Friday, June 30, 2017

Ice Cream Tea Party, When Chai is Not Enough...Plus A Giveaway!

   The one thing I love on a cold winters night here in Sonoma is a nice hot cup of chai. I always make my own as most of the store bought stuff is far too sweet for my taste. I want control of my spices and sweets. When Summer rolls around and the hot weather is upon us, there's always iced chai but somehow I'm always too lazy to make it. Enter Adagio Teas......

   I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by the folks at Adagio asking me if I'd like to sample some of their teas. I love tea, and always have a lot of it in the cupboard, but what I really like to do beyond drinking it, is to cook and bake with it, such as these Earl Grey Macarons with Meyer Lemon filling I made for CocoaPlanet last year...GlutenFree of course as all macarons are, but also Vegan all the way.
   Anyway, I was extremely impressed with the tea choices at Adagio...the teas are Direct Trade, and beautifully described as to flavors scent etc. There are full instructions as to how to brew it, and what the cost is per cup (I, being a canny shopper love that!) and who's growing it. Everything anyone needs to know, plus the varieties they offer are extensive. If it's a specific tea you want, chances Adagio has it.

   After checking out everything, I chose some of my favorites to work with and I started with Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea. Since it was about a zillion degrees here in Sonoma the day my tea arrived, there was only one thing I wanted to do with it first and that was to make ice cream!

   So, I'm saying up front, this recipe is for an ice cream maker. If you don't have one I'd say try and find one. I got my first one used for 25 bucks and it was the best investment on my money I ever had. It's still working and I have added other brand new ones since then. I kind of have a thing for ice cream machines, as ice cream is one of the fastest, easiest kid- pleasing desserts out there. 5 minutes in the machine, an hour in the freezer and you are good to go. So just putting this out there...for this recipe one needs a machine. It's very simple and only uses a few here we go.

Darjeeling Ice Cream

Here's What You Need:

2 cups of whipping cream
2 cups of whole milk
3/4 cup of sugar
10 whole cardamom pods, cracked
4  whole cloves
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
6 peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
5 Adagio Teas Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea Bags

Here's What To Do:

Mix the whipping cream and milk together with the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cracked cardamom pods
When it's well mixed put it on a medium flame and heat it up.
DO NOT BOIL it, just get it nice and hot below the boiling point.
Take it off the flame and add in the Adagio Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea Bags.
Put a lid on the pot, and let everything steep for about 10 minutes.

Remove the tea bags, and strain all the spices out.
Place the mixture in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to chill thoroughly, then when it's cold enough, put it into your ice cream machine and follow ice cream making instructions.
When you take it out of the machine, put it into a freezer container and let it chill in the freezer for an hour or two till it firms up.

   When I served it, I couldn't resist baking a few madeleines to go along with it on the link for the recipe for those.

 Now here's the Giveaway...

   Adagio Tea and The Colors of Indian Cooking are giving away 5 pouches of Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea to 5 winners. All you have to do to be entered to follow @AdagioTeas  and @kathygori on Twitter and leave me a comment here about it. The Contest is open now and we'll announce the winners on July if you'd like to try this amazing tea, and get creative with it..let me know!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gitadini USA , Big Summer Giveaway!!!

Welcome to Gitadinis Summer Giveaway.

This Giveaway Will Be Happening on Instagram! 

I'll be giving away this great YinYang Masala Dabba from #gitadiniusa I have had one for years and use mine every day.  

To enter the giveaway get on over to Instagram @kathygori:

entrants have to follow @gitadiniusa , leave a comment (i.e. why do you want to win) and tag a friend that likes/loves Indian food/cooking

· The giveaway is open to UK and US mainland residents

check out the other prizes from my fellow Indian Food Bloggers on Instagram at @sandhyaskitchen @bengalicuisine @merry_tummy and @gitadiniusa
· The giveaway closes Sunday midnight your local time

· We’ll jointly announce the winners on Tuesday. If a winner doesn’t get back within 24hrs, a new winner will be picked#giveaways #giveaway #instacompetition #indianfood #indianfoodblogger #gitadiniusa

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Champagne Wishes And Beluga Lentil Caviar Dreams... A Great Inexpensive Vegan Hack.

   Every time I think of caviar I think of the 80's, that time of big hair, big shoulders, and Champagne Wishes Caviar Dreams, a show that we're still feeling the effects of nearly 30 years later.

That's the positive take on caviar....a more common one for some people, especially kids is this one....which I have seen up close and personal.

Now, who gives caviar to kids anyway? Even though a lot of adults like it it, it's pricey, and then there are the vegetarian vegan issues which is why I was interested in the idea of lentil caviar the minute I heard about it. If you are planning to throw a Summer Soiree and want to get all fancy pants but keep the cost down or don't eat meat, this hack is for you.
PS: it's super easy.

Beluga Lentil Caviar

Here's What You Need:
1/2 cup of beluga lentils (rinsed)
2 pieces of dried kombu seaweed cut into 2x2 inch squares
2 Cups water
1 Tbs sea salt
2 Tbs chopped capers
1 and 1/2 Tbs olive oil

Here's What To Do:
Rinse the black beluga lentils, put them into a small pot.

Add 2 cups of water...

...the seaweed...

...and the salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to barely simmering. Cover the pot, and cook the lentils until they are just tender. About 20 minutes. You want them to keep their shape.

Let them cool in their liquid.
If you're not using them right away they can keep in the fridge for 2 days in their cooking liquid.
When you are ready to use them, discard the seaweed, and drain the lentils.

Add the chopped capers and dress the lentil mixture with the olive oil.

Stir everything together well.
Now you are ready to break out the vegan / non vegan sour cream, and baked potato and go to town......BUT if you're throwing a party you might make some vegan blinis, or non vegan blinis or you can do what I did serving these to a gluten free crowd who didn't want blinis, so I made mini gluten free potato pancakes. I found a great recipe from and tweaked it a bit.

Gluten Free Mini Potato Pancakes

Here's What You Need:

2 Large russet potatoes peeled and shredded
1/4 cup shredded onion
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup gluten free flour
2 Tbs gluten free bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs olive oil

Here's What TO Do;

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Peel and shred the poatoes in a food processor.
Put the shredded potatoes in water for a few minutes to remove the excess starch and then pour them into a colander
Press the water out of them. Press hard, you want to get out as much moisture as you can so they crisp up well.
Add the onion to the colander and press the water out of that also
Mix the potato, onion, and eggs together in a large bowl
Add in the flour and breadcrumbs, mix this all together to combine but DO NOT overmix you want to keep stuff fluffy.
Fold in the salt, pepper, and Parmesan
line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Spread ! Tbs of olive oil over the paper with your bare hands
With your oiled hands shape the little potato pancakes and place them on the baking sheet.

Place them in the oven...

...and bake for about 20 -25 minutes or until they are golden, and crispy around the edges.

Dab them with the sour cream and add the lentil caviar.

Put it together and serve it up.

So there you have it....Champagne wishes, and "Caviar" dreams for mere pennies.
Coming up next , some refreshing Indian treats  for Summer. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


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