Monday, November 1, 2010

Photo Recipe: Singaporie Rice




Recently, a lot have people have been asking me how I made the Singapore rice in one of my first posts. So, I decided to make a blog post showing how I made it. Here goes...

Singaporie Rice
Serves: 8

Chicken:
1 chicken breast
1 tspn garlic paste
1 tspn ginger paste
1 tbsp red chili paste
1 tspn salt (sea salt)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil

First, combine all the ingredients for the chicken except the oil and marinate it. Leave the chicken to set from anywhere over an hour to overnight. After the mixture sets, fry with 1 tbsp of oil until cooked and set aside for use in rice.


Rice:
8 cup water
1 tspn cumin seed (optional)
1 tspn whole black pepper (optional)
2 cups of basmati rice
8 oz bag of vermicelli
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp oil
3 medium or large sized carrots
1 green bell pepper
1 head of broccoli
8 oz of frozen corn (optional)
 salt, garlic salt, black pepper, oregano leaves, and basil leaves for taste

Boil 8 cups water in a big pot and add cumin seed and whole black pepper. For better results add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Add rice and cook until well done. Drain and set aside in serving tray.



Cook the pasta as directed on package. Drain water and toss pasta with oil so it does not dry out or stick together.

Stir vegetables in oil separately, until each vegetable is softened. Sprinkle with salts, black pepper oregano and basil leaves as desired. Toss vegetables together and set aside for later use.





Sauce/ Topping:
3/4 cup ketchup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tspn sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
crushed red pepper for taste

To make the sauce, beat the ketchup and mayonnaise in a bowl until free of any lumps. Add sugar and vinegar and mix well. Add red pepper accordingly. Add water if the mixture is too thick.


Serving:

Grab the serving tray of rice you had previously set aside and spread a layer of vegetables on it. Decorate however you want to.


Do the same with the pasta.


Then spread a layer sauce on top.



Chicken...


Spread a last layer of sauce and you're ready to serve. Truthfully, the layers are interchangeable; just make sure that the first layer is rice and the last is sauce. 


Try this recipe and make sure to tell me all your success stories!
Wardah

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Little Sister's Pound Cake


 Oh glorious pound cake, I will eat you soon...


Don't worry, I promise it won't hurt... Well, it won't hurt anymore than it did when you were whipped into a batter, poured into a mold, burned in the oven, and sliced by a knife. Didn't you hate all the torture?


Don't you want to escape from it?..
.......
Ok, ok, I'm done. Hilarious post: FAIL. Just enjoy the pictures. :D

It's so cute!
Pound cake party!
I picked these flowers from my backyard. Such a pretty color :)
Whipped cream = Love
Just to emphasize.
Pound cake made by my sister, Hajerah
Photos taken by me

Do you like?

Love,
Wardah

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cake Ball Nightmares



I made something Bakerella again, only this time, it's cake balls! (Not cake pops... Get it? *awkward silence* Hahaha).

We were invited to a party by one of my mother's friends. The host and her husband live with her brother-in-law's family and her other brother-in-law was invited too. Together, they have more than a dozen kids! We couldn't think of an adequate present that would suit and please all of them, so I decided to bake something as a present. Cake balls seemed perfect because they wouldn't be messy and look so cute.

The cake balls I made this time were burger cake balls from Bakerella's website. They look absolutely adorable and are perfect for kids. Man, I have to tell you. However easy they were to make for Bakerella, they were not easy for me. It wasn't that the process was hard or difficult to understand. It was just that there was so much frustration involved, that I almost felt as if I would never make them again!

The cake balls after the first coating.
The terrors of cake balls that Bakerella never tells:

First of all, I had not even decided to make burger cake balls until last minute. I had a bunch of candy coating so that was fine but I had already made my cake balls and I hadn't shaped them correctly. For burger cake balls, they have to be shaped slightly rectangular so they look like buns. Well, I started shaping them after they had hardened and some of the balls started cracking or crumbing. That was annoying.

