Thursday 31 March 2016

March 2016: Food + Favourites!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Can you believe tomorrow is April? Nope, me neither. March has had everything - heavy snow, blazing sunshine, hailstones, thunderstorms and the cloudiest of days.

This month has been filled with so much food. We've made cheesecakes, pizza, Swiss rolls, put spinach into pancakes and even experimented with quinoa. Never thought I would actually type that!
Spring has just about sprung here although it is still super cold. Before we begin this month's food and favourites, a Hadith:

Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra) narrates:

"I was once behind the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when he said:

'O child! Be mindful of Allah and He will be mindful of you.

Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you.

Whenever you ask for anything, ask it from Allah, and when you seek assistance, seek it from Allah.

And know that if the whole of humanity were to unite in order to benefit you, they could not benefit you of anything except as Allah has already written for you,

and if they were to unite to harm you in some way, they could not harm you, except as Allah has already written for you.

The pens have been lifted and the scrolls have dried'".


One's attention and reliance need only be focused on Allah, because He is the One from whom comes all benefit and harm, and there is no one else who has any say in this regard.

Food: lamb meatballs in tomato sauce with basil.
the best with spaghetti!
courgette pea rostis with a tangy double tomato dressing <-- cherry tomatoes and sundried!
meatball subs in rosemary focaccia.
moong daal - yellow lentil curry. the best in the snow!
Nutella cheesecake.
vanilla no-bake cheesecake with cherry sauce.
potato leek fritters with garlic lemon yoghurt sauce.
one of my current favourite curries - Mum's chicken curry using basar curry powder.
broccoli + carrot + courgette stir-fry with soy, white pepper and chilli garlic sauce.
baked French fries. the best.
couldn't resist making these chocolate cornflake cakes on a gloomy Monday.
posted the recipe for my favourite veggie pizza this month - the secret is not too much cheese! 
vegetable pulao with corn, carrots and broccoli. 
baked tandoori chicken legs.
hot brownie + cold ice cream = the ultimate classic.
Friday fish fry - cajun fried fish + baked garlic fries + tangy coleslaw.
mango + nectarine + apple - the sweetest.

homemade iced coffee - cannot wait to make more of this in the summer!
vanilla orange polka dot Swiss roll filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
fresh sea salt chocolate chunk cookies from the oven - pools of melted chocolate make these cookies my new favourite of 2016.
finally had the chance to try a fish pie for a Monday dinner with salmon, cod, smoked haddock, peas, leeks and boiled eggs.
and of course, topped with mashed potatoes!
chicken shawarma skewers + roasted sweet potato fries + creamy coriander dressing + lettuce + cucumber + cherry tomato + sweetcorn + pomegranate + fresh lime.
the best lunch plate.
and even better at dinner, wrapped in soft naan.
radish paratha.
baked but still crispy chicken nuggets + carrot courgette corn hash + baked fries.
mini red velvet cupcakes + mini flourless chocolate cake cupcakes. when completely cold, the chocolate ones seriously tasted like a truffle.
gluten-free broccoli, courgette, corn and courgette pancakes.
kabuli pulao with lamb, caramelized onions, raisins and carrots.
aloo methi on buttered roti.
cheesy spinach artichoke toast melts + cherry tomatoes + strawberries + grapes + cucumber.
green banana spinach crepes + whipped maple Greek yoghurt + maple syrup + hemp seeds + strawberries + banana slices.
chicken paratha wraps + pink chilli onions.
super crispy spicy radish paratha.
chicken tomato curry stir-fry thing + sticky boiled rice.
chocolate rice krispie bars - this month, I made these with cornflakes, shredded wheat and rice krispies. rice krispies are by far the best! so crispy!
seekh kebab + Creole fries + cucumber + tomato + ketchup.
spicy fish nuggets + Creole potato wedges + lemon wedges + ketchup.
 potato pancakes + my favourite scrambled eggs + ketchup.
 our Spring scone baking tradition continues.
 this year? cherry yoghurt scones + vanilla whipped cream + strawberry jam.
lamb samosas.
 blueberry orange banana bread.
5-spice salmon tacos + coriander mint yoghurt + pickled cucumber and carrot.
 salmon cream cheese wrap.
 gluten-free brown butter apple cake.
Singapore chicken noodles with carrots, peppers, spring onion and coriander.
chocolate clementine bars.
quinoa oat pancakes + Black Forest berry sauce + honey Greek yoghurt + maple syrup.
 the cheesiest cheese and onion pasties + steamed cabbage, carrots and peas with garlic parsley butter.


 Favourites: had this Crunchy Nut chocolate clusters cereal after years and completely forgot how good it was! super addictive though!
sweet treats from a friend - never had gulab jamun stuffed with whipped cream before.
The prettiest tulips!

