C4 - Tea Sandwiches

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Okay, the real name for this recipe is Tea Sandwiches, but C4 is the name I have given. Because there are 4 Cs in this recipe, Capsicum, Creamcheese, Carrot, Cranberry, my son who is super fan of Starwars says 'WhoooOhooo, these are perfect food for CP4!' If  you are having StarWars theme Birthday party this could be a nice theme related snack item on the menu! As the later part of the recipe name says, these are best to have at Tea Time, and these are perfect choice as Picnic Food too. I have made these recently when we went to Ray Roberts Lake for Picnic and Kids and Grown Ups loved these! Here is the recipe,Njoy!



Ingredients:
Creamcheese - 1 block ( 8 Oz)
Capsicum - 1/2 Medium ( Bell Pepper)
Carrot - 1 Medium
Cranberry - 2 Tbsp ( Dried)
salt - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Mayo - 1 Tbsp ( Optional)
Grated Cheese - 1 Tbsp (Optional)

Preparatory Steps:
  • First Wash and Peel Carrot, grate with grater in small cut setting ( so that carrot pieces are not big flakes).
  • Cut the Medium Capsicum in half and remove the stem, seeds and membrane. Wash it thoroughly and chop into very small pieces. 
  • Roughly chop the dried cranberries into small pieces.
  • Leave Cream Cheese at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it becomes soft
Method:
  1. Take a wide medium bowl and add Cream Cheese to it. If you are using Mayo add to creamcheese and mix well. Add salt and black pepper and mix well.
  2. Now add grated carrot, chopped capsicum pieces and mix well. Finally add chopped dried cranberries and mix well so that everything incorporates well with creamcheese. If you are using Cheese now add the cheese mix well.
  3. Now take the bread slices and trim the edges. Spread the creamcheese mixture on one bread slice and top with another and press it gently so that it is sealed and cut them into half. That's all, C4 Sandwiches are ready to be served. 
Notes:
  • Mayo helps the creamcheese to soften quickly. If you are in rush and didn't have time to leave the cream cheese outside allowing to it to soften, then definitely use Mayo. Otherwise it is optional.
  • The cream cheese mixture should not be very runny or very thick, it should be spreadable that is the right consistency.
  • Cheese will add more cheesy texture, this is optional, if you don't like you can totally skip.
  • I have used healthy bread options like multi grain and whole wheat. You can try using Brown Bread as well, try different color breads that makes the assortment look pretty as well.
  • You can leave the creamecheese mixture in the refrigerator for 30 min that helps to settle all the flavors in the spread.
  • If you are taking these to picnic, wrap each sandwich in cling wrap so that it will be mess free at the picnic spot.
  • You can cut them horizontally, vertically or diagonally to make different fun shapes. Or cut each sandwich into four squares to make them as bite size. 


You can do mix and match of veggies inside in these sandwiches! Following are some more combinations that you can try:
  • Carrots, Olives and CreamCheese
  • Jalapeno and CreamCheese
  • English Cucumber and CreamCheese
Check out all other Picnic Recipes as well.

will be back with another great recipe,
take care until then!
-Mythreyi

Cornflour Halwa ~ Halwa Recipes

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I wish all my Readers a very Happy Diwali! As you know it is very rare that Sweets spur from my kitchen. Usually I am not up to make Sweets as i don't have Sweet Tooth. But for some reason this year I have been craving for Sweets, call it stress or emotional eating, watever it is, that made me try some sweets this year. Lucky you, Sweet Lovers! :-) So for this Diwali, I am bringing the Cornflour Halwa to sweeten your teeth and wishing you all to have a Safe and Sound Holiday! This Halwa is very simple to make with less ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and made in microwave and ready in 20 minutes. What else you need ask for? This is perfect to make when you hear the knock on the door from those special guests tried to surprise you! I have adapted this recipe from Rak's Kitchen and adjusted some ingredients to suit my family needs. Here is my version of the recipe, Njoy!
Corn Flour Halwa
Ingredients:
Adapted from: Rak's Kitchen

Corn Flour  - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Cardamom (Elachi) Powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 3 Tbsp
Nuts -  10 - 15 (  Cashew and Pistachio)
Food Color - a pinch (Red or Orange or Yellow)


Method:

