Friday, December 23, 2016

Homemade Pepper Garlic Bread Croutons

Simplest recipe with stale bread, croutons.  I making this second time in two weeks. When i made last week, i had lot of kids at home and i just gave them the croutons, they happily munched while they were playing. Today, i made them again, i wanted to get some decent clicks. But the moment my kids got the smell of garlic wafting in the air, they came running into the kitchen, asking what you are making? Crouttonns. Is it done?? That's it, i knew they will not wait for my clicks to complete, so i just took out the tray, went to my balcony, clicked few shots with my phone and then kept the tray back the dining table, it vanished it minutes. Irresistible snack, easy to make and it is so versatile, you keep varying the seasoning to get a different taste every time. If you get to have any leftover, store it in an air-tight container and use it as garnish for your soups.
Ingredients 
4 slices of white bread
1/4 cup of oil (sunflower/olive)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp freshly pounded black pepper
1/4 to salt
Method
  • Heat oil for 30 seconds, just make it warm. Add minced garlic and crushed pepper. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Remove the crust of the bread and cut each slice into small cubes. 
  • Take a 7x7 square baking tray, spread the cut bread on the tray and pour around 2 tbsp of spice-oil all over and mix with your bare hands or a spatula. I prefer hands.  All the bread cubes must be well coated with the spice-oil. Check and add oil if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and bake the bread cubes for 25 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven,let it cool, store it in a air-tight container, if  it stays that long. They should stay good for a week, can also be freezed for 6 months.  

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Baked Peanut Butter & Nutella French Toast

Baked French Toasts, i saw these recently in one of the magazines and thought of trying it. There is always this magic around that french toasts, what is causing it, is that the taste of the name? Who named it french toast? When i tried to read about it, it is originally called "pain perdu", meaning "lost bread",since these toast are made with stale bread, that is bringing back the lost bread. Earlier french toasts were made by just soaking in milk, only later they started adding egg too, for a eggy golden toast. Apart from egg and milk, they can also be soaked in variety of liquids, rose water, wine, orange juice etc, etc. Now,this will give to way tooo many french toast recipes, right??
There is something called Hongkong French toast, do you know? A French toast, made in hongkong style. It sounds like Chai Tea!!! 
Now lets get to the recipe, i tried combining two favorites peanut butter and nutella, it was delicious outcome. My lil one didn't want to try, the only toast he likes is Banana, honey and walnut sandwich. But my hubby and my elder one, literally licked the bowl clean. 

Ingredients
6 slices of bread
2 king size reese peanut butter cups or 1/4 cup of peanut butter
3 tbsp nutella
1.5 cups of milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp candied ginger
1 tbsp vanilla flavored custard powder
2 tsp butter for greasing the baking tray
For Serving
1/2 cup of cream cheese mixed with 3 tbsp castor sugar
Few strawberries, banana
honey
Method
  • Grease a baking tray with butter, lay the slices of bread. Now i used a oval glass tray and the bread wasn't fitting the tray completely, so i cut the slices vertically into two and layered them.
  • Take peanut butter cups, nutella, milk, cinnamon, candied ginger, custard powder in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour this blended liquid on the bread, press a little on top for it to absorb the liquid. Preheat the oven to 170C and bake for around 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp.
  • Take it out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve it warm, with some sliced banana's, strawberries and cream cheese on top.

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Aloo Halwa/Potato Halwa

The final dish on the  1 ingredient 3 course theme, is Dessert. I originally planned to make Aloo Gulab Jamuns, then i became lazy and settled for a halwa. With kids at home, i m constantly with one or other work all through the day. To think, it will be like this for another 2 weeks, is all the more maddenning. So, let us not think about it now or else i will cry like a baby and not finish the post. 
This aloo halwa was put together in 30 minutes. Only disadvantage being,you have to standing near it all the time. But it is worth the effort. 

Ingredients
1 Large Potato, gives approximately 1.5 cups of mashed potato
1 cup sugar
3-4 pods of cardamom, crushed
2 nos cloves, crushed
2 drops of orange food color (optional)
1/2 cup of ghee
few roasted cashewnuts and raisins for garnish.
Method
  • Wash, peel, cube potato and cook them until soft. If cooking in a microwave, take them in a microwave safe bowl, add water to immerse the potatoes. Microwave high for 8-10 minutes.  If cooking on stove-top, cook them until soft. Drain the excess water and keep aside.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes well, there should no lumps, If you are not sure of this, better blend the potatoes in a blender until smooth.
  • Heat a sauce pan, add 1/4 cup of ghee, add the mashed potatoes to it and saute, keep the flame simmer. Keep stirring the potatoes will absorb all the ghee and start cooking. Do not leave them unattended. 
  • As you keep stirring, the potatoes will change color to amber. and the rawness of the potatoes would have completely gone.  Now add the sugar, cloves and cardamom to this. Add the food color too.
  • When you add sugar, it will melt and the halwa will liquify. Do not worry, keep stirring, the sugar will be absorbed and the halwa will start thickening.
  • When the halwa starts following your ladle, start adding the other 1/4 cup of ghee, slowly 1 tbsp at a time. When all the ghee has been added, and when the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan, add the cashewnuts and raisins to the halwa and take it off the stove.  Serve it warm.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#71

