Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cream of Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup



I had a few sweet potatoes and carrots in my fridge and I wanted to cook them before going on my vacation. So after some googling I found some recipes on how to make sweet potato soup. But I fiddled with the recipe a little to get the taste that I know my kids like. This soup turned out so well that my son just did not have enough of it. So here it is..

Ingredients

1. One large sweet potato chopped
2. Two carrots chopped
3. 1One medium onion sliced
4. one clove of garlic minced
5. one celery stalk chopped
6. Vegetable stock/ Chicken Stock
salt pepper
olive oil
1/4 cup of cream or evaporated milk

Method

Heat oil in a pot. Saute the onion and garlic untill they are soft and not browned.
Now add chopped vegetables and saute till well combined with the onion. Add the stock ( I used homemade vegetable stock). Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Now let it simmer till the veges are soft. Cool this soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. Then add the cream and milk and season with more pepper and garnish with some parsley

Monday, November 17, 2008

Its the holidays!!!

Alhamdulillah the school holidays are here again. In malaysia the school term ends in mid november and only reopens in the first week of January. That means we have roughly 40 to 45 days of school break. Wheww that is long especially if you have active kids with nothing much to do in the house. There will be endless arguments: from remote controls for the idiot box, to who gets to play games first, to whom should mum play with. Thankfully hubby decided to take us for a two weeks vacation. Now that had the kids excited and made them talk and plan about this trip, which means less arguments, and more fun. So here we are all packed and ready to leave. But before that I decided to post one recipe which is Creamy Sweet Potatoes and Carrot soup. Actually there are many other recipes that I had tried out the past few weeks but Only I did not have time to post it. Anyway I will try and post them when I come back InsyaAllah. Till then Happy Holidays !!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wisdom of Rasulullah s.a.w

The true believer treats his relatives well despite their being unkind to him.

The Greater Holy War is against the self.

Missing a prayer is like suffering agreat misfortune in one's family and wealth.

If you are negligent about your prayer, you will be more negligent about other things..

No one is a true believer until he wishes for others what he wishes for himself.

The right of the eldest brother upon the youngest is the right of the father upon his son.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pitta Bread in Dubai




My first encounter with pitta bread was in Dubai when my family and I had gone for our holidays. After travelling for more than 12 hours ( Pen –Kul-Dubai) and checking into our hotel we realized it was an apartment complex, we found out that there was no restaurant in it or even near by it. We were all exhausted and hungry. Later we went out to look for a plate of rice which is of course Malaysian staple diet. Surprisingly the cafes and restaurant along the Diera town did not sell any rice. All the food sold was either wrapped in a pitta bread or filled in a pitta pocket. So here it is after some trial and error I finally started making pittas better than the ones sold in the supermarket. I’ve even alterd the recipe to omit as much white flour as possible and include whole meal. Both the recipes are below. Enjoy kneading!!

Pitta Bread Recipe
3 cuos of flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 10g sachet (or 3 teaspoons) instant yeast or ¼ oz / 8g active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil
Wholemeal Pitta Bread Recipe
1 cup of flour
1 ½ cups of whole meal flour
½ cup of wheatgerm
1 teaspoon salt

1 10g sachet (or 3 teaspoons) instant yeast or ¼ oz / 8g active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil
(Method for both is the same. Just combine all three flour first before continuing)


Sift together the flour and salt. Combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a cup and leave for 10 minutes until it starts to froth. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon and start kneading by handi to form a dough, adding another few tablespoons warm water as needed. Knead the dough on a floured surface for approx 10 minutes until it is smooth, springy and elastic. Put some olive oil into the bowl and place the dough back into the bowl, spread the oil all over the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ - 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
Punch the air out of the dough and knead briefly, then divide the dough into twelve pieces. Roll each one out to a ¾ cm / ¼ inch thick round and put on a floured baking tray. When they're all done cover the tray and leave to rise again for another 45 minutes .Preheat your oven to its highest temperature - about 220C / 450F if it will get that hot. Heat up a baking tray or put large frying pan in the middle of your oven to heat. Once the dough has risen, put one or two pitta breads onto the griddle and return to oven to cook for 2 ½ to 3 minutes until they have puffed up. Bring the bread out onto a plate covered by a damp cloth to cool off. Once cool they can be frozen in bags. Reheat under the grill or in a toaster.Pitta bread is now ready and can be eaten with numerous fillings be it vegetarian or non vegetarian,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baba Ghanouj - grilled eggplant dip


