Friday, July 30, 2010

No-Cook Strawberry Icecream

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Motherhood is rewarding and challenging in many ways. If you are a mother then am sure you will agree with me.
For me pregnancy was full of various emotions - joy,anxiety,nervousness and occasional bouts of depression. Before motherhood it was all about me and myself. Visits to the mall and eating out were a weekend ritual. I surprise myself these days how I do not enjoy these things any more. Shopping has now become an occasional activity. Eating out has been restricted to kid-friendly places.
I enjoy being home and playing with Aamod. His soft touch, his innocent actions and sneaky little grin all lighten up our home these days. With him around the house is in a chaotic state. But I absolutely do not mind it. We can find the strangest of things in the weirdest of places. Just yesterday I found my wireless mouse in the dish washer !!
Being a mother is a privilege though it does come with a fair share of hardwork.

One of my good neighbourhood  friends is stepping into the mommy world. A couple of friends and myself had a babyshower for her this week. My contribution was this luscious Strawberry Icecream. I love strawberry in any form. If you love fruit then this icecream is for you.

This no-cook egg-free icecream is inspired from this recipe on Kitchen Parade. For the amount of effort this one needs the results are gorgeous !.

Here's my version of it :-

1C whole milk
1/2C cream
4oz cream-cheese cut into chunks
16oz strawberries chopped
1C sugar ( you can reduce it to 3/4C if your strawberries are tart)
1tbsp lime juice

1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Freeze in an air-tight container.
2. Once the mixture starts freezing from the side then blend using an hand-blender.You can use an ice-cream maker at this stage. Repeat this step 3 times to avoid ice-crystals.
3. Tastes best as a soft serve.
 The original recipe called for 8oz cream-cheese though I just had 4oz on hand. This ice-cream bursts of strawberry flavor though is not as creamy as the mango ice cream I previously  posted. You can increase the quantity of cream to make it all the more creamy. It has nice pink color without any addition of additional food colors.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homemade Granola

Pin It Now! For quite sometime now I was like most grocery shoppers who would walk up to the cereal aisle and mindlessly pick up their favourite brand of cereal and put it into their shopping cart. I was always under the impression that cereal was healthy. Until I read how much sugar the oats, the bran and corn flakes were dunked in.
We have switched to the healthiest option now - Plain Oldfashioned Oats. With a handful of fresh berries and nuts these make a very healthy breakfast.
However recently I learned making another healthy version of granola. With just a few tbsp of honey this granola had become an instant favorite in my house.
I actually got inspired from this blog that has many variations of granola. I have bookmarked almost all of them for me to try out. This weekend I made this version substituting with some of the ingredients I meant to use up.

 Homemade Granola
  •  Combine :-    
                            2 C old-fashioned oats
                            1/2 C diced nuts ( I used a mix of almonds,peanuts and walnuts)
                            1/4 C dessicated coconut
          Roast over medium heat till nicely toasted. About 7-8 min. Keep close eye to avoid burning.
  • In a saucepan combine :                              
                                2 tbsp vegetable oil
                                3 tbsp honey.
                                pinch of salt
    Stir over medium heat till it comes to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla.
  • Pour the honey-oil mixture over the oats and nuts mixture. Toss to coat well.
  • Spread onto a baking pan and bake at 350deg F for 5-7 min till slightly brown.
  • Add 1/4 C of dried fruit ( I added raisins and dates), 4 tbsp of wheat germ(optional) to it.

  • Cool and then store in an airtight container. Enjoy with some milk or yogurt for a breakfast or snack.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tomato Chutney - South Indian Style

Pin It Now! Last weekend was packed with several potlucks and birthday parties. That left no time for me to do any grocery shopping. Besides pantry staples like onions , tomato there were not many veggies at home. So the challenge for yours truly - to get by a week without grocery shopping.
     Every evening the pantry would be ransacked to find whatever needed to be used up. Actually its pretty amazing what you discover to make a wonderful meal. I found several different legumes ,cheese.frozen pesto and flours.

     For a weekend brunch I used an instant uttapam packet to make some onion uttappams. To go with that there was tomato chutney south indian style. And its recipe is what I shall share with you today.
The original recipe is from DK of Chef In You. I am fillled with much gratitude everytime we enjoy this one. Its made its appeareance quite a few times now.
Now for the recipe :-

 3 tomatoes diced
 1 onion diced
 1/2 an inch ginger
 4-5 tbsp fresh coconut ( I use the frozen one )
 2 crushed red chillies ( more if you like spicy )
 1 tsp sambar powder
 1/2 tsp chilli powder
 salt to taste
 2 tbsp oil

 For tempering :-
 1 tsp mustard seeds
 2 tsp urad dal
 5-7 curry leaves
 2 tbsp oil

 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1. In a pan heat some oil. Add the tomatoes,onions,ginger and dry red chillies and saute till tomatoes are cooked. Let cook for sometime.
2. In a blender add the above mixture,coconut,salt, sambar powder and chilli powder. Blend till a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Splutter the mustard seeds in oil. Add the urad dal, curry leaves and allow the urad dal to brown.
4. Add the tempering and cilantro to the blended mixture. Check for salt. Serve with dosa or idli.

We love the smoky and burnt taste of the urad dal. It pairs very well with the tangy tomato. You can add more ginger to get a nice hot chutney.

Want some ?

