Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
I want to send this to Radhika's & Sudeshna's Food For Stages Of Life - Cooking for Infants & Toddlers event. Though I know, this post doesn't have any recipe for the event but then at the same time it's so related to what & when of food, we give them to eat. I hope this post will be of some knowledge to parents like me, who always wish that oh....I wish My Mom or MIL was here to take care of the baby & then pick the phone call them to check what should we do...baby is sick. So, specially for infants & toddlers, here are few of my remedies, I always rely on, for my own kids :
- Hing(asafoetida) : it helps in relieving the gas,make a paste using few grains(a pinch) of hing & very little water(room temp.), apply it around the naval area in circular motion. In case of an infant, if umbilical stump(cord) is not healed yet, make sure not to touch that with wet hands.Effective for infants & kids.
- Ajwain(carom seeds) : boil half cup of water and pinch of ajwain.Let it boil for 2-3 min. color of water will change, let it cool now, take the seeds out by draining the water & reserve it for use. For babies 3-5 mths. give 1 teaspoon at a time 2-3 times in a day.for age group 6 mths. & older 2-3 teaspoons 2-3 times in a day.This water can be added to formula also for easy intake. In case of breast fed babies, mothers can always eat a spoonful of ajwain seeds with water, daily. Note : this water won't stay for longer period, so I suggest throw away any water left, at the end of the day.
- Fruit Juice : prune, pear & apple are good, can be diluted with little, Usually 4-5 months onwards(check with babies doctor first).
- Prunes : if baby has started on pureed fruits & vegetables then while cooking food for them a prune can always be added to it so that it get cooked & then puree it along with the food(It's always a good idea to strain that puree to make sure there is no big chunk).
- Pears : pear sauce, steam pears till they are very soft then puree them with a very little water or juice.
- Papita(papaya) : Fully ripe & soft,always mash it for babies who don't chew.For babies who have started semi-solid food(probably 7 months onwards).
- Raisin(kishmish) Water : soak 4-5 raisins in warm water overnight & give that water 1 teaspoon at a time 2-3 times in a day(6 mths. onwards, 1 yr. old can even chew these raisins)
- Avoid BRAT diet, that is Banana, Rice cereal, Applesauce & Toast, these are very basic baby food but also known as binding foods.
- Fiber rich food : add oat cereal to babies diet(5 mths. onwards), cooked spinach(from 10-11 mths. onward).
- Gentle tummy massage in circular motion also help.
- Breast milk : if you are still nursing, it helps.
3)Diarrhea : this is another problem which can make your child feel so sick
- BRAT diet : Acc. to babies age group banana, rice cereal, applesauce or toast can be given.
- Fennel water mentioned above for colic can also be given here.
- Baby yogurt or home made curd if baby is already eating it.
- Avoid prunes for the time being.
4) Cold :
- Ajwain Water mentioned above in constipation section can also be used in case of common cold(runny/stuffy nose).
- Apply baby vicks or regular vicks mixed with little vaseline to baby's feet under toes & put the socks on.
- For babies 3-6 months old mix 2-3 drops of Eucalyptus oil(essential oil) with 2 tablespoon base oil(almond oil or extra virgin olive oil),keep it in glass jar/bottle.When needed massage 2-3 drops of mixed oil onto the chest & back.Same can be used in the babies bath also. NOTE : never use any essential oil without base oil, directly onto the skin.For babies 8 months & older 4 drops of essential oil can be mixed to base oil.
- For infants & toddlers who are eating food (6 mths. onwards) it's good to add little turmeric & garlic in there food, it not only make the food taste good but also help them fight cold & flu.
That's it for now. I hope the information provided will be helpful to others, in case if you know of any more remedies for infants & toddlers please leave a message so that I can update this post.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
- 6 carrots peeled & chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- salt as per taste(if making for babies don't use any)
- black pepper (don't use it for babies)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil(for babies you can use desi ghee instead)
- 3 cups of vegetable stock(I use chicken stock/vegetable stock/water whatever i have on hand)
1) In a heavy bottom pan heat the ghee/oil add garlic stir it, add celery stir it after a minute or so add carrots, stir everything together. If you feel oil is little less just add 2-3 tblsp. of the liquid you are using.
2) Saute everything together for around 5 min. or so & then add stock to it. Also add salt & pepper if using. Cover it & let it boil. Once it start to boil turn the gas to slow & let it simmer for around 15 min. or so, by then carrots should be totally soft.let it stay covered & cool a little bit.
3) Puree it smoothly or to coarse consistency acc. to your requirement.
