Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Though it's officially winters in LA and we are not supposed to think about summer fruits, I got a big box of strawberries and a few peaches from the near by grocery store....Although the berries were not as sweet as they are in the peak season, but they were not bad either...We ate a few and I sneaked out 5 big ones to make this cake...This cake is very moist and soft and sure to please your palate...So here is the recipe..


All you need is

All purpose flour-1 cup and 2 tbsp
Unsalted butter-1\2 cup
Sugar-1 cup
Baking soda-1\4 tsp
Salt-1\4 tsp
Zest of half lemon
lemon juice-1 tbsp
Yogurt-1\2 cup
Fresh strawberries-1 cup (chopped)

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees
Grease and line a 8" pan
Sift together 1 cup of all purpose flour, salt and baking soda three times
Add the lemon zest to the flour and keep aside
Add the remaining 2 tbsp flour in the strawberries and toss to cover the berries in the flour
In a bowl,cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy (2-3 minutes with a hand held mixer)
Add eggs , one at a time and mix well
Add flour and yogurt alternately in the mixture
Do not over mix
Fold in the strawberries
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minute, until a tooth pick comes out clean
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Take out from the pan and cool on a wire rack
Sprinkle with powdered sugar 
It tastes best when eaten a little warm

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cheddar and chive scones

It's time for the daring baker challenge and for this month, we are baking scones...Scones are small Scottish quick bread which can be either lightly sweetened or savory...

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

So here is the recipe

All you need is

All purpose flour-1 cup
Baking powder-2 tsp
Baking soda-1\4 tsp
Salt-1\4 tsp
Unsalted butter-2 tbsp
Cold milk- 1\2 cup
Cheddar cheese-1\2 cup
Chives- 2 tbsp(finely chopped )
1 tbsp milk for glazing

Method of preparation

Grate the butter and freeze till required
Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt  3 times
Add chives and grated cheese and refrigerate for 10 minutes
In a bowl mix together flour and butter
Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles very course bread crumbs with some pea size pieces (I used my pastry cutter to mix the flour with butter...)
Add the milk and mix till it forms a sticky dough
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat with your finger tips to form a rectangle
Fold and turn the dough 3-4 times very gently to get layers in your scones
Finally pat the dough to a 6" by 4"rectangle (3\4" thick)
With a sharp knife , cut the dough into small pieces
Refrigerate for 20 minutes
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Immediately transfer the scones to a wire rack
Serve hot with some butter

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange, pineapple and walnut muffins

It's time for some more baking....I had half a can of pineapple leftover from the

Egg less pineapple and cardamom cake 

which I wanted to finish ....And muffins are always on my baking list as they make a very good lunchbox option for bhavye...I made a batch on the Friday and they were gone before I could take pictures...So I made a batch again today morning...So here is the recipe...

All you need is

All purpose flour- 2 cups
Baking soda-3\4 tsp
Salt-1\4 tsp
Walnuts-3\4 cup
Unsalted butter-1\2 cup
Sugar-3\4 cup
Yogurt-3\4 cup
Zest of one orange
Canned Pineapple-1\2 cup
Juice of 2 oranges
Confectioner's sugar- 1\4 cup

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees
Spread the walnuts in a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes in the oven
Cool and chop into small pieces
Keep aside
Mix orange juice and confectioner's sugar in a bowl and mix till combined
Keep aside
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease a muffin tin
In a bowl, sift together all purpose flour, baking soda and salt
In a big bowl, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy
Add the egg and beat till it is combined
Add yogurt and orange zest
Add the flour and whisk till combined
Fold in the chopped pineapples and walnuts
Spoon the batter in the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes till a toothpick comes out clear
Remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack
Brush then with orange juice and sugar glaze while they are still hot

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Paneer in white gravy

Paneer is everybody's favorite in my family...Whenever I am short on ideas on what to cook, paneer comes as a rescue....This is very quick and easy recipe and it tastes awesome...If you like white gravies, then try this one...

All you need is

Oil- 3 tbsp
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Garlic-4-5 cloves
Cashew nuts- 2 tbsp
Garam masala- 1\4 tsp
Milk- 6 tbsp
Cream- 3 tbsp
Water- 2 cups
Paneer- 2 cups ( cubed )
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander for garnishing

Method of preparation

In a blender, blend onion, ginger , garlic and cashew nuts to a fine paste
Add oil in a pan
Add the onion paste
Fry till golden brown
Add milk, water and cream
Add paneer , garam masala and salt
Cook for 5 minutes
Serve hot with rotis

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheesy vegetable chowder

I ate chowder for the first time in San Francisco....The way it was served at many stalls along the pier caught my attention...Most of the stalls sold clam chowder in a cute bread bowl...There were a few selling tomato chowder as well....I liked the soup as it was very fulfilling and hearty...When I searched for the recipe,this one from http://luluthebaker.blogspot.com looked almost close....I am not a very big fan of sea food, so this veggie option was the obvious choice...So here is the recipe...

