Eid Eats 2015: Falooda

Eid Eats 2015, hosted by Sarah of Flour and Spice, Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, and myself, has finally arrived! Welcome!

I’ve been really excited to see what everyone is “bringing” to our fancy-pants party :)
To submit your post, simply click on the Eid Eats graphic below and follow the given instructions (submissions will be open form 7/15 through 7/18). Be sure to follow the guidelines (found here), and enjoy the party!

Also, whether you choose to bring something or not, hang around and check out the fun things everyone else is sharing. You’re sure to find some lovely Eid inspiration :)



Today I’m sharing with you all a delicious glass of cooling Falooda. Falooda is a traditional Pakistani/Indian dessert-beverage. Everyone seems to have their own spin on it, but generally speaking it is a concoction of milk, rose syrup, basil seeds, jello, vermicelli, and either kulfi or ice cream. The recipe I’m sharing today, really isn’t a recipe at all. All of the ingredients are layered in a tall glass, in as much or as little quantity desired. It’s a great treat to make and share on Eid because it screams fancy, and it is a quick dessert that can be pulled together in no time :)

While we’re at it, you can check out what Asiya is sharing here, and what Sarah is sharing here.  Also, if you would like to see the yummies our friends shared last year, you can check out Eid Eats 2014 here.

And my dear friends, Eid Mubarak! May this holiday season bring you and your families peace and happiness!

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Falooda

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • Falooda sev/noodles
  • Basil seeds
  • Jelly crystals
  • Rooh Afza (Pakistani rose syrup)
  • Kulfi or ice cream
  • Milk, optional
  • Crushed almonds or pistachios

Directions:

Prepare Falooda sev according to package instructions. Once cooked, store immersed in cold water.

Soak basil seeds in plenty of water. Seeds will swell up and double in size after some time (overnight soak is best).

Prepare jelly crystals according to package instructions. Allow it to set. Once it is completely cooled, cut into small pieces.

In tall glasses, pour a small amount of Rooh Afza as the first layer. Add desired amount of Falooda sev (with some of its water). Add a spoonful of basil seeds, followed by jelly crystals. Top with a scoop of kulfi or ice cream, and garnish with nuts. If the Falooda seems too thick, add a splash of milk.

Serve immediately.

 

Sundried Tomato Dip

Since becoming the owner/manager/parent of two Littles, I’ve come to realize that I am a big snacker. Like, huge. It might or might not have to do with the fact that I no longer have the time to sit down and enjoy a meal. Forget meals, even bathroom breaks are a luxury of the past. And showers? Pssh, ain’t nobody got time for that! (After rereading this, I realize that I must sound really disgusting, but this girl is just trying to keep things real ;) )

Anyway, back to the topic at hand- snacks! I love having some kind of snack at the table when I have friends over, and dip is one of those things that everyone loves. Whether it be adults or children, everyone enjoys scooping their favorite veggie or chip into a bowl of their favorite dip.

Today’s recipe, a Sundried Tomato Dip, is a welcome departure from the usual salsa and sour cream and onion dip. It’s creamy, flavorful, and versatile enough that it could be delicious as a condiment in burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. In fact, I think I’ll be throwing together some chicken sandwiches with whatever leftover dip I have :)

(In some fun news, I’ve joined the talented team of ladies at Macaron And On, and this post comes from me as one of their food contributors.  For those who are coming over from Macaron And On, welcome! I hope to get to know you better and see you around more often :) )

 

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Sundried Tomato Dip

Yield: Approximately 2 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes (approximately 8 tomatoes; either oil-packed or dry-packed may be used. If using oil-packed, blot dry. If using dry-packed, rehydrate by submerging in boiling water for one hour; blot dry and use as directed.)
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on high speed until completely smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between pulses. Fold in green onions.

Serve with choice of accompaniments. Dip may be made up to three days in advance and must be stored in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Roll Cake and Eid Eats 2015! (and some life updates)

Knock, knock… Anyone there?

I disappeared, didn’t I? I’m sorry, life just happened and I got caught up in it. To give you an idea of what has kept me, here’s just a short breakdown of everything that’s happened since we last spoke:

  • Some of my closest friends, whom I have met through blogging, threw me a surprise virtual baby shower! I am so humbled by their love and kindness :) Here is a roundup of what everyone shared: Faaiza, Sarah, Asiya, and Amira.
  • We celebrated my son’s birthday with a handful of family, close friends, and classmates. My due date was 10 days from his actual birthday, so we celebrated early because I couldn’t see myself dealing with a room full of energizer bunnies, otherwise known as preschoolers, so close to my due date.
  • My mom flew in from California! She’s still in town, but only until this Saturday.
  • My brother also flew in from California, although his trip was much shorter (he stayed for a little less than one week).
  • And most importantly, we welcomed our newest addition, Ms. Zunaira, on May 28th, at 2:55 p.m. She is 3 weeks old, and she’s already got her older brother and daddy wrapped around her tiny fingers!

