Bunuelos

Bunuelos are so succulent it is quite easy to become instantly addicted to them. The dough is so easy to work with and the ending result is a soft sweet snack. Bunuelos are a popular Mexican dessert but most people find themselves eating these little joys anytime during the day. The best part about these is that everyone always has all their ingredients on hand at all times. 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons butter 1 egg 1/4-1/2 cup milk sunflower oil for frying 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground 1.In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add butter and with hands crush through the flour until the mixture is course like corn meal. Add egg and add milk a little at a time until dough is formed. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. 2. Divide dough into 6 even balls. Place on baking mat or floured counter and make into a small circle. With a rolling pin roll into a larger circle. Be careful to not roll to thin. The size should ne that of a tea saucer when finished. 3.In a 4-inch skillet add oil 1/4 inch full. Turn heat to medium. When oil has heated add 1 dough at a time. Fry until lightly golden then flip and fry until golden on opposite side. Place each round onto a paper towel to drain. 4.In a large zip-lock bag add sugar and cinnamon. After rounds have cooled off some but not completely cool place into bag and shake until covered with the sugar mixture. Yields: 6

Banana Honey Milk

This is my favorite drink. This drink is so versatile and goes great with breakfast all the way to dinner. One of the best things about this drink is that you can get those non milk drinkers in your home to drink up. This is a popular drink all over the middle east. I use a light colored honey when making it because I prefer the taste personally. You could also use soy milk and it would taste pretty much the same. I tend to do that from time to time and just tell everyone its a smoothie. 4 cups milk 4 bananas 4 tablespoons honey 1.In a pitcher add banana, breaking off into small pieces by hand. Add honey and milk. With a hand blender blend until smooth and well blended. Yields: 6 servings

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Reese cup candies are one of my favorites and I just so happened to be craving some today so I thought I would make a cupcake that has the same flavors for all of us chocolate and peanut butter lovers out there. Not only are they pretty and fun for kids but for big kids as well. These dynamite cupcakes will crave anyone's sweet tooth. 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 1/4 cup peanut butter 3/4 cup sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa 3/4 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs Frosting: 4 tablespoons powdered sugar 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening 3 tablespoons peanut butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract chocolate sprinkles for garnish 1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cocoa, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and eggs. Mix well with an electric mixture until smooth. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with oil. Fill cups half way full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. 2. Meanwhile, In a large mixing bowl add powdered sugar, shortening, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer until smooth and a thick consistency. With a Wilton tip # 30 add frosting to bag and carefully pipe frosting onto cupcake. Sprinkle frosting with chocolate sprinkles. Yields: 1 dozen

Lobster Tails

The meat of lobster is so white and pure tasting. I would think even non seafood lovers would love lobster as it does not have a fishy taste what so ever. I prefer tails over whole lobsters because of the simplicity of it. You do not need to crack anything all you do is pretty much stick them in the oven for a few and you have a gourmet meal in minutes. 4 lobster tails 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1. Place lobster tails (meat facing up) onto a cutting board. With kitchen shears cut into the tail and meat. Do not cut all the way to the end or the bottom. With hands carefully open up tail so that it stays in place. Place tails on a baking sheet. 2. In a small bowl add butter, garlic and parsley. Mix well. With a pastry brush cover tails with mixture. Turn oven on broil and place tails into oven. Broil 10-13 minutes until meat is opaque. Yields: 4

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Sadly one restaurant we do not have here in Saudi is Red Lobster so I have to bring it to us. These biscuits are identical match. Not only do they go great with seafood but they also pair well with any salad or chicken. 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 3/4 cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon garlic powder pinch of salt Topping: 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and shortening. Mix well with hands until course like cornmeal. Add milk, butter and garlic, mix well. Add cheese, combine. Sit aside. 2. In a small bowl add butter, garlic and parsley, mix well. Shape biscuits by hand, approximately 3 tablespoons of dough. Place into baking sheet and with a pastry brush carefully brush butter atop biscuits. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. Yields: 15

Caramel Walnut Rolls

What a splendid dish to wake up to. How can you not have a smashing day with these rolls awaiting your presence. The dough for this recipe is every bit of magnificent. Its easy to work with so even beginning bakers should do quite well. Another splendid thing about these are they they freeze well. After baking just store inside a freezer bag. Just try to keep as much air out of the bag as possible and they will store well for about 3 months. All you do is wrap them in aluminum foil and place in a 350F degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. These also make a fantastic gift for family and friends. Dough: 3-1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 3/4-1 cup warm milk 2 eggs 1/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Filling: 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground Topping: 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup butter, softened 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 2/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts 1. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of the warm milk and yeast, allow to sit 5 minutes until frothy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl add eggs, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla, mix well with a hand or stand mixer. Add the remaining milk and flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until a soft dough forms. Knead by hand for 5 minutes. Add oil to hands and lightly cover dough ball in oil. Place in a large bowl, cover with a towel and sit in a warm place until doubled. Approximately 1-1-1/2 hours. 2. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Punch down dough and allow to rest 5 minutes. In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons of corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until combined. Add 2/3 cups walnuts, mix well. Pour into baking pan. With a rolling roll into a 12 x 20 inch rectangle. With hand take 1/2 cup butter and generally rub all over the top of dough. In a medium sized bowl add 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, mix well. Sprinkle all over top of dough. Sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts on top of mixture. Starting with the longest side carefully roll up dough. Pinch dough to seal seams. Carefully cut 1-inch thick rolls. Place side by side into baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Yields: 15

