June 29, 2012

Sausage and green bean wrap

This stir fry is quick to make and tastes delicious!

What you need: Serves 4, or makes 6 wraps
6-8 Gourmet spinach chicken sausages diced into desired size
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, washed in water, and cut or broken into 1 inch pieces
1 cup colored pepper, sliced
1 cup onion, sliced
1/2  tsp black pepper powder
2 tsp plum sauce
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
Salt to taste
2 tsp olive oil
6 cooked chapatis/tortillas

In a large wok on medium high heat, add olive oil. before it begins to smoke, throw in the diced sausages and saute to a light brown.

Add the onions, peppers and green beans, saute for 3 to 5 minutes without leaving the pan unattended.

Add in the plum sauce sauce, chili garlic sauce, salt and pepper powder.

Saute on high heat for just another minute and turn off the heat. Eat it as is or rolled in a wrap. Enjoy! 

June 28, 2012

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting

I wanted to make this cake for a long time, and I finally made it for a friend's birthday at work. The color is rich and cake is moist and dense. The only down side, I wish I dint have to use that much red food coloring....man, that is a lot of red! My kids looked like little monkeys with their fingers and lips all red from licking the bowl!

What you need: Makes a double layered 9 inch round cake, or a small 4 inch cake and 6 cupcakes, which is what I made.
3 cups flour
3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp  red gel food color
1 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour dust 9 inch cake pans. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until combined. Combine buttermilk and the red food coloring in a bowl. On low speed, pour the buttermilk alternating it with little batches of the flour mixture. Combine the mixture well after each addition.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. Incorporate it quickly into the batter and combine it with spatula. Now that will some red batter!

Bake the two pans in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes overnight before they are frosted.

Cream Cheese Frosting

What you need: Frosts and fills a 9 inch cake
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sour cream or 2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Using an electric mixer on low speed, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sour cream, whipping cream, vanilla and confectioners sugar. Cream them all together and beat until smooth. You may add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting.  Place another layer of cake on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate it with sprinkles. Store them in a cake box in the fridge, but serve them at room temperature. They will taste their best. Enjoy!

June 27, 2012

Asparagus and peanut stir fry

What you need: Makes 4 wraps
20 sticks of asparagus
1 cup red/white onions thinly sliced
2 whole dry red chilies
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp oil
Salt to taste
To Powder:
2 Tbsp deskinned raw peanuts
2 Tbsp dry coconut flakes/powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of garam masala powder

Dry roast all the powdering ingredients until they are nice and warm, Set aside on a plate to cool. Test to check the peanuts, when they give a good crunch, they are perfect to powder. In a coffee/dry grinder, powder them to a chunky texture.

Wash and wipe the asparagus dry. Cut them into 2 inch pieces. Heat oil in a shallow saucepan, when it begins to shimmer, add in the chilies. As they begin to roast in the oil, add in the asparagus and roast them on medium heat.

After about 4-6 minutes, sprinkle some salt. Toss in the sliced onions and let it saute for a minute. Adding the onions second, keeps them crunchy. If you like your onions soft, add them before the asparagus and roast them for a minute.

Now add in peanut chili powder and let the entire mixture cook on low for 3-5 minutes. It can be eaten as is, or served in a wrap with chapatis/tortillas. Enjoy! 

June 23, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

What you need: Makes 22-24 cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tsp grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A few drops of yellow food color
1 cup warm water

Whisk the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat them until light and fluffy.

Combine baking powder, salt and flour in a bowl, and whisk or sift them all together. Combine vanilla, lemon juice, zest, yellow color and warm water together.

Add the flour mixture in little batches, alternating with the lemon water, and beating until just combined. Pour them into paper cups about 3/4ths full.

Bake them at 325 degree F for 17-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove and let them cool completely.

Lemon frosting

What you need: Frosts 24 cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
A drop of lemon/yellow food coloring
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Using an electric mixer on low speed, whip the butter, milk and vanilla quickly until it is combined.

Add in the sugar little by little. Once its all in there, cream on high for a minute. Using a spatula, mix in the lemon juice and give it one or two quick stirs. That's it. You overdo it, and your cream will fall apart, curdling the milk. Spread it on the cupcakes and enjoy!

PS: I have also used some yellow fondant and sprinkles to decorate the cupcakes. 


June 22, 2012