Frugal chocolate and coffee mousse

As you will all know, there are certain dishes, be they savoury or sweet, that stick in one’s mind in an almost belligerent manner. Such treats, though delicious in the first instance, often subject one to interminable temptation, thus reducing even real men like myself (snigger) to insatiable wretches. The only thing able to cure such flagrant desire is what caused it in the first place, or something very much like it. The only problem with that is it creates a rather detestable cycle in which one becomes hooked to a certain food. In my case chocolate mousse is the culprit – it is simply too good. However, since I rarely like to make the same dessert twice I had to think of a way to alter the recipe, but still maintain what I loved about it in the first place; it’s texture and lightness. Happily, this was easily…

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My Fancy Pantry

Bhindi, commonly known as okra in the United States, is one vegetable I’ve had little– to no– experience with.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, or that I felt intimidated by it’s funny shape and sticky, weird texture.  In fact, I didn’t even know it had a sticky, weird texture until fairly recently.

Instead, the simple truth is that okra is not a popular vegetable in Minnesota.  Most grocery stores don’t carry it, and most people wouldn’t know what it was or what to do with it even if they did.

Before Piyush and I were married, I wanted to impress him and make his favorite dish.  I asked him what it was and he told me “Bhindi Masala.”  I was absolutely confused.

I thought bindi was the forehead decoration (usually a red dot or jewel) worn by women…I didn’t realize it was also a vegetable! I must have had some…

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It might surprise you to know that my mind isn’t an endless pit of culinary ideas; sometimes I need good, sharp mind-kicks. Now, these kicks are not literal because although one doesn’t have any nerve endings in one’s brain, a kick to the grey-matter could do irreversible damage. Instead, they are provided by the creations of the vast numbers of food-bloggers on WordPress, or by suggestions from friends. This particular recipe is the result of the latter. To be more specific, my friend Gemma requested a recipe for crispy beef in order that she could forego the expense of the Chinese takeaway. Naturally, I wanted to provide for this wee Scottish lass, but the idea also tickled my frugal weak-spot since one of my pet hates is perpetual takeaway eating – as Gemma’s request suggests, it isn’t particularly cost effective.

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Words and Herbs

To celebrate International Chocolate Day – which was yesterday, the 13th (they should make it International Chocolate Week!), here’s one of my chocolatey recipes…

Some time ago now I fancied a simple cake, and as I’m not really a chocolate chip cookie fan I decided to try adding chocolate chips to cake instead… and it worked beautifully! It was also very simple. A piece of cake, in fact! 😉

Chocolate Chip cake

  • 120g (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1oog caster sugar + 20g vanilla sugar (1/2 cup in total)
  • 120g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 or 3 tbps milk
  • approx. 30g (1 oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease and flour a baking tin. (I used a 22cm x 22cm square one – 22cm is about 8 or 9 inches).

Cream the butter and sugar/vanilla sugar together with an electric whisk until…

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Busy Mom Recipe Book


1 (8oz) can of Chicken Broth

1/3 cup chopped onion

8 oz. sour cream

1 pkg. frozen broccoli

2 Tbsp butter

1(8oz) can of cream of Chicken

Simmer broccoli and onion in chicken broth for 5 minutes. Then add butter, sour cream and cream of chicken. Warm on low for another 5-10 min. (or until desired tenderness of broccoli). Stir then Serve!

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