Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint in January??Well, I am sure you could have peppermint at any time of the year but these were made the past holiday season.As I mentioned earlier in my posts, I made a few cookies (Mexican Wedding Cookies and Coconut Macaroons) and and this is one of them.
I am running a fever for a day and I am very exhausted.So this is a quick post.It has been quite sometime that I fell sick, especially with cold and fever.But in the past month and a half, I fell sick twice which is unlike me.I have no clue where I contracted this from!Although I am tempted to blame it on my daughter, I don't think that is the case.I and my daughter drank frooti 3 days back and that is when it all started is what I suspect.Of course, no surety there! I do check the dates on the packs especially Maggi and Frooti but somehow we ended up with this horrible, horrible chest congestion and fever.She is doing much better now, much better than me.I wanted to post a T&T today along with this but as I said, my energy levels are kind of low and will do that in my next post.
3 egg whites
3/4 cup superfine sugar
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops red food coloring
Pinch of Salt
  • Preheat the oven to 300F;Line baking sheets with Parchment paper
  • Beat the egg whites until frothy
  • Beat the sugar along with salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form
  • Add the mint extract and swirl the drops of red food coloring
  • Use a tablespoon to drop them onto the baking sheet
  • Bake for an hour
  • Turn off the oven and keep meringues inside for 2 hrs to dry



Lemon Rice and a laugh!!

There is practically nothing special in this dish but I wanted to share with you all my version of it that I made on Sankranti.Although I posted Veggie Burger on that day, I actually did not make Burger on that day as some of you thought.It was one of the drafts lurking on my desktop for a while now.
I have been wanting to share a joke or two ever since I started blogging..So finally I am here with one..
Enjoy the rice and have a good laugh!

1 cup Basmati rice
Pinch of turmeric
2 green chilies, slit vertically
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut (Optional)
Juice from 1 small lemon

1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
4-5 fresh curry leaves
  • Soak rice in water for about 15 min.
  • Drain the water and cook rice in about 1 1/2 cups water with a pinch of turmeric and salt
  • In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and add urad dal, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.
  • Add curry leaves and green chillies and let them fry for a min or so
  • Pour the seasoning onto the cooked rice and fluff the rice
  • Add the lemon juice to the rice and combine well
  • Stir in the grated coconut

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la Casa.
'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'

A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'?'
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun.. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora'), because

-No one but their creator understands their internal logic
-The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else
-Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval and
-As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it


The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ('el computador') , because:
-In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on
-They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves
-They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem and
-As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won!!

I hope you enjoyed a few laughs!

Butternut Squash Soup

Some weeks go by fast and some weeks feel longer than a lifetime.I feel this week is one such week.I am eagerly looking forward to the weekend and it seems far, far away!
This soup is full of flavor-from the apples, curry powder and the sweetness from the roasted butternut squash.It has a very delicate flavor!

Recipe:Ina Garten

3 to 4 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and seeded (Although it is a lil' expensive, I bought the packaged ones)
2 Yellow Onions
2 McIntosh Apples, peeled and cored
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 to 4 cups Veg Stock
1/2 tsp Curry Powder (I used Fresh Market Curry Powder)
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Place the butternut squash, apples, and onions on a baking sheet
  • Toss them with Olive Oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Roast for about 35 to 45 min, until tender
  • Puree the veggies and add enough stock to make a thick soup.
  • Add the curry powder, remaining salt and pepper
  • Simmer for about 10 min for the flavors to blend in
  • Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt or cream!



Aloo Dumwale

As many of you know, I post a lot of soups,cookies and desserts rather than Indian dishes.Its not because I don't like or I don't cook the cuisine at home.In fact, Indian cuisine IS one of my favorites and I do cook a lot of Indian food at home. But I make very simple dishes like dal chawal and nothing out of the ordinary.My Indian cooking skills are average if I were to rate them.But this year I want to cook more Indian dishes.
I really was amazed when I went through Sanjeev Kapoor's website that even though I was born, brought up and ate Indian food all my life, I barely knew the dishes and their names.It was embarrassing to some extent.I have a lot of adoration for North Indian especially Punjabi and Mughlai food.For North Indian food,I completely rely on friends,at least for more complicated dishes.South Indian, I can manage and believe I am decent in it.Although you have to check with my husband on that!!
Recipe: Sanjeev Kapoor
On to the recipe, with some minute changes!

