Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best of 2013

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It is almost the end of 2013.  It's a great time to look back and reflect on the year that has passed.  I thought I would share with you the Top 10 Recipes of 2013 on Chocolate & Chillies!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Microwave Kalakand (Indian Milk Fudge)

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I love Indian desserts but they are very rich and sweet so I rarely make them.  They are also very time consuming.  I pinned this recipe for Microwave Kalakand from Sadaf's Culinary Adventures awhile ago but never got around to making it.  The thought of making an Indian dessert in 20 minutes sounded so appealing.  I remember the last time I made Gajar ka Mitha (Carrot Halwa) it took forever!  So I gathered the ingredients for the Kalakand (there are only 4 of them and that includes the garnish!).  It took about 20 minutes to make and then you leave it to set in the fridge.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Bars

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Seems like I've been posting lots of breakfast items lately.  Here is yet another one!  This is a recipe I found on Baking Bites.  I omitted the chocolate chips and used pecans to keep this more on the healthy side.  I also added a little bit of whole wheat.  These were a great breakfast item, especially if you eat breakfast on the go.  It makes quite a bit so next time I will try to halve the recipe.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Skinny Oreo Banana Milkshake {Guest Post}

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Today I have the pleasure to be guest posting at my best blogging buddy Henna's blog My Ninja Naan! I can't even remember how I discovered Henna's blog.  I remember when I would visit she would make things that I had recently also made or things that I would most definitely want to make.  We both posted the same Spinach Quiche and Wheat Thins recipes.  Henna posted a recipe for Garlic Knots which I had also made but never posted about because they over rose and where humungous!  I had long ago pinned the Jalapeno Popper Chicken recipe she posted but have never gotten around to making it because half of my family are not cheese fans.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homemade Oyster Crackers

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Placement in the photo was made by Mummy.

I feel bad that I do not do a lot of baking with Bilal.  When Hasan was younger he would always help me.  Since we were not on any schedule we could always find time to do things together.  Since Hasan is in school everything has to follow that schedule.  Also it's very hard to get both of them to help me when I'm making something.  So when Hasan was at school, Bilal and I made these crackers.  Bilal loved making the crackers.  We used tiny cookie cutters to make some shapes but it started to take too long so we also used a pizza cutter and just cut it into small squares and rectangles.  Bilal also loved to eat the crackers as well.  He was calling them "Yummy Crackers".  While I was praying Zuhr I could hear Bilal was up to something in the kitchen.  So when I was done I quietly went to the kitchen to find him with his mouth full of crackers :).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Skinny Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins

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In yet another attempt to make some healthy breakfast goods for the boys I tried out these Skinny Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins that I found over at Sally's Baking Addiction.  After the last couple of muffin recipes I've made I know that I can't sneak bananas into Hasan's muffins. He knows...and he doesn't like it.  But I have to say these muffins were very good.  Hasan had one and really enjoyed it.  Then he noticed there were some white flecks in it and once he knew it was banana he was done.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baked Maple Walnut Banana Oatmeal Cups

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I'm always searching for healthy breakfast ideas that I can make ahead.  Lately I've been tired of eating cereal.  I found a recipe for Baked Honey Oatmeal with Raspberries and Pistachios on Munchin with Munchkin awhile ago.  I loved the idea of making small servings.  These turned out very good.  They are pretty healthy except for the 2 tbsp of maple syrup.  They are sweet so if you want something that isn't high in sugar you can reduce the amount.  I also tossed in some chia seeds but if you don't have any it's fine to leave out.  This recipe is quite versatile.  You can change up the nuts, add some blueberries or chocolate chips and even use honey instead of maple syrup.  They would even be great  topped with some Greek yogurt.  Bilal loved these and they were also great as a snack.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quick and Easy Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting {Small Batch}

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What I love about this recipe is that it is super quick to whip up and makes a small batch of cupcakes.  Which means I won't be eating a dozen cupcakes in a matter of a couple of days.  When it comes to desserts I find that I have lost all self control.  So small batches are good although this recipe can be easily doubled.  I frosted them with the recipe from my Quick Chocolate Cake.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Catelli Gluten Free Pasta Review & Giveaway {CAN only}

