Cheese & Garlic Scones

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When I made a Hi-Tea combo couple of months ago, my favourite of the lot of dishes was the Cheese and garlic scones. These are super easy to make and taste so good. It is one of the few baked dishes that even my husband liked and asked for seconds. I have made it several times since and it has been appreciated by kids and adults alike. This makes for a quick and easy snack with all ingredients easily available at home. I do think of adding some vegetables to it but then I feel maybe some dishes should be left just for taste instead of trying to healthy-fy everything all the time.

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Recipe from here

Makes 8 scones

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup All purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup shredded cheese

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

1/2 cup Milk

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  • Add the shredded cheese and garlic to the bowl and mix well
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the milk except for 2 tsp of milk
  • Bring together all the ingredients and form a dough
  • Do not overmix
  • Grease a baking tray and transfer the dough to the tray
  • Pat it into a 1″ thick circle and cut into 8 wedges
  • Brush the balance 2 tsp milk on the dough
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the top gets brown spots
  • Cool for 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with butter

NOTES

  1. I have tried this dish with cheddar cheese, pizza cheese (mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and matured goat cheese and it works beautifully with each one
  2. I found the goat cheese (matured) slightly bland in comparison to the other two and so I sprinkled some dried rosemary to enliven it

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Hi Tea

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This is the final post in this week’s Thali series. My sister-in-law gifted me a cupcake / hi tea stand and I have been planning to use it in the blog for ages now. I didn’t want to miss the chance this time and so I figured making a hi tea spread for the Thali theme would be just perfect. Hi tea is a British tradition of drinking tea sitting on high back chairs at the table with a spread including cold cut meat, fruits, breads, crackers, etc.

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This hi tea spread includes –

1. Iced tea (because it it summer now)

2. Regular black tea & milk

3. Cheese and Garlic Scones

4. Walnut Cake Slice

5. Masala Chai Mini Muffins

6. Dry fruit biscuits

7. Pistachio and chocolate biscuits

8. Peas & Carrot Finger Sandwiches

9. Cucumber & Mayonnaise Finger Sandwiches

8. Jam

9. Honey

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Here is a quick recipe for the masala chai muffins –

Makes 16-18 mini muffins

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Granulated sugar

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup Masala chai / tea ( no sugar)

1 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 190C
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the oil, masala chai and vinegar in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine
  • Line a mini muffin tray and pour the batter up to 3/4 full for each muffin mould
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for half hour
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Roasted Garlic and Potato Bread

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If you don’t know already, let me tell you that roasting garlic is one of the most amazing things you can do in the kitchen. It lets out a lovely aroma that delights the senses, works up your imagination and appetite and lends a wonderful flavour to the dish. So when I saw this awesome bread with roasted garlic and mashed potato, I knew I simply had to do it. It turned out so light and flavourful that even the daughter and husband were asking for seconds.

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It takes a little longer to make this bread because of the additional step of roasting garlic and mashing potatoes but it is definitely time well spent which rewards you with an amazing loaf. I have used all purpose flour for this loaf but you can replace upto 50% of it with whole wheat flour or other flour of your choice. But the bread will be denser than a loaf made entirely with all purpose flour.

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Adapted from New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes

Makes one large loaf

460 gms All purpose flour

340 gms Warm water

1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

2 tsp Salt

2 1/4 tsp Sugar

110 gms Mashed potatoes

1 garlic head

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Wrap the garlic head with its skin in foil and bake for 25-30 minutes
  • Take it out and squeeze out the garlic pulp and set aside
  • Mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar, mashed potatoes and garlic in a large bowl
  • Add the flour and mix it to ensure no dry flour remains
  • Cover and set aside till it rises and flattens or collapses, around 2 hours
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours
  • Take out the dough from the bowl and dust it with a little flour and shape into a ball
  • Let it rest for an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 250C
  • Sprinkle some flour and slash the top of the dough
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes
  • Take the cover off and bake for 10 minutes
  • Unmould the loaf and let cool completely on a wire rack
  • Enjoy!

