July 26, 2013

Apple-Walnut Swirl Cake

Really simple and easy to make.

Use "any" vanilla cake recipe. The best and tried recipe that you have. The cake should be a little moist.

The mixture in between the cake layers includes:

1 Apple (peeled grated and dried)
1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 lemon zest or 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2-4 tbsp brown sugar

Mix them all together and layer evenly. In 13 by 9 inch pan spread half the cake batter and sprinkle the apple/nuts mixture (recipe above). Then spread the remaining batter and bake at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes (check with toothpick-time may vary with ovens).With a fork or knife make swirls (like in a marble cake). Enjoy warm with tea.

Top 5: July in Riyadh. Weekend Bites

Weekend in Riyadh means "food" or/and "shopping. With a city with not-so-much to do, living in Riyadh we usually hangout with friends and families to eat or shop or...eat again ;) I try to discover and try something new every weekend- thanks to my love for good food especially dessert.

Here I have highlighted and reviewed the Top 5, July weekend bites  for me in Riyadh. Especially now with Ramadaan , midnight cravings before suhoor are a must ;) So go out tonight and try something good! :) 


Most people like TGIF, especially their drinks, soups and chilli fries. I am not a huge fan of TGIF atleast not their main course, but lately their service and food has been much better than before. Especially the mint mojito, cheesy french onion soup, chilli fries (ofcourse!) and this yummy malt ice cream- brownie-caramel sauce-almonds on top dessert in a glass. I love it! So if you're a fan of malt, caramel, ice cream or brownie-Try it! :)

Munch (bakery):

Munch has one of the best cupcakes in Riyadh-for sure. They have these small bite-sized cuppies best for a guilt free indulgence. Also if like me you are not into big creamy cupcakes these small minis are for you! They have plenty of flavors including; banana-walnut, red velvet with cream cheese, chocolate, maltesers on top, strawberry, coconut etc etc. They also do customized cakes for occasions but make sure you book well in advance they are quite busy. Craving for a cupcake which wouldn't be too much on the weighing scale, head towards Munch!

Trader Vic's:

Situated cosily in Panaroma Mall, takhassussi, Trader Vic's has been in Riyadh for quite some time now. Frankly I was not that fond of their food, but this Ramadan a friend mentioned their Iftaar being one of the best in town-value for money and taste...and I agree!

We took a couple of Arab friends with us, we all enjoyed the food. Drinks, soups, main course, galore of appetizers, desserts and salads. Will definitely recommend. Oh! and the service was good, too.


Located on the famous Tahlia street, Paul comes to Riyadh and we see people raving about it. We went on a weekend early evening, it was hot outside and the cafe was full inside. Good ambiance and a simple menu. Paul serve one of the best breads in town. Service was a bit slow because of the weekend, but the food was good nonetheless. We had hot drinks, soup and sandwich. My most favourite is the french onion soup in a bread bowl. They don't have anything special for the kids, so I was glad we had left our son at home with my mom. Enjoy an evening in the not-so-French cafe in Riyadh, but don't expect the same menu or ambiance as you would find in other parts of the world.

Red Chilli:

Last but not the least, my love for desi food- the paani puuris, bhalla papdi chaats and samosas at Red Chilli. Their meetha (dessert/sweet) section is called Red Cherry, where you can get all Indian/Pakistani sweets including, cham cham, gulab jaman, ras malai (which is amazing) etc.

So thats' it folks! Until next time :)

July 12, 2013

Inglots' O2M Breathable


After hearing about so much about the breathable Inglots' wudu-friendly craze I was shopping and decided to drop by Inglot- which has always fascinated me with there bright funky colors and big fake eyelashes (blue,green-yes!) on their counters. Anyhoo got my hands on these lovely shades; numbers: 652, 620, 613 and 618.  

Couldn't wait to try these out, they're all bright nice shades. Very wearable for nail color lovers like me! :)

Frankly I didnt try or experiment about it being wudu-friendly. There are plenty of fatwas on this (for and against-both).

I tried it a few times, removing it for wudu, it doesnt last very long if one coat applied, it starts to chip very easily so a base coat, 2-3 coats in between and a top coat is also necessary; which atleast in "my" opinion kills the whole idea of it being wudu friendly and breathable purpose if you put 4-5 coats on might as well use any nail color and wipe it off

Colors are also very limited at Inglot-Riyadh and they are mostly out of stock. Each bottle costs 60 SAR. 

Now it is totally upto you if you want to give it a try. Personally I might not buy it again.

March 1, 2013

Comfort Food: Chicken Pie

Who doesn't love chicken pies, perfect comfort food.

I used homemade pastry (recipe at the end) but you can use store-bought, ready to use pie crust also. You will find it in frozen section you can use roll-out puff pastry (short crust pastry or ready to fill pies).

Choose whatever is easily available.

I use a 13x7 oven proof glass dish for the pie I make and it is good enough for 4-6 people.


2 sheets thawed puff pastry.
Minced Chicken
Carrots, Bell peppers, Mushrooms, Corn, Onions.
1 beaten egg
Cheese optional.

How To Make: 

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. 

Grease the dish you will use with butter.

Meanwhile cook your chicken with salt, pepper, veggies and a splash of vinegar and soy-sauce. Do not over-dry the chicken. 

Next line pie plate with one sheet of pastry, fill with chicken mix and top with another pastry.

Press around edges to seal. Also make 6-8 slits with knife, to let steam escape.

Brush with egg and bake for 30 minutes (less or more according to your oven and pastry baking instructions). Until the pie is brown on top. 

Serve immeediately with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

A good shortcrust pastry recipe is from BBC-food, if you are into baking and want to bake your own homemade pie crust, try this Shortcrust Pastry Recipe and increase ingredients as needed.


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