Mini Treats :)

Sweet treats are hard to resist and I love to indulge in one every once in a while. However having too much sweet gets too messy :p

I have decided to come up with a solution to that problem at least I hope it should work :D. I am calling it *mini treats* , basically miniaturize them. So, this way I get to satisfy my need for sweet and keep a check on how much sugar I actually consume.

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Nothing like a little sweet to brighten the Day !! 🙂

This is basically a cheese-cake with chocolate and Oreo’s. Recipe below and I set these in silicone molds making it all the more easy to take out.

So here’s how it goes:

Making the base:

Crush together a mix of biscuits of your liking. I used

  1. 4-5 Oreo’s, 3-4 Chocochip cookies and 4-5 gram crackers.
  2. melted butter …… 100 gm
  • Mix together the crushed biscuits and butter.
  • place the mix at the bottom of what ever vessel you plan to make your cheese cake in.
  • press down tightly and place the vessel in the fridge for at least 30 min.

Oreo cheesecake filling

  • Whisk together cream cheese, whipping cream and sugar.
  • Once it becomes a little fluffy add crushed Oreo’s.
  • Put the filling over the biscuit’s and place in the fridge.

Chocolate topping

  • heat a little milk in a pan and remove from heat.
  • add chocolate pieces to it and let it stand for a few seconds.
  • now mix it using spoon, making a creamy chocolate mix. let it come to room temperature.
  • bring out the cheese-cake from fridge and top with the chocolate mix.
  • Sprinkle with toppings of choice and place in fridge for 2-3 hours or maybe overnight.

It a simple process and really easy to make. Just a few simple ingredients and a tasty delight is ready.

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mini treat 😀

 

 

Pizza Mania !

Pizza always gets me excited. Going out for a pizza with friends or ordering in for a movie night at home completes the picture.

So I decided to try making some at home, that too with a wheat crust. I must say it turned out really good. Apart from the great taste added advantage is one can customize toppings and store the dough in fridge for a few days.

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final look of the Pizza 🙂

So here’s how i did it

For the dough:

  • Wheat flour ………. 1 cup
  • All purpose flour … 2 cup
  • dry yeast ………….. 1/4 teaspoon
  • sugar ………………. 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt …………………. 1 teaspoon
  • warm water ………. 1 cup
  • cooking oil ……….. 2 teaspoon
  1. mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir them together using a spatula just so it all comes together.
  2. Let it rest for a few hours, till it doubles.
  3. Once the tough is ready bring it it out on a well dusted surface, divide it into parts. I did four big parts.
  4. Taking each portion one by one, shape into a smooth ball. Stretch and tuck the dough making it smooth. Use dry flour of it gets sticky.
  5. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  6. If you plan to store it, cover with a cling film and keep in the fridge.
  7. If you plan to cook, take a ball of the dough and roll it out into a thin disk.
  8. Preheat the oven for 250 degree Celsius.
  9. Top up the dough with toppings of your liking. Place it in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

dough

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the pizza !

Another variation I tried was well…. more like a lazy girl hack :p. I doubled up the pizza base and sandwiched in the pizza fillings. It turned out really good. Picture below.

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Pizza Sandwich !

Some pointers I noted

  1. Pizza sauce made at home is way tastier. To make it better, blanch the tomatoes first.
  2. A little fresh cream beaten and spread along with cheese over the toppings makes it tastier.

Hope you find this helpful and if there is a way I could make it better, do share.

 

Apple Tarts

As I continue my experiments, this week is Apple Tarts 🙂

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tarts ready to eat ! 🙂

I am really excited with this post. Baking is one of the things I have always enjoyed, assisting mom by mixing ingredients and being the official taster, baking holds a very special place in my heart.

This post is also special because, I have finally started using my oven :). Now I know, its not a big deal to use an oven but mine was a typical problem. This new house we moved into, had this beautiful big oven but the owner’s seemed to have lost the user manual adding to that, someone had managed to scratch off all marking from the ovens surface, so there were no indications for the settings on it. Cutting the story short, it took some time before I could finally extend my experiments to the oven.

I made apple tarts and they turned out pretty good, I did use the internet to get hold of how to make them and these three site were very helpful recipe from bakeking site , recipes.sparkpeople.com and smittenkitchen.com.

Here’s what I did.

