Sunday, October 30, 2011

Festival of Lights, Birthday Celebrations & A Winner !!!!

Yesterday it snowed in Jersey in the month of October (supposedly after 54 yrs). It's always exciting to get some early snow showers and the city turning white...wow !!!!!! 

I love this season of the year - full of festivals and lights. It's the best time of the year as festive spirit is in the air and we celebrate with loads and loads of home made food and sweets. This year after a really long time we had a good quality family time for Diwali Pooja ( plus my birthday ). Made a pineapple and saffron cake and we enjoyed a hearty feast at home of my fave Chana-Poori-Halwa, indeed an awesome combo !!!!!!

I wish all of you a happy and delightful festive season and wish that your home and spirits may always be enlightened with light of eternal peace.......Amen !!!!!!!!!!!!


May your life be full of lights & celebrations...

Loved these little pearl lights & got a Bokeh free :)

A bit of Art, Rangoli with lentils...

A Family Diwali Pooja at Home with Gods ...


My best Birthday gift - A Cake Decorated for me by my 5 yr old.

& this lovely B'day card by Family made my day !!

Finally its time for the results of the GiveAway & yesss... we have a winner, decided by random.org.
And the winner is ......... Jessica Maher from "Kitchen Belleicious" !!!!!!!

Yayyy .... Hope you enjoy baking with these Mini bundt cups.
Please share with me any pics when you do some baking with these in upcoming festive season.

As the new post brews quietly, I'll be back with it soon ...

Cheers to you all and Happy Halloween !!!




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Green Chillis Stuffed & Pickled - Indian Style

Wow - Stuffed Green Chilli Pickle....... !!!!!!, I'm craving for more and more of it right now. Its an amazing concoction of spices and perhaps an old method being carried forward by all generations from ages. India is famous for its varied spices& now it feels great to see Indian spices rocking in the kitchens across the world. 

This is festive season back home in India and this year my mom-in-law is visiting us from India  for festivals. As moms are synonymous with loads of fun and food, we are surely getting our due of her delicacies from couple of weeks (really used to miss this over here in the US). Today I'm gonna share this recipe of green chilli pickle, made in typical indian style by her.

Featured at Foodbuzz Top 9 on 10/29/2011
Wanna Play with Fire ???


Ingredients: -

Big Green chillies & Jalepeno's – 10 to 12 ( For the stuffing:
Mustard powder - 5 tsp
Jeera/Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Methi/fenugreek powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 3 tsp
Amchoor/Dry mango powder -1 tsp
Salt - 5 Tsp (adjust the salt to taste)

Mustard Oil - 1 Cup
Red chilli pepper - 1-2 Tsp

Asafoetida/Hing - 1/2 Tsp
Black Onion seeds/Kalaunji - 1/2 Tsp
Saunf/Fennel seeds - 2 Tsp lightly crushed



Method: -
Wash and wipe the chillies of any extra moisture. 
Lay the chillis on paper tower for 2-3 hrs to dry naturally.
Combine all the above spices & gently crush in mortar/pastel, one by one.
In a karahi/wok pan heat mustard oil.
Add onion seeds to oil till they splatter.
Let the oil cool.
Now gradually add (3-4 spoons) of cooled oil to spice mix. 
Mix the spices & oil well. (it should form a pasty wet stuffing which we will fill into chillis).
At this stage I suggest that you use gloves to make sure your hands don't have a burning sensation after the stuffing process.
Now start stuffing chillis with the spice paste, generously filling each piece.
Once done slowly transfer each stuffed chilli into a dry glass jar. (make sure you wipe off all moisture & air dry).
Now top up your chillis in the glass jar with remaining oil.
You might feel that the oil is excess, it is required to ensure that the pickle doesn't attract mold.
Tightly close the lid & preferably keep exposed to sunlight for 2-3 weeks.
Make sure you shake the Jar daily.
The pickle would be ready in 2-3 weeks, this is evident when chillis are softened & the juices in the bottle have blended well.


This Pickle is a great accompaniment for any kind of food - specially Paranthas, Chapati, Nan & Rice !!!!



The flavor is great & compliments all kind of curries really well.




Believe me, this is for the brave (if you want to reduce the kick, make sure you de-seed the chillis before stuffing them)




My all time favorite & you'd love it.




Thanks mom, this recipe was rocking just like You.... !
We are enjoying it with almost everything we eat and are making another lot pretty soon.
Hope you guys give it a shot & like it too.

Happy Halloween All, Enjoy and have loads of fun ..................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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Monday, October 17, 2011

Celebrating Fall with a Chocolate Peared Cake & a give-away !!!

What comes to mind when you think of a Perfect Chocolate Cake ???. I'm sure no one can raise hands & say it doesn't evoke sweet memories. To me it starts a divine craving & I had been craving for some chocolate in my baking for a while now. I did stumble upon this experimental recipe that worked. A perfect chocolate cake inspired by Hersheys & some Pears !!!


Fall bring colors to the nature and supermarkets. I love the gorgeous shades and shapes of pumpkins and squashes, plus the fruits of the festive season. Wow, there is so much to explore, learn and try in the kitchen...! Last week on my visit to grocery store, I spotted three different varieties of pears  and picked a piece of each. I had been craving a chocolate cake for a while & this is where the idea of mixing these two took shape.

(look at these Red Bartlets ... amazing aren't they ???)

Just couldn't stop clicking, although the light was fading ...

Ingredients: -
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiling water
3 Pears - skinned & Halved (look for smaller sizes)
Some Confectioners sugar to top it all at the end....

Method : -
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F
Thoroughly grease 4-5 ramekins with oil..
Fill cups 1/2 full with batter. (if the size of pears is large-ish, consider filling 1/3 else it with overflow massively)
Slowly lower a pealed half pear into each ramekins.
Bake 22 to 25 minutes.
Insert a toothpick to check if it has baked fully (it is ready if the toothpick comes out clean)
Let it cool completely.
Sprinkle with some confectioners sugar
And we are ready to go.


Serve the way you like.
I would eat in ramekins, quick & dirty !
Or you can slice the cake in half and place it in a plate by topping with some caramel sauce.


The taste of this fusion is absolutely divine..... which ever way you like to eat it.
And it doesn't look bad either.
So give it a shot, I'm sure you would like it !!!

Now about a small Give-away I'm doing with this post, when I made some mini bundt cakes sometime back, many of you asked from where did I get these silicone moulds.


I havent seen these in most stores, but fortunately a small shop in my town had these in stock last week & picked up a pack for this giveaway. (Can be sent to US citizens only). All you have to do to get these cuties is: -
- Leave us a comment & Follow My.Creative.Flavors here.
- Like us on My.Creative.Flavors facebook Page by Clicking Here
- Follow us on Twitter by Clicking Here
- & Tweet "@mycreativeflvrs is giving away this cute little bundt cake cups, visit - www.mycreativeflavors.com"

Com'on guys now show us the Love ........!!!!!!
I will select a randon winner and announce on 30th October'2011

PS : I have not been asked by kitchen aid or any other merchant to advertise or give away this product. It is something I have used in the past & liked, hence sharing with my readers.

Related Posts:
- Mini Bundt Cakes for little guests
- Divine Chiffon Custard Cakes
- Whole wheat Banana Bread
- Banofee with candied hazelnuts

Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Tea Bites for an Afternoon Treat

Green Tea in all forms is quite popular for its anti-oxidant properties with health conscious folks. I was fortunate enough to live in China a few years back and one of my great experiences was sampling tea's at famous Tea Houses in Beijing & Shanghai. Lot of Green tea cookie recipes call for Matcha powder as the main flavoring ingredient. But I have used ground green tea leaves for the purpose. More than anything I just fell in love with these tea bag beauties :) (scroll down for pictures). The recipe is adapted from a couple of interesting recipes I found on google. The result was great & here we are with my Little Green Tea Bites.

Featured at Foodbuzz Top 9 on October 12, 2011


Ingredients:
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 cup APF
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered confectioners sugar
1/2 tablespoon green tea (matcha) powder
1 Teaspoon Green Tea leaves (finely ground)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 teaspoons water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (molten in microwave for 30 secs on high)
2 Tsp extra sugar for coating

I Loved these Tea-forte' Jasmin Green Tea Bags, very Photogenic !!!

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 F. 
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. 
Add vanilla, water, and butter. 
Blend together using a blender until a dough forms. 
Roll the dough into a sheet approx 1/3 inch thick.
Cover with parchment paper/cookie sheet & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Cut into 1 inch x1 inch squares using your pizza cutter.
Sprinkle the top with sugar.
Now place on baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown, about 15-18 minutes. 
Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.


The dough can be kept Frozen for later use if you wish to do so.

Fresh & ready to go !!!

My family loved these & hope you would try the recipe and enjoy.

Take Care & Love, Sonia




PS: You can use any green tea leaves you like, I haven't been asked by Tea Forte to showcase their product, I just loved the their packing & presentation, & couldn't resist using/photographing their product.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Popcorn Nutri-Bars

Peanut Butter + Peanuts + Honey + Popcorns = Nutri-Bar, Yessss... its true & this is what we are gonna make today. Planters Original Peanut Butter - My second tastemaker sample from Foodbuzz in a week & I'm loving it. They asked me to share a post incase I liked & used it. And here we are, with the easiest, quickest & best way to enjoy peanut butter.


