Aampanna Milkshake….The Mmmmilkshake

You know those weekend mornings when you wake up, make your way to the kitchen, open the fridge and think to yourself.. what on earth do I make for breakfast because all I actually want to do is get back into bed?? Okay, not one, but mostly most of my weekend mornings are like that. But it’s such a tough choice for me. because I love my sleep, but ermm, I love my food too. Zzzz.. chomp chomp, it’s a tough call, but to each in its own time,… ha ha, get it?

Ok, I know you don’t. But I amuse myself.

Anyhoo, coming back to weekends and mornings and quick fixes for ravenous souls; the fun part of being in the Southern Hemisphere right about now is that its MANGO SEASON AKA Mango Shake Time.. shake shake… shaking her head and self while typing this out

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Oh, Mango shake how I love thee… It’s a summer weekend tradition (yes, we are that serious and sentimental about the weekend breaky time that we label things a tradition.. or maybe it’s just me).. and last weekend, I spiced it up by serving a chilled glass of Aampanna Milkshake as I call it.. and all you need are 3 ingredients.

Mango, Milk, and Mint…MMMMilkshake.. now do you get this? come ON

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Everyone has their own version of how they like mango shakes; pulpy, non pulpy, thick, thin, less sugar, high on sugar.. Growing up, I remember the little brother liked to have the super liquid-y and extra sugary version, while I liked the pulpier version. Oh, the fights that ensued when only one version was made. But neither of us ever let go of the glass of milkshake, thick or thin.

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Anyhow, I still like my mango shake thick, chilled, and the sweetness contributed only from the mango. No added sugar for me in my mango milk shake. So while making the weekend-y mango shake for Arjun Singh and myself, as I drowsily took out the mango and milk from the fridge, I saw my cute little mint plant waving at me from its pot. (or maybe the it was the sleep, but I swear it called out to me). Some people invent medicines, I just mix ingredients.

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So I plucked the fresh mint and while whipping up the mango and milk, blended it in, and voila, milk aampanna. And yes, it tasted wonderful.

Ingredients

1 ripe mango

400 ml milk, preferably cold

4-5 mint leaves

Method

Blend all ingredients. Serve chilled.

Slurp Slurp.

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This post is a part of the 3Girls and a #BlogAlong monthly link-up, hosted by Upasna from Life on My Plate, Pooja from A Bit of This and a Lot of That and yours truly!

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I am also linking this post up to the yummylicious Foodie Friday link up at Annmarie’s blog. There are some seriously delicious things happening there!

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Wholewheat (Atta) Pancakes with Homemade Berry Compote

Tis the season of berries.. tra la la laaaa!

I told you I love spring, right. Reason # 5001 in my I LOVE SPRING list is because this is the season when berries are a-plenty and a-cheap. And we buy them by the bushel. And then forget about them if they are lying around in the back of the fridge. Uh-oh. Mushy berry alert!

Sundays bring with them the most time for me to make a leisurely breakfast, and for both of us to sit together and be lazy and enjoy our way through the meal. Wanting to be healthy yet have an indulgent brekkie, I decided to make us some atta pancakes, wholewheat for y’all, topped with a homemade berry compote.

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Remember the secret formula that I shared that all of us pancake lovers should know by heart?  Well, i decided to test it with wholewheat flour and see if it still worked its magic. Well, I was using plain old atta, and it needed a bit more liquid actually, so tweaked the recipe by adding half a cup more.

To be honest, while I was cooking them, I was slightly put off by how boring they looked, and I was worried that they wouldn’t look pancake-y enough.

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But I was worrying needlessly. Once I made them all and stacked ’em up, look! Spot the difference, I dare you :)

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Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  1. Wholewheat flour: 2 cups
  2. Eggs: 1
  3. Buttermilk: 2.5 cups
  4. Unsalted butter, melted: 1/2 cup
  5. Powdered cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
  6. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

For the compote:

  1. Mixed berries: 1 cup
  2. Water: 1/2 a cup
  3. Sugar, if needed: to taste

Method

For the compote:

  1. In a pan, mix the berries and water (and sugar, if using) and bring to a boil
  2. Simmer on medium heat and mash the berries in the bubbling water
  3. The consistency of the compote can be reduced to as much as you personally prefer; runny, or thick. The former should take about 20 minutes, while the latter should take about 30 minutes or so.

