Cinnamon Rolls – easiest breakfast or teatime — August 25, 2018

Cinnamon Rolls – easiest breakfast or teatime

I am often short on breakfast ideas and always looking for new simple recipes to try. I ate a cinnamon roll at work yesterday. It was good so this morning I decided to bake some myself.. and why not since they are so easy!

Let’s get the ingredients.

  1. Puff pastry ready rolled
  2. Melted butter
  3. Sugar
  4. Cinnamon powder
  5. Egg wash

– brush the puff pastry with butter

– coat the pastry with sugar

– sprinkle cinnamon generously

– roll the pastry

– cut into 3/4 inches pieces

– line an oven tray, place rolls and brush with egg wash

– bake for 15-18 mins at 190 degrees

– ready!

I served them warm and believe you me, they were delicious and a lot better than bakery bought 😏 Girls loved them too

Enjoy your weekend!

x x x

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Banana Bread – another oh so easy! — August 19, 2018

Banana Bread – another oh so easy!

A few days ago my colleague at work brought most delish banana bread. It was beautiful and opposite to what I had experienced baking a few months ago and given up on it 😒

I asked for the recipe to try for an upcoming tea party at my home. I tried it on the day and it was okyish! 🤭

I tried it again last week with some customization and it turned out lovely and today I tried it again. I had a few more things tested to try and make it richer and moister. This time it was not the best in appearance but it was super moist and nutty.

I find this recipe very useful because; very often I have ripe bananas at home and I hate to bin food. In my household wasting food is a BIG no – not allowed at all! So if you also find some ripe bananas that no one wants to eat, transform them into this beautiful bread!

Enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients

    Butter 110 grams
    Castor or brown sugar 2/3 of a cup
    Eggs 2
    Vanilla extract 1 tsp
    Baking soda 1 tsp
    Plain flour about 2 cups
    Ripe bananas 4-5
    Salt 1/2 tsp
    Almond flakes ( I also tried coconut and oats) these items are optional though.

Method

– Mash bananas with a fork, use 5 bananas for extra moist bread else use 4 medium.

– Add melted butter, sugar, baking soda, salt and mix together.

– Add eggs and beat together

– Fold in the flour

– Line a baking dish with butter paper

– Bake for 40-50 mins in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.

– Allow to cools before serving and then cut into slices.

I love this because most items are available at home.

Have a great tea time for less and never waste a banana again ✌️

Have fun baking xxx

Our Cake Rusks – simplest and yummiest! — August 15, 2018

Our Cake Rusks – simplest and yummiest!

To my surprise, cake rusks are easiest to make. Can be made with minimum ingredients, most of which are available at home, almost all the time. Surprised, because all my life I wasn’t aware that they were made with so few ingredients and that also so easily. To me they were some mysterious teatime snacks from my childhood that were only available in Pakistan. YES! Only in Pakistan because the ones I tried once in Ireland are not the same and (and way too expensive for their quality and taste) so I never bought from here again. But many of my friends do buy them, out of love for this staple snack 😀 but of course, no need from now since you have this simple recipe at hand 🤚

Okay, let me first tell you (for those who don’t know already) that rusk is a hard biscuit and cake rusk is a caky version of rusk and it is loved at teatime in Indian subcontinent.

I came across its recipe on Food Fusion Facebook page. I tweaked the amount and time of the baking period to suit my liking plus I must mention that first time I made them without baking powder because I missed seeing it in the original recipe but even then they out turned out perfect, not sure how 🤔 so now I recommend using only 1/4 tsp to make them fluff a bit!

Ingredients

    Butter 100g
    Sugar 3/4 cup
    Plain flour 1 cup
    Eggs 3 at room temperature
    Vanilla extract
    Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon

Method

– Mix together butter (softened) and sugar.

– Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time.

– fold flour and baking powder into this mixture.

– Add vanilla extract and mix a little.

– Grease a rectangular dish and place butter paper.

– Pour the batter and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.

– Then take out and cool a bit. Cut into traditional rectangles.

– Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 mins on each side again.

– Enjoy with tea ☕️ Your kids will love them too.

