December 19, 2014

No bake mouse cookies

Mouse cookies

This Fall Lil A got into ninjas, he started doing moves, and wanted to learn karate. That led us to enrolling him in a little Ninja karate class.

While he was a little unsure in the beginning as the months have gone by, he has become more and more comfortable. Lil A enjoys wearing his uniform and going to his class. They do little karate, then play games and have a little chat. We've learned ninja dodge ball is a lot of fun and Tiny M likes it too.

The little ninjas had a christmas party this week and that's where I discovered these cookies and of course had to try them immediately. They are easy to make, no baking involved and kids and adults like it in equal measures.

Ingredients:
12 oreo cookies
1 small bottle of maraschino cherries
12 hershey's kisses
4-5 tblpoons chocolate chips (I had 50% cacao and used that)
2-3 tblspoon milk
1 tbspoon water
food color tube
handful of sliced almonds

Method:
Take about 12-13 maraschino cherries from bottle and dry them on a paper towel.

For the base of the cookies, take the top of the oreo cookies out and set the cream side on a tray.

Take the food color tube and make small dots (eyes) on Hershey's kisses making sure the tip is facing you.

Now, put the chocolate chips in a small glass bowl, add the milk, water and microwave it in 30 second intervals and mix the chocolate well. Repeat till it all chocolate melts and is a smooth consistency. It can take anywhere between 1 1/2 minute to 21/2 minute depending on your microwave.

Dip one cherry in the chocolate mix and set it on top of a oreo cream cookie with the stem facing out and up. Then dip the flat side of Hershey's kisses and stick it to the cherry. Take a couple of almond slices. Dip little bit in chocolate and slide in in between the Hershey's and cherry. Be careful that it all stays together till it dries.
Mouse cookies

Repeat it for all dozen cookies.

Let it set and it's ready - dessert for your holiday party or perfect for cookie exchange.

Have a  wonderful holiday season.

December 09, 2014

Phyllo dough vegetarian pizza

Phyllo pizza


Sometimes I have these moments when using existing ingredients and making a delicious dinner works in tandem while entertaining. This was one of those times. And I have to say this. If you are thinking of making something to wow your guests, look no further than this phyllo dough vegetarian pizza.

With a little prep time, this pizza comes together nicely and you can decide what topping goes on the phyllo dough. I used a mix of cheese, green, olives and roasted vegetables, but really the choices are endless. You can go with chicken, chickpeas, pesto with capers or any other combination you can dream of.

I had bought some phyllo dough from Trader Joe's and it had been sitting in the freezer for a couple of weeks. Then this pizza presented itself. It went well with a bowl of chicken stew.

Ingredients:
1 phyllo dough
1/3 bag of green - chopped
1/2 onion - sliced thinly
1/2 pepper - sliced thinly
4-5 mushrooms - sliced
1/2 cup cheese - chopped in small cubes (I used a mix of cheddar and raspberry wine soaked cheese which had a good bite to it)
1/4 cup Olives - pitted an chopped
4 tbspoon Olive oil
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tspoon cumin seed powder
pinch of fresh black pepper
salt to taste

Method:
Take a baking pan and cover it with foil. Oil it nicely. Then take about 2 sheet of phyllo dough, brush it with oil and then layer it with another 2 layer of dough and continue till you finish the dough.

Phyllo pizza
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F and then bake the phyllo dough with 8-10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a pan with 2 tbspoon oil and add onions. Saute it for 3-4 minutes. As it browns, add the peppers and mushroom, add turmeric powder, cumin seed powder, black pepper and salt. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes till the water released by mushrooms have dried.

Take it off the heat and cool.

Phyllo pizza
Combine greens, cheese, veggie mix, and olives together in a bowl.

Phyllo pizza
Cut the phyllo dough into serving pieces and then top it with the green, cheese veggie mix. Serve while warm.
Enjoy.

November 25, 2014

Moong dal burfi for Thanksgiving

Moong dal burfi

Tiny M is all about talking nowadays. I see him sometimes having a whole conversation by himself. Other times, he is trying to copy what we are saying and is so thrilled if he gets it right.  He can now address his grandparents, his cousins and his aunt and uncle and it makes them so happy.

His older brother was just "O" for the longest time till he became "amu". I am now "mama", "mummy" or "mum" depending on his mood and Aswin is of course baba. He learned "daddy" from a TV show recently and immediately implemented it.

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on PBS is his favorite TV show and yesterday I saw him use his toy phone to call "ne ne" Daniel Tiger and talk, nod his head and say bye before putting the phone down.

It also means he can now say "no" to a lot more things as well. Nap time- "no", pull up change- "no", eat your food- "no".

In short, he's quickly becoming a an opinionated little person.

November 18, 2014

Cauliflower and Quinoa patties

I write this post as wind whips around the windows, the sun is hiding behind clouds, the white-powdering snow covers the ground and the temperatures are stuck in teens. It makes me craving yet another cup of hot tea. The winter is here and it's just mid-November.

How are you warming up this winter?

In the last couple of months, I have added a hobby to my packed home-work-home schedule and I have to say I'm enjoying it. It's pottery class. I go once a week and am enjoying the rhythm of it.
This is one of the soap dish I made in the first month.
I sat at the pottery wheel a month ago and have been trying to make some straight bowls, but it's hard. All in all, it has been fun learning a new craft.

October 29, 2014

Decadent chire bhaja with chocolate, almonds and tart cherries

Decadent chire bhaja


Hope it is not too late to wish everyone Happy Diwali. Hope you had a wonderful festive season with lots of joy, time with friends and family and delicious food.

Lil A is has a Diwali celebration at school and since it will probably will be the only time he is celebrating it in school, he is quite excited. The teachers mentioned that there will be diya painting, mehendi, bollywood dancing and food.

I have signed up to take rasgullas and mini idlis to share with his class, and will be sure to report back on the festivities that happen there.

October 16, 2014

Moroccan style chicken stew with harissa

How is Fall weather treating you? What have you been cooking? Last post I talked about all the cleaning. This time let me tell you about all the cooking that has happened in the last two weeks.

I have been trying to be good about packing lunch for work. A lot of times it is leftovers, but sometimes I get inspired. Just yesterday, I made quinoa, vegetable burgers and had it with cucumbers.

Eggless date cake I have also been trying several blogger friends recipes that have been bookmarked for long. I recently made Manisha's Kadipatta chicken, and Sandeepa's date cake. Both came out great, thanks gals. Nupur's zucchini dosa has become a staple in our house. We make it as long as zucchini's are available in farmer's market.

There is a new harissa shop that has opened in Ann Arbor selling different varieties. We picked up a bottle and made Moroccan style chicken stew and it was delicious.

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