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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Oven Roasted Tandoori Brussel Sprouts

Tandoori Roasted Brussel Sprouts

You guys, I think I am doing that aging South Asian woman thing where I desi-fy everything.

(desi-fy= put a desi/south asian spin on)

Tandoori Roasted Brussel Sprouts

The other day I pulled out brussel sprouts to do one of my usual oven favorites. but instead of the parmesan I reached for the tandoori masala powder (premade readily available in many stores) and decided anything is worth trying once. They were awesome. Then I did the only reasonable thing I could under the circumstances; bought more brussel sprouts and made them again. This time I had two additional family members test them to double check. I have never seen brussel sprouts, especially ones cold from their photo-op fly off the plate so fast.

So here it is – an easy to do spicy vegetable side dish that would go well with a simple pilaf, daal chawal (lentils and rice) or even a tandoori turkey if you are so inclined. I swear I have seen ads for those.

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5-Ingredient Nutella Brownies

Have you ever wished you could just hold a piece of Nutella in your hands and bite it instead of that awkward licking it off a spoon thing? Well, here’s the answer to those prayers and all you need is a bowl, a spoon and five ingredients. Oh and something to bake the brownies in.

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Nutella brownie recipes have been floating around for a while but after a few run ins with recipes that consumed a jar or more of Nutella and had minimal Nutella taste I was very hesitant to try them. One day I succumbed, but not after making some alterations. First of all, I didn’t see the point in additional butter, second of all a little leavening never hurt anything and third of all Nutella is so sweet that some coarse salt is almost a must have. The result is what I had hoped it would be.

The best part? Because they are so gooey they don’t dry out making them a great make ahead dessert for the holiday season!

So without any further ado I present to you these incredibly gooey undeniably Nutella-y brownies.

nutella bownies
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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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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 One Pot Burrito Bowl

In most cases when you’re of desi (south asian) origin a lifetime of eating spicy food means that you automatically lean towards other cuisines that are spicy – Mexican, Thai, other East Asian foods. If they aren’t ‘naturally’ spicy foods then you make changes – my bechamel sauce for my lasagna has green chillies in it. True story.

Am I embarrassed to admit it to all you wonderful foodies out there? Only a little 😉

Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

Meals like this lovely spicy one pot burrito bowl really hit the spot on many fronts. First of all it’s spicy (you can always dial down the spice if you wish), second of all it comes together fairly quickly and in one pot (hooray for less washing up), and thirdly it is so good for you with it’s healthy combination of lean chicken, beans, and brown rice. The best part is that because of all the flavor that gets worked into the dish you don’t miss white rice at all. Trust me in my household that’s an accomplishment.

Spicy One Pot Burrito Bowl

A few quick notes before we go on to the recipe. First of all I used the chilli flavored canned tomatoes which helped give this dish an extra layer of hearty smokiness and second of all I used this brand of brown rice and my cooking time reflects that. If you use a brand that takes longer to cook then add in a half cup of extra water and let it cook on low heat. Also, if you want to make this a vegetarian dish then omit the chicken and sub the broth with vegetable broth or water.

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Mini  Oreo Truffle Cakes

Happy Valentines Day peeps! Or rather happy-another-excuse-to-indulge day! Despite initially thinking I would effectively sit this one out I have so far made two variations on Bubble valentines, made several batches of heart shaped cookies, and two desserts. Clearly, I am weak willed.

Mini Oreo Truffle Cakes

I was in the car the other day (on my way to the store) brainstorming about an eggless easy treat that I could put together for a Valnetine’s party for the girls that a friend of mine was hosting. I had made Oreo truffles a while back that tasted like tasty little cheesecakes, but disliked the fiddliness of it all. The rolling, the perpetually dirty hands, the nuisance of getting even chocolate on, it just wasn’t for me. I am too lazy you know.

So this is what I did, whizzed together all two of my ingredients in a food processor, lined a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap, quickly pressed in tablespoons of ‘dough’, froze, then dipped the tops in chocolate and let it harden. Cutesy white chocolate heart covered with sprinkles optional.

Mini Oreo Truffle Cakes

Before I go on to the recipe I wanted to apologize to my wonderful subscribers. I was experiencing technical difficulties on Thursday which I now realize were because of my ancient laptop. Now if you will excuse me I will go find a place to bury it…

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pistachios

I don’t know about you all, but we have been having a moody few days in Toronto. Dark skies, snow storms, rain, and then the one sunny/warm day we had was accompanied by forceful winds. My body is already craving summer. Since there is little I can do about the weather I decided to revisit a favorite in the form of these deeply chocolaty cookies with salty subtle pistachios and chocolate chips.

So. Freaking. Good.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pistachios

I had my concerns you know – especially since I pretty much made these from memory. My recipes disappear on me sometimes. They’re sneaky like that. Fortunately, my memory hasn’t failed me entirely and these babies were pretty darn delicious.

They are also extremely customizable. With the Holidays upon us they would be a great hostess gift and you can make them more Christmas-y by using red/green M&Ms or white chocolate chips and mint extract. The possibilities are endless.

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A Simple and Delicious Sun Dried Tomato Pesto w Toasted Walnuts

Frantic. That is the word that comes to mind most evenings when I am trying to cook, feed the girls, bathe them, change them and put them to bed. I always think of things I would like to cook the night before, elaborate things, yummy looking things – things that would take more than 15 minutes, but when it is crunch time those dishes hardly ever make an appearance. Fortunately for me – and you – there are many yummy from scratch dishes out there that can come together pretty quick. The fact that I have made this particular one three times in the last week speaks for itself.
Pasta w Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

I like the ‘usual’ basil/parm/pinenuts pesto, but the price of pine nuts and the amount you usually need keeps me at bay. This sun dried tomato pesto with it’s more humble composition of pantry staples packs an even more delicious punch of flavour and is as versatile as it’s greener counterpart. Add it to your grilled cheese, smear it onto your chicken and bake, or just keep mixing it into your pasta over and over again like I do 🙂

The recipe for this pesto comes from the beautiful blog Simply Scratch. It is intended to feed two people and that makes it perfect for me and my girls (daddy is a desi food kinda guy). Because it makes such a small amount you are best off using a mini blender like the Magic Bullet. If you are to double it and make it ahead then I suggest using only 1 garlic clove not two as the raw garlic flavour tends to get stronger over time.

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Reduced Fat Spinach and Corn Mac and Cheese

Okay people I know it’s summer and you’re thinking “Mac and Cheese? Really???”, but trust me on this one. Or rather, trust Vaish at Chefette Spicy on this one.

When I saw this post of hers I knew I had to make it. I frantically added the ingredients to my grocery list and went out that night (at 9) to do groceries so I could make this pasta happen asap. Also my fridge was weirdly empty and that was just freaking me out. Just fyi, I am now at the other extreme and equally freaked out.

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Corn, spinach, and cheese. What’s not to love? I usually find that ‘lightened’ up versions of dishes just don’t work for me, but Vaish clearly knows what she is doing because this recipe is DELICIOUS. Like really, really freakin’ good. And you know the desi in me couldn’t help, but add a few green chilies – and then the desi of me remembered she had a jar of Sambal Oelek in her fridge…I am not a fan of hot sauce on everything, but on this it really works. 

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