Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls- Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

NC has been blessed with rain and more rain. SO much that the sun played it safe and decided to have a day off…Wanting to cheer up the kids bit for the after school munchies as much to indulge them just for today….10 min to prepare and 12 to bake, 5 to clean up and satisfaction – priceless! Ala .. Mastercard!

Beautiful sight - Rain drenched foliage in our backyard
Beautiful sight – Rain drenched foliage in our backyard

This is a quick and easy post and is an easy way out . No, I am not claiming it to be the scratch from the bake kind. I have done it in the past, but with our weather today, I think it is a safer bet to rely on the back up’s I normally have – Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to the rescue . And hence here we go an easy post for those one-off days where you remove those supermom cape …Atleast for me:-)

Cheese and Herbs stuffed Crescent Rolls – Quick fix from your pantry for the hungry child!

Prep time : 10 min   Bake time 12-15 min /350degF            Makes : 8         Serves : 2-3

Ingredients

Dough Covering:

Pillsbury Crescent rolls : 1 tube

Crescent rolls to the rescue
Crescent rolls to the rescue

Stuffing Mix:

Shredded Cheese mix of your choice : 1/2 -3/4 cup

Dried Italian herbs : 1.5 Tsp.

Dried Parsley Flakes : 1.5 Tsp.

Red chili flakes : 1/2 – 1 Tsp.

Cheese and dried herbs mix
Cheese and dried herbs mix

Seasoning:

Oil/softened butter/ Oil spray : 1 Tsp.

Dried Parsley flakes : 1 Tsp.

Preparation, Stuffing and Baking:

  • In a small bowl mix all that is listed in the stuffing mix gently.
  • Unwrap the dough from the tube and separate the perforated triangles properly.
  • Place a tsp or more of the stuffing in the center of the wide section of the triangle and roll it to form a crescent. Too much stuffing will ooze out from the sides , so use your best judgement.
  • Repeat this step until you have all 8 prepped out and lay in on a flat sheet for baking. Now since there were only 8, I used the small baking tray for the toaster oven.
  • Lay them out gently with enough space to expand during baking.
  • Brush them with the melted butter, oil or spray mist with your oil of choice.
  • Toss in some parsley flakes on the surface , so you have a rich texture and visual appeal to the baking.
  • Bake as per the instructions on the tube. I did mine for 350degF for about 12 minutes or so.
  • Note : the second batch I made, I added some dried garlic flakes to the seasoning and added some dried black pepper as well to the parsley flakes for top seasoning.
  • Note 2 : Have some sautéed vegetables ? Mix it with the cheese for a healthier option for stuffing?
  • Note 3 : Let your creative juices run as this is a veritable black canvas to unleash your wild side!

 

Cornflakes, Poha and Nuts Chivda – Low fat and easy !

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix – Low fat with added goodness of nuts and spices to make it more interesting! Happy munching !

The first of the festivities begin with a bang!!!

DH twisted his ankle and hobbled away chauffeuring A1 for his weekly robotics meeting . You know how you think you end up having this one day of the week without classes or any social commitments ….? And just like that, that day gets picked for this weekly activity. In any case , with DH away and A2 diligently working on her myriad of school projects and A3 generally clowning away, I had this itch to do something. Quick, easy and perfect!

Usually this is the time when I head to the  “baking center of my brain” and subsequently raid the pantry and fridge in the hopes of creating something new. But now is as good a time as any to begin on the Diwali list. Ideally, I would have loved to begin with the creation of a sweet or Mithai. Kind of like beginning on a sweet note kind of thing , tradition and all,so to speak.

Well in this case, this conflakes chivda has a bit of everything – sugar and spice and everything nice.

Happy Diwali folks !

Diwali DIya
Diwali Diya

Cornflakes and Poha( Flattened rice ) Crunchy toasted mix 

Cooking time : 20-25 minutes            Prep time : 5 -8 min                    Serves : 8-10

Ingredients:

  • Unsweetened Cornflakes : 3 cups
  • Thick or thin flattened rice or Poha of your choice : 2 cups
  • Cashews : 1/4 cup
  • Roasted Channa Dal or Dhalia : 1/3 cup
  • Peanuts ( skinned or unskinned ) : 1/2 cup
  • Safflower or any oil of your choice : 6 Tsp.
  • Haldi or Turmeric powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Spice Mix:

  • Paprika or Chili powder : 1- 1.5 Tsp. (Depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Hing or Asafoetida : fine ground : 1/4 tsp.
  • Chaat masala : 1.5 tsp
  • Kari powder ( optional) : 1 tsp.
  • Coriander – Jeera powder : 1/4 tsp.
    Salt : 1- 1.25 tsp.
  • Sugar : 1-1.5 Tsp.

