Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chocolate Truffles

A classic indulgence. These truffles will quickly become a favorite as they are so simple and fun to make. Perfect for the holidays because they look so elegant and pretty. Sure to dress up any table :)

1 cup 35% whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For coating:
1 cup cocoa
1 cup chopped walnut
1 cup shredded coconut

1. Combine cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat. When bubbles form around the edges of pan, turn off the heat. Don't boil. Let sit for a few minutes.
2. Stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Transfer chocolate mixture to a clean container, cover and refrigerate until firm (overnight works too!)
3. Sift cocoa, walnuts and the shredded coconut into three separate plates. Using cool hands (or a melon baller), shape chocolate mixture into small balls and roll in toppings. Tranfer to cupcake paper liners and refrigerate until firm.
Makes: 35 medium truffles

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fun Food Facts!

Did you know....
  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries
  • The onion is named after a Latin word meaning large pearl
  • Half of the world's population live on a staple diet of rice
  • "Fast Food" Isn't New! The remains of fast-food shops have been found in ancient ruins! Even ancient Greeks enjoyed take-out. The only thing that is new is the mass production, standard menus and recipes of fast-food "chains." Wow!
  • Potato crisps were invented by a North American Indian called George Crum
  • During a lifetime the average person eats about 35 tonnes of food
  • Ice Cream Is Chinese Food! When the famous explorer Marco Polo returned to his homeland of Italy, from China in 1295, he brought back a recipe (among other things). The recipe, was a Chinese recipe for a desert called "Milk Ice." However, Europeans substituted cream for the milk, and voila..."Ice Cream." Ice cream has been a hit ever since!
  • The founder of McDonald's has a Bachelor degree in Hamburgerology
  • In France, people eat approximately 500,000,000 snails per year
  • Carrots Really Can Help You See In The Dark! Vitamin A is known to prevent "night blindness," and carrots are loaded with Vitamin A. So, why not load-up today!
  • The first breakfast cereal ever produced was Shredded Wheat
  • There are about 100,000 bacteria in one litre of drinking water
  • The Word "Salary" Comes From "Salt!" Salt, our oldest preservative, was extremely rare in the past. So rare, in fact, that it was often used as pay. Imagine...earning a couple of tablespoons of salt for a hard-days work. Today, salt is so common that restaurants give it away for free, and packaged food contains so much that it's far too easy to eat too much salt (salt is also known as "sodium").
  • Cream is lighter than milk
  • Sometimes Frozen Fruits And Vegetables are More Nutritious Than Fresh! The longer that fruits or vegetables sit around waiting to be sold or eaten, the more nutrients they lose. But fruits and vegetables grown for freezing are usually frozen right after they're picked. Therefore, they have less time to lose their nutrients.
  • Instant coffee has been in existence since the middle of the eighteenth century
  • The dish chop-suey does not come from China. It was created by Chinese immigrants in California
  • You're More Likely To Be Hungry If You're Cold! Temperature can affect your appetite.
  • Frankfurter sausages were first created in China
  • Within 2 hours of standing in daylight, milk loses between half and two-thirds of its vitamin B content
  • Have A Tomato With Your Burger! When a source of Vitamin C (orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, tomato, potato, etc.) is eaten with meat or cooked dry beans, the body makes better use of the iron in the protein food.
  • A portion of the water you drink has already been drunk by someone else, maybe several times over
  • Bakers used to be fined if their loaves were under weight, so they used to add an extra loaf to every dozen, just in case -- hence, the expression "baker's dozen"
  • It Takes 3500 Calories To Make A Pound Of Fat! So, as long as you're active, and burning of calories, calories shouldn't have too much of a chance to turn into fat.
  • Peanuts are used in the manufacture of dynamite
  • It has been traditional to serve fish with a slice of lemon since the Middle Ages, when people believed that the fruit's juice would dissolve any bones accidentally swallowed
  • The Average Person Eats Almost 1500 pounds Of Food A Year! On average, that can be thought of as 150 pounds of meat, 290 pounds of milk and cream, 35 pounds of eggs, 48 pounds of chicken, 68 pounds of bread, 125 pounds of potatoes, and 80 pounds of fruit. That should be enough to fill your stomach.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rice n peas

I love rice. Plain and simple. Whether its boiled rice, pulao or in the form of biryani, rice has always been a staple dish in our family. My dad owes our love for all kinds of carbs (especially rice) to our Kashmiri heritage. It's an old saying that people of Kashmir like most other cultures love to cook and to eat, and appreciate good hearty, soulful meals. We don't eat to live, We live to eat! :)

My mom is in town these days and recently bought me a mini rice cooker on sale at Canadian tire (love you Mom! :) I figured I'd try it out and make my staple, rice n peas. I have to say I am a bit skeptical of all these kitchen gadgets..not really a big techy at heart. But I was really blown away by the results.

There is no real recipe, the cooker comes fully equiped with a removable, dishwasher-safe, non-stick bowl, a measuring cup and rice paddle. It also has a heavy-duty tempered glass lid for easy viewing (which I love). All I had to do was measure 2 cups of rice, wash em, and place them in the bowl. To this I added a cup of peas, 1 & 1/2 tsp salt and water (the bowl comes pre-marked with the water levels so you never have to think about how much water to add...I know!). And then I just stirred everything, placed the lid on top and set the cooker to cook. In about 30 minutes, once the rice is cooked, the cooker automatically shuts off (temp control) and goes to the 'keep warm' funtion that keeps the rice warm for a good while until you're ready to serve.

Yes, it was that easy, just add rice & water and set to cook. Definitely one nifty gadget, its a mini which yields about 6-cups of rice, perfect for a small family of 4. And since it was just mom and I, we made mini-packets to freeze the left-overs to be used conveniently at a later date.

The rice was delicious and perfectly cooked (neither too dry nor too mushy). And now I'm contemplating buying the 20-cup rice cooker, which apparently cooks pasta as well as rice. This rice cooker is looking more and more like a carb-lovers dream!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My sinfully sweet chocolate banana nut bread :)

I tried this recipe for chocolate banana bread over the weekend and it was 'extremely' well received by the entire family.

I call it my 'sinfully-sweet-chocolate-banana nut bread'. Delicate, moist, melts-in-your-mouth, Chocolat-ey, Nutt-ey are just some of the words that come to mind. Do try it yourself and let me know how it turns out!

1 cup margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
6 bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup shredded sweet coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans (it makes a LOT of batter!).
In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar and eggs. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Blend in sour cream, chocolate chips & the coconut. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean.

Happy Baking!

Hello & Welcome!

Hi everyone!
I was inspired by a friend's food blog to try out blogging myself (An Edible Symphony by Muneeba: Even though I am not an avid cook, I do love food with all my heart (especially carbs-hence the title!) . My dream is to be cooking and feeding others delicious food prepared with a whole lotta love one day!
I am in love with the Food Channel and watch it religiously (love Chef Michael Smith who cooks without a recipe!). Until now, cooking was just something i saw others master and do but this year i finally made the decision to enroll into culinary school. My main goals are to learn the various cooking techniques, delve into diverse ingredients, and to really to get more comfortable in my own kitchen.
I start October 12th, 2009 iA and i am feeling a mix of excitement, happiness and nervous-ness too (what if I suck!). I thought starting a food blog would be a great idea to share any undertakings in the kitchen and also to write about my adventures in culinary school!
I guess like any blog, this one will be dynamic and will slowly evolve as we go along. So please, stay tuned and read on!
The Hunger Site