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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar twice baked potatoes

Sorry for being MIA the past week. It wasn't because I was busy, it was because I was lazy or to put it out decently I could say that I was hit by the writer's block. Well I can even say that I am blocked. I have not been cooking properly, I still have to do the laundry and then there are all the other household chores. Sometime you need a break, a break from daily routine and thats what I took. I am slowly coming out of my slumber. There's not much cooking up in the kitchen and that's why I am sharing a super simple recipe here which you can put together in a matter of mins and is delicious with all that ooey gooey cheese on top.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 1 hrs; Serves - 1

~*What U Need*~
Russet potatoes - 1, washed & scrubbed
Broccoli florets - 1/2 cup
Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
Granulated garlic - 1/4 tsp
Sour cream - 2 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp
Whole milk - 2-3 tbsp
Salt and pepper
Shredded Sharp Cheddar - 1/2 cup

How I Made it:
Cut the potato in half. Pressure cook for 2 whistles or till cooked throught. A knife should pass through easily. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly, and scoop out most of the flesh and place in a bowl. In a small pot, warm together the milk and butter until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Pour mixture over the scooped potatoes along with the sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy, add the broccoli, granulated garlic, half of the grated cheese and give everything a good stir. Scoop the potato mixture inside each half of potatoes, top with the remaining cheese and bake them for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

White Chocolate Banana Blondies

I had a plan for Valentine's day, I had a few breakfast recipes lined up but then all hell broke loose at our place. Last week was a nightmare, pappu was down with ear infection and cold with temperatures spiking to 100s. And so Valentine's day passed on like any another day. So here I am making up with some blondies. I am totally in love with these blondies, they are sweet, you get a hint of banana flavor and the white chocolate definitely comes through. Warm them up in the microwave for 30 seconds, top with some berries and a dollop of whipped cream and they taste insanely good.

~*What U Need*~
Unsalted butter - 1/4 cup
White chocolate chips - 4 oz
Bananas - 2 medium, mashed
Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Salt - a pinch
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
All purpose flour - 1 cup

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and white chocolate in 30 second bursts, stirring each time until melted. Stir in the sugar. Mix in the mashed bananas, Add eggs, salt, and vanilla and stir until well combined.

Mix in the flour until completely incorporated. Spread batter into a 8" square pan and bake 15-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely and store covered.

Serve warm with some berries on the side!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mango Cheesecakes with Mango Glee

Well Valentine's day is around the corner and you will be having that uncanny feeling to do something nice and romantic to conquer your man. And what better way than food or to be more precise desserts. I have been getting a few requests to share dessert ideas that have no chocolate in them. Well not my kind but I liked the idea. Valentine's day is all about chocolates but this year I thought of taking the road less traveled and in comes mango. These mango mini cheesecakes are the perfect end to your valentines day dinner and what is great about them is that these are make ahead desserts. Grab one and share it between your love and all is well in the world.

This recipe doesn't make too much of cheesecake which is fine for us but if you are feeding a large crowd then triple the recipe and bake in a 8 inch or 9 inch springform pan. Also if are a fan of portion control then make them into cupcakes. All you need to do is reduce the baking time to 18-22 mins.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 25 mins; Makes: 3 mini cheesecakes

~*What U Need*~
Graham cracker crumbs - 3/4 cups
Unsalted butter - 3 tbsp, melted

For the filling:
Mango puree - 1 1/4 cup
Cream cheese - 8 oz, room temperature
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Sour cream - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Egg - 1
All purpose flour - 2 tbsp

For the Mango glee
Mango puree - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Water - 3 tbsp
Gelatin powder - 1 tsp

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl add melted butter and crumbs and stir until evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture firmly onto the cheesecake pans. Bake for 6-8 mins or until golden brown. Cool completely.
For filling:
Lower the oven temperature to 300F. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar , salt, and lime juice in large bowl until smooth. Add egg and beat well. Add flour and combine. Add the mango puree and beat until well blended. Pour evenly into the springform pans. Bake for 30-35 mins. The edges will be set but the center might have a slight jiggle. Cool completely.

Sprinkle gelatin over the water and allow to bloom for 5 mins. Add mango puree, lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to boil. Once it starts boiling add gelatin and combine very well. Set aside for cooling for about 15 minutes. Then gradually add glee over the cooled mango cheese cake. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.

Serve chilled!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gingerdoodle Cookies

Ginger is one among my favorite spices. A warm cup of ginger tea with some goodday biscuits is what I always crave on a chilly evening. It is memories of those days that made me make these ginger spiced cookies to go with our tea. The molasses adds a very unique flavor to these cookies and pairs perfectly with the spices added. Ginger is a very strong spice and if ginger tea or anything with a strong ginger flavor is not your thing then these cookies are not for you. But to me these were the perfect accompaniment for our evening tea.

~*What U Need*~
Unsalted butter - 1/4 cup, softened
Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup, packed
Egg - 1/2, beat an egg and use half of it
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Molasses - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 1/16 tsp
Nutmeg - 1/16 tsp
Ground ginger - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Granulated sugar - 2 tbsp, for rolling

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and molasses. Beat for 2 mins. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.

