From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DAY 44 : LITTLE DEVIL- BOTTOM MACAROONS..YEAH ..YEAH...



I have loved macaroons ever since i can remember, have finished heaps of coconut macaroons as a kid during Christmas and only stopped once my mouth started feeling weird and coarse, last month at Sophias, Shashi mam taught us coconut macaroons, so yup i now bake them whenever i feel like and eat to my hearts desire, which is another reason why i have started running and working out, today my day started early in the morning because according to me , the school fair was on Friday and i had to get stuff done , so i did trial batches of the red velvet muffins , made 4 diff batches and thankfully , have got my zing back, the lovely and talented Pooja Dhingra of Le15 gave me a recipe and broke my jinx, so i have been at it and later when i got to school to pick up the kids i realised that I'm cooking 2 weeks ahead of time, but the thing is i was so excited about making the macaroons that i just went ahead, before starting them i felt that "wish i had gone to a baking school somewhere fancy so that i could understand the nuances and the finer points, but i have not , so i "pulled up my BIG GIRL panties " and got at it, of course i have been reading about these sweet little devils for some time now and decided , how bad can it get, it will just not happen and frankly , i will learn from the "experience" and so far that's who my PROFESSOR is at my "college of cooking and baking " ha ha ha

I found a whole lot of recipes on the net after after a tic-tac-toe i choose this one , its by Lizzie Karmenetzky....i love her name..so that's a positive thing...

Ingredients
175 gm icing sugar
125 g ground almonds
3 large egg whites
75 g caster sugar

Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees c..
Whizz the icing sugar and the almonds in a food processor to a very fine mix and then sieve it , i sieved it twice...just in case
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to nice soft peaks.
Add the caster sugar bit by bit , until thick and glossy.
At this point add your colour or flavouring, i did not do any flavour, because i just 1st wanted to get the basic right, i did add very little blue in it..
To this mix fold in half the almond and icing sugar with a spatula, fold and cut , do not handle this batter roughly or it may sink, when the 1st half is done add the second half, and fold the mix till its shiny and ribbony....

WHEW !!!!!!!! its actually done

Line 2 trays with parchment paper and then fill the mix into a piping bag and with a 1 cm nozzle, pipe out small rounds of the macaroon mix and leave it for about 20 minutes at room temperature to form a slight skin, so that if you lightly touch the batter , nothing will stick on to your finger....

Put it in the oven and frankly ....just said a little prayer.....

I'm grinning from ear to ear because 22minutes later i had these lovely pale blue babies looking back at me and they also had the crusty part around the bottom which is called the foot, and that i believe is 1 of the signs of a well made macaroon, they look so cute that i felt bad that was going to be biting into them soon, "cute little chubby protected species" that's what they look like and as tempting as "string bikini bottom "ha ha ha ...
Let them cool and then very gently lifted them off the parchment paper..tricky busines...

So now its time for the filling and ya its got to be chocolate so nutella was at hand and it went right into these babies, both the ZZ.s , my man friday Vijay and me bit into our home-made heaven and broke out into peals of laughter and happiness , and yummy wow and further , frankly i heaved a sigh of relief , i did it , wow, im happy i may include this in the school stall, but not yet decided, in the meanwhile think i should go for a run...because this much of sugar and fat intake is not fun for your .... ha ha ha
So here they are
"Little devil-bottom macaroons" happy and really heavenly only from "Maria's Kitchen".

P.S. Think im having a sugar high.....have too many sweet things today...going mad..

Monday, November 15, 2010

DAY 43: HMMMMMMMMM BREAD


There is nothing more satisfying to me than baking bread, i love the whole process of the flour , mixing with the yeast and sugar and water and just like that ,like magic , it all emulsifies together and grows into this wonderful wholesome and fresh mound of loveliness...

I make a lot of bread at home in fact i find it very therapeutic, a few days ago Zeke my little 6 yr old made lovely bread following all the instructions i gave him, i couldn't believe that little boy of mine...felt so proud of him....the way he mixed it all together and pounded it , he had a blast and we all looked at him like he is "wonder boy"...
We'll i don't know about anyone else but to me, he is my wonder boy... we'll after he kneaded it all together and even added the olive oil and salt,he had finished his bit , he was also tired with the kneading and so he looked at me and said, "mama , it's ready now...." my little Zeke with his little apron and flour on his hands , gosh he looked pleased as the cat who got the cream, gave him a smashing hug and a tight kiss, and he in true boy style rubbed the kiss off with his floury hands....
we'll the dough was ready to prove...

I then sauteed some garlic, onion kept it aside to completely cool , i then pulled out some fresh basil from my little terrace garden , washed it and tore it into bits, hmmmmmm i love fresh basil and mostly try and use it as much as i can...

250 gm flour
15 gm fresh yeast
125-150 ml water (but i mostly use an approximate amount, depending on how its going)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt
2 small onions sauteed
15 garlic cloves also sauteed
red chili flakes

Like i said , frankly you can go to town with bread and add what you like in it and own that little wholesome wonderness...
So after the dough proved or after it doubled in size , i slowly added all the garlic, onions , chili flakes and basil very very gently , you may also have to keep adding a little flour into the dough as it does tend to get a bit sticky, and then shape it into a loaf tin and leave it to prove again, it takes approximately 40 minutes or slightly more , depending on the weather ...
I then baked it for 40-45 minutes at 220 degrees...
Oh before you put the dough into the oven , give it a milk wash and sprinkle it with water , i keep forgetting this part and most of the time I put it in and then remember as I'm shutting the oven , and then go for it like "speed Gonzalez" ha ha ha ...
I also sprinkle a little dried rosemary on it, because i love the crunch once it is baked...
Post 40 minutes ,there is that beautiful fresh bread aroma wafting in your kitchen, pull it out, slather the crust with butter if you do not like a hard crust, leave it to cool for a bit , taking it out of the loaf tin , or it will sweat in it and ....
We'll i love to bite into fresh hot scrumptious bread with a little dollop of butter....that's me...
Fresh hot "hmmmmm bread" only from "Maria's Kitchen".....made for the very 1st time by my little Zeke Zidaan Warsi"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DAY 42 : TOOMUCKINGFUCH CAKE




This is just a preview of what I'm making, the kids are out playing so I'm going for it with cointreau, oranges, dolche de leche, chocolate and fresh cream...
Oh my god i hope i don't eat it up , making it for Mini place for our friends for Diwali...
HAPPINESS LOVE AND PEACE TO ALL , HAPPY DIWALI GUYS....
lotsa love only from "Maria Kitchen"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

DAY41: DO MEN "CLAM-UP" HA HA HA


I love going to the fish market, i just love the buzz and the chatter and the colourful fisher folk and all the amazing gifts from the sea, and fortunately because i live in Bombay (yeah that's what i will always call it , because that's what i love it as), i have been introduced to the whole fish buying culture at a very early age, i remember going to buy fish with my dad and his brother my uncle Cashmiro (who fed my mum frog legs , saying they were chicken legs ha ha ha ), and they were completely awesome at getting the best deals in the market, so yup the men in my family went out and bought fish from the market.....

