Italian Summer Pasta Salad

 Italian Summer Pasta Salad1

 

After radio silence for 3 weeks, I’m back. Again. Can’t say for how long but I am here. So how are things guys? Here, monsoon has almost arrived and summer is officially over (for good!). But here I am, with a huge backlog of summer recipes. What am I to do when all these days I have been cooking all things “summery” regularly but not getting time to post them. Let’s just say that it is still summer somewhere in the world, right?! ;)

I love anything and everything Italian so when I came across this pretty looking salad on Sommer’s amazing blog I knew I had to get to it pronto. It is so good and SO refreshing! Zests of orange and lemon, al dente pasta, orange chunks, tiny tomatoes and torn basil all tied together with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. What’s not to love? Must try, whatever time of year it is for you.

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend.
Stay cozy, it’s gonna be a rainy one! xx

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad3

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

Recipe scaled down & adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Yield: 2-3 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat Farfalle pasta
  • 1 naval orange, zest and orange segments
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup scallions, cut into 1 inch segments
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the orange and lemon. Place the zest and the juice of lemon in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk. Peel the orange, gently break the segments apart and seed them. Place them in the bowl.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. Then pour the drained pasta over the tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Add the scallions and basil leaves to the bowl and toss. Salt and pepper generously, about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: I didn’t have scallions at hand so I had to skip them but they are highly recommended as it’d add some crunch & make the dish all the more flavorsome. :)

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad2

No Churn Fresh Peach Icecream

No Churn Fresh Peach Icecream2
Celebrating my 29th birthday today with this fresh peach icecream. It is a no churn treat and quite easy to whip up. Making icecream at home takes more time but most of it is not an active time plus all the steps are very easy to follow and the end result makes it totally worth it.
This icecream is a peach lover’s dream with peach chunks in every bite. Peaches cooked with brown sugar lends a caramelized taste to the icecream which I love! It freezes well and is quite easy to scoop too. I photographed it for the blog on the 3rd day of making it and it still scooped perfectly, just like a store-bought or a churned variety!! Plus, it is eggless. So indulge in this perfect summer treat over the weekend.
More update on birthday later!
Happy weekend you all!!
xx
No Churn Fresh Peach Icecream1
No Churn Fresh Peach Icecream
Yields: 2 liters | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Chill time: 6-7 hours or overnight | Total time: About 7-8 hours
Ingredients:

  • 6 medium ripe yet firm peach, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 can (400 gm) sweetened condensed milk
  • 600 ml medium-fat fresh cream (I used 25% fat Milkymist Cream)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the peaches, brown sugar and salt. Cook until the peaches have softened and the mixture is thick and jam-like, about 17-20 minutes. Mash with a potato masher, stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and condensed milk, and set aside to cool completely.
  2. With the hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold the cooled peach mixture into the whipped cream until just combined. Transfer the mixture to two lidded liter containers (Do not pack it tightly). Freeze for at least 6-7 hours before serving.No Churn Fresh Peach Icecream3

 

 

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Mango Cucumber Salsa1
Hi! Trying to compensate my absence with back to back posts. I need to blog all the summer recipes I’ve made before the rainy season officially starts and I am really lagging behind. I thought at least I’ll give you this mango salsa recipe before mango season is ends. This salsa is a perfect accompaniment to your chips and a great side to grilled chicken or lamb chops.
I don’t remember how many bowls of this sunshine I have devoured this summer. It is my absolute favorite. I eat chips just so that I can have salsa (or any other dips/condiment for that matter!!) and end up having it by spoonfuls in lieu of chips! I have a couple of peaches sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used up & I most certainly plan of turning them in to this salsa sans cucumber this evening (with mint of course!).
Enjoy& be patient.
Weekend is almost here! ;)
Mango Cucumber Salsa2
Mango Cucumber Salsa:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 0 minute | Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ripe mango, sliced, pitted & finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (can be subbed with coriander leaves)
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Don’t know what is basil chiffonade? – Pioneer woman tells you here!

Directions:

Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve (about 3-4 hours max otherwise it turns mushy). Serve with your favorite chips or a meat of choice.

3-Ingredient Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles

3-Ingredient Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles3

 

Hello lovely people! Let me give you an update on whats been going on in life, you don’t know if you’re not following me on Instagram. It’s been more than 2 weeks since I last posted. Very eventful 2 weeks they were. Hubs & I visited my parent’s house for about 10 days. We celebrated Father’s day, spent some time with my grandmother, met up with couple of school friends after long long time, visited some cool, hip places for meal, watched drama after ages, shopped with my mom & sis, visited beach, bought way too many peach fruits, brushed up on some childhood memories, had an early birthday celebration and consumed liters and liters of Aamras (unsweetened mango pulp) accompanied by some kickass mom-made Gujju food! List is quite long and don’t ask me how I was able to fit ALL of this in my stomach in our such a short stay!!! But it was all too much fun!

I celebrate my 29th birthday this Saturday. I’m freaking out as big 3-0 is approaching and my life in twenties as I know it is going to end. I am excited too ‘coz CAKE!!! Yeah, my brain is confused on how to react to this situation. Anyhoo, Friday can not get here sooooner! It is going to be a funtastic weekend!! :)

 

3-Ingredient Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles1

 

After dealing with unpacking, laundry and a health check before I apply for the Visa, I finally got some time to sit down today. I made these popsicles before we left to visit my parents (more than 3 weeks back). It was so dang hot there, I missed these very very much. I had to constantly drink ice water/tea or eat ice-creams in order to stay cool. These popsicles are child’s play to make with just 3 ingredients and only 2 if you skip kiwi slices (do not skip though!). The watermelon I used was quite sweet so I didn’t have to use any form of sweetener for these popsicles. In case the watermelon you use is not sweet enough, feel free to add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup or any sweetener of your choice while blending. These are just perfect for breakfast, post-workout snack or dessert.

Happy Hump Day you all! :D

3-Ingredient Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles

Yields: 4 Popsicles | Prep time: 2 minutes | Chill time: 6-7 hours or overnight

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups watermelon cubes, seeded
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 kiwi slices

Directions:

Blend together watermelon and lemon juice in a blender. Slide in kiwi slices in each Popsicle-mould and pour watermelon mixture on top, dividing equally. Insert stick in the centre of each mould, cover and freeze for about 6-7 hours. To demould, run the moulds under warm running water for 30-50 seconds. Dig in immediately!

*Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled or quadrupled!
*For less sweet watermelons, add 1 Tbsp of sweetener of your choice while blending.

 

3-Ingredient Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles2

National Doughnut Day!!! #RecipeRoundUp

Whether you prefer doughnut over donut or fried over baked doesn’t really matter, because these glazed, filled, sprinkled, and all around glorious treats are uh-mah-zing no matter what you call them or how you make them! In honor of National Doughnut Day today, I’m sharing some of my favorites (which are all of them!) from the archives.

So, take out your donut-pans and get your sweet donut craving on!
Go get baking! :)

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze1

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Banana Donuts1

Baked Banana Donuts & Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake Donuts2

Red Velvet Cake Donuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts2

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts1

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts1

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

5-minute Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Meal for Two & Some Chit Chat

5-Minutes Tomato Pasta Sauce1

 

Let’s chat, shall we!? Time to end the lazy slump I’ve been rolling in lately. A lot’s been going on around here and I’m up for a full disclosure now. I did slip the news on Instagram couple of weeks ago but didn’t announce officially on the blog. So here it goes!! Drum-rolls please!!! I am going to LONDON this FALL for a one year postgraduate programme!!!!! WOHOOOO!!!!!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!! Sorry for all the yelling but I’m SOOOOO excited for this new chapter of my life to begin. This year has been truly magical so far!

I got the confirmed offer on my admission about a couple months ago but was skeptical on sharing the news as there were so many things to consider and plan for before I decide to accept the offer. Let’s just say I didn’t want to jinx it! I was ecstatic (to say the least) to get into this prestigious college. I was (still am!) over the MOON would be an understatement. I leave in September and there is so much to do. I need to visit my parents, apply for Visa, do the shopping, pack my bags and off I go. Fingers crossed for a smooth sailing!

