Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Try The World Italy & Holiday Box Unboxing 2016

Here's an unboxing video of Try The World Holiday Box and Italy Box. There's currently a promotion going on for Canada (free Italy box when you join). 

Holiday Box: Michelin Edition box includes ingredients that celebrate holiday traditions around the world. Some of the delicacies are buttery toffees from South Africa, a delicious date spread from Israel and a decadent truffle sauce from Italy.

Price:

  • Pay every month: $39/box, auto-renews every month 
  • Pay every 6 months: $198 ($33/box), auto-renews every 6 months (Save 10%) 
  • Pay every 12 months: $348 ($29/box), auto-renews every 12 months (Save 15%)

Shipping

  • Free shipping to U.S.
  • $7 USD to Canada

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Bakers Krate February Box

Bakers Krate is a monthly subscription box company that delivers desserts across Canada. It's $19.99 per month plus $9.99 for shipping. Check out their website for more details. This month's packaging was perfect for Valentine's day and I received it right in time for it. 
 
Check out my video to see my friend and I tasting all the desserts in this month's box.

Desserts in February Box:
White Chocolate Roll Cake in Jar
Red Velvet Cakette
Chocolate Cakette
Mini Heart Shaped Imperials
Heart Sugar Cookie
Chocolate Caramel Delight


I'm glad they also have the ingredients listed on a paper, which is helpful if you have any allergies or other dietary restrictions.


Monday, 4 January 2016

Bakers Krate December Box

Bakers Krate is a monthly subscription box company that delivers desserts across Canada. It's $19.99 per month plus $9.99 for shipping. Check out their website for more details.


Desserts in December Box:
Peppermint Cake Jar
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Soft Brownie with marshmallows
Snowflake Cookie
Mini Meringues


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Caramelized Chicken


This is just an easy recipe that tastes so good! When I first made it, my family loved it and then I made it for my friends and they fell in love. We have even made it a party and it was a hit. 

I found this recipe on Allrecipes. Click here to see the recipe there. I made it exactly the same way but used 6 skinless chicken legs instead and cut each of them into 2. I've tried making this with chicken breast but it didn't turn out good. 

Ingredients: 
  • Chicken wings or 6 skinless chicken legs (cut into 2 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a baking dish and add the chicken and coat the sauce with a spoon.
  3. Bake in oven for an hour (I flip them over after 30 minutes).


And that's it! You have your caramelized chicken. This is so easy to make and everyone loves it at my house. 

Allrecipes have posted a video on it. Click here to watch it. 


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Iftar Ideas

There are less than 10 days of Ramadan left! I can't believe it's almost over! Some of you may be hosting an iftar soon, so I made a list of iftar food that you can go through and hopefully pick out the ones that you like. :)

I love hosting iftars at my house but it's a lot of work! I co-hosted one last year with my sister and it was a success!  We prepared/cooked everything except for the biryani (credit goes to my dad). You will see a couple of photos in this post from last year's iftar.

Last year's iftar

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Iftar Starters

Although most people break their fast with dates, you can also serve drinks, fruit salad and even soup. 
  • Dates
You can place dates in a plate or if you want to have a nice presentation, you can fill them up with nuts. If you do so, I would suggest you to place dates alone because some of your guests may be allergic to nuts. 
     Almond filled dates: 
    • Soak the almonds overnight and peel off the skin the following day.
    • Slice the dates just enough so you can fit the almond (don't cut it into 2)
    • Remove pit and fill it with almonds
    • Sprinkle some shredded coconut and/or sliced pistachio (optional)
Last year, I placed 2 plates of dates: one with simply dates surrounded by sliced pistachios and shredded coconut and other filled with almonds sprinkled with pistachio and shredded coconut.
Dates
  • Drinks
    • Rooh Afza is very popular South Asian syrup that is usually added in milk or water. It's very popular during Ramadan! I love mixing it with water because it's less filling and hydrating. It's also energizing. 
Rooh Afza Milk
    • Jallab is a popular Middle Eastern syrup that's usually served during iftar. It's made with dates, grapes molasses and rose water. It's mixed with water and ice topped with pine nuts and raisins. Click here for the recipe. 
Photo by Plaintain Leaf (Andhra Recipes)
    • Fresh Juice/Smoothies: Since Ramadan is in summer this year, you can make fresh juice or smoothies using summer fruits: watermelon, mango, etc.  

  • Fruit Salad
I love eating fruit salad during Ramadan because it's nutritious and light.
     What I add in my fruit salad: 
      • Apple
      • Banana
      • Grapes
      • Pear
      • Pomegranate Seeds
      • Freshly squeezed orange juice 
      • Chaat Masala (I don't add too much but I simply sprinkle some and mix all fruits)
    Watermelon Bowl: I like using watermelon as a bowl for the fruit salad.
      • Cut watermelon in half and empty it with a spoon
      • Wash it and fill it up with fruits (we didn't put all the of the fruit salad in it but instead put a clear plastic bowl and put the fruit salad there)
      • You can use the watermelon to make a salad/juice or place it around the watermelon in a plate.

Fruit Salad
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Iftar Food
Here are a couple of food ideas. You may notice some of them are numbered. I've included few details/photos of those items in the following section.

I tried including different cultures/ethnicities and these are represented by following colors:
    • Red: Indian/Pakistani
    • Green: Afghan
    • Blue: Middle Eastern
Soups
Lentil
Carrot
Harira
Ash

Salads
1. Fattoush
Tabouleh
Greek Salad

Appetizers
2. Samosa
Pakora
3. Dahi Baray/Vada
4. Gol Gappay/Pani Puri
5. Chaat Papri
Chapli Kebab
6. Wara Enab
Cheese Rakakat
7. Fatayer
8. Kibbeh
Falafel
9. Mantu
Ashak

Main
10. Biryani
Tandoori Chicken
11. Butter Chicken
Kofta curry
Shahi Paneer
Kafta
12. Shishtaouk
Al Kabsa
13. Kabuli Pulao
Kofta Chalaow
Sabzi
14. Caramelized Chicken
Roasted Chicken
Lasagna

Sides
Raita
Chutney (tamarind)
Naan
Hummus
Baba Ghanoush
Pita Bread
Rice

Desserts
15. Falooda
Ras Malai
16. Gajar Ka Halwa
Baklava
Sellou
Cream Rolls
17. Chocolate  Mousse
Cupcakes
18. Cookies
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Details and Pictures

1. Fattoush 
 I love this salad! I had some at Lebanese restaurants but my friend also made it at home and it was delicious. I found an online recipe but haven't tried making it myself yet. 
Click here for recipe. 
Fattoush
2. Samosa  
These are quite popular during iftars! I don't like the store-bought samosas, so I usually make them at home. I love the meat ones but I make some vegetarian ones for some of my friends who don't eat meat. 
Check out my video to see how I make my meat samosas:  

3. Dahi Baray/Dahi Vada 
I've never made it from scratch. I actually buy the frozen "baray/vada" and make my yogurt mixture and sprinkle it with coriander, red chutney and chilli powder. 
Check out Crave Cook Click website for the recipe.
Photo by Crave Cook Click

4. Pani Puri/Gol Gappay  
I usually buy the pack that comes with gol gappay and pani puri paste that you mix with water. I also make chickpeas and yogurt mixture separately. 
Photo found on Maharani Weddings website


5. Chaat Papri 
I love chaat papri! You can use samosa instead of papri and there, you have you samosa chaat.
Photo by Sula Indian Restaurant

Here's a recipe of chaat papdi (papri):

6. Wara Enab  
I've had this several times at my arab friends' homes. It's basically grape leaves usually stuffed with ground beef and rice. 
Check out Global Table Adventure website for the recipe.

Photo by Global Table Adventure

7. Fatayer  
Check out Chicho's kitchen for recipe. 

Photo by Leuke Recepten

8. Kibbeh 
I really like this meat appetizer. It's quite filling too. I've always bought them from this middle eastern stores or had them at restaurants. 
Photo by BurCArioca
9. Mantu 
If you haven't tried mantu, then you're certainly missing out. This Afghan dish is so delicious! My best friend is Afghan, so I've had it many times at her house especially during iftars and parties. 
Mantu
Here's a video of mantu recipe found on Sarah Zaffar's YouTube channel:

UPDATE: I've tried this recipe and my family loved it. I added minced meat to my lentil sauce because my best friend's mom does the same and I love it. Other than that I used all the ingredients that she mentioned in her video. I wasn't always sure the quantity she used, so I just estimated it. Nonetheless, it turned out delicious! I'm going to try to note down the ingredients next time and try to perfect it!

However, here are the ingredients that I've used along with some of the quantities: 
  • Wonton Wrappers: I bought the wonton wrappers from Asian store but you can make it at home. There are few recipes online. Click here to see one of the recipes by Kitchen Simplicity.
  • Mantu Filling: I'm not sure how much ground meat she used, so I just assumed she used half kg in total. I also reduced some of the other ingredients. 
    • Ingredients: Half kg ground veal; 1 tbsp oil; 2 onions; garlic; 1 tbsp coriander powder; Black pepper
  • Lentil & Meat sauce: I didn't use the pressure cooker. I simply boiled the gram split lentil separately and then added it to the sauce and cooked it covered for a bit with some water.

    • 2 tbsp oil; 1 onion; Quarter kg ground veal; 1 tomato; garlic, 2 tbsp tomato paste; Half tsp turmeric and salt to taste; Water
  • Yogurt: Yogurt, dried mint leaves, garlic and water (watch her video). However, I did omit garlic.


**I will make a blog post on it in the upcoming months with more precise ingredients and directions. It was my first time making it, so I didn't really note down the ingredients and/or just went with the flow. 

10. Biryani 
 I can make a lot of things but biryani is definitely not one of them. I made it twice in my life and it didn't turn out that great. I used National Biryani Masala Mix both times and followed the instructions but put less because it's very spicy!

Biryani
11. Butter Chicken  
I haven't really found a really good online recipe that I love but I've tried this one and is not bad: 

12. Shish Taouk: 
Here's a recipe by The Spice Kit Recipes
Photo by The Spice Kit Recipes

 13. Kabuli Pulao
I love kabuli pulao! It's can be made with lamb, beef or chicken. Most online recipes show the method of caramelizing sugar but my best friend's mom taught me this recipe using chicken and onion broth. I've tried the sugar method long time ago and it was a total fail but the latter method is much easier!
Caramelized sugar method: Recipe by Rehana Du Jour:
Photo by Rehana Du Jour

Chicken & Onion methods: Video recipe found on Sarah Zaffar's YouTube channel:



14. Caramelized Chicken:  
This is a sweet chicken recipe that is so easy to make but tastes so good! It's a crowd-pleaser. Click here to check out my blog post on it (recipe included).  



15. Falooda
I've never made it from scratch; I normally buy the falooda pack and follow instructions on the back. My sister and I made falooda last year for iftar. We poured in each plastic cup and refrigerated it overnight. 
Falooda
I've recently watched BubblegumHijab's video recipe and it looks so good:


16. Gajar Ka Halwa

BubblegumHijab's video recipe of it looks so delicious:



17. Chocolate Mousse

Last year we put chocolate mousse in small plastic cups and small piece of wafers. We also gave our mini plastic spoons. Everyone loved it!

Click here for recipe.
Chocolate mousse

18. Cookies
My friend made these cookies last year and they tasted so good! She individually packed them and so, I handed one out to each guest to take home. I find it's such a cute idea. You can either serve them or wrap them individually and give them as favors.
Ramadan Karim Cookies

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Few Tips...
  • Some of your friends may have restrictions or allergies, so always keep that in mind when deciding what to serve. One of my close friends doesn't eat meat, so I usually make sure I have vegetarian main dish and appetizers for her. 
  • Refrigerate your desserts overnight. If you're planning on serving pudding, mousse or anything of that sort, place them in cups or bowls, so you don't have to serve each person the day of the iftar.
  • Arrange a praying spot for your guests :)

Ramadan Kareem!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Meat Samosa


Here's what you need to make meat samosas (makes about 60 to 70 samosas):
  • Filling:
    • 1 kg ground beef or veal (I normally get veal)
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 potato (peeled & chopped)
    • 1 onion (chopped)
    • 1 green chilli (chopped) - optional 
    • 1 cup peas
    • 3 tbsp coriander
    • 8 cardamon pods 
    • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
    • Salt to taste 
  • Samosas:
    • Pastry sheets
    • All-purpose flour
    • Water

*Please note that this filling can be used to make about 60 to 70 samosas. You can reduce the servings if you'd like. In that case, divide the quantity in 2. I normally don't make all of the samosas in one day but instead I put the unused portion on the fridge and do it next day.




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Meat Filling




Directions
  1. Heat oil in saucepan on low heat and add cumin seeds and cardamon pods. Chop the onion and add cook it on medium for 5 minutes.
  2. Add ground meat (I used minced veal) and cook it on high until meat is brown (5 to 10 minutes). Then, drain the grease.

  3. Mix in everything else (coriander, chopped green chilli, turmeric, ground cinnamon, peas, potato, water, salt). After stirring it, put the lid on and cook it covered on high heat for a minute and then reduce it to low and let it cook for about 15 minutes covered.


    *I actually added 3 tsp of salt and found it a little salty, so I think I will add only 2 tsp next time.
  4. The potatoes should be tender at this point. Cook it uncovered on high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until there's barely any water left.

  5. Remove the cardamon pods. I found 5 easily but had trouble finding the last one. 

That's it for the filling! Place some of it in the bowl and let it cool before filling in the samosas.


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Samosas


Filling in samosas isn't too hard but it can be time consuming. You can make your own samosa dough but I've never tried it. I usually get pastry sheets. Aside from the pastry sheets, you will need to make a paste out of water and flour that will act like glue and seal the edges.
  • Pastry sheets: You can buy these from Asian stores. I usually get the ones that are made for samosas but you can get the sheets that are squared and cut them in 3. I really like the brand Spring Home because the sheets are so thin. 
Samosa Pastry Sheets (30 sheets per pack)
    Squared Pastry Sheets (30 sheets per pack)

  1. Take the sheets out of the freezer for about an hour.

  2. Make the paste by mixing in water and flour. Add same quantity of each, so if for 2 tbsp of flour, you add 2 tbsp of water. However, check the consistency. It shouldn't be too runny nor sticky. If it's too runny, then add more flour and if it's too sticky, then add some water to get a smooth consistency.
  3. Fold Samosas about 5 times (see video). After the 3rd fold, put some paste on the side and then open it up and fill it. After that, fold it again and put the paste on the side and fold it for the 5th and last time.

  4. Fry the samosas on medium heat until you see it's golden.


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TIPS
  • Try making about 5 altogether. I start by folding it right before filling it and then I do the same with 4 others. After filling each of them up, fold it once more and put the paste on each of them and close them. This will save you a lot of time! 


  • If you have some leftover sheets, then you can cut them up into 2 and roll them up. You can even fill them but I like to fry them up. 

  • Don't fry on high heat because it may become overcooked. Instead fry on medium heat or low heat if they are frozen.


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Storing Samosas

If you're not planning on frying them all that day, then you can either put them in fridge or freezer. Don't stack them on top of each other especially if you're putting them in the fridge because it may become soggy and start to break them when you fry them. 
  • Fridge: I usually leave them in the fridge for 2 days. I take them out about 15 minutes before frying them. I even put the filling in the fridge and use it the next day to make more samosas. 
  • Freezer: I like to place them in zip lock bags and freeze up to a month. Whenever I'm planning on cooking them, I simply take them out of the freezer for about 30 minutes. I also fry them on simmer/low heat.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Ramadan Special



Ramadan is certainly my favorite month of the year! Although the emphasis should be on devoting yourself Allah (swt) as much as you can rather than food, it's very important to eat right and keep yourself hydrated. Of course, there are some days when you simply want to indulge on some of the good stuff.

I will be posting a couple of things this month: benefits of certain food items during Ramadan, recipes, iftar ideas, etc. You can read below to get a glimpse of the future posts.

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Benefits of certain food

Dates: Many Muslims break their fast with dates. These small fruits are packed with nutrients. 

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Recipes

Samosas: I always make samosas during Ramadan. These are so delicious but I try not to eat it everyday. 



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Iftar Ideas

Many of us invite friends and family to our homes for iftar. If you're looking for ideas on what food to serve and how to serve it, well then you might enjoy this post.


Last year's iftar at my house
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Stay Tuned
Follow me on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with my posts. 
Subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will be uploading videos of some of the recipes.
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More Ramadan Posts
Ramadan information
I heart Ramadan Tag


Ramadan Mubarak!