Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sahana's 8 month Rudolf cupcake

Sahana is 8 months old today--oh how time flies! She is crawling now and can stand on her own by holding onto support. She is a super sweet firecracker! Well let me not start on about her or i'll never stop. I have made a cake for her for every month. Today, after work I was really tired and didn't have the energy or the time to do anything ellaborate (Sahana was crawling up my leg as I was making this). Plus I really didn't want to eat cake or for that matter anything that would hinder my efforts at losing these last few baby pounds. So i ended up
using a box yellow cake mix and since I didn't want to make or eat a dozen cupcakes, I took only 1/3 of the mix and adjusted all other pacakge ingredients accordingly. I added in some mashed bananas and chopped walnuts and baked them in my super awesome silcone cupcake tray for 20 minutes. I was planning on making the number 8, but slowly i just got caught up in the festive spirit and ended up making rudolf! After cooling the cupcakes I spread some nutella on top of the cupcakes, joined two of them together and then added the cherry nose and M&M eyes and buttons. I needed pretzels for the antlers but since i didn't have any, I stuck in some egg noodles. Isn't this cute? Happy holidays everyone. I head out to my sister's place on Christmas and will see you back here in the new year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chicken Mole

Every girl needs that one great friend who she can talk to anytime about anything and everything- one person to share the good and the bad with. That friend for me is Sonia. We went to grad school together and were house mates. Oh! What a ball we had in those days. Over time we saw each other get married, get our PhDs, have kids etc and we have remained great friends. Since i've moved to Seattle I miss Sonia the most. We often talk on the phone and through emails and it feels like i still live next door. Can't wait to meet her next year and especially have her meet my daughter for the first time. Well, she is a GREAT cook. Parties (and there were many) at her place entail lots and lots of great food. Today she sent me a recipe. She said she mixed a number of diffrent recipes to make her own chciken mole. The fact that she sent me this recipe means, it has to be really good. She is scared that if my readers don't like it she will be blamed for it. Knowing Sonia, if this recipe doesn't taste good to you, chances are you messed up!  Simply put Mole sauce as i knew it was a mexican sauce with chocolate in it but wikipedia enlightened me a little bit more here. I still haven't made this but definitely plan to this weekend. I'll add my pics soon in here as well. I just wanted to post this right away. Thanks a ton my sweet Sonia. I had hit a dry spell here on my blog, you got me rolling again. Enjoy everybody!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

2 boneless chicken breasts
one small onion-chopped fine
one bunch green onions-chopped
11/2 diced tomatoes
1cup tomato puree
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tblsp peanut butter
1tsp cumin powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp pepper powder
2tsp red chilli powder or paprika
3-4 cloves
4-5 sliced green chillies
1 ½ squares of semi-sweet baker`s chocolate - crushed
4tblsp oil
½ cup chicken broth
1tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Clean and cut chicken breasts into small pieces.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper
2. Heat 2 tblsp oil in a pan. Braise chicken pieces on high heat till just done.  Keep aside.
3. In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil.  Add chopped onion and green onion.  Fry for sometime.  Add chopped garlic and fry for a minute.
4. Add chopped tomato and all the dry spices and cook till tomatoes have dissolved.  Add peanut butter and chicken broth to obtain a gravy consistency.
5. Now add the crushed chocolate pieces and blend in well. Stir gently but continuously to prevent chocolate from sticking to the pan.
6. Add tomato puree and salt. Let mole cook for 5 minutes (with continuous stirring). Check taste and sprinkle lemon juice if necessary.
7. Add chicken pieces, mix well and transfer all the contents to a baking dish.
8. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350°F.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.  Serve spooned atop white rice.