 Goes to this month's Healing Food - Tomato event started by Siri of Siri's Corner.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indian Quesadillas with roasted tomato salsa

Pin It Now! Using the words 'Indian' and Quesadillas in the same line would raise eyebrows. Isnt it ? But actually I do not like the grocery store tortillas.They have some kind of bitter after-taste that puts me off.
So this week I tried masquerading rotis as tortillas and made some Spinach,Goat Cheese and Caramelized onion quesadillas with some roasted tomato salsa. Quite a mouthful of title but a flavorful one !

Quesadillas and Salsa
This was a fun-meal a nice change from the usual dal,sabzi,rotis.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

1. Cut 4-5 tomatoes in half and sprinkle salt,pepper and 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Add 5-6 cloves of garlic and coat the tomatoes and garlic nicely with olive oil and the spices. Spread on baking tray (lined with foil for easy cleanup) cut side up. Bake for 20 mins till the tomatoes have wilted and turned brown from below.

2. When cooled finely chop the tomatoes and garlic.To this add :
                 1/2 an onion finely chopped
                  salt to taste
                 crushed red chillies ( amount depending on how spicy you want)
                 handful of cilantro

3. Enjoy with your favorite chips or with the quesadillas below.

The amount of tomatoes and garlic is approximate. I just use what ever  leftovers I have in the crisper. And when I see tomatoes at 88c/lb I cant wait to make more of this salsa. I have made it a couple of times now and we are always craving for more. Actually its the flavor of the roasted tomatoes and garlic that we enjoy very much.

Now to the quesadillas - 

This recipe is more of just assembling and then letting the quesadillas cook themselves.
1. Finely cut 1 onion into thin strips and saute for a few minutes till lightly brown and caramelized. 
2. Place a roti ( I used the frozen one from Costco) onto a hot pan and let it cook on both sides.

3. Now spread some of salsa(recipe above),caramelized onions and the baby spinach(store bought works best) and finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes(optional).

4.Spread some crumbled goat cheese and place another cooked roti. Press down.

5. Cut into wedges and serve with roasted tomato salsa.

This quesadillas is really an explosion of flavours. The sweetness from the onions, creaminess from the goat cheese and slightly tart tomatoes and salsa.If you have never tried goat cheese before then try picking some at your next trip to the grocery store. Use them where you would use your other cheeses and see if you like it.

See ya !

Friday, July 9, 2010

Alphonso Mango Icecream

Pin It Now! Summer vacations in my childhood were marked by frequent visits to my favorite ice-cream shop located in the heart of Pune,India - Kawre Colddrinks. This place served all the summer flavours - mango,anjeer(figs),pistachioand so many more. My favourite was the Mango Icecream using the freshest Alphonso mangoes of the season.
The hapus(alphonso) mango is one of the sweetest varierty of mango. Its extremely popular in the state of maharastra speically in the konkan region.

 source : Wikipedia
More about it here.
Though we do not get alphonso(hapus) in Houston what we get is the tinned mango pulp.Not that good as fresh mango but we still love it.
This week I invited few of my very dear friends for tea party. I kept the menu simple but flavourful - sweet and spicy dabeli, crispy-crunchy chivda,date cake for the ones with a sweet tooth and to wrap it up - mango ice-cream. The mango-icecream was oh-so-good. It replicated the Kawre magic quite easily.

So without further adieu here's the recipe.
Adapted from Jugalbandi's Express Mango Ice-cream.


1 14oz can sweetened condensed
1 can kesar mango pulp (one avalaible in indian grocery store)
 1 8oz container of cool-whip (fat-free ok)

1. Mix the pulp and the condensed milk to smooth.
2.Now add the cool-whip and blend with a hand blender till the mixture is smooth. To avoid spluttering blend first at low speed and be sure to use a tall container.Alternately you can also blend in a jar blender.
3. Freeze in a air-tight container until set. Makes about 2 quarts

This is so soft creamy thatI did not get much time to take the pics before it started melting.Also everytime one of us open the freezer we stop to have a spoonful of it ! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you Jai and Bee for this wonderful recipe.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Taste Of Yellow - Mango Crumble

Pin It Now! The rain gods have played havoc here in Houston today. Its been quite sometime since I experienced the fierce side of Mother Nature. And while I kept my little one occupied with rain songs like "Yere Yere Pausa.." (rain rain come again.. if you mean to translate it literally) I certainly did not mean it. For firstly I had to drive and second that it was the long weekend and I really did not want to spend it at home.

But still it was a good break from the sultry sticky humid weather that we have been experiencing lately. As with every weekend I had a dessert planned for this one too. A nice warm mango crumble to complement the cool outsides. The moment I saw it on this site I knew it was my kind of dessert - simple,fruity and not overly sweet.
I did not have enough mangoes to fill up my ramekins so I added a few strawberries. The end result was really a treat !
Here's how I made it :-


2 (or more) ramekins full of chopped mango and strawberry
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
2 tbsp honey

For the topping :-
1 tbsp whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tbsp coursely crushed almonds
1 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
2 tbsp turbinado sugar ( any brown sugar would be equally good)

1. Mix the fruits,cinnamon powder and the honey and toss gently. Fill into individual ramekins.
2. Mix the ingredients for the topping until the mixture resemble course breadcrumbs.
3. Top the ramekins with topping mixture.
4. Bake at 350F for 10-12 mins till mixture is bubbly and top browns. Take cake not to dry out the mixture by baking it longer.

It was so good. The sweetness from the honey and the heat from the mangoes,a perfect combination.
Thanks Sunita for yet another wonderful recipe !