Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Your Top Posts of 2015!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


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How are you? How's your Wednesday going? Ours has been seriously dark. I cooked these sandwiches along with a very popular lemon pavlova. There I go again bringing summer back!

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Anyway, this is a slightly different Wednesday post from me. Usually it's a savoury recipe but today, I couldn't resist rounding up my 2015 favourites.
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For me though, this entire year has been such a blessing and so much fun. I would have loved to have posted every single photo. But instead, I let you guys decide.
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We will begin with the top ten most-viewed savoury recipes of the year. I am so excited - it includes loads of my personal favourites. See numbers 2, 7 and 8.
We then go on to the top ten sweet recipes. I am so happy about number one! I'm so tempted to make a batch today and I think you should do the same. Also, shout outs to numbers 2 and 8. More personal faves!
Then, I thought it would be fun to see the top ten from my weekly life posts. And, there are no favourites from me there. I love them all! So many good memories, alhamdulillah.
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That is the case with this entire year. I have been so fortunate to have been given this opportunity to share my recipes and bits of my life with you guys. A big Jazak Allah Khair and Thank You to you all for your support, messages and comments on social media. You guys are the best and I just know that 2016 is going to be even better, Insha Allah.

Your Top 10 Savoury Recipes:


1. Chicken Kofta Curry - Chicken meatballs in a spicy masala sauce that uses both whole and ground spices and is finished with boiled eggs and fresh coriander. Serve over boiled rice for one of the best winter dinners ever!
2. Chilli Garlic Chicken Skewers + Olive Oil Yoghurt Dip - One of my favourite dinners, this chicken is marinaded, skewered and popped under the grill until tender and juicy. I like this in a salad with the dip as a dressing but it's equally as good in a soft tortilla.
3. Mini Cherry Tomato No-Pastry Quiches - These miniature quiches are so adaptable. You can put anything in them and they'd be just as good. Perfect for the gluten-free among us or those who forgot to put shortcrust pastry in the shopping trolley.
4. Chicken Veggie Noodle Stir-Fry - Another incredibly adaptable recipe that I posted back in May. I remember cooking this. It was a Friday evening and plenty of heavy rain was pounding on the roof above. Let's just that this noodle dish was the highlight of the day.
5. Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake - A pasta bake that was cooked on a Saturday night, I believe, and brought together two requests. Should we cook macaroni cheese or chicken kebabs? Since we couldn't decide on either, we put them together in this creamy, comforting bake.
6. Chicken Madras - This is our version of the classic Indian curry. We used all natural ingredients to give it its vibrant red colour and marinaded the chicken in lime and white wine vinegar for extra zing.
7. Chicken Quesadillas + Fresh Tomato Salsa - One of my all-time favourites and go-to weeknight dinners. Crispy tortillas filled with buttery, chopped paprika oregano chicken and melted Cheddar then served with a fresh tomato salsa including among other things plenty of lime juice and black pepper. I mean, how could you not cook this?!

8. Masoor Daal / Red Lentil Curry - I am so happy that this made it into the top ten. Now, I know that the mention of this being on the dinner menu in some households is met with faces scrunched up in disgust but that is not the case with me. I treat this fragrant daal, spicy with plenty of ginger and garlic, as a soup. And whatever you do, do not skimp on the butter.
9. Mujaddara - A vegetarian Middle-Eastern rice dish filled to the brim with green lentils and onions. Then, we top it with more onions, this time crispy and golden brown. Let's just say that no one will decline seconds.
10. Really Soft Naan Bread - Eight ingredients is all it takes to make this spongy, soft naan bread. There is no stand mixer required, just you, a bowl and wooden spoon. You can guarantee that this will be your curry-mopping tool of choice come Curry Night. Oh, and the same dough also makes my current favourite pizza base.

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Top 10 Sweet Recipes:


1. No-Machine Nutella Ice Cream - This recipe is laughably simple. All you need is three ingredients (Nutella + double cream + condensed milk), a bow, whisk and a freezer. After a few hours freezing, what you get is the most luxurious ice cream ever. Not an ice crystal or ice cream machine in sight. You have got to try this recipe.
2. The Chocolate Cake - Honestly, one of my favourite cakes. This buttermilk brown sugar cocoa sponge takes around 25 minutes in the oven. Once cooled, it's slathered in a one-bowl whipped dark chocolate icing and doused with the obligatory sprinkles. Chocolate cake done right.
3. Dundee Cake - Even though I felt so old-fashioned baking this fruit cake, it was so worth it. This cake is jam-packed with good things. We're talking glace cherries, plenty of citrus zest, mixed peel, sultanas and raisins. The beautiful batter is popped into a tin and decorated with the traditional almond topping. It was snowing when we baked this so hot vanilla custard was mandatory alongside.
4. Breakfast Apple Crumble - This recipe came about when I decided to cover my favourite stewed apples in granola. The apples are amazing on their own and are cooked in a pan with coconut milk, cinnamon, honey and ginger. Sometimes I like to zing up the apples with orange zest and cover them with something better --> my homemade granola! Not as sweet as the ones in the shop and I can put in as many raisins as I like!
5. Zardah / Sweet Yellow Rice - A very traditional Pakistani sweet dish that was a mystery to me when I was younger. How was it so yellow? And how is it so different to its constant companion, the Pulao? Well, as I found out, the rice is par-boiled with yellow food colour and cardamom. Then, it's steamed in a thick, buttery sugar syrup spiked with glace cherries, raisins and orange zest. Once cooked, it's the perfect post-dinner sweet treat and let's not even get started on it's beautiful colour. 
6. Brioche Loaf - I still cannot believe how good this slightly sweet bread turned out. Mainly because I was suspicious when I read that the milk and eggs had to be chilled before using as is not usually the case in yeast recipe. Anyway, I trusted the recipe and continued. Once softened butter was kneaded into the dough, the dough is set aside to prove a number of times. This makes it the perfect bread to bake over a lazy weekend at home. Once baked, perfection awaits.
7. Eggless Chocolate Cake + Hot Fudge Sauce - My first attempt, after a request from one of you guys, at a cake without eggs. And, what did I come up with? A cocoa brown sugar sponge which I then proceeded to drown in the most addictive sauce ever. This hot fudge sauce is ridiculously easy to make and I can guarantee that you won't just be drowning your cake in it.

