Tacos {Remake}

Beef or Chicken Taco filling in a cast iron skillet surrounded by taco shells and bowls containing toppings for tacos.

This is the second installment in my Remake series.  Growing up my mom would make tacos and she would always using the taco seasoning packet you find in the grocery store.  It was one of my favourite meals.  I remember she would give them to me to take for lunch and used a tortilla to make them rather than a hard taco shell.  It never felt like I had enough of those tacos. When we had tacos at home, we would enjoy them in the hard taco shells.

Tacos are also one of my boys favourite meals. Generally, I like to avoid seasoning packets to control the sodium and so that I know exactly what is in my food. Also, there is a satisfaction that comes from knowing you made the meal from scratch.  Growing up my mom would make so many things from scratch.  If we had something outside and enjoyed it, she would try to make it at home.  I remember she used to make Jamaican beef patties for us. She would also make the best churva (chevda) at home.  Nothing from the store could compare.

Now back to the tacos...I had previously been using a recipe from America's Test Kitchen but it involved many ingredients. I came across this recipe from Recipe Tin Eats and it was much more quick to put together.  Sometimes I use this taco mixture to make nachos and the boys love it!

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins on a white esrving board with a purple napkin.

My new favourite ingredient to bake with is buttermilk!  I've been replacing milk with buttermilk for my muffin recipes lately and the result is an even more moist and delicious muffin.  This recipe is update from my Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe.  I usually use a mix of different chocolate chips that I have on hand.  In the picture above, I've used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Simple Irish Soda Bread {Remake}


Simple Irish Sode Bread in a cast iron skillet

I cook a lot...and I cook a lot from my fellow bloggers.  My main way to keep track of all the recipes and my changes was by using Pinterest. I would make notes in the title area about what I changed, what worked, what I would do differently.  Recently, I discovered Pinterest did an update and all my notes were gone! Where I was placing my notes, they overrided it with the recipe title.  I  wasn't happy about losing all my notes but it just re-confirmed we shouldn't be relying on these platforms.  We don't own them and they can decide to change things to suit their needs whenever they want.  So I thought a good way to keep track of recipes that turn out great is to write a blog post about it talking about what I changes and what we liked about it.  I won't post the recipe here unless I've made significant changes.  Instead I'll share the link to the recipe and some notes about what I did different.  For this recipe, I took a very quick photo on the dining table, no natural light and using my phone.  Not the best, but want to get back into the food photography so sharing remakes here is a great way to do that without all the recipe testing!

Spinach Quiche

A slice of Spinach Quiche on a blue plate with a silver fork.

This recipe is one I posted in my early blogging days.  Back when I had no clue about food photography.  The picture was terrible but the recipe was great and I'm still making it.  I decided I should re-post this recipe because I've changed up the crust.  Recently, a friend asked me for the recipe for this Spinach Quiche and I realized the filling was in one post and the crust recipe was in another post.  I also now prebake the dough. If you bake it along with the filling, the tart dough comes out translucent. Prebaking also makes for a crispier tart.

In this recipe, I use frozen spinach.  To defrost it, I simply put it in a pan on medium heat and cook until it's defrosted and the moisture is gone.  The filling is very easy to make and is done in the mixer.  This recipe is very easy to put together.  The dough is very forgiving and easy to work with.  I hope you will give it a try!

Honey Yeast Rolls

A rectangular baking dish with Honey Yeast Rolls

Update October 13, 2021 
Made these rolls after a long time and decided to update the picture.  I first posted this recipe 10 years ago.  I've kept the original picture to remind me of how my photography has improved over the years.  It's also been a long time since I've taken a picture for the blog and it was nice to get back into it.  Hasan and Bilal devoured these rolls when they got home from school.  They are really not difficult to make.  They just require time for all the rising.  
Original Post
Now that I finally understand how to work with yeast I have been loving making bread at home. I've made these rolls three times.  The first 2 times the dough over rose because I got busy with the kids and I ended up with Monster Honey Yeast Rolls.  They still tasted great though!  This last time I paid attention to the rising so they weren't as humungous as before.  Next time I will use a springfoam pan rather than a cake pan.  The sides are higher and I had a problem with the honey that was brushed on top spilling over on the oven.  It may seem like the honey mixture you brush on top is too much but it all seeps to the bottom between the cracks and the bottom gets nice and sweet.

Hyderabadi Boneless Chicken Biryani {Kachi Yakhni}

Hyderabadi Boneless Chicken Biryani in a metal plate beside a bowl of raita.

