Guacamole

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BM # 72; Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Dips, spreads and chutneys
Recipe : Guacamole

Given the fact that I had waited until the last minute for this week’s blogging and also that the theme was an easy one, I decided to prepare all the three recipes on the same day so that I can get the photo shoot done in a single session. That way I didn’t have to brave the cold outside three times.

The good part about the winter here is that its sunny even when its cold. In UK, the sun is overcast most of the time because of the frequent rains. The winter starts getting really gray and gloomy after sometime. But here its sunny, so its hard to be depressed even if its cold. Some silver lining, right?

Coming to the recipe here, its Guacamole. I love avocado and this is one fine way to enjoy it. The recipe is very simple with a few ingredients. Mash avocados, add a few things and tada…dish (dip) ready! We had it as a part of burrito bowl yesterday.

Read on for the recipe.
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Recipe source: All recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tomato, chopped very finely

Method:

  1. Mash the flesh of the avocados with salt and lemon juice using a fork. Add the cayenne pepper, finely chopped onion and tomatoes. Mix with a spoon. Serve immediately or refrigerate until the time of serving.

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Sriracha fry sauce

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BM # 72
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Dips, spreads and chutneys

If passion can make people conquer mountains and swim through oceans, I should at least be able to brave the cold weather outside to get some good pictures for this week’s blogging, rt? So that’s what happened today.

To begin with, my house doesn’t receive a good amount of sunlight. And on top of that, I can’t seem to manipulate the little light that I get. With the winter season, clicking pictures is becoming more and more of a difficult task.

So today, I did what I have been doing all this while before winter disrupted it. I stepped into the balcony, set everything up for the photo shoot, clicked pictures and then came back inside. It doesn’t seem like much, but imagine doing that when its -14 Celsius outside. Yes, there is a minus there. My hands and legs were numb within the couple of minutes I was out there.

It snowed two days back, so it was a lot brighter. Snow reflects light and everything is a lot brighter. The pictures would have been a lot better in more capable hands, but right now, I will take what I got. So adventure of the day : 3 posts done, braved the weather to click pictures, edited and finally, posting on time…..Can someone give a medal, please :D?

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Recipe source: Life, a little brighter 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of paprika
  • salt, pepper, per taste

Method:

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl using a whisk until everything is well combined. Taste test, adjust seasonings if you need to. Serve with chips or fries.

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Fry sauce is a very simple dip, made with mayonnaise and ketchup. Some people add salt, pepper and vinegar to it. And this version has sriracha as well.It pairs well with French fries, chips and has a tangy, sweet and spicy twist to it.

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Chocolate Strawberry Chia Pudding

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BM # 70

Week 2, Day 3

Theme :Fruit based Recipes 

One look at Sapana’s chia pudding recipe yesterday and I knew what I had to make for Day 3. My son is not a fan of chia seeds when added to milkshakes, but I thought its time to assess his reaction to puddings. The kid really enjoyed and finished off two (mini) servings happily. It did help that the flavor was chocolate with a lavish layer of strawberry preserve in between.

Me and my camera are still in the readjusting phase, so hopefully the pictures will start getting better in a few weeks. Until then, this is how its going to be..It could be worse, so I am ok with these for now. Read on for the recipe and my determination to finish off my Costco hot chocolate packets.

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70. Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

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Recipe Inspiration : Sapana’s blog

Makes 4 mini servings

Ingredients:

For chocolate layer 

  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 packet hot chocolate

For strawberry layer

  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small cup of strawberry yogurt

To assemble

  • chocolate chia pudding
  • 4 teaspoons strawberry preserve
  • strawberry chia pudding
  • a few slices of banana for topping

Method:

  1. Mix everything for the chocolate layer in a bowl with room to expand.
  2. Mix the strawberry layer in a separate pan. Refrigerate both overnight.
  3. The next morning, layer four small glasses with a layer of strawberry preserve in between and serve.

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Tortilla egg wrap

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The best way to start a day is to start it simple. Especially if you are like me and not a morning person at all, you need to keep things at an elementary level till you get out of the zombie mode. So on some weekends, instead of doing something elaborate, I take out the tawa, some eggs, a pack of tortillas or ready-made chapatis and get to work. It sometimes makes its way into my son’s lunch box as well.

The good thing about my family is that they are with me when I keep breakfast minimal. A roll with a dash of sriracha is preferred over an idli-sambar-chutney combo. Since my husband has never read a single post in this place, he cannot contradict me :D.

This recipe is an improvisation of bread omelette. It’s from a friend and made it directly to my cookbook. I call it  my ‘try these recipes to keep your life lazy’ book.

Enjoy the recipe as it goes to the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge. Please check out this page for more details about the event.

