First Mystery Box!

Again.. spoiler alert if you have not yet watched the second episode of MasterChef Season 6. Watch here: MasterChef on Fox

 

Our first Mystery Box challenge included ingredients we all had in our respective refrigerators at home. I was absolutely ecstatic to lift up that wooden box and find turmeric, sumac, fennel, lentils, capers, kalamata olives, goat cheese, feta cheese, Greek yogurt, dates, and sea bass.

We had one hour and I really got ahead of myself. I attempted to do too much but this lesson was learned: 60 minutes in the MasterChef kitchen is not equal to 60 minutes at home. You are running around gathering the equipment you need, talking to the judges, and I mean the PRESSURE of cooking on such an incredible platform.

What I did end up making was a turmeric and date cake with a goat cheese icing and a balsamic and date reduction. My plating was off as I ran out of time so it was no surprise that I was not in the top 3. Did you see the top 3 dishes? They were beautiful and sounded delicious!

Dan’s savory eclairs (so creative) won and he was given a H U G E advantage! Not only was he not required to cook in the first elimination challenge, he was also able to save others from baking an apple pie.

Dan saved me! I was never so excited to see a Granny Smith apple in my life.. lol!

Unfortunately, things were not as easy as pie… not even pie itself and we had to say goodbye to the sweet Brianna and the incredible Mateo!

Be sure to watch next Wednesday June 3rd at 8pm (EST/PST) on Fox as we head into our FIRST team challenge!!! Let me just say, I have never been more shocked than I was that day!!

 

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

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OMG! MasterChef Battles!

Amanda, a social worker, feels that she is an expert when it comes to cooking lamb.

If you have not watched the season premiere of MasterChef season six be warned; there are spoilers in this post. You can watch it here and then return: http://www.fox.com/masterchef

 

For the first time ever, there were MasterChef Battles! The top 40 contestants went head to head for the highly coveted white aprons! I was in the “Battle of The Lamb”. Whose lambs were silenced?

I prepared a lamb kefta with jalapeno dusted potato and sumac aioli. In the 4 way battle, I was up against some great competitors! We only had 30 minutes to complete the whole dish and boy did it feel like only 5 minutes.

And guess what?

I WON AN APRON! 😀

Did you see the twist? After all the aprons were won, 6 of those who did not receive one would get a chance at just 2 more aprons! Shelly and Steven won the second chance aprons and joined the group on the balcony!

I was so fortunate to watch the premiere with my family and friends in Michigan. What a wonderful premiere party it was! Over 200 people joined us and we collected over 400 non-perishable food items for a local food bank.

donations for the food bank!
donations for the food bank!

It could not have been possible without my husband Hussein, my mom Hala, my sisters Deana and Mona, and my brother in law Mohammed. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! <3

My lovely family watching the MasterChef Battles!
My lovely family watching the MasterChef Battles!

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to you all. Thank you for reading my blog, believing in me and supporting me on my MasterChef journey! God has blessed me with the best support system of all and I could not do any of this without all the love and support that is surrounding me!

 

More pics from the party:

My husband Hussein and I!
My husband Hussein and I!
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The dessert table! Milk bar cookies, shatila cake, pana cotta and cupcake by me!
Foodie friends!
Foodie friends!
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My mom and her bestie (my second mom)
My Grandma and I :D
My Grandma and I 😀

 

My awesome family!
My awesome family!

 

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

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MasterChef Premieres Today!

MasterChef Season Premiere! Photo credit: MasterChef on Fox!

Just a friendly reminder in case you missed my countless tweets, snaps, Facebook and Instagram posts about MasterChef; today is the premiere of season 6! It begins at 8pm on Fox (channel 13 in Seattle, channel 2 in Detroit).

I have been busy doing some fun things:

Podcast with Walid, Greed for Ilm: Listen Here

 

Live Demo on Fox Q13 with Liz: Live Demo on Fox13!

Feature on Haute Hijab: Read Here

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Premiere day is here. The day I have been waiting for. It almost feels like the first day of school (that is, if you are a nerd like me and were excited for the first day for weeks in advance and had your backpack packed with freshly sharpened pencils, a new notebook, all your summer assignments complete and your outfit already layed out). Haha!

Today, I will be competing amongst the 40 best home cooks for a highly coveted white apron! Are you following any of the other contestants? Any favorites?

Did you hear about the TWIST? Of course, there is a twist! We have to be kept on our toes. We must be ready for anything at any time!

For the first time ever, we will be competing in head to head battles! WHAT A SURPRISE!

Who will I be up against? What will I make? Will I get a white apron? Are you interested in an orange MasterChef apron? Get one here:

All these questions and so many more will be answered TONIGHT! Tune in to Fox to watch and find out what happens to this food blogging, social working, home cook!

I will be live tweeting using #TeamAmandaSaab

xoxo,

Amanda

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Mother’s Day

A dark chocolate cake I made in honor of my mom on Mother's Day

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! A special Mother’s Day greeting to my lovely mother, mother in law, grandmother, aunts, cousins and friends, who are amazing mothers and demonstrate the true strength, patience and love everyday.

This Mother’s Day was the first that I did not get to spend with my mom. Due to work schedules and travel plans to be in Michigan for the MasterChef premiere, I was unable to surprise my mother like I had the past two years.

I wanted to do something special to honor my mom, even tho we were 2,200 miles apart. I decided to bake her favorite cake! I used the Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe as the base and made some changes as I saw fit. My mom loves dark chocolate and berries- lucky for me they go great together 😀

The end result was a dark chocolate cake with a raspberry and chocolate butter cream filling, topped off with a a cascade of dark chocolate ganache! So rich, moist, chocolatey and decadent.

This was my way to say; Thank you, Mom! You are the best mother I could have ever hoped for and I am truly grateful to call you my best friend! Thank you for your unconditional support and love and for believing in me in whatever it is I wanted to do. Thank you for teaching me how to strong, patient, loving and independent.

I love you, Mom!

 

My lovely mother and I

 

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