Butterfly Light Award!

Hi friends and fellow bloggers! This week was full of surprises for me. I got to spend the entire week with my love in Goa, I finally got my long-awaited FIRST blog award The Sunshine Award and now here I am posting about my second blog award!

Continue reading “Butterfly Light Award!”

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The Sunshine Award!

I had a pleasant surprise this week, as Jacquie from Good Food Seeking, nominated me for the Sunshine award. Thank you, Jacquie for nominating me. I am truly honored and grateful! If you haven’t already, please check out her blog; I’m sure you’ll love it. I always look forward to what she might post next!

Continue reading “The Sunshine Award!”

Spinach Puree |How to Blanch Spinach

Happy Spinach Day! I feel like this day should be better known as Popeye’s Day. As I am a huge fan of Popeye, I blanched spinach for soup for my Popeye (Vishal) on this day. So my post for today is going to be How to Blanch Spinach.

Continue reading “Spinach Puree |How to Blanch Spinach”

Andhra Chicken Masala: A guest post by Beulah

Today is a special day for me as I am featuring the first guest post on my blog today. I am really very happy to feature one of my extra-talented blogger friend’s guest post on my blog… Beulah Arun who blogs at Fullscoops. Continue reading “Andhra Chicken Masala: A guest post by Beulah”

Beginning of an Italian affair

Hi dear readers, fellow bloggers and chefs!
 
This post is dedicated to the Italian Cookery Classes I attended yesterday, 12th March’2014.
Since a month or two I was getting very curious about exploring the Italian Cooking, but because of lack of knowledge of this cuisine was hesitant to start with some serious recipes. For me Italian cuisine is not about just cooking but also about an undefined art and generous love for food. Italians handle their foods with such a respect that mere seeing them cooking gives me goosebumps. And this undefined form of art is the real reason for my curiousness for this marvelous cuisine.
 
I knew I really needed a good amount of pushing for starting with Italian cooking. Finally I was informed about this class by a friend. Vishal gave the push I needed and here I am sharing what I learnt there…
T
his class was organized by Hyatt Regency’s La Terrazza. It was a 1 day class and we were taught 4 dishes. A lot additional knowledge was also given.
 
Things I learnt:
Faro Salad
Spinach and Ricotta Crespelle with Gorgonzola sauce.
Fettuccine in Creamy Pesto Sauce
Chicken Milanese
The chefs were kind enough to teach the following things as well:
How to make crepes from scratch
How to make fresh pasta at home
Testing pasta to be Al-Dante
Pesto Sauce from scratch
How to cut chicken steaks perfectly
How to make a dressing with Balsamic vinegar
Different types of cheese and also various substitutes
 
It was one hell of a class. I thoroughly enjoyed it and next time I am going to make sure that Vishal also attends such classes with me…
If at all Hyatt organizes similar classes in your city, try not to miss it. They are worth every penny.
I am really happy and now finally I can start experimenting with Italian food.
Will share all the recipes as an when I master them myself!
Have a great day 🙂

Continue reading “Beginning of an Italian affair”

How to Melt Chocolate: Microwave Oven

Melting chocolate in microwave oven is far easier and mess-free than double boiler.

All you need to do is stir the chocolate every 10-15 seconds and you are done.

I prefer microwave over double boiler as it requires less utensils and also it saves the pain of being extra-careful with water.

In microwave oven there is not even the slightest possibility of water getting into the chocolate (until and unless you have a water sprinkler near your microwave!) and thus your chocolate will melt without being flawed.

The only thing that has to be taken care while melting chocolate in microwave oven is the overheating of chocolate which might burn the chocolate. But stirring chocolate every 10 seconds will never let you do that mistake.

Here I have used White Chocolate. Same steps are to be followed for melting Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.

Here is how to do it…
Things Needed:

Chocolate:
Shea Butter (optional)
Serrated Knife
Microwave-proof Bowl
Spatula or Spoon

Method:

      1.   Cut chocolate into small pieces with the help of serrated knife.
      2.   Put the chopped chocolate in the microwave-proof bowl and add a bit of Shea butter.

      3.   Keep in the microwave and heat on low heat settings for about 1 minute, checking regularly and stirring the chocolate every 10 seconds.

      4.   Remove the chocolate from oven when only a few soft lumps remain.

      5.   Stir/temper it nicely for about a minute or two.

      6.   Use it as per requirement.

Note:

      1.   Do not overheat the chocolate.

      2.   Temper the chocolate nicely as it gives the chocolate a beautiful shine.

Yeast basics | How to achieve POSITIVE results with Yeast

In my initial days of baking I used to be scared of yeast related recipes.

I used to put in a lot of hard work for preparing breads and more than half of the time the results were devastating. And trust me, it can really get frustrating at times!

But those days are long gone, as now I have understood the basic and the most important thing about yeast. And I would really recommend that you also follow this small step before preparing anything with yeast.

This important step is to activate the yeast by fermentation.

To use yeast there is a great need to understand the process which helps the bread dough to rise or proof.

The purpose of any leavener is to produce the gas that makes bread rise. Yeast does this by feeding on the sugars in flour, and expelling carbon dioxide in the process.  As the yeast feeds on the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide. With no place to go but up, this gas slowly fills the balloon. A very similar process happens as bread rises. Carbon dioxide from yeast fills thousands of balloon-like bubbles in the dough. Once the bread has baked, this is what gives the loaf its airy texture.

The trick here that helps to achieve positive results is to activate the yeast separately first and then kneading the dough with already activated yeast.
Here is how to activate the yeast…

Ingredients:

(Quantity of all the given ingredients will be mentioned in the recipes)

Instant Dry yeast (can use active dry yeast or fresh yeast also)

Sugar

Water

Method:

      1.  Take lukewarm water as per the quantity of the water mentioned in the recipe you are following.

      2.  Add sugar and dissolve it in this water.

      3.  Add the given amount of yeast and dissolve it nicely in water-sugar solution.


      4.  Let it stand for 5 mins.

      5.  The solution will develop bubbles on top and will start rising.


      6.  Use this mixture to knead the dough.

Notes:

      1.  The water should not be hot, it should be lukewarm, otherwise it will kill the yeast and the fermentation won’t happen.

      2.  If the mixture doesn’t bubble up or rise then discard the mixture and make a new one following the same method.



      3.  Once the dough is kneaded, it has to be kept for proofing. And after it is proofed it has to be punched and then kept proofing again.