Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mediterranean Sourdough Pizza

Several months back we tried a new pizza place in town. We loved the toppings they used on their Mediterranean pizza and went back for more over the next few months. The last time we visited I noted down the toppings so I could try it at home. My goal was not to create a copy cat recipe but to use the same toppings with my classic sourdough pizza recipe. My family loves the taste of sourdough pizza and I am always looking for new ways to top it.


A close up of the toppings. Chopping up the olives into small pieces instead of slices gives it a whole new flavor. Use fresh olives instead of the canned ones. Adding garlic to this mix enhances the flavor. This is our new favorite.


During the week I fed the sourdough and mixed the pizza dough. By the time the weekend rolled around the dough was ready after a long rise in the refrigerator. We got fresh groceries from Whole Foods and were ready to go. I followed my classic recipe except for the addition of toppings. The end result was delicious.

You will need
Pizza dough
Follow my classic pizza recipe
Pizza sauce

Toppings
A handful Black olives
1 large tomato sliced to 1 inch pieces
~15 leaves of spinach, chopped
2 pods garlic minced
Sliced mozzarella, crumbled goat cheese and crumbled feta cheese to taste

Follow instructions on my classic pizza recipe for the pizza dough.  Prepare the pizza sauce using my pizza sauce recipe.


When you are ready to make the pizza preheat the oven to 525 F. Get all the toppings ready.


Once you transfer the pizza to the heated pizza pan, add the pizza sauce as the base.



Add the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.


Place the pizza in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.


Take the pan out and add the remaining toppings. Put it back int he oven for 2 more minutes followed by two minuted under the broiler. The pizza is done.




Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #79 for the theme Pizza my way. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#79.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Raisin Chocolate Chip Granola

This was one of the trail mixes we took with us on our Alaska trip this summer. It was very handy when we went hiking. But it was also great after we went exploring around Anchorage downtown. I wanted to visit the Ulu knife factory about a mile away from our hotel and get an Alaskan Ulu knife for my kitchen. My experiments in the kitchen with that knife will be a separate post. My husband and daughter willingly walked through the light rain to get to the factory. It was a beautiful walk down the hillside, a river flowing at the foot of the hill and the factory close by. When we walked back to the hotel we enjoyed some hot chocolate/tea/coffee and this trail mix.


I made the Raisin Chocolate chip granola mix to try the new hemp oatmeal granola I found in the bulk bin at Whole Foods. It has a very light texture and I thought it would taste great when paired with something sweet or tart. Dried cranberries were an option but since this was to be taken on a trip I could not have anything sticky. I chose raisins instead and that was a great choice. I added the chocolate chips as I had some left over. You can leave them out and add some nuts instead.

You will need
1 cup granola
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients together.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #79 for the theme Granola, Trail Mix & Bars for Travel. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#79.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Chocolate Chip Pistachios Granola

Hiking trails is something my family loves. When we visited Alaska this summer it was on the top of our list of things to do. Healthy snacks and water is always a part of a hikers day pack. Our pack was no different. Chocolate chip, Pistachios Granola was one of the mixes we took along. This mix was made to order for my daughter. The Granola is has a apple cinnamon flavor. The pistachios are roasted and unsalted.


On the way to Alaska we had a stopover in Phoenix. Our flight was delayed and we were stuck at the airport worried we would miss our connection. This trail mix was a good distraction. Most of it never made it to Alaska.


You could add other nuts or seeds to this mixture or add white chocolate chips. Make sure you use mini chocolate chips so they are the same size as the rest of the mix. My daughter loves malt balls in the mix but they are usually stocked in the low bins. We have seen kids reaching into the bins with their hands while their doting parents watch so we only get stuff from the high bins.

