Vegetable couscous salad

Couscous was a dish that originated in Maghreb . It remains a still very healthy and exquisite dish, and if cooked correctly, is delicious as well!

Here are the ingredients needed to make a top-class couscous salad:

  • 175ml of water, boiling
  • 1/2 carrot(optional)
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 15ml spoon parsley
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 100g couscous
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 spring onion

Method:

1: Measure the couscous. After certifying that 100g of couscous is measured, pour it into a large bowl. Be careful not to spill any as once couscous is lost, it’s hard to be found!

2: Make the stock by dissolving a vegetable stock cube in the boiling water. Mix the water well to guarantee that there will be no solid pieces of cube left.

3: Pour the still boiling stock over the couscous. Make sure the measurements are right, or the consistency will be inaccurate

4: Mix the couscous and stock with a fork. The couscous should appear to have little dots on it. Leave the mixture away for 5 minutes while you prepare the garnish.

5: Dice the cucumber into small chunks. For the tomato, cut a regular zigzag line across the side, then twist the two halves separately to form a flower effect, like so. Or as demonstrated in the photo, you could just cut the tomato into chunks.

6: Cut the carrots and peppers into small chunks. Try to make them small and evenly sized to ensure a neat outcome.

7: Slice up the apricots into thin slices. These will add an exquisite sweetness to your salad, which will enhance the flavour.

8: Add all the cut vegetables, apart from the tomato, into the now set couscous. Make sure the couscous is neither wet (water is seen) or too dry (the couscous has clumped together). In this step, you could also add the parsley and the salt.

9: Now, snip the parsley to create a flower effect. To make this process easier, you can use a sterile pair of scissors, to snip the spring onion at both ends, like so. Leave the cut spring onion in cold water, to allow the cuts to unfurl.

Cut the spring onion on the lines shown

10: Mix all the vegetables together in the couscous, then pour into a plastic container. Finally, add the tomato(with the flower effect) and spring onion.

11: If necessary, heat the couscous in a microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up. THen present on a plate and enjoy!

Long Lasting Can Lanterns – Create a magical garden during festive time

These tin can lanterns are ideal for lighting up your garden on Diwali or Christmas festive time. Diwali, the “festival of lights,” usually falls during the rainy season, making the effort of lighting up candles or lamps a very tricky task.

Once, I joined my Indian friends to light up the garden with pretty oil lamps and candles sharing their bundles of excitement.  However,  all our efforts were crushed when the gusty Autumn winds blew each one of them out.   And to end up the matters with utter disappointment, rains that fell shortly, drenched them too.  We were very sad indeed!

That night, I sat on my bed and thought what could shield the tealight candles from winds as well as the rains.  The “Aha” moment of making the above lanterns popped into my head, making me dizzy with joy!

So, the next night, I collected some used coca-cola cans and set to work with my friends.  The second day of Diwali, their garden looked something out of a fairytale with these lanterns hanging from low branches and the fence.

The incredible fact about these lanterns is that they last up to steady 5 long hours, without even flickering.

Give a try, it’s super easy and you will marvel your handy work, looking at the garden that will look like a fairyland!

What you will need :

  • Used tin cans such as Coca Cola
  • Tealight candles
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Thread

How to make :

  • Draw a capital I on the can as shown in the picture
Diwali tin can lanterns
  • Make a hole with the scissors in the middle and cut through the middle line
  • Then cut through the  top and bottom lines
  • Now you will be able to open two flaps
  • Tie the thread on the hook in the middle of the top of tin can
  • Hang on a branch, place a tealight candle and light it up.
  • Hang several of them and your garden will look magical!

Cool Cooking – Trying out my culinary skills

TIP :  Wear swImming goggles while cutting onions to stop your eyes from STINGING! 

My Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Nutella Spread

Try my sweet and crunchy Nutella chocolate chip cookie recipe and I bet you will be making these again and again.  Stick to the baking time and leave the cookies on the tray until completely cool down even though they are slightly soggy to the touch.  You will be surprised to find them gone crispy and crunchy within minutes.

You need the following ingredients :

 Nutella chocolate spread125 g
Plain flour200 g
Caster sugar90 g
Soft brown sugar90 g
Butter125 g
Egg1 medium
Milk chocolate drops-break into small pieces120 g
Baking powder1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder10 g
 Vanilla and salt 3 drops each

  Now let’s get started;

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F/ Gas mark 4).
  • Mix both types of sugar, add to butter and whisk together with an electric hand mixer until creamy. (Do not beat too much as the cookies could not become crunchy)
  • Add the egg and continue beating
  • Add Nutella spread, vanilla and mix all together
  • Mix baking powder, plain flour, cocoa powder and salt together and sieve into the mixture
  • Stir in the chocolate pieces
  • Now gently fold everything together using a wooden spoon
  • Spread a baking parchment paper on a baking tray and place tablespoonfuls of chocolate mixture on to the tray leaving enough space for them to spread as they bake
  • Place the tray in the middle/bottom of the oven and bake exactly 14  mins
  • Take the cookies out and let them rest on the tray itself for 10  mins.  Do not worry if you notice they are still soggy, but right in front of your eyes, they will crispy.  Once they are set, gently take one by one out of the tray using a flat spatula and transfer onto a cooling rack.
  • Have a yummy, crunchy time.  Crunch ..crunch….
  • Store in an air-tight jar if there are any left.  They  will stay crispy up to 3 days

Chocolate Finger Crackers

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The creation of these attractive chocolate fingers popped into my head while reading a book and munching away some choc fingers.

Being adventurous by nature,  I never miss an opportunity for experimenting.  Being bored with eating the same old chocolate fingers, I dipped them in pretty sprinkles to give them a brand new party look.   “Voila” they came out looking like a treat from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!

I  thought this is a perfect addition to my blog as you also can follow these easy steps and make them and enjoy.

  • First of all, you need to dip one side of chocolate fingers just 10 seconds in hot water for chocolate to melt for a bit.
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  • Then, dip them one by one in colourful sprinkles. ( Throw a lot of sprinklers into a wine glass which makes easier for you to dip chocolate fingers)
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  • Now, arrange them side by side on a plate and refrigerate for 10 mins.
  • Ready to serve on a plate or placed on a cupcake case.
  • Have a yummy time my friends!
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Click on my mum’s website for more exciting baking recipes :

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/category/happy-baking/

Vanilla cupcakes

Projects

Stone Age project

This is the school project I have presented on Stone Age in year 5.

Mounting some figures gave it a 3D appearance which hugely enhanced the over all presentation.

I was lucky to find a stone which resembled excatly like the fint the Stone Age men used as a weapon as well as a tool.

The wooly mamoth was made with real wool from my mum’s old winter coat.

All my hardwork and devotion went into this and I was very satisfied with the outcome.

World War 11 project

This was my first school project in the year 6.

We learnt a lot of facts about the World War 11 and some were appalling!  It was quite disturbing to learn that Hitler exterminated 6 million jews to support his propaganda of clearing Germany from all other races allowing only  his Aryan race to flourish.

I particularly enjoyed drawing this Spitefire war plane which was used in the WW11 by the Royal Airforce and regarded highly due to its high performance in the battle.

Ancient Greek Olympics