Ria's Collection

Monday, July 11, 2016


Hot Fudge Sauce
It's been really really hot outside today. So naturally,it's a day when I feel like eating something really cold, like an ice cream. These days, Ian gives me a list of things he would like to eat once he back from his Montessori. Chocolate ice cream, Fish Fry & Homemade Pizza tops the list. That reminds me, I need to thaw the fish for our Fish Fry, Yogurt & Rice dinner tonight!

Hot Fudge Sauce
I made some Hot Fudge Sauce yesterday to pour over our ice cream and Ian has fallen for it completely. This has been my go to homemade chocolate sauce recipe for years now. It's a fool proof recipe and can be made in no time at all and lasts for a good time in the fridge. When Kemp's asked me if we would like to try some ice cream from their 40 different flavours, I jumped in at that opportunity.  I mean, it is so hot outside now and who wouldn't like to enjoy some ice cream drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce? That too, when it's a brand that I've enjoyed over the years!
Hot Fudge Sauce
I decided to try the Caramel Cow Track and Caramel Fudge Cow Tracks because I am all about caramel right now and I was really sure Ian would enjoy the Caramel Fudge Cow Tracks and I wasn't wrong! He calls it the chocolate ice cream and when I drizzled the Hot Fudge Sauce over it, it made the whole thing extra decadent!
Hot Fudge Sauce
This recipe is from Kamran,a good source for awesome recipes! I just cannot wait to use up this sauce and create homemade sundae's for my little family! Summer is the best season even if it's scorching hot outside right now.

Hot Fudge Sauce Makes about 1 cup

100 grams good quality dark chocolate,chopped small
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup golden syrup /light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Method: Melt the chocolate and cocoa powder together over a double boiler or using a microwave oven. Stir well. Add the golden syrup followed by heavy cream and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Bottle it up and use as needed!

Friday, July 8, 2016


Turkey Sheek Kebabs
Finally,I am free! I am done with school and my internship which can only mean ONE thing... that I've been catching up on my sleep ever since! It was really crazy here for the last one year and it intensified ever since I started my internship. There was zero personal time, no family time,no nothing. It was all about getting out of the house in time,even if that meant waking up at 3.30 am even on weekends! We are slowly getting our life back together now and it will come into a full circle once Jobin gets back home from India. As of now, it's just Ian and myself enjoying the big,much needed break.
Turkey Sheek Kebabs
Everytime I've made Sheek Kebabs before, I've used chicken. This time, I wanted to try it with Turkey. Turkey meat is a lean and inexpensive protein.The dark meat is juicy and succulent. If you are planning to grind the meat yourself,buy the dark meat. If not, just use whatever your grocery store has to offer. One thing that I really liked about using Turkey meat is that it really absorbs all the flavour that we add to it. When I first tried it at Jobin's friend's house,I wasn't really sure if I would like it or not and this was 6 years ago. I was proved so wrong because I honestly couldn't taste anything  'weird' like I thought,instead it was a nice,tasty and juicy affair.
Turkey Sheek Kebabs
This Kebab is a cinch to make,like most other Kebab recipes. I found this recipe online and changed it a bit to suit to our taste.I have linked to the original recipe and noted the changes in the recipe below.I felt there was a lot of heat in the original and since it's just me and Ian, I decided to keep it mild and simple for the boy.
Turkey Sheek Kebabs

Turkey Sheek Kebabs Makes 12

For the Kebabs:
1 lb ground turkey meat
1/3 cup minced red onions
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon storebought Sheek Kebab Masala
1 1/2 teaspoons grated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon red chili powder / cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lime
1 egg,beaten lightly
Breadcrumbs from 2 white bread slices

For the chutney:
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt
1 serrano chili
a handful of cilantro leaves

Kebabs: Mix all the ingredients together and marinate it for 4-5 hours in the fridge. Form them into long cylinders over wooden skewers (previously soaked in water) with wet hands. Grill over medium high heat turning occasionally till it is completely cooked, 7-8 minutes.

Chutney: Blitz everything together in a blender and serve it along with Kebabs.

I am so in love with these Kebabs. They are very moist and succulent with a hint of heat from the cayenne and tons of flavour from the other ingredients. This is the grilling season and I do it both indoors and outdoor depending on my mood and how hot it is outside. This works well for both and all you need to do is just be patient and wait for it to cook at the bottom before you turn them over. Ground meat is delicate,so be gentle!

You can visit the Serve Turkey page for more information about Turkey!


Saturday, June 25, 2016


Valley Fair
Our life right now is so busy that there are days when Jobin & myself don't see each other for more than a minute and I am not exaggerating.  We don't have anytime for get togethers, meetups, day outs...nothing. It's mostly my schedule at Hyatt. Jobin has a pretty 9-5 job where as mine is so not like that! I am not even home over the weekends. In between all this, Jobin is studying and he travels to New York for his school and there has been many official India trips for him this year. Finally, among this crazy schedule, we took some time off on Fathers Day to pay a visit to the Valleyfair.
Valley Fair
Whilst we were there, we attended a 'Hotdish & Hops' food event. Basically,there were many stalls sampling different types of Hotdish (a.k.a Casserole) & beer. We decided to go for it and tasted some of them.There was a live band perfoming while the event was on. It was very hot that day and Ian wanted to go for a train ride that he had been eyeing ever since we entered the fair grounds. I should say that train ride was a calming one. We just sat down and enjoyed the hot yet fairly cool breeze while the train took us around the whole fair (and tunnels, much to Ian's excitement!).
Valley Fair
We came back home sweaty and sticky,something that I have rarely experienced here but very happy that we could spend some quality time together as a family! I hope we get more such days together before our Summer is over,which is usually very short! If you live in Minnesota and would like to make a trip to the Valleyfair, here's the link to the various events happening this Summer & Fall.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Birthday Cakes
Hello June! I hope you are going to be as kind as May was to us. May literally flew by for us.  We both celebrate our birthday's in May,literally at the beginning and at the end so it's a busy month planning what to gift each other and what cake (s) to bake for each other. Our schedules have been so crazy that there have been days where I don't see Jobin at all! Sometimes I feel I need the time to stop moving by so fast because there's a little boy in our lives who is growing up at lightning speed! His vocabulary has increased so much now and he talks ALL the time! Jobin thinks he has taken after his mother when it comes to talking! ;-) I think so too!
Birthday Cakes
Jobin had two cakes for his birthday this year. His most favourite Lamingtons,which is slowly becoming 'our' favourite and another super soft,delicious Lemon Cake with Mascapone & Lemon Curd filling. That cake turned out super awesome! This month, our dear fridge had no space for anything else other than cakes and desserts. We are not complaining one bit,okay? :-)

It was my birthday yesterday and as always, Jobin & Ian baked the most delicious cake for me! It was so soft that it fell off of the fork! Ian was super excited this time as he loves spending time in the kitchen,especially when it involves chocolate. The little spatula that he is using to stir, is his own. He's got two of those!It was my Golden Birthday, as well. For some reason, I did not want a cake this year which kind of put Jobin into a sad mood.He's been baking all my birthday cakes for all these years,so he was really excited for this year too! Finally, I gave in around 7.30 pm (on May 30th - which happens to be my parent's wedding anniversary!!)when he was watching a Suresh Gopi movie on T.V. I told him I needed a cake and I decided that to be a chocolate cake since that's Ian's most favourite flavour in cakes. Jobin loves Suresh Gopi's movies and likes the entire house to be pin drop silent when he watches any movie.So I was literally laughing in my head when I gave him the green signal for the cake. In return, he was offered some Kerala Porotta's & my Amma's special Kozhi curry for dinner that night! ;-)

Birthday Cakes
This small tradition that we built for ourselves, is something that I look forward to every year. There's something really special and magical about having your birthday cake baked by your beloved!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Iam a big fan of tea sandwiches,be it vegetarian or non vegetarian. Amma used to make them a lot when we were young and it was something that we always took with us for long distance trips. This particular sandwich is not something that I ate as a kid, it was a different one made with eggs. This tea sandwich was something I ate during my teens and I still enjoy eating them. Jobin loves this filling,so does Ian. So, every now and then, this sandwich makes an appearance on our table.
Recently, Pepperidge Farm® contacted me asking if I could review some of their new line of breads - Pepperidge Farm Harvest Blend Breads. I really love their products,especially Milano cookies. Back in 2009, I even tried making those Milano cookies at home, a vegan version. They were good but not as thin and crispy as the original ones. They sent me a big box with 3 loaves of bread, Seeded, Ancient Grains & Sprouted.I chose the Seeded Bread for this sandwich because the seeded bread was a nice contrast to the super creamy filling. The bread was filled with goodness which you can taste in every bite.

This filling  for the sandwich is pretty much made with pantry staples. Some homemade mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs, carrots,cabbage and bread is all that you need! Here's how you make it!
Amma's recipe

8-10 slices of  Pepperidge Farm Seeded Bread
1/2 - 3/4  cup Homemade Mayonnaise
2 Perfectly Hard Boiled Eggs
1 cup of grated carrots
1 cup of grated green cabbage
Salt & Pepper

Method: Chop the hard boiled eggs into a rough dice and mix it along with mayonnaise, carrots & cabbage. Season to taste and spread the mixture over the bread slices. I used two slices per sandwich. Trim the sides and cut each of them into 4 small triangles. Arrange them onto a platter and serve chilled.

These breads can be found at your Midwest local grocers!
This post is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm® and all opinions are my own. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Homemade Ghee
Amma rarely bought Ghee at home. It was always a big ongoing task of collecting paada for making ghee at home. Daisy mummy is the queen amongst the twins. Their cow produces the fattiest milk that I have ever seen. So, she makes a lot of Ghee from it and sends it to Amma when she runs out of Neyy. We buy packet milk at home,which does not have a lot of fat in it. So Amma skims the fat that collects on top of boiled and cooled milk as well as yogurt. Everything goes into a cute little stainless steel container that's kept in the fridge forever. When that's filled to the brim, it's Neyy making day at home. A very fragrant day,that is!

When I was little, I would get so tempted to taste fresh ghee as it would fill our home with it's aroma. However, the crud that settles on the bottom,to me is very tasteless. Valsamma aunty would make a delicious laddu using that milk solids that gets separated during the ghee making process .
Homemade Ghee
When I first moved here, I was really at loss as to how to make Ghee at home! We would buy a big container of yogurt which never really had fat floating over it.Milk was always in a big plastic jug and if I end up boiling and cooling the milk, it never gets over. Finally, with a heavy heart, I decided to buy Ghee from stores. I never really liked them. They all have that lovely yellow colour and that's pretty much it. It never tasted or smelt like the Neyy Amma made.
Homemade Ghee
Jobin's sister is my Ghee supplier but when I ran out of her supply, I was hesitant to buy more bottles.So, I decided to make my own from unsalted butter, like many of you do here. It's so simple and the whole process is magical,atleast to me.It's also very economical. I really don't understand why are we spending so much for a little bottle of Ghee. Even if you were to make them from organic,grass fed cow's butter,it's much economical to make it home and it only takes about 20 - 25  minutes!

Homemade Ghee
Unsalted butter

Method: In a tall heavy saucepan / pot,melt the butter on medium high  medium* heat. It will start to splutter and make some noise. When the noise stops (approximately 20-25 minutes), the Ghee is ready. You will see a thin layer of foam on top, gently push it aside and take a spoonful of the liquid beneath it. It will be golden yellow. Do not disturb the brown bits at the bottom. Keep it off the heat and after 15-20 minutes,strain it through a fine mesh sieve into clean bottles.

* Update (27 April 2016): Sminu, a blog reader of mine made Ghee using the above method and mentioned that it got burnt when she cooked in the time frame I mentioned. After many back and forth messages, we were able to figure out what went wrong.

She used 2 sticks of butter. I normally use 8 sticks (2 lbs) since we go through a lot of ghee at home. She mentioned her melted butter stopped spluttering at 10 minutes but she continued cooking because I mentioned 20-25 minutes. She used medium-high heat and her biggest burner.

I would suggest that you go by the look  and smell of your product. Just like ovens, our stoves can vary a little bit. We both used electric stove. If this is your first time making it, use medium heat or even low,if you have the patience. Stop when the melted butter stops spluttering. There will be a foam on top, gently push it aside and see the colour of the ghee and the sediments. The ghee should be golden yellow and sediments a golden brown. Use your gut feeling. Timings might vary a bit.The amount of butter you use, will also lengthen / shorten the process.

So the next time you are thinking about buying some, just melt some butter and make Ghee at home. All it requires is the time that you are getting ready to go to the store! Save a trip and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your entire home!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...