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Oven Roasted Tomatoes | My Halal Kitchen

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes may not be summer-ready here in the Midwest, but there’s no shortage of beautiful ones in the grocery store, perhaps coming in from California. I picked up some beautiful Roma variety, ripening them on the counter for several days before roasting. After roasting, I really wasn’t sure what exactly I waould even use them for, but … Read more

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Spinach is that quintessential health food. We know it’s good for us, but how often do we really eat it fresh and lightly cooked? With numerous health scares related to tainted spinach, it’s a food many people are often weary of eating at restaurants or even fresh or frozen from the grocery store. In that … Read more

Roasted Pepper Frittata

Talk about a quick dinner- and yes, frittatas make great quick and nutritious dinners. Just take it from the rural Italians who live on such rustic, satisfying food. I roasted my peppers ahead of time, but you can easily purchase peppers in glass jars from most grocery stores How to Roast Peppers Peppers of all kinds can … Read more

Three-Cheese Baked Pasta

Pasta is such a quick, easy and filling dinner meal. This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients, but it’ll help you get a satisfying meal on the table in no-time. Check out my list of where you can find halal cheeses on the front page under the category, Halal Cheese & Dairy. Three-Cheese Baked … Read more

Sun-Dried Tomato & Cheese Appetizers

Ever been in a pinch for a quick appetizer or dish to take to an event or someone’s home?

I had a meeting over with the awesome folks at Crescent Foods and decided I wanted to bring something. Last time it was my banana blueberry loaf, but this time I wanted to bring someting savory so I decided on this super quick appetizer.

I used what was on hand: fresh herbs, multi-grain bread, cream cheese, mozzarella (or my homemade yogurt cheese ) & a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.

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Chicken Parmesan for Two

There’s just two of us at home for dinner on most nights, unless we have guests.  With guests dinner just instantly doubles or quadruples and I can make great use out of larger pots and pans.  So, because of the clean up involved, on most nights it’s a pain to use big, oversized dishes when I only need just a small pan to make enough of one of my favorite dishes for one night.

Chicken Parmesan is cooked to perfection in these wonderful, high quality stoneware dishes by Le Creuset. They’re not too deep, so this dish bakes faster in the oven than with some of my other pans.  Best of all, they’re super easy to clean.

I have to say, this is one of the best cookware companies out there. They stand behind their products and have a great call line to help their customers out with any problems related to their products, which is actually quite rare. In my house the only problems we’ve had with Le Creuset cookware have been ‘homemade’.  I’ll spare you the details of that for now…

I got this snazzy package of Le Creuset Stoneware from Cooking.com— and so can you!  They have lots of nice colors so for me it was hard to choose between Kiwi Green or Caribbean Blue, but I went with the color of most of my cookware and stemware, which is mostly a rustic Mediterranean or Mexican style. I think it’s actually much prettier, even a bit darker, in actuality than in the picture.

So, back to the recipe (which is in full detail at the end of this post). I”ll show you some of the steps involved here, which are quite simple.

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Homemade Pizza

 

Homemade Pizza. It’s by far my #1 favorite food. Anything with cheese. Anything with bread.

When you combine the two, you have my undivided attention.

I grew up on my Sicilian grandmother’s homemade pizza. With homemade sauce.

She would make pizza on the days she was making her homemade bread. The whole family would gather in the evening just to get slices of the pizza (she had begun early in the morning to make the bread and pizza dough and fried bread dough, too. Oh, how the list goes on).

Her pizza was long and a bit thick, made on very large baking sheets. Although I never saw her actually making them as a kid, I always noticed that there was little sauce, little cheese and the dough was always perfectly chewy. She judiciously cut every piece herself with large black and silver kitchen shears– my first memories of the utilization of scissors used to cut food. Judiciously because the pizza was precious- it was laborious to make and I know she wanted to ensure that everyone in our large family had a filling taste of the way she showed us love.

Nothing in the world has ever replaced the smell of her bread and pizza dough. As I lifted the square slice (cut in squares by those famous scissors), the smell completely encompassed my soul and began my love of food. Real food. Real pizza.

That’s a very hard act to follow.

Not many people or restaurants have ever fully satisfied my craving for Nonna’s pizza. She doesn’t make them anymore, nor did I ever really learn her recipe. Over phone calls to her during college, I caught a glimpse of what she did to make it, but so much was lost in translation.

Ever since then I’ve been on a quest of my own to replicate (though that can never truly happen) a pizza dough tradition of my own that honors my grandmother’s love of bread, of pizza and of feeding her family with lots of both.

Here’s my experience of mixing the old (fashioning homemade dough) with the new (a lovely new pizza pan I’m going to tell you all about).

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Vegetable & Basil Penne Pasta

I’m often asked by readers to provide quick and easy meals for busy families. To be quite honest, I’m really not a cook who goes out of her way to make most things, so quick and easy is my preferred style. I don’ t have the time or the desire (usually) to complicate my life by running back and forth to the grocery store for exotic ingredients. I love to use what I have on hand. I take one look into the fridge and in my cabinets to see what’s there and my mind begins to calculate a recipe. Hey, is there an App for that?

Basil Preservation Tip

I had a lot of basil this summer in my balcony garden, which I froze. Basil freezes perfectly well when you cover it with olive oil, keeping it in a freezer safe container for about 3 months. Simply bring it back to room temperature or throw it into soups and stews for some of the most delicious additons to meals, without buying expensive fresh herbs at the grocery store- especially when it’s out of season.

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Chocolate Mousse Cups | ‘Eid Bazaar Baking

I had the great fortune of being able to do a little baking for a local school bazaar this past weekend. Teachers were raising money to fund the children’s Hajj re-enactment program where the kids learn how to properly perform the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. You see, it’s Hajj ‘season’, meaning that most piligrims from all over the world have left their homes for Mecca, Saudia Arabia, to fulfill one of the pillars of Islam: the once in a life trip to one of the holiest cities for Muslims. If one can so afford to do it after other worldy obligations are cared for, he or she should go and spend 10 days to perform the rites and rituals asked by God of every Muslim.

I decided on some of my family favorites as well as baked goods I thought every mom and every kid would want to enjoy at the bazaar:

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