Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eggless Microwave Apple Walnut Cake

This is definitely not the best apple cake recipe. But I still love it. Because this is my first real experiment with a cake!

I have baked a few cakes till date. I have followed the recipes from books or blogs, usually to a T, and even if I did make changes, they were minor ones, like excluding nuts, replacing maida with whole wheat, halving the quantity or even combining two recipes to get the best out of them.

This cake however was something I suddenly thought of making. After making Apple Kheer in the microwave, I thought, why not make apple cake! I have eaten apple cakes before and have always enjoyed their combination with nuts, specially walnuts. This thought and my 'No Bake Cake 'event, along with my little experience of baking, urged me to try my hand at making this cake. I just went on mixing the ingredients - tasting and adjusting as I brought each of them together, wondering if they would do their job. I dumped the fairly runny concoction into the microwave and waited with bated breath for those 5 minutes to pass. I probably did not take my eyes off the microwave for even a second (thank God my son was asleep!) And I literally jumped with joy when I saw that a cake was actually being formed! Yay!
The ten-minute wait for the cake to cool down was even harder. Finally when I tasted the cake, I felt good! Mind you, the cake is not crusty and soft and moist as an oven-baked one - after all, convection ovens are always the preferred way of cake making. But it sure is edible and is worth a try.

Ingredients :
1 apple
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Method :
Peel and grate the apple and microwave uncovered for 3 minutes.
In a large bowl pour milk (room temperature). Add oil and with a whisk, beat well. Add sugar and beat further. Add maida and baking soda and mix thoroughly, making sure no lumps are formed. Add the microwaved apple, nuts and mix well.

Liberally grease a large microwave safe bowl. (I used a rectangular glass vessel). Pour the batter. Make sure it is less than 2/3rds full.

Microwave uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes. Leave untouched for another 10 minutes. Let the cake cool down completely before you invert it onto a plate.

You could either ice the cake or bite into it just like that!

This post goes to my events :

Also sending this to Two for Tuesdays  and BSI - Milk

Announcing 'My Favorite Recipe' Event

We food bloggers blog for a reason. Or several reasons. And we have our own favorite recipes. Which are our favorite for a reason. Or several reasons.

They could be our favorite because they never let us down. Or because they make our loved ones happy. Or we never imagined in our wildest dreams that we would attempt such a difficult recipe, but we did.
Or they are quick and simple recipes which we can always depend on during those busy days. 

Or they remind us of a memorable day or person. Oh, there could be so many reasons!

'My Favorite Recipe' event brings together our favourite recipes of the month. To participate, you need to :

Pick one (and only one) favorite recipe of all the recipes that you posted in your food blog in the month of August.
Link this announcement in your post.
Send your entry to apy.mail@gmail.com with the subject 'My Favorite Recipe' with the following details :
  • Name 
  • Blog Name
  • Recipe
  • Recipe URL
  • Reason why it is the most favorite (one sentence) 
  • Picture of the dish
The entry should be sent between Aug 31 and Sep 10, 2010. As mentioned earlier, please send only ONE entry per blog. The recipes need not be original.

Looking forward to your favorite recipe posted in the month of August!

Reposting for Events

Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Eggless Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins

Sending these to Pari's Only Kid's Delight

Stuffed Bell Peppers/ Capsicum

Sending this to Desi Soccer Mom's Global Kadai, originally started by Cilantro

Keerla Sukke

Sending this to Veggie Platter's Side Dishes

Monday, August 30, 2010

Celebrating 25th post with a win!!

Last month Siri of Siri's Corner hosted My Legume Love Affair to which I sent my 'Kali tori Ghashi'  as an entry. And I was lucky enough to win it!

Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook, the brain behind this event, mailed me two awesome books through Amazon and also had Hursts bean ship to me a few packets of my choice of Hursts beans.

The books :

Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks - 5,000 Ingenious Kitchen Hints, Secrets, Shortcuts, and SolutionsBrilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks: 5,000 Ingenious Kitchen Hints, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Solutions
by David Joachim

Field Guide to Herbs and Spices - How to Identify, Select, and Use Virtually Every Seasoning at the MarketField Guide to Herbs & Spices: How to Identify, Select, and Use Virtually Every Seasoning at the Market (Field Guide To...) 
by Aliza Green

These books were purchased by Susan and she does not receive any compensation from Amazon.

The beans :

Supplementary prize provided by Hurst Bean has been arranged through their initiative. Susan does not receive financial compensation from Hurst Bean.

I'm so looking forward to trying the recipes from the fantastic books!

Thanks Susan for the lovely gift and thanks Siri, for hosting the event!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whole Wheat Cherry Pancakes

There was a huge box of fresh cherries lying in my fridge and I was wondering what to do with them. My husband had bought the cherries at Costco just a few days before we were going on a vacation and I did not want them to get wasted. As I was scouting around in my fridge wondering how to use them, I saw the box of oats on top of the fridge and thought of putting the two together with a little bit of flax powder which was staring at me, as if to remind me of it's heallthy oils that I mentioned here. Next to the box of ground flax seeds was a bottle of buttermilk which I was planning to finish off before our trip. And the lonely egg in it's little shell was screaming to be used. Now what could I do with all these guys - how about a cherry pancake!