Baba Ghanoush - also known as Baba Ghanouj in arabic – is according to Wikipedia a Levantine cuisine which is a traditional cuisine of Ottoman Syria, now usually called the Levant. Baba Ghanouj is a dip or spread made of roasted eggplant and traditionally tahini. Simply roast the eggplant, scoop out the softened pulp, and then puree with tahini and seasonings. The seasonings used in this recipe for Baba Ghanoush are garlic,ground cumin , lemon juice, parsley and salt. Dip fresh pita bread or use as spread for sandwiches or simply cut vegetables into the Baba Ghanoush for a healthy snack.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Tahini
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celcius).
2. Prick the eggplant with a fork. Then place on a tray put into the hot oven.
3. Roast the eggplant for about 40 minutes or until very soft inside. (you will know eggplant is done he there is no more liquid coming out from it )
4. Cool completely.
5. Scoop out the eggplant's pulp and place in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until pureed, but still has some texture.
6. Refrigerate. Serve chilled with fresh pita bread.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Exams and High School Musical 3

It has been quite a while since I posted anything. The reason is because of the exam season here in Malaysia. Children in primary, secondary school and and pre-U will be sitting for their final exams in the month of October and November just before the school term break. Having kids all in primary, secondary and Pre-U can cause any mom to go nuts what with all the driving to and fro from school, tutoring, cooking balanced meal, going to school during lunch break to give moral support and the list goes on..My two daughters the eldest doing her SAM program ( South Australian Matriculation) and my youngest in year three are the most stressed out girls I have seen. The little one is ditto her big sister and a perfectionist when it comes to her work. My son on the other hand is such a happy go lucky fellow and is always cool in what ever circumstances. Looking at my children it make me realise how different and how well defined their personalities are. Sometimes the cutest of things that they say can make any mum do the craziest things. For instance, when I knew about the movie High School Musical 3 coming to my town cinemas I specifically told my eldest who is so crazy about this movie not to mention about it to the little one. My little Sofi is also a big fan of high school musical and even had performed a dance for the song 'What Time Is It' earlier this year in her school concert. While I do encourage my kids to follow their passion as long as they are good Muslims and obedient children, this HSM thing was going out of hand.So I banned Sofi from watching replay of the movie and talking about the movie. (although she begged me to allow her to listen to the songs in the weekend). So now back to HSM3 , I was quite sure this movie was out of the question and no one dared to talk about it. Until last Saturday when my eldest called me from KL asking my 'permission' to watch the movie . Her excuse was that all her room mate in the hostel will be going for the movie and she will be alone in the apartment. Sigh..! What can I do? So after consulting with her father , I allowed her to go for the movie. Now that should be it, right? Nope.. Little Sofi overheard and started sulking. When I asked her what was wrong she very timidly replied that every single girl in her class have seen the movie, except her. She also added that she feels awkward and embarassed because she was the only one who has not seen the movie, and since her exams are over and she did work very hard, we should at least consider taking her for the movie. Talk about peer pressure. Just then her best friend called to tell her that she was going for the movie, again! Little Sofi had such a miserable look on her face that hubby and I instantly gave in and decided to take her for the 9pm show. But there was one problem though. My son MS hates HSM 1, 2 or 3. He refused to follow giving all kind of reasons why he should stay at home. Finally after some coaxing he agreed to follow but on condition that he be allowed to cover his eyes with an eye patch. What a mom has to go through to please her kids. So we agreed. The movie HSM3 was not so great after all the Boohoohaa.In my opinion the movie was definitely not suitable for kids. There was too much of romancing and very little story in it. Many a time I had to distract sofi so that she does not watch all the romancing that was going on. So after the movie, I had a talk with her and asked her opinion of the movie. She agreed that it was not so nice and she wished now that she did not go for it. MS was happy saying again and again 'I told you so'. But all in all it was a lesson learnt for all of us. For me and Hubby, as parents we should say no and be firm with our answer when we are sure of something. For Sofi, she should not allow friends to influence her and for MS...ehm.ehmm advice his mom when he thinks her heart is controlling her head. Anyway no offence to those of you who enjoy HSM 3... this is only my view of the movie. Happy Days !!!

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

Buddy Award from Yasmeen

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut

An Award from Yasmeen of Health nut