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Archive for June, 2013

Are you a cookie monster?


cookie monster


I bet you are.


What’s not to like, right?


Especially if there’s a surprise lurking inside the decadent chocolate exterior?


Like these double chocolate chunks with a super rich and super wonderful dulce de leche centre.


Cookies 3


I used some really adorable half and half chocolate chips. They’re half white and half dark chocolate.


Aren’t they pwetty?


Chocolate chips


Also, I used a lovely purple silicone mat my aunt gave me. I loved how easy it was to use!


Cookies 1


These cookie chunks aren’t delicate. They’re chunky. They’re hunky. They’re a little bit like Moto Moto. ( Go listen to his song :P)


I like ’em big. I like ’em chunky. I like ’em big. I like ’em plumpy.
I like ’em round. With something something.


Still talking about the cookies here darlings! πŸ˜‰


And the dulce de leche inside is the best caramel ever. It’s golden and thick and sweet, and stays gooey inside the cookie, until you take a bite and it melts in mouth, coating your tongue with its awesomeness.


Dulche de leche


Here’s the recipe. Go make your inner cookie monster proud! πŸ™‚


Double chocolate cookie chunks with gooey caramel centres


Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes: 12
Recipe adapted from: Hip Foodie Mom


Ingredients:


115 g butter (salted is fine)
300 g caster sugar
60 g cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
220 g flour
100 g chocolate chips (dark, white, milk, or mixed)
80ml or 1/3 tin Dulce de leche (recipe here)


Cookies 2


Method:


1. Melt the butter in a large pan and then stir in the sugar and cocoa. When slightly cool, mix in the eggs and vanilla extract.
2. In another bowl, mix the baking soda and flour together. Add this dry mixture to the cocoa mixture a little at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment or use a silicone mat.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ΒΊ C. Take about a heaped tablespoon worth of dough in your hand and shape it into a rough ball. Make an well in the centre and fill it with a teaspoon of dulce de leche. Cover the well with a flattened piece of dough to seal. Place these on the tray/mat and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are beginning to dry slightly but the centre is still soft. Remove and cool before serving.



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Chefs, in general, are quite wonderful.


They could be moody and temperamental, or lovable and cuddly, or bald and handsome.


Whatever their personality, it’s always a treat to spend time in their company.


Last week, Saffola Masala Oats organised an event at Blue Frog, Mehrauli to meet the Michelin Star chef, Vikas Khanna.


Vikas Khanna 1


Since I’m far from what you would call a fan of the Masterchef India tv show, I went with not-too-high expectations.


I was SO pleasantly surprised!


Vikas Khanna (as anyone who has interacted with him will know) is a veritable treat. He has that rare and supremely attractive quality of being able to laugh at oneself. He’s obviously very talented, but he’s incredibly humble. He lives in New York, but is endearingly Punjabi at heart. And he is crazy funny! We all were in splits throughout the event.


Vikas Khanna 3


He made a surprisingly tasty baked tinda dish (I know!) and spoke about the healthy + tasty dishes you can rustle up with oats.


Vikas Khanna 2


I decided I’d give it a shot too.


And these mini cuties are the result of that.


Oat bites 2


What I don’t like about oats is their general gloopy quality. Made this way, the baking dries them out a little bit, while retaining all the goodness.


I used Saffola Classic Masala Oats, which is one of the 6 flavours available. You could be far more adventurous with your toppings – although this fresh, lemony tomato-onion mix is kinda perfect πŸ™‚


Oat bites 3


Mini oat bites


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes: 5


Ingredients:


1 packet Saffola Masala oats
oil, for greasing
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste


Saffola Masala oats


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 180ΒΊ C. Pour the oats into a bowl and cover with about half a cup of boiling water (the mixture shouldn’t be too runny). Stir well, cover, and set aside.
2. Grease a cupcake tray with oil. Mix the tomato, onion, lemon juice, and salt together in a bowl.
3. Add about one heaped tablespoon of oat mixture into each of the grooves in the tray (I got about 5). Pat down gently with the back of the spoon and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the sides of each oat patty and gently remove from the tray. Top with the tomato-onion mixture and serve.


Oat bites 4



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*This post is my entry for the “WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere!” contest on Indiblogger.*


If I could summon any 5 people, dead or alive, to chat with in a WeChat group, those 5 awesome people would be:


Julia Child
Gordan Ramsey
My mother
Adriano Zumbo
Nigella Lawson


Okay so the most obvious thing they have in common is that they’re bad asses in the kitchen, but apart from that I doubt there is a single thing they’d agree about.


To properly understand why I’ve chosen these people, you need to get to know them.


Person 1: The feisty and proudly unconventional Julia Child. She loved butter, French food, and was the creator of quotes that make me want to high five her.


Here’s an example: β€œIf you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
Here’s another: β€œThe only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”


Still need another reason to love her? She wore pearls in the kitchen. I know, right? LOVE.


Julia Child


Here’s what our conversation would probably sound like:


Julia


If that’s not sound kitchen advice, I don’t know what is.