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I've been seeing lots of people posting and writing about gluten free cooking and baking.  This is something totally new to me.  I've never had to look into gluten free cooking but have been curious about it.  People with celiac disease follow a gluten free diet.  Canadian Celiac Association defines "celiac disease as an autoimmune disease where the surface of the small intestines that absorbs nutrients from food is damaged by a substance called gluten.  As a result, the body has trouble absorbing nutrients from food including the protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health."  When baking, it is the gluten in the flour that binds the ingredients and prevents crumbling.  Gluten is found in all types of wheat.  Oats usually have contact with gluten so people must look for gluten free oats.  For those that are on a gluten free diet, they must read labels very carefully to ensure there is no gluten in the food.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

100% Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

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Trying to stick with baking some breakfast goodies for the boys to help our mornings go smoother, I tried out these Whole Wheat Banana Muffins I saw on Joy of Baking.  I made half the recipe which gave me 6 muffins.  Since these are 100% whole wheat flour the banana flavour is more muted.  To get the boys excited about them I sprinkled some with some chocolate chips.  The first time I made these Hasan loved them.  The second time I didn't mash the banana as well and he wasn't happy with mushy parts in his muffins.  So next time I will be sure to thoroughly mash the bananas so he has no clue that it's in there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate Truffle Energy Bites

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Recently I shared with you my review of Natural Delights Medjool Dates.  We love dates and these were the best ones we have ever had.  With the Natural Delights Medjool Dates I made these amazing Chocolate Truffle Energy Bites.  Earlier in May I had posted a recipe for Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Energy Bites and since then I have been searching for a recipe that didn't use any peanut butter.  I found this recipe on Sally's Baking Addiction which looked like it would be good to try.  I made a few changes to adjust for what ingredients I had on hand.  These turned out great and tasted best chilled.  I told Hasan they were chocolate to get him to try them and he loved them!  He even asked for some the next day.  I made half the recipe but next time will be making the whole recipe since they didn't last very long!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Natural Delights Medjool Dates Review {and a Giveaway - CAN only}

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Almond Date Rolls, Regular Medjool Dates and Coconut Date Rolls

One of our favourite things to snack on is dates.  For us, dates are not just for breaking our fast during Ramadan, they are a everyday treat!  I like to have one when I'm craving something sweet.  Medjool have always been our favourite type to eat.  So I was very excited when I was sent some of Natural Delights Medjool Dates to try.  We have eaten Medjool dates before but when we ate our first sample of Natural Delights Medjool Dates there was no question that these were the BEST Medjool Dates we've ever had!  They were very fresh and sweet.  They were not dried out at all and had the perfect texture.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baked Whole Wheat Cinnamon Applesauce Doughnuts {SRC}

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It's the last Monday of the month which means it's Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned Making Miracles written by Rebekah.  Rebekah recently had a beautiful baby girl.  Congratulations Rebekah!  I couldn't believe that after having her baby, she was still updating her blog...WOW!!!  After I had my boys, whenever I had some spare time all I wanted to do was sleep.  But then again I wasn't blogging back then either.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

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Recently I posted my review for RW Garcia Tortilla Chips and 5-Seed Crackers.  We loved having the tortilla chips with some Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa.  In the summer when we were in the States I picked up a couple of tins of Fire Roasted Tomatoes.  I've never seen Fire Roasted Tomatoes in Canada before and have seen other blogs using them so I was curious to try them out.  I found making salsa with Fire Roasted Tomatoes made the salsa slightly sweeter.  I usually buy salsa but really it is so  easy to whip up that I should be making it at home.  Also by making it at home I know exactly what going into it as well!

Monday, October 7, 2013

RW Garcia Chips & 5-Seed Crackers Review

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One of our favorite snacks to munch on is nachos and salsa.  So I was very excited when I found out I was going to being receiving some chips from RW Garcia!  I had never tried their chips before but after reading their website I loved that they were all-natural, made with organic corn and were verified non-GMO.

Monday, September 30, 2013

First Cheerios - Remembering Your Little One's Firsts

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Time goes by so quickly and life gets so busy that we tend to forget about many of the first moments in our children's lives.  Many times I look at my two boys and can't believe how big they have gotten.  Them taking their first steps seems like ages ago.  It seems like once they figured out how to walk, all they wanted to do was run.  Even now it seems like they never walk anywhere...it's always running.

100% Whole Wheat Baked Chocolate Doughnuts {SRC}

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It's the last Monday of the month which means it's time for Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was assigned So Tasty, So Yummy written by Katie.  Katie has a ton of recipes and it was really hard to narrow it down.  I wanted to make so many of her dishes like Baked Chicken Burritos with Sour Cream Poblano Sauce, Chicken Gyros and Shake Shack Burger.  But in the end I settled on her Whole Wheat Chocolate Doughnuts.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Expanda - The Expandable Trivet {Review & Giveaway}

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When you have a small kitchen like I do you really need to maximize all the space in your kitchen.  Sometimes I just don't have room for all the gadgets I'd love to have.  Today I'm excited to share with you the Expanda.  The Expanda is an expandable trivet.  It expands to fit just about any pot size so no need for multiple trivets of varying size.  This makes it great for when you are using different sized pots.   Expanda is BPA free, heat resistant up to 500 F and dishwasher safe (top rack only) as well.  It comes in three different colours.  Expanda is made by Umbra, a company I've always loved.  Umbra has a lot of neat products to help make your busy life easier.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Celebrate Your Everyday Moments with YOPA! {Giveaway - CAN only}

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Sometimes we need to take time out to celebrate the everyday simple moments.  Moments that deserve a little OPA!  Those little everyday accomplishments sometimes get left behind during our busy schedules.  There are many times with my boys when accomplishing something small feels like a huge success.  Things like getting Bilal to hold my hand when we are outside or getting Hasan to do his homework without a fuss.  Moments like these deserve a little OPA!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spinach and Chickpeas

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Chickpeas are something everyone in our home loves.  Whether it's a salad or cooked or hummus, we are always going through a lot of chickpeas.  I came across this recipe on Smitten Kitchen while searching for an Indian cholay recipe.  This is nothing like our traditional cholay but it was such a great change.  I loved the addition of spinach.  In the picture above I left the baby spinach whole.  You can roughly chop it as well which is how I prefer to have it.  Make sure to just wilt the spinach otherwise it can get a bit slimy.  I usually end up making this recipe when I have some baby spinach I need to use quick before it goes bad.

Friday, September 6, 2013

HERSHEY'S SIMPLE PLEASURES Milk Chocolates with Creamy Caramel {Giveaway - US ONLY}

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Today I want to share with you HERSHEY'S newest SIMPLE PLEASURES Milk Chocolates with Creamy Caramel.  SIMPLE PLEASURES Milk Chocolates with Creamy Caramel has 30% less fat than the leading chocolate which I love.  The best part is that they don't taste low fat.  Just a couple are a great dessert for me!

Monday, August 26, 2013

100% Whole Wheat Waffles {SRC}

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It's time for Secret Recipe Club again!  This month I was assigned I am a Honey Bee written by Nicole.  Nicole cooks, bakes and scrapbooks too!  While browsing Nicole's blog I found a recipe for Green Tomato Bread.   Last year we had an abundance of green tomatoes.  I was picking the green tomatoes from the backyard because I found as I let them ripen on the vine I would find little holes made by bugs so I would pick them early and let them rippen indoors.  Since I had so many I started to google green tomato recipes and came across Nicole's recipe which I bookmarked but didn't get around to making because my husband starting making an amazing kheema with the green tomatoes.  This year the tomatoes are slower coming in and they are too small to be picked.  So in the end I decided to try out Nicole's Whole Wheat Waffles.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Resolve® Tip Exchange

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With summer comes lost of great weather and good times.  It also comes with kids getting more messy and that means more stains.  My boys love eating outside in the backyard.  Usually I give them popsicles to eat outside since those can get messy.  When I have to remove a stain I will soak in hot water.  Then I will use some laundry detergent and scrub the stain.  But there are times when I'm not sure how to get out all those stains and would love one resource to go to where I can find out what other moms do.  Strawberries, tomato sauce, pen and markers are my toughest stains to get out.  The last 2 occur mostly during the school year.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade {SRC}

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It's time again for The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned Fran's Favs.  Fran is an Italian Foodie and a very experienced cook.  I loved going through her recipes and first was stuck on her Twinkie Clone recipe.  It was the first recipe I saw and it immediately made me think of Baba (my father).  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream without the Cream and a {Giveaway}

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The dish used in the picture was my Nana's (maternal Grandfather)

UPDATE: After some more research I've come to know that Vanilla Bean Paste is actually NOT HALAL.

When I bought my ice cream maker attachment I was so excited.  Then I looked for recipes and they were all loaded with cream.  So my search for a great ice cream recipe without the cream began.  After much searching I found a recipe that we all love.  And what would a great vanilla ice cream be without great vanilla flavour!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mango Date Green Monster {Guest Post}

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This will be a different Ramadan.  A Ramadan without Baba.  In the picture above I have placed a pocket watch we found in Baba's things.  It is an antique pocket watch and my dad had written on the bag Eglinton Ave E/Laird (where he bought it) and $5.35.  Baba was such an organized man.  Always thought of everything and made sure everything was in place.  During Ramadan, iftari at my parents place was usually the tradtional waday, dahi baday and aloo bonday.  All things Baba loved.  He could never resist the Iftari.  When my brother and I were still at home, Baba would buy baklava and chocolate every Ramadan.  We would always have some at sehri/suhoor.  May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannat-ul-Firdous.  May Allah make this easy time for Mummy.  Ameen.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Strawberry Popsicles

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Recently I found a great organic strawberry farm near our place.  My mom tagged along with us and we all had a lot of fun.  We came home with a 7 litre basket full of strawberries and now the big task of what to do with all of the strawberries.  Unfortunately the strawberries weren't very sweet but they were very juicy.  I gave a shot at a strawberry donut recipe but that was a major fail.  Next up was strawberry popsicles!  I've been wanting to make popsicles at home for awhile now.  These were so simple to make and were really good.  You should adjust the amount of sugar to how sweet your strawberries are.  I always get weary of adding lemon juice to recipes that I want sweet to I significantly reduced the amount.  These were a great treat and I hope you give them a try!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Breakfast with Dorset

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I've seen Dorset Cereals in the grocery store but have never gotten around to trying them.  So I was super excited when they sent me 7 boxes to try out!  We are always looking for healthy options for breakfast and with 2 boys who get bored quickly, something new is always good.  I was sent 6 boxes of muesli and 1 box of Honey Granola.  We were not able to try the Honey Granola as it has vanilla extract which is alcohol based.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Google Reader is going away on July 1st

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I'm sure most of you already know that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  If you follow Chocolate & Chillies on Google Reader you will have to find an alternate reader before then.  The best way to make sure you get all the updates is by subscribing by email.

Alternately, two readers that I have been trying out are Feedly and BlogLovin.  I'm still trying both out and haven't decided which I prefer.  I would love for you to share what reader you are using and why!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vegan Cheezy Crackers {SRC}

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The racing car in the background was made by Hasan at a Home Depot Workshop!

Once again it's time for The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned Burnt Apple written by Traci.  Traci describes herself as a "master recipe manipulator"...she can make any recipe healthier and still taste great...I love the sound of that!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Toronto's First Every Halal Food Festival

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This past weekend was Toronto's first every Halal Food Fest!  This is an event we have been looking forward to since it was announced...finally a food festival where we can eat everything!!!!  Overall we enjoyed the food festival and thought it was well done.  There was a good variety of cuisine.  Marketing for the food festival was excellent.  Being the first time of course there will be some bumps in the road.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera at home so no pictures in this post....

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fibre 1 Almond and Cluster Delight Cereal

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Whenever I buy cereal or anything for breakfast the first thing I look for in the nutritional information is the fibre content.  Most of the cereals my kids love to eat are not very high in fibre.  The cereals that are high in fibre are usually very bland and hard to eat.  So I was excited when I heard about the new Fibre 1 Almond and Cluster Delight Cereal!  We are already fans of their granola bars and brownies so we knew the cereal would be just as good!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Avocado Hummus {SRC}

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It's time for Secret Recipe Club again.  This month I was assigned Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen.  It didn't take me long to pick a recipe to make.  As soon as I saw Avocado Hummus I knew I had to try it.  We love hummus...the kids will eat hummus in a bowl with a spoon.  We are also crazy about avocados.  This recipe doesn't use any tahini so I was curious how it would turn out.  It turned out great!  The avocados add a wonderful creaminess to the hummus.  Hasan wasn't a big fan but I think it was because it was green.  He had the same reaction when I made Green Monster last year.  Which is weird because green is his favorite colour.  Bilal on the other hand loved it!  Thank you Bobbi for this recipe.  I will be making it again soon!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

