L.O.V.E. Wraps

L.O.V.E. Wraps1

 

I know you think that my blog has sort of turned into a baking blog with a savory recipe seldom thrown here and there which again involves some sort of baking! (Humph.. Do I make sense?) So after throwing so many sugar-laden desserts week after week, I thought a savory recipe for brunch or breakfast (which does not involve baking) would be a great way to redeem my past actions. And when the recipe is so healthy, no-carb and wholesome, I’m sure many of you’ll be ecstatic.

With this recipe, turn your regular scrambled egg breakfast into a fancy brunch dish. With summer upon us, we require as many quick-fixes as possible. I mean, who wants to turn on the oven or spend time in the kitchen slogging over the heat! Low-fat and clean eating becomes a necessity when days are so hot and humid. This recipe absolutely fits the bill as an all-rounder meal suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

This dish is so colorful because of zucchini, carrots and broccoli. As for the recipe, these are the measurements I followed but this dish does not require following a recipe to the T so feel free to make any adjustments. Use whatever vegetables you have at hand. Go vegetable crazy! Bell peppers and beans would be quite awesome too.

So eat light & have a happy happy weekend!
xo

 

L.O.V.E. Wraps

 

L.O.V.E. Wraps

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 small carrot, cut into julienne
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into julienne
  • 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or any seasoning of your choice)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 lettuce leaves, washed and dried (any lettuce of your choice is fine)

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet and saute till golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.
    Add broccoli and carrots and saute for another minute.
    Add zucchini and cook until just warm. We want the vegetables to have crunch and not be mushy. Mix in red chili flakes, Italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. Place this mixture in a small bowl.
  2. Wipe the skillet (used to saute vegetables) with paper towel and heat 1 Tbsp butter in it over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, crack 2-3 eggs and whisk them together with milk until well-beaten. Add pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
    Tilt the skillet to ensure the entire pan is coated in the melted butter and pour in the eggs. Keep the heat on medium low. When the eggs just start to set, use a flat spatula to slowly scrape sections of eggs, creating folds. Scrape occasionally until the eggs form soft folds; turn off the heat just before they are fully hardened.
  3. To serve, place the scrambled eggs on a lettuce and top with onion and vegetable mixture.

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake ~ 1st Blogversary!!!

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake1

 

Cook By Book in numbers:

- 500+ blog subscribers via email
- 140 on WordPress
- 160+ on Twitter
- 385+ on Instagram
-102 blogposts

My blog officially turns 1 today! Woohoooo!! Last year today I created and set up this blog and published my first blog-post the next day. For about 2 months before starting this space, I used to publish my recipes and pictures on my Facebook page but later I realized I wanted to share more than just a picture and a recipe with you all, in a more customized manner. That’s how this blog was born. It feels just like yesterday but time really flies when you blog. Blogging has taught me so much. Food photography and food styling is what I’ve become totally obsessed with! It is such a great way to connect with like-minded people all around the world and learn about their culture through food. I have made some awesome new friends!

I owe it all to you gorgeous readers! Thank you for making this past year so fulfilling, from having less than 5 to 500+ followers and many more on social media, I’m very grateful for all the support and love so far. Whether it is just a comment, an email or a follow, I want to thank you for all the amazing gestures that has made blogging so so incredible for me!

 

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake2

 

I’m so so so happy, totally in celebratory mood! Throwing a party kinda mood. When I’m happy, I bake. So I baked a cake for this virtual party. It’s a party essential after all. Also, it is neither healthy nor low-fat. It’s buttery, sugary deliciousness. Pure vanilla goodness completely covered in pink whipped cream frosting. Yes! Today I’m sharing a classic vanilla cake which is sturdy in layer-cakes but moist and tender at the same time. A cake you can always depend upon. Make this your go-to recipe for anytime layer-cake requirements. Birthdays, Anniversaries or Weddings. An all-occasion versatile cake.

 

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake3

 

I am no professional at frosting/decorating cakes but I’ve tried my best! Also, I did not have time to make frosting from scratch so I used packaged instant whipped cream, flavored it with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and colored it with a drop of pink food color. It tasted pretty good too. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I, husband, a friend, neighbors and my house-help enjoyed! Yes, I believe in sharing the goodness. Always! :)

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake

Makes: 2 7-inch layers | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 30-35 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • A little less than 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (about 100 gm)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups white granulated sugar*
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup milk

*If you like your baked goods on a sweeter side, use 1 and 1/2 cups sugar instead.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 170ºC / 340ºF. Butter and flour two 7-inch (5-inch or 6-inch works too) baking pans and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and egg whites and mix until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  5. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  6. Divide batter among baking pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center comes out clean. Remove and let cool slightly in baking pans for about 5 minutes, then invert on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  7. Frost cakes as desired. Use this Vanilla Bean Frosting recipe and instructions on how-to-frost-a-layered-cake. I colored the frosting with a drop of rose pink food color.

Note: If cakes are baked in 6-inch baking pans, you may cut them so that you have four layers altogether and if cakes are baked in 5-inch baking pans, you may cut them so that you have six layers altogether. This way you can make 4-layer or 6-layer cake using the same recipe.

