DIY Homemade S’mores

السلام عليكم

May Peace Be Upon You.

Table of Contents (Click to Skip to Each Section):
1. The Story
2. The Visuals
3. The Recipes
4. The Video

The Story

S'mores - 1.2

We all know that food doesn’t always look perfect.

Tell me about it. This was the first time I made s’mores. Wait, you’ve never heard of one? Boy, are you in for a treat. A s’more is this gloriously yummy dessert of roasted marshmallows that is topped with melted chocolate, all of which is smacked between the goodness of two graham crackers. Basically, it’s a graham cracker sandwich with ooey gooey marshmallows and the most addictive ingredient in the world (of course). Don’t tell me you’re not craving a s’more right now.

Where does the name come from? It comes from the contraction “some more”. If you say it really fast, it sounds like “s’more”. The word “s’more” probably came into existence after people used the term so much. So there’s today’s history lesson out of the way. Now, a s’more is the epitome of nighttime camping out in the wilderness. You would have your tent, your flashlight, your warm fire, your ghost stories, your fireflies, and of course, your ooey gooey s’mores. But since I didn’t have that nostalgic camping experience to go by, I decided to make my own s’mores for once. Here’s how it went down:

Two Sainsbury’s Basics digestive biscuits.

Two Sainsbury’s Basics digestive biscuits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One night, as I was hungry for dessert and needed a quick fix, I realized that we had all the ingredients needed to make s’mores. So I gave it a go. For the graham crackers, we had some Digestive Biscuits lying around so I used those. They’re not really graham crackers, but I didn’t mind half as much. My s’more craving had gotten that bad. I also had a pack of Halal Bebeto-brand marshmallows which were matcha green tea-flavoured. Please don’t ask me why I used that flavour for s’mores, but as the marshmallows were halal since they were made with Islamically-slaughtered beef gelatin, I used ‘em too. And for the chocolate, Hershey’s Chipits i.e chocolate chips came to the rescue. They also doubled as emergency chocolate rations when someone needed a pick-me-up (ahem). As you can see, improvisation was the order of the day.

To assemble a s’more, I worked my way from the bottom of the sandwich to the top. First, I put one digestive biscuit down on my toaster oven tray [I'll talk about the toaster oven in a bit]. This digestive biscuit would be the bottom of the s’more. Then, on top of the biscuit, I put two marshmallows next to each other. Fluffy little pillows, they were. Now traditionally, you would roast your marshmallows on a stick to get that roasted puffed-up beauty. Since I didn’t have a crackling fire at my disposal, I used my toaster oven instead to roast the marshmallows. The idea was that if the toaster oven was on the ‘toast’ setting for about 2 minutes, the marshmallows would puff up to nearly double their size, toast evenly and not burn to a crisp. And Alhamdulillah, that is exactly what happened. But I should warn you, if you try this at home, be careful to watch the marshmallows closely so they don’t toast too much and burn to smithereens. I mean, you wouldn’t want to burn your campfire dessert dream down at a time like this, would you?

A toaster oven

A toaster oven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the s’more bottoms got toasted for 2 minutes in the toaster oven. Now, this is when I had to work real quick and careful. When I carefully took the s’more bottoms out of the toaster oven, the digestive biscuits that I used went crumbly and broke easily. Look at the picture at the top of the post for reference. As you can see, the biscuit started snapping in pieces. But still, they managed to hold their stuff together, so I surged forward with Operation Quick Fix. Working quickly, I strategically put a few chocolate chips on and around the warm puffed-up marshmallows, in spaces where they would stay put and not fall down. This is so that the chocolate would melt a bit from the marshmallows’ warmth and become ooey gooey just like the marshmallows. Finally, I put another digestive biscuit on top to complete the sandwich and pressed the tops down a bit, so that the sandwich would stick together and wouldn’t fall apart.

Phew, it sounds like a bit of work for just one delicious bite of summer flashbacks.

But it was pretty much worth it, don’t you think?

S'mores - 2.1

Here’s the third time that I attempted s’mores, when I had enough time for a picture. I’d say that it was a great improvement compared to the first time I made s’mores. The biscuits didn’t crumble as much and the s’mores as looked as cute as a button. Plus, they tasted awesome. Just goes to show, marshmallows and chocolate can fix just about everything.

