Zoolbia Bamieh – an Iranian Dessert

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I like cooking and I like cooking with my children. They sometimes help me or just play around me in the kitchen.

I have a wonderful Cooking Series and I took part in Around the World in Twelve Dishes where I wrote about cooking with my kids and for them.

Today I would like to share a very simple recipe of an Iranian Dessert called Zoolbia Bamieh – deep fried dough soaked in sugar syrup. The original recipe calls for Rose water and Saffron. But since we are in a small town in Russia these ingredients are not available.

Ingredients:
For the dough
– 1 cup water
– 2 T sugar
– 3 T butter
– 2 eggs

For the syrup:
– 2 T Rose water
– 1 T of water where saffron was soaked
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/3 to 1/2 cup water

Method:
Dough:
1. Heat up the stove. Put on a pot and pour water , add sugar and butter. Stir until sugar and butter have melted.
2. Slowly add flour. Stir well and continue stirring until you get a soft dough. TIP: don’t overcook it. It should resemble very soft sticky play dough
3. Cool it off to the room temperature.
4. Beat in eggs one by one.

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Syrup:
1. Heat up the stove. Put on a pot. Add sugar and add water , slowly stirring. TIP: start with 1/3 cup of water and add a bit more if the syrup is too thick.
2. Let the syrup boil for a while after sugar has melted and get thicker, but make sure not to burn.
3. Add Rose and Saffron water. Mix well and boil for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Frying:
1. If you have a special baking pocket for sofr dough – use it. I just used a regular plastic bag and snipped off the tip.
2. In a deep pot heat up a lot of oil.
3. Slowly squeeze out the dough and cut it off with the dull part of the knife. You can decide on the size of your Bamieh!
4. Fry till golden brown. Drain of oil and place into the syrup. Let them sit there for a couple of minutes and then drain them and cool off.

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Serve your Dessert with Persian tea or any other beverage!

My little helpers didn’t participate much in this process. They were hovering around!

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However, here are some tips for making it with your child:
– I suggest the age group 2.5+ under supervision;
– younger child can help add ingredients; older child can help placing the dough into the oil and draining the excess syrup.

I hope you enjoy this simple Dessert!

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This post is a part of exciting series 31 Days of Kids Kitchen Activities organzied by Study at Home Mama!

Join us every day to learn what activities other bloggers have to offer!

Special Guest Thursday: Macadamia Anzac Biscuits {threefootcooks}

As you can see, Special Guest Thursdays took a bit of a break. Well, it was really me who had a break from blogging as life with 3, plus ongoing vacation is what we’ve been busy around with here!
Today I am happy to introduce Maree from threefootcooks who shares a recipe of Anzac Biscuits  and also gives us a bit of sneak peaks into life over in Australia and the history of these cookies!
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cooked anzac biscuits
Over here in Australia we are currently in the middle of the winter season. However, since my family and I live in the Northern part of Australia it doesn’t really get cold in winter.  We have had a couple of nights where the minimum temperatures were around 6 degrees Celsius, and most days the maximum temperature is in the low 20 degrees Celsius.  So we have the best of both worlds at the moment.  We can enjoy soups and stews for dinner at night but still play outside and enjoy the sunshine during the day.  Summer, however, is a different story.  Nights are hot and humid and you try and keep out of the sun during the day. Typical Australian weather – lots of extremes all over our country.
The biscuits that my daughters Bear and Bee have made for this guest post are typically Australian too.  Anzac Biscuits are associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War 1.  There is much debate over the true origins of the Anzac Biscuit recipe and what it was originally like.  However, if you were to ask someone from Australia or New Zealand what was in an Anzac Biscuit they would agree on rolled oats, sugar, golden syrup, flour, coconut, butter, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water.  The biscuits are crunchy and don’t contain eggs; so they stayed fresh longer while being sent to soldiers in care packages during World War 1.
This recipe for Anzac Biscuits has only 2 additions to the original list of ingredients.  We added a small amount of ground ginger and chopped macadamia nuts for extra flavour. Macadamia Nuts are a native Australian nut from the North East coast of Australia (the area I grew up in). Macadamia nuts were responsible for lots of sore fingers in my family (and others like ours) when I was growing up.  The macadamia nut has an extremely tough shell which needs to be cracked open with a large rock or hammer.  Thankfully, there are many versions of nut crackers readily available now that can be used to crack the macadamia nut open.
To make a more authentic version of Anzac Biscuits just leave out the ground ginger and macadamia nuts.
Macadamia Anzac Biscuits
Makes 50 approximately
Ingredients
2 cups (250g) plain flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 and ½ cups (135g) desiccated coconut
2 cups (180g) rolled oats
1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (125g) macadamia nuts, chopped
200g butter, chopped
½ cup (175g) golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup (125ml) boiling water
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180oC/160oC fan forced.
2. Line 3 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, coconut, oats, sugar and nuts.
dry ingredients for anzac biscuits
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
5. Place the butter, golden syrup and water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Don’t use a small saucepan even though it is only a small amount of ingredients.  Trust me; you will see why in step 7.
mixture for anzac biscuits
6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted.
7. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in bicarbonate of soda.  The mixture will foam up as you stir it which is why it is important to use a slightly larger than needed saucepan.
foaming butter mix for anzac biscuits
8. Quickly pour the foamy butter mixture into the bowl containing the flour mixture and mix well until all ingredients are combined.
9. Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball and place on prepared tray.  Flatten slightly with your fingers.
anzac biscuits on tray
10. Repeat with remaining biscuit mixture.
11. Bake biscuits for 10-12 minutes or until golden and just firm to touch.
12. Remove trays from oven and allow biscuits to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Please note.  I would recommend that only an adult completes steps 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the recipe.  The way the butter and syrup mixture foams up when the bi-carb soda is added is really cool to watch but it is also very hot. Once you have mixed all the ingredients together it should be cool enough for your child to help roll the mixture into balls.
I hope you enjoy making this little taste of Australia with your child.
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maree mortimer bio photo“My name is Maree Mortimer and I am a stay at home mum with twin 4 year old girls.  My blog threefootcooks is about the cooking adventures I have with my girls.  I hope to inspire more parents to cook with their children on a regular basis. “
You can follow Maree through her FB page, Pinterest, Twitter and G+