You will need
1 cup Apple Cinnamon Granola (Whole Foods bulk bins)
1/2 cup roasted unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients together and store until ready to use. You can change the proportion as per your taste.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day two of BM #79 for the theme Granola, Trail Mix & Bars for Travel. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#79.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dates, Nuts and Seeds Trail Mix

When I began planning our family vacation to Alaska, I knew I would not have to worry about food on the cruise. But then we decided to spend some time in mainland Alaska and visit Denali, the tallest peak in the US. Bars and granola went on the list of things to take along. My daughter is very picky about these so we decided we would pick up whatever we liked the day before we left.


We made our way to the bulk bins in Whole Foods and put together ingredients for 3 trail mixes. This dates, nuts and seeds trail mix was the first. Sliced dates rolled in oatmeal flour, roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, roasted chopped almonds and pecans went into this mix. It was super tasty and made a great snack while we walked along the Nenana river near our lodge at Denali, outside the Denali National Park.








Denali National park is a wilderness area with a lot of wildlife. We had planned on walking the trails and expected to carry something to munch every time we stopped to rest. But then we were told that food attracts bears and some had been sighted close to the trails we were walking. We willingly left the food behind and used it instead when we walked the trails around our lodge.

You will need
1/2 cup roasted chopped unsalted almonds
1/2 cup roasted chopped unsalted pecans
1/2 cup slices dates rolled in oat flour (prevents sticky dates)
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

The recipe is really simple. Make sure all the ingredients except the dates are crunchy. If not roast them for a couple minutes on low heat and cool completely. Mix everything together.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #79 for the theme Granola, Trail Mix & Bars for Travel. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#79.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Apple Challah

Last year I was on a long break from baking. It was not intentional. With my daughter off to college there is no one at home to eat my experiments. During one of her visits from college I broke the baking drought with this Apple Challah, a recipe I have wanted to bake ever since I saw it in a Facebook baking group.


Partially cooked apples are added to challah dough to make Apple Challah. The apples with a little apricot jam add a lovely flavor to the bread. You can make the dough as rich as you want with the addition of eggs and honey. Or you can keep it simple with a water challah recipe as I did.


I tried a cornstarch glaze but it did not give me the deep golden color I was looking for. After the bread was almost done I added a glaze of watered down apricot jam and that gave the bread the shine and the deep color I was looking for.

You will need
For the filling
1 apple
1/2 lime
1 tsp. apricot jam/preserve
1 scant tsp. cinnamon powder

For the dough
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. instant yeast granules
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

For the glaze
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apricot jam

First you want to make the dough. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients for the dough followed by the wet ingredients. Combine to form a soft sticky dough. Knead well until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover and keep aside for an hour or until it doubles in volume.

During the last 10 minutes, Cut the apple in quarters. Remove the seeds and then cut into thin slices. In a small bowl add a cup of water and the juice of a 1/2 a lime. Add the slices and microwave for 3 minutes. Drain the water and keep aside. In a small bowl add 1 tbsp. of water and 1 tsp. of apricot jam. Mix well and keep aside.

Flour a working surface and transfer the risen dough on to it. Divide into two equal portions. Keep one of them aside.

With one of the portions: divide into two such that the small part is a forth of the whole portion. Roll the larger of the two parts into a disc the width of your palm and keep aside. Divide the smaller part into two again. Roll each of the parts into a long rope about 8 inches. Using a roller flatten the rope. Repeat with the second rope.


Brush half the apricot mixture on one of the flattened ropes. Place the apple slices on it and sprinkle with cinnamon powder.


Fold the lower half of the dough over the apple slices.


Starting from one side roll the dough and apple to form a flower. Secure with a toothpick if needed and let it stand. Repeat with the other flattened rope. Starting where you left off roll the second rope and apples around the first to form a large flower. Place this on the center of the disc and keep aside.


Now work with half portion of dough you had put aside. Divide it into 3 portions and roll each into a long rope of about 10-12 inches. Pinch one end of all three strands together. Braid the 3 strands like you would braid hair. Do not pull on the ropes or braid too tight. When done place the rope around the apple flower on the dough disc. Secure the ends by tucking one end under the other.


