Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cannoli Cream Pancakes and Happy New Year!


Happy and Blessed New Year to all my friends! May God Almighty bless us all bountifully in 2015!
I’ve made cannolis.  Been there, done that!  too much work. I still enjoy good cannolis every now and then but at home, I try to satisfy my craving for cannoli with foods like this. Because  Cannoli cream, no biggie. I always have ricotta and mascarpone cheeses on hand. So I can make that in a jiffy. And I have used prebaked phyllo shells earlier.  This time, I thought, why not make pancakes?  And that’s exactly what this is. Absolutely heavenly! Maybe next time, crepes! Who knows?!
Well, I don’t have pictures of the full platter that I made of these pancakes. just a couple to show you how good they looked. They were much better with a drizzle of warmed Maple syrup.
Here’s how I made it.
Cannoli Cream Pancakes
Ingredients
1 cup your favourtie pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla
For filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup mascarpone cheese(I tried to cut down the fat from this cheese, that’s why I am using less!)
½ cup icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp or more chocolate chips
How to:
For pancakes:
Mix all the ingredients and make about 5” large pancakes.
Now mix all the ingredients for filling, except chips.
Spoon or pipe filling into  each panckae, sprinkle some choco chips, roll up and place seam side down on plate.
Serve with dusting of icing sugar or your fav syrup.
Enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Rawa Ladoos(Semoina Balls)





Another nostalgic sweet.  Growing up in India, we always used to make this on Dec. 22nd night as the next day being mom’s birthday.  So no cake ever on mom’s birthday. Always these delicious ladoos.  Here I have tried to stay true to mom’s recipe as hers is the BEST recipe and she used to make these for so many family members. I didn’t want to go any other directions when I make this. And again, I also make these on Dec.22nd to relive the memory of those childhood days.

Here’s how I made it

Rawa Ladoos

Ingredients

2 cups Semolina(Rawa)
1.5 cups or to taste powdered sugar

1.5 cups melted ghee(clarified butter)

1 tbsp ground cardamoms

Chopped nuts, optional

Poppy seeds for garnish, optional

Oil for frying

How to:


 

Take semolina in a  bowl, add water, a pinch of salt and make stiff dough.

Now make small balls out of it and deep fry them in hot oil.

Let the balls cool down.

Break the balls in small pieces and powder them in blender

Let the powder cool down completely for about an hour.

Now add dried fruits and nuts if using, cardamom powder and powdered sugar.

Add melted ghee little by little until everything comes together and you can form a nice ball.

Now start making balls and roll them in poppy seeds.

Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

French Toast Rolls







Who doesn’t love good French Toast for breakfast? We all do, right?  I’ve made French toasts thousand times. And I was still craving French toast last weekend. And I wanted to make it somewhat differently than usual way. I had a week old white bread loaf sitting in my fridge, had to use it up.  And my family love Nutella and Strawberry Cheesecake. So I thought, why not combined them both and make a breakfast they would enjoy? So, I came up with this.  When you are pressed for time, this is not the breakfast to make I tell you!  It does take some prep time but the end result is oh so delish!  I am so glad I finally was able to make it for breakfast today!
So, let’s get cooking!
Here’s how I made it.
French Toast Rolls
Ingredients
8 slices of white bread, crust removed
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla essence
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
butter or oil for frying
for filling:
Nutella as much as YOU want!
a cup or so sliced strawberries
1/2 cup cream cheese, whipped with 1 tbsp. icing sugar

How to:
Flatten the bread slices with rolling pin.
Spread Nutella on 4 slices, roll them up
Now spread Cream cheese mix on 4 more slices, add sliced berried on them and roll them up as well.
Heat up oil in skillet.
Crack eggs in a shallow bowl.
Add milk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon powder to it.
Dip each roll good in egg custard and shallow fry till all sides are nicely cooked and golden brown.
At this point, you can serve the rolls with maple syrup or mix sugar and cinnamon powder and roll the prepared hot rolls in it, making them extra special.
Enjoy!



