Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marble cake.. perfect for holiday season

Hope you'll had a wonderful Christmas :) holiday cheer is still in the air...people visiting their near n dear ones..cooking together, enjoying meals together, shopping together and what not!! enjoy your holidays.....
an easy breezy cake to enjoy with your evening cup of tea when you catch up with your kith n kin....

You'll need:
All purpose flour: 2 cups
Butter: 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened
Sugar: 1 cup
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Eggs: 2
Milk: 1 cup
Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 pan and set aside.
Swift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well until everything is well mixed together.
Mix in vanilla essence.
Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the milk.
Set aside 1/3 of the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan.
Mix cocoa powder into the reserved batter, until well blended.
Pour spoonfuls of the cocoa batter over the white batter. Using a knife, swirl the cocoa batter into the white batter to give the marble effect.
Bake for 30 to 35 min, until an inserted wooden pick comes out  clean.
Transfer pan to a rack and let it cool for 10 min.

Enjoy your piece of cake. This is how i get mine in my fav coffee shop :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thattai- a savory snack

I love salty spicy snacks...I can munch on them endlessly...my mom always scolds me for eating chips right off the packet....but that is the fun part..not eating by portion :)
sounds lame?? i know..i still do that....even these days when I go home even before having my morning cup of coffee, I attack the chips canisters which will be definitely there in my mom's kitchen shelves....mostly with jack fruit chips or some other seasonal chips....of course home made :)

coming back to this savory snack, Thattai, I have eaten this many times, but have never made them at home...
thanks to our neighbor who gave  us some this diwali along with some yummy sweets :)
had bookmarked the recipe since then, but only got a chance to make them recently...

effort wise, I would say it is a bit tedious, bcoz each n every single piece has to shaped separately...a little bit more time consuming than the usual snacks, but can definitely be made once in a while..

Here's the recipe:

You'll need:

Rice flour: 2 cups
Urad dal flour: 1/4 cup **
Red chili pwdr: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Water: 1/2 + 1/8 cup (or enough to make the dough)
Chana dal: 3 tbsp (soaked in water for 1 hr)
Sesame seed: 2 tsp
Asafetida: 1/4 tsp

** To make urad dal flour at home, dry roast ural dal till it turns golden brown. Let it cool and grind into a fine powder.

How to make:

Drain the soaked chana dal.
Mix rice flour, urad dal flour, salt, chana dal, sesame seed, chili pwdr and butter. Knead this into a dough by adding water little by little at a time. Cover and set aside for a few min.
After a while, take small balls of dough (half a lemon sized) and press them into small paapad size.
Place the dough on a cling film and press by hand to form small flat circles. Poke these using a fork to prevent from puffing while frying in the oil.

Heat enough oil in a pan for deep frying. When the oil becomes piping hot add the thattai one at a time, frying each side for about 1 1/2 min , until they turn golden brown. Drain and let it cool.
Store in an air tight container.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to fold a fitted sheet!!

hey, this post might sound silly to most of you...but a few like me would be happy to know how to fold a fitted sheet...
this happens every time I do the laundry, i struggle to fold the fitted sheet neatly and next time I take it out I get a completely creased sheet....
are you with me on this one....see the easy steps to fold one...
Martha Stewart is there to help....


a piece of cake, rite?

you'll have a good one :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

My li'l one turned one!!

A few weeks ago, my li'l one turned one :) One whole year of motherhood days for me(mostly happy moments and occasional low ones too)....we threw a small party for a few friends of ours...so was busy putting together some party decorations, somethings with a personal touch, like a birthday banner with  every month's photos of my li'l one's first year...and few other silly stuffs to make the party hall look colorful...

i guess I get this from my mother...to add a personal touch to anything and everything you do...and my dear hubby,the last man in the world to appreciate it.....okay, so you get where I am going with this, rite?
Anyway, the birthday party was great...we had fun...even my li'l one enjoyed it to the fullest ,except for the occasional screams when a balloons burst...she can't stand sudden loud noises...like a whistle from the cooker, or the vacuum cleaner or even the hair dryer....strange, huh?

