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Strawberry sorbet and sugar free mango ice cream

Summer is here! Here are easy two ice cream recipes that help you beat the scorching heat.

Strawberry sorbet

(Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)

Ingreditents:

1 kg. strawberries, rinsed and hulled

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

Directions:

1) Cut the strawberries in half and mix the sugar, making sure all strawberries are evenly covered. Let it sit for 1 hour.

2) Using a food processor or blender, blend the strawberries. 

3) Use you ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

4) If you don’t have an ice cream maker, just freeze the strawberries until desired hardness is achieved.
Sugar free mango ice cream

1 kg overripe mangoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

Directions:

1) Blend the chopped mangoes, cream and milk until it becomes a smoothie.

2) Repeat steps 2 or 3 from the Strawberry Sorbet recipe

**The only difference of using an ice cream maker is that it expedites the freezing time

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Business Lunch: Fanajeen Café – The Gate Mall

Khansa, of Creativity with Kay,  and I had our much awaited meet up today, yay! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other so I was so excited to have our little tête-à-tête. After much deliberation on where to eat, we decided to dine at Fanajeen at The Gate Mall. 

Ambiance

It was a cutesy and artsy café-type. Seats were boldly colored and plush, floors were of the black-and-white tile pattern and their table decorations of piled up saucers, cups and teapots; a real Alice in Wonderland-ish feel. I was expecting the Mad Hatter to appear anytime soon for tea! Kay assured me that their desserts were amazing but their other food items were still an unchartered territory.  

Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

Anyhow, we dared to head on to the unknown and sat ourselves. It was just our luck that their three-course business lunch was already available at that time. I must say, they do have a very good selection of food for each course. Although, what I noticed is that the foods that they served didn’t come as how it was pictured. Maybe because it was business lunch? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, they all tasted good.

Food ordered

Appetizer – Bisque soup


The soup was not that wow, could’ve been creamier but it tasted good and serving size was enough.

Main course – Seafood Provençal with saffron rice


This was delicious, it would’ve been so great with a squeeze of lemon but I didn’t mind anymore and just gobbled it up. Their saffron rice went so well with it. 

Dessert – Rose crème brûlée


So yummy! It was just the right balance of creaminess and a hint of rose flavor and yes, the caramel broke with a light crunch! My note about this is that, as with the other food served,  it didn’t appear as pictured on their menu.

Drink – Be Free iced tea


This was a combination of lemon grass tea, peach and ginger. Like the brûlée, all the components were balanced well. Usually in most restaurants, if there’s lemongrass or ginger in the tea, it tends to overpower the whole mix. But this one didn’t, it was just perfect. It was more of a cold tea than an iced one, nevertheless, it hit the right gustatory spot.

Service

Service was good, the staff attended to us properly. They had a relxed but attentive attitude which made the experience more enjoyable.

Price

I would say it’s in the mid to expensive range as prices ranges from approximately QR 50 to QR 90 per item.

Their business lunch was for QR 79, excluding drinks. The Be Free iced tea costs QR 28.

Returning?

Yes, I’m curious about their other desserts. 

Recipe: Easy chicken popcorn

Cook a ton of these babies and freeze in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag. Just reheat on the stove, using a pan lightly brushed with oil or  in a preheated oven.

Ingredients:

500 g minced chicken

1/2 tbs turmeric

1/2 paprika

1/4 tbs rosemary

Pinch of cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp basil

1/4 pepper

1 tbs salt

1 egg

1 1/4 tbs cornstarch/corn flour

1 cup crushed plain cornflakes or panko bread crumbs or plain crackers


Directions:

1. Mix the chicken, herbs, and spices well.

2. Add the egg and cornstrach and make sure it is evenly distributed in the chicken mix.

3. Add the crushed cornflakes/breadcrumbs and make sure it’s mixed well.

4. Heat about 1 1/2 cups of oil in a deep pan.

5. Drop about a teaspoon-size of the chicken mixture and fry until golden brown.
*If you’re planning to bake it, add 2 tablespoons of oil into the mixture and shape them into balls. Lay them out on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven to 175 degrees Celsius until golden brown.

Recipe: Mango, strawberry, banana and chocolate chip bread

This maybe a simple banana bread but the added fruits and choco chips give it that added dimension of flavor and texture.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of  salt

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, minced

1/2 canned ripe mangoes, drained and minced

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a large loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, stir the melted butter and sugar.

3) Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.

4) Add the flour, baking soda and salt, stir until smooth.

5)  Lastly, gently fold in the yogurt, bananas, chocolate chips, strawberries, and mangoes . Spread evenly into the loaf pan.

I doubled the recipe to make two make two loaves of bread

6) Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for an hour, or until a knife/toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

7) Cool loaf in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Donburi with a side of Kaizen – Wagamama Ezdan Mall

I’ve always liked Wagamama dishes (except for the ramen) especially their curry. So, imagine my happiness when I was invited there way back for the launch of their revamped menu, following the guidelines of Kaizen. But what is it? To make it short, Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. 

By incorporating it in their restaurants, they have minimized the menu to the bare essential info , making it less confusing what to order. And the new food offerings, I must say, are delicious.

Here are some of the highlights of that night:

Their starters: edamame, gyoza, mushroom onigiri and chili squid.


The mains:

Teriyaki donburi (my favorite!). Look at all that food 🙂


The steamed hirata bun. This one is amazing, I can eat ten of it in one go. 


The desserts:

Banana katsu: my ultimate favorite dessert from Wagamama.


The chocolate wasabi cake. It was good but I can barely taste the wasabi in it. 


So, if you don’t have any ideas on where to eat this weekend, why not head over to Wagamama and enjoy their food. I highly recommend the hirata steamed bun and banana katsu❤.

Cheers!

My favorite falafel sandwich in Qatar

If you’ve read my previous post, I mentioned that that restaurant is having my second favorite falafel sandwich. You wanna know where my ultimate favorite is from? *drumroll* …It’s from Gad in Mathar Qadeem!

Oh my Gad! This Egyptian restaurant’s falafel sandwich is to live for. It’s filled to hilt, messy to eat and you just get this feeling of wanting to give up but just can’t because it’s so good. I’m raving about this because I’ve eaten a loooot of them from various restaurants and none ever made my tastebuds feel this way. Yep, that’s fa-love-fel, my friends.

The place is nothing fancy; typical family restaurant-type wherein you go in to eat and out once you’re done (think in the lines of Turkey Central Restaurant). Haven’t actually eaten there yet but did order for take-outs. And yes, their other foods like the tarb (Egyptian style kofta), kofta, kebab, lambchops are also muy deliciosó.

Tarb – kofta, Egyptian-style

Now, now let’s go back to the sandwich. The falafel they make is the thin type but full to the bite and crispy, even when it gets cold.

The kuboos (circular and flat Arabic bread, sort of like pita) are handmade in the restaurant so freshness is guaranteed. It’s then stuffed with fries, a spicy tomato sauce, fried eggplant, greens and tahina. A full meal in itself! It’s one of the best ways to spend QR5 on.

Fa-love-fel sandwich

So far, this is my favorite and best falafel I’ve had in Qatar.

How about you; where’s your favorite falafel place?

Cheers!

GAD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Breakfast: Moon Marina – Dar Al Salam Mall

“Where do we eat?”

My hubby automatically gives me the task of deciding where to eat. Ugh, I dread this question everytime my family and I are out. So many restaurants come into my mind that I can’t decide on one.

We just came from the Industrial Area to get our car fixed.  Dar Al Salam came into mind as it was on our way back. But which restaurant? Then I distinctly remembered seeing Moon Marina, a restaurant offering a mix of Qatari and international dishes, which opened last year and I’ve yet to visit. So there, we went.

With all the breakthrough of different cuisines here in Qatar, it’s nice to see that there are establishments who are promoting the Qatari way of cooking. What was once an obscure cuisine in its own country and can mostly be found at homes, Qatari cuisine is now slowly making itself known to expats and tourists alike.

Ambiance

The inside of the place is simple with clean designs and pastel colored chairs to contrast the stark white walls. Wasn’t able to take any pictures as we sat outside.

Their outside seating is quite unique. Wooden furnitures with umbrellas, wooden flooring and wooden pots. How many times did I say wooden?


The only drawback to the place is that the outside sitting is directly facing the parking area.

Food Ordered

Shakshuka, Qatari style

When I say “shak!” you say “shuka!”

For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, shakshuka is just eggs cooked with spicy tomatoes/tomato sauce. The style of cooking eggs varies from one country to another; some have theirs scrambled, some fried.

This one was fried eggs with stir-fried tomatoes and chili. It was okay, nothing that you can’t do at home.

Luba, Qatari style

I’m so inluba with this

Now, this was good. They used white beans and cooked it in tomatoes with capsicum and spices and chilis. It warmed our cold hearts.

Falafel sandwich

You’re the falafel to my kubos🥙

This is now my second favorite place for falafel (the first one will be for another post, hehe). It’s hard to find good falafel in Qatar even if 99% of the restaurants here sell them. And I liked MM’s deconstructed way of serving it. It’s very empowering.

DIY falafel sandwich

 

Service

They were a bit slow. The staff were very friendly but overloaded. I’ve only seen about three of them serving at least twenty people.

Price

Approximately QR120 for two people. Servings are on the small side but can still be shared, only if you’re willing to. Can’t find the receipt but I’m pretty sure we didn’t pay more than QR150, including two cappuccino.



Returning?

Yes!

Moon Marina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Breakfast at Eggspectation – Medina Centrale, The Pearl Qatar

Friday food ritual for many people in Qatar can be categorized into two: breakfast or brunch.