 
 
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Grilled Sweet Potatoes





 
Keeping up with Christmas dinner theme,this is another quick dish which is delish as well as nutritious.By now we all know the goodness of sweet potatoes. This is yet another way to incorporate this vegetable in your diet. You can grill a bagful of sweet potatoes ahead of time and use them for this dish, make quick French fries or soup.
 
Here’s how I made it.
 
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
 
Ingredients
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup goat cheese crumbles OR your choice of cheese
Parsley for garnish(optional)
 
How to:
Slice the sweet potatoes into 4, and again into 2s.
You will have 8 wedges from 1 sweet potato.
Prepare  all of them like this, place them in a microwave safe tray.
Pour oil, sprinkle salt and pepper.
Microwave for about 3 minutes or until just tender.
Pre heat grill.
Grill the parboiled wedges until nice grill marks appear.
At this point, you can place them in an oven and roast them until charred a bit.
Sprinkle goat cheese, more salt and pepper if needed and garnish with parsley.
Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Quick Apple Turn Overs


 
I am getting in the mood for Christmas. Apples and December, Christmas and Apple Pie! Who doesn’t like apple pies and apple turn overs? Especially when it gets cooler outside, the leaves start changing colors and finally fall, leaving the tree all bare- these are the times when apple orchards are blossoming with wide array of apples. I love to cook with apples. And I am always looking for easy peasy recipes that can be made in a cinch and are satisfying to any sweet tooth as well. This is one of those recipes. I always have wanton wrappers on hand. Again, let me tell you that they are very very  very versatile. And I was given about 5 lbs. of different apples by our Church friend! Now, you can only eat 2 apples a day! So, I made apple jam and the leftover apples, I made these cute babies.
 
Here how’s I made it.
 
Quick Apple Turn Overs
Ingredients
6 wonton wrappers
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cubed
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
 
How to:
Heat a skillet on medium high.
Add butter, apple cubes, sugar and cinnamon.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until apple is a bit tender.
Let it cool down.
In the meantime, pre heat oven to 400° F.
Brush the wonton edges with water.
Place about a tbsp of apple mixture on one side of wonton.
Fold over, place gently, make sure to remove any air bubble. Repeat.
Brush with milk, or egg wash and place them in hot oven for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Enjoy with whipped cream, or à la mode or as it is.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cran Almond Brittle





DEEEEECMEBER! I am soooooo excited!  And to start off the month, here it is. Something special and remind us all of the season. Cranberry and Almond White Chocolate Brittle. So easy. Don’t we love when we can make some thing in a jiffy that looks good and tastes even better? This is exactly the recipe we all need. This is for when you have that I-need-something-sweet-and-tart kind of craving.  Well, give it a try and see for yourself what I mean!
Here’s how I made it

Cran Almond Brittle
Ingredients

2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup or more chopped almonds
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
How to:

Easy.
Mix everything and heat up in the microwave until chocolate melts.
Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet until cools down.
Break into pieces and
Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chips and Salsa




 
Well, well, well. This is not any ordinary chips and salsa. This is leftover chapati chips and peach salsa!  Yes, you heard it right. I had a few leftover chapatis that I need to use up. I normally don’t have this much leftover chapatis.  So I was wondering what’s the best and quickest way to use them. So, I cut them up, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and baked in the oven till crispy. And serve them with this easy peasy peachy salsa. Just cube the peaches, add sugar, a pinch of salt, chopped red onion, lemon juice and serve. This salsa, though, the longer it sits in the fridge, the more intense the flavour. So make sure to make yours ahead of time. And yes, make some extra chaptis tonight!
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving To All My Canadian Friends!






 
Our traditional Thanksgiving Spread!
 
