Nutty Raisin-Sweet potato Cookies

Nutty Raisin Sweet potato cookies

Before you laugh at how bizarre these cookies seem, I can vouch that these are actually very enjoyable. When I had a bite, the first thought that crossed my mind is, Gosh! This tastes nothing like sweet potatoes!


I know my choice of making this might seem wild, but I wanted something to crave my sweet tooth – I dint want a pie nor a cake, so this was the next best thing. Though, I did make some sweet potato fries with the rest later, to counter the sweetness :).

Sweet Potato cookies

Now, do you need some convincing on eating sweet potatoes. The health benefits are immeasurable. Vitamins, Minerals, blah blah blah. Check this link on Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.


These cookies were no trouble to make or bake. While baking, these cookies dint spread, so I think it’s ok to say that you can place them an inch apart, without them spreading and running into each other.

Time: Orange Sweet Potato
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Eating time: 1 sec 😉


Serves: 20 pieces

Material:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Hand mixer
  • Flour sifter
  • Baking tray
  • Butter paper

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – ½ cup
  • Granulated sugar – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Sweet Potato ( boiled and smashed) – 1 cup
  • Orange Juice – 3 tbsp
  • Whole Wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Nuts, RaisinsBaking powder – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder -1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ½ Tsp
  • Crushed cashews – 1 cup
  • Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Crushed biscuits – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 350F for about 15 min.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar fr about 3 min, until pale yellow. Beat in the egg and then the mashed sweet potato and orange juice.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Stir the cashews, shredded coconut, crushed biscuits and raisins in some of the flour. This is to ensure that they don’t sink to the bottom of the cookie.
  • By dividing the flour into 3 parts, add it part by part, into the butter mixture and mix until properly mixed.
  • Line the baking tray with butter paper and grease with a little butter. Drop a spoonful of the batter, an inch apart, on the baking tray.
  • Bake at 350F for 20 min.  Stick a toothpick in a cookie and if it comes out clean, remove. And let it cool, before storing in an airtight container.

Tip for perfectly baked cookies
  • Soften butter, by letting it stand at room temperature. Rather than putting it in the microwave.
  • Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven.
  • Set the timer for 2-3 min less than the cooking time ( 20 min), so that you can keep an eye that they are not over done.

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Bubbly Orange Iced Tea

    The heat is on, on the street
    Inside your head, on every beat…
    The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on….. 

Orange Iced Tea

Orange Iced Tea


What an apt song playing on Pandora while the heat is getting to me. All I want to do is sit with a cold drink and sip away. Trying to avoid the cokes and sprites, I was tempted with this “healthy” Orange flavoured Ice Tea.  


I love the orange colour of the tea, it’s so lively and fresh. I’m sure just the colour is a great mood booster.  And the added Fizz, it’s like a tingling adventure for the mouth.

Materials:

  • 2 Saucepans – 1 Large and 1 small
  • 1 Jug
  • Tea strainer

Ingredients

  • Water – 6 cups
  • Tea powder – Handful
  • Orange Juice – 2 cups
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Ice cubes
  • Club Soda – 1 cup

Method

  • In a large saucepan, to boiling water add tea powder. Allow the tea to steep for about 10 min. (ensure the heat is off)
  • In a smaller saucepan, heat the orange juice and sugar, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Once both the tea and Orange syrup have cooled to room temperature, Pour them into the jug, straining the tea powder. Orange Iced Tea
  • Stir it well and refrigerate till cold.
  • Just before serving, add a cup of club soda and lots of ice to the jug.

Avoid Bitter Tea

  • Steeping tea too long makes it bitter. Experimenting would be a good way to know how long your tea should steep.
  • Iced tea needs double the amount of tea that would be used for a regular cup of hot tea.

Crunchy Munchy Pork Chops

Crusted Pork Chops 

Finger Licking good!! It’s so good, you’ll definitely be asked to make it again. I know my husband did!
They taste great when served hot.


I used Pistachios in this recipe. You could try with any nuts that you have in the pantry – Cashews, almonds. ( IF you try it with anything else, let me know how they turned out). I still have some crust left-over, I’m going to try it with fish or chicken the next time.


By the way, I learnt several things while I was making these. Pork Chops have a tendency of drying out if not cooked properly, so after considerable research, I’ve included some valuable tips at the end of this post.

Time:
Cook time: 10 min
Preparation Time: 5 min
Idle Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4         [Unless you have someone who comes in for seconds]

Materials:

  • Non stick frying pan
  • Food processor / Mixer
  • Shallow bowl
  • Plate

Pork Marinade

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin chops – 4 (thinly sliced)
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Salt  – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Defrost the pork chops to room temperature. Marinade it with ginger-garlic paste, salt, pepper, lime juice. Ensure both sides are well coated. With a fork, I pork the meat a bit, so that the marinade seeps in.
  • Let it sit for at least an hour.

