Friday, October 12, 2007

Weekend Stuff

Dale places a possessive paw on his new toy, a moose.

Moose-y has a head that squeaks when it is pressed, and Dale loves to carry it around in his mouth all over the place. We have a Halloween pet parade in our neighborhood in a couple of weeks, and I'm dying to get Dalu into a costume for the occasion (he looks miserable every time I talk about it :D...Dale prefers the au naturel look). Any ideas for a simple doggie costume for this handsome pooch?

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Some delicious recipes from fellow bloggers:

1. I love roasted cauliflower in all its shapes and forms. Susan, the Food Blogga, posted a Crispy Breaded Cauliflower recipe that made my knees go weak. The idea of dipping florets into egg whites and then into breadcrumbs, then baking them to a glorious crispy finish- I took that concept and tried a variation of it. I made masala breadcrumbs by whizzing together 2 dried-out old slices of bread, 1 t cumin seeds, 1 t ajwain (carom seeds), red chilli powder, 1 T olive oil and salt in the food processor. The only problem: I was not able to get very fine breadcrumbs. I then dipped florets in beaten egg white, rolled them in the masala breadcrumbs and baked them as directed.

The result was so delicious and supremely crunchy. The coarse breadcrumbs did not stick on as well as they should have, hence the patchy look of the cauliflower, but this is totally worth a repeat. Maybe next time I will buy some panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs) and then spice them up. Of course, I also have to try out Susan's original recipe with the olive tapenade (there, my knees are going weak again).

2. For many months, I have been making my usual crunchy granola with minor variations. But I discovered an awesome granola recipe last week that is sure to become the new favorite. This recipe for small batch crunchy granola was shared by Anna of Cookie Madness.

I did follow the recipe exactly as it is, only scaling it up to 3 cups granola to fill a full-size cookie sheet. Oats and nuts are tossed with a sugar-water-vanilla mixture, then baked at a lower temperature for a longer time. The result, I have to admit, is a lot crunchier than my usual granola, and it stayed that way over the several days that we enjoyed this granola. And one ingredient is conspicuous by its absence; there is **no oil** in this recipe. YAY!

3. Finally, a delicious treat that I always thought was too challenging to make at home, made easy by a fellow blogger. Besan ladoos are made from a toasted chickpea flour-sugar-ghee (clarified butter) mixture, shaped into portion-controlled treats by loving hands.

Tee from Bhaatukli has shared an awesome recipe for microwave besan ladoo that takes all the effort out of besan ladoo-making. I followed her directions exactly and needed about 7-8 1-minute bursts in my microwave for the chickpea flour to get all fragrant and toasty. The last step, shaping the ladoos, is a workout that requires all the strength in your fist to get beautiful ladoos like Tee's. Mine were passable :) I took the ladoos over to the home of our friends. All four of us that were gathered there had not tasted besan ladoos for years and years, and the look of pure joy on our faces as we bit into these...priceless!

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Lovely post :-) I have no doggie ideas to offer, but I am sure that when the time comes, you'll make him the cutest pumpkin pup in town :-)

  2. Dale is lovely.
    Love the besan laddoo

  3. I liked your take on crunchy cauliflower. I hope you have fun takely the princely looking Dale trick or treating. Dont you think he will look quite in turban and pearl neckace. He may end hating u for life if u do that.

  4. Crunchy cauliflower sounds good to me, would love to try that....

  5. hey nupur!! love your amazing dishes n love your dale!!!

  6. LOL... i will eagerly wait for his pic in his hallowewn gears :)

  7. Reading about Dale always brings a smile. He seems to have a perplexed look with all the Halloween costume ideas floating around! Give him a cowboy look with a bright bandana, howdy Dale!


  8. Dale, the handsome, rocks! Am sure he'll be star in the parade :).

    And your crispy cauliflower is making me hungry, Nupur! Simply yummy! and the laddoos sound easy breezy. Great ones, dear!

  9. Dale is such a handsome dog...i don't know what costume will do him justice :)
    I love the breaded cauliflower recipe...goes straight to my bookmarks.
    I am glad you and your firends enjoyed the besan ladoos :) Shaping the ladoos is one exercise...if done regularly, i am sure will develop arm muscles ;)

  10. Hi Nupur cauliflower roast and besan laddoos looks mouthwatering.

  11. dear nupur, you can use crushed bran flakes (not teh sweet variety) to get crunchier cauliflower. it works better than panko.

  12. love the laddoos....cute doggie....

  13. Dalu already has that "Poor me" look on his face :). I would try this cauliflower dipped in a very watery cornflour and coated in rava. Corn flakes also works well.

  14. I'm recently hearing a lot of dog-stories from a friend couple who've bough a new I'll get ideas and tips from them for u:)

    great weekend to you too! hope you can find some time to send in an entry for AFAM-Peach that I'm hosting this month Nupur:)

  15. Dalu (my friend once asked me why Indians add an oo/u to the end of their loved ones name) would look awesome dressed up as SUPERDALE, all you'll need is a cape you can tie around his neck, our daisy/daisoo also used to gives us that 'you are torturing me' lablook when our daugter, who is away to school since september, used to dress her up. Thanks for the besan laddoo recipe, I haven't eaten a good laddoo since the last time (10 years) i was in lucknow.

  16. Love the laddoos and the snack too.

  17. why would you dress up that poor thing in those funky costumes!!..he looks adorable as he is...and i loove granola on my yogurt..will try this out..

  18. Oh! Get him a cute pumpkin outfit! But never anything like this!

  19. You'd mentioned the idea of "Count Dogula" which sounds like a great idea to me! Less original... thinking of Count Dogula made me think of capes which made me think of Superman. You could use a small blue t-shirt, glue or sew on a Superman (or Superdog as the case may be!) S on the shirt and then add a red cape (can't think of any clever sources for that... but a yard of cheap red fabric wouldn't cost much). Thanks for the tip on the granola... I've been thinking about making some and had forgotten you'd posted a recipe. Now I'm torn between your original recipe and this lighter one!

  20. Raaga, :D we'll see if this silly one keeps the costume on for even a split second.

    Happy Cook, Dale says thanks :) and the besan ladoos are worth a try!

    Mocha, I *love* the idea! I think he will knock the turban down right away though :D Very clever!

    Padma, it is certainly worth a try!

    Padmaja, thank you, thank you! :) The amazing dishes are all from the brilliant bloggers.

    Sia, :) let's see if I can pull it together!

    Namita, awww he would look so cute as a cowboy! And he likes wearing scarves anyway. Brilliant idea, Namita!

    Musical, you must try the crispy cauliflower! Like bhajjis, only crispier.

    Tee, your recipe was such a hit! Thank you for sharing it!

    Rohini, thank you! All credit goes to the bloggers who shared these recipes.

    Bee, thanks for a great idea! Will look for bran flakes.

    Remya, thanks a lot :)

    Suganya, corn flakes are a great idea! And don't let Dale's innocent looks fool you :D

    Mansi, I'll try to participate, my dear, but am not much of a peach fan at all :(

    Bulbul, people ask me about the oo/u appendage all the time :) and I try to explain that it is very similar to calling Robert -Robby or Catherine -Cathy. I LOVE your idea of Superdale :D
    This besan ladoo recipe is terrific, and will be a true treat since you have been ladoo-deprived for so long!

    Rina, thanks :)

    Rajitha, don't worry, he tortures me too on a daily basis with his naatak, so getting him dressed for 5-10 minutes is going to be my sweet revenge :D
    This granola is worth a try!

    Manisha, trust me when I say that I am a kinder pet parent than *that* (which actually needs to be reported to the ASPCA) :) Actually, I won't get him a store-bought outfit at all...those are constricting and bizarre. Something with a simple cape/scarf that he likes wearing anyway.

    Cathy, I was thinking the same...of getting some cheap fabric and making the cape myself! I might write you emergency e-mails for help if there is any sewing involved :D
    This lighter granola recipe is great if you like crunch. The other if you like the oats to have a sweet glaze. Each can be scaled down, so you can make side-by-side batches of both :)

  21. Hello to Dale from Duke, my Lab 3 year old. Duke sits in the chair next to me while I 'work' at my desk. Dales's picture arouses interest, he wishes we had 'smell-a-pc' so he could sniff the cute pup he sees on the monitor.
    On haloween, Duke, when he was just a little pup, dressed up as a a devil with red horns and a cape. Would Dale like that? Our other Dog Emma was dressed up as a ballerina, in her pink tutu. Cute!
    On the fried mom used to make fried cauliflower that were marinated in salt, haldi, and mirchi powder. After a 30 mins marinade, the cauliflowerettes were fried in oil till crisp golden. Delicious! They and fried potato slices/chips are some of my favorite snacks. Other variations... roll Cauliflower pieces or thin sliced potato slices in spiced cream of wheat and fry the Cauliflower and potato chips. Same veg, but different taste.

  22. Thanks for the mention Nupur. I love the idea of making masala breadcrumbs. There is plenty of fresh cauliflower at our farmers' market now; I am going to make this recipe this week.

  23. Dale would look COOL in anything!! cowboy! super pup!! would love to see him in his costume!

  24. Hi Nupur!!!!!
    How are you? crunchy cauliflower with bread looks lovely!!!!! and the laddoo looks mouth watering!!

  25. wow, all the recipes sound great! Dale can be the character "Underdog" ;).

  26. Hey Nupur I am waiting to see Dale boy in the costume!:)I cooked potatoes in the Microwave as per your tip and it worked very well since I wanted them for parathas.Thanks for the same!:)

  27. Dale is real cute and thx for the info on besan ladoos, you have a stellar blog !

  28. How about a super-hero costume that's mostly a cape? My cat invented this costume for herself, when she somehow walked into the handles of a plastic grocery bag, and manoevered the bag onto her back.

    She seemed quite pleased with herself, and not uncomforatble at all. Had the bag been cloth, and decorated with a superman motif, I think she might have been even more chuffed. Of course cats are more vain than dogs, but still, they don't usually brook much in the way of dressup.

    Just a thought.

  29. Ah, I see many other people have recommended the cape. That will teach me to read through before I write!

  30. Re Dale: Why don't you decorate a cape with a large timepiece face and a big "S" made from paper and stuck onto the cape? Then Dale will be Super "Watch" Dog!

  31. The crunchy cauliflower is really a good snack. Just one thing can you suggest some replacement for egg whites for veggies?? I think diluted cornflour(the corn strach version) mixture (in water)sounds good and happening!!
    To cook for vegans and veggies a big challenge!!
    So far as the question of coarse bread crumbs arises i would suggest you that even if you you use old dried-out bread slices,roast them in a toaster for abt 2-3 mins. let them cool and whizz them in a coffee bean grinder. You can Have awesome bread crumbs.
    The other type of bread crumbs could be made out of the bread border brown in color. Take the border of a few bread slices, fry them, cool them down and grind in a coffee bean grinder. You can have very tasty and useful bread crumbs.

    You write well and your blog rocks!!

  32. Hi Nupur,

    I tried the roasted cauliflower with "masala" breadcrumbs. It turned out good. I made a few changes- used salt, cumin, chile pwd, garlic powder, oregano and amchoor pwd with store bought plain breadcrumbs and sprayed the baking tray with butter spray. I served them with maggi hot and sweet ketchup. Good combo. Like cauliflower bhajias with absolutely no oil. Wonderful. Thanks for all your recipes. I really enjoy them


  33. Reva, your Duke and Emma sound adorable!

    Susan, thanks for sharing that awesome recipe!

    Manasi, hopefully, pictures will be up next week :)

    Usha, thanks! Both dishes were indeed very very tasty!

    Dhana, "Underdog" is a great idea!

    Madhuli, so glad the microwave potato thing worked! It does make life easier on busy days.

    Bindiya, thank you, my dear! What a nice thing to say :)

    Lindy, awww....the kitty is cute! Cats look most regal whenever they are dressed up!

    Moon Rani, what a superb idea! Very creative you are :) Dale being a watchdog...he would be so busy napping if burglars showed up :D

    Swapna, can't think of a egg replacement but you could do some easy experiments to find out! Cornstarch does sounds like it would work.
    Thanks for the toasted breadcrumbs idea! I will use the grinder next time and not the food processor. Thanks for taking the time to write in your suggestions, Swapna!

    Priya, thanks so much for the feedback...your version sounds just delicious, yes, exactly like crispy bhajias!


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