okay, coming back to the cake, i guess that was the highlight of the party...we had been to a few b'day parties before, even one last weekend, and have always enjoyed a slice of the yummy b'day cake....and the hunt began for the cake...went to the bakeries in the usual places where we had seen the b'day cakes..but all had the regular white or chocolate cake with the theme you say...(for our li'l one we wanted a sesame street cake)...but we were pretty sure the b'day cakes we had eaten before were not mere white or choc cakes...they were much tastier than those...anyways, long story short, a few days before the party a friend of us (who had thrown a b'day recently) suggested to get the tres leches cake.....bhoom...what in the world is that? oh, my!! but luckily he also said where to find it....okay, that helps :)
 I consoled myself feeling, I am not the only one in the whole wide world who didn't know about Tres Leches cake..even the pioneer woman didn't have a much idea about it ..

here is more about it from the very talented pioneer woman

So, now you ask me why such poor pictures, even though we have a Nikon D-SLR with some XYZ lenses and all....aaaha...don't make go there...plz don't...

you'll have a good one :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tangy mango curry....yummmm......mouth watering :)

When i hear of manga curry( thats what  we call mango in kerala), i get the tangy taste in my tounge....mangoes are kerala's speciality..especially in the summer..we eat mangoes pretty much in its all stages...right from baby mangoes...we make kanni manga pickle(baby mango pickle)...raw mango, eat just like that with salt and red chili pwdr sprinkled on them....so many varieties of pickles made of mango...preserve mangoes in salt water to devour later in the year(yes, i am talking about the very 'uppu manga', squished together with sliced shallots,green chilis and a drizzle of cococnut oil, oh..its divine....yeah,the possibilities are endless..
So do give this a try...a tangy curry to go with white rice...

You'll need:

Raw Mango: 1 no (pitted, peeled and cut into small cubes
Onion: 1 no(nicely chopped)
Green chili:3-4 no(nicely chopped)
Ginger:a small piece(nicely chopped)
Coconut milk: from half a coconut (I use the Maggie coconut milk powder..easy breezy)
Chili powder: 1tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
salt:as per taste

For garnish:

mustard seed: 1/2 tsp
dried whole red chilli:2-3 nos
curry leaves: a few sprigs

How to make:

Mix the mango pieces with sliced onion,green chilis, ginger,turmeric and chili powder.Cook the above in half a cup of water and enough salt. When it starts boiling, reduce the flame to medium and add the coconut milk. Cook for some more time till everything gets blended well.
For garnish, splutter mustard seeds in a few tsps of oil, add whole red chili and curry leaves.
Yep...its ready :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

chunky tomato salsa

Don't you love fresh tomato salsa with your tortilla scoops...scoop full of spicy tangy flavor..yummmm, i love it...get a nice book, slouch on your couch with a bag of chips n a bowl of salsa, oh,my! what more you can ask for :)

We at home love spicy food...So though, most of the time we are contented with the "hot" store bought salsa to go with our chips, when time permits, we do enjoy the home made version of it, which is ever more spicier n fresh...always satisfying our taste palates :)

Very easy to put together, needing no special ingredient other than the regular ones you have in your veggie cripser.

You'll need:

Tomatoes: 3 nos (medium sized, finely diced)
Onion: 1 (medium sized, finely chopped)
Jalapeno chili pepper: 2-3 (ribs and seeds removed, nicely chopped) **
juice of one lime
Cliantro: 1/2 cup( nicely chopped)
Salt: as per required
Ground Cumin : a pinch (optional)

** You can spice it up or down by varying the no of chilies used.

How to make:

In a bowl mix together chopped tomato,onion and pepper.Add the lime juice, salt, chopped cilantro and  ground cumin.
Let sit  for an hour for the flavors to combine before you enjoy it with your chips :)

P.S: My hubby's make it more yummier tip- warm up the tortilla chips sprinkled with some cheese on it for a couple of min in the oven and then devour them with the salsa...hmmmm...i guess we are born to eat ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fried Idli

Ever wondered what to do with the previous day's idli...here is an easy snack you can make out of it.
For those who don't know what idli is, here is something about Idli.
Its one of the common breakfast for us, south Indians. Very yummy n  healthy breakfast.
In our home, everyone loves idli, so we hardly have left overs..I make these fried idlis, if at all we are left with some..

