Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Quintessential Rainbow Vegetable Pickle with Pineapple, Cranberries and Cheese from my Learning Pad!

This blog provides me a platform to make Kitchen Island my Learning Pad and share my ideas. In my continuous zest for learning and experimenting, yesterday I did the much-awaited experiment, which was going on in my mind for the last couple of days in my learning lab, my kitchen! And Guess what all I ended adding to the pickle…?????

I did some out of the box thinking on what else to add zing to traditional mixed vegetable pickles and thought of giving a shot to fruits.

The star ingredients of the pickle are pineapple, cranberries, and Pepper jack cheese besides the seasonal winter vegetables - Caulifower, Rainbow Carrots, Mini Raddish, Turnips, Baby Corn, French Beans, Peas, Garden Chillies, & Ginger Jullien's!

The pickle is the perfect medley of savory and sweet flavors enhanced with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds enjoyed with mini poppadums. 

It's the perfect time of the year to take out warm sweaters; hand knitted booties and caps by dear mom and curl up in a cozy blanket and get hooked to Netflix. 

How about indulging in winter specialties of sizzling Makki – methi paranthas with homemade pickle and a cup of hot brewed tea while watching the first flurries of the season gently falling down from the kitchen window. It indeed feels magical! 

Here I'm sharing the pickle which became a delightful appetizer with the incredible fusion of spices!

Welcome to My Kitchen - My Learning Pad!

 The Quintessential Retro Rainbow Vegetable Pickle!

Star Ingredients - Pineapples, Cranberries & Pepper Jack Cheese! 

Winter Special  - Pineapple, Cranberry & Cheese Pickle relished with Popadums!

Medley of Caulifower, Rainbow Carrots, Mini Raddish & Turnips, Baby Corn, French Beans, Peas, Garden Chillies, Ginger Jullien's, Pineapple, Cranberries, and Cheese!

Retro presentation - Simply Loved it!

Pickles & Popadums are the staple dining table jars that are definitely great accompaniments to any hearty meal.  It's great to try the retro recipes with a mashup of new ingredients and savor the eclectic flavors. 

I used the medley of Caulifower, Rainbow Carrots, Mini Raddish & Turnips, Baby Corn, French Beans, Peas, Garden Chillies, Ginger Jullien's, Pineapple, Cranberries, and Cheese!

The masala can be made with dry roasting and grinding fennel, fenugreek, mustard, cumin, carrom coriander, flax seeds, onion seeds, salt, chili, turmeric, cardamom and cloves, jaggery in the mix of olive oil and mustard oil.
Plus Kasturi methi, dry curry leaves.

Finally, garnish with a sprinkle of toasted poppy seeds and sesame seeds or with coconut flakes to get the feel of snow on the table. 

It's time to dig in & relish!

This time I made it with fresh pineapple slices but thinking of making another batch of this delightful appetizer with grilled pineapples, apples, peaches in another batch. Feel free to add a handful of fresh or dry cranberries, raisins, apricots, amla, coconut, and veggies of your choice.

Do experiment and share your version with me and would love to try your creations!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Apricot & Almond Sunshine Sweets for Ganesh Chaturthi!

 Wishing Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to Everyone!!!

"Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha, Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada."
The essence of this powerful mantra is that I meditate on Sri Ganesha, Who has a curved trunk, large body, and who has the brilliance of a million suns. O Lord Ganesh, please make all my works free of obstacles, always!!!
Today, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha, also known as the God of Wisdom and Vighnaharta is worshipped to get blessings for auspicious new beginnings! The festival has a powerful message on living life gracefully and becoming humane human beings with a noble heart and spreading peace and happiness!

Last year I made traditional coconut ladoos for the occasion and this year I was looking to make something healthy and almost no-cook recipe to try. Here I go with - 

Apricot and Almond Sunshine Sweets with Garnish of Coconut and Almonds!

These instant sweets are made with just two key ingredients- Apricots and Almonds. 

These sweets are - Super tasty!!!!! Super healthy!!! Refined sugar-free, Keto-friendly, Gluten-free, Fast friendly, and can be made in a jiffy!!! 

What else to look for in the recipe and that too a sweet dessert. 

These are the perfect sweet treats with optimal levels of sweetness and can be enjoyed in fasting or a rejuvenating treat on the go...!!!!!

Feel free to either make balls or ladoos or shape them in moulds. I have tried another version by adding cashews, coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Feel free to add jaggery or dates for more sweeter version. These additives taste superb but nevertheless adding these ingredients changes the color from sunshine to little brownish and more nutty flavor and texture. 

The Picture Credits for the post goes to my uber-talented husband, Ashish!

Apricot & Almond Sunshine Sweets!!!

Rejuvenating Apricot & Almond florets for Naivedyam!

Perfect Sunshine Apricot & Almond Sweets! 

No-cook Sweet Recipe, Keto Recipe, Gluten-Free & Yes, Refined Sugar-Free!!!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!!!

Indeed, cooking kindles sweet memories of the festivals and makes it more memorable with a personal touch!

Enjoy the sweet treats & Stay healthy !!!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Almond & Bottle Gourd Ice Cream for Fathers Day & Master Art of Living!

Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful Dads!!!!

The mind boggles down a wish to Pause, Reboot, and Cherish Life...!!!

There are many moments in my life where I continue to Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn the lessons of life with new meanings and new beginnings! 

Reflecting on the most valuable lesson of life I got from my parents - 

Learn to  Master Art of living while making a Living...!!!

Learn & Relearn " There is a Season and Reason for Everything in life"...!!! 

Learn to live life gracefully by giving our best shot in the quest of excellence...!!!

My favorite time of the day was when I used to snuggle my mom and my Dad used to read me a fable or two from the storybooks at bedtime. It became a nighttime ritual. The time flew by and now I  continue the tradition with my son!

 Finally, when I grew up I understood the essence of all the fables on how to capture the rhythm in life; to surf in the sea, or sail in the sky, and most importantly how to turn your Achilles Heel into core competencies in life...! 

The answer is not so simple and easy. Yet with some patience and practice, we can master the soft skill vis a vis hard skills to excel in the respective endeavors and reach the pinnacle of success in all walks of life...!!! 

For Fathers day Special, I made the signature recipe of my mom with a twist, cherished, and relished by all family and friends ever since... 

Almond & Bottle gourd Icecream with Rainbow Sprinkles in a Waffle bowl - 

No cook, No-Churn, Homemade Icecream Recipe !!!

Almond & Bottle Gourd Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles in a Waffle Bowl !!!

Easiest and the Best version of homemade ice cream, free of preservatives tweaked and customized to your own tastebuds is the quintessential summer treat!

This version of Icecream is no-cook, no-churn, and can be ready in a couple of minutes is a must-try recipe.

Bookmark and master the base recipe and can be made with myriad flavors and toppings of your choice, which I will be sharing shortly! 

The key ingredients of the recipe are heavy cream, almond meal, bottle gourd & sweetener.  

The ice cream is so smooth, creamy, and luscious!!! 

Almond & Bottle Gourd Ice Cream with Peonies from the Yard!

I am happy to carry on the tradition of making sweets and treats for the family at home...!!!

Nothing like having a bowl of homemade ice cream after dinner on the deck with a cool breeze, watching the rabbits hopping around in the backdrop of lush green trees!

Almond & Bottle Gourd Ice Cream with Crispy Coconut  Rolls!

How about enjoying the ice cream with coconut rolls or pirouettes...

Homemade Creamy Icecream with Almonds & Pistachios!

Summertime Sweet treat for all ages!!!

Can't wait to click the final shot and dive in right away! 

As we take this time to relax and unwind, may everyone enjoy the treats and little things in life. 

Have a great Summer!!!

Picture Credits - Ashish Gupta

Monday, May 18, 2020

Yellow Velvet Cake - Orange & Custard Bundt for Bon Anniversaire!

