Lemon Parmesan Green Beans

Easy peasy side dish.
It looks and sounds a lot fancier than it really is. And it tastes fancier too. Lemon, oregano, parmesan… mmmmmm. Sounds like a restaurant side dish.

Well it might not be that fancy. But I cooked the beans two ways, that counts for something I think. 

I have to say the boiling + baking was a nice touch. Tender, yet firm at the same time. And these beans are loaded with flavor. The parmesan and lemon work really well together. A little tang, a little cheese. 

Linking:
Lil Luna

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Review of ASKME Android App

The smartphones have become the life line in current times, the penetration of these phones is growing rapidly. Just the other day I was watching a you tube video where a toddler girl was trying to pinch a nice photo on the cover of a fashion magazine to zoom it, this clearly shows how much even kids love the phones and the apps and are moving away from the print media. More often than not I use my phone to Google loads of stuff, find restaurants, ingredients for my cooking, find services for my home, find deals to buy and the list goes on. I’ve been thinking what it would be to get an app that could do this all for you, and  Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd. have done just that. They have released an app called ASKME which is really “The BAAP of all apps”.

The moment you install the app, it would become an integral part of your android device. The app gives you deals, searches anything that you may need from places to services, gives an option to post an ad, post a deal or shop on askmebazaar.com.

The app uses your GPS location from the phone to give you the most convincing results in your city or town. I tried searching for Kerala Restaurants in Bangalore and it gave a long list of them. What I really loved is that with just a tap on the right of each result, I could call the place I want to, which is a huge value add to the whole experience. For each of the results, it also gives a description of their products and services.


The Main screen also gives a featured deal and many more once you click through. Buying items on deals is fairly new to the Indian market however it is a much accepted way of shopping in the west. With this app, this market is sure to get a boost.

The next feature I tried was posting an ad, which I’ve done on some of the other apps as well, however combining this feature as a single app is what I liked. Within a matter of a minute I was able to post an ad which starts to appear on their website.

The askmebazaar is still getting formed but is a great platform for a market place easily accessible, it gives a menu through which you can search for items in various categories. I found an induction top, hand blender and various other cookware when I narrowed down on kitchen appliances. Just click on buyme and you can complete the checkout process right within the app. For now, it let’s you confirm the order while a representative calls you to complete the process.

The app also let’s you post a deal, however I was not able to try this feature out, however I’m sure this would be great for a phone marketplace.
All in all, all these features definitely make this a BAAP of all apps and with the backing from Getit, Its sure to reach new heights. Download on your android device from here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.GetIt&hl=en and enjoy.



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Deluxe S’mores Cupcakes

S’mores are popular for a good reason: they’re one of the greatest culinary treats ever invented. Trust me, I’m a self-appointed authority on the subject. 

I prefer my real over-the-campfire s’mores minus graham crackers actually. I love to roast the marshmallow til it’s perfectly golden brown, maybe slightly charred even, then stuff a big chunk of milk chocolate right into the center, let it melt a little and eat the whole thing in one bite. 

Or at least as much as I can get into my mouth. Some of it ends up on my face. Okay a lot of it ends up on my face. But I like to think no one can see that in the dark with only the light of the fire. 

Like you, I’ve seen s’mores cupcakes all over the place lately. Maybe it’s trendy, but I am jumping on the bandwagon here. I couldn’t resist. Hello. S’mores cupcakes. My only regret here is waiting so long to make them. 

But that being said, I may be a little biased but I think these are among the best ones out there. 

First you start with a perfectly moist chocolate cupcake bottom. And they start with a box mix so it’s super easy and cuts out a few ingredients and steps.

If famous bakeries can start with box mixes, I’m not ashamed to follow suit. 

Then you spread a layer of melted milk chocolate on top of the cakes, sprinkle it with graham cracker crumbs, and let it cool. This is probably my favorite feature.

Acually, the marshmallow meringue swirled on top is my favorite. 

Oh wait, the toasted marshmallows and chocolate covered graham crackers has to be my favorite. 

Whatever, I just love it all. 

Everyone fell in love with these wehn I made them for my niece’s going away to college party. My niece. Is going to college. I’m not that old am I?

Unreal.

Just like these cupcakes. Totally unreal.

*Cupcake recipe adapted from Your Cup of Cake, meringue from Martha Stewart
Linked:
I was featured this week over at Time to Sparkle!

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Ginger and Curry Leaves Martini

Hello friends, I am back from my Goa trip and have started the reverse counting for the Indian food Bloggers meet. I am so looking forward to meet the fellow bloggers and appreciate the effort and time taken by the organizing committee to make this meet happen. Apart from meeting the bloggers who I knew only virtually, this meet also offers some exciting contests and surprises, one of which is the Urban Dazzle Cocktail and Mocktail contest.

Urban Dazzle is India’s leading Home Shopping Website with a wide range of products to choose from at a very competitive price. As a food blogger who loves to buy Props which are unique and different and do not burn a hole in my pocket, Urban Dazzle is my destination and so far I have liked the service and quality they offer. From bakeware to serving platters to drinkware, they have it all.

