Saturday 30 January 2016

Umrah News + Bee Sting Cake + Noodle Fritters: 23-29 January 2016.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

how are you?
I have been waiting to write this post for what seems like forever. as you may have gathered from the title, insha Allah, we are heading off for Umrah pretty soon. this trip has been in the planning since last year so we're all pretty excited. it does mean though that things will be very quiet on the blog for a few weeks.

I will be sharing one last post with you before we leave so keep a look out for that. the picture above was taken by me in 2012 when we were fortunate enough to perform the Hajj. it's the last photo that I took of the Kabah and so is very special indeed. if you have ever been for Umrah or Hajj, I would love to hear about your experience and of course, any tips. And, if you have never been, I sincerely pray that Allah takes you very soon - Ameen.
I hope you enjoy this week's post from me - I'm off to tackle another mammoth packing session! 
our weekend began with spicy roast chicken. and, I baked a bee sting cake. the name alone was enough for me to want to make it!

at the start of the week, I made a double batch of pizza dough - for both chicken and vegetarian pizzas. 

I baked brownies, cookies and a blueberry cake. the cookies were my favourite. but then, I've always been partial to salt and chocolate chunks. I used leftover noodles to make fritters and ended the week with a cheese quiche. 

here's more from my week:

 Saturday: I cooked this random thing this morning. red onion and jalapeno was softened, then I added basar curry powder and salt. next, in went pieces of bread which were tossed to coat all over. finally, the eggs which were stirred in until cooked. with ketchup, it was the best.
stuffing chickens with onions, lemon and garlic for a roast.

they were placed on a rack over more sliced onion, lemon, garlic and chilli.
the chickens themselves were rubbed all over in a spicy butter.
before being sent in to roast!

until juicy and golden.

we have agreed to definitely roast whole chickens more often - so much more juicy!

on the baking front today, a bee sting cake. it's a German cake made with yeast, filled with custard and finished with the best honey almond topping. having never baked a cake with yeast before, I was definitely intrigued.
once the cake batter had been mixed, risen twice, a simple caramel was made to which I added flaked almonds.
they were placed on top of the cake.
which was baked, cooled and inverted. look at that beautiful golden brown colour!
the topping was the best. it was crunchy and reminded of butterscotch and toffee rolled into one.
but the cake still wasn't finished. whilst it cooled completely, I made a thick vanilla custard.
and once that had also cooled, the cake was sliced through the middle and filled.
ready to serve! guys, I have been converted to putting yeast into cakes. it was so good!
Sunday: the topping in the afternoon light.
the custard in the middle complimented the cake really well.
a definite must-bake-again, insha Allah.
when all else fails, saag from the freezer saves the day!
Monday: making a double batch of this pizza dough.
it was a dough monster!
I left it to prove for a few hours which it did very well.
lunch! seekh kebabs + roasted sweet potato fries.
pizza for dinner! this one was vegetarian with bell peppers, sweetcorn, red onion, jalapenos, tomatoes and lots of basil.
I also did a classic cheese and tomato.
no-cook tomato sauce + cheese + basil. yes!
Tuesday: the remaining dough spent the night in the fridge and got even bigger.

we made a chicken mince pizza with one ball of dough.

the other were both chicken and vegetarian.

wrapped well in clingfilm and into the freezer!
today, I baked salted chocolate chunk cookies.
once the dough was made ..
... it was scooped and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.
before being baked to absolute perfection!
these cookies were so good, you guys. chopping the chocolate into chunks really made a difference.
and when one was broken in half, this happened!

think I may have found my new favourite cookie!
next, I baked brownies.
once baked, they were cracked and gloriously fudgy. see my brownie recipes here!
finally, a blueberry cake.
it was dusted with cinnamon sugar and sent in to bake!
 Wednesday: so much sweetness today!
a platter for a friend who just had a beautiful baby boy. may Allah make him the coolness of his parent's eyes - ameen.
those cookies were still my favourite.
today, my mum cooked a curry called arvi gosht. the word for arvi in english is taro and it's used in Pakistani cuisine especially with lamb or mutton to make a curry.
I cooked Thai chicken noodles which I finished with plenty of basil.
and fresh lime wedges!
noodles for lunch!
 Thursday: with the leftover, now cold noodles, I made fritters.
I simply added whisked eggs, plain flour, baking powder and seasonings.
tossed to combine.
and fried in hot oil.
until crispy and crunchy all over!
 Friday: making a fruit chaat. all you do is chop up a tonne of fruit, add freshly squeezed orange juice and chaat masala, to taste.
today, I also made a quiche.
it was a cheese quiche.
ready to fill.
and baked! if only I had some fresh chives to snip over the top! oh well, it tasted amazing.

this time one year ago:
macaroons + polenta pizza + chocolate bread pudding

lately, on the blog:

proper snow + mini Victoria sandwiches + citrus bar disaster

 cheesy chicken nachos


Keep me in your duas please, and have a wonderful week! I will be taking a few weeks off from the blog to concentrate on my Umrah. There maybe one final post from me before then - keep a look out for it.

Please forgive me for anything and I'll speak to you guys soon, insha Allah,


Spice Enthusiast
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