Cook's Hideout: December 2011

December 30, 2011

Kid's Delight-Deceptively Delicious Roundup

First and foremost, big Thank you to Valli for giving me the opportunity to host Kid's Delight event. Thank you to all of you for sending in 'deceptively delicious' entries. Finally my apologies for delaying the round up for this long.

I asked all of you to send me dishes that are "deceptively delicious", so the kids are happy that they are eating something yummy and the moms are happy that they fed them something delicious. I received a total of 45 entries and I've almost all of them bookmarked to try very soon. I loved the way how some of the everyday dishes have been cleverly interpreted to make them more appealing to kids. Without further ado, here's the list of entries:

December 29, 2011

Split Level Pudding

It's the final day of the Blogging marathon and I had so much fun making and eating all these yummy Holiday/ Weekend special dishes. I wanted to make something sweet for the last day with the whole milk and cream I had in the refrigerator. I had rice pudding in mind, but didn't think that I had enough time to make it on a weeknight. 

When I saw this Split level pudding recipe in Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From my kitchen to yours", I decided to give it a try. Also my son has been pestering me to make pudding for a while, so went ahead and made it yesterday night.

December 28, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Sambar

For a lot of South Indians Sambar does not fall under holiday special dishes. But for me this sambar with freshly ground masala (spice) paste makes for a comforting weekend meal. I usually make sambar with sambar powder (store-bought or homemade), but when I have time or have company coming over, I take the time to make the masala myself.

Recipe I use is from Chandra Padmanabhan’s Dakshin cookbook.

December 27, 2011

Creamy Mixed Vegetable Curry with Nutty Rice Pilaf

This holiday season has been extremely busy for us with parties everywhere, at home and at work. The theme for one of the office parties was organic & vegetarian. I jumped up with excitement and decided to make this curry and rice dish. 

I thought of adding paneer, but wasn't sure if my co-workers would like the texture, so kept it simple with mixed vegetables. For the rice dish, I wanted to make something that wasn't too spicy and I found this nutty pilaf recipe in Raghavan Iyer's "660 Curries". This rice is a keeper and goes well with any spicy side dish. Both the dishes were a hot at the office holiday party.

December 26, 2011

Nutella & Strawberry Jam Bread Pudding

Today is the day after Christmas, last day of our 3 day long weekend and I woke up really late this morning. If it was like any other weekend I would have skipped breakfast and went straight to lunch, but as I said it is the last day of our 3 day looong weekend and I wanted to make something special for breakfast.

I had this bread pudding in my mind, but I wanted to make it without the croissants and make it (very very) little healthy. I had whole grain white bread on hand and I used this recipe with nutella and strawberry jam to make the bread pudding. 

December 25, 2011

Tiramisu Cake

Here's Wishing everyone a Very Happy Christmas.

Hope everyone had a fun holiday with lots of good food and got to spend time with family and friends. Talking about good food, I made this delicious Tiramisu cake from scratch for my cousin who happens to love Tiramisu. For a change I wanted to use a cake as the base instead of lady fingers. I made a vanilla yellow cake from the recipe here and used half of it to make a 8" round cake. I split the cake in half and layered it with mascarpone filling and chilled it until ready to serve.

You can use store bought yellow cake mix instead of making your own. Just follow the package instructions to make the cake. Make a note that this recipe uses only half the cake mix, so adapt the recipe accordingly.


December 24, 2011

Lentil Salad with Cranberries & Walnuts

After hogging on these yummy cookies, I think it's time for something healthy, yet festive and delicious. This brown lentil salad is very easy to make and will make a great item for a holiday menu or even for potlucks. You can adapt the recipe and add nuts or cheese (feta would be excellent) to make it even more holiday worthy.

The recipe is slightly sweet and tart with the agave & dried cranberries and crunchy with the toasted walnuts. Dish can be served at room temperature or chilled, which is perfect for a make ahead menu.

December 23, 2011

Nutella Cookies, Scottish Shortbread Cookies & Mexican Wedding Cookies

I'm back for the 11th edition of Blogging Marathon. I can't believe another year has almost come to an end and kudos to Valli for taking time and organizing these BMs. With the holiday season right upon us, I chose  "Holiday Specials" theme for the marathon. So for the next 7 days, I will posting some dishes made for holidays or made on holidays (including weekends).

This is my 500th Post and I'm celebrating with some homemade cookies.


I made cookies for this years's holiday gift-giving. I tend to stay away from cookies that require rolling & cutting and prefer slicing and baking cookies (psst.. if you really want to know why..... 'cos I'm a little lazy). So when I saw these slice & bake icebox cookies in Vegetarian Times magazine, I decided to give them a try and glad I did as they were easy to make and turned out pretty good.

December 19, 2011

Oriental Curd Rice (rice with yogurt)

This is a special post for our blogging buddy PJ who is expecting her second child in a couple of weeks. Our ever enthusiastic blogging marathon group thought of having a virtual baby shower for PJ and all of us have cooked up a dish from her blog to celebrate this event. 

PJ's space has a ton of awesome recipes and I had a lot of them bookmarked. I also chose a couple of dishes that I wanted to make for this celebration, but as usual time just flew out of my hands and I finally decided to make this very interesting and unique Oriental curd rice. I changed the recipe a little bit to suit our tastes.

December 12, 2011

Pancakes with Sweet Potatoes

I've been thinking on what to make for Kid's Delight-Deceptively Delicious event going on in my blog. My 4 year old used to be very flexible and would eat everything that I gave him, but nowadays he's become a little picky and unpredictable which is why I try to add healthy ingredients to foods that he enjoys and wouldn't notice the "other" stuff that's in it.

He loves pancakes for breakfast, so I sneaked in some sweet potato puree into the yeasted pancake batter that i was making this weekend to boost their nutrition and they turned out delicious too. I used vegan butter and egg replacement powder to make these vegan, but feel free to substitute with butter & egg for a non-vegan version. 


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