December 16, 2008

Sweet Celebrations: And The Book Goes To………

Yes, the judging has been done and one blogger is getting Asha Khatau’s Vegetarian Cuisines Of The World.
Before I get to that, I want to thank everyone who sent in entries, and their congratulations and best wishes. You all make me feel that I ought to continue blogging here, even on those days when the “blogger’s block” seems to take me over.

Who were the judges?
A very good friend of mine, my sister who lives half way across the world, my husband and our daughter. I know, it’s a bit of a “keeping it in the family” kind of judging but it would have been unfair to celebrate a year of my blog and not include the moving force (my better thirds) behind my starting this blog.

Before we get to who is getting the gift, it would be only fair to present the sweet dishes that all of you sent in to celebrate with me. As is my usual practice, I’m presenting all the 60 entries in no particular order.

Basundhi from Mahimaa of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen (Los Angeles, U.S.). This Indian sweet is made with Paneer (Indian soft cheese) and thickened milk and Mahimaa says she calls it heaven and it tastes out of this world!

Cranberry Bliss Bars from Diana of Dianasaur (Auburn, Washington, U.S.). Not too sweet, these cake like bar cookies combine chunky white chocolate and cranberries topped with icing.

A Pretty Darn Good Coconut Rice Pudding from Cynthia of Rustic Cooking (Sydney, Australia). Though she didn’t feel like eating dessert after a filling dinner, a suggestion of rice pudding with coconut cream and caramelized coconut sugar won her over.

Kalakhand from Vidya of Delectable Vegetarian Recipes (Tenessee, U.S.). She made it for her husband’s birthday and this sweet is actually made in the microwave.

Tachani Besan Laddu from Vidya of My Art And Recipes (Fremont, California). A favourite since her childhood, she made these as a part of festive fare for Diwali. This sweet laddu is made of semolina (rawa) and chickpea flour (besan).

Delicious Banana Appams from Sia of Monsoon Spice (UK). A talk on the phone with her mother and the festive season got her inaugurating the Appam pan she had brought back from her summer trip to India.

Sweet And Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Laura of The Spiced Life (SW Ohio, U.S.). These thick, chewy , delicious cookies are not just penutty but topped with grey sea salt.

A Spiced Mango Bread from Divya Vikram of Dil Se… (Los Angeles, California, U.S.). A moist bread filled with the goodness of mango and raisins, this bread tastes even better the next day when the flavour of the spices really comes through.

Some Nutty Energy Power Balls - Healthy Laddu from Anudivya of …And A Little Bit More… (U.S.). Traditionally, laddus are full of sugar and ghee, but here she has come up with a much healthier version of this sweet.

An Upsidedown Chocolate Caramel Nut Cake from Shibani of Anyone Can Cook (China). She served this cake, which is chock full of nuts, for dessert after their weekend dinner.

Moongdal Halwa from Madhu of Ruchi (Alaska, U.S.). Made with split yellow moong lentils (dal), her version is lower in fat and sugar than traditional versions.

Cherries In My Pudding from Rachel of Tangerine’s Kitchen (India). In order to satisfy a craving for a rich, creamy and sweet pudding, she experimented with ingredients on hand making this light and delicate eggless dessert.

A Badam Cake from Mahimaa of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen (Los Angeles, U.S.). This fudge like traditional Indian sweet is made of milk and almonds and brings back memories of her first Diwali celebrations following her marriage.

A Caramel Apple Cake from Diana of Dianasaur (Auburn, Washington, U.S.). Made for last month’s Daring Baker challenge, she describes her cake as moist, sweet and gone in two days!

Some Panasa Thonalu from Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons (India). A traditional sweet, this very attractively shaped confection is deep fried, and coated with a sugar syrup.

A Mixed Dal Payasam from EC of Simple Indian Food (India). This version of the well known Indian dessert is made with a mixture of dals (lentils) and rice in thickened sweet milk.

Eggless Cocoa Brownies from Bharti of Veggie Foodist (Illinois, U.S.). She has never made brownies till now because she loves them so much, she can’t resist them. When Bharti finally did make these she had them for lunch!

A Cuckoo’s Nest Chocolate Cake from Ivy of Kopiaste.. To Greek Hospitality (Athens, Greece). The most difficult cake she’s ever made but worth every bit of the effort, she made this unusual chocolate cake, shaped like a bird’s nest, a for special occasion.

Carrot Dates Poli from Jayasree of Kailas Kitchen (Kerala, India). Her version of this traditional sweet contains dates and carrot.