As my family prefer early morning breakfast, we usually head out from home at around 9:00am. Too early on a weekend? Nah, and the restaurants here are a testament to that.

Three weeks ago, we decided to try out Eggspectation. We were expecting it to be fairly busy so we took our sweet time going there. Arrived at around 9:30 and man, what greeted us there was like lunch time on a weekday. It was full to the hilt with a 15-minute waiting time.

The place was bustling and the staff were zooming in and out like busy bees. Exactly 15 minutes later, we were seated and our orders were taken. So, given the crowd that they had, we were expecting that the food will take time.  But we were so happily wrong, it arrived in less than our waiting time.  Hmm, things were looking good.

Ambience

The place has a very nice buzzing vibe. The interiors are spacious enough for people not to rub shoulders. Their simple and homey design makes one comfortable but it’s chic enough to give it that modern feel to it.

Then there’s the food…

Food Ordered

Southwest Sunrise


Hubby had this one and he happily wolfed it down in a blink of an eye. It must be really good because he’s really picky with food.

Eggstravaganza


This baby was mine and I loved every single bit of it. And can we just take a moment of silence for that wonderful brioche? I just wanted to kiss the hand of the baker who made it.

Cheddar Omelette


Mi unica hija had this and she adored it. I don’t know what’s up with this place but they managed to make a simple Cheddar omelette to be upscale. Really now, what magic is this?

S’mores French Toast


It’s that fantabulous brioche again. With Nutella and marshmallows and a side of banana drizzled with chocolate sauce. And the maple syrup. THE maple syrup. La pièce de résistance.

Service

As busy as the place was, the staff was able to do crowd control very efficiently.  And they were as courteous and friendly as one can be even though there were some unreasonable clients who just came and does not want to wait. They handled things professionally.

Price

It was a bit pricey unlike other breakfast joints we’ve been to, we had a total bill of QR 310:

Southwest Sunrise – 60

Eggstravaganza – 75

Cheddar Omelette – 50

2 Capuccino – 38

1 Nutella hot chocolate – 24

Returning?

Heck yes! It was worth every single bit of riyal that we paid for. It has totally eggceeded my eggspectation. A case of love at first bite. Go Canada!

Eggspectation Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Soup Week: #3 Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

The fresh taste of broccoli and the sharpness of Cheddar create a beautiful gustatory combination that is sure to level up your soup game.

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Ingredients: 

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

400g broccoli, roughly chopped

100 grams Cheddar cheese, cubed

2 cups stock or boiling water

3/4 cup milk

100 ml heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

50 grams Cheddar cheese for garnish

Equipment needed for pureeing (optional):

Hand blender or stand blender

Directions:

1. Heat about 2 tbs. cooking oil in a pot, add garlic and onions.

2. Once slightly cooked, lower heat to medium low and add cheese.

3. Once the cheese slightly melts, add the broccoli and stir for about a minute.

4. Add 2 cups of stock or water and milk.

5. Cook in low heat for 15 minutes or until broccoli’s cooked.

6. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper.*

7. Using the blender, puree the soup.**

8. Sprinkle with paprika, nutmeg and black pepper. Top it off with cheese and serve hot. 

Enjoy! 

*use the salt sparingly as the Cheddar will lend its saltiness to the soup already

**If the soup is still runny, dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in 2-3 tablespoon of hot water. Make sure that the cornstarch is stirred and dissolved as much as it can. Stir it in the soup, 1 tablespoon at a time. Heat the to just boiling, cool it a bit and check the consistency. Repeat the same if you want thicker but be careful in adding too mich as it will make the soup gluey.

Soup Week: #2 Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Soup

Here’s my twist on the classic chicken and veggies soup. Instead of the usual way of boiling the ingredients in the stock, I decided to roast them then add the stock. Roasting the veggies and chicken gives it that slight smoky taste you only get when roasting.

Roasted chicken and vegetable soup

Makes 4 servings

3 small zucchini

200 gr Brussel sprouts, cut in halves 

1 medium sized carrot 

1 medium sized potatoes

1 onion

2 chicken thighs, cut up into small pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock or boiling water

For the spices, just a sparing dash of everything (you can also use any kind of spice that you want):
Turmeric

Paprika

Cinnamon

Coriander

Cumin

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 C.

2. Chop up veggies into small pieces (except for the Brussel sprouts)

3. Using a baking sheet, lay out the veggies and chicken.

4. Season with salt, pepper and the spices. You can omit the spices or substitute with another.

5. Add olive oil until ingredients are fully coated.

6. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

7. Pre-heat a pot in medium heat.

8. Add the roasted veggies and chicken in the pot.

9. Add the stock or boiling water gradually until it just covers the ingredients.

10. Bring to just boiling then turn off and serve.

Hope you’ll like this one!