Cooking Series: Homemade Pizza

For the next couple of weeks I am taking a step away from Creative Tuesdays and instead posting for Cooking series. In fact, since the next 2 posts are directly related to creativity and creative thinking, I decided just to go ahead and post them on Tuesdays anyway.
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So, today I will share how we made homemade pizzas in my ESL class. We used my grandma’s recipe for the yeast dough which I prepared in advance since there wasn’t that much time to sit and wait around for the dough to rise!
Let me say something first: children ALL love getting their hands “dirty” with food items. They may not necessarily even eat what they make but making things, well, food of course, with their own hands is a world of experience to young children, as well as older ones. Though it is always easier to engage younger ones in food making process as they are still exploring and are curious about how things work. Making pizza is a very very simple activity you can offer you children which is full of sensory, smell, taste and visual experiences. Also, it helps with language development, creativity, fine motor skills development – you name it! And of course, then pride and satisfaction of making this small pizza and the happy faces and sparkly eyes – I would make pizzas in every class if I could just to see those faces!
How to set up this activity:
1. Work space should be cleared and clean and covered with a waterproof sheet. Some might want to use disposable sheets, I use a regular one which I can wash and reuse easily.
2. Prepare pizza toppings in advance if you are making pizzas with more than 2-3 children: you won’t have time to cut everything up and younger kids will get bored watching you cut stuff! Here are the toppings I prepared for my students: sausages, corn from a can, sliced and cooked mushrooms, chopped up tomatoes and green peppers, grated cheese, portions of tomato paste, some olive oil to brush the pizza base with.
3. MAKE SURE THE CHILDREN WASH THEIR HANDS THOROUGHLY. Yep, I am really really mentioning this!
4. Demonstration: first of all, go slow. Show children how to flatten the pieces of dough for pizza base. Give them time to experiment. Ask them if they want your assistance – most of them probably will. But if they are anything like my toddler and 5 year old, they might just say “no” no matter how hard it is for them or how weird their pizza base looks like! Help them brush the dough with oil and then with tomato paste.
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5. Make sure each child has his/her own plate with toppings he/she likes. And I would also make sure the toppings don’t touch each other on the plate as most of the children really wanted.
6. Give them time to set their toppings.
7. Allow them to watch how pizza is being baked if you have a chance (e.g. through the glass window of your oven). Children kept asking me every 2 minutes if pizzas were ready.
8. Important – have fun!
How do you like your pizza?

