Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

formerly Ladles and High Heels


2 Comments

Cupcakes on a Dirt-cheap DIY Stand

I made this beautiful and elegant cupcake stand on one of those random boring afternoons when Aarabhi was down for a nap (which went on for two hours, rendering me delirious with joy) and the husband was lazing around. I saw this interesting video on YouTube a few days earlier and bought the supplies (which cost me exactly $3, exc taxes). I was waiting for half an hour of me time so that I could get on. I guess if you wish hard enough for something to happen, it really does *dramatic tears*
cupcake stand3I am in love with this whole cheap craft thingimajig and am going around the house on a scavenger hunt, looking for things to glue together with my giant tube of E6000. My husband probably fears that I might glue his eyes shut unless I find my next DIY project but what do I say, that is a fear that he has to live with.
cupcake stand2cupcake standThe cakes are nothing special, I made them from a yellow cake mix that came out of a box and slathered on some whipped vanilla frosting that was colored with gel coloring. I loved it because it was a change from the homemade cakes I normally bake. The raspberries were added on for some color, of course.
cupcake stand4Have a sunshine-filled day, y’all!

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Do You Know Carrot Greens?

hot carrot greens dip2Two kinds of foods exist in my world. The first is the one you plan for in your head, mull over for a couple of weeks, finally find the courage to make and end up beating yourself up with criticism. The reason for it is simple. I overrate what would be the out come, hence, not even the perfect result would suffice.

Then there is the latter kind: you want it. You have the ingredients in the pantry. You make it. And then you sink into the heaven that is this awesome dish. Today it was the Hot Carrot Greens Cheesy Dip. I am unimaginably in love with this dish and would love to finish what is left of it. But I cannot if I want to avoid the wrath of the hubster. Since we just returned  from our friends’ after a wonderful dinner of homemade pizza and eggless vanilla-Nutella cake (yum-o!), I am pretty sure I can hold my sticky fingers.

hot carrot greens dip3So why carrot greens? Why not? Greens are the most underrated part of most root vegetables (like beet greens). Most people associate it with rabbits but carrot greens are full of nutrition and they can be subbed for any dish that requires spinach. It has a slightly licorice flavor to it, I feel. I had an abundant quantity of carrot greens this week, my fridge had all the other ingredients I needed for the dip and it was a cold winter day that could use some improvement and the dip was it. All it needed was some toasted wholegrain bread. Heaven was achieved.
hot carrot greens dipThis is how I made the dip-

Hot Carrot Greens Cheesy Dip

Ingredients:
Two cups carrot greens, washed and chopped

One cup Greek yogurt

Quarter cup fat-free cream cheese

Half cup mayonnaise

Quarter cup Parmesan cheese

Quarter cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used the pizza blend which was a combination of moz and cheddar)

Three cloves garlic, finely chopped

Quarter cup shallots, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch pepper flakes

Method:
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk all the ingredients together in an oven safe bowl. Bake until cheesy, bubbly and golden brown, approximately for 20-25 minutes. We had it with cut up toasted bread. Anything in the bread-cracker family goes with it, really. Oh so good!!


Leave a comment

Existential Crisis and Cranberry Scones

It has been more than two weeks, probably three, since I logged on to WordPress. And I probably would have gone on happily (not really!) if it hadn’t been for all the madcap updates I’ve been seeing on other blogs. I mean some of the bloggers I’ve been following have started on holiday recipes and are in the thick of Deepavali recipes but I did not have even the slightest inclination to go with the crowd. As always, and for the millionth time, I have been monstrously busy.
sconesNot writing doesn’t mean not making yummy stuff and giving my camera temporary retirement didn’t mean I let my kitchen go permanently. I made biscuits a couple of weekends ago for breakfast, and then some Kholrabi Kootu for dinner last week. To celebrate last Friday, I made some yummy cranberry-pistachio scones for evening snack. They were super flaky, soft and a breeze to make. The basic recipe was from AllRecipes but I substituted the sour cream with yogurt and the raisins with cranberries and pistachios.
scones 2This Friday, I dedicate my time exclusively to making Deepavali sweets and packing them up for our wonderful friends we are going to celebrate the biggest Indian festival with. When I say exclusively, I mean it with a pinch of desperation because I have a sneaking suspicion that Miss Bee is going to be up to a lot of mischief!


3 Comments

Birthday Means Cake

Yep, it is that time of the year when I make chocolate cake with shameless abandon- the hub’s birthday. If you have been keeping up with this blog since 2011, you would see the pattern here. I am a sucker for chocolate cake. I also feel that no other flavor of cake is worth making so I generally refrain from it. This time, I decided to make Kishore’s favorite cookie ever in cake form, the Oreo. When I say favorite, I am probably understating his love for Oreos because not only does he have the capacity to empty a whole carton of Oreos in one sitting but he also orders milkshakes and ice creams in the flavor. At the make your own froyo bar, he will replicate the Oreo with freaky precision and a madcap glee in his eyes.

So to make sure he really did have a wonderful birthday, I decided that this was it. The bottom is a devil’s food cake that was made from scratch at home and it has two kinds of frosting: the cream cheese OD’d on crumbled Oreo cookies that was used as the filler and the frosting, and the chocolate ganache slathered on the sides. We cut the cake last evening and I can tell you that he will be in serious Oreo heaven for a long time to come. The recipe is from Kraft’s website which I modified a little and it has five star reviews from around 700 people. Do I need to say more?!

