Sunday 9 November 2014

Apple Pie Cookies + Autumn Sunrises + Flourless Chocolate Cake: 1 November - 7 November 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

".... And do not be sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us ...."
(Quran 9:40)

These brave, dignified and peaceful words were spoken by the Prophet Muhammad (saw), at a time when he was alone in a cave with his companion Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (ra), and when his enemies had him surrounded. He did not tremble when he said them, his lips did not falter, and he did not speak with a fearful stutter; instead, he uttered them with a firm resolve, with an unwavering belief that "Allah is with us".
In saying those words, it was as if the Prophet (saw) was saying the following to Abu Bakr (ra):
"As long as Allah is with us, then why the sadness? Why the fear? Why the anxiousness? 
Be at peace, be firm and be calm, for Allah is with us".
{A'id al-Qarni}

 Saturday: Today I made a Shepherds Pie. First, peel and chop a mountain of potatoes for the mash topping.
The filling was made with leftover roast lamb instead of the usual mince.
When life gives you leftover roast lamb, make a shepherds pie.
The recipes I used were a mixture of this and this. 
And of course, I added peas. I love peas!
To make the pie, first I layered mashed potato on the bottom and sides of the baking dish.
Then, in went the filling.
Followed by more mashed potato and Cheddar.
The pie was then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbling. It was delicious - it really made a difference with the roast lamb.
Sunday: Breakfast was soft scrambled eggs with spicy baked beans.
These beans are something I used to eat in my student days. Heat a tin of baked beans in a saucepan until bubbling, and then add grated cheese and chilli powder, to taste. Stir in and let the cheese melt. Serve with eggs or toast.
I didn't bake anything during the week last week. Today, on a dark Sunday afternoon, I made a batch of vanilla sugar cookie dough.
There had been a jar of apple sauce in the cupboard for a while.
So, using this recipe, I made Apple Pie Cookies. Half the dough was rolled out and spread with the apple sauce, ground cinnamon and orange zest.
The other half was rolled and sliced into long strips.
The strips were laid over the apple sauce to give the traditional lattice topping.
The cookies were cut out and how cute do they look?
Let's just ignore the mess I made on the counter though.
The cookies were baked until crisp and golden.
Everyone loved the cookies. A real change especially if you don't want to make a whole apple pie.
 Monday: Today felt like a day for soup. It really is full on autumn weather here. The days are really short - it gets dark at around 4:30pm.
A large pile of carrots in the fridge urged me to make a batch of Carrot and Coriander Soup.
Tuesday: I had a leftover ball of vanilla cookie dough in the fridge.
I rolled it out and cut them out. A few I left plain (my favourite!) and the others were spread with the leftover apple sauce.
For dinner, we ate Chicken Burgers with Rocket and Avocado.
Chicken mince was mixed with salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and chopped onion.
The mixture was shaped into patties.
They were chilled in the fridge until firm.
And, then grilled on a grill pan.
Until golden brown and cooked through.

To go in the burger, I mashed up an avocado with lime juice, red chilli powder, olive oil and salt.
I gathered together the rest of the ingredients: burger buns, pickled hot peppers, Cheddar, the mashed avocado and rocket leaves.
The buns were grilled.
And, spread with avocado.
On went the chicken burger and a little grated Cheddar.
Finally, sliced pickled peppers ...
... and chopped rocket leaves.
Finally, the burger was ready to munch.
Recipe inspiration was from this recipe.
 Wednesday: A very busy day began with a beautiful sunrise.
Someone once told me to always live for the little things in life. Live for 7am sunrises and 5pm sunsets where you'll see colours in the sky that don't usually belong.
 Thursday: A busy day in the kitchen with lots of things being cooked. First, the ingredients were out for a Flourless Chocolate Cake. The recipe was from this book.
Dark chocolate and milk chocolate was melted into brown butter, vanilla, egg yolks and brown sugar.
Egg whites were whisked to stiff peaks with salt and ground cinnamon.
Then, the two were combined.
And, poured into a cake tin.
The cake was baked for about 30 minutes.
And, then left to cool until evening.
For lunch, I cooked up some spaghetti.
We had an abundance of tomatoes in the fridge so I made a really tasty fresh tomato sauce.

This is the recipe I used, take from this book.
The sauce was tossed with the pasta and served with grated Cheddar.
For dinner, we had company, so I made Twice Baked Cheddar Broccoli Potatoes. This is before they went in to bake.
Potato skins stuffed with mashed potato, broccoli, Cheddar, seasonings, butter, milk and sour cream.
The recipe I used can be found here.

Here they are once they had been baked.

These were so yummy - a real hit with everyone. And, you couldn't even tell that they had broccoli in them!

With the potatoes, we grilled up chicken breast slices seasoned with chilli powder, salt, ground cumin, smoked paprika and olive oil.

And, a fresh tomato salsa made with diced tomatoes, chopped jalapeno chilli, salt, olive oil and fresh lime juice.
The highlight of the evening was definitely dessert.
A flourless chocolate cake served with vanilla whipped cream.
A lovely end to the day!
Update: Here is the recipe.
Friday: No pictures from today so instead I will share my favourite web links from this week.
1. If I made a crisp this winter, I would love to try this one.
2. Anyone for chocolate and peanut butter?
3. After seeing this beauty, I was inspired to bake a flourless chocolate cake on Thursday.
4. This is a great way to use up leftover bananas.
5. This cake, though.
6. And, these cookies.
7. Need ideas for a reward chart for children?
8. You need to boil up a bit of pasta right now to toss with this amazing sauce.
9. We baked this yesterday and you should definitely do the same today.
10. This burger, though.
11. Three words: Nutella Hot Chocolate.
12. Would your child eat this for breakfast?
13. 27 delicious and hearty soups with no meat.
14. 23 healthy foods everyone should know how to cook.
15. There is no better food combination than cheese and tomato.
16. Is there an apple glut in your house? This should help.
17. The ultimate homemade kebab.

On the blog this week:

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry - a delicious vegetarian winter warmer along with my thoughts on stew.

I pray that you all have a wonderful week filled with lots of blessings and moments that make you smile.


Spice Enthusiast
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