4) Serve it with a little bit of heavy cream or full cream milk or a chunk of butter on top & with the side of your favourite toasted bread.
As far the benefits of this soup goes, everyone must have heard that carrots are good source of vitamin A & very good for vision other then that Carrots antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Note :This recipe is suitable for babies 8 months & old. But before giving it to babies make sure you strain the soup so that no big chunk or any fiber from the celery is left in by mistake.
Tip : If you make baby food in little extra quantity like I do, then this is the tip, freeze extra one in ice trays(pour it into plastic ice-cube trays, cover it with foil or plastic wrap, freeze it for few hours, once frozen take it out & store it in freezer bags inside freezer, for upto 4 weeks, though you can freeze it for longer also but that's the maximum I do. And beleive me it really comes handy on those days when you are really tired after grocerries, cleaning, laundry & what not.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
- all purpose flour(maida) 1 cup + 2 tblsp.
- almond meal 2 tblsp.(grind almonds using coffee grinder,can do coarsely or fine as per your taste)
- handful of instant cooking oats
- pinch of salt
- baking soda 1 tsp.
- cinnamon 1/2 tsp.
- buttermilk 1/2 cup
- vegetable oil 2 tblsp.
- light brown sugar 6 tblsp.(carrots & applesauce will also provide some sweetness)
- unsweetened applesauce 1/2 cup
- vanilla 1/2 tsp.
- grated carrots 1&1/2 cup(with their juice)
- a handful of chopped nuts or chocolate chips(optional)
Monday, October 26, 2009
- 4 Apples( preferably sweet kind, I used 3 red delicious & 1 granny smith)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- pinch of salt
- 3-4 tblsp. apple juice or water
Friday, October 23, 2009
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts(almond/walnut/pecan)
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats(I had instant kind so I used those)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup chopped dry fruits of your choice(I used dates, prunes, apricots, raisins,candid pineapple)
- 1/2 cup cereal of your choice (I used cheerios)
For Sugar syrup :
- 1 & 1/2 tblsp. of light brown sugar
- 2 tblsp. of honey
- 2 tblsp. of water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degree F. Either grease the baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
2)In a large bowl mix together rolled oats, salt & cinnamon.
3)In another bowl mix the ingredients for sugar syrup.Microwave it for 10-12 seconds, it helps in mixing sugar & honey, stir it with fork or whisk.
4)Now pour the sugar syrup over the oat mix & gently mix everything using your hands(make sure syrup is not hot), so that oats get coating of the syrup.Spread it on the baking sheet.
5)Bake it for around 10 minutes then take it out, add chopped nuts and cheerios(if using) to it and mix them using spoon/fork(it'll be hot now).
6)Bake for another 15 minutes, take it out, add chopped dry fruits, mix everything together & let it cool.
7)Once it's cool you can store it in air tight container.Or may be just start eating it, like I did.
Everybody knows granola comes under the healthy food category,to make it more healthy you can also add wheat germ to it once it's baked. And I guess by now you must have figured out why I call it Fruity Granola and not simply Granola,I used more nuts & dry fruit then Oats, and to explain the benefits of all these dry fruits I believe I have to write another post soon.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- 1 cup chana dal(bengal gram)(Soaked for 2 hr.)
- 2 cup basmati rice (soaked for 25-30 min.)
- 1 tsp. jeera(cumin)
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 Onion thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 inch piece of ginger(thinly sliced lengthwise)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of rasam paste(I used store bought)
- salt as per taste
- 2 tablespoon oil/ghee
1) In pressure cooker heat the oil then add jeera, cloves, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds & red chillies, when seeds start to splutter add sliced onion.
2) On med. high gas saute the onion till they become brown.
3) Now add rasam paste & 3-4 tblspn. of water to loosen up the paste.Add salt, paprika, rice & chana dal, stir everything together.Let everything get coated with the masala(spice & onion mixture)around two minutes.
4) Add 4 1/2 cups of water* and pressure cook it on med. high . After a whistle turn off the gas. If your stove is electric make sure you take the pressure cooker off the heated stove.after around 5 minutes open the cooker & using fork fluff up the rice.Serve it with plain yogurt/raita.
Note : *I use 1(rice) : 2(water) ratio while cooking rice in the cooker and I added 1/2 cup extra for chana dal.If you pressure cook rice, make sure not to let them sit for a long time in the pressure otherwise they will be overcooked & become mushy.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour(I used regular chapatti flour)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour(Maida)
- 1 cup instant cooking oats
- 6 tablespoons of brown sugar(little less then 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup reduced fat/fat free milk(I used 1%)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 C frozen blueberries mixed with 1 Tbsp flour(Optional)
- Handful of semi sweet choc. chips(Optional)
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Vegan version : Simply use Soy milk instead of regular milk.
