Eggy Avocado Toast

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Avocados are the best thing that’s happened to food since bread. Once a very California thing has made it’s way over to the East Coast and we’re loving it. Salads, sandwiches, eggs, pastas…you name it, I’ll add avocado to it. So when Sunday rolled around and I wanted something brunchy, but not too heavy, I upped the avocado toast game.

Nothing spells Sunday like poached eggs. You know, like brunch-style eggs benedict poached eggs that complete my Sundays. In the past, I left egg-poaching to the experts, top brunch spots in DC. Not to say I hadn’t tried poaching eggs. I tried. I went through cartons of eggs only to fail miserably at the whole getting the egg and the eggwhite to stay together. So I gave up for a while…Until recently when I found this video for poaching eggs in a strainer. It sounds odd, but I tested it. Take my word for it. I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried and remember, I’m the girl who wasted at least two cartons of eggs trying to get an edible poached egg.

Thank you Health Magazine and Food & Wine for teaching me how to poach an egg!,00.htmlhootPostID=b86c8e403c3ff572604c0bd0b1c5d374



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Eggy Avocado Toast
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  1. A couple thick slices of your favorite bread
  2. 1 Avocado
  3. 2 Eggs
  4. 1 tablespoon Butter
  5. 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  6. Salt, to taste
  1. In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 1 minute
  2. Add the sliced bread, flipping once – toast on both sides
  3. Remove from heat
  4. In a small bowl, smash the avocado and add salt to taste
  5. Poach two eggs
  6. Spread the avocado mixture on the toast
  7. Top with poached eggs (watch the video)
  8. Serve warm
Measuring Cups, Optional

Pistachio Cheesecake

Pistachio Cheesecake

I gifted myself a Kitchen Aid mixer for Eid this year during Amazon Prime Day – the sale everyone wasn’t very happy about. I know, a food blogger without a Kitchen Aid, how did I even survive? Can you imagine what it was like mixing everything by hand! It was rough.

The Kitchen Aid is a game changer.

If you don’t have one, I want you to know from personal experience that you are only making more work on yourself. I cannot tell you how much more satisfaction I got from watching the mixer do all the work. Let me reiterate – Game Changer.

Now that I have my Kitchen Aid, there are endless dessert possibilities. And with my love for pistachio-flavored-pretty-much-everything, the mixer will prove well worth the investment.

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Pistachio Cheesecake
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  2. 9 Honey Graham Crackers
  3. ½ stick Salted Butter, melted
  5. 6 Packages 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
  6. 5 Eggs
  7. 2 packages Pistachio Pudding Mix
  8. 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. FOR THE CRUST: Crush the graham crackers in the food processor until fine
  3. Mix together the melted butter with the graham crackers
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of your springform pan
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Remove from oven
  7. FOR THE FILLING: Mix together cream cheese, pistachio mix, and condensed milk on medium speed until fluffy
  8. Add the eggs and mix on low speed until combined
  9. Pour the filling into the springform pan
  10. Bake for 55 minutes
  11. Turn the oven off, keeping the pan inside
  12. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours, until completely cool
  13. Keeping the cheesecake in the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight
Measuring Cups, Optional

Old Bay Shrimp Boil

Shrimp Boil

Writer’s block. You’d think being a Communications Specialist would mean that words come easy to me all the time. Yes, I can express myself so much better through writing—because there’s that added benefit of proofing and editing your work—But some days I hit a serious writer’s block. It’s the worst. Namely when I’m trying to post my latest and greatest new recipe and nothing comes to mind. Nothing.

The writer’s block was so bad, I even considered delving into the latest dramas of my personal life. However, when I started Measuring Cups, Optional, I promised myself I wouldn’t turn my food blog into my own personal diary. I do like to share little glimpses into my everyday non-food-related life, but I would hate to bore my loyal followers with all the other nonsense.

So because I wanted to post my Old Bay Shrimp Boil so badly I couldn’t wait, today’s post is about writer’s block.

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Old Bay Shrimp Boil
Serves 6
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  1. 1-2 lbs Raw Shrimp, peeled
  2. ½ Medium Onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  4. 5-6 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  5. 6 Corn Stalks, halved
  6. 2 Packages Smokes Sausage, cut into 1 inch slices
  7. 2 lbs Small Red Potatoes, halved
  8. 3 Lemons, halved
  9. 1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  10. Salt, to taste
  1. Add 5 quarts water to a large pot
  2. Mix in Old Bay, Cayenne pepper, onions, garlic and salt
  3. Bring the water to a boil
  4. Squeeze the lemon halves into the water and drop the rest of the lemons in, then bring back to a boil
  5. Add the corn and potatoes and bring back to a boil
  6. Add sausage and bring back to a boil for about 20 minutes
  7. Check the potatoes regularly to make sure they’re softening
  8. Add shrimp and boil for another 10 minutes
  9. Strain, season with additional Old Bay and serve warm
Measuring Cups, Optional

Pistachio Cake with Rosewater Buttercream Frosting

Pistachio Cake

Summer is birthday season. At least that’s the way it’s played out in our household. From April through the end of August, we knock out all the major birthdays and some. As much as I love to experiment with cakes and coming up with these extravgant decorating ideas, the follow-through doesn’t always live up to my expectations. Something about me frosting cakes just doesn’t add up. I was going for the Naked Cake look — that is, only frosting the top and layers in between. Well, you can see what really happened with that experiment. 

I considered getting raw pistachios and grinding them up then turning them into some sort of paste or powder for this cake recipe. But I’m not all about that life. I could be, if I had more time. But quiet frankly, sometimes when there are shortcuts when cooking, I’m all about taking them (within reason, obviously). So how did I get an intense pistachio flavor in my cake? Pistachio pudding mix. Yes, it exists and it’s pretty amazing.

