Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Double Chocolate Muffins



Believe it or not although the muffins in the UK are delicious they are not the same as the ones in Canada. The biggest difference is that they don't have that lovely crusty top like they do back home. So if you want a proper Canadian muffin you gotta bake-em yourself. Which is fine because I love baking...well sometimes - as long as I can get someone to wash the dishes or I got a dishwasher 😄.

So here's my recipe, hope it turns out right!

Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit or 180 degrees.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of plain flour (or all purpose in North America)
1/2 cup self-raising flour (or just put in more all purpose really!)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar - (not a sugar fanatic so if you like it sweeter add half a cup more)
1/3 coconut oil or vegetable oil (or mix it so it's half and half)
1 - 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Method:

In a large bowl add in your eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla and whip it up, in a separate bowl add your dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add a 1/3 portion of your dry ingredients into your liquid ingredients, mix and rotate with 1/3 of the milk until you're done.  Add your sour cream in the end. I put sour cream as an optional ingredient because I found that it really makes a baked good really soft and helps it stay moist. You don't need to add it if you don't have it it's not a significant amount. In the end spoon in your chocolate chips and mix with a spatula.
Stick it in the oven and it should be done in 30 - 35 minutes.

Yield approx 12 muffins.

Baking is having a lot of fun. When I was young I used to be crazy about baking especially since my mother couldn't bake a single thing! How I longed to figure out how to make a chocolate chip cookie! Eventually we started baking together and it's one of my favourite memories as a child. Now when my mother bakes I wish I was their to enjoy - she bakes with so much love and that's what makes a treat even more delicious and special. Don't forget to share your muffins, and I know they are good because my 5 year old and almost 2 year old heartily approve - and that says a lot!

Enjoy! 😉










Monday, 9 October 2017

How to Make Hijab Pins

Hijab pins started off as a crafting hobby for me. Everywhere I looked hijab pins were over priced and hard to find back in Toronto. I can't imagine what it's like now, but I have seen a few new business take aim at this market.

If you're still having a hard time finding ideal hijab pins in your area you can always start creating your own version. The best place to start is with the sewing pins or corsage pins in the tear drop shape which you can find in hijab shops, Islamic shops or even in floral or fabric shops.

The Tear Drop Pin:


Some Nail Polish and Creativity:

Grab your favourite colour nail polishes and a tooth pick and lets get started. 

The first thing you want to do is give your pins a base coat. I purchased a few colours because I don't normally wear nail polish. Cannot be bothered with the remover really! Just take the pin and dip it straight into the bottle. Your pin should have a distinct colour now so set it to dry. It should look something like this:


Grab a toothpick or nail decorating tools:

Once that's complete - get creative! I decided to give my pins a floral print since there's just so little space to draw on. Take a tooth pick or a pointy nail decorating tool, a different colour nail polish and add five dots in a circle to imitate a flower. Then take the clean side of the toothpick or a pin and strike towards the centre of each dot towards the centre of the flower creating the impression of a petal. Add a different colour dot in the centre to give the distinction of a flower. Continue the same flower all over the pin and you should come up with something like this:


Now tell me this isn't cute! :) Here are some of my other designs, mind you it's quite hard to think of anything if you only have three colours!




Rhinestones and Glue:

Make sure to grab a glue specific to adding rhinestones. If you add a base nail polish colour similar to the colour of the rhinestones you are using the results will come out much nicer. You will need very tiny rhinestones so look for a 2 or 3mm size. Add glue by a toothpick or again a nail decor tool and add the rhinestones one by one. Go Swarovski if you want, but be sure to try it out with regular rhinestones first just to check that your glue is durable. Here are a few I did in different colours:



If you add nail polish be sure to find a good brand that won't peel off too easily. Although even if the polish does wear off you can always repaint them again. If you make a mistake then just use the nail polish remover or just dip it in the bottle and paint again. If you need ideas for design you can always look up nail polish designs and make your own. 

Share your pictures of the pins your created with me and I'll put them up on my insta! Have fun and lets see your creativity!

You can also purchase a Make Your Own Hijab Pins Pack in my shop if you want to create fashionable pins using beads and findings.