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For the pancake batter:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda) in a bowl and keep aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients (egg, milk, butter).
  3. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and voila, your pancake batter is ready, quick and easy. (Also, this batter can be stored in the fridge overnight, so you can actually make it a day in advance and quickly churn out pancakes in the morning, although with the extra fibre that wholewheat flour has, you might have to thin out the batter before making the pancakes)

For cooking the pancakes:

  1. Cover your serving plate with aluminium foil to store the pancakes in, in order to keep them warm while you make the entire batch.
  2. Heat up good quality non stick pan, to medium heat.
  3. Once the pan is nicely heated, take a ladle full of the batter, pour into pan, and using the base of the ladle spread out the batter to flatten it. If you want thicker pancakes (like I do), add on another ladle-full, and then spread out the mix in the pan. Otherwise for crispy, thin pancakes one ladle of batter should be enough.
  4. In about 2-3 minutes, the pancake should be ready to flip over to the other side. Cook both sides to your ideal consistency. If you like well cooked pancakes, keep on for 3-4 minutes each side, while browning both sides. If you don’t want browned pancakes, ensure you cook each side for less than 3 minutes.

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To serve:

Layer up your pancakes. Pour the fresh compote and maple syrup on it. Serve with or without fruits. And maybe some cream? :)

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Notes:

You can put on the compote before you start the pancakes. Saves time and it should be ready by the time you have made the pancakes.

The atta pancakes might have a slightly fibrous taste to them. If you think you might not be a fan of it, try masking it with some vanilla essence, or adding some dried fruits to the batter. I was brave enough and had them,with dollops of honey and compote :)

You don’t need to add butter or oil in the pan to cook the pancakes, as the batter already has butter incorporated in it. That is why the quality of a good non stick pan cannot be stressed enough.

Can you see bits of the butter bubbling away on the surface??
Can you see bits of the butter bubbling away on the surface??

These were an amazing alternative to the weekend fatty indulgence. 

If you try them let me know how it works out for you. Waiting to hear from y’all!

Peanut Butter and Banana Milkshake

Spring is sprung in Melbourne. And I couldn’t be more excited. It’s the season of fresh flowers, bright and sunny days, and cold cold milkshakes. Woo the hooooo!

And with winter on its way out, binge season is officially getting over and the love, no make that ladoo handles are showing. So guess whose new favourite weeknight and weekend morning activity is ‘Going to the Gym’…. I don’t love it but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to wear those sundresses, come summer.

So whipped up a yummy drink as a pre-workout treat and which can also multitask as a late morning breakfast if you like me wake up at 11, and want to have something before lunch. Coz the stomach is a-rumbling and you don’t want to be a -cooking. Haha.

Remember my Peanut Butter and Nutella Milkshake? Well, this is the healthy version of that, replacing the Nutella with a banana. And voila, a healthy treat is served. In a tasty serving for 2.

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Ingredients:

2 cups milk (low fat, skimmed, full-cream.. your call)

1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 ripe banana

Pinch of cinnamon

Method:

Put all ingredients in a blender.

Blend.

Serve.

Wipe that milky moustache off your lips.

Enjoy :)

Homemade Nutty and Cinnamon Muesli

I had been wanting to do this for the longest while. Make a batch of  muesli at home. It sounded so simple. And thanks to the in-laws trips from India, I seemed to have every kind of dry fruit at home. So what was stopping me?

My inherent laziness. That’s all.

And also, the fact that at any given time we have 3 types of cereal lying at home. There’s the healthy bran flakes that Arjun Singh gets home, the Chocolate Pillows (from Aldi) that we both love, and the whatever-be-my-fancy-that-month batch of muesli/granola that I get from the supermarket (this month I am tripping over a dark chocolate and cranberry oat cluster pack from Carman’s Kitchen.. it’s supremely blissful).

I love milk and cereal for breakfast. And especially cold cold milk and a crunchy bite to my cereal. So last week when we ran out of our truck load of cereal (gasp!) and I didn’t want to make a trip to the market JUST for cereal, I decided to make some at home.

And trust me, it’s one of the easiest things on the planet. Plus super healthy too.

You need good quality oats, your choice of dry fruits, seeds, and nuts, honey/maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon and you are good to go. And because you are making this at home, you can control what goes in, the amount of sugar level, the level of crispiness or smokiness you want the cereal to have. It’s all super easy and simple.

Oats:

The thing with making muesli at home is that there is no fixed ratio of ingredients. Obviously the oats are the most in quantity, and it is better if you make it with traditional rolled oats. You can always try making muesli with quick cooking oats but do remember that if you are aiming to make granola (muesli that is baked for longer and thus chewier) and/or granola clusters, then traditional oats get better results. They change texture which quick cooking oats don’t. That’s what gets the oats to bind together and form those yummy crunchy clusters.

