Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Holidays and Leopold Mozart's Sleigh Ride

I did make a christmas fruit cake, it is maturing I so wanted to post it but I still have to decorate them and this time of the year it is really busy in my place. Have few parties to organize and few to go also. That is why there has been no blogging and bloghopping.
I will be back to blogging by the begning of new year.

Wishing all my readers Happy Holidays

And instead of a cake picture and recipe here is a video of my daughter playing solo in the orchestra. She is the one with long hair and standing first in the row.
They performed for a christmas concert.

Christmas concert at the Margaretachurch in Knokke (W-Flanders,Belgium)
By the Harsymf group: concertmaster Shyama Vermeersch.

Performance of Leopold Mozart's Sleigh Ride ( part 2 sleighride to the party, 3 the shivering young girl, at the party, end of the party, returning home

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chicken Ramen

If you look to my blog there is far more baking goodies there then hot dishes.

Not that I don't cook at home just than mostly when I make something for lunch I never take pictures as I like to serve my food hot and if I wait to take picttures I will have 2 hungey stomachs at the table asking where is their lunch :-)

And I also like to eat my food warm than cold. So mostly I tend not to take pictures.
I have blogged about some dishes and if you look to the picture you will see steam on them :-) or mostly they are blurred as I am in such a hurry.

Few months back I bought The Wagamama cookbook and I am in love with it. There is so much super delicous recipes in this book.
And most of the recipes are the same as the dish they serve in their place in London, Amsterdam, Belgium etc I have made a couple of dishes and all of them were really delicous and most important they are healthy and delicous.

Combine noodles, hot stock, fresh vegetables and lightly grilled chicken and you have a complete meal in a bowl. The writter of this book says fast food really doesn't get better than this and I have to totally agree with him.

For 2 person
2 bonless skinless chicken breasts
vegetable oil for frying
salt and peper
250 gm ramen noodles
1 litrer chicken stock ( chinese one, when i make the broth i just add grated fesh giner and chillies )
2 pak choi, trimmed and roughly choppes or 2 handfull of baby spinach. ( i used iceberg salade)
Hand full of bean sprouts
4 spring onions, trimmed and finley cliced

Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes untill just ender. Drain, refresh under cold water and dicide between 2 bowls.

Preheat the grill or gridle pan. Lightly oil and season the chicken breast and grill for 5 minutes, slice on the diagonall and set aside.

Heat the chicken stock untill boiling.
Put the pak choi/baby spinach ( with me the iceberg salade) , bean sprouts and chicken into the bowl were the noodles is and laddle the hot stock. Garnish with the sliced spring onions.

Sending this to Presto Pasta Nights which is hosted at Cinamon Spice & Everything nice

Monday, 14 December 2009

Filled Cookies with Nuts and Marzipan

Middle of last week I got my new oven and it is a convection oven.
I started baking the day itself. Each time I went to the kitchen I coudn't stop smiling , this oven is much bigger than the old one.
Next day when i went to my in laws place I told my MIL how can one just feel so good because having a new oven.
Ofcourse i do have to get used to the new oven as i found out when i baked bread this weekend they were baked in less time than my old oven.

Really the last days I have been walking aroung here at home with a huge smile , even now while writting the post I am smilling just because I have a new oven :-)

Ofcourse my daughter and hubby can't understand the joy I am feeling with my new oven. They both think I am weird for beeing so happy for something like a oven.

It is exams for my daughter so I love baking while she is learning in her room and she is my taster, the moment they come out from the oven and can be handled I take one to her for tasting.

I must say these cookies are really delicious. They are buttery and you bite into them and inside you have this filling of nuts , marzipan and redcurrant jelly all mixed together.

My New Oven

For the dough
100 gm ice very cold unsalted butter
200 gm flour
75 gm sugar
1 medium egg
a pinch of salt

Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add them to the flour, sugar, egg and the salt in a bowl.
Mix it with the hand till it forms a ball. Don't over work it, if you do then the dough get tough.
Wrap the dough in a foil and keep in the fridge for 1 hour.

For the filling:
100 gm Walnuts chopped fine
50 gm marzipan. ( grate them fine)
50 gm red currant jam. ( you don't have to stick to this jam, i am sure you can add any taste)
18 half walnuts.

