Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

This recipe caused me to live true to my husband's nickname for me - "Hurricane Piyusha." Though I rarely bake, this turned out soooo good :) Thank you!

  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup milk (1%-whole is good)
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The "How to" -

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the rack in the middle and place the cupcake liners in your pan (or whatever baking dish you are going to use)

  2. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
    Whisk together pumpkin and milk in a separate bowl and set aside

  3. With a mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
    Add eggs one at a time

  4. Add vanilla and beat until smooth

  5. Add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with pumpkin-milk mixture, mixing on low speed

  6. After all ingredients have been added, mix batter 30 seconds on medium-high speed until uniformly combined.
    Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake

  7. Check to see if cupcake are done by poking one in the middle and seeing if the toothpick comes out clean

  8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the pans

  9. Let cool completely on a rack, decorate with icing



  • 8 oz container of cream cheese

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tbsp of vanilla extract

The "how to" -

1. soften cream cheese to room temperature and mix in all ingredients

2. spread on to pumpkin cake

Sweet Basil Thai Curry

· 1 can of baby corn, sliced in half
· 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
· 1 small red onion, cut into thin strips
· 1 can of coconut milk
· 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
· 1 tbsp of olive oil
· Chili sauce
· 3 tbsp of soy sauce
· 3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
· Red pepper flakes
· 2 tbsp of shredded ginger root
· 1 container of tofu, cubed (can use chicken instead)
· 2 tbsp of garlic, minced
· 3 green onions, chopped
· 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

The “How to”:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350° and place cubed tofu in a pan. Bake until tofu is spongy and no longer “wet” (about 10 minutes)
2. In a large skillet, or wok, heat oil
3. As oil is heating, mix coconut milk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes – set aside
4. In wok, add in ginger, onions and garlic, let cook for 5 minutes and then add in corn and bell peppers, chili sauce and green onions
5. Add in coconut milk that you had set aside earlier
6. Let the coconut milk reduce into a thick, creamy consistency
7. Add in the cup of stock to loosen up the consistency and make it more into a curry
8. Stir in tofu
9. Let cook for 5 minutes before adding in the basil

Green Bean and Potato Indian Curry

Indian cooking is a bit tricky... you have to find the delicate balance between multiple spices and then there's a pressure cooker involved! Needless to say, I think I'm one step closer to making food just like my dear Mummy :)
· ½ pound of green beans, cut into 1” pieces
· 2 small-medium potatoes, peeled and diced
· 1 small tomato, diced
· ½ tbsp of salt
· ½ tbsp of dhana jeeru (or cumin)
· ¼ tbsp of turmeric
· ½ tbsp of chili powder
· 1 cup of Water
· ¼ tbsp of mustard seeds and fennel
· 1 tbsp of oil (or one turn of the pot)
Note: I used a pressure cooker but if you don’t have one on hand, a normal pot will do

1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, not too hot! Low-medium heat
2. Add in the mustard seeds and fennel
3. When the mustard seeds start to crack and pop (watch out because they do fly!), add the tomato pieces. Make sure that it isn’t too too hot
4. Once the tomatoes become a mush, add in potatoes and green beans
5. Add in the spices… again this is a delicate balance so do it according to your taste buds
6. Stir everything together to make sure that the potatoes and green beans are well coated
7. Add in water
8. Now if you’re doing this in a pressure cooker, let 2-3 whistles blow. If you are doing this in a pot, let it cook until the potatoes are done. If you need to add more water or want more gravy add a little bit more water and some powdered instant mashed potatoes.

Serve with white rice or rotlis (or wheat tortillas)

Ode to La Madelline..

How I love thou's tomato basil soup... I walked into the work kitchen one day and it smelled like La Mad!! I had to ask for the recipe!!


- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or a turn of your pot)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can of whole, peeling tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
- 3 tablespoons of light cream cheese
- 1 medium size clove of garlic

The "How to":

1. heat the oil in your pot (you're going to need a big one!), add in garlic and onions and sautee till onion is clear
2. add in both cans of tomatoes
3. season with salt and pepper (you can add crushed red pepper if you want more heat)
4. add in stock
5. add in cream cheese
6. let cook together and watch that the cream cheese is melting

To make the soup a more smoother consistency, I blended 3/4 of it and add it back to the pot

Easy, peezy!