Cheese animal crackers

Easy,quick and yummy crackers. I have animal cookie cutters, and so the name :). You can use any shapes that you have. 

1/2 cup Shredded cheese (i used mexican blend)
1/2 cup oats (i used rolled oats)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
Additional 2 tbsp all purpose flour for dusting
Cookie cutters of your choice
And the process is simple :
1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor to a course dough.
2. Wrap the dough with food wrap and let it chill in refrigerator for not more than 15 mins( or else dough becomes hard and u need to thaw it before rolling)
3. Roll out the chilled dough as if you are making rotis.
4. Cut the rolled sheet to the desired shapes you like.
5. Take aluminium wrap in a cookie sheet. Spread the shapes carefully on the aluminium foil with atleadt a finger of gap among the shapes(u can check the center pic of my above collage)
6. Pre-heat oven for 360 degrees F. ( oven temps slightly vary based on ur oven, so plz adjust as per ur oven)
7. Bake them for 25 mins or until golden brown.
Once done, remove the tray from oven, let them cool down completely before storing in your fav container.



Oozing tres leches cake

Tres leches meaning three milk cake and yes damn easy, quick and nowhere to go wrong. The third layer is made with heavy cream for icing but i have skipped adding the heavy cream. So, here is the simple yet oozing and delicious cake :

For cake :
1 cup all purpose flour ( i used self raising flour)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
5  eggs
1 tsp baking soda

The magic ooze milks :
1.5 cup whole milk
14 oz evoporated milk
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
Mix all this magic ooze milk and keep it refrigerated until the cake is baked and cooled down.
First steps first, bake the cake :
Melt the butter; beat the butter and sugar. 
Add eggs and sugar, beat the mixture well. (Hand mixer eases the job)
                     Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the flour in small amounts and mix well.
Add the baking soda and mix the batter well.
Grease the pan with butter, pour the batter and bake for 35 mins.
With the fork test, take out the cake and let it cool down.
Prick the whole cake at several places with a fork.
Pour the ooze milk(that is stored in fridge) on the pricked cake little by little. Keep it refrigerate.
Let the cake soak in the milk for atleast an hour.
That's it, chill, yummy, simple tres leches ready. 
(You can add the icing with heavy cream and sugar if u want)



Oats-banana-blueberry muffins

I have been trying different tastes to satisfy my little handsome and this is one of those trials, and i can say this as toddler friendly, as my LO loved them - purpose fulfilled!
This recipe yielded 14 medium muffins.

2 bananas
1 egg
1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup whole milk ( u can even use 2%milk)
1/4 cup oats ( i used regular instant oats)
4 oz yoplait yogurt (yes, flavoured yogurt added additional flavor and gud moisture) - i used strawberry flavor
1.5 cup wheat flour
Brown sugar 2 tbsp
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup blueberries
5 tbsp butter

I always rinse oats with plain water, you can skip this if you dont want. Keep aside.
Mash the bananas. Add eggs and whisk the mixture. 

Add the yogurt, warm milk, sugar, melted butter, rinsed oats, flour and mix well. Add the baking soda at the end and then add blueberries, mix well.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, pour the batter in muffin pan (muffin liners are optional), bake for 25 mins or well done.
A simple fork test is good to test if it is done - if the fork comes out clean, means muffins are done.
Let the muffins cool down a few minutes before serving your little ones.
By the way, forgot to tell you - i made these for breakfast, but you can even pack them as snack.






Granola!!

Its been a while and i update this post with a few changes.
I am soo excited! Finally found something perfect yet healthy snack for my sweet tooth - yes granola! Found couple of videos but ended up preparing my own as per my tastebuds. Could not wait to share my simple recipe with these ingredients 
Extra thick rolled oats - 3 cups
Brown sugar - i measured it as 1/8 th cup for each cup of oats. Since i took 3 cups of oats, i used 3-1/8 th cups of brown sugar.
Maple syrup - 5 tbsp
Black raisins - 1/2 cup (optional)
Cranberries - 1/4 cup ( optional)
Canola oil - 5 tbsp (replacing with butter tasted better but count on the fat as well 😊)
Nuts - walnuts, pecans, almonds ( i measured 1/4 th cup  for each kind)
1. Take oats, nuts, cranberries in a mixing bowl.
2. Chop ur nuts either with hands or in a chopper, mix them together with #1.
3.  Take oil, maple syrup and sugar in a bowl and simmer it for 2 mins until sugar melts.(at the end, i felt this step might not be needed as it sits in oven for a while)
No need of step 3.
4. Pre heat oven to 325 F.( more or less based on ur oven).
5. Mix well all the ingredients except black raisins in a big bowl.

