December 19, 2012

Moving on over

Hey Everyone,

I've been MIA for a while and that's because I gave birth to my first child in Septe mber.  I had to step away from the blog because I didn't have the time nor energy to go into the kitchen and make something.  Now that my daughter Amina is sort of settling into a routine, I thought I would try and come back to the blog.
Another thing to note that I'm transferring the blog to WordPress. The new address of the blog is: .  The recipes from this blog have already been transferred and new ones will show up in due time. And if you want to stay in touch via Facebook, you can like the page:

Take care!


September 4, 2012

Quite disgusting!!!

L-cysteine.  Ever seen this on an ingredient list?  Don't have a clue what it is?  Well let me tell you. L-cysteine is an amino acid that is sourced from duck feathers, human hair or hog hair!  I'm sure now you understand the title for this post.

For more information on L-cysteine, check out The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog.

August 16, 2012

Food Packaging for Eid

Eid is just around the corner and if you're like me, your Eid gifts are ready to go. However, if you've struggled to get yourself organized this year, have you thought of baking gifts for people?  There are some really creative ways to wrap up Eid gifts. Here are some generic and/or party specific food packaging that can be adapted to reflect the Eid Holiday.

Feeling really bad, but making up for it with this post!

I feel really bad that I didn't spend some time working on the blog during Ramadan.  I really wanted to post a few recipes that could work in a pinch, but instead, I resorted to taking you to posts from last year.  In my defense, I was spending a lot of my time reflecting and increasing my knowledge of my religion.

To help ease my guilt, I'm going to pass along a delicious chewy, chocolate chip cookie recipe that is to die for!  I'm not lying or exaggerating when I say these are really good cookies.  I've made these cookies twice already and you'd be surprised at how fast they were gobbled up.  Last night I took a tray of 40 cookies to SeekersHub because it was the 27th night of Ramadan and the Hub had an extended night program.  I was afraid that the 40 cookies wouldn't get consumed by the night's end. BOY, was I ever wrong! The cookies were finished within 15 minutes of my arrival- the vast majority were consumed by adults of the male specimen! hehe...I think only a handful of kids got to try a cookie.  Note to self, next time make a double batch to take to the Hub!

The original recipe for these cookies comes from Lil' Luna's blog. The picture of the cookies with a glass of milk was tantalizing enough for me to try out the recipe.  After looking it over, I decided to try and cut out some of the sugar in the recipe. I don't know about you, but I think 2 cups of sugar in a cookie recipe is a bit much. I also tweaked the flour component of the recipe.  This recipe is very adaptable- you can make them double chocolate chip cookies by adding cocoa powder, throw in nuts or butterscotch chips...

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies ( a crowd favourite!)

3/4 cup brown sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup)
3/4 cup white granulated sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup)
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature, or if you're in a pinch, microwave for 10 seconds
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (original recipe calls for vanilla extract)
3 cups flour (what I did was use two cups of white flour, then for the third cup, fill the measuring cup with 4 TBSP whole wheat flour and then fill the rest of the cup with white flour)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (original recipe calls for milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take two cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugars.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste.
In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.
Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix until combined- don't over beat the batter.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Using a 1 1/2" ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out cookie dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake one sheet at a time for 7 minutes.  Remove cookie sheet and place cookies onto a cooling rack. In between baking, place cookie sheets in freezer to cool them down. If you put the cookie dough on hot cookie sheets, the cookies will spread out too much.

August 2, 2012

Fruit Salad Switch-Up

Ramadan Reminder: try to give a little charity every day this month.
I looked at the calendar today and was surprised, no shocked to see that it's already August 2nd!!  How can this be? I could have sworn that summer just started and Ramadan was right around the corner!  Now, we're into the last few weeks of summer vacation and it's almost the middle of Ramadan.  Darn, time is flying by!  Got to make most of the time left!!

Okay, back to the Ramadan post.  Fruit salad/chaat is synonymous with the South Asian iftar table.  It shows up in a variety of ways- with masala (which I personally don't like very much), without masala (love!), with tropical fruit, without tropical fruit, with bananas, without bananas...the possibilities are endless!
I decided to shake up the typical iftar fruit bowl and make fruit skewers with fresh Ontario strawberries, sweet pineapple chunks and mouth-watering cantaloupe. The skewers allows the fruit to shine in all of their healthy goodness and brightens up the iftar table.  You can serve the skewers with honey flavoured greek yogurt or eat them as is.  

The single skewer of baby strawberries is for my  4 year old niece :o)

July 28, 2012

Bananaberry Muffins and Spiritual Reflections

 “Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided.” [Qur'an 1:155] 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî 

These last few months for me have been tough emotionally and spiritually. I found myself enveloped in a darkness that brought me down to an all-time low.  As the verse from the Holy Qur'an states above, God will test us in our lives and we must patiently persevere for "Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.." [Qur'an 2:288].  Keeping this in mind, I have been putting myself through a cleanse- not a detox cleanse of my body (although I would like to do that one of these days), but a spiritual cleanse whereby my life, behaviour, attitude, personality, heart, and soul come into alignment with Allah swt and the teachings of Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him).  This spiritual cleanse has not been easy and is far from over...I feel as though I have only just scratched the surface. All I can do is continue on this path of realignment with patience and gratitude that God put me through this test and be thankful for all that God has given me.
(Please note that I use God and Allah interchangeably because they mean the same thing- Allah is the Arabic word for God.)


Bananaberry Muffins - these are great for Sehri/Suhoor 
(Recipe adapted from Janet and Greta)

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup wheat bran (original recipe calls for ground flaxseed or wheat germ)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 small ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, washed and drained of water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray muffin tin with oil and set aside.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together bananas, butter and egg. Fold in banana mixture into dry ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently fold in blueberries.
Evenly divide batter into muffin tin using a large spoon or ice cream scoop.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on wire rack.

July 26, 2012

Tea for two...or three...or four..

O God, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that remained with me because, when an anxiety struck, I sought aid, succor and support from someone besides You.
Salaam (Peace) everyone!

I hope your Ramadan fasts are going well.  The hours are long and the days are hot and humid, but God-Willing, your struggles will be accepted by God.

I'm bring back another blast from the past to help you quench your thirst after you break your fast. This cold tea is guaranteed to cool you down and give you a bit of caffeine to prepare for the night prayer.  Let's drink to Refreshing Mint Tea .