Sunday, December 11, 2016

Used books and recipes

I have a thing with used book stores. You enter one  and you are  transported to a land of possibilities - hit with that delicious smell  of old books and visions of hidden stories waiting to be discovered.  A name scribbled, an inscription, an old bookmark left in the book seem to tell you a story in parallel with the one you are reading. One of the books I found recently had a hand scribbled recipe for a marinara sauce in it.

I hit the jackpot with three good reads this month all picked up at used book stores. 

Blue boy - tells the story of Kiran, growing up in an Indian- American household in Ohio Cincinatti and his struggle to belong. He doesn't fit into any of the existing cliques - the indian kids crowd or the crowd at school. The story is told with a gentle humor without ever making Kiran's pain feel discounted

This book moved me deeply - it is beautifully written without ever feeling pretentious

Pigs can't fly - Another book that talks about belonging and identity. Turtle springs into the limelight after helping rescue .. In Hoover Dam. The Cherokee nation discovers that she is adopted illegally and begins pursuing a return.

The dinner - Two brothers meeting for dinner; seems innocent enough. The book unfolds like a play through the dinner courses each revealing a new layer to the story.  It is dark and funny at times.

If any of you reading this are interested in any of the books above; leave me a comment and I'll be happy to mail it to you. All I ask is that you  pass it along to someone else after you read and help in prolonging a book's life

What's been cooking - a lot of recipes from other sites. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and hope to be posting more frequently next year.

Carrot Halwa
Jam Tarts (with homemade jam, made in a 9 inch tart tin)
Ginger bread with fresh ginger
Red wine caramel sauce
Fruit crisp bars (made with homemade jam again instead of the fruit)
Banana bread- my current favorite
Seeded banana bread
Butternut squash soup
Za'atar potatoes
Raagi mudde and saaru

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cake for breakfast

I had a good week - a really good one that I have to tell everybody about. I actually managed to read a book- which was not a cookbook, not a young adult novel, not a graphic novel. It is called 'The Free' and is written by Willy Vlaughtin. The book talks about war by following the lives of people that are indirectly impacted by it. The writing is simple; no convoluted sentences and so moving. There is a beauty in the simplicity. The book will leave you moved and filled with hope.

And then I  fed my family cake for breakfast.
 Whoever came up with the concept is a genius. Bake a cake in a loaf pan, call it a bread and you get to eat it for breakfast.
This ginger loaf falls into that category.  If you have the patience you could bake it in a muffin pan. It is not too sweet and has the warming heat of ginger.

Ginger loaf - adapted from Orangette

I have adapted the instructions to make this a one bowl + 1 skillet cake

One (~3-ounce) piece of unpeeled ginger root to make a heaping 1/4 c of chopped ginger
 ¾ cup  sugar
 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
 1/2 cup olive oil
  1 1/4  cup non dairy milk + 2tsp apple cider vinegar
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 ½ tsp. salt
 ¾ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 375 deg F
Grease a loaf pan with olive oil

Chop the ginger finely(should look like rice grains) either by hand or in a food processor. If you are using a food processor; remember to pulse. You don't want ginger puree.

Measure out 3/4 cup of sugar into your mixing bowl. Take out a couple of tablespoons and combine it with the ginger in a skillet (or if you are feeling lazy, use the microwave). Cook on a low flame till the sugar liquifies and turn off the heat.
Zest the lemons/ lime into the mixing bowl and rub it in with a fork, and inhale...aromatherapy.
Add the oil, the milk+vinegar and whisk really well.
Now measure and dump the flour on top of  the whisked liquids.
Add the salt, baking powder and the baking soda and distribute in the flour. Mix with the liquid ingredients  just until blended.
Add the ginger and give it one final whisk
Dump into greased loaf pan
Bake for 35 to 40 mins.

Cool in pan for 10 mins and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Brew yourself a cup of tea and cut a slice and enjoy.

Use part or all whole wheat flour - if using all whole wheat; up the milk by a quarter cup
Oil - Olive oil imparts a lovely taste; but vegetable or canola oil works fine too
Sugar - Turbinado gives the best results. White is ok too. Next time I am trying it with Jaggery.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Edamame dip

Happy spring everyone! I realize this blog has a lot of recipes for dips and spreads. This is my contribution to lunch in our household.
Today I have a recipe for a smooth, vibrant and herb laden edamame dip. It comes together pretty easily and is versatile too.
Dip for Pita Chips or veggies, sandwich spread or toss with cooked pasta for a quick lunch.

Makes enough to fill a 12 oz container
1/2 bag  frozen shelled  edamame(the standard is a 12 oz bag)
1 clove garlic 
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
6 to 8 stems of coriander 
4 stalks of green onion, green parts only
Juice of a line
1 tbsp olive oil
some water at room temperature

Take the edamame in a microwave safe bowl. Peel the garlic and nestle it in the bowl underneath the edamame. Add a couple of splashes of water. Microwave for a couple of minutes until it is cooked.
Pulse the edamame, lime juice, herbs, salt and coriander powder in the bowl of a food processor stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Trickle in water a tablespoon at a time through the feed tube until the consistency is fairly smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse a couple more times to finish.
Keeps for a week to 10 days covered in the refrigerator. Can be frozen. Thaw in the fridge to defrost and stir.
There was an error in this gadget