 Keeping up with the Indian theme as required for this contest, I have come up with this Ginger and Curry Leaves Martini. I had recently bought the Martini glasses and Bar accessories from Urban Dazzle and they were the perfect choice to serve this cocktail. Here is how to make the Martini with an Indian twist. Cheers!!!!!

All you need is

Dry gin – 60 ml
Vermouth – 10 ml
Sugar syrup – 1 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 5-6
Ginger – 12 inch piece
Ice

For the glass rim

Curry leaves – a bunch
Martini salt

Method of preparation

For the glass rim

Heat the oven to 180 degree C.
Spread the curry leaves on a baking sheet.
Keep the baking sheet in the warm oven for 5-6 minutes, till the leaves are crisp.
Remove the leaves from oven.
Crush to make a fine powder using your fingers.
Add the equal quantity of Martini salt.
Mix well.
Wet the rim of Martini glasses using water.
Dab the wet surface over the martini salt.
The glass is ready.
Chill it for a few hours prior to serving.

For Martini

Take curry leaves and ginger in the mixing glass.
Crush them using a muddler.
Top the glass with ice.
Add gin, vermouth, lemon juice and sugar syrup and give the mixture a gentle stir.
Strain in the prepared glass.
Serve immediately.

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50 Must-Make Fall Treats

It’s September people. 

As insanely weepy as I am to be letting go of Summer… I think it’s time to embrace the upcoming season. The one full of pumpkin pie, caramel apples, cinnamon everything, changing leaf colors, and riding boots.

Hello Autumn. I have missed you. And allow me to just take a moment to celebrate your return with this collection of absolutely MUST MAKE Fall Treats… 





Ummm…. Where on earth do I start???

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Thai Red Chicken Curry ( Using ingredients from Foodhall )

I’ve always been fascinated by gourmet food stores and loved when I first visited Foodhall last year. The range of product available in this store is remarkable and you can find all things gourmet under one roof.  Be it the variety of cheeses or various type of pastry sheets, fruits that are otherwise not available anywhere else or the spice mixes you have been looking for all around, Foodhall have them all. 
Foodhall, a unit of Future Group is premier lifestyle food destination with stores in Bangalore, NCR, Mumbai and Pune. Having traveled through the continents, I could easily relate to the stuff they sell in their aisles appealing to international cuisine lovers as well as Indian foodies. Foodhall is an absolute delight to visit and a must do for every food lover. So when I got a bag full of goodies from Foodhall, I was quite excited and to add to the excitements, the goodies were perfect to create a fabulous Thai Meal for two of us. 
I treated my family with a Thai red chicken curry paired with Jasmine rice while the black bean sauce and Tom Yum soup will make an upcoming day special for us. Special thanx to Saina, who very thoughtfully packed the goodie bag and made it very special for us. Here is how I made the Thai Red Chicken Curry.

All you need is

Oil – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Onion – 14 cup ( thinly sliced )
Thai Red curry paste – 4 tbsp
Chicken breast – 2 ( cut into small pieces )
Broccoli – 1 small heat cut into small pieces
Carrot – 1 ( cut into thing stripes )
Red bell pepper – 1 ( cut into stripes )
Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
Fish sauce – 1 tsp
Sugar – 12 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Thai basil – 10-12 leaves
Salt to taste

Method of preparation

Heat oil in a pan.
Add garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add shallots and fry for a minute.
Add red curry paste and fry for a minute or two.
Add chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the broccoli, carrots and red bell pepper.
Add coconut milk and a cup of water.
Let the curry come to a boil.
Simmer the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
Tear the basil leaves and add in the pan.
Serve hot with Jasmine rice .

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Strawberry {Fruity Pebble} Bunt Cake

Occasionally I have a stroke of brilliance. Often though it’s more like subconscious brilliance. When my  inner, more-genius self takes over and does something totally amazing that makes me proud for days. 

This cake is absolutely one of those brilliant moments.

It all started with an idea. A passing thought. Hey, I should put fruity pebbles in a cake…


During the execution though, the idea blossomed into something much greater than just a cake with some colorful cereal in it. 

I realize that I didn’t include a picture of the inside of this cake. For that I apologize. Let me just tell you that the inside of this cake… is pink. Although I don’t normally do pink (it just looks terrible on me, I’ve come to accept it), I do love pink in this cake. 

Bright strawberry pink, studded with seven million fruity pebbles. At least seven million. Maybe eight. 

Maybe it’s the kid in me that is so excited about this cake. The kid who likes bright colored anything and the sugar addict who just loves all delicious and tasty treats. 

And this I assure you is delicious, tasty, and by the way probably the most moist cake I’ve ever had a bite of. 

This was the second dessert I made for my niece’s going-away-to-college party. I’m feeling old. I think my brilliant sub-conscious may have been trying to rebel by creating a dessert which brought out my younger, saturday morning cartoon watching self. 

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Badam Ka Sharbat Refreshing Sherbet made with Almonds

Hello friends!!! Hope you all are doing great. I am back in action after a mad week which had so much fun and learning and travel and making new friends and loads of gifts and what not :).
I will miss all the fun and madness for a few days but then it is all a part of life and hope this learning and sharing will continue for a long time.

