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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Best of 2011

As the year comes to an end, I bid adieu without regrets (even though the list of 2011 Resolutions still remains outstanding!) All I can do now is reminisce about the unexpected, yet joyful year 2011 turned out to be. :-) To start a blog is one thing (I've done that before) but to be committed to it without getting bored is something really new for me! I think this is what inspired action is all about! And it may sound clichéd, but it is you, the reader, who has kept me going on. I sincerely hope that I learn more and more and work towards making the blog more helpful and true to its name:- entertaining. :-)

It is really difficult deciding your best works when you consider each and every dish to be your baby! :-) I ain't a novice when it comes to cooking, but I am also very proud of each and every thing I've ever cooked (which comes to about 160 dishes based on the number of blog posts!) Yet, with a lot of difficulty, I managed to shortlist 10 of the dishes which I consider to be my best works.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I finally found a way to use the half a tin of condensed milk that had been sitting in my refrigerator since this post. Since I wanted to start afresh in 2012, I went exploring the net for what I could make with the condensed milk. I found awesome recipes but were too much of a hassle. And some just had too much butter, cream, sugar besides the condensed milk! I drooled every time I saw the pictures & cringed seeing the list of ingredients! Which is exactly why you'll understand my delight when I came across this recipe. I have renamed the dish coz it felt more fudgy rather than brownie-y :-D And they are delightfully chocolaty.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Self Saucing Coffee & Chocolate Pudding

Disclaimer - I hated it. But, that's because I hate coffee. The original, unbiased tester of all recipes of this blog, my brother, couldn't stop raving about it. In fact, he was silently praying that mom & dad would hate it too so that he could have it all! :-P So I guess if you are a coffee fan, this one is for you.
Even before starting this recipe, I was sure I wouldn't like it. But I felt that my blog needed a self-saucing pudding, no matter what the flavor maybe. And hence, I wrote the minimum amount of ingredients I could use and set about making it. (And even that yielded about 5 cups! - All of which went into bro's holy mouth :D) I referred to this recipe but made changes to the egg substitute Nags used coz I was still not too sure of using flax seed meal in place of eggs.
And in other news, cakes seem to bake really quickly in my new oven leaving me confused as to why something that should take 20 minutes gets done in 10 minutes. And I am still trying to figure it out. Meanwhile, I can't let the crust of my bakes burn so I'm thinking of covering the baking dish with an aluminum foil next time. (Is it a good idea?)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Vegetable Croquette (Kebab)

Continuing my quest for quick and low-fat snacks, I present to you these vegetable croquettes. Croquette is just a fancy name for our Desi kebab. When I had to hop to Neetu's picturesque blog for this week's BHW, I decided to make these. And since Croquette sounds cool, I decided to call it just that. :-D I altered the recipe to accommodate the ingredients I had. You can do so too. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Cucumber Bread Cups

Days when I am at home studying(?!), I constantly look for something interesting to eat. And chips or fries are not options anymore since they make me drowsy and of course, the obvious reason - they are loaded with empty calories! A quest for tasty yet somewhat healthy snack has led me to discover/invent quite a few interesting and quick recipes. Some work while some flop. This is one of those that has worked.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Tomato Soup (Healing Foods)

I usually advocate for eating fruits & vegetables in whole. I hate to see beautiful tomatoes or strawberries ground beyond recognition. But, being teeny bit hypocritical, I (only) love tomato soup. I usually drink this when I'm sick and it is such a comfort during those days when you have a coughing marathon. Adding croutons to the soup makes it filling and tasty. And the best part of this soup is > Almost Zero Efforts. Boil the veggies, throw them in the blender & blend away.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Eggless Golden Yellow Cake > *Christmas 2011*

Merry Christmas Y'all! :-D
10 years ago, my neighbor, who also happens to be my best friend Jennybum (oops, Jennifer) and I were deciding what to ask Santa Claus. We were in 3rd grade then. We made big plans, kept milk & biscuits for Santa & wrote down our long list of gifts, seeing which, if Santa had been real, would surely have had a heart attack! :-D It was Selvi Aunty, Jenny's mom who was our *secret Santa*. We settled for pencil boxes & crayons. :-) Selvi aunty's yellow cake, strawberry swirl cake, cookies and so many more goodies made all my childhood Christmases.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Paneer Chilli | Chinese style Cottage Cheese

