December 16, 2011

Another Freezer Cooking Session

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I have been loving this new approach to cooking, alhamdulillah. It especially came in handy when some out-of-town guests stopped by for a while. I know I'm behind with posting my weekly submissions to my freezer, but here's what I did right before my guests arrived.

I actually split up the cooking over a couple days. I just couldn't dedicate the time I wanted to cooking all in one shot, so I did about an hour of cooking on each day and had several meals to put away in the freezer by the end. Freezer cooking is about convenience, so just do what works for you!

Day 1 Plan:
1. 2 batches of pizza dough
2. prepare veggies for fajitas and pizza

To get things going, I began by activating my yeast for the pizza dough. 

While that set and got all nice and bubbly, I chopped up and divided a whole bunch of veggies for fajitas and pizza for the upcoming week. Diced bell peppers freeze beautifully!

Done for the day. Simple, but will really pay off later in the week insha'Allah.

Day 2 Plan:
1. Breaksticks
2. whole wheat pasta
3. break fast burritos

I started off by getting a big ol' pot of water boiling for the pasta.I happened to make cinnamon rolls that morning, so while my water was boiling, I took a portion of that dough and rolled out some breaksticks.

My pasta was ready, I set it aside to cool down before dividing it up for the freezer. I started on cooking my scrambled eggs for breakfast burritos. 

This was the first time I ever attempted breakfast burritos and I wasn't sure my children would like them, so I went easy with the fillings and stuck to (canned) fire roasted tomatoes, scrambled eggs and cheese. But feel free to add beans, sausage and other veggies. 

Next up, I assembled the burritos and bagged and labeled all my food. 

So it took 2 days, but I ended up with a 2 batches of pizza dough, cooked pasta, bread sticks, a week's worth of breakfast burritos and prepped vegetables for two different dinners. Not too bad, alhamdulillah!

November 10, 2011

My First Freezer Cooking Day

Bismillahir Rahman Raheem

I know you can find some pretty fancy and complicated freezer cooking plans out there on the web, but like I sad last time, I just started with what I had on hand. Personally I like doing all this on the day I bring home meat from the halal store. I have to portion out the meat anyways so I might as well throw on some seasoning before I do it.

So here was my plan:

1. Shred 2 whole roasted, chickens
2. Cinnamon rolls
3. Hotdog roll-ups for kids' lunch
4. Hamburger patties (double batch)
5. prepare veggies for chicken fajitas

First I made the cinnamon rolls dough and put one batch in the oven to bake. I reserved a chunk of dough aside  and took the rest of the dough, rolled into cinnamon rolls, and placed on a baking sheet and stuck in the freezer to flash freeze .

Next up, I prepared my bell peppers and onions for fajitas later in the week. I also diced some onions to have on hand for any last minute meals in the week and also for my hamburger patties.

I started to shred up the chicken from my 2 whole chickens that I had roasted the night before for company. I divided it out into 1 cup portions and put into individual bags. All I have to do later in the week is saute my pre-cut onions and bell peppers, throw in the shredded chicken and my fajitas are done, insha'allah.

I used the reserved cinnamon roll dough to make hot dog roll-ups. Just rolled out some dough into circles, and placed a halved-chicken hot dog and some cheese in the middle and then rolled up. A quick 15 minutes in a 400 oven and it'll be a quick and fun lunch for the kids, insha'allah.

And last, I mixed up the hamburger mixture. I added in some diced onions, garlic, ginger, parsely and cajun seasoning. Shaped them up, popped in freezer for a flash freeze and they were ready to go.


So all in all, for my first ever freezer cooking session, I don't think it went too bad, alhamdulillah. I also boxed up and froze a batch of cholay I made that morning for brunch. So that was my loot last weekend and we enjoyed the week of warm,home made dinners with minimal work each week night. Let's see how this weekend goes insha'allah!

Freezer Cooking 101

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

image taken from (this is NOT my freezer, hah!)

So what is freezer cooking? It's basically prepared and precooked homemade meals made in bulk and stored in your freezer to be taken out and defrosted or cooked through at a later date. Yes, I know, it sounds kinda...silly, right? At least thats what I used to think when I'd hear stories or see pictures like the one above. Since I've been married I never had a reason to precook anything and freeze it, so the idea never crossed my mind.