Make Your Own Hijab Pin Pack


Masalamah

:)

Monday, 4 September 2017

Being an Entrepreneur Mom



I have two little ones. For now that's as far as our plan has come in the roller coaster ride that is my marriage. My eldest child has only just started her first year of school and although she enjoyed it at first, she doesn't seem to be enjoying the idea of going every day. As the first few weeks she's only had half days, today is her first full day.
So naturally I've been sitting here with my phone next to me with ringer on high making sure I don't miss anything while my other little one is Netflixing and chilling. She can't say it but she is missing her elder sibling like anything. As soon as she gets home the first thing my little one does is give her a great big hug and a kiss.
I'm so glad I have two little girls. I know what it's like to grow up without a sister, someone to share with and to learn from. I never learned much from my brothers, except how to save money and fight back! I suppose those are useful things to have in your life, but having a sister is something quite different.  My brothers weren't much for being emotional or sensitive to my needs or aspirations. But then again all boys are different. My brothers were raised to be tough, so naturally I followed in line.  I admire those sister brother siblings where they are totally in sync with each other. Anyhow I hope my little girls will be close in the future because I don't want to have to bring in a third to referee!

So as my life has been a bit busy with new schools and teething toddlers I've been trying to keep my shop going here and there. Posting on Instagram has helped a lot, however keeping up with the posts has been quite difficult. Still I'm learning from the Muslimah entrepreneurs around me. Most of my inspiration is coming from sisters from back home in Canada. Or perhaps I'm following them because they remind me of home, I can't tell, but I'm grateful to them!
There are a lot of inspiring sisters making themselves seen and heard now. I wish we had all this growing up, I had a lot of tenacity and time to work on my craft back then. Now I'm working at a snails pace. Still alhamdolilah at least I got something going.
I cannot stress this enough to all my married sisters out there; while you're busy raising your kids and keeping your marriage going, don't forget to take care of yourself! I don't mean go out and get your hair cut or your nails done! I'm talking about doing something that fills your heart and mind with happiness. Do something that you can look back on years from now and say you achieved that or you completed something that you dreamed of doing. It's never too late to work on your dreams or ambitions. It may be that raising your kids to be great achievers is enough, but when they leave the nest and move into their own lives where will you be? You might find that you could be alone in a big empty house with nothing to do! But just imagine if you were an amazing gardener, or a painter, or even a closet fashion designer - this would be your time to take it to the next level!
My mother is my inspiration for my work, as she's always had crafting skills that keep her going even now. Except that now everyone knows her skills and she's made a business out of it.

It's never ever too late to learn something new. Don't limit yourself from your own potential!

Masalamah.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Enough is Enough

I cannot for the life of me understand what makes someone who claims to be a Muslim want to hurt innocent people for their own political agenda. What makes someone believe that what they want is so important that they should kill another human being, who has nothing to do with their beliefs or their anger, to get what they want. What gives them the right to decide they have the right to take another life.
I'll tell you what it actually is:

It's ignorance.

Thinking you are well informed enough to kill someone who has done nothing to you is ignorance.

Believing that God wants you to kill someone who has done nothing to cause you harm is ignorance.

Reading a holy book like the Quran without fully understanding or studying the context but taking random quotes just to fulfill your agenda is willful irresponsible ignorance. 

Relying on someone who self proclaims they are holier than thou on information you have not personally read, seen, studied yourself and in the end die for is blind ignorance.

Yet we have people who continue to allow others to be brainwashed. 
So what should we do?

Educate
I once read online that the reasons why Hitler was able to get into power was because people wouldn't speak up. They assumed that someone would take care of the situation and it would be dealt with, and what happened? The worlds biggest genocide still left scars in the streets we walk on today. I implore all of you who browse through social media and the like to educate. Inform about Islam, and don't argue, just educate.

It is said that if you make fun of someone else's religion then they will make fun of yours. So please, be kind, be humble and don't insult. That way they will have no reason to attack you or if they want to they will get frustrated and walk away. The only way we can show what our religion is about is to inform. 

If we submit to what is said about Islam then their crowd will grow more and more and Muslims will continue to be a target. Tomorrow someone you know might get hurt, Allah forbid! Do not be silent any longer, educate. And hopefully if anyone is thinking of joining an extremist group, they will think twice as to what they are doing inshaAllah.

Just love, no hate. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Forms of Charity During Ramadan



Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and giving to those in need. However thanks to today's economy and government there are a lot of families that are left without much of a savings or any savings at all all year long. So what other things can we do to provide charity for those less fortunate?
Here are some great ideas to giving and increasing your blessings during this holy month of Ramadan.

Volunteer

Volunteering for a good cause is the best way to give selflessly. Volunteer at your local Mosque or old age homes. Give time to charities and functions that provide to those who are less fortunate or for special needs. There is always someone who needs a hand, all you need to do is ask!

