Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies

Today is Halloween.Here is a fun cookie for satisfying that sweet tooth of the little goblins,witches or monsters in your family.Wish you all a happy and safe Halloween.
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

Orange paste food color
2  oz semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled

 Mix the butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract together in one bowl with electric mixer or hand mixer
 In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, together combine the wet and Dry ingredients. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.
Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.
Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Boiled Peanuts

Peanuts were a favorite of mine while growing up. Generally we had this as plain roasted peanuts, masala peanuts or the candied peanuts. Once when I was young, I had these boiled peanuts and I always wanted to try this. So when my daughter wanted to have the shelled peanuts from the grocery store, I thought of making this. And when I was looking this up, I realized that this is a simple preparation popular around the world. This is how to make boiled peanuts as done in China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, USA, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan.


Raw Peanuts - Enough to fill your pot
Water - Enough to cover the peanuts
Salt - 6-8 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water used


If your raw peanuts are in the shell then rinse them several times in cool water to remove debris.
Put the raw peanuts into a pressure cooker. Leave at least 4" room at the top.

Add water (measure as you fill) until it reaches no more than 3" from the top of the pressure cooker.

Add Salt to the cooker (6-8 tablespoons per gallon of water used).

Stir the contents and bring it to a rolling boil.Put the weight and pressure cook on low for 35 minutes .To check whether they are done, pull 1 or 2 peanuts out and crack them open. When they are soft, they are done. If they are still slightly crunchy, they are not done yet, If they are not salty enough, leave them in the salted water and turn off the heat. When they are done, drain and serve immediately

Monday, October 25, 2010


This is a very easy one pot meal .And this is that dish I cook on days I have an asthma attack ,I think now  you people can guess how easy it is.Though its easy it doesn't compromise on taste or nutrition,you will understand when you read the ingredients used.This tastes well when its still warm.I like to have this with some mango pickle.
Basmati rice or Jasmine rice-1 cup
Mung Dhal-1/2 cup
Cut vegetables(carrots,peas,beans,potato)-1& 1/2cups
Cumin-1 tsp
Ghee-2 tsp
Asofoetida -1/4 tsp
Green chilli-2
Salt as required
Heat a pressure cooker and add ghee. When the ghee is hot add the cumin,asofoetida and turmeric.Immediately add the vegetables, dhall,rice ,salt and 2 1/4 cups of water .Close the cooker and when steam comes put the weight and reduce the heat and pressure cook for 5 minutes.After the 5 minutes and when the pressure is released open the cooker stir all the contents well.Now you have your warm tasty and nutritious meal ready .

Monday, October 18, 2010


Two days back it was my birthday and my husband and daughter surprised me by making me a Tiramisu. I was surprised because they both had a bad history when it comes to desserts. Even though they could make some passable savory dishes they had proved to be bad pastry chefs in the past. The reason behind their success this time may be their love for this Italian wonder.Whatever it be I was one happy birthday girl! So  for those of you out there who are not so experienced as pastry chefs, this is one easy recipe you could try. And thank you my dears for this yummy treat.
1cup vanilla pudding
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese or (8oz of cream cheese, one-fourth cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sour cream mix these together well)
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfingers or pound cake or yellow cake cut into two layers
1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur(1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp of coffee)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate or in this case M&M's
Combine vanilla pudding,mascarpone and sugar. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into the mixture and set aside.
Split the lady fingers in half, and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. Brush with coffee liqueur. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat ladyfingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

French Beans 'N Potatoes

Last Sunday, I was feeling rather lazy to cook. Usually when we have rice  I would make a curry and some stir fried vegetables to go with it. But this day I was not feeling like doing much. But still, I didn't want to disappoint my Hubby. I was thinking of what I had in the refrigerator - I had some green beans in there and some potatoes. Then I thought of something I had some time back at a restaurant - something with green beans and potatoes in it. Though I had no clue as to how to make it, I thought of trying it out my special way. And as it turns out it was a hit!