I'm sending these delicious Oat & Wheat Muffins to :
1) CFK-Wheat guest hosted by Sireesha of Kidz Delight, event authored by Sharmi .
2)Srilekha's EFM-Oat Series.
3)Madhuram's Wholegrain Eggless Baking Event - Oats .
Monday, October 19, 2009
- 2 cups of cooked(boiled)* Lentils( I used Red Chorry available at Indian Grocery Stores)
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 Large tomato
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup salad greens of your choice
- 1 small cucumber
- green chillies as per taste
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro
- handful of raisns
- handful of toasted nuts of your choice
- salt as per taste
- black pepper as per taste
- juice of 1 lime
1) Finely chop all the Salad vegetables including green chillies (this is little time consuming, so I usually chop everything a night before & then assemble the salad hour or two before the lunch time).
2) In a big bowl mix drained lentils, chopped veggies, raisins, cilantro, salt, black pepper & lime juice and gently mix up everything.Keep it in the fridge.
3) When ready to eat take it out add roasted chopped nuts mix them well & one healthy lunch is ready. We usually eat it as a lunch but you can have it as a side salad in full meal.
Note : * For boiling the lentils for salad purpose don't use too much of water just enough water to cover them plus one extra cup, and then pressure cook them. Little salt & a bay leaf while boiling enhance the flavours.Water left after draining the boiled lentils can be used to make dough for the chapatis.
Variations : This salad also tastes good with black eye beans or chickpeas.
While we gonna enjoy this colorful & tasty salad today for lunch, I would like to send the same to My Legume Love Affair : the 16th helping event hosted this month by jeanne of CookSister.com, event created and administered by the lovely Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Also sending this entry to No Croutons Required event, hosted by Jacqueline.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Photography by "R" with her original idea
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour(Maida)
- 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour(I used regular chappati flour)
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder(not in actual recipe but i added it)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons honey
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I don't know of anybody who doesn't like Freshly Baked Bread still warm to eat. The experience is totally different, if you have never eaten one it's worth a try.Before I go any further in this post let's see
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Past Friday night was the Pasta night in our family. This pasta dish is one of the favourites in my family, even my 11 months old loves this one. Though her favourite is pasta in this but a little veggie here & there is welcome. It's not only easy to make but also tasty and satisfying One Pot Dish. There's no fixed list of ingredients for this dish as one can easily put vegetables of there choice, as I believe it's more of a method then a recipe. I make this almost once a week, and every time it has different things in it. Many a times it's the dish which I make usually when I'm cleaning the fridge(a day before fresh groceries)So whatever veggie is sitting alone in the fridge gets to go into this melody of veggies.It's also a good one for make-ahead, just warm it up when ready to eat.
- 4 cups or more of diced raw vegetables of your choice.(e.g carrots, zucchini,peas,onions,celery,cauliflower etc.)
- 5-6 cloves of garlic - minced.
- 2 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes or marinara sauce (whatever is handy)
- 1/2 lb. sausages (any kind u like)
- 1/2 lb. of any small pasta(elbow,fussili,bow tie)
- salt as per taste
- 1 tsp. red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 3-4 green hot chillies chopped (optional)
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning(or one can use only basil, parsley, thyme or oregano as per taste)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Handful of grated Parmesan cheese(optional as per taste)
- Boil the pasta according to the package direction & while pasta is boiling get the veggies ready.
- Heat the oil in a large size skillet/pan & then add garlic to it. Once it get cooked around 30-40 seconds add diced veggies to it & gently stir everything so that all the veggies get coated with the oil. Saute the veggies for around 5-7 minutes or until they are tender but crisp. Add salt,pepper,chilli flakes & green chillies.Stir everything together.
- In the meanwhile if using sausages cook them acc. to the package direction & slice them.Once the sausages are done add them to the veggies.
- Now add tomatoes & italian seasoning.Stir everything together.Let everything cook together for around 2-3 minutes. Now add boiled pasta(drained) to the veggie sauce mix it gently.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.I don't do this everytime b'coz that's the beauty of cooking at home u can totally omit something, u don't want.But my DD loves her's topped with grated mozzarella cheese so do my husband, i just love it without any cheese.
Note : For Vegan version one can simply omit chicken/sausage part & cheese.Also i usually make it with marinara sauce as my DD tends to find the tomatoes in her portion & separate them as --not to eat category food, but she loves to eat raw tomatoes in salads isn't that funny.
