Pineapple Olive Oil Cake

 

I had made a cupcake version of Pineapple upside down cake may be over a year ago. I made a few changes and made a sheet cake and topped it with Broiled Pineapple. The results were amazing. Cake was not overly sweet so you can have it at tea time.

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Ingredients:

  • Self-rising flour 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda 1/4 tsp
  • Almond Flour ½ cup
  • Sugar ½ cup plus 2 tsp
  • Olive Oil ¾ cup
  • Eggs 1 plus 1 yolk
  • Sour cream 1/2 cup
  • Lemon zest 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract 1/4 tsp

For Pineapple topping:

  • Pineapple rounds
  • Turbinado sugar 1/4 cup

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray the sheet pan with non stick spray
  • In a bowl, mix Flour, Baking powder and  Baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a stand mixer, mix Olive oil and sugar and run it at medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add one egg at a time and keep mixing until feels well mixed and light.
  • Add Vanilla extract and Lemon zest.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix at medium speed until well mixed.
  • Finally add sour cream so the mixture even softer.
  • In a quarter sheet pan, pour the mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Cut fresh Pineapple in thin rounds. Top with Turbinado sugar and Broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Once the cake is cooled, cut in desired shape and top with these Pineapple rounds.

 Best served warm. Enjoy!!

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xoxo

Original recipe by Lauren Kapeluck.

 

Labneh and Fruit Tarts

I may have hit a writer’s block because I have been looking at this draft for days thinking of something to write but my mind simply draws a blank so here you go. Just the recipe and some pics.

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Ingredients:

  • Yogurt full fat 1 container
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Rose water 1 1/2 tsp
  • Brown Sugar 2 Tbsp or White Sugar 2 Tbsp or as much as you need per your taste
  • Apricots about 6 if using for all Tarts OR
  • Nectarine 2 if using for all 3 Tarts OR
  • Strawberries about 5 each if using for all Tarts OR
  • Alternatively, mix up the fruit and reduce quantities accordingly

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Directions:

Prepare the Tarts (recipe coming soon) or use premade Tart sheets from the store which will save you considerable time. I made 3 mini Tarts using mini Tart molds.

For the Tart filling:

I used Full fat yogurt for this recipe to make it creamy. Feel free to use Low fat if you would like but you may have to compromise on taste.

Option 1: Pour All the Yogurt in a large cheesecloth. Tie two of the opposite ends together and tie a tight knot. Then create a loose knot with remaining two ends and hang the cheesecloth bound Yogurt on a kitchen faucet. If this is not an option for you, use option 2 below.

Option 2:Tie both knots tightly, place the bundle in a large strainer and put the strainer in a large pot so as all the water from the yogurt will collect in the pot. Keep it this way for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.

If you are using kitchen sink method, leave the yogurt out for 6 hours (unless it is super-hot where you live) and then move on to use option 2 for 6 hours.

Once the Yogurt looks thicker, add it to the Stand Mixer with whipping attachment and add Brown Sugar/Honey/White Sugar, Vanilla Essence and Rose Water and whip first at medium speed for 2 minutes and then at faster speed for 2-3 minutes. The Yogurt should feel smooth and harmonized.

To assemble:

Fill the Tarts with the Yogurt and top it with cut Fruit. You could use really fruit of your choice but I would try to use what is in season to get the best taste.

If the Fruit you are using is not sweet enough, make simple syrup using 1 part Sugar and 1 part water, bring to boil, let it cool and soak the fruit for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the syrup and assemble the Tart.

Recipe adapted from Mattersofthebbelly.com 

 

 

Almond Pineapple Bites

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After Anushka’s birthday and my birthday in the same month, we had a real sugar overload. Not to mention twice weekly trips to the Ice Cream shop only because its summer. I wanted to make something for those mid afternoon hunger pangs and after school snacks that was nutritious and not overly sweet. These Almond bites pass both the tests. Not only that but they are also very easy to make.

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I initially made these to take to a friend’s house as a Hostess gift and left it out before going to run some errands. When I came back half the stash was gone. Obviously, I had to figure out another gift but that’s how good these are.

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Ingredients:

  • Almonds Plain 2 cups
  • Pineapple dried 1 1/2 cups chopped small
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Maple Syrup 1 Tbsp
  • Coconut flakes for rolling Unsweetened
  • Water 2 Tbsp
  • Ghee or clarified butter for rolling about 2 tbsp

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Directions:

  • If you like, you can roast the Almonds otherwise leave as is.
  • In a food processor, chop the Almonds into chunky bits. Not too small and not too large. 
  • Chop dried Pineapple into small pieces.
  • Mix Almond, Pineapple and Salt. If you are not using Candied Pineapple, add Maple Syrup. Mix well.
  • Pour the Coconut flakes in to a plate and keep aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of water and try to roll the mixture into small bite size rounds. If you need more water, add but only 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Once you feel the mixture is right consistency, apply a little bit of Ghee on your hands and roll the mixture. Then finally roll it in in the Coconut flakes.
  • If you do not like Coconut, you can omit the step.
  • Substitute with any dried fruit of your choice like Apricots, Mango or Oranges. 

Enjoy

xo

Amita

Anushka’s 4th Birthday

 

Time has flown by. My little one I brought home what seems like just about few days back is already 4 years old. She is super excited to be starting pre-k. I am super excited that she is all done potty training and sleeps in her own room. yay!!

We had a fun Princess Sophia themes birthday party for her. Although she has almost outgrown Sophia the Princess, she had a lot of fun with Sophia and more importantly with her preschool friends.

I made the dessert table and we ordered in all the rest of the food. The cake is Sophia themed. It is a simple Vanilla cake with plenty of Sprinkles in it and Buttercream Frosting. It is covered in Fondant and the decorations are also made with Fondant and some Royal Icing.

