Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nutella Swirl Cupcakes- An evening with friends...

One day I got a call from my dear friend that they are coming for a get together in my house and warning to be prepared :-). She also told me not to prepare lunch. When we four meet, then we will forget the whole world. It will be a day of fun and laughter. So I thought as I am not preparing lunch I will make some thing special which they all like. And so these cupcakes happened.

When I was working with the kindergarten, I used to bake some goodies and would take them for my friends as they were my best critics. They loved whatever I baked. So I searched for cupcakes, as you all know, I love baking cupcakes.

I got the recipe of nutella cupcakes from Sailu’s blog as the name was unique and I had nutella with me. Before I never baked anything with nutella. So I gave it a try and this is what the end result is.

  1. Maida- 1 ½ Cups
  2. Baking Powder- 2 tsp
  3. Eggs- 2 nos
  4. Salt- a pinch
  5. Butter- ¼ Cup
  6. Sugar- ¾ Cup
  7. Oil- ¼ Cup
  8. Milk- ⅓ Cup
  9. Yogurt- ⅓ Cup
  10. Nutella- as required

  1. Swift together  maida, salt, baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Cream the eggs along with sugar till it forms  fluffy and creamy. Add the yogurt, oil and butter in this and mix.
  3. Add the flour mixture in the above wet ingredients and slowly add the milk. Mix well on slow speed and combine well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
  5. Pour the cake batter into cupcake moulds and add ½ tbsp of nutella in  each cupcake batter and give a nice swirl with a toothpick.
  6. Bake these cupcakes for about 20- 25 minutes in the preheated oven and enjoy.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gooseberry Shot- A healthy shot...

We usually go for morning walks in nearby park, so when we went to our native Kochi for vacations, we continued our morning walks around the stadium as our house was located near stadium. From very early morning, lots of people will come there for walking and so we too joined them.

One of those days, a shop in the premises of stadium attracted us as the name was unique “Carrots and Apples”. We first thought it is some vegetable shop but later when we went inside we saw 3 to 4 juicer mixers and all the vegetables were kept there. It was actually a juice shop and when we read their menu we were surprised to see lots of juices and shots made out of vegetables which is very healthy to our entire body and in their menu below each and every name of the juice the health benefits, proteins and nutrients are explained well.

There menu includes ABC juice, root mix, vitamix,happy heart, gooseberry shot, bitter gourd shot and the list goes on. They have a variety of soups too.In this we have tried ABC juice, Gooseberry shots, and happy heart. Hope you enjoy reading this...

  1. Gooseberries- 7-8 nos
  2. Ginger(grated)- 1 tbsp
  3. Green Chillies- 3-4 nos
  4. Salt- as required

  1. The gooseberries are washed, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped.
  2. Toss the chopped gooseberries, ginger, green chillies and salt in a mixer grinder and pulse them into smooth paste and sieve them through a strainer and store in glass bottles in refrigerator.
  3. Whenever you want, just add water and enjoy this amazing drink in small glasses.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Post- Healthy home cooking recipe ideas for busy mothers by Danielle McAnn

In my first ever guest post, I would like to introduce you to Danielle McAnn. She lives in Australia and is currently working with She has send this beautiful post on "Healthy home cooking recipe ideas for busy mothers". Hope you all enjoy reading this...

Making healthy meals for your family can be a real task when you are a busy mum, not to mention the hassle in trying to get your kids to eat healthy meals, the secret, don’t mention the “h” word! To help you organise some healthy eating recipes for your family, we have provided a few tips for you to include in your families daily meals, and your kids won’t even realise they are eating super healthy!

Chicken is the perfect meat to serve your kids, it’s lean and high in protein which is great for growing bones, and it is also really versatile so your family can enjoy it in so many ways. Your kids will enjoy it grilled, marinated in a delicious sauce, or you can wrap some chicken breast around some delicious stuffing and bake it, serving with some winter vegetables. Another favourite is chicken skewers, let your kids pick the chicken pieces off the skewer and dip them in a dipping sauce. However you choose to cook it, it is guaranteed to be a favourite in your home!

Veggies are obviously very good for you, but they are one of the hardest things to get your kids to eat. Broccoli is full of the good stuff but kids are usually scared of green things. The solution? Serve them long broccoli, keep them crisp but not hard, and serve them with a sauce so they can eat them like chips, they will love it! Potatoes are also a favourite, but the nutrients are stored in the skin, so we advise making some jacket potatoes. Stuff them with bacon or ham, beans, cheese, avocado, mix it up with some healthy favourites so your kids get all the benefits of the potato as well as all the added vegetables.

