Author Archives: meemz05

Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

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Can you tell i’m just a little bit obsessed with Nutella? Who isn’t over here in the Middle East? We were Nutella fanatics waaaaay before anyone in America caught on! This recipe was creating by me, because I had a huge headache the other day and I knew nothing but chocolate would cure it. The whole baking process is actually therapeutic to me. All that sifting and stirring really calms your nerves, I think they should have a baking class at the gym along with yoga and body balance. Of course you would then have to attend another high impact class just to work of all those extra calories you would be consuming so it might be a little counterproductive…

Anyways, try these cupcake/cheesecake hybrids. They are super yummy! Trust me, i’m testing one right now. Of course I did add  an extra layer of nutella spread on top of it… Don’t judge me…

Ingredients: (only makes 7 cupcakes so double if you want more!)

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee (1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in hot water)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

For the cream cheese:

  • 1/2 package cream cheese (100 grams) softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

First sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt into a bowl. Mix well with a whisk, then make a well in the center and pour in the coffee, oil,  sugar, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix well then add the Nutella.  Spoon into cupcake cases.

In another bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon on top of cake mix, dividing evenly between the cupcakes. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips

Bake for 20-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

-M

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Chicken Tetrazzini

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while now. Actually to be more accurate, I have tons of recipes bookmarked that have caught my eye, but that I never seem to have enough time to try. When your in a hurry to get something on the table, you usually go for a reliable stand-by. Something you know is good and that you can make in a hurry. Well when I recently started going through my bookmarks, I was surprised at how many yummy sounding recipes I had collected, and I decided it was about time to start crossing them off my list. You will be seeing a lot more recipes from me as I start going through them. Once you try this great pasta dish, it will become a favorite. Its perfect for those who love the creaminess of a fettuccine but crave more substantial flavor. I love that it has chicken, mushrooms and peas!  With over 1000 reviews and a rating of five stars, you know it’s gotta be good right? It was. It was so rich and packed with flavor it inspired a rain of complements from my husband. This is a great, hearty dish that will fill you up during the winter months. Make it to impress that special someone and it won’t dissapoint!

 

 

 

 

Chicken Tetrazzini (adapted from Giada de Laurentis)

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry (or fresh) thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces linguine (I used fettuccine pasta)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 1-2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken.

Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.

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Thai Shrimp Green Curry

 

In contrast to Bahrain, the weather here is awful. The bitter dry winds of winter have begun to blow, and the frost in the air is sign that a long and cold winter is ahead. So what else to make but a flavorful, light, mild curry that salutes the good old summer days? This curry has been a favorite of mine ever since my mom made it for me when I last visited. Now I request it all the time. If I had known how simple it was to make myself I made have saved my requests for more challenging dishes! Oh well, there is always next time… 

 

 

You must make this dish, it is so perfect for weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table. All the asian spices can be found in major supermarkets. The flavors marry so well together to form a complex fragrant sauce that will have you scooping up seconds and thirds!

 

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut in 8 wedges
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in 8 wedges
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white bulb only
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk, 2 (13.5 ounce) cans (or powder reconstituted to same amount)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed 
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Fresh Thai basil leaves
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
Directions
Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. Saute the onion andgreen peppers for 3 minutes to soften. Split the piece of lemongrass down the middle and whack it with the flat side of a knife to open the flavor. Add the lemongrass, ginger, currypaste and lime leaves to the skillet and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk andchicken broth. Lay the shrimp in the mixture to poach; add a pinch of salt. Stir together and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and shower with basil and cilantro; serve in dinner bowls with lime wedges

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

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It’s November, and you know what that means… Thanksgiving! It is the holy month for foodies like us, and often my mom goes all out with a traditional turkey dinner, complete with cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. Never on actual Thanksgiving though… weird. Anyways, this recipe comes from the More from Magnolia Cookbook. It is one of their bestselling products at the bakery, and when you make it you will know why. This creamy cheesecake is rich with comforting pumpkin flavor. Initially I was concerned about the lack of spices but the punch of the gingersnap crust against the creamy coolness of the cheese filling gives it enough flavor without being overwhelming. This is a must have addition to any holiday table!

Slightly adapted from the More from Magnolia Cookbook.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Filling:

  • 400 grams cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

whipped cream and pecan halves to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180C

To make the crust: In a small bowl combine the butter and the gingersnap cookie crumbs with pecans. Press on the bottom of a buttered 10-inch cheesecake pan. Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and cool.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until very smooth. Gradually add the sugar, then the eggs one by one. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until just blended. Make sure to stop often and scape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure the mix is well incorporated. Stir in heavy cream and cinnamon.

Pour the batter into the pan over the crust, and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until edges are set and center is slightly jiggly, about 1 hour. At the end of baking time, turn off the oven and using a wooden spoon to prop the oven door slightly ajar cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour before removing. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

Remove the cake from fridge 15-30 mins before cutting and serving. Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves.

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Enjoy!

-M

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Filed under Celebration Cakes, Cheesecake, Desserts

Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack Review- By Farah and Mira

Looking for a great burger in Amman? Well look no further than Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack in Abdoun. This is the place to go for fat authentic American style burgers, thick creamy shakes and warm gooey homemade cookies. The menu features a good selection of unique burgers, with unique toppings not usually offered in Jordan. The burger meat is organic from their own farms in Madaba.  We went on a beautiful sunny day, and took advantage of the small outdoor seating area., a much needed extension to the small limited indoor area. Even so, be prepared to wait to wait for a table as the place is usually crowded, for good reason! However things move smoothly and the best feature of this American style burger place is the American style service. We were given helpful suggestions on what to order, the waiters were friendly and happy, and we even scored a couple of warm cookie sundaes on the house, which is basically our favorite Amman dessert so far.

The burger came stacked high, with lots of fresh toppings and sharp flavorful cheeses. The bacon was recommended to us, and we were glad to find a crispy piece of bacon, instead of the floppy boiled piece of meat that so often passes for bacon in the middle east. The meat was juicy, but some of our party found the standard medium-well was too pink, so be sure to specify if you like your burger more cooked. We tried the Classic, the Fatty Dab’s and the Chicago, and the Sunrise (burger connoisseurs would love this perfectly cooked egg with runny yolk) each has its own unique mouthwatering flavor.The burgers come with crispy skin-on rustic fries and a drink, which is a good deal considering most places nowadays consider these sides as extra orders. The meal is a bit pricey at 8JD plus tax, but we can honestly say it was worth it, far superior to other cheaper burger places in Amman.  If your feeling more diner-ish, try a shake with your meal, they are thick, creamy and out of this world! May we suggest the cookie dough milkshake, which comes with chunks of cookie dough and hot fudge ribbons.
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Don’t leave before you get dessert, all the ice-cream used in the shakes and sundaes is homemade, we observed as real vanilla beans were incorporated in the ice cream batter, and the cookies are baked fresh, so expect a 10-minute wait for the cookie sundae, one of the best desserts you will find here. The result is a warm cookie which is gooey in the middle, crispy on the edges and topped with cold, sweet vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. The perfect end to the perfect meal.
 

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Mama Mira’s Famous Lasagna

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I promise this is the only lasagna recipe that you will ever need. Its the perfect cheesy, meaty, hearty lasagna. Stuffed full of garlicky tomato sauce and creamy smooth béchamel sauce, it’s a super comforting dish, that gets requested more than any other dish I make. Its worth it to get the good parmesan, not the powder that comes in a can because it will give a great taste to the béchamel.

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Ingredients:

1 pack of lasagna noodles

shredded mozzarella

For the meat sauce:

  • 1/2 kilo ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2- 8 oz  (227 grams) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

For the béchamel:

  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute onion in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add the beef to brown.  Add the all spice, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic. Once the beef is cooked through add the salt. Pour the tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar over the beef. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the béchamel: melt butter with flour in a medium saucepan and stir until mixture becomes golden color (about 3 minutes). Pour the milk and cream into the pan (milk and cream should be warm), whisking continuously. Add the garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the mixture has just began to thicken up, then turn off the heat and add the parmesan. (The sauce will continue to thicken up off the stove).

To assemble: Coat the bottom of the pyrex with a little of the béchamel so that the noodles wont stick. Then put one layer of noodles, top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, and then 1/3 of the béchamel. Put another layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel, then the final layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes. In the final 10 minutes  turn on the broiler to brown the top.

Enjoy!

-M

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by | October 23, 2012 · 10:00 am

Pecan Pie

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My sister’s pie mood was infectious apparently. Ever since she posted the all-butter crust, I had been craving a good old fashioned slice of pie. With all the pumpkin recipes floating around, I decided on a rich, satisfying.. pecan pie. Ha! Why not? It’s just as seasonal, and probably even more delicious. Now pecans are a little hard to find in Jordan, you will need to go to one of those places that sells nuts and spices and ask for raw pecans, although sometimes the larger supermarkets will have them. This pie is fantastic, with crunchy nuts overlying a sweet candy-like filling. Start with a small slice as it can be super rich. I went with a very classic recipe as that is what pecan pie to me should be like, sweet and simple.

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Pecan Pie (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

Ingredients:

For the crust: use Farah’s all butter crust recipe, it will give you the most amazing flaky crust.

*tip: I didn’t roll out the crust, I just put big chunks of it in the tart pan I was using, and patted it down with my hands, it worked out perfectly

For the filling:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Prepared the crust as instructed, and press into the tart pan (I used a 9 inch)

In medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

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by | October 21, 2012 · 1:11 pm