You'll need:

Idli: 5-6 nos (each cut into 4 pieces)
Chili powder: 1tsp
Turmeriic powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: a pinch
Oil: enough for shallow frying
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

How to make: 
Mix chili pwdr, turmeric pwdr and salt with 2 tsps of water to make a thick paste. Marinate idli pieces with the spice paste and set aside for 15-20 min.
Heat enoguh oil for deep fry in a deep nonstick pan, and fry the idli pieces for 4-5 min or till its golden brown and crispy. In the left over oil, fry the curry leaves for the garnish.
Serve it hot with spicy ketchup or mint chutney...a quick evening snack :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pazham pori /Ethakka appam (Banana fritters)

When ever I make pazham pori, my li'l sis comes to my mind. b'cos its her favorite.
My achachan(dad) used to get us mid morning snacks when we are home (he still gets us those when go home for vacations)
He gets each of us our own favs.mine is dal vada, my li'l sis's is pazham pori.
Very yummy sweet snack,not much difficult to put together.
I have always felt that it tastes the best if we make it with fully ripened bananas.(when the peel turns almost black)
I get bananas these days for my li'l one, her fav breakfast mashed with cereal.
She loved this version of banana too.She claps when she likes things(being a 10 month old, i guess that is her only way of letting me know she wants more)
At the very first bite, she jumped and clapped...oh,yeah! she likes pazham pori
I hope, you too will like them :)

You'll need:

Banana: 2 nos (fully ripened)
All purpose flour: 2-3 tbsp
Sugar: 1tbsp
Salt: a pinch
Oil: as required for deep fry

How to make: 

Peel the bananas and cut them half.Slice each half lengthwise into 3-4 pieces.
Mix all purpose flour and enough water to make the batter. Add sugar and salt.
The consistency should be right enoguh to coat bananas when you dip them in the batter.
Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is bubbling hot, dip the banana pieces in the batter and deep fry them for 2-3 min on each side, until they turn golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel n enjoy it hot off the stove :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kaya Erachi (Beef with plantain)

Though the name of the dish sounds a bit weird, this one is a real spicy, tounge tickling, yummilicious dish. 
This is one of my all time favorites. I'm sure people from Kerala know what i'm talking about. 
Its nothing but beef curried in lots of Indian spices and plantain. In my home, we have more plantain and less beef in it( just enough to get the flavor of it). But for meat lovers like my hubby I add lots and lots of beef :)
My dad makes it at times, he says in the house, only he knows the right blend of it ...and he gives us all some to taste before the meal time right out of the stove top...steaming spicy kaya erachi....yummmmmm

I can go on n on about this curry n the tales about it...let's get the ball rolling with the recipe...

You'll need:
To cook beef:
Beef: 1 lb (cut into small pieces)
Ginger Garlic paste: 1tbsp

Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Chili powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tbsp
Salt: as required

For the dish:  
Plantain: 2 nos
Tomato:1 no (chopped)
Cilantro: A few sprigs for garnish
Onion: 1 no (medium size, thinly sliced)
Green Chili: 2-3 nos
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Chili powder: 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: as required
Oil: as required

How to make:
Cook beef along with all the ingredients mentioned above.
Cut the plantain to small pieces and cook it with enough salt.
Heat oil in a pan and add oil. Saute onion and green chili till onion gets translucent.
Add chopped tomato and saute for some more time. When tomato gets mushy, add all the spice powders mentioned above. Cook this for 2-3 min and then add the beef and plantain to it.
Mix it all together and let it cook for 2-3 min, stirring in between.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Ta da...Gobble it down as such or have it with steaming hot white rice..enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome back with a smoothie

I know, it's been a while.I mean quite a while ;)

My mom always complains about my dad, someone has to keep pushing him from his back( at times its literally true) to get things done.And I can always relate myself to that, after all I a also a Capricorn like my dad...but, hey after all we have keep up our traits :)

Okay, so coming back to my lethargy, initially i blamed it on the so called "postpartum depression". I'm sure i wouldn't have even heard about such a thing if at all I had my li'l one back home in India.
My grandmother, who has 11 kids, 27 grand kids would definitely mock at me if I tell her about it.

