Coconut Oatmeal Raisin cookies

I was planning on a complete different set of recipes for this week’s theme of US based recipes. But one look at my drafts folder convinced me that I was done with the theme before I even started. A well stocked drafts folder (magic folder) is definitely helpful ;-). 

Cookies are a big part of US food scene. My son loves chocolate chip cookies but my favorite is the oatmeal raisin cookies. Last year one of our friends gifted us a batch of her oatmeal cookies. It was made with whole wheat and it had coconut in them. Oatmeal with coconut was an unexpected but delicious combination. 

I got the recipe from her and promptly lost it when I switched phones. Finally I ended up looking online for an alternative recipe and that’s when I came across the one at Allrecipes.com. I replaced the chocolate chip in the recipe with raisins  and reduced the sugar a tiny bit but didn’t make any other changes. This is not a whole wheat recipe either but I prefer plain flour for treats and desserts anyway. 

 Read on for the recipe and enjoy the treat. 


Makes 2.5 dozen cookies, depending on the size 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (226 grams)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups rolled oats 
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut 
  • 1-2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Method:

  1. Bring the butter to room temperature. Beat it in a stand mixer with the two sugars until it’s soft and light. Add eggs one at a time and keep beating until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract, milk, baking soda and beat it in. 
  2. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the flour in batches. Follow it up with the oats and coconut in batches. The crushed nuts and raisins go in after that until everything is uniformly distributed. 
  3. Drop Tablespoon full of dough in a parchement lined baking tray leaving space between cookies to expand. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Take off the oven and let it cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Store in airtight containers once completely cool. 


BM # 82: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : USA
Recipe: oatmeal raisin cookies with coconut

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Baked Alaska

BM # 82: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : USA
Recipe: Baked Alaska

I have been away for a while, but I am making a reappearance with a wonderful dessert on my side. Baked Alaska. The story goes that the cake was apparently invented to celebrate the US acquisition of the state of Alaska from Russia. It’s a wonderful dessert – you don’t get just a cake,  you get  multiple layers of ice cream as well not to mention the meringue on top. The meringue layer secures the ice cream from melting even when the cake goes into the oven for a few minutes or stays under a blow torch to get that brown toasted look.

Baked Alaska looks extremely complicated but in reality it’s very easy to put together. There is a lot of wait time for the layers to freeze but  the cake itself is very easy to prepare.  The flavor options are endless especially if you are using readymade ice cream. I have used two flavors but you needn’t stop at two. I love brownies with ice cream, so I prepared mine with brownies instead of a cake.

I have followed the recipe from Smitten kitchen for most part. The recipe for meringue is from emerils. Read on for the recipe.

Prepare thebrownies in a 9″ pan. Set aside to cool.

Take a bowl that has the same diameter as your cake base(9″ here) and cover it with cling wrap. Add your first layer of ice cream. Smoothen it out and add your second layer. I would have roughly used about 8 cups of ice cream in total.

Top it with your cake layer. Cover the top also with cling wrap and freeze until it’s set firm, at least 3 hours. The ice cream should be frozen solid before adding the meringue.

Beat 4 egg whites in a stand mixer until it forms soft peaks . Turn off the mixer. Combine 1 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water in a thick bottomed pan and bring it to a boil at medium heat until it registers 250F in a candy thermometer. Take off the heat.

Begin beating the eggs again and slowly drizzle all the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Make sure it doesn’t fall directly on the beater so that it doesn’t splatter all around. Keep beating the eggwhites.

Beat the eggwhites until it’s glossy and stiff and the bowl is cool to touch. About 5 minutes or so. Take out the cake from the freezer.

Cover the cake completely with meringue leaving no gaps in between. I made rosettes all over. Freeze the cake back again until it’s time to serve. At the time of serving you can use a blow torch to brown the meringue a bit or keep it under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the meringue turns brown.

Creamy mushroom soup


We have come to the end of a month long blogging marathon and this is the last recipe of the day. It’s adapted a little from All recipes site

The recipe is very simple – cook the mushrooms and onions, make a roux with flour and milk, and cook everything together. Usually cream is used for this recipe, but I decided to go lighter and used milk instead. I also didn’t want a really thick soup, so decreased the amount of flour a bit and increased the liquids. I usually add cooked white beans or black beans to my soups to up the filling factor. Here it would have helped with increasing the protein also, but I had to skip it since I didn’t have any that day. 

Read on for the recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chopped white mushrooms 
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon butter in a pan. Sauté onions until it’s a little pink. Add the mushrooms and cook until it changes color. 
  2. Add one cup of vegetable broth or water and let the mushrooms cook completely. Take off the heat and once cool, purée in a blender, keeping a little aside for adding on top at the time of serving. 
  3. Heat the rest of the butter in a pan. Add the flour and mix it for a few seconds. Add the milk, seasonings and the puréed mushroom mix. Cook everything stirring frequently to avoid lumps. Add one cup of water or broth (or more) if the soup is too thick. 
  4. Take off the heat and serve with a piece of bread. 

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Microwave Scrambled Eggs

1MW_Scrambled_eggs

Scrambled eggs? That too on a microwave? I know what you are thinking! It shouldn’t be in a blog, right?! Its that simple a recipe!! And yet, yours truly had no idea that this can be done until I saw it in a cookbook.

Growing up, microwave wasn’t a part of our kitchen. Amma would cook only what is needed for the day. She would cook in the morning  and leave it on top of the stove. It would all be consumed by dinner time. Rice is prepared fresh for dinner and that would impart the effect of a hot meal. You take a plate, serve yourself and eat. That’s it! There was no question about reheating the meals.

It was only after my son was born that we bothered to get a microwave. The sole purpose was reheating food as I was refrigerating food more than my mother did. So what I trying to say is that, though this recipe is very simple, I have never thought about preparing eggs this way until recently. Please don’t laugh at me :D. I am compensating for my ignorance and delayed enlightment by making this recipe regularly though.

The recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson’s  The Perfect recipe for losing weight and eating right. The original recipe had buttermilk and a small chopped scallion too in it. My husband wasn’t a fan of the tangy flavor of buttermilk at first, but he was happy man when I served it as a filling for a sandwich. So I would recommend milk instead of buttermilk if you prefer. Now I completely skip it and cook the eggs alone with salt and pepper.

Another thing to keep in mind is the timings. That would vary from one machine to another. I followed the book as such and it turned out to be okay for me. You need to experiment a bit in case the timings don’t work out for you. The idea is to cook until it is almost done and to cover and cook using the residual heat for the last part.

2MW_Scrambled_eggs

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

Serves : 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese
  • salt, pepper and red chilli flakes as needed for seasoning

Method:

Grease a microwave proof dish very lightly with cooking spray or teeny tiny bit of butter. Crack the eggs, add the buttermilk or milk and salt, red pepper flakes and pepper onto the bowl.Whisk until its mixed well.

Microwave for about a minute until its partially set. Take out, scramble with a fork and microwave again for another 45 seconds or 1 minute until its almost set.

Add cheese and scramble again with a fork. Cover and keep aside for a minute at least for the eggs to set completely. Serve as such or as a filling for a sandwich.
3MW_Scrambled_eggs

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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Easy Chana chaat

1chana_chaat

3:00 PM is panic time at my place. My son comes home by 4. Usually I give him rice and veggies leftover from our lunch. But there are times when I would have managed an easy lunch somehow and then there won’t be anything left for him to eat. Even though I know that he comes by 4, I choose only 3 PM to start panicking. I am cool as cucumber until then.

On one of those days, I made this quick chana chaat using canned beans. If you can plan ahead you can always soak and cook chana. The chutneys takes only a few minutes to make or you can always use ready made ones. I have used the recipe from Vaishali’s space. Ideally you use only sweet chutney for this, but I added a teeny tiny bit of green chutney too. My son loves the sweet chutney a lot. I make paani puri with aloo filling with ready made puris too, but for today’s post, it is the chana chaat.

Chaat in general is not exactly healthy, but this particular one is definitely healthy. There is no deep frying involved, its just cooked chana with chutneys, spices and a bit of yogurt. I added a spoon of ready made sev for a bit of crunch, but its not enough to make the healthy factor go away.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
For the green chutney:

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 green chili (or per taste)
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt as needed

Grind everything together to a fine paste. Some people add ginger and garlic as well when grinding. You will need only a teaspoon or so of this chutney, so you can skip this if you want.

For the sweet chutney:

  • 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  •  a pinch each chili powder, garam masala and hing
  • salt as needed

Mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with half cup of water to get 1/2 cup of pulp. Or soak a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and then extract the pulp and discard the fibrous bits. Bring the pulp to a boil with jaggery (or sugar). Add salt and the powders. Taste test and adjust if needed. Let it cook until it thickens a bit. Take off the heat and once its cooled down, use it in the chaat.

For the chaat:

  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small potato, boiled
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala, ready made
  • lemon juice and salt as needed
  • a tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • a teaspoon of green chutney
  • a teaspoon of sev, optional

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the drained and washed beans, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, potatoes, chili powder, chaat masala. Mix it in carefully and add lemon juice and salt to taste. You can add more or less chaat masala according to your preference. Add some sweet chutney and green chutney. Serve with some sev on top.

2chana_chaat

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