Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White chocolate, walnut, and almond snowball cookies

Hey all,
Apart from candies that I discussed in my previous post, the holidays are epitomized by cookies. In fact most food blogs, including my favorites: Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, and Lottie+Doof, bring forth the deliciousness of the cookie in a variety of ways. Whether it be chocolate, macadamia, chestnut, or any other flavor cookies, they highlight how delicious the holiday season can be.

Thus far, I felt like I haven't yet contributed to this wonderful tradition and that changes today.

That changes today with my white chocolate, walnut, and almond snowball cookies.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Candy making time! Almond Brittle

Hey all,
So I finally finished my first semester in medical school! What a semester it has been - learning about the cells that make up our body and how they work, seeing patients, meeting my amazing classmates, and having a lot of fun with exploring the city.

I admit that it was stressful, but I enjoyed myself. Still I look forward to the holidays - a time when I can recover with reading novels, listening to new music, cooking, baking, and eating.

When I think of the holidays, one of the first things that comes to my mind is candy. Traditionally, one sees peppermint candy canes, chocolates of various sorts, and boxes of truffles. They make a great gift for the ones that you love (although I'm sure they'd prefer something shiny).

But, what takes it up a notch and trust me will gain bonus points from the people you care about is when they are homemade.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Whole wheat Chocolate Olive Oil cake with Blackberries

Hey all,
The last few months of my first year in New York have been a whirlwind. Medical books, clinical work, parties, and hanging out with friends have been an absolute blast. Dinners, frozen margaritas, and  broadway shows have only made it infinitely better.

But, now and then, when I want to get away from the stress and the busy life, I turn to the little oven in my dorm and try and bake something. Last week, for a mexican fiesta night planned by my friends, I decided to try something a little outside of my comfort zone.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake topped with little black nuggets of deliciousness - a.k.a blackberries.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I love New York!

Hey all,
Sorry I've been missing for the past few months. It has been insane!

Let me tell you the many many ways that my life has been in constant motion....

1. Packed and shipped everything from California to Michigan
2. Best friend's wedding in Kansas. (I loved my first ever wedding!)
2. Visited family in Michigan
3. Packed and shipped stuff to New York
4. Came to New York
5. Started medical school.

The last part has been intense, but at the same time, I've made so many many friends here that I'm very glad that I'm here in New York. It has also given me a chance to flourish as a person and I'm so excited for the many adventures - both city life and cooking that await me in this crazy yet wonderful city.

I have a New York State of Mind....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Homemade Cocoa Walnut meal saves the day!

Hey all,
Forgive me for this short post. I'm in the process of wrapping things up here in sunny California before I move to New York (exciting!) for the next four years of grueling education in medical school (equally exciting, but daunting as well). So to speed up the cleaning process I'm trying to use up as many ingredients as I can before I move. Especially the ingredients that will spoil in the shipping process - nuts, frozen goods, produce, the usual stuff.

A few weeks ago, I had made those delicious pancakes with the strawberry sauce and the main ingredient in the pancakes was hazelnut meal. That is posted here. Trust me, they are fantastic. In fact, I've made them religiously for the past several weeks, because they are cheap, delicious, and easy to make. When I ran out of hazelnut meal, I turned to the bag of almond meal in my fridge.

So imagine my reaction when I got up this morning only to find that the almond meal was all gone. I smacked my head in frustration. I wondered why the universe was plotting against me. Now what would I use as a dry ingredient that would be tasty (flour is not tasty by itself). The clock said that it was 7 am. Do I really want to wait for an hour for Trader Joe's to open to make pancakes? The answer was an emphatic NO.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Almond and Chocolate chip muffins (my second minor disaster)

Hey all,
So if you look through this entire blog, then you will notice one thing that is missing. All right, well several things, but one thing is muffins. Where are the quintessential little bite size munchies? How can I call myself a baking blog without muffins?!!

That little detail had to be rectified right away. So I went to the store and got myself a muffin pan and a box of paper liners. Proud of my step forward, I started planning what muffin recipe to make and usually I go to my go-to-guides - Joy of baking and 101 cookbooks to get some ideas. Usually all the recipes I'd seen thus far involved way too much sugar than I wanted in my diet.

Then I found THE recipe. Simple, straightforward and not too much sugar. I adapted it considerably and made the Almond and Chocolate chip muffins.

Little did I know about the trouble I was about to have....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hazelnut Banana Pankcakes with a Strawberry sauce

Summer is looming... and it's glorious!

What do I think when I think of summer? I think of the beach, wearing sandals, drinking a mimosa, hanging out with friends, and the food. Sadly, there won't be any "Glee" during the summer, but now is not the time to dwell on that.

It's hard to believe that May has already gone by so quickly. I finally finished the medical school process and I'm going to Cornell - yes, this fall, I will be moving to New Yotk! But, that will be a story for another day. Apart from that, working day in and day out in the lab has been the norm.