Cinnamon Bun Muffins

Everyone loves cinnamon buns but hardly anyone wants to wake up hours ahead of breakfast to prepare them so what better alternative can you get then a muffin? These warm, soft beauties are filled with all the delicious taste that cinnamon buns have. I love muffins they are an amazing invention. You can make them the night before and wake up to a effortless homemade breakfast. Dough: 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoons yeast 1/2-3/4 cup warm milk 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 eggs Topping: 2 tablespoons butter, melted 2/3 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 1-2 tbsp milk or cream 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl add yeast and warm milk, allow to sit until froths, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, oil, vanilla, eggs and milk mixture, mix well. Sit aside. 2. In a medium sized bowl add butter, brown sugar cinnamon and cardamom, mix well. Divide mixture in half. Line a muffin pan with paper holders. Sprinkle 1/2-1 teaspoon at the bottom of each paper. Fill a heaping tablespoon full of batter into each cup then sprinkle 1/2-1 teaspoon full of filling into top. Press the filling into the batter with your finger. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. 3. In a medium sized bowl add powdered sugar and cream, mix well. Icing should be thick. With a Wilton cake tip #4 make a crisscross pattern on top. Yields: 1 dozen

Honey Lemon Chicken

If your into trying new things then this is a great recipe for you. This easy to make Thai recipe will have people thinking you ordered take out. The use of corn starch with the flour makes a perfect crispy and light breading and the lemon and honey mix give a perfect sour and sweet tang that will jump start your mouth. I prefer to drizzle a bit of the sauce around the plate for presentation and serving the rest on the side. 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon salt and pepper to taste 2 eggs 1/2 cup sunflower oil Sauce: 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 pinch of saffron 1/2 cup water 3 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1. In a large bowl add flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and pepper, mix well. In a small bowl add eggs, beat. In a saute pan add oil on medium heat. Dip chicken breast into eggs then roll around in flour mixture, until thoroughly coated. Place chicken into hot oil and allow to cook on both sides until golden and no longer pink. Drain on paper towel. 2. Meanwhile in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan on medium-high heat add cornstarch and water, whisk well. Add saffron, honey and lemon juice. Whisk until thick then remove from heat. 3. Place chicken on a serving plate and drizzle with sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side. Yields: 4 servings

The Perfect Popcorn

Not a lot of people know how to make perfect popcorn but I have been making it for about 20 years plus almost daily so I think I know a thing or two about how to get it just right if I do so say myself. Did you know if you make popcorn just right you do not even need any butter? Yes, I said it NO butter. Most people go wrong by adding to much corn. 4-1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil 3 tablespoons white popcorn salt to taste 1. In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan add oil, salt and popcorn on high heat, cover. Allow pan to sit on eye until popcorn starts popping then shake pan pan until popcorn no longer pops. Add to a large bowl. Yields: 2 servings

Fried Ourouk

These small spicy meat pancakes are a great alternative to normal kofta. The original recipe shapes the meat into balls but I prefer to make small thick patties with mine. If you do not have ground lamb available beef or turkey will work just as well. Serve this dish with a side of fries or rice. 2 cups all purpose flour 1 green chili, sliced 1 pound ground lamb 2 tomatoes, died 1 onion, diced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon tomato paste oil to fry 1.In a large bowl add flour, chili, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper, allspice, chili powder, garlic powder, parsley, tomato paste and lamb. Combine well with hands. 2.In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add enough oil for frying. Let oil get hot. Make small balls are patties with meat mixture and fry until no longer pink. Drain oil on paper towel. Serve with rice. Yields: 4 servings

The Perfect Hot Dog

Did you know that you can have the most perfect hot dog ever made in the house without even using a grill? Well you can! I made this variation on cooking hot dogs up several years ago during the winter when I missed a real grilled summer time hot dog. Everyone loves it when I cook my famous hot dogs. Now I have shared my secret with you so you can make a good hot dog fast and easy no matter what the weather may be. 1 pack turkey hot dogs 1. Lay hot dogs out and with a knife cut 3 small diagonal slits on one side, then flip and cut the same on the other side. In a 9-inch nonstick skillet on medium high heat place the hot dogs in the pan. Every few minutes shake the pan so the hot dogs move around. Allow to cook about 5 minutes until slightly blackened. Yields: 3 servings

Shish Tawook

Shish tawook is delicious famous kabob that many of you probably already know about. Most people are a bit taken back when it comes to making kabobs without a grill but cooking under the broiler is a great alternative for cold weather or those who do not have one. The longer your able to marinate the chicken the better it will taste. Serve a yogurt-garlic sauce on the side for a bona fide taste. I hope everyone had a fabulous Eid. My family and I really enjoyed ours. I made a large meal on the first day of Eid and I also made all Thanksgiving recipes, it was so good. The second day we just relaxed and did nothing. That was so nice and the third day we spent having fun with my brother and sister in laws. I really hope you all had a nice one and for the non-Muslims I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving with good family, friends and of course food. 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed 1 red pepper, cubed 1 green pepper, cubed 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup fresh cream 5 garlic cloves, mashed 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon mustard juice of 1 lemon 1/4 teaspoons lemon peel, grated 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 cup coriander, chopped 1. In a large bowl combine peppers, mayonnaise, cream, garlic, pepper, salt, mustard, lemon, lemon peel, allspice and coriander. With a food processor or hand blender mix well. In shallow dish add chicken and marinade, combining well. Refrigerate over night. 2. Arrange chicken on sewers and place on a baking sheet under high broil. Allow to cook until chicken is golden and no longer pink. About 5-10 minutes on each side. Serve with rice. Yields: 6 people