Roll 1 tbsp of dough into a ball and coat in granulated sugar. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until outside looks cooked but inside is still soft and gooey. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Serve with some milk!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wholewheat Burger Buns

Burgers are my favorite. That paired with some coke is a blissful Friday night meal for me. This time when we thought of burger night I decided to make it homemade ~ homemade in the sense everything from scratch right from the patty to the burger buns. Well, then because its me and because its homemade, I thought of making it healthy and sneak in some wholewheat flour and then because I am too ambitious I decided to make whole wheat burger buns with just a tad bit of flour. The only thing that I would like to add add here is that flatten the balls to a disc so that the buns dont rise like a big football.

Adapted from KingArthurFlour
Prep time: 15 mins; Bake time: 18 mins; Makes - 4 buns

~*What U Need*~
Water - 3/4 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Vital wheat gluten - 1 tbsp
Bread flour - 1/2 cup

Egg wash - to brush buns before baking
Sesame seeds - to sprinkle

How I Made it:
Sprinkle yeast onto warm water with the sugar. Allow to become frothy for 10 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and form a dough. Knead for 5-10 mins. Allow to rise until doubled for 1 hour. Divide dough into 4 pieces and smoothen each into a ball. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and allow to double again for 45 mins.
Brush with eggs or milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a 375F preheated oven for 15 - 18 minutes until tops are golden brown.

Serve as desired!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Pumpkin Pie for two | Small batch baking

When it comes to baking, I always try to scale down the recipe. Its because a)it is just the three of us and b)if it goes the wrong way then I dont have to ditch a whole lot of ingredients. That being said, I had always wanted to try my hands on homemade pumpkin pie but something told me that this will not be sold that well in the house. And so I made pumpkin pie for two.

Let me talk about the batter first and then lets move on to the pie itself. The recipe that I have here makes more filling than needed. So I made another batch of the dough and made mini pumpkin pies for pappu's preschool. Moving on to the pie, if you are a lover of spices then pumpkin pie is your piece of cake. Its not that sweet, its not overpowering and the spices kinda tingle your palate. Allow the pie to cool completely and then stick it into the fridge overnight to get neat slices. And as for the decorations, they are totally optional but since I was in the mood I made small leaves and flowers and baked them separately and then stuck them onto the pie.

For the Crust:
All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Cold butter - 2 tbsp, cut into cubes
Cold vegetable shortening - 2 tbsp, cut into cubes
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Granulated sugar - 1/2 tbsp
Ice cold water - 2 tbsp

For the filling:
Eggs - 1 + 1 egg yolk
Pumpkin puree - 7.5 oz
Whipping cream - 1/4 cup
Light brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Ground ginger - 1/4 tsp
Ground cloves - a pinch (1/16 tsp)
Salt - 1/4 tsp

How I Made it:
Lets make the crust first. Mix flour with salt and sugar. Work the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles pea sized peas. Add the water by tbsp just enough to bring the dough together. Form a ball, put into a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 30 mins. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together all the pumpkin filling ingredients until well combined. Grease a 6" pie plate with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. And set aside. Pour filling into the prepared pie shell and bake for 30-35 mins or until set, the center might jiggle a little. Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Then, pop it into the fridge overnight.

Slice and serve with some whipped cream!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chettinad Chicken Curry

Something about frozen chicken doesn't spell and taste chicken to me. It lacks taste and texture. I have even switched to organic farm fresh chicken but still its not the same. Bottom line is that whatever you do you just cant pull the flavors that you need to come out of it. Unless you make a spice laden flavor packed chicken curry like this chettinadu version. All that spices that you throw into the curry is what flavors the chicken and makes it succulent. As for this chettinad chicken curry, I wouldn't say that it is authentic and perfect but it tastes good with a whiff of that authentic taste. To achieve that perfection use small onions instead of regular onions.

~*What U Need*~
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Tomato - 1, chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Chicken - 1 lb, cleaned, bone-in
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped
Mint leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped

To roast and grind:
Coconut - 4 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli - 1

To grind to a smooth paste:
Onion - 1/4 cup
Green chilli - 1
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp

To Temper
Oil - 1-2 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
2 cloves, 1" cinnamon, 2 cardamon, 1 bayleaf
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

How I Made it:
Clean the chicken thoroughly and set aside. You can marinate this in yogurt, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander and ginger garlic paste for 30 mins. Grind the ingredients under smooth paste. Roast and grind the coconut, cashew nuts, fennel seeds and chilli. Heat oil in a kadai, temper with fennel seeds, spices and curry leaves. Add the onions and saute well till brown. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off. Add the tomatoes and cook till becomes soft.

Add the curry leaves, ground onion paste and saute for 2 mins. Add the roast coconut paste and cook for another 4-5 mins till the mixture becomes thick.

Add the chicken, mix well and cook till the chicken leaves water. Add 1/2 cup water and cook til the chicken is completely cooked. Simmer till you get the desired consistency and the mixture leaves oil. Add coriander leaves, mint leaves and season with salt. Remove from flame.

Serve hot with rice /idli/dosa!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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