Sunday, January 13, 2013

Veggie tater tot hotdish by Jessica of Live the Fancy Life

Thanks so much to Jessica of Live the Fancy Life for guest blogging today!  She is sharing a delicious and healthy veggie tater tot hot dish that is a favorite at her house.  I can't wait to give this a try!

Be sure to check out Jessica's fabulous blog for party tips, home decor and momma stuff (she has the cutest little toddler named Bodhi).

Hello Eat Drink Pretty readers! I’m so happy to be here today.

Like nearly everyone I know, I am determined to have a healthier 2013. My husband and I are vegetarian (not vegan) and we’re always looking for delicious recipes without meat that are loaded with the healthy stuff.

With a semi-picky toddler on our hands, I’ve learned a few tricks for getting lots of veggies in his diet and one of my favorite go-to meals is a super vegetable filled tater-tot hotdish (or casserole if you aren’t a Minnesotan). A healthy take on this traditional casserole still gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. You know the feeling? It’s the same one you get when you eat chicken noodle soup when you are sick or you eat any recipe that your mom made for you to make you feel better as a child.

I love hearty comfort foodvand this is a go-to meal for us in the winter.

If you are a carnivore who prefers meat in every meal, you can simply add hamburger or ground turkey, but keep the veggies for a healthy punch.

Super veggie-filled tater tot hotdish with flax

2 cups kale-chopped as small as you need them to be
1/2 bag of a frozen peas
1 head of organic cauliflower or 1 bag of frozen
1 head of broccoli or 1 bag of frozen
2 cans of cream of mushroom or a 32 oz box of any creamy soup. We used creamy corn and roasted pepper soup this time.
1/4 cup ground flaxseed or flax meal
Tater tots (or try sweet potato tater tots for added nutrition)
3/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese of your choice
Sea salt
Garlic powder

Other ingredients to consider adding or substituting:
Roasted carrots
Sweet potato tater tots
White beans
Crumbled tofu

1. Microwave the peas for 3 minutes on 70% power
2. Pulse cauliflower and broccoli in a food processor until you reach your desired consistency. I was trying to be sneaky for the little guy this time, so went VERY fine.
3. Roast the cauliflower and broccoli at 400 degrees for a five minutes with a drizzle of olive oil. I do these things while I’m chopping other vegetables to save time.
4. Layer ingredients in a glass casserole dish.
5.  After the third vegetable layer, pour 1/4 of your soup throughout.
6.  Then sprinkle your flax seed across the entire casserole.
7.  Add sea salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder to taste-we like things a bit more flavorful so tend to add a lot.
8.  Layer the rest of your vegetables.
9.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded cheese across vegetables
10.  Create a layer of tater tots. I make them touch, but since this is the unhealthy part of the recipe, you could use less. 
11.  Pour the remainder of your soup across the entire casserole.
12.  Sprinkle the rest of your cheese across the top.
13.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until the top becomes golden and crispy and the soup is bubbling up.
14.  Enjoy!

I love any dish that needs to bake for 30 minutes or more because it gives me time to clean up, set the table and play with my sweet little guy before dinner. Plus it makes the house smell amazing! What is your favorite comfort food?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guest post at Icing Designs

The lovely gals at Icing Designs blog invited me to guest post today. Please head over to check out my post, which includes a recipe for these delicious Caramel Ginger cookies.

Thanks so much, Melissa and Kellie for having me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guest post: Parisian baby shower inspiration by Postcards and Pretties

I am excited to welcome Chris from Postcards and Pretties as a guest blogger today!  Postcards and Pretties is dedicated to providing daily wedding inspiration and the inspiration boards are not to miss!  They are usually seasonally-inspired and always gorgeous.

As told by Chris:

Hi... I'm Chris from Postcards and Pretties and I'm so excited to be a guest on Eat Drink Pretty.

You are probably looking at the board and think..what? Why are there baby details sprinkled in? Well, I wanted to challenge myself and create my first baby shower inspiration board. Who says they are just for weddings?

I envisioned a soft Parisian Market theme in a delicate color palette.  No outdoor market is complete without a scale, fresh flowers and adorable trinkets. Hang vintage house numbers with a ribbon to mark your tables and create charming centerpieces with distressed dresser drawers filled with fragrant blooms. 

