Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  1 cup all-purpose flour
  1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1 teaspoon coarse salt
  3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  1/2 cup granulated sugar
  1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  1 large egg
  1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1 large mashed ripe banana
  1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  225 grm semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
  1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Makes about 30-35 pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Mix together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl
3. Set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
4. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. 
5. Add egg and vanilla, Mix until combined. 
6. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture, mix until just combined. 
7. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts. 
8. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. 
9. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. 
10. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. 

Note: Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days. 

Greek Dinner Salad

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
3 tbls coarsely chopped fresh dill 
1 tbls fresh lemon juice 
1 tbls extravirgin olive oil 
1 tsp dried oregano 
6 cups shredded Romaine lettuce 
3 cups diced tomato 
1 cup thinly sliced red onion 
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese 
1 tbls capers 
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced 
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
6 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 8 wedges 

1. Combine parsley, dill, lemon juice, olive oil and oregano in a large bowl
2. Stir with a whisk. 
3. Add lettuce, diced tomato, red onion, cheese, capers, cucumber and chickpeas
4. Toss well. 
5. Serve with pita wedges.

Pasta Salad with Shrimps

In this salad, the hot pasta will wane the spinach and soften the squash. Firm tofu, cut into cubes and cooked in a nonstick pan, can be used in place of shrimp.

  Mixed salt and ground pepper
  200g short pasta, such as fusilli
  1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced crosswise
  1/3 cup roughly chopped pitted olives
  4 lightly packed cups baby spinach 
  1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  400g large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. 
2. Drain pasta, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with squash, olives, spinach, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the oil. 
3. Season with salt and pepper
4. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. 
5. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. 
6. Season with salt and pepper. 
7. Top pasta with shrimp.

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Sugar Cookies are a sweet and tender cookie with wonderfully crisp edges. Sugar Cookies are once made primarily during the Christmas season, they are now a year round favorite. They are delicious whether dressed simply with a sprinkling of colored sugar or frosted with royal icing.

Sugar Cookies:
  3 cups all purpose flour 
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1 teaspoon baking soda
  1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  1 cup granulated white sugar
  2 large eggs
  2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Royal Icing Using Egg Whites:
  2 large egg whites
  2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  3 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Sugar Cookies:
1. whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a seperate bowl. 
2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). 
3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. 
4. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. 
5. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. 
5. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
6. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  
7. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  
8. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar.  
9. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)
10. Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
Makes about 36 cookies.

Royal Icing with Egg Whites:
11. In the bowl beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. 
12. Add the sifted sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more sugar or water. 
13. Add food coloring, if desired. 
14. The icing needs to be used immediately or put in an airtight container as it hardens when exposed to air. 


Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs

1/2 kg ground beef 
7 tbsp parmesan
1 tbsp coarse mustard
1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 medium egg
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 (400 grms) cans diced tomatoes
small can tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 red bell pepper
1 large onion
butter or oil
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1. Add an egg, salt, pepper, coarse mustard and ketchup to 1/2 kg ground beef.
2. Top with the parmesan. Don’t use the expensive stuff for this, just grab the Kraft type of parmesan.
3. Mix it all up and form into small balls with your hands.
4. Heat butter or oil and brown the meatballs. Then remove them from the pan.
5. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan and cook over low heat for about 4 minutes.
6. Add a small can of tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a minute to sweeten the paste.  
7. Add the two cans diced tomatoes, 1/3 can of water, a good pinch of black pepper, a tsp salt (you can add more later), 1 tbsp dried basil and 1 tbsp dried parsley. Or use oregano or sage if that’s what you prefer.  
8. Add the meatballs to the sauce. I really curse the yellowish light over my stove.
9. Add 2 tsp brown sugar. 
10. Pop the lid on and simmer the sauce, over low heat, for 20 minutes. Take the lid off and simmer the sauce for another 20 minutes giving it a chance to cook down a little. Check the seasoning.
11. Boil the pasta in salted water to the directions on your package.  
12. Stir in two tbsp sour cream. 


Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes has a dark and dense chocolate sponge, baked with a cheesecake centre, and frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Mixture
225 g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 small banana, pureed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
225 g semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Mixture
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, pureed
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

- Preheat oven to 175 degrees.

