Whole wheat orange muffins

   
This is a recipe I am very sentimental about. This was the first recipe I baked. I started baking around two years ago and was pretty nervous. I had read up a lot on baking and everyone spoke about how important precise measurements are and how necessary it is to choose the right way to measure – cups versus weight. The line that gave me the most nightmares was – Mix but don’t overmix. Actually this line still scares me. 

  

It was at such a time a friend came to my rescue and told me – think but don’t overthink. I was on the verge of strangling her when she handed me this recipe and said – try it out. You’ll learn only if you attempt. Wiser words were not spoken since.

So here it is –

WHAT WE NEED

Plain yogurt                               1/2 cup

Milk                                              1/4 cup

Oil                                                 1/4 cup

Orange juice                              2 tbsp

Whole wheat flour                   1 cup

Sugar                                             1/2 cup

Baking powder                           1/2 tsp

Baking soda                                 1/4 tsp

Orange zest                                  4 tbsp

Raisins                                           6 tbsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Mix the wet ingredients – oil, yogurt, milk and orange juice.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
  • Mix them well till there is no fry flour visible.
  • Add the orange zest and raisins and mix
  • Pour the batter into a greased muffin tray or lined with muffin liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Cool for 10 minutes 
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I use freshly squeezed orange juice. If you re using store bought juice then add 6 tbsp sugar, taste the batter and add an additional 1 or 2 tbsp sugar later.
  2. If your orange juice is light in colour then replace 2-3 tbsp of sugar with brown sugar to get a darker colour. 

This is my post for the Cooking from Cookbook challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  

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Baked Potato Wedges

  

  

Having a toddler at home means making more potatoes. It is one thing that they eat without much of a fuss. So I am always trying out different recipes with potatoes to keep the variety and health aspects intact. But once in a way, a little indulgence is allowed, right?
  

I found this amazing recipe here and these wedges turned out so awesome! I wanted to make some kind of dip to go with it but the husband and kiddo just grabbed it from the oven and I had to sacrifice the dip in order to fight for my share of the fries.

It’s a simple and less guilt version of fries since they are baked and not fried. 

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Russet potatoes                         3, medium to large

Olive oil                                        3 tbsp

Salt                                                 2 tsp

Onion / garlic powder               2 tsp

Mixed dried herbs                      3 tsp

Parmesan cheese, grated         1/3 cup

Fresh herbs, optional                3 tsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Grease a baking tray lightly
  • Mix salt, seasoning and onion powder together and set aside
  • Wash and cut the potatoes into wedges
  • Place them in a large bowl, add olive oil and toss them well so that the oil coats all the wedges
  • Sprinkle the cheese and toss well to coat
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture and fresh herbs and toss to coat
  • Place the wedges in a single layer on the baking tray with the skin side down
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes till the wedges are golden brown in colour
  • Enjoy!

  

This is my entry for tea time snacks for the Blogging Marathon.

 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.
  

Orange & choco chip cookies


Guess what, I won a cookbook giveaway! I love giveaways and participate in them with full gusto, especially when its a cookbook at the end of the rainbow. Last month, I won 500 Cookies:the only cookie compendium you’ll ever need in a giveaway hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. So, as you can guess, my answer to all questions is now cookie. Bored? Have a cookie. Sad? Have a cookie. Happy? Have two cookies. You get the drift….


I am trying out my first recipe of the 500 today for tea time snacks.

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED  (for 12 large or 20 small cookies)

Unsalted Butter                 1/2 cup (113 gms)

Sugar                                     1 cup

Egg                                         1

Orange zest                         3-5 tsp

Vanilla extract                    1 tsp

All purpose flour               1 1/2 cup

Baking soda                         1/2 tsp

Baking powder                    1/4 tsp

Salt                                          1/4 tsp

Choco chips                          1 cup

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Beat the butter and sugar. Its not necessary for them to get fluffy. they just need to blend well with each other
  • Add the egg, orange zest and vanilla and combine
  • Sift together the dry ingredients
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the mixture
  • Add the choco chips and mix well.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to make small balls of the cookie dough and place them on a greased baking tray 2 inches apart. This gives space to the cookie to spread out

  • Bake for 8-9 minutes.
  • Cool for around 10 minutes
  • Store in an air tight container for upto 5 days.
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for tea time snacks at the Blogging Marathon.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Cheesy Ropes

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This week’s theme at the Blogging Marathon is tea time snacks. This reminds me of this awesome samosa kachori shop in Bangalore which was very close home. Usually the husband would walk to the store around 4 pm during weekends and get fresh and hot kachoris (for me) and samosas (for him) and we would have those with tea. I miss that shop and the owner who was one of the few people in Bangalore who spoke to me in Hindi and we would spend time chatting whenever I went there much to the husband’s dismay because he cannot understand why people need to talk to each other.

Now that we are in a non-samosa kachori place, it falls to my lot to come up with tea time snacks. I, as always, try to minimize work, vessels used and calories, in that order. I saw this particular recipe in a cookbook I bought in Kuala Lumpur. It has easy baking recipes for simple dishes like carrot cake, etc. This recipe is very easy but not so good on the calorie front. But, one cant have everything, everytime, right?

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Butter                                   60 gms

Cream cheese                   60 gms (softened to room temperature)

Egg                                        1

Salt                                        ½ tsp

Pepper                                 ½ – 1 tsp

All purpose flour             180 gms’

Baking powder                 1 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175 C
  • Cream butter and cheese
  • Beat in the egg and add salt and pepper
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder
  • Combine to form a soft dough
  • On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough and cut into strips.
  • Hold one end of the strip in each hand and twist in opposite directions to form a spiral shaped strip
  • Place on an ungreased baking tray and press the ends lightly on the tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or till golden
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool
  • Store in an air tight container and enjoy it with tea!

 

NOTES

  1. The original recipe suggests using white pepper powder. I did not have it and so used garlic pepper. It gave an additional flavour and was good.
  2. On cutting the dough into strips, you could cut the strips into halves which would make smaller ropes which are easier to handle and eat.
  3. Makes yummy finger food for toddlers. Mine has been gobbling them up like there is no tomorrow.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other Marathoners doing this BM

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Baked Spinach & Corn

 
I have seen and heard so much about baked spinach and corn but somehow I have never tried making it. I always end up making pasta with white sauce and forget about this wonderful combination.

So when my favorite chef on TV, Venkatesh Bhat showed his recipe I knew I had to make it.

So I made this recipe in two parts – one is the Bechamel Sauce and the other is this one.

  

So here goes –

Serves 2 and a cheese loving toddler

WHAT WE NEED

Boiled corn              1 cup

Water

Pinch of sugar

Olive oil                      1 tbsp

Spinach                      1 bunch

Garlic                          2 pods

Bechamel sauce       2 cups

Mixed dried herbs   2-3 tsp

Cherry tomatoes      6-8

Cheese                         Lots

WHAT TO DO

  • Boil water sufficient to immerse the spinach.
  • Once it is boiled, add the pinch of sugar
  • Once the sugar has melted, add the spinach such that it is completely immersed in the water.
  • Let it remain for 2-3 minutes. Then drain the water and pass the spinach under cold running water.
  • Squeeze the spinach and finely chop it and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a panama add finely chopped garlic to it
  • After the garlic attains a mild brown color, add the spinach and sauté for around 5 minutes
  • Remove the spinach and garlic from the pan.

   

  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • In the same pan, pour the Bechamel sauce.
  • Once it’s warm, add the corn, spinach and garlic and mix well to combine
  • Add the requisite amount of salt and stir well.
  • After 4-5 minutes, transfer the  mixture to an oven safe dish
  • Sprinkle the mixed herbs and pepper ppwder.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes either whole or halved
  • Grate cheddar and mozzarella cheese and sprinkle generously on top
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and attains a golden brown color. I baked for 5 minutes and then set the oven to broil for around 4 minutes.
  • Take it from the oven, drool, click some photos and enjoy with some bread!

   

NOTES

  1. You can also add fresh herbs, parsley, basil and pitted olives along with the cherry tomatoes.
  2. You can use as much or as less cheese as you want. You can use either cheddar or mozzarella or a mix of both. I used only cheddar.
  3. I used an 8*8 square dish. 

 

This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

    

 Bechamel Sauce

 

Did you know that white sauce is not just flour, butter and milk? I did not know that for so many years. Recently I found a more flavorful recipe from the Venkatesh Bhat show and I had to try it immediately. And I like the name too – Bechamel Sauce!  

  

Makes around 2 Cups

WHAT WE NEED

Unsalted butter         2 tbsp

All purpose flour       2 tbsp

Milk                                2 cups

Salt

Onion, peeled              1 medium

Cloves                            5-6

Bay leaf                          1

Nutmeg powder          1/2 tsp

WHAT TO DO   

  • Poke the cloves in the raw peeled onion at a inch apart from each other in a straight line
  • Melt the butter in a pan
  • Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk till it attains a sandy consistency
  • Add the milk and whisk till mixed together.
  • Add the onion, bay leaf, salt and nutmeg powder.

  

  • Whisk till the liquid thickens
  • Remove the onion and bay leaf from the sauce.
  • Remove the pan from heat and use it to make pasta or lasagna or anything else.
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. I did use the onion later on to cook. It worked fine.

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli.

 

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

Butterscotch Sauce

  
To imagine that I did not know butterscotch sauce is this easy to make!! When I picked on the dips and sauces theme for this week’s blogging marathon, I wanted one sweet sauce just for the variety. I was trying to look for some rich chocolate sauce when I chanced upon this recipe for butterscotch. We have spend significant turn since then licking spoons of this sauce.

  
The nice part is that it is so ridiculously easy to make and it goes with everything. We tried it with vanilla ice cream. Yum. We tried it with apples and bananas. Yumm. I am sensing there is a smoothie recipe hidden somewhere with this sauce. Maybe I will just put the bananas, milk and butterscotch sauce in a blender and let them work out their magic.

  
  
Before that, here is the recipe which I faithfully copied from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Unsalted butter           4 tbsp

Thick cream                  8 tbsp

Light brown sugar      8 tbsp

Sea salt                           1 tsp

Vanilla essence            1 1/2 tsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Melt the butter in a small pan
  • Add the cream, sugar and salt and whisk till they mixed in
  • Cook for around 5 minutes occasionally whisking it.
  • Take it off the heat and add the vanilla.
  • Whisk and taste (without scalding your tongue, of course)
  • Add more salt or vanilla if you feel the need to. ( I did not)
  • Enjoy it with fruits or ice cream or on top of a pound cake or from the back of a spoon!

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli

  

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

Sour cream & cheese dip

My brother is here for a week nd so the days are full of chatting, laughing and lots of eating. He is probably the only person who likes absolutely everything I make. So it’s fun to be cooking and baking for him.

Dips are one of his favorite eats and he likes dips with everything. So this is what we came up with today. It’s mostly adapted from here with few changes here and there.

Makes 1/2 cup 

WHAT WE NEED

Sour cream                        5 tbsp

Parmesan, grated            2 tbsp

Mayonnaise                       1 1/2 tbsp

Garlic pepper                     1/2 tsp

Onion powder                    1 tsp

Chilly flakes (optional)   1/2 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
  • Serve with crackers or veggies or chips
  • Enjoy!
  • If you manage to have any left, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days


This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli.

 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58