Cook's Hideout: November 2015

November 29, 2015

Wild Rice Salad with dried Cherries and Pecans

Hope all of you had a fun filled Thanksgiving weekend. Like always it felt really short and went by in a hurry. We had quite a busy weekend with family and friends -- lot of food and some shopping.
Wild Rice Salad
Here's a Wild rice salad recipe that I brought to the Thanksgiving party at our dear friends home. Recipe is from Cooking Light magazine. I tweaked it just a little bit to make it a little more tastier. It is colorful and festive looking. It is great addition to the holiday buffet table or as a filling weeknight meal.

November 26, 2015

Thai Zucchini Curry with Red Curry paste

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Dishes
Dish: Thai Zucchini Curry with Red Curry paste
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Hope you have yummy food and lots of fun with your loved ones. We are going to a Thanksgiving party hosted by a dear friend, so we will definitely be having lots of yummy food and fun today.
I am thankful for a lot of things - big thanks to god for this life, thanks to my family and friends for always being there in both happiness and sadness, thanks to the blogging marathon group for keeping me inspired and motivated to keep cooking and blogging.
Thai Zucchini Red Curry
I am also thankful that I had this curry recipe in the drafts for today's post, otherwise I would have been scrambling to get this post done :-) I made this Thai Red Curry with Summer squash from Food52 couple of months ago. It came in handy today since I had bookmarked and tried it then.

November 25, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks (with Indian spices)

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Dishes 
Dish: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Indian Spices 
For the second day of bookmarked recipes, I have a very simple and tasty roasted cauliflower steak recipe. My husband recently had it at a restaurant and he really liked it, so I set about making it at home. I followed this recipe from The Kitchn.
Vegetarian Steaks
Before I get to the recipe, I have to show you the cauliflower I bought. It was one gigantic sized one, I've never seen this big cauliflower ever in my life. The Indian grocery store had a ton of these humongous ones for just $3.00 each. I immediately picked one up, not really thinking of what to make but this roasted cauliflower steak was the best use for half of it.

November 24, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Dishes
Dish: Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup
We are in the last week of this month's blogging marathon and my theme for this week is 'Bookmarked Recipes'. I always jump on the chance of getting some of my bookmarks cleared and this theme is just perfect.
Pumpkin Soup
We are 2 days away from 'Thanksgiving', which means that holiday season is right here and I'm sure many of you are planning on sending/ shipping gifts to your loved ones. I just found out about a really good shipping option for all your international and domestic packages -- Transworthy. Few points that make it better than the other international shipping options are:
  • 74% savings on your shipping costs.
  • NO waiting in lines to send the package, they pick up the package right from your home or office.
  • Shipment can be tracked on the DHL site.
  • Convenient payment on their site.
So take a minute to explore more about Transworthy and see if it is a good fit for your shipping this holiday season. Here's a list to my edible holiday gift guide to help you out with what to send :-)

November 21, 2015

Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving Recipes: Add these Vegetarian dishes to your next Thanksgiving Meal.

November 20, 2015

Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree Recipe

I wanted to post this homemade roasted pumpkin puree recipe for a while now. I ended up with 5 small pumpkins in the house and after using them for decoration and moving them from room to room (thinking that if I don't see them, they will vanish magically), I finally decided to get off my bottom to make something before they go bad.
Pumpkin Puree Recipe
This basic pumpkin puree recipe is from 'The Pumpkin Spice Handbook' (my photo is published in this book). The pumpkins I had probably weighed about 3~4 lbs, so I roasted 2 pumpkins in 2 batches.

November 19, 2015

Quinoa Salad with Pistachio and Dates

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Salads
Dish: Quinoa Salad with Pistachio and Dates
I love grain based salads. If planned correctly they make for a wholesome meal and you don't have to worry about side dishes or protein to go along with it. This Quinoa salad is one such recipe.
Pistachio & Dates Salad with Quinoa
This recipe is also from 'Vegan Eats World' cookbook like yesterday's Avocado Mango Salad. This quinoa salad has all my favorite ingredients, dates, pistachios, baby spinach and of course quinoa. I love dates - they are so chewy, caramely and oh-so delicious. I always keep a bag of them in my pantry for snacking or for making desserts (like this burfi or these nut balls or this decadent cake) or salads like this one.

