Saturday, 26 April 2014

OH YES! YES!!

I just got back from English Drama! It went sooooo well! Honor did great, too. I had a guiter solo performance on "Live Like There's No Tomorrow" by Selena Gomez dedicated to Hamid Mir, senior anchorperson for GEO News, who was injured in a gunfiring on Karachi. I said,  "I would like to dedicate this song to Hamid Mir, who was injured in Karachi, and I request you to pray for his speedy recovery."

My dad has connections aroud City 42 and my uncle has connections around GEO, so both channels were filming the show! They filmed Honor's play, my solo performance, and the dance to Waka Waka (Anusha kept saying "Mahnoor took my place! She took my place!" for some reason, but no one noticed) with about fifty close-ups of me :). They even interviewed me later and made me do a few clips again. My DJ (oh yeah, you heard me, I haz DJ!) played a recording while people were leaving and it gave a studio-type effect. I'm gonna be on TV at 5 PM today! (26th April 2014)

Don't forget to watch GEO News today at 5 PM! A chance to hear my guitar :)
Now I am as tired as a... as a... I DON'T KNOW.

Zoya :)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Sorry... Possibly The Last Honor Update :'(

That's right. This may possibly be the last Honor Update. This may be the very last time you see a post from Honor. Our show is tomorrow, on the 26th of April. I have my dress ready, and so does the rest of the crew. Then 'I'll be married to Andres (ugh)', 'Beauty will be married to Nick (double ugh)', and Fairy might be 'going on a holiday'.

Anyway, I haven't updated for a long time because we have been really busy preparing for the actual show. Zoya got a few parts, too - she's doing a guitar solo, the national anthem and a dance to Waka Waka by Shakira. 

Here is a bit of funny stuff...
Oh, and Tutor is replacing Nick. (I know, WTH, right?)

1. What the mic?!
(Oh, BTW, Beauty is sometimes scared of saying the word 'married'.)
Beauty: (mic off) And then we can get (whispers) married.
Honor: Uh, Mrs. Dimitra, I think I hear a snake at a party...
Nick: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!
Honor: I mean Beauty whispering with her mic off. 
Nick: Oh yeah... BUT SINCE WHEN IS SHE A SNAKE?!
Honor and Beauty: Oh god...

2. Perfect timing... NOT.
Beauty: You CAN'T make him a prince, father. 
Honor: I think it's a wonderful idea.
Beauty: And then me and Nick can get married.
Nick: (Screaming) MARRIED?!

Honor: Do you have some kind of mental signature scream? I've seen you scream in class.
Andres: Oy hoy hoy hoy hoy hoy hoy!
Honor: Where did you come from, Andres?
Andres: Well, umm.. HAHA! (walks offstage)

Nick: (Has ignored that) Ok, King, (topples over him, almost) On three. One... two... three... GO! MARRIED?!
King: I'm not a psycopath unlike some people!
Nick: Hmph.

3. Well... LITERALLY.
Honor: (In class making an announcement) English Drama and dance is today in SLO period.
Nick: HonorEnglishDramadancepracticetodaywithAndres'basketball ON THE FLOOR!
Honor and Andres: I'll show you "on the floor"! (Andres knocks over his chair, making him fall over)
Honor: Literally now... NICKONTHEFLOOR!

4. "You need to do it."
Mrs. Dimitra: (To other teacher) Alright, so when Beauty puts on her "ugly" dress, you need to put this fake mole near her lower lip.
Beauty: AAHHH! NOOO! MISS, YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!
Mrs. Dimitra: You need to do it.
Honor: (Doing Beauty's hair) Ah, I'd do the same thing if I were you.
Beauty: I feel bad for myself.

5. Not quite...
Announcer 1 (Andres' sister): Princess Andres - Faraaz Ahmed Arshad.
Announcer 2: Ahem, she means PRINCE ANDRES.
Announcer 1: Oh, oh, sorry, Faraaz!

Wish me luck for the guitar, play, and dance!
Honor :)
Zoya :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Eggs!

Happy easter, everyone! I have a last-minute roundup for you here, and if hosting an Easter party, I have some stuff to cover you up. In these posts, you will find How To Dye Easter Eggs and Easter Egg Cupcakes.

Easter Cookies

How To Dye Easter Eggs

Easter Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake

Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Zoya :)

How to Dye Easter Eggs

Ah, Easter. Who gets the chocolate bunny? Only the one that collects the most eggs. The question is, who makes the eggs? We do! Coloring hard boiled eggs is an Easter tradition. The fun part is, there are so many ways to do it! You can do single colored eggs, but an added touch never hurt anyone. You can eat these eggs, give them as gifts, or use them for decoration.

This is the simplest method, with vinegar and water mixed with food dye.



1.   Hard boil 12 eggs.

2.   In a paper cup or glass, stir together 3 tbsp vinegar and           2/3 cup water. Add the desired color of food dye.


3.   Dip or lower the dried hard boiled egg in the binegar mixture and leave for 3-5 minutes until desired color is reached.


