Turmeric Cake Honey Buttercream and Candied Pistachios

Turmeric Cupcakes

The base of this cake is a play on the traditional Middle Eastern Dessert called sfouf. Sfouf are usually prepared in a 9×11 pan, cut into squares or diamonds and topped with pine nuts.

I decided to a traditional recipe and put my twist on it! I love Sfouf, the vibrant golden color and depth of flavor that the turmeric provides makes Sfouf unlike any other cake. But I like cake with icing!

And I like mini dessert. They somehow make dessert guilt free… I mean it is just a few bites πŸ˜€

I was recently at a cool shop in Seattle calledΒ Marx Foods buying some micro orchids for a cake I was making, when I came across these Rose Flower Crystals. I bought them because roses and crystals, but it wasn’t until I was developing this recipe that I knew what I was going to do with them. I used rose water in candying the pistachios, so the crystals were the perfect addition (and perfect color too).

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Turmeric Cake Honey Buttercream and Candied Pistachios
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14 cupcakes
 
Ingredients
Turmeric Cake
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
Honey Buttercream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2¼ cups powdered sugar
Candied Pistachios
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons rose water
  • ½ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted pistachios)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine sugar, vegetable oil and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together all purpose flour, turmeric, salt, and baking powder. Still in semolina flour.
  4. Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Using a small ice-cream scoop, evenly distribute batter into the lined tins.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes; until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when placed in the center of a cake.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
Honey Buttercream
  1. Using a mixer, mix butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, honey and sour cream and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Place in piping bag and place in refrigerator until ready to decorate.
Candied Pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, toss pistachios with sugar and rose water.
  4. Spread evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and chop into smaller pieces (if desired).
Assembly
  1. Pipe honey buttercream onto cupcakes and sprinkle with pistachios
  2. Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Turmeric Cakes, honey buttercream, pistachios

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Easy Chicken Dinner

easy chicken dinner, amandas plate dinner idea, chicken dinner

We’ve got a winner… winner.. chicken dinner! πŸ˜€

This is the perfect meal for those evenings after a long day at work and your family responds with “I don’t know” when asked what they want to eat.

Yes, we all get that response. And we all need a super easy chicken dinner! A dinner that is made quickly, but does not lack on flavor or nutrients.

When creating this recipe, I wanted to ensure it was nutritious, packed with flavor, have some crunch and versatile (so you could make it your own).

I love cherry tomatoes, and had some on hand from the Farmer’s Market. I also knew I wanted to roasted some chickpeas for crunch, as they are a great source of fiber!

I first tossed the chickpeas in spices and olive oil, spread them on a cookie sheet and placed them in the oven and made the rest of the dish.

chickpeas

(Warning: you may eat all of these crunchy nuggets on their own!)

chickpeas

Ingredients:

–Chickpeas
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
–Chicken
4 chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
–Tomato
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
–Grain
2 cups of your favorite rice or other grain, prepared to package instructions
Parsley for garnish

 

Instructions:

–Chickpeas
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line baking sheet with foil.
3. In a bowl, toss chickpeas in salt, garlic powder, cumin, turmeric and olive oil. Spread evenly onto baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, until golden brown and crunchy.

chickpeas
–Chicken
4. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness
5. A bowl, stir together all purpose flour with salt, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika.
6. Dip chicken into flour mixture. Shake off excess.
7. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden brown on each side; about 4 minutes a side. Place on a rack.

chicken
–Tomato
8. In same skillet that chicken was cooked in, add additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add in cherry tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach and salt and sautee until tomatoes are blistered and spinach is wilted.

spinach and tomato
–Assemble
9. Place 1/2 cup rice on plate and spoon over tomato and spinach. Sprinkle with chickpeas and top with chicken breast.
10. Garnish with parsley
Enjoy πŸ™‚

easy dinner, chicken dinner, easy dinner idea

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Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

peach and blackberry cobbler

Peaches are one of summers best treats! Sweet, juicy, easy to eat and a great addition to almost any dessert! While at the Farmer’s Market, I picked up some beautiful peaches that were grown in Cashmere, WA.

Washington Peaches

I knew immediately that I would make a favorite; peach cobbler. But I couldn’t just make an ordinary peach cobbler. I wanted to add another fruit and decided on the beautiful blackberries that I also picked up at the Farmer’s Market.

peach, peaches, blackberries
Aren’t they beautiful together?

 

I made individual cobblers, because I L-O-V-E serving up cute, individual portions of dessert πŸ™‚ There is something special about an individual treat.

Be sure the make my Peach and Blackberry cobbler before summer is over! Serve with a large scoop (or two) of your favorite vanilla ice cream! So may say the ice cream is optional… but I think not πŸ˜›

 

Here is my recipe:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups peaches, peeled and cut into segments
3/4 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
For the Topping:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
mint for garnish, optional
vanilla ice cream

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar. Add in peach segments and blackberries, vanilla, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and melted butter.
  5. Spoon fruit into baking dish or individual ramekins.
  6. Drop topping on top of the fruit. Leave some spots open for the fruit to peek thru!
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream and mint for garnish!
  9. Enjoy πŸ™‚
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Loaded Hummus Dip

loaded hummus dip

This summer has been unusually dry and hot for the Seattle area! Climate change? Al Gore would say so! Whatever the case, it is often too hot to cook and bake. I find myself looking for a quick dinner using the tomatoes and cucumbers from my little patio garden πŸ™‚

Garden

The quickest dinners in our household consist of grilled chicken breast, a large salad and fresh baguette from one of many favorite bakeries. Some days, I would be okay with a bowl of cereal for dinner but Hussein says “that’s not dinner” and “has no protein”.

This recipe was developed on a super hot day. It was 90 degrees and I was not feeling the heat in my kitchen πŸ˜› I grilled some chicken and decided to make a salad and hummus. Then it hit me; we often dip the chicken into the hummus, and add salad to the top for a perfect bite, so why not make it a loaded hummus!

I made my hummus using canned chickpeas, but feel free to use a premade hummus for an even easier dinner! I served this dish with Stacy’s Pita chips πŸ˜€


 

Ingredients:
3 cans chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup cucumber diced
1 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup Kalamta olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced

 

Procedure:

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  2. In a food processor combine remaining chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh lemon juice.
  3. While on low speed, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, parsley, mint, oregano, and 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  5. Using a mason jar make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Shake until emulsified. dressing
  6. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.
  7. Smooth hummus over serving plate.
  8. Top with salad mixture and sprinkle feta crumbles over the top.
  9. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, or whatever you like!
  10. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Loaded hummus, easy hummus, hummus and salad

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So Many Ways to Toast

Eggplant toast, eggplant and jalapeno toast,

Many often ask where I find inspiration for my recipes or what my process is for developing new recipes. I sometimes have an idea after seeing something at the farmer’s market or on the web. But most of the time, I have no idea what I am going to do until I actually start doing it! I just get in my kitchen and start working.

My husband does not like this! In his words, he “needs to know what’s for dinner” so that he can “get excited about it”! I think he’s learned to accept that my menu planning is non-existent and this is the best way for me to be creative πŸ˜›

I know which flavors I like and which flavors and ingredients work well together; this helps a lot! I rarely have a recipe that is totally off!

I’m also inspired by all of you! When you tag me in your beautiful culinary creations, it inspires me to create something using those flavor profiles! So keep tagging me: Twitter andΒ Instagram and by using #TeamAmandaSaab

My best friends mother, Mona Elhelou send me a picture of her eggplant toast! I loved it so much, I created my take on an eggplant toast! πŸ™‚ These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad πŸ™‚

How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram


 

 

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
1/2 cup micro greens
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar

 

Procedure:

1. Placed jalapeno slices in bowl. Heat vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar until boiling. Pour over jalapenos and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Roast eggplant on open flame, until skin is charred.

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast
3. Peel away skin and mix eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
4. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until broiler until brown.
5. Toss micro greens and pomegranate arils with remaining olive oil.
6. Drain jalapenos.
7. Assemble: spread eggplant over toasted bread, layer on jalapenos, sprinkle on micro green mix and almonds!
8. Enjoy πŸ™‚

 

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National S’mores Day

S'mores cookie!

Today is National S’mores Day! What a great food celebration! S’mores are a classic summer treat. Whether your on the beach sitting around a camp fire, or in your kitchen roasting a marshmallow on your stove top, S’mores are a delicious confection!

I had come across a picture of a S’mores using a Reese’s peanut butter cup in place of the classic piece ofΒ  Hershey’s Bar. And then it hit me! Combine the classic flavors of a s’mores into a cookie! And then use that cookie to make a S’more!

Here is my recipe:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup roughly crushed graham crackers

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup + 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

 

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugars and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time.

2. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt and baking soda to butter and sugar mixture. Combine well.

3. Fold in 1 cups of the marshmallows, chocolate chips and Reese’s.

4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and scope dough 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Be sure that none of the marshmallows are on the edges of the cookie.

5. Bake until golden brown; about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top each cookie with two or three mini marshmallows place under broiler for 1 minute.

6. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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