Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sprouts is not something new to Indians. I have a very fond memory from childhood, when this vendor lady would bring the basketful of different sprouts for door-to-door sale, every single day, every single morning in summer. She was very generous too. She would give fistfuls of sprouts to us kids to snack on! And we would drag our mothers out to make them buy sprouts from her.

Mom used to sprout many a different beans at home also. Both mom and dad still have a bowl of green gram and chick peas sprouts as mid-morning snack. I make different dishes like, salad, stir fry, pancakes etc with the sprouts. Personally, I prefer to sprout the green gram as it gives better sprouts and is very light on tummy.

I made a delicious healthy salad using grated carrots, cucumber, green and red bell peppers alongwith hot green chili pepper, some chat masala and lots of lemon juice, of course all with my green gram sprouts!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Father's Day Morning!

Can't believe I forgot to publish this one! I made baked egg cups and funky cinnamon rolls with some storebought hash brown patties on Father's day morning, with usual morning fare of hot coffee and some OJ. Egg cups weren't big of a deal. I only cracked a couple of eggs in each ramekin, stir some salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and some fresh herbs from the garden, whipped up everything and baked in hot oven in bain marie(water bath) and topped them off with fresh chives. For the rolls, I had some leftover pizza dough! Yes, leftover pizza dough was used to make these rolls. Just make small balls using the dough, roll them in cinnamon sugar, and bake! It's that easy. I put 3 balls in one muffin cup each that gave me 8 good sized rolls.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Toasty Spinach Dip

Mark's favorite and heavily fattily nutritious!  He was after me for quite some time now to make this for him.  I've been putting it off since I've been very busy lately at home and at work.  So finally today, I took a little time out of my busy Saturday schedule and made this for both father and son to enjoy.

We had it first at one of the restaurant here, I don't remember the name of it.  We instantly fell in love with this app.  It was sinfully good!  Affter having tried out a few recipes, this is the recipe we gave a two-thumbs up! So, today I am sharing with all my friends out there one of my family favorite appetizer recipe.

Spinach Dip

8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup (scant - not packed at all) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated romano cheese
1 tablespoon very finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 green onion, white and green finely chopped
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated medium cheddar
pinch of cayenne pepper

How to:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix first 4 ingredients with hand or stand mixer on medium until softened and well mixed.
Add next two ingredients and mix on med-low until just incorporated.
Add spinach and mix on low until just incorporated.
Transfer mixture to a small ovenproof dish and sprinkle cayenne on top to taste.
Top with cheddar.
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until bubbling around the edges.

Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 - 7 minutes before serving. Serve with fried or baked pita wedges.

Fetuccine Alfredo

Anything in alfredo sauce tastes delish, thanks to butter, cream and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese! Make sure to use the best quality cheese, not the cheap, powdery stuff! I use this sauce to make chicken alfredo bites, chicken spinach alfredo pizza and cheese and spinach ravioli.

It's very simple to make. Mix 1/2 litre of half and half, 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic, shredded and 1 tbsp unsalted butter in a sauce pan. Heat till everything comes together in a sauce! This sauce keeps in the refrigerator for a week. I make this once every month and use it in different recipes. Original recipe calls for the heavy cream, but I prefer half and half. And trust me, it works just great.

Now, it's upto you.  Boil any kind of pasta, and toss it in this sauce!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick N Easy fruit custard

Mom used to make this all the time when I was in India. She would make it with lots of cream, Mango custard powder and fruits. I remember my sister and I would sit down with a big chopping board and slicing and dicing so many different kinds of fruits, like grapes, apples, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, and what not! Here in this part of the world, I have the maid named "DOLE(!)" who does all the slicing, dicing and chopping for me! Yes, I always have Dole brand cans of fruits in my pantry. Mark loves to eat the peaches and I like to use mixed fruits and pineapple-mango-peach for custards, shrikhand, for homemade fruit yogurt and just for snacking. This is one of my favorites and it truly tastes so great, I couldn't wait to dig in!  I was thinking about garnishing my bowl with the mint etc but then, I changed my mind!  Just picked up a big spoon and in goes in my mouth!

Mixed Fruit Custard


1-28 oz can of Dole mixed fruits(I prefer the one with mango, peaches, pineapple, cherries)
2 cups canned mango pulp(Alfonso preferred!)
3-4 cups thawed Cool Whip

How to
Drain the fruits thoroughly. In a bowl, combine all 3 ingredients and fold gently till well mixed. Cool for a few hours and voila! There you go! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday morning breakfast

Crispy, flaky parathas! And an omelet with mushrooms, green peppers, onions and cheese! Accompanied with, you guessed it right, hot n steamy cup of coffee! That's something to look for on Saturday mornings! And it gets the morning off to a great start! Weekday mornings are boring with cold cereal bowls as breakfast! Muffins are good but they tend to be fattening sometimes especially with chocolate chips! So that's once a month fair. Since I grew up with having parathas every morning for breakfast in India, I have a fondness for them! I don't think I can ever get tired of parathas, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Lunch, I prefer to have them with lots of fresh, homemade yogurt and for dinner, yummy Chhundo(sweet pickle of shredded mango)! A glass of cold milk to wash it down and I am done!

For parathas, there is no recipe. Every Indian household knows how to make parathas and chapatis. Just one note: make sure you add a bit more oil to the dough mix and make the dough little bit stiffer than usual chapati dough for the crispy parathas. And you need to smear the oil in between your rolling of parathas also.

