June 27, 2007


Hello from (?!):) Look at these photos and see if you can guess where I am right now!!!I will tell you the answer next week although you probably can guess easily.I am having a great time here and checked out all your blogs on Monday for a very short while since it was raining outside although I didn't leave many comments,will resume as usual from Monday!

This is the city where we are staying.Guess where this beautiful structure is located! (Hint:Athens in US!!)

This is where we visited yesterday,a VERY famous "building" in another nearby city.Take a guess! (Hint:Maharaja!;D)

See you next week with lots of photos and answers to these photos!Thank you all in advance for all your comments and guesses:)

Guess who was mentioned in Times of India's "In Times" section?!:D
Thanks to 'My Dhaba's VKN and 'Garam Masala's Dilipbhai,Times of India wrote an article about "Feed a Hungry child" cookbook project we all contributed with recipes and the author and food writer of Times of India, Ms.Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal mentioned my Coorg cuisine and mentioned "Asha Arvind" along with few others too.This is the first time I am in the papers with my own talent!;D
Usually,it's either Dr.and Mrs.Arvind or Trisha and Tushar Arvind's mother in local paper,this time it's solely me!!I was pleasantly surprised when Dilip e mailed me this article.Thanks so much VKN, Dilip,the author of TOI and to all the bloggers who contributed to this great project.We bloggers rock,don't we? You can donate cash for this cause too,check out my side bar and at Vkn's as well!!:)
Click on it to enlarge on the article and hope you can read it.I tried finding this article online but did not know the exact published date.

Now comes the MeMes:

I have been tagged for five MeMes and are due for the longest time! Since I am vacationing until Sunday,I did these before I left.Here they are,some fun MeMes you could read meanwhile!
Thank you Lady A, Cyber Kitty ,Gattina, Shilpa. and dr for tagging me and for your patience! Better late than never,right?!:D
Have fun this week and I will see you all next Wednesday as usual.Why am I not taking a break did you ask? You will know why on July second week!!;D

"You are what you eat!!"
I am tagged by Lady Amalthea at "Noshes,thoughts&Reves" for this MeMe,thanks Lady A!:))

Here goes:
What is the most unusual food you've eaten?
I haven't eaten any unusual food! I am not very experimental when it comes trying new ones!I am a coward!!:D
What is the most unusual food you've eaten and liked?
Refer to the first answer!;)
What foods will you avoid eating (either because of a dietary choice or allergies or just plain don't like)?
I don't like most Sea food because of the fishy smell.I don't have any food allergies but string dislike for smelly things.I am blind as bat but extra sensitive sense of smell!!:P
Do you cook?(and by that, I mean prepare a meal that you'd serve to friends)
DO I COOK?????!!!!! Hahahaa!!!
If yes, what is your favorite dish to prepare to impress someone?
Anything and everything elaborate,colorful and looks fabulous on the table!!
When you go to a restaurant, what's your ordering strategy/preference?
Appetizers, Entree` and sometimes Dessert(If I still have space left to for that in!);D
Have you ever returned a dish or wine to the kitchen at a restaurant? Why?
I haven't but my husband does often He is very fussy when it comes to restaurant food.He wouldn't DARE return anything at home!!!HAHAHA!!!
My two old bookshelves full of cookbooks!I am crazy indeed:)

How many cookbooks do you own?
Boy!!! More than 200 collected over 20yrs and still hoarding.They are my legacy to my kids,hope they appreciate them one day!!
What is one food that you wouldn't want to live without?
Snacks!I love all kinds of colorful,crunchy and tangy Chaats!!;P


"Ten Favorite Things"

I have been tagged for this "Favorite things" MeMe by Cyber Kitty from "meowlife". Thanks for that Miss Kitty,I did enjoy it all!:))

Ten Favorites:

Favorite Color:Red and Blue
Favorite Food: Pav Bhaji(Mmm..!!)
Favorite Month: September(Fall colors!)
Favorite Song: Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya!(Anarkali)
Favorite Movie:Anarkali
Favorite Sport:American FootBall
Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Day of the week: Monday(everybody's out of my hair and I am free!:D)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mango
Favorite Time of Day: Afternoon(time for blogging!)

