Saturday, December 24, 2011

Shortbread Cookies

Wish You All A Very Happy Christmas!

Christmas brings back some nice memories for me. I have a very close childhood friend who celebrates Christmas. During my school days, I used to spend every Christmas in her house. After her early morning mass, she comes home to pick me up and then we take off to her house for the whole day. I spend the whole day with her family. All that came to an end after I joined my high school. We both went to different schools and then took different directions. But, I am very happy that we are still best buddies.

Today's recipe is about short bread cookies with an Indian twist. I made this yesterday to give it to my son's teacher and they tasted really good. They were melt in your mouth kind of cookies. Drizzle these cookies with dark chocolate and I am sure, they will be a big hit in any party. Since I did not have time, I skipped this step. But if  you have time in your hand, definitely give it a try.

  1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Sugar - 1 cup
  3. Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
  4. Freshly ground cardamom powder  - 3/4 teaspoon
  5. Pure Vanilla Extract  - 1/2 teaspoon 
  6. Coarsely ground cashews  - 1/2 cup
  7. Coarsely ground almonds  - 1/2 cup
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in vanilla extract and cardamom powder.
  3. Slowly mix in the flour and coarsely ground nuts and make a soft dough.
  4. Heat the oven to 300F.
  5. Make 30 golf ball sized balls and place them in an ungreased baking sheet .
  6. Make sure the cookie balls are placed one inch apart from each other.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until you start seeing golden brown surface in the bottom of the cookies.
  8. Cool the cookies in a cooling rack before you store them.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Popcorn Chicken

Santa came a little early this year. 
When I started blogging, my husband asked me if I wanted him to get me a real nice fancy camera. I was not so very impressed with that idea. But he was very interested in buying me one and so last week,I got my Canon EOS Rebel T3 as a Christmas gift from my husband. I am snapping photos of everything in the house. There is a lot to learn to use my new camera. But for now, I am just experimenting. I did not realize what I was missing, until I saw these pictures.I know I am just a beginner with food photography and this camera, but I am very happy with this gift from him.

Coming to the recipe, it is along the same lines as my last post. Popcorn chicken is a popular product with kids and I am not a big fan of the frozen ones. My son had the frozen version of this at one of our friends place and he loved it. I knew, I am going to make a homemade version of that for sure and here goes the recipe. It is very easy to make and the result is awesome.


  1. Chicken breast - 2 medium sized pieces
  2. All purpose flour - 1 cup
  3. Garlic Powder - 1 teaspoon
  4. Salt & Pepper - to taste
  5. Cajun seasoning  - 1 teaspoon (optional)
  6. Egg - 1 
  7. Panko Breadcrumbs - 1 cup
  1. Clean and cut the chicken into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Take 3 separate bowls.  In the first bowl mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cajun seasoning (if using). Keep it aside.
  3. In the second bowl, beat the egg with a splash of water and keep it aside.
  4. To the third bowl, add panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat oil on a medium heat in a skillet.
  6. Dip the chicken pieces one at a time in the flour mixture and then into the egg mixture and coat it with the breadcrumbs. Again dip the piece into the egg mixture and finally with the breadcrumbs. This process of dipping it twice in egg and breadcrumbs makes it more crunchy.
  7. Repeat the process with rest of the chicken pieces.
  8. Drop the chicken pieces one by one into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  9. Drain as much oil and place them in a paper towel.
Serve it with ketchup or your favorite sauce.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mac n Cheese My Way

Loads of sodium and artificial coloring agents did not look like a good option for me to feed my kid. It was my husband who was very particular about not feeding my son packaged/processed/frozen foods. Initially I felt almost unrealistic to shield our son from processed foods. But now, I am very happy we took that path. I am not saying we never fed our kid any store bought food (He has had the store bought boxed mac n cheese once so far). But I try my best to make homemade versions of the store bought boxed foods.

Store bought mac n cheese would be a really big time saver, but homemade version is easy to make and it always good to know what goes into the food that you feed your kid. It might not look anywhere near the store bought version, but I promise homemade version tastes so much better. I have used cream cheese here in this recipe. But Vermont white cheddar works well too. Sometimes I also, add veggies like broccoli or carrots or green beans to it.


  1. Macaroni- 1/4  cup
  2. Butter - 1 tablespoon
  3. Garlic - 1 clove grated (optional)
  4. Cream Cheese - 1 1/2 tablespoons
  5. Salt & Pepper - to taste
  6. Whole Milk - 1/2 cup
  1. Boil water in a pot and cook macaroni until it becomes soft. Drain the water and keep the macaroni aside.
  2. In another pan, heat butter and add grated garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add milk and bring it to a boil.
  4. Add the cooked macaroni along with cheese, salt and pepper.
  5. Let it cook until the sauce thickens. I remove it from heat just before it thickens because the sauce tends to get very thick once cooled down.
Serve it with a side of steamed vegetables.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Paratha

I love shopping at stores and roaming malls. Usually, towards the end of Black Friday, our house will be filled with shopping bags. But this year, it was very unusual to see just two bags with just two cooking pans as a result of my Black Friday shopping. I was wondering if my shopping interest was slowly dying without my knowledge until I started getting emails from retailers with a subject line “Your shipment confirmation” or “Your order is ready to be shipped”. I have become more of an online shopper over the past couple of years. The ease of shopping from home, the ability to compare prices before I buy a product, read others reviews about a product and top of all free shipping makes online shopping more fun and more preferable way to shop these days. But I still love visiting stores and roaming malls.

Apart from shopping, thanksgiving is all about getting together with friends and family and having a grand thanksgiving dinner. Turkey being the main dish of a Thanksgiving dinner, there are many other foods alongside the main dish. One of the side dishes that everyone prefers for a thanksgiving dinner is sweet potato casserole and I wanted to make it for a get together with our friends. I have to blame the online shopper in me for not letting me bake any new stuff. I was busy looking for deals and completely forgot about this casserole and ended up making an easy appetizer for the party. So what did I do with the sweet potatoes? I used one of the sweet potatoes to make parathas and I should admit, it was unbelievably soft and delicious. Sweet Potatoes gave a very nice and rich color to the parathas.


1.       Sweet potato – 1 large
2.       Whole wheat atta – 2 cups
3.       Salt – as needed
4.       Ghee – 1 teaspoon
5.       Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon / per taste
6.       Asafoetida – a generous pinch

1.       Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until they become soft. Drain and mash them into a smooth puree.
2.       Mix all the ingredients until you get soft dough. Water can be added if needed. I just added a few drops of water to make the dough. The moisture from the potato will itself let you make very soft dough.
3.       Divide the dough into 8 to 10 equal portions.
4.       Roll out each portion into parathas and place it in a hot tawa.
5.       Cook until you see light brown spots on both sides. Oil/ghee can be used while cooking these parathas.
Serve it with raitha and pickle or any side dish of your choice.