Sunday, August 29, 2010

Budding blogger : Kalyani

Meet Kalyani from Kalyani's Kitchen in Budding blogger segment..

She says -

I'm Kalyani from Kalyani's Kitchen ...... I am a B.Tech Graduate in Comp. Science & Information Technology.

As a hobby I started blogging last year. I am from New Jersey, USA but basically from Hyderabad, India.

I am daughter to my wonderful parents, wife to my loving & caring husband and mother to my cute little princess (Harika)...

I always watched khana khazana, tarladalal shows and many other cooking shows. I used to note the recipes & tried them.

I love cooking and try to do experiments on different recipes.
I always wanted to start a cooking site where i can share my recipes with my friends around the world....

My inspiration is from various cooking sites.... In my blog mainly you will find indian recipes that can be made at home easily.
Do visit my blog and give me suggestions and comments to improve my blog .......

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baked Apple Cinnamon & Goat Cheese Tart


Goat cheese, sometimes called chevre, is a cheese product made from the goat's milk. Goat cheeses can range in taste from strong and pungent, to delicate and mild, however, it does have a distinct tangy flavor which it inherits from the hormones in the goat's milk. The latter is much more similar to human milk than that of the cow, being much thinner, lower in fat, and higher in vitamin A and potassium. Hence Goat Cheese is also a healthy alternative to full-fat cheese like Cream cheese, and is also a favorite among gourmet chefs. It comes in several shapes and flavors - plain or mixed with olive oil and herbs, marinated or sometimes even sampled as a dessert cheese, mixed with chocolate or fruits.

In this extremely simple Tart recipe that is adapted from the Woman's Day magazine, [photo courtesy of Frances Janisch] we combine Goat cheese with Apples and Cinnamon to make this gorgeous and very delicious tart. The mildly pungent flavor of Goat cheese pairs well with the sweet granny Smith apples, and the flavor is accentuated by adding a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg to bake this tart which uses Puff Pastry as a base. The original recipe called for using Apple Jelly, but I decided to saute the apples in a sugar syrup instead, flavored with the spices so the fruit gets a deeper flavor when it is baked. Feel free to modify the recipe to pair cheese with your favorite fruit and you'll end up with a quick-fix dessert recipe that is elegant and delicious in itself.

6 oz goat cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed as pkg directs
3 medium Granny Smith apples - choose the sweet ones
2 Tbsp apple jelly, at room temperature
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
some caramel sauce to drizzle on the tart (optional)

Heat oven to 400°F. Have a large baking sheet ready. Place goat cheese in freezer 10 to 20 minutes to make it crumble more easily.

Unfold 1 sheet of pastry; roll out on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 12-in. square. Cut in half lengthwise. (You can make more cuts if you wish to make small individual-sized tarts). Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Prick each piece with a fork several times to within 1/2 in. of edges.

Divide goat cheese into 6 portions. Crumble 1 portion on each pastry to within 1/2 in. of edges. Refrigerate the prepared sheet while preparing the apples.

Peel, halve and core the apples. Slice each half crosswise in 1/4-in.-thick slices. Take a pan on medium heat and boil the water. Add the sugar to make a thick syrup. Add in the nutmeg and cinnamon, then saute the apple slices in the syrup till they become a little soft and are coated evenly with the syrup.

Remove tarts from refrigerator; arrange apple slices in a row, overlapping as needed, on top of cheese on each tart.

Bake 30 minutes or until pastry is golden, and apples are tender and start to brown at edges. Serve warm or at room temperature with caramel sauce to drizzle on tarts.

Recipe Variations
These tarts are best enjoyed warm, probably 5-8 minutes out of the oven. If you don't have caramel sauce on hand, dust it with some powdered sugar instead. If you are not much of an Apple person, no worries; goat cheese pairs well with other fruits like Peach, Plums or even cherries!

Related Recipes
Spiced Apple Bread
Best Homemade Apple Pie
Upside Down Apple Cake
Fried Apple Pies (Empanadas)

Alice in Wonderland Cake ~ Betsy Niederer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grana Padano

Grana versus Parmigiano
For as long as I can remember I've heard that Parmigiano Reggiano was the king of cheeses. It's the cheese I ate in Italy and cooked with as well. It's the cheese I always buy. I knew about Grana Padano, but believed it was inferior to Parmigiano. A substitute. Poor man's Parmigiano. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First of all, technically you could say Parmigiano is a type of Grana. Grana means grain and refers to the grainy texture of the cheese, and Padano refers to the region where it is produced. Parmigiano is produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena. Grana is produced in Piedmont, Lombardy, Piacenza, Veneto, and Trentino. Both cheeses are lactose free and a good source of protein and calcium.

* Produced in a large region
* Less expensive than Parmigiano
* Made from raw, skim milk
* Cows fed grass, cereal & silage
* Cows can be treated with antibiotics
* Aged from 9 to 24 months and up
* Natural preservative, lysozyme

* Produced in a small region
* More expensive than Grana
* Made from raw skim milk & whole milk
* Cows fed grass & cereal
* Cows not treated with antibiotics
* Aged 24 months or more
* Free of preservatives

Because Grana uses more skim milk it is lower in fat and develops flavor more quickly than Parmigiano. I tasted and compared Grana Padano that was aged only 16-20 months and Parmigiano Reggiano that was aged 28-32 months. Here are my tasting notes:

Buttery, rich, sweet and mildly salty, nutty, creamy with a floral and fruity scent and a flaky, crunchy crystalline texture

Very salty, rich, nutty, earthy, some crystalline crunchiness

The shocking verdict? I actually preferred the Grana! Because cheese is a natural and seasonal product there will be differences throughout the year. But I encourage you to do your own taste test. I no longer believe Grana is a more popular cheese in Italy only out of price considerations. I will still buy Parmigiano on occasion, but for day to day use, I'll be switching to Grana. Both cheeses can be used as a table cheese, grated over pasta, salad, in traditional risotto dishes and with roasted vegetables.

