Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 4, Tuesday, January 26, 2009


late night nibblers

Dearest diary,
Thyroid, smyroid! I have finally found out the reason for my puppy fat turning into adolescent bulk to plain old middle-aged muffin top girth. Midnight binges. The other day while watching TV, I came across a cookery show where they were showing how to make midnight snacks. And presto! There I was, my "AHA" moment dawning on me. My present voluminous, curvy figure was actually all due to my mid-night adventures in the kitchen.

My midnight trysts started from my teen years. There was this "Mollah's" little shop at the end of our street, whom I must have made into a millionaire just by consuming his 'orange crème' and the bright pink plastic wrapped 'glucose' biscuits.

The combination of Enid Blyton's boarding school adventures with these biscuits, sometimes dunked in tea was worth giving up those furtive phone conversations with the neighbourhood Romeo. Moving on... now when people talk about having sun-dried tomatoes on their pizzas as something so...so...gourmet, I have a little smirk on my face which translates to, not only did I have sun-dried, organic tomatoes all my teen years just by plucking it from the veggie patches of our garden, I also had them when they were drenched in moon light. When hunger pangs came knocking, the sun or the moon made no difference. Biting into their warm fleshy skin with a dash of salt was all it took, to go...yum!

I was like the Cookie Monster and Bugs Bunny rolled into one.

Then in my twenties, when I had the freedom to do my own groceries, I graduated to Diet Cokes and Lays Classic Potato chips as my staple midnight menu. During the day while I was busy with household and baby chores, night time rendezvous with all the saturated-fat goodies became my best friend. My 'ME' time became my comfort food time.

Then in my thirties, half eaten burgers and cold pizzas, which my son didn't finish, became my late night dates. Actually by then I was double dating. Food on one side, and Sidney Sheldon and Jeffery Archer on another. And believe you me, I won't be telling a lie if I say I did not share any of the food with them ever. Hyuk! Hyuk!

Luckily my thyroid thing happened in my forties and I could happily blame all my accumulated fat and figure on the disease. Can't say I fooled anybody much with my new found knowledge, but the good people that I hang around with humoured me and played along with my who-are-you-kidding game. Only my friend Asif, who knows me sometimes more than I know myself, would ask, what interesting goodies did I now have stashed in my secret drawer. Shhhh!

Now, with all this new trend of size zero, eating junk seems to be going out of fashion. And my poor husband, who still thinks if he eats less I am going to get thin. With age catching up and such boring people around me, I think I just might have to reassess my eating habits.

Bottom line is, once in a while you can give into your cravings and try one of my recipes. So diary, have a good day the Sam Q. way!

Model: Sabina Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to Samina Quasem for arranging the photoshoot

Instant bread pizzas
10 slices of bread (half toasted)
For instant sauce: (mix together)
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cheese spread
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp chili sauce
Salt to taste
Fresh or dried herbs or oregano (optional)
For the topping: (Mix together)
Cheese, grated as required
Onions, a few slices
Tomatoes, a few slices
Olives, a few slices
Olives, sliced (optional)
Capsicums, a few slices
Spread the instant sauce over the half-toasted bread slices. Top with grated cheese, capsicum, tomatoes, onions and olives. Bake at 250ºC for 3-4 minutes or microwave for 1 minute or till cheese melts.

Stuffed sausages
4 sausages and 4 slices of chicken salami
2 oz of Cheddar cheese, grated
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 ounces of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil sausages and set aside. Sauté onions in butter till light golden.
Now cut the sausages in the middle till half split. Stuff the sautéed onions and grated cheese in the middle. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Now wrap the salami pieces around the sausage. Seal with a toothpick and fry them in the pan where the onions have been sautéed.
Make sure you remember to remove the toothpick while eating.

Watermelon salad with mint and lime dressing
8-10 cups of seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup mint leaves, shredded
1/2 cup local cheese, crumbled
In a bowl, toss together all ingredients except cheese. Chill for 1/2 an hour and sprinkle with cheese before eating.

Midnight delight
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 cups of boiling milk
2-3 tbsp of fresh cream
Sprigs of mint leaves
Pour the boiling milk in the blender, along with the chocolate chips, sugar, egg, salt and blend well.
Pour in small cups. Cool or chill for some time. Top with fresh cream and fresh sprigs of mint.

Banana French toast
8 slices of bread
2 medium bananas, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp vanilla essence
Powdered sugar or icing sugar (optional)
Heat oven to 350ºC
Place four slices of bread in a single layer in a buttered 9 inch square baking dish. Top with bananas and the rest of the 4 slices of bread. Blend milk, cream cheese, sugar, flour and essence in a blender until smooth. Pour over bread. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Bake till top is toasted. Cut toast diagonally. Dust with icing sugar if desired.


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