Despite all the difficulties I ran into, I was so pleased with how they turned out. What do you think?
Then, I had trouble with the candy melts. I made a makeshift broiler so that I could melt the candy melts. I just boiled some water in a skillet and set a bowl with my candy melts on top. They melted just fine but they were too thick. I had to keep on thinning the melts down but they would never become the right consistency. Once, some water got into my candy melts. Oh, the horror. It was terrible; my candy melts jammed up and became unusable. I had to throw them away. What a waste.

They tasted so good... Mmmm.
Of course, the trouble didn't just end there. I didn't have time to make the cake balls until the evening, so I had to work away into the night. It started getting chillier and the cake balls with candy coating started drying right on my spoon! I had to pull the cake ball off the spoon and a layer of cake ball and coating would stay stuck on the spoon. Then, there would be crumbs inside the coating and so on...


Sometimes the cake ball would get heavy with coating and fall right off my spoon and right back into the bowl. All my careful dripping gone to waste. That was a problem I had with my cake pops too; the cake would get too heavy and fall of the stick.

Can you see the few yellow "sesame seeds?" I had to handpick these from a colorful sprinkles variety.
I ran into problems dipping the second and third layers of coating too. When I held the cake ball to redip it, the candy coating would start to melt from my body heat. It would also melt from after coming in contact with warm coating. When I lifted the cake out of the bowl, the two coatings would be mixed. I would find lettuce popping out of the bun. xD

♪ We're going on a picnic.. Na na, na na, na na ♫
Still, when the kids saw the burgers/cakes, they were so excited. Their mothers were so impressed. It was worth it. And of course, I can't resist exaggerating. It wasn't so bad, I probably only ran into these problems once or twice before I would improvise or solve the problem. I don't want to scare you guys from making cake balls. So, try making Bakerella's cake pops or balls and remember to tell me or show me if you do!

Love, Wardah

Behind the scenes with Wardah. ;D
P.s. Do you guys like the new banner and background? Is it too tacky?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garlic Bread



Garlic bread... Heaven on French bread. Actually, it would be heaven if it didn't make your breath smell so much, but you get the point, right? Anyways, I made garlic bread, probably one of the easiest foods ever. It wasn't my first time making them so it was no biggy. Still, they tasted... heavenly. Haha

Check it out...

Crushing the garlic. Isn't this the coolest little crusher ever? It's from back home...
Garlic spread made out of garlic, softened butter, oregano leaves, basil leaves, garlic salt, and a pinch of pepper
Cutting the bread, if you ever want to make garlic bread, try cutting the loaf diagonally rather than straight down. It adds style. :D
All the cheese and loveliness popped in the oven.
Yummy...
Hope you guys enjoyed! Also, sorry for the long hiatus. I'm trying to make up by posting more! Love,

Wardah

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Presents and Cake Pops


Ever heard of Bakerella? She's that amazing woman who perfected cake pops. Cake pops are cake balls on sticks. Well, after I became obsessed with her pretty cake pops and pictures, I begged my family to buy me her cake pops book that was published recently. I was turned down many times because (though I didn't know it) my mother was buying me the book as a surprise gift! The surprise was ruined because my sister blabbed but I was excited and very pleased anyways.

The first thing I did when I got the book was run and buy candy melts and lollipop sticks and make these fun cake pops. They're really easy to make so try them out.

Started with baking and quartering a cake... Can you see my new book in the background? :D
Crumbling the cake, I had to get all down and dirty with this thing :P
Cake balls!
Hardest part in my opinion. I made the balls too big so they were falling off the sticks. The weight of the cake balls plus the thick candy coating was just too much.
Sprinkles!
Finished product. They tasted yummy!
My advice: try making cake pops. They're fun, easy, and they end up looking (and tasting!) amazing! Make sure to tell me about your experiences!

Wardah

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cheesecake Madness

Cheesecakes!