Still remember live crabs in my kitchen basin, prawns being cleaned , lovely pink lobsters with beady eyes looking back at us , pomfret , baby shark also known as "mooshi" and my grandmothers special clams, she was truly gifted and her food was awesome , feel terrible that i never ever learned to cook from her....
If i shut my eyes can still hear my granma and our favorite fisher woman Laxmi, my granma ofcourse haggling in "east-indian" Marathi , which is diff from normal Marathi, and Laxmi in her high pitched but not fighting tone normal Marathi ,and then after lotsa banter and "tumhi kai bolte" and "nako nako" "zaun dya""agga agga" ""bony kara bai"and stuff like that the fish would be bought and many smiles would be exchanged and all would end on a happy note....

We'll today i have done a lot of shopping of various kinds, but want to share with you this clam recipe that i made for my adorable friends inspired by Nigella Lawson who i love and am fully inspired by , i love the way she cooks, the way she looks ,the way she unabashedly eats and is always exited about food, i fully connect with that thought process...

So now back to my clams always remember when you buy clams, they have to be closed, shut tight like a high secret vault and they must be open when they are cooked like you have the pass word and the treasure is now yours, just follow this simple rule and you are in the "clamy business"


1 kg fresh clams
Handfull spring onions
Handfull garlic
250 ml white wine
East-Indian garam masala
Amul cream

The reason i have no quantities is because i just put as much as i wanted into this pot and used East - Indian masala for that special home flavour and voila i was done....

Rinse the clams with ice cold water and throw away any ,that are even slightly opened...
I then put some olive ail and just ever so slightly browned the garlic , i then added the wine (after tasting it ha ha ha ) , the onions , i used a sweet wine because i like my wine fruity and sweet , i let this get to a boil and then added my curry masala to it, after i felt that the masala is cooked , i just dunked all the clams into the pot shut the lid and cooked it on high for just 4 minutes, i then tossed it around with the lid on, and when you open it after 4 minutes , you are greeted with the ever so fresh aroma of freshly cooked clams ooooh i love it,
you then add the cream stir it around and you are ready to serve, hot and steaming really succulent ,yummy clams ,fresh and juicy only from "Maria"s Kitchen"

Friday, October 29, 2010

DAY 40: PEEK-A-BOO FLUFFY PASTRY




The real reason i learnt to actually cook is actually my Little boy Zeke, as a mum it feels really nice to see your kids eat because they enjoy it rather than forcing them to because it's good for them , thank fully most of the time Zeke and Zene eat , because like me they are foodies....In fact we are a family that enjoys eating, cooking and feeding ....yup that's us the Warsi's...
And so every time i learn something new i like to change it around and tweak it and make it mine...
I may not be the best in the world , and I'm fine with that, but the food i make is always infused with love. enthusiasm and my brand of madness and excitement ,so it always comes out yumm.....hmmmm think that's my secret ingredient..

We'll i learnt how to make Danish Pastry at Sophia, so when i had a little spare time, which these days I'm finding very hard to manage, sometimes i feel like i need duplicates of me to look after kids, to go to college, to cook, to meet my friends , to tidy the house, to take the kids to school ,to act mad with them , to sleep , to hang with Arshad , to go shopping, to relax , to go for a run etc etc etc...we'll that will happen too, in the future that is, till then i have to continue with my designation of being "super-hot , super-girl" ha ha ha

Ok ok here's the recipe

Flour- 225 gms
Butter- 70 gms
margarine -15 gms + 10 gms
yeast- 10 gms
milk 50 ml
eggs -1/2
salt to taste

A packet of chicken of pork frankfurters...

Make a smooth dough mixing the flour , yeast with a little sugar (sugar is yeast food), milk salt eggs and the 10 gms margarine and leave aside to prove, make this dough as you would make a bread dough...
Smear the butter and margarine together on a table top with a spatula till it attains a lovely silky texture, and divide into three parts and keep aside...

While this is getting done take chicken or pork frankfurters and toss them in very little olive oil till they absolutely brown and the aroma is driving you mad in your kitchen....leave them to completely cool...

Knock down the dough after it has proved and then roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin....
Apply 1 part of the margarine-butter mix onto 2/3 of the dough, and fold the un-buttered part onto 1/2 the buttered portion and fold again over so you get three distinct layers,

if you don't quite understand this , take a piece of paper and try it...its pretty simple actually , but you do not want to mess your dough...

This procedure has to be done twice more with intervals of keeping the dough into the fridge for at least an hour in between each butter application.... after this is all done you roll out the dough one last time and cut it into 6 equal squares or then triangles....

All you have to do is roll the cut dough around the frankfurter and place it on an oiled tray and leave it till it doubles in size....
And then bake it for 20 minutes exactly at 220 degrees...

They came out piping hot and beautifully browned and were eaten within 15 minutes while they were still warm, Zeke said , "its the most amazing food ever" and my little Zene said "its awesome mama".... now tell me why wont i learn how to be better when these kids love it, and frankly they are so pure and sweet and don't have to say nice things to please me , so yes i value their opinion on the food that i make, Zeke devoured 3 pieces and Zene 1 1/2 , I'm a happy mommy...
This is a tedious recipe but really yummy , but not for someone who is on a diet , as for me i "think THIN" so I'm haaaapppy cooking , feeding and eating, ...
So here's presenting, 'PEEK-A-BOO FLUFFY PASTRY" warm ,yummy ,soft and fresh only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ARSHAD N ME


And shot with Arshad after very very very long, and yup it hit the stands about a week ago, this is our 2nd cover shoot together.....
What can i say....
Its always fun.....
Funnily i can never address Arshad as my husband, its just too cheesy ,he will forever stay "my boy-friend".......

Day 38:HA HA HA SWEET RAVANA


Woke up this morning knowing fully we'll that its going to be high octane, fun , mad and well....a day we'll lived.....
So i was to make a cake and it had to be a Ravan cake for Dassera, so i got all my ingredients together , made my batter in a jiffy and baked it....now this really was a piece of cake ha ha ha ....looking at that round piece of chocolate sponge, i had absolutely no clue how to make it look like Ravan, so i did what i do best, googled ravan photographs and picked 1 that i liked, oh before i forget , the recipe for the cake before i forget...

3 cups maida
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

line 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans with waxed paper and grease the paper and set aside...
In a large bowl combine the 1st 5 ingredients...
In another bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, water and vanilla until smooth, stir into dry ingredients until well blended and transfer into prepared pans and bake at 170 degrees for 30 minutes, sool it a bit and then transfer onto wire racks to cool completely...

and then for the frosting...

Frosting
1 cup nutralite butter
1 cup margarine
8 cups icing sugar
5-6 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

in a large bowl , beat the butter and margarine, till it is wonderfully fluffy, add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and continue beating till you get the consistency you like, i always adjust the consistency , depending on whether the frosting is being used inside to layer the cake or then to cover the cake up or then to decorate it.....

Well must say that the whole experience of dong something when you have no clue where and how in a pretty daunting task after you have shot your mouth off saying , "I'll make a Ravan cake"....but slowly slowly my Sweet tasting Ravan came to life, with expert advice from Zeke , who was guiding me on colours and combinations as he is the expert....hmmmm...

We were to reach Mini's place at 3 which did not happen, but we finally did reach her place by 4 which was bustling with activity, Kabir was getting the skeleton done, Jaye and aunty Leela were helping the kids with Ravans face, Mini was multi-tasking, i went into the kitchen and decided to make a variation of Danish pastry with a chicken sausage and Anusha...we'll we found her sleeping..smart girl i say...
The kids Vivaan , Sairah, Kabir, Gia, Seher, Zeke , Zene, Arsalan and Ayatal were busy cutting, pasting painting and making the 10 faces of Ravan....
And suddenly after a bit , we found all the girls had left their masks to dance to the songs of"Dabang" so Jaya and me also joined in, we also caught Aunty Leela burning the dance floor ha ha ha she is going to kill me for this ..or then she may not ,after all she is a Sagittarian ...