For the cream cheese mixture:
1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until nice and fluffy.
2. Add banana, egg and vanilla and mix together until combined.
3. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

For the chocolate mixture:
4.Sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, soda and salt using a wire whisk.
5. Add bananas, oil and vanilla and mix together on low until combined.
6. Use a large scoop to fill cupcake liners with batter.
7. Repeat topping the cupcake batter with the cream cheese mixture.

- Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.
- Makes about 18 cupcakes.

BBQ Chicken with Cabbage & Pear Slaw

  3 tbls light mayonnaise
  2 tbls cider vinegar
  2 tbls low-fat milk
  1 tsp sugar
  1/8 tsp celery seeds
  1/4 cup bottled barbecue sauce
  4 cup shredded red cabbage 
  3 cup shredded carrots 
  2 large pears, cored and cut in thin strips
  4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 pounds)
  Salt & black pepper to taste

1. Blend mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, celery seeds and 1 tablespoon of the barbecue sauce.
2. In a bowl, mix cabbage, carrots and pears. Top with mayonnaise mixture
3. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place chicken breasts on a rack over a baking sheet. 
5. Remove 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce to a small bowl; brush each breast lightly with remaining barbecue sauce, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. 
6. Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken registers 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. 
7. Remove from oven and spoon reserved barbecue sauce over chicken breasts. Serve with 1-1/2 cups slaw per person.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas

  1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt 
  1/2 tsp ground cumin 
  1/4 tsp crushed red pepper 
  3 cups chopped cooked chicken 
  2 tbls lemon juice  
  1 cup chopped red bell pepper 
  1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
  1/2 cup diced red onion 
  1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  15-ounce chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained (without Salt) 
  6 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half 
  6 (1/8-inch-thick) slices tomato, cut in half 
  12 Bibb lettuce leaves 

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl
2. Set aside. Combine chicken and next 5 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a large bowl. 
3. Add yogurt mixture to chicken mixture
4. Toss gently to coat. 
5. Line each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf and 1 tomato piece
6. Add 1/2 cup chicken mixture to each pita half.

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad


  1 kg thin-sliced chicken cutlets
  400 grm rotini
  2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1 medium-size red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  1 large sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  1 large green pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  1 cup mayonnaise
  1/2 cup vinegar
  1/2 cup honey
  1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  1 teaspoon sugar
  1 teaspoon onion powder
  1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  1/2 cup canola oil
  Salt and Black Pepper to taste


1. Cook pasta following package directions and make it drain.2. While pasta is cooking, heat grill pan or broiler. Sprinkle chicken with the lemon juice and grill or broil for about 2 minutes per side at 160 degrees F. Set aside and let cool.3. When cool, cut chicken into bite-size pieces and mix with cooled pasta in a large bowl. Add diced peppers, onion, scallions and dill.4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, mustard, sugar, onion powder, parsley flakes, salt and black pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil.5. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the pasta and chicken and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate Malt Cake

  1-1/4 cup oil
  3/4 cup milk
  3/4 cup plain yogurt
  2 large eggs
  1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  3 cups sugar
  3 cups flour
  3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  1-1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  1-1/4 cups boiling water
  Chocolate Malt Frosting (see recipe)

1. Pre cook Malt Frosting before the cake so that it can chill for at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare 3 round 9-inch cake pans with butter and flour and line with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
3. Beat oil, milk, yogurt, eggs and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended, about 2 minutes. 
4. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in separate bowl. 
5. Slowly add 1/3 of dry ingredients to milk mixture and beat until well blended. Beat in 1/3 of boiling water. 
6. Add another 1/3 of dry ingredients and beat until well mixed; then beat in another 1/3 of water. 
7. Add remaining dry ingredients, beating well, then add remaining water and beat until well mixed. Scrape mixing bowl often.

8. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. 
9. Do not open oven while cake is baking. Cool pans on rack for 15 minutes, the remove from pan, take off paper, and continue to cool completely. 
10. Frost top of one layer with Malt Frosting, then place second layer on top and frost; top with third layer and frost tops and sides. 
11. Refrigerate 2 hours before cutting.