Let me also tell you that my recipe for Ginger and Curry Leaves Martini won the first prize at the contest held by Urban Dazzle. I received a beautiful snack tray and gift vouchers as my prize :).

Coming to today’s recipe, this Badam ka sharbat is a perfect drink to be made during summers or whenever the weather is hot and humid and you wish to drink something really refreshing. The concentrate keeps good in refrigerator for up to a week and all you have to do is to add some milk in it to make a healthy and energizing drink. Here is how to make this delicious Badam ka Sharbat.

All you need is

  • Almonds Badam  – 250 g
  • Water – 5 cups
  • Saffron – a good pinch
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Milk to add to the sharbet.

Badam Ka Sharbat Recipe

  1. Wash and soak almonds for 2-3 hours.
  2. Remove the skin and grind in a grinder to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add little water if required.
  4. Add almond paste, 5 cups water and saffron in a pan and cook till the mixture comes to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and boil till the mixture is reduced to half.
  6. Add sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
  8. Store the sharbat in a sterilized bottle and  refrigerate for up to 6-7 days.
  9. When ready to serve, add 14 cup sharbat in a glass and top the glass with cold milk and ice cubes.
  10. Serve chilled.

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Peanut Butter {Seven Layer} Magic Bars


Hello peanut butter chocolate seven layer goodness. 

Honestly I had no idea what I was doing when I started making these little delights. It was one of those times when I had half-empy (or half-full) bags and containers of miscellaneous items staring me down from the otherwise empty cupboard. 

I had several other ideas for what I wanted to make, but each time I searched the pantry for the necessary items, I came up short a couple of key ingredients and frankly wasn’t in the mood for a trip to the store. 

Let’s not mention the fact that the grocery store is literally around the corner from my house. When you’re not in the mood for a trip to the store, it doesn’t really matter how close it is. Sometimes I don’t even want to make the trip to my basement. Maybe that’s laziness. I prefer to think of it as a means of cultivating my creativity. 
After a quick inventory of the smorgasbord of misfits in the cupboard, I formulated a plan. A plan that led me to discover these blissful seven layers of peanut butter & chocolate, all combined into one tasty bar. 

Just because I am slightly obsessed with layered treats, let’s recap these layers shall we? 
1. Dense peanut butter cake batter bar base. The foundation for all of the chocolate and peanut buttery magic to come. 

2. Milk chocolate.

3. Reeces Pieces candy.

4. White chocolate. 

5. Condensed milk layer to sort of fuse everything together. 

6/7. Milk chocolate and peanut butter drizzle. 

Wow. 


For those of you who are peanut butter addicts (No shame, I’m there with you) I recommend an eighth layer. After baking the base for 10 minutes, spread on a thin layer of peanut butter, then add your candies and chocolate chips. 

Go ahead, indulge a little. It’s friday!

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Malai Kofta Indian Cottage Cheese Dumplings in a Creamy Gravy

Malai kofta… Soft dumplings made with panner in a rich and creamy gravy makes a stunning vegetarian main course option. There are any ways in which you can make this dish. Some people prefers it in a white cashew nut based gravy and other swears by the onion and tomato version. I too make this dish in a variety of ways and each one is special to me. But for today, I am sharing you the one with only tomatoes and cashew nuts and I am sure you will love it. Here is how to make Malai Kofta.
All you need is
For Kofta
  • Paneer – 300 g
  • Boiled potato – 1 ( medium size )
  • Ginger – 12 tsp ( grated )
  • Green chili – 1 tsp ( finely chopped )
  • Coriander – 1 tbsp ( finely chopped )
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam masala powder – 12 tsp
  • Cornflour – 2 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp ( finely chopped )
  • Grated dry coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp ( chopped )
  • Oil for frying

For curry
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cloves – 3-4
  • Black peppercorns – 4-5
  • Black cardamom – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Tomato puree – 4 tbsp
  • Chili powder – 12 tsp
  • Cashew nut paste – 2 tbsp ( soak a few cashew nuts in water for 15 minutes and grind in a blender to make a paste )
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Fresh cream – 3 tbsp
  • Honey – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi – 2 tsp

Malai Kofta Recipe


For kofta

  1. Mix cashew nuts, grated coconut and raisins in a bowl.
  2. Keep aside.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Take small amount of the paneer mixture and make a little space in the center.
  5. Fill some coconut mixture in the center and bring back the ends together and make a round kofta.
  6. Make all the koftas in the same manner.
  7. Heat oil in a non stick pan and fry the koftas on medium heat till golden brown.
  8. Remove the koftas on a tissue lined plate.
  9. Keep aside.

For gravy

  1. Heat butter and oil in a pan.
  2. Add cloves, black peppercorns, black cardamom and cinnamon and fry for 20 seconds.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  4. Add tomato puree and fry for another minute.
  5. Add cashew nut paste, chili powder and milk and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add fresh cream, honey, salt to taste, lemon juice and kasuri methi and cook for a minute.
  7. Adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding little water and cook till the mixture comes to a boil.
  8. Add the koftas in the gravy and give it a boil.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  10. Serve hot with Naan or Laccha paratha.

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