Good old peanut butter cookies

Hi there! I made peanut butter cookies recently and thought I should share this recipe with my blog readers. I always liked to eat peanuts. In India when I was a little girl we would go to a speciality shop. In Marathi, the shop is called as Bhadabhunja (bha-duh-bhun-ja) shop. They only use to sell salted roasted peanuts, roasted chickpeas, rice puffs, wheat puffs, sorghum puff, rice cereals, etc. There was one such shop in the neighborhood where my grandparents lived. That shop is still there and run by the owner’s future generations. Everytime I visit India I make sure to get some goodies from the shop especially roasted, salted peanuts.

 

After moving in US I encounter peanuts in different forms than I used to in India. I started liking peanut butter and then peanut butter cookies. I experimented with different peanut butter cookie recipes and finally made my own. I have been using this recipe from last 10 years. I am sure you will enjoy this recipes as well. Give it a try!

 

Peanut butter cookies :  Makes 36-40 cookies

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder (this really enhances the flavor of the cookie)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts chopped coarsely

 

Steps :

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt) together. Keep it aside.
  • In a food processor bowl add butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and regular sugar. Cream everything together to a smooth mixture. As you will start creaming the mixture it will become pale in color and will become fluffy.
  • Add the beaten eggs one at a time in the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
  • After mixing in the eggs, add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture in 3 batches. Make sure not to overmix the batter.
  • Fold in the chopped peanuts in the cookie batter.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and roll the dough and place it on the baking sheet.
  • Flatten the rolled dough with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle sugar on top of the cookies.
  • Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges about 10 to 12 minutes (depending on your oven) switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.

 

 

A Baker’s Note:

  • Instead of using combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour, you can use 2 1/2 cups of plain all purpose flour or whole wheat flour.
  • For Peanut butter – chocolate chip cookies : Replace 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts by 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • if you like your cookies sweeter then roll the dough ball in granulated sugar before baking.

Happy Baking!

Cheese and fruit platter

When it comes to eating cheese it is always a new experience for me. I like cheese and always love to serve cheese platters. I have served cheese platters on various occasions from holiday party to casual summer get-togethers. Most of the time I like to serve combinations of cheeses such as hard cheese, semi-soft cheese and soft cheese. The thing is I always make sure that there will be something for everybody. It is really up to you to put the number of cheeses on the platter that you and your guest(s) will enjoy.

This time I served Parmigiano-Reggiano, White Stilton with blueberries and fresh goat cheese with lemon and thyme drizzled with good extra-virgin olive oil. I also served fresh fruits and dried fruits along with the variety of crackers. My guests really enjoyed this platter. If you like cheese I am sure you will enjoy this cheese platter too!

White Stilton with blueberries in the lower right corner

 

Don’t forget the crackers

 

Grapes, apples, peaches, and dried figs

 

Parmigiano-Reggiano

 

Goat cheese with thyme and lemon drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil

 

Cook With Me 1.1 is available to all on the App Store!

The update we mentioned in our latest post is here, just in time for the holidays. In this update, we have added five new recipes for you to enjoy. Here is a link to Cook With Me app on the Apple app store.

Some snapshots:


The beetroot rice recipe summary.

Enjoy the holidays!
– The designX6 team

Cook With Me update is heading to the app store soon!

I am excited to share that we are almost ready to submit Cook With Me update for an app store review.  In this release we are adding 5 new recipes.  All our recipes are delicious, gluten–free, and many are vegan.  We continue to offer recipes as step-by-step instructions in a clear and simple format.

Our existing users can update the app for free. We are confident that updating is worth your time.  Thank you.

P. S. Existing users will notice that the recipe summary picture looks a bit bigger, and appetizing as always. 🙂

Mustard Chicken with Butternut Squash and Green Peas Salad

I am back designX6 blog fans, and I have a delicious recipe to share with you. I like to add some flavor to the food I make. Sometimes it is different herbs, sometimes it is vegetables. There will be always some spices in it. This time I have used mustard to prepare this chicken. I use mustard seeds regularly in the cooking, but not the paste. In this recipe yellow mustard is used as a main ingredient in the marination. Mustard gives the chicken a sharp taste and a nice color after the roasting. Basically, you add everything in the marinade and roast the chicken with the marinade.

I like to serve this chicken with a warm butternut squash and peas salad. Enjoy!

Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:                                   Servings: 2

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, thinly sliced cutlets
  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon or as per your taste salt
  • 1 big white onion peeled and then cut in big chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

Steps:

  • Clean the chicken and pat it dry before putting it into the marinade.
  • Cut the onion in big chunks and cut the lemon in half.
  • In a gallon size ziplock bag add olive oil, mustard, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
  • Next goes in salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine all the spices together.
  • Add onions and lemon juice to the marinade along with the leftover lemon pulp and rind. Lastly add the chicken cutlets into the marinade and mix everything together.
  • Keep the chicken in the refrigerator for half to one hour to marinate.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the chicken in roasting pan with the marinade, onion, and garlic.
  • Finally, roast everything together for 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely.

 

Butternut Squash and Green Peas Salad          Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Fresh thyme

Steps:

  • In a skillet, heat olive oil on a medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and diced squash. Sautè it for 2 minutes. Pour water over the squash and put the lid on to the skillet. Let the squash cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • After the squash is cooked add paprika, salt and black pepper to squash. Mix it well.
  • Next add green peas to the squash mixture and sautè it for a minute. Let it cook for another minute.
  • Garnish the salad with cilantro and thyme before Serving.

 

Mustard, paprika, olive oil and thyme for the marinade

 

Next goes in onion, garlic and lemon

 

Chicken in the marinade

 

Final product

 

A close-up

 

One more

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Rice; A must have on Narali-Pournima

Today we are celebrating the festival of Narali-Pournima. During the monsoon season fishermen stop sailing and fishing in the sea. Pournima stands for the full moon day of the month. People offer coconuts (Coconut = Naral in Marathi) to the sea in the “Shravan” month on this full moon day. Hence, the name of the festival is Narali-Pournima. This festival also marks the beginning of the new fishing season. To celebrate this occasion, a sweet rice and coconut dessert is usually made in every home. Here is the delicious recipe for folks who are nuts about coconut.

This is the original recipe from designX6’s “Cook With Me” App. Enjoy!

 
Total Time Required : 25 to 30 min.                Servings : 2
Ingredients :
  • 1/2 cup white basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter (Or coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cashews
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 7-8 saffron strands (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Steps :
  1. Rinse the rice at least 2 to 3 times and drain well.
  2. Take a small cooking pot with high sides and tight fitting lid. Put the pot on the stove.
  3. Turn on the stove to medium setting and put teaspoon of butter (or coconut oil) in the pot.
  4. As the butter (or oil) starts melting add chopped cashews, cardamom powder, cloves in the pot.
  5. Add drained rice and stir the rice to coat each grain with butter. Toast the rice for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
  6. After the rice is toasted add unsweetened coconut flakes, water and salt to the pot. Stir it together.
  7. Cover the pot and let the rice cook. Keep stirring the rice in the intervals. About 2 to 4 minutes.
  8. After all the water has been absorbed by rice add the sugar and brown sugar, and coconut milk to the rice.
  9. Add the the saffron now if using it.
  10. Stir the rice carefully (make sure not to break the rice kernel) to melt all sugar.
  11. After sugar has been melted put the lid back on the pot, turn off the heat and let it set for 5 minutes.
  12. After 5 minutes stir the rice again, discard the whole cloves in the rice and serve hot.

Coconut Rice

 

Coconut, cashews and cardamom makes it delicious

For years, me and my family have enjoyed this coconut rice. I hope you enjoy as well!

Summer excitement; Peach-Lemon sangria

Finally summer is here. However, we get hot and humid days here in Ohio. The best way to beat these hot days is to make cool drinks. I like to use different fruits to make drinks. Peaches are my new favorites after moving here. I use them all the time to make cobblers, cakes and other desserts when they are in season. Most of all I like to use them in sangria.Sangria is a spanish alcohol based beverage. It is wine based drink mixed with chopped fruits, fruit nectars and sometimes adding different alcohol mixtures. My recipe of sangria is a lighter version. Fresh peaches gives it beautiful orange color. Here is how I make sangria:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups white wine
  • 1 Cup peach green tea ( I use Tazo iced peach tea )
  • 1 Cup lemonade
  • 3 Peaches, sliced
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • Ice for serving

Steps:

  1. In a big pitcher mix the white wine, peach green tea and lemonade. Stir them together to mix.

  2. Slice Peaches and lemons. Add them to wine+tea mixture in the pitcher. Let the fruits steep into the mixture.

  3. Cover the pitcher with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.

  4. Before serving, fill the glass halfway with ice and pour the drink over it. Garnish it with a lemon or peach slice and serve.

 

Zesty chili-lime chicken

When it comes to cooking chicken I am always looking for no-fuss recipes. This zesty chili-lime chicken recipe is one of them. It is a winner recipe for me. All you need is few spices and fresh limes to make this chicken. You can adjust the spice level as per your taste. It does not need whole lot of time to marinate. I think it tastes best when you grill it. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients : Serves 2-3

1 lb. chicken tenders
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cooking oil

Steps :

  1. Mix all the spices and salt together in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the lime zest and lime juice to the spice mixture and make a thick paste.
  3. Marinate chicken pieces well with the prepared spice mixture.
  4. Keep it in the refrigerator for half hour to marinate.
  5. Preheat the grill before you grill the chicken. You can use a cast iron pan as well.
  6. Brush the grill with the cooking oil. Put the chicken tenders on the grill. Grill them about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Garnish it with lime slices and chopped cilantro before serving.

 

Chili-lime chicken

Our salad love; Roasted veggie salad

We at our home love eating salads for lunch. It is light, yet satisfying. We make salads using a variety of food like grains, mixed greens, lettuce, nuts, veggies and fruits. This one is one of our favorites. It is versatile and is easy to make. You can add as many or as little veggies as you like.

Roasted Veggie Salad:  (Serves: 2)

  • 4 Cups washed and dried mixed greens (I use shredded boston lettuce and baby mixed greens like chard, spinach and kale)
  • 1/4 Cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup butternut squash, julienne
  • 1/4 Cup red bell pepper, julienne
  • 1/4 Cup yellow bell pepper, julienne
  • 1/4 Cup carrots, julienne
  • 2 Tablespoon sunflower seeds (Optional)

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper as per your taste

Steps:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a aluminium foil and spread
    all the veggies on it. Sprinkle little olive oil, salt and
    pepper on it. Mix well so veggies are well coated with
    oil and seasonings.
  2. Preheat oven on 400 degree F and after it is
    preheated put the veggie tray in the oven. Roast the
    veggies for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. After the veggies are done roasting keep them aside
    to cool down a little.
  4. Meanwhile take all the ingredients for the vinaigrette
    in a small mixing bowl. Whisk them together to
    emulsify the oil and vinegar.
  5. Mix all the greens and cooled veggies in a salad
    bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over and mix lightly into
    the salad.
  6. Serve, and enjoy the salad!

 

Veggies ready for roasting

 

Shredded boston lettuce, baby kale, baby chard, and baby spinach

 

Roasted vegetables

 

Greens and Vegetables mixed together with the vinaigrette

Guacamole; The first recipe I learned beside my home cuisine

I first tasted guacamole dip with tortilla chips years back and I am a big fan of it since then. Mild tasting avocados mixed with different vegetables makes it so flavourful. I like to add some hot chilies too. This gives it some kick. I have tried different recipes from others as well several attempts to make my own. Below is my best attempt which has received kudos from family and friends; Enjoy!

Guacamole, my way: (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 3 avocados
  • 1/4 Cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 Cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 Cup corn kernels (You can use frozen or from freshly grilled corn cob)
  • 2 Hot chilies finely chopped (I use serrano or fingerhot chilies)
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes (Do not skip the lime juice as it prevents the avocados from turning brown)
  • Salt as per your taste (about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl place chopped onion, red bell pepper, corn kernals and cumin seeds
  2. Add chopped chilies and cilantro to the vegetables.
  3. Scoop avocados in the bowl. Squeeze the lime juice and salt over the scooped   avocados.
  4.  Use a potato masher or fork to mash the avocado pulp and mix it together.
  5.  Serve immediately with tortilla chips of your choice.

Prep work for great guacamole

Corn, green chili, red bell paper, and onion

Cilantro and lime

Star of the show avocado

Guacamole

Ready to eat guacamole and chips