All you need is

Butter- 2 tbsp
Onion-1  (chopped )
Carrot-1 ( sliced )
Garlic-3 cloves (crushed )
Potatoes-2 (cubed)
Chicken stock-4 cups (You can use vegetable stock as well, or plain water if you have no stock....)
All purpose flour-1 tbsp
Milk-1 cup
Broccoli-2 cups
Parmesan cheese- 2cups
Red chili flakes-1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method of preparation

Heat butter in a big saucepan and saute onions and carrots for 2-3 minutes
Add crushed garlic and chicken stock
Let it boil
Add the potato cubes
Cover and cook till potatoes are done
Dissolve all purpose flour in milk and add it to the pan
Add the water and broccoli florets and cook till broccoli are tender
Add the cheese and let it melt
Add chili flakes and mix well
Serve hot with bread

The chowder turned out very cheesy and yummy...It was perfect for a comforting dinner....We had it with slices of  french loaf...Try it out..

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Egg less pineapple and cardamom cake

New year and an all new blog hop...I enjoyed the event last time and all set to welcome it again....This is an event started by Radhika of ticklingpalates.blogspot.com.....For this month ,I am paired with Priya of http://enveetukitchen.blogspot.com...She has a wide collection of lovely recipes in her blog....I chose this cake as  I have been wanting to do an egg less cake for long time and this one sounded like the perfect one to start egg less baking..So here it is...

All you need is

All purpose flour-1 1\4cups
Butter-1\4 cup
Condensed milk-3\4 cup
Pineapple chunks-1\2 can
Pineapple juice-3\4 cup
Baking powder-1 tsp
Baking soda-1\2 tsp
Cardamom pods-3 ( powdered )

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Oil and dust a 9" pan
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom powder
Beat condensed milk and butter in a bowl till light and creamy
Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture little by little
Add pineapple juice and whisk till mixed well
Fold in the pineapple chunks
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 40-50minutes
Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to the cooling rack
Serve it warm with some ice cream

.The cake came out great.....There was crunchiness from the pineapple chunks and a very subtle flavor of cardamom lingered on my palate....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken stuffed mushrooms

I have eaten stuffed mushrooms sometime back in a restaurant and since then was thinking to recreate it at home....So when yesterday, I saw these beautiful big and white mushrooms, it immediately stroked me to make these...I usually always have chicken in my freezer, so the filling option was not difficult to choose....So here is the recipe...

All you need is

Button mushrooms-6
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Onion-2 tbsp (chopped )
Chicken mince-1 cup
Capsicum-2 tsp ( chopped )
Parmesan cheese-2 tbsp ( grated )

Method of preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Remove the stalk of the mushroom and chop it
Add oil in a pan
Add onion and fry till pink
Add chopped mushroom, chicken mince, capsicum , salt and pepper
Cook till chicken is done
Fill the mushrooms with chicken mixture
Sprinkle some cheese on top
Keep in the oven for15- 20 minutes
Serve hot

The mushrooms turned out great....The dish can be a perfect party appetizer....Just make the filling and fill the mushrooms in advance and you can grill them at the time of the party....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Roasted red pepper and basil pesto Penne

Hi everyone....I am back....A very happy new year to all my wonderful friends and readers...Hope this year brings all the joy in your lives...I have bookmarked this pasta's recipe from annie's eats for a very long time and it looked like the perfect one for this beautiful sunny day......So here it is...

All you need is

Garlic cloves-3-6
Walnuts-1\3 cup
Parmesan cheese-1\3 cup {grated }
Red bell pepper-2
Basil leaves-3\4 cup
Olive oil-1\3 cup
Penne pasta-2 cups
Pepper-1\4 tsp
Heavy cream-1\4 cup
Chicken breast ( optional )-1

Method of preparation

Cut Red peppers into half and remove the seeds
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees
Immediately transfer the peppers in a zip lock bag and close the bag
It will help to remove the skin of the peppers easily
When the peppers have come to the room temperature, remove the skin gently
Cut chicken breast into small pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees
Blend garlic and walnuts in a blender to a powder
Add bell peppers,Parmesan, salt, pepper and basil
Pulse until well combined
Add olive oil and mix again
Cook pasta according to manufactures instruction
Add basil pesto, chicken and heavy cream to the pasta
Heat until warmed
Pasta came out wonderful...It had the perfect blend of smoky red peppers and basil....If you are a vegetarian , just opt out of the chicken  and you can add green peas and carrots to add the crunch...

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