Unfortunately, I did not take too many photos but the one on the top is good enough to show how lovely they were ❤️

Until next time, bye bye 🤗

A Little Bit About This Summer — June 1, 2018

A Little Bit About This Summer

Summer is Ireland is a myth. Lol. Not really, I mean we do have 3 months of warm sunny days with frequent light and heavy showers with the regular (chilly) wind. To be honest, there are few days that are actually bright and sunny with no wind. But it is also true that we can count them on our fingers. This year, we already have had some and few more to go.

No matter what is the status of the rain, wind or temperature, Spring and Summer are beautiful in Ireland as it is indeed a beautiful place to live.

I thought I would write down a series of posts on Summer as we have already done a few interesting things to celebrate the presence of sun. Hopefully more to come!

Let me mention first, that with the arrival of Summer I had to say good-bye to 2 of my wisdom teeth and the extraction for one of them did not go too well so I was sick for a good 2 weeks and lost some weight, blah blah blah.. But I want to keep that for a separate post as I also want to let others know what really to expect from a tooth extraction.

OK let’s go back to beautiful floral Summer.

We started it off with a lovely barbecue at our friend’s. It was a lovely calm day with no wind at all, giving me excuse to just sit down in my place with light chit-chat and delicious food while children were busy playing and men doing the BBQ.

What is Summer without a beach? Yes it is also true for Ireland 🙄 North Bull Island is our favourite beach because it is actually sandy (not rocky) and very accessible.

The girls went with the Dad to enjoy beachhhh…

At that point around, I was hit by my teeth extraction and after few days when I started to recover, we went for a casual walk in Phoenix Park. I loved the photos from that day.

Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn or Spring, it is incomplete for us without visiting the Kildare Village.  Not that I don’t like the shopping there but we love it primarily because they decorate the entire place according to the season. This year also, it was adorned in Spring/Summer theme. Here are some photos from the day.

With all this, we are also celebrating Ramadan, I don’t have any good photos to share because I was mostly sick to do proper justice to food in Ramadan except for the pakoras post that I shared a while ago. Still going on so hopefully will have more to add to my gallery.

Hope you all are enjoying the Summer while it lasts.

Bye until next time ❤️

Some Pakora Talk — May 22, 2018

Some Pakora Talk

All South-Asians know what a pakora (also called bhaji) is. It is a very common fried snack in Indian subcontinent. While it can be and is enjoyed throughout the year, it’s presence is vital in the month of Ramadan.

A typical Pakistani and I would imagine a typical North-Indian cannot imagine what might happen if pakoras are not found on the Iftar table (Iftar=breaking of fast at sunset).

A friend recently shared her pakora recipe. I really liked her technique and thought to try it on my recipe. So yeah, this post is about my pakora recipe and 2 chutneys to savor them with.

Ingredients

Batter

  • Chick pea flour (besan)
  • Red chili powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Whole cumin seeds
  • Dried fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
  • Lemon
  • Herbs: coriander, mint, basil chopped
  • 1 thinly chopped green chili

Veggies to use

  • Spinach leaves
  • Potatoes thinly sliced
  • Potatoes chopped or diced
  • Big green chilies
  • Onions
  • Eggplants/aubergine sliced

Method

Put oil in a deep frying pan to heat up for frying. For the veggie pakoras make the besan batter with water and all the spices; leave herbs and veggies. I keep a close-to-runny consistency because I do not want too much besan on my pakora.

Once oil is heated up properly, coat potatoes with the batter one at a time and put them in heated oil to fry. Once golden on both the sides take out on a kitchen towel. Do the same for aubergines.

Now mix together all the remaining items (herbs, diced potatoes, onions, spinach, green chilies) and get this consistency.

If you want more batter, you can keep the batter not-so-runny.

Now using a spoon or even your hand – if you prefer put small lumps of this mixtures into the oil and fry until golden and crisp.

Chutneys

Put these things together to make chutney # 1.

  • Yogurt
  • Mint chutney
  • Vinaigrette

Mix all these to make chutney # 2

  • 1 portion yogurt
  • 2 portions crème fraîche
  • Lemon juice
  • Dill+mustard+honey
  • Minced jalapeño

Serve with vegetable and fruit juice, they are great to energize after long hours of fasting. If you need inspiration, check out the link to my old post on homemade juices.

Have a great Ramadan.

Many more posts to come from Ramadan IA.

