July 31, 2013

Cucumber Sweet & Sour Pachchadi

As I was browsing through my food pictures to see what I want to post today, I came across this one from a couple of years back. Now that we are also getting a lot of cucumbers from the CSA work-share I am doing this summer, its time to revisit this easy recipe. This recipe is adapted from the book Cooking with Pedatha - A cookbook of vegetarian recipes from Andhra. 

Ingredients: Cucumber - 2 medium - chopped; Tamarind paste - 2 tbsp; Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp; Sambhar powder - 1 tsp; Sesame seeds - 1 tsp; Jaggery - 1 tbsp; Curry leaves & Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp; Green Chili - 1 diced;  mustard seeds & cumin & lentils - 1/2 tsp
  • In a pot, add olive oil and once hot, temper the mustard & cumin seeds, lentils, green chili , curry leaves and saute till translucent
  • Dry roast the sesame seeds and blend into a coarse powder
  • Add the chopped cucumber, tamarind paste, sambhar powder, sesame seeds, jaggery and turmeric. 
  • Add salt, adjust seasoning. Let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Garnish with cilantro & serve!
I am also sending this dish to ONLY Cookbooks Event hosted by Runner Girl in the Kitchen and started by Pari

July 26, 2013

Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I had the opening reception for my biggest show of the year last night. The Gallery at Yahara Bay Distillers was a wonderful venue with gracious hosts and we all had a great time. The best part was when three of my paintings found a new home and I hit the big 100 (# of paintings sold/donated since I started showing in Feb 2012). 

As usual, I made the hors d'oeuvres for the evening. I spent a good chunk of time on Wednesday in the kitchen and all four items were baked (three of them in mini muffin pans)! At least the weather was a little cooler to manage having the oven on for a good 2-3 hours.

One of the dishes I made was chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter frosting. The batter was adapted from a cake recipe and improvised quite a bit.

Ingredients (For 48 cupcakes):  All-purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups; Cocoa Powder (I used Dagoba drinking chocolate with spices) - 1 cup; Sugar - 3/4 cup; Butter - 2 tbsp; Vanilla - 1 tsp; Salt - dash; Baking soda - 2 tsp; Baking Powder - 1 tsp;  Eggs - 2; Yogurt - 1/2 cup;  Water - 1/2 cup.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • Line muffin pans with baking cups
  • In the mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients, mix them quickly
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer
  • Pour the batter into the baking cups, about 3/4th full (about a tbsp)
  • Bake for about 20 minutes! 

For the peanut butter frosting, I whipped together 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, milk  2-3 tsp - as needed. Once mixed to the desired consistency, I used a ziplock bag to pipe some on the cupcakes!

I am sending this to Cupcake Fest, hosted by Sreevalli.

July 9, 2013

Cherry Almond Pie

Last weekend S and I were in Oshkosh, for the Paine Art Center's Faire on the Green. We had a good time with friends and a good day with our little booth at the fair. One of our friends has a cheery tree - and a couple of our other friends were gracious enough to share some of their pickings with us. So I spent a good chunk of time today pitting them and the first batch I pitted were used for a cherry pie.

I just mixed 3 cups of pitted tart cherries with 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp Almond extract and 1/2 cup chopped almonds for the filling. Poured the filling in a pre-made crust from Trader Joe's and baked for 40 minutes. Now I am ready for an early dinner and dessert.
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