Saturday 17 May 2014

Raw Banana Lollies + Mini Drivers + Reflections: 10 May - 16 May 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Another week has gone by, alhamdulillah. 

There are now about six weeks left until Ramadan. We should start preparing ourselves from now. One of things we can do everyday is make dua to Allah that we actually make it to Ramadan, safe and sound.
There are so many people who thought they would be here to see the blessed month this year, but they're not. We take this month for granted so let us pray each day that we reach it this year in good health and faith, and that we make the most of it, inshallah.
As always, in between the photos from this week will be snippets of inspiration from my Instagram feed.

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magic rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.

Saturday: Last Saturday began with cupcakes, and so did this one! My little nieces were over and the older one helped me start off the batter for Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.
My aunt brought along a large bowl full of farm fresh eggs.
These cupcakes were based on these Strawberry Shortcakes. The batter flavoured with vanilla and orange was scooped into cases and placed in to bake.
And, then it was time to sort the strawberries. One of my other nieces helped me sort the prettier ones to place on top and the smaller ones to use for the compote.
I used a melon baller to scoop out a little of the cakes.
They were then filled with fresh strawberry compote.
And, then whipped cream flavoured with fresh orange was piped on top.
With a fresh strawberry on top and sprinkling of chocolate sprinkles, the cakes were ready!
Update: Here is the recipe.

Dinner was at my cousins house.
All the food was beyond delicious and included:
Pulao made with lamb
Spicy Chutney
Dahi Bhallay made with yoghurt, chickpeas, spices and lentil fritters
Chicken Curry
Lamb and Potato Shorba
And, then, of course, it was time for dessert!
Strawberry Trifle

And, to round things off, Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.
Even though all the desserts were so tasty and the perfect end to the meal, some of us were more interested in getting onto the slide.
Last but not least, a Pakistani meal cannot end without Tea.
The biggest challenge of the evening was getting the right shoes on!
Sunday: Again the day began with a spot of baking. First, the batter was made for a few Boston Cream Cupcakes - I'm still perfecting my recipe and when I do, I'll be sharing it with you, inshallah.

The cupcakes were assembled, and taken to another cousins house for another dinner.
The tables were set and the food was all ready. The dishes included:

Spicy Potato and Keema Croquettes
Imli Chutney

Lamb Kebabs
Green Yoghurt Chutney

Spicy Roast Chicken and Potatoes
Spicy Fresh Coriander Chutney

Spring Rolls

Dahi Ballay

Lamb Pulao
Salad with mixed leaves, cucumber, tomato and red onion
Dessert was trifle made with a biscuit base, custard and whipped cream
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Custard Tart with Fresh Fruit
Boston Cream Cupcakes

Firni - a cold pudding made with thickened milk, ground rice, sugar, cardamom and nuts.
All the food was very tasty, full of flavour and enjoyed by all.
Monday: I made Flapjacks using butter, dark brown sugar, golden syrup and rolled oats.
I also stirred in flaked almonds, mixed dried fruit and apricots.
Flapjacks are so versatile - you can add in anything you fancy!

I baked them and they were just as they should be - sticky, chewy and very satisfying.

My mum made a curry using bitter gourd/karaylay.
She fries them a little to get rid of some of the bitterness.
And cooked them into a delicious curry with potatoes - her Karaylay Aloo.
I made a Quick Chicken Stir Fry. These tomatoes were blanched, their skins removed and then blended to create a tomato sauce.
Which was used with chicken, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder and salt to make this quick dinner.
Dessert was a homemade ice lolly.
Made with banana, coconut milk, water and ground cinnamon - it was pretty good!

With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?
It was time for the evening prayers. I have been loving this video from YouTube this week.
Tuesday: The trees are in full bloom round here, and how pretty is this green colour?

Why is the smell of frying onions so good?!

Anyone for a spot of lunch served up by an adorable 2 year old?

On such a hot day, who wants lunch when you can have ice cream with sprinkles?

Before driving off to enjoy the rest of the sunshine!
And, subhanallah, what a beautiful day it was too?

Another attempt at making ice cream didn't turned out so well because I over boiled the custard - oops!

Wednesday: The day began with more blazing sunshine.

Ice cream was in order!
Beautiful reflections on my iPad.
Snacking on sweet Pink Lady apples and quite sour strawberries.
We decided to go Middle Eastern for dinner with marinaded chicken.
And, turmeric rice.
Lots of salad.
And, a white sauce.
This dinner was so delicious - I will definitely try and share the recipe with you guys soon, inshallah.
Update: Here is the recipe.
Thursday: Making my Easy Strawberry Ice Cream.

My mum made pastries with shortcrust pastry filled with a keema filling.

The garden is looking so good at this time of year. The grass is green and lush and the flowers are so vibrant in colour.
Friday: The most blessed day of the week began with ice cream. :)

Our house was filled with the smell of frying onions.
A quick Pulao was made with boneless chicken pieces, peas, cumin and ras al hanout.
Served with the usual culprits!

Peace is seeing a sunrise or sunset and knowing Who to thank.

Recipes posted this week:

Lamb Mince Okra Curry

Halal Quiche Lorraine

Easy Strawberry Ice Cream

Have a wonderful and blessing filled week everyone, inshallah!


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