Tag Archives: Treats

Mediterranean in May

Fun recipes from last May…

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Farro & Sun Dried Tomato Foccacia

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Eggplant and Tomato Gratinvt4Rosemary Scented Vegetable Phyllo Tart

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Stuffed Tomato

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Mediterranean Grain Soup

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Baklava

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Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

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.

2015 Recipe Fails

Recently, I posted Best of 2015. There were many successes in 2015 but there were also many failures.  Taking cue from Andrea of Cooking with a Wallflower, I wanted to record some recipes that didn’t make it to the blog. Some because, I didn’t like the result, some because, they didn’t look good enough although they tasted fine, and many others that made it from stove to the trash. Here are some fails from 2015, that I took photographs of,but didn’t make the cut.

I kicked off 2015 with an attempt to make Ethiopian injera bread, berbere lentils, and a side of kale.

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The first disappointment was the berbere spice mix itself that I made at home. It didn’t taste like what I had eaten at restaurants. I didn’t realize this until I cooked berbere lentils with teff seeds and berbere mix.

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Even bigger disappointment was the injera bread itself, I made. I didn’t even end up photographing what I created. The side of kale was tolerable.

I love cherries, and when they are in season I love to try new recipes. I invariably change the original recipe and sometimes they don’t end up the way I expect.  That is what happened to this Cherry Gallete.

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When I first came across the Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup, I was hooked. I love Thai food and this looked so good. Even though I lost the original recipe when I got down to making this, and didn’t change the recipe much from what I remembered, I was dissatisfied with the end product.

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This fall, I had a lot of fun with trying new recipes with Spaghetti Squash. I know I will try them all again and again. I might even try this one again with some changes. Although the first time I made Spaghetti Squash Dum Biryani, I was reluctant to eat it. I think I used more milk than I wanted.

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Following my previous attempt at making baked garelu (plain vada), I finally relented and bought a donut hole tray and recreated them in that pan. The end product although tasted fine, looked too much like donuts and not like vada. They ended up to thick and the resulting Dahi Vada (Vada in Yogurt sauce) looked nothing like what my mother used to prepare.

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Seeing all the fruit and nut bread for the holidays, I made this Cranberry Persimmon Nut loaf. Which tasted good, but didn’t look good. I know I will try to make it again

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That’s it for 2015. See you back here next year!

See Also:

Best of 2015

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!

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

It’s October. Fall. And grocery stores have exploded with pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and varieties. I picked up not one, not two, but three different varieties!

I had family visiting the last few days, and after trying some different recipes such as this one, I decided to try my hand at making some home-made pumpkin puree and baking bread. The recipe had to be vegan, since as I learned they didn’t eat eggs!

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I used the Pioneer Woman’s steps to make pumpkin puree. And loosely followed this recipe for the vegan version.

Ingredients:

1.25 cups whole wheat pastry flour
0.25 cup olive oil
0.25 cup maple syrup
1 mashed ripe banana
1 cup pumpkin puree
1.5 tbsp flax meal
1 cup + 1tbsp rolled oats
1/2 cup + 1tbsp almond meal
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp pepitas
some walnuts or pecans
1 tsp pumpkin spice
0.5 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, and prepare a loaf pan.

Mix flaxmeal with 4 tbsp water. Add pumpkin puree, mashed banana, olive oil and maple syrup. Whisk.

Add brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and continue to whisk.

Add water, oats, almond meal, and flour. Mix well.

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan, sprinkle some pepitas and nuts and bake for 40-50 minutes until cooked.

Serve warm. Enjoy!

Happy Fall!

Notes:

Next time, I’ll add some walnuts to the mixture.

See Also:

Pumpkin Paayasam

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf

Haitian Pumpkin Soup 

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Pumpkin Curry

Stuffed Pumpkin

 

Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Coffee Popsicle

Recently, I came across this blog: Wit and Vinegar and quite propitiously Popsicle Week just came to an end with varied Popsicle recipes.

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Here is one of my favorite I’ve tried so far. As always, I adapted using ingredients in my pantry.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup pitted cherries
6 tbsp unsweetened coffee
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
a dash of salt
2 squares of dark chocolate cut to bits

Process coconut milk, unsweetened coffee, vanilla extract, maple syrup and salt in a food processor. Transfer to a freezer safe dish. Add dark chocolate bits and cherry bits. Freeze for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the mixture is thickened, scoop and transfer to Popsicle molds. Freeze for 3-4 hours to allow the molds to set.  When ready to eat or serve, dip molds in hot water for a few seconds to allow the popsicle to slide out.

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Enjoy on a ridiculously hot, and humid day!

Baked Garelu or Plain Vada

I typically shied away from making vada, since it is a deep fried dish. While I was happy to eat it while my mother or other family member created it, I personally have never made this dish. That is until recently.

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After the success of baking masala vada, I have tried to recreate the plain vada with no success, until today. It can’t be re-created similarly. I ended up using a muffin tin, but if you have a donut tin that will do perfectly since Garellu are made with a hole in the center!

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Ingredients:

1 cup urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil

Soak the urad dal in water for 5-6 hours. Rinse and blend in a blender till smooth with some water to make thick batter, similar to what is needed to make idlis.  Season with salt and set aside to ferment,

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When ready to make vada’s, generously grease a muffin tin with oil, adding 1/2 – 1 tsp oil and add 1-2 tbsp of batter  to each muffin cup.

Bake 35-45 minutes till golden.

Serve warm with some sweet and sour ginger chutney.

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