Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadan Mubarak everyone... n a roundup of some old recipes that can come in handy!



I will be on and off on the blog- will try to be as regular as I can, but during the month of Ramadan there are going to be other important things to take care of...
I will try as often as I can, to put up regular recipes that I will be trying for my Iftaars... provided I get time or the inclination to take thier photographs!
Those recipes will give you some out of the box ideas for your Iftaar parties, as well as for people who will NOT be fasting, a lot of ideas that you can try for your regular get togethers and picnics...
I hope you enjoy making them, and do let me know how they turned out!

In the meantime a round up of a few recipes that are already there on my blog, that you can also try making for your Iftaar.





























For more recipes of simple desserts and yummy cakes and much more... click here

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Foodie!! Healthy Baked (not fried) General Tso's Chicken

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


Hey everyone... sorry about the regular disappearing acts that I do these days...
I am finding it increasingly difficult to manage work, my blog, my duties as an Army wife and a frazzled mom to kids who have thier summer break!! (school starts within a week, yaaaayyyy!!)
And now that Ramadan is going to start, I might again become a little irregular with my posts...
Time management is a big thing for a "work at home mom" and though I thrive on multi-tasking, I still have a long way to go to have my routine in a set time-frame....
Am getting there, by and by....

Anyways- enough of rambling, the recipe that I am going to be giving you today is my favorite...
Chinese Food is any day my favorite, but this one especially gets me licking my fingers after each morsel...  If I could, I would have it daily!!
Only problem is you cant have most chinese food everyday because of the deep frying involved...
So...
I thought why not bake it and fake it, instead of deep frying? 
And do you remember the crispiness of my home-made KFC chicken recipe (click here) with the juicy meat and crispyness outside because of the cornflakes covering...
Well, I have used the same coating, and believe me- its come out finger-lickin' good... minus the fat!
so here goes...


HEALTHY BAKED GENERAL TSO's CHICKEN
oh and before you ask... why the name "General Tso"? 
I searched the internet and the Wikipedia and there seems to be no definite reason for naming the dish after a Chinese General... and surprise- its seems to have originated in the United States and that also in mayb in NYC!!!  (a detailed article here)
Go figure!

Ingredients for the Chicken:
1/2 kg boneless chicken, cut in cubes, (marinated in just one tsp of vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper for an hour)
3 tbsp Maida or all purpose flour
2 eggs- well beaten
1and 1/2 cop crushed cornflakes 
ONLY a tbsp oil for greasing the tray or if you are using a cooking spray like me... all the better

Ingredients for the sauce
1 and 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce (or if not available-8 and 8 sauce-like me)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour

For the garnish
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup finely chopped green of the spring onions

Method:

1- Preheat the oven at 200C. Take a baking tray or a cookie tray, cover it with foil, and grease it lightly
or spray with olive oil cooking spray.
2- take the beaten eggs in one bowl, maida/flour in a flat plate, and cornflakes in another.
3- Take a piece of chicken, dredge in the flour, shake off the loose flour, dip in the egg, roll in the cornflakes so that its well covered with crushed cornflakes, and then lay it on the baking tray.
4- Do that with the rest of the chicken pieces and lay them spread out on the greased baking tray.
5- Spray it once more with cooking spray and put in the oven.
6- Bake at 200C for 15 minutes... and if not yet crispy golden, bake for another 5 minutes...
Leave in the oven to keep warm.

7- For the sauce- take all the ingredients, along with cornflour dissolved in water, in saucepan and simmer on low heat, till slightly thick.... about 3 minutes.
8- Take out the crispy chicken from the oven and pour the sauce on top
Mix gently to coat all the chicken pieces.
9- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onion greens... and serve at once!
Enjoy!!
Believe me you will be licking your fingers!!












Sunday, June 22, 2014

TGIF!!! How to Make your Home a Party Den!! with a Moroccan or Bohemian Theme...

