Baking Powder Biscuits

I decided to make these biscuits into heart shapes while making breakfast for my husband this morning. I love my Wilton cookie cutters for this among many other reasons, they are so fun to get creative with your food. 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 tablespoons baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces 2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining. Add remaining 2 cups flour, and toss to combine. 2. Pour in heavy cream; using a rubber spatula, fold cream into dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky. 3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently pat dough into a round about 1 inch thick, pressing in any loose bits. Do not overwork the dough. Use a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits as close together as possible. (Use one cut edge as the edge for the next biscuit.) 4. Place biscuits on an unlined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Generously brush tops of biscuits with cream. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool. Yields: 1 dozen Adapted from Martha Stewart living

Mandy Spice Mix

2 tablespoons cardamom pods
2 tablespoons cloves
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon ground kholegan (if this is not available use ginger but reduce to half the amount)
4 bay leaves

1. In a coffee grinder or food processor finely blend all spices together until in powder form.

Yields: 1/3 cup

Chicken Mandy

{bon appetite} 

{perfect golden chicken that cooks with its on fat} 

{lets smoke this baby} 

{I wish you could smell this} 

In this recipe the traditional way to cook it is underground but realistically that is just not possible for most of us so in this recipe you learn how to do it at home and work with what you have for almost the same amazing flavor. In the Gulf countries mandy is made from either chicken or lamb. I have also made a video so that you can see how we smoke rice for this dish. Watch it here. Here is Saudi we love to serve Salata Hara with meat and rice dishes. You can find that recipe here.

You also want to make sure the skin is left on the chicken. This is one of the keys for cooking mandy because the skin produces natural fat for it to cook in with the spices. This is why we do not use oil. You can use the shell of an onion then add a cube of butter and a bukhoor coal in the middle of the rice and chicken to smoke it. Just quickly add the lid and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. This dish will taste like it came from a pit or grill when finished.

1 large chicken, cut up (I usually use chicken breast)
4 teaspoons mandy spice mix
2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 cups basmati rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tomato, diced
4 whole cardamom pods
salt and pepper to taste
1 chicken bouillon cubes (I use Maggi rice or chicken)
3 cups water

3 tablespoons butter
shell of half onion (bowl shaped)
bukhoor coal

1. Wash chicken they dry with a paper towel. Cover chicken with spice mix, cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for a few hours.

2. In a non-stick saute pan on medium heat add chicken , cook chicken uncovered with no oil until tender and brown for 45 minutes (25 minutes on thick side, 20 on the other).

2. Next, In a 4-quart sauce pan saute add butter. Add whole cardamom, chicken bullion, salt, rice and water; stir. Bring to a full boil add chopped tomatoes then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook (do not remove lid) for 25 minutes.

3. Place cooked chicken on a plate reserving the pan. After the chicken and rice has cooked pour the rice into the saute pan used to cook the chicken. Place the onion shell with butter into the middle. Carefully place chicken around the pan. Add coal onto butter ans quickly shut the lid. Allow to smoke for 15 minutes. Serve.

Yields: 3 servings

How to smoke food (Arabic style)

Special thanks to my husband Abdullah for helping me demonstrate how to smoke food in this video. We used cooked chicken mandy and rice in this video.

Strawberry Galette

I was so happy to come across this recipe when I received "Martha Stewart Living" in my mailbox yesterday. I was just thinking about making a galette but I was about to do blackberry. I have no idea why strawberries never came to my mind since I have several in my fridge begging me to use them. I just love making galettes, the dough is beautiful and you can never go wrong with one. You can use any fruit or even mix it. I like to use what is in season. Dough: 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 1-1/8 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon sugar 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water Galette: 1 pound (2 cups) strawberries, hulled 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1. Make the dough: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight). 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 3. Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 4. Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Yields: 6 servings Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Rosemary-Oatmeal Tea Bread

And this is the amazing bread I chose for the Bread Baking Day event (featuring the use of oats). This is a very fun bread that you can serve for breakfast, brunch or it also goes great with tea, its very versatile. Not only does it taste delicious but its great eye candy. Just notice the sugared rosemary on top that looks like it is actually frosted. 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped 1 large egg white, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg Superfine or granulated sugar, for dusting 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup ground flax seed 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup whole milk 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1. Brush rosemary sprigs with egg white. Lightly dust with sugar. Set aside. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a regular sized loaf pan. 3. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside. 4. Melt butter with milk and chopped rosemary in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in oats. Let cool slightly. Whisk whole egg into oat mixture; add to flour mixture, and stir just until flour is incorporated. 5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place sugared rosemary sprigs on top of loaf. Bake until top is deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely. Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Yields: 12 servings This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's website while I was looking for a great bread recipe that was filled with oats. However I did change a few things like the bread size and I decided to use ground flax seed for health and taste benefits. When using ground flax seed you can just omit the same amount of flour and replace with the flax seed (ex: 2 cups of flour you would use 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup ground flax seed).