For the drizzle
50 gm dark chocolate
1 tbsp butter
Melt the chocolate together with the butter for the drizzle.

Mix in a bowl the walnuts, marzipan and the jam.
Divide the dought into 18 balls. Take a ball and shape them into a round shape ( i presses with my palm) Take a tbsp or less filling and keep them in the middle of the circle shape and then take each end and press and make a ball.
Repeat with the other balls.
Press a walnut half in the middle of each balls.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake them for 18 minutes.
Cool them and drizzle the chocolate and leave the chocolate to get hard.
Enjoy the cookies.I am sending this to Susan for her if you check out her place you will see what all cookies santa as got till now just go here and also do make some cookies and send her way.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pistachio and Lemon Curd Macarons

Some three weeks ago I mentioned to my hubby and daughter, we are doing again Mac atack

Daughter : yuppieeeeee Macarons, what colour are you going to make and what filling?

Hubby : ohhhhhh Noooooooooooo You are not going to make them again and moan from the kitchen it didn't come out nice and start over and over again and make us eat all those horribly gone wrong Macarons.

Last time I had to do few times till i got them good
So while few of the Mac team was in London for FBC , and to compensate me not beeing there I thought I will make them.

It was so quiet in the kitchen .........that hubby came to look what is going on and when he saw the Macarons resting before going to the oven, he looked one look to the green colour of row of macarons and said oh NO you are not making those alien looking things are you.
That is what he calls them now, as I use such colours :-)

This time I used half almond powder and half pistchio nuts.
I didn't get a real smooth finishing to my macarons, but I didn't want to make them again so I thought this will have to do.
They were really delicious with the lemon curd filling. I used shop bought lemon curd.

You can find the recipe from my earlier post here instead of using full almonds i used half pistachios.
So this is for my Mac tweet

Monday, 7 December 2009

Coconut,oats and chocolate chip cookies

My oven got busted last week. Actually I think It must have gone bad before that.
Me the silly one didn't figure out. I baked my bread which I usually bake and when I took them out of the oven they were not baked, it was like , well i don't think I can describe them.
That was the day when I made my few trials of the Achappam, so I thought maybe in the hurry I must have done the wrong temperature.

I even had to run to the bakers near by to buy bread otherwise I didn't had bread for that evening ( weekdasy it is bread here in the evening)

Then I made again bread few days ago and the same thing happend then I knew my oven was busted up.

Ofcourse these cookies were made before my oven disaster.
Goog news is saturday hubby and I went for oven hunting and we bought a new one and they wil bring the oven tommorow.
I must admit I was lost without my oven.
Now to the baking

When I saw these cookies in Sunita's place, I remember telling to my self I must make this

I was not disapointed, it was just so so good.
And for sure if you know sunita's cooking you know it will be filled with healthy ingridients.
Except when she is in a real indulge mood like her Mini Chocolate pots , which I saw them and ran to my kitchen and indulged myself too.
But for the most she is a well behaved girl she sticks to real healthy but yummy bakes like this one.
I followed her recipe exactly, except I add a tsp of chillie flakes as I have seen sunita often spicying up her baking and while making these cookies why not try the same.
Here at home we allo loved it, we all loved the light tingling feeling while eating these cookies.
So thankyou sunita for yet another wonderful recipe.

Want to have a go at making this super delish cookies chech out her place for the recipe

I am sending this to Susan for her if you check out her place you will see what all cookies santa as got till now just go here and also do make some cookies and send her way.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Acchapam (Rose Cookies)

I don't think I really appriciated when my mom made all the Indian sweets or some special treats.
And also I was never intrested in cooking during that time like most of you .

If I am honest when I was in my early teens I don't think I even thought aobut how much time and efffort she put into make some of the spcial food she made. Every day when we three girls came back home from school,there was something home made which she whipped up for us, which we used to hogg like piggies or on the weekend or special occasions she used to make other things which took a lot of time and work.

I remember she used to make these Achappams and not just for 1 cup of flour, i think when she made them it was mostly for a kilo of flour as I remember , they were made and kept in this huge parle biscut tins.

I am telling about how Ididn't apriciate the work she had put to make things for one reason, I tried for the first time to make Achappam few days back.

