Friday 25 September 2015

Three Years + My Disasters + Your Photos.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Today marks three years since I started writing this blog.
Although, it feels like a hundred years have passed since that September afternoon in 2012 when I, on a whim, decided to make a blog.
Can you believe my first post had no photos?! Don't worry, I updated the recipe with the usual step-by-step pictures.

So, how shall we mark three years? I would've baked a cake but since yesterday was Eid-al-Adha, we're all caked out. Instead, I thought we'd chit chat. I'll share a few disasters with you and the many recipes that didn't make it. After that, I thought I would give you guys the spotlight for a while and post a few photos of my food that you've made. I love it when you send me photos so send away. You can get all my contact stuff here.

Guys, I love a good declutter. I feel that it helps me to focus better. And, there is nowhere that usually needs a bigger declutter than my blog photo folders. So before I delete thousands of images, I'm going to share a few with you here today. These are recipes that I've tried and they were nice and all but not ready to be unleashed on the interwebs just yet. I'll include a few links to the original recipes - maybe you can have a go too? I hope this post inspires you to try something new and also is a little insight into what happens behind the scenes - how many recipes are actually photographed but don't make the cut.
First, this apricot galette. I was actually quite excited to try this recipe with flaky pastry and fresh apricots but it didn't turn out as I'd hoped. I think the apricots weren't sweet enough. The original recipe is here.
Next, an avocado ranch that wasn't as I expected it to be. The recipe is here.
A baked peri peri chicken from Ramadan 2013. I know! So long ago. The chicken was delicious but I wasn't happy with the photos.
Next, a basil potato salad. I wasn't happy with this because again it was back in 2013 when me and basil didn't get along. Since we've made up recently, I might give it another go. The recipe is here.
OMG, I remember baking this Battenburg! I can't remember exactly what happened but somehow I decided to forego the traditional marzipan topping for a chocolate buttercream. Um, why?! It tasted nice but wasn't the prettiest. Here's the recipe.
I was so excited to bake these breakfast muffins. I actually baked them on a Sunday ready for Monday, but sadly due to too many lumps in the bicarb, they did not taste very good. Here's the recipe.
These breakfast tacos filled with eggs, cheese and veggies was a sad case when the thing tastes amazing but the photos don't tell that exact story. A definite try again.
Talking of delicious things, this cheese and onion pie was definitely that. The only problem? I sliced the onions instead of dicing them and so the texture was all wrong. Here's the recipe.
Another classic disaster from yours truly comes in the form of the sauce for Chicken 65. You're supposed to use red food colouring but my red decided to turn the sauce pink. It tasted good but the colour was weird. Here is the recipe.
This is a chicken and sweetcorn soup. I wasn't very impressed with the photos. The recipe is here.
Ooh, these were chicken doughnuts. Another blast from Ramadan 2013. They were delicious but were made during the usual pre-Iftar rush so the photos weren't all that. The recipe is here.
Homemade chicken fajitas! Again, the pictures weren't very good. The recipe is here.
This chicken hara masala biryani tasted good but didn't look as good in the final pictures. The recipe is here.
I was so excited for these chilli lime chicken skewers and then I left them under the grill too long. They were super dry! The recipe is here.
These chocolate crumb cake muffins were a Sunday bake. But when they came out of the oven, the crumb topping had disappeared! The recipe is here.
Oh, my nemesis - choux pastry. Here is my first attempt at chocolate eclairs which were very flat. The recipe is here.
How good does this chocolate pudding cupcake look? We made them for dessert in Ramadan 2013 but the chocolate sauce wasn't thick enough. The recipe is here.
These egg mayo sandwiches were delicious but the process photos weren't very good. The recipe is here.
A dipping sauce made with garlic and chillies from this book. My photos weren't very good.
This was the first time I tried gnocchi in this gnocchi meatball bake. My photos were terrible, once again. And, I have completely forgotten where the original recipe came from.
Guys, here is the disaster that was my attempt at Swiss meringue buttercream. The recipe is here.
A try at my Mother's favourite - lemon meringue pie. As you can tell, the dish I used wasn't big enough. Here is the recipe.
As far as I remember, this was a no-oil lamb and potato curry. Lamb has plenty of fat of its own so was perfect for this kind of curry.
Onion rings! Again, from a rush during Iftar in Ramadan 2013. Here is the recipe.
Another one from Ramadan. These are Shami Kebabs which were yummy but the mixture was quite difficult to handle.
These spicy and herby fish burgers were really crispy but the pictures weren't my favourite.
I have no idea where this recipe came from but it was labelled tandoori kebabs with chickpea salad. Sounds good.
A very green Thai dipping sauce that didn't make the cut.
This was actually really good. I'm not sure why I didn't post it - grilled corn brushed with butter + chilli powder + paprika.
This jambalaya must be made again. It was cooked in 2013 when the house was full of builders.
Keema and boiled rice - the dish was super yum but the process photos were blurry. 
Lamb kofta curry - I'm sure we could cook this again. Koftas are a big favourite in this house.
This lamb spinach curry with pulao rice was a really good meal but I've forgotten where I put the recipe and also the pictures were on the blurry side.
Masala lamb chops - can't remember the recipe but I think these may have been on the Eid table in 2013.
Pad thai - made in Ramadan 2013 for Iftar one day - using chicken breast, eggs, lime, onion, brown sugar, egg noodles, oil, salt and pepper, fish sauce, fresh coriander, jalapeno chillies. Again, the photos were quite rushed.

