Strawberry Cake

Strawberry is my favorite fruit… In India growing up it was rare to find it…now one can find them easily. Here you will find strawberries in my refrigerator most of the time. So when “Miss H” (friend) made this cake and shared pic on Instagram, getting the recipe and making it was necessary :)) Few ingredients, quick and easy, this cake is yum. When she shared the recipe…I was like ooh this is easy… just like her Black Russian Cake -which is a gem of a recipe, super hit in my house and with other friends!

StrawberryCake

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 box White Cake Mix

1 pkg Frozen Sweetened Strawberries (I used 16 oz pkg)- Reserve 1/2 cup for Icing

3 oz box Strawberry Jell-O

1/2 cup Water,

1 cup oil

4 eggs

 

For the Icing:

1 stick margarine (I used 1 stick butter)

1 box powdered sugar (I used 1-1/3cup)

1/2 cup Frozen Sweetened Strawberries

 

Method:

1. Mix the cake mix, strawberry Jell-O, Water, Oil and Eggs in a food processor or using hand mixer. Then add frozen strawberries (don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup for icing.)

2. Grease and flour cake pan. You could do 1 round pan and cut the layers after the cake cools or you could cook in 2-3 different same sized pans. Pour the batter in cake pan and bake at 325 degree F for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool completely on a rack. (I let it cool for almost 1 hr)

3. Meanwhile combine the icing ingredients and mix well.

4. Once the cake is cooled, cut if you made 1 big cake, spread the icing between layers and on top and sides.

Cut a slice and enjoy!!

So I threw some of my old round pans with intention of buying new ones and still haven’t bought em :( So I used 2 corningware bowls to bake my cakes… so my cake took almost 55 mins to cook…the top and bottom were nice and brown while the inside was pink and moist!! Yes I am going to buy cake pans ASAP!!! I had 2 cakes that I cut in halves and iced, ending up with 2 cakes. Luckily I was having dinner with friends and family so it worked out well.

The cake was yum…. inspite of adding just 1-1/3 cup of sugar in the icing, it was sweet for my taste testers. But everyone loved the cake part..it tastes good and is very moist!! The icing is a little liquid-y due to the frozen strawberry… but it should not be runny… just thick enough for it to stick, while it trickles down a little too. But again, we prefer just enough sweetness in our desserts. So adjust the sugar as per your taste. I also substituted margarine with butter, just because I forgot to get some margarine and did not realize until started to take ingredients out for the cake :P

Suggestions my taste tester’s gave me:

* How about using fresh strawberries and cooking it using some sugar….like making compote or jelly like berries and using that.

* What about not using the icing at all or just maybe in the middle??

* How about Bundt pan?

So next time I make this cake, I am going to be using one of these ideas :D

However, inspite of the sweetness, everyone enjoyed the cake. Another keeper recipe :)) Thank you Miss H for the wonderful recipe :))

Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Until next time,

Enjooy!!

 

Kale Chickpea Salad

“KALE IS SUPERFOOD” — haven’t we heard that a lot :)) well I think it taste nice…. whether cooked or raw. My husband on the other hand, does not think the same :( so I try and make Kale recipes when he is not home or eats something else ;) So I found this Salad recipe on Pinterest.  It is from Wishful Chef   –there are some yum looking recipes there!

I cut down the recipe to make 1-2 servings and changed up 2 ingredients.

KCS1a

Kale Chickpea Salad

Makes 1-2 serving.

Ingredients:

1/2 can Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, rinsed (I buy low sodium)

1-2 leaves of Kale, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp Lemon Balsamic White

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated.

Procedure:

In a bowl, mix the chickpea, kale, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lemon balsamic. Add salt, pepper and cheese to taste. Toss it together, cover and refrigerate for 15-30 mins at least. Enjoy!

I just let it sit for 15 minutes on the counter and the flavors marinated well. However I can see letting it sit longer will make it even more delicious. Overall… yum recipe… a good Lunch Box Salad and very quick and easy!!! I did substitute the lemon juice with Lemon Balsamic …. with my Balsamic craze lately ;) and I am not a parsley fan, but love cilantro so I added that. So I am not sure if these 2 changes will bring about much flavor changes however I was happy with it. For the original recipe Click HERE

This is all for today, hopefully you will try and enjoy this quick, easy and yum salad!!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Avacado-Onion-Tomato Sandwich

Today I have easy and quick lunch recipe! A friend of mine introduced this sandwich few years ago… and it has been my favorite ever since. It is sort of eating guacamole between 2 slices of bread…just that all the ingredients are sliced ;) Serve this with some tomato soup, chips, fries, chilli sauce or eat it just plain… this simple sandwich is yumm!!

AOTS

Avacado-Onion-Tomato Sandwich

Serving: 1

Ingredients:

2 slices of Bread of your choice.

