Crispy Cucumber Cups

crisp n fresh

These tiny little edible salad cups make a great appetizer. What’t not to like? These look so cute, are very easy to make, and the best part – they are so good for you!

The coolness from the cucumber the crunch from the carrots, the kick from ginger and the citrus from the lime zest… make these a perfect way to refresh after a hot summer day and get ready for a great evening.

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Foodography

Aesthetics have always been very important to me, don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge a book by its cover but all I am saying is … It can’t hurt to make something look good. That is precisely what I like to do to the food I dish out – make it look good (making it taste good is the main goal, which goes without saying).

Since there is no way (yet) for me to let you smell, taste, touch or eat the things I prepare, I figured I can upload some pictures to indulge your sense of sight. If food talked, I would have uploaded some conversations with it just for your ears :p, but alas!

I have been taking these pictures since a long time now, to share with my family back home. I would have written a recipe post for these but that would be cheating, since I have resolved to add a new post everyday. No stale food will be served in person or online. EVER!

So this is just a page to share  pretty pictures of my previous experiments and today’s post will be added later in the day.

PS: Yes, again! Shubham and I both like to think that we cook good food and both of us say that the other one cooks better 😉 but we have a sort of undeclared Iron Chef competition going on. Tell you what, if it was declared, I will take away all the points for plating :).

Accidental Camouflage

Accidental Camoflage

I wonder why this butterfly chose to blend in with this withering flower!  What was the purpose that evolution had in mind when designing this match? In a way it is great, its not being wasteful.

On a side note, I was happy to focus on the subjects and blur the background in this photograph.

French Baguettes

Wakey wakey and Bakey Bakey. I baked these amazing french baguettes the other day. I was surprised at how well they turned out! Every time I look at the pictures I took that day, I start imagining myself as a ten year old little girl wearing a cute dress, riding her cruiser bike around in a french looking town and delivering these delicious baguettes to everyone from her basket!

To bake these I followed this  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Baguettes/Detail.aspx .

roll out the dough..

Roll out the dough..

now make a roll of the rolled out dogh

Make a roll of the rolled out dough

let it rise and bake..

Let it rise and bake.

voila!

Voila!

Shubham thought I got them from Harris Teeter :P

Shubham thought I got them from the local Harris Teeter :P, yay Me!

For the Love of Ricotta!

I was obsessed with Ricotta cheese for a while, and it showed. I swear it was easier to spot it on my body than in my cooking! Who cares! I openly confess— YES! Ricotta, you are sinful, I have sinned, and I cannot have enough of you. Although, I have to declare that I am still in love with Desi Ghee and always will be.

To get back to my obsession with Ricotta, I put it in everything for a while — from banana walnut pancakes with brown sugar,to lemon drop cookies,to pineapple orange cake, to mango souffle! Ricotta imparted a heavenly, light, and fluffy texture to everything it went into… including my thighs. During the Ricotta ages – I also lacked the discipline to click a picture of the deliciousness before digging in. I blame it all on the Ricotta, you can too!

Fluffy and airy banana walnut pancake

Fluffy and airy banana walnut pancake

photo 2 photo 3

So, I have decided to quit cold turkey. No more ricotta in my house now… for sometime :p

Carrot Ginger Soup

I loved this soup it is so easy, so quick, and sooooo good! I hadn’t been feeling very well lately…was coughing all night. So, my mother asked me to have a lot of ginger, turmeric and cloves. These herbs are amazing and I am already feeling better. My body was begging me to give it more ginger. Ginger has a lot of health benefits. Indian moms instill that in you, i.e, health benefits of herbs and spices. They always concoct some home remedy for any small problem you have.  So, I missed my mom a lot when I accidentally came across this show by James Wong. The show is all about home remedies and is called – Grow your own drugs.

I confess, even though my mom and my mom-in-law coaxed me to quickly mix a few kitchen ingredients and make a remedy that makes me feel better, I wasn’t motivated enough to get out of bed and do all the work. But, when I was lazily flipping channels and came across this show,  I took it as a sign – “Ketki, you must now get out of bed and make your own medicine”, said a voice in the back of my head.   Therefore, I made this soup and the soup made me feel so much better that I went ahead and made the poppy seeds thingy as well (the one that my mom-in-law suggested).

I followed this recipe for the soup and it turned out to be very healthy and hearty. I am definitely gonna make it again.

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Orange Pineapple cake with Ricotta Cheese based frosting.

A scrumptious cake made from cake mix with a very simple twist!

This cake started of as an experiment but now I will make this my signature cake for sure! It is so heavenly that I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I sat down with a beautiful piece so that I can take a picture and upload it – but temptation triumphed!

The cake mix box says combine 1 cup water, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and bake at 350 F. Now thats boring! I added three simple ingredients – orange, ricotta cheese and confectioner’s sugar and came up with this delightful and decadent cake.

Here is what I did –

Set the oven to 350 F.

I scraped the orange peel lightly with a grater to get the zest and I used a citrus juicer to extract the juice of the orange.

I then combined 3 eggs, 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/6 cup ricotta cheese and 1/6 cup vegetable oil with the cake mix. I folded in 1/2 tsp orange zest with the batter.

I baked it in a square pan for about 40 minutes and surprisingly it is very moist – I suspect thats because of the ricotta cheese.

I later whisked together 1 tbsp milk, 2 tbsp ricotta cheese, leftover orange zest, and 1/2 cup or more (make it as sweet as you like) confectioner’s sugar to use as frosting.

Things I used –

1 Orange, 1 packet pineapple cake mix, 3 eggs, half of 1/3 cup vegetable oil (1/6 cup), 1 tbsp milk, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, bowl, hand mixer, citrus juicer, grater, and most important- an oven :P.

Try it and let me know if you like it!

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Paneer stuffed biscuit!

I had been aching to bake since the breadsticks turned out so good. That was a long time ago, I baked them yesterday:) and I was honestly aching to bake! I dreamt about all these baked goodies in the little sleep that I got. Bear claw, biscuits, pizzas, cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes…you name it and I wanted it.
Anyway I had been thinking about trying empanadas or calzones but I really don’t like frying… So I thought of giving my absolute favorite southern food- ‘the biscuit’, a North Indian twist and satisfy all my cravings at once. Brilliant 😀

How did I do that?

I made the dough for normal buttermilk biscuits set the oven to 400 F. I then let the dough sit, the oven preheat and in the meantime I made my filling : diced paneer, scallions, cilantro, Thai chili pepper, red pepper, tomato paste, salt, sugar and a pinch of garam masala. I took one egg, made the egg wash and used the rest in the filling.
Press the dough flat on a tiny dusted cast iron skillet layer on the filling cover with a layer of flat dough, secure the circumference by pressing all around. Brush the top with egg wash. Make three tiny slits at the top and bake for 12 minutes! That’s it, And don’t forget to serve with bacon:)

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