Recipe: Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Hello friends, and Ramadan Mubarak to all those who are observing! This is my first time fasting as a new mom, and I have to say, it’s definitely a lot different than any other year! But then again, most things are.

For one thing, waking up for suhoor or the morning meal is only one of the many times I wake up during the night. In previous years, this is the thing I struggled with the most. Waking up during the middle of the night to eat and then trying to go back to sleep was always so hard. I hated losing my precious sleep!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

But now that I wake up multiple times a night, waking up to eat and going back to sleep is no big deal! It’s funny that the thing I was scared about and dreading the most is the thing that is the easiest. The first day when I woke up in the morning, I didn’t feel extra tired or groggy like I remember feeling before. It’s kind of amazing what your body will adapt to when it has no choice.

Not only has my suhoor pattern changed, but so has iftar! Before, I used to have all day to prepare iftar for my family. I would spend hours poring over recipes on Pinterest, making lists of everything I was craving, and then go all out when it was time to actually make the meal. With a toddler now, I don’t have time for any of that! I’ve stuck to making one dish, maybe two, and that’s it. My daughter keeps me on my toes the whole day so I don’t have the luxury of spending time thinking about food all day, which is probably for the best.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I don’t have all day to make iftar, I definitely don’t have time to sit and enjoy my meal! My daughter’s bedtime coincides with sunset these days, and I’ve pushed it back so that I eat quickly and then I have to run to put her to bed. Gone are the days of lingering over my meal, which often led to overeating and weight gain. So for that not happening this year, I am grateful! But I still miss enjoying the taste of my food after a long day of fasting.

In previous years, dessert was definitely on the menu! Whether it was brownies, cookies, or ice cream, I always made something sweet to be enjoyed after iftar, but of course, this year, finding time to bake is tricky. But my sweet tooth still calls to me after iftar, and having a plate of these Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips would be a welcome sight after a long fast.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these cookies before Ramadan and have still not forgotten them! They are the perfect marriage between a peanut butter cookie and a chewy chocolate chip cookie, which means they have the best of both worlds. These cookies are more chocolate chip cookie with peanut butter, rather than the other way around. The peanut butter isn’t overpowering, but instead is more of a hint.

They are thick, puffy, and chewy- all things a good chocolate chip cookie should be, except with the burst of peanut butter. Let’s check out the recipe. Continue reading →

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Recipe: Chicken Malai Tikka

Chicken Malai Tikka

Hey everyone! I’ve got something a little different for you all today: a savoury recipe. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a savoury recipe with you all, but this chicken malai tikka is amazing. When posting recipes on the blog, I stick to my favourite food group (dessert), but believe me that’s not all I eat!

I shared this recipe on my Instagram stories the other day and I received so many requests for the recipe! I got way more requests than my sweet recipes, that’s for sure. People I haven’t spoken to years reached out to me and wanted the recipe for this succulent chicken barbecue item.

Confession time: I use a lot of Shan masalas. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, they’re packaged dry mixes of herbs and spices with instructions and a list of ingredients on the back. You can get premade biryani masala to korma to kabobs and everything in between. I’m not the best at Pakistani cooking, and Shan masalas take the guesswork out of it for me.

But lately I’ve been sick of making and eating the same few things. Shan masalas tend to have the same taste, an I’ve been trying to use my own blend of spices. It’s a hit and miss though.

When I stumbled on this recipe for Chicken Malai Tikka, I knew I wanted to make it right away. Succulent, juicy chicken that melts in your mouth? Yes, please! I’ve made the recipe using Shan masalas, but don’t remember being too impressed. So I was excited to try this recipe.

Malai is a creamy and rich ingredient, but the word can be used to describe any food that basically melts in your mouth like butter. And that’s exactly what this chicken does. There’s actually no butter in the recipe, except for a bit that you can brush on top at the end, if you want. The creamy texture of the marinade and the juiciness of the chicken is thanks to a mixture of yogurt and heavy or whipping cream. Let’s take a look at the recipe!

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Favourite Makeup Products

Favourite Makeup Products

Today we’re talking makeup! I know this is a different kind of post from the one I usually write, but I wanted to try something new.

I am by no means a makeup artist or even an expert. But it is something I enjoy doing, and even learning more about. It’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures!

I’m definitely not adventures when it comes to my makeup; when I like something, I keep using it and have a hard time trying new things.

