Creamy 4 Cheese Macaroni

>>  Saturday, November 29, 2008

I have been hard pressed to get an American dish ready for the AWED event hosted by Dhivi. Since the time she announced, I have been looking for a suitable one that would fit my schedule. Because of the Recipe Marathon, I found it really tough to fit in another one to experiment. Then I came across this simple recipe from one the of the sites that Dhivi sent across. I really don't remember which one it was. But I noted the recipe down, I had to get most of the things but they were easy to find and some replaced with what I had. Peddu and Chinnu were keenly observing what I was doing. The moment the clicking was done, they came with plates to taste the macroni.

Though Chinnu didn't like it, Peddu liked and went on to complete the plate. Looks like both of them have different tastes. This does get done in minutes if you are doing it in Microwave. Yes I have an entry waiting for my event MEC themed on Cheese and hosted by Pavani this Month.

I am giving both the original recipe and what I have modified for reference.


Flour - 1/3 cup
Milk - 2 2/3 cup
Low Fat 1%
Fontina cheese - 3/4 cup-
Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese shredded - 1/2 cup
Processed American cheese -- 3 oz
Macaroni -- 6 c
Salt to taste
Melba toast -- onion flvr : crushed - 1/2 c (I used regular one)
Butter - 1 tablespoon

Method to prepare:

Take the Macroni in a bowl of water and micro for 5 mins or till its well cooked.

Place flour in microwave pan, add milk stirring until blended. Cook for 2 mins
Add cheeses, micro for 2 min or until cheese melts. remove from heat.

Stir in macaroni and salt. Spoon mixture into another mw pan and coated. Combine crushed toasts and butter in a small bowl; stir until well blended.

Sprinkle over macaroni bake 3 min. until bubbly.

I didnt' have Melba toaste, used little of the regular one. Velveeta cheese was advised, but I used regular one.

Sending this to Dhivi for her AWED American, not sure how original this recipe is, but my kid sure liked it.

Sending this to Pavani for MEC: Cheese, which is a Microwave Easy Cooking.


Healthy Sprouted Moong dal Pulao!

>>  Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The other day I was chatting with my old friend, who now lives in UK. As he is living on his own, I was very interested to know what he eats. I was really impressed when he said he is cooking for himself and not the simple ones, mind you! He said he makes Sambar, Mutton curry, Biryani and lot more. He even sets his own curds for curd rice. He said living in a different country on his own, he finds ample time to spend on cooking, when eating out, everyday is not the good option. I was totally taken in and even invited him to do a guest post for Bachelor's corner, which he said he will.

So when bachelors are able to cook up such elaborate dishes, this simple and healthy sprout moong dal pulao, would be a chore! All you need is to get the moongs sprout and if they are available ready made, you can just include in the rice and get a pulao for yourself. This one pot meal is very simple and gets done fast. I strongly recommend this, when you are in a hurry to fix a quick dinner but still want it to be healthy! Check out How to Sprout, for sprouting process!

Check out How to Sprout, for sprouting process!

Ingredients Needed:

Moong Sprouts - 1/2 cup
Rice - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Green Chilies -3
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods - 2 small
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1"
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Lemon juice -1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 10 mins.

Heat a cooker, sauté chopped Garlic, clove, cinnamon, cumin seeds. Fry for a min, then sauté onions till they are brown Then add the ginger garlic paste, green chilies and sauté well.

Wash the sprouts and add to the pan, fry in sim for 2 mins, add the drained rice. Mix.everything well. Add 3 cups of water, salt and cover and cook for 3 whistles.

This takes about 15 - 20 mins to get done. Serve with Buttermilk raitha.

Sending this to Vegan ventures, hosted by Suganya!


Sada Muruku ~ Savory Crunchies for Kids!

>>  Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting the right snack for Konda becomes tough most of the days. What with her specific interest, I am also breaking my head wondering what to send as snacks. Most times, I pack some wrappers, sometimes corn puffs. At times, we get sweets that she likes. But when you buy sweets, you got to ensure you complete them on time. So she will be forced to carry them for two days. By then she gets bored.
Then I make some snacks with bread. Most times I feel I am out of ideas. That's when these home made crunches, save. I made Sev, mostly they get completed the same time. Other options care Salt diamonds, or sugar diamonds as I call. Since I have never actually attempted at making a full fledged murukus, these were done with hope that I will venture into it.
To make these more healthy, we used sajja or pearl millet flour. These came out so delicious and kids simply loved. The bowl that was made was almost completed the same day.

Ingredients Needed:
Sada pindi - 1 cup
Rice pindi - 2 tsp
Jeera seeds
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Method to prepare:
Take all the ingredients in a wide vessel, using warm water, knead to a stiff dough.

Have the kadai with oil on stove. Divide the dough into big balls. Press the dough into the Muruku press, over the hot oil. Cook on both sides.

Drain on a kitchen towel.


How to cope with Sibling Rivalry!

