Archive for November, 2010

Donna’s Delectable Honey Oatmeal Bread – with raisin cinnamon swirl

My good friend Donna gave me this recipe and its one of the best breads I’ve tried! This time I decided to add the raisin cinnamon swirl and it went perfectly together, no added sugar needed. I do think I should have been a little more patient on the second rise, and maybe should not have used a larger pan, so the bread would have had more height. I also read that “bark” spices like cinnamon can inhibit the yeast. With or without the raisin cinnamon swirl, this bread is really tasty. Soft and slightly sweet, great reheated, and fun to know you can make bread this easily!

Here is the recipe as she gave it to me:

  • 1c old fashioned oats
  • 1c boiling water
  • 1/3c honey
  • 1/4c/4tbs/half stick of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 envelope/.25 oz quick rise yeast
  • 1/4c of warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 3.5- 4 c flour (I use half bread flour when I have it)
  • 1t milk and 1Tbs oats for topping the bread, optional

Combine oats with the boiling water and let it sit 5 mins. Add yeast to the warm water, and let it activate, also 5 minutes or so. To the oats (you can do this in the bowl you will mix the dough in itself) add honey and butter and salt. Then pour in the yeast mixture. Then add 3 c of flour and blend it in. Knead in an additional 1/2-1 c of flour as needed to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth for 6-8 minutes. Cover and let it rest 10 minutes (I did a traditional “double rise”(let the dough rise to double its size in about 1-2 hours) because I was going out, so if you let it rise longer thats also fine. She says the short rest works for her too).  Grease a 9×5 bread pan. Roll the dough out to a 8×15 inch rectangle. (This is when I added the swirl. I just sprinkled raisins on top of the dough and pressed them in firmly. Then I sprinkled some cinnamon powder. Thats it!) Roll it up from the 8 inch side jellyroll style. Pinch the ends and tuck them under the bread. Place it seam side down in the loaf pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise to double its size (at least 45 mins).

Preheat oven to 375.  Brush a tiny bit of milk over the top and sprinkle on the oats – optional but it will look pretty. I forgot to do this. Bake for around 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Try to resist the urge to cut into it while hot, hehe.  You can reheat this in the microwave or toast it and have with butter, that’s how I like it.

I am submitting this to BBD#34: Breads with Grains hosted by Swathi and originated by Zorra

Also submitting this to Yeastspotting.

And to Tasty Tuesdays.

Aloo Paratha

When I think of punjabi food  I think of butter, of  sarson ka saag and maaki ki roti, creamy paneer, and stuffed parathas. For this Flavours of Punjab event, I decided to make the ever popular aloo paratha, a potato stuffed flatbread.

Filling:

  • 1 big potato or 2 medium
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 1 shallot or small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • salt

Chapathi dough:

  • 1c chapathi flour/atta
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 spoon oil
  • water as needed

Pressure cook potatoes for 2 whistles or boil, with skin on. In America, we often peel potatoes then cook them, but in this case its better to boil whole and then peel so that the potato doesn’t absorb water. It also retains more nutrients. The potato should be completely cooked so there are no hard chunks which will poke through your dough. While cooking the potato make your dough by mixing the first three ingredients then slowly adding water until you get a soft dough. Leave it covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

Once cooled enough to handle peel the potatoes and mash them completely. In a small pan heat a tsp of oil and add the green chili, onion until just softened then add the powders, and coriander leaves. Stir this into the potatoes with salt. Form into equal balls, about golf ball size or little larger. Form dough balls about the same size. Roll them out without flour to palm size and then fill in one potato ball. Wrap the dough around and pinch together at the top. Flatten it out to a circle to distribute the potato. Finish rolling out with flour being careful not to make it too thin or make holes in the dough.

Put onto a hot pan (cast iron pan is great if you have one) and cook for a minute or so till it just begins changing color on the other side. Flip it and now apply a small amt of oil on the top. After a couple minutes, flip again. It usually puffs up, just press on it so it cooks evenly.

These are so yummy and filling… Serve with raita, or yogurt, or pickle, or chutney.

My entry to flavours of punjab hosted by Pari and Nayna.

Brownie Pudding

 

Chocolatey Goodness!

YOU MUST TRY THIS!!!! I don’t say that lightly! If you like chocolate, then you gotta have this. Even JF, who likes chocolate, but maybe wouldn’t DIE without it (like I would), thought this was unbelievable. He kept saying “wow” and “oh my god”. Good enough for me. This may  not look like anything special, but I believe the best part of this is not the decadent gooey insides (though that is really good too!!) it’s the crust. It forms this crisp layer on the top, which combined with the softness… ooohhhhhhh. What more can I say? The recipe? You got it.