Cookies Series: Lentil Soup

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I haven’t posted for a while outside of Around the World in 12 Dishes project. So today I’d like to share a recipe of a lentil soup which I got from a dear friend (who is originally from Iran but lived more than half of her life in the US). This recipe is popular with her grandchildren and it became very popular with my children.
What you need:
a cup or 2 of lentils
(soak according to the type of lentils you use.
I use small green lentils that are sold here in China.
But regular white ones would do and the taste is actually much better!)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 carrot, chopped into small cubes
1 potato, chopped into small cubes
onions, finely sliced (optional)
half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
half a teaspoon of coriander powder
a pinch of nutmeg powder
salt
vegetable or meat cubes/stock (optional)
How to make it:
1. Cook lentils until nearly ready.
2. Slightly fry potatoes, carrots and onions with turmeric, coriander and nutmeg (I heat up the oil first, then add powers and let them simmer for a few seconds for the smell to come out and for the oil to get infused).
3. Add the mixture to the lentils and add water if necessary. Don’t add too much so the soup is not too watery. Add salt.
I also add chicken cubes into it sometimes. You can add some vegetable or meat stock for richer taste.
4. Cook until the lentils, potatoes and carrots are cooked. I sometimes cook it all until it turn almost into a porridge-like (but more watery) mix. And sometimes I puree the whole thing.
5. Serve hot or warm with bread or just by itself. For our toddler I often serve with some rice – because she loves rice!
It is a really nice winter or summer soup. But probably more suitable for winter (we eat lentils all year round!).

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Jamaica Inspired Stir-Fry

I am happy to be posting almost on time this month’s dish for with Around the World in 12 Dishes! Around the World in 12 Dishes : season 2 was originally created by Glittering Muffins and there are total of 13 blogs participating in this project. The idea is to “visit” 1 country a month (12 countries in a year) by exploring the cooking culture and craft. We all cook 1 (or more) dish with our children and some of us make crafts.

jamaica

Last month we travelled to Jamaica and I missed it as I’ve been battling morning sickness (or should I say “morning sickness turned all-day-long sickness”?). So naturally I couldn’t cook anything (so much for healthy eating in my family!).

As usually, I have to create something that my picky eater will eat. And now I have to think about my toddler who started eating all table food few months ago. I didn’t want to make anything complicated or with spices, so I looked up online some vegetable recipe and found this Cabbage Stir-Fry.

I tweaked the recipe and here’s what I got.

Ingredients:

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Shredded cabbage

Sliced onions

Shredded carrots

Shredded zucchini

Beef flakes

A dash of each turmeric and coriander

Oil

Salt to taste

How to make it:

1. Prepare all the ingredients. Don’t thaw the beef flakes if using frozen.

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2. Warm up some oil, add turmeric, coriander and onions. Stir for a minute. Add beef flakes.

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3. Let the beef flakes cook on low fire for a few minutes, keep stirring until all red disappears. Cover and leave for another 5 minutes.

4. Add the rest of the vegetables. Salt to taste. Bring the fire to medium. Stir for a few minutes. Add some water, cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

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5. Serve with rice, macaroni or just bread.

My picky eater ate it all very well! My toddler doesn’t like the taste of meat, so she only ate carrots and zucchini! I haven’t got any pictures of them this time as my hands were pretty busy and since my toddler insists on self-feeding most of the time and refuses to sit in the high chair (she stands on her feet or knees next to her sister), I have to hold her with one hand and keep helping her with another during meal times!

I would love to visit Jamaica one day. It is a beautiful place with rich culture and we have few friends who are originally from there.

Have you ever been to Jamaica? Have you tried Jamaican food before?

Check the other blogs of “Around the World in 12 Dishes” for their Jamaican creations:

Adventures In MommydomAfterschooling for Smarty PantsAll Done MonkeyCrafty Moms Share,Creative World of VaryaGlittering MuffinsHere Come The GirlsKid World CitizenKitchen Counter ChroniclesMaroc MamaMermaids’ MakingsThe Educators’ Spin On It

Please link up your Jamaican dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

Cooking Series: Perfect Tadig

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I love Middle Eastern food. However, it is quite time consuming to make and with my picky eater I rarely dare to experiment much.

Persian rice has been happily accepted in our family so I often make it as I can sneak in some butter and potatoes which are rarely welcomed by miss T
I wanted to share with you a recipe of Persian rice with crunchy rice or potato tadig that worked for me from first trial.

