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All purpose flour

Breakfast/ Continental/ Desserts/ Spring - Summer Special

Zucchini Bread

Everyone around me seems to be fighting allergies these days. The culprit? Climate Change! Warmer, drier air is prompting trees to release their offending pollen prematurely. Stay sniffle free with this nutrition packed treat – zucchini bread with cranberries and walnuts!

zucchini bread

This was a complete surprise. I was under the impression that zucchini bread was a mere attempt to hide veggies inside a sweet treat without adding anything to the flavor. But that’s not really true. After first bite, I was sold; partly because I had pretty low expectations and also because it does taste yum!zucchini cranberry breadAddition of cranberries and walnuts contributed a whole new dimension to otherwise chewy one-tone bread. So I totally recommend adding nuts and dried fruits of your choice.

zucchini bread slicesVitamin C, anti-oxidants and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids from the 3 key ingredients will definitely help you build your defenses against the seasonal allergies. That’s how I convinced my husband to try this bread and he loved it, as always!

Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

A nice treat to have after a long day!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

3 Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir it in. Add the flour, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

4 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.zucchini bread loaf

Notes

I will recommend cranberries as they add a slight tangy note to this sweet bread. Feel free to try raisins or chopped apricots or dried figs.
Walnuts can be substituted by any other nuts of your choice such as pecans or almonds or pistachios.

Breakfast/ Desserts/ Snacks

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two years and two months, I had successfully put off the urge of making chocolate chip cookies at home. Finally I gave in and decided to make S happy by making his two favorite dishes – Sabudana Khichadi and Chocolate Chip Cookies. The debate still continues whether firm and thin or soft and chewy is the perfect texture but we both agree that fresh, warm, just-out-of-oven cookies with a glass of cold milk is a pure bliss!

It would have been a lot easier if there were one master recipe for each classic dish. After going through numerous websites I settled on Joy Of Baking recipe. I adapted the original recipe to make about 2 dozens cookies instead of 4.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

For me soft and chewy choco chip cookie is always a winner!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter together with white and brown sugar until smooth,  creamy and fluffy. I used the hand mixer on low speed.
  2. Then add vanilla extract and one egg at room temperature and beat it gently on low speed.
  3. Whisk all purpose flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt to ensure there are no lumps.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter and mix well.
  5. Fold in chopped walnuts / pecans.
  6. Preheat the oven at 350 F and keep the oven rak at the center.
  7. Drop 1/4" diameter balls on an ungreased cooking sheet, about 2 inches apart. I used the scooper, you can also use two spoons to get the balls.
  8. Press them down a bit with your fingers.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes!

Notes

  • Use butter and eggs at room temperature.
  • Once the cookies are out of oven, immediately transfer them on a cooling rack else they become soggy due to moisture.
  • Store them in an airtight jar, microwave for 15 seconds before eating.

Sending it to Vardhini’s Bake Fest hosted by Mad Scientist kitchen

Continental/ Desserts/ Entertaining

Chocolate Brownies

Rich, Cakey, Chocolatey Goodness !!

I bet you are smiling already. 🙂

This is one thing I have found hard to resist. Even though they are easy to make at home, next time I would rather but them by the piece just to keep my weight loss goal on track. I found couple of recipes with slight variations in amount of chocolate, cocoa powder and eggs used. The one I used came from my colleague’s mom. She has been baking these brownies for last 50 years, how wonderful is that! I think i did a good justice to her recipe and made them more special by baking them on Valentine’s day.

Rich, Cakey, Chocolatey Goodness!

Rich, Cakey, Chocolatey Goodness!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F /180 C. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter over simmering water. Set it aside.
Remove from the heat and stir in cocoa powder and sugar.
Next whisk in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time; beating well after each egg addition. Finally fold in the flour and salt, making sure you don’t over mix the batter. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts. You will notice that the metled chocolate becomes hard to work with once eggs and flour are added, but that’s okay.

Transfer this mixture to the baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Pull out and let them cool for at least 40 minuts on a wire rack to get well defined pieces. Well, I dugged in immediately, nothing tastes better than warm chocolate brownie on a perfect rainy evening!

The Secret
The time you take out the brownies out of the oven is very crucial. A few minutes could turn rich moist brownies into hard ones. Test with a toothpick or a skewer inserted into the middle, it should come out sticky with a little batter and a moist clumps clinging to it. If it comes out clean, you have overbaked them.

Sending this to Rasi’s I am the Star

Off to Radhika’s I love Baking

Bake Fest hosted by Sumee and started by Vardhini

Srivalli’s Kids Delight hosted at UK-rasoi

Desserts/ Entertaining/ Maharashtrian/ Superfoods

खजूर साटोरी (Stuffed Dates Paratha)

Healthy twist to  a traditional Maharashtrian dessert

Satori (साटोरी) is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert prepared with khoya, coconut and suji (semolina) stuffed in a poori made with maida. I have given a healthy twist to this traditional sweet dish by adding khajoor (dates), poppy seeds, sesame seeds and dried coconut stuffing inside a puri made with mainly whole wheat flour and some maida. Instead of deep frying, I lightly roasted them with ghee. The result was delicious yet healthy khajoor satori !

खजूर साटोरी (Stuffed Dates Paratha)

खजूर साटोरी (Stuffed Dates Paratha)

 A modern and healthy twist to traditional Maharashtrian dessert!

Ingredients:

Method

Stuffing –

  1. Chop pitted dates as small as possible.
  2. Roast sesame seeds in a small frying pan until they become lightly brown. Keep aside and let them cool
  3. In the same pan, heat 1/2 table spoon of ghee and roast poppy seeds for 3-4 minutes on low flame. Once done, keep them aside and let them cool.
  4. Again add 1/2 teaspoon oil and roast the grated coconut until the color changes to light brown. Coconut gets browned quickly so keep an eye on it and stir constantly. Let it cool down. Crush the roasted coconut with hands or in a grinder.
  5. Then add 2-3 tablespoon of ghee and roast chopped dates for 5 minutes. The dates become tender, now mix all above ingredients. Mix well for 2-3 minutes. You can make this stuffing well in advance and it can also be preserved in an airtight jar for few months.

Dough –

  1. When you are ready to roll the satoris, mix whole wheat flour, maida and a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the oil and mix it in the flour. This hot oil is also know as “mohan”, it helps the mixture to become lighter and fluffier.
  3. Stir in warm milk and knead the dough for a few minutes to make smooth and firm dough. Keep it aside for half an hour.

Satori / Stuffed paratha –

  1. Divide the dough and stuffing in 5 equal sized balls. Stuffing balls can be larger than dough balls.
  2. Roll a dough ball to make around 3 inch diameter circle, put a stuffing ball and seal all sides as we do in any stuffed paratha. Roll it to make a think puri (around 5 inch diameter puri).
  3. Repeat this for all 5 parts.
  4. Heat a medium size skillet and add 1 teaspoon of ghee. Place a satori over the skillet. After few seconds, flip the satori and lightly press the puffed areas. Flip it couple of times. It will develop golden-brown spots. Take it out on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb extra ghee. Repeat it for other satoris.

Satoris can be enjoyed warm or cold. Bon apetite!

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