Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Snack of India: Pakora

This is a snack I was introduced to during one of my friends and I's bollywood movie nights.  It's a south-Asian recipe that takes your favorite vegetables, dips them in a flavor-filled chickpea mixture, and fries them in oil.  It's similar to what we know as fritters, or Japanese tempura.  Perfect as an easy and healthy way to satisfy the munchies.

Pakora isn't pretty, but man is it GOOD!

I make them using non-standard veggies like broccoli and green beans.  Other options are things like potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, get the idea.  Anything goes!

You'll Need:

- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- dill
- ground cumin or ground coriander
- (optional) paprika 
- salt & pepper
- water

To Start:

- Mix all ingredients (spices are according to taste, but I use about a tbsp of the dill and cumin) except for the water.
- Slowly add the water while mixing until you get a mixture that is between pancake batter and hummus.  Ideally you want the mixture to stick, but without dripping too much when you roll your veggies into it.

- Should look something a little 'runnier' than this:

- Fill a pot of olive oil to about 1/4 an inch and heat on med-high (may have to play with settings for this - you don't want it to start spitting oil out - turn down if it starts popping oil).  
- Take a veggie, dip and coat it in the batter, and add it to the oil - try to get the pot evenly filled with each batch, but not crowded.
- When the veggie starts to get golden-brown on the underside, flip the veggie over in the pot to fry the other side.
- When done, place on a plate with a paper towel to cool.  Note: Always keep some veggies in the pot frying - don't take all veggies out at once/allow the pot to be empty or else it will likely make the oil start spitting.
- Once all veggies are fried (or batter runs out), pop in a bollywood movie and snack away!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

I saw this project awhile ago on pinterest and pinned it to use as a quick and inexpensive way to put a personal touch in the kitchen...and hide the enormous dish soap bottle under the sink.

Altogether it cost only $.65 (the jar).  I did need some help from Karl to get the hole cut in the top (I couldn't get it past the size of a dime), but other than that it was easy-peasy.

Giving credit where credit is due (and I'm feeling too lazy today to type the tutorial), here is the original blog entry from The Frugal Homemaker with instructions for you to do this as well.

Nice to actually do one of those blasted projects I pinned!  As you can see on my board, I have quite a few to cross off my list...

p.s. - I didn't bother painting the soap dispenser and lid as frugal homemaker did. it that way so that you would have a reference for what it looks like unpainted....yeup.

Shared on Farmgirl Friday.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Erin's Lemon Muffins

I haven't posted a recipe since March, and guess what?  I'm still on a lemon kick!

This recipe came from the inspiration of my friend, Erin, who recently took my all-around muffin recipe and had the brilliant idea to add lemon juice.  She brought them over for me to try, and they were so moist and delicious!  They are infused with lemon; it's like 'eating' lemonade - a perfect baked dessert for summer.  I can't tell you how obsessed I am with these muffins!

You'll Need:

- 2 tbsp grounded flaxseed (+ 6 tbsp hot water)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 3 lemons)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (just a little over 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

* Heat oven to 400 F degrees

To Start:

- mix together in a small bowl the flaxseed and hot water.  Set aside and let it soak for a few minutes.
- juice the lemons
- mix the flaxseed, brown sugar, lemon juice, and olive oil together (if prefer, also add the lemon zest).
- add the baking powder and salt
- add the brown rice and sorghum flours at about a cup at a time, mixing in-between cups.

Pour mix into muffin pan (or if you want to make lemon-muffin sundae's, use a brownie pan!)

Bake for about 30 mins (I did have to turn my oven back to 350 after about 20 mins, so do keep an eye on it so that you don't over-bake the outside before the inside is firmed up).  Do the toothpick test to make sure the batter doesn't stick, and then once done, have fun trying to stop yourself from eating too many.  ;)

Tip: if you'd like to make a lemon glaze for these, use lemon zest and powered sugar (and water).

Shared on vegetarianmama, wholeintentions, and allergyfreecookery. Thanks!

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