Oct 30, 2014 3 comments:

C4 - Tea Sandwiches

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


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Oct 23, 2014 1 comment:

Cornflour Halwa ~ Halwa Recipes

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

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Happy Deepavali ~ Help Vizag to recover from HudHud Cyclone

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



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Oct 18, 2014 1 comment:

DIY - Rosemary Oil

I am crazy for herbs, bcoz they are the small things that comes with great flavor and aroma. Herbs are very expensive to buy, hence it is very economical to grow them in your garden and also they will be quiet handy when you are in need. I have always grown Mint in my garden, since then I have a wish to have elaborated Herb Garden, they give nice aroma if you plant them near your sit out or patio etc. Slowly I have added Italian Basil, Thai Basil to my Herb Garden Collection. Basil is one variety it sustains and survives well, but you have to plant in every spring. I have tried Rosemary and Oregano this year, came to know that Oregano is very sensitive but on the other hand Rosemary is very rough and tough herb. Once you have planted it lasts forever surviving all seasons and stands still in all weather conditions.

Homemade Rosemary Oil

I know and have tried very few recipes that use Rosemary but those few are STAR recipes with the rosemary infused flavor. One is Rosemary Potatoes and Roasted Chicken or Turkey infused with Rosemary spices. Both recipes have subtle rosemary flavor and they taste delicious. So as I know only few recipes, I need to put good use for abundant rosemary that is growing in my garden.

These days I have been hearing a lot about the significance of Rosemary Oil in the health and beauty products, esp in hair treatment products. So  i have looked for some recipes and ideas to make Rosemary Oil, that search resulted in this Homemade Rosemary Oil. I have made one batch with it, it is so simple to make it, I have started using it for my hair and my daughters. All you have to do is Massage your hair with Rosemary Oil at the roots every time before you wash your hair. That gives lot of shining to your hair and makes it strong. Apart from using it for your hair, you can use Rosemary Oil for massage and in Aromatherapy. You can use Rosemary Oil in Italian Cooking and for some chicken recipes. But I suggest to make separate portions for each purpose and store them separately.
Homemade Rosemary Oil becomes nice Holiday Gift for your family and friends for upcoming holidays. Here comes the recipe, Njoy!


Ingredients:
Rosemary Leaves - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 1 Cup

Things you need:
Mortar and Pestal
Mason Jar ( or Air tight container)

Method:
  • Cut the Rosemary strands into pieces. You can leave the stems, the leaves are little thorny, I suggest to use gloves. 
  • In Mortar crush the leaves roughly along with their stems. 
  • Take a clean Mason Jar and dry it with towel ( if should not have any moisture in it). First place the crushed Rosemary Strands and pour a cup of Oil in it.



  • Secure the Jar with tight lid and store it in the window sill for 2 days where sun light comes. Then store in the dark place for 15 days.

  • After 15 days you will notice the Rosemary gets dried in the Jar, Strain the oil squeeze the Rosemary to get all the thick extracts from it. Discard the dried Rosemary and dry extracts.




  • Now Store the oil in separate jar and use it daily in your bath or for your body massage or for your hair.

Homemade Rosemary Oil

Notes:
  • Some recipes stated to boil the oil with Rosemary, but i preferred sun dried method as it is natural procedure.  

As there is more Rosemary in my garden I am looking for other ideas with Rosemary as well, if you have any ideas please do share with me!

see you next time,
until then take care
-Mythreyi


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Oct 12, 2014 No comments:

Spicy Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Most of Kerala Recipes are known to have Coconut as the base ingredient. So I used to think the Kerala curries won't be that spicy, but when I made the Kerala Authentic Chicken Curry, that changed my opinion. In Kerala style cooking, Onions are sauteed with spices before for long time until they are infused with spices, then meat is cooked along with with these onions and spices. This differs little in Andhra cooking, where meat is marinated with spices and then cooked with onions. Both styles are special in their own way with unique taste. So today I have prepared Spicy Chicken Curry made with coconut milk, this curry is spicy and creamy at the same time. As Coconut milk makes this recipe little creamy which is well handled by my kids as well. I have followed Nag' recipe here but changed several things to make it adapt to my family needs. Here is my version, Njoy!



Ingredients:
Chicken - 1 lb
White Onion - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 small
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder -1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
salt - 1 tsp ( according to your taste)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Green Chili - 1
Oil - 2 Tbsp ( Coconut Oil is preferred, but i have used canola oil)
Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Cilantro - for garnish

Preparatory Steps:
  • Wash Chicken with luke warm water and keep it aside
  • Chop onions and green chili  in long thin slices.
  • Chop tomato into medium pieces.
Method:
  1. Heat Oil in Kadai or non stick pan. Add sliced onions and green chili to the pan. Saute them until they are roasted. ( it takes 10 min)
  2. Add ginger garlic paste and saute them until oil separates from it ( 5 min).
  3. Add all spices, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Red Chili Powder and salt. Mix it well until everything is well combined. Now add Tomato cubes to it, mix it well. You will get nice color and aroma of spices.
  4. Now add washed chicken to the pan and mix it well with onion and spice mixture.
  5. Add 1 cup of coconut milk and mix it well and close the lid, bring to boil. ( 10 min)
  6. Now open the lid taste and adjust the seasonings and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. By now you will get creamy and thick consistency of the curry, top with cilantro / coriander leaves and switch off the stove. Serve hot with white rice and enjoy!



see you next time with another great recipe,
until then take care, ba bye
-Mythreyi




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Oct 10, 2014 No comments:

Thai White Eggplant Stir Fry

One day at Sprouts I have spotted cute round white Thai Baby Eggplants. I have seen several varieties  of Eggplant before but this one is totally new to me. These resemble more like Green Striped Baby Eggplants that we get in some parts of Andhra, in India. So I have picked up these cute baby eggplants with no intention what to make with these. I have used Eggplants before in several Thai dishes esp in Green Curry, where Eggplant is paired with Ginger and Green Chilli, to enhance the flavor of it. My mom makes the Vankaya Fry ( Eggplant Stir-Fry) with Ginger, Green Chilli and Grated Coconut Combination, That tastes superb...! My all time favorite is Eggplant Stir fry made with Garlic, CuminSeeds, Coconut Powder seasonings. So Today I set my mind to try some Thai Dish with these eggplants, I have searched several recipes but nothing seemed exciting, as most of those are either gravy curries or mixed with meat. So I came up with my own Fusion recipe, by mixing Indian and Thai flavors into it. And the end result is Superb and Delicious, Here it is Enjoy!

White Thai Eggplant Stir-Fry

Ingredients:
White Thai Baby Eggplant - 6
White Onion - 1/2 medium
salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
Cilantro  - 1 Tbsp ( Coriander Leaves)

Spicy Seasoning:
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Green Chili - 2 medium
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut Powder - 2 tbsp

Preparatory Steps:
  • These thai eggplants will have lot of seeds in it, so you need to saute them in oil first to make them soft. Trim the stem edge and Cut the Eggplant into round circle and saute them in 1 Tbsp of Oil and keep them aside.
  • Grind the ingredients under Spicy Seasoning into fine paste in a small mixie jar. 

Method:
  1. Take the same nonstick pan that you have sauteed eggplants before, add 1 tsp oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add thinly sliced onions to it, saute until onions become translucent.
  2. Now add the sauteed Eggplant rounds to the pan. Once the eggplant slices are mixed with onions, add some salt to it and leave it on medium flame for 5 min. 
  3. Now add the spicy seasoning to the pan and mix it well gently, and stir fry for another 5 min until the everything is well combined and cooked. 
  4. Taste and adjust salt and Finally top with some cilantro on top and switch off the stove.
  5. Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately with hot white rice.

Notes:
  • You can cut the eggplants in any shape, but cutting in round shape here makes the seeds intact with out getting them out loose into stir-fry.
  • Sauteing the eggplant before makes them soft, this is critical step, other wise you don't get the nice flavor and texture to your stir fry.

Hope you have enjoyed today's fusion recipe with Eggplant,
will be back another great recipe, until then take care!
-Mythreyi



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Oct 7, 2014 4 comments:

Chocolate Ice Cream ( Only 3 Ingredients)

Autumn has already arrived in Dallas, but today is a harsh sunny day that reminded me that this Wonderful Super Easy Chocolate Ice Cream that is made with only 3 Ingredients ( with no ice cream machine required) is long time due since Summer. I don't want to say anything about this recipe expect 3 words. Simple Ingredients, Made Easy, Tastes Divinely Delicious. Here it is Enjoy!






Ingredients:
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 200 ml ( 2/3 can)
Cocoa Powder - 6 Tbsp
Whipping Cream - 1 Cup

Method:
Take Condensed Milk into a medium bowl. Add Cocoa Powder to the Condensed milk and mix it well so that it is combined.


Take a medium bowl and add 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream to it. Keep Whisking until the spikes forms. It takes some time if you do by hand, it almost took me 15 min to see the spikes (so be patient). If you are lucky to have a Mixer, let the machine do this work. :-) Spikes should look as below.


Add 1/3 of Cream to the Cocoa Mixture in medium bowl and mix it well so that it thins out. Then add the thinned coca mixture to the cream and mix it very well.


We are almost there, Pour the Mixture into Heavy Bottom Pan ( I have used my Loaf Pan), tighten it with plastic cling wrap and keep it freezer for 12 hours ( for best results keep it for 24 hours).


When serving, Take it out from freezer have one scoop of Ice Cream in a bowl and drizzle some chocolate syrup and top with some pistachio nuts and Dig In, right away! Hmmm Very Soft and Melts in mouth ....!


Take a close peek...! Hope you liked this cool recipe for today!





Will be back with another great recipe...,
Until then Take Care Ba Bye
-Mythreyi


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