I got a cookbook from the library a couple weeks back by Ina Garten “Back to Basics” and immediately knew I wanted to try this. I just didn’t know how much I would love it. I halved the recipe, but next time you can be sure I won’t do that! lol I also cut back on the butter, and was none the worse.

  • 5 TBS butter – melted  (Ina says 1 stick/8TBS)
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1c sugar
  • Slightly less than 1/2c c0c0a powder (I used frontier brand)
  • 1/4c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

That’s it. So simple right?!

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter a baking dish. I used 8×8, but I feel it came out slightly thin. Next time I would LOVE to try this in individual ramekins. Wouldn’t that be adorable?

The light fluffy eggs

With an electric mixer or a whisk by hand, beat eggs and sugar on medium  high for 5-10 minutes or until*very thick and light yellow*. I think this is a crucial step for the texture of the final product. And I am just crazy enough to have done this by hand with the whisk (still don’t have my hand mixer available). Yes, my arm hurt, but, nothing would stop me. I needed this to come out right! Add in the vanilla.

In another bowl sift the flour, salt and cocoa together. I considered skipping this (Im lazy and I don’t like dirtying more dishes), but then I didn’t want clumps of cocoa here and clumps of flour there. So I did it. Stir this into the egg mixture until lightly combined. Then slowly add the cooled (melted) butter and mix until just combined (dont overmix).

Pour the batter into the baking dish and set the baking dish into a larger pan (I used a 9×13). Put it in the oven and then pour hot water in the large pan halfway up the baking dish with the brownie pudding in it. Do this carefully. It helps to pull the oven rack out before setting it inside. Hope that made sense.

Since mine was thin, it only took about 40-45 minutes, but the double(full) batch needs to bake 1 hr. Its tricky knowing when this is done, since it will still looked underbaked. Ina says “a cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three-quarters clean.” if that helps.

I recommend to serve warm with ice cream.

Go make this… now!

Link to the full recipe is here and this blogger cut the butter even further, plus her pic looks delicious.

This is my submission for Bookmarked Recipes from US Masala:

Savory Corn Cakes

These are so easy to make and can be a snack, breakfast, or main course. You can serve them mint or coconut chutney or salsa and yogurt. But the absolute bestest way is to eat them with these black beans piled high on top…. THEN you must add a spoonful of yogurt, a handful of chopped spring onions and cilantro, and a nice big dollop of guacamole. Now, that might not look the prettiest (and I don’t have a picture of it) but it is soooo delicious!!!  Don’t take my word for it. Try it out! 😉

  • 1c cornmeal
  • 1/2c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 red onion diced very small
  • chopped cilantro
  • 2 minced green chilies
  • 1c milk
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1tsp cumin powder + 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)

Feel free to play with the ingredients. You can add  tablespoon or two of yogurt (or pumpkin puree!). If it is too thick, add some water or milk. It should be thick but spreadable, like uthapam batter. If too thin add more flour. You can use any kind of flour, even whole wheat. I also like to add corn kernels when I have it. Its nice to bite into the sweet kernels and gives more texture.

Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and spices. Beat egg and add it with milk. Then stir in the onion, cilantro, green chillies. Taste for salt and adjust the thickness.

Heat a pan (cast iron is great for this) and add a little oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Make palm sized (4inch?) pancakes in the pan. You can fit 3-4 at a time. When they turn golden on the bottoms, flip them over and cook on the other side. Be sure they are cooked inside. If not, your batter may be too thick or the heat too high.

I am submitting this to Dish Name Starts With C. Don’t they have a rockin’ logo?!

Black Beans … chili?

I have had these pictures in the queue for a while now. Not sure why I hadn’t gotten around to writing about it. Maybe because I didnt know what to call it. Is it mexican? Is it indian? American? Who knows? It’s just yummy. It’s really just something I half made up when I heard about a dish called “black beans and corn cakes”. They are an excellent combination and made it into our regular rotation.

Here is what I did:

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of hing
  • 3 green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1  green pepper choppe
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/4tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt, pepper
  • 2c cooked black beans
  • 2tbs sundried tomato paste (optional- had some and decided to use it today)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • coriander leaves

Heat a pan, add oil. When its hot add in the cumin seeds, then the hing, then green chillies and garlic. Then add the red onion and saute it well. Stir in the green pepper for a minute, then add the tomatoes and salt. Cover until softened and mash. Add in all the spices then the black beans. Stir until they are well coated with the spice/tomato mixture. Add the sundried tomato paste and a cup or so of water. Cover and cook until it comes together (you may need more water). Remove from the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice and top with chopped cilantro/coriander.

