Friday, 27 March 2009

Kiddie Pizza

This is not the real pizza made with pizza dough and tomato sauce and then baking it. No. This is a simple and quick dish that I make for my little one for breakfast. It is hard to feed the fussy eating kids and can’t believe how fussy they can get at times. I can’t start my day properly if my toddler hasn’t had proper breakfast. Almost every time, I have to try many breakfasts before he eats something. Kiddie pizza is one of his favourites that he readily eats without any fuss. You can use different vegetables including courgettes or tomatoes. But i normally use carrots and Bell pepper and my kid is happy with that.

4 tbs Carrot sliced very thinly and chopped fine. (or grated)
2½ tbs Onion sliced very thinly and chopped fine.
4 tbs Capsicum sliced very thinly and chopped fine.
5-7 tbsful Yoghurt
2 tbs grated cheddar cheese (optional)
A pinch of Salt
A pinch of Pepper powder
4 pieces white bread
A knob of butter

1. For making the topping, mix all the chopped vegetables with the yoghurt and cheese and add salt and pepper to season.
2. Toast the bread slightly just enough to make it crisp. Doesnt have to change colour. This way it makes this snack slightly crispy than soaky.
3. Heat a pan, add a knob of butter.
4. Spread the topping mixture thickly on one side of the bread and fry on both sides until golden.
5. Serve warm.

Avocado and Tomato Salsa

Here is a dish with vibrant colours and bursting flavours. I normally use avocado for making milk shakes. I was a bit reluctant to make savoury dish with avocadoes since i haven't tried any before. But it reallyworks.
½ medium Avocado
1 medium Tomato (75 grams)
3 Spring onions
¼ cup chopped Coriander
2 tsp Lime/lemon juice
Salt - per taste
Pepper powder - per taste

1. Dice the avocado and tomatoes. Slice the spring onion thinly.
2. Transfer them in a serving bowl. Add in the chopped coriander.
3. Add in lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve it on toast or Bruschetta or as a salad.

Classic Brownies

Brownies…..This is one post that I have been looking forward to share with you all for quite long time. What was holding me back was that I dint have anyone (with sweet tooth) to give a good opinion on this magical Cake. My husband is not a great fan of sweets especially anything with chocolaty flavour! And so he doesn’t like brownies, Imagine. Should I say lucky me or Unlucky me? May be both? Lucky because I can keep nibbling on brownies by myself. And unlucky because I end up eating them all putting on loads of calories.

Last weekend we had a splendid time at Sherwood Forest of Robin hood where we celebrated our son’s 2nd Birthday in a smaller way. Apart from us, there were 5 other families (Friends). So we all booked a cottage in the middle of forest which had a small beautiful lake behind it with ducks and daffodils every where. Since the weekend was unexpectedly sunny and cool we were able to spend more time outside rather than sitting inside and watching the beauty of the forest indoors. We stayed there for three days engaged in many indoor games and outdoor games. Each family were to cook and bring a meal for 12 people. I made my signature dish, Lasagne which always turned out great and for the dessert I made Brownies. Everybody loved brownies and it was over by the end of the trip. Yeah, one thing that came to my notice was the gas oven we had in the cottage. My lasagne took so long to cook and I had to increase the temperature of the oven from 180 to 200 then to 220 because it was taking very long time. What then happened was, smoke started coming out of the oven and the fire alarm went off!! I don’t know how many times the alarm went off that day. I have never used a gas oven, but now I would keep in mind never to buy a gas oven. I found it quite troublesome. I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere. We had two of them there and both were worse.
When it comes to baking with dark chocolate, I have always used good quality dark chocolate containing 74% cocoa solids in them. I go for dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa solids because that gives an intense chocolate flavour. But good quality chocolate can be a bit expensive compared to cocoa powder. Brownies can also be made with cocoa powder and it will be economical too. I would try making brownies with cocoa powder next time. I just want to see the difference. If you want the brownies to be fudgy, bake until u see few moist crumbs on a skewer when inserted in the middle. If the skewer comes out clean, Brownies will be dry. It’s a personal choice. I have used a clear glass rectangular oven proof dish for baking and not a tin as you see in the picture.

200 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1”squares
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1¼ cups Plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup Brazil nuts, Pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts chopped (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 180 °C. Cover a 23cm*39 cm (9 inches 15 inches) rectangular dish of 2.7 litre Capacity entirely with a parchment paper or baking paper. Make sure the entire dish is covered up to the top with the baking paper.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl kept over another saucepan of simmering water (Bain Marie). Make sure that the bowl containing chocolate doesn’t touch the water underneath. Stir the chocolate and butter occasionally until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth. You can also microwave the chocolate but it should be watched carefully since chocolate burns very quickly.
3. Meanwhile, whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in another bowl and set aside.
4. When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually add in sugar and whisk well using a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Add in vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture in three additions along with nuts (if using) and mix slowly just until combined. Don’t over mix the batter.
5. Transfer batter to prepared dish and spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.
6. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 35-40 minutes. Cool for about 2 hours, and cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve.
7. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you leave it open, it can get drier. This post is an entry for the 'the love of chocolate' Hosted by Poornima of Poornimastastytreats.
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