Procedure:

  1. In a big wok or Kadai, heat 2 Tsp. of oil and roast the nuts sequentially and set aside. Do not rush this step. They do need to get roasted to a nice brown color. Hastening this step would result in semi crunchy nuts.. Not what you need definitely! (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  2. Add another teaspoon oil and fry the roasted Channa dal or dhalia and curry leaves ( washed and dried please!) to crisp.( Remove the contents and let it cool! )
  3. Add another teaspoon of oil and add in half of the haldi powder and add in the 2 cups of flattened rice or Poha. Slow roast this on medium flame. High flame heat will burn the Poha and leave you with an inedible mess! Roast this until all the flakes are nicely toasted and super crunchy. Should take you anywhere from 7-12 min depending on the type of the flakes and heat maintained. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  4. Add in the remaining oil and toss in the cornflakes with the other half of haldi powder and slow roast it again. This should take about 10-15 min. They become really crunchy and are more brown in color than the untoasted one. Again do not rush this process and ensure you are tossing the contents thoroughly to distribute the heat. (Remove the contents and let it cool!)
  5. In a separate bowl dry mix all the ingredients listed under spice mix.
  6. Once the contents of the mix have sufficiently cooled down , layer it out in big wide bowl.
  7. Add in the spice mix and gently toss it with a fork or a spoon so it coats the crunchy mix.
  8. Adding in the spice mix when it is hot, will result in sweating of the flakes and you will lose the crunchiness 🙁
  9. Make sure the contents are absolutely cool before storing in an airtight container.
  10. Should stay fresh if properly stored for about 10 days.

Tadka Pasta – Spiced, Indian version of an Italian favorite

Tadka Pasta – Spiced, Indian version of an Italian favorite

Yesterday was one of those whiny gripey days where you simply could not put your finger on the reason, but the general snarl quotient in our house was pretty high… Long day followed by driving kids around for classes, dentist appointment, project help, homework and more. So nothing unusual, but hey we all can have our off days right? But all of us on the same day is a bit of a mystery. Could be the advent of fall and shorter days, could be I stepped on the scale in the morning, could be a snarky conversation, could be a stubbed toe, could be a dropped glass mason jar, could be a drooping tomato plant, could be a missing credit card and a forgotten appointment. What an eventful day !

We all needed something different, not the usual. Borne out of necessity is this adaptation.. A fantastic fusion of cuisines for your palette.. A must try!

Cooking time : 15-25 min Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Whole wheat Organic pasta of your choice : 3 cups, cooked al dente
  • Olive oil : 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
  • Onion: 1 , sliced in slivers
  • Tomato: 1-2 , chopped roughly
  • Mix of sweet peppers : sliced finely, 1 cup
  • Organic baby Spinach : Roughly chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Yellow squash : 1 , sliced thinly
  • Fresh herbs of your choice : Chopped , 1/4 cup
  • Garam masala : 1-2 tsp
  • Dried Italian Herbs mix : 1 tsp
  • Chilli Flakes : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : to taste

Method:

  • Boil the pasta till just tender and set aside to cool.
  • In a wide skillet/ wok / fry pan of your choice, heat the olive oil and add in the fennel seeds.
  • Add in the onions and sauté till tender .
  • Add in the squash and the tomatos and the sweet peppers sequentially.
  • Salt this veggie mix so you have crisp but tender cooked veggies.
  • Add in the spices and dried herbs and toss it well.
  • Finally add in the cooked pasta and toss well.
  • Add in the fresh herbs, stir once and serve
  • Pile it on a plate and dig it in!

 

 

 

 

Okra Stir Fry – Deliciously simple fare!

#BacktoBasics

So there I was at the good old grocery store of Patels, in the sweltering heat of NC and chit chatting with the guy at the counter. Stuff about India, how hot it was in early spring and the idiosyncratic need to repeat the same song or bhajan in the store, when I spotted the an unopened box sitting on the counter. You know the kind, that is a crate and has the green stuff peeking out of it. It seemed suspiciously like okra, the green okra from across the ocean. Siren’s call heard and yielded.. I bought 3 pounds of it ! Fresh and tender and so green..

There are a gazillion recipes for okra, but this is one that brings out the simple flavors of it with minimal effort and great taste! This particular dish is the dry sabji kind and tastes heavenly with the south indian meal of rasam and rice. Comfort food to the core I say!

Comfort because it calls out to my mom’s kind of cooking. Simple fare , but fit for a king!

 Prep work

  • Wash the okra very well in a couple of bowls of water and let them air dry on a towel.
  • Once they are completely dry, pat dry once more to remove even a trace or droplet of water with a towel.Moist, damp okra will yield stringy cuts with mucus. Not your best option on the menu!

 Ingredients:

2 Lbs Okra : washed, patted dry, ends snipped and cut in 1/2 inch pieces 

For seasoning:

  • Urad Dal split : 1 tsp
  • Channa Dal : 1 stp
  • Dry Red chillies : 2 split
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
  • Mom’s special kari powder : 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida : 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp / to taste
  • Saffola / cooking Oil : 1 Tbsp

Method:

  • In a large non-stick wok, heat up the oil and add in the Asafoetida. Add in the mustard seeds and once it splutters, add in the dal seasonings and red chillies and let them brown.
  • Add in the turmeric powder and then add in the cut okra.
  • Gently stir fry it in medium heat. The idea is for the okra to get nicely stir fried and tender cooked. Adding in salt before it is well cooked will bring out the natural water from it and you will have a soggy mess on your hands 🙁
  • Once the okra is well cooked, season with salt and Mom’s special Kari powder.
  • Gently toss it to ensure the spices and salt is well coated and serves it hot with a bowl of rasam and rice or as part of large meal.