6. Grease a pan with some oil/ butter if u like and spread the mixture on the pan.
7. Bake in oven for 35 mins, stirring 3 times every 12 mins or so. 


8. Add the black raisins after 24 mins, give it a nice stir and keep it back in the oven. Make sure to stay safe while stirring occassionally - u can take out the pan, stir and put it back in the oven.
After 35 mins, take out the pan, let it cool down and transfer to an air tight container..
I have to see how long it stays fresh for my parfait.

You can have it either with milk for breakfast or with yogurt for snack.
So, here it is my yummy snack is ready



Mawa/khoya/kova

Feeling satisfied after the success of having mawa of its purest form - yes the traditional method of making mawa with just 1 healthy ingredient - MILK! Yes, i was surprised too when i found from online resources that all we need is milk to make mawa and here it is ...
You can use this in several recipes including gulab jamuns to cakes. Will update more recipes with mawa soon. Preparing mawa needs lot of patience. 
To make mawa, this is what i did :
1 gallon of whole milk yielded about 250 gms of mawa.


It took me around 3.5 to 4 hrs to get this mawa.
-->Take milk in a heavy bottom pan with flame on number #4 (i guess, this would be somewhere between low to medium if ur stove doesn't have numbers).
--> i have placed 3 steel spoons inside the vessel before pouring milk. (Tip From online resources) to avoid milk sticking to vessel.
--> keep stirring preferably with a wooden spatula.
Step by step pictures :

--> continue stirring until it gets thick and rigourously stir once it gets thicker n thicker. Like i said, one need stamena and patience to get to the most purest/ tastiest form of milk.
I made it as unsweetened, but if you add sugar, you and enjoy as it is.
Once it gets thicker in consistency as shown in the pics, u can let it dry completely and then store it in fridge/freezer based on how frequent you use the mawa.
Finally, yehh, i made mawa!!


Avocado-Spinach paratas

Finally, got to try healthy and simple paratas.this is how i made :
1 Ripen Avocado
1/3 cup chopped spinach
3/4 th cup wheat flour
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder (optional)
Cumin and corriander powder for flavor
2 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil (while making dough)
Water to mix.

Mix all the ingredients to make a smooth dough.
Make small dumplings and patties as shown in the pic 

Roll each patty flat until 1/4 th inch thick and cook them on tava/griddle until well done.
Healthy and tasty avocado paratas ready to serve.
I like having rotis/paratas with some kind of dal and yogurt. So, i made mango dal. 

The bland avocado blended well with tangy mango dal, melted in the mouth with chill yogurt :).

Orange-cardamom madeleines

Yes, the most popular traditional french treat with a twist of orange flavor. And most importantly, my little toddler's favourite cookies 😍. We usually enjoyed store brought till now but not anymore 😉.
Super easy, yummy and quick recipe.

Ingredients :
All purpose flour -1  cup (i prefer self-raising flour for baking)
Sugar white - 3/4 th cup
Eggs - 3 large
Butter - 4 oz melted
Orange zest from 1 medium orange
1 tsp cardamom powder
Baking powder 1 tsp
Usually this recipe contains vanilla extract but i skipped it. For sweettoothers like me, u can even have them during tea time as well but they will be on sweeter side though!


1. Beat eggs and sugar with hand mixer until you see creamy texture. Well beaten is the key for soft madeleines.
2. Add melted butter.
3. Sift the flour and tuck in the flour little by little and mix well.
4. Add the orange zest, cardamom powder and baking powder; mix with a spatula.
5. Pour the mixture into the madeleines molds/pan.

6. Preheat the oven at 450 F and bake for 4 mins and then reduce the temp to 350 F and bake for 4 more minutes. This helps the batter raise at high temp and then slows down giving the nice bulgy shape to cookies. Temp varies from oven to oven - so please keep an eye to avoid burning.
Once the cookies are done, u can let them cool down before enjoying.