Skinny Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding & Pops – Raw! ~ For Two

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding1

 

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops1

 

Okay, so I”m ashamed to EVEN call this a recipe but in actuality it is! However simple it might be. Sometimes simple is all we need. Simple is beautiful. We are experiencing summer at full force and I want to spend minimum time in kitchen that too away from stove and oven. Of course, still wanting extraordinary food to appear magically on my plate so I’m all about quick recipes nowadays. Cold salads, iced coffees/teas, cold cereal, smoothies and frozen fruit treats are what my days are made of.

A raw pudding. And pops. Same ordinary ingredients with just a bit of tweaking gets transformed into two incredibly delicious desserts. Desserts which are healthy and skinny at the same time. All you need is a high-speed blender. And some chocolate, cocoa powder to be specific. And avocado and banana. Avocado-haters, do not fret. You can not taste avocado. Promise! My husband truly hates avocado from the bottom of his heart, if used in anything other than guacamole and he couldn’t tell! Yes, I didn’t tell him beforehand and he couldn’t make out. Win! Also, you can totally have these for breakfast! ;)

 

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding2Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops2

 

Each recipe serves two but you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe to serve more people or have bigger portions. Stay cool this summer with these cool recipes up your sleeves!

Happy Monday you all!

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 2 minutes | Chill time: 3-4 hours
Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ripe (large) avocado
  • 1/2 ripe (large) banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 Tbsp honey/maple syrup/date syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10-12 dices of fresh, ripe mango, for garnish

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender (place dry ingredients in the bottom so they don’t stick to the sides of the blender) and whip till you get completely smooth consistency. Divide the pudding between two ramekins/bowls and refrigerate covered for at least 3-4 hours. Serve, topped with mango dices.

*Consume the pudding within 1 day of making it.
*Instead of mango, you may use strawberries/raspberries.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 2 minutes | Chill time: 8 hours/overnight
Ingredients:
  • 2 and 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ripe (large) avocado
  • 1/2 ripe (large) banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/date syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender (place dry ingredients in the bottom so they don’t stick to the sides of the blender) and whip till you get completely smooth consistency. Divide between two Popsicle moulds. If you do not have Popsicle moulds then divide between two paper cups like I did and cover with tin foil, poke the center of the foil with the Popsicle stick. Chill in freezer for at least 8 hours/overnight, demould and serve immediately.

P.S. Want to make these Pops even more chocolaty? Cover them with the chocolate magic shell just like a professional by following this easy-peesy tutorial.
P.P.S. Use white chocolate for these Pops! ;)

 

Orange Muffins

Orange Muffins

 

Mondays should totally begin with muffins. We all need a muffin or two to get through the day and some more to celebrate getting through the day. I hope you all agree with me here.

When I posted Sunshine Smoothie last week, I promised I’ll return with some cake to celebrate the 100th blog-post. So drum-rolls please! I’ve returned today with equally sunshiny, happy-happy orange muffins!

 

Orange Muffins1

These muffins are perfect to woe away your Monday blues. Eat them any time of the day. With your morning-coffee, evening-tea or as a night-time dessert accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It’s a real treat and your summer-stricken soul will totally thank me. You’re welcome :)

Moist and fluffy, these muffins are a total winner. The orange flavor shines through because I’ve used orange zest, freshly squeezed juice and just a touch of orange extract. Look at their color! Addition of yogurt makes them soft and tender. Once out from the oven and still warm, we brush the tops with honey. Warm muffins ensure that honey seeps in. This is optional but totally heavenly. And genius. So do it!

 

Orange Muffins2

 

Orange Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins | Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes approximately | Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Zest from 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Orange slices, seeded and cut into quarters
  • 2 Tbsp honey, to brush the muffin tops (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Line 12-counts muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, place the measured white granulated sugar. Grate orange zest in the bowl and using your fingers, rub it against the sugar. Whisk in oil and eggs one by one until completely incorporated. Whisk in vanilla and orange extract.
  4. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients in three halves alternating with yogurt and orange juice, ending with dry ingredients. Mix until *just* combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin liners. Fill each liner till 3/4th mark and no more. Top each muffin with a quarter of the orange slice. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While muffins are still warm from the oven, brush the tops with a layer of honey. The muffins stay fresh for about 3 days stored in an airtight container.

Sunshine Smoothie for Two ~ 100th Blogpost!

Sunshine Smoothie1

 

Woohoo (with more o’s than I can type)!!! This is my 100th blogpost! I know I should have reached this teeny-tiny (quite huge for me of course!) milestone a long time back but I’m glad I did. I thank each and everyone of you for being with me on this journey. And even tolerating my sporadic absence. You guys are sweetest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Really :)

I’m sure we all agree on this that no celebration is complete without a cake. And I know I should have brought one today but instead, I come bearing smoothie and I ain’t sorry. This is no ordinary smoothie, it’s a sunshine smoothie! Yes, pure liquid sunshine for breakfast and you won’t need anything else. Great way to get lots of fruit in your system. So go fruit wild this summer. This one is mindbogglingly refreshing!

 

Sunshine Smoothie2

 

This fruity concoction is so creamy, it may trick you into thinking there is ice-cream involved. This smoothie is created using shockingly simple ingredients aka fruits and nothing else! I’m a huge fan of frozen banana whip and it works as a great base for a smoothie. I made this whip for breakfast last week with frozen kiwi and banana and it turned out totally amazeballs. The idea was sparked then to turn it into a gorgeous smoothie.

I went fruit crazy and added mango (my fav), banana, kiwi and orange with a squeeze of lime and a spoon of honey, blend and Ta Da! You get this tropical heaven. Truly summer in your glass! (See I didn’t whine about the hottest, sunniest weather we’re experiencing here even once.. Ha!)

Put your feet up and enjoy this citrus bursting smoothie. It’ll brighten up your day and make the weather certainly more tolerable. Trust me.

Sunshine Smoothie for Two

Serves: 2 obnoxiously | Prep time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen mango, previously peeled & sliced
  • 1 large frozen banana, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 frozen kiwi, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 6-8 ice-cubes
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients in a blender on high speed till you get a smooth consistency (for about 2-3 minutes). Serve in tall glasses.

*You may turn this smoothie into green smoothie by adding 1 cup of your favorite greens.

*You may swap kiwi with frozen chunks of pineapple. Whatever rocks your boat!

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes1

 

These delicious banana pancakes got so much attention on Instagram which forced me to post the recipe here. I didn’t photograph them for the blog but have a couple pics to go with the post. So here is the recipe for the softest and fluffiest pancakes which tastes incredible too! With hardly any butter, these pancakes are definitely on a healthier side. I know you have an overripe banana lying around in the house so make these ALREADY ;)

 

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes2

 

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes

Makes: 10-12 pancakes (3-inch size) | Serves: 2-3Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium/large very ripe banana, mashed with fork (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt/buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus a bit more for greasing
  • Maple syrup, to serve

*You may substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and add a splash of milk (if required) to reach the correct consistency of batter.

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash the banana with the fork till no lumps remain. Whisk in yogurt and egg till completely incorporated. Whisk in vanilla extract followed by brown sugar. To this mixture, add dry ingredients to form a smooth batter. Add melted butter to this and let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and grease with butter. Work in batches. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter for each pancake into the skillet. When the edges begin to look dry and cooked and bubbles dot the top, flip and cook until golden on the other side.
  4. Serve hot, topped with some maple syrup.

Baked Banana Donuts & Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree

Banana Donuts1
Wow… It’s been  3 weeks since my last blog-post! I’ve really missed you guys. If you follow me on Instagram then you know of my shenanigans. Past 3 weeks were spent vacationing leisurely in beautiful Goa and finishing some important paperwork back home. If you don’t follow me there then you’ve missed out on some amazing pics of sunsets and not-to-be-missed eateries in Goa so I’d suggest you tap that blue button right away! We had a fabulous time spending our 5th wedding anniversary, relaxing and lazying around on beach. It had been ages (more than a year!!) since we took our last vacation (just us) so this 10 days break was much appreciated. But my sun-burnt self is definitely glad to be back and you’re going to love this recipe I have for you!
After our holiday to the tropics, I recreated the scene in the comfort of our home and made these uh-mah-zing banana donuts. Oh and I didn’t serve them alone. Oh yeh! These are topped with fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting. Yes, it is 2 recipes in 1 blog-post kinda day today. Anyway I can compensate my absence on this space ;)
Banana Donuts2
These soft and fluffy whole wheat banana donuts are what dreams are made of! This is a healthier and eggfree version. Brown sugar has been used which used with bananas lends a caramelized depth of flavor. I prefer to use oil instead of butter in most of my cakes and cupcakes. Oil combined with yogurt gives moist and pillowy end product even when whole wheat flour is involved.
And what do I say about the frosting! It is super cool. Spread it on donuts or frost some vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with it. Yes, the recipe below will frost about 12 cupcakes and will frost 12 donuts even more generously with a spoonful or two extra for licking! The frosting naturally is pink without addition of any artificial color and it is flavored with real strawberries and just a bit of strawberry extract. Perfection indeed!
Happy Baking!
xx
Baked Banana Donuts with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree
Makes : 12 donuts | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 13-14 minutes | Total time: under 30 minutes
Ingredients:

For donuts:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 3 large)
  • 6 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For frosting:
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 4 ounce / 110 gm plain cream cheese spread, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted (or more as per preference)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Grease 12-count donut pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Divide the batter equally and fill the molds no more than 3/4th. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool.
  5. Preparing frosting: Wash, hull and pat dry 2 large strawberries. Cut them in small pieces and mash them using fork. Add cream cheese spread, butter and strawberry essence to the bowl and whisk using your electric mixer. Add sifted sugar to this mixture and whisk until completely incorporated and frosting is firm. On completely cooled donuts, spread a thick layer of this frosting. The donuts will keep well in refrigerator for 4-5 days.