Archive | May 2014

Falsehood

One of the most irritating things of a person’s character I find to be is this: creating false statements about others. Worse? Passing it on. It could be something frivolous or on a grander scale. Either way, it’s baseless. But it’s something I have never been able to tolerate. I pray to Allah SWT that it’s something that never consumes me.

How boring does one’s life have to be to have the time to create unnecessary lies? What good does it do? What satisfaction do people get from this?

Gossiping is very common, and I am sure everyone is guilty of it at least one point in their lives. But this is so much more that that. If a young group of people do it, I try my best to remind them how wrong it is. When adults do it? I don’t want to step out of line, I suppose, but it has taken a lot out of me lately not to do or say something about it.

These past few weeks, it’s been a continuous pattern in a group of people I know about someone very dear and near to my heart. About a person and their family that is so involved and does so much for the local Muslim community but humble enough to not let a soul know.

And for those partaking in this nonsense that actually attended the event? I sincerely hope the reason wasn’t to judge, and create more lies. Which, unfortunately, I have already witnessed.

It saddens me that people are so heartless. It saddens me because some of these people’s lives are a twisted mess themselves, yet they think it’s the right thing to do to create and spread falsehood about others. It saddens me that so many people are innately… not so nice? It saddens me that these people are so two faced. Mostly, it saddens me that I have to associate with these people, because I try my best to surround myself with people who make me want to be a better person. I just don’t have the time, energy or patience to deal with nonsense drama.

What’s for Dinner: “Fiery” Five Pepper Chicken

Tonight for dinner, I made a “fiery” five 20140522-151210-54730873.jpgpepper baked [whole] chicken.

I took two whole chickens and [using a fork] poked holes in each of them in order to let the marinade seep through to the inside.

Next, I marinated the chicken with: black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground mustard, a good amount of the Fiery five pepper seasoning and yogurt. .

Including the cavity area.

After letting the chicken marinate for a few hours, in a preheated 375 degree oven, I baked the two whole chickens [in separate foil trays] for about an hour. I served it alongside garlic bread today.

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What’s for Dinner: Another Seven Layer Bar

Today, I did a twist on my Seven Layer BarsClick here to see the original combination of ingredients.

These Seven Layer Bars [either version] are such a quick and easy dessert to put together. Not to mention they are a crowd pleaser!20140517-211116.jpg

I stuck with the graham cracker base that I used in the original version. Next, I added the following layers: white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes, chopped pecans, Reese’s peanut butter chips, and of course a 14 ounce can of condensed milk on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Remember to let it cool before you cut them into bars/squares!

If you like this recipe or my original Seven Layer Bars recipe, check out my Chocolate Chip Squares recipe too.

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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Gryos

Tonight, for dinner, I made Chicken Gyros. Healthy, flavorful and delicious! 

I took boneless chicken cubes, and marinated it with: black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, yogurt and lemon juice. I cooked it over low heat for about an hour. In the last few minutes, I turn the heat up to high [while closely watching it] in order to let the chicken soak up any of the liquid left [that’s added flavor right there!]. After letting the chicken cool for a bit, either slice or dice the chicken20140506-202209.jpg

For the  [tzatziki] sauce: to yogurt, I added diced cucumbers, a little black pepper and garlic powder, lemon juice, and parsley. Tzatziki sauce is what you typically find in gyros.

Finally, to put it together: I took my [homemade] naan and to it I added a layer of chopped Romaine lettuce,  the chicken, the sauce, and diced tomatoes on top. Wrap it like a gryo, and you are good to go!

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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: Naan

My parents recently got me a stand-mixer, and I put it to use today by making my own naan for the chicken gyros I made for dinner tonight! In the past, I’ve had such a hard time with making dough and today, it was ready in mere minutes…  dough’s just got a whole lot easier to make.

What I used was:20140506-202300.jpg

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 cups of [AP] flour

What I did:

  1. In my mixing bowl, I dissolved the yeast in one cup of warm water. Let it stand for about ten minutes, or until it becomes frothy before moving on.
  2. Next, add in the sugar, egg, salt and flour. Mix in the ingredients until everything is incorporated [using the flat beater].
  3. Switch over to your dough hook and let it do all the hard work in mere minutes! Then, just pat it into a ball.
  4. Place your dough in a bowl [I sprayed the bowl with non-stick cooking spray to make sure it didn’t stick], and cover with a damp [paper] towel and let it rise. Tip: I always let my dough’s rise in a turned off oven. For this step, let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Next, take pieces of the dough, and roll them into balls. Place them on a [baking] tray. Again, cover with a damp [paper] towel and let them rise again for another hour or so.
  6. When you are ready to make your naan, turn your George Foreman grill on.
  7. On a floured surface, roll each of the balls into a thin circle/rectangle [or whatever shape you want or it turns into] 🙂
  8. Let each naan cook in the grill for a few minutes, flipping half way. I used the George Foreman grill because I wanted the naan to have the grill marks and it was convenient!