Well the first I mixed everything and tried them and whil i dipped the shape into the hot oil I saw them breaking into circles than just giving beautiful flower shape.
So I mixed a new batch tried again , no use it was a disaster again, so i searched the net and found a recipe just using flour and i tried them, well i got beautiful flowers, but then were too soggy with oil and then heavy so I binned my third batch of the day.

So I tried again the below recipe which I got form the net.

It is true they say making Achappam is like winning lottery.
I got 7 beautiful rose shaped achappams and they wee not sticking into the mould , came out perfectly, but from the 8th one it started sticking.
So i gave up .
I just think I am not that lucky in making these beautiful cookies like Mishmash or Aparna.

I am not giving up, I am sure gonna try again, but I think i will wait for a while :-)

Raw rice powder - 1 glass
Sugar - 1/4 glass
Coconut milkthick , I used tinned coconut milk. ( didn't measure just used till i got a batter like for dosa
Eggs - 1
Black seasame seeds ( i didn't have so used white)
Oil for frying

Beat the eggs well.
Mix together egg, sugar, rice powder, seasame seeds and coconut milk well.
The consistency should that of dosa batter.
Heat the oil and dip the achappam mould.
The mould should be very hot so that the achappams will come out from the mould when you dip it in the oil.
Once the mould is hot enough, dip the mould into the batter and fill it till 3/4th of the capacity.
Dip it in oil again and after half a minute, shake the mould lightly so that the achappams will come out easily. (If you shake the mould vigourously, the shape will not be maintained and there are chances of the achappams to break.)
Once slightly golden brown, turn and cook the other side.
Remove from the oil and place them on a tissue paper.
At a time, you can make 3-4 achappams or more depending upon the size of the vessel

As this is a traditional christmas cookies from kerala I am sending this to Susan for her if you want to see what all cookies santa as got till now just go here

Monday, 30 November 2009

Lemon Lime Meringue Cupcake

Here at home my daughter and I love biriyani, but hubby is not that wild about it.
He likes it but he remarks what is the use in mixing the chicken and rice and then serving, instead isn't it better to serve them seperate.

Satuday I planned a biriyani evening, making biriyani just for three of use I think is a bit too much, so I asked my inlaws to come and enjoy the biriyani and also askes hubby's uncle and wife as anyway biriyani is made in bigger quantity.
So i serve them biriyani, cutlets, raita , papadom and then fried few curd chillies as that is something hubby is wild .

My in laws only started eating Indian food after me comming to the family.
So they are not that used to spicy food. So my MIL saw these fried chillies and she took one and took a huge bite ( almost half) you can imagine she was in fire and while she was hugffing and puffing she said ohh!!!!!!!!! I can't feel my lipp anymore and we all were laughingand laughing while she was suffering. Here face was like a fully ripe tomato. But after the whole commotion she told she loved the expirence of eating half a chillie.
This has nothing to do with the recipe I am posting, i just wanted to share the incident.

Now to the recipe.
From the time I saw this cupcake in Tartlette's I have been wanting to make this. As i fell in love with these cuties , I have to admit I always fell in love with the sweets she whipps up in her place.
You can find her recipe for the cup cake and the lemon curd here
After the disaster I had with my lemon curd , i used this time from a bottle.

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime oil
½ cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
zest of one lime

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively to the butter/eggs mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add the lime juice and zest. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Lime Meringue Frosting:
1 cup egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. lime juice

Combine egg whites and sugar into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a water bath. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved or preferably until the mixture reaches 110F . Transfer bowl to electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 10 minutes. Add lime juice Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 2 to 5 minutes more.

To fill the cupcakes: with a sharp knife cut a small hole in the cupcake, not cutting all the through. Fill the cavity with the lemon curd, and put the top back on. Spread the meringue and brown with a blow torch.

I make cakes for sunday and take them in boxes like this to my inlaws home

Monday, 23 November 2009

Friday night chilly chicken and beer

I am sure this is not the first time I tell you all how much we all like here our friday evenings. As it is the start of the weekend all of us are relaxed ..........Especially hubby and daughter.
Hubby who has been busy with his work and daughter who has been really busy with her school work.

