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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

All due respect to Ned Stark (bless his soul), but summer is coming.

 

I love summer for many reasons – not having to wear 5 layers before stepping outside, drinking coconut water instead of plain water all day long, more sun-lit hours, gorgeous flowers everywhere, and the beautiful, colorful produce.

 

Fruits are aplenty and in all shapes, sizes and color – tart, sweet, and juicy, the dessert possibilities are endless.

 

Raspberry Lemon bars 3

 

These raspberry lemon bars are a mouthful of summer. The shortbread base is crumbly and buttery, and the lemon-raspberry topping is fresh, citrusy and sweet all at once.

 

Raspberry Lemon bars 1

 

These are very easy to make, and they look quite spectacular don’t you think?

 

Raspberry lemon bars

 

Recipe from: Lovely Little Kitchen

 

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Serves: 9

 

 

Ingredients:

 

For the shortbread:

12 tbsp/1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

75g/ 1/3 cup caster sugar

170g/ 1 and 1/2 cup flour

For the topping:

3 eggs

225g/ 1 cup caster sugar

3 tbsp flour

1 cup fresh raspberries (crushed)

juice of 2 lemons

icing sugar, for dusting

lemon slices, raspberries, mint leaves or green sprinkles for decorating

 

Raspberry Lemon bars 2

 

 

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF , grease a 9 by 9 inch baking tin, and then line with parchment paper leaving the edges to over-hang. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the flour and knead gently until a smooth dough is formed.
  2. Press into the prepared tin, spreading with your fingers so that the dough is evenly distributed in a uniform layer in the tin. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Using an electric whisk, mix the eggs, sugar and flour together. Add the raspberries and lemon juice and mix again. Pour over the baked shortbread crust and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate with lemon slices, raspberries and mint leaves or sprinkles if you wish. Cut into 9 squares and serve.

 

Happy summer-ing!

 

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What’s up guys?

 

It’s been a busy few weeks here – summer is over and fall is upon us!

 

I’m looking forward to the slightly cooler weather, boots, and pumpkin spice everything!

 

We’ve been soaking up the last bit of the summer with friends.

 

Friends 1

 

Some of whom have the cutest babies.

 

Friends 2

 

Oh, also we decorated our living room.

 

Home before and after

 

Not bad, right? We’re doing OK at this “adult” thing?

 

What didn’t look very nice on my kitchen counter was this.

 

Black banana

 

I had also just bought a beautiful new loaf dish so it was a no brainer really, that I was going to make Banana bread!

 

Loaf dish

 

This Banana bread is crazy moist and delicious and it will make your home smell amazing.

 

Banana bread 1

 

I know walnuts are the usual choice of nuts for Banana bread, but try this recipe with pecans, won’t you? They aren’t as bitter, and become sorta chewy and so yummy after baking with the banana-y batter.

 

Pecans

 

I love recipes where you essentially dump all the ingredients into a bowl, mix and bake. This is one of those! I told ya it was super easy! 😀

 

Super easy Banana Bread

 

Recipe adapted from: Food.com

 

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 80 mins
Serves: 10

 

Ingredients:

 

4 over-ripe bananas, skins removed
2 eggs
340g/1 and 1/2 cup caster sugar
120ml/half cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
60ml/quarter cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
100g/1 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
200g/1 and 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
 

Method:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF and grease a loaf dish. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla extract, and pecans.
2. Sift in the flour and baking soda. Mix together until everything is well combined.
3. Pour into the loaf dish and bake for 80 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, before cutting into slices to serve.

 

Banana bread 2

 

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If you watch MasterChef Australia, you’ve heard about the notoriously hard-to-get-perfect dessert called Panna Cotta. (BTW, if you do watch MasterChef, read this) 😛

 

It’s a thing of beauty. Usually pearly white, with a slight wobble, and silken smooth when your spoon cuts through it.

 

Panna Cotta is essentially cooked cream that’s set in a mould with gelatin. You could sweeten it with sugar or honey, and add any other flavors you want. Most often, it’s served with some sort of fruit compote or purée.

 

I’ve made a Coconut milk Panna Cotta before, but I never un-moulded it for fear of it falling apart.

 

So I decided to be brave and make a simple Panna Cotta I could un-mould and serve in all its wobbly, white glory.

 
Panna Cotta 1
 

I experimented with different amounts of gelatin and made it a few times until I got the texture absolutely right.

 

I also played around with a few fruit flavors and textures.

 
Panna Cotta 2
 

This is the perfect summer dessert – it’s delicate and cold, and can be eaten within 4 hours of putting it in the fridge to set.

 

My recipe makes exactly 2 serves, but feel free to double/triple.

 

Make this for someone special today – and watch them smile as you bring out the perfect wobble 🙂

 
Panna Cotta 3
 

Panna Cotta

 

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 6 mins, plus 4+ hours setting
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients:

 

120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
180 ml (3/4 cup) full cream
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
fruit compote or purée of your choice (optional)

 

Method:

 

1. Pour the milk into a pan and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir gently and continuously until the gelatin dissolves (about 3 minutes) but make sure it doesn’t boil. Now add the cream and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves (another 3 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into 2 custard cups and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set (more is okay, but not less.)
4. To un-mould, run a knife around the edge of the cup and then dip it into a pan of boiling water for a few seconds. Immediately turn over onto the serving plate and tap to release the Panna Cotta. You may need to repeat the dip a few times, but it will un-mould eventually. I promise!
Note: For a fresh cherry sauce, un-pit and chop up a handful of cherries and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and a dash of rum or whisky, mixing well. Leave for an hour and then serve. For a peach or mango purée, blend the flesh of the fruit with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cream and serve. Use any fruits or sauces – the plain Panna Cotta takes on any flavor really well 🙂

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Key Lime Pie

Summer has arrived, and she brings with her many wonderful things. (Bless her sunshiny soul.)

 

She brings afternoons spent in beautiful parks, filled with happy people marvelling at the golden light and bright skies.

 

Prospect park

 

She brings walks with adorable dogs who tire very quickly and then plonk themselves down in the middle in the road, leaving you wondering what you should do. (I thought it best to take a photograph as you can see. I have the BEST ideas.)

 

Dog walking

 

She brings happy outdoor birthday parties with tiny beings and ice-cream cake.

 

Outdorr birthday

 

She brings lazy brunches, funny conversations, many iced drinks and big smiles.

 

Brunch

 

And she brings an appreciation for just how beautiful everything around us really is.

 

Prospect park lake

 

Did I mention she also brings some fabulous pie?

 

Key lime pie, to be specific!

 

Key lime 1

 

If summer was a pie, this would be it.

Sweet, but tart.
Light, yet indulgent.
Crumbly and smooth.

This dessert is summer in a tart tin.

 

Key lime 2

 

Super easy to make, and requiring only a few ingredients, make this today and welcome Lady Summer.

 

She doesn’t stay long (at least for me) so I want to impress 🙂

 

Here’s how you do it.

 

Key Lime Pie

 

Recipe adapted from: Pioneer Woman

 

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins, plus cooling and setting time
Serves: 8

 

Ingredients:

 

200 g Graham crackers, crushed into small pieces
75 g caster sugar
75 g unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp lime zest, plus more to garnish
120 ml lime juice
2 egg yolks
1 tin (approx 400 ml) sweet condensed milk
 
Key lime 4

 

Method:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Mix the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter together until well combined. Press the mixture into the base of a 13-inch rectangular tart tin with a removable bottom. Bake for 5 minutes and then leave to cool on a wire rack.
2. Mix the lime zest, lime juice, and egg yolks with an electric whisk. Add the condensed milk and mix at a high speed until creamy and smooth. Pour this mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven, garnish with zest, and leave to cool. Once cool, refrigerate for about 2 hours, before gently removing from the tart tin and slicing to serve.

 

Key lime 5

 

Enjoy the warmth and light and shorts weather while it lasts. Happy Summer guys! ❤

 

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


Mojito 1


Maybe two?


Mojito 2


Perhaps three? 😉


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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It’s beginning to get hot in Delhi. We’re creeping towards shorts and flip-flop weather. The sunglasses are out and sunscreen is being slathered on. And iced tea is desirable again.


My most favourite summer ingredient has to be yogurt. You can eat it in/with anything and be refreshed by its wonderful cool freshness.


Curd rice. Yum.
Lassi. Oh yes.
Raita. So good.
Frosting. Wait whaaaa?


Cupcakes 1


You heard right, baby. Yogurt frosting. That’s where it’s at.


Here’s what happened. I had to make cupcakes for my gym friends. I knew super-rich wouldn’t cut it. It had to be healthy.


So I pulled out some thick yogurt and played around with it.


Yogurt frosting


The result? A beautiful, light, airy, not-too-sweet, healthy frosting, that went perfectly with my mini chocolate cupcakes!


The best part? It was done in 30 seconds. No joke.


Now you can lick the frosting bowl clean guilt-free 🙂


Cupcakes 2


30-second healthy yogurt frosting


Prep time: 30 secs
Makes: enough to frost 40 mini or 20 regular cupcakes


Ingredients:


200 g thick yogurt
50 g icing sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
a few drops of food colour, optional


Method:


1. Mix the yogurt and icing sugar together until there are no lumps. Add the vanilla and stir again. You can add any food colour of your choice and mix till you have an even colour.
2. If you like your frosting quite stiff, mix in a little more sugar and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up. If you like it looser, slather onto cupcakes immediately and enjoy!


If you’re in India, and love frozen yogurt, you’d be interested to know that Chef at Large, one of the best online food networks (my favourite one anyway!) just announced the results of the 2013 Indian Frozen Yogurt Market survey. Some really interesting results came up, including the fact that most consumers feel taste is more important than health, and Cocoberry is the most preferred yogurt brand in India (it is kinda awesome- I love it too!). For more details on the survey, check out: http://chefatlarge.in/surveys/yogurt


Here’s a look at the cupcake box I packed. The purple ones are regular buttercream (for those who aren’t health freaks) and the pretty pink ones are yogurt 🙂


Cupcake box 2


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It was all yellow

Summer is upon us.


It’s time for all things cool, and fresh, and light.


It gets really hot and grimy in Delhi where I live so I want to share a list of my happy summer things with you 🙂


Which of these do you love?


Watermelon
Vanilla ice-cream
Linen pants
Fruit cocktails
Mangoes
The colour of the sky
Strappy tops
Longer days
Cold showers
Lemon juice
Indoor afternoons
Sunglasses
Flip-flops
Iced tea
Anything white
High hairdos
Whipped cream


My favourite summer fruit has to be mango.


Every time I smell a sweet mango I’m transported back to my childhood when Mum and Dad would make the most delicious fresh mango ice-cream.


These mango muffins taste a little bit like them. They’re soft and creamy and full of mango flavour.



I used the same recipe as my Banana muffins, substituting the bananas with the pulp of 2 sweet, ripe mangoes. I also added 2 tablespoons of milk to the batter.



Bake some for a taste of summer!



Hoping yours is bright and beautiful 🙂



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