More quiche! This time, asparagus and mushroom quiche

6 Feb

So I’m a big fan of quiche. which is weird for someone who hates eggs. I’ve made mushroom quiche and smoked salmon quiche before. I’ve decided to try a new one this weekend and it was equally as yummy as the mushroom and salmon ones I make.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, diced finely
  • 1 cup finely chopped asparagus
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cream (light)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mozarella
  • Shortcrust pie shell

Start off by chopping your ingredients.

Fry the onions until they become transparent, then add the mushrooms and cook until they soften. Take them off the heat.

P1040862

P1040864

Boil the asparagus until is softens slightly (around 3-4 minutes) then drain and put under cold water so it stops cooking.

P1040863

Chop up the asparagus and add it to the onion and mushroom mixture, and stir together. Do not cook the asparagus any further.

P1040868

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and salt.

Roll out your dough and place it in a pie tin tray. And now you can start putting your quiche together:

Place the onion, mushroom and asparagus mixture on the bottom of the quiche.

Then add the cheddar and mozarella cheeses.

And finally, pour the cream, egg and salt mixture.

P1040870

P1040871

VOILA! Your quiche is ready for baking!

Bake in a 200 degree celsius pre-heated oven, for around 35-40 minutes, until your quiche is nice and golden.

Aaaand enjoy🙂

P1040877

P1040879

Brownies with peanut butter swirl

2 Feb

This was an awesome, amazing recipe. My sister has gotten into the habit of sending me links of recipes she comes across, with a simple word: “Yum”, which translates into “You better make this because it looks absolutely incredible”.

So last week, after a hiatus from baking and cooking, brought on by a crazy busy workload, the holidays and some travelling, I decided that it was time to get back into the kitchen.

And this was the result:

P1040811

Surprisingly simple to make and oh so amazingly melt-in-your-mouth good! Peanut butter and chocolate has got to be one of the best combinations ever!

INGREDIENTS:

For the batter:

  • 8 tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
  • 50 grams dark chocolate (I used Lindt 85%)
  • 100 grams semisweet chocolate (I used Lindt 65%)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start off with preparing the batter:

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bain marie, making sure that the container that has the chocolate does not touch the water of the pan beneath it.

P1040792

Melt until the chocolate is nice and smooth.

P1040796

While the above mixture is cooling, start preparing the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, add in the granulated sugar, the eggs and the vanilla and mix until smooth. And finally, add the dry ingredients (flour, etc.) into the chocolate mixture and mix until well blended:

P1040800

Now that your batter is done, it’s time to do the filling. Very simply, mix the peanut butter, icing sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a bowl until the mixture and smooth and creamy:

P1040801

Now it’s time to put everything together. Make sure your oven is pre-heated to around 160 degrees celsius. Butter a square pan, line it with parchment paper that you also need to butter. Make sure to leave an overhang so you can take the brownie out of the pan once it’s cooled.

Start by adding a layer of the chocolate mixture (I’d say about half or more of the mixture, to make sure that you’ve fully covered the base of the pan.

Add some spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture on top of the batter, leaving a few centimeters in between each spoonful, until the area is fully covered.

Add the remaining chocolate mixture to cover the peanut butter and then drizzle the remaining peanut butter on top, and swirl it around with a knife to get the nice shapes that you see below.

P1040803

Bake the brownie for about 45 minutes until the batter has dried. Let it cool completely before cutting it into pieces (looks too pretty to cut though!)

P1040804

Enjoy! These were a hit with whoever tried them!

P1040807

P1040813

P1040817

Potato Chip Pecan Chocolate Cookies

18 Oct

In my constant effort to introduce weird ingredients to my cookies, and to play around with a salty and sweet combination, I thought I’d look into putting potato chips into my cookies. Why not?

This recipe still needs some work. These were NOT the easiest cookies to work with at ALL, and I think I know where the problem lies. So I’m gonna try these again at some point and try to perfect the recipe, because they were pretty darn good, despite being the most fragile things ever!

