Preparing meals for kids during summer months is always a challenge. Making sure that summertime snacks are cooling, nutritious and fun for kids, can put the most creative cook to the test.
Here are a few summer vacation kiddy treats to help make things easier in the kitchen.
(For the Spread) 1 ½ to 2 cups minced cooked chicken Ό to 1/3 cup mayonnaise salt and pepper, to taste red chili powder, garlic, onion powder, your choice, to taste 2 slices bread (brown or multi-grain)
Preparation Combine ingredients for the spread in a blender or mixing bowl until well blended Toast the slices of bread in a toaster or pan Smear the spread with a butter knife over the toasted slices & serve
Variations: Add 1/2 cup minced celery and 1 tablespoon minced onion Add 1/2 cup crisp crumbled bacon Smear the spread onto slices of toasted bagels instead of bread
YOGURT FRUIT DIP
Ingredients 1 cup yogurt 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon sliced fresh fruit (use seasonal fruit like mango, grapes, apples, pears etc.) ½ vanilla essence
Preparation Combine yogurt and cinnamon and vanilla essence in a bowl. Mix well; chill for at least 1 hour. Ladle the dip generously over fresh fruit wedges and serve chilled.
Tip: Avoid using water melon for this recipe.
1 cup mango, peeled and diced 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt 1/2 cup crushed ice 1/2 cup milk (optional)
Preparation Place mango, yogurt along with the ice in a blender or food processor and blend or process. If too thick, add a little milk. This makes 2 servings of the yummy smoothie.
This is the perfect weather for hosting a relaxed tea party at home. But if you are losing sleep over what snacks to whiff up for your evening of relaxed chatter, we have got help. Here are two healthy and delicious snacks recipes that will make your party a hit.
SOYA DATE COOKIES These calorie-free cookies work well as tea time snacks. Made with healthy ingredients like soya flour that help in decreasing the bad cholesterol and dates that act as sugar substitute, these cookies are absolutely healthy and safe to binge on.
Ingredients For the date puree Ό cup dates deseeded
For the dough Ό cup soya flour Ό cup whole wheat flour Ό cup low fat butter 2 tbsp brown sugar
Method For the date puree 1. Chop the dates into small pieces and add ½ cup of water. 2. Bring to boil in a non-stick pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes, till the dates are fully mashed into a puree. 3. Cool and keep aside.
For the dough 1. Combine the whole wheat flour, butter and sugar in a bowl using your fingertips till the mixture resembles bread crumbs. 2. Add the cooled date puree and knead it to get well formed dough. 3. Cover with a plastic film and refrigerate for 15 minutes. 4. Roll out into a sheet of 6mm (Ό) thickness and cut out cookies approx 1½ in diameter using a cookie cutter. 5. Re-roll the scraps of dough to make more cookies and place them on the baking tray. 6. Line the cookie sheet with greased proof paper. 7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180c for 25 minutes or till the cookies are golden brown.
This snack is ideal to cook when you are going to have guests over who are diet conscious. It is a good source of fiber, protein and is extremely quick to prepare.
Ingredients 1 cup Bean sprouts 1 cup cucumber (Diced) 1 cup Tomatoes (Diced) 1 cup Onions (Diced) 1 cup lettuce (Diced) 4 Full Pita Bread (Whole Wheat)
For dressing 1 cup Yoghurt beaten 2 green chillies ½ bunch coriander fresh. 2-3 cloves garlic.
Method 1. Grind chillies, coriander and garlic into a paste and add salt to taste. 2. Mix this paste into beaten yoghurt. 3. Cut Pita bread into 2 halves. Open Pita pockets and fill it with all vegetables and add 4 table spoons of dressing. Serve fresh.
You can add hummus' to the inside of pita pockets and then add veggies as above.
For preparing hummus Grind one 3 cups of boiled chickpeas + 1 cup tahini+ 3 dried red chillies+3 garlic flakes into a smooth paste. That's it, you are done. You can also serve hummus separately in a bowl with Pita bread.