After a recent Sephora haul, I realised I have a few Staples that I am always restocking. I love them so much and use them so frequently that they need replenishing quite often. I figuted I’d share them with you. 🙂

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Powder Foundation in 127 Golden Sand

Before, I used to only use this on top of my Make Up For Ever foundation. But then I started wearing it by itself and I fell in love!

While you can use this as a setting powder on top of your foundation (I still do, when I do wear foundation), it works great as a base on its own. I love how buildable the formula is; if you want light coverage, you can do that. But if you want more coverage, simply apply more product for a more finished look.

I use this a lot for my everyday makeup look, like for when I have to run out to the grocery store or when I want a light makeup look without the heaviness of foundation. I have combination oily skin and this works great to give me that flawless, smooth finish.

While the name of the product is powder foundation, it still isn’t as flawless as liquid foundation. It’s a very natural look, so if you’re looking for heavy coverage, this won’t give you that. But it’s perfect for everyday.

Nars Blush in Orgasm

This is a cult favourite, and for good reason! I had heard about this blush for years before I finally tried it. And I’m so glad I did!

What I love about this blush is how pigmented it is. A little goes a long way, and you don’t have to be standing there for half an hour trying to get the product on. A few swishes of your blush brush and you are good to go!

Of course we have to talk about the colour itself. It’s such a favourite among makeup junkies, and for good reason. It looks good on so many different skin colours! It’s rosey and pinky, without being garish. It’s got s lovely shine that makes the apples of your cheeks sparkle subtly, so that you look like you are glowing.

I recently bought the colour SIN on a recommendation from a friend and it has the same formula, without the sparkle. It has more of a purple undertone but also looks nice on brown skin tones.

I cannot recommend this enough. It’s by far my favourite blush of all time!

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Gossip Girl

This is definitely my favourite matte liquid lipstick. So many others have claimed to not rub off, but this is the first that I’ve come across that actually doesn’t rub off!

As a mom, I’m always kissing my daughter and I hated getting lipstick on her cute little cheeks. But when I started wearing Huda Beauty’s product, I fell in love with the way it didn’t rub off. It’s actually a matte lipstick that stays on for hours.

Gossip Girl is my current favourite, although I also have Trophy Wife and Heartbreaker. It’s a perfect pink shade that is girly and flirty. I can’t get enough of it!

Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Black

I’ve only ever worn fake eyelashes a few times in my life, and each time was by a professional make you artist. They weren’t very comfortable but the effect was of course amazing!

This is my substitute. If you are obsessed with long eyelashes, then this is the mascara for you! The formula is amazing and it lengthens your lashes to crazy lengths.

What I love about this product is that a little goes a long way. So if you’re looking for a more subtle look, you can apply it sparingly for a pretty effect. Apple a little bit more and your lashes will look outrageous.

Make Up For Ever Liquid Liner in Black

This liner is a favourite after much research. I had been on the hunt for a BLACK liquid eyeliner with a dark formula that wouldn’t fade quickly. I tried Stila, Benefit’s Push Up Liner, and Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. None were as black as I wanted and none had that dramatic effect that I wanted in my liquid liner.

This one did.

I love the pigmentation of the black in this formula. It isn’t weak and nor does it fade away. It stays strong and dark for hours on end. The applicator is a sponge tip and is pointed, which makes it perfect to create the perfect wing or cat eye.

It dries quickly so there’s no waiting for the liquid to settle before you can apply mascara or curl your lashes. It has a dramatic effect and is amazing.

These aren’t my only favourite makeup products, but they are definitely the ones I use most frequently. As a new mom, I’m often pressed for time these days and have to do my makeup in a hurry. What I love about all of these products is how quickly I can apply them. They are perfect for my current quick and short makeup routine, since their quality is amazing.

So if you’re looking for some new makeup products, do check out some of the ones I’ve recommended above!

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Best Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake

I’ve been making this chocolate bundt cake for almost 2 years now. Apologies in advance for not sharing the recipe!

Like my favourite cookie of all time, the chocolate chip cookie, the chocolate bundt cake is a similarly elusive recipe. Many bloggers claim to have the best chocolate bundt cake recipe out there, and I have to admit, I’ve tried many of them. I was on the hunt for a chocolate cake of my dreams, one that was rich and moist and decadent, without all the extra work and fancy ingredients.

I grew up on a healthy diet of Betty Crocker box mix cakes. That’s what my mom used to make for us every few weeks and my brothers and I would gobble it up. The chocolate cake was moist and fudgy. It came together in minutes, because all you needed was oil, eggs, and water or milk. When I started baking, I started with cake mixes because they were so easy. There was no way to mess them up.