Oats-raisin cookie cakes

Happy Valentine's day!
Today i wanted to make someting special yet healthy treat for my little son and my husband ofcourse and here is the outcome 😊
I dont want them to be hard as cookies at the same not thick as cake! Hence the name 😉
And the ingredients are :
Oats  -  1.5 cup ( quick cook oats)
Raisins - 1/2 cup (i used golden raisins as i am lazy for impromptu shopping 😜)
Brown sugar - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 3/4 th cup
All purpose flour - 3/4 th cup (i used self raising flour but regular flour will do)
Eggs - 2
Butter - 2/3 rd cup
1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder

Boil the raisins (until they become fluffy) in a open pot with some water, strain and rinse with cold water to cool them down.
Rinse and strain the oats. ( optional step - i dont like to use them without washing.hence i do it)
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, butter and sugar with hand mixer or a hand whisk will do.
Sift the flours and add it to above mixture.
Add the rinsed oats, boiled raisins and mix altogether.

Set the oven to 360 degrees F.
Grease a cookie tray with some melted butter and spread the mixture on the tray about 1/2 inch in thickness.
Bake for 12 mins or until done. A toothpick or fork test can be done by poking at the middle of the batter to check if its done. If the baking is done, no batter will stick to the fork.


Once it is done, take out the tray, cut the shapes u want with cookie cutters, let them cool down and enjoy 😀. 
My husband and my little naughty son both liked them a lot 😎 and i am happy as they are 😄.




Oats Chakra pongal

Happy Pongal/Sankranthi (as we call it). It is our harvest festival and since rice is the staple food, we make rice pudding on this festival. With a twist to the traditional dish, i made chakra pongal with oats instead and it came out delicious. Here is the simple yet healthy recipe :


All you need is :
Oats             -     1 cup
Moong dal   -     1/3 cup
Jaggery        -     3/4 cup (more or less to your taste)
Water           -     2 cups
Milk             -     1 cup
Cardamom powder -  1/2 tsp
Cashews, raisins, shredded coconut(optional) to garnish.

(1) a. Soak moong dal for atleast an hour. (helps to cook fast).
      b. Optional - clean/rinse your oats and strain.
(2) Boil water in a bowl/saucepan and add soaked moong dal to the boiled water.
(3) Once the dal is half cooked, add rinsed oats and let it cook with open lid. Remove any unwanted foam you get after adding oats. (this will take atleast 10 mins)
(4) Meanwhile boil milk and add boiled milk to step (3).
(5) Add jaggery and cardamom powder as well and let it cook for a few more minutes.
(6) Take a tbsp of ghee in a separate pan and saute cashews, raisins and coconut until golden brown and add it to pongal.
Once the pongal is completely cooked, turn off the flame and serve it warm to God/guests/kids :).

Tip : Adding boiled milk to pongal reduces the spill hassle.

Mac-n-cheese

The most popular and the most favourite kids meal 😀. I made it with a slight twist. Here it is :

1/2 cup raw maccoroni noodles (i used Annies's organic noodles..)
1/2 pack of cheddar cheese that comes with Annie noodles.
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp butter
Salt and black pepper to taste.


1. Boil the noodles in pressure cooker - yes, you heard it right. Please check "Tip of the day" at the end of this post.
2. Once the pressure cooker is ready, take a pan with butter, and pour the boiled noodles in the pan, add cheddar cheese powder, milk, salt and black pepper and stir it until the milk absorbs.

Thats it, very easy, quick and eco friendly kids favourite macncheese ready... And my little darling Vihaan loves it 😍.

Tip of the day :
Pressure cook the pasta :
No need to boil pasta/maccoroni noodles in an open pot and strain it!
In a steel bowl, take ur noodles and pour water just to dip them. Pressure cook them little more than you make for dal (lentils). Eg: For my pressure cooker, it takes 12 whistles for pasta ( while it takes 8 whistles for dal). Easy way and saving water

Spicy fried idli

Yes, very quick, yummy and spicy snack! Today i felt like eating very spicy snack...hence the recipe 😊
4 idlis, 1 green chilli, salt, 1/4 tsp of peanut powder, 1/4 tsp of spicy idli powder (idli karam) cilantro and tempering.


Take oil in a pan for tempering. 
Add a few cumins, mustard seeds, chana dal, green chilli once the oil heats up.
Add chopped idli pieces as soon as the tempering is done and let it stir fry for 5 mins.
Sprinkle, salt to taste, idli karam, peanut powder, cilantro, let it cook for another 2 mins and - yummy and spicy fried idli ready!

