Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eggless Banana Crumb Muffins



I had a bunch of overly ripe bananas and did not know what to do with them. My boys are tired of banana bread and don't enjoy more than a slice. So, this I decided to make Banana Muffins. I did not find much of difference in the taste between the bread and the muffins because both have a strong banana flavor. The name says it... Duh!!!

Well, coming back to the recipe. It has been adapted from here.

You will need:
1. APF: 1 1/2 cups
2. Baking powder: 1 tsp.
3. Baking soda: 1 tsp.
4. Salt: 1/2 tsp.
5. Ripe bananas: 4 (mashed)
6. White Sugar: 1/2 cup
7. Butter:1/3 cup melted
8. APF: 2 tbsps
9. Butter : 1 tbsp
10. Brown sugar: 1/3 cup packed

Once you have all the ingredients ready,
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease the muffin pan or line them with muffin liners.
In a large bowl, mix APF, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, beat together bananas, white sugar and melted butter.
Spoon the banana mixture in the flour mixture and mix gently until everything comes together.
Spoon the batter in muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, APF and 1 tbsp butter. Mix till crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the muffins and bake them for 18 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
(I forgot this step before putting the muffin tray in the oven. I sprinkled the topping during the last five minutes of baking.) 

 

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Black Bean Burgers (Vegetarian)


I am always on a look out for healthy veggie burgers because I am sort of tired of the potato burgers. There are tonnes of recipes of black bean burgers floating in blogland.. Here's mine:

You will need:
1. 1 cup black beans (boiled) or 1 can of black beans
2. 1/2 carrot (shredded)
3. 1 stalk of celery (finely chopped)
4. 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
5. 2  cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
6. 1 potato (boiled)
7. Salt as per taste
8. Black pepper powder as per your taste
9. 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
10. 1 tsp. oil
11. Bread crumbs/ bread slices


Start by mashing half the beans and leaving the remaining half intact.
Add mashed potato, carrots and spices.
In a pan add 1 tsp. oil. When the oil heats up, add celery, onion and garlic. Cook for five minutes

 
and mix this with the vegetable and beans mixture.
If the mixture is soft, add bread crumbs so that you can form proper patties. 
Form the patties and roll in bread crumbs. 
Shallow fry on a heated pan with a little oil. 


Grill some onions and bell peppers as toppings.


Enjoy the burgers with your choice of toppings. We used cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and tomato ketchup. Next time I might not grill the veggies. Instead I will add the bell peppers in the patties and use raw onions as toppings.



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Sunday, December 18, 2011

I am ready for Christmas!

Yes, I am .... just in the nick of time! My wreaths are hung, my clock is adorned with ornaments and so are my wall scones.

Every year we buy special ornaments for Ishaan and Shivansh. This year I thought of displaying them differently. I spread them out in a bowl on the coffee table. Shiv loves to go through them everyday after school. At least I am not worried about the tree falling down because he could not find his third ornament.
I made this paper Christmas tree. I really like how it looks. It was a little time consuming, but the result is well worth it!
Next year, I might do more of these in different sizes. Doesn't it look cute?

Even added a little bit of red and green in the bedroom.



Every year when the tree is ready to be decorated, the boys start out and then I do some rearranging and add the finishing touches!
This year we decided to do a blue, gold and silver tree instead of the red and gold that I did last year.
I must have clicked at least 25 shots, but I could not get one decent night shot of my tree. Well, we all like how it turned out, but Shiv doesn't like the tree topper. He tells me at least twice a day if not more that a lighted tree topper will look better. I agree with him, but its too late for me to go shopping now. I will have to come up with something better next year. My little boy does have an eye for design!
Now all that's remaining is putting the gifts under the tree!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Pretzels

Inspired by pinterest, we finally decided to make these yummy chocolate pretzels. It was so much fun to make! All you need is pretzels and Hershey's kisses.

This is how you roll:
Line a baking tray with wax paper and arrange the pretzels in a single layer. 

