Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review: Mellow Mushroom

 
 


Last week, my family and I ordered from a restaurant called Mellow Mushroom. And since they were apparently known for their pizzas, we decided to go ahead and order one. My family and I have always adored pizza, and we 're really fond of trying out new pizza places from time to time, devouring down what they have to offer.

Anyways, since we were a family of five (that loved pizza), we ordered the large pizza. It was on the more expensive side, to be honest. The large pizza was about twenty five bucks, whereas the smallest pizza ( a personal pizza) was around eleven bucks. It definitely costs much more than the average Domino's or Pizza Hut large pizza. So obviously, my expectations for this pizza was much higher than it usually would be for a pizza place.
 


When we picked up the pizza from the restaurant and took it home, the first thing I noticed (other than the smell and cute box design) was the size of the pizza. The large pizza was 16", not 14" like most other places have it. Yet, the price at Mellow's was much more expensive than most other places, so I'm not sure if two extra inches made up for it.
 

The pizza itself tasted pretty good, but in all honestly, it wasn't anything that special. Though there was one thing that I thought was different. I felt that the ingredients used here were much more fresh and that they used better unprocessed ingredients. I mean, I've made pizza using fresh ingredients before and they have sort of turned out to look very similar to the pizza from Mellow Mushroom. And the pizza from this restaurant looks different from many pizzas that I've tried from other places. So I guess it would be a pretty reasonable guess to say that. Oh yes, I forgot to say before: the crust was really, really good. I think it was made from a type of wheat bread, but I can't say for sure. Hehe
 
 
Overall: 7/10   Would I recommend it? No, stick to your local, inexpensive pizza restaurant. I mean, if you're willing to spare the money to try a "only a little bit better than usual" pizza, by all means, go ahead. But really, who wants to do that?
 
xx



 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Nutella "Frosted" Cherries

 

Heyyyy. Long time no see. Yeah I know, I know. About half of my posts say that. And for that I am sincerely sorry. I've been so busy with things around the clock, and even though I say that I could start posting again, last minute things ALWAYS come up. Ugh, I'm realllly sorry.

Anyways, so I was sitting around one Sunday morning anticipating the soccer/football final between Germany and Argentina (I'm SO happy Germany won btw), and though it was like 8:30 in the morning (lol the game was in more than 4 hours), I wanted to make something sweet. Not eat something sweet (I was fasting), but make something that would be sugary and delicious. And after scourging through the fridge and pantry for 30 minutes, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that there was nothing at home to make anything.  So with a desperate attempt (I didn't want to go to the store, hah laziness), I opened my cupboard (the one thing I never open) and found an unopened jar of nutella. WHAT. I did not know it was in there. Dear lord, if I did know, it would've been gone by now. So anyways, I took out the nutella, and I sniffed at it for twenty minutes, looking at it dolefully and wishing that I could just eat one spoon of that creamy, chocolaty, hazelnutty perfection. Eventually, I decided that cherries would go great with chocolate. Why? Because the only alternatives were melon and mango. And my beloved Nutella just wasn't feeling those fruits. Anywhooo, the problem was that if I dipped it in the nutella itself, it would be just one layer of chocolate. And since I was sort of craving the chocolate more than the cherries, I decided to go ahead and make the runny chocolate spread into a more  "moldable, frosting" consistency, just so it would be easier to build up the layers of chocolate.... it isn't actually frosting, its just that the texture is like frosting.
 
 
I picked tart cherries because I figured that they would go better with the nutella. You know, "sweet and sour"
 

I melted the Nutella so that it would be a bit more runny.

 
I wasn't exactly sure how much water to add, but through estimation, I guessed that a little less than 1/4 cup would be good. I figured that it just depends on how you thick or thin you want the consistency to be
    
 
   
  
I quickly added the water in while the mixture was still liquid-ish and warm, stirring it in.
 
 
    
 
So after I took it out of the microwave, I stirred it. It looks kinda weird here, but I swear it eventually looks normal and that it still tastes magical. Plus, the consistency is very frosting-like
 
 
   
 
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 
 
This is how the final result turns out to be. Its not perfect, but it does have more layers of chocolate to it than if it were dipped . It definitely was a simple recipe and literally takes only 10 minutes or so.
 
 
 
 
 I made these on Sunday, the day of the final game, and since I was rooting full-heartedly for Germany (one of my two favorite teams), I decided to just throw in some German flag-colored sugar sprinkles. Nope, I did not have black. 
 
 
   


Haha it doesn't really show up on camera, but I promise they were there.
 