A simple Apple-Cinnamon cake

Dear Family & Friends, extremely sorry for the delay in my posts. Have been little busy with my little one  😀. Will try to post more frequently 😊.
Coming to the recipe, here are the simple ingredients :
1 small apple ( i used fuji) chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour ( i used self raising but simple all purpose will do)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder AND 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup oil AND 1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar (i used jaggery powder instead)
2 tbsp white sugar (i always like the special taste enhanced by brown and white sugar combo)
Nuts optional





Preparation
                 Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees F. Meanwhile prepare your batter.
1. Whisk egg, sugar, oil. Add water.
2. Add sifted flours slowly and tuck in well with water.
3. Add baking powder/soda, cinnamon powder and nuts (optional) and then chopped apple and mix well.
4. Bake it for 25 mins or well done. Thats all...yummy,simple and soft apple cake ready 🍰 😊

Oats and Sweet potato muffins

Finally, got a chance to update my blog after a very long time. I was almost about to forget that i have a blog that i need to take care of along with my sweet little darling 😍. 
These are very easy to make/bake and my lil darling loved it 😊.

Here are the ingredients :
Rolled oats  1 cup
Grated sweet potato 1/2 cup
Eggs  2
Milk  3/4 th cup
Brown sugar  1/2 cup
White sugar 1/2 cup
Wheat flour  1 cup
Oil  1/4  cup (i used canola oil)
Baking powder 1/2 tbsp
Baking soda 1/4 tbsp

Optional :
Dried cranberries  1/4 cup
Dash of cinnammon powder and cardomm powder
Few chopped almonds and cashews for occasional crunchy bites


Let's start :
1. Whisk eggs, brown and white sugar.
2. Add milk, flour, oil, oats, shredded sweet potato and mix well altogether.
3. Now tuck-in nuts, cranberries, cinnammon and cardomm powder.
4. Finally add baking powder and baking soda and mix the batter. Do not overmix after adding baking powder and baking soda.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.


Add muffin liners (optional) to muffin pan, fill each liner upto 3/4 th (leaving some room for the muffin to rise).
Bake them for 30 mins. 


Red Velvet cupcakes

First of all, wishing you all very very happy and prosperous new year :)


Finally updating my blog after a super long time with my first success trial for red velvet cupcakes. Hope you all like it. Here are the yummy ingredients (am listing the ingredients in the order i prepared the cupcake batter)

Makes upto 30 cupcakes (based on the size of the cupcakes)
Prep time : 10 mins
Bake time : 20 - 25 mins

1 C  unsalted room temperature butter
3 C sugar
3 Eggs room temp
1.5 C buttermilk room temp
1 oz red color
3 C all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder (i used hersheys unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/3 C  oil (i used canola oil)
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt to enhance the flavours (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Beat butter and sugar until it becomes crumbly (i used hand mixer for the whole batter preparation)
2. Mix well the batter by adding each ingredient one by one.
Batter should look like this



3. Add the liners to cupcake pans and fill in the each liner with the above batter.



4. Bake them for 20 mins at 360 degrees F.


 5. Let them cool down and decorate with your favorite icing. Am just lazy and used store bought cream cheese frosting with colorful sprinkles to get kids attention ;)


Thats it, yummy yummy red velvet cupcakes ready :)




Apricot oats bar

I had been watching giada's shows and this caught my attention. Wanted to give it a try and it turned out delicious(with slight changes)! Thanks Giada :).
Recipe ingredients 
7 oz apricot jam and 6 oz mixed fruit jam(kissan)
8 dried apricots
1 3/4 th cup all purpose flour
1 cup golden brown sugar
1 TSP cinnamon powder
3/4th TSP baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts
12 TBSP unsalted melted butter
4 TBSP canola oil
1 large egg and 1 TSP vanilla extract



In a small bowl, mix the 2 jams and chopped apricots.
In a large bowl, whisk egg; add flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking soda.
Add butter, walnuts, oats, vanilla extract stir the whole dough until well mixed - this will be ur crust mixture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (based on ur oven make).
Spread half of the crust mixture in a 11x9 in pan.
With a spatula, spread the jam on the crust leaving 1/2 inch border around the edge of the crust.
Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and spread evenly; slightly press to flatten.
Bake for 30 mins, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool for atleast 45 mins (if you do not press the crust hard enough before baking, bars will become soft textured and might break down).
Store in air tight containers for 3 to 5 days.

