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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat

Can’t believe that we are already knocking the doors of Diwali and within a matter of 36 hours we’d be celebrating in full light. I believe that since Diwali equals festival of lights, it should be there in full steam. Decked up my home with decorative Diwali special lights, diyas are painted. Diwali crackers are spread on a newspaper to soak sun's warmth. A ritual I have been following since long as my Dad once explained the more sunlight and heat the crackers absorbed, the better they will burn. And this takes me back to my childhood days when my hand eye coordination was at it’s peak during blasting crackers and making patterns by lighting up sparklers. So after about 25 odd years here I am a mum watching his husband and growing child safely burn crackers for one day and joining in once in a while. 

And for the guests who drop by, have prepared muesli and chocolate bars which I believe is an energizing and healthy sweet during Diwali. So let the countdown to the festival begins. Happy Diwali to all my friends and co bloggers.

Recipe Source: NibblesandFeasts

2 cups of Dark chocolate chips
1/4 Coconut milk
2 1/2 cups of Muesli
1/3 cup Dried Coconut, grated
1/2 cup mixture of salted Pistachio + walnuts+ hazelnuts

Line a rectangle pan with parchment paper and set aside. Pour coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat over low flame. Bring milk to the simmer point and add the chocolate chips. Stir until  the mixture is thick and chocolate melts completely. Another sign is the mixture will become glossy. 

In another bowl mix muesli pistachio and remaining nuts. Place half of the chocolate liquid over muesli mixture and mix well to combine. Now transfer this mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Garnish with remaining chocolate liquid, dried coconut, walnuts and pistachios. Refrigerate until firm, best is overnight. Transfer to cutting board and cut into equal bars. 

read more.. "Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes

I am still nostalgic about the time when I started food blogging (some 7 years back) and there were altogether a few dozen serious bloggers that were around. However, thanks to the penetration of the Internet, now a days I come across at least a dozen new bloggers per week who are so much well informed about blog statistics/ views per post calculations and promoting their recipes on different platforms smartly. This week only one of my good friend raised up an issue on FB, upon asking a query she was puzzled to get many comments as "...." Well seriously even I wasn't aware of it ! Later came to know it means "following" :-D This shows how dumb I am in this fast moving food blogging world. I think it’s a very encouraging sign for the days to come where food can be a bonding factor and a platform for friendship.

Coming back to this easy Cheesy Corn Balls recipe which is very famous with kids party. Crunchy from outside and cheesy from the center. Really simple way to please anyone.

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Cheddar, grated
1/4 cup All purpose flour
1 big boiled Potato
1/2 cup Corn
2 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 tbsp Cornflour
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Oregano powder
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded Pepper powder
Oil for frying

In a mixing bowl put all varieties of cheese and mix with a fork. Add pepper powder and salt to taste and mix thoroughly. In a coffee grinder take corn and grind to a coarse paste. 

Take another bowl and knead the boiled potato, corn, oregano along with all purpose flour and yes sprinkle some salt again. Now add the cheese mixture to it and make small balls of same size.

Make a paste of cornflour with 2-3 tsp water, dip the balls in the cornflour paste and coat with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess and place them in dry plate.

 In a large deep frying pan, heat oil and fry them in small batches till golden brown for 2 minutes. Do toss them in between so that they get cooked evenly. 

Lift them out wit a slotted spoon and place the cheese balls over a kitchen towel. They are best eaten right away so serve them with sauce or mayo. 

read more.. " Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes "

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October

For me toppings of pizza must be full of veggies, herbs and non veg items wherever possible. So whenever I visit any pizza outlet I am sure of the regular convention of above. However, this time when I was invited to taste the International Festival Pizza Carnival @ California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Phoenix Mall, Chennai, I was pleasantly surprised with the new variation of the pizza toppings offered to us by their team. 

 I like the fact that they often keep coming up with various festivals to beat the boredom and offer something new for their regular visitors. They started the festival last month i.e 18 Sep and will be till 19 October. I and another blogger friend Aarti decided to meet over new range of pizza.

Have been there at numerous occasions as after shopping at Phoenix we go to CPK for a quick bite.As soon as I had entered Chef Anton Madhan introduced himself who has joined CPK just a while ago. He explained us that all together they have introduced 9 Pizzas which are topped with signatures dishes from the different countries. Out of these 5 were vegetarian and remaining were non-veg toppings. We requested the chef if it is possible to bring the portions in limited numbers as none of us wanted to waste much. He said he can customize all veggie options in one pizza with different flavours and same with the non veg option. 

