Thursday, August 30, 2012

Go Green

~ The Power of Green ~

In the 70 's when Kermit the frog - the popular muppet of
Jim Henson sang ' Its not easy being Green '- little did
people would have realized how times would change &
the green revolution would be a rage - going green would be
the hottest talk of the town , from kids to adults from
gastronomy to couture , from palettes to interiors
everything would crave for a slice of green .

Green is the color of nature , fertility & life . It is
also the color of growth , prosperity & harmony . Owing
to its soothing properties its still one of the most used medical
colors . The green in our tricolor ( flag ) beautifully
reflects the soul of our agricultural economy .

Of all the greens I'm addicted to the green of fresh
fragrant herbs .Living on a 7th floor apartment in the city offers
a picturesque view but limits passion of gardening to planters
pots & balconies. Basic herbs like cilantro( coriander) , mint
fenugreek (methi ) & dill can be picked up easily from local
markets - but growing & relishing your own gives a different
level of satisfaction .

The herb produce from my tiny lil garden beautifully
pampers our home made specialties. The heady fragrance of
mint , basil, lemongrass,marjoram, carom , dill , fenugreek
cilantro & celery are enough to turn my kitchen into
a foody's paradise and my pretty Nigella inspired
Mezzaluna perfectly releases these magical aromas.

Home made Focaccia

This flat dimpled Italian flat bread loaded with lots of
homegrown herbs is surely a treat to the palate . Much like
its near cousin - Garlic bread, its is crisp on outside & soft
aromatic inside. The best part of baking at home is that one
has the reins of the ingredients.

Bake it with refined flour or a mix of whole & refined , add in your
favorite coriander or basil & top it with olives, tomatoes, grapes,
mushrooms, peppers or just cheese ahhh the list is endless......

Olive & Basil Focaccia

Ingredients - 1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta), 1 1/2 cup
refined flour (maida) , 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast , 1 tsp sugar ,
1 cup luke warm water ,2 tbsp finely chopped basil(or 1 tsp dry),
8- 10 sliced Delmonte black olives , 2 tbsp olive oil ,1/2 tsp dried
rosemary , salt & chili flakes to taste, 1 tbsp milk for brushing
Method - Soak the yeast along with sugar in warm water for
8-10 mins. Once the froth develops , gently mix in oil & salt .
Slowly add in both the flours , along with chopped basil & knead
for 8-10 mins till the dough is smooth . Place the dough in a
large greased bowl , cover with a cling wrap & keep in a warm
place for 1-2 hrs or till it doubles. Punch the dough & place it
inside a greased baking tin , cover & leave for another
10- 12mins. Make a few dimples on top & lightly brush with
olive oil & milk ,top with chili, olives & rosemary.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for 32- 35 mins or till
golden . Cool for a couple of minutes , slice & serve.
(Whole wheat flour results in a bit denser bread , you
can opt 100 % refined flour version too. Brush the top
with egg for a brighter golden crust. )

Isn't it nice to have a multi-use baking dish , this pretty little
stoneware from Zansaar beautifully doubles up as a piece of
decor post baking .

Sending the recipe to Del monte's

Also sending to Yeast Spotting

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Magical Yellow

~ Charismatic Yellow ~

In Indian mythology yellow is the color of Gods !
Nothing here is complete without a dash of yellow.
A bride to be adorns yellow, a new house is decorated
with yellow, festivals are incomplete without yellow
marigolds , sunflowers & a smear of turmeric.

In our culture yellow means a new beginning & a
sunshine of love, warmth and happiness.

After completing 3 yrs of blogging Little Food Junction
returns in a new avatar,with an easy to connect Facebook page,
lots of new fun foods , loads of colorful pictures & last but
not the least many more recipes definitely with a healthier
twist for our tiny lil eaters ...... Isn't it nice to add a tinge
of yellow to a new beginning ...............

When God gives you Lemons ........
(Go ahead & make some Lemon rice ....)

When the little ones are craving for something tangy
& there is some cooked rice in the refrigerator
sharing space with lemons ..... then just wear on
your apron & get ready to salivate those tiny taste buds.
As the name suggests Lemon rice is a South Indian
delicacy with freshness of lemon juice, crunchiness of roasted
lentils & aroma of fragrant curry leaves.

Cook with fresh rice or utilize the leftover rice in the refrigerator
either ways the tanginess will leave you craving for more ......

Lemon Rice

Ingredients - 1 cup boiled rice, 1tsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp
split black gram( urad dal), 1/2 tsp bengal gram ( chana dal)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, pinch of turmeric, 1 dry red chili, 2 tsp
lemon juice, a few curry leaves & salt to taste .
Method- Heat oil in a pan & splutter mustard. Add the dals,
red chili & curry leaves & roast for 30 secs till crisp . Mix in
turmeric, rice, salt & lemon juice. Cook for a min & serve hot.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy B'day blog

~ Happy B'day dear Blog ~

My lil baby blog turns 3 this month. A few years
back when I started blogging about fun foods , little did
I know that this creative path would open up so many
avenues .From making fun foods for feeding fussy lil ones to
cooking & baking , from spending hours decorating the
funkiest birthday cakes to capturing the beauty of food
& life , passion has come a long way ...........

To celebrate this occasion I blog about some super duper
easy to pep up recipes for your lil one's Birthday Party .
Head off to Zansaar blog to add a zing to the party &
don't forget to go through their online store , it has
some really cool stuff to make your home & parties
talk of the town !!! Besides I've guest curated some
cool stuff there .Do check out my curated collection -
"Feast your Eyes" . Hope u like it as much as I
enjoyed handpicking it !!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Adieu Olympics..

~ Adieu Olympics 2012~

While London was busy with the last minute
perfections for today's closing ceremony of
Olympics 2012 , I was busy in the kitchen,digging
through my pantry to create some quick thematic
Breakfast fun for my family . To add a zing to their
breakfast on a bright sunny Sunday morning ,
I just picked up some cookies , honey & fruits :)

These easy to make fruit cookies are our way to thank
the Indian players for the hard work & efforts they have put
in to bring laurels to our nation .

Using a small cookie cutter (a bottle cap will also do) gently
cut out circles from the centre of the cookies, use gentle
rotating motion or the cookies will break....
Ahh!!! these lil cutie leftovers , believe me kids will love
gulping these tiny circles much before you can think of
using these for something else!!!! )

Smear some honey on the cookie rings & top with finely chopped
fresh & dried fruits . I wish we got some blueberries in India :( :(
Anyways I topped the first one with some blueberry preserve &
a few blue sprinkles.Chopped black raisins (Sultanas) were
perfect for depicting the black ring , frozen maraschino cherries,
chopped pistachio & diced mango were perfect toppers for the
red , green & yellow olympic rings.

A cup of warm milk, cookie rings topped with energy
boosting fruits ,loads of fun & laughter , what else do we need to
make a weekend perfect :) :)


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