Variations : For this part the credit goes to my brother, as this is one dish he also makes very frequently but with the twist. Twist here is that instead of making it with Italian seasonings he makes it Chinese style with a dash of soya sauce & ketchup, no tomatoes & instead of sausages he puts scrambled eggs, One of his all time fave.
As I wrote in the beginning of the post that this is a favourite food as of now for my little one also. When i say fav. means I even don't have to turn on any music or t.v to make her eat this (my fingers crossed).And yes, if cooking for kids please omit or reduce chillies. So here it goes, my little ones favourite, to Srivalli of Spice your life for her First Blog Anniversary with Kids Delight,an event to focus on Kids and also my best wishes for the same. I feel excited, as this is my first time ever, being a part of any blogging event.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I call Bhartha the Indian version of Baba Ghanoush, which is a dish from Middle East & use tahini in its preparation.I know many people who think bhartha is a time consuming dish, but it's not. It's only the roasting part which take some time other than that it's very easy to cook. For roasting baingan(eggplant) you can click here.
- Pulp(meat) of 2 Medium size Roasted Eggplants
- Half a cup frozen sweet Peas
- One Large Onion diced
- Two Roma Tomatoes diced
- Green Chillies chopped 3-4
- Jeera(cumin seeds) – 1 tsp.
- Turmeric-1/4 tsp.
- Red chilli powder-1 tsp.
- Dhania(coriander) Powder-1& ½ tsp.
- Garam Masala-1/2 tsp.
- Salt-as per taste
- Oil-2 tablespoon
- Fresh Cilantro-handful
1. First & the most important step for making bhartha is to roast the baingan aka eggplant. How to roast an eggplant.
2. Once the roasting is done, heat little oil in some heavy Karahi or wok.Add cumin seeds to it & when they start to splutter add onions and sprinkle half a tsp. of salt. Saute them a little bit on med. high flame around 5-7 min.
3. When the onions become translucent add tomatoes and chopped green chillies, stir them.
4. After 5-7 min. when tomatoes become soft add eggplant meat & peas(frozen). Mix everything gently and let it cook for 2-3 min. then add turmeric, chilli powder, dhania powder, garam masala & salt(remember we used the salt on the onions also so please adjust the quantity) mix it & let it cook for around 10 min. covered in med.-low gas( If u are using less oil then u might need to stir it more frequently).
5. Before serving put chopped cilantro on top & serve it warm.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
- One medium size Eggplant
- 2 Green Zucchini
- 1 med. Size potato
- 1 white Onion
- 1 large tomato
- 2 Carrots
- ½ cup chopped green beans
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- Salt as per taste.
- Green chillies 3-4
- Fresh cilantro or parsley chopped a handful
- Enough oil to saute all the vegetables(preferably Olive Oil)
- Panch Puran spice mix 2 tsp.
Panch Puran is a fragrant mix of five whole spices - fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, kalonji (onion) seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds. Mainly used in Bengali & Oriya cuisine.
Chop eggplant,zucchini,potato, onion & tomato into 1 inch cubes. Slice the carrots(not too thick)& chop the garlic too(I like it sliced).
In a heavy bottom pan heat up some oil(enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Add eggplant saute them around 7-8 min. on med. high. When they turn brown from all the sides take them out using a slotted spoon.Now add zucchini to the pan (if needed add little bit more oil)saute it too. Once done take it out of the pan. These 2 vegetables can easily become mushy so be careful not to overcook these, they should be holding there shape & a little bit of crunch too.
Next add little bit more oil to the same pan & shallow fry the potatoes & when potatoes are half way done, move them to the side of the pan & tilt the pan onto one side (by holding it little bit up from the opposite side) & add garlic saute it add panch puran let the spices saute little bit now add carrots & beans(If needed add little bit of oil) . After 2-3 minutes add chopped onion. Let everything cook for roughly 5 min.
It does sound little bit of confusing but the order in which we are adding vegetables is just to make sure that all of them get coating(flavor) of olive oil & believe me sauteing the veggies one by one really adds to the flavours as compared to putting everything together.
Now it's time to add tomatoes & chopped green chillies.Let them cook for 3-4 min. and it's time to return the sauted eggplant & zucchini to the pan. Add the salt too & stir everything together very gently, you don't want to break eggplant & zucchini.Cover it & cook it for another 5 minutes or till the potatoes are done. Before serving add the fresh herb on top.......we had ours with the thinly sliced green onions on top.
