Showing posts from November, 2014

Lazy Saturday and Spinach Soup !

Finally , one of those Saturdays which come after a major this case the one after the Thanksgiving potluck and Black Friday madness . After gorging on all the food on the aforementioned holiday and being invited to a dinner party the following day body was demanding some mercy be shown and something light be consumed. It's not that I didn't pay heed it to it's first warning bell..remember the green smoothie I made with kale and left over cranberries but having biryani on the previously mentioned dinner party  didn't help at all.

Anyways, coming back to the lazy Saturday , half of which was spent lazing around ..doing nothing and close to the other half on vacillating on what light soup should be prepared ? Asking my kids would not have helped matters at all  as they are extremely biased towards the cream of mushroom one. Green came to my rescue soup..simple ! Spinach Soup was meant to be.

Here is my adapted recipe, the origi…

Thanksgiving Brunch and the Upside Down Cranberry Cake

We are celebrating our Thanksgiving the typical desi way ..yes, you guessed it right ..we are having a potluck party . Before you dismiss it as another boring affair , let me point out that we are doing something "different".. we are having a Thanksgiving brunch instead of the traditional dinner. While you may feel the need to compliment us for doing something "hatke" let me assure that it was more out of necessity. Black Friday sales have now formally invaded Thursday Thanksgiving dinner ..the lure of the all deals was just too hard to moved the potluck  early  from dinner to brunch.

Cranberries are a staple of any Thanksgiving feast and I for one wasn't making an exception ? Have to admit that I was getting kinda bored with eating this antioxidant rich food as sauce only ...that too store bought are just nothing more than sugar jellies. Google came to my rescue and the possibility of baking  a  cranberry upside down cake got embedded in my brain.…

Of Savory Cravings and Zeera Cookies

There are some tastes from your childhood that have such a firm grip on you that try as you might to resist, once you get the craving/urge has be to be satiated . The above picture might have given you a clue that these cumin seed biscuits ( or cookies as we call them in the US ) have me fully entrapped in their power. Back in New York , whenever we went to our favorite desi area for the groceries (just a paltry 45 minutes drive ) , my feet used to drag me automatically to the aisle where they were neatly stacked for me to pick .

But here , in the Carolinas , having being bitten by the baking bug and the lack of the 45 minute drive, prompted me to bake these desi delights for myself . The fact that it was raining might have been a contributing factor too. So, after having dropped my daughter headed straight to then kitchen. After all, I wanted them Mr,Roy to have a sampling of them fresh from the oven when we both sat down for our first cup of tea for the day .

Many recipes call…

Chicken Rice Soup with Peanuts and Quick Lunch !

My battle with the sniffles was taking a turn for the worst . Never one to be deterred , I looked up at my arsenal of recipes and voila chicken soup was begging to be picked. Since , it was time for lunch and I was in mood for cooking an elaborate  meal  , decided to add rice to the soup itself  along with a healthy dose of peanuts , again something which I have been craving a lot lately .

Before , I move on over to the recipe , a word of advice . Now is a good time to pre - soak the rice for the soup . Remember the quick lunch part ...everyone is entitled to shortcuts especially in this frigidly  cold weather which brings the sniffles.

Ingredients -

Boneless Chicken pieces cut into small cubes
1 medium sized chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 tbsp butter.
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves
6 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste

Method -
Boil the chicken pieces and 6 cups of water in a pan and  bring to a boil .

Cream of Mushroom on a Saturday Afternoon

What do you when you have guests coming over on a frigid Saturday afternoon ? You make a rich creamy mushroom soup of course. If you can get that right, chances are they might just be tempted to lick their bowls. This is a recipe that has always yielded excellent results though it might set the expectations too high for the main course.

Fresh mushrooms are an absolute must for this recipe . Hubby brought the large portobello mushrooms which I used one large of . You can use 1 cup of any chopped fresh mushrooms. The recipe calls for cream and since mine was smelling funny , replaced it with whole milk without any changes in the result.  Just remember , constantly keep on stirring it with a whisk after you add the cream and stock.So, without further adieu , here is the recipe -

Ingredients -

1  small onion chopped
1 cup mushrooms chopped
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (make mine at home and freeze it )
1 cup water
1/2 cup cream ( more if you wa…

Case of the Sniffles and the Carrot Ginger Soup

Mr. Winter  has come with full force and I am down with a bad case of the sniffles. Now, raise your hand if the first food item that comes  into your mind when battling the sniffles is the humble soup. A quick look at the stock of vegetables in the refrigerator seemed to confirm what I had already suspected ...carrots galore ..blame it on Mr. Roy for bringing extra large bags of them . Further investigation revealed that yes, ginger was there in sufficient quantity too , to make ginger carrot soup . Will not mention that mint was available  too for decorative purposes ( don't want to sound too vain ).

Armed with the necessary ingredients (mentioned below) , marched to my kitchen counter .  After the initial chopping and sauteing was done and the the carrots softened by the addition of the vegetable stock and water to the pressure cooker,  I used my Vitamix  in the soup setting for the blending . Any normal blender will also get the job done (have tried it many times before the pr…

Of Birthday Gifts and Pumpkin Donuts !

Close to the same time  two years ago, my daughter received the  Babycakes Mini Donut Maker . The decision might have been influenced by the fact that I had already been bitten by the baking bug . Well , as a person I'm not very given to trying out new things and the fact that my daughter never pestered me to give it a try , made me put it away high up on my kitchen closet . Sure, it did beckon me from time to time but I always had a perfect excuse ready for postponing it's trial.It even survived the trip from New York to the Carolinas but a recent flooring work in my kitchen again made it come back to the limelight. Another thing that was beckoning me from the pantry was the can of pumpkin puree . Baking pumpkin into bars , cake, cheese cake  and pie did not satiate me ..had to make doughnuts before bidding it adieu for this season (I have been known to change my mind) . So without further delay, i set upon the task of taking the donut maker out of its' box, actually readi…