Lemon Yogurt Cake

There are a bunch of recipes on the internet for this. I’m going for a delicious, moist, AND healthy cake.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 c almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

GLAZE:

2 tbsp (approx) lemon juice
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp (approx) lemon zest

Mix well.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray your loaf pan with nonstick spray.  I used four mini loaf pans instead of one big loaf pan.
  3. In first bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In second bowl, mix sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  5. Add yogurt, oil, eggs and extract to second bowl.
  6. Fold first bowl mixture into second bowl mixture.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
  8. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
  9. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Invert onto rack; let cool completely.
  11. Add glaze topping.
  12. Enjoy!
NOTE: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Freezes well also (take finished cake, wrap in wax paper, then aluminum foil and then cling wrap – all this is to make sure the freeze smell does not get absorbed into your cake).
SUBSTITUTIONS: If you don’t have almond flour, use all purpose flour. If you don’t have lemon, use lime, or orange, or any citrus for the juice and extract. If you don’t have oil, use melted butter. If you don’t have yogurt, use sour cream or ricotta cheese.
VARIATIONS: Can add 1/2 c of fresh fruit to finished batter (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, bananas). Can also fold in some dried fruit or nuts (walnuts, almonds, dried cherries, dried cranberries). Can also change the extract used from almond to vanilla to lemon to orange to really anything you like the flavor of.
NOTE2: With substitutions and variations, bake time will have to be adjusted. So just check on the cake every so often.
NOTE3: This batter does not make good muffins, because it does not rise.
NOTE4: The glaze is optional but tastes really good 🙂
NOTE5: With the mini loaf pans (animals, traditional, Fall), you can make multiple flavors – just divide up the main batter, and to one add lime or orange flavoring, to the other add fresh strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, the other banana walnut, and the last dried cherries and almonds. The sky is the limit!

Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

From Food.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt or 8 ounces vanilla, greek yogurt

Fruit:

1/4 c flour
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sift together the 2 ¼ cups of flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 Tb. lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 Tb. of lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Dudhi Chutney

NOTE: This recipe uses up the dudhi peel from the Dudhi Halwa recipe.

The chutney can be enjoyed with rice or paratha.

INGREDIENTS:

Dudhi skin, chopped finely, from 1 whole dudhi (just over 2 c)

Vaghar:

2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
few bay leaves
pinch hing
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 2 green chilies, chopped (the long finger sized ones)

Blend with:

pea sized amount of tamarind paste
3 tbsp grated coconut
salt to taste
water (as needed to blend to proper consistency)

Directions:

  1. Do vaghar.
  2. Add chopped dudhi.
  3. Take everything and put it into blender. Blend.
  4. Enjoy!

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DUDHI: It contains many vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. It is extremely popular for weight loss. Especially dudhi juice. Dudhi is extremely popular for reducing high blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy. It is also consumed with bitter melon juice by diabetics to normalize their blood sugar levels.

 

Oven Baked Granola

From Alton Brown

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

NOTE: Enjoy with yogurt and fruit for breakfast.

NOTE2: This is quite possibly the greatest granola I have ever had in my entire life. I skipped the cashews and did everything else as directed. You can’t stop eating this. Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum!

Baked Potato Soup

I had this at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and it’s SOOOO GOOOOD!! (Score one for hospital food!)

This is my approximation of that recipe.

YIELD: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, diced (optional)
4 small gold potatoes, baked

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 c milk (optional – if can’t tolerate milk, use water)
1/2 c water

Garnish:

salt and pepper to taste (pepper is optional, don’t use if you can’t tolerate it)
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced (optional)
1/4 c cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. In skillet or omelette pan or wok, cook onion, celery, carrot and garlic over medium heat until tender. Set aside.
  2. In soup pot, add butter, let melt. Add flour, let brown. Add veggies, let sizzle. Add milk and water, let mix and thicken. Scoop out insides of three potatoes, add into soup pot. Let cook well and then let cool a little.
  3. Blend to desired consistency (optional step).
  4. Put blended soup back in soup pot. Add scooped out insides of last potato. Let cook for five minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley and cheese for garnish.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: The optional stuff is what I added in that the hospital did not. If you’re on a healthy eating plan of some sort, keep the optionals optional 🙂 If you can’t tolerate solid food, make sure you blend very well, and skip the part in step five where you add in the unblended scooped out insides of the last potato.

