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Arham Turns Three

Happy THIRD Birthday to my precious Arham. It’s certainly been a fun month-long celebration of your birthday.

From the moment I found out about you, I have identified myself first and foremost as your Mama Arham beta. You are my pride and joy. My happiness. My everything.

SubhanAllah, I can’t believe how fast you are growing up. You amaze me daily with all the new things you do, observe, say and ask.

Each milestone is amazing, and I’ll always be your number one supporter… but to be honest, each one is also a reminder of how fast you are growing.

Watching your logic skills at work or listening to you reason, I can’t help but be in awe… not to mention how much you make me laugh constantly each and every day. You have been able to make me laugh when there was nothing else to laugh about.

Your smile is captivating. Your hugs and kisses are everything. Your “I love you more Mama” melts me instantly.

You are curious, inquisitive, and a quick learner and I pray this never changes. Your amazing memory and ability to story-tell or explain yourself or what happened are beyond your years. I pray Allah SWT keeps you under His infinite protection always and blesses you with the best of this world and the hereafter.

It takes a village. It takes the few but true friends who just get it. It takes understanding co-workers who value the importance of work-life balance. It takes siblings and parents who are always by my side. Ultimately, it takes a Mama’s instincts and love. I don’t know if there is anything as pure, genuine and empowering as a Mama’s love for her child.

Arham beta, inshAllah, I can’t wait to see what year three has in store!

What’s for Dessert: Candy Bars Cars

For Arham’s early birthday party I made these cute cars using M&Ms and Milky Way mini sized chocolate bars.

They were adorable and everyone loved them! Not to mention, they went perfectly with the theme of the party!

What I essentially did was very simple:

  1. I took my M&Ms and organized them so I had four of the same color to make one “car”.
  2. I unwrapped Milky Way chocolate bars, and using a toothpick (or fork), add a very small amount of cake frosting to act as the “glue” where the four tires would go.
  3. Attach the M&Ms onto the Milky Way chocolate bars.
  4. Let the “cars” set before enjoying!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Steak

On Saturday, I made steak. On my stove top, and without a cast iron.

Here’s how I made my steak:

  1. I took my t-bone cuts of steak and marinated with olive oil, Montreal Steak seasoning and a combination of garlic and ginger paste. I would suggest about one tablespoon of the steak seasoning for each pound of meat you are working with … I was working with five pounds of meat, and used around five tablespoons of the seasoning.
  2. Don’t poke holes in the meat. Let your steak marinate for about an hour.
  3. Then, in my skillet, I warmed up a thin layer of olive oil. On low to medium heat.
  4. Once the meat is in the skillet, I would recommend you not fuss with it or try to turn over too many times. Just let it sit and create a nice sizzling crust and cook halfway through before you flip them over.

 

 

 

Don’t press them down, don’t continuously flip them, etc.

 

End result? Perfectly delicious homemade steak. At a fraction of the cost.

 

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Chicken Wings

Who doesn’t love chicken wings?

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Click here to see how I make my boneless chicken wings… and of course, the same recipe can be used for bone-in wings as well.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

How to: Bookmark Websites on your iPhone

Did you know you could access any website with just a click by creating a shortcut icon on your (i)Phone?

Here’s how:

From your iPhone’s internet browser, go to whatever you link you want to create a bookmark icon for.

Then click that button I have drawn a red circle around in the image above (the square with the upward facing arrow).

On the next screen, click the option that says “Add to Home Screen” (also circled in red in the image below).

This will create an icon for the page on your phone, like a bookmark on your internet browser on your computers.

For my website, I created my own icon, so that is what appears… for websites that don’t have an icon created you may see a preview of the link itself.

What’s for Dinner: Pizza Sliders

These Pizza Sliders were also on the menu for our Thanksgiving get-together last month.

They were easy to make, and delicious. While you can prep ahead, they are best when served and eaten right away… so keep that in mind.

Here’s what I used:

For the sliders: 

  • 1 package of (12) dinner rolls
  • Marinara sauce
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice, meat and/or vegetable

For the herb-season butter topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

How I made my Pizza Sliders:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice the dinner rolls, without separating them individually, horizontally to make a top and bottom bun. Tip: Make sure the bottom halves are the thicker of the top and bottom and halves since they will be holding all the toppings.
  3. Put the bottom half of the dinner rolls, carefully, into your baking dish. Spread pizza sauce all over.
  4. Add cheese slices, covering all of your marinara sauce. If you want to add any additional toppings like vegetable or meat, add now as well.
  5. Add the top half of the dinner rolls.
  6.  Combine the ingredients for the herb butter topping in a bowl. Use a brush to spread the herb butter topping all over the sliders. Top and all of the sides!
  7. Cover your baking tray with with aluminum foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Until the cheese is all melted and gooey and the top is golden brown.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Peri Peri Chicken Wings

While we don’t have a halal Nandos/Galitos local to us, Peri Peri chicken is a favorite for everyone in my house.

The Nandos sauce that you can buy at your local grocery store is a great way to get the flavor for a semi-homemade version of your Peri Peri chicken. I’ve made this with chicken pieces before, and this time around I made it with chicken wings.

Tip: marinating makes a big difference and you should definitely marinate ahead of time.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Take your chicken wings and with a fork mark your wings so that your marinade will seep through to the inside of your wings.
  2. Season your chicken wings with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and ginger powder and the Nandos sauce of your choice (I use medium, but they have various heat levels).
  3. In your grill machine, grill your chicken wings and brush additional nandos sauce on top several times, both before you flip the chicken and after.
  4. Brush additional nandos sauce as you are removing the chicken from the grill machine, right before serving.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dessert: Strawberry and Banana Trifle

Very similar to the Strawberry Trifle I make, this version also has bananas in it! This was one of the desserts I

made for our Thanksgiving family get-together this year, and everyone loved it. The other dessert was my Oreo Cheesecake.

What I love about trifles like this is how easy it is to put-together and its always a crowd pleaser.

Here’s how I make my Strawberry and Banana Trifle:

What you need:

  • Pound cake, diced
  • Strawberries, sliced or diced
  • Bananas, sliced or diced
  • Cool whip, softened
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups of cold milk

How I made it:

  1. Make your vanilla pudding — basically blend your vanilla pudding mix with the three cups of cold milk for about a minute or two. Let it set for just  a few minutes and you will have your pudding.
  2. Fold into your softened cool whip.
  3. Now it’s basically just assembling your layers.
  4. Layer the bottom of your trifle platter with the pudding/cool whip mixture. Add a layer of cake, followed by strawberries and bananas. Continue the layers.
  5. Add a top layer of cool whip/pudding. Decorate the top of your trifle however which way you want with the strawberries and bananas.

 

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:
P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.