Scary Menu for the Halloween Party

Hey pals! Hope you my Halloween cocktails were spooky enough to be on the menu list of Halloween cocktails. I have yet amazing stuff to stuff you with. Check out my scary menu right away.

Deadly Meatloaf

Deadly Meatloaf

Deadly Meatloafs – There is flesh (minced beef), there is blood (tomato sauce), there are eyeballs (mashed potato) and teeth (stir-fried onions) and this is what makes a perfect meatloaf for the Halloween’s dinner table. Take a wok and add in ginger-garlic paste plus red chillies. Now add grated onions and tomato puree. Lastly add in minced beef or any minced meat of your choice. Stir-fry! Cover and cook till the meat is chewy and soft. Present it my way. Rest add in your creativity!

Spooky Fingers

Spooky Fingers

Spooky Fingers – Talking about spooky food, these Halloween fingers are really creepy for all the kids and adult on the party. The process is super easy and the treat is really yummy. Beat sugar, almond and vanilla extracts in a bowl. Add in flour, baking powder and egg. Make a dough. Form into fingers, using forks. Add strawberry jam on tips. Thereby place and press sliced almonds as shown. Bake till done. Serve the spooky, bloody yet tasty and nutty fingers!

Bloody Eyes Pasta

Bloody Eyes Pasta

Bloody Eyes Pasta – Fond of pasta? Boil spinach pasta. Prepare a sauce of basil, chillies and tomatoes. You can add in minced meat too. I always do that for real meaty craving. Scoop crumbled cottage cheese to make eyeballs. For pupil, use black olives. Add saffron threads as shown on the eyeballs. Enjoy the fiery and feary pasta! The kids are actually gonna love it. So what crazy are you trying this Halloween?

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Have a Deadly Halloween. Ho ha ha ha!

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Celebrate Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi with Milk Peda

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian independence movement when Britishers ruled India. I admire his quote, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. Happiness has many definitions. For most of us happiness is love, and for me happiness is “Love for Food”. BTW did you know some of the food that Mahatma Gandhi relished includes yogurt, brinjal, radish, beetroot, bottle gourd and fruit juice?

Milk Fudge Sweet or Milk Peda

Milk Fudge Sweet or Milk Peda

DYK that Mahatma Gandhi was strict vegetarian? Mahatma Gandhi relished simple Indian food such as daal, rice and chappati. Daal, dhal or dal is lentils stew or curry. Hope you enjoyed my Indian recipe cooked with lentils called “Dalma”. Among the desserts, Mahatma Gandhi relished Peda. Peda is traditional Indian milk fudge sweet. So let’s celebrate Gandhi Jayanti or birthday of the “Father of the Nation” with delicious Peda.

Ingredients:-

1 pinch of Saffron,

¾ cup Milk Powder,

4 Green Cardamoms,

1 pinch of Nutmeg Powder,

200 grams Condensed Milk,

½ tablespoon Clarified Butter.

Preparation Method:-

1. Mix condensed milk, milk powder plus clarified butter in a microwave bowl. Blend well and make sure that no lumps are left out. Crush cardamoms in to a fine powder. Discard the peels.

2. Microwave the mixture on high for a minute. Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron. Stir this, microwave on high for a minute. Remove and stir again.

3. Microwave for 20 seconds on high, then check. If the mixture looks a bit liquid, microwave it for next 20 seconds. The mixture will thicken automatically.

4. If the mixture still has moisture and is in liquid form, then microwave again on high for 20 seconds.

5. When the mixture becomes warm, shape it into small balls. If the mixture is sticky, apply some oil or clarified butter while shaping into small balls. You can also give them beautiful shape with the help of cookie mould, creating an impression on the top as I have done.

6. On cooling, store these sweets in an airtight box. Refrigerate. Serve the milk pedas/milk fudge sweet when required.

Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

Enjoy birthday of Father of the Nation with milk fudge sweet!

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Trifle

It was my grandma’s birthday and I decided to prepare a sweet treat for her. She is diabetic, but who says not to consume chocolate while we are watching our sugar intake. She is very fond of desserts just like me. Last time I prepared Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe to cheer her up on this special day. I have something yet special for her this time. She loves cake recipes. Enjoy making rich and moist trifle for your loved ones and bring a huge smile on their face. Whatever ingredients I am using are diabetic friendly. Chocolate lowers cholesterol level. It prevents memory decline. It reduces heart disease risk and also prevents stroke. Cherries on the other hand is booster of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It also helps in reducing bad cholesterol. So let’s bake the cake.

