Sunday, February 28, 2010

Waffles and Paysam!

Yesterday was a busy day. The sun was out and everything seemed a litter brighter. I made the best waffles. Yes, they were made with a little help from some waffle mix but who said waffle mixes were bad. Archer Farms makes real mean waffle mixes. They are just right and like everything that tastes amazing, they melt in your mouth. In the evening I made some paysam. Amma had told me that it was an auspicious day and it would be nice to make some paysam. Since it's easier to get brown rice out here, I made some rice paysam. My best friend Mady would have probably screamed for joy because like me she too has this incredible love for paysams. Ah, I miss home so much sometimes, the smell of some foods just take you back. Paysam does that for me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Well, I just made some frittatas for lunch. Frittatas are more like fancy Italian omelettes. They are really simple to make and take about 20 minutes. All you have to do is take a nice big frying pan and grease it with olive oil. In a separate bowl beat about 6 eggs with some salt. Now add whatever you feel like into the bowl (quite literally). I added some spinach, some broccoli, a bit of red bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and some sesame seeds. You can really add just about anything to the eggs, bacon bits, shredded chicken, tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots; as I said , just about anything. Pour the mixture into a frying pan a with a metal handle or a shallow baking tin. Now, place the pan over heat for about 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes are up, sprinkle some cheese on the mixture in the pan. At, this point you can also garish the top with sliced tomatoes, herbs or a drizzle of your favourite dressing. I added some cheese and generous amount of sesame, soy dressing over mine. Then pop the pan into the oven, the vegetables usually settle to the bottom and the egg fluffs and rises up creating this pretty quiche without a crust. This is something you can make at anytime of the day. Just mix the ingredients around and change it for each occasion.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chocolate chip cookies!

Melt in your mouth cookies that are oh so easy to make! The only deal with recipe is make sure you spoon only little amounts onto the baking tray as otherwise the cookies will spread and bake into each other.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat instead)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips ( I used 1 cup of white chocolate and 1 cup of dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts ( I did not have walnuts so I used pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally, food and paints!

Yesterday I was busy working on my painting and that is why I didn't post anything . I also made a turkey burger patty yesterday that I served on pumpernickel and a bed of lettuce, onions and tomatoes. To make the turkey patty I used about a 1 pound of turkey mince (you can use chicken) with a cup of whole wheat flour ( the flour is purely a binder so keep adding the whole wheat, a little at a time, till the meat is dry enough to create patties out of them. This would depend on how wet or dry the mince is), chilli powder, hot sauce, salt, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 egg and salt. I just mixed all the ingredients in and made small patties out of the dough like mixture. There was enough to make 8 patties. I made 4 small ones and refrigerated the rest for later. While grilling the patties drizzle the patties with some BBQ sauce, hot sauce and honey to give it some juice as it might dry out. That was quite simple and healthy. Now for the unhealthy dessert. I made this brownie fudge sundae. Which was just brownies and leftover chocolate topping from the day I made cheesecake, pecans and whipped cream. As I promised, it is not the healthiest dish but it was dreamy. Then comes my painting well its evidently about love. Enough said! Done!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have been feeling a little under the weather, so my cooking has been put on hold for a bit. Obviously I can't stay away from the kitchen for too long and I so I woke up early this morning and made some pancakes . I made some whole wheat and berry pancakes. The batter was made with 1cup of whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons of berry preserve (that I had made), 1 cup of milk, 1 egg and a tablespoon of butter. I then topped the pancakes with some lovely brown maple syrup and a tablespoon of butter. This recipe makes about 4-5 pancakes. I want to talk about my glorious trip to William Sonoma, or what I like to call "my heaven," but I think I need to lie down for a bit. Anyway, that was breakfast. Done!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust

I want to send out a big thanks to everyone who takes time off to stop by my blog. It means so much! The cheesecake I made last night came out well. But do prepare it at least 7 hours in advance. Trust me it is worth every single hour. The deal is, is that this cake needs to set for a long time after it bakes. Last night I prepared the cake 3 hours before dinner. I read the recipe and it said the cake needs to be cooled on a rack for an hour after it baked and then it needed to set in the fridge for another 8 hours. Now, it takes about an hour to bake the silly thing and then an hour to cool on a rack, before it goes into the fridge. The silly impatient fool that I am, left it in the fridge only for about an hour or so. When I served it for dinner it was a little creamier than it should have been. It tasted good but I, being the weirdo that I am, fussed about how it was not perfect. This morning though, I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted with a fully set cheesecake. It was moist, creamy, and melted in the mouth. Perfect! I just wish I did not go against the recipe last night and just made it earlier in the day. But like I said its not like it tasted bad last night, it was just that its texture was perfected by it sitting pretty in my fridge. About why I was late when it came to preparing my cake, I plainly got distracted by my lovely husband's want to buy me a food processor. We got one yesterday and it's the best thing that happened to my life. Well, besides marrying the man who bought it for me. Okay, I will stop this foolishness now and give you the recipe for this gorgeous cheesecake. I got the recipe on the food network website and it is by Giada De Laurentiis. I never knew much about her till I got to the states but judging from this recipe, she is really good.



  • 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream


For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

For the topping: Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute.

Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.

Friday, February 19, 2010

cooking up some dinner

A few people seem to want the recipe for the custard pie (I'm so excited that people actually read my blog!). Well there is a reason why I did no put it up there. The pie was good but it had that hint of an eggy taste. I hate that aftertaste, according to me the taste of egg is the worst aftertaste and it can ruin a completely nice pie. .I made a simple little lettuce salad with oranges and pecans to start things up. I roasted some potatoes with some dried Chipotle chillies, a drizzle of olive oil and basil leaves (don't forget the salt). Then once they started browning I added some honey and let it all caramelise and melt into the potatoes. I then made my rendition of the Buffalo chicken. I basically powdered Dorittos (any tortilla chips) and then beat some eggs. I then dipped each of the chicken tenders into the beaten egg and coated them with the powdered chips. Then I baked the tenders at about 400 f for about 30 minutes or when they start to brown. For the sauce, I mixed some hot sauce (Tabasco/ Texas Pete) with some Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce (you can also use honey). I have made some cheesecake for dessert. But it is cooling in the fridge and I do not want to disturb it right now but I will post the recipe and pictures if it comes well (keep my fingers crossed). Oh, I almost forgot I also made ravioli with a salsa and mushroom sauce. To make this you just need to fry 2 chopped onions in a bit of olive oil; to this add 2 roasted bell peppers (chopped), 4 diced tomatoes, a pack of mushrooms and add some spicy peppers (according to taste). When the mushrooms are cooked add a drizzle of maple syrup or brown sugar. Don't forget the salt. Done!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Custard Pie!

I made a custard pie today. Enough said! Done!


I absolutely love sandwiches. People underestimate the potential of a sandwich sometimes. Its great to use up left overs, for a quick snack, a light lunch, a heavy lunch, a Sunday breakfast or a Wednesday breakfast, maybe even a Tuesday breakfast. Okay, so I made my point; you can eat sandwiches anytime and anywhere! Today, I made some sandwiches for lunch. It was a quick Swiss cheese and turkey slices on toasted pumpernickel bread. I added some salsa and Dijon mustard because I believe sandwiches taste better with some zing. I made a strawberry, lettuce salad with some raspberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette and a little bit of nuts for crunch. I think they went well together. That was lunch! Done!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pecan Pie revisited

Sandeep was not at home when I baked the pie. So I waited until he got back to cut piece of it. I did not have ready-made pie crust so I made it from scratch. Trust me, it was totally worth it! The crust was melt in your mouth and oh-so flaky. The filling was like warm caramel with sweet and chewy pecans. I love pecan pies! Trust me this is a great recipe. Such dreamy pie! Done!
(For the flakiest pie crust: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling, 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4 to 8 Tablespoon ice water. Mix the floor and butter till you get a crumbly mixture, then add the water and knead it all together. Divide the dough into two and pop it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before use. The dough will stay fresh for about two days. One portion can make the base and the other will be enough for the cover, that goes over the filling. But if you make a pie without the top, like mine, then you can save the second part for another pie)

Honey Pecan Pie

I love pecans and today I finally got to make my first pecan pie. Sadly, I could not make a tradional pecan pie since I did not have corn syrup and I know Sandeep will probably pass out if I tell him that I needed to go to the store again. So I looked hard and found a honey pecan pie recipe that did not need corn syrup! So here it is, from;

Ingredients -
1 cup Honey
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup chopped Pecans
Dash of Nutmeg
1 (9-inch) Piecrust Shell, unbaked

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Bring honey to a boil in medium saucepan.

3. Immediately remove honey from heat.

4. Stir a very small amount of the honey into the eggs. Go slow or the eggs could scramble. Stir constantly.

5. Return honey egg mixture to the sauce pan, continuing to stir constantly.

6. Gently boil.

7. Fold in butter, vanilla, and nutmeg.

8. Add pecans.

9. Pour pecan pie mixture into unbaked pie shell.

10. Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mixing it up a little- The Naan Situation

Sandeep bought enough naan to feed a whole army yesterday! All the packs of naan expire in two days so I need to find creative solutions to this huge problem. After design school no problem seems too hard to deal with though, and the naan tastes brilliant (its fluffier than the traditional naans). Its not like we are stuck with a two hundred kilograms of bitter-gourd so the problem is not that huge. But since I'm not doing much right now, this naan situation seems to be top priority . It is my Everest! Okay, I'll quit the melodrama.
This was today's solution; I decided to mix Indian, Mexican, Italian and American cuisines to make one wondrous meal. Also note that we had a bag of lettuce that was expiring in a day (it looks so fresh though, sigh). So I made a salad with oranges, apples, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard and Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce. Then I pulled out the naans, smothered on some marinara sauce, spicy hummus, and a little bit of reduced-fat sour cream. Then I topped it with some roasted peppers, sliced honey roasted turkey, some parmesan and sundried tomatoes. There is a lot going on there but trust me, together there is this amazing explosion of flavours and textures. Well, that was dinner. Done!

Chocolate Cream Pie for Sunday Lunch

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked


  1. Combine sugar, flour, milk, and chopped up chocolate in 2 quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  2. Mix a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture, and cook for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in butter or margarine and vanilla.
  3. Pour filling into pie shell, and chill until set. Top with whipped topping, and a little grated chocolate (I used chocolate chips).


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sick of bland food... Enter the Curry!

We got so so sick of eating bland food, I decided it was time to bring out the masalas. We were waiting for it to thaw outside sadly I can't pop the driveway into the microwave and hit defrost. I decided to make some chicken curry since the other day we picked up some naan from my favorite grocery store ever (Trader Joe's)! The chicken was fairly simple, just 2 chicken breasts chopped into chunks, some bell peppers, Eastern Chicken Masala, Methi, a table spoon of butter, an onion (chopped finely), three tomatoes (finely chopped), about 6 pearls of garlic (crushed), some hot sauce (because we wanted to kill ourselves with spicy food today), half a cup of tomato puree and a table spoon of sugar. I fried the the onions and garlic in the tablespoon of butter (trying hard to cut down on fat) and then tossed in the peppers, masala, methi and tomatoes. Then, I added the tomato puree, salt, sugar and hot sauce. Once this sauce gets cooked and the raw tomato taste goes away, add the chicken. Don't over cook the chicken as then it gets dry or rubbery. You don't really need to add water as the chicken, tomatoes and puree all have enough water content to leave you with enough gravy but you can add a little more if you want.
I even made a bit of carrot and onion raita. All I used for this was chat masala, onions, grated carrots and yogurt. DONE!

Poached eggs melt in your mouth!

So This morning when we woke up, Sandeep and I were greeted with what looked like a cake with white fondant and american frosting. I am not used to seeing snow covered landscapes, so I bolted out of the bedroom to get a better look from my kitchen. In the process I almost slipped and fell; I could have cracked my jaw open. That sound that I imagine comes from cracking your jaw open freaks me out so bad. Ugh, so forget that. Well, I finally watched Julie and Julia last night and I am inspired (to say the very least). This morning I decided I'd start the day with some poached eggs with a lemon butter sauce and smoked salmon. I must say it tasted really good. Both Sandeep and I have never eaten poached eggs before, but I must say the experience was beautiful. The white melts in your mouth and the yellow tastes like rich and creamy butter. Ah, I feel peaceful and content, like a happy monkey.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow day!

It started snowing today after I baked the cupcakes and Sandeep felt like some hot cocoa. We had bought some instant hot chocolate from Brussels, so this was a good opportunity to finally make use of it. I teamed it up with some chocolate-hazelnut biscotti we had picked up from Trader Joe's. Perfect snow day!

Valentines day specials

Well its our first valentines so I decided to bake some of my favorite chocolate walnut cupcakes with dark chocolate and marshmallow frosting. They melt in your mouth and the rich chocolate frosting is perfect for dark chocolate lovers.
For this you need:
Dry ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Wet ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 tbs white vinegar

and 1 cup sugar

This is as simple as it gets. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then in a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients and then stir in the sugar. pour this mixture in with the dry mixture and stir well till all the lumps and bumps disappear. Line your cupcake tray with cupcake paper and spoon the mixture in. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
While its baking melt a large bar of dark chocolate (226gms) with about 4 tbs of milk I usually just put both the ingredients in a Pyrex bowl and pop it in the microwave for about a minute or two. But keep a check on it as it tends to burn real easy or bowl over. But if done well it taste oh-so-amazing. Once the chocolate melts into the milk just mix it all up till its smooth, creamy and glossy. I added mini marshmallows to the frosting to add a little light to the texture. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven and cooled, just scoop a large dollop of frosting onto each of the cakes. I put whipped cream on some of the cupcakes cos I know many people who hate dark chocolate (I know! can you believe it!). DONE!

First entry; there is a need to leave a lasting impression

A new place and a new life. I'm still getting used to cooking without setting the smoke alarms off. I lost the passwords to my old blog, automatic sign in is not always a good idea especially when your comp catches a cold and you have to format it. So this is my new blog dedicated to food and painting. I try! So here it is, the first actual meal that I cooked for my husband. Exciting!

So I started the day with some strawberry and raspberry preserve (check out the fancy photography and no, I did not just rip this off of flickr). My cousin actually gave me this recipe when I visited her last. Its the easiest! Just dump the berries into a pan, a few squirts of lemon juice and add sugar. Let it all cook together. Ta Da!!! Ready to go on toast with some peanut butter.

Penne with a simple tangy basil, almonds and spinach sauce.

I even made a salad, just so that we can proudly say that we lead a healthy lifestyle! It was a mixed lettuce, cherry tomato, pecan and carrot salad, with red wine and raspberry vinaigrette and Dijon mustard.

For dessert I served a fudge brownie with peanut and raspberry mouse.