Now here is a bit of not-so-good-news. Umm… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to continue blogging along with my studies but I’m not going to incessantly worry over something I can’t control. As of now, the only thing I’m sure of is that the programme is going to be very intense and I am going to have to give my 101% attention to it, even if blogging takes a backseat. I AM absolutely ready to prioritize. I love blogging so much therefore I’ll be blogging here as much as I can until September and after that we’ll see how things go. I would love to pop over in between during my stay in London to share my experiences in new country, food related or not. I will definitely try to stay as active as possible on Instagram nonetheless so do follow me there to stay in touch and be my companion on #LondonDiaries! :)

*Recipe*

This recipe I am sharing today is bonkers awesome! It is the quickest meal I have ever made (apart from toss-in-all-you-have salads or couscous!). If you can boil the pasta then you can make this recipe. This one here is basically foolproof! The tomato paste (Brand name – Splitz) I used for this quick pasta sauce is made locally in Bangalore and the ingredients list reads – Tomatoes. That’s it! It does not have any funky ingredients I can’t understand or pronounce, just pure tomato goodness without any color or preservative or salt! Too good to be true and but sadly, it is mostly available only in Bangalore. But fret not. You can go ahead and try any other good, organic tomato paste you can find in the store near you.

This packet is definitely going with me everywhere I travel. I guess it’d be a blessing during my soon-to-start student life! What a cheap, no-fuss and delicious meal option with so many possibilities. Add any number of vegetables to this dish to make it more hearty and fulfilling. Just a heaping Tablespoon of this potent tomato paste is enough for one portion. You can tell I’m quite impressed! What can I say, sometimes simple is truly THE BEST! xx

 

5-Minute Tomato Pasta Sauce2

 

Quickest Tomato Pasta Sauce ~ Dinner for Two

Yields: 2 generous servings | Prep time: 2 minutes |Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups macaroni pasta
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved after boiling
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Scant 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dry basil herb
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • Shavings of Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta as per the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
  2. In the meantime, heat the pan on a medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onion and sauté for a minute. Add tomato paste and salt and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, scraping and stirring occasionally. The tomato paste will turn brown and this will enhance the flavors. Mix in basil and pepper and cook for another minute.
  3. Stir in 3/4 cup of reserved pasta water to the tomato paste and magically you’ll get your pasta sauce ready! If you want thinner consistency sauce, add remaining 1/4 cup pasta water too. Stir in the drained pasta. Divide between 2 serving dishes. Top with some shavings of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Notes:
*You can add vegetables of your choice to make the meal more hearty. Just sauté the vegetables along with garlic and onion before adding tomato paste to the mix. Zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, bell peppers…. sky is the limit!
*You may also top the pasta with capers or olives.
*Use whole wheat or quinoa pasta to make this meal healthier. 
*Use penne or spaghetti pasta instead of macaroni.

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies {Lemon Brownies}

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies1

 

Lemonies… It sounds so exotic and poetic. Some genius thought of this cool name for lemon brownies, I am not sure who did but genius, nonetheless! A simple reason for not calling them brownies has something to do with their color (They are not brown!!). These are pale yellow beauties adorned with bright yellow zest and white chocolate chips in each bite. They are so fudgy and buttery, dense yet light, just how I like my brownies.

These are the perfect treats for summer (or round the year, who am I kidding!?!) and totally irresistible. The lemon flavor really shines through and pairs wonderfully well with all that white chocolate. Be sure to use a white chocolate bar and not white chocolate chips for the batter. It makes all the difference! And have them chilled, straight from the fridge. You’re welcome. :)

Have a fun weekend!
xx

 

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies2

 

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies {Lemon Brownies}

Yields: 12-16 slices | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: about 35 minutes| Total: 50 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 9-oz block of white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp white chocolate chips, to sprinkle on top (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºF / 350ºC. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan; line base and sides with parchment paper and grease with butter/oil (I used foil).
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in a microwave for 1-2 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should be lump-free and glossy. Rub lemon zest and sugar together with the fingers and whisk in to the chocolate mixture. Set aside and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once chocolate mixture is cooled down, whisk in eggs (one by one) and lemon juice until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt and fold into chocolate mixture with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter in a baking pan, sprinkle chocolate chips on top (optional) and bake for 33-35 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan over a cooling rack. (If you’re in a hurry, throw it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while for easy cutting.)
  5. Lift up the ends of parchment or foil liner, transfer the brownies to cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares. Store it covered in an air-tight container for a week in refrigerator. It tastes best chilled.