My innocent li'l one(whom i blame these for anything n everything going wrong in my life these days) is almost one now.Don't you think its time for me to look for another lame excuse for my laid back attitude? I'm sure, it won't be hard for to find one ;)

We had a wonderful 2 months vacation back home in India. Still struggling to get things going here, especially with cooking, after enjoying 2 months of no cooking and only eating yummy days!

And of course TX invited us back with the scorching summer, which is really bad this time. Especially when you get back from Kerala,God own country where it rains and only rains during this time of the year.Oh, my! what a pleasant weather it was. Me and my li'l used to sit in our verandah, enjoy the heavy pour and the lush greens that dance in the rain.....Oh what a joy, Oh what a sight...... (this is from one of my baby's favorite cartoons)
I have to admit we see more baby TV than adult TV these days...i'm sure moms with a preschooler  in home would agree to that...these days, I hum rhymes, read Parents,Baby Talk, American baby and shop in the baby section....and I see all new mommies around me doing the same...so i guess, that is how its supposed to be (a good parent)

We get a lot of fresh fruits this time of the year, and got a couple of boxes of strawberries a few days ago, most of which we ate as such. By day 2-3, when they started looking not so fresh, i made this smoothie.
Here is the recipe:

You'll Need:

Strawberries: 8-10 nos (hulled and quartered)
Yogurt:  1/2 cup
Milk:      1/2 cup
Sugar:     1-2 tbsp
Ice cubes: as per required

Blend all the above together. Add more sugar as per your taste.

Enjoy your lip lickin' smoothie :)

P.S: yes,the book in the background is my li'l one's book of colors...see, this what I was saying earlier ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

dal palak (lentil and spinach)

dal is a kind of staple food us south Indians....i remember my grand mom makes a little bit of plain dal every day along with the other main menu for the day...simply cook the dal well n temper it with mustar seed, whole red chilli and curry leaves....and a dollop of ghee/butter to it makes it heavenly good :)

dal palak is just one of the different variations of dal we have at home...and a good way to incorporate veggies, especially spinach (spinach blends very well with the dal, no picky eater can separate them ;)

You'll need:

Palak/Spinach: a bunch ( washed and chopped)
Toor dal (yellow pigeon peas): 1 cup
onion: 1 medium (nicely chopped)
tomato:1 medium(chopped)
green chili: 2 nos( thinly sliced)
turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
chili powder: 1/2 tsp
jeera/cumin powder: 1/2 tsp

How to make:

Cook the dal well with enough salt and set it aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and green chilis and saute them well.
When onion turns golden brown, add the chopped tomato. Let it cook for a while.
When the tomatoes are cooked, add turmeric pwdr, red chili powder and cumin powder.
Give it a stir, and add the chopped spinach. Mix it all together and cook for a couple of min.
Add the cooked dal and blend it all together.
a dollop of ghee/butter gives an added flavor to it :)
goes well with white rice as well as rotis....

P.S: you can also use masoor dal(red lentils) or moong dal( green gram) instead of toor dal...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chinese fried rice...a quick one

i do bulk cooking at times...cook around 4-5 servings and reserve it in the refrigerator...fried rice is one of the things i cook in bulk....easy to make and stays fresh too...you can serve it with different side dishes each time....a variety from the plain old white rice..
i like fried rice with papad (rice cracker), lemon pickle and plain raitha....simple and delicious :)

You'll need:     

Basmati rice: 2 cups (soaked in water for 2 hrs)
veggies:: 2 cups ( mainly green beans, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers,green peas), nicely chopped
scallions(spring onion): 4 nos ( nicely chopped)
clove: 2-3 nos
cinnamon sticks: 2 nos
cardamom: 2- 3nos
bay leaf: 2-3 nos
salt n oil: as per required
soy sauce: as per required (optional)
Worcestershire sauce: as per required (optional)

