Wednesday, December 14, 2011
1.)I could live off of pancakes FOREVER.
2.) I used to ONLY use the pre-mixed just add water kind and not because I didn't know how to make pancakes from scratch but I was just one of those "too danged lazy and I need my carb fix NOW" kinda person.
Pancakes are forever attracted to my hips. They are best friends for life. It will be the one food I will never cut out of my life, ever.
I started to think about my food spending and how I could be a little more "thrifty." And at nearly three dollars a box and needing about two boxes a week to feed my troop and my cravings, I had to find something cheaper. It would be a cold day in hell before I gave up my beloved carbs and the cheap mixes are just that, cheap. I knew how to make them from scratch. Those who know me, know I am not an "up and at em" kind of gal in the morn. I could sleep in until noon if allowed, too bad I can't reprogram the kids and there's this darn thing called school that gets in the way. But this is now just as quick and even tastier than the pre-mixed kind!
Really basic but yummy recipe. I am sure you can find it just about any where on the interwebs.
Here's what you will need:
1 egg lightly beaten
1 to 1/4 cups of milk (Have extra on hand for thinning)
3 tablespoons of melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/2 cup of flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 and 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Here's what you do:
1.) Combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.
2.) Pour in butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Mix until most but not all lumps are gone.
3.) Add milk until runny enough to pour on to a hot griddle/pan. You want it pour-able, a little thicker than syrup but not too thick.
4.) Pour your desired size pancake on the pan, when you have bubbles on the sides and in the middle of the pancake batter, flip.
5.) Remove when other side of pancake is a dark golden brown, you may have to poke the center of the pancake to ensure it's cooked thoroughly.
6.) Repeat until all batter is used.
I get about 6-8 pancakes with this and it makes about 2 to 2.5 cups of batter. Also you may have to use cooking spray but I never do but that will depend on your cooking skill and the quality of the pans you are using.
Also now that I am exclusively only making them homemade, I don't even need to look at the recipe, I just start making them. That's how easy and quick they are!
Enjoy with your favorite butter and syrup!
Friday, December 9, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
We live in a country where one in every six people faces hunger every day. We are supposed to be a power nation, we are an industrialized and democratic nation, yet we cannot even feed our own people. Sure, there is the nationally funded food stamp program but it’s underfunded and only rarely helps fully prevent hunger and food insecurity. There are countless soup kitchens and food banks, but they still remain underfunded and in desperate need of food. How is it that we are leading nation; yet we remain in the bottom five for poverty rates? How is that even possible and even permissible? Have we become so blind to our nations own needs and troubles?
To be frank, I kind of like wearing a Hijab but I also like the loose warm comfort of a scarf draped over my head that is now common place in Pakistan. When I wear a hijab, I feel in a sense that I am protecting my femininity and that I do not have to worry about superficial beauty. I feel safe. Oddly, society has taught me that hijabs are not a sign of safety but of oppression. I hate to say it but I do not find that to be true. But then again, I have yet to wear one out in public…
But I plan to and I will write about it.
I am not sure how my fiance will feel about this but there is something compelling me to experience this part of Islam and write about it. I think he fears that others will perceive him as being oppressive and it’s true, I think some will but how can I honestly know what I am writing about if I do not go out and experience it? How can I impact others thinking if I have no firm proof to back up my own opinions and thoughts?
Sunday, October 30, 2011
- We have dated for a minimal of six months in real life and in the same country but would prefer a year prior to marriage.
- X amount of money in savings.
- Both have gainful employment, either full or part time.
- We both have working, in good condition cars with no loans.
- We have a place that the rent/mortgage is well under what we can afford.
- We have no excess debts, IE credit cards, etc.
- We have a detailed and concise financial plan and back up.
- X amount of student loans paid off.
- We both have a monthly budget that has been in place for an x amount of months prior to marriage.
- Pre-marriage workshops, communication, parenting, etc.
- We have a clear knowledge of what each other needs and wants are.
- We have no shreds of doubts, I wouldn't ask him to marry me or vice versa if there was even the tiniest amount of doubt.
