Monday 6 July 2015

Smoky Chicken Cobb Salad + Hottest Day + Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: 27 June - 3 July 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


wow, the weather this week has been crazy, we had the hottest day since 2006 here on Wednesday, thunder and lightening storms that followed and now heavy rain pounding down outside, making it feel more like October than July.

the weekend began by baking salted chocolate brownies. also, there were two types of salad (a twist on the potato and a marinaded one), vanilla bean lemonade and more fish and fries.

the next day, a smoky chicken cobb salad with all the trimmings (ranch, honey Dijon dressing, fresh things, homemade tortillas). 

Monday was beautiful - the roses and mock orange flowers are blooming outside. we may even be able to eat our homegrown tomatoes soon. chana chaat and chips with guac and salsa for iftar - yum.

so much fresh fruit in the house on Tuesday. plus we made our fave veggie galette again and a green bean minced lamb curry. 

picnic-style iftar on Wednesday with spicy chicken sandwiches and fruit parfaits. gosh, it was so hot here.
burgers and biscuit crumbles with strawberries and coconut cream on Thursday, and to end the week, the classic achar gosht.
something that I read this week and loved:

Don't be sad: live today as if it were the last day of your life. With this frame of mind and outlook towards life, you have no reason to allow sadness or anger to steal the little time you have.

An Arab poet said:
The past is lost forever, and that which is hoped for is from the unseen,
So all that you have is the present hour.

here's my week:

 a little baking to begin the weekend. I decided to bake a batch of these flourless chocolate brownies.
butter, dark chocolate and milk chocolate were placed into a bowl.
before being melted over a pan of simmering water.
a slight addition to the original recipe: 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee was mixed into the melted chocolate.
the chocolate was cooled slightly whilst eggs, sugar and vanilla were beaten.
the two were combined and ground almonds also joined the party.
batter done!
into a dish to bake but not before I sprinkled the top with sea salt.

once baked, more sea salt was sprinkled on top - because I'm obsessed with salted chocolate.

and the whole thing was left to cool.

when it was time to slice, the paper was peeled back.

and the slicing began!

would you look at that gooey goodness?!!

just give me a scoop of vanilla and we're good.

if you love gooey brownies, you have got to try out the recipe.
for Iftar, two salads. 
the first? a potato one with a twist.

the second? a marinated tomato and cucumber one with basil. diced cucumber and sliced red onion were left to marinade in vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil.

before serving, the excess marinade was drained off and diced tomatoes and fresh basil were stirred in.
the recipe I adapted was this one!

to drink? another batch of lemonade.

with a slight twist though using vanilla beans!

all you do is add the seeds of a vanilla bean to the sugar syrup - easy vanilla syrup.
I got the idea from this recipe.
the main event? more fish ...
... and chips! but with a slight twist which I'll be sharing soon.
Sunday things! today, we made a smoky chicken cobb salad. all you do is, into a bowl, place:
1 pound cubed chicken breast
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
pinch crushed red chilli flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
stir well and marinade for a few hours. to cook, you can simply fry in a pan but I skewered mine because I have a thing for skewers at the moment.
also, the leftover marinade went on top.
bake at 200C for 20 minutes until completely cooked.
whilst the chicken cooked, I made a batch of ranch dressing.

the salad dressing was so easy. all you do is whisk together:
1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper, to taste
for the salad, I used:
cucumbers, sliced
cherry tomatoes, quartered
radishes, sliced
lettuce, shredded
pickled peppers
hard-boiled eggs, halved
once the chicken was cooked ...
.. it went onto a platter.
ready to eat! the salad was adapted from here!

ooh! before I forget, we also made homemade tortillas.

super easy!

the recipe I used was this one!

a Monday spent in the garden.
tomatoes! I am so excited for these to fully grow.
I love how these fuchsias perfectly match their pot.
so pretty.
mock-orange flowers which have the most beautiful scent ever!
happy daisies!
scented, pink roses.
cherries growing on the cherry tree! 
And have you seen that (seed) which you sow?
Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower?
{Surah Al-Waqi'ah, Verses 63 and 64}
iftar was the leftover chicken cobb salad from yesterday wrapped in the homemade tortillas.
so simple but very satisfying.
also, chips and dip.
tortilla chips with hot tomato salsa and homemade guacamole.
also, a bowl of spicy, tart, savoury chana chaat.
 it was so hot here on Tuesday and I was playing around with fruit.
macerating and then blitzing it, to be precise.
a few hours before iftar, we sliced up corn, leeks, carrots and spring onions.
fried a few cherry tomatoes.
gave all the veggies a really quick stir-fry.

and left them to cool.
also, a take on this recipe.
instead of the potatoes and peas, green beans!
as the evening drew to a close, it was time to finish off the iftar prep.
homemade pastry was rolled out.
filled with the veggies.
folded up, egg-washed and into the oven.

ready to eat! the recipe was adapted from here!
dessert was a fresh fruit salad with chopped mango.
sliced peaches.
raspberries and blackberries.
sliced strawberries.
layered into parfaits with berry sauce and crumble!

the hottest day since 2006 on Wednesday called for a cold iftar. I made spicy chicken sandwiches by boiling up a chicken breast and then shredding it.

to the chicken, I added:
chilli garlic sauce
mayonnaise (or mashed avocado)
sweet chilli sauce
tomato ketchup
all, to taste.
gave everything a good stir.
then added diced cucumber.
and grated carrot.
gave everything a mix and added salt and pepper, to taste.
time to make sandwiches! 

these sandwiches hit the spot on that very hot Wednesday - I can see them becoming a lunch staple round here once Ramadan ends.
the recipe was adapted from here.
parfaits made by layering chopped fruit, whipped cream, berry sauce and biscuit crumble.
more summery things on Thursday.
this recipe!
plenty of burger fixings happening - cucumber, tomato, lettuce, grated Cheddar.
a sauce made with:
tomato ketchup
pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
pickled jalapeno juice
the patties were these chicken ones.

an iftar worthy of summer!
on Friday, my Mother cooked achar gosht.
oh my gosh, the smell when this was cooking was unbelievably good. 

she also added potatoes and jalapeno peppers stuffed with chaat masala - an idea from the chicken version.
we ate the curry with boiled rice and for dessert, these!

this time one year ago:
Ramadan Begins + Salted Chocolate + Fruit Overload

lately, on the blog:
Beloved Date Bars + Chicken Tikka Skewers + Epic Fried Fish
June 2015: The One Where Ramadan Arrived
Spicy Coconut + Basil Rice Noodles

Strawberries with Whipped Coconut Cream + Brown Butter Biscuit Crumble

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

1. such a beautiful pie.
2. cheesecake parfaits using one of my new fave ingredients.
3. 27 amazing charts that will turn you into a baking whiz. woah.
4. healthy eating for children. for all you mothers out there.
5. when a non-Muslim tried fasting during Ramadan. {via}
6. Costa Rican breakfast. YUM!
7. homemade Mr. Whippy ice cream. !!!!!!!!!


"...... and upon Allah, the believers should rely".
{Surah Aale Imran, Verse, 122}

have a beautiful week everyone!


Spice Enthusiast
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