Ricotta Donuts

Happy December everyone! It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the end of the year. In the midst of all of the holiday craziness, I am trying to find ways to stay centered. We celebrated Esha’s 10th birthday and Nisa’s 3rd birthday. I went on a hike with a good friend last week, had a family dinner with a bunch of friends for Friendsgiving last weekend, and was blessed to reconnect with someone important in my life. As we gear up for new adventures next year, we are trying to find ways to be cozy for the end of the year. Enter these amazing donuts – please excuse the pictures, I was so skeptical that these would be good (they are so easy! I have never made donuts before!) that I didn’t take pictures until the girls took a bite and were wowed.

I thought that these were going to be a weekend project but really they only take a few minutes and they are well worth the effort! They may have been even more delicious because I fried them in ghee. We also made these GF by using spelt flour – you really couldn’t tell the difference.

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Ricotta Donuts

Ingredients:

  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • ghee (or canola oil for frying)
  • 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 1 minute)
  2. Stir in the ricotta and the vanilla until blended.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and then add to the sugar/egg mixture until just combined. Careful not to overmix.
  4. Heat the oil until shimmering.
  5. Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to drop small balls of batter into the oil.
  6. Fry each side until golden brown (about 30 sec to 1 minute). Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels placed on a cookie sheet. Once they are slightly cooled, coat in the sugar.
  7. Using a sieve, shake powdered sugar over the donuts, flip to cover both sides.
  8. Enjoy them hot and fresh! We will never go to Dunkin Donuts again!!

Love,

Pooja

Breakfast Cookies!

Happy Wednesday everyone! We are well into October with Halloween coming up right around the corner! Hard to believe it, right? My girls have their costumes all picked out and they are going to be super cute. I am probably going to dress up again this year, even though I got a bunch of funny look as the ONLY adult wearing a costume last year at Whole Foods:

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I was flipping through recipes and found this lovely post by Robyn at sweetish.co. I love the idea of living your best life and it really inspired me to think about what that looks like for me/us. The breakfast cookies looked amazing too and we made them a couple of days ago with some minor tweaks. They are barely sweet and delicious as a morning meal with milk or coffee. These would be great to take along on a plane for a healthy pick-me-up.

We are not eating apples right now so I swapped out the applesauce for homemade pear sauce (I put in the recipe below, in case you want to make some for yourself since pears are in season). We also left out the maple syrup (didn’t miss it), walnuts, and chocolate chips. I would highly recommend using the chocolate chips – it would take these over the top! We are just avoiding it right now.

Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup oat flour (we only needed a half cup)
  • 2 cups gluten-free (or regular) oats
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened pear sauce (recipe to follow)
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup  (optional)
  • ½ cup / 150g peanut butter or almond butter (salted or unsalted, we used salted PB)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • cup walnuts, chopped – we omitted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chocolate chips (optional)

 

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Instructions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. Measure all of your dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, salt, soda + flax) and put them in a bowl and mix.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and peanut butter until well mixed with an electric mixer.
  4. Mix in pear sauce and vanilla.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry mixture. Mix well until moistened throughout. Add in the add-ins that you are using (we used only the dried cherries). If you find that the mixture is too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of the milk of your choice to wet it.
  6. Form balls and press down to flatten on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 12-15 min – these are best a little underdone so they retain their moistness.
  8. Dunk and enjoy! Yum!

Pear Sauce

Ingredients:

2-4 pears

1-2 tsp of ghee

water

Instructions:

  1. Dice pears finely, discarding cores. It is fine to leave the skin on.
  2. Place in a medium saucepan and add water until just covered. Cook on medium-high for a few minutes until pears are soft (this will vary based on the type of pear you are using, bosc pears are firmer and so take more like 5-7 min to cook, softer varieties will only take 3-4 min to cook through).
  3. Drain off the excess water.
  4. Blend the pears using a bullet blender or a food processor with the ghee until smooth. The ghee really enhances the flavor and I find that my kids love to eat this sauce with a spoon!
  5. Eat and enjoy or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte

It’s fall everyone! I know it’s cliche but I really love the flavors of fall: warming spices, pumpkin, apples, pears…just dreamy. Today I want to share with you my new favorite morning treat! I love my morning coffee and I look forward to having it to hold, smell and drink everyday. As the weather cools down, I move towards adding ginger to it to keep me warm all day (an old Indian tradition, usually done with Chai).

