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