Person 2: The eternally mean, I-get-my-kicks-from-your-wimpy-tears Gordan Ramsay. He’s just the kind of person you need around when you think you’re too good for everyone. His words cut, like a knife. A real one.


Let’s look at a couple of memes to show you what I mean, okay?


Gordan meme 1


Gordan meme 2


They don’t call it Hell’s Kitchen for nothing y’all!


But why oh why would you want to chat with him, you ask? Here’s why:


Gordan


I don’t know about you, but I would love that kind of encouragement in the kitchen.


Person 3: My always-ready-with-hugs mother. After large doses of Ramsay, my mother who is the most encouraging person in the world, would be a welcome break.


Mom


My mother makes me believe I can do anything I want. That kind of confidence is crucial when you’re making say a mille-feuille for the first time, don’t you think?


Isn’t she lovely?


Mom


Person 4: The Patissier ofΒ PainΒ who can disarm you with a macaron or his killer smile (or both), Adriano Zumbo.


Adriano macarons


Every baker girl needs this guy on speed dial. Not only will he suggest recipes that constantly challenge you, he will smile like a sweet assassin while doing it. Also, his name makes me want to dance.


Adriano


His recipes are the best and the craziest.


Person 5: The Queen of making cooking a sexy activity, and being unabashedly proud of her curves, Nigella Lawson. I love how she uses her hands to measure things, how she’s always tasting and eating through the process, and how she feeds our souls with her words.


Much too often I’m a complete mess in the kitchen. There is flour everywhere, and bits of batter on every surface except my apron. Nigella is the best sexy food teacher. Take notes, children.


Nigella


Nigella caramel


Anyone who covers her face with salted caramel is a genius. Agree? Move over Justin. She’s bringing sexy back.


Those are the 5 people I’d like to WeChat with. Who’d make your list? πŸ™‚


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There are many uncertainties in life.


And uncertainties are unpleasant. In fact, sometimes I want stab uncertainties in the face.


I really, really wish I knew what the future holds. For sure. Without a doubt.


But uncertainty is just never knowing.


We all find the strength to deal with difficult situations when they happen. It’s the not knowing that troubles the best of us.


I’ll tell you what I do know for certain though.


I know that when you put chicken and tomatoes and cheese inside a hollowed-out bread bun, bake it, and eat it, you will be happier.


bread bowl 1


This is true. I swear it.


Choose a soft bun with a slightly firm exterior so it’s easy for you to take the centre out.


bread bowl 2


You can fill it with anything really, but I love this combination of minced chicken, juicy tomatoes, and melty cheese. You’d like it too πŸ™‚


bread bowl 3


After it’s baked, the bread is toasted on the outside, but the insides are moist and bursting with the delicious filling.


Cut it open and watch yumminess come tumbling out.


bread bowl 5


And about that uncertainty – let’s try to remember that it essentially means you don’t know how something will turn out. It could possibly be bad, but it could also be wonderfully good.


certainty


So that’s what we’re doing then.


In the face of uncertainty, let’s focus on the possibility of awesomeness.


Life is too short to worry πŸ™‚ And the best things are yet to come!


Hugs!


4-ingredient chicken bread bowls


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Makes: 2


Ingredients:


2 plain buns
200g chicken mince, cooked (I stir-fried mine with garlic, onions, and salt)
2 tomatoes, chopped
50g cheese, grated (use any cheese you like)


bread bowl 4


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 180ΒΊ C. Cut a hole in the top of each bun and gently remove the centre, keeping the outer bowl-shape intact.
2. Fill the hollows with the mince, followed by the tomatoes, and then the cheese. Place on a wire rack and bake for 25 minutes. I put the grill setting on for the last 2 minutes. Remove and eat warm.


Oh and before you go, if you’re a little blue today and need a pep talk, this video may help πŸ™‚


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What’s better than a chilled mojito on a hot summer day?


Mojito 1


Maybe two?


Mojito 2


Perhaps three? πŸ˜‰


Mojito 3


The very popular Hard Rock Cafe, in Delhi, is currently running a mojito festival called Mojito Mania.


All the mojitos are made with Bacardi and are available in many, many fresh, fruity flavours like Watermelon, Mango, Grape, Green apple, Strawberry, and Kiwi to name a few.


The drinks have a generous portion of muddled lime and mint in them. Such summery flavour boosters!


I particularly loved the watermelon one – it had chunks of the juicy fruit in it and wasn’t too sweet.


Strawberry was another popular one at our table, although I found it a little too sweet.


The mango one was super – yellow in colour and very refreshing with the occasional bite of slightly-sweet, slightly-tart mango.


Mojito 4


The ones to steer clear of in my opinion are: kiwi, grape, and bell pepper. None of them had any discernible flavour.


On only for a few more days, stop by the Hard Rock Cafe, Delhi for perfect summer pick-me-up drink!


Mojito 5


Read what the others there had to say:


Sid from Chef at Large
Parul from The Shirazine


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