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Author Archives: Yvonne

Use an Oil Spray to Prep Pumpkin Seeds for Baking

spray pumpkin seeds

No more fuss over how much oil to use when spraying pumpkin or other squash seeds with oil when it’s time to roast them in the oven. Use an oil sprayer (found at most home goods stores like TJ Maxx, Home Goods or Bed Bath & Beyond) and it takes a lot of the mess and guessing out of the ... Read More »

How to Prep Chestnuts for Baking or Sautéeing

soak chestnuts in water

This helps the chestnuts’ hard outer shell soften up a bit, making it easier to cut an “x” over the top (a.k.a. “scoring”), which opens up the meat of the chestnut. The hard outer shell would be even more difficult to open up after cooking or baking, so the scoring process gives you a leg up on breaking them open ... Read More »

Halal Pepperoni Pizza with Recipe for Homemade Sauce and Dough

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I grew up eating homemade pizza and pizza from very good local pizzerias. Both were excellent, though completely different from one another- one being the American version of pepperoni pizzas and the other being my grandmother’s version of the traditional Sicilian style pizza made from scratch and made like no other pizza in town. My grandmother made pizza on the ... Read More »

An Easy Way to Protect Your Floors & Walls

It’s amazing what doing a lot of things yourself in your house can do to your psyche. First of all, it makes you feel really accountable for caring for the things in your home that you worked very hard to purchase and that now you want to protect and keep looking nice. Though I haven’t posted it yet, we put in some ... Read More »

[Video] My Interview of Adnan Durrani, Chief Halal Officer at Saffron Road Food

This is our longest video in the series of interviews we conducted at the Halal Food Festival here in Chicago. It’s longer than the others and chock full of information about Chief Halal Officer of Saffron Road Food, Adnan Durrani’s journey through entrepreneurship in the halal industry. He offers insight and tips for those interested in pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors which ... Read More »

[Video] My Interview of Amin Aaser of Noor Kids Book Series

Although not necessarily a food-related product, I have a real affinity for Noor Kids books for several very important reasons. One is that the are excellent books for kids that teach them about Islam in a fun, colorful and visual way with cartoon characters the kids can get to know throughout the series. Amin Aaser, the Harvard educated co-creator of the ... Read More »

[Video] Yvonne Interviews Youssef Elayyadi of Minaret, Producers of Halal Hot Dogs

Yesterday I posted a video interview of Baba Pita Restaurant here in Chicago and I’m continuing on for the next few days with videos that we were able to capture of some of the vendors at the Halal Food Festival on Sept. 14, 2013 right here in Chicago. This next video is one of my favorites because I got to ... Read More »

Weekend Garden Project: Tulip Planting

Think Spring Now

Are you looking for something to do around the house and garden this weekend? Or, simply just don’t know what you can do to plan ahead? Well, planning for the spring garden is a great thing to do right now. Bulbs of all sorts can be planted right now- I chose these beautiful pink tulips to plant so that next ... Read More »

10 Uses for Homemade Pumpkin Puree

go-to-town-with-pumpkin-puree1

We see pumpkins everywhere right now, don’t we? And they come in all shapes and sizes and even colors (i.e. orange, green, light beige). They’re kind of intimidating when you look at them. Hard, rounded but not perfectly round. Many have ridges that make them hard to cut, too. Forget about using a small knife, too- you need a chef’s ... Read More »

Quick Tip on How to Make a Great Frittata

Add butter to the batter

Yes, it’s true. Butter does make everythign better. Of course, in moderation, and when you use the real thing. Add butter to the batter of any of your favorite frittata or omelette recipes and you’ll be amazed at how easily the egg batter cooks on the stove top or in the oven, without needing additional fat or oil to cook ... Read More »