Spinach & Artichoke Puff Pastry Braid

spinach puff pastry braid

Hello my lovely readers! We are days away from Eid (woohoo!) and that means it is time for Eid Eats, that delicious roundup of Eid recipes. This year it is hosted by My Ninja Naan & Chocolate & Chillies. Do hop over on to their page to check out whats cooking! I have had a bit of a history of bringing desserts to the table. There were the Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Stars, the Coconut Barfi, and the Eid classic of Sheer Khurma. This year I decided to break from tradition and share something that I make for all kinds of parties, not just Eid. This Spinach & Artichoke Puff Pastry Braid is filled with a creamy bechamel filling that has some spice from green chillies, the sweet nubbiness of corn and fantastic flavor all around. It is a cinch to put together with store bought puff pastry dough and looks so pretty on the table. It also meets my two main requirements for a party. One is that the filling can be prepped ahead of time, the second that it reheats beautifully. The Spinach & Artichoke Puff Pastry Braid is versatile in that it’s perfect for tea, brunch or even lunch depending on what you serve it with. 

spinach and artichoke puff pastry braid

spinach puff pastry braid

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A Quick, Easy & Delicious Apple Tart

You know what’s wonderful? When you have friends over for brunch and by the time they show up you are too exhausted from slaving away to do anything, but mindlessly chug coffee. Yeah…not so wonderful. Having been there a time or two before I now try to keep things as simple and delicious as possible.

This apple tart is my go to for those times, for when someone is coming over for tea, or for when I want to make something delicious with less than ten minutes of effort. It’s also a great way to use the apples that are starting to look a little sad, but have not gone bad. 

Quick Easy Delicious Puff Pastry Apple Tart

You can customize it anyway you like and you can most certainly increase the brown sugar to suit your tastes. I love making these with Golden Delicious apples, but any firm variety would work. Also feel free to make this more elegant by gently pressing the puff pastry into a lightly buttered tart tin and trimming off the excess. I love the addition of toasted almonds because they add a little crunch, but feel free to skip them if you don’t have any. Want to make it extra delectable? Drizzle over some salted caramel or dulce de leche right before serving for a luxurious touch.

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Corn Dogs with Mina Halal Chicken Wieners & a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauce + a Giveaway!

I had never thought that I would ever try making corn dogs at home. They seem like such a classic fair food and I am not usually one for deep frying things. However, recently at the Halal Food Fest my older daughter wanted to try one and was unable to because they weren’t ready in time. She did however sample and really enjoy Mina Halal Chicken Wieners so when the opportunity presented itself it only made sense to put the two together.

Corndogs with a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauc

These Chicken Wieners are part of Mina Halals new line of products and are available at Fresh Co locations in Ontario. The other products are Chicken Bologna and Chicken Strips. Mina Halal sent us the wieners and strips to sample and the Chicken Strips were also a big hit at one of our recent breakfast for dinners i.e. ‘brinners’. This new line of products is currently available in FreshCo locations in Ontario.

Mina Halal Products

Mina Halal, certified by the Halal Monitoring Authority (H.M.A), practices the ‘zabeehah by hand’ approach and their chickens are individually blessed then air chilled. If you want to know more about them click here, and for other delicious recipe ideas look here. Mina Halal is also giving away 20 dollars in coupons and a bonus. To qualify you just have to be over the age of 18 and in Ontario. To enter simply go to:-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To say these were a hit would be an understatement, my daughter wanted to know if she could have them for every meal for the rest of her life. You can probably guess what my response was 😉

Corndogs with a Spicy Cajun Honey Mustard Sauc

I loved the idea of having something more interesting than ketchup to dip these babies into and the Cajun Honey Mustard Sauce totally hit the spot. The Serious Eats piece where the recipe comes from mentioned the idea of serving these for brunch and I think if I were to do that this is how – drizzled with some sauce, sprinkled with minced chives. Yum yum.

Disclaimer: I received free product samples along with a gift card. However,  the views and opinions expressed are my own.

