Friday, September 19, 2014

Mushroom, Brocolli and Bell Peppers in Garlic Sauce | Indo-Chinese Gravy



This recipe post has been in my drafts for over a year! I have no clue why this hasn't seen the day light yet! So, without further delay, I am posting this right now! 

I love Chinese cuisine. The Indo-Chinese version appeals to me even more. When I saw this on Shweta's blog, I wanted to try it! I wanted a more gravy kind of a side-dish and hence made a thicker gravy.

It was simple to make and I absolutely loved the flavour. 


 I love it when my veggies are crunchy and just done. Over-cooked broccolis or capsicums are a big turn off for me. So if you are like me, ensure you keep them just right as the flavours of such crunchy veggies go really well in this dish. Serve it with fried rice, or simple team it with plain rice. Either way, its yum! 

Enjoy! :)


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pizza Minis | Personalized Baby Pizzas



It was just a 'pizza-kind-of-a-day'!!  

You know that feeling when you are somewhere in the mid day and a bell rings in your head and a sign board seems to be flashing right in front of you with the menu for dinner written in bold font! Yeah... some days are just like that for me, while there are some days when I would have to dig deep into my brains to settle on a menu! Well, lets forget those difficult days and talk about the fun days when the menu just calls out to you loud and clear :)

Oh, I love such days! :)


Last week I guess Thursday or so was one such lovely day when the food-indicators in my brain sent me pizza signals... I had to obey! So, homemade pizzas it was for dinner! 

How delighted I was. My dinner was sorted, and I was still at work!! Why can't such days visit more often, I wonder :)

As soon as the clock struck 6, I rushed home and began work on my dough. Oh, I did not want to waste a second! I used my trusted wholewheat pizza base recipe and made a dough ball. While it sat proofing, I began planning on the topping... I simply couldn't settle for one! That was when the idea of making Pizza Minis struck me!



I decided to make tiny little bases and top each with toppings of my choice. Absolutely personalized baby pizzas. One had extra spice, while another had more capsicum, one had loads of sweet corn while one had extra sauce! It was exciting making these cute little guys. 

The husband was equally delighted when he came home to a plateful of these cuties, each with a personality of its own! :) Enjoy them as a lovely meal at home, or treat your friends and family at your next get-together. These little ones are sure a crowd pleaser... :)



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coffee Almond Cake [Egg-less]


Now, when there are back-to-back birthdays in the family, there ought to be back-to-back cake posts here right? :) So, here I am with my second cake recipe that I created for a birthday... this time mine! :D Yeah, a week after my Grandpa's 100th year celebrations, it was my turn to celebrate my birthday! 

I always get excited when my birthday arrives. I don't know what it is about birthdays but I love it when they come by. I am not a party person, so no major plans or parties or any of that sort. I just like feeling special and happy about that day being my very own special day amongst rest of the days of the year! :) 


And what is a birthday without a cake, right? 

In the last few years, ever since I began baking, I have baked cakes for my parent's anniversary, brother's, sis-in-law's, hubby's and mother-in-law' birthdays and more recently a special Zebra cake for my Grandpa too. I realized, I hadn't baked a cake specially for myself yet! As I said, birthdays are special to me and I believe in celebrating it in my own simple way. Oh, I am not talking birthday pastries here. My forte is egg-less tea cakes and I love experimenting with various combinations and seasonings. No icing, no cream. 


I wanted to bake the cake on the previous day to my birthday and I had the final look of the cake ready in my head while at office that day! I simply could not wait to get home and begin baking! Haha, these baking urges I tell you!! :D

So, what cake did I want? I had various options swaying in my head. But coffee and almond kept dancing in my head until I simply had to surrender and allow them to be the core flavouring agents in my cake! So, Coffee Almond Cake it was :)


The batter was delicious! Yes, I licked the last bit left after filling in the cuppies!! Tee heee :P 

The smell was divine! This is one of the most fragrant cakes I have baked till now. The home was filled with the beautiful smell of coffee, while these little guys baked away in the oven. And the next day, when I opened the box in which I stored the cup cakes, we were welcomed with a whiff of that lovely coffee flavour again! So, if you are a coffee lover... you just do not want to miss this one! :)



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Choco-Vanilla Zebra Cake [Egg-less] | Birthday cake for my Grandpa's 100th year!!


My grandpa entered his 100th year on Saturday, the 23rd of August. Yes, his centenary year!! At the age of 99, Abu (that is 'Grandpa' in Konkani) is one of the fittest persons I know! He walks around, with the help of a walker, he reads the newspaper, watches television and keeps himself abreast with the latest happenings. He can strike a conversation with just about any generation and keep it going!