 Place an unwrapped 'Kiss' on each pretzel. Preheat the oven at 300 degrees F and place the baking tray in the oven for 2 minutes only.
 After 2 mins pull the tray out of the oven and put another pretzel on each while applying slight pressure. Refrigerate the baking tray for about 10 minutes or until the chocolate sets. These were the longest 10 mins we have spent. We were getting impatient, so I decided to freeze the tray for a little less than five minutes. Once out, it was difficult to resist popping these in the mouth.
These were fun and quick to make, and much less messy than chocolate coated pretzel rods. 

I will definitely be making these again. It was a fun, edible craft to do with kids!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Eggless Vanilla Cake with Condensed Milk

This recipe is very simple! I baked the cake for a friend's daughter's birthday. 

You will need:
1. APF: 1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsps.
2. Cornstarch: 2 tbsps.
3. Baking powder: 2 tsps.
4. Baking soda: 1 tsp.
5. Salt: 1/4 tsp.
6. Unsalted butter: 8 tbsps. (1 stick) at room temperature
7. Sugar: 2 tbsps.
8. Sweetened condensed milk: 1 14 oz. can
9. Vanilla extract: 2 tsps.
10. Cold milk: 3/4 cup

Now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a baking tray with butter or oil. 

In a small bowl sift the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whip butter and sugar till it resembles whipped butter. Do not over whip or else the cake will be a little hard and crumbly.

 Add condensed milk and vanilla to this and whip till everything comes together. 

 Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and gently mix. You can also add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in stages alternating between milk and dry ingredients i.e. add the 2-3 parts of dry ingredients. Mix. Add milk. Mix. Repeat. Make sure you start and end with the dry ingredients. Do NOT over mix.

Pour the batter in the greased baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
 Since the initial of my friend's daughter's first name is 'A', I cut a stencil on paper and dusted some powdered sugar to decorate the cake. I have never iced a cake. I really want to try my hands on that. 

The cake was delicious! Shiv loved it a lot and has been begging me to make it again. Soon...

The gift was also fun to decorate!
 I wrapped the gift with this fun polka dot wrapping paper and used a different wrapping paper to cut out leaves and fanned them out on one corner. Then added some candies for some fun! 
Linking to Jingle all the way @ edible entertainment
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Quick Eggless Chocolate Pudding

Now this is what has more pudding like consistency than this!

But the previously prepared chocolate pudding has become a favorite in my home. I have prepared it three days in a row. My boys have had it as an after dinner dessert and breakfast.

Even though Shiv does not like chocolate, he devours this one! He wrote about it here. I would appreciate it if you could read his blog and provide some encouragement to this budding, 7 year old blogger!

Well, coming back to the pudding. This is so simple and quick. The only waiting time is allowing it to set in the refrigerator for an hour.
Recipe source: Veggie Belly
Please visit Veggie Belly for additional tips.



You will need:

Milk: 2 1/4 cups at room temperature
Corn Starch: 2 tbsps
Cocoa powder: 2 tbsps
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract: 1/2 tsp

This is what you do:

1. Make sure the milk is at room temperature.
2. Take approximately half of the milk in a pan and add the corn starch and cocoa powder.
3. Whisk very well. Make sure there are no lumps.
4. Add sugar and vanilla to the remaining milk and heat it.
5. Before it starts boiling, strain the milk containing cocoa powder and corn starch in this pan. Break any lumps in the strainer with a wooden spoon.
6. Continue whisking the milk and bring to a boil.
7. Pour it into individual cups. Cover with foil and let it set in the refrigerator for an hour.

 My corn starch was not that strong. The pudding was still semi liquid after an hour and a half. So I reheated the pudding with an additional 1/2 tbsp of corn starch.

It turned out very smooth and delicious! My son asked me to make it again so I am sure it was good!

Linking it to Jingle all the way @ Edible Entertainment

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Eggless Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding



Everyone in my home enjoys warm desserts fresh out of the oven. When I was a non baker, Friday nights meant watching a movie and enjoying fresh cookies (frozen cookie dough) out of the oven.

Now that we are leaning towards a "natural" diet, I try to prepare most of the foods at home.... specially the junk foods. At least I know that we are not eating any preservatives and unwanted chemicals the names of whose I  had studied years ago in organic chemistry. Like Michael Pollan says, "Eat all the junk foods you want as far as you prepare it at home."

So, today I prepared this gooey dessert which I don't know should be called pudding or not because it has more of a cake texture than pudding. Well, what's in a name as far as my boys devour it!

Ingredients:
 For the batter:
All purpose flour: 1cup
Baking powder: 2 tsps
Cocoa powder: 3 tsps
Salt:  1/4 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Butter: 2 tbsps, melted
Milk: 1/2 cup
Yogurt: 1 1/2 tsps.
Vanilla: 1 1/2 tsps

 For the sauce:
Sugar: 1/2 cup (It was a little too sweet for me, but everyone else thought it was perfect)
Cocoa powder: 3 tbsps
Coffee powder: 1tsp (optional) I made them with and without coffee powder. My boys preferred the ones without.
Water: 1 cup

How to proceed:

1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
2. Sift the dry ingredients.
3. Add the butter, milk, vanilla and yogurt until well combined.
4. Grease your ramekins and spoon the batter in them. Fill a little less than half way.

For the sauce:
Mix all the ingredients.

Pour the sauce over the batter. Do not mix it. Do not fill more than 3/4 of the ramekin.

Place the ramekins on a baking tray to catch spills like pictured below or else you will have an oven clean up job ready for you.



Bake for 20 - 22 minutes.

Let it cool for 10 minutes and then dig into this yummy dessert.


Linking it at krithiskitchen's Serve It Series and here 
Jingle all the way @ edible entertainment

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Diaper Cake

I prepared this lovely diaper cake for my sister-in-law's baby shower. It was so much fun making this cake. My Mom and I rolled the diapers and fastened them with thin, clear rubber bands.

I started out with a baby powder bottle in the center and topped it with a baby bottle. This formed the center around which I arranged the diapers. I found these cute baby themed cake pics at the dollar store. I used them for decoration. The decoration possibilities are endless.

Since this baby shower was out of town and I reached the night before the event, I did not have time to go wild with the decorations. I took the folded diapers with me and assembled the cake at my SIL's place.
The baby shower was last year and I am writing about it this year... and my SIL still has 2008 calendar in the back ground. This is how current we are! 
So not good... but  I always thought I have lost the pics so never really prepared a post. Oh well.... better late than never!


 I was having so much fun during the baby shower that I completely forgot to take better pics.These are from the night before with my phone.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Multi Bean Crepes/ Dosa/ Adai - Revisited

I have heard that people eat with their eyes first. I love making these crepes as it makes my kids think I am a cool cook because I can make a food tepee. Moreover, these are packed with proteins because of all the beans.

The best part is that it needs no fermentation time and soaking time is only four hours. The beans and rice can be soaked longer, but the minimum time required is four hours. So, if you want to have them for breakfast, you could either prepare the batter the day before or soak the beans and rice at night and grind them in the morning for a healthy breakfast.

All you need to make these yummy crepes is:

1. 1 cup rice. (I use half brown and half white rice)

2. 1 cup bean mix. You could use the 16 bean soup mix. Since my son is allergic to a lot of beans, I make the bean mix with urad dal, toor dal, whole moong, yellow moong dal, pinto beans, rajma (kidney beans) and black eyed beans.


3. 2-3 green chillies (you could increase or decrease the quantity as per your taste)
4. 7-8 curry leaves
5. Ginger
6. Salt
7.  A pinch of asafoetida (to prevent the tooting after eating so many beans)
8.  1 - 2 whole dried red chillies 

What you need to do is :

1. Wash and soak the beans and rice in separate containers for four hours.
2. Add whole red chillies to this and let them soak also.
3. After four hours, add all the other ingredients except salt and asafoetida and grind the beans.
4. Then, grind the rice and mix in the bean batter.
5. Add salt and asafoetida and there you go.... your batter is ready!

Here is a pictorial for making the tepees. I am sure there are a million videos on you tube for the same.


Heat a griddle and spread the batter in a circular manner. If you prefer it less crispy, you can make a thick crepe. Drizzle some oil or ghee.


Make a slit with a spatula like shown below.
Cook it on medium heat. Once it is cooked, lift a corner near the slit and roll forming a cone.


This is what you end up with.


If you want to make adai, take more batter on the pan and make a thicker crepe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cinnamon Chips

I love the aroma of anything cinnamon baking in my oven. My boys love these. This is my go to snack when I don't have any healthy snacks/ snack ideas. Moreover, it takes minutes to make these.

 Spread some butter on wheat or flour tortilla.








Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar generously on the chips.




The most important step is to slice the tortillas before baking. I generally use a pizza cutter to make the desired shape.

Bake these in a preheated over at 350 degree F for 10-12 minutes. Keep a close watch on these goodies as they tend to burn very quickly. The tortillas might still be slightly soft when you pull these out of the oven. Once cooled, they will crisp up.

Enjoy.... my boys can polish these of in a matter of minutes.


These chips can also be used in ice-creams or cold coffee as garnish!
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday, Son!




It is hard for us to believe that you are 10 years old. It feels like it was just yesterday that we saw your precious face in the wee hours of 11/18/2001 and were overjoyed. We truly experienced the feeling of being happy on that day. Your eyes were open and your hair was dark and curly. You had a twinkle in your eye which you have even today. You have filled our lives with love forever.

It really amazes us how one minute you behave like an immature ten year old boy wanting to have fun and all the candies and chocolate chip cookies in the world, and the next you are discussing important matters with us. 

Ishu, you have taught us the meaning of ‘unconditional love’. You always show so much love, respect and concern for everyone around you no matter how they treat you. You are so loving and forgiving. That is definitely a quality you have inherited from your Dad. Even though your brother gets mad at you for no reason, copies you, talks rudely with you, deep down you love him a lot. You always get concerned when he gets in trouble. We hope that you both always get along very well with each other because he will be the only person in the world who will care for you as much as you do for him. And when we get old and grouchy, you will need each other to vent out. Always be there for each other, guys. 

Ishman (as your kaka calls you), we often see you being hard on yourself and striving for everything you do to be perfect. But you are OK for who you are even when things are not perfect and you make mistakes. People will like you whether you are funny or not. So please be yourself and don’t ‘try’ to be silly or funny. We know that you are a kid that can weather tough storms and come out OK. You show us time and time again that you are brave, strong, and wise. We are proud of all your achievements!

You are an awesome sportsman! You excel at whichever sport you pick up. Be it swimming, soccer, or even ice hockey. We were amazed when you taught yourself pogo sticking in a matter of a few hours! Remember beta, it is better to be smart than cool or silly. As you grow up, you will meet lots of different people – some good, some not so good. Please choose your friends wisely. Please be influenced by the good people in your life.
As always, a family discussion cannot end without talking about education. Can it? So, please remember that education will always help you out in life. Always stay focused on your goal of academic excellence.

We know that sometimes we scold you for whatever the reason may be - sometimes it is your fault, many a times not. But please remember that Dad and I love you a lot and wish the best for you.

Dhinglu, as you embark on the second decade of your life we hope that you always remember that you are indeed loved for exactly who you are right now and for the young man you are growing into.  As we say often, we are your family and you will always be loved no matter what.  This is the soft place you can land where you will always be OK and you will always be loved — no matter what. 

Happy 10th Birthday, Betu!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am featured

I am so happy!!! I am featured on Cheri's blog. Please go ahead and check her amazing blog. She also has great parties.

It did come as a surprise to me because I had not submitted to be featured. It started out as a normal day at work. I thought of checking my emails and I see this email from Cheri saying she has featured me. I was happy.

It has arrived right on time because over the past few days I had been thinking about how slow and inconsistent I have been on posting. I even thought of deleting this blog.

Just then I get this.... a nice boost to get me going. Thanks Cheri!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Decorating with candles for Diwali



 Chalk rangoli on my front porch. I filled tall glasses with colored water and used them as candle holders.



 My boys' tic tac toe board used as a candle holder. The little animals that you see around the candles are pieces from their mancala game.


 My dining table all dolled up for the festive season... during the day.
 

at night! 

 My cute yarn wreath peeping in the background.

 Do you see my WS knock off hurricanes?

Marigolds+ roses+ floating candles = Festive!
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