Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Puff pastry rounds

Puff pastry sheets come in handy for quick snacks/appetizers and are so versatile. I recently found a cute way to use these. The sheet is thawed, cut into about 8-10 circles, filled and folded to resemble petals or feathers.
In the picture below, I used some leftover pasta sauce, added oregano, garlic salt, seasoning mix and shredded mozzarella cheese. Smeared this mix on the puff pastry rounds and arranged them to resemble bird's feathers. I topped each with an olive. With a little more fine-tuning, this would make a cute thanksgiving vegetarian turkey I think.
For the body of the bird, I used larger squares of puff pastry and stuffed them with jalapeno (ends cut, deseeded and deveined) filled with cream cheese (I used garden veggie and added garlic salt and seasoning mix). Make sure the cheese is room temperature.
Bake the puff pastry per package directions.
Puff pastry bird
Puff pastry vegetarian turkey

jalapeno peppers with cream cheese

For New Years eve party, I used similar pasta sauce as above and arranged the petals in flower shape.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Diwali 2015

Rangolis including underwater one on bottom left

Neerja's rangolis using pen
Diya chaat
Hara bhara rockets

Italian breadstick sparklers

Rangoli salad

Savory pinwheels (bhuee chakra)

Sweet pinwheels

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cherry Tomato Snackers

Cherry Tomato Snackers
These are bite size cherry tomatoes filled with seasoned cream cheese and topped with toasted almonds. They need a bit of work but are totally worth it!

Here's how I make Cherry Tomato Snackers:

Wash the cherry tomatoes, dry and slice each in half. Using a small melon baller, scoop out the seeds and pulp (you can use this in other recipes).

Take about 3 tbsp. plain cream cheese (thawed to room temperature) in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, paprika, dried mint and Costco no salt seasoning mix. Or use flavored cream cheese of choice and vary seasonings per your taste. Fill a small ziplock bag with this cream cheese mix and press into a cone.

Cut off a small end of the bag. Pipe the cream cheese mix into each cherry tomato half. Top with a piece of almond (I have used almonds toasted with little salt & pepper). Serve immediately
 either as is or on a bed of greens.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yogurt-stuffed Mini Peppers

Yogurt-stuffed mini peppers
This recipe is adapted from Yogurt Culture recipe book that I browsed at the library. I loved it the moment I read the recipe and wasted no time in trying it out. I was so happy with the results, this one goes in my "favorites" list now!

Here's how I made the Yogurt-stuffed Mini Peppers -

3 tbsp. yogurt - hung in cheesecloth overnight in the fridge
1 tbsp. fresh mozzarella cheese - crumbled
Seasonings - salt, pepper, paprika and dried mint
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
7 mini peppers
Olive oil for roasting peppers

To make filling combine the hung yogurt, mozzarella, walnuts and seasonings.

Wash the peppers and cut of the tops. With the sharp end of a peeler, scope out the seeds and lining.

Using a small spoon fill the peppers with the yogurt stuffing.

Heat oil in a pan and saute the peppers on medium heat, uncovered till browned on all sides, about 5 to 10 mins.

Serve warm as an appetizer or part of a meal.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cucumber Avocado No-Cook Soup

Cucumber Avocado No-Cook Soup

Here's a quick, easy and healthy lunch option perfect for hot days when you don't want to spend time near your cooking range.

Here's how I make this Cucumber Avocado No-Cook Soup:

1 English cucumber - peeled and roughly chopped (if using other variety of cucumbers please deseed)
1 ripe avocado - scooped and roughly chopped
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1/2 to 1 cup water
1 lemon - juiced
Seasonings - salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, other seasoning mix or herbs of choice (I have used Costco brand no salt seasoning mix in above pic)

Blend the cucumber, avocado, yogurt, water and lemon juice till smooth. Adjust water to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill for upto 1 hour. Top with red pepper flakes, herbs and seasoning mix of choice and serve with some crackers or chips.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps with Cucumber and Hummus filling

If you are looking to cut carbs while still keeping a vegetarian diet, this is an excellent choice for lunch or snack. It is very versatile also, you can change fillings per your choice.

Start out with iceberg lettuce. Separate and clean the leaves and pat dry. If leaves are very big, cut them to size you want.

In the picture above I have spread some hummus and topped with cucumber slices and red pepper flakes. Below are some other kinds of stuffings I use. Wrap the lettuce leaf around the filling. If desired, use a toothpick to hold the wrap. Enjoy immediately.

Lettuce wrap filled with Muester cheese, cucumber slices and red pepper flakes.

Lettuce wrap filled with spicy guacamole and sliced cherry tomatoes

Lettuce wrap smeared with Indian tomato pickle and topped with tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cucumber snacks

Cucumber cups
 These are super easy, no cook snacks, perfect for hot summer days and elegant enough to serve guests as well. They are well loved by adults and kids alike.

Here's how to make these Cucumber snacks:

Take a chilled English cucumber, if desired peel the skin completely or at intervals for a design or keep unpeeled. Cut into 1 inch rounds. Use a small melon baller to create a hollow in each cucumber slice. Take care not to poke a hole thru the other end of the slice.

Fill each with guacamole by spoon or piped in. You can substitute with hummus, pesto or other filling of your choice.

Serve immediately.

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