Monday, May 16, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

It's been a very long time and i know i have been a very bad blogger :(. But with a little one who is entering the Terrible Two phase , i hardly have time to sit in front of a laptop !!!! My daughter loves saying "close" and shutting down the laptop :P. By the time she goes to bed , i am totally drained out to sit and do anything *sigh* !!!!

But now I am back and this time with a recipe for Banana Bread. I do have one in my blog already but this time i had a whole load of ripe bananas sitting at home and so wanted something different. So went on a hunt for a good recipe and found this one by the Neelys ( Pat & Gina Neely of Food Network fame) !!!!! It was a super duper hit with my little one and from then whenever i have overripe Bananas this is what i make at home :).

Recipe Source :

Adapted from The Neelys

Ingredients :

1.5 cups All purpose flour
1 stick butter ( at room temp)
2 eggs ( at room temp )
1/2 cup Sour cream ( at room temp )
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
3 ripe bananas ( the riper the better )
2 tsps Vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts 

How to go about it :

Butter a loaf pan , preheat the oven to 350F.

Sieve all the dry ingredients in a bowl ( flour , baking powder , baking soda and salt ). Mash the bananas in another bowl.

In the meantime beat together the butter and sugar till it is fluffy !!! To this add eggs one at a time.

Now add the vanilla extract . To this add bananas and sour cream.

Once its all mixed together add the flour mixture.

Now add in the walnuts and gently mix it in with a spatula.

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and bake it for 1hr 30 mins ( my oven got it done in 70 mins ). Check the center with a tooth pick. If it comes out clean the bread is done !!!!!

Hmmm the smell of the baking bread was enough to wake up my little one from her sleep. Hardly was it out of the oven that she wanted a piece !!!!! 

Enjoi it in the morning or in the evening as a snack !!!!

Have fun Baking !!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Easy Sponge cake !!!

Hi All,

It's been a real long break for me. We were moving again , then had friends visiting and staying with us. Then the bigger surprise was my Dad who had not seen his granddaughter from her birth decided to make a trip to see her (not to see his daughter but his granddaughter.. poor me). So 2010 came to an end with Dad leaving back to India :(. Hmmm i really do miss my parents ..... the downfall of living in the USofA i guess !!!!!

So let me begin this post wishing everyone a very Happy New Year (though a month late)!!!! The New Year brought a never before seen snowstorm in Atlanta and it was a nightmare having to sit at home for 5 days as the roads were not cleared ..... !!!! After having lived in New Jersey this was a new experience for us ... to stay cooped at home !!! 

Here i was ..sitting at home , with nothing to do in could not go out. And my daughter hated being cooped up continuously .  My daughter loves it when the oven light goes on and stays close to it for the entire duration that something is being baked in the oven. So i decided to bake something that would go with the evening coffee.

The sponge cake recipe was given to me by a good friend Ramya of even before my daughter was born and its always turned out excellent. Every time my Hubby feels like having cake this is his first choice. It is also a hit with my DD :). But this time for a change instead of using a normal square or round baking pan i decided to put to use my brand new Bundt pan. And boy did it turn out good !!!! Or rather should i say great ;).

The above photo if you notice has been cracked on one end :(. This is because i did not allow the cake to cool once i removed it from the oven and in a mad rush turned it over. As they say i think i have to practice patience when it comes to a cake cooling down..... :).

The photo above is after cutting off the part where it was cracked ;).. and such a big piece went into the tummies of me and my DD !!!!!

Coming to the recipe ...

Ingredients :

1 stick  unsalted butter( room temperature)

1 3/4 cups cake flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup sugar 
3 large eggs( room temperature )
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
2/3 cup buttermilk( room temperature )

To make the cake :

Grease a square or round or in my case a bundt pan with butter and flour and keep it aside.
Also preheat the oven to 350F.

Now sieve the flour , baking powder and salt and keep it aside.

In a bowl beat together butter and sugar till its all fluffy. To this add eggs one at a time and beat each egg till its all well mixed. Now add the vanilla extract and mix it together with the butter and eggs.

Now add the flour (3 parts) and buttermilk ( bm , 2 parts)  in parts to the wet ingredients starting with flour and ending up with flour ( flour + bm + flour + bm + flour ).

Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl as you beat the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 40 mins . 

Normally it takes me 40 mins but when i baked it in a bundt pan it was all done in 30 mins.
To check if the cake is done insert a toothpick into the cake and if it comes out clean you are all set !!!!

Cool the cake for 10 to 15 mins , invert , slice and enjoy !!!!!!

It goes well as a coffee time cake and my family loves to eat it with ice-cream and strawberries as a after dinner dessert !!!!

Let me know if you like it too :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple and Easy Potato Fry !!!!

Been a busy month for me , what with my daughter turning "1" :) , the birthday party and with my hubby travelling on weekdays which makes it impossible for me to sit in front of my laptop for more than a few minutes as my daughter loves the laptop and refuses to allow me to sit in front of it. Plus she misses her Dad a lot and hence her sleeping time is also cut down :(..... this is just a small idea of my time at home right now :).

