Oct 29, 2010

Spooky Gross Witch Fingers!

Happy Halloween to all of you!

I had posted this recipe last year. Reposting it again as it is a great recipe for Halloween and I'm planning to make them again for our neighborhood potluck. Some neighbors remember me only as the lady who got the awesome witch finger :)These little fingers actually have their own fan following! This time I'm planning to break up the batch and maybe mix some funky halloween colors and make multi colored fingers coz we do have green and orange witches flying everywhere this season!

Update: I did make them colorful this time. Here's a quick picture. I also made some cute Witch Hat Cupcakes. Used a cake mix and made the cupcakes and topped off with some Betty Crocker's Whipped Icing and then decorated them with mimi M&M's and some Twizzlers! And top off with an ice cream cone for the hat. Easy Breezy and so much fun to do! And all the kids loved it!

Our neighborhood has an annual potluck party every year. We all meet up, eat and then take the kids out trick or treating. So, for this potluck I made these spooky witch fingers and some monster cupcakes!

The witch fingers are so gross looking - they are perfect for Halloween. And its a really simple and easy thing to make. I got the basic recipe from this site - http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/article/105/17893Thank you to Cheri Sicard for the recipe!

Ingredient check list -

Butter: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
1 Egg
All purpose flour or Maida: 2 3/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp Salt
Vaniila Extract - 1 tsp
Almond Extract - 1 tsp
Almonds without skin - about 30 - 40. If you have the whole almonds, just boil them in water for about 5 mins - the skin comes right off. 

Here's my butter getting chopped - I'm in the halloween mood!

Mix the sugar, softened butter, egg and the vanilla and almond extract and beat together well.

This is getting all fluffy.

Make a mix of the flour, baking powder and salt together. Now, slowly add this to the butter mixture a little at a time and mix well.

When you're done, you get a nice dough mix like this below. When done, put this in the fridge for about 30 mins.

After 30 mins, take the dough out. Take a small ball and roll it out into a long strip.

Use a fork and press down on the dough slightly to make the marks.

Arrange them on a cookie sheet. Press down an almond on the top of the finger and that would be the evil witch's nails!

Does this not look gross?


Bake them in a preheated oven at 325F for about 15 mins or until the base starts to get brown. This would bet the halloween idea of a witch getting burnt in hell!

Here they are...yuck and awesome!

 A close up shot of the spooky fingers. Did I tell you she was a fat witch?

Arrange them together and voila...you got yourself a great gross treat!

 Here they are along with my Halloween Monster Cupcakes! Happy Halloween!


 Enjoy! Peace Out!

Oct 25, 2010

Green Pasta - I mean, all Green!

You can't go wrong if you go Green. And that also holds true when it comes to the food you eat.

And to take it a step further on the green theme would be to use up some fancy green ribbon Spinach pasta, top it off with some fresh Pesto sauce (my version - I'm sure if you're Italian, you're probably nodding your head sideways real fast and saying no no no). And double top it with oven cooked Asparagus! How green can that get? You'll see.

So, here's the pack of Organic Pasta that I picked up from Henry's. Love these fancy ribbons!

I was not kidding - aren't these pretty? If you reallllly like them, I'll put these on top of your gift next time. Promise!

Boil Pasta as per directions on the box and set aside. While you let the cooked pasta sit - make sure it is sitting inside cold water so that they don't stick together and become a big ball of pasta.

While that is cooking, chop up some fresh asparagus and throw in a mixing bowl.

Add 1 big spoon of chopped fresh garlic pieces to the asparagus. Add more if you're a garlic lover. (The italians are nodding their heads again - but for all good reasons now!)

Add 1 spoon of lemon juice on top.

Then, add some sea salt and pepper (optional). Give all the ingredients a good stir in the mixing bowl and move to a baking tray.

Bake in a pre heated oven for about 7-8 mins. I overdid mine as you'd probably see below - they still tasted absolutely great but I'm sure they taste even better when not overdone - just like you'd probably see below. And yes, I repeat sentences when I'm nervous or when my asparagus gets overdone just like you'd probably see below.

A fresh pesto sauce has always tickled my taste buds. There is something just divine about it - maybe its all the oil fat in it - but hey, divine nonetheless! But this version here is with no oil. 0 oil. Nada oil. Wait. Don't congratulate me yet. I added Alfredo sauce instead. Hah. Gotcha.

I just want to make this my profile picture on FB! Love the look of fresh basil on my cutting board.

Wash the basil, pick the leaves and add them to your food processor or a mixer or blender. Throw in some more fresh garlic  (more head nodding from the big I's). Throw in a bunch of almonds to the basil. Sprinkle a few drops of water and grind to a coarse paste consistency.

When that is done, add about 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce. I used the store bought sauce and I won't stand in your way if you want to make even that fresh at home. Blend it all together until you get a good sauce consistency.

Move the sauce to a pan and heat up in medium heat for about 5 mins. Throw in some fresh chopped tomatoes for a bite.

Warm up the pasta before serving in a microwave (covered so they don't dry out).

Top off with some sauce and some asparagus. Serve immediately.  While the oven was hot - I just baked some cut bread until crisp. Top off the bread with some warm marinara sauce and sprinkle some cheese on top. Goes perfectly with the pasta.