Monsoon is the time when corn floods the market and is consumed in a variety of forms from boiled to roasted and as a curry. The fresh and naturally sweet taste of corn is so enticing that it is best not to add any artificial flavours to it. Just adding butter and salt can make corn tastier. The demand escalates during monsoons as a cup of hot and fresh corn makes one happy. To enable you to feel that happiness too, here are few corn snack recipes which you can whip up and munch on while gazing at the rains. Corn Timbales
Ingredients 2 stalks fresh corn 3 beaten eggs 1 cup skimmed milk 1 cup fresh bread crumbs ½ cup minced onion ½ cup chopped capsicum 1 tsp sugar ½ cup grated cheese ½ tsp baking powder 2 teaspoons butter Salt, pepper, mustard to taste
Method 1. Saute onions in oil till light brown; add capsicums and stir till soft. Add in corn and cook for 5 mins, remove from fire. 2. Mix the eggs, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar, bread crumbs, baking powder and warm milk together. Add these to the corn mixture and stir in the cheese. 3. Pour into greased moulds or muffin pans and bake in a moderately hot oven for 30 minutes. 4. Top each timbale with a pineapple bit or tomato slice and serve on a bed of shredded lettuce.
Ingredients 2 stalks Fresh corn 30 Gram flour 2 tsp Ginger-chilli paste 1 tsp Turmeric powder 1 tsp ajwain a pinch Baking soda Salt to taste
For tadka 2 tsp oil ½ tsp Mustard seeds A pinch Asafoetida 5-6 Curry leaves 2 tsp Coriander
Method 1. Grind all corn seeds in to a paste in a mixer; the paste should not be very fine. 2. Take this paste of corn in a big bowl; add 2 cups of gram flour and 1 cup of sour curd. 3. Mix it well and keep it aside for 2 hours for fermentation. 4. After 2- 2 ½ hrs, take the mixture, add ginger chilli paste, salt to taste, ajwain powder, turmeric and water as per need to make it of a consistency of dhokla batter. 5. In the end add baking soda and mix it thoroughly. 6. Pour this mixture in a pre greased pan. 7. Keep this pan in microwave high for 7 minutes. 8. After five minutes of removing it from microwave cut it into square pieces with a knife.
For tadka For tadka heat oil in a pan, when heated add mustard, and curry leaves and asafetida (hing) in to it. Pour this tadka on the already cut dhokla. Serve hot, garnished with coriander and grated coconut.
So youre throwing a party and youve run the gamut of ideas on what you can serve. Well, heres a fun thought. Why not give your get-togethers a Mexican touch? Treat your guests to these delicious recipes along with some Mariachi music and youll have yourself a swinging Mexican fiesta.
½ cup vegetable oil ½ cup lime juice 1 cup tequila Ό cup tomato paste 2 garlic cloves; minced 1 whole jalapeno pepper ½ tsp salt ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp cumin Ύ kg chicken breasts 10 flour tortillas 3 tbsp vegetable oil 1 large bell pepper; cut into strips 1 large onion; cut into strips 1 large tomato; cut into chunks
In a glass bowl or baking dish, combine ½ cup oil, lime juice, tequila, tomato paste, garlic, jalapeno, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Mix well. Add chicken, cover, and marinate in refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes while preparing fajitas. Remove chicken from marinade. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp oil. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is done. Add bell pepper and onion and cook for 3 minutes more along with tomatoes, just until vegetables are crisp and tender. Serve with tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and grated cheese.
Place the 1 cup sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and caramelize over medium heat. At first, swirl the pan over the heat, but do not stir (this will cause it to clump). After about 8 minutes, when the sugar has begun to liquefy, stir with a heavy spoon. When the caramel turns light brown, quickly pour into a high-sided metal flan mold. Tip pan so caramel coats the bottom and top sides of mold. Work fast; caramel hardens quickly.
Using a whisk, beat together the egg yolks, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla. Mixture should be well-blended but not frothy. Pour into the caramelized mold. Cover with the flan mold lid and secure with clips (this prevents the top from overcooking). Place the mold in a larger pan (such as a roasting pan) and pour in about 1½ inches of hot water.
