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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Apple Crisp | Apple crisp with cake crumbs| Leftover recipes

If you are into cake decorating or if you are a frequent cake maker for friends and families and if you are like me who hates dumping that excess cake crumbs then you would also be hunting for recipes and ways to use them. I generally make cake pops and gift it to kids in my apartment but the last time I made some butter cake I had very little crumbs leftover which led me to browse for recipes. Since nothing got me interested, I started putting things together randomly and this happened. Its perfect served warm with a dollop of icecream and a shot of amaretto. Tip: You can replace the apples with berries, peaches or seasonal fruits of choice.

~*What U Need*~
Apples - 2, cored, sliced
Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Brown sugar - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Cornstarch - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch

For the crumble
Leftover cake - 1 cup
Rolled Oats - 3 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp, cut into chunks
Sliced almonds - 2 tbsp

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Pour into individual ramekins or a small baking dish. In another large bowl, mix together the oats and almonds. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, gently work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed. Toss in the cake crumbs. Top apples evenly with mixture and bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.

Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lettuce Salad with feta cheese

When I first moved to the US and when it was confirmed that it was Wisconsin, the first thing that got me hooked to the place was the cheese. Well it was a tough battle between the weather and the cheese. The cheese dragged me to the place and the weather kinda wanted me to get shooed away. So the cheese, Wisconsin specializes in Cheese and the cheesecurds here are the best. Ever since I came here, I have been eating cheese to my hearts content and I have been happy with the local cheese. So my salads and pastas have always got an extra helping of cheese and that is how I love them these days.

After all that eating and bingeing all through the holidays and there after, which is clearly visible in my blog, I have decided to go salads and green smoothies and here is a very simple salad for a start.

~*What U Need*~
Iceberg lettuce - 1 head, rinsed and dried
Tomato - 1, deseeded and cubed
Onions - 1/2 sliced
Olives - 1/4 cup, chopped
Feta cheese - 2oz, crumbled

For the dressing
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
White wine vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 2-3 tbsp
Salt, pepper - to taste
Honey - 1 tsp
{Mix everything and whisk well}

How I Made it:
Chop the lettuce into chunks. Mix lettuce, tomato, onions, olives in a salad bowl. Top with feta cheese. When serving drizzle the dressing, toss well. Serve with a healthy grating of parmesan cheese.

Serve with some wine!!!
So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Cracked Wheat & Oats bread

Ever since the winter winds set in, I have been cranking up the oven every bit that I can. Like for baking our daily breads. These days whenever I bake breads for breakfast, I try to incorporate as much whole grains as I can. Take this bread for example, its got whole wheat, cracked wheat, oats and ground flaxseed. Its wholesomeness in a single loaf but it is no less in texture. Its soft, its moist and its homemade. The bread flour is important here cos thats what gives the bread structure and body. But if you donot have access to bread flour then you could replace it with all purpose flour with a tablespoon of vital gluten added to it.

~*What U Need*~
Bread flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Cracked wheat - 1/2 cup
Oats - 1 cup
Ground flaxseed - 1/4 cup
Vital gluten - 1 tbsp
Instant yeast - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Bread flour - 2 tbsp cooked in 1 cup water and cooled
Egg - 1
Salt - 1 tsp

How I Made it:
Warm the water and add the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast, add the cracked wheat, mix and set aside for 20 mins. The mixture would have risen slightly after 20 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients and using the dough hook of your standing mixer, knead for 5-10 mins. Allow the dough to rise for 45 mins to 1 hour. Once doubled, deflate and form a loaf and place in a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Brush top with milk and bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 10 min and then at 350F for 25 mins. Cool completely.

Slice and serve with jam or peanut butter or spread of choice.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Friday, January 16, 2015

White Chocolate Creme Brulee

The huss loves white chocolate. If I choose 85% cacao dark chocolate for my midnight snack, he would choose the straight opposite and go for white chocolate. I am not a hater, I love anything chocolate but I just prefer dark to white. I love making, serving and gifting sweet things to friends and family. And no dinner for us is complete without a scoop of icecream or a piece of homemade cake to share between the three of us. So when I had some white chocolate chips left over after making cookies for friends during the holidays, I thought I could make something for the huss exclusively. And with valentine's day coming up, I though it would be a great dessert option to share with you guys.

