Wednesday, April 27, 2005

For the peanut butter haters out there...

Everyone seems to be liking peanut butter (referred to as PB) in the kid-style sandwiches. Somehow, I never was into it. I am known to devour the bread-butter-jam combo even as supper. So I have a PB jar at home and the only thing I ever make with it is a satay sauce that I use either for dipping or over noodles. When I came across this recipe for a rather odd-sounding combination of flavors, I bravely decided to try.

All you need to do is to toast a whole-wheat (or any other) bread slice, spread liberally with PB, place slices of a good tomato on top and season with pepper & salt. Microwave this open-faced sandwich for like 10 seconds and sink your teeth into the not-so gooey, salty goodness.

Posted by Hello

So now I am sort of a convert and I love PB with toast provided it is made this way. I am sure, as with all other foods, there is a cult-following for this thing. If you detest PB, you should give this a go.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Healthy banana bread

I know I should not be baking at all. But I wanted to save my frozen banana stash before they fade away. I was kinda inspired by Debbie's version of the famous epicurious recipe. Having also liked the texture of the almost original version that Renee made, I decided to go with Debbie's method, the whole(wheat) way. My only substitution was almonds for the pecans and also adding a little cinnamon as I always do in banana breads. I also added a drop or two of exotic cardamom essence, that I bought from India. On the whole a light 'n' easy recipe with a good crumb.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cauliflower with chili and lime

I got a bag of key limes last week. I did not want to go the sweet route that is obvious with key limes. So following this recipe, I made a salad or side dish to chomp up with our dinner. I have never made cauliflower this way and this is so good to eat on its own too. In fact, it is absolutely divine. The only change I made was to steam the cauliflower.

Posted by Hello

This is a Dean Ornish recipe I found on the Internet.

1 head cauliflower, separated into florets and steamed
2 tablespoons key lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro

Heat the lime juice, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes over low heat for just a minute to soften the pepper flakes.
Pour lime juice mixture over the cauliflower then add cumin and cilantro and toss well. Let marinate in fridge or at room temp for 1 hour before serving.

The key lime was very refreshing and the garlic-chile combo worked great. Now for some key lime curd, may be...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

IMBB #14- Something bright and orange- Egg curry

When I considered taking part in my first IMBB, I saw orange everywhere. Seriously, coming from India, I find oranges and reds to be a part of even the most ordinary foods. What do I choose now? May be one of the dals or the curries with bright orange-red gravy (gravy, not sauce as is commonly known in North America). This is what it came to: Egg curry, comforting white-yellow of the egg encased in bright orange gravy.

The usual way to make this curry is by grinding the onion, ginger and garlic and then sauteeing the paste in tons of oil. I prefer this recipe from Food Network's 'Calling all cooks'; it is really tasty. The combination of the red tomatoes with the turmeric powder gives it a bright sunny orange. Most western chefs use turmeric for its color but we use at least a pinch in all Indian curries mainly because it is supposed to cleanse the system with its germicidal properties.

Here is the recipe, my way:

6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (or 2 eggs for poaching and 4 eggs, hard-boiled)
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp vinegar
2 ounces water
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste or 6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
6 to 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
10 button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 pinch sugar
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
handful of Cilantro, finely chopped

Mix coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder with vinegar and water to make a paste. Set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add onion and ginger and saute until slightly soft. Add garlic paste or minced garlic into pan and saute until mixture is golden brown. Add the mushrooms and saute for a minute.

Add spice paste to onion mixture. Add more water in small amounts if mixture begins to stick. Add chopped tomatoes to onion mixture. Pour tomato sauce into a 2-cup measuring cup and add enough water to make 2 cups of sauce. Add to onion mixture and simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced by half. Add a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.

I like to poach the eggs in the sauce, an unusual way of adding the egg component to the curry. Add the egg gently on the simmering curry. Do not disturb and let it cook to your desired stage. I like the softness of the egg when made this way. If you were more organized than me, you would break the egg into a bowl and then drop the egg gently into the simmering curry to get a yolk that is perfectly centered on the white.