If you can find a lot of basil, just make a whole big batch of pesto and store it in the fridge - tastes great on just about everything!

Enjoy. Peace out!

Oct 18, 2010

Eggless Strawberry Chocolate Almond Bread

When it’s a good day, even bread feels like cake!

I totally just made this up and I’m impressed at my own proverbial skills! It’s easier to make up stuff when food is involved! Don’t you all agree?

It’s just been a real hectic October and in all my chaos, my poor little blog baby is not getting my attention as it should. I’m hoping to come back to full form soon. Maybe in a couple of more weeks once Diwali is over.

Today’s blog post is actually a really easy recipe I baked a couple of weekends back. This was actually our Sunday morning fresh baked breakfast. And when I sat down and ate this, I just wanted time to stand still and let me enjoy this forever. This is a classic example how many of your little favorite things can come together and give you one big favorite thing. Who says that’s not possible? I have proof that it is both possible and enjoyable!

The recipe is adapted from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking blog and her recipe on Eggless Chocolate chip Zucchini Bread. Anytime I need an eggless recipe, her site is the first one I stop by. Thank You Madhuram and please keep your wonderful recipes coming.

Start off with mixing the dry ingredients –
All purpose flour – 1 ½ cups (you can substitute with whole wheat bread flour for a more fibrous bread)
Baking powder – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
A pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients well – you can actually sieve them all together for a clean and smooth mix.

Then, add a whole cup of fresh cut strawberries in here.

Followed by another ½ cup of semi sweet or dark chocolate chips.

Now for the wet ingredients. This is basically where the butter and eggs would be added in a normal cake. However, in this eggless version, we're going to be adding some other basic ingredients.

Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup (personally, I though this bread was too sweet. I'm thinking of cutting this down to 1/2 or even 1/4 cup for more of a bread taste)
Bananas - 2 ripe
Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp (Optional - I did not add this - no culinary reasons...just laziness!)

Just add all the ingredients to a blender or mixer and blend into a smooth wet mixture.

Pour this over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Gently incorporate the dry and wet ingredients together.

Here's the bite - add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sliced/silvered almonds. This adds excellent texture to the bread.

Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Run a toothpick over the batter so that any big bubbles are broken up - that way you won't have a big hole in the middle of your slice!

Top off with some more silvered almonds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 50 mins. Yeah - this does take time. So, plan accordingly. If you want to make this for breakfast - don't start at 10:00 clock Sunday moring like me. We all almost felt like we had brunch after we ate this at 11:15!! If its a sunday, you are forgiven in my books for being a lazy mom and letting your family starve and just smell the fresh baking bread with growling stomachs!

Here it is - takes only about 5 mins to prepare but about an hr to bake. Once that is done, we are back at about 5 mins to eat it all up.

Slice yourself a big one...shhhh..

Here's a cross view - the softness of the strawberries and the crunchiness of the almonds and the sweetness from the semi sweet chips all just come along beautifully to give you a perfect bite.

Feel free to use your own favorite fruits or nuts to bake this. Like I said, this can pass off for cake easily if you bake it a square or round pan. But it taste great as little slices of bread too.

Enjoy. Peace Out!

Oct 12, 2010

Simple Carrot Ginger Stir Fry

Sometimes simple things in life are most beautiful and most enjoyable. Like sipping your morning coffee while listening to the birds chirping outside. Or relaxing on the beach on a hot day under an umbrella and reading a good novel. Or just listening to an infant’s toothless laughter. Or watching your favorite movie for the 100th time and still getting choked up. And this stir fry is right up that alley.

It just takes a few minutes to prepare this dish. But, you have to take your time to enjoy eating this. And if you’re a ginger lover, do make this today. My dad is a big ginger lover and I made this for him years back as just a impromptu side dish – since carrots and ginger always go well together. From then, this has always been in my must-do-list when dad is visiting.

Do find the juiciest and most tender ginger you can get your hands on for this dish. You don’t want to use ginger that might not get ground in a mixer too! Not for this dish. Also, pick the freshest carrots – firm and juicy.

Peel and chop the carrots and ginger lengthwise into long bits.

Microwave the carrots in water in a glass bowl for about 3-4 mins so that they get a little cooked. You’ll need a just blanched consistency – not too soft and completely cooked. Or you could just blanch them in hot water for a minute. Set aside. You can reuse the water for anything else you’re cooking like rasam or sambar or even to cook rice. Its got some vitamins from the carrots and let’s not just waste it down the drain.

In a pan, add about 2 tsps of cooking oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add some fresh green curry leaves next. Once that sizzles, go ahead and add the cut ginger. Saute for a min.

Then, add the blanched carrots in here and mix well with the ginger.

For flavoring, I keep it real simple and add just salt, a pinch or turmeric and 1 tsp of red chilli powder. You can get creative with seasoning if you’d like.

Cook for about 5 mins and you’re done. Do make sure that the carrots are not cooked mushy – they need to have a bite in them. That is what makes it tasty.

Serve hot.

And yes, please do eat the ginger too. They taste really good. And the carrots get the spice from the gingers and the gingers get a little sweetness from the carrots. It’s a marriage made in the pan. And we can all relish it!

Enjoy. Peace out!