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Tomato

few slices of Onion

Cilantro, finely chopped

green chillies, sliced (optional)

salt and pepper

butter for roasting

Method:

Butter the slices of bread. Turn them so the buttered side is on the outside. Layer  one slice with avocado and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Next, layer the tomatoes, and onions, sprinkle some more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cilantro and green chillies (if using). Top it with the other slice. Heat a skillet (or you could do this on a Panini grill). Put the prepared sandwich in the skillet and press down using a spatula. Let it brown and turn to brown the other side. Cut in 2 and serve.

Easy-peasy :))

This sandwich is better eaten warm…. however, I have eaten it room temperature too and it taste just as delicious. You could practically use any bread of your choice-I have tried it on White, Sourdough, Italian, Hoagie Roll, and  Mexican bread, (pictured, can’t remember the name) that I found at the local farmers market. The simplicity of the ingredients and seasonings make this a nice and light sandwich.

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

 

Asparagus-Kale Quinoa Salad

Finally Summer is here :)) 2 months of vacation to rest up, get crafty and experiment in the kitchen :D I wil be honest, first day being home after 10 months of routine schedule is weird ;) But I am looking forward to experimenting some yum foods and desserts in the 2 months!

Since my vaca just started, I am scarce of fresh veggies in my fridge (been lazy) but I did find some Asparagus, Kale, Scallions, and Red Pepper. I know the combination sounds a little crazy….but I promise, the end result turned out yum!! I decided to use Quinoa for grain…. Gluten free, Vegan friendly (if you do not put Parmesan cheese).

ASPARAGUS, KALE QUINOA SALADAKQSalad

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry Quinoa

1 bundle of Asparagus

2 cups packed chopped Kale

3 Scallion Sprigs, chopped

1/2 cup peas

1/2 red pepper, chopped

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar (available at Olive Oil Specialty stores and online)

Olive Oil Spray, Salt, Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, as per taste.

Parmesan Cheese, grated (Optional)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Cut Asparagus in bite size pieces. Spray with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 7-10 mins depending on the thickness. (Mine were done in 7 mins).

2. Meanwhile cook Quinoa as per package direction. 1/2 cup dry should make 2 servings of Quinoa.

3. In a pan, spray some olive oil and add the Kale with some salt and pepper. It will wilt. Saute till almost cooked. This will take 7-10 mins as Kale is a tough green. When kale is almost done add peppers, scallions, tomatoes and peas. Add chilli flakes as per your taste and add some salt and pepper (if needed).

4. Mix in the cooked Quinoa and add 1-2 tsp of the Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar. Top it with some grated parmesan. Serve Warm.

AKQSalad1

The colorful combination of vegetables make it an inviting meal. Asparagus and Kale go perfect with Lemon, hence this white balsamic is the perfect flavor for this mix, making it a nice summer salad. It could also be a yum side dish for any Chicken or Fish. If you do not have Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, you could just add good amount of lemon juice. I would not add any vinegar in such case as the White Balsamic has a smooth and sweet taste compared to any other vinegar (Distilled, Red or regular Balsamic) It was easy fairly quick to make and even quicker to gobble it all down ;)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait

There is nothing like finding an easy cheesecake recipe to make….and eggless too :) Works for people (family and friends) I know who do not eat eggs ;) Parfait form makes it a perfect size dessert ….I’m liking these small cup desserts (just like found at PF Changs, Chillis etc) A while ago I made No Bake Nutella Cheesecake in plastic cups …they were a hit…. so I am hoping these are a hit too.

I found this recipe via Youtube, it is from Show Me the Curry and can be found HERE. They made 12 of 2 oz cups. I used bigger cups and doubled up the ingredients.

StrawberryCheesecakeparfait1

Strawberry Cheescake Parfaits

Makes 12 9 0z cups (filled 3/4way)

Ingredients

Graham Crackers (Chocolate)– 15 whole pieces
Butter – 7 Tbsp, melted
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Strawberries – 1 lb, chopped
Sugar – 3/4Tbsp
Cream Cheese –16 oz, softened
Sour Cream – 2/3 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar – 3/4 cup
Whipped Cream – 3 cup (I used Cool Whip)

Method:

1. Place Graham Crackers in a food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Add melted Butter and 1 Tbsp Sugar and mix well. Keep aside.
2. Mix 3/4 Tbsp Sugar with chopped Strawberries and keep aside.
3. In a bowl, combine softened Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Vanilla. Mix in Powdered Sugar and mix until no lumps are present. Fold in Whipped Cream.
4. To assemble parfaits, layer a small amount of Graham Cracker crumbs at the bottom of a parfait cup or mini shot glass. Press down to form a crust. Using a pastry bag or zipper bag, pipe in cream cheese mixture half way up the glass. Add a layer of Strawberries. Finish with an additional layer of Cream Cheese mixture.
5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set.

