Cream cheese Tomato Spinach Sandwich

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cream cheese is not just for bagels!

Cream cheese, tomato and spinach come together in this simple yet delicious sandwich. They are light and refreshing — the perfect sandwich for summer, no matter how little time you have to make them!

My colleague, Bob, brought these to our office party. They were so yummy and I couldn't stop with just one!

In my opinion, cream cheese pulls it off very well. It adds a very slight tang, body, and flavor, it also adds creaminess and moisture. Fresh tomatoes and spinach give these sandwiches a colorful appeal. Refrigerating the sandwich helps the juice from the tomatoes to sink into the cream cheese giving it a mild flavor profile.

They're perfect for brunch, lunch or to cut up and serve as appetizers.  Slather and layer it all on a perfect slice of bread and you have yourself a deliciously decadent sandwich. It’s quick, easy and tasty.

Cream cheese Sandwich

Makes - 4-5 Servings

Choice of bread - 1
Cream Cheese - 1 block
Tomato - 2 - 3 sliced
Spinach - handful

Spread generous amount of cream cheese on both sides of the bread

Artisan/Italian/ciabatta Bread or Baguette work great for this sandwich

Layer tomato slices on one side

Then top it with a layer of spinach.

You can substitute spinach with fresh basil

Press together, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for couple of hours.

Remove from refrigerator and cut it up before serving.

Quinoa Stir Fry Bowl

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fuel your day with this healthy quinoa breakfast. It is a quick and flavorful way to get in a serving of nutrients you need.It will totally keep you full ’til lunch!


I believe in the phrase 'Breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. I really do. A well-rounded breakfast can kick-start your energy level.

Small, round, and a good source of protein, iron, and fiber, quinoa is a quick and flavorful way to get in a serving of nutrients you need. Quinoa is considered a complete, whole food and the super grain! So why not have it for breakfast?

Quinoa Stir Fry bowl is a delicious and flavorful dish. This easy, toss together quinoa is fabulous hot from the pan. But it's also delicious when reheated! Make more than you think you'll need and you've got breakfast for the next day.

Vegetable-packed quinoa is hearty and healthy. Crunchy roasted lentil, fragrant curry leaves and spicy green chilies give a flavorful face-lift to the usual quinoa. Coriander powder adds to the dimension of flavor. Add extra protein to this dish by throwing in some black beans and scrambled egg.

Fuel your day with this healthy quinoa breakfast. It will totally keep you full ’til lunch!

Quinoa Stir Fry Bowl

Makes - 2 Servings

Quinoa - 1 cup uncooked
Onion - 1/2 chopped
Vegetables - 1/2 cup (chopped carrots and peas)
Green Chilies - 2 split lengthwise
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 6-7
Cilantro - handful (optional)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsps

Cook quinoa as per the directions on the pack and keep aside

Heat oil in a pan; add mustard seeds, channa dal and green chilies. Fry for a minute, then add the curry leaves

Fry until it splutters and the dal starts to brown

Add onions and vegetables and fry till they are cooked and tender, about 7- 10 minutes

Add salt and coriander powder and mix together

Add quinoa to the pan and stir fry for few minutes. If using cilantro add it to the quinoa and give it a stir

Do a taste-check and add salt as required

Remove from heat and serve

Vegetable Cutlet

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Perfect combination of a light, crispy outside with a tasty, soft centre - a sublime combination of texture and flavor! This delicious, family-favorite has enough flavors to be the star of any plate.So go on, unearth the goodness of these cutlets!


The absolute most perfect use of potatoes is to turn them into French Fries. I think, the next best use is in cutlets!

Vegetable Cutlet is the perfect combination of a light, crispy outside with a tasty, soft centre. Mildly seasoned mashed potato and vegetables are formed into bite-size shape, dipped in batter, coated with breadcrumbs and shallow fried to crispy perfection. The cutlets sizzle in the pan just long enough to form a golden crust, keeping the potato on the inside tender. So, you'll have a luxuriously tender interior to encase in a delicately crisp shell – a sublime combination of texture and flavor!

These crisp-tender patties are accented with caramelized onions, parmesan cheese and seasoning. Potatoes take a walk on the mild side in this subtle but flavorful dish.This delicious, family-favorite has enough flavors to be the star of any plate and will have your crowd clamoring for more.

