Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Khoresh Ghormesabzi - Persian Green Herb Stew



This is my family's number one dish. Favorite and one of the best my grandfather makes (mind you everything he makes is the best I have ever eaten anywhere). I realized in making it for some friends that now-a-days, nobody actually takes the time to make it from scratch. They either buy the bag of dried herbs and fry it and make it, or they get frozen packets ready made. So to keep the tradition of my grandfather, I have made it from scratch. (also because I had no idea you could do any sort of short cut like the other girls. Go figure) Regardless, I still make it from scratch as you always know the quality of the ingredients you are using.

FUNDABBLER FACT

Eat your spinach "cooked and you'll absorb more calciumiron, and magnesium."


Persian Stew Meat - 1 lb red meat cubes (see recipe for details but basically fry all the below together until nicely golden brown)

Turmeric - .25 teaspoon
Cinnimon - a pinch
salt and pepper to taste
Onion  1 sm/med diced or 2 tablespoons piaz daagh (seperately caramelized onions)


INGREDIENTS
Spinach - 2 large handfuls chopped and fried
Green onions - just the green part 2 bunches minced and fried
Parsley - 3 bunches
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Kidney beans - 1 can rinced
Limoo Omani - Black lime/dried lime 2 or 3 whole poked with a fork all around and 2 tablespoons powedered Limoo Omani.

Serves 4 -6
Takes about 5 hours total

INSTRUCTIONS


Wash your greens


Chop your greens

NOTE 
you can do this with a food processor, however it needs to be finely chopped not purréed. For some reason it changes the flavor of the stew and the ideal flavor is lost.


Keep your white or in this case purple parts of your green onions to eat raw with your meal once it is ready. YUM!


Fry your greens


Add your Shambalileh (Fenugreek) at the end to hardly fry. 

NOTE:
If you over fry this it will make your whole dish bitter. Usually what I do is put the greens I have fried aside and in the same pan add some more oil,  warm my oil, turn off the stove add my crushed and dried fenugreek while I stur frequently to avoid burning. You smell the nuttiness and take it off right away to avoid bitterness.

NOTE:
Your greens can be chopped fried and frozen to be put aside for quick preparation.




Prepare your khoresh meat and add in with your greens. 

Add about 4 cups of water to your mixture and allow to simmer for at least 3 hours. Once your meat is super tender (you can mush it with the back of your spoon) you know your khoresh is done. Traditionally they say that when the oil separates and floats on the top your khoresh is done, however I have noticed for some reason meat varies from city to city and I cannot always make a standard rule other than my meat smushing to call it a rule. 

Add your Limoo Omanis whole and powdered and stir (dried limes either whole or in powder) AFTER your meat is cooked (I recently learned this from my aunt that the lemon powder prevents the meat to become tender)

Add your Kidney beans at the last hour of simmering so they marry with the other flavors and remain intact. (ja bioftan)


Serve with some white Basmati rice and ENJOY!



Friday, June 27, 2014

Minty Pea and Kale Fritters w Feta


















So basically I had 100% intention to follow a recipe I found online. But..... I didn't. Go figure. I love everything about her idea and recipe.  Here is the original recipe by:   Gourmande in the Kitchen .

This is what happened and why I am re posting this: I started by following the recipe. As I opened my bag of washed mint and all of a sudden I turned into a 5 year old girl, sitting at the patio table with my dad, eating the simple Persian snack/meal of Noon o panir: Feta cheese with fresh greens (mint, cilantro, marjoram, something like chives, green onions, etc.) I loved it and literally licked the food processor clean with a very content smile. Don't worry I washed my hands and bowl with soap after ;).

I couldn't get myself to add the lemon zest (mostly because I forgot to buy organic lemons). And of course I love garlic so to me it was missing. I needed it to complete the smell of the nono panir rolls my dad would make me as a kid. Then I thought I can hide Kale in this!

So of course all the credit to Groumande in the Kitchen,  but here is my version of the recipe.
I served it with a creamy cabbage and carrot salad with apples  and quinoa. My 4.5 year old daughter devoured it, my husband enjoyed the flavor combination. I enjoyed it lots. Hope it makes your bellies happy.


FUNDABBLER FACT
Green peas stand out as an environmentally friendly food. Agricultural research has shown that pea crops can provide the soil with important benefits. First, peas belong to a category of crops called "nitrogen fixing" crops.



INGREDIENTS

Egg - 3 
Kale - 1 cup (crushed if frozen and chopped if fresh)
Garlic - 2 cloves  crushed
Green onion - 4 
Feta - 4 oz 
Flour - 2 tablespoons 
Pepper to taste
Canola or other high smoke point oil 
fresh mint - 2 tablespoons finely chopped


Takes about 45 min to make
Makes about 20 w a heaping teaspoon for each
Easily doubled and Freezable

INSTRUCTIONS


In a food processor add your 
chopped green onions, chopped mint, crushed feta cheese,  peas and minced or crushed garlic



Add in your kale, if fresh chopped, if frozen crushed 



Before you add your eggs, taste the mix to see if you want more salt. I find it salty enough because of the feta cheese. but I cook on the saltlessness end of the spectrum. 