Chocolate Malt Frosting

  1 cup unsweetened butter, store in room temperature
  ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  ½ cup malted milk powder
  ¾ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  5 cups Icing sugar (powdered) 
1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa powder until creamy. 
2. In a small bowl, combine whipping cream and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. 
3. Add cream mixture to butter mixture, use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat until combined. 
4. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth. 
5. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

For Garnish: (Optional)
6. Garnish with malted milk balls 

Thai fried rice

  500 Grm rice, boiled
  ¼ cup oil
  ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  1 tsp sugar
  1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  1 heaped tsp garlic, crushed
  1 cup prawns, boiled (Preferably use fresh prawns)
  1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  2 eggs, lightly beaten
  1 capsicum, sliced
  1 carrot, sliced
  1 tomato, remove seeds and cut in small cubes
  2 tbsp fish sauce
  ½ cup spring onion leaves, chopped
  1 tsp each of salt, white pepper, Chinese salt

1. Heat oil and stir fry onion and garlic till golden. 
2. Add sugar, all the seasonings and boiled chicken and prawns. 
3. Add a little more oil if required. 
4. Now add in the beaten eggs and stir quickly to scramble them. 
5. Now add rice with all the vegetables, stir fry and remove. 
5. Serves four.

Dry chicken chilli

  4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into slices, marinated with ½ tsp each of salt, white pepper, Chinese salt
  ¼ cup oil
  1 tbsp crushed garlic
  Mushrooms sliced
  1 tsp levelled crushed red pepper
  4 small fried chillies, sliced
  1 tbsp ginger, sliced
  1 tbsp Soya sauce
  1 tbsp vinegar
  1 tbsp oyster sauce
  ½ tsp Chinese salt
  2-3 tbsp spring onion leaves, chopped
  ½ tsp salt
  1 tbsp fish sauce

1. Marinate thinly sliced chicken breast for ½ an hour. 
2. Heat oil in a cooking wok and fry crushed garlic. 
3. When slightly golden, add the marinated chicken and stir fry for three minutes. 
4. Add all the seasoning and vegetables.
5. cook for 5-8 minutes or until done and remove. 
6. Serve hot with rice.

Spicy Thai soup

  6 cups stock
  2 tbsp flour
  1 tbsp butter
  2 tbsp coriander leaves
  2 tbsp lemon juice
  2 tbsp coconut milk powder
  1 tbsp chilli oil
  1 tsp each of salt, white pepper and Chinese salt
  3–4 mushrooms, sliced
  1 kashmiri chilli, soaked and ground
  ½ cup tomato cubes, seeded and cut into square pieces

1. Heat butter in a deep pan and saute the flour. 
2. Add the ground chilli and fry, then add the stock with all the seasonings and lemon juice. 
3. Dissolve the coconut milk powder in some of the stock and add. 
4. Let it simmer until thick. Lastly, add in chilli oil, tomato cubes, mushroom slices and coriander stalks. 
5. This recipe Serves four. Enjoy!


  500 grm under-cut beef, sliced into long thin strips
  3 – 4 onions thinly sliced
  1 tbsp ginger paste
  1 tbsp garlic paste
  2 tsp red chilli powder
  1 tbsp cumin powder
  2 tbsp coriander powder
  2 tbsp lemon juice
  4 tbsp green chillies, coriander leaves and mint
  1 tsp salt
  ½ cup oil
  1 tsp lemon juice

1. Heat oil and add meat, onions, garlic and ginger paste, salt, red chilli, cumin powder and fry the meat. 
2. After 10 minutes, add water and let the meat become tender. 
3. Add the coriander powder and fry the meat well. 
4. Add lemon juice and green chillies, coriander leaves and mint.

Fenugreek chicken

  1 medium size chicken, cut in 12 pieces
  2 cups fenugreek
  6 green chillies
  3 – 4 onions
  1 tsp garlic paste
  1 tsp ginger paste
  1 tbsp red chilli
  ½ tsp turmeric powder
  5 – 6 tomatoes
  4 -5 tbsp oil
  salt to taste

1. Fry the onions and add garlic/ginger, turmeric and green chillies and fry for a while. 
2. Then add chicken and fenugreek and fry again. 
3. When the water of the chicken dries up, add in tomatoes, salt and red chilli powder and fry and cook till it becomes tender.


Martabak, also mutabbaq, (Arabic: مطبق‎) is a stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread which is commonly found in Saudi Arabia (especially the Tihamah and the Hejaz regions). Depending on the location, the name and ingredients can significantly vary. The name mutabbaq (or sometimes mutabbag) in Arabic means "folded". In Indonesia, the Murtabak is one of the most popular street food menu and is well known as Martabak.

  ½ kg boneless meat,
  1 tsp garlic paste
  1 tsp ginger paste
  1 tbsp red chilli
  ½ tsp turmeric powder
  1 tsp cumin seeds
  ½ tsp cardamom powder
  1 tsp salt
  3 eggs
  1 cup grated cheese
  1 cup flour for rotis
  ½ tsp black pepper
  2 tbsp coriander leaves
  1 tsp lemon juice

1. Boil meat with garlic/ginger paste, salt, red chilli, turmeric powder and cumin seeds. 
2. Take the boiled meat and shred it. Beat eggs and add salt, black pepper and cardamom powder. 
3. Make rotis according the size of the dish. 
4. Now grease the dish and spread the roti on it. Spread with egg mixture, sprinkle with meat, lemon, grated cheese and coriander leaves. 
5. Place another roti on the top and repeat the procedure. Bake in the oven till firm. 
6. Cut it like cake slices and serve.

Tossed salad with olive dressing

  ½ piece cucumber, sliced
  1 tomato, cut in wedges
  ½ onion, cut in rings
  1 tbsp lemon juice
  1 cup lettuce
  1 tbsp olive oil
  1 clove garlic, chopped
  A pinch of pepper and salt

1. Lay out lettuce leaves along the border of the platter. 
2. Cut onion in rings, slice cucumber and tomatoes, and add to dish. 
3. In a bottle mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt and finely chopped garlic and mix well to prepare dressing. Drizzle on top of tossed salad and serve.

Nutrition Count for 1 serving
- Tossed salad with olive dressing, mixed vegetable raita, steamed rice, grilled shrimps = 680 calories

Note: The daily calorie requirement for average adults is between 2000-2500 kcal, depending on individual lifestyles

Mixed vegetable raita

  1 cup skimmed yogurt
  1 medium onion, chopped
  1 small tomato
  1 medium cucumber
  1 piece green chilli
  1 tbsp mint
  1 tbsp coriander
  2 cloves garlic
  A pinch of salt
  1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Finely chop the tomato, cucumber, onions, green chillies, coriander, mint leaves and garlic. 
2. In a bowl whip the yogurt, lemon juice and salt. 
3. Add all the vegetables and mix well.

Blueberry ice cream

  1 tin blueberry
  1 tin condensed milk, cold
  3 cups whipped cream
  2 egg whites, stiffly beaten with 1 oz icing sugar
  Few drops of vanilla essence

1. Liquidise the blueberries in a blender. 
2. In the condensed milk fold in the cream, blueberries, vanilla essence and stiffly beaten egg whites. 
3. Mix lightly. 
4. Freeze for eight to ten hours in an airtight container until firm.

Strawberry ripple

  ¾ fresh or frozen strawberries
  ½ tin evaporated milk, chilled
  ½ tin condensed milk, cold
  cups whipped cream
  4-6 tbsp strawberry syrup

1. Liquidise the strawberries in a blender. 
2. Beat chilled evaporated milk until it becomes double in volume. 
3. Gradually fold in condensed milk, the liquidised strawberries and whipped cream into the evaporated milk. 
4. Put to set in an airtight container and after 6-8 hours, open and slowly fold in the strawberry syrup. 
5. Freeze till firm.

Praline and cream

  ½ tin evaporated milk, chilled
  ½ cup praline, crushed
  2 cups fresh cream, whipped
  4 tbsp condensed milk
  ½ vanilla essence
For sauce
  50g butter
  25g brown sugar
  ¼ cup cream
  1 tbsp golden syrup
  Few drops of vanilla essence

For sauce
1. Cook butter and sugar in a pan until they dissolve. 
2. Add in syrup and cream, and let it simmer for two minutes. 
3. Remove and add the essence.

For ice cream
4. Beat evaporated milk till fluffy. 
5. Add condensed milk and the prepared sauce. 
6. Fold in the fresh cream and put in the freezer till partly set. 
7. Remove it and very gently fold in the praline and again freeze it until firm.

Cookies and cream

  ½ tin evaporated milk, chilled
  1 cup cookies, crushed
  ½ tsp vanilla or chocolate essence
  3 cups fresh cream whipped with 1 oz icing sugar
  ½ tin condensed milk

1. Whisk the chilled evaporated milk until fluffy. 
2. Add in condensed milk with essence. 
3. Fold in the whipped cream and put the mixture in an airtight container and freeze till partly set.
4. Remove and very lightly fold in the cookies (covered and refrigerated). Freeze again until firm.

Bounty ice cream

  ½ tin evaporated milk, chilled
  2 cups fresh cream, whipped
  75 gm melted chocolate
  ½ tin condensed milk
  ½ cup desiccated coconut
  Few drops of vanilla essence

1. Beat the chilled evaporated milk till thick and fluffy. 
2. Add essence and condensed milk. 
3. Fold in coconut and whipped cream. Mix lightly and freeze in an airtight container until it is partly set.
4. Remove from the freezer and slowly fold in the melted chocolate, but not too evenly so as to give a marble effect. 
5. Freeze again until firm.

Chicken à la Kiev

  2 chicken breast pieces
  50g flour
  50g bread crumbs
  50g frozen butter
  2 tbsps parsley
  1 tbsp lemon juice
  2 eggs, beaten well
  1 tsp level sugar
  2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  1 tsp each salt, pepper, mustard

1. cut the breastbone with knife, flatten the breast with hammer. 
2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, mustard and parsley. Place frozen butter in centre of the breast fillet and roll it up.
3. Now dip the rolled chicken in flour, egg and then in breadcrumbs; make sure the edges are sealed properly so the butter doesn’t leak out while frying. 
4. To seal the batter, chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Deep fry in medium hot oil for 8-10 minutes, serve with mashed potatoes with lemon.

You can use cheese as a Substitute for butter in chicken à la Kiev for a melt in the mouth texture.

Barbecue sauce

  2 cups tomato juice
  3/4 cup salad oil
  1/2 cup vinegar
  2 tsp sugar
  1 tsp chilli powder
  4 cloves of garlic
  1 tsp salt

1. Peel garlic and crush it. 
2. Heat oil and add garlic and stir. 
3. Quickly add vinegar and tomato juice, chilli powder, salt and sugar and cook for 15 minutes.

Chicken shashlik

  1 chicken breast (250 Grm)
  1 onion, cut into cubes
  1 tomato, seeded and cut into cubes
  2 capsicums, seeded and cut into cubes
  1 tsp each of mustard, salt, pepper 
  1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  ¼ salad oil
  2 tbsps oil for frying
  Plain or fried rice

1. Cut chicken into cubes, season with salt, pepper, mustard, Worcester sauce and ¼ cup salad oil and leave for 30 minutes.
2. Thread chicken and vegetables through small wooden skewers and keep aside. 
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and shallow fry the skewers on both sides till golden brown. 
4. Add barbecue sauce and cook till it is tender and serve on plain or fried rice.


  300 grm lasagne strips
  ½ cup cream
  ½ cup parmesan cheese

For meat sauce
  ½ kg minced meat
  ½ kg tomatoes, boiled and skinned
  ¼ cup tomato ketchup
  2 onions, chopped
  2 tsp garlic
  salt to taste
  2 tbsps oil

Cheese sauce
  50 grm butter
  2 cups milk
  4 tbsp flour
  Pinch of nutmeg
  ¾ tsp pepper
  ¾ tsp salt
  100 grm cheese, grated

For cheese sauce
1. In a pan melt butter and stir in flour.
2. After cooking for a couple of minutes add milk gradually, stirring until it gets thick. 
3. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheese, and stir until melted.

