Friday, August 22, 2014

Stuffed mini Bell Peppers

Hi all, we're back with a long. 2 months long vacation to India. It was quite a relaxing and a memorable trip, as got to spend some quality time with my parents and brother family. It's so wonderful to be around them. It's always exciting to see the kids getting along with their cousins and having fun, sleep and stay together. I treasured this vacation and hope to see more of this in future.

Once the vacation is done its time to get back to the routine and your normal life, kids r ready n excited to get back to school and I am ready to start the new year running with them all day. I wish them great success and lots of good memories. Saying all this I want to get to the dish I made today.

It's stuffed mini bell peppers, I am not a big fan of stuffed dishes but lot of people have asked me or mentioned about this and I had to try out to see what's the big deal about stuffed. Indeed it's worth all the time and effort as it tastes and looks yummy. It takes a little extra time in preparation than in cooking, so if you make more and freeze it save a lot of time in cooking.i loved the colors and the sweetness in this dish. Only complaint with this dish was its dry for roti/chapathi and my family likes a gravy dish. But I loved the taste and texture and more than all it's easy to make. Thanks to my cousin Savitha for sharing the recipe .

Ingredients:
5-6 Mini bell peppers
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Jeera seeds
1 tsp peanut
1 tsp sesame seeds
4-5 Red chillies
1tbsp Dry coconut
1/2 tsp tamarind paste/powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp Olive oil.

Method:
Preheat the oven to 300*F .Wash the bell peppers and dry and keep aside. In a frying pan, dry roast coriander seeds, Jeera seeds, sesame seeds, peanut, red chillies and dry coconut. Once it's cooled, grind it into fine powder and add tamarind and salt and keep aside. Now take the peppers one at a time and slit open in the back till 3/4th for all of them. Now fill the filling well and place them in an oven safe dish. Sprinkle some olive oil on the top. Now cook in the oven for about 20 mins or till the peppers have wrinkles on the skin. Once done decorate it with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm. It's good as an appetizer or with rice or roti.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baby Blanket Bags

What do you all do with those receiving blankets that your kid or nephew or niece used it and you don't have anyone to pass it or? Throw them or donate them? Don't! Here is a wonderful idea which you can reuse them.

I had some receiving blankets of my son and then daughter which was in a very well condition and I didn't wanted to give it to any one nor throw them awaysenti girl!).  I had been thinking to give it a use and re-purpose. Finally I found the right use for it. Simple storage bags. I was in hunt for some bags to store my silver wares( here I mean silver bowls, lamps and cups) which gets black when expose to moisture. I used to rap it up in a cotton pieces cut from an old saree but it takes quite a time to wrap it and store and I wasn't satisfied the way it used to look. So I tried to pur them in this small bags made for them and easy to store nd carry and looks so cute.

You won't believe it how less time it took for me to stitch these simple bags. I was done making 5 bags in 15 mins. Isn't that amazing, they r very durable as the receiving cloths are made for babies so the material is soft and thick at the same time. 

You can make as many bags as you want with one blanket, it mainly depends on the size of bag. I made 2 bags in one blanket and 3 in another. I put some simple string pull tape, but you can use elastic or Velcro or buttons or even a zip( some ideas for you to try). It's left to how much you wanna work on it. I kept it very simple and easy for me to put things in and remove. I sure will be trying some other way in my other blankets.



Instructions: 

First cut the blanket to your desired size and shape, then fold the top portion on the wrong side of the fabric of one side piece and stitch in order to put the string later, repeat the same for the other side. ( we're still working on the wrong side of the fabric.Now join the sides.( I did double stich to keep it safe and strong). Note it not to join the folder string part of the fabric. Otherwise you will not be able to put the string through to pull. Now reverse the fabric the right side and add the string with a safety pin and Walah! The bag is ready.

So I hope you will give it a try and give me a feel back of how your project turned out and what was your idea and shape of the bag.happy stitching.

Dal Makhani

A punjabi dish rich and flavorful, as the name says it uses butter  and cream to make rich. It is a high protein dish(as it includes lentils) and very simple to make. Here is a simple version of it. It goes very well with Nan/Kulcha and so with roti/ chapathi(tortilla). 