How to make:

Drain the soaked rice and set aside.
Heat a few tbsps of oil  in a deep skillet.Add cloves,cardamom, cinnamon sticks and let it splutter.
Then add the bay leaves and drained rice.Fry it all together for 2-3 min.
Add enough water(for 2 cups rice around  3 cups of water) and salt.
Pop the lid on and cook on medium high, stirring in between , until the rice gets cooked.
Transfer the rice into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet add a few tbsps of oil and add ginger garlic paste and scallions.(Reserve a handful for garnish)
Add the veggies one by one, adding first the ones that require more cooking time.
Stir fry until the veggies get cooked. ( Don't overcook the veggies, it should be still slightly crisp,retaining its fresh color which really adds glory to the final product)
Pour  a couple of dashes of  soy sauce and worcestershire sauce and toss them all together..
Add the cooked rice and mix everything together and garnish with chopped scallions.

tada...you have your fried rice.....enjoy ur meal :)

P.S: If you substitute water with chicken or vegetable stock for cooking the rice, it will give the rice an added flavor.

a twist in the tale....I add scrambled egg to it and present it as egg fried rice the next day.....or add fried tofu chunks for a different version of it :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheera upperi (Sauteed Spinach)

Cheera is the malayalam word for indian spinach...its much similar to regular spinach, but has a more crisp texture...very nutritious green...good source of vitamins, iron and what not...
Cheera thoran or upperi is a common dish seen in south indian kitchen, especially kerala....yes , of course with fresh shredded coconut.....oh, yes...we mallus put coconut in anything and everything :)

You'll need:

Cheera(Indian spinach): a bunch (nicely chopped)
Shredded coconut: 4 tbsp (1/4 cup)
Shallots: 5 nos(thinly chopped)
Garlic: 4-5 pods (chopped)
Red chili flakes: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
salt: as per required.

How to make:

Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan.
Add chopped shallots and garlic into the oil and saute them for a couple of min.
Add a sprig of curry leaves to it. Add the chili flakes and turmeric powder.
Now add the shredded coconut and mix them all together.
Put the greens to this and give it a mix. Pop the lid on the pan & let it cook on medium heat for 2 min.
Remove the lid, add enough salt and let it cook for a few more min, until all the water from the cheera evaporates...
Excellent side dish with daal chawal ( rice with lentil curry)...
my fav is cheera upperi with steaming rice and cold curd :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quick snack...Chickpea Poppers

I am a big fan of Rachel Ray...especially her 30 min meal shows....there is something really sweet about her...the way she talks nonstop while she cooks in her kitchen, her bubbly,giggly the girl next door nature makes me watch her shows again and again....and also to read her magazines...

This quick snack is indeed a real quick one, a crunchy salty snack.

Throughly dry canned chickpeas and spritz with EVOO(extra virgin olive oil). Season with dried oregano and garlic salt and roast at 400 F till golden crisp... its ready to munch on :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool, everyone :)

I still remember those silly days when we eagerly wait for the fool's day to play pranks on each other. The school  summer holidays might have just begun and all used to be in such high spirits to try some silly prank on each other and once they fall for it, shout "april fool" :)...and out there again planning for the next prank....oh! my....gone are those days...today i try to play a prank on my hubby, like i say "there is a fly over your shoulder", he gives me that look with arched brows(which says "you have nothing better to do?")
anyway its always nice to be a kid....the best time of life :)

Spring is in the air...trees start blooming...pleasant weather....what better time for garma garam pakoras(warm crispy fritters)...
Lent season is also on...so started playing around with veggies at home...especially the ones which are not seen otherwise in my veg crisper..like say, Spinach

Palak Pakoras (Spinach fritters)

You'll need:

Spinach: 1 cup (chopped)
Onion: 1 (medium sized)
Besan (chic pea flour): 1 cup
Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
Salt: to taste
Oil: enough to deep fry

How to make:

