Short Blogging Break
Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, taken last Summer on our trip there.
Welcome to my home on the Web, the CookingMedley. I am glad you found your way here. I am a 20 something IT professional from India currently living and working in small town USA. I love to cook and bake. I cherish the time I am in the kitchen. I started this blog to document my cooking adventures, some I learnt from my mom, some from friends, some from fellow bloggers, some from books, some from the Internet, some that I just made up myself. Hence the name Cooking Medley!
Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, taken last Summer on our trip there.
Tigers and Strawberries has a revolving monthly event called Spice is Right! Read about this month's theme on Barbara's blog. I did not have the time to submit one for last month and I told myself that I was going to make something for this month. I said this to myself so many times that I totally forgot about it, well, until late Sunday night! So, it had to be a quick and easy recipe. The first spice that came to my mind was chile powder. I had seen Emerill use chile powder on one of his shows to create a dessert and that stuck in my head. I started googling for chile infused desserts and came across some chocolate cakes, chocolate cupcakes that were chile infused. Some how that seemed a little more work. I then starting flipping through my cookbooks. I was looking at my "Best-loved Cookies" book and I stumbled on shortbread cookies. I hadn't made them in a while and as soon as I saw the cookies, I started thinking about spice options. I first thought chile powder but thought faded away from the mind pretty soon as it did not really sound very appealing. So I went with ginger instead.
Anthony's Curry Mela for this weekend!
Over the weekend, I tried out two different recipes from the "Jihva for Mangoes" event that lovely Indira of Mahanandi hosted. I glanced through the recipes and looked for something easy to make and two different kinds of recipes caught my attention. The mango payasam or pudding versions made by Santhi and Sailu. The other recipe that looked really good was the mango thokku/pachadi recipes made by Lakshmi, Menu Today, Kitchen Mate and Santhi.
chocolate-chip banana-nut muffins, chocolate cupcake, and baby bananas
First off, I will try to explain the picture above as the picture may not be worth 1000 words in this case. I don't want any of my blog readers thinking I burnt the muffins :).
The regular light brown looking things are the chocolate-chip banana nut muffins. The dark chocolate cupcake you see above is what I made from my leftover chocolate cupcake batter from last Sunday. I had put the extra in the refrigerator, tightly covered in a container. Before I baked it, I put it in the microwave defrost cycle for a couple of minutes until it regained its consistency. I added some white chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes. On to the bananas. I think this variety of bananas are called baby-bananas. These are NOT the bananas I used in the recipe. They are the smaller version bananas and I bought from the Oriental store last week. These bananas are slender and only about 4-5 inches in length. The skin of these bananas is very thin compared to the thick flesh of the regular bananas. I also feel that these bananas taste a LOT sweeter than the regular bananas. In Telugu, my native language, these are called "chekkara keli" (chekkara meaning sugar, keli meaning banana originated from the Hindi word "kela" meaning banana).
Now on to my post, I try to participate in Cate's ARF/5-a-day that happens every Tuesday as much as I can. My previous entries to this event were Kiwi jam, Quesadillas and Guacamole, Yu Choy dal/lentils, Spinach chutney with chapathi chips, Penne with creamy veggie sauce.
This week though, Cate put a twist to the whole thing. She asked us bloggers to find ARF/5-a-day worthy recipes from other food bloggers site. As soon as I saw that, I thought to myself, "that is going to be easy" but alas as you will read below, it wasn't easy choosing what to make.
On Sunday afternoon I set the laptop on the dining table and started blog hopping. After a few minutes, I was over whelmed with a plethora of choices to choose from. A realization sunk in that I need to do something else than just blog hopping to figure this out. I made up a condition for myself to make this easier. I decided that I would have to come up with something that uses ingredients that I already had on hand.
I got up, glanced at the raw materials in the refrigerator, peeked in the cabinets to see what I had on hand. Now, once again I started blog hopping. Few more minutes later, I was even more confused on what I was going to make. Then my eyes fell on the bananas that were on the banana holder on the table on the counter. I noticed that they were I had 3 bananas that were a little on the ripe side, and one overly ripe banana (very squishy to touch) kind. I knew exactly what I was going to make - Banana nut muffins. I have made these muffins a lot of times before but have never ever used the same recipe. That was mostly because, I would forget where I got the recipe from. I then remembered that Saffron Hut had made some banana nut muffins and they looked really good. I looked up the recipe, bookmarked it and went about my day!
I did make modifications to the recipe i.e. made it a little more unhealthy (which is very unlike me :)). I usually try to add healthy ingredients, reduce the unhealthy ingredients when I am baking but today, I did the opposite. Being a chocoholic that I am, I had to add chocolate to this :). Hence they became Banana nut - chocolate chip muffins.
The modifications I made to this recipe are that I added 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of regular sugar instead of the 3/4 regular sugar. Being a spiceaholic that I am, I threw in some nutmeg and cinnamom. I added some good vanilla. As I said above, I added about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the party!
Now to the exact recipe!
Warning: No skillets were injured when making this recipe :) - read below for what I mean :)
Every Wednesday night, there is a "green market" here in our town outside an organic food store under the building's awning. Local farmers who grow different veggies and greens put up stalls late afternoon. All the produce is hence organic and freshly picked. In addition to the fresh produce, they also have some baked goods like bread, baklava, organic chicken eggs etc. This is different than the regular Saturday morning farmers market that happens all through the Summer into the Fall.
Update on May 05: Tony was kind enough to feature this in his weekend curry mela. Go check out the mela to see what other foodies have submitted!
Me and My Kitchen, I am now a proud owner of a "roti grill". Santhi had read one of my comments on a blog where I commented on how I had never seen a roti grill in my life before. She immediately e-mailed me offering to send me one. It arrived last week in the mail. I couldn't wait to use it so I did get to use it over the weekend. This roti grill comes in handy for all those unlucky folks like me who have an electric range. If you have a gas range, you don't need this to make phulkas. Shammi of Food, in the main has an amazing post on phulkas!