The Perfect Weekday

I love a casual weekday where I can do things that I love. These ideal weekdays are a rare treasure. However, when they do occur, although understated, they are beyond special.

I started the day poolside with a homemade breakfast parfait. It had greek yogurt, fresh berries, granola, almonds, and a drizzle of honey.

 

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After this delightful breakfast, I went to Rolling Greens, a local nursery, to get some indoor trees for our house.

This was an adventure in itself. I love Rolling Greens.

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I ended up getting this tree for our living room. It adds so much freshness and a splash of color to our otherwise monochromatic living room.

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They had some rustic flowers laying out on the counter.

For lunch, I decided to make a Cleo inspired Grilled Halloumi, Watermelon Salad on a bed of lettuce with a light vinaigrette. Halloumi is a Mediterranean semi-hard cheese and its flavors are released when grilled.

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This was scrumptious.

Afternoon snack

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Would it even be a relaxing weekday, if you didn’t watch your favorite tv show? I had to make some stove top hot chocolate with dark chocolate, some half & half for added creaminess, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I also cut up some fresh strawberries and had a mini chocolate croissant from Whole Foods.

Ramekins make everything better, right.

 

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For dinner, I arranged a cheese board with three types of cheeses, grilled crostini, fresh grapes, walnuts, raspberry jam, and a drizzle of honey.

 

XOXO,

Shiza

 

Shakshuka : A Mediterranean Breakfast

 

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This is my signature and go to breakfast dish – Shakshuka. A Mediterranean staple, I fell in love with this in my travels to Israel and Arabia.

Shakshuka is essentially eggs that are cooked in a homemade,stewed tomato sauce.

I serve cucumbers and feta on the side. Sprinkle a little Zaa’tar (Middle Eastern dried herbs- thyme, oregano, etc.) on top for an earthy finish.

I also serve with some warm pita bread or buttered well done, English muffins.

 

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Shiza’s Shakshuka

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 1: sautee in olive oil

  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 minced green or red bell pepper
  • A few cloves of minced garlic

Spices:

  • Ras El Hanout, sold at World Market, healthy amount (few tablespoons) | this adds an incredible layer of warmth and fragrance
  • cumin powder (about a teaspoon)
  • red chilli powder or paprika depending on how spicy you want it to be
  • salt to taste

Step 2:

  • 1- 35 ounce can of Whole Italian Tomatoes (chop these canned whole tomatoes yourself prior to putting in the pan)
  • After adding in the spices, if the sauce tastes acidic add a little bit of sugar to offset the acidity – this depends on how it tastes after adding in the spices. You have to taste the sauce and decide for yourself.
  • Harissa – morrocan tomato paste , sold at world market ( a few tablespoons); deepens the flavor of the sauce ; can substitute tomato paste

Step 3:  in a separate ramekin, crack each egg one by one and then start placing the eggs directly into the sauce one by one. I add as many eggs as I think will fit into the sauce and the pan. Typically about 8-10 eggs are added.

  • Once all of the eggs are in the pan of sauce, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper over the eggs
  • Place the Pan of Shakshuka into the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • You know it is ready when an inserted wooden toothpick into the egg comes out clean
  • Garnish with some chopped cilantro for added freshness

 

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Fresh flowers are completely optional, but I think it makes all of the difference to the aesthetic of the table. I arranged these bouquets with flowers from our garden. All of the flowers are different and even though their sizes vary greatly, I still love the look of it together.

Bon Appetit!

XOXO,

Shiza

Brunch Party

Hello everyone, so last month , we threw my dad a birthday brunch in our backyard and I can honestly say that it was perfect. My dad is the kind of person that doesn’t like to go out on his birthdays and would much rather spend the day at home with his family and friends because he goes out to eat so often that he is literally tired of restaurant food. Therefore, my cousins and I decided to throw him this surprise brunch party.

To throw a birthday brunch you need a plan and the first step to your plan is the menu. Get together with your cousins and/or parents and map out a menu. Divide and conquer is the strategy. Have one person make the eggs dish, one make the sweet breakfast dish such as (french toast, homemade waffles, pancakes, or crepes) , and one person make the sides such as (breakfast potatoes, hash browns, fruit salad, and sausages). A fun way to serve the sweet breakfast dish is to have a toppings buffet with all of the yummy treats we all love such as whipped cream, nutella, strawberries, caramel, etc.

Remember to keep the menu short and simple because less is more. Here is our menu:

 

Birthday Brunch Menu

Italian Frittatta  cherry tomatoes, basil, mint

 Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

 Italian Breakfast Potatoes onions, bell peppers, garden rosemary & thyme, jalapenos, cheese

 Mango Cake

 Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

 

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Set the table with your prettiest plates and cutlery. We used our Portugese printed plates from the World Market , oversized water goblets, and plain cloth napkins. Set the table with your favorite tablecloth, this one is a new satin sheet we had lying around the house. Its fun print and soft fabric made it a perfect tablecloth. A runner also makes for a great decor piece and this floral one is perfect for the summer. Last but most importantly, have a bunch of fresh flowers in the center of the table as the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a haven for food lovers. It has numerous local eateries and cafes that create artisanal, organic food that is scrumptious and sustainable. From cheese shops with local cheeses, handmade pastries, organic coffee houses, and other breakfast/lunch time eateries – The Ferry Building has something that will satisfy any palette. It also has some cookware shops, small grocery shops, and flower shops of the garden. This place is THE food lover’s sanctuary in the heart of San Francisco with a view of the gorgeous Bay.