CheeCha Puffs Review {and a Giveaway}

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I'm always searching for healthy snacks for my family.  We all love chips but I rarely buy them because they are so high in fat.  I was very excited when I discovered CheeCha Puffs.  They are a potato puffed snack that satisfies your chip craving.  I was even more excited when they sent me a case of some of their flavours!  All of the flavours we received were Gluten Free.  They are very low in fat.  The original flavour actually has 0g of fat!  We received Original, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Fiesta Salsa, Sea Salt and Spiced Pepper and Luscious Lime.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

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Most days I find myself really hungry between meals...I'm always searching for a snack.  Especially days I go to the gym.  By the time I get home I'm so hungry but first I always have to look after what Bilal needs so I keep delaying eating something.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chocolate Granola {SRC}

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It's Secret Recipe Club time again!  This month I was assigned Table For Seven.  Table For Seven is written by Erin who is a "mom to many"!  Erin has 6 children.  Her youngest passed away last summer at the age of 31 days....this story brought me to tears.  I cannot even imagine what it is like to lose a child.  My father passed away in February which was and is difficult to deal with.  I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child.  May God help you with this great loss Erin.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Ultimate Foodie Contest -Your help is needed!!! {Contest is now over}

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Thank you everyone for voting.  The contest is now over and I came in third with the Chappli Kebob Sliders!

Hello everyone!!!  My Chappli Kebob Sliders have made the final 6 in The Ultimate Foodie Contest being held by Halal Food Fest Toronto.  The top 3 will have their recipe published in the guide that will be handed out at the Food Fest.  I need you help and would love if you would vote for my Chappli Kebob Sliders.  Please head over to this LINK on Facebook and "Like" my Chappli Kebobs picture to vote.  Thank you so much!

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Maple Granola

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Awhile back I posted a recipe for Omega 3 Granola which we loved.  It makes a great breakfast with Greek yogurt or a quick snack.  Granola is very easy to make.  I wanted to give another recipe a try that would use maple syrup as the sweetener rather than honey.  I came across this recipe from Craving Greens written by Marie-Eve in Montreal.  It turned out really good...I still prefer the Omega 3 Granola but this was a great change.  The oats come out more crunchy and crisp since maple syrup is used instead of honey.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Orange, Date and Walnut Muffins {SRC}

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It's Secret Recipe Club time again!  For those of you unfamiliar with the club, every month we are assigned a blog and must make one recipe from that blog.  But we must keep it a secret who we were assigned.  Then on reveal day we all post our recipes and find out who was assigned who.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mummy's Tamatay Ka Kana {Indian Spiced Tomato Rice}

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It seems like forever since I've posted a recipe.  I thought I should get back into blogging with a recipe of my mother's that she made for us often.  She would serve it with Shaami and Khati Daal.  The aromas from this dish while cooking remind me of my home growing up.  My mom is an amazing cook with an amazing memory.  She doesn't write any of her recipes down, unlike me who needs to write everything down.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elahi Rajioun

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From you we come, and to you we return.

Things at Chocolate & Chillies have been very quiet the last little while.  I have been contemplating whether to write this post or not.  I am a private person and blog very little about my personal life.  But being MIA for so long I thought I should let you all know what's been going on.  It's been a rough few weeks.  My father passed away on February 12, 2013.  He had been battling esophageal cancer for the last 2 1/2 years.  Most people diagnosed with this cancer last about a year.  Alhumdullilah my father lived much more than that.  He had a very positive attitude about his illness...it felt like I was more upset about it than him.  He was a very honest man and has instilled that same honesty in my brother and myself.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flour Frosting {SRC}

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It Secret Recipe Club time once again!  This month I was assigned A Cook's Quest.  A Cook's Quest is written by Jenn.  Jenn started her blog when she realized life was getting too busy and she was not enjoying her favorite hobby...cooking.  Jenn's recipes are family friendly, easy to prepare and pretty healthy too!  All things that I love!  For some of Jenn's recipes she has actually calculated how much it costs to make the recipe which really puts into perspective how much cheaper it is to cook at home than to go out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pita Break Review {and a Giveaway!}

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Apple Cinnamon Just Minis
We have been enjoying Pita Break's products for awhile now.  Their One Bun is a staple in our home.  Hasan will only have his sandwiches in a One Bun.  Bilal isn't as picky yet but I prefer to have him have his lunches with One Bun since there are much less crumbs than if I gave him toast.

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