Before that I attempted making it but whatever recipes I found just would work because I could never understand when to drain the rice so it is not overcooked.
Continue reading »

Cooking series: Mexican Quesadilla

Downloads5When I was pregnant, I craved all sorts of foods. At some point I wanted to eat Mexican food but we had no restaurants it!

So I did my own research, made my own tortillas and the quesadillas came out just lovely!

 

I made my own tortillas and salsa. I later tried the same recipe with store-bought tortillas but it wasn’t the same.

What you need:

Tortillas:

3.5 cups of flour

100 gr of butter or margarine (if you don’t have – use 0.5 cup of vegetable oil)

0.5 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of very hot water

Salsa sauce:

2 tomatoes

2 bell peppers (1 yellow and 1 red)

1 spicy pepper

1 small onion

few cloves of garlic

2 stems of coriander

Additional ingredients:

If you are making a meaty quesadilla – cooked beef, chicken or pork, shredded with fork.

Cooked minced meat would also do.

You will also need sour cream and shredded cheese (any of your favorite type).

If you don’t have one, squeeze some lemon juice into the whipped cream (which hasn’t been whipped yet) and mix till it curds and thickens. Voilà, your own version of sour cream is ready!

How to make it:

Tortillas:

Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Add margarine/butter/vegetable oil. Use fork and mix everything well until you have pea-size pieces. Add the hot water and keep mixing with the fork until you have a dough. Then knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. Cover and put to rest for 15 minutes.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces, roll the pancake shapes. Heat up the pan and fry the pancakes for 1 minute on each side. Now you have ready tortillas!

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Salsa sauce:

Cut everything in small pieces. Heat up some oil in a frying pan or in a wok, use medium fire, add all vegetables, add salt, some ground black pepper, some paprika powder  (if you have), some salt. Mix well, cover and steam for 20 minutes. Make sure most of the water evaporates – you should have only little bit of water left inside.

Assembling quesadillas:

Take 2 tortillas. Put one one the plate or baking sheet. Spread enough salsa sauce, then shredded chicken, then sour cream, on top put some cheese and cover with second pancake.

If you have an oven – place in the oven until cheese melts.

If you use a frying pan – heat up the pan on medium-low fire and put quesadilla there, cover and keep until the cheese melts.

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Cut quesadillas into 4 pieces and serve hot.

Total time of cooking – about 40-50 minutes.

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As you can see, my at that time 3+ year old was not happy all “naans” were used for making quesadillas. So she was sulking for a bit! But she loved the tortillas by themselves!

What is your favorite Mexican dish? Share with me the recipe – I’d love to try it!

Cooking series: How to Make Papua New Guinean Mumu

From next month onward cooking series will move to the middle of the month. However, this month I introduce cooking series to you fairly early in order to help promote a good deed: a fundraiser for a teachers’ training in Papua New Guinea.

 

This article is a part of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop 2014organized by Multicultural Kid Blogs . Originally this article was written by Chelsea from Veritable Treasure, who is running a series of posts about introducing the country of Papua New Guinea to children in an effort to raise funds for a teacher training in Papua New Guinea she has organized for September 2013.  We will be randomly selecting two fundraiser participants to receive a copy of Beautiful Rainbow World a beautiful CD which you can find details about at the end of the post!  Be sure to donate before the deadline of 18 June!

 

As do many Pacific islands, Papua New Guinea has their own version of cooking a meal with hot rocks.  It is called “mumu” and is traditionally done with potatoes, sweet potatoes (called kumura), green vegetables, and some sort of meat cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves.

Here is a step-by-step version of how to make this delicious dish!

mu mu 101 with text

These photos were taken back in 2006 when I visited Papua New Guinea for the first time.  My husband’s best friend and his family invited us to learn how to make mumu with them – it was an awesome experience!   See the full video (which is quite funny) here.

Note: Regionally this dish may vary.

I hope you had fun learning a bit about a popular food (food = “kai kai”) in Papua New Guinea!  To learn more about the fundraiser I am holding for a teacher’s training in PNG and to donate please visit this page.

If you give any amount to the fundraiser please make a comment on THIS POST simply informing us that you donated and your name will go into the drawing to receive one of the two copies of Beautiful Rainbow World, a lovely CD from Daria Music.  Any amount great or small is much appreciated!  You may like to consider reading this post and others from the PNG series with your child, and then deciding on an amount to give together.  It is the thought that counts, more than the amount.