May God Almighty bless us all now and forever as we have joined hands together to thank HIM!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nutella Swirl Pound Cake


Another tasty treat that can truly satisfy your late night craving!  I keep on buying Nutella when it goes on sale. I bet you can find at least 4 large jars of Nutella any given day. Now really that’s not too much Nutella. There is no such thing like too much Nutella. I know you all agree with me. My family loves to eat it as spread on toasts and I can make so many things with it. This is exactly what I needed the other day. I wanted to bake something. And yes, I didn’t go for healthy bake. If you are looking for a healthier version of pound cake, stop right here. This is loaded with sugar, butter, eggs, Nutella and yes, LOVE! Love for my family, love for Nutella. Precious!  
Here’s how I made it: 
Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
Ingredients
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted, room temperature butter
¾ cup sugar
1 cup Nutella
 
How to: 
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray either a loaf pan or a small bundt cake pan with non stick spray.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside
In another bowl, whisk eggs with vanilla.
In another bowl, using the hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium till soft and light in colour.
Slowly add all the dry ingredients and incorporate with butter.
Add egg mixture to it and whisk for about 1 minute.
Spread half the batter in prepared pan.
Warm up Nutella in microwave for about 30 seconds.
Drizzle on batter.
Now spread remaining batter on top of Nutella.
Take a skewer, make swirls in batter.
Bake for about an hour or until the tooth pick comes out clean when inserted in cake.
Cool completely on a rack.
Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pizza Braid

A quick and tasty lunch. Packed with all our favourite pizza toppings, loads of cheese and zesty pizza sauce. Rolled up and baked and ready to go. What not to like? This is my kind of food. No table setting or plating required. Just slice and serve. You can eat at the table, or on the couch watching TV or outside either in your backyard or when you are out for a walk! Believe me, I like to grab a munchi when I go out for a walk. Serve this with your fav salad and you could have a nice, light meal. 
Here’s how I made it 
Pizza Braid
Ingredients 
For Basic Pizza Dough:
1 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 tsp. sugar
3 c. flour

Mix ingredients together, adding flour last. Cover and let rise 1 hr.
 for braid:
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
About 20 pepperonis
¼ cup each julienned peppers, onions
Sliced mushrooms
Milk wash
Garlic powder and Italian seasonings to sprinkle on top 
How to:
heat oven to 425° F.
roll the pizza dough into 12” circle.
Place it on a cookie sheet.
Now spread a thin layer of pizza sauce.
Top with all the toppings, finishing with cheese.
With sharp knife, make slits on both sides of the dough, about an inch width apart.
Now start braiding the roll.
Tuck the top and bottom portions inside the roll.
Brush the entire roll with cold milk.
Sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasonings on top.
Bake till golden brown, for about 25 minutes.
When warm, slice the roll and serve with marinara sauce.
Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Taco Bake!

 
This is money! I am telling you the truth. As soon as I pulled the baked tacos from the oven, I heard the complements like this looks so good and smells so good. And boy, once they had these tacos, more oohs and aahs! Like so simple and yet so filling and satisfying. We should make this once a week dinner and all.  For me, it was the best dish to make as my family don’t make tacos themselves. I have to fix their tacos and thus, I end up eating last!  With this taco bake, that wait has eliminated. I can have my tacos with them and I can still put the fixings on their tacos but I don’t have to wait to make each taco separately.

Give it a try. I am sure your family would love it as well. I used ground chicken. You can use refried beans only with other toppings.

Here's how I made it.

Baked Tacos

Ingredients

10 hard shell tacos
1 lb. ground chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
2 tsbp chilli powder
1 tbsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
¼ cup water
Shredded cheese about 1 cup or more
Lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa etc toppings as required

How to:


Preheat oven to 375° F.
Heat the skillet and add chicken, all the spices and water and cook till chicken is cooked through and water has evaporated.
Place tacos in 13x9 tray side by side.
Fill up with chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese melts.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
Enjoy!

 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mixed Veggie Red Curry with Tofu and Chicken







Well, this is what I call everything but the kitchen sink dish! Literally, when you have a little bit of the vegetables, chicken and tofu(sometimes) remaining in the fridge, that you can’t use them to prepare a single dish out of, what a girl to do? Well, a girl, especially me, would throw everything in one pot and make another dish out of it. That’s exactly what happened with me and this dish was born. I am not going to say this is Thai recipe just because I used red Thai curry paste in it. I HAD to use it up as well so I just dumped in the pot. And again, the end product was simply awesome. We all enjoyed it so much with fragrant Jasmine rice.

Here’s how I made it.