- We both have taken our health and mental wellness to where it needs to be.
- There's many more but of a more private nature.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Manyunderfoot's photostream on Flickr.
Inspirations for our American wedding. We are def doing the typical american wedding, with him in a tux but I am def throwing some Pakistani flare in to it. It will really show case who we are.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
S- No, I am not. I do not think that M would require me to wear a head covering unless deemed needed by tradition. There are certain times where I am required to wear a head scarf like if I were to pray, etc. I am sure M can elaborate more because I do not know all the times I am required too.
M- I will try to explain very briefly here. First of all why Hijab is required in Islam? It is said in Quran that “A woman’s best jewellery is her shyness.” Hijab is practiced to cover up the head and the body from a stranger man who may look with an evil eye and with bad intention towards a woman. Hijab isn’t obligatory unless you’re praying. It’s the time when you’re required to cover your head. Hijab is practiced when women go out in the markets and there are every kind of men who may look at them with bad intention, so just to avoid that condition Hijab is worn but of course it’s up to me here if I want S to wear that or not. With me, it’s totally okay, I don’t want her to wear a Hijab. I’m there to protect her! Nobody can dare look at her with bad intention when I’m around.
Are you forced to convert to Islam?
S- No. M has already stated that he loves me regardless of what I choose.
M- I’ve never forced S to convert to Islam. I always told her about it whenever the religion came up in our conversations and she always develops interest in knowing more about my religion and asks me about different things that we practice. I have accepted her the way she was.
What about Muslim traditions?
S-I will observe them when need be out of respect and love. I will not be able to partake in Ramadan due to my blood sugar issues. We will also follow dietary traditions unless M has other thoughts on this.
M- That’s alright S will not be able to partake in Ramadan because of obvious reasons, and that’s quite okay. I look forward to be following dietary traditions as much as possible. Eating ‘Pork meat’ is prohibited in Islam, so we’ll restrict ourselves. As far as other dietary traditions are concerned, they can be followed if possible provided means of availability is there. Otherwise it’s okay.
What about the girls? Will they be forced to convert and follow traditions?
S- We’ve had an in depth conversation on this subject. We will teach them about Islam and Muslim traditions. We will never force them to become something they do not want to be. Yes, I will have them follow traditions that we both approve out of respect. It will be used as tool for greater good and knowledge. If they want to convert or not when they are older, we would be supportive and loving either way.
M- No, certainly not. I would never force the girls to convert or follow traditions. However, I and S together will, from time to time, tell them about the culture and traditions and discuss religion with them. Rest is in their hands, as they grow up they will be able to see and choose what’s good for themselves.
Since we know you are planning on having more children, what about those children and Islam?
S- M wants them to be brought up in Islam. I do not have an issue with this. The girls have had years of other religions and cultures beneath them, so it would be more abrasive and alien to the girls and tarnish their opinions on Islam. By this time the girls should have had enough exposure to be OK with their step siblings being raised fully in Islam traditions. If our biological children decided to no longer accept Islam, then I will love them and supportive them no matter what because they are still my children.
M- Yes, we will be having children and I really want them to be brought up as Muslims with a positive and humble character, the way Islam truly teaches about. I would be upset if they decide to no longer accept Islam, this would mean my failure as a father. I want to choose the best for them when they’re growing up, so the best I could choose for them would be as Muslims - being pious, honest, and sincere and believers in Allah. This would benefit them in this life and the next. My success as a father would be when I make their faith strong in Allah and be good followers of Islam. I don’t want to force them to follow the religion, but my upbringing will be in such a manner where they will gladly accept Islam with all their heart and wouldn’t feel forced to accept it.
Will you force arrange marriages for your children?
S- S-No. I believe in love marriages. I hope to set a wonderful example for my children that you are free to love whom you chose. No matter their gender, race or religion. I do hope that they would respect my opinions but I will respect their choices because in the long run I want what is best for them.
M- Force arranged marriage is a strong term. I wouldn’t have them forced arrange marriages instead they will have the right to marry the person they love.
