Showing posts from November, 2014

Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry is a fall/winter berry that is really tart. In fact it is the only berry whose tartness increases as it ripens. It is typically paired with nuts or orange juice to bring out its flavor. My daughter does not like nuts in recipes so I usually leave them out. During Thanksgiving we usually have family visiting us. While the focus is on the main Thanksgiving spread it is nice to have snacks and some goodies prepared for the other meals. These muffins are great for breakfast or a snack. Recipe adapted from here You will need 2 tbsp. butter, softened 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar 1 egg 1/4 cup milk 1 cup flour 1 tsp. baking powder a pinch salt 1 cup cranberries, chopped coarsely 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely (I skipped them) Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and whisk using an electric blender or a whisk. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and the flour alternately to the b

Mini Pumpkin Tart

Pumpkin is available in abundance during the fall season and it features prominently in Thanksgiving menus. Pumpkins can be used for savory as well as sweet dishes. This pumpkin tart makes a perfect dessert. The recipe makes one mini tart. The crust on the tart is made with ginger snaps. It is just as delicious as the filling and complements the pumpkin perfectly. I baked ginger snaps for this recipe. But before I knew it they were all gone. Luckily my daughter had put two ginger snaps in a little box to take to school as a snack and had forgotten about them. I used those two for the crust. I had to supplement them with two digestive biscuits. Digestive biscuits are mildly flavored and did not affect the taste. Ginger snap recipe will be a future post. You can increase the recipe four times to make a regular sized tart. I used applesauce in place of an egg in this recipe. The applesauce sufficed as this is a one serving portion. If you want to bake a tart in a regular tart di

Fall Harvest Bread / Wheat Sheaf Bread

Bread made to look like a sheaf of wheat is a classic way to celebrate fall. I wanted to try my hand at making this traditional fall harvest bread. I added a mouse under the tie when I found that it is customary to add a mouse to the sheaf. I think is reason behind it is rather interesting. The mouse seeks shelter in the fields, when harvested the shelter is destroyed so the mouse is brought home with the sheaf. I love fall. I love the beautiful colors, the cooler temperatures and the holiday season starting with Ganesh Chaturthi, Dasara, Diwali and finally Thanksgiving. Today I am posting my version of the fall harvest bread. I looked at pictures online and created this piece entirely on my own. Even the dough is mixed using bakers percentages and my gut feeling of the hydration level I would need. To shape this bread I knew I would need a stiff dough. I started with 200 gm of whole wheat flour. I decided to keep hydrated at 70%. A added a tablespoon of butter and appropriat

Vegetarian Calzone

Calzone is a pizza folded in half with the stuffing inside. I make calzones as a variation of pizza and bake them in my cast iron pan. My daughter loves them. In fact she was so hungry when I made these, I forgot to press the edges with the tines of the fork to give it a decorative edge. There was no difference in taste, though, and the calzone was gone pretty quickly. I use the same wild yeast leavened dough as I use for my regular pizza. The taste is great and filling choices are endless.You can use any vegetables you like. Since the dough is folded in half you can vegetables that you might no use on regular pizza. It is a lot easier to use mozzarella cheese as you do not have to watch it as much as you do on a regular pizza. Just add a little shredded cheese and pizza sauce with the vegetables. I used my go to recipe for pizza sauce . Calzones are very filling as they have close to twice the quantity of dough in each slice. Making thin crust helps in reducing the amount of

Fruit Dessert Pizza and First Blog Anniversary

I started this blog seven years ago but had to abandon it when life got really busy. I started blogging in earnest last year. One year and 500 odd recipes later here I am celebrating my blog's first 'real' anniversary. I decided I had to post something sweet to mark such a sweet milestone. So today I am posting the recipe for dessert pizza. I also thought it would be very appropriate to set myself a new challenge. A food photography challenge. This is a challenge for anyone who likes to click pictures of food and is working to get better at it. More about that  here . Moving to the recipe for the day. When my daughter was in 1st grade Pizza Hut was running a reading initiative and awarded pizza hut child buffet coupons. My daughter won a few and we used a couple of them. The pizza she loved the most was the dessert pizza. Today I have recreated that pizza using cinnamon apples. You will need For the base 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup water 1 1/2 tbsp. vegetabl

First Blog Anniversary Food Photography Event

I am celebrating the first anniversary of my blog with a food photography challenge. Food photography is a big part of food blogging so I decided to celebrate this event with a food photography challenge. Most of us are learning to use our camera and all the settings it provides. Some of us are experts and take awesome pictures. Sometimes we make elaborate plans for a pictures and it turns out just perfect. Some other times we click in a hurry and end up with a perfect shot. I am asking you to share this perfect shot with all of us. It would be nice to see a gallery of great food pictures and read about why the photographer considers the picture to be their best for this month. The rules of the challenge are simple. Select your best food picture (just one) from a post dated between November 17th and December 17th 2014. If you like you can have a separate post just for the picture. Place this picture as the first picture on the blog post. Write a little about the picture, your

Upasachi Batatyachi Bhaji / Potato Peanuts Side

This bhaji is called upasachi or fasting but it is not necessarily made for fasting. In fact I do not remember fasting a lot while growing up. This simple potato and peanut side is one of my favorite and I make it often. The roasted peanut powder adds a lovely flavor that makes this dish special. This is another of my mother's recipes and it is a very simple one. She used to give it to me as part of my packed lunch. Back then we used to share a part of our lunch with our friends. And the tastier your lunch was the better the bargaining power. My mother's chapati's were always sought after. And this was one bhaji that my friends loved. When I had this in my lunchbox I could exchange it for anything from anybody in my class. I cooked the potato in a microwave. If you do not want to use the microwave you could cook it in a pressure cooker with the peel and a little bit of water. Once cooked peel while it is still warm and dice. You will need 1 large russet

Authentic Palakachi Patal Bhaji / Spinach Buttermilk Side

Palakachi patal bhaji is a traditional delicacy. The gravy is made of buttermilk and besan (bengal gram flour). For it to be called perfect there are a bunch of rules. The consistency should be thick and viscous such that it can be scooped up like a liquid but it should not be liquid enough to pour. When a spoon is dipped in the gravy and held up spinach should not hang from the sides. The spinach though cut into pieces should become one with the gravy. It should however, retain its green color. When served on a plate it should not be runny or water should not separate and run from the sold mass. Whole peanuts and channa dal (split bengal gram) are added to the gravy. The peanuts and dal should retain its shape but should be very soft, not crunchy. Maharastrian food has to have a balance of all the flavors - tangy, sweet, hot (as in pepper heat) and savory. Based on personal preference one or the other flavor may be stronger than others. Tamarind juice and jaggery is usually added

Chavlichi Usal / Black Eyed Peas No-onion No-garlic Curry

A gravy based Maharashtrian side made with fresh or dried peas or beans is called usal. Dried peas or beans are soaked overnight and pressure cooked before being used. Fresh peas or beans do not need to be precooked. Though this dish can be added as a side to a fancy meal or thali it is basically a simple weeknight recipe. This is my mother's recipe. She used to cook black eyed peas or chavli with a fresh coconut and cilantro gravy. This gravy can be used for mung or matar (green peas). I remember every Sunday morning when my Dad was not travelling he would go grocery shopping for vegetables. Sometimes I used to accompany him. We did not eat a lot of coconut but when this dish was on the weekly menu we bought fresh coconut. I remember cutting it open with a sharp sickle. I used to pull out the dry coconut fibers to give me a smooth brown coat. My mother insisted I should not pull the fibers on the edges. I would use water to paint a ring around the middle of the coconut. I tru