I froze them for about 30 minutes and then let them thaw.
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
Cherries ( I thought tart ones worked better)
 
 bit less than 1/4 cup of water
 
2 very large tablespoons of nutella
 
**optional- sprinkles, colored sugar sprinkles, etc.
 
 
 
Directions:
 
1. Thoroughly, wash a bowl of cherries and leave it out in the open to dry.
2. Take the nutella and microwave it for about 10 seconds.
3. stir it and add the water quickly
4. Put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds.
5. Take it out and stir until it becomes a frosting-like consistency
6. Take each cherry and mold the cherries around it, adding on thin layers. Work quickly, the chocolate dries fast.
7. After completely the molding, freeze the cherries for around 30-ish minutes and thaw for about 2-3 minutes, since nutella thaws super quick.
 
Enjoyyyy:)
                             

 
 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vanilla Sugar Cookies



So I decided to start of the year (in February, wow, I know) by cooking these delicious sugar coated goodness that I have adapted from the ever-so lovely Laura from Laura in the Kitchen. These cookies are meant to be on crunchier side, and are perfect for eating with tea or just as a little snack. A little snack... hehe. Well, that didn't go as planned. ;)





*********************************************************************************




Start by mixing all the dry goods, setting that aside in a small bowl, and then mixing the wet ones in a larger one. And then, bam, mix 'em  both together, and wa-lah! :)




Make sure the dough looks kind of likes this. Ah, even as I'm typing this I feel like I can smell this. I think I'm hallucinating.





Scoop out 1 tbsp. balls of dough and set them on parchment paper (or aluminum foil, but spray it with cooking spray before you set the cookies on them)






 To officially make them sugar cookies, we got to cover them with the one and only sugar. Just coat 'em and plop 'em back down on the baking sheet.





Bake the beautiful sugar-coated dough and let it indulge in the oven for about 18 minutes (15 minutes if you're using aluminum foil).





Enjoy!





Ingredients:

-1 3/4 cups of  all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp of baking powder
-1/4 tsp of baking soda
-1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of butter  at room temperature(preferably unsalted, but salted worked fine for me too)
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. You could also use almond extract, but it would give it a much stonger taste that I personally do not desire
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for rolling the balls of dough in


 Instructions:

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets (I only required one though; it depends on the size of your dough balls) with parchment paper or aluminum foil (greased).

- In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients (dry) and set it aside.

-In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. I recommend melting the butter in the microwave for about 15 second to ensure that the butter-sugar combination doesn't become grainy. Then add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until everything is creamy and fully combined. 

-Use a 1 tbsp. cooking scoop or just a tablespoon, form you cookie dough balls and roll them is the granulated sugar. Place them back on the cooking sheet a few inches apart and bake for about 18 minutes on the parchment (15 on the aluminum)

- Let it cool for about 5 minutes and move it to a wire rack for it to cool completely.

-And enjoy! :D 

Side Effects: A constant want for more of these sugar cookies...


xx

Raida Khan





PS. Guess what? :)





Woohoo! New Camera. This is the amazing Canon 6D and I'm looking forward to start using this beauty:)




Friday, February 7, 2014

Update!

Yes, I'm Alive. Thanks for Asking. And I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a while, actually a pretty darn long while (Since October 22, 2013). And now, since its 2014, a beginning of a new year, I'm ready to start posting again! So where have I been? Lets just say school, tests, and more school. I've also been busy starting and prepping up a brand-new blog, a blog thats on a more personal level. But hey, I miss getting my hands covered in flour and sugar. And now that I'm back, be prepared to see a bunch of new recipes on here! :)


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Ever-So Scrumptious Peach Pie

Scrumptious is a big word. With an exciting definition. Its a word that I use rarely, mainly because it leaves my mouth with an extremely awkward feeling that I don't necessarily crave. I don't why I get that feeling, but I do. But when I say something is scrumptious, then its gotta be delicious. No doubt.

Oh no.  I'm rambling about words and my feelings about them....... again. But honestly, I can't help it. The peach pie was so good, that I wasn't finished with just one slice. Or...... just 3 slices. I'm sorry, Not Really Peach Pie is one of my weaknesses. Oh, don't give me that look..... its gonna be one of  your weaknesses too. :)

Also, this recipe was adapted from many different sites: Taste of HomeFood,Nita's Peach Pie (PD)









                First, chop up the peaches and toss them all into a bowl. I usually get my peaches  from                 the local grocery store, but you could definitely try the farmers market. And about the chopping, you may cut to your own desire.  :)




           In the meantime, in a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. The cinnamon, flour, and the sugar...




Just pour all the dry ingredients into the very patient bowl of chopped peaches. Give it a few tosses, and be very careful to make sure the dry ingredients aren't all stuck on the bottom. 

