Friday, September 16, 2011

French Toast with Maple Syrup- Courtesy: My Daughter

My 7th grader has taken a class called, "Food, Clothing and You" and she has already learned how to make French Toast, Orange Julius (I tease her by adding Caesar to the Julius-- typical mom-joke!) and biscuits. I think that is pretty awesome! Wish my school had such a class to offer back then--- I mean, how fun is it to cook with your school friends and you even get to taste your creations and your teacher grades you on your cooking skills. That's a whole mini-Culinary school right there! Anyway, so she came back home and was looking in the pantry for a snack. And then she came to me and said, "Hey, you wanna try my French Toast?" I said, "Sure, why not?"


1. 1 egg

2. 1/2 cup milk (she used regular 2%  reduced fat milk)

3. 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

4. A pinch of cinnamon powder. I was out of cinnamon powder, so I suggested nutmeg powder. She wasn't too sure- but she smelled it and decided, OK, mom does know..... (if-you-know-what-I-mean!).

5. 3 slices of bread

6. Some butter


1. She took 1/2 a cup of milk in a container and cracked an egg into it. Well, she came up to me and asked me to crack it for her since she doesn't know how to crack an egg yet! Ha ha!

2. Into this she added a pinch of nutmeg powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence and mixed it all up.


"Whisked" together
3. Meanwhile she got the little pan going on the stove, added a dab of butter into the pan so as to melt it.

4. She dipped a slice of bread into her "french toast mixture" and then put it onto the pan with the butter.

Melting the butter
Coating the bread with the "French Toast mixture"
Onto the pan
5. After about 30-45 seconds of cooking on that one side, she flipped it over so as to cook the other side.

Flipped over to cook the other side
6. And after another 45 seconds of cooking the other side, the french toast was ready to be served. She drizzled some maple syrup all over the toast and gave it to me. See picture below:

French Toast drizzled with Maple Syrup- all ready to be eaten by Mom!
She then proceeded to cook the remaining 2 slices of bread- one for her and one for her brother.

This is the best French Toast I have ever eaten! Perfectly golden and with the right amount of sweetness and that nutmeg worked pretty well too. I know that French Toast is probably the easiest thing anybody can ever make- but when your daughter makes it for you with so much love and enthusiasm on a Friday afternoon, right after school, it definitely seems like the best thing you ever ate!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Puli Chicken Curry- Not for the Faint at Heart!

The weekend before last, we had been, yet again, to my brother's place. They took us to this event called Pig Out at the Park. You know, a food fair of sorts with a good number of food stalls and as the name suggests- you basically pig out! One of the stalls there had this thing called "Huli-Huli Chicken." No, I did not eat it and I sure am glad I didn't because I later found out that Huli-Huli sauce is this Hawaiian sauce made with brown sugar and ginger- sort of like a mix of teriyaki and barbeque sauce, both of which I am not fond of. Hey, gimme some heat and spice, not brown sugar!

So a few days ago, I made this amazing chicken curry and I called it "Puli Chicken Curry," taking cue from that Huli-Huli chicken. "Puli" in Telugu means tiger. Ferocious, strong and majestic--- a tiger, sure, but so was my chicken curry! I used habanero in the curry base and it was quite ferocious, in a good way, of course.


1. P.S.: Pretty much the same onion+ginger+garlic+tomato base that I use for North-Indian curries, but with a couple extra additions- namely cilantro and habanero.

I would have added one entire habanero to this, but I cut that to just 1/2 a habanero because of the kids. So, you can see the ingredients in the picture below:

The "Puli" masala base
That orange habanero in the right corner looks small- but believe me, it was HOT! And like I said earlier, I would have liked to use one entire habanero, but then it would have been torture for my poor kids. And I do love my kids, you know!

2. Some boneless skinless chicken thighs (I usually buy it at Costco), roughly cut up into bite sized pieces and marinated in lemon juice, salt, turmeric powder and just a pinch of red chilli powder.

Chicken marinating
I put the chicken away in the fridge and let it all hang out to get the flavors going.


1. I took the masala/curry ingredients and put them in my nifty food processor and made a nice chutney as you can see below:

Chutney with Habanero!
2. Once that was done, I took my very faithful pot and put in some oil, got the heat going and then spluttered some cumin seeds and a couple cardamom pods. Into this I added the marinated chicken and cooked it for 10 minutes.

3. I then folded in that awesome habanero-cilantro chutney into this chicken. Mixed it so as to coat all the chicken pieces with the beautiful chutney. Added some salt and brought it to a boil and then covered the pot and simmered for 20 minutes.

4. When the timer went off, my Puli Chicken curry was ready- ROAR! Yes, that was very cheesy indeed, but I had to say that- just to emphasize on the fact that the habanero totally kicked this dish up by quite a few good notches!

Puli Chicken Curry
I served this ferocious chicken curry with plain basmati. Oh, that heat from the habanero and the fragrant cilantro with the lemony undertone (remember, I marinated the chicken in lemon juice) was simply outstanding. Ferociously delicious!

I am glad I passed that Huli-Huli chicken stall at Pig Out at the Park that day. That's how my chicken curry with habanero got its name! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another school year

Yes, I have been unable to update my blog for the last 3-4 weeks. Been a bit busy hanging out with the kids-- you know, they had their summer break on. Well, they went back to school yesterday and I am back to having the house all to myself. My baby girl is now in 7th grade and my baby boy in 5th. I know we all say this each year--- and so I shall say it too- time sure flies. Kids grow up and most of us parents can never seem to come to terms with the fact that our kids are no longer kids. OK, OK--- now I sound rather dramatic and I shall stop! I will say this though-- the house seemed very quiet and empty yesterday. It was very quiet in the evening too because the kids were exhausted! ;) 

On another note, Red Robin, the famous burger place, has this contest on and I have created my own burger. Check it out and do vote for me! The more the votes, the higher the chance of them putting my creation on their menu! Here's the link:

Here's to a wonderful school year to all kids and their parents-- oh yeah, we need that too, you know! And you will see my culinary updates here pretty soon. For now, I shall enjoy my solitude with a cuppa!