Sunday 1 February 2015

Macaroons + Polenta Pizza + Chocolate Bread Pudding: 24 January - 30 January 2015

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This week, I didn't shoot as many recipes for the blog.
I went back to basics and just cooked and just baked without having to worry about taking a photo of each step.
Just being in the kitchen, making simple dishes helped me to re-discover my love for all things food. This week has left me feeling refreshed and ready to take on more new challenges in this year of 2015.

I'm sure many food bloggers out there can relate. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and understand why you entered this crazy blog world (and enjoy the simple pleasure of baking a bread pudding on a cold Tuesday evening). I hope that makes sense.

This week, I:
1. Made fishcakes out of leftover cooked salmon.
2. Experimented with buckwheat flour and hoisin sauce.
3. Successfully baked coconut macaroons.
4. Had a disaster with a polenta pizza base. 
5. Spicy soup for lunch! 
6. Used up stale brioche in a bread pudding.
7. Baked my January baking challenge - Dundee Cake!
8. More snow!
9. Made my January healthy food challenge - Avocado on toast.
10. New kitchenware and bakeware!
11. Tried piping mashed potatoes. I shall not eat them any other way again.

P.s. Whilst I was writing part of this post, I was listening to the above video. I hope it benefits you as much as it benefited me, Insha Allah.

Saturday: For lunch today, we made salmon fishcakes using leftovers from this recipe.
I also whipped up a simple tartare sauce using this recipe. I left out the shallot though and I added in a pickled pepper for extra heat.
And, with that, lunch was served!
I was really excited to try this peanut brittle today.
I wonder if you can make it at home. Oh wait, you can. I don't think I should attempt it though given my history with all things caramel.
Sunday: A little more time for breakfast today so I made Buckwheat Waffles.
I've tried buckwheat pancakes before but these waffles were a first.
Drenched in maple syrup, they were nutty, toasty and really good.
The great thing with these round waffles is that you can cut them up and spread on different toppings.
In our case, golden syrup, peanut butter and Nutella.
The recipe I used is here.
A chopped salad for lunch ..
... with sweetcorn, chicken, dipping sauces and tortillas. Yum.
Monday: We love to have soup at the start of the week in our house.
Today, we opted for a Coconut Thai Chicken Soup using this recipe.

I made a quick homemade chicken stock to use in the soup. The recipe I used was loosely based on the stock (yakhni) I make for chicken pulao.
Mum made a simple daal  using green lentils. How pretty are they?

Today, I also tested a recipe for Coconut Macaroons.
Dry ingredients.
Wet ingredients.
After all that, my soup was ready.
Guys, it was so good. Really light, fragrant, spicy, salty and sour. Perfect for warding off winter colds. The recipe I used is here.
Meanwhile, the macaroon baking continued.

These macaroons were super cute and naturally gluten-free. What's not to love?
Hands up. Who likes Horlicks? I know it's kinda old-fashioned but I love it. 
Dinner was another recipe test. This time, a polenta pizza. Oh, yes.
Pizza base made out of polenta.
Simple tomato sauce with added chicken chunks.
Load with your favourite pizza toppings.
Take plenty of photos.
And, bake!
Result? The pizza didn't quite live up to expectation. So, still a work in progress.
But it was still really pretty - plenty of colourful ingredients. The recipe I tried is here.
Tuesday: A day to cook bitter gourd.
Also in my kitchen today:
Milk chocolate - to drizzle over yesterdays macaroons.
Dark chocolate chips - for brioche bread pudding.
Bolognese lamb sauce - for pasta bake.
Leftover hoisin sauce - to add to soup.
First, the most important task, dip and drizzle!
Chocolate was the perfect addition to the near-perfect macaroons.
Next, a bread pudding to use up leftover stale brioche rolls.
Cubes of buttery, stale brioche.
Eggs + cream + milk.
Cocoa powder.
Because this was a chocolate bread pudding. Oh yes.

Dark chocolate chips.
Meet brioche.
Chocolate cinnamon custard.
Ladled in.
And, left to soak.
Even without being baked, you know it's going to be good.
But first. Dinner.

A simple bolognese pasta bake made with lamb sauce I froze in December.
And, would you look at that? The chocolate bread pudding is ready.
This pudding needed nothing with it - it was perfection. The recipe I used is here.
 Wednesday: Cherry tomatoes tumbling onto a tray for lunch.
Snacking on a sweet pear - it might even have been better than that bread pudding from yesterday. Might.
This jalapeno chilli blew my head off at lunch. Sweets were needed afterwards.
Testing a guacamole recipe - coming soon, Insha Allah.
And, to the end the day, a cake.
Who else loves cake batter? I think I may love the batter more than the actual cake.
Thursday: Snow, again.
And, pizza. :)
 Friday: Deliveries.
And, snow!
Snow makes the English countryside even more beautiful. If that is possible.
Apples + oranges + freshly squeezed orange juice. My favourite.
And, a simple lunch.
Mum always makes her own blend of garam masala, and today she did just that. I love how pretty whole spices are though.
The weather has been really cold around here lately. Yes, we had another heavy snowfall this week but it's the cold wind who is the real culprit. To warm up, proper shepherds pie.
And, to make the everyday shepherds pie a little different, grab that piping bag and get piping those mashed potatoes. Cue, super crispy potato topping.

A few of my favourite links from around the web this week (make a cup of tea, there's been plenty):

1. I shared an awesome salmon recipe.
2. And, an eggless cake and hot fudge sauce. The sauce may even replace Nutella on your morning toast.
3. 31 photos for 31 days. January 2015, you were amazing.
4. Love this post about a bread on my bread bucket list.
5. This cake though.
6. Boil your bones!
7. This lemon loaf is making me dream of spring already.
8. Ferrero Rocher on sticks and the most awesome 9 year old.
9. Those brownies though.
10. Omg. My coffee and muffin in one place.
11. Love this post about real life vs Insta life.
12. Cinnamon Rolls. Enough said.
13. Quick. Espresso. Cinnamon. Rolls. What?
14. How nachos can be a complete meal. Any excuse.
15. Peas + carrots + noodles. My favourite.
16. These doughnuts though. Woah.
17. Omelette + fajitas? Genius.
18. What?!
19. So pretty!!
20. Burger genius.

Have a beautiful week everyone, and keep me in your duas, please,


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