4.   Remove from the dye and place on a wire rack to dry. 


5.   If you'd like, you can paint on the dye, too, for more color.


6.   Coat with vegetable oil for a nice shine. 


Zoya ♡

Easter Cupcakes

Happy Easter! I'm typing so quickly for you guys that I've made 9 typos already. I should have posted this yesterday, but I'm going quick, quick, quick! Easter morning and all. So here are some Easter egg cupcakes. For the eggs, you can buy some jelly eggs, fondant eggs or Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs. Then again, you can always make your own, like I did.


Ingredients
1 batch chocolate cupcakes with frosting (recipe here)
40-50 chocolate/ peanut butter/ fondant eggs

Method
Prepare cupcakes and frost with a large star tip.
Place one or two eggs on top of each cupcake.

Umm... can anyone say "too simple"?
Zoya :)

Easter Cookies

Easter is finally here, and I hope you have eggs ready for boiling, poaching, deviling, and dyeing! You also should have Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs or sugar-coated eggs, for that matter. And the plastic eggs for the easter hunt. And these amazing cookies! It's simple; grab your favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut them out into egg shapes, bake, frost, and decorate!



INGREDIENTS
For the cookies,
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups flour
4 eggs
5 cups flour (oh yeah, for 5 dozen cookies!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
For the cookie icing, you can either use store bought colors, or...
Whip together a pound of icing sugar and 2 egg whites. That's it. Add food coloring, if you want.

DIRECTIONS
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in the vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt to form a sticky dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to overnight.

After refrigerating, dust a work surface with flour and roll out your dough using a rolling pin. Cut out egg shapes using a cookie cutter or paper template. Place on well greased cookie sheets and bake at 350°F (180°C) until the bottoms are browned lightly. Let cool completely before frosting. Add sprinkles, if you'd like.






Friday, 18 April 2014

DIY Peanut Butter

Let's say you wake up at 9:30 A.M on a Saturday morning. You had dinner early last night, and your stomach is empty. You want food. And, foodie or non-foodie, you want to (or have to) whip up something yourself. Peanut butter? Good idea. 

Love or hate peanuts or peanut butter, you will love this amazing, smooth, DIY peanut butter. It's amazing and so easy to make, and if you want an even quicker treat, use pre-roasted peanuts. I suggest starting with raw peanuts and roasting them in the oven for the freshest product and the creamiest peanut butter. The honey, salt, and oil are to taste; more oil for creamier, more salt for "salted", and more honey for "honey-roasted" peanut butter. Experiment with different combos to your own taste!

Making peanut butter is almost magical. Add them to a food processor, turn on and watch as the peanuts turn into crumbs, then a thick paste and finally smooth, shiny peanut butter.


Ingredients
2 cups (300 grams) unsalted shelled peanuts
1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, plus more as needed

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Add peanuts to a round or square cake pan (or rimmed baking sheet). Roast peanuts for 3 minutes, stir or shake pan then roast another 3 to 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned and smell nutty (careful, here, nuts can burn quickly). Let cool until you can handle them.

To make peanut butter, add roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Process another 2 to 3 minutes until peanut butter is shiny and smooth. Now, add desired amount of salt and honey and process until combined. (I usually use a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey, making the peanut butter slightly sweet). Check the consistency, I like to add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add oil as needed.

If you'd like crunchy peanut butter, lightly grind 1/2 cup peanuts and stir into the peanut butter.
Om nom nom nom nom!

Zoya :) 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Frosting

I know, I know, this title is extremely long, but I needed proper adjectives to describe how amazingly delicate, light, and soft these are. I got this recipe from, like Honor's chocolate chip cookies (here's mine, too), from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats For Kids by Jill O' Conner, titled "The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake Ever".

The cake itself tastes like clouds and absolutely melts in your mouth. It is so soft and moist that you wouldn't belive it. With sour cream / yogurt and baking powder plus blooming cocoa, you can't go wrong with this. And the frosting - don't ask. It, too, melts in the mouth and tastes like melted chocolate, almost like a truffle ganache.

Why are you staring at the screen? Go make yourself some cupcakes!



Ingredients
For the cake,
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

For the frosting,
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
1/2 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted


Directions
For the cake,
Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 medium-size 12-hole cupcake tins with paper liners. Set aside.

Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and stir in the boiling water to dissolve and make the cocoa "bloom." Whisk together until completely smooth. Let cool completely, and then whisk the sour cream into the cocoa mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric hand mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the cooled cocoa mixture and the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over the batter and fold in gently, using a rubber spatula, until the flour is completely combined into the batter.

Pour the batter into the cupcake trays. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 10-15 min. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

For the frosting,
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the semisweet and milk chocolate chips with the butter. Heat on high for 1 minute. Stir the mixture together. If the butter is not completely melted and the chocolate chips do not easily stir smooth, heat again at 15-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Using a hand mixer set at low speed beat in the sour cream, vanilla and salt. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.

To frost, scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or Ziploc bag fitted with a star tip. Frost swirls onto the tops. Serve.