  1. Take a medium microwave safe bowl  (Glass Bowl is preferred) and mix the Corn Flour and Sugar well so that no lumps are there. Slowly start adding water and keep on mixing the flour so that you will get like batter consistency. Add food color to mixture mix it well until in incorporates well and making the whole batter colorful. ( I have used Orange Color in mine)
  2. Heat this mixture in Microwave for 6 minutes. in between at 3 min interval take it out and mix it well with spatula so that it won't stick to the bottom.
  3. Meanwhile crush 2 cardamom pods ( discard the skin) and make fine powder. Finely chop Cahew and Pistachio nuts into small pieces. Heat 1 Tbsp of Ghee and fry the chopped nuts until semi gold color and keep them aside ( you don't want to roast the nuts for this recipe, so be careful when you are frying the nuts).
  4. Now keep the Halwa again in microwave for another 6 minutes for second time. Now for every 2 minutes take it out and mix it or fold it from top to bottom ( this helps the heat to spread evenly, otherwise your edges will be too soft and center becomes stiff). You will start noticing the thick and firm halwa consistency is forming at this time. 
  5. Once you are done 6 minutes, take it out and add cardamom (elachi) powder and nuts and mix it well.  
  6. Take a wide plate and grease with 1 Tbsp of Ghee. Transfer the Halwa to plate spread evenly by pressing with Spatula ( use remaining Ghee here, that helps your spatula not to stick and allows to spread easily). Now let Halwa completely cool down for at least 30 to 60 minutes. 
  7. Once it cools down cut into squares or diamonds and enjoy right away.


Notes:
  • It stores good outside for 2 days. If you refrigerate the taste and texture changes. It's recommend to eat fresh. 
  • I have used orange color, you can use red or yellow as well
  • Easy way to remember the ingredients in this recipe is  ( 1 : 3 : 4), 1 part corn flour starch, 3 parts sugar and 4 parts water. You can easily scale the ingredients with this ratio if you have make bit batch.
  • When ever the nuts get under your teeth it tasted amazing, next time when i make I will be adding more nuts so that in every bite i will get more nuts. I am nut freak, esp I like nuts in sweets, if you are like me, then go for it and double your nuts measure in this recipe. 
  • And I am warning this is not a very healthy recipe as it uses Corn Starch and lot of Sugar. Don't rely on this to make it as a quick fix dessert for your kids, But once in a while it is okay to make it for festivals. 

Take a close peek, Look at that Glossy Texture!
Check out all other Halwa Recipes and More Sweets....!


Wish you all a very Happy Diwali! Have a safe and sound Holiday!
See you soon here, until then take care!
-Mythreyi

Happy Deepavali ~ Help Vizag to recover from HudHud Cyclone

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I wish you all Happy Diwali! Diwali is the festival that brings all the age groups in the family, city, state and country together with it's unique fun of Lighting up Diyas and Fire Crackers! However due to impact of Huge Cyclone in Vizag, A.P I am not that up lifted for this festival this year. I was shocked when i looked at some of the Before and After pictures of Vizag and the devastation that HudDud Cyclone caused in the city, which is proposed as one of Smart Cities in near future by Prime Minister of India.
10,000 Crores Loss - due to Cyclone Hudhud

I have never been to Vizag, nor the resident of this city, but still all the damage happened there is bugging me, just because I am also from the same state. I can only imagine, what pain the Vizagites have been gone through during this disaster event. Everybody is saying the HudDud Cyclone took the Vizag 30 years back.

Damaged Vizag's Airport during HudHud Cyclone. pic courtsey - Indian Express

Famous Gitam University

But at the same time it is so amazing, to see all the people are coming forward to fix their homes and lives and to move forward with positive spirits. I wish them all my wishes and pray God to give them enough strength, courage to keep up with the same spirit and to see the Vizag to Rebuild to it's original and even becoming more strong and stand-up as smart city as proposed. And I encourage all of us to support financially and stretch our hand to the people in Vizag to aid them to recover from this tragic event and help to 'Rebuild Vizag'. 

If you are willing to donate here is how you need to do it:

Following is the Facebook Page where lot of details are shared for volunteering options and lists the things needed: 

https://www.facebook.com/Hudhud2014


Will be back soon, take care until then!
-mythreyi