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All the pictures are courtesy Abhijit Bhatwadekar. Abhijit is a great friend and if you are looking for someone to capture your event in the most stunning photographs, he is the person I highly recommend. Find him at abhijitphotos.com

Enjoy. xo.

Lettuce Wraps with Mango and Tofu

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I have been meaning to make Lettuce wraps at home for ages. Whenever we all go to CPK, my all time order is Lettuce Wraps. They sound healthy, not sure how many calories they are but I make sure never to ask.  

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The ones below are adapted from Cookie and Kate. I added Mint for the flavor and because I have abundance of it right now on my kitchen counter. I also added Cumin Powder and Chili Powder because that’s the way we like it. Add a bit of spice to life, right?

You can totally pack all the ingredients and take them to your next outing and have everyone assemble them for themselves. Less work for you.

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Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (Boston )4 leaves
  • Tofu 1 box extra firm
  • Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp (low sodium preferably)
  • Corn Starch 2 tsp
  • Mangoes  2 small Ripe cut in small pieces
  • Red Bell pepper 1 medium chopped fine
  • Mint Leaves 4 for each wrap – about 16
  • Red Onion chopped 3/4th cup for all four wraps
  • Salt as needed

Sauce

  • Soy Butter 2 Tbsp
  • Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 1 Tbsp
  • Maple Syrup 2 Tbsp
  • Red Chili Powder ½ tsp (optional)
  • Cumin Powder ½ tsp
  • Mustard yellow ½ tsp
  • Hot Water 1 Tbsp

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Tear the leaves from the Lettuce head and keep aside. Make sure not to use the knife otherwise Lettuce will start turning brown.
  • Cut Tofu into small pieces and remove all the excess water. Squeeze the Tofu if you need to but make sure not to crumble it. Mix Corn starch and Soy Sauce well. Cover the Tofu pieces properly with this mixture. It may appear to be very little but it goes a long way. Place the Tofu pieces on Cookie Sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes
  • Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce and whisk until incorporated. If you think it’s thicker than you would like, add a bit more hot water.
  • When Tofu is ready, divide all ingredients in 1/4th
  • place Tofu, Red Onion, Red Bell Pepper and Mangoes on each Lettuce leaf. Top with Sauce or serve the sauce on the side. Add some Mint leaves.

You could also top this with Tortilla strips.

Enjoy.

Fancy Marshmallows

Have you ever met someone from your past and suddenly felt like some missing pieces of puzzle fell into place? Or have you ever went to a new place, a place you have never ever been before and thought you belonged? Have you ever wondered why things happen in a certain way and why we meet certain people and not the others? Do you ever wonder about how many secrets the Universe is holding.

The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing – Socrates

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This 5 minutes recipe is pretty much the best I have in my arsenal when I am faced with hungry kids and little time. I am sure almost every Mom knows this recipe but I was thinking if I could just bring a smile to one Mom’s face with this recipe, it’s going to be worth it.

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Ingredients:

  • Marshmallows 1 dozen
  • Candy Melt 1 package (I used Wilton)
  • Cookie Sticks about a dozen
  • Sprinkles 1 tbsp each stick
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Directions:

  • A handful of Candy Melt makes about 8 sticks.
  • In a microwave proof bowl, pour the Candy melts and microwave at 50% of power. First about 2 minutes and then add 45 second intervals. Between each interval, mix and check consistency. It should be pour-able consistency.
  • If the consistency is thicker than desired, you can add 1 tsp of Canola oil or Grape seed oil for each handful of Candy Melts.
  • In the meanwhile, push the Cookie stick through one Marshmallow each about half way through. Make sure it holds the S’more.
  • Once Candy melt is ready, hold each Marshmallow with the end of the stick over the Candy Melt bowl. With a Tablespoon, pour the Candy Melt over each S’more until all sides are coated properly.
  • Once coated, sprinkle the Sprinkles on top as desired. This is totally optional. If you are using pretty colored Candy melt, forgo this step or you can use colored sugar too.
  • Dry the marshmallows either on a rack or making it stand upright in a glass, stick end down.
  • You can also place it in the fridge for fast drying.

Enjoy.

Xoxo

Amita

Spring time Asparagus and Tomato Salad

Spring is in full bloom around here in my beautiful Chicago. Although we have had a few rain soaked week-ends, I am enjoying this new bloom of life. Getting the garden ready and more so the Sun-room ready where we will soon be having almost every meal of week-ends.

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A spring time salad to go with this fresh new life. Delicious, healthy and home-made. We are making a concerted effort at eating healthier. That does mean cooking at home almost exclusively. It never fails to amaze me to see not only food is so much healthier but it also tastes so much better. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple salad like this Asparagus Salad is so easy to come together and adds so much value to your meal.

3Ingredients

  • Asparagus 1 bunch ( for 2 persons)
  • Grape Tomatoes cut in half about 3/4th cup per person 
  • Parmesan shaved per taste about 2 Tbsp per person
  • Radish 2 small per person cut in thin stripes or pieces
  • Walnuts toasted 3 Tbsp person
  • Spinach 1 cup per person cut roughly
  • Dressing – Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe here)

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Directions:

  • Prepare Asparagus – Hold each Asparagus stalk in both your hands at the ends. Bend the stalk. Let it break where it breaks. Keep the end towards the top for Salad. Use the other end for making stalk.
  • Boil water in a large sauce pan. Add the Asparagus tops to the water and let it boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately, remove the water and dump the Asparagus in Ice water bath. This will retain color of the Asparagus and will prevent further cooking.
  • In a separate Salad bowl, mix Spinach, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Radishes. Top with Walnuts and Parmesan. Drizzle the dressing and enjoy.

xo

Amita

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