Dreams…

Dreams do come true…

The day has come…Avy can now tolerate milk baked at high temperatures!!!!

Last Thursday we did our first baked milk challenge and it was a success. One of the most happiest day of my life…of this year which has otherwise been a mess.

Seeing him take his first bite was nerve racking….the fact that he rubbed his eyes immediately..made my heart and hope sink….we wiped it with a wet towel…it became alright (seasonal allergies)…

A small bite every 30 minutes…the first 30 minutes was the worst…the remaining three hours were nothing but joyful and tear- filled…

A gleam of hope has appeared…and I sit dreaming of the day I can take him to the ice cream store and buy him everything that he wants…

I sit dreaming of the day he doesn’t have to be the only kid in class who does not have a cake and has to eat chips instead…

I sit dreaming of the day when I don’t have to dread every time day care calls, hoping it is not because they had a accidental exposure…

I sit dreaming of the day I don’t have to explain to a three year old why he can’t have most of his Halloween candy…

I sit dreaming of the day when my son feels normal…

I dream…

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Allergen Free Sugar Cookies!

 Hope all of you had a good Valentine’s Day or just a good day if you do not fall for the hype surrounding this day. I personally like it. I don’t expect much but I like the thought of it. This year was special- Yupa donated a dozen blankets, just because I love blankets to Operation smile. I thought that was just so thoughtful and probably one of the best gifts ever!!!

As usual Avy’s daycare had a party yesterday, so weekend was mainly spent on getting things ready for the party; Handmade cards for all his classmates and teachers, cookies and cupcakes. As I was going through the list and writing the names on the cards , Avy wanted to make one for two of his classmates, who have moved up to another class. He remembers!!!! So had to make more than planned. He was also partial towards his ‘best’ friend, filling his card with extra stickers than the rest…Oh how soon they start!!!

Then my favorite part- COOKIES. I had signed up to bring cookies, though I had plans to make them, a sudden unscheduled root canal almost made me pick up a box from Kroger. But I survived pain or not, I wanted to make them from scratch. So with the help of my little helper, I present Milk-Egg-Soy Free absolutely delicious cookies. Enjoy!!

Spread the Love!!

For the cookie dough:

All purpose Flour (I use the organic one): 1.5 cups

Applesauce :  4 ounce pack

Oil (Canola): ¼ cup

Coconut oil: ¼ cup

Sugar: 1.5 cups

Salt: ½ tsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Nutmeg, Cinnamon (I skipped this as Avy is allergic) and Cardamom: A pinch of each

For the icing:

Confectioner’s sugar: 2 cups

Rice Milk: 4 teaspoons

Agave Nectar: 5 teaspoons

Vanilla extract: ½ tsp

Food coloring-optional

Preparation method:

1)      Mix the sugar, canola oil and coconut oil in a separate bowl. Beat until very smooth, about 6 to 7 minutes. Then add the applesauce and beat for another 2 or 3 minutes.

2)      In a separate bowl mix the rest of the dry ingredients.

3)      Combine the wet and dry and form a smooth dough

4)      Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

5)      After 2 hours take the dough out and knead it well and roll it out on a cookie sheet or piece of foil.  I did this in parts, small balls two or three times, made it easier to roll it out.  Also, I used a chapatti roller (tortilla roller) covered with a plastic wrap, helped it to be non sticky.

6)      Use the desired cookie cutter for the shapes.

7)      Preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 15 minutes. Keep checking often; to make sure it does not char.

Preparation of the icing:

1)      Mix all of the ingredients listed and beat till smooth. If it is too runny, as was my problem, add some flour.

2)      I used a spoon (Avy’s little spoon) to spread the icing, a brush will work too.

3)      Once all are iced, it has to be left overnight or 6-7 hours for icing to harden.

The recipe is sweet enough for adults to enjoy without the icing, for kids they would love the icing. Enjoy!!

Baked goodness…

I think this is going to be my favorite recipe, so simple yet so YUMMMMMM!!. So drum roll….please….introducing the soopertastic BAKED SAMOSAS’!!!

Here is the story behind this, I am an avid watcher of the Tv show , The Next Food Network Star. This season there is an Indian among them by the name Aarti. So it makes it even more special because I can relate to the flavors and spice combinations she comes up with. Anyway she has her own blog and I loved browsing through its history to find this http://www.aartipaarti.com/2009/11/04/aarti-paarti-ep-30-baked-samosas/.

