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.

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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.

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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. 

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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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This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
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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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Banana Wheat germ pancakes

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BM # 73: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Ingredient swap
Recipe: wheat germ pancakes with banana

Last month we had a mini blogger meet at Pavani’s place. It was a perfect timing since Valli had an interesting theme for February – Ingredients swap. So instead of mailing each other, we were able to exchange it when we met. All of us had about 3-4 ingredients to share and picked whatever we fancied from the lot. I ended up picking all three ingredients from Pavani.

My own (ingredient) shopping for the event was a hurried one. Its in my blood to postpone things to the last possible minute and you can’t question habits ingrained that deep. I realized much later that I had a lot more interesting ingredients right in my pantry itself. Well, may be for the next meet, I will be a little more smarter and shop my own pantry before rushing to the store.

I picked wheat germ from the lot for the first post and made a banana based wheat germ pancake. Its the first time I am using my tripod, so I was able to get some hands free maple syrup shot. Its an entirely different thing whether the pictures are good or not. Whats more important is the fact that I used the tripod ( last year’s birthday gift ) before my next birthday. So hurrah for that!

In my enthusiasm to get a good picture, I ended up pouring too much syrup and making my son very happy as a result. Eating pancakes drenched with syrup is a happy sacrifice from his end for my little space on the web :-). Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe adapted from: Prevention RD

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 cup milk

Method:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Blend the banana, eggs, oil, vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix in enough milk to get the batter to the consistency of cake batter.
  3. Heat a pan. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter. Let the pancakes cook on a medium heat until the bubbles subside, flip carefully and let the top side cook as well. Take off the pan when golden brown. Serve with syrup.

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Multi grain orange pancakes

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We are cereal for breakfast kind of people and we like it that way. Earlier, I used to make pancakes for my son’s lunch box at least once a week. On those days, me and my husband would have it for breakfast with syrup. Its been quite a while since I made pancakes. But I don’t think I will wait that long to make it again. 

These pancakes are easy to make. There is a hint of orange and cardamom now and then. Next time I might try to add some juice also to increase the flavor. The recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson’s  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right. I have already tried the basic pancake recipe before, now I am planning to give the different flavor options a try.

This recipe goes to this week’s Cooking from Cook Book Challenge. Please follow the link to know more about the event.

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

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups butter milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla

Method:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients from flour to ground cardamom in a big bowl.
  2. Microwave milk and buttermilk for about 30 seconds to stop it from being really cold. If you are using them at room temperature, you can skip this.
  3. Whisk the eggs with oil and vanilla. Add it to the milk and buttermilk.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry flour mix. Use a whisk to mix everything until you don’t see any dry lumps.
  5. Heat a skillet and brush it lightly with oil. Add 3 tablespoons or even 1/4 cup batter and let it cook, about 2-3 minutes. Flip it and cook until it turns golden brown. Cook in batches or one at a time. Serve with syrup.

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Sorry about too many pictures in the post, I know that most of them look alike. Yet I seem to be incapable to restricting it to just three. I am trying to curb my enthusiasm, so please bear with me. I promise, I will improve.

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Peanut butter smoothie

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BM # 72; Week 4, Day 1
Theme : So many smoothies, so little time
Dish: Mango smoothie bowl

While me and my son like smoothies in a bowl, my husband likes it direct from a glass.The man likes it fuss free, but I love to fuss over it and ‘dress it up’. Anytime I am serving him smoothies, I pour it straight out of a blender to a cup or glass. Its easier for him to keep sipping while working or taking a call.

One of our most repeated smoothies is the basic peanut butter banana smoothie. I almost always add some source of chocolate as well, some cocoa powder, hot cocoa packet or nutella. But today I didn’t…today I took it back to the basics.

Smoothies are filling by themselves but after about an hour or so, my stomach starts crying for food again. That hunger pang stopped when I started adding some peanut butter  also to it. A tablespoon or two can go a long way to keeping the hunger in check till lunch. The calories maybe higher, but hey..it stops you from reaching out for that packet of cookies.

So here is a simple smoothie which can be modified in so many ways to fit your mood and your pantry contents.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • honey as needed
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup milk

Method:

  1. Blend everything together. Pour into a glass or bowl. Use toppings of your choice. I added some granola, banana slices and strawberry.

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Strawberry jam

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BM # 70
Week 2, Day 1
Theme :Fruit based Recipes

This post is a little rusted, its been sitting in the drafts for almost an year. I wasn’t (and still am not) sure how to click inside my not so well lit kitchen without over exposing the shots. The light situation isn’t great – you either have the sun coming in directly or its dimly lit. Diffuser doesn’t help much and stepping into the balcony is not much of an option because of the weather. But worry not, I will find my way through. By that I mean I am planning to keep a jacket in the kitchen than figure out a way to work with the light!

Anyways, let’s get ready for the holidays with some bright red strawberry jam. Its adapted slightly from Aparna’s space. The jam hardly lasted a few weeks. When it was almost over, I remember adding  milk to the bottle and shaking it vigorously with the lid on to make some instant milkshake. The recipe seemed simple enough for me to try and I was glad I did!

Read on for the pictorial. This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70 .  Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

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Add 5 cups strawberries cut in halves with 2 cups sugar. Mix and refrigerate overnight. The sugar needs to be adjusted depending on the tartness of strawberries. You can add more, if needed, when cooking the jam.

The next morning, you will find a lot of liquid from the strawberries and sugar. Add this to a thick bottomed wide pan tall enough to allow the sugar to froth. Finely chop one apple and tip it in as well.

Bring it to a boil and cook (medium to low heat) until the liquid evaporates and it reaches a jam consistency. About 15 minutes or so, keep stirring in between. Mash a little to break a lumpy jam. We like it with fruit chunks, so didn’t mash a lot.

To check whether the jam is done, do the “plate test”. Bottle the hot jam in sterilized bottles. I got about 2 bottles of 500 gm jars.

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Microwave Apple Oatmeal

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If banana went inside the oatmeal yesterday, today it was apple’s turn. The method of preparation is also different, but the concept is the same. Usually people take about 1/3 (or sometimes 1/2) cup per person and cook it in about 1 cup of liquid. The amount of liquid is something we have to adjust depending on the consistency we want, the kind of oats used and also on the cooking duration.

When cooking with fruits like apple, which is harder than a banana, you need to cook the fruit a little bit first. I like them softer in my oatmeal. Microwave cooking can sometimes end up being rubbery, but luckily that wasn’t the case. I had this oatmeal almost 2 hours after cooking and yet it wasn’t rubbery or dry. You will, of course, have to adjust the liquid in case it turns out too dry.

So, without further ado, lets get the microwave on!

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

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 apple, chopped fine (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • honey or sweetener of your choice
  • Topping : 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter, a dash of cinnamon and a little granola

Method:

  1. Soak oats in 1/2 cup milk. Set aside.Start chopping apples finely. Set some aside for the topping.
  2. In a microwave proof bowl, add the finely chopped apples and the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the apples are a little soft.
  3. Now add the soaked oats. Mix well. If its too dry, add a dash of milk.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on it as the milk might boil over. I had to pause the microwave multiple times and stir the oatmeal to prevent overflow.
  5. Once cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before stirring in the honey. Top with the apple pieces set aside and whatever else you prefer.

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