Mini in the mean time, was getting food ready for a whole country, there were tuna, nutella, cheese and peanut-butter sandwiches, huge plates of chaat, juices and our hot favourite "Maggi"

We all ate non stop, till we were ready to burst and then settled with some very lovely Earl grey tea served in tea-cups that Kabir's dad bought from Russia..

We , and by that i mean the kids and all us adults , thankfully Shaheen and Roshan had also come by then, we all said ha ha ha ha in our best villainous voice and i had to put the knife into Ravans stomach , we ate some more after we were already full , with sandwiches, chaat and the danish chicken rolls, and when we were finding it a bit difficult to move.....we had to just move..and so with lotsa noise and c'mon c'mon, lets go, where are the kids and blah blah blah....

Ravan was taken down into the building and we all did photographs with the good looking chap and then set him on fire , the crackers went off in a frenzy, with all of us cheering and simultaneously running away ha ha ha ......

Yup "good always triumphs over evil" even if it takes a loooong time....
and so here it is "ha ha ha sweet Ravana" only from "Maria"s Kitchen"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DAY 36 :ALPHA AND OMEGA SINS IN A ROLL






Woke up this morning with mixed feelings , this week has been great fun, I walked the ramp for the very 1st time on the 20th Sept 2010 at the Lakme Fashion week for Payal Singhal my stylist from way back when i was with MTV, we'll a lot lot lot has changed since then.......

And then today was the last day of my Spanish class, at Instituto Hispania Mumbai, no i did not learn to speak Spanish like i hoped to, but that is entirely my fault, but i met a bunch of varied and wonderful guys and girls and this is the most fun class i have done ever, i never ever wanted to miss class because it was full on entertainment, every body with all the enthusiasm to learn this beautiful language "Spanish", and every morning each would bring to class their unique brand of humour and their quirkiness, and in the middle of this Babylonian chaos, we had sweet soft spoken Tarana our "professor" who i think was going mad....but she managed to teach us all more than we expected....Vamos Vamos being the hot" favorita" expression for our unruly crazy fun bunch of "estudiantes "

And the cast of the class

Debanshu and Sukanya , the brother and sister duo who were always bickering sweetly, Debanshu of course shares his birthday with my little boy Zeke , so i was always observing him with much interest...and Sukanya who was great with the language...and was ready to eat the stuff i took to class with much enthusiasm...

Ranjini, the ever helpful one,who also paid for my coffee many times, thanks a ton...
(I do not drink coffee at all , but having coffee in class with everyone was just too much fun and a ritual that i wanted to be part of)

Kanika, the one who was the most studious amoungst us all and always did her home-work, and always sent me sweet encouraging messages, like a good mum does....

Siddesh, the rock star from Vasai , who was very funny and wrote hilarious conversations, about "what if" kinda situations..

Mansi , the pretty one who also is a chef, think most of the guys had a crush on her...

Anand, i always thought he was quiet, but he was mad funny had a great sense of humour and wanted to dance "en la jardin"

Uttara, the one who looks like "Freida Pinto " and was fabulous with picking up languages...

Maryn, was the voice , the boom , the constant chatter , the last word after we have been told to "shut up", she is adorable and kept the class alive ....

Sujay, the extremely intelligent and well behaved boy and the class topper, with a sweet innocent smile

Megha, i know she may not like this but , she was the baby of the class, still is in school and thankfully cannot do the finals like me ha ha ha , thanks for the company.....and the bad attendance....

Raina, the always in a hurry, just moved to Bombay, harrowed home-keper , but fantastic with her language

And Tarana our proffessor, who is just a doll, thank you so much for all your time and your effort, "eres un sol".....

And now .....MTV was so long time back that most of the stuff i had forgotten, Payal had moved on to New York , gotten married has a little boy and now has her own line called "PS", which is more loved by her husband than his 'PS2",ha ha ha , we lost touch , but thanks to FB , we kinda knew what all of us were upto, so when she sent me a message asking me to be part of her collection , i readily said yes...
"Chinki" as she is lovingly called by her friends , had a real funky sense of style and a sparkle in her eye and a spring in her step and it just made me feel really wonderful that she thought of me after all these years, thanks to Payal , i actually walked onto the Lakme alley of fashion, think she was even more nervous than me...
I loved what she gave me to wear and how normal , non fussy and easy she was to work with...Thank you Payal from the bottom of my heart...

And so this week made the same recipe as the cinnamon buns, but changed the filling...
As a dedication to Payal and her feminine, flowy, sexy, beautiful clothes, i made a filling of strawberry with chocolate , because it is sweet , tangy and very very seductive ....

And for my Spanish class an orange and chocolate filling , for their sense of adventure and fun...

I just used, orange and strawberry jam respectively and broken bits of chocolate, into the filling...

And poured a mix of the ingredients below on it.....
100 gm cream cheese
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
Bring all of the above to a boil and as soon as the buns are out of the oven, pour this mix over them and leave to cool...

Yummy, blissfull, gooey, little rolls of 'Strawberry and Orange sin" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Friday, September 3, 2010

DAY 35: ZOFF WENT OFF FOR A TOSS




And so i started off by making a zoff that i learned in baking college, but somewhere down the line i got greedy and wanted to add more ingredients, i met my friend Ruchi at little Sairah's birthday , and she was telling me that she looooveees zucchini bread with carrot....

And so mid way while i was making my zoff,i ransacked my fridge and found carrot and pumpkin ,so i very finely grated some carrot and yellow pumpkin and a small portion of cheese , and while i followed the same recipe as my loaf of bread, after it first rises , i beat it down and added my grated vegetables and cheese, i had to add more flour to the dough as it became very sticky with the added water content in the vegetables....

I then tried to shape it into my zoff...which of course did not happen , but i never give up until i do my best, so after many a wasted effort, i just rounded it up and laid it on my ready tray for a second proving....

It looked beautiful in a bit and quiet double in size, so into the oven it went at 200 degrees and 35 minutes....
Frankly just could not wait to bite into it, so as soon as it came out, i slathered some butter on the crust and waited for 10 minutes and cut a piece.....

On the inside it has an ever so slight tinge of the pumpkin orange and it was just yummy....

I have realised that if you experiment , you always come up with something different and yummy, so go on give it a try get out of your safe zone and take a chance...

The same in life i say, if you obey all the rules you miss all the fun....So as long as you not hurting anyone else ..walk a path less travelled...