Zucchini Fritters

2 large Zucchinis
2 shallots
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dill
1/4 cup an even mixture of all-purpose flour, ground flax seed and wheat flour (if you do not have all you may omit and use 1/4 cup of white or wheat flour)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil

sour cream sprinkled with dill

1. In a food processor add zucchinis, shallots, parsley and dill. Mix well.

2. Add mixture to a small bowl then add flour, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well by hand with a spoon.

3. In a 9" skillet heat oil, place 3 heaping spoons of the mixture into the skillet flattening as they cook to form patties. Cook on each side until golden. Serve with sour cream dip.

Yields: 5 servings


 This sweet, coconut filled dessert is perfect after any dinner especially with coffee. This is a traditional recipe served during Ramadan. This taste amazing with qashta served on top. If your in an area that does not have qashta try Nestles heavy cream in your baking isle, it works just as well and taste better to me.

3 cups shredded coconut
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup semolina
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1. Grease 24 cm, 9 inch pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, add butter, milk, vanilla stir with dry ingredients.

3. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake at preheated oven 350 F, for 30 minutes or until it golden brown.

Yields: 8 servings

Paneer Peas Pulao

2 cups basmati rice 1 cup , cubed 1 cup Peas 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons raisins 2 Bay leaves 1 Cinnamon stick 4 whole cloves 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns 1/2 cup pine nuts 3 cups water 3/4 cup tomato sauce 2 teaspoon salt 1. Wash rice thoroughly, put in a bowl, cover with water and let it soak for 15 minutes, drain. 2. Brush paneer pieces with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and broil for 2 minutes per side. Set aside. 3. Heat oil in a 8 in' skillet, add raisins and pine nuts. Fry until plump and then remove. Set aside, add whole spices. Stir and cook for 1 minute, add rice and peas, increase heat to medium-high, and stir-fry until rice is well coated with oil and begins to glisten (about 5 minutes). Add water, tomato sauce and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. 4. Uncover and gently stir in paneer, cover and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice gently with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fried raisins. Yields: 8 servings

Salata Hara

Every Arab country has a version of salata hara, this is the way the delicious spice is made in Riyadh the middle region of the Kingdom. Regardless of where you eat in Saudi Arabia you will be served cups of salata hara with every meal that contains chicken and rice. The spicy sauce is perfect on top of it as well and easily be freshly made at home.

1 large tomato
1/2 cup fresh coriander
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 red chili peppers
2 teaspoons baharat spice blend

1.      In a processor add tomato, coriander and chili pepper, lemon juice, baharat spice, and salt.

2.      Pulse leaving small chunks behind. Place in a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Yields: 1/2 cup

Vanilla Cupcakes

Oh how I love cupcakes, yes I make them all the time they are just so cute and yummy! I have put some variety on here since we all like different things so just choose what you like but most of all have fun baking! This cake mix is for a simple yellow or white cake mix (omit egg yolk to make it white). The texture is not as moist as the usual cupcake but it has a cornbread texture. If you do not like this add about 1/2 cup extra of milk. I always make this recipe and I think it is perfect for cupcakes. This cake mix is so natural tasting and reminds me of Bryers vanilla ice cream. I do like to add small surprises in my cupcakes so a variation you might try is just placing a small amount of the the cake mix in a bowl and add some cocoa, mix well with a hand blender. You can just scoop a small spoon full into the bottom of the cupcake pan then add the regular on top, its very tasty. Cake: 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter 2 eggs (if you want a pure white cake then omit the yokes and add just 2 egg whites) 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup milk 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. 2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. 3.For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick you place in cake comes out clean. Frosting: 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine 2/3 cup Cocoa 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting. (so half this recipe if you do not like LOTS of frosting). To make these cupcakes toppings look as nice as they do I just use a simple plastic bag that I fill with frosting, I frost the tops then add sprinkles and candy for looks. Be creative and have fun. With this recipe you can hardly go wrong. Yields: 12 servings, cake 9'x9' pan or 12 cupcakes

