Thursday, November 21, 2013



          Ingredients :
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup / 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar ( + 2 Tbsp if you like it sweeter )
1/2 cup hot milk
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( you might need 1/4 cup or little more to make a soft  elastic dough )
1 egg , beaten
oil for deep frying
How to proceed :
          I used my Cuisinart automatic bread machine to make the dough .
1) Add all the ingredients in the order as listed .
If you want to make it without bread machine
1) Add 1 tsp sugar and yeast to warm milk and allow to prove .
2) Mix together butter , sugar and hot milk till the butter is creamy and melted and sugar dissolves .
3) Let it cool a bit .
4) Add egg and mix well .
5) Add 1/2 cup of flour and yeast .Mix well .
6) Add rest of the flour to make soft elastic dough .
7) Cover and let rise till double in volume .
8) Punch down the dough lightly .
9) Divide the dough in 3 / 4 ( to roll it easily )
10) Roll the dough with little or no pressure about 1/4 of an inch thick . 
11) Cut the doughnuts with doughnut cutter . I don't have one so I used the cookie cutters .
12) Keep on lightly greased cookie sheet and let rise for about 30 minutes .
13) Heat oil on medium heat .
14) Fry the doughnuts on medium low flame till golden brown .
15 ) Keep on paper towel .
16 ) Dip in the glaze while still warm .
Plain Glaze :
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp+ 1/2 tsp boiling water
    Mix together to make glaze of coating consistency( it should coat the back of spoon ) .
Chocolate Glaze :
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
       Melt in double boiler or microwave on 50% power for 30 sec - 1 min . stirring occasionally .
Sprinkles for decoration
The leftover dough can be rolled to make doughnut holes . I put them in a zip lock bag with powder sugar to coat well .

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Elmo cake for Sophia's 1st birthday

                         This cake is for the sweetest 1 year old girl Sophia . She loves Elmo and my friend , Sophia's mom wanted to have a smash cake for Sophia and her sissy . So here it...Happy birthday .

                          It is a basic white cake with whipped cream icing . The mouth is made with melted chocolate .

Cake decorated by Jr and Princess Pea

                  This is Jr and Princess Pea's first attempt of cake decoration . And they made this momma very proud . The cake is a basic white cake with whipped cream icing . Here's wishing Saarth a very happy birthday ...

DIY Bench , our Long Weekend Project

                           Mr. AJ and I  LOVE  DIY projects . Being back from a long vacation we wanted to stay home and have fun during the fourth of July weekend . We wanted to have something in the foyer to sit and still not make it look like a formal seating arrangement . We even did not want to put chairs there . A bench was a perfect solution for that . The material ( wood ) for this bench was under $30 . We decided to paint it instead of staining and added baskets that look neutral . The bench is made with 2x4s and is very sturdy . You can find the plan and the step by step directions here.

Strawberry soup for my princess

                I am back to blogging after a long break of almost four months . Yay... Since the day we got home after the dream vacation at the Disney World  , Princess Pea had been asking me to make Cinderella's favorite strawberry soup that she had at the character dining with Cinderella ,Prince Charming , her step mother and Step sisters . What a great experience it was ! I made this soup when We were invited for a cookout on hot summer  evening .. This  soup is very cool and refreshing and a good start to Royal Feast ..
               Though I was given a recipe for the soup along with our pictures taken at 1900 Park Fare , I changed it to make it with whatever I had in my fridge . The pink soup is also perfect for girl's birthday parties as well as tea parties .

What we need :

2 lb. strawberries ( frozen work well too )
2-4 tbsp. sugar ( depending on the sweetness of the strawberries )
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup yogurt
strawberries or mint to garnish

To Proceed :

1) Wash and chop the strawberries .
2) Add sugar and let it sit in the fridge for 1/2 hour .
3) Blend together strawberries , milk , sour cream and yogurt till the soup is creamy .
4) If you find the soup to be very thick , adjust the consistency with some more milk .
5) Chill well and serve .
6) Garnish with either fresh sliced strawberries or a spring of mint .

*** The actual recipe calls for heavy cream but I substituted it with milk (whole or 2% is fine) to make it a bit healthier .
        You can use 1/2 cup of yogurt instead of sour  cream to make it a healthy version for Kings and Queens .****


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spiced Chocolate Rice

Ingredients :

Rice - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup
Grated ginger - 1/8 tsp
Green cardamom - 2
Cloves - 2
Ghee - 1tsp + 1tsp
Salt to taste
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
Milk , warm - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp

For Garnish :

few grapes

How to :

1) Wash and drain the rice . Keep aside for 10 minutes .
2) Heat ghee in pan andadd green cardamom and cloves to it .
3) Add grated ginger and washed rice and fry for 2 minutes.
4) Boil milk and water together and add to the rice.
5) Cook the rice completely .
6) Cool the cooked rice .
7) Melt the chocolate chips in microwavr for 1 minute or in double boiler .
8) Add warm milk to it .
9) Add sugar and mix well .
10) Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan .
11) Add cooled rice and the chocolate in the milk to it .
12) Cook till all the chocolate milk is absorbed in the rice .
13) Cover and steam for 2 minutes.
14) Garnish with sliced grapes and strawbrries .
15 ) Serve warm .

** This dish can be made with leftover plain rice too . In that case , heat ghee ,add cardamom and cloves , grated ginger and then cooked rice to it .
** You can use any favorite chocolate bar for this recipe .
** You can add fruits directly to the rice before serving .

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Egg in avocado nest

     Ingredients :

1 Ripe avocado
2 Eggs
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice
2 tbsp butter

    To proceed :

1) Cut avocado in half and remove the stone .
2) Cut a small slice around the center of the avocado so it can be a nest to hold the egg .
3) Cut a thin slice from the curved side of avocado so it can stay straight in the pan .
4) Heat butter in a pan .
5) Place avocado slice in the hot pan .
6) Crack one egg in the avocado .
7) Season with salt and pepper .
8) Sprinkle cheese on top and cook till the
9) Cover the pan and let the egg cook according to your liking .
10) Serve with homemade almond milk .


Choco Lassi

Ingredients :

2 cups yogurt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips ( or any of your choice )
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk

To make the lassi :

1) Melt the chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler till completely melted .
2) Blend together yogurt , salt, sugar and vanilla till smooth .
3) Adjust the consistency with milk .
4) Add melted chocolate to it and blend again .
5) Pour it in a glass and top with some more melted chocolate .

Enjoy !!!!

** I add milk instead of water to thin the lassi as my son does not like to milk at all . You can add water if you want .
** You can use candy melts to make different colored lassi too.
** I decorated the glass with melted chocolate just to make it look fancier.

School supplies organiser

                      Pinterst inspired school supplies organiser . It's made with empty shoe box and bath tissue rolls . the shoe box is covered in wrapping paper and decorative plastic tape . 

Avocado bhajji / Avocado fritters with lemon cilatro dip

For the bhajjis :

2 Avocados,pitted and sliced
1 cup besan/ chickpea flour
1tbsp rice flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp hot oil
t sp turmeric powder
oil to fry

For lemon cilantro dip :

1 cup hung yogurt / greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
1 green chilli ,finely chopped
salt to taste

 To proceed :

Bhajjis :

1) Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan .
2) Mix besan , rice flour , turmeric powder and salt together .
3) Add a tbsp of hot oil to it .
4) Add water to make a thin batter .
5) Dip avocado slice in this batter and fry in the hot oil till golden brown .
6) Drain on paper towel .

Lemon Cilanto dip :

1) Whisk the hung yogury / greek yogurt till creamy .
2) Add chopped cilantro , green chilli and lemon juice and mix well.
3) Add salt according to your taste .
4) Chill in the refrigerator .

Serve the hot pakodas with chilled dip . Enjoy....

** Adding rice flour to besan makes the cover little grandma's trick... :)

Watermelon rind kofta curry

 Ingredients :

 For kofta :

2 cups grated watermelon rind ( green and white part)
1 cup besan( chickpea flour)
2 tbsp freshly made paneer
1/2 tsp ginger paste
salt to taste
oil to fry

For gravy :

2 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp
2 onions chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garilic paste
4-5 cashews
1 tsp khas khas( white poppy seeds )
2 tomatoes ,pureed
1/4 cup yogurt
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 cups water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

To proceed :

Kofta :

1) Squeeze as much water as possible from the grated watermelon rind .
2) Add besan ,paneer, salt and ginger paste to form a loose dough .
3) Makje koftas of desired size and shape .
4) Fry in hot oil till golden brown in color and drain on paper towel .

Gravy :

1) Soak cashews and khas khas in warm water for 10 minutes .
2) Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry chopped onions till they turn dark brown .
3) Let the browned onions cool down .
4) Grind browned onions along with soaked cashews , khaskhas and 1/4 cup yogurt to a fine paste .
5) Heat a tbsp of oil in pan and add the onion paste .
6) Fry the onions till you see oil seperating from the sides . ( It won't take more than 2 minutes as the onions are already cooked )
7) Add ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute .
8) Add tomato puree and cook till oil seperates .
9) Add all the dry spices and fry for another minute .
10) Add tomato ketchup and continue cooking for a minute .
11) Add salt and water .
12 ) Bring the gravy to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes with cover .
13) Drop the koftas in the gravy .
14) Let the koftas sit in the gravy for 15 minutes .( off the heat )
15 )Garnish with chopped cilantro .
16 ) Serve hot with rice ,roti,puri or paratha.

** The green part of the rind is little hard .It gets soft when kept in the gravy for 15 minutes .
** Fresh paneer was made by boiling one cup of milk and adding a few drops of lemon juice to it . Put it on paper towel and it's ready to use .
** Adding yougurt while making onion paste reduces the amount of oil in the recipe .
** Adding a pinch of sugar helps browning onions .
** Tomato ketchup adjusts the sourness of the gravy along with enhancing the color of the gravy if tomatoes are not bright red .


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower

                            This is my entry for Pallavi's( A Cook @ Heart ) the "I must make that "contest . The pictures in her blog are so tempting I could eat the food with my eyes . She is hosting a contest and giveaway and this will will be my first participation at any event .

                           Tailgating parties are incomplete without the buffalo wings . Normally these are chicken wings and are pretty spicy . The spice in the wings is the only reason I decided to give them a try . On one of our trips to Niagara Falls , I decided to try them . Hubby dear took me to the "Anchor bar " where the wings are supposed to be originated . I am not a fan of non vegetarian food . Being raised a vegetarian I started eating chicken and only chicken after meeting my husband . He is a foodie and loves to eat non vegetarian food . But he has never asked me to cook meat at home as he knows how uncomfortable it is for me . After moving to the US I realized I can not eat the chicken we get in the restaurants here . The chicken in Indian dishes is so well seasoned and spiced ,one can hardly feel he is eating meat . But it's not the case here . But buffalo wings is a totally different story . Some of the wings you get in Anchor Bar are so spicy they have even named them "suicidal " . Till now you must have guessed how much I LOVE the wings . But then I don't like them with bones . They should be well seasoned and most importantly they have to taste the same as the wings at Anchor bar . Now here is the main problem . I am about 300 miles away from Buffalo ,NY . So if I want to eat wings , I have to either drive there or find an alternative .
                            This was my moment of  " I must make that " . Earlier there was Yahoo ,Google and now there is Pinterest . People there are so creative , there is hardly anything you don't find there . I had seen pictures for cauliflower steak , pizza and now wings . After reading the recipe I knew what I wanted to do . I had to tweak the recipe to suit my taste and the results were amazing . Kids and hubby loved it and so did I . the best thing is I can eat my favorite dish without eating any meat and without travelling 300 miles . I did not make the buffalo sauce at home and Frank's hot sauce worked very well  . One more thing to note is I did not miss eating the real wings at all .

Ingredients :

a big cauliflower head
1 cup rice flour
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk / water works as well
1/8 tsp grated garlic
2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
salt to taste

Buffalo hot sauce :

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce

How to :

1) Preheat the oven to 450 F.
2) Cut cauliflower into bite size florets .
3) Mix buttermilk , rice flour ,all purpose flour , grated garlic , hot sauce and salt to make a medium consistency batter . The batter should coat the back of the spoon .
4) Add cauliflower florets in the batter and stir gently to coat the florets well .
5) Line a cookie sheet with aluminium foil and spray with non stick spray .
6) Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or till the florets are gloden in color .
7) Meanwhile mix melted butter and hot sauce together .
8) Add the florets in the sauce to coat well .
9) The wings are ready to eat at this time . If you want the sauce to seep in the florets , put it in the oven for couple more minutes .
10 ) Serve hot with any dressing of your choice . The wings are normally eaten with blue cheese dressing but that's not a favorite at my place . So we had it with ranch .

             So my friends,  try these vegetarian wings and enjoy !!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dry fruit truffles

                      The kiddos will eat anything with chocolate . So will their friends . That made me decide this year I was going to gift chocolates to my kiddo's friends . Jr always says ," everything comes with a catch ". The catch here is these are healthy chocolates . Luckily none of the kiddo's  friends are allergic to anything . I had to make these when kiddos were at school as it gives me the best opportunity to sneak in many things . The truffles have dates ,almonds ,pistachios , raisins , walnuts ,peanuts ,cranbeeries and spices like cardamom ,nutmeg and saffron . The options are endless . Only thing to remember is dates and raisins help to bind all the dry fruit and add natural sweetness .

Ingredients :

1cup dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
a few strands of saffron
3 cups wilton candy melt wafers

To proceed :

1) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper .
2) Grind all the dry fruits in fruit processor till the mixture comes together .
3) Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder and saffropn and pulse for couple of times.
4) Shape the dry fruit mixture in desired sized balls .
5) Melt the candy melts according to the package direction .
6) Dip the dry fruit balls in melted chocolate and keep them on the wax paper to harden .
7) The chocolate hardens in less than 10 minutes .
8) Wrap them individually in candy wrapper or keep in an airtight container .


                   Jr's friends liked it so much they have requested the same gift on the friendship day ..Yay...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Paneer butter masala

                          There are very few things my kiddos eat without any fuss . Paneer butter masala or orange gravy as Princess Pea calls it ,tops the list . Many times when I ask her what she would like to eat she asks for the ' orange gravy ' . Though I like to make the gravy using the freshest ingredients , sometimes the time is not in my favor . That's when this semi-homemade concept comes handy . I am a big fan of the show "Semi homemade with Sandra Lee" on food network . Store bought ingredients make this preparation super easy . Many new moms and  the students in the dorm have been asking for the simple form of this recipe and that's the reason it made to my blog .

Ingredients :

1 tbsp + 2 tsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ginger -garlic paste ( I like to  grate ginger and garlic freshly )
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp kasoori methi
16 oz tomato sauce ( I prefer no sodium sauce and season it according to my taste)
1/8 cup heavy cream or whole milk
14 oz paneer
2 tsp chopped cilantro
salt to taste
2 cups water

To proceed :

1) Cut the paneer into desired shape . I cut it in bite size cubes.
2) Place the cut paneer with 2 tsp oil in a ziplock bag . Give it a nice shake so all the paneer cubes are coated with oil .
3) Toast the paneer in a heavy bottom pan on medium low heat till golden brown . This is to eliminate frying the paneer .
4)Boil 2 cups of water and add a the toasted paneer to it . Let it sit for 5 minutes .This will make the paneer super soft .
5) Heat butter and oil in apan .
6) Add ginger garlic paste and a tsp of water and fry for 2 minutes .
7) Add the tomato sauce and let it boil for 5 minutes .
8) Add garam masala and red chilli powder .
9) Microwave kasoori methi for 30 sec and crush it between your palms to make a coarse powder .
10) Add kasoori methi to it .
11) Add salt according to your taste .
12) Add heavy cream .
13) Drain the water from paneer and add it to the gravy .
14) Let it simmer for couple of minutes .
15) Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves .

** If you want to make the makhani gravy using fresh tomatoes ,you can findthe recipe here.**

Serve the paneer butter masala with plain or jeera rice ,naan,roti or paratha .

          Enjoy !!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dessert Pasta in white chocolate sauce

                    Which kid does not like pasta and chocolate . One sunday morning when Princess Pea and I were enjoying our quiet time together in the wee hours , somehow the talks drifted to food . She started talking about how she had always dreamt about pasta in chocolate sauce . A thought flashed in my mind and I decided to make the recipe exactly the same way she was telling me . Belive me , I was not sure of the outcome but still decided to go ahead only to please Princess Pea . When we tasted this dish , it was absolutely divine . Let me not waste my time and tell you how this dish was created .

Ingredients :-

1 cup pasta of your choice ( we used penne)
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup freshly sqeezed orange juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp vanilla
strawberries ,banana sliced
oranges wedges

To proceed :

1) Cook the pasta according to the pakage directions and drain the water . Refresh in cold water , drain and keep aside .
2) Melt heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a double boiler till the chocolate is melted and thickened to coat the back of the spoon .
3) Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan . Add orange juice and honey and cook till the sauce is thickened .
4) Melt the semi sweet chocolate chips .
5) Toss the pasta in white chocolate sauce .
6) Add sliced bananas ,strawberries and orange wedges.
7) Garnish with melted semi sweet chocolate .


Baked Potato cheese Boondi Shev toast

                              Every day like many other moms , I wonder what to cook for afterschool snack that won't be too heavy nor too light to make the kiddos hungry within half hour . Both Jr and Princess Pea love munching on boondi and bhujia shev . And that definitely does not keep them full even for little time . So here is something both mom and kids compromised on this toast .

Ingredients :-

Potato toast :-

4 potatoes boiled and mashed
2 tsp ginger - garlic - green chilli paste
1 tbsp corn flour / all purpose flour
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp roasted cumin ,crushed
1 cup grated cheese
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Topping :

1/2 cup boondi
1/2 cup bhujia shev

To Proceed :-

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F .
2) Grease a 8 x 13 pan.
3) Mix all the ingredients for the potato toast .
4) Spread the toast base in the greased pan .
5) Spread the topping on the toast and press them gently in the toast .
6) Bake for 15 mins or till golden in color .
7) Cool for 5 minutes before cutting in desired shape and size .
8) Serve warm with ketchup or dip of your choice .

No bake granola bars

                             The kiddos at Kane's Coop are spoiled . They have such a long list of preferences while buying granola bars ,I have not yet found any single one available on the shelves that makes them happy . So the mommy in me decided to give it a try . Pinterest was there as usual to help me . I made the bars with all the good stuff I wanted to sneak in without kiddo's knowledge .They don't like crunchy bars so I thought of making no bake bars and the kids loved .... absolutely loved these .

Ingredients :

4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/8 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

To proceed  :

1) Grease a pan .
2) Mix all the dry ingredients .
3) Melt butter on low heat .
4) Mix melted butter ,peanut butter and raw honey together.
4) Add it to the dry ingredients and mix well .
5) The mixture will be moist and sticky.
6) Press the mixture in the greased pan according to desired thickness .
7) Put it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours .
8) Cut in desired sized bars . ( I used the pizza cutter )
9) Wrap individual bar in plastic wrap or wax paper .
10) Store in the refrigerator .