Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coconut Basmati Rice Pudding

Here's a great recipe for a vegan rice pudding, using coconut milk instead of dairy. I'm not a vegan, so I adapted it by using half coconut milk and half whole milk, and I added some shredded coconut to the rice, along with a pinch of cardamom and some green raisins. Instead of mapoloe syrup, I used jaggery, an Indian brown sugar. Delicious.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Steak Salad with Lime-Chili Vinaigrette

Perfect for warm weather.


1 half-pound strip loin, sirloin or filet steak, sliced thin
1/2 red onion diced
1 red bell pepper, grilled, skinned, diced
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, grilled, skinned, diced
salad greens

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. freshly grated lime zest
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. chili powder (or more, to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Grill, peel and chop your bell peppers. Chop onion. Saute steak slices on high until brown on both sides. Remove steak slices from pan and mix with grilled pepper slices and chopped onions. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of the lime juice. Let liquid bubble and reduce by half. Turn off heat.

Mix pan deglaze with the remaining lime juice and the rest of the dressing ingredients. Whisk well. Add to steak and pepper mixture, stir well, and either refrigerate until cool, and then serve over greens, or serve warm over greens for a wilted salad. I like it warm over wilted spinach. Serves 4 as a side dish, two as an entree.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yummiest Smoked Salmon Patties Ever

Leftover smoked salmon cream cheese dip and leftover bread crumb stuffing for pork tenderloin inspired this post-Easter croquette.


1 cup smoked salmon-cream cheese spread (2/3 cup smoked salmon, 1/3 cup cream cheese)
1/3 cup additional smoked salmon, crumbled
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs lightly soaked in 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup diced sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1/3 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup diced green onions
1 T. lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
oil for frying

Mix flour and BP together. Mix remaining ingredients together in another, bigger bowl. Add flour mixture to moist ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour. When ready to cook, heat oil on medium heat. Scoop ball of the salmon mixture and pat out into a thinnish patty. Fry until golden brown on each side. Serve with lemon juice or lemon-garlic aioli.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lentil-Quinoa Salad

This is a delicious vegan salad -- but anyone might like it -- using quinoa, the South American grain-like seed full of protein.


2 cups cooked red or green lentils
1 cup quinoa, boiled and lightly toasted
3 green granny smith apples chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans (optional)


1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Cook your lentils and quinoa according to package directions. I like to take the boiled quinoa and toast it lightly, either in a saute pain or under a broiler. I put it in for just a moment, to accentuate the Quinoa nuttiness, without browning it.

Mix all salad ingredients and refrigerate. Make your dressing, shaking well to blend ingredients. You can either add the dressing to the salad directly, as I do, or serve the salad with dressing on the side. This salad keeps well. I often make a big bowl and keep it in the fridge, eating it whenever I get the craving throughout the week. The flavors mix and it tastes even better at the end of the week.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lemon Shortbread with Pink Lemonade Frosting

Whew. Been busy. You know what they say, life is what happens when you're making other plans. But I am back, with a recipe for my favorite cookie, ever. I adapted an old recipe for lemon shortbread, which wasn't lemony enough for me, and added the frosting.


1 1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon extract


1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
a few drops red food coloring:

Cream butter. Add brown sugar and cream well. Add icing sugar and cream well. Add lemon juice,lemon extract and lemon zest and beat well. Add flour 1 cup at a time, reserving one half cup. Mix until blended. You may have to mix the last cup by hand. If the dough is too soft and sticky, add the remaining half cup of flour a little bit at a time.

Cover and refrigerate for one hour. After one hour, take out of fridge, and roll up in wax paper. Refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice shortbread roll into 1/4 inch slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are just barely and very lightly browned.

Remove cookies from oven and cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes. then transfer cookies to racks to cool for about half an hour.

Make your frosting, and frost the cookies as desired, setting them back on the racks to drip. The icing will be thin, and will harden within an hour. The dough freezes very well. I often make double or triple batches. This is one of the cookies that goes into my Christmas tin, but it's nice year-round.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Daring Bakers - Lemon Meringue Pie

Oh Dear.

Usually, I make an excellent lemon meringue pie. But this was the first one I made in India, sans cream of tartar and with corn flour instead of corn starch. The filling was lumpy and the meringue was too soft. I'd show you a picture of the pathetic thing but my camera is broken and my Christmas hints that a camera would be a very good gift went unheeded.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dulce de Leche Chocolates

Ah, between work and family, December ran away with me. But now I'm back, with my favorite chocolate recipe.


2 cups dulce de leche
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

40 ounces semi sweet chocolate


maraschino cherries

Combine dulce de leche, butter and cream until very well-blended. Cover and refrigerate or freeze overnight.