Ever smiling and living life to the fullest, my grandpa is a jovial person. Having had a successful career life, a hugely generous heart and a determination like I have not seen in anyone else, my grandpa is definitely an inspiration to anyone who meets him.

Disclaimer: This is going to be a long post with pictures overload!! :)


So as a celebration of his centenary year, our family decided to throw him birthday bash. It is not everyday that you have someone reach a 100 and that too in such a fine health condition! It does call for celebrations, right? :) Though, he was aware of the get-together being planned, we kept him away from several little surprises we had thought up for him. I made a picture collage with photographs of all his kids and grand kids with him, we made a scrapbook with wishes from near and dear ones and.... I baked this zebra cake for him!! 


Before we jump into the recipe, let me fill you in on the other surprises and the party. Here is a sneak peek at the scrapbook that we put together for him......and the poem that I had penned in his scrapbook of wishes.


Those moments…
When you threw me into the air,
And caught me, as I squealed in childish glee.
When you bounced me on your legs,
As I giggled, till it tickled my belly.
When you lauded me,
For my achievements, however big or small.
When you motivated me,
To reach for the stars, and give it my all.
I shall treasure these and many more,
As my fondest memories with you.
Blessed… I feel,
To have grown up with a Grandpa like you!

Abu, you are inspiration personified,
Living life to the fullest… everyday, you show us how!
As you majestically stride into the big 100,
I wish you abundance of laughter, happiness and love!

Happy Birthday dear Abu! J




My heart was full of joy when I penned those lovely memories of growing up with a Grandpa like him and I was only too glad I was able to put those feeling in words for him. 

I always wanted to bake him a cake for his birthday. Considering the fact that this was going to be the first cake I baked, that he was going to taste, I wanted it to be special. Considering his age, I had to keep the cake simple. Suited me just fine, since simple cake are just my kind of cakes! I had to refrain from adding in nuts, in order to make it easy for him to eat it. Also, not being a huge fan of icing and more importantly, having to carry the cake from Bangalore where I live to Chennai, where my Grandpa stays, I couldn't think of carrying a cake with icing! So sponge cake it was. But no ordinary one.. something pretty and special to suit the occasion.

After sorting through several options in my head, I finally settled for this Zebra cake which I was meaning to try for a long time. I have a trusted Vanilla cake recipe and a Chocolate cake recipe. Both egg-less. So I just put together the two and made a Zebra cake, all the while keeping my fingers crossed, as this was the first time am attempting this type of a cake! Well, it does need a little care, to get the layers perfect. And I am proud of my first attempt at it! :)



Now, not making a cake with icing posed a problem. How am I decorate it? I had to write 'Happy Birthday' somewhere!! Well, so that was when the thought of making a pretty little paper banner pinned to skewers came to my mind. I have seen these on the Internet earlier and felt it was time I tried my hands at it! 

Grandpa was delighted when he saw this and was even more so when I told him I made it!!! How proud he was of me, that he told everyone that I baked a cake for him. Aww, some feelings cannot be put into words! When he blew the candle and sliced into the cake, my heart skipped a beat in anticipation of how the swirls turned out.... and they were beautifully perfect!!! Oh my... was I delighted by the way it turned out!! :) I was grinning ear to ear by the way the final look of the cake came together... I certify this as my best cake till date!!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stir-fry Veggie Noodles with Soya-Honey-Peanut Dressing


Oh, I LOVE roasted peanuts.  

I like to snack on them plain or also love it when they are added into a dish. They bring along a whole new dimension to the dish that they are added into. Be it a simple Poha, Vermicelli upma or Sabudana Vadas... the crunchiness of peanuts enhances the dish many levels. And Snickers! Oh, that is a my favourite chocolate, again for the crunchy peanuts that it contains. 

Apparently the people of Thailand also love peanuts. Peanuts is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine and it also happens to be a cuisine I love!



I am yet to try the Thai Peanut Noodles prepared the authentic way. I guess there are a lot more elements to it and more prep time. But when I come across a quick-fix recipe for any dish, that would be my choice! So today, we will be making a dish that has hints of Thai flavours in it, a dish that is very simple to put together and one that is absolutely YUM!



I was out shopping today and returned home well past 2 in the afternoon. Being home alone and having only my tummy to feed, I decided to get experimental. But the tummy was hungry and I did not have too much time to invest in cooking. I decided to try my hands at this recipe that I came across the other day. Oh, it turned out to be totally delicious. This recipe gets done in a jiffy! 

