Category Archives: Treats

Airplane Cookies have Arrived & Departed!

It has been a while since I posted here. Not that I haven’t been cooking new recipes, but just no time to take pictures and post. I hope to start doing this more often as I ramp up my effort to clean eating and fitness in the new year!

As has been the tradition the past few years since I purchased my Airplane Cookie Cutters, I baked Airplane Cookies for the holiday party at work again.  As always  I kept track of recipes that sounded interesting and selected the one I wanted to try.

This year there were two that came close, and I almost thought I would try both. The first one that caught my eye was the Almond and currant Christmas Cookies. They looked delicious! And then there was the Hazelnut, Cocoa Nibs and Cardamon Cookies. Yummy!

I went with the Almond and Currant Christmas Cookies. I made very minor changes to the recipe. The only changes I made were I used only egg whites instead of egg yoke and I replaced currants with dried cherries. You can find the original recipe here.

Overall I was very happy with the result!Happy Holidays!

Mango and Coconut Scone

Now that we are well into spring, the grocery stories are overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables. I picked up some assorted fruits and my mind was on baking.

Cakes, muffins or scones?

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Scones are undoubtedly one of my favorite snack.  While I frequently bake cherry or cranberry scones, I have never baked mango scones. This seemed to be the perfect time to experiment with baking a mango scone.

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I have a standard healthy recipe for scones I use. and here is the version adapted for a mango scone.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 stick  butter (or add more for a flaky scone)
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamon powder
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup + a little more coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

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In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder,cardamon powder,  and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter or use your hands to mix in. Add buttermilk and mix in. Fold in diced mango and coconut flakes and pecans and mix gently into a ball.

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Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a  circle and 1/2 in thick slab and cut into triangles or scoop 1-2 tbsp onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Brush with some melted butter and sugar crystals (optional). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 12 scones.

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Enjoy a warm scone with some butter or jam or as is with a nice cuppa tea or coffee. Or Glaze with some mango flavored icing for a sweeter scone.

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If not ready to eat, you can  freeze the scones in a freezer bag. When ready to eat remove from freezer and let it return to room temperature or pop it in a microwave for 10-15 seconds and it is ready to eat!

Note: I tend to use less sugar and less butter. For a sweeter and more flaky scone adjust sugar and butter to suit your personal preference.

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

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APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

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GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

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BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

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JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

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DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

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WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

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CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

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DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

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BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

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JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

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CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

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SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

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WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Muesli Bread

I came across this bread, along with other breads in the latest Prevention Magazine. I really wanted to bake the cranberry bread, but instead, I opted to bake this one. I had the oven all fired up anyway, as I roasted root vegetables for a pot of Roasted Root Vegetables with Kale and Lentil soup for the week.

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As always, I made changes. Here’s how I baked mine…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 + 1 tbsp cup rolled oats
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/6 cup each, raisins, pepitas, dried cherries, raw almonds and coconut. I swapped in cherries and coconut since I didn’t have apricot.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking powder, oats, flaxmeal, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs and almond extract. Combine with flours and mix well. Fold in nuts and dried fruit.

Grease a baking pan and pour the mixture evenly. You can sprinkle some fruit and nuts on top, which I missed.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Remove from oven and cool.

Enjoy for breakfast with a hot cuppa tea or during the afternoon slump!

Pumpkin Payasam

A few weeks ago, I bought a small pumpkin to make creme brulee’. But I kept putting it off since I had to use cream. I thought maybe I would make Pumpkin Tapioca instead. From that sprung the idea of payasam. Here’s how I made it.

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Ingredients:

4 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup tapioca
1/4 cup vermicelli
1/2 tsp cardamon, ground
1 tsp butter
2-3 tbsp cashews
2-3 tbsp golden raisins

Dry roast the vermicelli for 4-5 minutes till lightly golden.

In a large pot, bring the milk to boil. Add sugar, tapioca and and roasted vermicelli and continue to cook.

Meanwhile peel and chop pumpkin. Add some water to a pan and cook the pumpkin till it softens. Mash to paste with spatula or put it through a blender. Add to the milk and mix well. Continue cooking for a few minutes and remove from flame.

In a separate pan, add a tsp of butter and fry cashews and raisins and add to the payasam. Serve warm as dessert after lunch or dinner.

 

Lemon, Banana and Cranberry Cake

I came across this recipe a few weeks back and have been wanting to bake it. During my first attempt, I used all whole wheat flour, and it went straight to the trash! So this time I decided to stay with all-purpose flour. I would have replaced it with some amaranth flour if I had some.

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 large ripe banana
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup milk or apple sauce (I used milk since I did not have apple sauce)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon jest

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer whisk together banana, oil, eggs, milk, and sugar until smooth. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Fold in cranberries and pecans and mix well. Pour into a 9in square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Cool on the rack.

Meanwhile whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice and spread evenly on the cake once it is cooled. Allow to set before slicing. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

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Mango and Cranberry Cake

It’s fall and cranberries are available in abundance in grocery stories. I picked up a box of them this week and the first thought in my mind was to make cake with mango!

So…. here goes…

mc1Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 mango diced
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk

IMG_2858Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix flour, almond meal, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl whisk sugar and eggs until thick. Add essence. Fold in melted butter and milk and whisk together. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.

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Set aside a handful of cranberries and add the rest to the batter along with the diced mango. Optionally can add some walnuts. Mix well. Pour into a well greased baking pan. Arrange the remaining cranberries on top of the cake batter.

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Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream or stand alone with some warm spicy chai.

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See Also:

Apricot and Cranberry Cake
Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf
Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Loaf
Cranberry Orange Bread
Cherry Cake