3 Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Cardamoms (Seeds from the pods)
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp Cumin Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tbsps Cashewnut paste (I soaked a couple of tbsps of Cashews in water and blended them into a fine paste. Just use 2 tbsps and eat the rest:D)
1/2 cup Tomato puree
1/2 cup Yogurt, whisked
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
Fresh cream for garnish
2 tbsps Oil +to deep fry

  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the poatoes until lightly browned
  • Place the fried potatoes on a paper napkin to drain the excess oil
  • With a tablespoon of water, boil chopped onion with cardamoms
  • Grind into a paste
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil and add the onion paste
  • Cook till the fat starts to separate and add ginger garlic paste
  • Stir in chilli powder, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder,cashew paste , tomato puree and yogurt
  • Mix them well and add the deep fried potatoes
  • Add 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste
  • Simmer it for about 10 min and stir in the kasuri methi
  • Garnish with fresh cream

Lots of love,

Mascarpone Cupcakes with Strawberry glaze

Very easy and fun cup cakes that kids will really fall in love with!I made these for one of my friend's daughter's Birthday.The mascarpone cheese makes it super soft inside and the strawberry glaze on top gives the cupcakes a tangy taste.
Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cheese that is similar to cream cheese in texture.You can usually find in the cheese section of the grocery stores.

Recipe:Giada De Laurentiis
Yields 48 mini muffins or about 20 muffins

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2 egg whites
1/4 vegetable oil
1 box White Cake Mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Line the muffin tins with liners or you could use the muffin/baking cups
  • Beat the cheese, egg whites and Vegetable oil until well combined and creamy
  • Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth
  • Fill the tins/cups just below the rim
  • Bake them till puffed and golden about 18 to 20 min
  • Take out from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  • Puree the strawberries
  • Whisk the confectioners' sugar and strawberries until smooth
  • Top the cooled cupcakes with the glaze.
  • Let them sit for a while for the glaze to firm up


Veggie Burger

Happy Pongal/Sankranti to you all!Today being a week day, there was nothing fancy in my kitchen- I made some Shrikhand (which already went into my pile of drafts and will be soon on my blog) and Payasam with rice and jaggery.
It is very hard to find a good veggie burger here in the States.The only burger I can eat is the BK Veggie Burger with Morningstar farms patty but I stopped that too now.I am sure I would have collected extra, extra pounds on me.So I have decided to make it at home.The Garam Masala gives that an Indian touch!
Adapted from all over the internet


3 Medium Red Potatoes, Scrubbed, boiled and mashed
1 Yellow Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup mixed veggies;I have used frozen veggies, so I steamed them a bit.If you are using fresh veggies, boil them and drain the water.
1 tsp chopped coriander
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs (I used Whole wheat bread to make crumbs;But you could use white or buy the store bought one too)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp Red chilli powder (optional)
4 tbsps Olive Oil



Hamburger Buns
Romaine Lettuce
1 Red Onion, Sliced thin
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Light Mayo or Regular Mayo
1/2 tsp Ranch dressing (Optional)
Toothpicks to secure them (Optional)

For the patty
  • Combine mashed potatoes,onions, veggies, coriander, Garam Masala and chilli powder
  • Make into balls, the size of your fist and flatten them slightly
  • Heat 4 tbsps olive oil and shallow fry them until brown
  • Take a bun and slice it into 2 halves
  • Place the patty and drizzle with Mayo and ranch dressing
  • Put a couple of leaves of Romaine, Onions and Tomatoes
  • Secure with a toothpick.
  • Take a BIG, BIG bite!
  • Now is that easy or what?


For now,

Coconut Macaroons

I made a bunch of cookies this past holiday season to give away as goodies to my friends and family.Mexican wedding cookies that I posted earlier were one of them.
I am beginning to fall in love with the Food Network Magazine.That is one magazine I read from beginning to end and without missing anything.My most favorite part- 'You asked' section where people get to ask the chefs from very trivial to some complicated food related questions.And by the way, the recipes for the cookies are from there as well.
The recipe calls for unsweetened coconut.I have used sweetened coconut and reduced the sugar.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites, beaten
2 tsps Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.Line the baking sheet(s) with parchment paper
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, egg whites,Vanilla and salt
  • Stir in the shredded coconut
  • Use a small scoop or a tablespoon to drop them on to the baking sheet
  • Bake for about 15 to 20 min



Dal Makhani

This is one of the tastiest dals I have eaten outside of the plain toor dal that we cook on a daily basis.I have taken inspiration from all over the internet for this recipe.There are different versions, some with cream, some with less or no cream.Although the traditional dal makhani calls for cream, I used Sour cream.