I love their two tone colour.
Every flower must grow through dirt in order to bathe in the sunlight. quote from one of my favourite Insta accounts.
the sweetest bowl - apple + melon + nectarine + fresh orange juice.

finally had the chance to make a meatball sub at home - I used a focaccia which I crisped up under the grill before filling with leftover meatballs and lots of cheese.
we had the best snow this month!
snow in March! not very spring-like but really lovely to look at.
cracked the perfect biscuit base for a cheesecake.
the perfect bed for softly whipped vanilla cheesecake and cherry sauce <-- using frozen cherries from the freezer!
that same snow day, I also churned out a Nutella one.

nothing needed on the top - those chocolatey swirls were enough.
please say I'm not the only one who gets excited about new cooking pots?

making chocolate cornflake cakes and forever feeling like a seven-year-old.
pizza dough perfection.
blank canvas.
melting chocolate for ...
... impromptu weekday brownies with the cousins.
hand shredding a tonne of cabbage and carrots for slaw.
softening them up with onions and so much salt and sugar!
discovering the joys of Creole seasoning!

not to mention homemade iced coffee. slightly gutted that the weather wasn't playing along though.
breaking out the food colour gels.
and piping all the fuschia dots.
I was so relieved when taking this picture - that cake was an actual nightmare to get out of the tin and roll up in one piece. so pretty though.
and even better when filled with jam and cream. alhamdulillah, for editing tools and camera angles that allow you to crop out and hide the humongous tear on the other side of the cake!
baking my 2016 cookie!
have you guys made a batch yet? if not, go!
so many pretty colours happening whilst making the filling for a fish pie - my first time using smoked haddock!

trying these chia oat crispbreads for lunch.

a break in the grey clouds.
the first signs of Spring.
these are my all-time favourite flower.
they're so cheerful and bright after a gloomy winter.
the ones picked from the garden lasted so much longer than any supermarket ones.
bird feeding central. I swear the birds round here do not sleep - constantly tweeting throughout the day beginning in the early hours of the morning.
grilling chicken on the grill pan.
with the rest of the chicken, I popped them onto skewers.
and on to the flat grill pan.

whipping up a small batch of carrot cake cupcakes.
 is it red enough for red velvet?
alhamdulillah, the oven worked its magic.
finally using the flat grill pan for pancakes.
tried artichokes for the first time this month.
we had them pickled from a jar and they were really good - not too strong a flavour.
I cooked them in the cheesiest sauce with spinach.
before spreading on toast and blasting under the grill.
also threw spinach into banana crepes.
the colour!
please tell me your first crepe, like mine, is always a disaster!

next one ...
... yay! a success! 
Mum made a garlic parsley butter for the freezer. 
we also made the best chicken paratha wraps.
topped with the pinkest onions - get the recipe here!
the biggest disaster - chocolate spiced fruit buns. cocoa powder and yeast are never good combos! 
this was a success - mix rice krispies with melted chocolate, press into a tin, set and slice. the crispiest, most addictive things.
tossed frozen fries with creole seasoning - actual game changer.
 the daffodils blooming in the garden always make my day every year.
dad getting nostalgic about his childhood growing up in Pakistan with these rice krispie bars laced together with a sugar syrup.
golden-bottomed dumplings.
baking cherry scones.
they were so pretty when cut open.
topped with whipped cream and jam for a Spring favourite.
putting blueberries into my banana bread.
helping with a mammoth samosa session.
picked a two-headed daffodil!
picked a bunch from the garden ...
.. to brighten up the house!
taco night! this time, with 5-spice salmon!
the leftovers made the best garlic herb cream cheese wraps for lunch the next day.
brown butter brown sugar - imagine the smell!
putting rice flour into my apple cake.
success! alhamdulillah!

I finally got the chance to make this chocolate clementine bar! I am hooked!
quinoa and oats in my pancakes!
 trying to figure out the heat on the griddle pan.
the spring-iest breakfast!
alert the press! we have blue skies!
 time for a strawberry mini milk.

the flakiest cheese and onion pasties!
 Mum's growing a lilac bush.
It smells amazing!

In Surah Ar-Rum / The Romans, Allah says:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning.
And to Him is (due all) praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And (exalted is He) at night and when you are at noon.
He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and brings to life the earth after its lifelessness. 
And thus will you be brought out.

{Surah Ar-Rum / The Romans / Verses 17-19}

brownies - baked by one of you on Snapchat.
savoury bagel + cream cheese bread pudding - baked by @miss_fate_
cheese and onion pasties - baked by one of you on Snapchat. I love seeing your photos - send them to me!

Lately, on the blog: chicken plait with cheese pastry
the laziest chicken biryani
my favourite veggie pizza
sea salt chocolate chunk cookies
baked tandoori chicken legs
chicken paratha wraps with pink chilli onions

spicy fish nuggets with Creole potato wedges


I hope you guys have all had a wonderful month of March. And if you haven't, I hope there is at least one thing that you can be thankful for. May Allah make us all among the grateful and make easy all our difficulties - ameen!

 Keep me in your duas please!


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