I went through happiness and tragedy during the last few days.

It was my sister's birthday last weekend. She planned to finish some of her personal goals - not coincidentally - on her birthday. So, my family and I decided to throw her a celebratory party for her birthday and accomplishments. I made cheesecakes and my mom made good food.

A few days later, my mother received devastating news. My beautiful grandmother passed away on Friday. It was a great loss in the family and I pray that she rests in peace.

I love making cheesecakes. They're the one thing I can be sure to make and not mess up on!
My grandmother was a kind woman. I remember when I was younger, I visited Pakistan. My grandmother lived there all alone in a ginormous house. Because my family was visiting from America, all our relatives basically camped out in her house all day. The days could get long and boring so we had to think of all sorts of things to entertain ourselves.

So, one hot evening, everybody decided they were going to call a "jinn." This is a Pakistani superstition in which if you put an upside down glass on a table in the middle of candles and cards, and chant these prayers, a demon will become trapped in the glass and answer all your questions. Only thing is, it really works! So, here I was, in the middle of some sort of ritual, shaking from fear. I couldn't tell anyone that I was scared 'cause then I'd be ridiculed. Halfway through it, I gave up. I left the room running and slid into my grandmother's bed where she was resting.

I don't remember the whole story, but I remember that when my grandmother saw me shaking, she became really angry. She went to the room my family was in and shouted at everyone, ordering them to stop their foolishness. I'm sure everyone was really angry at me - and some half relieved themselves - when she ended the fun, but I will always cherish the memory of how my grandmother cared so much about me.

A personal cheesecake for my sister. She was drowning in cheesecakes that day.
A slice of lemon and mint for decoration
On a happier note, I finally figured out how to make my pictures bigger without ruining the design. What do you think. Bigger the better?

I made cheesetarts too! (Whatever those are)
Even though I made this many crusts...
I had enough leftover batter to make two more cheesecakes!
The cheesecake after everyone attacked it.
Yeah... As you can see, my family can really stomach their cheesecake. Don't worry though, some of these cakes were given to friends and family! Anyways, have a great week.

The recipe I use to make cheesecake is my absolute favorite - The Ultimate Cheesecake Recipe.

Wardah

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fried Eggplant Fritters

The Chinese eggplant I bought for this recipe was hilariously long, thick, and wiggly.
Indian foods have always been my thing, making-wise and eating-wise. Though I can make other types of foods, making Indian food is really easy for me. That's probably because I am Pakistani (we usually eat a combination of Indian and Pakistani dishes) but also because these are the types of foods my mother can most easily teach me to make. One Indian snack I made recently was fried eggplant fritters.

Eggplant fritters; before and after
Fried eggplant fritters (pakora in Urdu) are obviously made out of eggplants. But they are coated with besan flour (gram flour) before they are deep fried. I think I was a bit out of my mind when I decided to make this because I'm supposed to be dieting. Needless to say, I do not regret it because they tasted amazing.

First you completely dip a slice of eggplant in a besan flour and Indian spice mixture.
Truthfully, I was pretty skeptical at first. I mean, I know I just said that I love Indian food and all, but eggplants? Come on... But my doubts were proved wrong. Another good thing is that my grandpa from Pakistan is here spending his summer with us. He is an amazing cook and he really enjoys what he does. Luckily for me, he spends most of his time here passing his technique down to me. He was the one who convinced me to try this recipe. (Of course, my vegetarian sister helped).

Fry the dipped eggplants till they're golden brown.
Make sure to drain them well, or they become really oily.
Yummy!
The inside of the pakora was the biggest surprise to me. I've made fried Indian snacks many times before; onion pakora, potato pakora, and even green pepper pakora. These pakoras have always turned out crunchy. The eggplant pakora, however, was really soft and mushy which contrasted nicely with the crunchy outside. This is definitely a recipe everyone should try!

I like my food best with ketchup (I know that's totally un-Desi right there).
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