Cook's Hideout: February 2016

February 26, 2016

Aloo-Methi Paratha (Paratha stuffed with Potato and Fenugreek leaves)

Valli, Wish you a very very Happy Birthday!!!
It's our BM Commander-in-Chief, Valli's birthday today and to celebrate the day the BM group decided to cook any dish from her blogs and post it. Valli is our organizer, our motivator and our inspiration. Without her Blogging marathon event, I don't even know if I would be blogging so regularly or not. So big thanks to her for creating this group and leading it so efficiently for more than 5 years now.
Paratha stuffed with Potato and Fenugreek leaves

Nutella Bear Claws (made with Puff Pastry)

I saw the recipe for these Bear claws in Food Network magazine and they looked so tempting that I made them yesterday. The original recipe used Cookie butter (or Speculoos), but I used Nutella because my kids like it.
Bear Claws

Spicy Tofu Sofritos

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes from Fellow BM Bloggers
Dish: Tofu Sofritos from Smruthi's Herbivore Cucina 
For the final day of this month's blogging marathon, I made Tofu Sofritas from Smruthi's Herbivore Cucina. I bookmarked it when I saw it on her Top 15 recipes of 2015. This is a restaurant style dish that can be easily made at home.
Chipotle style Sofritas
If you are wondering what Sofritas is, then here's a nice infographic by Chipotle that explains how cooked and crumbled tofu combined with sofrito (a very popular Latin spice mix) makes this amazing tasting dish that they call Sofritas. I ate sofritas at Chipotle once and was planning to make it at home and then I saw it on Smruthi's blog, so finally made it myself.

February 25, 2016

Coconut & Tamarind Rice

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes from Fellow BM Bloggers
Dish: Coconut & Tamarind Rice
Today I have a delicious variation to tamarind rice. I bookmarked this coconut tamarind rice recipe from Priya's blog the minute I saw it. I made it couple of weeks back and it tasted amazing, so simple to make but very flavorful and delicious.
Tamarind Rice with Coconut
Tamarind rice is one of the dishes that is made very frequently in my household, typically around the end of the week when I'm running out of veggies and also during festival season. Both my kids love peanuts, so I had a little extra for them in this dish.

February 24, 2016

Murmure Chiwda

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes from Fellow BM Bloggers
Dish: Murmure Chiwda from Varada's Kitchen
We are starting the final week of blogging marathon for this month today and my theme for the week is one of my favorite -- cooking from fellow blogging marathoners. As a group we are checking and commenting each others posts very frequently and I have a ton of recipes bookmarked from them.
I already have quite a few dishes made from the blogs, so this one's from my drafts. This Murmure chiwda is from Varada's Kitchen and I made it for Diwali (back in November). This is a easy, quick to make snack that can be whipped up in no time.

February 19, 2016

Heart of Winter Loaf

After enjoying a relatively mild winter weather in January, we are back in the freezer for February. I'm not complaining, not that I enjoy the cold but I'm happy when the weather is seasonal, if it is not then I get worried about global warming.
Winter loaf
This 'Heart of Winter' loaf recipe is from King Arthur flour catalog and it caught my attention with its name itself. We are technically in the middle of winter and what perfect time but to make this bread right now.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Dishes using Root Vegetables
Dish: Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili
For the final day of this week's marathon I made a hearty and comforting chili with sweet potato, quinoa and black beans. This is a one pot meal that is great to make on a weeknight too.
Vegetarian Chili with Sweet potato and Quinoa
Sweet potato is a tuberous root with a smooth skin with different colors like yellow, orange, red, brown, purple and beige. Even the color of the flesh differs from one variety to the other from beige, through white, red, orange and purple. Something new that I learnt is that the sweet potatoes with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red or orange flesh.

February 18, 2016

Mexican Chopped Salad with Jicama

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Dishes using Root Vegetables
Dish: Mexican Chopped Salad with Jicama
Jicama has recently become one of my favorite vegetable. It is crispy, slightly sweet and very refreshing. It is a root vegetable and falls under the taproot category. Rutabaga, parsnip, daikon are few other veggies that fall under this category.
Mexican Chopped Salad
I wanted to take a picture of jicama and asked my son to pose. Then my daughter wanted to hold it too for the photos. But in the end I couldn't pick just one, so I'm posting both their pics.

February 17, 2016

Carrot Raita (Carrot Yogurt Dip)

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Dishes using Root Vegetables
Dish: Carrot Raita
We are starting a new week of Blogging marathon and my theme for this week is 'Dishes made with Root Vegetables'. Valli wanted us to pick 3 root vegetables from this list and cook 3 dishes for the week.
Carrot Yogurt Dip
My first dish is with the most popular root vegetable, Carrot. It is widely used in many cuisines, especially in the preparation of salads. I always have carrots in my fridge and I add them to rice dishes, curries and even make chutney with it. The sweetness in carrots makes them perfect to use in sweet dishes as well, like carrot halwa or burfi or ice cream.

February 12, 2016

Fudge Brownies for Valentines Day

Valentines day is just around the corner and these cute little fudge brownies are just perfect for the occasion. I saw the recipe in King Arthur Flour's newsletter and have been itching to bake them. 
Mini Brownies
Just in time my daughters school had Valentine's day party today and I signed up to make some brownies. These brownies need just one bowl (or a saucepan). Unsalted butter is melted first (either on the stove or in a microwave) and then sugar is added. The mixture is heated once again and this heating ensures more sugar to melt and gives the brownies a nice shiny crust. Once the sugar is melted, all the  other ingredients go in and then it's baked until done.