Here are three entries from Sharmi of Neivedyam (U.S.). The first one is Boorelu. These batter-fried balls of sweetness don’t keep long but that would be a problem only if there were leftovers!

The next one is Badam Halwa. An successful experiment of Sharmi’s, this sweet requires few ingredients and is easy to make.

And the third one is Chocolate Burfi. This sweet is what her mother is famous for, and she made this to bring her mother a little closer to home.

Chickoo Rabdi from Deepika of Recipe For Dee-saster ... Less Sugar, Please (India). She came up with this because she wanted to make something for Diwali that combined two of her favourites, rabadi and chickoo, without being too rich or heavy.

A Family Chocolate Cake With Fudge Frosting from Maria of Maria’s Menu (Bahrain). Though she bakes a lot of cakes, this cake made especially for her husband’s birthday, is the first one she has frosted.

Lazeez Double Ka Meetha from Lubna of Yummy Food (Bangalore, India). Traditionally served at Muslim weddings, in the Indian state of Andra Pradesh, this sweet is made with bread.

Mango Burfi from TBC of The Budding Cook (US). This sweet fudge-like Indian preparation is made from that king of fruits, mango, and semolina.

A Microwave Milk Sweet (Doodh Peda) from Uma of Essence of Andra (U.S.). She learnt to make this easy microwaved version of a time consuming preparation from her sister.

Vegan Brownie Cupcakes from Madhuram of Eggless Cooking (Philadelphia, U.S.). These delicious and moist brownie cupcakes are also absolutely free from added fat. Who wouldn’t love a guilt –free (well, almost) brownie?

A Praline and Hazelnuts "Succès" Cake from Anne (Foodie Froggy) of A Foodie Froggie In Paris (Paris, France). This cake, a sort of Filbert Cake, but much lighter and filled with an Italian meringue butter cream got Anne rave reviews from family and friends.

Cherry Cheese Cupcakes from Cathy X of Aficionado (Sydney, Australia). Memories of watching her mother prepare dinner while she ate cold cherries in summer, made Cathy bake some of the season’s cherries into these cupcakes.

Angoori Rasmalai from Supriya of Queen of My Kitchen (Washington, U.S.). These soft and spongy mini Rasgullas in a sweet milky syrup was one of the desserts served at her wedding.

Chirumaalu Payasam from Lakshmi of Taste of Mysore (Singapore). This very unusual Indian milk pudding comes from the Indian state of Andra Pradesh and is a part of traditional wedding preparations. Do check her post for the details.

Kashi Halwa from Ramya of Mane Adige (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.). This traditional fudge-like sweet is made from Ash Gourd/ Winter Melon is festive fare.

Qubani Ka Meetha (Apricots Stuffed With Peanut Brittle) from Sra from When My Soup Came Alive (India). This Indian dessert from the city of Hyderabad,is not too sweet and made of rehydrated apricots stuffed with yogurt and peanut brittle.

Almond and Orange Blossom Cupcakes from Arfi of HomeMadeS (New Zealand). She sent in these beautifully decorated cupcakes to celebrate the changes in growing older and hopefully, wiser.

A Spiced Apple and Pomegranate Pie from Yasmeen of Healthnut (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.). This easy to make pie is made of crumbly partly whole wheat short crust pastry is wrapped around a spiced mixture of apples and pomegranate.

Kesar Pista Kulfi with Falooda (Saffron, Pistachio Ice Cream Served with Rose Infused Vermicilli) from Soma of eCurry (Texas, U.S.). Rich, creamy, and a favourite with her husband and her, this eggless Indian version of ice-cream is flavoured with cardamom, saffron and nuts.

Spiced Creamy Coffee Jellies from the Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures (Belgium). She made these “jellies” for dessert to celebrate her daughter’s birthday and makes them with coffee brewed from fresh roasted coffee grounds.

A Whole Wheat Chocolate Linzer Cake from Anudivya of …And A Little Bit More… (U.S.). This lovely cake is also healthy as it is made using whole wheat flour and contains no butter and not too much sugar.

Coconut Chocolate Caramel Candy Chunks from Shweatha of Tasty Curry leaf (New Jersey, U.S.). These chocolate bars are topped off with toasted coconut and drizzled with caramel sauce.

Theratti Pal from Chitra and Dibs of Chitra Amma’s Kitchen (Bangalore, India and Sydney, Australia). This sweet made from milk and sugar is a very intrinsic part of all auspicious celebrations in certain south Indian communities.