Ta-da! ; )



This is  my semi-thawed  pie crust. Its store bought. Why? I think I was feeling lazy that day or something. 
But don't worry, my top crust is homemade.



So I take out my pre made pie dough, that was lying in the refrigerator ( psst! Look for my Pie Crust Recipe on my previous post). I take out a rolling pin and a cutting board, and roll out my dough in order  to prep for the lattice pattern that going to go on the top.



Unfortunately, my latticing skills just weren't  on spot, so it was a bit funny. Hehe. Please don't judge me. 




After crimping the edges, and forgetting to cover the edges with foil (a mistake I deeply regretted later), the pie went into the oven. Trust me, it was a glorious moment. :)





Tadah! This is the finished product, and it was delish! And also, sorry about the terrible mistake...it was solely on my bad memory. Enjoy!



***************


Ingredients:

- 1/2 -1 cup sugar (Depends on whether you have a sweet tooth or not; also keep aside 2 tbsp of sugar for later)
 - 5 cups of  fresh peaches, approximately 4 large  peaches.
- enough pastry dough for a double crust 9-inch pie
- 1/2-1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-2 tablespoon of butter

***********************************************


Instructions:

- Preheat the Oven to 425 degrees F.
-Into  a bowl, stir the cinnamon, flour, and sugar together, and set  it aside.
- Wash and slice  up the fresh peaches ( peeling is optional)
- Mix the peaches with the dry mixture that was  set aside.
- Put the mixture into the pastry-lined pie tin and dot it with butter.
-If you want to do the lattice pattern, roll out the top crust, cut into strips accordingly (roughly 3/4 wide),  and  place them in a "one over, one under" pattern.
-After placing/latticing the top crust, sprinkle the top with sugar
- Cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent browning (oops!); remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking.
-Bake for around 30-45 minute, or until the crust browns and juice begins  to bubble through the slits in the crust.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Simple and Delicious Pie Crust

Aaaaahhh.....September was so darn busy, I hardly got any blogging done at all! And I sincerely apologize for that. School work can honestly drag you down hill. :(

But I'm back and totes ready to enjoy some pie with you. :) Normally, I don't make pies, I just somehow don't feel like making pies. But peaches and apples are in its peak season right now, so I decided to just throw on an apron and whip up a peach pie.  And surprisingly, its quite simple.....:)









Gather up all the ingredients: Water, Salt, Sugar, Flour and Butter. I know the bowls look empty, but I assure you they contain something. 





  
                                      

              You're gonna want to pulse it about 7 times, and work in rest of the steps until it looks perfecta-mento ( you can probably guess my amazing Spanish skills)  



          
                         
       
Once its firm, meaning that it  doesn't crumble when you shmoosh two pieces together, take it out of your food processor and place in on a flat clean surface. The  key is to knead, but not over knead.






                                                                   
                                                           What You'll Need:
                                                         
-2 1/2 Cups  all-purpose flour,  keep some extra for when you're  going to roll it out
- 1 Cup ( 2 sticks pr 8 ounces) of unsalted butter, cold, and cut  into 1/2 inch cubes
-  1 teaspoon salt
-  1 teaspoon sugar
-  6-8 tablespoon ice water

               



Steps:


-Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with small pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together and become doughy. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

 -Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface ( I had it lay down on wax paper, and it worked just fine). Gently shape the dough mixture into two round circles (disks). Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.

 - Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If you find it sticking to the surface below, sprinkle a little bit of flour on the surface to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9" pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
*This recipe was adapted from Simply Recipes

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fresh Peach Smoothie


When you hear the word "fresh", you'd probably think of the word "farm" or "cows". At least, I do. But when it comes to peaches, "fresh" means it came from my refrigerator. Not a farm. Well, not for the last 3 weeks . And somehow we're going to have to deal with that. And an amazing smoothie. <3




                                                             Hopefully.






                               
         Cut them peaches after washing them for 30 seconds. Also throw in the blueberries, milk, ice, and everything else.

                                                                                                                               
                     
                      This is what the...... mixture (?) looks like after 10 seconds into blending.
                     

                        

                                                      The view after 30 seconds.




I decided to rebel and add in some extra h-honey




And mix the honey in.





                                                         And you're all done! :)



You will need:

1 large peach - cut into slices
2/3 cup of milk
1 banana
A handful of washed blueberries 
1 1/2 tablespoon of honey ( adjust to your needs)
1-3 cups of ice ( again, adjust to your needs)




How to do it:

1. Mix all the ingredients to together- (after peeling the banana, slicing the peaches,etc)
2.Mix the ingredients together, on high, for 1-2 minutes depending of your blender or until it is smooth and creamy.
 (By the way, I use Vitamix)
3. Enjoy!




xoxo,


~ Raida Khan