Spiced Pear Loaf

I love a traditional banana bread but I also love changing out the fruits and making different types of loaves.  This Spiced Pear Loaf gives me a peek into the fall with its hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger; the sweet pear chunks added in… oh so delicious!
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This bread uses milk and oil in addition to the pear chunks to give it just the right amount of moisture.  Use a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and oats for a healthy balance of carbs, and just enough brown sugar to combine with the warm spices to bring fall home any time of the year!
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Use this loaf for a snack during recess, packed in your lunchboxes, or even as a sweet treat post meals.  So delicious and scrumptious, you have to try it out!
IMG_7862From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious treat!

Chocolate Samosa

Rakhi is here and I wanted to make it special for the girls’ cousin Krish.  Traditionally, a sister ties a Rakhi (similar to a friendship bracelet) on their brother’s hand and feed them their favorite sweet.  In return, the brother gives his sister a gift as a token of love and both promise to honor and protect each other.
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It’s a really great festival to celebrate siblings and I wanted Krish to feel special.  So I asked his mom what his favorite desserts are and she said anything with chocolate (my kind of kid!).  I set my brain to work and really thought about different desserts I could make for him.

When I first thought of this fusion recipe, I was excited, nervous, and skeptical of how it would turn out.  As I started making it though, I saw this was going to be one of my best creations yet!
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What is a Chocolate Samosa?
A chocolate samosa is a delicious fusion of sweet chocolate (and your favorite add-ins) with a crust of a samosa.  Traditionally, a samosa is a savory snack made of a roti dough crust and filled with a potato pea mixture which is deep fried.

I took the concept of a samosa, and gave it a pie crust filled with Nutella.  Let me just say, I felt like complete bliss eating this delicious dessert!

To make these beauties, I made my pie crust and kept the dough in the fridge for an hour to keep it cool.  When making pie dough, you have to use cold butter and ice water but if the dough starts getting to room temperature, it can get sticky and hard to handle.

Once I pulled it out of the fridge, I divided it into 13 portions, rolled them out and cut them in half to make the samosa cones.  Fill them about 3/4 of the way with Nutella then seal the seam.  Freeze these for an hour (you can even keep them in the freezer up to 3 month) then when you’re ready, bake them for 15 minutes!
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Add-Ins
I did straight up Nutella for this one but who’s to say you can’t make other creations?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Coconut
  • Toffee
  • Almonds and sea salt
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • White chocolate and hazelnut

Try it out and enjoy this delicious creation for Rakhi, Diwali, or any day you’re in the mood for some samosas and chocolate!

From my kitchen to yours, hope you fall in love with these Chocolate Samosas like I did!

Oreo Cheesecake

From as far back as I can remember, my brother and I have always loved oreos.  Dunking them in milk, twisting them and eating the cream first, in shakes (mostly from fast food places), or hiding in the pantry and eating them (so my kids don’t catch me).
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Don’t Judge.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!

So many years later, cookies and cream remains our favorite flavor; definitely a go to for me.

Monday is Raksha Bandhan which is a big festival for Hindus.  In a nutshell, this is a celebration between brothers and sisters where we promise to protect and honor each other.  The sisters usually feed the brothers their favorite dessert after tying a Rakhi (kind of like a friendship bracelet) and receive a gift from their brothers as token of love (my favorite part).
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Traditionally, I’ve done Indian sweets but my brother has never been a big fan of them.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re delicious, but just not what he prefers.  As I was sitting at the table planning Rakhi, I knew without a doubt in my mind I was going to make something with Oreos in it for him.

This Oreo Cheesecake is one of my favorites because it is not too sweet, is very easy to make and I don’t have to deal with a water bath.  I know the cheesecake masters are probably gasping and worried that I haven’t used a water bath, but to be honest, I don’t think this one needed it!
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It is very creamy on the inside with chunks of cookie in each bite and the cookie crust just finishes off this amazing cake.

I know Cheesecake is not a very traditional Mithai (dessert) for Rakhi, but it’s all about what my brother likes and I think I hit this one out of the park.
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What event will you make this delicious Oreo Cheesecake for?

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite of this cheesecake!

Notes:
I used a 7″ springform pan for this recipe

Spiced Plum Crumble Bars

One of my very good friends, Diana, has a plum tree that produces an abundance of plums every year.  One of my favorite memories is when Sanaya was just over a year old, we had gone to her house and she let us pick plums in her backyard.  We had so many plums in our hands, I had walked away to put them in a basket.  When I came back, Sanaya had eaten half a plum (most of the juice was around her mouth and on her clothes) and was holding another she was getting ready to dive into.  It was one the best afternoons ever!
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We are a fruit loving family and we don’t discriminate (well, unless it’s mangoes – then everyone has to fend for themselves while I devour them).  At any given time, there’s always fresh fruit in the house and I love that my girls share mine and hubby’s love for them.  In honor of Diana’s plum tree (which I heard may not be around much longer and I almost cried), I got creative and added a little spice spin to these crumble bars.
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I love this recipe because it is so easy to come together.  For the filling, I stayed true to Salted Mint‘s filling.  I tried out a few different variations but I love this one the best because it is simple, adds the warmth of star anise and cinnamon and tastes amazing!
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For the crumble, I added hints of ginger and cardamom (I seriously felt like I could call this a Chai Spiced Plum Crumble because of the similar spices used). And the best is I can use the same mixture for the crust and crumble!
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For the oats, I used old fashioned oats and mixed it by hand.  You can absolutely pulse it in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture.  Here is the food processor I love and use:

I don’t think anyone can stop eating just one bar!  These are so crumbly, flaky, sweet, tart, and have just a little hint of spice which just warms your insides up!

This recipe makes about 16 squares in a 8×8 baking pan.

Notes:
To store, place in a sealed container and keep in fridge for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 2 months.

Keep the skin on the plums!  I wasn’t sure about this when I first started experimenting but it just becomes a part of the jam and you can’t even notice it!
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious plum crumble bars!

Popeye Muffins Yum

Popeye muffins are one of the girls’ favorites.  I started making these when the girls were too young to eat leafy greens but old enough to eat more than pureed meals.  They were an instant hit then, and luckily they still are now.  Vibrant green, sweet and soft…. you can’t go wrong with these!

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