Eight Currents:

Current Mood: As usual,smiling
Current Taste: Masala Chai
Current Clothes: As always,Pants and shirt
Current Laptop:Compaq
Current Toenail Color:Always,Silver!
Current Time:1.25PM
Current location:Family room
Current Thoughts: joy doing this MeMe! ;D

Six Firsts:

First Best Friend: Vimmi
First Name: Asha
First Pet: Johnny
First Piercing: ear lobes to wear my Diamonds but don't wear them!!HUH!!:D
First Album: Latha Mangeshkar
First Movie: No clue but remember watching lot of Tamil films mom dragged me to and we are pure Kannadigas!!:D

Five things:

Thing You're Wearing:Pants,blouse and earrings
Thing You've did Today:Cooked,took care sick son,ate leftovers and I am doing this thingie!
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: AC cranking up!
Thing You Can't Live Without:Books and now blogging(I can give this up but not books!)
Thing You Do When You're Bored: The word "boring" is for stupid people who cannot find something to do in this big Universe!!
Things you like to Watch: happy kids and colorful birds,nature and Ocean.

Four places you have been today: Bathroom,Kitchen,front porch and high school to pick up the kid!

Three people you can talk to:Arvind,Trisha and Tushar.

Two Choices: To smile and to think positive.

One thing you want to do before I die: To see my kids independent and happy!

Two down!!:D


I have been tagged by Shilpa from "Flog & Rosbif" for this MeMe.Thank you Shilpa:)

"If you had to live on a deserted island for a year, which 5 bloggers would you bring with you and why?"
This is hard,just five people!!I wish I could take about hundred bloggers,my best buddies! Hmm..!!:)

Let's see! First I will be little scared when I am stranded on the Island at first,I need some positive thinking person to cheer me up,right?!
I will take Viji from Vcuisine because she has great this attitude towards life and always puts positive quotes at the end of her posts! I would like somebody like that around me to cheer me up.

Second, we need to eat!! We most probably have loads of edible plants and flowers on the Island!!
I will drag along who else but queen of vegetarian cuisine Trupti!!! That girl cook anything and everything from vegetables she can get her hands on and so well too!! Oh yeah!! I want her there for sure:))

Third, we get thirsty!!!
SIG!!!!She can make mean Cocktails and mixers and cooks mean non-veg too!!I bet she can come up with some fermented liquid over there and some meat,get creative and fill us up AND keep us HAPPY!;D

Fourth, we need somebody to chat when we get bored and keep us entertained.
Supriya/Sia comes to my mind!! She is very chatty and can keep us in better mood for longer time by talking dime to dozen and she knows lot of stuff too because she knows lot of "Did you know?" trivia she ends her posts with every time!:D

Finally,we need some handy man to build some shelter there for us you know? A guy??!! Hmm..!!!Do we need a guy, girls? or shall we keep the Island man free??!!:D I am thinking Sanjay,Deepak,Twisted DNA or DeepSat.Nope,I think we will keep that Island man free!!;D
Then who would I take to the Island last?! Oh wait! Why not the girl who tagged me for this MeMe?! She "deserves" to be there.Shilpa from "Folg and Rosbif" it is!!!Ahoy Shilpa:))

Alrighty then,who is going to crash the ship?! COME FORWARD PLEASE,I am ready with my buddies!!!:D


Sunday Breakfast or Brunch MeMe:
This MeMe was started by "Rosa's Yummy Yums" and I am tagged by Gattina from "Kitchen Unplugged".Thanks Gattina.

