Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh this one I love...

If I had a go-to recipe, a sort of comfort dessert, this would be it, I think. Since I discovered it a few years ago, I have lost count of how many times I actually made it. In fact, my roommate was so enamored by it that he learned to make it too!

Easy-peasy date and walnut cake, source here



Ingredients

12 dates, pitted and chopped
1 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 

Method (followed it to the "T")

Boil the milk in a saucepan. Remove from heat.
Add the dates and let it stand until cool.
When cool put into a blender or food processor and process or blend until the dates are ground.
 Add the oil into blender/food processor and blend/process again until incorporated and mixture becomes thick. Add sugar to the mixture in the blender/food processor and blend until incorporated.
Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Seive flour and baking soda well. Fold in the flour until it is mixed well. Add chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into a greased glass microwavable dish. 
Place in microwave and bake for 10 to 11 minutes on High. 

Judgement

My modifications to this cake resulted in a really dense cake (think I loved the recipe as it was, or I could have gone easy on the whole wheat pastry flour). Everyone else seemed to think it was really good, except of course...me....(but then I am always hard on myself- nothing seems good enough you know). The good thing though it paired great with vanilla ice cream and I could not have asked for more after my tooth extractions!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monthly mingle with fruit!


I have become a daring cook and baker ever since I started blogging- I try and incorporate different vegetables that are especially. The hardest for me was using the fall bounty-I hardly knew some of their names. But hey I am still the learner!
Our last trip to the grocery store, we bought exactly one of these pretty looking fruits (this I knew the name of)- persimmon (the wise guy did not even know what it was when he picked it up!). I had it in the refrigerator for a week or so, manically googling recipes using persimmon when I hit upon this beautiful cupcake recipe from one of my favorite blogs- Cupcake Project.  The search stopped there!

Recipe source here, minimally adapted

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cups sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup persimmon pulp (the insides of 1 over-ripe persimmon)
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
orange zest (from about half an orange)


Method

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, then mix in eggs, persimmon pulp and orange juice until thoroughly combined.
Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.

I decided to skip on the frosting for no particular reason.

Judgement

Loved it- all the fall flavors jived so well. Next time the frosting is also ON people! Between the two of us we have so many the first day but who cares tis the holiday season. This cupcake is off to the monthly mingle hosted this month by lovely Deeba of the PAB fame and this series was started by another lovely blogger Meeta of Whats for lunch, honey? fame. Now with two gorgeous bloggers involved how can I not mingle! Thank you ladies...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First time with chestnuts

and I must say I have fallen in love with them...

This was a lovely eggless mousse recipe that I adapted from here.

Ingredients

about 100gms Chestnuts (had about 20 of them)
sugar to taste
1 tbs cocoa
1 tsp almond extract (this was way too much)
16 ounces heavy whipping cream

 

Method
Peel the outer leathery layer on the chestnuts. Place them in water to cover, simmer until tender. Remove the chestnuts, let it cool and then peel the inner skin. Add sugar, cocoa and almond extract. Process in a food processor until smooth and well combined.
Beat heavy cream until stiff. Fold required amount (I just eyeballed the amount) into chestnut puree. Divide among desert glasses. Chill until set-up.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Judgement

Except for the fact that we did not like the overpowering flavor of almond extract, it was a perfect decadent dessert. Next time I will surely try some variations, in fact I am looking forward to using roasted chestnuts!

You can read all about how to boil/roast chestnuts here or here. You can get plenty of information about chestnuts, even a bit of history here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On my plate this evening


Yet another simple dal with snake gourd and okra curry, on a cold night one can never get enough of just rightly spiced, warm dal!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hallowed halloween

The Scottish variant of "All-Hallows-Even", better known as Halloween is celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the United States. It is linked to the Celtic festival of Samuin (pronounced as Sow-an) which roughly eludes to "summer's end". It was believed that during Samuin, the border between this world and the other world becomes thin and hence dressing up in costumes and masks, basically disguising, helped ward off the harmful spirits.

To me, the resemblance of Trick-or-treating to something called "souling" is even more interesting. Apparently poor people used to dress up on Hallowmas, celebrated on Nov 1st, and go door to door getting food in return for the prayers for the dead. 

Source: here at wiki, here and for some really fun Hallow-trivia check here

It definitely is much more fun now- don't you think- American capitalism at its best (well one of its very best), you can dress up as anything you want- you name it, they sell it.

Anyway this year, we decided to celebrate it too- well more like "a reason to have a party, yoo hoo". Recently I have begun cooking for the parties, nothing big- usually appetizers and desserts, rarely do I engage in large scale cooking. So this time in the spirit of halloween, here goes the list of stuff I made.

Cheese cups filled with mango salsa and spicy black beans- recipe source here at Martha Stewarts's


Witches Fingers, the source for these fingers can be found here.

Mulled brown blood, recipe source here


I followed most recipes very closely, except for a few changes/ substitutions here and there. If you need to know any of my adaptations, leave me a comment. 

Judgement

Everything was a big hit- especially the cheese cups, the mulled brown blood and the witches finger :D! Try these at your next Halloween party and wow your guests! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tried and tasted

This month on the Tried and Tasted series hosted by Priya, the blog being featured is "Chef in You". It features as one of my daily haunts.
Now I am not too fond of mushrooms but this time I let the wise guy pick up some, thought would use it in an omlette or may be even some good fried rice. But a quick search on Chef in you and this recipe was an instant click. So I ordered the wise guy to go for it and he actually made this recipe with minimal help from me. We did not have a few ingredients on hand, so like any good cook I went with my own substitutions which are marked in red.

Ingredients, original recipe can be found here

1 1/2 cups chopped button mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup cheddar, grated
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1/4 cup milk ( or replace it with egg)
2-3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup panko bread crumbs ( Italina style crumbs with herbs and spices adds more taste)

Method

In a non stick pan, add little olive oil and saute onions and mushrooms till soft. Set aside.
Add the chopped nuts to the mushroom mixture and mix well.
Then add the cheese, bread crumbs, chives, egg/milk and combine well.
Grease the baking dish (I used a square pan), line it with aluminum foil and then press the mixture into the tin.
Bake till firm about 45-60min at 400F. Leave for 5 min, then turn it out into a plate. Cut them into slices and garnish. Serve with any kind of sauce you like

Judgement

A very nutty delightful dish, great as a snack since there it not much of a preparation. Loved it!