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!

This month we invite you to an Open House!!!
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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 :)

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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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

Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella Banana Bread
Nutella Banana Bread

I had been laying off banana bread for a while now. You know, all that calorie counting, healthy eating, and jacksh*it. But it’s like it was calling out to me every time I saw a slice..

Shrutiiii, I am banana bread.. I fulfill the craving in your head

I know you know I am actually cake, but gurl, you know I am better than steak 

Bah! bad rhyme, but you know what I am saying. A lot of us (or maybe just me) eats the banana bread thinking oh, it’s so good for me, and maybe for some of you out there it is. However a lack of a dedicated exercise regime, plus counting calories had finally made me realise I needed to lay off the ‘cake-bread’ for a bit. But how to ignore the innocent looking packaged slices just lying around the office cafeteria; or implicitly imploring me from store shelves to just take them home with me.

Simple. Bake it at home, silly.

So I made my version of home-made healthy wholemeal banana bread to shush the inner calorific demons. And when I say healthy, and bread, I mean healthy, and bread. This tastes more bread-y than cake-y. So if you want a healthy-wealthy bread, you have come to the right place.

This is a loaf made of wholewheat flour, using no sugar, and no eggs, and no butter. That’s the beauty of baking with bananas, they are the best supplement for eggs and fat (butter, oil), plus they provide the sugary content too.

And okay, I cheated a bit. I added a spoon of Nutella because it was lying right in front of me. But to compensate, I spooned in a big serving of pumpkin seeds in the batter too. Sorted.

and yes, always ALWAYS make sure you use over-ripe bananas because that gives the best result. And does all that magic.

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Ingredients

  1. Bananas: 3, mashed
  2. Wholewheat flour (atta): 2 cups
  3. Baking powder: 1.5 tsp
  4. Vanilla essence: 3 tsp
  5. Ground Cinnamon: 1 tsp
  6. Ground Nutmeg: half a tsp
  7. Walnuts, slightly roasted and chopped roughly: ½ to 1 cup (individual discretion)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  3. Add the vanilla essence and mashed bananas to this mix, and mix gently
  4. The batter will be sticky. Don’t worry, that’s a good sign
  5. Add the chopped walnuts to this batter.
  6. Lightly flour a baking loaf pan and pour batter into it
  7. Place pan with batter into the pre-heated oven, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius, for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the batter comes out clean.

Wasn’t that easy? Ta-da, the really healthy banana BREAD is ready. Enjoy it plain, or toasted with whatever topping you prefer (butter, jam, honey…). Now eat it within the next week or so. Or store in your fridge, that keeps it for 2-3 weeks. (If you have managed to not finish it off within that time)

 

Sunday Scrambled Eggs

 

No Butter Super Yummy Breakfast
No Butter Super Yummy Breakfast

Yeah, I know it’s Monday, but I miss Sunday. In fact, I miss the entire weekend. Where did it go??

The weekday mornings go by in a crazy rush. Get up, get ready, quickly chug cereal and milk down, or make a peanut butter sandwich, and run to catch the train. (Note to self: I have GOT to become an early riser!). But weekend mornings, those are all mine to lazily wake up on, and plan my big weekend breakfast. And now that the husband is here (YAY), the weekends are even more awesome does somersault in head. Now since this was the husband’s first weekend in Melbourne, and I wanted to enjoy some super awesome breakfast options in Melbourne with him; pancakes at The Pancake Parlour, all day breakfast options at Gattica, fresh croissants at Dana’s patisseries, the Big Brekky at La Roche……

Possibilities galore. But alas, we both love to snore.

So by the time we were up and at ‘em to face the world, it was a little too late for ‘early’ breakfast. And we were still too bleary-eyed to get out and at ‘em. So I decided to whip up café style breakfast at home, and impress the husband with my cooking repertoire.

I call this breakfast meal my no-butter and no-oil special, and all you need to make this lavish and scrumptious breakfast are a grand total of 5 ingredients.

  1. Your favourite sliced toast
  2. Eggs
  3. Chorizo or whichever salami you personally prefer; even cocktail sausages will do
  4. Sundried tomatoes
  5. Baked beans in a can
  6. No oil, no butter. Don’t you dare reach out for it (Smacking your hands away!)

Read on for my recipe for Sunday Scrambled Eggs and Baked Beans on Toast

Continue reading “Sunday Scrambled Eggs”

Healthy Wholewheat Carrot Cake

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So I always knew that this blog would sooner or later start becoming an  honest-to-goodness-and-gluttonous love for all things food. I mean, I am someone who lives for, and loves food. I remember once I was showing my mom around town, in Pune, India, and each of my stories went something like this, there in that corner, we had the best vada pav, and that’s Marzorin, they have yummmazing cakes and shakes, and ooh, this is Koregaon park, they have this amazing burger joint.. And my mom turns to me and asks, is that ALL you did in Pune, eat? Emmm, yeah-huhh!

My happiest places are farmers markets, restaurants, kitchens, patisseries, cafes, anywhere I am eating good food. And I am kind of proud of it :D

The other thing I love about food is baking it. But for someone who loves baking and baked products as much as me, I do very little of it nowadays. And lately, I always have an excuse for not doing it…I am in a new country, new house, am staying alone, counting the days until the husband gets here, it’s no fun when you are alone, I don’t have the stuff I need, I am going to gain weight yada yada yada… Excuses excuses, and more silly excuses.Time to stop the silly whining and get back to it.
Continue reading “Healthy Wholewheat Carrot Cake”