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Traditional Kheer (The Rice Pudding from India)

 

We call it Indian Rice Pudding in American but it’s more like a cold soup. I’m sharing with you a traditional recipe from one of my favorite cook books.

The movie Monsoon Wedding got me thinking about Indian food. It’s about an arranged marriage in India during the monsoon season which is usually in July. What I loved most about the movie was the portrayal of the leading men (the groom and the brides father.) They were handsome and honorable.

I watched it over three nights. It wasn’t a long movie but it was a busy week.

The book I picked from my collection to match this movie was originally published in 1973 by Madhur Jaffrey. This is a copy of the first printing.

I love this book. I’m not selling it in my Etsy shop, it stays with me! But I’m sure you can find a copy out there. The writing is so real and authentic. Look at what she says… Don’t you dare call it rice pudding! Ha! But does “rice pudding” sound so much better than “Cold Cardamom Basmati Soup?” How could our American taste buds relate? Pronounced KEY-EAR or KEEHD or rhymes with HERE if you don’t have a good Indian accent, which I don’t. 🙂

I just stared at the page when I read the recipe. How could this be? One Tablespoon of rice? HUH? When I made this recipe, I made half, just to be sure not to waste too much milk in case this was some type of publishing error. But it wasn’t. Count on the recipe to make 2-3 servings, max. It was difficult to find pistachios that were unsalted. So I bought salted, and then rinsed them in hot water. It worked just fine. I sprinkled some on top like the recipe specifies but really that crunch was too much. If you put them all in when it’s hot, they soften and are so delicious in the kheer by the time it’s chilled and ready to serve. This is really like a cold soup, often it is considered a milky pudding but not thick at all like the pudding we know. Let’s just stop calling it pudding right now! Ha Ha.

This was a simple twist today on the classic recipe below. I pureed some nice ripe mango and swirled it on the top. I also chose to use Basmati rice. Cardamom is a must and Vark is something I can’t seem to get my hands on. I found the closest thing to an earthenware bowl I could find. Whallah!

My Mom and I used to go to an Indian restaurant in Topeka and for dessert I usually got the kheer with a little dollop of mango ice cream. Something about kheer and mango, it’s a harmony of flavor.

A few minutes ago I sat in the kitchen, … relaxed in the dimness of a rainy evening. I’m pondering love and all the ways it evokes and evolves, or dissolves. That Movie, this Recipe….and ENJOYED every spoonful of this classic and flavorful Indian dessert.

 

Be sure to use Basmati rice and Whole Milk. 🙂 To reduce the cost, you can use some ground Cardamom to taste in place of the pods.

 

 

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BakingRecipes

So EASY Heavenly Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The EASIEST ONE-BOWL Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe that uses part butter and part margarine for a crisp edge and chewy center.

Most recipes on the web, claiming to be the “BEST” are made with ONLY butter. I like to use butter AND margarine. The reason I started using part margarine is that even though the all-butter recipes are divine when they first come out of the oven, by the next day they are crispy like potato chips. Also, I find the all-butter a bit too greasy on the corners of my mouth.

In my mind, The perfect chocolate chip cookie is gently crisp on the edges, but not greasy, and chewy-soft on the inside, even the next day. I’ve been making my Chocolate Chip Cookies this way for about 20 years.

No, no vanilla extract. But add it if you like!

No sifting, no hand-mixer…Just put all of the ingredients in the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. I use no fancy flour and no waiting by the freezer. The only tools are 1) A cookie scoop 2) and a baking mat OR Parchment paper (not waxed paper). If you don’t have either of those, some Pam Baking Spray will be fine too.

Once I started using parchment paper, I was hooked. It makes everything so much easier. CLEANER. Not just cookies, but for meat loaf, baked chicken, you name it. No more scrubbing pans and soaking them in the sink. Then, out came the BAKING MAT. (When I first wrote this blog post over a decade ago, baking mats were just not a thing.)

The cookie scoop isn’t REALLY necessary but it will make all of your cookies the exact same size resulting in a batch of cookies uniform in color and texture. It’s an inexpensive kitchen staple.

*Remember that cookies continue to bake on the sheet from the bottom up for about 2 minutes after you pull them from the oven, so you might want to pull them out right before you think they are golden.

“I LIKE” CHOCOLATE: I like semi-sweet. I like the mini-chips. I like Dove dark chocolate bars chopped up. Anything goes! What do you like? Put it in there! I like equal parts chocolate chips, equal part cookie. But some like chunks of chocolate with just cookie holding it all together. So I will let you decide how much chocolate you like! B

Let’s get the word out that part butter/part margarine chocolate chip cookies are the best! 🙂

So EASY Heavenly Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Author: Lanie

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 3 to 4 dozen

This One Bowl, part butter–part margarine chocolate chip cookie is sure to please!

Ingredients
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (or if using salted butter, can omit salt in recipe)
  • 6 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 cups of your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on how much chocolate to cookie ratio you like!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place cold butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15 seconds or until soft. Add margarine to the bowl and heat another 15 seconds until both are soft but not melted.
  3. Add baking soda. Stir.
  4. Add sugars. Stir.
  5. Add egg. Stir.
  6. Add flour. Stir.
  7. Add chocolate. Stir.
  8. Scoop dough and place mounds 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

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BreadsRecipes

Grandma’s Favorite Banana Bread

Well, Hello Dears,

It’s me, Grandma!

I’m so glad to be back to The Vintage Cook blog and website. Lanie and I have been busy moving into our new home. She’s kind enough to let me live in the library in the basement.

Oh, I don’t mind, lots of old books to read down here.

Now today, we will talk about Banana Bread. There are a million recipes and they all pretty much look the same, but this is my favorite below. I’ve been making it for years. You may use butter, but actually, I like to use margarine for this one because it stays softer longer, and less browning will happen.

Oh, and of course there is a secret little ingredient, it’s Sour Cream! Yes, sour cream makes the bread have just the right texture. You may even use light sour cream if, like me, you are worried about a big derriere.

I forgot one more little thing. It’s about those ba-nanners. I used to think the darker the better…for bread, completely brown…then one day I was eating my bread and I realized I was eating, “Rotten Banana-Banana Bread.” So I’ve come to the realization that the bananas still need to be yellow, with just some brown on them, not completely brown.(as pictured)

Oh dear, one more thing. This recipe makes the exact amount for THREE small 6-inch tins. You can use the little disposable foil ones too, then give a loaf to your neighbor. If you put all of this batter in a big glass loaf dish, do you know what might happen? The bread might get all over-baked on the outside, and a big puddle of goop on the inside. You don’t want that, do you? Use the small tins dear, because Grandma doesn’t wanta hear your complaining. 😀

Take Care Sweetie Pies,

Grandma Loves Ya.

Grandma’s Favorite Banana Bread

Author: The Vintage Cook
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup margarine or unsalted butter, gently melted
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional for Banana-Nut Bread)
Instructions
  1. Place peeled bananas in a large bowl, and give a grand-kid a fork. Let the child mash the banana until it’s smooth and slimy. If you can’t find a child, just do it yourself.
  2. Then, put all of the other ingredients in the bowl, one at a time, stirring each one in, as you go.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Spray tins with cooking spray.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into each tin.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes. Keep that oven door closed!
  7. Enjoy warm with a smear of butter.
 
 
 
 
 
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