Of course, you can proceed the traditional way, by adding sliced hard-boiled eggs to the gravy and the results are prettier this way. Top with cilantro. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Egg poaching away Posted by Hello

I made this with part poached eggs and part hard-boiled eggs (with yolk removed). The rice is cooked with little turmeric and served with cooked vatana peas on top. It is a real comfort, homey food, especially with poached eggs.

Curry with yellow rice Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Breadsticks for baby

Remember the starter that I froze from making the foccacia. I used that yesterday to make breadsticks flavored with thyme for my baby gal. I never seem to remember anything that I have frozen. It always seems to get buried in my over-loaded freezer. I take it out a year later and wonder whether it is dead and in food heaven. I saw this recipe in a baby cookbook (yes, now babies have separate cookbooks) and this was a gourmet one at that. The recipe used a starter and for making things easier I used the frozen starter. After some real research, that involved posting in food forums, I concluded that 1/4 cup would be the right amount.

I did not have the rosemary that the recipe called for. So thyme was what I used. I have never rolled a dough ball into a stick and then to a 16-inch rope. I learned that it is not easy. So I rolled it out, cut it into thin quarter inch sticks and rolled them into breadstick like shape. It was really easy and quick. After baking, they were good and crispy. I think they are a little hard and pokey for my baby. But S likes it and he ate a couple for his evening snack.

Cut & roll Posted by Hello

Now for the frozen bananas...

SHF #7 entry- Molasses ginger cookies

Molasses ginger cookies Posted by Hello

Whoo, this is my first entry for SHF and this time it is hosted by Derrick of An Obsession with Food. The featured ingredient is molasses. Molasses is quite a challenge because the only thing that it resonates with is gingerbread. Not quite something you want to eat when the weather is warming up. After the sugar-high, calorific Wednesday, a low fat treat was what I was looking for. Also, it should be something that distributes our fat intake over several days. I found this really crazy recipe that I had tagged a long time back by Marcie Rothman, the author of a book called $5 chef. It uses balsamic vinegar (an ingredient that should be honored in one of the SHF events) and there is only the fat from an egg.

The original recipe calls for dark brown sugar but I substituted it with the light version. Fresh ginger, not the ground version, was the way to go for giving a powerful kick to the brute that is molasses. I also added half a tsp of homemade five spice powder. Here is the recipe with my modifications:

1 cup dark unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tsp. cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 large egg
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 heaping tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Butter baking sheet, set aside.
2. In a bowl, add molasses, sugar, ginger, vinegar and egg. Mix well with a fork or spoon.
3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, five spice powder and salt. Stir until blended. Spoon the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. On a standard size baking sheet, you can make six.

4. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until the edges are golden (watch closely as the color difference is not really striking) but the cookies are still soft,about 9 to 10 minutes. For me, after the first batch, the cookies were done in 7-8 minutes.
5. Cool a minute or two on the baking sheets. Remove from baking sheet with a large metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. They will crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 32 cookies.

They are not much to look at for they spread unevenly on all sides (uneven heat in oven may be?). These are huge, crisp, spicy and fulfilling. I bet they will go great with ice cream sandwiched between. The chili and peppers in the five spice accentuated the effect of ginger. Yet, the show-off molasses pervades.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Happy first birthday, dear daughter!

Today is a really special day for us and baby daughter is now officially a toddler. She has been doing toddler like pranks for quite a while, though. Today (actually a month back), I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake a layer cake. This is my second trial at a celebration cake after the Red Velvet cake fiasco a long time back. Now that I have decided to move on with my cake-making life, I decided I will go the whole nine yards (I had to use the phrase since I am a Matthew Perry fan) and make a genoise filled and frosted with whipped cream.

With so many choices, I wanted a nutless cake with some, not all chocolate. I decided on the genoise classique from The Cake bible. The idea for the cake itself comes from Chocolate cake, a great and unpretentious book by Michele Urvater. We love chocolate raspberry combo in ice cream and so I filled this cake with raspberry mousse filling from Chocolate cake. The frosting is a whipped chocolate ganache from Ms. Berenbaum's book. The genoise was really finicky and required two people to do stuff. How I wish I had bought a stand mixer...

