5 WAYS TO DEVOUR STRAWBERRIES IN CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Some matches are made in heaven. One such is Strawberries and Chocolate 🙂 When women are in doubt as to what they should wear, they go with “The Little Black Dress” which always works. Strawberries in Chocolate are the proverbial LBD of cooking.

Here’s 5 ways you can use this combination in your recipes.

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  1. ON ITS OWN AS A NO FUSS DESSERT – This has to be the simplest dessert ever! Two ingredients and you’re all set. The perfect end to any meal, a midnight snack or an instant pick me up when you’re feeling low.
  2. WITH PANCAKES – Turn that plain savoury pancake into a mouth-watering delicacy by topping it up with chopped strawberries and molten chocolate.
  3. AS CAKE TOPPING/DECORATION – A simple decoration for a chocolate sponge cake or for a burst of flavour with your cheesecakes, you can do no wrong with strawberries and chocolate. Not only will it taste good, it will also look like a million bucks!
  4. OVER ICE CREAM – Bored with plain ice cream ? How about some fruit dipped in chocolate syrup for a scrumptious sundae. You could layer them in shot glasses and serve with a sprig of mint as garnish. Or sprinkle some toasted nuts / seeds for crunch.
  5. WITH YOUR MORNING CORNFLAKES – While this pairing may not be for everyone, it is a unique twist to your breakfast menu.

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Is there another way you use this combination in cooking? Leave a comment below and let us know.

NAIL ART 101 : ALL ABOUT DOTS

Don’t forget to read other posts in the Nail Art Series – Dressing Up Your Nails ! and Mix N Match Nails.

What do you do when you want to try out a nail art design but don’t own the right tools? You “make do” with something available at home. All you need to start is some nail polishes in the colours you love, a transparent top coat, toothpicks, duct tape and Patience!

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First pick a base colour of your choice and paint it onto you nail. Customise using dots (use toothpicks for the dots and duct tape to cordon off the parts you don’t want nail paint on) and let it dry. Finally add a clear top coat for a shiny result.

The size of the dots can be varied simply by using the pointy end of the toothpick for smaller dots and the back end for slightly larger ones. The designs you can create with just dots are endless. You could do dots in a single horizontal/vertical file, use them to create a flower or just fill your nail with arbitrarily patterned dots of different colours!

So gather your nail paints and design away!

COLACASSIA (ARBI) : FROM DRAB TO FAB

I have always treated Colacassia (Arbi) with the same amount of enthusiasm as kids do with broccoli or beans. For those who are wondering what Colacassia (Arbi) means, this will help. But I’ve found a way to make it more appetising. Here’s how you too can transform it from drab to fab in 4 steps!

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You’ll need : 250 gms Colacassia (Arbi), 2-3 tsps Rice Flour, Cooking Oil for deep frying,

2 cloves chopped Garlic, ½ tsp chopped Ginger, 1 medium chopped onion,

Dry Spices to taste (Salt, Black Pepper, Red Chilli powder, Black salt and Chaat masala),

3 tsp Coriander-Mint Chutney (Add Coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, lemon juice, ginger and salt in a grinder and Blitz), 1 tsp lemon juice and finally Scallions for garnishing.

Step 1 : Boil Colacassia (Arbi) and peel off its skin. Its sticky and difficult to work with but it shall get better. Chop into long french-fry like pieces.

Step 2 : Dust chopped Colacassia (Arbi) with a generous amount of rice flour. This will reduce stickiness and ensure a crispy exterior later. Deep fry until golden brown.

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Step 3 : In a pan, add about a tbsp of oil and sauté garlic, ginger and onion until the onion is transparent. Add in the fried Colacassia (Arbi) and dry spices. Mix well.

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Step 4 : Mix in the Coriander-Mint chutney, lemon juice and scallions. Take off the heat and serve hot.

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GUEST POST : PIZZA IN A CUP

Read the other three Guest Posts on the blog – Maggi with a Twist ! , Mini Chocolate Cheesecake and Cauliflower Fritters.

It’s almost New Year – a time to celebrate.  And no celebration is complete without delightful treats !! Speaking of treats, Pizza has always been one of my favourites. This time though, I wanted to try making Pizza from scratch. So I decided to give it a new look. I tried them for the first time and they turned out quite nice. It’s something which I’d make and eat again and again and again !

I would love to take this opportunity and share this recipe with you all. The recipe is as follows:

Pizza Cups (Makes: 7, Preparation Time: 1 hour, Cooking time: 30 minutes)

For the base

1 Cup Refined Flour

1 tsp Yeast Powder

1 tsp Sugar

1/8 cup lukewarm water

½ teaspoon Salt

1 tbsp Refined Oil

Method:

  • Take lukewarm water and add yeast powder and sugar to it. Sprinkle a little refined flour over the mixture. Set it aside for a while to activate.
  • In the meantime mix salt with your Refined Flour.
  • When the yeast rises, add it to the flour and knead it into a soft dough by adding water. Also keep adding refined oil little by little to the dough. Cover it with a moist muslin cloth and let it rest in a warm place until your dough doubles in size. Best place is to keep it in the microwave. It usually takes about 40 minutes for it to double in size.
  • Take it out and knead it again slightly and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Now, sprinkle some refined flour on a flat surface and with the help of a rolling pin roll the dough and cut in into 7 small circles. They  should be about 3-5 mm thick.

Tip: Do not use hot water for the yeast otherwise it will die and will be of no use.

For the Sauce

2 finely chopped tomatoes

1 finely chopped onion

3-4 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 deseeded green chilli finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

½ tsp sugar

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add in garlic, onion and green chilli. Sauté, until onions become soft and transparent. You can add a little salt to quicken the process.
  • Next, add in chopped tomatoes, sugar and tomato ketchup. Cook until tomatoes soften up.

For the Filling

1 chopped Tomato (Remove the centre so that you don’t have a gooey filling)

1 chopped Onion

1 chopped Capsicum

3-4 sliced Olives

Mozzarella Cheese

Method:

  • Add tomato, onion and capsicum in a bowl along with grated Mozzarella Cheese and mix well. (You can substitute this with a filling of your choice)

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For the Pizza Cups

  • Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the muffin tray. Brush it well with Olive Oil (So that the crust becomes crisp).
  • Place the dough circles as shown in the picture above.
  • With the help of a spoon spread your sauce all around the base and place the filling.
  • Top it with some more Mozzarella Cheese and Sliced Olives.
  • Place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 250 degrees centigrade and serve.

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*Drumroll* Tadaa …Care for a Pizza Slice anyone ?? Oh wait sorry. It’s a Pizza Cup 🙂

Photo Credit : Pridhi

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