Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bloggers Do Burgers at Famous Hamburger - Dearborn, MI

Last week, a group of Michigan bloggers and I had the wonderful opportunity to have dinner together at Famous Hamburger - a local, halal restaurant in Dearborn, MI. Though the restaurant was kind enough to host us that night, all opinions on the food and service are my own. Many of my readers and I follow a specific, religious dietary restriction of eating only "halal" food. Let's not go into all the details, but "halal" food pertains to meat and certain animal byproducts that Muslims cannot consume unless prepared a certain way. Believe me when I say that there is a severe lack of halal food in the food service industry! But then, once in a while, a gem of a restaurant pops up and all is right in the world (for the duration of your meal ;D ).

The owner of the restaurant, Moe, gave us a little history of the restaurant. It was established 35 years ago by his grandfather and is now 3 restaurants strong with more on the way. There was nice ambience and snazzy decor.

The restaurant has a fully halal menu with variety of items, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. We were seated by our very helpful and courteous waitress and didn't have to wait much for anything at all. Now I'm sure you're anxious to know more about the food!

We decided to order some appetizers as a group - ultimate beef nachos, veggie nachos, and "mac 'n' chzzz" bites. Despite the somewhat ridiculous name, the mac and cheese bites were definitely the crowd favorite - deep fried mac and cheese bites.

The nachos were topped with a delicious cheese sauce that was spot on!

A bunch of us ordered milkshakes to go with our dinner. Here is my Oreo chocolate milkshake next to vanilla bean milkshake with caramel. I ordered an additional Oreo topping which I thought would just be on the top, but was actually layered throughout the drink. I didn't really like the texture of the soggy cookies mixed into my shake so next time I'll get the shake without the cookies.

Our burgers arrived next and my oh my, the sight of us bloggers photographing each others food was probably the silliest thing any of the other diners had seen that day. But those burgers were glorious looking too. I can't really stomach too much red meat (or any meat for that matter) in one sitting so I opted to go for a vegetarian burger. I was hoping to try the falafel burger but they didn't have any so I ordered the black bean veggie burger. My burger was so delicious, the perfect blend of spices and veggies in a bean mixture. Even my meat loving husband approved of it!

Let's talk about these sweet potato waffle fries for a minute. Sweet and crispy with the perfect amount of spice. I ate mine with ranch - a match made in heaven.

Overall, I really had a great experience at Famous Hamburger. I was impressed by the cleanliness and open layout of the restaurant, the great, friendly service, and the wonderful menu and great tasting dishes. Thank you, Aly, for organizing such a wonderful event! I'm looking forward to our next meet up.

Now, excuse me while I go and plan next trip to Famous. Writing this post really has me drooling. (Hope I can try the falafel burger this time!)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Creamy Mango Crepe Cake

An (early) Eid Mubarak to all of my lovely readers, new and old! If you've been following me for a few years, you may remember Eid Eats 2014 - a virtual Eid party hosted by My Ninja Naan, Flour & Spiceand Chocolate & Chillies. Well, Eid-ul-Fitr 2016 is almost here and it is once again time to join an awesome virtual Eid party full of delicious food items and eye-catching desserts. If you know me, I love to bring a dessert to any gathering. In fact, it is pretty much a tradition for me to bring a dessert every time I visit my in laws. So of course, it was a given that I would bring dessert to this party.

Today, I am sharing the recipe for this dreamy creamy mango crepe cake. Actually, there is a story behind this beautiful, 30 plus layer cake. It's mango season, and chances are, if you're Desi and celebrating Ramadan, you have a huge box full of mangoes sitting in your pantry. With only two adults in the house, and both of us fasting, that meant a surplus of mangoes leftover and not enough mouths to finish them. As the mangoes started to reach their peak ripeness, I really needed to figure out what to do with them, and making them into a dessert seemed like the best option.

Luckily, I was invited to an iftar a few days later so I had the opportunity to give a mango dessert a try and share it with some friends as well. The only problem was that this cake did not fold out exactly as I had planned. The creamy mango filling never set and it turned into a little bit of a lopsided cake when I added whole pieces of mango fruit in the center. The top half of the cake slid right off the bottom half! Nonetheless, the flavor of the crepes and mango cream really was a great combination. While the cake recipe needs to be tweaked a little, I would recommend the filling recipe to anyone. A huge thank you to all my family and friends who support my baking endeavors and are such good sports with my successes and not-so-successful desserts.

I also took a batch of my popular kulfi, on request, and coincidentally, that is the recipe I shared for Eid Eats 2014! Here it is if you would like to take a gander, here is the link: kulfi (Indian ice cream). Without further ado, we revisit this same dish 2 years later for a mango crepe cake.

Here is a crepe cake I have made in the past that turned out beautifully - complete with recipe and steps for assembly. :)

Enjoy and good luck in the kitchen!

Mango Crepes

Make a batch of my classic sweet crepe recipe here

Mango filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup fresh mango puree (blended and strained flesh of 2 mangoes)

2 mangoes, diced
1/4 cup mango puree

To make the filling: mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that everything is combined. Add in the heavy cream and whip on high speed until medium peaks form. Add in the mango puree and whip till stiff peaks form.

To serve, fill a crepe with a few tablespoons of mango filling and top with mango pieces. Drizzle mango puree on top of the crepe and serve.

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