Sunday, December 26, 2010

Raspberry Crumble Muffins

I love how these photographs have turned out!
My friend Raisa (twitter: @raisa_z) edited them. We are now going to collaborate on the photographs where I take them and she edits them!

These were some raspberry crumble muffins I made for a picnic in the park. The occasion was a staff gathering for all of us who work at the Writing Center at AUS. The weather was fabulous and the company was great. I hadn't had a picnic in the park in so long and this was definitely fun.

Enjoy the pictures! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread biscuits at Sally's!

So today I had a lovely afternoon with all my food blogger friends from our group "Famished in Arabia"! This time, in the Christmas spirit, we gathered at Sally's home to decorate some wonderful gingerbread biscuits she had made!

It was such a lovely experience, the kitchen was full of women chatting, eating, baking, and decorating biscuits!

Check out Sally's blog here:
Ruth at Bon Appetit Review made some heavenly scones that we had with rhubarb jam.

Here are some photographs:

Pumpkin and Cinnamon Pasta with Capsicum, Onion, and Egg Wraps

I made these for dinner today. I didn't really like the recipe for the pumpkin pasta though and I'm thinking to make it again but omit the cream that was used and instead puree some pumpkin.. and so use double or triple the quantity of pumpkin used in this recipe. I'd also add lots more cinnamon. And perhaps some cumin, too..

The wraps were heavenly. I used tortillas, heated them up, spread them with a little of sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. Then, I fried some capsicum and onion and added some balsamic vinegar. I heaped a spoonful of the capsicum mixture on the tortilla and then topped it with some scrambled egg. The hardest part was wrapping the thing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Macaroons edited by Raisa! :)

My lovely friend Raisa gave me a wonderful surprise this morning when she edited these photographs of my macaroons! I absolutely love the tone. It reminds me of a lot of Marie Antoinette the movie!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coconut and Apricot Macaroons with Macadamia Blondies

I want to try baking something different. I feel like I stick to much to my comfort zone of cakes, cupcakes, and biscuits. So here are some macadamia blondies (which were left too long in the oven thanks to me forgetting about them!) and some coconut macaroons with dried apricot and white chocolate. The apricot and white chocolate can be replaced with glace cherries. I think that would work out really nicely.

Enjoy the photographs. Something was wrong with either me or my camera that day. Everything came out blurry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sid's spicy and warm winter vegetable invention

So there I was in class at 1PM this afternoon, hungry as anything. Naturally, I started to daydream...about food. Almost immediately, I got an idea of chopping up some winter vegetables and throwing them into a pot with tons of spices and letting the whole thing cook for ages.

Here's the recipe.. you can tweak it to your preferences.

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped into big pieces
2 parsnips, roughly chopped into big pieces
2 potatoes, roughly chopped into big pieces
2 carrots, roughly chopped into big, round pieces
2 sweet potatoes roughly chopped into big pieces
4 baby eggplants, sliced into quarters
2 onions, roughly chopped into big pieces
4 cloves garlic, each cut in half
2 teaspoons chopped fresh fennel
Add butternut pumpkin if you wish
Rocket leaves
Tomato pasta sauce, 3 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar

Spices, herbs, and seasoning (to taste)
Ground coriander, ground garlic, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, paprika, a pinch of dried lavender (yes!), peppercorns, mixed spice, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, sea salt, chilli flakes, curry powder, ground turmeric.

Heat up 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat, add ALL the vegetables, then add all the spices, herbs, and seasoning (I added 2-3 teaspoons of each... except for the peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, lavender, and sea salt, turmeric). Mix very well together and let cook for two minutes. Place the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low and let it cook slowly for around one hour.

After the hour, taste the vegetables and check whether they're cooked. If they are, add some tomato pasta sauce and mix well.

Place rocket leaves on a plate and then spoon the vegetable mixture on top of it. Splash a quick dash of balsamic vinegar for some tanginess. This really improves it.


Restaurant Review: Toscana

Name Toscana
Address Madinat Souk
Specialties The heavenly grilled and baked fish, as well as the pizza.
Special Gimmicks Before, they used to place a lit candle in an empty glass bottle on every table. It would look beautiful as the candle wax melted around the bottle. If you sit indoors at night, it feels very much like an old tavern.
Ambience Bustle, noise, people, the clattering of cutlery on plates, amazing weather outdoors, dim lights indoors, perfect!
Favourite table Outside of course! Weather permitting, that is.. Otherwise, inside by a wall.
Cuisine Italian
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate-high.
Occasion Dinner
What I ordered Pumpkin and gorgonzola risotto with arugula leaves.
What others had Penne Arrabiatta
Usual crowd Tourists usually
bread entree 10/10, warm bread, good variety, and lovely balsamic vinegar. The bruschetta is also heavenly!
waiting area horrible! nothing! They're usually so crowded around this time of year that if you want a table outdoors you have to wait around an hour and just walk around the Souk till then. Or you could have some drinks on a couple of their stools outdoors.. if those are available!
entertainment Nothing in particular.. people-watching maybe?
atmosphere 10/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 8/10
servers 10/10
salad 7/10
service 8/10
crowd 9/10
parking Madinat Souk parking. What I usually do though is that I give the car to valet at Mina Al Salam, just remember to get your slip signed at the Mina Al Salam, you might have to show your restaurant bill.
Overall 9/10

Once again, I apologize for the poor picture quality! It was night and it was a phone camera!

Restaurant Review: Circle

Name Circle
Address Beach Park Plaza, Jumeirah Road
Specialties The amazing bagels! And the desserts, especially the Oreo mousse..
Special Gimmicks The menu is like a little newspaper! Very creative.
Ambience Amazing! The best time to come is for breakfast as the sunlight pours in and lights the entire place up. What makes it even brighter is that all the tables and chairs are white. Fresh pink flowers on every table adds lovely contrast.
Favourite table By the window!
Cuisine Modern?
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate.
Who went with me Veronica
Occasion Breakfast
What I ordered Goats cheese and sundried tomato wholewheat bagel
What others had Bagel filled with 0melette
Usual crowd The Jumeirah crowd.
bread entree 10/10, warm lovely bagels!
waiting area usually not necessary, but there are a few tables outside the restaurant.
entertainment some books are available to browse through. The view of Jumeirah Beach Park is also there.
dessert I love every single one. Especially the lemon tart and the Oreo mousse.
atmosphere 8/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 8/10
servers 10/10
salad 8/10..
service 9/10
crowd 9/10
parking valet if you wish, or a huge sand pit right next to Beach Park Plaza
Overall 9/10

Sorry for the poor picture quality, it was thanks to my phone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Midnight Feast

OK, well maybe the title's a little misleading. It's midnight snacks and not a feast.
The baguette with topping is my own invention that I made a reference to in an earlier post.
I mixed the chili mayo with olives and spread it over the hot, toasted baguette.
HOW does one neatly slice baguette?!
I then put little sprigs of rosemary to garnish each piece. Not exactly gourmet, but nice, yummy, and filling.

The puff pastry that you see is my hurried attempt at these Nutella Mallow Pillow Pockets

The shapes turned out all different with me for some reason! I added sprinklings of cinnamon powder to this. If made smaller, this would be perfect to serve in individual dessert plates alongside a scoop of icecream, some chocolate chips, and a lovely decadent chocolate sauce.

Another version that might work wonderfully with this is raspberries with the Nutella. A dusting of icing sugar to complete the look might also look good.

I'm not happy with my photography today but oh, well! *sigh*