Wash and pat dry spinach and chop them nicely.
Chop the onion also into thin slices.
Mix besan, red chili powder, asafoetida, salt together.
Add a few teaspoons of water , just enough to make a thick batter.
Put the veggies in the mixture and combine it all together until all the veggies get coated with the batter.
Heat a pan with enough oil for deep frying.
Using a fork, spread small amounts of the mixture into the oil and deep fry till its golden brown on each side.
Drain them on to a paper towel...
Serve them hot with mint chutney or tomato ketchup....yummmmm
my hubby sandwich them between bread slices and eat them as bhaji pav....needless to say he is from aamchi mumbai :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

no more blues...have a Chili

In our home, chili is one of the comfort foods we have...when you feeling low,or not keeping well, don't feel like cooking, but wanna have something spicy to boost up your spirits, trust me, Chili is what you need...

You'll need:

Butter: 2 tbsp
Ground beef: 1 lb
Red bell pepper: 2 (chopped)
Jalapeño: 2 (chopped)
Onion: 2 medium size (chopped)
Garlic: 4 cloves (chopped)
Chili powder: 2 tbsp
Ground cumin: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Cayenne pepper: 1tsp
Black pepper powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Tomato: 2 large (chopped)
Chicken stock: 1 cup
1 can pinto beans (drained)
Salt: as per required
Shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese: 1 cup
Tortilla chips

How to make:

Place  a large stock pot over high heat.Add butter and let it melt. 
To it add chopped onion, jalapeño,bell pepper and cook for 5 min till onion gets golden brown. 
Add garlic and saute for a min. 
Add ground beef and stir it, breaking down the beef. Cook until meat is nicely browned. 
Now add chili powder,cumin powder,coriander powder, cayenne pepper,black pepper and salt. Mix it all together and cook for a min. Add the chopped tomato and stir for 2 min. 
Add the drained beans and finally add the chicken stock. Mix it all together and cover the pot let it cook it for a while, stirring occasionally, till all the fluid gets reduced and the chili gets slightly thick.
Chili is ready. Serve it hot in a bowl, garnished with cheese and with tortilla chips on the side.
In our home, we use the chips to scoop the chili :)
Give it a try...get all spiced up...get rejuvenated ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

This one my all time favorite :) i made this for my hubby's very first birthday after our wedding....a real delicacy :) and with oreo cookie...everyone's fav

The recipe is from Kraft's Food & Family magazine. Kraft publishes this magazine 4 times a year..one for every season...this magazine has really yummy and easy recipes for each season, most of them with kraft products..

Here is the recipe:

You'll need:

Oreo cookie: 20,crushed(about 2 cups, without the cream)
butter: 3 tbsp ,melted
Cream cheese: 4 pkg (8 oz. each) softened
Sugar: 1 cup
Vanilla: 1 tsp
Sour Cream: 1 Cup
Eggs: 4
Baker's semi-sweet chocolate: 6 squares, melted and cooled

How to make:

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Lina a 13 * 9  inch baking pan with foil with the ends extended over the sides of the pan.(this helps to easily take the cake out of the pan).
Mix cookie crumbs and butter and press the mixture down onto to the bottom of the prepared pan.Use the base of the measuring cup to firmly press it down to the pan. Bake for 10 min.
Beat cream cheese,sugar and vanilla in a large bowl using a electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Now add the sour cream and mix well.
Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed after adding each one, till blended.
Remove 1 cup of batter and keep it aside.
 In the remaining batter add the melted chocolate. Pour the mixture over the pan with baked cookie crumbs.
Top with spoonfuls of remaining plain batter randomly over the chocolate batter.
Run a fork through the batter a couple of times to make the swirl effect.
Bake for 40 min or until set.
Cool completely, and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs or overnite.
Pull out the cheesecake with the foil handles and cut and serve...sweet :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beef Taco

This is a very quick and easy taco recipe....yummy too :)
We at home are big fan of tacos..or say for that matter any mexican food...bcoz we love spicy food..something that tickles your taste buds :)

You'll need:

Ground lean beef: 1 lb
Olive oil: 2tbsp
Onion: 1 large (thinly chopped)
Chili powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
Oregano: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder: 1/4 tsp
Garlic cloves: 2-3 (thinly chopped)
Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Red bell pepper: 1 (nicely chopped)
Taco seasoning: 1 tsp(optional)

For Garnish:
Shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese

For serving:
12 soft tacos (you can use flour or corn tortilla)

How to make:

Place a large skillet on medium heat and pour the olive oil.
Put the ground beef, crumble and cook it till the liquid evaporates and the meat is nicely browned.
Add the chopped onion, garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chopped red bell pepper.
Season with chili powder,cumin powder,oregano, cinnamon, black pepper and the taco seasoning.
Stir it all together and let it hang out for another couple minutes.Cover the skillet and keep it warm.

