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!

 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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