Cooked pins

So some of you know that a friend introduced to Pinterest a few months. Yikes! But she did warn me that she only tries to pin things she knows she will actually do . I try to keep that in the back of my mind as I am collecting all the brilliance off the internet all on my very own little boards. Really Pinterest is list sort of persons nightmare. You know the kind? The one sthat take joy in writing lists and marking items off. Who love to organize and organize and organize some more?

Anyways, I HAVE actually made recipes from my boards a lot. And I want t share them with you:

Mine didn’t look quite as pretty as these did cause moist bread is really hard to come by. But they tasted just as good. Just ask Kristin.

I made this last week as an extra special treat for our friend’s anniversary when we gathered together to worship with friends in our community. I didn’t have cool whip and couldn’t make it from scratch cause our store didn’t have cream that day. And I had just used up all my cream cheese bought from Delhi. So after the Oreo layer I packed vanilla ice cream and then put the chocolate pudding on top with some Andes mint chips sprinkled over it all. WoW! It was rich and chocolately! I still want to do the original recipe some day.

I made these for Arwyn’s 7th birthday this year when she asked me to surprise her with a new kind of cupcake. They were a hit! A definite redo!

Our friend Kristin (not our nanny) had a birthday a few weeks ago and I brought these to share! I LOVED them! And they were so easy cause they are NO BAKES!

We have done this now on many occasions. Sometimes in the evening I throw 7-8 bananas in the freezer in chunks and the next day when the power is on toss them in the blender for a special treat at lunch! Who knew a healthy bowl of ice cream, SO good!

Back in May when some friends had there parent’s visiting I brought this over for desert. Although I had to make them ahead of time and carry them on a rickshaw. They were decent. I would just say make sure you mix it very well at the bottom and eat it right away. But still a great quick single serving of chocolate cake!

Recently we had our first EVER girls night (well, afternoon) here with some friends and I thought what better way to kick it off than bring cookie dough to eat.?Can’t get more girly food than that! And it was eggless, which in this part of the world is a MUST cause our eggs come fresh from the hen with the poo, feathers and all still on them! Course I forgot that I usually only consume 2 or 3 spoons of cookie dough normally when I am making cookies, so three batches was a lot of extra, but my kids didn’t mind!

These were awesome! So good and easy to fix. Nice when its hot and somewhat healthy.

And lastly I just made this tonight. I whipped it up while the kids were eating dinner. I was planning on having it with some eggs for breakfast tomorrow but it smells so awesome  I don’t know if it will last…. I can’t get the pre-made can of dough rolls and  Ididn’t want to be in the kitchen all night making dough from scratch. So I found a recipe to use bisquick for the dough, then since I was fresh out of eggs I substituted a banana per egg (that site has some unique ideas). It was really eays to throw together.

If you are Pinterest you can see all these recipes on my “sweets” board or my “breaky” (named after my Aussie friend Alanda) board. But if your not, then you can click on the pictures and they will go straight to the recipes. Enjoy!

p.s. Tell me if you make one and what you think!

like pesto? try a new kind…

We have been enjoying a new pesto recipe. Spinach pesto. I can’t get regular fresh basil so i went looking for pesto alternatives. This actully works out quite well cause we need more iron in our diet, as there aren’t very many green veggies available here. But getting kids to eat spinach is a task in itself. Lucky for me the kids will eat pesto any day.

This recipe was YUM!

Then our friend Devon found a recipe for cilantro pesto. Double YUM!

When I went to make it I substituted Gouda cheese for parmesian, since we have to get ours from Delhi and we were fresh out. And YAY! we get gouda in our city now! In fact I am finding its a good substitute for parmesian in any recipe.

So, i mixed the pestos and they are even better!

And we used it for pizza 🙂

Pantry facial recipes

Another Birthday Ticket event was a homemade facial that I like to call the pantry facial. As my wonderful man treated me to this in our own bedroom during nap time,  I was delighted to discover all the ingredients were natural and normal pantry items. For the full method of these applications go here. But below are the steps and recipes.

After it was over I asked if I could book one with him once a month, or every 3 weeks as the site encourages. It really was the best facial I have ever had!

Step 1 Steam

Steam your face to encourage the removal of wastes, improve skin hydration and loosen dead skin cells.


2 liters of water

2 tablespoons of dried herbs (or 4 tablespoons of fresh)

Step 2 Cleanse

 Cleanse your face with “Cookies and Milk” to remove impurities and dead skin.


2 teaspoons of oatmeal

2 teaspoons dried milk

1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Enough water to make a paste

Step 3 Mask

Relax with a mask and eye compress.


