Spinach & Homemade Ricotta Ravioli with a Morel Mushroom Sauce

I’m a tad confused on the title of this post (yeah, real first world problems). I kind of want it to look and sound like a restuarant menu dish with the hero ingredients followed by the sauce and frills in italics below. You know, something like:

Fresh Ravioli with Spinach & Homemade Ricotta

Morel Mushroom Sauce with Chestnut and Walnut, Almost-Burnt Butter Crispy Sage

Now doesn’t that sound fancy? Well, firstly, this post has been long in the making, and its ingredients have been accumulated even longer – waiting impatiently to be purposed into a meal. For some odd reason, over the last few months I’ve received bottles and tubes of chestnut puree/cream. And to be blatantly honest, I had absolutely no idea how to use it – and then began the incessant googling. The French may have some suave and sophisticated ways to use it, but little old me sure doesn’t! Then comes morels, or guchhi, which SS insisted his parents bring back from Kashmir (not that he as *any* intention of cooking with them ahem ahem). I also bought the pasta attachment to my kitchen aid, which was an extremely considered and thought through decision, but till date I have only been able to successfully use the roller (my last attempt to cut the rolled sheets into fettuccine was a big glubby disaster.

Since that fateful day, I have found a pasta recipe (from Taj’s Favourite Vegetarian recipes book – the ravioli which coincidentally, we have had the privilege of eating –  Read more…


Kale Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Apple and Baby Radish

Is there a thing such as ‘Blogger’s Block’, you know, like writer’s block? Essentially, I too am writing, but just online and on a blog, so does that make me not a writer? I’m not so sure about that hypothesis, but what I am sure about at this hot, humid, sticky moment in the beginning of what threatens to be a horrendous summer, is that I have a case of whatever block you may term it. So now coming to the crux of my irrelevant public analysis of what block I am being plagued by – I am basically looking for an excuse to not continue tapping my fingers feverishly over the keyboard, as if it is a mission which I cannot fail.

But today, I am going to delve right into this beautiful, summary and fresh salad recipe. I know I’m (fashionably) late to join the Kale Revolution – but better late than never! This salad first came together as a beautiful mish-mash of ingredients in the fridge plus a big bunch of kale that was incredibly inviting at the supermarket, I had to get my hands on it. I started with apple, to add a bit of sweetness to the otherwise bitter kale, but this batch of american kale was far from bitter! Adding some thinly sliced baby radish, plump ruby red cranberries, toasted pecans, white & black sesame seeds and a few tablespoons of garlic scented cheese (you can easily substitute cheddar or crumbly cheeses like feta or goats cheese) with a basic and effective honey mustard vinaigrette to tie it all together!

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Fruit & Nut Chocolate Slab (without the extra calories!)

Yes, its true. Chocolate can save the world, one tongue at a time. And my quick and easy recipe combines fruit and nut mix with semi sweet chocolate, perfectly forming a Fruit & Nut Chocolate Slab (without the extra calories!). Remember, because I use semi sweet chocolate, I am effectively lowering the calorie count, and by adding nuts and dried fruit – we counter the bitterness of the chocolate with a hullabaloo of a mixture of chewy, crunchy and crispy! Now I do not obviously advise eating slabs by the handful, rather having a 1 or 2″ square would be enough to give you your kick of sugar, without the unnecessary guilt!

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Birthday Tikkis

I made these (birthday) tikkis a last week from the Indian Accent cookbook, which now dominates my kitchen counter (not only because it is gorgeous, but its also HUGE!). Not a day has gone when I haven’t opened the book and perused the recipes, salivated at the pictures, and read chef Manish Mehrotra’s stories that prelude each and every recipe. Some of the recipes are complicated, requiring a team of sous chefs to help you – while the others, like our tikkis here, may look difficult to make, but in fact aren’t as cumbersome as I thought – and taste fantastic. A real Indian Accent dish, from my kitchen and my heart to yours, marking the occasion of Joie De Vivre’s 6th year – this really is a treat worthy of the celebration!

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Christmas Baking: Strawberry Shortcake

Want to make a desert this festive season?

But you want it to be quick, simple, lacking any kind of technique?

And most importantly, need it to look rustically perfect?

Well, have I got all those criteria marked off, and more!

You see, my Strawberry Shortcakes not only make the best and most beautiful centrepiece to your table this festive season, but take literally no time to make, use fresh in season luscious strawberries and is topped off with vanilla bean infused whipped cream. How do you not salivate?! And with christmas around the corner, the redness of the strawberries make the desert look even more festive and inviting!

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Sweet Corn with Miso Butter

Inspiration for the combination of miso + sweetcorn came while watching Masterchef AU, the episode where Sara makes a roasted quail dish, on a bed of miso sweetcorn puree with a blackberry vinaigrette. As usual, I look at the side elements on a protein dish that I can re-create at home, maybe not in the same exact form, rather as a flavour pairing that I can then create my own recipe with. Now let’s be honest, we’ve all eaten butter slathered corn on the cob, and even steamed corn with a dollop of butter and spices, and it is safe to deem the bowlful of goodness as a warming and comforting snack. Adding miso and some other relishes, well that just makes it burst with flavour in an understated and perfectly rounded way!

For some reason, a lot of people like to boil their corn before using it, or steaming it. I personally find this not only wasteful and cumbersome, but I find that repetitive cooking  Read more…

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