Pistachio cake

  • Ingredients

  •                      Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 3                   cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4             cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4                cup cream cheese, room tempreture
  • 1                   cup shelled pistachio, ground to a paste in a food processor
  • 3                   cups sugar
  • 6                   large eggs, room tempreture
  • 2                   tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4                cup coarsely chopped salted pistachios

Dripping Icing

  • 3/4                cup whipping cream
  • 1                   cup icing sugar
  • 1                   tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2             cups unsalted  pistachio slivers


  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Coat two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans with cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and pistachio paste until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium-low.  Gradually add sugar, beat until smooth.  Scrape down side of bowl.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt; beat until just combined.
  5. Fold in chopped pistachios
  6. Divide batter among pans, smooth tops.  Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean about 1hr 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool in pans 20 minutes.  Unmould, and remove parchment. Let cool. Cakes can be wrapped well in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 1day.
  8. Drizzle cakes with icing. And sprinkle with pistachio slivers.

    Nadeen’s Wedding

    Nadeen’s wedding took place in London on the 21st September 2013. The family started coming in from the 14th. We did a lot of preparing from then on.

    Sunday September 15th we had a lunch shower for the bride at a pub in Tedley, England. The food
    was delicious. I had lamb steak with mashed potatoes. They also served Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding.
    For dessert we had
    Eton mess and Summer Pudding. 
    In the evening we all set around and made the party  Favours.  The Party favours consisted of almond covered candies.


    On Wednesday the Marquee was put up and we had a dinner for the groom’s family, who had come from Ireland.
    For dinner we had:- 

    • Shrimp Cocktail 
    • Beef Bourgania with mashed potatoes 
    • Eton mess

                                                                     Shrimp Cocktail


    • Thursday for the Mandavo we had 
    • Dokari 
    • Bhel Puri 
    • Samosa  
    • Carrot Halwa
    • Vagarala Chana 
    • Lamb Biriyani 
    • Apple and Plum Crumble with whipping cream 
    • Baklava 

    Dokari 1


    Friday for dinner we had:- 


    Chicken Curry and Rice 

    and the left over Biriyani from Thursday. 

    These are the handkerchiefs the bride gave to her parents on e wedding day.


    Saturday the wedding was at Trunkwell Mansion House and the ceremony started at 1.30 pm. This was followed by Cocktails, Champagne and Sherbet in the Garden.

    The original Trunkwell House dates back to 1190 but was pulled down and rebuilt in 1878. The house is evident in the early records of Beech Hill. In 1881 the Census revealed that Trunkwell was a small village in itself. Even today it stands in 34 acres of beautiful Berkshire countryside.

    Trunkwell was also well known in the area for breeding race horses. The most famous horse to come from the Trunkwell stables was the winner of The Oaks in the 1880’s.

    In 1937 the Udall family bought Trunkwell House and its beautiful grounds. During the Second World War the house was opened up to evacuees to provide shelter and safety. The house was a family home until the son of the owner converted the house into a hotel.

    Trunkwell House from the front


    For Cocktails we had:-

    • Chicken and vegetable samosa 
    • Paneer tikka 
    • Chilli Paneer 
    • Alo Tikki 
    • Roast Beef in Yorkshire 
    • Salmon pate on a pancake

    This was followed by a wedding Breakfast in the marquee. Breakfast was a three course meal served.

    • Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart
      with Fresh Thyme set on a Herbed
      Salad with Grain Mustard dressing
    • Chicken with Honey Lemon and
    • Rosemary and Sea Salt
      Roasted New Potatoes, 
    • Snow peas
      And Lemon Butter Sauce
    •                          Or
    • Roasted, aged, prime Beef Fillet 
    • Dauphinoise Potatoes, 
    • Honey Roast Baby Carrots
      And a Light peppercorn Jus
    •                           Or
    • Wild Mushroom Risotto with
      Asparagus and Rocket Salad 
    • Finished with Parmesan
      Cream and Chives
    • Dessert
    • Vanilla and white chocolate
      Box with Raspberry and
      Shortcake Centre
    • Coffee and Tea

    There was dancing after dinner.

    The cake was made by my sister, the Bride’s mother. It was a 3 tier cake, the bottom was fruit cake,
    The middle was vanilla sponge cake and the top was a lemon drizzle cake.
    The flowers (roses) were made with Sugar paste .


    Around 10.30 we had a midnight snack which consisted of:-

    • Lamb on th spit
    • Salads
    • Rolls
    • Sweet meats
    • Wedding cake

    20130928-173525.jpg 20130927-081912.jpg


    On Sunday we had a lunch for the family and served 

    • Salads 
    • Salmon 
    • Chicken Tikka 
    • Left over roast lamb from the wedding 
    • Fruit Crumble 
    • Cheese and Crakers 


    Idd ul Fitr marks the end of Ramdhan, the holy month of fasting  Idd is an Arabic word meaning “festivity and Fitr means “breaking the fast”  This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.

    The common  Arabic greeting on Idd is Idd Mubarak(blessed Idd).  In addition many countries have their own greetings in local language. Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences with others or animosities that may have occurred during the year.

    As an obligatory act of charity, money is paid to the poor and the needy   No person should go hungry 

    The Idd prayer is performed in congregation . After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.

    .Idd gifts, known as Iddi, are given on  Idd to children and immediate relatives.


    Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. The fast  begins at dawn and ends at sunset.  The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.

    As a child I remember my mother and grandmother making (Mithias (sweet meats), chevro and ganthis in the last week of ramadan.  All the relatives and friends got a plate of mithia.  We also got new clothes to wear on Idd.

    On the day, after namaz we visited our elders where gift of money was given  to every person who walked through the door. Gifts of clothes and jewellery were given to close family members.  Sherbat (sweet milk with almonds and takmaria (basil seeds) was offered  as you entered the house.  We had a family lunch and the children either went shopping with the money they had collected or went to the movies and the elders would stay at home and socialize.  

    This year the Idd falls on Sunday Aug. 19.  We will have Idd Namaz in all Jamat Khanas and lunch will be served in Khana.

    I have made Badam (almond) Pak, Coconut Barfi and  Kajoo (cashew) Barfi

    Aug 19 009

    I  will celebrate Idd with my Family and we will have a BBQ.

    My menu is:

    • Vegetable platter,  Hummus, Baba Ganoush and Pita Bread, Curry Pyhllo Pastry

    Aug 19 014Aug 19 015





    • Chicken Tikka
    • Curried Corn
    • Spicy potatoes
    • Mango and Papaya  Salad
    • Tamarind Chutney and Riata

    Chicken Tika BBQ 2  Curried Corn

    Mango & Papaya salad

    • Muskaki (Beef cubes marinated and BBQ
    • Curried Corn
    • Spicy potatoes
    • Mango and Papaya  Salad
    • Tamarind Chutney and Riata
    • Fruit Salad
    • Mocha Ice Cream Brownie Bombe
    • Watermelon Cocktail

    Aug 19 016 Fruit Salad

    Water Melon Cocktail 1