I think that this latte hits all the right notes but let me know if you enjoy it as much as I do! This recipe is part of the Virtual Pumpkin Party hosted by Sara at Cake Over Steak. Find all of the links for the recipes Here!

Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte

Ingredients:

One cup strong coffee

1 spoon coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons almond milk or plant based

milk of choice

1/2 to 1 tsp finely grated ginger – about a 1/4 inch knob

1 tablespoon pumpkin purée

Sugar to taste – I use about 1/2 tsp

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

Methods:

Blend all ingredients in a bullet blender or regular blender until well incorporated and frothy. Pour into a comfy mug and enjoy the fall flavor!

I hope you enjoy it!

Love,

Pooja

#VIRTUALPUMPKINPARTY

Cake Over Steak • Pumpkin Protein Waffles
Let’s Eat Cake • Pumpkin Donut Holes
Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin and Hazelnut Tart with Toasted Marshmallow
This Healthy Table • Pumpkin Minestrone Soup
Delicious Not Gorgeous • Pumpkin Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Three Sweet Peas • Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte
27th and Olive • Pumpkin Honey Ale Pie
Foolproof Living • Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
Smart in the Kitchen • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)
Food with Feeling • Pumpkin Risotto
The Pig & Quill • Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten-Free)
Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Baked Donuts
Well and Full • Vegan Pumpkin Nachos
Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin, Saffron and Orange Soup
Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Crisp
Tending the Table • Butternut Squash Kitchari
CaliGirl Cooking • Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs
Will Frolic for Food • Savory Pumpkin Bread
Vegetarian Ventures • Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe
Long Distance Baking • Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce
All Purpose Flour Child • Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pop Tarts
Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Soup with Cheesy Popcorn Topping
Rubarbarians • Cheesy Pumpkin Quesadillas with Smoky Sour Cream
JoEats • Pumpkin Brown Sugar Babka
An Edible Mosaic • Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe
The Foodwright • Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Floating Kitchen • Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies with Whiskey Caramel Sauce Drizzle
Jam Lab • Pumpkin Banana Yogurt Cake with Pecan Brittle Buttercream Frosting
Feed Me Phoebe • Paleo Pumpkin Muffin Recipe with Chocolate Chips
Pass the Cookies • Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Chocolate Glaze
Ful-filled • Pumpkin Spice Ruffled Milk Pie
Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Tart with Maple Whipped Cream
A Joyfully Mad Kitchen • Gluten Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Donuts
Katherine in Brooklyn • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Craft Beering • Pumpkin Ale Pumpkin Loaf (with Honey Pumpkin Spice Whipped Butter)
A Couple Cooks • Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Brewing Happiness • Fall Harvest Pumpkin-Carrot Blender Juice
Linden & Lavender • Pumpkin Loaf with Vanilla Glaze
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin White Chocolate Cake Pops
Appeasing a Food Geek • Pumpkin Pancakes
Snixy Kitchen • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Petit Bakes • Pumpkin Croissants
Hungry Girl Por Vida • Pumpkin Ganache Cupcakes
La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Meringue Buttercream
Oat and Sesame • Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies
Sheri Silver • Pumpkin Streusel Monkey Bread Muffins
The Sweet Nerd • Pink Halloween Sugar Cookies
Cloudy Kitchen • Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Fall Queso with Pumpkin and Chorizo
Cook Til Delicious • Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread
Fit Mitten Kitchen • Blender Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes
Copper & Verdigris • Pumpkin Spice Pets de Soeurs
The Little Epicurean • Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Hortus Cuisine • Pumpkin Merengue Pies
Sweet Crusader • Pumpkin Espresso Streusel Cake with Cinnamon Espresso Caramel
ShortGirlTallOrder • Stuffed Vegan Pumpkins with Vegan Stuffing
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Creme Brûlée
Baked the Blog • Rosemary Pumpkin Biscuits with Smoky Mushroom Gravy
Eat. Love. Namaste. • Pumpkin BBQ Cauliflower Wings
Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Granola
Feedtheswimmers • Pumpkin Crostini (Crostini di Zucca) with Lentils and Chévre
The Traveling Spoon Chef • Twice Baked Butternut Squash

Cooking up a storm…

Good morning! I haven’t posted in a while because I have been too busy cooking! We are on a bit of a restricted diet as a family and as a result, I have been spending a lot of time being creative with what we are eating.

The good thing is, we have started to pay more attention to all of the extra junk that is in so much of the food we eat.  We have also tried a lot of cool recipes that we wouldn’t have tried before. Here are some of the more successful ones:

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Fresh paneer!
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Mascarpone-Oat Blondies
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Greek Yogurt Date Pistachio Bark
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Oat Milk

 

The best recipe that we made (I don’t have pictures because they are gobbled up THAT fast) is the one for Spelt Cookies. I made some adjustments: I decreased the sugar to 1/3 cup of coconut sugar and left out the chocolate chips. Sometimes I also brown the butter which makes them even yummier.

The mascarpone blondies are truly amazing. The recipe is awesome as it stands but I swapped out oat flour for the all-purpose to keep them gluten free. I also decreased the sugar to 1/3 of a cup of coconut sugar instead (but you may want to halve it instead) . They are barely sweet and perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

I hope that the beginning of fall is going well for everyone.

 

xo

Pooja

Vanilla Ice Cream with Blackberries Swirl and Speculoos cookies

Happy summer everyone! I know that I have been away from this space for too long. The problem is that the longer I was away, the more activation energy it was taking to get started again. But then, this ice cream! And I knew exactly what I needed to tell you about. But first, a bit about the summer.

We had the chance to have an epic adventure this summer where we lived/worked in a small town outside Zurich called Zug. Our life there was simple – no driving, only taking trains and buses and walking. Lots of playing at the park with a view of the lake. And, of course, lots of chocolate. We did local sightseeing, a short jaunt to Prague and then ended the trip with a few days in Paris and then London. We watched the entire World Cup in Europe which is was an added bonus! I will share some of the pictures in a separate post for those who are interested.

Now, the ice cream! I was hanging out in the back yard with Nisa last week when I noticed that we have a blackberry tree/bush! I was so excited! There are not that many so I wanted to find something that I could make with them that would work. I got my inspiration from this blackberry cobbler ice cream. I hope that you enjoy this version as much as we did!

One tip: If your berries are firmer, really smash them down with a fork so that they incorporate well into the ice cream. Otherwise, you will end up (like we did) with whole frozen blackberries – not so easy to eat!

P.S. Thank you to Aparna for this awesome housewarming gift!

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Vanilla Ice Cream with Blackberries Swirl and Speculoos cookies

Ingredients:

Ice cream:

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Blackberry smash:

1 cup blackberries

2 tablespoons sugar

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Cookies:

a handful (to taste) speculoos cookies

Instructions:

  1. Freeze the freezer bowl (ahead of time if possible – needs 24 hours).
  2. Put the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and either mix by hand or use a hand mixer until well incorporated and no separation between the sugar and liquid remains.
  3. Put it into the freezer bowl and then into the ice cream maker and churn for at least 20 min or until starting to form into ice cream.
  4. Meanwhile, smash the blackberries well with a fork and toss with the sugar – add more if needed for desired sweetness, although better to leave it a bit tart since the ice cream is sweet.
  5. Crumble the cookies into a bowl and set aside.
  6. When the ice cream is done, swirl in the blackberry mixture, and mix in the cookies. Put it in the freezer for another 15-20 min to firm up the ice cream.
  7. Enjoy! We ate ours in these cones!

 

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Love,

Pooja

 

 

A Reflection on Doctoring and Mothering

Sometimes I say that I am a doctor and a mother. Sometimes I say I am a mother and a doctor. It depends on the situation and who I am talking to and what is on the forefront of my mind at the time. And both are an essential part of my identity. I don’t always realize how much one affects the other.

I read an excellent article this week in JAMA written by a doctor at UCSF about her experiences sleep training her first daughter. It brought tears to my eyes as the slightly blurry transition from physician to physician-mother came into focus. Not until I read this did I realize how profoundly my experiences as a physician shaped me as a mother.

I did residency just before duty hours restrictions were enacted. As a result, every fourth night, I spent 36 hours working in the hospital. Then I went home for 10 hours and went back to work by 6 am the next day. I learned so much, but also confronted unimaginable heartbreak and difficulty. I saw addicts who spent a month in the ICU locked into their bodies. When they woke up, they were detoxed, and no longer could imagine using. I saw them come back, high, defeated, broken. I delivered babies too early and too small who did not survive. I cared for gunshot wound victims who were resuscitated heroically but who did not survive. And then I told their parents and cried with them when they wailed in grief. This was before the time where support to process these things was part of training. My fellow residents and I shared war stories and our grief but these things become a part of you. We all dealt with it in different ways.

When I finished residency, I started my first job and was very happy to be pregnant with my first baby. All was smooth until I woke up one night at 7 months pregnant, itching my hands uncontrollably. My itching got worse, soon involving my soles of my feet as well. I found out that I had a liver condition associated with pregnancy called cholestasis. However, mine was a severe form. The risk was not to me, but to the baby. My doctors told me that they would monitor closely, but that we should be aware that the baby could die at any moment.

I cried everyday. I couldn’t sleep because of the itching. I was in the hospital constantly with terrible contractions. One day, my doctor called and told me that my bile acids were very high (“I’ve never seen them so high before! It’s remarkable!”) and that the risk to the baby was unacceptable. That day, I had an amniocentesis to confirm that the baby’s lungs were mature. When we got the results that night at 9 pm, we were scheduled to come to the hospital the next morning for induction.

After a crazy day, with my husband and my mom by my side, our beautiful Diya was born. She was 5 weeks early, 4.5 lbs and perfect. The days afterwards were an exhilarating process of discovering an incredible love with this tiny baby. However, they were also filled with more stress of another hospital admission for her high bilirubin, too many blood draws to count and no sleep.

I went into debt: sleep debt and self care debt. Already sleep deprived before I became pregnant, I did not sleep more than an hour straight for the first year of her life.

And yet, when the question about sleep training came up, I could not do it. After so many years of helplessly watching so much suffering, I could not watch her suffer. I would not. And thus, we started co-sleeping. The type of parent I became was directly a result of the trauma of residency and then the pregnancy. So I put her first, always, for a very long time.

I would like to say that over time, and after having more children, and getting older and wiser, that I am more balanced now. I do take better care of myself. But, I will still hold Nisa longer if she needs it even if my arms ache and I need to put her down. And I will suffer too much along with Esha when she has a belly ache.

I don’t think that I can be any other way. I am a doctor and a mother. And a mother and a doctor.

Thank you Carly for helping my see my mothering with more clarity.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Happy Wednesday!

We tend to be a chocolate chip cookie eating family. We love all types: oaty ones, brown butter ones, thin and crispy ones….but sometimes we all want something really chocolaty. We have made Deb’s brownie cookies which are delicious – but take a bit more work as you are supposed roll them out. These double chocolate cookies are much more forgiving – I definitely didn’t chill them for the full amount of time and they still came out delicious.

In other news, we went to the Taylor Swift concert last week and it was EPIC!

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I hope that you all have a wonderful rest of the week and that you get to eat some cookies!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons/141 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups/ semisweet or bittersweet chocolate discs (or use 2 cups chocolate chips – which is what I used)

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Instructions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer if you have one), beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until very light, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix briefly to combine. Chill the dough for at least 30 min (the original recipe calls for 24-36 hours).
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough into balls using your hands – you can decide what the best size is. Be aware that the cookies will spread a little. Bake the cookies until set, being careful to remove cookies from the oven when still soft in the center, about 18 minutes. Transfer the parchment with the cookies to a rack to cool. Serve warm.

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