Fruit platter

BM #116 : Week 5, Day 2
Theme : Fruit platter

My son loves fruits and so does his friends. I usually serve a couple of fruits in bowls when his friends come over – usually grapes, mangoes or watermelons. It gets over fast and that’s where I got the idea of a colorful fruit platter. This could be a great snack tray or appetizers to serve to a crowd.

I made a trip to Farmers market just to buy fruits for this platter and I have used only half of what I bought in this platter. When I started laying it out, I decided to stick with only red color fruits. So the rest of the fruits went right back into the fridge. I have been looking at a lot of Instagram posts for platter ideas and this one here is inspired from one of the platters I saw there.

Fall is here and soon it will be just sweaters and thick pants. We have already had a few days where we had to take the thin jackets out. Before we get into the completely cold weather, I wanted to enjoy a tray full of summer fruits. I wanted to add a couple of fruit dips to the platter, but I forgot it – to be honest. So it’s just fruits here on the plate.

Scroll down for more pictures and to see posts from my fellow BM bloggers for the day.

The platter has

  1. Water melon slices
  2. Red grapes
  3. Pomegranate
  4. Black Plums
  5. Clementines
  6. Raspberries
  7. Blackberries
  8. Apples

Start with the bigger fruits. Arrange it first where you want them. Mine is inspired from an Instagram post. Now keep adding the bigger pieces of fruits and fill the space in between with smaller fruits like grapes and berries.

Oranges or clementines look a lot better when you take off that spider web like layer of white pith.

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Breakfast platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 4
Theme : Platters

Arranging platters for this week had been fun. I never realized it before that toast and pancakes can be served in a much better manner than what we were doing. We just bring a jar of peanut butter or maple syrup to the table and serve ourselves and that was it. But when we had this platter, all the choices were right in front of us…so we had each pancake with a different topping. Nutella and strawberries pair well. So does banana and peanut butter. I didn’t add bananas to the platter even though I had it at home.

My son loves overnight chia seeds. It’s very handy to have especially when is back from his classes and needs something quick and filling. For this platter, I left the sweetener out since there was so many to choose from. Overnight oats are also easy to make and again, for this platter, you can add peanut butter or jam or both or Nutella to flavor it if you prefer.

Even though this is a breakfast platter, we had it as an early dinner. I know…pancakes for dinner!! I had some leftover hot chocolate pancakes that I used up for one of the pancakes. The second one was a banana and oats based pancake from the King Arthur Flour Whole grain book. Both recipes are keepers i might try the hot chocolate ones later during Christmastime.

Scroll down for pictures and the recipes.

The breakfast platter has

  1. Hot cocoa pancakes
  2. Apples
  3. Blueberries
  4. Overnight chia seeds
  5. Oranges
  6. Bread
  7. Oats banana pancakes
  8. Strawberries
  9. Overnight oats with chia seeds
  10. Walnuts and almonds
  11. Chocolate chips
  12. Butter
  13. Maple syrup
  14. Strawberry jam
  15. Peanut butter
  16. Nutella

Overnight chia seeds:

Add 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup milk of your choice. I have used coconut milk here. Cover with a lid and Refrigerate overnight. Use any of the options above for sweetener and toppings at the time of breakfast. My son had it with maple syrup and strawberries. I prefer liquid sweetener like maple syrup, honey or agave. It’s easier to mix it in than sugar as everything will be cold.

Overnight oats with chia seeds :

Mix 3 tablespoons oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 3/4 cup milk in a container. Cover and refrigeration overnight. Next morning add plain or flavored yogurt to bring it to the texture you prefer. At breakfast time, mix in the sweetener of your choice and top with whatever you like from the spread.

Banana Oats pancake:

  • In a mixing bowl, mash 3 small ripe bananas. Add two tablespoons melted butter or oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir in 2 eggs.
  • In a different bowl, whisk 1 cup oat flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the mashed banana mix. If the mix is too dry, add water in tablespoons until you get a pancake batter consistency.
  • Wait for ten minutes and prepare pancakes. Serve with any of the toppings from above.

Hot cocoa pancakes:

  • Whisk together 1.5 cups of flour, 4 packets of Swiss miss hot chocolate packets and 2 teaspoons baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or oil.
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Add a few more tablespoons of milk, if needed to bring it to the pancake batter consistency.
  • Prepare pancakes with the batter and serve with syrup or Nutella or anything of your choice.

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Mezze platter 2

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Platters

This is the first platter I prepared for this week’s theme. We had guests with kids coming over and I thought they will like the fruits and vegetable spreads a lot. My son and his friends really love all kinds of fruits. I had the dips and pita in mind for the adults. Everyone enjoyed the dips a lot and we ended up finishing a whole packet of pita bread over this. So that was what prompted me to make one more Mezze platter later that week, which I shared yesterday.

The platter has three homemade sauces/ dips – Tzatziki, Hummus and Baba Ganoush. The last two need tahini and I have used readymade one here. Tahini is toasted sesame seeds ground into a paste with a little oil, so it can be made at home if you have sesame seeds. But I took the easy way out here. I am actually not a fan of hummus but freshly made hummus tasted so much better than the store bought ones. I have made tzatziki before and I love it, this time I used zucchini instead of cucumber for a change.

