Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Minute-5 Ingredient, no bake Cheesecake

Even though I love cheesecakes, I don't make this that often, thinking of the calories that I need to burn if I have it. But during the weekend when I went shopping to the local supermarket they were handing out some cheesecake samples which tasted very delicious. I was feeling like buying it, but again, the thought of all those calories prevented me.. Still I could not get over the craving for it. So I searched for any options out there for a less calorie cheesecake and found this one. Not only that the calories are less, this was such a breeze to make and tasted as good as the best ones.
Recipe source: HubPages
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 8 ounce tub of cool whip
1/3 cup of lemon or lime juice
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 graham cracker crust
(If you want to make it even lighter, you may substitute with light condensed milk, cool whip lite and lite cream cheese)

The key to this recipe is to make sure that the cream cheese is softened to room temperature. If it's still too cool, it will cause icky lumps.Cream the cool whip, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and blend until just combined. Pour mixture immediately to a  graham crust. Refrigerate for an hour to and hour and a half or even better overnight.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Strawberry Lassi

Is a popular and traditional yogurt-based drink which originates in the Punjab region of India. It is a cool, refreshing and healthy  "pick me up" drink perfect for any time of day. Lassi is flavored with sugar, mango, strawberry or other fruit juices
 10 ripe strawberries, rinsed
 2 tbs sugar
 1/4 cup whole milk
 1 cup  yogurt
 3 ice cubes(optional if using frozen strawberries)
Blend everything together in a blender. Serve in a tall glass topped with additional strawberry slices if desired.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spinach, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomato Omelet

Hope you all wonderful mothers had a fabulous mothers day. I sure had one  with lots of pampering. My day started off with this delicious omelet and grilled veggies courtesy my dear hubby. This was one delicious breakfast which I would love to have any day.
2 large eggs
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons crumbled Feta
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, swirling it to coat the pan. When the butter stops sizzling, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the bottom is set, about 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, pull the set eggs at the edges of the pan toward the center, allowing the unset eggs to run from the center to the sides. (Adjust the heat if necessary to prevent browning.) Continue to cook until a thin layer of unset egg is visible on top.
Sprinkle with the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and Feta; fold the eggs over the filling. Transfer to a plate and serve
 Mother's day present by Aishwarya

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Wishing all the mothers a great Mothers Day!
This is a cake that leaves you feeling refreshed and light after eating.  Even the cream part alone is so yummy and irresistible. It is a chocolate cake with a light pink frosting(owing to the strawberries and the strawberry jello used), but it doesn't look pink in the photograph though. As I made this cake for a party and didn't have much time to spend on retakes, I let it be as it is.
I was a little apprehensive when I was making this frosting, as I thought that probably the jello and the strawberry flavor would overpower the whipped cream. But surprisingly though, it all combined well enough and turned out to be a wonderful treat.

Chocolate cake (made 2 sheet cakes by doubling the recipe)
Strawberry Whipped Cream:
1 pint whipped cream
2-3 teaspoons strawberry gelatin
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons food processed strawberries(take some fresh strawberries, wash them, remove the stems, and throw them in the food processor until they become a thick, seedy liquid)
strawberry Whipped Cream:  Beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form.  Stir in gelatin and powdered sugar until desired taste is reached.
For the Glaze:
4 oz (115 g) high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. *Be careful to not get even a droplet of water into your bowl of chocolate and butter.
Assembly of Cake:
Chill sheet cake in freezer for 30 minutes, or refrigerator for several hours. The cake will be a bit sticky, but should not be soft and fragile. If so, place in freezer or refrigerator again until more firm.
Using a sharp, serrated bread knife, cut the cake in half, then those halves in half--4 total. The pieces will be 11" long and about 4.5" wide.
Place 1st layer face-up (on a platter, or whatever you choose to serve the cake on), and spread about 1/2" thick layer of whipped cream on top. Repeat this step finally place your final layer face down.
Crumb Coat  cake with thin layer of whipped cream using a small offset spatula for the top and a straight offset spatula for the sides--if you have a metal bench scraper, you can run along cake to get smooth finish and to achieve sharp corners. Always start at the top of the cake, working your way down. Chill cake for about 30 minutes, or pop back in freezer for 10-15 more minutes to set cream.
Using  clean tools, add a thick layer of whipped cream on the top of the cake, working it over the edges and then finish the sides. Be very generous with your whipped cream, because you will be scraping most of it off with the scraper. It just makes it so much easier to get the smooth finish. Chill the cake for as long as you need, but at least 15 minutes to set the cream.
Drizzle your warm (but not hot) ganache over the top of your very chilled cake so it seeps down the sides. Be careful not to use too much, or you will lose your pink cake underneath! You can use your clean small offset metal spatula to smooth it over the top. Chill to set.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wheat Puttu

We always used to get the best home made rice flour to make puttu, courtesy to my parents and in-laws. But the puttu powder that we bring back from our trip to India would not last till the next visit, as we tend to make puttu quite often. It was difficult for me to adjust to puttu made with the store bought puttu powder. So to make my precious home made puttu powder last longer, I started experimenting with other options.
Since we get good quality wheat flour here in the US, I first started experiemting with it. But my first few attempts were not up to the mark. Then I came across this nice recipe which proved to be a winner.
Recipe source: Kerala Kitchen
Wheat flour - 2 cups
Coconut, grated - 1/2
Salt - to taste
Water for mixing.
Sieve the wheat flour and salt together. Sprinkle water (very little) on the flour and mix it gently(wheat tends to form a dough easily with water so do not pour water only sprinkle little by little). The flour should be wet enough for steaming. Put wet flour in the food processor and pulse it just for a second or two. It'll help the small lumps to break apart and form a nice wet powdery texture . Now mix half of the coconut to the flour and mix it. put two teaspoon of grated coconut in the puttu maker and then add the flour mix.If you don't have a puttu maker, you can use a steamer instead. Just line it with the remaining coconut and spread the flour mix over it and steam it for about 4 minutes.
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