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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lamingtons- A traditional Australian dessert



Lamingtons are traditional Australian dessert, made from squares of cake, coated with a layer of chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin coating of the chocolate and desiccated coconut is an amazing combination when we bite into the small square pieces of the cake.


From the time I started blogging, I wanted to make these little cuties, which I saw in Ria’s collection, but thinking about the sugar used in these, I thought of making for some special occasion and today I am here with these beauties, which I made for my daughter’s school project.


They have a project, in which each kid had to choose a country, which they never visited and my daughter chose Australia and she has to study about the country and make a brochure using library books and on the last day of the project they have to take a traditional food of the country. I was searching a lot and then came to know that these little melt in mouth cake pieces are Australia’s traditional dessert. I grabbed the opportunity to try out these amazing dessert.


Usually, these are baked in the cake tin and then cut into desired shaped and dipped in chocolate and coconut. But I baked them in a baking tray So that it’s easy to cut and much easier to dip into chocolate icing. This recipe makes bite-sized lamingtons, which are perfect for parties or any gatherings. I doubled the recipe and so I got around 90- 100 square pieces so that I gave some to my dear friends. These lamingtons are irresistible. The Australian cuties will become your favorite within no time, just try this out and let me know.




Ingredients:
For the cake:
  1. All purpose Flour- 2 Cups
  2. Sugar- ½ Cup
  3. Butter- ½ Cup
  4. Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp
  5. Baking Soda- ½ tsp
  6. Baking Powder- 1 tsp
  7. Eggs- 2 nos
  8. Milk- 1 ¼ Cups
For the Chocolate Coating:
  1. Butter- 1 tbsp
  2. Water ¾ Cup
  3. Cocoa Powder- 3 tbsp
  4. Sugar- 2 Cups
  • Desiccated Chocolate- for rolling the cake pieces
The method for the cake:
  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and soft. Beat the eggs along with vanilla essence till creamy and fluffy.
  2. Add this beaten egg mixture to the butter- sugar mixture till well blended.
  3. Sieve the flour along with baking soda and baking powder and keep this aside.
  4. Alternating with milk, add the sieved flour into the butter- egg mixture and fold well till all the flour and milk gets over.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the batter to a greased baking tray and bake for about 25- 30 minutes.
  6. When done, cool and cut the cake into small squares.
Method for chocolate coating
  1. Boil the water and butter to rolling boil.
  2. Mix the sugar and cocoa powder well. Add this boiled water- butter mixture and stir well.
  3. Keep this aside.
Assembling the Lamingtons:

  1. Drop a square piece of the cake into the chocolate coating, using a fork dip it well till the cake piece is coated with chocolate.
  2. Take the chocolate-coated piece and drop it in the desiccated coconut which we kept in a bowl.
  3. Roll the cake piece well in the desiccated coconut, with the help of a fork. Repeat with the remaining pieces till they get over.
  4. Arrange it on a plate and serve.



Monday, March 27, 2017

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Now whenever your kids demand some snacks to munch, just don’t think too much, cut some sweet potatoes (if you have them) into wedges and throw them in the oven. Within minutes a healthy and nutritious baked fries will be ready, which will be everyone's favorite right from the time they taste these. Sweet potato fries are perfect evening snack which is very addictive once tasted.


Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have one of the nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Not always the sweet potatoes are orange in color, they can be purple and also white fleshed ones. These sweet potatoes are called one of the healthiest foods in the world.


Just cut them into thick or thin wedges, toss them with olive oil, sprinkle your favorite spices and bake at the required temperature for some time and these lovely golden fries are ready within minutes. After eating these, you won’t ask for any other snack to munch. Try this out and let me know
Ingredients:
  1. Sweet Potatoes- about 3 large ones
  2. Smoked Paprika- 1 tbsp
  3. Garlic Powder- ½ tbsp
  4. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  5. Pepper powder- 1 tbsp
  6. Salt- as required
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, wash and cut the sweet potatoes into thin wedges.
  2. Toss the paprika, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil and salt to the wedges and arrange them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined a baking tray.
  3. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown turning occasionally. Cool it and serve.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Healthy Rosemary Baked Chicken and Vegetables


Healthy, flavorful and tastier is what we call this simple and comforting dish which can be prepared within no time on a lazy Sunday. This dish is very filling and which is loaded with colorful veggies and packed with proteins.


In this dish, the chicken breasts and our favorite veggies are baked together along with a dash of spices and is fully flavored with the Mediterranean herb of rosemary. Last spring I bought a lovely plant of rosemary and it survived through this winter and as I love the flavor of rosemary in my salads or other dishes, I thought of using the fresh rosemary sprigs to this dish. I usually use the dried leaves of rosemary. The distinctive taste of rosemary has taken this dish to another level.


This is an incredibly easy and a satisfying meal, which can be prepared for lunch or dinner.
When you feel lazy to cook, try out some of these delicious and healthier one pot baked dishes rather than calling for a take-out. You can have this without chicken, just add all your favorite veggies and tada an amazingly delicious, the heavenly dish will be ready within minutes to enjoy.

