Friday, May 20, 2011

Lime Cardamom Yogurt

One goal for the 1st year anniversary brunch I hosted was to use Mai's new ramekins.  Mission accomplished. The second goal was to make some kind of ice cream, as that was my very first blog post.  In fact, for a good 3 months I think the only thing on my food blog might have been various ice cream recipes.

Given that most of the other dishes at brunch were heavy and filled with eggs, I wanted to serve something light to offset the food coma everyone would likely be in.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guest Blog Post: Pizza pizza! (Round Two)

Today we have another treat from Asmi, who has blogged about our culinary undertakings on Hom Nom before.  We met again for more pizza experimentation.  Welcome back, Asmi! Good to see you here again. 

When we decided to do Naan Pizza Round 2 Lavi suggested we mix it up by trying some Indian Chinese recipes.  All 3 of us being cheese lovers, chilli paneer was an obvious choice.  We were initially thinking of doing gobi manchurian for the other dish, but I thought the sauce was too similar to chilli paneer.  When did I decide this?  After I had fried the cauliflower and only had a few hours before the girls were coming over, with no other readily available ingredients in the kitchen.  Whatever is girl to do last minute?  MacGuyver a sauce, that's what! See below for the special secret creation!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Individual Egg Souffles

Mai suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea to have a more savory dish served at Hom Nom's 1st anniversary bash.  Yeah, I suppose...I forgot that not everyone enjoys an overdose of sugar with a cup of coffee in the morning. I considered making eggs benedict, but to manage that for 10 people would have been quite difficult.

The only requirement was that this dish needed to be made in ramekins. So that limited our options to something souffle-esque.  Okay, so my brunch was turning into a cholesterol raising affair.  But this was the standout dish of the afternoon!

Never-Fail Souffle, recipe adapted from Saveur

Serves 8-10


  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
  • 1 loaf white bread, crusts removed
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
Beat the eggs, half and half, and pepper flakes in a bowl until well mixed.  

In your ramekins (or 9x13 baking dish), sprinkle some of the cheese into the bottom of the pan, and then layer a piece of bread over it.  Continue with the layering, but make sure to end with a layer of cheese on the top.  

Pour the egg mixture over the bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Allow the dish to come to room temperature (I believe this is because the cheese will melt better). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the souffle until golden and puffed, about 45 minutes.

Everyone was impressed by the number of items served - but I assure you it was simple to prep in advance so I could enjoy the afternoon with my guests.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy 1 Year Annivesary, Hom Nom!

Hom Nom turned 1 in April! Happy Anniversary! To honor the occasion, I decided to host a party for avid Hom Nom fans.

I didn't know what kind of party to throw, but I knew it had to involve the following three elements: pink, hearts, and brunch.  These three things are my favorite things in the world.  When I mentioned to Mai that I would be hosting a brunch, she graciously offered up her apartment to host the celebrations.

Then came the fun part: picking the menu.  Naturally I turned to Smitten Kitchen for guidance.  There I found recipes for scones and baked french toast.  I knew I had to serve lemon curd because, logically, what else would you serve with scones? I also found a great egg souffle dish on  The final question that remained was what to make for dessert? Something light to offset the heavy carbo-overload.  I know this all seems like a lot of food.  But, I was able to prep most of it in advance.  I made the scones on Wednesday, the lemon curd on Thursday night, and prepped the two main dishes at Mai's on Friday night.  That same evening, Mai and I decided we needed some kind of amuse bouche - so we decided to also make a mousse with berries and fresh whipped cream.

Thank you Mai for hosting at your apartment, thank you Paul for being a wonderful barista and preparing lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos on demand, and thank you Jack for being lovable and cuddly.

And onto the pink glittery hearts extravaganza...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Baked Challah French Toast

I wanted to find something easy to make at Hom Nom's first anniversary so I could socialize with my friends instead of worrying about whether something was burning on the stove. And per usual, I turned to Smitten Kitchen for inspiration.  And she did not fail me! I found delicious and relatively easy ideas.  Among them was a boozy baked french toast. I'm not a fan of liquor in my breakfast food (unless it's a mimosa. that's a different story), so I left out the booze in this recipe.

Baked French Toast, borrowed from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6 as a main course, but I served 10 people with this since I had other dishes


  • 1 loaf of challah bread, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Grease a 9x13 pan with butter.

Arrange the bread into tightly packed layers in the pan. 

Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar and salt.  Pour over the bread, and then top with cinnamon and more sugar.  

Tightly wrap the pan with plastic wrap and let it soak in the fridge overnight.  This will allow the bread to absorb all the flavors. 

In the morning, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup and whipped cream.  

As Ina would say, "how is easy that?" All I had to do was preheat the oven while sipping on my said mimosa! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Almond Cashew Granola Parfait

I was inspired by Alton Brown's segment on oats.  I remember thinking, "that sounds like a really yummy recipe for granola".  So when it came time to pick my brunch menu, I added this on.  You can't really go wrong with a granola recipe.  Some oats, some accompaniments such as nuts or coconut shreds, and some time toasting in the oven.  And you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.  Not only that - you can make this in advance and it keeps pretty well for at least a week (more if you freeze it).

Warm Scones with Lemon Curd

The first course of Hom Nom's first anniversary brunch was yummy, fresh baked scones.  When I was younger, there was a nearby fair that sold scones, served with jam, and I remembered how much I loved them. I also remember buying the "fair scone" mix at the grocery store and making them with my friends during sleepovers.  Um, oh, and these were also ridiculously easy to make.

I know Sanjay would only approve of these scones if they were made with Icelandic butter...

This is what the scones will look like after you shape them into the 8x8 pan.

Um, doesn't this look similar to what Little Red Riding Hood would have in her basket?

Surgeon's General Warning: lemon curd probably contains 100x your daily required intake of cholesterol. Well, Hom Nom only turns one once...

I borrowed the scones recipe from Smitten Kitchen with only minor adjustments.

Warm Scones 

Makes 8 scones


  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (the original recipe calls for a low protein flour, but I just used whole foods brand flour and it worked fine)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Smitten Kitchen's original recipe called for currants - I left them out because I prefer plain scones. 

Adjusted the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk (or pulse in a food processor) together six times.

If making this by hand, use your fingertips and quickly cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal (a few lumps of butter are okay).  Transfer the dough to a large bowl.

Stir in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula until the dough begins to form.  

Transfer all the dough to a lightly floured countertop until it forms a round sticky ball.  Take an 8x8 square baking pan and place the dough into it.  Flip it over onto the counter top and cut the dough into triangles.  

Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for about 12-15 minutes.

Note: I prepared these scones in advance of my brunch so I could just pop them into the oven.  If you want to do this, prepare the scones as directed, but leave out the baking step.  Once you cut them into triangles, flash freeze them for about 30 minutes.  Then, individually wrap them.  When you are ready to bake them, remove the wrap and bake at 425, but only for a few minutes more.  I set the time for 15 minutes and checked on them - and baked for another 3-4 minutes after that. 

Lemon Curd, recipe adapted from Saveur

Makes 4 cups

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest (about 4-5 whole lemons)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pieces (well chilled)
Whisk together the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks and eggs over medium heat.  Whisk in the lemon juice and cook, stirring over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken (also - I think the mixture will make an interesting popping-like noise).  Make sure you thicken it enough or else you will end up with too watery of lemon curd (yes this happened in my first batch.  I am now saving that batch for lemon curd ice cream).  

Remove from heat and mix in the butter, one at a time, until incorporated.  

Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill.  

Both recipes were a hit.  I also served the scones with some blackberry jam I found at Wednesday's farmers market.  Later on, Mai's houseguest and friend Mary couldn't get enough of the scones and luckily was able to store some away for a mid-week indulgence.

{Let's Get This Party Started!}

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Berries Mousse Pseudo Amuse Bouche

Well.  This post marks a momentous occasion.  Hom Nom turned 1! And that means I had to throw a big party! Fanfare and hoorah! And lots of pink!  Anyways.  While preparing for Hom Nom's first anniversary brunch, Mai and I realized we needed something to whet our party guests appetites.  Well, actually, I just wanted something to tide over guests until we were all seated.  I am calling this Pseudo Amuse Bouche because it's not exactly one bite.  Unless you dip your fingers into the trifle dish and eat it berry by berry.  I'm just saying...

We needed a dish that would be simple to prepare, easy to eat, but not too filling.  We thought about making strawberry mille feuille, but that did not fall into the "easy to prepare" category.  We recalled back to the spice filled pumpkin trifle that Mai made during dessert fest. Ah-ha! We found our winner! We decided to use a similar concept but vamp up the recipe for spring.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Ever since we made lemon souffle pudding in cupcake tins, Mai has become enamored with ramekins.  She sent me a few links comparing different ramekins and wanted input.  Le Creuset vs. Emilie Henry?  Pros and Cons? I tried to find heart shaped ramekins but I realized that not everyone is obsessed with hearts.  Even if they are meant to serve creme brulee.

Well, we were able to end this debate very quickly when Mai found some cute ones.  And what better way to break them in than to make dessert? Mai emailed and said "Come on over.  Let's make lemon souffle again!"  Who am I to turn down this kind of invite? I also suggested making chocolate molten lava cake.  Done deal.  So that evening, our meal consisted of udon, lemon souffle and molten lava chocolate cake.