As for me. i love bread fresh and hot out of the oven, and my kitchen has this awesome aroma of fresh bread wafting through, hmmmmm.....
Absolutely comforting and wholesome and hot ...hot...hot only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DAY 34 : SAIRAH KABIR AND HER DORA PRINCESS YUMMY CAKE



And so after a mad and crazy holiday with my family and Mini and her family , we finally back in Bombay and getting ready for little Sairah's birthday, we'll after a lot of pulling and tugging I'm baking a Dora doll cake for Sairah who is turning 2..little S looks like a little pixie, little gossamer like hair , brown eyes and a petite structure , but she can pack a punch , bully her brother and yell as loud as Zene , guess that why they both get along.....
Well frankly after Mini got our little Dora doll home, now was the time to bake her skirt and decorate it, so i googled and came up with lotsa help, i loooove google...
Any way , i realised that our little Dora was no little waif like chica, she came from a family that ate wholesome meals like us and so she is well fed and healthy and that's what girls should be like.... well looked after and healthy...So i had to 1st search for a mould for a nice skirt so i put together my beautiful bunt and another dish that i actually bake my chicken in and now it looked right .....
Then bought myself a new bucket and proceeded to make the biggest cake i have ever baked , my help looked at me like ,"she is nuts", but frankly they now used to my funny ways....So here's what i did

Maida: 200 gm
Cocoa : 30 gm
Baking powder :1tsp
Soda bicarbonate : 1/2 tsp
1 Tin nestle condensed milk
Butter: 100 gm
Castor sugar :30 gm
milk or water :3/4 cup
Vanilla essence 1tsp

And so i sieved the dry ingredients twice together, so that you trap some air..
In a bowl beat the butter and the sugar, then add the condensed milk and beat it really well for about 7 minutes,add the milk or water ( i added water so that the sponge gets even lighter) and added 3/4 cup , then added the maida bit by bit , till it all looks like a lovely gooey chocolaty pool , adjust the water if you feel the batter is too stiff..

Of course i made this cake into 5 times the amount in a little blue tub, i then transferred it into my bunt and my huge tray and baked it for 1 hour 10 minutes at 180 degrees...

I then took it out of my oven and left it to cool all night, in the morning as i rushed for my Spanish class , i left it to further chill in my fridge...

After i got back from class i first made my frosting..

1 cup amul butter
1 cup nutralite
8 cups icing sugar
6tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Beat the amul butter and nutralite till it gets light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar bit by bit and also the milk, till it becomes a lovely consistency..
I also melted a kg of dark chocolate..
I then taped my little Dora up, and cello-taped her up so that she does not get spoilt, in fact i made a new dress and sleeves with ribbon , so that Dora does not need a bath , post Sairah's 2nd Birthday party ha ha ha
I cut each cake into 3 layers and put chocolate and frosting, one after the other in succession, so its a 6 layer cake with as much frosting and gooey chocolate...
Dora went into the centre , i then covered her cake evenly with frosting, and but her back in the fridge, felt quite bad as she looked into my big brown eyes with her big brown eyes, as saying "not in the fridge please" ...
Got her out in half an hour , divided my frosting , into white , yellow and mauve and went ahead and made her a pretty skirt....
Then called Mini to take take her home, just could not keep her because Zeke and Zene were constantly trying to pull out frosting with their cute little fingers...
Now if the kids like it, then all the effort is completely worth it.....

We'll the kids loved her and the adults too , so it was time we'll spent , only thing is she was cake enough for 3 more parties, but that's OK , we all love cake , so that's what we living on till she gets over....
So here is my 1st ever attempt at making a "Dora Princess Cake" beautiful and yummy for my little feisty Sairah Kabir , with all my love , straight from Maria's Kitchen.....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THE SWEET REMAINS OF THE DAY


Just made this with the remains of a birthday cake i was making for someone very sweet and thought i should share it, its easy and the recipe will be up in a day with the cake i made...
So for now enjoy.....

Monday, August 30, 2010

MY 1ST AD-FILM AFTER 10 YEARS....


Did my 1st ad shoot after 10 years and played a mum , which i am, with a kid obviously.... And a cow and a hen...
Now how glamorous is that....
And the cow stamped on my foot with his hoof ha ha ha ....
But i had a blast and looking forward to some more adventurous times like these...
Want to shoot with lions next........

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DAY 33 :HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIL ZEKE





Today was a day unlike any other, i knew even while i was just about waking up that it would be a wonderful day, i woke up and went to just look at my Zeke , who was still fast asleep, he turned 6 years old today, my baby , my little boy....
He is just my little light..
Yup he is absolutely naughty , only loves Hindi music ,does funny weird dances and mostly fights with me, loves his sister Zene , but trips her if he gets a chance to and loves his Dada like only he can.....
He wakes up talking no matter what time it is , and still sucks his thumb while sleeping...
Remember holding him in my arms when he was born like it happened yesterday, he was a chonky, pink baby, blowing bubbles and showing us his middle finger, not intentionally of course , but its what we all remember....
Mini, Ritambhara, Kichie ,Sambo and Amit all waiting outside my delivery room waiting for him to be born , and Arshad giving all of them full commentary on whats happening , and Amit , getting me chocolate because i wanted to have chocolate while on my delivery table ha ha ha that's how Zeke came into the world ha ha ha
And so today, i just got into my kitchen and made tons of stuff, made his Clown birthday cake, jam rolls, red velvet muffins, pasta and baby burgers....
Had Mini, Jaya, Kichie and Shamim over, and Vivaan , Gia, Sairah and Burzin , Zene served us all Green tea in her toy tea-set, the boys ran around and i actually jumped a bit on the kiddies pogo stick , its great fun...
We ate , laughed and planned our holidays and did some harmless boy-bashing ha ha ha....while Arshad listened patiently to all our nonsense and clicked photos....
I could not have asked for anything better...
A day like this always helps me reiterate a simple fact, "ALL THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT THINGS"
To Zeke, the little man in my life , who i love more than everything in the world, may God always Bless him and always keep him safe in mind, body ,heart and soul....
'Happy Birthday My Lil Shooting Star"

P.S. :Will put up all the recipes as soon as i get time.....G'night n God bless

Friday, July 23, 2010

KANGKONG IN MY GARDEN


Supremely happy with myself, because i have kangkong growing in my terrace garden, its beautiful , lush green and so much fun to just pull out and cook....very very happy...
Think all of us must try and grow a few basic things ... because its so simple to, also have basil and lemon grass...

DAY 32 :LAZY DECADENT CINNAMON ROLLS


Today was a wonderful free day after very very long, so actually spent the day trying to catch up with my Spanish but eventually was in the kitchen trying out new stuff, that i found with the pioneer woman, its so very satisfying to be able to make something tasty from sweet nothings,spent most of my morning playing tiger mama to my cub Zene, we then spent a lazy lazy time watching TV, and then there were a few things that i wanted to make, so googled and found some amazing sure shot recipes, so went ahead and cooked and baked till my kitchen looked happy, oh also growing kangkong in my garden and basil and lemon grass so really happy about it... have been just running from the time school started in June , and so love this break, actually i bunked class....ha ha ha

So here goes

Lazy decadent cinnamon rolls
1cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
yeast
2 cups all purpose flour and an extra cup on the side
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
plenty of melted butter
1/4 cup Castor sugar
powdered cinnamon

Mix the milk , vegetable oil and sugar in a pan over fire and stop heating it just as you feel its going to boil, leave it to cool for at least an hour...
When the mix is luke warm add the yeast , i always add an amount i really do not know how much, but it somehow comes out right...let this mix sit for about 3 minutes or till you see the yeast acting up...
add the flour to this mix , but don't forget to keep aside that extra 1 cup of flour..
This should be set aside undisturbed till it doubles in size...
Now you add the extra flour , the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt ,it becomes a beautiful soft malleable dough...
now we are ready, so sprinkle some flour onto your work table, and roll the dough thin and in the shape of a rectangle...when you feel its thin enough , pour onto it a generous amount of melted butter and them the cinnamon powder, please don't be stingy with either , oh and no we are not on a diet and never will be , so now that we have settled that, we now start rolling in the dough towards us , and slightly tight, what i did is i let the butter freeze a bit so that it did not all spill out as i rolled the dough....
Pinch the seam to seal it all, then cut the roll in 1'' pieces and arrange them away from one another in a well greased cooking tray...
Cover with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest ...In about an hour , these rolls will have puffed out and look ready to put into the oven ...
I baked them for 20 minutes at 170 degrees, but you need to keep an eye on them, because all our ovens behave differently...
As soon as they came out of the oven i poured this frosting i made with a mix of sugar, milk , coffee and some maple syrup...

