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 .