Classic genoise Posted by Hello

The recipe for the cake can be found here. The raspberry whipped cream filling is here except that the actual recipe had gelatin to stabilize and make it stiff for piping. The whipped chocolate ganache is here.
The cake did not rise much 'coz I think I did not beat for the prescribed 10 minutes. However, the crumb is so tender and the suggested amount of sugar syrup was right on for moistening the cake. Before spreading on the filling, I also spread about 2 Tbsp of raspberry jam on the bottom layer to give an oomph to the subtle filling. The filling and frosting are delicious by themselves and taste almost unrealistically light. I piped the remaining filling to make rosettes on top and also tried my hand at some writing. Overall, a delicious and fulfilling endeavor.

Chocolate raspberry birthday cake Posted by Hello

Side view for your enjoyment Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

Indo-Chinese: Mushroom fried rice

Indo-Chinese cuisine is often referred to disparagingly by chefs who favor authenticity. But this cuisine is probably the second most popular in India besides the native, regional cooking. It seems like a joke to combine the spicy, bold Indian flavors with the more subtle, yin-yang Chinese cooking. But the two combine so beautifully; the Indian counter-part providing the eye-popping flavor, heat and vegetarian-friendliness to otherwise silky, light and meat-oriented Chinese recipes. Indian cuisine, in turn, receives a taste of the healthy and smoky stir-frying technique.

Yes, fried rice can be found in all types of restaurants, food shacks and canteens in India. No, they are not the kind we get at the Chinese take-outs. How I wish it was! Many Indians in the West yearn for the Chinese foods that they have grew up on. Plates of American chopsuey, vegetarian manchurian, the fried cauliflower manchurian, Chow mein are all wolfed down with water. No cups of green tea or Thai iced tea to provide the authenticity. Fried rice is even combined with traditional curries like mutter paneer and paneer masala. What could be more Indian than fried rice made with basmati rice? You wouldn't find fried rice here that uses finely chopped celery, cauliflower and green beans. But the Indian version does; although broccoli, bok choy, water chestnuts and scrambled eggs are absent. The way of chopping veggies small, the nuttiness of the basmati rice and also the use of a green chili sauce gives this dish a unique identity.

I am feeling a little homesick today and so this is the recipe that will hit the spot...

Mushroom fried rice Posted by Hello

Indian-style mushroom fried rice
1 red onion, sliced into thin strips
1" piece ginger, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 green chilies, split lengthwise
12 baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 T green chili sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground pepper

2 cups cooked basmati rice (should be at room temperature)

4 scallions, chopped fine

2 tsp oil

1. Heat oil until almost smoking. Add the onions, ginger and chilies. When the onion have softened a bit, dump in the garlic. Saute until onions have browned a little. Add the mushrooms and peas; saute for about 2 min.
2. Add the sauces, pepper and cook for a minute.
3. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through. Adjust salt.
4. Just before removing from heat, add the scallions and mix.
5. For an authentic Indian experience, serve fried rice with tomato ketchup.


Paneer Jalfrezi

I happened to have some home-made paneer on hand and decided that I would have to have this for chappatis. Jalfrezi is an anglicized version of dry or gravy-less curry. The sourness of this recipe comes from vinegar which is typically an English ingredient. One point I notice whenever I eat a jalfrezi is the crunchiness of the veggies. The veggies are cooked stir-fry style and also only till they are crisp-tender. I do this in an well-worn out iron kadai, one which my mother-in-law used ever since she got married. This has been passed on to me and this is as non-stick as any teflon-coated pan. The recipe I use is always from Sanjeev Kapoor, a notable Indian chef. His Indian recipes are well-tested and very good. Wonder why he has shifted his focus towards making unauthentic, compromising versions of pasta and burrito...