Vella Payaru from Jayashree of My Experiments With Food (Chennai, India). A festive preparation that is sweet yet filling, this takes her back to her childhood.

An Eggless Banana Chocolate Chips Cake from Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes (Paris, France). This lovely cake also celebrates a double century of posts at her blog.

Mahalebi, a Cypriot sweet dish, from Ivy of Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality (Athens, Greece). She gave it her own signature by garnishing it with Caramelised Pistachios. What makes Mahalebi special is that it is flavoured with the essence of the rose flower.

Pizelles, made with her Dad, from Susan of Food Blogga (Sandiego, California, U.S.) These beautifully patterned Italian cookies are made by pouring batter into patterned pizzele irons and cooking them till they’re crisp. Susan serves them sandwiched with her favourite, chocolate ice-cream.

Orange Payasam (Indian Milk sweet with oranges) from Usha of Veg Inspirations (North Carolina, U.S.). A batch tangy oranges and a desire for a milk based sweet led to experimenting with agave nectar and a delicious and fruity dessert.

Boondhi Ladoo from Aparna of Sumi’s Weblog (North Carolina, U.S.). This was the first time she ever made these traditional ladoos but they turned out very tasty.

A Mango Cake from Smitha of Kannada Cuisine (Milford, Connecticut, U.S.). Continuing her mother’s tradition of baking delightful cakes, Smitha baked this lovely cake topped with whipped cream for her husband’s birthday.

A Low Fat Banana Brownie Pizza from Anuvidya of …And A Little Bit More… (U.S.). Here’s a dessert pizza that’s made of a brownie base with a topping of bananas and cream.

Daanedaar Besan Ke Laddoo from Nidhi of Charche Chauke Ke (Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.). She is also celebrating one year of blogging and joins me with these tasty Indian chickpea flour confections.

Double Ka Meetha from DK of Culinary Bazaar (California, U.S.). This very rich and celebratory traditional bread pudding, from the Indian city of Hyderabad, is flavoured with cardamom and saffron.

A Hummingbird Cake from Rosie of Rosie Bakes A Peace Of Cake (England, U.K.). She baked this unusually named beautiful cake (and added a candle too) to celebrate just for this blog anniversary.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake from Ning of Heart And Hearth (Manila, Philippines). She made this cheesecake following her friend’s advice to “eat first and diet later”. And as she says, the only “guilty” ingredient in this delicious cheesecake is the sugar!

A Banana Chocolate Bundt Cake from Yasmeen of Health Nut (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.). The gift of a bundt cake pan and some over-ripe bananas got her enthusiastically baking this cake which was vastly appreciated by her husband’s colleagues at work.

A Cocoa Cherry Cake from Lubna of Yummy Food (Bangalore, India). This simple cake, bursting with the goodness of cherries, is perfect to serve at any time of the day.

A Sweet Potato Flan from Sig from Live To Eat (Seattle, Washington, U.S.). An easily made but less traditional thanksgiving dessert, the sweet potato keeps the flan light, silky and soft with more texture.

Chocolate-y Shortbread from Simran of Bombay Foodie (Mumbai, India). She made these cute little shortbreads topped with chocolate bits especially for this blog birthday celebration.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle from Diana of Dianasaur (Auburn, Washington, U.S.). This rich and delicious mini trifles were dessert for a meal of layered nachos, sourdough bread with homemade apple butter, spicy spaghetti, homemade eggnog.

Fudgy Mocha Pistachio Brownies from Mansi of Fun And Food (U.S.). She made these “seriously decadent” brownies by adding cranberries, pistachios and some flavoured coffee.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies from Anudivya of …And A Little Bit More… (U.S.). These are combination of soft chewy brownies topped with nutmeg flavoured pumpkin cheesecake.

And a 7 cup sweet from Saroja of Mumbai (India). She is my cousin-in-law and a good cook but does not have a blog yet. She is celebrating with me too, and here’s her recipe.


Besan - 1cup

Milk - 1cup

Ghee - 1cup

Grated coconut - 1cup

Sugar - 3 cups


Mix all ingredients in a heavy bottomed vessel and stir in medium fire till it leaves the side of the vessel. Pour it in a greased tray and when cooling cut in to small pieces.

As you can see they are all winners, and judging wasn’t easy but one person had to be picked. And the entry with the most votes from the judges is Rosie’s Hummingbird Cake.

