Kiddie Treats

Last Saturday was a kid’s class at SK Culinary Studio! Kids’ alongwith the culinary team enjoyed churning out some yummy yet healthy dishes including nachos, mac n cheese, cookies, chocolate ice cream and the likes. I was wondering, children’s stomachs have a limited capacity, but at the same time their energy demands are high. Moreover, I had read somewhere that children are a pain in the neck when around and a pain in the heart when not! Both ways loss is ours! Now that the summer vacations have already begun, kids demand tasty foods after playing for long hours in a sun-baked playground. To keep up their energies high, it becomes essential that children are fed every three to four hours.

It is the responsibility of parents to develop healthy food habits in their growing children and these have to be inculcated in the early years of life. However, treating kids with their favorite food items twice a week should be included alongwith nutritious meal. Besides, the age of two is a good time for your child to start eating meals with you at the table. Preschoolers these days are smarter than we think. No amount of convincing them that ‘drink milk and you will become big’ or words to this effect can make them drink up the milk. They have to be served everything that is tasty and if the environment around them is non-fussy about food, the child too will respond positively. Moreover, as the child grows up his/her tastes change. It would do the child good to have everything that is cooked for the family. There is no reason to cook differently. The trick to win over the palate of the young ones is to present novel foods that are nutritious too.

Get creative with staple dishes! Some of the recipes I suggest to get creative with are:

Dal Puri
It is a common thing in a Punjabi home to take last night’s moong dal and knead a dough for paranthas in it! That’s a nourishing breakfast ready in a jiffy. The same idea has been used here except that the dal is freshly made and I made puris as they are more kid-friendly breads.

Dal Puri

One pot pasta
Call it a boon, especially on a lazy day! My kids love all types of pasta and they are not finicky about it being al dente! This recipe is handy for Alyona when she gets the request for something fast, yummy and nice (read junk food!) but she knows pasta is a welcome treat always!

Apple Crumble
This is one of the easiest and tastiest desserts ever and children are simply going to lap it up. You can give this conventional dish a little twist by adding a little oats to the crumble mix to give it an interesting texture and at the same time making it more nutritious. My elder daughter Rachita likes a sprinkling of powdered peanut chikki on the top.

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

Who doesn’t love mangoes? Mostly all kids love chilled stuff much to our chagrin! This smoothie is thick n sweet, I have replaced ice with frozen mango so it’s as good as it’s yum!Mango Smoothie

Try it out today and let me know they turn out!

Happy Cooking!

Happy Summers.

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Baking with tiny tots!

What a day it must have been for my team members to spend a day at Mini Mehra’s “Miniland Playgroup Nursery” in Juhu with all the teeny-weeny ones. Since past twelve years my team has been having a baking day over here and they did have a baking session there today. Filled with energy and enthusiasm, Chef Sheetal Kadam and Priyanka Bose went there to be a part of the Baker’s Day.

Tiny tots, they are such a delight, love the fact that they get to mix batters, make a mess, lick the bowls and then watch them bake! Amidst sweet nursery rhymes and the colourful interiors, the young ones had a “cookie baking” session with my team, all the fun way! Mix the batter, roll the cookies and pop into the microwave to bake. Then the cookies were dipped in chocolate and decorated with colourful balls, and voila! Cookies were done. The young ones had the flour all over them and half of the chocolate went inside their small tummies before the cookies were finally done! It must have been messy for sure, but whenever its kids, it’s sure to be super exciting! Also, the teachers do enjoy this special treat and love to judge which of the small kids has an inclination toward food and cooking!

Sharing a few pictures of the entire enjoyment of the lil’ brats, for more check out my fan page on Facebook.