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 The Add Ons

This is where you make up your muesli mix. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, dried figs, dried prunes, dried apricots, seeds, coconut flakes, raisins. Put them all. Or put none. Okay, put some of these at least. It’s not muesli if its just dried oats and milk!

Word of advice: If you plan on adding chocolate chips, fresh fruit etc, do so in the last 5-10 minutes of the bake. Not from the very beginning.

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The Sugar and Syrup

This is the part where you add the honey or maple syrup or both and mix up everything. I sprinkled some vanilla sugar and a touch of cinnamon.

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The Bake

After giving it a thorough mix, lay it out on a baking tray and put it in a pre-heated oven to bake at 180 C for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, take them out and swirl the mix around with a spatula and put it back in the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes. This is so that the entire mixture gets baked evenly.

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I baked this batch for about 25 minutes, mixing it up twice, and then taking it out of the oven to cool down. Once cool, store in an air tight jar. The smell of the nutty baked muesli will enliven the house.

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I can’t wait to make my next batch of breaky cereal. This one got over in 3 days. Hope you try it too. And hit me up with  a comment below if you have any questions, feedback, criticism or just want to say hi.

Happy munching!

:)

 

Avocado Feta Toast with Mushrooms and Spinach

How yumm-azing does that sound, especially if you are one of those freaks like me who loves avocados, spinach, AND mushrooms; the uber-healthy trifecta. Read on for something super-easy and super-scrumptious.

Oz cafes have a ton of amazing breakfast options. There’s the Shakshuka (turkish style eggs baked and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and chorizo), indulgent French toasts, omnipresent pancakes with an assortment of too good to be true toppings, Big Breakfasts, omelettes, and so on. (I could go on and on, typing and drooling).

A popular vegetarian breakfast option is avocado on sourdough toast which can be served with a side of eggs, or mushrooms, or even without. Having never ordered that (coz I am of the belief that when I order out, I will only order that which I will not make at home, so its mostly over-indulgent french toasts or million-toppings pancakes or potato rostis yada yada yada…) I always stored the idea somewhere in the back of my head.

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Avocados are an extremely versatile vegetable. You can use them as spreads, as dips, as salad fillers, and they are even super useful in baking. So using basic ingredients like bread, mushrooms, spinach, feta and avocado, here is a simple yet scrumptious breakfast plan, which doesn’t leave a mound of dirty pots and pans in its wake. Big yay!!

  1. Avo on Toast:

    • Crumble the feta cheese so you can sprinkle it onto the toast
    • Peel and scoop the avocado out into a bowl
    • Mash it
    • Add salt, pepper, oregano, and chilly flakes as per your taste
    • Toast 2 slices of preferred bread to make them crunchy
    • Spread the avocado mash on to the toast
    • Sprinkle the feta cheese on topAvo Toast1

      2. Sauteed mushrooms with spinach

    • Slice the mushrooms
    • Heat butter in a pan
    • Add the sliced mushrooms
    • Saute them for about 5-7 minutes
    • Switch off the gas, and add chopped spinach
    • Season with salt and pepper
    • Serve warm with the avocado toast

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Serve warm.

And like I say, now the world is your avocado bowl. Mash it, spread it, slice it, season it the way you like it. And then satisfyingly, eat it :)

 

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Strawberry Nutella French Toast Rollups

Love strawberries: Check

Love Nutella: Slurrp-check

Love french toast: Check check check!

So time to take it to another level, right?

I had a super big bag of strawberries (remember my visit to Prahran market and the bargain dollar deals?) and wanted to do something other than milk shakes, cakes , pancake toppings, etc etc, and I found this really yummy looking recipe for French Toast Rollups, by Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything (I love that name, seems like we could be really good friends :D ). As complicated as it sounds, it actually takes like 15 minutes to assemble, prep, cook, and serve. Voila!

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The steps to get this delectable treat onto your table are quite simple:

  1. Take a few slices of bread (regular, wholemeal, brioche, challah, whatever you like), trim the crusts
  2. With a rolling pin, flatten out the bread slices so it’s easier to stuff and roll
  3. Spread on  Nutella on the slice
  4. Add the strawberries to one side of the slice
  5. Roll in the bread to form a roll up
  6. In a bowl, prepare the egg and milk mix to dunk the roll ups in, it is French toast after all
  7. Heat a pan with some butter
  8. Dip each roll in the egg and milk mix and fry in the pan, until is lightly browned
  9. To add onto the delectable-ness, you can also keep a bowl of powdered (not icing) sugar, or cinnmaon powder mixed with sugar, and roll the roll-ups immediately in them post cooking
  10. Pick ’em up with your hands, and nom nom nom….rollups6.jpg