Grease wax paper and put on cookies sheets. Remove mixture from fridge. Grease your hands. With a teaspoon, scoop out mixture and form into 1/2 inch balls. Place on cookie sheet. Freeze for three more hours.

Put grated chocolate in top of double boiler and simmer until melted. Remove cookies sheets from freezer or fridge. Dip balls in chocolate and place back on greased wax paper. Refrigerate and keep refrigerated except when serving.


Place a hazelnut, almond or cherry in the center of the mixture when forming the chocolate centers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Banana Walnut Muffins with Dulce de Leche Frosting

I adapted this recipe from All Recipes to incorporate some dulce de leche, and to add frosting - not just any frosting but my new favorite frosting. This frosting also goes well with carrot cake, apple cake and anything pumpkin.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda or powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup dulce de leche
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, walnuts and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and dulce de leche. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into muffin cups
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.


12 ounces cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche

Mix cream cheese and dulce de leche until very well blended. Spread on muffins. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

May I Have Your Recipe?

... for a holiday fruitcake people might actually eat... and with gusto? How about Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake, courtesy David Lebovitz? Yum. I might throw in some candied chestnuts and chestnut puree and call it an In the Bag dessert for the contest over on A Slice of Cherry Pie. Except I have another chestnut-chocolate recipe I want to make for that.

Here is another great recipe, for all of us who love maple syrup, maple cream pie, from The Smitten Kitchen.

And Exclusively Food's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Modify this recipe by substituting orange flavoring for vanilla, throwing in a pinch of oraneg zest and using only dark chocolate chips.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Edible Cups and Fresh Fruit Soda

Edible but not too tasty, but disposable and biodegradable at least...

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Back in food science class, we scooped out the fruit from oranges, leaving the shells intact except for part lopped off the top. We juiced the fruit, added sugar, gelatin and cream, put this into the emptied orange shells, then chilled it.

If I cut a bit more off the top, it would make an excellent glass. In India we have sweet limes, which are as big as oranges, so I used the juice for a fresh lime soda:

Per serving

1/4 cup sweet lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
a sprig of mint
4 ounces soda water

Mix all ingredients and pour into the emptied sweet lime shells. Garnish with a sprig of mint. In summer, freeze the fruit shells to stiffen them up and provide extra cooling. These can also be used for ice water or fruity cocktails. Of course, coconut sheels and hollowed out pineapples have long been used as beverage containers.

Next I try stiff, frozen gelatin cups...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Edible Dishes

Last night I served a lot of things in edible dishes -- less cleanup, and they look nice. So there was cucumber, dill sour cream and smoked salmon in cucumber cups, potato corn soup in phyllo cups and artichoke emmenthal cheesecake in carrot cups (the carrot cups were superb, but I overbaked the cheesecakes and didn't serve them, alas). Next time I might experiment with plates made of baked bread and am trying to figure out a way to make drinking glasses of hard sugar candy -- once I figure out how to make a mold for them.

For dessert we had dulce de leche pumpkin custard pie. Here's David Lebovitz's recipe for making Dulce De Leche.

Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Custard Pie

15 ounces of cooked or canned pumpkin
1 cup dulce de leche
3/4 cup cream
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp, cinnamon
1/4 tsp,. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch salt

1- 9" pie crust.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bake pie crust at that temperature for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake ten minutes longer. Remove from oven.

Mix pumpkin, sugar, spices, cream, dulce de leche, and egg yolks. Beat until well blended. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites gently into pumpkin mixture and pour into pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until clean knife inserted into center comes out mostly clean, with just a few flecks of pumpkin on the knife. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Carrot Cups

These make edible dishes for all sorts of fillings.

2 cups grated carrots
1 large egg
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Squeeze all moisture possible out of the carrots (this is very important). Add salt and pepper and mix well. Add egg and mix well, Add flour,mix well.

Grease a muffin tin very very well. Put a large spoonful of mixture into muffin cup and press to coat the bottom and sides. The mixture should be about 1/8 inch thick, and even all over. Make sure there are no gaps or holes.

When all the muffin cup are done, put in 400 degree oven for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes or until gently browned. Let cool, and then remove from muffin tins using a knife to loosen them. grease a cookie sheet. Place the carrot cups upside down on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20minutes more until bottoms are lightly brown and cups are crisp.

Fill with stew, soup, ratatouille, mashed potato or a cream cheese appetizer.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

12:03 a.m. meal and 3:45 a.m. Snack

I made half-whole wheat egg noodles last night:

1 cup superfine flour or maida
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt

Make well in 2 cups flour. Put eggs in well. Add salt. Stir until well mixed. Roll out thin, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips, let dry.

I boiled them up tonight in some seasoned chicken stock, threw in some parboiled brocolli and ate that with the homemade beer bread I made a couple of days ago.

A few hours later I was hungry again, so I took a piece of beer bread and toasted it lightly, then spread some pesto on it, very thin, topped it with three big sundried tomatoes, and then topped it all with shards of parmesan cheese. Broiled the lot in a 250 degree oven until the cheese was melted. Heaven.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This recipe was developed by some friends who tried to market the product to some big (but ethical) cosmetic companies as a budget cosmetic product that supported the fair trade tea industry as well (it was going to use discard fair trade tea leaves). It turns out those big companies are only interested in expensive products. So here is the recipe for you to make at home. This is an under-eye patch with an all natural lotion. You need a juicer for this.

1 foot of unbleached cotton
1 quart glass jar
pH strips

3tbsp. cucumber juice
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1/2 cup glycerine
1/3 cup evening primrose oil
2 Tbsp. green tea extract
1/4 tsp. lecitihin
1/8 tsp - 1/4 tsp. agar
2 drops peppermint (optional)

Mix all ingredients except agar and peppermint in a sauce pan and simmer. Add agar, bit by bit, whisking just until the mixture has a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and add 1-2 tiny drops of peppermint extract. Whisk and test with ph strip. It should come in at around 7. If it is off, add a bit more aloe vera and primrose oil and test again. If it is too acidic, add a bit more cucumber juice and test again. Pour into sterilized glass jar. Refrigerate.

Cut clean, unbleached cotton into paisley shapes, about 1 inch long. Store in a dry container. When ready to use, dip two of the patches into the tea mixture and place under eyes. Before you do this, test a patch on your wrist to make sure you aren't allergic or overly sensitive to the ingredients.

I like the zing of the mint. it wakes me up and gives me an aromatherapeutic charge. But some people are sensitive to it so use the mint judiciously, if at all.

Use the excess fabric to make "I*Openers." Cut them into thin strips or dots and dip them in the minty mixture and place them on your temples for a quick pick me up.

If you copy this recipe over please attribute and link to the creators

Bacon Artichoke Cheesecake

I'm doing an early thanksgiving this year for a mixed group, American, Canadian, Australian and Indian. The pumpkin for the Pumpkin custard tart is almost ripe, and the turkey comes Friday. Also on the menu, two salads (a farfale pasta salad with grilled peppers, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, an apple-walnut-celery and butter lettuce salad, plus homemade bread, stuffing, potatoes, gravy and two appetizers, one tba, and the following savoury cheesecake:

1 cup crushed crackers
1/3 melted butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 eggs separated
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup crumbled bacon, drained and fat removed
1 cup preserved artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp,. white pepper

1/2 cup ground coarse almonds, toasted lightly
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Grease an 9x9 inch springform pan with cooking oil or spray with Pam.

For the crust, grind crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. (I like to use a combination of saltines and onion-garlic crackers and am tempted by ry-krisps.) Add butter and parmesan and mix well. Press crumb mixture into pan. Refrigerate.

For the filling, beat cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add salt and pepper, then egg yolks, cream and sour cream. Mix until airy and fluffy. Whip egg whites and fold them into this mixture gently. Then fold in artichokes pieces and crumbled bacon. (Note: squeeze all the moisture from the bacon and the artichoke pieces with paper or clean cloth towels before adding them.) Pour over the cracker crumb crust. Bake at 360 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until just set in the center. Top with your choice of topping. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares.

Vegetarians can substitute chopped, drained sun-dried tomatoes for the bacon. Vegans might want to try one of these recipes .

Other fans of savoury cheesecake might like to try this Roquefort and pear cheesecake from Delia.

For Salmon cheesecake, substitute the bacon and artichokes with 1 cup smoked salmon, chopped up, and 1/2 cup grated emmenthal cheese.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Beer Bread

This is a very easy beer bread recipe I adapted from Jodi Regan on It makes a heavy, dense bread great with soups or stews. I made a few modifications so the bread would be a bit lighter and airier.


1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
3 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp grated parmesan

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add beer and continue to mix, first using a wooden spoon, then your hands. Batter will be sticky. Divide dough into two parts and put into greased loaf pans. Cover and let sit in warm place for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When loaves have risen a bit, put in oven and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and return to oven for 3-5 minutes. This bread looks very "country." Note that you can replace the butter with olive oil or canola and the grated cheese with slivered almonds, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Midnight Snack 2:39 a.m.

Baked apple

1 apple cored
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
tiniest pinch ground clove

1 scoop frozen low-fat vanilla yogurt

Core apple so the bottom of apple remains intact, and keep the stem top.

