Acini Di Pepe Spinach soup

While rearranging my pantry I came across a pack of acini di pepe pasta. It’s a tiny pasta that works well in soups and salads. The name apparently means “seeds of pepper”. This tiny pasta is also used for a cold salad called frog eye salad. I had initially bought it to make the salad but never ended up making it.

I used the recipe in the box itself for our lunch today. It’s been extremely windy and cold here for the past couple of days. A hot bowl of soup is perfect for this weather.

The recipe is very simple and the soup was ready in a matter of minutes. While searching the internet, I learned that this soup is called Italian wedding soup if you add meatballs to it. The name implies a marriage of flavors rather than being served at an actual wedding. But of course I didn’t tell my husband that part ;-) He had his lunch thinking he was having a part from a wedding meal!

Read on for the recipe. This post goes to Kids Delight event, hosted this month by PJ under the theme Winter warmers.

Recipe source: Ronzoni

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of broth/water
  • 1/2 cup acini di Pepe pasta, uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 10 oz pack of frozen spinach
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Method:

  1. Heat butter in a pan. Sauté onion and garlic until it turns light pink.
  2. Add water or broth and bring it to a boil. Add pasta, nutmeg , salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring in between. Pasta should be cooked by now. Take off the heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if preferred.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

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2 Ingredients Hot Chocolate

BM# 95: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Winter warmers

When you say winter, the first thing that comes to mind is Christmas. And the second thing is hot chocolate. A cup of hot chocolate goes a long way into uplifting your mood on a cold day. I don’t like the readymade hot cocoa packets that you just have to mix with hot water and drink. I prefer the old fashioned from scratch method using cocoa powder.

It is a simple basic method of mixing one tablespoon of cocoa powder and sugar as needed to a cup of hot milk. I also like using a candy cane as a stirrer to infuse peppermint flavor into the drink. This morning I tried a peanut butter version where you add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the basic hot chocolate recipe. I am big fan of peanut butter, so for me it was delicious.

But for my son, I wasn’t sure whether he would like it. So I made this much simpler version of hot chocolate. It uses only chocolate chips and hot milk. I added a tiny pinch of instant coffee powder to boost that chocolate flavor a bit more. And of course some marshmallows for topping!

Read on for the recipe. This post goes to Kids Delight event, hosted this month by PJ under the theme Winter warmers.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 spoon instant coffee powder, optional
  • Mini Marshmallows for topping

Method:

  1. Heat milk. Turn off heat before it starts boiling.
  2. Add chocolate chips and instant coffee powder, if using, mix with a spoon until it’s melted. Pour into a mug and serve topped with mini marshmallows.

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Cauliflower soup

BM# 95: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Winter warmers

Wish you all a very happy and healthy 2019!

2018 ended on a high note for our family. The entire summer was action packed with me becoming the stereotypical soccer mom. In our case it was cricket mom since most of our summer was dedicated to our son’s cricket class and matches. He is no Javagal Srinath yet, but he is away from electronics, spending time with other kids and is physically active. So Its a complete win as far as I am concerned. The game took over our complete summer, but it really was worth it.

We moved to a new neighborhood in November and are still settling in. My son is in middle school now (boy!! They grow up so fast!!) and his work load is a lot more than the previous years. So all in all the days are over way too quickly and before I realized it, 2018 has already waved me goodbye.

The new year began on a great note too as my brother and his family was visiting us over the holidays. They left last weekend and now the house feels lonely and cold. The cold part is a little too literal. It’s winter here and it’s no fun. The cold can be tolerated if you are dressed in layers, but if it’s a windy day like today, it’s very difficult. So it’s apt that I have chosen a piping hot cauliflower soup to serve you all here today. Check out the link for the original recipe from The Pioneer woman.

Read on for the recipe and you can see from the above picture that my son is having a good time too :-)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh or dry parsley
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons  all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a thick pan. Once it’s melted and hot, add the onions to it. Sauté until it turns to light pink.
  2. Add the chopped carrots and cauliflower. Saute for a couple of minutes and then cover and cook until the vegetables are softer, about 5 minutes. You can add some broth or water if the veggies starts to burn or start sticking to the bottom of the pan. Now add 8 cups of broth or water, parsley, salt as needed and let it come to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are done.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. In a bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until you don’t see any dry lumps of flour. Add the milk mixture slowly to the butter whisking continuously. Cook till then mixture thickens. Take off heat.
  4. Carefully add the white sauce to the soup, mixing with a spatula. Let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust the salt if needed and add pepper. Serve hot!

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

Baingan Mutter Makhini

mymy k

I can not believe that my small break has (again) turned into a major vacation from my blog. Given the fact that I do this at least once in two years, I won’t say I am surprised by this behavior now.

With the overdose of information from social media, I find that I need a break more frequently than before. Now my everyday food is mostly from simpler sources like books and recipes from friends. I will be back to the blogging scenario, but right now I am taking it slow.

While we are on the topic of recipe from books, this one is also from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 curries. It’s a book that I really like and this recipe was also a success like the other ones I tried. It’s similar in some ways to baingan Bharta but with fresh cream and cashews involved :-). Read on for the recipe and stepwise pictures.

baingan_mutter_makhani2

Ingredients:

  • 1 big eggplant
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cashews or blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2″ long piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tomato chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt as needed

Method:

Rub one teaspoon of oil all over the eggplant. Poke holes all over it using a fork and microwave it for about 8 minutes until its cooked. Take out keep aside until its cool enough to handle.

Peel the eggplants and discard the stem. Mash using a fork or roughly chop using a knife. Add this into a bowl and mix in 2 cups (fresh or frozen) peas, 1/2 cup coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and salt. Set this aside while we prepare the gravy.

In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. Add one medium sliced onion, 1/4 cup blanched almonds (or cashews), 2 tablespoons raisins, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2″ piece of chopped ginger. Cover and let this cook until the onion is caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add one chopped medium tomato half way through and let it also cook without mixing it in too much.

Once the mix is cooked through, let it cool a bit and grind into a paste, adding a little water if needed.

Clean the skillet and heat it now with one tablespoon of ghee. Add the eggplant and peas mixture and let it cook uncovered until all the moisture has been absorbed. Stir in between to prevent browning. This might take about 10 minutes. Add the onion paste to the cooked eggplant.

Add half cup of cream to the mixer jar to dislodge any remaining onion paste stuck to the jar. Pour the cream to the curry. Mix everything and cook for another 5 minutes, taste testing and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Serve with some ghee on top if preferred.

baingan_mutter_makhani