I wanted to use whole wheat flour for the pancakes. So I looked around for some recipes and found this on Jane Maynard's blog and added my healthy li'l agents to it.

Ingredients :

2 cups Whole wheat flour
1/2 cups Oats, powdered
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp butter
1 egg
2  to 2 and 1/2 cups buttermilk (depending on the consistency)
3/4 cup chopped cherries

Method :
Combine the dry ingredients. Separately, whisk egg and butter. Add the buttermilk and whisk lightly. Mix this with the dry ingredients. Don't beat too much as this can make the pancakes hard. Add more buttermilk (or water) if necessary, but don't make the batter too runny. Add the cherries and mix.

Heat a few drops of oil in a medium skillet. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on the pan. Spread a little if necessary. When small bubbles start forming at the top of the pancake, it is time to flip.

Maple syrup is the best combination with pancakes. But the sweet, juicy cherries add their own flavour, so we did not use any syrup. If the pancakes look too dry, add a dash of butter.

Sending the pancakes to Umm's Veggie/ Fruit a Month - Cherry started by Priya and to Only Kid's Delight.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Asparagus Soup

I'm vacationing in L.A right now. My drafts folder was calling out for help so I thought of relieving it of atleast this post! So here goes the hurriedly scribbled recipe :

Ingredients :
1 cup chopped onion
5 to 6 garlic pods
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 and 1/2 cups chopped potatoes.
15 count asparagus
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour/ maida
1 and 1/2 cup milk
1 pinch nutmeg powder (optional)
1 tsp rosemary, corriander leaves or any herb of your choice.
Cheese (optional)

Method :
Remove the tough ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut the asparagus into one inch pieces. Reserve a few tips for garnishing.

In a deep bottomed pan, heat oil. Saute onions and garlic. Add celery and potatoes, two cups of water and allow to boil. Add the chopped asparagus and boil till the asparagus and potatoes are completely cooked.

Allow to cool. Blend into a paste.

Meanwhile prepare white sauce . To do this, melt butter in a small pan. Add maida and stir on low heat till it changes colour. Add 1/2 cup of milk and stir continously. The mixture will thicken. Continue adding milk and stirring constantly, preferably with a whisk, so that you get a thick paste. Using a whisk will also help you get rid of any lumps. Sprinkle nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Transfer the asparagus paste back into the deep bottomed pan and heat. Add white sauce (you can add the entire quantity or less, depending on how thick you want the soup).  Stir well so that the white sauce blends in. Pour in enough water to get a soup consistency. Add salt and pepper as per taste. Toss in the asparagus tips and bring to a boil. Garnish with rosemary and cheese (I skipped the cheese) and serve hot.

Sending this refreshing soup to Akila's event - Dish name starts with 'A'.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No Bake Cake Event II

Hello All,

I'm back with the second edition of the No Bake Cake Event.

Whenever you looked at a scrumptious cake did it ever occur to you that if you had an oven you could also bake a delicious cake for your loved ones? The No Bake Cake event shows you that you do not really need an oven to bake a great cake. There are several no bake cake recipes floating on the internet that will help you whip up a wonderful cake.

So if you have never made a cake before, this is a good time to start. And if you have, it's time to make another one! What are you waiting for? Just google 'No bake cake', 'Microwave cake',  'Pressure cooker cake' or 'Gelatin Cake', find a suitable recipe, don your aprons and get going!!

A look at the rules :
  1. From now through September 15, post a recipe for a cake cooked in a pressure cooker or microwave or even set in the refrigerator. Please don't send recipes that require the cake to be baked in an oven.
  2. Eggs and gelatin are allowed.
  3. Link this announcement in your post.
  4. Archived recipes will be accepted only if reposted as current between now and 15th Sep 2010, with a link to this announcement.
  5. Any number of entries are welcome.
  6. Use of logo will be appreciated..
Please send your entries by 15th September 2010 to apy.mail@gmail.com with 'No Bake Cake' as the subject, with the following details:
    • Your name
    • Blog name
    • Blog URL
    • Recipe Name
    • Recipe URL
    • Picture of the dish
    Non Bloggers are also welcome to participate. Please send the following details :
    • Your Name
    • Location (optional)
    • Recipe Name
    • Recipe
    • Picture of the dish
    Looking forward to a lot of delicious no bake cake recipes. Happy no baking!!

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Oats Idli

    Oats are high in fiber and are known to have several health benefits, including lowering LDL cholesterol. I've been trying to include oats into our meals in several ways. So when I saw this recipeI thought of trying it out. And of course, this is another of those idlis which don't need soaking, grinding or overnight fermenting. Except, again, for the few seconds of grinding of the oats.
    I halved the ingredients of the recipe and also added some of my own - ginger, urad dal and curry leaves which are a must have for me when I make any seasoning. 