Red meat is a pretty divisive among kids, they will either love it or hate it. One of the best ways to get around this is to incorporate mince into your meals and see how they go. Spaghetti Bolognese is a great family favourite, so is shepherds pie. Like the chicken skewers, you could try the beef version which is sure to be a hit or try your hand a making a delicious roast lamb. Kids love to eat things with sauce, if they can dip their food in something they are all for it, so carrots and broccoli on the side of roast lamb should have them eating happy and healthy.

Making a healthy meal for your family doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, it’s actually really easy to make a delicious looking and tasting meal that even the fussiest eaters will enjoy. And for all those times when busy become BUSY, you can ask Tender Loving Meals to help you out with some healthy meal options.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sheer Khurma / Vermicelli Payasam

After Eid blast, am back with an amazing sweet dish, which is not only easy but tasty and a mouth-watering preparation. At home this is made in the morning on the day of Eid, as it can be served to the guests who come home to greet, and also to other friends and neighbours. Along with this we make paal payasam or ada pradhaman or parippu payasam as well.

Sheer is milk and khurma is dates. In this dessert, lots of nuts are used but I have used only very few dates as my husband doesn't like to bite the date pieces. During this Ramadan, this dessert was in my mind and got a chance to try it on the Eid day. Since I have never posted a dessert dish which is this easy, but delicious. I like Sheer Khurma to be thick so I have added milkmaid. My kid who doesn't like milk at all, loved this.

  1. Vermicelli- 1 Cup
  2. Sugar- ¼ Cup
  3. Milk Maid- ½ tin
  4. Ghee- 2 tbsp
  5. Milk- 1ltr
  6. Cardamom Powder- 2 tsp
  7. Dry Dates- 3 nos
  8. Almonds Flakes- ¼ Cup
  9. Cashew (chopped)- ¼ Cup

  1. Heat a tbsp of ghee and roast the nuts till golden brown, Keep it aside. In the same bowl heat another tbsp of ghee and roast the vermicelli for 4- 5 minutes.
  2. Heat milk in a bowl. When it boils lower the flame and stir it for another 10- 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well. In this add the vermicelli and stir well for another 15 minutes.
  4. Soak the dates in hot water for some time and then remove the seeds. Chop them into small pieces and keep it aside.
  5. At last add the milkmaid and mix well for 5 minutes. Garnish with the nuts and chopped dates and serve hot.

    My little one was waiting to taste....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Churros with Chocolate dip

These churros are also known as Spanish doughnuts. Spanish eat these churros as breakfast dipped in hot chocolate. These are made in different varieties in different places. These are long, straight or slightly curled lengths that are ridges. They are popular in Spain, France, Latin America and so on.

These are fritters, deep fried in oil which has crunchy outside and soft inside, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon mixture and served along with hot chocolate. These are piped through star shaped nozzle but as I didn’t have the nozzle, I just cut the edge of the ziplock bag and piped the dough through it.

I got the idea of making this when I was discussing about what to make for iftar with my brother, he gave me the idea of trying these churros as when I visited his place in Belgium, we searched for these churros, but to our bad luck we couldn’t spot any. He told me to try to make these at home and that day he insisted me and for the next few hours I googled for these churros and so you all can see the final result. Try these amazingly delicious sugar- cinnamon coated churros dipped in a bowl of creamy chocolate sauce and let me know....

  1. Maida / All purpose flour- ½ Cup
  2. Water- ½ Cup
  3. Sugar- 2 tbsp
  4. Butter- 1 tbsp
  5. Salt- a pinch
  6. Oil- 1 tbsp
  7. Vanilla essence- 1tsp
  8. Egg- 1 no
For Coating:
  1. Sugar (coarsely ground)- ½ Cup
  2. Cinnamon powder- 2 tbsp
For the Chocolate Dip:
  1. Chocolate (chopped)- ¼ Cup
  2. Fresh Cream- ½ Cup
For the dough:
  1. Combine water, butter, salt and oil. Bring to boil. Add flour and mix well till it forms a ball.
  2. Transfer this to a bowl and add vanilla essence. Mix well till the dough cools a bit.
  3. Add the egg and mix well till everything is well blended and forms a sticky dough.
  4. Transfer this into a ziplock bag and keep this aside.
  5. Meanwhile heat oil for deep frying. Mix cinnamon powder and coarsely ground sugar in a bowl.
  6. Cut the edge of the ziplock bag little big and pipe strips of dough into hot oil and fry till golden brown, drain on paper towels. Repeat the process till finished.
  7. Roll these churros in cinnamon- sugar mixture and arrange them in a plate.
For the Chocolate dip:
  1. Pour the cream in a bowl and heat it on low flame.Do not boil. Switch off the flame.
  2. Add the chocolate pieces and stir it well it all the pieces are melted.
  3. Dip the warm churros in the chocolate dip and bite into a delicious dish...

Note: The length of churros has become small as the kadai which I used for deep frying was small.

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