I have always wanted to write a post on how to throw a themed party....
mind you not for the kids, I have already done that (an Angry Bird theme (here) and a Chota Bheem theme (here) but for the bigger children.... like you and me?    :-)
who want to play make believe and dress up and have fun!
But I didnt get around to writing that post because firstly, I hadn't thrown an adult theme party for a long time, and secondly who had the time or the money or the resources... at least where I am!!
But here, today I am going to throw a virtual theme party for all of you after seeing a blogging competition at the online store called FabFurnish...
and of course I want to participate!!
and win prizes... and have fun writing this post!

OH and an update....taking part in my first blogging competition... and I won the FIRST prize!!!
woooohooo!!

So A MOROCCAN or BOHEMIAN THEME PARTY it is:
why? because its a fun theme and easily arranged, esp. if you are living in a place like Delhi, where Old Delhi and Janpath Markets are a treasure house of supplies.

via


now moroccan would mean generally a mid-eastern theme... 
with lots of colorful lanterns and cushions, hookahs etc. etc.
I will lay it out simply for you...

DECOR:
1- Lets do it low seating... with lots of rugs and moroccan style poufs or floor pillows and bolster pillows...
the more colorful and ornate- the better!







2- Now how about we go for the tent like look around the seating areas.. which can be achieved with draping sarees, stoles or sheer curtains like shown below.
This effect can be achieved in an outdoor seating in your lawns or balcony, as well inside in your living rooms.















3- Time now to think up some magical low-lights and lamps and lanterns and lots and lots of floating candles...



You can also make these t-light holders out of mason jars or jam/pickle jars that have been painted and given the mid eastern look by 3D gold paint. (here)



Or get the ready made ones from Janpath or Old Delhi...
the more colorful, the better!

























4- Lots of shimmer and gold and glass to complete the decor...
with flowers like bougainvillea and fragrant roses to perk up the surroundings... 











5- And of course this party cannot be complete without a few hookahs scattered near the seating...
of different flavors...
My personal favorite is Green Apple!

via 



6- So now that we have the decor and the ambiance done...
How about we move onto the grub?
Food is the mainstay of any party... it can make or break all the effort that you have put into it...
So plan carefully and go with the theme...
My personal favorite would be Barbecue... but then it involves a lot of effort from the host, so if you can have that catered...as in somebody else handles the barbecue while you sit back on the floor and smoke the hookah and enjoy the platters of the yummy kababs... go for it! 
The theme for this kind of party would definitely be lebanese... or Mughlai...
and I have some ideas for some easy snacks that we can dish up and leave to the guests to help themselves...
think platters of olives, and baba ganoush and hummus and pita bread...
how about this platter?

via


or just crispy pita bread(which tastes quite like whole wheat naan) with hummus?




an easy baba ganoush recipe is here




Or even Falafel (chickpea cutlets) with Tahini Sauce and pita pockets.(or simply rolled up with naans)



with juicy kababs and sausages and stuffed bell peppers with cheese!






The recipe for a fabulous mediterranean salad with pasta, olives and Feta Cheese (here)!




Serve these yummy delicacies in colorful platters and bowls that give out a wonderful exotic vibe!




And now for the fun part!!
How about a dress code for our guests? something bohemian and gypsy like......
flowing caftans and palazzoz and scarves or flowers in the hair?
like these examples?


or more modern examples would be....




or if we want to go chic hollywood... 



And so we are set... 
the theme-check.
the decor-check.
the food- check.
the dress code-check.
Oh we forgot the invitations....  how about these??





 and now that the guests are just about to arrive...
 fairy lights are twinkling...
the lamps are glowing...
the music is playing the cliche "mehbooba....mehbooba"  :-D
or maybe authentic arabic music... a la Elissa or Nancy Ajram...
and I am waiting to welcome my guests with a sprinkler of fragrant rosewater and chilled glass of khus khus sherbet or Rooh Afza...

(oh... and a  secret... I have a belly dancer tucked away in the backroom as a special treat for my guests)
I told ya.., I make a fabulous host!!  :D



Disclaimer: NONE of the images shown in this post are taken by me...
all have been sourced via google...
the links that I could source out have been linked back, but the rest, my apologies!

'This blog is a part of FabFurnish.com's FAB TGIF contest' 
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