Hello and welcome back! After a grueling two-week blog makeover period we are back with the soft opening of our brand new website. Yes- it’s still what we’d like to call a “soft-opening”. We are still putting all the bells and whistles in place and working behind the scenes to make everything look better.
When we started the process a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t think it would take us this long to get here. It may seem like no work went into making the website look plain and simple but it was just the opposite. We (mostly me) learnt so many new “programming” related terms and what actually goes into making a website look the way it does.
So what took us so long? Without going into too many (technical) details here are some of the reasons it took us forever to get here:
- deciding upon a theme
- wondering if we need a customized header and leaving the discussion half way through since we could only agree to disagree
- something as small as deciding what font to use and in what color took up a few hours of discussion
- trials, testing and doing live previews
- having to import each of the 62 posts and formatting each of them individually into the new layout (we’ve only managed to do about 40 and will do the remaining in due course :))
- brooding over the pictures from our first few posts :/
- installing plug-ins (for the widgets, layout etc.) and customizing them to suit our theme and requirements
- waking up one morning to a blank website we’d been working on for so many days, freaking out & panicking and doing some damage control
- giving up once in a few hours and then self-motivating that it’ll only get better
Although, we are still tying some lose ends, we missed being away this long and we had to be back soon enough. We are also sorry for not replying to some of your comments, not bringing anything to last week’s Fiesta Friday and not commenting on the wonderful things you’ve been up to. This whole transition and importing data from the old to the new website is to blame for all of that. If only there was an easier way of doing this. Do tell us how you like the new look and feel absolutely free and shameless to give us suggestions on what else we could do. 🙂 There may be still a few issues with the website that we are trying to fix and hopefully it’ll all be fine soon.
Also, we’ll be more than happy to help anyone who is planning to or going through a similar transition for their website. Do shoot us an email and we would love to share our knowledge and learning from the process. We now know how difficult it is to do it all by yourself so happy to help.
Now back to business, so last Fiesta Friday (the one we missed) also happened to be my birthday. And we were feeling so bad that we could share the lovely (surprise) Strawberry Shortcake that Nikhil made for me. It was such a surprise. He went to a friend’s house to bake it and assemble it the day before and got it at midnight. I knew he was up to something but wasn’t sure what until midnight- yes I know it was very sweet of him. 🙂
No prizes for guessing what we are bringing this Fiesta Friday– Strawberry Shortcake! It was absolutely delicious and decadent. Here is how Nikhil made it:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2-3 strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda through a fine sieve.
- Pour the heavy cream and vanilla extract into the bowl.
- Mix for 1-2 minutes using spoon/fork/hands. The mix should have the consistency of wet but non sticky dough.
- You can use a pie dish, a square dish, cake pan, muffin pan, madeleine pan to bake this shortcake. This quantity will give you about 8 madeleines/muffins or a 6 inch pie.
- Bake the dough for 15-17 minutes if using a madeleine/muffin pan or 18-20 minutes if using a pie dish.
- The shortcake will be golden brown when it is completely baked.
- Macerate the strawberries with sugar in a bowl for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. If using frozen strawberries let the berries thaw with sugar for about 30 minutes before putting in the pan.
- Cook the macerated berries in a pan for 10-15 minutes. You will now be able to break the berries in the pan using a spoon.
- Put the ginger and mix into the compote.
- Dissolve the gelatin in cold water and pour into the compote. Let this cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Take whipping cream, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whip till soft peaks form.
- Add lemon zest and whip more till the cream is a little hard.
- For serving the entire cake: Cut the shortcake horizontally from the middle. Ice the bottom with some of the whipped cream. Spoon the strawberry compote over the whipped cream. Top the shortcake with the upper half. Spoon some of the strawberry compote. Top generously with whipped cream and garnish with a half cut strawberry.
- For serving deconstructed: Serve the shortcake madeline, whipped cream and strawberry compote in a pretty dessert glass or plate.
Here are some pictures from midnight. Sorry we couldn’t get better ones, I just couldn’t stop myself from indulging.
Nikhil also baked another batch using the same recipe in a 12-piece madeleine pan and here is how they came out:
now this one here is more like a deconstructed version 🙂