Feb 27, 2014

Nan Khatai (Eggless Indian Cookies)

Another cookie recipe! Nan Khatai is a famous north Indian cookie. I have heard a lot about it but never tasted the authentic version. In a sudden fit of inspiration, I looked for a simple and easy recipe. Since I was missing pistachios, I just introduced my own twist into this cookie and I think it ended up awesome.




Ingredients

Maida or All purpose flour - 1 cup
Butter  - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom - 2 pods or Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Raisins - To garnish


Method

1. Cream butter and sugar together. I just microwaved the butter for 10 seconds and mixed sugar to the softened butter with a fork.

2. Add flour and other flavorings. Mix lightly by hand. Don't knead too much. You should get a soft, moist ball of dough, once everything is evenly mixed. Allow to rest for about 30-45 minutes.

3. With a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture, make a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Place a raisin in the middle.

4. Repeat the process and arrange the cookie discs on a greased baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 300F for 20-22 minutes.

5. Cool and serve.

The cardamom gave it a really rich, exotic flavor and I throughly enjoyed it. You could easily replace the raisins with almonds, cashew, pistachio or a few strands of saffron. You can also vary the flavor to anything you care for. Vanilla, rose flavored, chocolate.. the list is endless. I hope you enjoy these easy to make cookies!

Feb 25, 2014

Beauty Buys for Spring

I have my eye on a few different things for the long awaited spring of twenty fourteen. Here are a few of my favorite beauty items to brighten the wait.



I know everyone is all over the matte and lacquer balms from Revlon but I prefer the original colorburst balm stain. I have two colors, Romantic and Smitten and I look forward to adding a brighter pink for the spring with either Lovesick or Sweetheart.

Revlon balm stain in Sweetheart


Beautiful pastel polishes in a doll house!!
Ciaté Dolls house mini paint pot set




A personal favorite. Electro Baby Lips!
Baby Lips Electro - Pink Shock


This blush has actual rose petals in it.



Lastly, a candle I have been loving!

What do you have on your must-buy list for spring? Do share!

Feb 19, 2014

The Best Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

I love it when a recipe gives me exact and predictable results. I searched for "the best oatmeal cookie" recipe and it is in fact the best one I've had. I made a couple of miiiinor changes and reduced the amount to make a lesser number of cookies. But this is literally perfection!!



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from here)

Ingredients:

Rolled Oats - 2/3 cups
Flour - A little less than 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1/3 cup
White sugar - 1/4 cup
Raisin - 1/3 cup
Chopped walnuts - 2 tbsp
Egg - 1
Butter - 1/3 cup
Salt - a pinch
Baking soda - a pinch
Cinnamon - a pinch
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp


Method :

1. Beat an egg, add vanilla extract and the raisins and allow to soak for an hour.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture.

4. Add in the egg-raisin mixture and mix till an even stiff dough is formed.

5. Scoop out the dough in a tablespoon and flatten on a greased baking tray.

6. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.


That's it. It really is that simple. I don't have a hand mixer, so I just went in with my hand and hand-mixed the dough.
This recipe yielded 12 cookies. It's sweet, crispy and chewy in the center. I loved the juicy raisins and the crunchy walnuts which are a great way to add some texture to the cookie. The whole thing took about 30 minutes with an additional 1 hour for soaking. This will definitely be my go-to oatmeal recipe hereon. Do you have a go-to cookie recipe that you love?

Feb 16, 2014

Fresh New Bags for Spring

How much are you longing for spring? Somehow, this winter seems a lot worse than the last and I live in the west coast. I can only hope that this post brings a bit of cheer to all you east-coasters!

I have made good use of trench coat in the winter but that's the extent of my personal style in the rain. Shopping for spring is so much more fun. Let's start this year's shopping with some really beautiful handbags that I have been drooling over this last week.

Kate Spade Beacon Hill Jeanne Tote


Michael Kors JetSet Medium tote

Brahmin All Day Tote

Longchamp Large Tribu tote
Ivanka Trump Brooke Satchel

Have you set your eyes on any new bag for spring? Do share!

Feb 3, 2014

Catching up with the kitchen!

How have you been? How are you doing with your new year's resolutions? I haven't been blogging about it but I'm having fun trying out new recipes and meal planning in general. I have been pinning a number of really good recipes and instagramming them. So if you've been missing the action here, hop over there for some fun.

I tried OhMyVeggies' peanut bowl. It was SO yum.



I also tried the lime and avocado pasta that I've been seeing all over Pinterest. I didn't follow any recipe. I just mixed avocado and lime juice to taste and made a kind of pesto of it with olive oil, garlic, walnuts and dill. It was really yummy but I like super spicy stuff, so I may not be making it a lot.


I also got a new knife which I've been obsessed with. It's a pretty basic knife except that it's pink and super sharp, lol. I'm not big on pink but I love to add color to my kitchen to stand out against the sea of stainless steel, so I went ahead. You can buy it here for $12.



Do you see the lovely marble board on which it's resting? That might be my find of the year. I've been wanting to *splurge* on a marble pastry board to work roti and pizza dough. I lack a real workspace, so my solution was to put the board on the dining table and use it when I needed to knead and roll out dough. After stalking Sur la Table and Amazon for several weeks, this board popped up in the amazon warehouse section for $16. Seriously. It's brand new with no defect. The only defect being a small tear in the box it was shipped in. For $16, I will take torn packaging, thank you. In other places it retails for $50 to $100. It's the perfect size and I've already made a big batch of rotis using the board. If you don't have the chapathi stand to roll out rotis, this is a perfect alternative. Buy it here.

Lastly, I bought this pan a few months ago but I've been using it everyday, so I should write about it. I bought the Cuisinart 3 quart non stick chef's pan as a replacement for my old kadai. It's the perfect size for 2-4 people. The handles are cool touch and the pan heats food evenly. I absolutely love it and use it as a wok for my stir fried noodles and as a pan for my curries. Very versatile and total must buy. Buy it here.



I'm absolutely in love with my kitchen. I have only 4-5 pans and all of them are incredibly useful and super multi-purpose. With a small kitchen, it's imperative to keep it clutter free and this approach is working well. If you are like me and building a kitchen from scratch, what other kitchen implements have you fallen in love with and are your absolute must?