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Break an egg and let it cook until set. Season with salt and pepper.

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Add a tortilla on top. I press a little bit so that the egg yolks break. Let it cook for a few moments.

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Flip over and cook the other side of the tortilla as well.

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Add some sriracha sauce or hot sauce of your choice. Fold the sides to the middle. Serve with ketchup.

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Chilli idli

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Leftover idlis are a rarity at my place. How will I have leftovers when I hardly make idlis at home?!! With just three of us at home, making dosa turns out to be an easier choice than hauling out the idli plates and waiting 15 minutes for the process to get over. So without doubt, dosa is a winner at my place.

But when I was in Chennai, idlis were regular. Just to make these chili idlis. People usually make these with leftover idls, but I used to make fresh idlis just so that I can pack for the kid’s lunchbox. These do have a bit of veggies on them, but not enough to be called a wholesome dish.

This was another recipe from my close friend there. I used to prepare this a lot when I moved to US also, more for memories than for the actual food. Like I always say, nostalgia is the best flavor for food. The one featured here is coming out of its drafts after a long time. The pictures take me to another era, one of the best in terms of memories for me.

Enjoy!

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Pictorial:

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Heat oil in a pan and saute one small diced onion.  Once its cooked a bit, add one teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute or two.

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Dice half of a medium capsicum, add and mix well.

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Add in one small diced tomato and cook for a minute or two.

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Add 1 teaspoon tomato ketch up, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt. Mix and cook until tomatoes are mashed a bit.

Whisk 1 teaspoon corn flour to 1/4 cup water until no lumps remain. Add that mix to the onion tomato mix and cook for a further minute or two.  I forgot to take a picture of this step.

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Add 3-4 diced idlis and mix well. You can use podi idli also. Cook until it all comes together and taste test to adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve as such or with ketch up on the side.

Serves : 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 4 idlis, diced or podi idlis 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium capsicum/bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketch up
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and saute one small diced onion.  Once its cooked a bit, add one teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute or two.
  2. Dice half of a medium capsicum, add and mix well.
  3. Add in one small diced tomato and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon tomato ketch up, 1 tablespoon soya sauce, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt. Mix and cook until tomatoes are mashed a bit.
  5. Whisk 1 teaspoon corn flour to 1/4 cup water until no lumps remain. Add that mix to the onion tomato mix and cook for a further minute or two.
  6. Add two diced idlis and mix well. Cook until it all comes together and taste test to adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve as such or with ketch up on the side.

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Hara samosa with roti

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“Honey, your breakfast is ready for clicking. Will serve it to you soon.” is a dialogue you will hear only at a food blogger’s place. Mothers usually go,”Please don’t touch the food before washing your hands.” And I go,”Please don’t touch the food before clicking is over.”

Well, the family gets used to these quirks over a period of time. Though I gotta say I dish it out to my man than to my kid. For sometime now, I have been planning so that the photo shoots are done before 3 pm. So for most part, it doesn’t interfere our lives much. But every now and then you will hear the “All it needs is a little camera love” statement.

Like this morning!

Yesterday’s leftover chapatis were given a wonderful makeover with some coriander chutney to spice it up. I made a batch without chilies for my son’s lunch box. Then I added the power packed green chilis and gave another round in the blender for the two of us. The chutney tends to be watery, so a little standing time is good for the water to separate. But I just scooped the chutney from the thicker side and it was fine.

The recipe is from Vaishali’s space. She has stepwise pictures to make this even more simpler than it sounds. This post goes to Blogging Marathon #64 under the theme wheat based recipes.

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Recipe source:  Ribbon’s to Pasta’s

Ingredients:

For grinding

  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, cleaned
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 green chilies or per taste
  • salt

To serve:

  • 4 leftover chapatis/ tortillas
  • ghee/butter/oil for the pan

Method:

  1. Pulse everything from coriander to chilies together without adding any water.
  2. Take a chapati. Apply a thin and even layer of the ground chutney into it. Fold it into half. It will be a semi circle now. Apply some more chutney onto it. Fold again in half to get quarter of a circle shape.
  3. Heat this in a tawa with a little oil or ghee until its golden brown. Flip and cook both sides. Serve with ketchup or curd. Yum!!
  4. Apply chutney just before putting the samosa in the pan as the wet chutney might tear the folds if it sits for a long time.

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Veggie Burgers

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

I can’t believe we are at the last leg of our journey here. My catching up with others journey will happen only next month, but yeah, for most part, we are almost there at the end. Four more posts and its over! The first thing I am going to do is schedule posts for the next three days. At the moment, the plan is to put everything up in the blog and be as prepared as you can be. Be ready! That’s the motto. I can already feel the change!

