Saturday, May 9, 2015

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Walnuts

I hope every one is getting ready for  the Mother's Day tomorrow. It's going to be a beautiful sunny day in New Jersey, I thought of sharing a perfect breakfast /brunch recipe  that is super easy to make and will impress any mom who deserves a treat on this special day.

This healthy whole wheat Banana bread  can be served with a low fat cream/ butter or just with a cup of coffee /tea.  All great moms need a break in the kitchen, pamper yours with this delicious banana bread recipe! Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing women out there!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
1/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable or coconut)
1/4 cup plain /Greek yogurt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.     Lightly grease and flour a 9" by 5" loaf pan. Set aside.
3.     In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder,  salt and cinnamon).
4.     In another mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (mashed bananas, oil, yogurt, vanilla and eggs). Add sugar, chopped walnuts and mix well.
5.     Stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6.     Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
7.     Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
8.     Cool the bread in the pan to room temperature. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 45 minutes  Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 Loaf

Note: To all my dear blog friends, I am back to exploring new recipes after a short break from blogging. I am looking forward to read/share all your wonderful recipes and food adventures !

Monday, May 4, 2015

Brandied Fruitcake

I love fruit cakes in Christmas times, you get to taste wonderful combination of nuts and dried fruits with a subtle brandy flavor .If you have ever made a Fruit Cake you know that what really sets this cake apart is how we repeatedly feed the cake, over time, with alcohol (usually brandy, sometimes rum), This gives the Fruit Cake a full of flavor and a extremely moist texture, plus it also allows the cake to be stored for ages and ages.

This fruit cake  is jammed with raisins, currants, dates, dried cranberries, dried figs and prunes, dried apricots , dried mangoes and candied fruits and of course fresh nuts: cashews, almonds and pecans. It's dense, moist, spicy, nutty and PERFECT!


1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
2 Large eggs
1/2 cup brandy, for soaking fruit
Juice and zest (outer orange skin) of one orange
1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup (100 grams) walnuts, cashews, almonds, chopped
1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) of an assortment of dried fruits (dried apricots, figs, prunes, dried mangoes ,cherries,dried cranberries  etc.), candied and chopped mixed peel(chopped into bite size pieces)
3/4 pound (340 grams) of an assortment of raisins, sultanas, currants,
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups additional brandy, for sprinkling


1.In a large bowl, combine the dried/candied  fruits , nuts and 1/2 cup brandy. Toss to mix thoroughly, cover, and let stand for 3 to 5 hours at room temperature.

2.Preheat oven to 325°F.Butter the baking pan and set a side.

3.Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and cinnamon .In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

4.Add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice, stirring after each addition, until batter is just blended. Add the orange zest, chopped nuts, and all the dried and candied fruits.

5. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and Place the spring form pan on a larger baking sheet.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 20 minutes, and then turn out onto racks, and cool completely. Place each cake on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the cake with 1/4 cup brandy.Wrap each cake tightly in the aluminum foil, sealing well. Store in a cool dark place.

7.After one day, unwrap the cakes and sprinkle each with an additional 1/4 cup brandy.  If you have planning to serve this cake in two - three weeks time  then Repeat this procedure for every week.Then let the cakes mellow for a final week before serving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Om Ali- Egyptian Bread Pudding

This is my favorite Egyptian dessert, pieces of puff pastry baked in a clay bowl with nuts, raisins and coconut, covered in hot sweetened milk and cream. What makes this dish more delicious is the story behind how it got the name 'Om Ali'. Legend has it that Om Ali was the first wife of the Sultan Ezz El Din Aybek. In Egypt, women were not allowed to rule, but were permitted to be guardians to their sons who would become king when they came of age.

When the sultan died, his second wife had a dispute with Om Ali over whose son would be the successor to the Sultan. The second wife was heavily guarded making it difficult for Om Ali to get rid of her.Om Ali hatched came out with a perfect plot to kill her.She was beaten to death by her handmaids while taking a bath.To celebrate her death, Om Ali made this dessert and distributed it among the people of the land.

There are many variety of recipes available to make Om Ali', but i found this recipe to be super easy to do at home and it came out to be the best middle eastern bread pudding I have ever tasted!


5 1/2 ounces puff pastry, baked (you could substitute for croissants)
2 ounces ground almonds
2 ounces ground hazelnuts
1 ounce raisins
1 ounce coconut flakes
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup cream, whipped


1. Break the puff pastry into bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix pastry with nuts, raisins and coconut and put in a deep serving dish.
3. Put the sugar and milk in a pot and bring to a boil.
4. Pour over the pastry, nuts and raisins.
5. Spread whipped cream evenly over mixture.
6. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chicken Tacos

This is one more recipe that is inspired from iron chef, Jose Garces who has a huge presence in Philadelphia.  This recipe combines a delicious mix of several fresh and healthy ingredients.  The use of chayote adds an extra crunch and chillies gives an extra kick while the avocado and cucumber give the desired cooling.  I customized this by adding habanero curry powder to the chicken which adds to the boldness of the heat!!
Cube Chicken - 1 pound, 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, 1 teaspoon habanero curry powder, 1 teaspoon corn starch, salt to taste,
Corn Tortillas (6 inch)-12 ea
Chayote and Cucumber Salad- see recipe
Chile Sauce – see recipe
Avocado Espuma – see recipe

Chayote & Cucumber Salad Recipe
Chayote-1 ea, julienne
Cucumber-1 ea, julienne
Lime Juice-2 ea, fresh squeezed
Cilantro-1/4 bunch, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil-2 Tbs
Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and reserve for taco.

Chile Sauce Recipe
Dried Red Chiles-10 ea, remove stem, toasted
Onion-1/2 ea, medium dice
Plum Tomato-2 ea, rough chopped
Garlic-1 ea, clove
Cumin Seeds-1 tsp, toasted
Fennel seeds-5 ea, toasted
Sesame Seeds-2 tbs, toasted
Apple Cider Vinegar- 2 tbs
Water-1 ½ c
Vegetable Oil-2 Tbs
Salt-1 tbs
Combine all ingredients except for salt and oil, in a pot and reduce by ½. Puree in a blender and emulsify with oil. Season with salt.

Avocado Espuma Recipe
Avocado-1/2 ea, peeled and chopped
JalapeƱo-1/2 ea, peeled and chopped
Cilantro-1/4 bunch, just leaves
Lemon Juice-1 ½ tsp, fresh squeezed
Light Cream-1/4 cup
Sugar-1/2 tsp
Salt-1 tbs
Puree in a blender and refrigerate till ready for use.

Assembling the taco:
Stir fry finely chopped bell pepper (1 ea), onion (1 ea) in oil for 5 minutes at high heat.  Coat chicken cubes with corn starch, salt and stir fry chicken for 5 minutes at high heat.   Mix both chicken and vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes at high heat after adding habanero curry powder. 
Warm the corn tortillas on a pan, about 30 seconds on each side at medium heat.
Spread 1 tbs of the avocado espuma on the bottom of the tortillas. Lay 1 teaspoon of chicken on the spread. Add a desired amount of the chayote-cucumber salad on top. Finish with a tsp of the chile de arbol sauce and serve.

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