Pumpkin Spice Blondies

I’m all about pumpkin this time of year! I had 3 pumpkins worth of puree, and these blondies were some of the goodies that we enjoyed from said puree. The recipe is a one-bowl wonder, found and adapted from Crazy for Crust, and comes together super fast. The resulting blondies are perfectly spiced, and their texture is just perfect!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Blondies

Yield: One 9”x13” Pan

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9”x13” pan with aluminum foil and grease generously. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, pumpkin puree, and granulated sugar. Whisk until combined. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly combined. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, salt, ginger, and allspice. Add all-purpose flour and gently mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Use lightly dampened hands to press the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the center looks slightly under baked, 18 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan itself. Remove from pan, slice, and serve.

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Are you all ready for the onslaught that is pumpkin season? I AM!

I’ve been swimming in pumpkin these past several weeks, and totally loving it! Also, I finally tried my hand at making my own pumpkin puree. You guys, it is SO easy! I had three pie pumpkins hanging around, much thanks to a field trip my son’s class took to an orchard (and also a local fall festival), so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. All you have to do it trim off the stem and cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh, and roast them in the oven (350°F) for about an hour.  Once they’re done cooking, let them cool a bit, scoop out the flesh, and puree away (if you find it too thin, simply pour it into a strainer and let it sit until your desired consistency is reached)! So so easy!

So about this recipe- I made it several times last year, and it was always a hit. I tried again this year, and again it was a stunner. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require the crust to be pre-baked, and the filling is a one-bowl recipe.

(Recipe adapted from A Treats Affair.)

 

 

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yield: One 9”x13” Pan

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:

  • 4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Prepare Crust:

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside a aluminum foil or parchment paper lined 9”x13” pan.

In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers crumbs and melted butter. Transfer to prepared pan and press the crumbs on to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Prepare Filling:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium low speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat until thoroughly combined. Pour half of the mixture over the crust, and spread evenly.

To remaining cheesecake filling, whisk in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Carefully spoon mixture evenly over the pan.

Bake until the edges are set and the center is still a little wobbly, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.

Chicken Chili

There’s definitely a nip in the air, and when it gets cold there is nothing better than a bowl of steaming hot chili. There is already a beef-based chili recipe here on the blog, but I wanted to switch things up this time and give chicken chili a chance. I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and adapted it to be cooked traditionally on the stovetop. The recipe comes together fast, and yields a flavorful and healthy meal. With autumn finally settling in and winter fast approaching, it looks like there is a lot of chili in my near future 😉

 

 

Chicken Chili

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ – 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bell pepper, any color, diced
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer raw. Reduce heat to medium low and transfer chicken to a plate and shred.

Add remaining ingredients and shredded chicken to the pot and stir. Cover and cook until thick and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

 

Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

It’s reveal day for the monthly Muslim Food Blogger Challenge! This month’s challenge was to try a fellow Muslimah blogger’s recipe. To be very honest, this was hard for me. I follow a large number of amazing and creative Muslimah bloggers, and I had the hardest time narrowing them all down to one. Whose recipe do I share, or whose do I exclude? Do I share a recipe that I make often, or do I share something that was made for a special occasion?

The truth is that the Muslimah blogging community is a large community, and it is ever growing. Our community spans across the globe, and is full of wonderful, creative, and supportive women. We are a patchwork quilt, made up of different colors and fabrics and various textures and grains. I have leaned on this wonderful community for support, and they have not only supported me, but have lifted me up. Each of you hold a special place in heart, and I pray that The Almighty raises you in His ranks.

 

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Today I am sharing a recipe from This Muslim Girl Bakes. It is a chicken pita with spicy garlic sauce. I’ve made this multiple times, and each time it is a hit. The first time I made it, I made homemade pitas (!!!) to serve with them, and omg, so so good! The times I’ve made it after, I just used store-bought pita due to time constraints. If you have the means and time to do so, I would highly recommend making you own pita bread. It’s so easy, and tastes infinite times better than store bought.