This is an adaptation of the only biryani I ate growing up.  Whenever I make Hyderabadi Biryani, the aroma takes me back to my childhood.  For me, this is the easiest biryani to make as it's very hands off.  The original recipe I started with is from my cousin, Rizu appa. My mom usually would make this with veal on Eid.  The recipe is great but my husband and sons loves all their food spicy so when I first started making this, they enjoyed it but the big complaint was that it wasn't spicy.  So I adjusted the recipe to increase all the spices and they all loved it!  

Gajar ka Mitha {Carrot Halwa}

A bowl of Gajar ka Mitha (Carrot Halwa) garnished with sliced almonds.

It is well known in our family that my mom makes some of the best Hyderabadi desserts.  Her Badaam ki Jaali and Puran Puri are two of the most loved desserts she makes.  The desserts are definitely labour intensive.  I remember growing up helping her peeling the almonds for desserts and always being asked to go give the mixture on the stove a stir.

How To Make Soft Rotis and Chapatis in a Stand Mixer

soft roti and chapati

One of my cooking goals for the past few years has been to learn how to make soft, delicious rotis.  My biggest challenge (besides being able to roll a round roti) has been to make rotis soft.  A lot of experimenting and research has led me to my secret for making soft rotis....Boiling hot water!  Knead your dough in a mixer using boiling hot water.  Once I started doing this, my rotis have been coming out so soft and absolutely delicious!

Easy Overnight Oats with Banana

Easy Overnight Oats

In the past, my go to breakfast has always been a bowl of cereal.  Mornings are rushed with getting the boys to two different schools on time.  Cereal for breakfast is fast to prepare and requires minimal work, but many cereals have a lot of sugar in them making them not the best choice for breakfast.  When I started the 6 Week Fitnest Challenge by Zehra Alibhai a couple of years ago, I changed some of my eating habits.  That's when I started eating these Easy Overnight Oats with Banana.  I have been trying different recipes and finally settled on one that I really like.  Preparing a few jars ahead of time, makes it easy to make a healthy choice for breakfast.  I still haven't gotten my boys onto the these Easy Overnight Oats yet.  Also, if my husband needs to grab a quick breakfast, there is something prepared for him to eat.  I originally didn't add the chia seeds and one day I thought to toss some in and see how it turned out.  I loved the result, the oats were thick and it gave a nice creaminess to the oats.  You can have these with our without the chia seeds.

On a side note, the backdrop I used in the picture is the one I made for the Sweetographer Backdrop Challenge.  I had some struggles due to my spackle being old and dry but I like how it turned out.  Now that I've learned the technique, I will definitely be making more!  If you are looking to up your food photography, definitely checkout Sadra's Instagram account!

Hyderabadi Tamatay Ka Salaan

Today I'm sharing the classic Hyderabadi dish, Tamatay Ka Salaan, which is essentially a very simple tomato and beef/veal dish.  It's a dump all the ingredients in the pot and cook recipe.  I actually don't remember having this dish growing up.  The first time I heard of it was when my friend, Sara, told me how it was her favourite dish and she couldn't believe I had never eaten it.  I asked my mom about this dish and she told me that my dad didn't like it so she never made it.

Few years later on after getting married, my husband and I had the Korma at Bamiyan Kebob and loved it.  When my parents were over we had ordered it and my mom said it was basically Tamatay Ka Salaan.  She made it for us and we've been hooked ever since!

I used to make this dish in a pressure cooker, but I find if you cook it low and slow on the stove the flavours develop much better.  Since there are a lot of tomatoes, it takes some time to cook because even after the meat gets tender there is a lot of water left that you have to dry out.  We love to enjoy this with roti or naan, but there is a good amount of sauce so it would go well with rice as well.

Chicken 65

When my boys come home from school the first thing they do is wash their hands and then check what's for dinner.  They always have to take a taste.  My eldest, Hasan, will then declare if it is Hasan Approved!  This Chicken 65 got a Hasan Approved +!  They absolutely love this dish.  If there are any leftovers, my kids like to take it for lunch in a sandwich.  This recipe is from my mom.  There is one major difference from the way she makes it from how I do. She deep fries the chicken.  I prefer to shallow fry in a skillet.  Of course, the deep fried one is more tasty and the chicken gets a little crispy from the cornstarch.  I shallow fry in an effort to try to make it a little more healthy.

I don't know where the name Chicken 65 originates from.  There are lots of theories from it being first made in 1965 to it having 65 chillies.  There are different ways of making it as well.  Some use soy sauce and some are very dry.  We've also tried Chicken 65 in restaurants but my mom's version remains our favourite.

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Tacos {Remake}