>>  Sunday, November 9, 2008

I always wonder how our parents coped with more than one child! For that matter, the previous generation appeared to have had a cake walk, with many kids at home. Of course, it won't have been so, but that's a feeling I have, that they had an easy way out. Even my amma says we never gave so much trouble as the kids these days do. Like yesterday, my elder twin wanted to play with one ball, same time both my daughter and the younger wanted the same ball. What resulted was, who would win the fight. All of them ended up crying because the other won't give up. Normally when one cries, the other feel bad and come to console and give the plaything. But at times, they simply are adamant and won't share.

What happened to the concept of sharing among the siblings? How is it at your home?

Though we always think we should get the kids share the toys with their siblings, the fight that ensues, when all of them want the same toy, is something you can't really manage. This resulted in us getting one for each of them. Now I know this is not constructive in teaching the kids to learn to share. But most times, I am happy to note, atleast one of the twins, go soft when they see the other one crying. So there is some hope. At times when they are not willing to share, we then have to praise that he is very good boy, only then they mellow down. Only after such cajoling and sweet talking, he is ready to share his toy.

I am happy that we don't find so much of Sibling Rivalry among our kids. Though it does come out at times like this.

Since all of us are busy with our daily work and school, this gets displayed during the hours we spend at home. We try to manage, by spending quality time with each one. With my twins, more than me, they are more eager to spend time with their father. When he gets home, both of them want him to spend time only with individual, so I have to intervene and distract one of them, so that he can spend some time with both separately. Then we try to make them be together. Of course, this takes time.

Do you find this sibling rivalry common among your kids? When there is only one kid, he/she is bound to have Single child behaviors. But I find when there are siblings to company, they are not willing to share. How do we go beyond this? It will be interesting to get your views


Simple Veggie Sandwich!

>>  Friday, November 7, 2008

I am sure there are many takers for Sandwiches. Especially those that take very less time to get fixed. These were in matter of 10 mins, where the major time was spent on sautéing the veggies. This makes it a perfect breakfast, with added advantage of vegetables in it. Of course, I couldn't imagine my daughter would've wanted to eat, so I didn't' make for her. But this was a quick fix for hubby dear, when he was in a hurry to leave. So I thought this makes it a perfect one to made by Bachelors. When I think of sandwiches, I can't but think of the many options, one has to choose.

If you have ever lived in Madras and gone around the city, I am sure you would be familiar with the famous Sandwich shops in Egmore. Those are just road side stalls, where the innovative chef, cooks up hundreds of sandwiches for his ardent customers. Those stalls are famous by its clientèle. If you happen to visit by evening, you will find huge crowd, waiting patiently for their order to be made. I was really surprised by the many varieties they had to offer. The customers, mostly college students, stand in tons, chatting, laughing, and spending hours without a care but venting their hunger with sandwich or two. And how hygiene it is, you can see for yourself, unlike in other places. He does it right in front of you and you can customize your orders too.

So when I was making this, I was only thinking of those yummy sandwiches that get done and devoured in tons!

Ingredients Needed:

Beans and Carrot - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1 small
Onion - 1 small
Ginger garlic paste -1 /2 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Green Chili - 1
Salt to taste
Ghee for roasting

Method to prepare:

Par boil the vegetables. Saute the onion till pink along with chillies and ginger garlic paste, then add the tomatoes. Saute till it gets mushy.

Then add the cooked vegetables. Chili powder and salt. This takes about 5 -7 min.

Roast the bread slices over pan, stuff the filling and press firmly.

Serve with ketchup!

This serves as a quick breakfast fix!


Vazhakai Bajji ~ Banana Fritters!

>>  Sunday, November 2, 2008

Banana Bajjis are always a hit. These are made in tons in the beach side stalls and invite many customers. When you visit the beach, you can miss the stalls having all the sliced banana, ready to be dipped into the batter and deep fried for the eager customers. You can actually get to quite a few to choose from. The bajji chilis, Onions, Potatoes and of course, the bananas are the different vegetables, all ready to be fried on customer's demand.

Though I have not actually tasted the ones made there, they sure tempt you so much. Amma always used to make these, when she makes the onion bajjis. This is so common in Madras, that I was quite surprised when my Sil said they never made these. So I made these for her, when I visited them. It gets done so fast that it doesn't require much preparation.

Just the dish for Bachelors, who can get this done on their own.

Ingredients Needed:

Plantain / Banana - 1
Gram Flour / Besan - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Ajwain / Carom seeds -1/2 tsp (opt)
Oil for deep frying

Ready made Bajji mix is also available in stores, you can just buy those and get this done in a jiffy!

Method to prepare:

Trim the ends, peel the outer skin. You can either cut these into long strips or circles. Once done, soak them in water, to prevent it from turning black.

Mix the batter in a bowl. Heat a Kadai with Oil, once its hot, take a banana piece, shake well to drain the water, dip in the besan and gently drop into the hot oil.

Cook on both sides and once it turns golden colour, remove to a kitchen towel.

Serve with Coconut Chutney!


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