Ramadan Kareem to all 🌙

About My Daughter’s Birthday Party – DIY Party Favors, Games & More… — April 27, 2018

About My Daughter’s Birthday Party – DIY Party Favors, Games & More…

Contrary to my expectation and plan, I am writing this post quite late. This is about my beautiful daughter Saba turning 10. Her birth date is actually on the 11th of April but because the schools were off for the Easter break, we grabbed the opportunity and celebrated it on the 7th.

I kinda like doing themed parties and this time it was easy to pick because of Easter.

I was very excited to do the decoration and party favors. I always try to keep things simple and beautiful. I have kept my home decor every subtle and monotoned so that I can blast it with colors on different occasions and it will never look over the top and this way the decorations would stand out instead of just blending into the background or disappearing. Anyway, let’s forget about my home design ideas 💡 this post is about Saba’s birthday party, right?

Party Favors

For favors, I bought little blue and pink plant pots and some cute stick-on bows from IKEA.

Girls are often attracted to jewelry so I bought little character necklaces and put them in pastel colored cardboard boxes from IKEA.

I adorned the pot with the bow, added 1 necklace box, 1 box of jelly, and filled the rest of the space with chocolate eggs.

Decoration

Saba likes unicorns so I had that in mind and as I said earlier, I don’t like too much decoration, I believe things like party favors, food, plates etc should be attractive and colorful enough to serve as decorations themselves.

I only bought some silly smiley and unicorn helium balloons 🎈 and voila!!! them, with party favor pots made a beautiful sight. Here are infinite photos of the setup:

Party Games

For party games, Easter Hunt was an apparent choice. I filled some plastic egg shells with chocolates, ready to be hunted on the day.

Another one was making birthday cards for the birthday girl and the birthday girl to choose the winner of the best card.

Third game was pass the parcel. The parcel was however, not the real-many-layered parcel but just a cushion!

Party Food

It was easy to decide the cake – unicorn cake 🦄 🎂 For food I wanted to keep a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. There were cheese pops, margarita pizzas, chocolate rice crispy nests, cheese twists and chicken nuggets served with juice.

Party Time! 🎉

The party started at 11am and everyone was on time 😀 I hid all the Easter Eggs around the house and garden. Girls were super excited to search for them. I must say, they all were very interested in all the activities we did that day!

After this was the card making competition. Girls did a brilliant job and made beautiful cards for Saba.

This was followed by pass the parcel.

The winner of each of these games was given a special Easter hamper full of Easter goodies.

Then came the party highlight; the cake cutting!

At the end was food, which everyone enjoyed.

Some parents stayed for a while before taking the kids and enjoyed a coffee or juice and some chit chat before leaving.

We had a great time with all the parents and I hope that children enjoyed themselves! We appreciate the beautiful and thoughtful gifts received, Saba loved them ❤️

The Great Little Easter Egg Hunt — April 4, 2018

The Great Little Easter Egg Hunt

Hope you are having a great Easter Break. I like Easter break because you don’t have to do the morning getting-ready-for-school and school-drop off routines. You can stay in bed for a little longer too. This year was even better because my sister was with us and she minded the children 😌

Anyhow, keeping the children entertained is one big thing to do during such school breaks, particularly when you are working yourself and tired to death at 5pm.

Fortunately for us in addition to planning for Easter Egg Hunt we have my daughter’s birthday also that falls in April (11th), so it keeps us busy and in and out of the house.

This year I organized a little Easter egg hunt for my girls and 2 of their friends who live in our neighbors (also, they go to same school) 🙂

I loved doing a mini setup of Easter crackers, decorative eggs, giant giveaway Easter eggs and some chocolate to enjoy – thanks to the great deals that are available on all the stores during Easter season!

I hid the chocolate eggs and little chocolate bunnies all around the house and outside in the garden. Well, I hid them so when that I myself couldn’t find 2 of them 🙃

Anyhow, girls simply loved hunting the eggs. See some of the photos from that day. Loved the little bunnies hopping here to there 😄

Later after the hunt kids devoured the chocolates.

And finally the giant chocolate egg giveaway 😃

So this was Easter Egg Hunt for us.

Do comment, how you enjoyed your Easter?

I am happy that I will be back with another interesting post soon IA

See you all xxx