Saturday 23 August 2014

Piadinas + Nutella Lollies + Homemade Jam: August 16 - August 22 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The sun is so beautiful in the early morning. It does something to the trees that you don't see at any other time of the day. I think we all want the same thing - a quiet peace. Maybe just even a single moment of it, to close our eyes and just be okay.
For even a single second, to not feel worried about something, sad about something. To not crave something we don't - or can't - have. Just to be there, okay. Still. Silent. On the inside. Maybe that's what is so beautiful about this time of day - the stillness.
And the hope that maybe this day will be different.
(Yasmin Mogahed)

Little things that have made me happy this week:
Lazy Saturday mornings with breakfast and coffee // The weather being cooler. I can't wait until autumn to use cinnamon in almost everything // New food colour gels in the prettiest colours ever // Making homemade jam for the first time // Making the most amazing chicken stock for soups // Baking Cherry and Raisin Scones for my mother.

 Saturday: Another surprise gift arrived from my friend and her sister!
Food colouring gels in so many different colours - I'm so excited to use them!
For dinner, I made Spicy Chicken and Grilled Courgette Piadinas.
I grilled a sliced courgette with salt and pepper.
Shredded cooked spicy chicken and grilled that too.
My mum made a quick dough with self-raising flour, salt and cold water.
The dough was divided into two and then rolled in to flatbreads.
The bread was cooked in a pan until bubbly ..
.. and golden brown!
The grilled courgette and chicken was tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, sliced green chillies, vinegar and fresh garlic.
The bread was sliced through the middle.
And, filled with the courgette chicken mixture and grated Cheddar.
The top was popped on.
And, the whole thing was heated through until the cheese had melted.

Then, it was time to eat! Slice up the piadina and serve with your favourite salad (cucumber for me) and chilli sauce (this one!)
You can find the original recipe that I used here!
Sunday: Breakfast was the weekend staple that is Spicy Scrambled Eggs with Beans.
One of my favourite snacks this week has been Wholemeal Crackers with Cheese Spread.
Along with these Superseeds ..
... which I received in my ScrummyBox last week.
For dinner, we tried something which we haven't had before - Stuffed Peppers.
We stuffed them with a simple spicy lamb mince filling similar to this one.
How pretty are these colours, though? I sliced the tops off.
And, scraped out the white bits and seeds.
Stuffed them with the filling ..
.. sprinkled on grated Cheddar ..
.. topped with their lids, and baked! You can find a similar recipe here.

Monday: On Monday, it poured with rain. 
We decided to make Homemade Strawberry Jam - as you do! 
One of the key ingredients for jam making is preserving sugar. Although, I have come across a recipe that uses normal caster sugar.
Anyway, the recipe that I used needed fresh strawberries, jam sugar (same as preserving) and fresh lemon juice.
I started by hulling and roughly chopping the strawberries.
I squeezed in the lemon juice ..
.. and let the strawberries soften for a few minutes.

I measured out the jam sugar ..
.. and tossed it in.
I stirred in the sugar and let it dissolve until the liquid was clear.
Then, I let it boil steadily ..
.. until it had begun to thicken and set.
I let it cool a little and then poured into a jar.
How easy was that? I really recommend you give homemade jam a try - it tastes so much better and is really easy to do.
For lunch, I had a stuffed pepper from the night before with a little rice and spicy yoghurt.
This ice cream reminds me of Eid!
Posting this recipe whilst enjoying this drink.
For dinner, I wanted a soup. First, I whipped up the most amazing chicken stock. I used whole chicken pieces, onion, tomato, bell pepper, jalapeno chillies, dried chillies, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, black cardamom, coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, salt and water.
I let it cook away for an hour or two.
Then, removed the now cooked chicken.
I used the stock as the base for a Chicken Noodle Soup. In a pot, I boiled together chicken stock, water, sliced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, fresh ginger, Chinese 5 spice, chilli powder and spring onions.
I crisped the chicken up in a pan with sliced garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Into a bowl, place cooked noodles, the crispy chicken and then pour over the fragrant broth. It was so good! Just what we needed with these summer days slowly turning into autumn. 
Tuesday: Breakfast was coffee ..
.. with wholemeal toast spread with our homemade strawberry jam.
Lunch was the chicken noodle soup again, this time with grilled corn.
A huge bowl of baby spinach being prepped ready for dinner.

 Wednesday: My mum requested that I bake her a few scones.
I added her favourite dried fruits (glace cherries and raisins) to my trusted scone recipe.
Served along side the homemade jam, 
.. they were delicious!
I also baked these Mini Cheddar Squares as part of biscuit week. They didn't turn out as crispy as I'd hoped but tasted good.

 Thursday: It was a cold and grey day on Thursday. Autumn is definitely on its was here - time to crank up the fire!
We did go for a lovely walk though - nature is still as beautiful as ever.
We picked a few rose hips.
Can you imagine if Allah had chosen another colour besides green to be the colour of nature? I can't imagine another colour being so photogenic and pleasing to the eyes.

Back home, to warm up in front of the fire!
Friday: If you love Nutella, you must make the above recipe - even if you have no lolly moulds, just freeze the mixture in a container and thank me later!
Take whole milk, Nutelle, condensed milk and double cream.
Blend together.
Pour into lolly moulds or a container.
And, freeze overnight. The lolly moulds I have can be bought here.
A few photos of the lovely vegetables and flowers growing in my aunts garden.

I hope you are all well and that you have a beautiful and happy week, inshallah!


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