Yellow Rice

3 cups basmati rice (cleaned and soaked) 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 4-1/2 cups water 1/2 peas 3 scallions, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon salt 1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat add oil, rice, water,peas, scallions, coriander, turmeric and salt. Bring to full boil then reduce to low heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes not removing lid. Yield: 12 servings Adapted from Arabic Bites

Sugar Doughnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons vinegar and enough regular milk to make 1/2 cup 1. In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Stir in vanilla. Add combined vinegar and milk alternately with dry ingredients; stir just until well blended. 2. Roll small quantities of the dough at a time, to about 1/3-inch thick. Cut doughnuts with a 2 1/2-inch cutter and let stand for about 10 minutes. Fry in hot oil in fryer at about 365F to a nice golden brown. Turn once. Fry only 3 or 4 batches at a time to keep oil from cooling down. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Yields: 18

Salmon Curry

4 salmon fillets 1 onion, diced 12 cherry tomatoes 5 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon ginger/garlic paste 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 tablespoon coriander powder 1 teaspoon poppy seeds Salt to taste 1/2 cup oil 1. Add lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt to salmon streaks, marinate for 20 minutes. 2. Heat the oil, fry onions and ginger garlic paste until they turn light brown. Add poppy seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix chopped tomatoes to it. 3. Add marinated salmon streaks. Cook until salmon streaks are thoroughly done, about 10 minutes. Adorn with chopped coriander leaves. Yields: 4 servings

Chicken Enchiladas

These were so amazing and surprisingly easy to make. Sadly they were ate so fast I was unable to take a picture for you. 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas Filling: 1 chicken (3 to 4 pounds) 2 quarts homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices 2 orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips Enchilada Sauce Topping: 2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese Garnish: Pepper and Tomato Salsa Sour cream (optional) 1. Place chicken in a large pot, and pour chicken stock over it. Add enough water to cover if necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a bowl to cool, and reserve the stock to use for enchilada sauce if desired. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, and shred; set aside. 2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until the slices start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add peppers, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside. 3. When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place enchilada sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, dip tortillas into sauce, one at a time, to soften, and place side by side on two baking sheets. Divide the shredded chicken and pepper mixture among the tortillas. Place cheeses in a bowl, and toss to combine. Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons grated cheese. Roll up tortillas, and place snugly seam side down in a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking dish. Top them with the remaining enchilada sauce and with the remaining grated cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Serve with the salsa, sour cream, or both if desired. Yields: 4 servings Adapted from Martha Stewart living

Paneer Thinga

2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste 3 tablespoons tomato paste 4 fresh green chili's, slit down the middle 2 cups (10 oz) cooked large shrimp 1 teaspoon turmeric powder salt to taste 1/2 cup paneer, cubed 1/3 cup heavy cream 1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the ginger-garlic paste for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and 2 of the chili's and cook until the oil separates, adding water to hasten the process. Add Shrimp, turmeric, and salt. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until everything is well blended. 2. Fold in paneer very gently so it does not break then pour in the cream. Heat but do not allow to boil. Serve with remaining chili's on the top. Yields: 6 servings Adapted from: Indian in 6

Italian Chicken with Vegetables

When the chicken cooks the broth drops down and cooks the vegetables and gives them a magnificent flavor. 1 whole chicken, butterflied 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 carrot, sliced 1 onion, sliced 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons rosemary salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 cup chicken broth 1. Take a broiler pan and line the bottom with foil. Place potatoes, carrots and onions onto the broiler. Then gently add chicken broth.
2. In a large mixing bowl add oil and spices, rub all over chicken.Lay chicken on the top grill pan. Cook in the over on 350 F for one hour.

Pound Cake

I am always in search for a good pound cake recipe, and I have made many looking for one. Finally I have found it (thanks Martha). This recipe is perfect not to sweet not to bland but yet does not have all the unnecessary ingredients that I have saw in others. It is just simple and good everything that a good recipe must be. 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 6 large eggs 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt; set aside. 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined. 3. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn out cake onto the rack to cool completely. Cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 3 days. Yields: 12 servings Adapted from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook