Tag Archives: muffin

Build your Halloumi event at McDonalds, Bahrain

27 Aug

Last Sunday I did something  different. I took a detour from the routine and headed to the McDonalds outlet on Exhibition Road. When I stepped in, I was greeted by some heavily suited gentlemen with wide smiles. I was directed to their first floor by the McDonalds’s staff where I met Dunia from Obai and Hill (@Obaiandhill). Okay, let me just start from the beginning.

I was invited by a PR team in Bahrain called Obai and Hill to attend McDonalds’s “Build your Halloumi” promotional event. Since it was happening on a working day, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to a make it. But finally, all the stars aligned and I got a few hours off from work and accepted their invite.

MH8

Halloumi is a typical middle eastern cheese that is semi hard, brined and has a high melting point. This makes it easy to grill or fry it.  This is one of the cheeses that I love and regularly use at home in salads and sandwiches.  McDonalds struck a chord here and I wanted to see what they do with one of my favourite ingredients.  The event included a kitchen tour and breakfast at McDs.

McD's ground floor

McD’s ground floor

Armed with my camera I took the flight of stairs to reach the first floor. I was quite apprehensive because expected a swarm of media to be there with their flashing cameras and such. But I was immediately put to ease by Dunia of the PR team Obai and Hill and the McDonalds’s General Manager Mr. Ahmad.  The staff served me some coffee and I perked up to capture the event on my blog.

They took a batch of 4-5 people for the McDs kitchen tour ( on the ground floor), at a time. I must assume that I was the only food blogger there or maybe I missed meeting them. The tour was being guided by Mr. Ali who is McDs incharge of quality control and supply chain.

Mr. Ali taking us through the McDonalds kitchen tour

Mr. Ali taking us through the McDonalds kitchen tour

He told us about the high standard of quality control that McDs adheres to in storing its frozen and dry ingredients. He took us to the cold storage and showed us around. He also asserted about the highest standard of hygiene maintained and asked us to wash our hands before we embarked on our Halloumi sandwich building expedition.

MH1

He first, introduced us to the ingredients of the muffin sandwich which included my favourite – Halloumi cheese, olive paste, shredded lettuce, tomato slices and the muffin slices. 5 ingredients were too little, I thought. It was quite similar to what I made at home for my family. I wondered if it would have the McD addictive magic to it. In a line we parked ourselves with our plastic gloves against the counter, ready to make our sandwiches.

MH2

As per the staff’s directions we plied the already toasted muffin sides with 1 tsp of olive paste, a handful of shredded lettuce, thick slice of tomato and grilled Halloumi ( grilled to perfection for 45 seconds each on both sides, stressed Mr. Ali). We assembled our mini tower of ingredients on our sandwich as hustled to go back to the first floor where our respective tags with toothpicks  were waiting to be pinned on the Halloumi sandwich.

MH3

It was heart warming to see my blog’s name on one of the tags along with several other media tags. Watching my “Slice of my lyfe” tagged halloumi sandwich standing  proudly among others, made me smile.

MH9

MH5

Soon Dunia whisked us away to take photos with our sandwiches at the Halloumi photo booth. It was as funny as it was memorable. People made funny faces whilst pretending to eat their sandwiches.

MH7

The staff then served us our choice of breakfast of egg McMuffin and hash browns and orange juice. I had a ball photographing the venue, the ingredients, listening to the media chattering among themselves and biting into my Halloumi sandwich. I must say, I was in for a surprise. It did taste absolutely wonderful inspite of using just 5 ingredients.

It felt like home made sandwich with a sprinkling of McDs magic. 

MH4

sumptuous breakfast

I have to admit that I was quite nervous going on my own to a promotional event but the PR team of Dunia and Zara put me at ease and I found myself enjoying the flurry of activities. My hearty congratulations to McDonalds for having launched such a healthy breakfast option with my very favourite halloumi and a big thumbs up to Obai and Hill team for putting together a fab event with exciting activities that engaged everybody. I had a wonderful time and when i went back to work with my goody bag, I spent the rest of the day musing to myself – I am lovin’ it!

Muffin Monday : Chocolate Brownie Muffins

5 Dec

The Muffin lady is back again!

Well, that is the title I have been bestowed by none other Arva of I Live in a Frying Pan.

I kind of like the sound of it.

For this Monday An of Bakerstreet shared with us the recipe of Chocolate Brownie Muffins. There was no way I was going to miss making these lovelies.

An called them the best of both worlds – Brownies + Muffins. It cannot get better than this. They also are full of nutella goodness and I added plenty of choco chips to make it even more irresistible.

The recipe has been adapted from the Women’s Weekly Home Baked and in my opinion, is a keeper.