Mixed Vegetable Red Curry with Tofu and Chicken
 
Ingredients
½ cup boneless chicken cubed
½ cup tofu pieces
Vegetables of your choice, I used broccoli, red pepper, green pepper, carrot and celery
2-3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
4-5 small pieces of dry red chilies
¼ cup oil
1 small onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

How to:
Heat the oil in a wok.
Add onion and garlic and saute till fragrant, for about 3 minutes
Now add red curry paste and dry red chilies and saute till oil floats on the top.
Add chicken and cook till almost done. paste should coat the chicken pieces.
Now add all the veggies alongwith tofu and about ½ cup of water and cover.
Let it cook for about 3 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.
Immediately remove from heat.
Garnish with cashews, cilantro etc.
Enjoy!

 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Teriyaki Glazed Chicken



This was my first attempt to make Teriyaki sauce and glaze from scratch. Until now, I have been using bottled teriyaki sauce and for some reason I never really liked it. I saw this recipe on a TV cooking show and very next day gave it a try. And it really didn’t disappoint. It came out perfect, slightly sweeter for my taste so next time I have to reduce the amount of sugar. That’s abut it. I don’t think I would change anything in this recipe at all. The chicken came out very juicy and moist and we all enjoyed it with Jasmine rice and glazed mixed vegetables.
Here’s how I made it.
Teriyaki Glazed Chicken
Ingredients
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
About 2 tsp each minced ginger and garlic
Glaze:
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water 
How to:
For sauce:
Mix all the ingredietns in a sauce pot on medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissloved.
At this point, you can use the sauce as a marinade for chicken, beef, tofu or any other protein or as a dipping sauce.
Glaze:
Mix cornstarch with water and add to the boiling sauce. Simmer till thickened.
I used this glaze to marinate my chicken, grilled the chicken and then serve with sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds. Used the same glaze to marinate and roast the vegetables.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Apple Pie Cups





First of all, I forgot to take pictures of the final product! And I am not happy about it. It looked and tasted so wonderful, I missed that final picture. At the same time, because it looked and tasted so wonderful, we just devoured these Apple pie cups!  Well, you get the idea. So let’s move on! 

I love to use wonton wrappers as they are so versatile. You can make savory as well as sweet dishes using these babies. They come in very handy when you are pressed for time or you just want something to grab and go. So when I am in the mood for pie and don’t want to make pie crust or to save on fat and calories content of the pie crust, I go for wonton wrappers. And so far, they haven’t disappointed me a bit. So on to these delicious pie cups, 

Here’s how I made it.

Apple Pie Cups
 
Ingredients
12 wonton wrappers
2 green apples, cored and cubed
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder 

How to:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Heat butter in the skillet
Add brown sugar and slowly caramelize the sugar.
Add cubed apples in lemon juice, all the spices and cook till apples are tender and moisture evaporates.
Brush 12 muffin cup pan with butter.
Brush 12 wonon wrappers with butter and arrange them in the muffin pan.
Divide apple mixture equally into muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of wrappers are brown.
Serve warm with Vanilla Icecream
Enjoy!
 Note:  you can top the apple cubes with strips of wonton wrappers or your favourite crumble topping before baking.
 



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Quick Tiramisu and Have a safe summer!






Remember that easy Pound Cake from last week? Well, this “Tiramisu” is just an extension of the leftover pound cake. It is a very quick dessert, tastes almost like old fashioned Tiramisu and it only costs pennies to make compared to expensive ingredients one has to purchase to make authentic dessert. Whey don’t you give it a try?  I am sure you will love this dessert, the taste and rich feel of it. 

Here’s how I made it.
Quick Tiramisu
 
Ingredients
1 cup chunks of Pound cake
¼ cup strong brewed espresso
2 Hunts Vanilla pudding cups
2 cups Coolwhip light, thawed
Cocoa powder to garnish

How to:
Arrange Pound cake pieces in a bowl or parfait cups in a single layer.
Brush with the espresso until the chunks are completely soaked.
Mix pudding and thawed Coolwhip Light and layer on top of pound cake pieces.
Dust with cocoa powder.
Chill until ready to serve.
You can make layers of this and serve as Tiramisu Parfaits.
Enjoy!

SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER!