chicken pad thai

‘one pot’ chicken pad thai

There was a Thai restaurant near my uni which I used to enjoy eating at from time to time. Their Pad Thai in particular was the dish I enjoyed most, with requested peanut sauce on top (unconventional, but delicious!)

I recreated the dish once before with a store-bought sauce. A few years have passed before the craving has found its way back into my palette and I’ve had the chance to make it from scratch once and for all.

Atop the ‘made from scratch’ achievement, I also have the ‘one pot’ achievement for this recipe. Yay for 2 hypothetical medals! 😉 I am in a 2 person household, with no kids, and no major commitments but the thought of having to pack extra dishes in the dishwasher is dreadful… Imagine the scrapbooking I could be doing in all that time (hahaha 🙂 )

To my sweet sis, with a toddler, who loves one-pot dishes, and inspired this Pad Thai…

chicken pad thai

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

280g – 300g Pad Thai rice noodles (or enough for 4)

1 cup – 1.5 cups of chicken (breast or thigh) diced into strips/large pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tbs soy sauce (I used Worcestershire sauce)

3 cups fresh bean sprouts

2 spring onions, sliced

1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped

1/3 cup roughly chopped peanuts

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, to serve, optional

1/2 cup chicken stock, if necessary (see method)

Pad Thai Sauce (see tip at end of recipe)

3/4 tbs Tamarind concentrate

2 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp chilli flakes/sauce

3 tbs brown sugar

chicken pad thai

Method:

  1. Bring a large multi-purpose frypan/wok of water to a boil and dunk in rice noodles. Turn down the heat to low and cook for a few minutes until softened but still slightly crunchy. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  2. Make the Pad Thai sauce by combining sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve tamarind and brown sugar, and set aside.
  3. Place chicken slices in a small bowl. Stir together the marinade of cornstarch and soy sauce and pour over chicken. Stir well and set aside.
  4. Warm up the same frypan/wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbs peanut oil plus garlic and chilli, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add marinated chicken. If wok/pan becomes dry, add a little chicken stock, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, to keep the chicken frying nicely, 5-7 minutes, until cooked is cooked (I did not need to do this).
  5. Add the noodles, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over. Use a gentle “lift and turn” method to fry noodles. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the bean sprouts and and continue frying 1 more minute, or until noodles are cooked. Noodles are done to perfection when they are no longer “hard” or crunchy, but chewy-sticky wonderful.
  7. Lift noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh coriander, spring onion, and peanuts. Add fresh lemon/lime wedges to squeeze over each portion, and serve!

Pad Thai Tip: For even more flavour, I doubled the batch of the pad Thai sauce. Then, as I’m stir-frying the noodles, I’ll add more sauce until I’m happy with the taste. Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

 

polenta fish n chips with tartare sauce

Being jet lagged was a classic. Waking up at 2am and sleeping from lunch time til the stars shine. It took a good week to readjust to the climate Down Under after visiting the two Holy Mosques in Saudi for my first pilgrimage ever 🙂

I had some preconceptions of what the place will be like, and how the people will behave, but despite all my mental preparation the experience was surreal and beyond expectations.

Photo's courtesy of my partner's friends :)

Photo’s courtesy of my partner’s friends 🙂

 

You’ve probably heard about “Hajj” – you know, that ritual where 2 million+ Muslims flock to the lands of Makkah in search of soul, faith, redemption. During the ritual itself, the men there dress in two white cloths symbolising two things: their burial cloths, and equality among each other… you could literally be walking next to a millionaire, orphan, or CEO and wouldn’t know it. Because the two of you have brought yourself back to the very basics of human life and the encompassing ideals of “humanity”.

Women cover as Muslim women generally do – wherever you look you cannot judge or compare as women viciously do. You build a kind of self-love because you forget what it feels like to see “the ideal [photoshopped] body image” plastered over billboards that reminds you of everything your body is not.

There, strange things happen. You meet people who don’t speak your language – yet you share lollies and smiles and maybe a goodbye hug. You hussle at the markets and you find yourself blabbering your summarised life story that you’ve craftily learnt to repeat to shop owners and other shoppers you meet.

When your soul searching journey is over and it’s time to head home, you realise how much you’ll miss the place (because bias-ly(?), your origins are from a country so similar!) Then you hit the sands of Down Under and smell the heat of a burnt through ozone layer and good ol’ humidity. Amalgamated with the smell of used canola oil and a freshly fried batch of fish’n’chips.

Polenta Fish and Chips

Only this time, it’s spruced up with a twist on the batter: polenta instead of breadcrumbs. And homemade tartare sauce.

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup polenta

1 egg

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsps finely grated lemon rind

4 firm white fish fillets (about 150g each – I just used Basa)

1 tbs lemon juice

Canola or rice bran oil, to fry (or any oil you like to fry in)

Potato chips, to serve

Tartare Sauce:

1/2 cup quality whole-egg mayonnaise

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

1 tsp finely chopped capers

2 gherkins, finely chopped

1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

 

Method:

First make your sauce:

Place mayonnaise, lemon rind, capers, gherkins and parsley in a small bowl. Season. Stir until well combined and refrigerate.

Tartare Sauce

Next, combine polenta, garlic powder and lemon rind in a plate; season with salt and pepper.

Whisk egg in a shallow bowl.

Dip 1 piece of fish in egg. Coat in polenta mixture. Place on a plate.

Repeat with remaining fish. I cut 3 of my fillets into cocktail sized bites for the kids.

Refrigerate fish for 10 minutes.

polenta fish (pre-cooked)

Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook fish, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Serve with salad, tartare sauce and chips.

Polenta Fish, Chips, Tartare Sauce

☆ my 2013 resolution | recipe roundup from my blogroll ☆

Since it’s year’s end and blog posts are trending around the topic, I thought I’d join the party and post:

a warm welcome to all my new subscribers – I hope to dish up delicacies that’ll tickle your taste buds this coming year;

a tribute to my blogging friends… a roundup of some of the dishes I’ve made from some of my beloved blogging friends. I enjoy receiving your recipes and droolworthy photos right to my inbox; and

my 2013 “new year’s resolution” for the blog to be freshly pressed which never happened!

I’m one of those people that “don’t do”. I don’t do this, I don’t take part in that, etc etc. and new year’s resolutions are one of those things that I don’t really do. Because they’re always a failure. Since “losing weight” has broken the records for being the most wanted, consecutive resolution for the past decade, 2013’s shifted towards the blog in hope that since I’m not losing weight when I set a goal to, I may lose weight in lieu of the blog not being freshly pressed. Did it work? I won’t tell you. 😛 Because there’s either a problem with my posts, the freshly pressed editors, my scales, or eating habits.. or perhaps all 4 things. 😉 I s’pose there’s still 20 minutes to go on my side of the globe, so there’s still hope 😉

 

Most of my 2013 was spent tearing my hair out to graduate from my bachelor, so my cooking frequency dropped, and so did my posts, but I have been on your blogs, and I have fulfilled my promises. When I say “bookmarked for later cooking”, I truly mean it.

Despite losing many photos of dishes I’ve made, I’ll be sharing what I can today.

~★~☆~★~☆~

This past year, and the couple before, I’ve craved, sighed in desire, been inspired by, and eagerly awaited posts from my blogroll, from Samah’s Good Cooks, to Sawsan’s Chef in Disguise, to Ksenia’s Saffron & Honey and more.

~★~☆~★~☆~

To begin, I’m going to share with you Rufus’ Stir-fried chicken with basil, mushrooms and chilli. Rufus was my first commenter, and subscriber and his ongoing presence really boosted my confidence and willingness to continue blogging. I’ve spent far too many late night flicking through Rufus’ daily posts, and have managed to learn a lot of new things from the blog. Thanks, Rufus & co.

Chicken Basil

This chicken basil recipe was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of flavours – minus some of the chilli as the girls around here can’t stand too much spice. Definitely give this recipe a go, all of you, it’s not to miss!