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Baked Oatmeal with Bananas, Pecans and a Nutella Swirl Plus Announcing a Virtual Eid Party – Eid Eats 2015!!!

Ramzan/Ramadan Mubarak to all those who will be commemorating this holy month. For those of you who are wondering what it is, Ramadan is a month on the Islamic (lunar) calendar where Muslims world over fast from sunrise to sunset. During a fast we can not eat or drink anything. The purpose of this fast is to help us subsume our physical needs in favor of spiritual ones and also to develop a deep sense of empathy with those who are less fortunate, for whom ‘fasting’ is not an option.

At the end of the 30 days of Ramadan comes a wonderful celebration of Eid ul Fitr, which as you can imagine, revolves heavily around food! Last year Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies and I hosted Eid Eats! a virtual potluck party for to celebrate Eid ul Fitr and this year we are back with another co-host, the amazing Henna of My Ninja Naan.

EID EATS 2015

So how do you join in? Easy!

1.) Make any dish of your choosing that you would make for Eid – something traditional, something unconventional, whatever you fancy – write a post and have it ready for the 15th of July 2015.

2.) Our posts will also be live July 15th 2015. You can link back to our blogs i.e. My Ninja Naan, Flour & Spice and Chocolate & Chillies  through a link party  we will set up and use the button above in all of your posts (pretty cute isn’t it!)

3.) Remember to check out and leave comments on participating blogs!

Okay just thinking about Eid Eats is making me hungry. Good thing I have something yummy and filling for you today that would be wonderful for Sehri/Suhoor as well as breakfast any day. Baked in a square tin and sliced it will probably be pretty picnic friendly too!

The yummmy recipe I am sharing with you today originally comes from Asiya of Chocolate & Chillies. With it’s triple whammy of banana, oatmeal, and pecans it is quite substantial and healthy! Or rather it was until I couldn’t help myself and added a teaspoon of nutella on top  of each ramekin *guiltily looking away…*

Baked Oatmeal with Bananas, Pecans and a Nutella Swirl

I baked mine in individual ramekins to make them easier to eat and freeze since I wanted a large-ish portion that would be perfect with a glass of milk for Sehri/Suhoor. The baked oatmeal is fairly dense since I effectively make ‘thicker’ portions than Asiya does. I also halved the recipe, increased the whole wheat flour, and decreased the brown sugar (to make room for the Nutella lol). For my purposes this is wonderful as is. For summer snacks I would omit the Nutella and go back to baking it in bar form like Asiya does.

Enough blathering.. on to the recipe…

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Aaloo Chholay/Chana or Potato and Chickpea Curry

School was a hop skip and jump away from Boat Basin, an iconic strip of food joints that had some of the best food Karachi has to offer. Most people will sit in their cars and order food from the servers who will come up to the window. You could get a burger from Chips, a slush from Mr. Burger, Chicken Tikkas from Tandoori Hut, Caramel Crunch Ice Cream from Rajoos and a Cold Coffee from Baloch all without moving an inch. Just thinking about it is making me happy and hungry.

Aaloo Chholay or Potato and Chickpea Curry

My favorite Boat Basin memories are the early morning ones – the times where close friends and soon to be friends would show up long before the city was awake to sit on damp plastic chairs, huddling in to ourselves as we held our cups of chai tight and anxiously awaited our halwa puri breakfast. Now we call it halwa puri, but most of the times it was a ‘hold the halwa, bring me puris and aloo chholay” breakfast. I have blogged about this breakfast before and didn’t anticipate doing so again. But then I made a variation of this awesome recipe and I decided that with it’s extra everything it was just too good to keep to myself.

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Spicy Baked Eggs in Bread Boats with a Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

By this time, like me you have probably seen countless beautiful Mothers Day brunch dishes floating around the internet, taking over Pinterest, spreads that are beautiful and magazine worthy and you know would just take hours. Well, if like me you are strapped for time then here is a quick delicious mothers day dish that requires little work and delivers some great flavor. It is also a really fun one dish brunch to make for friends with perhaps a little bit of fresh fruit on the side.

Spicy Baked Eggs in Bread Boats with a Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

To all you wonderful mamas, grandmamas and mama in laws out there – especially mine – hope you have a wonderful and delicious Mothers Day 🙂

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Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake

It’s miserable out here.  On days like this I want to stay inside and eat my body weight in pizza. And this beautiful cinnamon roll cake. Sigh. I miss this cake already.

What’s nice about this cake is that it’s really easy to assemble. My little one woke up right after I cut the dough into strips to roll up and I had to coil them up with one hand while holding her in the other. It seemed tricky at the time (translation: it felt like the beginning of a hot mess). However, the cream cheese frosting (which I kept thick on purpose) covered it up nicely 😉

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake w Cream  Cheese  Frosting

Also, as you can imagine, it smelled absolutely heavenly.

The recipe for the cake is from the fabulous Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made a slight change in that I subbed out the glaze she uses for a more cinnabon like cream cheese glaze. I did have a little left over, but I find no one really complains about extra frosting on the side 😉

Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake w Cream  Cheese  Frosting

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Hazelnut and Maple Muffins

A few days back a dear friend and avid blog reader asked me to make these hazelnut sticks for her. I happily obliged and then a little too happily ate more than my fair share. Oops.

Anyway, eating those delicious crunchy hazelnutty treats made me realize how much I love the unadulterated flavor of hazelnuts and I wanted to capture that flavor in something quicker: muffins. Now I really like muffins, even the bottoms which is usually what I wind up with since my husband and daughter are unabashed muffin top fiends.

Hazelnut and Maple Muffins

I did some thinking and came up with this recipe, fully prepared for this to be round one of many, but lady luck was on my side and these muffins are sheer perfection. The soft flavor of the hazelnuts is beautifully complimented by that of the maple syrup. I know it seems like a lot of syrup, but as it bakes the flavor mellows. Also, as tempting as they are fresh from the oven you must let them cool completely before trying one. They are well worth the wait.

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Quick Tomato Tart

This past weekend I had my uncles and their families over for lunch. They were supposed to come around 1 and it was 1:15 when I realized that I had forgotten to make the tomato tart. 15 minutes later I was waiting for it to come out of the oven and despite the fact that I rushed the process a little it still turned out well.

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The recipe is slightly adapted from Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa D’Arabian and I have made it many times by now. It makes for an especially lovely summer lunch with a side of lightly dressed baby arugula and is equally good as a ‘snack’ on its own. I usually make it in a tart pan, but on one occasion when my tart pan had run away from home I put it out on a baking sheet and found that I quite like the effect.

You can switch the Parmesan out for goat cheese if you prefer. The mustard flavour is mild at best, my mustard hating sister (Yeah, I know, weirdo) enjoyed the tart and didn’t even know there was some Dijon action happening.

The tomatoes are clearly the star here so make sure you get the reddest most beautifully ripe tomatoes you can find!

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Pakistani Style Spicy Baked Eggs

On my recent trip to Karachi I realized that I have turned into one of those people – you know the kind of person who goes out for brunch and orders the Pakistani Omelette – an eggy creation choc-a-bloc with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies with the occasional cilantro thrown in for good measure.

My younger self would consider me a  little lame, my older self knows that when I go out to eat in Toronto The Pakistani is hardly an egg menu staple. Here I am an Eggs Florentine kinda girl.

Anyway, with Mothers Day and all things brunch around the corner I began to have a hankering for those flavors, but I wanted a cleaner version – i.e less oil and certainly no paratha.

This riff on the classic French baked eggs hit the spot. It is both light and deliciously spicy at the same time. The fresh oregano although optional adds a savory note that rounds out the flavors of this dish. I highly recommend it, use dried oregano if fresh is unavailable.

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Adjust the green/red chilies to your liking, the best part about this dish is that it is infinitely customizable.

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