Classic Chocolate Cake

   

There are few things more comforting that chocolate cake….very few things. This is my third and final recipe from the Top 100 recipes.

I followed the recipe completely. The only change was that I halved the recipe. It turned out so well.

WHAT WE NEED

Unsalted butter          1/3 cup

Granulated Sugar      1/2 cup +  5 tbsp

Eggs                               2

All purpose flour       1 cup

Baking cocoa               1/4 cup

Baking soda                1/2 tsp (heaped)

Salt                                 1/2 tsp

Milk                                1/2 cup + 3 tbsp

Confectioners sugar  to sprinkle
WHAT TO DO

  • Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one by one and beat the mixture till smooth
  • Mix the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt – together in a seperate bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients and milk alternatively in two halves. 
  • Mix to a smooth batter after each addition.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool completely 
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Top 100 Dishes.

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Sour Cream Cucumber

   

This is the second day of this week where I need to pick a recipe from the Top 100 recipes of 2015.

This recipe was an absolute surprise. I picked it because I had less time and had to do something quickly. Since I had all the ingredients for this one, I figured I could do it. It seemed so simple but once I starting having it, the burst of flavors and the beautiful blend of the pepper with sugar, the vinegar with sour cream was totally yumm.

So here goes – 

Serves 2

WHAT WE NEED

Cucumber, large                  1

Onion, small                         1

Sour cream                            2 tbsp

Vinegar                                   2 tsp

Sugar                                       2 tsp

Pepper                                     to taste
WHAT TO DO

  • Slice the cucumbers thinly
  • Cut the onions into rings
  • In a bowl, beat the sour cream, vinegar, sugar and pepper together.
  • Add the sliced cucumber and onion.
  • Refrigerate covered for atleast 4 hours.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon.
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under Top 100 dishes.

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Homemade Pizza

  

   

My theme for this week’s theme is pretty interesting. I have to cook three recipes from the Top 100 recipes of 2015 from here. The list has so many amazing recipes that it is hard to pick just three.  But I have been having cheesy cravings for a while now. Don’t ask what’s new! So I decided to pick the Homemade Pizza for the first day. The only change I made was omitting th bacon and substituting it with some veggies. It was so good, if I may say so myself. The flip side is that the husband and daughter have decided to never have pizza from anywhere else. It’s a recipe for keeps!

So here goes –

Makes 2  9″ pizzas 

WHAT WE NEED

Instant yeast                            7 gms

Sugar                                           1 tsp

Water, warm to touch            1 1/4 cup

Salt                                               1 1/4 tsp

Oil ( canola / rice bran)          1/4 cup

All purpose flour                      3 1/2 cups    

Tomato sauce                            2-3 tbsp

Mixed dried herbs                    2 tsp

Baby corn                                    4

Button mushrooms                 4

Cherry tomatoes                      8

Pitted olives                              5

Mozzarella cheese                 3/4  – 1 cup

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl and keep aside for 5 minutes
  • Add the salt and oil and mix well
  • Add the flour and combine it to form a soft dough
  • Transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes
  • Keep it in a greased bowl for 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size
  • Cut the baby corns into 2 vertically, slice the mushrooms and olives thinly and cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and cut it into two halves.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • On a baking sheet or tray, roll out one half of the dough into a 9″ circle.
  • Apply 1-2 tbsp of tomato sauce on it and spread it out. Sprinkle the herbs on top
  • Arrange the veggies on top of the sauce and top it with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake it for 18-20 minutes till the ends start browning.
  • If the cheese hasn’t turned golden brown by then, broil for 1-2 minutes 
  • Repeat the same with the other half of the dough as well
  • Enjoy!

    

NOTES

  1. Since my oven and baking tray are pretty small, the round shaped pizza turned out to have a very thick base. It was still tasty and perfectly baked but it was tough to feed a thick base to the daughter. Hence, I made the second dough into a rectangular shape which gave me a comparatively thinner base.
  2. Mix and match with toppings of your choice but keep the base recipe exactly like this one. It’s worth it!!!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Top 100 dishes of 2015.

