Fig & Pistachio Pavlova

fig & pistachio pavlova

A few weeks ago, while out with friends at Hot Cakes in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, we shared a delicious chocolate pavlova. I have since wanted to make my own.

I had some beautiful, sweet, figs on hand and thought, I should incorporate them into my dessert! BTW, do you know how figs are pollinated?? It’s

Continue Reading

Caprese Chicken Pasta

caprese chicken pasta

Coming home from work after a long day, dinner can be a daunting task (yes, even for me). You know the drill; come home, kick shoes off, flop on the couch. Ask partner “what do you want for dinner?”, they respond “I don’t care”, you sigh loudly. Open the fridge, close the fridge, repeat. Repeat. 

I came to this recipe during the process of opening and closing the refrigerator. Isn’t that how

Continue Reading

Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

dinner with your muslim neighbor, interfaith event

Thank you for visiting my site and wanting to learn more about the Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor initiative. I am so excited to be able to share with you this special project we have worked on for many months. While still in the early phases, with much work and development to be done, I believe we can reach our goal of motivating communities across this great nation to come together over dinner and discuss the ‘hard’ stuff, get to know one another better and show those spreading hate that love and understanding will prevail <3

How it Started:

I began these dinners with my husband, Hussein in late January 2016. I believe that food is a bridge to understanding and inspired by my faith, I wanted to use my ability of creating dishes for something greater. 

During my time on MasterChef, I had received some hateful tweets from strangers who were judging who I was as a person based on how I dressed and presented as a Muslim Woman who wears Hijab. After watching the news one evening, I was saddened that we, as Americans, have allowed the presidential candidacy to be filled with hate. I took the negative experiences and decided to do something positive. 

My goal was to dispel the misconceptions may people have, give insight into our day to day lives as American Muslims, create a better sense of community and understanding and share a meal with those around me. 

American Muslims share and support the same freedoms we all cherish, including the freedom to practice our faith. American Muslims believe in the right and freedom of all Americans to live and worship in their own way. By breaking bread together, we can create relationships that are more powerful than any hate spewing candidate can spread. We can make a difference in our communities and our country, by coming together and understanding one another. We are in this journey of life, together. 

 

Dinner With Muslim Neighbor

 

How To Host A Dinner: 

  1. Begin with an open heart and mind. Set your intention <3
  2. Educate, prepare and enlighten your self first on the inner workings of your faith and as an American. Prepare to be challenged
  3. Invite your neighbors, colleagues and members of your community. It helps to have a diverse crowd, so you can have diverse conversation 🙂
  4. Plan your menu and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. I recommend serving family style or buffet because as the host you want to be engaged in conversation and not working on the food. You can always order pizza (because we all love pizza <3)
  5. Have fun! This is meant to build relationships and community. You should enjoy your time with your neighbors 🙂

NeighborDinner

Discussion Starters

  • What to Muslims believe and practice? 

This is a great place to start because there are so many misconceptions. 

  • Talk about your day to day and accomplishments! 

*Over 10,000 American Muslims serve in our nation’s armed forces and many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

*There are about 50,000 American Muslim medical doctors are saving lives everyday!

*Hundreds of thousands of American Muslims nationwide are community volunteers who, inspired by their faith, volunteer countless hours to making their communities a better place. 

*A 2009 Gallup Poll on American Muslims found that American Muslim women are the second mostly highly educated religious group of women in the USA. 

  • Ask your guests to share what they know about Islam and build from there. 
  • Ask about the faith traditions of your guests! 

We found that we have so much more in common than differences!

Resources:

For more information about Islam:

Islam Fact Check

Why Islam

ING

Q Fatima

 

More to come! If you are interested in helping develop the guide to hosting these dinners, please leave a comment with your contact information!

Thank you kindly, 

 

Amanda

Continue Reading

Two Year Blog-iversary

vanilla bean cupcake

Just over two years ago, I began Amanda’s Plate at the encouragement of family and friends who wanted my recipes. In two years, so much has changed in my life. My journey in food took me to Los Angeles to compete on MasterChef, to develop recipes for companies like Crescent Foods, Noosa Yoghurt and Fred Meyer. Most importantly it has allowed me to connect with like minded people who love food!

To celebrate this milestone I made my favorite vanilla cupcakes! Recipe here 🙂

vanilla bean cupcake

Continue Reading

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

vanilla bean cupcakes

I’ve always preferred vanilla cupcakes over chocolate. To celebrate my two year blog anniversary, I made these cupcakes to celebrate! I shared them with my friends, who were super excited to try the edible pansies that adorned the cupcakes 😀

Growing up, we made cakes and cupcakes often. But they were not always from scratch. Yes, we used box mixes 😛 As I spent more time watching the food network, I realized just how easy it was to make a cake from scratch.IMG_1935 

This recipe is very versatile and easy. You can add any extracts you like; think peppermint, coconut or lemon 🙂 I chose to top the cupcakes with a buttercream icing because it is also really easy and versatile! 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win MasterChef Season 6 Winner Claudia’s new cookbook!