Congratulations Rosie, and please do check your inbox for my mail.
I believe I have included all the entries I received in this round-up. If I have left anyone out by mistake, please leave a comment at this post and I shall include the entry at the earliest.


Pearlsofeast said...

Wow Aparna, well done and fantastic round up. Congratulation to Rosie.

sra said...

That's quite a turnout, Aparna! There are some really interesting ones! Thanks for the round-up - my dessert lasted for days, btw!

Ivy said...

Great job Aparna. May you have many more happy blogging anniversaries. Lovely roundup with many recipes to chose from.

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

Wow! a beautiful mouthwatering delicious roundup. Very very nice. Sorry I missed it.

Raaga said...

nice round up :-)

Sunshinemom said...

Lovely desserts and great choice - I can imagine the tussle! All of them sound good. Congrats to the winner, and a lovely presentation, Aparna:)

Happy cook said...

Yeahhhhhh Rosie won and she won with my recipe. Congragulations to dear Rosie.
Wonderful round up Aparna. So many delicious and variety of sweets.
A good place to come if you want to have a sweet for a party.

Jayashree said...

Nice round-up, Aparna....

indosungod said...

Wow what an array of goodies!

Soma said...

What a collection!! Congrats to the winner!

Yasmeen said...

Sweet round up!. Hummingbird cake indeed looks like a deserving win:)

Smitha said...

Sweet, sweeter and sweetest round-up!! We all had great fun participating in the event and now of course it is about bookmarking quite a few of these recipes!! they are all mouthwatering!
Congrats to Rosie

Rachel said...

A very grand roundup....congrats to the winner.

anudivya said...

Wow! Amazing round up... congrats to Rosie! :)

Priya said...

Wowww wat a lovely bunch of desserts n sweets... Everything looks delicious n gorgeous in their own way...Congrats to Rosie for her hummingbird cake, she deserves it..

Uma said...

Wonderful roundup Aparna! Thanks for hosting such a sweet event. Congrats to Rosie.

Curry Leaf said...

Sweetest Round up Aparna.Congrats to the winner as well.Congratulations and wishing you many more blogversaries.Thanks for hosting the sweet event and very happy to be a part of it.

TBC said...

A wonderful collection of sweet treats, Aparna!
Congrats to Rosie.

Srivalli said...

What a lovely collection!..congrats to the winner!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

wonderful array of desserts.. great job Aparna and congrats to the winner!

Maria said...

wonderful round up Aparna and congrats to Rosie!!

Diana said...

What a delicious roundup! I'm definitely going to have to try some of these.

Red Chillies said...

Very nice entries and very well presented Aparna. Congratulations Rosie.

Madhu said...

Looks like a celabration....with so many delicious sweets...
Nice round-up ,very well presented.

Madhu said...

Looks like a celabration....with so many delicious sweets...
Nice round-up ,very well presented.

Usha said...

Awesome roundup....congrats to Rosie :-)

Bharti said...

I love dessert parties! I wish this wasn't virtual. Congrats again Aparna.

Mansi said...

What a lovely array of festive delicacies! Congrats on your blogiversary Aparna, and wish you many more successful years ahead!

and Congrats Rosie - that Hummingbird Cake looks delicious indeed:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Yay for Rosie and her delightful Hummingbird Cake! And thanks to everyone else for all the delicious submissions.

Dibs said...

We will never run out of ideas for sweets and deserts now! Thanks for the lovely round up!

Nags said...

what a spread! i wonder how they managed to pick out one person, what a task that would've been!

Ning said...

So many delicious and tasty sweet things to try and taste! Thanks for compiling them together. Will be bookmarking a lot of these recipes. How will I resume my diet now?? :)

vivari said...

so mant things to do.looks nice

Sig said...

Wow, looks like you had a really sweet celebration... Great round up, thanks for hosting Aparna!

Sanghi said...

?This is a lovely roundup! First time here. check my blog too...

Rosie said...

WOW oh WOW..........
I am so very humbled to be the winner here amongst all these beautiful and stunning 60 entries you have received Aparna to celebrate your 1st year of Blogging! As you so rightly say, everyone is a winner here!! This is truly a magnificent round-up ....

Many, many thanks to you Aparna and your judges for kindly picking out my Hummingbird cake but I also have to thank a sweet and dear blogging friend Happy Cook *H.C.* for her gorgeous recipe!

I have sent you an email with my details on and once again thank you SO much ~ I am so excited:)

Rosie x

avagdro said...

Thanks Aparna for sharing.Delicious cookery collections.Wish you n all a joyful Diwali ahead.

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