For the pastry:

  1. all-purpose flour…… 2 cups
  2. salt…………………….. 1 teaspoon
  3. sugar…………………… 1 teaspoon
  4. butter………………….. about 25 grams
  5. egg……………………… 1
  6. milk…………………….4-5 teaspoon
  • to the flour add salt and sugar
  • rub in the butter, it should be mixed well till pea-sized granules appear. the mix should be able to hold together when squeezed by had.
  • whisk the egg and milk together and then add this to the flour mix.
  • knead together the mix, making sure it all comes together in a smooth dough. It will be a bit tight but should hold together. (if you are doing by hand like i did, this will, need a lot of strength and effort.)
  • divide the dough once done and roll out into sheets about 4-6 centimeters thick. wrap with cling film and let it cool in the refrigerator.

For the filling:

  1. butter……… 1 table spoon
  2. apple………. 3-4 (peeled and cubed)
  3. blue berry… 1 cup (cut into half)
  4. cinnamon…. 1 teaspoon
  5. sugar……….. 2 table spoon
  6. lemon juice… 1/2 tea spoon
  • to a pan add the butter. once it melts add the sugar apple-blue berry pieces and cinnamon powder.
  • cover and let it cook for a while.
  • once the fruits have become tender add the lemon juice mix and keep aside to cool.

the filling before and after

Assembling the tarts:

  • Bring out the dough sheets, cut out squares for the tart shells.
  • Roll the dough squares making them thinner. Prick the sheets with a fork.
  • Place the filling to one side of the dough and fold in the other end.
  • Seal the edges by applying a little egg.
  • Also, brush the top with egg and sprinkle with a little cinnamon powder.
  • Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.
  • Place the tarts on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes or till golden brown.

the tarts before and after baking

 

Spaghetti Night :)

Come Friday, I get all pumped up and excited!

I am not sure if its the weekend ahead (two days of lazing around) or the fact that will get lots of time with hubby :). So, coming to Fridays I get excited and think about all things nice trying to make something new to eat.

Last Friday it was Spaghetti !! The reason it figures here is; spaghetti has never been an obvious food choice at our home (when we were kids), it was usually something we would go out to eat. Thus, you see making spaghetti and getting it right has always been a goal :p.

I have tried the red sauce and white one, this time I tried a red sauce but (here come the twist in my tale) with wheat spaghetti. I was apprehensive because, wheat usually is dry and how much sauce would be need to balance that was something I did not know. However I went ahead and happy to say it turned out well 🙂

Below I have shared how I made it and a few pics to go along. I would surely like to know of ideas how I can enhance my spaghetti making skills :). Till then have a great weekend !

Put the spaghetti to boil as per the directions on the packing cover. And while it gets cooked prepare the vegetables and the sauce.

Prepare the veggies:

I do not really think there is any rule about what vegetables can be added what can not be. It basically depends on what you like and since I just love having a-lot of vegetables in my food I basically added a little of all that I had. So I added:

  1. tomatoes……….. 2-3 medium (the more red the better)
  2. onions…………… 2-3 medium (chopped into small squares)
  3. capsicum……….. 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow
  4. carrot……………. 2 medium sized
  5. mushroom……… 5-7 washed properly and and chopped
  6. coriander leaves.. handful
  7.  butter……………. 1 table spoon
  8. chilies
  9. salt
  10. black pepper

Melt the butter, add onions and cook till pale. Add tomatoes, once they breakdown add the veggies capsicums, carrots and mushrooms. Add the chilies and season with salt and pepper.

For the sauce:

  1. garlic cloves…….. 2-4
  2. butter…………….. 1 table spoon
  3. white wine………. 2-3 table spoons
  4. cream cheese…… 1 cup
  5. whipping cream.. 1/2 cup
  6. salt
  7. black pepper

Making sauce:

fry the garlic in butter add the wine. Stir in the cream cheese and cream. Mix together and add the salt and ground black pepper.

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And that’s how my sauce looked 🙂

Putting together:

To the hot sauce, add the prepared veggies mix together. To the mix add the cooked spaghetti stir. If you like cheese, top with a little shredded cheese and serve hot !

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final look 🙂

My first cheesecake (phew !)

We all have a few this which always feature on our To-Do list but somehow we never get around to doing it. Well… when it comes to food-n-cooking, I have seen numerous blog posts-videos and books for cheesecake’s.

