Puffed Cheese Pizza

You need:

  • 200 grams of button mushrooms, chopped up.
  • 1 red pepper.
  • A tablespoon of all purpose seasoning.
  • Grated cheese about four or five healed tablespoons.
  • Garlic cloves, chopped.
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • One readymade Puff Pastry sheet.
  • One beaten egg or milk for glazing.

To prepare the filling, first saute the garlic in olive oil. Then cook the mushrooms on high heat till they have lost almost all their water comment. Add the red pepper and cook on low heat till there is very little moisture left. Let it cool.

Spread out the puff pastry. Cut parallel lines about a cm apart. They must extend from the base to about 3 inches from the top. So there is a three inch band on top. Place grated cheese in this area. Keep the cooked mushrooms on top of the cheese. Roll down the band.

Rotate the rolled pastry to form a doughnut shape. Brush either a beaten egg or milk.

Bake for about 20-30 mins at 200 C.

Let it cool before you serve it. The cheese will be very hot and when you invariably burn your tongue, remember I did warn you.

Chicken with Pumpkin Puree

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This is a simple recipe but you can also do an extra step , which is totally worth it.

You need:

  • Half a chicken.
  • A small pumpkin
  • Dry oregano
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Olive oil

When you get the chicken home and after you clean it, rub salt all over it. If you plan to use the chicken right away let it stay for at least half an hour. Else you can also freeze it with the salt.

Before using the chicken wash away the excess salt. This will make it super juicy when cooked.

Rub pumpkin pieces with 3 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon of red chilly flakes with a tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil.

Rub 3 teaspoons of red chilly flakes, 1 teaspoon of oregano with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the chicken. Wrap in foil.

Bake in an oven keeping both the foil packets beside each other at 180 C.

Now you have a choice. Either bake for an hour and complete your dish or proceed to the make it more interesting.

For the more interesting dish, bake for only 40 mins.

Remove the skin from the pumpkin pieces. Blend in a mixie along with some milk to make a smooth paste.

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Heat a thick pan and place the chicken breast side down. Pour the puree around the chicken. Lower the heat and cook covered for 30 mins Remove the chicken and let it rest. Meanwhile mix all the juices into the pumpkin puree. It will have picked up a brilliant color and more complex flavors.

 

 

Baked Sliders

You need:

  • Mashed Meat.
  • Pav Buns
  • Cheese slices
  • Thick Tomato Slices
  • Butter

Slice the pav buns horizontally to get two layers. Butter a dish and keep the base of the pav buns. Spread the mashed meat, keep tomato slices on top. Cheese slices to cover the tomatoes.

Keep the top layer and lightly brush with butter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C.

Super tasty finger food.

Needs no condiments.

Cement Mixer Cake!

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Every birthday we have a choice.

Contact some talented baker and get the perfect cake or make it a fun activity and involve the kids in baking their birthday cake.

My wife and I choose the latter option. Earlier this year we made this adorable Princess Cake for our daughter. This time we asked our boy what would he like. He chose his Cement Mixer Truck!!!!

Challenge Accepted.

We baked two cakes. One was round and the other is a rectangle. The rectangle forms the base of the cake and is left untouched.

The first cut in the round cake was along the red lines. The distance between the red lines was equal to the width of the rectangle cake.

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Kept the two semi circles on top of the rectangle cake as an ellipse.

The remaining cake from the now cut up round cake was cut into pieces to become the cabin of the truck, a wedge kept at the rear of the truck to hold up the ellipse. The remaining cake was placed on top of the ellipse to give it height. Every pieces was stuck to the other by using butter cream. Before that a little drizzle of sugar syrup to keep the cake moist.

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Once the crumb coating is completed, leave the cake in a fridge for a couple of hours.

For decorating the cake you can either go crazy with more cream or simply break small chocolates and arrange them like the windscreen and decals. The wheels are Oreo cookies.

A simple cake that tastes amazing and since the kids are also involved in making it…becomes a fantastic memory.

Chilled Chicken Baked Salad

For the summer, a dinner which cools you down.

Lay chopped spinach leaves in a baking dish. Add chopped boneless chicken legs rubbed with a simple herb paste. I used coriander, mint, garlic, green chillies and olive oil.

On top of the chicken place chopped capsicum.

We arrange this way to protect the tender spinach by keeping at the base. The chicken is sandwiched in between to keep it moist. The capsicum on top will char a little and that makes it taste really good.

Bake at 190 celsius for 40 minutes.

Chill for a couple of hours.

At time of serving garnish with something salty like feta.

Olive Oil, Sour Cream and Whole Wheat Cake

Olive Oil Sour Cream Whole Wheat Cake (1)

I love to experiment with food. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they are an embarrassment. But they are all a valuable lesson in my food journey.

This is an experiment that was quite good. My strongest critic a.k.a The Wife asked for two extra slices and that means a lot.

There are only portion sizes because I did not measure anything. This is a big issue with baking but sometimes I take the liberty to just eyeball the quantities and it works. Also I would like to emphasize that we should never be afraid of the oven. Its not a big mystery box that punishes any small mistake.

While cakes are best made with Maida, I used Whole Wheat flour. This makes the texture dense but I had no Maida at home and don’t really mind this. If you want a lighter cake use Maida.

Took about 50 grams of sour cream and added 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Blended them into a smooth paste:

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Then added into this two eggs and the juice of one lemon. Blended this into a smooth airy paste.

Meanwhile took about one cup of whole wheat flour, half a cup of icing sugar and a teaspoon of baking powder. Used to whisk to break up lumps and mix them well:

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Combined both the dry and wet ingredients and it resulted in a slightly thick but smooth paste.

Lay this down into a bread tin lined with butter paper. I was not sure about the cake. There was always the fear that it will not come out smoothly but my fear turned out to be unfounded.

Baked for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius and then brushed milk on the top. Baked another 15 minutes and tested by pricking in a tooth pick.

Some icing on this cake would have made it really standout. A little cinnamon powder would have helped elevate its flavor to a different dimension.

But overall am very happy with the end result.

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Baked Chicken and Vegetables

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Use any sturdy vegetable like pumpkin, beetroot or carrot. Chop them into 1 to 2 centimeter pieces and place in a baking dish. Keep chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle salt, any dried herb like oregano or thyme, chilly flakes. Drizzle olive oil.

 

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Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Then use only top heat at 220 for 10 mins. Remove the chicken pieces and now bake at 220-230 for another ten minutes to reduce the amount of liquid collected around the vegetables.

Eat it hot or cold. This is a easy dish when you have time but don’t have time for actually cooking in the kitchen. The entire amount of work you did would have taken you less than 10 mins. A hearty wholesome meal rich in everything nice.