Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jihva for Ghee and Butter

I realize that it is a little too late but on popular demand, I have decided to add clarified butter and compound butter to the Jihva ingredients for this month! So it is now "Jihva for Ghee and Butter!". Have fun everyone!

Check out the JFI post here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Got Milk?

cookies cooling off on the baking racks

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I do not experiment with the recipe a lot. I do not go out searching or looking for new chocolate-chip recipes as the two recipes I have work perfectly! One is an egg-less chewy/cake-like chocolate chip recipe that and the other one is a Nestle Toll House chocolate chip recipe(printed on the back of the nestle tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips pacakge).

I do not have a picture for the eggless recipe but herez the recipe!

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup margarine
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups combination chocolate chips(semi-sweet, dark and white)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • electric mixer
  • cookie sheets

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  • Cream together butter, margarine, the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the low-fat yogurt (I used the home made one) and the extracts, beat until well incorporated.
  • Add the flour in 3-4 installments mixing/beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in the chocolate-chips and the walnuts at the very end.
  • Drop on greased cookie sheets in 1 tbsp quantities (2 inches apart) and bake for about 10-12 mintues or until golden brown on the sides.

For the second recipe, I follow the nestle toll house recipe with slight variations.
  • Instead of 2 sticks of butter, I use 3/4th stick soy based margarine and 3/4th stick real butter.
  • Instead of all semi-sweet chocolate chips, I use a combination of dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • I increase the vanilla extract quantity to 2 teaspoons and add in a teaspoon of almond extract.
close up of the cookies

PS: The pictures were taken by one of our good friends, K when he came to visit us :)! There...K I gave you credit ;)...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well and Alive!

basil flower arrangement from basil flowers picked from P&V's garden

Hello everybody! Just a quick note to let you all know that I am alive and well.

I know I have been absent for a while. I have been cooking a LOT (more than I have ever cooked in my entire life) but haven't been having any time to blog lately! We have been busy entertaining friends at our new house. Someone said "your house must be very warm already" as a joke in reference to the "house-warming" parties we have been having at the house :).

Anyway, I hope to be back in blogging next week atleast for a little while before going dormant again :).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Moist, Dense and Delicious - Zucchini Bread

First off, I want to welcome Candace from Sugar Daisies into the food blogging world. She started up a baking blog just today so go check it out :)! Good luck, Candace and I cannot wait to try out your recipes!

On to the bread :) - couple of weeks ago, one of my friends that has Zucchini in her garden gave me some. I made some zucchini chutney with some and shredded the rest of it in the food processor and froze it in 2 cup measurements (2 cups coz most bread and muffin recipes seem to ask for 2 cups).

Yesterday, I baked some zucchini bread with it. The bread was the most moist, dense and delicious bread. I made a hybrid recipe out of Elise's zucchini bread with Paula Deen's recipe I found on food network's Website.

zucchini bread, sliced and ready to eat

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini*
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
* Add in about 1/2 cup of water if using freshly grated zucchini. I eliminated the water since I was using frozen (defrosted) zucchini

  • 2 loaf pans
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 large mixing bowl/mixer
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixer or using a hand mixer and the large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix on low-medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until well combined and thick. With a wooden spoon, mix in the zucchini.
  • In the small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg).
  • Add the dry ingredients gradually into the wet ones, mixing well after each addition. Add in the nuts at the very end.
  • Pour into the loaf pans, bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, invert them on to cooling racks to cool completely.
Thank you Elise for your recipe. It is definitely a keeper :)!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Jihva for Ghee and Butter

Addendum (Sept 21): I realize that it is a little too late but on popular demand, I have decided to add clarified butter and compound butter to the Jihva ingredients for this month! Have fun!

Indira of Mahanandi started a great revolving event that she aptly named "Jihva for Ingredients (JFI)". Indira has a wonderful post about what JFI actually means and what it is is for. Please go read about it right now!

Previous JFI events were hosted by Indira, Baking Fairy, Sailu, Santhi and Vineela!

This month it is my turn to host JFI. When I started thinking about the ingredient I wanted to choose, I had two criteria - an ingredient that is very Indian and also one that went with the "time" of the year. September and October this year are the festival months in India. Hence I am choosing "Ghee" as this month's JFI ingredient.

Now to the "rules specific to this edition of the game" -
  • Even though people out in the Internet world seem to use the term "clarified butter" and "ghee" interchangably, clarified butter is definitely not ghee. When making ghee from butter, clarified butter is a stage that you have to cross to get to ghee. Clarified butter takes a lot less time to make than ghee. When making clarified butter, since the butter is not cooked for such long time, all of the water and milk solids are not removed from the butter, so clarified butter has a much shorter shelf life and hence a little less flavorful (in my opinion). Unlike butter or clarified butter, ghee can be heated to a much higher temperature and things can actually be deep fried in ghee unlike butter. On this topic Indira mentioned that the "Joy of Cooking" has a section on ghee and clarified butter in the "butter" section (thanks, Indira for pointing that out!).
I would appreciate if all of you take a note of above and make something with ghee rather than with clarified butter. Indira has a great post on how to make ghee. I make my own ghee from unsalted organic butter and here is some fresh ghee that I made last night.

Now to the "general rules that I copied from Indira's event":

1. Prepare a recipe featuring ghee - cook/bake/fry/saute/braise/ with it - do whatever you please but ghee has to be the "star of the show" :).
2. Post the recipe on your blog on October 1st, Sunday.
3. Send me via email (cookingmedley gmail com) - the link to your post and a photo of the entry in 75×75pixel size.
4. Please include the title of post and your blog name.
5. I’ll post an entry along with you on October 1st and also will do the roundup of all the entries that I received by that week’s end.
6. Nostalgic tales, paintings, and drawings, anything related to ghee is welcome from interested general (non-food) bloggers.

So, put on your aprons, have fun and a very happy festive season to everyone!