In the mean time, warm the tacos on the stove top for 2 min on each side.Store them in a tortilla warmer or a hot pot.(Or if you want the tacos to be warm till you serve, fold them in foil and pop them in the oven at 350 F for about 10 min.And keep them in warm till you are ready to serve)

When you are ready to eat, spread the beef mixture on the taco and garnish it with the shredded cheese....yummm :)

P.S: You can add a twist to it by using a variety of other toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomato, a dollop of sour cream, sliced onion or anything you enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sweet daisy doily

This sweet doily is a good one for your living room center table.Its an easy crochet.

I got the pattern from here. This site has a lot of free crochet patterns.
http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/doilies.php (search for Sweet Daisy Doily )

Its is an easy crochet pattern for beginners too :)

Here is the pattern:

Hook # 7
Gauge 9 dc 1
Total size: 13"

Ch 5, join with sl st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: ch 3,(first ch 3 counted as first dc) 16 more dc in ring, join with sl st to first dc; 16 
Rnd 2:Ch 3,  dc in next dc, *ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, repeat from * Join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 3: ch 3, dc in same st, 2dc in next dc, *ch 3, skip next ch 3 sp, 2 dc in next 2 dc, 
repeat from * join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 4: ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *ch 3, sk next ch 3 sp, 2 dc in 
next dc, dc in next 2 dc,  2 dc in next dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 5:   Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *ch 3, sk next ch 3 sp, 2 dc 
in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in next 7 dc, *ch  5, skip next ch 3 sp, dc in next 8 dc, repeat from *, join 
with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 7: ch 3, dc in next 7 dc, *ch 7, sk next ch 5 sp, dc in next 8 dc, repeat from *, join 
with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc in same dc, dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *ch 5, sc in next ch 7 sp, ch 5 
, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 9: Ch 3,  dc in next 9 dc, * (ch 3,  dc in 3rd ch of next ch 5 lp) repeat once, ch 3, dc 
in next 10 dc,  repeat from *, join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 10: Ch  2, dc in next dc, dc in next 6 dc, next 2 dc will be closed together  
(DECREASE), *ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, ch 5, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, (DECREASE) close next 
2 dc tog,  dc in next 6 dc, (decrease) in next 2 dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to top of 
first 2 dc closed tog .
Rnd 11: Ch 2, dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, decrease in next 2 dc, * ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, 
ch 5, dc in 3rd ch of next ch 5 sp, ch 5, dc in next 2 dc, ch 3, Decrease in next 2 dc, dc in 
next 4 dc, decrease in next 2 dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 12: Ch 2, dc in next dc, dc in next 2dc, (decrease) closing next 2 dc together,  *Ch 3, 
dc in next 2 dc, Ch 5,  V st in next dc, Ch 5, dc in next 2 dc, Ch 3, (decrease) close next 2 
dc together, dc in next 2 dc, (decrease) close next 2 dc together. Repeat from *, join with s 
st in top of first dc.
Rnd 13: Ch 1 , sc  in same st, sc in next 3 sts,* ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, ch 5, 7 dc in next V 
st sp,  Ch 5, dc in next 2 dc, ch 3, sc in next 4 dc, repeat from *, join with sl st to first  sc.
Rnd 14:Ch 1, sc in same st, sc  in next sc, * ch 3, skip next sc,  dc in next 2 dc, ch 5, dc in 
next dc, ( ch 1, dc in next dc) , repeat 5 more times, ch 5, dc in next 2 dc, ch 3, skip next 
sc, sc in next 2 sc, repeat from * join with  Sl st to first  sc. Fasten Off attach thread to 
next  dc.
Rnd 15: Ch 3 ( counted as first dc) , dc in next dc, * Ch 5, dc in next 7 dc and in each ch 1 
sp (total =13 dc) ch 5, dc in next 2 dc,  ch 1, skip next 2 sc, dc in next 2 dc, repeat around  
from * join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 16: Ch 3, dc in next dc, *Ch 5, dc in next 13 dc separated by ch 1, ch 5, dc in next 4 
dc,  repeat from * join with Sl st to first dc.
Rnd 17: Ch 3, dc in next dc, * ch 3, dc in next 13 dc separated by Ch 2, ch 3, dc in next 4 
dc, repeat from * join with sl st to first dc.
Rnd 18: Ch 1, sc in same st,  *ch 3, sk next dc, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp) repeat 
11 more times, ( total=37dc) ch 3, sk next dc, sc in next 2 dc, ski next dc, repeat from*, 
join with sl st to first sc.
Rnd 19: Sl st in next 5 sts, Ch 1 sc in same st, *( skip next 2 dc, dc in next dc, ch 5, dc in 
same dc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc), repeat 5 more, ch 3, skip next 2 sc,  sc in next dc, 
repeat from *, join with sl st to first sc