And you can already guess my intro for tomorrow. Its going to be about the forces in nature that prevented me from being on time. Why I was not able to schedule the posts or even get around editing the pictures or worse…what prevented me from getting the cooking done! Ah well.. I have always been a “last minuter” (I am coining that term if there isn’t one already) and I don’t see things changing anytime soon. It hasn’t changed for almost four decades now and we don’t have to rush and assume its going to change from tomorrow :D.

While I am getting ready with excuses for tomorrow, you can check out a fabulous veggie burger recipe. Nailed that ‘V’, didn’t I? ;-)

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Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan.Saute one chopped medium red onion and one chopped red bell pepper. You can add carrots or any other veggies if you prefer. Set aside once its cooked. Mash 1.5 cups cooked black beans(or beans of your choice) with a fork or in a food processor. You want most of it mashed, but not all.

Add the mashed beans to 3/4 cup cooked rice. Now add the cooked bell pepper mix, along with 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper. Combine everything well with your hands or a wooden spoon. Depending upon the moisture of the bean mix, you can add 1/4- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

Add 1/4 cup oats if desired. It adds some texture to the patty. Divide the mixture into 4-­5 equal parts. Shape each one into a nice flat patty. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and cook the patties on medium­-low heat. Cook both sides and drain on a kitchen napkin when done.

Flip over, cook both sides and drain on a kitchen napkin when done. I made more smaller patties compared to 5 bigger patties. For sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon each of ketchup and yellow mustard. At the time of serving, spread the sauce on the burger buns. Layer it with cucumber slices(you can make pickle out of it and use, I didn’t!), the patty, slices of tomatoes and onion and then top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • one medium red onion, chopped
  • one medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • one medium carrot, chopped fine
  • 1.5 cups black beans(or beans of your choice), cooked
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

To serve:

  • a sauce made of mayo, ketchup and mustard
  • burger buns
  • sliced cucumber, tomato and onions

Method:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan.Saute one chopped medium red onion and one chopped red bell pepper. Set aside once its cooked.
  2. Mash 1 cup cooked black beans with a fork or in a food processor. You want most of it mashed, but not all.Add the mashed beans to 3/4 cup cooked rice. Now add the cooked bell pepper mix, along with 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Combine everything well with your hands or a wooden spoon. Depending upon the moisture of the bean mix, you can add 1/4- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Add 1/4 cup oats if desired. It adds some texture to the patty.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4-­5 equal parts. Shape each one into a nice flat patty. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and cook the patties on medium-low heat. Cook both sides and drain on a kitchen napkin when done.
  5. Flip over, cook both sides and drain on a kitchen napkin when done. I made more smaller patties compared to 5 bigger patties.
  6. For sauce, mix 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon each of ketchup and yellow mustard. At the time of serving, spread the sauce on the burger buns. Layer it with cucumber slices(you can make pickle out of it and use, I didn’t!), the patty, slices of tomatoes and onion and then top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Uncrustables

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

Yes yes yes, I hear you…and I agree. This is no recipe. What I wanted for the ‘U’ was a classic American cake -the Upside down pineapple cake. I wanted to make it in the cast iron skillet like it was made long ago. But unfortunately, I didn’t have any of those beautiful red cherries to brighten up the cake. Or pineapples. Or eggs. Or flour.Or any other fruits in fact. All I have is, erm…the cast iron skillet :D.

Its time for grocery shopping, but before that I have to face the alphabet ‘U’. And that’s when I saw the last two slices of bread. Well, no lunch for my son tomorrow, but hurrah… I have something for you, I mean ‘U’!

More than desperation, a good reason for me to post this particular recipe is that I wanted to feature  peanut butter and jelly sandwich somewhere in this marathon. After all, that is one of the most popular food here! I wanted it somewhere in the list. I couldn’t leave it out from the marathon.

Uncrustables is a product from the brand Smuckers. Its a round sandwich with crust removed and sides sealed. There is a whole lot of Disney food art theme with these in the internet. My inspiration was from the space Like Mother Like Daughter.

The sandwich was a breeze to make, but I took a lot longer cutting/carving the our last apple in the house :-). Read on for this “recipe” before my grocery list grows any more longer!

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Idea inspired from Like Mother Like Daughter

  • Using a cookie cutter or a sharp lid, cut out circles from two slices of bread.
  • Add peanut butter on one slice and jam or jelly on the other.
  • Sandwich them together and press the edges with your fingers to seal it.
  • Cut out heart shaped pieces out of an apple and use them as balloons.
  • Cut out more slices for string, legs, hands and hips.
  • Use blueberries or chocolate chips for eyes and body.
  • Oreo cookies for ears.
  • Enjoy!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Sloppy Joes

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen popular American dishes’ as my theme.

