Whole grain breakfast muffin

Who doesn’t like a healthy touch – a fiber rich breakfast – in the morning? A rich breakfast to keep you strong and healthy, keeping fatigue at bay..

Instead of filling the tummy with so much grease and calories as soon as you wake up, start with something light and healthy to break the fast, for a fresh and active morning.

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The idea of whole grain breakfast perfectly fits the bill. In every manner it’s a go to snack as well if you prefer snacking in between.

The concept of adding little bit of everything, mainly oat flour, wheat flour, hint of few types of seeds and honey for sweetness did work fantastic without any hint of stickiness or dryness.  

Just rearrange the recipe and follow the instincts 🙂 Little adjustment with the flours based on the volume and density would work. And there lies the secret of having a moist breakfast muffin. This muffin has everything in it, well balanced amount of grains and ingredients to satisfy the palate. More than that since I replaced sugar with honey this is absolutely a perfect deal.  Enjoy the sweet aroma and then eat! Make everyday a better day!

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You don’t have to exactly follow the crowd since the crowd often follow things with their eyes closed, eventually ends up in the ditch. Instead consider your body and health, the easiest yet wisest approach to stay healthy

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Pizza with spinach and red bell pepper

This is not any tough task, pizza is often an easy option no matter what. Among the plethora of flavors, spinach outshines everything. The delicious contrast offers a rather quality touch. So, for a change I decided to add only vegetables and cheese. My ruse to maintain the balance without hindering the taste or the texture.

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The picture I had in mind till date is the one that I happened to watch on Food Network a few years ago. But, to be honest it wasn’t that appealing at all to the eyes except the celebrity aha moment 🙂 Something then clicked though. I don’t know what. It’s the idea of adding loads of greens, may be.

Anyways, the colors and the charm, ‘two birds in one shot’  allows you to have a carefree and relaxed time! Recipe here.

Sweetened coconut stuffed rolls

Happy Mother's Day!

These rolls are a great deal when you’re tight for time! The subtle sweetness from the coconut and the buttery flavor from the bread makes it quite a treat.  Even though it’s sweet just like any other sandwiches it fills the tummy and makes you feel happy and satisfied. It was one of my favorites and had eaten these rolls quite often during my stay in Bangalore, a lot of ‘it.

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Although it has been ages since I left that part of the world, the taste and the memory still stays afresh!  The simple coconut mixture gives you various other ideas with it. Inspired by the sandwich, my version has dry fruits and preserved cherries to enhance the texture and taste alike. It puffs up neatly leaving the mixture inside intact yet well blended.

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Sweetened coconut stuffed rolls

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These rolls are a great deal when you’re tight for time! The subtle sweetness from the coconut and the buttery flavor from the bread makes it quite a treat!



Ingredients


For the filling
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup dry fruits of your choice
¼ cup raisins
Pinch of salt and cardamom
Blend everything well.

For the rolls
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
¼ cup warm water
1 ½ tsp yeast

Directions

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Mix together egg with milk. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and the egg mixture to the flour. Knead well – really well for few minutes. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. After 1 hour or so, punch down the dough and knead again. Divide the dough into small equal portions. Roll out the portions lengthwise. Spread the filling and close all the ends while maintaining the log shape roughly as of a hot dog bun size. Leave the filled rolls in a warm place for another 30 minutes. Bake at 350 oven for 20-25 minutes,


Apple pie

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Apples are nature’s own delicious treat straight from the garden and baking an apple pie is simply a pleasure if you love cooking own food and capturing it in digital format. I’ve another reason as well. My family loves my version of apple pie. When they say, my mama bakes the best pie. Honestly it scares me 🙂 That means there is no room for error and negligence! On a positive note, that’s indeed encouraging! Am so grateful for that. So I take it as a nudging force to ace it anyways 🙂  

So, my freezer has a good amount of apple pie mix ready to use. As I said, I have been baking pies all along! Although I’ve tried different recipes with the mix, apple pie stands out for some reason. I love the combined flavor of apple and cinnamon. The aroma is so delicious and divinely soothing to the senses. It gives a good vibe in the kitchen as well.

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So after the blueberry pie saga, the next in mind was apple pie. And I had a half portion of dough saved in the refrigerator and baked a fantastic looking -divinely delicious apple pie. Luckily the next morning was so darn pleasant and sunny and bright to click few pictures to save and savor the apple pie saga.

Blueberry pie

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I have a special connection with blueberries, the cute little purple berries. Its health benefits are the core reason I adore ‘em. In fact I think I’ve comparatively more posts – Blueberry chocolate chip diamondsOatmeal blueberry mini loavescaramel bread puddingMerry berry smoothie etc., – tagged with blueberries than any others. The more the merrier, pie came along as a surprise! Few weeks ago we had a sale event at the block. Someone sponsored blueberry pie – $6 per box. I thought it’s a great price and a great way to get to know the blue pie.  I never had one before which is a shame of course. I don’t know why on earth I admit it here?!

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When it comes to pie, the first priority goes to apple pie since it’s the prominent one. And I couldn’t imagine any others as well. May be that’s the reason 🙂

Few days later I received my order in a cute little box, comparatively medium size blueberry pie. It was a pleasant surprise! I never ever thought blueberry pie tastes divinely delicious. It was ridiculously delicate yet firm enough, without any hint of the mixture running out of the shell, and the texture was well balanced so amazingly tasty pie! Instantly I got a good grip of how to prepare one.

