Pomegranate and Yellow Bell Pepper Cheese Ball

Red millet crackers with the   fruity cheese ball
Red millet crackers with the fruity cheese ball

This week has been a crazy one…from making my first homemade almond milk to cooking the 8-layer box sandwich to spending my time researching on a new line of a product a friend wants to introduce into the market next year. It was R&D time all the way. And I had friends dropping in for a quick snack that ended up to be really long snack-rolled into dinner break too. To my horror my pantry wasn’t a well stocked one that evening. I had to literally pull something out of almost nothing. That’s when I remembered having seen a cheese ball on Pinterest some months ago. This Cheese Ball is a product of all the time I spent online. :)

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8-Layer Cold Pressed Sandwich

The layered sensation. that's cold pressed and baked to achieve that immensely delicious gooey cheesy soft centre.
The layered sensation. that’s cold pressed and baked to achieve that immensely delicious gooey cheesy soft centre.

This sandwich is inspired completed by Facebook and I wouldn’t be wrong if I said this, but even John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich would want to be born again to eat this one! If you remember since September last year, videos have started to come alive on our Facebook newsfeeds. Some of us hated it, others watched it without sound, and some actually lapped up every byte that flowed onto their screens. I was somewhere in between. I initially hated it, then started watching it and saving some too and last night used one of the videos my husband was watching for the first time ever to conceive something similar. And am I pleased!

Warning: This sandwich cannot be eaten without getting crumbs and sauces all over your face and beard if you sport one! And it’s definitely not for a sit-down dinner. It’s one of those messy meals that ends up with a tummy that’s ready to burst at the seams. :) But you will love it. This is also the longest post I’ve ever written.

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Dill, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta Savoury Muffin

Smoked or sundried tomatoes add the zing to this delicious, soft, moist savoury muffin
Smoked or sun-dried tomatoes add the zing to this delicious, soft, moist savoury muffin

A few years ago I made my first savoury cake as a guest chef at a cafe on the outskirts of Mumbai. We piled it up with spaghetti and served it cut into wedges with sauce drizzled all over. Post that the savoury cake obsession died down till I discovered Savoury Muffins.
They are the perfect tea-time treat, combine it with the spice and veggie of your choice and you have a herby delicious healthy bite.

I’ve used smoked tomatoes, but a lot of friends didn’t manage to find this particular ingredient, you can substitute it with sun-dried tomatoes that are easily available. If you are not concerned about the extra oil it may add to the dish, you can go with the bottled versions where the tomatoes swim in olive oil. Or else opt for the dry version.

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A Quick Potato Chops

Chicken Mince Croquettes delicately flavoured with onion and fresh parsley
Chicken mince croquettes delicately flavoured with onion and fresh parsley

There are days…and the then there are days…the first lot has like 36 hours crammed into it and the second hardly a few seconds. This is the dish you want to make when you have no time and yet need to dig into a wholesome meal. Don’t let the name misguide you, this is filled with the delicate flavours of chicken mince cooked with fresh parsley and caremalised onions. If you are a vegetarian, fill this up with peas, a mix of green veggies like corn, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, or a filling of soya mince.

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Tortilla de Patatas Served with Green Salad and Stir Fried Mushrooms with Sausages

A super elegant lazy meal :) Tortilla de Patatas
A super elegant lazy meal :) Tortilla de Patatas

I don’t know about you, but I am gearing up for a super lazy weekend, where the food cooked is simple, quick and lulls you back into lazydom :) Potatoes thus are an important part of this meal. Throw in some eggs for the proteins and a quick salad for the fibre, a glass of wine stirred into some wholesome mushroom and sausages and I am set. Does that seem like too much work?

You will be surprised! This meal, and I mean all 3 dishes, will take you all of 45 minutes to put together from washing the veggies to finish. I told you it would be a lazy meal! :)

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Chocolate, Zucchini, Walnut Fudge Cake

The super soft gooey fudge-y zucchini and chocolate cake
The gooey and fudge-y zucchini and chocolate cake

When I spoke to my sis that Sunday morning and told her about this cake I was planning to bake, her first reaction was, “You’ve lost it. Who puts zucchini in cake!” Sure enough that’s how I looked at this veggie a few months ago. It was good for grilling, for baking and for Chinese and Thai foods, but in a dessert? No way. Then a very dear friend of ours Vera brought home a diabetic chocolate cake with a secret ingredient–zucchini. And then..as they say the rest is history. My love for this green healthy ingredients grew by leaps and bounds. It sure was versatile, what’s more it added this lovely moistness to the cake that all of us love.

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Mince/ Corn Stuffed Vol au Vent

Corn and cheese filled puff pastry
Corn and cheese filled puff pastry

2016 has brought with it a whole lot of guests and entertainment. I’ve literally thrown a party every other day of the year so far! But it’s been a fun fortnight with my refrigerator always full of desserts and pastries and quick bites and materials to put together a quick snack.

Yes, it is a good idea to keep some pastry dough handy at all times. Now I come from a family that doesn’t use a microwave so yes it does get difficult to defrost the dough before it can be rolled into these french delicacies, but it’s all part of the game. But if you aren’t as crazy as I am, you can buy these and regular ready to use tart bases at any grocery store, In Mumbai ‘Camy’ or ‘Nature’s Basket’ is a good place to shop for them.

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Oil Free Instant Oats and Green Peas Healthy Dhokla

The fluffy and delicious instant oats, semolina and green peas dhokla
The fluffy and delicious instant oats, semolina and green peas dhokla

It’s not often that i read a veggie recipe and get inspired to try it out immediately. But last evening a friend posted a recipe of oats and semolina dhokla–(steamed cake), and that kind of tickled my senses. Plus I have been accused of step-motherly treatment towards Indian food by a very dear doctor friend! I love to cook healthy and i find it really tough to make oil free Indian food, but yes I will try get back into R&D and split the oil away from the masalas and work on it Ash.

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Nachos with 7 Toppings

Sour Cream adds to the pleasure of digging into this 7 layered nachos
Sour cream adds to the pleasure of digging into this 7 layered nachos

I’ve always loved the Nachos that are served at Hard Rock Cafe. It’s a meal in itself with close to 7 to 8 different toppings. This recipe comes very close to it and is perfect entree for a party of 10 to 12 hungry friends, where snacks and spirits take precedence over the main course.

I’ve experimented a whole lot with the textures of the corn chips and the cheese to be used. Nothing comes close to pepper jack cheese but when you can’t get your hand on it try Gruyère cheese or even cheddar and if even those are impossible then go with just mozzarella. Nothing better than the stringy texture.

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Chocolate Cake Pop Turtles

I've added a cranberry cookie to provide with that buttery biscuity texture
I’ve added a cranberry cookie to provide with that buttery-biscuity texture

The New Year started with a bang! I’ve had 3 parties in as many days…the kitchen was in over drive and my fridge was bursting at the seams…it was time to innovate and turn things around to make new and innovative out of old and boring…that’s when the cake pops happened.

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