I ordered a Mocktail called Mango Mint Ecstasy which was refreshing and I love the mint flavour anyways.
First came Kasundi Panner Pizza. Never did I imagine that Indian Mustard Sauce (we Bengalis are anyway die hard fan of it) called as kasundi garnished with Indian spices and layered with mozzarella would taste so delicious. 

 For that matter, even a Southwest Burrito Pizza {Mexico: grilled onion, cottage cheese, roasted chills, mozaralla and other cheddar cheese} would taste so awesome!  

Along with that came Beijing Style Veg Pizza {Soya and Garlic flavoured Mushrooms with Babycorn, bellpeppers and teamed up with fiery Schezwan  sauce on a tradition crust with Mozarella and Cheddar cheese}. It was spicy so I loved it but my friend couldn't eat more. 

And then there was the Capriciossa Pizza {Thin crispy crust with Italian Pormodoro and mozzarella cheese and then topped with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and fresh sliced mushroom garnished with hand torn basil} also Brussels pizza {Belgium- pesto marinana, , sun dried tomato, saute spinach, sliced mushroom, Mozarella & parmesan cheese and olives on a thin bubbly crust}. I loved all but especially liked Beijing Style and Kasundi Paneer Pizza.

The Fish & Chips Pizza [United Kingdom - Thin crispy crust loaded with CPK tartare sauce, onion rings,mozzarella cheese, fried fish and capers, finished with lime cream sauce and served with a good portion of crispy spiced fries] was the best. I ate full portion of it !
 Rookwurst Pizza { Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs]

The Sauerbraten Pizza {Germany: Traditional sauerkraut, shredded chicken, sliced onion on a regular crust with mozzarella cheese baked to a crisp golden crust topped with German potato salad] which I found somewhat bland. Apart from these, there were two more-Cheeseburger Pizza {USA Chunky chicken burger with caramalized onions and crushed black pepper , with a good drizzle of their secret sauce, Mozzarella & cheddar cheese} Rookwurst Pizza  {Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs}

If you are in CPK and walk away without having dessert then I'd consider it's a crime :-D wasn't able to decide between Red Velvet cake or Chocolate Banana cake. Chocolate -Banana cake won. And my friend Aarti settled down for White Chocolate- Strawberry Cake with Oreo crust. Overall had a wonderful time tasting different flavours from all over world. A must visit for Pizza lovers if you value good taste and great dining experience.

Location: Phoneix Market City, GroundFloor, Velachery, Chennai
Festival till 19 October, 2014
Phone no.: 044-65108888

PS : The above opinion is entirely mine and have tried to review with an objective frame of mind.The other dishes in the menu was not tasted by me so I reserve my views for another day. 
read more.. "International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Strawberry Sandesh | Shubho Bijoya Special Sweet

This is that part of the year when we bid adieu to our biggest festival “Durga Pujo”. The finale is the immersion of the Idol of the Goddess and with a renewed hope that next year around the same time we’d be celebrating the festival with full vigor. So, to my blogger and reader friends all across the world, Wish you all a very Shubho Bijoya ( literally means victory of everything that’s good). So with a hope that all of us would live together happily and with harmony let me sweeten the environment with Strawberry Sondesh (sweet).

1 packet Strawberry (Roughly 150 gms), chopped finely
1 1/2 litre full cream Milk
1/2 Lemon
2-3 tbsp  powdered Sugar (depending upon the sweetness of strawberries you may need to adjust the sugar)
1 tbsp Sugar + 2 tbsp Water to make strawberry sauce

Take a heavy bottom pan, add chopped strawberries, 1tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook on medium flame until the sugar takes out all the juices from the strawberries and the sauce thickens. Let it cool down.

Boil the milk and after first boil, add lemon juice in it. Stir it till milk curdles and then remove it from the heat. Remember the longer you let it cook the harder your chana(paneer) will be. Strain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth and wash it under runninng water to remove any trace of lemon flavour. Keep it hanged for 30 minutes. Transfer the chana in a plate and mash with your palm till your palm feel the oil. Add powdered sugar and mix it thoroughly. Now add strawberry sauce and mix it again. By now you will see the chana mixture is gooey so we need to cook the mixture in a heavy bottom pan again but on LOW HEAT.

 Soon chana mixture will start leaving the pan and the consistency will be like any other Sondesh. Remove from heat and let this cool down. 

Shape them as you wish and garnish with a slice of strawberry in the center. Chill and serve these flavoured sondesh to your loved ones. 
Sending this to my friend Raksha's  page "For the contest "Indian Dessert Recipes Sponsored by and" who blogs at Raksha's Kitchen

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