The Perfect French Bread

The Perfect French Bread

The first one took less that 5 minutes to be polished off – I kid you not! When I scoured the web for a good recipe, little did I know I was going to end up following a you tube demo of the least complicated recipe out there – The only thing you need to do if you are following him, is cut back on the salt!!!! either he made a mistake when he said 1tbsp instead of 1 tsp or he just likes his bread way too salty. Otherwise, the recipe was first rate – no fuss and most importantly NO oil – he saves the butter for the end. Anyway, your search for a fabulous loaf of french bread end right here mes amies. Ingredients 4 cups of flour (I used Pillsbury bread flour) AFP Or half and half of AFP and whole wheat – I guess you can play around with this 1 tbsp fast acting yeast 1 cup + warm water 1tsp of salt Preparation Mix dry ingredients flour and salt together in a bowl. Mix the yeast in about 1/2 cup of warm water stir it in and pour into the flour Add 1/2 more cup of warm water and nix until the dough is coming off the sides of the bowl Transfer on to floured counter surface Knead for a couple of minutes until you can make a smooth ball Place back in  bowl and put a plastic grocery bag over it (or saran wrap) and allow it to rise for 2 hours Dust the works surface with flour After which,  take the...
Lavender Blueberries Muffins

Lavender Blueberries Muffins

This was a second treat I made in anticipation of my Zumba miss – Another no show,  I guess she had her reasons and her commitment to me did not figure at all in her list of priorities but the disappointment nor the slight irritation at being stood for the 4th time cannot be trivialized. However, my wonderful family was as always quite welcoming of this treat. But they filled up the room with the most pleasing aromas and I was happy for a chance to use my lavender buds. I got the general idea for the recipe from a website called Wiki – I like the fact they’d used small amounts of oil as opposed to butter, because this gave me the option of using olive oil. Here is the recipe Ingredients as given in the Wiki but with some key modifications ¾ cup Sugar3 cups unbleached Whole wheat flour2 tbsp.baking powder½ tsp.salt1/3 cup olive oil1 ¼ cups milk1 tbsp. Freshly squeezed lemon juice1 tbsp. Finely grated lemon zest2 tsp. dried cooking lavender buds (1 tbsp. Fresh)3 large eggs beaten2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries For Lavender Sugar 1tsp of lavender buds 3 tbsp of sugar grind in a coffee grinder together and set aside for sprinkling on top of the muffin, if desired. Preparation Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Combine first four dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice with milk and let stand for 5 mins. Add the rest of the wet ingredients including the lemon zest, lavender and blueberries to the milk and lemon juice mixture. Gradually stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until all dry ingredients are moistened. Bake 25–30 minutes. Cool completely before removing...
Avocado Bread

Avocado Bread

With Dr. Oz stressing each time I turn him on about the goodness of this rather fatty green fruit, I thought I’d make something out of it other than the standard guacamole – Don’t know if I have talked about before, but after my third baby, I ended up with a rather sluggish gall bladder and it was very difficult for me to digest any fat – I ended up having violent reactions to fat esp that of avocado – which had been a staple in the house before then – One would be happy right to develop an allergy to fat – well this I can tell you friends, altho I would to lose that muffin top that constantly reminds me of my motherhood status, I would rather not have it go this way – as in developing food allergies, coz many are the discomforts that come along with allergies – Moving to Virginia first made me aware of how allergic I was to pollen, tree pollen to be precise and cats! – I did not know that – And I had the “good” fortune of being bitten by a tick and ended up with Lyme disease in 2007 – That has led to a few freakish annual appearances of swollen joints  – Don’t mean to go on about my ailments, but just saying – we deal with all kinds of unexpected issues! But after 4 years, I have re-introduced Avocado into the home – My hubby and daughter who are the only two who like guacamole usually satisfied their cravings outside or from a dubba from WholeFoods...
Lacha Parathas or South Indian Parottas

Lacha Parathas or South Indian Parottas

So… in my last recipe of kuruma, I mentioned parottas (parathas) that I had at Kanchi hotel, some of the best I recall. My hugely popular blogging buddy Jay of Tasty Appetite had blogged these incredible looking parottas (south Indian style) and I was craving them the moment I saw them. Kuruma leftovers today – the kids have the day off from school, which is good, because we have all been down with some viral infection with stomachs hurting, throats that were sore, headaches and general fatigue – as I was saying leftover kuruma warranted some nice parottas and that’s what I made – it turned out well even if I did not use as much oil as the recipe suggested, but otherwise I stuck to Jay’s recipe fully. Ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 3tbsp oil 1sp of sugar 1 pinch of salt 1pinch of baking soda 1cup of warm water and some as “kneaded” 😉 Preparation Add all the ingredients in a mixer and let it mix in a gentle pace at first and when all the dough has come together increase the mixer speed to medium and let it knead for about 5- 10 minutes, stopping every now and then for a spoon of water here and there if you need to bind all the flour.  At about 8 minutes, I took the speed to max and had the ball of dough going nuts Remove from mixer, make a tight ball, put in a vessel and keep closed for about 30 minutes to an hour When time is up, put back in the mixer and knead...
Stuffed Braided Bread for Blog Hop Wednesday

Stuffed Braided Bread for Blog Hop Wednesday

Spinach-Mozzarella stuffing This week has been a scramble – Loved the blogging marathon I did for the past two weeks, esp because of the themes I’d chosen – Cooking with fruits; salad & soups the second week. But after posting just a recipe or 2 for weeks now, it was a challenge to get my butt in gear to blog everyday – I am SO hard pressed for time that I feel guilty that I am not blog hopping to see the wonderful things my colleagues have prepared -I keep thinking, today I will sit and do nothing but blog hop, but with a very active and demanding 3 yr old, i peek into my computer every half hour, FB usually to check comments or share a post! I am loving every minute of hanging out with my little girl and would regret seeing her all grown up soon enough and not having spent the quality time I spent with my older two children – So please excuse me if I am not coming around to your blogs as often as I used to – This weeks agenda – cupcakes & cookies for my daughter’s drama club, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – taking my toddler to it, but have to work hard for it this evening is a concert for the same daughter – she is the busy one! My son pursues activities too but not everyday like my daughter does! So for the most part, it is my toddler and me in the house and she tells me every once in a while – Ma, shut off your...