Here is what we are supposed to do."The idea is that you show us your typical Sunday breakfast or brunch table, give us a detailed description of what's on it and tell us why you love to sit around it to eat. If ever you live in a country where Sundays are not free (weekend) or if you don't really do much on this day, then you can also participate by writing about the kind of breakfast/brunch that you have when you are on holiday"!

Well..that's easy.Sundays are always special to us.Because that is the only day we sit together whether it's for breakfast , lunch or dinner as family as we are have different schedules during the weekdays caught up in daily routine.Weekends are relaxed,so we make something special:))

Let's see. In India,where I grew up,Sunday breakfast is usually something like Dosas(Lentil-rice Pancakes) or Chapatis with vegetarian side dishes since my mother is a vegetarian.Being in a tropical country,somehow we are ravenous by 8 am,we would hang around the kitchen waiting to be gobble the delicious food down.
When we moved to UK,we just didn't feel as hungry as we would in India in the mornings (although I kept on making Indian breakfast for the few months), so gave up on traditional breakfast and started having just toast and jelly,cereals. Sometimes during the weekends,the usual English breakfast Toast,Sausages,eggs and bacon etc.
Then we moved to US and had kids,the whole idea of breakfast changed again! Now on weekends, it's a very typical American breakfast/brunch; from Pancakes,Hash Browns,fruit bowl,OJ, Waffles, Bacon to breakfast quick breads!!
Life is a constant change! And what a change for us hopping country to country and changing our food habits and our life styles along with it has been quite a ride!!Thanks Gattina:)

Here are some pictures of weekend brunch I had posted before.

Tagged for the "Currently Reading" MeMe!!

I got tagged again by dr from "A little light" blog for this MeMe.Thank you dr!:))
The rules of this tag are:
1. Name the person who tagged you with a link to his/her blog.
2. Publish the 5th paragraph of page 123 of the book you are currently reading. (If the page does not have a 5th paragraph, take the last paragraph. And if the book doesn’t have page 123, take the last page.)
3. Tag five people (I will skip this part!)
Here is my favorite book I read whenever I have some time and whenever I travel because every page is enlightening and soothing to the soul!!!

"The Treasured Writings of Kalil Gibran" (The author of "The Prophet")
A great book of Philosophy ,wisdom and heart warming and wrenching articles about life in general written by Khalil Gibran (born January 6, 1883; died April 10, 1931), was a Lebanese American artist, poet and writer. He was born in today's Lebanon and spent much of his productive life in the United States.Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931.Before his death, Gibran expressed the wish that he be buried in Lebanon. This wish was fulfilled in 1932, when Mary Haskell and his sister Mariana purchased the Mar Sarkis Monastery in Lebanon. Gibran remains the most popular Lebanese-American writer ever.
Gibran willed the contents of his studio to Mary Haskell. There she discovered her letters to him spanning 23 years. She initially agreed to burn them because of their intimacy, but recognizing their historical value she saved them. She gave them, along with his letters to her which she had also saved, to the University of North Carolina Library before she died in 1964. Excerpts of the over six hundred letters were published in "Beloved Prophet" in 1972.All these info obtained from WIKIPEDIA

Here is my own treasured and well read copy!

Page 123, last paragraph;
He writes about slavery in US and at the end of this article titled "slavery" he writes;
" When midnight came and the spirits emerged from the hidden places,I saw a Cadaverous,dying specter fall to her knees, gazing at the Moon.I approached her,asking "What's your name?"
" My name is Liberty," she said.
And I inquired "Where are your children?"
And Liberty,tearful and weak,gasped "one died crucified, another mad, and the third one is not yet born."
She limped away and spoke further, but the mist in my eyes and cries of my heart prevented sight and hearing".

Phew!! I am choked up now! Let me not write anymore about this fabulous book and I hope you get this wonderful volume(Barnes and Noble), a collection of various writings and poems of Khalil Gibran to read ,feel and enjoy or at least the single and fabulous book called "The Prophet"!

Finally,a rose from my garden for you:)

I enjoyed these MeMes which took me down the memory lane,thanks to all of you. If you would like take on any of these tags,go ahead and do it.I will see you all next week.Have fun buddies.Hugs and kisses to all of you!:)

June 20, 2007


It's Eggplant time for JFI which was started by Indira from Mahanandi and this month's host is Sangeeta from "Ghar Ka Khana" blog.Thanks for choosing my favorite vegetable and for hosting JFI too Sangeeta!:))

Masalyachi Vangi:
I made this for RCI Maharashtra,but then I heard about Eggplants for JFI.Of course,I had to save it!;D This is my favorite dish ,tastes great with Rice rottis or Parathas.With that little touch of cloves,it makes it to the Gourmet level!!;D

You Need:
3-4 medium sliced long purple Eggplants,cilantro.
Masala paste:
1/4 cup coconut fresh or dry, 1 large onion, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 2-3 red chllies,few peppercorns, 4 cloves, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste, 2 tsp thick tamarind juice, 1/2 tsp sugar.
To season:
2 tbsp oil and ghee, 1 onion minced,few curry leaves.
How to make it:
1. Fry the coconut, onion, coriander seeds, peppercorns ,chillies and cloves each separately to a reddish color and grind together with tamarind,turmeric ,sugar to a coarse paste.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil and ghee and add onion and curry leaves ,fry 1 minced onions to almond color. Add Eggplants, salt and turmeric. Cover tightly and cook without adding water over a low heat till half-cooked and shiny.
3. Mix in the coconut paste, and simmer for 5-10 mins covered on low heat.Make sure Eggplants are cooked but not mushy. Remove from the heat.
4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Parathas or Rice rotis.

Thai Eggplants in Red curry paste:
A delectable dish,this is an easy Thai style vegetarian red curry.Traditionally,beef and Shrimp paste is added to the Eggplant sauce but I skipped meat here and made it with just Eggplants.Tastes delicious with rice.Enjoy.

For Red Curry Paste:
Toast 2 tsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp cumin seeds, seeds from 3 cardamom pods, 2-3 red chilies, chopped, 1/4 tsp peppercorns, grind these with little water, two garlic, 1 small onion chopped, 1 inch ginger, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp of tamarind juice, 1 lemon grass, sliced, 1/8 cup cilantro stems(not leaves), few basil leaves, salt, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground mace to a smooth paste.Keep aside. 1/2 cup coconut milk + 1/2 cup water.(1 tsp Shrimp paste is optional)Green onion and cilantro for garnish.
To make Eggplant curry, you need:
One Big Purple Eggplant(US style) or 3-4 long purple ones cubed into big pieces,1 small onion minced,cilantro and green onions for garnish.
How to:
1. Heat 3 tbsp oil, fry 1 onion minced until reddish, add 3-4 cups of cubed eggplants, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
2. Add ground paste to the pan,fry until oil shows up on top and the Eggplants are cooked but still firm without adding water.
3. Turn down the heat,add 1/2 cup coconut milk ,1/2 cup water and salt ,simmer for 2 mins until the raw smell from coconut milk disappears.
4. Garnish with cilantro, green onions and serve with rice.

Hyderabadi Bagharey Baingan:
Every Indian have their own blend of spices for this classic dish of course,here is mine.I love it with Rice rottis but tastes so good with Parathas too.This recipe is from Bilkees Latif, and she says it's a popular Hyderabadi Muslim dish which is always served at the weddings.Sounds good to me,tasted great too!