Anyway, please try the vegetable jalfrezi that is commonly offered in restaurants. It uses ketchup as an ingredient and since S does not like sweetness in his entrees, I shun it. The recipe goes like this:
2 Dry red chilies
1 red Onion
2 inch Ginger
2 Green chilies
2 Tomatoes
2 green bell peppers
400 gms paneer
1/4 cup Coriander leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder (I prefer tandoori masala powder)
1.5 tbsp Vinegar
Oil or ghee, enough for sauteeing

1. Break the red chilies into two pieces, peel and chop the onions into thick slices and separate the onion rings.
2. Peel and cut the ginger into pieces, wash & chop the green chilies.
3. Cut the tomato and bell pepper into half, remove the seeds and cut them into long slices.
4. Finely chop the coriander leaves and cut the paneer into finger size pieces.
5. Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and when they change colour, add the halved red chilies.
6. Next add the ginger pieces, sliced onions and sauté for a minute.
7. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder & stir well.
8. Then mix the capsicum pieces and cook for a few minutes, then add the paneer pieces and toss.
9. Lastly add the salt, vinegar, tomato pieces, garam masala powder & cook for 2-3 minutes.
10. Serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Jalfrezi with homemade paneer chunks Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Happy New year 2005

Puthandu vazhthukal! Naye saal ki shubh kamnayein! Tomorrow(April 14) is the first day of 2005 for Tamilians all over the world. Nupur of One Hot Stove celebrated her new year last week. I can think of four new year celebrations in India. One is Gudi padwa for Marathis, kannadigas and Telugu New Year, both of which fell on the same day. Then its Diwali that celebrates the new fiscal year and also the end of bad spirits. Then there is our actual New year and then there is our Tamil New year. I am not familiar with special days that mark the dawn of a new year in North India. So for today, the menu includes all traditional food stuff that include the fried and fatty kind.

Ambrosial fruit Posted by Hello
Chakkai payasam or Jackfruit kheer is the sweet component of this meal. Jackfruit, after which this blog is named, is a green thorny, durian-like fruit. Its smell is something else altogether. One whiff of a perfectly ripe jackfuit can send southern Indians to the peak of ecstacy. To further glorify the fruit, here is a recipe for kheer:
1 can jackfruit pieces, cooked in water until soft and tender
3/4 cup jaggery or 50:50 mix of brown sugar & sugar
6 oz Coconut milk
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
Drain cooked jackfuit. Puree jackfruit with sugar and little water until you get a smooth puree. Pour this into a saucepan and on low heat, simmer for 2 min. Add the coconut milk. Gently simmer for another 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Mix in the ground cardamom. Ta da, kheer ready!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

From the kitchen of a passionate baker

The passionate baker is me... Love baking cookies and cakes. With my insatiable sweet tooth, you know where the products go. I started to cook five years back and my baking attempts are on since my first disaster with pie crust. I wanted to make S an apple pie. I did not have recipe either. I came up with this idea of making this blog a journal of my travel through the culinary world. What could be more apt than racking my brains and remembering desserts I made in the by-gone days? May not make sense to you, but if it bothers you, go get your own blog. Most of the stuff I have made is from Food TV especially from one of the greatest pastry chef, Gale Gand. All her recipes have been huge hits with my family.

Without further ado, here is the list possibly with links:

  1. Tangerine soaked tea cake- hit
  2. Tiramisu- hit
  3. Baklava-hit
  4. Five spice tea cake-hit
  5. Pumpkin cheesecake- ho hum- don't care much for pumpkin in sweet dishes
  6. Mango flan with brownie crust- whoo, what was I thinking as a beginner- not so much- discovered I am not a custard person except for creme brulee
  7. Chocolate souffle from Sara Moulton's show- hit
  8. Creme Brulee-hit
  9. White chocolate jasmine tea cake from a book called chocolate cake- hit
  10. An unsuccessful Kendra's apple pie
  11. Ethel's orange cake-ok
  12. Chocolate ice cream roulade from a Flo Barker's recipe- whoo, big hit
  13. Key lime pie- hit
  14. carrot cake without frosting- ok
  15. chocolate hazelnut torte-ok
  16. Chocolate genoise from a Pierre Hermes book, don't know and don't remember if I got it right- used it for individual tiramisus
  17. Lemon poppy seed pound cake- ok- not a lemon person
  18. Blueberry muffins- ok- muffins are not desserts
  19. Chocolate chip cookies- made several times with different recipes and different results
  20. Coconut macaroons with m.stewart recipe- ok
  21. Red velvet cake- flop
  22. Chocolate pudding cake- ok for a quick chocolate craving

Am I a cooking nerd or what...