And same thing goes with the omelet's! Just crack some eggs, add sautéed mushrooms, onions, green peppers (sometimes asparagus) to it, whip it, spread it, cook it, add cheese to it and eat it!

It is that simple!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Awesome Blossom!

I was thinking about making this Onion Blossom for a few years! Had it once at the Chili's and since then it has been stuck in my mind that I've got to make this! It took me about 4 years and 3 onions to make but hey, I finally made it! Yes, I wasted 2 onions before I got the 3rd one rightly cut and shaped!

I was reading one of the Indian blogs and I noticed that there is an Onion event, so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity for me to participate in that event and make what I always wanted to make-the Onion Blossom!

This looks very elegant and tastes very delish!

Onion Blossom

4-5 tablespoons of corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste

For the batter:
1 cup milk
1 cup rice flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 large onion(I used Vidalia)
Oil for frying

How to:
Cut the top half-inch of the onion off (from the pointy side, not the root side). Leaving the root (bottom) intact, carefully peel the outer layer off.

Next, starting from the top, carefully cut the onion down and across the middle, stopping about a half-inch from the root. Repeat to make a criss-cross, cutting the onion down the middle again and stopping a half-inch from the bottom. You should have 8 sections at least, still attached at the bottom.

Place the onion, cut side up, in a large bowl, and cover completely with ice water. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes, or until "petals" open up. (You can use your hands to gently help pry them open once they've been soaking for several minutes. Here's where I messed up with 2 onions!) Remove the onion, and dry both the onion and the bowl.

Once both are dry, place the onion back in the bowl, with the petals up.Sprinkle liberally with corn starch, salt and pepper mixture. Make sure to cover the entire onion with the corn starch mixture. Next, make the better using batter ingredients. Dip the onion in the batter and leave it in the fridge for an hour or so(keep the onion dipped in the batter and place the entire bowl in the fridge). Deep fry on medium high heat till it is golden brown.

I served this blossom with the quick dip made with Ranch dressing, lemon juice, mayo and a dash of red chili powder.

This is my entry for Priya's Healing Foods - Onions!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stuffed Sandwiches

Another Italian dish from me! It is my version of onion, pepper and sausage sandwiches, I prefer to call them stuffed sandwiches.

First of all, make the pizza dough! Here's how!

Basic Pizza Dough

1 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 c. flour

Mix ingredients together, adding flour last. Cover and let rise 1 hr.

In the mean time, sauté slices of 1 each onion and green pepper and 2-3 medium sized hot Italian Turkey sausage(casings removed) till onion is translucent and pepper is still crunchy. Now sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste. Go crazy with red pepper flakes as I know we all love it! Set aside. Grate as much mozzarella cheese as you like.

Roll the dough on a work surface. Separate into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a thin circle and place the filling in the middle. Don't overstuff it. Cover the stuffing with both sides of the dough as you would with dosa! Brush with milk, sprinkle some more Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese and back in 450° oven for 10 minutes. Serve with home made or bottled marinara sauce.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Pamigiana is likely the most popular Italian dish. Toasty and crispy chicken, with the layer of melted cheese rested on pasta, now that's the food we look forward to having anytime. Dinners like this come in handy when you want to feed your family good and feel good about it also. And it is so easy and quick to make when you have all the ingredients on hand.

Chicken Parmigiana
1.5 lb chicken(4 small breasts)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

How to:
Dredge the chicken breasts in flour. Dip in egg and then into bread crumbs. Repeat one more time. Place them in the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil liberally and cook in the 400° F. oven till the crust in golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 minutes till the cheese is melted. Serve with pasta in marinara sauce(please refer to the recipe posted earlier).

This can easily be swapped for sandwiches also. Make the chicken and instead of pasta, put them in between ciabatta buns, smothered with lemon and garlic mayo!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My First Award!

Thanks to Sayali,  I've got a Thank You and the Circle of Friends awards!  I appreciate this very much.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mexican Pizza

This is kid-friendly and adult-favorite at the same time. I mean, pizza is all-age favorite food and when you add the Mexican twist in it, it becomes even more appealing and palate pleasing. Mexico is so popular for the food and people. I have been to the country a few times. I absolutely loved there. The fresh sea breeze, the scenery and to top it all off, the trees full of mangoes, pomegranates and papayas! Every where you go, you will find this soothing and homey appeal. So, pack your bags. Let's go on a vacation to Mexico, once again!

Mexican Pizza


3 large sized tortillas(12")
1 can of refried beans, mashed
1 cup ground beef(replace this with 1 cup of Nutrela granules)
1 pack Taco seasoning
1 cup store bought salsa
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dry oregano
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
A few slices of pickled jalapenos

Sour cream and salsa to garnish, optional

How to:

Brown the beef, drain. Add taco seasoning, 2 tbsp of water and cook on medium heat till beef is done.
In another sauce pot, sauté onion and garlic. Add mashed refried beans and dry oregano, heat up thoroughly.
Brush the tortillas with oil.
In a skillet, toast the tortillas one by one till crispy.
Place one tortilla on a pizza pan.
Top it with the beans and cheese.
Place another tortilla on it and spread ground beef mixture and cheese.
Top this off with the third tortilla and spread salsa and remaining cheese on the top.
Dot with pickled jalapenos.
Bake in 375° oven till cheese is melted and the the tortillas edges are nice, golden brown.
Sllice and serve.