Yummy Chocolate Trifle

Yummy Chocolate Trifle Cups

Ingredients:-

3/4 cup Water;

2 cups fat-free Milk;

1 package pitted Cherries;

2 drops of Red Food Coloring;

Sugar-free Chocolate curls to taste;

2 cups thawed Fat-free frozen Whipped Topping;

1 package Chocolate Sugar-free, Low-fat Cake Mix;

1 package Chocolate Sugar-free, Fat-free Instant Pudding Mix.

Preparation Method:-

1. Preheat oven to 375 D.F.

2. Mix cake mix using 3/4 cup water. Bake till cake is done, use knife to check this.

3. The cake mixture should not stick to the knife. Let the cake cool in pan. Remove from pan. Cut into small cubes.

4. Prepare pudding mix using 2 cups of fat-free milk. Chill for at least 40 minutes.

5. Thaw cherries reserving 1/4 cup juice. Mix cherries, food coloring and juice together.

6. Place half of cake cubes in a 3-quart trifle bowl. Spoon half of cherries over cake. Spread 1 cup pudding over cherries, and top with half of whipped topping.

7. Repeat layers. Garnish with chocolate curls. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. You can also serve in glasses as I have, in the same manner with feasible proportion. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Celebrate the chocolate treat!

Enjoy Chicken Korma on Eid-ul-Fitr

Hey pals! What’s up? Hope you enjoyed my sugar feast, Baklava for Id-ul-Fitr. Here I come with a special dinner recipe called Chicken Korma. Korma is a Muglai specialty. DYK it is AKA (also known as) qorma, kormaa, khorma or kurma. Meat braised in extra spicy sauce and mixed with yogurt, cream and nuts, makes the family dinner table really tempting with this exotic treat. The recipe can be best paired with Naan or Kashmiri Rice. There are many more recipes related to this special occasion like Mutton Biryani, which is definitely an ace and the one I have already shared with you. Other delights include:-

-Sevai Kheer (Dessert)

-Haleem

-Chicken Tikka

-Roasted Chicken with Cranberries Rice

-Lamb Bhuna (Roasted Lamb Curry)

Reshmi Kebabs

So I guess you have a bundle of meaty and sweet treat which you can definitely try on this long weekend.

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

Ingredients:-

2 Onions,

3 Tomatoes,

2 Green Chilies,

2 teaspoons Salt,

1 kg diced Chicken,

5 Black Peppercorns,

2 tablespoons Yogurt,

2 tablespoons Cream,

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice,

2 teaspoons Garlic Paste,

2 Black Cardamom Pods,

2 teaspoons Ginger Paste,

1 teaspoon Garam Masala,

1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder,

1 tablespoons Mustard Oil,

2 teaspoons Almond Paste.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. The heat must be medium high. Saute the sliced onions till they turn out to be golden brown.

  2. Add ginger, garlic, chili, mixed spices, salt, cardamom, and peppercorns and mix well. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the mixture. Also add almond paste. You can add tomato paste as well.

  3. Stir this mixture well for three minutes. Add the chicken and fry on high heat and coat the chicken mixture with the spices.

  4. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the chicken cook for 25 minutes. Add yogurt, lemon juice and chilies. Let cook on low heat for another 20 minutes.

  5. Serve with Kashmiri Pulao or Naan!

Best Wishes!

Best Wishes!

Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!


Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with Baklava

A much awaited Muslim festival is here. DYK that Eid is known by different names in different countries? It is known as Ramazan Bayram which means Ramadan Feast or Seker Bayram meaning Sugar Feast in Turkey. People chiefly enjoy the dessert called “Baklava”, which is also our recipe for this auspicious occasion. Elder people are kissed on their right hand denoting special regards and respect for them. In  Philippines, which is basically a Christian country, Eid is considered as a national holiday and is known as Wakas ng Ramadan.

Yummy Baklava!

Yummy Baklava!