I finally put her to sleep and thought let me post something simple and easy :)
Everyone has a comfort dish and mine is Potatoes in any form :). Any time of the day -  be it for breakfast , lunch or dinner i would not mind eating them. As a filling for sandwiches , as a side dish for lunch or dinner !!!! Hmmmm even writing about it tempts me to make some :).
To date my hubby pulls my leg everytime i make this dish. The reason being that when i got married i did not know the ABC of cooking. Even a simple Rasam was something i learnt from my hubby. But the very first dish i made on my own was this and it turned out perfect :). So to date he keeps asking me , "how come you kept saying you did not know to cook and this dish alone turns out so perfectly :)"

Ingredients :

1/2 of a medium size onion -  chopped
2 medium sized potatoes - diced into small cubes
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida powder
Salt as required
Curry leaves and coriander as required
2 tbsps  Olive oil ( or any oil)

To go about :
Heat the oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard starts spluttering add the curry leaves. Then add the chopped onions. Sauté the onion till it turns translucent.Then add the diced potatoes. Stir it up once then add all the powdered ingredients and salt. Stir it up completely and allow it to cook on a medium flame. Keep stirring it once in a while so that the potatoes  do not burn up. The medium flame allows the potatoes to cook up nicely. You can if you want leave it on medium flame to deep roast it or remove it once the potatoes are done. The choice is ultimately yours on how you want it done :). I used to deep roast it earlier but these days i don't as sometimes my little one eats what i eat and if deep roasted then she finds it difficult :)... hmmmm the choices we Mom's make for our little ones !!!!!
Garnish the potatoes with coriander and remove. Serve it hot with rice or even chappathis.
Variation : A slight variation to the above is to skip the onions and fry the potatoes :). This is also yummy !!!
This is a quick dish as it requires no separate boiling of the potatoes and gets done quickly.
I am sure nearly everyone out here has almost the same recipe for this dish.... but for those reading this, let me know how you make it in your kitchen :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chocolate Custard - and it is Eggless !!!!!!!!

Custard has always been an all time favourite dessert for me. If i have short notice of friends dropping by for lunch or dinner , then this is the one i prepare. I normally use Brown & polson Custard Powder and i always have an extra packet in stock in my pantry :).
Custard served with a good helping of any combination of fruits is a way to make kids eat fruits too :). And rather than plain custard , custard served with fruits is a better way to go about it.
The other day i was browsing through various blogs and i happened to chance upon Chocolate Custard - made from scratch. I was so tempted with the photos on the blog and with the recipe that i had to definitely try it :). Best of all , for all those veggie lovers out there , this recipe is eggless .
I made a couple of changes since post my daughter i prefer less chocolate in my desserts , and this from a person who has a big sweet tooth :P.
The source for the recipe is from DivineTaste.Since i wanted the custard more creamier i increased the quantity of cream.

Ingredients : 

1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups cream 
1/2 cup sugar
less than 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornflour or cornstarch ( i had cornstarch and so i used it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Extra cocoa powder for sprinkling ( i skipped this)

To go about making the custard :

Take a saucepan and mix 1 cup milk with the cream and set it in medium flame. In the meantime in a bowl mix the remaining milk with sugar , cornstarch and cocoa powder and set it aside. Make sure there are no lumps.
Once the milk + cream mixture comes to a boil , bring the flame to low and add the chocolate mixture to it. Keep it in low and keep stirring the mixture ensuring that no lumps are formed. Once the mixture starts thickening add the vanilla extract , stir it and remove from the flame.
Allow the mixture in the pan to cool , transfer it to custard bowls and refrigerate. 
I allowed the mixture to chill for almost 6 hrs ( made it in the morning , in time to serve it as dessert over lunch) before serving. 
As the original recipe suggests you can sprinkle with cocoa powder before you serve. I skipped this as like i already did say , i am not much a fan of too much chocolate in my desserts and hence the reduced cocoa powder in my recipe too :).

Your yummy chocolate custard is now ready to be served !!!!!!

try it out and let me know if it was a hit at your home too !!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brinjal Raita !!!

I am back and this time have a valid reason for such a late post... moving from state to state on short notice left me with loads of packing and then the unpacking !!!!!! And imagine with a 10 month old around :). 
Now i am almost settled and found time to sit online and do some work on the blog. In fact i have loads of posts sitting in my drafts but i hardly have the time these days :(.

This post is a different one - Brinjal raita. This was something i learnt from my Mom when she was here for my delivery last year. No day used to go by when i went without having Cucumber raita for lunch. But moving to NJ from CA , i never was happy with the quality of Cucumbers that i found in NJ. Was telling my Mom about it when she said she would make Brinjal raita. Not only was it a hit with me , but with my hubby too who is very finicky about his food!!!!!

This is also a hit with friends ,family and children too!!!!!. This goes well with Pulao varieties as well as with rice :).

Try it out and let me know :).

Ingredients :

Eggplant - 3 medium sized , finely chopped and place it in a bowl of water
Onion - 1/2 of a large sized Onion , finely chopped
Sour cream -  as desired
Curd - as desired
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsps
Salt - as required
Coriander leaves - chopped , to garnish

How to go about it :

Take a pan , add oil. Once it is hot , add mustard seeds. As they start popping add onions.
Once the onions turn transluscent add the cut eggplant.To this add the required salt , mix well and leave it on medium flame till the eggplant is finely cooked. If needed you can add a small amount of water to cook the eggplants.
Once cooked , remove the pan and allow the mix to cool down.

Once it is cool enough , transfer to a bowl , add sour cream and curd in the ratio of 3:1 and mix it well. 

Since we have already added salt while cooking , taste and if required add more salt. To this add the cumin powder and give the mixture a stir.

Add coriander leaves and the raita is ready to serve !!!!!!!

PS: You can make any changes you want to this as in :

i. I normally prefer more sour cream , but if one likes more curd , the ratio can be reversed or it can be just plain curd too :).

ii. You can also add fresh coconut gratings to this :).

The list is endless , but i always the prefer simple version ;P