Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Turquoise and Gold Moroccan Ostrich Egg


Do you guys remember this giveaway I did for a custom hand-painted ostrich egg when I reached 100 posts? My beautiful reader, Sarah, won the giveaway through random selection and I am so happy that she did. Not only was she super creative with the egg ideas she came up with, but she was patient through out the painting process. I was able to paint this beautiful Moroccan themed ostrich egg to fit with her home decor. Here's how the process went-


I started with a blank canvas, a clean new egg with a coat of white paint. I measured the dimensions of the egg, sketched on the pattern Sarah wanted, and then painted in the details. After going over the painted egg to correct any details, I finished it off with a coat of clear glossy varnish. 


Recently, I decided to start selling these special painted ostrich eggs. If you want one for yourself, follow this link, https://www.etsy.com/shop/EggsbyWardah , to my etsy shop. Thank you for all your support. 



Friday, December 19, 2014

Raspberry and Chocolate Chia Pudding

Remember Chia pets from when we were little? The little animal shaped pots of chia that we had to nurture and grow. Well, chia seeds have definitely made a comeback and are a major trend in the health world right now. Full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and much more, this grain is really a superfood. It is so versatile, there are so many ways you can include it in your diet. Chia seeds can be sprinkled over cereal, used as a thickening agent for soups and curries, as a tea. But my favorite of them all is that it can be used to make a delicious pudding dessert.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chicago Skyline Egg


I'm a born and raised SoCal girl. I feel at home in the bustling CA lifestyle - the people, the clothes, the parties, the beaches, the everything! But over the past few years, Chicago (and the Midwest) have become a central part of my life. I definitely feel myself being drawn to this beautiful city. 


Chicago is kind of underrated. It's beautiful, clean, and definitely a great tourist spot, but it just isn't as popular as other destinations and I don't know why not. The best part of Chicago is their skyline (my favorite part too). Whenever we road trip to or from Chitown and MI to visit S's family, we get a full view of the city. We've seen it at dawn, at sunset, in the daytime, at night, and I have to say that it is truly spectacular.


When my older sister got accepted to her dream graduate school, I knew she deserved a present worthy of the accomplishment. Both my older sister and I got married in Chicago so it was fitting that I paint her an ostrich egg with the Chicago skyline. In the past, I've already painted the skyline at night, so this time around, I decided to paint it in the daytime. Plus, the blue went with my sisters beach-y decor (she misses CA as much as I do). I added two ducks for a little romantic touch. Needless to say, she totally loved the egg.


I recently opened an Etsy shop where you can purchase a custom painted egg of your own. You can find the shop here. Just like I gifted this egg to my sister, they make beautiful, personal and unique gifts. They would also look just as good in your own home. Feel free to visit and shop around. :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pumpkin Roll Cake


Pumpkin is a very popular ingredient this holiday season. Thanksgiving has already passed but people are still making and buying pumpkin products. Most popular this time of the year is the pumpkin spice latte. Mmm.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ombre Crepe Cake with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Raspberries


Making a crepe cake has been at the top of my baking bucket list for a long time. When Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil did a kitchen challenge for crepe cakes, it was just the push I needed to make it. I finally got the perfect opportunity to make it when I had a couple friends over. That meant enough people to help me finish off the cake.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Soup with Herbed-Parmesan Croutons


As much as I hate to admit, winter is here. This will be my third winter in Michigan and I've decided that I have a love-hate relationship with this season in the Midwest.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Roasted Tandoori Chicken and Vegetables with a Tangy Cilantro Dip


A roasted whole chicken is one impressive dish. It gives off a classy, kitchen pro vibe and if you get it right, it is definitely a showstopper. The best part is that it actually isn't that hard to make!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Parmesan with Cheesy Zucchini Rice


Here is the story of my life... I try to lose some weight, I start working out, I eat healthy for a couple days. And then bam! I make something crazy fat like this delicious chicken parmesan with cheesy zucchini rice. All that work down the drain.

Does this happen to you too? I can't help it... I'm just too much of a foodie!

My excuse this week was that I breaded the chicken parmesan with quinoa. It's no secret that quinoa is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. So, I have to say, it was a pretty good excuse.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers


I'm not a meat person. I don't like to cook it, I don't like to smell it, and I definitely don't like to eat it. 

That's why I'm always looking for vegetarian dishes that are just as filling, healthy, and of course, delicious. And these black bean and quinoa veggie burgers definitely hit the spot.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quinoa Masala Dosa with Potato Curry


Quinoa is a superfood - one of the healthiest foods in the world. It is a complete protein, and contains so many nutrients, fiber, magnesium, and folate to name a few. Though it isn't a grain, it can be used as a cereal grain. What I'm confused about is why more people don't incorporate this amazing food into their diets. I'm ready to make the change myself. In my opinion, quinoa is like the healthier, fitter, better looking cousin of rice.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

100 Posts Celebration and Giveaway!

Last week, I officially published 100 blog posts! In fact, my hundredth post was this delicious mango milkshake post. 
I started my blog over 4 years ago, in 2010, to share my creative adventures, from cooking to painting to photography. Over the years, I've been able to hone my cooking skills, and improve my photography. I've had opportunities to share these recipes with people from all over the world and participate in wonderful collaborations.
 