Friday is one day she don't learn at all, she comes home after 17 hrs and then she have a biscuit or two and juice, and I am the victim as she bables to me abut what has been happening in her class that day ( this is our daily routine when she comes home from school in the evening) and I will be listening to what she is telling me.

It will be about which teacher was grumby, which one was nice, what all arguments they had in class then don't forget the importnat stuff who is with who at the moment.
I am now itself starting to feel the knot in my stomach thinking aobut this is the last school year i will have her as from next september she will be gone to University and I will only see her in weekends.

Then she is off to her violin lessons by Six for a hour, she comeback home and then by eight she is gone again for her youth orchestra rehersals and then she is only back together with her dad by 21:30 hrs.
And the moment I open the door they both want to know what the snack is for the night.

Living here, I can always buy some ready made snacks from the shops, and heat them up in the MW, but for me the home made snacks are far far better, and I prepare something and keep before they come.
So this is something I made for them.

They are simple fried chicken , jazzed up with chilies, soy sauce etc...........
The recipe you can find here in one of my earlier post.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Best Chocolate Sauce

One of the best things about living in Belgium according to me is, there is always good quality of chocolate there. Don't have to search for it, just go even to the smallest shop you will get them.

If you have visited belgium you will agree with me every city as so many chocolate/praline shops.
In out town there is a famous one, when ever we have to go for a dinner or there is guest I always go there to buy our chocolate. The moment you get into the shop the air you breath in is chocolate, I always tell I could just stay in that shop taking in this chocolarte air.
Last week when I went there, they had this letter hanging there wanted job students for working in the weekend and i came home and told my hubby what a shame i am not a student otherwise i could have gone and worked there and his remark was yeah...........you will be like a ball in a week.

200 ml cream
250 gm dark chocolate chop them up ( use the best quality)
60 gm sugar
250 ml milk

Add all the ingridients in a pan and bring it to boil and then cook in the low fire for 6 to 8 minutes till it thickens up.
One thing you should do is stir the sacu continuosly.
If it is too thick you can always add a bot more cream/milk to loosen it up.
I always serve this sauce hot poured over Vanilla ice cream.
You can freeze this sauce in portions and use it when ever you want, which i think is really handy.

This is one of the best chocolate sauces, you can use it with cakes, and especially with ice creams.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Methi Lobhia - Fenugreek perfumed Black eyed peas

I was lucky to win last year 660 curries by Raghavan Iyer and I must say the moment I opend the book I fell in love with it. There is such a variety of dishes in the book. I have made few recipes and every time loved it.

And this is one of those recipe from the book.
Ofcourse If the fresh fenugreek leaves were available here i would have added them, but alas I am not that lucky. And in the book he had written if you don't get fresh leaves we can use dried ones.

1 cup dries black eyed beans
1 red onion corsley chopped
6 medium size garlic cloves
4 fresh chillies
2 tbsp oil/ghee
125 gm diced tomatoes (i used tinned tomatoes)
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves (thawed if frozen), or 1/2 cup dried fenugreek leaves soaked in a bowl of water and skimmed of before use.
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala ( my addition)
Salt to taste
Preassure cook the black eyed peas .
Combine the onion, garlic, and chillies in a food processor and pulse untill minced.

Heat the ghee/oil in a pan. Add the minced blend to the pan and stir fry untill it is caramel brown.

Add the tomatoes, and the fenugreek leaves, salt and turmeric.
Simmer uncovered stirring occaisionally, untill the tomato has softened and the fenugreek leaves are cooked, about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked black eyed peas. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occaisionally, untill the peas have absorbed the flavours,about 5 minutes. Add the garam masala cook for a minute and serve.

Sending this to which is hosted by Sra of When my Soup came alive, a event which is started by Susan of The Well seasoned Cook.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Upside down pear cake

Here the only people who just loves chocolate is my daughter and I.
If I am honest there was a time when I survied on chocolate and sweets, that was when I came here after getting married.