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017

Bhajiya Pav

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As someone who was living in Mumbai for most of her life, I am going to commit blasphemy by uttering the next few words – I am not a big fan of the Vada Pav. Let the lynching begin. Somehow, all my life I tried to like it because duh! But I simply could not find it in me to enjoy Vada pav. I enjoy them separately – I love the batata Vada and I can eat pav with nothing on the side because bread! But put them together with the spicy green chutney and I start backing off from there. But Bhajiya pav is something I adore and crave and can eat as many as you can get me. Each bite holds so many memories and conversations of the years gone by. In our school, we did not have a proper canteen. We had two ladies who would come at break time with huge tubs full of Vada pavs, samosa pavs and bhajiya pavs. By the end of the 15 minute break they would walk out with empty tubs but full pockets. Since my mother took our eating out as a personal affront, we did not eat out much except for the birthdays – ours and our friends’ when the treat always was bought from the aunties at the ‘canteen’.

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Later, we discovered the ultimate maker of Vada pavs and bhajiya pavs near our home in Mumbai. Ever since, no trip of mine to Mumbai is complete without a bite (so much more than a bite!) of his bhajiya pavs. He fries the bhajiya, rips open the pav, fills it with the chutneys and bhajiya, packs it in old newspaper and ties them with many metres of thread in a blink of the eye. We spend more time in pulling out the thread and untangling it from our fingers than we spend in actually eating the contents inside. Though I still don’t like the green chutney, I have included it here husband will not have it any other way. But trust me, if you top it with loads of dry garlic chutney and close your eyes, you will find yourself in a Mumbai street corner near a push cart which is super hot because of the incessant frying, with aromas that could make you hungry even though you just had lunch and an invisible magnetic pull towards it saying the golden words “Bhaiya 2 bhajiya pav parcel”.

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Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

6 Pavs

Dry garlic chutney

For the Bhajiya

1 Potato, large

1/2 cup Chickpea flour

2 tbsp Rice flour

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

Oil for deep frying

For the green chutney

6-7 stalks of fresh coriander

1 garlic clove

1 green chilly

3-4 drops of lemon juice

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the bhajiya
  • In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, rice flour, chilly powder and salt
  • Add enough water to form a slightly thick batter. The batter should not be too thin else it would be difficult to coat the potato and not too thick in which the flavour of the potato is lost
  • Slice the potato into thin slices in a mandolin slicer
  • Once the oil is hot, take one slice of the potato and coat it well with the batter and drop it into the hot oil
  • Once it is nicely cooked on both sides, take it out of the oil and place it on tissue to absorb the excess oil
  • You can fry multiple potato slices at a time depending on how big your pan is
  • Repeat the procedure with all other slices of potato till you have the desired number of bhajiyas
  • Add all the ingredients for the green chutney in a small mixer jar
  • Add enough water to blend together all the ingredients into a chutney. It needs to be slightly runny so that it is easy to slather it over the pav
  • Cut open the pav in half horizontally but leave it joint at one end

Assembling the dish

  • The pav is usually eaten as is but you can lightly toast it with some butter if you want
  • Apply the chutney on the inside of the pav and place 2-3 bhajiyas in it
  • Top it with dry garlic chutney and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Street Food’.

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Pantzarosalata / Beetroot Yogurt Salad

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One of my recent endeavours is to try and eat more salads. As a rule, I hate salads and I am always trying to avoid them. But as a food blogger, if I can’t make tasty salads then what is the point? So I wanted one salad recipe from Greece. As always, I was looking for something easy and that can be made with ingredients easily available at home. I came across this easy and gorgeous beetroot salad and I am sure this is going to be a regular feature at home now on.

