Egg and Cheese Chutney Sandwich 

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Some of the regular dishes at home never make it to the blog. It could be that I feel it’s too simple for a blog, but these recipes are gems as well. So here I am today with an oft repeated lunchbox or brunch recipe at my place. It’s not a recipe as such, to be honest, but it’s a tasty dish that’s quick to put together. 

My family loves egg and cheese croissants from Dunking donuts. But it was my friend Purnima who served it as a sandwich with an Indian touch to it. Bread toasted in a bit of butter with a chutney that packs flavor with my favorite egg and cheese combination….it’s delicious! 

The egg and cheese combination as a filling works out good for tortilla or roti as well. Covering the pan while cooking on a low heat helps the cheese melt better. 

Read on for the pictorial and recipe.  
1eggncheese_sandwich

Serves 1

Recipe source: My friend Purnima 

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread 
  • 1 teaspoon readymade green chutney/sandwich chutney 
  • One slice of cheese 
  • One large egg 
  • A little Butter for greasing the pan

Method:

Heat a little butter in a pan. Crack an egg, season with salt and pepper. let the bottom cook. Flip it over using a silicone spatula. Let the top cook too. 

Once you flip it over, add a slice of cheese on top. The heat will melt it slightly. 

Meanwhile Spread some green sandwich chutney onto the bread slices. Slowly remove the egg and cheese from the pan and carefully keep it on the bread. 

Spread some butter in the pan if you wish. Return the bread with the egg filling back to the pan. Cover and cook in medium to low flame for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip over and cover and cook  until the top also turns golden. You can add sriracha or any other hot sauce also along with the green chutney on the sandwich. 

Pack for the lunchbox or serve with ketchup for a hearty brunch with a strong cup of coffee. 

3eggncheese_sandwich 

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Egg Aappam

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I have a thing against keeping unwanted things at home. If something is not used at least once in an year, I discard it. The only exceptions to this rule has been my appam pan(abelskeiver pan) and aappachatti. I have been clinging onto those two pans all these 12 years even though I almost never make sweet appam or aapam. 

But all that changed in the past few years. I now make aapam a lot. The main reasons is that the soaking time is less and you can use a mixer jar over grinder which makes it very easy. The quantity of the batter is also less thus making it ideal for a family of three. Above all I like the taste and the happiness that comes from serving food that you love. One of the variations I try is the egg aapam. 

Aapam batter can be made with grated coconut or coconut milk. I prefer making with grated coconut. Some recipes call for cooked rice that has completely cooled down. Others don’t. I try to add the cooked rice, but if I don’t have any I just skip it. Some recipes call for a teaspoon of soaked fenugreek seeds, I try to add it if I remember to soak it ahead. 

Though aapam is traditionally made in the aappachatti, it’s only for getting the bowl like shape. You can cook aapam in any pan you like without compromising the taste.

Read on for the recipe.   

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  1. Soak 1.5 cups raw rice (basmati would also do) for at least 2-3 hours. Soak 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(uluva/ vendayam) ina small separate bowl for the same amount of time. This recipe serves about 4-5 people. 
  2. Drain and grind the rice along with fenugreek seeds, 1/2 cup grated coconut, a handful of cooked rice, 1 teaspoon instant yeast (if using active dry yeast, follow the package directions to activate) and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a blender. You need to add water as needed to grind this into a smooth batter. The batter is a little on the watery side. Let the batter ferment overnight or until it’s grows double in size in a tall bowl that has room for the batter to grow. Once it ferments, add salt, mix it well and refrigerate. 
  3. At the time of serving, heat the aapam pan. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular flat pan. Mix the batter well and if it’s thick, add a little water to loosen it up. The batter should be runny enough to be swirled in the pan to get the bowl-Ish shape. That’s the consistency you are looking for. 
  4. Add a ladleful of batter to the pan, swirl and cover the sides. For egg aapam, Crack an egg into the middle of the aapam. Cover and cook until the egg is done. Take off the pan and continue cooking the rest of the batter. Serve with sweetened coconut milk or kadala curry

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Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

2blueberry_smothie_bowl Sometime back we had purchased a big pack of yogurt from Costco. It had about 20 5 oz yogurt containers. What we didn’t notice before picking it up was that it was the fruit at the bottom type. It means you have plain yogurt at the top which has to be mixed with the fruit at the bottom. Apparently that was more effort for my family and so it stayed unused occupying precious refrigerator real estate space. 

It was to finish that pack of yogurt that I started making smoothie bowls. The good news is that not only did it take care of  those yogurt containers, it also took care of the fruit intake of my son. The yogurt has about 11 grams of protein so I thought it would fit in this month’s theme of protein rich food. 

Read on for the recipe. 

3blueberry_smothie_bowl 

Ingredients:

  • 1 5oz blueberry yogurt container  
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutella 
  • 1 banana, sliced, reserve a few pieces for decorating 
  • 1 kiwi peeled, few pieces reserved for decoration 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries 
  • Honey or other sweeteners, if needed
  • Toppings of your choice 

Method:

  1. Blend the yogurt with banana, kiwi, blueberries, peanut butter and Nutella.  Add honey if needed and blend again. Pour into a bowl and decorate with the reserved slices of fruit. I have added some chia seeds and chocolate chips as well. 

