Valentine’s / Mother’s Day Meal

March 13th, 2013

Sorry for the short break, a few things have changed in our routine hence the delay in posting the next recipe/post. So for Valentine’s / Mother’s day I was treated to a candle lit lovely 3 course meal :) by the wonderful men in my life. They put alot of effort into the meal and making sure that it was all very well presented. I was very impressed with all the love and effort put in by both of them and it was very tasty. I do not have recipes to share with you as part of the menu was shop bought and things were just very cleverly put together. The recipe that was followed was modified by what my husband felt like adding to the recipe ;) .

 

 

So my starter was hummus with paprika, and toasted sesame pitta. The main was a moussaka with a side salad, masterfully chopped by junior chef, and for desert it was Greek yogurt with honey and roasted walnuts. I will remake the moussaka and add a recipe to the picture.

I felt very special and enjoyed not having to think about the cooking, the usual thought of  “oh what should I make today ?” or “which part of the world do we want to go to today for dinner ?” my usual questions for when I have not planned the menu. As I have said before in a previous post, sometimes the basic ingredients are all what we need and then they can be used to transform the ingredient into a world cuisine.

 

 

 

 

We are back !!!!!!!!!!!!! Chocolate Fudge Cake

October 29th, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake

After a very long time off from the blog we are BACK !

Well what can I say, many of you have asked WHY ??  the absence, wondering if I have stopped cooking ???? Never, it has just been a tricky few years and my editor (husband) was very busy, so there have not been any new posts, however hopefully you will see more regular entries. So as a peace offering I am going to share a chocolate fudge cake recipe ;)

This chocolate fudge cake recipe I saw on a TV show some years ago and since have made it several times of course with my modifications. When I saw Phil Vickery make the cake, I thought to myself I had to try it, as I love the simple desserts that he makes and shows on various TV shows. One of the other reasons I wanted to try it was to see how it would turn out when using very little condensed milk, and much to my surprise the cake is moist, spongy and has a very nice chocolatey taste. It is such a simple recipe that this time, as can be seen in the picture, it is made by my son. He measured all the ingredients, mixed, and poured the batter into the tin, which he prepared by placing the grease proof paper before hand. I only assisted by placing the cake in the oven for baking, once cooled he cut the shape he wanted and decorated it to how he wanted it.

Oh I cannot tell you how proud it makes me feel to see him make the cake all by himself – he has grown up so much that he is using all of his skills and learning more at the same time as making the cake. Of course the most obvious being maths – weighing and measuring the ingredients, then the other bit of learning, which you would not normally associate with cooking is science. When mixing the oil & milk, and the effect of mixing the two ingredients to emulsify them together. He even said as he was mixing it, lets see what happens when we mix the light (oil) liquid with the heavy (milk). As he whisked the two ingredients together, he noticed the change from being separate layers to big bubbles and then eventually coming together. It is only when we think about these things do we realise how everything is connected and how we use core subjects like maths and science in everyday life without thinking about it. In effect we are enforcing what is being taught at school in a fun practical way, and of course the most important skill/ lesson learnt is cooking – being able to make something. I urge you to try this recipe, it is a very rich, moist cake. Each time I have made it, the cake is eaten on the day and there hardly ever is anything left over. Everyone who has tried it loves it and I have taught two other people how to make it already.

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Cooking for 1 or 2

March 10th, 2010

A little over a year has passed since we started out on this venture, a wonderful journey :) . Over this year we have learnt and shared a lot along the way about the world of blogging. Over this time we have spoken to many people  with regards to the blog and what we are trying to achieve, and the one thing that keeps on coming back is, are there any recipes for single people or students? So we got thinking and decided to add a section where there will be a list of store cupboard ingredients and some simple meal ideas on how to prepare in advance so that you can have a wide variety of world cuisines.

Like me, the majority of us who start off on our careers, university is the first steps to looking after our own health and well being. Along the way we have many cooking disasters and find new tastes.

As I have grown have grown up, my eating & cooking habits have changed a great deal. However one thing that has remained is a need to ensure the food is healthy or tweaked to have, say, wholemeal flour instead of plain flour. As I have become a mother I am more aware of this need to ensure a healthy balanced diet which is good for the mind  & body. There are so many things which are inter-related and connected. We forget what an important part food plays in our life, to keep us fit, healthy & well. So with all of that in mind I am adding another dimension to our blog, please feel free to send me your recipes to try out and add to this or any other section of our blog. Our main aim is to share our passion and love for good vegetarian food for all to enjoy :)

In recent years there have been many studies looking at how food improves our intelligence and well being. I myself borrowed a book from the library on this very subject, because I want to give my son the best possible start in life. Also being vegetarian I wanted him to have all the necessary nutrients and vitamins needed to grow and develop in life. Actually it does not matter how old we are – all age groups should try and maintain a well balanced diet, one which incorporates all the food groups in every meal. It is vital that, from children to when we become young adults (students), we take the responsibility of  looking after our own well being and food is a very important part of it.