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Serves 2-3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Beetroot, medium                      3

Greek yogurt                               300 gms

Walnuts                                        10-12

Garlic cloves                                 3

Olive oil                                         2 tbsp

Vinegar                                          1 tsp

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Boil the betteroots for 30-40 minutes till they are cooked
  • Peel the beetroots and cut them into small pieces and set aside
  • In a blender / mixer take the garlic cloves, walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Add the yoghurt to the mixture and stir well to combine
  • Pour the dressing over the beetroot and mix well
  • Chill the salad in the refrigerator for a couple of hours
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Ensure that you use only Greek yogurt else the salad will turn watery.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Greek dishes.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Bruschetta

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I made Bruschetta as part of my Italian Lunch Spread. It is quick and easy to put together and will serve well as a snack or starter of choice for unplanned guests. It is an almost no cook dish and the ingredients are usually available at home and this can help brighten up a meal by giving it that probably missing zing. Bruschetta is usually made with a baguette but I used the regular sandwich bread and topped it with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and it turned out lip smacking if I may say so myself.

WHAT WE NEED

Sandwich Bread                                        5-6 slices

Tomatoes, medium                                 3-4

Garlic cloves, large                                 2

Vinegar                                                      1 tbsp

Butter (optional)                                    to toast the bread

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Make a small ‘x’ shaped insertion to the tomatoes with a knife
  • Immerse the tomatoes in hot water for 5-7 minutes
  • When the skin has loosened up, peel the skin off, deseed and chop the tomatoes finely
  • Mince the garlic and mix it with the tomatoes
  • Add vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well and set aside
  • The bread slices need to be toasted to a crisp. It can either be toasted in a pop up toaster or on a pan
  • If you are toasting it on a pan, apply little butter and toast till each side turns golden brown
  • Then turn the gas to simmer and let the bread slices remain for a couple of minutes on the pan. This will make the slices very crisp
  • Just before serving, top the bread slices with the tomato mixture and serve
  • Enjoy!

 

Ajo Blanco

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There are many types of cooks. Some are slow, other fast. Some follow the recipe to the T while others go with the flavour. Some measure diligently while others go with their estimate. I always wanted to be the latter but my estimates are so off the actual number that it is not funny. I keep trying to improve my estimation skills but there is a long way to go.

For this recipe, I picked a handful of almonds and estimated (nay, assumed) it to be 100 gms. It was 50. True story. Then I had to blanch another set of almonds and then make the soup but the extra time and effort to blanch the almonds is extremely worth it. The wonderful medley of almonds, bread and garlic chilled is a perfect meal for the evening.

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Almonds                            100 gms

Slightly stale bread        75 gms

Milk                                     1/2 cup

Cold water                         500 ml

Garlic cloves                     4-5

Cucumber, medium       1/2

Extra virgin olive oil      2 tbsp

Vinegar                               2 tbsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Blanch and peel almonds
  • Roast the almonds on low heat till it just starts browning. It is an optional step but totally recommended
  • Remove the crust and soak the bread in milk for 10 minutes
  • Blend the almonds and bread in a blender to a near smooth paste
  • Chop and add garlic, cucumber, olive oil and vinegar
  • Add the water and blend well
  • Chill for around 2 hours
  • Garnish with olive oil and serve chilled
  • Enjoy!

 

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Another way to bake potatoes

 

My two and half year old daughter has been pretty involved in bake-a-thon with me. Her eyes sparkle when I switch on the oven to preheat it and she runs around screaming -‘Amma, cake, bread’ irrespective of what is being baked.

The best part was the husband asking her – ‘what is Amma doing?’ She replies ‘cooking’.

The husband exclaims – ‘That’s nice. I am hungry and I want to eat.’ That’s when the daughter calmly explains to her father – ‘No Appa. Amma cooking, take photo and eating is only after photo. Please wait.’ The husband’s expression was priceless. 

  

This easy version of baked potato is a must try. It’s a lot crisper than hassle back potatoes and less effort than au gratin and hash browns.