I am sure you can do this on the grill, the stove, in the oven, but today I made it in my George Foreman grill. Without adding any oil or butter and still got the great naan taste.

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.

Only, you, Rutgers

Oh dear Rutgers. Former school of minePretty much housed in my backyard.

As a student, I was always proud to be affiliated with Rutgers. I mean, come on, how many schools do you know that have turned down the IVY league status? 

You represent the state of New Jersey. But, for one reason or another, you just can’t seem to get your act together and stay out of your own way. You seem to prove the saying “you are the only one holding yourself back”.

I’ll be honest, it didn’t even cross my mind that Rutgers should choose LeGrand as the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation [in the aftermath of all the Rice debacle] until I saw LeGrand’s tweet yesterday essentially telling us that Rutgers had chosen him as the commencement speaker… and then basically unchose him. Rutgers didn’t have the audacity to rescind the invitation from Condoleezza Rice, but did so without a second thought to one of our very own. 

Rutgers is widely known as the birth place of college football [the first intercollegiate football game was held here between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869]. I mean that alone is a solid reason to have your brains screaming at you to pick Eric LeGrand. 

Who could be better to represent Rutgers and to inspire the graduates than LeGrand and what he has overcome? He was paralyzed from the neck down playing football for Rutgers, but he didn’t let that stop him from coming back to Rutgers and finishing his degree [this would be his graduation ceremony too!!]. What a better way to instill in the minds of these graduates to work hard, to never give up, and to persevere.

Today? Today I’m a very disappointed alumni. Embarrassed that Rutgers would even do such a thing. I mean you have proven you are terrible at decisions and logistics over and over, but this has to be an all-time low even for you.

Only, you, Rutgers. Only you would screw up such an opportunity. I can’t think of a less controversial person that would have turned this whole story around after all that has happened since you initially [and insanely] chose Condoleezza Rice as  the keynote speaker. I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t have been inspired, who wouldn’t have supported you, who wouldn’t have been proud of such a decision.

You were given a gift on a silver platter, but you chose to be ungrateful and say “thanks, but no thanks”. And in the process, once again, you embarrassed/humiliated/angered/frustrated Rutgers as a whole.

Only, you, Rutgers. Only you would have taken this opportunity for granted. Taken LeGrand’s story for granted. Only you would screw this up.

Handmade

A couple of weeks ago, I found Ami trying to find my baby pictures, and it was so nice to go through some of our old pictures from our childhood. It had been a while since I had gone through them. Many of my newborn photos, including the first photo taken of me mere moments after my birth, have me wearing this reddish/orange blanket with a green border.

This blanket? It’s something I have treasured for as long as I can remember. It’s held a permanent residence under my bed in a container of things I’ve saved over the years. It’s priceless and you can’t even tell it’s over 30 years old. My mat9ernal grandmother sewed it personally.

It’s, unfortunately, one of the only [tangible] connections I have with my grandmother considering both of my grandmothers passed away way before I was born. Sadly, my paternal grandmother passed away a mere six days before her first grandchild, my oldest brother, Ayaz was born.

My dad’s aunt also sewed a yellow sweater for my oldest brother. That sweater? My dolls wore it over the course of the years.

Lately, I have very often found myself reminiscing and reflecting and things of that sorts.

If there’s one thing anyone knows about me, it’s that I am a) VERY emotional/sensitive [anything and everything makes me cry: whether I’m happy, sad, upset, angry… it just doesn’t matter] and b) a sentimental person. I don’t tend to save many tangible things, but I do keep the important stuff. The ones of value.  I can probably find any card given to me over the years… they, too, are housed in this aforementioned container.

I’ve said it a million times, I know I am overly emotional, but: I’d rather be very empathetic over apathetic any day.

What’s for Dinner: Flavorful Punch

A couple of weeks ago, I meant to make my strawberry and mango combination drink, but I accidentally mixed the pina colada and mango mixers without giving it a second thought. I didn’t even realize it until I mixed all the ingredients together and thought to myself that the color looked… a little off.

To fix it, I added in the strawberry mixer too and this combination turned out great as well.

Besides the three drink mixers, I used sprite and ice as usual.

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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.