Then I had babies and I found in the kitchen around the clock, literally. But that was okay with me because I enjoyed it. So again, the idea of freezer cooking was not at all appealing to me. But then my babies grew up and my responsibilities and duties inside and outside the house changed. My schedule just wouldn't allow me to spend long, leisurely cooking sessions in the kitchen. Even though I want to cook and want to eat homemade food (not store bough, pre-packed frozen meals...eck!), I just couldn't find the time anymore to do much more than a quick meal here or there. All of a sudden freezer cooking sounded like the best thing since homemade sliced bread.

So I took a stab at it. There are so many online sources to tell how to plan, what to buy, how to store, what to cook and by all means, have a look, but for me I just took what I had on hand, cooked it and stuck it in the freezer. Some people cook enough to last a month (really!) or others enough for a week.I'm a once a week kinda of gal right now because I have a small freezer and really, one week of prepared food is more than enough help for me, alhamdulillah.

Some additional resources to help you get started:

Is Freezer Cooking Really Worth It?

Freezer Cooking: Learn As You Go

Freezer Meal Ideas


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Ok first things first, a belated Eid Mubarak! I pray Allah accepts from us our deeds, ameen!

Moving on to the obvious: I've kinda been a no-show for a while, I know, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about the MWK! This site is actually very near and dear to my heart but as often happens, life gets in the way and before I know it, its been a month (or two!) since I've updated. Things have just gotten busier and it doesn't look like any of that will change in the near future, Allahu alim. So while I am learning how to adjust to this new hectic schedule of mine, I thought I'd bring y'all along for the ride!

I'm started playing around with the idea of freezer cooking and though I've only done it once, I've been happy with it so far. I've been following blogs that basically live by it and, to tell you the truth, was quite intimidated by the idea at first. But you can only eat take-out so many times and I actually do miss cooking, so I had no other choice but to embrace my freezer.

You'll see a new category to the right and insha'allah I'll keep y'all updated with the latest things to come out of my kitchen and freezer.

It's good to be back :)

October 7, 2011


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

So sorry for this long absences, but I'm here alhamdulillah! Please bare with me as I get some things in order and will be back to posting soon insha'allah.

I thought in the meantime I would open up the blog to some Q & A. So please send me your questions or comments about anything food related and I'll do my best to get an answer to you. Just leave it in the comments section or send me an email.

August 1, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak!

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Ramadhan is the month 
In which was sent down
The Qur'an, as a guide
To mankind, also clear Signs
For guidance and judgment
Between right and wrong

The Holy Qur'an
Al Baqarah : 185

Like last year, the Muslim Wife's Kitchen will be closed during the month of Ramadan to give myself, and everyone else, a chance to take advantage of the incredible blessings available to us. Insha'allah, I'll be back after Ramadan to share some new recipes and ideas with you, but until then, I will still be (kind of) available thru email/comments if you do have any questions. See y'all later insha'allah! 

We ask Allah to accept our efforts and forgive us our sins, ameen!  

And because this is a food site, I thought these article would be a great reminder to myself and all the rest of the cooks out there insha'allah! :

July 26, 2011

Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem


It only makes sense to follow up something as healthy and good-for-you as homemade veggie burgers with ... well, something completely the opposite. But after all those veggies you can certainly reward yourself with one or two (or three or four?) of these fun little treats.


And speaking of fun, these were a blast to make! I haven't had this much fun in the kitchen since the hamburger cupcakes. Between the coring (I used a zucchini corer that you can find for dirt cheap at any halal store; an apple corer or plain butter knife would work fine too), filling and swirly-loop design, it was a hoot!
Sure, that last detail probably wasn't necessary at all but let's be honest, we're just trying to recreate a childhood favorite here. 

I know this is gonna sound silly, but these really aren't that rich or decadent. I used my old fall-back chocolate cupcake recipe so the cake was very light and delicate and the cream filling was a homemade marshmallow cream  (super fun to make!)  that was also very light. The richest part of the whole cupcake was probably the ganache topping, which was the perfect compliment to the pillow-y like filling.

All in all, this was very easy to make. Sure, it had a few more steps than a "regular" cupcake would require but believe me, it's definitely worth it.

Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

1 recipe chocolate cupcakes

Marshmallow Frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

Ganache Frosting

1/2 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable. 