Ingredients:

* 8 tablespoons of butter

* 1/2 cup of crushed potato chips (I used Lay’s regular, and I crushed them with a rolling pin in a ziploc bag)

* 1/4 cup cup granulated sugar

* 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

* 1/4 cup ground pecans (I chopped them coarsely then crushed them in a ziploc bag too)

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1 large egg yolk

* 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

* 1/4 teaspoon of salt

* Dark chocolate bar for melting

Start off by mixing the butter and the granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar with a mixer, until the mixture becomes quite fluffy.Then add the egg and the vanilla and continue beating.

Combine the flour, potato chips, pecans and salt in a bowl (I toasted the pecans a bit beforehand) then add all these ingredients into the butter, sugar and egg mixture.


I think this is where I probably messed up my batch, because I overmixed the batter causing it to become too soft, which then lead to complications while baking.

The recipe calls for “rolling dough balls” and “flattening the dough balls on a baking sheet” but my batter was not thick enough to form a dough ball, let alone flatten it. So I spooned it anyway on a sheet lined with parchment paper, and baked these for around 10 minutes at a 350 degree pre-heated oven.

These baked fast! Some cookies actually got overcooked. And they spread out quite a bit resulting in some extra-large cookies.

Once my cookies cooled, I tried dipping them into chocolate, but they were way too fragile to be dipped, so I ended up drizzling some chocolate on top. A lot of them broke in the process. That’s how difficult these were to handle!

In the end, they were good once you ate them. But I doubt this is how their texture is meant to be, and I doubt this is how fragile they should be. As you can see from the picture above, they were practically wafer-thin, which was the root of the difficulty in handling them. I’ll make these again for sure. Potato chip cookie just sounds amazing and I am definitely a fan of the salty/sweet combo. I just need to tweak the recipe a little bit…

Salty Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

9 Oct

These are probably the best thing to have happened to me in my baking life. Before I get into how to make them, just check out how yummy these look:

 

Image

Yummyyyyy.

So here are the ingredients for this thing of beauty:

Caramel:

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of cream (I used light)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (the recipe calls for fleur de sel which I can’t seem to find anywhere!
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I also used light)

Cookie dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp of butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

Start off by making the caramel:

In a pan, add the sugar, corn syrup and water, and heat until the mixture thickens and becomes a nice bronze-ish color. Take the mixture off the heat, and add the cream, salt and sour cream. You may need to keep on the heat a little while longer to ensure the mixture is thick and smooth enough.

 

Image

 

For the cookie dough:

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the butter and the sugars (granulated and brown) thoroughly. Then add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix some more.

 

Image

Image

 

Start incorporating the dry ingredients to the wet ones by folding them in (do not blend!). As a last step, add the chocolate chips and mix thoroughly (again, by hand, not with a mixer).

Image

And now, you put everything together. Line a square pan (8×8 inch) with some aluminum foil, and start by placing half the batter at the bottom of the pan.

Then spread around 6 tbsp of caramel on the dough.

Image

 

Then add the remaining cookie dough and sprinkle with more salt (preferably fleur de sel if available).

Pop the pan in a 325 degree celsius oven that’s been pre-heated for around 35 minutes.

Wait for these to cool completely before removing the cookies from the foil and cutting them up.

Image

 

YUMMMMM….Like I said, the best thing to have happened to me in my baking life. They’re soft, gooey, sticky, sweet, salty, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Image

 

Balsamic Chocolate Cherry Cookies

7 Oct

I love the idea of an unexpected ingredient in traditional dishes. I love putting fruit in my savoury salads for example. And I love a piece of sushi that includes a mango or a strawberry coulis. (Pineapple and ham pizza, on the other hand, is not something that I necessarily enjoy).

So I started looking for interesting ingredients to put in my cookies and came across a balsamic vinegar recipe that I had to try. It’s one of the easiest recipes I’ve yet to try. And it feels much lighter and healthier than other butter and sugar-heavy concoctions.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of dried cherries
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 7 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt

Start off by marinating your cherries in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and warming them up slightly in the microwave. Allow for the cherries to absorb the liquid for a little while.

Image

Then, mix some of the dry ingredients together: salt, flour, baking soda.

Image

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and add the cocoa powder and the granulated and brown sugar, and blend well together.

Then add the yoghurt, 2 remaining tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the vanilla extract.

Image

Mix in the flour mixture and blend thoroughly (no need for a blender for this. Manual blending works fine). And finally, add the cherries!