Bakers Day1 Bakers Day4
 Bakers Day2Bakers Day3

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

 

Christmas eats – have a plan

Christmas dessert recipes are high in demand! Well, there is no dearth of them! With Diwali too around the corner, it is truly a time for creating sweets, mithais and desserts, isn’t it! Following these paras you will find some baked Christmas Dessert Recipes that you should be able to get right even on the first attempt.
Baba au Rum: Sieve 2 cups refined flour with 10 grams salt and put it in a big mixing bowl. Mix 10 grams fresh yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar in one-third cup of lukewarm water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the dissolved yeast, stir a little, cover and let stand five or six minutes. Beat 4 eggs and add them to the flour and yeast mixture. If necessary add a very little warm milk. Mix well and keep aside to rise for about thirty to forty five minutes in a warm place.Then add 10 tablespoons melted butter and beat again for five minutes. The batter should not be thin. Put the batter into moulds or individual cups, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size which may take about one hour. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake for about twenty to twenty-five minutes or until light brown in colour. Empty onto a rack to cool. Make a sauce by boiling half cup of water and ½ cup of sugar until quite thick. When cool thin it down ½ cup strong black rum, pour this sauce on the cakes and let them soak for fifteen minutes. Garnish with rum soaked cherries, serve cold or flambéed.
Baked Carrot and Brandy Pudding: Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Butter and flour a 20-cm round glass cake pan. Peel, wash and grate 3 large carrots. Cream ¾ cup butter until fluffy. Beat in 400 ml condensed milk. Beat in 4 eggs one at a time. Stir in carrots, 1 cup dry breadcrumbs and ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence. Mix well. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake at 175 degrees C for thirty to thirty five minutes or until a knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely in pan or on a rack. Bring 2/3 cup sugar and quarter cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in ¼ cup brandy. Cool slightly. Spoon evenly over cooled carrot pudding. Refrigerate for one hour. Cut into wedges and serve.
Christmas Desserts are something that can use some rum or brandy. So when it comes to these ingredients, hope you liked the two yummy choices given for you. In case you would like something without spirit, try these for sure Walnut Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla Sponge with Fruit Cream, Boondi and Rabdi Stuffed Pancakes.

Christmas – time for warm and cold desserts

Christmas Dessert Recipes are the best way to dedicate your meal to the festive season. Desserts not only mark the end of a meal but also are the highlight of any celebration.
Christmas Dessert Recipes will, of course, feature the traditional Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and cookies. But going with the fads, let us also use some fresh fruits to make some delightful puddings and desserts. Also, as we all know it, chocolate is on an all time high. So what about going through some Chocolate and Prune Pudding and Chocolate Marquise. Those who love some liquor who definitely adore the Bailey’s Ice cream Mousse.
For fresh fruit ideas, let me run you through some simple puddings using apple and banana.
In this, apples and strawberries covered with oats and wheat flour with brown sugar to make a healthy dessert. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Core 2- 3 medium apples and chop roughly. Put them in an ovenproof dish. Slice 15-20 strawberries thinly and add. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar and mix and let it stand for sometime. Place ½ cup rolled oats in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder and 3 tablespoons brown sugar and mix. Add 2 tablespoons chilled diced butter and mix with finger tips so that it resembles bread crumbs. Spread this mixture over the fruits in the dish. Place it in the oven and bake for about twenty minutes. Serve warm.
This is an ideal teatime cake with the goodness of whole-wheat flour. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a nine-inch by four-inch loaf tin. Sieve ¾ cup whole wheat flour, ¾ cup refined flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, salt, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder. Cream 200 grams butter and 1 cup brown sugar together in a bowl till light. Add 2 medium mashed bananas, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and mix. Beat 3 eggs with a hand blender till light and fluffy. Add one third of the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Add one third of the beaten eggs and mix with a light hand. Again add one third of the flour and one third of the eggs and mix. Add the remaining flour, ¼ cup chopped walnuts and the remaining eggs and mix. Add 2 tablespoons milk to correct the consistency of the batter. Transfer the batter into the prepared tin and place it in the preheated oven. Bake at 180 C for about thirty minutes. Check if it is done by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean it is done. If not, keep the tin back in the oven and bake for another five to ten minutes. Turn over onto a rack and cool before slicing.
You can serve this cake hot or cold.