November 18, 2015

Avocado Mango Salad

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Salads
Dish: Avocado Mango Salad
After a super simple moong dal salad yesterday, I have yet another simple, no-cook, easy to make Avocado Mango salad. I made this salad in July, during the peak mango season. But somewhat good-quality ripe mangoes are available in grocery stores all year long. So there is no reason to wait for summer to make this dish.
Salad with Avocado & Mango
Recipe is from 'Vegan Eats World' By Terry Hope Romero. All the recipe needs is some chopping and mixing and that's it, you have a delicious salad in no time. Adding cashews adds a nice crunch factor to the otherwise creamy salad.

November 17, 2015

Moong dal Salad (Vadapappu Salad)

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Salads
Dish: Moong dal Salad (Vadapappu Salad)
We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Salads'. Growing up, salads were never part of our meal and the first time I ate a salad was during my Masters orientation in the US. The less about the experience the better and most of my fellow Indian students shared the same feeling.
Vadapappu Salad
But through the years I grew older, wiser and my palate changed for the better. Salads used to be just part of the meal once but now I can eat a salad and call it a day. So I'm always looking for new salads to add to my repertoire.

November 14, 2015

Figs, Date & Nut Bars (Anjeer-Khajoor Burfi)

Belated Diwali wishes to all of you. It was a very quite festival for us this year and the weather didn't cooperate either. It was gloomy and raining the whole day. I'm glad that my husband was home for Diwali, first time in the past 2~3 years. Even after seeing all the yummy Diwali snacks on Facebook and Instagram, I wasn't motivated enough to make anything.
Anjeer-Khajoor Burfi
But then I felt bad for the family and decided to make something less guilty yet satisfying. After leafing through the cookbooks, I found this fig, date & nuts burfi in Sanjeev Kapoor's Sweet temptations. It has no added sugar and the sweetness comes from dried figs and dates.

November 12, 2015

Pepper Poriyal using Poriyal Powder(Dry Green Pepper Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Dry Vegetable Sautes
Dish: Green Pepper Poriyal
For the final day of this week's blogging marathon, I made yet another poriyal from Dakshin cookbook. This recipe is flavored with a homemade poriyal powder and is quite different tasting from yesterday's masala beans poriyal.
Dry Green Pepper Curry
Poriyal podi aka curry powder is made with dals (lentils), coriander seeds and dry red chilies. Making a big batch of this makes it easy to make quick dry curries. It can be used to make potato fry, arbi (colacassia, chamadumpa) fry and so on.

November 11, 2015

Green Beans Masala Poriyal

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Dry Vegetable Sautes
Dish: Green Beans Masala Poriyal
This green beans curry is spicy and is a great variation to regular green beans curry that I make at home. Recipe is from Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan.
Beans Poriyal
Poriyal is Tamil name for fried or sauteed vegetables. In our home, anything made with a vegetable is called 'kura'. If it is a dry curry it is called podi kura, gravy based curries don't usually get any prefix and they are simply called kura. So it is interesting to hear the various names for curries in other languages -- poriyal, thoran, palya etc etc.

November 10, 2015

Canadian Nanaimo Bars for #Food of the World

For this month's #Food of the World event, we are visiting our neighbor Canada. The first dish that came to my mind when I thought of Canada was Nanaimo Bars. But I wanted to do my due diligence and googled for vegetarian Canadian dishes. None of the results I got motivated or inspired me to make the dish. So I went back to Nanaimo bars -- and I'm very glad I did.
Canadian Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo bar is a popular Canadian dessert that requires no baking and is named after the city in which it was first created. It consists of a wafer crumb-based bottom layer topped with a custard flavored butter icing which is finally covered with melted chocolate. There are quite a few variations to the base recipe and are made with different types of crumb, different flavors for the icing (like Nutella, peanut butter, mint etc) and different types of chocolate topping.

Chayote & Carrot Dry Curry

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Dry Vegetable Sautes
Dish: Chayote & Carrot Dry Curry
We are starting a brand new week of blogging marathon and my theme for this week is 'Dry Vegetable Sautes or Dry Curries'. I just realized that all the themes I picked for this month require easy to make, everyday dishes which was just perfect because with the upcoming festive season, it is going to be a food fest wherever you turn :-)
Chow Chow Curry
This first curry doesn't even need a recipe, it is extremely easy to make. Just saute the chopped veggies until tender and sprinkle some grated coconut on top. My mom used to make a lot of dry curries like that using cabbage, carrot, green beans, snake gourd, chayote and so on.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls for #BreadBakers

November is cruising by and with the festival season around, I'm sure all of you must be planning or at least thinking of your holiday menus. So you are in luck because our #BreadBakers group is baking up some special and festive loaves or rolls or breads that you can bring to a family feast or celebratory dinner. Actually I'm lucky to be hosting this month's event, big thanks to Stacy and Renee for the opportunity. Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the list of breads by my fellow bread bakers.
Golden Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
We went apple picking last month and ended up with 4 little pie pumpkins from the patch. I kept them for display till Halloween, then roasted a couple and made pumpkin puree out of them. With that puree I made these Pumpkin dinner rolls. Recipe is from King Arthur Flour site.

November 08, 2015

Recipes for Diwali (Deepavali Specials)

Diwali/ Deepavali:

Make these festival special dishes for Diwali/ Deepavali.

November 07, 2015

Chocolate Orange Yogurt Panna Cotta (using Agar)

It is very hard to believe that this creamy and chocolaty treat is made with yogurt. I saw Bobby Flay making it on his Cooking Channel show, Brunch at Bobby's and wanted to try it for myself. I actually made this quite a while back along with Chocolate granola, but couldn't post it earlier.
Traditionally panna cotta is made with sweetened cream thickened with gelatine and molded. But this recipe uses low fat milk and Greek yogurt to get the same creaminess. It is a great dish to serve for brunch like Bobby Flay did, but it can also be served for dessert.

November 06, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls and Chocolate Risotto.... and a GIVEAWAY!

Can't believe holiday season is almost upon us and I'm very happy to be a part of Colavita and Perugina 'Join our Italian holiday Table' campaign this year. They sent me a large variety of their products including olive oils, crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, artichokes hearts, olives, lasagna, arborio rice and some absolutely delicious Perugina chocolates. One of you lucky readers will also receive the same amazing products -- scroll down to the end of the post for more details of the giveaway.
Vegetarian Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls
Colavita is a family owned company and they have been importing and distributing Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil for over 30 years. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil is recognized as the #1 Italian brand in the US and has earned awards from renowned cooking publications such as Fine Cooking and Cook’s Illustrated and general-interest magazines like Men’s Health. Perugina is Italy’s most renowned chocolate maker and Baci are Perugina’s most famous confection. Baci (which means “kisses” in Italian) are perfect as an ingredient in recipes, as a daily indulgence or as a gift for a loved one.

November 05, 2015

Jollof Brown Rice (African Tomato Rice)

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Bring on your Rice
Dish: Jollof Brown Rice 
After 2 days of Indian style rice dishes, I have an African tomato rice for the final day of this week's marathon. Tomato flavored rice is quite a popular side dish in west African menus. This recipe is from 'Vegan Eats World' by Terry Hope Romero.
African Tomato Rice
Recipe uses brown rice instead of white and is baked instead of cooking on the stove. I've never baked brown rice before and was skeptical to follow the recipe. But I wanted to try it because when brown rice is boiled with more wet ingredients like the tomato paste, it tends to become mushy and cook unevenly. So to prevent that this dish is baked for a firmer, evenly cooked grains.

November 04, 2015

Vegetable Makhani Rice

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Bring on your Rice
Dish: Vegetable Makhani Rice
After yesterday's South Indian rice dish, I have this North Indian rice dish. Makhani gravy is a reddish tomato based gravy made with butter and cream (hence the name makhani), commonly used in North Indian dishes. It is very popular on restaurant menus and paneer makhani is quite famous.
Rice with Makhani gravy & vegetables
Here the makhani gravy is mixed with basmati rice to make this creamy and delicious rice that is equally good to perfect to serve at dinner parties or as a quick weeknight meal. Recipe is from a Telugu cooking show.

November 03, 2015

Rice with Urad dal spice powder (Ulundu Ogaray)

Blogging Marathon# 58: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Bring on your Rice
Dish: Rice with Urad dal spice powder (Ulundu Ogaray)
Can't believe we are only few weeks away from a New year, time sure seems to fly. We are starting a new edition of Blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Bring on your Rice', Valli wants us to post any rice based dish.
As a South Indian, rice is our staple food and every meal essentially revolves around rice. So it is only natural that I take up this theme to try some more new rice dishes.


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