How are you all doing ? So its Monday morning and while my little monster and the love of my life are fast asleep, I am sipping hot green tea and typing out this post. Its super simple and I just made it so I am telling you, if you want an awesome start to the week ahead, you have to give this smoothie a try. This time I used store bought almond milk simply cause I did not have the time to make it at home, but making almond milk at home is really really easy. I will write up a post about that too.
How was your weekend The husband had to work over the weekend so we made the most of our time at home cooking and cleaning. We did manage to have a lunch outside. The food was decent and the service was alright but the ambience was the best part of the place. After having made so many kinds of medetraninan sides, I found that the place did not live up to its name. Oh well. I will give it another try some other day and even then if it doesn’t score well I might write about it. Yeah I believe in giving every one a second chance! Even a restaurant.
A long time ago, on one of my numerous drives around the country with my mum and dad, we stumbled upon a botanical garden. I can’t remember where and when, but I remember seeing these huge figs, growing in clusters over a branch of its tree. That was the first time I saw a fresh fig. Till then we would have the dried kind. My mum made sure that we always had a balance diet of fresh fruits, dry fruits, vegetables and meat. It was all a balance. Even today, when we go home, there is always a secretly balance diet on the table, not compromising on the taste or the variety of the food. Mums have an inherent powder to do that, wouldn’t you say?
Almond Milk – 2 cups
Oats – 1 cup (instant)
Pistachio – 1/2 cup
Figs – 8- 9 + 2 for garnish
Rose Syrup – 2 tbsp
Pistachio Slivers – just for garnish
In the bowl of your blender combines alomond milk, figs and pistachio
Blend till you know that the fig and milk have combined
Then add the oats a little at a time and adjust according to the consistency you like
Now in 2 glass pour one table spoon of rose syrup around the side of the glass to get that crazy effect
The fill with the smoothie but ensure you pour it directly into the middle of the glass so that the red syrup stays towards the side
Finally garnish with fresh figs and pistachio slivers
How are you all doing? How has the weekend been so far? It’s Sunday and we decided to stay home so I made a quick dip and some hot pita bread to enjoy as we watch reruns of ‘The Game of Thrones’ (can’t wait for April for the next season). The recipe for my home made pita bread can be found here Home made Whole Wheat Pita Bread. Dill has been in season for some time now so I made a few gyros too! I will post the recipe soon. For now this is my home made simple Tzatziki Sauce / Taziki Dip.
Plain Yogurt – 2 cups
Fresh Dill leaves – 1 cup (cleaned, dried and chopped)
English Cucumber – 2 ( grated fine)
Garlic – 4 cloves (paste)
Lime – 1 (juice of one lime)
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Pepper – a pinch
In a large muslin cloth dump all the yogurt
Then bring the sides of the cloth together to form a nice ball and tie it up and hang over a small bowl. This is essential cause you really do not want a watery dip
Leave this apparatus to rest for 15 – 30 mins (depends on how watery the yogurt is)
Now in large strainer, add the grated cucumber and slowly press the cucumber flesh down with the back of the spoon
This will help release all the water from the cucumber
Let the cucumber drain for as long as 15 mins
Meanwhile, combine the garlic, dill leaves, salt, pepper and lime
After the yogurt and cucumber have drained out completely mix with the garlic and dill leaves
Give a nice mix and add salt accordingly
Your Tzatziki is ready! Drizzle a little olive oil over the top before you serve!