I happened to comes across this recipe just as I was wondering what to come up with for today’s post.

So here goes –

Makes 9 stacks

WHAT WE NEED

Potatoes, medium size       3

Olive oil                                    1 1/2 tbsp

Parmesan, grated                  2-3 tbsp

Thyme, dried                          2 tsp

Salt & pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Grease a muffin tray
  • Slice the potatoes into thin roundels.
  • In a bowl, take olive oil, 2 tbsp of Parmesan and 1 1/2 tsp thyme
  • Add the potatoes and mix well to coat all the slices
  • Add salt and pepper and mix
  • Arrange in stacks in a muffin tray
  • Bake for 35-40 mins till the edges and top are golden brown.
  • Take it out from the oven and garnish with the remaining Parmesan and thyme.
  • Enjoy!

  
  

NOTES

  1. You can stack the potatoes as high as possible in the muffin tray. The potato slices will shrink on baking and the stacks will appear smaller than when you put them in the oven.
  2. Preferably put the larger slices in the bottom so that they hold the stack well.
  3. Grease the muffin tray liberally else the potatoes will stick.

 


This is part of the
Bake-a-thon 2015 


 

Crispy Garlic Pita Toasts

  

I couldn’t finish all my pita bread in those sandwiches I made and the ominous warning on the packet of using the bread within 24 hours  had me worried. What to do? What to do? That’s when, coincidentally, I chanced upon this recipe – the perfect solution to all my pita problems. Crispy pita toasts with garlic flavour. I was in bread heaven.

  

The lovely part was that it was quick and easy and made with all the ingredients I had readily available, not to mention the daughter loved it. Blissful day!

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Pita Bread                               2

Olive oil                                    1 tbsp

Salt

Pepper                      

Garlic cloves                           2-3

Cheddar cheese, grated      1-2 tbsp
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Cut pita bread into quarters
  • Brush them with olive oil
  • Finely chop the garlic and top the pita bread 
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese on top
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes till the pitas are crispy and golden brown
  • Enjoy with any dip of your choice!


  

NOTES

  1. The cheese is optional but I used it because that would make it easier to give it to my daughter.
  2. You can also add paprika with salt and pepper


This is part of the
Bake-a-thon 2015 


 

Baked Mushroom Parmesan

   

If you have read more than three posts in my blog, you will know I simply love Parmesan. It lends itself beautifully to grating unlike cheddar which has to be frozen or mozzarella which sticks to the grater and makes cleaning a mess. It’s not just the ease but it’s perfectly salty and creamy and cheesy to taste and it goes with almost anything.

  

So my Google-ing template is – ‘what I have in excess in the fridge/pantry’ + Parmesan + bake. And it works most of the time!

This recipe is inspired from two sources – this one here and a recipe by Venkatesh Bhat in a TV show few months ago. I brought them together and came up with this gorgeously cheesy baked mushroom. Do try.

So here goes – 

WHAT WE NEED

Button mushrooms, 

quartered                                15

Olive oil                                   1-2 tbsp

Garlic, minced                       3 cloves

Mixed Italian seasoning     2 tsp

Grated Parmesan                  3 tbsp

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat oven to 220C
  • Lightly grease a baking tray
  • Take oil in a bowl. (See notes)
  • Add the seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Add the mushrooms and gently toss to combine.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to the baking tray.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan on top
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and tender, tossing occasionally.
  • Serve immediately.


 

NOTES

  1. There is no such thing as too much Parmesan. So feel free to add more.
  2. If you are not a huge Parmesan fan like moi, replace it with cheddar.
  3. If you want the mushrooms to be roasted to a near crisp then use 2 tbsp oil and bake for 20 minutes. Else 1 tbsp oil and 15 minutes baking should be a good deal for tender roasted mushrooms.
  4. I set aside some cheese to sprinkle after the baking. That’s optional.


This is part of the
Bake-a-thon 2015