Archive for October, 2012


instant rava dosai

October 30, 2012

delicious crunchy and thin savory pancakes

2 cups rava (semolina)
1/4 cup rice flour
2 tblsp maida (ap flour)
1 cup curd (yogurt or kefir)
2 tsp Jeera (cumin seed) (i subbed ajwain seeds)
one or two finely chopped green chilli pepper
your favorite seasonings (i like garam masala or curry blends in these)

Mix all the ingredients except jeera & green chillies to make a batter, drizzling water as required until consistency is thinner than pancake batter. Keep covered for 10 mins or more.

Crush jeera and then add to the batter along with everything else.

Heat a tawa (griddle), pref. non-stick. Take a ladle full of the batter & spread it as thin as possible on the tawa. Drizzle some oil on to the sides and let it cook for 2-3 min. Flip; cook 1 minute.


adapted from ta5tebuds


i made a few adjustments. first, i added some leftover lentils, which was a horrible idea. it made the batter thick and unmanageably difficult to water down thin enough. don’t add leftover lentils!

the trick with these is to get the batter a little thinner than seems reasonable. that results in paper-thin, crunchy dosai. if holes form immediately when the batter hits the pan, you’ve done it right.

it takes a bit of practice!

good recipe!


easy grilled banana boats

October 24, 2012

balance some bananas.

slice a small pocket in the middle of the peel and maybe a quarter through the banana, being careful to leave much of the peel attached at either end and not slicing all the way through the banana itself.

stuff the pocket with peanut butter or almond butter, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

if you don’t eat refined sugar, how about a little maple syrup, honey, or date syrup? fresh or frozen berries? pecans and cinnamon? lime juice and raisins (plump them by soaking them in water before adding)? figs?

grill, or wrap in tinfoil and throw in the bonfire. cook until bananas soften.

eat with a spoon.

idea from serious eats


HIGHLY recommended! a toaster oven works, too.


spanakopita (veg version AND vegan version!)

October 24, 2012


1 onion chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup green onion chopped
250 gr chopped dark greens (like spinach, lamb’s quarter, etc.)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cup grated feta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 package phyllo pastry sheets
a few t dried oregano
a few T minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Defrost phyllo. Assemble the filling. In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the spinach and salt and pepper and saute until the spinach is limp. Add the lemon juice, and remove off the heat. Let cool.
If there is excess liquid, place the mixture in a colander and squeeze out the excess liquid. So make sure the mixture is completely cooled, otherwise it’s going to make the phyllo dough soggy, and you don’t want soggy spanakopita. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with feta and nutmeg then add this to the spinach mixture and mix until it’s all incorporated well together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush 2 baking sheets with some melted butter. Now for handling the phyllo dough, unroll it and lay one sheet flat on your work surface. For the remaining phyllo dough, cover it with a damp towel, so it won’t dry out. Brush the sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle some oregano. Now here you can repeat with 2 more sheets or 1 more sheet. I have tried with both and find that if I use 3 sheets, it gets to be too much phyllo for me, so I only repeat with one more sheet, so I have two sheets one on top of the other with melted butter and oregano on both.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the sheets lengthwise into 4 long pieces, about 2 inch strips. Place a heaping tsp of the spinach and cheese filling near 1 corner of the phyllo strip. Fold the end at an angle over the filling to form a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip until you reach the end, like folding a flag. Repeat this with the remaining phyllo and filling. Like I said it’s pretty easy to make, just a bit time consuming.
Place your spanakopita triangles on your baking sheets and brush with butter. Bake them for 20 to 30 minutes until the triangles are golden brown and crisp.

build like a lasagna. follow directions otherwise, alternating between butter-brushed pastry sheets and filling.


adapted from from jocooks



3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, and coarsely chopped
a few T fresh parsley, minced
1 pkg silken tofu, firm
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
pinch of nutmeg
A bunch of fillo dough, thawed
1/2 cup of margarine, melted

Thaw phyllo. Sautee onion over medium heat in olive oil. Add spinach by the handful. When spinach has released its liquid, switch to higher heat and add in parsley. Cook until most of the water is gone.

Mash tofu and flavorings together with a fork until pebbly and mix in spinach.

Unroll fillo. The trick with fillo is don’t panic. It never unrolls right and it’s always stuck together. Trim off about an inch all the way around. Use scissors or something. Cover it up with a dry dishtowel to keep it from drying out. Putting a slightly damp dishtowel over that is even better.

Now here’s the frustrating part: take a sheet of fillo and lay it in a lightly oiled 9×13 pan. Yes, I know it’s like all sticking together and stuff, just slowly peel it apart. Ok, now brush it lightly all over with margarine. Look, it’s gonna tear, ok? You just have to deal with it. Just take a deep breath and put in seven more layers, brushing each. Was that so hard? Now put in the filling, spreading it all the way to the edges. You’re half-way done! Eight more layers, margarine on the top, roll the edges down, you are now a fillo dough pro. Take a sharp knife and cut into squares. Don’t cut all the way through the bottom layer though.