Serve with warm roti or naan.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Before you read this recipe I have to tell you, this is not how i make my usual cakes, normally i use very very less fat in my cakes but this is after a long long time that i used this much butter but then i really really wanted to make something like this & then it's a four layer cake also.But one good thing it's eggless and c'mon it's not bad to indulge yourself occasionally & believe me this was really really Moist Soft Rich & Tasty Cake. I'm gonna make it again but may be with half the butter & if u want sugar can also be reduced in case if icing is to be done, so u can eat it guilt free.
- All purpose flour : 2 cups
- Unsweetened Cocoa powder : 3/4 cup
- Baking Powder : 1 tsp.
- Baking Soda : 2 tsp.
- Salt : a pinch
- Unsalted Butter : 1/2 cup (1stick) at room temp.
- Buttermilk : 1 cup at room temp.
- Milk(i used 1%) : 3/4 cup at room temp.
- Vanilla Extract : 1 tsp.
- Sugar : 2 cup (can be reduced up to 1& 1/2 cup)
- Roasted almonds(chopped) : 1 cup or more(plain & not salted) (optional)
- Semi-sweet choc. chips : 1/2 cup
- Milk for choc. filling : 3-5 tblsp. (2% or full cream)
1. Sift first 5 ingredients together to make sure that there are no lumps.
2. Take a large mixing bowl & beat the butter in it, add sugar & keep beating. Once the sugar is mixed nicely with the butter it's time to add buttermilk.Now add the milk.While mixing the batter remember to mix it in one direction only.
3. Next add the dry ingredients in batches. At this stage if batter is of little tight consistency add 2 more tblsp. of the milk, mix it well & repeat the process till u get nice cake like batter.Add vanilla mix it nicely.
4. Grease 2 round baking pans with little butter & dust with some all purpose flour. Shake the extra flour off the pans by turning them upside down.Pour the cake batter evenly in both the pans.Bake these at 350 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes (mine were done in around 28 min.). As time & temp. varies from oven to oven so i always give it a check after first 25 minutes & after that go accordingly.
5. Once they are done(do the toothpick check-toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean) let them cool on the shelf for around 20 min. or so. To take them out of the pan run a knife around the sides of the pan to make them slightly loose & then put a plate on top of the pan & while holding it together turn it upside down & very gently shake it. Now let the cakes cool down completely.
6. Time to assemble the cake : first make the chocolate filling, microwave the choc. chips with 3 tblsps. of the milk for 20 sec. stir them again microwave for another 10 sec. stir it. Keep repeating the process till choc. chips are melted. Also you might need to add more milk but 1 tblsp. at a time only. This filling gonna be of smooth & thick consistency(it should coat the back of the spoon ). in case of it getting too liquidy you can always add more choc. chips but that will add to the quantity of filling at the end.So go slow on the milk.
7. Once the chocolate is melted add half of the almonds to it & mix them well so that they are fully coated with the choc.
8. As i wanted to make it 4 layer cake i had each cake cut into two circles so that I've 4 cake rounds. Now take the first cake put it on a flat surface & spread the chocolate almond filling on it, top it with the other cake & repeat the process for all the 3 layers. Top it with the final(4th) layer.
9. Now finally cover the whole cake with the basic choc. frosting. Spread rest of the almonds on the top & you can also put them on to the sides as the icing will hold the almonds, you might have to press them a little bit......messy but a tasty job.
10. Let it set in the fridge for at least 20 min. but only if you could wait that long. In our case we (me & my daughter) did till step 8 in the afternoon & put it back in the cooler box(yeap i mean fridge) and when we were doing final decoration my dear hubby came & we forced him to cut the cake quickly so that we can feast on it.Yummmmmmm.
Note : I will post the Basic Chocolate frosting recipe also in few days.
How a food blog is born?
Now comes the time to name this baby. Once again thanks to him, as he was more then happy to help me with this & after couple of days of Yes to this No to that we both agreed on Spicebuds. Finally it's the time. I think I'm ready to launch this baby with my first recipe "Eggless Chocolate Almond Cake" for two reasons : 1.Cake is the first thing i cooked in my life & 2. I wanted to start Spicebuds as a birthday gift to him as he always encourages me.
I feel Spicebuds is not only going to help me share my cooking experiences with the food world but it's also gonna help me learn new things on the way.Spicebuds is the way thru which I would like to Welcome all of you out there in the food world to my kitchen, do leave your thoughts & queries I'll be happy to answer them.
I would like to say thanks to Soma of ecurry.com as she was so nice & helpful to answer my initial queries related to opening of a blog.
Finally nothing more to say then bon appétit.