For lasagne
4. Drop lasagne strips gradually in a big pan with boiling salted water. Cook for 30 minutes, or until they get tender. 
5. Drain and put in a pan of cold water with a bit of oil until ready to use.

For meat sauce
6. Heat oil in a pan, fry onions until they turn brown then add garlic, mince meat and sauté. Add salt, tomatoes and ketchup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
7. Now reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes until it is well cooked and dry. 
8. A little water can be added to make sure the meat gets tender.

9. Now to assemble, place a layer of lasagne strips in a shallow ovenproof dish, spread half the meat sauce over the strips then cover with half the cheese sauce. 
10. Top with the second layer of strips. Repeat the layers of meat sauce, cheese sauce, and finally lasagne strips to cover the top completely. 
11. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake in a moderately heated oven for 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven and gently spoon cream over the top and bake for about 20 minutes more.
12. Enjoy

Pumpkin Puree

1 medium pumpkin
cheesecloth (or any Light weighted cloth)

1. Cut the skin off the pumpkin.
2. Cut pumpkin into 1 or 2 inch cubes.
3. Place in casserole.
4. Cook in 175 degree celsius oven for one hour.
5. Pumpkin is done when it is soft and "mushy" when pressed with a fork.
6. With hand blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
7. To remove excess liquid, place pureed pumpkin in strainer or cheese cloth and allow to drip overnight.
8. Use right away or freeze in small amounts to be used in cooking and backing.
9. Cover large slices of pumpkin (with skin) in tin foil place on cookie sheet and after baking scrape the fruit from the skin and follow instructions for puree.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

  1 whole chicken
  Black Pepper and salt to taste

1. Place chicken on a flat surface breast side down, legs facing away from you.
2. With kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut out the neck bone all the way to the butt by cutting down one side of the neck bone and then repeat on the other side.
3. Turn chicken over and press flat, season and grill or bake as desired.

Cracker sandwich

12 biscuits (salty flavour of any brand)
½ cup chicken boiled and shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tomato cut into 6 slices
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 cucumber peeled, cut into 6 slices

1. Mix mayonnaise with chicken and corrinder leaves. 
2. Spread this mixture on the biscuits evenly. 
3. Place tomato slice and cucumber slice on six of the biscuits. 
4. cover each with a second biscuit to make a sandwich.

Fruited ring

  4 cup milk
  5 tbsp rice
  1 cinnamon stick
  1-1/2 cups orange juice
  1-1/2 cups dried mixed fruit
  3 tbsp icing sugar
  Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  Oil for greasing

1. Mix the rice, milk and cinnamon stick in a pan and bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1-1/2 hour or until no liquid remains. 
2. In the same time, mix the dried fruit and orange juice in a pan and bring to a boil. Cover, and then simmer very gently for about one hour, until the fruit are tender and no liquid remain. 
3. Remove the cinnamon stick from the rice and stir in the sugar and orange zest, mixing thoroughly. Put the fruit in a lightly oiled 6-1/2 cup ring mould. 
4. Spoon the rice smoothing down firmly. Chill. 
5. Run a knife around the edge of the mould and turn out the rice carefully onto a serving plate.

Berry coffee cake

  225 mg cream cheese, softened
  1/2 cup butter (margarine), softened
  3/4 cup sugar
  1/4 cup milk
  2 eggs
  1 tsp vanilla essence
  2 cups flour
  1 tsp baking powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 tsp baking soda
  3 cups fresh berries (sliced of needed)
  1/2 cup chopped nuts
  1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Combine cream cheese, butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla essence. 
3. Add together pre-sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix with cheese mixture until smooth. Spread half the batter in greased and floured in the  baking pan. 
4. Spread berries evenly over the batter. Dot the remaining batter over berries. 
5. Mix brown sugar and nuts, sprinkle evenly over cake. 
6. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm. 
7. Add whipped topping to make it even better!

Christmas fruit cake

  Butter or margarine 250 gms 
  Caster or brown sugar 1 cup
  Honey 2 tablespoon
  Eggs 4
  Flour 200 g 
  Corn flour 25 g 
  Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon, levelled
  Mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon
  Orange or lemon rind 2 teaspoon
  Chopped mixed fruit (glazed apricots, dates, prunes, raisin) 450 g
  Orange juice 3/2 cup

  Glazed cherries 50 g
  Flaked almonds 25 g
  Orange or lemon rind 50 g

1. Combine fruit and milk in a bowl, mix well, cover, let stand overnight at room temperature.
2. Grease round cake pan. Beat butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add honey, beat well. Add eggs one at a time. 
3. Stir fruit mixture into creamed mixture with sifted dry ingredients. 
4. Spread mixture over the base of prepared pan. Decorate top of cake with topping. Bake in slow oven 150 C or about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 
5. Brush hot cake with extra orange juice. 
6. Stand 5 - 10 minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool. 
7. Serve warm.

Caramel bananas

  100g butter
  1/3 cup brown sugar
  1 cup castor sugar
  1 cup thickened cream
  4 ripe bananas
  2 tbs water 

1. Heat butter in a pan, add brown/castor sugar and water, stir over heat, without boiling, until the sugar is dissolved. 
2. Now stir in the cream and bring to boil. 
3. Then add the bananas. 
4. Leave to cool. 
5. Serve with cream or ice-cream if desired.

Chocolate cream cake

  1 packet cream
  2 tbsp sugar (grounded) or to taste
  ½ tsp vanilla essence
  1 cup chocolate pieces
  1 pound round plain cake
  ½ cup pineapple pieces
  1 cherry

1. Keep the cream in the refrigerator for two hours; then take the cream out from the fridge and beat it along with sugar and vanilla essence. 
2. Cut chocolate pieces in julienne shape or grate the chocolate, and mix gently in the cream. 
3. Then cut the cake horizontally into two layers.
4. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate, top with half of the cream mixture. 
5. Place the other cake piece on it and top with the remaining cream. 
6. Refrigerate it for two hours. 
7. Top with pineapple pieces and garnish with cherry in the centre.


Baking is quite an interesting and rewarding hobby and very enjoyable too.

Sumptuous pizzas, tasty cherry cakes, moist, chewy, huge spicy fruit buns, chocolate brownies, crunchy biscuits, irresistible chocolate fudge cakes so wonderful to imagine, arent they? But to tell you the truth they aren't all that difficult to make too if you follow directions, mix the ingredients in the right proportions and if your oven is in perfect order.

Equipment List
Baking is a process by which articles of food are cooked entirely in the oven. So the first and foremost thing that you need is an oven. Other things that you will require are baking trays, large roomy mixing bowls, wooden spoons for mixing, a rolling pin, sieves, cutters, scales, nylon piping bags with nozzles, whisks, measuring jugs, palette knives, etc. etc.

Some ingredients are common to all recipes. These are flour, baking powder, butter or margarine or oil, sugar and eggs. Self-raising flour is at times used instead of plain flour (maida) because it has just the right balance of raising agents for quite a number of cakes. And, yeast is often made use of instead of baking powder especially when baking bread or pizzas. If it is a chocolate cake that you are baking, you will also need cocoa powder.

The first thing is to get hold of some great tried and tested recipes. Seek help from your friends or consult some good book. Weigh all the ingredients first and then mix them as directed. When the dough is ready, place it in the baking tray but first grease it with some oil or butter or line it with greaseproof paper. Now put it in the oven at the temperature specified.

Once it is ready, you might decorate it with fruit or jam or cream or icing sugar or top it with some delectable chocolate sauce which you can prepare according to the instructions given in the recipe.

Useful Tips
1- Never open the oven door until the cake is at least three-quarters cooked according to the time given as this lets in cold air and might spoil your cake.
2- Always give your flour a good airing by sifting it two or three times.
3- Eggs to be used should be at room temperature and not too cold.
4- Dont keep yeast longer than two months before using.
5- Insert a skewer in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.

Home made goodies taste good and cost less than those bought from the bakery. They can also be symbols of friendship and love for if someone takes the time to bake something for you then that means he or she cares about you. So surprise others with your baking talent and get the praise which is your due!


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