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nankhatai (Butter cookie)

This cookie is an all time favorite in our  family. Our mom used to make this for us and decorate it with a small piece of cherry on the top :) Its very easy and simple to make.It requires no special ingredients...only the common ones in everyone's pantry-flour, butter and sugar.thats it :)


You'll need:

All-purpose Flour: 1cup 
Butter: 1/2 cup (softened)
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Vanilla: 1/3 tsp

How to make:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 

2. Sift the flour and set aside. 

3. In a medium-size bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. 

4. Add the flour to the creamed mixture a little bit at a time and mix well until a soft dough forms. If the mixture is too soft, cover and refrigerate for about an hour. 

5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto the baking sheet 1.5 inches part. 

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Everyone's fav :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chicken Curry(Creamy kadai chicken)

This one is from my sister.She is a real good cook, who likes to cook and and also loves to eat :)
This simple chicken dish is easy to make, but is quite different from the regular chicken gravy that we get with the rotis(breads) in the indian restaurants.I made this a couple of times at it was a huge hit.Yes,of course it will be...anything with chicken, my hubby loves it.

Creamy Kadai Chicken

You'll need:
Chicken: 1.5 lb (breasts,thighs and drumsticks)

For marinade:
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Lime juice: 1tbsp
Oil: 1tbsp
Salt: as required

For tomato paste:
Tomato: 2 medium roma tomatoes
Green chili: 2 nos
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Chili powder: 1 tsp
Cardamom: 3 nos
Clove: 3 nos
Water: 1 cup

For sauteing:
Onion: 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
Ginger root: 1/2 tsp(finely chopped)
Green chili: 3 nos
Chili powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
*Garam masala:  3/4 tsp
**Kasuri methi (dried and crushed fenugreek leaves): 1/2 tsp
Cream: 1cup (optional)

*Garam masala is a mixture of various Indian spices, which can be found in any indian grocery shop.
**Kasuri methi can be found in any indian grocery shop.

How to make:

Marinate chicken with the ingredients mentioned above and keep it aside for a while.

Grind all the ingredients for the tomato paste into a fine paste.

In a frying pan, shallow fry chicken pieces to light brown color.

In the same oil and the first 3 ingredients for sauteing and stir till onion turn golden brown.

Add chili powder,turmeric powder, garam masala and kasuri methi.

Now add the tomato mixture and a cup of water.

Once it boils, add the fried chicken pieces and mix everything together. Add a little bit of salt if required.

Pop the lid on and cook for 10 min on medium heat.

Once finished cooking add a cup of cream to give the curry a rich taste. You can skip or reduce the amount of cream if you want a much healthier version.Bcoz it tastes yummy without the cream.

This goes well with chapathi or any kind of roti. Also tastes good with hot steaming white rice.

Give it a try :)

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