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Cafe de Olla, Iced

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I usually blog two weeks a month as part of the Blogging Marathon event. But last month was a little more hectic than I thought it would be, so I couldn’t publish the posts though I was ready with the recipes and clicks. So the recipe is seeing the world a month later than it’s supposed to be, but let’s be happy that it’s here now. 

The recipe here – a simple Mexican coffee recipe, is flavored with orange peel and cinnamon. The sweetness comes from panela, an unrefined whole cane sugar. I didn’t have it, so I used brown sugar which is a good substitute. 

I served it as iced coffee as it was a hot day. I liked that version a lot. Read on for the recipe. 

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Book : Travel, Surf, Cook by Salt and Silver

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • peel from half an orange
  • 1/4 cup ground coffee
  • ice cubes
  • milk as needed

Method:

  1. In a big pot, add four cups of water along with sugar,cinnamon stick, cloves and orange peel. Bring it to a simmer.
  2. Add the ground coffee and bring to a boil. Take off the heat. 
  3. Filter the coffee into four glasses and enjoy your drink. For the iced version, fill a glass with ice cubes. Add the filtered coffee and milk as you need. Enjoy it chilled!

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This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
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Cocoa Cranberry Pancakes

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Pancakes are excellent treats in the mornings. These are great for lunchbox as well. The flavor can be adjusted to your liking. The book in which I found the recipe gave me many to choose from and my son asked me to make cocoa & cranberry  pancakes from the lot. 

So the recipe below is the base recipe. You can play around and add your own flavors. Thanks to the Cooking from Cookbook event, I am referring a lot more to my cookbooks than the internet. 

Read below for the recipe!
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Recipe source: The Perfect Egg Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Melted butter for the pan

For cocoa cranberry pancakes, add 1/3 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Gently stir in 1 cup dried cranberries into the batter before preparing the pancakes. 

Method:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together. 
  2. Stir in the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla extract. Mix gently until you don’t see any more dry lumps. Add the cranberries and fold it in. 
  3. Heat melted butter in a skillet and add 1/4 cup of batter to it. Cook the pancakes and flip it over to cook the top side too. Finish off the rest of the batter, adding butter to the pan as needed. Recipe serves two. 

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Strapatsada – Greek Scrambled Eggs with tomato sauce

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BM # 76: Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Flavors of Greece
Recipe:  Strapatsada, Greek Scrambled eggs 

Like I mentioned yesterday, my well stocked Draft section was of no use when it came to this week’s Blogging Marathon theme. So what you see here is what got served for lunch today. I picked up the book Cooking with Loula from the library last week and was looking for ideas for my posts. Strapatsada, scrambled eggs cooked in a tomato sauce was the first one I zeroed upon. The pictures in the book are really nice, especially the one for this recipe.

The recipe didn’t disappoint, I loved it on top of toast. There is a spoonful of sugar there, but that doesn’t sweeten up the dish. It just enhances the flavor of the tomatoes a bit. The next time I am making it, I would cut the water to half the quantity to reduce the cooking time. Feta is an acquired taste, so skip it if  you don’t like it. All in all, this is a simple recipe with basic ingredients and is quite filling when served with bread.

Read on for the step wise pictures and the recipe.

2Strapatsada

Recipe source: Cooking with Loula book;  Serves : 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 medium tomatoes, grated or 3/4 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 75 gms crumbled feta cheese (about half cup)

Method:

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a thick pan. Saute one medium onion until turns pink. Add 3/4 cup canned tomatoes or grate three tomatoes and add it to the onions. Add salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar along with 1/2 cup water.

Bring it to a slow boil and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until the liquid is evaporated and begins to caramelize.

Beat 6 eggs in a separate pan. Season with salt and pepper, keeping it in mind that Feta cheese also has salt in it. Add the beaten eggs to the tomatoes.

Cook, stirring continuously to distribute the egg evenly. When the egg is cooked completely, turn off the heat and add 1/2 cup of Feta cheese. Mix it in. Serve on top of toast.

3Strapatsada

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Cheesy corn Muffins

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Bakes are usually sweet and that’s my favorite kind! But the man loves everything savory and so once in a while I bake things that’s not sweet. Corn muffins is one of those recipes. 

Most corn muffin recipes have a tablespoon or two of sugar in it, but I just skip it to make it completely savory. The fresh or frozen corn in the muffin do lend a sweetness, but the effect is not same as adding sugar. 

Coming to the recipe here, it is very slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour’s book Whole grain baking. The book needs no introduction and I was lucky to stumble upon a brand new copy for $2 at the library sale. The book is a favorite of mine. 

I made this when we went for a long drive with two other families. This was our picnic food 😊 along with brownies and some apple sauce muffins. 

Read on for the recipe. 