Been meaning to try this out for a while, last Sunday was perfect. I felt like having some chaat, so I made Channa-Samosa but with the baked samosa and it was a great hit. I also made the filling different from hers, and used more veggies, potato, cauliflower, green beans and carrots. So here it goes:

For the channa: https://avymom.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/the-batura-weekend/. You could skip the whole grinding part and just  saute the items and leave it like a chunky channa, that is what I did this time.

Now for the samosas, you need to prepare the dough first.

You will need;

All-purpose flour (Maida)- 2 cups. Now next time I am thinking of adding some whole wheat flour or quinoa or spelt to make it more nutritious.

Oil- 1/4 cup

Water- As required, I would say about 1/2-3-4 cup.

Ajwain seeds- 1 Tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Now add everything and keep kneading the dough.I skipped the buttermilk ,of course, that she uses! obviously the longer you knead the fluffier it will be. Then let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.

For the filling:

Potatoes- 2 medium, boiled and peeled.

Cauliflower- about 20 florets

Beans- about 5

Carrot 1, chopped into small pieces

Onion- 1 finely chopped

Garlic- 2 cloves

Green chilli- 2 numbers

Cilantro- a handful chopped

Salt- To taste

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

Coriander powder, cumin powder- 3/4 tsp each

A little bit of caradmon, cloves and 1 bay leaf.

Oil-2 Tbsp

Here is how:

-Put the cauliflower, beans and carrots in a microwave container and pop it in the microwave for about 7 minutes, till they become tender, but not too squishy

– Add oil in the skillet and let it heat up, now add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Let is saute for about 2 minutes.

– Now add the garlic and green chilli and about a minute later add the onions. Let is all nicely brown. Now add the potato and other vegetables.

– After a minute, add the remaining spices-salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well. It should all come together like a mass, if not just press them with your spoon.

– Finally add the cilantro right on top and mix everything well.

So back to the dough. I did it exactly how it is on her video for the actual making of the samosas and baking part.

Once the samosas were ready, I added a little store bought tamarind and mint sauce and a little bit of chaat masala to each plate before serving!

So enjoy…

Gobi Manchurian :)

I have been asked for this recipe in the past and I finally found a reason to post it….I made it last weekend 🙂 The traditional version involves soy sauce, however due to the soy allergy situation in the house, I have been trying to make this as good, without the soy sauce and I achieved it last weekend.

I think it doubles as a snack for Avy, without the gravy etc, and a wonderful dish for adults.

So here is how I know it:)

For the sauce:

Medium size Gobi (cauliflower )1

Turmeric powder

Red Chilli powder

Asfotedia

Salt

Spring onions

Tomatoes fresh (about 2) or the sauce about 1/2 a small can

Vinegar

Lemon-1

Green chillies (finely chopped)- 2

Medium Onion 1 (finely chopped)

Garlic 3 (finely chopped)

Oil

For the florets:

10 Tbsp for about -Corn flour

6 Tbsp for about -All purpose flour (Maida)

Turmeric powder

Red Chilli powder

Asfotedia

Salt

Sauce:

Make the sauce first if you want crispy Manchurians J

Add 4 Tbsp oil in a skillet (I use canola) and sauté the onion, garlic and green chilies till the onion turns golden brown.

Now add the tomatoes or tomato sauce (I prefer non flavored plain tomato sauce) and let it simmer in low-medium heat for about 15 minutes (closed).

Then add 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of corn flour mixed with water.

Again let it simmer on low heat for 7-8 minutes. Give it a taste and if you feel it is not spicy enough add red chilli powder, usually it is pretty tasty by now.

I turn off the heat, add some lemon and keep it closed.

If you feel the sauces is too thick or too less, add water, and add the same ingredient-vinegar, corn flour with water to that.

Now make the florets and add them in this sauce and gently toss them, so as to not break the florets.

The florets’ preparation:

Wash the Cauliflower well and break them into florets, bite size. If you have one too big, please cut it down 😉 Makes for better frying.

Now mix the Turmeric powder (1tsp), the red chillie powder (1tsp), the corriander powder (1tsp), salt (1/2 tsp) in a big dish and coat the washed cauliflowers and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Get enough oil in a pan to deep fry the florets and let it start on the stove, while you mix 5 Tbsp of corn flour, 3 tbsp of Maida, a pinch of salt, a pinch of turmeric and 1/4 tsp of red chille poweder. Add water and it has to be in a consistency where you can coat the florets entirely. This mixture would coat about 10-12 florets. Repeat the same mixing process for how many ever florets you have.

Once the oil is frying hot, coat the gobi and deep fry it.  Remove once golden brown. I give it to Avy at this stage, makes for a wonderful snack. You can also add any kind of healthy flour to the mixture before frying like Spelt, Quinoa, powdered green gram dal etc.

Best when served hot. Top with chopped spring onions.

Hopefully you enjoy it! Avy Loved the cauliflowers deep fried, the actual Manchurian was too spicy for him!

The Green Gram- so versatile.

I know I know. It has been a long time since a recipe. This murukku (savory snack) is a recipe from one of our closest family friends. P & R have two kid, T & T 🙂 She made this for Avy especially because due to his allergies he cannot have the regular ghee etc that go into it’s making. This is a combination of green gram flour and rice flour based murukku. It comes out beautifully and sooo yummy every time she has done it. So I tried my hand at it last weekend and it came out great! Avy had some of it, while we had the rest of it 🙂

Here it goes…

Green Gram dal (green moong dal): 1/2 cup (Here is the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean). I love this bean, so healthy, so powerful!

Rice flour: 1 cup

Salt: 1 tsp

Oil: 2 tbsp for the mixture and more to fry

Green cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp

Asfotedia: 1/2 tsp

1) First dry roast the green gram dal till then turn to a brown color on medium heat. I would say it is about 5 minutes. Make sure you do not ignore it, as it will burn very quickly.

2) Then dry roast the rice flour powder on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

3) Grind the green gram dal in a food processor till it reaches a soft texture.

4) Now mix all the dry ingredients, and then add the 2 Tbsp oil and let is sit.

5) Set the oil and wait till the oil gets really hot, if you drop a morsel of the dough it should fry immediately.

6) Now take the mixture little by little and add a little water and make it into pliable dough consistency, and use the star shape plate on the mould and to make the murukku directly on to the oil.

7) Wait till they turn into a brown color and then it is ready to be served

Pointers and tips:

Now due to the fact that it has the green gram it will not come out in beautiful round shapes, it would come out only in smaller straight pieces. I say it is okay because easier for the kids to eat.

Also, if you mix water to the entire dough at the beginning it will dry out the entire mixture. So add little by little and fry it immediately.

So after all this, Avy ended up having only few pieces…I guess he was just not in the mood 🙂 Here are some pictures of the same.

Thanks to the lovely P for this one!

This is the photo op picture 😛

Then is one of the Little monster attacking the whole pile…

Then is where he offered to me and when I said ‘no’, he left it promptly on the stairs…:)

Chocolate and Orange…YUMMMMM

 

Yesterday was the 39th wedding Anniversary for my in-law’s. I am a sucker for such days!! 🙂 I instantly feel very happy at weddings or during anniversaries etc. It is such a wonderful day to commemorate what is one of the most important days in your lives. So when Ajit and I started to discuss what to do, since it was a weekday there was a brief discussion of a store-bought cake as the evenings are always a gamble with the little one. But then I figured, what fun is it for grandparents to cut cake and eat it when their one obsession in life right now does not get to have a piece.

I then remembered this recipe I had been wanting to try out. I don’t know about other but I LOVEEE a good chocolate and orange combination. Thanks to Susan, I tried this recipe and it came out great. Here is the original recipe http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/12/chocolate-orange-cake.html, but I tweaked it to suit to my situation and we got a wonderful, moist delicacy. Here is how you venture out…

Unbleached white flour (maida): 1.5 cups

Sugar: 1 cup

Cocoa: 1/4-1/2 cup depending on how much chocolate you like 🙂

Salt: 1/2 tsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Oil: 1/2 cup

Vinegar: 1 Tbsp

Water: 1/2 cup

Orange juice: 1/2 cup

Orange zest or peel: About 1 Tbsp. You can grate orange just the skin on a grater and collect this.

You add some cinnamon and vanilla extract if you please. Avy is little sensitive to both.

Mix all the dry ingredients first and then add the liquid and beat it, until smooth. I used a handheld electric beater for about a minute.

Grease a 9×9 inch pan and pour the liquid in it. Set the oven at 350 and bake for about 30 minutes. Once done, insert a fork and make sure nothing sticks to it, keep it to cool. It will take about an hour to cool fully. (Last night I was in a rush, so I took it off before it fully cooled and it was not as pleasant to clean up ;)).

Now for the icing, I did only the orange icing yesterday. also do the icing just before you are ready to serve:

1/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)

Some vanilla extract and little cinnamon if you please.

1 tsp orange juice.

Add the liquid slowly and start beating the mixture, you can see it all blend in. I used a little too much liquid last night, so the icing did not show nicely, though it tasted great. The mixture should be thick yet at a consistency in which you can drizzle it over the cake. Dress up the cake and serve. At the end I added a little cocoa to my icing and poured over the cake, as you can see in the picture. Cannot have enough chocolate!!

It was job well done, everyone enjoyed the cake. Avy successfully mushed the cake even before my in-laws had a chance to cut it, but it was a wonderful sight. It made me think that afterall his birthdays will not be so bad, I can always bake a huge cake for him and my mind went into overdrive to thinking what all I can with a birthday cake….Mommy brain… :):)…. Here is Avy enjoying the cake…

The Batura weekend ;)

Well Well, last weekend was Mother’s day weekend. After that post for my mom, this is a post about my weekend. It started out with a bang on friday evening with Avy in a sooper dooper cute mood. I was making tea in the kitchen, I could hear his dad and grandparents asking him to take the card he made for me at his daycare to me. Few second later I hear the cute little foot stomps approaching me, and when he entered the kitchen it was the cutest sight. He has this big butterfly he had fingerprinted in bright pink with I love you, mommy written on it. It also had another cute tear in the corner that my little one made himself :p. I was floored at that moment and felt it was the best weekend ever before it started.:)

Saturday was brunch time, we took Ajit’s parents who are visiting to the Blacksburg farmer market and to one our favorite local restaurants “Gillies”. It has become a new favorite since it is a vegan restaurant and I can take Avyu there without worrying if he would get anything to eat. After a long long wait, when we finally got in we were ravenous. While waiting for the food, Avyu discovered a new snack all my himself. He was eating his saltine crackers and there was those small jelly/jam packets on the table, he promptly asked for one. Like always, I read the ingredients twice had his dad read them again and it was okay to give him. He instantly started using his cracker as a spoon and ate it all, jelly and cracker :). That was followed by an order of a super flavored potato dish, just like hashbrowns. He loves those too. The lunch ended with Avyu fighting me for my orange juice, all in all was a great time well spent.

Now coming to the tile of my blog, I have been going on and on about eating Channa Batura. Online recipe search revealed that almost 90% of the recipes call for use of curd, which made it a bummer, as one more dish I have to cross of my list when I eat outside. So I decided to make it at home. I found some recipes using boiled potatoes, a couple of them. So with all my research and a penchant for risk taking, I present to you my version of Channa Batura. Must say in the spirit of full disclosure, the Batura came out super great, soft, tasty, the channa was good, tasted very well, I just wish i had pressure cooked em a little bit longer 🙂

So enjoy!!

Items needed for Batura: (Note: The dough needs to sit for at least 5-6 hours for best results)

All purpose flour (Maida): 3 cups

Potatoes: Small ones 2 (boiled and peeled)

Baking soda: 1 tsp

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Salt to taste- I would say about 3/4 to 1 tsp.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl,smash the boiled potatoes and add about 4 Tbsp of hot water and just spread it around and start kneading. Add water little by little and knead the dough till is becomes soft. Pointer: At one stage the dough will be a little sticky, like as though there is too much water, but do NOT add more flour, just keeps kneading it will become soft. I takes about 20-25 of kneading to achieve the right consistency. It will be smooth and glossy.

Now take a wet cloth, or I use wet tissue to wrap it around the dough and let it sit in an air tight container for about 5-6 hours.

When it is time to make the Batura, start the oil in a frying pan. Then take the dough out and knead it once more on the counter for about 5 mins and make it into medium size balls. Use more flour to help in flattening them out (like a tortilla). It is best to make one by one and fry them immediately to avoid exposure to moisture.  Once you put the dough in the oil, just pat them out with the spoon this will help achieving the desired results.

It was my husband and mother in law who made the best ones, I kneaded the dough and they fried it. So as you can imagine my husband claims full bragging rights for the awesome ones in the picture above :):p.

Now onto the chick pea curry…

Items needed:

Chick peas soaked overnight, or at least for 6 hours, or you can used the canned version. If can use 3 cans, if fresh about the same quantity. Pressure cook them for about 4 whistles to get to a soft texture.

For the sauce base, saute the following items for about 8 minutes and grind to a thick paste:

Ginger: 2 inch piece

Garlic- about 3 pods

Tomato- 2 small ones

Onion- 1 medium onion

Now add about 2 Tbsp of oil, and add the following flavors:

Cinnamon stick- 1 inch stick

Cardamom- 3 pods

Cloves- 4

Bayleaf- 1

Cumin- about a teaspoon

Once these saute for few minutes, add the paste and a ½ cup water. Now add the following:

Turmeric powder: 1 tsp

Coriander powder-1.5 tsp

Cumin powder-1.5 tsp

Chilli powder- 2 tsp

Channa masala powder- 2 tsp

Chaat masala- 2 tsp

Salt to taste

I then leave it on low heat to boil for about 10 minutes. I now add the boiled chickpea to the boiling mixture and leave the lid close and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

I then check to see if the taste is what I want, feel free to change-up the proportion to what you would like. Finally I add a ½ tsp of sugar, this will bring in and blend the mixture.

