Through The Looking Glass

"See the world through the eyes of a creative contributor who loves to illustrate the small
adventures that life creates. My hope is to put down in words and portraits especially those things that are apparent yet not always on parchment. Today unique thoughts, accounts, illustrations, and experiences may not remain distinctive but satisfaction can still be derived from the recognizable sentiment of them and from the faithful bonds they create."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

~Pasta Tuna Bake with Spinach~

I had a craving for a tuna pasta something. So, I decided to create a tuna bake with the tuna created mostly out of my tuna cutlet recipe. I added some greens for color, made a sauce with an online recipe and topped it off with some cheese. Here goes.


  • Pasta shells - 1/2 a box
  • Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Onion - 1/2 ~ chopped in fine cubes
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Indian green chilli - 1 ~ chopped fine
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp ~ (optional) to taste
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Fish curry powder - 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tuna in water - 2 cans
  • Spinach - 1/2 of a frozen box
  • Peas - 1/2 cup
  • Butter - 2 tbsp & Flour - 2tbsp + water ~ for pasta sauce
  • Cheese - 1/2 cup for pasta ~ and enough to layer
  • Bread Crumbs - enough for one layer
  • Parsley - handful

1. Boil pasta in salt water till nearly done, drain and keep. Heat oven to 350F.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add cumin seeds - heat until they dance.
3. Add and brown onions (add pinch of salt to cook faster), add ginger-garlic paste, cook for 30 seconds or so.
4. Add turmeric powder - mix. Now add green chillies, red chili powder, coriander powder, fish curry powder, garam masala powder - mix and cook for a min. Add tbs of water if it threatens to burn.
5. Add and cook tuna in above masala mix for 2 mins.
6. Add the thawed spinach and the peas and cook for a min. Do not over cook.
7. For pasta sauce: Add 2 tbsp butter to a pan, melt, then add 2 tbsp flour, take off the pan and mix in so no lumps form. Add some water, keep stirring and place back on low heat. Keep stirring until nice and thick pasta sauce is made.
8. Place pasta in a greased baking pan, add and gently mix in the tuna mixture. Mix in the grated cheese. 
9. Pour the pasta sauce evenly over top. Evenly add bread crumbs in a layer on top. Sprinkle some cheese and arrange the parsley.
10. Bake for 45-50 mins.

~Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

~Fettuccine Alfredo~

Here is an exciting new recipe for some effortless fettuccine alfredo sauce with noodles! The end result was unbelievably good and I didn't have to go out to buy special ingredients.

  • Fettuccine Pasta - 1/2 box ~ for two persons
  • Olive oil - 1-2 tsp
  • Garlic cloves - 4 ~ large sized
  • Mushrooms (Shitake) - 1/3 cup ~ chopped fine
  • Green onions - 2 individual stalks thinly sliced ~ two roots hold about 6 stalks
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Evaporated milk - 1 5fl. oz. can ~ sub for half in half or heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper - 1 tsp each
  • All purpose flour - 2 tsp
  • Cheese - 1/4 cup ~ use romano - I used pepper jack for a bit of spice
  • Milk - 1/3 cup ~ or more as needed

1. Bring salt water to a boil. Add fettuccine noodles, cook till done, and drain.
2. Heat olive oil, fry up garlic pcs, mushrooms, then add green onions and continue frying for 3-4 mins.
3. In a separate pan melt butter, add evaporated milk and whisk a bit. Add salt and pepper and mix.
4. Add the flour and whisk well, till no lumps are formed.
5. Now add cheese and continue whisking. Add a dash of milk for more sauce and adjust pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer.
6. Add into sauce the fried garlic, mushroom, green onions and continue whisking.
8. Serve hot.

~ If dinner time is still a ways away and the sauce forms a thick layer on top, just whisk, or add a dash of milk and whisk a bit. Heat before serving. You can easily add chicken or shrimp to this recipe, just fry up in pan with the garlic, mushroom, green onion combination and then add to alfredo sauce in the end. Enjoy :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

~Sausage Souffle~

Alice, my friend and colleague, gave me a nice recipe which I recently put to great use! The result was an easy and very tasty dish which my hubby thoroughly enjoyed! Here goes.

  • Eggs - 3 ~ usual 6
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • White Bread - 2 slices ~ cubed (we used Tuscan Pane)
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp ~ calls for 1 tsp
  • Dry mustard - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Sausage - 1 lb. ~ browned and drained 
  • Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cup ~ we used Pepper-Jack :)
1. Heat oven to 350F. Beat eggs, add milk, then salt. Add mustard now, if using.
2. Stir in bread cubes. Add cheese and sausage.
3. Bake in lightly greased pan, uncovered for about 45 mins.

~Enjoy warm or even cold!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

~Strawberry Banana Smoothie~

It is very very easy to make wholesome smoothies at home . Smoothies are a good way to get rid of those frozen bananas or older fruits!  All you need are a few ingredients and a blender. On a hot summer day recently my hubby and I enjoyed this delicious, refreshing smoothie. 


  • Yogurt - 1 Cup ~ plain
  • Strawberries - 1/2 Cup 
  • Bananas - 2 
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp ~ per taste
  • Ice ~ per desire

1. Cut up bananas and strawberries (you don't necessarily need to chop the strawberries too small).
2. Place yogurt in blender followed by strawberries, then bananas, blend at high speed for 30 secs.
3. Open and add sugar, mix and add ice, as needed, and blend into a nice smoothie batter!

~Enjoy this nutritious smoothie by itself or with a meal or snack :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

~Kerala Beef Fry~

This is one of my most favorite dishes from Kerala! I knew I had to make it one day. The first time, since I used frozen desiccated coconut, it didn't come out well. Second time was a charm. This dish was absolutely delicious. It takes more cooking time, but it is well worth the wait :)

With chappatis
 With rice

Roast, Grind, Marinade
Dry red chillies - 5
Black Peppercorns - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1.5 (heaped) tbsp
Cardamom cloves - 4 ~ seeded
Cinnamon stick - 1 one inch stick
Bay leaves - 3

Also for Marinade
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 (full) tbsp
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 2-3 ~ to taste 
Vinegar - small splash
Lime - juice of 1/2 a lime
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp

To fry
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Pearl Onions (Kunjulli) - 6
Yellow onion - 1/2 of one
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 18 leaves
Tomato - 1 small
Coconut pieces - 1/4 cup ~ medium slices
Beef - about 2 lbs ~ medium thin cubes
Red wine - 2 tsp ~ just a small splash

1. Cut beef into medium thin cubes and place in bowl to marinade.
2. Without oil, roast the first batch of ingredients for about 5-6 mins. Then grind in a mortar pestle and rub all over meat.
3. Add the second batch of ingredients to the meat, mix well and marinade meat on counter top for 30 mins, or more in the fridge. 
4. Heat olive oil in a pan, and splutter mustard seeds.
5. Now add both types of onion and cook until golden brown.
6. Add the turmeric powder, garam masala mix well, then add curry leaves. 
7. Add the tomatoes and cook for at least 5 mins. Now add the coconut pieces and cook until you can smell the coconut aroma.
8. Now place beef into this mixture and fry in med-low heat, being very careful to mix well, for 30-40 mins. until meat color changes to a dark brown! Add a splash of red wine within 5-10 mins. of frying meat.

~Have with rice, appam, or chappatis (rotis) :)

~Marble Coffee Cake~

I had a craving for coffee cake and then found out that not all cakes have actual coffee in them. I decided to bake a real coffee cake with coffee in it and practically just modified my basic vanilla cake recipe, from a few weeks ago. The result was nice! The coffee flavor was subtle so more can be added per taste. Also, walnuts (which I didn't have) can be added for a nice variety. Enjoy this cake with a coffee beverage or just on its own.
  • Butter - 1/2 cup ~ melted
  • Sugar - 1 cup ~ or less
  • Eggs - 2
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • All purpose flour - 1 & amp ; 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
  • Salt - 1 pinch
  • Yogurt - 1/4 cup ~ may need additional bit
  • Instant coffee (Nescafe) - 2 tsp
  • Hot water - 1 tbsp

1. Heat oven to 350F. Add sugar to melted butter and whisk until it looks and feels light and fluffy. I literally hand-whisked 200 rotations!
2. Drop in eggs one by one and continue whisking.
3. Add vanilla, then strain in flour, baking powder and soda. Mix well, then add yogurt to form a thick batter.
4. Place half of the above batter into a greased/floured 8" pan - leave gaps in between.
5. Mix the instant coffee with the hot water and add this to the rest of the flour in bowl with batter for a chocolaty-brown color.
6. Now add the chocolate colored batter in the gaps you left previously in the batter in 8" pan - it should look like a checker board.
7. Take a fork or knife and gently swirl the batter once or twice.
8. Bake in oven for 35-40 mins. Check at 30 mins.
~Bon Apetit!

~Mutton (Goat/Lamb) Curry - North Indian Style~

I have enjoyed this dish time and time again at my friend's house and finally got the recipe from her dad, Uncle Manohar. The next day I was hunting for goat meat at the local grocery store, totally unaware that grocery stores don't really sell goat meat but that the lamb they do sell is a nice substitution! Here is some lamb curry :)

  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp ~ or less
  • Onion - 1/2 of one ~ finely cubed
  • Ginger Garlic paste - 1.5 tsp
  • Tomatoes - 1 small ~ chopped fine cubes
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp ~ to taste
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Meat (mutton) masala - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water - 1/2 -1 cup
  • Meat - 2 lbs or so
1. Heat oil and then brown onions. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for at least 8 mins.
2. Add tomatoes and again cook for another 5-8 mins.
3. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala, meat masala and cook for another 6-8 mins.
4. Place goat meat in pan, then add salt and fry up for 4-5 mins.
5. Pour in the water (more water for more gravy but meat will also add to the gravy), simmer for about 15-20 mins with lid on. Stir in between.
6. After meat has fully cooked, simmer covered, and turn off stove.

~ Enjoy with rice or rotis!