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What’s for Dessert: Candy Bars Cars

For Arham’s early birthday party I made these cute cars using M&Ms and Milky Way mini sized chocolate bars.

They were adorable and everyone loved them! Not to mention, they went perfectly with the theme of the party!


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“Cars” I made for my son’s early birthday party #whatsfordinnerbook

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What I essentially did was very simple:

  1. I took my M&Ms and organized them so I had four of the same color to make one “car”.
  2. I unwrapped Milky Way chocolate bars, and using a toothpick (or fork), add a very small amount of cake frosting to act as the “glue” where the four tires would go.
  3. Attach the M&Ms onto the Milky Way chocolate bars.
  4. Let the “cars” set before enjoying!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dessert: Oreo Cheesecake

Going through my list of recipes, it’s no surprise that I love (a good) cheesecake.

One of the desserts I made for Thanksgiving was this Oreo Cheesecake. Or perhaps you want to call it a Cookies and Cream Cheesecake. Either way, it was delicious and a crowd pleaser!

What I used:

  • 5 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • Oreo cookies
  • 2 [8 ounce] packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream
Here’s how I made this cheesecake:
  1. Preheat your oven 350 degrees. Tip: adjust your oven rack to a level lower than the usual middle position it is usually in (to make sure the cheesecake doesn’t brown too much from the top).
  2. Spray the base of your springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Finely crush about 20 Oreo cookies (using a food processor).
  4. Mix your melted butter and Oreo cookie crumbs well, before pressing them into the bottom of your springform pan [to form your base/crust].
  5. Bake [in your preheated oven] for about 9 minutes. Let your base cool while you assemble your cheesecake filling.
  6. Blend your cream cheese and condensed milk together until it is smooth.
  7. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Do not over beat the mixture, just until it is all incorporated.
  8. Crumble 12 Oreos with your hands and gently fold them into your mixture. Again, do not overmix.
  9. Pour your batter over your [cooled] crust.
  10. Bake in your [preheated] oven for about 50-55 minutes.
  11. Let your cheesecake set for an hour, before decorating it.
  12. Decorate as you prefer: here’s how I decorated mine: I spread a layer of whipped cream on top, and piped the whip cream around the edges of the cheesecake and a big dollop in the center. In the middle, of the piping I sprinkled crumbed Oreos. I also put a Oreo cookie [whole] on top of the middle piping.
  13. Refrigerate for several hours at the very least, but overnight is ideal.

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

Arham’s Mickey Mouse Themed Second Birthday Party

This past Saturday, we had an early celebration for Arham who turns two mashAllah! SubhanAllah, I can’t even express how fast these past two years have just flown by…

Arham adores Mickey Mouse, so fittingly the theme of Arham’s party was just that.

From the invitation which I created:

Address blacked out…

The Snapchat filter:

The Chocolate Covered Oreos:

The cake:

The banners:

The singing balloon:

The rest of the decorations:

Mickey Mouse Chocolate Covered Oreos

Arham loves Mickey Mouse.

For Arham’s [early] birthday party yesterday, I made homemade chocolate covered Oreos that looked like Mickey.

Arham loved them!

It involved a few steps, but were easy to make!

Here’s how I made them:

I used only these five ingredients:

  • Mini Oreos
  • Oreos
  • Dipping Chocolate
  • Icing
  • Cake Pop Sticks

To make them, what I did was:

    1. Take the mini Oreos, open the halves apart and scrape off the filling.
    2. Take your regular sized Oreo, also separate the halves (so the filling is on one half).
    3. On top of the filling, add icing as a binder for the cake pop stick and mini Oreos.
    4. Add the cake pop stick down the center.
    5. Take two halves of the scraped mini Oreos and place near the top of the Oreo to make Mickey’s ears.
    6. Place the top half of the Oreo (the icing you added earlier will bind everything).
    7. Continue the process for however many you are making.
    8. Refrigerate to let them set.
    9. When ready, melt your dipping chocolate.
    10. Dip your Oreo sticks in chocolate.
    11. Refrigerate again before serving.

I left mine as just chocolate covered Oreos. Of course, you could be as creative as you want – add sprinkles, use icing to decorate on top, make them red, etc.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

A Quick Recap of the Weekend

I HATE when everyone leaves at the same time, and that is exactly what happened this past Sunday. We had family arriving last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for various family gatherings, but they all left Sunday.

