Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oreo Cookie Candy - Edible Gifts


Want to impress people with homemade edible gifts or want something different for your kids. Try this:

Take wooden craft sticks and insert them in the middle of oreo cookies or any other cream filled cookies and then dip them in different melted chocolates. Dip them after in coatings like colourful sugar, cookie and cupcake decorations, coconut and more and then let them dry on a parchment paper until ready.

Pack them as you please. I used clear goodie bags small and large for individual and family packs. 

I made 50 to 100 individual pieces over 3 to 4 days as a giveaway for Eid celebrations. 











Chocolates, moulds and colour mixing


Summer time means I have more time on hand to experiment with and for my children. 

I went to bulk barn and bought some chocolate candy moulds and some chocolate for melting. I bought milk chocolate and white chocolate.

I melted the milk chocolate and mixed red food gel colouring with the white melted chocolates and created these colourful chocolate candies using the moulds. 

Moulds cost $3-$5 each and are a good investment. You will also need the candy white sticks. They are available in bulk barn as well as in walmart. The small sticks and large stick both cost the same money, so, I picked up the big sticks and cut them into two pieces using a knife to save the money on sticks.

Enjoy!


     





Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Here is the most awaited post of this summer. As we are at home due to summer holidays, my children ask for different food all the time. I usually pick up cooking books from library and write recipes on pages of paper if I find something interesting. So, I wrote the ingredients of the following recipe, but don't remember the book where these were from.

Also, I bought these gel food colours a while ago but never used them. So, I wanted to experiment them.

For vanilla cupcakes:

200 gm butter - if you don't have the scale then the closest exchange is 0.85 cup equivalent
200 gm sugar
4 eggs (I prefer eggless cakes so I use egg substitute as I don't like the smell of eggs)
200 gm self rising flour (I used regular all purpose flour)
2 tbsp milk or more (I used more to improve the consistency)

Mix all the ingredients with the blender and then transfer them to muffin tray and bake them at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. You can always check by inserting the toothpick to check.

Let the muffins cool down.

Now time to move on butter cream frosting:

1 cup butter
2 cup icing sugar (I have stopped buying icing sugar. It can be made in food processor by adding regular sugar with a tsp of cornstarch or arrowroot powder)
1 to 2 tbsp milk
gel or food colours

Mix all the ingredients together to create the icing. Mix different colour gel food colouring to create different frosting colours. Use ziploc, pipping bags, wilton bags or bottles to create desired styles. 

Let your creativity run wild or share it with your children to decorate.

Enjoy!









Baked Chicken Seekh Kabab with Vegetables

I love using pantry, fridge and freezer items first and that's how sometimes my recipes are created. 

For chicken kabab,

1 pound chicken minced (qeema)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
some salt
some pepper
1 tsp tandoori masala
hand full of bread crumbs

Mix all the ingredients and make them into fist long kabab.

As for veggies, I used stir fry frozen veggies and added some salsa, cream cheese and tandoori masala for flavouring.

Layer the veggies first and then add kababs to the dish. Bake it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes on 350 degrees or until done.

Enjoy!







Mug Cake eggless



When you or your children are in a hurry for desserts. Try this recipe.






EGGLESS MUG CAKE RECIPE



Ingredients


All purpose flour- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp

Granulated sugar - 2 tbsp

Baking powder - 1/4 tsp

Salt - 1/8 tsp

Milk - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp

Unsalted butter melted - 2 tbsp

Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp

some chocolate rainbow chips




Method


1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and give it a good mix.

2. Pour the batter into a microwave safe mug and bake for 1 minute and then again for another minute.

                     


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter, softened


3/4 cup packed brown sugar


3/4 cup granulated sugar


2 eggs


1 tsp. vanilla


2-1/4 cups flour


1 tsp. baking soda


1 pkg. (225 g) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped


1 cup chopped pecans or change them to walnuts



Make It


Heat oven 375°F.





Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla.




Mix flour and baking soda; stir into butter mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate and nuts.



Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into 30 mounds, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets.



Bake 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.


















This recipe came from the inside of the baking chocolate box.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Danish

I haven't uploaded any recipes in ages, so I thought that I should upload some easy recipes.


Use a puff pastry sheet. Add some regular cream cheese and chocolate cheese. Add some combinations of cream cheese and jams like mango and strawberry or what ever available and do the filling.

Bake it on 350 degrees until done.

Enjoy!







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nectarine Jam




I wanted to make something fresh and as soon as I saw fresh nectarines of the season, I made the nectarine jam. The first time I made this jam, necatarines were on sale for 99 c per pound and the second time they were on sale for 88 c per pound. Here is the recipe for you:


What You Need

4-1/2 cups  prepared fruit (buy about 3 lb. fully ripe nectarines)
1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice
7-1/2 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
1 pack CERTO Fruit Pectin (I prefer liquid type. Use both pouches from inside)


Make It


PIT and finely chop nectarines. Measure exactly 4-1/2 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Stir in lemon juice.

STIR sugar into prepared fruit in saucepot. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in pectin.

LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Wait a bit for the jam to cool down. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly.

Store it in fridge.  Jams can also be stored in freezer for up to 3 month.




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nut-free chocolate spread

Schools are nut-free environments and I respect that and try to make nut-free food for my son that I send to school. Also, due to ingredients and preservatives in commercial products I prefer making my own products at home when I have time. So, I finally tried this recipe and it's delicious.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1½ tablespoons vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup honey (you can see other substitute. I prefer this)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil, optional (for extra smoothness)
  • ½ cup milk, dairy or nondairy
Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, process toasted sunflower seeds, stopping intermittently to scrape down the sides of bowl. Continue 2-3 minutes until seeds have turned to thick, creamy butter.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and blend for an additional 4-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  3. Store in airtight container up to 30 days in the fridge –if it lasts that long.

Enjoy :)

Baked Sev

 It's been ages since I have posted any recipes. I have been trying to add more plant base into my family's diet. I have read books and experimented with new ingredients. To eat healthier, it's like I am learning and unlearning and trying to learn cooking once again. Switching to different oils, different sugar type, using raw honey and using different grains and whole grains has been a new journey on its own. Also, to avoid additives/preservatives/unknown ingredients etc I try to make more things at home now. Don't we all want the best for our families and ourselves.

I had been meaning to try this recipe for a while. I came across this at Tarla Dalal's video channel and finally I tried this :-)

Here is the recipe. I added some chilli powder and spices to make it more flavourful than the original recipe.







Ingredients



1 cup besan (bengal gram flour)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

 

Method
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and knead into a semi-soft dough, using approx. 2 tbsp of water.
  2. Shape the dough into a cylindrical roll, fill the dough into the “sev press” and press out thin strands onto a greased baking tray.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°c (400°f) for 8 to 10 minutes or till it turns light brown.
  4. Cool, store in an air-tight container and use as required.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hyderabadi Kachchay Gosht ki Biryani- Boneless Chicken

As a child I lived in a metro city of Karachi, where food is diversified in terms of regions. I ate lots of hyderabadi food ranging from achchar to baghar e baigan, to mirchon ka salan, biryani and qubani ka metha. I have also travelled to hyderabad, India twice in my life and I loved the food there.

This winter when I went to India, I bought few cooking books and this recipe is from the Book called Taste of Hyderabad- Non Veg.

The original recipe uses lamb, but we don't eat lamb so I used to chicken instead.

Here is the recipe:


2 cups basmati rice- wash and soak for 15 minutes
2 large onions - slice finely and deep fried till crisp and brown

Marinate together

2 pound chicken boneless breast (you can use any type of meat)
2 cups yogurt
1 tbsp ginger paste 
2 tbsp garlic paste
2 green chillies-chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves (I didn't have those so I used coriander leaves instead)
2 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt

Tice 4-6 clove, 1 inch stick cinnamon, 4 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 10 black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp shah zeera, 1 tsp salt

Other Ingredients:

1 inch piece ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander, 2-3 tbsp mint leaves (I didn't have those so I didn't use them), 5 tbsp ghee, few strands of saffron mixed in 1/4 cup warm milk, 1 tsp rose water, 1 tsp kewra water, flour dough to seal the utensil

Mix yogurt, ginger and garlic paste, chopped green chillies, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, one third of fried sliced onions and chopped mint/coriander leaves. Add meat and mix. Marinate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

For rice boil 5 cups of water. Add 1 tsp salt and shah zeera. Add the remaining spices in muslin cloth or tea infuser to the water. Add rice. Bring to boil and cook rice for 5 minutes till partly done, about 70% done. Drain and spread out on a tray.