The only change I should have made would have been  to avoid pistachios and add walnuts  instead. Pistachios felt a little weird but then they did give them that spot of colour which I loved. I also added 2 tablespoons of instant coffee for that special punch.

Recipe for Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients 

2 cups Self Raising Flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp coffee powder ( my inclusion)

60 grams melted butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

1/2 cup nutella

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400F

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar.

3. Add in the nutella, egg, milk, sour cream and butter. Gently stir to combine.

4. Stir in the pistachios and chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into a prepared muffin tray.

5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes

Baking these lovelies definitely makes me feel festive but as I observe my expanding waistline, all the cheer evaporates almost instantly. I wish that God give me the strength to resist baking in the coming months, so that I can get my diet and exercise schedule on track. Until then, well, I am going to enjoy these brownie muffins with my morning cuppa.

Hopeless, I know!!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

Muffin Monday : Olive Oil Muffins with Toasted Almonds and Chocolate

10 Oct

What do you think of  when you read Chocolate chunks +Toasted Almonds+Orange zest + Brown sugar?

Food has the power to capture our imagination.

It  transcends us through the Space – Time continuum ( I am watching a lot of Star Trek!) and bring to us memories from the past.  It transports us to the good time shared with people we love (or loved). But at times it is potent enough to make us see sights of places that we may not have been to. Olive Oil Muffins, this Monday did just that.

Early morning baking has it’s advantages. With my daughter still sleeping and my hubby already on his way to work, leaves me all the time, to create, innovate, adapt, photograph,  think,  write and most importantly bake without any disturbances. Sip-fulls of coffee in my system and playing with beautiful ingredients such as olive oil, orange zest, chocolate, toasted almonds can warm up the imagination. I could see pristine blue beaches of the Mediterranean, stocky white buildings, seagulls, the sun, the sand and bare feet. These homely and unpretentious muffins can do this to you.

This Monday, Anuradha of BakerStreet called us to bake together these fabulous muffins and dare I say, it cannot get better than this. It got an overwhelming thumbs up from family too.  I know in my heart that I haven’t seen the last of these gorgeous muffins because they were  good to the last crumb.

The Recipe for Olive Oil Muffins with Toasted Almonds and Chocolate

Ingredients

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar ( I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of muscovado sugar)

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 teaspoons lemon zest ( I didn’t add any)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup of chocolate, chopping coarsely ( my addition)

Powdered sugar, for sifting ( forgot to do this)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

3. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zest in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil.

6. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. ( used a spatula to mix manually until just blended)

7. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed ( added chopped chocolate at this point)

8. Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners.( crucial for lovely  dome shaped tops)

9. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.

10. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

Muffin Mondays: Zucchini & Sesame Seeds Muffins

3 Oct

I feel so delighted to be baking with a bunch of wonderful Monday – Muffin bakers week after week. I was sorry about not being able to bake last Monday, but this Monday, I am here with some lovely Savoury Muffins. If it were not for this group and An’s attempts, I would have never tried this savoury version. Since An always lets us on a base recipe and asks us to interpret it the way we want to, it makes it incredibly exciting to try different flavour combinations.

This week, she invited us to bake Zucchini & Sesame seeds muffins. Sounds very interesting, right? Well it was since it called for herbs of our choice and I added some fresh, chopped parsley, dried rosemary and dried sage. I couldn’t resist adding a little cheddar since it is my go-to for anything with zucchini; savoury ofcourse.

I halved the recipe, so I got 6 muffins and fresh from the oven, they were simply yummy. The topping of browned cheddar and black sesame seeds gave it just the right amount of crackle. I am giving out the quantities, as in the original recipe provided by An with little notes of modifications that I made, on the side.

Recipe for Zucchini & Sesame seeds Muffins

Gives 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini (roughly 300grams)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoon sesame seeds (Plus extra for sprinkling on top) I used black & white sesame seeds.

1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs ( I increased the quantity of herbs from 1/2 tsp to 3 tbsp of fresh parsley, dried rosemary & dried sage)

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

6 tablespoons sunflower oil or melted butter

3-5 tbsp of cheddar ( optional) and some for topping

 Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C

2. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners

3. Grate zucchini and squeeze out any excess moisture.

4. Lightly beat the eggs in another bowl. Beat in the buttermilk and oil.

5. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the mixed herbs and half the sesame seeds.

6. Make a well in the centre and add in the liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined.

7. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan and scatter the sesame seeds to top.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes

9. Let the muffins cool in the pan and then serve warm.

I enjoyed my muffins with a bit of tomato ketchup.( I know, it’s shame but couldn’t help the temptation)

My family, is still of the traditionalist thinking and weren’t too excited about the savoury version of their breakfast muffins. In a way, it is a good thing because, I get to eat all the muffins everyday; as I like and when I like.

So happy Monday to you all!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week

%d bloggers like this: