Sunday 21 June 2015

Sunday Galette + Cherry Takeover + Ramadan Pizza:13-19 June 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

this week, I baked a galette.
have you ever eaten one? they're the best. I wanted to bake more but Ramadan arrived along with a giant box of cherries.

so many cherries in fact, that at the beginning of the week, I ordered a cherry pitter. also, we made the most summery of June dinners with chicken, courgettes and tomatoes followed by an assembly job of frozen chocolate banana bites.
midweek, I baked two batches of these brown butter cherry bars. brown butter for life. also, rainy days in this house call for pakoras, hitting a million page-views (thank you!!) and the first taraweeh prayers from Makkah.

taraweeh prayers can only mean one thing - the blessed month of Ramadan has once again arrived. the first day or two were busy with body-clocks changing schedules, no sleep until after Fajr and the first Iftar.
I finally baked a cherry pie and immediately wondered why I hadn't done so sooner. Iftar things this week have included kathi rolls, mango milkshakes and plenty of dates.

the most blessed day of the week arrived with pies being sliced, amazing things happening with Nutella, me stalking all of you and a pizza bar.

Something I read this week and loved:

Once Prophet Muhammad (saw) passed by a people who were suffering from some affliction. 
"Why don't they make dua (supplication) to Allah for protection?" he said.
With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question can be directed to all of us today.

It is not that we have forgotten dua completely; we refer to it regularly. But our ideas and practice regarding dua have become distorted. Often it is reduced to the level of a ritual. Generally it is considered when all our efforts have failed - an act of last resort. It is belittled through actions and sometimes even words. Is it any wonder that today mostly a mention of dua is meant to indicate the hopelessness of a situation.

What a tragedy, for dua is the most potent weapon of a believer.

It can change fate, while no action of ours ever can. It is the essence of worship. With it we can never fail; without it, we can never succeed. In the proper scheme of things, dua should be the first and the last resort of the believer, with all his plans and actions coming in between.

{Khalid Baig}

here's more from my week:

easy Saturday lunch of berries, chips and salsa.
 for Sunday dinner, I baked a galette. first, I made my own pastry.
then, I gathered together my ingredients. since this was a veggie galette, I used courgettes, leek, cherry tomatoes and spring onions.
olive oil, cherry tomatoes and seasoning went into a pan.
the heat was high and the lid was on.
they went like this until they had just popped. so satisfying.
then, in went diced courgettes.
sliced leeks.
and spring onions.
the whole thing was gently cooked for a few minutes and then cooled. by the way, the only seasoning in this was salt and pepper. and everyone loved it even though everyone is used to heavily-spiced curries and the like. just goes to show, when you have produce that is in season, it doesn't need anything extra.
anyhoo, the pastry was rolled, lifted onto a tray, on went the filling, and the sides were very roughly wrapped and crimped around it.
finished with finely grated Cheddar and an egg wash - time for the oven!
there were no leakages in sight (I was so worried!) and the whole house smelt wonderful.
dinner's ready!
not the most elegant thing to slice but who cares when it tasted so good?! I'm happy to report that this was given a double thumbs-up. I may have to bake it again for a full photo recipe.
the recipe I adapted was this one.
dinner on Monday and I prepped half of it ahead of time. courgettes were sliced length-ways.
then, into a bowl went chicken strips + garlic + olive oil + red wine vinegar + salt and pepper + dried oregano.
mixed together and left to marinade for an hour or two.
I also prepped these thyme-roasted tomatoes.
simply, slice tomatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil. sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh thyme to be grilled later on.
later, the mother made her homemade yoghurt.

I grilled the chicken strips.
followed by the courgettes which had been brushed on both sides with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
oh, and I couldn't resist throwing on a few lemon slices to caramelize too.
once grilled, the courgettes went onto a platter.

and were finished with crumbled feta, pine nuts and fresh coriander. look at me! eating feta and pine nuts - I hardly recognize myself, you guys.
recipe adapted from here.
and for the tomatoes? I popped them under a hot grill for a few minutes until they were juicy.
recipe adapted from here. 
and there's the oregano chicken and caramelized lemons. 
recipe adapted from here.
and of course, the courgettes.
dinner's ready!
then, a bit of a production line, to make frozen banana bites. originally, I had intended on just peanut butter but couldn't resist Nutella and this biscuit spread.
all you do is slice bananas.
sandwich them with your favourite spread.
dip/roll/dunk in dark chocolate and pop in the freezer overnight.
full recipe is here.
and the next morning, which for me was a Tuesday, pop them into freezer bags and freeze to enjoy whenever you want. a lovely treat after Iftar maybe?

tackling this box of cherries today!
the first thing I baked had to be these brown butter cherry bars.
and thank Allah, my new cherry pitter arrived in time.
whilst the shortbread baked, a batter was made with eggs, sugar, plain flour and vanilla.
and, I pitted the cherries which was super satisfying.
along with browning butter which ceased the need for scented candles in the house.
you know this is going to be good.
over the base, went the cherries and the batter.
full recipe is here.

dinner --> roti and saag with eggs stirred through. a family classic.
 the dates had begun to pile up on Wednesday morning as it was the day before Ramadan.
for lunch, I made a pasta dish with the leftovers from Monday. into a pan, went the chicken and courgettes.
followed by the tomatoes and a some leftover tinned sweetcorn we had in the fridge.
everything was cooked together and finally, a little cooked pasta was added along with some pasta cooking water.
a good toss, seasoning and lunch was ready.

it was such a grey, rainy day here which only meant one thing:
potatoes + onions + peas + fresh coriander + salt + chilli flakes + dried fenugreek + cumin seeds + baking powder + pomegranate powder.

then, in went gram flour + yoghurt + water. time to fry! they disappeared so quickly that there was no chance of a photo.
the full recipe is here.

and, I made another batch of these bars.

butter browned.
cherries ready.
photographed. you know the drill.
batter made.
brown butter added. those brown bits - it's where the flavour's at.
separate components.
baked. excuse the condiments invading the shot - it was a pakora day after all.
early bite.
so pretty.
and, gifted.
also, I hit a million pageviews. thank you to every single one of you out there for your support. I hope I have inspired you to cook and bake at home a lot more.
finally, at the end of the day, the announcement came that tomorrow would be Ramadan. cue the first taraweeh prayer from Makkah - you can watch here.
 Ramadan day 1. it was a Thursday and here are a few scenes from the kitchen. in no particular order, we have butter ready to make pastry.
onions + ginger + garlic + tomato + spices sizzling ready for chicken kathi rolls.
fruit plate --> apple, banana, nectarine, peach.
more baking with cherries today - they're taking over!
photo time!

in other places, chicken curry being made. see all my curry recipes here.
more Iftar scenes --> frozen parathas for kathi rolls.
pies being glazed.
chicken for kathi rolls.
a quick chutney made with fresh coriander + mint sauce + tamarind sauce + green chillies + salt.
the first mango milkshake made with mango puree, vanilla ice cream, ice and milk. it could only mean one thing - time for the first Iftar!
scenes from Friday morning included the glaze looking beautifully set.
summer in a bar!
doing things with Nutella.
you guys are going to love this.
going to some lucky people.
making pizza dough for Iftar with strong white flour + strong wholemeal flour + dried yeast + salt + water.
kneaded and ready to prove. the full recipe can be found in this book.

the dough proved.
whilst I put this live traffic feed onto the blog. I am such a geography geek and am fascinated to see where you're all from!
Iftar time neared and so did our pizza bar!
a beautifully risen dough.
leftover cooked chicken from the kathi rolls.
grated Cheddar.
a no-cook tomato sauce made with tinned tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder, red wine vinegar, garlic and sugar.
and veggies galore!
cherry tomatoes + pickled jalapenos + fresh basil + sweetcorn + red onion.
grab the pizza dough.
this one made three pizzas.
ready to go!
tomato sauce + chicken.
sweetcorn + tomatoes + red onion + pickled jalapeno.
grated cheese.
finished with sprinkle of dried oregano. Mother's favourite.
second base!
half cheese + tomato sauce.
other half: tomato sauce + veggies.
cheese on top. these pizzas were prepped two hours before Iftaar - this meant that there was more time for prayer.
at Iftar time, the pizzas went into a screaming hot oven whilst a platter of fresh things was made --> dates + apples + cucumber + lettuce.
and a dressing with the coriander chutney from the previous day watered down with the pickle juice. strange but it works.
once the pizzas were done ...
... on went the fresh basil.
the smell of these was heavenly.
and thankfully it was Iftar time so we could eat!
and here's the chicken one. I hope this inspires you to have your own pizza bar for Iftaar this Ramadan. make the dough and toppings ahead of time and get creative.
see all the pizza things on my blog here. 
finally, a post-Iftar treat.


this time last year:
Chocolate Cake + Pinterest + Being Happy

on the blog these days:
Mini Dumplings + Lemon Bars + Stuffed Roti

Coriander Chilli Cheese Toast

Dark Chocolate + Peanut Butter Flapjacks

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

1. mango lassi frozen yoghurt. perfect for when that inevitable glut of alphonso mangoes comes in.
2. four berry crisp with oatmeal cookie crumble. cookies in my crumble - now that sounds good.
3. a moment to wallow. for all you busy mamas out there.
4. gnocchi in a creamy tomato sauce. you had me at creamy tomato sauce.
5. Ramadan and Eid planner. to help you keep on top of everything and more.
6. homemade sno cones. now all we need is sunshine.
7. 12 tips for a healthier Ramadan. feed the soul not the ego.
8. this!! this.
9. a magical new egg replacement that's already in your cupboard. officially intrigued.
10. mango kulfi. can't beat it.
11. summertime aguas frescas. perfect for Iftar.
12. chicken parm meatballs. yummm!
13. the prophet's (saw) Ramadan sermon. it wouldn't be Ramadan without it.
14. chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives. definitely giving this a go.
15. easy chocolate mousse. and it could not be easier.


{the smell that comes from the mouth of a fasting person is better with Allah than the scent of musk}

have a beautiful week everyone!


Spice Enthusiast
© copyrights This Muslim Girl Bakes, All Rights Reserved. Branding & Blog Design by Sadaf F K.