 

Now I did pretty much everything above except for a few variations:

  1. I don’t like wasting food plus I really like the crust, so I did not trim the crust (that’s why my french roll ups look like a sausage roll, methinks)
  2. No dipping in sugar for the roll ups for me; Was happy with the end product just the same
  3. I used boring wholemeal bread so the roll ups are a little thicker and probably could have added tons more Nutella, but hey, to each his own. The plan was to use up the berries, not dunk myself in Nutella
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
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Spread Nutella. Stuff strawberries. Roll up bread. Ignore my scratched chopping board.
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Trimming the crusts would have definitely made for a prettier picture. But hey, I wanted to have my crust and eat it too ;)

So here a few links for this tasty TASTY treat, and a few variations that I got my eyes on (cream cheese and banana anyone, or is it just me?!)

  1. Christy’s version from the Girl Who Ate Everything: She alternated stuffing with strawberries and nutella,  and strawberries and cream cheese, yum yum yum.

Like I always say, make it, and make it NOW

Creamy Avocado Egg Salad

We got a new plant and it’s all pink and green. I thought Arjun would never agree, but voila, he <3’ed it too. Yay. It’s just the most gorgeous thing ever. I love it. And hopefully we are taking good care of it: watering it, sunning it, even talking to it.

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We are buying plants now. Wow.  Whole new grown-up territory.goes and wolves down 2 bags of fairy floss  There, that feels more like it.

Any suggestions on what we should name it, if any?
Any suggestions on what we should name it, if any?

Anyhoo, I had been craving a good egg salad for a while now. The last I had it was when I was in Derby, and I used to just pick up a pack of standard retail store egg salad – all mayo, raisins, mustard, boiled egg, and an assortment of other trimmings that made it what it is. Sounds ugh now, but I used to devour it like crazy then.

But fairy floss candy aside, my taste buds have now evolved. To the extent that I actually DON’T like mayonnaise anymore. Especially store bought egg mayo. I love garlic aioli in certain places, and I am sure the home made version of mayo is always awesome (never made it myself). But I just didn’t want to make an egg salad with mayo.

So Google baba helped me find out that a good substitute for mayo is greek yogurt and/or avocado. Awesome-saucesome.

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The first time I made this salad, I didn’t have any yogurt around and ended up using a spoon of garlic aioli (Australian for garlic flavoured mayonnaise). So even though it was tasty and all, I wasn’t satisfied. But then I made this recipe with greek yogurt  and what a difference it made.

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When made, this recipe will last for a good 3-4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. Seal it as tightly as possible as with the avocados, there is a tendency to brown. However, if you are not using the avocados, this will last for a day or so more with no browning.

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Read on, and make at the earliest:

Ingredients

  1. 4 boiled eggs, chopped to whatever degree of fineness you like
  2. 1/2 avocado, mashed
  3. 1 tomato, diced
  4. 1 cup spring onions, diced
  5. 2 tbsps greek yogurt
  6. 2 tbsps feta cheese, optional
  7. 1 tsp dill
  8. 1 tsp oregano
  9. salt, pepper to taste

Makes 4 sandwiches, or 6 single toast servings easily

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (If you are boiling eggs as you are chopping and adding, add tomatoes in the end, as it leaves some water.) Spoon onto toasted bread. Layer it up with spinach, lettuce, some ham maybe. Serve and enjoy.

Note: Adding avocado is completely up to you. It just makes the salad a tad bit creamier. In case you want to make this without the avocado, please do increase the yogurt by 1 tablespoon or more.

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Let me leave you with some more egg salad recipes. Take your pick what you want to cook with. Maybe mine, maybe theirs :)

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/egg-salad-julia-child

Bon Appetit!

Overnight Oats with all things Yummy

Aah, the bliss of having my own space.. err… OUR own space. I get to display all my cute knick knacks plus collect all the polka dotted goodness the material world has to offer. We are so excited about setting up our bar, our living room, and even the bathroom (we both love bathrooms… phewww and hooray!!)

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The moving in adventures continued with us getting our furniture into this house the last weekend. We did it all on our own and with the help of some super awesome friends , and I couldn’t be prouder. Setting up the space, lifting and moving heavy things around, plus post-road-trip-and-holiday-with-friends hangover (more on that coming soon), has got us both itching to get back to our healthy (mostly) eating habits. Plus, out of all my groceries, the first thing that came to my hand was the packet of oats and it was like a sign from the good carbs heaven up there.

