Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Zabiha Halal Iftaar Party

IMG_2434The blessed month of Ramadan is the busiest month of the year for Muslims, with all of us trying to juggle fasting and night prayers with our family and work commitments. This is where Zabiha Halal comes in with their new line of frozen products. When you are in a time crunch in Ramadan, what better to save time than to prepare and serve your family a delicious meal from Zabiha Halal’s range of products. We believe that Ramadan is not the time to spend in the kitchen, as we should be using our time wisely to increase our acts of worship. The best part about all of this is that Zabiha Halal has partnered up with Islamic Relief Canada for the ‘Do Good, Eat Good, Feel, Good’ campaign and proceeds for selected products go towards helping the needy.

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We had the opportunity to try out Zabiha Halal products for our Iftaar Party, which included the Puff Pastry Hors D’oeuvre’s Collection, Chicken Fries, Homestyle Hawaiian Pizza, Homestyle Pepperoni Pizza, and the Chicken Lasagna. We were pleased with how easy it was to prepare all of these products; just stick them in the oven, put the timer, and they were ready!

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The Chicken Fries were the perfect finger food and were a hit with all the kids at our party. We saw our two year old nephew with chicken fries in both hands and he was happily munching away on them. The crunch on the Chicken Fingers also made them a popular iftaar item with the adults. We served ours with ketchup and chipotle mayo and these made for ideal dipping sauces.

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The Puff Pastry Hors D’oeuvres Collection was our personal favourite. Each box consisted of 40 pieces in total, with individually wrapped packages inside with the four different flavours. The Fresh style puff pastry comes in four varieties: Buffalo Chicken (our favourite), Chicken Sausage, Cheese & Spinach, and Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese. These appetizers were ready in 15 minutes and were devoured by our guests in minutes! They were so light and flaky, and were the perfect size for appetizers. We highly recommend these. IMG_2435

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For the entrees, we served Chicken Lasagna and the Homestyle Pizzas. We absolutely loved the Chicken Lasagna. It had the perfect ratio of sauce, to minced chicken meat, to cheese, to noodles, and it was perfectly seasoned. The lasagna came out very easily from the container to serve: just flip it over from the container onto a plate and it came out clean.

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The Homestyle Hawaiian Pizza had smoked chicken strips and pineapple, and it was a combination that our guests found different, yet exciting. The Homestyle Pepperoni Pizza was a classic, and a kid favourite. Both pizzas had a generous amount of cheese and toppings, and were crowd pleasers.

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Overall, we found that Zabiha Halal’s frozen products were not only incredibly easy to prepare, but they were delicious and filling. The portion sizes were generous and justified the price. We salute Zabiha Halal for taking part in the ‘Do Good, Eat Good, Feel Good’ campaign, as consumers can feel good about their purchases as the donation will add to their good deeds.


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Muslim Fest 2015

We had an amazing time at Muslim Fest this year. Since we went on both days, we got to try food from most of the food vendors. Please excuse us for the horrible pictures; we didn’t plan on blogging about this event and so we had just taken casual pictures of the food we ate.

We had the Lahmacun from Pasha’s, which was a thin bread topped with minced beef, vegetables and herbs. The giant bread was cooked fresh and wrapped with salad. It was quite filling but we thought it was dry. A bit of sauce would have been great. We took a really cool video of it being cooked for Snapchat but…it’s gone now.

We heard a lot of the BBQ Brothers at the Halal Food Fest and had been looking forward to trying their meat lovers poutine. As we lined up, the idea of tandoori chicken, kabob and jerk chicken on poutine just didn’t sound so appetizing. We ended up just getting regular poutine, which was average.

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Aside from Pasha’s, there was another Turkish vendor that had interesting things on the menu. One of us got the Doner Shawarma, which was delicious. We had asked for extra sauce, but it still wasn’t enough for us. We also tried their Spinach and Feta Cheese Borek. This was light and fluffy and for $1.50 we didn’t mind trying it. We also got their Baklawa.

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Our favourite vendor, by far, was the Chill Out booth. Their mango bubble tea with lychee jelly was the most incredible drink ever. It was so good that we went back three times. The third time, they actually gave us a discount. This drink alone was worth going to the Muslim Fest on both days. We also tried their lychee bubble tea, which was also good, but couldn’t beat the mango one.

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East Meats West sandwiches are our weakness. We got the Pastrami sandwich and it was worth every single ounce of saturated fat and every milligram of sodium. Yumm!

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Our mom tried the falooda flavour Kulfi and we also tried fries from the Popeyes booth. Both items were priced well but not really worth the calories in our opinion.

Overall, the beautiful weather, the great food and atmosphere really made Muslim Fest 2015 a great event.


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Halal S’mores Kit by Blossom and Bean

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With Ramadan comes food cravings (at least for us). The other day we saw the Halal S’mores Kit by Blossom and Bean being promoted quite a bit on social media so decided to give it a try. This can purchased Modah in Mississauga for $10. Prior to purchasing the kit, we read on Blossom and Bean’s website that the s’mores can be made in the oven or even the microwave. That sounded very convenient. We were impressed by the packaging too.

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Pictured above are the contents of the kit. The bag of marshmallows was larger than we had expected.

So it was finally iftaar time and we decided to make the s’mores. We looked all around the box for the directions but they couldn’t be found. Hmm…we forgot to mention that we were making s’mores for the first time and it was also going to be our first time eating them. We were a bit disappointed that the box was missing the directions for cooking them in the oven/microwave. While we knew what s’mores were supposed to look like and had a rough idea of how to make them, what we were really looking for was the cooking temperature.

Google came to the rescue. We looked up a few websites, and the approximate temperatures were 350 F or 400 F for 3-5 minutes or broil for a few minutes. We found instructions from the Hershey’s S’mores Kit online, which had instructions for the toaster oven, microwave, grill and the campfire. We also looked up online how to assemble the s’mores.

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We put it in our toaster oven on 350 F for 5 minutes. The marshmallows didn’t brown and the chocolate didn’t melt. We ended up baking it for about 20 minutes for it to somewhat get the s’mores look. We were surprised because our toaster oven is heavy duty and usually cooks quickly.

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Pictured above is the final look of our s’mores. As you can see, the chocolate is not oozing out as the package had shown. We should have put more of the chocolate medallions that were provided in the kit. Google showed putting only one piece of chocolate on the bottom. This is where Google failed us…and this is where the missing directions on the box would have came in handy.

In terms of taste, the marshmallow was ooey gooey and the graham crackers were yum. We really missed having more chocolate in each bite though. If you are a fan of s’mores and have been looking for a halal version, give this a try but make sure you look up the cooking directions ahead of time. Don’t leave it last minute before iftaar time!

Website: http://www.blossomandbean.com/halal-smores-kit/ 


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Cake Couture

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One of our best friends got engaged recently so a few of us friends decided to gift her a cake for the engagement party. We wanted the cake to be perfect because it was a gift. We went through vendors and vendors and spent a good few weeks discussing this with our friends. We came across Humaira Shah of Cake Couture on Facebook and fell in love with her cakes. It turned out that Humaira had a mutual friend, so we messaged this friend of ours to ask her opinion. Our friend was all praises about Humaira’s desserts.

After deciding on Humaira as the vendor, us friends went through another few weeks of negotiations with the design we wanted. The friend who was getting engaged had a turquoise and silver theme so we wanted a cake that went with that. After hours and hours of searing pictures on Google, we found a design which that matched the theme. We sent it to Humaira and she was able to execute it with perfection.

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Deciding on the flavours was the easy part, mostly because we were running out of time so one of us just picked the flavours and placed the order. Each tier had a different flavour. These were the flavours from bottom to top:

Black Tie: Chocolate cake with Vanilla pastry cream and Chocolate truffle filling

Coconut Dream: Vanilla cake with Coconut pastry cream and toasted coconut buttercream

Italian Love: Chocolate cake with hazelnut mousse and Chocolate truffle filling

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On the day of the engagement one of the friends picked up the cake from Humaira’s house in Markham, and boy, was it ever a challenge to transport the cake to the venue without damaging it! The cake made it to the venue safe and sound, thankfully and looked stunning. We were still nervous though about how it would taste, especially because we were the ones who had pushed for Humaira to be the cake vendor.

The time finally came when the cake was cut and served. We tried the Black Tie first and it was an absolute dream! It was truly a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Next, we tried the Coconut Dream and that too was scrumptious. It cake was moist and the filling was creamy yet fluffy. We didn’t get to try the Italian Love (the top tier) because that was packed for the couple to take home with them. We asked them a few days later and they said they very much enjoyed the cake.

Overall, we were very pleased with Humaira’s cake and service and can’t wait to order another cake from her, inshallah.

*Note* The cake topper was ordered separately from the vendor “Handmade Decor” on Facebook.

Website: http://www.c2cakes.ca


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Authentic Asia – Thai Green Curry & Shrimp Wonton Soup

We are always looking to try new, halal food products. When we were the Halal Food Festival a few weeks ago, we got to sample delicious food from many vendors we had never heard of before. The one that stood out was CP’s Authentic Asia who introduced us to their frozen entrées. On the day of the Halal Food Festival, we had a few bites of their Thai Green Curry and Chicken Pad Thai and were amazed at the quality and taste of the food. We were told that these can be found in the freezer aisle of almost all big grocery stores.

Not surprisingly, we were craving their food just a few days after and began our search in the freezer aisles at our favourite grocery stores. We were unable to find it at Sobeys but found it easily at Loblaws. We were tempted to try their entire selection of products but forced ourselves not to get carried away. We bought the Thai Green Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice ($3.99) and Shrimp Wonton Soup ($2.50). The halal symbol can be found on the boxes but you may need to check all 6 sides of the box to locate it.

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We tried the Thai Green Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice first. In just 5-6 minutes in the microwave, the entrée was ready to eat. The green curry was bursting with Thai flavours of coconut milk, basil and lemon grass. It was absolutely delicious and went really well with the rice. We did find the curry to be a bit on the salty side and the rice wasn’t as fluffy and light as we we would have liked. However, for a frozen dinner this was pretty darn good.
photo 2-13The Shrimp Wonton Soup was ready in 3 minutes in the microwave. Don’t be fooled by the picture, the wontons were huge! Although there were only five wontons in the total, they were filling. The soup was well seasoned and the wontons were scrumptious. Although both products were great, we enjoyed the Shrimp Wonton Soup more.

We look forward to trying more of Authentic Asia’s products, inshallah.

 


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Paramount Butcher Shop – Fine Halal Meats

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Summer is almost here in Toronto and we are sure you are ready to fire up your BBQ. The one place you need to check out this BBQ season is the Paramount Butcher Shop. Not only is this a gorgeous shop, it has a wide selection of meat and related products.
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Shiny displays, excellent customer service, free coffee and best of all, 100% halal and hand-slaughtered. This shop really is any North American Muslim’s dream come true. 
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They have marinated chicken, beef, lamb of various cuts.  Although these were all raw, the displays were drool worthy!
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We regularly buy shish tawouk, chicken shawarma, and kabobs from here. 
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They also have a wide selection of deli meats. 
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The beef counter. We were amazed at the selection and various cuts of meats that were available.
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Be sure to check out this wonderful store this summer and let us know what you tried!

Address:

4646 Heritage Hill Boulevard

Mississauga, ON

L5R 1N4

Phone: 905-890-1700

Website: http://paramountbutchershop.com/

 


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Momofuku Milk Bar

Momofuku Milk Bar is located on the second floor of Momofuku Noodle Bar beside Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto. The Milk Bar is tiny. To give you guys an idea of how small it is, it can be best described as a walk-in fridge. A maximum of 5-6 people can fit in there at one time. You grab a basket outside the Milk Bar, pick your goodies, and go downstairs to pay for them.

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We tried the Compost Cookie, B’day Truffles and the Crack Pie. photo 3

The Compost Cookie had interesting ingredients such as pretzels, potato chips and coffee beans along with the regular ingredients such as oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips. One of us liked the cookie and the other one not so much. The cookie had a strong coffee flavour, which masked everything else.
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The B’day Truffles had rainbow cake, white chocolate and sprinkles. They were scrumptious and melted in our mouths. They are very similar to cookie dough based desserts.

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The Crack Pie was the most amazing treat ever! It is a toasted oat crust with butter filling. It sounds very simple and it is indeed simple, but the taste is out of this world. It is very sweet, so it may not be liked by everyone but it is definitely worth a try.

If you happen to be in the downtown Toronto area, drop by the Momofuku Milk Bar and give yourself a treat!

Address:

2nd Floor
190 University Avenue
Toronto, ONM5H 0A3


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Bamiyan’s Sheer Yakh

Our all time favourite dessert is Bamiyan’s Sheer Yakh (Afghan ice cream). It is not uncommon for us to go to Bamiyan just for this dessert. It is possibly the most incredible and unique ice cream we have ever tried. Rose water is a key ingredient in this ice cream, which makes this frozen dessert unique.

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The ice cream is not as creamy as traditional North American ice cream. It is refreshing and not heavy at all. It is so good that we usually have trouble stopping ourselves from devouring all of it. The serving size is generous and consists of roughly three scoops.

Over the years we have learned that only the Markham location offers this particular dessert. We have inquired in the past at the Thorncliffe and Mississauga locations but they did not offer it.

Have you tried Bamiyan’s Sheer Yakh?


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Indulge Desserts by Fareena

A friend of ours throws the most amazing parties ever. She always has interesting themes, beautiful decor, fun games, delicious food and scrumptious desserts. Needless to say, we always attend her parties.

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At her most recent party, she ordered a gorgeous ombre rosette cake to match the orchids. Although the cake was absolutely stunning, we were skeptical about the taste. In our experience, you can’t judge a cake by it’s appearance. It is usually the too-pretty-to-eat cakes that turn out to be dry from the inside and lack flavour. We are sure you can agree that it is not just about the outside of the cake that matters, the inside is the deal maker or deal breaker.

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At this party we made sure to leave room for dessert and we are glad we did. One bite…and we are no exaggerating…one bite and we were in a state of amazement. The cake was super moist (which is rare) and the frosting was soft and luxurious (even more rare). The chocolate cake was incredible beyond belief.
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We thought we were the only ones who thought this but as we looked around the room, all the guests had huge smiles on their faces as they indulged in this dessert. All the guests were raving (as we are right now) about the cake after the party. We kid you not, this was possibly the best cake we have had in a really long time.

We inquired right away from the host about whom she had ordered the cake from. This cake was from Indulge Desserts by Fareena in Markham. Currently, we are trying to find an excuse to order a cake from her. Eid is too far away…

Website:

Indulge Desserts

Phone number:

(416) 453-8790


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McWrap – Mediterranean Veggie

We were out running some errands and it was close to lunchtime. We wanted something that is light on the tummy and the wallet, so we went to McDonald’s and decided to order Mediterranean Veggie McWrap. We were fairly skeptical and weren’t sure what to expect. In fact, we weren’t too enthusiastic either.

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We took a couple of bites of the McWrap and were amazed by the lightness and freshness of it. We loved the medley of flavours bursting in our mouth. We could taste lemon, hummus, cucumbers, fried onions and feta cheese. Every ingredient seemed perfect and was complimenting each other. There was nothing in there that was overpowering or missing.

One, we were hungry; two, we were pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted! Overall, we loved the Mediterranean Veggie McWrap!

Like many others, we usually order Filet-o-Fish at McDonald’s for lunch or dinner, but Mediterranean Veggie McWrap is certainly a great addition to their menu.

Only surprise/con: this McWrap has more calories, carbs, fat and sodium than a Filet-o-Fish sandwich.