This was the first time I was pairing peanuts with noodles and I absolutely loved the crunchiness it gave to the dish. The awesomely simple yet flavourful dressing is the taste giver here. 

So this noodles is a lovely combination of delicate flavours intricately woven together and blended with the crunchy veggies, noodles and peanuts... ah, food heaven! :)


Monday, August 11, 2014

Nan's Yum-yums! Junior Bakers - a FUN baking workshop for kids

There has been so much happening lately, that I have been trying hard to catch up with time to update my little blog and share with you all, the happens at my end! Days seem to be sprinting past like lighting and I am on my heels trying to keep pace. Well, fast-paced months these, but full of fun alright! 

Let me begin by filling you in with the details about the new horizon Nan's Yum-yums has entered. I have put into action a long brewing thought of mine.Baking workshops! Yes, I am now conducting baking workshops and have successfully completed two in the last 3 months!

It was sometime in the beginning of this year, when an idea struck me. Its was almost two years since I began my home baking and I have been enjoying it all along. Baking gives me boundless joy and I wanted to spread this joy among people who were eager and willing to learn.

So, the day came much sooner than I expected and in early May 2014, I conducted my first baking workshop at a beautiful activity center called Bloom and Grow. This workshop was specially planned for little kids, aged 7 yrs and above. Junior Bakers, as I named it was a milestone for Nan's Yum-yums and a first of the many I plan to conduct in the days to come.


I had planned on a batch size of 10 and it was a pleasure having 11 little junior bakers, aged between 6 and 12, came along and join me in this workshop. Some mommies and daddies joined along to encourage and help their tots. The excitement of the little ones rubbed off on me and the room was full of energy and FUN! 

We baked 2 kinds of muffins - Apple Cinnamon and Carrots and Walnut muffins and baked some Cinnamon Rolls and Bread Bunnies. 

This enthusiastic little lot, insisted on kneading the bread dough with their tiny little hands, which I generally prefer kneading using the hand blender with bread hooks. Oh, they were such delight to watch! 

This workshop was truly a memorable one. With some technical challenges and time crunches, we managed to pull off the 4 hour session with loads of goodies and some lovely memories. I was proud of my bunch of junior bakers, for being patient and supportive throughout.



More pictures!! Hop over and check out the Junior Bakers photo album to relive those memories and be a part of our fun through the pictures :)

Do such workshops interest you?

Stay tuned to my updates on my Facebook page for future workshops.

OR 

Drop me an e-mail to discuss your requirements. 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Sabudana Fritters and Yogurt Peanut Dip | Sago Vada [shallow-fry method] | And the Indian Food Blogger's Meet!


It has been over two years since I have been a food blogger and I still consider myself a ‘fresher’ in this field. From even before I began my blogging odyssey and also along the way, I have come across some established food bloggers who have carved out a niche for themselves in the blog sphere. They have constantly kept me motivated, awed me with their passion and dedication for blogging and have inspired me with their ability to juggle the various facets of their lives with ease.

Blogging may seem like a simple hobby to many, but only when one ponders into this beautiful world and delves deeper does one understand the intricacies of the art. Yes, to me blogging is an art.


So, as I am still taking wobbly baby steps and just learning to hold my paint brush right, I am only lucky to be able to share some space with some very talented artists of the food blogging world. I first heard about the Indian Food Blogger’s Meet (IFBMeet) through Aparna [My Diverse Kitchen]. I got to know her through a bread-baking group on Facebook. She along with three other talented bloggers have planned this wonderful event as a platform for like-minded bloggers from across the country to come together and share ideas and thoughts. I am delighted to be able to be a part of it, get enlightened and meet some of the bloggers in person, whose blogs have been a fond read of mine for a while now.


IFBM, a first of its kind in India happening on the 1st and 2nd of August in Bangalore, promises to be jam-packed with workshops, talks and events for like-minded bloggers. Food styling, food photography, food writing, cook-book publishing... you name it and they have it all planned up! I am excited, as this is going to be my first ever blogger-meet up!

