Monthly Archives: February 2012

Orange-Lemon Scented Cookies



  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • ½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar



  • Add butter and sugar to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy
  • Beat in vanilla extract, and orange extract
  • Beat in flour, and corn starch
  • Mix in orange and lemon peel.
  • Shape dough into a about 6 – 8 inch log and wrap in a plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes to ½ hour
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Cut log into about ¼ inch thick slices
  • Place them in an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or edges are lightly browned
  • Cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes
  • Add powdered sugar to a plastic bag and add the warm cookies and shake gently to cover them with sugar
  • Cool completely on wire rack
  • Yields: about 15 cookies

Skillet Bulgur Cakes with Vegetarian Chili

I have been making bulgur with different vegetables.  I kind of started getting bored making the same bulgur dish again and again.  So I thought to make this new and interesting version of bulgur dish.  Grilling in butter gives this dish a distinct flavor.  I used salted butter (I know too much sodium).  But it gives even a better taste.  But if you are a health conscious person and want to avoid any fatty stuff, you can use oil spray instead.


  • ½ cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • About 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 oz white mushroom
  • 1 small green squash
  • 1/3 cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • Butter for skillet


Cook Bulgur

  • Bring water to boil in a covered saucepan
  • Wash bulgur thoroughly and add washed bulgur to saucepan and bring to a rolling boil
  • Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer until all water is absorbed
  • Let for about 5 – 10 minutes
  • Transfer bulgur to a baking tray and level with a spoon
  • Cool to room temperature
  • Cover and chill in refrigerator for about half an hour to one hour

Cook Vegetarian Chili

  • Soak beans overnight.  Drain water and wash them thoroughly
  • Add beans to a saucepan, add enough water and cook until soft (I used a pressure cooker since its fast.  I cooked for about 8 whistles).  Let cool.
  • Meanwhile thinly slice onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
  • Chop squash into ½ inch cubes
  • Add oil to a saucepan and add onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
  • Add mushroom, squash, beans, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ½ cup water, tomato paste and salt and cover and cook on medium flame for about 10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the gravy has thickened

To Serve:

  • With a sharp knife, cut chilled bulgur in to diagonal pieces (about 6)
  • Melt about 1 tablespoon butter in a non stick skillet
  • Add bulgur cakes to the skillet and cook on both sides until lightly browned and crisp
  • Drain on paper towel
  • Place 2 bulgur diagonal pieces on each plate and top each serving with vegetable chili.

Serves 3

Quinoa with Crunchy Sprouted Beans

Bean sprouts has a crunchy and nutty flavor.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein and phytochemicals.  Usually I add these sprouts in salads which give a nice crunchy taste.  But due to the recent outbreaks of salmonella, or Escherichia coli I started cooking them in high heat so it will at least kill the bacteria to some extent.


  • ¾ cup Quinoa
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • About 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ lb mixed vegetables (such as bell pepper, mushroom, squash etc)
  • About ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 1 small red onion

  • 1 cup mixed bean sprout
  • Few cashew nuts (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • Salt to taste


  • Roast quinoa on low flame for a couple of minutes or until fragrant (make sure not to burn it or turn brown)
  • Add water and salt and bring to a rolling boil.  (When adding water to the roasted quinoa, it might splatter since the pan is quite hot).
  • Reduce flame and cook until all the water is absorbed. When quinoa is cooked you will see a tiny tail coming out of the grain.  (See my image for recipe quinoa with vegetables).  Let cool
  • Chop ginger into very small pieces (you can also grind and crush them)
  • Chop bell pepper, squash, and mushrooms into thick sliced.
  • Add oil to a skillet and add ginger and fry for about a minute.
  • Add red onion and sauté until lightly transparent.
  • Now add the rest of the vegetables and sprouted beans and stir fry on medium to high flame for about 5 minutes
  • Reduce flame and add chili paste, crushed pepper and mix well and cook for another minute
  • Transfer cooked quinoa to the skillet and mix well.
  • Season with salt.
  • Roast cashew nuts and sprinkle on the top and mix into the quinoa.
  • Serves about 2

Note: you can use any vegetables you want for this dish.  For example snow peas or sugar snap peas can be another option (I did not have those).  If you are non vegetarian, you may want to try a bit of fried shrimp on the top.