And then waited a bit , like 5 minutes so that i do not burn my hands and pulled out a piece and bit into a very warm piece of aaaahhhhhhhhhh with frosting pouring down on it....
Wonderful, yummy and really delicious "LAZY DECADENT CINNAMON ROLLS" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DAY 31: HOLA DE LA PIZZA


And so i spent the afternoon today kneading dough to make pizza dough and a cheese bread, I'm having too much fun baking and do not want to do anything else at the moment, but today because i put in a little extra water ,my right forearm nearly had a chance of competing with Popeye's forearm , that's how much i had to knead it while putting the flour in so that i had the right consistency of dough, but all's well that ends well, and so as i rubbed in the olive oil , i kind of was feeling like singing" besame, besame mucho" and getting into a full scale soprano mode and was dreaming of tossing the pizza dough in the air ....gosh i really do have a fertile imagination ha ha ha and love every "pequeno" bit of it..

Follow exactly what i did for the bread loaf , but just substitute the margarine for the olive oil, and add some ajwain into the flour, i also sliced some garlic into the dough , because i like garlic in my food, when the dough has risen, you beat it down , and then divide the dough into sections depending on how big , thick or thin you like your pizza base, and roll out your dough, put it onto a flat baking surface and blind bake it for about 8-10 minutes, it comes out wonderful and crisp, also because i made the base really thin.....

Got it out added my pizza sauce, and added vegetables , a variety of them and a super helping of cheese, put it back in the oven and kept a watchful eye , because i love my cheese to be just about melted gooey and slightly brown ......
it took about 10 minutes more .....And then the moment Zeke , my house help and me were all waiting for....
Took it out, it had a wonderful aroma that in sure you get all over in Italy , oh forgot before i took it out , put some fresh basil (which i now grow at home along with , kangkong , coriander, lemon grass and a little mint) and just threw it onto the melted cheese , ooooh that aroma is to die for, took it out in less than a minute, cut it into slices and clicked a photograph , very very quickly , before it was dived into and devoured, lovely fresh yummy pizza, sprinkled with chilli flakes and oregano, hot and cheeesy, delivered with a piroutte only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DAY 30: MUAH PAVLOVA


This is something that i saw Nigella Lawson make on TV and i just had to try it, it looked easy and very very tasty and frankly because i really do not count calories and "THINK THIN" i did what i love doing, i googled the recipe and loved the history , this particular dessert got its name after the beautiful Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova visited New Zealand and Australia in 1926 and 1929 respectively and both the countries claim that this is their tribute to the woman who danced to "Swan Lake" like no one has, they wanted to make something really special and delicate and airy and light that would do justice to all that Anna the ballerina stood for ,and that's how the pavlova came into being ...
I love to have "pavlovas " because they are easy to make but are difficult to bake , but once you get it right, its the yummiest and lightest dessert you can have... i love them most with fresh cream and strawberries but mangoes are nice too.....


PAVLOVA
5 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 cups Castor sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees, but you will be turning it down to 130 when you put the meringue in to bake
Combine the egg whites and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater, until you get nice soft peaks, then start adding the sugar a table-spoon at a time so that enough of air gets trapped with the whisking, then add the vanilla and the vinegar, your mix is ready..

Pour it out on to a grease proof paper on a flat baking surface...
And i pour it into a mound and make a well in the center and just stroke the sides with a fork , so that you get this uneven beautiful "tutu" thats begs to be dressed with fresh cream and fruits when ready....if done right it does look like a ballerinas skirt adorned with exotic fruit.....

Bake it at 130 degrees for 3 hours, or until it is nice and crisp and a pale straw colour...then turn the oven off and keep it over night without opening the oven , the next morning open the oven and you will have ,staring at you one of the lightest and melt in the mouth kind of experiences when you bite into it, all you do is whip some fresh cream , i use the fresh cream you get from Parsi dairy farm, i love that , chop seasonal fruits and dress the pavlova with a generous helping of fresh cream and garnish with fruits .........yummmmmmm

Must also tell you that this is the 4th time I'm making it , the 1st time , i read the recipe and thought i was too cool , because i got it all right , but like i said it all about the baking , and so yup my pavlova rose, looked beautiful and i was so happy , i checked the crispiness and it was all like it should be , so i put the oven off and was all set to leave it all night in the oven, went to check on it before i went off to sleep , And lo! and Behold some body had stolen my pavlova , it was just not there, i was like "what the hell happened", i opened my oven and there on the grease paper lay my pavlova , it was a PAPAD, i was heart broken and could not believe that this could happen to something so beautiful, and so learnt a lesson ...
To maintain that beautiful airy happy fluffiness , it needed the right amount of warmth for the right amount of time, not more not less , and only then will the pavlova rise to the occasion and smile back at you...
Actually cooking food for me is like being in a beautiful relationship, it has to be given enough of warm love and care or the most beautiful thing will shrivel up and perish...
Oh ! God, think its the rains, that's getting me all gooey...

So here's presenting, with a lot of warm love and care, "Muah Pavlova" fresh , mouth melting , topped with fresh cream and gorgeous fruits, only from "Maria's Kitchen".....

Monday, July 12, 2010

DEAR ARSHAD, PRAY THE MUSIC GOES ON FOREVER.....

Gosh this was the most fun thing i have done since a very very long time, dancing is my 1st love, eating my 2nd, feeding others my 3rd, etc etc, but to dance again on stage was as thrilling as it has always been , and this is one part of my life that i miss the most, dont miss being on camera or being a familiar face, but miss the adrenalin rush, my heart beating fast and the immense pleasure of letting the music take over....
Thank you Arshad for making this possible again, and dear Vaibhavi who just made me fly...

"Dear Arshad, pray the music goes on forever......

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 29: ABRA-KADABRA BREAD AND SPEEDY CARROT CAKE



Got into baking class finally on Wednesday, it felt so good to go back to Sophia's, the buzz is all the same , but i feel so different , also this time I'm learning on a different floor...
I still remember sitting in designing class doing my work , when suddenly we would be accosted by wafts of the freshest aroma of bread just out of the oven , or chocolate rum balls or then cake...
Oh! God, that time was so much fun and stress, homework, exams and then attendance that i was always bad with... because i was also dancing and modelling, because yup the extra money i got , funded my designing extras...and I'm very proud of that, still remember standing in line for the bus and getting squashed in the train, but it was fun every bit of it..also once studied for a paper that i did not have...yup done all kind of crazy things....
This time around , I'm learning to bake only because i love it , i do not have to search for a job or make a career , so no pressure to do anything ...
My teacher is Sashi ma'am, who is soft spoken , has beautiful hands and is very very helpful , and on friday, in no uncertain terms , she told us , that if we do not wash what we use, we are going to have to scrub the entire kitchen in and out, we'll i always clean up after i finish working , and in all probability , all the rest of us will too...
I made bread in my first class, lovely wholesome , beautiful big fluffy loaf of bread, but under Shashi mam's guidance, and Zeke completely loved it , according to him , i can do anything he points out to from my numerous cook books , and that's the reason i really want to learn it all ,so today I'm on my own in my kitchen and am going to attempt making bread, its the most wonderful feeling in the world, so basic and yet so satisfying....
Carbs sweet satisfying carbs , here i come...