“Surround yourself with people who are going to motivate and inspire you.” — Charles M. Marcus

Yes, I am going to be doing just that! :)


So, as I gear up for this exciting event that is just a fortnight away, I am sharing with you all a lovely recipe of an age old favourite dish, the cooking process of which has been given a healthy twist. I have been making the deep-fried version of sabudana vadas at home for long. It was only recently, while browsing through a foodie group that I am a part of, that I bumped across this method of preparing this yummy snack. It uses a paniyaram / appe pan and minimum oil! It caught my attention and I simply had to try it to believe it. I was delighted with the result and though this takes more time than deep-frying, and am never going to be deep-frying this any more! :)

These sabudana fritters are super crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. And oh, that simple to put-to-gethher dip... no you don't want to miss that! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mango Banana Yogurt Gelato


I seem to be resorting to a new style of posting on Nan's Yum-yums! Call it convenience or time-crunch or just being impromptu. This is my second post in a row which I had not planned on posting here, and had not spent time on styling and taking elaborate pictures. All the pictures are taken from my basic camera mobile! The post just happened on the go and like the last impromptu post, this one simply had to be shared with you all.... so here I am, with my not-so-planned-(or-not-at-all-planned) post on a super simple, delicious and absolutely healthy dessert! :)


On a foodie group that I am a part of, I saw Amrita's post on a very interesting recipe for making gelato at home. The simplicity of the recipe appealed to me instantly. It is Donna Hay's recipe and a definite keeper! 

I have never made ice cream at home, though have been planning to do so for months! The usage of heavy cream and the process of repeated freezing-blending-freezing process in most ice cream recipe was always a turn off for me and I somehow kept away from experimenting. 

Someday, I will make my own ice cream, but for now I am jumping with joy on the discovery of this simple recipe to make Gelato, which is the Italian's version of ice cream! Gelato is slightly less dense than ice cream and if frozen for longer, the texture becomes crystallised. It's fun eating it both ways :)



Making this gelato involves absolutely no elaborate process and ingredients. Ingredients? Oh, the title of the post has it all!! 

That is right - Mango, Banana and Yogurt! That. Is. It!! 

Wow...Is that cool or what? My first post that has all the ingredients in its title itself! :D This yummilicious dessert gets made with just these three ingredients. No additional sweeteners, no artificial flavouring, no thickening agents.... none of those!

So, I decided to post this here, after the husband (who hates mangoes!) asked for a second helping!! He actually asked to make this often!! Yooo... hooo!!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Banana Walnut Loaf Cake [Eggless]


This is one of the most unplanned posts on my blog. 

I had not much time on hand that day, I had two over ripe bananas, we were to head out in about 45 minutes and yet... I planned on baking this beauty in that little time gap that I had! Banana Walnut bread was one of the first homemade cakes that I had eaten as a little girl at my aunt's place and ever since has been a fond favourite of mine. I had long been wanting to bake a loaf of it in my new oven and had been putting it off for later.





But that day, was the day!

Having made up my mind in a matter of minutes, I just got into action without wasting another minute. Namita's lovely blog on healthy bakes came to my rescue. I tweaked her recipe to add in some walnuts and a dash of cinnamon powder and voila... a pretty baked loaf of yumminess was what I got as end result :)




I had not planned on posting this here, as I did not take proper pictures and also I told you what a mad rush I was in. But I felt that these picture taken from my basic mobile camera were pretty decent making me want to share it with you all :) 

So here goes... a lovely simple recipe that will make you want to do a tap dance as you pull out the goodie from the oven! :)
 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Zucchini and Mushroom Wholewheat Pizza


Ever experienced that moment when you want to just jump with joy and maybe do a little jig to celebrate your achievement? Oh well, I had that moment, not once but twice the day I baked this pizza... first when I took this beauty out of the oven and had my first bite.... and then the moment came again, when the husband took his first bite and when his eyes became as big as saucers and twinkled in appreciation of the goodness that he had just bit into! :D His mouth was just too full to speak but his eyes said it all :)


Trying not to sound pompous, I have to let you all know that this is by far the best pizza I have made till date!! Right from the crunch in the base to the softness inside to the way the toppings paired with each other to the final look of the pizza.... oh, I loved it all! :) Please do try it out and I assure you, you will not be let down!


It was a weekend and I was home alone attending to my usual weekend chores. I had planned on baking a pizza for myself. Since the pizza was just for me, I had the liberty to add in the veggies that I preferred (...and were not really a favourite with the hubby!). So, I decided to use those beautiful zucchinis that I had lying in the fridge and also the mushrooms. I have been yearning to bake with Zucchini for ages and thought now was the time to do just that. I made Wholewheat Pizza Base and began my baking.


But like most Saturdays, my chores did not end until way past lunch and by the time this pizza was ready, I was home alone no longer! Having taken a bite of this beauty (...and having absolutely loved it!), I decided to offer it to hubby, (who had just come back after a full meal from a function). To my delight, he ate not one but two slices of this pizza!! He LOVED it! Considering the fact that he does not fancy mushrooms or zucchinis... you understand why this was a happy-dance moment for me, don't you?! :)