Prep: 15 min; Bake: 50 min; Makes: 3-4 servings
~*What U Need*~
Egg yolks - 3
Sugar - 6 tbsp, divided
Heavy whipping cream - 1 cup
White baking chocolate - 2 ounces
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp

How I Made it:
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, chocolate and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Heat over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolk mixture to temper the egg yolk mixture; return the mixture to the pan, stirring constantly till the mixture thickens slightly. {I missed taking pics of this step but its very similar to making icecreams}

Pour into ramekins. Place in a baking pan. Add 1 in. of boiling water to pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until center is set. Remove from water bath. Cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To broil the custards, place ramekins on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Broil on the top rack of the oven for 4-7 minutes or until sugar is caramelized. Keep an eye every 1-2 mins. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.

Serve chilled!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Whole wheat Breadsticks

I just can't stop talking about the weather here. It was snowing non stop last week and the temperature was so low the actual feel plummeted down to -21C. Well actually its better than yesterday. With the weather so cold, I had to take a a day off for pappu. I had to calm him down with some activity and so finally we ended up making straw necklaces. It was a great passtime and it really helped in hand and eye co-ordination for the kid.

Now lets talk winter food. We have been making a lot of soups lately and I make some sort of homemade whole wheat buns to go with it. I made these breadsticks for a change and it was a winner. Pappu totally loved it, he simply soaked it in some garlic butter and devoured it.

~*What U Need*~
Warm water - 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Dried basil - 1/4 tsp
Bread flour - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Vital wheat gluten - 1 tbsp
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Butter - to brush the sticks

How I Made it:
Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on the water and allow to activate for 10 mins. Take the flour, cheese, garlic powder, salt, basil and olive oil in a bowl, add the yeast water and knead or 10 mins. Cover and let rise for 45 mins to 1 hour. Once doubled, divide into 8-10 portions. Shape each into a ball; roll into a rope. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Brush warm breadsticks with butter.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Friday, January 9, 2015

New York Style Cheesecake

Baking a perfect New york style cheesecake has always been in my to do list. I love cheesecakes and the pumpkin pie cheesecake from Starbucks is a must have whenever I visit the place. There is something about cheesecakes that makes me crave for another bite. New york style cheesecakes are known for it denseness and richness. It is not difficult to make a cheesecake but it is difficult to make one without a cracked surface. Temperature plays a major role in getting that perfect cheesecake. You will be baking at a very low temperature till the batter sets with a slight jiggle. Perfect on its own, cheesecake can also be served with a sour cream topping or berries of choice. Most of the recipes that I came across uses 4 cream cheese packages which sounded too much for us and so I scaled down the recipe to suit our needs.

~*What U Need*~
Graham cracker crumbs - 3/4 cup
Melted butter - 3 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp

For the filling:
All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
Sour cream - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tbsp
Cream cheese - 2(8 ounce) packages
White sugar - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Whole milk - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2
Lemon juice - 1/2 tbsp
Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
Orange zest - 1/2 tsp

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 8-inch springform pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl until evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and about 1/2-inch up the sides of the springform pan. Beat cream cheese till smooth. Add the sugar and whisk well. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Beat in the flour, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Stir in the milk. Stir in lemon zest, and orange zest and whisk until just incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges have nicely puffed and the surface of the cheesecake is firm except for a small spot in the center that will jiggle when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. This prevents any cracks from forming on the top of the cheesecake. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

Slice and serve.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chicken Puffs

I mostly sip on some loaded green smoothie for my lunch and so by the time the huss returns from work, I become extremely hungry and start rampaging the kitchen snack cabinet. I try my level best to stick to fruits but sometimes I give in and make some hot hot bhajis or chicken puffs for our tea time. Thanks to the readymade puff pastries available here, making puffs at home is a breeze and more economical than the Indian store bought-ones. The filling is a breeze to make and highly customizable, you can skip the chicken if you are a vegetarian or you could replace the chicken with gobi. The sky is your limit here, my friend.

~*What U Need*~
Chicken - 1 cup, cooked and shredded
Oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 cup, finely sliced
Tomato - 1, chopped
Coriander - a handful, chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chilli - 1, sliced
Beans - 4-5, chopped
Carrot - 1, chopped
Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/8 tsp

Puff pastry sheets - 1 full sheet, thawed and cut into squares.

How I Made it:
Heat oil in a nonstick pan, add chilli and saute for a min. Add onions and stir-fry till cooked down and brown. Add ginger–garlic paste, and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add and cook the tomatoes until soft and mushy. Add carrot and bean and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the spice powders and a splash of water and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the cooked meat and stir everything and cook for 3-4 mins. Remove from heat, add the coriander leaves.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll the puff pastry to flatten it a bit. Spoon 1 tbsp of filling in the middle. Close the puff pastry using water to stick it. Egg wash it once and bake for 15 to 20 mins till golden brown and puffy. Serve warm with some ketchup!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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