May 22, 2012

Asparagus chicken noodle soup

Here is a hearty and wholesome soup you can put together for dinner.

What you need: Serves 4
1 whole chicken breast
1 cup of fresh/frozen sweet corn
10 whole asparagus stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup red onion chopped
1 cup whole wheat egg noodles
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of finely chopped ginger
1 bay leaf
1 whole dry red chili
Salt to taste
Place the chicken breast in a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil and let it cook for about 7-10 minutes. 

Remove the chicken breast, and let it cool. Peel the chicken into shreds and set aside. Reserve the chicken broth for the soup.

In a saucepan, add a teaspoon of olive oil. When it is warm, add in the minced garlic and ginger, saute for a few seconds, and turn in the chopped onions. Let them cook for a minute. 

Add in the corn and asparagus. Toss in the cumin seeds, whole chili and bay leaf. 

If you dont like the spices this way, you may bundle the cumin, red chili and bay leaf in a clean cheese cloth and dump it along with the chicken. The flavors will disperse into the chicken and chicken broth. Let the bundle stand in the chicken broth, and soup all the way. Remove it just before your soup is served.

Let them all roast for a minute on high heat. Add the shredded chicken, cook on high heat, then turn down the heat to medium.

Pour in the reserved chicken stock. Bring it to a boil; add in the dry noodles and let cook for 12-15 minutes. In a little cup, add a few teaspoons of water to the corn flour, then pour it in and boil the soup for a minute or two. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Enjoy!

May 15, 2012

Animals in the Jungle Cake

A brown little monkey....

A lion that looks like a puppy dog, a blue elephant.... silly tigger and Mr.Spotty giraffe with an attitude!

I baked the cake the evening before, then iced and covered the fondant a few hours before the party.

The kids surround me as I begin to assemble the cake at the party, slowly but surely, they start plucking at the ears and tails of the animals, then poke their fingers into the cake and lick them. What fun it all was...

The cake dismantled and eaten after all  its short lived glory....

Death by chocolate brownies!

It sure is fun to surprise your kids with a light dinner followed by a mouthwatering dessert. Cool off the heat with freshly baked brownies, a dollop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup.

Brownies and ice cream volcano at Rainforest cafe... any one ever tried them? They are one of the finest brownies I have tasted ever! So, from them on, I was on a mission to bake them, and no compromise, I wanted them to have loads of chocolate, and they had to be chewy. 

Now when something is on mind, I cant get to sleep without trying them. Have you ever felt like waking up at 2 in the night, to make a batch of brownies that you have been dreaming about all week? Welcome to my world! So here they are, nothing but... brownies..just the way they are meant to be.. chewy and rich with real chocolate.

This was my third go, juggling combinations and getting this perfect. The first two times, they were cakey, so I improvised on a few things until this heavenly brownie came about.  I believe, we do not need any baking powder or baking soda at all. The eggs will do that little rise you need in the brownie.

What you need: Makes about 28-30 brownies
1 cup / 2 sticks butter, melted
2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat them all together on low until thoroughly blended.

Gradually stir the flour into the mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. This is a bit of a task, as the batter is pretty thick.

Bake in a preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out a little gooey, about 15-17  minutes. Under cooking them by a few minutes will give them a chewy gooey texture. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares and devour them warm. Enjoy!

May 1, 2012

Hot dogs & Veggie-Mac & Cheese

This dish is a breeze to put together for dinner, and will be over in no time!

What you need: Serves 4
4 hot dogs, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup carrots diced
1 cup green beans cut into 1/2 inch sticks
1 cup peas
1 cup white onions chopped
1/4 tsp paprika/chili powder or better yet 1/2 tsp of chili garlic hot sauce
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner pack

Prepare macaroni according to instructions on the box, adding about 1/2 tsp salt into the boiling macaroni. Drain and set aside. Reserve about 1/2 a cup of the drained liquid.

In a large skillet on medium heat, add a Tbsp of butter. As it melts, add in the minced garlic, followed by onions and the hot dogs. Saute the mixture for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add in the carrots, beans and peas. Let them all cook on medium high for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the paprika or hot sauce to combine. Then, add in the drained macaroni. Stir in the drained liquid, milk and the cheese from the box. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until Macaroni is tender. Serve hot, Enjoy!

Vegetable ginger omelet

Fragrant ginger and cumin add a new dimension into the basic  veggie omelet!

What you need: Serves 4
6 eggs or 2 cups egg substitute
1/2 tsp finely chopped/minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cumin 
 A pinch of paprika/chili powder
1 cup  broccoli, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup corn
1 tsp olive oil
Cooking oil spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup your choice of cheese, grated (optional)
Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat; when hot, pour in olive oil and chopped ginger, then toss in all the vegetables together. 

Saute them for a few minutes. Sprinkle a few drops of water to keep the vegetables moist. 

While that cooks, place about 1/4 tsp of cumin on a board, and crush them down using a rolling pin. Sprinkle this coarse cumin powder on the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside. 

Beat the eggs in a bowl until light and frothy. Place a nonstick pan on medium heat. When it is hot enough, spray some cooking oil, and pour a scoopful of the egg mixture. 

Add about 2 tablespoons of the cooked vegetables, and let the egg cook. After about 30 seconds, sprinkle the grated cheese, roll in the opposite edges of the omelet into a wrap. Let it cook for another 45 seconds. Slide it onto a plate and serve warm. Enjoy!