What’s comes after a really good meal? A really good dessert, of course! I cannot begin to explain how comforting, Rufus’ Brie and strawberries “pie” is, or how ridiculously tasty it is, or how simple to make it is. What’s not as simple as I thought though, is the cheese used in this dessert. And particularly, how it’s pronounced. Brie is apparently said Bree and not Bry like “dry”. Sorry, let me insist English is my second language to avoid the embarrassment! 😉

Brie and Strawberries

 

As I was not going to compete with Katherine’s talent, instead of roses and leaves on a rounded Brie pie, I folded over a what looked like a little bundle, and cut out (freehand) letters to spell … well you can see that for yourself! This was a perfectly timed dessert which I shared with the extended family after the birth of a little baby boy to my aunty. The only problem with this dessert is that it’s not enough. The next time I make this, I’m buying an extra large wheel of Brie so I can satisfy my portion needs of desserts this tasty. 🙂

~★~☆~★~☆~

Next I present to you Five Euro Food’s Roasted Beetroot Dip. Five Euro Food is run by Charles, also one of my early commenters and followers, who had to wait a really long time before I decided to check out who this loyal follower was. Since then I fell in love with the Swedish, French, English and all-things-in-between recipes he’d post.

Roasted Beetroot Dip

 

Charles had creative ideas when it came to beetroot which was fantastic for me – because I love beetroot, and, well sometimes my grandpa would buy far too many to just be disappointedly boiled or pickled. The roasted beetroot dip was delicious, although I’ll be roasting the garlic with the beetroot when I make this again. Perhaps our Aussie garlic tastes really strong, but any left over dip will have a super garlicky taste the next day – so enjoy it freshly made, it’s really hard not to finish in one sitting anyway!

If dips aren’t your thing, and you like the chips instead, then go no further than the Hand-cooked beetroot chips also at Five Euro Food.

Beetroot Chips

The littlest one here absolutely loves beetroot chips, so I just had to give these a go, and they were delicious, and far better than the store-bought packs. Be sure to pat your slices dry before frying to get a delicious crisp 🙂

~★~☆~★~☆~

Now if you haven’t headed over to My Ninja Naan, you’re really missing out. I’ve just about made all the smoothie recipes on this blog, and can’t get enough of them! I lost all the photos I had of the smoothies I’d made, but when I coincidentally found myself making yet another Date and Banana Smoothie, I put my glass down beside my window and grabbed my camera for a quick shot. If dates aren’t your thing, then you have to sip the strawberry banana smoothie instead. Both are so delicious! 🙂

Date & Banana Smoothie

Check out the texture on that date 😉 Definitely use medjool dates are they’re soft and will blend smoothly. When I made this one I only had small dried dates, but if you love a bit of texture, then by all means throw ’em in!

~★~☆~★~☆~

Next up is Eva from Kitchen Inspirations. I’ve made more recipes from Eva than I’ll list here, but I’ll share with you my attempt at making Eva’s Rösti potato. I wasn’t very confident when I made this back in January(!) so my rösti didn’t have the gorgeous streaks of browned potato throughout. But it was delicious nevertheless, and was eagerly welcomed into the tummies of the family.

Rosti Potato

From Eva’s blog, I’m also going to share with you her Lovely, flaky buttermilk cheese scones. To be honest with you, my scones weren’t as flaky as Eva’s but they tasted so delicious, I took them along to a family dinner they vanished before anything else did.

Cheese scones

~★~☆~★~☆~

I’ll end my little roundup with Dawn from First Look then Cook. I made her Chive and black pepper pop overs without having ever known what a pop over was. I learnt about these beauties from her blog! 🙂

Pop Overs

With so much batter I made large ones in the 12-case muffin tins and and mini ones in the 24-case muffin tins. The chives and black pepper really complemented each other, and I can only say I’m so lucky to have been introduced to such yummy little treats!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little roundup. I can’t wait to list another, with recipes ranging from MJs Kitchen to Very Culinary‘s! 🙂

Until then, stay safe, keep well, and bon appétit! 🙂

pizza margherita [and base]

Now that I’ve reached my first university holiday of the year, I’ve taken out the time to post – as promised – my pizza base recipe (and a Margherita at that) 🙂

If you remember many months ago I complained that my oven always gave me hard-as-rock pizza crusts… which lead me to make a naan bread pizza base which is so tasty – but perhaps a little time (and ingredient) consuming compared to this one 🙂

pizza margherita

So my story goes: my oven still gives me rock hard pizza bases, and to overcome this I always add 1 or 2 tbs of milk to any baked dough recipe I use (that doesn’t call for some), and reduce 1 or 2 tbs of the liquid (usually water). You can instead use a tbs of powered milk diluted in 3 tbs of the water you’re going to use (not extra water).