1. Core your cooled cupcakes, being careful not to poke a hole out the bottom of the cupcakes, Keep the tops of the cupcakes aside (you can trim them a bit). Carefully pipe marshmallow frosting into each one and replace with a "cap".

2. Carefully spread a dollop of ganache on each cupcake. Keep aside until the ganache has slightly hardened and set up a bit.

3. Pipe a swirly design on top using remaining marshmallow frosting (totally optional, but totally fun).

July 9, 2011

Blackbean Burger (Vegetarian)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I'm not a fan of veggies, yadda yadda yadda, I try to eat more, blah blah blah ; you've heard the story a dozen times. And in my defense, I think I've come a long way. But when it comes to the world of vegetarian eating, there's one food I have no problem with: the veggie burger.

I'm head over heels for any meat-alternative burger (veggie, bean, soy, etc.) and spend a bundle on those frozen soy patties .So you could imagine how happy I was to find out I could get about 12 patties from a .79 cent can of black beans! And now you know that in addition to not being wild about vegetables, I'm also a cheapskate. Moving on...

If you've been reading MWK long enough, this may seem like a repeat recipe of a black bean burger I tried out a while ago. But trust me, the difference between these two recipes is like night day. While that one was boring and tasted like mushy black beans (which basically sums up the recipe quite well), this one has body and is jam-packed full of flavor.

The original recipe calls for bulghur (which you may remember from kibbeh or tabouleh) but I didn't have any at the time and opted for cous cous. It definitely worked, though I added almost twice as much as what the original bulhur amount until the mixture came to a consistency that I was happy with.In addition to the mountain of vegetables, this burger actually has some flavor thanks to the BBQ sauce and soy sauce, but feel free to add your favorite spices too (I think Cajun spice would be awesome in this!). I left out the walnuts because I was lazy and it was still great. Definitely give it a try and I'm pretty you won't even miss the meat!

Black Bean Burgers
(adapted from Food Network Magazine)

1/3 cup quick cooking barley (bulghur, or twice as much cooked cous cous)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 small celery stalk, chopped
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 carrot, finely grated (I just julienned these)
1 cup canned pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (left these out, still came out great!)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoon fresh parsely

1. Prepare burghul (barely, or cous cous, whatever you're using) according to directions, let cool completely.

2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery and a pinch of salt and cook until golden, about 12 - 14 minutes. Add garlic, 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce and the carrot. Cook until the mixture slightly driest out, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool completely ( I rushed it and waited until it was warm, but for safety reasons you should let it cool completely).

3. Add the burghul (or cous cous), beans, breadcrumbs, walnuts, soy sauce, egg whites, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor. Pulse until finely ground with some chunks ( I pulsed until pretty smooth, that's just my preference). Form into patties 4" wide  and about 1/2" thick. Place onto a wax paper lined baking sheet or tray and refrigerate until firm (1 - 4 hours).

4. At this point, you can freeze whatever you want until later or cook them off right away. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in batching until golden, about 6 minutes on each side. Serve on toasted buns with the remaining barbecue sauce.

June 30, 2011

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Bars

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect "chai biscuit", or a cookie to be nibbled on alongside tea. It can't be too sweet, or it'll overpower the subtle, smoothness of tea. And it can't be overloaded with nuts and chocolate chips but have a little more pizazz than a plain old cracker.

There are few things that fit the bill better than a shortbread. It's crumbly and buttery crust is the perfect compliment to a steaming cup of tea (or coffee, whatever floats your boat). It's simple and unassuming, yet can be made exactly to your liking.

Also, they're ridiculously easy to make. In fact, I bet you have all these ingredients in your cupboard already. Go ahead and try whatever jam you love. Though I loved these exactly as they were, I'd be interested in trying a little flaked coconut or sliced almonds in the topping next time. Let me know what combination you try out!

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Bars

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 (8 ounce) jars raspberry jam


1.Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, shortening and butter mix on low speed add beaten eggs and extract can mix with mixer on low or by hand will form a dough divide dough in half and spread half on bottom of ungreased pan 11 x 7 pan pressing dough down with your knuckles spread layer of jam.

2. Then crumble remaining half of dough into little balls and sprinkle over the entire layer of jam bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes until top layer of dough is lightly browned.

June 20, 2011

Rich Chocolate Cake

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

So there are these cupcakes and they're just amazing. People expect me to bring them along when I'm invited to dinner parties and if I don't bring them out with tea after my own dinner parties then they're actually disappointed. And I can't totally blame them, they're pretty good actually. Light, chocolate, moist; just great little cupcakes.

But "light" doesn't translate well when you make this recipe in a larger cake size. It ends up more like pretty dry. So after some research and test recipes I came across this recipe that works great as a cake (haven't tried it in a cupcake size, if you do, let us know!) It's rich, dense and very chocolatey, just like a chocolate cake should be!

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water 

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
      3. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).Pour into 2 greased and floured 9" round pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.Cool 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks and cool completely.
      1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
      2/3 cup cocoa
      3 cups powdered sugar
      1/3 cup milk
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Melt butter. Stir in cocoa.Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed.

        June 11, 2011

        Zucchini & Squash Tart

        Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

        It's no secret, vegetables and I just don't get along. The funny thing is, I come from a part of the world that is famous for its vegetarian cooking, and yet, I'm not a big veggie eater. I know all the benefits and I've really tried hard to incorporate them into my diet, but I gotta be honest, it hasn't been going too well. I usually just toss some in to a pasta with a rich sauce or under a layer of cheese on a pizza. But this time I wanted something light and simple.


        Maybe its the long, hot days or the produce was especially fresh the day I hit the stores, but this tart ended up tasting like a slice of summer on a plate. It was bright and earthy, light yet satisfying all in one bite. It was exactly what I was craving.

        Oh, and just for good measure, I threw in some sliced soy sausage, cuz I'm new-age like that. And also because I needed to use up the last bit I had left in the fridge. The variations on this tart are endless but what I found to be the most important factor was using good produce, a thin crust and herbs.

        Zucchini and Squash Tart

        1/2 recipe pizza dough
        1 small yellow squash
        1 medium zucchini
        1 medium tomato
        2 tablespoons softened cream cheese (or goat cheese, if you're feeling fancy)
        2 teaspoons dried thyme
        1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
        1/4 cup mozzarella cheese  (optional)
        sliced soy sausage (optional)
        salt to taste

        1. Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out dough to about 1/4" thick and so it fits your baking pan.

        2. Spread cream cheese over your dough and top with squash, zucchini, tomato and sausage. Sprinkle herbs and salt over top. Add cheese if you like and bake until bubbly and crust is golden.

        May 23, 2011

        Blueberry Crumb Bars

        Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

        One time, while traveling overseas, I got the biggest hankering for a blueberry muffin. It was one of those cases where you've been out of your comfort zone for too long and you start craving the most "regular" of things, which of course you can't get at that very moment you want it. There I was, surrounded by some of the best (and halal!) food the world has to offer and I was craving an ordinary blueberry muffin.

        It got so bad that I ended up making my husband buy me one of those gourmet, froo-froo muffins from some airport cafe nook. Don't ask me how much we paid, its too painful to remember. But the point is, it did hit the spot. It wasn't some extraordinary muffin or something (see above: airport cafe) but just the taste of those juicy jems bursting with flavor with each bite and that comforting aroma of a baked blueberry was enough to fill that craving I'd been having those months prior. And then we came back state side and I didn't anything else blueberry-ish for years. Insaan is funny like that, huh?

        That is, until I met these beauties and that all-too familiar feeling of blueberries! now! must! have! came over me. This time it was much easier this time to fulfill that desire, and fulfill it I did, alhamdulillah! These came together in no time and shared every good thing that can come in the form of a blueberry muffin but cuter and more bite-sized.

        I'll admit, sometimes I skip over things like zest and juice because I don't have the actual fruit to zest or, who am I kidding, am too lazy to actually zest it. I've never missed it from a recipe, to tell you the truth. But this time I did it, and WOW, could you actually tell a difference. Nothing screamed lemon but there was a bright undertone to the sweet berries that would most definitely be missed if left out. And with berry picking season around the corner, you'll have no excuse not to try these yourself.

        note: I've made these with both fresh and frozen blueberries and they turned out just fine.

        Blueberry Crumb Bars

        1 cup white sugar
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        3 cups all-purpose flour
        1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
        1 egg
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        Zest and juice of one lemon
        4 cups fresh blueberries
        1/2 cup white sugar
        4 teaspoons cornstarch

        1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

        2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

        3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

        4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.