Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

In most cases when you’re of desi (south asian) origin a lifetime of eating spicy food means that you automatically lean towards other cuisines that are spicy – Mexican, Thai, other East Asian foods. If they aren’t ‘naturally’ spicy foods then you make changes – my bechamel sauce for my lasagna has green chillies in it. True story.

Am I embarrassed to admit it to all you wonderful foodies out there? Only a little ;)

Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

Meals like this lovely spicy one pot burrito bowl really hit the spot on many fronts. First of all it’s spicy (you can always dial down the spice if you wish), second of all it comes together fairly quickly and in one pot (hooray for less washing up), and thirdly it is so good for you with it’s healthy combination of lean chicken, beans, and brown rice. The best part is that because of all the flavor that gets worked into the dish you don’t miss white rice at all. Trust me in my household that’s an accomplishment.

Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

A few quick notes before we go on to the recipe. First of all I used the chilli flavored canned tomatoes which helped give this dish an extra layer of hearty smokiness and second of all I used this brand of brown rice and my cooking time reflects that. If you use a brand that takes longer to cook then add in a half cup of extra water and let it cook on low heat. Also, if you want to make this a vegetarian dish then omit the chicken and sub the broth with vegetable broth or water.

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Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake w Cream  Cheese  Frosting

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

It’s miserable out here.  On days like this I want to stay inside and eat my body weight in pizza. And this beautiful cinnamon roll cake. Sigh. I miss this cake already.

What’s nice about this cake is that it’s really easy to assemble. My little one woke up right after I cut the dough into strips to roll up and I had to coil them up with one hand while holding her in the other. It seemed tricky at the time (translation: it felt like the beginning of a hot mess). However, the cream cheese frosting (which I kept thick on purpose) covered it up nicely ;)

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake w Cream  Cheese  Frosting

Also, as you can imagine, it smelled absolutely heavenly.

The recipe for the cake is from the fabulous Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made a slight change in that I subbed out the glaze she uses for a more cinnabon like cream cheese glaze. I did have a little left over, but I find no one really complains about extra frosting on the side ;)

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake w Cream  Cheese  Frosting

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Mini Oreo Truffle Cakes

Mini  Oreo Truffle Cakes

Happy Valentines Day peeps! Or rather happy-another-excuse-to-indulge day! Despite initially thinking I would effectively sit this one out I have so far made two variations on Bubble valentines, made several batches of heart shaped cookies, and two desserts. Clearly, I am weak willed.

Mini Oreo Truffle Cakes

I was in the car the other day (on my way to the store) brainstorming about an eggless easy treat that I could put together for a Valnetine’s party for the girls that a friend of mine was hosting. I had made Oreo truffles a while back that tasted like tasty little cheesecakes, but disliked the fiddliness of it all. The rolling, the perpetually dirty hands, the nuisance of getting even chocolate on, it just wasn’t for me. I am too lazy you know.

So this is what I did, whizzed together all two of my ingredients in a food processor, lined a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap, quickly pressed in tablespoons of ‘dough’, froze, then dipped the tops in chocolate and let it harden. Cutesy white chocolate heart covered with sprinkles optional.

Mini Oreo Truffle Cakes

Before I go on to the recipe I wanted to apologize to my wonderful subscribers. I was experiencing technical difficulties on Thursday which I now realize were because of my ancient laptop. Now if you will excuse me I will go find a place to bury it…

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3thingsfinal

Three Things Thursday

You know how sometimes you mean to call someone back, but then you forget and think “oh wait I’ll do it tomorrow” and  then something comes up and you forget again. Then you find yourself a little embarrassed and don’t get in touch out of pure awkward “i-suck-so-much-ness”. Well that’s where I am at with Three Things Thursday. It’s been so long that it feels a little weird being back this week to join in the fun, but I sucked it up and here I am :)

Happy Thursday everyone and please pop by and visit the hosts at Love Laugh Mirch, The Write Balance, and Pink Chai Living.

Thing One: My Two Little Things

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My younger daughter turned one in November and with each passing day I watch her relationship with my older one grow further and further and it gives me the warm fuzzies like nothing ever before. There is a part of me that wants to hit the pause button on this time so I can savor it while it lasts. Someone needs to tell me how to make this happen!

Thing Two: Madam Secretary

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I am a  huge fan of the show The Good Wife not least of all because it has a strong intelligent woman at it’s center and now Madam Secretary has joined it’s ranks in that department. While it is not as hard hitting as other political dramas it is really interesting and I really like the character Tia Leoni plays. If you haven’t seen it then check it out!

Thing Three: Hazelnut Granola

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I have a well documented love of all things hazelnut so it is hardly surprising that when I saw this at Target recently (sniff bye bye Target) I grabbed a box. Now I am kinda wishing I had grabbed two.

 

Hazelnut and Maple Muffins

Hazelnut and Maple Muffins

A few days back a dear friend and avid blog reader asked me to make these hazelnut sticks for her. I happily obliged and then a little too happily ate more than my fair share. Oops.

Anyway, eating those delicious crunchy hazelnutty treats made me realize how much I love the unadulterated flavor of hazelnuts and I wanted to capture that flavor in something quicker: muffins. Now I really like muffins, even the bottoms which is usually what I wind up with since my husband and daughter are unabashed muffin top fiends.

Hazelnut and Maple Muffins

I did some thinking and came up with this recipe, fully prepared for this to be round one of many, but lady luck was on my side and these muffins are sheer perfection. The soft flavor of the hazelnuts is beautifully complimented by that of the maple syrup. I know it seems like a lot of syrup, but as it bakes the flavor mellows. Also, as tempting as they are fresh from the oven you must let them cool completely before trying one. They are well worth the wait.

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Coconut Shrimp

Crunchy Coconut Shrimp

I love 5 ingredient dishes and this is one of them – add something on the side and you’ve got a main. Serve on it’s own and you’ve got a delicious satisfying snack and all you need is lime, coconut, panko, egg, and shrimp. Shoot – and flour, but that’s optional so let’s call it a 5.5 ingredient dish shall we?

I love coconut shrimp, that slightly sweet ever so crunchy upgrade on classic fried shrimp. What makes these extra fun is the addition of panko and the zest of a lime.The panko bread crumbs add another airy yet crunchy element to the shrimp and the hint of lime heightens the coconut flavor.

Coconut Shrimp

The flour like I said is optional, but here is why I use it: I dislike naked shrimp. You know when you fry shrimp and only portions of it have crunch because despite your best effort the rest of it just won’t stay on? Once the shrimp goes into it’s egg bath the flour helps the crunchier elements adhere to the egg and covers the gaps between said crunchy elements to give you a shrimp that is evenly goldenly beautiful.

Coconut Shrimp

You are welcome to season as much as you like, but having made these a few time I must say I like it best when the subtle natural sweetness of the coconut shines through so a sprinkle of salt & pepper or a dash of fish sauce in the egg mixture is perfect for me.

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Taco Lasagna

Taco Lasagna

I am not that good with crowd pleasing dishes – most things I make don’t quadruple well and if you’re Pakistani a small family dinner easily means 40 people and a whole bunch of quadrupling. Over time this cooking for a crowd has become a lot easier and I have fewer meltdowns (lol). However, that is in part because I have started building an arsenal of delicious recipes that are easy to whip together, make in advance, and double if need be.

Taco Lasagna

This Taco lasagna is the latest addition to that collection. The components come together quickly and since you bake it the day of the event it tastes fresh and delicious. I make it with a side of a cheesy spicy garlic bread loaf (recipe to be posted) and a nice bean salad.

Taco Lasagna

The best part is you can actually make this (minus the dicing bit) with a 1 yr old hanging off one hip as long as you give her a little bit of cheese to snack on. Oh and keep her away from the jalapenos if she is convinced all green things are delicious.

Taco Lasagna
Serves 8

Meat Mix:
1/2 cup diced onion
1 lb ground chicken (or beef)
Spicy taco seasoning – 1 packet or make your own and use 3 tbsp
24 ounces salsa
1 cup corn kernels

Ricotta Mix:
1 egg
15 oz carton ricotta cheese
1 jalapeno diced
2 cups shredded cheese – I used Monterey Jack + Mozzarella
Generous pinch of coarse salt and pepper

Additional ingredients:
1 box oven ready lasagna noodles (you can sub w regular, just parboil first)
2 cups shredded cheese for topping the lasagna
Chopped green onions for garnish

Note: Most pans and lasagna noodles aren’t friends. There is usually some rejigging and some swearing involved. To mitigate some of this lay out your (uncooked) noodles once in the pan to figure out how many noodles you will need and how many layers you will get so you can readjust layers accordingly. I am giving instructions for a roasting pan (what I use) and a 9*13 below.

Meat Mix:

Saute the onion in a little bit of olive oil until translucent, add the ground chicken and the seasoning then cook until the meat is browned. With chicken this is v quick. Add in the corn kernels and salsa and warm through.

Ricotta Mix:

While the meat is warming empty the ricotta container into a large bowl and mix in the egg, seasoning and diced jalapeno (deseeded or otherwise). Once well combined mix in cheese.

Roasting Pan:

Drizzle a little oil on the base of your pan layer as follows – a ladle or two of bolognese, 6 lasagna noodles vertically across, 2/3 taco meat mix, lasagna noodles, 2/3 ricotta mix, lasagna noodles, then lasagna noodles, then the meat mix dotted with the remainder of your ricotta mix, top with cheese.

9*13:

In a 9×13 baking dish, start by layering 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Next, layer ⅓ of the ricotta, ⅓ of the beef mixture, ⅓ of the salsa, and ⅓ of the cheese. Repeat the layers 2 more times.

To Bake:

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350, cover the dish foil (tent to prevent it from sticking to the cheese) and bake for 35 minutes. If you don’t use foil then you will end up with what I like to call extra crispy edges (I was out of foil the day I took pictures). Remove foil and bake until the top is nice and bubbly and broil for a minute or two.

Taco Lasagna

Taco Lasagna