Reaching 100 posts is a huge achievement for me. The time, effort, and dedication it takes to create blogposts is only known by bloggers and their families. I want to thank my mom, for her encouragement and support, my hubby, for his support and the awesome lens he got me, and you, all my readers. You are the reason I keep blogging and writing. Thank you. 

So the reason why I'm bombarding you with pictures of the eggs I've painted is that I've decided to giveaway a custom painted, handmade ostrich egg! To enter the giveaway...
  • leave a comment below saying what you would want painted on the egg.
  • like Best of Wardah facebook page here
  • pin a Best of Wardah pinterest image.  (optional)
  • subscribe via email to the blog. (optional)
  • please DO NOT comment anonymously! Leave your full name, or else I will not be able to find the winner. Make sure to check Facebook on Sunday to see who won.
  • deadline to enter is Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 12:00 am. The giveaway has been extended till October 26th! 
For each additional entry, leave another comment saying what you did for a total of 4 entries per person. I will post the winner on the Facebook page on October 19, next week Sunday. Make sure to add your email (which is private) when you comment. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pistachio Cardamom Cake with Rosewater Frosting


This week, my blogger friend All Floured Up and I are doing an Eid Menu Swap! To complete the menu, today, we'll be posting some dessert ideas. I've decided to share the recipe for this beautiful cake, pistachio cardamom cake with rosewater frosting. Read more about the menu swap and find the rest of the recipes here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Biryani and Cilantro Raita


As you all know, this week, my blogger buddies and I are doing the Eid Menu Swap. For today's menu item, I will be sharing a main dish, stuffed chicken biryani. (You can find the rest of the menu here.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mango Milkshake


Mango milkshake is an extremely popular drink in the summertime in India-Pakistan (and almost everywhere else in the country). What makes it festive are the bright colors, cooling effect on hot days, and delicious flavors. Of course, the fact is that most family members and guests always love the sweet surprise of a mango milkshake, as a snack, appetizer, or even dessert.

Masala Milk


This week, Rubina, Mehwish, and I are sharing traditional, festive recipes to celebrate the Muslim holiday Eid. To start off the Eid menu, I'm sharing a recipe for masala milk powder. Masala doodh or milk is a sweetened milk drink flavored with nuts and spices. A masala is a spice blend and today, we'll be adding nuts to it to make a powder that can be mixed with milk.

Eid Celebration and Menu Swap 2014


A couple months ago, I blogged about Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr, a month of fasting followed by a huge festival celebrated by Muslims. Well today, I'm going to be blogging about Eid ul-Adha, the second festival Muslims celebrate.

This celebration, also called the Festival of the Sacrifice, is celebrated to honor the willingness of our prophets to sacrifice for God. In this month of the lunar calendar, Muslims from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the Holy Kabbah in Mecca called Hajj. The end of this pilgrimage marks the day of Eid, on which families distribute meat to the needy, friends, and family. Of course, the coming of this holiday also means dressing well, partying, and eating even better. 

This Eid ul-Adha 2014, I've teamed up with my bff and blogger buddy, Rubina at All Floured Up, and my talented sister, Mehwish at My Slice of Pizza, to bring to you a unique menu from all around the world. 

So get ready for a week full of great traditional recipes and menu inspiration that will put anyone into the Eid spirit!

Eid ul-Adha Menu

Drinks

Masala Milk

Mango Milkshake

Appetizers

Chicken Cutlets

Main

Chicken Biryani and Cilantro Raita

Beef Shawarma

Dessert

Pistachio Cardamom Cake with Rosewater Frosting

Baklava Cheesecake

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Hummingbird Cake


Did you guys know that hummingbirds eat up to 1/2 their weight in sugar every day? And that their hearts beat at 1,200 beats per minute? That's just crazy.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun seasoning is a simple spice blend that you can find easily in grocery stores. Though all cajun spice blends are unique, most include garlic, onion, oregano, salt, black pepper, mustard, and celery. For those of my readers who can't live without this spice blend, believe it or not, this recipe was actually my first time using it. And I have to say, I loved it. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecakes Bites


There are cheesecakes. 
And then there are mini cheesecakes with raspberry swirls in them. 

From experience I can tell you that mini raspberry swirl cheesecakes > regular cheesecakes.
I've blogged about my family's obsession with cheesecakes before. I used to make at least one cheesecake a month, which is kind of a lot if you really think about it. But S doesn't really like cheesecakes that much so this was probably my first time making them since I got married. 


Suffice it to say that S really loved these cheesecakes! They are the perfect size for a single serving, and the tart raspberry swirls really go well with the heavy creamy cake. 
As someone who does enjoy cheesecake, I single handedly cleaned off three of these little guys in one go. If that's you too, be sure to give them a try.


You can find the original recipe for 32 servings here, or 16 servings here. Good luck and enjoy!
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fondue for Two (and a Half)


Date night has taken on a different meaning in our household. 

Before it used to mean going out and doing something spontaneous, something adventurous - canoeing, walking on the beach, night out in town - followed by dinner afterwards. 

Now it means doing something inexpensive ('cause we spend most of our money buying diapers), yet still fun and memorable, in the comfort of our own home (where I can nurse Baby with ease if I need to).

For those of you who can relate with me, or for anyone that wants something fun and inexpensive to do at home, here's a date night idea for you and a loved one - fondue for two!

With a baby, you learn that if you want something to be done on time, you start long in advance. Here's the set up I had ready an hour before hubby walked in the door. All that's left to put out was the fondue and hot tater tots.
The idea for this came when I kept finding myself thinking about how much I wanted to go the Melting Pot with the hubby but it just wasn't happening. Then I got the brilliant idea to have a fondue party at home. I started browsing the web and I found articles saying that you have to have a fondue pot, little fondue picks, etc... and that wasn't happening. So, I decided to improvise and host a fondue party without all of the extra stuff and it was a success. Here's how you can host your own.

Fondue for Two

The morning of, I texted hubby - "I'm so 'fondue' of you. You're invited to a romantic fondue for two tonight." Cheesy but cute.

I wanted to have an intimate romantic atmosphere, so I set up this floor seating arrangement by using things I found around the house. I set up the fondue station on our low coffee table, which I covered with a white curtain and red scarf as the table cloths. I used red cushions, candles, and fake flowers as decor. Then to serve the fondue, I used a set of two porcelain serving dishes that came with a stand to hold tea light candles as warmers. I served the dippers on a lazy susan. 


All you really need to make this work is a way to keep the fondue warm while you're eating, or else it will solidify as it cools. 


On to the menu - I wanted the fondue to be our entire meal so I made a cheese fondue for the main and a chocolate fondue for dessert. For savory dippers, I used french bread, tater tots, and baby carrots. For sweet dippers, I had marshmallows, pineapple, strawberries, bananas, and pound cake. I used this recipe for my chocolate fondue, and though it was delicious, I would not use it again. It turned out to be thicker and less smooth than I would've liked. For a non-alcoholic cheese fondue, I used this recipe here. Here are my adaptations. 

This is the only picture I have of the fondues, haha.
Non-alcoholic Swiss Cheese Fondue
(serves 2)

8 oz Swiss or Gruyere or any combination of both (I used 4 oz each and I bought a smoked Gruyere cheese, absolutely delicious)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp all purpose flour, divided 
1 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Dippers
1/2 loaf French bread
Baby carrots
Tater tots or boiled potatoes

To do in advance - cut French bread into about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch pieces and arrange on your platter with baby carrots. 20 minutes before serving, place tater tots in oven and cook according to package instructions. 

For fondue-
Peel garlic and slice the cloves in half the long way so the most inner surface is showing. Rub a heavy saucepan with two halves of the garlic for flavoring. Rub the serving bowl with the other two garlic halves.

Grate the cheese and mix with 1 tbsp of the flour. Melt the butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add rest of flour. Stir well till smooth.

Add about ½ cup of milk and stir till smooth. Slowly add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to about the consistency of light cream.

Add a handful of cheese and keep stirring. Let the cheese melt and then add another handful and stir until it melts. Repeat the process until all the cheese is melted.

Once all the cheese has been added and the mixture is smooth, you can stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Finally, add the lemon juice. Stir well till the mixture is smooth once again.

Light the tea light candles and add cheese mixture to your makeshift fondue pot. Eat immediately! Spear bread and dunk in fondue and enjoy. Scrape the bottom of the pot with whatever you’re dipping from time to time to keep it from burning.


For the chocolate fondue- Cut pound cake into 1 inch cubes. Cut the tops of the strawberries off and slice the bananas into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Cut 3 pineapple rings into 4 pieces each. Arrange marshmallows, cake, and fruit onto your serving platter. Use your recipe of choice to make the chocolate fondue and transfer it to the serving bowl with a tea light candle under. 


For drinks, I would suggest a sparkling grape juice or cider but I opted for water since I didn't have anything sparkly on hand and I knew the fondue was heavy enough on its own.

Then, all that's left to do is get dressed- I put on a nice dress and dressed baby, our third wheel, in a tuxedo onesie - light the candles, and welcome your date.

Verdict - We had a blast! We enjoyed our savory fondue and every single dipper seemed like it paired perfectly with the cheese fondue. The smoked Gruyere was a nice touch and gave an absolutely delicious nutty smoky bbq feel. Baby sat with us and sucked on pieces of bread and carrots. Nights are a bad time for Baby, so after a little while and a lot of fussiness, I went to put the baby to sleep. And that's why we do date night at home, at our own pace. After baby was asleep, we ate dessert, the chocolate fondue. Again, absolutely delicious, and we loved every dipper. Our favorites were definitely the pound cake and marshmallows and least favorite was the pineapple. Overall, it was a great experience and something new for both us.

So I say, give it a try! If you don't want to make this a date, make it a family experience. Just do it. I guarantee you'll love it!
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