4

Warm veg pie on a lazy sunday afternoon

5-Veg Pie-One

Sunday afternoons usually tend to be lazy. Having worked all week long and most of Sunday morning; Sunday afternoons bring in a lull in the house. It also means nobody is in a mood to cook. Everyone is looking forward to having a movie marathon with scrumptious food to keep us company. Home-cooked vegetable pies are the perfect item for the occasion. Easy to cook, hassle-free dish yet tasty, flavoursome and filling; its the perfect recipe for a Sunday lunch.No “jhanjat” of elaborate cooking and extensive cleaning afterwords.Just assemble them and put them in the oven and they’re ready in no time. Filled with vegetables, tangy tomato sauce, crunchy pastry base and loaded with stringy cheese; these pies are the very definition of a laid back Sunday lunch!!

1-Veg Pie-Dough

Kneaded dough

Pastry:

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1/8 cup butter
salt to taste

Mix the flour, butter and salt with your finger tips. Do not over knead it, otherwise it shall lose the crumbly nature.
Add ice-cold water to make the dough. The dough will be a little crumbly.
Roll out the dough to about 2mm thickness.
Arrange the dough in ramekins to make small sized pies. Large pie pans can also be used.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C for 10 mins.

3-Veg Pie-Gravy

Totamto sauce

Tomato Sauce:
100 ml tomato puree
1 medium finely chopped onion
4 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp oil
tomato ketchup
oregano
black pepper
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions change their color.
Add the purée, ketchup and salt. Cook until the sauce thickens
Add the seasoning – black pepper and oregano. Seasoning can vary from person to person.
Let it simmer for a while. Keep aside.
Note: If purée is not available, you can use ripe tomatoes. Blanch the tomatoes, de-seed them and blitz it in a mixer to create a pulp.

2-Veg Pie-Chopped Veggies

Variety of vegetables

Vegetable Pie:
1/4 cup bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup capsicum
1/4 cup mushroom
1/4 cup sweet corn
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 tsp oil
seasoning – salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions change their color.
Add the chopped vegetables until half cooked.
Add the seasoning and let it rest.

4-Veg Pie-Filled Cup

Ready to be baked

Assembly:
Spread the tomato sauce over the pre-baked pastry.
Arrange the vegetable topping over the sauce.
Add the grated cheese on the top.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 5-8 mins or until the cheese bubbles.

Freshly baked pie over a movie is surely an afternoon delight!!

6-Veg Pie-Two

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0

Ria’s Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

Introducing our first guest chef – Ria. Ria is a young 7th grader. From dancing to gymnastics, singing to science projects.. She’s got everything under her belt. How was baking going to be left behind? A budding baker, we present to you her chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

Colorful lights on the tree, a chilly breeze in the air, a blanket of snow  on the ground…you guessed it, it’s Christmas time! Everyone’s in a jolly mood, spending time with family and friends, giving to the ones in need, and of course.. eating yummy food! One of the popular holiday treats are chocolate chip cookies, a very simple yet delicious recipe to eat. Although Christmas is now over, the sweet aroma of these cookies is still lingering around our house and is sure to make your new year delightful!

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (or a little less) semisweet/milk chocolate chips

Procedure:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2.  Put the softened butter, eggs, water, and vanilla extract into the bowl and mix.
  3. Then, add the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until it is thick.
  4. Lastly, add the chocolate chips. Make the cookies about 2 inches wide, and drop onto greased pans.
  5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

The hot cookies with warm milk is all one needs for a wonderful holiday season!

Happy New Year

5

Homemade Pizza

Long weekends are always a much-awaited event. With days spent in planning the perfect weekend, the execution is left to the mercy of our ever-changing moods. A slow start to such events sets in a mood for other activities as well.. Cooking is no exception. On one hand we desire to eat something delectable.. something that will completely suit well to our palate.. and on the other hand we want easy food.. which will not require much effort. And that perfect meal is a Home Made pizza!!

The sheer smell of a homemade pizza, that’s well done 🙂 , just fills up a room, and serves as an entree to your pizza in itself.

Following is the recipe:   Since this was a last minute recipe, we had to work with the ingredients at hand. Unfortunately, yeast wasn’t one of them. 🙂

Pizza dough:

2  c. flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
3/4 to 1 cup water

Toppings:

Onion
Capsicum
Bell Peppers (All julienned!! )
Black Olives
Jalapenos
Baby corn
American Corn kernels
Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Pizza-Chopped Veggies

Procedure:


1.Mix the dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup water and oil. Stir until it forms a ball. If dough is stiff, add more water. The dough will be soft, not sticky.
2. Knead on a floured surface for 3-4 minutes.

Pizza-Dough
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C for 10min.
4. After the base is ready, spread the pizza sauce. We used ready-made pizza sauce. Spread it perfectly until the edges.

Pizza-Spread
5. Sprinkle the grated cheese, generously over the sauce. Add your choice of toppings in the quantities you wish. 🙂 Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and oregano.

Pizza-Garnish
6. Sprinkle a little more cheese. Remember this cheese just binds the toppings to the layer beneath. The actual contribution to the pizza is done by the lower cheese layer.
7. Bake at 200°C for 15-25 minutes or until the cheese start bubbling!

Pizza-Baked

2

Ella’s Birthday Treat: Vanilla Muffins

Ella turned two last week and these two years have been terrific, just like her!  She is our bundle of joy in every sense of the phrase. We remember bringing her home two years ago. It was raining very heavily. She was carefully wrapped in a blanket and placed on a soft piece of cloth at the bottom of the basket. I remember the look in her eyes, there was a little separation anxiety, a bit of fear and overwhelming innocence. We brought her home as a temporary arrangement that we made for our friend, to relieve her off the continuous attention Ella and her siblings demanded, and before we knew she was already a part of our family, never to be returned and well integrated. Ella changed our lives!

We wanted to cook something special for her, since she is not allowed to eat chocolate. What better than the simple, yet scrumptious vanilla muffins? One can get really very creative with the muffins. They are not too sweet, a little crunchy outside and soft and spongy inside and can be decorated them in a zillion ways. All in all it’s a great baking treat and we try to make it easy so that everyone’s kitty party, get together, tea discussions become a little more delectable.

On the occasion of Ella’s birthday, we present to you, our simplified version of the vanilla muffins. Hope you find them as easy as we do.

Happy Birthday Ella, our beloved doggie pooh!!!

Recipe to bake the Vanilla Muffins:

Portion: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 Cups all purpose flour (maida)
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
Salt to taste
1 Cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp melted butter (regular processed butter)
Method:
Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract in another bowl.
Pour the mixture in the dry ingredients and whisk thoroughly until the sugar melts.
You may whisk it a little longer until the batter becomes light.
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius
Grease the ramekins with a little butter and place the cup cake holders in the ramekins.
Pour the batter equally until 3/4 of the holder. Leave some room for the muffins to rise
Bake for 20 minutes.
Muffins topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits make a great ensemble.