Hope you are all doing fine in this lockdown situation due to COVID-19. As temperatures get higher in Karachi, I tried something cool……Back in October last year I bought Popsicle molds from a superstore during grocery shopping, I think now it’s the best time to use them. So I am making Strawberry popsicles as I got lots of them in the fridge, you can use watermelon or pineapple.
Here is the recipe
- 2 pints fresh strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds), hulled and sliced
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (or more/less depending on sweetness of strawberries)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- finely grated zest from half a lemon
In a bowl, combine sliced strawberries and sugar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow strawberries to expel juice.
In a food processor (or blender), combine strawberry-sugar mixture, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until smooth.
Pour strawberry puree into molds with wooden sticks and place in freezer.
Freeze for at least 3 hours until popsicle is solid. To remove popsicles from mold, submerge mold into room temperature or slightly warm water for a couple of minutes. Remove from water and pull popsicles out.
* If adding carrot-orange juice, add after filling mold halfway with strawberry puree. Then freeze as normal.
Bushra Ansari is a true living legend who has continued to dominate the entertainment industry for over five decades. From acting, to singing, hosting and writing, she has done it all and aced each undertaking. On this Chaand Raat, Bushra Ansari uploaded new sensational song “Dadi Cool”. The song was an instant hit. The audience lauded Bushra‘s acting versatility and her ability to adapt into a variety of characters. I am seeing her from my school days and I think she is not getting old but becoming more young and energetic with time.
The song on the other hand gained more popularity and was soon shared on Patari. Also became one of the most shared song of the month.
Entertainment bloggers were asked by the public to review the song who also appreciated the effort and admired Bushra’s Liveliness. Among these were big social media names like Shafiq of Media Magick and CBM.
Another public favorite, FaizaSaleem also gave a shout-out to look out for something really cool coming up on Waves’ page. (Link: https://www.facebook.com/WavesPakistan/videos/2367033910007081/)
Waves Pakistan recently launched TVC for the new Waves Alpha Triplet Deep Freezer which has Digitized Touch Control Panel & Proximity lights that operate on Motion Detection.
Dadi Cool had a catchy beat and soon people were grooving to its captivating melody. Some famous social media celebrities joined in this musical trend and imitated Bushra’s dance moves. This initiated a viral trend of enthusiasts who made similar dance off videos and shared them on Tik-Tok. I thought I should join this trend and shared my Dadi Cool video on Twitter.
In short, multi-talented actress Bushra Ansari never fails to disappoint, no matter what she does and as Dadi Cool for Waves Pakistan she proves again that she is a born artist and always surprise her fans with her memorable performances.
Maamoul cookies are the famous middle eastern shortbread pastries filled with dates or nuts. They are traditional at religious holidays in the Levantine region. And are made by hand or using special wooden molds to create different shapes – round like a ball, crescent form, shaped as a dome or flattened as a disc.
- 3 cups farina (milled wheat flour/ can be found at middle eastern stores)
- ½ cup All Purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ghee, clarified butter (regular butter works too)
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3 cups dates, pitted
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (other vegetable oils work)
- Blend dates together in a food processor with spices and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth. Add orange blossom water. Roll 1 tablespoon dates into 24 small balls.
- In a small bowl, mix yeast in water and allow to stand for 3 minutes.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together farina, AP flour, salt, sugar and butter.
- Add the yeast and water and milk to the bowl and mix until dough forms.
- Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using mold, press dough into the center, place date ball in the center of the dough. Place a second smaller piece of dough over the top of the date, cover the filling.
- Tap the mold until the dough releases.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makrout is a traditional North African semolina pastry. Also spelled Maqrout, Makroudh, Maqrut, Mqaret, Imqaret or Makroud. The word makrout in Arabic means “diamond shaped”, as are these small delights.
Makes: 3 to 4 dozen
- 750g semolina (medium grain)
- 120ml oil
- 110g butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 100ml warm water, or as needed
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- oil, for frying
- sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
- 500g ground almonds
- 250g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 1 dash almond extract
- 500g honey
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
Prep:1hr › Cook:45min › Extra time:8hr › Ready in:9hr45min
- Mix the semolina, oil, butter and salt in a large bowl. Rub the grains of semolina between your fingers, so that all the grains are well coated. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Let it rest like this for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. The mixture should be like wet, oily sand in the morning.
- The next morning, combine the warm water and orange blossom water. Slowly add to the semolina mixture along with the flour and vanilla sugar. Add just enough liquid till you have obtained a soft and homogeneous dough. Don’t overwork the dough, just enough to have a smooth and flexible dough that forms into a ball easily. Set aside.
- Make the filling by combining the almonds, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and almond extract. Form into 2 long logs. Set aside.
- Divide the semolina dough into 2 balls, then flatten to form a rectangle, about 3 times the width of your filling logs. Press down in the centre to form an indentation, then lay the filling log. Fold the semolina dough over the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Roll the log out gently, shaping it around the filling and smoothing into a uniform shape. (Cut the logs in half if it is more manageable.)
- Cut each log into diagonal pieces, creating diamond-like shapes. Reshape the cut ends to have a nice uniform look. Repeat the steps until you have used all the dough.
- Set the makrout aside to rest, as you heat up a deep, heavy saucepan with oil – about three fingers deep. And in another pan, heat up the syrup ingredients to just below simmering, and keep warm.
- Once the oil is hot enough, fry the makroud in small batches till golden on all sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper and continue frying till all makroud are cooked.
- After frying, dip the makrout in the hot honey syrup, keeping them in the syrup for about a minute. Remove and drain on wire racks. Repeat the process, adding each makroud to the syrup for a second soak. Remove and drain on wire racks, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
Sometimes all you need is little sweetness in your life….
This is what I made last weekend, as it was raining with intervals and I was craving for something sweet.
- 1 cup (8 oz/226g) butter
- 1¼ cups (7 1/2oz/212g) light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (6oz/170g) white granulated/caster sugar
- 2½ cups (12 1/2oz/354g) all-purpose flour/plain flour
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs*
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract , optional
- 2 cups (12oz/340g) bittersweet chocolate chunks
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl melt the butter. Add in both white and brown sugars and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute.
Whisk in one egg to the sugar-butter mixture, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
Whisk in the second egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of bowl again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with the spatula to fully combine. Make sure you’ve scraped the bottom of the bowl and there are no streaks of dry ingredients left. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be soft but DON’T add more flour. It needs to be chilled now to firm up.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Chill the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. This will make it easier to scoop and you cookies will keep their shape better while baking. (This dough can be made and kept in the fridge for 7 days. The dough also freezes really well)
Scoop 14 balls of cookie dough (1/4 cup/100g each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave some space between the cookies as they spread out during baking.
Bake the cookies at 375°F (190°C) for 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and the cookie is beginning to turn golden brown throughout, but still dough in the middle. It is really important you don’t over bake these cookies otherwise the won’t be soft in the middle.
Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.