I garnish with some Cilantro and keep the lid closed till it is ready to be served.

Finally as it goes on the plates I squeeze some lemon juice for that lovely zest.

Whew!! That took longer to write than actually do!  This was followed by a nice sunday at home doing what I enjoy best…spending time with family.

P.s Avyu liked the “pullllii”(poori)!!!

Magic of Moong…

I love Moong (or Mung) beans a lot! They are soo tasty and packed with such rich nutrients. They are a favorite for Avy too. I have done a lot of recipe with both the unhusked green moong dal and the dehusked yellow moong dal. This is a very important source of protein in our household.

Ranging from pancakes, to sundal (kind of like a salad), to just boiled moong dal with rice we have tried a myriad of things with these lentils. I present here a recipe I just thought of the other day. Avy was a little fussy to eat his rice, so I made this hoping it will pack in some protein with the vegetables while making it interesting for him to eat. Avy happily just picked out the carrots while the rest of us enjoyed a lovely dish.

I present to you..the Radish-Carrot-Moong Curry.

Radish: About 3 if you are getting the fresh long ones, or one small packet if you are getting the round ones.

Carrots: About equal quantity (that day I had some frozen ones which I used)

Moong beans: About 1 cup soaked for about 30 mins. (I normally do the soaking first and then try and get the other work done like cutting the vegetables etc)

Ginger: About 1/2 inch, cut into small pieces

Green Chillies: 1 or 2 (I used only 1, as it was for the little one)

Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp

Salt-1/2 tsp

Canola Oil: 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp

Urad dal; 1/2 tsp

Cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a skillet, when the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and let it start to sputter, then add the cumin seeds, the ginger and green chillie. Once these saute and the chillies start to change color add the radish,carrot, turmeric powder, salt and add a little water (if using frozen carrots, add the carrots about 5-7 minutes after adding the radish). Close the dish and let it cook in medium heat for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, take a small piece out and check with a fork to see if it is cooked. If the radish is cooked, the carrot will be too :). If not add a little more water and leave it on the stove for few more minutes. Once the radish is cooked, add the moong dal to the mixture and stir till all the ingredients mix.

Let it remain on the stove for about 5 minutes. Remove garnish with come Cilantro and enjoy!!

Radish as a vegetable is so rich in potassium, folic acid and a little unknown fact, it is a good source of calcium too. We all know the benefits of carrot. I think this will be a dish pleasing to both the adult and kids palate. Moms, try it out and let me know what your kids thought!!

One of those days!

Every once in a while I am too tired to cook or eat or clean (am sure everyone has one such day)! Yesterday was one of those days!! All I wanted to do was sleep. Ajit and my dad decided they were going to have Pizza and that left me and Avy. The little monster had his usual ‘Paruppu Sadam’ (rice and lentil), did a ‘Mannana” (banana) dance and gobbled up a whole banana.  So with just me left, I was leaning towards my usual Maggi (which I love btw, with no vegetables…Yes Ajit, no matter what you say, it is AWESOME without any veggies in it!! ).  But Ajit offered to make me some Quinoa Upma.  Turned out to be pretty awesome. Here is his recipe:

Quinoa grains: (You will find it at all grocery stores these days) 1 cup

Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp

Cumin (Jeeragam) seeds; 1/2 tsp

Green chilies 2 or 3

Urad dal and channa dal- 1/2 tsp each

Salt

Onion-1/2

Capsicum 1/2

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Add oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait till it sputters. Add the green chillies and cumin seed and let it saute for 2-3 minutes.

Now add the cut, onion, capsicum, and any other veggies your tummy wants and saute it till the onion changes color.

Now add 1 and half cup of water, little salt and let the water come to a boil. Then add the Quinoa grains and let it cook. Occasional stirring helps. It will take anywhere from 12-15 minutes to cook fully.

Garnish with some Cilantro and you are done!!!

After I was served this on a platter, as I refused to move from the couch, Avy comes running to me since I have his favorite food with me. Mind it, his dinner was over. He had few spoonfuls and ran away happily to continue drawing…..while I was left to enjoy the lovely dinner!

I think this is a wonderful dish for those watching their weight as it is powerfully packed with protein and is very pleasant to the palate. Kids love it, the grain has a very nice texture that appeals to them:)