Mix well butter, brown sugar and spices. Put this into the middle of the apple. If the well in the apple created by coring is not big enough, widen it a bit to accommodate the filling. Put top back on apple and place it into a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until apple flesh is tender but not mushy. Serve with a dollop of frozen vanilla yogurt.

I had no frozen yogurt so had it without. It’s also good without the filling if you find a flavorful apple.

Alternate fillings:

Sharp cheddar cheese and toasted walnuts and or crumbled bacon

Sweetened cream cheese

Spiced red wine or liqueur of your choice.

I once stuffed phyllo pieces on top of the filling, fanned them out, baked them, then served them as Upside Down Apple Pies. Ok, it's stretch, but they bought it. Vegans can replace the butter with 1/2 tbsp. of canola oil.

May I Have Your Recipe?

Last night I roasted a chicken to get fat for the roast potatoes I am currently addicted to from Julia's A Slice of Cherry Pie blog. I made them Saturday with olive oil and they were delicious so I thought I'd try them with chicken fat. I'll use the chicken meat in a soup tomorrow.

And here are some other recipes I pulled off the blogs in the last few days:

Chocolate Caramel Slice from Baked.

Artichoke and Cheese Tarts from A Taste of Tina.

Beggar's Burgers from Green Gourmet Giraffe.

Coconut Ladoo from Aromas of My Food.

Scarborough Fair Martini from Five O'Clock Shakes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday Dinner + Salad from Leftovers

Saturday I hosted a dinner for an American photojournalist, his wife and their very funny Mumbai friend. In addition to the meat, a simple roast, we had these delicious roast potatoes sprinkled with rosemary and served with a choice of sour cream or mayonnaise, homemade bread, grilled peppers, this asparagus, and for dessert, strawberries in phyllo cups with whipped cream.

Today I used the leftover asparagus and peppers and made another farfale salad, with 1 quart of cooked farfale, 1 cup asparagus (al dente), 1 cup chopped grilled peppers, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/4 cup fresh tomatoes and 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup parboiled carrots, 1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/3 cup crumbled bacon, fat removed. Sinful tasting, but aside from the bit of bacon, very good for one. This is tonight's midnight snack and lunch and dinner for the next two days.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

May I Have Your Recipe?

One of the side dishes I made for a dinner last night was this asparagus recipe from Simply Recipes. It was perfect:

1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it's important to make sure they are of the highest quality.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Homemade Bread

Yesterday I made bread using the recipe below from, and I've had little open faced sandwiches all day, homemade bread with a thin layer of butter + cucumber slices + a dollop of aoili + salt and pepper, homemade bread drizzled with olive oil and covered with sun-dried* tomatoes, homemade bread with a leaf of butter lettuce + a basil leaf + a sun-dried tomato + a slice of fresh mozz.


6 to 7 c. bread or unbleached flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 pkg. yeast (Fleischmann's regular or Rapid Rise)
2 1/2 c. water (tap water, very hot to wrist)
Egg white for glaze

I use a heavy duty mixer because of the large amount of flour.
Put about 5 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into a large mixer bowl. Mix by hand. Then mix in the water, again by hand. Mix by machine, adding more flour as needed using dough hook. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down. Cover with inverted mixer bowl and let rest for 15 minutes approximately.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. Form a baguette from each piece by first beating it with your palm into an oval approximately 5x3 inches. Then roll the oval into a rope. Flatten the top with your hand (POUND IT) while simultaneously stretching it to about 2 feet long. Fold the flat rope into thirds and pound it with your palm into a rectangle approximately 10x4 inches. Roll the rectangle into a baguette. Place in prepared baguette pans. Make three 1/4 inch deep slashes with razor blade. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Brush baguettes with beaten egg white. Cover; let rise in warm place, about 45 minutes.

START WITH COLD OVEN. Put small pan of boiling water in bottom of oven. Spray (mist) the loaves with warm water. Start the oven at 450 degrees; after 10 minutes, spray loaves again, filling oven with mist. Continue baking for a total of approximately 35 minutes.

If loaves don't "thump" done and look nice and brown, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and check at 5 minute intervals for a nice hollow "thump." Cool as usual on wire racks. Please note, my baguettes have never looked like the ones you get in proper French bakeries, but they taste pretty good, and every time I try this I get a little bit closer to the ideal.

* Italian food is very popular here, so now it is possible to get very good and inexpensive, locally-grown and packed Italian foods. I've been eating sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil like it is going out of style.

Friday, November 9, 2007

3:38 a.m. Snack

Penne with olive oil, roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, oregano and sun-dried tomatoes.

That and a pinch of salt is the recipe in its entirety. Toast the pine nuts and roast the garlic while the penne is cooking. Took 20 minutes. Very satisfying.