Sunday 18 January 2015

Nachos + Baking Bakewells + Homemade Pastry: 10 January - 16 January 2015

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This week, I have:

1. Been challenged to bake brioche from scratch.
2. Fallen for homemade guacamole (who knew avocados could taste that good?!) 
3. Made a sour cream dip.
4. Nachos! 
5. Cooked a lentil salad for the first time.
6. Baked all things Bakewell.
7. Tuesday nights dinner, though.
8. Snow! Plenty of snow!
9. Playing around with all things green in the kitchen.
10. Baking with a few cousins on a Friday morning, and catching up on life and more.

Saturday: The weekend began with a treat - marbled chocolate brioche.
Very soft, buttery and filled with dark chocolate, it has inspired me to have a go at baking my own in the future.
Today, we also sampled this cake.
It was gluten-free and very seasonal. I'll be sharing the recipe pretty soon, Insha Allah.
Then, it was onto a whipping up a batch of Guacamole.
I've always wanted to eat avocado more often but have always found it to be tasteless. This guacamole recipe, however, is my new favourite and it spiced up the avocado with jalapeno chillies, garlic and lime. This guacamole was a firm favourite with all who tried it. I'll be sharing the recipe soon, Insha Allah.
Next, a random idea for a homemade sour cream and onion kind of dip. 
I took sour cream and these onion and chive cheese slices.
Popped them into a blender.
And, blitzed!
But, the mixture was still runny and not the thick dip consistency that we wanted. Two tablespoons of mayonnaise soon sorted that out!
And, with that, our chips + dips platter was sorted.
A homemade sour cream, cheese and chive dip,
Hot tomato salsa,
Homemade guacamole,
And, to scoop up all those delicious dips, tortilla chips.
Then, we made Nachos. I spread a few tortilla chips out on a lined baking tray.
Dolloped on some hot tomato salsa.
And, for a little more spice ...
... chopped jalapeno chillies.
And, finally grated Cheddar.
The nachos were baked in a hot oven at 200C for about 10 minutes until the cheese had melted and everything was bubbling. I'm sure you know that nachos are best enjoyed straight away - crispy, spicy and full of melted cheesy goodness.
To round everything off, tea. And, even though it was 5:30pm, we all enjoyed cups of hot English Breakfast tea.
And, in our house, where there is tea, cake is not far behind.
Later, we made chicken.
And, a quick vegetarian take on a Manchurian.
With cauliflower, kale, spinach, baby corn and mangetout.
A spicy, fresh veggie side dish.
Perfect with chicken ..
.. and the christening of a new Sriracha bottle.
Sunday: On a dark Sunday afternoon, I roasted vegetables.
There were potatoes, carrots, and the star of the show - this turnip.
All chopped to the same size and tumbled onto a baking tray.
Oh, hey there shortbread.
Our kitchen can be v.random sometimes. These shortbread were good though.
Anyway, back to the veggies. They were seasoned with salt, pepper, dried thyme, herbs de provence and olive oil.
The veg were roasted until crispy and golden in a hot oven.
Ready to be tossed with lentils, greens and a clementine.
A vibrant and fresh lentil salad adapted from this recipe.
Sunday evening.
Anyone want one?
Some of us had keema and roti for dinner.
With Seviyan for pudding.
Monday: I've been loving these lentil crisps at the moment.
They're made from lentils (duh!) but are so crispy and full of flavour.
Today, there was such a strong, cold wind blowing. Perfect soup weather.
I made a batch of Leek and Potato Soup using this recipe.
Ingredients ready to bake a few mini Bakewell Tarts with my cousin.
First job, whip up a simple frangipane.
Next, grab the mini pastry shells. We cheated and used ready-made.
The cases were each spread with a generous dollop of raspberry jam.
Before being filled with frangipane and a scattering of flaked almonds.
Once baked ...
... they were dusted with icing sugar.
And, enjoyed with custard.

We had frangipane leftover and so decided to make a simple vanilla cake batter. We swirled the frangipane through it along with raspberry jam and baked it.
It became a kind of Bakewell cake, and was so good. Especially with custard.
So, with the cake and the tarts, I think today we did the town of Bakewell proud.
Tuesday: A beautiful start to the day.
I've been loving these multigrain cakes this week - perfect with soup!
For lunch, hot Leek and Potato Soup.
With chilli garlic sauce and the quinoa cakes!
More chilli garlic madness happening for dinner.
With everyone's new favourite yoghurt dip ..
.. and my new favourite chicken recipe. I'll be sharing it soon, Insha Allah. It's so good!
 Wednesday: This morning, the sky was very blue and calm.
Too calm, in fact.
When, suddenly .....
.... it began to snow.
I love the snow. Seeing it fall silently outside makes me want to put a pot of soup to bubble away on the cooker, bake a batch of cookies and of course, knead up some bread. So cozy.
Snacking on a pear whilst playing around with broccoli.
And kale.
And cheese. 
And, making a mess. As usual. 
And, giving my dinner a feel for the melting snow. Recipe coming soon, Insha Allah.
And, a little chocolate cake to end the day. Because you know, chocolate cake. Recipe coming your way soon, Insha Allah.
Thursday: This is what I get up to at 11:45am on a Thursday morning.
I'll be sharing this deliciousness soon, Insha Allah.
Friday: A few cousins were over to bake with me and just generally catch up. But, first, a homemade pastry masterclass from my Mother.

I will definitely be making this pastry again to show you guys too, Insha Allah. 
We baked this Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread  first.
And, then with the homemade pastry, a Bakewell Tart. This time, replacing the classic raspberry jam with strawberry.
The tart went into bake for half an hour.
Whilst we caught up on life and ate lunch.
Lunch was Chicken Pulao and Daal. 
And, then back to the sweet treats.
Oh, and we whipped up a batch of Coconut Ice. Just because. :)
My coconut-loving cousins also dipped some of the coconut ice into chocolate. I stayed well away.
And, finally, melted dark chocolate was poured over the set caramel and the shortbread was ready.

Recipes on the blog this week:
Mini Cherry Tomato No-Pastry Quiches

Breakfast Apple Crumble

A few of my favourite links from around the web this week:

1. The perfect recipe for those moments when you want a cookie but don't want too many.
2. A comforting Jordanian soup to add to my soup bucket list. Which doesn't exist. Yet.
3. And, maybe a little something to accompany said soup.
4. These muffins, though.
5. I could do with a glass of this today.
6. A bangin good chicken salad!
7. These quesadillas, though.
8. These chicken rolls sound so yummy.
9. I feel an obsession with muffins coming on.
10. Why would anyone buy these from the store when they're so easy to make at home? Says she with two bags frozen in the freezer.

Have a lovely week everyone, and keep safe in the snow!


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