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Outside the Ferry Building

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Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

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Soft Scrambled Eggs with herbs

 

Bon Appetit,

Shiza

Caprese Eggs Benedict

Hey everyone ❤️
Today I am sharing with you my take on the classic eggs benedict. I revamp the flavors by using fresh ingredients and modern cooking techniques that enhance the flavors of simple ingredients. This version will make you feel a little less guilty after eating! Its made with fresh stove roasted tomatoes, creamy mozzerella, basil, and of course, the star of the dish, easy to make hollandaise sauce! This breakfast recipe will be using the flavors of italy to make breakfast a little more interesting.

1) Make the Hollandaise Sauce
I use Ree Drummond’s Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe from her website : http://www.pioneerwoman.com
Ingredients:
– 3 egg yolks
– 2 sticks of melted butter
– 1 lemon
– dash of cayenne pepper
Directions:
1) Melt the butter on a saucepan.
2) Separate the eggs, keep the egg whites for the benedict.
3) Place the egg yolks into a blender and on low speed blend the yolks for a minute or so.
4) Then, slowly pour the melted butter into the blender with the blender on. Be sure to pour it on slowly so that you dont scramble the eggs!
5) Blend until the all the butter is combined with the yolks. Afterwards, squeeze the juice of a lemon and add the cayenne pepper, while blending. Voilà, you have just made homeade hollandaise in a matter of minutes!

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Part 2:
1) Cut the english muffins lengthwise using a serrated knife.
2) Place both halves into a toaster on a medium high heat setting so that they have a crunch to them.
3) Once the english muffins have been toasted, butter them generously, and set asideZ

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4) Now once thats ready, begin slicing your mozzerella in thin slices.
5) Next, slice the tomatoes as well.
6) Heat a pan on medium-high heat and spray with some olive oil. Place tomatoes on the hot skillet in order for them to brown slightly. Once they are on the pan, season them with a dash of garlic powder, seasoned salt, and italian seasoning. These spices elevate the flavor of the tomatoes.

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7) Fry the eggs. I prefer fried eggs rather than poached eggs, but poached eggs would work as well. I use the eggs whites left over from the yolks used in the hollandaise sauce. Be sure to season your eggs with salt and pepper!
8) Assemble the benedict. First, place a slice of tomatoe onto both halves of the buttered english muffin.

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Next, place a few leaves of basil on top of the tomatoes for an added layer of freshness.

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Then, place the sliced mozzerella on top of the basil.

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Lastly, top the benedict off with the fried egg and drizzle your hollandaise sauce.

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Enjoy! Bon Appetit

Xoxo,
Shiza

Mexican inspired Egg White Frittata

This is a healthy and scrumptious recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and your new years resolution to eat healthier. Its also a great way to use up leftover egg whites, thats what I did. I made creme brulee yesterday and was left with 8 egg whites, so I decided to make use of them for breakfast today! This recipe was made up on the spot with the ingredients I had at hand. If you do not like egg whites you can do whole eggs. Alot of the ingredients CAN be substituted with other flavors & ingredients. It will still taste great, trust me…….So have fun with it and alter it to your taste.

Servings: 5-6
Ingredients:
-8 egg whites
-1/2 red onion, diced small
-1/4 bell pepper, diced small
-1/2 jalapeño, finely diced seeds & all because we like the heat
-1 ripe tomatoe, diced small
– a handful of cilantro, chopped
– a handful of mint, chopped
( you can sub basil if you do not have these herbs)
-few dashes of lemon pepper
– 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce (Tabasco or Tapatio Sauce are substitutable)
– Mexican style Cheddar Cheese, shredded ( pepper jack or simple monterey jack would work too)
-Salt , to taste
– A drizzle of olive oil

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Chop all of the vegetables. Whisk egg whites. Add all of the vegetables and herbs. Mix well and add the spices and sriracha sauce.
3) Heat a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Carefully pour egg mixture into the pan. Cook on the stove for 4-5 minutes on medium high heat to get the bottom of the frittata set.
4) Once the eggs are set, place skillet
into the oven . Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs have thouroughly cooked. Generously sprinkle the shredded cheese onto the eggs in the last few minutes of baking.
5) Cool frittata for a few minutes. Then, slice and serve. Serve with a side of toast and jam . A homeade juice compliments well with this dish. I drank some homeade pineapple juice. Bon Appetit❤️

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*Cooking time varies each time. Keep an eye on your eggs to ensure that they do not burn. They will be done when the center is set and completely cooked. Baking them in 350 degrees will reduce the bake time. I used a lower heat to ensure the eggs would be thoroughly cooked.

XOXO,
Shiza