Each time I decide on making it, I would fall short of some or the other ingredient 😦

Anyway, I finally managed to get all items (almost all) in place.Getting past a  few failed attempts; I managed to make a perfect cheesecake. Believe me, it was yummy and gorgeous ! Totally worth the time and effort to prepare it and the wait for it to set-be ready 😀

Since it was my first attempt (and i have not learnt how to use my oven… yet.)  I decided to make a  No-bake cheesecake. The very first I made ended up being too creamy and without much variation in taste, in short it was not nice. So, I made a few tweaks and here I am ready to share the successful-beautiful-yummy no-bake cheesecake with chocolate-blueberries and apricot.

What we need (makes two galsses):

Base:
Butter ……………100g
Marie biscuits ….4-6 large ones

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Crush the biscuits and mix in the melted butter.
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  3. Pat down the mix at the base of your serving glass/bowl.
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  4. Place in the fridge to set while the filling is made.

Filling:
Cream cheese ……..200g
Whipping cream ….150g and 50g
Sugar ………………..150g or to taste
Chocolate …………..50g
coco powder ……….1 teaspoon
Blueberries …………12-15
Apricot ………………3-4
Mango ……………….1 medium sized

  1. I softened cream cheese add the whipping cream (first half) and sugar. Mix well till smooth mix is formed.
  2. Divide the above filling into two parts.
  3. To Part 1 of above mix, add a half a teaspoon of the blueberry jam made (blueberry jam below)
    IMG_2884
  4. To Part 2 of above mix, add the coco powder and mix
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  5. Cut the fruits (blueberries, apricot and mango) into small pieces and place them in fridge.
    IMG_2890


Blueberry jam:
Sugar ………………..3 tablespoon
Blueberries …………6-8

  1. In a pan, add the sugar and heat it.
  2. Roughly chop the blueberries and add to the sugar and heat.
  3. keep stirring till it melts completely.
  4. Set aside to cool.


Chocolate layer:
Whipping cream ….50g
Chocolate …………..50g

  1. In a pan, add the whipping cream and heat it.
  2. Roughly chop the chocolate and add to the cream and heat.
  3. When cream comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside for a while.
  4. Use a spoon to mix the chocolate in cream.
  5. Set aside to cool.
    IMG_2888


Assembling the cheesecake:

  1. Remove the glasses from the fridge, pour Part 1 of the cream cheese filling over the base.
  2. On top of this layer add the blueberry jam layer.
    IMG_2886
  3. Next layer is of cut fruits.
  4. On top of the fruits layer, add the Part 2 of cream cheese filling.
  5. Finally, add the chocolate layer.
  6. Place carefully in fridge and allow to cool for about 3-4 hours at least.

Pointers…

  • Add each layer gradually, without disturbing the previous layer.
  • Place in fridge till it sets completely, at least 3-4 hours.
  • What I realized is, anything added to the mix tastes well. Any flavoring any fruit available at hand.
  • My previous attempts failed because the cream part over-powered all other flavors.

Final note, cheese cake turned out as tasty as I had imagines it to be. I am pumped to experiment more with it, so stay tuned ! 🙂

 

Gardens by the Bay

Since I have come to Singapore, I am taking it slow exploring one attraction at a time. This particular weekend, it was GARDENS BY THE BAY.

To explain the experience i have picked a few words (and i will try to explain why its so later) ENCHANTING, INGENIOUS, BEAUTIFUL.

Going in the reverse order, the place was and the structures were simply BEAUTIFUL ! Walking through nature reserve, full of tropical trees and plants was both informative and satisfying. However the highlight for me were the huge tree like structure made right in the center of the gardens. As the sun sets these tree structures begin to light-up and Oh! how beautiful the place becomes. The display of lights is spellbinding.

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It’s an INGENIOUS structure (the huge man-made tree structures, Super-tree Grove). Each Super-tree consists of four parts: a reinforcement concrete core, trunk, planting panels for the living skin and the canopy. 11 of the Super-trees are embedded with environmentally sustainable functions like solar-cells and generate solar energy (more details here:http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/supertree-grove/visitor-information.html). Whats amazing is how the managing body was able to meet energy need – solar power gets harvested here and also making it an iconic-must visit tourist attraction.

Now, coming to the light-and-sound show, ENCHANTING ! totally worth the effort of getting there and waiting for it to begin. Though it lasts only for 15 minutes, the place of light and music is amazing. Be sure to see it. The view from the bridge at the top of the Super-trees is also very beautiful and totally worth the $8 spent on the ticket.

walkway at gardens by the bay

Final note, there are other thing to be seen at the Gardens by the Bay, which i will write about later maybe and are also worth seeing. However, if you are falling short of time please make sure to at-least experience the Super experience with the Super-trees at ‘The Gardens by the Bay’.