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
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.

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


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.


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
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.


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
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.

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
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

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

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