Thursday, March 29, 2012

Banana & Pecan Cupcakes




I get excited when it comes to baking cupcakes. I find them to be so elegant, colorful and classic taste. I made the banana and pecans cupcakes since i had some ripe bananas. Baking bananas in any form turns the house so aromatic and  you should definitely try it out because you will find it super moist.



Ingredients:

Banana-2 nos
Chopped pecans-1/2 cup
All purpose flour-1 1/2 cups
Baking powder-1 tsp
Room temperature butter-1 stick
Eggs-2 nos
Vanilla extract-3/4 tsp
Sour cream-1/4 cup
Baking soda-1 tsp
Confectionery sugar-1/2 cup



Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degree C. Sieve together the all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mash the bananas with a masher and place it aside. In  a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract unless it is light and turns fluffy. Now add the eggs one after the other and beat it well. Stir in the sour cream and the mashed bananas. Incorporate the flour along with chopped pecans. Place the cupcake liners in the muffin pan. Bake for almost 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in it comes out clean and the cupcakes turns golden brown. Move them to a wire rack and let it cool. I used butter cream frosting for the topping, you can desired frosting. Decorate with some pecans on top of it and serve it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crispy Potato Tots



Potato tots is a very easy snack to munch in the evenings. It will be a great appetizer to start with at the same time. Since it is tiny it is called tots and also the other reason is kids opt for them as their favorite snack.


Ingredients:

Cooked and peeled potatoes-4 nos
All purpose flour-2 tbs
Salt-As required
Paprika(optional)-1/4 tsp 
Oil-As required
Pepper-As required
Melted butter-1 tbs
Mild shredded cheddar cheese(optional)-1/4 cup 


Method:

Shred the potatoes using a grater. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, paprika, butter and cheese. Mix it until combined. Heat oil in a pan. Turn the mixture into an one inch cylinder shaped tots and drop it in oil. Fry the potato tots until it turns golden brown. Drain the excess oil using paper towels, season with some more salt. Serve it with ranch or any dipping sauce.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dulce De Leche Cake Pops




Dulce de leche iam not scolding you guys :) Many of you must be aware of it but for the ones who are unaware it can be simply said as caramelized condensed milk. It can be home made by boiling the condensed milk in a pot or pressure cooker, you could even bake the condensed milk. I used nestle's la lechera dulce de leche since i had it handy. 


I had some left over pound cake i thought of doing cake pops using dulce de le che. It is pronounced as Dool chay duh le chay. Cake pops is a messy task but they are irresistible. The end result is always quite whimsical. Whenever i go to starbucks the next minute my thoughts will ponder about tiramisu cake pops and will keep eyeing it. You know what happens next? Don't you? It will have a cup of coffee with me :) Utterly delicious and addictive. So for a change i tried to incorporate dulce de leche i can eat it as such :) Iam extremely happy with what i did. Kids will love to have it. I had some treat bags and ties at home to make it even more pretty and to give them as gifts. You can double the recipe and gift it to your loved ones on special days.



Ingredients:

Any white cake/yellow cake(6 inches)-1 no
Dulce de leche-1/2 cup
Vegetable shortening/milk-2 tbs
Lollypop sticks-few nos
Candy melts(white and semi sweet chocolate)-1 cups each
Colored icing
Sprinkles-1/4 cup


Method:

The leftover cake yielded  3 cups of crumbs. I used my hands to crumble the cake, you can use fork or a blender. Add the dulce de leche to it. Combine it well. If the mixture is little coarse or dry, add some shortening or milk to it so that you could make cake balls. Line it on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put it in the freezer for almost 1 hour to 2 hours. Dip the lollypop sticks in dulce de leche and press that into the center of the cake balls. Again freeze for atleast 30 minutes else the cake balls might fall out of place from the sticks. 

Melt the white and chocolate candy melts in microwave for 30 seconds of three times each. Dip the cake pops in white candy melts and chocolate candy melts one after the other. Ensure that the candy melt mixtures are in a shallow bowl. I mixed pink colored icing to white candy melts. Top it with some sprinkles. Get the hang of the cake pops using styrofoam or anything that comes a savior to let the cake pops to dry completely. Freeze it again for an hour or refrigerate for 3 hours. There you go you have several cake pops in hand to enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken & Artichoke Bread With Olive Oil Dip






Artichokes are good source of fiber and vitamin c. It is diuretic, fat free and  cholesterol free. Getting to the artichoke hearts is a big task, but its worth the efforts. So i used the bottled artichoke hearts for this recipe. It strengthens the gall bladder and liver function. On the whole they fit well for a healthy lifestyle.



Ingredients:

French bread loaf-2 nos
Olive oil-4 tbs
Roasted chicken cubes-1 cup
Drained and chopped artichokes hearts-5 to 7 nos
Grated parmesan cheese-1/4 cup
Minced garlic-3 nos
Diced mozzarella cheese-1/4 cup
Bread crumbs(optional)-2 tbs
Chopped cilantro(optional)-2 tsp


Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the bread in half lengthwise and cut it further down to your preferred size, brush it with olive oil. Throw in the garlic on the bread and spread the chopped artichoke hearts uniformly. Chicken and cheese goes on top of it. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 7 to 9 minutes. Now set the oven in broiler mode and broil for 2 more minutes long or until the cheese turns golden brown. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Vegetarians can use spinach instead of chicken. I made olive oil dip to go with that.

Olive Oil Dip:

Ingredients:

Olive oil-6 tbs
Oregano-1/4 tsp
Salt-As required
Pepper-As required
Dried basil-1/4 tsp
Red pepper flakes-a pinch
Garlic powder-a pinch
Dried rosemary-a pinch



Method:

Mix together the dry ingredients, combine it well. Now stir in the olive oil into the mixture. Serve it with the bread.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower


Are you some one who keeps worrying about how to make a quick side with veggies? Then this  recipe will be a savior and keeper for you since it works well with rice or flat breads. Having said that an easy frankie is ready to enjoy even though the roasting time is little long. The cauliflower is roasted and it tends to give a nutty taste. My last post had some issues. Congrats to the giveaway winners Sobha from Good Food and Deepa from Hamaree Rasoi !



Ingredients:

Cauliflower florets-4 cups
Balsamic vinegar-2 tbs
Salt-As required
Pepper powder(optional)-As required
Olive oil-2 tbs
Melted butter-3 tsp
Shredded parmesan cheese(optional)- 4 tsp


Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until it turns light brown on the bottom for about 20 minutes. Try to give it a stir in between the first 20 minutes. Take it out and toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Brush the melted butter on top of it. Now it is time to put it back to the oven and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes. Roasted cauliflower is ready to serve.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baked Tortilla Bowls



Another hearty breakfast or it could work perfect for the kids lunch box too. You can omit the eggs if you dislike it. On the whole it will be a satisfying food to hog with all the veggies :)

  
Serves 2
Ingredients:

Melted butter-2 1/2 tbs 
Garlic powder-1/2 tsp
Flour tortillas(fajita size)-4 nos 
Chopped onions-1/4 cup
Mixed bell peppers/capsicum-3/4 cup
Chopped broccoli florets-1/2 cup
Salt-As required
Pepper-As required
Oil-2 tbs
Eggs-4 nos
Milk-1/4 cup
Shredded cheddar cheese-1/2 cup


Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the melted butter and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder in a bowl. Place any oven safe cups or bowls on a baking sheet, i used my ramekins. The tortillas should be ready to get into the oven after brushing it with melted butter and garlic powder on both the sides. Gently place the tortillas into the bowls. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the tortillas turn light brown. 

In the meanwhile whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, salt, pepper in an another bowl. Set it aside, now heat the oil in a pan and add the onions followed by bell pepper. Try to incorporate the broccoli once the onions and bell pepper turns tender. Leave it for a couple of minutes. Stir in the egg on top of the veggies. Let the egg set and will turn little fluffy. Scramble the eggs and spread the shredded cheddar cheese on top of it. Wait until the cheese melts and stuff this inside the tortilla shells. Top it with some more cheese if you would like to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts


It's not friday yet but still these doughnuts made me feel like one. Nothing could taste sumptuous than a fried dough :) How luxurious it could be to have these cuties and catch up with a movie with your loved ones at home? It will turn your grouchy day to a pleasant one, no matter what.



Ingredients:

All purpose flour-1 cup
Oil-As required
Ricotta cheese-3/4 cup
Eggs-2 nos
Granulated sugar-4 tbs
Baking powder-1 1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar-3 tsp
Vanilla extract-3/4 tsp


Method:

Heat the oil in a pan. In the meantime combine the eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla extract, whisk it. Now add the ricotta cheese and mix it gently. Add the flour and baking powder to it and beat it until you find no lumps. Take care to have the heat setting on medium. Now scoop out the batter slowly into the hot oil. Fry it until it turns golden brown all over and cooked completely. Check out for doneness before you start frying the next batch of doughnuts. Place them on a platter lined with paper towels. Dust it with some powdered sugar. Enjoy with some hot coffee.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Do you find no time to complete a brief meal? Then think no more and get to with this strawberries dipped in chocolate. You can let the kids to dip the strawberries and make designs on it using the white chocolate drizzle.




Ingredients:

Room temperature strawberries-10 nos
Semi sweet chocolate candy melts-1/2 cup
Melted butter-2 tsp
White chocolate candy melts-1/2 cup
Drizzle bottle-1 no


Method:

Melt the semi sweet chocolate candy melts with a tsp of butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir it. Again microwave it twice for 30 seconds each. You can also use double boiling method to melt the chocolate. Now line a  baking sheet with parchment paper. One at a time, take each strawberry by the stem and leaves, dip into the chocolate and then set it on the baking sheet. Let it cool in the freezer for 5 to 7 minutes. In the meanwhile melt the white chocolate candy melts with a tsp of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir it and microwave it again for two times of 30 seconds each. Transfer it to a drizzle bottle. Remove the strawberries from the freezer and drizzle the white chocolate on top of it. You can do any design of your choice. Put in the freezer for 10 more minutes and then serve it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crispy Eggplant Sticks


Eggplant is a versatile vegetable used in most of the cuisines. An appetizer to serve especially with limited carbs using eggplant is a great deal. It is healthy and at the same time it is a quick snack to prepare. I have presented both the baked and the fried eggplant sticks. It's your call to either bake or fry them. Even eggplant haters will turn into eggplant lovers.



Ingredients:
  
Medium eggplant/brinjal-1 no 
Olive oil-1 1/2 tsp 
Cooking spray
Salt-As required
Pepper powder-As required
Egg white-1 no
Oregano-1/4 tsp
Breadcrumbs-1 cup 
Parmesan cheese-2 1/2 tbs

 
Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim both the ends of the eggplant. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick strips. Now throw the eggplant sticks into a bowl and season with olive oil, salt, oregano and pepper. In an another bowl combine the breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese and have the egg white on a tray. 

Dip few of the sticks at a time into the egg whites, then into the breadcrumbs. Place them on the baking sheet, spray the cooking spray on it. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip it and bake it further for 10 more minutes until you find the eggplant sticks to turn brown.You can also broil it for a couple of minutes to have it real crisp. I did fry few of them in oil. Serve it hot with some ketchup, marinara sauce or picante sauce.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

A can of pumpkin puree has been getting my attention a lot lately. This is n't fall but still i have been wanting to make this pie for a long time now since a friend of mine let me generously enjoy her pumpkin pie when i visited her and my craving for that apparently resulted in this pie.



Ingredients:

Pumpkin puree can(15 oz)-1 no
Eggs-2 nos 
Condensed milk(14 oz)-1 can
Cinnamon powder-1 tsp
Pumpkin pie spice mix-1 tsp
Nutmeg-1/2 tsp
Ground ginger-1/4 tsp
Pie crust(9 inch)-1 no



Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients together and whisk it for few minutes until everything binds well. Pour the puree mixture onto the pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Now reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let the pie cool. Serve it with some whipped cream or  ice cream. Nothing could be more divine than this, such a moist pie which is so quick to prepare and enjoy at the same time.You can also freeze the pie by covering it with plastic wrap and eat it later on by keeping it in refrigerator for a day and then microwave it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Homemade Buns

 Speaking about buns will always bring back childhood memories. I remember indulging in cream buns and coconut buns every other weekend. The competitions they would organize in the schools to hunt down the buns with the hands tied behind will make it even more dramatic. Bake these buns at home and you will never eye the store bought ones. Drizzle some chocolate syrup on top of it or cut it into half and spread some nutella on it for the kids. They will love it for sure.


Ingredients:

All purpose flour-2 1/2 cups
Dry yeast-1 pack
Warm water-1/4 cup
Butter-1/4 cup
Warm milk-1/2 cup
Sugar- 2 tsp+1/4 cup
Salt-As required 
Eggs-2 nos 
Oil-1/4 cup
Sesame seeds(optional)-2 tsp
Method:

Stir in the yeast into warm water mixed with 2 tsp of sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes to turn foamy. Beat one egg and set it aside, the egg white of the other egg is used as an egg wash later on. Combine milk, salt, oil, butter, egg, sugar and the yeast mixture in a large bowl. Slowly add the flour into it until the entire flour is incorporated and turns soft. Knead it for atleast 5 to 8 minutes. Now cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let sit, covered at room temperature or in in a warm spot for 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the meanwhile divide the dough equally and spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk the egg white and brush it on the buns and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of it if you desire. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the buns are lightly brown and cool it on a wire rack. Serve with some butter, perfect with a cup of tea.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes is one side which is a favorite of many right from babies to adults. This goes well with veggies as well as roasted meat. Not just that, anything for that matter. The richness and the creamy texture of the potatoes is so addictive as always. Hope you all will agree.