Fig preserves

Whats not to love about figs? They are juicy and sweet, and healthy too. I get all pepped up and my hands itch when I see the fresh figs that sell here for $0.99 a piece. I want to buy like a dozen of them to make a fig-mascarpone tart that has been bookmarked from so long back. But figs here plain suck. Either they are not ripe or if they are, they are watery and tasteless. Pittsburgh is no France or Italy. Even the Whole foods figs are a disappointment...

I eat sunmaid figs a lot and can probably finish the entire bag myself. From my trip to the spice capital of UAE, Dubai, I had purchased some really dry figs. They were really chewy and even a fig lover cannot appreciate them much. I decided to make some preserves, not for toasts but for use in fig & goat cheese pizzas and other appetizers. After my not so satisfactory search, I decided to go Deborah Madison's way with some (or rather a whole lot) of changes. The recipe as written by the Queen of Vegetarian cooking is here. I halved the recipe but used the same amount of sugar.
1 lb dried figs
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
8 sprigs thyme
pinch of salt
zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
Juice of 1 orange
2 sticks cinnamon
1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)- if you want an extra punch

I soaked the figs in warm water for 30 minutes. Then I added them to a saucepan and added enough water to submerge them. Added the sugar, salt, thyme and cinnamon. Let it simmer away on medium-low heat till the figs are soft. After half the time, add the zest. Simmer and let water evaporate. Remove from heat and add the orange juice. Remove thyme and cinnamon. I used an immersion blender to puree the figs coarsely.

I decided to stop with that. But on tasting it, I felt it lacked a punch. I remembered that Todd English's french fig confit had balsamic winegar and wine. So I decided to add a little balsamic vinegar. The vinegar did the trick and my lovely preserves taste so yummy. Now I have to get some goat cheese...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Vietnamese summer rolls

Have you had these delicious sushi-like wraps? They are also called salad rolls and wow, they are so great. After having your usual single roll serving, you still yearn for more. That is why I make them at home as a snack when the 4 PM hunger strikes and I want to pick up a bar of chocolate or some cheese. I had the peanut dressing left-over from the Thai salad, I told you about. It had thickened up nicely and that inspired me to do some chopping- a carrot, a cuke, romaine lettuce and some tofu. I also managed to soak some rice sticks in hot water and that was it. Assembling the rolls gives me a little bit of anxiety since I never know if they will come well. I have made the rolls like half a dozen times. But my first few attempts were with the rice paper that most recipes call for. I warn you, these papers (at least the brand I bought- Golden flower) are so flimsy that even wetness from the veggies make them sort of dissolve, if thats possible. Not being a person who gives up and mostly 'coz of my luv for these bites, I tried these with the dry springroll wrappers (the kind that have small squares marked all over). I dipped them in warm water as directed and they came out perfectly. S and I had two huge rolls each. Yummo!!!

Crunchy Thai salad

I love Thai salad, especially from a local cafe here, in Pittsburgh called the Thai cafe. Its spicy and screams HEALTHY. I decided to make a home version on thursday. I had some left-over bean sprouts that were wilting and turning almost soggy. I rejuvenated them by soaking in cold water and drying them on layers of paper towels. They recovered somewhat and so I decided to try a salad. We are not a big salad eating family, at least not the usual Olive Garden style salads. I love greek salad along with a lovely portabello grilled california salad from Mad Mex. The key is lotsa flavor...

I wanted a dressing that was creamy unlike asian vinagrette that used lots of oil. I knew peanut butter (reduced fat, if you must know) was the way to go. I looked at recipes for satay sauces but they made way too much for making a salad for two people. Here is what I came up with: I heated PB in the microwave for 20 seconds with 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a little water. Then I added a little grated ginger, a dash of chili sesame oil, a tsp of Thai chili paste, a tbsp or so of soy sauce, a tsp rice wine vinegar, a dash of hoisin sauce, a little salt and a pinch of sugar. Mixed it up and added little lemon juice to perk up the flavors. Am I clever or what?