I used to get up every morning and have some oatmeal or muesli and leave for work, until the moment that I was introduced to the simplest, easiest, and most delicious recipe. The bonus is that it's also quite healthy because it uses very few ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make everything, which means that you can stay from that oh-so-attractive donut.

That recipe was the hazelnut banana pancakes with a strawberry sauce....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Adorable animal pictures

Hey all,
So I've been away for a little while traveling to New York and I had the opportunity to make amazing friends on my trips there.

One of my (now whom I consider to be one of my) closest friends, Kevin, shared many a hilarious animal pictures with me. Being hungover that day, seeing hilarious pictures of cats and dogs helped lift my spirit as I munched on a greasy egg sandwich to fill my stomach.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Crustless Spinach and Asparagus Goat Cheese Quiche

Remember when I said that I was going to balance out the sweet dishes with more savory healthy ones? Well I stuck to that promise. I'm not sure for how long that will last, but I'll try hard to stick to that principle.

Today I made something absolutely astounding - A spinach and asparagus goat cheese quiche. But this is no ordinary quiche - it is crustless.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Strawberry Panzanella - fruity goodness all over.

Hey all,
So I have a lot of catching up to do with the blog. I've made quite a few things but I didn't get a chance to write about each one until....

.... I fell sick. Yes, I hate falling sick. This morning, I got up feeling horrible with a sore throat and a runny nose. Ugh! Don't you just hate that feeling?

Great (I roll my eyes...) - what a time to fall sick - just when the weather was warming up and gorgeous outside and I had planned many fun activities this weekend. Instead, I'm stuck at home trying to recover. But, what means is that I can turn my attention to this blog. I love writing about food and this gives me comfort in these tough times (yeesh, here he goes again with the dramatic flair).

One of the dishes I made recently was a twist on a savory panzanella - usually made with tomatoes, cheese, herbs, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Well, it turns out that you can also make a dessert out of it. I came across a recipe in 101 cookbooks and I think Heidi just hit the bullseye. I just cut back a little on the sugar but that's kind of it.

Who knew that you could make a fruit-based bread salad? I certainly didn't until I tried it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Healthy eggplant hummus, tomato, and spinach baked sandwich

So I was looking back at all of my posts and I noticed that almost 90% of my posts have been sweet desserts. Time to change that trend...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pepper and Cumin cookies - weirdly delicious!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just don't feel like doing anything? Today was that day for me. I got up this morning, looked outside, and decided that I was not planning to do anything but just relax.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A love story - Chocolate Babka and me

You might be wondering where I have been for so long. It's been a month since I posted on the blog. Where has Kartik been this past month? (Well, I'm going to pretend that you were wondering.)

The bigger question is where I haven't been. For the past few weeks, I have been occupied with work and then I traveled to Irvine on the west side and Cleveland on the east for medical interviews. With that I'm finally done with my interviews! (YAY!) Now, it's a waiting game.
Since Ohio is Michigan's next door neighbor, I decided to take a little vacation and visit my family there. I took a little time away from everything and just relaxed. Throw a Detroit Wings game in there (I love you Wings!) and three weeks have gone by in a flash.

But prior to my trips, I baked a little bread known as a Chocolate babka...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies - Yum!

If you look at recent statistics, almost 20-30% of Americans make a resolution to eat healthy and exercise. Almost a month has passed since New Years, and I wonder how many people have kept their resolutions intact.

I certainly have not kept this resolution. Granted, I exercise quite a bit, but giving up all the baked goods is not an option for me. Instead, I taste and share with everyone else.

But, I stumbled upon a recipe that even I am resistant to share - Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not your average Monkey bread!

So here's a secret for you. Most of the times when I change a recipe, I end up with a mess - albeit an edible one.

But, there are times when the stars align in my favor, and the experimentation works after a few tries.

Then, there are times when the entire universe itself aligns in such a perfect coordination, that the experiment works the first time around.

Today was one of those days when the universe aligned, and I came up the "Not your average Monkey bread."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe #5 - Bialys

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It fills you up and gets you going. It gets you through those really long days that you dread or enjoy depending on how you look at it. It prevents you from yelling at someone when they cut you off while driving without checking their blindspot.

Breakfast has a calming effect. Usually, in the morning, you'll catch me with a bowl of piping hot oatmeal with almond milk, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and rich cocoa powder. But today....

Today was different. I needed something new. A change of sorts. It had to be a bread. I reach into my freezer for a bread that I made the night before, because it was oh-so-delectable. I couldn't resist.

It was a bialy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recipe #4 - Warm Rustic Cherry Bread and goat cheese sandwich - Omg!

Happy New Year everyone!

For Bakeology 101, 2012 promises to be a good year. I'm still going strong on my Baking challenge of finishing the 1000-page Culinary Institute of America book. There are so many recipes left and I'm excited to do every single one of them.

The last few weeks have been all about breads and rolls and I loved making these so much that I decided to continue working on that section of the book for the next few months.