Interview by My Halal Kitchen

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I never thought I would be saying this ever but I was interviewed by Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen in January.  It was a very exciting moment for me because I had been following her blog for over a year and loved everything about it!  So, when I was contacted to conduct a giveaway and interview, I naturally seized the moment.  It was a true honour and a great blessing.

Check it my interview here to read all about how I started my business and philosophy behind it.

Thank you for all your support!

Sobia

Space Lapbook Guest Post

Lapbooks are a wonderful way to teach your child about a theme or unit of studies. It’s quite popular with in the world of homeschooling and can be tons of fun to make with your kids. However, it doesn’t need to be limited to just homeschooling. Anyone can make one. So, I wrote a guest post for HafsaCreates on Space Lapbooks – give it a try!  Below is a video I made (don’t mind all the awkward commentary…lol) to give you a look at what my munchkin and I created over the course of one month.  

Try it out at home.  For full instruction and links for all the printables, visit HafsaCreates. Get creative and explore any topic that interests your child. It makes a great project to work on over the weekends!

Let me know if you give this a go.  I’d love to hear about it!

Sobia 

Handmade Gift for a Princess!

Hafsa Gift

Sewing has always been one of my passions.  I’m not the best but I do like getting creative and try new ideas.

Hafsa Gift 3  

When my niece was just 2 month, I sewed her these little soft shoes.  I had never made booties before but I figured I would try it out.  Not bad for the first time…

Hafsa Gift 2

I also made this little pillowcase top along with a matching bib.  Sewing miniature clothes can be much easier to sew because of it’s small scale.

Try it out some day!

Sobia

PS.  I’ll post the tutorials one day soon!

Fluffy Pancake Mix

Pancakes

I’m tired of using the boxed pancake mix. Not only is it expensive, it’s also full of ingredients I don’t want my family consuming. So, I finally created a recipe which was just to my liking. Even if you switch all your ingredients to organic (and free-run eggs), it’ll still be a fraction of the cost of any boxed mix.

You can even do what I do – quadruple the recipe for the dry ingredients and store in an air-tight container. Whenever you feel for pancakes, just pull out 2 cups of the dry mix and add the wet ingredients listed in the recipe. It’s so convenient.

Go on and give it a try.  You’ll never want to turn back!

Fluffy Pancake Recipe
2 cups        all-purpose flour
2 tsp           baking powder
1/2 tsp        sea salt
4 Tbsp        cane sugar
1 2/3 cup    milk
1/3 cup       vegetable oil
2                  eggs

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Then mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  2. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until well blended.  
  3. Preheat the frying pan or skillet.  Add a few drops of oil and cook your pancakes. 
  4. Makes about 10-12 large pancakes.  

Serve with pure maple syrup or homemade strawberry sauce!

Sobia

Cheese-Filled Buns

Cheesefilled Buns

I’ve always found breadmaking rather daunting.  I didn’t grow up in a household in which we made traditional homemade breads found in a western home.  Roti was our staple “bread”.  So, I didn’t know where to start.  I tried a few recipes before but they always came out too hard or too dense.  I wanted a recipe which produced a thin crispy outer crust, and an inner bread that is tender and fluffy.  So, one day after making pizza, a small ball of dough remained with some shredded marble cheese.  I decided to make experimental cheese-filled buns and see what happens.  Well, the result was rather impressive.  I surprised myself with this one!

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Cheese-Filled Buns
Makes 10-12 buns

1 batch     Honey Pizza Dough
1 cup        shredded marble cheese
1               egg
1/4 cup    milk
1/4 cup    sesame seeds
1 tbsp       Italiano seasoning (I use Club House brand)

  1. Gently beat the egg and milk together.  Set aside.
  2. Make the pizza dough according to instructions.  Divide dough into 10-12 small balls.
  3. Flatten one ball into a 6″ patty in diameter.
  4. Place about 2 Tbsp of cheese in the centre of the dough and fold the cheese in so that the ends of the dough are tucked in at the bottom.
  5. Place the dough on a prepared baking tray or cookie sheet.
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 for the remaining balls of dough.
  7. Using a pastry brush, apply the egg-milk mixture to the tops of the buns.
  8. Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds and Italiano seasoning.
  9. Place in a warm oven and let rise for about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Remove tray from the oven.  Heat oven to 400 F.  Then place tray back in the oven.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  12. Enjoy while hot!
Variation:  You can substitute the cheese with any kind you like!  I would definitely like to try feta next time.  Also, you can add some finely diced jalapeno peppers or olives to the cheese mixture for added flavour.
Sobia

Honey Pizza Dough

Pizza with Mr Chef

I got in a bread-y kinda mood one day and decided to make some pizza. Nothing can beat fresh pizza made from fresh handmade dough…yum! I’ve had this recipe for 14 years when I first started cooking on my own. It’s the only recipe I use and it’s super easy. The crust comes out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Currently, I make this dough in my Kitchenaid mixer however you can always use your hands to knead the dough.  There is really no difference aside from a little extra exercise!

So by popular demand, here it is:

Honey Pizza Dough Recipe
Makes 1 large pizza crust

3 1/2 cups       unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup           olive oil
1/2 tsp             salt
1 cup               warm water (100-120 F)
2 Tbsp             quick rise yeast (I use Fleischmann’s)
2 Tbsp             honey

  1. Turn the oven on at about 250 F for about 2-5 minutes and then turn off.  The inside of the oven should be warm but not hot because you will be placing the dough in here to rise.  If it’s too hot, the dough may begin to bake – which is not what you want!  If you feel that your oven is too hot, simply open the door for a moment to let the heat out. 
  2. In a heat-safe mixing bowl, add flour, oil, and salt.  Set aside.  (The heat-safe bowl will be placed in the oven).
  3. In a separate bowl, add warm water, yeast and honey.  Stir until blended and let sit for about 10 minutes until it foams.
  4. Gently stir the liquid mixture and pour over the flour mixture.  If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, using a kneading hook, mix for about 2-5 minutes until the dough is formed and leaves the sides.  The dough should feel soft, smooth and elastic.  It should not be firm or too sticky. If you follow the recipe exactly, it should be okay.  If you do not have a mixer, simply knead with your hands until the same consistency is achieved. 
  5. Before removing the dough from the bowl, coat hands with a little bit of olive oil.  This will prevent it from sticking to your hands and fingers.  Then remove the dough from the mixing bowl. 
  6. If you used a mixer, I like to knead the dough a few times with my hands and form into a ball. I feel that the natural bacteria and oils in your hands helps the dough rise better…but then again, I may be wrong…lol.  Just a theory.  
  7. Coat the inside of bowl with a little oil and place the dough back into the bowl. Rotate it a few times until the entire ball is also coated in the oil. 
  8. Cover the heat-safe bowl with a lid.  I usually use a metal plate, Corningware plate or a metal lid from one of my pots.  Place the bowl into the warm oven and let dough rise for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. 
  9. Turn the oven on at 400 F. 
  10. Remove the bowl from the oven and punch down the dough.  Knead a few times.  Then roll out using a rolling pin until it is slightly larger than the pizza pan. 
  11. Place the dough into the pan.  Spread with pizza/pasta sauce, favourite toppings and shredded marble cheese onto the crust.  Place into the pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is bubbling and slightly golden. 
  12. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes until cheese settles. 
  13. Cut into even slices.

Serve while hot with some refreshing salad and perhaps wings!

TIP:  For a larger family or company, double the recipe to make 2 large pizza crusts.  For a family of 5, I always double this recipe and we save leftovers for lunch the next day.

Sobia