Monday, November 30, 2015

Berrylicious smoothie :-)

We are on a smoothie trip, me and my hubby. He has bought a powerful mixer , called Nutri bullet and it is perfect for making different types of smoothie. 
Packed with protein and nutrients, smoothie is ideal for on the run drink, or take along while going for work.
These mouth watering smoothies are prepared using fresh fruits  and vegetables , not to forget to add some nuts and sunflower/ chia seeds , berries and carrots and oranges  also make a great smoothie. Another interesting ingredient is Almond milk, that is flavorful and light to drink.
My son like most of the kids is not a vegetable eater (though he does eat some veggies) so this is the best way to feed kids , make it tasty and colorful and you have the perfect formula to excite kids to have this smoothie!!
I like to experiment using different fruits , veggies and the result is a power packed drink, so you'll too try some and make your family feel healthy too!!





Ingredients

1/4 cup washed blue berries
1/2 cup washed strawberries
1 cup Almond milk
1/4 cup sunflower seeds ( or chia seeds is fine too)
1/2 cup washed cleaned carrots
2 tsp Whey protein powder
3 to 4 ice cubes 
This makes one jar of smoothie, approx 2 glasses !!

Method:
I like to use the blender jar ( Nutribullet jar, as a measure cup)
Basically simplest thing to prepare,  add  berries, carrots,and some seeds into the nutribullet jar.
Now add the liquid part ( either juice or almond milk, coconut water-your choice)
 Next add whey protein powder and then ice cubes, about 3 to 4 and put the lid on and  let Nutribullet do the needful, churning out the juice and its powerful motor and blades extract all the juices and blend all the seeds, result is smooth smoothie, ready to drink with all its goodness.
Pour into tall glass and drink cool smoothie.
As mentioned I have prepared using Kale and avocado smoothie, you can similarly add your choice of ingredients and make it to your taste.
Do share your thoughts and ideas about other ingredients!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oatmeal butterscotch cookies

Holidays are almost here!! and the crisp cold air calls for some freshly baked warm cookies. Previously  having baked chocolate chip cookies, I decided to try out something different and so tried out a recipe that uses old fashioned oats with butterscotch chips.  Oatmeal butterscotch cookies, are crisp outside, and soft, chewy on the inside. 
I tried these at my friends place and just wanted to try make them, so here is a  recipe. Do try some yourself they taste delicious and fills the house with sweet freshly baked cookies aroma!!

Ingredients   
1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 pack butterscotch chips



Ingredients

Stir and cream both butters and sugar 

Sieve dry ingredients 
                                                            
Add oats and butterscotch chips to cookie dough



Baking till the cookies appear crisp and baked ! at 350 F

Oatmeal and butterscotch cookies are ready to eat !

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Using an electric hand beater or wooden spoon, and a large bowl cream butter and both sugars till light and fluffy.
2.Add vanilla essence ,and eggs and mix well.
3.Sieve flour, add baking soda, cinnamon and add stir the dry ingredients, stir together and add in oats and butterscotch chips and mix well.
4.Using an tablespoon, scoop out approx 2 inch dough and place onto the cookie sheet ( Lined with parchment paper) and bake for 10 minutes or until they appear light golden in color.  
  After they are  baked continue to cool them for few minutes, on a wire rack. Enjoy and they store well in a sealed container.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Caramel Custard Pudding


Caramel custard has always been one of my favorite desserts. The custard is baked and the combination with caramelized sugar coating on the top, is simply divine. This dessert has its origin from Roman times and has been popular since with both French and Spanish people.  An elegant dessert and enjoyed world wide.

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sugar for adding to custard
1/2 cup sugar for caramelizing 


Ingredients

Warm milk to Luke warm

Add few drops to caramelize sugar 

Add milk to eggs slowly to avoid curdle


Pour caramelized sugar into ramekins



Bake at 350 F, for 30 minutes and as the tops appear golden brown

Baked custard     
                  

Caramel Custard!!!

Method:

1. In a sauce pan, over low to medium heat , caramelize 1/2 cup sugar, along with few drops of water. As it starts to brown (caramelize), close the burner. Pour equally into 4 ramekins, rotate to evenly coat the bottom of the ramekin cups. Keep aside to cool.
2. Beat  eggs in a bowl, add in vanilla essence and sugar.
Heat milk in a sauce pan for a few minutes. Slowly pour this little warm milk into the beaten eggs mixture, slowly as to avoid curdling. Pour the remaining milk, and form a custard.
3. Fill all 4 ramekins, with this prepared custard. Place these ramekins, into a tray and add 1 cup hot water around the ramekins, carefully.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.After they cool, refrigerate for another 20 to 30 minutes. Then carefully, turn each ramekin upside down, so that the caramelized top shows on top.
5. Serve cold and enjoy every bit :)
An easy to prepare but has a wow factor and all love it!!!



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Aloo Paratha

Aloo Paratha,  popular North Indian dish. Enjoyed by many as a breakfast. These are prepared by stuffing wheat bread with a spicy potato filling , and cooking the wheat bread to a crisp golden color.
Enjoy with yogurt, these hot Aloo paratha,  any time and especially on a cool Sunday morning as a brunch.

Ingredients
4 to 5  medium size potatoes (boiled till soft)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 to 3 finely chopped green chilies
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala ( available in Indian grocery store)
1/2 tsp chat powder
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 small onion finely diced 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilly powder

Dough
2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup water
vegetable oil



Aloo Parathas 

Method 1.Boil potatoes and peel the skin. In a bowl, add mashed potatoes, salt, green chilies, onions, chat powder, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste. Add garam masala powder and check for salt. Mix well together. This becomes the potato stuffing.
2.Take 2 cups of wheat flour, add 1/2 cup of water  slowly to the flour to knead it and prepare a dough that is not sticky or too wet. Divide this prepared dough into 8 portions, each ball almost the size of a golf ball.
3.Using a rolling  pin, roll out  3 inch disc shape bread. Add a tbsp of potato stuffing and close the rolled bread, by bringing the ends together. Add a dust of wheat flour and carefully roll the disc again. Approximately 1/2 inch thickness and 6 inch in diameter each.
4.Heat a flat pan, add the Aloo stuffed wheat  bread and cook for about a minute, flip carefully as not to break the bread :) add a tsp of vegetable oil on the surface of wheat bread , further cook the bread on both sides, for a minute or two till they appear golden brown in color.  Remove and continue cooking the rest of parathas (aloo stuffed wheat bread)
Enjoy hot parathas with white butter , and yogurt :)


Pink Strawberry Lemonade

Pink Lemonade adds a nice twist to freshly squeezed lemon juice. We all remember lemonade from our childhood.It is like a cool summer breeze. This recipe is  very simple and the pink color that it gets is by adding in fresh strawberries. The strawberries also give this drink its hint of  tart flavour. 
Now you can add raspberries, or any other berries too instead of strawberries, some people also get the pink color by adding soem grenadine to the lemonade and that too turns pinkish, but i like to add strawberries.

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ( about 6 to 7 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced 
1 cup sugar
2 cup water
1 cup ice cubes 
3 to 4  sprigs of mint leaves or lemon rinds, make a good garnish.




Chilled Pink Lemonade



Method:
1.Heat 2 cups of  water in a sauce pan, add 1 cup sugar and allow to boil, for a few 4 to 5 minutes, creating a simple sugar syrup. Close burner and keep aside.
2. Add 1 tsp sugar to the cut strawberries and add them to the blender, add 1/2 cup lime juice and blend for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the strawberry lemon juice.
3. Using a big pitcher, add ice cubes, lemon juice , strained strawberry lemon pulp, stir together .
3. Add sugar syrup . At this time if the drink is too thick, you can add 1/2 cup more water. Lemonade, as we all know from our childhood, is very refreshing and the pink color that this drink gets , from strawberries makes it even more attractive. Pink strawberry lemonade is ready , refrigerate for about 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy this drink cold. Garnish with mint leaves or lemon rinds. Perfect  drink for a barbecue or just by itself , anytime . Enjoy:)






Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Grilled Tandoori Salmon & Asian Grilled Salmon


Salmon fish provides high quality protein, almost 40 gm in about 5 ounce fillet of salmon. Filled with omega 3 fatty foods, salmon is one of the heart healthy fish too. Making it  a good alternative to eating chicken or meat.
Also fairly  easy to prepare ,doesn't require much time to get cooked,  try to eat salmon, preferably 2 to 3 times a week.  Good source of many other nutrients like vitamin B, B 12, magnesium, potassium and it is a low calorie, food. 

  Grilled Tandoori Salmon

Tandoori Salmon
Ingredients
4 Fillets of Salmon, each  approx  6 to 8 ounces each, skinless
1 pod of garlic, grate the cloves for added flavor
1 inch ginger grated
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tablespoon Shaan tandoori powder ( ready spice mix available in Indian stores)
2 green chilies finely chopped

Method: 1.Clean and wipe the fish fillets, with a paper towel.  Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl add oil, grated ginger, green chilies, garlic, and Shaan powder, salt , red chili powder and 1/2 lemon juice, mix all together to form a paste.
3. Add the fish fillets and allow to marinate in this paste mixture for about 30 minutes.
4.Place  marinated  fish fillets, on to a  foil covered baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes on both sides, and serve hot along with green chutney. ( Recipe of green chutney in this blog) or you can buy ready made too from an Indian grocery store.


Prepare the marinade
Place marinated salmon fillets to grill 

Cooked Salmon


Asian Grilled salmon

Ingredients
 4 to 6 fillets of salmon 
1 clove garlic chopped finely
1 inch freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
1 medium size lemon cut in thin slices 
salt to taste
black pepper
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce ( lee kum lee)
Olive oil
1/4 cup mustard sauce


Method
1.Mix together in a bowl, honey mustard,soy sauce,chili garlic sauce,
finely chopped garlic,ginger.
2.Add vinegar, and sprinkle salt and black pepper on the cleaned fish fillets, keep aside for about 10 minutes.
3. Coat the fish fillets with the prepared sauce. Keep marinated for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Heat a non stick pan, add 2 to 3 tsp olive oil. Add the marinated fish fillets, two at a time. Allow to cook over medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, on each side. Continue with the remaining fillets.
Serve garnished with lemon slices.





Add vinegar,salt ,pepper


Marinate Fish fillets

Asian grilled salmon

Asian Grilled Salmon

















European Holiday



Hi Friends and my dear readers, Hope you all are doing great and as for myself I just returned back from a beautiful holiday, visiting some countries in Europe. The beauty of these places made me want to share this lovely experience of travelling. The travel through the country side was a delight. And not to forget the smooth travel by  trains, that aren't only comfortable, but also always on time and well connected to all the places there.

First we went to Amsterdam & stayed there for 2 days. We took a direct flight from California to Amsterdam. The day we reached we roamed around the city center as our Hotel was right in the city and most of the places around are walking distance. People there bike a lot, and for tourist too they can hire bikes, or there are trams, hop on / hop off buses or a beautiful ride on the canal by the boats that makes it look romantic. They serve wine and do candle light canal cruise.



Amsterdam Canal Cruises 

Amsterdam Cruise 


Day 3 we took a train to Brussels, by their luxury high speed train called Thalys Express. The train has red velvet seats and they serve snacks & drinks. Brussels was a 3 hour train ride from Amsterdam. The ride was a treat to  eyes with open green fields & beautiful country side.The day we reached Brussels we took their brochure, and found places of interest to see. The Cathedral was close to Hotel, so we walked over. It was beautiful , peaceful church with stained glass window works.





Thalys Train 


Then we walked over to Grand place, that is like their main attraction and it is just seeing is believing. Amazing splendid architecture. While we were there we were fortunate to experience a flower show in the city center. They had made awesome flower arrangements, with their colorful real flowers.
Flower show 



We treated ourselves at their cute quaint chocolate shops, and to waffles that are very famous there.
Next day we took a day trip from Brussels to a near by place that has models of Mini Europe, also very interesting place. It also has an atomium structure. You an actually take an elevator to the top and view the full of Brussels from there.

Mini Europe

Windmills at Mini Europe 

Next day we left back for Amsterdam and took a flight to London. Only an hour flight from Amsterdam, you can also take a train to London.We were there for 3 days in London.
First day we saw the famous London eye. My cousin lives there so it helps to have a local there so you can pick and choose the main places. She gave us good advice to buy the London eye ticket on fast track online, that way you save on standing in the long lines!
London Eye



London
Buckingham Palace 

Next we walked across the river Thames, and reached Piccadilly square where we treated ourselves to London high tea , an experience not to miss :)) London is so well connected with Tube, the metro system there should be applauded, and is very convenient. Since London is an English speaking city, as a tourist you don't face the language problem, which can be seen in Europe otherwise.

Day 5 we had booked tickets to see Buckingham palace, a palace that has over 700 rooms!!! Dignitaries from all over the world visiting London, are hosted by the royal family at the palace.

After walking so much we sat for lunch at an English pub and relished fish and chips.

Day 6 we saw the famous London bridge and walked around and went to Harrods, which in my opinion was over hyped , but anyways we enjoyed London for its land marks.

Next day we flew back to Amsterdam, where I met with my dear friend of school,a dream come true !!! as we all met for a school reunion after 30 years !!! this all was possible when 10 of us agreed to come to Amsterdam, where a friend of us hosted us all at her place, thanks to her and to all the friends who came from different parts of the globe to make this possible and we stayed together for a week at our friends place , each day was filled with chats, laughs and all the madness one can imagine.
Then we all flew back and I went to Boston for my daughters college, to set up her apartment.
This has been a wonderful experience that I wish one should experience and the memories of it will remain forever
Bonvoyage!!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Creamy Pasta in Vodka sauce



A creamy pasta , cooked in vodka sauce :)) and served with garlic bread!! This is a dish my daughter made for us and we just loved the flavor and smooth texture of pasta, that we make a point to remind her to make it often :))  
The recipe has simple ingredients with bold flavors, give it a try and you will want more!!
We just love this dish , hope you'll enjoy it too!!





Saute Onions and garlic


Add strained pasta to creamy  vodka sauce 


Creamy Pasta in Vodka Sauce 

Ingredients
1 box  pasta shells ( You can use penne, bow pasta )
1 can tomato sauce ( Roma tomatoes, but you can pick your choice )
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped finely
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 cup vodka ( I prefer Grey goose but again take the vodka you would like to drink)
1/2 cup full cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
3 to 4 Fresh basil  leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method 

1.Heat 2 cups of water , add 1 tsp salt and pasta shells, boil  for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check to see if cooked, ( should become soft, but not over cooked) strain and keep aside.
2.Heat a medium size skillet, Add unsalted butter and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, add in finely chopped onions. Saute for a minute or  two, as the appear translucent , add in garlic, continue stirring, for another minute. Remove from heat, and pour in the vodka, return skillet to burner, carefully allowing most of the vodka to evaporate. 3.Add in the tomatoes sauce , continue stirring. Add in salt, and red chili flakes, basil and lower heat and check for taste. Add in 1/2 tsp sugar if the tomatoes are too sour.
4.Next stir in the full cream, continue cooking, as the sauce starts to thicken, add in Parmesan cheese.
add the strained pasta and mix well. 
5.Served topped with some sprinkled Parmesan cheese and chopped basil leaves. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vegetable Jalfrezi

A Mughlai  style gravy, cooked with vegetables, that also looks like a  Indian stir fry, is usually served with Indian bread. Jalfrezi has a slightly sweet and sour flavor to it and is presentable at a party with its colorful vegetables.
A flavorful aromatic dish , served in almost all Indian restaurants. 
I like preparing this dish as I know by including these veggies, my family is getting the nutritional value of this dish.
The main work is cutting the veggies :))

Ingredients
100 gm carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch thick julienne style strips
100 gm green  beans , cut similar julienne style
1 small green and yellow bell pepper cut into julienne strips
50 gm green peas, optional 
100 gm florets of cauliflower chopped
100 gm cottage cheese (paneer ) cut into 1 inch strips


For gravy
1 medium Onion, cut lengthwise in thin strips
1 cup tomato purée
1tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste ( you can grate both ginger, garlic to get a paste)
3 to 4 green chilies chopped finely
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder ( I prefer Kashmir chilies as they are not that spicy but do provide the much needed color to the gravy sauce )
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala ( available at all Indian grocery stores) Again I prefer to use Everest brand but all are good and more or less similar.
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick
3 to 4 cloves 
2 to 3 big cardamom
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp  butter
2 tsp kasoori methi (available in Indian stores) for garnish/ or freshly cut green coriander leaves.

1/4 cup chopped cashews for garnish



Chopped vegetables and browned onions

Brown sliced onions in 2 tsp vegetable oil


Add bay leave,cloves, cardamom, cinnamom


Add tomato puree


Add vegetables 


Cottage cheese saute 



Add paneer to vegetables 





Cook covered for another 5 to 6 minutes till it all blends into the curry ,check for seasonings



Vegetable Jalfrezi


Garnished with chopped cashews 



Method:

1. Wash all chopped vegetables and boil them  separately in a  cup of  water , with 1/4 tsp salt for about 5 minutes, drain water and keep aside .
2. Heat oil in a medium size pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick , cloves . Allow to splutter , add onions , sauté till light golden , add in ginger garlic paste , green chilies.
Continue stirring. Add in tomato purée and taste for salt, add in red chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala. Cover to cook for about 5 minutes . This is the gravy sauce.
3. In a separate pan , heat butter add in drained pineapple cut into 1 inch . In a separate pan saute paneer (cottage cheese) cubes. Next add in the parboiled veggies and saute in tablespoon of oil.
4. Lastly  add these  vegetables along with paneer to the cooked gravy sauce . Cook covered further another 5 to 6 minutes, close burner. Garnish with kasoori methi/ freshly chopped coriander leaves. Garnish with chopped cashews or green chilies and serve vegetable jalfrezi hot with tandoori naan / or enjoy with Basmati rice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mughlai Mutton Curry

This Mutton curry dish is basic , yet very full on taste and so much of my type of curry dish.
Mutton should be marinated well , so then it cooks better and retain good moisture to keep it soft.You can  use lamb meat for this recipe , though I like the goat taste too:)) 
This is a wholesome non vegetarian dish and I'm sure when you try to make it, you will keep making it often.


Ingredients
2 pounds mutton leg cut into 2 inch cubes ( with or without the bones) wash and cleaned
1 inch ginger freshly grated
1 clove garlic grated 
1/4 cup  plain yogurt
salt to taste
1 tsp Everest meat masala
1 tsp chopped green chilies 
1/2 fresh lemon juice
For Gravy
2 medium sized onions peeled and chopped fine
1/2 cup  tomatoes pureed'
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
4 to 5 small cardamons
1/4 cup Vegetable oil 


Mutton Curry!!

Method:
For marinate
Wash the mutton pieces, and marinate in a medium size bowl, add in curd, lemon juice, salt, ginger garlic paste, meat masala (available in Indian grocery) . Mix all together and keep aside for about an hour.
For gravy
1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pressure cooker (faster way to cook) add cumin seeds, small cardamon, bay leaf, cinnamon stick,Add in the onions, continue to cook the onions on medium heat till they appear light golden in color. Add in the marinated mutton, keep stirring and cooking for approximately 10 minutes, till oil separates on the sides.Add in red chili powder, turmeric, and check for salt, add little more if required.
2. Add in pureed tomatoes, stir in 1 cup water and close the pressure cooker to cook further on medium heat for 2 whistles.Turnoff burner and the lid of the cooker closed for another 10 minutes.Pour the ready curry into a serving dish and garnish with freshly cut coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis/naan or rice.



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