waffle waffle waffle

I just can’t say it enough, or eat enough of it. Waffles are my new love, and sadly pancakes have taken a back seat. I just got a waffle maker and the excitement hasn’t died down yet, so it’s been waffles everyday.

When I was looking up recipes for waffles I thought all of them were wrong. I mean, how in the world could so much baking powder be used. But then, as I poured the first round of batter all the way to the top and it started oozing out of edges seconds after I closed the lid, I realized that’s what the baking powder is for!! It makes them fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside!

But that’s just me, because my prior waffle experience has been frozen eggo waffles or cafe’s. I’m sure you waffle maker owners already know that, but if reading this post will make you go out a buy one (I say everyone should have one! ) then just keep in mind that a little batter goes a long way.

waffle

Here’s what you need to make about 6-8 waffles, depending on the size f your waffle maker:

1/3 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cups warm milk

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

4 tsp baking powder

2 Tblspn sugar

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a measuring jug beat the eggs for 2 minutes, then gradually add the butter and milk. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions to the milk mixture. It’s easier to have the mix in something that it can be poured out of, but if you don’t have a measuring jug just mix everything a bowl and use a ladle.

Once they’re ready, usually it takes 2-3 minutes, devour them with butter and maple syrup!

You can add a lot of stuff in the batter as well. A few of my favorites are crushed walnuts, chocolate chips, blueberries and ground cinnamon.

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Stir Fry.

Stir frying is a quick and, possibly, healthy way to get food to the table in under 20 minutes. You can add noodles, or eat it over boiled rice, or if you really like it, just have it on it’s own.

You don’t necessarily need a wok to make stir fries, although it wouldn’t hurt to get one.

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The whole idea is to cook everything on a high flame, and not with a lot of oil.

It’s also a great way to eat vegetables. I always add chicken though, because the only vegetable I can eat without any meat is potatoes, and maybe carrots. But that’s it.

You can easily take out the chicken and make this a delicious veggie stir fry though!

Please use a non stick pan if you have one, for the sake of your vegetables. And don’t get scared by the freakishly long list of ingredients. I know, it’s so unlike me. But most of it is just a list of vegetables. Which you can replace or add on to with your favorites.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound boneless chicken, cut into strips and marinated in:

1 tsp sugar

2 Tblspn soy sauce

1 Tblspn sesame oil

salt and white pepper

1 Tblspn corn flour

carrots, cut into match sticks

red, orange or green bell peppers, sliced

broccoli, chopped

cabbage, chopped

mushrooms, sliced

salt and white pepper, to taste

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tblspn each of soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce

Heat 2 T any flavorless oil in a wok/frying pan. Since the chicken has cornflour in it, you’ll have to be a little careful. Place each piece of chicken into the oil and let it fry for about 2 minutes. Then flip each piece. Then you can treat it like normal chicken and just stir fry it. Once the chicken is light golden take it out of the wok. Then, without adding any oil, stir fry the vegetables. Don’t add any seasoning until the vegetables begin to cook. I used to add everything at once, but I realized that if you stir fry the vegetables without any seasoning, they cook so much better and their flavors are enhanced. So stir fry for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken and the seasoning, soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce. Stir fry for another minute or two and just eat it! Have it some boiled rice, or just add some wok noodles.

It’s really delicious, and really quick to make, so make it, ok?

 

Orange Yogurt Cake

There are so many different types of cake out there. The ones with jams and fresh fruits layered between fresh cream and swiss meringue frosting. And you can’t stay away from those chocolate ones, the ones drowned in ganache.

But sometimes all that decadence isn’t what you need. What about those cakes that are light as air, subtly flavored to perfection? Something to go with that afternoon cup of tea. And on that note, I must point out that as a Pakistani, afternoon tea holds the significance of a tradition that can’t be broken. It’s hardwired into our system so much so that it’s a proper meal.  Age doesn’t matter. Chai, as we call it, is our coffee. And having chai on it’s own is just unheard of. How can you not have a trolley full of snacks both savory and sweet to devour with a hot cup of chai? HOW???

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(see the pretty specks of orange zest?!)

From here stems my search for the perfect sponge cake. I’ve been after a recipe like this for ages. My grandmother used to make a cake at least once a week, and me being the greedy child that I was, ate most of it. It wasn’t one of those cakes that needed the ingredients to be weighed out to the gram. She just threw everything together and it always turned out delicious. She gave me the recipe a few years ago, but I lost it. It’s been years now since she last made it, and she can’t remember the recipe anymore, but this cake inspired by Nigella Lawson is pretty close! And from what I can remember from that battered napkin that was lost, most of the ingredients are similar too.

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(It’s without a sugar snowfall, but i’m hoping you can see how light and airy the sponge looks!)

I added some orange zest because my Grandmother always added some orange juice to her cake, but this would be great without any as well. And you don’t have to separate the eggs. If you add them whole the cake will be denser, but it’ll still taste great. And the yogurt is what makes it taste so mellow. I think i’m going to add yogurt to every cake I make now!

Here’s what you’ll need, besides your oven preheated to 180 C.

3 eggs, separated

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp orange zest (you can replace it with the same amount of vanilla)

In a bowl add the yolks, yogurt and oil and mix until smooth. Mix in the sugar, flour, baking powder and zest.

In a separate bowl whip the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks. Mix half of the whites into the batter to loosen the mixture a bit, then fold in the remaining whites. Don’t over mix, but the mixture should be pail yellow and slightly frothy because of the whites. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin and bake for 25-35 minutes. The cake won’t rise much, but it’ll be prefect and spongy! Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before taking it out and devouring it! Sprinkle over some icing sugar and you’re good to go!

Golden Potatoes

Who doesn’t like potatoes?

Exactly.

Everyone loves them. You can fry them, mash them, make soups out of them, and roast them. They’re the ultimate side dish, and make for a perfect snack. They are, in my opinion, the most versatile vegetable. DSC_0719

I truly love fries, but when you need to add some character to your main course, there’s no going wrong with these golden potatoes. They’re so simple to make and don’t require fussing over the stove. Just flip them once halfway through the cooking time and they’ll crunch up perfectly. For presentation purposes, use baby potatoes with their skins on. If you only have large and oddly shaped potatoes at home just peel them and cut them into 1 inch pieces.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 potatoes, prepared like explained above

2 Tblspn butter

2 Tblspn olive oil

salt

2 cloves garlic, whole or sliced

dried thyme

fresh parsley (optional)

For quick cooking, parboil the potatoes before hand. This is actually pretty handy, because if you’re having a dinner or lunch, you can parboil the potatoes before and just cook them in the butter and oil right before serving. Put a pan on medium heat (it should be big enough for the potatoes to be placed in one layer) and once the pan is hot add 1 Tblspn butter and 1 Tblspn oil. Add the potatoes and garlic, sliced if you want a strong flavor and whole if you want subtle flavor. Let them crisp up on a medium heat, about 5 minutes on each side. Before flipping the potatoes sprinkle over some salt and dried thyme. Once you’ve turned over each potato add in the remaining butter and oil.  That’s all! Just remember to keep the heat on medium so the potatoes don’t burn!