SuccessVerdict - 4.2

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The Visuals

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Here’s a visual that I made to help you assemble a homemade s’more. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so take a look.

Smore Diagram - 25

Of course, I kept the above visual really simple. But this visual sponsored by REI (a camping gear company) – my oh my, it has everything you’ve ever wanted to know about s’mores. From its history, technique, ember science, variety, the eternal question, and a survivor checklist – this inforgraphic has you covered on all things s’mores. Click on the infographic to take a closer look.

Here’s another cool s’mores infographic made by belancio, who is part of web’s largest information design communityVisually . The one includes 9 variations on s’mores (which weren’t included in the above visual), the 10 common techniques used for roasting marshmallows, and a brief history on those fluffy pillows.

Click on the infographic to take a closer look.


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The Recipes

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Check out AllRecipes’ (Homemade) S’mores Recipe:

*Note: The first left-hand review in the recipe (commented by IRONCHEF25) details how to make s’mores in an oven.


Anyways, here are the various ways you can roast the marshmallows:

By Campfire: There are two contributing factors to how your marshmallow will melt and get roasted. Firstly, according to REI‘s inforgraphic, you can use 2 kinds of campfire heat sources: 1) Glowing embers, which “will heat the marshmallow throughout for a hot creamy texture, sealed with a light brown crust”, or 2) A young dancing flame, which will “quickly sear the marshmallow coating, keeping the interior cool and firm”. Keeping the flame types in mind, there’s also a marshmallow roasting scale that you can follow, which is similar to a steak searing scale, in that it depends on the amount of time the marshmallow is roasted and on campfire temperature. For a rare interior, roast the marshmallow for 1 minute. Medium-rare will take approximately 2.5 minutes, medium will be achieved at 3 minutes, well-done at 4 minutes, ‘blackened’ at 4.2 minutes, and ‘aflame’ at 4.3 minutes. Take a look at REI‘s inforgraphic (the grey one) for a visual graph.

By Oven: Set the oven temperature at 400 F. Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered oven tray. Put 4 square pieces of a chocolate bar (or 4-5 chocolate chips) on top of the graham crackers. Then, put one round marshmallow (or 2 square marshmallows) on top of the chocolate. Put the prepped oven tray into the oven, and keep a close watch on the marshmallows and chocolate for about 2 minutes. You want the marshmallow to double in size and get nice brown toast spots, and you want the chocolate to be melted but not burnt. When this has been accomplished, quickly take the oven tray out and top with the remaining graham crackers (1 per person) and press down slightly. ome of the s’more interior may ooze out, but that’s okay. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, or until cool enough to bite into without getting burnt.

By Gas Stove Flame: Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered tray. Put 4 square pieces of a chocolate bar (or 4-5 chocolate chips) on top of the graham crackers. To roast a marshmallow, stick the tine ends of a fork into marshmallow for support. Turn on your gas flame to low, and hold marshmallow about 1 inch over the gas burner flames. Follow the ‘by campfire’ marshmallow roasting technique from the beginning, as detailed above.

By Toaster Oven: Prep the s’mores by putting graham crackers (one per person) onto an parchment-covered toaster oven tray. Then put one round marshmallow (or 2 square marshmallows) on top of the graham cracker. Put the prepped toaster oven tray into the toaster oven, and set the toaster oven to ‘toast’ for 2 minutes. Keep a close watch on the marshmallows: you want the marshmallow to double in size and get nice brown toast spots. When this has been accomplished, quickly take the toaster oven tray out and strategically put 4 square pieces of chocolate, roughly chopped (or 4-5 chocolate chips) around the roasted marshmallows. Quickly top with the remaining graham crackers (1 per person) and press down slightly. Some of the s’more interior may ooze out, but that’s okay. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, or until cool enough to bite into without getting burnt.

By Microwave: Follow this great wikihow article:

By Candle: Candle wax may transfer a waxy flavour to the marshmallows, so this method is not recommended.

By Barbecue: Coming soon.

By Lighter: Coming soon.

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The Video

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 Related articles

Homemade Pizza

السلام عليكم

May Peace Be Upon You.

Homemade Pizza

Ahhh. Homemade Pizza. Can anything ever beat it?

Pizza CloseUp

When my siblings and I were young, my mom used to make homemade pizzas very often. We loved to help my mom spread the tomato sauce, pile loads and loads of cheese, choose the toppings, and watch the pizza bake while keeping our excitement contained – let alone finally eating the freshly baked pizza! As any children who were fortunate enough to grow up eating pizza, my siblings and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Finally, it was my turn to go through the ropes of learning to make pizza dough. We just had some jars of tomato pasta sauce hanging out in the refrigerator, and instead of  having to scoop out a bacteria party in the pasta sauce, I suddenly thought of making pizza with it. I mean, pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce on a pizza. Why not? (Though if you are going to do that, make sure you use pasta sauce that is more chunky than it is watery. You don’t want to soak your crispy pizza dough in tomato water, now, do you?)

Pizza Dough Ready

So the seemingly difficult part – making the dough – wasn’t that hard, because Allrecipe’s Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust recipe and its video made my first pizza dough experience less daunting.  The yeast had to mixed into water and brown sugar for 10 minutes to become all nice and frothy – your kitchen would smell like yummy bread from this. Then you had to mix all the wet ingredients of the dough together. This is so you could mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients’ mixture, which is what you did next. You then mixed the dough together with your hands (feeling like a pro pizza meister already?), first in the bowl and then on a lightly-floured surface. This kneading would get the dough’s gluten going (gluten is what would let you stretch that dough into a circle). You’d roll the dough into a ball, and would oil the dough and a bowl down. The dough would then be put into the oiled bowl. Putting the dough aside would make sure that the dough would rise nicely for that airy and slightly chewy dough you were looking for. Then you covered the bowl with a towel so that while the pizza dough rose, the dough wouldn’t dry out on you. Not that bad, huh?

Pizza Dough Rolled Out

Well, rolling out pizza dough was harder than I thought, because making a perfect circle takes some, oh I don’t know, years of experience? My mom makes plenty of roti every single day (an Indian flatbread), and I thought that all dough naturally wanted to be a circle when it grew up. Not a Patrick Star like the other half of my pizza dough wanted to be. Oh well. Patrick Star Pizza it was.

For cheese, I stuck with only Mozzarella cheese for that ooey-gooey cheese factor, but you can use any other meltable cheese(s) (there’s Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc. etc.).

One note here: If you’re Muslim, make sure that the cheese you use does not have rennet used as an ingredient. Why? I’ll talk more about it later in detail, but rennet is a natural stomach thingy found on the inside stomach lining of a cow’s stomach. It helps divide the curds and whey (that are in milk) during the cheese-making prcoess. To have access to the rennet though, you must slaughter a cow (I mean, you can’t just stick your hand in the cow’s stomach). Most likely the cow that the rennet was obtained from wasn’t slaughtered Islamically, making it impermissible eat cheese that has non-Halal rennet in it. So long story short, try to find cheese that has bacterial culture and microbial enzymes (i.e natural bacterias) listed as an ingredient instead. I personally love to use Canada’s Saputo mozzarella cheese.

2013-03-16 20.37.11 - 2

Other toppings? Olives, fresh round slices of tomatoes, bell peppers, pre-cooked meat (sausage, ground beef, chicken strips), hot pepper rings, onions, pineapple, anchovies – whatever you fancy. Just go for it, tiger. Pizza toppings are really up to you (and whatever’s in your fridge, for that matter). 

About Toppings: I’ve read if you put too many moist toppings before baking, your pizza dough might end up a bit soggy and raw in the center of the pizza. I learned this from experience too. To prevent a soggy pizza, you could either:
1) curb your need to host Pizza Topping Overload Night, or
2) you could pre-bake the pizza dough for about 10-15 minutes (meaning, bake your pizza dough before you put your toppings on, so it gets a head-start and doesn’t turn to mush midway during your look-how-far-my-slice’s-cheese-is-stretching moment). If after pre-baking, your pizza is starting to brown too quickly, just lower the temperature to say, 150 degrees Farenheit, and cook it for a bit longer to make sure it any sogginess dries up from the pizza. I didn’t do this step at all at my first attempt, and I did find the center of both the pizzas I made a bit soggy. Luckily, we ate it all up before it could get any soggier.

