Sunday, September 30, 2007

Banana-Papaya Bread with Dried Figs

Banana-Papaya Bread with Dried Figs

My friend S and I decided to bake up a banana bread recently. I was in charge of getting the bananas. Somewhere along the way I got real hungry and ate 1 of the 3 bananas I was supposed to get :(.

Now armed with just 2 bananas in place of the requisite 3, I sheepishly walked over to S's house only to have her promptly come up with a solution...why we can add some papaya to it instead! I had my doubts about the papaya addition, but who was I to say anything given that I had eaten part of the MAIN ingredient..doh!

The end result was that the papaya complimented the bananas just perfectly in this simple yet very tasty banana bread. We eventually got so excited that we started experimenting with chocolate chips in the 2nd loaf (bad idea so won't provide that recipe here ;).

This banana-papaya bread goes to Ahaar's JFI: Bananas event originally conceptualized by the amazing Indira!

Banana-Papaya Bread

1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 2 cups over ripe bananas, mashed well
3. 1 cup ripe papaya, mashed (optional, you can replace this with 1/2 cup of mashed banana)
4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
6. 1/2 cup butter (you can replace this with olive oil for a healthier version)
7. 3/4 cup brown sugar
8. 2 eggs, beaten (feel free to use 2 cups of ostrich egg ;))
9. 1/2 cup dried figs or any other nuts/dried fruit you have at hand

1. Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar
3. Stir in eggs, mashed bananas, papaya and dried fig until well blended
4. Gently stir this mixture into flour mixture where it just moistens
5. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until brown.Insert a toothpick into center of the loaf, where if it comes out clean, the bread is ready to eat!
7. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove, slice and eat
Enjoy :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ostrich Egg Frittata

Ostrich Egg Frittata

We got this humongous egg home one day, half expecting a baby dinosaur to come out of it the longer we refused to crack it open. When we finally did, we were rewarded with a bounty of wonderfully tasty and healthy (lower in cholesterol) version of the regular egg!
Camera used to take the pics below: Non-SLR. Olympus Digital, C-720 Ultra Zoom.
That's what it looked like when we got it

Hammer, chisel? It actually came with instructions!!

Yes, ALL that from one ostrich egg!

This is what we did with it :)

I have been meaning to write about my Ostrich egg escapades for a while now. Just as I am about to do that, I notice that Jai and Bee's 1st photography event theme is EGGS!! Serendipity anyone?

I am sending this eggstatic post Jai & Bee's way. For those who have not tried ostrich egg before, it pretty much tastes like regular egg, only 1 Ostrich egg tastes like 21 of the regular ones ;). Yup, thats right 1 ostrich egg yields yolk and egg-white equivalent to 21 regular eggs :)

Now how did we come about an ostrich egg you may ask. Well, R and I were on a tour of the California missions starting from San Francisco and going all the way down to Santa Barbara when we spotted an ostrich farm on the way! What again? Yes, an ostrich farm where they raise ostriches and allow people to go feed them. The brave ones who decided to go feed the large birds were given a LONG list of Dos and Donts (well Donts mostly :)).

R was just fascinated by the ostrich egg shell and was about to buy just the shell, when the person raising the ostrich convinced him to buy the actual egg with its goodness all intact instead. I kept nodding very vigorously, but alas R was already like a lil kid asking her all kinds of questions as to how many eggs does an ostrich lay in a week, do they protect them like mammals do etc etc. At that time I knew this was a lost cause..oh thing I knew we had this HUGE (understatement!) egg sitting in our backpack where we were instructed to err keep it warm and covered???

Now the moment I heard the words keep it warm and covered, I had scary visions of a lil ostrich staring at us from the back of our car by the time we got home!
Well all ended well with us discovering the joys of ostrich egg, and for some reason we came away wondering if everyone raised ostriches instead of chicken, would that reduce the need to buy eggs as often as we do??? thats a thought, silly one albeit ;)

Kanchana of Married to a Desi was nice enough to highlight eggs as this month's WBB event event originally conceptualized by our favorite neighborhood doc Nandita. This way we get to click our eggs and eat them too ;). Am sending this ostrichy frittata her way!

Ostrich Frittata
1. 4 cups of ostrich egg well beaten. Alternatively you can use 4 regular eggs.
2. 1 cup peeled, cleaned shrimp
3. 1 cup broccoli cut into florets
4. 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped thinly
5. 1 tsp Black pepper
6. 2 tsp cajun spice (or paprika)
7. 1 tsp olive oil
8. Salt to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees
2. In a deep vessel, add all the ingredients above and mix well
3. Spray a thick bottom skillet with oil
4. Add the mixture to the skillet and let cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes of till the egg turns brown
5. Once cooked, cut into wedges and serve.
I served this with some garlic bread. Made for a very satisfying meal!
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Modaks, modaks everywhere!

Modaks, modaks everywhere

Modaks Galore

Waiting to be Fried

Last day of the Ganesh festival

Today was the last day of the Ganesh festival. It was so great having friends hop over for the evening aartis...felt very festive and a small taste of the festival in India. I made some modaks for this occasion, and it turned out to be one sweet journey with friends bringing over yummy besan laddoos, cashew laddoos, a variety of fresh fruits and chocolates!! Boy do I love festivals :)

Besan Laddoos made by my friend T

Incidentally, I was in India (Mumbai) 2 days prior to the actual festival start date, and boy was the city already geared up for the big event! Huge pandals with people working till the wee hours of the morning putting in the final touches....aah pure nostalgia :)

I have previously posted the recipe for Modaks as well as additional information on them a while back, which you can check out here :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back from Mexico...gourmet heaven :)

Back from Mexico!

Apologies for the long blogging silence, but the main reason is that I have been extremely busy with a lot of travel (fun and work related) and dealing with the amazing response to the new product we just launched.

I will be back with more posts soon. In the meanwhile enjoy the food from our recent trip to Cabo in Mexico :)

When in Mexico...

Simple homemade tacos

Unbelievable crab at Alexander's

Lobster, lobster everywhere!!

Isn't it g8 when your food is grilled right by your table?

Margarita time...

Where the Mayan civilization comes alive...

Papaya Margaritas at the famous Hotel California

The OTHER hurricane ;) and it says DP!!

Street side food

Can't wait to go back....

Idyllic Beaches