You Need:
6-8 small round eggplants, 2 onions (finely sliced), 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 2 tsp Fennel seeds, 2 tbsp peanuts,1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 2" cinnamon, 1 cardamom ,seeded,1 tsp chironji (melon seeds), 1/4 dry coconut, 1 tbsp tamarind juice, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, salt.
To season:
3 tbsp oil, 1 tsp ghee,2 tsp each ginger and garlic ground,1 tbsp tamarind juice, few curry leaves,salt.
How to:
1. Remove stem from eggplants and make four slits down the sides from the top keeping the stem intact.
2. Fry onions until reddish, dry roast all the other spices separately and grind all these to a smooth paste.
3. Mix this paste with salt, chili powder, and stuff the paste in the slits of each eggplant.Save any extra spices left over.
4. Heat 3 tbsp oil and 1 tsp ghee, fry ground ginger, garlic, curry leaves add saved masala paste for 2 minutes.
5. Add stuffed eggplants and fry on low heat, turning gently so they get fried all over evenly. Add tamarind pulp, 1/4 cup of water and simmer until eggplants are cooked,shiny and the sauce is almost dry.
6. Serve garnished cilantro and with some parathas.

Other Eggplant dishes I have made before:
(I told you it's raining Eggplants already!!;D)

Eggplant Bajji/chutney
Eggplant Ennegayi
Vangi Bhaat
Mirchi-Baingan Salan
Masala Baingan
Aloo-Baingan masala
Imam Bayildi
Another version of Vang Bhaat!:)

From my front yard:

That Ceramic frog was handmade by one of my husband's patients and was gifted to us.It is beautiful and looks perfect in our front yard!:)

My homegrown veggies!
I have Green beans, Cherry Tomatoes,Banana peppers,Bell peppers, Cucumbers,Red and green Amaranth leaves and an Eggplant sprouting out!!I am so happy!!! Most of all I had planted Ridge Gourd seeds and they have sprouted too! Click on the image to make it larger.Unfortunately,my snake gourd seeds haven't sprouted yet,will update later.

Have a great weekend all you gals and guys! I will see you next Wednesday from a surprise location!:))

June 13, 2007


(Pic from www.bakingshop.com)
Before I start with RCI,let me wish all the fathers very happy "Father's day" and have a wonderful Sunday.Moms and kids,make sure to make him feel special!

And now..

We are celebrating the state of Maharashtra as a part of Regional Cuisines of India which is started LakshmiK from "Veggie Cuisine" and Nupur from "One hot stove" is the host for this event in June.Thanks for taking time to host Nupur!:))


The name Maharashtra first appeared in a 7th century inscription and in a Chinese traveler's account. Its name may have originated from rathi, which means, "chariot driver". At that age Maharashtra was full of builders and drivers of chariots who formed a maharathis, a "fighting force." In 90 A.D. king Vedishri made Junnar, thirty miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom.The official language is Marathi.Shivaji Bhosle,a legend and the founder of the Maratha Empire,holds the highest place in Maratha history.It is well known that Maharashtrians consider their food as 'Anna he poornabrahma' meaning they consider 'anna',or food,equal to 'Brahma',or the creator of the universe.Food is God, to be worshipped.Maharashtrian cuisine is divided into two, Konkani, and Varadi.Language spoken is Marathi,Mumbai is the capital and of course, don't forget the Bollywood!!(Info from here.)Most of these recipes are from this book which has wonderful collection of Maratha cuisine.Enjoy!:)

I always bought Bhakarwadi and loved it although store bought ones are little hard to chew.When I saw this recipe,it looked complicated but decided to try anyway.Boy! Am I glad I did? They 100% better than store bought and so crisp!I will never buy store bought again.Look at these! Why buy when you can make these beauties at home!:)

Click on the image to see step by step pics:

To make casing:1 1/2 cups plain flour,salt,1/8 tsp baking soda or Self rising flour which has salt and rising agent already(I used this for Bhakarwadi above),1/4 cup Besan (Chickpea flour),1 tbsp oil or Margarine(Crisco).Mix,knead with little water until a stiff dough,cover and keep aside.

