Zucchini, Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

Zucchini, Tomato & Red pepper Soup1

There is nothing like a hearty soup on a rainy day. Nothing beats the smell of rosemary infused with all the ‘veggie gooey mess’ after a full day’s hardwork.

Bangalore weather has occasional spell of rain ready for us at the most unpredictable time of the week and it is always much appreciated as it would have arrived after the sun was done pelting us with its blazing agony. I know it’s summer at most of the places around the world but I just couldn’t resist making and posting this nutritious soup loaded with good stuff after a rainy evening.

Coming back to the soup, it is a ‘one-pot meal’. Totally convenient when you don’t want to do extra dishes. 😉 Just throw in whatever vegetables you are likely to have in your refrigerator to a pressure cooker. Blend and sieve them after pressure cooking and infuse with rosemary, add chunks of zucchini, season it and Hallelujah!!! Dinner is ready! Who thought it was this simple?! 🙂

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Serves: 2 hungry souls as dinner

Recipe can be easily doubled if you wish to freeze extra portion or feeding larger family


  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 celery
  • 2 handfuls spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 Cups water
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • few sprigs of fresh rosemary or a pinch of dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning


In a pressure cooker, combine coarsely chopped tomatoes, carrot, celery, spinach and red pepper. Add 4 cups of water. Let cook for 10-15 minutes. Let rest for another 10-15 minutes and then open the pressure cooker.

Puree them in a blender and sieve.

Take olive oil in a sauce pan, add rosemary and diced zucchini to it. Saute for 5 minutes and add pureed vegetables to it. Add 1 cup of water if it is too thick for your liking. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Serve it with a drizzle of fresh sour cream or a shaving of Parmesan cheese.

*I had my 1st portion with Double Margarita Pizza and 2nd portion with garlic bread. Feel free to pair up as per your liking.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Fig Cake

Fig Cake2

I have a soft corner for fresh figs. In fact, I adore them… kinda love them…!! My husband on the contrary, detests fresh and dried figs both. How unfortunate for him?! 😛

The other day when I went grocery shopping, I found a box of fresh, ripe figs at my supermarket for just 90 INR/- and so I bought 2 of them! And I enjoyed the first box as is.

Smooth, leathery outside and velvety, succulent insides… Perfect petite size! Plus it’s a effortless, no-fuss, non-messy eating. Just wash and pop them in your mouth. Voila! Explosion of palate-cleansing freshness! Salivating already?! 😉

Fig Cake1

I decided to bake with them as an attempt to change my husband’s attitude towards these delicious babies. But I had never baked with fresh figs (apart from using them as my pizza topping… Totally loveee it!!! Nom Nom…). Even though I have baked with dried figs before creating Dried Fig Spice Cake, I wanted to bake something more classy with the bunch of fresh figs. That is how my hunt for a mind-blowing recipe started.

And after browsing through so many blogs, I finally found a recipe which I think will do complete justice to them.

A recipe which suits my own style of baking with simple ingredients and a quick whip!

For the recipe click on the link: http://playfulcooking.com/cakes-cupcakes-muffins/honeyed-fig-cake/

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*The changes I made to the recipe:

  1. Instead of 1/2 cup sugar called for in the recipe I used 3/4 cup sugar.
  2. Replaced all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

Apart from that I followed the recipe to the T and the resultant cake was light, soft, moist and juicy! Perfect for the tea party!

So what are you waiting for?! Click on the link above and start baking! 🙂

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Mountain Dew Cupcakes with Mountain Dew Buttercream Frosting

Mountain Dew Cupcakes3

Nowadays I am baking practically everyday!!! I have become a baking fanatic! 😉

I have been mentioning in all my recent posts about how its Summer already and this year around Bangalore has become a magnet for scorching heat!!! I am exhausted! All I wanna do is drink anything and everything from refrigerator and sleep under a fan. I wish!!! A girl can dream, right?! 😉

But my crazy work hours forces me to get out of the house at 1 in noon when its especially terrible.. I am not a morning-person so the timing suits me perfectly but I can’t take this torturous heat anymore! HELP… Is anyone listening to me?! I guess not!!

I seem to have no option other than cribbing in front of you guys and this is when baking came to my rescue! I am baking all refreshing treats which can be eaten chilled! So if you are facing same problem as me then summon your spatulas and heat up your oven! We will face the sun with smile on our face! And don’t forget to whip it good! 😉

Today I am sharing with you all my recipe for Mountain Dew Cupcakes with buttercream frosting. These have a very prominent flavor from Mountain Dew but not over the top.

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There is lemon and lime juice and zest in both the batter and frosting, giving them a good kick. The cupcakes are soft and moist. The frosting is velvety and buttery. And they’re perfect for toting along to picnics and cook-outs all summer long!

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Serves: 6


Mountain Dew Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Mountain Dew
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp pineapple extract

Mountain Dew Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Mountain Dew
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • zest from half a lemon
  • zest from half a lime
  • light green food coloring


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line a 6-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a small cup, stir together Mountain Dew, lemon juice, lime juice and pineapple extract.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add lemon and lime zest and then add egg, give it a good whisk.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter. Stir in the wet ingredients and finish off with the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  5. Fill each baking cup 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in muffin tin for a few minutes before removing. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. For the frosting: Cream together butter and sugar. Add mountain dew, lemon juice, lime juice and zests. Stir in one or two drops of food color. Add more sugar if required depending upon the consistency and whisk. Frost the cupcakes once they are completely cool.

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Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes2

Anyone for a Margarita? Oh, Yeah! And anyone for Margarita cupcakes? Hell, Yeah!!! Monday night does not get any better than this! I mean, what’s not to like?

Cupcakes + Margarita = Match made in Heaven!

These cuppies are made from scratch. No cake box involved. The homemade margarita cupcakes are perfectly soft, fluffy, and bursting with margarita flavor! Plus each bite has a refreshing zest of citrus flavor!

Imagine them topped with margarita cream cheese frosting! Gosh! I mean how can you not smile sinking your teeth into one of these?

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The margarita cupcake recipe is laughably easy! Like most of my dessert recipes, I used simple, everyday ingredients. I didn’t even need to go to the store before I made them on Saturday! And that is saying something as I didn’t even have an onion in my pantry that Saturday! I am serious.. Don’t laugh, okay?!.. Stop making fun of me! I am not lazy… Have just been busy! 😛

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The cupcakes took me less than 1 hour start to finish. I cheated a bit and stuck the cupcakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. I have no patience when it involves Margarita! Love it!!! Wait, didn’t I say that already? 😉

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These can be stored at room temperature for 1 day in an airtight container and 4 days in the refrigerator.

I loved eating them chilled! It was so refreshing!

Its booming summer and Margarita cupcakes, made from scratch are totally on dessert menu! And breakfast menu. Come on, they have egg and milk in them… Totally acceptable first thing in the morning! 😉

You can brush the cupcakes with straight tequila if you want a boozy dessert before frosting them. And if you are one who enjoys salt on the rim of your margarita glass, you might consider a sprinkle of coarse salt over the top of the cupcake to incorporate that flavor. Are you running towards your kitchen to make these already? 😉

Serving: 6


Margarita Cupcakes:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Margarita Mix

Margarita Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Margarita Mix
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a drop of green and yellow food coloring


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line 6-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Combine salt, baking powder and flour in a small bowl.
  3. Combine the milk and margarita mix in another small bowl (the mixture will curdle, but it’s okay).
  4. Cream butter and sugar with the stand or handheld mixer. Add egg and mix to incorporate and then add lemon zest.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixer and the liquid mixer, alternating them, making sure to start and end with flour mix. Beat as little as possible, just until the batter come together.
  6. Fill the paper liners till 2/3rd of the cups are filled. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
  7. To make frosting: Whip everything together, adding a drop of green and yellow food coloring for effect. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is thin. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. I simply smothered mine with the spatula and decorated them with green and yellow colored sugar. There may be leftover frosting depending upon how much you use on each cupcake.

Make a toast and Enjoy! 😀

Recipe source: cookbybook.wordpress.com

© Cook By Book

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Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Funfetti cake mix cookies

My today’s post is dedicated to all the sprinkle lovers out there!

By the love for sprinkles, we unite!

This time I made you a cake mix cookie.

Cake mixes are so handful when you are making cake batter flavored desserts. But of course it is just *not* the same thing as making something from the scratch!

So if you are not a fan of cake mix, make my Sprinkle Sugar Monster Cookie (from scratch!!!) instead of today’s recipe. 😉

1 XXL Sprinkle Sugar Cookie_1

But hey… let me warn you, if you do not try these cake mix cookies, you are seriously missing out on some heavenly stuff! Its not a one bit cakey! In fact, it is so soft that it melts in your mouth.

I loved using cake mix for this recipe because it made my job so much easy. These babies were ready in under 20 minutes. That’s it! Don’t believe me? Okay, go ahead.. Read on… 😀

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Seriously, it will make you think HOW on EARTH something so good (or should I say sprinkly!!!) can start from a box! Oh well,it does! 🙂

The dough comes together easily by hand. No mixing required. No extra clean-up required! Woohooo…. All you need is a bit of elbow grease to mix all the ingredients.

And to give it a ‘healthifying twist’, you can skip the oil from recipe and add low-fat yogurt to it! And voila… you will have a light ‘fudgy’ cookie!

So let’s get you started right away!

Makes 8-9 thick HUGE cookies


  • 1 box (250 gm) vanilla cake mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 and 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles (combo of long thin and tiny balls sprinkles)


Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder.
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In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, oil and vanilla by hand.
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Add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to form a dough- stir vigorously until all the pockets of dry cake mix are gone. Gently mix-in the sprinkles- do not overmix or it will dye the cookie dough.
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Using an icecream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 9 minutes.
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Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes.


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They will be very soft at first. As they cool, the tops will settle down so you will not have to press them down yourself. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.

Note:  Wanna bake Funfetti cookies without using cake mix, I have got you a perfect recipe here: http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2012/04/funfetti-cookies/

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