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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tortellini in Blue Cheese Sauce

Another pasta dish :-)
This one I coined up using some leftover cheese and sour cream. It turned out quite fantastic!
Tastes good warm, room temperature or chilled. How great is that?

(serves 2)
(prep time 30 mins)
The Sauce

Blue cheese 1/3 cup (crumbled)
Sour cream 1/3 cup
Whole milk 2/3 cup
Flour 1 Tbs
Butter 1 1/2 Tbs
Coarse ground pepper 1/4 tsp
Red chili flakes 1/3 tsp (optional)

Melt butter in a frying pan.
Add flour and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook the flour and butter for a minute.
Pour in the milk. Stir well make sure there are no lumps. Cook for three minutes until the milk is bubbly.
Turn the heat to low and add the blue cheese. Also add the sour cream.
Allow the cheese to melt. Use the back of your spoon to break up the cheese bits.
Season with salt. Add pepper and chili flakes.

*Spinach 1/2 cup (chopped and drained)
*Artichoke hearts 1/3 cup
Red onions 1 1/2 Tbs (chopped fine)
Garlic 1/2 tsp (chopped fine)
Butter 1 1/2 Tbs

In a separate frying pan melt some butter and cook the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic. Cook for a minute.
Toss in the artichoke hearts and spinach. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

(* I used frozen)

Put it all together

Boil 2 cups of fresh cheese tortellini in lots of salted boiling water.
Cook El-dente. Takes me about 7-8 minutes.
Combine the pasta in the cheese sauce.
Add the veggies and gently fold in.
Just before eating I sprinkled some more blue cheese crumbles and a small amount of fresh chopped Roma tomatoes on top!

We absolutely loved it!
Give it a try... lemme know what you think.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My 2nd class....

Wow! Wow! Wow!
I am just so LUCKY! Such WONDERFUL people I met tonight!
Everybody did such a FANTASTIC job!
Many Many thanks to Linda and Ginny :-)

Hurry up let it be March already! Can't wait for the next one!!

Visit for more info about class schedule.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My world famous banana bread muffins :-)

These are super moist and terribly delish! I promise you won't regret making them. The secret ingredient here is maple syrup. Use just a tablespoon and that will make all the difference.

Makes 12 med size muffins
(Prep time 15 mins)
(Bake time 20 mins)

All purpose flour 1 1/2 cups
Bananas (really really brown and ripe) 3 large
Baking soda 1 tsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Egg 1 large
White sugar 1/3 cup
Light brown sugar 2/3 cup
Maple Syrup 1 Tbs
Butter 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs

Streusel topping
Butter 2 Tbs
Brown sugar 1/2 cup
All purpose flour 4 Tbs
Cinnamon 1 tsp


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare your muffin pan by first rubbing a little butter inside and then lining with cupcake liners.
Squish the bananas with a fork or a potato masher. Its OK if you have small bits of fruit just don't use a blender it makes the bananas very sticky!
In a large bowl whisk together white and brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, egg and melted butter.
Gradually fold the flour (combined with the baking powder and baking soda) 2-3 tablespoons at a time to the banana mixture.
Your batter is ready.Time for the topping.
Very simple...
In a bowl melt the butter.
Add flour, sugar and cinnamon.
Combine with a fork.
This mixture should resemble coarse crumbles. Now divide the batter equally into the muffin pan.
Sprinkle the topping equally on each muffin.
Bake. I have made these several times and 20 mins is all it needs.
You can check by inserting a toothpick in the center and if it comes out with not too much crumbs on it, its done.
Cool on a wire rack....enjoy!
Ta da!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

For my honey...

Another year.... another Valentine's day.
This one not much different from last year's :-) accept maybe that my sweetheart is a little sick. I made him this special breakfast of homemade buttermilk biscuits and scrambled eggs.
The biscuits were very easy to make, incredibly flaky and wayyyy better than anything that comes out of a can! If you don't like eggs try the biscuits with butter and some fruit preserves.

(prep time 40 mins)
(enough for 2)
Buttermilk Biscuits

Flour 1/3 cup
Honey 1/2 Tbs
Salt 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Buttermilk 1/3 cup
Shortening or Butter 3 Tbs (very very cold and chopped up in tiny pieces)

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Stir in the honey and the shortening/butter.
Work with a fork and mix until the flour resembles coarse crumbs.
Pour in the buttermilk and combine well with a fork.
Take this mixture out on a floured surface and knead gently. Don't overdo this step.
Use your fingers and spread out the dough into a 1" thick circle.
I used a heart shape cutter and made 2 biscuits.
Lightly brush a little butter over the biscuits.
Bake for 5 mins. Turn the heat down to 400 degrees and continue to bake for another 13-15 mins.

Scrambled Eggs

While the biscuits are baking you can make the eggs anyway you want. I made mine the following way.

Eggs 3 large
Chopped red peppers 2 Tbs
Chopped shallots 1 Tbs
Peas 3 Tbs
Jarlsberg Cheese 4 Tbs (shredded)
Coarse Pepper 1/2 tsp
A little butter for cooking

Heat the butter in a frying pan.
Whip the eggs, the veggies, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until eggs are set.
Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and allow to melt.

Done :-)
I spilt the biscuits in half spread a little butter and placed the eggs in between the 2 halves.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chicken Corn Soup

I love soups... and Seattle provides many rainy days to enjoy a nice warm steaming bowl. Below is my Mom's recipe for one of my most favorite kind. Its Chinese originally but perhaps more popular in Pakistan than anywhere else. You can find plenty of stalls on the street selling it for not too much at all :-)

(prep time 30 mins + 2 hours for the stock)
(serves 4-6 ppl)


For the stock
Chicken wings about 18
Green/spring onions 3-5 stems (not bundles)
Ginger approx 1"x1" piece (quartered)
Water 5 cups
Combine the above ingredients together in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and boil for at least 2 hours. Keep the pot covered.
After its been boiling for 2 hours turn the heat off and allow it cool down so you can easily handle it.
Pour the stock through a strainer to separate the chicken and other bits and chunks.
Remove the skin and bones from the wings and pull off the meat. We will add this into the soup. If you want you can add a few drumsticks along with the wings when making the stock. Those are easier to clean and handle
compared to the wings.
For a nice fat free stock refrigerate it for several hours. The fat will rise to the surface and form a hard shell that can be easily scraped off.

OK lets move on. Some more ingredients.

Sweet corn 16oz can (Use a blender and give the corn a few 2 second pulses. The texture should be chunky not creamy)
Water 2 cups
Pepper 1 tsp (coarse ground)
Brown sugar 1/2 tsp

Cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp (optional)
Egg whites 3-4 large (lightly beaten)
Corn flour 2 Tbs (mixed with some water)

Re-heat the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add two cups of water, the chicken meat and the squished corn kernels.
Season with salt, back pepper, cayenne pepper and sugar.
Reduce the heat and pour in the corn flour slurry. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps that might form.
Reduce the heat even further and when the soup is just softly simmering slowly pour the egg whites in the center of your pot and keep stirring gently gently gently throughout. The eggs will cook and form flowy ribbons almost immediately.

So yummy with toasted bread and a little butter.
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