Prepare filling:
Roast 1 tbsp each sesame,coriander seeds and Poppy seeds,1 tsp each Fennel seeds,crushed Ajwain,cumin seeds, 2 tbsp dry coconut lightly and add to a blender along with 1 tbsp Goda masala,1 tbsp cornstarch,salt,1 tsp sugar,1 tsp chilli pd.Heat 1 tsp oil,fry 1/4 cup finely minced onions until reddish,1 tsp each of ground ginger and garlic,fry for a minute and add to the blender.Grind to a smooth pd with 1 tsp of water(not more than that, just make it wet and thick paste.)Heat oil to fry.
To roll Bhakarwadi: Divide the dough into 4,roll out to rectangle if you can,brush filling all over thinly and roll from the wider end to a tube and cut to 1" pieces.Repeat with other 3 dough and fry these in hot oil until golden and crisp.Drain on paper towel,cool and store.YUM!!
If they get soft after sometime,reheat in 300F oven for 15mins and cool.

Valachi Usal:(I used Soya beans)

You Need:1 cup dried white Greenpeas or Soya beans,1 cup minced onions, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1 pinch asafoetida/Hing, 1 tbsp thick tamarind juice,1 tsp grated jaggery or sugar, 2 tbsp grated coconut,2 minced green chillies, 1 tsp cumin seeds pd, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 4 flakes garlic, 1" piece of ginger ( both ground),1 tbsp Goda masala and salt to taste.
How To: Wash and soak beans overnight,and cook them until soft with enough water with turmeric,green chillies and all the spices till soft. Take off the heat and set aside. Cover tamarind with water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the juice. Heat 3 tbsp oil and add in asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds stop popping, put in ground onions,fry until soft,add ginger, and garlic and fry to a rich golden color.Add in salt and cooked beans, tamarind and jaggery ,Goda masala and boil for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with sev,coconut and coriander leaves.Mash some beans to make thick sauce and serve with Parathas or sprinkle minced onion,cilantro and sev on top as a snack.

Goda Masala:
There are many variations of Goda masala.This is my fav mix which I use it to my beloved snack Misal with Matki beans(Yum! Reminds me of college!).This Goda masala is simple and tasty.Kaala masala is of darker shade and little or lot different from Goda masala and has 32 ingredients!!

Roast and powder: 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp coconut powder,2 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp Ajwain (carom seeds),1" Dalchini(cinnamon),4 cloves, 1 cardamom powdered.I use this masala to make Bhakarwadi filling as well.

Kolhapuri Egg Rassa:
This recipe is from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor with some of my own my additions.You can add chicken,Mutton or veggies to this gravy.I chose to add some hard boiled Eggs.Gravy taste great with anything,hope you try.

You Need: 4-6 hard boiled Eggs, 2 small onions minced,1" piece ginger, 3 cloves garlic,some cilantro, 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter, 1-2 dry whole chillies, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg pd, 1 cup Tomato sauce and salt to taste.
For grinding: 1/4 dry coconut,3 red chillies, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 2 tbsp poppy seeds, 6-8 peppercorns, 1 tsp shahi jeera(black Cumin),1" cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms pd, 1 black cardamom pd, 4 cloves, 1 blade mace,1/2 tsp of Paprika.
How to:
1. Hard boil Eggs,peel,slice halfway and keep them aside.
2. Mince onions and grind ginger, garlic.Keep it aside.
3. Roast and grind dry coconut, red chillies with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, peppercorns, shahi jeera( black cumin seeds), cinnamon, cardamom pd, black cardamom pd, cloves, and mace separately to a smooth paste with little water.
4. Heat oil in a pan, add red chillies,add chopped onions and saute` till golden brown.
5. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook on medium heat for a few seconds.Add tomato sauce,cook until almost dry.Turn down the heat a little. Stir in the coconut paste and simmer until oil shows up on top.
6. Add eggs , 1 tsp sugar , and 1 cup or more of water, mix well and cook on medium heat, stirring for two to three minutes.
7. Add turmeric powder, grated nutmeg,and salt. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 mins.
8. How thin you want your gravy is up to you,adjust the liquid amount.Serve hot garnished with chopped fresh coriander leaves and fried red chillies.