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Cheesy Potato Soup

 

I figured another soup recipe would be a good finish to this week’s marathon.  I was struggling to choose between a nutritious beetroot soup (a recipe that has been in the  ‘to do’ list for ages) and this creamy, cheesy, rich potato soup. Not much of a contest especially since it’s so much easier peeling and cutting potatoes as compared to beets. 
I adapted this from here deleting the bacon (obviously!) and also the cream and flour. I replaced the celery with coriander and voila! Rich, tasty soup is served. The daughter finished it up in a jiffy which is the ultimate stamp of approval.

So here goes –

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                                     1 tbsp

Onion, medium                       2

Carrot, small                             1

Coriander stalks                       8-10

Russet potatoes, medium     3

Milk                                              200 ml

Vegetable stock / water          300 ml

Cajun seasoning                       1 tsp

Salt

Pepper

Cheddar cheese, grated     to garnish 

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the onions, carrot and coriander stalks finely.
  • Heat the oil and add the onions.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the carrot and coriander stalks and mix well.
  • Was, peel and cut the potatoes into 1″ cubes.
  • Add the potatoes to the other vegetables and let ten cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ilk, stock, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and cover to cook.
  • Let it cook for around 20 minutes till the potatoes are completely cooked.
  • Cool and blend to a smooth purée consistency with an immersion blender.
  • Warm the soup before serving.
  • Garnish with cheese 
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Blogging Maraton under Root Vegetables.

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Creamy Radish Soup

   

Another root vegetable, another soup. But this wasn’t such a success with the kiddo. She was initially excited looking at the soup but did not have more than couple of spoons. But the husband and I liked it.

It’s a simple soup with few ingredients and a wonderful flavor. Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                       1 tbsp

Radish                          500 gms

Onion, medium         2

Potato, medium        2

Milk                              250 ml

Water                           200 ml

Salt

Pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the onions and radio finely. The radish can also be grated.
  • Heat the oil and add the onions and radish.
  • Cook them till the onions turn translucent.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes into 1″ pieces.
  • Add the potatoes and milk.
  • Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes till the potatoes are completely cooked.
  • Cool and blend the mixture into a smooth soup. Add water if required.
  • Warm the soup before serving.
  • Can garnish it with sour cream (optional).
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under Root Vegetables.

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Sweet potato lentil soup

 

My theme for the week at Blogging Marathon is Root Vegetables and I am so glad that, for once, it’s a problem of plenty. Usually I have to skip themes or recipes since certain key ingredients won’t be available. But if this place has something, it’s a variety of root vegetables. 
For the first day, I have chosen the versatile sweet potato. You can make so many recipes with this be it fries, wedges, curry, dips, hummus, cakes, soups, etc.  I was looking to get more veggies as soups since it’s a healthy dinner and also the easiest way to get the vegetables into my toddler. This soup, adapted from here, is a delightful combination of sweet potato and red lentils with seasoning and spices. Do try –

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Oil                                         2-3 tsp

Garlic                                   2 cloves

Ginger                                  1″ piece

Onion, medium                2

Coriander chutney           2-3 tsp

Red lentil/ masoor dal    1/2 cup

Sweet potato                     300 gms

Red chilly powder            1-2 tsp

Vegetable stock                500 ml

Whey or Milk                    200 ml        

Salt            

Sunflower seeds              2 tsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil and add the ginger and garlic
  • Once th garlic starts turning brown, add the onions and fry till they turn translucent.
  • Add the lentils, coriander chutney, chilly powder and vegetable stock. Cover and cook.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potato. Grate or finely chop it and add it to the lentils.
  • Add salt and cook covered for around 20 minutes till the lentils and sweet potatoes are completely cooked.
  • Let it cool and then blend it with an immersion blender.
  • Toast the sunflower seeds and add it to the soup.
  • Warm the soup before serving.
  • Enjoy!

