Sunday 20 September 2015

Bread Baking + Apple Pie Making + Falafel Pittas: 12-18 September 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

this week, millions of Muslims will take part in the journey of Hajj.
This piece from Productive Muslim popped into my inbox this week and I just had to share.

When Prophet Ibrahim completed the building of the Ka’abah, Allah commanded him to call the people to Hajj. 

You can imagine Prophet Ibrahim (as) thinking "How can my voice reach all of humanity?" But Prophet Ibrahim (as) listened and obeyed and went to the highest mountain in Makkah and called people for Hajj (and the rest is as they say - history!).

Here we have a beautiful productivity lesson for all of us: You shouldn't worry about the results or outcome of your effort; rather, worry about making the effort and ensuring you perform the task to the best of your ability. 

If Prophet Ibrahim (as) saw that the expected outcome of his task as impossible, he would have given up and there would have been no Hajj for us today! But he relied upon Allah and did his best: he climbed the highest mountain and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Hajj, so perform Hajj.”  It is said that every human being on earth at that time heard that call, and Hajj began since that day. 

Allah revealed in the Qur’an:

"And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass" (22:27)

We should never stop ourselves from making the necessary effort to achieve something just because we think the results are impossible to achieve. Do your part and leave the rest upon Allah.

Remember, there are two important ingredients for Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) success in this task (and which we need to apply in our lives):

1 - He took all necessary means to complete his task; he went to the highest mountain at that time, Mount Arafat, and called with his loudest voice.
2 - He was sincere! He sincerely believed that Allah would deliver his call to all mankind.

One of the most respected scholars I know of our time gave me advice I’ll never forget. He said “have good intentions and work hard”. These two ingredients - sincerity and hard work - are the ingredients for true success in this world and the Hereafter. Write this message down, place it somewhere on your desk, and remind yourself daily to have good intentions and work hard in whatever you do and see how Allah will open the doors of success for you, Insha Allah.

coming up in this post, the time when there was no bread in the house so I made my own. also, bagel bakes, green tomato pepper omelettes and homemade oven chips. I stuffed falafel into soft pittas for a meatless Monday which then became a whole lot meatier when the Mother decided to cook a lamb curry.

leftover chicken tikka made it onto this pizza. I cooked an achari potato and carrot dish and got way too excited with the arrival of these fairy lights.
it's the little things guys! I read somewhere this week that many of us think we'll be truly happy when we accomplish something big like buy our own house, get married or go on a big trip. but the real truth is that the things that will make us happy are these small, seemingly insignificant everyday ones. the ones that nobody else really gets but bring a smile to your face.

anyhoo, back to my week. there were burgers, plenty of biscuits and best of all, on Friday, we baked our first ever apple pie!

of course, we had to give it a lattice top because how could we not. it's so pretty.

filled to the brim with seasonal apples and plenty of spice - the most delicious end to our week.

here's more:

 the weekend began with a little bread baking.
 there was no bread in the house.
 so instead of buying more, I decided to bake more.
 here it is - mixed, kneaded and into a proving basket.
 there was also a pudding in the works.
 not the sweet kind but the savoury with onion bagels.
 homegrown tomatoes.
 cream cheese, red onion and a savoury custard.
 for lunch, an omelette.
 with spicy gram flour, leftover from the day before.
 in the omelette, eggs + salt + tomatoes + red onion + peppers.
breakfast for lunch.
and, this bread pudding for dinner.
I also baked the bread that was proving earlier.
I used this recipe but switched half the strong white flour for strong wholemeal flour.
had to try a freshly cut slice with strawberry jam and lemon curd.
 fresh bread for Sunday morning breakfast.
 also, getting my Sunday bake on.
 I think you guys will really enjoy this one - recipe coming soon, Insha Allah.
 covered up and ready for the week.
 we felt like homemade oven chips for dinner.
 I like to par-cook mine in the microwave. it speeds up the baking process.
 toss them with vegetable oil.
 and, into the oven they go. I baked mine at 200C for about 30-40 minutes just until they're really crispy and brown.
 whilst they baked, I stirred up a bowl of garlic sauce.
 once the chips were done ..
 .. they were drained on paper towels. also, I love leaving the skins on as I feel that it adds so much more flavour to the chips.
ready to eat --> chicken tikka + homemade oven chips + garlic sauce.
Monday morning falafel blending before breakfast.
 as simple as dumping everything into the food processor.
and, blitzing.
then, breakfast.
 today, a slice of homemade bread toasted with peanut butter + strawberry jam.
for lunch, the falafel were shaped and lightly fried.
 ready to assemble.
 and, eat!
 warm pittas stuffed with falafel + yoghurt sauce + salad.

time to shoot a curry with my Mother.

a delicious lamb curry which I'll be sharing next week, Insha Allah. just in time for Eid!
 Tuesday lunch and with all the leftover chicken tikka and fresh veggies, pizza was on the horizon.
homemade dough.
 tomatoes + cayenne peppers + red bell peppers + sweet green peppers + purple onion.
 grated Cheddar + cooked chicken tikka + no-cook tomato sauce.
 dough rolled ..
 .. and seasoned.
 on goes the tomato sauce.
along with the veggies.
 and, everything else.

the perfect way to use up leftovers.
 chopping away on Wednesday afternoon.
potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and a whole host of ground and whole spices.

all cooked together to make achari potatoes and carrots.

I adapted the recipe from here.
open-faced egg mayonnaise sandwich for lunch.
plus orange slices + grapes.
my rainbow fairy lights arrived today.
they're so pretty, plug into a socket instead of using batteries, are really colourful and you can get the same here.
pan-fried fish for dinner inspired by this recipe.
we ate it with the achari veggies from earlier, fresh lemon and spinach potato curry.
those achari veggies were definitely versatile. here they are on Thursday morning scrambled into eggs for breakfast with a slice of homemade toast.
after a long day, chicken burgers wrapped in foil (it helps them steam which makes them extra juicy) were most welcome.
 Friday morning biscuits. also, why do they put coconut into the chocolate chip cookies? why?!
 we baked an apple pie today. apples were peeled and sliced.
we tried a recipe that cooked the apples first like in an apple crumble. they were cooked with spices and sugar.
 a buttery pastry was made.
 half the pastry was pressed into a pie dish.
 pricked and part-baked.
 in went the filling.
and, on went the lattice top.
 egg-washed and time to bake!

perfection with vanilla ice cream.

this time one year ago:
orange salads + roast chicken + beautiful buttercream

lately, on the blog:

Sunday soup + plum cake + chicken tikka salad
savoury bagel + cream cheese bread pudding
Polish apple cake


Keep me in your duas, please, and have a beautiful week,


Spice Enthusiast
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