Friday, November 22, 2013

Doodh halwo(Milk Halwa)


This mithai is closer to my heart. Growing up, I saw mom making this mithai whenever milk went sour. She would curdle up the milk further with little bit of yogurt, cook it gently till all the moisture evaporates and voila, super duper halwo was ready. I totally forgot about it in all these years. And God knows why, these past few days, I’ve been craving this mithai like it’s nobody’s business. I NEVER crave desserts, ever. So it was a great deal to me and I know I have got to make it no matter what. At first, I thought of making paneer and go from there. Then I changed my mind, picked up a container of ricotta cheese and made this heavenly dessert! I couldn’t stop eating it. I literally burnt my mouth as I popped in hot halwo right out of the microwave. It was that impatient. Well, craving’s gone. Now that’s good thing.

Here’s how I made it.

Doodh halwo
400 gms ricotta cheese(full fat)
1 to 1-1/4 cup sugar,depending on how sweet you like
2-3 tbsp ghee
4-5 strands of saffron,soaked in 1 tbsp milk
Cardamom powder
Chopped almonds and pistachio nuts for garnish(optional)

How to:
Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for about 17 minutes(mine took this long).
Stir at every 2 minutes.
When the moisture evaporates, halwa changes color(caramelization of sugar and saffron effect), it is ready.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Personalized Chocolate Cupcakes

I bought this cool machine that bakes individual cup cakes in different floral shapes. It is just perfect for entertaining. Even for a small family like mine, when I don’t want to bake a whole cake, this comes in handy. No waste, no fuss, no heat. Yes, no heat because there is no pre heating of oven is required. So for a big green energy  buff like myself, this is a perfect machine. It was on sale on our last trip to Orlando at one of these stores and I had to grab it. It makes perfect, bite sized cup cakes that I would like to eat myself. Perfectly portioned for me. So here it is, one chocolate cup cake recipe that is my favourite.

Personalized cupcakes
1 cups AP flour
½ tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
A pinch of baking powder
1/4 cup hot water
½ cup oil
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cups sugar
1 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

How to:
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients
In a small bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Heat up the machine(don’t have one, no worries. Pre heat the oven to 350°F. line the muffin tray with paper liners and proceed as usual.)
Pour the dry ingredients into wet ingredients and on low speed of the hand held mixer, mix for about 2 minutes or until fully blended.
Divide the batter equally into machine cups or muffin cups.
Bake for about 5 minutes in the machine, for about 20 minutes in the oven.
Cool completely on a rack and serve.
I had this with my favourite latte!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nacho Chicken Strips

We all as mothers are very well aware of that 4 PM hunger pang of our kids. As soon as they come back from school, all they want is to eat something. We don’t want them to fill up on snacks as dinner will be ready in 2 hours or so , right? And we want to prepare a quick and satisfying snack for our kids. Well, this recipe fits the  bill. All it takes is a few frozen chicken strips, baked till done. Serve with any kind of dipping sauce and the kids are set.

Here’s how I made it.

Nacho Chicken Strips
6-12 frozen chicken strips(cooked as per directions)
1 cup sour cream
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup bottled salsa
Bacon crumbles and more cheese and pickled jalapenos for garnish, totally optional

How to:
Easy, just mix the ingredients for dip and pour over the chicken strips or serve it on a side as a dip.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Banana Nut Bread

Needless to see, this is by far the most enjoyed bread. Every rookie baker starts their baking lessons by baking this bread! This is such a forgiving bread, even if you srcew up a bit in measurements, you will end up with delectable results.  This recipe can be transformed into muffins as well.  Who doesn’t like to wake up to a freshly baked bread, especially it is loaded with bananas and nuts? All you need is a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk and a couple of slices of this bread and you are all set for the day.

I like to toast the leftover bread and slather the toasted slices with either butter or jam. Divine!

Here’s how I made it.

Banana Nut Bread
1 egg
½ cup mayonnaise
About 3 mashed bananas
1-1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup chopped nuts(I used walnuts, use any nuts on hand, or omit nuts altogether.)
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

 How to:
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Beat egg, mayonnaise and bananas until blended.
Combine remaining ingredients, mix until just moistened.
Transfer to a pre-greased loaf pan.
Bake for about 1 hour or do the toothpick test.
Cool in a pan for about 15 minutes on a wire rack.
Cool completely.

You could add 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips into the batter for that extra special banana bread. Or make glaze out of those chips and just drizzle over the slices.

Fond of Veggies? Add a cup or two of shredded zuccini/carrots to this bread.