Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. pumpkin pie spice (I just use cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)
1 c. pumpkin puree (I use fresh, which is why my muffins are so light in color)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Mix pumpkin puree with sugar. Blend in oil and eggs. Mix remaining dry ingredients and fold into pumpkin mixture just until moistened.

Divide into muffin cups and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Mini Beef and Potato Pies

I got this recipe from my cousin Jill, whose pies are much prettier. She adapted it from a book, I adapted it when writing it down, and Kannagi adapted it when making it, so it's been through a lot. These were really delicious, and easy to double and freeze.

Mini Beef and Potato Pies
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
1 T. minced garlic
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c. carrot, diced
1 bay leaf
2 T. oil
2 T. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 egg

Cook meat, onion and garlic in oil. Sprinkle with flour. Add chicken broth. Simmer 15 minutes. Add carrot, potato and bay leaf. Simmer 15-25 minutes, stirring, until potato is cooked.

Pie Crust
1/2 c. butter
2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
6-8 T. cold water

Mix all ingredients together. Roll the dough out and cut into 6 inch circles. Put each circle in a muffin cup and fill with meat mixture. Top with 4 inch circles of dough. Brush egg on top of dough.

Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Indian Food: Chapati and Roti Breads

Chapati and Roti are Indian flatbreads - unleavened and cooked on a grill. The main difference between the two is that Roti is brushed with oil before cooking. It's basically exactly like a flour tortillas, though Indians usually use atta, 100% whole wheat flour, and there's no baking powder.

Chapati/Roti Indian Bread Recipe
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1/4 t. salt
1 T. oil
1/2 c. water + T or so

Mix the dry ingredients and the oil. Add water and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and just a a little sticky. Knead for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.

Break off about a tablespoon of dough and form into a smooth ball. Roll the dough out into a very thin circle.

Cook the chapati on a dry grill. To make roti, brush each side of the flattened dough with oil before cooking on the griddle.

Indian Food: Naan

Kannagi had never heard of naan, so I think it might be a North Indian food. South Indians use chapati or roti to mop up their "gravy" instead.

Naan Indian Bread Recipe
1 T. yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
3 T. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t. salt
4 1/2 c. flour
2 t. garlic
1/4 c. melted butter

Mix yeast, water and sugar and let stand 10 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients, except butter. Rise 1 hour. Form into balls. Rise 1/2 hour. Roll balls thinly, brush with melted butter and grill on each side.

Indian Butter Chicken

A recipe for Indian Butter Chicken already exists on this blog. This is Kannagi's version, with added potatoes, because I'd rather eat a potato than a chicken.

1 T. butter
2 T. cashew nut

Fry the nuts in butter and remove.

1 T. butter
1 chopped onion

Add to pan and fry until onion is cooked.

2 T. ginger garlic paste

(you can buy this in a packet, or make your own by pureeing 1 T. garlic and 1 T. ginger root)
Add to pan and fry.

1/2 lb chicken cubes
1/2 lb potato cubes
1/4 t. turmeric
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. coriander powder
1/4 t. garam masala

Add to pan and fry.

4-5 tomatoes, pureed

Add to pan and fry. When potatoes and chicken are done, add:

1/2 c. coconut milk
1 T. chopped cilantro

Heat through.

Serve with rice and naan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

English Muffins

Yep, homemade English Muffins. These are made a lot like pancakes, except that you let the batter rise. They are really yummy, and the kids love them, too. This recipe is adapted from a version adapted from the original Alton Brown recipe. He suggests making them in a 3-inch ring, or a tuna can with top and bottom removed. So if you want yours circular, go for it.

English Muffin Recipe
1/3 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
2 1/2 t. yeast
1 c. warm milk
3/4 t. salt
2 c. flour

Mix water, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. Mix in milk, salt and flour until smooth. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Scoop 1/4 c. of the batter onto a hot griddle. Good luck with that. I found the batter to be too thick - it stayed in a mound, rather than settling down so the top could be flat when I flipped it. I ended up stirring in an extra 2-3 T. water. I've made these three times and thought the batter was too thick each time. None of the other recipes I found show a picture of the batter, so here you go. This is after the 2-3 T. extra water. I'll add 2-3 T. extra milk in before rising next time.

Cook until brown on the bottom and set on the top, then flip. Cook until brown.

Cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes. Split with a fork, toast and enjoy!

Orange Rolls

We used to eat the Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls quite a lot of breakfast. This week I tried a from-scratch recipe for them and I was pleased at how easy they were to make and how good they were. I think they were also less unhealthy than the Pillsbury ones.

I cut the recipe in half and it made 12 rolls which was plenty for four adults. I also made them the night before, left the rolls covered in the fridge and popped them in the oven the next morning.

This is the first time I've ever had the opportunity to cut rolls using thread and it worked great! I don't make cinnamon rolls, and Kannagi made the dough, so of course it was perfect.

Orange Rolls Recipe
5 c. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
1 T. yeast
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
2 T. orange zest
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Mix yeast and 2 c. flour. Heat milk, butter and sugar until warm (butter will be almost melted). Add to 2 c. flour and yeast. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in salt, orange zest and orange juice. Add as much of the remaining flour as you can and knead 10-15 minutes.

Rise 1 hour.

Roll the dough into two 9x13 rectangles. Mix 1/2 c. sugar and 2 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle each rectangle of dough with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the dough up jelly-roll style. Cut into 1-inch rounds using a piece of thread.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Orange Icing Recipe
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. orange zest
1-2 T. orange juice

Mix powdered sugar and orange zest. Blend in just enough orange juice to make an icing texture. It doesn't take as much as you think!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Muffins

What is Dalton eating with such zest? Why it's a peanut butter muffin! We've been trying lots of muffin recipes around here. This one is courtesy of weezie at Mommysavers.

Peanut Butter Muffins
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in peanut butter and butter. Add milk and eggs and stir just until moist. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Indian Food: Veg Biryani and Raita

6 months after coming to India, I have finally learned how to cook Indian food. One dish at least. Biryani (minus copious amounts of chili powder) is one of the Indian dishes we've found that we like. I just fed the last of the leftovers to Dalton for lunch and he gobbled it down. There is a veg version and a chicken version. In one you use vegetables, in the other, chicken. Apparently, it's weird to mix the two, but I've been doing so anyway.

Veg or Chicken Biryani Recipe
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 small red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced or pureed
1 teaspoon ginger, minced or pureed
2 tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon coriander leaf (cilantro)
1 teaspoon mint leaf
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup sliced green beans
1/2 lb cubed chicken
1 cup rice
2 cups water

Cook the first set of ingredients in the oil until onion is soft. Add the ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes. Add the cilantro and mint, the yogurt, and the powdered spices. Stir in the veggies and chicken. Add rice and water. Cook until rice and chicken are done.

Raita is a condiment used to take the heat off some Indian dishes. It reminds me of eating sour cream, lettuce, and pico de gallo with enchiladas.

Raita Recipe
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 t. cilantro, chopped
dash salt


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

This delicious, summery dessert is basically lemon bars with strawberry puree mixed in the lemon curd. Recipe from Baking Bites, but you could just use your own lemon bar recipe and just mix in some pureed strawberries if you like.

This recipe is the same as my favorite lemon squares recipe (originally from Food Network), with the yummy addition of pureed strawberries.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars Recipe
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 c. flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. salt

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all purpose flour

Cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Press into an even layer in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350.

Mix lemon juice, lemon zest, pureed strawberries, sugar and eggs until smooth. Add in flour. Pour filling over hot crust. Reduce oven temp to 325 and bake 30 additional minutes, or until set.