Sunday, February 28, 2010

Challenge Day 6

Tonight we had leftovers so there is nothing to post. Tomorrow is the last night, I know what I'll be cooking, do you?

I think Heather was the only one who took the challenge right? If not please post the link to your blog.

Sew Covered

My oldest daughter has decided to revive her SewCovered blog. She is showing the clothes that she has sewn throughout the years. She is the same daughter with the HandmadeBeginnings blog. I'm happy to see her sewing again. What do you think? Would you buy anything like the clothes featured? She may sell some of her underscarves she sewed and other things if there is a good market.

Challenge Day 5

Finally I made a Malaysian recipe last night which I took from the very book I am giving away. Its called Karima's Cashew chicken. Unfortunately the kids said they didn't like it but they all ate it except one. Dh said it was ok. I am wondering who this Karima woman is from the GTA who contributed this recipe to the book. I'm sure I can track her down, lol. I mean that in a good way. The reason the kids said they didn't like it was because of the cashews which doesn't make sense as they eat cashews all the time. I served it with plain rice; jasmine of course.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Challenge Day 4

So I guess yesterday would be hump day right? We can do it ladies! Last night we had Fettuccine Alfredo. Everyone ate it (except one picky son) but they agreed that they like it better when I use my own invented recipe. This time I used an alfredo sauce recipe from a book I got from the library; 500 sauces.

Here is the recipe:

Alfredo Sauce

Makes 1 cup

2 tbsp unsalted butter ( I used salted)
1 tbsp all -purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (dried parmesan usually is not halal)
1/2 tsp sea salt (I used regular)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (mine wasn't fresh)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and cook stirring, until pale brown, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk in a thin steady stream and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in cream, parmesan, salt and pepper.

What I usually make for the sauce is butter, milk and mozzarella. I think its yummier too.
Added to this I put some toppings.

Melt butter in a pot, stir in garlic, green onions, then add scallops,shrimps until cooked and then add brocolli florets. (I used frozen ones). Toss into cooked fettuccine with alfredo sauce.

Sorry for the lousy bowl instead of a serving dish but you get the picture right?

My daughter also made a cake that you can find here. We thought it was ok. If you like things that are not too sweet this one is for you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Challenge Day 3

Last night we had this. This time though I doubled the amount of cheese and everyone agreed it tasted better. Everyone liked it but some refused to eat the broccoli (sigh) and no one got as excited as they did about the meatloaf. My second son took the meatloaf to school for lunch and everyone was commenting on how good it smelled. Masha Allah. Dh came home and said 'is there any more meat loaf left? It was good eh?"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Challenge Day 2

Last night was Canadian fare with an Asian twist; oriental meatloaves with mashed potatoes. This recipe turned out great because its one I've made before albeit 10 yrs ago! This was one of the recipes that dh brought back from Malaysia that's been rotting away in the boxes we shipped there in 2000.

My kids loved, loved this meal and my second son took fourths! Yes he is a growing teen but this is even more than usual. My 4th daughter asked me to make it again, also a good sign. Two kids were too scared to try it because of the green onions even though their siblings insisted you couldn't taste them. I asked them if it was better than the pizza and they said YES! (once again can I blame KitchenAid?)

So here are the recipes:

Mashed potatoes (everyone knows how to make these right?)

We used 17 potatoes (you won't need this much, lol)

Cut and peel potatoes and boil till soft. Mash and add butter then milk so the butter will melt first. Shake on some parsley. I used dried.

Oriental Meat Loaves

Preparation Time:10 min
Baking time: 30 min
Makes 6 servings. ( I doubled it)

2 eggs
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
4 green onions including tops, chopped
2 lbs (1kg) regular ground beef

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease six individual loaf pans or a 9x5x13 loaf pan. (glass is better than metal believe me) Line the bottom with greased waxed paper.

Combine eggs, soya sauce, ketchup,sugar, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk together until blended. Stir in bread crumbs and finely chopped onions.

Add half the meat and work with your hands or a fork until evenly blended. Work in remaining meat and press into the prepared loaf pans.

Bake in centre of preheated oven for 30 minutes for the individual loaves or 1 1/4 hours for the large loaf. (To prevent a crust from forming, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the large loaf for the last 30 minutes of cooking)

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then turn out and brush with soya sauce.

About 324 calories per serving.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Challenge Day 1

Last night for the first supper I made pizza from scratch well not the sauce but the dough anyway. I hated the recipe; the recipe didn't call for enough water compared to all the flour arrrrgh! Well I added more but still. This is only my second time making pizza dough. The first time was with the bread machine but that only makes one batch at a time so it would take forever to make three batches. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer this time. The mixer was ok but something has to be done with the free recipe book they throw in. I wonder if all their recipes are that lame. Scared to try!