Paneer Chilli, an Indo-Chinese dish is a fusion of the Indian ingredient Paneer (cottage cheese) with the Chinese style of cooking. Its very simple to make and is an amazing party starter. And not too oily either :-) Of course, if you aren't one of those who like fusion food, then you should stay away from this. :-D

Friday, 23 December 2011

Pizza Pinwheels

With every new dish you learn something new. And what did I learn this time? Always buy your YEAST fresh. Since I didn't have an oven for the past 4 months, I didn't use yeast at all. And today when I used it- well, it deceived me. The dough didn't rise at all! I knew there wasn't any problem with my yeast-proofing. (let me take a moment to boast here and say, I'm a pro when it comes to yeast :-D) But I didn't realize that the dry yeast that I bought in January this year wouldn't work its magic. But I went ahead and baked it anyway. Since the dough didn't rise, I could only make 4 pinwheels instead of the estimated 8. Next time, I'm gonna try it with fresh yeast.
Of course, I could have used assorted vegetables for the filling, but since my mood was deflated by yeast, I only used tomato ketchup, cheese, garlic & onions. The final dish looked and tasted really great. All my fears were put to a rest. :-)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Double Decker Pizza

Here’s a dish I came up with sitting on the upper deck of a double-decker bus in Mumbai. Hence the name: Double-Decker Pizza. It’s funny how the mind comes up with ideas when you least expect it to. But that’s how it is, heh? :) Once again, with Pizza, you never have to follow the recipe to the *T*. Play with the spices & include the veggies you love!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Rotini Pasta with Cheese Sauce (Microwave)

Um.... I have been staring at the computer screen for the past 10 minutes trying to come up with a good introduction for this post. But every time I look at the Cheesy Pasta, I fail to do justice to this sinful pleasure! :-D So, I decided to just upload the pictures & get on with the recipe :-)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How to cook Pasta in the Microwave

A short post on boiling Pasta in the Microwave. Nothing much to talk here.
You probably realized that my next post would be a Pasta-based one. :-D

Cheese Sauce

It is perhaps the most versatile sauce you will ever come across. Use it as a dip or as a spread, it yields yummilicious results! Serve it with boiled vegetables or with Pasta or in classics like Macaroni & Cheese or use it as a dip for Nachos... In short, this is the perfect condiment! :-D

Monday, 5 December 2011

Malai Kofta | Veg Balls dipped in rich gravy (Microwave version)

Koftas are basically deep fried mixed vegetable balls that are dipped in a rich gravy just before serving. There are different types of Kofta Curries one can make. Of all the koftas, Malai Kofta is what we hear often. And it is one of my most favorite side-dishes ever!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Healthy Lunch Challenge - Roundup PART III

It took me almost a week to compile so many entries (over a 100!) but it was worth the effort! I want you all to know that I'm really thankful! This is my very first (guest host) event & I'm really happy that it received such an awesome response!

We have some amazing entries! This is the final part of the Roundup. Do check out Part I & Part II of the roundup too... You'll never run out of ideas for lunch (or dinner) :D 
Soya Tamatari - Kavi                          Eggplant in peanut sauce - Paaka Shale

Healthy Lunch Challenge: Roundup - Part II

Before I move on, did you check Part I of the Healthy Lunch Roundup?
Here I am with another 50 great looking dishes for a healthy lunch... With so many options, I don't think lunch will ever be boring again! :-D

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Healthy Lunch Challenge - Roundup PART I

Hi friends!

It has been a great month! I had so much fun guest hosting my first event - HCC: Healthy Lunch! And its all thanks to Smita- who let me be the host! :-) I would like to thank each and every one of you who linked their posts to my event! I've got so many yummy lunch options now! I've got a whopping 150 entries for this event! Can you imagine?! Freaking 150! I expected at least 30 entries in 30 days! But I never expected this kind of magnitude! I am so overwhelmed and delighted! :-D

Now for the part 1 of the Healthy Lunch Challenge roundup ... *Trumpets Blowing*
Upma Kozhakattai - My mom                      Kavi - Chole

♫ Jingle All The Way ♫ - Event Announcement

To celebrate the most jolly season of the year, I'm announcing the event for December 2011 - Jingle All The Way.

THE THEME: Anything you make during the festivals of December. (Christmas, Hanukkah, Karthikai, Muharram etc.) It need not be a recipe. It can even be stories or pictures related to the festivals celebrated during this time. 

Kindly go through the rules and make sure you comply with ALL of them to be eligible for the roundup.

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