Friday, March 25, 2016

Tea / Coffee and Breakfast Station


Freshly brewed coffee or tea, quick handy breakfast, snacks, treats, in the serenity of your own home, creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for both you and near and dears is indeed the best space you will love in your house. Trust me on that.. 😊 I have been loving mine! 😊



How do you go about setting up one at home? Here are few Ideas and Tips you might want to consider as a guideline.


1.      Choose a suitable Space and Theme : 

Choose a space that's convenient and functional. Make sure you have easy access to water with a water dispenser or a sink nearby. Go by a colour theme of your choice. Do a little research for inspirations and ideas from magazines or Pinterest. Stroll through your favourite stores and do a little planning before you eventually make any major investments. Outline a design and make a list of things you may already have in hand and another list of things you might consider buying. Also make sure you find place for your waste that's well kept.



 2.      Start with a Sturdy Base : 

Choose a sturdy and strong Base. You could either have a mini kitchen cabinet with an overhead as well, set exclusively for your counter or any sturdy table would serve your purpose well.


 3.      Containers and Jars : 

Containers and Jars would serve as storage, as well as enhance the overall look of your bar. So make sure you go by a uniform colour / material theme.

4.      Organizers : 

Organizing is the key to having a functional and easy to access breakfast bar. Make sure it's simple and neat and everything contained is visible. Group like items together and store in an appealing manner. Use storage bins and baskets to store and neatly organize miscellaneous snack packets and items together. You could even label the baskets if required.    


5.      Mugs and Canisters : 
Mugs / cups / jars / travel mugs / cereal bowls / spoons etc are the must haves of your breakfast bar. Make sure you choose it aesthetically. 

6.      Tea and Coffee : 
Stock your favourite tea / coffee collections. Stock your regular brands and buy occasionally used brands only when a batch finishes. Be aware of what you stock up. You don't want to clutter your space with things you end up never using. You could also add Cocoa powder, Cinnamon / Cardamom powder, honey or sweeteners of your choice etc. to your collection. 


7.      Fruits / Cereals / Nuts / Seeds : 
What completes the Breakfast bar, is having a one stop access to everything you might require for a quick breakfast / snacking  or refreshment. That includes fruits, your family's favourite cereals, Nuts and Dried fruits, snack bars, oats, healthy seeds, spices, etc. It's all up to you to personalize the choices according to the eating habits of your family and you.

 8.      Appliances : 

You know best of what you require. Keep it minimal though. If you are a coffee lover, a basic drip maker or a pump espresso machine would be something you would fancy. Or, you could keep it simple with either a coffee machine or a simple kettle would do great too.


9.      Utility Decor : 
Adding a few mood awakening fresh or artificial flowers, mugs with cute / fulfilled quotes, a frame with inspiring quotes, Or even a chalk board painted wall etc. could enhance your space with an alluring and heart-warming feel. Make it the inspiring, and relaxing space in your home, which will instantly boost you with zest and energy. A recharging spot.. :)  


Take a chance to express your taste & style. Put a little thought into it, making it one of the most beautiful spots in your home, where both your health and mental tranquility is taken good care of..  



Saturday, March 19, 2016

Angel's Baked Eggs

Savoury, healthy and classic baked eggs
My recipe


The blissful part of a weekend is waking up late, 😉 past the breakfast hour, too starving to wait for lunch and so brunch it often is.. 😊 Free of all week's hurries; chit chatting with family and slurping delicious food together!! 😊

This dish is something that's often on the menu for a lazy weekend brunch at home. But, you could also serve this savoury, baked egg dish packed with a healthy amount of veggies for breakfast, lunch or dinner.. An any time meal! 😊

No! this is not Shakshouka nor Mexican eggs. Neither is this dish inspired from them.. It's The Angel's baked eggs.. 😊 The name has a surreptitious tale of a little girl who bravely fought and surpassed a nightmare solitary! 😌 

Ingredients :









Bell peppers (yellow, orange, green and red)
-

1/2 of each

Button Mushrooms  
-

1 cup chopped

White or brown onion
-

1/2 or whole

Tomato
-

1 large

Cilantro / Coriander leaves
-

A handful (coarsely chopped)

Sesame seeds
-

1 teaspoon

Salt
-

To taste

Black pepper (freshly ground)
-

As required

Dried Oregano
-

1/2 teaspoon

Black olives
-

1/2 cup

Fresh eggs
-

5 or 6 nos.