Baked Apple pie rollups

Third Week of bake-a-thon, i bring a quick fix for your apple-pie craving. Luscious apples cooked to perfection, wrapped in bread and then baked with aromatic cinnamon sugar. It takes just 30 minutes to make this roll ups. These can be cooked on tava too, but oven makes it easy, you don't have to stand nearby and keep flipping it. These can be had for breakfast or as a dessert after a scrumptious lunch/dinner. Serve it with some whipped cream or ice-cream to make it more rich.


Ingredients
6 slices of white bread
1 tbsp of custard powder, vanilla flavored
2 tbsp butter
1/4cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp butter to coat the baking pan
Filling
2 medium sized apples
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 pods of cardamom
2 nods cloves

Method

  • Let us make the filling first, wash and peel the apples. Chop the apples into small cubes. Take the chopped apple cubes along with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, crushed cardamom, cloves and 1/4 of water in a sauce pan and cook on a simmer flame, until the apples are soft and the liquid is almost evaporated and looks saucy. 
  • Take it off the stove and let it cool completely until use. I made the filling the previous night and refrigerated it overnight. That way the flavors settle so well and the taste heavenly.


To make the apple pie roll ups

  • Take the bread slices and cut the corners. Mix custard powder with 1/4 cup of water and add melted butter to it. Mix sugar and cinnamon powder and keep aside.
  • Now roll the bread thin, place a tsp of apple pie filling and roll it up like a log. Dab a little water to the corners and seal the edges to close. Dip the roll in the custard -butter mix and roll it in cinnamon sugar and place in a buttered baking tray. Repeat the same with rest of the  rolls.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C, Drizzle some granulated sugar on top of the rolls and bake them for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Serve them warm, drizzled with some leftover syrup from the apple  pie filing and with some chocolate sauce.


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beetroot Lassi/Beets Yogurt Smoothie

Lassi in this cold weather? yes, i can hear your question!! i love to have something cold, with my lunch. Not all days, but some days, i even keep a bottle of water in the fridge just to quench that chill feeling. This Beets lassi, is a favorite at home, my lil one loves it. He mixes rice with this lassi and has it. That is the only way he eats beets. So, i make it often at home, one to quench my chill thirst and second for his love of this drink. Even my fussy elder one, loves this, eating curry is like a punishment for both of them, but whereas this lassi and raita they love it and have it with rice. This is my way playing hide and seek with kids and beets!! :) 
Jokes apart, i promise you even a beets hater would try this drink, how am i sure? i served this drink during navrathri, to one of my friend and her daughter, both of them hate beets, but they loved this lassi. The reason being, the sweetness of beets is covered with that chili and ginger. So, try this and let me know how you liked it

Ingredients
1 small Beetroot/approximately 1/2 cup when chopped
3/4 cup of yogurt
1/2 cup of Milk
1/2 tsp salt (or even less)
half a green chili
1/2 tsp shredded ginger
Method
  • Peel and chop the beets into cubes. Take it in a microwave safe bowl, add water to immerse the beets and microwave high for 8-10 minutes. Drain the water, do not throw it away, use it cook dal or add it to your rasam/sambar. 
  • Take the cooked beets in a blender jar along with other ingredients, blend until smooth and frothy. Serve it in tall glass. 
  • The smoothie stays good for 4-5 hours too, so blend and refrigerate and serve chilled.


This goes for the December Week 3, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group


Mathura Ke Dubki Wale Aloo - Roti/Poori Side dish, No Onion, No Garlic Dish

The next post with potatoes is a fingerlicking side with them. Mathura ke Dubki wale aloo, i love the name, it sort of has a kick to it, Dubki wale, that itself says it  floats in gravy. I bookmarked this from srivalli's post. My elder one is a big fan of potatoes, he loves them for his school dabba, one side that he never gets tired taking. 
I made these for our lunch yesterday. But i couldn't save even a spoonful for the photo. They wiped it clean. So, i made it again today for the photograph. My elder one, came into the kitchen and asked me why am i not serving him this, i strictly told him not to touch it until i click it. Though traditionally served with Bedmi poori, this dish pairs well with roti's also, i even had it with rice today. Try it and let me know how much you loved it!!!  