Planters Peanut Butter + Popcorns , Hmmmm...

Ingredients:
Microwave Popcorns: 1 pack (we'll use half)
Planters Peanut Butter: 1/4 cup
Honey: 1/4 cup
Granola cereals: 1/2 cup
Roasted Peanuts: 1/4 cup

What's better than smell of Peanut butter & Fresh Popcorns ???...

Method:
Prepare a pack of corn kernels or popcorns by Act II.
Put foil in a cake pan and gently spray with oil.
In a nonstick pan, heat honey and add peanut butter to blend the mixture well.
Take it away from the heat for a while.
Add popcorns, granola cereals and roasted peanuts in this mixture and mix it swiftly.
Pour this mix in the lined pan and press it gently.
Let it cool and refrigerate overnight.
Cut it into bars next day and enjoy a soft popcorn bar with peanut butter.

Beautiful Four-some Blondies !!!!

Yumm & easy to make at home.

Nutri-bars, infused with some organic Honey for sweetness !!!

Hope you give these bars made with delicious & nutritious peanut butter a try.

Hugs, Sonia !



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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Devils Ghirardelli Chocolate Cups

We were thrilled to get a beautiful pack of Ghirardelli chocolates.  Oh, weeks ahead of Christmas the  Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program became a Santa for us and sent us a cute bag full of Ghirardelli Intense dark chocolates....we just love to have chocolates and make different ways to add it to our menu without much guilt. The moment we got our much awaited package, my instincts craved to try its exciting Twilight delight and then the eyes moved to Midnight Reverie, oops, this wise superego always comes into action at the time and voices tend to stay back for a while. This ethical dilemma of having and not having the chocolates took me back to my research and teaching days when I was studying about the famous Marshmallow experiment. Today Ghirardelli chocolates were the marshmallows for me and my little son.


The time starts now and we were supposed to refrain having it till we make a desert plus are through  with the shooting session. Hmmm...thats a really long wait ! But I'm proud to tell that indeed we came out with flying colors on this age old self test of self control. Grabbed the first available opportunity to cook on the weekend, I made "Devils Ghirardelli Chocolate Cups" sans eggs coz this week we are celebrating regional festival of 'Navratras' and observing fasts at home. So join me in my kitchen to bake & make mimi shells loaded with lots of melted Ghirardelli chocolates.




Ingredients for Chocolate Brownie sans Eggs:
APF: 1 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Chocolate bar: 1 (I used by Ghirardelli)
Coffee powder: 1-2 tsp (add as required)
Vanilla Essence: 1tsp
Salt: a pinch
Butter: 1/4 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Roasted Walnuts/Pecans: a handful
Mini fillo Shells by Athens

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line the cake pan with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan.
In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients - flour, sugar and baking powder, baking soda, salt.
Break the chocolate bar and melt it in microwave or double boiler.
Stir coffee in few drops of warm milk/water and set aside.
In another bowl mix melted butter, vanilla essence and milk.
Gently fold the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter.
Roast the walnuts/pecans and add to the batter to give a nice crunch to the brownie.
Pour this batter into the pan and bake it for 30-35 minutes or so until the fork inserted comes out clean.
We managed to finished half the brownie pan & used the other half for our Chocolate Cup recipe.

To make the choco brownie Filling
Take 1 cup brownie crushed in a bowl.
Add 1 Tsp honey & finely chopped walnuts.
Mix well using a spoon.

To make molten Dark chocolate mix
Bring chocolate to room temperature.
In a shallow pan take a 3-4 tbsp of milk and a tsp of butter.
Take 1 bar of Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate & break into pieces.
Heat at low-medium heat for 5-8 mins, add finely chopped roasted almonds + walnuts + hazelnuts (1 tsp each).
Add 1 pinch of Instant coffee powder for some flavor enhancement.
Let the chocolate mix melt & keep stirring gently.
Our molten mix is ready.
Incase your cups are not ready yet this mix can stay in warm water bath for next 30 mins.


Preparing & Assembling the Devils Chocolate Cups
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Remove shells fron the carton tray.
Bake in oven for ~5 mins.
Fill each shell with ~1 Tbsp choco brownie filling mix.
Now take 1 Tsp of Hot melted choco mix & top it over the cake mix.
Garnish with lightly roasted or fresh Almonds/Walnuts or Hazelnuts.
And our Devils Chocolate Cups are ready to go as perfect appetizers or desserts !

Nutty Chocolate Cups

Wow....the mini Devils Chocolate Cups came out really well and sinfully delicious beyond my expectation. Loved the nutty rich chocolatie flavor...!, I'm so delighted to find an awesome recipe for the coming holiday season.

Greetings, Sonia




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