Recipes using Grana

Recipes using Parmigiano

Notes: I bought the Parmigiano from Rainbow Grocery, the Grana was provided for me and came from Di Palo Selects. The Grana is pictured on the left and the Parmigiano on the right.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sardine, Chickpea & Celery Salad

Sardine Salad
I created a "brain healthy" recipe for Posit Science that features canned sardines, an excellent choice for brain health, as they're rich in Omega-3 fatty acids but very low in mercury. I can't reprint it here just yet, so if you'd like to see if for free, sign up for the Posit Science newsletter. You'll get a new recipe each week and can browse the full collection created by food bloggers around the country.

The recipe is easy as can be, it only has 4 ingredients plus a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. It's perfect for hot weather, I hope you'll love it!



Monday, August 23, 2010

Wonderland Garden Cake ~ Vesi Koleva

"Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head though the doorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin."

Alice in Wonderland

For more minis by Vesi Koleva, visit:

Budding blogger:Sameena

Meet Sameena of My Culinary creations in the Budding blogger segment

She says-

I am Dr.Sameena Prathap..I am a dental surgeon having my own private practice..I am settled in Nagercoil,southern most part of India..Nagercoil is just 18 kms away from capecomorin! I am married and we have a lovely daughter..She is called Priyanka...Hubby is a businessman..I did few years of my schooling in muscat as well..I love cooking...when i was doing my dental course in chennai I used to cook in my room in the hostel and share with friends..later I moved to my own flat and started that's how it all began!I started the cooking blog as I wanted to share whatever I know with everyone...

My blog is called My Culinary Creations...

All are cordially invited!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Budding blogger: Suneetha

Meet Suneetha of Suneetha's kitchen..

She says-

Hi all..I am Suneetha Pidikiti......turned as Suneetha Vadlamudi after marriage...

Welcome to my blog

I am a new cooking blogger.I am in California,United State and basically from Andhra Pradesh,India.I am working as a software engineer,can't find time to cook more,but still love to cook,So I plan weekend to try new recipes..

Until Coming to USA..I don't know much cooking but later it became a passion to me.My Husband is a chef by profession and is my best critic.To get his upto mark taste i try hard to give my best in cooking..

Will watch lot of cooking shows and try my own recipes too...Good thing is most of them turned out good.

I used to take pics of my experimented recipes..and friends used to ask my recipes over phone..they tried and liked it is due to my frnds and family i have started this blog recently in this month.

I am new born baby in world of cooking bloggers.So Please give ur advices and comments so that i will improve my self..thanks my dear bloggers..Good luck to u all

Monday, August 16, 2010

Americano Restaurant Review

I've eaten at Americano three times in the past couple of months, and each time it was better than the last. Located on the ground floor of the Hotel Vitale, it's main architectural feature is a large patio that runs the length of the restaurant and faces the bay. With heat lamps, plenty of tables, chairs and even couches, it's one of my favorite outdoor dining spaces in San Francisco (Foreign Cinema is the other).

The menu has something for everybody, with plenty of appetizers for sharing or light meals, pasta, Italian entrees and even a hamburger. While I've enjoyed the fish and hearty steak entrees, it's been the pizza, pasta and appetizers that have made me a fan.

pizza fresca
Their take on the Margherita pizza, the pizza fresca, $15 is puffy and crisp and not overburdened with toppings. It has that melting quality I love when sauce, cheese and crust all meld together.

tonno conserva
My favorite dishes are the appetizers, $7 each or 3 for $18. The luscious tonno conserva is so rich and delicate it will wipe away any memory of domestic canned tuna. Also notable are the arancini and the artichoke and brussels sprouts fritti. None of the fried bites are greasy or heavy.

It's hard for me not to order pasta, especially when it is homemade. Chef Kory Stewart makes fantastic stuffed pasta, supple and soft, simple yet with very high quality ingredients. You can get his pasta in smaller or larger portions. If you want to try several dishes I won't blame you for ordering the small portion, but if you're like me, you will be sad when it's gone. His pastas are often dressed simply with just a bit of olive oil or butter and topped with a bit of herbs or vegetables. The version with fava beans and Meyer lemon was a wonderful expression of late spring.

mocha custard
While I've enjoyed several desserts the one not to miss is the Mocha Custard $5. Served in an espresso cup it is is rich and creamy and the happiest marriage of chocolate and coffee.

Americano Restaurant & Bar
8 Mission Street @ Embaracadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 278-3777

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Budding blogger: Poonam

Meet Poonam from Kishmeesh blog

She says - I know i am supposed to write an introduction for the blog, the objective etc,
But Honestly,if you ask me what makes me Be HERE, What makes me Blog, then I wuld say.. I don’t know….I really don’t know…. !! Because blogging is all About writing, and I don’t like writing, Infact I feel the most annoying and frustrating task for me is to write!!!!!!!!Sometimes I have these weird bottled up thoughts…of Outsourcing writing for my blog…. !!! And then it makes me wonder is Blogging so necessary?.............may be for some weird unexplored reasons…….Need to explore the unexplored!

Or may be… I just wanted to say `Hi~ to all of you..(and my wuld be Friends)……and also let you know that I am here,!!

I guess I have written enough, can that not stand as an Introduction?.....then Let the introduction come from you!!!