2corn_muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2-3 jalapeño, diced small (or 1 can diced green chilies)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin pan with papers. 
  2. Whisk the cornmeal, wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, chili powder and baking powder in a medium bowl. 
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg with milk and oil. Add the thawed corn and most of the jalapeños. Keep aside a little to sprinkle on top of the muffins. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. 
  5. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the batter to the prepared muffin pan and top each muffin with a little cheese and reserved jalapeños. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the muffin. 
  6. Take off the oven when it’s baked and let it cool for ten minutes in the pan itself. 

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Mixed Berry Smoothie

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For most part, its the parents who introduce new foods and palates to kids. But when it came to smoothie bowls, the role kind of reversed at my house. It was the kid who got us hooked onto this trend. Almost every night, he prefers a fruit smoothie in a bowl topped with a bunch of fruits and treats for dinner. After a few days, my husband also joined the kid. So every now and then, smoothie bowl is the dinner for the whole family. I like it a lot because its a no effort meal and its healthy.

There is no fixed recipe that I follow for this one. Bananas along with flavored yogurt make this really easy. It really fills you up and you are not hungry ten minutes after your meal! But its not banana all the time, its mostly a mix of whatever fruits we have in the fridge at that point of time. Sometimes I add oats to give it some body. I started using flavored yogurt instead of milk initially to finish off the tiny yogurt containers that were slowly taking over most of my fridge space! But now I feel yogurt is a better choice since it fills you up really well. Plus the flavor factor is better, of course.

I still have a lot more smoothie bowl recipes in my drafts, but I have no idea when I will get around posting those! But right now, lets enjoy this mixed berry bowl that is being served here today.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • 1 cup milk or flavored yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • honey to flavor
  • Your choice of toppings

Method:

  1. Thaw the berries. Blend along with milk/yogurt, banana and honey.
  2. Pour into a bowl and decorate with toppings of your choice. Here I have used chocolate chips, granola, strawberries and sliced kiwi.

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This post is a part of the Kid’s Delight – Family Recipes, guest hosted by Sandhya this month.
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Banana nutmeg pancakes

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Its a whole lot easier to photograph food than my son. With him, I expect a natural looking smile for an unnaturally long time. He has to hold the pose when I fumble through the various modes and settings. By the time I get it right, his eyes would have a murderous look and the smile would be frozen. So let’s thank God that the pan cakes don’t mind the long wait while I fiddle with my camera.

When it comes to food photography, there are good days and bad days. On a good day, picking the right kind of bowl, the perfect background and the placing of the props are a breeze. The picture is in perfect focus and its just happiness all around. But on some other days, there is no doing things right. For a long time, I blamed it on not having good wooden backgrounds. But then I had the backgrounds and I could still see no improvement in the photos. Then, I knew the answer – cloth napkins, of course! So all my energy was concentrated on buying napkins for a long time….now I have more napkins for the blog than I have clothes for myself. Yet not much improvement when it comes to photography :D.

The thing is, the camera is just a tool. Its the photographer who composes the picture. Unless I practice again and again until I am consistent with the output, its never going to work out….not for all the napkins in the world!!

I was looking at my old posts to re-do the pictures and surprisingly, I find that I am happy with most of them. The pictures aren’t great, but they make me happy. And that’s all that matters.

Well, I haven’t decided yet whether I am quite happy with the pancake pictures or not, but I can tell you for sure that I was happy with the pancakes! 3banana_nutmeg_pancakes

Recipe adapted slightly from: The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups butter milk (or milk + buttermilk in any ratio to get 2 cups of liquid)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla
  • sliced bananas for the top
  • butter for greasing the pan

Method:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients from flour to ground nutmeg in a big bowl.
  2. Whisk the eggs with oil and vanilla. Add it to the buttermilk (and milk if using).
  3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry flour mix. Use a whisk to mix everything until you don’t see any dry lumps.
  4. Heat a skillet and brush it lightly with butter. Add 3 tablespoons or 1/4 cup batter and carefullty add the sliced bananas carefully on top of each pancake. I prefer to wait for a minute or two for the pancake to set a bit before adding the banana slices. That helps the pancakes not to spread out more because of the slices.
  5. Once the bottom is cooked, flip the pancake and cook until the top turns golden brown. Cook in batches or one at a time. Serve with syrup and fruits.

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Chia cardamom pudding

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BM # 74: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Are you pudding me?
Recipe: Chia cardamom pudding
My neighbor mentioned making chia payasam for her son with all Indian flavors. She cooks chia in milk over stove top with a pinch of cardamom and sugar. Then she decorates it with cashews and raisins roasted in ghee. When you top off with saffron strands, you have a great pudding style payasam. 

I liked the idea and so made something similar except that I went for the overnight refrigeration method. I skipped roasting the nuts as well since I had this for breakfast. Chia gives you the perfect pudding texture without much effort from our end ;-). 

Enjoy this simple recipe that makes breakfast an extremely easy affair!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cups chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar(or more per taste)
  • A good pinch of cardamom powder
  • Few strands of saffron

Method:

  1. Mix the chia with milk, sugar and cardamom powder until no pumps remain. Add the saffron as well. 
  2. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled or you can microwave it for 30 seconds before serving. Decorate with saffron strands and some nuts and dry fruits. 

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