It feels good to be back in this space after a long hiatus. I was away from the blog and social media enjoying a much needed break. I had taken a break from my studies too. ''What did she do? '' you may wonder. I read. Yes, a lot. I would go to my local library and bring as many books as I can carry. Fiction, Non- Fiction, Cookbooks. I read from morning to night. We each have different ways of relaxing,recouping. For me, it's reading that does it. It's theurapetic. I may not remember most of what I read now, nor I had the slightest idea to record the books I read. It's the moments that mattered to me. The feeling that you get when you do what you enjoy, a time well spent.
I didn't experiment much in the food front. I stuck to my comfy foods, foods that I know won't cause me any insensitivies. But for some time now, I've been coming out of my comfort zone and trying different foods. Like the Hazelnut Bread recipe from ''The Ketogenic Kitchen'' by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly. The recipe for that will be coming soon. And this Granola. I should say that I've never been a ganola fan. Even when S was gorging on store-bought chocolate granola I stayed away. One reason was I couldn't stomach the oats in it. And granola with milk didn't appeal to me.
Recently I had to buy some granola for a photo shoot. I bought a packet of gluten free Cashew and Cinnamon granola. The granola bowl started off with greek yogurt in the bottom, topped with blueberry sauce, next came a layer of granola, finishing off with frozen berries. This granola was so pretty I had to have it after the shoot. It was a flavor explosion in the mouth.
I wanted to make my own granola ever since. I scoured the internet, went through cookbooks. And this version I came up with is a mix of all those. The one better suited to my taste buds. It has coconut and almond flakes,nuts,seeds, raisins and gluten free oats as a base. Toasted coconut flakes with maple syrup and cinnamon is my absolute favorite. I could munch on it the whole day. So it was totally my addition to the granola so I could have it as a snack too.
Cinnamon Coconut Granola
by Farwin Simaak April-28-2017
A crunchy flavorful granola with toasted coconut ,almond flakes,nuts, seeds and raisins
- 200g Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- 50g Coconut Flakes
- 50g Almond Flakes
- 50g Sunflower Seeds
- 50g Pumpkin Seeds
- 25g Cashew
- 5 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 25g Raisins
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius for about 10 mins.In a meduim sized bowl, mix the oats,coconut flakes, almond flakes,sunflower and pumkin seeds and cashews.In a pan,gently heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together. Once both are incorporated, add the cinnamon and salt to the liquid and stir together. Take off from fire.Pour the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well until well coated.Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the granola mix evenly on the tray.Bake the granola for about 15- 20 minutes. You will have to keep an eye on the granola and take it out of the ovenand stir it a couple of times.Take off from the oven when it's browned and crunchy. MIx in the raisins.Let it cool off and store it in an airtight container for upto a week.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 450g or 15 servings
It's hard to satisfy kid's sweet tooth with wholesome ingredients. Like all kids, mine tend to gravitate towards the the large chocolate chip cookies displayed openly in the supermarkets. Their lovely smell is enough to entice even someone who hates cookies.
When you hear "Just one cookie,mama" repeatedly, you give in. "Ok, Just one cookie each". And the father joins in with two extra.
I like to have biscuits around in the house for tea time, or for that little hunger pangs which could come at any moment unannounced.
This recipe was from a book about wholesome snack for kids which I borrowed from my local library.
I love that it has oats,wholewheat and honey. All wholesome ingredients. And my boys helped topping up the biscuits with chocolate chips.
I have a sweet tooth and I have no problem with most of the sweet stuff. And I really liked these,the texture and the crunch. Truth be told, It was I who finished most of the biscuits while taking photos and with tea.
The kids had a few but they were not raving mad about the biscuits. It was "ok" for them. But they'll get used to it.
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 1/2tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. In a bowl add the oats,coconut and wholewheat flour .Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Mix all the these together. In a separate bowl, add the boiling water and baking soda and mix well. Spoon the honey and oil to the mix and stir so all the liquids combine.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon.
Line two trays with baking paper. Using a spoon, scoop the mixture into the tray and slightly flatten it.
Bake for 20 minutes or until it's golden brown in color.
Keep an eye on the biscuits in the last five minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
You can keep the biscuits in an air-tight container up to 5 days.
The things I do to keep myself warm. It wasn't snowing this time here yet. But it's unbelievably cold. I think I haven't still got used to the cold. I don about 3 to 4 layers of cloth,the last being a soft and cozy robe. Last winter,I didn't know a fleece robe is a quintessential winter clothing to be worn inside the house. Man,I suffered. A dear friend pulled me out of that misery. We talked about robes while she cooked me lunch wearing a soft blue one. This time around I never made that mistake. I bought not one but two robes. And bought them for hubby and kids too. I'm glad I converted my husband and he can never be seen around the house without his dark blue manly robe.
And then comes warm liquids. I haven't craved for warm teas since my vacation days in Nuwara Eliya. Hill Country. The coldest part in Sri Lanka. We were once staying at Ambewela,near the famous milk factory. Every morning fresh milk was brought to the cottage,heated until steam comes forth,Mom would generously add heaps of tea leaves and sugar ,stirring until the color is just right.a sort of beige,and pour the steaming milk tea into our mugs. I would hold the mug as a precious jewel as dropping even a drop of that liquid gold was unthinkable. An utter waste. I would savor each gulp and never wanted that stream of hot tea down my throat to end.
I don't remember how I came up adding turmeric to my milk. I probably saw it in Pinterest and Instagram when it was doing it's round in autumn. I wanted to try. To be honest, i didn't know what to expect. I use turmeric everyday,mostly twice a day in my cooking. In curries and fries. I was skeptical how it will taste in my tea.
Paired with crushed cardamom,the smell whet my appetite. I was impatient to taste it. With the right amount of sweetness it won me over. It'snot an everyday thing for me. But when the mood hits for loads of crushed cardamom and a touch of yellow dust in my milk I go for this tea. For warmth. For the sense of If you want to take a break from your everyday cup of hot chocolate give this turmeric milk a chance. It can't and won't replace a steaming bowl of hot cocoa but at least you're not left off the health bandwagon. You can fit in with the "turmeric cures cancer"crowd.
Before we were down with the flu,we took a walk in the lake which is a stones throw from our house. When the weather is nice I take a walk near the lake. It clears the cobwebs in my head. Makes me fall in love with my town again and again. I will post more pictures of my town in the coming posts.
1 cup milk of your choice. I used Soya milk
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 to 4 cardamom pods
2 tsp or more sugar or sweetener to taste
Add the milk to the saucepan. Sprinkle the turmeric powder to the milk and stir to break any visible lumps. Crush the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle. When the green skin is bruised and the brown seeds pop out, crush them too to release the wonderful aroma of the cardamom. Add the skin and the seeds to the milk. Heat the milk and stir occasionally to prevent burning in the bottom. Once it comes to rapid boil,lower the heat and let it boil slow for a good 5 minutes. Switch off the fire and strain the milk into your mug. Add sugar or sweetener if that's what you're using and stir to dissolve.
Now find the warmest,coziest spot on the couch,grab a book and enjoy the turmeric milk.
This is my first Autumn here in Ireland. I am in love with the scenery around me. The shades of trees from,green to the different hues of orange adorning the streets are a thing of beauty. And the falling leaves scattered around made me want to bring some home and photograph it. Which I did.The photo is in my Instagram feed.
The days are short and weather is getting colder. And I crave more warmth and often find myself in front of the heater or making something hot to drink or eat.
After a long silence in my blog,here I am reviving it again. Come what may,I realized I couldn't abandon my blog. I sincerely thank all my readers who messaged me,inspiring me to keep the blog alive. Also a shout out to my husband who designed this lovely header. Felt like coming back to a newly decorated, good old home filled with memories. A lot happened during the past year,and I thank the Almighty for giving me courage and keeping me going.
It's the blessed month of Ramadan. A month of fasting,not feasting. This year,Alhamdulillah,I made a resolution to keep our meals to a bare minimum. Not that we had extravagant meals all these years,but the focus was always been on food rather than more on worship. It's always been what to cook for Iftar(Breaking fast),what to make for Suhoor(Early Morning meal),how many iftars do I have to organize and so on and so forth. But starting my higher studies on Islam, getting myself bombarded(in a good way) with all the updates about the true essence of Ramadan by the social media and various groups that I'm part of, helped me realize the true spirit of this blessed month.
Now in Srilanka, the staple Iftar meal is the Conjee or the rice porridge. This is what we've been having for Iftar plus dinner every day. The snack and the fruit juice will vary every other day. This is a simple dish that doesn't require much time. I make it for 2 days and refrigerate minus the coconut milk. If you want to keep a portion aside,after you boil the rice you take a portion of it and refrigerate. For the remaining rice portion you add the coconut milk and consume it that day. Freshly squeezed coconut milk is what we always use for this but a lot of us here in Gulf are unable to get fresh coconut. So substitute coconut milk powder diluted with water or canned milk.
Beef and Rice Conjee
1/2 cup white raw rice
150g beef cut into small pieces/small bones can be added too
1 small carrot julienned/cut into strips
1 small leek chopped or green onion chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 small tomato chopped
3 cloves garlic,peeled and cut into half
1 inch piece ginger
few curry leaves
1 piece pandan leaf/rampe
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
3 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
In a pot add rice,beef,ginger,garlic,curry leaf and pandan leaf,the spice powders,fenugreek seeds,chopped carrot and leek,chopped onion and tomato with water.Add salt.
Do not cover while boiling.Boil on medium to low heat,till the beef gets cooked and rice becomes mushy.
Switch off the fire and mash the rice with the back of a big spoon.
Add the coconut milk bit by it and mix it with the rice,getting a smooth consistency.
At this stage,the porridge will be thick.You need to add 1 cup of water or more to dilute it. It should be in the consistency of a slightly thick soup.
Add more salt.
Keep the conjee on fire again and heat it. Crush the cumin seeds and peppercorn using a mortar and pestle to a fine powder.
Sprinkle it on the conjee and mix it.
When the conjee is heated and bubbles start to appear on the sides take it off from fire.
You can garnish it with fried onions.