Kicked Up Apple Crisp

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I’m of Indian origin, and I like spices. For most American recipes, I generally double, triple or quadruple the amount of spices specified. Most people don’t, spices are expensive, and they don’t know which spice blends well with others. The below recipe is, IMHO, what a proper apple crisp should taste like. If you don’t like spices, simply omit them, or minimally use 1/2 tsp cinnamon only.

This is my original recipe. Enjoy!

Note: Always use McCormick spices for best flavors. Yes, it is worth the money, and yes, it makes a difference. If you can’t afford McCormick, just omit the spices altogether. Bad spices will really mar the flavor of your baking, and totally undermine the work you put into your meal.

This is a one dish (the pyrex brownie pan) and one bowl (for the dry ingredients) recipe. No measuring cup or anything to clean, just use a big tablespoon and a knife to cut the bIMG_20160320_164016utter. Spices are not measured either, just sprinkle evenly straight from the bottle.

Important: do not substitute other apple types for the granny smith apples. Yes, it makes a difference. Granny smith apples are preferred in baking because they don’t get mushy when you bake them. See picture of the apples at right, fork cut after baking:

Also, granny smith apples are tart, so if you sub in something else, the sugar content will have to be adjusted. I like the blend of sweet and sour and spicy the granny smith apples provide. It makes the dessert feel less sweet (and easier to finish a whole pan by yourself!)

Yield: One 8×8 brownie pan full.

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Ingredients:

FILLING:

2 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp ginger, ground
1/2 tsp allspice, ground
1/4 tsp clove, ground
1/4 stick butter, softened
1/4 tsp lemon juice (fresh!)

TOPPING:

4 big tablespoons all purpose flour
6 big tablespoons quaker oats
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line up sliced apples in bottom of pyrex pan. One layer is sufficient. Eat any extras. You will generally use 1.5 large granny smith apples for the one layer, or 2 small granny smith apples.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over the apples.
  3. Sprinkle spices over the apples.
  4. Dot butter over the apples.
  5. It should look like this:IMG_20160320_155744
  6. Now mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands and smush it all together. When it is all mixed well, and there isn’t any loose flour or oatmeal wandering around, you are done. It should look like this (you can see the tablespoon I used to measure the flour and oatmeal in the picture too):IMG_20160320_155751
  7. Now lay the flour mixture over the apples in the pan in a nice even layer. It won’t be perfect. It doesn’t matter. In the oven, it’ll mix and ooze deliciously regardless. It looks like this before you put it in the oven:IMG_20160320_160038
  8. Bake 375 F for 25 min. It will ooze and bubble deliciously.
  9. Enjoy hot out of the oven. Tastes great covered with whipping cream (liquid or whipped), ice cream, or yogurt, drizzled with caramel sauce.
  10. Enjoy!

This dessert is super fast and super easy, it takes 15 minutes to put together.

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Bake it just as you and your family are sitting down to dinner, and by the time you finish, a nice hot dessert will be ready for you!

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I love serving this to guests and to family for the holidays, or bringing it to a potluck. If you omit the spices, the apple crisp still tastes good, and becomes a very economical option for gifting. Yum yum yum! Enjoy!

Knox Strawberry Jam (small batch)

Yield: 2 cups

Fresh ‘N Easy Berry Jam

INGREDIENTS:

1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1/2 cup water
2 c chopped strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice OR juice of 1/2 lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons raspberry or orange liqueur (Chambord or Grand Marnier)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In large saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatine over water; let stand 1 minute.
  2. Stir over low heat until gelatine is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally and crushing berries slightly, 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in liqueur.
  6. Spoon into jars; cool slightly before refrigerating.
  7. Chill until set. Makes about 2 cups jam.

NOTE: This turned out really well. Keep in mind that it’s a really solid jam.