Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hogwarts Halloween Party ~ Kiva Atkinson

Welcome to the Hogwarts Halloween Party hosted by Harry Potter! Here you find some of Harry's favorite dishes, as well as some favorites of the renowned culinary genius of the Wizarding World, Kiva Atkinson ...

Fortress du Fromage: cubes of cheese skewered by "wands" served with crackers on a pewter platter

Pumpkin Pasties

Treacle Tarts

Cauldron Cakes

Nightmare Cupcakes

Chocolate Crumble Pudding served with Tombstone Cookies

Dracula Cookies

Chocolate Owl Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownies

Mummy Dogs

Carved out pumpkin filled with pumpkin juice

For more minis by Kiva Atkinson, visit:

Trick or Treat ~ Kerry Alexander

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Happy Halloween ~ Teresa Martínez

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Halloween Bento ~ Asuka Sakumo

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Sweet potato mash


2 medium sweet potato
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp bengalgram dal
1/2 tsp blackgram dal
Salt to taste
Bit of asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Peel skin and boil the sweet potatoes till soft. Mash it lightly.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, bengalgram dal and blackgram dal. When it splutters, add asafoetida and then add turmeric powder. Immediately add sweet potatoes. Add salt and mix everything well. Cook for 2 mins.

Serve as side dish for rice.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Jack o' Lantern ~ Susanna Tunturi-Anttila

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Happy Halloween ~ Rosa Caruso

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Caramel Sauce Recipe - With Variations

Caramel is the backbone of caramel sauce, but it’s also ideal for coating nuts, fresh fruit, or the bottom of ramekins for Crème Caramel(pictured above) and other caramel-topped desserts. And it can add a touch of sweet and gooey to anything from cakes and tarts to brownies and ice creams. Contrary to what one might think, making Caramel Sauce at home is not too hard. It just needs some patience, and you need to stand hovering above the stove as sugar can go from Caramel to burnt in no time! I fell in love with the Caramel Apples over at Simply Recipes, so I thought I'd give the Basic Caramel Sauce a try. If you are someone who shares the fear of making Caramel at home, I hope this post helps you to don your apron and start cooking. its caramel time! [Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons]

I looked around at a few other Caramel recipes, and the one that worked was a combination from Ina Garten's recipe and the one at Epicurious. I'm also suggesting some delicious variations at the end, because everyone likes some change, and I am sure you will love these variations!

Yields 1 3/4 cup Sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla extract

Fill a cup measure halfway with water and put a pastry brush in it; this will be used for washing down the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization.

Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Note: Watch it carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt caramel very quickly. Stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and the vanilla extract. Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.

Serve warm, or add another 1/4 cup of heavy cream and serve at room temperature.

Your basic Caramel Sauce is ready. You can pour it over your choice of dessert and enjoy!

Cinnamon Caramel Sauce: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the basic recipe above. This makes for a very flavorful sauce.

Coffee Caramel Sauce: Add 1 Tablespoon of freshly brewed coffee to the basic recipe above and cook as directed. Works great with ice creams and puddings.

Brandy or Bourbon Caramel Sauce: Add 1 Tablespoon brandy or bourbon to the basic recipe above and cook as directed. Perfect for Thanksgiving celebrations!

Orange-Cardamom Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups fresh orange juice with 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Pour through a fine sieve, pressing against the zest to release all the liquid. Stir the strained, reduced orange juice and 4 tsp. ground cardamom into the cooled caramel sauce. A beautiful topping for Coffee Cakes and fruity desserts.

Hope you liked this Caramel Sauce recipe, and the suggested variations. Now go and get your Caramel Apples ready for Halloween this weekend!

For more Holiday inspiration, check out this article on Ideas & Themes for Halloween, and also a list of Easy Halloween Party Recipes

Chatpat paneer

WYF: Light Meal event ends tommorrow..Pls rush in your entries ..

Guest author: Rama Devi


1 cup Paneer(cut into cubes,if it is fresh add as it is otherwise fry and add)
2 each - Onions, tomatoes(chopped)
2 cloves
2-3 cardamom
1 inch piece of cinnamon
2 tbsp cashew paste
1 tbsp red chilli paste(soaked in water for 1/2 hr then paste adding little water)
Salt as required
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp coriander seeds powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 or 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Heat oil in kadai, add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds and fry for 2 min. Then add onions and fry until it becomes golden brown. Add tomatoes and fry till it is cooked. Add coriander seeds powder, garam masala, red chilli paste, red chilli powder, salt, water and cook for 2 min. Then add cashew nut paste, paneer, tomato sauce and cook for 5-10 mins.