Well, I’m sure you all have your own pizza dough recipes.. and perhaps your own pizza margerita recipes, too, but there’s no harm in a little sharing; perhaps my version will inspire you 🙂

pizza margherita

Yields: 2 x 25cm pizzas

Ingredients:

150mL – 180 mL store-bought tomato passata (use more or less to your liking)

2 tbs chopped basil leaves, plus small leaves to garnish

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 bocconcini, sliced 1cm thick

4 tbs freshly grated parmesan, divided (2tbs x 2tbs)

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon salt

Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Pizza base:

2 cups plain flour, plus extra to dust

1 1/2 tbs dry active yeast

1 teaspoon caster sugar

200mL warm tap water, minus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons milk (lactose free, low fat, skim, etc. up to you)

1 tbs olive oil (optional), plus extra to grease

 

Method:

Start with the pizza bases by sifting the flour into a large bowl.

Stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well and add milk, oil and half the water.

Bring together then continue adding water until the dough comes together nicely.

Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth.

Lightly grease the bowl and return the dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave aside for an hour or until risen.

Meanwhile make the sauce by combining passata, basil and garlic.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Knock back the dough by punching it to remove air and divide into 2 balls.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface until you have 2 thin pizza bases. Carefully transfer to 2 lightly greased baking trays.

Spread sauce over pizza bases then divide the bocconcini between bases.

Scatter over the parmesan and cherry tomatoes (cut side up) and drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese has melted and pizza bases are crisp and a light golden brown colour.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.

pan fried salmon steaks

With uni back in full swing, there’s been little time to cook – so I’ll be sharing a few recipes I managed to cook up during the summer 🙂 I love salmon – it’s one of my go-to choices when nothing on a menu tickles my fancy, or when I feel the need for something a little gourmet but easy to make.

I fry my salmon steaks on a flat-based, non-stick tefal pan, it cooks like a bbq plate, just without all the cleaning before and after. Feel free to use what you have handy, and to cook the salmon to your preferred level of doneness. I garnished my salmon with coriander, chilli and pan-fried zucchini. I had cored zucchini and fried the cores in the same pan as the salmon, the flavours infused into the zucchini beautifully. If you don’t plan to garnish with kecap manis, add a tablespoon or two into the marinade. And leave the garlic on the steaks while frying for the extra flavour.

pan-fried salmon steaks

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 salmon steaks (between 650-850 grams in total)

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

juice of half a lemon

a dash of olive oil, extra for frying

to taste: salt, ground white pepper, paprika, ground tumeric, dried dill

kecap manis (or similar), to serve

 

Method:

Marinate the salmon steaks with the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil for 30 minutes minimum (up to three hours maximum).

Add the spices prior to frying, and mix well.

Heat olive oil in a flat-based pan on medium-high heat.

Add salmon steaks, skin side down, and reduce the heat to medium.

Cook steaks, turning every few minutes until pink in colour, flaky and firm when pressed with the back of a fork.

Serve with an extra sprinkle of dill and tumeric, and kecap manis.

Devour!

chilli sweet potato fries

If you’re after a party in your mouth, then this is the recipe you’re after. It’s packed with flavour, fried nutrition (:P), and loaded with texture to kick-start the best flavourful experience you’ll ever have. I’ll make an outright confession here: these aren’t as healthy as Rufus’ baked sweet potato fries, but they’re fries, so I’ll fry them. I mean, how often do we get to eat chilli sweet potato fries? (A fair bit, I know, but still!)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 larget sweet potatoes

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of each: taco seasoning (homemade or store bought), oregano flakes, smoked paprika

 

Method:

Preheat the deep fryer.

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes (peeling is optional).

Cut the sweet potato in half, then into long strips, no thicker than one centimetre.

Pat dry the potatoes and salt.

When the oil is hot (a potato should sizzle immediately), fry for 3 – 5 minutes, or until golden in colour.

Remove from the oil and immediately sprinkle on taco seasoning, oregano and paprika.

Serve as a snack or side with sour cream and chives if desired.