Will you be forced to stay home or will you be allowed to work and continue your education?
S- We’ve discussed this. I am allowed to work and go to classes if I choose too. I will be a stay at home mom after our children are born until they are older and I will return to work or classes if need be. I feel that I need to be at home when they are young.
M-I would never force S to stay home. She will have my complete consent to work and continue her education. Only when the children are very young, I would want her to take care of them and be home because that’s when a mother’s role comes in. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind if S wants to work and continue her education.
What about gender roles and household duties?
S- Ha. M has already told me he plans to help me so that I do not have to carry this burden by myself since I have carried it so long on my own. It’s going to take some getting used to because honestly I am so independent. I do long to take care of him and our household and I would get a great sense of satisfaction in doing so.
M- I’ll be very co-operative and helpful when it comes to the gender roles and household duties, I guess that’s just how I am. I really look forward to helping and giving her S* a hand with the household duties since she has carried it so long on her own and now I need to play my role being with her.
What about food?
S- We will have an intercultural diet from all corners of the world. We will have South Asian food at least every week and during common traditions. It depends on if I can get my hands on traditional food and spices as well. I know that not all South Asian food is spicy but I will set aside portions for the girls where I can adjust the heat level. M has already told me that he’s going to love my cooking be it good or bad. Ha. There’s no bad food in my house!
M- Food?! :D Well, since she loves cooking, I already know there’s not going to be a problem with the food. Yes we will have an intercultural diet, for sure. S will really get hands well on the traditional food and spices plus I have no problems whether it’s American food she cooks or just the traditional food of my culture, I never have to complain about the food, because I know she will do that for me with all her devotion so I would love it anyhow.
What about American holidays?
S- Of course we will follow them! It’s deeply rooted in my traditions and something I look forward teaching the girls. We will be also incorporating Muslim traditions and South Asian food. Actually I can’t wait to dress M up in Halloween costumes and send him out with the girls to go trick or treating! Hehe.
M- Why not? We would celebrate all American holidays as well as the Muslim traditional holidays. It will be fun and I wonder how I will look like dressed up in a Halloween costume lol It will be fun though J
What about an intergenerational house hold?
S- I have openly welcomed the idea of having his parents and siblings living with us. I think it would be great for everyone. Yes, the house hold may be hectic as far as amount of people in the house. But I think it will be quite some time before this happens and by then with future planning in mind, everything will work out.
M- I don’t think S will have a problem with that. We have discussed that already and I know she will take care of it very well. She’s very caring and understanding. But it’s not going to be any sooner, it will be a long time till my parents might wish to come and start living at our place, and we can accommodate them and I look forward to it. Even if S’s mom wishes to stay with us, I have no issues. I would be glad that she will be living with us.
What about his/her parents?
S- I am actually excited to meet Amme (mom) and Abbu (dad)! I can’t wait to be part of their family and be openly accepted as their beyTi (daughter). I can’t wait to taste Amme’s cooking and learn how to cook South Asian cooking and household duties from her! I know many Gori (white and or American) girlfriends and wives who do not look forward to this or even like it. Not I! I think I will love it. I am excited to meet Abbu because he sounds so smart and open to teaching me how the household should be run from a man’s view point and see how they treat each other. I think they provided a great role model for M because he has turned out so great!
M- I am happy to meet her parents. I look forward to meeting them and make them feel content that I will take care of their daughter and love her always and she wouldn’t suffer anything like her past. I want to be with her for the rest of her life, loving her, being the father of her children, taking care of her and being the best husband. I am pretty sure I will make her parents proud.
Will you be staying in the states?
S- Yes. I am by law forced to stay here due to custody reasons and I could not imagine changing that. We will be visiting M’s homeland when we can and when it’s safe to travel there. M has family in Texas, so I imagine we will be spending a lot of time down there. When we are older and the kids are grown and married, who knows.
M- Yes we will be living in the States that’s what I want too. We will visit my homeland sometimes if we plan to, but since I have much family in Texas too, so we will definitely be spending time over there on holidays.
What is one thing that makes you nervous about Muslim/American traditions?
M- I don’t know too much about American traditions, but there’s nothing I suppose that I will be nervous about when it comes to traditions as long as it doesn’t speak against my religion or devalues Islamic values and beliefs.
What is one thing you think you will have difficulty relationship wise in context of your cultural differences?
S- Conflict resolution in the beginning. I think there will be times where this will test our relationship. I am very forward and to the point. I typically will firmly make my point very loud and clear. I have realized through M that my “roughness” isn’t helpful. Ha. I blame it on my past because it wasn’t used as a resolution skill but more of a survival skill if you will. He is teaching me to be more gentle and calm with my words. I am adapting though because he respect me so much that he won’t retort with bad words or even in his tone of voice. He respects me so much out of love that the idea of just casually throwing words at him seems so impossible now.
M- I guess she already said it. I don’t know whether I should term it as a cultural difference, but I guess it’s more of a personality because I like to be polite and I like to be treated the same way. My anger, my emotions are always under my control if I realize it’s hurting the other person. I get over it instantly for the other person. S is very straight forward yet considerate and that’s her personality and I respect her for that. It’s better to be clear than being hideous and hiding feelings and keeping them in your heart because they come out in anger off and on and creates more complications. That’s why I find it good if she’s straightforward and tell me things honestly if she doesn’t like something I did, or what so ever. She is being gentle and polite with me and I know she is doing it for me, and I really love her for that! There’s nothing more I can ask for because I believe cruel words damage more than just actions themselves.
What is one thing that you didn’t expect to learn?
S- That even though there are deeply rooted stereotypes and racism, that there are open and loving people who accept you no matter what! I always was afraid of the stereotypes that were held against American women and especially divorced American women with children stereotypes. M threw all those stereotypes out the window because he loves me no matter what! His love for me will not be broken by anything! That my worth will never be devalued by what others think or say. I am so thankful for this!
M- It is how to treat an angry woman calmly and patiently J I learnt we need to give people some time if they need to get over their emotions when they are really upset about something.
How do you plan on teaching and protecting the girls form other’s ignorance when it comes to your relationship?
S- Well I don’t think you can protect them from life. I think I can teach them what is truly important in life and show them this through my actions. They know that your skin color, religion, income, culture and gender is all the same when it comes to human rights. No one is better or less. All are equals. I will also teach them kindness and knowledge when it comes to them hearing and seeing stereotypes and racism. I can’t protect them from heartaches of life but I can at least lessen the blows and heal their wounds but my love and my actions.
M- I will be very careful in telling them things that will always keep them neutral so they can speak for themselves and for the right if people show ignorance towards them. They will be the speakers instead of listeners. They will know the right things they should know. I will do anything to protect them from other people’s ignorance and even from the heartaches as much as I can. S and I have seen life; we can share our experience and minimize the troubles that may come their way, so the girls can turn them away before it strikes them. Of course to some extent, they will learn from their mistakes too, but I believe it’s one of the responsibilities of the parents too to protect their children from difficulties by restricting them initially from things which they might think look attractive and beneficial for them but actually they are not, and I will not let them suffer, I will sit and make them understand but if they insist persistently, I will let them go thru it so they will realize parents’ have much experience they can learn from.
What is something that you are not looking forward too?
M- I agree with S completely. People’s ignorance will always be there, but I too hope that someday they might realize how stronger our love and bond is, and eventually they could get over it. Another thing that I don’t look forward to would be people’s discrimination. It would somewhat hurt me to go through it. I wouldn’t appreciate if people discriminate when it comes to treating our biological children because they should be like all other children – the way they should be treated.
What is something that you look forward too?
S- Well there are several things I look forward too. But the most prominent one is spend the rest of my life with M. It motivates me so much and I know that motivation will be continuing because I cannot picture a day without M in my life.
M- The only thing I look forward to is to get over unworthy conflicts and misunderstandings and things which would create distance b/w us. We just need to understand each other more and let go things that will only make us feel bad and upset. I always like to quickly get over conflicts and try to make things simpler and easier for both of us because our love is the root to this relationship and it must be strong no matter what. We have a long way to go if we stand by each other firmly. Last but not the least, can’t wait to be around my wifey any longer.
If you had to give someone one tip on intercultural relationship what would it be?
S- Well first and foremost, if you love someone nothing else will matter but what is in their heart. Secondly, you are your own being. You are in control of what you think and what you feel. No one else has the right to sway your feelings or make you feel a certain way. Love truly cannot be contained by what a group of people think is right for you. If you love someone, love them with all your heart. When you do nothing else matters.
M- I would write the same thing down here that S did. Agreed 100% with it J
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
So I know I said prior too that I had taken a cool down from our relationship but I found that to be too hard. I can't stay away from M, not even for a minute.
I thought I'd post some images of where I am pulling my inspiration from for our black and white themed wedding.
I am sure I will be adding to this!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Who likes those warnings? But there's always that group of idiots who take things too far.
No, this isn't a fad diet or a quick fix. It's a nice substitution diet for when you need to lose a few pounds or you want to detox and help your GI track. Either way it's shown that eating plenty of fiber and foods that are good for you will actually help you lose weight, have proper bowel movements, improve your health and over all well being.
I eat this sometimes when my IBD is flaring because of the veggies and the fiber, it tends to settle things down a little. I pureed mine more then you will but it also depends on the texture you are looking for. Sometimes I like mine a little more coarse but my last batch I made was smooth.
Why it's good for you:
High in fiber, nutrients, low in calories and good for you. Do you think I am going to list out why it's good for you? Do you know how long of a list that would be?! Omgosh, I really don't have that kind of time!
How about you look at these links for yourself, k?
Don't forget those spices!
Ground black pepper
Seriously people, it's good for you! How does this compare to fad diets? You are getting benefits that affect you from head to toe in just one bowl! Now imagine how you are going to feel if you have two bowls a day?! You are going to feel great!
How it works:
You are going to wake up and a sensible breakfast.
Whole oats and a boiled egg with either fresh fruit or a glass of juice but not both. And a dairy, either cheese, milk or yogurt.
1 protein item : Egg, cheese, nuts, lean white meat, fish, chicken, turkey and peanut butter, etc.
1 portion of fresh fruits
1 serving of any raw or fresh veggie.
Lunch and dinner:
Depending on your weight:
160lbs or less 1 cup to 1.5 cups of lentil soup and a protein and half a serving of fruit.
160lbs or more 1.5 cups to 2 cups of lentil soup and a protein and half a serving of fruit.
So here's how it goes:
Off limits food:
Pop, soda, processed food, fried foods, high salt foods, processed sugars and flours. Limit coffee, try teas instead.
Stick to raw and fresh foods.
If you must eat bread, eat whole grain dark breads. Eat whole wheat or grain cereals.
Drink PLENTY of water! You need to flush your system and cleanse your colon and you can't do that without water.
No more then THREE portions of dairy a day. You are trying to be kind to your GI tract. Not to mention that dairy is loaded with calories and fat.
*If you get that gnawing sensation that you are hungry and you can't wait to your next meal, eat a 1/2 portion from the snack list to tide you over*
Your stomach and your brain are going to try to convince you that this isn't enough, well it is. Eventually and hopefully all the fiber will fill you up and you shouldn't have hunger issues. It's purely a mind over body issue. We eat to large of portions so this is going to seem like so little when really it's enough.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will notice a withdraw stage or an increased craving for sugar. That's ok, just nip in the bud with a handful of grapes or an apple. Eventually, it will go away.
I don't do this longer then a week. You'll get bored out of your mind with the lentil soup and never want to see it again if you did it longer then this. What it is intended to do is get you on the right track.
So I am going to eat this for a week and the week afterwards rotate it in my meals. Then later on do another week.
You can't just eat this and lose weight, I am sure you could but that's not the point. You have to get off your butt and be active, you will lose even more weight then you if you just sat on your butt. For real people, I did say this isn't a quick fix.