In Indonesia, Eid-ul-Fitr is called Idul Fitri or Lebaran. Muslims pay visit to the resting place of their dear ones and pray so that their souls can rest in peace. Muslims in Africa also celebrate Eid with great pomp and show, feasting throughout Ramazan with their family, friends and ofcourse delectable food such as Mutton Biryani. Now I’m hungry 😛 . Baklava is a popular dessert of  Middle East. It is basically a sweet and rich pastry made up of layers of filo. It is stuffed with chopped nuts. It is assembled or held together by honey or sugar syrup. So without any waste of time, let’s start the sugar feast with a sugar dessert. Here we go!

Ingredients:-

¾ cup Water,

½ cup Honey,

2 sticks Butter,

1 cup granulated Sugar,

4 cups chopped Walnuts,

16 oz thawed Phyllo Dough,

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice,

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

For Garnishing:-

2 tablespoons chopped Walnuts for garnishing,

2 tablespoons chopped Pistachios for garnishing.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Thaw baklava as per package directions. Refrigerate overnight. Place it on the kitchen slab for 1 hour before you start preparing the recipe.

  2. Trim phyllo dough for fitting the baking dish. You can trim one stack at a time. Then cover it with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Moist bottom and sides of dish with melted butter.

  3. Prepare honey sauce now. In a saucepan, add ½ cup honey, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and ¾ cup water. Bring it to boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Let it cool.

  4. For Preparing Baklava:- Preheat oven to 325 D. F. Grind walnuts in a food processor till finely chopped. Take a bowl and add 4 cups walnuts and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

  5. Place 10 phyllo sheets in baking pan one by one. Brush each sheet with butter. Keep phyllo covered with damp towel. Spread ⅕ of walnut mixture over phyllo dough.

  6. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then layer of nuts. Then add rest 5 sheets. Brush the top with melted butter. Cut pastry into 1½ inches wide strips, in rectangular shape as shown. Bake at 325 D. F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven. Immediately add the cooled syrup uniformly over the hot baklava. Let baklava cool completely. Keep overnight as such so that syrup is fully absorbed.

  8. Garnish with walnuts and pistachios. Serve!

Best Wishes!

Best Wishes!

Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!

Healthy Recipes for Kids Birthday Party

Angela is my neighbor and we spend a lot of quality time together, especially on weekends. Yesterday was her son’s birthday party. Kids await for their birthday party throughout the year. The joy on their face for this special day, makes us forget all the pain and stress in life. Tom turned 11 this year and just as all the birthdays, Angela wanted to make it special for him and so I. Since on weekdays we hardly have anytime, we have to go for quick and easy recipes keeping health into consideration as we all love our children.

Yummy Burrito!

Yummy Burrito!

Burrito – Kids love to pick this Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Whole wheat rolls with tempting filling such as diced grilled chicken, tomatoes, grated carrots and greens make an excellent healthy snack loved by people of all age groups. You can also stir-fry these veggies. Serve it with your favorite sauce. I usually pair burrito with my fav dip recipe, Vegan Walnut and Red Pepper Dip. You must give it a try as well.

Ice Cream Salad

Ice Cream Salad

Fruit Salad with Ice cream – Fruit salad with Ice cream is a good way to make your kids eat seasonal fruits. The recipe is quite flexible. Add in diced fruits (seasonal fruits) like watermelon, mango, grapes, bananas, cantaloupe etc. Take scoops of ice-cream and top on the salad. I usually use strawberry and butterscotch flavor. Serve in ice-cream bowls as shown. The bowls will be empty in no time. Kids will go bonkers over it!

Baked Meatball Curry!

Baked Meatball Curry!

Sweet and sour Meatballs – Ah! Here it comes. I love meat recipes. Do not make this recipe too spicy. You can prepare the meatballs in advance. Prefer baking the balls rather than deep frying them. Also you can fry the paste a day before birthday party. I prefer Italian style of preparing the sauce for meatballs. It consists of onions, carrot, celery, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, basil, black pepper. Enjoy the yummzz!

Vanilla Strawberry Cake!

Vanilla Strawberry Cake!

Strawberry Cake – The classic combination of plain vanilla cake, fresh strawberry and smooth cream never fails. I love bakery products, especially when they are homemade. The aroma of the bake is simply irresistible. Nevertheless, cake can be prepared a day before the birthday to save time, it all depends on our resisting power that we don’t eat it the moment it is cool. Kids love it.

Vegetable Rice Noodles!

Vegetable Rice Noodles!

Vegetable Rice Noodles – Rice noodles is a good way to treat yourself instead of the refined flour noodles. It’s an excellent meal for birthday party. It is gluten-free recipe as well. Mix in the seasonal veggies with bit of Vinegar, soya sauce, sweet chili sauce (kids will avoid chili sauce) and tomato sauce. The bowl of noodles will be over in no time for sure.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Happy Birthday!


Celebrate the Seville Fair with Crema Catalana

The spring season in Seville, Spain comes with a special atmosphere. It brings with it the intoxicating fragrance of jasmine and orange blossoms. This is not all, spring also brings with it two major events, Semana Santa and the Spring Fair. The Seville Fair AKA Spring Fair takes place in Los-Remedios, that is next to the river. The event calls for singing, dancing, eating, drinking and ofcourse socializing. The attraction includes parades, horse rides, bullfights etc. wherein bullfight is the best part.

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana

Hope you liked my Spanish meat recipe, Meatballs with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce. I’m trying a dessert this time. Crema Catalana is AKA Catalan Cream. It is actually Spanish variation of French dessert called Creme brulee. It is considered as a great spring dessert. This is a quick and easy recipe. The best part is that this dessert can be prepared in advance. All you need to do is refrigerating it 3 hours before serving. And just as cheese, it will melt in your mouth. So let’s all dance to the beat of the Spanish music with mushy and sugar treat, the Crema Catalana.

Crema Catalana

Ingredients:-

2 cups Milk,

1 cup Sugar,

4 Egg Yolks,

1 Cinnamon stick,

1⁄2 grated Lemon rind,

1 tablespoon Cornstarch.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Take a bowl. Beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until blended. Let the mixture turn frothy. Add cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold milk. When well mixed, return it to the remaining 2 cups of milk.

  2. Take a pot. Pour in milk. Slowly heat the mixture. Stir constantly until thick. Remove pot from heat immediately. Prevent it from curdling or separating.

  3. The texture of the finished crema will be grainy. This is exactly how it should be. Remove the cinnamon stick. Ladle the milk mixture into 4 ramekins. Allow to cool. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Before serving, preheat the broiler.

  4. Remove ramekins with the crema catalana from refrigerator. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf. Allow the sugar to caramelize, turning golden brown.

  5. This may take 10 minutes. Remove and serve immediately. Serve warm or cold as per choice.

    Spanish Dance

    Spanish Dance

Cricket on the Field and Cookie for Treat

There is something about sports which connects the whole world. Be it NFL or baseball or tennis or cricket. May be the love for sports comes from our ancestors – our evolutionary path. Long time back, when we were prey (seems terrifying), speed and strength were quite important. If you can’t run away from a predator, you are gone for good. Only the best ones could survive, eventually impress the society and pass their legacy on. Though we don’t have to worry about the predators these days (as WE have replaced them – irony!), we get our thrill from sports.

Anzac Cookies

Anzac Cookies

I am not an avid cricket fan but World Cup final is something which you can give a try. New Zealand and Australia fought each other off in the finals yesterday. Martin Guptill (NZ) and Mitchell Starc (AUS) have been the best performers so far and are my favorites. Guptill lost his three toes from a childhood accident – hence known as “Two Toes Guptill”. He has been putting more effort into everything since that accident. And look at him now, top run scorer from the New Zealand team.

Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill

Mitchell Starc was a wicket keeper until someone told him to try bowling. His height adds on to his good bowling figure. At times he loses his temper on field, but ironically he loves sweet. Though Australia defeated New Zealand on the cricket battleground but there is something sweet which these two nations have been sharing for a long time. Let us try “Anzac Cookies” off the field. Hope you enjoyed my Australian Cocktails. Now be ready for a “sweet” battle.

Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc

Anzac Cookies

Ingredients:-

1/2 cup Coconut,

125 grams Butter,

1 cup Rolled Oats,

1 cup Brown Sugar,

1 tablespoons Water,

1 cup All-purpose Flour,

1/2 tablespoon Soda Bicarb,

2 tablespoons Golden Syrup,

2 tablespoons chopped Pistachios.