In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with water and brush on the bread. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F while the bread proofs. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. In a small bowl mix the apricot jam for the glaze with a 1 tsp of water. Remove bread from the oven and brush with the apricot mixture. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to allow the bread to turn a deep golden brown.




Remove from oven an let it cool. Enjoy!








This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #76 for the theme Mother's day sweets. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#66.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spicy Naan

Today I have a variation of the recipe I posted yesterday, spicy naan! Spices are mixed into the flour before it is kneaded into dough. And sprinkled over the top. I was tying to recreate the taste of the spicy naan we had at Sanaa, the restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge in Disney World. We dined there this past summer and enjoyed their flatbread platter.


I made five different flatbreads garlic naan, spicy naan, plain naan, onion kulcha and aloo paratha. I served them with roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber raita. It made for an filling dinner and allowed us to revisit some of the enjoyable moments from our vacation.



The recipe for this naan is very similar to that of plain naan posted yesterday. The only difference is the addition of cayenne pepper and cumin and coriander powder to the dough.

You will need (4 naan)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 oz. instant yeast
4 tbsp. yogurt
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 fl. oz. warm water
1 tsp. cumin coriander powder
1 tsp. or adjust to taste cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. onion seeds (kalonji)

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a dough. Follow the recipe plain naan.



Enjoy!















This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #69 for the theme flatbread. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Naan

Naan, the delicious flatbread leavened with yeast is a great addition to any menu especially if it hot out of the oven. There is a large variety of naan and I have a sampling of a few here in this space. This past summer we were on a vacation to Disney World and decided to dine in at Sanaa, the restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. They served a flatbread platter - different types of flatbread with chutneys, sauce and dips. I decided to recreate this platter in my house. I served it roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber raita.


There are five different flatbreads in my platter - Garlic naan, plain naan, spicy naan, onion kulcha and aloo (potato) paratha. Recipes for Garlic naan (first bread from left in pic) and aloo paratha (fifth bread from left in pic) can be found on this space. The others are new to this blog. I will post them one by one this week. The first is the naan, it is the third bread from the left.

You will need
For the dough
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 oz. instant yeast
4 tbsp. yogurt
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 fl. oz. warm water

This recipe is similar to the garlic naan recipe. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. Now mix in the wet ingredients and form a dough. Cover and allow it to rise for about 2 hours. Transfer to a working surface and divide the dough into 6 portions. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 F.


Once oven is preheated place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet on the second rack. Switch on the broiler on high heat. Take one portion of dough and roll it out on a floured working surface to about 6-7 inches in diameter. Pick up the naan in one hand, moisten the other palm with water and gently rub it over one side of the naan. Place the naan moistened side down on the heated stone/inverted sheet. Place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes watching closely. You can do two naan at a time.


Enjoy!















This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #69 for the theme flatbreads. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#69.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kid's Delight - Fruit based recipes - Event Announcement

Changing seasons bring with it a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The food we cook also changes to accommodate the changing produce in the grocery store. Whether you are enjoying the last taste of summer fruit or the fresh taste of fall fruit, share your recipes with us.


This month I am hosting Kid's Delight, an event started by Srivalli of Spice your life. As part of this event I challenge you to cook dishes where fruit is the primary ingredient and have the stamp of approval from a child. I understand this 'approval' can be subjective. My child has a mature palate and will try anything. Your child may be picky. I will accept all entries as long as they are vegetarian (eggs okay).

Here are the rules.
Prepare a fruit based dish and blog about it between the 16th of October and 15 of November 2016.
Link to this post and Srivalli's Kid's Delight post.
Entries should use fruit and not fruit extracts. Fruit juice is okay.
Multiple entries are allowed.
Children in your life should have approved this dish.
The dish should be vegetarian (eggs okay)
Archived entries will not be accepted.

Bloggers and non-bloggers are invited to send in their entries to varadaskitchen@gmail.com with the subject line 'Fruit Based Recipes'. Please include the following in your email.
Your name and the name of your blog
Name of the recipe
URL of the post
Picture of the dish

I look forward to all your colorful dishes