Baking |Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips | Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut + Classic Garlicky Cream + Rocket Cashew Dip … hit the ball out of the park #tickettocheer

“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents”
M Chiarello

Crackers & DipsWholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips…. for times like these when the game is up. Nothing unites the world better than sport and food. I think the two were meant to go hand in hand. Think world cup cricket, soccer, or then super bowl, and the first thing that comes to mind if food! OK, after the game of course! With the ICC  Cricket World Cup warming up nicely, it’s imperative to keep the food going!

Crackers & Dips Yesterday spent 20 minutes rolling out crackers … thin, crisp, delicious Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers. Paired them off with 3 quick dips. Dips are an out and out game favourite, and I have gone with simple ones! A Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut Dip {earthy, smoky, finger licking good}, a Classic Garlicky Cream Dip {tangy, creamy, GARLICKY ... an all time favourite} and a seasonal Rocket & Cashew Dip {where sharp peppery leaves meet the sweetness of cashew nuts}. Ingredients for dipsDips are really really versatile to throw together. Make them using what you have on hand. Herbs, seasonal produce, cold pressed oils, garlic, garlic greens, onion scapes, legumes, citrus fruit, nuts, cheese, spices. Get creative and follow your taste buds. You will be surprised at how much you can create with so little! To thin them down you can add coconut milk, citrus juice, single cream, sour cream, buttermilk etc.

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & DipsOnce ready, which is a matter of minutes usually, you can dip into them of course, or add them to your cheese platter. There’s so much more you can do. Slather sandwiches with them, toss them through a pasta, top grilled chicken or fish with dip. If you are more adventurous, them use them in a bread like the French Fougasse. I love that you can tweak the flavours as you like, and also that dips embrace local and seasonal produce whole heartedly!

Wholegrain Crackers & Dips  Why so many nibbles of late you might wonder? Well these are game days. Cricket, cricket and more cricket. From games you expect nothing and get the word, and from games you expect the world and hit rock bottom, the sports world is a funny place to be in. The cricket world cup down under has begun,and how! Talk sports and there is another huge thing in common …FOOD!

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & Dips And that’s where we DIP! These are simple ones to rustle up. You could even do a  make ahead simple hummus that I just shared with oat & cheese crackers. On the side, you could go the healthy crudite way or whole grain crackers maybe. Else grab the bag of chips, nachos, pita chips…whatever. Dig right in. foodEvery major gaming event, be it the super bowl, soccer or the cricket world cup, churns up an appetite for food, yummy, good, delicious food. These dips will hit the ball out of the park … like South Africa did today! If you are deft in the kitchen, and love getting quick stuff together, then here are a few other options.Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian KalácsThe India Pakistan thriller saw us polishing off  rustic Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács Do a quick version with cooked chicken tossed in the rocket cashew pesto dip and cheese! Or skip the chicken and go vegetarian. Next was the India South Africa match. That saw a rerun of Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers with a quick Hummus! Delicious times indeed!  Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus 8If you aren’t the cooking types, but certainly the eating types, then your best option would be a quick call to Food Panda to order your favourite food. It’s an online food-ordering service that makes it easy for customers to find their favorite food conveniently from home, work or on the road and get it delivered. It is now active in 30 cities in India and has over 4000+ restaurants available and the delivery of your food is free.

ticketThe nice thing is that during the Cricket World Cup,  Food Panda is running a “One child’s mid day meals collaboration” called Ticket to Cheer. ​In rece​nt months, the company has begun to get involved in helping for civic change of India, supporting NGO’s projects etc. This particular campaign is a novel concept. They are offering a platform where people can donate, in order to give mid-meals to 1.4 million kids for a whole school year. It’s certainly worth a shout out! As we cheer on our favourite teams, give Food Panda a cheer for the good work they are doing as well!

Oh and don’t forget to participate in the Philips giveaway here. Just a day to go!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers, and a quick Hummus #comfortfood #simple #savoury

“Comfort food….food that reassures. Is different things to different people.”
David Tanis

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & HummusOat & Wheat Cheese Crackers, and a quick Hummus…for one of those days when you are tired, feeling under the weather and craving comforting food. For days like this only quick, simple and flavourful seriously works. For days like these, a food processor is your best friend. Nothing to beat a workhorse that does everything, takes the work out of the cooking or baking, pampers you unknowingly, and delivers like nothing else!

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus I had a bunch of chickpeas left over as I boiled extra the other day while stirring up a quick chickpea curry. I always boil extra chickpeas as having some on hand offers plenty of quick rustle up food ideas. Salads for one. I made this layered savoury chickpea parfait often. Doubles up as a healthy, filling and quite delicious tiffin too!

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus But I was in a mood for crackers. Just one of those strange days where I craved baking something savoury, and had an idea in my head. Working as a fit foodie makes me constantly strive for fun wholegrain alternatives to things. They got to be yum too. I used butter in these crackers, but I think you could easily use olive oil. I might throw in some ground nut meal too the next time to substitute some of the flour. Just a thought…and more ideas to work on!Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus The hummus happened as I was inspired by a quick hummus recipe that popped into my inbox not so long ago. I recall it having sesame paste as optional and it stayed in my head. There is nothing much to a hummus or chickpea dip. Just throw a bunch of ingredients into the faithful food processor, give them a whir. Balance flavours as you so desire.

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus More garlic if you are like us, more lime juice too. Plenty of extra virgin olive oil, maybe fresh herbs. Skip the smoked  paprika if you don’t have some on hand, degi mirch {kashmiri mirch} or red chili flakes. I have to say though that smoked paprika adds some fine earthy, moorish flavours to the dip…

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara There are other dips you could try. A Quark, Garlic and Chives Dip, Baba Ghanoush or Muhamarra would be wonderful here too. Else if nothing else, some nice cheese, fruit and wine will complete your cheese board.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Product Review & Soup | Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette in the Philips SoupMaker … and a giveaway

“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
Auguste Escoffie

Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette 600Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette made in the Philips SoupMaker. Days in the lives of food bloggers are sometimes very interesting. It was an exciting day when ‘it’ arrived. An appliance that was highly anticipated, and lived up to it’s expectations… after a few hiccups while I figured the soup maker out of course! From there on, it was smooth sailing! What followed was conversations that flowed smoothly {and sometimes chunkily} over soup of many kinds.

Soups on PAB I admire good kitchen designs. How fun and creative can minds get. I have been using the Thermomix now for several years and was always fascinated by it’s ability to cook and blend like magic. Along comes another option, at a fraction of the price, almost a tenth actually, and promises fuss free simple soups the winter through, and smoothies galore through summer. Bonus…frozen yogurts and fruit compotes too!Kitchen appliancesNew toys are always fascinating for food bloggers and this one shone. It’s a simple machine, though a better manual with CLEAR instructions might have helped. It took me a little figuring out, cleaning my steamed spectacles a few times. I wish there was a better manual to go with it, maybe better online videos. After sifting through very vocal and gibberish Spanish videos galore, an advertorial video on the website, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.Mushroom Walnut Oats SoupFor my second experiment, a mushroom walnut oat soup, one of my all time favourites that I cooked with Chef Vikas Khanna for Food Food Tv. I wanted chunky soup and presumed that it would give me ‘chunky chop’. So I cooked it, and cooked it…and cooked it again. Thought the machine was spoilt. Later, the better half suggested that maybe chunky is cooked but with the choice of pre-cut sizes. Obviously he was right!! I turned to something quite genius the machine offers – a manual blend!Soups on PAB In the beginning I forgot to add oil, butter etc. Later I realised that it didn’t really matter. You can always top soup with some EVOO, a vinaigrette, butter or Parmesan. Once I got the hang of things, we were swinging soups by a dime a dozen! I loved some things about the soup maker, not least how sleek and shiny it was.

  • It fits small on the counter, so is great for compact kitchens. Of course, it’s great for big kitchens too. Mine is spacious, and the soup maker is sitting happily next to the Thermomix and Philips AirFryer
  • It’s simple to use once you get the hang of it. Just put everything in, give it a good stir, shut it and forget about it. Turns off after the soup is made.
  • Makes a comfortable serving of 4.
  • Keeps the soup nice and warm since the body is like a thermos.
  • Is handy to take to the table as the cord slips off easily, transforming the soup maker into an elegant jug.
  • Has a clean, non drip, pourable spout.
  • Last but certainly not the least, it’s a quick wash and dry design. No uncomfortable bits an bobs to deal with, a straight clean jug.
  • Did I tell you that the finger touch menu buttons on the top are neat, fascinating and so simple? {Don’t push them too often the first time, or the poor thing gets confused. I know because I confused the poor machine, then called Ruchira for advice! My problem was eventually the ‘chunky chop’}

Baby Mustard Greens, Turnip & Almond Soup with a Mustard Vinaigrette The good thing is that once you get a HANG of things which should ‘happen’ almost instantly {I confused mine with my Thermomix which behaves a little differently}, there’s no looking back. Suddenly soups are all you want and your creativity takes over. I’ve been in this healthy ‘fitfoodie‘ frame of mind even more of late while working with Saffola as part of their Fit Foodie Panel. The soup maker makes me think out of the box even more! It takes the ‘work out of the soup’.

Saffola Oats Fit FoodieIf you are looking for inspiration, the Philips SoupMaker comes with a packed book of recipes. Interesting smooth to chunky soups across seasons, hot & cold soup recipes, smoothies, compotes, frozen yogurts too. Use local produce like fresh beetroot, baby mustard greens, or go gourmet with ingredients like courgettes and Gorgonzola cheese, the book has something for everyone. Even quick recipes for fruit compotes with apples and plums, and smoothies! A quick strawberry fro yo tempts you so. I know where the mangoes will head this summer!

Fresh produceQuick, easy and pleasing to the eye is how Philips as a brand has developed kitchen appliances. The AirFryer was one such example, and the rice cooker is another. Philips has been nice to offer a Daily Rice Cooker as a giveaway to a reader of my blog.

Philips Rice Cooker

To qualify,
All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what your favourite soup is.
Please leave a valid email address. Will pick a random winner at the end of the month.
The giveaway is open to anyone who has a permanent address in India.
Thank you for being part of the giveaway!

 

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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