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After her birth, days blended into nights, and it’s only now that I am slowly starting to emerge from the fog that is nightly feedings, constant diaper changes, cleaning spit-up, and piles of folded laundry that need to be put away. Alhumdullilah, praise be to God, I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

Speaking of updates, Ramadan Mubarak/Happy Ramadan! We’ve been blessed with the return of this Holy month, and I pray that we all find the peace and rewards that come along with it.

In the spirit of Ramadan, I am joining Asiya (of Chocolate and Chillies) and Sarah (of Flour and Spice) in hosting the very special Eid Eats 2015! What is Eid Eats, you might be wondering? Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you :)

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Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 15th, 2015.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and Spice, Chocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 15th and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

To help usher in some Ramadan festiveness, I decided to whip up a delicious Cinnamon Roll Cake. When Sarah initially shared this, I knew it was something that I just had to make! I finally got the chance this week, as my brother was leaving to go back home to California, and I figured that I needed to make this when someone else was around because otherwise I would be eating the whole thing myself (and we all know that that wouldn’t be very wise). Although it may seem daunting, preparing the cake was very simple, and the only downside to the whole process was waiting for it to come out of the oven to be devoured :)

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yield: One 9-inch Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For Filling:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

For Frosting:

  • ¼ pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Prepare Dough:

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix and set aside.

In a separate dish, heat water, milk, and butter together until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm to touch. Combine liquid mixture with the flour mixture. Add egg and knead on medium-low speed until a cohesive and pliable dough is formed. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, knead by hand for a few minutes, then place in a lightly greased bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Set aside a greased 9-inch pie plate, cake pan, or springform pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the prepared dough out into a15”x12” rectangle. Spread prepared filling evenly over the surface.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it at the center of the prepared pan. Coil the remaining strips of dough around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous strip. Be sure to leave some space in between the coils, as the dough needs room to rise. Cover the cake and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Make Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides, and beat until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vanilla, and mix until combined.

Generously spread frosting over warm cake.

Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread (Overnight)

Friendy McFriends! So sorry for being out of the loop for so long! Everything has been running smoothly, I’ve just been wrapped up in a few commitments. I know, that’s no excuse, and I’m sorry for totally disappearing. I’m feeling a surge of motivation, and I’ve got a slew of fun things to share with you :)

About today’s recipe- I saw Asiya post this fabulous Cheesy Jalapeno Bread recipe some time back and haven’t been able to get it out of my head! I’m a total carby, and can survive on just cheese and bread (although that probably wouldn’t help in my odds of “surviving” for very long LOL). The dough can be thrown together in no time, and is delicious on its own, but even better when it’s sliced, toasted, and slathered with cream cheese :)

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Jalapeno and Cheese Artisan Bread

(Overnight)

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

For Bread:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cheese (Monterey jack, Cheddar, or Colby), diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
  • 1 ½ cups water, lukewarm

For Topping:

  • 1 ounce cheese, shredded (¼ cup)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin

Directions:

The night prior to baking the bread, in a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt.   Add cheese and jalapeno and stir to coat. Add water and stir until evenly combined (dough will be very wet and sticky), cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise overnight, 12 to 18 hours. Do not refrigerate.

The following morning, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish, with the lid on, into the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, shape into a ball, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Once the dish has been heated, pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place it directly into the baking dish (with the paper). Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the cheese and jalapeno (that were set aside for topping) over the top of the loaf. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

There are certain recipes that everyone needs a go-to recipe for. Pancakes are one of those. I’ve tried plenty of recipes, eventually settling on one that I wasn’t necessarily excited about. It just did the job.

About a month ago, I stumbled upon a pancake recipe in my ATK Family Cookbook (which, by the way, my friend picked up for me after seeing it on sale at Barnes and Noble! That’s what friends do y’all, they look out for each other :D ), and now I can truly and honestly say that I have to look no further. This recipe is IT! The resulting pancakes are soft and fluffy like clouds, and they rise to beautiful heights! I know this all sounds very dramatic, but you can actually see the pancakes rising while they’re cooking (probably has something to do with the leaveners, but still)! It truly is magic before your eyes, and a party in your mouth :)

 

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Buttermilk Pancakes

Yield: 10 to 14 (4-inch) Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons oil, for cooking

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg.

Make a well in the center on the dry ingredients, and slowly add the buttermilk mixture. Gently whisk until just incorporated, with a few lumps remaining. Do not overmix the batter.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Brush the pan with oil, just enough to ensure that the pancakes do not stick to the bottom. Using ¼-cup of batter per pancake, add the batter to the skillet and cook until large bubbles appear, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook until browned on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with oil as needed.

Note: To freeze pancakes, cool completely to room temperature and store in a freezer-safe container. To consume, lightly sprinkle with water, place on a baking sheet, and warm in a 300°F oven until warmed, about 10 minutes.