On to the recipe:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
ButterCream
  • 1 (8 tablespoon) stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk (if needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  4. Mix in vanilla bean extract.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add in the dry ingredients and the milk. Mix until just combined (do not over mix)
  7. Pour batter into the cups and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Buttercream
  1. Using a mixer, blend butter and powdered sugar together. Add in the vanilla and milk and mix until smooth.
  2. Use food coloring if desired.
  3. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes
  4. Enjoy 🙂

vanilla bean cupcake

Continue Reading

Orzo Summer Salad

summer orzo salad

Very rarely does my husband, Hussein ask for a salad for dinner. He is not picky, per se, but doesn’t like ‘diet food’ or cereal for dinner (yes, I sometimes have a bowl of cereal for dinner :P).

orzo pasta salad, Amanda's Plate summer salad 

I first made this dish two years ago, during a super hot stretch of summer. We did not turn the oven on and barely the energy to come up with an elaborate meal. I had been to the farmers market earlier in the week and a had a beautiful bounty of fresh vegetables on had. I decided to make a pasta salad and thus this Orzo Summer Salad was created 😀

Continue Reading

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

strawberry ice-cream recipe

Summer is the season to eat ice-cream on a daily basis and feel absolutely no guilt about it. I mean, we have to stay cool somehow 😛 

In 4th grade, my class made ice-cream using salt and ice cubes to freeze the cream and sugar. It was delicious and so much fun. That was probably one of my favorite ‘lessons’ in that class 😀 After that, I did not make cream based ice-cream. My sisters and I made popsicles and slushy drinks but now…

4460424

I love my kitchen aid stand mixer and one of my favorite things about it is the versatility and add ones. I purchased the ice-cream maker bowl, when it was on sale. Combined with a coupon I got it at a great price! #Score 

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and  National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month of July. So today, July 17th is #National Ice Cream Day! wohoo 😀

strawberry ice-cream

I love strawberries and had a ton on hand… which led to the creation of this recipe 😀

STRAWBERRIES

*Note you will need an ice-cream maker for this recipe.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1½ quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed and quartered
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth.
  3. Return strawberry and cream mixture to the bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, until cold.
  4. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker, according to machine instructions.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer for a few hours to firm up.
  6. Enjoy!

This blog post was created in Partnership with Fred Meyer, all opinions and content are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who allow me to create and share these fun, new recipes! They help keep this blog going 🙂 

Make this dish? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate <3

homemade ice-cream, strawberry ice-cream recipe

 

Continue Reading

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

funfetti cupcakes, homemade cupcakes

Nothing screams celebration like sprinkles! And like Julia Child says, a gathering without cake is just a meeting. So this Eid, I decided to make a childhood classic; funfetti. And while we did not have Funfetti often, it was certainly a favorite. I mean how can a kiddo not like cake with sprinkles speckled throughout? 😀

sprinkles

Eid Al-Fitr is the end of Ramadan celebration for Muslims around the world. It is a time of gathering, of gratitude, appreciation, celebration and joy! During the Eid, Muslims attend a special prayer service at the Mosque followed by gift giving, visiting family and friends and enjoying delicious treats! I wanted to make my funfetti cupcakes extra special so I purchased the awesome cupcake toppers from With A Spin

Homemade funfetti cupcakes, funfetti cupcakes

 To achieve the ‘funfetti’ flavor, I used buttermilk and clear imitation vanilla extract. Normally, a baker would advise against anything but really good vanilla, but in this instance it is absolutely necessary! This is a tip I learned from Christina Tosi herself, during my time at masterchef! 

 

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18 cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk (can use regular milk)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • ½ cup rainbow sprinkles
Frosting
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (half 8 ounces package)
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Until evenly incorporated.
  5. Mix in the clear vanilla extract and milk.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  7. Mix the flour into the wet ingredients. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  8. Using a spatula, gently fold in sprinkles.
  9. Evenly distribute batter into cupcake liners and bake for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
Frosting
  1. Using a stand mixture with paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese until light and smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Beat until smooth and well combined.
  4. Using an icing tip of your liking, decorate cooled cupcakes with frosting. Top with Sprinkles and cupcake toppers.
  5. Enjoy 🙂

Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate 

 

Happy Eid <3

Continue Reading