Grease the botton of a thick bottom handi or an oven proof dish. Arrange half of the meat. Over it arrange half of the parboiled rice. Then arrange one third of fried sliced onions and ginger, Sprinkle half of cardamom powder, garam masala and chopped coriander/mint.

Pour 3 tbsp of ghee on top. Warm milk and dissolve saffron in it. Add half of the saffron milk to the biryani. Sprinkle rose water and kewra water.

Repeat the layers. Cover the vessel with a lid. Seal the lid with flour dough. Place a dawa on high flame. Keep the handi on the tawa for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Redure heat and cook on low heat on the tawa for 45 minutes. If using an oven proof dish, cover the foil and keep in a warm over at 150 C for 45 minutes. 

Mix and serve.

Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!




The end product :)


The Topic of Yogurt- Plain and Flavoured



Personally, I am not a yogurt person unless it has additional flavours. I researched again and again and experimented again and again to reach this level of comfort when it comes to flavoured yogurts. I had flop experiments with watery mixed yogurts to very sour yogurts.

Let's first start with plain yogurt,

For plain yogurt you need to boil milk and then add some powdered milk to the boiled milk (powdered milk gives it a thick consistency like greek yogurt). Once the milk is at close to room temperature add 1-3 tbsp of yogurt that you have previously made or use store bought yogurt to add.

Depending on the season and part of the world you reside in yogurt can take 6 hours to 2 days depending on the surrounding temperature. For us these days it takes 2 days at room temperature to set the yogurt. If I use yogurt maker, then the machine incubation takes 4-6 hours before I keep in the refrigerator.

Now lets move on to flavoured yogurt:

You can either use jam as a lower layer for yogurt or make your own fruit compote syrup. If you are like me who doesn't like the sour taste of yogurt then you can add some sugar in the boiled room temperature milk.


Here is a very healthy recipe for fruit compote:

1-1.5 cup fruits
3 tbsp chia seeds (I use them to add fibre but you don't have to add them)
1/2 cup water
2-4 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Mix all the ingredients and make a thick syrup of fruits. Make sure your fruits are ready before you turn off the stove heat. I used strawberries, blue berries and black berries.

Once the fruit compote is at room temperature, layer it first in the mason jar or yogurt jar from yogurt maker, then add milk yogurt mix.

My yogurt maker has 7 jars, so I use my machine as well as room temperature method.

This is the end result with my yogurt maker incubation machine

Yogurt is good for you if you are trying to increase your calcium intake. Also, making home made yogurt can cut your costing if you buy store made yogurts. A four litre bag of milk produces 3-4 750 ml yogurt. Each yogurt of 750 ml size cost $2-$4 of plain yogurt. If you buy flavoured yogurt 4-8 60 ml size cost $4-$7, so imagine the saving on flavoured yogurt.

It's not just about the price but also about the additives and sugar level that you can control when you make your own items.

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Easy Chicken Sandwich

 I make egg salad sandwich every couple of weeks once for my son's school lunch because egg salad sandwich is easier to make and it's handy dandy. But, just to switch things up I made chicken sandwich for my son's school lunch and he really liked it. So, here is the recipe for the chicken sandwich.


Ingredients:

1 chicken boneless breast (or you can use any other boneless chicken or debone/use other leftover shredded chicken)
few lettuce pieces or tiny pieces of celery (if your child likes them) - both are fine too
some salt
some black pepper
butter/margarine/ or even mayonise or combination of butter and mayonise
a slice of cheese
2 bread slices

Method:

Boil the chicken in water. If you want to add ginger garlic paste you can add that in the water. You can also add a bit of salt and pepper at this time or chicken stock cube when you boil. Once the chicken is boiled add the vegetables, butter and salt/pepper combination together. The mix is ready.

Toast the bread slices. Add the chicken mix on one slice and add the cheese slice on the other. Warm it up in the microwave for 15-17 seconds. Your sandwich is ready to be packed. If you think that you don't need to melt the cheese, you don't have to - depends on the time of the day / world location / services available in the school.