Flour - 250 gm
grain sugar - 5 gm
Yeast -5 gm
Margarine - 5 gm
Salt -5 gm
Water-150 ml

baking temp-200c
Baking time- 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes

Mix yeast in a little water along with sugar, and keep aside.
sieve flour and make a little well in the centre
Pour in the yeast mix and start mixing the dough , add as much water as in necessary to make the dough soft.
Mix margarine and salt together and rub into the dough kneading until smooth and pliable

Did all of the above and my dough rose beautifully, yeah yeah yeah its a wonderful Saturday, I'm actually making bread, then i beat it around a bit , folded the dough into a roll like i was taught in class and put it into my spanking new bread tin and left it to rise again.......

And in the mean time i made a carrot cake that i have been wanting to do for the longest time

2 eggs separated
225 g brown sugar
175 g melted amul butter
150g whole wheat flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
25g chopped walnuts
25 g dried raisins
175 g grated carrot

Topping
1 cup full fat milk
3 tbsp flour
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup margarine
orange edible glitter

And so while i was waiting for my bread dough to rise , i creamed together the egg yolks, sugar and melted butter.
stir in 2 tbsp warm water.
place the remaining cake ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center , add the egg mixture and beat thoroughly
Whisk the egg whites until standing in soft peaks, fold carefully into the cake mixture.
Spoon the mixture into a 20 cm cake tin and bake for 50 minutes in an oven that has been pre-heated to 190 degrees.

It really is easy and comes out beautiful and brown and then just cool it for a bit , it has the most amazing inviting aroma, so i was trying to resist biting into it, because frankly in my opinion , there is nothing better than biting into cake that has just come out of the oven , its heaven in a bite....anyway way now for the frosting , which i learnt from u-tube from a bakery called magnolia...

But now my bread dough has risen so i brushed it with some milk and into the oven at 220 degrees for 40 minutes

Back to the cake frosting , i put the milk in a non stick pan over a medium flame and whisked in the 3 tbsp of flour , kept whisking it so that it does not get lumpy, and becomes a slightly thick and cooked consistency..
Take it off the fire and keep whisking till it is cool , then add the butter and beat the mix with an electric mixi add the sugar a tsp at a time so that its nice and fluffy, and voila you're done...

My bread is also done and has come out of the oven looking so good , gee I'm so so so happy , its like you put in this dough in and "abra-kadabdra-kazaaam " beautiful fluffy fresh bread out of the oven, i toppled it out on to my counter, brushed it with butter and left it to cool....now back to my cake...Zeke is waiting to have it with butter, and so am i ...

After my cake is cooled , i added the frosting very very generously over it and left it rough and unfinished...and then added my new edible orange glitter that my sis juliet and my riend Kichie sent me...i love glitter...

Cut it into slices and bit into my "Saturday comfort slice of carrot cake " yummy , very very sinful only from "Maria's Kitchen"...
P.S. there is nothing more satisfying that actually baking bread from scratch and eating it with amul butter melting on it, sweet basic moments...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

DAY 28: NO COMPRENDO ESPANOL SCONES


Today after a very very long time , was just not feeling upto it, no i was not having a bad hair day or any such frivolous chick thing, its just that i felt that i just don't have a thing for picking up languages and , i sat through Spanish class in a slump, though my teacher Tarana is great and the crowd is really fun, but i guess today was just one of those days....
So i decided to go buy my Espanol dictionary to do my homework , and spent an hour sitting on the floor of the book shop reading "food " books, so after an hour , i finally left with my loot , while looking very menacingly at my Spanish dictionary that could have also been French to me...JA JA JA (thats Espanol for ha ha ha )
Spent the afternoon trying to do"yo soy maria" and tu eres .. and so on and so forth and felt like the rain clouds had burst over my Head, so did what i do, when i don't know ,what to do, "i slept", and dreamt of Spanish....Mama Zeta WHATS HAPPENING ??????
So then woke up and needed to get into a good happy space , so i decided to bake...
A few days ago i met a girl Tarini, who is just a little pixie, cute , sweet and immensely talented in her kitchen , she was sweet enough to let me hang with her while she went about her cooking,and so inspired by her I'm making scones today from a recipe from my new book, i call this

No Comprendo Espanol Scones
300 gm self rising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
85 gm cold unsalted butter ,cut into cubed
4tbsp Castor sugar
150 g full fat yogurt
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk to glaze

Put the flour, salt and baking powder in a big bowl.
Add the butter and with your fingers , mix it all together till the flour looks like a crumble
Add the sugar and just very lightly mix the crumbled flour into it.
In a pan over low heat, warm the yogurt, milk and vanilla, until hot..
Pour this into the flour mix and very carefully and lightly , just fold it to form a dough, do not knead it , as soon as it comes together you are done, just add raisins to it if you like..
Press it out over a flat surface over some flour about 4cm thick and then cut it into circles or triangles and bake it for 17 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees.....

They were ready in no time and soooo easy and tasted so good even plain, made 2 in the shape of mickey mouse that the kids bit into , so could not shoot that..
But its all over we, our help and even Taz are all feeling happier if not healthier , yup this was my comfort food for the day and i really needed it, ok ! even snacked on a snicker bar after buying my Spanish dictionary, but i like to be happy and that's whats important, and really wish that me learning Spanish is going to be as easy as baking for me...
So with that wish in my heart , calling it a day...
So really speedy, lift me up , piping hot "Scones" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

DAY 27: DADA LOVE MUFFINS



A few days ago i was listening to Zene and Arshad having this really sweet conversation, where Arshad told her , that she broke his heart and this is what Zene said ," Dada , your heart is broken ? Come to me , only i can fix it, only me ".
That's what girls do , they look after, nurture and mend what's not right, and they love their "Daddy'' the most in the world, he is the first guy they fall in love with and that beautiful love carries on for the rest of their lives..
Every girl wants to marry a guy exactly like her "Dad", because he is her hero , he is the guy , who looked after her, protected her, cared for her, washed her hair ,blow dried it, tucked her into bed , scared the monsters away with his muscles and sword ,taught her karate, cooked when mama was out, held her hand when she went to school (my dad was holding my hand when i went for college admissions , much to my embarrassment) so ya he is her knight in shining armour ...
My Dad worked abroad most of our childhood, because that's how it was , and he was the handsomest ever, still remember him coming to pick up my 4th standard report card , in a mustard polo neck , cords and rugged boots and everyone staring a him because he was tall , looked like a movie star with his curly hair and green brown eyes, and i was sooooo proud to be his daughter, i kept telling everyone , "my daddy , my daddy",
And so , just a little advice to all you guys out there, when you find the girl of your dreams, please take a good look at your girls dad and all that he stands for in her life, because she has been treated and looked after with lotsa love and care, and so you will have to do better than that ,because she has been someones little princess ,so keep her that way and she will always stay the girl you fell in love with,treat her badly and you will turn her into a woman you will never ever be able to fathom ....
I dedicate today's muffins to" My and Zene's DADA", just want to say that even though you are not home with us, there is not a single day that we do not think about you and send a prayer to God to keep you safe..
To us , you can climb the highest mountain and protect us from all the monsters , that's because only "MY DADDY'S STRONGEST "

