Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Coconut Poke Cake

Our little one enjoys watching Dora and Friends. In one episode, they were making a coconut cake and ever since then we had a major craving for it. So Pinterest came to the rescue. We found a super duper easy recipe for coconut poke cake.

The recipe is from mybakingaddiction‘s website. We loved how it used simple ingredients.

Here is the recipe from the website:

INGREDIENTS
1 package white cake mix, plus ingredients listed on box to prepare cake
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut  <– We used a can of coconut milk instead
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container fozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare and bake white cake mix according to package directions for a 9×13 inch cake.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk.

3. Remove cake from oven and place on a cooling rack. While still hot, use a skewer to  poke holes all over the top of the cake.

3. Spoon the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk mixture over the cake while the cake is still hot.

4. Let cake cool completely. Top with whipped topping and shredded coconut.

5. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Ok, so we know the pictures look unimpressive but we didn’t really think it would turn out all that great. But we were wrong. We LOVED it. It was so light and refreshing.

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Yum yum yum! IMG_5663

We hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did 🙂


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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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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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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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Shrimp Fettuccine with White Sauce

IMG_8780This is one of our favourite recipes from our blogger friend Ikhlas Hussain. We have made this recipe a few times and it is always so tasty that it leaves us with tears of joy. This white sauce recipe will have you forget the Fettuccine Alfredo you get at restaurants.  This is one of the things we enjoy eating at iftaar. It’s an ooey gooey pasta that is super satisfying after a long day of fasting.

The first time we made it we followed the recipe exactly (pictured above). The second time around we added sautéed vegetables (green bell pepper, mushrooms and onions) and crushed red pepper flakes and skipped the cheese (pictured below), which we thought turned out great.

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Here is the recipe from Ikhlas’ website:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 a 250g package of cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 1/2 cup of cheese (we skipped this)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pasta of your choice
  • (we added) Sautéed vegetetables (mushrooms, onions, green bell pepper)
  • (we added) Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • Frozen shrimp

Directions:

  1. Start by boiling your water for the pasta. In a large saucepan, fry up the garlic in a bit of butter. Then dump in your can of soup, giving it a good mix to make less clumpy. Feel free to use a whisk to break up the consistency a bit.
  2. Add the softened, cubed cream cheese, and again, stir well to ensure that the mixture is smooth. Pour in the chicken brother soon after, and mix well to ensure that there’s no clumps or lumps.
  3. Add salt, pepper, spices, and Italian seasoning to taste. Turn the heat down to ensure that your sauce doesn’t burn. Once the mixture is smooth, add most of the cheese, reserving a bit.
  4. Drain pasta and toss into the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve warm.
  5. (Additional step) In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil and add 1/2 tsp of chopped garlic. Once the oil is heated, add the frozen shrimp. As the shrimp start to cook, add salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Take out the cook shrimp and add to the saucepan with the pasta and sauce.
  6. (Additional step) In the same frying pan that you used to cook shrimp, add in chopped onion, mushrooms and green bell peppers. Sautée and season to taste. Add the sautéed vegetables to the pasta and sauce mixture.
  7. Enjoy!


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Nana Ice Cream

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This ice cream recipe is so ridiculously easy that you will think that it probably doesn’t taste all that great. But, we challenge you to actually make it and taste how delicious it is. This ice cream is vegan friendly and can be topped with whatever your heart desires: chocolate syrup, caramel, brownie bits, etc. You can also mix in any other frozen fruit that you like. Frozen strawberries and chocolate chunks are a popular choice. It is a healthy alternative to store bought ice cream and definitely fulfills the craving.

Ingredients:

3-4 cups frozen bananas

2 tbsp almond milk (or regular milk if you are don’t want make it vegan)

Directions:

1) Cut up bananas and put them in the freezer to freeze. The more ripe the bananas are, the better.

2) Put the frozen bananas pieces in a food processor or a high quality blender and blend away. Blend until the consistency is that of ice cream. Add the milk as needed to keep the machine going. Blend, blend, blend.

3) Scoop, top with your favourite toppings and enjoy!


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Bruschetta

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We are little embarrassed to admit this, but we tried this recipe last Ramadan and it was a huge hit. We had meant to share this recipe way back when, but hey…better late than never right? We came across this recipe on Fatima’s Bridal House and decided to make it because it seemed easy. It was our first time making bruschetta and we wish we had made more of it because it was delicious!

Below is the recipe from Fatima’s page:

Ingredients:

6 plum tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (we used regular vinegar because we prefer to avoid balsamic vinegar)

1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 French baguette

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the plum tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

 

 

We recommend trying this recipe for iftaar. It is easy to put together and requires only a handful of ingredients you probably already have at home. We hope you enjoy this recipe by Fatima as much as we did.

Enjoy!