Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chocolate Brownies

There are all kinds of brownies and while some people prefer the fudgy, chewy, dense ones there are others who prefer cake like brownies... I personally couldn't decide where I fit in but this Baker's recipe  has been quite a hit with me and pretty much everyone who has tried it....

It has a super crust and the resulting brownie is perfect in every way. What's more, it needs just 5 minutes to pull the batter together and all you need is one (fairly big) bowl and a simple whisk!  I don't think it can get easier/tastier than this.  It's great on its own and I'm kind of partial to the chewy, crispy edges. Infact,  I once poured about a quarter of the batter on a sheet as a very thin layer and made a brownie brittle of sorts... which was super tasty and would make for a great ice cream topping.

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES - makes one 9x13 inch pan


Ingredients:
Baker's brand Unsweetened (baking) chocolate - 1 pkg, 4 oz
Butter, unsalted - 3/4 cup (1 and a half sticks)
Sugar - 2 cups
Eggs - 3
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Flour - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch
Chopped walnuts/pecans - half cup, chopped  (optional) - I didn't add this time

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil with some extra on the sides as an overhang (which enable the brownies to be lifted out easily when done). Spray the foil with oil and set aside


2) Cut the chocolate into squares and add to the bowl, add in the butter. Microwave this for 2 minutes, to melt.

3) Remove from the microwave and stir the chocolate butter mixture to make sure it's melted uniformly.

4) Stir in 2 cups of sugar, next add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

5) Finally add the salt, flour & nuts (if using)  and stir until well combined.

6) Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

7) Allow to cool and cut with a serrated knife -  serve warm with ice cream, if preferred.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Broccoli Parmesan Rice

This is a quick and simple rice that can be made with leftover rice and makes for a great lunchbox dish for kids...  Since both my kids love broccoli, I've often made a garlicky stir-fry of broccoli florets topped with some parmesan cheese to go with pasta dishes like Mac'n cheese and it has always been quite well received... so I kind of extended that idea and mixed in some rice and spices and my daughter has now declared this to be her favorite lunch item (atleast it is the current reigning one, since her tastes & likes keep changing)... so I've been making this quite often for her lately.

The rasam powder I use is a store bought one and it adds a touch of mild spice without overpowering the dish...  you can change it to whatever spice fits the bill for you.

BROCCOLI PARMESAN RICE

 
Ingredients:


Cooked Rice - about 3/4 to 1 cup, cooled similar to what we would do for fried rice
Broccoli florets - 1 cup, small florets (fresh or frozen should work)
Garlic cloves - 2, minced
Rasam powder - 1/2  tsp (you could also use sambar powder)
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Parmesan cheese - 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 to 3 tsp

Method:

1) Heat a pan on medium high heat and add the oil followed by minced garlic, allow to cook for abt 30 seconds or so, taking care not to burn it.
2) If you are in a rush, you could microwave the broccoli florets with a tsp of water for 2 minutes & have them ready. 
3) Pop in the broccoli florets soon after, followed by turmeric powder, salt and rasam powder. 
4) If not previously microwaved, add about a tbsp or so of water, reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to cook for 4 minutes so broccoli is tender crisp. 
5) Continue to saute for a few more minutes before adding in the cooled rice (grains should be separate). 
6) Stir in the rice for a few minutes and add salt and pepper to taste, as required. 
7) Finally, stir in the parmesan cheese and switch off the stove.  Delicious broccoli parmesan rice is ready! 

Seeing an empty lunch box when she gets back from school always makes me happy :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mango Chia Pudding

This is a very simple recipe that makes for a yummy, cool dessert or a refreshing breakfast, esp. for mango lovers...  It's quite simple and has chia seeds that help set the pudding and provide a lot of nutrients and satiating power.  You can make this ahead of time and allow to set in the refrigerator so it's ready to eat when you are...

MANGO CHIA PUDDING   (2 to 3 servings)



Ingredients:

Chia seeds - 2 tbsp
Mangoes, ripe - 3 (I used ataulfo), peeled & de-seeded
Milk/Soy or Almond Milk - 1 to 1.5 cups
Honey/Sugar - to taste (optional)

Method:

1) Blend pulp of 2 mangoes with milk.. Add honey/sugar if needed, to taste.
3) Cube pulp of 3rd mango
4) Stir in chia seeds and cubed mango...
5) Set in refrigerator overnight or for atleast 4 hrs. Now it's ready to dig in.