☆ 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 🙂

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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!

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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! 🙂

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!

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! 🙂

fancy fataayer bil jibneh

Ehm…

I-L-O-V-E-F-A-T-A-A-Y-E-R!

If it helps to read it like this, then: I LOVE FATAAYER! I can’t explain to you how much I love this fat-full, carb-full, little delight. Back home in Syria, on the days you feel like it, you wake up, wash up, wear your clothes and head down to the “bakery” and order x-amount of pieces of “fataayer”. The whole ritual is so appeasing; the crispy fresh air and the “exercise” you get completely remove any guilty conscious feelings you may have about eating haloumi cheese and white dough first thing in the morning, with a huge cuppa tea and three sugars (if not four, that is).

I must say, Arabs sure have good taste. Here Down Under, I’ve tried making this little pastry a few times, with every attempt bringing me closer to the ultimate fataayer “pie”. By ultimate, I must admit, I mean replica to the ones you get from the bakeries. And this might sound a bit silly, but why I’m stressing about it so much is because bakeries in Syria don’t do these pies in ovens, the do them in open fire ovens (like oo-la-la).

Below, so far, is the best recipe I’ve made. It replicates the original eye-shaped pies you get, and tastes almost like them. Like 90% almost. Only these ones that I’ve made are a mini version of the palm-sized pies you get. Perfect for hors d’Oeuvres parties.

Yields: 20

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/3 cup + 1/8 cup warm water

1/8 cup plain yoghurt

1/8 tsp instant dry yeast

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

10 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 3/4 cup finely grated haloumi cheese

 

Method:

Place the cheese and parsley into a bowl and mix to combine.

Add flour, yoghurt, water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast into another bowl and knead for a minimum of 5 minutes to form a pliable dough.

Set aside to rise for 40 minutes.

Lightly grease two baking trays and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Break the dough into golf-sized pieces and roll into thin oblongs.

Place a levelled tablespoon of the haloumi cheese along the centre of oblong.

Fold over the long sides and pinch the two ends to form an eye shape.

Press down firmly (on the whole pie) with the palm of your hand, then transfer onto a baking tray.

Repeat this until the dough and mixture is finished.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges become golden.

Set aside to cool slightly before serving.

Devour!

suave sushi

Ehm. Just thought I’ll make a little announcement that YES, I’m still alive 😉 You may have caught me at your blog commenting on your amazing posts, but I’ve been so busy since last Monday, I think I missed all the online fun. Well, my blog did anyway 🙂

 

I’ve had family come up from the south and visit, and we’ve all been so busy catching up with one another, sleeping late, waking early, then partying until the next morning.. Yesterday my cousin and I decided we’ll make some sushi to take to a dinner party we were invited to, and despite my huge list of dishes-waiting-to-be-posted, I’ll put up this simple yet amazing sushi recipe.

Instead of your odd rice-stuffed sushi, I decided that it’s a lot funner and tastier with rice vermicelli. I’ve made this before, and I’ve done it again now, so I’m going to be really bold and claim I invented this, but I’m happy to give over the title to someone else if they deserve it 😉

 

These sushi rolls were prepared by me, and cut by my cousin, so a big thank you Heb for making them look amazing! Despite the fact the filling was not centred properly, they were a big hit at the dinner party (I mean that no one asked for soy sauce because they were too busy munching these down!)

Yields: 20 x 1-inch pieces

Ingredients:

3 sheets yaki nori seaweed

45 g rice vermicelli

2 tsps white vinegar

1 small cucumber

1 small carrot (optional)

1 tin tuna in sunflower oil (185 g)

1 1/2 tbs mayonnaise

wasabi for flavour

water for sealing the sushi rolls

 

Method:

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.

Break the vermicelli in half and add into the saucepan.

Cook for five minutes on medium-high heat.

Drain the water and place the vermicelli in a bowl.

Add in the vinegar and stir through; set aside.

Peel the carrot and cucumber and cut each into thin strips (lengthwise).

Drain the oil from the tuna and mix in the mayonnaise.

Prepare a bamboo mat; place the sushi sheets shiny side down.

Cover the sushi with the vermicelli (about 1/2 an inch thick), leaving a centimetre from the top bare.

About a third of the way in, place a few spoonfuls of tuna and line with carrot or cucumber horizontally.

Add a dash of wasabi and use the bamboo mat to roll the sushi, applying some pressure with every roll.

Wet the end of the sushi and seal the roll.

Use a clean, wet knife to cut the sushi into pieces, cleaning it after every cut.

Repeat until your filling is finished.

Add sesame seeds or nigella seeds to the filling if desired.

Serve with soy sauce,

Devour!

 

Syrian sheesh kabaab

I made these kabaabs by chance when abati said “what’s for lunch?”, and I said “we have left over rice, and I’m making salad”…. You know, rice and salad for lunch doesn’t make sense all that much for a Syrian. So he said, why not make some kabaab?! As he fired up the coals, I got working. The whole family had such a wonderful picnic under the sky in our huge backyard..

Yields: 15 skewers

Ingredients:

500 g minced lamb

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

a large pinch of salt, baharat and a small pinch of ground pepper

2 medium onions for grilling (optional)

Method:

Prepare a coal grill, stove broiler or electrical grill.

Soak wooden skewers in water and set aside.

If frozen, defrost the meat in the fridge, the meat needs to be cold but defrosted for it to stick onto the skewers.

Add the salt, pepper and baharat to the meat and knead for a minute.

Knead in the chopped parsley.

Use a dampened hand to carefully spread the mince onto a skewer. If your hand is too wet, you’ll end up with a very gluggy and sad looking skewer.

Grill the skewers, turning them frequently to your preferred level of doneness, generally the skewers are left to cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

To grill the onion, quarter the onions, leaving their skin on.

Skewer the quarters and cook on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with pita bread, hummus dip, and this salad.

Wrap up your delectable sandwich wrap and,

Devour!

magical musaqa’ah

Musaqa’ah literally means “cold”. Of the very cold cold. But the tanginess, and let me tell you it’s served piping hot from the pot, is everything but musaqa’. If you’re having trouble reading this word, click on the link above, and click on the little speaker sign in Google Translate to hear it 🙂 This dish has a combination of all the goodies you would want. Rich with vitamins and anti-oxidants, this dish is your one-plate nutrient-intake to keep the winter sniffles away…

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 medium onions

1 green capsicum

5 tomatoes

1 large eggplant

1 small potato

5 cloves garlic, whole

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

 

Method:

Wash all the vegetables.

Start by cutting the tomatoes into quarters (lengthwise), then each quarter into thirds.

Seed and dice the capsicum into large cubes.

Thinly slice the onion.

Peel and dice the eggplant into large cubes.

Salt the eggplants and leave on absorbent paper to reduce their moisture content.

Heat oil in a deep fryer, the oil is ready when a piece of flat bread turns rosy.

On medium-high heat, fry the eggplant pieces for a few minutes, until golden.

Add the tomato, onion, capsicum, minced garlic and a drizzle of oil into a non-stick saucepan on high heat.

Add a pinch of salt, and continually mix, until the onion softens.

Cover and reduce the heat to medium-high.

Leave to cook for 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, add in the fried eggplant and the garlic cloves.

Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes.

In the meantime, wash, peel and dice the potato.

Deep fry the cubes until cooked and golden.

Set aside to cool down.

To assemble, dish up the saucepan’s contents onto a serving plate.

Garnish with potato cubes and fresh parsley.

Serve with pita bread or rice.

Devour!

zesty za’tar potatoes

I came home from uni a couple of weeks ago, and found a plate of gorgeous looking potatoes sitting there waiting for me! 😀 I asked who’d made them, and how, but I was answered with a question. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to guess everything in this recipe card, but that didn’t matter, because I loved these a lot. The zat’ar we had at home was a bit sour already, that’s why I would’ve added in the sugar.

These make a great side dish to any dinner. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Part 2 of cooking with my sis (only that she did them all by herself this time!)

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 small potatoes (or equivalent large ones)

seasoning: za’tar, sumac, pepper; salt if desired

optional: sugar, black onion seed, onion powder

 

Method:

Wash the potatoes (leave the skin on)

Cut the potatoes into large chunks or quarters.

Season with a bit of salt.

Bring water to a boil and add the potatoes.

Leave to cook until almost done.

Remove from the pot and leave to drain.

Heat up the deep fryer (this gets naughty).

The oil is ready when a potato sizzles immediately.

Fry all the potato until completely cooked and golden.

Remove from the deep fryer and set aside, but don’t put them on absorbent paper.

In a plate, add a few heaped tablespoons of za’tar. Add in about 1/2 a teaspoon of sumac and mix.

Add a dash of pepper, and optionally, you can add a small dash of sugar, black onion seed, or onion powder.

Mix in all the spices until combined.

Take each potato quarter and roll carefully in the spices.

Arrange in a serving dish.

Best eaten with something fresh like a salad.

Devour!

ebullient breakkie egg

Serves: 1 (or 2)

Ingredients:

2 hard boiled eggs (they must be freshly cooked and hot)

10 sprigs parsley

1 small onion (use red onion if you can’t withstand the tanginess)

salt, pepper, paprika, baharat or your favourite spices to taste

 

Method:

Peel the eggs and mash roughly with a fork.

Finely dice the parsley and onion and mix together.

Add the parsley and onion to the egg and top with spices.

Mix in well and serve for breakfast with a toast or pita bread.

Delicious when eaten with fresh mint leaves and sipped tea.

Devour!