 Pork Chops with Orange Iced Tea

Pistachio Crust

Ingredients

  • Peeled Pistachios – 1 cup
  • Cheddar Cheese – ½ cup
  • Bread crumbs – ½ cup
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixer. Spread it on a plate, so that it is easy to coat the chops.

 

AT LAST

  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Beat an egg in a shallow bowl.
  • Dip each of the pork chops in the egg and then coat with the pistachio crust.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the chops and cook for 2-5 min on either side or till the meat is white on the inside.

 

Cooking Tips for Tender Pork Chops:

  • Ensure the pan is hot, before adding the pork chops.
  • It’s hard to say how long to fry. It all depends on the thickness. Dont fry too long, else the chops will dry out. ( I learnt it the hard way. Happened to me the first time L) . Thin chops can cook on medium heat for 5 min on either side. The thicker, the more time it will need. A good tip, would be to ensure that the sides are well browned. If you want to be doubly sure, just make a small cut in the meat and ensure that it is not pinkish.
  • Dont turn the meat more than once, else the crust will crumble.
  • Dont cover while cooking, else the meat gets stewed. ( I read this on the net. Apparently the water and the fat from the meat makes it soggy ). If you want to avoid the oil from splattering, you can use a mesh cover.

Butter chicken


This is my all time favourite Indian dish and definitely consider it a comfort food. It’s one exotic meal that always makes my mouth water and the best, is it’s not spicy at all.


Many people are under the impression that cooking Indian food is hard and too time consuming, but if you can plan a bit in advance and dedicate atleast an hour, you can work up magical wonders. I dint come from a household where traditional Indian food was cooked, so never had the Indian culinary instincts imbibed in me. But over the years, with the numerous recipe books I’ve experimented from, I’ve been quite enthusiastic about it.

I must admit, I do love to find short and easy routes, all which make cooking a breeze.  In this recipe, I used a ready Spice mix. But incase you don’t have a spice mix ready at hand. I’ve added it in the “Tips Section” at the end.

It’s important to know that the 5 “Must have” spices while cooking Indian food are Garam Masala, Tumeric pwd, coriander pwd, chilly pwd, Cumin pwd. This is used practically in every recipe


In Butter Chicken, the key to succulent and flavourful chicken is to marinate it in yogurt and the spice mix. I add my secret spice mix “Shan-Butter chicken Spice mix”, but I’m sure any other brand will work just as fine.


Time:

Idle Time:
1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 min   ( Cook chicken and curry simultaneously else it’ll take about 55 min)


Serves: 4


Materials:

  • Non Stick Frying pan
  • Deep Saucepan

Chicken:

        Ingredients:

  • Skinless Chicken – 12 pieces
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Butter Chicken Spice Mix – 3 tbsp
  • Yogurt – 3tbsp
  • Salt
  • Red Food colour powder – ½ tsp ( optional)

         Method:

  • Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, wash and pat dry.
  • Marinade the chicken with the above ingredients. With a fork, poke the chicken bits gently a bit. This helps the marinate to penetrate the chicken. Keep aside for at least an hour
  • Now, you can either fry the chicken or bake it.
  • If baking, Pre heat the oven to 440 F and bake for 25 min on one side and then turn over and bake for another 15 min.
  • If you are frying, heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry on medium fire for about 30 min but constantly turning. Cover the pan while frying.

Curry: 
     Ingredients:

  • Onion (chopped) – 1,/span>
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Lime Juice – 2 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
  • Chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Butter Chicken Spice Mix – 1 tsp
  • Tomato Puree – 1 cup
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Salt
  • Maggie Cube – 1 (optional)

    Method:

  • Heat a tbspoon of oil is a deep saucepan. Sauté the chopped onions till translucent.
  • Mix in the butter, lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, jeera powder, chilly powder. Cook for a minute till you can smell the fragrant spices.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and continue stirring for a minute. Finally, add in the milk and yogurt and the remaining chicken marinade. Season with a Maggie cube and salt.
  • Add the cooked chicken to the curry and continue heating for another 5 – 10 min. 

