Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Tried my hand at rendering with a black gel pen under my teacher’s guidance.


Reflection of thoughts…

Weekly Photo Challenge

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Who loves Ferrero Rocher Chocolates? I do..I do!! Well, how about in the form of muffins? From the moment I added hazelnuts to my chocolate muffin batter, all I could think of was… yes, you’re right…the lovely Ferrero Rocher chocolates! They definitely taste like it!!

Hazelnut is my favorite form of nuts mainly because of its intense flavor. They are rich in protein, unsaturated fat, contain a considerable amount of thiamine and Vitamin B6, thereby, making them very nutritious and healthy to consume. If you love the hazelnut chocolate combination, I am sure you will enjoy these spongy chocolatey muffins!!

This is what you will need:-


  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch baking soda (Soda Bicarbonate)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup refined oil
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla Essence
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts
  • ½ cup milk
  • For the frosting
  • 80 gm fine dark chocolate
  • 100 gm hazelnuts
  • 3 tsp powdered sugar (can be adjusted)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp oil,
  • 1 tbsp fresh cream (Combine well in a mixer grinder to form a rough paste)

chocolate hazelnut muffins ingredients
chocolate hazelnut frosting ingredients


Step-I Roast and Peel hazelnuts
1. Roast at 180 degree centigrade for 10 minutes giving it a toss at regular intervals.
2. Let them sit for 5 minutes. Place them in a damp muslin cloth and give them a rub.

I used Lucky Hazelnut Kernels. If you’re nuts over nuts like me, do visit their website. They have very nice recipes and well explained. Moreover, I even found a few egg less recipes as well.
roasted peeled hazelnuts

Step-II Baking Muffins

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease the muffin tray and keep aside.
2. In a bowl sift refined flour, baking powder , baking soda (use all-purpose flour if available in place of these three ingredients) and cocoa powder.
3. In another bowl whisk sugar and refined oil together until it turns light and creamy. Add vanilla essence and mix well.

butter and sugar mix for cake

4. Next, add in the milk and flour mixture. Combine well.

chocolate hazelnut cake mix

5. Add in your ground hazelnuts and mix.

cake mix

6. Take spoonfuls of batter and pour it in your muffin tray. Only fill 3/4th of the moulds, giving it enough space to rise.

chocolate hazelnut muffins ready to bake

7. Place it into the pre-heated oven for 20-25minutes (time may vary a little). Set them sit for a while.

eggless chocolate hazelnut muffins

8. I had a little leftover batter (roughly 2tbsp) and made a mug cake. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds on medium and yum!!! It is ready to eat.

mug cake

Step- III For the frosting

1. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Give it a mix. Place in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
2. Combine well with hazelnut paste. Add a little hot milk depending on the required consistency.
3. Top the frosting on the muffins with the help of a piping bag and bite into the chocolatey hazelnut goodness!!

Happy Baking! 🙂

Warm Potato and Pasta Salad in Sweet Onion Dressing

We all know how well sweet and sour flavors complement each other. Right?  This recipe here, is another yummy example of the heavenly sweet and sour combination. This salad is very light on the palate and a great muncher.  The Sweet Onion Dressing is more like a thick sauce, well-coated in potatoes and pasta. To be honest, I was attempting to make a normal liquid dressing. It didn’t quite turn out like that though. I think I still need to figure out how to make the actual dressing. Anyhow, this one turned out pretty great for now. The ingredients here blend really well with one another, in turn bringing out a lovely dish to savor or devour rather. 😉

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Toasted Veggie Rice Paper Rolls with Sweet Chili Dip

Making rice paper rolls was a first timer for me. It is a lot easier to prepare than I thought it would be. I was a little hesitant about the rolling bit, but frankly speaking it wasn’t bad at all.  More importantly, they taste delicious. I tried to make them in 2-3 different styles. I personally liked the toasted ones the most. You can enjoy them in the form of a salad, fresh and crunchy summer rolls (for example, the most popular one, Vietnamese Salad) or as a snack like Spring rolls…Anything your taste buds are looking for… 😉

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Chaat Masala at Home

Chaat Masala, is basically a combination of a variety of spices, giving it a sweet, salty, tangy taste. WOW! Imagine such a burst of flavors in your mouth!! Mmmm… Dry Mango Powder and Black Salt are the key ingredients responsible for the zingy taste, (Chatpata– as we call it here in India) that pushes you towards making that lip-smacking sound!! Majority of Indian snacks, street foods, etc. cannot do without a sprinkle of chaat masala on them. They are the essence of a good Indian snack. Just a sprinkle of it will take the dish to a whole another level.

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Easy Homemade Nacho Chips

Served with Chili Garlic Dip & Cheese Dip

Who wouldn’t like to munch on something so delicious, so satisfying, so crunchy —> CHIPS? Well, at least I am sure, not someone who is reading this post. 😉  I think, sometimes it is okay to nibble on the so called ‘not so healthy food’. Right? I mean, it reminds you of so many glorious edible creations existing on this planet. They are so addictive and clearly no one can eat just one! It is like your hands feel this magnetic force coming from the chips…they don’t seem to pull away. 😉

I wanted to share this easy nachos recipe with you all, just so you can enjoy and share this amazing goodness with your loved ones. I have made this recipe quite a few times now and I don’t seem to get enough of it. They are fun to make. You can even involve little kids; give them cookie cutters to give shape to their chips. It doesn’t have to be triangular every time you know. Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

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Tangy Chick-Peas Salad

One great thing about salads is that they can be modified to one’s own taste and liking. Some like to eat an all veggie salad whereas, some want fruits along with veggies. Some like with dressing, some without and several other ways, I could write a book on it ;). One can really get the real taste of fruits and vegetables when eaten in raw form. For me personally, I like salads that are crunchy, refreshing, light on the palate, and of course, TASTEFUL!  😉

This is another one of my very easy to do, healthy salad recipes. It makes a great appetizer, mid-meal snack or whatever you may want to call it.  I just followed my taste buds, tossed some ingredients together, and done!


This is what you will need:


1 cup boiled chick peas

1 diced cucumber

1 finely chopped tomato

1 medium size red onion

3-4 sliced black olives


For the dressing– 2-3 tsp chili oil, juice of 1 lemon, ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. (Combine well)


Chaat Masala and spinach leaves for garnish


Combine all your veggies—pour dressing over them and mix well.


Sprinkle finely chopped fresh spinach leaves for some Popeye power 😉 (I still love to watch cartoons sometimes)!! and some chaat masala to give the salad an extra kick!


Note: In case, you want to make chili oil at home, heat 1 cup unflavored oil in a pan and add around 3 tbsp finely chopped red chilies. Fry for about a minute on a medium flame. Basically, we want to make sure we have taken the moisture out of the chilies. Make sure not to burn them. Set aside to cool and store it in a dispenser.

If you are adding fresh red chilies, you can use them along with the oil. Otherwise, I am not so sure about the same for the chili flakes.

I will soon be doing a post on how to make chaat masala at home. It is very easy to make and much cheaper and fresher than the ones sold in markets.

Till then –> Happy Munching! 🙂


Eggless Ginger Honey Cake

14th February – A day to celebrate love; also coincides with my mother’s birthday. Definitely, there was going to be a cake. I only had to decide which flavor it was going to be. Surfing through my kitchen, I stumbled upon ginger flavored honey. And there— I was ready to give it a try.

The cake turned out moist. Flavor of ginger was coming right through, combined with the natural sweetness from the honey. I did not add any sugar in this recipe, so I believe that cut down a few calories—thereby, making it healthier. 🙂 In this recipe I have used store bought Ginger Honey. If you want to use fresh ginger honey, go ahead! In case, you’re wondering how to make it? You can go here. There is an easy to follow method on this lovely blog accompanied by beautiful pictures.


Ready to spread some baking love? 😉

This is what you will need:-


  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup milk powder
A little less than ½ cup ginger flavor honey
1 cup unsalted butter/fresh cream
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch baking soda
¼ cup milk
½ tsp pineapple essence



1. Grease your baking tin and keep aside. Turn on oven at 150 degree centigrade.
2. Dry Ingredients- Combine plain four, milk powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk unsalted butter/fresh cream, ginger honey and pineapple essence together.

I know! Not the prettiest looking thing
I know! Does not look so pretty!

4. Add your dry ingredients to the honey ginger mixture little by little. Keep adding milk and form a smooth batter.


5. Pour the batter into your greased tin and place it into your pre-heated oven.
6. Bake at 180 degree centigrade for 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes with a toothpick.


Took a little help for the writing bit from my elder sister. I admit, I need a little practice to write better on cakes 😉


Enjoy this naturally sweet cake with a hot cup of tea! 🙂

I am also linking this recipe to the Treat Petite Challenge, hosted by Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer

Spinach, Mushroom and Chili Pepper Sauce with Penne Pasta

Pasta has always been one of my favorite foods since a very long time. It is so Quick to make and Delicious to eat!

When I was in my teens–new to the kitchen,new to cooking pasta, I couldn’t quite get it right. My pasta was over-cooked and dry to the throat, sauce too less, etc. Slowly and gradually, I came to realize a few pointers to keep handy while preparing pasta. I want to share them with you all, just so to avoid such unpleasant situations. Check Pasta Cooking Tips in the notes below.

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Chocolate Cheesecake

I believe this recipe is a healthy to eat version of a typical cheesecake, as it has no cream. It contains high amount of protein coming from cottage cheese. Click here for my homemade cream cheese recipe. I had an enjoyable time making it and also, looking at the joy it brought on everybody’s face at home was delightful!! 🙂

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Homemade Cream Cheese

It has been quite a while since I’ve been looking for a way to make easy cream cheese. Fortunately, I did come across good articles on the internet which led me to create a nice cream cheese recipe for myself. I tried Mango Cheesecake & Chocolate Cheesecake with the same recipe.

This is what you’ll need:-

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Stir-fry noodles in a sandwich

I wouldn’t call this a unique recipe or some new creation. Instead, I just wanted to share with you all how I usually like to eat my noodles when I am totally not in the mood to cook a gravy along with them. 🙂

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Black-eyed Beans Fresh Veggie Salad

I really like the taste of bell-peppers with a dash of lemon and a little salt. Only this time, I tried them with a legume.  

Review at home: Refreshing.Nutritious.Tasty!

Feel free to add  any of your favorite veggies/fruits as per you liking. 🙂

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Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) Cutlets

Rajma is a North Indian dish; consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy, prepared with various spices, onions, green chilies ginger, garlic, etc. and it is mostly eaten with rice. You can replace Rajma curry with boiled red kidney beans (wash them properly and soak in water for about an hour and pressure cook them with a little salt). There was some leftover Rajma from lunch, so I came up with these cutlets just for a change of taste. Turns out, these beautiful, easy to make cutlets were very light on the palate and at the same time quite filling as well.

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Bread from scratch

Just about two weeks ago, I began blogging (gaining motivation from Likhte Likhte, who also happens to be my friend 🙂 ) and I can happily say that it has been a really joyful experience so far. In my initial days, I stumbled upon Daily Post’s Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog Challenge and I’m so glad I did. I accepted the challenge right away and have successfully reached Day 12. The challenge is connected to Day 11 which was to leave comments on at least three new blogs. Day 12’s assignment is to write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday.

During the process, I came across Kitchen Cici’s latest post – Rosemary Cheese Bread. I really liked the recipe. I have attempted to make bread before, but never quite succeeded. Therefore, I decided to give it another try, using her basic recipe with a few changes of my own.

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Orange Marmalade Cake

Lately, Orange Marmalade has been everybody’s favorite at home. It was my elder sister, who came up with the idea of using it to bake a cake. I thought I could give it a try. Turns out, the cake did show good results. It was a happy ending indeed. 🙂 I feel it makes a perfect tea cake.

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Gooey Goodness

A sandwich is so versatile a food, that it cannot really have a fixed recipe. You can top a slice of bread with plain butter and it would count as a meal for breakfast. This is probably one of the reasons why I personally love bread so much. I can relish it at anytime of the day. It is my first sandwich post and I have made an attempt to prepare a picture recipe this time. Hence, I have made a very basic CHEESE (hmmm so, here is the little gooey secret 😉 ) sandwich. So, do pour in your thoughts. That way it will encourage me to improve on it and make better picture recipes. 🙂 So here goes:



A loaf of bread

Mozzarella Cheese


Cottage Cheese

Sautéed Scallions

Green Chili

Freshly Ground Pepper

Salt to taste








I also had some leftover jeera (cumin seeds) rice. I put that into the previous mixture. It turned out quite well.



I hope you guys have fun making it and of course, digging into it. :p

Chili Garlic Vegetable Noodle Soup

A bowl of piping hot soup on a chilly winter evening!! Sounds comforting right? 😉

With that thought in mind, I came up with my own version of this mouth-watering and flavorsome soup. Lately, I have been really obsessed with noodles. I want to eat them so often that I have lost count of how many times I have had them in the past one month. Yet again, I feel the urge to add them in soup as well. So let us head to the kitchen. Once you have all your vegetables washed, cleaned, and chopped, you will have your soup ready in a jiffy.

This is what you will need:-

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