Place in a bowl and add in your eggs



your flour and pepper and mix. 



Fry in your choice of high smoke point oil (I used canola this time, you can check out the chart here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point  to see what you would like to pick.

SIDE NOTE
do you see those beautiful browned parts? That is the cheese OH YEA! :)




I served it with a bright cabbage and carrot salad and some fluffed quinoa. 



And ENJOY!

















Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Princess Party for my Princess




Last year was a very challenging year for our family. We lost 4 babies, and my 4 year old daughter had to learn to live life without mom because I was either immobilized from morning sickness, bed rest, hospitalization or physical restrictions. Then dealing with the idea that she lost 4 siblings. It kills me every time people say "she's young she doesn't understand it like you think she does". I KNOW it's not true, I see her understand it better than many adults.












Last year was the first time Donya was so excited to have a birthday party with her friends. Thankfully our loved ones helped make her b-day happen. Mommy was not too involved, because I physically was not suppose to move. I wanted to make it up to mostly myself. She was thankful with the party she had. Made me love her that much more.





As soon as I started walking after the we lost the triplets, I knew I wanted to do something for Donya. I love planning parties and what better than to plan a Princess Party to get my head busy from the darkness we had walked through to bring a smile in my little sunshine's heart. 




Ideas were endless, unlike time and resources. I had so many things I wanted to make. I just had to stop myself. Maybe a Princess Party II might happen just to be able to make the other things that were calling my name. 





So there was princess food planning! "What do princesses eat" asked one of the moms. I don't know! It must be relatively healthy, and yummy on top of the theme.



I came up with Magic wands. 



I made a thin Kabob Digi in 2  cookie sheet pans. Once cooked, I used a star cookie cutter and cut out meat stars to top my wands. On the sticks I made fresh tortellini (store bought) in home made pesto put on skewers. The kids were impressed and loved eating them. 




The night before Donya and I cut fresh bread with princess cookie cutters to prep them for grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course a hit!



I made Salad olovieh to be eaten with the bread cut outs that were left over. What wasn't eaten I dried and made bred crumbs with. No loss just cuteness!



I also made the orzo feta salad from the Salad swap, as well as the cabbage salad and the Summer Squash and carrot ribbon salad. The ribbon salad really takes a good hour to make so I threw it in the food processor and had IT Do my fine chopping! Done in 5 min! YAY!



For dessert. OH Dessert. :) I made princess cookies (with Sugarbelle's basic sugar cookie recipe and RI recipe)!



Rapunzel Cupcake ice-cream cones (I got the idea from an empty link on Pinterest). I used  Royal Icing to decorate the cones.  



As well as fruit princess wands. Watermelon w Concord grapes (seedless), raspberries, and local farmer's market organic strawberries. Basically anything in season that can be on a skewer. 



They loved it and indulged. 



Lastly their 2nd DIY activity: Cake decorating!  



I was lucky because each little girl had a different favorite princess. I went to the Disney Store and bought a princess figurine pack so I was very excited! Perhaps more than some of the kids! 



My original thought was to make mini cakes, to put the figurine in the cake (after baked) and make the cake the skirt of the princess. Then I would let the girls decorate their princess skirt. That was a bit much to prep 6 different colors and decorations to go with each princess.







So scratch that. 



Then I made it a LOT easier on myself. There were 2 little princes, and the rest princesses. The kids were all accompanied by their moms so we had supervision, motivation, and pretty good kids so it made it easy! 

The cake recipe was from Glorious Treats' Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe. The only modification I made was add Chia seeds and cut back on the sugar a bit from .75 cup sugar to .5 cups.
I doubled the recipe and made 2 six inch pans of cake and 1 8 inch pan. Whenever I had some left over I would pour them into the icecream cones.



I made and froze the cakes about a week before the party. It made my work load easier as did it make it easier to ice on the party day. 



I had a mini tin of decorations mixed for each Princess. (to avoid germ sharing and any broken hearts). Then sprinkles were in the sprinkle shakers that were on the table and shared by everyone. 
 
 



There were heart decorations, pink anything would work, and some gummies are just yummy :) Any left over candy I put in a tiny bag and let them take home with them. I would have thrown it away anyway. 


As far as gifts for the royalty to take home with them were princess plastic cups. I had about double the quantity, so there were some for everyone to use at the party, then in a second cup I placed their goodies. I had a princess pencil, their princess, their princess cookie, stickers, sticker "earrings", princess rings… a few other things princessy.