So here’s the making of homemade pizza, in pictures:

Homemade Pizza Collage
Click on these thumbnails to see these shots really up close (they might take a while to load):

Collage1.2   |   Collage2   |   Collage3


The Recipe:

The Videos:

The Visuals: EMW’s Making of Homemade Pizza, + closeups #1, 2, 3


  • My pizza didn’t rise much in the bowl: More on this later
  • Why is my dough not rolling into a circle?: Trust me, this takes some time to get right. Try to start from the centre of the dough and roll straight out on one side, and then keep turning your dough clockwise or counter-clockwise until all the sides look equal. Eventually you’ll get your circle just right, every time :)
  • My pizza was kinda soggy in the middle after I baked it: If you’ve put too many toppings on your pizza, this can happen. Try to pre-bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, then take it out to put your toppings, then continue baking until the pizza is done. If the pizza is browning too much after you’ve put on the toppings, lower the oven temperature to around 150 degrees Farenheit and cook for a bit longer. Keep an eye on the pizza and take it out when it all looks nice, bright, and dry.

So as they say in Italian, Buon Appetito!

Say Bismillah and dig in!~

وعليكم السلام

And May Peace Be Upon You.


Banana Bread.

السلام عليكم

May Peace Be Upon You.

Banana Bread

So I didn’t know that February 23rd was National Banana Bread Day in the United States. Oh, you didn’t either? I also didn’t know that one day later, I would be making banana bread. Oh well, a late celebration is better than no celebration, isn’t it?

24 - 2

This is the first recipe I wanted to blog about, not because I wanted to start off my cooking expedition by baking banana bread, but because, well…. I was craving this bad boy, believe me. Think of a banana-and-vanilla scent wafting in your kitchen and leading to a warm, slightly sticky, fresh and moist loaf of banana bread.

I just had to.


Surprisingly enough, you really shouldn’t use fresh bananas to make banana bread. I mean, you can (technically) – if you’re dying for this bread just as I was dying for it. But you should really use slightly overripe bananas. You know, the ones that have been sitting on your counter and no one wants to even touch them because they have one little brown speck, or even better, loads of them? Yes, use those ones.

From what I’ve heard, overripe bananas intensify the banana flavour. So this is an excellent excuse to use all those old bananas up. Plus, along with the they’re-going-to-rot-soon bananas, you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry.
Right. Now.

Need I say more?


Now look here. Before I direct you to the recipe I used, my plan for this blog was to use free or good-investment recipes and videos so that everyone could enjoy making good food without breaking the bank. For the free-to-see recipe, may I direct you to Simply Recipes’s banana bread (believe me, this blog is so useful and covers just about every recipe out there).

But since I once went on a cooking book + online cooking school spree and bought Baking Illustrated from America’s Test Kitchen (among other things), I wanted to put my money to good use. So naturally, I flipped to the banana bread section (page 23-25, for those of you who do have this piece of treasure).

I really like how this book gives you a easy-to-understand,scientific but useful ingredient and technique breakdown for each recipe. If I’ve never baked something and don’t know where to start, or if I want to tweak a dessert recipe, OR I’m not sure why something works the way it works, I definitely look at this book first. So if you’re trying to be smart with your (limited culinary) budget, then feel free to check this book out from your local library or borrow it from a friend. I just hope you’ll be able to get your hands on it!

Long story short, let’s talk pics. I wanted to show how I made the bread visually, so here’s a neat little infographic that sums up the making of this loaf of banana bread:

Note: Now I don’t mean to give away BakingIllustrated’s recipe, but I just want to show through pictures how a banana bread comes together. This is so you and I can improve our sense of following a recipe and we can see what the banana bread looks like at each stage..


Click on these numbers to see these shots really up close (they might take a while to load): 1 | 2 | 3

As well, for those who want to see the making of banana bread in action, Chef John at Food Wishes uses a different banana bread recipe, but he has a great video filled with tips and tricks:



BananaBreadCollage - 2This was my second try at making banana bread. I used Chef John’s video recipe (above) this time around, and as you can see, the bread’s crust colour looks much browner on my second try and therefore, much better. With my mum’s suggestion (along with Chef John’s), I also added some walnuts to add some texture and crunch, which greatly improved the bread. The only regret that I have is that the bread was a bit too moist for me. Why? I had four sad bananas that were rotting away on my counter, and even though the banana bread recipe called for 3 mashed bananas, I threw the fourth one in anyways. Because how can you bear throwing one single rotten banana away when you’re making banana bread? The bread was still edible of course, but next time I think I’ll stick to three mashed bananas instead of four.



  • Why is there a fault line on top of my bread?: Check this link out if bread cracking is really unsightly to you. But many find it to be an artisan’s sign of bread baking, so it’s best that you look the part and say you meant for the bread to crack on top.
  • My banana bread was too moist after baking: You may have put too many bananas or other wet ingredients in the loaf. I’ve found that sticking to 3 bananas is a good bet, but that putting 4 bananas (how could I leave one poor mushy banana out? ) made the loaf a bit too moist for my taste.
  • Help! My bananas are getting too mushy/rotten faster than I can whip up banana breads!: Hold your horses! I’ll be updating you all on this one in a bit. I’ve found a really cool way of saving those bananas up to use in banana bread!

The Recipes:

Check out the book Baking Illustrated by clicking on the image below!

The Videos: Food Wishes’ Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (via Youtube)

The Visuals:

Feel free to use whatever banana bread recipe you like.
When you make it, let me know how it went!

وعليكم السلام

And May Peace Be Upon You.


The Big To-Do List

السلام عليكم

May Peace Be Upon You.

UPDATE: I’ve moved this post to here so that I could better update and reflect the changes in the post. Since it’s in the top banner now (titled ‘The Big To-Do List’), it’s now just a click away!

Be sure to check it out to see what kind of goodies we can have in store together :D

وعليكم السلام

And May Peace Be Upon You.


We’re Just Getting Started.

السلام عليكم

May Peace Be Upon You.


My name is EatsMeetsWest (you can call me EMW for short :) ), and welcome to my new food blog! As you can see, this website is still in the works. But InshaaAllah in the near future, you’ll see me learning about the amazing food that pops out of different parts of the world. InshaaAllah, I hope some of you will choose to join me in this fun, thrilling and satisfying escapade as well, because then we’ll make this an experience we can all share :D

Speaking of sharing, I am a 2nd-generation Indian-Muslim living in Canada, and I’ve had my fair share of Canadian yums along with Gujarati goodness at home. However, as much as I love to eat the fine food that my city Toronto has to offer and that my mom can cook for my family, let me be honest here – I can’t really cook anything all by myself (!). And that may come to be a bit of a problem, because I have no idea what I’ll do if I’d ever have to feed someone other than myself (I mean of course, don’t mind eating chocolate chip cookies all day long).

Macro fork

Macro fork (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

So, I want to learn some culinary techniques and skills needed to cook great food not just for myself, but for others too. I don’t want to have to give up Canadian favourites in order for me to learn to cook Indian food, and vice versa, you get my drift? So my strategy is to simply learn as much about food, as best as I can :)

I want to use this blog as platform to document my trek, so that InshaaAllah, I one day end up being able to cook confidently and smartly in the kitchen (for once!). But this journey doesn’t just include me! Nosirree, if you think you’re part of the bandwagon here – whether you want to learn about the different grubs of the world or you just need to sharpen your, ahem, “cooking skills” – then by all means, jump in with me! As fellow students in the same cooking class (so to speak), we can together learn what it means to eat and cook the globe :)


Cooking (Photo credit: omarbercor)

I’m still planning as to how I’ll go about doing this, but hopefully I’ll post some little list of what I’d like to do and how you, too, can perhaps go about conquer your own goals. At the end of the day, all I want to do is gain the know-how of cooking without a recipe and instead, to cook from the heart – (and who said you couldn’t learn a little about eating good food along the way? ;) ). In the end, the point is to help others learn to be savvy in the kitchen, and to help myself learn to cook well too :)

So stick around!

We’re just getting started :D

وعليكم السلام

And May Peace Be Upon You.