I am talking about more than 18 years ago , when there was no easy access to Indian spices or food unlike now.
My chocolate love have lessed compared to that time, still I do love them. Ofcourse i think the main reason for lesser love withchocolate for me now is well you all guessed it, these days i just have to smell a piece and it striaght just goes to my hips :-)

My hubby has been complaning that I am only making chocolate cakes ( which i think is a bit of a exageration from him)
So I thought why not make this cake with pears ( this one was made last week, but didn't had time to post)

Before I go to the recipe, I would love to tell you about Deeba's blog Passionate about baking actually I don't think you all need any introuduction to her place, but if you have missed this post you should check it out.
She has posted a video for how to decorate cake which i think is so so fantastic.

Now to the recipe, you can make this with different fruits like apple, cranberries, pears etc......... the recipe is from the Rachel Allen.

50 gm butter
300 gm Sugar
225 gm pears sliced
200 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
200 ml butter milk
75 ml sunflower oil/vegetable oil

To serve
Softly whipped cream

Click the pic for enlarged image

Preaheat the oven to 180° c.

Melt the butter in the ovenproof pan. Stir in half the sugar and cook over a gentle heat for approximatley 2 minutes. Add the pears and set aside.
I melted the butter in a pan and then poured it on to my baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the remaining sugar, the butter milk and oil and mix together.
Pour this mixture into the dry ingridients and whisl to form a liquid batter. Pour the batter over the pears in the pan.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or untill the cake feels firm in the center.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning the pan and plate over together in one quick movement. Serve warm or at room temperature with the whipped cream.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Pannacotta with coconut and melon

Pannacotta simply means "Cooked cream" it is a dessert from Northern part of Italy.
This creamy dessert is made by cooking, cream, sugar, milk and agging gelatine for setting.
I can be serves with a coulli of fruits or beries, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, well what ever you fancy ............
The end result is always great, you have this silk dessert which just slides down you throat while you eat them ;-)
And if you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am a passionate about this Italian dessert. They are easy to make and it always impress my guest for dinner.

Like the time I made this delicous Bluberry pannacotta, or when I made this delicous Espresso Pannacotta from Deeba's place Passionate about baking , or why not give a try with this

Espresso flavoured Milk chocolate one or the Orange pannacotta with caramalized oranges, or the Mango pannacotta which i tried from Meeta's place What's for Lunch Honey orthe one with balsamic berries now with all these variety of pannacotta you can understand how i love this easy to make delicous smooth silky Italian dessert.

I loved making this one ,especially when my guest were curious how i got the slanting effect , if you look to the step by step pictures you will see how i achieved thate beautiful look.

Serves: 6

1/2 l coconut milk ( used tinned ones)
60 gm sugar
3 gm gelatine leaves
1 cavaillon Melon
200 ml sweet white wine
6 glasses

Warm the coconut milk with the sugar don't let it boil.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for five minutes and squeeze oout the water before you use them.
Tale the warm coconut milk and add the gelatine and mix well. Let the mixtue get a little bit cool.
Now take a empty egg box and place the glasses in a slanting way and pout the coconut mixture so you will get the slanted effect. Place them carfully in the fridge for atleast 2 hours till it is set.

Cut the melon , remove the seeds and scoop the fruit out.
Mix the fruit pieces with the sweet wine with a mixer and keep them also in the fridge for cooling.
Before you serve just pour the mixes melon mix on to the pannacotta and serve it .

Monday, 26 October 2009

Going full British

It is not that often we have a brunch / big breakfast.
The only time we have them, is once in a while on a saturday. As on weekdays typical breakfast for us is slice of home made bread, butter/jam/nutella/chocolate.cheese etc..............and to the horror of my hubby, daughter and I go always for Nutella or chocolate :-)

And on sunday there is a tradition here in Belgium , most of them go to the bakers in the morning and buy pistolets, Croissant, Croissant filled with chocolate, raisin etc.....and here it is hubby who goes in the morning to buy them, our baker is really close by, just around the corner.....
only time I go is when it is hubbs birthday and fathers day and when it is Spring/summer, my excuse who wants to get up and go out so early in the cold weather :-)

So on sautuday as we all got up late I thought why not make the famoust full English breakfast. My daughter and hubyy just loves it,
When I Saw Meeta's theme for this months MM I knew exaclty what I was going to send her. A fully English Breakfast.

I don't think there is a recipe, just make scrambled aggs, fry bacon, sausages, mushroom and tomato, open up a tin beans and heat up , serve with toast and enjoy.