Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breakfast at

Ok, so I have been missing in action for really long now! It wasn't planned to be so. Let me be honest here..September was more holiday, and less work. There were a couple of days I had taken off work, but they were amongst the laziest days I can think of! I did try out a few dishes I've never tried before, and failed. And as they say, If you can't get it right the first time, then order pizza! And so we did :). Not once but 4 times in the last month - that again I think is another record!

Well, to give myself some credit, I haven't been all that lazy. There are a few recipes lined up and you'll see them soon!
For now, I will show the simple breakfast at Migros that we sometimes go for on weekends. And I like it 1) for it's simplicity and 2) for the rustic fresh baked breads that are available. Sure I pick up a gipfeli - the Swiss cousin of the croissant, but it is the other breads that I tend to like more. As is true in most cases - the uglier the bread looks, the healthier it is for you. The harder it is, the lesser the butter in its ingredients - and that means I can happily smear it on while eating!
So here is that breakfast - 2 kinds of bread, some butter and honey, a cup of fruit, and of course coffee.
DH* got a little romantic, and placed a rose on my sweet.

*DH = Darling Husband :) Share

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jelly roll

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After my 2 ambitious and failed experiments, I decided to make something simple. And this is probably that last of my summer berry-licous posts! This time it is blackberries that I used. As usual, it can be replaced with any berry, even a frozen one. In fact, any kind of fruit preserve goes great here as well. A Jelly roll, also known as a 'Swiss Roll' or just a Roulade. Even though it is called a Swiss Roll, it isn't really a cake that originated in Switzerland - just happens to be one of those things where adding the word 'Swiss' would imply quality, precision and elegance. Not sure why we need them for a recipe as simple and quick as this!

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the cake tin by lining it with aluminium foil and grease it with oil/butter/cooking spray. Use a larger than usual cake tin for this recipe. I used a cookie sheet because this cake needs to be thin and long.

Here is how I made it. You need
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
3/4 cups flour
powdered sugar
1 cup blackberries.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoon for making the jelly (As usual, you may want to increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. I don't like it to be overly sweet.)
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (Or vanilla extract if you have)
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Take a large bowl and begin adding the ingredients. First crack the eggs, and beat them so they are light and airy. Add in the sugar and continue beating. Now add the water and vanilla. Now slowly add in the sifted flour, salt and baking powder. Continue beating. Once it is all mixed in, pour it into your prepared cake tin. Bake for about 15 minutes. Once done, take it out of the oven. While still hot, take the cake out of the tin, and roll it up. I used a kitchen towel to hold the cake as I couldn't handle the hot cake. Once rolled, allow it cool for about 10 mins.
Prepare your jelly filling. Wash the blackberries, and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Use a muddler to crush the blackberries until they are reach a slight jelly consistency and are spreadable.
Unroll the cake, spread your jelly evenly, and roll the cake again. Sprinkle some powdered sugar, and enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My long weekend and failed macarons!

Holidays are just so therapeutic! So relaxing, and rejuvenating no matter how tired your muscles maybe! Of course, that depends on the kind of holiday you like - just lazing around at the beach, or something more active - hiking/trekking/cycling etc. I wouldn't say I am on a holiday, but just took a long weekend, and boy, am I loving it or what! While my husband plays the Xbox with friends to his heart's content, I have been on some wild online shopping sprees, and devouring blog after blog, recipe after recipe, and really gawking at some amazing food photos!
I quite liked it when I saw my Nectarine Pie on the 'Daily Specials' at Foodbuzz today. It's probably not such a big deal, but I liked it still :-)

Well, despite the long weekend I haven't managed to post anything. And that happens to be coz I get too ambitious sometimes, and embark on some really tricky recipes. I had 2 failed experiments yesterday - one with a macaron, and another an Indian dish called - puran poli.

Here is a picture of my failed macarons. I didn't get the coveted 'feet', and neither was the the top smooth and silky :-(. I will try the following the next time around
- Tap the sheet pan to remove air bubbles
- Let it rest for about 40 minutes before popping into the oven
That is really what I can think of. Maybe when I am successful, you shall hear from me on the tips. Of course I shall keep my eyes and ears open if you happen to have some tips for me!
I wanted to make it again today, but didn't. But I am sort of under the spell of French baking at the moment. I think I shall make some almond-tuiles tommorow, or maybe something else. Let's see. Until then, ciao. Have fun y'all! Share

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My beloved Citrus press

So you know about my love for a good, nutritious and healthy diet. ( I wanted to add 'fit' or 'fitness' also somewhere in the sentence, but alas I can't remember when I last worked out, so have to give it a miss for now..). Ok, so I think I am quite committed to eating and feeding my people nutritious meals. Of course my husband would argue that I use this excuse each time I am at the kitchen section at Manor gazing at the 'ultimate kitchen tool'. Haha...that would actually be quite true. I love to buy kitchen equipment making myself believe that this is just the kind of equipment I need to combat my laziness.

Anyways, so having experimented with a couple of heavy duty mixer-grinders for juices etc, I figured I am no good at it, and the Magic bullet is just what I need. But you see, it ain't good enough to juice an orange or the oh-so-nutritious grapefruit. (Of course, it's no good even at chopping onions, but we'll see to it some other time!)

So when this fabulous little (little?) equipment caught my eye, I decided to get it. A citrus press. It is not a machine - just a manual press that is quite sturdy, and the best part is that it is completely mess-free. Just halve your fruit, place it on the juicer, and press real hard. Voila, you have a fresh and refreshing glass of OJ!. Of course the juice you see in the picture here is not from the same oranges you see in the picture! We had only 2 of those 'orange' oranges left, so we used another variety which was quite yellow in colour (forget which one though). Needless to say, taking the picture took a lot longer than actually making the juice! :)
Anyways, there you have it - our latest acquisition on the road to a healthy diet. Share

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Iced coffee

Coffee! Can your day be complete without the caffeine? (And you thought your decaf coffee was sans any caffeine? Well, think again ). No kind of weather can ever put me away from my beloved beverage - not even a scorching summer afternoon! Just that how I drink it is different - with a lot of ice!

Iced coffee - that is what I had at around mid-day today, instead of my usual espresso or cappuccino ( the latter served with some milk froth and chocolate powder for extra goodness :-)). Everyone has their favourite way of brewing their coffee - the kind of beans used, the kind of coffee grinder, how you store your coffee, how it is brewed..blah blah..there is a whole world out there when we start talking coffee. Let us not get there. I'll just share with you how we make our tall glass of iced coffee.

I prefer making it with what is also called the 'cold brewed' method. Nothing fancy here - just that you stir your ground coffee in water and let it sit a couple of hours (preferably overnight) before you strain, add equal amount of water, and serve it with ice - as opposed to pouring it piping hot onto a glass full of ice (and a plastic or steel one please - you'll most likely break your 'glass' otherwise!).
But this time I used the easier method - I had some left-over coffee from the morning, so I let it cool off and turned it to iced coffee. This isn't the healthiest way because it is more acidic that the cold-brewed method, but it's ok once in a while.

So here is how I made it
Brew your cup of coffee the way you like it. I use a moka pot and use the following for 1 glass of iced coffee
- 2 tablespoons of your favourite ground coffee
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- ice cubes
Once the coffee is brewed, I transfer it to a pitcher. Add in the sugar so it dissolves while still warm. Allow it cool for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Then add in the milk and stir - this is optional of course! Pour it in a tall glass filled with ice cubes. And enjoy! Share