Share a Meal

Sometimes we don't have time to give of ourselves because we have other responsibilities such as young children to look after or elders or whatever else. Another great way to give can be as simple as cooking a meal. When you cook for your family why not cook enough to treat your neighbours or friends with some food? Even giving so much as a few dates to those around you is a charity, and food always brings a smile to someone's face...unless you're a toddler lol. Food is also a great way to bond with those around you. You can always invite neighbours and friends to your home and let them know they are respected and appreciated.

Providing food

Other than sharing a meal you can also just provide food. For the needy and less fortunate why not donate some of those food items you never eat sitting in your cabinets and pantry? A lot of grocery stores have food donation boxes where you can submit non perishable food items. So how much does a can of beans cost? Even if it's just one or two items, it will mean the world to the person who receives it.

Give of yourself

Giving of yourself is always important. Spending time with your elders or your elderly neighbour or disabled neighbour is nothing short of significant to those who receive your love. Remember charity begins at home, so take care of your elders and see to their needs. Give them a massage or run a few errands for them, or even just sit and listen to them. Show them how much they matter and are a valuable part of the family. It's a great way to show your children how to be compassionate and responsible.

Charity always begins at home. So give to your relatives who have less than you and elders and make sure your family is happy always first, but don't let that stop you from trying to be your best and earning the rewards of Ramadan.

Do you have a form of charity that hasn't been listed here? Do share with us!

Masalamah

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sweet Milky Vermicelli For Ramadan or Eid




My mother used to make this without milk, but when she made it with milk it was simply irresistible. The best thing about seviyan or sweety milky vermicelli is that you can add what you like to make it better such as nuts or cream. If you've never had it before, it will take a moment to get used to the stringy texture, but I'm sure the taste will make you come back for more.

So here's how I make it mixed with my mother's recipe.

Ingredients:

Milk  - 1 litre
Vermicelli - 200 grams
Sugar - 1/2 cup or to taste
Coconut Milk - 1/2 can
Cream - 1/4 cup (optional)
Raisins/Sultanas - 1/4 cup
Almonds blanched - 50 grams
Butter - 3 tbsps
Cardamom - 4 - 6 pods
Kewra - 1 tbsp

Start with adding butter to a medium sized pot and adding the vermicelli and opened cardamom pods.



 You can also use cardamom powder if you have it about 1/2 tsp should be enough, but add it after you add the milk. Stir constantly and fry the vermicelli till it changes to a brown colour and add the sultanas and almonds.



Give it a minute to fry with the vermicelli while you keep mixing it. Add in the milk and sugar. Sugar should be according to how sweet you like it so keep tasting and add more if you like, but start with 1/4 of a cup and go from there.



 Let the vermicelli cook in the milk for about 15 mins then add in the cream and coconut milk. Give it five more minutes and add the kewra. Turn off after the vermicelli has absorbed the milk well enough that you can see it without stirring.



You can add whatever dry fruits you like instead of the ones listed. Most people like almonds but pistachio or hazelnuts if you like. Also raisins are popular but again its up to you if you even like raisins.

Serves 8

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sehri Smoothie For Ramadan



This Ramadan will have some of the longest days of the year for fasting, and it's a good idea to refrain from fatty and oily foods this time around if you haven't started doing so already. Oily foods may give you the impression that you've filled up, however after a few hours those hunger pangs will return and we all know we don't need the extra calories! Here's a great slow energy releasing smoothie that is sure to taste great as well as keep you going all day long.

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter - two tablespoons
Banana - 1
Honey or Maple Syrup - 1 - 2 tablespoon
Instant Oats - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp (optional)

Method:

Throw it all in the blender and mix! These are approximate measurements so keep it light and runny or thick and creamy according to your own tastes. Also add honey or maple syrup to the sweetness you desire or leave it out if the banana is sweet enough for you!
Nuts are a great energy releasing food as well as oats. I have to credit my husband to this recipe because sometimes when he would leave home without having a proper breakfast he learned to make up his own recipes in the little cafe we used to own downtown. Sometimes it would be all he'd have all day! I would say he's an expert when it comes to food, although he rarely applies his ideas to our own kitchen lol.

Another thing I like about smoothies during Ramadan is because I tend to get a lot of heartburn and having a nice cool milky drink helps to soothe the burning sensation a lot. So do enjoy and let me know what you think inshaAllah.

Xx