And, you can't forget the classic French treats like buttery madeleines and decadent macarons for the dessert buffet. Not a fan of dessert problem, package up those yummy treats in a basket lined with a pretty handkerchief and wrap with twine for a delicious guest favor. 

{colors} lilac, mint, blush, cream
{photos} vintage drawer centerpiece {pretty petals} dessert buffet {instyle weddings} carriage {kiss the groom} parisian books {petite michelle louise} flower bundles {this is glamorous} felt baby shoes {martha stewart} table number {brides} madeleine cake {martha stewart weddings} macarons {unknown} vintage scale {madame cupcake}

Thanks so much for these stunning ideas, Chris!  Now I just need a girlfriend to get pregnant with a baby girl so I can execute this exact shower!  These details would also be perfect for a little girl's birthday or a bridal shower.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest post: doily bridal shower ideas from Marry You Me

I am thrilled to welcome Annie of Marry You Me as a guest blogger today on Eat Drink Pretty.  She is stopping by to share some great ideas on how to throw a lovely bridal shower on a budget using doilies.

As told by Annie:

Hello Eat Drink Pretty readers! I'm Annie of Marry You Me, and I am so excited to be here today sharing some ideas for entertaining with you all. When Jenna asked me to do a guest post I immediately thought of sharing budget ideas for a bridal shower. You may have been in this position - you're hosting a shower for a family member or friend, and you want it to be beautiful and special without breaking the bank. I wanted to show some simple ways to decorate for a bridal shower using paper doilies and ribbon as the main decor elements. (These ideas could also work great for a baby shower, but I'm all about the weddings!)

An ivory buttercream cake would be the main centerpiece for my tea buffet, and to dress it up I cut doilies at different heights and worked carefully pressing them into the buttercream.

Then I finished it off with double folded white satin ribbon wrapped around the bottom of each layer. I secured the ribbon with a straight pin in the back of the cake.

{Photo credit: Martha Stewart Weddings}

I hung two Martha Stewart Celebrate heart doily garlands from Michael's as the backdrop for my buffet, but you could also make your own using doilies and string.

Doilies wrapped around napkins and tied with ribbons make a sweet dressed up napkin ring.

For a menu, I wrote on a doily and attached it to cut colored cardstock, then popped it in a frame I already had.

Honey lace cookies made a sweet cookie to serve with tea, plus their lacy texture is doily-like.

Two bunches of white and pink carnations served as more than enough flowers! I made over 6 arrangements with leftover stems for under $17. Hope you liked my ideas of some quick, easy ways to dress up a buffet table for a bridal shower!

Here are some more bridal shower tea ideas using doilies and a few great recipes that I love for a tea!
Thanks so much to Annie of Marry You Me for sharing these great ideas!  Be sure to head over to her blog for endless wedding inspiration (my favorite posts of Annie's are her inspiration boards, she is the genius/muse behind the inspiration board used in the Candy Shoot inspiration to reality feature on Style Me Pretty.)

We have a winner of the Sweet Treats Party boutique $50 gift certificate giveaway!  Thanks so much for all the comments/entries, I was thrilled with all the participation!

The winner is comment number 12:

Mayra said:

"My favorite is the Pretty Peacock Baking Molds, they are gorgeous! I can imagine those at a party!"

Congrats, Mayra!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest post: rani in the kitchen part 6 - potato poha

Today's guest post is part 6 in the series "Rani in the Kitchen", written by my friend Amy. Click here for parts 1-5.

I love today's recipe, Potato Poha. This is second part of my last post, which was a breakfast post. This recipe is great because it is SUPER simple and quick. You can eat this recipe anytime during the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack! I make this recipe often instead of basmati rice, or as I did last week, to go nicely as a type of Indian hash brown recipe with curried scrambled eggs!

So lets start with the basics. Poha is a flattened rice that is eaten in many parts of India. You can read about it here.

Poha is often used as a snack-type food, but can also be a nice change from plain basmati rice. I often make the recipe below with peanuts instead of potatoes as a mid-afternoon snack for Jay and I.

One small catch to this recipe: I'm fairly certain poha is only available at Indian supermarkets. So in order to make this, you'll almost certainly have to venture out and get some. But hey, what's cooking without a little culinary adventure? So Google an Indian grocery store near you! I usually buy the Swad Thick Poha. I know others that buy the Thin Poha, but I really like this kind the best:

After you get your Poha, you should hvae the rest of the ingrediants handy. The recipe takes about 20 minutes to make.