As I was browsing the baking aisle, I found pistachio pudding mix. I picked up a box and almost walked away when I doubled back to get two more boxes – just incase I decided I wanted to experiment with more pistachio-flavored goodies. So be prepared, my loyal followers, for more pistachio recipes to come!

If you really want to be lazy, you could pick up a box of white cake mix, add the pudding mix and call it a day. But why wouldn’t you just make cake from scratch? It always tastes so much better. 

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Pistachio Cake with Rosewater Buttercream Frosting
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  2. 1 box Pistachio Pudding Mix
  3. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  4. 2 cups granulated sugar
  5. 4 eggs, room temperature
  6. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. ¼ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 cup Milk
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  13. 1 lb Confectioner’s sugar
  14. ¼ teaspoon Rose Water (found at your local middle eastern store – not to be confused with Orange blossom Water)
  15. Heavy Whipping Cream
  16. Food coloring, for the pink color
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, pudding mix, salt, baking powder and butter in a large bowl
  3. Add eggs, milk and vanilla extract, beat together until mixed well
  4. Pour the mixture into two greased baking pans
  5. Bake 40 mins on 350
  6. Allow to cool before frosting
  8. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a cup of confectioner’s sugar, add the rest of the sugar slowly
  9. Add heavy whipping cream and continue to beat until fluffy
  10. Add rose water and continue beating until the frosting is fluffy
Measuring Cups, Optional

Karawya [Sweet Caraway Pudding]


My coworker’s wife just had a baby. Everyone in the office had been counting down, waiting for their precious bundle of joy to arrive. A few months ago, we combined his birthday desk decorations with a guessing game of whether they’d be having a boy or a girl – complete with a chalkboard tally. When we found out they were having a girl, everyone had some advice to give. As a father, I can only imagine the excitement and some of the fear of having a daughter. As a mother, I’m positive his wife was ecstatic to have a mini-me. I have to say, she is the most adorable little nugget. Their lives changed overnight and in the most incredible way.

As a matter of Arab tradition, when a baby is born, the family holds a Mubraka where friends and family come over to visit the mother and new baby. I’ve seen very small gatherings, and very large gatherings. It’s a way to meet the new baby and wish well for the family. A special dessert is served called Karawya كراوية. The reason they serve karawya is pretty good, actually. Despite it being a dessert, it has nutrients and energy that are supposed to be good for a nursing mother.

I never liked Karawya, I admit it. I did, however, like to eat all the mixed nuts and sweetened shredded coconut off the top and give back the rest. So I’d go to these Mubarakas with my mom, they’d hand me my single-serving dish of Karawya, I’d eat off all the toppings and hand it back. I think when I was younger, it was a little more accepted. I remember one woman made a comment that it was alright that I didn’t like it because I was still young – I’m still trying to decipher that particular statement.

Of course, I couldn’t miss meeting the new baby. And being the traditionalist that I am, in some aspects, I took some Karawyawith me, my tayta’s recipe. Please note, the measurements are Tayta’s measurements. [Read Turkish coffee cups as: literally fill a Turkish coffee cup with the ingredient.]




Karawya [Sweet Caraway Pudding]
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  1. 1 cup Rice Flour
  2. 2 Turkish Coffee cups Ground Caraway
  3. 2 Turkish Coffee cups Granulated Sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  5. 6 cups Water
  6. Crushed Unsalted Pistachios
  7. Chopped Unsalted Walnuts
  8. Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  9. Slices Unsalted Almonds
  10. Raw Pine Nuts
  1. Add water to a medium sized pot over high heat
  2. Add the rice flour, sugar, caraway, and cinnamon
  3. Begin stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon
  4. You must stir the mixture constantly until it boils, if you don't, the bottom of the pan will burn
  5. Continue stirring until the mixture is boiling
  6. You'll notice the consistency thickening
  7. Allow the mixture to boil for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat, while continuing to stir
  8. Pour the Karawya into small glasses for individual servings, or one medium dish
  9. Allow the Karawya to cool, then cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
  10. Top the Karawya with crushed pistachios, sliced almonds, shredded coconut, pine nuts and crushed walnuts before serving
Measuring Cups, Optional

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pops

Strawberry Yogurt Pops

My new obsession is popsicles. It’s been so hot around here, I’ve been craving ice cream and frozen yogurt like crazy. But lately, I’ve been dreaming about making my own popsicles. There are so many flavors and variations from fruit and yogurt pops to lemonade-based pops to boozy pops. The possibilities are endless.

Last weekend I was out at Tysons Corner having dinner with a friend and, of course, took the opportunity to swing by one of my favorite stores, Williams Sonoma. They were having a special sale on popsicle molds. I’m telling you, there were so many so choose from including a brand called Zoku that makes these instant freeze popsicles. Although I wanted to buy all the molds – and essentially the entire store because the gadgets section is my absolute favorite (I mean, of course I need a tea bag squeezer. How did I survive all this time without one! Oh yea, I would wrap the teabag string around the spoon and pull)- ultimately, I ended up with the classic molds that hold about 8 pieces.

What kind of popsicles had I been craving? Something with yogurt and fruit. Like I said, the possibilities are pretty much endless.


Strawberry Yogurt Pops_2

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pops
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  1. 3 cups Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  2. ½ cup Sliced Strawberries
  3. ¼ cup Honey, add more for additional sweetness
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt and honey until smooth
  2. Evenly distribute the strawberry slices in each popsicle mold
  3. Pour the greek yogurt-honey mix into each mold, making sure to use a spoon to push the mixture all the way into the bottom of the mold
  4. Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze overnight (at least 8 hours)
Measuring Cups, Optional

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