Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Lately we have been experimenting with soups and came across Butternut Squash Soup recipe from Blendtec. We gave it a try with slight adjustment and loved it! In fact not just us, but our whole family loved it.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1   large butternut squash (approximately 4-5 lbs)
2   tbsp olive oil, divided
114   c water, divided
1   carrot
1   stalk celery
1   onion
18   tsp dried thyme
14   tsp kosher salt
18   tsp ground black pepper
312   c low-sodium chicken broth (28 oz)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and pierce squash skin with fork. Brush squash halves with 1 tablespoon oil, and place halves flesh-side down in pan. Fill pan with ¼ cup water to prevent squash from drying. Bake until tender, approximately 45–60 minutes. Reserve ½ of baked butternut squash for future meal.

Meanwhile, add carrot, celery, and onion to WildSide+ jar. Secure lid and press “Pulse” several times, until vegetables are chopped. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot. Add carrot, celery, and onion, and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Then add thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, another 2–3 minutes.

Add 1 cup water, carrot, celery, and onion to WildSide jar. Secure lid and select “Batter” or blend on Medium Low (speed 3 or 4) for 30 seconds.

Pour pureed vegetables back into large pot. Add one can of chicken broth to pot; simmer.

Meanwhile, scoop flesh from one squash half. Add second can of broth and squash flesh to WildSide+ jar. Secure lid and select “Soup” or blend on High (speed 8 or 9) for 90-180 seconds. Pour into pot with pureed vegetables, stir, and simmer, giving flavors time to marry for a few minutes before serving.

Source: Blendtec – Butternut Squash Soup

Adjustments to the Recipe

  • We initially replaced chicken broth with vegetable broth; however, given the high level of sodium present in vegetable broth, we replaced it with water and the soup still tasted great!
  • Butternut Squash soup tends to be somewhat sweet; we decided to add 2 stalks of celery as opposed to 1 and just loved how it enhanced the taste
  • We found that sprinkling some cilantro (during serving) enhanced the taste of soup
  • We recall we may have chopped up a clove (or two) of garlic and added it while sautéing some of the ingredients

Lastly and importantly, you can pretty much use any blender or hand blender to puree the ingredients at intervals mentioned in the recipe and it should generate the same results as Blendtec’s preset keys.

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Crunchy Kale Chips

Kale Chips We were looking for a healthy snack that’s not just yummy, but is also full of goodness. Lo and behold we decided to make kale chips! Here’s a summary of the recipe we used: Ingredients

  • Kale
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Remove stem from kale leaves and chop into either large pieces or bite-sized (depends on your preference)
  • Thoroughly wash them and use salad spinner or paper towel to dry them well
  • Take a cookie sheet or any other oven safe tray and spread them thinly
  • Carefully sprinkle some olive oil, ensuring it’s not too much
  • Add salt to taste; kale is generally slightly bitter, so you may wanna be careful with the amount of salt you use
  • We like spicy snacks, so we decided to sprinkle some cayenne pepper
  • Pop in the cookie sheet/baking tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool for several minutes before indulging in kale chips

Hope you like kale chips just as much as we did!


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Brazilian Brigadeiro Recipe

IMG_9809 The best part about studying Nutrition and Food is that we get to eat in class quite often. Recently in one of our courses, the professor brought Brazilian Brigadeiros for us to try. She only had enough for about 1/3 of the class. When she asked who wanted to try it, our hand shot up at the speed of light. They looked like chocolate truffles, but smaller in size. IMG_9811 The Brigadeiro was exquisite! We love all things sweet and we love super sweet desserts, which is exactly how the Brigadiero tasted. We asked the professor for the recipe, which turned out to be uber simple. We recently made a batch and shared it with our family and friends who loved it. We modified the recipe from http://www.food.com/recipe/brazilian-brigadeiro-343401

Yield: 20

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon Nesquick Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

1) Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.