Next I knew exactly what items to blend in to bring the goodness out of it. Why not Welch’s wild frozen blueberries. I’m a big fan of Welch’s products! Their frozen fruits rocks!  Here’s my blueberry pie – well, let the photo talk the rest 🙂

No fuss carrot cookie – cake bars

It’s a delicious combination of three different layers. The middle layer is mashed carrots sandwiched between cookie and cake. Between the layers the orange color gives a nice contrast whilst hiding the true –carrot- identity. Prior to this, I had tried to prepare a pie version of it by adding Graham crumbs as the base. But it was not appealing for some reason (I haven’t given up on that yet…I will be trying one more time :). Here the cookie dough as the base did a fantastic job by absorbing liquid content and kept the mixture intact between the layers while maintaining the consistency and taste throughout.

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It’s a great treat and comforting as well since it has vegetable as a one of the main ingredient :).  If your family has that one little fella who hates vegetable addition – it would easily mask that initial impression of vegetable added to it. In fact, soothing orange color in the middle does the ruse to do the appealing job! In the end, decorate with little whipping cream and chocolate glaze on top turns it into a decadent treat! Actually, caramel glaze goes far better than chocolate glaze. Unfortunately, I tried the chocolate version first and was hasty to capture the images. The next day when I tried it with caramel glaze, it tasted amazingly great! So I would recommend the caramel sauce 🙂

To get the firm yet soft base I used the cookie dough, over the cookie dough spread a layer of plain mashed carrots with a hint of pureed apple, and the final top layer is simple cake – a basic cake recipe would elegantly cover the top layer. It’s a very versatile no fuss cake or bar. When you bake it in a loaf pan, it’s easy to cut as bars. These bars are so great with coffee or tea. Or after meal, anytime!!

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For the bottom layer cookie dough
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the below dry ingredients and mix well.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
In a medium bowl, add the below ingredients and mix well until well blended.
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
Add 1 egg to it and beat well. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Combine everything well.
For the mashed carrots
Simply boil few carrots in a pressure cooker with less water; probably a 1/4 cup of water plus steam would be enough. Or simply drain any excess water off, if there is any. As you mash it, add a tablespoon of apple puree. Honey or sugar for the sweetness, if desired and ya, if you’re more of a sweet gal/guy 🙂 Blend it well and mash it to a roughly smooth paste. Now, spread the mashed carrot mixture over the cookie dough, may be 1 inch thickness. It reduces to half as it bakes as the cookie dough absorbs the water content.
For the top layer cake
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tbsp vanilla
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs along with vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to it. Gently mix everything together.
Grease a loaf pan with butter and remove excess grease from the pan and line a layer of parchment paper. Spread the first layer - cookie dough and level it evenly. Do not press hard! Then, over the cookie dough, layer the mashed carrot mixture about 1/2 inch thickness. Final layer would be the cake batter over the carrot mixture for about 1/2 to 1 inch thickness. You need to gently spread the mixtures without disturbing the layer beneath. Bake at 350° oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Apple pie crossover cake

Visiting orchards during summer is inevitable for me. Not just visiting but buying bags of fresh apples right from the garden makes me quell with joy. But all the joy disappears when I get home – the moment I see bags of apples waiting for my routine processing and packing. But I don’t entertain the nagging thought since I hate seeing spoiled apples! Hence I promptly designate a day just for apples! Then on, the job seems quite exciting, not a burdensome at all 🙂 It’s a one time job, after allJ. Anyhow, my freezer has a good amount of apple pie mix ready to use. And I have been baking pies all along!

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So I have been thinking of some new ideas to bring the best out of the apple pie mix I had in the freezer. Although many times the combination of pie and cake crossed my mind, the real motivation kicked in as I lay my eyes on graham cracker crumbs. In fact it needed a job, too. It was a half package all alone at the corner of the pantry. So for a change I paused and shifted to cake. Hence the idea of crossover cake which is a clever way of bringing three different layers of goodness!

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Since I didn’t have any guides to follow, timing was sort of tricky at first. In the end, it took about 40-45 minutes all along just as for a normal cake. Even though I was concerned about the bottom layer whether it stays well without burning or what if the pie mixture extends the moisture and ends up with a soggy lump! As luck would’ve it, everything stayed well and all the layers looked extremely elegant. As it bakes, the pie mix keeps the moisture throughout. So when it comes out of the oven you get a well layered perfect crossover cake in one shot!

Things needed are;

Graham cracker mix:
1 cup of graham cracker mix and 2 tbsp softened butter. Gently blend it into a coarse mixture.

Apple pie mix:
3 – 4 cups of peeled and sliced apples (mix of Granny Smith & Honey Crisp)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp softened butter
In a wide pan, add the apple slices along with rest of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat until   bubbly and soft, sort of thick consistency.

For the cake
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tbsp vanilla

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs along with vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to it. Gently mix everything together.

Grease a tart pan with butter and remove excess grease from the pan and line a layer of parchment paper. Spread the first layer – graham cracker mix and level it evenly. Then, over the cracker mix, layer the apple pie filling 1/2 inch thickness. Final layer would be the cake batter over the pie filling for about 1/2 to 1 inch thickness. You need to gently spread the mixtures without disturbing the layer beneath.

Bake at 350° oven for about 40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.