Chilli chicken - I overcrowded the pan and the chicken didn't crisp up as it should.

Smoky corn chowder - I didn't like the finished texture. The recipe is here.

Carrot lentil soup - made with carrots and red lentils. The recipe is here.

Spicy chicken veg soup - leeks, green beans, carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, green peppers and potatoes, red lentils, chicken, tomatoes, tinned tomato soup, spinach - I think didn't thicken it enough and wasn't happy with the photos.

Chicken charga - made on Eid 2014. The photos weren't very good.

Finally, this spicy shepherds pie. The family prefer a shepherds pie with mash - maybe you might like it? The recipe is here.
So, those were my disasters and things that didn't make it. Now onto you guys and the delicious things you've been making. If you recognize your photo and want me to mention your social media handle or name, let me know. And, on the other hand, if you don't want your photo featured here, let me know and I'll take it down.
First, these fudgy toffee banana squares.
Chicken Karahi
Chicken Pulao.
Chicken Shashlik with Gravy
Chicken Sizzler
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Smoky Chicken Tikka
Homemade Doughnuts - baked by Hajra's Kitchen
Mexican Chicken Chilli Potato Pot - cooked by Hajra's Kitchen
Pea Pulao
Spicy Chicken Pasta with Spinach + Cherry Tomatoes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Chocolate Fudge Cake - it looked so much better than mine and was baked by @cobbledheart
Veggie Hash
 Cinnamon Rolls - baked by @cobbledheart
Carrot Cake - baked by @cobbledheart
 Spicy Fish Pakoras + Turmeric Rice
Mini Cherry Tomato No-Pastry Quiches
Fudgy Toffee Banana Squares
Chilli Garlic Chicken Skewers + Olive Oil Yoghurt Dip
Thumbprint Cookies - baked by @four_point_one_two
Mujaddara - cooked by Halal Home Cooking
No-Machine Mango Swirl Ice Cream - made by Halal Home Cooking
Brioche Loaf
Double Chocolate Flourless Cake with Vanilla Cream
Mujaddara - cooked by The Red Lychee
Mujaddara - cooked by A Touch of Modesty
Brown Butter Cherry Bars - baked by @fatima.cooks
Chicken Tikka Skewers - cooked by @atouchofmodesty
Coconut + Cardamom Biscuits - baked by @fatima.cooks
Jam Doughnut Muffins - baked by Hajra's Kitchen
Snickerdoodle Cookies - baked by Hajra's Kitchen
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Custard Sandwich Cake
Spicy Potato Frittata
Victoria Sandwich
Japanese Katsu Chicken Curry
Potato and Ginger Curry (Shorba)
Hakka Chicken Chilli
Jam Doughnut Muffins
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting 
Samosa Plate

You guys are the best. I love seeing your creations so be sure to send me your photos or tag me on social media - details here.
Finally, a big thank you to you all for your kind words, support, comments and views - whether you've been here since day one or you just got here. I cannot wait to see what the future brings. May Allah fill it with goodness for us all - Ameen.

Keep me in your duas, please,


Spice Enthusiast
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