My daughter goes to art classes in a small warm cozy art studio in Maplewood, NJ. The owner is an extremely talented, warm and nice. She was organizing an Art Show at her studio and wanted me to cater some short eats to go with wine for all the people who were invited. I decided to make Polenta but wanted to make it mess free for people to pick and eat. The first thing that came to my mind was the mini cupcake baking pan. I have baked so many cupcakes and done bake sales for my daughter’s school. I decided to use the cupcake bake pan to mold the polenta. I always try and use Bob’s Corn Grits or Polenta from the supermarket simply because its convenient and easy to prepare.
The instructions usually tell you to cook the corn grits with water but I do it differently.
Currylicious Tip: I whisk half heavy cream and half whole milk in a pot until it comes to a boil. Then, I add corn grits and whisk well to avoid lumps. By the way dont ask me why I whisk the cream/milk and bring it to a boil:))) lol I just feel that it tastes absolutely delicious when I make it this way!
Once the polenta is creamy and hot, I spooned it into the mini cupcake baking pans and leave it in the refrigerator to set for about 1/2 hour. Once you take them out of the refrigerator, you can scoop out the polenta cupcakes easily. I also made a baked eggplant dish which i used to top off the polenta cupcakes.
I also made a Tuscan ChickPea spread with garlic and tomatoes and it was served on toasted bread.
I took all the food to the studio as I was also invited to the Art Show. It was so much fun meeting several people and to see them taste my food and get their feedback and appreciation.
With much love …….
One of my very dear friends called me to check if I could cater for Millburn Elementary school’s International Fair day. On this day, all the parents and kids get to taste different cuisines from all over the world and so I decided to take up this challenge to represent Indian Food. According to the instructions that was given to me by my friend, they needed something that was easy for kids as well as parents to pick and eat, dishes I prepare should obviously have flavors of my country India, it has to be ALLERGY FREE 🙂 and not very spicy. They also mentioned that they needed a dessert as well that had no nuts, no milk and so forth so even kids or parents with nut or milk allergies would be able to enjoy it. I decided to make VEGETABLE ROLLS and for dessert, my favorite CARAMELIZED BANANAS WITH TOASTED SWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES AND CARDAMOM.
I woke up early this morning all ready to take up the challenge. My vegetable rolls needed stuffing for which I decided to saute onions, bell peppers and boiled cooked potatoes with a bunch of home ground Indian spices. Once the stuffing was cooked and ready, I started spooning in some of the stuffing in each roll and folding it and cutting it into 3 for mess free eating:)
I was asked to make 75 such Vegetable rolls and cut into 3 so a total of 225 pieces and a small tray of dessert.
It took me a while to make and cut those 225 pieces:) I then had to start on my dessert. Dessert was simple but healthy and delicious. I had some cardamom seeds in my pantry so took them and freshly ground them using mortar and pestle. I chopped the most number of bananas I ever have in my life so far:) and used a tad of clarified butter along with brown sugar to get those puppies cooking and caramelized! Then I sprinkled some toasted sweetened coconut flakes on top and added some freshly ground cardamom as garnish- Pure heavenly bliss!
I packed everything up and had it dropped at the Millburn Elementary school, my dishes proudly representing my country India and its flavors!!!! My friend also sent me a picture clicked at the fair with most of the food gone in the trays:)
I must say that this is one of the best way and form I have consumed beets! My daughter ate a whole bowl of this salad so for all those moms
struggling to get all the good stuff with nutrients in your child, this might be a dish you wanna try! Beets belong to root vegetable family and are super rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
This dish took me less than 2 minutes to plate once the beets were cooked. Cooking beets takes a while but trust me this dish is so worth it!
Ingredients:(Serving Size for 2)
Beets- 2 or 3 beets
Goat cheese crumbled- 1/4 cup
Sunflower seeds- 1/4 cup
Red Onion- 1/2
Salt to taste
Cooking the beets: There are 2 ways to cook the beets. You can peel the skin dice them evenly and roast it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
You can use a pressure cooker. I love cooking a lot of my veggies in my cooker since its faster and cooks evenly. Peel the skin of the beets, dice the beets evenly and transfer them to a container with water. Cook the beets in a cooker. It takes me about 15- 20 minutes to cook them in a pressure cooker.
I transfer the cooked beets in a bowl and add the crumbled goat cheese and mix it up. Then I add salt to taste, drizzle some olive oil and leave it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Prior to serving, mix some sunflower seeds and serve as a cold salad.
Absolutely healthy and delicious meal!
With much love …….as always….