2) Stir vigorously to make sure all the ingredients are mixed. Cook until the mixture has thickened.

3) Pour into a dish and let it cool at room temperature. We put the dish in the fridge for a few hours.

4) Once you are ready to make the balls, take the mixture out of the fridge.

5) Grease your hands with butter/margarine and take about half a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball.

6) Coat the ball with chocolate sprinkles or shredded coconut. Place into a small cupcake liner.

We found that the Brigadieros can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days and still taste fresh.

Enjoy!


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French Toast (Vanilla)

We are confident most of us love having french toast for breakfast and who doesn’t know the recipe for french toast anyway? So why are we sharing this recipe? Well, we found this recipe to have a balanced amount of sweetness coupled with a decent amount of vanilla extract, which wasn’t at all overpowering. Result: one super yummy breakfast!

French Toast

Here’s the recipe:

We substituted 2% milk with 3.25% milk and of course we used alcohol-free vanilla extract, which is easily available at South Asian grocery stores.

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 white bread slices
  • Maple syrup or cinnamon-sugar

Directions:

  • In a shallow bowl, beat eggs; add the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  • Soak bread for 30 seconds on each side. Cook on a greased hot
  • griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Serve
  • with syrup or cinnamon-sugar.

Source: Vanilla French Toast Recipe


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Granola Bars

Most of us are regular consumers of granola bars and we generally resort to the ones sold at grocery stores. Believe it or not, we do make an attempt to eat as healthy as possible, with the occasional slip-ups (which happens more often than we’d like). Hence, we get tempted to make things at home that usually contain a high amount of preservatives (and other junk) that makes otherwise healthy food unhealthy.

The case in point is granola bars. As much as enjoy the boxed granola bars, we have noticed they frequently contain a few too many unhealthy and unwanted ingredients. So we decided to look up some recipes and since our family enjoys nuts, raisins and craisins, we decided to make Almond, Raisin & Craisin Granola Bars.

Almond, Raisin & Cranberry Granola Bars

We found a relatively healthy, super quick, easy & yummy recipe. Here’s the recipe we used; the only exception we made was to add raisins and craisins instead of chocolate chips:

Created By: Joanne and Adam Gallagher
Yield: 12
You Will Need
  • 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chips
Directions
Prepare Oven and Pan
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Toast Oats and Nuts
  1. Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
Prepare Granola Bars
  1. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
  2. Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).
  3. Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).
  4. Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.

Simple, Soft & Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

Feel free to use your favourite nuts, berries and like. Hope it turns out just as good for you as it did for us!


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Chicken Club Sandwich

Chicken Club Sandwich

We recently made Chicken Club Sandwich, which turned out surprisingly good. It was fairly simple, quick and easy to prepare as well.

We apologize for the pic, as it’s not the best. We were in a rush to eat, so took a quick pic and started eating.

Ingredients: 

Chicken

  • 1lb boneless chicken breast
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Pepper Flakes
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Ginger & Garlic Paste(s)
  • Yogurt
  • Mayonnaise

Sandwich

  • Cucumber (1)
  • Tomato (1)
  • Eggs (2-4)
  • Cheddar Cheese Slices

Directions: 

Add salt, black pepper, chilli powder, white pepper, pepper flakes, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and about 1tsp of ginger and garlic paste(s). Add 2-3tbsp of stirred yogurt and mix in the chicken and spices. Let it marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Cook chicken in a little bit of oil. Once the chicken cools down, shred it and mix in mayonnaise.

Make omelettes with salt & black pepper. Slice cucumber and tomatoes. Toast regular or wholewheat bread slices (3 slices/sandwich). Spread butter on all 3 slices, spread chicken and mayonnaise mixture on the bottom slice, put the 2nd slice on top, spread a layer of cucumbers, tomatoes and top it with a cheddar cheese slice.

