Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Whisk together 1 stick of butter(1/2 cup, softened) with 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar. Add 1/2 a tsp of vanilla and 1/4 tsp of salt. Add 1/2 a cup of powdered oatmeal (You can powder it in a coffee grinder). Whisk to combine. Add a pinch of cinnamon powder or nutmeg powder for extra flavor. Now take a cup of all purpose flour and add in little by little. Mix with your hands to form a dough. I added a little less than one cup of flour. Shape into fingers(or any shapes you prefer) and press in an almond for the nail(blanch and peel the almonds first) on each cookie. Chill the unbaked cookies covered with a plastic wrap until it is firm. Bake 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Let it cool on a cooling rack. You can paint the nails using food colors if you want to.
This tastes great with a cup of milk or tea!
You can also dip the bottom end of the fingers in strawberry sauce and serve it with some more strawberry sauce sprinked around it. This will look like cut pieces of fingers in blood!
Be safe, and have fun trick or treating.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Yesterday my third grader came back from school asking:
"Mom, do you have whipping cream and a glass jar?"
I had them, so she told me to get it ready for her. She came after washing her hands and said "Mom, we made butter in the science class today, and we ate it with crackers. I want to make it again. So you can learn it from me".
She poured in the whipping cream in the glass jar and I helped her to close the lid tight. She started shaking the jar.
After two minutes, "Mom, my hands are hurting. At school, we were taking turns and shaking the jar. Would you like taking turns?".
Okay! We both took turns and shook it and shook it. The whipping cream solidified a lot, and after about 5 minutes it turned to butter!! We ate it with crackers. I wish I had a picture to share.
We learned to make butter!
Lately I have been learning a lot too, from all your blogs. I got lazy with the camera and pictures(winter laziness?), so I am forced to share my feedback without pictures. :(
- Shaheen's MadakkiPathiri. These are delicious, but you need to give oil bath twice to these beauties. Once when you roll them and again when you fry them.
- Annita's Fish Pickle, I made only a small batch of these with a little adjustment in the spices. It's all finished within a few days. I have to make it again.
- Inji's Green Peas Gravy(The link to this recipe is unavailable at this moment. I will add it here as and when it becomes available.)
- Meena's Hummus. So delicious in sandwiches and as a dip too.
- Manisha's Roasted Garlic. I used it in sandwiches, and to flavor my homemade white pasta sauce.
- Shaheen's Chemmeen Ada. I have also tried fish ada using the same procedure. I feel like to delete my old meen pathiri post now. I realize how funny looking that pathiri was!! Thank you shaheen, I have finally learned how to make thinner pathiris. :) Do you make Meat ada too? How do you make the meat stuffing?
- Shammi's Caramel Custard: Yay! I have a picture for this!
I used my usual ratio of 3 eggs to one cup of milk. Also I didn't put the weight on the pressure cooker while steaming it. I totally altered Shammi's instructions. But the whole idea of cooking it in the pressure cooker was from her blog. So I thought I would post it here rather than making it a separate post. I steamed it in the prssure cooker for 8-10 minutes without the whistle.
- And I just made Saffron's Rava Laddoos! Her new sweet posts have made me grow an extra sweet tooth and I had to make it!
Thank you all for sharing all these wonderful recipes. Looking forward to cooking more from the blogs in the coming days.
Monday, October 16, 2006
In a mixing bowl, mix 3 tbsp mozarella cheese(this is for two slices of bread), 1 tbsp finely chopped onion, 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves, pepper powder to taste, a few pieces of dried tomatoes, and 1-2 green chillies cut into thin rounds. Mix together with a spoon.
Turn on the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a broiler safe pan and broil it for about 90 sec. Take it out of the broiler. Turn the bread so the already toasted side is on the bottom. Spread the cheese mix on the top evenly and put it back to the broiler. Broil 2 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and golden brown. Don't go away from the broiler because this will be easily burned if you forget about it for a second.
Since this is a quick broiling process, the onions in the toppings might taste raw. If you don't like the taste of raw onions, omit it. Other possible additions to the toppings are a pinch of minced garlic, fresh tomatoes instead of the dried ones, your choice of fresh or dried herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, sliced olives, mayonnaise etc. etc.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But ever since I started cooking on my own, I stopped taking good breakfasts. Dear husband supported by saying that he too stopped taking breakfasts after moving to his workplace. We decided we would take bread and butter if necessary. But how long people can live on bread and butter? Eventually breakfast has disappeared from our routine. Breakfast turned out to be something that we might make on a weekend. Even though we wanted to have a complete breakfast every morning, we just forget about it everyday until tummy starts grumbling by noon. Recently we got very breakfast conscious, and have been trying to eat something before 9 a.m. Probably it would be something that is leftover from the previous night, but we would try to take it early in the morning rather than waiting until noon. I don’t feel like to cook in the morning since I didn't do it all these years. So we just take sandwiches or cereal with milk before we start our day. Just thought to share something from our breakfast table.
- Broiled eggplants(recipe follows, I used leftovers.)
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Grilled chicken or beef cut into thin strips(any leftover meat would be fine)
- Pickled cucumbers
- Hummus or sour cream
- Fresh tomato slices
Cut eggplants into small pieces.
Marinate the eggplants in a mixture of garlic paste, ginger paste, salt, and kashmiri chilli powder for 30 minutes. Right before broiling, sprinkle some oil and stir to coat. Spread the eggplant pieces on a broiler safe pan. Place it under the broiler and broil 8 minutes on each side(or until it turns golden brown). You can serve this as a side dish for rice or as a sandwich filling.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Another kids’ favorite!
Fruit leather is a dried fruit snack made with real fruit (and no artificial color or flavors and other chemicals added like the store bought fruit rollups).
I make this often for my daughter. Once she took some in her lunch box, and the next day I got three recipe requests from her class. The process is so simple, and there is nothing to elaborate. Since I got the recipe requests, I had to type it down and print it out anyway, so I thought I would blog about it as well.
Choose good quality, ripe, fresh fruits for fruit leather. Overripe fruits are good too. You need to puree this fruit with or without sugar. Adding sugar is your choice. Naturally sweet fruits such as mangoes might not need extra sugar. Add a tsp of lemon juice (optional). Try to puree it without adding any water. But my blender wouldn’t cooperate, so I add a few tsp of water just enough to get the blender going. You can add orange juice instead of water too.
Prepare a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan or anything of that shape by covering it with good quality plastic wrap. Tape the edges of the plastic wrap under the cookie sheet to prevent it from flipping over while drying. Pour in the fruit puree and spread it evenly, about ¼ inch or less thick. Make sure the puree is not very frothy. Some fruits such as pineapple make frothy puree when you process it in a blender. Frothy puree wouldn't give good results.
Now we need to dry this. You can sun dry it if you wish to. Cover it with a net and place it under the hot sun. It would take a couple of days to dry completely. Alternatively, you may use a food dryer. In that case, you can use the tray that comes with the food dryer. Another method is to dry it in the oven. I dried it in a very low oven (115 degree F) for about 10 hours. Keep the oven door slightly open and the oven bulb on. If necessary, you can flip the fruit leather over and dry the other side too. But I don’t do this unless I feel that it is not dried properly even after 10 hours.
When it is all dry, remove it from the cookie sheet and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut into stripes and roll it to make fruit rollups. You can cut it in any shapes. You may cut it in rectangular shaped bars and stack it with wax paper lining.
Refrigerate the fruit leather properly, and this will stay good for a very long time.
You can use a single fruit or a combination of different fruits. Strawberries and mangoes are my family's favorites so far. According to the baby food recipe book I have, apples, pineapples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums are all good for making fruit leather. Some fruits won’t give good results if used alone. For example, pears. Mix them with apples to get good results. You can make a marbled effect by using two contrasting colors of fruit puree (for example, pineapples and strawberries).
More pictures from the workshop: