Tuesday 9 June 2015

Choux Pastry Attempt + June Trifle + Ramadan Prep:30 May - 5 June 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

{via} this week, June began. whaaaat??!
how are we already half-way through the year? 
I remember a conversation I had a few weeks about how time goes so fast. we came to the conclusion that time is not going fast. instead it is us who are filling our time with useless things which inevitably decrease the blessing (barakah) in said time.
people before us had the same amount of hours in a day yet they spent them doing things which were beneficial to them in this life and the next. something to think about there.
so this week. well, I posted my last week in pictures on a Wednesday (instead of the usual Sunday) and I'm posting this post on a Tuesday so that kind of gives you an indication as to life around here. I've been busy preparing and shooting recipes to fill the blog during Ramadan.
{via} the weekend began with an attempt at choux pastry and also, there were burgers. Sunday was a day devoted to making a Pakistani classic along with plenty of traditional sweets.

Monday was the first day of June but felt like winter - no joke. I found a giant trifle in the fridge though. it looked so out of place on the window sill with the rain pouring down behind it. 

Tuesday's dinner was real good (a Peruvian affair) and Wednesday's lunch was a spontaneous thing involving salmon.

Thursday was spent out of the house and the most blessed day of the week arrived with tasty things being made with bread, chickpeas joining a lamb curry and peanut butter being added to flapjacks. 
finally, something that I read this past week and loved was this:

Unbridled emotions can greatly wear a person out, causing pain and loss of sleep. When such a person becomes angry, he flares up, threatens others, loses all self-control, and surpasses the boundaries of justice and balance.
Meanwhile, if he becomes happy, he is in a state of rapture and wildness. In his intoxication of joy, he forgets himself and surpasses the bounds of modesty.
When he renounces and relinquishes the company of others, he disparages them, forgetting their virtues while stamping out their good qualities.
On the other hand, if he loves others, then he spares no pains in according them all forms of veneration and honour, portraying them as being the pinnacles of perfection.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
Love the one who is beloved to you in due moderation, for perhaps the day will come when you will abhor him.
And, hate the one whom you detest in due moderation, for perhaps the day will arrive when you will come to love him.
So when a person curbs his emotions, when he controls his mind, and when to each matter he gives according to the weight of its importance, he will have taken a step towards wisdom and true understanding.

here is more from my week:

 the weekend began and as it was the second-to-last day of May, I finally decided to tackle my baking challenge for the month.
choux pastry! this French pastry is used to make eclairs, profiteroles and the like. you can see my first attempt here.
I decided to make the classic chocolate eclair. so into a pan went water + salt + butter.
it was gently heated until melted.
then, flour was tipped in and the whole thing was beaten furiously.
the dough was left to cool slightly.
and came the turn of the eggs. two of them.
and beaten.
in order to add the beaten eggs to the dough, I used an electric mixer.
eggs were slowly added until ..
... a shiny, paste-like dough was formed.
which was then piped onto a baking tray.
a little water was splashed on to create steam in the oven and then they went into bake until puffed and golden.
a small slit was made in the sides to let the steam escape and help them dry out even more.
the first batch tasted ok but came out really small. so I tried making biggger-ish ones.
and there are the bigger ones at the bottom. so yeah, that was my second choux pastry attempt - still not right. see more thoughts and ramblings here.
if you want to have a go (and please do, so we can compare notes), the recipe I used is here. 
later, to cheer me up, the first doughnut peaches of the year. yes! I was in love with these things last year.
Saturday dinner time!
we made juicy burgers!
oh, and throughout the day plenty of Indian tea was brewed.
Sunday morning and the kitchen was full of greens (spinach + broccoli + fenugreek + spring onions) to make saag.
but first, lunch. salad + sauce (ketchup + mayo + chilli sauce) + chicken kebabs.

later, weekend rituals with mitai + mint chocolate ice cream + rocket ice lollies.
meanwhile, the saag was in full flow.
with plenty of garlic and ginger.
finally, it was ready for a Sunday dinner with roti. full recipe is here.
so, June the first rolled around. it was on a Monday morning and sunshine streamed throughout the house. 
but as the day rolled on, we seemed to be falling back through the months and seasons. we had heavy April rain (through which I fried meatballs) and then in the evening, gusty winds which swept throughout the garden (the poor flowers!) and up the chimney and into the fireplace, and rain, oh my gosh, such heavy rain.
that night, we were back in October with blankets, roaring fires, burning candles and cups of hot, spiced tea.
among all of the heavy rain, a trifle, which I found in the fridge.
poor thing, it looked so out of place with the rain pounding on the window behind it.
so, what was in this trifle? courtesy of my Mother, by the way.
there was, from the bottom to the top: tinned peaches + my choux pastry attempt from above + mango jelly + strawberry jelly + custard + strawberry jelly + whipped cream.
the whole thing was finished with sprinkles and more strawberry jelly on top.
 so this goodness happened on Tuesday. guys, this week, I have been busy shooting recipes for the blog to last me throughout Ramadan.
because the last thing I want to be doing during the blessed month is spending time in the kitchen. anyhoo, above we have a zingy lime and smoky garlicky paste situation.
and then potatoes cut into fries - yum!
scenes from dinner that night: a buttered roti.
stir-fried veggies <--- these were so good. you know those recipes the surprise you because they're that good. yep, this was one of those.
time to plate up and munch!
Update: the full photo recipe is here!
 Wednesday lunchtime was another one of those oh-my-god-how-is-this-so-good stituations.
also, how-am-I-eating-raw-radishes??
plus what a beautiful day, am I right?
Update: the full photo recipe is here!
later, my forever favourite: steamed cabbage + carrots + peas.
chicken and steamed veggies in the fading evening light.
 the most blessed day of the week arrived with plenty of grey clouds. oh, and I was playing around with very dark chocolate.
and bread!
ready to roll.
squeezy syrup bottles for life!
this tasted so good raw.
time to wash up!
we couldn't resist.
Update: the full photo recipe is here!
lamb + chickpea curry for dinner.


this time one year ago:
Salads + Buckwheat Pancakes + Jasmine Flowers

on the blog these days:
May 2015: 31 Photos for 31 Days

Oat Raisin Muffins + Grilling Indoors + Friday Baking

a few of my favourites around the web this week:

1. dry onion curry. I'm intrigued.
2. sweet lemon cardamom rolls. my love of sweet rolls knows no bounds.
3. vegetable chow mein with black bean sauce.  again, I'm intrigued - I've never made black bean sauce at home.
4. simple no-bake cookies. perfect for summer when the thought of switching the oven on is just no. no.
5. peri peri tilapia fish with a gazebo style sauce. I saw this on my Insta feed late one night, and I must make it soon. 
6. a good journey. beautiful, just beautiful.
7. potato hash. po-ta-toes!!!
8. tres leches cake with toasted marshmallow frosting. she's done it again - simple perfection.


hope you're having a beautiful week everyone - I've been eating way too many English strawberries, inhaling this salsa  and enjoying the sunshine!


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