In an effort to avoid wastage, we decided not to cut the crust off (as is generally the case with club sandwiches) and decided to use wholewheat bread. We used all the spices on as per taste; hence, no accurate measurements were done.

We were easily able to prepare 5-6 club sandwiches


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Veg & Salami Frittata

Frittata

We are always interested in trying different things for breakfast on weekends; just so they feel a little special compared to weekdays. So a couple of weekends ago, we decided to make frittata.  We used whatever ingredients we had at home and it turned out better than expected!

Frittata

Ingredients: 

  • Eggs (8-10)
  • Onion (1 medium sized)
  • Salami (a handful – chopped)
  • Bell pepper (1 – green)
  • Mushrooms (3-4)
  • Oregano
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions: 

Finely chop a medium sized onion and sauté it over medium heat for several minutes (either translucent or slightly brown – depending on your preference). Add chopped salami, mushrooms and bell pepper; cook for several minutes. Take 8-10 eggs and whisk them, add salt and pepper (black and pepper flakes) to taste. Pour it over veggies & salami and keep stirring, so it doesn’t turn into an omelette. Once you see the eggs are almost cooked (not runny anymore). Sprinkle some oregano, followed by a decent layer of mozzarella cheese and lastly sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Take the frying pan and transfer it into the oven and broil (500C) it for up to 5 minutes (keep checking to ensure the cheese doesn’t burn).

Tips:

  • Since we weren’t using an oven safe pan, we decided to transfer frittata into a cake pan (brownie pan on another occasion) for broiling


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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

We used to look forward to going to Red Lobster for their food and especially their complimentary biscuits. Now that we don’t go there anymore, we still reminisce about their biscuits. So couple of months ago, we were craving their biscuits and decided to google up recipes. We came across tons and after much research, we decided to settle on one with the most amount of positive reviews.

We made a batch for ourselves and they turned out great (delicious)! We loved how quickly and easily we were able to bake the biscuits. It doesn’t require using a stand mixer or any other mixer. You literally mix all the ingredients by hand (or fork) and use an ice cream scoop to scoop’em on the cookie tray.

So here’s the recipe we followed:

Ingredients to make 12:

  • 2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
  • ¾ cup cold whole milk or buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a knife and fork or your hands until small chunks of butter the size of peas remain. Add grated Cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
  3. Drop approximately 1/4 cup sized mounds of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using two large spoons.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
  5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in salt, garlic powder, and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits.

Makes one dozen biscuits.

Here’s the URL for the recipe: Cheddar Bay Biscuits Recipe

Please note: 

  • We baked our batch for 10 minutes.
  • With our ice cream we are able to make about 15 biscuits

We’ve baked these biscuits on a number of occasions for our friends and family and they’ve always been a big hit! Happy Baking!


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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Not too long ago we were craving Red Velvet Cupcakes and our natural instinct was to go pick up some from a bakery. As we were about to act on our instinct, we thought wait a minute… how about we try baking it ourselves and see how it goes. So we started Googling up recipes and decided to go with one that appeared rather simple and didn’t require buying ingredients that would go expire sitting in shelves because they are exclusive to Red Velvet Cupcake/Cake.

So we found a recipe and thought why not give it a try at an upcoming dinner, so we aren’t stuck devouring Red Velvet Cupcakes all by ourselves?

Here’s the recipe that we followed:

IngredientsCake

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Icing

  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioners’), sifted
  • 1/2 cup 35-percent whipping cream

Directions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, mix the sugar with the eggs, oil, yogurt, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.
  3. Place paper cupcake liners into a muffin pan, and divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, pouring only halfway so the batter doesn’t overflow. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and let cool.
  4. For the icing: In a bowl, beat the mascarpone, icing sugar, cream, and lemon zest together until the mixture is smooth. 
Spoon a dollop of mascarpone cream on the cupcakes.

To our surprise, everyone loved the Red Velvet Cupcakes! Happy Baking!

Here’s the URL to the recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes