Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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EarthFresh Organic Potatoes: Roasted Potatoes Recipe

We were asked to try out EarthFresh’s Organic Potatoes in a recipe, so we went to our favourite potato recipe that we always make for parties.

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EarthFresh’s Organic Red Baby Potatoes came in a light blocking bag to protect the potatoes from greening. Grown to strict organic standards, these potatoes are grown using environmentally friendly farming methods to preserve the long-term health of our ecosystem. IMG_5704

We washed and scrubbed the potatoes. Isn’t that brush the cutest? IMG_5705

Once the potatoes were nice and clean, it was time to cut them up. We cut them into fours to make them bite size. IMG_5707

Next we spread the potatoes on a foil tray. IMG_5708

They were brushed with olive oil. We used about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. IMG_5710

We seasoned the potatoes with 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp red pepper and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper.  IMG_5711

Potatoes ready to go in the oven!IMG_5713

We baked them at 400 F for 40 minutes. We garnished it with cilantro. IMG_5718

The potatoes had a creamy texture and the seasoning added a South Asian flare to them. IMG_5719

EarthFresh’s potatoes can be used in a loads of recipes, from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Potatoes are a versatile ingredient and fit into a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

 


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Bismillah Sweets (BM Sweets)

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If you know us, you know that we are die hard mithai fans. Ever since we moved to the west end of the city, we have been on the lookout for a good mithai shop.

We heard of BM Sweets through a relative and they were raving about their sweets. Since BM Sweets doesn’t have a website, Facebook group or any sort of presence online, it was a bit of challenge to find. But we did find it eventually in the Heartland area of Mississauga.

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It’s a small takeout shop with friendly customer service. On our first visit, we got a small box of assorted mithai. The mithai at BM Sweets is pretty darn good. We particularly enjoyed the barfi and the gulab jamuns. On a subsequent visit, we tried their jalebi and also found that to be delicious.

Whenever we go with our little one, they have always given us a free piece of mithai. Someone sure knows how to win our hearts.

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Our family enjoys their samosas a lot. We tried the chicken and veggie samosas that came with free chutney (yes, free). Our favourite are the chicken samosas. Being South Asians, we have a never ending love affair with samosas and chutney.

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So the next time you’re in the mood for mithai or need to take mithai to that someone special’s house or you’re obliged to be fed mithai for your special occasion, we recommend giving BM Sweets a try.

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Address: 

812 Britannia Road West

Unit 103

Mississauga, ON

L5V 2W1

Phone: 

905-821-8321


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Black Ox Bistro

We made the much awaited trip to Scarborough recently to finally try Black Ox Bistro. We went around lunch time and found the restaurant to surprisingly quiet. We were greeted by a very enthusiastic (yet professional) server who escorted us to table. He raved about the ribs, the stuffed chicken and the chicken fettuccine. By the way he described the dishes we were super excited. He definitely knew how do his job well.

For our little one, we ordered the Chicken Nuggets ($7) with fries that came with ketchup and plum sauce. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill breaded nuggets. These were batter dipped and fried. We thought the nuggets could have used a bit of extra seasoning. They did taste good with the plum sauce, however. The portion size was appropriate for our toddler.

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Our favourite thing at Black Ox Bistro was definitely their drinks. We tried the Pina Colada and the Mango Lychee drinks. Both were bursting with flavour and were blended to perfection. We highly recommend trying items from their drinks menu.

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The first entrée we tried was the Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Chicken Breast ($19). The chicken was stuffed with fire-roasted vegetables, goat cheese and thyme/rosemary sauce. It came with two sides, so we got mashed potatoes and fries. Unfortunately, this was our least favourite dish. It was definitely edible but just wasn’t for us. We did enjoy the fries though.

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We have heard people raving about the ribs from Black Ox Bistro for quite some time now so decided to take the plunge (we say that because we rarely order beef) and ordered the half rack Classic Beef Short Ribs ($22). The ribs were smothered with Korean Bulgogi BBQ sauce. We believe the sauce served on the side was a different kind but we don’t know the name. For sides, again we got fries and mashed potatoes. The ribs were tender and juicy and the sauce was the definitely the saviour. While we thought the ribs were good, we didn’t understand the hype around it.

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For dessert we ordered the Lemon Zest Cheesecake ($7) with dulche de leche sauce. Dulche de leche is one of our favourite dessert sauces so when we read that we imagined a slice of cheesecake covered with the sauce. It was actually just a drizzle. The first bite was quite lemony but the flavour grew on us after a few more bites.

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We have to say that the service was commendable and the professionalism was impressive (given that no other halal restaurant has professional servers). However, when it came to the food we were a bit underwhelmed. It is possible that we didn’t make very good choices for the entrées. Have you visited Black Ox Bistro? What did you think of their food?

Address: 

1780 Markham Road

Toronto, ON

Phone:

416-297-5777

Website: 

http://www.blackoxbistro.com/


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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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Second Grill

Second Grill

Long before gourmet burger restaurants dominated the scene in GTA, Second Grill in Mississauga was amongst the very few places (in Mississauga at least) that most burger enthusiasts used to visit. It used to be known as ‘Hot-in-Roll’ before it went a management & name change. Second Grill has recently had a management change. The establishment has some seating; however, we personally feel it’s better suited for take-out.

This past Ramadan when most restaurants would be closed post-taraweh hours, we ended up visiting Second Grill a number of times. We enjoyed the food and reminisced of old times. Our favourites have been

  • Spicy Beef Burger with Cheese (yes, it’s processed beef patty, but still yummy!)
  • Zinger Burger
  • Poutine (they are generous with the gravy, so we usually ask them not to add too much)
  • Philly Cheese Steak (it’s been a hit & miss, but worth the attempt; when it turns out good, it’s quite good)
  • Sehri breakfast – which may also be weekend breakfast (halwa, cholay/chanay, shami kabab, omelet)

Hope you get to try their food and enjoy it (and reminisce of old times) as much as we have been. We have been placing take-out orders post-Ramadan and will continue to do so.

Second Grill is located at 5980 Churchill Meadows Blvd., Unit 8, Mississauga. Their phone number is 905-369-0061.


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T-Buds


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One of our absolute favourite spots in Toronto is the T-Buds tea lounge in the uptown part of the city. We have visited this crêperie numerous times and our experience has always been delightful. 

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We have tried a variety of items from their menu over the years and every item is delicious and so thoughtfully assembled that it warms the heart. IMG_5551
We love their high-tea offering and find the scones and sandwiches to be heavenly. 

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We find T-Buds to be one of the most unique restaurants in the halal food community in Toronto. Many Muslims are aware of this cozy tea lounge, but many are not. We highly recommend you check this place out with your girlfriends and if you are guy, treat that special lady in your life to a nice afternoon brunch.
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For this post we thought we’d let the pictures do the talking.
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Address: 3343 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N 2M4

Phone: (647) 352-3624


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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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Chicken Quesadilla

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As some of you may know one of us sisters does food demonstrations at a local community centre and this is one of the recipes we made awhile back that the participants loved. We got this recipe from a newsletter by the Dietitians of Canada. Each serving has 35 g of protein. We used a bit of mayonnaise (shhh…) for when we made it just because we don’t like a dry tortilla. It you do use it, try to get the fat-free kind and use it sparingly.

This recipe is quick to put together and we can assure you and your kids will enjoy it. We are not even fans of spinach, but in this recipe we loved it.

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Prep time: 8 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 small whole-wheat flour tortillas

6 oz (175 g) Brie cheese, thinly sliced (we used mozzarella cheese)

2 cups (500 mL) shredded cooked chicken (can substitute mashed chickpeas if preferred)

1 cup (250 mL) shredded baby spinach

1 sweet pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 apple, thinly sliced

Olive oil for cooking

Directions:

1) (Shh..Spread fat-free mayo sparingly on each tortilla). If you can skip it, then great.

2) Divide the cheese into eight portions. Place on portion of cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, spinach, pepper, apple and another cheese portion.

2) Fold uncovered half of tortilla over filling and press gently to seal.

3) Place a skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Place one tortilla at a time in the pan and cook for 2 minutes until browned. Flip and cook the other side for 2 additional minutes.

Bon appétit!