Thursday, 31 July 2014

101 POSTS! WOO HOO! (Top Hit Posts)

That's right, all you awesome viewers, 101 posts written, 101 moments recorded in writing! Here, I'm going to give you a round-up of the best recipes, most accurate guitar tabs, and funniest Honor Updates!

First up, the Funniest Honor Update Awards!

3. The Eighth Honor Update
        Honor: Sorry, the Fairy has memory loss issues...
        Tutor: Oh, man. (rubs eyes) Oh crap. Nick poked me in the eye!

2. The Sixth Honor Update
        Nick: AAH! HELP! MAMA!
        Jill: You are as ugly as the Tutor's feet, Beauty!
       
The winner, #1, is...
  Another HONOR UPDATE!
        Honor: Oh God, Fairy, you fluttering flutterfly of a flashy fishy's flippin flipper!
        Andres: What? Baby camels? Awesome!
        Guard: She looked like Beauty. She was all dirty and ugly!

Now, the Most Accurate Guitar Tab is...
  Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift Chords!
        This tab's main chords/base chords are the Em and the G-major.
        The song is from the Hunger Games' exclusive album Songs from District 12 and Beyond.

Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for...
Most Popular Recipes!
(I'm starting from seven for 'magical' purposes.)

#7: New York Crumb Cake












#6: Double Chocolate Cookies












#5: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Frosting














#4: Funfetti Cake Batter Frosting

pictur via thedomesticrebel.com














#3: The Hunger Games District 11 Crescent Rolls

















#2: Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting

pictire via browneyedbaker.com















And the winner is...

#1: THE BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER!

picture via sallysbakingaddiction.com
















AND the best moment:
   Sofie! Our new kitten goes off with a bomb! (Almost literally!)


Thanks to all you amazing viewers from all around the globe who have given me 3,500 views from the U.S., Pakistan, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Serbia, Russia, Australia, the U.K., Indonesia, the Netherlands, Argentina, Taiwan, Italy, Poland, France, Ireland, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and so many more!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo,
        Zoya <3

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Flippin' Awesome Double Chocolate Frosting

Before we start, I would like to make an anouncemont; I have finished composing my own song! It's based solely on guitar and revolves around the G-major chord.

Last time, I gave all you amazing readers a recipe for the best chocolate cake I've ever had. Today, I'm makin' a match for it with this amazing deep, dark chocolate frosting you'll ever make. Mm-hm. Ever. And any baker worth her salt (no pun intended) should be able to throw together a dessert using this recipe. I used this to frost and fill (but ultimately covered with fondant) my sister's birthday cake, who is now *sniff* gone *sniff* back to *sniff* Boston *sniffedysniffsniffsniff*!

Enough said.



Ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup good-quality cocoa, such as Cadbury or Hershey's

Directions

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, melted chocolate, vanilla, and cocoa on high speed for 3 minutes. Slowly beat in the milk and icing sugar. 

Tip: For real chocolate decadence, sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over frosting if using as filling before adding second layer.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake. EVER.

(Well, it doesn't have to be a birthday cake...)

Last week, we started planning my sister Sanya's birthday. Colored water fights, sparklers, fireworks, firecrackers, and what not. And, of course, cake.

She wanted an extravagant, too-good-to-eat masterpiece. Which wheeled me out of the way. Maybe, just maybe, I jinxed it, but next week, at the dinner table, I was asked to make her cake.

I saw a picture of a cake online; it used a Wilton fondant mold which had indents shaped like flowers, birds, leaves, branches, and vine borders. Luckily, I had that mold on hand and managed to make half the details two days before the party.

On the last day, I made the second tier, stacked them, shaped the last few decorations, and assembled them. In the end, Sanya's friends didn't show up, but we still got to share the cake with our cousins :).


INGREDIENTS
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp each baking powder, baking soda, and salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup each white sugar and brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, mix the water and the baking powder. Let cool, then add the sour cream or yogurt.

In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream mixture. Fold in the remaining ingredients.

Pour into two greased round cake pans and bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.




Friday, 18 July 2014

Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift - Guitar Chords

I've heard this song so many times it's not funny. One day I haven't heard of it, the next I'm playing guitar to it. During my trip to Islamabad this year, and I think it was a prank my sisters played on me, it was playing the entire time I was asleep. Coincidence? I think not.