Tastes good with chappati, paratha and kulcha.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween ~ Teresa Martínez

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Witch Stew ~ Betsy Niederer

A Halloween witch's holiday preparations - the book opens and there are some nasty recipes inside...

Thavalai vadai


2 cup mixed dals [redgram dal (tur), greengram dal (moong), bengalgram dal (channa dal) and blackgram dal (urad dal)]
1 cup rice
Salt to taste
2 red chillies
Few curry leaves
Finely chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Oil to fry

Soak the dals and rice together for 3 hours minimum. Grind it to a coarse paste with red chillies adding a little water. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil and add curry leaves and asafoetida. Add it to the batter. Add salt, finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Heat oil and when hot, pour in a big spoon full of the batter in the oil. Repeat for more vadas. Fry till golden brown and crisp on both sides.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Perfect Fruit: Book Review

The Perfect Fruit
Have you ever noticed how the perfect fruit demands your attention? A run of the mill apple or banana is fine, benign even. But really spectacular fruit grabs you and doesn't let go. I hope everyone has the amazing experience of fresh, intensely flavored, sensual and almost overwhelming experience some day that Chip Brantley had when he first tasted a pluot. It changed his life. No kidding. The Perfect Fruit is his personal and journalistic investigation of this relatively recent stone fruit.

Barely into the first chapter I found myself inexplicably drawn to a local farmers market where I found the aptly named "flavor king." You have to admit, it is an awfully beautiful looking fruit. It tasted even better. Sweet, tangy, juicy, floral and complex.

Flavor King pluots

The season for pluots is pretty much now over, but if you want to read a book about a most unlikely subject that will draw you in, much like a piece of perfect fruit, I wholeheartedly recommend The Perfect Fruit. Brantley covers the breeding, the marketing and flavor of the fruit. The book is well-written, with a strong attention to detail, it covers much of the business related to stone fruit but also the passion that drives fruit breeders to keep working on new hybrids all the time.

I was a bit skeptical about a whole book on pluots. But it's a book filled with interesting characters, almost dynastic families and the forces of nature. I found it fascinating, I hope you will too.

Baked Strawberry Dessert Pudding

Strawberry Pudding has been a favorite since ages and eons, and as these berries are easily available almost all year round, there's no restraint on indulging in a sweet dessert pudding whenever you fancy to have one! Puddings can be of various types, creamy, gooey, gelatinous or cake-like, and as the last one is one of my favorites, I chose a baked pudding that's softer than a cake, yet light in texture. The inspiration came from a craving for a traditional Strawberry Shortcake, but I didn't have the ingredients nor the patience to make one. So, the easiest way to create a satisfying substitute was to use the same flavors, and bake a pudding! With strawberry puree, fresh sliced strawberries a hint of lemon and brown sugar, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, this Baked Strawberry Pudding is a perfect dessert for those sudden sweet-tooth cravings.

8-20 large fresh strawberries
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg - separated
**add one more egg for a souffle-like pudding

For Garnish
more strawberry slices
sprig of mint
whipped cream
chocolate sauce

Take the strawberries, leaving 2 aside, chop them and make a strawberry puree by slowly heating them with the cane sugar and lemon juice, until they are soft, and almost macerated(pulp). Strain the puree through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and excess pulp; then keep aside.

Slice the remaining 2 berries into thin slices, 4 slices per berry.

Butter 4 small ramekins and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Sift in the flour. Stir in the milk, egg yolk and 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree till combined.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in gently into the batter.

Place the 4 strawberry slices on the sides of the buttered ramekins. Then pour the batter, filling them upto 2/3 height, leaving some room to allow the pudding to expand. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top is light golden brown, and the pudding separates from the sides.

Allow the ramekins to cool down. Gently invert each ramekin over a dessert plate. Top with some whipped cream and strawberry slices. Drizzle with the remaining strawberry syrup and chocolate sauce. Its like a strawberry shortcake in itself!

Garnish with a sprig of mint, and serve your delicious Baked Strawberry Pudding for a light and airy yet comforting dessert!

Related Recipes:
Mixed Berry & White Chocolate Pudding
Low-Fat Strawberry Vanilla Cake
Peach Melba with Vanilla-Cardamom Ice Cream
Vanilla Panna-Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries

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Happy Halloween ~ Emmaflam & Miniman