Family's response: Lots of thank you moms which was great but they found the crust on the edge kind of hard. (do I get to blame Kitchen Aid again?) One of the three pizzas had red peppers in case you are wondering where are the vegetables.

Looking forward to seeing your lovely creations for the challenge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Week Challenge Contest

Don't worry I'm not gonna to ask you to exercise actually something worse in my book; cook! This is a contest for women like me who hate cooking. I am challenging you to cook supper every night for one week and blog about it; I'm talking pics and recipes gals. Are you up for it? Hard core cooks need not apply. The prize at the end is The International Islamic cookbook. The cover features a mosque in Malaysia and yes there are a few Malaysian recipes but there really should be more. It just goes to show how few Malaysians there are in Canada. If you are interested in this book and you don't win or don't qualify you can still buy it here and the money goes to charity to help abused women. So ladies put on your aprons and start your ovens!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Provincial Government

Do you know who Dalton McGuinty is? Well my daughter does now! Find out what the provincial government does here. If you want to learn about places in Ontario (lots of great educational spots to visit included) then try out this fun game. Test your knowledge. How many have you visited so far? Which ones would you like to bring your homeschooler to?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Day

Yesterday was Family Day in Canada and hence a long weekend. We took advantage of it and went to visit my daughter (handmade beginnings) and son-in-law and my granddaughter. The kids had a blast playing with their niece and my son decided to do some embroidery with the help of his sister; you can see it here. My kids kept busy during the long trip with these crayons wallets from my daughter's shop. While my dh and s-i-l caught up my daughter and I slipped out for some ice cream and shopping. We rarely get to be alone just the two of us so it was nice. I also saw that my daughter was selling some cookbooks for charity so I picked up some of those too. Stay posted as I will be offering one as a giveaway. Curriculum binders for grade 5 were also something that my daughter had picked up for me and they were very appreciated. Alhumdulillah it was a wonderful, productive visit. Hope all you Canadians had a great Family Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Designer Daughter

Masha Allah my first daughter has entered a dress design contest. You can see my lovely granddaughter wearing the cute creation here on her blog. Its amazing what you can do with a simple dress design by embellishing it. Why buy off the rack when you make something this unique? As for the contest may the best woman er dress win.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Banana Bran Bread

My 2nd daughter loves to make this bread especially for Eid. She always throws some chocolate chips into the mix. My friend tried it out and now wants the recipe. Its a Margo Oliver recipe from the Weekend Magazine Cook Book. Enjoy some nice fresh bread this winter.

Banana Bran Bread

1 1/2 cups sifted all- purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup shortening (I always use butter!)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup bran flakes (cereal)
1 1/2 cups well-mashed ripe banana (about 3 large)
1 tbsp. grated orange rind
2 tbsp. water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 x3 inch loaf pan.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda,salt and nutmeg on to waxed paper.
Cream shortening (butter) and sugar together. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Stir in bran flakes, banana, orange rind and water.
Add dry ingredients and stir just to blend. Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the centre comes out clean. Turn out of pan and cool on cake rack.

Islamic Studies- Day of Judgement

Today in Islamic studies, my daughter is learning about the Day of Judgement. This is leading to a lot of discussion about the vocabulary the Quran uses and the events of that day. I also mentioned to my daughter that calamities that are happening now are similar, like in Haiti where one man mentioned that parents and children were running for safety without each other and everything was chaos. The Quran says the same; that even a nursing mother will forget about her baby. Here is a link talking about it too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Convert village?

I stumbled across this website where they are trying to establish a village for converts in Indonesia. They honestly tell you on the website that there was a snake that ate their goat and that tsunamis are a possibility. Yikes! But if you are willing to take the risks, the private beach looks nice! Hmmm...maybe I could make something like this in Malaysia? Build it and they will come!

Saving Energy one s'more at a time.

Today my daughter learned about energy; renewable and non-renewable and how to save it. She is in grade five and this is the website we used. There's even some great experiments. When the weather gets better we want to try out the wind one and the solar one. I don't know about you but I'm going to stock up on some halal marshmallows! When I was a kid in Girl Guides we cooked hot dogs over a giant wok shaped solar oven, can't wait to try this out again!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Easy as 123

My second daughter who is in grade 12 made these Easy as 123 fudge squares for her school potluck. In fact her classmate requested she make it. What's funny is that condensed milk has always been something we used for baking but in SouthEast Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia etc) people use it in coffee and milo. After my son got back from Malaysia he started to insist that Milo just wouldn't be the same without it. Something even more strange to me is that Milo machines are ubiquitous in Malaysia the way pop machines are here.

Snow Day!