Place on the bottom rack of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 65 minutes. After 55 minutes, open the oven door and test the flan by inserting the thinnest knife you own into the middle of the flan. Do not go all the way to the bottom. If large curds cling to the knife, the flan is not yet done. Give it about 10 minutes longer. If just a film of custard clings to the knife, the flan is done. When you jiggle the mold, the custard should shimmer in the middle but look cooked around the edges.
Remove from oven and cool mold on a rack. The flan will continue to cook for about an hour after being removed from the oven. During this time, it will set up. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before unmolding.
Unmolding Run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the flan. Move the pan from side to side to see if the flan is slipping and free from the edges of the pan. Place a flat serving platter with a raised rim on top of the mold. Holding the platter and mold together, tightly, flip them over. The flan should slip easily onto the platter, along with most of the caramel sauce. Use a spoon to remove more caramel and spoon it around the custard. The bottom of the pan will have a hard layer of caramel still on it.
Serve Cut flan into wedges, spooning caramel sauce over each slice.
When the entire family gets together to watch a DVD at home, nothing makes the experience more fun than the right movie snacks! Everyone makes pop corn but you can make movie night special for your family by trying these offbeat, delicious snacks that go well with any movie!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 1 gallon popped popcorn 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Instructions: In a small bowl, mix together butter, crushed red pepper, cumin and paprika. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the butter mixture and Cheddar cheese. Toss until well mixed.
Mini Burgers On Bread
Note: Although this recipe contains beef, you can make burgers even with potato to get a tasty vegetarian version! The patties can also be chicken if you dont eat beef.
Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef Salt and pepper to taste 4 slices of bread 6 leaves lettuce 12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced Ketchup Mustard to taste
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Arrange the bread slices on a baking tin. Place in the preheated oven and bake until lightly toasted, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Season the ground beef with salt and mix lightly. Form tablespoonfuls of dough into mini burger patties. Season the patties with a little salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until browned and well done. Place bread slices on a large serving tray, and top each one with a piece of lettuce. Then place a mini burger on each one, and top with tomato slices. Apply ketchup and mustard before serving, or allow your guests to dress their own burgers.
Quick Fruit Salad
Ingredients: Fresh strawberries, sliced Seedless green grapes, halved 3 bananas, peeled and sliced 1 bowl curd
Instructions: In a large bowl, toss together strawberries, grapes, bananas, and curd. You can also use flavored curd for added zing. Serve immediately.
Mastering the art of making pies is probably the most admired cooking accomplishment for any cook. The best part is that pies arent difficult to master at all. Here are some recipes for the best of dessert and savoury pies Coconut Cream pie, the perfect alternative to cake, and Mince Pie, a complete one-dish meal all by itself.
Coconut Cream Pie Ingredients
1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups milk 4 eggs 3 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup flaked coconut 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt over medium heat; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the egg yolks slightly. Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and bring the entire mixture to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes before removing the pan from heat.
Stir butter, vanilla, and coconut into the hot mixture. Pour the hot filling into the baked pie crust. Cool. Cover and chill to store the pie if not serving immediately.
Mince Pie Ingredients
8 oz butter, softened 1 lb all purpose flour 2 oz icing sugar 2 egg yolks 1 lb mincemeat An ounce or two of brandy or rum (optional) Beaten egg, to glaze Bun tins to make 30 pies
Cut the butter into cubes. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar. Make a well in the centre; stir in the egg yolks and about 3-4 tbsp iced water to make soft but not sticky dough. Knead lightly to form smooth dough (if there is time, chill for 30 minutes). Preheat oven to about 400F.
On a floured surface, roll out two thirds of the dough and cut out 30 rounds using a 2-½ inch fluted cutter. Use to line the bun tins. Fill with mincemeat. Re-roll remaining pastry and trimmings and cut out circles using a 2 inch cutter.
Dampen the edges of the circle and place on pies. Seal edges, brush tops with beaten egg and cook for 20 minutes.