I've lost any where from three to eight pounds in one week on this diet, so it is indeed possible!
2 tbls of EVVO
2 cups red lentils
3 carrots chopped
3 celery chopped
1 onion or 1/4 of a large onion
3-5 cloves of garlic chopped
1 bunch of spinach
1 red pepper chopped
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of cumin
dash of red pepper flakes
2 boxes of low sodium veg broth
*you can always add more veggies to this, just add them in with the rest of the veggies.*
1) In a hot soup pan add in oil and carrots, onions, celery, pepper and garlic. Saute until onions are transparent.
2) Add in lentils, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Cumin, Red pepper flakes, ground pepper and veggie broth. Taste and season until it taste good to you. Some like theirs on the bland side and some like it on the spicy side, it's up to you. If it needs more seasoning, add some, wait five minutes and taste again. Keep doing so until it taste good to you.
3) Bring to a boil for ten minutes, stir often.
4) Simmer on medium-low for an hour.
5) Cool and add into blender and puree until you get a consistency you desire. Refrigerate.
Enjoy and be healthy!
Monday, May 9, 2011
For the cupcakes:
1 box of Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
1 small box of instant pudding
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 small box of orange jello
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup cold water
For the frosting*:
2 cups or one pint of whipping cream
1 table spoon of vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
*You can freeze or refrigerate your bowl in advance to help speed up the process. I didn't.
1- In your bowl add the cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding and oj. Mix well. Add about 1 to 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner and bake at 325 degrees until done about 16-20 minutes.
2- While cupcakes are baking, in a clean cold bowl add in the whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar and slowly mix with your mixture. Then increase the speed and keep whisking until the cream is thick and fluffy. You may add in more sugar depending on how sweet you want it. I felt it needed more sugar. Store in fridge until needed.
3- When cupcakes are cool, poke holes into the top of each cupcake. Then in a small bowl place the orange jello, hot and cold water and mix until dissolved. Then spoon a small amount into the holes, being careful not to overflow the cupcake.
4- Top with a dollop of the whip cream and there you go, the closest form of a creamcicle cup cake you'll ever get.
Final note- These are made with homemade whipped cream. There is a BIG difference in taste. Do not take the easy route out and buy the frozen or canned junk. Once you have homemade, you never go back!
Also the topping will melt, so don't top these until you need them but they will last about an hour or so. What I do is make the cupcakes, place them in a ziplock bag and then top them as needed with the topping that I keep in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy these!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This is partially home made. I wasn't feeling up to making the cake batter from scratch. I'll repent later.
Who says chocolate doesn't make everything better?
1 box cake mix, chocolate fudge (make sure you have eggs and oil as the box call for.)
1 bottle of coke.
8 oz of good baking chocolate
1 cup cream
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
9 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup of shaved chocolate (optional)
For the cupcakes:
1.) Pick a box of chocolate cake mix, which ever flavor or brand you like. Add in the eggs and oil as recommended BUT use the coke in EXCHANGE for the WATER.
2.) Put about 2 tablespoons of batter in each cup cake paper. Cook until done and let cool.
3.) While cupcakes are cooling, in a microwave bowl break up the chocolate and place in microwave. Cooking ONE minute at a time and stirring until evenly melted.
For the Ganache:
1.) In a microwave bowl cook the cream until very hot about two to three minutes.
2.) Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and stir until well incorporated. Add in the butter one table spoon at a time and mix until well incorporated.
3.) Cover ganache mixture and place in fridge to cool, stirring every five minutes.
4.) Once no longer runny and slightly thickened, take the ganache and place into a piping bag with a thin writing tip. Then poke and fill each cup cake until some start to come out.
Cut a small circle out and put some of the ganache into the hole. Then remove some of the cut cake top and replace.
For the frosting:
1.) Cream the butter, add in vanilla and rotate the con sugar and cocoa powder. Adding in milk until you get the texture you desire.
2.) Then frost your cupcakes and top with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.