You could decorate it some whipped cream or some more berries.

My husband, I and our friends eat less sugar…. so I did not double on sugar amounts. I started with adding the amount in the original recipe (video link above) and added a little at a time to bring it to our taste level. So adjust the sugar levels as per your taste. I could not find 2 oz glasses like in the video. I used 9 oz cups (found in my local grocery store). So if you want to make big cups and fill them up to the top, you could make 2 layers of berries and 3 layers of cheesecake filling.

Strawberries are fresh and naturally sweet right now. So this is the perfect dessert to try… a nice summer dessert I think or like suggested in the original recipe…a good Mother’s Day Treat :D

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there….. Moms make the world Awesome!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Cheesy Spinach Oatmeal

Breakfast is always a daunting meal… especially when you do not want to eat eggs everyday or are not fan of sweet start to the day with pancakes or waffles. Although my weekday breakfasts happen in the car driving to work…so I always end up making this egg sandwhich…. toasted Ezekiel Bread with one sliced boiled egg, spinach, brown mustard and little mayo- easy to eat in car.

However, on days home… I want to eat non egg things. We have some breakfast recipes in our Indian food too. But still at times there is a desire to eat something different. I have been wanting to add more protein in the mornings, to have more energy….Oatmeal is a filler….but again….can’t eat the sweet stuff!! So I decided to research on Savory Oatmeal dishes. I have made Oatmeal Khichdi (indian term for mix of rice, lentils and veggies–gonna have to be another post!!) But somehow never thought of Savory Oats breakfast…until I came across Girl Makes Food. She has Cheesy oatmeal recipe….which looked delish….So I decided to give it a try while we have been snowed/iced in for 4 days now ;)

CheesySpinachOatmeal

Cheesy Spinach Oatmeal

Adapted form Girl Makes Food Recipe

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oatmeal (I used Extra Thick Rolled oats, Girl Makes food used Steel cut Oats)

1- 1/4 cup water

1-2 cups spinach

1/4 cup shredded mild cheddar (or any cheese of your choice)

Salt, Pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook oatmeal as per package direction with little bit of salt in it (Let water boil, add the oats, bring the flame down and cook covered). My package suggested 1 cup water for 1/2 cup oatmeal. However, I like mine slightly loose/runny so I used 1-1/4 cup. My oats took 10 mins to cook.

2. Once the oats are cooked, add the spinach, cheese, and pepper. Stir. Adjust seasonings as per taste.

3. Enjoy while hot/warm!!

Conclusion: Yummeeee!!! It is delicious. After tasting it, my brains started sprinting on ideas of all the seasonings I could add or all the veggies I could add or all the desi spices I could add to give it an Indian twist. It is definitely a keeper…. I think a perfect breakfast for Saturdays when my husband and I go do our long walks!!

Something worth trying!!

Until next time

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Better than “Anything” Cake

This is not the original name of this cake…. but I like to keep my posts clean…. so I like this name given to this particular cake…..the word Anything has been used in place of the original PG-13 word ;) So after my assistant teacher’s birthday, it is Ms. S’s birthday. I teach Pre-K in a daycare setting and 2 Pre-K classes share one big classroom divided in the middle..Ms S. is the Assistant teacher in the other Pre-K class. We are a tight bunch…even though this is our first year working….we have developed a wonderful rapport and enjoy working together. So this is her favorite cake :)) I decided to make this for her birthday.

OMG scrumptious…. is all I can say for this cake. So Ms A. (the other Lead Teacher) sent me the recipe for this cake. This one is from Brown Eyed Baker ….a pretty neat website with lot of recipes, and various other topics. The cake looked delish…. so had to make this one for Ms. S :)

BTSC1

Better than “Anything” Cake

from: Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
8 ounces Cool Whip
½-1 cup Heath toffee bits

Directions:

1. Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.

2. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top using either the bottom of a wooden spoon, a skewer or a fork.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce, then slowly drizzle the mixture all over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake, top with the Heath toffee bits and refrigerate again for 1 hour. Serve cold and refrigerate any leftovers.

I had to bake the devil’s food cake into 2 different pans…. I could not find my round pans :( all this moving, I seemed to have packed it up with my permanent stuff :(( So I want to make this cake again… in a round pan..as a whole cake instead of having to split into 2 :D

Nevertheless, I see why the name….. it is definitely better than “Anything” ;) oh the moistness, the perfect sweetness and the caramel taste….yummm!!!

I took one to school–was a hit there…. birthday girl loved it :)) and the one that was home….my husband and I devoured it….every bit of it!!!

It is an easy cake…. and definitely worth trying :))

Until Next time,

Enjoooy!!!