    1 1/2 cup Oats (Quick 1 minute)

    3/4 cup Semolina (rava)
    1 pinch baking soda
    1 tsp mustard seeds
    1 tsp chana dal
    1 tsp urad dal
    2 to 3 green chillies
    5 to 6 curry leaves
    1 tsp chopped ginger
    A few strands of coriander leaves
    Curd (about 2 cups).

    In a pan, dry roast oats for a few minutes until slightly brownish. Cool and pulse in the blender to get a coarse powder.
    In the same pan dry roast rava for about 5 minutes until light brown. Cool and mix with powdered oats in another vessel. Add baking soda, salt ( I added a little more than a teaspoon), mix well and keep aside.

    Heat oil, mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves, ginger. Add the seasoning and coriander leaves to the oats-rava mixture and mix well. To this add curd (yogurt). If the curd is thick, whisk it well with a fork or a whisk and then add it. Also, Usha suggests to add curd only to the mixture that you would use instanty. If you feel the mixture is extra, refrigerate it for later use. Add curd as and when required.

    Steam in an idli stand for 7 to 8 minutes.

    Serve with chutney.

    The instant oats idli was an instant hit with my family, specially my son who loves idlis and did not really notice that this was a different type of idli than his favourite vermicilli idli.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Baked Yellow Squash Treats

    Yellow squash is a great source of vitamin C. Flax Seeds are rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids. When I saw a recipe that included both and used whole wheat flour and the goodness of honey, I almost jumped with joy. This solved my problem of what to give my toddler as an evening snack.

    I love the look and taste of yellow squash. I think it is the cutest vegetable and I usually toss it into my soup or pasta.

    Flax seeds (also called 'alsi' in hindi) was something I wanted to use in my cooking for a very long time. Since my husband and son are both vegetarian, this would be a good way of consuming the Omega 3 fatty acids which are predominant in fish oils.

    A couple of things though. The recipe called for whole wheat pastry flour. I did not know what that meant, and did not bother to find out and just went ahead and used whole wheat flour. Probably that made a difference. The cookies that they were supposed to be, turned out soft and the taste and texture was more of a cake. But the taste was great and my son loved it! So when I made the second batch I altered the method a little bit. Read on.

    Ingredients :
    2 cups whole wheat flour (check original recipe )
    1tsp baking powder
    1/2  tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup honey
    4 to 5 tbsp oil
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 cups greated yellow squash
    2tbsp ground flax seeds

    Preheat oven to 375F.
    Combine all the dry ingredients.
    In a separate bowl, beat eggs, mix well with honey, oil and vanilla.

    Add the dry ingredients, squash and flax seeds and mix well.

    Grease a baking tray (cookie sheet). Divide the dough into 2 or 3 batches. 
    Spread the batter evenly across the sheet like so:

    Bake for 12 to 15 mts or until top has browned slightly. Repeat for the next batch.

    Cool and cut into desired shapes. I first cut them in squares and then realized I have a heart shaped cutter. 

    When I offered these treats to my toddler in a bowl, he went straight for the hearts! 

    My friend Michelle makes something similar, with bananas. The proportions may vary, but just thought I'd let you know so you could try it, in case yellow squash is not available/ liked. (Not sure how it will turn out for this recipe since I haven't tried it but if you do, do let me know ). She calls them banana fritters and she roasts them on both sides on the pan, instead of baking them. So there, you don't really need an oven. I did not know what to call these, so called them treats. Any suggestions are welcome.

    The treats hop on to 'Only Kid's Delight'.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Jeera/Cumin Biscuits/Cookies

    In my quest to bake healthy cookies/ biscuits, I came across Sunita Bhuyan's Cuminy nibbles. I use cumin (Jeera) liberally in my cooking. I enjoyed the aroma of this spice in my Cumin bread so was eager to try out this recipe.

    I have tried the original recipe as is. The biscuits come out pretty good. However, I wanted to decrease the maida and use whole wheat flour. So the next time I altered the recipe a little bit . Please do check Sunita's space for the original recipe.

    Ingredients :

    1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
    1/2 cup all purpose flour (I used maida)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 tbsp jeera
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    6 tbsp oil
    1/2 cup milk

    Method :

    Roast the jeera lightly. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and jeera. Pour oil and knead the dough, adding milk little by little. 

    Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to about 2mm thick.

    With a cookie cutter (I used a fondant cutter) cut into desired shape.

    Peel the extra dough away from the cookies and keep aside. You can roll it out again for the second batch.

    Transfer the cookies onto a lightly greased baking tray and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 mts.

    The baking time depends on the size and thickness of the cookies. So keep checking. When the top browns slightly the biscuits are done. 

    Repeat the same procedure for the second batch. Remove the scrapings and make the next batch, until you use up all the dough.
    Towards the end I used tiny cutters to make tiny cookies (which, btw, bake really fast because of their tiny size).

    Nibble on the li'l treats without guilt!

    These cookies hop on to Priya's weekly event - Bookmarked recipes and also to Only Kid's Delight.


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