise, use salt in your final rinse to prevent the clothes from freezing.                                                
33. Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing.                                                
34. Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt water.                                                
35. Add raw potatoes to stews and soups that are too salty.                                                
36. Soak enamel pans in salt water overnight and boil salt water in them next day to remove burned-on stains.                                                
37. Clean your greens in salt water for easier removal of dirt.                                                
38. Gelatin sets more quickly when a dash of salt is added.                                                
39. Fruits put in mildly salted water after peeling will not discolor.                                                
40. Fabric colors hold fast in salty water wash..                                                
41. Milk stays fresh longer when a little salt is added.                                                
42. Use equal parts of salt and soda for brushing your teeth.                                                
43. Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean.                                                
44. Soaked discolored glass in a salt and vinegar solution to remove stains..                                                
45. Clean greasy pans with a paper towel and salt.                                                
46. Salty water boils faster when cooking eggs.                                                
47. Add a pinch of salt to whipping cream to make it whip more quickly.                                                
48. Sprinkle salt in milk-scorched pans to remove odor.                                                
49. A dash of salt improves the taste of coffee..                                                
50. Boil mismatched hose in salty water and they will come out matched.                                                
51. Salt and soda will sweeten the odor of your refrigerator.                                                
53. Remove offensive odors from stove with salt and cinnamon.                                                
54. A pinch of salt improves the flavor of cocoa.                              
56. Salt and lemon juice? Removes mildew.                                                
57. Sprinkle salt between sidewalk bricks where you don't want grass growing.                                                
58. Polish your old kerosene lamp with salt for a better look.

Yoghurt salad

  ½ kg yoghurt
  2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
  2 onions (omelet cut)
  ½ tsp black pepper
  1 ½ tsp sugar
  1 cucumber (finely chopped)
  2 carrots (finely chopped)
  Lettuce leaves as required

1. Beat yoghurt till creamy. 
2. Add all the seasoning and mix well. 
3. Then add the vegetables and mix. 
4. Serve chilled.

Aloo kay bonday

  1 kg potatoes, boiled and mashed
  Mint leaves half bunch
  Coriander leaves half bunch
  4 green chillies, (finely chopped)
  1 tsp white cumin powder
  Salt to taste
  2 tsp chat masala
  4 tsp lemon juice
  Gram flour (Besan) as required for coating
  Oil for frying

1. Mix all ingredients, except gram flour in the potatoes. 
2. Make small balls. 
3. Coat them in gram flour and deep fry in oil till golden brown. 
4. Serve with ketchup.


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