Bhareli Keli:
We call it Rasayana in Karnataka,here is a very fragrant dessert and very easy to make too.You can substitute Coconut milk with cream and honey instead of sugar as well. The house smelled like Hindu temple (prasada!) when I was cooking this divine dessert! YUM!

You need:2 ripe (not too ripe) bananas,1 tbsp ghee, 1/4 cup sweetened or fresh coconut,finely grated,1 tsp Cardamom pd,1/8 cup grated jaggery or sugar(only if you are using fresh coconut), 1 cup coconut milk,1 tbsp each toasted coconut and sliced Almonds for garnish.
How To:
Mix together 1 tbsp ghee, coconut milk and cardamom pd and cook over a slow heat for 3mins. Peel and slice bananas halfway through on one side and fill in with the coconut filling. Put them side by side in a dish and pour coconut milk on top.Microwave until sauce is somewhat thick.Garnish with toasted coconut ,a pinch of Cardamom pd and Almonds.Serve warm or chilled.

That's it for this week.Next would be JFI with my beloved Eggplants!! Have a great Father's day Sunday!:))

June 06, 2007


WOO HOO!!! That's what I REALLY wanted to say next to that title!!;D
How are you guys? Our weekend was ok.Trisha was in the local newspaper again as one of the youngest scholars in High School with her photo and parents' name too!(Yup! That's only glory I get!;D)She also had her SAT exam on Saturday,so we had to stay put at home, couldn't do much other than working a little on my veggie patch.
But I got busy on Sunday as you can see,cooked like crazy and enjoyed it too.Took photos at lightening speed before kids get their paws on them!;D

What's on the menu?!
Chicken and Broccoli Bake,( Vegetarians,skip chicken ,add more vegs!)
Summer Apple Salad,(Going Lite for MBP!)
Asparagus with Sesame and garlic Butter,
Texas White sheet cake for dessert,
and wash them all down with a California Sunshine!!(AFAM!)
All these dishes are from "Taste of Home" magazine,an excellent Mag if you really want authentic homely recipes written by various authors.

Our Sunday lunch:

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole:
Here is a very tasty and healthy casserole with all goodness of Chicken and Broccoli with creamy Cheddar cheese sauce.You can skip the meat and add more veggies for a scrumptious lunch.Hope you will try.

You need:1 package(10 oz) frozen cut broccoli,1 lb chicken tenders, diced into bite-sized pieces, 1/2 cup sliced red onions, 1 tbsp butter, 1 can (11 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup+1/4 cup water or stock, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 2tsp Mrs.Dash spice mix,salt and pepper to taste, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup French fried onions,store bought.How to:Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the broccoli, drain. Keep it aside. Heat butter in a pan, add onions, when soft, add chicken pieces and saute until they are white. Stir in soup+water, mustard, salt, heat until it bubbles. In a casserole dish, arrange 1/2 the broccoli, top with 1/2 the chicken, layer 1/2 the grated cheese, repeat the layers. Sprinkle 2 tsp of Ms. Dash spice in between layers or on top, salt and pepper, and sprinkle French fried onions on top. Put it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.Serve warm.

Summer Apple salad:
Make this fabulous cool and lite salad for a hot Summer day!!It feels so good have this not so sweet salad/dessert! Chill it for an hr at least for a wonderful and tasty salad.Enjoy:)

You need: 1-2 red apple, cored and sliced thin, 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained, 1/2 cup celery, sliced, 1/2 cup grapes sliced, 1/4 cup sliced baby carrots, 1/4 cup Peaches and Pears (canned is fine),1/4 cup Orange segments,3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts(mix these with 1 tsp lemon juice).
For dressing: mix 3 tbsp cup fat free cream, 1 tbsp sugar,1 tsp Apple cider vinegar,pinch of salt.
How to: In a large salad bowl, combine apples, pineapple, celery, grapes, carrots, oranges,walnuts and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine cream, sugar, and pinch of salt. Mix and pour it over the apple mixture, toss to coat.Chill and serve garnished with Orange segments or slices.This is going to Coffee from 'Spice Cafe' MBP "Going lite!" event, hosted this month by miss gorgeous herself!!Thank you coffee!:)
I am choosing this salad from this site with my own additions to make it even healthier.

Sesame-Garlic Asparagus:
Asparagus stir-fry!! Fresh,crunchy and deliciously spiced side dish.I should have used fresh but couldn't get tender ones.Canned Asparagus was ok but little soft.Please use fresh for this recipe.

You need:
About 8-10 young tender Asparagus Spears(I usually do this with fresh ones.This time I couldn't get the young spears,so I bought a can!Big mistake!!:D Use fresh ones like I did here. 1 tbsp butter,1/2 tsp Garlic pd,2 tsp Sesame seeds,salt and pepper.
How to: Heat a pan with butter,add sesame seeds.Add in the whole Asparagus spears and saute for 2 mints.Don't need to cook too much,just until tender-crisp.Sprinkle salt,garlic and pepper,take off the heat and stir well.

California Sunshine:
What a cool way finish off the meal! This is originally called "Orange Julia or Julius".It not only looks beautiful,tastes delicious too chilled, served in a great looking tall glass.You can 2% milk too to cut the down the calorie even more.DO NOT use regular fat free milk though!

You Need:
1 can (6 ounce) frozen orange juice, concentrate, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 non-fat dry milk powder OR fat free half and half milk, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1/2 cup cold water, 10 ice cubes, few oranges for garnishing.
How to: In a blender, combine the first five ingredients, and process at high speed for 1 minute. Add ice cubes, one at a time, blending until slushy. Serve, garnish with orange slices.
Note: For a fancy glass edge, dip the rim of the glass into orange juice and then in sugar. Chill in the fridge before you pour in the juice. This is going to Sharmi from 'Neivedyam' blog for AFAM "Orange". Thanks for hosting Sharmi:)

White Texas sheet cake:
Texas sheet cake is light,easy and delicious,very handy for the kids to grab and go or as a after school snack.Add a squeeze of food color to make even more attractive.You can add Egg substitute if you don't eat Eggs.

You Need: 1 cup butter, 1 cup water, 2 cups plain flour or Cake flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs beaten, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking Powder.
For frosting: 1/2 butter, 1/4 cup milk, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract,1/4 cup chopped walnuts or use store bought vanilla frosting(heat with 3 tbsp water)to spread thinly and sprinkle Walnuts.
How to:
1. In a large saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil, remove from the heat.Cool a little, stir in the flour, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and baking soda,beat until smooth.Add Eggs beaten and mix well again.
2. Pour into a greased or sprayed with no-stick oil 15"x10"x1" baking sheet, bake at 375 F for 20-22 mins OR until the cake is golden brown, invert gently on a rack which is on the bigger cookie sheet to catch the icing and cool for 20 minutes.

Click on the image to see step by step pics:

For frosting; combine butter and milk in a saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat. Add sugar and vanilla, mix well. Stir in walnuts,spread over cooled cake or use store bought vanilla icing,add color,walnuts and spread it thin. Cut into squares and serve.

I got my brand new mixer within 5 working days of ordering from Canada!! Super duper fast (free!) shipping from Sumeet. Blades are slightly thinner than the old Sumeet but grinds better. I made Orange Julius(above) with whipper blade,works great!:)

Have a great weekend.See Y'all with RCI dishes next! Kids' school is over this Friday and they are going to literally hang around me for 2 1/2 mnts! AH..!!! HELP!!!!!;D