To check out the other posts which will give you some more background about the Papua New Guinea (including pictures of children!), go to this page to find the series.

Cookies Series: Fruit Pizza

Today’s Cooking Series are introduced to you by Leanna @ All Done Monkey!

Leanna is a stay at home mother to a sweet, funny, rambunctious three year old boy and his adorable, smiley baby brother.  She draws inspiration from the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith and tries to raise her Monkeys in a fun, spiritual, loving environment.  She and her husband, who is from Costa Rica, are raising their boys to be bilingual and bicultural but more importantly to be “world citizens.”  Having studied anthropology, history, and library science, Leanna now trolls the internet and Pinterest for recipe and craft ideas. ”All Done Monkey” is her attempt to make sense of it all.

You can follow Leanna on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Google+.

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Fruit Pizza {Cooking with Kids} - Alldonemonkey on Little Artists BlogAt our recent spring/Naw Rúz party with Monkey’s little friends, I was looking for an easy treat that the kids could help make. I wanted something sweet but not too sugary, so we wouldn’t have the kids bouncing off the walls. (Okay, they did that anyway, but at least the sugar wasn’t to blame!)

I remembered making fruit pizzas years ago with my sister, so I decided to come up with a my own version for little ones.

For the base, I modified a recipe for a homemade fig bar, skipping the filling and making oversized cookies instead. For the toppings, I went with sweetened cream cheese and fruit.

The kids (and the adults!) had fun making and munching on these “pizzas.”

You Will Need:Fruit Pizzas {Cooking with Kids} - Alldonemonkey on Little Artists Blog

Makes approx. 10 pizzas

One batch of the dough from this Homemade Fig Bars recipe from Weelicious

One 8 oz. block of cream cheese (you actually don’t need the full amount, but the leftovers are wonderful!)

Honey to taste

Squirt of lemon juice

Cut up fruit (I used strawberries, kiwis, and bananas)

InstructionsFruit Pizzas {Cooking with Kids} - Alldonemonkey on Little Artists Blog

To be done ahead of time

  1. Make the cookies. Older kids can help with this step. Follow the instructions for the dough in the Fig Bars recipe. Before cooking, form the dough into cookies approx. 5 inches across. (I used a piece of wax paper to help me press the dough into the cookie shapes). Bake slightly less than the time in the recipe, approx. 9 minutes, depending on your oven.

  2. Make the cream cheese topping by whipping cream cheese with the honey and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Cut up the fruit into bite-sized pieces

At the party

  1. Have each child spread the cream cheese on a cookie, then top with the fruits. Let them get creative with decorating the cookies!

  2. Enjoy – mmm!

Fruit Pizzas {Cooking with Kids} - Alldonemonkey on Little Artists Blog

Fruit Pizzas {Cooking with Kids} - Alldonemonkey on Little Artists Blog

If the children will be doing this activity throughout the course of a party, only set out a portion of the cream cheese and keep the remainder in the refrigerator until ready to use. Although the cream cheese spreads more easily when it is warm, because of the dairy you don’t want it sitting out for a long time.

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Thank you for this recipe! It looks really tasty and like tons of fun for the little ones!!!

Simple Family Dish: Broccoli, Tomatoes and Ham Mix

I mentioned a few times that while I love cooking, I prefer simple nutritious dishes that don’t take too much time and require easy-to-find ingredients.

Today I would like to share with you a very simple dish: Broccoli, Tomatoes and Ham Mix.

You will need:

3 medium broccoli heads

10 cherry tomatos

Few slices of ham

Spices of your choice (I used turmeric and coriander)

Vegetable oil (Sunflower oil is my first choice)

If you are a vegetarian, then use carrots or mushrooms instead of ham! (Both are acceptable)

How to make it:

1. Cut up broccoli into pieces, tomatoes into halves and ham into small squares.

2. Heat up some oil in the pan, put the spices into the oil and stir them for a minute or two to infuse the oil)

3. Fry all the ingredients separately (about 10 minutes for broccoli, 5-7 minutes for tomatoes, 2-3 minutes for ham)

4. Mix all the ingredients and add some salt to taste.

It is ready!

I serve this dish with some rice or macaroni and the garden salad. My 4 year old  loves the “trees” (that’s what she calls broccoli and cauliflower)!

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This is the Simple Family Meals Blog Hop!

Hop over to the blogs below to see what dishes they offer for your families!

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