When the month started, I was pretty confident about seeing the A-Z journey through pretty easily. But what I didn’t count was the visits we were making and the visits we were receiving. So out of the window goes the “smooth sailing” plan and now, I am just struggling to keep up the pace. Its a case I have lost already, but you just have to keep trying harder and harder, right?! Kind of like the candy factory scene from I Love Lucy.

There are recipes that I have cooked and clicked for this month, but not transferred to the computer and edited. More worrisome are the recipes that are yet to be clicked, or in other words, to be cooked. Luckily, they are few in number, but that doesn’t help. Because I am dragging my feet through the ones that are all ready. The ones that just needs to go out into the world with an introduction and the recipe details. Boy! I do hate that part :-((.

When it comes to blogging, the planning of dishes and researching recipes interest me, cooking and clicking excite me, editing is something I manage without whining, but its the pen that kills me at the end! I hate the part where I have to sit and write the recipe (least favorite) and the introduction (don’t like it if there is no personal touch to it – which is what happens when I am in a hurry to send it out. Not enough love for the post, get what I mean?! ).

Its all sloppy at the moment now. Just like these sandwiches. Sloppy Joes! Its a popular meat based sandwich, the vegetarian version is made either with lentils or beans of your choice. The dish was there in almost all cookbooks about American cuisine and in the internet as well. Sloppy though it is, it is quite popular. So here it is for the alphabet ‘S’.

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Pictorial:

Cook 3/4 cup dry green lentils (whole masoor dal) or beans of your choice with enough water. Drain and set aside. Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a pan. Saute one medium chopped red onion and one small yellow bell pepper.

Once the onion and bell pepper is cooked, add 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Now add one can of crushed tomatoes or 4 medium juicy tomatoes chopped into fine small pieces.

Add the cooked lentils. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Taste test and adjust the seasoning per taste. Serve as a filling for burger buns.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup green lentils (or lentils/beans of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • one medium red onion, chopped
  • one small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
  • burger buns for assembling

Method:

  1. Cook 3/4 cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) or beans of your choice. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat one teaspoon oil in a pan. Saute one medium chopped red onion and one small yellow bell pepper.Once the onion and bell pepper is cooked, add 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 2 teaspoons tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Now add one can of crushed tomatoes or 5 medium tomatoes chopped into fine small pieces. Add the cooked lentils. Mix well and bring it to a simmer. Taste test and adjust the seasoning per taste. Serve as a filling for burger buns.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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Quesadilla

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This post is a part of  the mega Blogging Marathon and A-Z challenge. I have chosen ‘popular American dishes’ as my theme.

Quesadilla (pronounced keisadiya) is not an American dish. It has Mexican origins, but its part of American cuisine in a big way. Mexican food as such is very popular with enough changes to suit the American palate.

Recipes as simple as this can be modified anyway you want. What I have here is a very basic and very simple quesadillas.  I usually prefer veggie and beans filling for quesadilla, but my son loves it this way with only cheese as filling and nothing else.I have used ready made flour tortillas, but you can make your own at home. Even better, use a whole wheat chapati. Cheese filled chapatis do sound good to me!

Fun thing about this post is the textiles used here. Its from my blogging friend Pavani. Last week, we had a mini BM meet. Pavani, Usha and Mireille had come over and we had a wonderful time which included a photo session and small shopping trip to Christmas tree shop near by. Any meet that includes food prop shopping is fun and this was no exception. But Pavani sent me on a sugar high when she gave all of us some textiles from her collection. I was so happy that I don’t even remember whether I thanked her at that point of time! Given that my current prop obsession is kitchen napkins for taking pictures, it was a timely and well appreciated gift.

Thanks a ton girls, you make my life so much better with your company and now, with textile pieces as well :-)!

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Pictorial:

Place a pan on medium heat. Add one tortilla with 1/3 cup shredded cheese it. Cover it with another tortilla.

Cover with a lid (optional, but it helps melt the cheese better) and flip when the bottom side is lightly brown. Take off the heat when both sides are lightly brown. Cut into eight triangles and serve with salsa. Recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ready made tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese

Method

Place a pan on medium heat. Add one tortilla with 1/3 cup shredded cheese it. Cover it with another tortilla. Cover with a lid (optional, but it helps melt the cheese better) and flip when the bottom side is lightly brown. Take off the heat when both sides are lightly brown. Cut into eight triangles and serve with salsa.

For fresh tomato salsa, mix finely chopped tomatoes(2 medium) and red onions(1/2 medium). Add salt and pepper to taste, a squirt of lemon juice if preferred and 2 handful of chopped coriander if you have them (I didn’t!). Top with a dollop of sour cream for a guilty pleasure :D.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

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