WE LOVE YOU....
My daddy and Arshad both love peanuts and so making "Peanut butter-chocolate muffins" that i learnt from Chef Vicky on "do it sweet "

125 gm self rising flour
3 eggs
125 gm butter
125 gm Castor sugar
100 gm peanut butter
25 gm honey
50 gm cooking dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla

I. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar in a bowl, with a electric beater, but i prefer doing it manually
2. Add eggs and vanilla to this mix.
3. Combine the flour,and the honey, and its ready to bake in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes

I made this in a jiffy in the morning and these are Zeke's favourite muffins, i make them in a small bite size so you can just pop them in your mouth and enjoy a fusion of tastes ,the chocolate, the peanut and the yummy cream cheese icing...
I just realised that all the men in my life like 'peanuts", maybe that's because they are all nuts ha ha ha

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all to the "daddy's" and the "to be daddy's" in the world..
With lotsa "Dada love-muffins " only from Maria's kitchen"

P.S. not being able to upload the photos on to my blog

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NIGHT 26 :MIDNIGHT INSANITY MUFFINS




It's now 10.30 pm , did all my stuff for the day, went for Spanish class in spite of partying post 12, but the "People" party was really nice, met lotsa friends and people i really loved meeting and a few that i preferred not to be there, but then i really did not do the invites so had no say in the matter ha ha ha ..
Yesterday i spent the evening shopping with Mini, and then we went out, mini in her gorgeous sari (one day i will be confident like her in one) and me in my green gown that i love...
Kabir and me drank soda and Mini had some green tea stuff....
Oh and the khao-suey was yummy , but now trying to get Mins to make some for us , because hers is awesome...
Oh back to today...Spanish in the morning , then went to searching for a food and confectionery course to Dadar catering college , but they have closed admissions...
But I'm not giving up.....
Back home , babies and home-work and lotsa green tea... and now at this hour i started shuffling my muffin card pack , much to the horror of my house help who had settled into the world of saas-bahus and their interesting twists and turns ...
But the poor souls are in for a shock , because i have pulled out all my ingredients and have mixed , sieved , weighed , licked , poured , spooned , dropped , laughed ....errr not in that order but still...my mix is made and in the oven....
Waiting now for my little pets to get cooked , so i can dress them for their night out ,in my tummy....


Cupcakes
1 1/4 cup , self rising flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites

Frosting
90 gm white chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
120 gm cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pre heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes..

1.Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.
2.In another small bowl, stir the milk, vanilla and almond extracts together.
3.In a large bowl, with the hand mixer on medium, beat the butter and sugar, until it lightens in colour about 3 minutes.
4.On low speed, add the flour to the butter mix in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, till its just about blended and set aside.
5.In another large bowl , beat the egg whites with an electric beater till it is nice and shiny white , smooth and nice and stiff.
6. Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, with the electric beater , then stop and with a spatula , just fold the rest of the beaten egg whites in.
7. Put the batter into your muffin moulds , they make about 14 and cook them at 160 degrees for 17 minutes, and the little white poppykins are ready , take them out and leave them to cool....

My kitchen has a sweet aroma floating around, there is a lovely breeze and Enrique Inglesius singing to me (by the way did i ever tell you that i met him for an interview, and he is just such a huge flirt :o)) hmmm , no noise around me , no one putting their tiny fingers into my batter or trying to break eggs for me, but gosh do i miss the babies when they are asleep....
Now for the even more easier bit,making the frosting

1. Put the white chocolate on a double boiler and melt it.., then transfer to a big bowl
2. In that bowl blend the butter , cream cheese and vanilla to the chocolate mix, and beat till its nice and smooth
3. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until the frosting is nice and smooth, for about a minute.
4. Spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cup cake , and when its all done...

NOW THIS IS REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT
Play tic-tac-toe- here i go if i miss , I'll take this and immediately without any delay, bite into a big mouth full of my "Midnight Insanity" , fresh and heavenly only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Good night lovely day... and thanks for my family and friends and for all the wonderful moments that God gave me to day..
Big God Bless

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MOUTH MELTING HOT CHICKEN NIBBLES


Sometimes, actually no ,most of the times, i have people walk into my home and I'm mostly taken by surprise , because Arshad has forgotten to tell me that , he is having people over, and then all of a sudden, I'm looking at my fridge , wondering , what on earth am i going to give them at such a short notice and that's where Chicken sausages, save me time and time again,i.e. if they are non-vegetarian...
This is something i experimented with and it tasted awesome and so now , when in doubt this is what i rustle up in about 10 minutes max

Chicken frankfurters
olive oil
freshly pounded mustard
a drop of soya sauce
a dollop of honey or according to your taste

Cut the chicken frankfurters into pieces 1 inch thick, and mix all the rest of the ingredients into it, or you can add it all after you put the frankfurters in the hot pan, cook it till it becomes a slight burnt brown and you are ready to rumble....
This finishes off the platter faster than you can say "Jack Robinson", i also toast bread and cut it into bits and add it to this and also sometimes add onion rings sauteed in soya sauce, to add to the volume and the drama...and chili flakes right at the end as garnish...
So what bursts in your mouth with every bite , is the flavour of chicken with a hint of mustard and lovely caramelised honey and just as you taking it all in , the chili flakes add that extra AAAAHHHHH ....
This is not the healthiest , but definitely one of the tastiest quick bites....

Tiny hot "Chicken Nibbles" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MUNCHIKEN GREEN PEPPERS STUFFED AND HAPPY



Woke up this morning, and went out running, before i could change my mind ,because really want to start some kind of exercise, and running is what makes me most happy, was out late at my friend Amit Ashar's photography exhibition, and although i had dinner , we all ate again , thanks to Mini....
The food was yummy, done by my dear friend Chef Vicky, who is the sweetest and has promised to teach me how to make bread, which is something i have been trying to do at regular intervals, today is a jam packed day, besides the regular, going shopping for some Lucknowi stuff and enrolling my self in a Spanish institute...
So the entire family including my puppy Taz is excited about me learning a new language, leave alone the fact that Arshad and Mini think that i should first get my Urdu diction in order, but like my friend Jaya pointed out to me yesterday, i ask everyone and their pets for advice and also listen to their words of wisdom very intently and then thank them profusely for being there and then in due course of time, drive off in my red beetle into the sunset....hmmm
But life is not as easy as making stuffed green peppers with mince is it ??????

2 dozen small sized green peppers
cheese
olive oil
a kg of ragu sauce (please check the lasagne's recipe to make it)

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour...
In that time , cut the top of the capsicum , and clean the insides, do not pull out the stalks , they look quite cute ...
Stuff each green pepper with the ragu sauce and cover it with the cut portion of the pepper like a lid, sprinkle it with a little rock salt and olive oil and garnish with some cheese and cook it at 160 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or till you feel the green pepper is well cooked..and the cheese has melted over the pepper ...
Its like a mini meal on its own , if you want to avoid the carbs..