I know what you’re thinking, when she has no recipes, she just goes ahead and posts about oats.. danganabit, they are so easy to work with :) Remember these super yummy Chocolate Oats? Have you made them yet?

But trust me, this is like the easiest breakfast recipe ever. And so pretty…. sigh

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Overnight oats; also called Bircher muesli in some menus; the big deal about them is that there isn’t any cooking involved and you prep them the night before, and enjoy them the morning after.. ta-da…

All you have to do is mix up the oats with some milk in your serving bowl/cereal bowls, add your choice of toppings, and leave it overnight in the fridge. Come the morning, take out the bowl, heat up or eat cold. It takes like 5 minutes to prep the night before, and gets you an extra 20 minutes in the morning. Whoopie!

I loved this bowl of oats
I loved this bowl of oats

And just as it is with milk and regular cereal, the oats bowl is your oyster. Add whatever toppings you like and make your own oat-y goodness.

I tend to take 1 cup of oats (either kinds is fine, traditional or quick cooking), add about a cup and a half of milk to it. To this, I add pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dried fruits, dark chocolate chips, goji berries, chia seeds, dates, and leave it overnight. In the morning, it’s all soft and delicious, to which I add some fresh banana and other fruits (strawberries, blueberries). It’s such a massive bowl of breakky goodness that it keeps you feeling full and positively energetic till lunchtime.

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And I can’t stress enough as to how much of a time saver Overnight Oats is. All you busy people (working or otherwise, men or women) try it (in case you have been living under a rock, and not tried it yet, and even otherwise).

You won’t regret it.

Ciao bella!

I am linking this post to the super awesome party happening at Angie’s blog, and celebrating moving in stories and the weekend vis-a-vis her fun link party Fiesta Friday.

 

”Fiesta

Babru

Today I am sharing a Himachali breakfast recipe that uses just 4 ingredients and makes the yummiest desi crepes you will ever have in your life.  Made with wholewheat flour (atta), jaggery (gur), fennel seeds, and water, Babrus are himachali crepes/pancakes (depending on how thick you make them).

Growing up, my brother was quite the fussy eater. Won’t eat rice, veggies, dal, won’t drink milk etc etc. My mom would figure out innovative ways to get him to eat his veggies, but if all else failed she would either feed him chapattis with ghee shakar (ghee and raw sugar), or ghee and our homemade masala namak (Mint and Coriander salt). He would devour those. Another of his favourites was babrus. Mom used to make the most perfect babrus and it was, more or less, a birthday breakfast for him. I tried making these for him for his 22nd birthday, for the first time ever in my life, and voila, they turned out pretty damn good, if I may so myself. Ok, I just did. :P

These are more crepe-like pancakey in form and consistency, one has to be careful of not adding too much jaggery or else the mixture becomes sticky while being cooked. You can also substitute sugar in case you don’t have jaggery, but the subtle sweetness get enhanced with the jaggery rather than sugar.

Since everything in our households is about balancing out sweet with sour, the sweet babrus are mostly served with unsweetened curd and Galgal pickle. (Wish I had some of that pickle with me,my nani had this awesome recipe.. sigh)

Hope you enjoy making it as much as I always do.

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Ingredients

  1. Whole wheat flour (Atta): 1 cup
  2. Water: 1.5 cups
  3. Jaggery (gur): 3 tbsps
  4. Fennel seeds (saunf): 1 tsp

Method

  1. Boil the water
  2. Add the jaggery to the boiled water and stir to mix it in
  3. In a mixing bowl, take the atta and add the fennel seeds to it
  4. Add the water-jaggery mix to the atta slowly, to make the batter
  5. I call this the ek-taar test: Pour a little mixture into the bowl (like shown in image) and if the batter falls in a single stream, then its dissolved properlybabru6
  6. Take a non stick pan and keep it on medium heat
  7. Now taking a ladle of the batter, pour on pan, top off with another ladle-ful and spread it out into a circle (like dosas)
  8. When one side is cooked a little, drip a little ghee on the babru, on the sides and the center
  9. After a minute, flip the babru over to cook the other side
  10. Once both sides are cooked, fold it over and serve warm; The ideal consistency for a cooked babru is like a thin crepe-ish dosa. Not crisp, but soft.

Note: The final product didn’t turn out that gorgeous enough, but in my eagerness to share the recipe and the post, I just folded the oddly shaped, slightly crisp, and twisted babrus to make them look pretty for the pictures.. Don’t worry, even if they break, don’t turn out round, become thick or too thin, they will taste super wonderful. Trust me. try it. Now.

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