Christmas time – have some fun with cookies

Christmas cookie recipes are really fun to share! Not only can you get some good Christmas cookie recipes from books, magazines and sites but also from friends and family members who you know are crazy about baking.
So this Christmas not only make some of your favourite cookies, but also some really different ones like Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, Crunchy Peanut Cookies and Honeyed Fig and Walnut Cookies.
For the easiest and the most festive delight, follow this recipe: Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a baking tray. In a bowl mix together 2 cups refined flour, a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon baking powder and set aside. In another bowl beat together ½ cup butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and1 teaspoon vanilla essence and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix to make a smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll to a thickness of a quarter inch. Cut the cookies into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place them on the baking tray keeping a little distance between each. Bake the cookies for ten minutes or until browned around the edges. Take the tray out of the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the icing, sieve 1 cup icing sugar. Cream ½ cup butter till soft in a bowl. Add icing sugar a little at a time and beat. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla essence and continue beating till light and fluffy. Decorate the cookies with the icing and glaze them with jam.
Christmas cookie recipes are best written down and stored for posterity once you have hit upon the perfect working recipe for you. Cookies not only make any time snacks but also make a fantastic post meal event with some coffee.

Season for festivals

The days seem to fly by rapidly! We have been getting requests for recipes for Christmas cakes and somehow it seems that the time is just right! Those who want to soak the fruits in spirit would be planning their shopping list already, as well as their gifting list.
In fact, it is not so easy to change your traditional recipe for Christmas cake or Christmas Pudding so easily. Every home has its own recipe and it is passed down as legacy. But it never hurts to ask around and search for some more variations. For this, reading up good cookery books is essential as well the net has a plethora of offerings. As for now you could also read up on Christmas Cookies, Christmas Punch and Christmas Special Masala Biscuits.
There are many traditions that weave their special magic for building up the Christmas spirit and excitement. The Christmas fir tree is one for sure. Be it holly, mistletoe or fir trees, green is the colour of Christmas festivities. A wreath with holly, red berries and other decorations began from at least the 17th century. Holly, with its sharply pointed leaves, symbolised the thorns in Christ’s crown-of-thorns. Red berries symbolised the drops of Christ’s blood. A wreath at Christmas signified a home that celebrated the birth of Christ.
Well, it is easy to get carried away when it is the season of festivals – the feeling of bonhomie and all is well is just great. To make sure your recipe for Christmas cake is safe and intact, why not preserve it as an important document and keep for the next generation?

Celebrating New Year in different parts of the world

In Russia, amongst the most popular New Year symbols is a New Year’s Tree called Novogodnaya Yolka that is topped with a bright star and decorated with various sweets. New Year presents are kept under the New Year Tree. The most important part of the New Year activities is the sumptuous dinner with light music and champagne. The most important meals consist of meat, green peas, pickles, mayonnaise, onion, carrots and potatoes.
Traditions and customs make a splendid part of New Year celebrations in Europe. ‘First footing’ is a very old tradition, practiced very seriously in Europe till date. When the clock strikes at midnight, a male stranger must be the first person to enter the house. It is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the family. The visitor must bring with him lump of coal, bread and some salt. In Europe, people follow a custom of making noise to welcome the New Year. This is done to scare off all the bad spirits.
In the United States, New Year’s Day begins with wishing the near and dear ones ‘Happy New Year’. People visit their loved ones and sometimes go out for a picnic with them. Watching the famous Tournament of Roses Parade further accelerates New Year celebrations. Theme of the parade varies every year. There is also a New Year custom to play the most famous games of football such as the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.
In Japan, New Year Eves see people eat Toshikoshi-soba at night. They offer prayers at midnight. It is considered highly auspicious to listen to the chimes of a temple bell. According to the Japanese religion, sound of the 108 chimes drives away all the sins and gives birth to new life.
The people of Germany welcome New Year in a merry way.
It is considered very auspicious by the people to have carp (a type of fish) or herring and toast made with champagne or sekt. Cabbage and carrots are also eaten to bring in financial stability. Lentil soup with wieners is very popular.
In Indian homes, we start the traditional way by having something sweet: Chocolate Walnut Kheer, Anjeer Date Barfi, and Sohan Halwa. More Indian sweet recipes.