Cranberry Banana Nut Cookies
Having received the two jars of honey I won in the Raw Honey Contest on Foodie Blogroll in October, I tried out these healthy holiday cookies. They turned out great - lightly sweet, soft but crunchy with the oats and nuts. Happy New Year!
This goes to Aipi's Veggie/Fruit a month - Bananas event ideated by Priya.


Ingredients:

wheat flour - 2 cups
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp
oats - 1/2 cup
honey - 1/2 cup
banana - 1 large, ripe
canola oil - 2/3 cup
yogurt - 1/2 cup
dried cranberries - 1 cup
pecans - 3/4 cup (broken)
walnuts - 1/4 cup (broken)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, blend honey, banana, yogurt and canola oil together with a hand blender. Then, add the flour mixture, slowly stirring it in. Fold in the oats, cranberries, pecans and walnuts. Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Chocolate balls
A friend of mine visited us with her kid. When the kid started throwing tantrums, my friend asked if I could bring her a cookie or chocolate to calm down the child. I hadn't stacked up enough treats at home, but thankfully, had the below ingredients handy. Within five minutes, I rolled out these chocolate balls, and the kid loved it! Makes a great holiday treat as well. With lovely wrappers, your delectable gifts are ready to go!


Ingredients:

milk powder (dry milk) - 1 cup
cocoa - 4 tbsp
sugar - 3/4 cup
butter - 1 tbsp
milk - 1/4 cup
chopped nuts - 2 tbsp (optional
raisins - 1 tbsp (optional)

Method:

Sieve milk powder and cocoa together without any lumps. Heat sugar, add 1/4 cup water and make a syrup. Add milk powder-cocoa mixture and stir in the nuts and butter. Finally, add the milk, mix well and remove from fire. Allow to cool and roll into bite-sized balls.

Notes:
1. Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup if you prefer the taste of dark chocolate.
2. Use fat-free milk powder and milk if possible.
3. If overheated, the chocolate becomes hard and chewy.
Cranberry Beans Pilaf (Pulao)
The foodzie tasting box was an exciting entity I won in the Thanksgiving contest on Julia's blog. Thank you Foodzie and Julia! It contained two delectable, multi-layered Alfajores chocolate cookies, crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth caramel popcorns, parmesan flatbread crackers, colorful cranberry beans (with which I made this one-pot meal) and bacon peanut brittles, which I gave a friend, as I'm a vegetarian who doesn't eat bacon.


Ingredients: (serves 2)

cranberry beans - 1/2 cup
basmati rice - 1/2 cup
cabbage - 1/3 cup (grated)
carrot - 1/4 cup (grated)
mint leaves - 25 (fresh)
milk - 1 cup (fat free)
cashewnuts - 1 tbsp (broken)
bay leaf - 1
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
pulao masala - 1/2 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp
green chillies - 3 to 4 chopped fine (adjust according to taste)
salt - 3/4 tsp (adjust according to taste)

Method:

Soak cranberry beans overnight and boil/pressure cook until almost cooked, but not completely cooked. Drain and keep aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cashewnuts, bay leaf and fennel seeds. When it turns golden brown, add washed basmati rice and fry for a minute. Mix in carrot, cabbage and mint leaves. Fry for another minute and then add milk, pulao masala and salt. Allow to boil for a couple of minutes. Add prepared cranberry beans and microwave with a cup of warm water for 10 minutes.
Roasted Cauliflower - French Style

My husband hates cauliflower, and I love challenges. So I'm constantly on the lookout for some way to make it interesting enough for him to want to try it out, because I'm way too fond of it to let it go and way too lazy to cook multiple items. When I was wondering what to send to DK's AWED event hosted this month by Priya, this exciting French flavor presented the perfect option. In fact, I was tempted to add my favorite garam masala to this recipe, but decided to hold my horses in order to retain the "French" flavor :)



Ingredients: (serves 2)

cauliflower florets - 1 lb
olive oil - 1 tbsp
ground thyme - 1/2 tsp
fresh ground pepper - 1/2 tsp (adjust according to taste)
salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust according to taste)
onion - 1 (chopped fine)
garlic - 2 cloves

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). Heat oil and fry onions for a couple of minutes. Then add crushed garlic, cauliflower florets, pepper, thyme and salt. Mix well. Bake for about 30 minutes until it just starts turning brown.
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