If you weren't hungry before you read this, I bet you are now! So go on, unearth the goodness of these cutlets!

Vegetable Cutlet

Makes - 8- 10 Servings

Potatoes - 2 mediumParmesan Cheese - 1/2 cup
Vegetables - 1 cup (carrots,green beans,peas)All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 medium finely choppedWater - 1/2 cup
Chili powder - 1 tspSalt - to taste
Coriander Powder - 1 tspBreadcrumbs - 1 cup
Cilantro - a handfulOil - to fry

Boil the potatoes until they are cooked and tender. Drain the water and let it cool

Boil the vegetables until just cooked. Drain the water and cool

Peel the potato skin off and place them in a bowl

Squeeze out the excess water from the vegetables and add it to the potatoes and mash them together

Excess water from the vegetables will make the potato mixture very loose and difficult to shape it

Heat little oil in a skillet, about a tbsp, and sautee the onions until soft and translucent

You can also make these cutlets with chicken or meat. Just fry the meat with the onion until its cooked

Add it to the potato mixture and stir

Add cilantro, chili powder, coriander powder, parmesan cheese, salt and mix. Taste and add more if needed


Take all purpose flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add water and mix to make a thick batter


Take breadcrumbs in plate

Divide the potato mixture into 8 - 10 equal portions. Now shape each portion into flat round pattie about half inch thick.

Dip each pattie in the batter and roll it in breadcrumbs to coat it on all sides


Heat enough oil, about 1/2 inch, in a pan for shallow frying

In batches, fry the cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown

Serve hot with tomato ketchup

Deviled Eggs

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A great way to dress up and style your plain boiled eggs. Deviled eggs with creamy Queso and Mayo filling make it a wonderful appetizer at any party.


Take the plain hard boiled eggs a notch up and turn them into a wonderful appetizer!

Deviled Eggs are a great way of spicing and styling up your eggs. Hard-boiled eggs, shelled, cut in half and filled with the hard-boiled egg yolk’s mashed and mixed with a variety of other ingredients. There are so many wonderful variations you can make.

My version of this two-bite hors d'oeuvre needs just-firm yolks that are combined with mayonnaise and Salsa Con Queso, to yield the creamiest filling. Sometimes, I switch up the flavors by adding guacamole or jalapenos. Deviled Eggs make a fun appetizer at any party.

After trying these out there is one change you might want to make—double the recipe, because one batch is never enough!

Deviled Eggs

Makes - 6 Servings

Boiled Eggs - 6
Mayonnaise - 2 tbsps
Salsa Con Queso - 4 tbsps
Paprika/Cayenne - for garnish (optional)

Cut eggs into halves lengthwise

Scoop the yolks out from the eggs into a bowl and mash until smooth.

Stir in the mayonnaise and con queso. Mix thoroughly.

Try other combination using guacamole, mustard, Jalapenos, cheese, etc

Scoop into halved eggs. If you want it stylish, pipe mixture using piping bag/zip loc with a star tip.

Sprinkle paprika and/or cayenne, and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Totally easy, totally tasty chocolate chip cookie bars have all your favorite flavors in one bite. Layer of buttery graham cracker crumbs topped with chocolate chips, coconut flakes and nuts all together make it a perfect treat.


We all are familiar with one pot meals, now how about a one pan sweet treat!

Making sweet treats at home use up to two to three dishes or pans to prepare’em. You always need a working dish, sometime even two, and a baking dish. Then, of course, other gadgets like spatulas, electric beaters, etc. Then you have the mixing, stirring, whisking, and pouring. Lastly, the cleaning!

Chocolate chip cookie bar is fast and easy to make and needs just one pan! So there is no mess and no fuss.

It features a thin layer of buttery graham cracker crumbs topped with chocolate chip morsels, condensed milk, sweetened coconut flakes and pecans. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in a pan and bake. Totally easy, totally tasty!

Melted chocolate morsels give the gooey texture, condensed milk and coconut make it chewy and the crispiness comes from the crumb crust. With crispy edges and chewy middles these bars have all your favorite flavors in one bite! These scrumptious bars are hard to resist and make a perfect treat.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar

Makes - 10- 12 servings

Graham cracker crumbs - 1 1/2 cups
Condensed Milk - 1/2 14oz can
Chocolate Morsels - 1 cup
Sweetened coconut flakes - 1 cup
Pecans - 1 cup
Butter - 3/4 cup (melted)

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Pour the melted butter in a 9”x9” baking pan.

Spread graham cracker crumbs over the butter and press it down evenly

Layer chocolate morsels on top of it

Pour the condensed milk evenly over the chocolate morsels

Then sprinkle nuts and coconut flakes. Press lightly so they stick to the mixture

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes till it gets lightly golden brown

Remove from oven and cool. Cut bars and enjoy!

Black Forest Cake

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Is there anything more satisfying than baking a beautiful homemade cake? Black Forest cake is chocolate, cherry and cream extravaganza.


Is there anything more satisfying than baking a beautiful homemade cake? That too, for a dear one on their birthday.

Black forest cake is a classic German masterpiece. It is essentially layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Additional whipped cream, flurries of chocolate shavings and lightly sweetened cherries adorn this luscious chocolate cake. Boy, this is German Engineering or what!

The cake is usually made of layers of chocolate cake washed with cherry brandy or cherry syrup and smothered with whipped cream. Gently tucked in the middle of the cream are cherries soaked in syrup. Chocolate shavings are liberally slathered on top and decorated with more cherries.The rich chocolate cake absorbs the liquid and stays moist, cherry filling is sweet yet tart , the simple whipped-cream frosting gilds the edges and wraps everything to create a chocolate, cherry and cream extravaganza

What’s not to like in this cake, the decadent chocolate cake, the cherry filling, the soft and fresh whipped cream or curls of shaved chocolate? One thing is for sure, this is one forest you'll want to get lost in!

Black Forest Cake

Makes - 10 - 12 Servings

Cherry Pie Filling - 1 cupWhipped Cream
Cherry Brandy/Cherry Syrup - 1/4 cupHeavy Whipping Cream - 3 cups
Cherries - 20Confectioner Sugar -1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 2 tsps
Chocolate Shavings
Semi-sweet chocolate - 1 bar
Butter - 1 tbsp

To make chocolate cake

Please follow my Chocolate Cake Recipe to make the chocolate cake

Once the cake is done, cool the cake.

To make whipped cream

Combine all the ingredients under Whipped Cream and beat using an electric beater or stand beater until stiff peaks form. It takes around 5 minutes.

To prepare chocolate shavings

Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl using a microwave or double boiler.

Thinly spread the chocolate over a sheet pan and keep in freezer for a minute.

Touch it with your thumb, if the chocolate is still soft, stick it in the freezer for another 1/2 minute and try again.

In my experience, the temperature of the chocolate is the most important factor for curling the chocolate. If it is too hard, it will just flake off. If it is too soft, it will get mushy

Using a knife or an offset spatula, scrape the chocolate to form curls/shavings. Store the curls/shavings in the refrigerator until needed.

To assemble the cake

I’ll warn you assembling the cake gets really messy but the finished product is well worth it!

Cut the cake into two layers using a serrated knife.

For a four layer cake you will have to bake two cakes. Of course, you will need more whipped cream and cherry filling

Brush the cake liberally with cherry brandy or cherry syrup

Spread whipped cream over the cake

Spread half of the cherry pie filling over the whipped cream

Now, place the next layer on the top

Frosting and decorating the cake

Using an offset spatula spread the whipped cream on the sides and top of the cake evenly to seal the cake

Then, using another offset spatula, take some chocolate shavings and gently press it to the sides of the cake. Some of the shaving will fall down in this process, and this is ok

Now, take some whipped cream in a piping bag/ziploc fitted with a star tip

Make rosettes on top of the cake

Place a cherry on each rosette. Dust the center of the cake with chocolate shavings

And voila! Your cake is done. Chill the cake for a while before serving

Tawa Pulao

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here’s how ordinary white rice gets extraordinary flavor! Tawa Pulao is a boldly flavored dish prepared in one skillet (tawa).So get out your skillet and get ready for a meal that packs a punch and is sure to please the whole family.


Here’s how ordinary rice gets extraordinary flavor.

Plain rice combined with an assortment of vegetables stir-fried in spicy tomato sauce seasoned with medley of masalas all prepared in one skillet(tawa). The right combination of convenient ingredients and cooked rice make this one-skillet meal absolutely delicious.

The rich color and deep flavor comes from the tomato sauce and masala seasoning, vegetables add a touch of heartiness to this flavorful dish.

This is a meal that packs all the punch into one convenient skillet. So get out your skillet and get ready for a boldly flavored dish that's sure to please the whole family.

Tawa Pulao

Makes - 2 Servings

Rice - 4 cups cookedCinnamon - 1 1/2” inch stick
Onion - 1 medium choppedGinger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Tomatoes - 2 choppedCloves - 3
Vegetables - 1/2 cup chopped (carrots, peas, potatoes)Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Garam Masala - 1 tspBay leaf - 1 leaf
Chili Powder - 1- 2 tspCilantro - 1 handful chopped
Corriander Powder - 1 tbspOil - 4 -5 tbsps
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a skillet; add cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Wait till they are aromatic and splutter a little

Add chopped onions and cook till soft and translucent

Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute

Then add the vegetables and continue to cook till they become soft and tender

Add tomatoes to the skillet, mix together, and cook for couple of minutes. Then close a lid on the skillet so the tomatoes can let out the juices and become soft

If it is getting thick too soon, you can sprinkle some water as the tomatoes cook

Open the lid, add all the powders, garam masala, cilantro, salt and mix together

Alternatively, you can use pav bhaji masala for garam masala

Let it cook till it forms a thick gravy consistency. Taste to check salt and spices

Now, add cooked rice and mix together to coat the rice evenly. Let it sit on heat for few more minutes so the rice can absorb the flavors

Turn off heat, garnish with cilantro, chopped onions,slice of lime and serve hot with cool raita


Monday, January 7, 2013

A sweet condensed milk dessert known for its taste and texture.Rabri sits lightly on the tongue and fills you up in a few spoonfuls. This crave-worthy dessert will take your taste buds through a milky melody!


I really don't know why I blog certain dishes versus the others. I guess, I do it if I feel like it! But there were couple of things about this dessert that nudged me into blogging it.

First time I made Rabri for a family gathering, everybody loved it. To every party and potluck I take this dessert, it always receives compliments and pleases even the pickiest of eaters. I realized this dessert had a lot of potential and decided to make this for the Holiday dessert bake–off at work. To my surprise, it was voted as the best dessert. Yay! With all these accolades, it would be unfair not to blog this star dessert and share it with everybody.

Rabri is a sweet condensed milk dessert. It is milk in its purest essence and is known for its taste and texture. Milk is thickened by evaporating on low flame and then sweetened and flavored. The delicious small pieces of solidified milk cream come along in every spoon with a nice aromatic flavor of saffron and cardamom. It is rich, creamy, and perfectly perfect!

Sweet, and rich, rabri sits lightly on the tongue and fills you up in a few spoonfuls. This crave-worthy dessert will take your taste buds through a milky melody!


Makes - 4-6 Servings

Milk – 1/4 gallon
Cream – 1/4 gallon
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 14oz can
Pistachios – 1/2 cup chopped
Saffron – few threads
Cardamom – 2 - 3 pods(optional)

Heat milk and cream together in a heavy bottomed pan

Take 2 tbsps of warm milk in a small bowl and soak saffron threads. Keep it aside

Bring the milk in the pan to a boil stirring frequently to prevent milk from scorching the bottom

Then, simmer and let it cook for 15 – 20 minutes

Now, pour the can of condensed milk and continue boiling till the milk reduces to half the quantity

Adjust sweetness as per your taste.You can reduce the quantity of condensed milk if you want it less sweet.

As it cooks you will see layers of cream forming on the top and sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. Keep stirring the milk, pushing the layers to the side and scrapping the sides and bottom of the pan. These little pieces of milk cream gives this dessert it's taste and texture.

When it has reduced to half, add saffron milk,cardamom and pistachios. Let it cook for few more minutes

Remove from heat and cool. Place in refrigerator to chill

Garnish with pistachios and serve chill