Blueberry Banana Bread

I have been making banana bread for years and it was and still is my go to when i need a quick snack to be made for the kids especially the days when i had to pack snacks for school. I add nuts (walnuts or cashew nuts- depending on what i had) and chocolate chips to it. Here is the recipe https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2016/11/02/banana-bread/ It made the banana bread sweeter and could pass as a dessert. You could drizzle some melted chocolate on it and serve it warm with ice cream and it becomes a dessert.

I had some blueberries in the fridge and frozen bananas(I sometimes freeze bananas if they are too ripe and that way I have ripe bananas when i want to make banana bread). I decided to try add blueberries to the banana bread instead of nuts and chocolate. I really liked it but will not pass it off as dessert. It was perfect for breakfast or as a snack. It was not as sweet as there were no chocolates and i made it with whole wheat to make a healthier option.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed bananas (approx 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350º F or 180º C. Grease the loaf tin with oil.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil and sugar together.
  • Add mashed bananas to it and mix.
  • Sift the flour, salt and baking soda.
  • Fold in the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix well.
  • Add blueberries and mix
  • Pour into the greased loaf pan.
  • Bake for 50- 60 minutes . Check if it is done by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, then it is done. If not let it bake for some more time.

WATERMELON MINT cooler

Summer is here and there is a lot of watermelons in the market. I miss the watermelon seller in India who had a cart outside my apartment. I would walk out with the biggest bowl i had and he would cut the watermelon into pieces for me. Also, if the watermelon was bad than he would pick another. I have no idea how to buy the perfect watermelon. It ty to do what I read on google. Sometimes it is a hit and sometimes a miss.

This time I bought 2 seedless watermelons; they are the smaller variety; one was rotten and one was good. I removed the rind and chopped the watermelon in pieces. By the way, I have seen recipes for watermelon rind, I have not tried any; maybe another day!

This is easy to make and very refreshing on a hot summer day. I sometimes freeze them in an ice cube tray. Take out what you need and use.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped watermelon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • If making mocktails- club soda
  • if making a cocktail- bacardi

Directions

You can do this two ways.

  1. Blend the watermelon with all the ingredients except for the soda and the bacardi. Freeze for two hours. Blend again in blender to make a slushie
  2. Freeze watermelon pieces. Then blend with sugar and mint
  3. Serve extras in an ice cube tray for later use.

To Serve

Serve this three ways

  1. Pour the slush into a glass and serve with a lime and some mint
  2. Pour watermelon slush into a tall glass (1/2 the glass) or add a 7-8 frozen cubes of watermelon juice . Top with club soda and serve
  3. Pour the slush into a glass. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of bacardi and serve with a lime and some mint
Watermelon Mint Cooler
Watermelon Slushie

Blueberry Muffin

When it is summer, and blueberries are in abundance, blueberries are thrown in salads and pancakes and coffee cakes and orcourse muffins. It is also the only fruit my younger son eats without a fuss. I make many different versions of blueberry muffins; some with butter or oil, buttermilk or regular milk, sugar or honey. This recipe is with oil, milk and honey. It is not very sweet, and perfect for breakfast or brunch. Add a quarter cup of sugar if you would like it sweeter. I sometimes make a crumb or butter, flour and sugar and top muffins to give it a crunch and makes it a dessert. This recipe I adapted from horn of the moon cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups blueberry
  • 1 tbsp sugar (to sprinkle on top)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF ( 200ºC)
  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder
  • In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oil,vanilla and honey
  • Stir the dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
  • Add blueberries
  • Do not overmix, just stir enough to moisten
  • Sprinkle some sugar on top (optional)
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes

Chocolate Brownie with a Hint of cinnamon and cayenne

There is only one thing the whole world is talking about and that is the Pandemic. It is a scary, crazy time of our lives; the fear of the unknown. The stores have been depleted of hand sanitizers and toilet paper. Interestingly, the baking aisle is also empty; no flour, sugar, yeast or baking powder. Luckily, I had a big bag of flour and atta (whole wheat flour which is used for chapatti/ rotis). Seems like everyone plans to bake when they are ‘social distancing’.

I am now working from home and it saves me the travel time. So more time to cook and bake. For me baking is calming; maybe the same for others; and at this time when we are all cooped up in our houses, we need to do something which calms us down and takes us to our happy place.

Be Calm and Bake On!

Brownies, who does not love brownies. Here is another recipe. This has been adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018653-brownies?action=click&module=Global%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1

Earlier in the week, I was watching food network and a lady was making mexican chocolate cake. She added some cinnamon and cayenne powder so I thought I would add some to the brownies. They were good; just a hint of spice. It is an unexpected spice at the end when it is least expected.

My boys are back home and the brownies (doubled the recipe) were gone in no time!

Ingredients

  • 8 tbsp butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (85 gms)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used atta)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (chilli) powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350º F ( 176º C)
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan on low heat. Keep mixing. When chocolate starts to melt, take it off heat. Stir until mixture is smooth
  • Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Line it with parchment paper and grease
  • Pour chocolate butter mixture into a mixing bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  • Add flour and salt and mix. Stop stirring when no traces of flour remain. Do not overmix
  • Pour into prepared pan. I added some walnuts to half the pan. This is optional
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until set and barely firm in the middle.
  • Eat as is or serve with ice cream.
  • Enjoy!

Pumpkin Espresso Cake

I had made this cake in the new year. Lots has happened in this year, especially in the last few weeks with the pandemic, the fear among people and the unknown. The one thing that keeps a lot of us sane is comfort food, cooking and baking. I went shopping and all flours were out. I had white flour and atta flour, used half and half and it was good. I made this recipe again and it hit the right spot. This time I used a bundt pan. It looks fancy and it is truly scrumptious. do try!

Reposting the recipe with some new pictures. If you cannot get canned pumpkin; cook pumpkin in a little water and blend in a blender/mixie.

It is that time of the year – shorter days, colder days. It is time when you you want to wrap a blanket and sit on your couch. It is the time when you want to eat bhajis and pakodas. It is the time when you want to bake. Actually, I like to bake anytime of the year. It is the time for pumpkins and I found this recipe from https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pumpkin-espresso-bundt-cake-recipe

The recipe used a bundt cake pan. I did not have one so made it in a regular pan. I ate a couple of pieces without the glaze. I was not going to make the glaze. It was good without the glaze. I finally decided to make it and then added the glaze. It elevated the cake to another level. This cake is a keeper.

It freezes well. Everytime I eat a piece, I forget how good it is. The pictures does not do justice. You should try it.

I have copied the recipe from the king arthur website. The link is given above.

Ingredients

Cake

Filling

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup (74g) strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21g) rum, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the cake: Beat together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt until smooth and uniform in appearance. Set aside.
  4. To make the filling: Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cinnamon Coffee Crumb Coffee Cake

I have my usual quick dessert recipes which I make often. But at times, I get bored of making the same. This is a new recipe which had some raving reviews from my friends. This recipe has been adapted from Trisha Yearwood’s recipe on Food Network. Though there is quite a large amount of coffee added, the distinct taste is of cinnamon with an after taste of coffee. You could reduce the cinnamon by half if you do not like the taste of cinnamon. This cake was really soft almost like a sponge cake. I made a yogurt honey sauce to go with it, but it was good without the sauce too.

This is a repost. I made this again yesterday and it was delicious.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 225 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar

Coffee Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  • Prepare a 9 by 9-inch baking pan. Line it with parchment paper and butter it.
  • For the cake: Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat till well mixed.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In a small bowl whisk sour cream (or yogurt) and coffee until smooth.
  • Add sour cream mixture and dry ingredients to the sugar-butter mixture and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the pan.
  • For the crumb: Mix all ingredients except butter. Add melted butter. Mix.
  • Top the cake batter evenly with the crumb topping
  • Bake for 45 minutes till a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool for 30 minutes before serving
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee

Yogurt Honey Sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • Mix ingredients till smooth and serve with cake.