September 28, 2011

Eggless Pear Muffins or Vegan Plum Muffins

It has been quite some time since I contributed anything to my food blog that I made up my mind today to take time off from my navarathri preparations to post this from my inbox.  As you all know, my camera charger was missing and that brought to me a halt.  Around that time I made these muffins and while I was doing the Plum muffins I remembered about my daughter's camera with which I took the pictures. Subsequently, I also found my camera charger(kept very safely by me) but could not concentrate on doing anything as I was busy getting ready for Navaratri.

Here are the recipies......

I had these nice ripe pears in my refrigerator for many weeks and decided to prepare some muffins with them.  I usually like to make muffins as they come as a handy snack or a filling breakfast.  My girls enjoy them with a glass of milk in the morning.  It is just so easy to grab them and enjoy it on the go.  So I went about googling for a pear muffin recipe and found this one at   This is a very cute website worth taking a look.  Cute because it carries some craft ideas as well for those craft lovers and moms who want to occupy their little kids!!

Pear Muffins with Honey Oat Topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup diced pears, skin removed

Honey Oat Topping:
1 Nature Valley Oats ‘N Honey Granola Bar, crumbled
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place nine muffin liners in a muffin pan. Fill the other cups with a little bit of water. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Whisk in the sugar.
3. In a separate medium bowl, mix canola oil, egg, milk, and vanilla together.
4. Add the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Stir until just combined, don’t over mix.. Gently fold in the diced pears.
5. In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together the crumbled granola bar, brown sugar, and butter. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with batter. Sprinkle honey oat topping over each muffin.
6. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a cooking rack.

I followed the recipe as it is but did my usual substitution for the egg.  For one egg,  I take a 1/4 cup measure  and add 1 tbsp milk and fill the rest with vegetable oil.  I also used half wheat flour and half all purpose flour.  I ended up adding the sugar in the end as I forgot to do them in the beginning.  So for it to mix well, I added a little extra milk.  May be  it was because of this that my muffins took a little time more than the 17 minutes to be done.  As I did not fill my muffin liners fully, I got 11 muffins.
I had to skip the topping part as I did not have the ingredients on hand.    No regrets, as my kids love it plain.  However, I will have to definitely try it with the topping.  Who is not going to love it when there is butter!!!

My kids loved these muffins and they all vanished in about 3 days!!

Vegan Plum Muffins

Following the earlier recipe,  I decided to use some soft plums which were lying in my refrigerator for many weeks.  This time made it vegan by substituting with soy milk.  The plums  though were soft and ripe, was not a sweet one.  Nevertheless, the taste was not bad and my kids ate it.  I remembered to add all the ingredients in the beginning itself:)  However, the muffins took a little longer than the time mentioned for it to be done.  So check if they are ready by inserting a toothpick in the center.

Oops!!! Please bear with the poor click!!  I was in a hurry to get it done:(

September 16, 2011

Hi Friends,

Here I am creating some dishes but unable to do anything as I have seem to misplaced my camera charger.  It has been a week since I realized it was missing.   I have been creating some dishes and getting it into my draft inbox but not sure when I will get to post them.  Hopefully it will not last long once I get my whole family to go on a hunt down this weekend.  If not the last resort is to replace the charger with a new one!!  Keeping my fingers crossed:)-

September 9, 2011

Spinach Cheese Puffs

One can never forget the vegetable puffs which we have enjoyed during our childhood days.  Now the wonderful Frozen Puff Pastry sheets have made it easier to prepare these mouth watering snacks at home.  When I started using these sheets after coming to the US, all I would prepare was a potato filling.  However as times passed,  I learnt that the filling need not be restricted to just potatoes to be tasty.  My kids like these so much that they prefer them over the potato filled puffs.

1 Puff Pastry Sheet from the packet
1 1/2 cups tightly packed thawed (frozen) cut spinach leaves
3/4 cup of grated cheese tightly packed(I used 4cheese mexican)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 of a very small onion finely chopped

Take the spinach in a microwave safe bowl and heat it up for a couple of minutes.  After a while, squeeze out all the water from it.  Process the leaves till it looks like it has been finely chopped.  Add the onion, cheese, salt and paprika and process it further till it is all combined well.  In the meanwhile, thaw the pastry sheet according to the package instructions.  Cut them along the folds so that you have three separate segments.  Cut each of them into 3 squares.  Fill each of the square on one side with a little portion of the filling and fold over the other side.  Press and seal them with wet finger tips.  Have the oven ready and set to 400 degrees.  Arrange the filled squares on the baking tray and bake for 7 minutes to begin with and 5 more minutes after turning them over or until it is golden brown on both sides.

The kids are sure to enjoy these and mine love them!!!

White Pumpkin Subzi/Kootu

We all know that white pumpkin is a very widely used vegetable in the South Indian cooking with possibility of varied dishes like the Sambar, Kootu, Morkootu, Aviyal.   However to my knowledge, I have not known or hear anybody say that they have made a subzi with these pumpkins to go well with the rotis.  Today,  I got this wonderful home grown pumpkin from my friend(never seen one like this so firm yet tender and pure white in color).  Since I always like to come with some new innovations,  decided to make a dish out of these pumpkins that could be eaten with the rotis.  Hence, this kootu preparation combining the north and south flavors.  

This is my typical preparation of the Kootu for rotis when I do not feel like having any gravy dishes with garam masala.

3-4 cups of chopped white pumpkin
1 small onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 green chili
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp chana dal
1/4 cup moong dal
1 tsp sambar powder
pinch of turmeric powder
salt to taste
few curry leaves

Cook the moong dal separately and have it ready.  Soak the chana dal for an hour and drain the water.
Take some oil in a pan and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds.  Add the ginger, green chili and curry leaves and saute it quickly.  Add the soaked chana and saute till all the moisture is gone completely.   Throw in the onions and saute them for about 3 minutes.  Now add the tomatoes along with turmeric and sambar powder and cook until it is soft(takes about 4 mintues).  Add the cubed pumpkin pieces and salt and stir for a couple of minutes before covering it with a lid.  You can add water at this stage but not too much.  When it is almost cooked add the moong dal and bring everything to a boil. 

Kootu is ready to be eaten with rice or rotis