Friday, April 27, 2012

Butter Cup Squash Salad

I love squash in general. Any kind of squash. I remember growing up, mom used to make this curry with pumpkin, sweet and spicy curry that I loved. As I am writing this, my mouth is watering just by a mere mention of this curry. I have tried to make it but seriously, it never turned out like mom’s! I have to keep on working at it. Will get to it eventually.

I found this great buttercup squash at the supermarket and I picked up without thinking of what I would make out of it. I knew I would be roasting it for sure. I had it in the past, roasted with the drizzle of honey, olive oil and sprinkle of pine nuts. This time also, I started roasting the squash and once done, I decided to use it with feta cheese, hence a salad. There is no recipe. Slice and roast the buttercup squash in hot oven till it’s fork tender. Arrange the slices on a platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Throw some feta cheese and parsley on top. Squeeze lemon juice all over and enjoy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bread Blossom

I still need to be careful to open it up carefully!

So many of you have emailed me with great comments on my ONION BLOSSOM. Thanks friends. This time I am here with another kind of blossom..a bread blossom. Nothing fancy. Just baked a bread with leftover bread dough and didn’t feel like using it for any kind of sandwiches. I made some penne with this yummy chunky sauce and instead of making garlic bread, made this blossom.

Just slice open the bread, be careful not to slice through. Heat up the oil with grated garlic, parsley and whatever herbs strike your fancy and brush liberally on top and cut slices of bread. Bake in 350° F hot oven till the bread is warm. You can add cheese to it as well. That’s it. The bread was very very very moist and fluffy. Almost cake-y texture. You can make this blossom with any of the leftover rolls that you have on your hand. Slice through and sprinkle with whatever you feel like it, bake and enjoy.

The recipe was surprisingly easy. All the basic ingredients for bread and mix them up, let it rise and done.

Bread Blossom

2 cups AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup warm water
2 tbsp oil

How to:

Mix water, sugar, yeast and let it proof.
In the mean time, mix flour with sugar and oil.
Mix everything together and knead till you get the smooth dough.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for about 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 425° F.
Punch the risen dough down and make a round shaped dough.
Place it in a baking tray and bake it for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Once the bread is cool enough to handle, with a sharp knife, slice the bread into flower shape.
Sprinkle freshly grated garlic or garlic powder, parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese, Italian seasonings or oregano and bake for further 10 minutes until the cheeses are melted.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Café Latte(without the machine!)

One Side Note: I've got so many emails also admiring my vacation pictuers. I have over 500 pictures so it was not an easy task to choose a few. I will try to incorporate other pictures that I love in my future posts. And we have booked cruise # 10 also for next year! So looking forward to it! Sounds silly?! Well, that's us!

I remember my first café latte in San Marco Piazza(St.Mark's Square), Venice during our trip to Europe in 2003. Since then, I have developed a particular fondness for this delish, steamed milk coffee. Every time I see the fancy machine, I am so very tempted to buy it. But where am I going to keep it, I ask myself this question! Yes, I have absolutely no counter space for this fancy machine. So after a few trial and error, I came up with this trick to make a perfect cup of café latte without the use of fancy, expensive machine. I am not sure I am totally over the idea of buying it still. It is on the back of my mind. Will see what happens in the future, but for now, enjoy a hot cup of café latte and warm yourself up from inside out!

Café Latte
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup cold milk, 2% is the best
Sugar to taste
Cocoa powder/cinnamon powder to garnish, optional

How to:
Fill up a clean mason jar with cold milk, place the lid back on.
Shake the jar vigorously for about 60 seconds so that foam forms on top.
Carefully remove the lid, microwave the jar with milk for about 45 seconds. This heat will stabilize the foam.
Pour coffee in two glass mugs.
Add sugar if required.
Push the foam back gently with spoon, pour milk on coffee.
Spoon the foam on top of the hot milk, enjoy!

and now, the award. Got this from Julie. She has done such tremendous job of compiling all the recipes, over 100 of them, categorized them and awarded them. Thanks so much dear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Am Back From An Awesome Vacation!

I was on a short vacation during Easter period.  Came back on 16th and got so swamped at work, couldn't even spare time to update my blog or visit anyone else's blogs. I am sure I have missed great posts which I will look at over the weekend. But for now, enjoy the pictures of the cruise we took!

We went to Southern Caribbean cruise on a beautiful Celebrity Summit. Had a blast..Time flew by as we were having so much fun. It's always difficult to get back to work, to get back to routine when the cruise ends. And that's the reality. You work hard, save money for vacations and come back to work to plan another vacation!

Here's where we went:

San Juan, PR to St.Croix, St.Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, St. Thomas
Enjoy some of the pictures of the islands we visited and the food we enjoyed on the ship.

Wavy side is Atlantic Ocean & right side, the calm one is Caribbean Sea

Sulphar Spirngs

Spice Plant Table with different spices

now the FOOD!!! the very though of it makes me drool! sooooo delish!

Frog's legs!

Banana Rum Sorbet

Fruit & Custard Phyllo

Goat Cheese Cigar

French Onion Soup

Grilled Lamb


Strawberry Jelly Creme With Mango Coulis

Seafood Medley


Turkey Parmegiana

Pineapple Coconut Creme Caramel

Fruit Panna Cotta

Crab & Lobster Cake

Stuffed Chicken

Cheese Stuffed Meat Balls

Room Service!

Mushroom Vol-Au-Vent

Baked Alaska
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Some shots from Fruit Buffet

Who could've thought of making an Indian out of fruits?!