Back to recipe- the marinade on the chicken is amazing! Obviously the longer you allow it to marinate, the better, but if you’re pressed for time it tastes good even with a 20 minute stand. I must add that the spicy garlic sauce is phenomenal! It’s so good in these pitas, and I imagine it would be amazing used as a burger sauce as well!

As always, I look forward to these challenges each month. I’m excited to see what everyone is sharing for this month’s challenge, and if you also would like to take a look, just click on the button below:

 

 

Chicken Pitas With Spicy Garlic Sauce

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Chicken:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Spicy Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce or chili garlic paste (sambal oelek)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For Pitas:

  • Pocket pita bread, lightly toasted, as needed
  • Tomatoes, sliced, as needed
  • Lettuce, shredded, as needed

Directions:

Prepare Chicken:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken, until smooth. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight; if marinating longer than a few hours, refrigerate marinated chicken.).

Heat a large vessel over medium high heat. Add chicken and remaining marinade. Cover and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side. Once chicken is cooked through, increase heat and cook off as much of the marinade as possible without burning the mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare Spicy Garlic Sauce:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Set aside.

Assemble Pitas:

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or slice into desired size pieces.

Place chicken, tomatoes, and lettuce inside the pita. Top generously with spicy garlic sauce.

Pakistani Slow Cooked Beef Stew – Nihari

Here we are yet again, on the 10th day of this month, which means it is reveal day for the Muslim Food Bloggers Challenges! This month’s challenge was to use meat as the star of our dish, as Eid al Adha is coming upon us. The challenge asked that we aim to use mutton as the meat of choice, however I used beef because mutton is not eaten in our home (although you can totally swap out beef for mutton in this recipe!).

I chose to make Nihari, a traditional Pakistani/North Indian delicacy that is a spicy slow cooked stew. Nihari is a dish that has eluded me ever since I started cooking seriously. I know I could just throw it together easily with a packet of ready-made Shan masala, but I’ve been wanting to learn how to make it at home from scratch.

I stumbled upon this recipe by Food Fusion, and decided to adapt it to personal tastes.

You guys, this is the real deal. The Nihari secret is out, and now you can wow even the toughest critics with this amazing from-scratch Nihari!

Quick note- I mention the use of a banana pepper towards the end of the recipe. Although it can easily be replaced with a regular green chili, I highly recommend using it as it imparts an amazing flavor into the Nihari. It is my mother in-laws secret, which isn’t so much of a secret anymore 😉

Thank you once again to the lovely group of ladies who organize these challenges month after month! I look forward to when the challenges are announces, and wait excitedly until reveal day 🙂 Be sure to check out all the yummies everyone shared for this month’s challenge by clicking on the link below-

 

 

Nihari

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients:

For Nihari Spice Mix:

  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppers
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ – ½ piece nutmeg
  • 1 small piece mace
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 1-inch pieces cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 black cardamoms
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

For Nihari:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds beef, cut into large cubes
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • ¾ cup Nihari spice blend
  • Salt, as needed.
  • 1 banana pepper or jalapeno (or desired amount of green chillies)

For Tempering/ Bhagaar:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (½ if onion is large)

For Garnish:

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • Fried onions
  • Lemon or lime juice

Directions:

Make Nihari Spice Blend:

Combine fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppers, cloves, ginger powder, nutmeg, mace, star anise, cinnamon, bay leave, black cardamoms, and cardamoms in the jar of a spice grinder. Grind into a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and add coriander powder, red chili powder, paprika, and turmeric. Mix well and set aside.

Make Nihari:

In a small bowl, combine wheat flour and water. Whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large vessel over medium high heat. Add meat and cook, stirring along, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, mix, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add Nihari spice blend and salt, and mix well. Add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches, about 6 to 8 cups. Add the flour and water mixture, stir, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 1 ½ to 3 hours, stirring intermittently, until the meat is cooked through and falling apart and desired consistency has been reached.

Add green chillies and reduce heat to low.

Make Tempering/ Bhagaar:

Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring often. Once onions have turned golden, carefully pour the mixture over the Nihari and cover. Cook over low heat for ten minutes. Remove from heat and serve with desired garnishes.

 

Note: Extra Nihari Spice Blend may be stored at room temperature for use at a later time.