Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whole foods and the yum factor

We eat for so many reasons beyond fueling our bodies. As a mom working towards good eating habits I try to remember that the social and emotional aspects of food are important and just as real as the practical considerations such as cost and nutrition. As I plan for the daycare I am trying to keep this in mind. So, I have started to rethink my stand on hiding foods... My own children I can cagoule, bribe and force if needed. Other peoples children in a large setting... No.

I have been observing in another daycare here in town and am seeing that kids just have their own minds about what they eat. And if they have never been exposed to whole foods how will I get them to eat it? Some things I know won't be a big deal, but other things will be a struggle I'm sure. So I am thinking about hiding veggies in the cooking for the daycare. Of course I would point this out to the parents, but I am thinking it might be a good way to have kids actually eat their veggies rather than just throwing them in the trash.

I have been experimenting with some different recipes and I think there are some with real potential. Even my picky DH liked them. I made a veggie soup with meatballs, blueberry bars with spinach, sweet potato pancakes, and will keep trying more options, insha'Allah. Hopefully I will have this down pat within a few months. Once I open the daycare I will be able to incorporate this idea... I will just have to figure out the transition to a larger scale.

***Somehow the draft of this post published... I just now got to editing it, sorry guys!***

Friday, March 21, 2008

I want you all to watch this weeks Ask Baba Ali video. I think it brings up an important point. A VERY important point. We have all seen this in the masjid, we all know on some level what he is talking about. It's up to us to stop it. OK, so watch it them come read the next piece of this post.


You saw it? OK.

How many times have you been that person complaining? How many times have you been the person with the clipboard? I've been both. Lately I've been the complainer more often, to be honest. And I am thinking that the next time there is something that needs to be done I will just do it, insha'Allah. And I have been thinking a lot about the things that have happened to me in the masjid and thinking that I reacted in the wrong way.

You see I have had some bad experiences with the masjid as far as talking about me, making me feel uncomfortable, saying things to the congregation that were obviously addresses to me... And all I have ever done is complain about it. Not very productive really. I shouldve gone to the people who were doing these things and told them my concerns to their face. Because you see, that is the difference between voicing a legitimate concern and complaining. No one that I have told my stories to can help me with my problem, and I think may have been guilty of using this whining as a way of dealing with my problems. Now, if I had just gone and talked to the people involved I'm sure they would've denied any wrongdoing... But I would have made them think twice before ever doing it again to me or anyone else.

So, here's to picking up a paintbrush instead of running your mouth off. I know I'm going to do my best to implement this idea, insha'Allah.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I love a company with customer service

When we were in FL DH bought everyone Crocs with the Disney logo in the place of the openings. We were seeing them all over Disney and telling DH I was planning on buying them for the kids. I always have them for the kids summer shoes. So, our last day at Disney without me or the kids to try anything on... He bought 5 pairs of Crocs. 3 of them were the wrong size, including mine. Since there was very little chance of me growing into them, I e-mailed the company to see if maybe I could get another size. Now, I had very little hope in this endeavor since I bought them at Disney. Imagine my shock when I actually got a response. And imagine how happy I was when I got my new shoes in the mail yesterday? I am recommending Crocs highly. I was impressed when a friend got a replacement pair after her daughter's brand new Crocs ripped. But she took them back to the place she bought them at with the receipt blah blah blah. After my situation, I am thinking they are a great company... I for one am impressed with their customer service.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Said I would review it...

So, DH has been enjoying our order from Masri Sweets for a few days now... But he says that it leaves something to be desired. The filo dough treats were good, but the moushebik and the petit four were only OK. I could've made the petit four, and that is my gold standard.... And DH claims that the moushebic is of the homemade variety. Maybe we are spoiled by the things we get from Misr... Who knows. Basically if I can make it I don't want to pay for it. So I don't think I would give it a thumbs down, "it didn't suck" to quote Showgirls. But, I think I will keep trying different companies.

Halfway mark...

When I started dieting I was 151 lbs. Way too much for my 5 feet... Just too much. My goal is to make it to 110. This week I hit 130, which means I am halfway to my goal, masha'Allah. There have been setbacks, stalls and I have started longingly at many deserts during that time. However, I feel like I am getting somewhere with this whole weight loss thing... I feel better, my clothes fit, and even though I don't see a big difference in the mirror DH keeps reassuring me that he can see it.

I have been doing a modified South Beach plan. I keep the carbs low, the fiber high. I am getting bored with it though. I wish I could say there is no problem with limiting myself, and I don't miss the foods I have cut out... But I do. I think that I will be able to maintain my weight with more carbs, but to keep losing I have had to limit them. Unfortunately, there are only so many ways you can prepare a chicken breast!LOL And I miss cereal for breakfast!!!

Anyway, just an update on the diet thing... I'm still at it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Time for an Alhamdulilah...

I am having a good day in spite of all the things we have hanging over our heads... So I wanted to take time for an Alhamdulilah...

Alhamdulilah for the part that just came for my new espresso machine. I can now finally use it and enjoy a nice cuppa.

Alhamdulilah for a DH who has the money and the patience to help me when I overdraw our bank account for the billionth time.

Alhamdulilah for kisses on the neck from someone I love **blushing**

Alhamdulilah for a sweet baby that takes a morning nap with me when I really need it.

Alhamdulilah for the guy who fixed my glasses in 10 minutes at no charge so I don't have to wear my horrible back-ups all day.

Alhamdulilah for driving away from yet another rental that will never work for us and stumbling onto another place to rent that I think is perfect for us.

Alhamdulilah for spring weather, while it lasts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A funny from Masr...

Mubarak was on his death bed and by his side was his closest advisor, Ahmed. As Mubaruak was slipping in and out of consciousness he carried on a conversation with Ahmed about his final wishes...

He says, "Ahmed, we have talked about it many times... But tell me what will you do with my presidency when I pass on?"

"Sir, don't worry. As you wish your presidency will pass to your son Gamal!!! Rest now sir, it will be as you have planned."

Mubaruk sleeps and wakes again asking desperately; "Ahmed, Ahmed!!! And what will happen to the Egyptian people after I pass?"

"Don't worry sir, those ungrateful Egyptians will eat rocks after you die!!!"

Mubarak sleeps and then wakes again with one last desperate question: "Ahmed, Ahmed!!! What about my younger son? Do you remember my plans for him?"

"Of course sir, of course. He will get the exclusive contracts to sell the rocks!!!"

NYUK NYUK NYUK.... Well, I though it was funny anyway;)

Fire Suppression... Or Financial Oppression?

Masha'Allah we have finally figured out about 90% of the work that needs to be done with the daycare. Now I have one ginormous hurdle remaining... The fire code. Ahhhh, the fire code. Well, it seems that we are the first daycare in WY to have to retrofit a building to meet a new code for daycares and schools. No one knows what this code is, no one has enforced this code before. All the other daycares have been grandfathered in. ** SIGH**

So, right now I don't know what this is going to cost me or how long it will take to install. I have to be up and open by the June though... Or I have to renew my conditional use. So, keep us in your dua because we need it!LOL

Monday, March 10, 2008

After school snack

I found a cupcake mix from Betty Crocker today at the store... And since I have been thinking of trying to make half a cake mix or something to be able to cut down the number of cupcakes I make at one time, it was perfect. The mix made 12 cupcakes and I used whipped cream infused frosting for a fluffy top. They remind me of clouds, don't you think?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Check it out!

Arab-American style Wal-Mart in Dearborn, MI. I have some issues with Wal-Mart (and what they do to small businesses), but that is cool!!! Read the article here:Wal-Mart in Dearborn

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just a little funny...

Tonight DH was out while I was making dinner. I made little mini pizzas with the kids and a small deep dish pizza in a cake pan for DH. I was feeding the kids and called to ask him if he wanted mushrooms and olives on his pizza. He said something like yea, sure. I told him the kids made their own, I put extra cheese on his... Blah Blah Blah.

Then he came home with a pizza. "I thought you asked me to get a pizza on my way home." he says. Yet more evidence that men don't listen to their wives on the phone!!!LOL

Koushari recipe

All this talk of koushari lately... It's easy!!! So here is my personal recipe:

1 cup brown lentils
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni is best)
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
salt and black pepper

Cook the lentils in just over a 5 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15-30 minutes, depending on the type of lentils you are using. Keep checking and add water if needed.

At the same time cook up some rice using a 1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water ratio. I measure the water and the rice with the same cup.

Cook the macaroni in a separate pot like you normally would. Rinse and strain when done.

Meanwhile, fry the onions and garlic in the oil until golden. At the very last minute of frying add the coriander. Then just pour the tomato sauce on and simmer.

Mix the lentils, rice and macaroni together in one pot.

Add about a tbsp of vinegar to the sauce after you take it off the burner.

Place some of the lentil mixture on each plate and top with tomato sauce.

Sprinkle with hot chili powder or salt and pepper, if desired.

Just ordered some sweets for DH...

I just ordered some things for DH from a company I have been seeing and was wanting to try... They have all kinds of Egyptian sweets, petite four, moushebic, burma... Things I can't make and DH likes. So I went out on a limb and ordered $50 woth of stuff from them. Insha'Allah I will review the products here on the blog once I get them. The company I used is:

Masri Sweets

And if they can save our friends from carrying moushebic all the way from Cairo I am definitely going to be a happy woman!LOL

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It was a Monday alright...

So yesterday was a Monday around here... I went out to take the kids to school and fell on the ice. I do that every year at least once, and this was a big one because I was carrying the baby and I kinda held her in front of me so she wouldn't get hurt and her weight landed on top of me as well as mine. Alhamdulilah, winter is coming to a close.

Then, I delivered duplicates of bills that have not been paid yet to a big chain store here in town only to find out that they have gone to corporate billing and no one knows what the heck is happening with our money (which I really NEED right now). The kicker is that we can't stop delivering to them because the people who supply our papers would freak out about that.

So I got the truck to go pick up a development sign from the city... Only to find it frozen solid into the ground still in spite of warmer weather this past week or so. Then I go to get back into the truck only to find that it is locked. I must have hit the button getting out or something... But here was my 20 month old sitting in the running truck and the doors locked. Alhamdulilah, I had my phone... So I called a towing company that unlocked it for no charge to me. Masha'Allah, there are still some people out there who feel that a mother with a screaming toddler locked in the car is not a chance to collect $50.

In the afternoon, DH had a Drs appointment for a knee problem that he has been having. And they want to do a surgery on it. :P

Then all 6 of us are in line at Wal-Mart with two carts full of stuff and I go to pay only to realise that I have no cards... DH proceeds to get very upset that I came all the way to Wal-Mart without my cards. So I run back to the house thinking I will grab his cards and I find mine. Apparently, DH has taken the cards that I need from my wallet and has them in his car... Why??? Well, his cards from the same accounts are not working. I can only assume that he remembered that because when I showed up with the cards he was sitting at Subway with the kids eating dinner and he had even remembered the South Beach thing and gotten me a salad and a diet coke. LOL It was enough of a sorry for me... But I was a little flustered by the whole thing.

Yes dears... It was a Monday. Let's hope that Tuesday is a little more tame!LOL