Anyway, I'm planning on doing this song for the school talent show next year; it's a smidgen more complex with its bridge that plays through the verses and first chorus. And then there's the free strumming. I'm learning the bridge, and it's easy. I'll post a video of it when I've learned it properly.

Also, don't be scared away by that pesky Bm! Just use a barre on it; here's a diagram of the chord:



Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift

Intro: Em, Bm, G, D x2

(Verse 1)

Em                                    Bm
I remember tears streaming down your face
            G                            D
When I said I'd never let you go,
          Em                     Bm                      G               D
When all those shadows almost killed your light;
Em             Bm
I remember you said
         G                       D
Don't leave me here a - lone,
      Em                      Bm
But all that's dead and gone and past
G     D*(once)
Tonight,

(Chorus)
G                    D
Just close your eyes
       A               G
The sun is going down
                D
You'll be alright
      A                      G
No one can hurt you now
                      D
Come morning light
A                    Bm   A   G
You and I'll be safe and sound


Em, Bm, G, D   x2


(Verse 2)
Em                         Bm          
Don't you dare look out your window
G                                D
Darling everything's on fire
      Em                    Bm                     G           D
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Em      Bm       G    D
Hold on to this lullaby
Em                  Bm      G*     
Even when the music's gone.
G*
Gone.

(If you use the bridge, stop using it for this verse and the outro and switch to strumming.)

(Chorus)
G                    D
Just close your eyes
       A                G
The sun is going down
                D
You'll be alright
      A                      G
No one can hurt you now
                      D
Come morning light
A                     Bm   A   G
You and I'll be safe and sound



G      D    Bm    A
Ooh  Ooh  Aaah  Aaah...  x2


(Very soft bridge this verse)
G                    D   A*
Just close your eyes
G             D    A*
You'll be al - right
G                     D
Come morning light
A                    Bm   A   G
You and I'll be safe and sound


(Strumming, outro)
Em      Bm    G      D
Ooooo Oooo Oooo Oooo...  x2

Em*  Bm*  G*     D*
Oooo Oooo Oooo Ohoh.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Homemade White Bread

White bread, a staple of American meals, is easier to make than you may have expected. Most of you might be scrolling down after you see the word 'yeast' - whoa, whoa, whoa, this is actually very easy to make and uses only simple ingredients.

If you'd like a simple white bread, don't use the seeds or oats. If you'd like a healthier version, use them and you can also substitute half the flour for whole-wheat flour. You can experiment with different seeds and flours, if you like.

The yeast process-
Some people have loads of trouble with their yeast 'blooming'. For this, there are three simple keys:

Water temperature. If your water is too hot, the yeast cells that need to feed on nutrients in the water die, and your bread will not rise. If it is too cold, the cells won't activate, so it still won't rise. The proper temperature can be felt by hand - as warm as possible, not hot, but just so as that you can dip your finger in it without screaming.

Nutrients. In order to expand, your yeast cells need food to properly activate. Usually, sugar and salt do it perfectly, but honey is used in whole wheat bread.

Time. This is the most important key. I have some images here of what your yeast should look like…






The starting point...                 .      






                              2 minutes...




5 minutes...                          .





     And, finally, 10 minutes. Overflowing.






See, that's easy enough.


Ingredients
1 cup warm water (see 'Temperature', above)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp yeast (use 1 tbsp if you want fluffier bread)
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tbsp olive oil
Optional additions,
3 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup rolled oats

Directions
In a large mug/cup or small bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Let sit for 10 minutes (see 'Time', above).
In a large bowl, combine the oil, flour, seeds, and oats (if using). add the fermented yeast mixture and combine to form a shaggy, sticky dough. Knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface until smooth. Place in a large bowl and cover with foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, or even tea towels, to rise in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size.

After an hour, dump out onto a floured surface. Punch down the dough. Place into a greased loaf tin and let rise for another half hour.

Before baking, spray the bread with water. Place in an oven at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with a pan of boiling water.
Spray with water 5 minutes into baking.

When you tap it and it sounds hollow, remove from the oven and spray with more water. Remove from the pan. Let cool before slicing.

xoxoxoxoxoxox,
Zoya