The magic of winters can be felt in its chill.. in the way the trees gracefully shed their leaves.. tinier days spent mostly in soaking the sun.. those longer nights where just about a hot cup of Chocolate makes everything warm and cozy.. sitting by the fireplace and eating Roasted Chestnuts. That just sums up my day in the hills  

There are days when I sulk that many vegetables are not available in the hills and then there are days I find myself blessed to find things which many people cannot dream of getting. So this constant tussle keeps me busy 😛 

When I saw Chestnuts in the market I knew Christmas is just around the corner. The locals call it Pangar. This name denotes all kinds of chestnuts, some are edible and some are not. But of course the one I have used are edible and oh so delicious! The skin of the chestnut is very hard and in order to roast them you must also score them with a sharp knife, carefully hunh! If you dont score them they will pop and explode and can be a little dangerous. So wise people say score them and roast them and your festivity will be joyous without any accidents 🙂 

The festive season brings out the kid in me for I love to do cookies with warm spices, pies in all its forms and having hot roasted chestnuts takes it to a new level. I roasted them and when they popped open I tossed some Coffee Butter on them. That was the best thing I have done all season  What are your plans for the holiday season? Write to me under the post I would love to hear from you. 


1. Choose chestnuts which are not bruised or open from anywhere. If their shell is punctured its likely they will be bad and rotten from inside.


2. Boil some water in a sauce pan. and when it comes to a boil add the chestnuts and let them soak in for 5 minutes. 




3. Drain them in a colander and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.

4. Now using a small pairing knife make an X on the face of each chestnut. I know its a huge talk and by the end of it my fingers were paining. But someone has to do the dirty job 🙂



5. Once this stage is done its all easy peasy. Place the scored chestnuts in a baking tray with Scored part facing up. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius for ten minutes and pop the tray inside the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. You will hear the popping and that will bring happiness to your soul. The skin of the chestnuts will curl up that’s an indication that they are doing just fine.



6. In the meanwhile we can work on the cocoa coffee butter. In a saucepan add butter and Maple syrup. Once it is bubbly remove it from the flame.



7. Also add instant coffee and vanilla essence. Keep stirring till the coffee has dissolved. 



8. Place the roasted chestnuts in a serving platter with X side up. Drizzle this Cocoa Coffee butter on top and let it sink inside from the cracks. 

9. Cover the chestnuts for a while for nuts to absorb the flavour. When they are easy to touch season them with Flaky Crystal Salt and serve.

You can even try Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon Roasted Bell Pepper & Black Eyed Peas SaladRoasted Red Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts Fettuccine PastaRoasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes.


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After Thanksgiving its time for Christmas. Festivity in true sense is spending ample time with family and loved ones. What can be more cherishable than eating together a meal with your family. I love those family reunions. During such get togethers I personally like to serve food which is easy to put together and can be made way in advance. Of course I don’t want to end up cooking in kitchen while rest of the family is having fun together. 😉 Casserole dishes like Lasagnas are best for such holiday get togethers. Sometime back I made Cheesy Chicken Lasagna and Mushroom Lasagna in Bechamel Sauce. But there is another interesting dish Italian Meat balls, which can be made well before time and served with freshly boiled spaghetti pasta. 


Its a classic Italian dish which is flavourful and loved by everyone. It requires just a few basic ingredients and you can pull it off with ease. Traditionally meatballs is done with some kind of meat but I am sharing this recipe which uses chicken, which is lean and has less calories. You can replace the chicken with any red meat of your choice.


1. Finely chop Onions, garlic and Fresh Basil.



2. In a large mixing bowl add fresh bread crumb*  and milk.



3. Add to it an egg and finely chopped basil and grated garlic.



4. Add chopped onion and parmesan cheese.



5. Garnish with Salt and Pepper and mix everything well with a fork.




6. Add minced chicken or any other meat you are using. Mix everything with your hand to form a homogenous mixture but do not over work the meat or you will end up getting tougher balls.



7. Take little mixture in hand and form golf size balls.

8. Add Olive oil to a flat bottom non stick pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the balls into it carefully ensuring not to break them. You can cook them in batches. Cook them for a couple of minutes on both sides. They must get that golden brown colour. Be careful when you flip them. 




9. Place them in a tray until you finish cooking all the balls.


10. In a blender add ripe tomatoes and make a smooth puree. You can use canned tomatoes as well.



11. In the same pan add a little more oil and add onions. Saute them for a while and then add wine and cook for a minute more.



12. Add the tomato puree to the pan and give it a good stir. Carefully drop meatballs to the pan ensuring the meatballs are completely covered in the sauce. Put the lid on and let it cook on low heat for good 1 hour and 45 minutes. Keep stirring in between to ensure the bottom doesn’t get cooked quickly 




12. Season with Salt and Pepper and top it up with torn basil.




13. Serve hot with boiled Spaghetti or any pasta of your choice. Learn how to boil pasta perfectly.

Other Pasta dishes you can try here are Pasta Alla Vodka Avocado Parsley Pasta , Healthy Broccoli PastaSautéed Red Bell Pepper and Olive Pasta SaladSpaghetti Vegetable PastaSundried Tomato Pasta Salad.

Other Italian food you can try : Mushroom RisottoFrittata with Mushrooms and SpinachGarlic Rosemary Focaccia BreadCherry Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia BreadItalian Almond BiscottiRoasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes.



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