15 mins Basil fried rice

Rice 2 cups
Fresh basil leaves 1 cup
Onions 1 big
Green chillies 6
Ginger garlic paste 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Cashews
Cilantro




1. Cook rice.
2. Meanwhile chop onions, green chillies and basil and cilantro.
3. Saute all the ingredients with 5 tbsp of oil.
4. Add cooked rice and toss altogether.
Thats it, yummy and quick rice ready.

Chocolate dipped strawberries - Bananas

After a long time, i tried this party hit dessert :). Here i want to share the simple and damn easy process.
Fresh strawberries  - 12
Half ripen banana   -  1
Semi sweet chocolate chips - 1.5 cups (i used nestle chocolate chips)
Almonds  - 1/2 cup minced



1. Clean and dry strawberries. Preserve the crowns. Chop the banana into round slices.
2. Freeze banana slices in freezer for atleast an hour.
3. Add 1 tbsp of oil/butter to chocolate chips and microwave for 2 mins(little less or more based on power of ur microwave). 
4. Now, dip each of the strawberry in chocolate and then in nuts and let it set on a wide tray. Repeat the process for frozen banana slices as well.
5. Refrigerate all dipped strawberries and bananas for an hour or until chilled. 
Thats it, yummy choco dip strawberries and bananas are ready.

PS : if microwave is not available, you can use traditional method for melting chocolate. For this, take about a cup of water in a sauce pan. Place another vessel on top of it, make sure the top bowl does not touch water in the sauce pan. Pour chocolate chips in the top bowl, switch on the flame and keep stirring until the chips melts.

Almond - Wheat Cookies

Hi All, today i came up with zero-butter yet healthy/tasty recipe! Try it and enjoy the taste.


Prep Time : 8 mins
Bake Time : 25 mins (or until done)
Count :  22 cookies (based on the size of patty you make)

Here are the ingredients :

Wheat flour   -  1 1/2 cups
Almonds       -  1/2 cup
Sugar           -  3/4  cup  (i used confectioner's sugar)
Cardomom powder -  1/2 tbsp
Oil               -  3/4 cup
You can add dash of baking powder if you want but not necessary.

And here are the quick steps for prep and bake :

--> Blend almonds into coarse powder.
--> Take wheat flour, coarse almond powder, sugar, cardomom powder and toss the entire mixture by adding oil slowly and make it as a dough (dough should have the consistency as we make dough for rotis).
--> Now make into small pattis (and stick in sliced almonds into each patty - optional).
--> Set the oven temperature to 360 degrees F.
--> Meanwhile, place each patty on a wide pan leaving about thumb size gap among cookies.
Tip of the day -  Place Parchment paper OR use re-usable baking sheet inside the pan instead of applying butter/spraying oil (i use re-usable baking sheet).
--> Bake cookies upto 25 mins (less/more according to your oven).
--> Once they are done, take out the tray, let them cool down for few mins.



--> Thats it, yummy/healthy guilt free cookies ready to enjoy.


Tofu - Mutter

Ingredients
Tofu  -   1 no. (i used extra firm tofu)
Frozen Peas -  1/2  cup
Onion  - 2 medium
Tomato - 2
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder  1 1/2  tsp
Rosemary  -  1/4 tsp
Kasoori Methi (Dry fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp
Cardamom powder  -  1/4 tsp
Oil to saute
Salt to taste
Cilantro (optional)


Preparation
--> Prepare tofu by draining away excess water from tofu.  (Please refer to #7).
Meanwhile :
--> 1) wash frozen peas and set them aside.
--> Chop onions, tomatoes.
--> Now your tofu should be ready without excess water.
--> Chop tofu into cubes and saute them first with oil enough for saute. Set sauteed tofu aside.
Sauteed Tofu


--> In the same pan, saute chopped onions until slightly tender - add ginger-garlic paste, add salt.
--> Add kasoori methi, rosemary, cardamom powder.
--> Let the mixture cool down and blend it to coarse gravy.
--> Pour the gravy in pan, add peas from step (1), add red chilli powder, add sauteed tofu; Stir altogether and cook for few minutes on slow flame.
--> Finally garnish with cilantro and serve it hot (don't forget to switch off the flame ;) ).
This curry blends well with rotis, but as am lazy, i just serve with white rice!