During the beginning of the party, while the court gathered, I had a table set up with crafts to make their crowns. Anything shiny, with foam adjustable crowns I found at the dollar store. YAY! They had fun. 





The big adventurous day ended with moms and munchkins watching Tangled. It was fun, relaxing, and a blast. 



I hope this inspires you to cook up your own princess party for your little princess. 





ENJOY! 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Salad Swap 2013


I am hoping to start a tradition. Last year was the first Salad Swap. It's fabulous, fun, and efficient! the concept: Each guest brings a HUGE batch of salad (about double the serving size of the number of guests). We all eat dinner together, then we split the leftovers! :) A lot of fun for everyone! 





I of course had planned a little more than just salad for my contribution. I wanted to give something edible to my girly gang as their favor. An exfoliating Scrub! Now like I told one of my guests on her way out, if she choses not to use it as a scrub she can always put it on a pot and bring it to a boil with some water and make it into a simple syrup and add it to some vodka to make it a girly drink for a different sort of fun ;)



I made 3 "scents"




A pink one that was 

ROSE
sugar
rosewater
olive oil
honey
dried ground edible rose petals (edible because they are not sprayed with as much/any pesticides that could be harmful for you)
pink sprinkles or a tiny tiny bit of food coloring to make it pink




ORANGE GINGER COCONUT 
Sugar
Ginger powder
Ground fresh ginger
Lemon juice
Honey
Coconut oil
Orange extract
Orange sprinkles





LIME BASIL COCONUT
Sugar
Fresh lime juice
Coconut oil
Ground dried ginger
Green sprinkles




I added a square of ribbon to the back to make it cute





Today a few hours before everyone arrived, I made these bites and left them in the fridge with a wet paper towel over them. I saw them on Pinterest as an empty link. But the photo was self explanitory. 


The only thing I did was soak the feta in water (without salt.. so out of its brine) for 24 hours and it was a little less salty making it less of a punch and more of a tickle on your tongue. It also changes the texture a bit. 





I seriously thought they were pretty.The girls seemed to like the flavor combo. I'd say a hit! 




*HINT Make sure your cubes are big enough so that they don't break (see the far right) because putting it into the skewer makes them crack.



Of course there were the decorations




I thought I'd use the pre-salad snacks as decorations



It was fun





I also made some Quinoa fritters. I'll post the recipies in another blog post in detail. They were quite the hit surprisingly. My hubby and daughter don't consider it their favorites, but I love them and every time I serve them at parties, they are very much appreciated. 



I made a couple other "flower arrangements" :D




This year was lots of fun. The girls came over with HUGE batches of salad one more delicious than the other!


Lucie brought her Brussle Sprout Salad. 




Genviève got creative with her salad:

APPLE CURRY  




I had my ribbon salad.



Summer Ribbon Salad
Yellow zuccini
green zuccini
carrots

Vinegrette:
olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh dill
lime juice
a yummy mustard





I made a second salad (being the host and all)

Feta Orzo Chickpea Salad
Orzo
Red oinons
celery
Feta (add feta when pasta is cooled)
fresh mint
salt and pepper

Vinegrette:
Red wine vinegar
Grated/crushed garlic
Olive oil



Yasi Brought her Quinoa veggie salad





Quinoa
Corn
Bell peppers gren, orange, red, yellow
Parsley
Shreded carrot
Fresh lemon juice
Olive OIl
Salt and Pepper

She usually adds black beans but left it out this time. 





Marilou brought her fabulous Strawberry Motzarella salald


Strawberries
Red peppercorns
Balsamic vinegar
Brocconccini balls
basil
Olive oil

Emilie brought her Sweet Orange and Pomagranate Couscous Salad




Couscous cooked in Orange Juice
(sue used half regular couscous half orange colored couscous, SO pretty!)
Pomagrantates
Orange zest - Always use Organic because of the 
Cucumbers
Mandarins
Chives
Olive oil
salt and pepper 


Melanie brought her Mediterainian orzo salad

Orzo
Feta 
Olives
Tomatos
Green onions
Celery
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper



I had a dessert challenge by Emilie and Marilou. Emilie wanted a copycat of some dessert she had at a Montreal restoraunt a while ago. And Marilou - brownies. I made them with my own twist.


I bought my own pound cake from my local bakery... I know  I cut myself a break!


Reduce your balsamic vinegar

Ricotta Cheese
maple syrup
vanilla
crushed black pepper
olive oil

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Strawberries
Rhubarb
Sugar
Fresh Lemon juice
A good amount of crushed black pepper (enough to taste it but not too much to make it spicy)





And the Brownie Bites


Use your favorite brownie recipe
add hzelnuts to the brownies
then as though you are making cake pops, use Nutella instead of frosting. 
Cover in your favorite melted chocolate
Add your favorite sprinkles and

ENJOY!