Image

Place small tablespoons of dough on wax paper, and place in a pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Image

All it takes is really 20 minutes to get these done, from beginning to end, which is amazing!

So what about the taste? I’ve done a couple of batches of these cookies already, and had different people try them. The first day, they come across as a bit dry (the texture is definitely not buttery). But for some reason, the 2nd day, they taste so much better! Maybe it’s because the cherries have had the chance to integrate well with the rest of the dough?

Image

The good thing is that they do not taste heavy, but on the other hand, if you’re going to have a cookie, it might as well be indulgent, right?

So, moving forward, I may look into experimenting with a version that has more butter/sugar/decadence somehow!

3-way chocolate chip cookies

27 Sep

Cookies have been on my mind lately. Never realized that cookies can be so versatile and so quick to prepare! So this is the first of many cookie recipes I’ll be posting here. This recipe, inspired by an allrecipes.com recipe I found, results in a LOT of cookies! (like 40 cookies at least), so I decided to try different ways of making them.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

Start off by mixing together the butter and white brown sugars until everything is well blended.

Image

 

Image

Then add the eggs and the vanilla.

 

Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add it to your batter along with the salt and the flour. And finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

 

Image

 

Now here’s where I played around with my cookie dough a little bit. I separated my dough into 3 bowls. In 1 bowl, I added semi-sweet chocolate chips, in the other I added Lindt Dark Chocolate and Mint (broken into little pieces), and in the third bowl, I added Lindt Dark Chocolate and Orange, along with some orange zest and a bit of orange flavouring.

Image
Scoop small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet (these cookies expand!) and bake them in a pre-heated oven (175 degrees celsius) for about 10 minutes only!

The verdict? Regular chocolate chips still rock! The other two versions were good, but I think I’d omit the orange flavouring next time and just stick to orange zest. And I need to play around with the chocolate mint ones a bit more. But that didn’t stop them from being annihilated within a couple of days.

 

Image

Quinoa Tabouleh

23 Sep

Quinoa Tabouleh

Tabouleh is that quintessential Arabic mezze/starter. Every Levantine woman out there claims to make the best tabouleh ever. Well, let me humbly add my claim to fame with this tried and tested recipe. Actually, I can’t claim the fame at all. This is a recipe I got from a good friend, D. This modernized version of a very traditional dish uses two ingredients that you won’t find in a traditional tabouleh: quinoa and avocado.
Before we get into the mix of things, just thought I’d share this very à propos comic about tabouleh by the very talented Zina:

http://www.zinacomics.com/blog/2012/07/madams-tabbouleh-recipe.html

So, as mentioned above, this recipe calls for quinoa. In this case, quinoa replaces bulgur/cracked wheat, which is the traditional ingredient used in tabouleh. Quinoa tastes just a good as bulgur, but it’s much easier to digest, and much healthier (high protein content). The avocado, on the other hand, just adds a nice creaminess to the salad. It’s optional of course, but I’ll never say no to an avocado in a salad!
Ingredients:

  • Chopped parsley (around 5-6 bunches)
  • Chopped mint (a handful)
  • Diced tomatoes (4-6 depending on size)
  • Chopped spring onions (5-6)
  • Diced avocado (1)
  • Cooked quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Dressing: 1 lemon, olive oil and salt to taste.

– Start off by cooking the quinoa according to instructions on the pacakging. Make sure it’s cooled off before you add it to the rest of the ingredients.

– The most annoying thing about this recipe is chopping all the ingredients. But my ingenious friend D gave me the best pointer ever, and it saves a TON of time! In the UAE, Barakat sells pre-packaged, pre-washed, pre-chopped parsley. Which is beyond awesome! So get yourself one of these packages (not available everywhere though. I’ve found some at Carrefour, and usually Spinney’s has some too).

– Chop the tomatoes, avocado, onions and mint finely.

– Add everything together: parsley, mint, tomatoes, spring onion, avocado and quinoa.

– Prepare the dressing on the side: 1 lemon, some olive oil, and salt (add quite a bit of salt, the recipe needs it). Drizzle the dressing on the salad, and enjoy!
Yummy and healthy! What more can one ask for?