Preparation Method:-

1. Sift the flour in a bowl. Add sugar, rolled oats, pistachios and coconut. Melt butter in a pan. Add the golden syrup and water.

2. Stir the soda into the liquid mixture. Add the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Place small balls of mixture on a greased tray.

3.Bake at 175 D.C for 20 minutes. Biscuits will become hard when cool. Enjoy with your fav coffee!

Australia Wins The World Cup 2015

Australia Wins The World Cup 2015

Cheers for Australia!

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Traditional Almond Cookies

Chinese New Year is here! There is gonna be lots of firework in China, symbolizing the festive spirit. It is believed that Buddha invited all the forest animals to invite him on a particular day. Twelve of them appeared and Buddha named a year after each one of them. New year calls for a huge get together and Chinese food is my all time favorite. People pay a visit to each other’s house, share meals, gifts and of course happiness.

Crunchy Cookies!

Crunchy Cookies!

In Chinese culture, red color is considered sacred. It symbolizes fire, which means bad luck is driven away. People wear red color garments, children write short poems on red paper. Children are given luck money in red envelopes. In ancient times, the tribals lit up bamboo stalks. They believed this would drive away the evil spirits and that they can lead a peaceful life. So lets pay a visit to our friend’s place with a box of traditional almond cookies.

Ingredients:-

1 pinch salt,

100 ml corn oil,

1 beaten egg yolk,

150 gm plain flour,

100 gm caster sugar,

100 gm ground almonds,

100 gm blanched almonds,

3/4 teaspoon baking soda,

3/4 teaspoon baking powder.

Preparation Method:-

1. Sieve the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add the ground almonds to the flour and sugar mixture.

2. Slowly trickle in the corn oil to this bowl. Blend until a cohesive dough forms. Heat the oven to 180 D.C. Roll the dough into small balls, place almonds above them and press a bit as shown.

3. Place on a baking tray. Make cookies until all the dough is used up. Lightly glaze the top of the cookie balls with the beaten egg yolk.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cookies become slightly golden. Leave to cool. Enjoy the homemade cookies.

Enjoy the Year!

Enjoy the Year!

Happy New Year!

Celebrate Australia Day with Traditional Chocolate Lamington

Australia Day, falling on January 26, has become nation’s largest annual public celebration. It brings together Australians from all walks of life. Make sure to grab your spot along the streets of Australia to cheer the bulk parade participants. It’s the national day and ultimate time to celebrate with classic and traditional dishes. Australia has a rich variety of food and drinks. Last year, I shared with you Australian Cocktails and I’m so glad that everyone loved to dance with those drinks.

Yummy Chocolate Lamington

Yummy Chocolate Lamington

This time I’ve come up with the traditional dessert called Lamington. Lamington are squares of sponge cake that are dipped in melted chocolate and grated coconut. Lamingtons are usually made up of stale cake. I have used fresh cake. So the trick is to freeze it. After this, dip the lamination when it is slightly frozen. Though I am equally fond of strawberry and raspberry flavor, this time I tried Chocolate Lamington. You can also add in strawberry cream in between the cake as I have done. 

For the Cake:-

3 eggs,

1/4 cup milk,

1/2 cup sugar,

1/4 cup cornflour,

3/4 cup self raising flour,

3 teaspoons melted butter.

For Icing:-

1/2 cup milk,

3 1/2 cups icing sugar,

1/3 cup cocoa powder,

2 teaspoons melted butter,

2 cups desiccated coconut for coating.

Preparation Method for Cake:-

1. Preheat oven to 180 D.C. Now grease and flour a square shaped cake tin. Take a bowl. Beat eggs, sugar, butter and milk in it. Sift this mixture in flour and cornflour mix. Mix until well combined.

2. Pour the mixture into the greased tin. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Bake time is 25-30 minutes.

3. Allow to cool. Cut into smaller squares. Place in the freezer until it begins to harden, for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered.

Preparation Method for Icing:-

1. Stir butter, milk and cocoa powder, together. Then stir in the icing sugar.

2. Dip frozen cake squares into icing mixture and then into grated coconut.

3. Place on baking paper and allow to defrost. This must take 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.

Australia Day Parade

Australia Day Parade

Enjoy Australia Day!