  NOTES

  1. The coriander chutney can be replaced with coriander leaves and stalks. In that case, increase the chilly powder by another 1 tsp.
  2. I had excess whey and hence I used it. Milk will work perfectly fine.

This is my entry for Blogging Marathon under Root Vegetables.

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Orange Coffee

   
My mother used to make orange tea. She would save all the peels from the oranges we are and then proceed to brew tea with it.

When I picked coffee as a theme for this week’s blogging marathon, I thought I could try coffee with orange.

Then I found this recipe and went ahead with it.

So here goes –

For 2 glasses

WHAT WE NEED

Instant coffee              2 tsp

Brown sugar                 1-2 tbsp

Orange zest                  2-3 tsp

Ground all spice          1/4 tsp

Ground cinnamon      a pinch

Water                              2 1/2 cups

WHAT TO DO

  • Boil the water
  • Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl
  • Pour the water into the bowl and mix well
  • Stir until all the ingredients are dissolved
  • Taste and adjust for sugar, if needed
  • Chill for a couple of hours
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Drinks three way.

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Cappuccino 

   

It’s probably the most popular version of coffee. When you are not sure what to order, it’s usually a cup of cappuccino. It’s really easy to make and can be sipped in the luxury of your favorite chair.

So here goes –

Serves 2

Recipe source here.

WHAT WE NEED

Warm brewed coffee                        1 cup

Milk                                                       1 cup    

Cinnamon stick                                 1

Sugar                                                      1 tbsp


WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the milk and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.
  • Once it comes to boil, simmer and let it remain for ten minutes and switch off the gas.
  • Pour the coffee in a cup and add sugar.
  • Pour the milk from a reasonable height so that the coffee can froth.
  • Else, you can blend all the ingredients till it froths
  • Enjoy

   

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under – Drinks, three way.
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Mocha

   

As a typical Tamilian, I know only one kind of coffee and that is, of course, The filter coffee. Once you are used to that, it’s almost impossible to like anything else. So I find it hard to enjoy any coffee in the innumerable cafes and coffee chains. So my usual rule is to have coffee at home and tea outside.

When the drinks theme came up in Blogging Marathon, I thought I should try making these coffee varieties at home and maybe I will like them better. Well, I did like them better but filter coffee still rules.

So here is the recipe for Mocha with milk and cocoa, from here.

For 1 cup of coffee

WHAT WE NEED

Hot brewed coffee                               3/4 cup

Unsweetened cocoa powder             1 tbsp

Sugar                                                        1 tbsp

Milk                                                          3 tbsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Pour the hot coffee into a mug.
  • Add the cocoa, sugar and milk.
  • Stir well till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. The sugar and milk can be adjusted to suit your taste. If you are reducing sugar, then also reduce cocoa powder accordingly.


 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under – Drinks, three way.
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Moong Dal Halwa 

   

Moong dal halwa is one of my favorite sweets. This time I decided to replace sugar with jaggery to give it a healthier twist. 

But I ran out of sugar as well as jaggery and so I picked the palm sugar that was waiting to be experimented with for almost 2 months. Palm sugar is healthier than regular refined sugar and supposed to be good alternative for diabetes patients. 
  

So here goes –

Recipe adapted from here.

Serves 6-8 

WHAT WE NEED

Split moong dal / yellow lentil                           1 cup

Water                                                                          1 cup

Coconut Palm sugar                                               1 cup

Ghee / clarified butter                                           1 1/2 tbsp

Cashewnuts, broken                                              10
WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the dal in water for 4 hours
  • Then pressure cook it using 1 cup of water. Once done, mash it and keep aside
  • Heat 1/2 tbsp ghee and fry the cashewnuts. Keep aside
  • Heat the palm sugar
  • Once the palm sugar is completely melted and starts thickening, add the mashed da and mix well.
  • Keep stirring regularly and let the mixture thicken.
  • Once most of the water in the mixture evaporates, add the ghee.
  • When the ghee starts leaving the sides of the pan, add the cashewnuts and switch off the flame.
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for th Blogging Marathon under Indian Sweets.

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