1 1/2 cup Black Urad Dal, soaked in water overnight
2 tbsps Kidney beans/Rajma (I used canned beans but if you are using the dry ones, soak it in water overnight)
2 tbsps of butter +1 tbsp to top it off
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
8 oz of Crushed tomatoes(no herbs added, just plain)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
2 tsps Cumin Coriander powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
6-8 oz of Sour Cream
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder.You can always use the red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Curry powder

  • Soak the dal overnight or for atleast 8-10 hours.If you are using the dry rajma,soak that as well.
  • Drain the water and pressure cook the dal until tender and not mashed up.
  • Heat a pan and melt butter.
  • Add chopped onions and cook till they turn translucent.Stir in kasoori methi.
  • Add tomatoes and cook till tender.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, Cumin Coriander powder, and curry powder.Cook for a couple of minutes such that the spices get mixed in well.
  • Add Garam Masala and chilli powder.Now add the crushed tomatoes and let it simmer till the masala separates from the fat.
  • Add the cooked dal and rajma.
  • Let it simmer for about 15 min.
  • Mix in the sour cream.Cover it and let it simmer on low flame for about 15 more min.
  • Add the tbsp of butter on top and garnish with coriander leaves.Serve hot with rice


This goes to MLLA 19 guest hosted by EC and the event started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.


Mexican Wedding Cookies

I am almost always an optimist but the past year was slowly turning me into a pessimist.I hope this year will be very different and we will have memories to cherish.
The first recipe for this year will be a sweet, decadent, melt in the mouth cookies and by the way they are eggless!

Also, there was a problem with comment moderation with the previous post.This is the second time it is happening with my blog.Some of you have left comments and I could not publish them due to some technical difficulty.Now, everything seems to work fine and I hope I don't have to deal with it again.But thank you so much for your comments.That is what keeps me going , I am sure that is what keeps each of us going-the support!

Makes 6 dozen cookies
Recipe:Martha Stewart

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Pecans ( about 3 3/4 oz)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Pulse the pecan halves and a 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor or a blender.
  • Combine the nut mixture, flour and salt
  • Ina separate bow, beat butter, and 3/4 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy
  • Stir in vanilla and almond extracts
  • Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until well combined
  • Roll the dough into 3/4 inch balls
  • Place them in the baking sheets about a couple of inches apart
  • Bake them until the cookies are pale about 12 min
  • Let the cookies cool completely before vanishing them away!

This goes to Cakes and Cookies event, hosted by Mahimaa of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen

Have fun guys!

Lots of love,

Happy New Year and some FL trip pics

Wish you a very happy, healthy and a prosperous new year !
Hope you are having a blast these holidays.I am still unable to believe that it is a decade since my undergrad (don't start guessing my age now!), 9 years since I came to the States, 2 1/2 since 'S' was born, and 6 mon since I started blogging but it all feels like yesterday.Time flies when you have fun!
I had my share of ups and downs in 2009 as anybody and not particularly eventful if I look back.As far as new year resolutions go, I used to do it until I had ''S' but I started to realize that they don't work for me. The enthusiasm lasts only for a few weeks, at the most a couple of months.And I am usually back to where I started.The resolutions used to be something like losing weight or cooking more in the house and eating out less,or studying better to get better grades but I haven't lost weight since 3 years and I am still eating out more often than I would want to.So if there is any new resolution for me, that is to not have one..
It has been quite busy during year end and so you can see the inactivity in blogging and blog hopping.Hopefully, I will be able to post more regularly, stay in touch with the blogger buddies and make some more new friends this year!So once again a very happy new year to you and your families!!
Some of my FL trip pics,mainly Key West!




This is the end of Hwy 1 which starts in Maine that runs through 14 states in Continental US.This is the southern most tip of HWY 1.The northern most point is in Fort Kent, Maine.




This reads 'The Southern most point of Continental US;90 MILES to CUBA'


Have a Great Year ahead!

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