Today's a snow day so the buses were cancelled and my schooled kids are together with my homeschooled daughter and my reluctant schooled kindergartener. They had a great time sliding down the hill in the park and then playing in the yard sliding down small homemade hills, kicking the snow, jumping in it, rolling in it and making snow angels. Now they are in the house and I'm going to make them watch this. Its part of the grade 3 curriculum.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lady its cold outside!

This winter is not as bad as usual here in Canada, at least in Ontario but if your hijab is not keeping you warm enough then check out these hijabs for winter from Queendom hijab. If you're feeling patriotic they have hijabs with small canadian flags too which would be great on Canada Day eh? They also have hijabs for sports. Check them out!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Volume and Capacity

I found some great activities that teach volume and capacity. These are for those in grade 5. For little kids there a lot more hands-on activities but these were a little hard to find. Look here and here. I really enjoyed the building one.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

TV - not fit for consumption

What's up with TV nowadays? I don't watch much but I like to sit down and watch decorating shows once in awhile. But I don't like being interrupted by commercials about shows called Naked Canada? And this is aired in the middle of the day! Of course you can change the channel but you have to be fast to beat the weirdo who hosts this show's diatrabe. Who comes up with the ideas for these shows anyways? Who thinks women want to be told what's what by these wimpy so called men? What happened to good clean tv in the middle of the day? Seems like you have to be stuck on TreeHouse to get that. How dare you watch a decorating show in the middle of the day and expose your preschoolers to smutty commercials! W channel shame on you not me!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mix 'n' match

I'm still homeschooling, sort of. Yesterday the boys went back and my daughter in kindergarten who has never been to school before. My other daughter still wants to be homeschooled. After their first day back the boys are pretty happy although they say some things have changed. They said people are asking about my daughter and were happy that she is not coming back. Isn't that awful? My daughter in kindergarten refused to go to school today after only one day because she said the kids on the bus and at school are annoying her. What constitutes annoying in her mind is people talking to her. I told her they just want to be her friend but she is not convinced or impressed. I will try to see if she will go tomorrow. Why? If she doesn't she won't have enough french to function in grade 1. If she does stay home she will probably never be able to handle french school and will have to be homeschooled or enrolled at english school. So I'm still feeling stressed. Meanwhile the kids in my second son's class have just finished reading The Bread Winner about the taliban not letting girls go to school. Imagine what they are thinking now...since only my sons want to go to school they might be assuming the worst. I don't think I can take this. I feel like they should be all at home or all at school.

Monday, February 1, 2010

n-ti boutique- liquidation sale

If any of you are in Quebec you might want to check out n-ti's liquidation sale; its buy one get one free! They have a website but its not up and running so I guess you can't make an order. But you never know, there is an email and phone number listed.

Crescent Rating

A new website rates the halal friendliness of different hotels etc in muslim countries including Malaysia. Check to see if your hotel is close to a mosque, has halal food, shows the quibla etc. Happy travels!

Malaysian Invention -Auto Wudu Washer

Interesting news out of Malaysia; an Auto Wudu machine has been invented which saves on water. They are hoping to market it to the middle east mainly but it would be great for any mosque in any country. Wouldn't it be great to see these in mainstream bathrooms in the west instead of people contorting themselves to get their feet in the sink. I often wonder why people don't use the right to wipe over their socks and save themselves all the hassle and embarrassment. What do you think, will anyone fork over $3-4000 for these?

Treasures from the Orient

Hubby and son came back from Malaysia a couple of weeks ago and these are some of the treasures they brought back for me. Alhumdullilah there were scarves,clothes,batik sarongs, souveniers, hijab pins and even a lovely clock (actually for my son from his uncle who regifted it to me). I was really touched by all the gifts from family, friends and strangers including the gift of free sewing of all our future Eid outfits. You can really feel the generosity of muslims in Malaysia which I think is lacking here in North America. I still remember travelling through Asia and how different the people were compared to here. Back in 2000 we went through Korea to get to Malaysia and total strangers gave us bananas. On the way home going through Japan the stewardess from Malaysian airlines gave us a huge bottle of water and total strangers in Japan gave us a box of chocolates; Ferrero Rocher. Till this day when I look at a box of these chocolates I cannot forget the generosity of that person. On Malaysian airlines they also gave me baby food for my daughter. As soon as I switched to Canadian Airlines though I was refused baby food because I hadn't ordered it ahead of time. The difference in attitude is palpable. I miss the open heartedness of Asians. May Allah bless all the people who made thier stay a wonderful one and for all their generosity towards our family. Amin.

The Eighth Scroll

The Eighth Scroll will be the book club choice for February. I recently watched a video here of the author and his conversion to Islam. This book is a work of fiction but seems to based on some facts. A friend lent me this book. Isn't it nice to have book buddies?