I haven’t made Baba Ganoush before. My friend recommended it to me telling how easy it is to make and thats what triggered the whole idea for this platter. Baba Ganoush an eggplant based sauce. You need to use the big eggplants (baingan bharta ones) for this. It’s a fairly straightforward recipe. All of these dips/sauces are simple recipes with very few ingredients. So this platter was really easy to make. I wanted to add some more items to this like falafel and more grilled vegetables, I might do it another time :-).

Read on for the pictures and the recipes.

The platter has

  1. Cucumber sticks
  2. Almonds
  3. Cherry plum
  4. Dates
  5. Grapes
  6. Walnuts
  7. Hummus
  8. Feta
  9. Carrot sticks
  10. Zucchini tzatziki
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Baba Ganoush
  13. Pita bread
  14. Roasted peppers
  15. Red and green olives

Hummus recipe : you need

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or a15oz can)
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil to drizzle and a pinch of paprika

In the food processor bowl, add 1/4 cup tahini and juice from a large lemon (3-4 tablespoons) and process for about a minute. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, one spoon of ground cumin, one minced garlic and salt to taste. Process for another minute, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once if needed. We need 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas for this. Add half of this to the food processor and process it. Now add the rest and process until everything is smooth. You might have to scrape the sides of the bowl for everything to mix well. You might also need to add 2-3 tablespoons of water if the hummus is too thick. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Zucchini tzatziki:

  • 1/2 of a large zucchini, grated
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, per taste
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Wash and Grate the zucchini. I didn’t peel it before grating. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, salt and pepper , olive oil and grated zucchini. Add yogurt and mix well to combine. Taste test and add lemon juice accordingly. Refrigerate for the flavors to mingle. Serve with warm pita bread or snacks of your choice.

Baba Ganoush:

  • 1 large egg plant
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Method : I cooked the eggplant in the microwave. Alternatively, you can roast it in the oven at 425F for about 35 minutes too. Rub a little oil between your palms and rub it all over the eggplant. Pierce it with a fork all over for both methods.

If using microwave, keep the eggplant in a microwave proof plate and cook at 100% power for about 10 minutes. Let it cool a little in the microwave itself. Take it out carefully and cut into two in the middle. Let the steam escape and slowly scoop out the flesh into a bowl, discarding the skin and the liquid released.

Add everything else to the eggplants and mix well. You can use a food processor for this too, but a fork would do. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Serve with olive oil drizzled on top.

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Mezze platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Platters

Mezze is a collection of small dishes served as a light meal or appetizers in the Mediterranean area. It can be a meal in itself too depending on what’s being served as part of it. It’s food meant for sharing, so these are food platters that’s existed for a long long time now!

For the platter here, I was looking for dips that would be in red color family. So I chose muhammara (a roasted pepper and walnut based dip), tzatziki – a yogurt based dip with beetroot instead of the traditional cucumber and red kidney beans instead of chickpeas for hummus. Hummus turned out more of a very light brown than red, but that’s fine.

I used store bought pita bread for this and served a small loaf of bread from the farmers market also. It paired really well with the dips as well as the bread dipping oil (olive oil flavored with zaatar). My son was not a fan of both the salads in the platter, but I liked it. The beet tzatziki tasted okay, but I like the traditional tzatziki a lot more. My son and my husband feasted on the bread and pita with the dips and olive oil. It turned out to be our dinner that day even though I had meant this as an appetizer.

Read on for the recipes and to see what’s served on the platter.

The platter has

  1. Red kidney beans hummus
  2. Grapes
  3. Olive oil with zaatar
  4. Beetroot Tzatziki
  5. Dates
  6. Muhammara
  7. Walnuts
  8. Watercress salad
  9. Bread
  10. Rice tabbouli
  11. Baby carrots
  12. Pita bread (readymade)
  13. Olives
  14. Feta cheese

Beetroot tzatziki: Grind or grate one cooked medium beetroot once it’s cooled down. I used 1 tablespoon beetroot powder, I rehydrated it with hot water. Add 1/2 cup of yogurt to the beetroot along with a finely minced clove of garlic, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. You can add a spoon of lemon juice if you like. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Add more yogurt if needed to bring it to the consistency you prefer.

Watercress salad: I mixed a readymade vinaigrette for this salad. Add the watercress, a little feta cheese, sliced olives in a bowl. Add vinaigrette, salt and pepper to taste. Toss carefully for an even mix. Serve immediately.

Red kidney beans hummus: In a food processor, add 1.5 cups of cooked and drained red kidney beans, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon olive oil and salt as needed. Process until you get a hummus of your preferred consistency. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.

Rice tabbouleh : In a large bowl, add one small bunch of chopped parsley leaves, a handful of chopped mint leaves and one small chopped tomato. Add 1/4 cup of cooked rice. In a small bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt as needed for the salad. Add this to the salad, toss carefully and taste test to adjust seasonings if needed.

Flavored Olive oil is a good dip for bread. You can flavor it using a whole lot of seasonings or dried herbs of your choice. In this platter I have used zaatar as the seasoning.

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