Serve with rice, quinoa, or corn cakes– recipe coming up next!

This is my submission to My Legume Love Affair hosted this month by Lisa of food and spice and created by Susan of  well seasoned cook.

Also, submitting this to Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory.

Roasted Broccoli

OK, ignore that ONE stem of broccoli with the apparent “dandruff” problem. That was supposed to be the parmesan. What was I thinking? Have I grossed you out? Still here? Good…

Anyways, I really like broccoli a lot. But I tend to have it with pasta or in an omelette.  I saw this very simple and different recipe and decided to try it out. Surprisingly, it tasted similar to kale chips. The flavor is concentrated and it has some crisp edges… no soggy broccoli here!

Here’s what I did:

  • 1 head broccoli- washed, dried, cut into long thin stalks
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic sliced thin
  • ev olive oil
  • red chili powder/cayenne
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • 1/4c toasted almonds, chopped (original called for pine nuts)
  • lemon zest- optional
  • parmesan cheese (optional- I preferred it without)

Preheat oven to 425.

Try to wash the broccoli ahead of time so it can dry. If it is still wet it will not roast properly (will stay soft) and maybe the oil (flavors) wont adhere to it. Mix together all the ingredients up to lemon juice. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Try not to crowd them. Leave space so they don’t steam each other when they release the moisture. We wouldn’t want that, right? No, we want caramelisation and roastiness!

Bake for around 20 minutes. Don’t let it get too dark or it will taste burnty. (making up new words is fun!)

Then sprinkle on the lemon juice, zest. almonds and parmesan. And start eating because these are best while still hot!

Little Billie ran outside for a jaunt in the snow before getting his picture taken.

I looked around a little and found lots of bloggers loving this. Check them out too.

Shootfirsteatlater, amateurgourmet, purplefoodie, ezrapoundcake.

I’m submitting this to Healing Foods Event – Broccoli hosted by Sayali and Siri.

Pumpkin Bread with dried cranberries and nuts

Yes, pumpkin palooza continues with this little goodie. I STILL can’t find my favorite pumpkin bread recipe, which was almost like a pound cake! So I adapted one from this muffin recipe. I can never say no to streusel.

  • 1c all purpose flour
  • 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2c cake flour (or use any flour to make 2 cups)
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each pie spice, cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp each cardamom, allspice
  • 1/4 tsp each nutmeg, salt
  • 3 TBS softened butter
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1/4c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2c buttermilk (or yogurt thinned with milk or water- I used the pumpkin liquid from making the puree)
  • 1c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3c dried cranberries (I think I would use more next time)
  • 1/3c chopped walnuts (I planned on using green pepitas, but it turns out I was out of them)

Topping:

  • 2TBS cold butter
  • 3TBS brown sugar
  • 3TBS flour

Mix together in a bowl and using a fork cut the butter into the flour mix until it is like crumbs.

Preheat oven to 375

Sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Blend in the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just combined, and then stir in the cranberries and walnuts.

Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and top with the streusel. Bake for 40 minutes

More pumpkin recipes on my “to-try” list:

  1. No-Bake Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
  2. Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
  3. Spiced Pumpkin Donuts
  4. Pumpkin Aebelskiver
  5. Vegan Swirled Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie
  6. Rum Raisin Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Sundried Tomato and Spinach Pesto

Pesto is quite a versatile accompaniment. It can be used as a condiment,  a sauce for pasta or pizza, slathered on bread, or eaten by the spoonful. Oh, is that last one just me? There are also a lot of ways to make pesto. My recipe uses less oil than most and its still delish.

Here it is:

1/3c toasted walnuts

2 big cloves of garlic

1/4c freshly grated parmesan

1/2 bag of baby spinach

1c packed basil leaves

3 ladles of pasta cooking water (or add a little plain water to aid in blending)

6 sundried tomatoes (in oil)

1/2 lemon juiced

salt to taste

1-2TBS  EV olive oil

Basically, blend everything together, except the olive oil. Once it is mostly smooth, drizzle in the oil while blending if possible, to emulsify (thicken and combine). Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, with a thin layer of oil on top, for a week or so.

Also check my recipe for pesto pizza.

This is my submission to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Anh.

Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This is not macaroni and cheese. I refuse to call it that. I have never liked mac n cheese. I think I have something against those elbow shapes, for no apparent reason. So to my mind, this is pasta with a cheese sauce or if I want it to sound extra fancy, I will call it mornay (french cheese sauce). Now, I always add veggies to my pasta, and sometimes beans or chickpeas too, so its not that much of a stretch to add in some pumpkin. It gives the sauce a lovely color too, adds fiber and nutrients, and allows me to use less cheese and milk to get the creamy consistency. It even gives a hint of sweetness. Now onto the recipe for mac… I mean, well, you know.

This recipe makes four servings. Here is what I did:

  • 2TBS butter
  • 2Tbs flour
  • 1c milk
  • 1/2c pumpkin liquid (or use more milk)
  • 1TBS dijon or wholegrain prepared mustard
  • 1/2tsp turmeric (do you know about turmerics health benefits? Throw some in everything!)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder or cayenne
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • salt to taste and lots of pepper
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz cheese, grated(I used this cheddar-gruyere blend that I found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 c (or half a bag) of pasta – I used fuscilli

Optional Topping:

  • 2oz cheese- grated
  • 2TBS butter
  • 3TBS panko breadcrumbs

Boil the pasta in water as directed.

In the meantime, start to make the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan, once melted add in the flour. Stir it around and get out any lumps. Let the flour cook in the butter for a couple minutes. This is called a roux and thickens the sauce. Then whisk in the milk/liquid slowly. Add in the mustard and spices. Let the mixture boil until it is thickened (enough to coat the back of a spoon). Then mix in the pumpkin and the cheese. Once melted, turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and mix it into the sauce. At this point you could serve this as is. But if you want to go fancier, not to mention add the delectable crispy crust (which just might be the best part) continue on.

Preheat the oven to 375 while making your sauce. Melt the butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Spoon the pasta into an oven proof baking dish. Top with some shredded cheese and then the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 mins or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. We love to have this with hot sauce or pesto.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

I am submitting this to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays 🙂

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

A blustery fall day. The sweet smell of yeast and cinnamon wafting from the oven. Digging into the ooey gooey rolls while they are still warm. Perfection.

So, we made pumpkin puree from scratch and ended up with approximately 8 cups of it. I needed to figure out which recipes to use it in. Here is one! The pumpkin flavor was not pronounced so I may try upping the amount of puree next time and decrease or eliminate the milk.
This made 17 rolls. Here is what I did:
Dough:

  • 1/4c very warm, not hot, water (I used the liquid from my pumpkin puree)
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1/4c milk
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1/2c pumpkin pureee
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c sugar
  • 1/2t salt
  • 4c flour
  • + 1/2-1c additional flour

Filling:

  • 3TBS softened butter
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1TBS cinnamon
  • any combination of (ground) pumpkin pie spice, allspice, cloves, cardamom,  ginger, nutmeg

Dissolve yeast in the warm water and proof for 5 minutes, until it becomes all foamy. In the meantime, heat the milk, and melt the butter in it. Then mix in the pumpkin puree, sugar, and egg. Add the yeast/water to this, combining well. Then stir in the flour. Start with 3 cups, then add more as needed to make a sticky dough. Turn it out on the counter with 1/2 c of flour and knead for 5-10 minutes. Don’t make the dough too stiff, it should be soft, but not too sticky. Oil your bowl and then place the dough ball in it, swirling it around the sides to coat. This keeps it from drying out. Cover with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled. The dough is ready when you stick your finger in and it holds the hole mostly open (not closing back up right away).

Now, using some more flour on the counter, stretch and spread the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Give it a roll with a rolling pin just to even it out. Then spread the softened butter all over, leaving about an inch space bare at the top length of the rectangle. Then spread your brown sugar mixed with spices, all over it. Now, starting at the end of the rectangle closest to you, tightly roll it up away from you. Pinch the end closed. Cut into 1.5 inch slices. Place the slices in a buttered dish/pan leaving about an inch of space between them. I fit 12 into a 9×13 baking dish. If you remember what I wrote above, that leaves 5 more. I decided 12 was plenty for now, so I put the other 5 in a small pie pan I had, covered in foil and placed it in the freezer for another day, when I will just need to let it rise and bake it up!)

Cover the baking dish with a damp cloth and let it rise again, for at least 30 minutes. Preheat your oven while its rising, to 350. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn light brown. Don’t let it get dark. Remove and then prepare your icing so you can pour it over while they are still warm!

Icing:

  • 1c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c warm caramel
  • 2-3 TBS maple syrup (as needed for thinning)
  • 2 TBS butter, room temp

Beat together until smooth and thick, but still pourable. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls. Then eat one… or two!

I’m submitting this to the weekly Yeastspotting event!

“To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical.

Typical of a n***** to cut and run. Typical of a n*****’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw.”

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