Aloo Poha (Potato Poha)


1 large russet potato
2-3 handfuls of thick poha
11/2 Tablespoon of Turmeric
1 Tablespoon of black or brown mustard seeks
1 medium onion
1-2 green chilies or 1 teaspoon for red chili powder
1 inch grated ginger (or 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Handful of cilantro
Salt to taste


1. Peel the potato, cut into bite size cubes, and boil until you can put a fork through it, but not mushy (6-8 minutes). Drain the water.
2. While the potato is boiling, put two to three handfuls of poha in a colander. Rinse the poha well, drain, and sprinkle with turmeric and salt and set aside.
3. Thinly slice and chop your onion
4. Thinly slice and chop your chiles
5. Heat oil on medium high heat in a non-stick pan. (I've found this recipe always cooks better in a non-stick pan)
6. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. They should quickly start to pop, then add the onion, and chiles. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the potatoes and ginger (and chile powder if you did not use chiles above). Saute until the potatoes start to fry and brown.
8. Add your damp poha mixture into the pan and sautee for 1-2 minutes.
9. When the poha is well coated with the sides and starts to dry out, turn off pan.
10. Sprinkle lemon juice, salt, and freshly chopped cilantro into the mixture.

Feel free to add peas or peanuts into this mixture as well. Poha is sort of like fried rice, you can make it a million different ways!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guest post: rani in the kitchen part 5 - Egg Bhurjee

Today's guest post is part 5 in the series "Rani in the Kitchen", written by my friend Amy. Click here for parts 1-4.

I love today's recipe because it is healthy, easy, and super delish! Plus, it is a wonderful weekend breakfast recipe - and my fiance absolutely loves it! The recipe is Egg Bhurjee (or curried scrambled eggs). Those that have been following my recipes know that Indian cooking is all about the spices - and this recipe is no exception. What makes this dish so healthy is that it is flavored with fresh veggies and spices - so you an avoid much of fat in cheesy/meat scrambled egg combos! It actually cooks pretty fast in the morning, which is wonderful if you want to sleep in and have a quick and easy breakfast. Of course you can eat this recipe for dinner too - Indian food tastes good all the time!

Egg Bhurjee (Curried Scrambled Eggs)
Serves 2


5 medium eggs
2 tablespoon half and half or milk
1/2 large white or yellow onion
1-2 small green thai/indian chiles (optional)*
2-3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 inch grated ginger (or 1 heaping tablespoon ginger paste)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon Coriander
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter


1. Break open the eggs into a bowl. Add the half and half or milk. Whisk the egg/milk mixture together and set aside

2. Add the frozen peas to hot water and allow them to soak for a few minutes

3. Put the oil in a large skillet and heat on medium high heat

4. Chop the onion and add to the hot oil. Saute for a 1-2 minutes.

5. While the onion is sauteing, chop the green chiles and add to the onion/oil mixture

6. After the onion starts to turn yellow, add the grated ginger or ginger paste

7. Immediately drain the water off your peas and add the peas to the fry pan. Reduce heat to medium and fry for 1-2 minutes.

8. Now add in the spices: turmeric, garam malasa, and coriander. Saute for 1 minute.

9. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are mushy and fall apart 4-5 minutes (you can turn the heat back up a bit if you want to).

10. After the tomatoes are soft and the spices are fragrant, add in the egg mixture. Saute and stir the scrambled eggs for 3-5 minutes.

11. Garnish with cilantro

*If you don't have chiles but you want the eggs a bit spicy substitute red chili powder or paprika.

It's a wonderful, quick/easy breakfast. I usually serve this with Potato Poha (picture above, on the right side of the dish), which I will write about in my next post!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guest post: rani in the kitchen part 4

Today's guest post is part 4 in the series "Rani in the Kitchen", written by my friend Amy. Click here for parts 1-3.

Today's recipe is a fantastic north Indian recipe I received from Jay's mom and it is a true culinary adventure. If you're not from the Southern part of the U.S. (or even if you are!) you initially may be a little put-off by this Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala) recipe. Trust me though, I have had avowed okra-haters rave about this recipe and there is one reason - it is not as gooey as southern Okra recipes often are- and tastes ten times better. The reason the okra is not gooey is because of the way you dry, cut, and saute the okra. The recipe takes some time - usually an hour or so - but I find cutting the Okra (the most time consuming part) a methodical and peaceful exercise. So turn on some music, get out your Indian spices, and get ready to cook something new and different!

Most of you should be able to find fresh Okra at any major supermarket. If you're local supermarket does not have it, an Indian supermarket surely will. Do not use frozen okra, it just does not turn out the same. When selecting Okra, look for green pods that are tender, but not too soft or tough. This recipe goes really well with Indian bread (Naan or Roti). I always buy the Indian breads -maybe this blog is an excuse to start making them!

Bhindi Masala

1 lb of fresh okra
4 oz of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 large yellow onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves of garlic (or teaspoon of garlic paste if you have it)
2 tablespoons of ground coriander
2 tablespoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of red chili powder (more or less if you like it more spicy)
1 and 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
2 oz of canned tomato paste
Cilantro (optional)

1) Wash and individually dry very very well each piece of Okra. (I use paper towels).

2) Cut off the tops and the tips (tails) of the Okra and cut the okra into 1/2 inches pieces wiping the knife with a paper towel in between each slice. It is important to wipe the knife while cutting the Okra.

3) Put the Okra in a dish and sprinkle with black pepper.

4) Peel the onion and slice thinly.

5) Peel and mince the garlic (or use garlic paste).

6) Heat the oil in the sauce pan on medium-high heat, and fry the onion and garlic until they are softened.

7) Add the coriander, chili powder, and garam masala and cook for another minute. Stir well to ensure the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan.

8) Add the Okra and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the Okra starts to char or blacken a bit. Gently turn the okra as you are cooking it, but be careful not to crush the it- otherwise this makes it mushy.

9) Add the tomato paste and gently toss with the Okra. This is suppose to be a dry curry, but you can add a little (couple of tablespoons) of hot water if it appears to be sticking to the pan. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the Okra is soft and brown.

10) Add the salt at the end of the recipe as the salt tends to draw out moisture.

11) Garnish with chopped clinatro if you have some!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest post: rani in the kitchen part 3

Today's guest post in part 3 in the series "Rani in the Kitchen" by my friend Amy. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

Today's recipe is one of just a handful recipes I cook that are non-vegetarian. Several months ago, my finance and I were watching Rachel Ray's cooking show. Rachel was making a Chicken Tikka kabob recipe that my finance exclaimed "looked delicious." I took a portion of her recipe, and gave it my own spin. After realizing how quick and easy it was for me to cook, and the fact that my finance thought it was delicious, I've stuck by the recipe as an quick and easy way to feed my non-vegetarian friends. If you're a vegetarian like me, you may also like this recipe because it involves minimal interaction with the chicken- something that is good because I'm not very adept at cooking chicken!

The original recipe also calls for "curry powder." Recall from my earlier post that curry powder is not really used in Indian households, but if you have some you can use it in this recipe! (Jay and I actually inherited a bottle, so we do have this on hand).

If you do not have curry powder, here is a simple curry powder recipe:

3 tablespoons of turmeric
2 tablespoons of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder or paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground caradmom pods

optional to your curry powder
1/2 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon dried garlic and/or onion
As with most Indian cooking, there are a million different ways to make curry powder (just google it!) And now my Chicken Tikka Recipe

Easy Chicken Tikka

1 cup plain yogurt (non-fat is ok, but tends to make the recipe a bit more watery)
1 heaping tablespoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger*
1 teaspoon chopped garlic*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
A handful (3 tablespoons) cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (you can use frozen chicken breasts too)
1 teaspoon black mustard seed (omit if you do not have black mustard seeds - do not substitute for yellow)
2 tablespoons oil
* Alternatively use ginger and garlic paste.

1) In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, ginger, garlic, chili powder, salt, and cilantro.

2) Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3) Stir chicken into yogurt mixture, cover, and marinate for 20-30 minutes.
4) Heat oil over medium medium heat and put in mustard seeds. Cook mustard seeks for 10 seconds, or until they begin to pop.
5) Take pan off heat to allow to cool down for 45 second - to one minute. Add chicken/yogurt mixture into pan.
6) Saute chicken for 10-15 minutes on medium heat or until cooked through.

7) Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top and serve with warm bread or rice. Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest post: cooking light with Emily

This guest post is written by my good friend, Emily. Emily and I met six years ago at the ad agency I work at and instantly bonded over our love of happy hours and good food. We no longer work together but continue our friendship over many great dinners and bottles of wine.

Emily is one heck of a cook, which is why I am so excited she wanted to provide a guest post for Eat Drink Pretty. She is a very health conscious cook and has been a loyal subscriber to Cooking Light magazine for years (she included the nutritional information at the bottom of this post).

Emily is also a passionate gardener and one of the few people I know that composts in her backyard. In the late summer months I can expect phone calls, texts and emails from her asking, "do you need any basil, green beans, squash, zuchinni?"

Guest post by Emily:

Beef Daube Provencal is a top winter favorite in my household. This Cooking Light recipe is great since the majority of the work is done up front and you can walk away and do something else while it is in the oven. This recipe makes your entire house smell fantastic – as I am typing, the Beef Daube Provencal is in the oven and almost ready to go! I’m making this for my mother’s birthday dinner tonight.

Essentially, you need about an hour to whip all the ingredients together (or less – it depends how fast you can chop or if you can recruit some help), then it slow cooks in the oven for 2 ½ hours. The end result is a succulent braised stew that you serve over egg noodles. I have made this about a dozen times and it always gets rave reviews.

I am a firm believer that cooking with wine makes anything better and it doesn’t hurt to enjoy a glass while you are cooking either! I like to make this on Sundays so I can just reheat some on the stovetop after a long day at work. You can balance out the meal with a spinach salad and an oven-warmed whole grain baguette.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can use a large stockpot for the parts on the stovetop, then you’ll have transfer it to an oven proof baking dish with a lid. Just be careful as you transfer the hot contents into the baking dish. I would recommend using a measuring cup and carefully scooping a small amount at a time so you don’t splash all over.

You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker, but I have yet to try that method.

{Photo credit: Cooking Light}

Beef Daube Proven├žal

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup stew and 1/2 cup noodles)

•2 teaspoons olive oil
•12 garlic cloves, crushed
•1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
•1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
•1 cup red wine
•2 cups chopped carrot
•1 1/2 cups chopped onion
•1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
•1 tablespoon tomato paste
•1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
•1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
•Dash of ground cloves
•1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
•1 bay leaf
•3 cups cooked medium egg or dumpling noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)


Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high.

Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan.

Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over egg noodles.

Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 367 (31% from fat)
Fat: 12.8g (sat 4.3g,mono 5.8g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 29.1g
Carbohydrate: 33.4g
Fiber: 3.9g
Cholesterol: 105mg
Iron: 4.3mg
Sodium: 776mg
Calcium: 76mg

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest post: Rani in the kitchen part 2

This is part 2 in the series "Rani in the Kitchen" from my friend (and Indian cook extrordinaire), Amy

I hope many of you were able to obtain the spices necessary for Indian cooking. Before we get into cooking today's delicious recipe, I thought I would share a few cooking tips to make cooking Indian food a bit easier. Some of these tips come straight from an Indian auntie's kitchen and have been passed down through the generations, others are mine that I've picked up along the way.

When trying to cook from an Indian recipe (whether you've obtained it through a cookbook or the internet), double all spices EXCEPT the chiles or chile powder. When I first started cooking Indian food, I found the food bland and did not contain enough flavor as the Indian food I had eaten from friends/family or from restaurants. I realized that to make it just as flavorful, I had to double the spices. I'm pretty sure this due to the large vegetables (and larger portions) we have in the U.S., which is why you need to put more spices into the recipes.

So my first cooking tip is: double (or nearly double) all spices called for in the recipes EXCEPT the chile/chile powder spice. Don't double the chile powder unless you really like hot food - it make take some time to tell. One thing to remember: I have already accounted for doubling the spices in my recipes. So do not double spices in my recipes - only from those you may see on the internet or in cookbooks!

My second tip is regarding ginger. Many of you may not be used to buying fresh ginger and not that familiar cooking it. Ginger is grated or pulsed when used in Indian recipes. First, the brown skin of the ginger should be taken off. It is much easier to remove the skin with a spoon then a knife (and safer!). After you have removed the skin off the ginger, use the very fine setting on your cheese grater to grate the ginger into a paste. You can also use a food processor or blender, but it's often not worth dirtying those dishes for just a tablespoon of ginger. Alternatively, and the method I prefer, is that you can buy ginger paste pre-made. Unfortunately you will most likely need to go to a specialty food store (like an Indian Grocery store) in order to purchase ginger paste. I really like the Laxmi Brand of Ginger Paste.

Today's recipe, Aloo Gobi, is a classic Indian recipe that you'll see at many Indian restaurants. It is also incredibly easy and delicious. Its a great recipe for first time Indian cooks!

Aloo Gobi (Potato Cauliflower)


2-3 tbls vegetable oil
1 large chopped onion
1 medium-sized cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
3 tomatoes chopped or 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tbls fresh ginger
1 tbls garlic
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbls mustard seed
2 tbls turmeric
1 tsp salt
3 teaspoons garam masala
1-2 small green chiles if you have them, otherwise small pinch of chili powder
a handful of fresh cilantro


1. Peel and chop potatoes and put into small pot of boiling water. Boil for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly soft (not mushy or cooked all the way through). Drain and set aside.
2. Peel and grate ginger. Chop Garlic. Mix together Ginger and Garlic and mustard seed in a bowl.

3. Heat vegetable oil in a LARGE saucepan. When the oil is hot add in ginger, garlic, mustard seed mix. (Be careful as this can sometimes splutter). Stir for 30 seconds to one minute.

4. Add the cumin seeds and chopped onion. Cook onion/cumin seeds on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until they start to become translucent.
5. Add in turmeric, salt, and green chiles or red chile powder. Stir for about 30 seconds.
6. Add in chopped tomatoes and stir for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are well cooked.
7. Add the chopped cauliflower and potatoes and 1/4 cup water. Stir well.
(here in this picture, I had been in a rush and added the spices a little later - you can do that, but the flavors do not come in as well)

8. Cover and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring frequenetly. Add more water if necessary to prevent food from sticking to pan.
9. When potatoes and cauliflower are soft and cooked through, add in the Garam Masala. Continue stiring frequently.
10. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and stir well.
11. Turn off the heat, cover, and let set for 10-15 minutes (or longer) before serving.

Serve with white basmati rice or Indian flat bread (naan or roti). I also serve my with a dalllop of yogurt. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Guest post: Rani in the kitchen (queen in the Kitchen) Part 1

I am very excited about this guest post today from my friend, Amy. I have mentioned her many times on my blog as we have been friends for almost 20 years, roommates after college and she was my partner in crime for many late night Cafe Latte chocolate cake runs, happy hours and dinners when she lived in MN. Amy now lives in DC with her fiance Jay and two adorable dachshunds.

Amy loves all things about the Indian culture. Her fiance is Indian, they travel to India and along the way she has become quite the Indian cook. This post is the first of a series that she is doing on Indian cooking for Eat Drink Pretty .

Guest post by Amy:

It is no secret that I love Indian food. Sure, most people are drawn into the smells of ginger and garlic, along with all the wonderful spices of roasted cumin, coriander, and chilies. But for me, my love for Indian food developed because I am a vegetarian. Indians have been vegetarians for centuries and to this day, most Indians are vegetarian in some fashion. Another benefit is that Indian food is good for you! Studies have shown that the spices in Indian food, such as turmeric, prevent cancer.

Although Indian food is healthy for you, it is also delicious! Cooking Indian food is not as daunting as it looks, and with a little practice, can be really easy. Over the next few months, I hope to share with you recipes and tricks to hone your Indian cooking skills. The post today will be more of an introduction.

The first hurdle to cooking Indian food is that you must have the necessary ingredients, including spices. Most Indian spices are now readily available in most major supermarkets. Many of you may be wondering if you can pick up some "curry powder" and use that in your Indian cooking. Curry powder is actually a Western invention. Curry powder is simply a melange of spices ready-made. The reason Indians never use a curry powder is because each Indian mother has her own special mix (or masala) she uses in the kitchen. Some families like more chilies, some more cloves, some more cumin, and so one. That being said, if you already own a bottle of curry powder, keep it on hand! We can still put it to good use.

Here is a picture of my Indian spice kit:

Must haves for Indian spices includes:

Chile Powder
Mustard Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Garam Masala

Other essentials for Indian Cooking:

Tomatoes and/or tomato paste
Plain Yogurt

So go forth, and pick up these ingredients at the grocery store if you don't already have them. Part 2 of Rani in the kitchen will include a recipe for Aloo Gobi (potato cauliflower).