Dinner is ready! It was cooked to perfection. I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Tips:

  • Chicken should be marinated for at least 1 hour. Not only does it taste better but it has a better texture. If marinating for more than an hour, keep the chicken in the refrigerator.
  • For a thicker/richer version, substitute the milk with fresh cream.
  • Spice Mix recipe. Put all the below ingredients in a mixer and then add to the chicken.
    • chili powder -1 1/2 tsp
      bay leaves -1/4 tsp
      cloves – 1/4 tsp
      cinnamon – 1/4 tsp
      garam masala – 1 tsp
      cardamom – 4 pods

S’more Cookies

Chocolate Marshmallow cookies

marshmallow packetI found a packet of marshmallows in my pantry which was bought with the intent of making S’mores(cause everyone who lives in the US has to say that they have tried these). But somehow we never got down to sitting in front of a campfire and making S’mores.

Now here I am left with a HUGE packet and I had absolutely no idea what to do with them. Google to the Rescue!!! (Superhero soundtrack playing in the background) I found several recipes for “S’more cookies”. So I decided to try them out.

Made just like regular cookies, with the added marshmallow bits, Marie Biscuit/Graham crackers and chocolate chips, to give it the extra ‘hipness’ or you could say ‘forever-on-the-hip’ness.

 

I just couldn’t resist licking the cookie batter every once in a while. Now this is a pleasure, anyone who bakes cakes or cookies knows – you have to be a batter biter. So if you haven’t tried this out before, head to the kitchen and whip up a butter-sugar mixture, nibble on it and tell me you don’t want to come back for more. I wouldn’t recommend tasting the batter after the egg is added.

Using an ice cream scoop I managed to get 20 cookies. I’d recommend using just a tablespoon next time, as the cookies get bigger. I like it when they are bite size. They look cute too. (If I can call food that!)

Cookies in the oven 

Anyway, in the oven they went and in about 10-12 min, they were done. Just the smell and aroma had my mouth salivating. I couldn’t wait to dig into them.

I did have a bit of problem getting it off the parchment paper. I realised my mistake, don’t let the marshmallow get to the bottom of the cookie. It tends to stick to the paper, giving it a hard time to remove the cookie. So instead of mixing the marshmallow in the cookie batter as most recipes say, just sprinkle them on top.

Oh oh!! That also reminds me, have you ever tried cutting a marshmallow. It is the most disastrous thing! It sticks to your knife, your fingers, your cutting board…. It just hangs on for dear life. So in the middle of my “marshmallow butchering” I had to stop and Google for “how to cut marshmallows”. I know that sounds absolutely hilarious, but I was desperate! Did you know that there is a YouTube video too. I had a hearty laugh.

 Getting back on track, in case you haven’t looked it up already, the trick is to wet the knife and your hands with cold water before cutting them up. But I must warn you, you have to keep doing this every few minutes.

So now, I have my cookies off the baking tray, what next! The weather was just perfect, it was raining outside, nothing better than to make a cup of hot tea and nibble on the cookies. So I grabbed 2 (ok, maybe 3) and I sat in the balcony munching away. They were Goooooood. They were gooey on the inside. Chocolaty, yet crunchy and they just melted in my mouth. Heaven personified!! I would have called it “Drops of Heaven”, but I’m fairly certain that that title is reserved for my next cookie recipe.

Once I was done, I had a sugar high. I’m packing the remaining for my husband to take to work, because I cant be trusted with them at home. Figure I might as well spread a little love today (spread a little something to remember – Thank you Philly Cream cheese)

 S'more cookie scoops

Since I only used a handful of marshmallows, I’ve still got to hunt for more delicious things to do with them. Next on the agenda is  “cherry stuffed marshmallow coated in chocolate”.. hahaha… now that sounds like fun!!

Choco-coffee Banana Pie

Choco-Coffee Banana PieTime: 20 min
Idle time: 50 min

Serves: 10

Materials:choco-coffee Banana Dessert

  • 9” pie bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Hand Mixer

Pie Base

Ingredients:

  • Marie Biscuit
  • Butter – 1/3 cup

A biscuit base can be made in the same way as the base for the Chilled Lime Icecream Pie

Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • Whipping Cream/ Heavy cream – 1 cup
  • Coffee powder – 1 Tbsp
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
  • Egg Yolks – 4
  • Sugar – 110gm
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Banana – 2
  • Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Line the pie tray with the biscuit base and freeze it for about 20 min.
  • In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, coffee and cocoa powder to boil. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together till pale yellow.
  •  Once the coffee mixture is room temperature, add it to the egg mixture while whisking.
  • Then add in the cinnamon powder and keep whisking for a while.
  • Cover the pie base with the sliced bananas and chopped cashewnuts then pour in the filling.
  • Bake at 375 F for 30 min.
  • Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  • Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Tips:

  • Ensure that the coffee mixture is completely cooled before adding to the egg mixture, else the egg will cook.

slice of chocolate coffee banana dessert