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake

I tried lots of recipes online before finally finding this one. Most chocolate cake recipes that I’ve tried call for hot coffee or espresso to amp up the chocolate flavour, or at least boiling water. But many of those cakes tasted flat and uninteresting. Some were easy in their process, but were dry and didn’t have enough chocolate flavour. This cake is anything but. Deliciously moist, fudgy in flavour, this chocolate bundt cake is a winner!

When I finally stumbled upon this recipe, it seemed too good to be true. It comes together in one bowl, without a mixer, and does have eggs or milk or any other dairy products. It’s vegan! I’m not vegan but l love the flavour this cake has even without the dairy products. It’s perfectly soft and bakes a beautiful crumb.

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake

But before I get too carried away with the chocolate bundt cake, we need to talk about the chocolate sauce. You CANNOT make this cake without the sauce. It would be a crime. It’s honestly the best part of the cake, and takes the recipe from good to amazing. The sauce is rich and velvety, everything a good chocolate sauce should be. I always make extra, because my husband always wants extra sauce with his cake. It’s more like he has cake with his sauce, instead of the other way around.

This chocolate bundt cake is my new version of the classic Betty Crocker cake mix. It’s so easy and simple to make! What I love is that there are no fancy ingredients or even extra steps. This is your lazy-girl cake, perfect for a rainy afternoon when you want something easy and chocolatey, without having to do extra work. Let’s get to the recipe!

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Binging on Books

This past weekend I made a trip to Chapters aka my happy place! Chapters has always been one of my favourite places, and after working there and making great friends for life, it’s even more dear to me.

It had been awhile since I had been, and of course the displays were a feast for the eyes! I have way more notebooks than I will ever use, but I was drooling over the current collection. And that’s nothing to say of the agendas, pens, cute desk accessories, and cookware.

But I tore myself away from the other things and made my way to the back of the store, where my favourite section was, the teen section. Being among the books brought back so many happy memories, memories from when I was working at Chapters and memories even from before.

Before I got into social media (or rather Goodreads), the way I discovered a new book was finding it on the shelf. I would spend an afternoon in the store with my mom, my wallet stuffed with that year’s Eid money, and I would scan the shelves, reading the back of books as I made my picks. After I discovered Goodreads, I would spend hours clicking through books and adding them to my to-be-read list. There are so many books on there, most of which I’ve forgotten about.

But this last weekend, I let myself wander the store, the way I used to, without my phone in my hand (except to take the above picture of course! LOL). I saw books on the shelves whose covers called out to me and I stood there and read the backs of the covers, before deciding whether I wanted to buy them or not. I let myself get lost in the descriptions, enjoying the feeling of the heaviness of the pages in my hand, as the scent of coffee and sugar wafted by from the nearby Starbucks and the din of other customers around me melted away. It was pure happiness.

My original pile was a lot larger than the one I ended up getting. Two of the books were ones that I had purposely gone in to get, while two were ones that I discovered in my walk around the store. And the other two items were baubles I couldn’t resist.

I’ve currently been in the mood to reread old books and finish series that I abandoned. One of these is the Red Rising series. I absolutely loved the first in the series, and raved about it both here on the blog and in the store to anyone who would listen while I worked there. It was my staff pick at the time, an I fell head over heels in love with it. My brother bought the second one for me ages ago and I started to read it but didn’t really get into it at the time. The fourth just came out recently and the series popped back up on my radar.

I just finished devouring Red Rising and have started the second in the series, Golden Son. Morning Star is the third one in the series, which is the one I wanted to have at the ready for when I finish Golden Son. So far, I’m not loving it as much as I did the first, but Red Rising was also a bit slow in the beginning before it picked up, so I’m hoping this is the same!

The other book is Immortal Reign, the last in the Falling Kingdom series. I read the whole series again back in December, and was salivating over the release of the last book in the series, especially with the cliffhanger in the fifth book. But given my current binge of the Red Rising series, I might not get to this for awhile! And since it’s the absolute last in the series, I might save it just a little longer.

The other two books are ones I found during my meander around the store. Both are fantasy, and are the beginning of new series. I was also torn between Sophie Kinsella’s latest Surprise Me and another teen fantasy novel. But they’ll have to wait for another day!

I wish I could say this will be my last book haul for awhile, but there are lots more books that I left behind and that I have my eye on!

After the Red Rising and the Falling Kingdom series, other books I want to continue the series for are Seraphina, Me Before You, Cinder, and Scarlet. I loved the first books in each series and want to finish them up.

What are you reading right now?

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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