Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch

I had made this recipe for the Thanksgiving of 2012 and had put some notes on my blog post about how I would tweak it next time. And that is exactly what I did this Thanksgiving and it came out better :). What a nice feeling. This is exactly what I started this blog for. To keep track of what I make and to keep notes on the recipes.

This Thanksgiving was perfect. My cousin and her family came over and we watched football and had a lazy lunch for which I made butter chicken followed by coffee and dessert (recipe below) and a late chai. That's the kind of Thanksgiving meal I like.

Here is the recipe for pumpkin pecan crunch with my tweaks.

Recipe based on Pumpkin Pecan Crunch. Yellow cake mix recipe based on this one.

Serves 8-9

canned pumpkin             1 15oz can
evaporated milk              1 12 oz can
white sugar                     2 cups
brown sugar                    1/2 cup
eggs                                 3
pumpkin pie spice           6 tsp
vanilla extract                 1 tbsp
salt                                  1/4 tsp
pecans, chopped             1 cup
butter, unsalted              1.5 sticks (3/4th cup)
all-purpose flour             1.5 cups
baking powder                1 tbsp
dry milk/ milk powder     1/2 cup


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick spray; set aside. 
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add to it the pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, 1 cup of the white sugar, 5 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt until well-blended. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  4. Mix the remaining 1 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with the all-purpose flour and the baking powder. Blend with wire whisk. 
  5. Sprinkle this dry mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. 
  6. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. 
  7. Drizzle evenly with melted butter. 
  8. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

What we should be eating everyday

I'm trying out a new way of eating healthy. Instead of focussing on what not to eat I'm trying to focus on what I should be eating everyday.

Here are some snacking options that you can go to whenever you are thinking of reaching out for that cookie or ice cream, and instead pick something from the list that you have not eaten all day.


Fruit
The whole fruit, not fruit juice. Fruit juice contains too much sugar while fruit skin contains valuable nutrients and insoluble fibre.

Yogurt with active bacterial cultures
Make sure to steer clear of sugary flavored yogurt. My favorite is plain non-fat greek yogurt with a dash of honey and sliced almonds.

Nuts
More of peanuts and almonds. Some cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts. I combine this with a little bit of cheese to make a filling snack.

Beans
Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and many others.

This works as a snack only if you have canned or cooked beans handy. Some of my favorites are Black Bean Salad and Chickpea Salad.
Hummus is a great thing to have in the fridge and makes for a great beany snack with crackers.
With some planning, beans can be incorporated into meals easily.

Egg
My favorite is boiled egg with salt and pepper.

Oatmeal
Steel-cut are the best, though take longer to cook than rolled oats. But hey, any of them is better than an oatmeal cookie :)


While putting this into practice, the challenge is that the cookie is readily available whereas beans or oatmeal or eggs are not.
The way around that is to find simple and quick yet tasty ways of preparing them and eating them ceremoniously. This last bit is very important.
If you are eating an apple, cut it and put it on a plate, add a dash of seasoning (yes I do that) and then eat it. If you are going for a boiled egg, cut it into cross-sectional pieces, sprinkle salt and pepper and eat it out of a plate with a fork. Eating even a simple thing ceremoniously satisfies our indulgent side.