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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Tawook and Roasted Potatoes

Today marks my parents 30th wedding anniversary!

I’ve been out of the kitchen for the most part post-surgery, but tonight I made these chicken kababs. Tawook
is pretty much cubed chicken that is marinated, skewered and then grilled.

  1. I marinated the boneless chicken cubes with salt, black pepper, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder, thyme, ground mustard, lemon juice, yogurt, and raw papaya [to help tenderize the meat]. Let the marinated chicken sit for a few hours.
  2. Set your broiler on high. Skewer your chicken. Put it under the broiler for about 15 minutes. Take it out, flip them over, and set back under the broiler for another 7-10 minutes.

Broiling Tip: Whenever you use the broiler feature in the oven, make sure you leave the oven door open a little bit.

I served the chicken alongside a combination of corn, peas, and roasted potatoes.

For the roasted potatoes: I took small gold potatoes– cut each in half, and then each half into quarters (small pieces– you get the picture). I seasoned them with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and chipotle powder. Drizzled them with olive oil. Mix well. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.

For dessert, I made chocolate chip cookie a la modeA la mode means to be served with a scoop of ice cream. I’ll try and post that tomorrow: easy and delicious as usual.

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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 Dinner: Breadsticks

For Ayaz’s birthday, yesterday, I made my bubble-up pizza, a chocolate cake [with choclate frosting] with rolo candies and drizzled with caramel… and these breadsticks!
You need:

  • Pizza dough
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Basil Powder

This particular day, I used the Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough [thin crust]. You can find my pizza dough recipe by clicking here.

What I did was:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough onto my pan.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on top, and use a brush to evenly spread over the dough.
  4. Sprinkle italian seasoning, garlic powder, and basil powder on top.
  5. Bake in my preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
Cut them into whatever sized pieces you want. Serve them with marinara sauce!

By the way, click here to get the recipe for my Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks.

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 Dinner: Eggplant and Tomatoes

Last Saturday, for an iftari party, I quickly assembled a plate of grilled eggplant and roasted cherry tomatoes. My dad had been asking me to make something with the eggplant and I had some fresh cherry tomatoes from my aunt’s backyard vegetable garden. 

They turned out great, and I especially loved the seasoned tomatoes straight out of the oven!

I sliced the eggplant and seasoned it with a little oil, salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and rosemary. Grilled these in my George Foreman grill machine.

I took the roasted cherry tomatoes [whole] and seasoned them with a little oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and basil. Roasted these in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, I’d say? Just until right before they were ready to burst. Juicy and delicious!

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 Dinner: Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Monkey Bread. Pull apart breads. Whatever you want to call it. It’s delicious. And that’s all that matters in the end.

I’ve done a stuffed [pizza] monkey bread in the past, but today’s is more of a side dish. Or a snack. A fun twist on garlic bread. They are individual [or mini] monkey breads.

You will need:

  • 2 cans of [refrigerated] biscuits
  • 6 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of [dried] parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup of [grated] Parmesan cheese

To make the Garlic [Monkey] Bread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a non-stick muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray for extra precaution.
  2. In a bowl, combine your melted butter, garlic powder, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
  3. Cut each of the biscuits into 6 pieces and place in the bowl where you have combined the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix, so you evenly coat all of the biscuits.  Divide the biscuit pieces evenly among your muffin pan. I did some with four in it, and others with six in it.
  4. Bake [in your preheated oven] for about 14 minutes.
The above quantitiies make 16 good sized individual pull-apart breads. Next time, if I’m just making it for my family, I’d definitely cut it in half.

These are best when served warm. They were great on their own, or I’d recommend serving these with marinara sauce [or whatever your favorite pizza-like sauce may be]. Today, I made these alongside Bang Bang Shrimp and another version of my baked fries. I also think serving this alongside spaghetti or any [red sauce] pasta would be a nice combination.

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 Dinner: Seasoned [Baked] Fries

Here’s another combination of seasoned fries that I tried out today:

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

I tend to let the french fries thaw out for an hour or so at least before I season and bake them off. I find them to cook better this way.

The method is the same as last time:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with foil (or whatever else you prefer).
  3. With the fries on the baking sheet spray them all with a non-stick spray, making sure all the fries are covered.
  4. Sprinkle the spice and herb mixture from above on the fries. Toss with a spatula or your hands!
  5. Bake it for about 20 minutes, tossing them around at least once in between.

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 Dinner: Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks

I’m still working on updating with recipes for things I’ve posted about in the past. These Garlic and Cheesy Breadsticks: I’ve made alongside my homemade pizza(s), as snacks, and as an appetizer for a super bowl party amongst other things.


You need:

  • Pizza dough, enough to cover a pizza pan (homemade or store-bought)
  • [Olive] oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Dried Parmesan
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Warmed marinara sauce, for dipping

To make the breadsticks:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough, thinly, and place on a baking pan.
  3. Brush the pizza dough with oil. Sprinkle your dough with fresh parmesan, dried parmesan, dried parsley flakes, garlic powder, [very little] salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut the bread into strips and serve them warm with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

I made these alongside two types of homemade pizza the first time I made them, but they are great to serve as a snack as well.

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 Dinner: Spinach and Cheese Swirls

These Spinach and Cheese Swirls are a great and quick, appetizer or snack!