Making everything from scratch may seem like a pain, but the benefits are numerous. I have come to realise that its ok to go that extra mile just to make things from scratch. So whenever and whatever I am making, I try to plan ahead. No it does not alway work but trying doesn’t hurt right? Like this pasta sauce was actually a mistake. We buy vegetables online and they get delivered either the same day or the next. So this time by mistake I ordered 4 kgs of tomatoes instead of just one. So now I have to finish the ripe ones some how. Thats when the thought of making pasta sauce came to mind. Its really simple and personally my family likes it better than any bottled pasta sauce we have bought off the self. Also most times, I end up using an entire bottle of pasta sauce and that really isn’t pocket friendly. So this way I know whats going into the sauce (no preservatives) and I can add or adjust the flavour according to my taste. While typing this I just fed my one year old, washed dishes, shared dinner with my husband and cleaned up the kitchen! hahah. Thats how long it takes me to write on the blog ! Oh well. On the bright side, I will get this post up soon right? hehe
Ripe Red Tomatoes – 1.5 kgs
Water to boil the tomatoes
Olive oil – 7 tbsp
Onions – 3 cups
Garlic Paste – 3 tbsp (around 12 cloves)
Dry Basil – 2 tsp
Dry Oregano – 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp (according to taste)
Pepper – 1 tbsp
Salt – according to taste
Heat water in a heavy bottom pot
Once the water comes to a boil, add tomatoes and cook till nice and tender
Drain the water and set aside to cool
When the tomatoes cool down, peel the skins off. It should come off easily if you have cooked the tomatoes well
Now chop the tomatoes into two and using your hands, remove the seeds from the tomatoes
Put all the tomatoes together and using your hand squeeze them together to form a nice pulp ( you could use a blender too but why bother :p)
Now in a heavy bottom pot, heat oil.
Once the oil is nice and hot add the onions and garlic
As soon as the onions turn translucent, add the crushed tomatoes, chilli powder, dry oregano and dry basil
Now cover and cook the mixture for 25 – 30 mins
Taste after 20 mins and season accordingly
We like it in thick consistency but if you want, you could run the mixture in the blender and make it thinner
How are you all doing today? I am sure you must have figured why I haven’t been able to bake or create any sweet stuff. I am just scared I will have to spend another night at the ER. So my next few posts are going to be “Healthy” posts. This basil vinaigrette is super easy to make and it is just the best thing on any type of salad or pasta. In this case, I made a pasta salad with roasted beetroots, heirloom tomato, zucchini, garlic and onions. Each of us had two large helps and it was over even before we finished an episode of ‘Suits’. Hey do you guys watch ‘Suits’? I love the series! Yeah I know there’s a lot of drama in it but I enjoy a little drama once in a while. Also we watch only if my son co-operates – which is like close to never! Ok, so on to the salad. The salad is pretty basic, but the vinaigrette my friend! that is the beauty. So here is the recipe.
Fresh Basil Leaves – 2 cups
Garlic – 8 cloves
Olive Oil – 1 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 6 table spoons
Salt – to taste
Pepper – 1/2tbsp
Before you make the vinaigrette make sure you wash and dry the basil leaves and dry them out completely.
Make sure there is no moisture in the leaves and in the final glass jar you will be storing it in
Combine all the ingredients in the jar of your blender and give it a good 3- 4 mins with the blender on medium
You want all the ingredients to combine well and the oil to infuse with the basil
Once its ready pour and store in a clean dry container
Before you use it, make sure to give the container a good shake cause some times the oil tends to form a layer above the green dark part
How are you all doing today? So, I am back with another breakfast smoothie, completely inspired by left over fresh and dry fruits from the kitchen counter. But you never know how good they taste till you combine then and taste them. So I was so sceptical to mix these two flavours. Cause the brownish layer below is really sweet ( no added sugar, just the sugar from the fruits) and the bright pink layer on top is slightly sour. But they taste really nice together!
Banana – 2
Chikku – 4
Raisin – 3 tbsp
Oats – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1/2 cup
Grapes – 1/2 cup
Pomegranate – 1/2 cup
In a clean blender bowl, add banana, raisins, chikku pulp, oats and milk
Blend together for a nice thick smoothie
Pour into your serving glass
Now clean the blender bowl and wipe with a dry cloth
Add grapes and pomegranate seeds and blend to form a juice
Add water if necessary to help the grapes and pomegranate blend
Pour the juice over the banana smoothie layer already in the glass
The consistency would be like that of an ice cream so if you like you may either add more milk or use a spoon to enjoy the smoothie
I am sure you have all been those nice, quiet Italian cafes /restaurants that give you an array of breads with dips before you get your glass of wine or starter? I love those places that are not stingy when it comes to doling out that gorgeous creamy dip! It wasn’t until recently that I found out that you could totally make it at home. I know it looks fancy but it is The most simplest thing ever.