Potatoes - 4 medium
French beans - 1/2 lbs
Onion - 1
Ginger - 1/2'' piece
Garlic - 4 cloves
Tomatoes - 1 small
Butter - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp

Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes and cook them. Slit the french beans in the middle and cut them into 1" long pieces. Cook this separately in water with salt. Saute the onion with ginger, garlic and tomatoes in 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil starts to separate, add all the powders, and saute for another 2 minutes. Now add the cooked beans and potatoes and saute them together till it dries up. Now add the butter and mix it. Optionally, you can add curry leaves to it. Serve hot.

This goes well with rice and chapathi.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bubble Tea

My daughter wanted bubble tea when we went to our local Asian store.But as it was almost closing time, they were out of their bubble tea stock.I had a very disappointed girl who was almost in tears; so I promised her that I would make her the bubble tea myself.I recreated it based on what I remembered it to taste.As per my tasters my bubble tea tasted better than the store bought one.My secret ingredient was love ;) 


Evaporated milk-1 can
Sugar-6 tbs
Tapioca pearls-1/4th cup 
Tea bags-4

Caramelize 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the caramel, add the tapioca pearls to it and cook for 3 minutes.Turn the fire off and keep it covered for 45 minutes.Meanwhile, heat the evaporated milk with 1 cup of water and when it starts to boil turn off the fire and add the sugar and tea bags. Remove tea bags after a few minutes and refrigerate the tea. After 45 minutes check on the tapioca pearls; they would be almost translucent. Add to it 1 more cup of hot water and boil this for 2 more minutes, take it off the fire and close it with a lid.The pearls would be ready in 10 minutes. Now refrigerate this till it is cool enough.When you are in a mood to have bubble tea take 4 tbs of tapioca pearls in a tall glass and fill it with the cold tea made earlier. Add a cube or more of ice and stir.Your bubble tea is ready to sip.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Neypayasam (Ghee Payasam)

Neypayasam or ghee payasam as we call it at home is usually made in the temples or even at home on special days as offerings to Gods. I made this as an offering for our pooja today.
Jasmine Rice/Basmati rice: 1cup
Jaggery: 2 cups
Cashew nut: 1/4cup
Raisins:1/8 cup
Ghee: 2 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.

Wash the rice and cook in a pressure cooker using 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Dissolve the jaggery in one cup of water. Strain the jaggery and pour the strained syrup to the cooked rice in the cooker .Add ghee ,cashew nuts and raisins to this. Pressure cook further for 1 minute more and then open the cooker. Keep stirring until all the liquid is evaporated. Add  cardamom powder and now your ghee payasam is ready.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Molten Lava Cake

Sweet Punch for October was this ooey gooey wonder .This is an easy one to make, with very few ingredients.I mixed the batter a few hours before baking ,and left it in the refrigerator as I made this to serve for a dinner party.As this was refrigerated I had to bake an additional 10 minutes.Everyone who ate it was bowled our by its taste.
Recipe source -


Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate – 4 oz (113g)
Butter – 4 oz (113g)
Eggs – 2
Sugar – 1/3 cup (75 g)
All-purpose Flour – 1/4 cup (40g)
Butter – for greasing ramekins


1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully.
4. Add chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelain bowls) and pour in mixture about 3/4 way full.
6. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 – 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside.
7. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mango Popsicles

You all will be wondering why Popsicles, that too now,when its already fall.Though its officially  Fall  now  we had a very hot week.The.temperature went up as high as 98 degrees Fahrenheit .I thought it as a good opportunity to finish up some mango puree and yogurt that I had.So I mixed them both and voila.I have a yummy Popsicle.Its so easy and yummy at the same time so give it a try.
Mango Puree-2 cups(I used store bought mango puree)
Yogurt (plain)-1/2 cup
Sugar -to taste

Pour mango puree into a medium bowl with the yogurt and sugar, whisk until smooth.
Divide into popsicle molds and freeze, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Dip popsicle molds in hot water to release the pops before serving.
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