You will need:

  •  1 sheet of [Pepperidge Farm] Puff Pastry
  •  1 egg
  •  1 tablespoon of water
  •  1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  •  1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  •  1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

To make your Spinach and Cheese Swirls, do the following:

  1. Leave out your pastry sheet at room temperature to let it soften.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, mix together your egg and water and set it aside. Mix together your Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.
  3. Brush your [softened] Puff Pastry sheet with the egg mixture. Next, sprinkle your cheese mixture on top. Finally, add your spinach on top.
  4. Put it in the freezer for a few minutes, and then roll it up like a jelly roll. Tip: Putting it in the freezer makes it easier for you to cut them. Cut into even, thin [but not too thin] slices. Place on baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg mixture once more [to help get the golden color on top].
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

They can be served warm or at room temperature [I find them to taste best while they are warm, right out of the oven].

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What’s for Dinner: Roasted Gold Potatoes and Baked Tilapia [with Crumb Topping]

My mom really liked the roasted red potatoes I made a while back, and wanted me to make that again.

Today, I made a similar, yet different version. I used small gold potatoes. And used a combination of different spice and herbs. Both: equally delicious.

I served it alongside baked tilapia that I topped off with a crumbled topping this time [see below for how I made it], along with biscuits and Caesar salad. Yum!

By the way, my Cheddar Bay Biscuits would be wonderful with this meal in place of these biscuits.

Today, I used the following to season my potatoes:

  • about 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 1/4 black pepper
  • about 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary
  • about 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • about 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • about 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Again, I say “about” for all of the above because the quantities will depend on your taste bud. 

To put your potatoes together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil [for easy cleanup] and then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray [to ensure your potatoes don’t stick].
  2. I, then, took small gold potatoes and halved each of them. A few of the potatoes were larger, which I cut into thirds. Essentially, cut them all into similar sizes, so they have even cooking times.
  3. The herb and  spice mixture that I mentioned above? Sprinkle that over your potatoes.
  4. Spray your seasoned potatoes with non-stick cooking spray, and then mix well [with your hands], making sure all the potatoes are coated evenly.
  5. Transfer your potatoes onto your lined baking sheet, facing all of the potatoes skin side down. Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.

But I did several things differently:

  1. I left the fillets whole this time, rather than cutting them into smaller pieces.
  2. I used more lemon juice. This was to help keep the fish moist and help me for #3 below.
  3. Instead of coating each piece of tilapia with bread crumbs, I sprinkled on top a combination of bread crumbs and panko. Because I used extra lemon juice, when I went to mix my fish with the added panko and and bread crumbs… it left me with a nice crumb-like topping that coated the fish. I also had leftover that I liberally sprinkled over my fish on top.
  4. I baked it for about 25 minutes [without flipping them over this time].

The texture was great, and the topping melted in your mouth — absolutely delicious!

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 Dinner: Smashed Potatoes

To serve alongside my homemade fried chicken, I made smashed potatoes Thursday night as well.

Here’s how:

  1. I took small potatoes in a pot, added water [just enough to cover the potatoes], and let them cook over high heat until the potatoes were fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, line your baking sheet with foil [for easy cleanup], and drizzle [olive] oil.
  3. Once the potatoes are fork tender, remove the potatoes from the water. Put them on the lined baking sheet, leaving space in between each one to spread. You are, after all, going to “smash” them!
  4. Next, “smash” your potatoes. With a meat mallet, a glass… whatever works. I used my potato masher.
  5. Then, drizzle more olive oil on top of all the potatoes and season them. I sprinkled salt and pepper on all of them, and rosemary on only about half of them [thanks to the picky brothers].
  6. In a preheated 450 degree oven, bake for about 20-25 minutes [or until they are crispy].

I felt like they could be a bit more crispy, but I didn’t want to use too much [olive] oil, and worried about the bottom burning. It tasted really good, so that’s all that matters I suppose.

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 Dinner: Homemade Biscuits

I am not usually a fan of biscuits, but for some reason I’ve been wanting to make my own for a while now. Probably because the rest of my family love biscuits as a side order or a snack. These homemade ones, that I made today, turned out great — soft, fluffy, moist, and absolutely delicious.

They are quick and easy to put together, and take a very short time to bake in the oven. Easy and quick, just the way I like it.

To make the biscuits, you will need the following:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of cake flour [No cake flour? No problem!]
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of butter (half a stick plus one tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk

How I made it:

  1. Preheat oven to 500. Yes, it’s an incredibly high temperature and it worried me too… but it only cooks for about six-seven minutes.
  2. Put 4 tablespoons of butter (which is half a stick), straight out of the fridge, into a food processor and pulse it about 4-5 times until the butter is in very small pieces.
  3. To your food processor, add in your cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pulse several (3-4) times, until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Transfer your mixture into a bowl and stir in your buttermilk until the dough is combined.
  5. Then, transfer your dough onto a floured surface. Pat, lightly, until it it is about one inch thick.
  6. Use a cookie cutter (whatever size you want… I chose a smaller one than the size of normal biscuits) to cut your biscuits and then transfer them each onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Once you have cut as many biscuits as you can in the first batch, lightly form a dough again from the scraps. Repeat this step to cut as many biscuits as you can from your dough. I was able to make 15 small biscuits.
  8. Melt the remaining one tablespoon of butter and brush the top of each of the biscuits.
  9. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. I kept a close eye on mine because I don’t usually make anything at such a high temperature!

The above quantities will make about 6-8 medium sized biscuits, or about 15 smaller biscuits (pictured are the small-sized biscuits I made).

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.