Umpteen best wishes & blessings to my bud, on this special day!

This is the time of the year when I wish to pause and freeze time and want him to be my Lil' boy for yet another couple of years,

so I could hum him rhymes and tell him fables every night, 

go for evening strolls and wonder at the twinkling stars at night, 

get amazed at flipping the pop up books of superheroes, 

take out parades of Sesame Street's Elmo n Cookie Monster at noon, 

wait with curious eyes for Elves and Santa, 

blow bubbles in the park,

make sandcastles by the shore of the beach...! 

The memories seem to be endless...

These were holy days for sure but I do wish to see him playing with Lego's and Rubik's now. 

Simply love his handmade 'Love you and Get well soon' cards with a 'Scrabble signature'... 

And of course, I do feel proud on watching him surfing and skating and amazed at how this curious mind doodles its own way... !!!! 

The reminisces of the past make me realize that the good old days are rolling up fast. I need to make the best of the present time. 

It gives me immense pride to see him grow up as a smart and sweet young boy with a million-dollar smile and a heart of Gold. A very Happy Birthday to my little Prince as you happily march from the age of fairytales to the age of making Seabots!

While wondering how time flew and pondering on what future will bring for us, we decided to bake the classic family recipe of Orange & Custard Cake!

Time to Celebrate & Bake..!

Yellow Velvet Cake- Orange & Custard Bundt for Bon Anniversaire! 

 Simple & Elegant Orange & Custard Bundt Cake!
Sometimes, simple is the best..! 

Last year he had a birthday blast at the Escape Room with his friends. While this year was altogether different due to lockdown, planned a simple treasure hunt at home and greetings from family and friends on Zoom!

The cake came out pretty neat. I did a simple decoration by dusting icing sugar and embedding white pearls. 

Feel free to add a drizzle of Orange Glaze or Honey or Whipped cream or Chocolate ganache and lots of rainbow sprinkles and chocolate curls.

The vanilla custard gave it a beautiful pale yellow color, the crumb was melt in the mouth, the orange zest and fresh orange juice added a lot of flavor to the classic cake. 

This Birthday cake is as sweet as you, my Sunshine!

And my son said Mom,  the cake is super Soft and Moist!!!!! 

Indeed, the cake had an incredible velvety crumb and hence named it -
Yellow Velvet cake!

Blooms in the Yard! 
It was a perfect day with yard blooming with soft pink Roses, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and Petunias, a virtual treat to see the labor of love in full bloom! 

The cake complimented so well with the ambiance. Didn't planned it though.

Happy Birthday, Bud!

Recipe for Yellow Velvet Cake- Orange & Custard Bundt

APF/Cake Flour- 11/2 cups

Vanilla Custard Powder - 1/3 cup

Baking Powder - 11/2 tsp

Baking Soda- 1/2 tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Sugar - 1 cup

Butter- 1/2 cup 

Greek Yogurt - 1/2 cup

Milk- 1/2 cup

Lemon juice- 1/2 tsp

Fresh Orange Juice - 1/2 cup

Orange Zest - 2 tsp

Walnuts, choco chips, pumpkin seeds for sprinkling on top

Bake at 180 Celsius for 45-50 minutes in the bundt pan.

Procedure - 

Mix dry ingredients - APF, custard powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
Mix butter and sugar and add yogurt, milk, lemon juice, orange juice.

Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Add orange zest and nuts/choco chips etc.
Prepare the bundt pan by smearing butter and dusting flour.

Bake at 180 celsius for 45 to 50 minutes. 

Check with a fork. Let it cool down completely and Enjoy!

It is recommended to store the cake in an airtight container though mine vanished like magic. 😊

*Replace milk, yogurt, lemon juice with 4 eggs if making without eggless.

*Cake Flour recipe- 1 cup APF- 2tsp. Now add 2 tsp corn starch.

Dream big and May all your wishes come true! 

Wishing you lots & lots of love, happiness, and blessings!

Picture Credits- Ashish Gupta

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