Ingredients
2 Large Potatoes or 8-10 baby potatoes
3 nos tomatoes or 1 cup tomato puree
1 tsp shredded ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
2 tsp Kasuri methi
Salt to taste
Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 nos red chilies
1/4 tsp methi seeds
2 generous pinch of hing

Method
  • Wash, peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes and cook in microwave for 8 minutes. If cooking on stove top, cook them until they are soft.
  • I have used baby potatoes and the normal potatoes,both taste good. look wise, baby potatoes look appealing to your eyes, but taste-wise it is the same. 
  • For making tomato puree, make small slashes on the tomato, take them in a microwave safe bowl, add water to immerse the tomatoes, microwave high for 3 minutes.
  • Remove, drain the water, peel the skin of the tomatoes, puree them with a hand blender until smooth.
To make the Aloo

  • Heat a pan, add oil, crackle cumin, add methi seeds, hing and broken red chilies. add grated ginger and saute this for a minute, add tomato puree, and 1/2 cup of water. Now add  red chili powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, turmeric powder. Saute this for a minute.  Now add potatoes to this, add 3 cups of water and salt. 
  • Let this simmer for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes absorb the masala and the gravy thickens a bit. 
  • The consistency of the gravy depends on how you like it. we want it neither thick nor thin. We love to dunk our roti's in that gravy well. 
  • Before taking it off the stove, add kasuri methi and remove it from the heat. Serve it along Roti/Poori's. We loved it with our roti for our lunch yesterday. 


11 Bakes you should try this Holiday Season

Holiday Season/Festive Season, we all tend to bake a lot, gift friends with our delicious bakes.  Here is a small compilation  11 bakes from my kitchen, which i would bake for this festive season again, The pulla, cinnamon rolls were often requested by my close friends to bake for them again. The overnight and no knead breads are always a hit when it comes to time saving. I have also included 2 quick breads, for those who don't like to work with Yeast.  
I would love to see your pictures, if you have tried any of these bakes from my Kitchen, Tag me #Icampinmykitchen. Wishing you all a wonderful festive season.

Overnight Apple Fritters Monkey bread, the dough can be prepared the previous day, kneaded, shaped, and left it the fridge to proof. Next day morning, you just need to keep them out for an hour and bake.



A Fruit loaded cinnamon rolls, using spelt flour. A yummilicious treat for those who watch their sugar intake. No Knead, 1 hour Fruity Cinnamon Rolls


Strawberry Cinnamon rolls bundt with Spelt flour, juicy strawberry rolled and decked as bundt.


A classic cinnamon roll, shaped as a Bear Claw, Serve them warm with a cup of coffee/tea.

Estonian Kringle, a rose shaped cinnamon bread, a perfect star attraction to your festive lunch table

Hungarian Chimney cake/KurtosKalacs, a beautiful cylindrical looking bread, that will make your guests wonder, how did you bake to get that shape!!! 

Braided Beauty, a finish special Pulla bread, cardamom bread!

Swedish Tea ring/Swedish Coffee Cake, sweetened dough, filled with cinnamon and raising, makes  a perfect snack along with your afternoon tea/coffee.

I personally feel it is a jewelled roll, with so much dry fruits loaded, these rolls will oats are a perfect start for the day. Oats , berries& Raisins breakfast rolls


A popular search in my kitchen, Zimbabwean Dates Bread, a breakfast quick bread that is easy to make and great on taste

My Recent favorite, Eggless, Sugarless Whole Wheat banana bread, breakfast or snack, it is a sure hit.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bombay Style MasalaToast Sandwich- Aloo Toast Sandwich

For the third week of the Blogging Marathon, i picked up the theme 1 ingredient and 3 dishes. I picked up Potatoes as my ingredient. I remembered +srivalli 's Potato theme for a month during Cooking Carnival, September 2016 Mega Marathon. I even wanted to do all her gravies, but then condition here is to make 3 courses with Potatoes. So, here is a simple, yet delicious sandwich with Potatoes.
Mumbai style Masala toast sandwich, the only difference here is i didn't have the toaster, so i toasted the sandwich on a tava. I have already made a simple aloo sandwich before, but the taste of both the recipes are so different. What oomps the flavor in this sandwich is the roasted cumin powder and chaat masala, so don't miss them both. A simple, yummilicious breakfast/snack anytime.