This dish somehow reminded me of the "Wizard of Oz" and all the little people in Munchiken land, felt that very soon all the peppers would march out of the oven singing, ha ha ha , YUP i do have an imagination, ya some people think its crazy but i think its a "healthy" imagination..
We'll now I'm picturing all the peppers running around the kitchen because they do not want to be devoured but , I'm chasing them on my broom stick and putting them back in the tray, oh we'll methinks running early in the morning could be detrimental to my sleep cells and so my mind is running amuck...HELP....

Ok guys , enjoy my "Munchiken Green Peppers, Stuffed and Happy" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

PHILOSOPHICAL POTATO SALAD


Contrary to what all you guys believe, i looooove vegetables, the only thing is that , i don't like to eat vegetables that have been completely murdered and over flavoured that you cant taste their own flavour, i love the way the Chinese eat their vegetables , they ever so slightly cooked and retain their flavour and i can have bowls and bowls of well made vegetables...
Actually I'm kinda weird , i love either lightly cooked or raw vegetables or then they need to be crazily fried , like karela stuffed and fried, brinjal baaja, spinach in batter fried, carrot fried (this i love, and will teach you how to make)...
So yup, like my personality , i have no in-between ,no grey , everything to me is black and white and beautiful colours,which may not be the best way to live life, but that's me, i either like someone or don't like them , and if i like you even i little then i will be my warm and happy self and if i don't like you , then i will not waste my time at all, and what i dislike most is pretending, and when i meet people who i know are not very fond of me , but still do the social thing of hugging and kissing me....yuck ...i feel like running home and having a bath....
Oh my God , where have i digressed to , we were talking vegetables, who i really think are like people, they all come in differnt shapes , sizes , colours and flavours , some are great for health and some are not ,some just do nothing, depending on how you cook them and where they came from ...
And some are deceptively poisonous, but look pretty and harmless, like a variety of mushrooms and only a discerning eye would know ....
Today is a Philosophical Vegetable Day...ha ha ha

Potato Salad
1 packet of baby potatoes
1 packet roquette leaves
All purpose seasoning
Small handful of pine-nuts
Handful of crushed walnuts
Handful fresh basil
Few garlic
Olive oil
Mayonnaise
Rock salt

I boiled the potato and then passed them through ice-cold water and then halved them..
In a non stick , add a little oil and put the garlic in, add the pine-nuts and the walnuts and then the baby potatoes , and stir-fry them all a bit...add the basil right at the end, and as soon as the lovely aroma of basil permeates your senses, shut shop and put the contents of the pan is a bowl ,and let it cool a bit...
To this warm mix , add a dollop of Kraft mayonnaise and add the roquette leaves and rock salt and toss it all together
You get a salad that is cooked and raw with a nice nutty flavour , is not an intensely flavoured but as you bite into every morsel there are different tastes and textures bursting onto your palate....hmmmm

So simple and basic and yet kind of edgy only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Friday, June 11, 2010

DAY 25: BAKED CHICKEN ALA MAMA


Now this is something that is going to get passed on to my Zeke and Zene too, because its part of every celebration at home, i have seen my mum making this since i can remember , and it is always tasty and really easy , infact its the 1st dish that i learnt from my mum that i got right at the very 1st shot,we'll i have modified and un-butterfied it, but the essence is the same..

It's great to eat ,really healthy and can be had with bread , pulav rice or just some plain salad ..
My mum used to fry potatoes on the side , which were finger-lickin good, but im baking garlic and tomatoes to mix with my salad...
What am i celebrating today ..well..LIFE!!!!!!

Baked Chicken Ala Mama
1 1/2 kg chicken full with skin
Curd
Garam masala
Salt
Lime juice

Marinate the chicken by rubbing all the above ingredients on to it and leave it overnight in the fridge

Stuffing
Chicken liver minced
1 slice toast cut into pieces
1 onion minced
1 chili
little peas
7 cashews lightly fried
10 kishmish lightly fried
salt

In a non stick pan, add a little olive oil and cook the onions and the chili, when its nicely done add a tiny pinch of garam-masala ..
Then add the peas and really cook well..
Add the chicken liver last and salt... when you feel its all done, add the cashew and the kishmish , and toss it around....add the toast and let it soak in all the juices..
let it cool completely.

Take the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, then in the hollow of its stomach, fill in the stuffing and stitch the opening of the cavity ...
I wrap the chicken in tin foil ,so it kind of does not get too dry and also is kind of steams , then open it when its nearly done so that its browns up
Bake it for about an hour and a half...then pierce it with a blunt knife and if it goes through smoothly, then open up the foil and increase the temp to 200 degrees , pour a little olive oil over it and brown the chicken...

Take it out and have it piping hot with some salad and some baked tomatoes and garlic on the side
We just did....happy and happy

"Baked Chicken ala mama" only from "Maria's Kitchen", have a great weekend guys....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

FRESH SUPER SEXY PASTA IN MINUTES


Every time I'm cooking at home , what always weighs heavily on my mind , are my vegetarian friends, have just 1 of those " species" actually, Jaya...ha ha ha
And she always offers to get her own food, which is sweet , but i think its also because she does not really trust me with vegetarian stuff, which i know completely changed since Sunday...
Promised to make her fresh pasta with vegetables, i did not really measure all the veggies but will give you a detailed account of how i made it

Spaghetti
Olive oil
Butter
Broccoli
Red and Yellow Peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Garlic
Pine nuts
Fresh Basil
Baby carrots
Fresh birds eye chili
Dried oregano
Chili flakes
Keya all purpose seasoning
Rock salt

Boil the spaghetti with some rock salt and a little olive oil and keep aside..
Cut all the vegetables exactly like you would like to eat them, i normally like the broccoli and carrots chunky and the peppers in slivers..Dunk these vegetables in boiling water for less than a minute and keep aside..
In a really hot non-stick add a little olive oil and mix in a dash of butter..
Add the garlic and the birds eye chili and toss it till your kitchen has that lovely waft of slightly burnt garlic, at this point add the All purpose seasoning (Jaya got me tons of seasoning for my birthday )and the chili flakes, if u feel you need to add a little Olive oil please do , and then add the pine nuts and roast them for about 30 seconds ...
Add the cherry tomatoes and toss them around till the get ever so slightly cooked...
Then add all the vegetables and give it a good stir..
Add the spaghetti now and toss it all around, in fact play with it like you were a kid with spaghetti and toss it all around till the spaghetti and the seasoning and the vegetables are all intertwined and happy...
I then put in a packet of dried oregano that you get when you order a Dominoes Pizza , i love it...ummmmm....
And the final kill ...is the fresh basil.... oh i so so love basil, so i put in quite a lot, let the leaves just about change colour and if you can inhale the lovely aroma , and want to dive into the dish ,you are done , grate a little Parmesan and serve piping hot....(if you want this to be slightly sinful , just add a tsp of Kraft cheese spread to this piping hot mix)
I saw Jaya's plate being attacked by the girls , so don't really know if she had a her fill..

But this pasta i now make for Arshad and Me nearly every time we have a late night...
If u want to add any choice of meat or some salmon to it , it just gets tastier..
I love this , but then I'm kind of very partial to pasta...Or rather to FOOD in general...

Enjoy "Fresh super sexy pasta " only from "Maria's Kitchen"....