Now that I think about it and look back, when I was away at university, I just cringe at the thought of what I used to eat  as my dinners (a packet of jaffa cakes) and my cooking disasters !!! I remember one time I really fancied having an Indian snack called pawa bateta (flattened rice & potatoes), so I made the correct portion for 1 person but then added the spices for 5 people. That is how I learnt to cook for the family, so … we live & learn. So bearing that in mind and a conversation I had with my cousin, thanks to her ground work, I thought of adding a basic store cupboard list as well to help students, single or couples along the way to make a multitude of cuisines, from these standard ingredients. For example, I use kidney beans for my traditional curry, Mexican, soup, salad, Italian, and Jambalaya rice, so the one ingredient can be used to make 6 different types of meals. So the correct store cupboard ingredients are not only good value for money, but at the same time the ingredients should provide meals filled with vitamins and foods which nourish physically and mentally. Below is a list of what I feel would be good to have from which as mentioned you can make many different vegetarian meals.

Cupboard Perishables
Freezer Masala
Pasta & Rice

Canned Chick Peas

Canned Kidney Beans

Canned green lentils

Baked Beans

Tomato puree tube

Sun dried Tomatoes

Couscous

Red lentils Dry

Cereal of your choice & Oats

Wholemeal Flour

Self raising flour

baking powder

Tortilla wraps

Snacks like

Nuts, crisps, cereal bars,

savoury (Indian) snacks

Nan/Pitta Bread

Bread

Cheese

Butter

Milk

Yoghurt

Olives

Vegetables like,

Courgettes

Aubergines

Mushrooms

Broccoli

Potatoes

Onions / garlic / ginger

Butternut squash

Fresh Juice

Apples

Banana

Seasonal Fruit

Peas

Spinach

Sweet corn

Burgers

Waffles or chips

Puff pastry

Ice cream

Pre made curry pastes

& pasta sauce

Oil – sunflower & olive

Salt

Pepper

Chilli Powder

Turmeric powder

Jeeru Powder

Dhana Jeeru

Rai / Jeeru / Hing

Garam masala

Soy sauce

Ketchup

Oregano or mixed herbs

Chilli flakes

Peanut butter

Chilli sauce

Below is a list of some sites that are good to use as a resource for some quick ideas or good recipes to try out. Feel free to forward links if I have missed out on any sites that you would recommend.

Chef in You

Student Cook

Beyond Baked Beans

BBC Student Survival Kit

Student Recipes

Golden Triangles

October 22nd, 2009

Golden Triangles 1

I came up with this recipe as I really wanted to incorporate some dried fruit with a normal / traditional barfi. I also wanted to try and make a healthy sweet, using natural sugars from the fruit and very little ghee. Traditionally Indian sweets are full of calories because of the amount of sugar and ghee that are used, so I wanted to create some thing which used the bare minimum of these ingredients. The other criteria I was trying to fulfil is to make a simple, easy and quick recipe. I chose apricots because of their taste and texture, not to mention the health benefits. Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, high in fibre, potassium and low in fat. Apart from perhaps warding of cancer, heart disease and protecting eyesight, apricots also help increase the immune system as it is a good source of iron, which is essential for the renewal of red blood cells. These cells oxygenate the body, helping to stop feeling lethargic and tired. This is essential especially as the cold weather is setting in and days are starting to get shorter, we need to have feel good foods:)

Having decided on the fruit I started thinking about how to encase it and what other  ingredients, if any, to add. So I visualised the colour of the fruit and what other colours would go with it and what shape to give it etc. I just wanted to use the ingredients I had at home at the time. So I added some chocolate chips (which I now feel can be left out) and thought I would coat it with the barfi mixture with added flavour of cocoa. The triangle shape came about because this summer one of my husband’s aunties had given a gadget to make shaped mithai, which I wanted to use so that is why the shape is a triangular. The gadget is essential a V shaped long metal strip with a less than 90 degree bend along its length. Although the final shape I ended up making was by pressing roll of the mixture by hand into a triangle shape, so the strip of metal did not help in making the final shape. Everyone who has tried this sweet/mithai has loved and enjoyed it, so I am glad I thought out of the box and experimented with this sweet for diwali.

Golden Triangles 2

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