Happy Birthday, honey, and for your sanity’s sake (and mine), may the world never run out of Oreos!
Oreo cake


10 Comments

Coffee-time Craving: Cinnamon Coffee Muffins

When life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie. When it gives you cinnamon, save it up for a rainy day and make cinnamon muffins for coffee-time!

This recipe has been doing its rounds on the blogsphere but I decided that I need to get my hands on it only after reading it on TheCookingChook‘s blog (who in turn found it on Can You Stay for Dinner). Since I fancy myself to be a “creative” cook, I HAD to go and alter the recipe, of course. But surprisingly, it worked!
cinnamon coffee muffins2So come coffee-time and a very rainy city, I treated myself to the ultimate snack: coffee and cinnamon muffins! The hot coffee and the warm flavor of cinnamon in my sweet-treat were the ultimate combination to munch on as I watched the rain make its patterns on my windowpane. So here is my version of the muffins:

Cinnamon Coffee Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground all-spice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

3/4 cup milk

For the topping-
1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C). Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk so that the egg and the oil are all mixed together. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet in batches and make sure they are well combined. Grease 12 muffin cups and divide the batter among them. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes. While that is happening, melt the butter and mix it with the sugar and cinnamon on a plate for the topping. When done, knife the muffins out of the pan while they are hot. Gently roll them in the topping. Be generous! Let them cool on a wire rack.

The wheat flour gave it a nutty taste that I very much love and by replacing normal sugar with brown, I enhanced the taste of the spices in the muffins. One of these days, I’ve got to try a sugar-free version of this because something tells me that my fellow caffeine loving mother would love it!

You could probably bake this in a cake pan or a brownie tray. Those are my plans for the next couple of times! Oh, we are going to be very happy together, these muffins and I.
cinnamon coffee muffins

 


3 Comments

Why I would never be a baker

choccake

The case in point is the reason why I would never be a baker or a pastry chef. Reasons: I have shaky hands, no patience and I would never acquire the talent a baker needs. Why? Lets go back to the second reason. I have no patience. My patience spans until I take the cake out of the oven and it comes to an abrupt standstill. I love slathering on the icing and making sure I get to those nooks and crannies but that’s it.

Anyway, as I had mentioned earlier, this is my third chocolate cake on this blog. And the second with ganache frosting. But this time, I made it to give away. In my opinion (and I formed this after tasting a mere sliver when my hostess served it this afternoon) it was a tad too sweet. But K disagrees.

Ah, this brings us to the million dollar question: was it for a Superbowl party? Nope. Sadly not. Well, I could pretend it was a domestic tailgate for a bunch of us Desis at one of our friends’ place where we ate, played and caught up with each other. But strike 6pm, we made our way back home, settled with a bowl of guac and oven-baked corn chips and watched the Baltimore Ravens take the trophy home. Go, Ravens! We love you.

To top all this craziness, I did not get a decent picture of the cake (unless you would consider an Instagram click). Poor baby. Let’s hope for a better week (methinks that’s not going to be possible for me. There! I have spread my optimism for the week). Have a wonderful one!


2 Comments

Jam Tart from the Past

I have been gushing about this book all week long on social media. Well, it is not so much a book as a hand-written diary, carried down from my paternal grandmother to my mother and then to me. Here is a little bit of history: The diary itself dates back to 1972, a brief period during which my grandfather, one of the leading leprologists in India during his time, was working in Iran. He lived there for a year or two with my grandmother and two of his then unmarried daughters.

The book was probably commissioned by my grandmother to help my aunts evade boredom because the diary itself is filled with both their meticulous hand. The book has three parts: traditional South Indian, little bit of North Indian and baking/canning which, I suspect, was copied from random American cooking books they found in Iran (the Oz and °F in some of them gave it away). So fast-forward twenty five years, my grandmother unofficially gave the book away to my mother when she handed over the kitchen to her (a periodical occurrence in Indian joint families) . Now, my mother is so absent-minded that she reminds me of Dori (Finding Nemo) sometimes. But whatever she misplaced, she held on to this book tight. Andh this time, when I went to India, I asked her if I could photocopy the book. She refused. And gave the book away to me!

project diary

jam tart pageI had a wonderful time drowning in it. While the book itself contains so many basic recipes, it has wonderful ones for squashes, pickles, jams and jellies. I should applaud my grandmother’s futuristic thinking here: she had no oven, had no clue what a pie was but she decided not to pass them recipes up (I certainly would have!) and asked my aunts to write them down for future contemplation. Also, all the baking recipes here are eggless because eggs were a strict no-no in our household back then! Can you imagine that?! I so cannot wait to try all the recipes out. To start the project off successfully (I shall name this Project: Diary), I decided on making the easiest one first: a basic jam tart.

You could ignore it but I should warn you: these are the butteriest, gooiest cookies ever!!

jam tart2

Jam Tart Cookies

Ingredients:
1 pie crust or make your own:

Two cups flour

One stick/half cup chilled butter

Half cup sugar

One tsp salt

Two Tbsp cold water

Half tsp baking powder

One tsp vanilla essence

Quarter cup jam (I used my homemade apricot jam. What a way to show off!)

Method:
Make the pie crust:

Pulse the dry ingredients and vanilla together with the butter. When it reaches the, what Ina Garten calls, Parmesan (coarse) stage, dump it on a clean surface and mold into a dough. Add the two Tbsp water as you need to bring the flour together. Shape it into a log, seal it with cling wrap and refrigerate it.

Meanwhile set the oven at 400°F. Bring the pie crust (or should I say log?) out. Cut it into 14 circles and place on a lined baking tray. gently press the center of each tart cookie and fill it with a generous amount of jam. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool and enjoy!

apricot preserves