Zoya :)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Urdu Drama 2014

I just got back from the school's Urdu Drama! I was in the choir and the dance. It was so awesome!

We had to hold diyas, small clay candles, and go onstage for the dance. Mine keps going out, but the crowd didn't notice. When we kneeled down, we were supposed to blow them out, but a girl called Rameen (the aklemand) and another girl forgot.

And the lights were so blindingly bright and they kept flashing them in different colors. They looked awesome and dramatic (and covered up our mistakes) but blinding. My eyes are still flashing!

The choir was good too. I didn't forget the song (that I had to memorize in ten minutes) and I think we sounded amazing. Our music teacher had composed it himself and six girls, including me, were singing it to his piano.

My dad was sitting in the front taking pictures and videos, clapping the entire time. My two cousins, my grandmother and my mother were there, too. One cousin looked like he was snoring :). I hate him!!

That's all for now. Honor is going to share with you an eleventh Honor Update on Monday, and I'll be back tomorrow with an amazing recipe.

Zoya ♥

Friday, 11 April 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies! Om nom nom nom nom!

I was going through my front-left brain (the one which is in control of all things food) last weekend while munching on Anusha's chocolate cookies (which were, of course, amazing) and thinking chocolate heaven.

Since I knew which recipe she used for the past six months, that is, since the time we became friends, I thought it would be meh because I hate Food Network. All their recipes are big flops. I tried a green velvet - disgusting. Sugar cookies - sour. And don't even get me started those horrible truffles. Which is why I didn't try these amazing cookies before.

I did make some tweaks to the original recipe, though, because it was a bit off. I suggest using Hershey's semi-sweet mini chocolate chips here, they taste AMAZING on these.


Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (can easily be reduced to 3/4 cup) cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and cream together with a hand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the creamed mixture and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once thoroughly chilled, roll the dough into 1-inch balls and slightly flatten. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned fron the bottom..
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
DEVOUR!!

Zoya :)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Chocolate Chip Caramel Brownies

Remember when I posted triple chocolate caramel brownies? I did mention Brown Eyed Baker.
Every Saturday, I decide which recipe to try for school on Monday. Last week I did those brownies, and this time I have these amazing tri-flavor (I don't know how ironic that is) chocolate chip cookie dough-topped caramel-drizzled brownies. You can leave out the caramel if you'd like, but I recommend that you keep this amazing caramel sauce - it gives a hint of creaminess!



Ingredients
For the brownies,
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, cold
1 cup all purpose flour

For the cookie dough,
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 tbsp milk
1 cup chocolate chips
*Note: this does not contain eggs, it is safe to eat raw.

Caramel sauce (optional, recipe here)

Directions
For the brownies,
Preheat your oven to 350°C, 180°F. Line a 9 × 13" pan with foil and grease.
In a large bowl over a pan with about an inch of boiling water, combine the butter, sugar, salt and cocoa. It'll probably look gritty, but don't worry. Take it off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Fold in the flour, 45 strokes. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Let cool completely.

For the cookie dough,
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and milk. Beat for a minute. Add the flour and salt and fold in the chocolate chips.

Assembly,
Spread the cookie dough evenly on the cooled uncut brownies. Spread a thin layer of caramel sauce if desired or drizzle it on. Freeze for 10 minutes and cut into squares. Om nom nom nom nom!

Zoya♥

Friday, 4 April 2014

Funny Stuff on Google+!

I haven't posted here for quite a while, but I have on Google+! And quite funny stuff, for that matter! ;)

Hehe, this is the best thing I've seen in months!
















Harry Potter RULES! (Luna is THE BEST.)

Some stuff for best friends, quotes! From me to her...
"A best friend is like a four leaf clover - hard to find, lucky to have."












Then she sent me these (I'm the tall one, 5 ft 3 1/2')























And the funniest one I posted... ZELDA BIRTHDAY GAME!

OK, I'm obsessed with Zelda. So, on the Zelda Facebook fanpage, I found this! LOL... what did you get? Mine is 'confessed your love for Link' XD


Month
January: Married to
Februrary: Hunted down by
March: Punched
April: Went on an adventure with
May: Fell in love with
June: Had an epic battle with
July: Gave everything you owned to
August: Created clones of
September: Was killed by
October: Mortal enemies with
November: Confessed your love for
December: Bombed/ Killed

Day
1st- Zelda
2nd- Impa
3rd- Princess Ruto
4th- Malon
5th- Navi
6th- Ganondorf
7th- a goron
8th- Happy Mask Salesman
9th- Ingo
10th- Skull Kid
11th- Groose
12th- Zant
13th- Giraham
14th- Link (I have good luck!)
15th- Kaepora Gaebora (the evil owl)
16th- a Zora
17th- Tingle
18th- Midna
19th- Fledge
20th- Fi
21st- Saria
22nd- a Moblin
23rd- The Deku Tree
24th- Makar
25th- Medli
26th- Error
27th- Anju/ Cuckoo Lady
28th- Tatl
29th- Tael
30th- Majora
31st- Epona

HA HA HA HA HA! Leave me a comment stating what you got!

Zoya:)