Ingredients:
  1. Boneless Chicken- 500 gms
  2. Paprika- 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  4. Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Garlic (crushed)- 5 cloves
  7. Fresh Rosemary Sprigs- 1 no
  8. Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tsp
  9. Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  10. Mushrooms- 1 Cup
  11. Capsicum- 1 cup
  12. Broccoli- 1 Cup
  13. Cucumber- 1 no
  14. Spinach- 1 Cup
  15. Salt - a pinch
  16. Pepper Powder- 1 tsp
  17. Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tbsp
Method:

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken. Make slits and keep this aside.
  2. Mix paprika, salt, pepper powder, turmeric powder, crushed garlic cloves, rosemary leaves, vinegar and lemon juice in a glass bowl. Spread this paste on the slitted chicken well on both the side. Keep this for about 15- 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile slice the capsicum, mushrooms and chop the cucumber, spinach, and broccoli into sizes. Smear little oil on top of the veggies along with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with a parchment paper and arrange the veggies as shown or mix everything together and place them on the parchment paper on the baking tray.
  5. Line another baking tray with parchment paper and place the marinated boneless chicken pieces and bake both the veggies and the chicken for about 20- 25 minutes or until the veggies are cooked and the chicken gets tender.
  6. When done, remove the vegetables and chicken from the oven. Slice the chicken to bite sized pieces and arrange the required amount of veggies and sliced chicken in serving plate, enjoy warm.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Instant Andhra Tomato pickle



Andhra food is known for its spicy food. It consists of mouthwatering vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes. The scrumptious cuisine consists of palatable biryanis, rice, tempting gravies, tangy pickles and heavenly desserts.


As I grew up in Andhra, I love  Andhra cuisine to the core. My mom prepares different varieties of tasty and spicy pickles, which we all like to have along with our daily rice, roti, dosas, idlis and so on. Every time the glass jars are filled with one or two varieties of pickles. If one pickle gets over she is ready with some different variety of pickle. Always the jars are filled with delicious assortments of pickles. Likewise, I have become like her. I love to prepare and also eat pickles. Whenever I get raw mangoes/ amlas/ lemons, I  grab the bag and prepare pickles and store them in different glass jars. Now my daughter is also a big lover of pickles. She loves to eat the pickle along with rice. I won’t make them spicy, as she loves to eat them.



This tomato pickle I am trying for the first time.Traditionally in Andhra, tomato pickle is made by using sun-dried tomatoes. This which I made is an instant pickle, can be stored for about 3- 4 months in a clean and sterilized glass jar. Everyone has their own version of making pickles. This is my version of a delicious, mouthwatering, long lasting, tasty and tangy tomato pickle. Just try this out and let me know.



Ingredients:
  1. Tomatoes- 1 kg
  2. Tamarind- a lemon size
  3. Oil- 1 Cup
  4. Mustard seeds- 2 tsp
  5. Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies- 5 nos
  7. Garlic cloves- 1 no
  8. Curry Leaves- few
  9. Red Chilli Powder- 5 tbsp
  10. Turmeric Powder- 2 tsp
  11. Salt- as required
  12. Asafoetida- a pinch
Method:

  1. Wash and roughly chop all the tomatoes, meanwhile heat ½ cup of oil in a nonstick pan and drop all the roughly chopped tomatoes.
  2. Stir on a medium flame till all the moisture from the tomatoes is evaporated. This will take almost 20- 25 minutes. In the middle of the stirring, the process adds the lemon sized tamarind and let it boil along with the chopped tomatoes.
  3. When all the moisture is evaporated from tomatoes, switch off the flame and let it cool.
  4. When tomato and tamarind mixture is completely cooled, grind this to a fine paste using a hand blender.
  5. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and grind to a fine powder. Keep this side.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves, dried red chilies, and garlic cloves.
  7. Stir for about a minute or 2. Lower the flame and add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, roasted fenugreek powder and adjust the amount of salt.
  8. In the above, add the ground tomatoes and tamarind mixture along with a pinch of asafoetida. Taste and adjust the salt accordingly. Cook the tomato mixture till the oil starts to float on top. Turn off the flame. Let it cool completely and transfer in a clean and sterilized glass jar.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eggless Honey Cake



This eggless honey cake I have seen in many blogs and wanted to try the unique taste of honey which in cakes is new to me. I have never tasted a honey cake before, but this cake is most popular in almost all the bakeries across India.
Basically, it is a vanilla sponge cake, soaked in honey syrup which is spread with mixed jam with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. This cake is so moist, juicy, soft and cool. The cake absorbs all the honey syrup and gets soaked well. Though this cake has condensed milk and honey, we won’t feel the cake to be sweeter. It is just perfect.



Today for my husband’s birthday I baked this honey cake and as he is not a big coconut lover, instead of desiccated coconut I sprinkled slivered almond, which also tasted yumm. This cake turned out perfectly delicious and so they got finished as soon as the cake is cut.


Usually, this cake gets the red color because of the mixed jam, but for my cake, as I didn’t have the jam at home, I prepared the strawberry jam instantly and when it is cooled, I spread it on top of the cake. So everything is freshly made and I am sure that this will be a show stopper in any parties or birthdays. Just serve them cut into squares and this cake will be enjoyed by all and kids will love this as the cake is soaked in honey and spread with jam which is sprinkled with almonds or coconut. Try this out and let me now.


Ingredients:
For Syrup
  1. Water- ½ Cup
  2. Sugar- 2 tbsp
  3. Honey- ¼ Cup
For topping:
  1. Slivered Almonds- As needed
Method:

  1. Prepare the eggless vanilla cake. When the cake is cooled down, prick the whole cake using a toothpick.
  2. Prepare the sugar syrup by boiling the water along with sugar. When the sugar dissolves, mix and switch off the flame.
  3. When it is slightly warm add the honey and mix till it dissolves. Pour this all over the pricked cake.
  4. Over this cake, spread the jam using a spoon and cover it fully. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top of the cake and cut into required pieces and enjoy.



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