Now you gotta put it in the fridge for like half an hour. Good time to clean up the huge mess you made. 375F.

Bake for about 45 minutes until golden.




made both the veg and vegan version. added two eggs to the vegan version, since my mostly vegan housemates eat eggs. both versions were absolutely incredible. i was surprised how long it took to assemble – and how expensive the dish is to make! $5 for phyllo, $8 for greens out of season, $5 for feta? then you have to wait hours for the phyllo to defrost. then brush each sheet with butter – irritating, time-consuming, and too inviting for the kitten to resist nibbling the ends of the pastry sheets. by the end of the preparation, i had decided never to make it again.

i reversed my decision immediately upon tasting it. crunchy on top, creamy and flavorful inside, hearty and salty, major comfort food. i thought the vegan version was just ok, but my housemates raved about it. i much preferred the vegetarian version – feta and butter make up most of the flavor. if you don’t care for the taste of margarine, stick with real butter.

highly, highly recommended for anyone who likes very buttery, impressive-looking vegetarian food and has the time to spare. i will absolutely definitely make this again – for the holidays or another special occasion.


brown butter snickerdoodle cookies

October 18, 2012

using every ounce of self-control to not make these cookies for dinner

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 c buckwheat flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (don’t skip this! see below)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter 1 stick butter
1¼ cup 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
For rolling mixture:
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat just until combined.
Chill your dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator (important!), or place in freezer for 10 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this. Fridge is always best!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 325. Once dough is chilled measure about 1½ tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Meanwhile mix ¼ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.


adapted from ambitious kitchen


they did not shrink very much. tamp them down if you like ’em flat. if you make giant puffy cookies, they will bake up raw and doughy in the middle and crunchy on the bottom. i changed the temp to 325 to reflect this. 350 would work for those of you who prefer small cookies.

the yogurt added a nice sourness that the cream of tartar (which i didn’t add) would have also added. with the butter cut down by a half, they don’t have that shortbready sugar cookie texture. it’s hard to explain. the ousides are biscuit-y crunchy, but a little more caramelized. the insides are raw cookie dough.

next day texture:
sort of strange. crumbly. not the best. wonder if it was the lack of cream of tartar that did it? the flavor is so good that i don’t mind about the strange texture. i’ll definitely be making these again – maybe i’ll actually get some cream of tartar for next time.


update several months later:

turns out the cream of tartar is completely necessary. i made them today exactly as specified, cream of tartar included. they came out completely differently than the crumbly-cake biscuits they become without it. this time, they were picture-perfect, crackly-centered, crispy-edged, squishy-centered sour cinnamon snickerdoodles! these cookies are highly, highly, highly, highly recommended.


crunchy-top bleu cheese mashed potatoes

October 15, 2012

boil potatoes

make a bechamel (equal parts flour and butter to make a roux, then slowly stir in milk, cream, or even nut milk and coconut milk)
simmer about 20 minutes or until saucy. turn off the heat.
stir in a fistful of bleu cheese

mash potatoes and stick them into a buttered oven-safe dish
pour sauce over top of mashed potatoes
top with crunched-up lightly roasted almonds or walnuts or hazelnuts and breadcrumbs (roast in a dry frying pan)
bake at 375 for about 15 minutes


i don’t know where the inspiration came from for this – just a serious craving for something crunchy, creamy, and bleu cheese-y. this fulfilled that in a big way. highly recommended. simple and comforting. one of my new favorites!


broccamole (broccoli guacamole)

October 14, 2012

everyone loves guacamole.

a recent broccoli craving made this recipe stand out.

this is a really clever way to sneak vegetables into snack time – and quick to prepare!


3 cups chopped broccoli
1 jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds… or don’t)
2 green onions
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz cream cheese or goat cheese, or 1 avocado
pinch chili powder and cayenne
fistful cilantro
pinch salt and black pepper
pinch coriander
half a head of roasted garlic
pinch cumin
pinch paprika
squeeze of fresh lime juice

Cook the broccoli in lightly salted water until very soft. Overcook the broccoli slightly.
Drain broccoli well.
Transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth; add additional olive oil for a smoother texture.


wonder how it’d taste as a hybrid salsa with chunky fresh tomatoes or roasted sweet peppers?


adapted from domestic fits


fruit and nut bars

October 13, 2012

2 c. raw whole almonds
1/2 c. coarsely chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)*
3 c. whole, pitted dates
1 c. dried, unsweetened cherries
2 T. almond butter (or any “nut” butter you prefer), divided

Place the almonds in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chocolate and pulse again until finely chopped. Pour mixture into a large bowl; set aside.

Place half of the fruit in the food processor and process until a paste forms and clumps together. Add 1 T. of the nut butter and 1/2 of the almond/chocolate mixture; process until evenly combined. Scrape into the prepared pan.

Repeat with the remaining fruit, nut butter and almond/chocolate mixture. Scrape into the prepared pan.

With slightly wet hands, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Use something flat and heavy to press down firmly on the mixture until it is smooth (I used a small cutting board). Chill two hours. Cut. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.


adapted by donuts dresses and dirt from foodie with family