Ingredients:

Russet potatoes-2
Peeled garlic cloves-6 nos
Butter-3 tbs
Heavy whipping cream-1/2 cup
Salt-As required
Pepper-As required
Non stick cooking spray


Method:

Boil the water in a large pot. In the meanwhile peel the potatoes and cut it into chunks. Add the potatoes and cook until tender. Drain the water from the potatoes. Now throw in the garlic cloves, start mashing the potatoes using a potato masher, food mill or an electric hand mixer if you like to double the recipe. The potatoes should be free from lumps. In a saucepan spray some cooking spray and then in low heat add the potatoes and try to incorporate the heavy whipping cream and butter one after the other. Combine it well for a couple of minutes till you find it to be creamy and season with some salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Note:

You can use yukon and idaho potatoes as well. If you have microwavable potatoes, cook the potatoes according to the preferred time and then follow the same procedure as above.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Veggie Bake

Got some fussy eaters at home when it comes to veggies? Try this recipe and forget about worrying. You can get some california style mixed veggies, add some corn if you wish to. Finally it's what you add. It's a filling dish.



Serves 3
Ingredients:

Biscuit mix/self rising flour-1 cup
Cayenne pepper-1 tsp
Eggs-3 nos
Frozen cut beens-2 cups
Broccoli-1 cup
Chopped green/ red peppers- 3/4 cup
Milk-3/4 cup
Chopped tomatoes-1/2 cup
Salt-As required
Chopped zucchini-1 cup
Olive oil-2 1/2 tbs
Pepper powder-As required
Shredded cheddar cheese-1 cup

 
Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a pan, now throw in the beans, peppers, broccoli and the tomatoes. Stir it around for 5 to 10 minutes. Add some pepper powder into it. Combine the biscuit mix/flour, eggs, milk, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl until moistened. In a baking pan spread the stir fried veggies and pour the flour mixture on top of it followed by some zucchini and cheddar cheese. Bake it uncovered for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve it with some desired sauce.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coffee & Banana Smoothie

On top of this freezing cold and gusty wind i cannot wait to welcome summer, so you will be coming across lots of smoothies in my space from now on. So this smoothie is a combination of coffee and banana, the coffee lovers can kick start their day with the addition of the energy booster banana. Don't wait, go on and try it. This serves two.


Ingredients:

Instant coffee powder-1 1/2 tbs
Sliced bananas-1 cup
Milk-1 1/4 cups
Vanilla ice cream-4 tbs
Ice cubes-few


Method:

Process the blender with milk and coffee powder. Add 2 tbs of vanilla ice cream and process gently, now add the rest of it followed by the addition of bananas. The mixture should blend thoroughly until smooth. Finally add the ice cubes to it and process till it's combined well. Pour the smoothie into the glasses and serve it with some whipped cream if you wish to.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Aappam With Coconut Milk

Appam or Aappam is an another form of pan cake which is light and flaky usually enjoyed with coconut milk or non veg gravies preferably mutton, chicken stew or egg curry. There are various types of appam such as vellayappam, unni appam, egg appam..... It makes a staple weekend breakfast. Weather did not favor me while i took the pictures, bear with me. Now to the recipe.



Ingredients:

Raw rice-2 cups
Boiled rice(idly rice)-2 cups
Urad dal-1 tbs
Fenugreek seeds-2 tsp
Grated coconut-1/4 cup
Salt-As required
Water-As required
Baking soda-a pinch


Method:

Soak the raw rice, boiled rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for a couple of hours. Grind it to a smooth batter along with the grated coconut and sufficient water to it. Let it ferment over night. Now add some baking soda  along with some salt. Make sure that the batter attains the desired consistency. Heat an appam pan and pour the batter on to it and swirl it around so that the appam turns flaky and crispy leaving the center part little fluffy and doughy. Flip it around after two minutes or so, hot appams are ready to serve with coconut milk, mutton stew or any other gravy as of to your choice.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

A tea spoon of butter with the the cheddar cheese biscuits is always decadent. Once in a while indulging in cheese will make no harm. These biscuits will be flaky and flavorful, can't just stop with one :)


Ingredients:

All purpose flour-2 cups
Baking powder-2 1/2 tsp
Salt-1 tsp
Vegetable shortening-1/2 cup
Minced garlic-2 tsp
Shredded cheddar cheese-1 cup  
Melted butter-3 tbs
Milk-1 1/4 cup
Parsley(optional)-4 tsp



Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a parchment paper on the baking tray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Throw in the shortening and cut it with a fork and knife until the mixture turns into fine crumbs. Stir in a tbs of butter in a small  pan, throw in one tsp of garlic into it. After that remove the pan from the heat and add parsley to it. Now add the cheddar cheese to the flour mixture and the remaining garlic. Pour milk into it, mix it gently. Spoon the batter on the parchment paper carefully. Bake for about 10 minutes. Brush the biscuits with the melted butter using a silicone brush. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the biscuits turn golden brown.