On Friday night, our aunt and uncle (Chotti Anna and Javed Chachoo) hosted a BBQ, and it turned out to be a graduation party for all the graduates in our immediate family (six of us from NJ and one from Canada) and a house-warming party for them at the same time. Saturday, we had a brunch at our house and that night was Shahbaz’s Graduation Party.

Not only did all my aunts and uncles and their families leave, but so did Faraz!

If I said it didn’t seem weird, I would be lying.

I guess it will take some getting used to. Even though Faraz has lived away in Hoboken for five years, we still saw him a couple of time a month. We’re planning on going to Canada at the end of the month though, so we’ll see him then.

Sunday night, after all of our relatives had left, we went to see the fireworks at Piscataway High School and then yesterday went to NYC for a few hours in a the evening. It’s funny that we have lived here for so many years (ten to be exact) and haven’t really seen many of the tourist spots.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Graduation Party

I LOVE barbecues and I love family gatherings, so a joint barbecue for nearby relatives and some friends for Faraz’s and my graduation party yesterday was definitely my kind of day. It was also kind of a farewell party for Faraz. I can’t believe that Faraz will be leaving next week for Canada!

Thank you all for coming! We had a great time and hope you did too.

The whole day turned out to the be a lot of fun. We got back from the park around 7:30ish and a lot of our family came straight from the park to our house. From there, later that night, Aamir Mamma, Sony Mammi, Sohaib Bhai, Ayaz, Faraz, Saad, Sabih, Daniyal, and I went to Dave and Busters in Manhattan which was a lot of fun too. I’ve never been there and it was great. We got home around 3 A.M. and I went straight to bed – what an exhausting but FUN day!

By the way, would you believe I’m still making trips to the dentist? I’ve already been four times and tomorrow I go back for the fifth time since June 4th! Apparently my mouth is small and the root is curved which as a combination is making this procedure take forever! Lucky me. Being the wimp I am, of course this would happen to me.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Customized Chocolate Wrappers

So remember how in this post I mentioned that we ordered sponge-bob themed chocolate wrappers to use as favors for my cousin’s birthday party?

So the whole time (from the time my mom suggested it to the time the chocolates arrived) I was picturing in my head that we would take the paper wrapper off of the chocolate and leave the foil wrapper on – and use our custom wrapper to wrap the chocolate (on top of the foil) like its always done.

Of course things were running too smoothly because would you believe Hershey chocolates (and Nestle) now wrap their chocolates in plastic wrappers instead of the paper on top of the foil like they have ALWAYS done?

Apparently it is to keep the chocolates fresh, but I would think it would be kept more fresh with the foil since you could just wrap it back if you don’t eat the whole thing.

I ordered the wrappers online and when I contacted them about the issue – they suggested I open each individual chocolate from  their plastic wrapper and use foil to wrap it and then use my customized wrapper on top of it. Who in the world would eat open chocolate like that that has been handled? That’s just plain weird. and not normal.

Because we really didn’t have much time (or any other ideas), we ended up just using our customized wrappers on top of the plastic wrapper. It looked okay, just not what I had imagined.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Laffair II Bake Shop is a Joke

The following is the cake story I mentioned here.

When I go to a bakery and order a SPECIFIC cake and tell them it’s for a six year old BOY, I expect to get that specific cake. Seems reasonable, don’t you think?

This is the cake I ordered for a six year old boy’s birthday party from Laffair II Bake Shop in East Brunswick:

Now imagine me getting to the bakery to pick up the cake and I get a PURPLE cake with three flowers on it for a six year old BOY. I wish I had taken a picture of it to show how ridiculous it was, but I was too furious and annoyed.

Anyone in the local area should know that Laffair II Bake Shop is a joke. Not to mention they are rude, liars, and incompetent. Oh, and their customer service sucks.

As an (irrelevant) side comment, by the way, there are probably more children working there than actual adults/employees. When I went to place the order, the only two people in the front of the shop were two teenagers (one of whom took my order). I’m guessing the owners were in the back or something. The day I went to pick up the cake, the owners two kids who were in middle school (at max) were dealing with a lot of the customers.

When I informed the lady working there that this was not the cake I placed an order for and showed her on my order sheet that I had specified the cake I wanted when I placed the order, she went to the back and called one of the owners/managers (a husband and wife run the store).  When she came up, I explained that this was not anything like the cake I ordered not to mention it was a girls’ cake… and hideous looking. She asked to see from the book of cakes they have displayed (in an attempt to try and blame me for perhaps giving them the wrong cake number and/or information… but little did they know I’m meticulous for details).

