Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spinach, zucchini and corn lasagna

I made this vegetable lasagna for a xmas dinner when my brother and sister in law were visiting from India. I was supposed to have a dinner with friends over, but unfortunately Anishka fell ill, and had high fever so we decided to cancel the party. We had an intimate dinner amongst ourselves, where I had made tiramisu the previous day, made lasagna, bread with garlic compound butter and mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. DELISH! :) Was a xmas eve dinner to remember :)


Two 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
6 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (8 ounces)
1 bag of chopped spinach
3-4 fresh corn off the cob boiled
1/2 large onion thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves minced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the mozzarella, Parmesan and basil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the spinach, corn and zucchini, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Remove from the heat and drain off any excess liquid.

Spread a third of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, followed by a third of the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with a third of the shredded cheese mixture. Repeat to make two more layers, ending with the shredded cheese mixture on top. Cover the top of the dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Nutella

This is Ina Garten's recipe and I had been wanting to try it for the longest time. Pound cake is called pound cake cause it used to be one pound of butter/sugar/flour/eggs(main ingredients). I made a few variations like not adding lemon zest as the recipe calls for, and adding nutella(YUM!!!). It turned out great! Loved the smooth soft texture, and goes so well with coffee or tea!


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup nutella
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, and vanilla  in a glass measuring cup but do not combine. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan. Add the nutella and swirl it around gently with a thin spatula to create ripples. Smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vegetable Enchiladas

I made these vegetable enchiladas last week, something that I wanted to try out for the longest time. I was inspired by the enchiladas, that I had at this small mexican eatery in Palo Alto called Sanchos. Delicious mexican food, and just the perfect seasoning and perfect condiments. Could not ask for anything more or less! Even my 2 yr old loved the enchiladas at this place! I was determined to replicate them at home, and so I did :)

next on my to do list is the perfect the black beans and salsa!


4 corn tortillas
1 small zuchinni thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves minced finely
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
About 2 cups red enchilada sauce(recipe to follow)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese + monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste


In a saute pan, pour in the olive oil, and add in all the vegetables, along with paprika, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Saute the veggies on high heat to char them a bit to get the grilled flavor. Put the veggies aside.

In a plate, pour one cup of the red enchilada sauce, and keep it aside. In the same saute pan, grill a corn tortilla for a couple of minutes. Then add it to the plate with the red sauce, and coat both sides with the sauce. Add 1/4 of the veggie mixture in the center, with about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and roll it up and add it to a ceramic baking pan. Do the same for the remaining 3 tortillas, until the baking pan is filled with the enchiladas.

Now cover the entire baking pan with the remaining enchilada sauce, add in the remaining 1 cup cheese on top, and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese melted. Garnish with the green onions! its ready to eat with some guacamole, black beans and salsa! yummm! dont forget the hot sauce ;)

Hot Chocolate!

A perfect end to a cold night :) HOT CHOCOLATE! :)

Ingredients :
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder


In a saucepan, on medium heat, add the whole milk and half and half, and add in the chocolate pieces as well. Stir until combined. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined and boiled once.

Pour in your favorite mug, add a dollop of whipped cream and get cozy and comfortable :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vegetable Burrata Sandwich

My hubby and I, have been into eating good sandwiches lately. I created this recipe from experimentation, and it turned out delicious!! I used pugliese bread(DELISH!) and burrata cheese, and veggies and micro greens. It is so filling! a VERY satisfying meal!
Burrata cheese is essentially mozarella cheese, but very soft and creamy in texture and yes Delicious!!:)

- Loaf of Pugliese bread
- small container of burrata cheese(from Trader Joes)
- red and yellow bell peppers(grilled)
- Tomato slices(about 3 per sandwich)
- Sundried tomatoes in olive oil (about 1 tablespoon per sandwich)
- micro greens
- about 4 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Cut slices of the bread, brush it with olive oil and toast it lightly for a few min, about 5 min in the oven at 350 degrees. Once it is out of the oven, immediately rub it with the garlic clove, so that it gets a nice garlicky taste.
Layer 3 tomato slices on the bread, some grilled bell pepper slices, a tablespoon of the sundried tomatoes. Spoon a tablespoonful of sundried tomato olive oil on top of all the veggies. Layer the burrata cheese on top to form a layer over the veggies. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Add micro greens and cover it with another slice of bread.
Your sandwich is ready to eat! :) With some kettle potato chips it is delicious!! :) ENJOY!