Ingredients
2 Large Potatoes
2 nos green chili
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of hing
salt to taste
handful of chopped coriander leaves

Green Chutney
2 fistful of fresh coriander leaves
1 fistful of mint leaves
2-3 green chilies
a clove of garlic (optional)
salt to taste

Assembling Sandwich (makes 5 sandwiches)
10 slices of bread
1/4 cup butter 
1 large onion, cut into roundels
1 Large tomato, cut into roundels
Chaat masala
roasted cumin powder

Method
  • Wash, peel and cook the potatoes until soft. I used my microwave to cook the potatoes. Cut them into cubes, take them in a microwave safe glass bowl, add water to immerse the potatoes and microwave high for 8-10 minutes. Drain. mash it roughly  and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan, add 1 tsp oil , crackle cumin, hing and curry leaves. Next add , chopped green chilies, add the mashed potatoes, followed by turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Let it sit on the stove for 5 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Finally finish it off with coriander leaves and take it off the stove. Let it cool.
  • Take the ingredients given under 'Green Chutney' in a blender and add 1/4 cup of water and blend until smooth. Transfer it to a serving bowl and keep aside.
  • Let us make the sandwiches now. Take 2 slices of bread, apply butter on the inside of both the slices, spread 2 tsp of green chutney, top with 2 tbsp of potato masala, add a slice of onion and tomato, top it with roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and close with another buttered slice of bread.  Repeat the same with other slices of bread.
  • Heat a flat tava, and toast the bread on both the sides until golden brown and crisp with butter/ghee. Serve it hot with Ketchup/green chutney with some sev garnished on top.
  • My people enjoyed it with some more onions, tomatoes and chaat masala sprinkle on top. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Reese Peanut Butter Palmiers/Peanut Butter Elephant Ear Cookies

I have around 10 packs of King size Reese Peanut Butter cups. My kids don't eat chocolates or biscuits, they like Kitkat and sometimes snickers. My brother got me these chocolates, he knows that i love baking, so he surprises me sometimes. But none to eat at home, these poor peanut butter cups were staring at me, every time i open the fridge. Last week, we had a friend's family for a casual lunch at home. They bought us a pack palmier's, that is when the idea of making today's recipe struck. 
Thanks to ready-made puff pastry sheets, this is a pretty quick recipe. These palmier's are also called elephant ears, when you look carefully, they do look like elephant's ears, cute na!! 
Ingredients
1 puff pastry sheet
8 reese peanut butter cups, King size cups
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sugar  for sprinkling on the palmiers (optional)
Method
  • If the pastry is in the freezer, please thaw it in the fridge for an hour or two. Remove the pastry sheet to the kitchen counter 30 minutes before making the palmiers.
  • Take the Reese peanut butter cups in  a microwave safe bowl, Microwave it high for a minute, remove, add 2 tbsp of butter and mix well. 
  • Dust your work surface well, roll the pastry into 12x12 square. Spread the melted peanut butter on it, leaving 1 inch around the edges. Now fold the 2 sides to the center, like a door. Roll each side to the center once. It will look like a rolled towel with a gap in the middle.
  • Cling wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. While it is chilling, preheat the oven to 200C for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chilled rolled dough out of the refrigerator, Using a sharp serrated knife, cut it 1/4 inch thickness. Arrange the cut slices on a well-greased baking pan with an inch gap in-between. The palmiers expand as they bake, so leave enough space.
  • Bake them in a preheated oven, for 23 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove the baked palmiers on to wire-rack, let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve them warm along with your evening cup of tea.

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Baked Apple Roses - Puff Pastry Roses with Apple

Another puff pastry recipe. This is my third attempt in making these roses. I m yet to master the art of making these delicate beauties. I will definitely try one more time before this marathon and take a decent shot of these roses. If you get the apples thin, then this is a breezy recipe.
Excuse me for the bad pictures, i clicked around 4-5 recipes the same day, i ran out of ideas and became totally dry.  I m making them again and will definitely update the pictures. For now, enjoy the recipe! 

Ingredients
2 sheet of puff pastry 
1 apple, cut into thin slices
3 tbsp melted powder or 3 tbsp any fruit jam
1 tsp of cinnamon powder (optional)
2 tbsp sugar
Method

  • If the puff pastry is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Remove it 30 minutes before making the roses and let it rest on the kitchen counter.
  • Wash the apple and cut it into thin slices an keep it immersed in lemon juice infused water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and arrange the apple slices on a ceramic plate or a microwave safe plate and Microwave them at high for 45 seconds for them to soften. This will prevent them from breaking while rolling them into roses. Trust me, they break like crazy,this step will ensure they become pilable, rollable with the pastry sheet.So, dont miss this step!!!!
  • Generously flour your work surface, roll the pastry and cut it into 8X2 inches strips. i made 6 strips, since i made 6 roses.
  • Lay one strip, either brush it with butter or apply jam on the strip, i tried both, and recommend butter. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping each other, around 8-10 slices on a pastry sheet. It should arranged in such way, part of the apple is on the pastry sheet and other half outside the pastry sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon powder and sugar. Close the other half of the past sheet over the apples.
  • Now start rolling it into a rose. Once rolled, press the loose end well to seal. Place the rolled pastry in a well greased muffin pan. Repeat the same with the rest of the sheets.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C and bake the roses for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown and the apples shrivel well on top.
  • Remove the muffin tin from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes on the wire rack. Then slowly remove the apple roses from the tin. Serve it warm, dusted with some castor sugar
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016
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