Tuesday, May 11, 2010

There's An App For That

Think of any occasion where people come together. Throw in a few snacks and appetizers and you have a party on your hands. Here are three apps I made last weekend and all of them passed the taste test, so they made it to the blog. 

The first involves a bright green fruit with a pale green, creamy interior- the avocado. As a bonus, we also have the tender leafy green herb, cilantro. Add to that the fire from fresh green chillies. All that greenness makes it a perfect candidate for Preeti Kashyap's Green Gourmet event.

The inspiring recipe was this guacamole bean dip.I thought it was a brilliant idea, to sneak in protein and fiber in the form of creamy cannellini (white) beans into the delectable rich fattiness of ripe avocado. Here is my version:

Bean Guacamole
1. Place the following in a food processor and blend together to a smooth puree:
  • 1 15-oz can canellini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, halved and pitted
  • 12 tsp. green chilli paste
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
2. Mince 1 small onion and pulse it into the mixture.
3. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with chopped fresh tomatoes.
4. Serve with vegetable sticks and tortilla chips.

This take on traditional guacamole was terrific and something I will make again and again- a great healthy snacking option if you leave a bowl in the fridge.

* * *
The second app was inspired from this crustless quiche recipe from Baking Bites. I was very intrigued by the recipe, a simple mixture of milk, eggs, vegetables and cheese but with the addition of a little flour, which separates while baking to form a thin crust on the quiche.

I adapted the recipe in some ways: (a) I baked it in a muffin pan to make mini quiches, all the better to be picked up and munched on, (b) I used broccoli instead of spinach, (c) and used cheddar cheese because I am not a fan of feta.

By trying a recipe from another blog and making some modifications to it, this becomes an entry to Blog Bites: Adaptation edition, hosted right here on this blog. Some wonderful entries have been coming in and I hope you will participate too.

Broccoli Mini Quiches
(adapted from a Baking Bites recipe)

1. In a skillet, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. Saute 1 diced onion and 3 minced garlic cloves until fragrant. Add 2-3 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli and saute for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is quite dry and the broccoli is tender.

2. Preheat oven to 400F.

3. In a bowl, whisk together
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 13 cup milk
  • 12 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Salt to taste
4. Stir in the cooked, cooled broccoli mixture.

5. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Divide the batter equally among the cups and bake for 20 minutes or until the quiches are puffy and golden.

Again, a wonderful appetizer, full of tender vegetables and cheese encased in a thin crust.
* * *
The final appetizer today comes from a Martha Stewart recipe. Hot Spinach dip is a restaurant staple- all that rich calorie-laden glory hiding innocently in the guise of a vegetable. Still, it was something I wanted to try making at home for a party; portion control is a lot easier when you are forced to share with others. I followed the recipe exactly, using frozen spinach instead of fresh. Here it is:
I personally did not love the dip, it was OK for me, but everyone else devoured it so I thought I would mention it here.
* * *
Fresh off the Hooks
In other news, my Babette Blanket is done- it is the size of a throw, actually, and not a full blanket, being about 50 inches square. I gave it away as a gift and the recipient seemed to be pretty thrilled. If I really squint at it, all those gaudy colors seem to work together- heh!

I've already fallen in love with the next crochet throw pattern: this one. Is it gorgeous or what? I am totally stealing this crafter's idea of the graduated colors and making one for myself.

See you in a few!


  1. I like the mini quiches! They're so perfect for parties! And like the throw too... congrats! It's really an achievement!

  2. I got to try the hot spinach dip and that blanket looks lovely. I had a purse made with left over yarn that used to catch everyones eye when I was in school.

  3. Wow, I love each and every one of those 3 app recipes and whoa !!! what a beautiful throw pattern. Simply love it.

  4. Very tasty ad healthy appetizers...loved the blanket for the wide variety of colour. Thats a perfect work.

  5. Very clever title for the post, Nupur!

    I like all the three aps. But the first one steals my attention. Will be making that soon!

  6. Stunning, stunning, STUNNING! You dont even need to squint to see how stunning it is! :) And the graduated throw...omg, it's so lovely! I'm going to envy you that when you're done making it, Nupur :) In fact, I'll get a head start on it by envying you right away!

  7. Brocolli mini quiche looks delicious :)
    I love the throw, lovely pattern.

  8. I simply loved the throw...lucky who ever got it! Thanks for sending the creamy green dip to Green Gourmet. The second app is bookmarked as well.

  9. The throw is so very pretty Nupur. Perfect to add color to a room.

    I didn't realize apps == appetizer, dumb me

  10. Love all of them apps Nupur. The tiny quiches steal my heart.

    The throw is fantastic. colorful - yes, gaudy - no.

  11. The babette is gorgeous Nupur! I can't wait to see the beautiful colors you'll use in your lapghan.

    I'm going to use these apps as an inspiration for the next time we have company.


  12. Hi Nupur!

    Awesome apps!!!!! and the blanket looks fantastic!!! :)

    I would like to try the crustless quiche in my muffin pan this weekend. Would these taste good at room temperature? I was planning to take some as a snack outdoors. If I make these for a party, at what temp should I re-heat them before serving?

    These yummy apps and the cake sounds like a lovely treat. I wonder what was the main course. ;) That would give me a tried and tested party menu idea.

    Thank you so much! I love visiting ur blog.

  13. Hey Nupur,
    The blanket looks beautiful. I like the colors.
    And the new pattern is gorgeous. Have fun making it.

  14. Hi after a long time Nupur. You are a great cook no doubt but also an amazing weaver. That throw looks gorgeous. I would be thrilled to recieve something like that. If I made it myself I would find it very hard to give it to someone.

  15. Oh Nupur! That crocheted throw is amazing--I love it and it makes me want to try my hand at crochet again! I just adore the colors, too! What a lucky friend--it is just awesome! And your "app" post is now on my faves tab to be referred to at a later date when apps. are called for! Brilliant recipes!

  16. Love the apps-- could eat all that guacamole in one sitting and I am not kidding :)
    Lovely blanket too!

  17. The throw looks great! and that crochet pattern idea is good too. You must work pretty fast with these many items turning out every few days!

    Like the apps and the adaptations. Will send mine soon. Cheers!

  18. ur blanket is absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Nupur amazing blanket/throw...great choice of colors too. Now I am trying my hands on knitting :) Lets see how far I go.

    I made the lil quiches with spinach and they were amazing ... My Lil one and DH both loved it...
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe...

  20. OMG! what a lovely throw!! Who's the recipient of this throw? I should say she is so lucky to have this Nupur's handmade throw. :)
    Love the idea of mini quiches.

  21. oh wow, Nupur, the throw looks fantastic! i think all the colors really go together very well.. has a very summery feel to it. the recipient must be one lucky person :) i liked the other pattern too.. amazing patience and perseverance you have got there!

  22. I am confused now..whether I like your crochet creations more or the recipes! Hmmm....the blanket looks very good ; lucky recipient who got it!loved the earlier citrusy hot pads too!I want one of those!:)

  23. The Housewife- Thank you! Yes, the mini quiches would be great as party appetizers.

    Anjali- Oh that must have been a very colorful purse- I love projects made with yarn scraps.

    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Thank you!

    Life is Beautiful!!!- Glad you like it, I had 15 different colors in the blanket, I think.

    Anh- Thanks, hopefully Apple won't get mad at me and sue :D
    The first appetizer is completely worth a try- I think you will love it.

    Shyam- Thank you so much :) I am waiting to buy the yarn for the other throw, that's going to be another long but satisfying project.

    Rachana Kothari- Thanks!

    Preeti Kashyap- Thanks for hosting the event; I'll come back and enjoy the round-up :)

    Bong Mom- Well, as you know, appetizer is SUCH a long and complicated word so we definitely need to shorten it :D

    indosungod- The tiny quiches were wonderful, looked even cuter out of the pan but I did not get a pic.

    Mamatha- I am thinking of what colors to use and what yarn- decisions, decisions! Are you working on any crochet project?

    Priti- Yes, the mini-quiches would taste great at room temp (that is how I ended up serving them), although they are fantastic right out of the oven. I don't know about reheating because I did not reheat them, so you'll have t o experiment on that one.
    The menu that evening was an extremely hodge-podge one in that the main dishes were all Indian: aloo tikki chana chaat, egg biryani and methi matar malai. Give the people what they want, I say, even if the people want such a mash-up of different cuisines.

    Shivani- Thanks! I am really looking forward to choosing colors for the new pattern.

    Anupama- Hello- how nice to see you here! Oh, this is simple crochet and not weaving (weaving is done on a loom and is much harder). I love giving finished projects away because then I can quickly start new ones :)

    Kelly- I saw your knitting the other day and it is amazing! Crochet is so easy compared to knitting IMHO, and this pattern is particularly easy.

    Vaishali- Oh I believe you, this bean guac is good stuff. I devoured the leftovers the next day ;)

    SS- Yes, my crochet speed is very good which is great because otherwise my patience would run out with these big projects.

    Mallugirl- Thank you!

    Koki- Good luck with your knitting, I hope you have fun with it.
    You tried the mini quiches already? Glad your family enjoyed them!

    Sonia- The throw was a birthday gift for my neighbor girl :)

    PJ- Not really, funny thing about these patterns is you can do a couple of squares every night and in a couple of months, the project comes together pretty much effortlessly.

    Madhuli- Thank you :) I will definitely make you a couple of citrusy hot pads and bring them along on my next trip to India! Glad you like them.

  24. yummy loookin apps,.loved all of them and the blanket too

  25. Apps? The title had me stumped! love the quiches, nicve idea to bake them in a muffin pan.

    Your throw looks gorgeous - lucky recipient.
    Saw the other pattern and fell in love with it...if only I'd have listened when the mater coaxed me to take up crochet or sewing (just learn it), I'd have made a skirt in that pattern!

  26. Nupur, the babette is just too wonderful. I'm a new one at needle work... and your work is an inspiration to me :)

  27. Wow! That blanket really looks pretty. You are inspiring me to take the dust off my crochet needles!:)

  28. That's one beautiful blanket!

  29. The menu & the throw are gorgeous Nupur :)

  30. hey how did u made this blenket i love this.... can u show me how to do that?????

  31. notyet100- Thank you so much!

    aquadaze- It is a take on the iphone commercials, "there's an app for that". My idea of humor :)
    It is never too late to learn crochet or sewing, if you want to learn, that is. I myself learnt only 2 years ago.

    Dolly.G- Thanks!

    Medha- Thank you so much!

    Meera- Yes, do dust 'em off, there are too many cute patterns out there to try :)

    musical- Thank you!

    shankari- So glad you think so!

    shailja- The pattern can be purchased here: http://www.interweavestore.com/Crochet/Patterns/Babette-Blanket.html


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