Ingredients:

1 cup Black whole Urad dal & Rajma(kidney beans) mixed and soaked overnight
1 cup Tomato puree
1/2  onion( big pieces)
1 Big clove Garlic
1 piece Ginger
1tsp Cumin seeds
1tbsp oil
1 whole garam masala( or 1 tsp powder)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp kichen king masala
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
1 tbsp Cream
1 stick butter( I used 1 tbsp)
Salt to taste

Method:

First pressure cook the lentil mixture in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles and cool it. Now, grind the onion, ginger and garlic into a fine paste and keep aside. In a frying pay take a tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds when hot, then add the onion paste and fry until brown. Then add tomato puree and lower the flame and cover a bit if splutters. Then add all dry masalas and fry until oil leaves the pan. Add the cooked lentils no and mix well and add salt to taste. Add water here if it's too dry as the lentils start to absorb water. Once it comes to a boil add Kasoori methi and butter and mix well. Finally add cream and serve hot with your favorite bread.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Rasberry chocolate mini Bunt cakes

Rasberry is my new favorite. The color the taste and looks is one of the Natures best. Rasberry goes very well with chocolate( I can say perfect duo after orange n chocolate). I have a book called "Cupcakes & Muffins" bought it at a book store for a bargain price and it has over 100 recipes with some pics too. It's very easy to follow and do. So you will see some recipes which I think turned out well and gets some thumbs up more often.


Ingredients:

4.5oz Semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa pwdr, sifted
1 stick Butter, softened
1/2 cup Superfine Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1 pint Raspberries for decoration
Whipped cream to serve(optional)

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 325*F.  Place chocolate, milk and powder cocoa in a small sauce pan and stir over a low heat without boiling, until chocolate is melted and mixed into a smooth paste. Keep aside and cool it.

Take a big bowl and beat sugar and butter until fluffy with an electic mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined. Keep aside, now in a new bowl sift APF & baking powder.  Combine together flour and chocolate mixture to the butter mixture, stir well to mix( I added some chopped raspberries to the batter- if u want u need to add here and mix it once more ). Spoon the batter into the grease/ paper lined muffin trays( here I used small bunt cake tray). Bake it for about 25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Set the muffins to cook once baked and serve with chocolate glaze/ chocolate syrup/ powdered sugar and raspberries.

Note: 
I had to bake more than 25 mins as I like it a little hard and crisper.
I only did the half the portion of everything and I could make 12 mini sized muffins. The whole portion will yield 12 big muffins.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bisibelebath in crockpot


Crockpot is also called slow cooker. This was something new to me and have been thinking of investing in for a while. Since we're rice eaters and use rice cooker quite a lot, almost everyday you can say, wasn't sure it will be of any use for me. Last november I went ahead and bought one of these and I fell in love . It's easy, simple and heavy of course. Have been trying dishes which might reduce my cooking and staying in the kitchen time.( my long cooking time, that's why I said I love it).

I have tried couple of dishes now and I still go and check every now and then to see if it needs any more liquid or is it boiling or is it burnt :P. But now have got an idea and still up for experiments. This one is of those experiment dishes I did and know now what changes I need to make next time. Crockpots are perfect for working ladies and whose family demands for fresh hot meals.

This crockpot  is a very basic one and has only 3 settings and there're quite in the market with automatic ones. This one is working well for me. I would definitely recommend who wants to buy a crockpot, don't hesitate give it a try. 

I guess it was big into on CROCKPOT, now lets get talking about the dish, Bisibelebath a South Indian Dish very well known and favorite for most of them. It's a main dish with lentil and rice with vegetables. It's a super filler and very tasty. It can be altered according to your spice levels/tastes. It is usually eaten with a yogurt dip(Raitha) and chips. My kids call this dish as BB Bath and we do have started to call it that way. So let's see what all we need to prepare it.

Ingredients:

1 cup Toor Dal
2cups Rice( uncooked)
2 cups fresh/ frozen vegetables( I used Greeb beans, carrot, peas, potato, capsicum)
1 medium sized onion chopped
1-2tbsp BBbath powder
1tsp tamarind paste
A small ball of jaggery
1 Tomato
Few curry leaves
1tbso oil
1/2tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
5-7 Peanuts
1tsp turmeric powder

Method:

First cook the Toor dal in pressure cooker for 3 whistles. In a small pan add oil and once it's hot put mustard seeds, as the splatter add urad dal, peanut & curry leaves. Now add capsicum and fry for couple of mins until the capsicum is soft. Now pour this into the crock pot and add cooked dal, washed / thawed vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients except rice. Give it a nice stir and add rice.  Now add 8 cups water and salt to taste. Finally cover it and turn it on to low for 5 hrs or high for 2.5-3 hrs.. It's a perfect warm meal for any day.