That dip is just basically butter and a variation of herbs and spices. So, this post is about how to make a simple roasted garlic, fresh basil and lemon butter. These compound butters are really easy to make and if you have the ingredients you can make any type of butter – savoury or sweet. I will share more recipes with you, but for now let me tell you how to make this incredibly easy and delicate yet lovely butter. I served mine with a zucchini, red bell pepper basil frittata the other day but you can use it as you like. For the sake of the photo, I did not wait for mine to get to room temp. These were straight out of the fridge. You can wait for them to get to room temperate and enjoy them with breads, bread sticks, pita bread, pita chips, french fries and even carrot sticks.
Table Butter – 200 gm
Garlic – 8 cloves
Fresh Basil – one hand full
Lime – 1
Bring the butter to room temperature
Mean while roast the garlic cloves in a pre heated oven at 200 C for 45 mins or till you see the garlic turn to dark brown
Zest the lime and chop the basil leaves roughly
In a large bowl combine the butter, lime zest and basil leaves
Now simply pinch the end of the garlic pod for the flesh to pop out from the other side ( see am not peeling garlic skin!!!)
Now using a whisk, mix all the ingredients well to evenly distribute the ingredients through the butter
Lay a parchment paper over your counter top ( 30 cm X 30 cm)
Spoon the butter mixture towards the side of the parchment close to you. Make sure you leave at least 10 cm from the edge of the paper to the mixture
Now slowly curl the paper inwards, around the butter mixture to make a long log
Continue till the other end of the paper. Then tie up the sides with a piece of string ( should look like a large toffee)
Finally pop it into the fridge to set for an hour
When you are ready to use the butter cut them into small discs and let them come back to room temperature
Or you could use them just like that on a hot pieces of toast! You can see how the butter melts and leaves these small specks of green on the trail!
How are you all? So, i know it’s only February but it sure feels like summer out here and we have started making lots more smoothies and juices. So this morning we had a simple grape and yogurt smoothie.
Now I am not really sure why people do not like grapes as much as I do. I know strawberries and blueberries have their own exotic appeal, but the humble grape is a wonderfully healthy fruit. Grapes are high in antioxidants. Infact any fruit or vegetable that has a dark skin (like purple, dark red etc.) are said to be high in antioxidants and good for the heart. Grapes are excellent at regulating high blood pressure and preventing heart related diseases. They contain high amounts of fiber and potassium. Whats more they do wonders for your skin too. Today I have paired them with vanilla yogurt, oats and bananas to make it a full meal in itself.
Grapes – 3 cups ( seedless, cleaned and de stemmed)
Oats – 3 tbsp
Bananas – 2 small ( chopped and frozen)
Yogurt – 2 cups (vanilla flavoured or regular)
Milk – as required ( depends on how thick on thin you like it)
Honey – 2 tbsp ( optional depending on the sweetness of the grapes)
Put all the ingredients into a blender (except the milk)
How are you all doing today? So once in a while I like to do a detox diet. Nothing too fancy but just good hydration, clean eating and lots of water. This recipe falls into my “Healthy” category.
Beetroots are a very good source of Vitamin A and C. It is high in iron and contains calcium. This wonderful vegetable helps to regulate blood pressure and diabetes. Personally I have also figured that when I incorporate beetroot juice into my diet, I have less episodes of acne and healthier hair.
Carrots are a power house for Vitamin A,C and K. They are good for your eyes, blood and help detox your body too. It is said that they help in preventing cancer and are high in anti-oxidants.
Pomegranate – High in fiber, Vitamin C and K, this fruit is a great source of anti oxidants. This fruit is the best when it comes to glowing skin and lush hair.
Oranges are also power packed with Vitamin C and potassium. They help your immune system, helps prevent cancer and lowers cholesterol.
Together these fruits and vegetables make the perfect “beauty and health potion”.