Devour!

perfect pesto pasta

It’s been over 2 months… eep! 🙂 I’ve been loitering around your blogs, enjoying the recipes you’ve posted, and protesting with time to slow down so I get the chance to cook up some of my own. Today, I’m going to share with you a recipe I love; it’s quick to make, healthy to munch on, and I think some chicken added to the dish will up the nutritional value. As with sauces made from scratch, they’re all about “to taste”, so feel free to modify the pesto sauce to make it nuttier, greenier, or cheesier 😉

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

250 g penne pasta

3 cups fairly packed greens (rocket, basil, as you like)

1/4 cup whole walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

2 – 3 cloves of garlic

parmesan cheese to taste

dash of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and oregano

 

Method:

Cook pasta in large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet directions, until al dente.

Drain and set aside.

Place pesto ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until smooth.

Toss through the penne pasta.

Serve with sundried tomatoes, chicken and/or olives.

perfect ‘pita’ pockets

Now that I’ve delved deep into uni, I thought I’d share with you a quick and healthy recipe I love to make… especially that I’m pretty much always short on time… It’s going to be one of my big and bold claims, that I invented this, because I’ve never before seen it anywhere… not in Google searches, on your blogs, or in recipe books! Let me know if you have, though, so I can pass on the title to its rightful owner 🙂

What I love most about this recipe is that it’s versatile, quick, and cuts down on the carbs (by doubling the amount of fresh veggies) when compared to the typical sandwich. I don’t know how you feel about the average sandwich, but I can’t seem to get it through my mind that 2 slices of bread, and some filling is enough for a quick lunch… especially coming from a Middle Eastern background, where lunch is rice, meat and a whole lot more. Doing my sandwiches this way, means I get twice as many, but only with the same 2 slices of bread…. let me know what you think of this way of making sandwiches 🙂 And remember to use what ever filling you fancy!

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

1 hard boiled egg

2 tbs mayonnaise

5 – 6 small iceburg lettuce leaves

1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced (8 slices)

2 slices white or wholemeal bread – not too thinly or thickly sliced

 

Method:

Toast the slices of bread until golden. If you toast them too much, they won’t open nicely.

Meanwhile, mash the hard boiled egg with a fork until it resembles course crumbs.

Rinse the lettuce leaves and roughly dice.

Cut the toasted slices of bread in half (I photographed this recipe so twice, so in the first few pics, I cut them as triangles, but the final images are when I cut them as rectangles).

Run a sharp serrated knife through the bread to make a pocket. Make sure you do the edges (near the crusts) and to shake out any crumbs to make more room for fillings!

Spread 1/2 tbs of good quality mayonnaise inside each pocket.

Add in a quarter of the mashed egg to each pocket.

Evenly fill each pocket with the lettuce and cucumber slices.

Serve fresh while the bread’s still crispy. I guess you could leave the filling out until it’s lunch time… what ever you do, please remember me while you..

Devour!

...just like this...

 

scrumptious curry puffs

I wonder if anyone is finding today a particularly weird day. Because it’s the 29th of Feb. Since I don’t know if I’ll be here or alive after 4 years from now, I thought I’ll put up a recipe for the occasion. A while back I tried a recipe for 2-toned curry puffs I saw on Tes at Home’s blog. Although my 2 tones didn’t turn out as 2 tones, there was still some sort of recognisable difference in the curry puff pastry.

What I love about this recipe is that the dough (water one especially) is SO easy to make. If you’re the sort of person who makes fillings in advance, you could be curry puffing your way in minutes without a tiring huff or puff!

To make these curry puffs again, I think I’ll only stick with the water dough, because I think they’ll taste just as good without the butter dough and extra rolling to do. 🙂



Yields: 25

Ingredients:

Curry Pastry:

Water Dough:

2 1/2 cups plain flour

2/4 cup warm water

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbs oil

Grease Dough:

1 1/2 cup plain flour

1/3 cup butter, interchangeable with Canola spread, softened and cut into small cubes

2 tbs oil

1 tbs water if necessary

Filling (enough for 2 batches of curry pastry recipe above, can be frozen):

2 medium potatoes, peeled and finely diced

2 skinless chicken thigh fillets, finely diced (leave out if vegetarian)

1 medium carrot, grated

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 tbs tandoori paste (or tomato paste)

1/4 cup corn

1/4 cup peas

juice of half a lemon

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tbs soy sauce

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

a dash of pepper

 

Method:

Combine all ingredients for the water dough in a large bowl.

Knead well for 5-7 minutes. Cover and rest the dough for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the grease dough, crumble the butter in the flour until it resembles coarse grains.

Add the oil (and water if necessary) and knead until smooth and pliable.

Make the filling by adding the potatoes  with a drizzle of oil into a non-stick pan.

Add in the salt and stir through the potatoes for 5 minutes on medium heat.

Add in the chicken and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add in the remaining ingredients and spices and simmer until the potato and onion soften.

Dish up the mixture and leave aside to cool.

Meanwhile, roll the water dough out into a large sheet and wrap it around grease dough.

Roll out into the long sheet, make marks with the rolling pin to help you roll it into an even shape.

When you have rolled out the dough to a 1 cm thickness, roll it into a Swiss roll.

Roll the dough again out into a sheet, then into a Swiss roll, like the previous process.

I rolled mine a bit thick, but they're tastier when the dough is rolled out thinner (I did this recipe twice)!

Cut the dough into 1/3 cm thick discs.

Gently roll the discs to flatten them.

Add the filling onto the middle and fold the pastry in half.

Press and crimp the edge of the curry puff.

Repeat this until all the remaining curry puffs are finished.

Heat oil in a deep fryer over the medium-high heat.

Deep fry the puffs for few minutes or until golden brown.

Devour!

lolling lentil soup [syrian style]

I’ve been so brain dead for the past few days. Like in the same way society scrutinises blondes for being dumb. Only tenfold worse. You see….. I’ve been aiming to get my driver’s license since August last year… I did a practical driving test on the 23rd Aug 2011… and after passing all the exam exercises, I failed while driving back to the transport department because the examiner intervened.

I went again on Feb 15 of 2012 for a test. I passed. Until on the way back to the department, I merged lanes without being asked to. Diver intervened. I failed.

I called to make another appointment and [very] miraculously got one on the 16th Feb. I was driving along and on the way back to the department……. driver intervened. Only verbally, saying: “so what do you have planned this afternoon?” I panicked! Did I pass or fail? Why is she saying this? I said, “oh nothing much!” she continued talking to me… what do you study, what grade are you in, etc. I thought, “hooray! I’ve passed” ….but I didn’t want to jinx myself so I just kept quiet until I got to the department… without an examiner intervention… which meant I had passed! HOORAY!

Thursday night my grandmother did a little dinner party because she’s so happy that I finally got my license. And on Saturday, my sis did 2 gorgeously cute cakes for a hors d’oeuvres ‘party’ we held… the cakes were a green car (i.e. the Toyota I’ve been training in which I have plans to steal from my father)…

I didn't say this, but I think she didn't smooth out the cream because.. (next caption)

It’s so cute, right?! But that’s not all… The car comes with break lights AND a personalised rego plate… FA01

...it's a reflection of all the bumps I've dinted into the car 😉 nah, only joking!

… and the other is a P plate cake. Because here in Aussie, you go from Learner plate, to Provisional 1 (red), to Provisional 2 (green), to Open license.

Isn’t she so sweet? She even did a gorgeous updo for me at my request, and did all that rushing around that a host does when they’re hosting a hors de’Ovors party! I felt like a queeeeen! :mrgreen:

Anyway, since I’ve been doing nothing more than lying around in the heat and pondering over how dumb I’m becoming due to this agonisingly intense calefaction, I thought I’ll share with you a super lazy, awesomely delicious, fool proof, Syrian style lentil soup for those enjoying the cooler months! This soup is usually eaten with kibbeh (recipe to be posted one day). For meat lovers, add in about 150 – 200 g minced/diced meat half way though the cooking process after marinating with spices for 30 minutes.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 cups red lentils

1 small onion, finely diced

2 tbs butter (or oil)

4 cups tap water

1/4 cup bulgur (or rice)

3 tbs ground cumin

dash of salt, pepper, and baharat to taste

1 tsp safflower threads

 

Method:

On high heat, add the lentils and onion into a non-stick saucepan, and fry in the butter for a minute.

Add in the water and cover.

Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

Add in the bulgur and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

At the 30 minute mark, add in the spices to taste.

Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes on medium heat.

Serve with lemon wedges and cumin if desired.

Devour!

Told you it was too easy! 🙂