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The Budding Cook

Updated: 2018-03-05T19:13:57.820-05:00


Date And Nut Energy Squares


If you're looking for a simple and healthy treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, you should try this recipe.  I've been buying energy bars from the bulk bins at my local grocery store for the last few months and decided to try making it at home recently since I had most of the ingredients.   Here's what I used- Ingredients: 4 ounces chopped dates (I used the Amport Foods brand) 6-7 dried

Black Bean Brownies


When I’m looking for new recipes to try, I usually go for the ones that do not make use of fancy or unusual ingredients. I also try and stay away from recipes that seem too “healthy” to taste good.  I’ve wanted to make brownies with black beans for a long time but was a bit skeptical about how they would turn out. Then I found this recipe on Meal Makeover Moms. With so many positive

Kale Chips


I made these tasty and crispy kale chips to go with the pita pizzas we were having for dinner. Ingredients: 1 bunch kale 2 Tbsp olive oil Salt Pepper Garlic powder Method: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with foil. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale leaves. Remove the inner ribs, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and place on the baking sheets.

Avocado Brownies


I make brownies regularly and have tried a lot of brownie recipes over the years.  This was my go-to recipe for the longest time until I tried Dorie Greenspan's recipe. I borrowed Baking: From My Home to Yours  from my library sometime last year and came across Dorie’s  Classic Brownies. I've made her brownies several times in the last few months, adding my tweaks and modifications, each

Wheat Flour Dosa


I make these instant dosas anytime, day or night, when nothing but dosas will do for a meal. While I love the traditional dosas, making them requires a little bit of planning and preparation. The batter for wheat dosas is ready in less then 5 minutes and does not require any soaking, grinding or fermenting. Ingredients: (For 12 -14 paper-thin dosas) 2 cups wheat flour ½ cup rice flour ½

Bread Pakodas


Fried food tastes so good and is so addictive, but I limit deep-frying to just a couple of times a year since it is an unhealthy way of cooking and the whole process is such a hassle for me. When I do fry, I go all out and fry up different things so that the entire batch of oil is used up all at once. I made these pakodas to go with steaming hot cups of tea recently.  Ingredients:

Classic Brownies


This is my version of Dorie Greenspan's brownies from her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I've used the basic recipe many times- I sometimes substitute the walnuts in the recipe with pecans or hazelnuts (my favorite) and add different flavors (peppermint, orange, vanilla) depending on what kind of brownies I want to make.  I baked a large batch of brownies last week. I doubled

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake


Chocolate and orange are a classic flavor combination and this cake is one of my favorites. I make a couple of different versions with minor variations depending on the ingredients I have at the time. It only takes about 10 minutes to make the batter for this cake and it can also be baked as cupcakes or loaf cakes (with the baking time adjusted accordingly) depending on your preference.

Easy Hazelnut Fudge


I  love giving homemade food gifts during the holiday season. Last week, I made a few different kinds of treats- some old favorites, some new finds- and filled up more than a dozen holiday themed take-out boxes and festive bags, and gave them away as gifts. An assortment of goodies- chocolate truffles, bark, fudge, cookies and peppermint bark brownies- went into each bag. This hazelnut

Spinach and Mushroom Breakfast Casserole


This casserole is healthy and filling without being heavy. It can be assembled ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked just before you're ready to eat. This breakfast/brunch dish is very versatile and works well with a variety of vegetables. I usually use a combination of spinach and mushrooms but bell peppers, broccoli and asparagus would all be great additions. Here's what needs to

Lauki Halwa


Over the weekend, I made a few sweets for Diwali. Lauki halwa was one of the sweet dishes I made for our small Diwali celebration that I hadn’t made before. Since it turned out pretty well, I’m making a note of the recipe here. Ingredients: 1 big bottle gourd/lauki, about 5 cups, peeled, grated, and excess water removed Ghee/clarified butter- 1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp ¼ cup cashewnuts A handful

Blueberry - Lime Loaf Cake


Sometime last year, I followed an Ina Garten recipe and made a lemon yogurt cake. The recipe was a huge hit and the cake became very popular in our household. Since then I've made this lemon cake many times and it has always been well-received by all those who have tasted it. I tried Deeba’s very similar recipe recently- her recipe called for limes instead of lemons and buttermilk

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


Although an upside-down cake is traditionally made with pineapple, fruits like peaches, pears, plums, apples or berries work just as well. I always thought that an upside–down cake was too challenging and complicated to make until I saw this simple recipe on Joy of Baking. This was my first time making a cake like this and I was very pleased with the results- this is a cake that tastes

Microwave Potato Chips


I saw these homemade, crispy potato chips  on FatFree Vegan Kitchen and had to make a batch right away.  These microwave chips are very easy to make and take about 5 minutes from start to finish. They are a healthier alternative to the store-bought potato chips. I make this very frequently especially when I need a quick snack to go with my cup of tea. I've tried a variety of seasonings

Pateta par Eeda (Eggs on Potatoes)


Pateta-par-Eeda, which translates to "eggs on potatoes" is a traditional Parsi dish served for breakfast. I first saw this on One Hot Stove many years ago and my version of the original recipe has undergone many changes with time. I like to  make this for brunch over the weekends especially when my grocery shopping for the following week has not yet been done, and all I have with me to make a

Watermelon, Feta and Quinoa Salad


I've been having this cool and refreshing salad all summer long. It's  quick, easy, and the ingredients work really well together. Here's what I do-(for 2-3 servings)¾  cup cooked quinoa 3 cups diced watermelon 1/3  cup crumbled feta cheese 1 Tbsp  olive oil Juice of 2 limes A handful of   chopped walnuts ¼   cup  dried cranberries     Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve

Aloo & Quinoa Tikkis (Potato & Quinoa Patties)


Recently, I’ve been trying to incorporate quinoa into my predominantly rice-based South Indian diet. I add quinoa to my dosa batter, use it as a substitute for rice and  also add it to soups, salads and casseroles.While aloo tikkis have been an all-time favorite in our home, I have only recently started mixing  cooked quinoa in with the mashed potatoes while making tikkis.        Ingredients:

Besan Chilla (Chickpea Flour Crepe)


Besan chilla, sometimes referred to as an eggless “omelet” is a savory pancake made using chickpea flour. The flour is mixed with water, spices and vegetables like tomatoes and onions to make a thick batter. This is a simple and healthy preparation, perfect for breakfast, and can be made in less than 15 minutes. I like my chillas thin, so I add a lot of liquid while making the batter so that

Gianduia Brownies


I’ve tried a lot of brownie recipes over the years and have posted a few of the ones I’ve liked here. Although I found my perfect brownie recipe a while back, I just can’t seem to stop looking for new recipes to try out! I recently made a batch of Gianduia brownies using a recipe I saw on Epicurious. Here is the recipe with my modifications-Ingredients:(For 16 squares)4 Tbsp butter 3 ounces

Tomato Curry with Coconut Milk


 I saw this dish being made on an episode of Taste of Kerala a few months back and have been making it regularly since then.    This preparation is simple and delicious, and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. It goes well with rotis or parathas.  Ingredients:1 Tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp mustard seeds A pinch of asafoetida A sprig of curry leaves 2-3 green chillies, minced  8-10

Potato Breakfast Casserole with Cottage Cheese and Bell Peppers


  While looking for a recipe for a vegetarian breakfast casserole, I came across this one on The Kitchn.  The recipe is simple and uncomplicated. Like most casseroles, this one too can be assembled the night before and refrigerated, and baked just before you are ready to eat the next morning. I scaled down the ingredients to make just 3-4 servings and also decreased the baking time a bit. I did

Coconut Burfi


Coconut burfi is one of my favorite Indian  sweets and I've been making it for a long time now.  I recently made it in this fun pink color after I saw Aarti make it on her show many months back.  I purchased my first tiny bottle of food color just  to make pink colored burfi !   Over time, I've found that the sugar to coconut ratio that works well for me is 1:2 The burfi is still a bit too

Nutella Brownies


I saw these delicious-looking brownie bites on Sweet Savory Life and just had to make them immediately.The recipe is Abby Dodge's and it makes use of just 4 ingredients.  Ingredients:(For 12 brownie bites)½ cup Nutella spread 1 large egg 5 Tbsp all-purpose flour ½ cup chopped pecans (the original recipe uses hazelnuts) Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan

Baked Tortilla Chips with Pico de Gallo


Recently, after a meal of quesadillas for dinner, I still had a few tortillas left in the pack.  I used it to make a batch of tortilla chips. I usually just buy tortilla chips from the store, but at times like this, when I have too many tortillas, I like to make my own chips and try out different flavor combinations. Here are some of the flavorings I've used  in the past while making

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake


Many years back, when I first came across the world of food blogs, one of the very first recipes I’d bookmarked was a recipe for a cake from Clotilde Dusoulier’s blog. Last week when I was on my refrigerator-cleaning mission, I finally got around to making this cake. You can find the original recipe here; I followed it closely but did make a couple of changes, the most important