A White Garlicky Mushroom Pizza w Arugula, Mozzarella and Boursin

A White Garlicky Mushroom Pizza w Arugula, Mozzarella and Boursin

Peppery arugula. Melty mozzarella. Meaty garlicky Portobello mushrooms.  Savory creamy Boursin. A Scattering of chilli flakes.

I think I may have made my very favourite white pizza of all time. Now I have a big soft spot for all pizza, but white pizza was a revelation for me.  A pizza without tomato sauce? Now that’s just crazy. Crazy good that is.

A White Garlicky Mushroom Pizza w Arugula, Mozzarella and Boursin

The other day I opened my fridge and was looking around for inspiration when some beautiful portobellos caught my eye and I knew what was coming next. I used half the pizza dough from my favourite dough recipe of all time and went to work. It was fun. It also didn’t hurt that my wonderful niece kneaded the dough for me and my nephew who usually doesn’t like this whole spinach and mushrooms thing really enjoyed it. Family makes things better. True story.

Between you and me I may make it again sometime soon and eat the whole thing – by myself. Shhhh.

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My Mother’s Coconut Barfi

My Mother’s Coconut Barfi & Eid Eats 2015

Some foods make me think of being a small child, of little hands and not so little hands, sneaking pieces when no one is looking, only half sure that the consequences of this petty theft won’t be so bad.  This barfi is one of them, my mother usually made it on special occasions and colored it so that one layer was pink and the other was green. The coconut she used was sweeter, heftier, and my little self couldn’t get enough of it. Yes, my dental problems started early.

Coconut Barfi

My older daughter has a surprising love for all ‘desi’ desserts. Kheer, kulfi, shahi tukray, gulab jamun – she loves them all. And I love passing down a love for culinary heritage. When I said I would make something for Eid that her Nano (grandmother) made when I was young it made her beautiful little eyes sparkle with excitement. Sometimes I wish I could bottle that stuff up and keep it forever. But to me that is what Eid is about, sheer happiness. While I am far from the land of glittering ‘chaand raats’ (the night before Eid) we are building our own Eid traditions and homemade Pakistani desserts will always be part of them.

My Mother’s Coconut Barfi

This barfi is not the usual white kind; the ingredients combined with the cooking down of the dairy make it taste like a caramelly coconut fudge. I used unsweetened coconut, but my mother put sweetened coconut. Use whatever you prefer, but just remember to stir stir stir otherwise this will burn burn burn!

Another new tradition that I am very excited about is Eid Eats, we had our first annual eid potluck last year and thanks to it I discovered many delicious recipes and some wonderful bloggers who I now think of as friends. This is year two and I am even more excited to see what my fellow hosts – Henna at My Ninja Naan and Asiya at Chocolate & Chillies – and other remarkable food bloggers have to share. Please click on the Eid Eats graphic below to see the full gallery of yumminess and add yours to the mix; remember we would all love to hear from you! Hope this inspires you to have a deliciously happy Eid!

Eid Mubarak to you and your loved ones!!!

Psst for those of you wondering how to join in, hop on over here.

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Corndogs with a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauce

Corn Dogs with Mina Halal Chicken Wieners & a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauce + a Giveaway!

I had never thought that I would ever try making corn dogs at home. They seem like such a classic fair food and I am not usually one for deep frying things. However, recently at the Halal Food Fest my older daughter wanted to try one and was unable to because they weren’t ready in time. She did however sample and really enjoy Mina Halal Chicken Wieners so when the opportunity presented itself it only made sense to put the two together.

Corndogs with a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauc

These Chicken Wieners are part of Mina Halals new line of products and are available at Fresh Co locations in Ontario. The other products are Chicken Bologna and Chicken Strips. Mina Halal sent us the wieners and strips to sample and the Chicken Strips were also a big hit at one of our recent breakfast for dinners i.e. ‘brinners’. This new line of products is currently available in FreshCo locations in Ontario.

Mina Halal Products

Mina Halal, certified by the Halal Monitoring Authority (H.M.A), practices the ‘zabeehah by hand’ approach and their chickens are individually blessed then air chilled. If you want to know more about them click here, and for other delicious recipe ideas look here. Mina Halal is also giving away 20 dollars in coupons and a bonus. To qualify you just have to be over the age of 18 and in Ontario. To enter simply go to:-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To say these were a hit would be an understatement, my daughter wanted to know if she could have them for every meal for the rest of her life. You can probably guess what my response was ;)

Corndogs with a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauc

I loved the idea of having something more interesting than ketchup to dip these babies into and the Cajun Honey Mustard Sauce totally hit the spot. The Serious Eats piece where the recipe comes from mentioned the idea of serving these for brunch and I think if I were to do that this is how – drizzled with some sauce, sprinkled with minced chives. Yum yum.

Disclaimer: I received free product samples along with a gift card. However,  the views and opinions expressed are my own.

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies w Skor Bits

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies w Skor Bits

When we were little my brother Murtaza decided that we need to eat peanut butter. It was hardly a staple in our Pakistanis-in-Saudi Arabia household, but my parents promptly obliged by buying an imported jar of the stuff. We tried it and all of us unanimously thought it sucked. My mother then tried the back of the jar cookie recipe for peanut butter cookies, but with no success. Not for a lack of talent mind you, my mother was quite the baker. We just didn’t like peanut butter.