2 slices of cucumber

2 tablespoons of honey

2 teaspoons of milk

Step 4 Tone

 Tone your skin with a refreshing cucumber tonic to cool, soothe and refresh the skin as well as remove any remains from the previous treatments.


1/3 of a cucumber (peeled)

Cotton balls

Step 5 Moisturize and Massage

 Moisturize your skin by massaging your face with a facial oil.


“Using a facial oil will nourish your skin with essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It won’t clog your skin or make it more oily, in fact, it can help restore balance to an overly oily skin.”

½ to 1 teaspoon of cold pressed vegetable oil

Good choices are; jojoba (light), sweet almond (medium), olive oil (heavy).

Ravioli Time

Last night I redeemed a Birthday ticket for a homemade ravioli session with J.

When I finished getting the kids in bed I came out to

 the table set up and ready to go for our Ravioli session.

He found this tutorial online and then taught me.

It took us about 2 hours from start to finish.

 If you love cooking and alone time, you will really enjoy this.

But if your like me, you will enjoy this most when

spending time with someone else.

 Make it with a friend, significant other, even children.

1. Make the dough:

Pile three cups flour on the table, push a little crater in the middle,

then crack 5 eggs in the crater, pinch 1 or 2 pinches of salt on it.

Take off your rings and dig in. Mix it till all combined,

slowly add water till dough is one solid piece and slightly moist.

Wrap the dough ball in a damp towel and let sit for 20 minutes.

While that is sitting you can pick out and prep your filling.

We did goat cheese, diced tomatoes, diced garlic, and assortment of herbs:

Basil, rosemary, thyme, & Oregeno.

2. Roll it out 

Pinch a ball a little bigger than a golf ball off the dough.

Flower your surface, and roll the dough out.

There are many different shapes of Ravioli you can make.

I like the one we chose cause it was quite easy.

Roll it into a ablong shape, thin enough to see your hand through from underneath.

3. Fill the ravioli

 Pile small amounts of your filling in a line offcenter of the dough.

The piles shouldn’t be any bigger than a quarter.

In a small bowl crack 1 egg and beat.

Dip your finger in and make two half circles around each pile.

This will help the dough stick together when folded.

4. Seal the pockets

Fold the dough over in half to cover piles.

Take a small lid, smaller than your palm, and place over mound,

twist in one place till dough seperates on all sides.

Then push the edges down with a fork to seal the dough, like below.

5. Cook, sauce and eat

When you are done cutting and sealing ravioli,

place them in a large pot of water.

The water shouldn’t be boiling, just heated on the way to boiling.

Put the ravioli’s in and then once it is boiling let cook for 4 minutes.

Remove with strainer and toss gently with your sauce of choice.

We did EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)  and garlic salt.

MMMMMmmmmm… so good!

A short weekend

Weekends always feel so short here. Maybe that’s because Itwar (Sunday) is the kid’s only day off of school.

So we usually celebrate Sabbath locked in our house, to eat yummy food, rest, play, and worship.

But the resting isn’t just from traditional “work”. We rest from interaction with anyone that is “work”.

Which right now is all people except our family. (Who am I kidding, I have a 6, 4, and 2 year old?)

But somehow things go much better when you have eating, playing, dancing & singing on the menu.

So it is a much cherished day for us.

Along with our crepes, Daddy’s specialty, I made a batch of granola in the skillet.

Stovetop Granola Recipe

Combine in a saucepan on low heat:

1/2 cup oil

1/2 C honey

1 t vanilla


3-6 cups oats

desired spices (i.e cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg)

stir and coat, contine to stir till oats are golden brown

remove and spread on sheet to cool

store in airtight container

Then I made yogurt parfait’s. MMMM… definatley a repeat.

I just layered granola, yogurt, and fruit in a glass.


The day before I made a batch of gespatcho and that turned out better than I thought it would.

Gespatcho and garlic grilled cheese.

I have these two great recipes for Roasted carrot soup and roasted garlic soup. One I have had and LOVE, the other I have wanted to try for awhile now, but our two months of fall isn’t here yet, and trying to have soup in our wether is just insane. Although I have contemplated eating some in front of the AC unit in our bedroom…

So I made gespatcho instead. Really? what’s a better solution to a soup craving in summer than cold soup?

This was my first time having gespatcho. It was kinda like eating a bowl of non spicy salsa.

 Even similiar to Ceviche, just missing the shrimp…mmm…

A will take soup in any form. M just asked to have it heated and asked me for the thousanth time if I would make him clam chowder instead. And for the thousanth time I said” No clams in our part of India bud”. So sad. Vange as with almost anything used it as a dip, but her main course was the grilled cheese on garlic toast. Once that was gone, there was no getting it in her without a fight. Josiah who has had gespactho before, loved it, therefore making me decide I may make this again. I could always use the extra as a marinade… But really the feta, made this recipe. And now I am fresh out till our next trip to Delhi… in a month.

Gespatcho Recipe:

through in food processor in batches-

2 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped rough

2 samll garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 small red onion, chopped rough

2 red bell pepper, rough chop

1 lb. cucumbers, rough chop

Transfer to a large bowl and add 1/4 C lemon juice , 1 1/2 t salt & 1/2 t pepper

Once in bowls top with feta, corn, fresh chopped cilantro and a drizzle of evoo.

The day before that I made banana bread. I am trying to switch breakfast up from being cereal most days.

I made my normal two mini loafs. One was consumed by the kids before school friday, and the other was consumed by mostly Vange

Banana Bread Recipe


1/2 C shortening or 1/3 oil

1 C sugar

1/4 C water


1-2 beaten eggs

2-3 bananas, mashed

1 t lemon juice

combine seprately and add:

2 C flour

1/2 t salt

1 t baking soda

1/4 – 1/2 t cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg

1 t vanilla

1/2- 1 C chopped nuts (optional)

piur into greased loaf or 9×9

Bake at 375 F for 45- 60 minutes

rub with butter when removed from oven.

5 new easy recipes

Recently I made this for the corn on the cob that J brought home to me. I was so excited to find that we get corn, though shortly seasonal, and planned on fixing it with Arwyn’s birthday dinner of spaghetti. She LOVES corn especially on the cob. What I discovered was that bought 2 days before the cook date, corn on the cob turns out more chewy than hard caramels. Bummer! So I got the butter on my toast the next morning when J brought me breakfast in bed,  still yummy! And I used it to make garlic bread with our leftover spaghetti.

 1. Herb Butter Recipe:

4 T butter , softened

2 T herbs, chopped (basil, cilantro, sage, thyme)

Pinch of salt

1 clove garlic, minced or chopped


Mix and refridgerate

This is very similar to the butter I used for my first Thanksgiving bird ever cooked, and it was sooo good, pushed under the skin garauntees to not dry out the meat.

 I made some other butter tonight. For the future yummy muffins or banana bread. Waffles maybe.

2.  Honey Bee Butter:

½ C softened butter

½ C honey

½ t cinnamon


Mix and store for those spreadable times. MMMmmmm…

 Usually on Sabbath we go to dinner at our local fav restaurant. Get pizza, french fries… I just discovered they have great sweat n sour and garlic chicken. We always top it off with a hot fudge sundae at the end. They are small and taste just like our “Micky D’s” treats that are only $1.  It is a rest from cooking dinner and great night time ride.

 Tonight we opted to stay home. Kid’s start back to school tomorrow, bright and early at 7:30 am, and we wanted to get them in bed early enough. So I flipped through a cookbook I brought and found the “homemade mac n cheese” recipe that I love. I figured they wouldn’t be too disappointed about the change in plans if I whipped up some of this. I change it to “3 cheese mac n cheese”, cause you just can’t get enough cheese. Ever.

3. Homemade 3 cheese Mac n Cheese

Mix in a 9×13 baking dish greased with butter:

4 C cooked elbow Macaroni

1 ¼ C shredded cheddar cheese

½ C cream cheese

½ grated parmasean cheese

S & P

Mix and pour over top:

¼ C melted butter

2 C milk

1 egg, beaten

 Bake at 375 for 40 minutes

p.s J and I have very discerning cheese tastes, so our processed version of cheddar that we get just can’t be masked over by anything in the recipe enough to enjoy it. J and I took one bite and started sneaking into the kitchen to steal the next recipe till the take out arrived. But with REAL yummy sharp cheddar, this recipe ROCKS! The kids loved it.

Good to know we aren’t creating cheese snobs-lets.

I threw this together tonight while waiting on dinner to bake, to save for tomorrow morning. I thought it would be fun to have a special something for breakfast on their first day back to school. I haven’t told them. Y’know to keep it a surprise… but since we didn’t fill up on dinner, we have taken a few “taste tests” and it definately passed. My goal is to keep at least half of it in tact for their breakfast now…

4. Coffee Cake with Cinnamon crumb topping:


2 C flour

1 T baking powder

1 C sugar

1/2 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1/3 C  powdered milk

Stir in:

1 egg

2/3 water


2-4 T flour ( I omitted this)

1/3 C cookie or cake crumbs

1/2 C white or brown sugar

2-4 T shortening (in my part of the world we use Ghee)

Pour batter into greased 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle topping over batter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Let me tell you, it was a new recipe day. And surpriselingly, that didn’t mean that I was in the kitchen all day. These were all fast and easy.

Lunch was UNIQUE. I made something called “Ox-eye eggs”. It’s a fun one for the kids. Again I tweaked it just to make sure they couldn’t complain and added parmesian cheese. Feed these to your kiddos for breakfast/lunch/ or dinner and they will be a hit. A second batch was demanded.

Our electricity was out during lunch time so I made it in the skillet.

5. Ox-eye eggs

For each person, place in a greased baking dish:

spinkle bottom with parm

1 slice of toast with a  hole cut in the center

in each hole put:

 1 raw egg (skillet: let toast and egg cook 2 minutes sprinkle with Parm and flip)

Add to the top of each egg:

1/4 t butter

s & p

sprinkle again with Parm

Bake at 325 for 10 min. (skillet: when egg is cooked to your desired level pull off)

The parm on the bottom got crispy and orange, YUM! I love melted and cooled parm on food.

p.s. Just for fun I spread the hole cut outs with butter and toasted them then tossed em with cinnamon and sugar. I presented them as the “old – eye ball’s”. It was great to hear Vange screaming for more old eye balls!

p.s No that isn’t my picture, cause we don’t eat bacon here…sniff ,sniff. But mine actually looked way more yummy!

Rashes, Scrubs, and Sweets

Oatmeal Bath

We have been experimenting with lots of new recipes here.

From bath additives for baby, to scrubs, to edible recipes. Vange has had a HORRID diaper rash for about 4 days now. Heat rash is common now that life here is sweaty and humid 24/7, but this one is in the nether regions and my two favorite natural diaper remedies haven’t been working one bit, this one (smells awesome) or this one (is a creamy protective layer similar to Desitin).

 So I remembered back when A had a horrible rash and I found a recipe for an oatmeal bath that cured her right up. Put this in a sinkful of water and let  baby play for a while in it, a few times a day.


1/3 – 1/2 cup ground oats (grind in a food processor, coffee grinder, or blender)

1/8 cup baking soda ( optional)

mix into bath water, skin will feel silky.

EVOO Scrub

I have been wanting to make myself a scrub, to sluff off that dead skin and have a natural moisturized feeling after my shower. I finally got around to it. This recipe is the simplest I have found and SO easy to put together. It was great! Other than the salt on my new finger cut. Ouch. I felt moisturized for so long. M thought I smelled like food, but I enjoyed the scent.

If you enjoy scrubs, make yourself one of these. It’s really good for your body to get that dead skin off  (regularly)and have a natural, non-chemical moisturizer. And it’s much easier on the wallet than buying one. Maybe this is how the starz have great looking skin…

1/2 C salt ( sea salt if you have it, table salt is fine)

1/2 C EVOO ( extra virgin olive oil)

1 clean Jar

If you want a bigger batch just do equal parts.

I decided not to until it had my complete OK, as not to waste my precious EVOO.

Mini Monkey Bread (with butterscotch):

a hungry onlooker

As I have been looking around for recipes I can make here that I made there, one recipe that kept coming back was Monkey bread. My kids fell in love with it the summer of ’09 and have never forgot it. Every dessert is measured against this delicious treat. Since I haven’t been able to find brown sugar, (I have heard rumors of it being in Delhi but have yet to locate it) and I can’t get enough of a supply by hijacking the little packets on the table from Haagen- Das Store when we go (yes, I have done that), I reverted to searching for a recipe to make monkey bread without it. This is what I found:


2-3 rolls biscuits (cut into 4th’s)

1/2 C sugar

2 T cinnamon

1 package butterscotch quick serve pudding mix

1/2 nuts *optional

1/2 C butter ,melted

 Grease pan. put nuts in bottom, if desired. Mix sugar, cin, & pudding. Roll dough pieces in mix.

When pan is half full, sprinkle mix and 1/2 butter on top.

Repeat and end with remaining mix and butter.

Bake at 350 till top is browned. Let stand 3 minutes and flip over on plate.

I got my MIL to bring me a bunch of the pudding mixes (since they are pretty cheap), and I found a mini bundt pan in Delhi recently. I debuted my surprise on the morning of A’s birthday along with her requested waffles. It was a mini one, which was great because that’s probably all my micro/convection could hold, and the rest of the day entailed many more sweats to come.


Since I get my butter in big 500 gm blocks, I am not always accurate on the butter measurements in my cooking.

Next time I will  follow those measurements to a “T”, cause it seemed a little lacking in that gooey department.

I will also add more cin/sug mixture in the pan before I go dropping my balls in.

Speaking of the dough balls, we don’t get canned biscuits here so I went in search of a recipe to make the balls from scratch.

My wonderful husband located some yeast starter for me on the other side of the city, after I sent him off with a Urdu name for it.

But after I made the cupcakes and frosting the night before I was pooped and wasn’t up to making dough from scratch,

since I am not that comfortable with dough-making anyway.

 SO, I googled if “making biscuit dough out of Pancake mix was an option” and I discovered this recipe:


2 C Pancake Mix

2/3 C milk

Mix and knead.

Pinch off 1-2 in balls/ chunks.

You may need to double this recipe if not doing a mini MB.

 * I forgot to knead it but it still worked great

So I did it , and it turned out perfect.

 I liked the Monkey bread enough to keep picking at it throughout the morning, A said that she is still partial to our origional recipe ( I somewhat agree), but M and Vange didn’t have any complaints.

 I also added salted, roasted peanuts at the bottom of the pan to get that salty/ sweet thing goin. So they end up on the top when you flip it. That seemed to be Vange’s favorite part and A ‘s least favorite, which worked out a good trading system for them.

Mango season

It is mango season here, June and some of July. Josiah mentioned that the mango’s are so tasty they are worth the cost, which is just being here during June and July. The humidity has decended and we find ourselves hanging out in our AC bedroom alot. I often cook in my undies and a tank, since the kitchen is the hottest room in the house. Here are some mighty big ones J brought home the other day. We have them in all ways: smoothies, cobblers, straight, in oatmeal, you name it.

This Mango smoothie is SO good. Personally to save some work I just cut of into chunks, throw in a ziploc and freeze. When it’s time to blend, I through the bag on the counter real hard a few times to break up the chunks. But that’s just me…

My mother in law made a Mango Cobbler, 2 actually. One we ate the day before she headed back and one we gave to the neighbors that rescued us from the electrical fire (the 2nd time, not the 1st) the night  before. Her’s were a variation of the above link. Since J warned her to bring her recipe from years in mexico with yummy mangoes, she did and we enjoyed. I didn’t even know you could make mango cobbler…

One draw back to so many mango’s is what it does your stool. So we combat that with plenty of bananas. Did you know that you can also become allergic if you eat too many? It happened to J’s grandma. Kinda crazy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Way back in my lancaster life, my great friend Mar sent me this recipe just knowing I would like it. Well I loved it so much that when we were in LA in march for our visa run, it’s one of the first things I made. And I even had my “Sass” (mother-in-law in urdu) bring me some bags back, so I could enjoy this refreshing salad this summer. Do you know how good Quinoa is for you?

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup radish, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons coriander / cilantro, chopped
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 small bunch watercress, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
salt and pepper, freshly ground to taste

1. Bring quinoa and water to boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20 mins. Let quinoa cool to room temperature, then transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Mix the garlic and scallions thoroughly with the quinoa and add the remaining chopped herbs and vegetables. Stir in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Finally, mix in the feta cheese and olives and season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
3. Set aside for at least 30 mins before serving to allow the flavours to develop and blend.

I omit the radishes, olives and watercress. It still is amazing!

Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken



Boy am I glad that I brought two big bottles of this stuff home with us:

Tonight we had a chicken success! I was dreaming of Sweet Baby Ray’s chicken so I looked up a pressure cooker recipe for BBQ’d chicken and it was great! If you were as unknowing as me I hadn’t even heard of a pressure cooker till I moved here. Everyone uses them. And here, it really is a  MUST cause the chicken’s dont sit fat and happy in a cage and fed great stuff all day. No the chickens here run all over and barely have any feather to skin before you get them. Consequently they are quite chewey. Boy do we miss tender chicken. I know I need to learn the fine art of pressure cooker-ing, maybe then I will be able to get the white meat tender as well. But I bet this recipe would be just as good in a crock pot if you care to try it!

1/2 T veg oil

2 C BBQ sauce (our pref. Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 1/2 C finely chopped onion

1 large green pepper

* we get enough spicy here, so I substitued 8-10 cloves garlic for the peppers ( that would 4-5 american sized cloves)

brown the chicken in the cooker with the oil ( medium heat, no lid), remove , mix the rest of the ing. together in pot then add the chicken and coat all pieces. Put the burner on med- high heat till the pressure is going off regularly, then reduce to medium. The pressure should be going off eveery 15 – 20 secs, for about 10 minutes. remove form hat and let depressurize on its own.

I couldn’t stop dipping my finger in the sauce!

It was the first time since we’ve been here that all 3 children were asking for more chicken. Vange was poundin on the table “Mo chicken mama!”