8. No-Bake Nutella Cream Tart with Oaty Shortbread Base - For those days when the sweet tooth strikes but it's way too hot to switch the oven on, this Nutella tart comes into its own. I went with a super-thick buttery biscuit base filled with shortbread fingers and oaty biscuits. Once set, the whole thing is covered in a whipped Nutella cream and finished with strawberries. I put this together during our July heatwave but right now, at the end of December with its stormy winds and heavy rain, it sounds just as good.
9. A Cake with all My Favourites - This cake is the perfect example of how indecisive I am when baking. Originally having planned a vanilla layer cake sandwiched with chocolate buttercream, I ended up ditching the idea mid-bake and instead filled said cake with a caramelised biscuit spread whipped cream and crispy chocolate shredded wheat. Finally, the whole thing was covered in more whipped cream before being surrounded by two whole packets of chocolate fingers. And, sprinkles. There had to be sprinkles!
10. Gluten-Free Quadruple Chocolate Brownies - I mean, what could be better? These brownies come together in one bowl and bake in 35 minutes. Cornflour, being naturally gluten-free, does all the work of the flour. And the quadruple chocolate? I used dark chocolate + milk chocolate + cocoa powder + white chocolate. Go bake them now!



Top 10 Weekly Life Posts:


1. March 2015: The One Where Daffodils Grew - During March, spring just about arrived as we baked chocolate cakes. There was an eclipse and I tested out pan pizzas and mujaddara. I had a disaster with a homemade strawberry jam after straying from my usual recipe and learnt that catching up with old friends is the best.
2. Smoky Chicken Cobb Salad + Hottest Day + Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: 27 June - 3 July - A post filled with salted chocolate brownies, potato salad, marinated cucumber tomato salad, vanilla bean lemonade, fried fish and peri peri fries. also, a smoky chicken cobb salad, fresh fruit parfaits and a recipe for spicy chicken sandwiches. to end the week, burgers and for dessert, strawberries and coconut whipped cream topped with a brown butter biscuit crumble. Just writing the above has me looking forward to this summer! 
3. Beloved Date Bars + Chicken Tikka Skewers + Epic Fried Fish: 20-26 June - Another weekly post from Ramadan where I baked a baharat-spiced lamb pizza, cooked the classic chicken pulao and blitzed up way too many jugs of rooh afza milkshake. also, there is a recipe for chicken tikka skewers and I baked a giant batch of brown butter chocolate chip cookies <-- the best after iftar made into ice cream sandwiches.
4. Paya Curry + Striped Pumpkins + Cookies with the Kids: 17-23 October - A very autumnal post filled with stripy pumpkins, the biggest pot of paya curry ever, gingerbread, chocolate biscuit cake and a huge trifle. Chicken kebabs, squash soup and an afternoon baking cookies with the kids.
5. Nachos + Baking Bakewells + Homemade Pastry: 10-16 January - Homemade dips, plenty of cheesy nachos and lentil salads are abundant in this very wintery post. I baked mini bakewell tarts with my cousin, made millionaire's shortbread with more cousins and it snowed!
6. Macaroons + Polenta Pizza + Chocolate Bread Pudding: 24-30 January - Such a busy post including among other things, salmon fishcakes, peanut brittle and buckwheat waffles. I made the disaster that was the polenta pizza, baked a decadent chocolate bread pudding and enjoyed the snow!
7. Rainy Day Biryani + Crispy Chicken Wings + Double Tacos: 7-13 November - Posted at the beginning of winter, this was the one where I cooked a rainy day keema potato biryani, cooked battered fish tacos, crispy chicken wings and ate way too many jalebis.
8. Sunday Galette + Cherry Takeover + Ramadan Pizza: 13-19 June - The first post of Ramadan 2015 and what a busy one it was. I baked twice with fresh cherries, drank so much mango milkshake and put together the best Iftar pizzas. Pizza bar time!
9. Saturday Pancakes + Trifle + Recipe Testing: 31 January - 6 February - This was such a busy week. I made burrito bowls with a particularly pungent cauliflower rice, baked the fluffiest pitta and assembled a giant trifle. 
10. Adventures with Orzo + A Recipe for Tomato Sauce + Friday Fish Pakoras: 16-22 May - This was the week where I baked the prettiest meringue then proceeded to pile it high with whipped cream and so many berries. The post includes so many photos of our beautiful English spring and a recipe for the easiest tomato sauce ever. Not to forget the recipe for a few fish pakoras!


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I hope your 2015 has been filled with the best moments, and I pray to Allah to make 2016 even more blessed and happy - Ameen!

Keep me in your duas please,

Wasalaam!

2 comments

  1. I especially like what you shared from Surah Kahf... just so true!

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    Replies
    1. Jazakillah Khair! May Allah give us the ability to act upon all that we post - ameen! :)

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