Greek Style Lemon Rice with Dill

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Meal Ideas
Dish: Greek style Rice with Dill
For the last day of this week's marathon, I have a simple meal with Greek style Lemon rice with dill. This is a popular side dish served in many Mediterranean restaurants and is very similar to our very own Indian Lemon rice except for the addition of dill. This recipe is from Vegan Eats World cookbook by Terry Hope Romero. 
Lemony Dill Rice
Lemon rice is the first thing that comes to my mind when I have leftover rice. In fact I even make lemon flavored oats, barley and quinoa. So today's recipe is on the same lines but with dried oregano and fresh dill that add delicious Greek flavor to the dish.

February 11, 2016

Brown Rice Bowl with Tofu and Veggies

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Meal Ideas
Dish: Brown Rice Bowl
My second meal idea after yesterday's South Indian meal this brown rice bowl with crispy tofu and vegetables. As I said yesterday, all of my dishes this week are centered around rice. We have started eating more brown rice these days, so I'm always in the look out for more recipes using it. This rice bowl recipe is from America's Test Kitchen newsletter.
Vegan Tofu & Rice bowl
This is a balanced meal with carbs, protein & veggies all served in one bowl. The list of ingredients is quite long but most well equipped kitchens will have all of the ingredients or a quick trip to the grocery store will do the trick.

February 10, 2016

Pavakkai Pitlai (Bittergourd Coconut Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Meal Ideas
Dish: Bittergourd Pitlai
My theme for this week's Blogging marathon is probably one of my favorite. It is 'Meal Ideas', Valli wants us to showcase a complete meal even if that means sharing just one recipe. Coming up with a plan for a meal is quite an exercise for the brain which is why most of us try to delegate the task to the family by asking, 'what do you want to eat today?' I am one of those people who will ask this question and then reject almost everything that is being requested, only on very rare occasions a suggestion is actually cooked. But I don't fail to ask the question ;-)
Bittergourd pitlay
Coming from south India, most of our meals revolve around rice, so for the next 3 days, I'm going to share some interesting meal ideas with rice as one of the component.

February 09, 2016

Norwegian Apple Trifle for #Food of the World

We are going all the way to Norway for this month's #Food of the World event. I have little knowledge of Norwegian cuisine, so I went looking for recipes online. Thankfully I found this amazing blog, Nordic Diner, written by Trude who lives in Oslo now but spend her childhood in Northern Norway.
Apple Trifle
I was spellbound by her photos of Norway, the greenery, the mountains, the clear blue water, everything looks so pristine and picturesque. So Norway has been added to my bucket list now :-)

Cheese and Potato Gözleme for #BreadBakers

I almost forgot that today's the posting day for #BreadBakers. I'm glad that I checked Facebook to see our lovely Host, Anshie's post about the event, otherwise I would have totally forgotten about it. So thank you Anshie for reminding and also for being such a gracious host.
Stuffed Turkish Griddle bread
Our theme for this month is 'Griddle breads' and I almost wanted to make an Indian bread. But then as I was looking through my Pinterest boards, I found these Turkish Gözleme that I had pinned a while back.

February 06, 2016

Butternut Squash Queso Fundido

Super Bowl weekend is coming up and I'm sure all sports fans are gearing up for a fun game night. I am not a big football fan and don't follow it too closely. But I'm excited about the half time show and the commercials more than the game itself :-)
Cheese dip with Butternut Squash
This queso dip made with butternut squash will be a yummy addition to your super bowl party menu. It is secretly healthy with the addition of squash and sports two-thirds less fat than the classic queso (or cheese) dip.

February 05, 2016

Three Cheese Potatoes

Blogging Marathon# : Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Taste of Home Top 100 recipes of 2015
Dish: Three Cheese Potatoes
For the final day of this week's blogging marathon, I made this very addictive 'Three Cheese Potatoes'. My son is a self acclaimed super lover of both potatoes and cheese, so this dish was a hit with both my kids.
Baked Three Cheese Potatoes
The original recipe for these three cheese potatoes on Taste of Home were made on the grill. But since it's very cold to grill, I made this recipe in the oven. Pre-cooking the potatoes before baking makes the dish cook faster. If not just bake the dish longer until the potatoes are tender.

February 04, 2016

Taco Salad (Vegetarian Recipe)

Blogging Marathon# : Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Taste of Home Top 100 recipes of 2015
Dish: Taco Salad
Today's dish from Taste of Home top 100 recipes is this delicious Taco Salad. I wanted to make taco salad for a while now and when I saw it on the top 100 I knew I had to give it a try. Original recipe also has cooked meat but I omitted it and just made the rest of the recipe.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Key to this recipe is the dressing that is made with Thousand Island dressing. You can either use store bought Thousand Island dressing or make it yourself at home. I didn't want to buy a jar since I know I will let it sit in the fridge for god knows how long.

February 03, 2016

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Blogging Marathon# 61: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Taste of Home Top 100 recipes of 2015
Dish: Cauliflower Soup
Starting a new month with a new edition of blogging marathon today. My theme for the first week is cooking from 'Top 100 recipes of 2015 from Taste of Home'. It was quite a task choosing just 3 dishes from that list. I scrolled up and down that page a million times before picking my dishes.
Cauliflower Soup
First up is this creamy and delicious cauliflower soup. It is a very easy recipe to make -- cook cauliflower, make cheesy white sauce, mix them together and serve hot!!


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