Serve it with Raitha, chips and ghee.

Tips: 
1. Never add Dal/lentil directly before you precook it. Otherwise the Lentil will not break down and it will get to that consistency. 
2. Check for enough water, as each rice needs different amount.
3. Choose any vegetables you like.
4. 2 cups rice yields for 4 people easily.

Eat it warm with Raita and chips.Enjoy! Happy Cooking. My next dish would be vegetable Lasagna in Crockpot.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Granola cookies

I love the smell of the fresh baked cookies, if you're like me then this one is yummy in your tummy. I have tried couple of cookies but granola cookies ware new to me. We're not a big fan of granola in our house but when saw this recipe was drooling over the picture and I wanted them right away. I was very sure my son would love it who can munch a cookie any time of the day. It's really simple (even simpler with semi-home made when u buy ready granola at a store near you which I did ;)) with few ingredients and chewy, healthy home made cookies are ready for u. 

I got almond granola mix with coconut from the bulk in one of the farmers market store. They were really yummy to eat just the way but I wanted in the form of cookies. I was a little scared it might crumble and will not get a cookie form, but it didn't happen and came perfect. Ok now let's get into the recipe and get you all baking.

Ingredients:
3 cups Granola( the recipe calls for no fruits or nuts, but I had almond and coconut )
3/4 cup Raisins
1/2 cup peanut
1/2 cup silvered almonds( I skipped this as I already had almonds in granola)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut(I skipped this aswell for same reason)
1/3 cup wheat germ
7oz unsalted room temperature Butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup All Purpose Flour

Direction:
Preheat the oven 375 degree F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper & Set aside. In a large bowl put all the dry ingredients ( granola, raisins, peanut, coconut, silvered almonds, wheat germ and give it a good mix making sure there are no lumps). In a seep rate bowl, add butter and sugars and beat with an electric mixer for about 3-4mins. With a low speed on the mixer, add all purpose flour slowly one spoon at time, so you are not covered in flour :). Stop it once it's incorporated and add granola mix to this and mix it with a spatula. 

Scoop one tablespoon of dough and make it into a ball and press a little bit and place it on the baking tray. Make the rest of them or enough to fit the baking tray.( I only bake I tray at a time and freeze the rest of the drought, so whenever I am out of cookies I bake fresh batch and use them, you can try this or bake all of them share them with friends and family). With this ingredients you can make about 2 dozen cookies.

Now bake them in the preheated oven for about 10-12 mins or until golden brown. Remove them from the tray and cool them on the rack and store them in an airtight container and enjoy some sweet treats.





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Hello to all my blogg friends and wish you all a very Happy New Year! Hope this year is everything you dreamed for. This year I am looking forward to be blogging and visiting you all more often. It's been a big roller coaster for us this past 3 yrs so am hoping for lots of good time this year. I see a lot of new recipes and dishes everywhere, so I am definitely giving them a try and bookmarking them.

I had lot of recipes in hand to make them or post them but wasn't sure which one to go first, then I tried one snack which was waiting in line for too long. It really didn't disappoint me on this 1st day of the new year. Was very happy and was all gone in less time than I took to make. It's a simple, easy n delicious snack for any evening or party. It needs all ingredients handy available in your pantry and refrigerator. With no more talks let's jump into the recipe and method to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1tbsp(or more) besan/ Bengal gram flour
1tsp rice flour
A pitch of baking soda(optional)
1tsp ajwain
1tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1tsp chopped curry leaves
1-2cups oil for deep frying

Method:

Thaw the frozen corn and dry it on a paper towel or napkin. Chop it a little bit in the food processor(pulse). Remove it to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients other than the oil. Parallely heat the oil in a pan. Mix all the ingredients into a dough form. Use more besan if it's too sticky. Divide it into equal proportion balls and flatten a little bit and deep fry it medium heat.( It takes a little longer to cook) remove it on paper towel when it's brown and serve it chutney or ketchup, when it's warm.



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