Oil or butter
-

As required


Preparation Method :

Wash and chop all the Veggies. You could either bake the eggs in the oven or slow cook them on the stove itself. If you prefer baking it in the oven, set to preheat at 180 degrees now. Make sure you use an oven-proof skillet in that case.


 I simply loveeee colours in my food! Natural, healthy colours I mean! :)



Roughly crush the sesame seeds to release the flavour and oils. In a hot skillet, pour in some olive oil or melt some butter and add the sesame seeds.


When it begins to sputter, add the onions and sauté on high for half a minute. Then add the Mushrooms and sauté until all the water evaporates and the onion and mushroom being to brown.


Then add the chopped peppers. Season with salt and pepper. If you like the dish a bit spicy, add more pepper.


Add the dried oregano and sauté until the bell peppers too are well roasted and the oil begins to clear at the bottom of the skillet.


Move the veggies to a plate. and retain the oil in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium.


Lay the sliced tomatoes on the pan and cook for a minute. Then turn them over.


Sprinkle some cilantro over the tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and some pepper.


Top that with the roasted veggies and top with some olives.


Make five or six gentle depressions on the surface of the veggie mix with your spatula and crack open an egg each into them, so that the yolk sits well into the veggies.


Sprinkle on the rest of the chopped cilantro and if baking, bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes if you'd like your yolks half done, or 8-10 minutes, if you like your yolks almost well done. If you prefer cooking on the stove itself, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight lid and slow cook for 5 minutes.


Then turn off the heat and do not open the lid until another 5 minutes. Allow it to cook in the remaining heat inside.


This is a meal in itself. If you like to have some carbohydrates, you could have it with breads of your choice. 


Enjoy with a refreshing glass of smoothie / fresh fruit juice / coffee or tea. If you'd like to have an elaborate meal, you could serve it with garlic bread! It's awesome! :) 


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Szechuan MaPo Tofu

  Chinese Recipe - My Version 



While we travel to any country in east Asia, we usually opt to eat only vegetarian and occasionally seafood, because you never know what meat you may gulp down.. I have learnt from experience, that even with ordering seafood, you may sometimes end up with being served crocodile meat or sea snakes.. 😉 It has happened to us!! 😁 So, we are very careful while placing an order at restaurants and quite often have translators with us to help. But, I do collect recipes of non-veg dishes, so that I can try them out on getting back home. Since, I like tofu, this was a recipe our Chinese friends recommended as a popular Chinese tofu dish and they also know that Indians love spicy food, thus a spicy hot tofu. 



Ingredients :







Organic Fresh Soft Tofu
-

250 gms
Chicken mince
-

1 cup
Szechuan pepper (ground)
-

3/4 teaspoon 
Dried red chilli
-

1 tablespoon
Freshly ground black pepper
-

As preferred
Crushed Garlic
-

3 cloves
Red chilli
-

1 no.
Scallion (white cut diagonally and green cut into 1" long pieces)
-

 2 stems
Black bean Stir fry sauce
-

2 tablespoons
Extra virgin Olive oil
-

2 tablespoon
Light Soya sauce
-

1 tablespoon
White rice vinegar
-

1 teaspoon
Water
-

1 cup
Corn flour
-

1 tablespoon
Salt
-

To taste



In the actual recipe, you do not need dried red chilli and you need chilli bean sauce and not black bean sauce. I didn't get chilli bean sauce this time from my grocery store. Anyway, chilli bean sauce also has black bean and in addition it has chilli, that's all. so no worries. Also, traditionally sesame seed oil or peanut oil is used, but, I personally don't like the smell of both. So, I used olive oil. This recipe requires Soft Tofu.



Preparation Method :

Drain the tofu and dice them into 1 cm cubes.
In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. I like Olive oil infused with garlic. It smells great.



Add the ground chicken and sauté.



Add pepper.



Add the black bean sauce, mix well and sauté for 4-5 minutes.




Throw in the scallions, red chilli, garlic and sauté.



Drizzle in the white rice vinegar.


Add the water and cook for 5 minutes on high.



Blend chilli in some water and add the mix to the gravy.



Add soya sauce. 



Gently add the tofu. Remember that it is soft tofu. If you do not handle it gently, it will crumble. 



Blend corn flour in some lukewarm water, and pour into gravy and stir very gently until gravy thickens. 



Throw in the spring onions.



Sprinkle the crushed Szechuan pepper and turn off flame.





Serve with steamed rice.



Serves two