Orange Raisin Muffins with Cookie Butter Frosting

Hello friends. There’s a lot of re modelling going on at home and I just haven’t found the time to post recipes. Things are coming back to normal slowly and I hope to be able to share some recipes with you. However, the weather is insanely hot. It was around 40 C today. Cooking is quite an effort in this heat.

I wanted to try my hand at making cookie butter. I bought some coconut cookies and found a simple recipe online which I will share with you shortly. I liked the taste of the cookie butter. It was delicious and free of preservatives, etc. besides saving on the cost. You just throw the ingredients into the blender and that’s it! You can of course use any type of cookie for this.

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Once I made it, I was wondering how I could use it in a recipe. Instead of incorporating it with brownies or a cake batter, I decided to use it as a frosting. It was really, really good. Quite yummy.

The recipe for the cookie butter is from https://gimmedelicious.com/insanely-easy-homemade-cookie-butter/ .

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This recipe makes around 15 muffins. 

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

Grated rind of 1 orange

½ cup raisins

11/2 cups buttermilk

Cookie butter

Sprinkles

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Sift the flour, soda, salt and sugar into a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the grated rind and raisins. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Spoon the dough into paper cups placed in muffin tins. Bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with the cookie butter and garnish with some sprinkles on top.

Crispy Honey Sriracha Paneer

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I liked the simplicity of it. I had a lot of paneer and I decided to try it instead of tofu. One of the things I noted was that the paneer required a lot more cornflour. I also found that it was easier to fry the paneer as a larger slice instead of cutting it into cubes at the beginning. I cut them into cubes after they were done and gave them a final toss in the pan with the sauce.

I had cooked some Basmati rice and it was nice with the paneer. It’s also ideal to use as a filling for wraps. The honey sriracha sauce is really delectable. The paneer is crispy on the outside and soft inside. I also toasted the sesame seeds before adding them to the paneer.

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Paneer is made by coagulating the milk with lemon juice or yoghurt and the resulting cottage cheese can be used in a variety of ways. From appetizers to curries and even sweets, paneer is delicious and healthy. It is a staple food in many parts of India.

This dish can be prepared within 30 minutes and I guarantee you it’s going to be really popular as well. You can find the original recipe at https://pickledplum.com/house-foods-honey-sriracha-tofu/ .

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

500 gms paneer, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

21/2 tbsp sriracha sauce

11/2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

11/2 tbsp rice vinegar

¼ cup cornstarch (for dusting)

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 scallion, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

Stir fry the sesame seeds in a small pan until they are golden. Set aside.

Remove the paneer from the package and wipe it gently with a paper towel. Slice the paneer and dust the slices with the cornflour until they are evenly coated and set aside.

Whisk the sriracha, soy sauce, honey and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and when the oil is really hot, add the paneer slices and fry on each side until golden brown. Cool and cut into bite sized cubes. Toss the paneer cubes in the sriracha sauce and cook for a further 3 minutes in the same pan. Turn the heat off and add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir to coat the cubes well and serve garnished with the scallions.

Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

These four ingredient chocolate and peanut butter cups is the easiest recipe to make. It’s a great project for children to get involved in! And they would have even more fun eating them!

When you have a craving for something sweet, these chocolate bites satisfy the craving and dark chocolate is so healthy. Studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for the heart and in calming anxiety. And the antioxidants gives the skin a radiant glow.

I used baking chocolate but any dark chocolate works well. You could also use any nut butter and maple syrup instead of honey. Vegans could substitute with agave syrup. This recipe is from Livestrong and makes about 12 chocolate cups.

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PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 2 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate baking chunks

½ cup peanut butter

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water or in the microwave. Scoop a couple of teaspoons into each ice cube compartment. Refrigerate the trays for five minutes until the chocolate just starts to firm up. Mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Spoon the nut butter evenly over the cold chocolate molds. Cover each compartment with the remaining melted chocolate (about a teaspoon for each mold). Refrigerate another 15 minutes until chocolate is solid.

Cottage Bread with Guava Jam

This cottage bread is very simple to make and it’s really delicious. You can try your own combination of herbs, etc. The smell of yeast and bread baking in the oven is just wonderful. There is something so satisfying about making your own bread. I sprinkled some rosemary on the top. I shaped the bread into a round loaf but you can shape it any way you like.

My guava tree was in bloom again and I decided to make some jam. These guavas are white and they are really juicy and tasty. However, they turn pink naturally in the cooking process and this particular jam is a lovely deep red in colour. It takes a little effort to sieve the cooked guava slices but it’s really worth it. The resulting jam was thick, luscious and fruity. I also didn’t use any preservatives except a little citric acid. It has to be stored in a cool place. I had to store mine in the fridge because it’s very hot right now.

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A slice of this heavenly bread with some butter and jam is perfect for tea time. This recipe makes one loaf of cottage bread and four bottles of jam.

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PREP: 2 hours for bread and 1 hour for the jam.

COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes for bread and 30 minutes for the jam.

Ingredients for Cottage Bread

21/4 tsp active dry yeast

11/4 cups warm water

11/2 tbsp sugar

11/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

4 cups flour

11/2 tsp dried rosemary

Instructions

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and salt. Leave covered in a warm place for 15 minutes until the top is frothy. Take 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture along with the butter. Beat until smooth. Add 13/4 cups flour and mix until the dough leave the sides of the bowl. Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn onto a floured board and shape into a loaf, pressing well to knock the air out of the dough. Place in a greased loaf pan; cover. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven at 200 C. Sift the remaining flour on the top, after the dough rises and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on rack.

Ingredients for the Guava Jam

1 kg ripe guavas

1 tsp citric acid

5 cups sugar

Instructions

Slice the washed guavas. Add ½ teaspoon of the citric acid to one litre of water in a large pan. Add the fruit and cook on moderate heat. Bring it to a boil and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is soft. Cool.

Pureè the cooked guavas in a blender and strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth. You will get around 5 cups of the guava pulp.

Place the guava pulp along with 5 cups of sugar and the remaining citric acid in a heavy pan. Cook on moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Switch off the stove, spoon some jam onto a plate and cool in the refrigerator. If the jam is not runny, it’s done. If not, boil the jam further until it is thickened. Spoon the jam into clean bottles and cover when they are completely cool.

Lettuce and Cucumber Pesto with Poached Eggs

This unusual pesto took root in my mind when I had some lettuce and cucumber sitting in my fridge. I was bored with the usual recipes and I thought that I would try out this pesto. I wasn’t sure about how it was going to turn out. I’m really glad I stuck with my idea because the end result was delicious. Very fresh, light and perfect for a hot, summer day!

I used a few mint leaves and also added some cashew nuts and almonds. Almonds are very good for heart health. I guess you could experiment with other nuts too. As both lettuce and cucumber don’t have a very strong flavour, they bring out the flavour of the ingredients that you use.

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I did not use cheese for the pesto but I’m sure it would be lovely. Other herbs like fresh coriander or parsley would go well with it too.

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I had made some bread the previous day. I topped it with the pesto and finished it off with a poached egg. Very healthy and tasty.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 iceberg lettuce, washed and separated

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

A few mint leaves

¼ cup cashew nuts

¼ cup almonds

½ cup olive oil plus more for topping

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Cottage Bread

Poached eggs

Sea salt and Chilli flakes

Instructions

Place the lettuce, cucumber, mint leaves, cashew nuts and almonds in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped. With the machine running, pour in the oil slowly and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and swirl some oil on top.

To make the poached eggs, boil some lightly salted water in a large pan and break the eggs into it gently. Drain them with a slotted spoon when they are done.

Pile the pesto on toasted, crusty bread topped with a poached egg. Sprinkle some sea salt and chilli flakes on top of the egg. Enjoy.

Red Cabbage-Orange Salad

With temperatures soaring, I am looking to eat more salads and light meals. I love cabbage because it’s so low on calories and it’s very rich in Vitamin C. Both red and yellow cabbage are available almost all year round and you can make so many great recipes with them.

This salad is so vibrant and tempting. It can easily be the showstopper for an informal gathering. It’s also very tasty – the crispness of the cabbage combines with the fruity flavours of the orange so beautifully. It can also be refrigerated for a few days.

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The oranges have to be carefully sectioned using a sharp knife. You can also use any type of cottage cheese or herbs of your choice.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 20 minutes SERVES: 4-6

Ingredients

1 small red cabbage, shredded

3 medium oranges

¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 small green pepper, slivered

¾ cup paneer, cubed

¼ cup orange juice

Salt to taste

Grated orange rind

Instructions

Peel and section two oranges. Extract the juice from the remaining oranges. Combine all the ingredients together and toss lightly. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with additional green pepper slivers and orange rind, if desired.