Somehow I went from being that kid to the adult who eats it off a spoon as a snack, whose kids do the same, who doesn’t believe in peanut butter and jelly because it gets in the way of the peanut buttery goodness and who can’t say no to a peanut butter cookie. How did this happen? Beats me.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

When I recently acquired Tara O’Bradys Seven Spoons cookbook I marked a whole variety of things to try, but a late afternoon craving had me turning to her Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies first. Whole Wheat Flour, Natural Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp honey, I didn’t think that these changes off the usual would make such a difference, but suddenly it was like I was eating a cookie that had grown up. It is less cloyingly sweet than previous ones, but has a deeper flavour. I added 1/3 cup of skor bits and while they weren’t noticeable in a warm cookie, they definitely added interest to cooled ones.

As you can see my cookies were slim at best despite the freezing and I blame that on my overfull freezer. I am sure if you follow the freezing instructions yours won’t be so slender. They are in their thin form the perfect candidate for a filling. Strawberry Jam, Dulce de leche, vanilla cream, or perhaps a dollop of Nutella with a little Sea Salt?

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

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Jalapeno  Popper Wontons or a Spicy Cheesy 'Samosa'

Jalapeno Popper Wontons or a Spicy Cheesy ‘Samosa’

If I don’t already have a meal plan in place then I try to figure to out early in the day what it is that I will be making for iftar (the meal Muslims have when they open/break their fast). However, the hungrier I get the more I add to my list of things to cook. These babies are the product of one such hungry afternoon. The fact that they’re a cinch to put together is a bonus/ requirement in my world.

Jalapeno  Popper Wontons or a Spicy Cheesy 'Samosa'

I love the flavor of Jalapeno Poppers (when they aren’t too spicy to eat!), but making them has always seemed tedious and store bought ones have some odd mystery ingredients in them. These crispy wontons are the perfect way of getting that flavor with minimal effort. Now mind you I found the one jalapeno to be pretty spicy in here, but I put it in seeds and all so just adjust to taste. Also I had monterey jack handy, but I imagine cheddar wold work just as well.

Jalapeno  Popper Wontons or a Spicy Cheesy 'Samosa'

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Strawberry Tart with Creamy Cream Cheese Filling and Graham Cracker Crust

A Creamy Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tart with a Graham Cracker Crust

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and a Happy early 4th of July to those south of the border! Hope both days are filled with happiness and celebration … and dessert!

My girls and I went strawberry picking a few days ago and now we have baskets and baskets of red to the core strawberries that are just begging to be eaten. While eating them straight up is our favorite way to go I decided to include them in last nights post iftar dessert. I don’t usually have dessert after dinner, but after a long day of fasting a little sugar seems needed!

Strawberry Tart with Creamy Cream Cheese Filling and Graham Cracker Crust

The Graham Cracker crust has a lovely crunch that contrasts with the creamy filling and  the juicy slightly tart strawberries provide the perfect contrast. Learn from my mistakes though and keep this baby in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!

Looking for more strawberry dessert ideas? How about this cake or this tart with one  of my favorite crusts of all time!

A Creamy Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tart with a Graham Cracker Crust

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Baked Oatmeal with Bananas, Pecans and a Nutella Swirl

Baked Oatmeal with Bananas, Pecans and a Nutella Swirl Plus Announcing a Virtual Eid Party – Eid Eats 2015!!!

Ramzan/Ramadan Mubarak to all those who will be commemorating this holy month. For those of you who are wondering what it is, Ramadan is a month on the Islamic (lunar) calendar where Muslims world over fast from sunrise to sunset. During a fast we can not eat or drink anything. The purpose of this fast is to help us subsume our physical needs in favor of spiritual ones and also to develop a deep sense of empathy with those who are less fortunate, for whom ‘fasting’ is not an option.

At the end of the 30 days of Ramadan comes a wonderful celebration of Eid ul Fitr, which as you can imagine, revolves heavily around food! Last year Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies and I hosted Eid Eats! a virtual potluck party for to celebrate Eid ul Fitr and this year we are back with another co-host, the amazing Henna of My Ninja Naan.

EID EATS 2015

So how do you join in? Easy!

1.) Make any dish of your choosing that you would make for Eid – something traditional, something unconventional, whatever you fancy – write a post and have it ready for the 15th of July 2015.

2.) Our posts will also be live July 15th 2015. You can link back to our blogs i.e. My Ninja Naan, Flour & Spice and Chocolate & Chillies  through a link party  we will set up and use the button above in all of your posts (pretty cute isn’t it!)

3.) Remember to check out and leave comments on participating blogs!

Okay just thinking about Eid Eats is making me hungry. Good thing I have something yummy and filling for you today that would be wonderful for Sehri/Suhoor as well as breakfast any day. Baked in a square tin and sliced it will probably be pretty picnic friendly too!

The yummmy recipe I am sharing with you today originally comes from Asiya of Chocolate & Chillies. With it’s triple whammy of banana, oatmeal, and pecans it is quite substantial and healthy! Or rather it was until I couldn’t help myself and added a teaspoon of nutella on top  of each ramekin *guiltily looking away…*

Baked Oatmeal with Bananas, Pecans and a Nutella Swirl

I baked mine in individual ramekins to make them easier to eat and freeze since I wanted a large-ish portion that would be perfect with a glass of milk for Sehri/Suhoor. The baked oatmeal is fairly dense since I effectively make ‘thicker’ portions than Asiya does. I also halved the recipe, increased the whole wheat flour, and decreased the brown sugar (to make room for the Nutella lol). For my purposes this is wonderful as is. For summer snacks I would omit the Nutella and go back to baking it in bar form like Asiya does.

Enough blathering.. on to the recipe…

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