I chopped up cukes and tomatoes into wedges. Tore up some old iceberg lettuce (why waste romaine hearts, when the dressing has so much things going on) and did not forget to add the rejuvenated bean sprouts. I also added some chopped cilantro and mint. I dry-roasted some peanuts and chopped them up. Added everything to the bowl and tossed it all with just enough of the dressing. I was left with almost half a cup of the dressing or sauce. What is the verdict? The salad was DELISH and I am so proud.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My love for home cooks

Most of the recipes in this blog seem to point to a particular website. I love the site and was addicted to it till I discovered blogs. I still visit the site often. It is not like I shun the super cooks, the chefs of the world who write books, host cooking shows on TV etc. I have come to prefer the humble home cook, who is flexible and cooks for husband, children and parents. My family does not have people who have high-flying tastes, something I may have complained about earlier. They probably cannot understand the taste difference between truffle oil and another ordinary oil. They do not like stinky cheeses and do not find even the delicate gorgonzola appealing. When I make a wild mushroom risotto, it is not as welcome as eggplant parmesan or enchiladas. Although I make things from cookbooks, hearty family recipes are the way to go for me.

I also love websites that have reviews from real people who have tried the recipes in less than conducive conditions such as an apartment kitchen. So I love epicurious that brings gourmet to laymen.

Chocolate chip cookies- part 2

Can't you tell that I am obsessed with chocolate chip cookies? Yes, this time I got it all right. I chose the copy cat recipe of Doubletree's chipper. If you have stayed there, you must have sampled the delicious warm cookie they give you at check-in. Although, I have stayed there only once during which time I was pregnant, I remember the texture of the cookie. The recipe makes about 22 colossal cookies. I used walnuts instead of macadamias. But the cookies are almost gone since Friday 'coz I sent a huge batch of it to S's badminton club. The feedback is in and they have been given *****.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup rolled oats
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened (No Substitutes!)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 eggs
3 cups Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grind oats in a food processor or blender until ground fine.
Combine ground oats with flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the butter, sugars, vanilla and lemon juice and mix with mixer until combined.
Add the eggs and mix until smooth and creamy.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend well.
Add the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well mixed.
Spoon rounded 1/4 cups full (yes, 1/4 cups!) onto ungreased, nonstick cookie sheet.
Place scoops of dough 2" apart.
Bake 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pasta with roasted vegetables

This is what I made a couple of days back. It is a simple recipe that can create a good deal of heat in the house- from the oven, I mean. I chopped up some onions, yellow squash, red pepper and cauliflower and roasted them at 450 F for 40 minutes. I drizzled the veggies with some EVOO, added thyme and garlic cloves and off into the oven they went. I happen to love roasted veggies and can probably make a meal out of them. But for supper, to add some carbs, I cooked up some fusilli. After roasting the vegetables, I added some minced sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. The mixture itself tasted like the ratatouille they serve at Whole Foods but of course, much flavorful. I used Colavita's balsamic vinegar. No, no don't scrunch your noses and grimace at me. I don't have anyone down in Naples to send me a good, pricey ounce of balsamic. Nor do I want to get some. This will do!

Coming back to the topic, the pasta after mixing with the veggies was delicious. I also added some feta, left over from the Roasted Cauliflower pasta. On the whole, delicioso!!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A naan in making

Last week I made Afghan naan from 'Flatbreads and Flavors' by Jeffery Alford et al. It was short of a disaster. I used atta flour used for chapatis instead of the whole wheat flour. For the bread-making novices, there is a difference between the two. Atta will not work in yeast breads but the book did not scream it out to me. Obviously, the book is for experts. Anyway, the effort was relaxing and something that made me proud. But the end product was hard and tasted like cardboard. Today, I decided to try my hand at the common Indian garlic naan using this recipe. The recipe was so good and the end product soft and yummy.

This success put an end to the Blog jinx. It really distressed me that most of my trials post-blogging had ended in failure. Now I am really glad...