When I showed it to her, she matched it to my order sheet a few times and then finally says that “Oh, we don’t make this cake anymore” as if that was supposed to somehow justify it. Like are they serious?? If they don’t make this cake anymore 1) WHY is it still displayed in their collection of cakes to order from 2) when I spoke to two different workers on my two previous visits before actually placing the order cake (one of them being said manager) why was I not informed that they don’t make this cake anymore 3) why did they not call me (they had my phone number) if they realized later on that they don’t make this cake anymore (this one ignores their stupidity for not telling me on my two visits, when I placed the order itself AND the fact that the cake is still prominently displayed in their list of cake options to choose from) and inform me of their mistake/problem.

If I place an order for a cake, I expect to get that cake unless I’m informed earlier of any problems that arise in between. It’s that simple.

After some arguing, the owner finally says she will have the cake redecorated for me in ten minutes to match the cake, but the spongebob toys– they don’t have those — and that she’ll give me a discount.

30 minutes later, still waiting for the cake, my brother sees the owner slip out from a BACK entrance! We give her the benefit of the doubt and think she’ll be back. Another 20 minutes or so later – the decorator finally brings the cake back out front and it looks okay (MUCH better than the purple cake, not as nice as the cake I ordered).

I inquire about the discount as we are preparing to leave and the worker there says “what discount?” even though she was right there when the owner discussed it with us and says the owner didn’t tell her anything about a discount. I ask her where the owner went considering my brother saw her leaving from the back door and driving away and she tells me she’s going to a funeral (I don’t think ANYONE has a funeral at night, so I don’t buy it… and even if they do, I know she was lying considering how our conversation had gone when I was talking to her earlier and the number of lies she told me in that small time frame).

I tell her to call her husband out and I want to talk to him and I’m repeatedly told “he’s coming” yet he just doesn’t come out. You know who does? Their two KIDS who are probably in middle school! One of them says that his mom said there’s no discount because she’s giving the decorative toys for the cake instead for free which is a LIE considering I paid an extra fifteen dollars for those toys. One of them puts a ten dollar bill down and says that is the best he can do after talking to his mom on the phone.

After yelling at them some more, I finally got a 25 dollar discount (which was still pretty bad considering the amount we paid for that cake but we were running late for the party so I just settled).

My uncle was adamant about having a spongebob themed cake since my cousin loves spongebob and we really had no other way to get a spongebob cake form somewhere else at that point as we were already running late for the party, so we ended up taking the cake. If it was my party I would have definitely walked away with a full refund. But I will NEVER order anything from there again, that is for sure , and no one else should either!

Oh did I mention they did not apologize even once? I heard a “I understand” once or twice, but they didn’t apologize or even seem apologetic at all. The two workers were actually smiling and rolling their eyes (like they were little immature kids) about it while I was waiting and trying to get answers.

We had to wait over an hour to finally get our cake and this is the cake I FINALLY received:

Still not anything like the cake I placed an order for, but MUCH better than the purple cake with three flowers on it.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Daniyal’s Birthday Party

My cousin, Daniyal, turns six in about two weeks. Last night, we had a family party for him.

Here is a picture of the favors:

it’s a spongebob themed chocolate wrapper. How cute is that?

here’s what the back looks like:

Here’s the banner my dad and I made using one of those ‘create your own banner’ kits:

Here’s a photo of the cake:

The best part? I LOVE family get-togethers.

The worst part? The cake drama. But that will take a whole another post in itself.

Happy early 6th birthday Daniyal!

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Super Bowl Party

My brothers and I invited a bunch of our cousins from NJ and NY for a superbowl party tonight – with 30 people.

Here’s the party recap in pictures (of food):

My dad and mom got this table cover for us!

A closer look at the edge:

Some of the snacks:

My brother Faraz helping me bake off some of the cupcakes (for which he took credit for):

I made the batter, Faraz poured it into the cups, I put them in the oven, I made sure they were done, I frosted, and I decorated. But Faraz takes the credit.

(Some of) the finished products!

 blue and white for the colts; black and gold for the saints. 


and Cajun Chicken Pasta

My cousin brought this (it looked like a cake, but turned to be more cupcakes):

A lot of our other cousins brought various snacks, but I didn’t get a picture of those. 🙁 Thanks for bringing them though!

What a fun night it turned out to be… even though I watched not even a minute of the game. 🙂
Oh yeah – in case you didn’t know… the score was Saints 31, Colts 17.

Did you guys do anything for Superbowl night?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.