Beetroot – 1 (washed, skin peeled and chopped)
Pomegranate – 1 medium size
Carrots – 2 medium size
Orange – juice of one ( preferably fresh)
Water – 1/3 – 1/2 a cup
Ice Cubes – 4 – 5 ( optional)
In a mixer bowl combine all ingredients except water
Run the mixer and add as much water as required
Pour and drink right away
Remember all vegetables and fruits begin to lose their nutrition from the time you peel and cut them so consume as soon as you make the juice
How did you all celebrate the day of LOVE? I am sure you all exchanged gifts and big bouquets of flowers, and wore red and had candle light dinners right?
Well, I woke up early to surprise my husband with breakfast in bed. I made fluffy pancakes infused with sprinkles and topped it with boozy chocolate sauce, fresh water melon juice and coffee. But just as I was pouring the last pancake and setting up the tray, he walks right out of the bedroom and wished me and starts snooping around (completely ruined the surprise I had planned 😦 ). So it wasn’t really breakfast in bed! Oh well. The rest of the day was also a disaster, details on “how my husband almost gave me a mental breakdown and made me realize how much I love him” in my next post. He’s super sorry though, Lol.
For now, here is the recipe for my simple no fuss scones that go so well with tea on a nice peaceful morning. I baked them while my son was asleep and I was so happy cause I figured I could take a few good photos, but just like his father he woke up in the middle of my shot and as you can see, I lost a few strawberries (he loves strawberries) and then rest was history :). To my inquisitive and nosy babies (yes nosy hubby is a grown ass baby!!), I love you no matter how naughty you both are.
Flour – 300 gms
Butter – 100 gms ( cold, cut into cubes)- take it out of the fridge at the end just before you start cooking)
Sugar – 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries – 2 cups ( cleaned, hulled and chopped)
Baking Powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Egg – 1 + 1 (for egg wash)
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Preheat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper
In the bowl of your mixer / food processor combine, flour, baking powder, sugar, butter and salt
Pulse the mixture in the bowl for a second at a time for around 3 – 4 times. All you want is for the butter to break into the flour. (should resemble mud and stones)
Throw in the chopped strawberries
In another bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract and yogurt
Finally mix the wet ingredients into the dry using a fork. Do not over work the mixture
Just combine till the mixture holds together (it should be firm and not sticky like bread dough)
Finally liberally flour your work counter and dump the dough over the floured counter
Bring the mixture together to form a round flat ball
Using a knife or a pastry cutter, cut into eqaul halves and move carefully to the prepared baking tray
Whisk the other egg and using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the cut halves with the egg
Bake for 40 mins or till you see the tops of the scones turn nice and brown
After they are baked serve right away with tea, butter or choice of fruit
Remember how I said, I am going to make the easiest recipes so I learn to manage time with my baby and the blog? Yeah.. So this one comes in that category. It’s super super simple and it’s also a perfect breakfast. In fact, on lazy weekends, if you end up getting up late and the house is a mess, all you have to do is put all of the ingredients mentioned below into the blender and you won’t be hungry for the next 3 hours. Mr R has been playing cricket often these days (a corporate tournament is happening this Feb), so that results in a very hungry, tired husband coming home after an early morning practice. This usually is the time when my son and I are still rubbing our sleepy eyes and trying to hold our heads up without nodding off again. So this situation usually calls for smoothie breakfasts. Easy to make and I get by without having to make Mr R his morning coffee :p
Milk – 2 + 1/2 cups
Instant Oats – 1/2 cup
Strawberries – 3 cups ( cleaned, hulled and halved)
Banana – 3 big
Water – 1/2 cup ( depends also on how thick you like it)
Sugar – 3 tbsp ( optional)
Vanilla Extract – 1 tbs
Almonds – a handful
In a blender add milk, strawberries, bananas, almonds and give it a whirl
Then add the oats, sugar and vanilla extract
Finally check the consistency and add water accordingly
Serve right away
If you like cold smoothies, use frozen bananas and strawberries and skip the water, just add more milk